Middleweight: 2014, Feb 10-16

Junior Middleweight fringe contender Robert Garcia barely escaped with a decision in the Friday Night Fights main event from Chicago, with John McCarthy scoring it 95-94 for his opponent, journeyman Norberto Gonzalez.  Robert Hecko had it 96-93 Garcia, while Bill Lerch agreed with my card at 95-94 Garcia.  Those cards reflected the fight perfectly.  Garcia, as you might expect, took an aggressive stance throughout, but still gave away the early rounds by failing to let his hands go.  For his part, Gonzalez appeared to fade a bit down the stretch, and was largely unable to handle it when Garcia stepped up the pace.  Garcia lost a point in the 8th for pushing off with the elbow, and frankly he was a bit lucky he didn’t lose another one, as he seemed to do it even more after the deduction.  A second deduction would have caused a draw, incidentally.

 

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 (200-200-200)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. # 8 JMW Miguel Cotto
If there was any lingering doubt, Martinez-Cotto is now on for June 7 at Madison Square Garden.
1) Gennady Golovkin (9-76-139)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golovkin wants a shot at the Championship against Martinez, and there are rumors that Andy Lee is being considered for an April fight, as well.
2) Felix Sturm (9-543-543)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- TKO2 #3 Darren Barker
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman is the #1 contender for Sturm’s alphabet title, and Murray, Macklin, and Geale are both trying to get rematches with him, as well.
3) Martin Murray (9-115-115)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- W* (PTS8) vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Initial reports had Murray’s withdrawal from his scheduled fight with Jarrod Fletcher as a result of an offer to fight Felix Sturm, but Murray says he doesn’t know if those negotiations are even underway or not, and says nagging injuries to both hands are to blame.
4) Daniel Geale (4-243-243)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (SD12) vs. #15 Darren Barker
Next Fight: 2/19/2014- vs. Garth Wood (UNR)
Geale will face gatekeeper Garth Wood- his former sparring partner- on February 19 in Sydney.
5) Matthew Macklin (4-138-229)
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 and has expressed interest in Quillin.
6) Peter Quillin (4-69-90)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Macklin’s notes, above.  Stevens is also looking for a fight with him.
7) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (4-9-9)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD10 Anthony Fitzgerald (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/15/2014- vs. Ricardo Ramallo (UNR)
After Andy Lee turned down a proposed fight for March 1, N’Dam will be back on February 15 in Ireland against Ricardo Ramall0, who- while a journeyman- is not half bad for a 1 week’s notice opponent.
8) Sam Soliman (4-9-9)
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.
9) Sergio Mora (4-33-33)
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.
10) Osumanu Adama (2-2-2)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most pleasant entry into the rankings we’ve ever seen, but his resume stacks up pretty well as long as he’s active and on weight.
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (2-159)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- KO2 Dionisio Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Domenico Spada (UNR)
Rubio-Spada is now set for April 5 in Mexico.  It’s for an interim title, if such trifles mean anything to you.
12) Anthony Mundine (2-159)
Last Fight: 1/29/2014- UD10 Gunnar Jackson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There are rumors that Mundine might be fighting, of all people, the long-forgotten Joshua Clottey in April, and then perhaps Erislandy Lara in July if that works out for him.
13) Jarrod Fletcher (2-2)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown
Fletcher is said to have received 7 serious fight offers after he was given the nod against Bursak.  The team behind Dmitry Chudinov, who presumably made one of those offers, says a March fight is being discussed.
14) Max Bursak (2-159)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L* (UD12) vs. Jarrod Fletcher (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
He didn’t get robbed, and it’s hard to feel sorry for him considering how dirty he fought, but I did think Bursak deserved better than a loss against Fletcher.
15) Bryan Vera (2-69)
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) (at SMW)
Vera-Chavez is on for March 1 on HBO.
16) Grzegorz Proksa (2-148)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Proksa would like to fight in April or May.  Setting reports of hand problems to rest, he says there’s currently nothing wrong with him.
17) Caleb Truax (2-21)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (UD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Truax’s status as a promising prospect has been derailed somewhat by the very tough Ossie Duran.
18) Curtis Stevens (2-28)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- TKO1 Patrick Majewski (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevens has his sites set on Peter Quillin.
19) Andrey Meryasev (2-14)
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.
20) Danny Jacobs (2-25)
Last Fight: 8/19/2013- TKO3 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: 
Saturday
Patrick Nielsen vs. Tony Jeter; Albertslund, Denmark; 3+ (Denmark)
Nielsen is an undefeated Danish prospect who hasn’t really had so much as a hiccup in his 21 wins, with his best win being a clear decision over 1-loss Polish prospect Patrick Majewski.  Maryland journeyman Jeter, as far as I can see, has nothing to test him, having been stopped twice by fighters with sub-.500 records, and having never beaten anyone better than the low-level journeyman that he, himself, is.

 

#7 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam vs. Ricardo Ramallo; Dublin, Ireland; Off-TV?
N’Dam is a classy French-based Cameroon native who nearly beat Peter Quillin despite hitting the canvas 6 times.  Ramallo is an Argentine journeyman who was a top 50 fighter before being stopped by Mateo Veron in his last fight.  He’s certainly need to catch N’Dam with something to have a chance- an unlikely prospect considering he’s never stopped a worthwhile opponent.

 

Mateo Veron vs. Mark Heffron; Dublin, Ireland; Off-TV?
Speaking of Veron, he appears to be travelling with his recently-conquered countryman, as he will fight unbeaten Englishman Heffron on the undercard.  This could make for an interesting fight.  Veron is hardly a special fighter, but is a consummate gatekeeper.  Heffron is 22 years old, and hasn’t truly been tested.  Not only that, but it’s hard to see him as a can’t-miss kind of prospect, since he can probably be best described as a British or maybe European-level amateur.  If they want to build him up to contender status, it appears to me that this may be a little early to be matching him with someone of Veron’s proven caliber.  We’ll see on Saturday.
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