Super Middleweight: 2013, Feb 18-24

#11 Sakio Bika easily handled game but out-gunned Serbian prospect Nikola Sjekloca on HBO this Saturday.  Bika won every round, though a couple of the judges managed to find a round or two to give Sjekloca.  Bika looked pretty sharp, and in comparison to previous fights seems to have substituted a little bit of discipline in place of a portion of his normal aggression.  Sjekloca actually fared a tad better than I expected despite the lopsided outcome.  That shows what I thought of him, having seen him get a pretty clear gift against Khoren Gevor and having heard that he got one against Hadillah Mohoumadi, as well.  If nothing else, he didn’t back down against the best opponent of his career.

 

The same night in Montevideo, Uraguay, local 2-loss prospect Noe Gonzalez needed less than a minute to dispose of weak Brazilian journeyman Idiozan Matos.

 

Bika’s win is good enough to allow him to swap places with Andy Lee, thus re-entering the top 10 for the first time since mid-December.  Lee has always been a glorified middleweight, with all of his significant victims weighing between 160.5 and 163, making an otherwise difficult call rather easy.  Lee had been back in the top 10 for just 4 weeks.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (62-196-196)
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 (39-349-349)
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 (10-174-174)
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 (10-428-428)
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 (26-358-358)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 LHW #16 Denis Grachev (at LHW)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Bute appeared to be in line for Bika, and that may still be so, but apparently he has already agreed to fight Jean Pascal.  Both men have good opportunities in front of them already, so we’ll see if this fight will get in the way.
5) Robert Stieglitz (26-182-182)
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 (26-90-138)
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.
7) Adonis Stevenson (19-63-63)
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 (5-10-32)
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 (5-30-44)
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) Sakio Bika (1-1-307)
Last Fight: 2/16/2013- UD12 Nikola Sjekloca (UNR)

Next Fight: Unknown
Bika did as expected and outclassed Sjekloca, and now has a fight with Bute (possibly) on the horizon, with an upside of a theoretical rematch with Andre Ward.
11) Andy Lee (1-102)
Last Fight: 2/9/2013- W(PTS10) vs. Anthony Fitzgerald (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Having not fought in anything truly resembling a super middleweight fight since March 10, Lee will be subject to removal if he hasn’t scheduled a relevant fight by that date.
12) Anthony Dirrell (5-64)
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 (5-36)
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 (5-67)
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 (5-138)
Last Fight: 1/27/2013- UD6 Artem Solomko (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sartison appeared to have a fight scheduled for 3/9, but it’s no longer showing up on boxrec.
16) James DeGale (5-71)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- UD12 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/23/2013- vs. Pablo Farias (UNR)
DeGale takes on 2-loss Argentine prospect Pablo Farias in Bluewater, England on March 23.
17) Ezequiel Maderna (5-8)
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 (5-85)
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 (5-15)
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 (5-5)
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: Nothing to report this week in the ring.  But if Jesus Gonzales doesn’t have a fight scheduled on Monday, he’ll be removed for inactivity.
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