Super Middleweight: 2012, Mar 12-18

#11 Andy Lee had no problem with Mexican veteran Saul Duran, stopping the journeyman inside 2 rounds on Saturday.  About 12 hours before, Australian gatekeeper Les Sherrington rebounded from a broken leg 10 months ago by winning a dominant decision over Argentine journeyman Oscar Veliz in Australia.  No changes to the rankings.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (13-147-147)
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 (13-309-309)
Last Fight: 11/5/2012- UD12 #13 Glen Johnson
Next Fight: 5/26/2012- vs. #2 Carl Froch
Despite Showtime rejecting the fight, Bute will face Froch in Nottingham on May 26.  Epix will likely televise in the US.
2) Carl Froch (13-300-300)
Last Fight: 12/17/2011- L(UD12) vs. #1 Andre Ward
Next Fight: 5/26/2012- vs. #1 Lucian Bute
See Bute’s notes, above.
3) Mikkel Kessler (13-379-379)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- TKO6 Mehdi Bouadla (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After a rescheduling, Kessler-Stieglitz is now off for some unknown reason, and Kessler is apparently considering a fight with Cloud at 175.
4) Robert Stieglitz (13-133-133)
Last Fight: 1/14/2012- UD12 Henry Weber (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/14/2012- vs. #3 Mikkel Kessler
See Kessler’s notes, above.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (13-41-89)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- TKO6 Serge Yannick (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Oosthuizen is knocking on #4 Stieglitz’s door, but probably needs another top 10 win to snatch that spot.
6) Arthur Abraham (13-125-125)
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 (4-14-14)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 #18 Jesus Gonzales
Next Fight: 4/14/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Stevenson continues to batter his way up the ranks.
8) Dimitri Sartison (4-85-89)
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 (4-46-46)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Craig McEwan (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Quillin was rumored to be nearing a deal for a fight with former 154 lb. champion Winky Wright, but the latest is that the fight is a no-go.
10) Sakio Bika (13-13-258)
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 (13-53)
Last Fight: 3/10/2012- TKO2 Saul Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
12) Anthony Dirrell (13-15)
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 (13-18)
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 (13-71)
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 (13-58)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- L(UD10) vs. #15 Andy Lee
Next Fight: 4/21/2012- vs. Taronze Washington (UNR)
Vera will fight no-name journeyman Taronze Washignton on April 21.
16) Librado Andrade (13-29)
Last Fight: 8/27/2011- TKO3 Matt O’Brien (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/21/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Andrade has scheduled what he’s described as a stay-busy fight for April 21, with the opponent yet to be announced.
17) Aaron Pryor, Jr. (13-45)
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 (13-36)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(KO1) vs. #9 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
19) James DeGale (13-22)
Last Fight: 10/15/2011- W(MD12) vs. Piotr Wilczewski (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/21/2012- vs. Cristian Sanavia (UNR)
DeGale will defend his European crown against Spanish journeyman and former contender Cristian Sanavia on April 21 in Denmark, of all places.
20) George Groves (13-13)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO2 Paul Smith (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Groves withdrew at very nearly the last minute from his scheduled rematch with Kenny Anderson.  It may not be a coincidence that the WBO had ordered a fight with Stieglitz 5 days before…

 

The Week Ahead:
Friday: In Krasnodar, Russia, local prospect Maxim Vlasov will fight low-level Cameroonian journeyman Bernard Donfack.

 

Saturday: A battle of prospects on the Martinez-Macklin undercard at MSG, with Chicago’s Don George taking on Domincan Massachussetts resident Edwin Rodriguez.

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