Super Middleweight: 2011, Nov 7-13

#3 Lucian Bute was in tougher than he has been for some time, and passed the test with flying colors.  Bute more or less dominated #13 and former Light Heavyweight Champion Glen Johnson to a 12-round decision.  Johnson is so used to being on the wrong end of close or arguable decisions that he imagined in the post-fight interview that this was such an occasion.  It wasn’t.


Across the pond in England, George Groves showed surprising power in knocking down British class fringe contender twice en route to a second round stoppage in London. 


Back in the Americas, #20 Ezequiel Maderna subjected journeyman Dario Balmaceda to three knockdowns and a cracked rib in less than a round, successfully and quite easily defending his Argentine title. 


Last week’s #14 Isaac Chilemba exits the rankings as he’s now been campaigning at light heavyweight for over a year.  This weekend’s winners all fail to advance (except for any mandatory advancement provided by Chilemba’s removal).  Groves has a win over DeGale, but I scored that fight for DeGale, and feel pretty strongly that he deserved to win that.  I treat it as roughly a draw for ratings purposes.  DeGale and Groves now both own wins over Smith.  That’s all Groves has in terms of notable wins, while DeGale adds a decision over fringe contender Piotr Wilczewski.  For Bute, his win against Johnson cancels out Froch’s recent win over the same guy, but Froch has been fighting the much better competition over the last few years apart from that.


Everybody rated #15 or below last week moves up a spot.  This makes room for Stanislav Kashtanov- a prospect who was robbed in August against Karoly Balzsay- to debut at #20.


Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Andre Ward (50-129-129)
Last Fight: 5/14/2011- UD12 #6 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: 12/17/2011- vs. #2 Carl Froch
Ward-Froch has been rescheduled for December 17 in Atlantic City.
2) Carl Froch (50-282-282)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- W(MD12) vs. #12 Glen Johnson
Next Fight: 12/17/2011- vs. #1 Andre Ward
See Ward’s comments above.
3) Lucian Bute (50-291-291)
Last Fight: 11/5/2012- UD12 #13 Glen Johnson
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute passed up Mikkel Kessler for a potentially slightly easier night with #12 Glen Johnson in early November.
4) Mikkel Kessler (50-361-361)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- TKO6 Mehdi Bouadla (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #5 Robert Stieglitz
Kessler’s team is targeting March or April for his recovery and the Stieglitz bout.
5) Robert Stieglitz (31-115-115)
Last Fight: 4/9/2011- W(DQ10) vs. Khoren Gevor (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #4 Mikkel Kessler
See Kessler’s notes above.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (10-23-71)
Last Fight: 9/3/2011- UD12 #9 Aaron Pryor, Jr.
Next Fight: 11/23/2011- vs. Unknown Opponent
Oosthuizen will fight on November 23.  Maxim Vlasov was originally the opponent, but backed out shortly thereafter.
7) Arthur Abraham (10-107-107)
Last Fight: 5/14/2011- L(UD12) vs. #1 Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Abraham now expects to fight in December in Germany.
8) Dimitri Sartison (10-67-71)
Last Fight: 7/31/2010- UD12 Khoren Gevor (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/12/2011- vs. Arturs Kulikauskis (UNR)
Sartison returns to the ring on Saturday for the first time since suffering a bad knee injury training for a Stieglitz bout.  His opponent is strictly a stay-busy mark in Latvian nobody Arturs Kulikauskis.
9) Peter Quillin (10-28-28)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Craig McEwan (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Quillin netted a nice win at Middleweight against Craig McEwan, though it doesn’t affect his ranking here.
10) Sakio Bika (10-10-240)
Last Fight: 11/27/2010- L(UD12) vs. #2 Andre Ward
Next Fight: 12/3/2011- vs. Unknown Opponent
Bika announced on his website that he will be fighting on December 3 in the US.  No opponent yet.
11) Andy Lee (6-35)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- UD10 #14 Bryan Vera
Next Fight: Unknown
Exorcised whatever demons he had left in his career with the win over Vera, and is now ready to move on like the sure-fire contender he was originally seen as.
12) Aaron Pryor, Jr. (6-27)
Last Fight: 9/3/2011- L(UD12) vs. #10 Thomas Oosthuizen
Next Fight: 12/10/2011- vs. Adonis Stevenson (UNR)
Pryor looks to rebound from his momentum-halting loss to Oosthuizen with another tough fight against human highlight reel Adonis Stevenson in October.
13) Glen Johnson (6-53)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- L(UD12) vs. #3 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
The Bute fight was the only one of Johnson’s recent career that wasn’t really close.  Bute is certainly a top fighter, but it could be that the Road Warrior is starting to wind down a bit.
14) Bryan Vera (1-40)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- L(UD10) vs. #15 Andy Lee
Next Fight: Unknown
Totally outclassed by Lee in the rematch of a fight he won last time around.
15) Librado Andrade (1-11)
Last Fight: 8/27/2011- TKO3 Matt O’Brien (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/17/2011- vs. Don George (UNR)
Andrade has not been deterred from fighting top prospects after the Pryor loss, and is now scheduled to fight knockout artist Don George in December.
16) Jesus Gonzales (1-18)
Last Fight: 7/8/2011- UD12 Francisco Sierra (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With a fairly comfortable win over a generally solid and much bigger opponent, Gonzalez finds his way easily within the top 20.
17) James DeGale (1-4)
Last Fight: 10/15/2011- W(MD12) vs. Piotr Wilczewski (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
DeGale finally gets a measure of justice after a questionable loss to Groves now that he has another good win under his belt, albeit a close one.  He already appears to have Italian journeyman Cristian Sanavia in line as his next opponent, likely in December.
18) George Groves (1-25)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO2 Paul Smith (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Groves showed surprising power in stopping Paul Smith 7 rounds earlier than James DeGale managed to a year ago.
19) Ezequiel Maderna (1-36)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO1 Dario Balmaceda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
No problem with a relatively weak opponent in Balmaceda.
20) Stanislav Kashtanov (1-1)
Last Fight: 8/26/2011- L*(SD12) vs. Karoly Balzsay (UNR) (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kashtanov was blatantly robbed in his home country against Hungarian former contender Karoly Balzsay.  Since he rightfully won the fight, he gets credit for it, and now finds himself ranked after Chilemba’s exit.


The Week Ahead: Friday: Undefeated Italian prospect Andrea Di Luisa (who was probably next in line for the #20 spot after Kashtanov this week) takes on one-loss Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye of Senegal in Italy.  In Vegas, undefeated Russian Matt Korobov (who projects as a middleweight if he starts fighting title fights) takes on journeyman Latif Mundy.


Saturday: #8 Dimitri Sartison takes on weak Latvian bum Arturs Kulikauskis in Belgium.

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