Junior Middleweight: 2013, Jun 10-16

There’s a lot of action to cover this week, so I’ll start with the most important and work my way down, more or less.


In Showtime’s main event from Carson, California on Saturday, #4 Erislandy Lara won an exciting back-and-forth battle with #8 Alfredo Angulo.  Lara looked far too classy for Angulo in the first couple rounds, but took the third, at which point he had managed to cut the distance consistently and land on the slick Lara.  The apparent turning point came in the 4th, when Angulo tagged, hurt, and dropped Lara to take a narrow lead and all the momentum.  But the well-schooled Cuban was undeterred, and easily won the next 4 rounds, and began to mark up the face of the Mexican warrior.  But the warrior would not surrender, as he again put Lara heavily to the canvas in the 9th.  It looked like it would be a razor-thin decision decided by how effectively Lara could keep Angulo at arm’s length and off balance, although Angulo seemed to be wearing his man down to the point that a stoppage victory seemed entirely possible.  But in the 10th, Lara flipped the script, landing a precise combination to Angulo’s right eye that caused instant out-of-control swelling and caused the proud Mexican to turn his back in agony, fearing a broken orbital bone, at which point Raul Caiz, Sr. promptly and correctly stopped the fight.  In my estimation, it was a fight of the year candidate.


On the undercard, undefeated prospect Jermell Charlo prevailed in a very low-action chess match with fringe contender Demetrius Hopkins.  The lack of action led to a lot of close rounds, such that it could have gone either way, though I had it 117-111for Charlo.  The judges were surprisingly unanimous, scoring it 115-113 for Charlo across the board- a credible yet surprising tally in numerical terms.


Earlier that evening in Toulon, France, local 2-loss prospect Cedric Vitu outpointed late replacement and sub-.500 journeyman Andreas Reimer in a 6-rounder.


The same night in Brindisi, Italy, one-loss Roman prospect Emanuele Della Rosa got an even weaker journeyman opponent in Konstantins Sakara, who was stopped with an injury a little over halfway through the 5th of a scheduled 6.


In the ShoBox main event on Friday, very young gatekeeper Jorge Melendez suffered a major setback and his 3rd loss when he was schooled by short-notice opponent Nick Brinson.  Melendez looked very stiff and uncertain early in the fight, and traded that for undisciplined wildness down the stretch.  Brinson was generally precise, and seemed the stronger and more athletic of the two.  He did get careless at times on defense, but only really paid for it once- in a wild 4th round in which most men tasted the canvas.  Melendez won either 1 or 2 rounds, with Wynn Kintz turning in a card that was not only clearly wrong at 96-92, but which also didn’t make sense in terms of the total points involved.  The fight actually happened at 160 as it turned out, but I’ve mentioned it here because neither fighter would actually have qualified as a top 50 middleweight, and thus this is the only place it could be discussed. 


Neither Lara nor Angulo has much room to move, given consistent performances.  Angulo still is ranked just ahead of a guy in Rosado that he emphatically defeated.  Lara’s win can be seen as moving him into a virtual tie with Trout, but it’s hard for me to move him past Trout considering the fact that I think Trout defeated Alvarez and should probably be ranked #1 in a perfect world.


Charlo’s victory does cause a shakeup, as the prospect has now sufficiently proven himself to earn a ranking at #18.  This forces Pitto and Culcay back to #19 and #20, and bumps Charlie Ota out again, after his second one-week stint as a ranked fighter.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1) Carlos Molina (19-101-116)
Last Fight: 2/1/2013- UD12 #11 Cory Spinks
Next Fight: 7/19/2013- vs. #5 Ishe Smith
After a couple months of speculation and assurances, Molina-Smith is now officially on for July 19 in Vegas.
2) Saul Alvarez (19-119-134)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- W* (UD12) vs. #3 Austin Trout
Next Fight: 9/14/2013- vs. #1 WW Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Floyd-Canelo on September 14 appeared to be made way back in February, but then appeared to be a distant memory for months.  Now it’s back on, for the exact same date.  The only difference is that Floyd got dropped for inactivity because the fight wasn’t signed when his 1-year anniversary at 154 came around.  There will be a 152-pound catchweight.
3) Austin Trout (16-54-123)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- L* (UD12) vs. #2 Saul Alvarez
Next Fight: Unknown
Trout wants a rematch of his very dubious loss to Alvarez.  He certainly deserves it.  He’ll have to wait until 2014 at the earliest, though, as Canelo is fighting Mayweather.
4) Erislandy Lara (16-101-123)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- TKO10 #8 Alfredo Angulo
Next Fight: Unknown
5) Ishe Smith (16-16-16)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- W (MD12) vs. #3 Cornelius Bundrage
Next Fight: Unknown
See Molina’s notes, above.
6) Miguel Cotto (6-158-158)
Last Fight: 12/1/2012- L (UD12) vs. #8 Austin Trout
Next Fight: Unknown
Cotto appears very likely to fight K9 Bundrage on September 28.
7) Cornelius Bundrage (6-149-149)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ishe Smith (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Cotto’s notes, above.
8) Alfredo Angulo (6-194-194)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L (TKO10) vs. #4 Erislandy Lara
Next Fight: Unknown
Angulo’s eye is a potential concern going forward in his career, as it conjures memories of Margarito’s problematic damage from the Pacquiao fight.
9) Gabriel Rosado (6-12-123)
Last Fight: 5/4/2013- L* (SD10) vs. J’Leon Love (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
In addition to the fight result barely being credible to begin with, it turns out Love was on a banned diuretic that helped him make weight at 160 (which he managed to do only by the skin of his teeth).  Most likely this will end up as a no-contest, thus adding even more reasons for me to not hold it against Rosado’s ranking at 154.
10) Sergey Rabchenko (6-6-52)
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.  A purse bid has been scheduled for June 18.
11) Delvin Rodriguez (6-100)
Last Fight: 5/24/2013- TKO8 Freddy Hernandez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez got a cuts stoppage over a guy that was beating him, but the judges had his back in case he needed their help.
12) Lukas Konecny (6-96)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W (TD12) vs. Karim Achour (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
13) Keith Thurman (6-29)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD12 #? WW Jan Zaveck (at WW)
Next Fight: 7/27/2013- vs. Diego Chaves (UNR) (at WW)
Thurman will be back on July 27 against undefeated Argentine prospect Diego Chaves, again at Welterweight.  The fight will be in San Antonio.
14) Vanes Martirosyan (6-106)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- D* (TD9) vs. #6 Erislandy Lara (robbery- should be L)
Next Fight: 6/15/2013- vs. Ryan Davis (UNR)
Martirosyan will look to rebound from a broken thumb on June 15 against journeyman Ryan Davis, a non-threatening nobody that was dropped from a 2012 date with Vanes due to a failed eye exam or some such thing.
15) Yuri Foreman (6-20)
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.
16) Willie Nelson (2-15)
Last Fight: 3/1/2013- TKO1 Michael Medina (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. Luciano Cuello (UNR)
Nelson finally has an opponent for 6/29- decent Argentine journeyman Luciano Cuello.
17) Brian Rose (2-12)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- TKO12 Joachim Alcine (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rose has officially vacated his British title.
18) Jermell Charlo (1-1)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- UD12 Demetrius Hopkins (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Guido Pitto (1-7)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- W* (SD12) vs. Jack Culcay (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It took an “upset” over highly-touted prospect Culcay for Pitto to get the recognition he earned but was denied against Veron.
20) Jack Culcay (1-6)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- L* (SD12) vs. Guido Pitto (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Most see Culcay’s squeaker of a loss to Pitto to be a major setback in his career.  Not I.  First, he barely lost it, if at all.  Second, he held his own with a true and more proven fringe contender, who was underrated due to a robbery.


The Week Ahead:  Saturday in Dallas, #14 Vanes Martirosyan keeps busy with low-level St. Louis-area journeyman Ryan Davis.

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