Junior Middleweight: 2012, May 7-13

Floyd Mayweather moved up in weight and got one of the toughest fights of his career on Saturday in Vegas.  I’m admittedly heavily in the minority on this, but I actually thought Cotto did enough to just barely earn the decision 115-113.  That being said, I noted no fewer than 6 toss-up rounds, 5 of which I happen to have given to Cotto.  So to me, anything between 116-112 Cotto and 118-110 Mayweather would be reasonable.  All the official scorecards fit in that range, though they were all at least as slanted toward Mayweather as I was to Cotto.  That’s not to say they were unfair.  I believe I was being fair and impartial in giving 5 of 6 tossup rounds to Cotto, and I’ll give the judges the same benefit of the doubt that I’d expect.  Since I do disagree with the official verdict, though, I will treat the decision with minimal deference.  This means Mayweather will be ranked by rule ahead of Cotto, but that it will otherwise be treated similarly to a draw.


In the co-feature for Mayweather-Cotto, #2 Saul Alvarez got a nice showcase against badly faded former Champion Shane Mosley.  Canelo won every round save for, perhaps, the 1st.  I gave him all 12.  C.J. Ross dementedly gave Mosley another round.  To give Mosley credit, he did appear to be working harder than he has in recent fights with Mayweather and Pacquiao, but got busted up more for his trouble.  I hope he retires, because he’s not a real contender anymore.


And leading off the PPV broadcast was fringe contender Deandre Latimore- removed for never fighting under the 154 limit a few months ago- taking what figured to be a showcase fight against Carlos Quintana, the former welterweight titlist Carlos Quintana.  Quintana is basically a gatekeeper at 154, and had been inactive for 15 months.  True to form, Latimore missed 154 by a half-pound, but he made that inevitable effect on his re-rankability moot by getting soundly thumped by Quintana.  Latimore did just fine in the first round, but clearly lost every round thereafter, leading to a 6th round stoppage as Latimore faded to nothingness.  Quintana came forward and punished Latimore with a steady and impressive offensive attack.  Latimore, by contrast, looked disengaged.  I’d seen him look like this once before in person, when he got a gift against journeyman Sammy Sparkman in a toss-up fight from St. Louis. 


Quite a series of changes in the rankings.  The Mosley win is juuuust enough to move Alvarez from #2 to #1.  Molina still has the best single win over Kirkland, but he also has a draw with admittedly underrated but still 20th-ranked Erislandy Lara.  That was a great result for him at the time, but isn’t a lot of help at this level.  Canelo also has a comparitively huge volume of wins at the fringe contender level, to which Mosley only adds another name.


Mayweather debuts at #4.  Unfortunately for him, the De La Hoya win (his last fight at 154) occurred exactly 5 years before the Cotto one, and is thus too old to help him out.  Many are going to crown Mayweather #1 by giving him credit for his dominance at 147.  Some have ranked Cotto at #1 at 154 since he beat Foreman.  But that’s not how it works here.  If you want to get to the top of a given division, you have to do better in that division specifically than the other contenders.  Cotto’s resume was only worth a #4 ranking here, and a narrow win over him isn’t enough to justify better than that same ranking for Mayweather.  #3 Bundrage knocked out a guy that would have been ranked #2 if he hadn’t gone inactive just before the fight was signed, and adds a win over a #11 contender for good measure. 


Cotto doesn’t suffer too much, especially since- as I said- he had a good argument to win in my estimation.  He is forced down by Mayweather’s arrival, but otherwise loses no ground in settling in at #5.


Mosley returns to the rankings (despite being finished) simply for becoming active at 154.  When he was removed for inactivity in September, he was at #16 just ahead of Vanes Martirosyan.  Vanes hasn’t done anything worth doing since then, and coincidentally finds himself in exactly the same position in the rankings now as then.  So Mosley reclaims his old spot at #16, and Vanes is forced back from #15 to #17 by the returns of Mayweather and Mosley.


Quintana’s win- his first significant result at 154- is enough to earn him the #19 position.


Everyone ranked #4-14 last week is forced back one spot by Mayweather.  This means that last week’s #10 Gabriel Rosado exits the top 10 after 15 consecutive weeks in.  Last week’s  #s 15 and 16 drop two places for both Mayweather and Mosley.  #17 Sechew Powell drops 3 places to accommodate those two plus Quintana.  #18 Antonio Margarito, #19 Prince Arron, and #20 Anthony Mundine all tumble out due to the new blood.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1) Saul Alvarez (1-62-77)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- UD12 Shane Mosley (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/15/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Canelo already has another fight lined up on September 15.  The PPV showdown is still in search of an opponent, though.

2) Carlos Molina (1-44-59)

Last Fight: 3/23/2012- L*(DQ10) vs. #3 James Kirkland (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Molina has said he’ll appeal his DQ against Kirkland.  I wish him luck, but of course he doesn’t have to appeal to me.  He’s #1.
3) Cornelius Bundrage (7-92-92)
Last Fight: 6/25/2011- UD12 #11 Sechew Powell
Next Fight: 7/28/2012- vs. #12 Cory Spinks
K9 will give Cory Spinks a rematch on July 28.  K9 won by brutal beatdown last time.
4) Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- UD12* #4 Miguel Cotto
Next Fight: Unknown
Floyd says he’s considering retirement after a tough fight with Cotto.
5) Miguel Cotto (1-101-101)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- L* (UD12) vs. WW #1 Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Next Fight: Unknown
Cotto gave Mayweather what Floyd acknowledges as the toughest fight of his life.
6) Erislandy Lara (1-44-66)
Last Fight: 4/20/2012- TKO1 Ronald Hearns (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has ordered an eliminator between Lara and Vanes for a shot at Canelo.
7) James Kirkland (1-27-27)
Last Fight: 3/24/2012- W*(DQ10) vs. #6 Carlos Molina (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kirkland reports that his plans are currently on hold due to a shoulder injury.
8) Paul Williams (1-12-66)
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.
9) Alfredo Angulo (1-137-137)
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.
10) Ryan Rhodes (1-133-133)
Last Fight: 11/26/2011- W (PTS8) vs. Sergei Khomitski (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 6/16/2012- vs. Sergei Rabchenko (UNR)
After suffering a back injury, Rhodes has rescheduled his fight with Rabchenko for June 16 in Manchester.
11) Gabriel Rosado (1-66)
Last Fight: 1/21/2012- TKO5 Jesus Soto Karass (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/1/2013- vs. #20 Sechew Powel
With just less than a month to go before the fight, Sechew Powell has replaced Joel Julio as Rosado’s opponent.
12) Cory Spinks (1-15)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- UD12 #11 Sechew Powell
Next Fight: 7/28/2012- vs. #3 Cornelius Bundrage
Spinks will have a rematch with #3 K9 Bundrage in San Jose on July 28.  He’s brave for taking it, considering the beating he took last time.
13) Austin Trout (1-66)
Last Fight: 11/11/2011- TKO6 Frank LoPorto (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/2/2012- vs. #14 Delvin Rodriguez
Trout-Rodriguez is now official for June 2 on Showtime.
14) Delvin Rodriguez (1-43)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- UD10* #9 Pawel Wolak
Next Fight: 6/2/2012- vs. #13 Austin Trout
See Trout’s notes, above.
15) Brian Rose (1-23)
Last Fight: 3/31/2012- UD12 Max Maxwell (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/2/2012- vs. Kris Carslaw (UNR)
In fairness, the British light middleweight scene is extremely thin compared to other divisions, but I can’t say that Rose’s title reign is off to a great start.  He’s defending his title against a second consecutive journeyman that could be called mid-level at best.
16) Shane Mosley (1-1)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- L (UD12) vs. #2 Saul Alvarez
Next Fight: Unknown
Everybody but Mosley appears to know he’s done, but he still has the resume to hold a top 20 ranking.  Let’s hope he retires soon, though.
17) Vanes Martirosyan (1-49)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- TKO3 Troy Lowry (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After being passed over for a JCC shot, an eliminator for a shot at Canelo has been ordered by the WBC, with the prospective opponent being Erislandy Lara.
18) Lukas Konecny (1-39)
Last Fight: 4/5/2012- TKO7 Salim Larbi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Carlos Quintana (1-1)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- TKO6 Deandre Latimore (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Quintana wants Canelo in the immediate aftermath of his upset TKO of Deandre Latimore.
20) Sechew Powell (1-112)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- L(UD12) vs. Cory Spinks (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/1/2012- vs. #11 Gabriel Rosado
Powell is a semi-short notice replacement for Joel Julio in the NBC Sports-televised bout with Gabriel Rosado.


The Week Ahead: Friday: In Istres, France, gatekeeper Frank Haroche Horta takes on Haitian-born journeyman Jimmy Colas for the vacant French title.


Later that night in Vegas, undefeated Cuban prospect Yudel Jhonson meets perhaps the toughest test of his career in decent and ridiculously tall (6’3 1/2″) one-loss prospect Willie Nelson of Ohio on ShoBox.


Saturday: In Brovari, Ukraine, fringe contender (and unbelievably, reigning titlist) Zaurbek Baysangurov battles undefeated French prospect Michel Soro.

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