Junior Middleweight: 2012, Feb 20-26

In last week’s biggest fight, #13 Paul Williams won a dominant 12 round decision over #17 Middleweight and inactive fringe contender at this weight, Nobuhiro Ishida, in Corpus Christi, Texas.  Both guys are exceptionally tall and rangy, but Williams was vastly better at shortening up and fighting in close.  He capitalized on this advantage by smothering Ishida’s attack while still landing his own shots.  Ishida fought hard, but couldn’t string together enough moments to win any rounds.


In other Saturday action, undefeated Polish prospect Damian Jonak stopped mediocre journeyman Sebastian Skrzypczynki in Raciborz, Poland. 


Friday night in Santa Ynez, California, gatekeeper Billy Lyell put up a game effort and w0n nearly his share of rounds, but was edged out by the superior size and fundamental technique of undefeated prospect Jonathan Gonzalez.  Gonzalez won’t benefit from this at 154, though, since he came in at the contract weight of 156 compared to Lyell’s 154.


Williams went a long way toward atoning for his loss to Lara with this performance, rising all the way to #7.  I had to spend about 20 minutes just staring at the records of William and last week’s #7 Alfredo Angulo to try and determine who would claim that spot.  Williams has by far the single best win, over #2 Verno Phillips back in November ’08.  But his quality wins were interrupted by the relatively recent drubbing he took from Erislandy Lara- ranked only #17 at the time.  Angulo lost to a very down-and-out version of James Kirkland who was effectively coming off a devastating upset loss to Ishida, and also was outboxed by Kermit Cintron.  Williams technically owns a win over Cintron, but it was the result of just over 3 rounds that Cintron arguably won anyway, and which I view as a no contest due to a Cintron injury.  And Angulo has a much larger body of quality work at this weight than does Williams.  What tipped the scales for me was a comparison of each man’s last fight.  Angulo was stopped by the guy that was wiped out by Ishida, albeit an inspired version.  Williams dominated the guy that wiped out the guy that Angulo lost to.  So Williams passes Angulo, but can’t overcome Carlos Molina at #6 due in part to Molina having performed better against Lara than did Williams.  Ishida fails to gain consideration for a re-ranking, as he came in a pound over the divisional limit and thus still hasn’t fought at 154 since 2010.  Everyone ranked #7-12 last week drops a spot, including Cory Spinks, who exits the top 10 after just 3 weeks in.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1) Saul Alvarez (36-51-66)
Last Fight: 11/26/2011- TKO5 Kermit Cintron (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/5/2012- vs. Shane Mosley (UNR)
Canelo will look to retire an over the hill Shane Mosley on the Mayweather-Cotto undercard on May 5, with the winner reportedly to get a shot at the main event’s winner.
2) Cornelius Bundrage (36-81-81)
Last Fight: 6/25/2011- UD12 #11 Sechew Powell
Next Fight: Unknown
K9 is interested in Kirkland and Sergio Martinez.
3) James Kirkland (16-16-16)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 #4 Alfredo Angulo
Next Fight: 3/24/2012-  vs. #6 Carlos Molina
Kirkland-Molina has a new date of March 24, in Houston.
4) Miguel Cotto (12-90-90)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- RTD10 #20 Antonio Margarito
Next Fight: 5/5/2012- vs. WW #1 Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
After being heavily rumored for a unnecessary rematch with Pacquiao, Cotto has gone the other way, fighting Floyd at 154 instead.
5) Erislandy Lara (12-33-55)
Last Fight: 7/9/2011- L*(MD12) vs. #6 Paul Williams
Next Fight: Unknown
The Hearns fight may be rescheduled for April 14.
6) Carlos Molina (33-33-48)
Last Fight: 7/9/2011- UD10 #7 Kermit Cintron
Next Fight: 3/24/2012- vs. #3 James Kirkland
See Kirkland’s notes, above.
7) Paul Williams (1-1-55)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12 #17 MW Nobuhiro Ishida
Next Fight: Unknown
After Williams beat Ishida, he said he does not want a Lara rematch, but instead wants one with Sergio.
8) Alfredo Angulo (1-126-126)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- L (TKO6) vs. James Kirkland (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Angulo had no shortage of guts, but appeared a bit physically overmatched against a beastly incarnation of Kirkland.
9) Ryan Rhodes (1-122-122)
Last Fight: 11/26/2011- W (PTS8) vs. Sergei Khomitski (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 3/24/2012- vs. Sergei Rabchenk0 (UNR)
Rhodes will fight undefeated Belorussian prospect Sergei Rabchenko on March 24 in Sheffield, England for a European title.
10) Gabriel Rosado (1-5-55)
Last Fight: 1/21/2012- TKO5 Jesus Soto Karass (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rosado looks like a really strong contender after demolishing a game and durable Soto Karass. 
11) Cory Spinks (1-4)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- UD12 #11 Sechew Powell
Next Fight: Unknown
I cannot confirm that the close unanimous decision verdict over Powell was accurate due to lack of video.  So whether for skill or lack of sunlight, Spinks is very much back in the mix.
12) Austin Trout (1-55)
Last Fight: 11/11/2011- TKO6 Frank LoPorto (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Trout wants Cotto, Rodriguez, Mundine, and Kirkland, and also has apparently mutual interest in fighting Lara.
13) Delvin Rodriguez (1-32)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- UD10* #9 Pawel Wolak
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez has confirmed that he’ll be staying at 154.
14) Brian Rose (11-12)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- W (SD12) vs. #8 Prince Arron
Next Fight: 3/31/2012- vs. Max Maxwell (UNR)
Rose’s first defense of his British title will come in his hometown of Blackpool  against Max Maxwell.  Maxwell is a very mediocre journeyman who just so happens to be the only man to ever beat Rose.
15) Vanes Martirosyan (11-38)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- TKO3 Troy Lowry (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
We get it, Vanes!  You’re better than a bunch of random journeymen.  How about a test?
16) Yuri Foreman (11-125)
Last Fight: 3/12/2011- L (RTD6) vs. Pawel Wolak (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Foreman’s career currently hangs in the balance, and he reportedly is not sure whether or not to continue fighting.
17) Lukas Konecny (11-28)
Last Fight: 5/27/2011- UD12 Hussein Bayram (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/10/2012- vs. Zaurbek Baysangurov (UNR)
Konecny had agreed to fight Baysangurov in February, but it now looks like it might be moved to 3/10 in Kiev.
18) Sechew Powell (4-101)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- L(UD12) vs. Cory Spinks (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Deandre Latimore (4-27)
Last Fight: 4/16/2011- UD8 Dennis Sharpe (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 2/24/2012- vs. Ryan Davis (UNR)
Latimore has signed with Mayweather Promotions, and has a fight set up for February 24 on ShoBox from Vegas.  His opponent will be weak journeyman Ryan Davis.
20) Antonio Margarito (4-15)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- L (RTD10) vs. #5 Miguel Cotto
Next Fight: Unknown
There is talk floating that Margarito might move up to fight Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. in June, but the WBC has gone on record saying they would reject that fight for Chavez’ belt.


The Week Ahead:  #19 Deandre Latimore will fight low-level journeyman Ryan Davis on ShoBox from Las Vegas on Friday.

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