Super Middleweight: 2014, Mar 17-23

Undefeated British prospect Rocky Fielding weighed in at almost the light heavyweight limit, losing his Commonwealth title on the scales ahead of his fight against Ghana’s Charles Adamu.  Adamu- out of his depth even in a fair fight- won only a round on my card, and none on any of the official ones.  Fielding insists that he intends to remain at 168, but if he’s capable of that it certainly doesn’t speak favorably of his effort in preparation for this fight.

 

In Oxnard, California later that night, #14 Maxim Vlasov looked pretty impressive in winning a comfortable decision over hard-luck journeyman Derrick Findley, who was at least borderline robbed of wins over no less than Curtis Stevens and J’Leon Love.  The very lanky Vlasov looked like a giraffe successfully holding a rhino at bay.  He kept some kind of punch in Findley’s face for virtually the entire fight, which allowed him to control the pace and keep Findley from cutting loose very often.  I had it 79-73, as did judges Marty Denkin and Barry Druxman.  Jack Reiss gave Vlasov every round, which was reasonable, as well.  It should be noted that Vlasov did not make 168.  He hasn’t done so since November 5 of 2012, and so he’ll need to at least schedule another super middleweight fight by May 5 in order to avoid removal for inactivity in this weight class.  Findley, for what it’s worth, was even heavier, at 170.

 

No changes this week.
 
 
 
Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (118-252-252)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says his manager is working on his next fight despite his lawsuit against promoter Dan Goossen.  He had indicated interest in Golovkin, but the Kazakh’s own trainer recently said his fighter is not ready for that fight.
1) Carl Froch (95-405-405)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO9 #8 George Groves
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #8 George Groves
There is talk of a record gate when Froch meets Groves in a highly anticipated rematch in a London soccer stadium at the end of May.
2) Arthur Abraham (3-230-230)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- W (SD12) vs. #2 Robert Stieglitz
Next Fight: Unknown
Abraham is back near the top again after defeating Stieglitz convincingly in  the rubber match.
3) Robert Stieglitz (3-238-238)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (SD12) vs. #4 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s back to the drawing board for Stieglitz, though his resume still compares favorably to the field.
4) Mikkel Kessler (3-484-484)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
Kessler is reportedly discussing a return with Sauerland, but there is no obvious opponent available for him at present.
5) Brandon Gonzales (38-38-38)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzales was said to have reached a deal to fight Vlasov, but Vlasov has scheduled another fight, and it’s been hard to find any mention of the match since it was reportedly made.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (25-146-194)
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 (19-19-64)
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 (19-66-88)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- L (TKO9) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #1 Carl Froch
See Froch’s notes, above.
9) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (3-3-3)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD10 #15 MW Bryan Vera
Next Fight: Unknown
Bob Arum wants to put Chavez in with either Golovkin or Pascal next.
10) Bryan Vera (3-3-3)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Even in defeat, Vera has regained a ranking at 168 and is- at least temporarily- ranked in 2 divisions.   There are also credible-looking reports to the effect that he broke his left hand early in the fight, for what it’s worth.
11) James DeGale (3-127)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- TKO11 Gevorg Khatchikian (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dirty dealings in the dirty WBC.  DeGale was ordered to fight Badou Jack for the right to fight Bika for the alphabet’s title.  Jack lost his tune-up fight, while DeGale won.  Obviously DeGale should have expected to either fight Bika directly, or at least have another eliminator opponent set up.  Instead, according to the Bristol Post, he is being completely passed over in favor of J.C. Chavez.  Don’t get me wrong.  Chavez is marginally the more proven fighter (though there are multiple non-titlists that are better than either), but it’s just another example of an alphabet not living up to the logical conclusions of its own dictates.
12) Christopher Rebrasse (3-41)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- UD6 George Kandelaki (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (UNR)
Rebrasse will get a March 22 rematch against Ndiaye that is hardly needed, as Rebrasse dominated the first fight on his way to being robbed.
13) Sakio Bika (3-363)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With both Anthony Dirrell and James DeGale having rather legitimate claims to the spot, the WBC has instead, it appears, installed JC Chavez as Bika’s mandatory.  Bika seems happy with the decision, as it will no doubt net him a huge payday.
14) Maxim Vlasov (3-71)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD8 Derrick Findley (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vlasov looked very good against Findley, but he’ll need to schedule a fight at Super Middleweight before May 5 and make weight in order to keep his ranking, since he hasn’t made the divisional limit since November 2012.
15) Edwin Rodriguez (3-61)
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.
 16) Andy Lee (3-44)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013-TKO2 Ferenc Hafner (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/12/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Lee will see action on April 12 in Denmark, with the opponent yet to be named.
17) Gilberto Ramirez (3-7)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO1 #19 Don Mouton
Next Fight: 4/11/2014- vs. Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Ramirez is back on April 11 in the Friday Night Fights main event against gatekeeper Lorenzo.
18) Ryota Murata (3-30)
Last Fight: 2/22/2014- TKO4 Carlos Nascimento (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bob Arum plans to have Murata in action at Singapore this year according to Dan Rafael, but I don’t have any further details.
19) Anthony Dirrell (3-15)
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).
20) Hadillah Mohoumadi (3-55)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: 
Saturday
#12 Christopher Rebrasse vs. Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye; Toscano, Italy; RaiSportSat1 (Italy)
Rebrasse let no doubt as to the winner of the last fight, but corrupt judges failed to recognize that.  It’s sad that Rebrasse is being asked to repeat the best performance of his career for a second time in order to be awarded a single win.

 

Sunday
Fedor Chudinov vs. Stjepan Bozic; Noginsk, Russia; TV Unknown
Chudinov is the younger and larger brother of Middleweight prospect Dmitry Chudinov.  This will only be his 10th fight, but he has already been proven at the gatekeeper level due to his last fight against Francis Cheka.  Bozic was a member of the top 50 himself as recently as late 2011, but a loss to Henry Weber has kept him in the journeyman category ever since.
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