Super Middleweight: 2012, Oct 22-28

Friday in Cartagena, Colombia, Bogota native Alexander Brand picked up a breakthrough win in his late-blooming career.  The 35-year old Colombian prospect, whose only loss was a complete toss-up split decision to fellow undefeated Badou Jack, dominated veteran South African gatekeeper William Gare to become a legitimate fringe contender.

 

Danny Jacobs- once the world’s top middleweight prospect- made a splash in his return from life-threatening cancer when he viciously knocked out totally untested Hollywood-based Missouri fringe prospect Josh Luteran in the first round of their Showtime Extreme-televised fight in Brooklyn.  The fight was contested just a couple pounds over the middleweight limit.

 

Also on Saturday, Uruguay’s Noe Gonzalez- a solid fighter whose only losses are to Felix Sturm and Adonis Stevenson- made short work of undefeated/untested Argentine fringe prospect Miguel Cobas, dispatching him by knockout late in the first round in Buenos Aires.

 

Brand is now roughly a top-25 fighter, though the loss (which I had a draw) to Jack complicates matters a bit.  No change to the top 20 this time around.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (45-179-179)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
Both camps comfirm talks for a February 23 HBO fight with Pavlik.
1) Carl Froch (22-332-332)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- TKO5 #1 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: 11/17/2012- vs. LHW #11 Yusaf Mack
After the negotiations initially appeared to have failed, Froch eventually secured a fight with Yusaf Mack, afterall.
2) Arthur Abraham (9-157-157)
Last Fight: 8/25/2012- UD12 #4 Robert Stieglitz
Next Fight: 12/15/2012- vs. Mehdi Bouadla (UNR)
Abraham will make a fairly weak follow-up to his big win over Stieglitz.  His opponent is Mehdi Bouadla, who made a brave stand against Kessler before getting stopped fairly early in their 2011 fight.  Since then, Bouadla- essentially a journeyman- has been fighting exclusively nobodies, mostly at middleweight.
3) Mikkel Kessler (9-411-411)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- KO5 Allan Green (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/8/2012- vs. Brian Magee (UNR)
Kessler fights fringe contender Brian Magee in Herning, Denmark on December 8.
4) Lucian Bute (9-341-341)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- L(TKO5) vs. #2 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 11/3/2012- vs. LHW #15 Denis Grachev (at LHW)
Bute will exercise his rematch clause to fight Froch in March, but will be fighting an interim fight in November against otherwise mediocre but hard-hitting light heavyweight Denis Grachev.
5) Robert Stieglitz (9-165-165)
Last Fight: 8/25/2012- L(UD12) vs. #6 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: Unknown
Stieglitz was somewhat busted up in the tough Abraham fight, and so I expect him to take a few months off at least.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (9-73-121)
Last Fight: 8/2/2012- UD12 Rowland Bryant (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/10/2012- vs. Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Oosthuizen will fight Colombia’s Fulgencio Zuniga in South Africa on November 10.
7) Adonis Stevenson (2-46-46)
Last Fight: 10/12/2012- TKO12 Don George (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevenson probably has a shot at Carl Froch due to him at some point, as he is the mandatory challenger for Froch’s belt.  But Froch already has a fight coming up soon with Yusaf Mack, and a contracted fight with Bute likely in March.
8) Kelly Pavlik (2-16-16)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- UD10 #12 Will Rosinsky
Next Fight: Unknown
Pavlik’s team is currently negotiating a February 23 title shot against Ward on HBO.
9) Sakio Bika (13-45-290)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO10 Dyah Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
10) Karoly Balzsay (13-13-27)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO12 #8 Dimitri Sartison
Next Fight: Unknown
Balzsay pulled out of a scheduled alphabet title defense with fringe contender Brian Magee with a back injury.
11) Andy Lee (16-85)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(TKO7) vs. MW#? Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
12) Anthony Dirrell (13-47)
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) Will Rosinsky (13-19)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- L(UD10) vs. Kelly Pavlik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (13-50)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- RTD9 Jose Maria Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Dimitri Sartison (13-121)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- L(TKO12) vs. Karoly Balzsay (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sartison has been medically cleared following his third knee surgery, and is looking to return in December.
16) Jesus Gonzales (3-68)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(KO1) vs. #9 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: 12/8/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Gonzales will return from 10-month layoff in Calgary this December.  No opponent yet, but since it’s taking place in a nightclub, I can only assume it won’t be anyone spectacular.  The fight has already been bumped back once from a November date.
17) George Groves (2-15)
Last Fight: 7/28/2012- TKO6 Francisco Sierra (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/15/2012- vs. Glen Johnson (UNR)
Groves’s December 15 opponent turned out to be kind of a surprise: former light heavyweight champion Glen Johnson.  Johnson retired just a few months ago, but evidently isn’t ready to keep them hung up yet.  This could be an interesting crossroads fight.
18) James DeGale (2-54)
Last Fight: 10/13/2012- UD12* Hadillah Mohoumadi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
DeGale was very fortunate to walk away from a relatively stay-busy-looking fight with Hadillah Mohoumadi without some sort of blemish being added to his record.  He’s got the talent, but needs to step up the effort.
19) Edwin Rodriguez (3-13)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO8 Jason Escalera (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez is now fighting with Andre Ward………for a chance to fight Kelly Pavlik next.  Just keeping you on your toes.
20) Dyah Davis (3-3)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- L(TKO10) vs. #9 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: Nothing going on this week.
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