Super Middleweight: 2014, Jul 14-20

Undefeated Liverpool prospect Rocky Fielding got his first win on Saturday over a really solid opponent, stopping top 50 gatekeeper Noe Gonzalez of Uruguay in 5 rounds, in what to that point had been an extremely competitive scrap.  I had given Fielding the first and fourth in clear fashion, while I thought Gonzalez had just nicked the third and fourth.  In the 5th, Gonzalez appeared to be fading just a bit when he was caught and dropped hard at center ring.  He managed to get up and convince referee Terry O’Connor that he was good to go, but Fielding followed up with a merciless assault in the corner that led to a very timely stoppage by the veteran Birmingham ref.  All in all, it was an impressive and exciting performance, as he did what only George Groves and Adonis Stevenson were able to do by stopping Gonzalez.

 

Two fights later on the same card, fellow Liverpool undefeated prospect Callum Smith got his sternest test to date against quality journeyman Vladine Biosse, who took a ton of hard shots from Smith for 10 rounds, and put the Brit in an uncomfortable position more often than any other fighter has to date, including some with better resumes.  As the Sky commentators constantly pointed out, this was a very valuable fight for Smith, in that he got quality rounds in, something that has been hard for him to come by up to now.  I had Smith winning 99-91, with a few rounds that could have potentially swung one direction or the other.  Anything between 100-90 and 97-93 Smith would have been okay with me.  The judges more or less saw it right at 99-91 (x2), but Italy’s Franco Ciminale (never one of my favorite judges) saw it a shutout and then also somehow found a 10-8 round that clearly didn’t exist.

 

Fielding gets the only real resume boost of the two, even though Smith maybe progressed more on the night in subjective terms.  Fielding is now, in my opinion, a top 25 fighter, though he falls short of the top 20.  No changes.
 
 

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (135-269-269)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward lost an arbitration with his promoter, but it sounds like the rift between the two is far from solved.  Kessler is the latest guy to renew a stated desire to fight him.
1) Carl Froch (112-422-422)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- KO8 #7 George Groves
Next Fight: Unknown
Talk of a Chavez fight is quickly being superseded by DeGale discussions.
2) Arthur Abraham (20-247-247)
Last Fight: 5/3/2014- UD12 Nikola Sjekloca (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/27/2014- vs. Paul Smith (UNR)
Abraham gets what should be a relatively easy defense on September 27 against gatekeeper Paul Smith of England.
3) Robert Stieglitz (20-255-255)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (SD12) vs. #4 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR)
I thnk I read the initial report wrong, as Stieglitz will fight on July 26 instead of June 26.  His opponent will be the dangerously underrated Sergey Khomitsky, who arguably ought to own a win over Martin Murray.
4) James DeGale (7-8-144)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- TKO4* #4 Brandon Gonzales
Next Fight: Unknown
See Froch’s notes, above.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (8-163-211)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: Unknown
Oosthuizen was supposed to fight Doudou Ngumbu on 6/21 and then enter his promoter’s Super 6 Tournament at 175.  Instead, Johnny Muller replaced him and lost, and thus ruined his own chances to fight in that tournament.  Now the word is that Oosthuizen is “in no position” to get in the ring for the tournament.  I wonder if that’s a reference to an injury, or just more weight issues.  Either way, it’s entirely clear that the South African is done at 168.
6) Ezequiel Maderna (8-36-81)
Last Fight: 4/25/2014- TKO3 Richard Vidal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
7) George Groves (8-83-105)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- L (KO8) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 9/20/2014- vs. #11 Christopher Rebrasse
Groves is scheduled to fight again on September 20, in an eliminator for a shot at the Bika-Dirrell winner.
8) Brandon Gonzales (7-55-55)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- L (TKO4*) vs. #10 James DeGale
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzales deserved a shot to continue, but he certainly didn’t look like an eventual winner under the best of circumstances against DeGale.
9) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (7-20-20)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD10 #5 MW Bryan Vera
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite Froch’s #1 contender being DeGale now, Chavez is getting buzz as a possible next opponent for the world-beating Brit.
10) Bryan Vera (7-20-20)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #17 JMW Gabriel Rosado (BKB)
In a surprise move, Vera will fight Gabriel Rosado in the main event of a “Big Knockout Boxing” card.  This is not quite the boxing you’re used to, with different rules regarding knockdowns and a circular “pit” replacing the traditional ring.  I haven’t yet decided if I will let it affect the rankings, considering that it will theoretically be a fair fight between two legitimate boxers.  I may have to see it in action before I know how I feel about its applicability to normal boxing.
11) Christopher Rebrasse (8-58)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- TKO4 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/20/2014- vs. #7 George Groves
See Groves’ notes, above.
12) Sakio Bika (8-380)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #17 Anthony Dirrell
Bika will re-match Anthony Dirrell on August 16 in Carson, California.
13) Maxim Vlasov (8-88)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD8 Derrick Findley (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vlasov looked very good against Findley, but he’ll need to schedule a fight at Super Middleweight before May 5 and make weight in order to keep his ranking, since he hasn’t made the divisional limit since November 2012.
14) Edwin Rodriguez (8-78)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez was briefly scheduled to fight Marcus Johnson on May 24, but Johnson withdrew.
15) Gilberto Ramirez (8-24)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- TKO5 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/19/2014- vs. Junior Talipeau (UNR)
Ramirez will fight in Macau on July 19.  The opponent is Junior Talipeau, a relatively high-level Samoan-Kiwi-Australian journeyman.
16) Ryota Murata (8-47)
Last Fight: 5/22/2014- KO6 Jesus Angel Nerio (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Murata is rumored to be fighting in Singapore in October.
17) Anthony Dirrell (8-32)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. #11 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #12 Sakio Bika
Dirrell will get a second crack at Bika on August 16.
18) Hadillah Mohoumadi (8-72)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Caleb Truax (8-14)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (MD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/25/2014- vs. Derek Ennis (UNR)
Truax’s July 25 Friday Night Fights opponent is now Derek Ennis, rather than Porky Medina.  Basically a lateral move, but maybe a bit of a downgrade.
20) Derek Edwards (8-8)
Last Fight: 2/28/2014- TKO1 #20 Badou Jack
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: 
Saturday
#15 Gilberto Ramirez vs. Junior Talipeau; Macao, China; HBO2 (US)
Ramirez gets a decent if unspectacular match-up this weekend on the Zou Shiming undercard in Macao.  Talipeau is a Kiwi-born resident of Australia.  He’s never beaten anyone on Ramirez’s level, but he did beat a top-50 version of Shannan Taylor back in 2010.  He comes off 3 consecutive wins over nobody in particular, while Ramirez has really been picking up steam with stoppage wins over the likes of underrated gatekeepers Derrick Findley and Don Mouton, along with faded former fringe contender Giovanni Lorenzo.  Talipeau should give him some resistance, but I can’t see him as a real threat to knock off the unbeaten Ramirez.
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