Super Middleweight: 2013, Jun 10-16

#6 Adonis Stevenson got the biggest win of the weekend at 175, but it won’t affect his ranking here, since the guy he beat was a flop in his only fight at 168, and thus it could be that any of the top 5 contenders here would have done the same.  Nevertheless, it obviously makes him one of only a few guys at either weight with enough credibility to fight Ward.

 

Saturday in Brindisi, Italy, the mafia apparently struck hard.  French gatekeeper Christopher Rebrasse dominated nearly every round against #10 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye.  I had the fight a shutout at 120-108.  There were 2 rounds I could have seen potentially giving to Ndiaye if I were a bit more sympathetic to his awful performance, and one other round that was reasonably close.  Other than that, it was complete domination.  A good judge couldn’t have possibly had it closer than 118-110 (117-111 if he was having a really bad night).  The other 9 rounds were ridiculously easy to score.  That is, unless the Italian mafia is paying the judges for the Italian (by way of Senegal) fighter to win, or at least not lose.  The best of the judges was pretty clearly biased toward Ndiaye.  That was Anssi Perajoki of Finland, who had it 118-111.  Respectable, except that he gave Ndiaye all the debatable rounds, plus scored another close one that Rebrasse clearly won as even.  But get ready for the others.  These guys should get a lifetime ban from judging, because there’s no excuse that could even begin to adequately excuse this travesty.  These are perhaps the two worst scorecards I’ve ever seen.  Manuel Palomo of Spain had it a draw.  The sad thing about this guy, is that this is actually the second time I’ve opined that he should never be allowed to judge again (and I didn’t even realize it until after I typed it this time).  He has previously been involved in robbing Dereck Chisora against Robert Helenius.  If I were a fighter and not the favorite, I would protest to the commission the second I saw he was assigned to the fight.  But he wasn’t even the worst crook in the bunch.  Fellow Spaniard Francisco Vazquez Marcos embarrassed the sport and himself beyond all measure, scoring the fight for the badly beaten Ndiaye 115-114. 

 

Needless to say, this will be treated like the huge upset victory for Rebrasse that it truly was.  One angle that might get lost in all this is that Ndiaye looked overly relaxed during the 3 national anthems (no- not Senegal- they did one for German referee Juergen Langos for some reason), while Rebrasse looked intense, continuing to warm up throughout.  During the fight, Ndiaye appeared to have showed up for a sparring session, while Rebrasse showed up for a fight.

 

The same night in Bluewater, Kent, England, #11 James DeGale looked pretty solid against borderline top-50 Croatian Stjepan Bozic.  He showed the slick skills you’d expect from such an accomplished amateur star, and threw in some (often low) body work.  The ending was strange.  DeGale had banked the first 4 rounds, though Bozic had his best round in the 4th.  Bozic retired following that round, and it was a bit unclear whether it was an injury or if they simply didn’t want anymore.  I lean toward the former, since he did seem to be coming on slightly at the time.  It’s a decent, if somewhat unsatisfying win for DeGale.  As Channel 5 commentator Richie Woodhall astutely observed, DeGale continues to spend too much time on the ropes for no apparent reason.  That’s something he’ll definitely need to fix if his ambition of fighting Carl Froch ever comes to fruition.

 

Speaking of spending too much time on the ropes, Philly prospect Farah Ennis was guilty of this, as well, and it made his Friday Night fight with Anthony Hanshaw a lot closer than it needed to be.  The first 2/3 of the fight was essentially even, or slighly favored Hanshaw (I know 2/3 is an amorphous number for a 10-round fight), and it was all because of Ennis’ laziness in hanging out on the ropes, along with Hanshaw’s opportunism in punishing him for it.  But to his credit, Ennis closed very strong- sweeping the last three rounds, and scoring a knockdown in the 10th.  I saw it as a very clear 96-93 score for Ennis.  Two of the judges agreed, while Teddy Atlas and the third judge Marlon Perry had it a round too close.

 

With his dominant loss to a guy who was not even in the top  30 (mostly because he had lost and/or drawn with complete non-entities in early 2011), Ndiaye nosedives way out of the top 20.  Rebrasse erases those bad memories to some extent, and debuts at #10.  DeGale- partly by default, and partly because of his win- advances to #9.  Rosinsky is bounced from the top 10 after 5 weeks in.  Everyone else stays put.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (78-212-212)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
It sounds like both sides are interested in a Froch rematch.  There was no controversy the first time, but the Brit has definitely earned it since.
1) Carl Froch (55-365-365)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- UD12 #3 Mikkel Kessler
Next Fight: Unknown
See Ward’s notes, above.
2) Robert Stieglitz (12-198-198)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- TKO3 #2 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: 7/13/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Stieglitz will return on July 13 in Dresden, but no opponent yet.
3) Mikkel Kessler (26-444-444)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
Froch is interested in a trilogy on neutral ground, perhaps even more so than a Ward rematch.  But it’s not even clear that Kessler will fight again, after saying pre-fight he might retire.
4) Arthur Abraham (4-190-190)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- L (TKO3) vs. #5 Robert Stieglitz
Next Fight: 8/24/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Abraham will likely be back on August 24, against an opponent to be determined.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (4-106-154)
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 (4-79-79)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- TKO1 LHW#1 Chad Dawson (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevenson is now the #1 light heavyweight as well as the #6 Super Middleweight.  His mandatory at 175 is Tony Bellew, and he may or may not still have a mandatory shot at Carl Froch waiting at 168- probably not.  He has tons of options, overall.
7) George Groves (4-26-48)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- TKO5 Noe Gonzalez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Groves is pressuring Froch to fight him.
8) Sakio Bika (4-17-323)
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) James DeGale (1-1-87)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- RTD4 Stjepan Bozic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
DeGale badly wants a big-money fight with Froch.
10) Christopher Rebrasse (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #10 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye
Next Fight: Unknown
Rebrasse was so blatantly robbed against Ndiaye that I have to remember to point it out.  It’s so clearly a win that I almost forget the judges world-class crookedness. 

11) Will Rosinsky (1-52)

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.
12) Maxim Vlasov (4-31)
Last Fight: 12/30/2012- RTD7 Geard Ajetovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
13) Edwin Rodriguez (4-21)
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.
14) Ezequiel Maderna (4-24)
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.
15) Don George (2-12)
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.
16) Andy Lee (2-4)
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.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (2-15)
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.
18) Glen Johnson (2-6)
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.
19) Don Mouton (2-4)
Last Fight: 5/3/2013- L* (UD8) vs. #10 Anthony Dirrell (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mouton deserved to beat Dirrell, whom he also spotted nearly a full weight class.  Mouton was also a short-notice opponent.
20) Brian Magee (2-2)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- vs. L (TKO3) vs. #3 Mikkel Kessler
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: The division takes a deserved break from action this week.

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