Middleweight: 2013, Mar 4-10

No fights from last week to report, but last week’s #6 Sam Soliman tested positive for a designer stimulant after his already highly controversial victory over Sturm, and he is consequently removed.  The precedent established during the Tarver debacle holds that he will be removed and, should he return, will be treated as if he had been removed for inactivity.  Should he be vindicated (e.g. by a negative test of his “B” sample), he will be restored to the ranking he would have held had the positive test never occurred, with the appropriate dates applied retroactively.  Soliman vehemently denies using a banned substance, for what it’s worth.  As for Sturm, the Tarver precedent held that he would not suffer any ill effects from the tainted fight.  In effect, it would be treated for the victim as a no contest.  In this case, I had Sturm winning 115-112 (most others had him winning, as well).  So in the few cases this is likely to come up in the future, let the record show that in the event that the PED victim lost the fight in a minimum deference fashion (i.e. the winner by my score disagreed with the official outcome, but not to the point of a blatant robbery), I will substitute my score for the victim’s benefit.  Clearer losses will still be rendered as no contests.

 

Sturm would probably return to #2 with or without full credit for a win, and that’s just where he ends up.  Last week’s #s 3-5 are pushed back one place each, while #s 8-20 advance, placing Hassan N’Dam in the top 10 for the first time in a month.  Filling the void at #20 is Makoto Fuchigami, who was last ranked there on January 27th.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (151-151-151)
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 (89-194-194)
Last Fight: 1/30/2013- UD12 #11 Anthony Mundine
Next Fight: Unknown
With Soliman testing positive for a PED, his expected fight with Geale is probably out.  Perhaps a Sturm rematch is the most obvious follow-up.
2) Felix Sturm (1-494-494)
Last Fight: 2/1/2013- L* (UD12) vs. #12 Sam Soliman (on PEDs)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sturm is considering a move to 168, but may be emboldened at 160 by having deserved a win over Soliman even knowing that Soliman was apparently on PEDs.
3) Gennady Golovkin (1-27-90)
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.
4) Matthew Macklin (1-89-180)
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.
5) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (1-92-110)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
Chavez finally got the details of his punishment from the Nevada comission.  He is suspended until June 15 and was fined 900k, or 30% of his purse from the Martinez fight.  He plans to come back on the first available day- June 15 itself, and has floated Bryan Vera and Matthew Macklin as possible opponents.  Macklin in particular would be a spectacular matchup and would likely justify the November rematch with Sergio that he’s shooting for if he pulls off the win.
6) Peter Quillin (1-20-41)
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 (1-136-136)
Last Fight: 5/1/2012- UD12 #20 Nobuhiro Ishida
Next Fight: Unknown
It sounds like Pirog has more than a run of the mill back injury.  His promoter calls his situation “spine trauma” he’s been nursing since the Maciel fight, and says that it “doesn’t look particularly good.”  It looks like a foregone conclusion that Pirog will be inactive for well over a year.  My mission between now and his May 1 anniversary will be to determine whether there’s a significant chance of a return in the foreseeable future.  There’s a fine line between giving an injured fighter time to recover and holding a spot for a guy that may not fight again for years, if ever.
8) Grzegorz Proksa (1-99-99)
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.
9) Martin Murray (1-66-66)
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 (1-1-123)
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.
11) Osumanu Adama (1-102)
Last Fight: 3/7/2012- L(UD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: 3/16/2013- vs. Grady Brewer (UNR)
Adama’s return has been bumped up to March 16, when he’ll fight declining gatekeeper Grady Brewer in Lowell, Massachusetts.
12) Marco Antonio Rubio (1-110)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- KO11 Michel Rosales (UNR)

Next Fight: 3/23/2013- vs. Marcus Upshaw (UNR)
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.  For now, he’s fighting upset specialist Marcus Upshaw in late March.
13) Anthony Mundine (1-110)
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.
14) Max Bursak (1-110)
Last Fight: 2/2/2013- TKO3 Julien Marie Sainte (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bursak is now the EBU champion after destroying journeyman Sainte.
15) Demetrius Andrade (1-81)
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.
16) Darren Barker (1-73)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO4 Kerry Hope (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/9/2013- vs. Simone Rotolo (UNR)
Barker fights Italian Champion Simone Rotolo- borderline top 50 on the world stage- March 9 in London.
17) Bryan Vera (1-20)
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.  He is also being considered for a June 15 fight with JCC, Jr.
18) Curtis Stevens (1-7)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- KO1 Elvin Ayala (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Stevens will fight on the Fury-Cunningham undercard at MSG on 4/20.  Opponent to be announced.
19) Nobuhiro Ishida (1-53)
Last Fight: 5/1/2012- L(UD12) vs. #8 Dmitry Pirog
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #3 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.
20) Makoto Fuchigami (1-1)
Last Fight: 10/12/2012- RTD6 Marlon Alta (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/30/2013- vs. Akio Shibata (UNR)
Fuchigami has a good domestic-level opportunity on his hands, fighting essentially a peer in junior middleweight fringe contender Akio Shibata.

 

The Week Ahead: Friday in Manchester, England, former top 10 junior middleweight contender Prince Arron is on the schedule to fight an opponent to be announced.
Saturday in Santo Domingo of the Dominican Republic, gatekeeper Giovanni Lorenzo stays busy against very weak journeyman Jairo Siris. 

 

And Saturday in London, #16 Darren Barker battles Italian champion and borderline top-50 contender Simone Rotolo.  This is his first fight against that caliber of opposition since his October 2011 stoppage loss to Champion Sergio Martinez.

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