Middleweight: 2014, Apr 21-27

#7 Hassan N’Dam was in action this week, but it turned out to be a super middleweight fight, and so I’ve discussed it there as fully as possible.

 

ESPN’s Boxcino Middleweight tournament featured its first major upset on Friday, as the tournament’s favorite (and only top 50 fighter) Vitaliy Kopylenko was shockingly upended by Willie Monroe, Jr., winning only one round on my card and on two of the three official judges’ (John McKaie had it just one round closer).  Monroe- who frankly didn’t deserve the opportunity after benefitting from a robbery against Donatas Bondas in the previous round- took advantage of said opportunity.  He was very slick, and controlled the distance and pace to such an extent that he made Kopylenko look like his sparring partner.  Kopylenko fought Monroe’s fight the entire way, failing to step in, failing to go to the body, and failing to commit to his punches.  

 

Brandon Adams had a similarly effective performance against Ray Gatica in the other fight, though neither guy was ranked in the top 50 going in.  Gatica gave a better effort than did Kopylenko, and won the first round behind effective subtle pressure, but he was unable to ramp that pressure up as Adams adjusted to it, and his hands were way too slow to match his opponent’s athleticism.  Adams reminded me, personally, of the effective version of Shawn Porter.

 

In the week’s biggest fight in the division, #6 Peter Quillin somehow impressed the hell out of the cheerleaders at Showtime, as well as awful judges Milos Rados, Bill Lerch, and Michael Pernick (120-108, 119-109 x2, respectively), but to me he did just enough to win.  Whether it’s against N’Dam, Rosado, or Konecny (as was the case this time), the dude is allergic to truly impressing, despite plenty of apparent talent.  Late in fights, he seems to either gas out or coast.  In this case, it appeared to be a bit of the latter.  After building up a 59-55 advantage on my card after 6, he spent the last half of the fight running and jabbing defensively, which allowed me to give him just 2 of the last 6- one by a mere hair’s breadth.  I had it for Quillin in the end, 115-113, and although I think a reasonable judge could have scored it a draw, I think I can comfortably join the general consensus to the effect that Quillin did indeed win the fight.  That being said, the idea that he won 11 or 12 rounds is simply preposterous.  Despite the underwhelming effort, however, and despite the sour taste I’m left with due to the biased scorecards being shoved in my face, I can’t be too down on Quillin in this instance.  Frankly, given his monumental struggles with N’Dam and Rosado and the fact that Konecny was underrated due to a robbery loss against Baysangurov, I actually thought it was a 50-50 fight going in, give or take.  So even a close win for the American is worthwhile.

 

In an off-TV stay-busy fight in Orlando, Florida, unbeaten Russian prospect Matt Korobov stopped his low-level Puerto Rican journeyman opponent Emil Gonzalez after the 6th round of a scheduled 8.

 

Quillin’s win, regardless of how he looked, came against a high-quality fighter, and when combined with the fact that one of Macklin’s better wins just became more than 5 years old last month, it allows him to slip past Macklin in the rankings.  Ditto with Martin Murray, who put his entire resume into question with a debateable points win against journeyman Khomitsky recently.  He hits the wall with Geale.  Despite Geale’s last fight at that kind of level being a close loss to Barker, he still has a much deeper overall resume than Quillin.  It’s a little bit of a judgment call, but I’m going to say that Geale is still the more proven guy at the moment.  Konecny remains unranked due to his having no significant wins at 160.  As for Monroe, he’s now beaten a guy that I considered a top 50 fighter, and is thus qualified for rankings consideration.  That being said, I think he falls just outside my top 50, considering the generous judging he needed to get by Bondas recently.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (210-210-210)
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 (19-86-149)
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 (19-553-553)
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 (9-253-253)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #6 Matthew Macklin
Geale is apparently set to fight Macklin in an intriguing fight on May 24 in the US, on HBO.
4) Peter Quillin (1-79-100)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- UD12 Lukas Konecny (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Quillin is cobbling together a resume full of unimpressive narrow wins over fringe contenders, mostly, and despite his high ranking, he’ll need to take on at least another N’Dam-level challenge to gain full respect from more discerning observers.
5) Martin Murray (1-125-125)
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.  Murray will most likely be removed next week, unless he comes within 2 pounds of making 160, since his April 27 fight in 2013 was his last at, or really near, the 160 pound limit.
6) Matthew Macklin (1-148-239)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #3 Daniel Geale
See Geale’s notes, above.
7) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (14-19-19)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- UD10 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
N’Dam says he wants Rosado next, and then Golovkin.
8) Sam Soliman (14-19-19)
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 (14-43-43)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. Samuel Rogers (UNR)
Mora will be back on the L.A. undercard of Stiverne-Arreola II against prospect Samuel Rogers who, in addition to being a natural junior middleweight and much less accomplished, is coming off his first career loss.
10) Osumanu Adama (12-12-12)
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 (12-169)
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) Jarrod Fletcher (2-12)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown
Fletcher was among the candidates for a fight with Chudinov on June 1, but the Russian opted for Patrick Nielsen, instead.
13) Max Bursak (2-169)
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.
14) Grzegorz Proksa (2-158)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Caleb Truax (2-31)
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.
16) Curtis Stevens (2-38)
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.  Johnson has respectfully pushed for a rematch.
17) Andrey Meryasev (2-24)
Last Fight: 11/4/2013- UD10 Sergio Sanders (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Carlos Baldomir (UNR)
Meryasev is back in action on April 26- on apparently just over 2 weeks’ notice- against faded veteran Carlos Baldomir in Mexico.  That fight will be at 168.
18) Daniel Jacobs (2-35)
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.
19) Dmitry Chudinov (2-4)
Last Fight: 12/21/2013- TKO6 Juan Camilo Novoa (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/1/2014- vs. Patrick Nielsen (UNR)
Chudinov will fight promising Danish prospect Patrick Nielsen in a very interesting clash on June 1 in Moscow.
20) Akio Shibata (2-2)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD12 Daisuke Nakagawa (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Shibata’s loss to Murata- an Olympic champion with no pro track record- was a significant setback, but he showed that he’s still viable internationally by beating domestic gatekeeper Daisuke Nakagawa.

 

The Week Ahead:   
Friday
Arif Magomedov vs. Alex Theran; Moscow, Russia; TV Unknown
Magomedov is an undefeated Russian, who broke into the top 50 with a sensational performance in his last fight.  Theran is at the same level as his previous opponent in terms of what he’s proven, but Theran- a Colombian- adds spice to the matchup by entering as an undefeated young prospect, himself.  I haven’t seen either guy in the ring yet, but you’d think Magomedov will have at least the home field advantage.  Both guys appear to have decent power, though neither is a Golovkin-type puncher.

 

#17 Andrey Meryasev and #5 Martin Murray are also in action this week, but they are at 168, and their fights will be discussed exclusively there unless their rankings here are affected.
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