Middleweight: 2013, Aug 19-25

In what must be viewed as an upset from Atlantic City, #3 Daniel Geale was defeated in a legitimately razor-thin fight on HBO.  Geale, who lacks real power but usually makes up for it with volume, was a bit more cautious than normal, perhaps because Barker seemed to have a pretty fair amount of steam behind his punches to an extent that guys like Sebastian Sylvester and Anthony Mundine may not have.  Maybe even more than Sturm, with whom Geale also had a toss-up kind of fight.  I had it 114-113 for Barker, with the Englishman winning 7 rounds to overcome a devastatingly placed body shot that produced a knockdown and almost a knockout in the 6th.  Half the fight was composed of toss-up rounds, but in my estimation, Barker swept the first 5, came back strong in the 7th, and managed to nick the 10th to seal the victory.

 

In much less significant action, gatekeeper Sergio Sanders knocked out low-level countryman Abel Adriel in 7 from Malvinas, Argentina.

 

Barker revitalizes his injury-plagued career with by far its best win.  He rockets to #3, replacing Geale at that position.  Geale slumps two spots, displaced by Barker and also swapping positions with Sturm, over whom he holds an indecisive win.  Macklin is displaced one spot by Barker, as well.

 

Having re-scheduled his 165 pound catchweight fight with Vera for after the 1-year anniversary of his last middleweight fight, Julio Cesar Chavez (#6 last week) is removed.  Brought into equilibrium by Barker and Chavez, everyone ranked #7-14 last week stays put.  #s 16-20 each move up, and the vacancy at #20 is filled by Billi Godoy, who had been bumped out of that spot on August 5.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (175-175-175)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: Unknown
Martinez should be back in March or April of 2014.  Golovkin has been mentioned, but that would be a bit too much for his first fight back, I would think.
1) Martin Murray (17-90-90)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- L* (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez (Robbery- D at worst)
Next Fight: Unknown
With the Golovkin talks having amounted to nothing, Murray is looking for what should be a make-able showdown with Darren Barker.
2) Gennady Golovkin (8-51-114)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- KO3 #5 Matthew Macklin
Next Fight: 11/2/2013- vs. #19 Curtis Stevens
Apparently 2 gatekeeper-level knockouts, a gift decision over a journeyman, and a ton of undeserved hype will get you a shot at getting demolished by Golovkin.  Curtis Stevens will get just that on November 2.
3) Darren Barker (1-1-97)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- W (SD12) vs. #3 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown
Geale wants a rematch, and Martin Murray is knocking, as well.  But more than likely, a mandatory against Sturm is the next move, probably in December.

4) Felix Sturm (8-518-518)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- TKO4 Predrag Radosevic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Barker’s notes, above.
5) Daniel Geale (1-218-218)

Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (SD12) vs. #15 Darren Barker

Next Fight: Unknown

Geale wants a rematch, but will probably have to wait until at least 2014, since it appears likely Barker will make a mandatory defense in December against Sturm, instead.
6) Matthew Macklin (1-113-204)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- L (KO3) vs. #4 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Macklin has now suffered his 2nd knockout loss at the top level, but still has plenty of cred against anyone not in the top 5.
7) Peter Quillin (17-44-65)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- TKO7 Fernando Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/26/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Golden Boy expects to put Quillin on the Hopkins-Murat undercard in late October.
8) Dmitry Pirog (17-160-160)
Last Fight: 5/1/2012- UD12 #20 Nobuhiro Ishida
Next Fight: Unknown
Pirog says his back injuries have fully healed, and will be meeting with his people in the US soon to determine his next fight.  I’ll probably give him until the end of September to calendar that fight before removing him.
9) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (8-25-147)
Last Fight: 10/20/2012- L (UD12) vs. #20 Peter Quillin
Next Fight: Unknown
10) Sergio Mora (8-8-8)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- UD10 #9 Grzegorz Proksa
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora is hoping for a shot at Golovkin off the Proksa win, and has signed with a solid promoter in Lou DiBella.
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (23-134)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- KO2 Dionisio Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rubio is theoretically set up for a alphabet title fight with Chavez, but Chavez has to beat Vera and decide to continue campaigning at 160, which seems increasingly unlikely.
12) Anthony Mundine (23-134)
Last Fight: 1/30/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #3 WW Shane Mosley (at JMW)
Mundine says the fight is signed with Mosley, but no date has been announced yet.
13) Osumanu Adama (23-126)
Last Fight: 7/26/2013- RTD7 Doel Carasquillo (UNR) (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Adama has until September 7 to schedule a middleweight fight to avoid removal, having missed 160 in his last two fights.
14) Akio Shibata (16-16)
Last Fight: W (TD9) vs. #18 Makoto Fuchigami
Next Fight: 8/25/2013- vs. Ryota Murata (UNR)
This is a bit stunning.  After proving himself the best Asian middleweight against Fuchigami, Shibata will follow up with a high-risk, no reward fight against Ryota Murata, a fighter making his pro debut, but an Olympic Gold Medalist, as well.
15) Max Bursak (1-134)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- UD12 Prince Arron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Demetrius Andrade (1-105)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- UD10 Freddy Hernandez (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #14 JMW Vanes Martirosyan (at JMW)
Andrade-Martirosyan has been postponed along with Chavez-Vera due to Chavez’s cut.  Chances are the new date will lead to his removal, since it will probably be after his 1-year anniversary of his last middleweight fight.  That’s now even more likely with the news that the fight will not be on the same date as Chavez-Vera anymore.
17) Bryan Vera (1-44)
Last Fight: 3/29/2013- TKO7* Donatas Bondorovas (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/28/2013- vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR) (at SMW)
Vera’s fight with Chavez has been delayed again, this time to 9/28.
18) Grzegorz Proksa (1-123)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Proksa is an enigma.  He looked like the next big thing against Sylvester, but did practically nothing against Mora. 
19) Curtis Stevens (1-3)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- KO1 Saul Roman (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/2/2013- vs. #2 Gennady Golovkin
Stevens needed a gift to beat journeyman Derrick Findley, and has never beat anything better than a gatekeeper at this weight.  My opinion is that his fight with Golovkin will be akin to an execution.
20) Billi Godoy (1-1)
Last Fight: 7/19/2013- UD12 Mateo Veron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: One-loss prospect and cancer survivor Danny Jacobs will get his stiffest test, by far, since he was knocked out by Pirog back in 2010, when he takes on Dominican gatekeeper Giovanni Lorenzo, a once-promising prospect who still has only lost to top-10 opposition.  That fight will inaugurate Fox Sports 1’s new Monday Night Boxing series.

 

Saturday in Volgograd, Russia, undefeated Russian prospect Dmitry Chudinov- recently ranked in the top 20 before being humbled by a draw to journeyman Patrick Mendy- looks to get back on a winning track against a lesser journeyman in Venezuela’s Jorge Navarro.

 

A battle of Mexicans is brewing in Glendale, California later that night, as undefeated prospect Gilberto Ramirez takes on veteran journeyman Julio Cesar Garcia.

 

Capping off the week on Sunday is a very intriguing match-up in Tokyo, where #14 Akio Shibata will look to rudely welcome Olympic Gold Medalist Ryoto Murata to the pro ranks.  That’s right.  Murata is making his pro debut against the best middleweight in Asia.  No baby steps here.  I hope Shibata is getting paid well, because this is a very high-risk, low-reward kind of fight.  It’s not every day a guy has a chance to be 1-0 and something close to a top-10 fighter.

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