Junior Middleweight: 2014, May 26- Jun 1

#16 Jermell Charlo got a really nice win on the Saturday undercard of Stevenson-Fonfara, capturing a unanimous decision over fringe contending prospect Charlie Ota, whose only loss came way back in 2007 in his 7th pro fight.  It wasn’t exactly a blowout.  Ota did score a knockdown in the 3rd round (a round he otherwise lost), and may have won as many as four rounds, which is the number I gave him.  Judge Lapointe had it essentially the same as me, except that at 115-111, he apparently gave Ota an undeserved 10-8 in round 3.  The other two judges, Larry Hazzard and Robert Paolino, apparently gave Charlo every close round, and had it 118-109.  Either way, it was a clear win for Charlo.  My main criticism of him is that he ran a bit too much.  He would have been well-served, both from a fan-friendly perspective and from a competitive one, to punch off movement more consistently, instead of waiting until he gets stuck on the ropes to let his hands go, which is something he did fairly often.  But on the flipside, Ota’s main problem was that he couldn’t cut off the ring very often, and thus allowed the generally passive Charlo to still be first, and to control range.  One side note on the officiating.  French-Canadian ref Jean-Guy Brousseau functionally couldn’t speak English, which makes him an inexcusably poor choice to referee a fight between two English-speaking fighters.  It’s not like they didn’t have other options in Quebec, such as Michael Griffin.  Even aside from the language barrier, Brousseau had a bad moment in the 9th, when he took a point from Charlo for a low blow.  It was only the second low blow I’d seen, and neither was blatant.  Definitely not a warranted deduction, in my opinion.

 

On the deeper, Showtime Extreme-televised undercard, undefeated prospect Julian Williams got the biggest win of his young career with a dominant 8 round TKO win over gatekeeper Michael Medina.  Williams appeared to be both accurate and heavy-handed, although you simultaneously have to question his natural power when you stop to consider that he hit Medina with the proverbial kitchen sink about 10 times before he was finally able to drop him in the 8th.  Even if Williams indeed is not another Golovkin-type puncher, you still have to credit the heart and chin of Medina (though not much else about his performance).  He had no head movement and was practically unable to defend himself really at all for any of the 8 rounds the fight lasted.  Medina’s stock is way down after he had little or nothing to offer in back-to-back fights against Willie Nelson and now Williams.

 

Gatekeeper Luciano Cuello got a little bit of help from the judges in La Plata, Argentina to remain viable internationally, as he took a 12-round decision over undefeated prospect Martin Rios.  I had it 114-113 Rios, and would have had it 115-113 if not for a point deduction by referee Jorge Basile for a backhanded punch that was petty, at best.  There were several close rounds, and I could have seen the fight legitimately going anywhere between 116-111 Rios and 117-110 Cuello, or 117-111 either way without the deduction.  Judges Manuel Veliz (116-111) and Juan Carlos Palmieri (114-112) had it within that range (both for Cuello), while Jorge Gorin apparently had a really good time at happy hour right before the fight, because his 119-108 card was just hideous.  I mean Rios completely dominated the first 2 rounds, as well as the last.  A drunken monkey could have scored those rounds right.  Judging aside, the story of the fight was a blistering fast start from Rios, who came out winging wild shots with his long arms, and having a great deal of success with that, especially on the plethora of occasions on which he had a passive Cuello backed to the ropes.  He appeared to be entirely punched out in the middle rounds, though, as he was forced to throw his whole body into his shots just to deliver them credibly.  This allowed Cuello to block nearly all of them.  Surprisingly, Cuello seemed content most of the time to tap away with the jab at close range, just trying to score points rather than hurt Rios.  This may have contributed to Rios’ ability to catch his second wind late in the fight.  Besides that, Rios simply appeared to want it more.  He hustled and threw his shots with conviction, while Cuello’s workrate was too low to win many of the rounds, while he allowed himself to get smothered on the inside.  Rios deserved better, I think, and Cuello looked nothing like the strong rugged guy that almost upset Willie Nelson not long ago.

 

Williams falls shy of claiming a ranking, though he does unofficially take a spot in the top 25.  Charlo benefits from the extra quality win on his resume, advancing to #13 on Ota’s back.  The Japan-based American, for his part, slumps down into roughly the mid-30s.  Cuello hasn’t beaten any top 50 opponents yet, so he’s not eligible for a ranking, and thus even though Rios would otherwise earn at least token consideration, he’s not eligible either, due to the paradox.  If either guy does have success against a top 50 opponent at some stage, though, this fight will figure into the calculus when determining his rightful place.  With Charlo’s promotion, everyone ranked #13-15 backtracks a spot.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1) Saul Alvarez (12-169-184)
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 (12-151-166)
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 lobbied the IBF to give him an exemption to defend his belt against Jermall Charlo, whom he was supposed to face already before he was jailed, but the alphabet is sticking to its guns and will try to make him fight Bundrage, instead.
3) Erislandy Lara (12-151-173)
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. (12-37-37)
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 (25-104-173)
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 (37-66-66)
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 (7-7-7)
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 (26-208-208)
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 (7-26-26)
Last Fight: 4/9/2014- L (UD12) vs. Joshua Clottey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mundine is reportedly in talks to bring the now much larger and also more retired Danny Green into a rematch.
10) Cornelius Bundrage (7-199-199)
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 (7-244)
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 (7-102)
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) Jermell Charlo (1-51)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- UD12 Charlie Ota (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With the cancellation of Smith-Lara, Charlo has been bumped back to May 24, and will fight fringe contending prospect Charlie Ota.
14) Demetrius Andrade (1-29)
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.
15) Cesar Sastre Silva (1-6)
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.
16) Vanes Martirosyan (1-156)
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.
17) Gabriel Rosado (2-18)
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 (2-7)
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 (2-65)
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 (2-2)
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: Nothing going on this week.
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