Super Middleweight: 2012, Feb 20-26

It seems we had a bit of everything in the division this weekend.

 

Starting out on Friday, Polish fringe contender Piotr Wilczewski got a better than expected test from Serb journeyman Geard Ajetovic.  Ajetovic was landing, at times, some clean haymakers, though it did not appear that he ever badly hurt Wilczewski.  The real story of the fight, unfortunately, was awful officiating.  Referee Kromka (I won’t even attempt his first name, which appears to be the crazified Polish version of Wladiimir) at took a completely horse crap point from Ajetovic in round two for what appeared to be merely leaning on Wilczewski.  And I’m not talking Bernard Hopkins on Chad Dawson-style leaning.  I’m talking his head and gloves were on Wilczewski’s shoulder trying to get position to do some infighting, and all of a sudden Wilczewski holds his hands up the way you would to show you’re not the guy holding, and the ref randomly takes a point from the guy doing nothing wrong.  At at least one other point in the fight, Kromka broke the action in the middle of an Ajetovic combination to warn him for absolutely nothing.  The guy was awful.  Now to the judges: 2 of the judges had it wide (but I think somewhat reasonable) for “Wilk.”  The other judge, Miroslav Brozio- as Polish as any of them from what I can tell- rather unbelievably had it 77-75 for Ajetovic.  I had it the same score, but for Wilk.  Anything between 79-72 Wilk and 76-75 Wilk works for me, or even 76-76 if you want to give Ajetovic his stolen point back.  The Serb threw a major fit in the ring after the fight, and while I understand his frustration with the ref specifically, it’s hard to argue the cards when one of the judges had his back completely, even in the other guy’s hometown.  He gave a spirited effort, but clearly didn’t do enough to win the fight.

 

Leading off Saturday, North Irish fringe contender Brian Magee knocked out Danish gatekeeper Rudy Markussen in the 5th round.

 

#9 Adonis Stevenson continued his rise in style from Montreal, where he devastated #18 Jesus Gonzales with a freight train left hand after a blinding jab.  Gonzales never saw the punch coming, but it appeared that his head bouncing off the canvas twice may have been what really took him out for good, as the punch really didn’t land as flush as it might have.  Already 34, Stevenson is one of the brightest rising stars in the sport.

 

Finally, gatekeeper Alfonso Lopez- who nearly beat Kelly Pavlik before losing convincingly to Dyah Davis recently- rendered himself fully irrelevant until futher notice by getting pretty much worked in a 6-round swing bout that managed to make the televised Showtime Extreme undercard.  His opponent, Justin Williams, brought just a 3-5-1 record to the ring, but he won probably 5 of the 6 rounds, including a hard knockdown in the 2nd, to thoroughly upset the would be prospect/fringe contender.  Williams was the much smaller man, as he can and does easily make Junior Middle. 

 

Stevenson advances from #9 to #7, surpassing Quillin and Sartison.  Despite the egregious nature of the loss, Gonzales maintains his position due to the quality of his opponent.  Magee’s stock goes up a bit, but he still fails to crack the top 20.  Williams isn’t in the ballpark of a ranking because he has a terrible record against novice competition.  The main effect of that fight is that Lopez will completely disappear from view.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (10-144-144)
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 (10-306-306)
Last Fight: 11/5/2012- UD12 #13 Glen Johnson
Next Fight: 4/14/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Bute has said he will fight April 14 with or without Froch, but the word is that Froch-Bute is still not dead.
2) Carl Froch (10-297-297)
Last Fight: 12/17/2011- L(UD12) vs. #1 Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
The word is that the Bute fight is still possible.  Another possibility is an IBF eliminator with #16 Librado Andrade.
3) Mikkel Kessler (10-376-376)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- TKO6 Mehdi Bouadla (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/14/2012- vs. #4 Robert Stieglitz
Kessler is talking about taking on the Abraham-Wilczewski winner if he beats Stieglitz.
4) Robert Stieglitz (10-130-130)
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 (10-38-86)
Last Fight: 11/23/2011- TKO11 Francisco Sierra (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/3/2012- vs. Serge Yannick (UNR)
Oosthuizen is set to fight one-loss fringe contending prospect Serge Yannick of Australia by way of Cameroon in early March.
6) Arthur Abraham (10-122-122)
Last Fight: 1/14/2012- KO5 Pablo Farias (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/31/2012- vs. Piotr Wilczewski (UNR)
Staying admirably busy, Abraham will fight Polish fringe contender Piotr Wilczewski in Kiel at the end of March.
7) Adonis Stevenson (1-11-11)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 #18 Jesus Gonzales
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevenson is doing a nice job of staying busy, which is a very good idea for a 34-year-old rising contender.  He’ll now face #18 Jesus Gonzales on February 18.
8) Dimitri Sartison (1-82-86)
Last Fight: 11/12/2011- W(MD8) vs. Arturs Kulikauskis (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: 4/21/2012- vs. Karoly Balzsay (UNR)
Sartison is taking a step back up to the fringe contender level in April.  If his knee isn’t close to 100% (which it didn’t appear to be against journeyman Kulikauskis), Balzsay is the right level of opponent to capitalize.
9) Peter Quillin (1-43-43)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Craig McEwan (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Quillin may be fighting a comebacking Winky Wright May 5 in Vegas.
10) Sakio Bika (10-10-255)
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 (10-50)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- UD10 #14 Bryan Vera
Next Fight: 3/10/2012- vs. Alexis Hloros (UNR)
After chasing after numerous quality opponents hoping to make a fight on St. Patty’s day, Lee is settling for a very weak journeyman- the week before.  That has to be disappointing for the Irishman.  The fight will be in Detroit.
12) Anthony Dirrell (10-12)
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 (10-15)
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 (10-68)
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 (10-55)
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 (10-26)
Last Fight: 8/27/2011- TKO3 Matt O’Brien (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The news that the Don George fight will be rescheduled is starting to look a bit outdated, and now there’s talk of an IBF eliminator with Froch if the Englishman’s clash with Bute can’t be salvaged.
17) Aaron Pryor, Jr. (10-42)
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 (10-33)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(KO1) vs. #9 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzales will travel to Montreal to fight the very dangerous Adonis Stevenson on February 18.
19) James DeGale (10-19)
Last Fight: 10/15/2011- W(MD12) vs. Piotr Wilczewski (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
A flurry of activity for DeGale.  He’s unhappy with promoter Frank Warren and announced he’s splitting from him.  Warren then pointed out that the two have a contract until 2013.  And amidst the chaos, the EBU has ordered a title defense against aging former contender Cristian Sanavia of Spain.
20) George Groves (10-10)
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: After a flurry of action last week, a respite this time.

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