Junior Middleweight: 2013, Dec 2-8

#10 Middleweight Anthony Mundine and #4 Welterweight Shane Mosley met at 154 this Wednesday, and in doing so proved the theory that a good big man will always beat a good little man.  Mosley has had several notable fights at 154 before this, but never looked as good at the weight.  This was no exception.  After a very close opening few rounds, Mundine began to subtly take over.  Mosley looked a bit stiff from the start, and began to complain of a back injury late in the fight, which eventually led to his quitting at the start of the 7th round.


In Friday action from Tokyo, national champion Tadashi Yuba edged out Yoshihisa Tonimura by split decision.  There’s one handicam video of the fight online, but I haven’t even bothered to watch it because it is only 25 minutes long, meaning it can’t possibly capture all the action of the 10 round fight.  As a result, I’m forced to accept the decision as it stands.


Mundine adds a #7 ranking here to his #10 ranking at 160.  He was ranked just outside the top 20 when he became ineligible due to his having moved up to 160, having won a debatable decision over Rigoberto Alvarez in 2011.  Mosley- who was ranked #14 when he retired due to a 2012 loss to Canelo- fails to re-enter, mostly due to the fact that his win at 154 over Ricardo Mayorga is now more than 5 years old.  His only remaining result at this weight that could even partially support a ranking was his draw against Sergio Mora in 2010.  Sergey Rabchenko falls from the top 10 after 30 consecutive weeks, while Guido Pitto is a hard-luck exclusion from the rankings this week, after 31 weeks.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1) Carlos Molina (44-126-141)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W (SD12) vs. #5 Ishe Smith
Next Fight: Unknown
Molina is dreaming of a fight with Canelo.  But it’s just a dream.  Molina’s style and low-profile makes him essentially unpromotable, and he would be a serious threat to win that fight.  No chance Golden Boy puts it together.  On a possibly more realistic note, Demetrius Andrade wants him.
2) Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (12-12-12)
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- though Floyd Sr. has said the latter will never happen.
3) Saul Alvarez (12-144-159)
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.  Reports indicate the Cotto fight is now imminent.
4) Austin Trout (12-79-148)
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 (12-126-148)
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 (12-41-41)
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) Anthony Mundine (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 11/27/2013- vs. #4 WW Shane Mosley
Next Fight: Unknown
Mundine has renewed his delusional calls for a Mayweather fight after beating Mosley.  It’s only 50% crazy from a competitive standpoint, considering that Mundine is top 10 in two divisions, but it’s totally insane from a promotional and financial standpoint, since Mundine has little following outside Australia.
8) Miguel Cotto (1-183-183)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- TKO3 #11 Delvin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown 
Cotto reportedly has a $10 million offer to fight Canelo on the table, and $15 million from Sergio.  Nevertheless, rumor has it that Cotto-Canelo is close to being announced.
9) Cornelius Bundrage (1-174-174)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ishe Smith (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/24/2014- vs. Joey Hernandez (UNR)
Bundrage has been approved to fight Joey Hernandez in an IBF eliminator.  Golden Boy won the purse bid at a paltry $11,000, meaning Bundrage will bank just $6,600.  The fight is set for Indio, California on January 24, but incredibly is not a slam dunk to be included on the card’s telecast.
10) Alfredo Angulo (1-219-219)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L (TKO10) vs. #4 Erislandy Lara
Next Fight: Unknown
Angulo may be returning in January, and Carlos Molina has been discussed as a possible foe.
11) Sergey Rabchenko (1-77)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 Bradley Pryce (UNR)

Next Fight: Unknown
Rabchenko is in line for an alphabet eliminator at any time.
12) Javier Maciel (1-6)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- Robbery L (SD12) vs. #14 Brian Rose
Next Fight: 1/11/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Argentine media reports that Maciel will return in Mar del Plata on January 11.
13) Demetrius Andrade (1-4)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (SD12) vs. #13 Vanes Martirosyan
Next Fight: Unknown
Andrade wants to unify against Carlos Molina, but negotiations are underway for a Brian Rose fight.
14) Delvin Rodriguez (1-125)
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.
15) Vanes Martirosyan (1-131)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- L* (SD12) vs. Demetrius Andrade (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Willie Nelson (1-40)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- UD10 Luciano Cuello (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Nelson has injured his elbow, and his middleweight fight with Macklin has been cancelled as a result.
17) Brian Rose (1-37)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- Robbery W (Draw at best) vs. Javier Maciel (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rose will be fighting Andrade for his alphabet title at some point.  Totally undeserved, although the WBO title  at 154 is particularly meaningless already, having been handed to the very mediocre Zaurbek Baysangurov before being contested between two prospects.
18) Jermell Charlo (1-26)
Last Fight: 10/14/2013- TKO10 Jose Angel Rodriguez (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/25/2014- vs. Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Charlo gets likely his toughest test to date in former junior middleweight contender Gabe Rosado, who has recently been used as an opponent at 160, but with mixed results.
19) Yuri Foreman (1-45)
Last Fight: 11/12/2013- KO1 Javier Gomez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Jack Culcay (1-9)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- W* (UD12) vs. #17 Guido Pitto
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Dieudonne Belinga (UNR)
Culcay has been added to the Braehmer-Oliveira undercard on December 14, and will have a new trainer when he takes on mid-level French journeyman Dieudonne Belinga.


The Week Ahead: In what will be a defining moment in the division, #4 Austin Trout meets #5 Erislandy Lara on what is surprisingly the 3rd-billed fight in Brooklyn this weekend.  The winner of this fight might have a legitimate claim to be the top fighter in the division.  After all, I not only felt that Trout beat Canelo, but also that he did so by a wider margin than did Mayweather.  He also beat Cotto more handily than did Floyd.  Therefore, you could easily argue that Trout should be considered the best fighter in the division right now, if not for questionable judging.  Numbers one through four are remarkably bunched up in this division, resume-wise, and this fight could go a long way toward creating some separation.


On the non-televised portion of the undercard, undefeated Philly prospect Julian Williams takes on Mexican journeyman Orlando Lora.


In Atlantic City the same night, and on HBO, inactive former top-5 contender James Kirkland returns to the ring against undefeated power puncher Glen Tapia, but it’s expected to be contested at 156, and will most likely only be discussed next week at middleweight.


The same night in Cordoba, Argentina, one-loss prospect John Jackson of the Virgin Islands battles low-level veteran journeyman Jorge Miranda.


And a few hours before all of these, undefeated Liverpool prospect Liam Smith sees action in his hometown against lower-tier journeyman Mark Thompson of Lancashire.

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