Super Middleweight: 2012, May 21-27

#3 Mikkel Kessler fought at light heavyweight over the weekend against former Super Middleweight contender Allan Green, knocking Green out viciously in the 5th.  I have given this the full treatment in my light heavy update, but just wanted to point out that Kessler must have been reading my inactivity policies.  He was savvy enough to know that by keeping his weight at or under 170, he would earn himself an extra 6 months to schedule a fight at 168 without being removed for inactivity within the division.  No changes to the rankings.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (23-157-157)
Last Fight: 12/17/2011- UD12 #2 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 9/8/2012- vs. LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Ward and Dawson are now set to make history in September.  As far as I know, this may be the first time in history a reigning champion has challenged for a championship at a lower weight.  Since Dawson and Ward will be fighting at or below both the Super Middleweight and Light Heavyweight limits, both Championships will be on the line as far as I’m concerned.
1) Lucian Bute (23-319-319)
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 (23-310-310)
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 (23-389-389)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- TKO6 Mehdi Bouadla (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/19/2012- vs. Allan Green (UNR) (at LHW)
After icing Green, Kessler says he’s now looking at the winners of Bute-Froch, Ward-Dawson, and Pascal-Cloud.
4) Robert Stieglitz (23-143-143)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- UD12 Nader Hamdan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There is a really good chance that Stieglitz will be fighting Arthur Abraham on August 25th in either Berlin, Hamburg, or Magdeburg, Germany.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (23-51-99)
Last Fight: 4/27/2012- UD10 Marcus Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
In the wake of Oosthuizen’s victory over Johnson, Adonis Stevenson has expressed interest in fighting him.
6) Arthur Abraham (23-135-135)
Last Fight: 3/31/2012- UD12 Piotr Wilczewski (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stieglitz’s notes, above.
7) Adonis Stevenson (14-24-24)
Last Fight: 4/20/2012- TKO2 Noe Gonzalez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With Anthony Dirrell on the shelf with broken bones following a motorcycle accident, it appears likely that Stevenson will fight mediocre fringe contender Nikola Sjekloca for a silly excuse for a championship supposedly vacated by Andre Ward.
8) Peter Quillin (5-56-56)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Craig McEwan (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 6/2/2012- 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.
9) Sakio Bika (5-23-268)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- RTD3 Alfredo Contreras (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/2/2012- vs. Dyah Davis (UNR)
Bika’s manager finally deserves credit.  After spending the last few years fighting either nearly unbeatable world-beaters like Andre Ward and rank journeyman like Alfredo Contreras, Bika finally takes a middle road by signing on to fight steady fringe contender Dyah Davis on the Tarver-Kayode undercard.
10) Andy Lee (5-5-63)
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.
11) Karoly Balzsay (5-5)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO12 #8 Dimitri Sartison
Next Fight: Unknown
Balzsay has been ordered to defend against fringe contender Brian Magee before the end of July.  Magee’s team won the purse bid, and the fight will likely take place in Belfast as a result.
12) Anthony Dirrell (23-25)
Last Fight: 12/2/2011- TKO4 Renan St. Juste (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dirrell had been all set for a somewhat goofy vacant title opportunity against the underwhelming Nikola Sjekloca, but Dirrell crashed his motorcycle, breaking an arm and leg.  He’s expected to be out of action until approximately November at the earliest.
13) Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (23-28)
Last Fight: 11/11/2011- TKO12 Andrea Di Luisa (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/26/2012- vs. Jose Maria Guerrero (UNR)
Ndiaye will fight Spanish journeyman Jose Maria Guerrero on May 26.
14) Glen Johnson (23-81)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- L(UD12) vs. #3 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: 7/13/2012- vs. Andrzej Fonfara (UNR)
Johnson will now be in a clear gatekeeper role for the first time since he knocked out Yusaf Mack in 2009 when he takes on Polish steroid user/prospect Andrzej Fonfara on Friday Night Fights on July 13.
15) Dimitri Sartison (5-99)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- L(TKO12) vs. Karoly Balzsay (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sartison unfortunately underwent another knee surgery following his loss to Balzsay, and will be out until at least October.  It’s looking more and more likely that he’ll never be the same fighter.
16) Bryan Vera (5-68)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- UD8 Taronze Washington (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vera will fight no-name journeyman Taronze Washignton on April 21.
17) Aaron Pryor, Jr. (23-55)
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 (23-46)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(KO1) vs. #9 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
19) James DeGale (23-32)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO4 Cristian Sanavia (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Easy pickings for a European defense against the faded Sanavia.
20) George Groves (23-23)
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: This week is a very active and important one at 168.

 

The most important fight is #1 Lucian Bute versus #2 Carl Froch on Saturday in Nottingham.  Just to put this in perspective- if Andre Ward unexpectedly announces his retirement this week, this fight will be for the vacant World Championship.  It’s hard enough to get a #1 vs. #2 matchup in a given division given years of matchups.  At super middle, we’ve gotten that kind of matchup twice in less than 6 months.  To further put it in perspective: if there was a sanctioning organization that actually sought to organize the sport for the good of the sport, they would no doubt make the winner of this fight the mandatory challenger to Ward.  Of course if Froch wins, that fight will have lost some of its luster due to Ward’s clear win the last time around.   If Bute walks away with the win, however, he will establish himself as Ward’s arch-rival and as the serious Championship threat many already believe him to be.

 

In other action on Saturday, undefeated prospect Ezequiel Maderna meets gateekeper Ruben Acosta in a rematch of their Argentine title fight from last year.  A bit earlier in the night, in Italy, locally-based #13 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye of Senegal fights Spanish journeyman Jose Maria Guerrero for the European Union title- which apparently is slightly different than James DeGale’s European title.

 

Also in Italy, but the night before, prospect Andrea Di Luisa- who recently lost to Ndiaye- returns for the first time since that loss when he fights journeyman Luciano Lombardi for the Italian title.

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