Archive for Andy Lee

Junior Middleweight: 2014, Jun 9-15

Posted in Junior Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 5, 2014 by danboxing
In a shockingly competitive fight in France on Friday, gatekeeper Frank Haroche Horta had a tough time beating back the challenge of Kevin Bertogal, who entered with more losses than wins by a 2-1 margin.  He looked significantly better than that, with truly remarkable handspeed, and a rare ability to punch with snap and accuracy while practically on the run.  I can’t go too deeply into how I felt about the results specifically, due to the fact that the only video I found had at least 3 rounds in which at least 30 seconds were missing.  One judge, Ali Oubaali, had it for Bertogal 78-74.  I can say for sure that he was clearly wrong.  Of the 5 rounds I felt I could legitimately score, Haroche Horta clearly won 3.  I gave him the other two, as well, but those were toss-ups.  In any case, it was a fine effort by Bertogal, but ultimately has no bearing on the rankings.

 

Later that night in Benavidez, Argentina, #15 Cesar Sastre Silva fell by stoppage to 6-0 prospect Brian Castano of Isidro Casanova.  Castano looked like a legitimate prospect, and flashed two-handed power typical of high-level Argentine performers, as well as impressive timing and overall balance.  The first two rounds seemed to foreshadow a back-and-forth fight, but Sastre Silva had trouble defending himself after that, as his hands seemed to drop round by round.  Castano scored cleanly with regularity in round 3, and carried that momentum into the 4th, when he dropped Sastre Silva and never looked back, continuing to tag his man, especially with an uncontested right hand.  Having witnessed a large number of unanswered clean shots from Castano, referee Antonio Zaragoza and Sastre Silva’s corner got the same idea around the same time, and appeared to signal the end of the fight independently of one another at about the same moment.  Sastre Silva was probably overrated at #15 based on a isolated really good night against Maciel, but this is still bound to be a great springboard for Castano, at least in my book.

 

In a fight contracted at 149, unbeaten prospect Eddie Gomez got jobbed against more experienced gatekeeper Francisco Santana on ShoBox from Indio, California.  Gomez built up what should have been a big lead early, winning the first 5 rounds clearly, as I saw it.  The fight turned drastically in the 6th, when Santana hurt Gomez so badly and beat him in such a sustained fashion that it could have been scored 10-8 without a knockdown, though I didn’t go quite that far.  The undefeated Gomez righted the ship a little in the 7th, but still lost the round clearly.  The 8th round was much closer, but I think Gomez bounced back to win it in pretty clear fashion anyway.  Santana probably nicked the 9th, though that was the closest round of the fight in my view, and clearly took the 10th.  On my card, Santana narrowly failed to come back enough to win the fight, and I had Gomez the clear winner at 96-94, with reasonable scores ranging between 95-94 and 97-93 Gomez.  None of the judges were reasonable, as it turned out.  Raul Caiz, Sr. saw it 96-94 Santana.  That’s a stretch, but at least if you gave Santana all the rounds identifiable as kinda close, you could kinda see where he was coming from.  Tony Crebs, at 97-93, was not so justifiable.  I literally can’t even begin to imagine what round it was, in addition to the ones that Caiz must have given him, that Crebs thought was remotely close to being scorable in Santana’s favor.  He gave Santana at least one crystal clear Gomez round.  But the most distinguished botch-job of the night belonged to Ray Corona, who only gave the clear winner of the fight two solitary rounds.  I can’t even begin to explain the last two cards, nor would I want to.  Despite fading badly in the 2nd half, there’s no doubt in my mind that Gomez won the fight, and he’ll be treated as such on this site.

 

Moving forward to Saturday, Andy Lee pulled a rabbit out of his hat in the New York opener of HBO’s card.  One-loss prospect John Jackson of the Virgin Islands was dominating the fallen Irish former middleweight contender and beating him up pretty bad, having scored a knockdown in the first.  Lee looked to be on his way to a stoppage loss when, in the 5th, he suddenly caught Jackson with a single counter shot that ended it with a shocking and sudden knockout.  It hadn’t gone as long, but it otherwise reminded me a lot of Randall Bailey’s sudden demolition of a dominant Mike Jones a couple years back.

 

One fight later on the same card, the aforementioned Javier Maciel, who had been ranked near the top 10 before needing a blatant robbery to beat the aforementioned Sastre Silva, got a measure of redemption in his HBO debut at Madison Square Garden, taking a hard-earned 10-round majority decision over gatekeeper-level Puerto Rican Jorge Melendez.  Maciel had taken the fight on just 3 weeks’ notice, and he did seem to tire towards the end as you might expect, but to me he seemed to still have plenty left anyway.  Even when apparently tired, his shots still had more effect than those of Melendez.  Even so, the Puerto Rican gave a very respectable effort, and at least managed to keep most of the rounds close.  Round by round, I had Maciel in a toss-up in the first, Melendez in similar fashion in the 2nd and 3rd, Maciel big in the 4th, including a knockdown and a point deduction on his opponent for low blows, Maciel in a toss-up in the 5th, Melendez by toss-up in the 6th, Maciel clear in the 7th, toss-up in the 8th, and by a close but clear margin in the 9th and 10th.  My final score was 96-92 Maciel, and I thought a range of 95-93 and 99-95 Maciel would encompass reasonable scores.  John Stewart was a little generous to Melendez, I thought, and had it a draw at 94-94. Waleska Roldan saw it identical to my card, while Don Trella reasonably scored one extra round for Maciel at 97-91.  

 

#19 Willie Nelson was on the card’s non-televised deep undercard, blasting journeyman Darryl Cunningham for two knockdowns in the first round before the doctor stopped it.  This turned out to be a middleweight fight, and since Nelson was a full 3 pounds off the divisional limit of 154, he risks being removed for inactivity/moving up if he doesn’t have another plausibly light middleweight fight signed by essentially the end of the month.

 

Miguel Cotto won the Middleweight Championship in the card’s main event, but that has been discussed fully in my 160 update.  That being said, Cotto only scaled 155 for the fight, and my general policy is that a fighter will get full credit in a given division for a performance in which he came within 2 pounds of the divisional limit, assuming he has rankable performances independently of the fight, and assuming his additional weight didn’t afford him an unfair advantage.  In this case, his opponent outweighed him by almost 4 pounds, and he’s already ranked #8 here.  Therefore, the fight will do him a lot of favors here at 154, as well.

 

This division is very soupy at the top, and you could make a case for Cotto to be ranked as high as #1.  On the other hand, he clearly lost to Austin Trout, while Erislandy Lara dominated Trout without having any other serious blemishes on his recent record.  Combined with the likelihood that Sergio, for health reasons, doesn’t really translate to a top-level 154 pounder at present, leaves Cotto at #4.  How is he ahead of Mayweather, you ask?  Well, Mayweather just deserved to lose a fight at a lower weight in his last outing, and I thought his fight with Cotto could have gone either way, anyhow.  Sastre Silva drops from the top 20, and is now best viewed as a gatekeeper. Martirosyan moves up to claim his former spot, while Castano debuts at #16.  Maciel and Lee are both held back from serious consideration by their recent bad performances, and so there are no further changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1) Saul Alvarez (14-171-186)
Last Fight: 3/8/2014- TKO10 #10 Alfredo Angulo (at 155)
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. #3 Erislandy Lara
Canelo came knocking, and Lara answered the door.
2) Carlos Molina (14-153-168)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W (SD12) vs. #5 Ishe Smith
Next Fight: Unknown
Molina is out of jail and training in Mexico City.  He lobbied the IBF to give him an exemption to defend his belt against Jermall Charlo, whom he was supposed to face already before he was jailed, but the alphabet is sticking to its guns and will try to make him fight Bundrage, instead.
3) Erislandy Lara (14-153-175)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #4 Austin Trout
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. #1 Saul Alvarez
Lara traded an intended fight with Ishe Smith for a more lucrative and important showdown with Canelo.  The fight might not determine a legitimate champion, but it should at least crown a preeminent top contender.
4) Miguel Cotto (1-210-210)
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.
5) Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (1-39-39)
Last Fight: 5/3/2014- W* (MD12) vs. #4 WW Marcos Maidana (at WW)
Next Fight: 9/13/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Floyd will be fighting on September 13.  A Maidana rematch remains a possibility.
6) Austin Trout (1-106-175)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- L (UD12) vs. #5 Erislandy Lara
Next Fight: 7/19/2014- 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 (1-68-68)
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 (1-9-9)
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 (9-28-28)
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.
10) Cornelius Bundrage (9-201-201)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD12 Joey Hernandez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It appears that Bundrage has jumped to the front of the line to challenge for Molina’s belt, and his would-be opponent is now out of jail and training.
11Alfredo Angulo (9-246)
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.
12) Sergey Rabchenko (9-104)
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.
13) Jermell Charlo (3-53)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- UD12 Charlie Ota (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Demetrius Andrade (3-31)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (SD12) vs. #13 Vanes Martirosyan
Next Fight: 6/14/2014- vs. Brian Rose (UNR)
Andrade and Rose have agreed to fight in the US, with a date of June 14.
15) Vanes Martirosyan (1-158)
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 (1-1)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- TKO4 #15 Cesar Sastre Silva
Next Fight: Unknown
Castano looked like kind of a beast against Sastre Silva.  Only time will tell if he really is a beast, was beating up on an overrated fringe contender, or some combination of those possibilities.
17) Gabriel Rosado (4-20)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- L (UD10) vs. #18 Jermell Charlo
Next Fight: Unknown
Rosado was offered to Ishe Smith as a May 2 replacement, but Smith turned him down.  In turn, Rosado is being challenged by Hassan N’Dam.
18) Zaurbek Baysangurov (4-9)
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 (4-67)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- TKO1 Darryl Cunningham (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Nelson just signed with manager Cameron Dunkin, but will need to get a potentially light middleweight fight scheduled by the end of June to maintain his ranking.
20) Brian Rose (4-4)
Last Fight: 10/26/2014- Robbery SD12 W (Draw at best) vs. Javier Maciel (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/14/2014- vs. #14 Demetrius Andrade
See Andrade’s notes, above.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Saturday
Glen Tapia vs. Keenan Collins; Atlantic City, NJ; Unimas (US)
This is nothing but a hometown tune-up for Tapia, who comes off a brutal loss to James Kirkland back in December.  Collins is a lower-mid-level journeyman originally from Brooklyn.  He comes off a stoppage loss to Daniel Jacobs and over a year of inactivity.

 

#14 Demetrius Andrade vs. #20 Brian Rose; Brooklyn, New York; HBO (US)
As I see it, this is nowhere near as good a matchup as it appears to be on paper.  Andrade is clearly a world-class prospect on his way to at least near the top.  For his part, Rose has at times needed very generous judging in the UK to scrape by with decision wins over the likes of everyone from domestic-level journeymen like Kris Carslaw and Sam Webb to Javier Maciel, who you’d have to call an inconsistent fringe contender or gatekeeper at the moment.  I’m not willing to call a stoppage since Andrade isn’t necessarily that type of fighter, but I don’t see Rose as having much chance to be competitive.

Junior Middleweight: 2014, Jun 2-8

Posted in Junior Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2014 by danboxing
There was no significant action to report from 154 last week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1) Saul Alvarez (13-170-185)
Last Fight: 3/8/2014- TKO10 #10 Alfredo Angulo (at 155)
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. #3 Erislandy Lara
Canelo came knocking, and Lara answered the door.
2) Carlos Molina (13-152-167)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W (SD12) vs. #5 Ishe Smith
Next Fight: Unknown
Molina is out of jail and training in Mexico City.  He lobbied the IBF to give him an exemption to defend his belt against Jermall Charlo, whom he was supposed to face already before he was jailed, but the alphabet is sticking to its guns and will try to make him fight Bundrage, instead.
3) Erislandy Lara (13-152-174)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #4 Austin Trout
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. #1 Saul Alvarez
Lara traded an intended fight with Ishe Smith for a more lucrative and important showdown with Canelo.  The fight might not determine a legitimate champion, but it should at least crown a preeminent top contender.
4) Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (13-38-38)
Last Fight: 5/3/2014- W* (MD12) vs. #4 WW Marcos Maidana (at WW)
Next Fight: 9/13/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Floyd will be fighting on September 13.  A Maidana rematch remains a possibility.
5) Austin Trout (26-105-174)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- L (UD12) vs. #5 Erislandy Lara
Next Fight: 7/19/2014- 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.
6) Ishe Smith (38-67-67)
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.
7) Joshua Clottey (8-8-8)
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.
8) Miguel Cotto (27-209-209)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- TKO3 #11 Delvin Rodriguez
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. MW Champ Sergio Martinez (at MW)
Cotto and Martinez have now officially agreed to a Middleweight Championship fight on June 7 at MSG.
9) Anthony Mundine (8-27-27)
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.
10) Cornelius Bundrage (8-200-200)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD12 Joey Hernandez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It appears that Bundrage has jumped to the front of the line to challenge for Molina’s belt, and his would-be opponent is now out of jail and training.
11Alfredo Angulo (8-245)
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.
12) Sergey Rabchenko (8-103)
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.
13) Jermell Charlo (2-52)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- UD12 Charlie Ota (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With the cancellation of Smith-Lara, Charlo has been bumped back to May 24, and will fight fringe contending prospect Charlie Ota.
14) Demetrius Andrade (2-30)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (SD12) vs. #13 Vanes Martirosyan
Next Fight: 6/14/2014- vs. Brian Rose (UNR)
Andrade and Rose have agreed to fight in the US, with a date of June 14.
15) Cesar Sastre Silva (2-7)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- Robbery UD10 Loss (should be win) vs. #13 Javier Maciel
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. Brian Castano (UNR)
Sastre Silva dominated a confused-looking Javier Maciel, but got robbed even worse than Maciel had been robbed against Rose in his previous fight.  Now he’ll be in with an undefeated prospect in Brian Castano on June 6.
16) Vanes Martirosyan (2-157)
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.
17) Gabriel Rosado (3-19)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- L (UD10) vs. #18 Jermell Charlo
Next Fight: Unknown
Rosado was offered to Ishe Smith as a May 2 replacement, but Smith turned him down.  In turn, Rosado is being challenged by Hassan N’Dam.
18) Zaurbek Baysangurov (3-8)
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 (3-66)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- UD10 Luciano Cuello (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. Darryl Cunningham (UNR)
Nelson gets a fairly easy tune-up after a year of inactivity when he gets in with 39 year-old journeyman Darryl Cunningham Saturday.
20) Brian Rose (3-3)
Last Fight: 10/26/2014- Robbery SD12 W (Draw at best) vs. Javier Maciel (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/14/2014- vs. #14 Demetrius Andrade
See Andrade’s notes, above.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Friday
Frank Haroche Horta vs. Unknown Opponent; Levallois-Perret, France; Ma Chaine Sport (France)
Horta comes off  a robbery loss against Andy Lee in April, and will almost certainly get an easier night, as his opponent has not been announced less than a week before fight night.

 

#15 Cesar Sastre Silva vs. Brian Castano; Benavidez, Argentina; TyC Sports (Argentina)
Sastre Silva is about as vulnerable as a top 15 contender gets.  He is ranked based on a loss that clearly should have been a win over #13 Javier Maciel back in April.  He actually benefitted from his own inactivity in earning his ranking, since he had three consecutive losses in 2008, but they are too old to be counted against him.  He only had 4 fairly inconsequential wins between that and the Maciel fight.  He’s not really that good, I don’t think, but caught Maciel on a terrible night.  Castano is an undefeated Argentine prospect, and despite only having 6 pro fights, he’s beaten one pretty highly-ranked (though not top 50) journeyman already.  This is a really interesting matchup, and could serve as a great launching pad for Castano if he can pull off the victory.

 

Eddie Gomez vs. Francisco Santana; Indio, California; Showtime (US)
Gomez is an undefeated Bronx prospect who comes off his best career win against fellow undefeated Daquan Arnett in January.  Santana has 3 losses and a draw on his record, so it’s hard to rate him a prospect, but his only losses were two against Karim Mayfield (once by split decision, the other by stoppage) and one against Jermell Charlo, and his draw was against Julian Williams.  He owns wins over Freddy Hernandez and Joachim Alcine.  All of this illuminates the fact that he’s been in tougher overall, by a long shot.  This is a very intriguing fight.

 

Saturday
Javier Maciel vs. Jorge Melendez; New York, New York; HBO (US)
Maciel was a top 15 contender before he very clearly lost to journeyman Cesar Sastre Silva in his last fight.  Most will still view him as a major player in the division because that fight got zero press, as opposed to his prior fight, which he clearly won against top-20 ranked Brian Rose, but in which HE was the victim of a blatant robbery.  Melendez is a gatekeeper, but he’s never beaten a top 50 fighter, while being saddled with 3 losses and a draw against lesser opposition.  Based on that alone, you’d have to make Maciel the favorite.  If he does pull off the win, Maciel would gain back some of the stock he lost to Sastre Silva.

 

John Jackson vs. Andy Lee; New York, New York; HBO (US)
Another fight on the Martinez-Cotto undercard in which the guy who would have been a heavy favorite just a few months ago looked abysmal in his last fight.  Lee needed a blatant robbery to beat French gatekeeper Frank Haroche Horta in April, and Jackson is most likely better than Horta.  For his part, Jackson has had two fights on the top 50 level.  A little over a year ago, he solidly outpointed undefeated prospect Ceresso Fort in an 8-rounder, and in 2012 he dropped a close unanimous decision to current #19 Willie Nelson.  This could be a heck of a match-up.

 

#19 Willie Nelson vs. Darryl Cunningham; New York, New York; Off TV
This will be an easy showcase for Nelson.  Cunningham was once a credible high-level journeyman (though never top 50), but at 39, he’s been in decline, and comes off a 4th round TKO loss to a 4-13 scrub in his last fight back in October.  Nelson might be rusty after nearly a year out of the ring, and in fact he struggled in his last fight, but this should be nothing more than an opportunity to shake off that rust and get some momentum going.

 

On the same card, Miguel Cotto gets a shot at the middleweight title against Sergio Martinez.  I’ll discuss the fight itself at middleweight, and only mention it here to the extent it affects the rankings at 154.

Super Middleweight: 2014, Apr 14-20

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on September 19, 2014 by danboxing
#17 Gilberto Ramirez dominated journeyman and former fringe contender Giovanni Lorenzo on Friday Night Fights this week in Vegas, winning every round clearly, and dropping Lorenzo once in the third and twice in the 5th to cement the win.  Ramirez looked good, showing impressive activity and a level of accuracy in his punches that is often uncharacteristic with tall long-armed fighters like him.  Lorenzo is now pretty clearly done as a significant fighter.  He accepted defeat, it appeared, rather easily, and his body language indicates a terminal lack of confidence at this stage, as well.  One caveat to the first knockdown, though: Jay Nady- a normally excellent referee- was way off his game.  He recognized that Ramirez had landed a low blow on Lorenzo, but allowed the action to continue unabated, even though it was apparent that the shot had hurt Lorenzo.  Ramirez proceeded to pummel a weakened Lorenzo to create the knockdown.  Nady completed the unflattering sequence by forgetting to wipe off Lorenzo’s gloves after he rose, and sending Ramirez to the wrong corner and then yelling at him for going to the wrong one.

 

In what’s being called a major upset despite being extremely easy to predict, undefeated London prospect Frank Buglioni was walked down and busted up by the tank-like aggression and thudding punches of Sergey Khomitsky of Belarus.  Why predictable?  Well, Khomitsky was coming off what probably should have been a win over Martin Murray, a guy who probably should have been the Middleweight Champion at the time.  Sure, he was a rather ordinary journeyman coming into that fight, but you can’t outfight a guy that just outfought Sergio Martinez and somehow remain a big underdog against an undefeated prospect who hasn’t yet fought even a mid-level journeyman. 

 

Lorenzo was no longer at the level necessary to boost Ramirez’s ranking, nor had Buglioni proven enough to establish Khomitsky here.  Let’s be honest.  Khomitsky is clearly a top 20 super middleweight at the moment.  It’s just that I still can’t give him credit for the Murray performance because it was a debateable fight that Murray officially won.  For that reason, I’d have to rank Murray along with Khomitsky if I were to rank the Belorussian, the problem being that Murray has never beaten a top 50 fighter at 168, including Khomitsky, who was not top 50 at the time. 

 

The one change that does occur this week is the removal of Andy Lee.  He was ranked here due to some wins that were technically over the middleweight limit.  He just clearly lost a fight at middleweight to a career welterweight and light middleweight in Frank Haroche Horta (who was only borderline top 50 at 154), slinking away with an absolute robbery of a majority decision win.  Losing on that level at a lower weight is going to get you bounced 10 out of 10 times.  I’ll discuss the fight in more detail in my middleweight update.  Caleb Truax returns at #20 for the first time since being forced out on March 3.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (122-256-256)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward is being targeted by at least some on Kovalev’s team.
1) Carl Froch (99-409-409)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO9 #8 George Groves
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #8 George Groves
There is talk of a record gate when Froch meets Groves in a highly anticipated rematch in a London soccer stadium at the end of May.
2) Arthur Abraham (7-234-234)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- W (SD12) vs. #2 Robert Stieglitz
Next Fight: 5/3/2014- vs. Nikola Sjekloca (UNR)
Abraham will have a quick turn-around when he defends his newly-won belt against the mostly fraudulent Nikola Sjekloca on May 3 in Berlin.
3) Robert Stieglitz (7-242-242)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (SD12) vs. #4 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: Unknown
Sauerland prospect Tyron Zeuge has expressed interest in a fight with Stieglitz.
4) Mikkel Kessler (7-488-488)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
Kessler is reportedly discussing a return with Sauerland, but there is no obvious opponent available for him at present.
5) Brandon Gonzales (42-42-42)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #11 James DeGale
Gonzales’ elminator with DeGale is finally set, for May 31 in London, on the Froch-Groves undercard.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (29-150-198)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: Unknown
Oosthuizen was yanked from his intended January 18 fight with Eleider Alvarez and released by his promoter after a bicycle accident and reportedly being hopelessly out of shape about 2 weeks before the fight.
7) Ezequiel Maderna (23-23-68)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #6 Thomas Oosthuizen
Next Fight: 4/25/2014- vs. Richard Vidal (UNR)
Maderna apparently will fight low-level journeyman Richard Vidal in La Plata, Argentina on April 25.
8) George Groves (23-70-92)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- L (TKO9) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #1 Carl Froch
See Froch’s notes, above.
9) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (7-7-7)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD10 #5 MW Bryan Vera
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s not signed, but it’s looking highly likely that Chavez will fight Golovkin on July 19 right here at 168.
10) Bryan Vera (7-7-7)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Even in defeat, Vera has regained a ranking at 168 and is- at least temporarily- ranked in 2 divisions.   There are also credible-looking reports to the effect that he broke his left hand early in the fight, for what it’s worth.
11) James DeGale (7-131)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- TKO11 Gevorg Khatchikian (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #5 Brandon Gonzales
See Gonzales’ notes, above.
12) Christopher Rebrasse (7-45)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- TKO4 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rebrasse now has two dominant wins over what was a top 10 contender the first time around.  He didn’t need the judges to notice the second time.
13) Sakio Bika (7-367)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After initially granting Julio Cesar Chavez the spot, the WBC has now made James DeGale the mandatory after it appeared Chavez would likely look at a different opportunity.  That may also have gone by the wayside by now, as DeGale is fighting Brandon Gonzales for a shot at the IBF title.
14) Maxim Vlasov (7-75)
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.
15) Edwin Rodriguez (7-65)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. Marcus Johnson (UNR) (at LHW)
Rodriguez is back from elbow surgery, and has a decent light heavyweight fight on the horizon against Marcus Johnson on May 24.
16) Gilberto Ramirez (1-11)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- TKO5 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ramirez got some nice US TV exposure, along with a decent name on his resume, even if that name was well past his prime.
17) Ryota Murata (1-34)
Last Fight: 2/22/2014- TKO4 Carlos Nascimento (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/22/2014- vs. Jesus Angel Nerio (UNR)
Murata will stay busy in Kyoto on May 22 with Mexican journeyman Jesus Angel Nerio.
18) Anthony Dirrell (1-19)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. #11 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: Unknown
His hard-fought draw with Sakio Bika gained Dirrell a measure of redemption for what pretty clearly should have been a loss against Don Mouton, and has him back in the hot prospect category.  He’s called for a rematch (good idea) and a fight with Golovkin (bad idea).
19) Hadillah Mohoumadi (1-59)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Caleb Truax (1-1)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (MD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: 
Wednesday
Louis Rose vs. Emanuel Ledezma; Santa Monica, California; Off TV
Rose is a one-loss prospect that has apparently rounded into form since an inexplicable loss to journeyman Tony Hirsch in 2012.  He broke into the top 50 (maybe the top 25) with a convincing victory over gatekeeper/prospect hybrid Paul Mendez in October.  Well, convincing for everyone except two really awful judges in Susan Thomas-Gitlin and Michael Tate, whose scores led to an absolutely ludicrous draw.  Ledezma is a fellow one-loss prospect whose loss came against decent 6-0 prospect Albert Onolunose back in 2006.  He has, however, had draws since then against a pair of very mediocre opponents, and he’s been fairly inactive overall.  Edge to Rose.  The fight will be contested right around the middleweight limit, but is likely to leak over.  Combined with the fact that Rose is more established at super middle, I decided to discuss it here exclusively unless it does turn out to be a middleweight fight.

 

Friday
Don George vs. Troy Lowry; Hammond, Indiana; Off TV
George has been off 10 months since a brutal beating suffered at the hands of Caleb Truax.  He’s getting back in the game slowly, taking on the experienced but non-threatening Troy Lowry, an inactive lower-mid-level journeyman who made 154 just two fights ago in early 2012. 

 

Saturday
Callum Smith vs. Francois Bastient; Manchester, England; Sky Sports 2 (UK)
Smith is an impressive young Liverpool prospect who is tall for the weight class at 6’3″.  Bastient is a veteran but rather mediocre journeyman from France.  Shouldn’t be too difficult a night for the young Brit.

Middleweight: 2014, Apr 7-13

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 4, 2014 by danboxing
For reasons I discussed in depth in the super middleweight update, the Stevens-Johnson fight has no clear and legitimate result, and thus is not treated as a significant contest, unfortunately.  Since it was a super middleweight fight, I’ve discussed the details in my 168 update, and won’t discuss it in any more depth here.

 

The other Friday fight of note was in Belfast, where one-loss Northern Irish prospect Eamonn O’Kane scored a highlight-reel KO on high-level journeyman Alvaro Gaona in the first round.  It came on a vicious right hand that landed in an exchange and left Gaona slumping on the ropes and out cold.

 

O’Kane’s lone professional conqueror was in action the following night in London.  John Ryder met less-advanced fellow one-loss prospect Jez Wilson in an eliminator for the British title.  The end came in the 9th, when Wilson was dropped and stopped, having suffered a broken jaw in two places.  I can’t find a video of the fight, so that’s all I can report.

 

In the week’s middleweight headliner later that night, #11 Marco Antonio Rubio scored a highlight reel knockout of Italy’s Domenico Spada in Chihuahua, Mexico.  Even with that conclusive an ending, though, I’m not sure I am willing to give Rubio full credit for the win.  Referee Jon Schorle, the most disgraceful excuse for a neutral arbiter in the entire sport, repeatedly took unwarranted points from Spada.  Even worse, every time the shorter Spada would work his way in on Rubio, Schorle would break the fighters despite all 4 relevant hands being completely free.  If Spada had the audacity to land a punch, he never got a chance to follow up, because Schorle simply couldn’t allow that kind of thing to go on in his ring.  I don’t like to jump to these kinds of conclusions about a guy’s motives, but let me just say that if Jon Schorle wasn’t paid specifically to assist Rubio in the fight, then he sold himself short.  The last time I saw such a blatant attempt to slant the results of a fight in a particular direction by a referee was in Agbeko-Mares I, when Russell Mora almost singlehandedly won the fight for Mares.  It might be worth noting that one of the only other times that would come close was when Schorle himself disqualified Carlos Molina for having the audacity to be clearly beating James Kirkland.  Schorle is either the most corrupt or the most selectively incompetent referee in, at a minimum, the United States.  What makes Schorle’s performance even more fishy here is that he didn’t seem to want to even warn Spada for anything, much less needlessly break the fighters, until the 6th, when heavy underdog Spada was clearly pulling ahead in the fight.  Even despite the two atrocious point deductions in a single round, and taking into account a lost round in round 8 when the Canal 5 video signal froze mid-round, I had Spada up 86-84 at the time of the stoppage, and I don’t think it was anything better than even for Rubio, if the judges themselves were on the level.

 

Now maybe the knockout punch itself didn’t have anything to do with Schorle, but giving Rubio full credit for this victory would be akin to congratulating a fighter for beating an opponent who was wearing handcuffs for half the fight.  If I needed to, I would treat this fight as a no contest.  But luckily it’s not necessary to make that decision.  Spada, despite the fact that he’s long been a gatekeeper, hadn’t fought anyone even half-decent in nearly 2 years, which led to boxrec’s system docking him enough points to make him look like an upper mid-level journeyman.  Normally I’d take a critical look at whether that diminishment was warranted, but it’s not worth it here.  Regardless of whether it’s based on referee tampering or Spada’s lack of credentials, this fight shouldn’t count in any way that could conceivably affect the rankings.  For all intents and purposes, it was fixed.

 

On the Rubio-Spada undercard, one-loss local prospect Marcos Reyes dispatched Brazilian veteran journeyman Idiozan Matos in the 2nd.  Matos was actually clever enough at getting shots in while being backed up that I gave him the first round, as Reyes seemed to be reaching in too much.  The second was a different story.  Reyes was able to get into range with his feet alone, and put Matos down early in the round.  From there, the Brazilian just couldn’t keep the Chihuahua man off him, and went down two more times.  The third knockdown looked as much like a submission to Reyes’ pressure as anything else, and referee Ricardo Manjarrez appropriately waved it off.

 

No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (208-208-208)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. # 8 JMW Miguel Cotto
If there was any lingering doubt, Martinez-Cotto is now on for June 7 at Madison Square Garden.
1) Gennady Golovkin (17-84-147)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
A fight between Golovkin and Julio Cesar Chavez appears to be nearly done for July 19 at 168.
2) Felix Sturm (17-551-551)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- TKO2 #3 Darren Barker
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #8 Sam Soliman (UNR)
Soliman has obfuscated his clear banned stimulant violation to the point that he has perhaps most people thinking he was totally clean.  He wasn’t.  And he didn’t win that fight even if he had been.  Sturm got screwed all the way around, and now he’s forced to rematch the Australian, who deserves the opportunity much less than would Macklin, Murray, or Geale.  But that’s what we’ve got.  May 31 in Krefeld.
3) Daniel Geale (7-251-251)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #5 Matthew Macklin
Geale is apparently set to fight Macklin in an intriguing fight on May 24 in the US, on HBO.
4) Martin Murray (7-123-123)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- W* (PTS8) vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: 4/23/2014- vs. Ishmail Tetteh (UNR)
Murray will look to shake off some rust in Kempton Park, South Africa on April 23, fighting very low-level Ghanaian journeyman Ishmail Tetteh.
5) Matthew Macklin (12-146-237)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #3 Daniel Geale
See Geale’s notes, above.
6) Peter Quillin (12-77-98)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Lukas Konecny (UNR)
Quillin will fight former 154-pound fringe contender Lukas Konecny, who will be making his first appearance in a meaningful fight at 160 on the Hopkins-Shumenov undercard on April 19 in D.C.
7) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (12-17-17)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Ricardo Ramallo (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/16/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
N’Dam will fight in Santa Monica, California on April 16.
8) Sam Soliman (12-17-17)
Last Fight: 12/11/2013- TKO9 Les Sherrington (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #2 Felix Sturm
Soliman cheated with a stimulant, won by ridiculous robbery before being stripped of the victory, and now he gets what I would argue is an undeserved chance at a do-over.
9) Sergio Mora (12-41-41)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
10) Osumanu Adama (10-10-10)
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.
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (10-167)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- KO10* Domenico Spada (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
Rubio finished a rigged fight against Domenico Spada in style, but he was losing the fight at the time, and may have lost it entirely if Jon Schorle hadn’t yelled “break” every time his opponent landed a punch or got close to Rubio.
12) Anthony Mundine (10-167)
Last Fight: 1/29/2014- UD10 Gunnar Jackson (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/9/2014- vs. Joshua Clottey (UNR) (at JMW)
Mundine confirms that he will be fighting, of all people, the long-forgotten Joshua Clottey on April 9, and then perhaps Erislandy Lara in July if that works out for him.
13) Jarrod Fletcher (10-10)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown
Fletcher is said to be among those being considered for a June 1 fight with Dmitry Chudinov in Russia.
14) Max Bursak (10-167)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L* (UD12) vs. Jarrod Fletcher (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
He didn’t get robbed, and it’s hard to feel sorry for him considering how dirty he fought, but I did think Bursak deserved better than a loss against Fletcher.
15) Grzegorz Proksa (2-156)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Matthew Hall (UNR)
Proksa will fight British journeyman Matthew Hall on April 19.
16) Caleb Truax (2-29)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (UD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Truax’s status as a promising prospect has been derailed somewhat by the very tough Ossie Duran.
17) Curtis Stevens (2-36)
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.
18) Andrey Meryasev (2-22)
Last Fight: 11/4/2013- UD10 Sergio Sanders (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I’ve still yet to see Meryasev in action, but his win over Sanders at this point in his career proves that he’s a real prospect.
19) Daniel Jacobs (2-33)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- TKO1 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Easy work for Jacobs against Nunez.  He’s looking for a title fight- probably against Quillin- at the earliest opportunity.
20) Dmitry Chudinov (2-2)
Last Fight: 12/21/2013- TKO6 Juan Camilo Novoa (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/1/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chudinov will return on June 1, and Jarrod Fletcher and Patrick Nielsen- both excellent options- are being considered for the fight.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Saturday
#16 SMW Andy Lee vs. Frank Haroche Horta; Esbjerg, Denmark; BoxNation (UK)
Lee is said to be moving down to light middle, but this fight is contracted closer to 160.  In reality, all he’s doing here is dragging a light middleweight up to face him at his own weight.  Haroche Horta is a steady operator on the European scene, but probably lacks the talent to compete seriously with a guy on Lee’s apparent level.  That said, Lee has long been hyped significantly above his level of actual achievement.

 

Chris Eubank, Jr. vs. Sandor Micsko; London, England; BoxNation (UK)
Eubank is an undefeated British prospect and the son of a legend.  Micsko is just another name on the resume, and his night is likely to end the same way his name does.
 
 
In addition, Mundine fights Clottey this Wednesday at 154, but I will mention it here only as it affects the rankings.

Super Middleweight: 2013, Nov 25- Dec 1

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on January 19, 2014 by danboxing
Saturday’s Froch-Groves fight in Manchester, England could hardly have been more intriguing.  Groves blitzed Froch in the first round, dropping the top contender heavily with a vicious right hand, and generally overwhelming the Nottingham superstar.  Froch wasn’t particularly sharp at this stage, and perhaps expected Groves to try and outbox him, rather than press the action.  Based on the clear contrast between his trademark pithy wit and the meandering ramble-fest that characterized his post-fight comments this time, it’s pretty clear that Froch was concussed, and that almost certainly was a result of the beating he took in the first round.  With that being the case, perhaps it’s not as surprising as it may have seemed in the moment that Froch lost probably 5 of the next 6 rounds (my original scorecard was lost to computer issues, but that’s my best recollection of it), as Groves got back to his boxing, and was nothing short of masterful in beating Froch to the punch and frustrating the heavy favorite.  The British broadcasters had Froch essentially needing a knockout or multiple knockdowns by the 9th, at which point I had him well behind, but still redeemable at either 77-74 or 78-73.  But by the end of the 8th, Froch had begun to take over as he attacked with more urgency and Groves began to visibly tire.  In the 9th, Groves got lit up with a barrage of punches, and badly hurt, began to stagger away with his hands down as Froch pressed forward.  Referee Howard Foster stepped in at that point, and controversially stopped the fight.

 

I did think the stoppage was a little quick, since Groves had little or no time to regain his composure and demonstrate whether or not he could continue to defend himself.  That being said, I think the answer to that issue is probably that he could not have, and most likely the fight would have been legitimately stopped a few seconds later after Groves ate a few more devastating punches.  Froch also made a good-point post fight when he opined that the referee could not allow Groves to take what would essentially have been a free shot from a puncher of Froch’s caliber.  In any case, it’s hard for me to imagine the fight ending as anything but a stoppage win for Froch, though I suppose stranger things have happened in the sport.  In the end, there was really no loser.  Froch got the “W,” while Groves pretty clearly established himself as elite, even in defeat.  He may also have set up a big money rematch, though that remains to be seen.

 

Andy Lee saw fairly unimportant action on the undercard, dropping Hungarian journeyman Ferenc Hafner 3 times en route to a TKO in the first half of the 2nd round in a fight contested in the low 160s.

 

In terms of the rankings, it’s a wash.  I don’t give fighters credit for losing unless they earned the win.  For all of Groves’ success, he fell short of that.  As for Froch, he can’t be punished for a gutsy TKO win, and even if I were to do so, he’s so far ahead of #2 Robert Stieglitz that it wouldn’t make a difference.  No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (102-236-236)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says he would fight Golovkin or Hopkins, but seems to doubt that either of them wants to fight him.
1) Carl Froch (79-389-389)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO9 #8 George Groves
Next Fight: Unknown
After a grueling fight that showed Froch returning to his pre-Super 6 ways by pulling one out of the fire late, Froch has a very credible and vehement rematch challenge in his lap, courtesy of George Groves. 
2) Robert Stieglitz (36-222-222)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- UD12 Isaac Ekpo (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. #4 Arthur Abraham
Abraham has announced a date of February 1 for his trilogy bout with Stieglitz.
3) Mikkel Kessler (50-468-468)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
After meeting with Kessler, his promoter says he won’t be fighting anytime soon, and Kessler hinted at possible retirement immediately after the Froch fight.  It’s not looking good for Kessler fans.
4) Arthur Abraham (28-214-214)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Giovanni De Carolis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stieglitz’s notes, above.
5) Brandon Gonzales (22-22-22)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzales says he is planning to fight again in early 2014, but nothing too specific right now.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (9-130-178)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: 1/18/2014- vs. LHW #18 Eleider Alvarez (at LHW)
Oosthuizen barely survived an upset for the second fight in a row.  His promoter says it’s clear that he’s outgrown 168, so it’s very unlikely we’ll see him here again.  He had a pre-arranged fight set up with Eleider Alvarez at 175 at last check.
7) Ezequiel Maderna (3-3-48)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #6 Thomas Oosthuizen
Next Fight: Unknown
I doubt he’ll get much love from the alphabets for his effort, but I think you could make a better case for him winning than losing against Oosthuizen, though I had it a draw personally.
8) George Groves (3-50-72)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- L (TKO9) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
While I think the result of a TKO loss was an inevitable one, I also don’t fault Groves for the ultimatum he recently issued to Froch: rematch or retire.  Obviously he can’t make Froch do that, but I think he earned the rematch, and I think there’s a lot of money in it for both guys.
9) James DeGale (2-25-111)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 Dyah Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
DeGale is agitating for a title fight after beating Davis, and thinks Froch and Groves are ducking him.
10) Christopher Rebrasse (2-2-25)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #10 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye
Next Fight: Unknown
Rebrasse’s unnecessary rematch with Ndiaye appears to have been cancelled. 
11) Sakio Bika (2-347)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- MD12 Marco Antonio Periban (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/7/2013- vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Bika will be fighting Anthony Dirrell on the Malignaggi-Judah undercard on December 7.
12) Maxim Vlasov (3-55)
Last Fight: 11/4/2013- TKO6 Artem Redko (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/5/2013- vs. Maxell Taylor (UNR)
Fresh off his win over Redko, Vlasov will go stateside and fight Baltimore journeyman Maxell Taylor in Orange County, California on Thursday, December 5.
13) Edwin Rodriguez (3-45)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez was overweight, dirty, and outclassed.  Not a good night.  He’s probably done with 168, at any rate.
 14) Andy Lee (9-28)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013-TKO2 Ferenc Hafner (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Ryoto Murata (9-14)
Last Fight: 8/25/2013- TKO2 #14 MW Akio Shibata
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. Dave Peterson (UNR)
Murata is back in action on December 6 in Tokyo against unproven Minnesota prospect Dave Peterson.  He also recently signed with Top Rank, which gives hardcore US fans hope that we might see him eventually.  The next step after Peterson is probably a February fight in Macau.
16) Caleb Truax (9-23)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO4 Ceresso Fort (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 1/3/2014- vs. Derek Ennis (UNR)
Truax’s January 3 kickoff to 2014 will be on Friday Night Fights against Derek Ennis.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (9-39)
Last Fight: 10/17/2013- TKO1 Raimonds Sniedze (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Glen Johnson (9-30)
Last Fight: 4/19/2013- TKO2 Junior Ramos (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Johnson needs to schedule a fight at 168 before mid-December to keep his ranking.
19) Badou Jack (9-19)
Last Fight: 9/12/2013- Draw (MD12) vs. Marco Antonio Periban (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Jack will be back in action against an opponent to be announced on a December 6 ShoBox telecast.
20) Don Mouton (9-9)
Last Fight: 5/13/2013- L* (UD8) vs. #10 Anthony Dirrell
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: Despite a pretty busy week in the sport as a whole, Super Middleweight doesn’t have anything significant scheduled.

Super Middleweight: 2013, Nov 18-24

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2014 by danboxing
Champ Andre Ward successfully defended his title in dominant fashion on Saturday against #13 Edwin Rodriguez, who came in 2 pounds overweight, but failed to turn his size advantage into any kind of tangible results.  After a close first round, Ward reeled off 11 straight.  His jab, which he shot like a piston while darting in from angles, was consistently landing as if it was a lead right hand, instead.  The biggest single story of the fight, however, was an ugly episode in the fourth, in which Ward hit Rodriguez low, Rodriguez jerked his head down, got caught over the top in that clinch, and then threw about 5 punches after referee Jack Reiss had wrestled Ward away, one of which hit Reiss himself.  Reiss recommended fines for both fighters to the commission, and then deducted two points from each for intentional fouls.  Honestly, that may have been a bit harsh against Ward, whose foul or fouls was/were pretty ordinary in character.  But it did send a strong message, and the fight was much cleaner thereafter.  It had been extremely grabby and otherwise dirty before that.

 

A bit earlier in the night, #10 James DeGale mostly had his way with inactive fringe contender Dyah Davis in Bluewater, Kent.  DeGale- whose career has mostly been stalled in neutral while he wins in underwhelming fashion during recent fights- did have one lull mid-fight, but generally controlled it in every way for the majority of the duration.  Davis fell behind early, and didn’t really have the power to seriously challenge from that position.  I scored it 117-111, while all of the official judges had it a resaonable 118-110.

 

On the non-televised Ward-Rodriguez undercard, #5 Brandon Gonzales did little more than keep busy against undefeated but untested Arkansas prospect Jonathan Nelson, winning a comfortable 10-round decision.

 

Undefeated Russian Fedor Chudinov- brother of notable middleweight Dmitry- dominated light middleweight gatekeeper Jimmy Colas to a 10-round shutout in Podolsk, Russia on Friday.  Both guys were just short of top-50 status in this division going in, but I figure I should mention it since I teased it last week.  Chudinov will be a definite notable going forward.

 

Returning to Saturday, Argentine 154-pound gatekeeper Mateo Veron moved up all the way to 168 to defeat gatekeeper Ricardo Ramallo.  Well, not quite.  Veron weighed in at just 162, while Ramallo scaled 164.5.  It was a pretty wild, entertaining fight.  Veron’s technique has the relative length of Thomas Hearns, but wings punches from crazy angles with everything he has.  Ramallo likes to potshot from the outside, as well, but was more careful about picking his shots.  Nevertheless, Veron’s relentless motor allowed him to grind down the bigger man, even after absorbing a significant knockdown in the opening round.  Veron most likely evened things up with a dominant and punishing second round that didn’t feature a knockdown, but was probably 10-8 anyway.  He went on to win every round after that, and caught a fatigued-looking Ramallo with a crazy uppercut from way on the outside that landed right on the button.  This had to be one of the best fights in the division this year.

 

DeGale’s win gets him a promotion to #9, though he probably would have landed there anyway, since Sakio Bika’s best win in the previous five years exceeded that 5-year threshold this week and is thus no longer considered.  Accordingly, Bika falls from #9 to #11- his first time out of the top 10 in 40 weeks.  This allows Christopher Rebrasse to reprise his role as a top-10 fighter after just one week away.  None of the other fights leads to any change that shows up in the top 20.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (101-235-235)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says he would fight Golovkin or Hopkins, but seems to doubt that either of them wants to fight him.
1) Carl Froch (78-388-388)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- UD12 #3 Mikkel Kessler
Next Fight: 11/23/2013- vs. #8 George Groves
Froch-Groves is set for November 23 in Manchester.
2) Robert Stieglitz (35-221-221)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- UD12 Isaac Ekpo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stieglitz and Abraham’s recent wins over mediocre competition sets them up for a likely trilogy battle in early 2014, which the WBO has now ordered.
3) Mikkel Kessler (49-467-467)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
After meeting with Kessler, his promoter says he won’t be fighting anytime soon, and Kessler hinted at possible retirement immediately after the Froch fight.  It’s not looking good for Kessler fans.
4) Arthur Abraham (27-213-213)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Giovanni De Carolis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Abraham-Stieglitz III is being negotiated.
5) Brandon Gonzales (21-21-21)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzales will fight undefeated but untested prospect Jonathan Nelson on the Ward-Rodriguez undercard.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (8-129-177)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: 1/18/2014- vs. LHW #18 Eleider Alvarez (at LHW)
Oosthuizen barely survived an upset for the second fight in a row.  His promoter says it’s clear that he’s outgrown 168, so it’s very unlikely we’ll see him here again.  He had a pre-arranged fight set up with Eleider Alvarez at 175 at last check.
7) Ezequiel Maderna (2-2-47)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #6 Thomas Oosthuizen
Next Fight: Unknown
I doubt he’ll get much love from the alphabets for his effort, but I think you could make a better case for him winning than losing against Oosthuizen, though I had it a draw personally.
8) George Groves (2-49-71)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- TKO5 Noe Gonzalez (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/23/2013- vs. #1 Carl Froch
Groves and Froch will face off on November 23 in Manchester.
9) James DeGale (1-24-110)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 Dyah Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
DeGale is agitating for a title fight after beating Davis, and thinks Froch and Groves are ducking him.
10) Christopher Rebrasse (1-1-24)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #10 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye
Next Fight: Unknown
Rebrasse’s unnecessary rematch with Ndiaye appears to have been cancelled. 
11) Sakio Bika (1-346)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- MD12 Marco Antonio Periban (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/7/2013- vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Bika will be fighting Anthony Dirrell on the Malignaggi-Judah undercard on December 7.
12) Maxim Vlasov (2-54)
Last Fight: 11/4/2013- TKO6 Artem Redko (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/5/2013- vs. Maxell Taylor (UNR)
Fresh off his win over Redko, Vlasov will go stateside and fight Baltimore journeyman Maxell Taylor in Orange County, California on Thursday, December 5.
13) Edwin Rodriguez (2-44)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez was overweight, dirty, and outclassed.  Not a good night.
 14) Andy Lee (8-27)
Last Fight: 5/15/2013- TKO1 Darryl Cunningham (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/23/2013- vs. Ferenc Hafner (UNR)
Lee now says he’s in talks to fight Macklin in March.
15) Ryoto Murata (8-13)
Last Fight: 8/25/2013- TKO2 #14 MW Akio Shibata
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. Dave Peterson (UNR)
Murata is back in action on December 6 in Tokyo against unproven Minnesota prospect Dave Peterson.  He also recently signed with Top Rank, which gives hardcore US fans hope that we might see him eventually.  The next step after Peterson is probably a February fight in Macau.
16) Caleb Truax (8-22)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO4 Ceresso Fort (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 1/3/2014- vs. Derek Ennis (UNR)
Truax’s January 3 kickoff to 2014 will be on Friday Night Fights against Derek Ennis.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (8-38)
Last Fight: 10/17/2013- TKO1 Raimonds Sniedze (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Glen Johnson (8-29)
Last Fight: 4/19/2013- TKO2 Junior Ramos (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Johnson needs to schedule a fight at 168 before mid-December to keep his ranking.
19) Badou Jack (8-18)
Last Fight: 9/12/2013- Draw (MD12) vs. Marco Antonio Periban (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Jack will be back in action against an opponent to be announced on a December 6 ShoBox telecast.
20) Don Mouton (8-8)
Last Fight: 5/13/2013- L* (UD8) vs. #10 Anthony Dirrell
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: #1 Carl Froch takes on #8 George Groves in what will be a huge event in England on Saturday.

 

On the undercard, Andy Lee gets a stay-busy outing against low-level Hungarian journeyman Ferenc Hafner.

Middleweight: 2013, May 20-26

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on May 27, 2013 by danboxing
In the weekend’s most important fight Friday in Moscow, undefeated Russian Dmitry Chudinov vaulted to prominence with a fairly short yet dominant performance against gatekeeper Grady Brewer, who at 42 is now rendered a decided journeyman, and will not be mentioned in his own right again until he gets another good win or two under his belt.  As for Chudinov, he isn’t particularly quick and clubs a bit with his punches, but he does have some heavy-handed power, it would appear.  Chudinov had the upper hand throughout what amounted to a glorified sparring session, and after three rounds, Brewer appeared to quit in frustration.  I had no insight into his actual reason for quitting since the broadcast was in Russian, though.

 

Australian fringe contender Garth Wood fought as a middleweight for the first time in 15 months, knocking out low-level journeyman Virgil Kalakoda in the first half of round two in Flemington, Australia.  This win gets him active at middleweight, but he falls short of a ranking.

 

Backing up one more day to Wednesday, Andy Lee had an even shorter night against his own journeyman opponent, dismissing Darryl Cunningham in less than half a round in New York.  That fight was fought at a 162 pound catchweight, and is enough to get Lee a renewed ranking, unsatisfying as it is, at 168.  He still technically has never beaten anyone of note at 160.

 

Chudinov’s easy win over a declining Brewer is enough to sneak him into the rankings at #20, displacing Jose Miguel Torres after 4 weeks.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (162-162-162)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: Unknown
In addition to rightfully doing no better than a draw while beating Murray by way of robbery, Martinez has apparently re-injured his hand and possibly his knee, and is expected to be out of action until 2014.  His mandatory for now is Marco Antonio Rubio, though it’s likely the WBC will pull an Andre Ward and take the full title from him before he returns.  He may take that as an opportunity to go for a much more lucrative Chavez rematch, instead.
1) Martin Murray (4-77-77)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- L* (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez (Robbery- D at worst)
Next Fight: Unknown
Murray absolutely deserves to be Champion, but there is an argument that Sergio deserved a draw, and thus he retains the Championship by the slimmest margin possible.  There’s absolutely no way Murray lost the fight.  I hope (but doubt) that he’ll get a rematch.  Chavez is also trying to get Murray to replace Vera as his August 3 opponent.
2) Daniel Geale (4-205-205)
Last Fight: 1/30/2013- UD12 #11 Anthony Mundine
Next Fight: 8/17/2013- vs. #15 Darren Barker
Geale will get back to action on August 17, making his US debut in just his 3rd fight outside Australia when he takes on Darren Barker at the Turning Stone in New York state.
3) Felix Sturm (4-505-505)
Last Fight: 2/1/2013- L* (UD12) vs. #12 Sam Soliman (on PEDs)
Next Fight: Unknown
The IBF has suspended Sam Soliman for 9 months, and will put Sturm in another eliminator for a shot at Geale.
4) Gennady Golovkin (4-38-101)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- KO3 #19 Nobuhiro Ishida
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. #5 Matthew Macklin
Golovkin-Macklin appears to be on for June 29 on HBO, and that’s huge.
5) Matthew Macklin (4-100-191)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- TKO1 Joachim Alcine (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. #4 Gennady Golovkin
See Golovkin’s notes, above.
6) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (4-103-121)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: 8/3/2013- vs. #18 Bryan Vera
Chavez has apparently settled on Bryan Vera for his next outing, which has been delayed to August 3.  He’s also trying to replace Vera with Martin Murray.
7) Peter Quillin (4-31-52)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- TKO7 Fernando Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Quillin looked pretty darned good and as powerful as ever against Guerrero, scoring 4 knockdowns and getting his man out of there.
8) Dmitry Pirog (4-147-147)
Last Fight: 5/1/2012- UD12 #20 Nobuhiro Ishida
Next Fight: Unknown
After bleak reports of his back injury situation surfaced over recent weeks, finally we get a bit of hopeful news, as Pirog’s US promoter Art Pelullo says that Pirog is hoping to return in late August if all goes well.
9) Grzegorz Proksa (4-110-110)
Last Fight: 2/9/2013- UD6 Norbert Szekeres (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/28/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Proksa will bounce back from a hand injury and return on June 28 in the US.  No further details yet.
10) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (12-12-134)
Last Fight: 10/20/2012- L (UD12) vs. #20 Peter Quillin
Next Fight: Unknown
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (10-121)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- UD12 Marcus Upshaw (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rubio will likely fight for an interim alphabet title against totally undeserving Polish one-loss prospect Patrick Majewski, with July 27 in Mexico being the target.  How Majewski is being considered for this opportunity when his last significant fight was a loss to the otherwise anonymous Jose Miguel Torres is beyond me.
12) Anthony Mundine (10-121)
Last Fight: 1/30/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown
Mundine expects to fight again in late June or July, but doesn’t know against whom or in what division yet.  He has hinted he may be moving back down to 154, and has recently agitated for fights with Trout and Mayweather- both of whom have bigger/smaller fish to fry, I would think.
13) Osumanu Adama (10-113)
Last Fight: 3/16/2012- W(SD10) vs. Grady Brewer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Adama came in heavy and nearly lost to 42 year-old Grady Brewer.  The fact that he missed weight by only a half pound gives him the opportunity to schedule a middleweight fight by September 7 to maintain a ranking, though.
14) Akio Shibata (3-3)
Last Fight: W (TD9) vs. #18 Makoto Fuchigami
Next Fight: Unknown
Shibata made good on his move up to 160, becoming the clear Japanese champion and the best middleweight in Asia.
15) Darren Barker (3-84)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- RTD4 Simone Rotolo (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/17/2013- vs. #2 Daniel Geale
Barker will get his second big opportunity to rise to the top, as he takes on #2 Daniel Geale in New York state August 17.
16) Max Bursak (3-121)
Last Fight: 2/2/2013- TKO3 Julien Marie Sainte (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/13/2013- vs. Prince Arron (UNR)
Bursak will defend his European belt against fallen former British 154 Champion Prince Arron on July 13.  This will be on the very good Monaco card that night.
17) Demetrius Andrade (3-92)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- UD10 Freddy Hernandez (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: 7/6/2013- vs. Zaurbek Baysangurov (UNR) (at JMW)
Andrade will finally have a significant fight at the 154 pound limit, as he challenges for the ridiculous title of Russia’s Zaurbek Baysangurov in Kiev.
18) Bryan Vera (3-31)
Last Fight: 3/29/2013- TKO7* Donatas Bondorovas (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/3/2013- vs. #6 Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.
Vera’s fight with Chavez has been delayed to August 3, and Chavez appears willing to jump ship for Martin Murray if the opportunity arises.
19) Nobuhiro Ishida (5-64)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- L (KO3) vs. #3 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Ishida said before the Golovkin fight that he’d retire if he lost.  But that could have just been posturing.  I won’t remove him as a retired fighter until I find some post-fight confirmation of his intentions.
20) Dmitry Chudinov (1-1)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- RTD3 Grady Brewer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The version of Grady Brewer that Chudinov quickly broke to earn his ranking was clearly not the same guy that knocked out Fernando Guerrero, but still had enough credibility to sneak the young Russian into the rankings.

 

The Week Ahead: Nothing going on at 160 this week.

Super Middleweight: 2013, May 20-26

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on May 23, 2013 by danboxing
Last week’s #13 James DeGale had a good-looking performance in his North American debut, knocking out local journeyman Sebastian Demers in just 2 rounds in Quebec.

 

As for #19 Hadillah Mohoumadi, his scheduled fight with Giovanni De Carolis was pushed back until June 22.

 

Last week’s #4 Lucian Bute is removed this week, as he has rescheduled his light heavyweight fight with Pascal for a date after the 18-month anniversary of his last fight at 168 (and more than a year after his last fight near 168).  Bute had been in the top ten for 370 weeks straight.  Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye makes his top 10 debut.

 

Sometimes I think Andy Lee wakes up every morning trying to figure out ways to make my rankings difficult.  I spent hours on end choosing and then justifying in writing the guy that would take the #20 vacancy, which ultimately was Don Mouton.  But then when I was about to perform my middleweight update, I noticed that Andy Lee had, as he practically always does, fought slightly above the weight class that he claims.  His otherwise pointless stay-busy fight with Darryl Cunningham (which he won in less than 90 seconds) was contested at a contract weight of 162, it would appear.  While Lee is considered a middleweight contender, he’s never won a significant fight while weighing 160 or under.  But he’s also never done so weighing more than 163.  That’s very awkward, but the truth is they have to count for something somewhere.  Since he’s not technically rateable at 160 at all, that place has to be here.  Honestly, I bent my rules a bit back in February to remove him for inactivity at 168 when he beat a journeyman less than a pound over 160.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have done that, but in any case I can’t help but restore him to the rankings now.  Still, he can’t reasonably get full credit for beating a slew of middleweights a tiny amount over 160.  He therefore returns at #18, between Don George and Hadillah Mohoumadi.  Mouton’s 3-day tenure in the top 20 will have to go down in the books as unofficial.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (75-209-209)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward has tossed his “Emeritus” title from the WBC, ostensibly in protest of their laughable decision to pluck his belt and hand it to the winner of a fight between Sakio Bika (whom he beat) and Marco Antonio Periban (a prospect so unproven that he’s not even ranked in the top 20 of this pathetically shallow division).  The other convenient effect of the decision is that he has no reason to have to fight the winner if he doesn’t want to.
1) Carl Froch (52-362-362)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- KO3 LHW #11 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #3 Mikkel Kessler
The deal is done.  Froch will get a rematch with Kessler on May 25 in London.
2) Robert Stieglitz (9-195-195)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- TKO3 #2 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: Unknown
After being blitzed by an uncharacteristically aggressive Stieglitz, Abraham has demanded a trilogy bout, which Stieglitz seems disposed to grant.  Sauerland also seems to be on board.
3) Mikkel Kessler (23-441-441)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO3 Brian Magee (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #1 Carl Froch
See Froch’s notes, above.
4) Arthur Abraham (1-187-187)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- L (TKO3) vs. #5 Robert Stieglitz
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stieglitz’s notes above.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (1-103-151)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. Brandon Gonzales (UNR)
Oosthuizen will be fighting highly overrated and nominally “undefeated ” prospect Brandon Gonzales on the Golovkin-Macklin undercard.
6) Adonis Stevenson (1-76-76)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- TKO6 Darnell Boone (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: 6/8/2013- vs. LHW #1 Chad Dawson (at LHW)
After tending to unfinished business with the lowly Boone, Stevenson will now set sites on #1 light heavyweight Chad Dawson, who most outlets still consider the Champ.
7) George Groves (1-23-45)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- TKO2 Baker Barakat (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. Noe Gonzalez (UNR)
Groves will fight Uruguayan gatekeeper Noe Gonzalez on the Froch-Kessler undercard.
8) Sakio Bika (1-14-320)
Last Fight: 2/16/2013- UD12 Nikola Sjekloca (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/22/2013- vs. Marco Antonio Periban (UNR)
Bika will fight undefeated Mexican Marco Antonio Periban in California on June 22 for the WBC belt that that organization just heisted from Andre Ward.
9) Will Rosinsky (1-3-49)
Last Fight: 12/19/2012- UD10 Otis Griffin (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Rosinsky has been added to the Golovkin-Macklin undercard, but no opponent yet.
10) Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (1-1-80)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W (PTS6) vs. Jevgenijs Andrejevs (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/8/2013- vs. Christopher Rebrasse (UNR)
Ndiaye battles French gatekeeper Christopher Rebrasse on June 8 in Italy.
11) Dimitri Sartison (1-151)
Last Fight: 1/27/2013- UD6 Artem Solomko (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sartison’s fight in St. Petersburg, Russia this week appears to have been canceled.
12) James DeGale (1-84)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- KO2 Sebastian Demers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
DeGale turned in a solid performance against journeyman Sebastian Demers, a short-notice opponent who’s seen better days.
13) Maxim Vlasov (1-28)
Last Fight: 12/30/2012- RTD7 Geard Ajetovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Edwin Rodriguez (1-18)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- W* (UD10) vs. #15 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: 7/13/2013- vs. #15 LHW Denis Grachev (at LHW)
After getting the benefit of yet another questionable but not totally out-of-bounds decision against Maderna, Rodriguez remains in the mix, but kinda on the periphery of the division’s contenders.  He gets a chance at a million bucks against Grachev, who also arguably deserved to lose his first round fight.
15) Ezequiel Maderna (1-21)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- L* (UD10) vs. #17 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Maderna, despite arguably deserving a win against Rodriguez, did himself few favors in dropping the decision, especially considering how ugly the fight was.  I don’t imagine he’ll be getting too many international suitors anytime soon since he seems difficult to look good against.
16) Dyah Davis (1-13)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- L (TKO10) vs. #9 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: Unknown
Davis said on May 4 via Twitter that “a particular some(one)” called him on May 3 for a fight, and that based on “that performance” he’d better not call again.  That seems like a veiled reference to Anthony Dirrell to me.  He says he’s looking at a return date of July 19, which also fits reasonably well with Dirrell’s post-fight statement that he intends to fight at 168 in roughly two months.  If I’m reading the situation accurately, that would give both guys a good opportunity to prove they are for real after each has suffered significant setbacks in and/or out of the ring since their last significant success.
17) Don George (1-9)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. David Lopez (should be win)
Next Fight: 6/21/2013- vs. Caleb Truax (UNR)
Another reasonably decent challenge for George, as he travvels to Caleb Truax’s hometown of Minneapolis for their fight.
18) Andy Lee (1-1)
Last Fight: 5/15/2013- TKO1 Darryl Cunningham (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Yes, I know.  Andy Lee is not a Super Middleweight.  The only problem is he almost exclusively fights as one, if only barely.
18) Hadillah Mohoumadi (3-12)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- UD10 Cedric Bellais (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/22/2013- vs. Giovanni De Carolis (UNR)
Mohoumadi gets a halfway decent outing on June 22 against borderline top 50 Italian Giovanni De Carolis, for the European Union title.
19) Glen Johnson (3-3)
Last Fight: 4/19/2013- TKO2 Junior Ramos (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Johnson should be retired, but instead finds himself clinging to a ranking in a very shallow division.

 

The Week Ahead: Two clashes with top-10 implications are on the docket this week, both on the same card in  London.  #1 Carl Froch takes on #3 Mikkel Kessler in an attempt to revenge his razor-thin 2010 loss to Mikkel Kessler (which I thought he maybe should have won).  A win would transform Froch from the clear best fighter in the division not named Andre Ward to the clear best fighter in the division not named Andre Ward by a mile.  For Kessler, it’s a chance obviously to resume his former spot as the #1 contender and possibly earn himself a rematch with Ward or a fight with another one of the top names at 168 or 175.

 

On the undercard, very busy #7 contender George Groves keeps up his impressive string of activity with a reasonably decent challenge against Uruguayan gatekeeper Noe Gonzalez.

Middleweight: 2013, May 13-19

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on May 13, 2013 by danboxing
One-loss Australian prospect Jarrod Fletcher stopped low-level Ghanaian journeyman Philip Kotey in 6, having dropped him in the 3rd and swept every round.  No changes to the rankings.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (161-161-161)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: Unknown
In addition to rightfully doing no better than a draw while beating Murray by way of robbery, Martinez has apparently re-injured his hand and possibly his knee, and is expected to be out of action until 2014.  His mandatory for now is Marco Antonio Rubio, though it’s likely the WBC will pull an Andre Ward and take the full title from him before he returns.  He may take that as an opportunity to go for a much more lucrative Chavez rematch, instead.
1) Martin Murray (3-76-76)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- L* (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez (Robbery- D at worst)
Next Fight: Unknown
Murray absolutely deserves to be Champion, but there is an argument that Sergio deserved a draw, and thus he retains the Championship by the slimmest margin possible.  There’s absolutely no way Murray lost the fight.  I hope (but doubt) that he’ll get a rematch.  Chavez is also trying to get Murray to replace Vera as his August 3 opponent.
2) Daniel Geale (3-204-204)
Last Fight: 1/30/2013- UD12 #11 Anthony Mundine
Next Fight: Unknown
Geale hopes to announce his next fight this week.  Darren Barker and a stay-busy fight have both been floated.
3) Felix Sturm (3-504-504)
Last Fight: 2/1/2013- L* (UD12) vs. #12 Sam Soliman (on PEDs)
Next Fight: Unknown
The IBF has suspended Sam Soliman for 9 months, and will put Sturm in another eliminator for a shot at Geale.
4) Gennady Golovkin (3-37-100)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- KO3 #19 Nobuhiro Ishida
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. #5 Matthew Macklin
Golovkin-Macklin appears to be on for June 29 on HBO, and that’s huge.
5) Matthew Macklin (3-99-190)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- TKO1 Joachim Alcine (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. #4 Gennady Golovkin
See Golovkin’s notes, above.
6) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (3-102-120)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: 8/3/2013- vs. #18 Bryan Vera
Chavez has apparently settled on Bryan Vera for his next outing, which has been delayed to August 3.  He’s also trying to replace Vera with Martin Murray.
7) Peter Quillin (3-30-51)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- TKO7 Fernando Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Quillin looked pretty darned good and as powerful as ever against Guerrero, scoring 4 knockdowns and getting his man out of there.  He’s hoping to fight Geale next.
8) Dmitry Pirog (3-146-146)
Last Fight: 5/1/2012- UD12 #20 Nobuhiro Ishida
Next Fight: Unknown
After bleak reports of his back injury situation surfaced over recent weeks, finally we get a bit of hopeful news, as Pirog’s US promoter Art Pelullo says that Pirog is hoping to return in late August if all goes well.
9) Grzegorz Proksa (3-109-109)
Last Fight: 2/9/2013- UD6 Norbert Szekeres (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/28/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Proksa will bounce back from a hand injury and return on June 28 in the US.  No further details yet.
10) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (11-11-133)
Last Fight: 10/20/2012- L (UD12) vs. #20 Peter Quillin
Next Fight: Unknown
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (9-120)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- UD12 Marcus Upshaw (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With Martinez (for whom he is the mandatory) sidelined until 2014, Rubio may get a shot at Sergio’s alphabet belt against someone else in the interim.  Alternatively, I think he is also in line for Quillin’s belt, as well.
12) Anthony Mundine (9-120)
Last Fight: 1/30/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown
Mundine expects to fight again in late June or July, but doesn’t know against whom or in what division yet.  He has hinted he may be moving back down to 154, and has recently agitated for fights with Trout and Mayweather- both of whom have bigger/smaller fish to fry, I would think.
13) Osumanu Adama (9-112)
Last Fight: 3/16/2012- W(SD10) vs. Grady Brewer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Adama came in heavy and nearly lost to 42 year-old Grady Brewer.  The fact that he missed weight by only a half pound gives him the opportunity to schedule a middleweight fight by September 7 to maintain a ranking, though.
14) Akio Shibata (2-2)
Last Fight: W (TD9) vs. #18 Makoto Fuchigami
Next Fight: Unknown
Shibata made good on his move up to 160, becoming the clear Japanese champion and the best middleweight in Asia.
15) Darren Barker (2-83)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- RTD4 Simone Rotolo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After apparently losing out to Vera and maybe also to Murray for a shot at Chavez, Barker is now setting his sites on Daniel Geale.
16) Max Bursak (2-120)
Last Fight: 2/2/2013- TKO3 Julien Marie Sainte (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/13/2013- vs. Prince Arron (UNR)
Bursak will defend his European belt against fallen former British 154 Champion Prince Arron on July 13.  This will be on the very good Monaco card that night.
17) Demetrius Andrade (2-91)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- UD10 Freddy Hernandez (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: 7/6/2013- vs. Zaurbek Baysangurov (UNR) (at JMW)
Andrade will finally have a significant fight at the 154 pound limit, as he challenges for the ridiculous title of Russia’s Zaurbek Baysangurov in Kiev.
18) Bryan Vera (2-30)
Last Fight: 3/29/2013- TKO7* Donatas Bondorovas (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/3/2013- vs. #6 Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.
Vera’s fight with Chavez has been delayed to August 3, and Chavez appears willing to jump ship for Martin Murray if the opportunity arises.
19) Nobuhiro Ishida (4-63)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- L (KO3) vs. #3 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Ishida said before the Golovkin fight that he’d retire if he lost.  But that could have just been posturing.  I won’t remove him as a retired fighter until I find some post-fight confirmation of his intentions.
20) Jose Miguel Torres (4-4)
Last Fight: 3/16/2013- TKO4 Javier Gonzalez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Torres sneaks into the rankings based on a nearly 18 month old upset win over Patrick Majewski, but considering the awful opposition he has faced since, I’m not particularly happy about it.

 

The Week Ahead: Wednesday in New York, Andy Lee will see action against mid-level journeyman Darryl Cunningham.

 

The next night in Flemington, Australia, fringe contender Garth Wood looks to stay busy against low-level South African journeyman Virgil Kalakoda.

 

Finally, Friday in Moscow, 42 year-old gatekeeper Grady Brewer looks to do to undefeated but somewhat untested prospect Dmitry Chudinov what he did to Fernando Guerrero a couple years ago.  Brewer may still have some gas in the tank, but has been inconsistent- turning in fine performances against Adama and Guerrero, but laying eggs against Michael Medina and Demetrius Andrade.

Super Middleweight: 2013, Mar 11-17

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on March 11, 2013 by danboxing
#8 George Groves stopped short-notice opponent and halfway decent Argentine journeyman Dario Balmaceda early in Round 3 in their London clash on Saturday.

 

Andy Lee is removed for not fighting over 160.25 for the last year.  Yes, I know…technically that’s still super middleweight, but he’s never really been one, and coming in a quarter-pound heavy for a low level middleweight fight doesn’t mean he deserves to be considered a top 10 super middleweight.

 

Everyone ranked #11-20 last week moves up, including Anthony Dirrell, who has not fought in well over a year due to a motorcycle crash.  He moves up to claim the #10 spot.  This, combined with the ascendancy of a completely finished Glen Johnson to the #20 spot, demonstrates just how weak the division is after the top 9.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (65-199-199)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward’s done with surgery and back in the gym doing light work, but is likely out until at least the Summer.
1) Carl Froch (42-352-352)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- KO3 LHW #11 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #3 Mikkel Kessler
The deal is done.  Froch will get a rematch with Kessler on May 25 in London.
2) Arthur Abraham (13-177-177)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- TKO8 Mehdi Bouadla (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/23/2013- vs. #5 Robert Stieglitz
Abraham will rematch Stieglitz on March 23 in Stieglitz’s hometown of Magdeburg.
3) Mikkel Kessler (13-431-431)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO3 Brian Magee (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #1 Carl Froch
See Froch’s notes, above.
4) Lucian Bute (29-361-361)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 LHW #16 Denis Grachev (at LHW)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Bute appeared to be in line for Bika, and that may still be so, but apparently he has already agreed to fight Jean Pascal.  Both men have good opportunities in front of them already, so we’ll see if this fight will get in the way.
5) Robert Stieglitz (29-185-185)
Last Fight: 8/25/2012- L(UD12) vs. #6 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: 3/23/2013- #2 Arthur Abraham
See Abraham’s notes, above.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (29-93-141)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Oosthuizen was supposed to be fighting in February, but no opponent was ever named, and the fight seems to have quietly vacated the schedule.
7) Adonis Stevenson (22-66-66)
Last Fight: 10/12/2012- TKO12 Don George (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2013- vs. Darnell Boone (UNR)
With his hopes of fighting Carl Froch dashed for the moment, Stevenson will tend to some unfinished business when he tries to avenge his 2010 stoppage loss to Darnell Boone on March 22 in Montreal.
8) George Groves (8-13-35)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- TKO3 Dario Balmaceda (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Groves will fight an as-yet-unnamed opponent on the Froch-Kessler undercard in London on May 25.
9) Sakio Bika (2-4-310)
Last Fight: 2/16/2013- UD12 Nikola Sjekloca (UNR)

Next Fight: Unknown
Bika did as expected and outclassed Sjekloca, and now has a fight with Bute (possibly) on the horizon, with an upside of a theoretical rematch with Andre Ward, or may just end up fighting Ward.
10) Anthony Dirrell (1-1-67)
Last Fight: 12/2/2011- TKO4 Renan St. Juste (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dirrell stated via Twitter on February 20 that he’d be fighting a tune-up in 2 months.  That means roughly mid-April.  It’ll be good to see him back in the ring after coming back from several orthopedic injuries due to a motorcycle crash.
11) Will Rosinsky (1-39)
Last Fight: 12/19/2012- UD10 Otis Griffin (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
According to Rosinsky, he’s got an “unofficially official” date to fight Brandon Gonzales on Friday Night Fights April 12, and is just waiting on Gonzales’ signature.  There are rumors of a Gonzales injury, though, so stay tuned.
12) Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (1-70)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- RTD9 Jose Maria Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Groves withdrew from their scheduled 3/16 European title fight due to promotional changes.
13) Dimitri Sartison (1-141)
Last Fight: 1/27/2013- UD6 Artem Solomko (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) James DeGale (1-74)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- UD12 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/23/2013- vs. Alexander Brand (UNR)
DeGale upgraded his opponent for 3/23 a bit, as he will fight fringe contender Alexander Brand in place of inconsistent Argentine prospect Pablo Farias.
15) Ezequiel Maderna (1-11)
Last Fight: 12/14/2012- RTD7 Claudio Abalos
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #17 Edwin Rodriguez
Maderna gets the first real international break of his career on March 30, when he fights fellow up-and-coming prospect Edwin Rodriguez of Massachusetts by way of the Dominican Republic, with the winner to fight the winner of Erdei-Grachev.  I actually can’t find it anywhere, but the fact that Grachev and especially Erdei are light heavyweights typically would seem to indicate that Maderna-Rodriguez might be at that weight, too.
16) Maxim Vlasov (1-18)
Last Fight: 12/30/2012- RTD7 Geard Ajetovic (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/6/2013- vs. Ruben Acosta (UNR)
Vlasov has been keeping busy against basically a good journeyman level of opposition, and continues that trend by taking on Argentina’s Ruben Acosta in Russia.
17) Edwin Rodriguez (1-8)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO8 Jason Escalera (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #15 Ezequiel Maderna
See Maderna’s notes, above.
18) Dyah Davis (1-3)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- L (TKO10) vs. #9 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Hadillah Mohoumadi (1-2)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- UD10 Cedric Bellais (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mohoumadi isn’t maybe the most obvious choice to be ranked, but he arguably beat DeGale (I thought he did better against him than Groves did) and by most accounts may have beaten Sjekloca, as well.
20) Glen Johnson (1-1)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- L (UD12) vs. #18 George Groves
Next Fight: Unknown
Johnson appears to be done, but the division has weakened to the point that he can reclaim a ranking.
 

 

The Week Ahead: Peter Manfredo, Jr. returns on Friday in Lincoln, Rhode Island against Walter Wright, a journeyman coming off a nearly 3-year layoff. 

 

The following night in Cancun, Mexico, undefeated prospect Marco Antonio Periban fights an unnamed opponent in just a 6-rounder.