Super Middleweight: 2012, Dec 3-9

Peter Manfredo, Jr. returned to action following a temporary retirement, dominating normally much bigger journeyman Rayco Saunders in Lincoln, Rhode Island on Thursday.  Manfredo still isn’t an active super middleweight, however, since the fight was contested at a contract weight of apparently 169.5 or 170.


Argentine prospect Pablo Farias came in ridiculously heavy at 187 in Mexico City, perhaps surprising his journeyman opponent Santiago Ramos, who ended up being outweighed by essentially 10 pounds and only lasted until the 3rd round before getting stopped.


Finally, on the Showtime Broadcast on Saturday at Madison Square Garden, one-loss prospect Danny Jacobs of Brooklyn continued his comeback from cancer by getting some work in and, when he appeared to feel like it, eventually stopping Cleveland journeyman Chris Fitzpatrick after the 5th round.


Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (51-185-185)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Next Fight: 1/26/2012- vs. #8 Kelly Pavlik
Ward will be fighting Pavlik in LA on January 26.
1) Carl Froch (28-338-338)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- KO3 LHW #11 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #4 Lucian Bute
Froch destroyed a passive and weak-looking Mack and is now probably all set for his March or April rematch with Bute.
2) Arthur Abraham (15-163-163)
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 (15-417-417)
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 (15-347-347)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 LHW #16 Denis Grachev (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #1 Carl Froch
Bute struggled a fair amount in his win over Grachev, and now presumably will have to deal with Froch for a second time.
5) Robert Stieglitz (15-171-171)
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 (15-79-127)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Oosthuizen missed weight initially but managed to sweat it off to fight Zuniga.  He has reportedly been working on a potential deal to fight Gennady Golovkin since before that fight.
7) Adonis Stevenson (8-52-52)
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 contracted fight with Bute likely in March.
8) Kelly Pavlik (8-22-22)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- UD10 #12 Will Rosinsky
Next Fight: 1/26/2013- vs. Champ Andre Ward
Pavlik will get a shot at Ward sooner than expected: January 26, in LA.
9) Sakio Bika (19-51-296)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO10 Dyah Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
10) Karoly Balzsay (19-19-33)
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 (22-91)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(TKO7) vs. MW#? Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lee has recently challenged Matthew Macklin to what would likely be a middleweight bout.  No word on whether or not that’s likely to happen.
12) Anthony Dirrell (19-53)
Last Fight: 12/2/2011- TKO4 Renan St. Juste (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After his motorcycle crash, Anthony Dirrell was said to be out until at least November.  November has come and gone, and not a peep.  Hopefully he gets back in the ring before his woefully inactive twin brother.  As for his ranking, I will now commit to not remove him until at least June 2, 2013 due to his very serious injury situation.
13) Will Rosinsky (19-25)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- L(UD10) vs. Kelly Pavlik (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/19/2012- vs. Otis Griffin (UNR)
Rosinsky will fight former fringe contender Otis Griffin- who recently reversed a losing streak with a win over a weaker journeyman- on December 19 in New York.
14) Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (19-56)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- RTD9 Jose Maria Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/26/2013- vs. #18 James DeGale
Ndiaye’s fight with DeGale is set for late January instead of December 8 as reported earlier.  DeGale will be fighting a likely lesser opponent on December 8, it appears.
15) Dimitri Sartison (19-127)
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 (9-74)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(KO1) vs. #9 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: 1/19/2012- vs. Albert Onolunose (UNR)
Gonzales’ fight at Desperado’s Nightclub in Calgary has been pushed back for a second time- this time to January 19.  But at least he has an opponent now- Nigerian journeyman Albert Onolunose, who is frankly a level or two better than I was expecting Gonzales to fight in such a small-sounding venue.
17) George Groves (8-21)
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 (8-60)
Last Fight: 10/13/2012- UD12* Hadillah Mohoumadi (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/8/2012- vs. Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
DeGale looks to rebound from a very shaky performance against Mohoumadi with a tougher-than-expected outing less than 2 months later against Colombian gatekeeper Fulgencio Zuniga.  If he wins that, he’s back after another 6 weeks, against #14 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye.
19) Maxim Vlasov (4-4)
Last Fight: 11/5/2012- UD10 Khoren Gevor (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/30/2012- vs. Geard Ajetovic (UNR)
Vlasov will fight again on New Year’s Eve Eve against decent Serbian journeyman Geard Ajetovic in Moscow.
20) Edwin Rodriguez (4-19)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO8 Jason Escalera (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
According to Gennady Golovkin’s trainer, Rodriguez turned down a huge offer to fight Golovkin.


The Week Ahead: #3 Mikkel Kessler fights North Irish fringe contender Brian Magee in Herning, Denmark on Saturday.  Meanwhile, in the town of Hull in Yorkshire, #18 James DeGale takes a bit of a dangerous assignment in what originally looked like a stay-busy fight.  His opponent will be Colombian gatekeeper Fulgencio Zuniga.  As you might guess from my calling him a gatekeeper, Zuniga is no world beater, but he’s a steady opponent with some skills.  That is about all you could say about DeGale’s last opponent, Hadillah Mohoumadi, and DeGale needed a bit of a questionable decision to get by in that fight.  If DeGale survives this test, he’ll have an even tougher one coming up in #14 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye, just 6 weeks later.  You’ve got to give DeGale credit for his activity and guts, if nothing else.

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