Welterweight: 2013, Jul 29- Aug 4

#17 Selcuk Aydin knocked out mid-level journeyman Aaron Herrera in the last half of the 8th round of their scheduled 10 in Cuxhaven, Germany.  This was Aydin’s first actual welterweight appearance in a year.

 

#11 Jesus Soto Karass upset #7 Andre Berto on Saturday in San Antonio.  The fight was grueling- especially for Berto, who separated his shoulder just a few rounds deep.  Berto did an admirable job hanging in there with one arm, as he was down only 3 points on my card (could have even been a round closer) before Soto Karass dropped him hard in the 12th to end it.  A crestfallen Berto could only say after the fight that he felt he deserved an 8 count.  I couldn’t agree more.  Pathologically awful referee Jon Schorle (you might remember him as the guy that completely ruined Carlos Molina’s near-masterpiece against James Kirkland) stopped the count at 4, with a wobbly Berto already on his feet.  Why?  Could Berto have continued?  It’s probably less than 50/50, but the guy beat the count by a long shot, and he wasn’t in any extraordinary danger of further injury during the 4 seconds left.  Schorle either doesn’t understand his role, or simply has some subconscious need to be a factor in the fight.  He is a professional embarrassment in the ring, though obviously this is far less earth-shattering than his delayed decision to give Golden Boy anything they asked for in the Kirkland fight.

 

Schorle’s error was minor compared to the judging of at least one official.  All three judges failed massively in that they didn’t recognize round 11 as the obvious 10-9 despite a flash knockdown scored by Berto on what might have been a low blow.  Dr. Cathy Leonard had it 105-103 for Berto at the time of the stoppage, which was absolutely ludicrous.  The other two judges had it somewhat reasonable at 114-114 (Hubert Minn) and 105-103 (Michael Mitchell) besides the 11th round SNAFU.

 

On the undercard, Keith Thurman impressed with his intelligence and mental toughness more than with the physical prowess that has been his trademark to this point.  He actually appeared mildly outgunned in the early going, when both guys were happy to engage in a slugfest.  Thurman had the presence of mind to take a step back and box, at which point he completely took over, winning 5 of the last 6 completed rounds on my card, and dispatching a still game- but in some ways outclassed- Diego Chaves in round 10 with a solid knockout.  Chaves was young, hungry, undefeated, and clearly no joke.  Thurman deserves a ton of credit for the intelligent- almost clinical- fashion in which he fought the latter part of the bout and worked his way to a knockout win.

 

Obviously there’s a lot of movement this week.  There is a case to be made that the Berto-Soto Karass result should be mitigated by the early Berto injury.  But Soto Karass was already ahead in the fight when it happened.  Illogical as it may be, Berto actually fought better after the injury.  Despite the reasonable closeness of the fight before its stoppage, it’s hard to say Berto would have won minus the injury when he hadn’t been winning to that point.  That being the case, I’m basically treating it as a standard win for Soto Karass.  He advances to #6 on the strength of both this and his prior win over a 5th-ranked (by my count) Selcuk Aydin, halted only by Maidana, who beat him recently.  Guerrero slips to #7 in the transaction.  Berto falls to Soto Karass’s former position at #11.  He pretty much has to go below Josesito Lopez when the two meet in the rankings, since Berto lost to Ortiz and Lopez stopped him.  But Berto has still both won and lost at a far higher level than last week’s #12 Chris van Heerden, or even Keith Thurman.

 

Last week’s #14 Alfonso Gomez is removed, having not fought in a year.  There was enough talk of a September fight with Victor Ortiz that I considered leaving him in as late as last week, but the word is that Ortiz won’t be fighting on the card in question at all.

 

Thurman advances to #12 ahead of van Heerden in a close call, with the decisive difference being the South African’s 2010 loss to a gatekeeper at 154.  This forces van Heerden and Abregu down a spot to #13 and #14, respectively.  With Gomez’s exit, everyone ranked #16 and below last week advances one position, allowing undefeated prospect Jessie Vargas to debut at #20.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (170-202-202)
Last Fight: 5/4/2013- UD12 #6 Robert Guerrero
Next Fight: 9/14/2013- vs. #2 JMW Saul Alvarez (at JMW)
Shane Mosley was the legit champ after beating Margarito, and thus Mayweather has been the legit champ since beating him in 2010.
1) Juan Manuel Marquez (90-90-90)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- KO6 #2 Manny Pacquiao
Next Fight: 10/12/2013- vs. #18 Timothy Bradley
With Mayweather apparently wanting to stay busy, a hard-earned rematch with the Champ might not be out of the question over the next year or two.  For now, it’s all about Tim Bradley.
2) Manny Pacquiao (90-243-243)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- L (KO6) vs. #1 Juan Manuel Marquez
Next Fight: 11/23/2013- vs. #? JWW Brandon Rios (UNR)
Pac Man needs to prove he can still get it done when he tries to rebound from a devastating knockout against former top lightweight Brandon Rios in China.
3) Shane Mosley (11-11-11)
Last Fight: 5/18/2013- UD12 Pablo Cesar Cano (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
A junior middleweight contest against Anthony Mundine in Australia sounds very likely for the Fall.
4) Devon Alexander (7-75-75)
Last Fight: 5/18/2013- RTD7 Lee Purdy (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It looks likely that Alexander will fight Khan on December 7, but no contract yet.
5) Marcos Maidana (8-8-8)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- TKO6 #4 Josesito Lopez
Next Fight: Unknown
Maidana is the subject of speculation regarding a possible fight with Adrien Broner in November.
6) Jesus Soto Karass (1-1-27)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO12 #7 Andre Berto
Next Fight: Unknown
Soto Karass obviously had a little help from Berto’s bad shoulder, but he was ahead in the fight even before the injury.
7) Robert Guerrero (1-36-53)
Last Fight: 5/4/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Next Fight: Unknown
Guerrero appears to be the top candidate for a fall fight with Victor Ortiz.
8) Kell Brook (11-118-118)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- TKO8 Carson Jones (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: 10/26/2013- vs. Vyacheslav Senchenko (UNR)
Brook fights Senchenko in late October.  He’s better make 147 for the non-title fight if he wants to maintain his ranking here.
9) Randall Bailey (11-60-60)
Last Fight: 10/20/2012- L (UD12) vs. #? Devon Alexander
Next Fight: Unknown
I haven’t heard any buzz about an upcoming Bailey fight since he was comfortably outpointed by Alexander in October.
10) Josesito Lopez (8-58-58)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L (TKO6) vs. #11 Marcos Maidana
Next Fight: 9/6/2013- vs. Aaron Martinez (UNR)
Lopez will get what amounts to a breather after his murderous schedule of contenders recently, fighting journeyman Aaron Martinez on September 6 in Indio, California.
11) Andre Berto (1-36)

Last Fight: 7/27/2013- L (TKO12) vs. #11 Jesus Soto Karass
Next Fight: Unknown
If you’d heard before the fight that Berto was going to get stopped by Soto Karass, you’d have probably assumed it was going to end Berto’s career at the elite level.  In reality, perhaps it didn’t, given his brave comeback from a shoulder injury.
12) Keith Thurman (1-21)

Last Fight: 7/27/2013- KO10 Diego Chaves (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Thurman has indicated interest in fighting Broner, and hopes to be “on Mayweather’s radar” soon.
13) Chris van Heerden (1-59)
Last Fight: 3/2/2013- UD12 Matthew Hatton (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Van Heerden recently moved his home base to Southern California from his native South Africa in search of better sparring and bigger fights.  He is likley to work with Brandon Rios in the coming months, and hopes to make his US debut in October.
14) Luis Carlos Abregu (1-14)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Antonin Decarie (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/7/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Abregu will kick off the telecast of Chavez-Vera on September 7, with undefeated prospect Brad Solomon being a possible opponent.
15) Jan Zaveck (1-190)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- L (UD12) vs. #15 JMW Keith Thurman
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Selcuk Aydin (1-224)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- KO8 Aaron Herrera (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Timothy Bradley (1-60)
Last Fight: 3/16/2013- W* (UD12) vs. Ruslan Provodnikov (UNR) (should be draw)
Next Fight: 10/12/2013- vs. #1 Juan Manuel Marquez
Bradley will look for redemption after very nearly losing to an inconsistent prospect.  It’ll be a tall order.
18) Ruslan Provodnikov (1-20)
Last Fight: 3/16/2013- L* (UD12) vs. #11? Timothy Bradley (should be draw)
Next Fight: 10/19/2013- vs. JWW#? Mike Alvarado (at JWW)
Alvarado-Provodnikov is done for 10/19 in Denver, at 140, with HBO to televise. 
19) Leonard Bundu (1-6)
Last Fight: 4/6/2013- KO11 Rafal Jackiewicz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Jessie Vargas (1-1)
Last Fight: 3/16/2013- UD10 Wale Omotoso (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/12/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Vargas will look to follow up on his career-best win against Omotoso with an appearance against a TBA opponent on the Marquez-Bradley undercard.

 

The Week Ahead: Friday features two notable fights in the US.

 

In Newark, Delaware, gatekeeper Ray Narh meets high-level journeyman Ray Robinson in a very well-matched fight. 

 

The same night in Miami, Oklahoma, gatekeeper and former contender Kermit Cintron takes on unproven one-loss Dominican prospect Jonathan Batista in what should be an easy fight if Cintron has anything left.  This will be the Friday Night Fights co-feature on ESPN2.

 

The following evening in Tijuana, young gatekeeper Jorge Paez, Jr. battles low-level journeyman Rodolfo Quintanilla.
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