Middleweight: 2013, Mar 11-17

Saturday in London, #16 Darren Barker dropped Italian Champion and borderline top 50 fighter Simone Rotolo in the first round, before ultimately Rotolo retired with an injured hand after the 4th.


That same night, Dominican gatekeeper Giovanni Lorenzo scored a side show of a 1st-round knockout over Miami’s Johnny Valentin.  Valentin is no less than 51 years old.  He last fought in 2004 and last won in 1998.  In all, he has just 3 wins (the first in 1986) in 31 fights.  To recap, he’s a 51 year old on a 15-fight winless streak dating back 15 years.  And somebody sanctioned this fight.  Kudos, Domican boxing authorities.  In fairness to Lorenzo- who I still believe should never have consented to this execution- Valentin was a late replacement for  Jairo Siris who, while awful, is awful on a much more reasonable level.


Finally, former top 10 junior middleweight Prince Arron barely squeaked by with a 6-round referee’s points decision in Manchester over low-level journeyman Tyan Booth.  Even in victory, this hurts Arron’s standing to the point that he’s probably no longer even a top 50 guy in this or any other division.


If only for having returned from a long spell of inactivity against top 50 opponents, Barker is able to advance to #14, thereby displacing Barker and Andrade.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (152-152-152)
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 (90-195-195)
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 (2-495-495)
Last Fight: 2/1/2013- L* (UD12) vs. #12 Sam Soliman (on PEDs)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sturm says on Twitter that he’s resuming light training this week, and will soon announce his plans for his next fight, which he describes as a big event.
3) Gennady Golovkin (2-28-91)
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 (2-90-181)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- TKO1 Joachim Alcine (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Macklin reports that Andy Lee has turned down the opportunity to fight him in May on HBO.  If true, this is a bit embarrassing for Lee, who had previously called Macklin out.
5) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (2-93-111)
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 (2-21-42)
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 (2-137-137)
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 (2-100-100)
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 (2-67-67)
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 (2-2-124)
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 (2-103)
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 (2-111)
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 (2-111)
Last Fight: 1/30/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown
Mundine expects to fight again in June, but doesn’t know against whom or in what division yet.  He hopes to know by around the start of April, though.
14) Darren Barker (1-74)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- RTD4 Simone Rotolo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Barker appears to be back from an injury-plagued spell. 
15) Max Bursak (1-111)
Last Fight: 2/2/2013- TKO3 Julien Marie Sainte (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bursak is now the EBU champion after destroying journeyman Sainte.
16) Demetrius Andrade (1-82)
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.
17) Bryan Vera (2-21)
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 (2-8)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- KO1 Elvin Ayala (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. Derrick Findley (UNR)
Stevens will fight on the Fury-Cunningham undercard at MSG on 4/20 against veteran journeyman Derrick Findley.
19) Nobuhiro Ishida (2-54)
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 (2-2)
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 Townsville, Australia, gatekeeper-level Australian Les Sherrington takes on low-level Argentine journeyman Esteban Ponce.


Saturday in Lowell, Massachusetts, #11 Osumanu Adama battles aging and apparently declining gatekeeper Grady Brewer.

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