Super Middleweight: 2014, Jan 6-12

#16 Caleb Truax got a very tough night on Friday from quintessential gatekeeper Ossie Duran.  I had it 95-95, as did all three judges, even in Truax’s hometown of Minneapolis.  If anybody won it, it was Duran, since I think both myself and the judges happened to have given Truax all of the close rounds, of which there were three by my count.  In the interests of full disclosure, I should tell you that I feel some degree of kinship with Truax, since his surname would indicate likely descent from an Old New York family from which I also descend.  Nevertheless, I think I was and am being fair.


Truax falls one spot, swapping places with Hadillah Mohoumadi.  On one hand, Mohoumadi’s best result at this weight was a borderline robbery loss to an 18th-ranked DeGale that I treat as a draw, while Truax owns a win over a #15 contender in George.  That being said, the division was a lot deeper when Mohoumadi fought DeGale, to the extent that #18 then would have been ranked ahead of #15 from a few months ago.  In addition, Mohoumadi owns a significant stoppage win at 175 that, while it doesn’t count to any great extent here, allows us to draw a contrast with the Truax record that features serious success only at catchweights around 163.


Duran’s performance- coupled with what should have been a win in 2011 over current #5 Brandon Gonzales- gets him to a place JUST outside the rankings, though he also usually fights around middleweight.


Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (108-242-242)
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.  He has expressed interest in both Froch and Groves recently, as well as a potential superfight with Golovkin.
1) Carl Froch (85-395-395)
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, which the Champion apparently is not ruling out.
2) Robert Stieglitz (42-228-228)
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 (56-474-474)
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 (34-220-220)
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 (28-28-28)
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 (15-136-184)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: Unknown
Oosthuizen was yanked from his intended January 18 fight with Eleider Alvarez and released by his promoter after a bicycle accident and reportedly being hopelessly out of shape about 2 weeks before the fight.
7) Ezequiel Maderna (9-9-54)
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 (9-56-78)
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.  If Froch doesn’t come through with the rematch, Ward might come calling.
9) James DeGale (8-31-117)
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, and promoter Frank Warren is interested in staging a fight between DeGale and Billy Joe Saunders in 2014.
10) Christopher Rebrasse (8-8-31)
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 (8-353)
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.  On Bika’s end, he’d like a unification with Froch.
12) Maxim Vlasov (9-61)
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 (9-51)
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.  He’ll be on the shelf for a little while due to bone chip-removal surgery on his elbow in December.
 14) Andy Lee (15-34)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013-TKO2 Ferenc Hafner (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lee has apparently turned down a March 1 fight with Hassan N’Dam.  A Macklin fight might still be in play.
15) Ryota Murata (15-20)
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) Hadillah Mohoumadi (1-45)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Caleb Truax (1-29)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (MD12) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Truax may have been a little lucky to escape with a draw against Duran.  I agree with the decision, but it could only have tilted the other way if it tilted at all.
 18) Badou Jack (5-25)
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 (5-15)
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 (5-5)
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: Nothing major this week.

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