NorCal Pound-for-Pound Top 10: March 2013

NorCal Pound-for-Pound Top 10: March 2013
March 28, 2013, 5:45 pm
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Andre Ward won his last fight by TKO10 over Chad Dawson for WBA/WBC/RING super middleweight titles on Sept. 8, 2012. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

The first edition of this year’s Northern California Pound-for-Pound Poll features the return of Carina Moreno, who became the first woman in NorCal history to win world titles in three different weight classes last December.  

Her re-entry pushed Glenn Donaire out of the top 10, with Melissa McMorrow and Ana Julaton each moving up one spot after Vicente Escobedo suffered his second straight loss.

Ava Knight continues to close the gap between her and fourth-ranked Karim Mayfield, as only 11 points now separate the two of them.  Alejandro Perez is also starting to gain momentum, just missing out on the list after his upset of Art Hovhannisyan on Showtime.

With Nonito Donaire and Robert Guerrero taking on challenging fights against Guillermo Rigondeaux and Floyd Mayweather, respectively, things should get interesting in the upcoming months.

NOTE: To be eligible for the NorCal P4P Poll, a fighter must officially call Northern California home, with Monterey considered the southernmost point of the area.  

1. Andre Ward, Oakland, super middleweight (26-0, 14 KOs)
LAST POLL: 1st
POINTS: 127 (10 first-place votes)
BIRTHDATE: 2/23/1984 (age 29)
TITLES HELD: WBA (world), WBC (world), RING (world)
PREVIOUS WORLD TITLES: None
LAST FIGHT: Won by TKO10 over Chad Dawson for WBA/WBC/RING super middleweight titles (Sept. 8, 2012)
NEXT FIGHT: TBA
PROMOTER: Goossen Tutor
THE LATEST: “S.O.G.” is back in the gym after surgery and rehab on his right shoulder, informing panelist John Raspanti that he will be able to “go all out” by May.  Recently, Floyd Mayweather tried to disparage Ward’s faith and drawing power, but Ward replied with class, advising Mayweather to call him and “talk about it like men.”

2. Nonito Donaire, San Leandro, junior featherweight (31-1, 20 KOs)
POINTS: 119 (3 first-place votes)
LAST POLL: 2nd
BIRTHDATE: 11/16/1982 (age 30)
TITLES HELD: WBO (world), RING (world)
PREVIOUS WORLD TITLES: IBF flyweight, WBA interim jr. bantamweight, WBC/WBO bantamweight, IBF jr. featherweight
LAST FIGHT: Won by KO3 over Jorge Arce for WBO/RING jr. featherweight titles (Oct. 13, 2012)
NEXT FIGHT: Apr. 13 vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux for WBO/WBA/RING jr. featherweight titles (HBO)
PROMOTER: Top Rank
THE LATEST: “The Filipino Flash” surprisingly split with nutritionist Victor Conte and spends weekends in Las Vegas with wife Rachel, who is pregnant with their first child.  Despite the unconventional camp, he believes he’ll still be too much for Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KOs), a dangerous Cuban southpaw.

3. Robert Guerrero, Gilroy, welterweight (31-1-1, 18 KOs)
LAST POLL: 3rd
POINTS: 105
BIRTHDAY: 3/27/1983 (age 30)
TITLES HELD: WBC interim (world)
PREVIOUS WORLD TITLES: IBF featherweight (twice), IBF jr. lightweight, WBA/WBO interim lightweight
LAST FIGHT: Won by UD12 over Andre Berto for WBC interim welterweight title (Nov. 24, 2012)
NEXT FIGHT: May 4 vs. Floyd Mayweather for WBC welterweight title
PROMOTER: Golden Boy
THE LATEST: “The Ghost” has arrived in Las Vegas to start camp for the biggest fight of his career.  Though an 11-to-1 underdog, Guerrero’s size, smarts, and southpaw stance make him a viable threat to Mayweather (43-0, 26 KOs).

4. Karim Mayfield, San Francisco, junior welterweight (17-0-1, 10 KOs)
LAST POLL: 4th
POINTS: 88
BIRTHDATE: 12/14/1980 (age 32)
TITLES HELD: NABO (regional)
PREVIOUS WORLD TITLES: None
LAST FIGHT: Won by UD10 over Mauricio Herrera for NABO jr. welterweight title (Oct. 27, 2012)
NEXT FIGHT: TBA
PROMOTER: Prize Fight/Gary Shaw (option on next fight)
THE LATEST: Fillmore’s “Hard Hitta” had a title shot with WBA holder Khabib Allakhverdiev fall through, but he’s the highest-rated contender remaining after Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado clash on Saturday for the WBO interim belt.
 
5. Ava Knight, Chico, flyweight (11-1-3, 5 KOs)
LAST POLL: 5th
POINTS: 77
BIRTHDATE: 8/15/1988 (age 24)
TITLES HELD: WBC Diamond (world)
PREVIOUS WORLD TITLES: WBC (world), IBF (world)
LAST FIGHT: Won by UD10 over Susana Vasquez (Jan. 26, 2013)
NEXT FIGHT: TBA
PROMOTER: HG Boxing
THE LATEST: “The Lady of Boxing” is an all-around talent and the best flyweight in the world, but due to boxing politics, she no longer possesses the belts she won in the ring.  But make no mistake; the champ makes the belt, not the other way around.

6. Brandon Gonzales, Sacramento, middleweight (17-0, 10 KOs)
LAST POLL: 6th
POINTS: 62
BIRTHDATE: 5/24/1984 (age 28)
TITLES HELD: None
PREVIOUS WORLD TITLES: None
LAST FIGHT: Won by UD8 over Don Mouton (Jan. 11, 2013)
NEXT FIGHT: TBA
PROMOTER: Goossen Tutor
THE LATEST: “Flawless” showed some ring rust in his return, but ultimately, his record still reflected his moniker.  Reports had the talented boxer-puncher fighting Will Rosinsky (17-2, 9 KOs) in April, but Gonzales said that was news to him.  

7. Melissa McMorrow, San Francisco, flyweight (9-3-3, 1 KO)
LAST POLL: 8th
POINTS: 36
BIRTHDATE: 6/19/1981 (age 31)
TITLES HELD: WBO (world)
PREVIOUS WORLD TITLES: None
LAST FIGHT: Won by SD10 over Nadia Raoui for WBO flyweight title (Mar. 23, 2013)
NEXT FIGHT: TBA
PROMOTER: SES
THE LATEST: “Mighty” successfully defended her belt for the second time last Saturday, defeating the taller Raoui with constant pressure.  Who’s next?

8. Ana Julaton, Daly City, junior featherweight (12-3-1, 2 KOs)
LAST POLL: 9th
POINTS: 25
BIRTHDATE: 7/5/1980 (age 32)
TITLES HELD: None
PREVIOUS WORLD TITLES: WBO jr. featherweight (twice)
LAST FIGHT: Won by TKO1 over Abigail Ramos (Aug. 3, 2012)
NEXT FIGHT: TBA
PROMOTER: Orion Sports
THE LATEST: “The Hurricane” hasn’t fought in seven months, and after a February date in Florida never materialized, Julaton is looking to get back in the mix—possibly in the Philippines where she’s mobbed at every corner.

9. Vicente Escobedo, Woodland, junior lightweight (26-4, 15 KOs)
LAST POLL: 7th
POINTS: 22
BIRTHDATE: 11/6/1981 (age 31)
TITLES HELD: None
PREVIOUS WORLD TITLES: None
LAST FIGHT: Lost by TKO6 to Edner Cherry (Feb. 16, 2013)
NEXT FIGHT: TBA
PROMOTER: Golden Boy
THE LATEST: “Chente” incurred his second straight knockout loss, this time to the heavy-handed Cherry.  Escobedo now returns to the drawing board in his pursuit of another title shot; at 31, the clock is ticking.

10. Carina Moreno, Watsonville, flyweight (23-5, 6 KOs)
LAST POLL: NR
POINTS: 20
BIRTHDATE: 10/9/1981 (age 31)
TITLES HELD: WBA (world)
PREVIOUS WORLD TITLES: WBC strawweight, WBC interim jr. flyweight
LAST FIGHT: Won by SD10 over Susi Kentikian for WBA flyweight title (Dec. 1, 2012)
NEXT FIGHT: TBA
PROMOTER: Zeferino Entertainment
THE LATEST: Last year, “La Reina (The Queen)” became the second fighter to upset Kentikian in Germany (McMorrow was the first); she also made history as the first NorCal woman to win world titles in three divisions.   

ALSO RECEIVED VOTES:
Alejandro Perez, North Salinas, junior lightweight (17-3-1, 11 KOs); 17 points
Glenn Donaire, San Leandro, flyweight (19-5-1, 10 KOs); 5 points
Manuel Avila, Fairfield, junior featherweight (10-0, 3 KOs); 4 points
Alan Sanchez, Fairfield, welterweight (12-2-1, 6 KOs); 4 points
Bruno Escalante, junior bantamweight, San Carlos (7-1-1, 3 KOs); 3 points
Eloy Perez, Salinas, junior lightweight (23-1-2, 7 KOs); 1 point

VOTERS:
Ramon Aranda, 3MoreRounds.com; Mario Cabrera, BeatTheCount.com; Truth Esguerra, Philippine News; Andrew Lapachet, Primer Round Magazine; Ryan Maquiñana, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area/BoxingScene.com; Ray Markarian, TheSweetScience.com; John Raspanti, DoghouseBoxing.com; Champ Ross, BeatTheCount.com; Colin Seymour, San Francisco Chronicle/Examiner.com; Alexis Terrazas, San Francisco Examiner; Richie Tomassini, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area; Darren Velasco, FightDomain.net; Henry Wofford, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.

CSNBayArea.com Boxing Insider Ryan Maquiñana is a voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and is on the Ring Magazine Ratings Panel. E-mail him at rmaquinana@gmail.com, check out his blog at www.norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.