Super Middleweight: 2013, Oct 21-27

An apparent mismatch in Leipzig yielded a snoozer of a fight.  #2 Robert Stieglitz didn’t take many chances to look good against unproven Nigerian prospect Isaac Ekpo, while Ekpo- given a totally undeserved shot at a major belt- fought a safety-first counterpunching style, and honestly didn’t appear to really try to win to a significant degree at any point.  I had it 118-110 for Stieglitz, which matched two of the judges, with the other having it a round wider.

 

Since Ekpo wasn’t even in the Boxrec top 75, the fight has no effect on the rankings.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (97-231-231)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Next Fight: 11/16/2013- vs. #12 Edwin Rodriguez
Ward has finally secured an opponent for his November 16 return: two-division fringe contender Edwin Rodriguez.
1) Carl Froch (74-384-384)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- UD12 #3 Mikkel Kessler
Next Fight: 11/23/2013- vs. #7 George Groves
Froch-Groves is set for November 23 in Manchester.
2) Robert Stieglitz (31-217-217)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- UD12 Isaac Ekpo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
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 (45-463-463)
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 (23-209-209)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- UD12 Wilbeforce Shihepo (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/26/2013- vs. Giovanni De Carolis (UNR)
Abraham continues to pursue a trilogy with Stieglitz, with both men fighting inferior opposition in the interim.  Abraham is in a little tougher this time around than is Stieglitz, at least on paper.  He faces borderline top 50 Italian Giovanni De Carolis.  It’s a little sad that that looks good by comparison to Stieglitz’s opponent.
5) Brandon Gonzales (17-17-17)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- D* vs. #5 Thomas Oosthuizen
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzales says that his team is working on a fight for the Ward-Rodriguez card on November 16.  He wants an eliminator against Vlasov, if possible.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (4-125-173)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- D* vs. Brandon Gonzales (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/9/2013- vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Oosthuizen has a significant- albeit risky- opportunity to redeem himself against credible Argentine fringe contender Ezequiel Maderna in South Africa on November 9.
7) George Groves (4-45-67)
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.
8) Sakio Bika (4-36-342)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- MD12 Marco Antonio Periban (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bika might be fighting Anthony Dirrell on the Malignaggi-Judah undercard on December 7.
9) James DeGale (4-20-106)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- RTD4 Stjepan Bozic (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/16/2013- vs. Dyah Davis (UNR)
DeGale will return to action in Bluewater, Kent on November 16.  He’ll be up against a good measuring stick in Dyah Davis.
10) Christopher Rebrasse (4-4-20)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #10 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye
Next Fight: 11/30/2013- 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.
11) Maxim Vlasov (4-50)
Last Fight: 7/12/2013- UD8 Mark Suarez (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/4/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Vlasov will fight in Krasnodar, Russia this November, on the undercard of a rather silly heavyweight fight between 44 year-old has-been Oleg Maskaev and Corey Sanders (not to be confused with the late Corrie Sanders, who has actually fought more recently).  I don’t have the exact date or opponent yet.
12) Edwin Rodriguez (4-40)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- TKO1 #16 LHW Denis Grachev (at LHW)
Next Fight: 11/16/2013- vs. Champ Andre Ward
Rodriguez will get a shot at reigning two-division Champion Andre Ward in mid-November, after a drama-filled negotiation.
13) Ezequiel Maderna (4-43)
Last Fight: 9/6/2013- UD10 Arnaldo Alcides Benitez (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/9/2013- vs. #6 Thomas Oosthuizen
Maderna will get a big opportunity in South Africa against Oosthuizen, who showed a great deal of vulnerability in his last fight.  That being said, from what I’ve seen of Maderna, his style is night and day different from Brandon Gonzales.
14) Andy Lee (4-23)
Last Fight: 5/15/2013- TKO1 Darryl Cunningham (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lee now says he’s in talks to fight Macklin in March.
15) Ryoto Murata (4-9)
Last Fight: 8/25/2013- TKO2 #14 MW Akio Shibata
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. Dave Peterson (UNR)
Murata is back in action on December 6 in Tokyo against unproven Minnesota prospect Dave Peterson.
16) Caleb Truax (4-18)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO4 Ceresso Fort (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Truax has made good on his move back down to 160, knocking out a halfway decent prospect in Ceresso Fort.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (4-34)
Last Fight: 10/17/2013- TKO1 Raimonds Sniedze (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Glen Johnson (4-25)
Last Fight: 4/19/2013- TKO2 Junior Ramos (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Johnson needs to schedule a fight at 168 before mid-December to keep his ranking.
19) Badou Jack (4-14)
Last Fight: 9/12/2013- Draw (MD12) vs. Marco Antonio Periban (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jack would like a shot at Sakio Bika next, though Bika appears to be tied up with Dirrell at present.
20) Don Mouton (4-4)
Last Fight: 5/13/2013- L* (UD8) vs. #10 Anthony Dirrell
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: Arthur Abraham looks to stay in the hunt for a rematch with Stieglitz on Saturday, when he fights Italian gatekeeper Giovanni De Carolis in Oldenburg.  Both guys are fighting non-threatening opponents in preparation for that anticipated trilogy bout, but this round goes to Abraham, since his opponent is at least borderline top 50.

 

Around the same time in Sheffield, England, undefeated Liverpool prospect Callum Smith takes a significant step up in competition against Argentine gatekeeper Ruben Acosta.

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