Junior Middleweight: 2014, Jul 14-20

Wednesday in Vegas, welterweight fringe contender Alfonso Gomez returned for the first time in nearly 2 years, rising from two knockdowns (only one of which even arguably was one) to narrowly defeat welterweight gatekeeper Ed Paredes at a 151 pound catchweight.  Paredes had a great opportunity to win the fight, as Gomez had serious problems with his balance which directly led to both the arguably real and the Kenny Bayless-created knockdown.  Unfortunately for him, he threw away that opportunity by fighting in a stiff and robotic manner, and by failing to keep his activity level at an acceptable level.  Gomez was able to carry the day largely due to his excellent timing and late-round accuracy, plus impressive elusiveness down the stretch.  Even so, I had him losing the fight 95-94, but that’s only after deferring to the clearly botched knockdown call.  The range of scores that should have been acceptable with quality referee work would have been between 95-94 and 98-91 Gomez.  Dave Moretti’s 99-92 card impermissibly ignored Kenny Bayless’s call, and was also blatantly biased in favor of Gomez besides that.  Adelaide Byrd’s card was decent at 96-93, while Dick Houck had round 4 10-9, which isn’t really defensible, but otherwise had a halfway decent card at 98-92.

 

In the week’s biggest fight by a wide margin, #1 Canelo Alvarez beat #3 Erislandy Lara clearly beat Erislandy Lara, who fought downright shamefully by running for his life from the opening bell onward.  He didn’t wait until he thought he was far enough ahead, and he didn’t set traps and counterpunch off his movement.  He ran.  He ran, and he only punched in desperate self-defense when Canelo managed to cut him off and get into his grill.  Canelo was the effective aggressor by about 10 miles, made Lara uncomfortable throughout (making him the ring general), and landed more and the extremely more effective punches.  He went to the body especially well.  Perhaps predictably, commentators like Paulie Malignaggi who think their own warped view of what constitutes proper and admirable strategy trumps common sense and…well…landing significant punches saw it as a Lara win.  I had it 118-110, and thought a reasonable judge could score it anything between 119-109 Canelo and 116-112 Canelo.  Bottom line: Canelo won, and it wasn’t even especially close.  Levi Martinez had the only decent card among the three official judges, scoring it 117-111 for Canelo.  Dave Moretti (yes, the same guy who pretty much botched his scoring in Gomez-Paredes above) had it for the right guy, but too close at 115-113.  Jerry Roth proved that he’s a good candidate for retirement by scoring it 115-113 Lara.  Don’t overthink it, guys.  If a guy runs a lot and doesn’t punch off that movement often, he probably didn’t beat the guy that’s punching off the front foot and taking the fight to him.

 

There are no changes this week.  Alvarez-Lara just kinda reinforces the status quo.  You might say it makes Alvarez the uncrowned champion, but uncrowned he remains, since there’s no reason to skip Carlos Molina to create a championship fight.  Gomez installs himself as a fringe contender at this weight, but he is unable to break through to the 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 (19-176-191)
Last Fight: 7/12/2014- W (SD12) vs. #3 Erislandy Lara (at 155)
Next Fight: Unknown
Canelo deserves none of the detraction he’s getting for his very legitimate win over Lara.  He is getting some buzz as a potential challenger for Cotto’s Middleweight Championship.
2) Carlos Molina (19-158-173)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W (SD12) vs. #5 Ishe Smith
Next Fight: 10/11/2014- vs. #10 Cornelius Bundrage
Molina’s fight with Bundrage has been moved back to October 11.
3) Erislandy Lara (19-158-180)
Last Fight: 7/12/2014- L (SD12) vs. #1 Saul Alvarez (at 155)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lara clearly lost, despite what Malignaggi and company want you to believe. 
4) Miguel Cotto (6-215-215)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- RTD10 MW Champ Sergio Martinez (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Cotto is now the Middleweight Champion, so it remains to be seen if he’ll continue to fight at 154 at all.  He’s reportedly interested in fighting Canelo, in a likely catchweight fight, if Canelo can get by Lara.
5) Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (6-44-44)
Last Fight: 5/3/2014- W* (MD12) vs. #4 WW Marcos Maidana (at WW)
Next Fight: 9/13/2014- vs. #1 WW Marcos Maidana (at WW)
Floyd recently said he’s rematching Maidana on September 13.  I’m glad.  Maidana deserves that, at the very least.
6) Austin Trout (6-111-180)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- L (UD12) vs. #5 Erislandy Lara
Next Fight: 8/22/2014- vs. Daniel Dawson (UNR)
Trout will look to get back on track with a fairly easy Friday Night Fights main event against upper mid-level Australian journeyman Daniel Dawson, who was once a fringe contender, but not since 2007.
7) Ishe Smith (6-73-73)
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.
8) Joshua Clottey (6-14-14)
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.
9) Anthony Mundine (14-33-33)
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.  He’s also getting an offer from up-and-coming prospect Jeff Horn.
10) Cornelius Bundrage (14-206-206)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD12 Joey Hernandez (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/10/2014- vs. #2 Carlos Molina
See Molina’s notes, above.
11) Demetrius Andrade (5-36)
Last Fight: 6/14/2014- TKO7 #20 Brian Rose
Next Fight: Unknown
After manhandling an overrated Brian Rose, Andrade says he’s ready for the big names.
12Alfredo Angulo (5-251)
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.  He’s drawing interest from Julian Williams.
13) Sergey Rabchenko (5-109)
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.
14) Jermell Charlo (5-58)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- UD12 Charlie Ota (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Vanes Martirosyan (6-163)
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) Brian Castaño (6-6)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- TKO4 #15 Cesar Sastre Silva
Next Fight: 8/?/2014- vs. Sebastian Lujan (UNR)
Castano was tentatively scheduled to fight Sebastian Lujan on July 19, but the fight has been postponed to sometime in August due to a Castano illness.
17) Gabriel Rosado (9-25)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- L (UD10) vs. #18 Jermell Charlo
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #10 SMW Bryan Vera (at MW)
Rosado will be fighting Bryan Vera in a new event called Big Knockout Boxing.  The knockdown rules are different, and the ring is replaced with a circular “pit.”  I probably won’t know if it will count in the rankings until I’ve had a chance to see it in action.
18) Zaurbek Baysangurov (9-14)
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 (9-72)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- TKO1 Darryl Cunningham (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 8/8/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Nelson was just days away from removal for inactivity at 154 when Lou DiBella announced he’d be fighting on August 8.  There’s no opponent yet, and so there’s still the possibility he’ll be removed if it becomes clear that he’s fighting at 160 again.  Stay tuned.
20) Kell Brook (5-5)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- TKO8 Alvaro Robles (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #6 WW Shawn Porter (at WW)
Brook is really a welterweight (and a top 10 contender at that weight), but has thrown in enough significant wins near the 154 limit to make himself independently a fringe contender at this weight.  He’ll get a shot at a welterweight belt on August 16 against Shawn Porter in New York.

 

The Week Ahead: Nothing of importance to report for this week.
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