Middleweight: 2012, Aug 13-19

Bryan Vera and Sergio Mora had unfinished business to tend to after their very close-fought and slightly controversial split decision in favor of Vera from early 2011.  Not even the Olympics could prevent the grudge match from going down.  Fortunately, the result was an all-action fight.  Unfortunately, the winner was once again less than totally clear.  It was a great contrast of styles, matching Mora’s sharpshooting and craft against Vera’s tank-like aggression and mauling tenacity.  The sharper, more eye-catching work was typically coming from Mora, but he only fought in spots.  The impression was that Mora was backed up to the ropes, often practically in the fetal position ducking below his waist and sometimes through the ropes to draw a respite from referee Mark Calo-oy, for about 75 percent of nearly every round.  But Vera lacked precision, and after often making him miss or land largely glancing blows, Mora would often spring a trap on him with a big uppercut or other hard shot.  These were apparently vicious punches, but the thick-necked, iron chinned Vera never wavered, and never took a backward step all fight long. 

 

The fight was very close and was fought at a very high level by each fighter in his own way.  But Mora made a fatal miscalculation.  Somehow he seemed to believe that he could throw what seemed like 1/5 the number of punches that Vera was throwing, while either running or hanging on the ropes, and win a decision in Vera’s hometown.  I had the fight 115-113 Vera, and my belief is that, if anything, it may have been a round wider than that.  Vera was gracious in victory, saying that Mora fought a great fight and that he believes it was a draw that he won because it was in his house.  Mora, by contrast, complained bitterly about the politics of boxing and showed very little class, demonstrating why even most fans that aren’t turned off by his spoiling style don’t necessarily like him very much.  I have no problem with fighters complaining about robberies, but in this case it seemed to me that Mora was fighting to make the fight close enough to complain about the decision, while Vera was fighting to win.  I understand his frustration to some extent, as judges Ruben Carrion at 118-110 and Rafael Ramos at 117-111 had the fight a bit too wide, but on the other hand Wilfredo Esperon at 114-114 gave him too much credit.  Something tells me he would have been exactly as bitter if the cards had been 115-113 Vera. 

 

Vera just barely fails to enter the rankings for now.  In particular, his loss to a then-unproven Max Bursak 2 years ago holds him back when compared to Peter Quillin.   Quillin may not have quite beaten an opponent on Mora’s exact level just yet at this weight, but Craig McEwan wasn’t far off.  Kid Chocolate also beat McEwan more impressively than Vera beat Mora, and doesn’t have any losses to mitigate his rise.  No changes to the rankings this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (122-122-122)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- RTD11 #3 Matthew Macklin
Next Fight: 9/15/2012- vs. #2 Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.
Looks like there’s no hitch to the negotiations for Martinez-Chavez, and it looks like that fight is going forward on 9/15 in Vegas.
1) Daniel Geale (60-165-165)
Last Fight: 3/7/2012- UD12 #11 Osumanu Adama
Next Fight: 9/1/2012- vs. #4 Felix Sturm
Geale-Sturm now has a confirmed date of 9/1.
2) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (9-63-81)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- TKO7 SMW #10 Andy Lee
Next Fight: 9/15/2012- vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
See Martinez’ notes, above.
3) Grzegorz Proksa (9-70-70)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- TKO8 Kerry Hope (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/1/2012- vs. #13 Gennady Golovkin
Proksa is officially braver than most of his peers, as he will take on rising knockout sensation Gennady Golovkin, September 1 on HBO.
4) Felix Sturm (9-465-465)
Last Fight: 4/13/2012- RTD9 Sebastian Zbik (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/1/2012- vs. #1 Daniel Geale
See Geale’s notes, above.
5) Matthew Macklin (18-60-151)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- L(RTD11) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: 9/15/2012- vs. Joachim Alcine (UNR)
Macklin will fight the resurgent Joachim Alcine on the Martinez-Chavez undercard.
6) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (28-94-94)
Last Fight: 5/4/2012- UD12 #15 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBO has ordered a fight between N’Dam and Pirog.
7) Dmitry Pirog (15-107-107)
Last Fight: 5/1/2012- UD12 #20 Nobuhiro Ishida
Next Fight: Unknown
Pirog had a short-lived entry on his calendar to fight Golovkin in August, but withdrew very quickly with a back injury.
8) Martin Murray (15-37-37)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- UD10 Karim Achour (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Murray is currently entertaining the concept of fights with British Isles rivals Andy Lee and Billy Joe Saunders.
9) Anthony Mundine (24-28-81)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO7 Bronco McKart (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mundine recently split with his long-time manager.  Maybe he’s upset that he had to waste time fighting Bronco McKart.
10) Sam Soliman (24-24-26)
Last Fight: 2/19/2012- UD12 #15 Garth Wood
Next Fight: Unknown
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (23-81)
Last Fight: 6/30/2012- TKO7 Jorge Cota (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rubio is evidently being considered to fight Quillin on 9/8.
12) Osumanu Adama (23-73)
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) Gennady Golovkin (12-61)
Last Fight: 5/12/2012- TKO3 Makoto Fuchigami (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/1/2012- vs. #3 Grzegorz Proksa
Golovkin will finally get the test he needs to make his ranking match his hype, when he battles dynamic #3 contender Grzegorz Proksa on HBO September 1.
14) Avtandil Khurtsidze (12-81)
Last Fight: 12/18/2011- W(MD12) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Max Bursak (12-81)
Last Fight: 7/21/2012- KO1 Sergei Melis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lightning-quick knockout in his recent stay busy fight.  No big deal either way.
16) Demetrius Andrade (12-52)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- KO1 Rudy Cisneros (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Andrade showed chilling power in destroying easy mark Cisneros.
17) Darren Barker (12-44)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- L(KO11) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: 9/8/2012- vs. Simone Rotolo (UNR)
Barker will return from hip surgery on September 8 in London against top-level Italian journeyman Simone Rotolo.
18) Billi Godoy (12-43)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- UD12 Jorge Heiland (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Godoy went life and death with solid journeyman Heiland.  He’s going to have to do better than that when he fights legitimate top 50 opposition, or his time in the top 20 will be very short.  Hell of a fight, though.
19) Nobuhiro Ishida (12-24)
Last Fight: 5/1/2012- L(UD12) vs. #8 Dmitry Pirog
Next Fight: Unknown
Barely challenged Pirog at all, but has enough mileage left on the Kirkland upset to remain ranked for the moment.
20) Peter Quillin (12-12)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- UD10 Winky Wright (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/8/2012- vs. #11 Marco Antonio Rubio
Quillin is set to return on September 8, and might be fighting Rubio.

 

The Week Ahead: No action this week.

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