(Ramirez, Salamov, Vlasov, Alvarez, Smith Jr.)
By: Coach K (January 23rd) After watching two highly entertaining Top Rank, 175lb bouts a week apart on ESPN watching Joe “The Beast” Smith Jr. walk down and batter Philadelphia’s, Jesse “Hollywood” Hart for ten rounds and a week later see Eider Alvarez stop Michael Seals in three rounds, I was shocked when I heard the results of the WBO World Championship Committee two elimination contests to fill the World Light Heavyweight title vacated by Canelo Alvarez.
After weeks hearing over and over numerous pundits and several sources announce that the winner of Smith Jr. vs Hart lightheavyweight match-up would be meeting the victor of Alvarez / Seals, how did we end with Gilberto Ramirez vs. Eleider Alvarez and Umar Salamov vs. Maxim Vlasov as the division eliminators? I just can’t do the WBO math somehow leaving the heavy handed “Beast” Smith Jr. out of the two final eliminators.
When I started to peruse the confusing WBO rankings, immediately putting aside sport politics with Canelo jumping the line getting a title claiming shot at Sergey Kovalev, November 2019, I could not find a single stream of reasoning behind the rankings. (Note: Yarde ranked #1 losing to Kovalev in August was dropped to #9 behind Gilbert Ramirez, Dominic Boesel, Umar Salamov, Jesse Hart, Maxim Vlasov, Robert Parzeczewski and Eleider Alvarez with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez replacing Yarde at #1 without a single fight in the division.
Continuing on I discovered that Gilberto Ramirez, not ranked in April, jumped to #2 spot behind Anthony Yarde following just his first fight at 175lbs, a fourth-round stoppage win over journeyman, Thomas Karpency.
Then June 2019, I found that Philly’s, Jesse Hart after his just first and only fight in the light heavyweight division a ten round unanimous decision win over #7 ranked Sullivan Barrera landed at #5 behind #4 Umar Salamov ahead of #6 Robert Parzeczewski, #7 Maxim Vlasov and then #8 Eleider Alvarez.
With those facts at hand I can’t figure the reasoning how it is Joe Smith Jr. coming into the Hart fight off a unanimous decision loss to unbeaten light heavy power house and WBA Champion, Dmitry Bivol demonstrably beating the now WBO #3 ranked Jesse Hart only land at #5 and not in Harts #3 position.
Then after the Smith one sided victory over Hart, hearing Top Rank CEO and charge Bob Arum openly criticizing the split decision scoring declare “We have a good light heavyweight fight next week in Eleider Alvarez vs Michael Seals and I would like [Smith] to fight the winner of that fight” I then would witness another weird WBO shuffle.
A week later seeing WBO #7, Eider Alvarez stop out of the top fifteen, Michael Seals in three rounds the curious WBO rankings “reorder” would move Alvarez to #4 and Maxim Vlasov (after losing to Krzysztof Glowacki jumped into the top fifteen at the #7 spot in June 2019 with a win over non-top fifteen Omar Garcia) for some unknown reason was moved to Jesse Harts spot at #3.
Keeping in mind Ramirez and Hart’s ranking at #1 and #3 respectively coming after just one fight in the division, how is it Smith Jr. a 28 fight, career light heavy paying the WBO sanctioning fees claiming the World Boxing Organisation NABO Light Heavy Title with a with a one sided win over #3 Hart lands at #5 and the (Smith Jr.) proposed opponent #7 Alvarez leap frogs “The Beast” to #4 after a win over an out of the top fifteen fighter Seals.
Not sure what I’m missing but I find myself asking several questions with two standing large and up front. First, how exactly and what formula does the WBO use to calculate its rankings.
Second, without a sound from the New Jersey Boxing Commmision or the WBO concerning any investigation into the judge James Kinney scoring of the Smith Jr. / Hart bout how much did that very suspicious, still uninvestigated, perplexing, unethical split decision scoring affect the result ultimately leaving Smith frozen out of the eliminator bracket at #5.
Anyone with the answers please enlighten me at firstname.lastname@example.org