The RING MAGAZINE heavyweight ratings As Of September 14th, 1967
15.09.06 - By Jim Amato: When I come across an old magazine, especially from the 1960's and 70's I love to scan over the ratings. In the November 1967 issue the ratings were up through mid-September. I found this particularly interesting concerning the heavyweight division. This was just after Muhammad Ali ( at that time still referred to as Cassius Clay by Ring editor ) had just been stripped of his title for refusing induction into the US Armed Forces. Ring Magazine refused to follow the lead of the New York State Athletic Commission and the WBA and continued to recognize Clay / Ali as the rightful champion.
The WBA started their infamous eight man tourney and when these ratings came out two of the initial four bouts had taken place. Jimmy Ellis the eventual tourney winner was in #7 spot after stopping Leotis Martin who was now unranked. Two years later Martin would become the #1 contender when he blasted out former champion Sonny Liston. Leotis would be forced to retire after the Liston fight due to a detached retina thus denying him of a title shot. Then Thad Spencer upset former WBA titleholder Ernie Terrell to advance to the semi-finals. The win took Spencer all the way to the #3 slot and Terrell was now #4.
Joe Frazier was ranked #1 after he stopped George Chuvalo. He declined to enter the tourney and would later beat Buster Mathis for the recognition of the NYSAC. When these ratings came out Liston had just embarked on his comeback. It was not until 1968 when Sonny defeated the talented Henry Clark that Sonny was again a serious contender.
Now here is where it gets interesting. German southpaw Karl Mildenberger was the #2 man behind Frazier. He was slated to meet the #9 ranked Oscar Bonavena. Former champ Floyd Patterson at #5 was to do battle with the #7 guy, Jerry Quarry in a rematch of an earlier draw. Well Bonavena gave the game but out gunned Mildenberger a sound thrashing . Quarry would edge Patterson to advance.
The #6 contender was a heavyweight from Mexico named Manuel Ramos. At the #10 notch was Argentina's Eduardo Corletti who had just upset Chuvalo. To make long story short Ellis beat Bonavena and Quarry halted Spencer. Ellis would then defeat Quarry for the WBA "title." Ramos would eventually lose to Frazier and Chuvalo. Corletti suffered some losses and he too would drop from the ratings.