Super Middleweight: 2013, Apr 1-7

In what’s bound to be one of the ugliest, sloppiest fights of the year, #17 Edwin Rodriguez got the decision in a close fight with #15 Ezequiel Maderna in Monte Carlo, Monaco on Saturday.  Rodriguez looked marginally prettier in his boxing skills, but I actually thought Maderna tended to score the cleaner punches with his long slow delivery.  Both guys swung wildly while falling in, leading to clinches galore.  It was also dirty as hell.  Maderna hit Rodriguez well after the bell in the first with a big shot, but went unpunished.  In the 8th, Rodriguez hit Maderna in the man region with what can only be described as a flagrant low blow, for which he lost a point.  Here was my problem with that.  Veteran referee Daniel Van de Wiele never warned Rodriguez for low blows to that point.  And so if it was an unintentional foul, then theoretically Rodriguez should have gotten by with a stern warning.  On the other hand, if the ref had correctly ruled it an intentional foul, then the correct procedure would have been to take two points.  Perhaps realizing this error, he took another point from Rodriguez for what appeared to be a totally incidental rabbit punch in the following round.  This fight was close and could have gone any number of different ways.  As it was, the judges saw it about as much in favor of Rodriguez as it was possible to see it, scoring it 96-92 x2 and 95-92.  I think the latter score was the only truly reasonable one, with Leszek Jankowiak and Stanley Christodoulou both giving Rodriguez an even round in a frame clearly won by Maderna.  Rodriguez has a knack for engendering undeserved love from judges while winning highly debatable decisions.  This includes this fight along with his triumphs over Aaron Pryor, Jr. and Will Rosinsky.  In all three cases, I had the other guy winning.

 

Rodriguez moves on to fight Denis Grachev in the Super 4 final at a 171.5 pound catchweight.  With a million dollar prize on the line, it’s at least possible that neither fighter deserves to have made the final.

 

In any case, I treat the decision with minimum deference, or essentially as a draw with a bare edge in Rodriguez’s favor.  Especially given the awful nature of the fight, the result reflects slightly more badly on Maderna’s resume than it does positively on Rodriguez’s.  Because of this, last week’s #16 Maxim Vlasov slips by the pair and into the #15 spot.  Maderna falls two spots to #17, while Rodriguez edges up one to #16.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (68-202-202)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward is said to be looking for his next opponent soon, as he recovers from surgery.  His top choice seems to be Julio Cesar Chavez.
1) Carl Froch (45-355-355)
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 (2-188-188)
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.  Sauerland also seems to be on board.
3) Mikkel Kessler (16-434-434)
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 (32-364-364)
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 (2-180-180)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- L (TKO3) vs. #5 Robert Stieglitz
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stieglitz’s notes above.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (32-96-144)
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 (25-69-69)
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 (11-16-38)
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 (5-7-313)
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 (4-4-70)
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 (4-42)
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 (4-73)
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 (4-144)
Last Fight: 1/27/2013- UD6 Artem Solomko (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) James DeGale (4-77)
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) Maxim Vlasov (1-21)
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.  As of the week before the fight, however, it has been removed from the Boxrec schedule.  We’ll see.
16) Edwin Rodriguez (1-11)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- W* (UD10) vs. #15 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: 7/13/2013- vs. #17 LHW Denis Grachev (at LHW)
After getting the benefit of yet another questionable but not totally out-of-bounds decision against Maderna, and thus remains in the mix, but kinda on the periphery of the divisions contenders.  He gets a chance at a million bucks against Grachev, who also arguably deserved to lose his first round fight.
17) Ezequiel Maderna (1-14)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- L* (UD10) vs. #17 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Maderna, despite arguably deserving a win against Rodriguez, did himself few favors in dropping the decision, especially considering how ugly the fight was.  I don’t imagine he’ll be getting too many international suitors anytime soon since he seems difficult to look good against.
18) Dyah Davis (4-6)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- L (TKO10) vs. #9 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Don George (2-2)
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 (2-5)
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: No action to report…or maybe there is.  As of last week, #15 Maxim Vlasov was scheduled to fight Argentina’s Ruben Acosta.  That fight is no longer listed on Boxrec, but I can’t find any reports of it being canceled, either.  I guess I’ll ignore it if it doesn’t happen and report it if it does.
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