Super Middleweight: 2012, May 28- Jun 3

It’s not a shock that Carl Froch won this weekend, though he was the underdog to the apparently more dynamic if less-tested Lucian Bute even in his own hometown.  What was a shock was how thoroughly the destroyed the Romanian contender.  After a fairly tactical, pretty even first round, Froch took over.  He blasted Bute after backing him to the ropes time and time again.  Bute was seemingly badly hurt for what felt like the majority of the fight, and finally the ref mercifully stopped it with encouragement from Bute’s corner after Froch had pummeled the helpless Canadian resident to a technical knockdown on the ropes in the 5th.


Bute had been the subject of a great deal of speculation as to how he would have fared had he been included in the Super Six.  For what it’s worth, had this fight been included in the tournament, it would have been the tournament’s most lopsided mismatch.  It remains to be seen whether Bute will dare exercise his contractual option of a Quebec rematch.


Undefeated Argentine prospect Ezequiel Maderna reinforced his comfortable decision win from last year over countryman and gatekeeper Ruben Acosta with a 12-round decision on Saturday.  In Italy earlier in the night, #13 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye beat Spaniard Jose Maria Guerrero when the Spanish journeyman retired in his corner after the 9th round.


Speaking of Italy, there was a fight there on Friday, as well.  Ndiaye’s most recent prior victim, prospect Andrea Di Luisa, won by DQ in the 4th round over journeyman Luciano Lombardi for the Italian title.


As for the rankings, Froch ascends to the #1 contender position he so emphatically removed Bute from.  Bute drops to #3, behind new #2 Mikkel Kessler, who picked up a tossup-type decision over Froch during a Super Six fight in Kessler’s back yard a couple years ago.  No other changes.


Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (24-158-158)
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) Carl Froch (1-311-311)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- TKO5 #1 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
The two most likely fights for Froch at this point appear to be the contractually required rematch with Bute (if Bute wants it) or Kessler (if not).  Could a third consecutive #1 vs. #2 matchup in this division be too much to ask for?
2) Mikkel Kessler (1-390-390)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- KO5 Allan Green (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kessler said recently that he is willing to fight Ward next, or Froch- even in England.
3) Lucian Bute (1-320-320)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- L(TKO5) vs. #2 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute appears uncertain as to whether he’ll exercise his right to a home-field rematch against Froch.  It sounds like he’ll fight someone else first, even if so.
4) Robert Stieglitz (24-144-144)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- UD12 Nader Hamdan (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/25/2012- vs. #6 Arthur Abraham
Stieglitz vs. Abraham is official- August 25 in Berlin.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (24-52-100)
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 (24-136-136)
Last Fight: 3/31/2012- UD12 Piotr Wilczewski (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/25/2012- vs. #4 Robert Stieglitz
See Stieglitz’s notes, above.
7) Adonis Stevenson (15-25-25)
Last Fight: 4/20/2012- TKO2 Noe Gonzalez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Even as he appears in line for a completely ridiculous and likely very easy WBC title shot against Nikola Sjekloca, the IBF just ordered a fight for that title between him and Edwin Rodriguez.  But didn’t Carl Froch just win that title?  Who knows anymore…
8) Peter Quillin (6-57-57)
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 (6-24-269)
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 (6-6-64)
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 (6-6)
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 (24-26)
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 (24-29)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- RTD9 Jose Maria Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Glen Johnson (24-82)
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- apparently at Light Heavyweight.
15) Dimitri Sartison (6-100)
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 (6-69)
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. (24-56)
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 (24-47)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(KO1) vs. #9 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
19) James DeGale (24-33)
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 (24-24)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO2 Paul Smith (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/30/2012- vs. Kenny Anderson (UNR)
Groves is once again scheduled for a rematch against Kenny Anderson- a fight which he backed out of on fight week last time around.


The Week Ahead: Two notable fights on Saturday:


In Tijuana, gatekeeper Francisco Sierra takes on journeyman Rogelio Ruvalcaba.


On the Tarver-Kayode undercard in Carson, California, #9 Sakio Bika returns to meaningful competition when he takes on fringe contender Dyah Davis.  This fight will most likely be featured on the Showtime Extreme undercard.

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