Middleweight: 2011, May 23-29

Andy Lee- ranked #17 at 168 where he does his best (or at least most important) work despite being a more natural middleweight- pitched a shutout on all three cards in Rosemont, Illinois on Wednesday against former contender Alex Bunema.  Bunema took 2 years off after a loss to Willie Lee in St. Louis that I saw from ringside.  It seems that Bunema was already fading before his hiatus, considering that Lee never really panned out, and so Lee doesn’t make any hay in the ratings.  He does have to feel good about the win, though, after needing every bit of his will to grab victory from the jaws of defeat against Craig McEwan recently.

 

For Comparision, here are the current Ring ratings for the division:
Champ: Sergio Martinez
1) Felix Sturm
2) Daniel Geale
3) Paul Williams
4) Sebastian Sylvester
5) Matthew Macklin
6) Sebastian Zbik
7) Dmitry Pirog
8) David Lopez
9) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam
10) Marco Antonio Rubio


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (58-58-58)
Last Fight: 3/12/2011- TKO9 JMW #9 Sergiy Dzinziruk
Next Fight: 10/1/2011- vs. Unknown Opponent
Martinez’ return was pushed back yet again.  He now has an HBO date on October 1.  He has said recently that he might move down to 154 since he can’t get a big-time opponent at 160.  He still seems to be pursuing the Chavez-Zbik winner, though.
1) Felix Sturm (98-401-401)
Last Fight: 2/19/2011- TKO7 Ronald Hearns (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/25/2011- vs. #10 Matthew Macklin
Now officially scheduled to fight #10 Matthew Macklin on June 25 in Cologne, after an original date of July 2 was scrapped.
2) Daniel Geale (3-101-101)
Last Fight: 5/7/2011- W(SD12) vs. #3 Sebastian Sylvester
Next Fight: Unknown
Showed a great motor by soundly outworking the apparently stronger Sylvester to a decision victory in enemy territory.  Has already said he wants Martinez, but unfortunately Martinez hasn’t reciprocated the sentiment.
3) Paul Williams (3-111-111)
Last Fight: 11/20/2010- L(KO2) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: 7/9/2011- vs. JMW #15 Erislandy Lara (at JMW?)
HBO nixed his scheduled fight with Ishida after initially giving its blessing, and Williams is now fighting somewhat diminished prospect Erislandy Lara in a very interesting potential crossroads fight.
4) Sebastian Sylvester (3-302-302)
Last Fight: 5/7/2011- L(SD12) vs. #4 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite what a corrupt Danish judge might say, Sylvester lost in fairly close but clear fashion to Geale.  Still, there’s not a ton of shame in that, and Sylvester remains soundly within the top 5.
5) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (12-30-30)
Last Fight: 4/2/2011- UD12 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Controversy aside, he probably deserved the win over Lorenzo and remains a force in the division.
6) Dmitry Pirog (12-43-43)
Last Fight: 3/26/2011- UD12 Javier Maciel (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pirog is apparently deep in discussions with mandatory challenger Gennady Martirosyan.  He hopes that fight would land on ESPN.
7) Marco Antonio Rubio (6-7-17)
Last Fight: 4/8/2011- TKO7 David Lemieux (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rubio is the mandatory for the Chavez-Zbik winner, but would prefer to fight Sergio Martinez.  No word on whether either of those fights is actually likely to come off anytime soon, since Martinez also appears to want Chavez or Zbik.
8) Grzegorz Proksa (6-6-6)
Last Fight: 4/15/2011- KO9 #16 Pablo Navascues
Next Fight: Unknown
Out of nowhere, Proksa is a top-10 contender after knocking out Pablo Navascues, a sturdy fringe contender whose career was inexplicably in neutral since a 2007 draw with contender Javier Castillejo.
9) Anthony Mundine (6-6-17)
Last Fight: 4/13/2011- UD10 #7 Garth Wood
Next Fight: 6/5/2011- vs. Xavier Tolliver (UNR)
Mundine appears to be set to fight Xavier Tolliver in New Zealand on June 5.  Strictly a stay-busy fight for Mundine.
10) Matthew Macklin (6-87-87)
Last Fight: 12/11/2010- UD12 Ruben Varon (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/25/2011- vs. #1 Felix Sturm
Now scheduled for a match with #1 Contender Felix Sturm in Cologne.  The fight was originally scheduled for 7/2 but was quickly moved up to 6/25.  The winner will become an obvious challenger for Sergio Martinez.
11) Maxim Bursak (6-17)
Last Fight: 9/4/2010- UD12 Bryan Vera
Next Fight: 5/28/2011- vs. Carlos Jerez (UNR)
Scheduled to fight a solid veteran journeyman in Carlos Jerez on Saturday.
12) Osumanu Adama (6-9)
Last Fight: 3/25/2011- TKO4 #19 Marcus Upshaw
Next Fight: Unknown
Displaced by Marco Rubio and company after a 2 week cup of coffee in the top 10.
13) Garth Wood (6-17)
Last Fight: 4/13/2011- L (UD10) vs. #20 Anthony Mundine
Next Fight: Unknown
Got dropped twice against Mundine en route to a loss in which he appears to have faded a bit late.  Has a knockout win to his credit over the same opponent, so a trilogy appears appropriate.
14) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (6-17)
Last Fight: 1/29/2011- UD10 Billy Lyell
Next Fight: 6/4/2011- vs. #19 Sebastian Zbik
Chavez will take on one of the biggest challenges of his career in undefeated but thus-far overrated alphabet titlist Sebastian Zbik.
15) Billy Lyell (6-17)
Last Fight: 5/5/2011- TKO1 Brian Paul (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Nobuhiro Ishida (6-7)
Last Fight: 4/9/2011- TKO1 James Kirkland (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ishida’s fight with Paul Williams was killed by HBO.  This might simultaneously be the best and worst thing that could have happened to the Japanese fighter.
17) Darren Barker (6-17)
Last Fight: 4/30/2011- UD12 Domenico Spada (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Won a fairly close decision to defend his European title over Spada.
18) Avtandil Khurtsidze (6-17)
Last Fight: 3/12/2011- UD12 Mariusz Cendrowski (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/11/2011- vs. Dionisio Miranda (UNR)
Will fight Dionisio Miranda on June 11.  Miranda gave Roman Karmazin all he could handle about 18 months ago, and is coming off a December split decision win over fringe contender Lajuan Simon.  Could be a good fight.
19) Sebastian Zbik (6-98)
Last Fight: 7/31/2010- UD12 Jorge Heiland (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/4/2011- vs. #14 Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.
Undefeated Zbik will finally step up to the fringe contender level of competition, fighting Mexican star Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. in June.
20) Billi Godoy (2-2)
Last Fight: 5/14/2011- W(TD9) vs. Claudio Abalos (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Escaped from the riot in his last fight with a wildly controversial but ultimately correct technical decision and finds himself in the top 20 as a result.  This may be one of those fights that demands a rematch, though.

 

The Week Ahead: Two notable fights this week:

 

Friday, two Minnesotans collide for that state’s title.  Caleb Truax- an undefeated prospect who I’m almost certainly distantly related to- will fight Andy Kolle, who is probably something between a prospect and a gatekeeper.  The 29 year-old Kolle has only two losses, and they are stoppages against Andre Ward and Paul Williams.

 

Saturday, #11 Maxim Bursak takes on solid journeyman Carlos Adan Jerez in Bursak’s hometown of Kiev, Ukraine.
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