Super Middleweight: 2010, Dec 6-12

In the most significant action of last week, two 30-something French Canadians in search of redemption and a last chance to keep their careers viable met in Montreal on Friday:  the nearly 31-year-old Sebastian Demers- coming off an upset knockout loss to Brian Vera- and the 38-year-old Renan St. Juste- coming off an upset majority decision loss to Marcus Upshaw in a fight that wasn’t close in reality.  As he demonstrated in getting bombed out by Vera, Demers lacks any semblance of defense, and was battered to a devastating 2nd-round knockout by St. Juste, who now might be able to parlay this victory into some sort of title shot.  Demers, on the other hand, needs to hang up the gloves.  He can’t help getting hit hard in the ring, and with the marginal skill he possesses and what must be shot confidence, there’s no reason to believe he can rebound from this, nor should he try for his health’s sake.  This is St. Juste’s first win of any import at 168, and so he remains unranked.


Serge Yannick, the Cameroon native-turned Australian, won a average decision over Togasilimai Letoa of Samoa the same night.  The cards were semi-close, owing in part to a deduction assessed on Yannick for low blows and in part to the fact that Letoa, while unable to beat really good fighters, almost always gives them some trouble.  He is probably a little better than most fighters with a similar (11-6) record.


Also on Friday, 10-0 Mexican prospect Marco Antonio Periban had no trouble with the usually-credible Darnell Boone, stopping him in the 1st in Guadalajara.


In Saturday’s action, Australian fringe contender Les Sherrington had only a little trouble with good journeyman Nader Hamdan- losing an average of 2 rounds on the 3 cards.  Middleweight fringe contender Koji Sato took a fight a few pounds over the limit and stopped inexperienced journeyman Salomon Rodriguez in Tokyo in 5 rounds.  Finally, Ryan Rhodes, a high-rated contender at 154 moved up to 168 for some reason (perhaps laziness) to fight another guy that normally fights between 154 and 160- undefeated and untested prospect Rocky Junior- dropping him twice before stopping him in the second round.  No changes in the rankings this week.


Here are The Ring’s top 10 for comparison purposes:
1) Andre Ward
2) Lucian Bute
3) Carl Froch
4) Mikkel Kessler
5) Andre Dirrell
6) Sakio Bika
7) Robert Stieglitz
8) Librado Andrade
9) Glen Johnson
10) Arthur Abraham


Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Andre Ward (2-81-81)
Last Fight: 11/27/2010- UD12 #10 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #7 Arthur Abraham
2) Carl Froch (2-234-234)
Last Fight: 11/27/2010- UD12 #7 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #15 Glen Johnson
3) Lucian Bute (2-243-243)
Last Fight: 10/15/2010- KO9 #15 Jesse Brinkley
Next Fight: Unknown
4) Mikkel Kessler (2-313-313)
Last Fight: 4/24/2010- UD12 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
5) Andre Dirrell (22-36-36)
Last Fight: 3/27/2010- DQ11 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: Unknown
6) Robert Stieglitz (22-67-67)
Last Fight: 11/20/2010- UD12 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
7) Arthur Abraham (36-59-59)
Last Fight: 11/27/2010- L (UD12) vs. #4 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #1 Andre Ward
8) Librado Andrade (24-185-185)
Last Fight: 5/28/2010- RTD8 Eric Lucas (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
9) Dimitri Sartison (8-19-23)
Last Fight: 7/31/10- UD12 Khoren Gevor (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
10) Sakio Bika (8-8-192)
Last Fight: 11/27/2010- L(UD12) vs. #2 Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
11) Eduard Gutknecht (8-23)
Last Fight: 7/17/2010- RTD9 Michal Bilak (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
12) Karoly Balzsay (8-23)
Last Fight: 11/19/2010- KO4 Misa Nikolic (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
13) Edison Miranda (8-23)
Last Fight: 4/17/2010- L (TKO3) vs. Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Jesse Brinkley (8-23)
Last Fight: 10/15/2010- L (KO9) vs. #1 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Glen Johnson (5-5)
Last Fight: 11/6/2010- TKO8 Allan Green (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Thomas Oosthuizen (5-23)
Last Fight: 11/6/2010- D12 with #17 Isaac Chilemba
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Isaac Chilemba (8-23)
Last Fight: 11/6/2010- D12 with #15 Thomas Oosthuizen
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Jean Paul Mendy (5-23)
Last Fight: 7/31/2010- W(DQ1) #10 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Daniel Geale (5-23)
Last Fight: 10/31/2010- TKO12 MW Contender Roman Karmazin (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Peter Quillin (5-23)
Last Fight: 2/6/2010- UD10 Fernando Zuniga
Next Fight: 12/18/2010- vs. Martin Desjardins (UNR)


THE WEEK AHEAD: A few notable fights are happening in the division this week, all on Saturday.  Perhaps the most interesting is former contender Jeff Lacy returning to the ring against journeyman Dhafir Smith in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Lacy was considered a top contender at 168 before being slapped around by Joe Calzaghe a few years back.  He subsequently followed Calzaghe to light heavyweight, where he beat Peter Manfredo, Jr., but last summer looked utterly used up while being thoroughly embarrassed by an over-the-hill Roy Jones, Jr.  There’s nothing in Smith’s record to indicate that he has too much for Left Hook, but as bad as his last outing was and after being out of the ring so long, this might not be a given.


In a couple fights that probably have a little more import for the division’s future, British prospects James DeGale and Paul Smith go head to head in Liverpool, on a card that reads like a who’s who of young British fighters.  It’s not out of the question for the fight’s winner to earn a ranking come next week.  And in Johannesburg, South Africa, local fringe contender William Gare gets a decent test from veteran journeyman Roland Francis.

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