Middleweight: 2012, Aug 27- Sep 2

#10 Sam Soliman turned in a fairly impressive performance in Geelong, Australia on Friday.  He won a solid decision over tough and likely underrated gatekeeper Giovanni Lorenzo, even managing to drop Lorenzo in the 12th round.  If you like to use fighters like Lorenzo as measuring sticks, then Soliman comes out looking like a real winner.  When Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (currently #6) fought Lorenzo last year, the result was a very close decision that (although N’Dam legtimately won it) could have gone the other way without too much stretching, although two of the judges didn’t actually watch the fight.


The following night in Tulum, Mexico, undefeated Mexican prospect Gilberto Ramirez dominated Colombian journeyman Richard Gutierrez, winning all rounds on all cards.


Soliman remains stuck at #10, as #9 Anthony Mundine has still been tested and succeeded at a higher level than Soliman has in recent years, despite his avenged hiccup against Garth Wood.  No changes to the rankings.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (124-124-124)
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 (62-167-167)
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. (11-65-83)
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 (11-72-72)
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 (11-467-467)
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 (20-62-153)
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 (30-96-96)
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 (17-109-109)
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 (17-39-39)
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 (26-30-83)
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 (26-26-28)
Last Fight: 8/24/2012- UD12 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman is now the mandatory for the Geale-Sturm winner.  If Geale emerges victorious, that would set up a big-money domestic showdown in Australia.
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (25-83)
Last Fight: 6/30/2012- TKO7 Jorge Cota (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It appears that Rubio will probably be fighting on 9/8 as originally speculated, but his opponent is likely to be Carlos Baldomir instead of Peter Quillin.
12) Osumanu Adama (25-75)
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 (14-63)
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 (14-83)
Last Fight: 12/18/2011- W(MD12) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Max Bursak (14-83)
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 (14-54)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- KO1 Rudy Cisneros (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Andrade showed chilling power in destroying easy mark Cisneros.
17) Darren Barker (14-46)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- L(KO11) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
What a tough year for Barker.  He was scheduled for a tune-up comeback fight after hip surgery on September 8, but had to pull out with an arm tendon injury.  He won’t be able to train for a month at least. 
18) Billi Godoy (14-45)
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 (14-26)
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 (14-14)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- UD10 Winky Wright (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/8/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Quillin is set to return on September 8, but no opponent after Rubio was a no-go.


The Week Ahead: It’s a big week at 160.  In Oberhausen, Germany on Saturday, #1 Daniel Geale looks to do the nearly impossible and walk away with a win over #4 Felix Sturm in Germany.  If Sturm’s remaining skill doesn’t get you, the judges probably will.


Later that night in Verona, New York, #13 Gennady Golovkin finally gets a chance to prove his intimidating skills against top competition when he steps into the ring with #3 Grzegorz Proksa.  Why did Proksa agree to fight such a dangerous contender?  Well, in the eyes of many, he has a lot more to prove than an average #3 contender, as he officially lost (though he was robbed) against unheralded journeyman Kerry Hope earlier this year.  These guys are both excellent punchers with sensational styles.  Don’t miss this one.

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