Welterweight: 2014, Jun 23-29

I don’t know if Robert Guerrero believed in his fitness a little too much due to his new crossfit regimen, but he chose to utilize very little of the boxing skill that got him where he is today in his randomly main event fight against gatekeeper Yoshihiro Kamegai.  Basically, both guys just flung punches on the inside for 12 rounds.  It was undeniably entertaining, but since both guys were equal to the task of maintaining the pace to roughly an equal extent, it didn’t allow the much more skilled Guerrero to separate himself in any way.  The fight could legitimately have gone either way very easily.  I had it 115-113 Kamegai.  The judges, perhaps predictably, all saw it for Guerrero.  Max DeLuca gave Guerrero all the really arguable rounds at 116-112.  Pat Russell and Tony Crebs both turned in more biased cards of 117-111.  I don’t have a problem with Guerrero getting the decision, but everyone should realize that his performance very much placed him at the judges’ mercy.  They simply had plenty of it to give.

 

In the more naturally significant fight of the card that somehow got billed well below Guerrero’s, #9 Devon Alexander had his own share of trouble with #12 Jesus Soto Karass at a catchweight of 149.  Alexander, for a guy that once spectacularly knocked out the iron-chinned Juan Urango, really is pretty feather-fisted.  In fairness, Soto Karass does have heavy hands, but even when Alexander hit him completely clean, the effectiveness of the shots was noticeably and significantly less.  On the other hand, Soto Karass’s hands, by comparison, were painfully slow, and that gave Alexander a chance at success.  The pair traded rounds, more or less, and I scored it 95-95 in the end.  Like Guerrero-Kamegai, there was a legitimate 2-round swing possible in either direction due to close rounds.  That explains Carla Caiz’s pro-Alexander card of 97-93, but Tony Crebs (covering himself in shame for the first of two times that night) and Fernando Villareal’s shared 99-91 score defied any explanation, except the most nefarious.  I had always suspected Don King of paying judges on Alexander’s behalf when he was getting blatant robberies in his favor against the likes of Kotelnik and Matthysse.  His results had been more fair since he moved to Golden Boy, and I tend to think De La Hoya is more likely to be above that sort of thing than I would would give King credit for.  But this kind of disgusting scorecard has to make me wonder if a holdover on Alexander’s team may still be engaging in that kind of thing.  It’s not the worst robbery I’ve seen- or even necessarily a robbery in general, since it legitimately could have gone either way- but the number of times Alexander has gotten the benefit of terrible cards like this is really becoming striking in the aggregate.

 

Both fights will be treated here essentially as draws, but with a slight edge toward the official winner.  Thus, as is deserved, neither official winner stands to benefit from the result, given the lower-ranked or unranked opponent.  Guerrero hurt his standing the most, since he actually did arguably worse against Kamegai than journeyman Jorge Silva had managed a while back, and in general struggled to earn a questionable decision over a barely-top-50 fighter.  Guerrero falls to #12, stopped only by the presence of Andre Berto, who he’s already beaten.  This allows Brook to advance to #7.  Alexander does move up to #8, only because he’s unable to slip below Randall Bailey, whom he beat, and who hasn’t done anything of note since.  Soto Karass moves up to meet Alexander, settling in at #9.  Everyone else stays put, except that Kamegai debuts at #20, thereby forcing Collazo out after 20 weeks.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (217-249-249)
Last Fight: 5/3/2014- W* (MD12) vs. #4 Marcos Maidana
Next Fight: 9/13/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Mayweather has booked his next fight on September 13.  Let’s hope he gives Maidana a rematch.
1) Marcos Maidana (8-55-55)
Last Fight:5/3/2014- L* (MD12) vs. Champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Next Fight: Unknown
There are rumors swirling around two possible fights for Maidana- a Mayweather rematch and a showdown with Keith Thurman.
2) Manny Pacquiao (8-290-290)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- UD12 #1 Timothy Bradley
Next Fight: 11/23/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Pacquiao will be back on November 23 in Macau, with a 5th Marquez fight being the most likely scenario.  There’s also some talk of matching him with Algieri, but I would hope he wouldn’t sink that low for a pay-per-view, especially…
3) Juan Manuel Marquez (8-137-137)
Last Fight: 5/17/2014- UD12 #? JWW Mike Alvarado
Next Fight: Unknown
The otherwise likely scenario of Pacquiao-Marquez V is maybe a little less likely now, with Marquez having asked for $20 million, which was not well-received by the Pacquiao camp.
4) Timothy Bradley (8-37-107)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- L (UD12) vs. #3 Manny Pacquiao
Next Fight: Unknown
Bradley says he intends to return in October or November, and says he wants Mayweather.  Good luck, especially coming off a loss.  Bradley’s best options for a next fight, practically-speaking, are limited to re-hashes of previous fights like Marquez and Provodnikov, though Bob Arum is currently considering matching him with Cotto.  I would think the logistics of that might be difficult to negotiate, given the weight difference.
5) Keith Thurman (28-28-68)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- RTD3 Julio Diaz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There’s a rumor that has Thurman fighting Maidana on September 13.  He’s also expressed interest in Tim Bradley, a politically difficult proposition, though some believe the departure of Richard Schaeffer from Golden Boy might make it more realistic.
6) Shawn Porter (28-29-29)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- KO4 #14 Paulie Malignaggi
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #7 Kell Brook
Porter-Brook is now made for August 16 in New York.
7) Kell Brook (1-165-165)
Last Fight:3/15/2014- TKO8 Alvaro Robles (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #6 Shawn Porter
See Porter’s notes, above.
8) Devon Alexander (1-122-122)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- W* (UD10) vs. #12 Jesus Soto Karass (at 149)
Next Fight: Unknown
Whatever power Alexander appeared to have on his way up at 140 has clearly evaporated at 147, as he looked totally outclassed in that department against Soto Karass, though his handspeed equally outclassed the Mexican and kept him in the fight.
9) Jesus Soto Karass (1-1-74)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- L* (UD10) vs. #9 Devon Alexander (at 149)
Next Fight: Unknown
Soto Karass once again proved much better than the “gatekeeper” moniker he’s gotten from underinformed fans and media, giving Alexander all he could handle and giving himself an argument that he deserved the decision.
10) Randall Bailey (31-31-31)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- W (DQ8) vs. Humberto Toledo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bailey’s scheduled fight with prospect Freddy Lawson fell through apparently at or near the last minute, but I can’t find a peep about when or why online- at least not yet.
11) Josesito Lopez (31-105)
Last Fight: 4/24/2014- TKO5 Aron Martinez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lopez says he expects a big fight in September.
12) Robert Guerrero (1-100)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- W*(UD12) vs. Yoshihiro Kamegai (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Crossfit may have gotten Guerrero in better shape, but it sure didn’t help his gameplan.  He abandoned all skill advantages and barely squeaked by with a toss-up decision over a borderline top 50 fighter.
13) Andre Berto (28-83)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- L (TKO12) vs. #11 Jesus Soto Karass
Next Fight: Unknown 
Berto is now recovered from surgery and is training for a July return. 
14) Amir Khan (8-8)
Last Fight: 5/3/2014- UD12 #17 Luis Collazo
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite the fairly impressive win over Collazo, Khan has ruled himself out of a possible Mayweather shot in September, due to Ramadan.  But Mayweather sounds extremely interested in the possibility of fighting Khan at Wembley Stadium, perhaps in 2015.  Khan is now angling for a shot at Pacquiao in November.
15) Paulie Malignaggi (8-29) 
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- L (KO4) vs. #6 Shawn Porter
Next Fight: Unknown
Malignaggi confirms he’s considering retirement.
16) Chris van Heerden (8-106)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- W (SD10) vs. Ray Narh (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Van Heerden’s split decision win over Ray Narh doesn’t look very worthy of a top 15 contender on paper, but I unfortunately am unable to find video, and thus can’t opine on what it might mean for his future.
17) Luis Carlos Abregu (8-61)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- TKO8 Jean Carlos Prada (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Abregu offered Brandon Rios a fight, but Rios turned it down.  He is also interested in Thurman, and is reportedly on the list of potential opponents for Pacquiao.  Pac’s team is not interested, and I can see why.  Abregu is hardly a household name outside Argentina, except among hardcore fans.
18) Jan Zaveck (21-237)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- UD8 Sebastien Allais (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Leonard Bundu (15-17)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO12 Lee Purdy (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/1/2014- vs. Frankie Gavin (UNR)
Bundu will fight unbeaten Brit Frankie Gavin in Wolverhampton, England on August 1 for Bundu’s European belt.

20) Yoshihiro Kamegai (1-1)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- L* (UD12) vs. #7 Robert Guerrero
Next Fight: Unknown
I personally think Kamegai won a toss-up fight with Guerrero, a credential that stands out like a sore thumb on a resume that had him barely ranked in the top 50 by boxrec at the time.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Saturday
Mikael Zewski vs. Prince Doku, Jr.; Omaha, Nebraska; Off TV
Zewski is an undefeated Quebec prospect who is on the borderline of the top 50 according to Boxrec, though he’s gotten there without beating anyone better than a lower-mid-level journeyman.  Prince Doku may sound like a Star Wars character, but I can assure you the force is not with him.  His record is a decent-looking 18-5, but like many of his Ghanaian countrymen, his opposition has been exceptionally soft.  He’s never beaten anyone with better than a .333 winning percentage, nor anyone with more than 3 total wins.

 

Konstantin Ponomarev vs. Joseph De Los Santos; Omaha, Nebraska; Off TV
Ponomarev is another undefeated prospect, and hails from Russia.  He is a little more proven than Zewski, having beaten a high-level journeyman in Ramon de la Cruz Sena in his last fight.  De Los Santos is nowhere near that level.  The Dominican native has been in with Jermell Charlo (disastrously so for him), but he has only beaten one guy with a winning record since 2007, and that was a 3-1 novice in 2011.  Many of his wins since 2007 have come against guys with winning percentages in the range of 5%.
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