Super Middleweight: 2012, Jan 16-22

The division centered in Offenburg, Germany this week.  On that card, #4 Robert Stieglitz outpointed formerly undefeated prospect Henry Weber over 12, and Arthur Abraham knocked out Argentine prospect Pablo Farias in the 5th round of a scheduled 12, dropping the interestingly-nicknamed “Pokemon” three times in the final round.  Farias’ stock had dropped somewhat in his previous fight, when he was disqualified five rounds into an uninspiring effort against journeyman Jose Clavero for hitting on the break.  For the most part, these were pretty much stay-busy opponents for the two German-based contenders.  Neither opponent figured to be the second coming of Joe Calzaghe either before or after the fight.  Accordingly, no changes to the rankings.


Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (5-139-139)
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.  He’s also said he’s willing to fight J.C. Chavez in Mexico.
1) Lucian Bute (5-301-301)
Last Fight: 11/5/2012- UD12 #13 Glen Johnson
Next Fight: Unknown
Showtime has rather oddly rejected the proposed fight and doubleheader between Bute and Froch.  Not sure if that will derail the talks or not.
2) Carl Froch (5-292-292)
Last Fight: 12/17/2011- L(UD12) vs. #1 Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
See Bute’s notes, above.
3) Mikkel Kessler (5-371-371)
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 (5-125-125)
Last Fight: 1/14/2012- UD12 Henry Weber (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/14/2012- vs. #3 Mikkel Kessler
Now fully tuned-up, Stieglitz is ready for Kessler in April.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (5-33-81)
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 (5-117-117)
Last Fight: 1/14/2012- KO5 Pablo Farias (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
No problem whatsoever in his stay-busy fight with Farias.
7) Dimitri Sartison (5-77-81)
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 (5-38-38)
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 (5-6-6)
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 (5-5-250)
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 (5-45)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- UD10 #14 Bryan Vera
Next Fight: Unknown
Andy Lee wants to fight on St. Patrick’s Day.  He doesn’t care whom.  Any takers?
12) Anthony Dirrell (5-7)
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 (5-10)
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 (5-63)
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 (5-50)
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 (5-21)
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. (5-37)
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 (5-28)
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 (5-14)
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 (5-5)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO2 Paul Smith (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/16/2012- vs. Kenny Anderson (UNR)
Groves is now officially scheduled to fight minor domestic rival Kenny Anderson in a rematch of his 2010 TKO win at Wembley Arena in London on March 16.


The Week Ahead: Two undefeated Mexicans meet in Ensenada on Saturday.  Marco Antonio Periban already has a couple quality wins under his belt in his 15 outings.  Nerio, at 10-0, hasn’t really fought much of anybody yet.  Obviously we’ll see how he responds when that changes this weekend.

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