Welterweight: 2014, Feb 3-9

In a pretty big upset on the special Thursday Golden Boy card in Brooklyn, gatekeeper Luis Collazo humiliated Victor Ortiz.  Or perhaps more accurately, Ortiz embarrassed himself.  Ortiz’s career has been, with the notable exception of the excellent Berto fight, defined by quitting and mental breakdowns.  He quit in the midst of a roller coaster shootout with Maidana, quit fighting halfway through a fight he was dominating against Lamont Peterson to settle for a draw, lost his composure and got knocked out by Mayweather, quit (this time more understandably) in a tough fight with Lopez after getting his jaw broken, and now he quit simply because he got a little buzzed.  

 

Ortiz clearly carried the first round, but got caught with a nice hook from Collazo in the second that hurt him.  Instead of holding, fighting back, or even running normally, he turned his back and went scampering toward the ropes, as if he could find a place to hide.  While I have little doubt that he was legitimately hurt, there is absolutely no excuse for that fact that he made no attempt to get up.  The dude just simply doesn’t want to be a fighter.  Collazo is not really even a puncher, so the only person that could probably end the fight in a knockout was Ortiz- whether he knocked out Collazo or allowed himself to get knocked out by giving in.  He did the latter, and I think his career- at least as a serious fighter- is probably over.

 

On the Golovkin-Adama undercard on Saturday, undefeated Russian Roman Belaev showed pretty well against solid journeyman Dean Byrne of Ireland.  Byrne showed great heart and a nice chin, but ultimately didn’t have the power or strength to gain Belaev’s respect.  The Russian was heavy-handed and patient, and appeared very advanced as a prospect.  He established a very good jab, and frequently followed it up with a punishing straight right.  The only criticism I might level is that his work began to look noticeably sloppy around the 10th round.  He might need to improve his conditioning as he steps up to the fringe contender level.  I had it 120-108, though it’s conceivable that Byrne may have nicked the 2nd round.  The judges were basically in line with that view, as two of them gave Byrne a single round and the other gave him none.

 

I estimate that had Ortiz not been removed for inactivity last year, he’d probably have equated to a #13 contender as things stood at the start of the week.  That being the case, it’s a bit surprising that Collazo only finds his way to #17, mainly because several guys just have multiple wins at a level just below Ortiz.  Vanishing Victor is technically eligible for a re-ranking, but even with the win over 2nd-ranked Berto, he isn’t really close, since Collazo was not really on the map before this, having never beaten a top 50 opponent, and having lost in recent years to confirmed gatekeeper Freddy Hernandez.  Everyone ranked #17 and below last week backtracks a place, including Leonard Bundu, who is forced out after 7 consecutive ranked weeks.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (197-229-229)
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 (17-17-87)
Last Fight: 10/12/2013- W (SD12) vs. #1 Juan Manuel Marquez
Next Fight: 4/12/2014- vs. #3 Manny Pacquiao
Bradley-Pacquiao II is on, and it’s made all the more intriguing by Bradley’s win over Pac’s nemesis.
2) Juan Manuel Marquez (17-117-117)
Last Fight: 10/12/2013- L (SD12) vs. #17 Timothy Bradley
Next Fight: Unknown
Marquez’s future plans are totally nebulous.  He seems to want Bradley above all, but he’s also looking at Maidana and Porter, among others.  He thinks he might next fight in May, after a March tune-up had been previously discussed.  He has turned down a challenge from Provodnikov.
3) Manny Pacquiao (17-270-270)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD12 #5? JWW Brandon Rios
Next Fight: 4/12/2014- vs. #1 Timothy Bradley
See Bradley’s notes, above. 
4) Marcos Maidana (9-35-35)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD12 LW Champ Adrien Broner
Next Fight: Unknown
Broner has exercised his rematch clause with Maidana, but Floyd Mayweather has given fuel to speculation that Maidana might fight him by suggesting that fans can decide who he fights next between Maidana and Khan.
5) Keith Thurman (8-8-48)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 #6 Jesus Soto-Karass
Next Fight: Unknown
Golden Boy’s CEO wants to match Thurman with Collazo.
6) Shawn Porter (8-9-9)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #5 Devon Alexander
Next Fight: Unknown
For the longest time, it looked like Porter would be fighting his mandatory, Kell Brook, but a Thurman fight has also been discussed, while Malignaggi has also indicated interest.
7) Robert Guerrero (9-63-80)
Last Fight: 5/4/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Next Fight: Unknown
Guerrero is seeking to separate from Golden Boy, and 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.  Meanwhile, his dad has suggested that Mayweather should give him a rematch- even less likely.
8) Kell Brook (9-145-145)
Last Fight:10/26/2013- TKO4 Vyacheslav Senchenko (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Brook will be back on March 15 in what looks like a stay-busy fight.  After that, he’ll almost certainly fight the winner of Porter’s next fight- likely against Thurman- as he will be the mandatory.
9) Devon Alexander (9-102-102)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- L (UD12) vs. Shawn Porter (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alexander would like to fight three times in 2014.
10) Randall Bailey (11-11-11)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- W (DQ8) vs. Humberto Toledo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
11) Josesito Lopez (11-85)
Last Fight: 12/13/2013- W (TD8) vs. Mike Arnaoutis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lopez appears set to return in mid-to-late March, according to a Boxingscene report.
12) Jesus Soto Karass (8-54)
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 (8-63)
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 (9-9) 
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #8? JWW Zab Judah 
Next Fight: Unknown 
Malignaggi says he wants either Porter or Maidana.
15) Chris van Heerden (9-86)
Last Fight: 3/2/2013- UD12 Matthew Hatton (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
Van Heerden’s February 6 US debut is no longer on the schedule, which puts his ranking in jeopardy if he doesn’t schedule something by March 2.
16) Luis Carlos Abregu (9-41)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Antonin Decarie (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Abregu says his rehab from hand surgery is progressing well, and he is expecting to return in Salta, Argentina in a March tune-up.
17) Luis Collazo (1-1)
Last Fight: 1/30/2014- KO2 Victor Ortiz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golden Boy’s CEO wants to match him with Keith Thurman.
18) Jan Zaveck (1-217)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- UD8 Sebastien Allais (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Ruslan Provodnikov (1-47)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- RTD10 #3 JWW Mike Alvarado (at JWW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Provodnikov has been trying to get Marquez in the ring recently, but the Mexican legend appears completely uninterested.
20) Pablo Cesar Cano (1-21)
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.

 

The Week Ahead: Nothing to report.  Enjoy the Olympics.
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