Super Middleweight: 2012, Mar 5-11

#5 Thomas Ooshuizen stopped fringe contending prospect Serge Yannick of Australia (by way of Cameroon) in round 6 of their scheduled 12.  This isn’t quite enough to move him past Stieglitz.  Although the competition level of the latter has noticeably dropped off since 2010, he is still proven at a slightly higher level and has done nothing to show that he’s diminished in any way.  No changes to the rankings.


Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (12-146-146)
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 (12-308-308)
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 (12-299-299)
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 (12-378-378)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- TKO6 Mehdi Bouadla (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/14/2012- vs. #4 Robert Stieglitz
There is some buzz recently to the effect that the Stieglitz bout may be in trouble, and that Kessler could be looking to fight fringe contender Brian Magee, instead.
4) Robert Stieglitz (12-132-132)
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 (12-40-88)
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 (12-124-124)
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 (3-13-13)
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 (3-84-88)
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 (3-45-45)
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 (12-12-257)
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 (12-52)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- UD10 #14 Bryan Vera
Next Fight: 3/10/2012- vs. Saul Duran (UNR)
Lee’s replacement opponent, Duran, is actually significantly better than the original guy, Alexis Hloros.  Still not really more than a stay-busy fight, though.
12) Anthony Dirrell (12-14)
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 (12-17)
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 (12-70)
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 (12-57)
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 (12-28)
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. (12-44)
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 (12-35)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(KO1) vs. #9 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
19) James DeGale (12-21)
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 (12-12)
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: #11 Andy Lee takes on late replacement Saul Duran, a Mexican veteran, in Novi, Michigan on Saturday.  The night before, gatekeeper-level Australian Les Sherrington is back in the ring for the first time since breaking his leg early in a stay-busy fight last May.  He’ll fight Argentine journeyman Oscar Veliz.

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