Super Middleweight: 2013, Mar 25-31

In the week’s most significant action, #2 Arthur Abraham battled #5 Robert Stieglitz in what I advertized last week as a rather unnecessary rematch in Magdeburg.  In the first meeting last summer, Abraham pounded out a competitive but clear decision.  Frankly, I thought Stieglitz had done about as much as he was capable of doing, and that Abraham had an average night.  But apparently Stieglitz didn’t realize that the rematch was unnecessary or that he was naturally outgunned.  He came out like a man with everything to prove, surprisingly putting a beating on the typically more powerful Abraham.  From the opening bell until the end of the third, when the fight was stopped due to gruesome and massive swelling to Abraham’s left eye.  The thorough drubbing of Abraham by a guy who is normally a stick-and-move boxer was expected by virtually nobody on the face of the Earth.

 

The previous night in Montreal, #7 Adonis Stevenson got his revenge, stopping journeyman Darnell Boone- who shockingly knocked him out a bit under 3 years ago- with a devastating combination in the 6th round. 

 

That same night in Chicago, local gatekeeper-type Don George strangely got more or less robbed in his own hometown.  His opponent, David Lopez, spent the majority of the fight with a complete lack of urgency, throwing completely non-threatening punches, and not landing much of anything.  George was the aggressor, and both threw and landed the cleaner and harder punches for all but a few rounds.  On my card, George swept the first 7 rounds before Lopez nicked the 8th and 9th.  Those are the only two rounds I gave Lopez, and they could have gone either way.  There were several close rounds, to be fair.  Although I had it 98-92 George, I will concede that if you gave Lopez all of those, you could stretch your way to a semi-reasonable draw.  Mike Fitzgerald gave Lopez every benefit of the doubt, scoring it even at 95-95.  John Epperson had it fairly reasonably 96-94 George.  But Mauro Di Fiore was out to rob George blind for some reason, turning in an astonishingly awful 97-94 score in favor of Lopez.  Di Fiore was born in Italy, further reinforcing an observation I made a few months ago- one I thought applied only to European fights- that the Italian judge typically turns in the worst card in a robbery.  This fight was fought at a 163-pound catchweight, since George is typically a full-sized super middleweight and Lopez tends to move between 154 and 160. 

 

Both George Groves and Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye snuck in stay-busy fights that weren’t even on the schedule a week before they happened.  Groves was on the Abraham-Stieglitz undercard, beating up on a very passive version of normally reasonably competent journeyman Baker Barakat to the tune of a second-round TKO.  Ndiaye was in Veneto, Italy, winning a points victory in a 6-rounder over very low-level journeyman Jevgenijs Andrejevs of Latvia.

 

Stieglitz and Abraham swap spots, with Stieglitz ending up at #2 and Abraham at #5.  My standing precedent is that when I score the fight for fighter A and the best result fighter B could hope for is a draw, and the judges score it a draw, I give fighter B credit for the draw in deference to the judges, while giving fighter A credit for the win.  With that being the case here, George checks in at #19, forcing Hadillah Mohoumadi down to #20 and bouncing last week’s #20 Glen Johnson from the ranks after 2 weeks.  Stevenson’s win is not significant enough to affect his standing.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (67-201-201)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward has said he’d move down to 160 to fight Floyd Mayweather, after Mayweather took some unsolicited shots at him.
1) Carl Froch (44-354-354)
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) Robert Stieglitz (1-187-187)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- TKO3 #2 Arthur Abraham

Next Fight: Unknown
After being blitzed by an uncharacteristically aggressive Stieglitz, Abraham has demanded a trilogy bout, which Stieglitz seems disposed to grant.
3) Mikkel Kessler (15-433-433)
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 (31-363-363)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 LHW #16 Denis Grachev (at LHW)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. LHW #3 Jean Pascal (at LHW)
Bute will be fighting Jean Pascal at light heavyweight in a huge Canadian event in May.  His super middleweight fight with Carl Froch was just a day shy of one year eariler, and thus Bute will probably be removed for inactivity at this weight the week after that fight unless he signs something immediately.
5) Arthur Abraham (1-179-179)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- L (TKO3) vs. #5 Robert Stieglitz
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stieglitz’s notes above.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (31-95-143)
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 (24-68-68)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- TKO6 Darnell Boone (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: 6/8/2013- vs. LHW #1 Chad Dawson (at LHW)
After tending to unfinished business with the lowly Boone, Stevenson will now set sites on #1 light heavyweight Chad Dawson, who most outlets still consider the Champ.
8) George Groves (10-15-37)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- TKO2 Baker Barakat (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Groves snuck in a short-notice walk in the park with journeyman Baker Barakat on the Abraham-Stieglitz undercard, and will return on the Froch-Kessler undercard on May 25.
9) Sakio Bika (4-6-312)
Last Fight: 2/16/2013- UD12 Nikola Sjekloca (UNR)

Next Fight: Unknown
Bika is the mandatory for Andre Ward, and has also expressed interest in Bernard Hopkins.
10) Anthony Dirrell (3-3-69)
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 (3-41)
Last Fight: 12/19/2012- UD10 Otis Griffin (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rosinsky was all but set to fight Brandon Gonzales on Friday Night Fights, but Gonzales withdrew with a bad hamstring.  The fight may or may not be rescheduled for May.
12) Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (3-72)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W (PTS6) vs. Jevgenijs Andrejevs (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ndiaye did nothing other than stay busy against low-level Latvian Andrejevs.  But in fairness, he needed to do that.
13) Dimitri Sartison (3-143)
Last Fight: 1/27/2013- UD6 Artem Solomko (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) James DeGale (3-76)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- UD12 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. Alexander Brand (UNR)
The DeGale-Brand fight has been postponed.  Not sure why.
15) Ezequiel Maderna (3-13)
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 (3-20)
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 (3-10)
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 (3-5)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- L (TKO10) vs. #9 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Don George (1-1)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. David Lopez (should have been win)
Next Fight: Unknown
George got robbed against Lopez, but gets credit for the win here (even if it was at a 163 catchweight).
20) Hadillah Mohoumadi (1-4)
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.

 

The Week Ahead: In Monte Carlo, Monaco, #15 Ezequiel Maderna takes on the toughest fighter of his career in #17 Edwin Rodriguez on Saturday.  The winner of this fight will get the winner of Grachev-Erdei at a 171-pound catchweight in July.

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