Middleweight: 2012, Nov 5-11

Two Spanish-born fighters collided in Austria on Saturday.  Undefeated prospect Marcos Nader- now living in Austria and thus the local favorite- attempted to take the European Union title from Roberto Santos, the former journeyman who rose to relative prominence by wresting the title from undefeated German prospect Dominik Britsch in Britsch’s backyard, with a decision that he should have won but didn’t, followed by a conclusive stoppage win in the rematch.  Nader boxed beautifully in the rematch, working the jab, showing nice movement, and controlling the ring while keeping Santos apparently out of punching range and slightly off balance.  For me, he swept the first 4 rounds.  But then things began to turn.  Nader appeared to slow down just enough to allow Santos to cut him off and stay in position to punch.  I had Santos sweeping the middle 4 rounds, and 7 of the last 8.  Therefore, I thought he did enough to eek out a 115-113 decision.  But he didn’t do quite enough to eek out that decision in front of an unfriendly crowd, it appears.  There were legitimately 2 close rounds that could have gone to Nader that I gave to Santos, and thus the fight was essentially a toss-up.  The judges (none of whom I can argue with outside the annoying fact that one of them decided the fight in favor of Nader due to a 10-10 round) saw it similarly, with the result coming down as a somewhat appropriate majority draw, with only only the one judge giving Nader a 1-point edge.  The result doesn’t really reflect the overall fight, though, as Santos largely controlled that and worked harder for the majority of the contest, and really dominated the last round, at which point Nader appeared unable to block or avoid any punches at all.


In other action, fringe contending one-loss Dominican prospect Fernando Guerrero looked very sharp against one-time contender and current aging journeyman J.C. Candelo, who was essentially a sitting duck  throughout the fight.  By the 6th round, Candelo’s legs were completely gone, prompting him to request that the ref stop the fight.


Santos’ standing is enhanced just a little bit by showing himself to be at least the equal of a top-50 level undefeated prospect in a 3rd consecutive fight, especially since it dilutes the effect of a inexplicable 6-round decision loss to a complete nobody just under a year ago.  Nader puts himself on the map- albeit in a slightly dubious way- by proving that he can hang with a top 50 fighter at this early stage of his career.  He seems to have reached his ceiling at least for the moment, but that ceiling has at least proven to be among the top 50.  Nevertheless, neither guy has yet proven himself to be a top 25 fringe contender given the totality of their respective records.  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 (134-134-134)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- UD12 #4 Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.
Next Fight: Unknown
Summary of the latest news: Sergio will have knee surgery on November 12, and hopes to return in April or May.  He is interested in a rematch with Chavez if Chavez takes Olympic-style drug tests, and is also interested in Mayweather and Canelo, but not interested in Golovkin.
1) Daniel Geale (72-177-177)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- W*(SD12) vs. #4 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #11 Anthony Mundine
Geale has reached an agreement to fight Anthony Mundine in a big domestic showdown, with details yet to come.
2) Felix Sturm (10-477-477)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- L*(SD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown
Golovkin says he’d like to fight Sturm.
3) Gennady Golovkin (10-10-73)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- TKO5 #3 Grzegorz Proksa
Next Fight: Unknown
With Sergio uninterested in a fight with him, Golovkin learned recently that HBO is interested in a 4-man elimination tournament of middleweight contenders to include him, Geale, Macklin, and Pirog.  He also is reportedly in talks to fight super middleweight contender Thomas Oosthuizen.
4) Matthew Macklin (8-72-163)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- TKO1 Joachim Alcine (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Macklin’s name is among those being mentioned for a possible HBO tournament to include himself, Golovkin, Geale, and Pirog.
5) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (8-75-93)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
Chavez tested positive for marijuana for his fight with Martinez, and is likely to be suspended.  That won’t affect his rating here at all because he lost anyway, and because it’s not a performance enhancer.  The suspension is likely to last about 6 months, and Sergio recently stated that he wants Olympic testing as a precondition to a rematch.
6) Peter Quillin (3-3-24)
Last Fight: 10/20/2012- UD12 #6 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam
Next Fight: Unknown
Quillin said recently that he has no interest in fighting Gennady Golovkin.  He’s not alone in that.
7) Dmitry Pirog (27-119-119)
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 (10-82-82)
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 (10-49-49)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- UD10 Karim Achour (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/24/2012- vs. Jorge Navarro (UNR)
Murray will return on 11/24, and will be fighting for an “interim title”  against untested but undefeated prospect Jorge Navarro.
10) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (3-106-106)
Last Fight: 10/20/2012- L (UD12) vs. #20 Peter Quillin

Next Fight: Unknown
As it turns out, N’Dam had a rematch clause in his contract with Quillin, but he also has expressed interest in Golovkin, Geale, Martinez, and Chavez.
11) Anthony Mundine (3-93)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO7 Bronco McKart (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Mundine has reportedly agreed to a fight with Geale, though no details yet.
12) Sam Soliman (3-38)
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.  However, Geale seems to be occupied with yet another Australian, Anthony Mundine.
13) Marco Antonio Rubio (3-93)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- RTD4 Carlos Baldomir (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Osumanu Adama (3-85)
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.
15) Avtandil Khurtsidze (3-93)
Last Fight: 12/18/2011- W(MD12) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Max Bursak (3-93)
Last Fight: 7/21/2012- KO1 Sergei Melis (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/26/2013- vs. Julien Marie Sainte (UNR)
Bursak will be fighting for a European title over what should be a pretty easy opponent in Frenchman Julien Marie Sainte- essentially a journeyman.  The one bit of intrigue is that the fight is taking place in France.
17) Demetrius Andrade (3-64)
Last Fight: 9/20/2012- TKO2 Alexis Hloros (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/25/2013- vs. Javier Maciel (UNR)
Andrade gets an interesting test in January when he fights slick Argentine boxer Javier Maciel, who gave Dmitry Pirog plenty of trouble when the two met in early 2011.
18) Darren Barker (3-56)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- L(KO11) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: 12/8/2012- vs. Kerry Hope (UNR)
If Barker’s body holds up, he has a date with tough Welsh journeyman Kerry Hope on December 8.
19) Nobuhiro Ishida (24-36)
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) Bryan Vera (3-3)
Last Fight: 8/11/2012- W (MD12) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown


The Week Ahead: Three notables are in action this week, all on Saturday.


On the Helenius-Williams undercard in Helsinki, Finland, 21 year-old undefeated Danish prospect Patrick Nielsen gets a showcase opportunity against lower mid-level Belgian journeyman Jamel Bakhi.


Italian gatekeeper Domenico Spada gets a pretty easy assignment in 12-21 Hungarian Sandor Ramocsa near Rome.  The only real intrigue here is whether Spada is able to stop a man who- despite losing quite regularly- has been stopped just once.


Finally, in Ecatepec, Mexico, undefeated prospect Marcos Reyes takes on top-flight journeyman Michel Rosales.

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