Junior Middleweight: 2013, Dec 9-15

Saturday in Brooklyn, #5 Erislandy Lara absolutely dominated a competent but far less dynamic #4 Austin Trout.  Trout, who beat Cotto more comprehensively than Mayweather and almost certainly deserved the nod over Canelo as well, really couldn’t get much going against Lara.  The Cuban put on a master class of boxing, effectively utilizing movement and creating angles, and sustaining an effective rhythm throughout, with the coup de gras of an 11th-round knockdown.  I had it 118-109, which agreed with John McKaie (whose cards I usually have a huge problem with), and was one reasonable round different from the typically excellent John Poturaj and Tom Schreck at 117-110.


On the non-televised undercard, undefeated Philly prospect Julian Williams stopped low-level journeyman Orlando Lora in three.


In Cordoba, Argentina, John Jackson of the Virgin Islands, and the son of former titlist Julian Jackson, dominated and stopped significantly shorter Jorge Miranda, despite a referee in Victor Correa that would not allow him to punch to the body, for all intents and purposes. 


Earlier in the night in Liverpool, undefeated hometown prospect Liam Smith stopped fairly low-level Lancashire journeyman Mark Thompson in four to win the British title vacated by Brian Rose this summer.

Lara advances all the way to #2.  I imagine that will be a bit controversial, especially among those who consider Mayweather to be the lineal champion now.  In order to call him the Champion, I think you’d have to give him unequivocal credit for all of his wins at 154 as well as a fair amount of residual credit for his welterweight resume.  Even then, I would find it difficult to have ranked any of his opponents #1 or #2 when he beat them.  Carlos Molina is always overlooked.  In addition, I fit in the tiny minority that supports CJ Ross in her implied proposition that Mayweather’s win over Canelo was not conclusive.  With a direct comparison, Mayweather’s 154 resume consists of wins over an overrated Cotto and over Canelo.  I considered the Cotto win too close to call, as well.  Even if I grant that he clearly deserved the win in both fights, I would propose that Trout beat Cotto by more than Mayweather did, and that he deserved to beat Canelo by a wider margin than Mayweather, as well.  By conquering Trout, Lara has arguably demonstrated superiority over the pound for pound #1 at this weight, albeit indirectly.  Even if you reject that premise, his overall resume supports a better ranking in terms of volume as opposed to Mayweather.  Trout, aside from being passed up by Lara, retains his position.


Who would have thought that the early-2011 clash between undefeated prospect Lara and inactive fringe contender Carlos Molina would be a preview of a potential match-up that would, by the end of 2013, constitute a potential battle for the legitimate championship?  Not I.  I thought that Molina was indeed a fringe contender, and that the fight proved that Lara wasn’t as good as we thought.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1Carlos Molina (45-127-142)
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, and Australian sources indicate there are active negotiations for a fight with Mundine.
2) Erislandy Lara (1-127-149)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #4 Austin Trout
Next Fight: Unknown
Lara wants Canelo next.
3) Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (1-13-13)
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.
4) Saul Alvarez (1-145-160)
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.
5) Austin Trout (1-80-149)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- L (UD12) vs. #5 Erislandy Lara
Next Fight: Unknown
Trout might be getting to that unfortunate position of having a record underwhelming enough to be low-reward, while still being easily skilled enough to be high-risk.
6) Ishe Smith (13-42-42)
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 (2-2-2)
Last Fight: 11/27/2013- vs. #4 WW Shane Mosley
Next Fight: 1/29/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Mundine returns from a mere two months away on January 29 in Brisbane.
8) Miguel Cotto (2-184-184)
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. 
9) Cornelius Bundrage (2-175-175)
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.
10Alfredo Angulo (2-220-220)
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 (2-78)
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 (2-7)
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 (2-5)
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 (2-126)
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 (2-132)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- L* (SD12) vs. Demetrius Andrade (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Willie Nelson (2-41)
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 (2-38)
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 (2-27)
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 (2-46)
Last Fight: 11/12/2013- KO1 Javier Gomez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Jack Culcay (2-10)
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: 
Jermall Charlo vs. Joseph De Los Santos; Indio, California; Fox Sports 1 (US)
Definitely a stay-busy fight for fringe contending undefeated prospect Charlo, as he will fight a low-level Dominican journeyman in Joseph De Los Santos on the Golden Boy card at the Fantasy Springs Casino in California.


Hugo Centeno, Jr. vs. Angel Osuna; Indio, California, Off TV
Another, somewhat less advanced undefeated prospect, Hugo Centeno, Jr., will be in action on the non-televised portion of the same card.  Too bad.  The fight is actually marginally better-matched than Charlo’s.  Centeno is from nearby Oxnard, California, and takes on a halfway decent journeyman in Angel Osuna of Culiacan, Mexico.


Dennis Laurente vs. Khomkaew Sithsaithong; Paranque City, Philippines; Off TV
Veteran Filipino gatekeeper Laurente keeps busy with a total novice from Thailand.


#20 Jack Culcay vs. Dieudonne Belinga; Neubrandenburg, Germany; ARD (Germany)
After a debatable loss (the first of his career) and a debatable win in back-to-back fights with Guido Pitto, Culcay will look for a much clearer result against mid-level French journeyman Dieudonne Belinga.

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