Archive for the Junior Middleweight Category

Year-End Awards: Junior Middleweight, 2013

Posted in Junior Middleweight, Yearly Awards and Wrap Up with tags , , , , , , , on April 6, 2014 by danboxing
Welcome to my 2nd Annual Yearly Awards and Wrap-Up for the Junior Middleweight Division.  First, a list of awards for the division.  Then, a look at the 20 fighters that did the best work in 2012 specifically, followed by a rundown of the year’s rankings history.  Dig in!

 

Junior Middleweight Fighter of the Year: Erislandy Lara
Lara beat two top 10 contenders on the year in #8 Angulo and #4 Trout, and unlike the competing wins of guys like Mayweather and Canelo, these wins were clear and unambiguous.  The Cuban is dynamic and exciting in almost the same measure as he is skilled, and he may very well be both the present and future of the division.  Floyd is the runner-up based on his close decision win over Canelo.

 

Prospect of the Year: Demetrius Andrade
Andrade dominated gatekeeper Freddy Hernandez and won a very close decision over established fringe contender Vanes Martirosyan.  The latter fight won him an alphabet belt, but that’s pretty silly considering neither competitor was legitimately in the top 10.  In truth, he’s still a prospect, and an excellent one, at that. Javier Maciel is the runner-up.

 

Most Important Knockout of the Year: #4 Erislandy Lara TKO10 #8 Alfredo Angulo
This is the fight among the highest-ranked contenders that ended in a stoppage.  It confirmed Lara’s status in the top 5, showed his guts, and set up his best win to date in his next fight with Trout.  The runner-up would probably be Mundine-Mosley, though it’s hard to quantify since both guys were ranked in other divisions, with Cotto-Rodriguez being another possibility.

 

Most Sensational Knockout of the Year: Jermell Charlo TKO8 Harry Joe Yorgey
To be completely honest, this knockout was pretty standard.  Nothing too flashy.  It’s just that, among the several knockouts be inflicted on top 50 fighters this year, most were stopped on their feet, and a few were quick.  For knockouts that resulted directly from a knockdown, we’re really only left with this one, Jermall Charlo over Antwone Smith, and Willie Nelson over Michael Medina.  I discount Jermall’s on account of his opponent clearly not wanting to be there.  It’s really a toss-up between Jermell and Willie Nelson, then, but I give it to Jermell just based on the fact that Yorgey looked a little more hurt (aside from a leg injury suffered by Medina).  Cotto over Rodriguez was probably the best of the type where the ref jumps in.

 

Match-Up of the Year: WW Champ Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. #2 Saul Alvarez
This fight prompted many over-anxious observers to declare Floyd the Champion at 154, despite Alvarez having gotten extremely lucky in his prior win against Trout.  It was a huge Pay-Per-View event, and the match-up was mostly worth the hype.  Unfortunately, it seems destined to be remembered as a dominating victory for Mayweather, when I saw it as a fight that clearly could have gone either way.  #2 Canelo vs. #3 Trout would have made a great winner in just about any other division or year, and even #4 Trout vs. #5 Lara is worthy of an honorable mention.  This division makes big fights right now, that’s all there is to it.

 

Fight of the Year: #4 Erislandy Lara TKO10 #8 Alfredo Angulo
Inherent importance, action, and competitiveness are the criteria for this award, and this one didn’t disappoint in any one of them.  With an average ranking of #6, this was one of the top few high-level match-ups of the year, and the momentum swung wildly throughout the bout, which was extremely competitive.  I had it 85-84 for Lara- but with Angulo coming on after an 8th round knockdown, when Lara grabbed the initiative back and triggered apparently blinding pain and definitely blinding swelling on Angulo’s eye with a vicious 9th-round assault that left the normally courageous Angulo saying no mas to end the night in dramatic- if relatively awkward- fashion.

 

Upset of the Year: Ishe Smith W (MD12) vs. #3 Cornelius Bundrage
Don’t let the MD12 decision fool you (originally reported as a SD until Dave Hess’ card was corrected to a still-atrocious 114-114 a week after the fight).  Smith was closer to completely dominating Bundrage than he was to losing.  It’s not that Smith had ever proven totally unworthy of this level.  He had only ever lost to high-level or undefeated opponents, and his only losses in the last 5 years prior to the Bundrage fight were a fairly close decision to undefeated Danny Jacobs and a decision against Fernando Guerrero that was so close I had it a draw.  Still, he had 5 losses overall, and Bundrage had built himself a bit of a fearsome reputation by twice mauling Cory Spinks.  Smith’s profile was that of a gatekeeper- not a guy you’d instinctively see as a threat to a top-5 contender.  But Bundrage looked slow, disinterested, and appeared to lack any kind of gameplan.

 

Comeback Fighter of the Year: Ishe Smith
Despite ending his year on a low note with a close and forgivable loss to #1 Carlos Molina, Smith brought himself back from- as mentioned above- gatekeeper status, and in doing so was able to capture an alphabet belt.  Though he no longer has that belt, he’s still made himself a clear top 10 contender, and that’s something we could not have possibly seen coming at this time last year.

 

Robbery of the Year: #14 Brian Rose W (SD12) vs. Javier Maciel
It’s not that it wasn’t a close fight.  My own card had it 115-113, and there was even one extra close round that you could have given to Rose.  A draw would have been borderline reasonable.  The problem was that beyond the point of a draw, all of the remaining benefit of the doubt belonged to Rose, who may have lost as few as one round.  As for the judges, Robin Taylor’s card agreed with mine, while Fernando Laguna (save me from Spanish judges!) had it an unbelievable 117-111 for Rose, and homer Dave Parris- who seems to be trying to get a Spanish license by consistently botching his cards- had it 116-113.  Laguna gave Rose a minimum of 3 rounds that were clearly won by Maciel, while Parris gave Rose one extra, and another even round that he clearly lost.  Bah!  The runner-up would be Canelo-Trout, but at least in that one there were enough close rounds for the biased judges to hide behind.

 

Now, for anyone that cares, I will rank the division based solely on the fighters’ 2013 accomplishments.  I will use the same criteria that I use to rank them overall (with victories, draws, or should-be victories and draws over top 50 opposition making one eligible), but will completely ignore all fights prior to 2013.

 

1) Erislandy Lara
Significant Results: Jun 8- TKO10 #8 Alfredo Angulo.  Dec 7- UD12 #4 Austin Trout.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 24: #5. Feb 25- Sep 15: #4. Sep 16- Dec 8: #5. Dec 9-31: #2.
2) Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Significant Results: Sep 14- W* (MD12) vs. #2 Saul Alvarez.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- May 5: #6. May 6- Sep 15: Unranked (Moved Down). Sep 16- Dec 8: #2. Dec 9-31: #3.
3) Saul Alvarez
Significant Results: Apr 20- UD12 Win (should be loss) vs. #3 Austin Trout. Sep 14- L* (MD12) vs. WW Champ Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 3: #1. Feb 4- Sep 15: #2. Sep 16- Dec 8: #3. Dec 9-31: #4.
4) Carlos Molina
Significant Results: Feb 1- UD12 #11 Cory Spinks.  Sep 14- W (SD12) vs. #5 Ishe Smith.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 3: #2. Feb 4- Dec 31: #1.
5) Ishe Smith
Significant Results: Feb 23- W (MD12) vs. #3 Cornelius Bundrage.  Sep 14- L (SD12) vs. #1 Carlos Molina.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 24: Unranked. Feb 25- Sep 15: #5. Sep 16- Dec 31: #6.
6) Anthony Mundine
Significant Results: Nov 27- TKO7 #4 WW Shane Mosley.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- 27: #19. Jan 28- Feb 10: #20. Feb 11-24: #19. Feb 25- Mar 3: #20. Mar 4-24: Unranked. Mar 25- Apr 21: #19. Apr 22- Dec 1: Unranked (Moved Up). Dec 2-31: #7.
7) Austin Trout
Significant Results: Apr 20- UD12 L (should be win) vs. #2 Saul Alvarez.  Dec 7- L (UD12) vs. #5 Erislandy Lara.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 24: #4. Feb 25- Sep 15: #3. Sep 16- Dec 8: #4. Dec 9-31: #5.
8) Miguel Cotto
Significant Results: Oct 5- TKO3 #11 Delvin Rodriguez.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- May 5: #7. May 6- Sep 15: #6. Sep 16- Dec 1: #7. Dec 2-31: #8.
9) Demetrius Andrade
Significant Results: Jan 25- UD10 Gatekeeper Freddy Hernandez.  Nov 9- SD12 W (should be Draw) vs. #13 Vanes Martirosyan.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Nov 10: Ranked only at MW. Nov 11- Dec 1: #12. Dec 2-31: #13.
10) Javier Maciel
Significant Results: Oct 26- Robbery SD12 L (should be win) vs. #14 Brian Rose.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Oct 27: Unranked. Oct 28- Dec 1: #11. Dec 2-31: #12.
11) Jermell Charlo
Significant Results: Jan 26- KO8 Gatekeeper Harry Joe Yorgey.  Jun 8- UD12 Fringe Contender Demetrius Hopkins. 
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Jun 9: Unranked. Jun 10- Oct 6: #18. Oct 7-27: #15. Oct 28- Nov 10: #16. Nov 11- Dec 1: #17. Dec 2-31: #18.
12) Vanes Martirosyan
Significant Results: Nov 9- SD12 L (should be Draw) vs. Undefeated Prospect Demetrius Andrade.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 10: #16. Feb 11-24: #15. Feb 25- Mar 24: #16. Mar 25- May 5: #15. May 6- Oct 6: #14. Oct 7-27: #12. Oct 28- Nov 10: #13. Nov 11- Dec 1: #14. Dec 2-31: #15.
13) Kell Brook
Significant Results: Jul 13- TKO8 Gatekeeper Carson Jones.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Jul 14: Ranked only at WW. Jul 15- Oct 6: #20. Oct 7-27: #18. Oct 28- Nov 10: #20. Nov 11- Dec 29: Ranked only at WW. Dec 30-31: #20.
14) Brian Rose
Significant Results: Apr 20- TKO12 Fringe Contender Joachim Alcine.  Oct 26- Robbery SD12 Win (Draw at best) vs. Prospect Javier Maciel.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-27: #20. Jan 28- Feb 10: Unranked. Feb 11-24: #20. Feb 25- Mar 24: Unranked. Mar 25- Apr 21: #20. Apr 22- May 5: #19. May 6- Jun 2: #18. Jun 3- Oct 6: #17. Oct 7-27: #14. Oct 28- Nov 10: #15. Nov 11- Dec 1: #16. Dec 2-31: #17.
15) Willie Nelson

Significant Results: Mar 1- TKO1 Fringe Contender Michael Medina.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Mar 3: Unranked. Mar 4-24: #19. Mar 25- May 5: #18. May 6- Jun 2: #17. Jun 3- Oct 6: #16. Oct 7-27: #13.  Oct 28- Nov 10: #14. Nov 11- Dec 1: #15. Dec 2-31: #16.
16) Jermall Charlo
Significant Results: Aug 9- KO2 Gatekeeper Antwone Smith.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Oct 6: Unranked. Oct 7-27: #19. Oct 28- Dec 31: Unranked.
17) Sasha Yengoyan
Significant Results: Oct 4- TKO4 Gatekeeper Frank Haroche Horta.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
18) Guido Pitto
Significant Results: Apr 27- SD12 W (should be Draw) vs. Undefeated Prospect Jack Culcay.  Oct 26- UD10 L (should be Draw) vs. #20 Jack Culcay.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Apr 28: Unranked. Apr 29- May 5: #20. May 6- Jun 2: #19. Jun 3-9: #18. Jun 10- Oct 6: #19. Oct 7-27: #17. Oct 28- Nov 10: #19. Nov 11- Dec 1: #20. Dec 2-15: Unranked. Dec 16-29: #20. Dec 30-31: #19.
19) Omar Chavez
Significant Results: Oct 13- UD10 Gatekeeper Joachim Alcine.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
20) Mateo Veron
Significant Results: Jun 28- W (MD10) vs. Gatekeeper Jorge Heiland.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

The following fighters could be found in the top 20 at various parts of the year, but were not among the top 20 performers at the weight this year.  Naturally, most of them did not improve their standing as a result:

 

Cornelius Bundrage– Jan 1- Feb 24: #3. Feb 25- Mar 24: #9. Mar 25- May 5: #8. May 6- Sep 15: #7. Sep 16- Dec 1: #8. Dec 2-31: #9.

 

James Kirkland Jan 1- Mar 24: #8. Mar 25- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Alfredo Angulo Jan 1- Feb 24: #9. Feb 25- Mar 24: #10. Mar 25- May 5: #9. May 6- Sep 15: #8. Sep 16- Dec 1: #9. Dec 2-31: #10.

 

Gabriel Rosado– Jan 1- Feb 24: #10. Feb 25- Mar 24: #11. Mar 25- May 5: #10. May 6- Sep 15: #9. Sep 16- Dec 31: Unranked (Moved Up).

 

Cory Spinks– Jan 1- Feb 3: #11. Feb 4-10: #12. Feb 11- Dec 31: Unranked (Retired).

 

Sergey Rabchenko– Jan 1- Feb 3: #12. Feb 4-24: #11. Feb 25- Mar 24: #12. Mar 25- May 5: #11. May 6- Dec 1: #10. Dec 2-31: #11.

 

Delvin Rodriguez: Jan 1- Feb 10: #13. Feb 11-24: #12. Feb 25- Mar 24: #13. Mar 25- May 5: #12. May 6- Oct 27: #11. Oct 28- Nov 10: #12. Nov 11- Dec 1: #13. Dec 2-31: #14.

 

Lukas Konecny– Jan 1- Feb 10: #14. Feb 11-24: #13. Feb 25- Mar 24: #14. Mar 25- May 5: #13. May 6- Oct 6: #12. Oct 7- Dec 31: Unranked (Moved Up).

 

Keith Thurman– Jan 1- Feb 10: #15. Feb 11-24: #14. Feb 25- Mar 24: #15. Mar 25- May 5: #14. May 6- Oct 6: #13. Oct 7- Dec 31: Ranked only at WW (Moved Down).

 

Sechew Powell: Jan 1-27: #17. Jan 28- Feb 10: #18. Feb 11-24: #17. Feb 25- Mar 24: #18. Mar 25- May 5: #17. May 6- Jun 2: #16. Jun 3- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Roberto Garcia– Jan 1- 27: #18. Jan 28- Feb 10: #19. Feb 11-24: #18. Feb 25- Mar 3: #19. Mar 4- 24: #20. Mar 25- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Yuri Foreman: Jan 1- 27: Unranked. Jan 28- Feb 10: #17. Feb 11-24: #16. Feb 25- Mar 24: #17. Mar 25- May 5: #16. May 6- Oct 6: #15. Oct 7-27: #16. Oct 28- Nov 10: #17. Nov 11- Dec 1: #18. Dec 2- Dec 29: #19. Dec 30-31: Unranked.

 

Charlie Ota– Jan 1- Apr 21: Unranked. Apr 22-28: #20. Apr 29- Jun 2: Unranked. Jun 3-9: #20. Jun 10- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Jack Culcay– Jan 1- May 5: Unranked. May 6- Jun 2: #20. Jun 3-9: #19. Jun 10- Jul 14: #20. Jul 15- Oct 6: Unranked. Oct 7- 27: #20. Oct 28- Nov 10: #18. Nov 11- Dec 1: #19. Dec 2-15: #20. Dec 16-31: Unranked.