Archive for March, 2014

Welterweight: 2013, Dec 23-29

Posted in Rankings, Welterweight with tags , , , , , , , on March 24, 2014 by danboxing
Undefeated British prospect Frankie Gavin put on a boxing clinic for at least the first 8 rounds against Welsh journeyman Bradley Pryce, who fought on roughly even terms with top 10 light middleweight contender Sergey Rabchenko just over a month ago.  Pryce barely laid a glove on Gavin until the 8th, due to the Birmingham prospect’s nearly incomparable reflexes and handspeed.  It should be noted that he showed absolutely no visible power, but I might go so far as to rank him among the most expert pure boxers in the sport, based on how he looked.

 

That all being said, Pryce is still a mid-range journeyman at best, and so the fight had no potential to improve Gavin’s standings ranking-wise.  No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (191-223-223)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #2 JMW Saul Alvarez (at JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Floyd will likely be back on both May 3 and September 13.  Amir Khan has long been rumored as the May 3 opponent, but reports suggest Maidana may have supplanted him in that regard.
1) Timothy Bradley (11-11-81)
Last Fight: 10/12/2013- W (SD12) vs. #1 Juan Manuel Marquez
Next Fight: Unknown
Bradley-Pacquiao II is very likely for April 12, though rumors also have Marquez and Pacquiao renewing their rivalry.
2) Juan Manuel Marquez (11-111-111)
Last Fight: 10/12/2013- L (SD12) vs. #17 Timothy Bradley
Next Fight: Unknown
After retirement was mentioned a couple different times, Marquez now says he intends to fight twice in 2014.  He wants a tune-up in Mexico City, followed by a rematch with Bradley.  There are also rumors of a 5th fight with Pacquiao.
3) Manny Pacquiao (11-264-264)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD12 #5? JWW Brandon Rios
Next Fight: Unknown
See Bradley and Marquez’s notes, above. 
4) Marcos Maidana (3-29-29)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD12 LW Champ Adrien Broner
Next Fight: Unknown
After his 12-round beatdown of overhyped Broner, Maidana has set himself up for a big opportunity.  Malignaggi indicated interest in the winner, for starters, and Shawn Porter also seems interested.  Even better- Mayweather now says Maidana is in the mix for his May PPV.
5) Keith Thurman (2-2-42)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 #6 Jesus Soto-Karass
Next Fight: Unknown
After beating Soto-Karass, Thurman issued what amounts to a challenge to the entire division.
6) Shawn Porter (2-3-3)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #5 Devon Alexander
Next Fight: Unknown
All indications are that Porter will fight his mandatory, Kell Brook, next, though he has also indicated interest in Maidana.
7) Robert Guerrero (3-57-74)
Last Fight: 5/4/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Next Fight: Unknown
Guerrero wants Pacquiao next.  I see his style as potentially problematic for Pacquiao, which probably renders the match-up unlikely at this time, when combined with his lack of a recent win.
8) Kell Brook (3-139-139)
Last Fight:10/26/2013- TKO4 Vyacheslav Senchenko (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Porter’s notes, above.
9) Devon Alexander (3-96-96)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- L (UD12) vs. Shawn Porter (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
10) Randall Bailey (5-5-5)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- W (DQ8) vs. Humberto Toledo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
11) Josesito Lopez (5-79)
Last Fight: 12/13/2013- W (TD8) vs. Mike Arnaoutis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Hopefully his great struggles against Arnaoutis aren’t the result of wear and tear taking their toll on Lopez and his career.
12) Jesus Soto Karass (2-48)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- L (TKO9) vs. #13 Keith Thurman
Next Fight: Unknown
His results are now decidedly mixed, but I suspect Soto Karass will continue to get decent TV fights, since his fights are almost always entertaining, and  always a test for his opponent.
13) Andre Berto (2-57)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- L (TKO12) vs. #11 Jesus Soto Karass
Next Fight: Unknown 
Berto’s shoulder surgery will keep him out until sometime in 2014.
14) Paulie Malignaggi (3-3) 
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #8? JWW Zab Judah 
Next Fight: Unknown 
Malignaggi expects a big money fight in the wake of his handy victory over Judah.  He is interested in Maidana. 
15) Chris van Heerden (3-80)
Last Fight: 3/2/2013- UD12 Matthew Hatton (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Amidst conflicting reports variously suggesting he would fight in February in the US or in South Africa, the truth has emerged.  He’s starting a 3-year contract with a US promoter, and supposedly has a fight planned for early in the new year.
16) Luis Carlos Abregu (3-35)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Antonin Decarie (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
At last check, Abregu was recovering from hand surgery, and the WBC is looking to match him with Antonin Decarie when he returns.
17) Jan Zaveck (3-211)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- UD8 Sebastien Allais (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
As expected, Zaveck had little trouble with French journeyman Allais.
18) Ruslan Provodnikov (3-41)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- RTD10 #3 JWW Mike Alvarado (at JWW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Provodnikov proved against Alvarado that the Bradley fight was no fluke.  He’s a big-time fighter now.  Mostly it’s all rumor at this point, but there has been speculation of his fighting Rios or Marquez.  He said he would refuse a fight with Pacquiao, a friend with whom he shares a trainer.
19) Pablo Cesar Cano (3-15)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W (SD10*) vs. Ashley Theophane (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Cano said after the 143-pound catchweight win against Theophane that he intends to seek title contention at 140 now.  I must say I’m surprised by the move, considering he failed to make weight for one of his biggest fights at 147 against Malignaggi.

20) Leonard Bundu (2-2)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO12 Lee Purdy (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bundu retains his European title and undefeated record with the impressive effort over Purdy.

 

The Week Ahead:
Saturday
Cesar Barrionuevo vs. Ramon de la Cruz; Merlo, Argentina; Tyc Sports (Argentina)
Barrionuevo is a two-loss Argentine fringe prospect, with both of his losses coming to undefeated fighters early in his career.  He enters on a 21-fight winning streak dating back to 2010.  De la Cruz is a mid-level Argentine journeyman.  I’m not sure if the fight was more controversial than it appeared from the unanimous 118-110 scorecards, but this is a rematch of a previous fight between the two from October.  For Barrionuevo, it was his last fight, while de la Cruz won a low-level contest in between.

Junior Middleweight: 2013, Dec 23-29

Posted in Junior Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 23, 2014 by danboxing
One-loss Mexican prospect Marcos Reyes stopped low-level journeyman Isaac Mendez- also of Mexico- in round 3 of a scheduled 10 in Chihuahua on Saturday, in what was nothing more than a stay-busy fight.

 

No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1Carlos Molina (47-129-144)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W (SD12) vs. #5 Ishe Smith
Next Fight: Unknown
I still have my doubts, but Steve Kim reports that Molina is being considered for a March 8 PPV headliner with Canelo.  Angulo is also in the mix as Canelo’s opponent.
2) Erislandy Lara (3-129-151)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #4 Austin Trout
Next Fight: Unknown
Lara wants Canelo next.
3) Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (3-15-15)
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 (3-147-162)
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, though it sounds like those two might fight each other, instead.  Molina and Angulo have been mentioned as possible alternatives.  After that, he expects to fight two additional times in 2014. 
5) Austin Trout (3-82-151)
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.  He says essentially that he wants worthwhile fights in 2014, rather than a soft diet for rebuilding purposes.
6) Ishe Smith (15-44-44)
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.  More recently, he’s been rumored as Mundine’s January 29 opponent, though he’s denied this.
7) Anthony Mundine (4-4-4)
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 (4-186-186)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- TKO3 #11 Delvin Rodriguez
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. MW Champ Sergio Martinez (at MW)
Cotto is said to be all but signed for a June 7 superfight with Sergio.
9) Cornelius Bundrage (4-177-177)
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 (4-222-222)
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.  He’s also apparently a leading candidate for a March 8 PPV fight with Canelo.
11) Sergey Rabchenko (4-80)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 Bradley Pryce (UNR)

Next Fight: Unknown
Rabchenko is in line for an alphabet eliminator at any time.  The EBU, meanwhile, has set a date of January 21 for purse bids for his mandatory European title defense against Emanuele Della Rosa.  
12) Javier Maciel (4-9)
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 (4-7)
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 (4-128)
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 (4-134)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- L* (SD12) vs. Demetrius Andrade (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Willie Nelson (4-43)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- UD10 Luciano Cuello (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Nelson’s promoter tells me that he’s recovered from the elbow injury that nixed his fight with Matthew Macklin, and that he might be in line for an alphabet title against Sergey Rabchenko if Mayweather chooses to vacate.
17) Brian Rose (4-40)
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 (4-29)
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 (4-48)
Last Fight: 11/12/2013- KO1 Javier Gomez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Guido Pitto (2-2)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L* (UD12) vs. #20 Jack Culcay
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: 
Wednesday
Sasha Yengoyan vs. Igor Fanian; Izagem, Belgium; Off TV
Yengoyan is a one-loss Belgian prospect of roughly lower-tier fringe contender status.  He fights mid-range journeyman Igor Faniyan, an Armenian living in the Ukraine.  This, I must say, is a rare Christmas day boxing event.

Middleweight: 2013, Dec 23-29

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 23, 2014 by danboxing
Class shows over time.  That boxing maxim was demonstrated on Saturday in Moscow, as #20 Dmitry Chudinov initially had trouble breaking through the defense of serviceable Colombian journeyman Juan Camilo Novoa, who fought the Russian prospect extremely tough for a nearly even first two rounds, but Chudinov took the decided advantage with his heavier hands in round 3, and began breaking Novoa down from there.  There was a slight hiccup in the 4th, when Chudinov was cut around the lower outside corner of his right eye from what appeared to be an intentional headbutt, but by the 6th round, it was an all-out beatdown.  It strikes me that Novoa’s corner might not like their fighter very much, as I have to think you’d want to stop it about halfway through that frame.  Novoa had no chance to win at that point, and was taking hard shots repeatedly.  It wasn’t until about 8 seconds before the bell that referee Guillermo Perez mercifully stopped the beating.  

 

Later that night in Tijuana, Mexico, undefeated Bolivian prospect Jose Uzcategui needed just under a round to dispose of much smaller, rather pudgy journeyman Francisco Villanueva, who is naturally probably a lightweight.  Uzcategui honestly failed to impress me.  He caught Villanueva with a wide open uppercut after the journeyman squared himself up following a miss.  But Uzcategui looked very hittable, rather slow, and his reflexes seemed about a beat behind.  He destroyed Uzcategui almost entirely with his advantages in size, power, and reach.  He’ll need more than that when he starts fighting guys with real credentials at this weight.  That being said, the fight was just a 6-rounder, so it appears that Uzcategui’s team doesn’t necessarily have an unrealistically rosy view of his progression to this point.

 

No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (193-193-193)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. # 8 JMW Miguel Cotto
According to fighthype.com, citing anonymous sources close to Cotto, there is now no doubt that Cotto-Martinez will happen on June 7 in New York. 
1) Gennady Golovkin (2-69-132)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- RTD8 #15 Curtis Stevens
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Golovkin returns February 1 in Monte Carlo.  Originally it looked like Murray was the opponent, but he will instead fight former borderline top 10 contender Osumanu Adama, who was removed from a #13 berth in September for failing to make 160 for 18 months.
2) Felix Sturm (2-536-536)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- TKO2 #3 Darren Barker
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman is the #1 contender for Sturm’s alphabet title, and Macklin and Geale are both trying to get rematches with him, as well.
3) Martin Murray (2-108-108)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- W* (PTS8) vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. Jarrod Fletcher (UNR)
Murray gets a shot at a second-rate alphabet title on February 1, against Australian prospect Jarrod Fletcher on the Golovkin-Adama undercard.
4) Darren Barker (3-19-115)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- L (TKO2) vs. #4 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown
Barker’s body failed him against Sturm, and it’s led to heavy speculation that we may have seen the last of him.  His team has only fueled this speculation further.
5) Daniel Geale (19-236-236)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (SD12) vs. #15 Darren Barker
Next Fight: Unknown
In the wake of Sturm’s victory over the man that beat him, Geale has renewed calls for what would be a very interesting rematch with the German.  On the other hand, he’s got a loose verbal agreement to fight Golovkin, likely toward the end of 2014.
6) Matthew Macklin (19-131-222)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After a legitimate but very unspectacular win over only moderately proven prospect Lamar Russ, Macklin has joined the chorus of quality middleweights looking for a rematch with Sturm.  He’s also pushing for a fight with Andy Lee.
7) Peter Quillin (35-62-83)
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) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (2-2-2)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD10 Anthony Fitzgerald (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
No word on a potential big fight for N’Dam, but at least he’s active again.
9) Sam Soliman (2-2-2)
Last Fight: 12/11/2013- TKO9 Les Sherrington (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman has been re-installed as the #1 contender to Sturm’s alphabet strap, and will likely get another shot soon.
10) Sergio Mora (2-26-26)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora had hoped to fight Golovkin on February 1, but says he was never offered the fight.
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (2-152)
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, though that possibility has begun to look increasingly unlikely.  The WBC has ordered a fight between Rubio and Domenico Spada, as an easy shot at the interim title, for whatever that’s worth.
12) Anthony Mundine (2-152)
Last Fight: 11/27/2013- TKO7 #4 WW Shane Mosley (at JMW)
Next Fight: 1/29/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
In a quick turnaround, Mundine announced that he will headline a January 29 show in Brisbane.  Most likely this will be nothing more than a quick payday, as I’m sure he won’t want to prepare for two big fights that close together.
13) Max Bursak (2-152)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD8 Gari Abajian (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Caleb Truax (2-14)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO4 Ceresso Fort (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/3/2014- vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Truax’s January 3 fight will likely be the first notable fight of the New Year.  His opponent was to be Derek Ennis, but he’s been replaced by the marginally better Ossie Duran.
15) Bryan Vera (2-62)
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.
16) Grzegorz Proksa (2-141)
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.
17) Curtis Stevens (2-21)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L (RTD8) vs. #2 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: 1/24/2014- vs. Patrick Majewski (UNR)
Stevens will make a surprisingly quick return from a grueling battle with Golovkin.  His January 24 opponent will be one-loss Polish fringe prospect Patrick Majewski.
18) Andrey Meryasev (2-7)
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.
19) Danny Jacobs (2-18)
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.
20) Dmitry Chudinov (2-18)
Last Fight: 12/21/2013- TKO6 Juan Camilo Novoa (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chudinov would like to fight the winner of the February 1 fight between Martin Murray and Jarrod Fletcher.

 

The Week Ahead: Have a holly-jolly Christmas!

Super Middleweight: 2013, Dec 23-29

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on March 23, 2014 by danboxing
Saturday in Moscow, undefeated prospect Fedor Chudinov got his biggest win to date by battering Tanzanian gatekeeper Francis Cheka into a post-3rd round retirement in his corner.  Cheka- who incidentally came in a full weight class heavier than Chudinov at nearly 175- came out in full windmill mode, throwing constant punches as wildly as you can imagine.  It took only about a half-round for Chudinov’s more disciplined pressure style to get Cheka under control, though, and he proceeded to land at will from that point, and piled up sufficient punishment in three completed rounds that you can hardly fault Cheka for calling it a night at that point.  With the win, Chudinov goes from a prospect prepared to test himself against gatekeepers to one apparently ready to wade into the waters occupied by fringe contenders, though he still falls shy of a ranking.

 

No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (106-240-240)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says he would fight Golovkin or Hopkins, but seems to doubt that either of them wants to fight him.  In the meantime, he has maybe another fight to deal with that could do more damage to his career than any he has yet met in the ring- a lawsuit against his promoter.  He hopes to be back in March or April, though.
1) Carl Froch (83-393-393)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO9 #8 George Groves
Next Fight: Unknown
After a grueling fight that showed Froch returning to his pre-Super 6 ways by pulling one out of the fire late, Froch has a very credible and vehement rematch challenge in his lap, courtesy of George Groves.  Rumor has it that he intends to refuse, and has also resisted suggestions that he move up to 175 to fight Stevenson.  His current focus seems to be on trying to make a Ward rematch.
2) Robert Stieglitz (40-226-226)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- UD12 Isaac Ekpo (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. #4 Arthur Abraham
The Abraham-Stieglitz trilogy bout, originally announced for February 1, is now official for March 1, in Stieglitz’s home base of Magdeburg.
3) Mikkel Kessler (54-472-472)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
After meeting with Kessler, his promoter says he won’t be fighting anytime soon, and Kessler hinted at possible retirement immediately after the Froch fight.  It’s not looking good for Kessler fans, though the Viking Warrior recently said, rather vaguely, that he still wants a big fight.
4) Arthur Abraham (32-218-218)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Giovanni De Carolis (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. #2 Robert Stieglitz
See Stieglitz’s notes, above.
5) Brandon Gonzales (26-26-26)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzales was placed in the position of fighting Vlasov in an alphabet eliminator, but it’s unclear at present if that fight is still on the table or not.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (13-134-182)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: 1/18/2014- vs. LHW #18 Eleider Alvarez (at LHW)
Oosthuizen-Alvarez looks like it’s staying on the Bute-Pascal card despite a few roadblocks.
7) Ezequiel Maderna (7-7-52)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #6 Thomas Oosthuizen
Next Fight: Unknown
I doubt he’ll get much love from the alphabets for his effort, but I think you could make a better case for him winning than losing against Oosthuizen, though I had it a draw personally.
8) George Groves (7-54-76)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- L (TKO9) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
While I think the result of a TKO loss was an inevitable one, I also don’t fault Groves for the ultimatum he recently issued to Froch: rematch or retire.  Obviously he can’t make Froch do that, but I think he earned the rematch, and I think there’s a lot of money in it for both guys.  He’s having to resort to personal attacks to try and get a reluctant Froch to agree, however.
9) James DeGale (6-29-115)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 Dyah Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Negotiations are underway for an eliminator between DeGale and Periban for a shot at Bika.
10) Christopher Rebrasse (6-6-29)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- UD6 George Kandelaki (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rebrasse was apparently involved in a December 6 fight that was so under the radar that I missed it until two weeks after it happened.
11) Sakio Bika (6-351)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dirrell wants a rematch, and that’s obviously a worthy endeavor given the legitimate draw the first time around.  In the meantime, machinations are underway for an eliminator between Periban and DeGale, with the winner to become his mandatory.
12) Maxim Vlasov (7-59)
Last Fight: 12/5/2013- KO4 Maxell Taylor (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vlasov appears set for an IBF eliminator, and Brandon Gonzales and Ndiaye appear to be the possibilities to oppose him.
13) Edwin Rodriguez (7-49)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
According to his trainer Ronnie Shields, they might be looking to fight a top-15 level light heavyweight, and have absolutely no intention to ever try to make 168 again.
 14) Andy Lee (13-32)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013-TKO2 Ferenc Hafner (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lee seems to be focused on a Macklin clash for the Spring.
15) Ryota Murata (13-18)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO8 Dave Peterson (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/22/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Murata is slated for a February 22 card in Macau.
16) Caleb Truax (13-27)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO4 Ceresso Fort (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 1/3/2014- vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Ossie Duran has replaced Derek Ennis as Truax’s January 3 opponent- a modest upgrade, actually.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (13-43)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
 18) Badou Jack (3-23)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 Rogelio Medina (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jack called out the winner of Bika vs. Dirrell after his win over Medina, but might want to restate, since the fight ended in a draw the following night.
19) Don Mouton (3-13)
Last Fight: 5/13/2013- L* (UD8) vs. #10 Anthony Dirrell
Next Fight: 2/1/2013- vs. Gilberto Ramirez (UNR)
Mouton-Ramirez has been rescheduled for February 1.
20) Anthony Dirrell (3-3)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. #11 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: Unknown
His hard-fought draw with Sakio Bika gained Dirrell a measure of redemption for what pretty clearly should have been a loss against Don Mouton, and has him back in the hot prospect category.  He’s called for a rematch (good idea) and a fight with Golovkin (bad idea).

 

The Week Ahead: Merry Christmas!

Light Heavyweight: 2013, Dec 23-29

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 23, 2014 by danboxing
Nothing important to report from last week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (68-68-68)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
When asked about a fight with Hopkins, Ward acknowledged that it’s one of only two fights that would get him on PPV (the other being Chavez), but said he would only fight Hopkins if the legend called him out.  He’s now officially suing his promoter, but seems hopeful of a March or April return.
1) Adonis Stevenson (29-29-29)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO6 #6 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevenson-Kovalev is the obvious can’t-miss battle in the division, but it sounds like Stevenson is looking for a much safer outing against Andrzej Fonfara for April 12.
2) Bernard Hopkins (68-394-394)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Karo Murat (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golden Boy is working on an in-house clash between Hopkins and Shumenov, though B-Hop still says he strongly prefers a middleweight clash with Mayweather- a great superfight, but a fight that is probably not going to get made, realistically.
3) Sergey Kovalev (28-49-49)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO2 Ismayl Sillakh (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kovalev is actively pursuing a fight with a seemingly reluctant Stevenson, and says he’s open to fighting Ward at 175, too.  More recently, there is talk of a February or March bout, with stated possibilities being Fonfara or the Pascal-Bute winner.
4) Chad Dawson (28-395-395)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L(TKO1) vs. SMW #6 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Dawson is now a promotional free agent, and is looking to sign with a top promoter to start rebuilding after a rough year.  He says he is interested in a Stevenson rematch.
5) Andrzej Fonfara (19-19-76)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- KO2 Samuel Miller (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fonfara was being discussed as a possible alternative for Kovalev if Stevenson fell through, but apparently there are now active discussions for him to fight Stevenson, instead.
6) Tony Bellew (19-115-115)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- L (TKO6) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Bellew plans a move to cruiserweight.  That division could use some new blood.  Cleverly seems like a natural opponent there, since he’s moving up as well.  Both men are interested.
7) Gabriel Campillo (19-183-183)
Last Fight: 8/16/2013- L (KO9) vs. #14 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: Unknown
Campillo might be on his way to deserved obscurity after being robbed of deserved prominence for so much of his career.  He still has plenty of boxing skill, but his will might be fading just a bit.
8) Tavoris Cloud (19-226-226)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Cloud should probably get himself back in the win column at some point.
9) Nathan Cleverly (19-203-203)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (TKO4) vs. #3 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
Cleverly withdrew from his cruiserweight debut against Daniel Ammann with a back injury, on just 4 days notice.  It appears that his future remains a division to the north, however.
10) Isaac Chilemba (19-39-99)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD8 Michael Gbenga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
11) Jürgen Brähmer (2-88)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD12 Marcus Oliveira (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Braehmer now has an alphabet title.  The rather abysmal rankings of that organization would suggest that guys like Mohammedi and Eleider Alvarez are at the top of the heap to challenge for that.
12) Cornelius White (2-106)
Last Fight: 6/14/2013- L (TKO3) vs. #5 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
White was blasted out by Kovalev, but at least he has good company in that regard.
 13) Karo Murat (9-9)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Cedric Agnew (9-37)
Last Fight: 4/12/2013- UD12 #14 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: Unknown
Agnew has been ordered to defend his regional title against fringe contender Anatoliy Dudchenko.
15) Edwin Rodriguez (9-24)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez’s trainer Ronnie Shields opines that a fight against a top-15 level light heavyweight would be a good jumping-off point for his anticipated permanent move up.
16) Lucian Bute (9-60)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 #16 Denis Grachev
Next Fight: 1/18/2014- vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Bute-Pascal has been pushed back to January 18.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (9-26)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mohoumadi snuck in a low-level win on November 30, apparently at 168.
18) Eleider Alvarez (9-48)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- UD10 Edison Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/18/2013- vs. #6 SMW Thomas Oosthuizen
Alvarez-Oosthuizen appears to be a go for the Bute-Pascal undercard.
19) Dmitry Sukhotsky (5-5)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO5 Eduard Gutknecht (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
As conclusive as the Sukhotsky-Gutknecht result looks on paper, I’d actually like to see a rematch, since Gutknecht was having the better of it before his eye began to balloon.
20) Enzo Maccarinelli (5-19)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- TKO7 Courtney Fry (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Maccarinelli has a likely fanciful desire to fight Bernard Hopkins.

 

The Week Ahead: A second consecutive actionless week.

Cruiserweight: 2013, Dec 23-29

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 22, 2014 by danboxing
What began as a close and intriguing fight in Hamburg on Friday ended as an inconclusive joke, when referee Holger Wiemann, in a fit of bias, decided to let a personal slight to him determine the outcome of the fight.  Steve Herelius had been on a disastrous losing streak already of late, though he still carries with him the credentials of a gatekeeper.  He was matched with another gatekeeper in Albania’s Nuri Seferi.  The fight was evenly matched through six.  Herelius was vastly outworking Seferi, but threw truly effective shots in no greater volume than Seferi, who sat idle at the end of Herelius’ 1-2 combos for a large portion of the fight, but generally threw hard shots when he worked.  By the end of the 6th, however, Herelius had, for some reason, apparently lost his composure- taking his eyes off his opponent to gesture to his corner frequently.  Here’s where it got bad.  Somewhere in the middle of the 7th round, the two fighters briefly came together in a borderline clinch.  Doing his best Luis Pabon impersonation, Wiemann dove recklessly between the two fighters.  Maybe he yelled stop, and maybe he didn’t.  In any case, he jumped in unnecessarily into a potentially brief clinch that the fighters should have been allowed to work themselves out of.  When both fighters continued punching (as well they should, unless Wiemann erred by yelling stop), Wiemann pulled Herelius away, while being hit in the back by hard punches from Seferi.  Herelius continued trying to step to Seferi as Wiemann tried to push him away, and the referee ridiculously disqualified the Frenchman on the spot.  The reasons for the stoppage being ridiculous are many.  First, he did no more- indeed, arguably less- than his opponent did wrong in the situation, and yet was the only one sanctioned.  That’s bias.  Also, he was in the heat of the moment in an active exchange with the other fighter.  Wiemann doesn’t belong there, and even if he makes the mistake of being there, he needs to understand that the fighters can’t pull back punches they are already throwing.  If you want to take a point because you (wrongly, I think) believe that one guy in particular is not respecting your authority, that’s one thing.  But to disqualify a fighter in that situation without so much as a stern warning first?  That’s putting yourself in the position of being the most important actor in the fight.  That’s never a good thing for a ref.

 

As is my practice when a clearly bad call by a referee decides a fight (call it the Schorle rule), I will treat the fight the same as if it had been stopped by an accidental foul by a fighter.  Unfortunately that’s of precious little help to Herelius.  As I mentioned, I had the fight even after 6, but unfortunately for him, Seferi had clearly won the completed portion of the 7th, and thus gets the benefit of a close decision.  Since it did appear he was coming on the fight as Herelius unraveled a bit, that might not be a bad result, ultimately.

 

The following night in Moscow, Roy Jones gave us a nice little glimpse at just where he is at this twilight stage of his career.  We found out against B-Hop, I think, that he was completely finished at the Championship level.  Against Pawel Glazewski in 2012, we found out that he probably was no longer a real fringe contender.  But it was last weekend against lower-mid-level French journeyman Zine Benmakhlouf that Jones showed that he’s most likely done as a serious fighter at any worthwhile level.  By worthwhile level, I mean as a top 50 guy.  He may very well still be a top 50 guy by the skin of his teeth, but I don’t see him beating too many of his peers, if so.  It’s not that Benmakhlouf beat him.  I had Jones winning by a single point.  But he certainly never separated himself from the younger man.  Jones knew that his conditioning was not what it once was, and while he kept his hands moving and thereby appeared to be holding his own at such times, he was backed to the ropes by the apparently stronger Frenchman for a large percentage of the second half of the fight.  I could see, with the right perspective, the fight being scored anything between a rather wide 119-108 for Jones, or even as much as 115-112 for Zine.  The entire second half of the fight was close, and although Jones very likely out-landed his opponent in virtually every round, much of it was mere feather-dusting, and his ring generalship could hardly have been worse by being stuck in a corner for the majority of any given round.

 

Judging-wise, there was a predictably one-sided view ringside.  Leszek Jankowiak and Pawel Kardyni of Poland both gave borderline-reasonable but undeniably slanted scores of 118-109 and 119-108, respectively.  Kardyni is usually more fair than that in my experience, but he did turn in a ludicrous card in Hernandez-Cunningham I a couple years ago.  Jankowiak was one of the architects of the Helenius-Chisora debacle, and also turned in unreasonable cards in Rodriguez-Maderna and Kolodziej-Crenz, so you might almost count 118-109 as a decent night for him.  The prize for worst judge on the night goes to Guillermo Perez of Panama, who gave Jones every round.  I have seen some fights he’s worked, but upon a quick review of his record, few if any of those have gone the distance.  The only score that I have frame of reference on for him is Malignaggi-Senchenko, in which he turned in a reasonable but somewhat pro-Senchenko card before the stoppage, having Malignaggi up by just a round.

 

Here’s how weak this division is outside the top few.  You can be Nuri Seferi in this division- a 37 year-old career-long journeyman- beat a guy under dubious circumstances that’s clearly washed up and hasn’t so much as won since 2010, and that gets you ranked #15.  Hell, even now, I’d say Herelius is probably just barely out of the top 25.  
 
 
Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (22-203-203)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Citing delays from the Guillermo Jones/Don King side, Lebedev has petitioned to the WBA for the ability to seek a unification fight with Wlodarczyk, instead.  In the mean time, purse bids have been set for January 6 on the Jones fight.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (67-183-183)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez still seems a little vulnerable, needing his power to bail him out a little against Alekseev.
3) Marco Huck (15-368-368)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- W (MD12) vs. #5 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 1/25/2014- vs. #5 Firat Arslan
Huck-Arslan II has a new date of January 25 after Huck suffered a hand injury.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (15-444-444)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk had a relatively easy time in his third fight with Fragomeni, and is interested in Huck, Hernandez, Afolabi, Drozd, and Chakhkiev for his next fight.
5) Firat Arslan (15-85-128)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/25/2014- vs. #3 Marco Huck
See Huck’s notes, above.

6) Thabiso Mchunu (15-21-59)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/24/2013- vs. #20 Garrett Wilson
Mchunu will be back on an NBC Sports card on January 24 against Garrett Wilson.
7) Grigory Drozd (5-12-59)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- TKO11 #13 Mateusz Masternak
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Drozd will defend his European title in March against solid French journeyman Jeremy Ouanna, though Wlodarczyk’s team seems to think they might get Drozd in their next fight.
8) Ola Afolabi (5-250-250)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi needed a gift to squeak by Janik, and is on Wlodarczyk’s short list for the Pole’s next fight.
9) Giacobbe Fragomeni (5-15-267)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- L (TKO6) vs. #4 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
I really hope that Fragomeni will call it a career.  
10) Silvio Branco (5-5-93)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- W (TD10) vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Branco has been tabbed by the WBC to fight Chakhkiev for some silly color coded title belt, with January 3 the deadline to avoid purse bids.
11) Ilunga Makabu (5-24)
Last Fight: 8/31/2013- TKO5 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. vs. Unknown Opponent
Apparently Kolodziej encountered promotional difficulties, and is now out of a planned February 1 fight with Makabu.  There are unconfirmed reports that Nathan Cleverly might step in to take his place.
12) Santander Silgado (3-8)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: Unknown
Silgado may have caught a finished fighter at the right time in stopping Herelius, but in a fairly shallow division, that’s enough for now.
13) Mateusz Masternak (3-91)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (TKO11) vs. #16 Grigory Drozd
Next Fight: Unknown
Masternak is still a legitimate prospect despite his first loss, but can no longer lay claim to the status of “top prospect” after losing to Drozd.
14) Lukasz Janik (3-8)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik would like a well-deserved rematch with Afolabi.
15) Nuri Seferi (1-1)
Last Fight: 12/20/2013- W (DQ7*) vs. Steve Herelius (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Enad Licina (1-183)
Last Fight: 9/27/2013- TKO3 Levan Jomardashvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Licina needs a significant win before January, as his only relevant win in the last 5 years will become older than 5 years at that point, prompting his removal.
17) Danie Venter (1-15)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I must admit I wrote Venter off when he lost a bit of an upset to Mchunu last year, but Mchunu has proven to be something of a world beater since, and Venter’s overall resume is quietly starting to look pretty solid.
18) Dmytro Kucher (1-78)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher would like a rematch with Makabu, and has his sights set on Wlodarczyk down the road, as well.  He expects to be back against someone in November or December.
19) Krzysztof Glowacki (1-22)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glowacki has been tearing through the middle tier of the division like a wrecking ball.
20) Rakhim Chakhkiev (1-5)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- KO10 Giulian Ilie (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chakhkiev will apparently get a chance at some silly color-coded alphabet belt against Silvio Branco, with a deadline to avoid purse bids of January 3.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Merry Christmas!

Heavyweight: 2013, Dec 23-29

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 15, 2014 by danboxing
Last week I referred to a possible hometown advantage being the largest potential edge for Christian Hammer on Friday against closely-matched fellow top-50 gatekeeper Kevin Johnson.  Hammer is Romanian, but makes his home in Hamburg, where the fight went down, while Johnson is American.  That turned out to be very true, unfortunately.  The fight was razor-thin, with a lot of close rounds, and an even split in the few clear ones.  I had Johnson winning 96-94.  With anything between 98-92 either way being fairly reasonable.  Johnson threw and landed more, while boxing on the outside and employing a defensive posture.  Hammer came forward frequently, and landed the harder punches when he landed something, but was much more sparing in his output.  You would think the scores would have tended to be varied but generally close, if the judges were being fair.  Instead, judges Mihai Leu (a Romanian-born Hamburger who seems like an objectively bad choice to work this particular fight) and Joerg Ilinseer had it 98-92, which means they gave every debatable round to Hammer.  Timo Habighorst, while still rather slanted, at least managed to see a couple of them even to arrive at 98-94.  

 

One-loss prospect Carlos Takam got some work in that same night in Martinique, knocking out low-level journeyman Jakov Gospic in 3.

 

Since I disagree with the still more-or-less reasonable result of Hammer-Johnson, I can only treat it as essentially a draw, but with the barest of edges to Hammer in deference to the official result, which fell short of an obvious robbery.  It’s not going to be visible.  Hammer moves from a mid-30s ranking unofficially to a high-30s one, while Johnson goes from mid-40s to high 30s.  No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (235-448-448)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Klitschko is in talks to fight his mandatory, Alex Leapai.  He said recently that he wants to capture his brother’s old alphabet title, which would unify all the major titles for the first time since Lewis in 1999.  He would have to wait for someone else to pick it up first, as the silly alphabets don’t let current titlists fight for vacant titles.
1) Alexander Povetkin (5-322-322)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin is calling for a rematch.  He would probably need to become the WBA mandatory by winning an eliminator (possibly against Luis Ortiz) in order to get that shot.  His promotional ties expire at the end of the year, and he says he’ll announce his next move in early 2014.
2) Steve Cunningham (5-53-53)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD8 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham had little trouble dominating a fading former gatekeeper in Quezada.
3) Tomasz Adamek (5-192-192)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kathy Duva, who promotes both fighters, says she will reschedule the cancelled Adamek-Glazkov fight.  Adamek shot down rumors that he wants to fight Bryant Jennings in January, saying he’s fighting Glazkov in March.
4) Kubrat Pulev (5-86-163)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO5 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev was dropped (lightly) for the first time in his career, and seems to have taken Abell lightly in general.  Nevertheless, he finished it off with an impressive stoppage.
5) Dereck Chisora (5-108-171)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO3 Ondrej Pala (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/15/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chisora returns on February 15, with an opponent as yet unannounced.  There is a lot of speculation in Britain that he might be in line to fight Tyson Fury in a rematch for the vacated WBC title.  How that would come to pass, when neither guy is at the top of the rankings in that organization, is beyond me.  That being said, boxing politics seldom fails to surprise, and Chisora and Fury are more deserving at this point than Stiverne and Arreola, anyhow.
6) Odlanier Solis (5-40-187)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #9 Tony Thompson
Solis was first set to fight Kevin Johnson.  But he backed out because the IBF wanted him to fight Takam.  But now word from Tony Thompson is that Solis will fight Thompson, instead, on March 22.
7) Bermane Stiverne (5-27-43)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite speculation in the UK of a possible match-up between Fury and Chisora for the WBC title, that organization has officially ordered Stiverne-Arreola, with purse bids due on January 17.  Stiverne’s legal situation with Don King seems to be the only possible stumbling block at this point.
8) Chris Arreola (5-16-16)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
9) Tony Thompson (5-6-187)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #6 Odlanier Solis
Thompson says he’s fighting Odlanier Solis on March 22.
10) Erkan Teper (5-5-17)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper might have scored the heavyweight knockout of the year, and probably retired Martin Rogan in the process.
11) Mike Perez (5-8)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- UD10 Magomed Abdusalamov (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/18/2014- vs. Carlos Takam (UNR)
With Solis-Takam falling through, Takam will now be offered up to Perez, instead, on the Pascal-Bute undercard on January 18 in Montreal.
12) Deontay Wilder (5-35)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO4 Nicolai Firtha (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wilder had hoped to supersede either Stiverne or Arreola for a shot at the WBC belt, but with that fight now officially ordered, he can only hope that Stiverne can’t work the fight out due to legal problems, or that he can fight the winner.
13) Alex Leapai (5-5)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov
Next Fight: Unknown
Leapai and Wlad are beginning negotiations for a mandatory fight.
14) Robert Helenius (6-187)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
According to Per Ake Persson at Boxingscene, Helenius will be working with a Finnish team going forward, with German promotional powerhouse Sauerland still involved in a diminished role.  He will talk about his future at a press conference later this week.
15) Andy Ruiz (5-5)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ruiz has called out Tyson Fury, whose team says he’s out until at least March.
16) Seth Mitchell (6-29)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- L (TKO1) vs. Chris Arreola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mitchell’s chin is so fragile that he might want to consider calling it a career.  Golden Boy’s CEO says he’s advised Mitchell to do just that, though he reports that Mitchell seems to have no such intention.
17) Alexander Dimitrenko (5-154)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko is rumored at least to be fighting Sam Sexton in the first round of the WBC World Cup, but that tournament appears to be in limbo for the time being, at least.
18) Vyacheslav Glazkov (5-53)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Adamek’s notes, above.
19) Malik Scott (5-44)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- L (KO6*) vs. #8 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott is getting serious buzz for a fight with Wilder.
20) Johnathon Banks (5-58)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Banks apparently dinged his hands up pretty good in the Mitchell fight- an alternate explanation for those who, like me, thought his inexplicable failure to follow up on his early success was a bit suspicious.  He’s been doing physical therapy, and is about ready to get back in the ring.  He’d like a rematch with Mitchell, but unfortunately a trilogy probably isn’t of much benefit to the fragile young contender at this point.  He’s penciled-in for the second round of the WBC World Cup, against the winner of Sam Sexton and Alexander Dimitrenko, but as noted above, that whole tournament is delayed and in doubt.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Merry Christmas!

Welterweight: 2013, Dec 16-22

Posted in Rankings, Welterweight with tags , , , , , , , on March 15, 2014 by danboxing
I’ll discuss the events of the past weekend in descending order of magnitude.

 

In the Showtime Championship Boxing main event from San Antonio on Saturday, Marcos Maidana gave, I would hazard, the large majority of boxing fans an early Christmas present by shutting the mouth of the unceasingly loquacious Adrien Broner.  Broner was as likable as ever, simulating a certain act at one point while Maidana’s back was turned that would threaten to lose me the family-friendly status that I hope will allow me to participate in WordPress ads at some point if I were to report on it fully.  Maidana quite literally returned the favor later in the fight.  The difference is, he had already beaten the fight out of Broner by them, while Broner’s actions were bravado entirely of the false variety.  Quite simply, Maidana beat Broner up.  He mugged him.  There were a few competitive rounds, but it wasn’t a competitive fight.  Broner went down in the 2nd and 8th, and deserved another 10-8 in a particularly rocky 9th round.  Maidana lost a point in the 8th for a headbutt, and that’s the only point that he clearly missed out on in the whole fight.  I did give Broner the 12th in a close call, but that was the only round that I thought he had much of an argument for.  118-106 was my card.  The really awful judges (almost a redundant statement for a Texas fight) had it 117-109 (Levi Martinez), 116-109 (Nelson Vazquez), and a patently ridiculous- almost offensive- 115-110 (Stanley Christodoulou).  There was buzz immediately that this might be the upset of the year.  Really?  Maidana was #4 in the division, give or take, by any reasonable measure.  Broner?  True, he is and/or was the legitimate lightweight Champion, but that’s two whole weight classes to the south.  At Welter, he beat Paulie Malignaggi in a rather close decision.  Malignaggi improved his stock dramatically since then by beating Judah, but at the time he could be viewed more as a guy coming off what should have been a dominant loss to Pablo Cesar Cano than anything else.  In short, Broner had earned little or no credibility anywhere north of 135 at more than a fringe contender level.  Those who considered Maidana an underdog of any magnitude whatsoever were speculating at best, or buying into undeserved hype at worst.

 

On the rather stacked undercard, #13 Keith Thurman justified his own hype in a big way.  Thurman- who had to make an adjustment and mix in some boxing to overcome big strong welterweight Diego Chaves in his last fight- applied that adjustment from the opening bell against another big strong welterweight in Mexican brawler, #6 Jesus Soto-Karass.  I’ve seldom seen such plainly visible growth in a young fighter over such a limited span of rounds.  This time, he mixed boxing with power from the start.  He showed the ability to throw and land huge shots from a posture of movement, which is a pretty rare ability.  As for Soto-Karass, he showed big-time heart and plenty of desire, as expected, but ultimately couldn’t handle Thurman’s concussive counter shots.  Up 78-73 on my card, Thurman closed the show with a stoppage of a broken opponent in the 9th.  This fight effectively  the progression of Thurman from a prospect to a contender and star.

 

#11 Josesito Lopez looked, frankly, really bad in his narrow Friday victory over Mike Arnaoutis, who entered the fight with the profile of a shopworn veteran journeyman.  Arnaoutis looked strong and fresh early against Lopez, who was clearly not sharp.  He dropped Lopez in the 3rd after trading the first couple rounds.  Lopez started to get into the fight after the knockdown, though, and won four of the last 5 completed rounds as I saw it.  In the 8th, Arnaoutis suffered a pretty bad cut over his left eye from a head clash.  After the round, Arnaoutis was very adamant that he couldn’t see, though in my decidedly non-expert opinion, it looked like the blood had been stemmed and was flowing entirely to the left of the eye to the extent it was flowing at all at that point.  I personally believe that Arnaoutis could see well enough to continue, and yet knew that his best rounds in the fight were behind him.  His best chance for victory, as he could reasonably have calculated, was to go to the scorecards at that point, since it had very obviously been close to that point.  Now maybe I’m totally wrong and he really couldn’t see.  If that’s the case, he not only did the prudent thing, but did so honorably.  I just didn’t really see any signs with my untrained eye to suggest that he couldn’t see.  He wasn’t blinking abnormally or anything like that.  But I don’t want to belabor the point.  One judge, Thomas Taylor, had it exactly as I did, and the other two (incorrectly, I believe) had it a round wider.  If Arnaoutis was taking a calculated risk to get out of the fight, it didn’t help him win, and so the point is largely moot.  Lopez, for his part, dodged a bullet.  If this was a case of under-preparedness as opposed to a sign of physical decline, then it should serve as a valuable lesson cheaply learned.

 

Returning to Saturday, fringe contender Leonard Bundu of Italy by way of Sierra Leone put on a fine performance against a very gritty and determined English gatekeeper in Lee Purdy, in London.  Purdy came out strong, and took three of the first four rounds as I saw it.  But it was a brisk pace and a tough fight.  Bundu proved physically strong, and showed more classy boxing ability than Purdy as the rounds wore on.  By the 8th round, Purdy had lost his edge completely, and had faded to the point that he was no longer competitive within the rounds.  It was every inch a war of attrition, and Bundu conclusively outlasted his man.  When the dust settled, Bundu had poured about as much punishment into 12 rounds as it’s possible to do, and referee Juergen Langos quite aptly rescued Purdy in the closing seconds.  You might wish that Purdy had gotten a chance to finish the fight with only 10 seconds remaining, but this was an instance where you had to protect a helpless fighter.  10 seconds or not, Purdy was about to get badly hurt.  

 

And in a strictly stay-busy fight on Friday, Mexican champion (well, if you don’t count Marquez, Soto-Karass, Cano, and maybe a few others, anyway) Alvaro Robles stopped sub-.500 journeyman Miguel Angel Lopez at the beginning of 6.

 

Maidana doesn’t really have room to improve in the rankings at the moment, as his loss to Alexander holds him back from having any chance to eclipse Pacquiao at present.  Thurman parks right behind Maidana at #5, pushing Porter back a place.  Soto-Karass falls to #12, while Berto slips back to #13.  Bundu slips back into the rankings at #20, meaning that Jo Jo Dan exits after two weeks in.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (190-222-222)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #2 JMW Saul Alvarez (at JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Floyd will likely be back on both May 3 and September 13, with Amir Khan being rumored as the May 3 opponent.
1) Timothy Bradley (10-10-80)
Last Fight: 10/12/2013- W (SD12) vs. #1 Juan Manuel Marquez
Next Fight: Unknown
Bradley-Pacquiao II is very likely for April 12.
2) Juan Manuel Marquez (10-110-110)
Last Fight: 10/12/2013- L (SD12) vs. #17 Timothy Bradley
Next Fight: Unknown
After retirement was mentioned a couple different times, Marquez now says he intends to fight twice in 2014.  He wants a tune-up in Mexico City, followed by a rematch with Bradley.
3) Manny Pacquiao (10-263-263)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD12 #5? JWW Brandon Rios
Next Fight: Unknown
See Bradley’s notes, above. 
4) Marcos Maidana (2-28-28)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD12 LW Champ Adrien Broner
Next Fight: Unknown
After his 12-round beatdown of overhyped Broner, Maidana has set himself up for a big opportunity.  Malignaggi indicated interest in the winner, for starters, and Shawn Porter also seems interested.
5) Keith Thurman (1-1-41)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 #6 Jesus Soto-Karass
Next Fight: Unknown
After beating Soto-Karass, Thurman issued what amounts to a challenge to the entire division.
6) Shawn Porter (1-2-2)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #5 Devon Alexander
Next Fight: Unknown
All indications are that Porter will fight his mandatory, Kell Brook, next, though he has also indicated interest in Maidana.

7) Robert Guerrero (2-56-73)
Last Fight: 5/4/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Next Fight: Unknown
Guerrero wants Pacquiao next.  I see his style as potentially problematic for Pacquiao, which probably renders the match-up unlikely at this time, when combined with his lack of a recent win.
8) Kell Brook (2-138-138)
Last Fight:10/26/2013- TKO4 Vyacheslav Senchenko (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Porter’s notes, above.
9) Devon Alexander (2-95-95)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- L (UD12) vs. Shawn Porter (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
10) Randall Bailey (4-4-4)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- W (DQ8) vs. Humberto Toledo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
11) Josesito Lopez (4-78)
Last Fight: 12/13/2013- W (TD8) vs. Mike Arnaoutis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Hopefully his great struggles against Arnaoutis aren’t the result of wear and tear taking their toll on Lopez and his career.
12) Jesus Soto Karass (1-47)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- L (TKO9) vs. #13 Keith Thurman
Next Fight: Unknown
His results are now decidedly mixed, but I suspect Soto Karass will continue to get decent TV fights, since his fights are almost always entertaining, and  always a test for his opponent.
13) Andre Berto (1-56)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- L (TKO12) vs. #11 Jesus Soto Karass
Next Fight: Unknown
 
Berto’s shoulder surgery will keep him out until sometime in 2014.
14) Paulie Malignaggi (2-2)
 
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #8? JWW Zab Judah
 
Next Fight: Unknown
 
Malignaggi expects a big money fight in the wake of his handy victory over Judah.  He is interested in Maidana.
 
15) Chris van Heerden (2-79)
Last Fight: 3/2/2013- UD12 Matthew Hatton (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Amidst conflicting reports variously suggesting he would fight in February in the US or in South Africa, the truth has emerged.  He’s starting a 3-year contract with a US promoter, and supposedly has a fight planned for early in the new year.
16) Luis Carlos Abregu (2-34)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Antonin Decarie (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Abregu’s plans for an October fight have been scrapped, as he recently had 2013-ending hand surgery.  The WBC is looking to match him with Antonin Decarie when he returns.
17) Jan Zaveck (2-210)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- UD8 Sebastien Allais (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
As expected, Zaveck had little trouble with French journeyman Allais.
18) Ruslan Provodnikov (2-40)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- RTD10 #3 JWW Mike Alvarado (at JWW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Provodnikov proved against Alvarado that the Bradley fight was no fluke.  He’s a big-time fighter now.  Mostly it’s all rumor at this point, but there has been speculation of his fighting Rios or Marquez.  He said he would refuse a fight with Pacquiao, a friend with whom he shares a trainer.
19) Pablo Cesar Cano (2-14)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W (SD10*) vs. Ashley Theophane (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Cano said after the 143-pound catchweight win against Theophane that he intends to seek title contention at 140 now.  I must say I’m surprised by the move, considering he failed to make weight for one of his biggest fights at 147 against Malignaggi.

20) Leonard Bundu (1-1)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO12 Lee Purdy (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bundu retains his European title and undefeated record with the impressive effort over Purdy.

 

The Week Ahead:
Saturday
Frankie Gavin vs. Bradley Pryce; Leeds, England; BoxNation (UK)
Promising undefeated British prospect Gavin gets a decent test in serviceable journeyman Bradley Pryce.  Pryce’s record is that of a relatively low-level opponent, but he gets a fair amount of credibility for giving Sergey Rabchenko a good deal of trouble recently.
 

Junior Middleweight: 2013, Dec 16-22

Posted in Junior Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 8, 2014 by danboxing
Friday in a FS1-televised showcase from Indio, California, fringe contending undefeated prospect Jermall Charlo looked sensational in dispatching journeyman Joseph de los Santos in the 5th of a scheduled 8.  He dropped his man 3 times- once in each of the last 3 rounds- along the way.  Charlo was wickedly accurate, and used his world-class jab to great effect.  He also showed a great deal of patience.  I personally think his skills are such that he wil only find his peers among the current top 5 contenders, though he has yet to prove that.

 

On the non-televised undercard, another Golden Boy prospect, the less advanced Hugo Centeno, Jr, stopped Mexican journeyman Angel Osuna in the final round of a scheduled 10, and according to one first-hand account I’ve read, he definitely needed to do so to keep his record intact.  Osuna had knocked Centeno down in the early stages of the bout, and reportedly appeared to be hopelessly up on points when Centeno knocked him out of the ring and sent him out on a stretcher.

 

Saturday in Paranaque City, Philippines, gatekeeper Dennis Laurente knocked out total novice Khomkaew Sithsaithong of Thailand with a body shot just 39 seconds in.

 

But the biggest deal of the week was later that night in Neubrandenburg, Germany, where another over-hyped Sauerland prospect came dangerously close to crashing and burning, as #20 Jack Culcay met French journeyman Dieudonne Belinga in what was to be a 12-round glorified stay-busy fight.  Culcay both started and ended the fight well enough, but struggled mightily in the middle rounds.  The key moment, as it turned out, was the moment that the commission appointed three corrupt or incompetent judges, but what might otherwise have been the key moment occurred in the 5th.  Belinga carried the round clearly, but at one point well into the action, Culcay went down from a kind of cuffing push.  As he went down his legs collided with those of Belinga, which had the effect of a leg sweep.  Belinga went down.  Somehow, the obviously biased ref Mikael Hook decided that Culcay- the only party that received contact anywhere above the knee in the transaction- had slipped, while Belinga had been hit by a punch that was never thrown.  This would have obligated even conscientious judges to score the round 10-9 or worse in favor of Culcay.  As called by the ref, I scored the bout 115-113 for Culcay.  If allowed to score round 5 accurately based on the action that actually occurred, I would certainly have had it even.  With decent refereeing factored in, the range of reasonable scoring would have been 115-113 either way.  If we are to credit Hook’s atrocious call, anything between a draw and 116-112 for Culcay would constitute reasonable scoring.   Spain’s Juan Manuel Garcia Reyes and Berlin’s Oliver Brien were close to reasonable in that sense, but made the all-t00-common mistake of scoring the 5th 10-8, which was not required even had a knockdown indeed occurred, since Belinga had otherwise carried the round clearly.  Of all people, though, the French judge was the most disgusting, as Jean-Louis Legland scored it an absolutely incredible 118-109, before an equally incredible 115-112 in the next fight between Braehmer and Oliveira.  Bottom line: if nothing had been done to obscure the best efforts of the fighters, themselves, it was a draw, give or take.  I will treat it as such.

 

Culcay’s struggles against an opponent that is far from credible at this level buy him a one-way ticket out of the rankings.  The beneficiary of this this is not Belinga, however, as several not-so-forgivable losses hold him back from anything higher than gatekeeper status.  Instead, it’s another recent Culcay foe, Guido Pitto, who takes over the #20 spot.  Pitto was involved in two razor thin fights- one win and then a loss- with Culcay, both of which I scored as draws.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1Carlos Molina (46-128-143)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W (SD12) vs. #5 Ishe Smith
Next Fight: Unknown
I still have my doubts, but Steve Kim reports that Molina is being considered for a March 8 PPV headliner with Canelo.  Angulo is also in the mix as Canelo’s opponent.
2) Erislandy Lara (2-128-150)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #4 Austin Trout
Next Fight: Unknown
Lara wants Canelo next.
3) Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (2-14-14)
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 (2-146-161)
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, though it sounds like those two might fight each other, instead.  Molina and Angulo have been mentioned as possible alternatives.  After that, he expects to fight two additional times in 2014.  Reports indicate the Cotto fight is now imminent.
5) Austin Trout (2-81-150)
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.  He says essentially that he wants worthwhile fights in 2014, rather than a soft diet for rebuilding purposes.
6) Ishe Smith (14-43-43)
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.  More recently, he’s been rumored as Mundine’s January 29 opponent, though he’s denied this.
7) Anthony Mundine (3-3-3)
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 (3-185-185)
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 (3-176-176)
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 (3-221-221)
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.  He’s also apparently a leading candidate for a March 8 PPV fight with Canelo.
11) Sergey Rabchenko (3-79)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 Bradley Pryce (UNR)

Next Fight: Unknown
Rabchenko is in line for an alphabet eliminator at any time.  The EBU, meanwhile, has set a date of January 21 for purse bids for his mandatory European title defense against Emanuele Della Rosa.  
12) Javier Maciel (3-8)
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 (3-6)
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 (3-127)
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 (3-133)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- L* (SD12) vs. Demetrius Andrade (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Willie Nelson (3-42)
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 (3-39)
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 (3-28)
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 (3-47)
Last Fight: 11/12/2013- KO1 Javier Gomez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Guido Pitto (1-1)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L* (UD12) vs. #20 Jack Culcay
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: 
Saturday
Marcos Reyes vs. Isaac Mendez; Chihuahua, Mexico; Televisa (Mexico)
Reyes is a one-loss local prospect who is established at about the top 40 level of the division.  Mendez is a low-level journeyman from nearby San Buenaventura, and should pose little or no challenge.

Middleweight: 2013, Dec 16-22

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 7, 2014 by danboxing
Wednesday in Flemington, Australia, Sam Soliman returned from a PED suspension to dominate and stop gatekeeper Les Sherrington in the 9th, dropping his man twice along the way.  I can’t find a video.  The result is an important one, as I’ll discuss below.

 

Inactive contender Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam also returned from a more voluntary brand of inactivity on Saturday, fighting for the first time since his exciting and close October 2012 loss to Peter Quillin.  The fight was in Barcelona against mid-level Irish journeyman Anthony Fitzgerald.  N’Dam won a 10-round decision, and Fitzgerald was kind enough to confirm for me on facebook that the fight was indeed contested at the 160 pound limit.  This means that N’Dam is eligible for a re-ranking now that he’s active again.  

 

#1 Martin Murray had an awful outing that night in London.  The fight- against Belorussian journeyman Sergey Khomitsky- had been postponed from a couple weeks ago due to a virus that laid Murray low.  It could be that he was not entirely over its effects, because he was flat and very ordinary-looking.  The fight was at a contract weight of 163 or 164, but it can’t go unnoticed here.  Referee Robert Williams was also charged with the task of sole judge.  This is customary in Britain for non-title fights, and stands as one of the worst ideas that nation has had since it decided to bow to another person based solely on who her parents were and pay millions of pounds in tax money to that individual.  I do not fault Williams for his 77-75 card in favor of Murray because in the first place it was fairly reasonable despite the fact that I disagree with it, and in the second place because he could not possibly provide the concentration required to accurately judge a close round while simultaneously doing his job of enforcing the rules and ensuring fighter safety.  I think Murray lost the fight 77-75, and even giving minimal deference to the ref’s decision, the effect of this- the equivalent of a draw- is potentially devastating to Murray’s ranking.  But at the same time, he himself got even more clearly robbed against the Champion of the World in his previous fight, and thus it’s hard to drop him too far down the ranks.

 

In less momentous action, #11 Max Bursak shut out low-level journeyman Gari Abajian over 8.

 

I decided that with regard to Murray, he’s got to drop below Golovkin, and also below Sturm, who just beat a guy that Martinez beat.  He remains ahead of Barker in part because I’m maybe more merciful with regard to the Khomitsky fight than I should be, and in part because Murray performed better against Martinez (that’s really just my excuse that I’m using not to drop him to the #15 range or something).  I do think it’s important to strike a reasonable balance here, since his poor performance against Khomitsky is probably much more of a fluke than are his fine performances against Sturm and Sergio.  So Murray slides to #3.

 

N’Dam, whose only drawbacks are inactivity and his loss to an only semi-proven contender in Quillin, re-emerges at #8, just behind Quillin himself.

 

A quick analysis on Soliman: his overall resume is still solid.  But it was quite a stretch to have him winning the Sturm fight in the first place, and when you factor in his PED use for that fight, I don’t think it makes any sense at all to give him any positive credit for that particular outing.  So on the merits of his remaining resume (with the instant Sherrington win figuring prominently therein), he returns to the ranks just a couple spots lower than he left them, landing just behind N’Dam at #9.  Everyone ranked #8 and below last week dives two places, including Rubio and Mundine, who are forced from the top 10 after 10 and 8 weeks, respectively.  James Kirkland and Jorge Heiland are both forced from the rankings after one and two week stints, respectively.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (192-192-192)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. # 8 JMW Miguel Cotto
According to fighthype.com, citing anonymous sources close to Cotto, there is now no doubt that Cotto-Martinez will happen on June 7 in New York. 
1) Gennady Golovkin (1-68-131)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- RTD8 #15 Curtis Stevens
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Golovkin returns February 1 in Monte Carlo.  Originally it looked like Murray was the opponent, but he will instead fight former borderline top 10 contender Osumanu Adama, who was removed from a #13 berth in September for failing to make 160 for 18 months.
2) Felix Sturm (1-535-535)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- TKO2 #3 Darren Barker
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman is the #1 contender for Sturm’s alphabet title, and Macklin and Geale are both trying to get rematches with him, as well.
3) Martin Murray (1-107-107)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- W* (PTS8) vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Murray barely avoided an abject disaster with his abysmal performance against Khomitsky, and though he probably deserved to lose the fight, his narrow decision win allows him to stay in line for what looks like a shot at a second-rate alphabet belt in February, though the opponent hasn’t been announced.
4) Darren Barker (2-18-114)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- L (TKO2) vs. #4 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown
Barker’s body failed him against Sturm, and it’s led to heavy speculation that we may have seen the last of him.  His team has only fueled this speculation further.
5) Daniel Geale (18-235-235)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (SD12) vs. #15 Darren Barker
Next Fight: Unknown
In the wake of Sturm’s victory over the man that beat him, Geale has renewed calls for what would be a very interesting rematch with the German.  On the other hand, he’s got a loose verbal agreement to fight Golovkin, likely toward the end of 2014.
6) Matthew Macklin (18-130-221)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After a legitimate but very unspectacular win over only moderately proven prospect Lamar Russ, Macklin has joined the chorus of quality middleweights looking for a rematch with Sturm.  He’s also pushing for a fight with Andy Lee.
7) Peter Quillin (34-61-82)
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) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD10 Anthony Fitzgerald (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
No word on a potential big fight for N’Dam, but at least he’s active again.
9) Sam Soliman (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 12/11/2013- TKO9 Les Sherrington (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman has been re-installed as the #1 contender to Sturm’s alphabet strap, and will likely get another shot soon.
10) Sergio Mora (1-25-25)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora had hoped to fight Golovkin on February 1, but says he was never offered the fight.
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (1-151)
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, though that possibility has begun to look increasingly unlikely.
12) Anthony Mundine (1-151)
Last Fight: 11/27/2013- TKO7 #4 WW Shane Mosley (at JMW)
Next Fight: 1/29/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
In a quick turnaround, Mundine announced that he will headline a January 29 show in Brisbane.  Most likely this will be nothing more than a quick payday, as I’m sure he won’t want to prepare for two big fights that close together.
13) Max Bursak (1-151)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD8 Gari Abajian (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Caleb Truax (1-13)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO4 Ceresso Fort (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/3/2014- vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Truax’s January 3 fight will likely be the first notable fight of the New Year.  His opponent was to be Derek Ennis, but he’s been replaced by the marginally better Ossie Duran.
15) Bryan Vera (1-61)
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.
16) Grzegorz Proksa (1-140)
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.
17) Curtis Stevens (1-20)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L (RTD8) vs. #2 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: 1/24/2014- vs. Patrick Majewski (UNR)
Stevens will make a surprisingly quick return from a grueling battle with Golovkin.  His January 24 opponent will be one-loss Polish fringe prospect Patrick Majewski.
18) Andrey Meryasev (1-6)
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.
19) Danny Jacobs (1-17)
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.
20) Dmitry Chudinov (1-17)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- W (PTS8) vs. Max Maxwell (UNR) (at SMW/LHW)
Next Fight: 12/21/2013- vs. Juan Camilo Novoa (UNR)
Chudinov makes his return in Moscow on December 21, taking on mid-level Colombian journeyman Juan Camilo Novoa.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Saturday
#20 Dmitry Chudinov vs. Juan Camilo Novoa; Moscow, Russia; Sport 2 (Hungary)
Chudinov gets a reasonable stay-busy outing against mid-range Colombian journeyman Juan Camilo Novoa on the Roy Jones undercard in Moscow.

 

Jose Uzcategui vs. Francisco Villanueva; Tijuana, Mexico; Azteca (Mexico)
Undefeated young Venezuelan Uzcategui takes on Mexican journeyman Francisco Villanueva in a 6-rounder.  Villanueva is much much better and more accomplished than his abysmal 14-28 record would indicate, and comes off a solid win over prospect Guillermo Arroyo.  You could easily argue that Villanueva is one of the best couple opponents Uzcategui has met so far, though it should be noted that Villanueva- who fought as a junior featherweight as recently as 2008- is probably undersized even as low as junior welter at this point, and painfully so at 160.