Junior Middleweight: 2014, May 5-11

Thursday in Hialeah, Florida, Roberto Garcia had a very slow start against journeyman Victor Cayo that seemed to be foreshadowing another very difficult fight with another close result after he had just that in his last fight with Norberto Gonzalez.  Garcia clearly lost each of the first 3 rounds before edging out the 4th on my card.  He took control of the fight beginning in the 5th, and in the 6th he staggered Cayo with a big shot and follow-up combination, sending him back to the ropes.  Referee Tellis Assimenios stepped in- clearly too early, in my opinion- to stop the fight.  Cayo was hurt, no doubt, but that’s not remotely the standard for stopping the fight.  Assimenios should have known better, particularly since Cayo was still leading the fight as a whole.  In any case, Cayo isn’t at a high enough level at present to help Garcia’s case for a ranking.  For what it’s worth, the fight was contracted at 150, but Garcia actually made 147.


In a fight that was so lopsided from the moment it was signed that I’m ashamed to even have to report on it here, #6 Ishe Smith knocked out very low-level journeyman Ryan Davis in 2 on Friday in Vegas.  Davis couldn’t handle himself at all.  He was just there to be hit by Smith, who had an even easier night than I think I expected, which is saying a lot.


In his hometown, Omar Chavez- less famous brother of Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.- won by robbery on Saturday over gatekeeper Daniel Sandoval.  Sandoval dominated the early rounds, not even coming close to losing one until round 5.  Not one to go quietly, though, Chavez came back to put a real beating on Sandoval in the 6th thru 8th, before tiring himself out and essentially taking the 9th off.  He did come back to clearly win the 10th, though.  Sandoval was getting the shaft well before the scorecards came into play.  Referee Gabriel Peralta conveniently imagined dozens of low blows that were in reality perfectly legal body shots, in part with the help of Chavez’s lobbying (pronounced “whining”).  He took a point finally in the 5th- again, for a legal blow.  But in fairness, Peralta’s incompetence wasn’t one-sided entirely, as he stopped the action with Sandoval badly hurt in (I think) the 8th to replace Sandoval’s mouthpeice, instead of waiting for a natural break in the action as any fan knows he’s supposed to do.  It actually looked about 50/50 that Chavez might have scored the stoppage if the round had continued unabated.  So any way you slice it, we’ve got a controversial outcome, especially when you consider the unmitigated embarrassments that were the judges’ scorecards, which were Jesus Salcedo 96-93, Fabricio Lopez 97-92, and Said Torres 95-93, all for Chavez.  My card was 95-94 Sandoval, and only that 5th round was debateable as I saw it.  So giving credence to the ref’s atrocious point deduction, the fight could have been 95-94 either way, or between 96-94 Sandoval and 95-95 even with a better ref.  Torres was closest to a credible range, but he went out of his way to find a 10-8 for Chavez, and thus is worthy of disdain, as well.  Lopez in particular should be drummed out of the sport.


In addition, #4 Floyd Mayweather got a gift against Marcos Maidana to allow him to cling to his Welterweight Championship.  I’m going to discuss that at length in my welterweight update, but had to make note of it here because it might affect his ranking at 154.


Since the best fair result Chavez could have hoped for was a draw, and since I scored it for Sandoval, I will apply the precedent set for such a circumstance in the Rose-Maciel fight by giving Chavez credit for a draw and Sandoval full credit for a close win.  Floyd’s performance against Maidana doesn’t speak any worse of his competence at 154 than does Trout’s loss to Lara, so Floyd stays put for now.  Sandoval establishes himself as borderline top 25, while Chavez roughly hangs around that same level.  Now active again at this weight, Garcia checks back in at the gatekeeper level, just below Chavez and Sandoval by my reckoning.  No changes to the actual top 20.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1) Saul Alvarez (9-166-181)
Last Fight: 3/8/2014- TKO10 #10 Alfredo Angulo (at 155)
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. #3 Erislandy Lara
Canelo came knocking, and Lara answered the door.
2) Carlos Molina (9-148-163)
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 (9-148-170)
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. (9-34-34)
Last Fight: 5/3/2014- W* (MD12) vs. #4 WW Marcos Maidana (at WW)
Next Fight: Unknown
I’m not taking anything away from the very impressive Maidana, but it’s been clear to me in recent fights that Floyd is falling back to the pack.  He lost this fight beyond all but the most generous of doubt.
5) Austin Trout (22-101-170)
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 (34-63-63)
Last Fight: 5/2/2014- KO2 Ryan Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I know he was a relatively short-notice replacement, but Ryan Davis was a little too hapless even by that standard.
7) Joshua Clottey (4-4-4)
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 (23-205-205)
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 (4-23-23)
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 (4-196-196)
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 (4-241)
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 (4-99)
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 (3-26)
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 (3-3)
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 (4-147)
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 (4-153)
Last Fight: 3/21/2014- UD10 Mario Lozano (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vanes was supposed to fight on the Stiverne-Arreola card from what I understood, but that fight quietly disappeared from the schedule at some unknown point in time.
17) Jermell Charlo (4-48)
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 (4-15)
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 (4-4)
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 (4-62)
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:  No upcoming action to report this week.

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