Archive for Caleb Truax

Middleweight: 2014, Jul 21-27

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Middleweight: 2014, Jan 6-12

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on April 9, 2014 by danboxing
Caleb Truax fought to a draw with gatekeeper Ossie Duran on Friday at a 163 pound catchweight.  I discussed this fight in its home division at Super Middle in detail and consequently won’t do so here, but it can hardly help but have effects on Truax’s rather high ranking here, as well.  He drops from #14 to #16, allowing Vera and Proksa to move up one spot apiece.  

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (195-195-195)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. # 8 JMW Miguel Cotto
According to fighthype.com, citing anonymous sources close to Cotto, there is now no doubt that Cotto-Martinez will happen on June 7 in New York. 
1) Gennady Golovkin (4-71-134)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- RTD8 #15 Curtis Stevens
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Golovkin returns February 1 in Monte Carlo.  Originally it looked like Murray was the opponent, but he will instead fight former borderline top 10 contender Osumanu Adama, who was removed from a #13 berth in September for failing to make 160 for 18 months.
2) Felix Sturm (4-538-538)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- TKO2 #3 Darren Barker
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman is the #1 contender for Sturm’s alphabet title, and Murray, Macklin, and Geale are both trying to get rematches with him, as well.
3) Martin Murray (4-110-110)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- W* (PTS8) vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. Jarrod Fletcher (UNR)
Murray gets a shot at a second-rate alphabet title on February 1, against Australian prospect Jarrod Fletcher on the Golovkin-Adama undercard.  He says he would like a Sturm rematch after that.
4) Darren Barker (5-21-117)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- L (TKO2) vs. #4 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown
Barker’s body failed him against Sturm, and it’s led to heavy speculation that we may have seen the last of him.  His team has only fueled this speculation further.
5) Daniel Geale (21-238-238)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (SD12) vs. #15 Darren Barker
Next Fight: Unknown
There are rumors of Geale-Golovkin for April 26 in New York.
6) Matthew Macklin (21-133-224)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After a legitimate but very unspectacular win over only moderately proven prospect Lamar Russ, Macklin has joined the chorus of quality middleweights looking for a rematch with Sturm.  He’s also pushing for a fight with Andy Lee.
7) Peter Quillin (37-64-85)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golden Boy is looking to match Quillin with Danny Jacobs in Brooklyn on February 1.  A recent interview indicates he might prefer to fight some of the top contenders, instead.  Unfortunately most of them fight on HBO in this division, while Quillin’s promoter is tied to Showtime.
8) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (4-4-4)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD10 Anthony Fitzgerald (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/15/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
After Andy Lee turned down a proposed fight for March 1, N’Dam will be back on February 15 in Ireland against an opponent yet to be named.
9) Sam Soliman (4-4-4)
Last Fight: 12/11/2013- TKO9 Les Sherrington (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman has been re-installed as the #1 contender to Sturm’s alphabet strap, and will likely get another shot soon.
10) Sergio Mora (4-28-28)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora had hoped to fight Golovkin on February 1, but says he was never offered the fight.
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (4-154)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- KO2 Dionisio Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s not signed yet, but it looks likely that Rubio will fight Domenico Spada in March.
12) Anthony Mundine (4-154)
Last Fight: 11/27/2013- TKO7 #4 WW Shane Mosley (at JMW)
Next Fight: 1/29/2014- vs. Carson Jones (at JMW?)
Mundine will be fighting gatekeeper Carson Jones on January 29 in Brisbane.  Jones is a welterweight who sometimes fights at 154, so I’m just assuming the fight will happen at the latter weight.
13) Max Bursak (4-154)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD8 Gari Abajian (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Bryan Vera (1-64)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L* (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. Julio Cesar Chavez (UNR)
Vera-Chavez II now looks likely for March 1 in either Vegas or Texas, after a proposed February date was abandoned over concerns related to Olympic conflicts.
15) Grzegorz Proksa (1-143)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Proksa had another hand operation in August, but thinks he’ll be ready to go for a proposed February fight in Poland with undefeated prospect Maciej Suleckim.
16) Caleb Truax (1-16)
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 (4-23)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L (RTD8) vs. #2 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: 1/24/2014- vs. Patrick Majewski (UNR)
Stevens will make a surprisingly quick return from a grueling battle with Golovkin.  His January 24 opponent will be one-loss Polish fringe prospect Patrick Majewski.
18) Andrey Meryasev (4-9)
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) Danny Jacobs (4-20)
Last Fight: 8/19/2013- TKO3 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golden Boy is apparently looking to match Jacobs and Quillin on February 1 in Brooklyn.
20) Dmitry Chudinov (4-20)
Last Fight: 12/21/2013- TKO6 Juan Camilo Novoa (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chudinov is said to be in discussions to fight Ricardo Mayorga (who’s still fighting, apparently…) in April.  He’s also been made the mandatory for Martin Murray’s interim alphabet belt.

 

The Week Ahead: Nothing much to talk about for this week.

Super Middleweight: 2014, Jan 6-12

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on April 9, 2014 by danboxing
#16 Caleb Truax got a very tough night on Friday from quintessential gatekeeper Ossie Duran.  I had it 95-95, as did all three judges, even in Truax’s hometown of Minneapolis.  If anybody won it, it was Duran, since I think both myself and the judges happened to have given Truax all of the close rounds, of which there were three by my count.  In the interests of full disclosure, I should tell you that I feel some degree of kinship with Truax, since his surname would indicate likely descent from an Old New York family from which I also descend.  Nevertheless, I think I was and am being fair.

 

Truax falls one spot, swapping places with Hadillah Mohoumadi.  On one hand, Mohoumadi’s best result at this weight was a borderline robbery loss to an 18th-ranked DeGale that I treat as a draw, while Truax owns a win over a #15 contender in George.  That being said, the division was a lot deeper when Mohoumadi fought DeGale, to the extent that #18 then would have been ranked ahead of #15 from a few months ago.  In addition, Mohoumadi owns a significant stoppage win at 175 that, while it doesn’t count to any great extent here, allows us to draw a contrast with the Truax record that features serious success only at catchweights around 163.

 

Duran’s performance- coupled with what should have been a win in 2011 over current #5 Brandon Gonzales- gets him to a place JUST outside the rankings, though he also usually fights around middleweight.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (108-242-242)
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.  In the meantime, he has maybe another fight to deal with that could do more damage to his career than any he has yet met in the ring- a lawsuit against his promoter.  He hopes to be back in March or April, though.  He has expressed interest in both Froch and Groves recently, as well as a potential superfight with Golovkin.
1) Carl Froch (85-395-395)
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.  Rumor has it that he intends to refuse, and has also resisted suggestions that he move up to 175 to fight Stevenson.  His current focus seems to be on trying to make a Ward rematch, which the Champion apparently is not ruling out.
2) Robert Stieglitz (42-228-228)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- UD12 Isaac Ekpo (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. #4 Arthur Abraham
The Abraham-Stieglitz trilogy bout, originally announced for February 1, is now official for March 1, in Stieglitz’s home base of Magdeburg.
3) Mikkel Kessler (56-474-474)
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, though the Viking Warrior recently said, rather vaguely, that he still wants a big fight.
4) Arthur Abraham (34-220-220)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Giovanni De Carolis (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. #2 Robert Stieglitz
See Stieglitz’s notes, above.
5) Brandon Gonzales (28-28-28)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzales was placed in the position of fighting Vlasov in an alphabet eliminator, but it’s unclear at present if that fight is still on the table or not.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (15-136-184)
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 (9-9-54)
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 (9-56-78)
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.  He’s having to resort to personal attacks to try and get a reluctant Froch to agree, however.  If Froch doesn’t come through with the rematch, Ward might come calling.
9) James DeGale (8-31-117)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 Dyah Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Negotiations are underway for an eliminator between DeGale and Periban for a shot at Bika, and promoter Frank Warren is interested in staging a fight between DeGale and Billy Joe Saunders in 2014.
10) Christopher Rebrasse (8-8-31)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- UD6 George Kandelaki (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rebrasse was apparently involved in a December 6 fight that was so under the radar that I missed it until two weeks after it happened.
11) Sakio Bika (8-353)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dirrell wants a rematch, and that’s obviously a worthy endeavor given the legitimate draw the first time around.  In the meantime, machinations are underway for an eliminator between Periban and DeGale, with the winner to become his mandatory.  On Bika’s end, he’d like a unification with Froch.
12) Maxim Vlasov (9-61)
Last Fight: 12/5/2013- KO4 Maxell Taylor (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vlasov appears set for an IBF eliminator, and Brandon Gonzales and Ndiaye appear to be the possibilities to oppose him.
13) Edwin Rodriguez (9-51)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
According to his trainer Ronnie Shields, they might be looking to fight a top-15 level light heavyweight, and have absolutely no intention to ever try to make 168 again.  He’ll be on the shelf for a little while due to bone chip-removal surgery on his elbow in December.
 14) Andy Lee (15-34)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013-TKO2 Ferenc Hafner (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lee has apparently turned down a March 1 fight with Hassan N’Dam.  A Macklin fight might still be in play.
15) Ryota Murata (15-20)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO8 Dave Peterson (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/22/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Murata is slated for a February 22 card in Macau.
16) Hadillah Mohoumadi (1-45)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Caleb Truax (1-29)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (MD12) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Truax may have been a little lucky to escape with a draw against Duran.  I agree with the decision, but it could only have tilted the other way if it tilted at all.
 18) Badou Jack (5-25)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 Rogelio Medina (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jack called out the winner of Bika vs. Dirrell after his win over Medina, but might want to restate, since the fight ended in a draw the following night.
19) Don Mouton (5-15)
Last Fight: 5/13/2013- L* (UD8) vs. #10 Anthony Dirrell
Next Fight: 2/1/2013- vs. Gilberto Ramirez (UNR)
Mouton-Ramirez has been rescheduled for February 1.
20) Anthony Dirrell (5-5)
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).

 

The Week Ahead: Nothing major this week.

Year-End Awards: Middleweight, 2013

Posted in Middleweight, Yearly Awards and Wrap Up with tags , , , , , , , on April 5, 2014 by danboxing
Welcome to my 2nd Annual Yearly Awards and Wrap-Up.  First, a list of awards for the division.  Then, a look at the 20 fighters that did the best work in 2013 specifically, followed by a rundown of the year’s rankings history.  Dig in!

 

Middleweight Fighter of the Year: Gennady Golovkin
After finishing as the runner-up to the award last year, Golovkin is the fighter of the year this year, having busted through 4 quality opponents in punishing fashion on the year- with the best being a 5th-ranked Matthew Macklin, and the rest being light middleweight contender Gabe Rosado, #15 Curtis Stevens, and #19 Nobuhiro Ishida.  The runner-up is Felix Sturm, whose wins were of a higher quality apples-to-apples, but who only managed two, including #3 Darren Barker .  I say two because he was robbed against #12 Sam Soliman, who then compounded that injustice by testing positive for PEDs.  I count it as an insignificant event on Soliman’s resume and a win on Sturm’s.  Martin Murray could have potentially stolen the award from Golovkin in a single night’s work, as he almost certainly earned the win against the Champion Martinez, except that he needed a bit of help to defeat a journeyman at the end of the year.

 

Prospect of the Year: Caleb Truax
Truax’s win over middling prospect Fort alone would not have earned him this award, but when combined with his destruction of Super Middleweight Fringe Contender Don George just a couple pounds over the limit, he is an easy choice.  Truax still qualifies as a prospect, having lost only once, and in rather close fashion to Jermain Taylor, and having yet to crack the top 10.  The runner-up is Russian unbeaten Andrey Merysasev, who would narrowly edge out countryman Dmitry Chudinov.

 

Most Important Knockout of the Year: #4 Felix Sturm TKO2 #3 Darren Barker
It wasn’t the cleanest stoppage of the year, and certainly comes with a significant caveat that Barker was injured at the time of the stoppage.  That being said, it did appear that his him injury was re-aggravated in the fall from a very legitimate first knockdown.  In any event, Barker was the highest-ranked contender to get stopped this year, and Sturm was the beneficiary.  The runner up was #4 Gennady Golovkin’s destruction of #5 Matthew Macklin.

 

Most Sensational Knockout of the Year: Curtis Stevens KO1 Saul Roman
Lots of great options this year.  The highest-profile of the great knockouts was Golovkin’s one-punch demolition of Nobuhiro Ishida.  Ishida backed to the ropes and was caught with a lead right and fell, semi-conscious at best, through the ropes.  But that one was almost too easy, and aside from Golovkin’s superhuman power, the punch itself wasn’t visually stunning in any way.  Golden Boy and FS1 made their entry with Danny Jacobs’ combination along the ropes that left gatekeeper Giovanni Lorenzo crawling aimlessly on the canvas.  But the most exciting of all these was Curtis Stevens’ clean one-punch shot that turned the lights out on gatekeeper Saul Roman.  This was from a perfectly landed left hand, and it folded Roman’s legs under him as he fell backwards, out cold.  It was made, I think, all the more sensational by the fact that it landed in an exchange, rather than as the inevitable end result of a one-sided hunting expedition, as were the other nominees.  For video, click “KO1” and seek to the 1:40 mark.

 

Match-Up of the Year: Champ #4 Felix Sturm vs. #3 Darren Barker
With an average ranking of 3.5, this is a clear winner.  Runners-up were Champ Martinez vs. #9 Murray and #4 Golovkin vs. #5 Macklin, at 4.5 apeice.  Unfortunately, Barker’s body betrayed him early in the fight and rendered it somewhat anti-climactic.

 

Fight of the Year: #2 Gennady Golovkin RTD8 #15 Curtis Stevens
I use importance, competitiveness, action, and result as my criteria for this, and it’s probably the least exact of any award I give.  Martinez-Murray, Kirkland-Tapia, and Godoy-Heiland were all great choices.  This one was a natural winner, though.  Golovkin and Stevens are two of the most celebrated punchers in the division, so this one promised fireworks for as long as it lasted, and it didn’t disappoint.  Besides featuring a 2nd-round knockdown for Golovkin, the fight was surprisingly competitive.  I gave Stevens 3 rounds, though in fairness each of them could reasonably have gone the other way.  The one thing I’d say was disappointing was that Stevens called the fight off in his corner, but he’d already showed plenty of guts by then.  

 

Upset of the Year: Dashon Johnson KO7 Adam Trupish
Unless you’re from Canada or as into the worldwide scene as I am, you may not have known who Adam Trupish was in March.  Nevertheless, he was a very promising prospect, and he’d beaten multiple pretty credible journeymen at the level just below the top 50, usually in spectacular fashion.  His outing on March 15 with Dashon Johnson was to be a stay busy fight, and nothing more.  Johnson came in with a lackluster record of 13-10-3, and I must say that while many of his losses were against undefeated prospects in match-ups that he was brought in as a no-hope opponent, he’d also lost a shutout to 7-3-1 Angel Osuna, drew with a 12-15-1 fighter, and dropped 4 round decisions to guys with records of 0-0-1 and 2-6-2.  He had only been stopped once, so he could have reasonably been expected to serve as a bit of a measuring stick for Trupish’s stopping power, but that’s about it.  Instead, Johnson shockingly knocked out the favorite in round 7 which, by the way, was only the 5th stoppage of Johnson’s career.  Mind-boggling.  Unfortunately the fight seems not to have been committed to video, so I can’t give any more detail than that.

 

Comeback Fighter of the Year: Sergio Mora
There was a time, albeit briefly, that Martinez was “the other Sergio” at 154/160.  As of mid-September 2008, Mora was an undefeated fighter, and was coming off an alphabet belt-capturing effort against Vernon Forrest.  Since then, however, he had gone just 2-3-1 coming into the year, and his only wins were easy stoppages of easy marks.  You know the wheels have come off when your proponents would point to a hotly disputed draw against an old Shane Mosley as the best means to defend your record.  So it was against a backdrop of obscurity- gatekeeper status- that Mora was brought in to help Grzegorz Proksa rebound from a rather fruitless 2012.  Instead, Mora showed his old form- or maybe even better- by baffling and dominating the young contender.  This performance from June has had him in or around the top 10 ever since- somewhere I, for one, never thought he’d be again.

 

Robbery of the Year: Champ Sergio Martinez UD12 #9 Martin Murray
This was the undisputed Championship, and at least in some sense, it’s now disputed.  Sergio, when you consider the round-by-round scoring in conjunction with a ridiculously blown slip call on a clear knockdown, did not deserve to win.  If you give him all the close rounds, he might salvage a draw.  For my part, I had it 114-113 for Murray (114-112 with good refereeing), and already gave Sergio everything he might have won, with the exception of a close 9th.  If we were to do Murray that same favor as a draw would include for Sergio- that is, give him all close rounds- it would be 116-110 Murray.  I don’t want to go into a detailed rant on the judges- Danseco, Rochin, and Hidalgo- since I did that months ago.  Please click here for a detailed discussion.

 

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) Gennady Golovkin
Significant Results: Jan 19- TKO7 JMW #10 Gabriel Rosado. Mar 30- KO3 #19 Nobuhiro Ishida. Jun 29- KO3 #5 Matthew Macklin. Nov 2- RTD8 #15 Curtis Stevens.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 3: #3. Feb 4- Mar 3: #2. Mar 4- Apr 28: #3. Apr 29- Jun 30: #4. Jul 1- Dec 15: #2. Dec 16-31: #1.
2) Felix Sturm
Significant Results: Feb 1- Wrong UD12 Loss (should be win) vs. #12 Sam Soliman (opponent on PEDs). Dec 7- TKO2 #3 Darren Barker.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 3: #2. Feb 4- Mar 3: #7. Mar 4- Apr 28: #2. Apr 29- Jun 30: #3. Jul 1- Dec 8: #4. Dec 9-15: #3. Dec 16-31: #2.
3) Martin Murray
Significant Results: Apr 27- Robbery UD12 Loss (draw at worst) vs. Champion Sergio Martinez. Dec 14- W (PTS8) (should be loss) vs. Journeyman Sergey Khomitsky.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 3: #9. Feb 4- Mar 3: #10. Mar 4- Apr 28: #9. Apr 29- Dec 15: #1. Dec 16-31: #3.
4) Darren Barker
Significant Results: Mar 9- RTD4 Gatekeeper Simone Rotolo. Aug 17- W (SD12) vs. #3 Daniel Geale. Dec 7- L (TKO2) vs. #4 Felix Sturm.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Mar 3: #17. Mar 4-10: #16. Mar 11- May 5: #14. May 6- Aug 18: #15. Aug 19- Dec 8: #3. Dec 9-31: #4.
5) Sergio Mora
Significant Results: Jun 28- UD10 #9 Grzegorz Proksa.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Jun 30: Unranked. Jul 1- Oct 6: #10. Oct 7-20: #9. Oct 21- Dec 15: #8. Dec 16-31: #10.
6) Sergio Martinez
Significant Results: Apr 27- Robbery Win (draw at best) vs. #9 Martin Murray.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Champion.
7) Daniel Geale
Significant Results: Jan 30- UD12 #11 Anthony Mundine. Aug 17- L (SD12) vs. #15 Darren Barker.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Apr 28: #1. Apr 29- Jun 30: #2. Jul 1- Aug 18: #3. Aug 19- Dec 31: #5.
8) Peter Quillin
Significant Results: Apr 27- TKO7 Gatekeeper Fernando Guerrero. Oct 26- TKO10 Fringe Contender Gabriel Rosado.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 3: #6. Feb 4- Mar 3: #5. Mar 4- Apr 28: #6. Apr 29- Dec 31: #7.
9) Caleb Truax
Significant Results: Jun 21- KO6 #15 SMW Don George (at 162). Sep 21- TKO4 Prospect Ceresso Fort.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Sep 22: Ranked only at SMW. Sep 23- Oct 6: #14. Oct 7-20: #13. Oct 21- Dec 15: #12. Dec 16-31: #14.
10) Sam Soliman
Significant Results: Feb 1- Wrong UD12 Win (should be loss, and on PEDs) vs. #2 Felix Sturm. Dec 11- TKO9 Gatekeeper Les Sherrington.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 3: #12. Feb 4- Mar 3: #6. Mar 4- Dec 15: Unranked (PEDs). Dec 16-31: #9.
11) James Kirkland
Significant Results: Dec 7- TKO6 Undefeated Prospect Glen Tapia.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 8: Unranked. Dec 9-15: #19. Dec 16-31: Unranked.
12) Andrey Meryasev
Significant Results: Nov 4- UD10 Gatekeeper Sergio Sanders.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Nov 10: Unranked. Nov 11- Dec 15: #16. Dec 16-31: #18.
13) Dmitry Chudinov
Significant Results: May 17- RTD3 Gatekeeper Grady Brewer.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- May 19: Unranked. May 20- Jun 30: #20. Jul 1- Aug 25: Unranked. Aug 26- Sep 8: #20. Sep 9-22: #19. Sep 23- Oct 6: #20. Oct 7-20: #19. Oct 21- Nov 10: #18. Nov 11- Dec 1: #19. Dec 2-15: #18. Dec 16-31: #20.
14) Marcos Nader
Significant Results: Apr 13- Wrong UD12 Win (should be loss) vs. Gatekeeper Roberto Santos.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
15) Roberto Santos
Significant Results: Apr 13- Wrong UD12 Loss (should be win) vs. Undefeated Prospect Marcos Nader.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
16) Daisuke Nakagawa

Significant Results: Aug 3- TKO7 Gatekeeper Tomohiro Ebisu.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
17) Jorge Heiland
Significant Results: Jun 28- L (MD10) vs. Gatekeeper Mateo Veron (at JMW). Nov 29- TKO12 #17 Billi Godoy.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 1: Unranked. Dec 2-8: #19. Dec 9-15: #20. Dec 16-31: Unranked.
18) Bryan Vera

Significant Results: Jan 25- TKO10 Gatekeeper Sergei Dzinziruk. 
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-20: #19. Jan 21-27: #20. Jan 28- Mar 3: #18. Mar 4- May 5: #17. May 6- Aug 18: #18. Aug 19-25: #17. Aug 26- Sep 8: #15. Sep 9-22: #14. Sep 23- Oct 6: #15. Oct 7-20: #14. Oct 21- Dec 15: #13. Dec 16-31: #15.
19) Danny Jacobs
Significant Results: Aug 19- TKO3 Gatekeeper Giovanni Lorenzo.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Aug 25: Unranked. Aug 26- Sep 8: #19. Sep 9-22: #18. Sep 23- Oct 6: #19. Oct 7-20: #18. Oct 21- Nov 10: #17. Nov 11- Dec 1: #18. Dec 2-15: #17. Dec 16-31: #19.
20) Marco Antonio Rubio
Significant Results: Mar 23- UD12 Gatekeeper Marcus Upshaw.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Mar 3: #13. Mar 4-17: #12. Mar 18- Oct 6: #11. Oct 7-20: #10. Oct 21- Dec 15: #9. Dec 16-31: #11.

 

The following fighters could be found in the top 20 at various parts of the year, but either failed to do anything to inprove their rankings, or had results too mixed to make the top 20 on the year:

 

Matthew Macklin: Jan 1- Feb 3: #4. Feb 4- Mar 3: #3. Mar 4- Apr 28: #4. Apr 29- Aug 18: #5. Aug 19- Dec 31: #6.

 

Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.: Jan 1- Feb 3: #5. Feb 4- Apr 28: #4. Apr 29- Aug 18: #6. Aug 19- Dec 31: Unranked (Moved Up).

 

Dmitry Pirog: Jan 1- Feb 3: #7. Feb 4- Mar 3: #8. Mar 4- Apr 28: #7. Apr 29- Oct 6: #8. Oct 7- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Grzegorz Proksa: Jan 1- Feb 3: #8. Feb 4- Mar 3: #9. Mar 4- Apr 28: #8. Apr 29- Jun 30 :#9. Jul 1- Aug 18: #19. Aug 19-25: #18. Aug 26- Sep 8: #16. Sep 9-22: #15. Sep 23- Oct 6: #16. Oct 7-20: #15. Oct 21- Dec 15: #14. Dec 16-31: #16.

 

Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam: Jan 1- Feb 3: #10. Feb 4- Mar 3: #11. Mar 4- Jun 30: #10. Jul 1- Oct 6: #9. Oct 7-20: #8. Oct 21- Dec 15: Unranked (Inactive). Dec 16-31: #8.

 

Anthony Mundine: Jan 1- Feb 3: #11. Feb 4- Mar 3: #14. Mar 4-17: #13. Mar 18- Oct 6: #12. Oct 7-20: #11. Oct 21- Dec 15: #10. Dec 16-31: #12.

 

Osumanu Adama: Jan 1- Feb 3: #14. Feb 4- Mar 3: #12. Mar 4-17: #11. Mar 18- Sep 8: #13. Sep 9- Dec 31: Unranked (Moved Up).

 

Max Bursak: Jan 1- Mar 3: #15. Mar 4-10: #14. Mar 11- May 5: #15. May 6- Aug 18: #16. Aug 19-25: #15. Aug 26- Sep 8: #14. Sep 9- Oct 6: #13. Oct 7-20: #12. Oct 21- Dec 15: #11. Dec 16-31: #13.

 

Demetrius Andrade: Jan 1- Mar 3: #16. Mar 4-10: #15. Mar 11- May 5: #16. May 6- Aug 18: #17. Aug 19-25: #16. Aug 26- Dec 31: Unranked (Moved Down).

 

Nobuhiro Ishida: Jan 1-20: #18. Jan 21-27: #19. Jan 28- Mar 3: #20. Mar 4-31: #19. Apr 1-21: #20. Apr 22- Jun 30: #19. Jul 1-21: #20. Jul 22- Oct 20: Unranked. Oct 21- Nov 10: #20. Nov 11- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Makoto Fuchigami: Jan 1-20: #20. Jan 21- Mar 3: Unranked. Mar 4-31: #20. Apr 1-21: #19. Apr 22- May 5: #18. May 6- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Curtis Stevens– Jan 1- 20: Unranked. Jan 21-27: #18. Jan 28- Mar 3: #19. Mar 4- Apr 21: #18. Apr 22- Aug 4: Unranked. Aug 5-18: #20. Aug 19-25: #19. Aug 26- Sep 8: #17. Sep 9- 22: #16. Sep 23- Oct 6: #17. Oct 7-20: #16. Oct 21- Dec 15: #15. Dec 16-31: #17.

 

Jose Miguel Torres– Jan 1- Apr 21: Unranked. Apr 22- May 19: #20. May 20- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Akio Shibata– Jan 1- May 5: Unranked. May 6- Aug 25: #14. Aug 26- Sep 8: Unranked. Sep 9-22: #20. Sep 23- Oct 6: Unranked. Oct 7-20: #20. Oct 21- Nov 10: #19. Nov 11- Dec 8: #20. Dec 9-31: Unranked.

 

Billi Godoy: Jan 1- Jul 21: Unranked. Jul 22- Aug 4: #20. Aug 5-18: Unranked. Aug 19-25: #20. Aug 26- Sep 8: #18. Sep 9-22: #17. Sep 23- Oct 6: #18. Oct 7-20: #17. Oct 21- Nov 10: #16. Nov 11- Dec 1: #17. Dec 2-31: Unranked.

Middleweight: 2013-2014, Dec 30- Jan 5

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 24, 2014 by danboxing
Insert filler about lack of boxing action and Christmas here.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (194-194-194)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. # 8 JMW Miguel Cotto
According to fighthype.com, citing anonymous sources close to Cotto, there is now no doubt that Cotto-Martinez will happen on June 7 in New York. 
1) Gennady Golovkin (3-70-133)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- RTD8 #15 Curtis Stevens
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Golovkin returns February 1 in Monte Carlo.  Originally it looked like Murray was the opponent, but he will instead fight former borderline top 10 contender Osumanu Adama, who was removed from a #13 berth in September for failing to make 160 for 18 months.
2) Felix Sturm (3-537-537)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- TKO2 #3 Darren Barker
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman is the #1 contender for Sturm’s alphabet title, and Macklin and Geale are both trying to get rematches with him, as well.
3) Martin Murray (3-109-109)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- W* (PTS8) vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. Jarrod Fletcher (UNR)
Murray gets a shot at a second-rate alphabet title on February 1, against Australian prospect Jarrod Fletcher on the Golovkin-Adama undercard.  He says he would like a Sturm rematch after that.
4) Darren Barker (4-20-116)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- L (TKO2) vs. #4 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown
Barker’s body failed him against Sturm, and it’s led to heavy speculation that we may have seen the last of him.  His team has only fueled this speculation further.
5) Daniel Geale (20-237-237)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (SD12) vs. #15 Darren Barker
Next Fight: Unknown
In the wake of Sturm’s victory over the man that beat him, Geale has renewed calls for what would be a very interesting rematch with the German.  On the other hand, he’s got a loose verbal agreement to fight Golovkin, likely toward the end of 2014.
6) Matthew Macklin (20-132-223)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After a legitimate but very unspectacular win over only moderately proven prospect Lamar Russ, Macklin has joined the chorus of quality middleweights looking for a rematch with Sturm.  He’s also pushing for a fight with Andy Lee.
7) Peter Quillin (36-63-84)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golden Boy is looking to match Quillin with Danny Jacobs in Brooklyn on February 1.  A recent interview indicates he might prefer to fight some of the top contenders, instead.  Unfortunately most of them fight on HBO in this division, while Quillin’s promoter is tied to Showtime.
8) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (3-3-3)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD10 Anthony Fitzgerald (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There is serious talk of a March 1 fight between N’Dam and Andy Lee in Dublin.
9) Sam Soliman (3-3-3)
Last Fight: 12/11/2013- TKO9 Les Sherrington (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman has been re-installed as the #1 contender to Sturm’s alphabet strap, and will likely get another shot soon.
10) Sergio Mora (3-27-27)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora had hoped to fight Golovkin on February 1, but says he was never offered the fight.
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (3-153)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- KO2 Dionisio Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rubio looks poised to take on Sergio if Maravilla’s intended fight with Cotto falls through, though that possibility has begun to look increasingly unlikely.  The WBC has ordered a fight between Rubio and Domenico Spada, as an easy shot at the interim title, for whatever that’s worth.
12) Anthony Mundine (3-153)
Last Fight: 11/27/2013- TKO7 #4 WW Shane Mosley (at JMW)
Next Fight: 1/29/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
In a quick turnaround, Mundine announced that he will headline a January 29 show in Brisbane.  Most likely this will be nothing more than a quick payday, as I’m sure he won’t want to prepare for two big fights that close together.
13) Max Bursak (3-153)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD8 Gari Abajian (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Caleb Truax (3-15)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO4 Ceresso Fort (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/3/2014- vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Truax’s January 3 fight will likely be the first notable fight of the New Year.  His opponent was to be Derek Ennis, but he’s been replaced by the marginally better Ossie Duran.
15) Bryan Vera (3-63)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L* (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. Julio Cesar Chavez (UNR)
Vera-Chavez II now looks likely for March 1 in either Vegas or Texas, after a proposed February date was abandoned over concerns related to Olympic conflicts.
16) Grzegorz Proksa (3-142)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Proksa had another hand operation in August, but thinks he’ll be ready to go for a proposed February fight in Poland with undefeated prospect Maciej Suleckim.
17) Curtis Stevens (3-22)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L (RTD8) vs. #2 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: 1/24/2014- vs. Patrick Majewski (UNR)
Stevens will make a surprisingly quick return from a grueling battle with Golovkin.  His January 24 opponent will be one-loss Polish fringe prospect Patrick Majewski.
18) Andrey Meryasev (3-8)
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) Danny Jacobs (3-19)
Last Fight: 8/19/2013- TKO3 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golden Boy is apparently looking to match Jacobs and Quillin on February 1 in Brooklyn.
20) Dmitry Chudinov (3-19)
Last Fight: 12/21/2013- TKO6 Juan Camilo Novoa (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chudinov is said to be in discussions to fight Ricardo Mayorga (who’s still fighting, apparently…) in April.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Saturday
Caleb Truax vs. Ossie Duran; Minneapolis, Minnesota; ESPN2 (US)
Truax has emerged from a hit-and-miss reputation in recent fights, and appears poised to mount a challenge for the top 10.  Duran is no easy mark, though, having clearly beaten current #5 contender Brandon Gonzales on his way up.

Super Middleweight: 2013-2014, Dec 30- Jan 5

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on March 24, 2014 by danboxing
No major bulletins to report this week, except a large and unexplained increase in the consumption of egg nog.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (107-241-241)
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.  In the meantime, he has maybe another fight to deal with that could do more damage to his career than any he has yet met in the ring- a lawsuit against his promoter.  He hopes to be back in March or April, though.  He has expressed interest in both Froch and Groves recently, as well.
1) Carl Froch (84-394-394)
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.  Rumor has it that he intends to refuse, and has also resisted suggestions that he move up to 175 to fight Stevenson.  His current focus seems to be on trying to make a Ward rematch, which the Champion apparently is not ruling out.
2) Robert Stieglitz (41-227-227)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- UD12 Isaac Ekpo (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. #4 Arthur Abraham
The Abraham-Stieglitz trilogy bout, originally announced for February 1, is now official for March 1, in Stieglitz’s home base of Magdeburg.
3) Mikkel Kessler (55-473-473)
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, though the Viking Warrior recently said, rather vaguely, that he still wants a big fight.
4) Arthur Abraham (33-219-219)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Giovanni De Carolis (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. #2 Robert Stieglitz
See Stieglitz’s notes, above.
5) Brandon Gonzales (27-27-27)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzales was placed in the position of fighting Vlasov in an alphabet eliminator, but it’s unclear at present if that fight is still on the table or not.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (14-135-183)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: 1/18/2014- vs. LHW #18 Eleider Alvarez (at LHW)
Oosthuizen-Alvarez looks like it’s staying on the Bute-Pascal card despite a few roadblocks.
7) Ezequiel Maderna (8-8-53)
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 (8-55-77)
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.  He’s having to resort to personal attacks to try and get a reluctant Froch to agree, however.  If Froch doesn’t come through with the rematch, Ward might come calling.
9) James DeGale (7-30-116)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 Dyah Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Negotiations are underway for an eliminator between DeGale and Periban for a shot at Bika, and promoter Frank Warren is interested in staging a fight between DeGale and Billy Joe Saunders in 2014.
10) Christopher Rebrasse (7-7-30)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- UD6 George Kandelaki (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rebrasse was apparently involved in a December 6 fight that was so under the radar that I missed it until two weeks after it happened.
11) Sakio Bika (7-352)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dirrell wants a rematch, and that’s obviously a worthy endeavor given the legitimate draw the first time around.  In the meantime, machinations are underway for an eliminator between Periban and DeGale, with the winner to become his mandatory.  On Bika’s end, he’d like a unification with Froch.
12) Maxim Vlasov (8-60)
Last Fight: 12/5/2013- KO4 Maxell Taylor (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vlasov appears set for an IBF eliminator, and Brandon Gonzales and Ndiaye appear to be the possibilities to oppose him.
13) Edwin Rodriguez (8-50)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
According to his trainer Ronnie Shields, they might be looking to fight a top-15 level light heavyweight, and have absolutely no intention to ever try to make 168 again.  He’ll be on the shelf for a little while due to bone chip-removal surgery on his elbow in December.
 14) Andy Lee (14-33)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013-TKO2 Ferenc Hafner (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Macklin-Lee was all the talk for months, with St. Patrick’s Day being the target.  I don’t know if that’s still on the table, but the latest word is that Lee might be fighting N’Dam in Dublin on March 1.
15) Ryota Murata (14-19)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO8 Dave Peterson (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/22/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Murata is slated for a February 22 card in Macau.
16) Caleb Truax (14-28)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO4 Ceresso Fort (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 1/3/2014- vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Ossie Duran has replaced Derek Ennis as Truax’s January 3 opponent- a modest upgrade, actually.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (14-44)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
 18) Badou Jack (4-24)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 Rogelio Medina (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jack called out the winner of Bika vs. Dirrell after his win over Medina, but might want to restate, since the fight ended in a draw the following night.
19) Don Mouton (4-14)
Last Fight: 5/13/2013- L* (UD8) vs. #10 Anthony Dirrell
Next Fight: 2/1/2013- vs. Gilberto Ramirez (UNR)
Mouton-Ramirez has been rescheduled for February 1.
20) Anthony Dirrell (4-4)
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).

 

The Week Ahead: #16 Caleb Truax will be in action against Ossie Duran in Minneapolis.  To the best of my knowledge, it will be a middleweight fight, though I would caution that both fighters are known to fight at various catchweights, and that such things are rarely reported adequately until the weigh-in.

Middleweight: 2013, Sep 23-29

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 3, 2013 by danboxing
Australian gatekeeper Les Sherrington dominated low-level Japanese gatekeeper Shigetaka Yonezawa in Southport, Queensland on Friday, taking a 12-round decision by losing just one round among the three cards.

 

Saturday nearly saw a major upset in Kharkov, Ukraine.  After a fairly strong and aggressive first three rounds, #13 Max Bursak was badly hurt and nearly stopped in the 4th by 2-loss British prospect Nick Blackwell.  Bursak came back to hang in there for the next 4 rounds, though he lost the majority of them.  But he closed very strong, winning the last 4 on my card.  Blackwell may have gotten a bit tired down the stretch, probably in part due to his tendency to bounce and waste energy in between engagements.  All in all, though, it was a fairly impressive showing for the rather unheralded Blackwell.  While he now has three losses, they have all been to strong opposition- close affairs against Billy Joe Saunders and now Bursak, and one rather forgivable stoppage against no less than Martin Murray.  Bursak didn’t necessarily do himself any favors in winning (my score of 115-112 agreed with 2 of the judges), but did dodge a bullet, which of course is better than getting hit by same.

 

Speaking of Billy Joe Saunders, he had a close competitive fight of his own on his hands in London, as he ran into a fellow well-schooled, hungry, and undefeated prospect in John Ryder for the British and Commonwealth titles.  Saunders was the more experienced of the two, and more tested at a higher level, and that may have made all the difference in the fight.  It was a very interesting style match-up.  Saunders was the athletic boxer, looking to maintain distance and potshot.  Ryder was the pressure fighter, although he was much more defensively responsible than you would picture from that style.  He would come in with head movement and a shoulder roll as often as with a jab, and it was effective at times.  The only defensive lapse he showed was that even with his head movement, he was mainly coming in the front door, and in doing so squared himself up for Saunders to throw a looping right hand, which found the mark to some effect at various times.  The moderate but constant pressure from Ryder seemed to be getting to Saunders in the end, as Ryder seized the last two rounds- including a very clear 12th.  But in the end, it was a bit too little, too late.  I scored the fight 115-113, and the official judges were essentially in agreement.  I think the fight could reasonably have gone narrowly in Ryder’s favor, but Saunders definitely had the edge.

 

On the Saunders-Ryder undercard, #19 Dmitry Chudinov won 79-73 on the ref’s scorecard against mid-level and sub-.500 British journeyman Max Maxwell, but came in nearly at the light heavyweight limit (174) , while his already overmatched opponent scaled just 162.  I would hope this doesn’t indicate a gross lack of discipline on the part of the young contender, but it’s hard to escape that suspicion.

 

Finally, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, 17th-ranked super middleweight Caleb Truax returned to his natural division against Ceresso Fort, a fellow Minnesota prospect who rebounded from his sole loss recently with a win over credible measuring stick Marcus Upshaw.  Truax proved to be at a higher level- as you might suspect after he brutalized Don George- stopping Fort a bit over halfway into round 4. 

 

None of the losers this weekend were proven at quite high enough a level to help the winners advance in these rankings, save for Fort, who had recently acquired suitable status.  Combined with his successes a couple pounds over the limit, as well as his past resume at 160 itself, this win transforms Truax into a two-division ranked contender.  He checks in between Bursak and Vera at #14, forcing last week’s #20 Akio Shibata out after a brief two-week return.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (180-180-180)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: Unknown
Martinez should be back in March or April of 2014.  Golovkin has been mentioned, but that would be a bit too much for his first fight back, I would think.  He also said recently that he wants to defend in Argentina.  I would too, if I’d gotten the gift he got last time around.
1) Martin Murray (22-95-95)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- L* (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez (Robbery- D at worst)
Next Fight: 11/30/2013- vs. Garth Wood (UNR)
Murray is the mandatory challenger for the Golovkin-Stevens winner, and will be fighting Garth Wood in Sydney on November 30 if he can obtain a visa in time.
2) Gennady Golovkin (13-56-119)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- KO3 #5 Matthew Macklin
Next Fight: 11/2/2013- vs. #17 Curtis Stevens
Apparently 2 gatekeeper-level knockouts, a gift decision over a journeyman, and a ton of undeserved hype will get you a shot at getting demolished by Golovkin.  Curtis Stevens will get just that on November 2.
3) Darren Barker (6-6-102)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- W (SD12) vs. #3 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown
Geale wants a rematch, and Martin Murray is knocking, as well.  But more than likely, a mandatory against Sturm is the next move, probably in December.
4) Felix Sturm (13-523-523)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- TKO4 Predrag Radosevic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Barker’s notes, above.
5) Daniel Geale (6-223-223)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (SD12) vs. #15 Darren Barker
Next Fight: Unknown
Geale wants a rematch, but will probably have to wait until at least 2014, since it appears likely Barker will make a mandatory defense in December against Sturm, instead.  Geale wants to be back in December in any event.
6) Matthew Macklin (6-118-209)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- L (KO3) vs. #4 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Macklin has now suffered his 2nd knockout loss at the top level, but still has plenty of cred against anyone not in the top 5.
7) Peter Quillin (22-49-70)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- TKO7 Fernando Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/26/2013- vs. JMW #9 Gabriel Rosado
Quillin will fight the very solid Rosado on the Hopkins-Murat undercard, though his opponent is clearly much better at 154.
8) Dmitry Pirog (22-165-165)
Last Fight: 5/1/2012- UD12 #20 Nobuhiro Ishida
Next Fight: Unknown
Pirog says his back injuries have fully healed, and will be meeting with his people in the US soon to determine his next fight.  I’ll probably give him until the end of September to calendar that fight before removing him.
9) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (13-29-152)
Last Fight: 10/20/2012- L (UD12) vs. #20 Peter Quillin
Next Fight: Unknown
10) Sergio Mora (13-13-13)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- UD10 #9 Grzegorz Proksa
Next Fight: Unknown
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (28-139)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- KO2 Dionisio Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rubio is theoretically set up for a alphabet title fight with Chavez, but Chavez has to beat Vera and decide to continue campaigning at 160, which seems increasingly unlikely.
12) Anthony Mundine (28-139)
Last Fight: 1/30/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: 10/23/2013- vs. #3 WW Shane Mosley (at JMW)
Mosley-Mundine is October 23 in Australia.
13) Max Bursak (3-139)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- UD12 Nick Blackwell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bursak got a bit of a scare from underdog Blackwell, and it will be important for him to look strong in his next fight.
14) Caleb Truax (1-1)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO4 Ceresso Fort (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Truax is targeting the big names in the division as he continues to build his resume at the lower levels.
15) Bryan Vera (1-49)
Last Fight: 3/29/2013- TKO7* Donatas Bondorovas (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/28/2013- vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR) (at SMW)
Vera’s fight with Chavez has been delayed again, this time to 9/28.
16) Grzegorz Proksa (1-128)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Proksa is an enigma.  He looked like the next big thing against Sylvester, but did practically nothing against Mora. 
17) Curtis Stevens (1-8)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- KO1 Saul Roman (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/2/2013- vs. #2 Gennady Golovkin
Stevens needed a gift to beat journeyman Derrick Findley, and has never beat anything better than a gatekeeper at this weight.  My opinion is that his fight with Golovkin will be akin to an execution.
18) Billi Godoy (1-6)
Last Fight: 7/19/2013- UD12 Mateo Veron (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2013- vs. Jorge Heiland (UNR)
Godoy will fight high-level domestic journeyman Jorge Heiland in Neuquen, Argentina on November 29, in a rematch of their July 2012 fight.
19) Danny Jacobs (1-5)
Last Fight: 8/19/2013- TKO3 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Dmitry Chudinov (1-5)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- W (PTS8) vs. Max Maxwell (UNR) (at SMW/LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chudinov weighed in at 174 to fight his already hopeless 162-pound opponent on September 21.  He’s invited a great deal of scrutiny over his weight and discipline in doing so.

 

The Week Ahead: On a very deep card in Montreal, 2-loss prospect David Lemieux takes on high-level American journeyman Marcus Upshaw, who is accustomed to busting prospects.

 

#15 Bryan Vera is also in action, but a division to the north against Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.