Super Middleweight: 2011, May 30- Jun 5

#18 Ezequiel Maderna had no problem at all with his countryman, mid-level journeyman Martin Abel Bruer on Saturday, stopping Bruer in the first round.  Librado Andrade hasn’t made 168 in 18 months now, and accordingly exits the rankings, moving up everybody rated 16 or below last week, and making room for James DeGale to return after just one week out.  This was a no-brainer, because I thought he won the fight with Groves and so it killed me to boot him out in favor of Groves in the first place.


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) Glen Johnson
8) Arthur Abraham
9) Dimitri Sartison
10) Thomas Oosthuizen


Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Andre Ward (27-106-106)
Last Fight: 5/14/2011- UD12 #6 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: Unknown
After getting past Abraham, next stop is a fight (possibly for the World Championship) against either Carl Froch or Glen Johnson.
2) Carl Froch (27-259-259)
Last Fight: 11/27/2010- UD12 #7 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: 6/4/2011- vs. #12 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 (27-268-268)
Last Fight: 3/19/2011- TKO10 Brian Magee (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/9/2011- vs. Jean Paul Mendy (UNR)
Recently signed on for a pretty solid tune-up fight with Jean Paul Mendy to prepare for his prospective fight with Mikkel Kessler in the fall.
4) Mikkel Kessler (27-338-338)
Last Fight: 4/24/2010- UD12 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 6/4/2011- vs. Mehdi Bouadla (UNR)
Kessler will fight French journeyman Mehdi Bouadla on June 4 instead of Renan St. Juste, as had been the rumor.  St. Juste is a little better, but on the other hand it’s just good to see the Viking Warrior back in action.  The fight will take place in Copenhagen.
5) Robert Stieglitz (8-92-92)
Last Fight: 4/9/2011- W(DQ10) vs. Khoren Gevor (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Beat the good but somewhat dirty Khoren Gevor thanks to a controversial disqualification, though he appeared on his way to a solid if not overwhelming decision victory, anyway.
6) Arthur Abraham (5-84-84)
Last Fight: 5/14/2011- L(UD12) vs. #1 Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Abraham is now bounced from the Super Six.  He claims he will remain at 168.  I think he can certainly remain at least an excellent alphabet belt-level contender.  And he’s still got the one-punch power, so who knows what he might yet accomplish.
7) Dimitri Sartison (4-44-48)
Last Fight: 7/31/2010- UD12 Khoren Gevor (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sartison badly injured his knee in training and will be out until about October.  He will be given adequate time to schedule a fight thereafter without being removed.  I probably won’t even consider removing him until February.
8) Peter Quillin (4-5-5)
Last Fight: 4/29/2011- TKO3 #13 Jesse Brinkley
Next Fight: Unknown
Beat Brinkley in style to announce his arrival on the scene.
9) Aaron Pryor, Jr. (4-4-4)
Last Fight: 5/6/2011- W*(MD10) vs. #7 Librado Andrade
Next Fight: Unknown
Big upset against Andrade.  I thought it was a draw, but he still deserves mad props.
10) Sakio Bika (33-33-217)
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) Karoly Balzsay (8-48)
Last Fight: 11/19/2010- KO4 Misa Nikolic (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Balzsay will join Andrade as a formerly-ranked fighter if he doesn’t schedule a super middleweight fight by the end of the rating week.  He has not fought at or below 168 since December 4, 2009, but was given an extra six months since he came close last July for his non-title fight with Aziz Daari.
12) Glen Johnson (7-30)
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 June, 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.
13) Isaac Chilemba (5-48)
Last Fight: 3/26/2011- UD12 Vikapita Meroro (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Thomas Oosthuizen (5-48)
Last Fight: 3/26/2011- TKO9 Evert Bravo (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/4/2011- vs. William Gare (UNR)
Will now fight fringe contender William Gare in a pretty even match-up in early June.
15) Bryan Vera (1-17)
Last Fight: 2/4/2011- SD10 Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/24/2011- vs. Eloy Suarez (UNR)
Vera will have a stay busy fight in late June, but is talking about giving #16 Andy Lee a rematch in perhaps October.
16) Andy Lee (1-12)
Last Fight: 5/18/2011- UD10 Alex Bunema (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
May be looking at a rematch with the man who derailed his career over 3 years ago- Bryan Vera.  Target date appears to be in October.
17) Ezequiel Maderna (1-13)
Last Fight: 5/28/2011- TKO1 Martin Abel Bruer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Jesse Brinkley (1-48)
Last Fight: 4/29/2011- L (TKO3) vs. Peter Quillin (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Brinkley’s career now appears a shambles after he was destroyed by rising star Peter Quillin.
19) George Groves (1-2)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- W(MD12*) vs. #20 James DeGale
Next Fight: Unknown
Very questionable outcome in his fight with DeGale, but Groves edges out his rival  on the strength of the win.
20) James DeGale (1-1)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- L(MD12*) vs. George Groves (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Spent just a week on the outside looking in.  That’s good, because I think he deserved better than the loss he was given by the judges, and also the boot from the ratings he got from me as a necessary consequence.


The Week Ahead: A full three interesting fights this Saturday.  In Copenhagen, #4 Mikkel Kessler returns from injury against rugged French gatekeeper Mehdi Bouadla.  In South Africa, #13 Thomas Oosthuizen takes on fringe contender and countryman William Gare.  And the big one: from Atlantic City, #2 Carl Froch battles likely underrated #12 (#4 at 175) Glen Johnson for a spot in the Super Six Final against Andre Ward, and possibly for a chance to fight Ward for the legitimate Super Middleweight Championship, as well.  Karoly Balzsay is also in danger of exiting the rankings unless he schedules a fight during this week.

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