Middleweight: 2013, Aug 26- Sep 1

One-loss prospect and cancer survivor Danny Jacobs made a big statement on Monday.  He’s back.  Jacobs made 160 for the first time since his 2010 knockout loss to Pirog, and since beating cancer.  And fighting the first serious opponent since Pirog, he managed to look better than he has since at least the Ishe Smith fight in 2009.  But let’s not overhype it just yet.  Jacobs dances away from his opponent too much for my liking.  When he does so, he crosses the line from boxing into light running.  I actually gave the first to rounds to the more aggressive and solid Lorenzo.  But Jacobs didn’t wait too long to get going, absolutely detonating Lorenzo’s chin in the 3rd.  This was perhaps a bit surprising, since Jacobs had never even knocked down a top 50 opponent before, and Lorenzo had never been stopped despite fighting 3 top-5 contenders, and another top 10.


Speaking of quick knockouts, undefeated Russian prospect Dmitry Chudinov moved on a bit from his rather embarrassing draw with Patrick Mendy, knocking out one-loss Venezuelan fringe prospect Jorge Navarro in the 2nd.


Gilberto Ramirez, the undefeated Mexican prospect, had been scheduled to take on veteran journeyman Julio Cesar Garcia, but got a short notice replacement in veteran spoiler Derrick Findley.  It’s unfortunate that Findley continues to be put in this type of situation.  We’ve seen that he’s a pretty good fighter when he gets something like a full camp.  He definitely deserved to beat Curtis Stevens in that situation earlier this year.  But against Ramirez, on a few days’ notice, he didn’t win a single round on a single card.  The fight was actually at super middleweight, and perhaps unintentionally makes Ramirez a minor player in that division (at least in my book).


And last but certainly not least, Olympic Gold Medalist Ryoto Murata made his pro debut on Sunday in Tokyo.  Why am I spending time on a pro debut, you ask?  Afterall, I pretty much only report on match-ups involving top 50 fighters.  Well, simple: Murata’s pro debut came against none other than #14 Akio Shibata, Asia’s best middleweight.  This was a bold and confident move for Murata’s team, and a very high-risk one for Shibata.  It paid off for Murata, as he dropped Shibata in the first and finished him off late in the second.  Unfortunately, the fight was contested at 161, and thus doesn’t establish Murata’s eligibility as a middleweight.  It’s a shame, since that pound almost certainly made little difference in the outcome, and since Murata probably otherwise earned a top-10 spot in his very first fight.  The win will be considered in the future, but only once Murata has achieved the requisite top 50 win while making the 160 limit.


Demetrius Andrade (#16 last week) is removed, having scheduled a fight at 154 for November- more than a year after his last fight against an opponent that weighed more than that.  Shibata also falls out, although I give him enough benefit of the doubt as to Murata being a top-quality prospect that he’s still in the neighborhood of a ranking.  This allows Max Bursak to advance from #15 to #14.  Meanwhile, everyone ranked #17-20 last week moves up two places.  Jacobs assumes the #19 spot with his big win.  Chudinov is back in at #20, though I assure you, the fact that he had a  stay-busy win this week had no bearing on his ranking.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (176-176-176)
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 (18-91-91)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- L* (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez (Robbery- D at worst)
Next Fight: Unknown
Apparently Hatton Promotions, who handle Murray, had an offer on the table to fight Quillin in England.  Golden Boy blames the deal falling through on Hatton’s CEO- Richard Poxon, essentially crying incompetence.  But with no word from Murray’s camp, it’s hard to say whether that’s a fight the should-be Champ wanted or not.
2) Gennady Golovkin (9-52-115)
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 (2-2-98)
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 (9-519-519)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- TKO4 Predrag Radosevic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Barker’s notes, above.
5) Daniel Geale (2-219-219)
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 (2-114-205)
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 (18-45-66)
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.  Sergio Mora is apparently dying to be the opponent.
8) Dmitry Pirog (18-161-161)
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 (9-26-148)
Last Fight: 10/20/2012- L (UD12) vs. #20 Peter Quillin
Next Fight: Unknown
10) Sergio Mora (9-9-9)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- UD10 #9 Grzegorz Proksa
Next Fight: Unknown
See Quillin’s notes, above.
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (24-135)
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 (24-135)
Last Fight: 1/30/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: 8/23/2013- 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 (24-127)
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) Max Bursak (1-135)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- UD12 Prince Arron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Bryan Vera (1-45)
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.
16) Grzegorz Proksa (1-124)
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. 
17) Curtis Stevens (1-4)
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.
18) Billi Godoy (1-2)
Last Fight: 7/19/2013- UD12 Mateo Veron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Danny Jacobs (1-1)
Last Fight: 8/19/2013- TKO3 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Dmitry Chudinov (1-1)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- KO2 Jorge Navarro (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown


The Week Ahead: Nothing going on this week, after a very active last week.

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