Super Middleweight: 2013, Jan 14-20

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.

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