Middleweight: 2011, Nov 21-27

#8 Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. crossed paths with borderline fringe contender Peter Manfredo, Jr. of Providence, Rhode Island on Saturday in Houston, Texas.  Chavez scored a 5th round TKO against an opponent that is roughly on par with his other two previous best opponents, Lyell and Zbik.  HBO made it sound like a domination.  It wasn’t.  Chavez started strong, winning the first two rounds on my card, but Manfredo started to assert himself in the third.  He had won two rounds in a row to my eyes and was bullying the larger Chavez a bit when, in the 5th, the Mexican star landed a big shot that hurt the American, and proceeded to go into full windmill mode.  Frequently poor referee Lawrence Cole stepped in and stopped the fight extremely prematurely.  Chavez was very much on the offensive, but Manfredo’s defense remained more than competent at that point, as 3 of every 4 punches Chavez threw failed to land.  To me it was a 50-50 shot that Manfredo could have weathered the storm.  We’ll never know.


In another somewhat significant fight, this one in Flemington, Australia, aging Australian Sam Soliman, having just turned 38 and having apparently peaked as a contender 6 years ago, outpointed his contemporary, 37 year old Nigerian gatekeeper Eromosele Albert, to become relevant again. 


As it stands, Chavez has improved his standing, advancing 2 spots to #6 before running into the brick wall that is N’Dam’s resume.  This forces Dmitry Pirog and Sebastian Sylvester down a spot each.  Paul Williams (#13 last week) exits the rankings due to the fact that he hasn’t fought at middleweight in a year.  This allows everyone rated #14 or below last week to advance one place, and makes room for undefeated German prospect Dominik Britsch to debut at #20.  For what it’s worth, Manfredo (unranked last week) announced his retirement immediately after his loss to Chavez.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (84-84-84)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- KO11 #20 Darren Barker
Next Fight: Unknown
There are simply too many potential challengers for Martinez’ crown to list them all here.
1) Daniel Geale (22-127-127)
Last Fight: 8/31/2011- UD12 Eromosele Albert (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Geale says he’s 90% sure he’ll be fighting Pirog on New Year’s Eve.
2) Grzegorz Proksa (8-32-32)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- RTD3 #4 Sebastian Sylvester
Next Fight: Unknown
After destroying Sylvester, Proksa may be in for a fight with fringe contender Sebastian Zbik next.
3) Felix Sturm (8-427-427)
Last Fight: 6/25/2011- W*(SD12) vs. #11 Matthew Macklin
Next Fight: 12/2/2012- vs. Martin Murray (UNR)
Apparently ducking a rematch with British contender Matthew Macklin, Sturm will instead fight his countryman, undefeated prospect Martin Murray, in Mannheim.
4) Matthew Macklin (8-22-113)
Last Fight: 6/25/2011- L*(SD12) vs. #1 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown
Macklin couldn’t secure a rematch of his borderline robbery loss to Sturm, as the German has opted to fight countryman Martin Murray, instead.
5) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (20-56-56)
Last Fight: 4/2/2011- UD12 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
A fight rumored to be in the works with Gennady Golovkin has reportedly been scuttled by N’Dam’s unwillingness to fight the Kazakh, but N’Dam says he wants to fight someone in January.
6) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (1-25-43)
Last Fight: 11/19/2011- TKO5 Peter Manfredo, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
In the immediate aftermath of his victory over Manfredo, Chavez has expressed interest in the Cotto-Margarito winner.  There is also some talk of a superfight with Canelo, but De La Hoya doesn’t want that fight at any weight over 156, which may be impossible for Chavez, who is a huge middleweight.
7) Dmitry Pirog (1-69-69)
Last Fight: 9/25/2011- RTD10 Gennady Martirosyan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Geale says there’s a 90% chance he’ll be fighting Pirog on New Year’s Eve.
8) Sebastian Sylvester (1-328-328)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- L(RTD3) vs. #9 Grzegorz Proksa
Next Fight: Unknown
Sylvester may be getting long in the tooth after being destroyed by Proksa.
9) Marco Antonio Rubio (8-33-43)
Last Fight: 9/3/2011- TKO5 Mohammed Akrong (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/16/2011- vs. Mohammed Said (UNR)
Rubio is feasting on journeymen at the moment.
10) Anthony Mundine (20-20-43)
Last Fight: 10/19/2011- UD12 Rigoberto Alvarez (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mundine believes he’s been blacklisted in the US for comments he made in 2001 blaming the US for 9/11 and supporting Al Quaeda.  Well boo-hoo, asshole.  Austin Trout is also trying to make a fight with Mundine.
11) Osumanu Adama (7-35)
Last Fight: 10/6/2011- TKO9 Roman Karmazin (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Adama has now quietly put together a really respectable resume after battering Karmazin.
12) Max Bursak (7-43)
Last Fight: 10/22/2011- TKO3 Abdulaziz Matazimov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bursak had little trouble with his latest weak opponent.
13) Garth Wood (1-43)
Last Fight: 4/13/2011- L (UD10) vs. #20 Anthony Mundine
Next Fight: Unknown
Wood appeared set to fight journyeman Johannes Mwetupunga on the Geale-Albert undercard, but pulled out of that fight.
14) Nobuhiro Ishida (1-33)
Last Fight: 4/9/2011- TKO1 James Kirkland (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/26/2011- vs. Jose Luis Cruz (UNR)
Ishida will fight journeyman Jose Luis Cruz in a purely stay-busy fight.
15) Gennady Golovkin (1-23)
Last Fight: 6/17/2011- KO10 Kassim Ouma (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/9/2011- vs. Lajuan Simon (UNR)
Golovkin is now set to fight journeyman Lajuan Simon in December.
16) Avtandil Khurtsidze (1-43)
Last Fight: 10/3/2012- TKO2 Jason LeHoullier (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Khurtsidze suddenly appeared set to fight Ishida in December, and just as suddenly the fight was scrapped.
17) Demetrius Andrade (1-14)
Last Fight: 9/21/2011- RTD3 Saul Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Andrade is likely fighting in January.
18) Darren Barker (1-6)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- L(KO11) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
Barker has been receiving interest from Chavez and Geale after his over-performance against Martinez.
19) Billi Godoy (1-5)
Last Fight: 11/12/2011- TKO1 Luciano Silva (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Dominik Britsch (1-1)
Last Fight: 10/22/2011- W*(MD12) vs. #15 Billy Lyell
Next Fight: Unknown


The Week Ahead: Junior Middleweight contender Ryan Rhodes moves up in weight to fight quality journeyman Sergei Khomitski in Yorkshire on Saturday.  Across the pond in Mexico City, undefeated Mexican Gilberto Ramirez takes on Colombian gatekeeper Samuel Miller, while #14 Nobuhiro Ishida stays busy against journeyman Jose Luis Cruz on the same card, in his first action since he knocked out James Kirkland in the upset of the year.


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