Middleweight: 2013, Dec 2-8

Neuquen, Argentina played host on Friday to a rematch between #17 Billi Godoy and gatekeeper Jorge Heiland, both of that country.  I don’t know what kind of buzz the result is generating locally, but for me, it rings a bit controversial.  By my reckoning, Godoy led 105-103 heading into the 12th round (it may have been even, or Godoy may have been up fairly big).  Godoy had scored a flash knockdown in an otherwise close 3rd, and had been dropped himself- and harder- in the 7th.  Heiland, perhaps knowing the outcome was likely in doubt, dropped the favorite hard.  Godoy rose well before the count reached 8, but referee Cesareo Morales stopped it.  The decision was inexplicable from where I was sitting.  Perhaps there was something troubling in the eyes of Godoy that none of the replays showed, but from all the views I saw, the stoppage was unnecessary, and gave Heiland a TKO win where he had thus far only earned a draw by his efforts.


On the Stevenson-Bellew undercard in Quebec City on Saturday, fringe contender David Lemieux got a very good win against fringe contender Jose Miguel Torres, dropping the veteran six times in under seven rounds, at which point the fight was mercifully halted.  Torres, in fairness, had more moments than that result might suggest, but simply couldn’t stay on his feet against the heavy-handed power of Lemieux, who dropped his man to both the head and body.  But there’s one catch for Lemieux: the fight was contested a couple pounds over the middleweight limit, and thus he still hasn’t made Middleweight in 2 years.  This makes him ineligible for a ranking that he certainly would have achieved otherwise.


#10 Anthony Mundine also fought, but that will be discussed at 154, where it was contested.


Regarding Godoy-Heiland, it’s a difficult situation.  First, I’m not ready to go on record and say that the stoppage was definitely wrong.  I think it’s about 90-10 that it was, based on what I saw, but I’m going to give the ref the benefit of that 10.  Furthermore, while I had the fight even after assuming a 10-8 12th, it wouldn’t have been unreasonable for another judge to have seen the knockdown as propelling Heiland to victory, even if the fight had gone the distance.  Finally, there’s no proof, even at that, that Heiland would not have gone on to more conclusively stop Godoy if allowed to continue.  For this reason, I must give Heiland the benefit of the doubt (albeit somewhat marginally), in reshuffling my rankings.  Godoy falls from the top 20 after 15 consecutive weeks in.  Jacobs and Chudinov move up to fill the gap, while Heiland debuts at #19, held back a bit by the awkwardness of the result, and even more so by a handful of losses and draws in his past- some acceptable and some not so much.  Akio Shibata hangs on at #20.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (190-190-190)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: Unknown
Martinez wants to fight Miguel Cotto at 158, and considers Marco Antonio Rubio his fallback plan.  Sergio reportedly has a $15 million offer on the table to Cotto, with June 7th being the target.
1) Martin Murray (32-105-105)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- L* (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez (Robbery- D at worst)
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR)
Murray’s fight with Khomitsky for the Froch-Groves undercard was cancelled on 3 days’ notice on account of a virus, but has been rescheduled for December 14.
2) Gennady Golovkin (23-66-129)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- RTD8 #15 Curtis Stevens
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Golovkin returns February 1 in Monte Carlo.  Originally it looked like Murray was the opponent, but that appears to be a no-go.  He says he’s willing to fight Mayweather at 154 or Ward at 168.
3) Darren Barker (16-16-112)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- W (SD12) vs. #3 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: 12/7/2013- vs. #4 Felix Sturm
Another excellent middleweight match-up in 2013, as Barker will take on Felix Sturm in Germany on December 7.
4) Felix Sturm (23-533-533)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- TKO4 Predrag Radosevic (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/7/2013- vs. #3 Darren Barker
See Barker’s notes, above.
5) Daniel Geale (16-233-233)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (SD12) vs. #15 Darren Barker
Next Fight: Unknown
Geale wants a rematch, but will probably have to wait until at least 2014, since it appears likely Barker will make a mandatory defense in December against Sturm, instead.  March appears to be the current target.
6) Matthew Macklin (16-128-219)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- L (KO3) vs. #4 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: 12/7/2013- vs. Lamar Russ (UNR)
Macklin’s original 12/7 opponent, Willie Nelson, injured his elbow in sparring, and so far Macklin turned down Matt Korobov and was turned down by Max Bursak.  The new opponent is borderline top 50 undefeated prospect Lamar Russ.
7) Peter Quillin (32-59-80)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golden Boy is looking to match Quillin with Danny Jacobs in Brooklyn on February 1.  A recent interview indicates he might prefer to fight some of the top contenders, instead.  Unfortunately most of them fight on HBO in this division, while Quillin’s promoter is tied to Showtime.
8) Sergio Mora (7-23-23)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
9) Marco Antonio Rubio (7-9-149)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- KO2 Dionisio Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rubio looks poised to take on Sergio if Maravilla’s intended fight with Cotto falls through.
10) Anthony Mundine (7-7-149)
Last Fight: 11/27/2013- TKO7 #4 WW Shane Mosley (at JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mundine has renewed his familiar call for a shot at Mayweather after beating Mosley.  That’s highly unlikely, given Mundine’s low profile stateside.
11) Max Bursak (7-149)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- UD12 Nick Blackwell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bursak had the opportunity to fill in for Willie Nelson for an HBO date against Matthew Macklin, but turned down that chance.
12) Caleb Truax (7-11)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO4 Ceresso Fort (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/3/2014- vs. Derek Ennis (UNR)
Truax’s January 3 fight will likely be the first notable fight of the New Year.  He’ll face Derek Ennis.
13) Bryan Vera (7-59)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L* (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. Julio Cesar Chavez (UNR)
Vera-Chavez II now looks likely for March 1 in either Vegas or Texas, after a proposed February date was abandoned over concerns related to Olympic conflicts.
14) Grzegorz Proksa (7-138)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Proksa had another hand operation in August, but thinks he’ll be ready to go for a proposed February fight in Poland with undefeated prospect Maciej Suleckim.
15) Curtis Stevens (7-18)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L (RTD8) vs. #2 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: 1/24/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Stevens will make a surprisingly quick return from a grueling battle with Golovkin.
16) Andrey Meryasev (4-4)
Last Fight: 11/4/2013- UD10 Sergio Sanders (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I’ve still yet to see Meryasev in action, but his win over Sanders at this point in his career proves that he’s a real prospect.
17) Danny Jacobs (1-15)
Last Fight: 8/19/2013- TKO3 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golden Boy is apparently looking to match Jacobs and Quillin on February 1 in Brooklyn.
18) Dmitry Chudinov (1-15)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- W (PTS8) vs. Max Maxwell (UNR) (at SMW/LHW)
Next Fight: 12/21/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chudinov makes his return in Moscow on December 21.
19) Jorge Heiland (1-1)
Last Fight: 11/29/2013- TKO*12 #17 Billi Godoy
Next Fight: Unknown
After two closely-contested battles, there’s already talk of a trilogy with Godoy.
20) Akio Shibata (4-9)
Last Fight: 8/25/2013- L (TKO2) vs. Ryoto Murata (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown


The Week Ahead: Friday in Tokyo, ranked Super Middleweight Ryoto Murata- really just a middleweight who fought at a contract weight in his only fight- meets low-level and inactive Minnesota prospect Dave Petersen.


Saturday in Stuttgart, Germany, #3 Darren Barker and #4 Felix Sturm meet in a high-stakes battle that figures to be very closely contested.


Former junior middleweight contender James Kirkland returns to the ring on Saturday after a long layoff of nearly two years, fighting undefeated power puncher Glen Tapia in Atlantic City.  The fight’s real implications will probably be at 154 in the real world, but it’s being fought at a 156 pound catchweight.


On the same card, #6 Matthew Macklin takes on prospect and late replacement Lamar Russ in what could be viewed as a potential crossroads fight.


And even deeper on the card, undefeated perennial prospect Matt Korobov continues his largely mediocre diet of competition, taking on somewhat low-level journeyman Derek Edwards.

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