Middleweight: 2013, Feb 18-24

Monday in Tokyo, 2012 Middleweight Prospect of the Year Sanosuke Sasaki- who scored one of last year’s top upsets with a knockout of gatekeeper Tadashi Yuba- was himself upset in a big way, as he was stopped early in the 6th by 2-loss fringe prospect Tomohiro Ebisu.


In the Friday Night Fights main event in Connecticut, junior middleweight fringe contender Delvin Rodriguez moved up slightly to fight undefeated/untested Oklahoma prospect George Tahdooahnippah.  Rodriguez took over the fight in a big second round and was totally dominant from that point forward.  Tahdooahnippah showed a ton of heart, but was basically surviving at Rodriguez’s pleasure until it ended.


Saturday in Tijuana, water-treading undefeated Russian Matt Korobov stopped completely unimpressive local journeyman Arturo Rodriguez in 5, and true to form he was about 2 pounds over the divisional limit.


No changes this week.  Tahdooahnippah has never beaten anyone, and thus can’t support a ranking for Rodriguez making his debut at 160.  Sasaki is a good mark on the Japanese domestic level, but only accomplished enough in an international context to get Ebisu somewhere into the 30s- especially considering that he has losses to Yuba (then merely a journeyman, as well as the mediocre Fukutaro Ujiie.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (149-149-149)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- UD12 #4 Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. #10 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 (87-192-192)
Last Fight: 1/30/2013- UD12 #11 Anthony Mundine
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman claims that there’s an agreement for a Geale fight, while Geale disputes that the deal is done.
2) Gennady Golovkin (3-25-88)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- TKO7 JMW #? Gabriel Rosado

Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #20 Nobuhiro Ishida
Golovkin will headline the Super 4 Light Heavyweight Tourney card in Monaco, fighting Nobuhiro Ishida, who is starting to lose all traces of the luster he gained by beating James Kirkland.
3) Matthew Macklin (3-87-178)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- TKO1 Joachim Alcine (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Macklin reciprocated the calling out he got from Andy Lee, and raised him a specific date and show- challenging Lee to fight him on HBO May 11.
4) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (3-90-108)
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.
5) Peter Quillin (3-18-39)
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.
6) Sam Soliman (3-3-53)
Last Fight: 2/1/2013- UD12* #2 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown
See Geale’s notes, above.
7) Felix Sturm (3-492-492)
Last Fight: 2/1/2013- L* (UD12) vs. #12 Sam Soliman
Next Fight: Unknown
Sturm is considering a move to 168.
8) Dmitry Pirog (3-134-134)
Last Fight: 5/1/2012- UD12 #20 Nobuhiro Ishida
Next Fight: Unknown
In case it wasn’t already clear because of silence, we now have confirmation that Pirog’s March return is off, as he is reportedly still having problems with his back.
9) Grzegorz Proksa (3-97-97)
Last Fight: 2/9/2013- UD6 Norbert Szekeres (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Proksa’s worthless fight with Szekeres came at a steep price, as he hurt his hand badly enough to scuttle a proposed 3/23 appearance on Friday Night Fights.
10) Martin Murray (3-64-64)
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.
11) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (3-121)
Last Fight: 10/20/2012- L (UD12) vs. #20 Peter Quillin

Next Fight: Unknown
N’Dam was recently seen sparring at Mayweather’s gym with some of his top prospects.  This has fueled speculation of his possibly signing with Mayweather Promotions, himself.
12) Osumanu Adama (3-100)
Last Fight: 3/7/2012- L(UD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: 3/29/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Adama is scheduled to fight on 3/29- more than a year since his last fight.  No opponent yet.
13) Marco Antonio Rubio (18-108)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- KO11 Michel Rosales (UNR)

Next Fight: Unknown
Rubio is now part of Robert Garcia’s impressive stable of fighters, and has potential future rematch with Chavez and a likely mandatory against the Quillin-Guerrero winner.
14) Anthony Mundine (3-108)
Last Fight: 1/30/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown
A delusional Mundine is crying robbery after being thoroughly defeated by Geale.
15) Max Bursak (9-108)
Last Fight: 2/2/2013- TKO3 Julien Marie Sainte (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bursak is now the EBU champion after destroying journeyman Sainte.
16) Demetrius Andrade (9-79)
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 (9-71)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO4 Kerry Hope (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Barker fights Italian Champion Simone Rotolo- borderline top 50 on the world stage- March 9 in London.
18) Bryan Vera (4-18)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- TKO10 Sergei Dzinziruk (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/29/2013- vs. Donatus Bondorovas (UNR)
Vera stays busy on March 29, when he fights Lithuanian journeyman Donatus Bondorovas in New York on a Friday Night Fights card.
19) Curtis Stevens (4-5)
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 (4-51)
Last Fight: 5/1/2012- L(UD12) vs. #8 Dmitry Pirog
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #2 Gennady Golovkin
Ishida is probably about to spend his last remaining bit of currency from the Kirkland win.  He would need an even more shocking upset to survive- much less beat- the rampaging Gennady Golovkin.


The Week Ahead: No action at 160 this week.

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