Super Middleweight: 2012, Dec 24-30

No major fights at 168 last week.


Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (54-188-188)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Next Fight: 2/23/2012- vs. #8 Kelly Pavlik
An injury to Ward has caused his January 26 fight with Kelly Pavlik to be postponed to February 23.
1) Carl Froch (31-341-341)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- KO3 LHW #11 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: Unknown
All indications are that Bute still wants a rematch, but Froch has now started making noise about fighting Kessler suspiciously close to the prospective date for the Bute fight.  Meanwhile, Adonis Stevenson is Froch’s mandatory, but appears to be on the outside looking in at the moment.
2) Arthur Abraham (2-166-166)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- TKO8 Mehdi Bouadla (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I’m not sure if the German public is demanding it or something, but what strikes me as a rather unnecessary rematch with Robert Stieglitz is in talks for April 9th, in Germany.
3) Mikkel Kessler (2-420-420)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO3 Brian Magee (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kessler and Froch are discussing a fight according to Froch, but it’s unclear what effect the contracted Bute rematch will have on those discussions.
4) Lucian Bute (18-350-350)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 LHW #16 Denis Grachev (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
At last check, Bute still wanted the Froch rematch, but Froch has inexplicably begun talking publicly about negotiating another fight.
5) Robert Stieglitz (18-174-174)
Last Fight: 8/25/2012- L(UD12) vs. #6 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: Unknown
See Abraham’s notes, above.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (18-82-130)
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.
7) Adonis Stevenson (11-55-55)
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 (11-25-25)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- UD10 #12 Will Rosinsky
Next Fight: 2/23/2013- vs. Champ Andre Ward
Ward was injured, so his fight with Pavlik was rescheduled for February 23.
9) George Groves (2-2-24)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- UD12 Glen Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With DeGale having caved to pressure by the WBC and their weak “silver belt” and relinquishing his European Title, Groves now appears likely to fight for the vacated strap against the man DeGale had been set to fight, Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye.  No word of talks between the two, but a purse bid has been scheduled.
10) Karoly Balzsay (22-22-36)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO12 #8 Dimitri Sartison
Next Fight: Unknown
Balzsay suffered a back injury way back in August, but I don’t know if that remains a factor as to why he hasn’t scheduled a fight since then.
11) Andy Lee (25-94)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(TKO7) vs. MW#? Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (at MW)
Next Fight: 2/9/2013- vs. Anthony Fitzgerald (UNR)
After the death of his trainer and father figure Emmanuel Steward, Lee is back in the British Isles, training with Adam Booth.  He is scheduled to fight in Belfast for his first fight on the east side of the Atlantic since 2010 on February 9 against decent Irish journeyman Anthony Fitzgerald.  This could turn out to be at 160, which would put his 168 ranking in jeopardy.
12) Sakio Bika (2-299)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO10 Dyah Davis (UNR)

Next Fight: Unknown
13) Anthony Dirrell (2-56)
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.
14) Will Rosinsky (2-28)
Last Fight: 12/19/2012- UD10 Otis Griffin (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rosinsky was cut and also outmuscled for much of his fight with Griffin, but managed to cobble together enough rounds to eek out a decision.  He admitted after the fight that he’s too small for light heavyweight, and pledged to return here or, possibly, even drop down to 160.
15) Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (2-59)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- RTD9 Jose Maria Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After appearing set to fight James DeGale, Ndiaye might have a date with DeGale’s rival George Groves, instead, after DeGale vacated the belt the two were to fight for.
16) Dimitri Sartison (2-130)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- L(TKO12) vs. Karoly Balzsay (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sartison has been medically cleared since August following another knee surgery, and was said to be looking to return in December, but he has no fight scheduled yet, and no recent buzz of any kind, either.  It may be significant to note that he is a Universum fighter, and that that promotional outfit has become practically defunct in recent months.
17) James DeGale (2-63)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- UD12 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
DeGale was set to fight the highest-ranked fighter of his career in January, but opted to drop the EBU belt in favor of a third-rate WBC trinket.  In doing so, he appears to have bequeathed the risk and the opportunity of the Ndiaye fight to his domestic rival, George Groves.  DeGale has already tentatively set his return for mid-February, with no opponent yet announced.
18) Jesus Gonzales (2-77)
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.
19) Maxim Vlasov (7-7)
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 (7-22)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO8 Jason Escalera (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Interesting- if a bit bizzarre- news from Monaco.  Rodriguez is apparently set to fight French journeyman Jean Paul Mendy in the first round of a tournament in Monaco this March.  If successful, he would get the winner of Zsolt Erdei versus Dmitri Sukhotski.  My guess is that these fights would take place at 175.


The Week Ahead: The only fight in the division worth mentioning in the division this week is Sunday in Moscow, when #19 Maxim Vlasov takes on fairly solid Croatian journeyman Geard Ajetovic.

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