Junior Middleweight: 2013, Oct 28- Nov 3

Two fights to discuss from last week:


In Oldenburg, Germany, #17 Guido Pitto battled #20 Jack Culcay in a rematch of Pitto’s split decision win from April (which I scored a draw).  The second fight was just as close.  Pitto seemed a bit on the high-strung side early on, flinging ill-considered arm punches far too often, and dropping the first four rounds on my card.  But despite Culcay’s impressive physique, it was the wiry Pitto that showed the better conditioning.  After splitting rounds 5-8 on my card, Pitto swept the last 4 rounds- mostly in close fashion- to even the score.  But the judges saw it a bit differently, with Pawel Kardyni and Jean Francois Toupin each giving Culcay the nod 115-113, and the third judge Erkki Meronen turning in a 117-112 that was maybe a slight reach.  Overall, they were reasonable cards, if a tad bit slanted.  The simple truth is that Pitto and Culcay are just two very evenly-matched fighters in general.


In Sheffield, #14 Brian Rose got another gift decision.  The absolute best he could have hoped for in his fight with Francisco Maciel was a draw, and even that may have been asking a lot.  I had it 115-113 Maciel, and even as wide as 119-109 for the Argentine would not have been out of line.  Not to take anything away from Rose’s effort, though.  He was gutsy, and was landing the sharper punches.  It’s just that he was significantly less active.  Maciel, for his part, was all-action.  He was a little wild, but effective overall.  He did appear to gas out a bit in the last round, but by all rights that shouldn’t have made any difference.  Since a draw would have been a somewhat reasonable result, I will treat it as just that when it comes to Rose, while giving Maciel full credit for the win that he truly earned.


Kell Brook also got a win, which is inconsequential at 154 and will be discussed fully at welterweight.


As a result of these two fights, Maciel ends up debuting at #11.  Rose mostly holds his ground, backtracking just one spot to accommodate his opponent’s arrival on the scene.  Culcay and Pitto’s second inconclusive battle leads me to give minimal deference to the official decision, promoting Culcay to #18, while Pitto drops two places, just behind him at #19.  Everyone ranked #11-16 last week falls off a place.  Kell Brook falls two spots to #20, and Jermall Charlo exits.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1) Carlos Molina (39-121-136)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W (SD12) vs. #5 Ishe Smith
Next Fight: Unknown
The IBF refused to sanction Molina’s defense against Victor Ortiz for their title, and the fight has been cancelled as a result.  The PPV it was intended for will now be a regular Showtime broadcast.
2) Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (7-7-7)
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, as is Bernard Hopkins, at middleweight.
3) Saul Alvarez (7-139-154)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- L* (MD12) vs. WW Champion Floyd Mayweather
Next Fight: 3/8/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Alvarez will be back on March 8.  He’s hoping for either Cotto or Sergio.  After that, he expects to fight two additional times in 2014.
4) Austin Trout (7-74-143)
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 (7-121-143)
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 (7-36-36)
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.  He’s also been in a war of words with Shane Mosley recently.
7) Miguel Cotto (7-178-178)
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 (7-169-169)
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 (7-214-214)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L (TKO10) vs. #4 Erislandy Lara
Next Fight: Unknown
Angulo-Melendez is off, due to excessive monetary demands by Melendez.  This may arguably be good for boxing fans, though, since combined with the cancellation of Molina-Ortiz, it has moved the Broner-Maidana card from PPV to regular Showtime.  Angulo might return in January, instead.
10) Sergey Rabchenko (26-26-72)
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) Javier Maciel (1-1)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- Robbery L (SD12) vs. #14 Brian Rose
Next Fight: Unknown
The one upside to a guy being robbed of a win that should have propelled him very near the top 10 is that it allows me to shine a light on the incompetence and/or corruption that caused the situation by ranking him exactly where he deserves, despite their attempts.
12) Delvin Rodriguez (1-120)
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.
13) Vanes Martirosyan (1-126)
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.
14) Willie Nelson (1-35)
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.
15) Brian Rose (1-32)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- Robbery W (Draw at best) vs. Javier Maciel (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Aside from a “W,” the ill-gotten gain of Rose’s blatant robbery of Maciel will be a shot at a vacant alphabet title.
16) Jermell Charlo (1-21)
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.
17) Yuri Foreman (1-40)
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.
18) Jack Culcay (1-4)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- W* (UD12) vs. #17 Guido Pitto
Next Fight: Unknown
Culcay barely squeaked by Pitto in a rematch of a fight in which Pitto barely squeaked by.  For my part, I had them both scored a draw.
19) Guido Pitto (1-27)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L* (UD12) vs. #20 Jack Culcay
Next Fight: Unknown
See Culcay’s notes, above.
20) Kell Brook (1-16)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO4 Vyacheslav Shenchenko (UNR) (at WW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Brook is now the mandatory for the winner of the fight between Devon Alexander and Shawn Porter, at welterweight.


The Week Ahead: Friday in Izegem, Belgium, one-loss Belgian prospect Sasha Yengoyan stays busy with low-level Latvian journeyman Sergejs Malcevs.


The next evening in Hidalgo, Texas, fringe contender Roberto Garcia gets a similarly easy night against Dallas ham-and-egger Larry Smith.

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