Super Middleweight: 2011, Mar 28- Apr 3

This week in South Africa, #17 Thomas Oosthuizen stopped unproven Columbian prospect Evert Bravo in the 9th round.  #16 Isaac Chilemba won a regional light heavyweight title on the same card.  Finally, Mexican prospect Marco Antonio Periban destroyed the hapless Alfredo Mejia (now 0-3) about halfway through the first round in Mexico.  No changes to the rankings.

 

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

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Andre Ward (18-97-97)
Last Fight: 11/27/2010- UD12 #10 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: 5/14/2011- vs. #7 Arthur Abraham
It’s a bit shameful that Ward gets another essentially hometown fight.  He probably doesn’t need it to win, but it was a huge oversight by Showtime to allow it.
2) Carl Froch (18-250-250)
Last Fight: 11/27/2010- UD12 #7 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: 6/4/2011- vs. #15 Glen Johnson
Froch’s fight with Johnson has been bumped back to June 4 from an original date of May 21 primarily due to a venue dispute.  The fight will take place in Atlantic City, much to Froch’s dismay.
3) Lucian Bute (18-259-259)
Last Fight: 3/19/2011- TKO10 Brian Magee (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Had only the slightest trouble dispatching the game but limited Brian Magee.  May finally get a true challenge in Mikkel Kessler sometime in the fall.
4) Mikkel Kessler (18-329-329)
Last Fight: 4/24/2010- UD12 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
Kessler is looking to fight a tune-up against fringe contender Renan St. Juste this summer before challenging Bute for the right to fight the Super Six winner.
5) Andre Dirrell (39-52-52)
Last Fight: 3/27/2010- DQ11 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: Unknown
I will go on the record and say I don’t believe Dirrell’s claims of serious neurological problems.  I will still give him some benefit of the doubt, but he said he was cleared to return on February 1, and has been sparring with George Groves.  I’ll give him an additional month to sign for a fight before removing him from the rankings.
6) Robert Stieglitz (39-83-83)
Last Fight: 11/20/2010- UD12 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/9/2011- vs. #9 Dimitri Sartison
Stieglitz appeared to be ducking Mikkel Kessler, but signed a pretty good fight anyway with the underrated Dimitri Sartison in Magdeburg.
7) Arthur Abraham (53-75-75)
Last Fight: 2/12/2011- TKO2 Stjepan Bozic (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/14/2011- vs. #1 Andre Ward
The easy win over Bozic probably didn’t serve as an adequate tune-up for Abe, since Bozic’s injured hand prevented him from getting any rounds in.
8) Librado Andrade (41-201-201)
Last Fight: 5/28/2010- RTD8 Eric Lucas (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
It now appears Andrade is unlikely to fight Chad Dawson on the Hopkins-Pascal card, since Adrian Diaconu appears to be the choice for Dawson.  No word on the next move for Andrade.
9) Dimitri Sartison (24-35-39)
Last Fight: 7/31/2010- UD12 Khoren Gevor (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/9/2011- vs. #6 Robert Stieglitz
In a surprise announcement, Sartison will fight Stieglitz in Magdeburg in what should be a good matchup.
10) Sakio Bika (24-24-208)
Last Fight: 11/27/2010- L(UD12) vs. #2 Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Expect Bika to take a nice long vacation and then fight a weak opponent or two before stepping back up, if he ever does.
11) Eduard Gutknecht (24-39)
Last Fight: 2/12/2010- UD8 Oleksandr Cherviak (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Gutknecht’s place in the 168 pound rankings is on its deathbed, as he’s clearly decided to fight exclusively at 175.  His year anniversary at 168 is 4/17.
12) Karoly Balzsay (24-39)
Last Fight: 11/19/2010- KO4 Misa Nikolic (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Balzsay hasn’t made 168 since early December 2009, but since he missed it by only a pound for his very inconsequential non-title fight with Aziz Daari, he gets an extra six months to fight at 168.
13) Edison Miranda (24-39)
Last Fight: 4/17/2010- L (TKO3) vs. Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Jesse Brinkley (24-39)
Last Fight: 10/15/2010- L (KO9) vs. #1 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: 4/29/2011- vs. Peter Quillin (UNR)
Has an intriguing matchup now scheduled with undefeated prospect Peter Quillin.
15) Glen Johnson (21-21)
Last Fight: 11/6/2010- TKO8 Allan Green (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/4/2011- vs. #2 Carl Froch
Johnson, a former light heavyweight champion, has a real shot at being top dog at 168.  His path is clear: beat Carl Froch in May, Andre Ward later in the year, and then (possibly) clean up the division with Lucian Bute in early 2012.  The odds are long, though, as the Road Warrior is already 42 and must go through perhaps all three of the division’s best fighters.
16) Isaac Chilemba (5-39)
Last Fight: 3/26/2011- UD12 Vikapita Meroro (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba gets a little credit in the rankings for beating Maxim Vlasov at a low-light heavyweight contract weight simply because both he and Vlasov typically fight at 168.  This victory advances him past Thomas Oosthuizen, with whom he recently drew.  Chilemba is staying busy, fighting a very good journeyman for a regional LHW title in late March.
17) Thomas Oosthuizen (5-39)
Last Fight: 3/26/2011- TKO9 Evert Bravo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Bryan Vera (8-8)
Last Fight: 2/4/2011- SD10 Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vera, despite a bit of a roller-coaster career including a couple recent losses, has done more in beating Sebastian Demers and Sergio Mora than have the guys rated below him, at least at this weight.
19) Andy Lee (3-3)
Last Fight: 3/12/2011- TKO10 Craig McEwan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Ezequiel Maderna (3-4)
Last Fight: 3/5/2011- UD10 Ruben Acosta (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
His win over Ruben Acosta gives him a slightly better resume than DeGale.


THE WEEK AHEAD: Prospect Don George will fight fringe prospect Maxell Taylor in Chicago on Friday in the only notable action in the division this week.

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