Super Middleweight: 2012, Mar 19-25

Edwin Rodriguez finally won non-controversially against a quality opponent.  The Dominican prospect- long-since relocated to Massachusetts- had struggled to debatable wins against Will Rosinsky and Aaron Pryor, against both of whom he was gifted comfortable scorecards.  There was no doubt of his supremacy this time, however, winning 98-92 on my card. 


In Russia, one-loss prospect Maxim Vlasov dominated low-level journeyman Bernard Donfack and knocked him down twice for good measure.


Rodriguez falls just short of supplanting George Groves for a ranking, as Groves does have a win (agree or not) against a #20 contender, while Don George was nowhere near that proven.


Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (14-148-148)
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 (14-310-310)
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 (14-301-301)
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 (14-380-380)
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 (14-134-134)
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 (14-42-90)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- TKO6 Serge Yannick (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Oosthuizen might be fighting Maxim Vlasov on the April 27 ShoBox broadcast.
6) Arthur Abraham (14-126-126)
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 (5-15-15)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 #18 Jesus Gonzales
Next Fight: 4/20/2012- vs. Noe Gonzalez (UNR)
Stevenson continues his string of fringe contenders as opponents when he battles Uraguayan prospect Noe Gonzalez on Friday Night Fights in mid-May.
8) Dimitri Sartison (5-86-90)
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 (5-47-47)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Craig McEwan (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 5/26/2012- vs. Winky Wright (UNR) (at MW?)
After it originally appeared a no-go, Quillin’s proposed fight with inactive former champ Winky Wright is now on for the Tarver-Kayode undercard on Showtime.
10) Sakio Bika (14-14-259)
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 (14-54)
Last Fight: 3/10/2012- TKO2 Saul Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
12) Anthony Dirrell (14-16)
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 (14-19)
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 (14-72)
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 (14-59)
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 (14-30)
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. (14-46)
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 (14-37)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(KO1) vs. #9 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
19) James DeGale (14-23)
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 (14-14)
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: In the appropriately-named Niksic, Montenegro we find a battle of “Niks,” as aging and mediocre undefeated prospect Nikola Sjekloca battles the completely hapless Nikola Matic.


Former hot prospect Curtis Stevens returns to action for the first time in the more than 2 years since he lost in a huge upset to Jesse Brinkley.  He will fight journeyman Romaro Johnson on the likely non-televised portion of the Judah-Paris undercard in Brooklyn.

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