Junior Middleweight: 2013, Oct 21-27

#15 Jermell Charlo headlined a Golden Boy card in Sunrise, Florida on Monday, and looked pretty good in gradually breaking down mid-level journeyman Jose Rodriguez en route to a 10th round TKO win, with the fight being well-stopped by Sam Burgos after a steadily-increasing load of punishment dished out by the young contender.

 

Friday in Benidorm, Spain, middleweight gatekeeper Roberto Santos moved down to 154 according to boxrec (though I’m a bit suspicious due to the lack of reported weight) to win a foregone conclusion of 3rd-round TKO over outclassed countryman Julio Sanchez.

 

 Saturday in Poland, undefeated but severely untested local prospect Michal Zerominski took a massive step up in class against former contender and current gatekeeper Rafal Jackiewicz, and while he acquitted himself well in many ways, he was unable to match the experience, skill, or conditioning of the veteran.  Jackiewicz took 80-72 nods from two judges (I thought Zerominski clearly won one round), and a 6-2 verdict from the third.

 

Later that night in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, apparently fading gatekeeper Joachim Alcine put up, at times, a spirited effort against the lesser-known of the fighting sons of Julio Cesar Chavez- Omar, taking a clear advantage during the middle rounds as the apparently bigger and stronger Chavez suddenly and severely fatigued.  But Chavez had already banked the first four rounds by then, and caught a timely 2nd wind in the 8th round that carried him through the end of a fight- including a knockdown with vicious body shot in the 10th and final round that put to rest any doubt as to the decision.  The scores were slightly odd.  Judge Orozco scored it 98-92, meaning he scored an even round.  Not too strange.  But Judge Gary Lopez had it 98-89, meaning that he scored two 10-8 rounds in addition to the obvious one for the 10th.  I don’t get it.  It was a good action fight, but nobody was getting beaten that badly at any point.

 

The win was a good one for Chavez.  He may be following a similar trajectory to his older brother Julio Jr., who appeared to be nothing but a pretender, getting gifts against nobodies, etc., before getting his man strength in his mid-20s and emerging as a physical beast.  Mid-fight stamina issues aside, Omar Chavez was a physical force in this fight.  Despite being a recent welterweight, both his appearance and mannerisms were those of the significantly bigger man than Alcine, who has been known to fight significant opponents at 160.  

 

I was nearly convinced by Boxrec’s rather lackluster ranking of Alcine that he had lost so much credibility in his last few fights as to fall from the top 50 and therefore not help Chavez out much.  On the other hand, I already had Chavez on my radar due to what I felt was a draw against Jorge Paez, Jr., and yet I quite intentionally still had Alcine ranked several spots above him.  He has a pair of good wins (only one at this weight, granted), and has only lost to really serious opposition.  He was clearly still a top 50 154-pounder going into this fight, in my opinion.  The win therefore vaults Chavez to very nearly the top 20.  Still, not quite.  No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1) Carlos Molina (38-120-135)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W (SD12) vs. #5 Ishe Smith
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Victor Ortiz (UNR)
Out of nowhere, it seems that Molina will be fighting a comebacking Victor Ortiz as the Maidana-Broner co-feature on December 14.
2) Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (6-6-6)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #2 Saul Alvarez
Next Fight: Unknown
Mayweather intends to fight twice in 2014: on May 3 and September 13, if all goes to plan.  Amir Khan is the rumored opponent for May 3.  Bradley is getting a bit of buzz lately, too.
3) Saul Alvarez (6-138-153)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- L* (MD12) vs. WW Champion Floyd Mayweather
Next Fight: Unknown
Alvarez says he’ll be back in March.
4) Austin Trout (6-73-142)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- L* (UD12) vs. #2 Saul Alvarez
Next Fight: 12/7/2013- vs. #5 Erislandy Lara
It looks like Lara-Trout for December 7 is a done deal.
5) Erislandy Lara (6-120-142)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- TKO10 #8 Alfredo Angulo
Next Fight: 12/7/2013- vs. #4 Austin Trout
See Trout’s note, above.
6) Ishe Smith (6-35-35)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- L (SD12) vs. #1 Carlos Molina
Next Fight: Unknown
Smith sounds like he’s open to a variety of options for his next fight.  Anything from a Molina rematch, to Trout, to Angulo or Lara.  And even more various than that- he says he wants one UFC fight.
7) Miguel Cotto (6-177-177)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- TKO3 #11 Delvin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Cotto is getting a lot of buzz for a fight with Sergio lately, as well as Canelo.
8) Cornelius Bundrage (6-168-168)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ishe Smith (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bundrage has been approved to fight Joey Hernandez in an IBF eliminator.  No date or contract yet, though.
9) Alfredo Angulo (6-213-213)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L (TKO10) vs. #4 Erislandy Lara
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Jorge Melendez (UNR)
Angulo looks like he’s got a done deal to fight Puerto Rican gatekeeper Jorge Melendez on the Maidana-Broner undercard.
10) Sergey Rabchenko (25-25-71)
Last Fight: 7/16/2013- TKO3 Gari Abajian (UNR)

Next Fight: 11/16/2013- vs. Bradley Pryce (UNR)
Rabchenko’s interesting rematch with Cedric Vitu has been replaced by a less-interesting scrap with British journeyman Bradley Pryce…still in Bulgaria.
11) Delvin Rodriguez (25-119)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (TKO3) vs. #7 Miguel Cotto
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez appears to be solid against borderline top-10 types (see Wolak), but completely out of his depth at just a tad higher level.
12) Vanes Martirosyan (3-125)
Last Fight: 6/15/2013- TKO2 Ryan Davis (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 11/9/2013- vs. Demetrius Andrade (UNR)
Martirosyan-Andrade has been moved up a week to November 9.
13) Willie Nelson (3-34)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- UD10 Luciano Cuello (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/7/2013- vs. #6 MW Matthew Macklin (at MW)
Nelson’s stay-busy fight with Dante Moore was cancelled on short notice, but he appears poised to move up to 160 to fight proven contender Matthew Macklin at that weight on December 7.
14) Brian Rose (3-31)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- W (PTS10) vs. Alexey Ribchev (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 10/26/2013- vs. Javier Maciel (UNR)
Rose will be back on the Brook-Senchenko undercard in Sheffield, and will be fighting Argentine prospect Javier Maciel- certainly his toughest opponent since capturing the British title.
15) Jermell Charlo (3-20)
Last Fight: 10/14/2013- TKO10 Jose Angel Rodriguez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After a reasonably close first few rounds, Charlo proceeded to lay a beating on Rodriguez.
16) Yuri Foreman (3-39)
Last Fight: 7/24/2013- UD8 Jamaal Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/12/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Foreman is back on November 12 in Hollywood, Florida.  No opponent yet, but he’s been slowly upgrading his competition since beginning his comeback.
17) Guido Pitto (3-26)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- W* (SD12) vs. Jack Culcay (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/26/2013- vs. Jack Culcay (UNR)
A Culcay-Pitto rematch was postponed due to headliner Marco Huck’s elbow injury, and will now happen on October 26 in Oldenburg.
18) Kell Brook (3-15)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- TKO8 Carson Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/26/2013- vs. Vyacheslav Senchenko (UNR) (at WW)
Brook gets Senchenko in late October in Sheffield.  Since it’s a non-title fight, there’s always the chance it could creep up over 147 and thus affect his ranking here.
19) Jermall Charlo (3-3)
Last Fight: 9/12/2013- TKO7 Rogelio De la Torre (UNR) (as MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
20)  Jack Culcay (3-3)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- L* (SD12) vs. Guido Pitto (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/26/2013- vs. #17 Guido Pitto
See Pitto’s notes, above.

 

The Week Ahead:  Saturday features two pretty important fights in Europe.

 

On the Abraham-De Carolis undercard in Oldenburg, #17 Guido Pitto of Argentina rematches heavily-hyped German prospect and #20 contender Jack Culcay.  Pitto was brought in as an opponent for their first meeting in April- something I knew might be a mistake considering Pitto’s only loss was a blatant robbery in a fight he dominated against the decent Mateo Veron.  The fight was very close, with Pitto surprisingly taking a close split decision- with an effective margin of one round- in his opponent’s backyard.  For my part, I had the fight a draw.  With both fighters potentially having very bright futures ahead of them, this fight could carry a great deal more importance than its lack of hype internationally might suggest.

 

The same night, on the Brook-Senchenko undercard in Sheffield, #14 Brian Rose gets a very tough assignment against Argentina’s Javier Maciel- a prospect/gatekeeper/fringe contender combination- who is best known for giving middleweight contender Dmitry Pirog a very tough fight fresh off Pirog’s star-making performance against Danny Jacobs.  This is a tough fight to call, since Rose looks very good in most of his major fights- notably against Joachim Alcine and Prince Arron, but also tends to barely escape against comparatively mediocre opponents like Kris Carslaw and Sam Webb.

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