Super Middleweight: 2011-2012, Dec 26- Jan 1

This week saw a Super Middleweight Christmas truce in play.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (2-136-136)
Last Fight: 12/17/2011- UD12 #2 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
A little bit of a disappointing batch of initial rhetoric coming out of the Ward camp.  While Bute says he is willing to travel to Oakland to fight Ward, Ward himself seems more interested in Kessler.  Normally I wouldn’t knock a Champ-#3 contender matchup, but we’ve already got that one figured out.
1) Lucian Bute (2-298-298)
Last Fight: 11/5/2012- UD12 #13 Glen Johnson
Next Fight: Unknown
After initially saying he’d go to Oakland to fight Ward, and after Ward gave a tepid reaction to the idea, Bute is now apparently in serious discussions to fight a 2-fight series with Froch.  One in Montreal, one in Nottingham.
2) Carl Froch (2-289-289)
Last Fight: 12/17/2011- L(UD12) vs. #1 Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
See Bute’s notes, above.
3) Mikkel Kessler (2-368-368)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- TKO6 Mehdi Bouadla (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/14/2012- vs. #4 Robert Stieglitz
The big fight between Kessler and Stieglitz finally has a date: April 14.
4) Robert Stieglitz (2-122-122)
Last Fight: 4/9/2011- W(DQ10) vs. Khoren Gevor (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/14/2012- vs. Henry Weber (UNR)
Stieglitz will fight a tune-up against middling prospect Henry Weber before the big one with Kessler.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (2-30-78)
Last Fight: 11/23/2011- TKO11 Francisco Sierra (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Oosthuizen had no problem with trial horse Francisco Sierra, and we hope to see him in with a world-class opponent soon.
6) Arthur Abraham (2-114-114)
Last Fight: 5/14/2011- L(UD12) vs. #1 Andre Ward
Next Fight: 1/14/2012- vs. Pablo Farias (UNR)
Abraham’s January opponent will be Argentine prospect Pablo “Pokemon” Farias.
7) Dimitri Sartison (2-74-78)
Last Fight: 11/12/2011- W(MD8) vs. Arturs Kulikauskis (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sartison had trouble keeping up with the movement of truly awful journeyman Arturs Kulikauskis in his comeback fight from knee surgery.  Hopefully it gets better with time, because otherwise the once-promising Sartison is fodder.
8) Peter Quillin (2-35-35)
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.
9) Adonis Stevenson (2-3-3)
Last Fight: 12/10/2012- TKO9 #12 Aaron Pryor, Jr.
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevenson is an exciting contender to be sure.  His ability to walk through and destroy his opposition is Tyson-like, at least to the naked eye.  His only drawbacks?  He obviously has a vulnerable chin considering his early knockout loss to journeyman Darnell Boone, and he’s getting up there in age (34) for such a fresh face on the scene.
10) Sakio Bika (2-2-247)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- RTD3 Alfredo Contreras (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Avoided removal by the skin of his teeth, but he’s going to start plummeting any month now if he doesn’t beat someone decent.
11) Andy Lee (2-42)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- UD10 #14 Bryan Vera
Next Fight: Unknown
Lee was seeking a fight with J.C. Chavez, Jr. that was declined by the Mexican star, and so Lee has now focused his attention on Sergio Martinez.  In the meantime, he may fight on St. Patrick’s Day against countryman Martin Murray.
12) Anthony Dirrell (2-4)
Last Fight: 12/2/2011- TKO4 Renan St. Juste (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Finally stepped up to the fringe contender level against St. Juste.  Verdict: not too shabby.
13) Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (2-7)
Last Fight: 11/11/2011- TKO12 Andrea Di Luisa (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dominated and stopped a bona fide fringe contender in Di Luisa, and earned a nice ranking in the process.
14) Glen Johnson (2-60)
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.
15) Bryan Vera (2-47)
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.
16) Librado Andrade (2-18)
Last Fight: 8/27/2011- TKO3 Matt O’Brien (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. Don George (UNR)
After Don George backed out of the fight due to an improperly-sized ring, the word is that fight will be rescheduled.
17) Aaron Pryor, Jr. (2-34)
Last Fight: 12/10/2011- L(TKO9) vs. Adonis Stevenson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Well, it’s clear that he can’t play with at least one of the big boys.  Every division needs fringe contenders, though, and that looks like Pryor’s lane for the time being.
18) Jesus Gonzales (2-25)
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, Gonzales finds his way easily within the top 20.
19) James DeGale (2-11)
Last Fight: 10/15/2011- W(MD12) vs. Piotr Wilczewski (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After initially being delayed, DeGale now says he will not fight his scheduled fight with Spanish journeyman Jose Maria Guerrero on 1/27, and is looking for a bigger fight.
20) George Groves (2-2)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO2 Paul Smith (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Groves is looking likely to fight a rematch with domestic rival Kenny Anderson before May, 2012.

 

The Week Ahead: Andre Dirrell returns to activity against journeyman Darryl Cunningham on a ShoBox-televised card from Cabazon, California for the first time since taking a shot after the bell from Arthur Abraham en route to a DQ win in .  Jermain Taylor also makes his return to the ring after being semi-retired by the very same Arthur Abraham back in 2009, though he is expected to check in as a middleweight.

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