Super Middleweight: 2014, Apr 14-20

#17 Gilberto Ramirez dominated journeyman and former fringe contender Giovanni Lorenzo on Friday Night Fights this week in Vegas, winning every round clearly, and dropping Lorenzo once in the third and twice in the 5th to cement the win.  Ramirez looked good, showing impressive activity and a level of accuracy in his punches that is often uncharacteristic with tall long-armed fighters like him.  Lorenzo is now pretty clearly done as a significant fighter.  He accepted defeat, it appeared, rather easily, and his body language indicates a terminal lack of confidence at this stage, as well.  One caveat to the first knockdown, though: Jay Nady- a normally excellent referee- was way off his game.  He recognized that Ramirez had landed a low blow on Lorenzo, but allowed the action to continue unabated, even though it was apparent that the shot had hurt Lorenzo.  Ramirez proceeded to pummel a weakened Lorenzo to create the knockdown.  Nady completed the unflattering sequence by forgetting to wipe off Lorenzo’s gloves after he rose, and sending Ramirez to the wrong corner and then yelling at him for going to the wrong one.

 

In what’s being called a major upset despite being extremely easy to predict, undefeated London prospect Frank Buglioni was walked down and busted up by the tank-like aggression and thudding punches of Sergey Khomitsky of Belarus.  Why predictable?  Well, Khomitsky was coming off what probably should have been a win over Martin Murray, a guy who probably should have been the Middleweight Champion at the time.  Sure, he was a rather ordinary journeyman coming into that fight, but you can’t outfight a guy that just outfought Sergio Martinez and somehow remain a big underdog against an undefeated prospect who hasn’t yet fought even a mid-level journeyman. 

 

Lorenzo was no longer at the level necessary to boost Ramirez’s ranking, nor had Buglioni proven enough to establish Khomitsky here.  Let’s be honest.  Khomitsky is clearly a top 20 super middleweight at the moment.  It’s just that I still can’t give him credit for the Murray performance because it was a debateable fight that Murray officially won.  For that reason, I’d have to rank Murray along with Khomitsky if I were to rank the Belorussian, the problem being that Murray has never beaten a top 50 fighter at 168, including Khomitsky, who was not top 50 at the time. 

 

The one change that does occur this week is the removal of Andy Lee.  He was ranked here due to some wins that were technically over the middleweight limit.  He just clearly lost a fight at middleweight to a career welterweight and light middleweight in Frank Haroche Horta (who was only borderline top 50 at 154), slinking away with an absolute robbery of a majority decision win.  Losing on that level at a lower weight is going to get you bounced 10 out of 10 times.  I’ll discuss the fight in more detail in my middleweight update.  Caleb Truax returns at #20 for the first time since being forced out on March 3.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (122-256-256)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward is being targeted by at least some on Kovalev’s team.
1) Carl Froch (99-409-409)
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 (7-234-234)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- W (SD12) vs. #2 Robert Stieglitz
Next Fight: 5/3/2014- vs. Nikola Sjekloca (UNR)
Abraham will have a quick turn-around when he defends his newly-won belt against the mostly fraudulent Nikola Sjekloca on May 3 in Berlin.
3) Robert Stieglitz (7-242-242)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (SD12) vs. #4 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: Unknown
Sauerland prospect Tyron Zeuge has expressed interest in a fight with Stieglitz.
4) Mikkel Kessler (7-488-488)
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 (42-42-42)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #11 James DeGale
Gonzales’ elminator with DeGale is finally set, for May 31 in London, on the Froch-Groves undercard.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (29-150-198)
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 (23-23-68)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #6 Thomas Oosthuizen
Next Fight: 4/25/2014- vs. Richard Vidal (UNR)
Maderna apparently will fight low-level journeyman Richard Vidal in La Plata, Argentina on April 25.
8) George Groves (23-70-92)
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. (7-7-7)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD10 #5 MW Bryan Vera
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s not signed, but it’s looking highly likely that Chavez will fight Golovkin on July 19 right here at 168.
10) Bryan Vera (7-7-7)
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 (7-131)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- TKO11 Gevorg Khatchikian (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #5 Brandon Gonzales
See Gonzales’ notes, above.
12) Christopher Rebrasse (7-45)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- TKO4 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rebrasse now has two dominant wins over what was a top 10 contender the first time around.  He didn’t need the judges to notice the second time.
13) Sakio Bika (7-367)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After initially granting Julio Cesar Chavez the spot, the WBC has now made James DeGale the mandatory after it appeared Chavez would likely look at a different opportunity.  That may also have gone by the wayside by now, as DeGale is fighting Brandon Gonzales for a shot at the IBF title.
14) Maxim Vlasov (7-75)
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 (7-65)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. Marcus Johnson (UNR) (at LHW)
Rodriguez is back from elbow surgery, and has a decent light heavyweight fight on the horizon against Marcus Johnson on May 24.
16) Gilberto Ramirez (1-11)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- TKO5 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ramirez got some nice US TV exposure, along with a decent name on his resume, even if that name was well past his prime.
17) Ryota Murata (1-34)
Last Fight: 2/22/2014- TKO4 Carlos Nascimento (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/22/2014- vs. Jesus Angel Nerio (UNR)
Murata will stay busy in Kyoto on May 22 with Mexican journeyman Jesus Angel Nerio.
18) Anthony Dirrell (1-19)
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).
19) Hadillah Mohoumadi (1-59)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Caleb Truax (1-1)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (MD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: 
Wednesday
Louis Rose vs. Emanuel Ledezma; Santa Monica, California; Off TV
Rose is a one-loss prospect that has apparently rounded into form since an inexplicable loss to journeyman Tony Hirsch in 2012.  He broke into the top 50 (maybe the top 25) with a convincing victory over gatekeeper/prospect hybrid Paul Mendez in October.  Well, convincing for everyone except two really awful judges in Susan Thomas-Gitlin and Michael Tate, whose scores led to an absolutely ludicrous draw.  Ledezma is a fellow one-loss prospect whose loss came against decent 6-0 prospect Albert Onolunose back in 2006.  He has, however, had draws since then against a pair of very mediocre opponents, and he’s been fairly inactive overall.  Edge to Rose.  The fight will be contested right around the middleweight limit, but is likely to leak over.  Combined with the fact that Rose is more established at super middle, I decided to discuss it here exclusively unless it does turn out to be a middleweight fight.

 

Friday
Don George vs. Troy Lowry; Hammond, Indiana; Off TV
George has been off 10 months since a brutal beating suffered at the hands of Caleb Truax.  He’s getting back in the game slowly, taking on the experienced but non-threatening Troy Lowry, an inactive lower-mid-level journeyman who made 154 just two fights ago in early 2012. 

 

Saturday
Callum Smith vs. Francois Bastient; Manchester, England; Sky Sports 2 (UK)
Smith is an impressive young Liverpool prospect who is tall for the weight class at 6’3″.  Bastient is a veteran but rather mediocre journeyman from France.  Shouldn’t be too difficult a night for the young Brit.
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