Middleweight: 2012, Feb 27- Mar 4

An interesting ShoBox fight on Friday saw totally unproven journeyman Milton Nunez of Colombia giving junior middleweight fringe contender Deandre Latimore all he could handle in Vegas.  Latimore looked better than he often does in the early going and appeared to be cruising to victory when, in the 9th round of a scheduled 10, he was badly rocked by Nunez.  At a point where Latimore appeared helpless and at which the fight arguably could have been stopped, awful referee Joe Cortez did what he does- he broke the action as if there was a clinch to rescue the favored fighter from getting knocked out.  With Cortez’s help, Latimore survived the round and weathered two knockdowns in the last two rounds to survive for a majority decision win.  Not a good sign for the possibly post-prime Latimore, especially considering Nunez wasn’t ranked in the Boxrec top 400 at the time of the fight.

 

A bit of foul play (as you might expect) was the story of the night in Germany on Saturday, as German undefeated prospect Dominik Britsch took on Spanish journeyman Roberto Santos.  Britsch looked strong early, and was landing impressively to the body in particular.  But as the fight wore on, Santos was able to cut the ring off and crowd Britsch, who despite appearing to have the heavier hands chose to fight as primarily a boxer.  Santos was quite accurate upstairs, as Britsch too often failed to keep his hands up and showed little head movement.  Santos took over the fight increasingly as the rounds wore on, and had visibly taken a toll on the German’s legs by the last couple rounds.  Britsch was pretty badly hurt early in the twelfth, but managed to weather the storm- perhaps with some help from a bad cut on his right eye that got the doctor involved to pause the action.

 

Santos clearly won the fight by any score between 115-113 and 117-111.  Dave Parris was a bit off at 114-114, but I guess understandably so given the crowd’s sympathies and a few fairly close rounds that I guess could be given to Britsch if you were really stretching.  Italy’s Luca Montella had it pretty close to dead-on at 115-113 Santos.  And Croatian clown…er…judge…Zvonko Rukavina made a mockery of proceedings by turning in a pathetic 117-112 card in favor of Britsch.  This draw was a mild robbery, but a robbery nonetheless. 

 

Normally when you best a fighter that I rank #22 (my unofficial current ranking for Britsch), you end up in the top 20.  But this fight fairly clearly says more about what Britsch isn’t than what Santos is.  In his previous fight, Santos lost a unanimous 6-round decision to a complete nobody that had a record of just 6-2.  It’s simply unconscionable to imagine ranking him just two fights later.  Santos has become a guy to pay attention to in his next fight, but that’s about it.  Meanwhile, Britsch would probably be lucky to be considered a top 50 fighter at this point.   Latimore’s close call does no good for him in terms of earning a rating here either, since as I mentioned Nunez was not even rankable in the top 400.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (98-98-98)
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 (36-141-141)
Last Fight: 8/31/2011- UD12 Eromosele Albert (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/7/2012- vs. #12 Osumanu Adama
The Adama fight has been moved to a March 7 date.
2) Grzegorz Proksa (22-46-46)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- RTD3 #4 Sebastian Sylvester
Next Fight: 3/17/2012- vs. Kerry Hope (UNR)
Proksa will fight English journeyman Kerry Hope in Sheffield, England on March 17.
3) Matthew Macklin (13-36-127)
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. (4-39-57)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #10 Marco Antonio Rubio
Next Fight: 6/2/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chavez’s next fight now appears set for June 2, with Martin Murray being the leading candidate.
5) Felix Sturm (4-441-441)
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 (4-70-70)
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 (4-13-13)
Last Fight: 12/2/2011- Draw(SD12) vs. #3 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown
After discussing fights with domestic rivals Lee and Barker, it now looks like Murray is a good bet to fight Chavez in early June.
8) Dmitry Pirog (13-83-83)
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 (13-342-342)
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 (4-4-57)
Last Fight: 10/19/2011- UD12 Rigoberto Alvarez (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
11) Sam Soliman (2-2)
Last Fight: 2/19/2012- UD12 #15 Garth Wood
Next Fight: Unknown
 12) Osumanu Adama (2-49)
Last Fight: 10/6/2011- TKO9 Roman Karmazin (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/7/2012- vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Adama-Geale- originally scheduled for leap day, will now take place on March 7.
13) Marco Antonio Rubio (2-57)
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 (2-2)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12 #17 Nobuhiro Ishida (as JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Avtandil Khurtsidze (2-57)
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 (2-57)
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 (11-37)
Last Fight: 12/9/2011- KO1 Lajuan Simon (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golovkin can’t get anyone to fight him.
18) Demetrius Andrade (13-28)
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 (13-20)
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 (13-19)
Last Fight: 11/12/2011- TKO1 Luciano Silva (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: Nothing to report for the coming week.

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