Middleweight: 2012, Sep 17-23

The main event of the week was clearly Sergio Martinez defending his Championship for the fifth time against #4 Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. in Las Vegas on HBO Pay-Per-View.  For 11-plus rounds, it looked like one of Sergio’s easier defenses, but in the 12th he got careless and was dropped hard by the strong young Mexican contender.  He went to the canvas again a short time later- a slip while he was on wobbly legs that may have actually helped his cause- but rallied to at least save face by firing back with gusto as the fight ended.  Martinez obviously lost the last round 10-8, but the end result was a fairly dominant decision, as Maritnez most likely won all of the preceding rounds.


On the undercard, #5 Matthew Macklin made surprisingly quick work of recently impressive fringe contender Joachim Alcine, stopping him late in the 1st round.  Alcine went down twice (the second of which was clearly a push), but I still don’t really disagree with the stoppage, since Alcine was clearly done by then.  Macklin showed excellent killer instinct in getting the Haitian out of there after denting his chin.


A few hours earlier, in Bamberg, Germany, Spanish gatekeeper Roberto Santos proved that his draw with undefeated prospect Dominik Britsch from February (which was in reality a close but clear win for Santos) was no fluke by stopping Britsch in round 8.  Santos was a mere journeyman before his first fight with Britsch, and all he really did in stopping Britsch was confirm what I already considered the true result of the first fight.  On that same card, undefeated Spanish-Austrian prospect Marcos Nader won a relatively strong 10-round decision over French journeyman Damien Bertu.


The night before, in London, undefeated English prospect Billy Joe Saunders took a major step up and responded vey well, stopping the only slightly less-advanced Australian undefeated prospect Jarrod Fletcher- himself a top 50 figheter- in just two rounds after dropping him in the second.


For all the quality fights and impressive performances we saw last week, there’s only one slight change to the actual rankings, as #4 Chavez and #5 Macklin switch places.  Chavez has more high-quality wins and more recent ones by and large, but Macklin has performed well at very nearly the top level by earning a draw (at absolute worst) with then #1-ranked Felix Sturm, while Chavez has only succeeded a level or two below that with unranked (only due to the odd weights he fights at) contender Andy Lee and 10th-ranked Marco Antonio Rubio.  The only reason Chavez had been ranked narrowly ahead of Macklin going into Saturday’s action was because it was a very close race, and his ceiling was theoretically higher, since Macklin had already failed in his title shot, while Chavez had yet to try.  With that advantage neutralized, Macklin ascends.  Saunders is probably rankable somewhere in the 20s after his significant win.  Santos, having lost less than a year ago to a complete nobody at 168, is still well out of the hunt for a ranking, checking in somewhere around the high 30s or low 40s for now.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (127-127-127)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- UD12 #4 Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.
Next Fight: Unknown
A close call after an otherwise dominant performance has yielded serious buzz of a rematch with Chavez.  But that might have to wait, since Sergio says he tore knee ligaments and broke his hand during the fight.
1) Daniel Geale (65-170-170)
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 (3-470-470)
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 (3-3-66)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- TKO5 #3 Grzegorz Proksa
Next Fight: Unknown
Golovkin is looking to be back in December, probably on US TV.
4) Matthew Macklin (1-65-156)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- TKO1 Joachim Alcine (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Macklin wants a rematch with Sergio after fighting on his undercard, but given the buzz and the money attached to another rematch (as well as a number of other options), I have a feeling he’s not at the front of the line.
5) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (1-68-86)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
Chavez and Martinez both seem to be interested in a rematch, but Sergio might be on the shelf for a while with some significant injuries.
6) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (33-99-99)
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 (20-112-112)
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 (3-75-75)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- L(TKO5) vs. #13 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
After a taxing TKO loss to Golovkin (and a fairly busy first 3 quarters of the year), Proksa now says he’ll take a rest until at least January.
9) Martin Murray (3-42-42)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- UD10 Karim Achour (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/24/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Murray will return on 11/24, and will be fighting for an “interim title.”  The ridiculousness of that title is apparent just from the guy they’re talking about matching him with: untested Venezuelan prospect Jorge Navarro.
10) Anthony Mundine (3-33-86)
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 (3-31)
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 (3-86)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- RTD4 Carlos Baldomir (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
13) Osumanu Adama (3-78)
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 (17-86)
Last Fight: 12/18/2011- W(MD12) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Max Bursak (17-86)
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 (17-57)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- KO1 Rudy Cisneros (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/20/2012- vs. Alexis Hloros (UNR)
Andrade will be fighting on September 20 in Manchester, New Hamphire.  His opponent is the unimpressive Alexis Hloros.
17) Darren Barker (17-49)
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 (17-48)
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 (17-29)
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 (17-17)
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: Thursday in Manchester, New Hampshire, #16 Demetrius Andrade stays busy against low-level Michigan journeyman Alexis Hloros.

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