Middleweight: 2014, Feb 24- Mar 2

Wednesday in Moore Park, Australia, #4 Daniel Geale outclassed gatekeeper Garth Wood, fighting a nearly perfect fight and flashing more power than we’re used to seeing from him.  Wood failed to answer the bell for round 7.  Geale scored 3 official knockdowns- a technical one in the first and one each in the 5th and 6th.  He should have probably been credited with two more.  Referee Charlie Lucas- in one of the worst jobs of reffing I’ve seen since Mares-Agbeko I- took a point from Geale in the second for a phantom low blow which also wiped out what should have been a good knockdown, and also failed to call what looked like another good knockdown at the bell to end round 6.  Lucas was blatantly favoring Wood to such an extent it was embarrassing, and he was flawed in the more technical aspects of his job, as well.  Still, Geale hardly missed a beat.


Geale and Murray each put forth similar efforts against Sturm, and so those fights cancel out.  That leaves, for Murray, two relevant fights.  He had what should have been a win over the Champion Martinez, but also a completely unforgivable win that probably should have been a loss against so-so journeyman Sergey Khomitsky.  Even though he probably should be the Champion of the division, that’s no longer a free ticket for Murray given his last performance.  Geale’s only losses are an avenged and aging one against Mundine from 2009 and a very close nail-biter to Darren Barker.  His best win was against 3rd-ranked Sebastian Sylvester, and he adds another top 10 performance against #8 Roman Karmazin, along with wins over #11 Adama and #11 Mundine.  That’s enough to overwhelm the one great performance for Murray.  Since the Sturm-Geale fight could have gone either way very easily, and since Sturm stopped Barker where Geale had been outpointed, Geale can’t eclipse Sturm at this time.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (202-202-202)
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 (11-78-141)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golovkin wants a shot at the Championship against Martineza fight Sergio appears to be interested in after Cotto and there are rumors that Andy Lee is being considered for an April fight, as well.  Daniel Geale has also laid down the gauntlet.
2) Felix Sturm (11-545-545)
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 all trying to get rematches with him, as well.
3) Daniel Geale (1-245-245)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Geale cut through Wood like an unsympathetic buzzsaw, and is hoping for a fight with Golovkin, who would also fit that description well.
4) Martin Murray (1-117-117)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- W* (PTS8) vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Murray and Hatton promotions have parted ways which, along with nagging injuries, may further delay his rumored title fight.
5) Matthew Macklin (6-140-231)
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 (6-71-92)
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, as is Sergio Mora.
7) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (6-11-11)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Ricardo Ramallo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
N’Dam totally dominated journeyman Ramallo.  Here’s hoping he gets another worthwhile fight at something near championship-level soon.
8) Sam Soliman (6-11-11)
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 (6-35-35)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora is reportedly in the mix for a fight with Quillin.
10) Osumanu Adama (4-4-4)
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 (4-161)
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 (4-161)
Last Fight: 1/29/2014- UD10 Gunnar Jackson (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/2/2014- vs. Joshua Clottey (UNR) (at JMW)
Mundine confirms that he will be fighting, of all people, the long-forgotten Joshua Clottey on April 2, and then perhaps Erislandy Lara in July if that works out for him.
13) Jarrod Fletcher (4-4)
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 fight is being discussed, possibly for March or April.  There is also some talk of a domestic showdown with Geale.
14) Max Bursak (4-161)
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 (4-71)
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 (4-150)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Proksa is likely to fight again on April 19 according to Polish news reports.
17) Caleb Truax (4-23)
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 (4-30)
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 (4-16)
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 (4-27)
Last Fight: 8/19/2013- TKO3 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown


The Week Ahead: 
ESPN Boxcino Tournament; Laughlin, Nevada; ESPN2 (US)
The middleweight draw, all 6 round bouts:


1) Daniel Edouard vs. Brandon Adams.  Edouard topped out at gatekeeper level in about 2004-2006, and was roughly a mid-level journeyman when Peter Manfredo retired him in 2011.  This fight remains a toss-up, though, since Adams’ undefeated record was built against absolutely nobody.  I can’t even tell you how he’s looked in those easy wins, since to the best of my knowledge he’s never been on TV.


2) Ray Gatica vs. Sena Agbeko.  Another interesting one.  Gatica is no joke.  He came within a hair’s breadth of stopping and also outpointing the reasonably proven Fernando Guerrero recently, and is a real puncher.  Agbeko is undefeated and has knocked out everyone he’s fought but, to an even greater extent than Adams, he’s never fought anyone with even a hint of a pulse.


3) Ceresso Fort vs. Vitaliy Kopylenko. Kopylenko is another undefeated prospect, and hails from the Ukraine.  He’s slightly more tested than Agbeko and Adams, but still not at anything close to this level.  Fort is right around the lower tier of the top 50, give or take, and has been confirmed at that level by wins over Andy Kolle and Marcus Upshaw and losses to Caleb Truax and John Jackson.  


4) Donatas Bondas vs. Willie Monroe, Jr.  Bondas doesn’t have the resume to prove it, really, but he’s a very solid fighter.  Depending on who you ask, he was either robbed of or voluntarily gave up an opportunity to be blatantly robbed of a win over Bryan Vera recently.  He was easily winning the fight, but was stopped by the referee after giving unsatisfactory answers to inquiries in the corner regarding a cut.  He says it was a language barrier, but we will never know for sure.  Monroe is a one-loss prospect.  He lost an apparently close fight to his best opponent- Darnell Boone- and has beaten only very weak opposition besides that.


Akio Shibata vs. Daisuke Nakagawa; Tokyo, Japan; TV Unknown
Shibata is a fringe contender who was effectively the undisputed champion of Japan before rookie Ryota Murata destroyed him in a fight just slightly over the divisional limit.  Nakagawa is a gatekeeper in the division who lost an apparently close decision to Shibata in 2012.


Makoto Fuchigami vs. Hikaru Nishida; Tokyo, Japan; TV Unknown
Fuchigami is a veteran gatekeeper who also has a loss on his record against Shibata.  Nishida is a fairly novice 9-6 mid-level journeyman.  Probably not much of a threat.

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