Super Middleweight: 2014, Jul 21-27

In last week’s preview of the Macau undercard fight between #15 Gilberto Ramirez and Junior Talipeau, I opined that Talipeau, a quality journeyman, would provide some resistance for the fast rising Mexican prospect.  I was wrong.  Talipeau got blitzed from the opening bell, and never even managed to get into the fight.  Ramirez caught him on the end of a long uppercut that led to a knockdown, and the fight was functionally over from there.  Ramirez added two more knockdowns in the one and only round before the fight was mercifully stopped. 

 

Talipeau was once a top 50 fighter, but hasn’t deserved such recognition since his 2011 loss to Zac Awad, and so Ramirez gets no opportunity to advance with the victory.  However, last week’s #13 Maxim Vlasov is removed in light of the news that his fight this weekend will be contested at the 175 pound limit.  He hasn’t made 168 in about 20 months, and is thus ineligible for a continued ranking here.  Everyone ranked #14 and below last week moves up a spot, and Don Mouton re-enters for the first time since Gilberto Ramirez knocked him out and out of the rankings at the beginning of February.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (136-270-270)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says his lawsuit is not keeping him from fighting, and says he expects a fight by the end of the year, along with 3 in 2015.  Seems optimistic to me.
1) Carl Froch (113-423-423)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- KO8 #7 George Groves
Next Fight: Unknown
Froch is reportedly close to reaching a deal to fight DeGale in November or December.
2) Arthur Abraham (21-248-248)
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 (21-256-256)
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 (8-9-145)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- TKO4* #4 Brandon Gonzales
Next Fight: Unknown
See Froch’s notes, above.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (9-164-212)
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 (9-37-82)
Last Fight: 4/25/2014- TKO3 Richard Vidal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
7) George Groves (9-84-106)
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 (8-56-56)
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. (8-21-21)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD10 #5 MW Bryan Vera
Next Fight: Unknown
With the Froch fight apparently dead, Cotto is now interested in Chavez, whose camp claims he can still make 160 for the fight.
10) Bryan Vera (8-21-21)
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 (9-59)
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 (9-381)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #16 Anthony Dirrell
Bika will re-match Anthony Dirrell on August 16 in Carson, California.
13) Edwin Rodriguez (1-79)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Gilberto Ramirez (1-25)
Last Fight: 7/19/2014- TKO1 Junior Talipeau (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ramirez confirms that he feels comfortable at 168, and is looking for big fights in his more or less new division.
15) Ryota Murata (1-48)
Last Fight: 5/22/2014- KO6 Jesus Angel Nerio (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Murata is rumored to be fighting in Singapore in October.
16) Anthony Dirrell (1-33)
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.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (1-73)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Caleb Truax (1-15)
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.
19) Derek Edwards (1-9)
Last Fight: 2/28/2014- TKO1 #20 Badou Jack
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Don Mouton (1-1)
Last Fight: 5/3/2014- TKO3 William Johnson (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. Larry Smith (UNR) (at MW)
Mouton’s career took a big hit with the Ramirez loss, as you can tell from his last opponent and the one for this week.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Wednesday
Avtandil Khurtsidze vs. Allen Conyers; New York, New York; Off TV
Khurtsidze is a long-time middleweight fringe contender from the Republic of Georgia, who is returning to the ring, a few pounds heavier than usual, for the first time since late 2011.  Conyers is a mid-level journeyman who is said to have some power and can handle himself, but is probably not much of a threat on this level.

 

Saturday
#3 Robert Stieglitz vs. Sergey Khomitsky; Dessau, Germany; RAN (Germany) 
The idea of #3 Stieglitz losing to an unranked guy like Khomitsky- a career journeyman until very recently- sounds far-fetched.  That being said, Khomitsky arguably beat Martin Murray (who I would have considered a better fighter than Stieglitz) this year and then upset British prospect Frank Buglioni.  I don’t know that he should be anything like a favorite against Stieglitz’s long and distinguished overall resume, but I do believe you’re likely to get odds that might justify a bet for the underdog, if you are of a betting mind.  Should be an excellent fight.

 

Juergen Doberstein vs. Matingu Kindele; Kaarst, Germany; Off TV
Doberstein is a one-loss prospect.  I’m not sure he qualifies as a blue-chipper, but he is coming off his career best win, by a mile, in a dominant 12-round decision over the very capable William Gare.  Kindele is basically a novice at just 5-2, and hasn’t proven much of anything to this point.  It shouldn’t be all that competitive.
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