Super Middleweight: 2013, Mar 11-17

#8 George Groves stopped short-notice opponent and halfway decent Argentine journeyman Dario Balmaceda early in Round 3 in their London clash on Saturday.

 

Andy Lee is removed for not fighting over 160.25 for the last year.  Yes, I know…technically that’s still super middleweight, but he’s never really been one, and coming in a quarter-pound heavy for a low level middleweight fight doesn’t mean he deserves to be considered a top 10 super middleweight.

 

Everyone ranked #11-20 last week moves up, including Anthony Dirrell, who has not fought in well over a year due to a motorcycle crash.  He moves up to claim the #10 spot.  This, combined with the ascendancy of a completely finished Glen Johnson to the #20 spot, demonstrates just how weak the division is after the top 9.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (65-199-199)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward’s done with surgery and back in the gym doing light work, but is likely out until at least the Summer.
1) Carl Froch (42-352-352)
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 (13-177-177)
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 (13-431-431)
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 (29-361-361)
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 (29-185-185)
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 (29-93-141)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Oosthuizen was supposed to be fighting in February, but no opponent was ever named, and the fight seems to have quietly vacated the schedule.
7) Adonis Stevenson (22-66-66)
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 (8-13-35)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- TKO3 Dario Balmaceda (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Groves will fight an as-yet-unnamed opponent on the Froch-Kessler undercard in London on May 25.
9) Sakio Bika (2-4-310)
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, or may just end up fighting Ward.
10) Anthony Dirrell (1-1-67)
Last Fight: 12/2/2011- TKO4 Renan St. Juste (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dirrell stated via Twitter on February 20 that he’d be fighting a tune-up in 2 months.  That means roughly mid-April.  It’ll be good to see him back in the ring after coming back from several orthopedic injuries due to a motorcycle crash.
11) Will Rosinsky (1-39)
Last Fight: 12/19/2012- UD10 Otis Griffin (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
According to Rosinsky, he’s got an “unofficially official” date to fight Brandon Gonzales on Friday Night Fights April 12, and is just waiting on Gonzales’ signature.  There are rumors of a Gonzales injury, though, so stay tuned.
12) Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (1-70)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- RTD9 Jose Maria Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Groves withdrew from their scheduled 3/16 European title fight due to promotional changes.
13) Dimitri Sartison (1-141)
Last Fight: 1/27/2013- UD6 Artem Solomko (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) James DeGale (1-74)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- UD12 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/23/2013- vs. Alexander Brand (UNR)
DeGale upgraded his opponent for 3/23 a bit, as he will fight fringe contender Alexander Brand in place of inconsistent Argentine prospect Pablo Farias.
15) Ezequiel Maderna (1-11)
Last Fight: 12/14/2012- RTD7 Claudio Abalos
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #17 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.
16) Maxim Vlasov (1-18)
Last Fight: 12/30/2012- RTD7 Geard Ajetovic (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/6/2013- vs. Ruben Acosta (UNR)
Vlasov has been keeping busy against basically a good journeyman level of opposition, and continues that trend by taking on Argentina’s Ruben Acosta in Russia.
17) Edwin Rodriguez (1-8)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO8 Jason Escalera (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #15 Ezequiel Maderna
See Maderna’s notes, above.
18) Dyah Davis (1-3)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- L (TKO10) vs. #9 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Hadillah Mohoumadi (1-2)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- UD10 Cedric Bellais (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mohoumadi isn’t maybe the most obvious choice to be ranked, but he arguably beat DeGale (I thought he did better against him than Groves did) and by most accounts may have beaten Sjekloca, as well.
20) Glen Johnson (1-1)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- L (UD12) vs. #18 George Groves
Next Fight: Unknown
Johnson appears to be done, but the division has weakened to the point that he can reclaim a ranking.
 

 

The Week Ahead: Peter Manfredo, Jr. returns on Friday in Lincoln, Rhode Island against Walter Wright, a journeyman coming off a nearly 3-year layoff. 

 

The following night in Cancun, Mexico, undefeated prospect Marco Antonio Periban fights an unnamed opponent in just a 6-rounder.

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