Junior Middleweight: 2014, Apr 7-13

140-pound gatekeeper Czar Amonsot won every round before stopping very low-level veteran Thai journeyman Sapapetch Sor Sakaorat in the 4th round in Flemington, Australia on Wednesday, in a fight that was frankly completely inconsequential on every level.  The fight was at a contract weight of about 150, and the only reason I mentioned it here at all is that Amonsot would arguably be a top 50 fighter at 154 if he were to seriously move up here.

 

In a more mentionable fight on the Braehmer-Maccarinelli undercard in Rostock, Germany on Saturday, prospect Jack Culcay avoided embarrassment with a competent, if not awe-inspiring, decision win over mid-range journeyman Salim Larbi of France.  Culcay was clearly the more skilled fighter, and was the clear aggressor throughout, but he was fairly careful with his punch output, which led to a fairly lackluster fight with Larbi, who himself was rather selective and constantly on the back foot.  I’m of the opinion that Culcay is still very wary of the 12-round distance.  He appeared to be completely gassed by round 8 of his second fight with Guido Pitto, arguably giving back the big lead he had built to that point.  He did actually improve late in his fight with Dieudonne Belinga in a fight I thought he lost, but I think that he had saved perhaps a bit too much energy by giving away rounds early on in that one.  So while he certainly didn’t impress to any great degree given the competition, you have to at least give him credit for comfortably winning the fight while still leaving enough in the tank to step on the gas in the last couple rounds.  He seems to be learning the art of pacing by trial and error, but this time, at least, was relatively lacking in error.  I had it 117-111, as did each of the official judges.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1) Saul Alvarez (5-162-177)
Last Fight: 3/8/2014- TKO10 #10 Alfredo Angulo
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. #3 Erislandy Lara
Canelo came knocking, and Lara answered the door.  It appears Lara will still fight Ishe Smith in May, which is one hell of a tune-up.
2) Carlos Molina (5-144-159)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W (SD12) vs. #5 Ishe Smith
Next Fight: Unknown
We found out some pretty bad info about Molina’s past when he was arrested on past warrants and detained for illegal immigration following an apparent deportation from several years ago.  His fight with Jermall Charlo was cancelled, and Molina’s immediate future in the sport is up in the air.
3) Erislandy Lara (5-144-166)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #4 Austin Trout
Next Fight: 5/2/2014- vs. #6 Ishe Smith
See Canelo’s notes, above.
4) Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (5-30-30)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #2 Saul Alvarez
Next Fight: 5/3/2014- vs. #4 WW Marcos Maidana (at WW)
Floyd will fight Maidana rather than Khan.  Thank goodness.
5) Austin Trout (18-97-166)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- L (UD12) vs. #5 Erislandy Lara
Next Fight: Unknown
Trout might be getting to that unfortunate position of having a record underwhelming enough to be low-reward, while still being easily skilled enough to be high-risk.  He says essentially that he wants worthwhile fights in 2014, rather than a soft diet for rebuilding purposes.
6) Ishe Smith (30-59-59)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- L (SD12) vs. #1 Carlos Molina
Next Fight: 5/2/2014- vs. #3 Erislandy Lara
Smith now looks like he has a chance to be the ultimate spoiler, as Lara has a victory-contingent fight lined up with Canelo.
7) Anthony Mundine (19-19-19)
Last Fight: 1/29/2014- UD10 Gunnar Jackson (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 4/9/2014- vs. Joshua Clottey (UNR)
Mundine’s fight with Clottey has been delayed a week, in the finest tradition of Australian last-minute delays.
8) Miguel Cotto (19-201-201)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- TKO3 #11 Delvin Rodriguez
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. MW Champ Sergio Martinez (at MW)
Cotto and Martinez have now officially agreed to a Middleweight Championship fight on June 7 at MSG.
9) Cornelius Bundrage (19-192-192)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD12 Joey Hernandez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It appears that Bundrage has jumped to the front of the line to challenge for Molina’s belt, though there is uncertainty regarding that bout and Molina’s availability for it.
10Alfredo Angulo (19-237-237)
Last Fight: 3/8/2014- L (TKO10) vs. #4 Saul Alvarez
Next Fight: Unknown
Angulo could probably use a fight with a gatekeeper or low level fringe contender just to get his career momentum going.
11) Sergey Rabchenko (19-95)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 Bradley Pryce (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Emanuele Della Rosa (UNR)
Rabchenko will defend his European belt in Rome on May 17 against a local prospect, and is hoping for a shot at a vacant alphabet belt after that.
12) Javier Maciel (19-24)

Last Fight: 10/26/2013- Robbery L (SD12) vs. #14 Brian Rose
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Cesar Sastre Silva (UNR)
Maciel will stay busy with a mid-level journeyman on April 19 in Argentina.
13) Demetrius Andrade (19-22)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (SD12) vs. #13 Vanes Martirosyan
Next Fight: 6/14/2014- vs. #19 Brian Rose
Andrade and Rose have agreed to fight in the US, with a date of June 14.
14) Delvin Rodriguez (19-143)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (TKO3) vs. #7 Miguel Cotto
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez appears to be solid against borderline top-10 types (see Wolak), but completely out of his depth at just a tad higher level.
15) Vanes Martirosyan (19-149)
Last Fight: 3/21/2014- UD10 Mario Lozano (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Vanes successfully stayed busy against Lozano.  I’m not sure what his endgame is, but he’ll be back in action again on May 10 on the Stiverne-Arreola undercard in LA.
16) Jermell Charlo (11-44)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- UD10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/2/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Charlo is back on the Lara-Smith undercard in Vegas, apparently in an eliminator.
17) Gabriel Rosado (11-11)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- L (UD10) vs. #18 Jermell Charlo
Next Fight: Unknown
Atrocious judges and a fragile eyelid have helped put Rosado’s career more or less in tatters.
18) Willie Nelson (11-58)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- UD10 Luciano Cuello (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The once-delayed fight with Kirkland is apparently in the works to headline a May 24 HBO card.
19) Brian Rose (11-55)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- Robbery W (Draw at best) vs. Javier Maciel (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/14/2014- vs. #13 Demetrius Andrade
See Andrade’s notes, above.
20) Guido Pitto (11-17)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L* (UD12) vs. #20 Jack Culcay
Next Fight: 4/12/2014- vs. Zaurbek Baysangurov (UNR)
The fight was difficult to make due to Ukrainian turmoil and originally involved Javier Maciel, but Pitto is now slated to fight Baysangurov on April 12.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Wednesday
#7 Anthony Mundine vs. Joshua Clottey; Newcastle, Australia; Main Event (Australia)
Mundine has been on a bit of a roll since decisively losing his rematch with Daniel Geale.  He’s looking strong at both 160 and 154, and takes on Joshua Clottey this week.  Mundine is hoping this is more of a tune-up than anything, as he looks to be in good position to get a shot at the estimable Erislandy Lara later this year if he wins.  Clottey was a top 5 welterweight best known for a toss-up fight that he narrowly lost to Miguel Cotto and a passive check-cashing type of performance against Pacquiao.  In those days, he was a top 5 welterweight.  He hasn’t been in with anyone better than a journeyman in the more than 4 years since the demoralizing Pacquiao defeat, and has had just 2 fights overall in that time.  Frankly, he’s been semi-retired.  That’s not necessarily a good footing on which to enter a fight with the relatively active Mundine, who is also the home fighter and the naturally bigger man.

 

Saturday
#20 Guido Pitto vs. Zaurbek Baysangurov; Brovari, Ukraine; Boytsovskiy Klub (Russia)
Baysangurov had an alphabet belt at one point, but even by alphabet standards, that belt was ludicrous at the outset, and downright fraudulent before all was said and done.  He was given the vacant title by beating a journeyman in Mike Miranda who had absolutely no business contending for anything of the sort.  He then clearly lost consecutive fights to Michel Soro and Lukas Konecny, but was gifted decisions in both of those contests.  Some small measure of justice was finally served when he was stripped of one of the most illegitimate world titles in a history of a sport replete with them, by way of inactivity.  This fight is for an arguably less prestigious world belt, but please don’t mistake it for anything close to a legitimate title fight.  Pitto is ranked, but his actual quality depends a great deal on how good Jack Culcay- whose stock has been steadily dropping of late- really is.  Pitto fought the Ecuadorian-German prospect twice, and both times deserved roughly a draw.  He got a close win and a close loss, instead.  Still, I’d say he’s likely the marginally better fighter than Baysangurov, who no doubt enters as the betting favorite anyway.  After all, we know he routinely gets special treatment on the cards, and the fight is a loooong way from Argentina.  My bet is on controversy, and I’m willing to give odds.
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