Super Middleweight: 2012, Apr 16-22

Nothing new to report.


Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (18-152-152)
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 (18-314-314)
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 (18-305-305)
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 (18-384-384)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- TKO6 Mehdi Bouadla (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/19/2012- vs. Allan Green (UNR) (at LHW)
I’m still not clear on why Kessler and Stieglitz is off, but Kessler is now set to fight Allan Green at 175 for some reason.  The fight will be in Copenhagen.
4) Robert Stieglitz (18-138-138)
Last Fight: 1/14/2012- UD12 Henry Weber (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stieglitz has now been canceled on twice in a row, as the Kessler fight was deep-sixed for still-unclear reasons, and now George Groves has withdrawn with an injury.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (18-46-94)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- TKO6 Serge Yannick (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/27/2012- vs. Marcus Johnson (UNR)
Prospective opponent Maxim Vlasov was injured in a car accident, and so Oosthuizen will be fighting fringe contender/prospect Marcus Johnson, instead.  April 27, on ShoBox.
6) Arthur Abraham (18-130-130)
Last Fight: 3/31/2012- UD12 Piotr Wilczewski (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Abraham has proven that he’s still above the fringe contender level despite his struggles late in the Super Six.  It might be time for him to start fighting top-10 types again, even if they are carefully chosen.
7) Adonis Stevenson (9-19-19)
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 (9-90-94)
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 (9-51-51)
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 (18-18-263)
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 (18-58)
Last Fight: 3/10/2012- TKO2 Saul Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/16/2012- vs. MW #? Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (at MW)
Lee gets the fight he’s been waiting for, against the best opponent of his career in Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.  The fight will be in El Paso in mid-June.
12) Anthony Dirrell (18-20)
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 (18-23)
Last Fight: 11/11/2011- TKO12 Andrea Di Luisa (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/26/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Ndiaye will be back in action in late May.  No opponent yet.
14) Glen Johnson (18-76)
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 (18-63)
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 (18-34)
Last Fight: 8/27/2011- TKO3 Matt O’Brien (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/21/2012- vs. Rowland Bryant (UNR) (at LHW)
Andrade has finally got an opponent for his stay-busy date on April 21: journeyman Rowland Bryant.  This will apparently be a light heavyweight fight.
17) Aaron Pryor, Jr. (18-50)
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 (18-41)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(KO1) vs. #9 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
19) James DeGale (18-27)
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 (18-18)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO2 Paul Smith (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Groves is starting to earn himself a reputation as an unreliable opponent.  He withdrew from a scheduled fight back in December with injury.  Then he scheduled a fight for March that he withdrew from in order to fight for Robert Stieglitz’s belt.  But now he has withdrawn with that bout with a new injury.


The Week Ahead: Friday: #7 Adonis Stevenson looks to destroy another fringe contender as he takes on Uruguay’s Noe Gonzalez on Friday Night Fights.


Busy night!  The most potentially significant fight is in Schwerin, Germany, where #8 Dimitri Sartison hopes to return to his past form after a bad knee injury when he takes on fringe contender/gatekeeper type Karoly Balzsay.  Considering that Balzsay definitely deserved to lose to an unproven prospect in Stas Kashtanov, this would normally look like a gimme for Sartison.  The intrigue enters the equation due to the fact that Sartison himself barely scraped by with a win over a very weak journeyman in his return bout.  If that’s the best he’s got left after his injury, Balzsay should have a field day.


A bit to the north in Fredrikshavn, Denmark, Euro champion #19 James DeGale takes on aging former contender Cristian Sanavia of Spain.


Also, two ranked contenders- #15 Bryan Vera (at middleweight) and #16 Librado Andrade (at light heavyweight) will see action in Texas stay-busy fights, apparently in other divisions.  Vera takes on fellow Texan Taronze Washington in Fort Worth, while Andrade fights untested 15-1 prospect Rowland Bryant in El Paso.

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