Super Middleweight: 2013, Jul 22-28

In Friday’s ShoBox co-feature in Vegas, undefeated prospect Badou Jack did exactly what he had to do, staying disciplined behind the jab and arguably winning every round against fellow prospect Farah Ennis, who was unfortunately far too passive to make a fight of it.

 

Jack had never before beaten a top-50 opponent, and had a bit of a gray mark on his record, having gotten a split decision win in a very close fight (I had it a draw) with then-unproven Alexander Brand.  Brand has since beaten William Gare, who is a shade more impressive than Ennis, making him an example of a guy that theoretically could be ranked ahead of Jack despite being unranked.  Another would be Brian Magee.  But Jack has a bit of a hidden trump card, in that he did beat a currently-ranked contender while that man- Don Mouton- was on a bit of a downswing in his career and was viewed as a journeyman.

 

Journeyman or not, it makes less sense to rank Mouton ahead of Jack now that Jack has a qualifying win than it would does to rank Jack ahead of Brand.  As a result, Jack checks in at #19 behind Glen Johnson and ahead of Mouton.  This forces out Don George after a brief two-week stint.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (84-218-218)
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 (61-371-371)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- UD12 #3 Mikkel Kessler
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #8 George Groves
Froch-Groves is official, but the date and location are still being worked out.  Looks like November or December.
2) Robert Stieglitz (18-204-204)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- TKO10 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 (32-450-450)
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 (10-196-196)
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 (4-4-4)
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 (10-85-85)
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 (4-112-160)
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 (4-32-54)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- TKO5 Noe Gonzalez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #1 Carl Froch
Groves-Froch is a go for probably November or December, though the date and location are still being sorted out.
9) Sakio Bika (4-23-329)
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 (4-7-93)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- RTD4 Stjepan Bozic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
DeGale badly wants a big-money fight with Froch.
11) Christopher Rebrasse (4-7)
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 (3-37)
Last Fight: 7/12/2013- UD8 Mark Suarez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
13) Edwin Rodriguez (3-27)
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 (3-30)
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 (3-10)
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 (3-5)
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 (3-21)
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 (3-12)
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) Badou Jack (1-1)
Last Fight: 7/19/2013- UD10 Farah Ennis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jack didn’t light the world on fire, but got the job done against Ennis.  With his earlier win over a more lightly-regarded version of the now-ranked Mouton, he’s earned his top 20 berth in a roundabout way.
20) Don Mouton (1-10)
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.

 

The Week Ahead: Cameroonian gatekeeper Serge Yannick will seek the national title of his adopted Australia Thursday in Flemington against local undefeated prospect Jake Carr, a relative novice at 4-0.

 

Gatekeepers Derrick Findley and Phil Williams meet up in Williams’ hometown of Minneapolis on Friday in an intriguing (if low-profile) match. 

 

And Saturday, in what will doubtless be a Showtime Extreme undercard broadcast from San Antonio, Anthony Dirrell looks to come back from a motorcycle accident and the misfire of a performance that followed when he meets decent journeyman Anthony Hanshaw.

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