Archive for January, 2013

Middleweight: 2013, Jan 21-27

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 31, 2013 by danboxing
#3 Gennady Golovkin and junior middle contender Gabriel Rosado met up at MSG Saturday, and the fight progressed about exactly as I would have predicted.  Both guys threw and landed hard punches, but ultimately Golovkin was a little too big and a little too good, and he won arguably every round.  That is, until he busted up Rosado so badly that Rosado could no longer see the punches coming, prompting his corner to stop the fight.

 

The same night in Uncasville, CT,  former top super middleweight prospect Curtis Stevens- who took more than two years off after an upset loss to Jesse Brinkley in 2010- made a big statement that he is back, dropping down to middleweight for the first time in his career and stopping gatekeeper Elvin Ayala just over a minute into the fight.  Ayala was clocked with a left hook that sent him down, and he was completely done from that point on.  Referee Tony Chiarantano inexplicably allowed Ayala to continue after the first knockdown, while totally defenseless and unable to stand up straight.  Thanks to Chiarantano, Ayala absorbed a barrage of additional punishment, including a second nearly identical left hook that sent him flopping to the canvas for a second time.  Only then did Chiarantano call an end to the slaughter.

 

On the previous evening in Junin, Argentina, local gatekeeper Mateo Veron managed only a close 6-round majority decision over mediocre journeyman Abel Adriel.

 

Golovkin’s win fails to move him past Felix Sturm.  Rosado equates to something like a top 10 middleweight based on his success at 154, but he cannot be much help to the Kazakh in terms of quantity of such wins.  Practically speaking, Golovkin would need a win over Sturm, Geale, or Martinez to advance, or would need Geale or Sturm to experience the kind of struggles that Sturm encountered in 2011.

 

Stevens is a different matter.  His win was very impressive, and his struggles in the past were now long ago, and in a higher weight class.  He debuts at #18, forcing Makoto Fuchigami out after just 4 weeks.  Ishida and Vera each backtrack one spot, as well.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (145-145-145)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- UD12 #4 Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. #9 Martin Murray
Martinez will look to come back strong from knee surgery when he takes on Martin Murray in Argentina on April 27.
1) Daniel Geale (83-188-188)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- W*(SD12) vs. #4 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: 1/30/2013- vs. #11 Anthony Mundine
Geale now has a date and location for the Mundine fight: January 30, in Sidney.
2) Felix Sturm (21-488-488)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- L*(SD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: 2/1/2013- vs. #12 Sam Soliman
Sturm will fight Aussie Sam Soliman in Germany in early February.
3) Gennady Golovkin (21-21-84)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- TKO7 JMW #? Gabriel Rosado
Next Fight: Unknown
Another fairly impressive win for GGG.  It will be interesting to learn who he can convince to fight him next.
4) Matthew Macklin (19-83-174)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- TKO1 Joachim Alcine (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Andy Lee recently called Macklin out.
5) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (19-86-104)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
Chavez is expecting to return in May, and then- provided both men win their spring fights- rematch Martinez in September.  It looks like his next fight will be without trainer Freddie Roach, as he appears set to dump Roach for either Nacho Beristain or Robert Garcia.
6) Peter Quillin (14-14-35)
Last Fight: 10/20/2012- UD12 #6 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam
Next Fight: 2/9/2013- vs. Fernando Guerrero (UNR)
After originally being rumored to be working on a fight with Jermain Taylor, Quillin will instead be fighting fringe contending one-loss Dominican Fernando Guerrero.  It was originally rumored for January 19, but has been set for February 9 now.
7) Dmitry Pirog (38-130-130)
Last Fight: 5/1/2012- UD12 #20 Nobuhiro Ishida
Next Fight: 3/2/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Pirog will return to the ring- and the US- fighting an opponent to be announced March 3 on HBO.
8) Grzegorz Proksa (21-93-93)
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 (21-60-60)
Last Fight: 11/24/2012- TKO6 Jorge Navarro (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Murray will look to prove that he belongs at or above the level he achieved by drawing with Sturm when he fights the Champ in Argentina on April 27.
10) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (14-117-117)
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.  Quillin has scheduled a fight with Fernando Guerrero, as well.
11) Anthony Mundine (14-104)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO7 Bronco McKart (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/30/2013- vs. #1 Daniel Geale
A big opportunity for Mundine in the rematch of his split decision victory over Geale.
12) Sam Soliman (14-49)
Last Fight: 8/24/2012- UD12 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/1/2013- vs. #2 Felix Sturm
Soliman is fighting Sturm all of a sudden.
13) Marco Antonio Rubio (14-104)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- KO11 Michel Rosales (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rubio appears to be in line for the Quillin-Guerrero winner.
14) Osumanu Adama (14-96)
Last Fight: 3/7/2012- L(UD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown
Adama’s scheduled return against Derrick Findley was abruptly canceled at the last moment.  I don’t know why, nor when he might be back again.
15) Max Bursak (5-104)
Last Fight: 7/21/2012- KO1 Sergei Melis (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/2/2013- 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.
16) Demetrius Andrade (5-75)
Last Fight: 9/20/2012- TKO2 Alexis Hloros (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/25/2013- vs. Freddy Hernandez (UNR) (at JMW)
No word on why, but junior middleweight gatekeeper Freddy Hernandez is replacing Javier Maciel in the January 25 fight with Andrade.  The fight will be on ShoBox.
17) Darren Barker (5-67)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO4 Kerry Hope (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Barker wants Macklin and Murray, although Murray is obviously otherwise occupied for some months to come.
18) Curtis Stevens (1-1)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- KO1 Elvin Ayala (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Years later and 8 pounds lighter, Curtis Stevens is back in the mix.
19) Nobuhiro Ishida (1-47)
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 (1-14)
Last Fight: 8/11/2012- W (MD12) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/25/2013- vs. Sergei Dzinziruk (UNR)
Vera will get a big opportunity to establish himself as a contender when he fights once very highly ranked contender Sergei Dzinziruk on Friday Night Fights.

 

The Week Ahead: #20 Bryan Vera takes on contender turned gatekeeper Sergei Dzinziruk in the Friday Night Fights main event from Verona, NY.
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Super Middleweight: 2013, Jan 21-27

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on January 31, 2013 by danboxing
The most important development in the division this week was the surprise retirement of #8 Kelly Pavlik.  Pavlik had been scheduled for a shot at the championship until Champion Andre Ward withdrew with an injury.  Now he’s hung them up.  He cites the fact that he no longer feels like training and has built up enough money to live very comfortably for 10-15 years.  He’s had a fairly rocky last few years personally and professionally, but he is a former undisputed Middleweight Champion, and nobody can ever take that away from him.  Good luck, Ghost.  Stay clean, stay strong.

 

Now for the action in the ring.  The non-televised undercard for the Kovalev-Campillo shocker in Uncasville, CT featured a minor upset of its own.  Marcus Upshaw- who typically fluctuates between journeyman and gatekeeper anywhere between 160 and 175- established himself as a top 20 middleweight back in 2010 by soundly defeating Renan St. Juste, but squandered that by losing to 3 decent middleweights in a row and losing or drawing with 2 unproven prospects at super middleweight.  Vladine Biosse was a bit more respected, having followed up a rocky 2011 with a decent if unspectacular 2012 that landed him back in the top 50.  Upshaw was a decided underdog, but as he’s done at least once before in a similar position, he sprang a trap on Biosse- knocking the one-loss prospect down twice and stopping him with just over 30 seconds left in their 8-rounder.

 

In Elancourt, France earlier in the night, hard-luck fringe contender Hadillah Mohoumadi finally got the judges to see it his way, winning a solid 10-round decision over journeyman Cedric Bellais to defend his French title.

 

Based on the scorecards, it appears that one-loss Minnesota prospect Caleb Truax had a bit of trouble with veteran journeyman Matt Vanda.  Truax, at home, had margins of 7, 4, and 2 points on the three cards.  It’s hard to tell what to think about these cards.  The judge that turned in the median card was John Mariano who turned in such an awful card in Christopher Martin’s fight with Chris Avalos a while back (98-92 Avalos in a fight that was something like a shutout for Martin) that I personally believe we would be better off if he never judged again.  Denny Nelson had it the widest.  He had Campillo-Cloud right, but was doing his best to rob Salido against Juanma until Salido closed the show.  I don’t know much about the judge that only had it by 2, Tim Taggart.  In any case, it’s going to go down as an inconsequential win for Truax as far as the rankings go.

 

Upshaw enters approximately the top 30, but more importantly establishes positive career momentum again.  Pavlik’s departure allows everyone ranked #9 and below last week to move up, including Andy Lee, who re-enters the top 10 for the first time since July 8.  Edwin Rodriguez returns at #20 after 3 weeks out.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (58-192-192)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward’s done with surgery, and is likely out until at least the Summer.
1) Carl Froch (35-345-345)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- KO3 LHW #11 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #3 Mikkel Kessler
The deal is done.  Froch will get a rematch with Kessler on May 25 in London.
2) Arthur Abraham (6-170-170)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- TKO8 Mehdi Bouadla (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown date- vs. #5 Robert Stieglitz
The odd Stieglitz rematch now appears essentially done, with a likely date of either March 30 or April 6.
3) Mikkel Kessler (6-424-424)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO3 Brian Magee (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #1 Carl Froch
See Froch’s notes, above.
4) Lucian Bute (22-354-354)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 LHW #16 Denis Grachev (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
With Froch and Pavlik both off the table, it looks possible that Bute will fight the winner of Bika-Sjeklola (ie Bika), for a shot at Andre Ward.
5) Robert Stieglitz (22-178-178)
Last Fight: 8/25/2012- L(UD12) vs. #6 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: Unknown
See Abraham’s notes, above.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (22-86-134)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/2/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Oosthuizen has a fight scheduled in Connecticut on March 2, but no opponent yet.  Adonis Stevenson has been rumored.
7) Adonis Stevenson (15-59-59)
Last Fight: 10/12/2012- TKO12 Don George (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevenson is petitioning the IBF to allow him to fight either Oosthuizen, Bute, or Edwin Rodriguez for an interim title.  If successful, he would theoretically get the Froch-Kessler winner for the full title.
8) George Groves (1-6-28)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- UD12 Glen Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/16/2013- vs. #14 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye
Ndiaye-Groves now has a date.  March 16, as part of what’s shaping up to be a Frank Warren megacard at Wembley Arena in London.
9) Karoly Balzsay (1-26-40)
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.  More likely, his ties to practically defunct promotional company Universum are the primary reason.
10) Andy Lee (1-1-98)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(TKO7) vs. MW #4 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.
11) Sakio Bika (1-303)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO10 Dyah Davis (UNR)

Next Fight: 2/16/2013- vs. Nikola Sjekloca (UNR)
Bika will get a very winnable fight with mediocre prospect Sjekloca for an interim title or, in effect, a potential shot at Champion Andre Ward.  Or maybe a shot at Bute for an eventual shot at Ward.
12) Anthony Dirrell (1-60)
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 (1-32)
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.
14) Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (1-63)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- RTD9 Jose Maria Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/16/2013- vs. #8 George Groves
Ndiaye-Groves is set for March 16 in London.
15) Dimitri Sartison (1-134)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- L(TKO12) vs. Karoly Balzsay (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/27/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Sartison is on the schedule for January 27 in the Netherlands.  With Universum still his promoter at last check, I’ll believe it when I see it.
16) James DeGale (1-67)
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.
17) Ezequiel Maderna (1-4)
Last Fight: 12/14/2012- RTD7 Claudio Abalos
Next Fight: Unknown
Maderna is back in the rankings for the first time since December 2011 after his under-the-radar win over Abalos.
18) Jesus Gonzales (1-81)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(KO1) vs. #9 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: 3/2/2013- vs. Albert Onolunose (UNR)
Gonzales’ fight at Desperado’s Nightclub in Calgary has been pushed back for a third time- this time to March 2.  That puts him over a year from his last fight, so if it falls through, he’s gone.
19) Maxim Vlasov (1-11)
Last Fight: 12/30/2012- RTD7 Geard Ajetovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After fighting just once in the first 10 months of 2012, Vlasov closed strong with 2 solid wins in the last 2 months.
20) Edwin Rodriguez (1-1)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO8 Jason Escalera (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The last news on Rodriguez’s next fight was that he would be participating in a 4-man tournament in Monaco starting in March, with Zsolt Erdei, Jean Paul Mendy, and Dmitri Sukhotski.  This news surfaced before Christmas, and I’ve heard no more about it.  Stay tuned.

 

The Week Ahead: #15 Dimitri Sartison is scheduled to be in action on Sunday against an as-yet unnamed opponent in Heerlen, Netherlands.  I’m a little doubtful about the fight, since Sartison’s promoter has not been operating as such since filing bankruptcy months ago.

Light Heavyweight: 2013, Jan 21-27

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 30, 2013 by danboxing
I was worried about #4 Gabriel Campillo’s ability to win a decision against house fighter and undefeated prospect Sergey Kovalev on Saturday in Uncasville, Connecticut.  Turns out I should have been more worried about Campillo’s safety in this case.  Kovalev was positively sensational.  To put it in context, Campillo has easily handled the likes of Beibut Shumenov and Tavoris Cloud, but was absolutely destroyed by Kovalev.  Campillo was battered so badly in round one that Kovalev probably earned a 10-8 round without a knockdown, and he clearly lost round 2, as well.  But the third round took the cake.  Campillo went down 3 times, whereupon the fight was stopped.  Campillo never got untracked, and simply couldn’t keep the Russian prospect off of him.

 

Meanwhile, gatekeeper Roberto Bolonti knocked gatekeeper and fellow Argentine Franco Sanchez down 3 times and was on his way to dealing out more punishment when Sanchez chose not to answer the bell for the 8th round.

 

The Campillo-Kovalev result presents and interesting scenario in the rankings.  Despite his obvious talent, Kovalev’s resume against top-50 opposition prior to last weekend consisted of a split decision win over 2 years ago against low-grade gatekeeper Darnell Boone.  Among fighters that met my rankings criteria, I had him rated in the mid-30s.  So you would think Campillo would take a major nosedive by losing to him n such dominant fashion.  But how do you drop the Spaniard even one place further than Kovalev forces him?  That would require flip-flopping him with the guy that he very clearly beat in both men’s previous fight.  So what we get is a log jam.  I’ve long believed that 175 is a stunningly weak division that allows g0od but not great fighters- including a guy pushing 50- to compete on even terms at the top level.  I used to think that Campillo might be the lone exception to that.  Now it looks like Kovalev might be.  But the Dawson-Hopkins-Pascal-Campillo tier still has a clear edge in accomplishment over the tier that begins with Cloud and includes Cleverly.  Even the kind of loss that Campillo just absorbed cannot change that.  It’s possible that Campillo is no longer anything near the fighter he was a year ago, but I think it’s more likely that Kovalev is simply a championship-level fighter in a division that, despite counting 3 recent champions among its contenders, lacks that level of quality otherwise.

 

I was tempted to promote Kovalev past Jean Pascal due to Pascal’s ridiculous inactivity and also the fact that Kovalev appears to be objectively better.  But to the extent that I should still be ranking Pascal at all, he’s got a firewall of good wins.  His only loss was to a #1 contender in Hopkins- a level at which Kovalev has not yet been tested.  He’s got wins over a #1 contender and a #8 (twice).  So Kovalev debuts at #4, right where Campillo was last week.  Campillo is forced down- rather rudely- to #5.  Everyone ranked #5-20 last week also backtracks one position, including Beibut Shumenov- who exits the top 10 for the first time in 130 weeks- and Eleider Alvarez- who is bounced from the top 20 after just 1.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (20-20-20)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 Champ Chad Dawson (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward’s surgery is complete.  He’s expected to be out until at least Summer.
1) Chad Dawson (20-347-347)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- L(TKO10) vs. SMW Champ Andre Ward (at SMW)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #3 Jean Pascal
Likely in large part due to Pascal’s torn shoulder, Dawson will be fighting Pascal in May rather than March.  In the mean time, Dawson has switched trainers from John Scully back to Eddie Mustafa Muhammed.
2) Bernard Hopkins (20-346-346)
Last Fight: 4/28/2012- L(MD12) vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: 3/9/2012- vs. #6 Tavoris Cloud
Hopkins appeared likely to fight Nathan Cleverly, but instead opted for Tavoris Cloud.  The fight will take place in Brooklyn.
3) Jean Pascal (20-188-188)
Last Fight: 12/14/2012- UD10 Alexei Kuziemski (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #1 Chad Dawson
This latest delay is really testing my patience on continuing to rate Pascal, who will not have fought for approximately 2 years at 175 when the Dawson fight goes down.  But he keeps staying rateable by constantly having a fight scheduled- even if the fights seldom come off when intended.
4) Sergey Kovalev (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- TKO3 #4 Gabriel Campillo
Next Fight: Unknown
We knew Kovalev could punch, but I don’t know how many observers imagined him thoroughly destroying arguably the best fighter in the division like that…
5) Gabriel Campillo (1-135-135)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- L(TKO3) vs. Sergey Kovalev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It remains to be seen whether we’ve seen Campillo rapidly decline, have a bad night, or just run into a world-beater.  But he’s still going to be highly ranked because he recently beat the guy ranked right below him.
6) Tavoris Cloud (1-178-178)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12* vs. #4 Gabriel Campillo (Robbery)
Next Fight: 3/9/2013- vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Perhaps Cloud’s reasoning for pulling out of the Murat fight had something to do with his apparently better-than-expected chances of landing a much more lucrative Hopkins battle- a fight that now appears set for March.
7) Cornelius White (1-28-58)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- UD12 #10 Dmitri Sukhotski
Next Fight: Unknown
White is on a tear.  Is he really top-5 good?  I wouldn’t think so, but he proves me wrong every time I feel I might be overrating him.
8) Nathan Cleverly (1-155-155)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO8 Shawn Hawk (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/16/2013- vs. Robin Krasniqi (UNR)
Cleverly will be fighting a long-rumored fight with fringe prospect Robin Krasniqi on March 16 in the UK.
9) Tony Bellew (1-67-67)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- UD12 Roberto Feliciano Bolonti (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #12 Isaac Chilemba
A big time opportunity for two up-and-comers on tap for March 30, as Bellew collides with Isaac Chilemba in Liverpool.
10) Karo Murat (1-69-90)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO7 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
No idea what’s next for Murat after Cloud left him at the proverbial altar.
11) Beibut Shumenov (1-135)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- UD12 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
12) Isaac Chilemba (1-51)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- UD8 Rayco Saunders (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #9 Tony Bellew
Up-and-coming African star Chilemba takes a high-risk, high-reward fight on March 30 in Tony Bellew’s hometown of Liverpool.
13) Vyacheslav Uzelkoff (1-51)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- TKO1 Giorgi Marosi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Uzelkoff easily dispatched Marosi, in a fight so last-minute that I didn’t even know about it a week in advance.
14) Andrzej Fonfara (1-28)
Last Fight: 11/16/2012- TKO7 Tommy Karpency (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2013- vs. Nicholson Poulard (UNR)
Fonfara is scheduled to be in action on March 22 in Chicago.  His opponent is Jean Pascal’s brother, journeyman Nicholson Poulard.
15) Yusaf Mack (1-135)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- L(KO3) vs. #1 SMW Carl Froch (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s no shame to lose to Carl Froch, but Mack’s showing was bad enough that you’ve got to wonder if he’s finished.
16) Jürgen Brähmer (1-40)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- UD10 Vikapita Meroro (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/2/2013- vs. Eduard Gutknecht (UNR)
Braehmer has reportedly rescheduled his fight with Gutknecht for early February.  We’ll see if he follows through this time- always a big “if” with him.
17) Lucian Bute (1-12)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 #16 Denis Grachev
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute was trying to fight Kelly Pavlik, but with Pavlik retiring, it now looks like the Romanian may instead fight the winner of Nikola Sjekloca vs Sakio Bika (it will be Bika) for the right to fight Andre Ward next.  This would of course be at 168.
18) Denis Grachev (1-39)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- L(UD12) vs. SMW #4 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Grachev put forth a valiant effort against a heavy favorite in Bute, even after presumably draining almost all the way to 168.  As a result, his ranking remains mostly intact.
19) Dmitri Sukhotski (1-117)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO1 Vladimir Borovsky (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Mikkel Kessler (1-36)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO3 Brian Magee (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kessler dismantled Brian Magee, but that was at 168.  I don’t know if Kessler plans to compete at light heavy again anytime soon.  He is in very significant discussions to rematch Froch at 168 right now.

 

The Week Ahead: Brazilian undefeated prospect Jackson Junior stays busy against experienced but mediocre journeyman Dante Craig of Cincinnati in Verona, NY on Saturday.  Craig was briefly a minor player at 168 about 6 or 7 years ago, but a draw and 4 consecutive stoppage losses brought him back down to Earth.

Cruiserweight: 2013: Jan 21-27

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 27, 2013 by danboxing
No notable cruiserweight fights last week, or on the year so far.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (19-155-155)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- KO4 Santander Silgado (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lebedev is hoping to fight in the first quarter of 2013 at MSG, and is targeting a showdown with Eddie Chambers.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (19-135-135)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez pulled out of his scheduled 2/2 fight with Eric Fields with a fractured hand.
3) Troy Ross (19-19-51)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ross deserved to beat Hernandez.
4) Steve Cunningham (19-449-449)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- L*(SD12) vs. HW #3 Tomasz Adamek (at HW) (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham easily outboxed Adamek, but was blatantly robbed not far from his own hometown.  He now must schedule a cruiserweight fight by February 4 or he will be removed from the 200 lb. rankings.  He’s got a shiny new heavyweight ranking for his trouble, though.
5) Ola Afolabi (12-202-202)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
There were reports that Huck-Afolabi III would hit Germany on March 2, but Sauerland says that’s absolutely false.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (12-396-396)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- UD12 #13 Francisco Palacios
Next Fight: Unknown
After Mormeck withdrew with injury, Wlodarczyk has a fight with Fragomeni on the horizon, but probably after a voluntary defense.
7) Firat Arslan (12-37-80)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #5 Marco Huck (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
A bizarre twist in Arslan’s schedule, as he signed on to save Felix Sturm’s 12/1 show by replacing Ruslan Chagaev as the main support on just 2 days’ notice, but then he mysteriously changed his mind just hours before the bell.
8) Marco Huck (12-320-320)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #10 Firat Arslan (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Afolabi’s notes, above.
9) Lateef Kayode (12-34-114)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. ‘Roided up #3 Antonio Tarver
Next Fight: Unknown
Kayode’s team plans to put him in the ring at heavyweight sometime in February.
10) Danny Green (11-11-164)
Last Fight: 11/21/2012- UD12 Shane Cameron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
As has been the case after every fight since he had very serious surgery a couple years ago, there is speculation that Green may retire following his win over Shane Cameron.  Green himself remains non-committal.
11) B.J. Flores (11-135)
Last Fight: 10/6/2012- TKO2 David McNemar (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores says he’s looking to fight Lebedev or the Huck-Afolabi winner.  I’ll believe it when I see it, as he’s talked about fighting good fighters before recently, only to fight the likes of David McNemar.
12) Giacobbe Fragomeni (11-219)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- W*(SD12) vs. #13 Silvio Branco
Next Fight: Unknown
After limping to back-to-back tossup fights with the painfully old Silvio Branco, Fragomeni is now looking to step up to what would have to be seen as a cash-out trilogy fight with the much better Krzysztof Wlodarczyk.
13) Silvio Branco (11-45)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- L*(SD12) vs. #12 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Branco can still hang with whippersnappers like 43 year-old countryman Fragomeni, but you’ve gotta think his active days are numbered at 46.
14) Mateusz Masternak (11-43)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- UD12 Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Masternak just put it on cruise control and walked away with a European title belt.
15) Francisco Palacios (11-95)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- L(UD12) vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Very little of note left on his resume after his should-be win over Wlodarczyk was neutralized by a close but clear loss to same, and with his win over Louis Azille over 5 years old now.
16) Alexander Alekseev (11-106)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw*(MD12) vs. #19 Firat Arslan (robbery- should have been L)
Next Fight: 2/22/2013- vs. Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Alekseev will fight fringe contender Garrett Wilson in Romania on February 22.
17) Thabiso Mchunu (11-11)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO5 #20 Danie Venter
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu is probably ready to take the Chilemba/Oosthuizen journey out of South Africa and into the international scene after conquering the local scene in the form of Venter.  He may have some unfinished business with Zack Mwekassa first, however.
18) Dmitro Kucher (13-30)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- UD8 Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher snuck in a fight on December 22 that was never on the schedule on Boxrec.  Not that big a deal, anyway. 
19) Enad Licina (13-135)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO2 Koeksal Orduhan
Next Fight: Unknown
Really, Enad?  He just fought the most obviously terrible opponent I think I’ve ever had to write about on here.  The record of said fighter?  0-15.  No joke.
20) Grigory Drozd (11-11)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- UD12 Jean-Marc Monrose (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Barbados Gatekeeper Shawn Cox is scheduled to fight Guyana journeyman Kwesi Jones in Georgetown, Guyana on Friday.  It’s unclear whether the fight will take place at 200 or 175, though.

Heavyweight: 2013, Jan 21-27

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 27, 2013 by danboxing
Undefeated prospect Deontay Wilder knocked down weak journeyman Matthew Greer 3 times in just under a round and a half to win by 2nd round TKO in Villahermosa, Mexico on Saturday.

 

Last week’s #14 Ruslan Chagaev’s best win within the last 5 years (as of last week)- over Matt Skelton- just became more than 5 years old.  That leaves his borderline-significant win over Kali Meehan from 2010 as his only arguably significant win in the last 5 years, and prompts his sliding out of the rankings.  Everone rated #15 and below last week advances one place, and Bermane Stiverne returns at #20 for the first time since he was forced out on Christmas Eve.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (187-400-400)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Mariusz Wach (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlad is strangely ducking Povetkin now, having petitioned for a voluntary defense first on April 6.  Odlanier Solis is rumored to be a likely candidate.
1) Vitali Klitschko (224-224-224)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With 2013 in full swing, we’re still waiting on Vitali’s decision to fight on or retire.
2) David Haye (28-28-28)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Haye has indicated that a fight with Vitali may be the only fight that would lure him away from re-retiring. 
3) Steve Cunningham (5-5-5)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- L (SD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Judges don’t like Steve Cunningham, and he’s the visiting fighter even at home.  I don’t know why.  He makes interesting fights and has been excellent for years.  But he was borderline robbed in his first fight with Hernandez, and now blatantly so against Adamek.
4) Alexander Povetkin (28-274-274)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO2 Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlad appears to be avoiding Povetkin, in something of a role-reversal.  Povetkin’s team is fighting it, but Wlad has requested a voluntary defense before having to fight him.
5) Tomasz Adamek (5-144-144)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- W (SD12)* vs. CW #4 Steve Cunningham (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
As if Adamek needed another reason to lose popularity after being gifted a completely undeserved win and slamming the victim mercilessly and classlessly, he was recently arrested on suspicion of drunk driving after causing a 3-car accident.  He’s still got a fight with Pulev looming, and will probably get the benefit of a friendly venue in Poland.
6) Tyson Fury (5-79-79)
Last Fight: 12/1/2012- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury’s promoter says that David Price has made a non-serious offer to fight him.  In reality, the money probably doesn’t matter.   Fury could sit around eating Cheetos indefinitely and still get a big-money Klitschko shot in 2013.  The same is not true if he loses to Price.  If he loses to Klitschko, he can probably still fight Price later.
7) Eddie Chambers (5-32-32)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
After announcing that he’s moving down to cruiserweight, Chambers has a suitor at that weight in #1 Denis Lebedev.  Lebedev would like to come to New York to fight him in March or before.  Chambers has said he wishes to accept the challenge.
8) Kubrat Pulev (5-38-115)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With Wlad likely to take care of his WBA mandatory against Povetkin in March, Pulev appears likely to fight for the IBF mandatory position against Adamek around the same time.  The fight is rumored for Poland, which Pulev is understandably not thrilled about.
9) Dereck Chisora (5-60-123)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- L(TKO5) vs. David Haye (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/16/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chisora is penciled in for the big Frank Warren event on 3/16 in London.  The only obstacles at this point are securing an opponent and getting his license back.
10) Johnathon Banks (5-10-10)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- TKO2 #11 Seth Mitchell

Next Fight: 2/16/2013- vs. Seth Mitchell (UNR)
Banks doesn’t get to rest on his laurels for too long, as Mitchell has invoked his rematch clause.  The second helping will be placed on the table on a February 16 Adrien Broner undercard.
11) Odlanier Solis (5-139)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD12 Konstantin Airich (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis is a possible next opponent for Wlad if he is able to delay his mandatory with Povetkin.
12) Marco Huck (5-48)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- W*(UD12) vs. CW #10 Firat Arslan (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck will be fighting a trilogy with Afolabi, with the last fight being probably in March, when Afolabi is likely to get robbed in Germany.
13) Robert Helenius (5-139)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- W*(UD10) vs. Sherman Williams (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Helenius will reportedly fight Michael Sprott next, but reports that it was done for March 2 have been vehemently denied by Sauerland.
14) Alexander Dimitrenko (1-106)
Last Fight: 12/21/2012- UD8 Samir Kurtagic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko beat the very mediocre Samir Kurtagic, but couldn’t avoid getting dropped late in the contest.
15) Tony Thompson (1-139)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- L(TKO6) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 2/23/2013- vs. David Price (UNR)
After failing to take the title from Wlad, Thompson will serve as a stepping stone to a top 10 ranking for sensational English giant David Price in a February fight in Liverpool- or at least he will if he plays along with Price’s plan.
16) Chris Arreola (1-201)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/9/2013- vs. Bermane Stiverne (UNR)
Arreola-Stiverne has been delayed yet again- this time likely owing to Andre Ward’s injury.  It will now be March 9 in Costa Mesa, California.
17) Denis Boytsov (1-188)
Last Fight: 4/13/2012- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov hopes to return February 9, but will have to get past issues with his cash-strapped promoter in order to make that fight a reality.
18) Jean-Marc Mormeck (1-139)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- L(TKO4) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Mormeck reports a bad shoulder injury while training for his cruiserweight fight with Wlodarczyk.  He will be unable to train for two months- at which point he’ll have been inactive for over a year.  Theoretically he could still schedule a heavyweight fight during that period, so he will retain his ranking until March, if only as a formality.
19) Vyacheslav Glazkov (1-5)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- RTD4 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/23/2013- vs. Malik Scott (UNR)
Fresh off the Hamer win, Glazkov has an intriguing match with undefeated prospect Malik Scott, a 32 year old who took 3 years off leading up to 2012.
20) Bermane Stiverne (1-1)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- UD8 Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/9/2013- vs. #16 Chris Arreola
Stiverne’s fight with Arreola is now scheduled for 3/9.  I haven’t been counting, but this is at least the 3rd or 4th scheduled date for the fight.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Two notable heavyweights will see action on a single card in Dover, Delaware on Saturday.  Fringe contender Franklin Lawrence continues his unfortunate recent pattern by fighting a very weak journeyman named Mark Brown.  Also, undefeated 40-year-old Amir Mansour draws a perhaps slightly better journeyman in Dominique Alexander.

Middleweight: 2013, Jan 14-20

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 27, 2013 by danboxing
Nothing of note happened last week (or so far this year) at 160.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (144-144-144)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- UD12 #4 Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. #9 Martin Murray
Martinez will look to come back strong from knee surgery when he takes on Martin Murray in Argentina on April 27.
1) Daniel Geale (82-187-187)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- W*(SD12) vs. #4 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: 1/30/2013- vs. #11 Anthony Mundine
Geale now has a date and location for the Mundine fight: January 30, in Sidney.
2) Felix Sturm (20-487-487)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- L*(SD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: 2/1/2013- vs. #12 Sam Soliman
Sturm will fight Aussie Sam Soliman in Germany in early February.
3) Gennady Golovkin (20-20-83)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- TKO5 #3 Grzegorz Proksa
Next Fight: 1/19/2013- vs. JMW #? Gabriel Rosado
Golovkin fights at Madison Square Garden against junior middleweight contender Gabriel Rosado.  The fight will be on HBO.
4) Matthew Macklin (18-82-173)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- TKO1 Joachim Alcine (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Andy Lee recently called Macklin out.
5) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (18-85-103)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
Chavez is expecting to return in May, and then- provided both men win their spring fights- rematch Martinez in September.  It looks like his next fight will be without trainer Freddie Roach, as he appears set to dump Roach for either Nacho Beristain or Robert Garcia.
6) Peter Quillin (13-13-34)
Last Fight: 10/20/2012- UD12 #6 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam
Next Fight: 2/9/2013- vs. Fernando Guerrero (UNR)
After originally being rumored to be working on a fight with Jermain Taylor, Quillin will instead be fighting fringe contending one-loss Dominican Fernando Guerrero.  It was originally rumored for January 19, but has been set for February 9 now.
7) Dmitry Pirog (37-129-129)
Last Fight: 5/1/2012- UD12 #20 Nobuhiro Ishida
Next Fight: 3/2/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Pirog will return to the ring- and the US- fighting an opponent to be announced March 3 on HBO.
8) Grzegorz Proksa (20-92-92)
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 (20-59-59)
Last Fight: 11/24/2012- TKO6 Jorge Navarro (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Murray will look to prove that he belongs at or above the level he achieved by drawing with Sturm when he fights the Champ in Argentina on April 27.
10) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (13-116-116)
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.  Quillin has scheduled a fight with Fernando Guerrero, as well.
11) Anthony Mundine (13-103)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO7 Bronco McKart (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/30/2013- vs. #1 Daniel Geale
A big opportunity for Mundine in the rematch of his split decision victory over Geale.
12) Sam Soliman (13-48)
Last Fight: 8/24/2012- UD12 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/1/2013- vs. #2 Felix Sturm
Soliman is fighting Sturm all of a sudden.
13) Marco Antonio Rubio (13-103)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- KO11 Michel Rosales (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rubio appears to be in line for the Quillin-Guerrero winner.
14) Osumanu Adama (13-95)
Last Fight: 3/7/2012- L(UD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown
Adama’s scheduled return against Derrick Findley was abruptly canceled at the last moment.  I don’t know why, nor when he might be back again.
15) Max Bursak (4-103)
Last Fight: 7/21/2012- KO1 Sergei Melis (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/2/2013- 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.
16) Demetrius Andrade (4-74)
Last Fight: 9/20/2012- TKO2 Alexis Hloros (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/25/2013- vs. Freddy Hernandez (UNR)
No word on why, but junior middleweight gatekeeper Freddy Hernandez is replacing Javier Maciel in the January 25 fight with Andrade.  The fight will be on ShoBox.
17) Darren Barker (4-66)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO4 Kerry Hope (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Barker wants Macklin and Murray, although Murray is obviously otherwise occupied for some months to come.
18) Nobuhiro Ishida (4-46)
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.
19) Bryan Vera (4-13)
Last Fight: 8/11/2012- W (MD12) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/25/2013- vs. Sergei Dzinziruk (UNR)
Vera will get a big opportunity to establish himself as a contender when he fights once very highly ranked contender Sergei Dzinziruk on Friday Night Fights.
20) Makoto Fuchigami (4-4)
Last Fight: 10/12/2012- RTD6 Marlon Alta (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fuchigami- the Japanese champion- still has yet to conquer any other shores.

 

The Week Ahead: Friday: In Junin, Argentina, local junior middleweight gatekeeper Mateo Veron moves up to fight mediocre countryman Abel Adriel.

 

Saturday:  In Uncasville, Connecticut, gatekeeper Elvin Ayala looks to put a damper on former top super middleweight prospect Curtis Stevens’ comeback attempt when the two do battle on NBC Sports Network.

 

Meanwhile, in New York and on HBO, #3 Gennady Golovkin takes on junior middleweight contender Gabriel Rosado at 160.  Both guys can crack (at least at their normal weights), and both love to throw punches with bad intentions.   This fight should be fun while it lasts.

Super Middleweight: 2013, Jan 14-20

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on January 27, 2013 by danboxing
Prospect Brandon Gonzales took a pretty close 8-round decision over a game but limited Don Mouton in Santa Fe, New Mexico on Friday.  Gonzales looked decent overall, but appeared to get either tired or complacent down the stretch, as Mouton swept the last 3 rounds on my card.  I had the fight 77-75 Gonzales.  Mouton came in as merely a mid-level journeyman, and thus no progress for Gonzales in terms of a ranking.  No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (57-191-191)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward’s done with surgery, and is likely out until at least the Summer.
1) Carl Froch (34-344-344)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- KO3 LHW #11 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: Unknown
Froch and Kessler are at the do-or-die point for a deal, and a decision is expected from the Kessler camp any second now.
2) Arthur Abraham (5-169-169)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- TKO8 Mehdi Bouadla (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown date- vs. #5 Robert Stieglitz
The odd Stieglitz rematch now appears essentially done, with a likely date of either March 30 or April 6.
3) Mikkel Kessler (5-423-423)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO3 Brian Magee (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Froch’s notes, above.
4) Lucian Bute (21-353-353)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 LHW #16 Denis Grachev (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
With Froch and Pavlik both off the table, it looks possible that Bute will fight the winner of Bika-Sjeklola (ie Bika), for a shot at Andre Ward.
5) Robert Stieglitz (21-177-177)
Last Fight: 8/25/2012- L(UD12) vs. #6 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: Unknown
See Abraham’s notes, above.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (21-85-133)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/2/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Oosthuizen has a fight scheduled in Connecticut on March 2, but no opponent yet.  Adonis Stevenson has been rumored.
7) Adonis Stevenson (14-58-58)
Last Fight: 10/12/2012- TKO12 Don George (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After it appeared for a while that Froch was solely focused on Kessler, Stevenson has revealed that he’s been negotiating with the Brit, as well.
8) Kelly Pavlik (14-28-28)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- UD10 #12 Will Rosinsky
Next Fight: Unknown
With Ward needing surgery for a shoulder injury, Pavlik is looking for other options- with Bute being a distinct possibility.
9) George Groves (5-5-27)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- UD12 Glen Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/16/2013- vs. #15 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye
Ndiaye-Groves now has a date.  March 16, as part of what’s shaping up to be a Frank Warren megacard at Wembley Arena in London.
10) Karoly Balzsay (25-25-39)
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.  More likely, his ties to practically defunct promotional company Universum are the primary reason.
11) Andy Lee (28-97)
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 (5-302)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO10 Dyah Davis (UNR)

Next Fight: 2/16/2013- vs. Nikola Sjekloca (UNR)
Bika will get a very winnable fight with mediocre prospect Sjekloca for an interim title or, in effect, a potential shot at Champion Andre Ward.  Or maybe a shot at Bute for an eventual shot at Ward.
13) Anthony Dirrell (5-59)
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 (5-31)
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 (5-62)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- RTD9 Jose Maria Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/16/2013- vs. #9 George Groves
Ndiaye-Groves is set for March 16 in London.
16) Dimitri Sartison (5-133)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- L(TKO12) vs. Karoly Balzsay (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/27/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Sartison is on the schedule for January 27 in the Netherlands.  With Universum still his promoter at last check, I’ll believe it when I see it.
17) James DeGale (5-66)
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) Ezequiel Maderna (3-3)
Last Fight: 12/14/2012- RTD7 Claudio Abalos
Next Fight: Unknown
Maderna is back in the rankings for the first time since December 2011 after his under-the-radar win over Abalos.
19) Jesus Gonzales (3-80)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(KO1) vs. #9 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: 3/2/2013- vs. Albert Onolunose (UNR)
Gonzales’ fight at Desperado’s Nightclub in Calgary has been pushed back for a third time- this time to March 2.  That puts him over a year from his last fight, so if it falls through, he’s gone.
20) Maxim Vlasov (3-10)
Last Fight: 12/30/2012- RTD7 Geard Ajetovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After fighting just once in the first 10 months of 2012, Vlasov closed strong with 2 solid wins in the last 2 months.

 

The Week Ahead: The division kicks into full swing on Saturday.  In Elancourt, France, underrated fringe contender Hadillah Mohoumadi defends his French title against journeyman Cedric Bellais. 

 

Across the pond in Uncasville, Connecticut, Cape Verdean prospect Vladine Biosse takes on up-and-down veteran spoiler type Marcus Upshaw in a high-risk, low-reward kind of fight.

 

Finally, one-loss prospect Caleb Truax battles veteran journeyman Matt Vanda in Minneapolis.