Super Middleweight: 2013, May 20-26

Last week’s #13 James DeGale had a good-looking performance in his North American debut, knocking out local journeyman Sebastian Demers in just 2 rounds in Quebec.

 

As for #19 Hadillah Mohoumadi, his scheduled fight with Giovanni De Carolis was pushed back until June 22.

 

Last week’s #4 Lucian Bute is removed this week, as he has rescheduled his light heavyweight fight with Pascal for a date after the 18-month anniversary of his last fight at 168 (and more than a year after his last fight near 168).  Bute had been in the top ten for 370 weeks straight.  Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye makes his top 10 debut.

 

Sometimes I think Andy Lee wakes up every morning trying to figure out ways to make my rankings difficult.  I spent hours on end choosing and then justifying in writing the guy that would take the #20 vacancy, which ultimately was Don Mouton.  But then when I was about to perform my middleweight update, I noticed that Andy Lee had, as he practically always does, fought slightly above the weight class that he claims.  His otherwise pointless stay-busy fight with Darryl Cunningham (which he won in less than 90 seconds) was contested at a contract weight of 162, it would appear.  While Lee is considered a middleweight contender, he’s never won a significant fight while weighing 160 or under.  But he’s also never done so weighing more than 163.  That’s very awkward, but the truth is they have to count for something somewhere.  Since he’s not technically rateable at 160 at all, that place has to be here.  Honestly, I bent my rules a bit back in February to remove him for inactivity at 168 when he beat a journeyman less than a pound over 160.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have done that, but in any case I can’t help but restore him to the rankings now.  Still, he can’t reasonably get full credit for beating a slew of middleweights a tiny amount over 160.  He therefore returns at #18, between Don George and Hadillah Mohoumadi.  Mouton’s 3-day tenure in the top 20 will have to go down in the books as unofficial.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (75-209-209)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward has tossed his “Emeritus” title from the WBC, ostensibly in protest of their laughable decision to pluck his belt and hand it to the winner of a fight between Sakio Bika (whom he beat) and Marco Antonio Periban (a prospect so unproven that he’s not even ranked in the top 20 of this pathetically shallow division).  The other convenient effect of the decision is that he has no reason to have to fight the winner if he doesn’t want to.
1) Carl Froch (52-362-362)
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 (9-195-195)
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 (23-441-441)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO3 Brian Magee (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #1 Carl Froch
See Froch’s notes, above.
4) Arthur Abraham (1-187-187)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- L (TKO3) vs. #5 Robert Stieglitz
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stieglitz’s notes above.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (1-103-151)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. Brandon Gonzales (UNR)
Oosthuizen will be fighting highly overrated and nominally “undefeated ” prospect Brandon Gonzales on the Golovkin-Macklin undercard.
6) Adonis Stevenson (1-76-76)
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.
7) George Groves (1-23-45)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- TKO2 Baker Barakat (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. Noe Gonzalez (UNR)
Groves will fight Uruguayan gatekeeper Noe Gonzalez on the Froch-Kessler undercard.
8) Sakio Bika (1-14-320)
Last Fight: 2/16/2013- UD12 Nikola Sjekloca (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/22/2013- vs. Marco Antonio Periban (UNR)
Bika will fight undefeated Mexican Marco Antonio Periban in California on June 22 for the WBC belt that that organization just heisted from Andre Ward.
9) Will Rosinsky (1-3-49)
Last Fight: 12/19/2012- UD10 Otis Griffin (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Rosinsky has been added to the Golovkin-Macklin undercard, but no opponent yet.
10) Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (1-1-80)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W (PTS6) vs. Jevgenijs Andrejevs (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/8/2013- vs. Christopher Rebrasse (UNR)
Ndiaye battles French gatekeeper Christopher Rebrasse on June 8 in Italy.
11) Dimitri Sartison (1-151)
Last Fight: 1/27/2013- UD6 Artem Solomko (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sartison’s fight in St. Petersburg, Russia this week appears to have been canceled.
12) James DeGale (1-84)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- KO2 Sebastian Demers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
DeGale turned in a solid performance against journeyman Sebastian Demers, a short-notice opponent who’s seen better days.
13) Maxim Vlasov (1-28)
Last Fight: 12/30/2012- RTD7 Geard Ajetovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Edwin Rodriguez (1-18)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- W* (UD10) vs. #15 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: 7/13/2013- vs. #15 LHW Denis Grachev (at LHW)
After getting the benefit of yet another questionable but not totally out-of-bounds decision against Maderna, Rodriguez remains in the mix, but kinda on the periphery of the division’s contenders.  He gets a chance at a million bucks against Grachev, who also arguably deserved to lose his first round fight.
15) Ezequiel Maderna (1-21)
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.
16) Dyah Davis (1-13)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- L (TKO10) vs. #9 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: Unknown
Davis said on May 4 via Twitter that “a particular some(one)” called him on May 3 for a fight, and that based on “that performance” he’d better not call again.  That seems like a veiled reference to Anthony Dirrell to me.  He says he’s looking at a return date of July 19, which also fits reasonably well with Dirrell’s post-fight statement that he intends to fight at 168 in roughly two months.  If I’m reading the situation accurately, that would give both guys a good opportunity to prove they are for real after each has suffered significant setbacks in and/or out of the ring since their last significant success.
17) Don George (1-9)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. David Lopez (should be win)
Next Fight: 6/21/2013- vs. Caleb Truax (UNR)
Another reasonably decent challenge for George, as he travvels to Caleb Truax’s hometown of Minneapolis for their fight.
18) Andy Lee (1-1)
Last Fight: 5/15/2013- TKO1 Darryl Cunningham (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Yes, I know.  Andy Lee is not a Super Middleweight.  The only problem is he almost exclusively fights as one, if only barely.
18) Hadillah Mohoumadi (3-12)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- UD10 Cedric Bellais (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/22/2013- vs. Giovanni De Carolis (UNR)
Mohoumadi gets a halfway decent outing on June 22 against borderline top 50 Italian Giovanni De Carolis, for the European Union title.
19) Glen Johnson (3-3)
Last Fight: 4/19/2013- TKO2 Junior Ramos (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Johnson should be retired, but instead finds himself clinging to a ranking in a very shallow division.

 

The Week Ahead: Two clashes with top-10 implications are on the docket this week, both on the same card in  London.  #1 Carl Froch takes on #3 Mikkel Kessler in an attempt to revenge his razor-thin 2010 loss to Mikkel Kessler (which I thought he maybe should have won).  A win would transform Froch from the clear best fighter in the division not named Andre Ward to the clear best fighter in the division not named Andre Ward by a mile.  For Kessler, it’s a chance obviously to resume his former spot as the #1 contender and possibly earn himself a rematch with Ward or a fight with another one of the top names at 168 or 175.

 

On the undercard, very busy #7 contender George Groves keeps up his impressive string of activity with a reasonably decent challenge against Uruguayan gatekeeper Noe Gonzalez.
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