Super Middleweight: 2013, Sep 16-22

In a very tight fight on Thursday in Vegas, #20 Badou Jack narrowly avoided his first career loss by escaping with a majority draw against fellow prospect Marco Antonio Periban.  I had it 96-94 for Periban, but the fight could have gone either way, and a draw is probably an appropriate result.   To summarize the action, Periban was typically more frenetic and active, while sometimes a little sloppy.  Jack was calm and composed, but lacked aggression and much of a workrate.  He also started very slowly.  One judge had it exactly as I did, while the other two were a round friendlier to Jack, thus yielding the draw.  I didn’t really catch this during the broadcast, but apparently Periban misssed weight by a half-pound, as well.

 

The following night in Hammond, Indiana, fringe contender Derrick Findley easily handled Chicago prospect Mike Jimenez, finally stopping the undefeated young fighter in 7.

 

No changes this week.  Jack’s performance diminishes him a little, but he still owns a win over unofficial #21 Don Mouton.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (92-226-226)
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, though the fight doesn’t appear totally dead yet.
1) Carl Froch (69-379-379)
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 (26-212-212)
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 (40-458-458)
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 (18-204-204)
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 (12-12-12)
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 (18-93-93)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- TKO1 LHW#1 Chad Dawson (at LHW)
Next Fight: 9/28/2013- vs. #8 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 (12-120-168)
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 (12-40-62)
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 (12-31-337)
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 (12-15-101)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- RTD4 Stjepan Bozic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
DeGale badly wants a big-money fight with Froch.
11) Christopher Rebrasse (12-15)
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 (11-45)
Last Fight: 7/12/2013- UD8 Mark Suarez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
13) Edwin Rodriguez (11-35)
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, but seems to be negotiating again.
14) Ezequiel Maderna (11-38)
Last Fight: 9/6/2013- UD10 Arnaldo Alcides Benitez (UNR)
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 (11-18)
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.
16) Ryoto Murata (4-4)
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 (4-13)
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 (4-29)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- TKO7 #20 CW Pawel Glazewski (at LHW)
Next Fight: 9/21/2013- vs. Giovanni De Carolis (UNR)
Mohoumadi is once again scheduled to fight borderline top-50 Italian gatekeeper Giovanni De Carolis.  Let’s hope it’s not another Italian robbery of a Frenchman like Rebrasse-Ndiaye.
19) Glen Johnson (4-20)
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 (4-9)
Last Fight: 9/12/2013- Draw (MD12) vs. Marco Antonio Periban (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jack never looks all that bad, but he does struggle at around the fringe contender level.

 

The Week Ahead: Monday in Queens, New York, undefeated prospect Lamar Russ takes on low-level journeyman Latif Mundy a few pounds over the middleweight limit.

 

#18 Hadillah Mohoumadi battles borderline top-50 Italian Giovanni De Carolis in Rome on Saturday. 

 

Later that night in Minneapolis, #17 Caleb Truax meets in-state rival and one-loss prospect Ceresso Fort, but at 160.

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