Middleweight: 2013, Apr 15-21

In last week’s most significant fight, fringe contender and EU titlist Roberto Santos of Spain gave Austrian prospect Marcos Nader a rematch of their nip-and-tuck draw from last fall, and yet again was served an unsatisfactory outcome in his opponent’s backyard.  I scored both fights 115-113 for Santos, but I can’t say that Nader didn’t have an argument in both.  In the first few rounds, a nimble Nader grossly out-boxed a sluggish-looking Santos to build an early lead.  Most of the rounds between 4 and 11 could have gone either way, though Santos was building momentum and closing the distance progressively round-by-round.  By the final round, Nader was in full retreat with Santos bum rushing him with plenty of flush shots.  Nader won by scores of 116-112 (x2) and 115-113.  I can’t say any of the scores were completely out of line, but I do think they reflect a highly partisan Nader crowd. 


Staying with the Marcos theme for the moment, one-loss Mexican prospect Marcos Reyes stopped journeyman Eric Mitchell late in the 5th round of their fight in Hidalgo, Mexico.


And in Neuquen, Argentina, local one-loss prospect Billi Godoy successfully continued his rebound from his debatable first loss, establishing a 2-fight winning streak by outpointing weak Brazilian journeyman Valdevan Pereira.  The only problem is that he probably was expected to stop Pereira sometime before the final bell rang to close the 10-round contest.


No changes to the rankings, as the Santos-Nader fight will be treated much like a draw given the nature of the decision.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (157-157-157)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- UD12 #4 Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. #9 Martin Murray
Martinez will look to come back strong from knee surgery when he takes on Martin Murray in Argentina on April 27.  The fight will be revolutionary in that instant replay will be available to the referee.
1) Daniel Geale (95-200-200)
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.  Sergio has also expressed interest in a fight with him after Murray.
2) Felix Sturm (7-500-500)
Last Fight: 2/1/2013- L* (UD12) vs. #12 Sam Soliman (on PEDs)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sturm says on Twitter that he’s resumed light training, and will soon announce his plans for his next fight, which he describes as a big event.
3) Gennady Golovkin (7-33-96)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- KO3 #19 Nobuhiro Ishida

Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. #4 Matthew Macklin
Golovkin-Macklin appears to be on for June 29 on HBO, and that’s huge.
4) Matthew Macklin (7-95-186)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- TKO1 Joachim Alcine (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Golovkin’s notes, above.
5) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (7-98-116)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: 6/22/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Lots of Chavez news breaking.  He’s staying with Freddie Roach after it looked like they were splitsville.  It looks likely that Darren Barker is likely his guy for 6/22, and he’s saying that Andre Ward and Gennady Golovkin are his top choices for a fall fight, rather than a rematch with Martinez.
6) Peter Quillin (7-26-47)
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 (7-142-142)
Last Fight: 5/1/2012- UD12 #20 Nobuhiro Ishida
Next Fight: Unknown
After bleak reports of his back injury situation surfaced over recent weeks, finally we get a bit of hopeful news, as Pirog’s US promoter Art Pelullo says that Pirog is hoping to return in late August if all goes well.
8) Grzegorz Proksa (7-105-105)
Last Fight: 2/9/2013- UD6 Norbert Szekeres (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/28/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Proksa will bounce back from a hand injury and return on June 28 in the US.  No further details yet.
9) Martin Murray (7-72-72)
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 (7-7-129)
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) Marco Antonio Rubio (5-116)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- UD12 Marcus Upshaw (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

Rubio seems to be the mandatory for both the Quillin-Guerrero and the Martinez-Murray winner unless I’ve missed something.
12) Anthony Mundine (5-116)
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 has hinted he may be moving back down to 154.
13) Osumanu Adama (5-108)
Last Fight: 3/16/2012- W(SD10) vs. Grady Brewer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Adama came in heavy and nearly lost to 42 year-old Grady Brewer.  The fact that he missed weight by only a half pound gives him the opportunity to schedule a middleweight fight by September 7 to maintain a ranking, though.
14) Darren Barker (6-79)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- RTD4 Simone Rotolo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Barker is the leading candidate for a 6/22 fight with Chavez.
15) Max Bursak (6-116)
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 (6-87)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- UD10 Freddy Hernandez (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: 7/6/2013- vs. Zaurbek Baysangurov (UNR) (at JMW)
Andrade will finally have a significant fight at the 154 pound limit, as he challenges the ridiculous title of Russia’s Zaurbek Baysangurov in either Kiev or Odessa in the Ukraine.
17) Bryan Vera (7-26)
Last Fight: 3/29/2013- TKO7* Donatas Bondorovas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vera looked like absolute crap against ordinary journeyman Donatas Bondas, getting a potential gift from the referee in a highly questionable 7th round stoppage, which saved him from needing the robbery that the judges were cooking up on the scorecards.  He remains one of the top candidates to fight JCC in June.
18) Curtis Stevens (7-13)
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) Makoto Fuchigami (3-7)
Last Fight: 10/12/2012- RTD6 Marlon Alta (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/4/2013- 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.
20) Nobuhiro Ishida (3-59)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- L (KO3) vs. #3 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Ishida said before the Golovkin fight that he’d retire if he lost.  But that could have just been posturing.  I won’t remove him as a retired fighter until I find some post-fight confirmation of his intentions.


The Week Ahead: Two notable middleweight fights to report next week, both on Saturday:


In the middle of the afternoon, #18 Curtis Stevens opens NBC’s live broadcast from Madison Square Garden with a showcase fight against durable journeyman Derrick Findley. 


That evening in Mexico City, undefeated prospect Gilberto Ramirez takes on very capable Colombian journeyman Dionisio Miranda.

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