Middleweight: 2012, Feb 20-26

The most important middleweight fight of the weekend was between #15 Garth Wood and fellow Australian Sam Soliman on Sunday.  Soliman won a comfortable decision, and immediately establishes himself near the top 10, settling in at #11.  It was a tricky decision as to whether or not to promote him past Mundine, as well.  Mundine both lost to Wood and beat him, which would seem to be advantage Soliman, but he is literally the only person to beat Daniel Geale, which is a big big tiebreaker.  Wood exits the rankings, as his win over Mundine now appears to be a definite fluke.

 

Domincan prospect Fernando Guerrero smacked up Canadian journeyman Jason Naugler en route to a 4th round TKO, in what actually turned out to be a super middleweight fight.

 

Paul Williams dominated #17 Nobuhiro Ishida in Corpus Christi, Texas on HBO.  It was at 154, but Ishida came in a pound heavy.  I’ll treat the fight in more detail in my 154 update for this week, since the fight was at its core a junior middleweight fight.  It does have significant repercussions here,  as well.  To wit, Ishida is obviously subject to any negative effects of the loss since he was technically a middleweight in the fight.  Williams was something like a mid-teens contender a division to the south after having lost to a #17-ranked Erislandy Lara, and that is enough- in conjunction with the dominant nature of the defeat- to throw Ishida’s good but thin resume into doubt.  In a very crowded field, he slips just out of the rankings.  Williams returns to the rankings here at #14.  This was a hard thing to do.  Williams is still completely inactive at middleweight, but in showing up heavy and holding a middleweight ranking, Ishida gave Williams a foothold again nevertheless.  The precedent is clear: Manny Pacquiao earned a ranking at 154 by beating Antonio Margarito- a credible fringe contender at that weight- despite weighing well under the welterweight limit, himself.  I think in this case, the mere fact that Ishida didn’t make 154 wouldn’t have been enough for me to re-rank Williams, but the fact that he was both technically a middleweight on that night and that he held a middleweight ranking forms the necessary nexus. 

 

As a result of Soliman and Williams’ entry into the rankings, #11 and 12 Osumanu Adama and Marco Antonio Rubio each decline one position.  Khurtsidze and Bursak each fall 2 spots to #15 and #16, respectively.  Golovkin drops back 1 place to #17, while everyone else stands pat.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (97-97-97)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- KO11 #20 Darren Barker
Next Fight: 3/17/2012- vs. #3 Matthew Macklin
After weeks of speculation, it’s now official: Martinez vs. Macklin, St. Patrick’s Day, MSG.
1) Daniel Geale (35-140-140)
Last Fight: 8/31/2011- UD12 Eromosele Albert (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/29/2012- vs. #12 Osumanu Adama
Geale will fight Osumanu Adama on leap day in Tasmania.
2) Grzegorz Proksa (21-45-45)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- RTD3 #4 Sebastian Sylvester
Next Fight: 3/17/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Proksa will fight an as-yet-unannounced opponent in Sheffield, England on March 17.
3) Matthew Macklin (12-35-126)
Last Fight: 6/25/2011- L*(SD12) vs. #1 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: 3/17/2012- vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
See Martinez’s notes, above.
4) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (3-38-56)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #10 Marco Antonio Rubio
Next Fight: Unknown
Chavez’s team is already working on his next fight, and they have June 16, Texas, and Andy Lee in mind.  Margarito has also been floated, but the WBC is unlikely to approve that fight.
5) Felix Sturm (3-440-440)
Last Fight: 12/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. Martin Murray (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/13/2012- vs. Sebastian Zbik (UNR)
A few weeks ago, it looked like Sturm would be promoting Zbik’s fight with Proksa.  Now he’s fighting Zbik instead, after Zbik showed his disgust for Sturm by pulling out.
6) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (3-69-69)
Last Fight: 4/2/2011- UD12 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Just as he appeared to have a fight lined up with Pirog, the Russian came down with a shoulder injury.
7) Martin Murray (3-12-12)
Last Fight: 12/2/2011- Draw(SD12) vs. #3 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown
Murray rejected a fight with Andy Lee, thinking the offer was too low.  Barker then refused an offer from Murray.
8) Dmitry Pirog (12-82-82)
Last Fight: 9/25/2011- RTD10 Gennady Martirosyan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pirog has injured his shoulder, scuttling a prospective fight with N’Dam.  No word on how bad it is.
9) Sebastian Sylvester (12-341-341)
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.
10) Anthony Mundine (3-3-56)
Last Fight: 10/19/2011- UD12 Rigoberto Alvarez (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
11) Sam Soliman (1-1)
Last Fight: 2/19/2012- UD12 #15 Garth Wood
Next Fight: Unknown
 12) Osumanu Adama (1-48)
Last Fight: 10/6/2011- TKO9 Roman Karmazin (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/29/2012- vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Adama gets a shot at real prominence when he fights the most accomplished Middleweight not named Sergio Martinez on leap day in Tasmania.
13) Marco Antonio Rubio (1-56)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #7 Julio Cesar Chavez
Next Fight: Unknown
Rubio renewed his relevance with what was officially an upset over Lemieux, but the more proven Chavez proved to be a prospect too far.
14) Paul Williams (1-1)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12 #17 Nobuhiro Ishida (as JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Avtandil Khurtsidze (1-56)
Last Fight: 12/18/2011- W(MD12) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has ordered Khurtsidze to defend his new goofy color-coded belt against gatekeeper Domenico Spada.
16) Max Bursak (1-56)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- TKO3 Laatekwei Hammond (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bursak is the mandatory contender for whatever title Pirog holds, but Pirog appears to be interested in fighting someone else first.
17) Gennady Golovkin (10-36)
Last Fight: 12/9/2011- KO1 Lajuan Simon (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golovkin can’t get anyone to fight him.
18) Demetrius Andrade (12-27)
Last Fight: 2/10/2012- KO2 Angel Hernandez (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
With original opponent Derek Ennis getting sick 2 days before the fight, Andrade instead dispatched journeyman Angel Hernandez on ESPN2.
19) Darren Barker (12-19)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- L(KO11) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
Barker turned down an offer to fight Martin Murray.
20) Billi Godoy (12-18)
Last Fight: 11/12/2011- TKO1 Luciano Silva (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: Deandre Latimore, who was removed from the rankings at 154 recently for missing weight for 18 months, will fight on ShoBox this Friday.  Not being a title fight of any kind, the fight will probably be over the junior middleweight limit again, but the fighters could surprise me.  Latimore will be taking on Colombian journeyman Milton Nunez in Vegas.  Nunez is unproven, having never beaten anybody.  He has only lost to good opposition, however, so he may or may not be truly weak.

 

The following night in Stuttgart, fringe contending German undefeated prospect Dominik Britsch fights Spanish journeyman Roberto Santos.  Despite the fact that there are several better options than Britsch and a whole helluva lot of better options than Santos, this is somehow being used to fill the vacant European Union title.

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