Archive for Darren Barker

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.
Advertisements

Middleweight: 2014, Jan 13-19

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on April 13, 2014 by danboxing
No action to report from last week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (196-196-196)
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 (5-72-135)
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 (5-539-539)
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 (5-111-111)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- W* (PTS8) vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Murray withdrew from a scheduled February 1 fight with Jarrod Fletcher.  Reports are that he did so because of an offer to fight Felix Sturm in a rematch, but there is no word on the details of that fight, if true.
4) Darren Barker (6-22-118)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- L (TKO2) vs. #4 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown
Barker will likely need another hip operation, but says he doesn’t know if he will retire or attempt a comeback from the chronic injury.
5) Daniel Geale (22-239-239)
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.
6) Matthew Macklin (22-134-225)
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 (38-65-86)
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.
8) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (5-5-5)
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 (5-5-5)
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 (5-29-29)
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 (5-155)
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 (5-155)
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 (5-155)
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.
14) Bryan Vera (2-65)
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 (2-144)
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 (2-17)
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 (5-24)
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 (5-10)
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 (5-21)
Last Fight: 8/19/2013- TKO3 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Dmitry Chudinov (5-21)
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: Another slow one.

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.

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.

Middleweight: 2013, Dec 23-29

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 23, 2014 by danboxing
Class shows over time.  That boxing maxim was demonstrated on Saturday in Moscow, as #20 Dmitry Chudinov initially had trouble breaking through the defense of serviceable Colombian journeyman Juan Camilo Novoa, who fought the Russian prospect extremely tough for a nearly even first two rounds, but Chudinov took the decided advantage with his heavier hands in round 3, and began breaking Novoa down from there.  There was a slight hiccup in the 4th, when Chudinov was cut around the lower outside corner of his right eye from what appeared to be an intentional headbutt, but by the 6th round, it was an all-out beatdown.  It strikes me that Novoa’s corner might not like their fighter very much, as I have to think you’d want to stop it about halfway through that frame.  Novoa had no chance to win at that point, and was taking hard shots repeatedly.  It wasn’t until about 8 seconds before the bell that referee Guillermo Perez mercifully stopped the beating.  

 

Later that night in Tijuana, Mexico, undefeated Bolivian prospect Jose Uzcategui needed just under a round to dispose of much smaller, rather pudgy journeyman Francisco Villanueva, who is naturally probably a lightweight.  Uzcategui honestly failed to impress me.  He caught Villanueva with a wide open uppercut after the journeyman squared himself up following a miss.  But Uzcategui looked very hittable, rather slow, and his reflexes seemed about a beat behind.  He destroyed Uzcategui almost entirely with his advantages in size, power, and reach.  He’ll need more than that when he starts fighting guys with real credentials at this weight.  That being said, the fight was just a 6-rounder, so it appears that Uzcategui’s team doesn’t necessarily have an unrealistically rosy view of his progression to this point.

 

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 (193-193-193)
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 (2-69-132)
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 (2-536-536)
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 (2-108-108)
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.
4) Darren Barker (3-19-115)
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 (19-236-236)
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 (19-131-222)
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 (35-62-83)
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 (2-2-2)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD10 Anthony Fitzgerald (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
No word on a potential big fight for N’Dam, but at least he’s active again.
9) Sam Soliman (2-2-2)
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 (2-26-26)
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 (2-152)
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 (2-152)
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 (2-152)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD8 Gari Abajian (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Caleb Truax (2-14)
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 (2-62)
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 (2-141)
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 (2-21)
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 (2-7)
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 (2-18)
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 (2-18)
Last Fight: 12/21/2013- TKO6 Juan Camilo Novoa (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chudinov would like to fight the winner of the February 1 fight between Martin Murray and Jarrod Fletcher.

 

The Week Ahead: Have a holly-jolly Christmas!

Middleweight: 2013, Dec 9-15

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2014 by danboxing
I’ll take the week’s action in order of importance this week.

 

Saturday in Stuttgart, #3 Darren Barker saw his body betray him, as a lingering hip injury flared up and saw him unable to keep his feet after originally getting caught for a knockdown in the 2nd round.  His opponent, #4 Felix Sturm, showed no visible signs of pity, dropping the wobbly Englishman again a few seconds later, before the corner mercifully threw in the towel and ended it.  

 

Later that night in Atlantic City, former junior middleweight contender James Kirkland returned after about 21 months off, and put a frightful- if initially competitive- beating on unbeaten junior middleweight prospect Glen Tapia, stopping the game Tapia in 6, after Steve Smoger let it go maybe just a little too long.  The fight was contested at a contract weight of 156, which makes it relevant here.

 

On that undercard, #6 Matthew Macklin didn’t look all that spectacular against undefeated prospect Lamar Russ, but still did plenty to win the fight.  I had Macklin winning comfortably at 98-92, but there were a lot of close rounds.  The judges had it 96-94, 98-92, and 97-93, all for Macklin, and all reasonable.

 

On the non-televised portion of the card, undefeated Russian prospect Matt Korobov stopped Derek Edwards in the 9th of a scheduled 10, at a contract weight a few pounds over the limit.  No big deal there, as Edwards was a low-level journeyman.

 

Japanese undefeated prospect and Olympic Champion Ryota Murata was in action this weekend in Tokyo against Dave Peterson of Minnesota, but you’ll have to read my very detailed report on the Super Middleweight update to find out what happened, as Murata (who is ranked there) came in a half-pound over the limit.

 

Barker is very likely to retire, given his chronic catastrophic injuries, but for now we can only take the fight on its own merits.  It doesn’t prove that Sturm is dominant over a #3 contender, though you do have to give him full credit for the first knockdown.  But even if he had absolutely destroyed a healthy Barker, I’m not sure it would have made much difference in his actual ranking.  As for Barker, I am unable to assume that he’ll never fight again, or that he will be compromised if he does.  He’ll maintain his ranking until he proves unworthy of it, or until he retires.  Therefore, Sturm moves up to #3, while Barker swaps with him to #4.  For those that wonder how much pause I was given by the fact that #5 Geale beat Sturm, I can tell you that it wasn’t much.  Geale’s win over Sturm was one of the closest all-around fights I’ve ever seen, and the verdict was debatable.

 

As for Kirkland, he is held back a bit by his loss to Ishida from a couple years ago- especially as compared to undefeated prospects like Meryasev and Chudinov who have succeeeded at a slightly lower level than Tapia, but who have never suffered the appearance of limitation that comes from a loss at essentially the same level as Tapia that Ishida represented.  If there was any doubt as to where to place him in relation to a guy like Chudinov, it was dispelled by the fact that Tapia isn’t a true middleweight and that the fight was only at middleweight because there was not a title on the line.  Accordingly, Kirkland makes his debut in the middleweight rankings at #19, which once again forces out Akio Shibata after a 9-week stint.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (191-191-191)
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) Martin Murray (33-106-106)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- L* (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez (Robbery- D at worst)
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR)
Murray’s fight with Khomitsky for the Froch-Groves undercard was cancelled on 3 days’ notice on account of a virus, but has been rescheduled for December 14.
2) Gennady Golovkin (24-67-130)
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.
3) Felix Sturm (1-534-534)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- TKO2 #3 Darren Barker
Next Fight: Unknown
Sturm got a little help from Barker’s trick hip, but it’s gotta count for something, and he did score the first knockdown on his own.
4) Darren Barker (1-17-113)
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 (17-234-234)
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.
6) Matthew Macklin (17-129-220)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/7/2013- vs. Lamar Russ (UNR)
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.
7) Peter Quillin (33-60-81)
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) Sergio Mora (8-24-24)
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.
9) Marco Antonio Rubio (8-10-150)
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.
10) Anthony Mundine (8-8-150)
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.
11) Max Bursak (8-150)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- UD12 Nick Blackwell (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Gari Abajian (UNR)
Bursak will fight a low-level Georgian journeyman this weekend in a short-notice stay-busy contest.
12) Caleb Truax (8-12)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO4 Ceresso Fort (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/3/2014- vs. Derek Ennis (UNR)
Truax’s January 3 fight will likely be the first notable fight of the New Year.  He’ll face Derek Ennis.
13) Bryan Vera (8-60)
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.
14) Grzegorz Proksa (8-139)
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 (8-19)
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.
16) Andrey Meryasev (5-5)
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.
17) Danny Jacobs (2-16)
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 (2-16)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- W (PTS8) vs. Max Maxwell (UNR) (at SMW/LHW)
Next Fight: 12/21/2013- vs. Juan Camilo Novoa (UNR)
Chudinov makes his return in Moscow on December 21, taking on mid-level Colombian journeyman Juan Camilo Novoa.
19) James Kirkland (1-1)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- TKO6 Glen Tapia (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Only time will tell whether Kirkland does any serious campaigning at middleweight in the near future, but even though both men are typically junior middleweights, Tapia was a credible enough opponent at 160 (or 156, as it were) to earn Kirkland a ranking here.
20) Jorge Heiland (1-2)
Last Fight: 11/29/2013- TKO*12 #17 Billi Godoy
Next Fight: Unknown
After two closely-contested battles, there’s already talk of a trilogy with Godoy.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Wednesday
Sam Soliman vs. Les Sherrington; Flemington, Australia; Off TV
Soliman returns from a PED suspension against fellow Australian Les Sherrington, who has been able to rebuild himself to gatekeeper level after breaking his leg in a fight with the awful Kashif Mumtaz.  Soliman might reclaim a ranking with a win, simply by virtue of ending his forced inactivity.

 

Saturday
Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam vs. Anthony Fitzgerald; Barcelona, Spain; Off TV
This is another matchup that has the potential to get an inactive contender back into the rankings.  N’Dam is a shoe-in for a spot, assuming he wins and makes 160.

 

Max Bursak vs. Gari Abajian; Brovari, Ukraine; Off TV
Just a stay-busy fight for Bursak.  Abajian is a l0w-level Georgian journeyman.

 

Martin Murray vs. Sergey Khomitsky; London, England; Sky (UK)
This fight is expected to take place a few pounds over 160, and will likely be treated in more detail at 168.

 

Jermain Taylor vs. J.C. Candelo; San Antonio, Texas; Off TV
Another fight that is basically a middleweight fight, but which is expected to take place at super middle technically.  I haven’t decided which division I will discuss it in next week.