Middleweight: 2014, Mar 3-9

I’ll start off with the Friday Night Fights Boxcino tournament and move on to the more regular action.

 

Undefeated but untested American prospect Brandon Adams was very impressive in stopping inactive veteran journeyman Daniel Edouard between the 4th and 5th, at which point I had it 39-36 (Adams scored a knockdown in the 4th).  This fight is not particularly significant, however, as neither guy came in at anywhere near a top 50 fighter.

 

Hard-hitting slugger Ray Gatica demolished paper tiger Sena Agbeko, an undefeated Ghanaian who hadn’t fought anyone with a pulse, stopping Agbeko in the 4th after beating the breaks off of him in the 3rd.  Gatica’s technique was horrible, but he hit every bit as hard as he did against Fernando Guerrero in a narrowly losing effort.  Again, not a significant fight in itself.

 

Undefeated Ukrainian Vitaliy Kopylenko, an undefeated prospect who came in tested at a slightly higher level than Adams and Agbeko, scored the night’s biggest win when he stopped Ceresso Fort- a two loss fringe prospect who existed on the fringes of the top 50- in just two rounds.  Fort was arguably the most proven member of the field, so Kopylenko has quickly become a favorite to win the whole thing.

 

Finally, Donatas Bondas was arguably robbed for a second fight in a row against pure boxer Willie Monroe, Jr.  Bondas was by far the more aggressive and harder hitting fighter between the two, and clearly won anywhere between 2-6 of the 6 rounds.  That is to say, he won the clearest two rounds of the fight in the 3rd and 4th, and the rest were toss-ups, the majority of which I felt very strongly that he carried on his aggression.  Nathan Palmer’s 58-56 for Monroe was maybe a reasonable stretch, but Eric Burris and Gary Merritt’s overwhelmingly stupid 59-55 cards lead me to believe that this fight was likely rigged.  Again, no importance here, except that the wrong guy moves forward in the tournament.

 

Monroe will be fed to Kopylenko next, and Adams and Gatica will battle it out on April 18.

 

Tokyo was host to all of Saturday’s action.  Unfortunately, said action cannot be found on video anywhere on the internet.  In one of these fights, Akio Shibata won an apparently close decision (117-111, 116-113, 115-113) over gatekeeper Daisuke Nakagawa, mirroring the result of their 2012 ten-rounder.  In the other, gatekeeper Makoto Fuchigami was shockingly upset (also in close fashion) by 9-6-1 journeyman Hikaru Nishida in an 8-rounder by scores of 78-75, 77-75, and 77-76.  I am bound to take these results at face value given the lack of video.

 

Kopylenko has established himself as a clear top 50 fighter, and most likely the favorite to win Boxcino, but that’s all that’s come out of it so far.

 

As for the Japanese results, Shibata has made some progress to overcome the stain of the Murata loss, and now sits squarely within the top 25 (but short of the top 20).  Nakagawa slides back to the mid-30s.  Nishida becomes a legitimate gatekeeper, though his ugly past record holds him back from getting even as high as the mid-30s.  Fuchigami is now clearly in steep decline, and is now on the fringes of the top 50.  No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (203-203-203)
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 (12-79-142)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golovkin was well on his way to signing for a fight with Andy Lee on April 26, but that fight and the date are off to allow GGG to mourn his father’s death.
2) Felix Sturm (12-546-546)
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.  There is also talk of an Arthur Abraham fight on May 31.
3) Daniel Geale (2-246-246)
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 (2-118-118)
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.  It looks like he’s close to a deal with Matchroom, though.
5) Matthew Macklin (7-141-232)
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 (possibly on April 26) and has expressed interest in Quillin.
6) Peter Quillin (7-72-93)
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 (7-12-12)
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 (7-12-12)
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 (7-36-36)
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 (5-5-5)
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 (5-162)
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 (5-162)
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 (5-5)
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 (5-162)
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 (5-72)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vera’s loss to Chavez at a heavier weight has no effect on his ranking here.  He will need to schedule a fight at 160 by March 29 to avoid removal here, though.
16) Grzegorz Proksa (5-151)
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 (5-24)
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 (5-31)
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 (5-17)
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 (5-28)
Last Fight: 8/19/2013- TKO3 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: 
Saturday
Jose Uzcategui vs. David Lopez; Nogales, Mexico; Azteca America (US)
Uzcategui is an undefeated Venezuelan prospect who rightly generates some buzz south of the border.  Lopez is a veteran fringe contender who was last seen nearly a year ago getting a gift against Don George.  Even so, Lopez represents Uzcategui’s sternest test to date.
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