Super Middleweight: 2013, Feb 4-10

On the non-televised Friday Night Fights undercard from Chicago, local gatekeeper Don George knocked out weak Missouri journeyman James Cook in just a minute and fifteen seconds. 
 

The following night in McAllen, Texas, Andre Dirrell stepped between the ropes for the first time in more than a year, dominating journeyman Michael Gbenga over 10 rounds.  Unfortunately, the fight was at a contract weight of apparently 172 pounds.  What this means is that Dirrell remains inactive at 168- where he hasn’t fought since 2010- and therefore cannot reclaim the ranking that is otherwise waiting for him.  No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (60-194-194)
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 (37-347-347)
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 (8-172-172)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- TKO8 Mehdi Bouadla (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/23/2013- vs. #5 Robert Stieglitz
Abraham will rematch Stieglitz on March 23 in Stieglitz’s hometown of Magdeburg.
3) Mikkel Kessler (8-426-426)
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 (24-356-356)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 LHW #16 Denis Grachev (at LHW)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Bute will reportedly fight the Bika/Sjekloca winner as part of a split-site broadcast with Froch-Kessler on May 25.
5) Robert Stieglitz (24-180-180)
Last Fight: 8/25/2012- L(UD12) vs. #6 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: 3/23/2013- #2 Arthur Abraham
See Abraham’s notes, above.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (24-88-136)
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 (17-61-61)
Last Fight: 10/12/2012- TKO12 Don George (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2013- vs. Darnell Boone (UNR)
With his hopes of fighting Carl Froch dashed for the moment, Stevenson will tend to some unfinished business when he tries to avenge his 2010 stoppage loss to Darnell Boone on March 22 in Montreal.
8) George Groves (3-8-30)
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 (3-28-42)
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 (3-3-100)
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 (3-305)
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 (3-62)
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 (3-34)
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 (3-65)
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 (3-136)
Last Fight: 1/27/2013- UD6 Artem Solomko (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/9/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Sartison is busy again, if nothing else.  After decisioning a weak opponent on 1/27, he’s got another fight scheduled for 3/9 already.
16) James DeGale (3-69)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- UD12 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
DeGale had verbally penciled in his return for mid-February, but no discussion of that in a while.
17) Ezequiel Maderna (3-6)
Last Fight: 12/14/2012- RTD7 Claudio Abalos
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #20 Edwin Rodriguez
Maderna gets the first real international break of his career on March 30, when he fights fellow up-and-coming prospect Edwin Rodriguez of Massachusetts by way of the Dominican Republic, with the winner to fight the winner of Erdei-Grachev.  I actually can’t find it anywhere, but the fact that Grachev and especially Erdei are light heavyweights typically would seem to indicate that Maderna-Rodriguez might be at that weight, too.
18) Jesus Gonzales (3-83)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(KO1) vs. #9 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
After being thrice-delayed, Gonzales’ fight with Albert Onolunose appears off.  That means that he’ll be removed if he hasn’t scheduled a fight by February 24.
19) Maxim Vlasov (3-13)
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 (3-3)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO8 Jason Escalera (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #17 Ezequiel Maderna
See Maderna’s notes, above.

 

The Week Ahead: #10 Andy Lee fights journeyman Anthony Fitzgerald in Belfast on Saturday.  I don’t have any good intel on whether the fight will be at 160 or over, though.  If it’s at 160, Lee might be looking at a removal here at 168 next month.

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