Archive for the Middleweight Category

Middleweight: 2014, Jul 21-27

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on December 25, 2014 by danboxing
No notable middleweights saw action last week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Miguel Cotto (7-7-7)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- RTD10 Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
Cotto is the Champion.  The only question now is whether he will risk that Championship against the dominant #1 contender against whom he probably would have very little chance.  His thoughts seem to be more in the direction of Canelo.
1) Gennady Golovkin (32-99-162)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #5 Daniel Geale
Golovkin-Geale is official for July 26 in New York.
2) Sam Soliman (8-32-32)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- UD12 #2 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown
His trainer wants Cotto, but Martin Murray looks more likely.  Soliman himself says he wants the winner of Golovkin-Geale.  On the other hand, the winner of N’Dam-Stevens will become his mandatory.
3) Sergio Martinez (7-223-223)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- L (RTD10) vs. #8 JMW Miguel Cotto
Next Fight: Unknown
When assessing Maravilla’s viability as a contender at this point, it really comes down to one question: is his base athletic level and chin as bad as his performance against Cotto, or can it be blamed on a knee or other sort of leg injury?  If the latter, he might stand some chance to come back given enough recuperation time.  If the former, then he’s one of the most obviously finished fighters I’ve ever seen.  His manager ominously said after the fight that his only injury was a broken nose.  That’s incredible, if true, considering how bad his legs looked.  He says he plans to continue fighting.
4) Felix Sturm (7-566-566)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- L (UD12) vs. #8 Sam Soliman
Next Fight: Unknown
Sturm passed on an eliminator with Curtis Stevens, right after David Lemieux passed on an eliminator with Sturm.  Apparently nobody wants the IBF title.
5) Daniel Geale (7-266-266)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
See Golovkin’s notes, above.
6) Martin Murray (5-138-138)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- UD12 #15 Max Bursak
Next Fight: 10/25/2014- vs. Domenico Spada (UNR)
Murray will essentially tread water against formerly significant journeyman Domenico Spada in Monte Carlo in late October.  He’s apparently the #1 contender for Cotto’s title, so we’ll see if that materializes at some point thereafter.
7) Peter Quillin (5-92-113)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- UD12 Lukas Konecny (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBO has ordered Quillin-Korobov.
8) Matthew Macklin (7-161-252)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/30/2014- vs. Jorge Sebastian Heiland (UNR)
Macklin is back on August 30 in Dublin against Argentina’s Sebastian Heiland, who I guess qualifies as a minor threat after technically stopping Billi Godoy.
9) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (7-32-32)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- UD10 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/30/2014- vs. #19 Curtis Stevens
N’Dam-Stevens is set for September 30, with the winner getting a shot at Soliman’s belt.
10) Sergio Mora (7-56-56)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- TKO5 Samuel Rogers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora wants Quillin or Golovkin.
11) Osumanu Adama (7-25)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most pleasant entry into the rankings we’ve ever seen, but his resume stacks up pretty well as long as he’s active and on weight.
12) Dmitry Chudinov (7-17)
Last Fight: 6/1/2014- UD12 Patrick Nielsen (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/9/2014- vs. Mehdi Bouadla (UNR)
Russian Chudinov will be in action in Sevastopol- a city his country is currently occupying in the Ukraine- against decent French journeyman Mehdi Bouadla on August 9.
13) Marco Antonio Rubio (7-182)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- KO10* Domenico Spada (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
Rubio wants a shot at Cotto.
14) Matt Korobov (4-4)
Last Fight: 6/28/2014- UD10 Jose Uzcategui (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Quillin’s notes, above.
15) Jarrod Fletcher (4-25)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: 8/9/2014- vs. Daniel Jacobs (UNR)
Fletcher will fight fringe contender Daniel Jacobs on August 9 for a trumped up (aka WBA) title.
16) Max Bursak (4-182)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- L (UD12) vs. #7 Martin Murray
Next Fight: Unknown
Monte Carlo isn’t kind to Bursak.  He lost a debatable decision to Jarrod Fletcher there, and then was more or less dominated by Martin Murray.
17) David Lemieux (4-9)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- KO3 Fernando Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lemieux’s eye-popping domination of Guerrero has fueled idle speculation of a potential shot at Peter Quillin, who is short on options for high-level opponents due to the ongoing Showtime-HBO feud.  In the meantime, he’s reportedly turned down an eliminator with Sturm.
18) Caleb Truax (7-44)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (UD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: 7/25/2014- vs. Derek Ennis (UNR)
Truax has a new opponent for 7/25, with a slight downgrade to Derek Ennis.
19) Curtis Stevens (7-51)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- TKO10* Tureano Johnson (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: 9/30/2014- vs. #9 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam
The winner of Stevens-N’Dam will get a shot at Soliman’s belt.
20) Andrey Meryasev (7-37)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- UD10 Carlos Baldomir (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Meryasev dominated in pedestrian fashion against the now-retired Baldomir.

 

The Week Ahead: It’s a middleweight bonanza this week.
Friday
Michel Soro vs. Antoine Douglas; Verona, New York; Showtime (US)
Douglas is an untested undefeated prospect, while Soro would be undefeated if he hadn’t been robbed in what was technically a title fight with Zaurbek Baysangurov at 154.  This is a total toss-up fight, and well-matched.

 

#18 Caleb Truax vs. Derek Ennis; Chicago, Illinois; ESPN2 (US)
Ennis would have been a good test for Truax about 4 years ago, but he’s been rather inactive since 2011, and has had only one significant fight since then.  His career really jumped the rails earlier that year, when he was inexplicably stopped by low-level journeyman Giorbis Barthelemy.  Truax had a poor outing his last time out in a draw against Ossie Duran, but he was on a bit of a roll before that.  We’ll see which Truax shows up.  If it’s the good one, it might be a short night.

 

Billi Godoy vs. Martin Rios; Buenos Aires, Argentina; TV Publica (ARG)
Godoy, who has come up as a golden prospect in Argentina, was once ranked here, but has been tagged with 2 losses now.  He should arguably still be undefeated.  I had his loss to Sergio Sanders a draw back in 2012, and when he was unjustly stopped against Jorge Heiland in November, I was set to score that fight a draw if the 12th had played out with no new knockdowns.  Still, struggling to that degree against that level of competition doesn’t exactly make him look like the next Maravilla.  Rios is a one-loss fringe prospect.  His only loss is a reasonably respectable decision setback to the solid Luciano Cuello, but he does have two draws already against lesser competition.  

 

Saturday
Billy Joe Saunders vs. Emanuele Blandamura; Manchester, England; BoxNation (UK)
This is a good matchup of legit prospects.  England’s Saunders owns wins over fellow prospects Jarrod Fletcher (though it was very prematurely stopped) and John Ryder, while Rome’s Blandamura comes off his career-best win over fellow prospect Marcos Nader in a convincing decision.  The cards in that fight were ludicrously close overall, but it was something like a 118-11o win in reality.  You’d have to lean toward Saunders due to his better overall experience coming up in the British system, but you never know what can happen when two legitimately unbeaten guys with top 50 wins on their record meet up.

 

#1 Gennady Golovkin vs. #5 Daniel Geale; New York, New York; HBO (US)
Looking at the names on each man’s resume alone, this one figures to be a barnburner.  On the other hand, it’s almost impossible for me to picture Geale winning.  By comparison, the Australian contender is woefully feather-fisted.  He wins most of his high-level fights in close fashion by throwing a ton of volume.  You’d think all the destructive Golovkin would have to do was time him a few times per round and it would be a short night.  And that’s even assuming Geale could get the necessary respect to avoid being actively walked down by GGG.  Nice matchup in terms of the standings, but it has all the signs of a relatively easy night for the #1 contender anyway.

 

#20 SMW Don Mouton vs. Larry Smith; Humble, Texas; Off TV
Mouton takes on the abysmal Larry Smith in a fight so one-sided, it’s not worthy of further mention.

Middleweight: 2014, Jul 14-20

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on December 10, 2014 by danboxing
In a fight I’ll discuss in detail at 154, #1 light middleweight Canelo Alvarez clearly and convincingly beat #3 Erislandy Lara, but was cast in a light of ridiculous controversy by commentators like Paulie Malignaggi, who somehow believes that running like a jackrabbit in a totally defensive manner is somehow equal to or greater than coming forward and throwing meaningful punches.

 

The fight was contested, for no apparent reason, at a catchweight of 155.  This creates a quandry for me.  The boxing rankings blog equivalent of a constitutional crisis.  In light of all of my prior decisions in similar cases, it’s very difficult to make a case for what I’m about to say as a matter of consistency.  I can’t rank Canelo as a middleweight.  Frankly, if I did, I’d have to rank him easily in the top 10.  To do anything else would be arbitrary, at best.  But everyone knows that Lara and Canelo are both light middleweights in both their past and present.  The extra pound was superfluous.  Granted, that was the case in the barely-super middleweight fight that got Ryota Murata ranked there while being ineligible at middleweight.  That makes it hard to make a rule based on this, but let me give it a shot.  In cases where a fight barely within a given division could affect the rankings in that division, it will only be allowed to do so under one of the following circumstances: a) the fighter has proven himself against a fighter who was in the top 50 of that division at the time he fought him, or b) the fighter is ineligible for a ranking in his more natural home division.  That accounts for Murata and super middleweight Andy Lee from days past, as well as this outcome. 

 

No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Miguel Cotto (6-6-6)
Last Fight: RTD10 Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
Cotto is the Champion.  The only question now is whether he will risk that Championship against the dominant #1 contender against whom he probably would have very little chance.  His thoughts seem to be more in the direction of Canelo.
1) Gennady Golovkin (31-98-161)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #5 Daniel Geale
Golovkin-Geale is official for July 26 in New York.
2) Sam Soliman (7-31-31)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- UD12 #2 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown
His trainer wants Cotto, but Martin Murray looks more likely.  Soliman himself says he wants the winner of Golovkin-Geale.  On the other hand, the winner of N’Dam-Stevens will become his mandatory.
3) Sergio Martinez (6-222-222)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- L (RTD10) vs. #8 JMW Miguel Cotto
Next Fight: Unknown
When assessing Maravilla’s viability as a contender at this point, it really comes down to one question: is his base athletic level and chin as bad as his performance against Cotto, or can it be blamed on a knee or other sort of leg injury?  If the latter, he might stand some chance to come back given enough recuperation time.  If the former, then he’s one of the most obviously finished fighters I’ve ever seen.  His manager ominously said after the fight that his only injury was a broken nose.  That’s incredible, if true, considering how bad his legs looked.  A big soccer fan, he says he’ll determine his future after the World Cup.
4) Felix Sturm (6-565-565)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- L (UD12) vs. #8 Sam Soliman
Next Fight: Unknown
Sturm passed on an eliminator with Curtis Stevens, right after David Lemieux passed on an eliminator with Sturm.  Apparently nobody wants the IBF title.
5) Daniel Geale (6-265-265)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
See Golovkin’s notes, above.
6) Martin Murray (4-137-137)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- UD12 #15 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown
Murray wants Cotto, in what would be his second shot at the lineal Championship.  I thought he won the first one pretty clearly, and I’d favor him in this one.
7) Peter Quillin (4-91-112)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- UD12 Lukas Konecny (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBO has ordered Quillin-Korobov.
8) Matthew Macklin (6-160-251)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/30/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Macklin is back on August 30 in Dublin.
9) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (6-31-31)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- UD10 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/30/2014- vs. #19 Curtis Stevens
N’Dam-Stevens is set for September 30, with the winner getting a shot at Soliman’s belt.
10) Sergio Mora (6-55-55)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- TKO5 Samuel Rogers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora wants Quillin or Golovkin.
11) Osumanu Adama (6-24)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most pleasant entry into the rankings we’ve ever seen, but his resume stacks up pretty well as long as he’s active and on weight.
12) Dmitry Chudinov (6-16)
Last Fight: 6/1/2014- UD12 Patrick Nielsen (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/9/2014- vs. Mehdi Bouadla (UNR)
Russian Chudinov will be in action in Sevastopol- a city his country is currently occupying in the Ukraine- against decent French journeyman Mehdi Bouadla on August 9.
13) Marco Antonio Rubio (6-181)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- KO10* Domenico Spada (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
Rubio wants a shot at Cotto.
14) Matt Korobov (3-3)
Last Fight: 6/28/2014- UD10 Jose Uzcategui (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Quillin’s notes, above.
15) Jarrod Fletcher (3-24)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: 8/9/2014- vs. Daniel Jacobs (UNR)
Fletcher will fight fringe contender Daniel Jacobs on August 9 for a trumped up (aka WBA) title.
16) Max Bursak (3-181)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- L (UD12) vs. #7 Martin Murray
Next Fight: Unknown
Monte Carlo isn’t kind to Bursak.  He lost a debatable decision to Jarrod Fletcher there, and then was more or less dominated by Martin Murray.
17) David Lemieux (3-8)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- KO3 Fernando Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lemieux’s eye-popping domination of Guerrero has fueled idle speculation of a potential shot at Peter Quillin, who is short on options for high-level opponents due to the ongoing Showtime-HBO feud.  In the meantime, he’s reportedly turned down an eliminator with Sturm.
18) Caleb Truax (6-43)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (UD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: 7/25/2014- vs. Derek Ennis (UNR)
Truax has a new opponent for 7/25, with a slight downgrade to Derek Ennis.
19) Curtis Stevens (6-50)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- TKO10* Tureano Johnson (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: 9/30/2014- vs. #9 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam
The winner of Stevens-N’Dam will get a shot at Soliman’s belt.
20) Andrey Meryasev (6-36)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- UD10 Carlos Baldomir (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Meryasev dominated in pedestrian fashion against the now-retired Baldomir.

 

The Week Ahead: No action to report this week.

Middleweight: 2014, Jul 7-13

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 22, 2014 by danboxing
Saturday in Tokyo, fringe contender Akio Shibata got a decision win over high-level journeyman Hikaru Nishida to defend his Japanese title.  It was apparently at least a fairly close fight, with one judge having it 7 rounds to 5 at 115-113, another at 116-112, and the third a more comfortable 118-110.  As is often the case with Japanese fights, though, no video is apparently available.  The best summary of the action I can find is here.

 

No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Miguel Cotto (5-5-5)
Last Fight: RTD10 Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
Cotto is the Champion.  The only question now is whether he will risk that Championship against the dominant #1 contender against whom he probably would have very little chance.  His thoughts seem to be more in the direction of Canelo.
1) Gennady Golovkin (30-97-160)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #5 Daniel Geale
Golovkin-Geale is official for July 26 in New York.
2) Sam Soliman (6-30-30)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- UD12 #2 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown
His trainer wants Cotto, but Martin Murray looks more likely.  Soliman himself says he wants the winner of Golovkin-Geale.
3) Sergio Martinez (5-221-221)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- L (RTD10) vs. #8 JMW Miguel Cotto
Next Fight: Unknown
When assessing Maravilla’s viability as a contender at this point, it really comes down to one question: is his base athletic level and chin as bad as his performance against Cotto, or can it be blamed on a knee or other sort of leg injury?  If the latter, he might stand some chance to come back given enough recuperation time.  If the former, then he’s one of the most obviously finished fighters I’ve ever seen.  His manager ominously said after the fight that his only injury was a broken nose.  That’s incredible, if true, considering how bad his legs looked.  A big soccer fan, he says he’ll determine his future after the World Cup.
4) Felix Sturm (5-564-564)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- L (UD12) vs. #8 Sam Soliman
Next Fight: Unknown
Sturm passed on an eliminator with Curtis Stevens, right after David Lemieux passed on an eliminator with Sturm.  Apparently nobody wants the IBF title.
5) Daniel Geale (5-264-264)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
See Golovkin’s notes, above.
6) Martin Murray (3-136-136)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- UD12 #15 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown
Murray wants Cotto, in what would be his second shot at the lineal Championship.  I thought he won the first one pretty clearly, and I’d favor him in this one.
7) Peter Quillin (3-90-111)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- UD12 Lukas Konecny (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBO has ordered Quillin-Korobov.
8) Matthew Macklin (5-159-250)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/30/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Macklin is back on August 30 in Dublin.
9) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (5-30-30)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- UD10 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With the first 3 of the first 4 guys offered the shot having turned it down already, the 4th- Curtis Stevens- is now in talks for an IBF eliminator with N’Dam.  The winner would earn a shot at Soliman’s belt.
10) Sergio Mora (5-54-54)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- TKO5 Samuel Rogers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora wants Quillin or Golovkin.
11) Osumanu Adama (5-23)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most pleasant entry into the rankings we’ve ever seen, but his resume stacks up pretty well as long as he’s active and on weight.
12) Dmitry Chudinov (5-15)
Last Fight: 6/1/2014- UD12 Patrick Nielsen (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chudinov’s promoter has verbally offered Sam Soliman a fight on August 8.
13) Marco Antonio Rubio (5-180)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- KO10* Domenico Spada (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
Rubio wants a shot at Cotto.
14) Matt Korobov (2-2)
Last Fight: 6/28/2014- UD10 Jose Uzcategui (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Quillin’s notes, above.
15) Jarrod Fletcher (2-23)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: 8/9/2014- vs. Daniel Jacobs (UNR)
Fletcher will fight fringe contender Daniel Jacobs on August 9 for a trumped up (aka WBA) title.
16) Max Bursak (2-180)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- L (UD12) vs. #7 Martin Murray
Next Fight: Unknown
Monte Carlo isn’t kind to Bursak.  He lost a debatable decision to Jarrod Fletcher there, and then was more or less dominated by Martin Murray.
17) David Lemieux (2-7)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- KO3 Fernando Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lemieux’s eye-popping domination of Guerrero has fueled idle speculation of a potential shot at Peter Quillin, who is short on options for high-level opponents due to the ongoing Showtime-HBO feud.  In the meantime, he’s reportedly turned down an eliminator with Sturm.
18) Caleb Truax (5-42)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (UD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: 7/25/2014- vs. Derek Ennis (UNR)
Truax has a new opponent for 7/25, with a slight downgrade to Derek Ennis.
19) Curtis Stevens (5-49)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- TKO10* Tureano Johnson (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevens will likely fight N’Dam for a shot at Soliman’s alphabet belt.
20) Andrey Meryasev (5-35)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- UD10 Carlos Baldomir (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Meryasev dominated in pedestrian fashion against the now-retired Baldomir.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Saturday
#1 JMW Saul Alvarez vs. #3 JMW Erislandy Lara; Las Vegas, Nevada; Showtime PPV (US)
This is basically a junior middleweight fight, but will be contested, for no apparent reason, at a 155 pound catchweight.  I’ll mostly consider it at 154, but it could come into play here, as well.

Middleweight: 2014, Jun 30- Jul 6

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 20, 2014 by danboxing
Saturday in Omaha, Nebraska, undefeated prospects Jose Uzcategui of Colombia and Matt Korobov of Russia met up in a key showdown.  It was a pretty solid fight, with the 7th round looming large on my card, at least.  Korobov dropped Uzcategui twice in that round to seize control of a fight that I had scored even to that point.  My final score was 96-92, a score judge Denny Nelson agreed with.  Levi Martinez and Jeff Sinnett each had it a round wider at 97-91, which is entirely reasonable.  The lanky Uzcategui simply didn’t maintain control enough on the outside, and his punches became less and less concise as he tired late in the fight.  Korobov, for his part, had some lulls in his activity, but was aggressive just often enough to get the job done.

 

Mark Heffron’s scheduled fight on Saturday didn’t end up happening, so that’s all she wrote for the week.

 

Last week’s #17 Grzegorz Proksa is removed, having no fights scheduled and none on his resume in the past year.  Korobov gets a sudden boost not only from his present win, but also from his impressive knockout of Ossie Duran last year that didn’t qualify to rank him on its own because it was fought at 162, but which is a big factor on his overall resume at this point.  He debuts at #14, forcing Fletcher, Bursak, and Lemieux to recede one position each.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Miguel Cotto (4-4-4)
Last Fight: RTD10 Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
Cotto is the Champion.  The only question now is whether he will risk that Championship against the dominant #1 contender against whom he probably would have very little chance.  His thoughts seem to be more in the direction of Canelo.
1) Gennady Golovkin (29-96-159)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #5 Daniel Geale
Golovkin-Geale is official for July 26 in New York.
2) Sam Soliman (5-29-29)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- UD12 #2 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman dominated Sturm in the rematch after getting a very fortunate decision the first time before a banned stimulant incident led to a no contest.  So far as we know so far, he was clean this time, too, though he did look extremely energetic. His trainer wants Cotto, but Martin Murray looks more likely.
3) Sergio Martinez (4-220-220)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- L (RTD10) vs. #8 JMW Miguel Cotto
Next Fight: Unknown
When assessing Maravilla’s viability as a contender at this point, it really comes down to one question: is his base athletic level and chin as bad as his performance against Cotto, or can it be blamed on a knee or other sort of leg injury?  If the latter, he might stand some chance to come back given enough recuperation time.  If the former, then he’s one of the most obviously finished fighters I’ve ever seen.  His manager ominously said after the fight that his only injury was a broken nose.  That’s incredible, if true, considering how bad his legs looked.  A big soccer fan, he says he’ll determine his future after the World Cup.
4) Felix Sturm (4-563-563)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- L (UD12) vs. #8 Sam Soliman
Next Fight: Unknown
Sturm passed on an eliminator with Curtis Stevens, right after David Lemieux passed on an eliminator with Sturm.  Apparently nobody wants the IBF title.
5) Daniel Geale (4-263-263)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
See Golovkin’s notes, above.
6) Martin Murray (2-135-135)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- UD12 #15 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown
Murray wants Cotto, in what would be his second shot at the lineal Championship.  I thought he won the first one pretty clearly, and I’d favor him in this one.
7) Peter Quillin (2-89-110)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- UD12 Lukas Konecny (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBO has mandated Quillin to fight British prospect Billy Joe Saunders next.  There continues to be talk of an endlessly-theorized all-Golden Boy showdown with Daniel Jacobs, though, and perhaps a fight with Lemieux after that.  Sergio Mora has also indicated interest.
8) Matthew Macklin (4-158-249)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Macklin is reportedly hoping to fight in Dublin soon.  He’s suggested Soliman and Murray as possible opponents.
9) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (4-29-29)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- UD10 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With the first 3 of the first 4 guys offered the shot having turned it down already, the 4th- Curtis Stevens- is now in talks for an IBF eliminator with N’Dam.  The winner would earn a shot at Soliman’s belt.
10) Sergio Mora (4-53-53)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- TKO5 Samuel Rogers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora wants Quillin or Golovkin.
11) Osumanu Adama (4-22)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most pleasant entry into the rankings we’ve ever seen, but his resume stacks up pretty well as long as he’s active and on weight.
12) Dmitry Chudinov (4-14)
Last Fight: 6/1/2014- UD12 Patrick Nielsen (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chudinov’s promoter has verbally offered Sam Soliman a fight on August 8.
13) Marco Antonio Rubio (4-179)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- KO10* Domenico Spada (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
Rubio wants a shot at Cotto.
14) Matt Korobov (1-1)
Last Fight: 6/28/2014- UD10 Jose Uzcategui (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Korobov has finally started to make good on his talent and prior hype, and with his undefeated record still very much intact, the sky is theoretically the limit.  I would assume he’s getting close to a big fight.
15) Jarrod Fletcher (1-22)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: 8/9/2014- vs. Daniel Jacobs (UNR)
Fletcher will fight fringe contender Daniel Jacobs on August 9 for a trumped up (aka WBA) title.
16) Max Bursak (1-179)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- L (UD12) vs. #7 Martin Murray
Next Fight: Unknown
Monte Carlo isn’t kind to Bursak.  He lost a debatable decision to Jarrod Fletcher there, and then was more or less dominated by Martin Murray.
17) David Lemieux (1-6)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- KO3 Fernando Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lemieux’s eye-popping domination of Guerrero has fueled idle speculation of a potential shot at Peter Quillin, who is short on options for high-level opponents due to the ongoing Showtime-HBO feud.  In the meantime, he’s reportedly turned down an eliminator with Sturm.
18) Caleb Truax (4-41)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (UD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: 7/25/2014- vs. Rogelio Medina (UNR)
Truax fights the very serviceable Porky Medina, who comes off a split decision loss to to Jonathan Gonzalez that could have gone the other way.  He’s on a similar level to Duran, who gave Truax all he could handle.
19) Curtis Stevens (4-48)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- TKO10* Tureano Johnson (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevens will likely fight N’Dam for a shot at Soliman’s alphabet belt.
20) Andrey Meryasev (4-34)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- UD10 Carlos Baldomir (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Meryasev dominated in pedestrian fashion against the now-retired Baldomir.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Saturday
Akio Shibata vs. Hikaru Nishida; Tokyo, Japan; TV Unknown
Shibata is a fringe contender  who would certainly be ranked if he hadn’t lost to Olympic Gold Medalist Ryota Murata in Murata’s pro debut.  Nishida is a high-level journeyman.

Middleweight: 2014, Jun 23-29

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 17, 2014 by danboxing
#7 Martin Murray got a solid win on Saturday in Monte Carlo over #15 Max Bursak.  Murray employed a markedly different strategy early than I was used to seeing at his best, and I’m not sure it served him well early.  Instead of walking forward and looking for openings in tank-like fashion behind a passive but tight high guard the way he did against Martinez, for example, he looked to be much lighter on his feet in this fight.  This led, in my opinion, to the first 4 rounds all being fairly close, though I did have Murray ahead 39-37 at that point, as he did at least manage to be first with his punches more often than not, and clearly had the better power and skills even while Bursak was able to put him in awkward positions with some frequency.  From the 5th on, though, it was all Murray, as perhaps his solid body attack began to pay dividends and he began holding his ground with more frequency.  I had it 119-109 for the Brit, with 2 of the 3 judges seeing it the same way.  

 

Murray receives a modest rankings boost just from proving that he’s most likely still world class, and not likely the same fighter that probably should have taken a loss against journeyman Khomitsky in December.  This is enough to get him by Quillin, who obviously can’t boast a performance anywhere near as impressive as the should-be victory over then-Champion Martinez (or the should-be victory over #3 Sturm, for that matter), and who never seems to beat good fighters by more than the skin of his teeth (give or take some bad judging).  Geale is able to hold him off in a fairly close call, though, since he at least has a win over a #3 contender in Sebastian Sylvester. on his resume.  While he did lose in an upset to Darren Barker last year, this is frankly more excusable than Murray’s performance against Khomitsky, and Geale’s resume is also significantly longer in terms of good wins.

 

Bursak stays put at #15, since his loss to a #7 contender says absolutely nothing about whether or not he’s better than #16 Lemieux, who has losses to a non-top-20 fringe contender in Alcine and a #11 Contender in Rubio, and who has never beaten anyone better than borderline top 25 level, and that’s if you generously credit Jose Miguel Torres with that kind of status as I grudgingly have.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Miguel Cotto (3-3-3)
Last Fight: RTD10 Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
Cotto is the Champion.  The only question now is whether he will risk that Championship against the dominant #1 contender against whom he probably would have very little chance.  His thoughts seem to be more in the direction of Canelo.
1) Gennady Golovkin (28-95-158)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #5 Daniel Geale
Golovkin-Geale is official for July 26 in New York.
2) Sam Soliman (4-28-28)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- UD12 #2 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman dominated Sturm in the rematch after getting a very fortunate decision the first time before a banned stimulant incident led to a no contest.  So far as we know so far, he was clean this time, too, though he did look extremely energetic. His trainer wants Cotto, but Martin Murray looks more likely.
3) Sergio Martinez (3-219-219)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- L (RTD10) vs. #8 JMW Miguel Cotto
Next Fight: Unknown
When assessing Maravilla’s viability as a contender at this point, it really comes down to one question: is his base athletic level and chin as bad as his performance against Cotto, or can it be blamed on a knee or other sort of leg injury?  If the latter, he might stand some chance to come back given enough recuperation time.  If the former, then he’s one of the most obviously finished fighters I’ve ever seen.  His manager ominously said after the fight that his only injury was a broken nose.  That’s incredible, if true, considering how bad his legs looked.  A big soccer fan, he says he’ll determine his future after the World Cup.
4) Felix Sturm (3-562-562)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- L (UD12) vs. #8 Sam Soliman
Next Fight: Unknown
Sturm passed on an eliminator with Curtis Stevens, right after David Lemieux passed on an eliminator with Sturm.  Apparently nobody wants the IBF title.
5) Daniel Geale (3-262-262)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
See Golovkin’s notes, above.
6) Martin Murray (1-134-134)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- UD12 #15 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown
Finally another solid performance from Murray, who had been apparently hanging over from his robbery loss to Martinez.  He is now in line for a shot at Soliman’s belt, and also is in the running to fight Golovkin, it seems.

7) Peter Quillin (1-88-109)

Last Fight: 4/19/2014- UD12 Lukas Konecny (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBO has mandated Quillin to fight British prospect Billy Joe Saunders next.  There continues to be talk of an endlessly-theorized all-Golden Boy showdown with Daniel Jacobs, though, and perhaps a fight with Lemieux after that.  Sergio Mora has also indicated interest.
8) Matthew Macklin (3-157-248)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Macklin is reportedly hoping for an eliminator or some sort in Dublin soon, but there’s nothing much more specific than that to report.
9) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (3-28-28)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- UD10 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With the first 3 of the first 4 guys offered the shot having turned it down already, the 4th- Curtis Stevens- is now in talks for an IBF eliminator with N’Dam.  The winner would earn a shot at Soliman’s belt.
10) Sergio Mora (3-52-52)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- TKO5 Samuel Rogers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora wants Quillin or Golovkin.
11) Osumanu Adama (3-21)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most pleasant entry into the rankings we’ve ever seen, but his resume stacks up pretty well as long as he’s active and on weight.
12) Dmitry Chudinov (3-13)
Last Fight: 6/1/2014- UD12 Patrick Nielsen (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chudinov’s promoter has verbally offered Sam Soliman a fight on August 8.
13) Marco Antonio Rubio (3-178)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- KO10* Domenico Spada (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
Rubio wants a shot at Cotto.
14) Jarrod Fletcher (3-21)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: 8/9/2014- vs. Daniel Jacobs (UNR)
Fletcher will fight fringe contender Daniel Jacobs on August 9 for a trumped up (aka WBA) title.
15) Max Bursak (3-178)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- L (UD12) vs. #7 Martin Murray
Next Fight: Unknown
Monte Carlo isn’t kind to Bursak.  He lost a debatable decision to Jarrod Fletcher there, and then was more or less dominated by Martin Murray.
16) David Lemieux (3-5)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- KO3 Fernando Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lemieux’s eye-popping domination of Guerrero has fueled idle speculation of a potential shot at Peter Quillin, who is short on options for high-level opponents due to the ongoing Showtime-HBO feud.  In the meantime, he’s reportedly turned down an eliminator with Sturm.
17) Grzegorz Proksa (3-167)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Proksa has just a week to schedule a fight before he’s removed for inactivity.
18) Caleb Truax (3-40)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (UD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: 7/25/2014- vs. Rogelio Medina (UNR)
Truax fights the very serviceable Porky Medina, who comes off a split decision loss to to Jonathan Gonzalez that could have gone the other way.  He’s on a similar level to Duran, who gave Truax all he could handle.
19) Curtis Stevens (3-47)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- TKO10* Tureano Johnson (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevens will likely fight N’Dam for a shot at Soliman’s alphabet belt.
20) Andrey Meryasev (3-33)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- UD10 Carlos Baldomir (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Meryasev dominated in pedestrian fashion against the now-retired Baldomir.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Saturday
Mark Heffron vs. Vigilijus Stapulionis; Rzeszow, Poland; TV Unknown
Heffron is an impressive 23 year-old prospect from Lancashire, England, who burst on the scene in just his 9th pro fight in February by winning a comfortable points decision over Argentine gatekeeper Mateo Veron.  Stapulionis is a solid journeyman from Lithuania.  If the Veron win was in any way a fluke, he’s good enough to at least challenge the young Brit.  If not, Heffron should handle him with relative ease.

 

Matt Korobov vs. Jose Uzcategui; Omaha, Nebraska; HBO (US)
Korobov is a longstanding top prospect whose stock had been sinking at one point due to some underwhelming wins over so-so opposition.  A knockout of the very credible Ossie Duran a year ago put him back on the right track, but in Uzcategui he faces a fresh undefeated guy who probably has a lot more to offer at this stage than did Duran.  Uzcategui is a native of Colombia who has never fought outside his adopted home of Mexico.  He has very long arms, but probably needs to learn to control range better.  He’s rather predictable and easy to hit, or so it appears to my relatively untrained eyes.  Still, he comes off a knockout win over what I believe to have been a used-up version of David Lopez back in March.  If you twist my arm for a prediction, I’ll say that Korobov’s sturdier approach and more technically-sound skill set is likely to allow the Russian to prevail, and perhaps by knockout.  Whomever wins, my guess is that he’ll claim a ranking next week.

Middleweight: 2014, Jun 16-22

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 8, 2014 by danboxing
After a choc-full slate a week ago, the division took a break this past week.  No changes.

 

 
Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Miguel Cotto (2-2-2)
Last Fight: RTD10 Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
Cotto is the Champion.  The only question now is whether he will risk that Championship against the dominant #1 contender against whom he probably would have very little chance.  His thoughts seem to be more in the direction of Canelo.
1) Gennady Golovkin (27-94-157)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #5 Daniel Geale
Golovkin-Geale is official for July 26 in New York.
2) Sam Soliman (3-27-27)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- UD12 #2 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman dominated Sturm in the rematch after getting a very fortunate decision the first time before a banned stimulant incident led to a no contest.  So far as we know so far, he was clean this time, too, though he did look extremely energetic. His trainer wants Cotto, but Martin Murray looks more likely, assuming he gets by Bursak.
3) Sergio Martinez (2-218-218)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- L (RTD10) vs. #8 JMW Miguel Cotto
Next Fight: Unknown
When assessing Maravilla’s viability as a contender at this point, it really comes down to one question: is his base athletic level and chin as bad as his performance against Cotto, or can it be blamed on a knee or other sort of leg injury?  If the latter, he might stand some chance to come back given enough recuperation time.  If the former, then he’s one of the most obviously finished fighters I’ve ever seen.  His manager ominously said after the fight that his only injury was a broken nose.  That’s incredible, if true, considering how bad his legs looked.
4) Felix Sturm (2-561-561)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- L (UD12) vs. #8 Sam Soliman
Next Fight: Unknown
Sturm might be on his way out, with his rematch performance head and shoulders below his effort in the first fight with Soliman.  Nevertheless, he has denied any thoughts of retirement.  He’s still in position for an alphabet eliminator.  Lemieux turned down a crack at him, and now it seems Curtis Stevens is in line for that shot.
5) Daniel Geale (2-261-261)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
See Golovkin’s notes, above.
6) Peter Quillin (2-87-108)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- UD12 Lukas Konecny (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBO has mandated Quillin to fight British prospect Billy Joe Saunders next.  There continues to be talk of an endlessly-theorized all-Golden Boy showdown with Daniel Jacobs, though, and perhaps a fight with Lemieux after that.  Sergio Mora has also indicated interest.
7) Martin Murray (2-133-133)
Last Fight: 4/23/2014- RTD6 Ishmael Tetteh (UNR) at SMW
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. #15 Max Bursak
Murray hasn’t looked at all special since nearly and probably deservedly knocking off the Champ last April, but he’ll need to be in some kind of form in June if he hopes to handle the always tough Max Bursak.
8) Matthew Macklin (2-156-247)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Macklin’s fight with Geale is off due to an injury on the card, and Geale has bailed on the fight altogether in favor of a shot at GGG.
9) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (2-27-27)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- UD10 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
N’Dam’s team is trying to get a shot at Soliman.
10) Sergio Mora (2-51-51)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- TKO5 Samuel Rogers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora wants Quillin or Golovkin.
11) Osumanu Adama (2-20)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most pleasant entry into the rankings we’ve ever seen, but his resume stacks up pretty well as long as he’s active and on weight.
12) Dmitry Chudinov (2-12)
Last Fight: 6/1/2014- UD12 Patrick Nielsen (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chudinov’s promoter has verbally offered Sam Soliman a fight on August 8.
13) Marco Antonio Rubio (2-177)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- KO10* Domenico Spada (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
Rubio wants a shot at Cotto.
14) Jarrod Fletcher (2-20)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: 8/?/2014- vs. Daniel Jacobs (UNR)
Fletcher will fight fringe contender Daniel Jacobs on either August 2 or 9 for a trumped up (aka WBA) title.
15) Max Bursak (2-177)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L* (UD12) vs. Jarrod Fletcher (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. #7 Martin Murray
Bursak will get a big opportunity before Jarrod Fletcher, who outpointed him in a moderately controversial decision in February, as he has been tapped by Martin Murray for a June 21 fight in Monte Carlo.
16) David Lemieux (2-4)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- KO3 Fernando Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lemieux’s eye-popping domination of Guerrero has fueled idle speculation of a potential shot at Peter Quillin, who is short on options for high-level opponents due to the ongoing Showtime-HBO feud.  In the meantime, he’s reportedly turned down an eliminator with Sturm.
17) Grzegorz Proksa (2-166)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Proksa has just a couple weeks to schedule a fight before he’s removed for inactivity.
18) Caleb Truax (2-39)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (UD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: 7/25/2014- vs. Rogelio Medina (UNR)
Truax fights the very serviceable Porky Medina, who comes off a split decision loss to to Jonathan Gonzalez that could have gone the other way.  He’s on a similar level to Duran, who gave Truax all he could handle.
19) Curtis Stevens (2-46)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- TKO10* Tureano Johnson (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevens is backed by the IBF to fight Sturm in an eliminator, should both men so choose.
20) Andrey Meryasev (2-32)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- UD10 Carlos Baldomir (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Meryasev dominated in pedestrian fashion against the now-retired Baldomir.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Saturday
#7 Martin Murray vs. #15 Max Bursak; Monte Carlo, Monaco; PolSat Sport (Poland)
Murray was a borderline robbery away from being Middleweight Champion a little over a year ago, but his recent performances have allowed others to pass him by pretty clearly.  If he’s still hanging over, he might get upset this week.  Max Bursak is a solid operator, and probably a hair better than his current ranking.  He most likely deserved at least a draw in his February fight with Jarrod Fletcher, for which he took an upset loss.

Middleweight: 2014, Jun 9-15

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 3, 2014 by danboxing
I’ll start my discussion of this very eventful week at middleweight with far and away the most important fight of the lot: the World Championship fight between Champ Sergio Martinez and challenger Miguel Cotto.  It was a sad ending to the already diminishing reign of what I must confess has long been one of my favorite fighters in Martinez.  The Champion went down three times in the first.  He either re-injured his knee early in that round, or else just had no bounce left in them for another reason.  Either way, his chin also was not all that impressive, and Cotto, while being the smaller man, just came out and destroyed him.  Whether literal or somewhat figurative, Sergio’s handicap and the resulting action conjured up images of Cotto’s cringeworthy beating of Yuri Foreman.  Martinez held on gamely, not going down again and even coming close to winning a round or two in the first half of the fight, but in the 9th he was charged with an incorrect knockdown by referee Michael Griffin where his body plunged downward, but where his knee and no other part of him besides the soles of his feet touched the canvas.  This was the beginning of the end either way, as Maravilla’s corner stopped the fight after that round.  Cotto is now a legitimate Champion of the World, a credential he never achieved even during his heyday at 147 and thereabouts.  That being said, he’s instantly a vulnerable one, having fought the right Champion at the right time.  Can you picture him even being competitive with Golovkin, for example?  I can’t.

 

On Friday’s ShoBox broadcast from Indio, California, prospect Hugo Centeno pitched a clear shutout over 10 rounds with laughably unproven undefeated prospect Gerardo Ibarra.  Raul Caiz, Sr. and Tony Crebs somehow found a round to give Ibarra, but that’s nonsense.  It was total domination, with only two rounds that were even kinda close.  Centeno boxed well, but it should be noted that while he had his guy hurt several times, he didn’t seem to flash much in the vein of killer instinct.  As for Ibarra, he was a late replacement and out of shape as a result.  This led to his fighting at a sub-par pace that gave him no chance to do anything but go the distance.  He did have moments when he showed he had some pop, particularly since he seems to be the more natural middleweight of the two, with Centeno typically competing at or around 154.

 

Saturday in Townsville, Australia, gatekeeper Les Sherrington dominated low-level Japanese journeyman Kazuyuki Fukuyama over the 8-round distance, bookending his performance with 2 knockdowns in the first and one in the 8th, and winning every round in between according to the judges.  I can’t find a video, but this one seems pretty cut and dry, and also pretty inconsequential.

 

In other non-televised Saturday action, prospect Michel Soro- who would be undefeated if not for a very questionable decision loss to currently-ranked Zaurbek Baysangurov- scored a 5-round knockout over the occasionally formidable Bulgarian journeyman Alexey Ribchev.  He’s known for his upset win over Matthew Hall in 2011, but doesn’t usually do nearly that well when he mixes with legitimate prospects.  This apparently was no different, though the result is really all I know about the fight in the absence of video.

 

The Chris Eubank two-man clown show continued in full force on Saturday in Newcastle, England.  The elder Eubank handled the corner work (such as it was), and barely said a word all night, instead choosing to pose in the corner the way Eubank all too often poses in the ring.  Speaking of which….there’s no denying Jr’s talent.  He can- and ultimately did- blast a guy out of there anytime he feels like it, at least at this level.  I understand trying to get rounds, but when you’re just standing there with a really sub-par opponent, you’re doing nothing but making yourself look bad.  The over-the-top cockiness of this guy and this team are really insufferable.  If you were easily handling a Carl Froch or Gennady Golovkin- or, hell, even a Marco Antonio Rubio or something like that, then fine.  Enjoy yourself, if that’s the type of guy you are.  You’ve earned it, at least.  But to clown a guy like Stepan Horvath?  A guy that everyone already knows doesn’t belong in the same ring with you?  You’re showing a lower level of class as a human being than Horvath ever has as a fighter, and that’s saying something.  Just do your job and spare us the 6 rounds of unwatchable boxing, please.  You know a guy is underachieving when a fight with 5 knockdowns is crushingly boring overall.  All of those knockdowns were clustered in round 5 and 6, when I can only hope Eubank got as tired of his own antics as everyone forced to watch them already were.

 

Mexican prospect Marco “Dorado” Reyes failed to impress in Cuauhtemoc, Mexico on Saturday, settling for a unanimous decision (the scores were somewhat fishily not announced) against a lower-mid-level journeyman in Octavio Castro that had been stopped by several decent fighters that you wouldn’t necessarily call feared contenders.  Overall, Castro had been stopped no less than 7 times in his career.  It’s not just that Reyes didn’t get the stoppage, though.  He also failed to really separate himself.  While I gave him 9 of the 10 rounds, I felt the majority of those were debatable, or close at the very least.  Reyes did suffer a fairly serious cut- from a punch as far as I could tell- in the 4th, but he hadn’t been lighting it up to that point, either.  On the basis of this one fight, I’d say that if you’re looking forward to Reyes being a dynamic contender or future champion, you will be waiting forever.

 

Cotto naturally assumes the title of Champion, while Martinez returns the the realm of mere mortals for the first time since his win over Champion Kelly Pavlik more than 4 years ago.  He settles in at #3 behind Golovkin and Soliman.  His actual in-ring performance and, to a lesser extent, his previous one against Murray would indicate that he belongs much lower than that, but his overall resume still can’t be totally ignored.  Sergio’s deposition bumps everyone ranked #3 and below last week down a spot, including Osumanu Adama, who exits the top 10 after 18 consecutive weeks, and Daniel Jacobs, who exits the rankings after 41.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Miguel Cotto (1-1-1)
Last Fight: RTD10 Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
Cotto is the Champion.  The only question now is whether he will risk that Championship against the dominant #1 contender against whom he probably would have very little chance.
1) Gennady Golovkin (26-93-156)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #5 Daniel Geale
Golovkin-Geale is official for July 26 in New York.
2) Sam Soliman (2-26-26)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- UD12 #2 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman dominated Sturm in the rematch after getting a very fortunate decision the first time before a banned stimulant incident led to a no contest.  So far as we know so far, he was clean this time, too, though he did look extremely energetic. His trainer wants Cotto.
3) Sergio Martinez (1-217-217)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- L (RTD10) vs. #8 JMW Miguel Cotto
Next Fight: Unknown
When assessing Maravilla’s viability as a contender at this point, it really comes down to one question: is his base athletic level and chin as bad as his performance against Cotto, or can it be blamed on a knee or other sort of leg injury?  If the latter, he might stand some chance to come back given enough recuperation time.  If the former, then he’s one of the most obviously finished fighters I’ve ever seen.  His manager ominously said after the fight that his only injury was a broken nose.  That’s incredible, if true, considering how bad his legs looked.
4) Felix Sturm (1-560-560)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- L (UD12) vs. #8 Sam Soliman
Next Fight: Unknown
Sturm might be on his way out, with his rematch performance head and shoulders below his effort in the first fight with Soliman.  Nevertheless, he has denied any thoughts of retirement.
5) Daniel Geale (1-260-260)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
See Golovkin’s notes, above.
6) Peter Quillin (1-86-107)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- UD12 Lukas Konecny (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBO has mandated Quillin to fight British prospect Billy Joe Saunders next.  There continues to be talk of an endlessly-theorized all-Golden Boy showdown with Daniel Jacobs, though, and perhaps a fight with Lemieux after that.  Sergio Mora has also indicated interest.
7) Martin Murray (1-132-132)
Last Fight: 4/23/2014- RTD6 Ishmael Tetteh (UNR) at SMW
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. #15 Max Bursak
Murray hasn’t looked at all special since nearly and probably deservedly knocking off the Champ last April, but he’ll need to be in some kind of form in June if he hopes to handle the always tough Max Bursak.
8) Matthew Macklin (1-155-246)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Macklin’s fight with Geale is off due to an injury on the card, and Geale has bailed on the fight altogether in favor of a shot at GGG.
9) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (1-26-26)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- UD10 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
N’Dam says he wants Rosado next, and then Golovkin.
10) Sergio Mora (1-50-50)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- TKO5 Samuel Rogers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora wants Quillin or Golovkin.
11) Osumanu Adama (1-19)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most pleasant entry into the rankings we’ve ever seen, but his resume stacks up pretty well as long as he’s active and on weight.
12) Dmitry Chudinov (1-11)
Last Fight: 6/1/2014- UD12 Patrick Nielsen (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chudinov’s promoter has verbally offered Sam Soliman a fight on August 8.
13) Marco Antonio Rubio (1-176)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- KO10* Domenico Spada (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
14) Jarrod Fletcher (1-19)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. Daniel Jacobs (UNR)
Fletcher will fight fringe contender Daniel Jacobs on an unknown date for a trumped up (aka WBA) title.
15) Max Bursak (1-176)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L* (UD12) vs. Jarrod Fletcher (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. #7 Martin Murray
Bursak will get a big opportunity before Jarrod Fletcher, who outpointed him in a moderately controversial decision in February, as he has been tapped by Martin Murray for a June 21 fight in Monte Carlo.
16) David Lemieux (1-3)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- KO3 Fernando Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lemieux’s eye-popping domination of Guerrero has fueled idle speculation of a potential shot at Peter Quillin, who is short on options for high-level opponents due to the ongoing Showtime-HBO feud.  In the meantime, he’s reportedly turned down an eliminator with Sturm.
17) Grzegorz Proksa (1-165)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Caleb Truax (1-38)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (UD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: 7/25/2014- vs. Rogelio Medina (UNR)
Truax fights the very serviceable Porky Medina, who comes off a split decision loss to to Jonathan Gonzalez that could have gone the other way.  He’s on a similar level to Duran, who gave Truax all he could handle.
19) Curtis Stevens (1-45)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- TKO10* Tureano Johnson (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevens’ haplessness for all but the last few seconds of his prematurely-stopped bout with Tureano Johnson has got to raise questions about his ability to rise any higher than he finds himself now.  Johnson has respectfully pushed for a rematch.
20) Andrey Meryasev (1-31)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- UD10 Carlos Baldomir (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Meryasev dominated in pedestrian fashion against the now-retired Baldomir.

 

The Week Ahead: Nothing major to report for next week.