Super Middleweight: 2013, Sep 2-8

Friday in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, local favorite Francis Cheka won an average decision over Minneapolis gatekeeper Phil Williams.  No video can be found at present, but I did read one account that said Cheka dropped Williams and won comfortably, which supports the scorecards of 116-113, 117-111, and 119-109.

 

The same night in Homebush, Australia, 2-loss Kiwi prospect Junior Talipeau won a decision over low-level Argentine journeyman Walter Crucce.  It seems like it may not have been as easy as you might think.  Two judges had it 115-110 despite Crucce giving away two points to fouls.  The other judge had it 120-106.

 

Cheka might be approaching a ranking had he not lost earlier this year to a pretty low-level prospect.  As it is, no changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (90-224-224)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Next Fight: 11/16/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Ward was looking for a comeback fight on September 28 against Caleb Truax, Dimitri Sartison, or Stas Kashtanov.  HBO rejected all three, and Edwin Rodriguez wanted more time to prepare.  The comeback has now been tentatively moved to November 16, but Ward is still looking for an HBO-friendly opponent after Rodriguez priced himself out with outlandish financial demands.
1) Carl Froch (67-377-377)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- UD12 #3 Mikkel Kessler
Next Fight: 11/23/2013- vs. #8 George Groves
Froch-Groves is set for November 23 in Manchester.
2) Robert Stieglitz (24-210-210)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- TKO10 Yuzo Kiyota (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/19/2013- vs. Isaac Ekpo (UNR)
Stieglitz and Abraham seem to be competing on who can fight the more mediocre opponents before rematching.  Ekpo is the worst yet- a low-level Nigerian prospect.
3) Mikkel Kessler (38-456-456)
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 (16-202-202)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- UD12 Wilbeforce Shihepo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Abraham is hoping his weak effort against non-entity Shihepo will earn him a mandatory spot for a trilogy with Stieglitz.
5) Brandon Gonzales (10-10-10)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- D* vs. #5 Thomas Oosthuizen
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzales at least earned a draw with Oosthuizen despite fading late.  I had it a win, and I give him credit for that.
6) Adonis Stevenson (16-91-91)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- TKO1 LHW#1 Chad Dawson (at LHW)
Next Fight: 9/28/2013- vs. #7 LHW Tavoris Cloud (at LHW)
Stevenson looks like he’ll be fighting Cloud in Montreal in late September.  After that, he’ll probably get Tony Bellew before the end of the year when he wins.  He’ll probably be removed here in October, since he hasn’t fought at 168 in nearly a year.
7) Thomas Oosthuizen (10-118-166)
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 (10-38-60)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- TKO5 Noe Gonzalez (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/23/2013- vs. #1 Carl Froch
Groves and Froch will face off on November 23 in Manchester.
9) Sakio Bika (10-29-335)
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.  He’s also been called out by Chavez, Rodriguez, Badou Jack, and Anthony Dirrell recently.  A guy gets a meaningless alphabet belt, and all of a sudden he goes from one of the most avoided fighters in the sport to a guy everyone wants to fight.
10) James DeGale (10-13-99)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- RTD4 Stjepan Bozic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
DeGale badly wants a big-money fight with Froch.
11) Christopher Rebrasse (10-13)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #10 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye
Next Fight: 10/26/2013- vs. Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (UNR)
Rebrasse should have no reason to rematch Ndiaye, having beaten him decisively in June, but the judges completely corrupt ripoff has somehow conspired to make Rebrasse waste time and take a risk to confirm a very clear result.
12) Maxim Vlasov (9-43)
Last Fight: 7/12/2013- UD8 Mark Suarez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
13) Edwin Rodriguez (9-33)
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.  Turns out he had two different shots at Andre Ward since the Grachev fight.  He turned down one and priced himself out of the other.
14) Ezequiel Maderna (9-36)
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 (9-16)
Last Fight: 5/15/2013- TKO1 Darryl Cunningham (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/28/2013- vs. Domenico Spada (UNR) (at MW)
Lee will be in a rare title fight for him, and will thus most likely make the 160 pound limit for his Haye-Fury undercard fight with Domenico Spada- a rarity for him.
16) Ryoto Murata (2-2)
Last Fight: 8/25/2013- TKO2 #14 MW Akio Shibata
Next Fight: Unknown
Murata joins Lee and Truax as Middleweights who can claim a ranking in this very shallow division by beating an opponent a few pounds or less over 160.  But he comes with a twist…he’s done so in his very first fight.
17) Caleb Truax (2-11)
Last Fight: 6/21/2013- KO6 #15 Don George
Next Fight: 9/21/2013- vs. Ceresso Fort (UNR) (at MW?)
Truax will see action in Minneapolis on September 21 against fellow Minnesota prospect Ceresso Fort.
18) Hadillah Mohoumadi (2-27)
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.
19) Glen Johnson (2-18)
Last Fight: 4/19/2013- TKO2 Junior Ramos (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Looks like Johnson’s scheduled fight with Isiah Thomas, which would have been on Friday Night Fights, was canceled.  I don’t know why.
20) Badou Jack (2-7)
Last Fight: 7/19/2013- UD10 Farah Ennis (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/12/13- vs. Marco Antonio Periban (UNR)
No soft touches for Jack.  He will get prospect Marco Antonio Periban- who gave Sakio Bika all he could handle- on the newly rebranded Fox Sports 2 (formerly Fuel TV) a couple days before Mayweather-Canelo.

 

The Week Ahead: Two fights worth mentioning, both on Saturday:

 

In Saarbrucken, Germany, South African gatekeeper William Gare looks to test German Juergen Doberstein, who has not lost since a 6-round decision nearly 5 years ago.

 

Later that night in Fort Washington, Maryland, one-loss Brooklyn fringe prospect Phillip Jackson Benson takes on Virginia journeyman Scott Sigmon- who is best known as a former stay-busy Kelly Pavlik opponent.  Look out for this one.  Though he’s probably top 50 in a very sad division, Benson has a loss in his career against a winless fighter.
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