Junior Middleweight: 2013, Apr 22-28

An unsatisfying result marred a huge fight on Saturday.  #2 Saul Alvarez was mostly passive, trying to counter off the ropes while Trout pressed the fight.  He did manage to drop Trout in the 7th, and wasn’t getting blown out by any means, as his superior power and sound defense came close to negating Trout’s punch output and ring generalship.  On my card, though, it fell short of getting the job done.  I had the fight 115-112 for Trout. 


There were enough close rounds to where the fight could have somewhat reasonably been scored anywhere between 116-111 Alvarez and 116-112 Trout.  But in each close round I gave Trout, the clean effective punching was close to even, while Trout won ring generalship and effective aggressiveness by a mile.  For that reason, I feel stronger about my opinion that the wrong guy won the fight than I usually do in cases like this.  I honestly view this as a true robbery in my own mind.  Yet in the moment, I did mark those rounds as close.  When I do that, it means I’m willing to defer to an official judge that disagrees with me on that round.  I’m not happy about it, but I can’t be consistent and overturn the result here, even though I think overall that Trout clearly won the fight.  And so consistent with my established practice in cases of a result I don’t agree with but I technically classify as reasonable, I will treat it essentially as a draw, with the slightest edge to the official winner, Canelo. 


A clear win for either guy would have gotten that guy past Molina and into the #1 spot.  But as it is, it might actually tighten Molina’s grip on the #1 spot.  When Molina fought #3 contender James Kirkland, he was a clear winner (aside from the fight being prematurely ended by referee error).  When Canelo fought #3 contender Trout, he managed only a very murky decision, and since he was the official winner, I’m obligated to rank him ahead of Trout.  Giving Canelo credit only for a draw, Molina still has two wins as good or better than Canelo’s best, and all have come since Canelo’s best.  The only appropriate solution is for each member of the top 3 to remain in place, as unsatisfying as that is after such a theoretically important match-up.


In other Saturday action, fringe contender Brian Rose got his biggest win since winning his British title by stopping fellow fringe contender Joachim Alcine early in the 12th round in Blackpool, England.


In the also-also-ran category, gatekeeper Frank Haroche Horta stopped weak Polish journeyman Mariusz Biskupski in the 5th of a scheduled 6 in France.


Backtracking to Friday, one-loss Virgin Islands prospect John Jackson got the biggest win of his career against undefeated Minnesota prospect Ceresso Fort.  Fort won at most 2 of the 8 rounds (though judge Lynne Carter erroneously found a third to give him), and was getting just plain beat up in the final stanza.  Unfortunately, the fight was contested at a 155 pound contract weight.  Jackson came in just a quarter pound over 154.  Since he was more than 154 and has no other significant wins at the weight, I can’t consider him eligible for a ranking.  Practically speaking that’s not a big deal, since this win wouldn’t have gotten him into the top 20 anyway, and since it will certainly be considered if and when he adds an eligible win to his resume.


So in the end, despite there being 3 well-matched fights involving top 50 contenders on the week, the only change is that Brian Rose reclaims a ranking at #19, which pushes Michel Soro back to #20.  Anthony Mundine is forced out (or removed for failing to make 154 in the last 18 months, depending on how you want to look at it) after 4 consecutive weeks. 


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1) Carlos Molina (12-94-109)
Last Fight: 2/1/2013- UD12 #11 Cory Spinks
Next Fight: Unknown
Ishe Smith says he plans to offer Molina a shot at his alphabet belt.
2) Saul Alvarez (12-112-127)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- W* (UD12) vs. #3 Austin Trout
Next Fight: Unknown
Canelo wants Floyd next.  That fight had already appeared set for September up until a few weeks before he fought Trout.
3) Austin Trout (9-47-116)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- L* (UD12) vs. #2 Saul Alvarez
Next Fight: Unknown
See Alvarez’s notes, above.
4) Erislandy Lara (9-94-116)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- D* (TD9) vs. #15 Vanes Martirosyan (robbery- should be win)
Next Fight: 6/8/2013- vs. #9 Alfredo Angulo
Lara will fight Angulo on Showtime, June 8 in Carson, California.
5) Ishe Smith (9-9-9)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- W (MD12) vs. #3 Cornelius Bundrage
Next Fight: Unknown
See Molina’s notes, above.
6) Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (21-51-51)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- UD12* #4 Miguel Cotto
Next Fight: 5/4/2013- vs. WW #? Robert Guerrero (at WW)
Mayweather will officially be fighting Robert Guerrero on Showtime PPV on May 4.  That’s just a day before the 1-year anniversary of his last fight at 154, and since the fight will be at 147, he will likely be removed the following week.
7) Miguel Cotto (21-151-151)
Last Fight: 12/1/2012- L (UD12) vs. #8 Austin Trout
Next Fight: Unknown
Cotto has laid out the plans for the rest of his career.  He says he’ll fight in October or November, twice in 2014, and then retire.  Canelo wants him in September.
8) Cornelius Bundrage (5-142-142)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ishe Smith (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bundrage should probably retire after how awful he looked against Smith.
9) Alfredo Angulo (5-187-187)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- UD10 Jorge Silva (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/8/2013- vs. #4 Erislandy Lara
After it looked for awhile that he might fight Rosado next, Angulo will instead battle #4 Lara in Carson, California in early June.
10) Gabriel Rosado (5-5-116)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- L (TKO7) vs. #3 MW Gennady Golovkin (at MW)
Next Fight: 5/4/2013- vs. J’Leon Love (UNR) (at MW)
Rosado will fight undefeated prospect J’Leon Love on the Mayweather-Guerrero undercard on May 4, at 160.
11) Sergey Rabchenko (5-45)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- KO2 Adriano Nicchi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rabchenko might be fighting Italian prospect Emanuele Della Rosa on July 13 in Monaco.
12) Delvin Rodriguez (5-93)
Last Fight: 2/15/2013- TKO6 George Tahdooahnippah (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 5/24/2013- vs. Freddy Hernandez (UNR)
Rodriguez will fight gatekeeper Freddy Hernandez on May 24, on Friday Night Fights.
13) Lukas Konecny (5-89)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W (TD12) vs. Karim Achour (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Keith Thurman (5-22)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD12 #? WW Jan Zaveck (at WW)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. Diego Chaves (UNR) (at WW)
Thurman will be back on either July 20 or 27 against undefeated Argentine prospect Diego Chaves, again at Welterweight.
15) Vanes Martirosyan (5-99)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- D* (TD9) vs. #6 Erislandy Lara (robbery- should be L)
Next Fight: Unknown
Martirosyan was set to fight Javier Maciel on April 6 in China, but broke his thumb.
16) Yuri Foreman (5-13)
Last Fight: 4/6/2013- UD6 Gundrick King (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Foreman is keeping his comeback at a very low level for the time being.
17) Sechew Powell (5-162)
Last Fight: 6/1/2012- L (TKO9) vs. #10 Gabriel Rosado
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Willie Nelson (5-8)
Last Fight: 3/1/2013- TKO1 Michael Medina (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Nelson is set to return on the Golovkin-Macklin undercard on June 29, but no opponent yet.  He was rumored to fight Joshua Clottey, but those rumors appear false.
19) Brian Rose (1-1)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- TKO12 Joachim Alcine (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rose has now stepped out of the moribund British light middleweight scene, and showed pretty well on the international scene against the reasonably credible Alcine.
20) Michel Soro (1-15)
Last Fight: 1/12/2013- UD12 Kris Carslaw (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/4/2013- vs. Frederic Serre (UNR)
Soro’s fight with Serre for the French title has been postponed to May 4.


The Week Ahead:  Saturday in Hamburg, we find a battle of top prospects.  The home fighter is Jack Culcay, an undefeated prospect who has, with his overall body of work, positioned himself as the equivalent of a top 25 fighter despite not having any wins that would make him eligble for top 20 consideration here.  The underdog is underrated Argentine Guido Pitto.  Pitto technically has a loss on his record, but it’s only because he was blatantly robbed against countryman Mateo Veron- who is incidentally the best opponent, by far, that either man has fought.  The winner could very well claim a spot in the rankings.

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