Despite recording a 1st round knockout over the weekend, Cleveland Super Welterweight contender Willie “The Great” Nelson saw his ranking by the World Boxing Council (WBC) drop from third to fifth in the rankings that were released today.
Nelson (22-1-1, 13 KO’s) returned to the ring after nearly a year off Saturday on the undercard of the Miguel Cotto/Sergio Martinez World Middleweight Championship fight. Originally scheduled to appear on the televised pay-per-view portion of the card against Andy Lee, Nelson was forced to an off tv fight against the well past his prime Darryl Cunningham due to crazy boxing politics.
Nelson did what he needed to do, scoring a first round knockout in quickly extinguishing an aging veteran that had been knocked out in two of his last three fights.
The irony in all of this is that the man that Nelson originally agreed to fight, Andy Lee, scored a spectacular fifth round knockout over the once beaten (by Willie Nelson) John Jackson. Lee was knocked down in the second round and Jackson was in control of the fight until being knocked unconscious.
One of the fighters that moved ahead of Nelson in the rankings? Yes, you guessed it, Andy Lee. The fact that Lee had never even fought at Super Welterweight and was down on the cards at the time of the knockout didn’t matter when the WBC released its rankings.
The other fighter that moved ahead of Nelson in the rankings was undefeated Jermell Charlo, who was much more deserving than Lee to do so. Charlo had fought three times since Nelson’s last fight, including a dominant twelve round decision over once beaten Charlie Ota in his last fight on May, 24th.
While I don’t agree with Nelson losing his place in the rankings, especially without losing a fight, there is a way he can jump back into the top three. Take on his originally scheduled opponent of this past Saturday, Andy Lee.
The two camps had already agreed on a fight so making the matchup now should be no problem with both ranked in the top 5. A win by Nelson would most likely put him in contention to fight for the World title. Yes, this is another obstacle for the 27 year old Nelson, who began his professional career in 2006, but whoever said that it was easy to become a World Champion?