By Charles Brun: Ring Magazine now has Tyson Fury ranked #1 in their heavyweight rankings for September following his grueling 12 round war with Otto Wallin on September 14. A lot of boxing fans thought Fury should have lost that fight due to the cut that he suffered in the 3rd.
Even without the cut, Fury was fought to a standstill by Wallin. There was no real winner in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans. Boxing News 24 scored the fight a draw. Wallin appeared to win 5 of the first 6 rounds, and then he took the 12th to earn a draw.
Fury ranked above Andy Ruiz in Ring Magazine rankings
What’s interesting about the Ring Magazine heavyweight rankings is that they have IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr ranked BELOW Fury at #3. How in the world does Fury get ranked higher than a three-belt world champion? What the Ring Magazine rankings mean is they value Fury’s lineal heavyweight champion status more than Ruiz’s three division world titles.
When a three-belt fighter still isn’t ranked #1 in the heavyweight division, it looks bad. Titles become meaningless. You’ve got to feel bad for Ruiz. He beats the three-belt champion in Joshua, and yet finds himself ranked below a fighter who holds an invisible title.
Here are the Ring Magazine’s heavyweight rankings:
1. Tyson Fury
2. Deontay Wilder
3. Andy Ruiz Jr.
4. Anthony Joshua
5. Dillian Whyte
6. Luis Ortiz
7. Alexander Povetkin
8. Joseph Parker
9. Adam Kownacki
10. Kubrat Pulev
Last December, Fury lucked out in his fight with Wilder where the referee didn’t stop the fight in the 12th after he was knocked out. Fury then lucked out again against Otto Wallin when the ringside doctor let him fight with a cut that required 47 stitches to close. With the way things have been going well for him, Fury needs to change his nickname to “Lucky” with the way he keeps dodging defeats. Fury easily could have lost both fights to Wallin and Wilder.
Having unbeaten WBC champion Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) ranked below Fury also doesn’t make sense. Wilder has a real world title belt, and one of the most prestigious in all of boxing. Fury’s lineal heavyweight title doesn’t have a physical belt. It’s just a label. The problem with Fury giving himself a pseudo title is that it could lead to the other heavyweights to run amok., and start giving themselves grand title labels made up inside their heads.
When you get fighters appointing themselves as champions, it confuses the boxing fans. It’s not good for the sport. Luckily there’s no one else doing that in the other weight classes. It would be a horrible mess if each division had a non-champion calling themselves the “lineal champion” for beating someone years ago.
What would happen in the NFL if a team decided to give themselves a championship status for winning a game four years ago against a fading team filled with old guys? With Fury calling himself the lineal champion for his 2015 win over then 39-year-old Wladimir Klitschko, it makes no sense.