Archive for Curtis Stevens

Super Middleweight: 2014, Apr 7-13

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on September 3, 2014 by danboxing
On Friday, we saw another fight botched by a referee, and another Main Events fighter got a win that he arguably didn’t deserve thanks to bad officiating.  Undefeated but (as a pro, at least) untested prospect Tureano Johnson of the Bahamas dominated #18 middleweight Curtis Stevens to a shocking degree for 9 rounds.  Needing a stoppage going into the final round, Stevens managed to get it…just not with full legitimacy.  Johnson had Stevens and his vaunted power smothered on the ropes for virtually the entire fight, with a brief hiccup in the 4th, in which Stevens clearly took control to win a round.  Stevens was clearly behind 89-82 going into the final round, and in that round he caught a rapidly tiring Johnson with his right hand low while infighting.  He took a step back and fired a vicious left hook that badly hurt Johnson and sent him reeling back to the ropes with his legs largely gone.  Stevens then jumped on him and let loose with a flurry of short quick punches- none of which landed, as far as I could tell- whereupon referee Gary Rosato jumped in to stop it with 53 seconds remaining.  

 

Here’s the truth.  Johnson was BADLY hurt, and there is an excellent chance (I’d put it at 60% or more, personally) that Stevens was on his way to stopping him without any special help from Rosato.  But being badly hurt doesn’t equal the end of the fight.  If Stevens had landed even one telling blow after putting Johnson in that condition and on the ropes, that would be a different story and at least lend an arguable justification to the stoppage, but if any punches landed at all from that point, they were not clean or damaging.  Johnson still might have summoned the wherewithal to hold and/or smother Stevens’ shots long enough to regain the faculties necessary to finish the fight on his feet, or at the very least might have realized his peril and taken a knee.  If Johnson had taken a knee just one second after Rosato’s stoppage as he should have been given the chance to do, for instance, he would have found himself with no more than 43 seconds left in the fight, and would probably have recovered at least a little from the punch.  It’s not particularly difficult, if you’re being honest, to picture Johnson surviving from that point.  Two or three clinches and/or a second time taking a knee, if necessary, would kill enough clock for that.

 

Now that’s all assuming that Johnson’s faculties were sufficiently gathered up at some point before it was legitimately too late in order to attempt and execute the survival tactics necessary to make it.  That’s by no means certain.  For all we know, Stevens might have followed his flurry immediately with a crisp body-head combination to turn the lights out.  The sad truth is that because Rosato rushed to action, we will simply never know, and will thus never know the rightful winner of the fight.

 

A previous precedent I announced back when Jon Schorle stole a clear victory from Carlos Molina by ridiculously disqualifying him holds that when a fight is abbreviated by a clearly erroneous decision by a referee, the fight will be treated as if it had ended due to an accidental foul, with my scorecard being consulted to determine the winner.  This would be that kind of instance, but I think a distinction is necessary here.  As I said, I think it’s a bit more likely than not that Stevens was about to legitimately stop Johnson.  To go to the cards and award Johnson the win in this case would be no less arbitrary in one direction than Rosato himself was in awarding a perhaps impending, but as-yet unearned, victory to Stevens.  So here’s my amendment to that rule: when the beneficiary of a fight-ending bad call by a ref is behind in the fight but has a clear and significant path to legitimate victory (let’s say greater than a 25% or greater chance as a guideline), the fight will be treated as a no contest, since no satisfactory winner had legitimately be determined with an acceptable degree of confidence.  Here’s how that distinguishes from Kirkland-Molina.  Kirkland had just scored a knockdown in a fight in which he was (or should have been) hopelessly behind.  That may have been enough to give him some hope for a comeback, but he was behind 5 points on my card and thus had no realistic path to victory on the scorecard.  Molina did not appear seriously hurt, and the 10th round was over.  While Kirkland obviously still had a puncher’s chance to win the fight in the last 2 rounds, I think it would be a stretch to say he was more than 25% likely to win that fight by stoppage at the point it was ended.  In addition, Molina had dropped Kirkland earlier in the round and won the thing overall, but Schorle had messed that up, as well.  Molina had demonstrated that in all likelihood, he would have gone on to be the legitimate winner of the fight, and the balance of the action to that late stage had made a victory for him feel abstractly like an appropriate- if imperfect- result.  In the more recent case, the legitimate outcome was hanging entirely in the balance at the moment the fight was stopped, and thus no victory for either fighter could be satisfactory on any level.  Future examples of this type of issue will be treated with one rule or the other based on which scenario it more closely resembles.  That’s more subjective than I like to be, but ultimately I care more for keeping the rankings free from unnecessary pollution from bad officiating and enforcing justice and fairness on the parallel universe I control here than I do about slavishly enforcing the letter of the law that I wrote on an ad hoc basis in the first place.

 

What this means in the final analysis is that we have no real winner here, and no changes- whether here or at 160- will result from this murkier-than-necessary contest.  I do feel that Johnson’s stock has risen a good deal, despite how he looked in the final seconds.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (121-255-255)
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 (98-408-408)
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 (6-233-233)
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 (6-241-241)
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 (6-487-487)
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 (41-41-41)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #11 James DeGale
The IBF has ordered an eliminator between Gonzales and DeGale, with the winner becoming the mandatory to the Froch-Groves winner, and DeGale confirmed that he’s agreed to the battle.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (28-149-197)
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 (22-22-67)
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 (22-69-91)
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. (6-6-6)
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 (6-6-6)
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 (6-130)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- TKO11 Gevorg Khatchikian (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #5 Brandon Gonzales
DeGale has split from his promoter Mick Hennessy.  He’s still rumored to be fighting Brandon Gonzales next, who himself has just gone through a promotional change.
12) Christopher Rebrasse (6-44)
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 (6-366)
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.
14) Maxim Vlasov (6-74)
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 (6-64)
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.
 16) Andy Lee (6-47)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013-TKO2 Ferenc Hafner (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/12/2014- vs. Frank Haroche Horta (UNR) (at JMW)
In a surprising development, Lee will be moving down to 154, and will be taking on Frenchman Frank Haroche Horta at or around that weight this weekend.
17) Gilberto Ramirez (6-10)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO1 #19 Don Mouton
Next Fight: 4/11/2014- vs. Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Ramirez is back on April 11 in the Friday Night Fights main event against gatekeeper Lorenzo.
18) Ryota Murata (6-33)
Last Fight: 2/22/2014- TKO4 Carlos Nascimento (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bob Arum plans to have Murata in action at Singapore this year according to Dan Rafael, but I don’t have any further details.
19) Anthony Dirrell (6-18)
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).
20) Hadillah Mohoumadi (6-58)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: 
Friday
#17 Gilberto Ramirez vs. Giovanni Lorenzo; Las Vegas, Nevada; ESPN2 (US)
Ramirez is an undefeated 23 year-old Mexican who reached all-new heights by beating the deeply underrated Don Mouton in lightning-fast fashion in his last fight.  You could make the argument that he proved himself more as a middleweight than a 168-pounder in that one, since Mouton entered at under 163 pounds.  This fight will be contested at or near the 168 pound limit, though.  Lorenzo is probably not what he once was, having lost his last 5 significant fights dating back to 2009, and is probably not even a legitimate top 50 fighter anymore.  Furthermore, since he’s only dabbled at 168 himself, I doubt this will do much to cement Ramirez’s status as a serious force at 168 as opposed to 160, at least among any who currently doubt that status.  It will provide the most recognizable name on Ramirez’s resume, though, should he leave with a win.

 

Saturday
Sergey Khomitsky vs. Frank Buglioni; London, England; BoxNation (UK)
Khomitsky was viewed as a rather garden-variety journeyman 5 months ago, and signed for what was supposed to be just a tune-up fight for Martin Murray, who probably deserved to be the middleweight champion at that point after getting borderline robbed against Sergio Martinez.  Perhaps with some help from the lingering effects of a virus that Murray was contending with, Khomitsky went out and at least arguably beat Murray in the 8-round fight.  The ref and sole judge disagreed, and gave Murray every benefit of the doubt to have it for the Englishman by a single round.  That created a bit of a paradox for me.  The fight was contracted a few pounds over the middleweight limit.  Khomitsky’s performance really should have entitled him to at least some consideration for a ranking at 168.  But since the result was ambiguous, I would have had to treat Murray as if he had achieved something like a draw.  But having never done any significant business at 168 before, this would have been the only significant result Murray could claim.  As the official loser, I couldn’t rank Khomitsky ahead of Murray, but I also couldn’t rank Murray at all because all he’d achieved was the equivalent of a draw with a non-top 50 fighter.  As for Buglioni, he’s an undefeated prospect from the London area who usually wins by stoppage, but he’s never fought anyone on Khomitsky’s level as a pro, even if the Murray performance is set aside.  I’m picking Khomitsky here, to he honest.

Middleweight: 2014, Mar 31- Apr 6

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on August 27, 2014 by danboxing
Last week was a second consecutive slow one here at 160, but #15 Bryan Vera is removed.  He has nothing scheduled, and has fought at 175 and 168 in his last two fights spanning a full year.  He may very well return to 160, but for now he can’t be considered an active middleweight.  Dmitry Chudinov returns for the first time since being forced out on January 27, at #20.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (207-207-207)
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 (16-83-146)
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 (16-550-550)
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 (6-250-250)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Geale cut through Wood like an unsympathetic buzzsaw, and is hoping for a fight with Golovkin, who would also fit that description well.
4) Martin Murray (6-122-122)
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 (11-145-236)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
6) Peter Quillin (11-76-97)
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 (11-16-16)
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 (11-16-16)
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 (11-40-40)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
10) Osumanu Adama (9-9-9)
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 (9-166)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- KO2 Dionisio Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Domenico Spada (UNR)
Rubio-Spada is now set for April 5 in Mexico.  It’s for an interim title, if such trifles mean anything to you.
12) Anthony Mundine (9-166)
Last Fight: 1/29/2014- UD10 Gunnar Jackson (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/2/2014- vs. Joshua Clottey (UNR) (at JMW)
Mundine confirms that he will be fighting, of all people, the long-forgotten Joshua Clottey on April 2, and then perhaps Erislandy Lara in July if that works out for him.
13) Jarrod Fletcher (9-9)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown
Fletcher is said to have received 7 serious fight offers after he was given the nod against Bursak, and there has been some talk of a fight with Dmitry Chudinov and a domestic showdown with Geale.
14) Max Bursak (9-166)
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 (1-155)
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 (1-28)
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 (1-35)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- TKO1 Patrick Majewski (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: 4/4/2014- vs. Tureano Johnson (UNR)
Stevens will continue to stay active following his brutal loss to Golovkin, taking on undefeated prospect Tureano Johnson of the Bahamas April 4 on NBC Sports.
18) Andrey Meryasev (1-21)
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 (1-32)
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 (1-1)
Last Fight: 12/21/2013- TKO6 Juan Camilo Novoa (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There was some serious talk of a fight with Jarrod Fletcher, but the dates being discussed are at or around expiration, with no updates recently.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Friday
Eamonn O’Kane vs. Alvaro Gaona; Belfast, Northern Ireland; BoxNation (UK)
O’Kane is a one-loss North Irish prospect who needs to get busy.  He’s 32 now, and after a pretty solid amateur career, didn’t turn pro until 2011. His lone loss was to a then-unbeaten John Ryder in 2012.  Gaona is a mid-to-high-level journeyman from Mexico, and is roughly on the same level as some of O’Kane’s best career opponents.

 

#17 Curtis Stevens vs. Tureano Johnson; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NBC Sports (US)
This fight will most likely be contested a few pounds north of middleweight.  I’ll discuss it primarily in that update if that’s so, and only talk about it here to the extent it affects the rankings here.

 

Saturday
John Ryder vs. Jez Wilson; London, England; Sky (UK)
Ryder is a one-loss prospect who has lost only to Billy Joe Saunders, and owns a win over the above-mentioned O’Kane.  Wilson also comes in with only a single loss, but it was at a much lower level, and he also was saddled with a draw against journeyman Max Maxwell.

 

#11 Marco Antonio Rubio vs. Domenico Spada; Chihuahua, Mexico; 5+ (Mexico)
Rubio continues to hold a fairly prominent spot in the division, but it’s important to note that he last fought a clearly top-50 fighter well over 2 years ago (JCC), and last beat one almost exactly 3 years ago (Lemieux).  Spada’s recent track record is even worse.  He last fought a top 50 fighter nearly 3 years ago in his loss to Darren Barker.  Though he’s had a couple near misses, he’s never beaten a top 50 fighter, himself, and according to boxrec, he’s no longer near that category himself due to poor recent competition.  Not the way to go into a fight with a top 15 contender.

 

Marcos Reyes vs. Idiozan Matos; Chihuahua, Mexico; 5+ (Mexico)
Reyes is a one-loss prospect who has been stuck pretty much in neutral fighting low or mid-level journeymen for the past 3 1/2 years.  No change this week, as Matos fits that bill, as well.

Super Middleweight: 2014, Mar 31- Apr 6

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on August 26, 2014 by danboxing
Nothing of note to discuss from last week.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (120-254-254)
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 (97-407-407)
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 (5-232-232)
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 (5-240-240)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (SD12) vs. #4 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s back to the drawing board for Stieglitz, though his resume still compares favorably to the field.
4) Mikkel Kessler (5-486-486)
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 (40-40-40)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #11 James DeGale
The IBF has ordered an eliminator between Gonzales and DeGale, with the winner becoming the mandatory to the Froch-Groves winner, and DeGale confirmed that he’s agreed to the battle.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (27-148-196)
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 (21-21-66)
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 (21-68-90)
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. (5-5-5)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD10 #15 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 (5-5-5)
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 (5-129)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- TKO11 Gevorg Khatchikian (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #5 Brandon Gonzales
See Gonzales’ notes, above.
12) Christopher Rebrasse (5-43)
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 (5-365)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With both Anthony Dirrell and James DeGale having rather legitimate claims to the spot, the WBC has instead, it appears, installed JC Chavez as Bika’s mandatory.  Bika seems happy with the decision, as it will no doubt net him a huge payday.
14) Maxim Vlasov (5-73)
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 (5-63)
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.
 16) Andy Lee (5-46)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013-TKO2 Ferenc Hafner (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/12/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Lee will see action on April 12 in Denmark, with the opponent yet to be named.  He seems to have a move to 154 in the gameplan after that.
17) Gilberto Ramirez (5-9)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO1 #19 Don Mouton
Next Fight: 4/11/2014- vs. Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Ramirez is back on April 11 in the Friday Night Fights main event against gatekeeper Lorenzo.
18) Ryota Murata (5-32)
Last Fight: 2/22/2014- TKO4 Carlos Nascimento (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bob Arum plans to have Murata in action at Singapore this year according to Dan Rafael, but I don’t have any further details.
19) Anthony Dirrell (5-17)
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).
20) Hadillah Mohoumadi (5-57)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: 
Friday
#18 MW Curtis Stevens vs. Tureano Johnson; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NBC Sports (US)
This is basically a middleweight fight, but is expected a few pounds over the limit.  Stevens has looked quite impressive in his last couple fights, including a brave effort against Golovkin.  Johnson is an undefeated prospect from the Bahamas.  He comes off the biggest win of his career against fellow undefeated prospect Willie Fortune, but still isn’t particularly proven aside from his Olympic pedigree.

Middleweight: 2014, Jan 27- Feb 2

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on May 13, 2014 by danboxing
In a fight that was expected to be quick and easy, Curtis Stevens made it look even easier and quicker than expected.  In the very first round, Stevens knocked Polish journeyman Patrick Majewski down hard with a jab, and then went into full windmill mode to knock him down twice more and finish him off.  Majewski never showed any resistance whatsoever at any point in the spectacle.

 

On the Huck-Arslan undercard in Stuttgart, we had a near miss on what was almost another in a long line of German robberies.  Technically undefeated prospect Marcos Nader brought his tenuous resume- which consisted of a draw against Roberto Santos that should have been a loss (I scored it 115-113), followed by a win in the rematch that again should have been a loss (I again had it 115-113)- into a European Union title defense against untested but also undefeated 34 year old Italian Emmanuele Blandamura.  Blandamura rose to the occasion, while Nader shrunk from it.  The Italian wasn’t particularly precise, but worked almost constantly, and peppered the Spanish-born Austrian with little scoring shots almost non-stop.  Nader laid back, looking to land single punches, which he did about once every two rounds.  He fought as if he were Randall Bailey and therefore capable of winning the fight at any moment he chose with a huge shot.  That’s most likely some combination of awful strategy and extreme laziness.  Nader only has 3 stoppage victories, at least one of which was due to injury.  He’s not the kind of guy that can turn around a fight with one punch, and that was the only chance he was allowing himself for a win, based on his effort.  But it turns out he had another chance, as two of the three judges were going out of their ways to hand it to him.  Luckily, Blandamura won it by a clear enough margin that one of the two- Denmark’s Soren Saugmann- apparently decided it was not close enough to sign his name to a robbery.  Richard Davies of England, a veteran crook, had no such compunction.  He gave Nader at least 3 rounds that were clearly won by Blandamura, in addition to two close ones I scored for the Italian, to give Nader the nod at 115-113.  Only Spanish judge Francisco Vazquez had it reasonably scored at 117-111.  My score was 118-110, and I could see giving Nader as many as 2 additional rounds.  It’s a measure of redemption for Vazquez, who was the worst perpetrator of one of 2013’s worst robberies when he scored Ndiaye-Rebrasse in favor of Ndiaye, who was comprehensively dominated in the fight.

 

Blandamura falls just a couple spots short of the rankings with the win, and is now a bona fide fringe contender in addition to an undefeated prospect.  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 (198-198-198)
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 (7-74-137)
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 (7-541-541)
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 (7-113-113)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- W* (PTS8) vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Initial reports had Murray’s withdrawal from his scheduled fight with Jarrod Fletcher as a result of an offer to fight Felix Sturm, but Murray says he doesn’t know if those negotiations are even underway or not, and says nagging injuries to both hands are to blame.
4) Daniel Geale (2-241-241)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (SD12) vs. #15 Darren Barker
Next Fight: 2/19/2014- vs. Garth Wood (UNR)
Geale will face gatekeeper Garth Wood- his former sparring partner- on February 19 in Sydney.
5) Matthew Macklin (2-136-227)
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.  He’s also expressed interest in Quillin.
6) Peter Quillin (2-67-88)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Macklin’s notes, above.
7) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (2-7-7)
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.
8) Sam Soliman (2-7-7)
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.
9) Sergio Mora (2-31-31)
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.
10) Marco Antonio Rubio (2-2-157)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- KO2 Dionisio Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Domenico Spada (UNR)
Rubio-Spada is now set for April 5 in Mexico.  It’s for an interim title, if such trifles mean anything to you.
11) Anthony Mundine (2-157)
Last Fight: 11/27/2013- TKO7 #4 WW Shane Mosley (at JMW)
Next Fight: 1/29/2014- vs. Gunnar Jackson (UNR) (at JMW?)
After two halfway decent opponents in Carson Jones and Billy Lyell fell through, Mundine has stepped down in competition with late replacement Gunnar Jackson, a mere journeyman.
12) Max Bursak (2-157)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD8 Gari Abajian (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/1/2013- vs. Jarrod Fletcher (UNR)
Bursak has replaced Martin Murray against Aussie prospect Jarrod Fletcher on February 1.  He’ll be in the rare position of a favored fighter in a fairly high-profile fight becoming a short-notice opponent.
13) Bryan Vera (2-67)
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) (at SMW)
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.
14) Grzegorz Proksa (2-146)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Plans for a February fight have apparently been scrapped, and Proksa would like to fight in April or May.  Setting reports of hand problems to rest, he says there’s currently nothing wrong with him.
15) Caleb Truax (2-19)
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.
16) Curtis Stevens (2-26)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- TKO1 Patrick Majewski (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevens obliterated an overwhelmed Patrick Majewski, but that can legitimately do nothing for Stevens other than return his confidence.
17) Andrey Meryasev (2-12)
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.
18) Danny Jacobs (2-23)
Last Fight: 8/19/2013- TKO3 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Dmitry Chudinov (2-23)
Last Fight: 12/21/2013- TKO6 Juan Camilo Novoa (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
A fight with Ricardo Mayorga had been discussed, but Mayorga is no longer interested.
20) Nobuhiro Ishida (2-2)
Last Fight: 8/4/2013- KO2 Elly Pangaribuan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
This sounds crazy, but the rather light-hitting middleweight is currently doing heavy weight training and has applied for clearance from the Japanese commission to compete as a heavyweight.  That’s a 4-division, 40 to, let’s say, 100 pound jump in weight.  If he’s approved, he will likely fight for the rather lightly-regarded Japanese Heavyweight title against Kyotaro Fujimoto.  As for his ranking here, that means he’ll most likely just hang around the rankings until he becomes ineligible on or about August 4.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Wednesday
#11 Anthony Mundine vs. Gunnar Jackson; Boondall, Australia; Main Event (Australia)
Jackson is a lower-mid-level Kiwi journeyman, and Mundine should have little trouble with him.

 

Saturday
#1 Gennady Golovkin vs. Osumanu Adama; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Main Event (Australia)
This may look like a walk in the park for the destructive and excellent Golovkin.  It may very well turn out that way.  That being said, it should be noted that Adama was ranked #13 before being removed for inactivity at 160 in September, and so it’s not like he’s a no-hope journeyman or anything like that.  That being said (part 2), Adama barely squeaked by against fading gatekeeper Grady Brewer after failing to make weight two fights ago.  He might be on the decline, himself, even at age 33.

 

#12Max Bursak vs. Jarrod Fletcher; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Main Event (Australia)
Australian prospect Fletcher was originally slated to fight Martin Murray, who withdrew.  Bursak was called in just a few weeks ahead of the fight date, and will therefore be in the rare position of a significantly favored fighter who took the fight on short notice.  Fletcher’s only loss was in the fall of 2012 in a fight with undefeated Brit Billy Joe Saunders, in a fight that was stopped ridiculously prematurely by a bad referee in Saunders’ home country.  On the other hand, he’s never beat anyone better than a upper-mid-level journeyman.  Bursak is a bona fide fringe contender, having beaten Bryan Vera in 2010.

Middleweight: 2014, Jan 20-26

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on April 16, 2014 by danboxing
No action in the ring this past week, but #4 Darren Barker retired on Wednesday due to ongoing hip problems, and is therefore removed.  Everyone ranked #5 and below last week moves up one.  This includes Marco Antonio Rubio, who regains a spot in the top 10 for the first time since mid-December.  Filling the void at #20 is Nobuhiro Ishida.  I know this isn’t entirely consistent with prior decisions, as Kirkland and Heiland both have been in line ahead of him.  That being said, it occurs to me that in choosing the last remaining spot in the rankings, it’s hard indeed to rank Kirkland ahead of Ishida, considering that Ishida destroyed Kirkland in their 2011 head-to-head, and hasn’t really lost to anyone at or below the status of Tapia- Kirkland’s lone success in this division.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (197-197-197)
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 (6-73-136)
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 (6-540-540)
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 (6-112-112)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- W* (PTS8) vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Initial reports had Murray’s withdrawal from his scheduled fight with Jarrod Fletcher as a result of an offer to fight Felix Sturm, but Murray says he doesn’t know if those negotiations are even underway or not, and says nagging injuries to both hands are to blame.
4) Daniel Geale (1-240-240)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (SD12) vs. #15 Darren Barker
Next Fight: 2/19/2014- vs. Garth Wood (UNR)
Geale will face gatekeeper Garth Wood- his former sparring partner- on February 19 in Sydney.
5) Matthew Macklin (1-135-226)
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.
6) Peter Quillin (1-66-87)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golovkin’s team has called out Quillin, but that fight is likely impossible for the time being due to the HBO-Showtime allegiances of the two.
7) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (1-6-6)
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.
8) Sam Soliman (1-6-6)
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.
9) Sergio Mora (1-30-30)
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.
10) Marco Antonio Rubio (1-1-156)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- KO2 Dionisio Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Domenico Spada (UNR)
Rubio-Spada is now set for April 5 in Mexico.  It’s for an interim title, if such trifles mean anything to you.
11) Anthony Mundine (1-156)
Last Fight: 11/27/2013- TKO7 #4 WW Shane Mosley (at JMW)
Next Fight: 1/29/2014- vs. Billy Lyell (UNR) (at JMW?)
With Carson Jones pulling out due to illness, Mundine has made a fairly lateral move to Billy Lyell, a former fringe contender himself.
12) Max Bursak (1-156)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD8 Gari Abajian (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/1/2013- vs. Jarrod Fletcher (UNR)
Bursak has replaced Martin Murray against Aussie prospect Jarrod Fletcher on February 1.  He’ll be in the rare position of a favored fighter in a fairly high-profile fight becoming a short-notice opponent.
13) Bryan Vera (1-66)
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) (at SMW)
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.
14) Grzegorz Proksa (1-145)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Plans for a February fight have apparently been scrapped, and Proksa would like to fight in April or May.  Setting reports of hand problems to rest, he says there’s currently nothing wrong with him.
15) Caleb Truax (1-18)
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.
16) Curtis Stevens (1-25)
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 two-loss Polish fringe prospect Patrick Majewski.
17) Andrey Meryasev (1-11)
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.
18) Danny Jacobs (1-22)
Last Fight: 8/19/2013- TKO3 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Dmitry Chudinov (1-22)
Last Fight: 12/21/2013- TKO6 Juan Camilo Novoa (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
A fight with Ricardo Mayorga had been discussed, but Mayorga is no longer interested.
20) Nobuhiro Ishida (1-1)
Last Fight: 8/4/2013- KO2 Elly Pangaribuan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
This sounds crazy, but the rather light-hitting middleweight is currently doing heavy weight training and has applied for clearance from the Japanese commission to compete as a heavyweight.  That’s a 4-division, 40 to, let’s say, 100 pound jump in weight.  If he’s approved, he will likely fight for the rather lightly-regarded Japanese Heavyweight title against Kyotaro Fujimoto.  As for his ranking here, that means he’ll most likely just hang around the rankings until he becomes ineligible on or about August 4.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Friday
Curtis Stevens vs. Patrick Majewski; Atlantic City, New Jersey; NBC Sports (US)
Stevens makes a quick return from his taxing loss to Golovkin, taking on two-loss fringe prospect Patrick Majewski, who appeared to be going places before being stunningly upset by Jose Miguel Torres in 2011.  He threw in a fairly dominant loss to solid prospect Patrick Nielsen in his last fight, as well.  It shouldn’t be a terribly tough night for Stevens, who- Derrick Findley aside- tends to detonate guys on Majewski’s level.

 

Saturday
Marcos Nader vs. Emanuele Blandamura; Stuttgart, Germany; ARD (Germany)
Blandamura is an undefeated but untested 35 year-old Italian prospect.  Nader is a Spanish-born Austrian who is also technically undefeated, having been tested twice at the gatekeeper level.  Both times, he fought Roberto Santos of Spain, and both times I had Santos winning 115-113.  Nader, however, received a minor gift in those fights, escaping with a draw and a win.  This could be a very interesting fight, though I honestly can’t say I know what level Blandamura is at with any clarity.

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, Nov 4-10

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 7, 2014 by danboxing
#15 Curtis Stevens hung in there admirably- and much tougher than I expected- against bona fide destroyer #2 Gennady Golovkin on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.  Ultimately, though, Golovkin was too powerful and too skilled.  I did give Stevens 3 rounds, making the fight relatively close on my card (not on the official ones, as those rounds were all toss-ups), but the fight was stopped in his corner after the 8th, with the game Stevens broken down and busted up.  

 

There are no changes this week.  The #1 contender pretty clearly beat the Champion, so he’s basically got that spot on lock until he loses or takes the Championship himself.  Stevens’ loss doesn’t hurt him much, since Billi Godoy’s roughly comparable record is a bit older, generally speaking.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (186-186-186)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: Unknown
Martinez wants to fight Miguel Cotto at 158.  Golovkin is now openly challenging him, as well.
1) Martin Murray (28-101-101)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- L* (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez (Robbery- D at worst)
Next Fight: 12/11/2013- vs. Garth Wood (UNR)
Murray-Wood has a new date of December 11 in Sydney.
2) Gennady Golovkin (19-62-125)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- RTD8 #15 Curtis Stevens
Next Fight: Unknown
Golovkin continues to roll.  He’s now beaten nine top-50 contenders in less than three years, and they’ve all been stopped.
3) Darren Barker (12-12-108)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- W (SD12) vs. #3 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: 12/7/2013- vs. #4 Felix Sturm
Another excellent middleweight match-up in 2013, as Barker will take on Felix Sturm in Germany on December 7.
4) Felix Sturm (19-529-529)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- TKO4 Predrag Radosevic (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/7/2013- vs. #3 Darren Barker
See Barker’s notes, above.
5) Daniel Geale (12-229-229)
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.  March appears to be the current target.
6) Matthew Macklin (12-124-215)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- L (KO3) vs. #4 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: 12/7/2013- vs. JMW #14 Willie Nelson
According to sources close to Willie Nelson, the tall Cleveland fringe contender is in talks to move up to 160 to fight Macklin on HBO in early December.  There is also talk of a March bout with Andy Lee.
7) Peter Quillin (28-55-76)
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.
8) Sergio Mora (3-19-19)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- UD10 #9 Grzegorz Proksa
Next Fight: 11/16/2013- vs. Milton Nunez (UNR)
Mora will fight Milton Nunez- best known for nearly knocking out Deandre Latimore a couple years ago- on the Ward-Rodriguez undercard.
9) Marco Antonio Rubio (3-5-145)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- KO2 Dionisio Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
10) Anthony Mundine (3-3-145)
Last Fight: 1/30/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown
Mosley-Mundine is off, due to an apparent monetary breach of the fight contract by Mundine’s side.
11) Max Bursak (3-145)
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.
12) Caleb Truax (3-7)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO4 Ceresso Fort (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The Twin Cities Pioneer Press reports that Truax plans to fight again in January.
13) Bryan Vera (3-55)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L* (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
There was talk of a December rematch with Chavez, but February now looks more likely.
14) Grzegorz Proksa (3-134)
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.
15) Curtis Stevens (3-14)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L (RTD8) vs. #2 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevens did nothing close to winning against Golovkin, and far from backed up his trash talk.  Even so, he did better than I think could have reasonably been expected of him.  
16) Billi Godoy (3-12)
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.
17) Danny Jacobs (3-11)
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.
18) Dmitry Chudinov (3-11)
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.
19) Akio Shibata (3-5)
Last Fight: 8/25/2013- L (TKO2) vs. Ryoto Murata (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Nobuhiro Ishida (3-3)
Last Fight: 8/4/2013- KO2 Elly Pangaribuan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead:The middleweight week begins and ends on Monday, when undefeated Russian Andrey Meryasev faces by far his toughest test to date in Argentine gatekeeper Sergio Sanders in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Middleweight: 2013, Oct 28- Nov 3

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on December 28, 2013 by danboxing
Regarding the week’s biggest fight in the division:
It began as a good fight.  It ended as an inconclusive disappointment.  But sadly, that was probably preferable to the result that was being cooked up in the background, which would have been as atrocious a decision as I’ve ever seen.  #7 Peter Quillin won the first three rounds, and added a knockdown.  On my card, Gabe Rosado came back to win 5 of the last 6, drawing the fight even.  The reasonable range of possible scoring was anywhere from 87-83 for Quillin and 86-84 for Rosado, who had clearly taken over the fight by then.  He was backing Quillin up and outpunching him, and Kid Chocolate was clearly fading.  Unfortunately, Rosado suffered a gruesome cut on his eyelid that was from a punch.  The fight was stopped, and I can’t argue with that result.

 

But here’s where it gets really disgusting.  Kason Cheeks.  The guy had it 90-80.  A shutout.  Seriously.  Okay, look…I think I’m through speculating about what makes judges do the unthinkable.  And this was unthinkable.  Was he paid off?  Was he drunk?  Was he asleep?  Who knows.  All I know is this: that level of incompetence, corruption, or whatever it actually was, means that this man is never to be trusted judging a fight.  Ever.  It’s not worth trying to rehabilitate him.  There are plenty of 5 year-olds that would do a better job without fail.  He shouldn’t even be allowed to buy ringside seats, on the off chance that he might form an opinion.  I’d have to look back at the long list, but this strikes me as probably the single worst scorecard of the year.  I believe I’ve scored two fights that he judged and which went to the cards.  One he did just fine…but on the other, he turned in an unreasonable shutout scorecard in a close fight between Jonathan Batista and Emmanuel Lartey.  

 

And his card was so wreakingly bad that it obscures a card from Waleska Roldan that was only marginally less insane at 89-81, and a reasonable but, I think, rather biased 87-83 from Ron McNair.  The overall judging hardly gets worse.  If I’m this exercised about a robbery that didn’t actually get executed, I’m probably kinda glad that it didn’t reach its natural conclusion.

 

Earlier that night on the undercard of Abraham-De Carolis in Oldenburg, Austrian prospect Marcos Nader looked pretty good against Spanish journeyman Luis Crespo.  But he should have.  Crespo hurt his left arm very early in the fight, and probably wasn’t very good to begin with.  He probably only landed about one or two punches the entire fight, which ended in the corner at the bell to begin the 7th round.

 

Backtracking to Friday, one-loss local prospect Nick Brinson won every round of his 8-rounder with Cuban journeyman Lester Gonzalez.

 

The question is what to do with the Quillin-Rosado fight.  Underlying my decisions is the fundamental question, “What has he proved?”  That goes for both the positive and the negative.  So what did Quillin and Rosado prove, respectively?  Quillin proved nothing close to superiority over a guy that hasn’t made any kind of real splash at a high level, except at 154.  Rosado, for his part, would have needed a big finish to have ended the fight with a truly clear victory.  So as I said in the second line of the post, it was inconclusive.  Quillin gets a TKO win and gets to keep his alphabet title with no argument.  That’s all well and good.  But just as Jean Paul Mendy’s disqualification victory over Sakio Bika proved nothing, and Vitali Klitschko’s TKO of Odlanier Solis proved nothing due to the collapse of Solis’ knee, neither does this fight.  To use a cliche, the result is what it is…and it ain’t much.  No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (185-185-185)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: Unknown
Martinez wants to fight Miguel Cotto at 158.
1) Martin Murray (27-100-100)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- L* (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez (Robbery- D at worst)
Next Fight: 12/11/2013- vs. Garth Wood (UNR)
Murray-Wood has a new date of December 11 in Sydney.
2) Gennady Golovkin (18-61-124)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- KO3 #5 Matthew Macklin
Next Fight: 11/2/2013- vs. #15 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 (11-11-107)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- W (SD12) vs. #3 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: 12/7/2013- vs. #4 Felix Sturm
Another excellent middleweight match-up in 2013, as Barker will take on Felix Sturm in Germany on December 7.
4) Felix Sturm (18-528-528)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- TKO4 Predrag Radosevic (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/7/2013- vs. #3 Darren Barker
See Barker’s notes, above.
5) Daniel Geale (11-228-228)
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.  March appears to be the current target.
6) Matthew Macklin (11-123-214)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- L (KO3) vs. #4 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
According to sources close to Willie Nelson, the tall Cleveland fringe contender is in talks to move up to 160 to fight Macklin on HBO in early December.  There is also talk of a March bout with Andy Lee.
7) Peter Quillin (27-54-75)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It looked like Quillin was on his way to defeat, but it turns out he was on his way to a blatant robbery victory when Rosado’s eyelid gave way to a lucky punch and made it all academic.  Quillin will need to do better than that.
8) Sergio Mora (2-18-18)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- UD10 #9 Grzegorz Proksa
Next Fight: 11/16/2013- vs. Milton Nunez (UNR)
Mora will fight Milton Nunez- best known for nearly knocking out Deandre Latimore a couple years ago- on the Ward-Rodriguez undercard.
9) Marco Antonio Rubio (2-4-144)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- KO2 Dionisio Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
10) Anthony Mundine (2-2-144)
Last Fight: 1/30/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown
Mosley-Mundine is off, due to an apparent monetary breach of the fight contract by Mundine’s side.
11) Max Bursak (2-144)
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.
12) Caleb Truax (2-6)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO4 Ceresso Fort (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The Twin Cities Pioneer Press reports that Truax plans to fight again in January.
13) Bryan Vera (2-54)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L* (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
There was talk of a December rematch with Chavez, but February now looks more likely.
14) Grzegorz Proksa (2-133)
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. 
15) Curtis Stevens (2-13)
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.
16) Billi Godoy (2-11)
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.
17) Danny Jacobs (2-10)
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.
18) Dmitry Chudinov (2-10)
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.
19) Akio Shibata (2-4)
Last Fight: 8/25/2013- L (TKO2) vs. Ryoto Murata (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Nobuhiro Ishida (2-2)
Last Fight: 8/4/2013- KO2 Elly Pangaribuan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: #2 Gennady Golovkin headlines the week and a Madison Square Garden card against #15 Curtis Stevens on Saturday.

Middleweight: 2013, Aug 5-11

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on August 9, 2013 by danboxing
Saturday in Tokyo represented the first test for Tomohiro Ebisu since he upset my 2012 middleweight prospect of the year (Sanosuke Sasaki) in February.  Ebisu is notable because- coming in with a record of 11-2- he has won all of his wins by stoppage, and lost all of his losses in the same way.  His opponent, Daiske Nakagawa, was essentially a gatekeeper who had recently moved up from 154.  The fight ended with a knockout, as you might expect, but not the way Ebisu was hoping, as Nakagawa put him out for the count in the closing seconds of round 7.

 

Several hours later in Uncasville, Connecticut, Curtis Stevens set the social networks to buzzing with talk of a Gennady Golovkin fight by prevailing in spectacular fashion in a short-lived firefight with Mexican gatekeeper Saul Roman.  Roman was really at exactly the same level as Stevens’ last first round KO victim, Elvin Ayala, but I guess he gets more credit for this one because Roman is seen as a more durable blood and guts kind of fighter.  There’s no denying Stevens’ power, but the result was a foregone conclusion in my view.  Roman clearly had much less power and technique than his opponent, and yet chose to participate in undisciplined trading with Stevens.

 

The week was capped off with a gross mismatch in Osaka, as fringe contender Nobuhiro Ishida assumed the role played by Gennady Golovkin in their recent fight by knocking out the hopelessly outgunned and comically inexperienced Elly Pangaribuan in the second round.

 

Stevens ascends to the #20 position in a very close call over Billi Godoy.  This is despite the dismal performance he put forth against Derrick Findley in his previous fight.  That fight could have been a close loss or a draw, but certainly not the comfortable win he was gifted by the house judges.  That performance is offset by a debatable but still unacceptable loss on Godoy’s ledger to a comparable journeyman in Sergio Sanders, with the main difference being that Stevens’ wins have been more emphatic, and especially that he’s crammed them both in to 2013, while Godoy’s best win is over 2 years old.  Nakagawa’s win gets him to the verge of the top 25 roughly.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (173-173-173)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: Unknown
Martinez is now making noise to the effect that he intends to fight Gennady Golovkin in 2014, but more recently stated that he wants the Mayweather-Canelo winner.
1) Martin Murray (15-88-88)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- L* (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez (Robbery- D at worst)
Next Fight: Unknown
Murray looks like a good bet to fight Golovkin on November 2, in what would be the best matchup at 160 of 2013.
2) Gennady Golovkin (6-49-112)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- KO3 #5 Matthew Macklin
Next Fight: Unknown
See Murray’s notes above.
3) Daniel Geale (6-216-216)
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.
4) Felix Sturm (6-516-516)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- TKO4 Predrag Radosevic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sturm wants to fight Geale by the end of the year if the Australian gets by Barker.
5) Matthew Macklin (15-111-202)
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.
6) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (15-114-132)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: 9/7/2013- vs. #18 Bryan Vera (at SMW)
Bob Arum confirms Chavez-Vera, but on a new date of September 7, at Staples Center.  Apparently it will be at a contract weight “a few pounds” over the middleweight limit.  This is potentially problematic for Chavez’s continued ranking here- especially since he has stated interest in fighting Sakio Bika next at 168.
7) Peter Quillin (15-42-63)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- TKO7 Fernando Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golden Boy intends to put Quillin on an October card in Brooklyn.  There are signs that his opponent might be Danny Jacobs.  If so, that’s a ridiculous match-up.  Jacobs has fought only ham-and-eggers since being knocked out by Pirog in 2010 and winning a fight with cancer.  A fight with Golovkin has been discussed, but that is complicated by the opposing network loyalties of the two fighters.
8) Dmitry Pirog (15-158-158)
Last Fight: 5/1/2012- UD12 #20 Nobuhiro Ishida
Next Fight: Unknown
A recent interview with Pirog seemed to reveal underlying doubts as to his ability to return in August as planned and/or hoped for, but he says that return is still possible.  He says he won’t know until he puts a “heavy load” (ie fight camp) on his back if it will respond adequately or not.  If we don’t have positive news, at least, by the end of August, I’ll remove him, as it’s really been too long to keep hoping for a return.
9) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (6-23-145)
Last Fight: 10/20/2012- L (UD12) vs. #20 Peter Quillin
Next Fight: Unknown
10) Sergio Mora (6-6-6)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- UD10 #9 Grzegorz Proksa
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora is hoping for a shot at Golovkin off the Proksa win, and has signed with a solid promoter in Lou DiBella.
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (21-132)
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 (21-132)
Last Fight: 1/30/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown
There is serious discussion of a fight with Shane Mosley in Australia, likely in October.
13) Osumanu Adama (21-124)
Last Fight: 7/26/2013- RTD7 Doel Carasquillo (UNR) (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Adama has until September 7 to schedule a middleweight fight to avoid removal, having missed 160 in his last two fights.
14) Akio Shibata (14-14)
Last Fight: W (TD9) vs. #18 Makoto Fuchigami
Next Fight: 8/25/2013- vs. Ryota Murata (UNR)
This is a bit stunning.  After proving himself the best Asian middleweight against Fuchigami, Shibata will follow up with a high-risk, no reward fight against Ryota Murata, a fighter making his pro debut, but an Olympic Gold Medalist, as well.
15) Darren Barker (14-95)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- RTD4 Simone Rotolo (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/17/2013- vs. #3 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 (14-132)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- UD12 Prince Arron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bursak may be back in September, and his EBU-mandated opponent will likely be Domenico Spada.
17) Demetrius Andrade (14-103)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- UD10 Freddy Hernandez (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: 9/7/2013- vs. #14 JMW Vanes Martirosyan (at JMW)
The last time Andrade fought an opponent over 154 was just 2 weeks less than a year before his upcoming alphabet title fight with Vanes.  Very unlikely he’ll still be ranked at this weight by the end of September.
18) Bryan Vera (14-42)
Last Fight: 3/29/2013- TKO7* Donatas Bondorovas (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/7/2013- vs. #6 Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (at SMW)
Vera’s fight with Chavez has been delayed to September 7.
19) Grzegorz Proksa (6-121)
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. 
20) Curtis Stevens (1-1)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- KO1 Saul Roman (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevens certainly gets style points for the quick and devastating way he dispatched 2 of this last 3 opponents, but I’m not sure he should really be in the running for Golovkin right now as the hype would suggest.

 

The Week Ahead: No significant fight to report for the division this week.

Middleweight: 2013, Jul 29- Aug 4

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on August 4, 2013 by danboxing
Cicero, Illinois evidently isn’t an Amish Paradise, as #13 Osumanu Adama handled and stopped Puerto Rican journeyman Doel “Amish Guy” Carasquillo there on Friday, when Carasquillo failed to answer the bell for round 7.  Speaking of failure, Adama once again failed to make 160, coming in a pound over.  The win gets Adama somewhat back on the right track after his nearly disastrous performance in March against Grady Brewer.  Still, his ranking is very much at risk, as he’ll need to schedule a middleweight fight before September 7, or will be subject to removal the following week.

 

The next night in Chihuahua, Mexico, #11 Marco Antonio Rubio took care of business, knocking out Colombian journeyman Dionisio Miranda in just 2 rounds.  Anyone else think Rubio ought to change his nickname to “The Senator?”

 

On the Rubio undercard, one-loss Mexican prospect Marcos Reyes avenged his only career loss- a 2010 decision- by comfortably outpointing journeyman Amilcar Funes in their second 10-round contest.

 

With all the clear favorites prevailing over journeymen, there are 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 (172-172-172)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: Unknown
Martinez is now making noise to the effect that he intends to fight Gennady Golovkin in 2014, but more recently stated that he wants the Mayweather-Canelo winner.
1) Martin Murray (14-87-87)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- L* (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez (Robbery- D at worst)
Next Fight: Unknown
Murray looks like a good bet to fight Golovkin on November 2, in what would be the best matchup at 160 of 2013.
2) Gennady Golovkin (5-48-111)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- KO3 #5 Matthew Macklin
Next Fight: Unknown
See Murray’s notes above.
3) Daniel Geale (5-215-215)
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.
4) Felix Sturm (5-515-515)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- TKO4 Predrag Radosevic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sturm wants to fight Geale by the end of the year if the Australian gets by Barker.
5) Matthew Macklin (14-110-201)
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.
6) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (14-113-131)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: 9/7/2013- vs. #18 Bryan Vera (at SMW)
Bob Arum confirms Chavez-Vera, but on a new date of September 7, at Staples Center.  Apparently it will be at a contract weight “a few pounds” over the middleweight limit.  This is potentially problematic for Chavez’s continued ranking here- especially since he has stated interest in fighting Sakio Bika next at 168.
7) Peter Quillin (14-41-62)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- TKO7 Fernando Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golden Boy intends to put Quillin on an October card in Brooklyn.  There are signs that his opponent might be Danny Jacobs.  If so, that’s a ridiculous match-up.  Jacobs has fought only ham-and-eggers since being knocked out by Pirog in 2010 and winning a fight with cancer.  A fight with Golovkin has been discussed, but that is complicated by the opposing network loyalties of the two fighters.
8) Dmitry Pirog (14-157-157)
Last Fight: 5/1/2012- UD12 #20 Nobuhiro Ishida
Next Fight: Unknown
A recent interview with Pirog seemed to reveal underlying doubts as to his ability to return in August as planned and/or hoped for, but he says that return is still possible.  He says he won’t know until he puts a “heavy load” (ie fight camp) on his back if it will respond adequately or not.  If we don’t have positive news, at least, by the end of August, I’ll remove him, as it’s really been too long to keep hoping for a return.
9) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (5-22-144)
Last Fight: 10/20/2012- L (UD12) vs. #20 Peter Quillin
Next Fight: Unknown
10) Sergio Mora (5-5-5)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- UD10 #9 Grzegorz Proksa
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora is hoping for a shot at Golovkin off the Proksa win, and has signed with a solid promoter in Lou DiBella.
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (20-131)
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 (20-131)
Last Fight: 1/30/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown
There is serious discussion of a fight with Shane Mosley in Australia, likely in October.
13) Osumanu Adama (20-123)
Last Fight: 7/26/2013- RTD7 Doel Carasquillo (UNR) (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Adama has until September 7 to schedule a middleweight fight to avoid removal, having missed 160 in his last two fights.
14) Akio Shibata (13-13)
Last Fight: W (TD9) vs. #18 Makoto Fuchigami
Next Fight: 8/25/2013- vs. Ryota Murata (UNR)
This is a bit stunning.  After proving himself the best Asian middleweight against Fuchigami, Shibata will follow up with a high-risk, no reward fight against Ryota Murata, a fighter making his pro debut, but an Olympic Gold Medalist, as well.
15) Darren Barker (13-94)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- RTD4 Simone Rotolo (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/17/2013- vs. #3 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 (13-131)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- UD12 Prince Arron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bursak may be back in September, and his EBU-mandated opponent will likely be Domenico Spada.
17) Demetrius Andrade (13-102)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- UD10 Freddy Hernandez (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: 9/7/2013- vs. #14 JMW Vanes Martirosyan (at JMW)
The last time Andrade fought an opponent over 154 was just 2 weeks less than a year before his upcoming alphabet title fight with Vanes.  Very unlikely he’ll still be ranked at this weight by the end of September.
18) Bryan Vera (13-41)
Last Fight: 3/29/2013- TKO7* Donatas Bondorovas (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/7/2013- vs. #6 Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (at SMW)
Vera’s fight with Chavez has been delayed to September 7.
19) Grzegorz Proksa (5-120)
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. 
20) Billi Godoy (2-2)
Last Fight: 7/19/2013- UD12 Mateo Veron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
So Veron is a naturally smaller domestic trial horse.  But Godoy has piled up wins of that kind, and the Argentine scene isn’t half bad overall.  His volume of wins like this are enough in my view to offset his debatable loss to Sanders.

 

The Week Ahead: Saturday’s action begins in Tokyo, where the Japanese title is on the line between Tomohiro Ebisu- the chinny fringe prospect who shocked the 2012 Middleweight Prospect of the Year back in February- and former Japanese 154 champion Daisuke Nakagawa.  Of course the real king of Japanese middleweights is Akio Shibata, who has a win already over Nakagawa.  The winner would have a real good argument to fight Shibata, though.

 

Later that night in Uncasville, Connecticut, gatekeeper Curtis Stevens- coming off a totally undeserved win against journeyman Derrick Findley- will once again be showcased on NBC Sports Network, against Mexican veteran Saul Roman.  We’ll see if his awful performance against Findley was an aberration or not, as Roman is a solid measuring stick at this level.

 

The following day in Osaka, recently-ranked fringe contender Nobuhiro Ishida will look to hit the reset button after a recent stretch of losses that culminated in a brutal knockout against Gennady Golovkin.  He will face the extremely non-threatening Elly Pangaribuan.