Junior Middleweight: 2012, Jun 18-24

The most important action of the week was Ryan Rhodes’ Manchester tilt with undefeated Belorussian prospect Sergey Rabchenko.  Rabchenko fought a very impressive fight.  He was relentlessly aggressive, and yet he came forward in a measured way that kept him at exactly the right distance at virtually all times and left him balanced and ready to deliver hard shots.  Rhodes, despite being a consummate boxer, was never able to get more than a step between himself and his opponent.  It was as if the two were linked by a short tether.  nevertheless, Rhodes did nearly his share of good work.  He landed an absolutely perfect straight right at one point (Rhodes is a southpaw, but both men switched stances frequently) that practically spun Rabchenko’s entire body around, but the younger man was stunned for only a few seconds.  Rhodes’ defense was often impressive, as well, bobbing and weaving effectively to make Rabchenko miss more than his share of shots, even on the ropes.  Nevertheless, it appeared that Rabchenko’s pressure was having an effect by the end of round 6, by which time Rabchenko had probably earned a 2-point lead on the cards.  But the script flipped in round 7, as Rhodes came out like a new man and started to control matters with masterful ring generalship and timing.  He was well on his way to winning the round when, with about 15 seconds remaining, Rabchenko landed a sneaky left hook to the solar plexus that sent Rhodes to a knee, wincing.  Rhodes got up by the count of 8, but the agony on his face convinced Italian referee Adrio Zannoni to wave it off without so much as a question.


In other action, British unbeaten but untested prospect Nasser Al Harbi put up a spirited but ultimately inadequate effort against the more proven one-loss Italian Emanuele Della Rosa in Rome.  Al Harbi did look good at times, winning anywhere between 2 and 4 of the 12 rounds.  The only notable moment in which a fighter was hurt, however, was late in the final round when Della Rosa clipped the Brit.


Rabchenko debuts at #12.  Normally a win over a #11 contender would get on into the top 10, but that crew is loaded down with good wins, creating a bit of a firewall.  Rhodes falls to #17, over 2 1/2 years removed from his last significant win.  Everyone ranked #17 and below last week is forced back a spot, including Anthony Mundine, who exits after just one week back in the mix.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1) Saul Alvarez (7-68-83)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- UD12 Shane Mosley (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/15/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Alvarez will fight Victor Ortiz on a 9/15 Showtime PPV if Ortiz gets by Josesito Lopez.
2) Carlos Molina (7-50-65)
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.
3) Cornelius Bundrage (13-98-98)
Last Fight: 6/25/2011- UD12 #11 Sechew Powell
Next Fight: 6/30/2012- vs. #11 Cory Spinks
K9 has a date with Cory Spinks.
4) Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (7-7-7)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- UD12* #4 Miguel Cotto
Next Fight: Unknown
Floyd says he’s considering retirement after a tough fight with Cotto.  But more recently, future fights against Pacquiao, Canelo, Khan, Cotto, Guerrero, and Ortiz have been mentioned.  Of course Floyd is now in jail.
5) Miguel Cotto (7-107-107)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- L* (UD12) vs. WW #1 Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Next Fight: Unknown
Cotto plans to return by the end of the year, and continue fighting for 2 or 3 more years.  Rematches with both Pacquiao and Mayweather appear to be possibilities at some point.
6) Erislandy Lara (7-50-72)
Last Fight: 4/20/2012- TKO1 Ronald Hearns (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 6/30/2013- vs. Freddy Hernandez (UNR)
Lara will fight fringe contender Freddy Hernandez June 30 on Showtime.
7) James Kirkland (7-33-33)
Last Fight: 3/24/2012- W*(DQ10) vs. #6 Carlos Molina (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kirkland bailed almost immediately on a fight he signed with Canelo, and says he plans to return in October or November.
8) Austin Trout (3-3-72)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- UD12 #13 Delvin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Trout is among those being considered to tangle with Canelo on 9/15.
9) Alfredo Angulo (3-143-143)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- L (TKO6) vs. James Kirkland (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Troubling news.  Angulo has been detained by US authorities since at least January.  Apparently his only crime was being here on an expired Visa.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m in favor of enforcing immigration laws, but to lock a guy up for months on end without so much as a trial?  Awful.  We’re rooting for you, Perro.
10) Gabriel Rosado (4-4-72)
Last Fight: 6/1/2013- TKO9 #19 Sechew Powell
Next Fight: Unknown
Rosado still wants Canelo, though Canelo isn’t considering him as an option at present.
11) Cory Spinks (1-21)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- UD12 #11 Sechew Powell
Next Fight: 6/30/2012- vs. #3 Cornelius Bundrage
Spinks will have a rematch with #3 K9 Bundrage in San Jose on June 30.  He’s brave for taking it, considering the beating he took last time.
12) Sergey Rabchenko (1-1)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- TKO7 #11 Ryan Rhodes
Next Fight: Unknown
Rabchenko looks like a real climber after stopping Rhodes.
13) Delvin Rodriguez (4-49)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- L (UD12) vs. #12 Austin Trout
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Vanes Martirosyan (2-55)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- TKO3 Troy Lowry (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. Ryan Davis (UNR)
Same ‘ole, same ‘ole.  Vanes had a shot at Lara, and chose instead to fight Ryan Davis.  He doesn’t sound tough, and he’s not.
15) Lukas Konecny (2-45)
Last Fight: 4/5/2012- TKO7 Salim Larbi (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/27/2012- vs. Zaurbek Baysangurov (UNR)
Konecny-Baysangurov will finally happen- October 27 in Kiev.
16) Carlos Quintana (2-7)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- TKO6 Deandre Latimore (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Quintana said he wanted Canelo in the immediate aftermath of his upset TKO of Deandre Latimore, and has since expressed interest in Cotto and Trout, as well.
17) Ryan Rhodes (1-139)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L (TKO7) vs. Sergey Rabchenko (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rhodes says he has no plans to retire after losing to Rabchenko.
18) Sechew Powell (1-118)
Last Fight: 6/1/2012- L (TKO9) vs. #10 Gabriel Rosado
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Brian Rose (1-29)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- W* (UD12) vs. Kris Carslaw (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rose’s reign as British Champion hasn’t been the greatest- partly due to limited available opposition, and partly due to his own awful performance against Carslaw.
20) Roberto Garcia (1-2)
Last Fight: 3/23/2012- UD10 Antwone Smith (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown


The Week Ahead: One-loss prospect Joey Hernandez fights low-level journeyman Brandon Baue in Hollywood, Florida on Saturday.

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