Middleweight: 2014, Apr 7-13

For reasons I discussed in depth in the super middleweight update, the Stevens-Johnson fight has no clear and legitimate result, and thus is not treated as a significant contest, unfortunately.  Since it was a super middleweight fight, I’ve discussed the details in my 168 update, and won’t discuss it in any more depth here.


The other Friday fight of note was in Belfast, where one-loss Northern Irish prospect Eamonn O’Kane scored a highlight-reel KO on high-level journeyman Alvaro Gaona in the first round.  It came on a vicious right hand that landed in an exchange and left Gaona slumping on the ropes and out cold.


O’Kane’s lone professional conqueror was in action the following night in London.  John Ryder met less-advanced fellow one-loss prospect Jez Wilson in an eliminator for the British title.  The end came in the 9th, when Wilson was dropped and stopped, having suffered a broken jaw in two places.  I can’t find a video of the fight, so that’s all I can report.


In the week’s middleweight headliner later that night, #11 Marco Antonio Rubio scored a highlight reel knockout of Italy’s Domenico Spada in Chihuahua, Mexico.  Even with that conclusive an ending, though, I’m not sure I am willing to give Rubio full credit for the win.  Referee Jon Schorle, the most disgraceful excuse for a neutral arbiter in the entire sport, repeatedly took unwarranted points from Spada.  Even worse, every time the shorter Spada would work his way in on Rubio, Schorle would break the fighters despite all 4 relevant hands being completely free.  If Spada had the audacity to land a punch, he never got a chance to follow up, because Schorle simply couldn’t allow that kind of thing to go on in his ring.  I don’t like to jump to these kinds of conclusions about a guy’s motives, but let me just say that if Jon Schorle wasn’t paid specifically to assist Rubio in the fight, then he sold himself short.  The last time I saw such a blatant attempt to slant the results of a fight in a particular direction by a referee was in Agbeko-Mares I, when Russell Mora almost singlehandedly won the fight for Mares.  It might be worth noting that one of the only other times that would come close was when Schorle himself disqualified Carlos Molina for having the audacity to be clearly beating James Kirkland.  Schorle is either the most corrupt or the most selectively incompetent referee in, at a minimum, the United States.  What makes Schorle’s performance even more fishy here is that he didn’t seem to want to even warn Spada for anything, much less needlessly break the fighters, until the 6th, when heavy underdog Spada was clearly pulling ahead in the fight.  Even despite the two atrocious point deductions in a single round, and taking into account a lost round in round 8 when the Canal 5 video signal froze mid-round, I had Spada up 86-84 at the time of the stoppage, and I don’t think it was anything better than even for Rubio, if the judges themselves were on the level.


Now maybe the knockout punch itself didn’t have anything to do with Schorle, but giving Rubio full credit for this victory would be akin to congratulating a fighter for beating an opponent who was wearing handcuffs for half the fight.  If I needed to, I would treat this fight as a no contest.  But luckily it’s not necessary to make that decision.  Spada, despite the fact that he’s long been a gatekeeper, hadn’t fought anyone even half-decent in nearly 2 years, which led to boxrec’s system docking him enough points to make him look like an upper mid-level journeyman.  Normally I’d take a critical look at whether that diminishment was warranted, but it’s not worth it here.  Regardless of whether it’s based on referee tampering or Spada’s lack of credentials, this fight shouldn’t count in any way that could conceivably affect the rankings.  For all intents and purposes, it was fixed.


On the Rubio-Spada undercard, one-loss local prospect Marcos Reyes dispatched Brazilian veteran journeyman Idiozan Matos in the 2nd.  Matos was actually clever enough at getting shots in while being backed up that I gave him the first round, as Reyes seemed to be reaching in too much.  The second was a different story.  Reyes was able to get into range with his feet alone, and put Matos down early in the round.  From there, the Brazilian just couldn’t keep the Chihuahua man off him, and went down two more times.  The third knockdown looked as much like a submission to Reyes’ pressure as anything else, and referee Ricardo Manjarrez appropriately waved it off.


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 (208-208-208)
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 (17-84-147)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
A fight between Golovkin and Julio Cesar Chavez appears to be nearly done for July 19 at 168.
2) Felix Sturm (17-551-551)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- TKO2 #3 Darren Barker
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #8 Sam Soliman (UNR)
Soliman has obfuscated his clear banned stimulant violation to the point that he has perhaps most people thinking he was totally clean.  He wasn’t.  And he didn’t win that fight even if he had been.  Sturm got screwed all the way around, and now he’s forced to rematch the Australian, who deserves the opportunity much less than would Macklin, Murray, or Geale.  But that’s what we’ve got.  May 31 in Krefeld.
3) Daniel Geale (7-251-251)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #5 Matthew Macklin
Geale is apparently set to fight Macklin in an intriguing fight on May 24 in the US, on HBO.
4) Martin Murray (7-123-123)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- W* (PTS8) vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: 4/23/2014- vs. Ishmail Tetteh (UNR)
Murray will look to shake off some rust in Kempton Park, South Africa on April 23, fighting very low-level Ghanaian journeyman Ishmail Tetteh.
5) Matthew Macklin (12-146-237)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #3 Daniel Geale
See Geale’s notes, above.
6) Peter Quillin (12-77-98)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Lukas Konecny (UNR)
Quillin will fight former 154-pound fringe contender Lukas Konecny, who will be making his first appearance in a meaningful fight at 160 on the Hopkins-Shumenov undercard on April 19 in D.C.
7) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (12-17-17)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Ricardo Ramallo (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/16/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
N’Dam will fight in Santa Monica, California on April 16.
8) Sam Soliman (12-17-17)
Last Fight: 12/11/2013- TKO9 Les Sherrington (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #2 Felix Sturm
Soliman cheated with a stimulant, won by ridiculous robbery before being stripped of the victory, and now he gets what I would argue is an undeserved chance at a do-over.
9) Sergio Mora (12-41-41)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
10) Osumanu Adama (10-10-10)
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 (10-167)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- KO10* Domenico Spada (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
Rubio finished a rigged fight against Domenico Spada in style, but he was losing the fight at the time, and may have lost it entirely if Jon Schorle hadn’t yelled “break” every time his opponent landed a punch or got close to Rubio.
12) Anthony Mundine (10-167)
Last Fight: 1/29/2014- UD10 Gunnar Jackson (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/9/2014- vs. Joshua Clottey (UNR) (at JMW)
Mundine confirms that he will be fighting, of all people, the long-forgotten Joshua Clottey on April 9, and then perhaps Erislandy Lara in July if that works out for him.
13) Jarrod Fletcher (10-10)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown
Fletcher is said to be among those being considered for a June 1 fight with Dmitry Chudinov in Russia.
14) Max Bursak (10-167)
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) Grzegorz Proksa (2-156)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Matthew Hall (UNR)
Proksa will fight British journeyman Matthew Hall on April 19.
16) Caleb Truax (2-29)
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.
17) Curtis Stevens (2-36)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- TKO10* Tureano Johnson (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevens’ haplessness for all but the last few seconds of his prematurely-stopped bout with Tureano Johnson has got to raise questions about his ability to rise any higher than he finds himself now.
18) Andrey Meryasev (2-22)
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.
19) Daniel Jacobs (2-33)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- TKO1 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Easy work for Jacobs against Nunez.  He’s looking for a title fight- probably against Quillin- at the earliest opportunity.
20) Dmitry Chudinov (2-2)
Last Fight: 12/21/2013- TKO6 Juan Camilo Novoa (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/1/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chudinov will return on June 1, and Jarrod Fletcher and Patrick Nielsen- both excellent options- are being considered for the fight.


The Week Ahead: 
#16 SMW Andy Lee vs. Frank Haroche Horta; Esbjerg, Denmark; BoxNation (UK)
Lee is said to be moving down to light middle, but this fight is contracted closer to 160.  In reality, all he’s doing here is dragging a light middleweight up to face him at his own weight.  Haroche Horta is a steady operator on the European scene, but probably lacks the talent to compete seriously with a guy on Lee’s apparent level.  That said, Lee has long been hyped significantly above his level of actual achievement.


Chris Eubank, Jr. vs. Sandor Micsko; London, England; BoxNation (UK)
Eubank is an undefeated British prospect and the son of a legend.  Micsko is just another name on the resume, and his night is likely to end the same way his name does.
In addition, Mundine fights Clottey this Wednesday at 154, but I will mention it here only as it affects the rankings.

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