Middleweight: 2012, Sep 3-9

In one of the most important weeks of the year for middleweights, four of the top 13 fighters went head to head on Saturday.


Daniel went into the lion’s den, as #1 Geale met #4 Felix Sturm in Germany.  Usually you need at least a knockout to beat Sturm there.  But much like the original Daniel in the Lion’s Den, Daniel had a bit of a miracle from Heaven on his side.  If I told you that 9 of the 12 rounds would be essentially toss-ups and that Sturm won 2 of the 3 clear rounds, you would have to assume that Sturm would win the decision in front of his home crowd.  This happened in 2 of his last 3 fights, with both of those decisions being much more difficult to give him.  But I would like to congratulate the judges.  I am not saying they scored the fight perfectly.  Naturally I think my 114-114 card is the only perfect one.  But what all three cards represented was complete and total fairness.  If they’d blown it, I’d have done my best to make them famous.  I’ll do the same now, with my compliments: South Africa’s Stanley Christodoulou (116-112 Geale), New Jersey’s Eugene Grant (116-112 Sturm), and London’s Dave Parris (116-112 Geale). 


Now for a less-close fight.  #13 Gennady Golovkin walked right through a clever, awkward, and powerful #3 contender in Grzegorz Proksa in Verona, New York.  Proksa darted all around, lunging in from strange positions as he frequently does to great effect.  He managed to pick up the 2nd round with that style, but ultimately it was a high-risk, high-reward tactic against a wrecking ball like Golovkin.  Whatever he hits, he destroys.  Golovkin is an effortlessly destructive natural puncher, who manages to remain calm and accurate while demolishing chins.  Proksa was dropped 3 times before referee Charlie Fitch stopped the fight.  The stoppage was right on time, as it appeared the fight was just about to become an unmitigated slaughter.  I can’t wait to see Golovkin again, preferably against someone like Geale or the Martinez-Chavez winner.


Now for the ratings, the shuffling of which wasn’t particularly easy.  In my books, Sturm’s stock actually went up with the loss.  He’s proven that he can fight a literally dead-even fight in every conceivable way with the division’s top contender, which makes him a lot more impressive than a guy that does the same (give or take) with an unproven prospect and a #11 contender.  That, coupled with his unparalleled past resume, gets him past Chavez and allows him to hold off Golovkin, meaning he checks in right behind Geale at #2.  I know, I know.  One guy pummels a #3 while the other technically loses to a #1, and the latter guy stays ahead?  Well, in a word, yes.  Until Golovkin actually performs better than that against the #1, he still hasn’t conclusively proven that he’s better than Sturm (though I’ll admit that appearances strongly suggest that he is), and there is simply no comparison between their overall resumes at the moment.  But as this comparison might indicate, Golovkin does rocket all the way from #13 to #3. 


Chavez is forced down from #2 to #4.  Proksa drops 5 places to #8.  Golovkin’s advancement forces everyone ranked #8-12 last week down a spot apeice, including Sam Soliman, who exits the top ten after 26 consecutive weeks in.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (125-125-125)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- RTD11 #3 Matthew Macklin
Next Fight: 9/15/2012- vs. #4 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 (63-168-168)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- W*(SD12) vs. #4 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown
The Klitschkos, who promote Golovkin, are trying to make a fight between him and Geale, while Geale appears to be pining for a fight with fellow Australian Sam Soliman, perhaps before Christmas.
2) Felix Sturm (1-468-468)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- L*(SD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown
His fight with Geale couldn’t have possibly been closer (I had it a draw), and Geale is the division’s top contender.  That’s how #4 goes to #2 after a loss.
3) Gennady Golovkin (1-1-64)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- TKO5 #3 Grzegorz Proksa
Next Fight: Unknown
After the biggest win of his career, Golovkin is aiming right where he should- high- with his targets being #1 Geale and the Martinez-Chavez winner.
4) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (1-66-84)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- TKO7 SMW #10 Andy Lee
Next Fight: 9/15/2012- vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
See Martinez’ notes, above.
5) Matthew Macklin (21-63-154)
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 (31-97-97)
Last Fight: 5/4/2012- UD12 #15 Max Bursak
Next Fight: 10/20/2012- vs. #20 Peter Quillin
He’ll be fighting a very good matchup with Peter Quillin in October.
7) Dmitry Pirog (18-110-110)
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) Grzegorz Proksa (1-73-73)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- L(TKO5) vs. #13 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Okay.  Proksa has now lost for real.  I still think he’s got a solid future in the division, though.
9) Martin Murray (1-40-40)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- UD10 Karim Achour (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The EBU has ordered a fight between Murray and gatekeeper Julien Marie Sainte for their vacant European title.  Purse bids are due by September 26.
10) Anthony Mundine (1-31-84)
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.
11) Sam Soliman (1-29)
Last Fight: 8/24/2012- UD12 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman is now the mandatory for Geale, which is a potential big-money domestic showdown in Australia.
12) Marco Antonio Rubio (1-84)
Last Fight: 6/30/2012- TKO7 Jorge Cota (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/8/2012- vs. Carlos Baldomir (UNR) (at SMW)
Rubio is now officially fighting Carlos Baldomir this week, and the fight is rather strangely going to be at 168.
13) Osumanu Adama (1-76)
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.

14) Avtandil Khurtsidze (15-84)
Last Fight: 12/18/2011- W(MD12) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Max Bursak (15-84)
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 (15-55)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- KO1 Rudy Cisneros (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/20/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Andrade will be fighting on September 20 in Manchester, New Hamphire.  No opponent yet.
17) Darren Barker (15-47)
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 (15-46)
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 (15-27)
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 (15-15)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- UD10 Winky Wright (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/20/2012- vs. #6 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam
After originally being rumored for a fight September 8, Quillin will instead attempt a star turn against the highly-ranked Hassan N’Dam in mid-October.


The Week Ahead: One-loss Mexican prospect Marcos Reyes fights veteran journeyman Julio Cesar Garcia in Celaya, Mexico on Saturday in the only significant action in the division this week.  Marco Antonio Rubio is also in action on that card, but a division to the north.

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