Junior Middleweight: 2014, May 19-25

Friday in Montreal, #15 Delvin Rodriguez looked to be somewhat the worse for wear after his wipeout loss to Cotto last year.  His opponent this time was former contender and current journeyman Joachim Alcine, who returned to his form of at least a few years ago, it seemed.  Rodriguez started out solidly enough, carrying the first three rounds on my card.  But by the fourth, his work had begun to look a bit ragged.  Alcine swept the middle four rounds in my opinion, and had the lead at 67-66 after 7 complete.  Inexplicably, though, it almost seemed that Alcine’s desire to win the fight waned down the stretch, and he allowed Rodriguez to simply outwork him for each of the last three rounds.  I had Rodriguez eeking out a 96-94 victory.  Judge Benoit Roussel had it a round wider, while Jack Woodburn swung a couple toss-up rounds to Alcine to have him up 96-94.  Paschal Procopio split the difference at 95-95, and the fight was declared a draw.  I can’t argue much with that, even though I did think Rodriguez edged it out.


Giving deference to the judges, Alcine moves back to the gatekeeper category and perhaps resurrects his career a little, while Rodriguez exits the top 20, settling in at about the borderline of the top 25 for my money.  


This movement allows everyone ranked #16 and below last week to move up a spot, and lets Brian Rose reclaim a spot in the top 20 for the first time since he was forced out on April 14.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1) Saul Alvarez (11-168-183)
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 (11-150-165)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W (SD12) vs. #5 Ishe Smith
Next Fight: Unknown
Molina is out of jail and training in Mexico City.  He will most likely get Cornelius Bundrage next, but has requested an optional defense against Jermall Charlo, with whom he had a fight scheduled before his incarceration.
3) Erislandy Lara (11-150-172)
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. (11-36-36)
Last Fight: 5/3/2014- W* (MD12) vs. #4 WW Marcos Maidana (at WW)
Next Fight: 9/13/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Floyd will be fighting on September 13.  A Maidana rematch remains a possibility.
5) Austin Trout (24-103-172)
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 (36-65-65)
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 (6-6-6)
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 (25-207-207)
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 (6-25-25)
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 (6-198-198)
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, and his would-be opponent is now out of jail and training.
11Alfredo Angulo (6-243)
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 (6-101)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 Bradley Pryce (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rabchenko’s fight in Rome was cancelled on 3 days’ notice due to Visa issues, and his would-be opponent, journeyman Emanuele Della Rosa, will be fighting undefeated prospect Isaac Real for what had been Rabchenko’s European title.
13) Demetrius Andrade (5-28)
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 (5-5)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- Robbery UD10 Loss (should be win) vs. #13 Javier Maciel
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. Brian Castano (UNR)
Sastre Silva dominated a confused-looking Javier Maciel, but got robbed even worse than Maciel had been robbed against Rose in his previous fight.  Now he’ll be in with an undefeated prospect in Brian Castano on June 6.
15) Vanes Martirosyan (1-155)
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.  He’s been dropped by Top Rank and signed with Dan Goossen, as well.
16) Jermell Charlo (1-50)
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.
17) Gabriel Rosado (1-17)
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.
18) Zaurbek Baysangurov (1-6)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- TKO12 #20 Guido Pitto
Next Fight: Unknown
Baysangurov looked the best I’ve seen him, by far, against Pitto.
19) Willie Nelson (1-64)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- UD10 Luciano Cuello (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After a big fight fell through for him in May, Nelson’s co-promoter Lou DiBella says the lanky Nelson will be fighting in a main event in August.
20) Brian Rose (1-1)
Last Fight: 10/26/2014- Robbery SD12 W (Draw at best) vs. Javier Maciel (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/14/2014- vs. #13 Demetrius Andrade
See Andrade’s notes, above.


The Week Ahead:
#16 Jermell Charlo vs. Charlie Ota; Montreal, Quebec; Showtime (US)
This is a really nice match-up.  Charlo is a supremely talented undefeated prospect with the full backing of the most powerful promoter in the world.  Ota is a pretty decent prospect in his own right.  A former American serviceman once known as Charlie Bellamy, he has fought his entire career out of Japan.  I’ve got him unofficially ranked in the mid-20s currently.  Charlo handled a proven fringe contender in Rosado, so he’s the clear favorite here.  Still, Ota is no joke, and this should be a worthwhile scrap.


Julian Williams vs. Michael Medina; Montreal, Quebec; Showtime Extreme (US)
Williams is a rising 24 year-old Philly prospect.  Medina is a California gatekeeper who comes off more than 14 months’ inactivity following an ankle injury and TKO loss to Willie Nelson in March 2013.  He is roughly on a par with the other 3 or 4 best opponents of Williams’ career.  Williams handled Freddy Hernandez and Dashon Johnson with ease, dominated Hugo Centeno before a cut caused a no contest, and won a hard-fought battle with Joachim Alcine mainly by dropping Alcine 3 times.  Based on that track record, Williams ought to be the big favorite, especially with Medina’s potential for ring rust and physical issues from the injury.


Luciano Cuello vs. Martin Rios; La Plata, Argentina; TyC Sports (Argentina)
Cuello, of Argentina, would qualify as a gatekeeper.  Managed by Sergio Martinez, he was a 23-0 prospect when he lost a close decision to a pre-prime Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. in 2009.  18 months later, he was stopped in 6 by a young Canelo.  He made his US cable debut in June, when he lost a very very close fight with current #19 Willie Nelson.  Rios is a moderately unproven undefeated prospect, also from Argentina, who has two draws on his record, but comes off a TKO over the best opponent of his career, mid-range journeyman Juan Manuel Bonanni, in February.  Cuello looks like a real international threat to the division, and I don’t think Rios looks like the kind of guy that’s likely to graduate to that level.

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