Junior Middleweight: 2014, Apr 28- May 4

There were three fights to mention last week, all on Saturday.  In Haute Vienne, France, Dieudonne Belinga’s fine performance against Jack Culcay proved to be a fluke.  Belinga had several bad losses on his record leading up to that fight, and this week he could only manage a draw with Matiouze Royer, who last week I described, quite accurately, as a bad fighter.  Belinga is no longer relevant, and thankfully I don’t have to give Royer any consideration whatsoever, if for no other reason than that the fight was at 154.5 instead of 154.


On the Showtime Extreme-televised undercard for the week’s main Golden Boy broadcast, the marginally less advanced of the Charlo brothers, Jermall, stayed busy at a 158 pound contract weight, pounding lower-mid-level New Mexico journeyman Hector Munoz consistently for 4 rounds, and even more so in the 4th, which was borderline 10-8 without a knockdown.  In particular, Charlo used the hook behind the gloves to devastating effect.  Referee Thomas Taylor quite appropriately stopped the fight between rounds 4 and 5.


On that same broadcast, another rising undefeated prospect in 2012 US Olympian Terrell Gausha got a dominant win over a fairly passive gatekeeper in Charles Whittaker, who mainly backed up and looked to absorb what the younger Gausha was doing.  For Gausha’s part, he was very patient, taking what was given to him (in this case, an easy win), and avoiding reckless aggression in search of a KO.  In the process, he did manage to drop Whittaker in the 6th, and clearly won every round.  This might have gotten Gausha close to the mix for a ranking, but the fight was contracted a couple pounds over the limit, and thus can’t support consideration on its own.  In addition, Whittaker’s status as a top 50 fighter does not translate to middleweight.  


No changes.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1) Saul Alvarez (8-165-180)
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.
2) Carlos Molina (8-147-162)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W (SD12) vs. #5 Ishe Smith
Next Fight: Unknown
At last check, Molina remained in a Las Vegas jail.
3) Erislandy Lara (8-147-169)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #4 Austin Trout
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. #1 Saul Alvarez
Lara traded an intended fight with Ishe Smith for a more lucrative and important showdown with Canelo.  The fight might not determine a legitimate champion, but it should at least crown a preeminent top contender.
4) Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (8-33-33)
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 (21-100-169)
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 (33-62-62)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- L (SD12) vs. #1 Carlos Molina
Next Fight: 5/2/2014- vs. Ryan Davis (UNR)
Smith will keep his Friday date that was intended for Erislandy Lara.  In what has to be a major letdown, he’ll be fighting Ryan Davis, who is about as generic as a journeyman can be.
7) Joshua Clottey (3-3-3)
Last Fight: 4/9/2014- UD12 #7 Anthony Mundine
Next Fight: Unknown
For those looking for a good way to revitalize a practically evaporated career, you couldn’t do much better than the example Clottey just provided.  He wants to fight Mayweather, but I’d say he’s at least one top 5 win away from having a chance at that.
8) Miguel Cotto (22-204-204)
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) Anthony Mundine (3-22-22)
Last Fight: 4/9/2014- L (UD12) vs. Joshua Clottey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Not one to be kept down for long, Mundine offered to substitute for Erislandy Lara for Ishe Smith’s May 2 date.
10) Cornelius Bundrage (3-195-195)
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.
11Alfredo Angulo (3-240)
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.
12) Sergey Rabchenko (3-98)
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.
13) Demetrius Andrade (2-25)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (SD12) vs. #13 Vanes Martirosyan
Next Fight: 6/14/2014- vs. Brian Rose (UNR)
Andrade and Rose have agreed to fight in the US, with a date of June 14.
14) Cesar Sastre Silva (2-2)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- Robbery UD10 Loss (should be win) vs. #13 Javier Maciel
Next Fight: Unknown
Sastre Silva dominated a confused-looking Javier Maciel, but got robbed even worse than Maciel had been robbed against Rose in his previous fight.
15) Delvin Rodriguez (3-146)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (TKO3) vs. #7 Miguel Cotto
Next Fight: 5/16/2014- vs. Joachim Alcine (UNR)
Rodriguez looks to get back on track on May 16 against veteran Alcine on Friday Night Fights.
16) Vanes Martirosyan (3-152)
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.
17) Jermell Charlo (3-47)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- UD10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. Charlie Ota (UNR)
With the cancellation of Smith-Lara, Charlo has been bumped back to May 24, and will fight fringe contending prospect Charlie Ota.
18) Gabriel Rosado (3-14)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- L (UD10) vs. #18 Jermell Charlo
Next Fight: Unknown
Rosado was offered to Ishe Smith as a May 2 replacement, but Smith turned him down.  In turn, Rosado is being challenged by Hassan N’Dam.
19) Zaurbek Baysangurov (3-3)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- TKO12 #20 Guido Pitto
Next Fight: Unknown
Baysangurov looked the best I’ve seen him, by far, against Pitto.
20) Willie Nelson (3-61)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- UD10 Luciano Cuello (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
A Nelson-Kirkland fight for May 24 fell by the wayside, and it looked like Nelson would be fighting Andy Lee on the Martinez-Cotto undercard, but Martinez’s manager Sampson Lefkowitz used his sway to get another of his fighters, John Jackson, the Lee fight instead of Nelson, who had beaten Jackson in 2012.  Politics.


The Week Ahead: 
Roberto Garcia vs. Victor Cayo; Hialeah, Florida; ESPN2 (US)
Garcia barely outpointed journeyman Norberto Gonzalez in his last fight, and will be looking to prove he’s still got some potential as he makes a move on the welterweight division.  This is essentially a welterweight fight, but it’s at a contract weight of 150, so I’ll talk about it here.  As for Cayo, he’s a mid-level Dominican journeyman along similar lines to Gonzalez.  He was actually a serious prospect a few years back before Marcos Maidana began a string of knockout losses that descended down as low as a faded Nate Campbell.  Still, Cayo has even since that point succeeded against guys at or above Gonzalez’s level, so there’s real intrigue, if only a little.


#6 Ishe Smith vs. Ryan Davis; Las Vegas, Nevada; FS1 (US)
This was originally supposed to be a big event- Ishe Smith vs. Erislandy Lara- but instead it’s a foregone conclusion against an extremely low-level journeyman, after Lara pulled out in favor of a bigger fight with Canelo.  Davis has absolutely no hope.


Omar Chavez vs. Daniel Sandoval; Culican, Mexico; BeIn Sport (Mexico)
This is a really really good matchup.  Chavez is the less famous brother of JCC Jr. and the son of the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez.  He arrived on the scene in his own right with a nice decision win over the fading but still credible Joachim Alcine in October.  Sandoval made his bones at welterweight when he stopped gatekeeper Michel Rosales in spring 2012.  He hasn’t done anything since, though, and this will be his first truly consequential action at 154.  This one is a total toss-up, for me.


As everyone knows, Mayweather is fighting Saturday, as well, but I’ll only mention it here if it affects his ranking.

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