Middleweight: 2013, Jan 28- Feb 3

#20 Bryan Vera had little trouble finding the chin of recent contender Sergei Dzinziruk, who was reduced effectively to gatekeeper status when he was soundly defeated but given a draw against Jonathan Gonzales last year.  Vera positively could not miss the slow and stiff Ukrainian with his right hand.  With Dzinziruk’s painfully slow reflexes, Vera worked the right hand to such great effect that it was basically like he was sucker punching his opponent all night.  Dzinziruk went down once in the first after a prior slip was also called a knockdown.  He did have his moments, though, winning the 6th and 9th- scoring a knockdown in the 9th that was called a slip (referee Benjy Estevez did NOT have a good night).  But it was his last hurrah.  In the 10th, he allowed himself to be backed into the corner, where he essentially just stood there eating right hands every few seconds before deciding to take a seat.  He got up, but didn’t want any more. 


Vera passes Ishida and Stevens with relative ease.  When it comes to Darren Barker- who has three middleweight wins comparable to Vera’s two relevant ones- it’s a little more complicated.  Barker beat Affif Belghecham, Darren McDermott, and Larry Sharpe in 2010, 2009, and 2008, respectively.  Vera counters with Dzinziruk and his most recent Mora win (all his others were at Super Middle).  If that was the end of the story, Vera would pass Barker due to the massive difference in time frame, but we have to look at losses, too.  Barker has just one, and it was to the reigning champ.  Vera’s at this weight alone include James Kirkland and Max Bursak.  Neither are embarrassing, but at the very least we know more about Vera’s limitations that Barker’s.  Therefore, Vera advances modestly to #18, forcing down Stevens and Ishida.


As a side note, #16 Demetrius Andrade came in a quarter-pound heavy for his scheduled junior middleweight fight with Freddy Hernandez.  Hernandez made 154, so Andrade’s victory will in no way affect his ranking here.  More details to follow in the 154 update.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (146-146-146)
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 (84-189-189)
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 (22-489-489)
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 (22-22-85)
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 (20-84-175)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- TKO1 Joachim Alcine (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Andy Lee recently called Macklin out.
5) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (20-87-105)
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 (15-15-36)
Last Fight: 10/20/2012- UD12 #6 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. Fernando Guerrero (UNR)
Quillin’s fight with Guerrero has been postponed from February 9 to April 27 due to an injury to the card’s headliner, Danny Garcia.
7) Dmitry Pirog (39-131-131)
Last Fight: 5/1/2012- UD12 #20 Nobuhiro Ishida
Next Fight: Unknown
Pirog announced his very specific intention to fight in the US on HBO on March 2, but it’s getting kinda close to that date for there to be no official announcements or further discussion.
8) Grzegorz Proksa (22-94-94)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- L(TKO5) vs. #13 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: 2/9/2013- vs. Lee Noble (UNR)
Proksa will look to begin the process of bouncing back from his taxing loss to Golovkin by fighting very poor English journeyman Lee Noble in Belfast on 2/9.
9) Martin Murray (22-61-61)
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 (15-118-118)
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 (15-105)
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 (15-50)
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 (15-105)
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 (15-97)
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 (6-105)
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 (6-76)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- UD10 Freddy Hernandez (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
On his recent ShoBox appearance, a big deal was made of Andrade’s speculated move up to 160 in the future.  But as his ranking would suggest, he’s already had at least one foot firmly planted in this division for quite some time.
17) Darren Barker (6-68)
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) Bryan Vera (1-15)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- TKO10 Sergei Dzinziruk (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vera remains a very real gatekeeper.  Not in the sense I usually use it- which is generally as a gatekeeper to the fringe contender level- but as a gatekeeper to the top 10 region.  Dzinziruk obviously was not up to that challenge.
19) Curtis Stevens (1-2)
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.
20) Nobuhiro Ishida (1-48)
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.


The Week Ahead: Wednesday in Sydney, Australia (can somebody tell me why big fights so often happen on Wednesday there?), #1 Daniel Geale looks to avenge his close 2009 split decision loss to current #11 Anthony Mundine when the two meet in a rematch. 


The #3 Australian middleweight is in action two days later, as #12 Sam Soliman takes on #2 Felix Sturm in Dusseldorf on Friday.


Saturday action includes Max Bursak battling French journeyman Julien Marie Sainte for a European belt in France, and once-hyped undefeated Russian Matt Korobov- who has been under the radar recently despite never losing- stepping back up in competition a little bit against journeyman/gatekeeper Dionisio Miranda in McAllen, Texas after fighting generic nobodies for the last 2+ years. 

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