Super Middleweight: 2013, Jul 15-21

Friday in Ventura, California, Maxim Vlasov won a pretty dominant 8-round decision over journeyman Mark Suarez, who was a welterweight in his last fight 7 years ago.

 

#2 Robert Stieglitz won his own dominant decision- this one a technical one based on a cut above his opponent’s eye- winning every round of his stay-busy fight against Japanese journeyman Yuzo Kiyota.

 

At a 171.5 pound catchweight, #13 Edwin Rodriguez destroyed #16 light heavyweight Denis Grachev by 1st-round TKO.  The first knockdown of two was clearly a shot to the dead center of the back of Grachev’s head, but Grachev was vastly outgunned.  As a rule, I don’t let fights in other divisions affect rankings in another, except in the case of a bad loss.  This won’t be an exception.  While the win probably does prove that Rodriguez will be a top super middleweight, 175 does seem to be an inferior division to 168 despite the shrinking talent pool here, as every time a 168-pounder moves up to fight a higher-ranked light heavyweight, the super middle does better than expected, and usually wins.  I also happen to think that Rodriguez was overrated if anything at #13, having deserved to lose half the fights that got him there, in my book.  When the fight is not in the correct division, I ask myself “do I have an excuse not to promote him.”  His very questionable wins over Maderna, Pryor, and Rosinsky are the excuse I need for now.  

 

No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (83-217-217)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward has fights on the table with Stevenson and Froch.  He is trying to separate himself from promoter Dan Goossen, though, which might complicate matters.  Goossen has also said Ward wouldn’t take the Froch fight immediately, since he has been laid up with injury for the better part of a year.
1) Carl Froch (60-370-370)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- UD12 #3 Mikkel Kessler
Next Fight: Unknown
Froch-Groves appears likely for late 2013 or early 2014.
2) Robert Stieglitz (17-203-203)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- W (TD10) vs. Yuzo Kiyota (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After wasting a perfectly good fight on a scrub like Kiyota, let’s hope Stieglitz finally takes his shiny ranking out for a spin.
3) Mikkel Kessler (31-449-449)
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 (9-195-195)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- L (TKO3) vs. #5 Robert Stieglitz
Next Fight: 8/24/2013- vs. Wilbeforce Shihepo (UNR)
Abraham is slated to fight Namibian journeyman Wilbeforce Shihepo on 8/24, and has now struck a deal to keep fighting until at least 2015.
5) Brandon Gonzales (3-3-3)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- D* vs. #5 Thomas Oosthuizen
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzales at least earned a draw ith Oosthuizen despite fading late.  I had it a win, and I give him credit for that.
6) Adonis Stevenson (9-84-84)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- TKO1 LHW#1 Chad Dawson (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Purse bids have been ordered for Stevenson to fight Tony Bellew at 175, but it sounds like he’s close to a deal to fight Tavoris Cloud.  Either fight may signal the end of Stevenson’s ranking at 168, since his last fight here was in October.
7) Thomas Oosthuizen (3-111-159)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- D* vs. Brandon Gonzales (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Oosthuizen laid a complete, fully-formed goose egg in the first half of his fight with deserved underdog Brandon Gonzales, and was extremely lucky to escape with a draw.
8) George Groves (3-31-53)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- TKO5 Noe Gonzalez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Groves will likely fight Froch in late 2013 or early 2014.
9) Sakio Bika (3-22-328)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- MD12 Marco Antonio Periban (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bika seems to consider an Andre Ward rematch his top priority.  The two fought a very close fight the first time around.
10) James DeGale (3-6-92)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- RTD4 Stjepan Bozic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
DeGale badly wants a big-money fight with Froch.
11) Christopher Rebrasse (3-6)
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. The EBU has ordered a rematch, as if one were needed.
12) Maxim Vlasov (2-36)
Last Fight: 7/12/2013- UD8 Mark Suarez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
13) Edwin Rodriguez (2-26)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- TKO1 #16 LHW Denis Grachev (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez named Bika as someone he’d like to fight next.  Both are talented fighters who care little about technique as they wing wild punches.  Could be fun if it happens.
14) Ezequiel Maderna (2-29)
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) Andy Lee (2-9)
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.
16) Caleb Truax (2-4)
Last Fight: 6/21/2013- KO6 #15 Don George
Next Fight: Unknown
Truax says that his immediate future is at middleweight, though he doesn’t like to lose the extra 2-3 pounds unless necessary.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (2-20)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- TKO7 #20 CW Pawel Glazewski (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mohoumadi cancelled his long-scheduled fight with Giovanni De Carolis in favor of an opportunity with Pawel Glazewki at light heavyweight, it would appear.
18) Glen Johnson (2-11)
Last Fight: 4/19/2013- TKO2 Junior Ramos (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: 8/23/2013- vs. Isiah Thomas (UNR) (at LHW)
Johnson is being used as a stepping stone for undefeated Detroit light heavyweight prospect Isiah Thomas in August.
19) Don Mouton (2-9)
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) Don George (2-2)
Last Fight: 6/21/2013- L (KO6) vs. Caleb Truax (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
George has sworn off near-middleweight catchweights after blaming his dominant knockout loss to Truax on weight drain.

 

The Week Ahead: Friday on ShoBox from Las Vegas, undefeated prospect Badou Jack takes on one-loss prospect Farah Ennis in a very good matchup that should get somebody in the ballpark of a ranking.

 

Billi Godoy’s fight with Mateo Veron in Neuquen, Argentina is essentially a middleweight contest, but if boxrec is any indication it may spill over into the 168 range.

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