Gary Russell Jr. Photo by Amanda Westcott/ Showtime
There’s been a significant shake up in The Ring ratings this week.
Our No. 1-rated featherweight Gary Russell Jr. has been removed due to inactivity along with four former world titlists.
The 33-year-old Russell has averaged just one fight per-year for the past six years and hasn’t competed since February 8, 2020.
“There was talk of Russell facing Rey Vargas in March, but nothing came of it, and there’s been no information on his social media accounts regarding his next fight,” said Managing Editor Tom Gray.
“His inactivity – even outside of the pandemic – is the stuff of nightmares, and while the WBC retain him as their champion, I think it’s an embarrassment to rate him as the No. 1 featherweight in the world. He’s a terrific fighter who doesn’t fight.”
There were no dissenting voices among the panel when it came to Russell’s exit and everyone else moves up one spot.
Filling the void left behind is former world title challenger Joet Gonzalez, who enters at No. 10. The 27-year-old Californian is scheduled to face The Ring’s new No. 1-rated featherweight, WBO titleholder Emanuel Navarrete, on October 15 in San Diego.
Also exiting, due to inactivity, is junior middleweight Julian Williams, who will be replaced by Sergio Garcia; junior lightweight Tevin Farmer, who will be replaced by Azinga Fuzile; junior bantamweight Kal Yafai, who will be replaced by Pedro Guevara, and flyweight Sho Kimura, who will be replaced by Masamichi Yabuki. All four fighters will enter at No. 10 in their respective weight classes.
In early August, the ratings freeze, which was implemented in April 2020 due to the pandemic, came to an end.