Middleweight: 2012, Apr 23-29

 Tuesday in Toronto, 10-0 Canadian Adam Trupish knocked out veteran journeyman Darryl Cunningham, a human measuring stick who in recent months has served as a comeback opponent for Andre Dirrell and was supposed to do the same for Kelly Pavlik before Pavlik suffered a relapse and withdrew on a couple days’ notice.  If, for some reason, you’re looking to compare Trupish to Dirrell, he took 5 rounds to do what Dirrell was able to do in 2.


Now for the big middleweight ShoBox card.  I am sad to say it, but Jermain Taylor appears to have become a very ordinary fighter during his losing streak and semi-retirement.  He didn’t exactly wow anyone against Jessie Nicklow in his previous fight, but he flat-out struggled against a borderline top-50 fighter in Caleb Truax.  7 of the 10 rounds were so close that they could have gone either way, with Taylor achieving real separation from his opponent in only one round, the 8th.  Taylor was also the only one to taste the canvas in the fight, when Truax dropped and badly hurt him in the 9th.  I had the fight 96-93 Taylor, but to he honest I wouldn’t argue too hard with someone who thought Truax won a close fight.  If Taylor is going to keep fighting like this, he needs to retire before he gets hurt again, quite honestly.


In the co-feature of the same card, highly-ranked junior middleweight Erislandy Lara moved up just a couple pounds and demolished journeyman Ronald Hearns with 3 knockdowns and a TKO in the first round.


Fernandeo Guerrero was scheduled to fight on the non-televised undercard, but that fight didn’t come off.


Fringe contender Bryan Vera made 160 for the first time since September 2010 against very weak journeyman Taronze Washington in Fort Worth on Saturday.  That would get him back in the rankings discussion, except that he’s never weighed under 160 for any of his significant wins.


Speaking of weight, Taylor and Truax also fought fractions of a pound over the divisional limit, and thus Taylor still has not technically fought at middleweight in years.  If Taylor does ever score a significant win at or under 160 again, he will probably be rewarded for this win to the extent appropriate at that time, but it is certainly not acceptable under the rules of these rankings to rank a fighter that is a non-active middleweight, and I don’t think it makes much sense to rank him at 168 for this fight either.


No changes this week.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (106-106-106)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- RTD11 #3 Matthew Macklin
Next Fight: 9/15/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Sergio has signed a contract to fight the Chavez-Lee winner, with 9/15 being the tentative date.
1) Daniel Geale (44-149-149)
Last Fight: 3/7/2012- UD12 #11 Osumanu Adama
Next Fight: 8/25/2012- vs. #8 Dmitry Pirog
Geale will fight Pirog in Washington, D.C. in late August.
2) Grzegorz Proksa (30-54-54)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- L*(MD12) vs. Kerry Hope (UNR) (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Proksa and Hope are exploring the possibility of what should be an unnecessary rematch on July 7.
3) Felix Sturm (2-449-449)
Last Fight: 4/13/2012- RTD9 Sebastian Zbik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With new life in his career, Sturm says now that he’d be open to fighting Pirog next, and that he’s looking to fight again in August.
4) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (2-47-65)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #10 Marco Antonio Rubio
Next Fight: 6/16/2012- vs. SMW #11 Andy Lee
Chavez signed 2 deals in one week.  He will fight Andy Lee on June 16 and, if he wins, will progress to challenge for the title, likely on September 15.
5) Matthew Macklin (2-44-135)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- L(RTD11) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
Macklin deserves a break after a taxing effort against Martinez.
6) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (12-78-78)
Last Fight: 4/2/2011- UD12 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/4/2012- vs. #15 Max Bursak
Originally rumored for April 20 in Equatorial Guinea, N’Dam will now fight Bursak in France two weeks later, instead.
7) Martin Murray (12-21-21)
Last Fight: 12/2/2011- Draw(SD12) vs. #3 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: 6/16/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Murray is scheduled for a June 16 return in Manchester.  He was originally scheduled to fight on that very date against Chavez before visa issues scuttled that one.
8) Dmitry Pirog (21-91-91)
Last Fight: 9/25/2011- RTD10 Gennady Martirosyan (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/1/2012- vs. #20 Nobuhiro Ishida
Pirog will settle for Ishida on May 1 after several other potential opponents fell through, and he’s already scheduled to fight Geale in August, as well.
9) Anthony Mundine (8-12-65)
Last Fight: 10/19/2011- UD12 Rigoberto Alvarez (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mundine wants Chavez foremost, but would settle for Trout or Geale.
10) Sam Soliman (8-8-10)
Last Fight: 2/19/2012- UD12 #15 Garth Wood
Next Fight: Unknown
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (7-65)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #7 Julio Cesar Chavez
Next Fight: Unknown
Rubio is reportedly looking at a July fight with Ricardo Mayorga.
12) Osumanu Adama (7-57)
Last Fight: 3/7/2012- L(UD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown
Adama came up short against Geale, but has nothing to be ashamed of.  He frequently took the #1 contender out of his game plan and looked entirely in his league at that lofty level.
13) Paul Williams (8-10)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12 #17 Nobuhiro Ishida (as JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Williams is likely to fight on Showtime on June 30, with Joachim Alcine reportedly interested.
14) Avtandil Khurtsidze (8-65)
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.
15) Max Bursak (8-65)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- TKO3 Laatekwei Hammond (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/4/2012- vs. #6 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam
Bursak will be fighting N’Dam in France on May 4.
16) Gennady Golovkin (8-45)
Last Fight: 12/9/2011- KO1 Lajuan Simon (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golovkin can’t get anyone to fight him, but Sturm has been ordered to defend his belt against him by September.  There are rumors that the fight might take place in August.
17) Demetrius Andrade (8-36)
Last Fight: 2/10/2012- KO2 Angel Hernandez (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Darren Barker (8-28)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- L(KO11) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
Barker bowed out of opportunities to fight Murray and Pirog, and now we have a possible reason as he has apparently been injured for a while, needs surgery, and is done until the fall.
19) Billi Godoy (8-27)
Last Fight: 4/13/2012- UD10 Carlos Baldomir (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Godoy needs a lot of improvement if he’s going to fight his relative peers in the rankings.  He had more than a little trouble with crude and old Carlos Baldomir.
20) Nobuhiro Ishida (8-8)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(UD12) vs. JMW #? Paul Williams
Next Fight: 5/1/2012- vs. #8 Dmitry Pirog
Ishida will look to play spoiler again on May 1 in Moscow.


The Week Ahead: Nothing of note going on in the division this week.

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