Archive for Ezequiel Maderna

Super Middleweight: 2012-2013, Dec 31-Jan 6

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on January 4, 2013 by danboxing
In the week’s only significant action, #19 Maxim Vlasov handled solid Croatian journeyman Geard Ajetovic with relative ease, winning a 10-round decision and losing only 2 rounds between the three cards.

 

However, there will be a change in the rankings this week- and a rather unexpected one, at that.  As it turns out, there was a meaningful fight in Argentina on December 14 that never made it onto the Boxrec schedule until it was over.  As a result, I totally missed it.  That fight featured undefeated prospect Ezequiel Maderna defeating ordinarily middleweight gatekeeper Claudio Abalos when Abalos failed to answer the bell to start the 7th.  I’m not going to go back in time and change the last two weeks of rankings.  First, there is an argument to be made that since Abalos is only a gatekeeper at middleweight, he may be something less than that at 168.  Therefore, not ranking Maderna for these two weeks doesn’t strike me as the level of injustice that would demand retroactive action.  That being said, I do believe that Maderna has sufficiently proven himself to earn a ranking now.  He was previously ranked for the majority of 2011 before being forced out by the debut of Anthony Dirrell.  He returns at #18, forcing Edwin Rodriguez out after 22 weeks.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (55-189-189)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward needs surgery to repair a tear in his shoulder capsule, and is likely on the shelf until Summer at the earliest.
1) Carl Froch (32-342-342)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- KO3 LHW #11 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: Unknown
Froch is trying to finalize a deal with Kessler, and Bute acknowledges that he might be looking at the Fall for his rematch.
2) Arthur Abraham (3-167-167)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- TKO8 Mehdi Bouadla (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown date- vs. #5 Robert Stieglitz
The odd Stieglitz rematch now appears essentially done, with a likely date of either March 30 or April 6.
3) Mikkel Kessler (3-421-421)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO3 Brian Magee (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kessler and Froch are discussing a re-match.
4) Lucian Bute (19-351-351)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 LHW #16 Denis Grachev (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute appears likely to take Andre Ward’s place as Pavlik’s next opponent.
5) Robert Stieglitz (19-175-175)
Last Fight: 8/25/2012- L(UD12) vs. #6 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: Unknown
See Abraham’s notes, above.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (19-83-131)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/2/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Oosthuizen has a fight scheduled in Connecticut on March 2, but no opponent yet.
7) Adonis Stevenson (12-56-56)
Last Fight: 10/12/2012- TKO12 Don George (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevenson probably has a shot at Carl Froch due to him at some point, as he is the mandatory challenger for Froch’s belt.  But Froch already has a contracted fight with Bute likely in March.
8) Kelly Pavlik (12-26-26)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- UD10 #12 Will Rosinsky
Next Fight: Unknown
With Ward needing surgery for a shoulder injury, Pavlik is looking for other options- with Bute being a distinct possibility.
9) George Groves (3-3-25)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- UD12 Glen Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With DeGale having caved to pressure by the WBC and their weak “silver belt” and relinquishing his European Title, Groves now appears likely to fight for the vacated strap against the man DeGale had been set to fight, Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye.  No word of talks between the two, but a purse bid has been scheduled.
10) Karoly Balzsay (23-23-37)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO12 #8 Dimitri Sartison
Next Fight: Unknown
Balzsay suffered a back injury way back in August, but I don’t know if that remains a factor as to why he hasn’t scheduled a fight since then.  More likely, his ties to practically defunct promotional company Universum are the primary reason.
11) Andy Lee (26-95)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(TKO7) vs. MW#? Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (at MW)
Next Fight: 2/9/2013- vs. Anthony Fitzgerald (UNR)
After the death of his trainer and father figure Emmanuel Steward, Lee is back in the British Isles, training with Adam Booth.  He is scheduled to fight in Belfast for his first fight on the east side of the Atlantic since 2010 on February 9 against decent Irish journeyman Anthony Fitzgerald.  This could turn out to be at 160, which would put his 168 ranking in jeopardy.
12) Sakio Bika (3-300)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO10 Dyah Davis (UNR)

Next Fight: Unknown
Bika has informed me that he plans to fight early in the new year, but could not provide any more information. He says the fight should be announced soon.
13) Anthony Dirrell (3-57)
Last Fight: 12/2/2011- TKO4 Renan St. Juste (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After his motorcycle crash, Anthony Dirrell was said to be out until at least November.  November has come and gone, and not a peep.  Hopefully he gets back in the ring before his woefully inactive twin brother.  As for his ranking, I will now commit to not remove him until at least June 2, 2013 due to his very serious injury situation.
14) Will Rosinsky (3-29)
Last Fight: 12/19/2012- UD10 Otis Griffin (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rosinsky was cut and also outmuscled for much of his fight with Griffin, but managed to cobble together enough rounds to eek out a decision.  He admitted after the fight that he’s too small for light heavyweight, and pledged to return here or, possibly, even drop down to 160.
15) Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (3-60)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- RTD9 Jose Maria Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After appearing set to fight James DeGale, Ndiaye might have a date with DeGale’s rival George Groves, instead, after DeGale vacated the belt the two were to fight for.
16) Dimitri Sartison (3-131)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- L(TKO12) vs. Karoly Balzsay (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sartison has been medically cleared since August following another knee surgery, and was said to be looking to return in December, but he has no fight scheduled yet, and no recent buzz of any kind, either.  It may be significant to note that he is a Universum fighter, and that that promotional outfit has become practically defunct in recent months.
17) James DeGale (3-64)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- UD12 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
DeGale was set to fight the highest-ranked fighter of his career in January, but opted to drop the EBU belt in favor of a third-rate WBC trinket.  In doing so, he appears to have bequeathed the risk and the opportunity of the Ndiaye fight to his domestic rival, George Groves.  DeGale has already tentatively set his return for mid-February, with no opponent yet announced.
18) Ezequiel Maderna (1-1)
Last Fight: 12/14/2012- RTD7 Claudio Abalos
Next Fight: Unknown
Maderna is back in the rankings for the first time since December 2011 after his under-the-radar win over Abalos.
19) Jesus Gonzales (1-78)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(KO1) vs. #9 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: 1/19/2013- vs. Albert Onolunose (UNR)
Gonzales’ fight at Desperado’s Nightclub in Calgary has been pushed back for a second time- this time to January 19.  But at least he has an opponent now- Nigerian journeyman Albert Onolunose, who is frankly a level or two better than I was expecting Gonzales to fight in such a small-sounding venue.
20) Maxim Vlasov (1-8)
Last Fight: 12/30/2012- RTD7 Geard Ajetovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After fighting just once in the first 10 months of 2012, Vlasov closed strong with 2 solid wins in the last 2 months.

 

The Week Ahead: No fights of note at 168 this week.
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Super Middleweight: 2012, Aug 27- Sep 2

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on September 30, 2012 by danboxing
The week’s main event was #4 Robert Stieglitz fighting probably the best opponent of his career in #6 Arthur Abraham, who looks to step back up with a victory at the top level for the first time since his stunning knockout of Jermain Taylor back in 2009.  Since then, Abraham had been thoroughly outboxed at the top level, while showing himself still a viable contender by beating fringe contenders like Piotr Wilczewski.  He did also manage to give Andre Ward his toughest fight of the tournament, for whatever that’s worth. 

 

Abraham and Stieglitz both fought in spurts.  This favored Abraham, who had by far the heavier hands.  The only real success Stieglitz had, surprisingly, is when he came inside and tried to slug with Abraham.  This was because Abraham kept his hands at home when Stieglitz forced the issue.  Even in the center of the ring, Abraham- who appeared to have the superior reach- held his own.  Stieglitz, considered a pure boxer, simply didn’t do enough to keep Abraham off balance.  The judges quite admirably scored the fight 116-112 (x2), 115-113, all for Abraham.

 

In other Saturday action, fringe contending and undefeated Argentine prospect Ezequiel Maderna shut out his significantly smaller and less accomplished countryman Oscar Veliz over the 10 round distance  in Argentina.

 

With the win, Abraham returns to something close to his old level of respect within the division.  True, he won’t be confused for being as good as Froch or Ward, but he’s very much in the conversation as a match for Kessler or Bute.  He displaces the fairly inactive Kessler at #2, forcing down everyone rated #2-5 last week a place each.  Stieglitz somehow avoids sliding more than the mandatory amount, as his record still stacks up well against now-#6 Thomas Oosthuizen.  Oosthuizen’s highest-ranked opponent remains an overrated #9 Aaron Pryor, Jr., and in the minds of many he deserved to lose his draw with then-#17 Isaac Chilemba.  Stieglitz has beaten Karoly Balzsay (#7) and Eduard Gutknecht (#10), and his loss to Abraham doesn’t erase that.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (37-171-171)
Last Fight: 12/17/2011- UD12 #2 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 9/8/2012- vs. LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Ward and Dawson are now set to make history in September.  As far as I know, this may be the first time in history a reigning champion has challenged for a championship at a lower weight.  Since Dawson and Ward will be fighting at or below both the Super Middleweight and Light Heavyweight limits, both Championships will be on the line as far as I’m concerned.
1) Carl Froch (14-324-324)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- TKO5 #1 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: 11/28/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Froch has been turned down by Oosthuizen and now Poulard.  Yusaf Mack was apparently all but a done deal at one point, but that appears to have failed, as well.
2) Arthur Abraham (1-149-149)
Last Fight: 8/25/2012- UD12 #4 Robert Stieglitz
Next Fight: 12/15/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Abraham is a hot commodity in the division again.  He is already scheduled for a return on December 15, with Mikkel Kessler reportedly interested, and with the winner of Sturm-Geale also being a possibility.
3) Mikkel Kessler (1-403-403)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- KO5 Allan Green (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kessler is interested in fighting Arthur Abraham.
4) Lucian Bute (1-333-333)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- L(TKO5) vs. #2 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 11/3/2012- vs. LHW #15 Denis Grachev (at LHW)
Bute will exercise his rematch clause to fight Froch in March, but will be fighting an interim fight in November against otherwise mediocre but hard-hitting light heavyweight Denis Grachev.
5) Robert Stieglitz (1-157-157)
Last Fight: 8/25/2012- L(UD12) vs. #6 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: Unknown
Stieglitz was somewhat busted up in the tough Abraham fight, and so I expect him to take a few months off at least.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (1-65-113)
Last Fight: 8/2/2012- UD12 Rowland Bryant (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Oosthuizen looked like the frontrunner to fight Froch in April, but didn’t like the offer he was given and turned down the shot.
7) Kelly Pavlik (8-8-8)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- UD10 #12 Will Rosinsky
Next Fight: Unknown
8) Adonis Stevenson (8-38-38)
Last Fight: 4/20/2012- TKO2 Noe Gonzalez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It appears that the Stevenson-George fight is already in the process of being re-set for October 13.
9) Sakio Bika (5-37-282)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO10 Dyah Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bika has been talking about a willingness to fight Froch, or even to move up and fight Danny Green as high as cruiserweight.
10) Karoly Balzsay (5-5-19)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO12 #8 Dimitri Sartison
Next Fight: Unknown
Balzsay pulled out of a scheduled alphabet title defense with fringe contender Brian Magee with a back injury.
11) Andy Lee (8-77)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(TKO7) vs. MW#? Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
12) Anthony Dirrell (5-39)
Last Fight: 12/2/2011- TKO4 Renan St. Juste (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dirrell had been all set for a somewhat goofy vacant title opportunity against the underwhelming Nikola Sjekloca, but Dirrell crashed his motorcycle, breaking an arm and leg.  He’s expected to be out of action until approximately November at the earliest.
13) Will Rosinsky (5-11)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- L(UD10) vs. Kelly Pavlik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (5-42)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- RTD9 Jose Maria Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Dimitri Sartison (5-113)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- L(TKO12) vs. Karoly Balzsay (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sartison has been medically cleared following his third knee surgery, and is looking to return in December.
16) Bryan Vera (5-82)
Last Fight: 8/11/2012- W(MD12) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vera took care of his rematch with Mora, but now only has until October to schedule a fight at 168 before he’s removed here.
17) Jesus Gonzales (5-60)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(KO1) vs. #9 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
18) James DeGale (5-46)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO4 Cristian Sanavia (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) George Groves (5-7)
Last Fight: 7/28/2012- TKO6 Francisco Sierra (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Groves was supposed to headline a fight on September 14 in London, but seemed to have had other ideas almost from the start, as the show will now go on without him.
20) Edwin Rodriguez (5-5)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- UD10 Don George (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/29/2012- vs. Jason Escalera (UNR)
Rodriguez will headline a fairly ShoBoxy edition of HBO’s Boxing After Dark on September 29.

 

The Week Ahead: Two-loss Mexican fringe prospect Rogelio Medina battles mediocre 13-1 pretender Luis Serrano in Los Mochis on Saturday.  Medina’s losses were both against decent competition in Yori Boy Campas and Gilberto Ramirez Sanchez, while Serrano lost to a debuting fighter named Ramon Olivas, who later lost to Rogelio Ruvalcaba, who later was virtually shut out by gatekeeper Francisco Sierra.  So that gives you maybe a sense of his level.

Super Middleweight: 2012, Aug 20-26

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on September 24, 2012 by danboxing
Gatekeeper/prospect hybrid Don George of Chicago proved too big for former middleweight fringe contender Dionisio Miranda, whom he progressively wore down for 6 rounds until Miranda retired on his stool at the conclusion of the 6th.  Of course it helps one prove to be too big when you do in fact have a weight advantage on the scales.  George weighed in at 170, with Miranda scaling 168.  I don’t know if it was a 170 pound contract, or if George was overweight.  Either way, he can’t really get credit for it in terms of the 168 pound rankings because of it.  No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (36-170-170)
Last Fight: 12/17/2011- UD12 #2 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 9/8/2012- vs. LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Ward and Dawson are now set to make history in September.  As far as I know, this may be the first time in history a reigning champion has challenged for a championship at a lower weight.  Since Dawson and Ward will be fighting at or below both the Super Middleweight and Light Heavyweight limits, both Championships will be on the line as far as I’m concerned.
1) Carl Froch (13-323-323)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- TKO5 #1 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: 11/28/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
We now have a date for Froch’s next fight, but the opponent will reportedly be announced next week.  Journeyman Nicholson Poulard reportedly has an offer on the table to be the guy.
2) Mikkel Kessler (13-402-402)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- KO5 Allan Green (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Both Pavlik and Froch are jonesing for a fight with the Viking Warrior.
3) Lucian Bute (13-332-332)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- L(TKO5) vs. #2 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 11/3/2012- vs. LHW #15 Denis Grachev (at LHW)
Bute will exercise his rematch clause to fight Froch in March, but will be fighting an interim fight in November against otherwise mediocre but hard-hitting light heavyweight Denis Grachev.
4) Robert Stieglitz (36-156-156)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- UD12 Nader Hamdan (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/25/2012- vs. #6 Arthur Abraham
Stieglitz vs. Abraham is official- August 25 in Berlin.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (36-64-112)
Last Fight: 8/2/2012- UD12 Rowland Bryant (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Oosthuizen looked like the frontrunner to fight Froch in April, but didn’t like the offer he was given and turned down the shot.
6) Arthur Abraham (36-148-148)
Last Fight: 3/31/2012- UD12 Piotr Wilczewski (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/25/2012- vs. #4 Robert Stieglitz
See Stieglitz’s notes, above.
7) Kelly Pavlik (7-7-7)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- UD10 #12 Will Rosinsky
Next Fight: Unknown
8) Adonis Stevenson (7-37-37)
Last Fight: 4/20/2012- TKO2 Noe Gonzalez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It appears that the Stevenson-George fight is already in the process of being re-set for October 13.
9) Sakio Bika (4-36-281)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO10 Dyah Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bika has been talking about a willingness to fight Froch, or even to move up and fight Danny Green as high as cruiserweight.
10) Karoly Balzsay (4-4-18)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO12 #8 Dimitri Sartison
Next Fight: Unknown
Balzsay pulled out of a scheduled alphabet title defense with fringe contender Brian Magee with a back injury.
11) Andy Lee (7-76)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(TKO7) vs. MW#? Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
12) Anthony Dirrell (4-38)
Last Fight: 12/2/2011- TKO4 Renan St. Juste (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dirrell had been all set for a somewhat goofy vacant title opportunity against the underwhelming Nikola Sjekloca, but Dirrell crashed his motorcycle, breaking an arm and leg.  He’s expected to be out of action until approximately November at the earliest.
13) Will Rosinsky (4-10)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- L(UD10) vs. Kelly Pavlik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (4-41)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- RTD9 Jose Maria Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Dimitri Sartison (4-112)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- L(TKO12) vs. Karoly Balzsay (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sartison unfortunately underwent another knee surgery following his loss to Balzsay, and will be out until at least October.  It’s looking more and more likely that he’ll never be the same fighter.
16) Bryan Vera (4-81)
Last Fight: 8/11/2012- W(MD12) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vera took care of his rematch with Mora, but now only has until October to schedule a fight at 168 before he’s removed here.
17) Jesus Gonzales (4-59)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(KO1) vs. #9 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
18) James DeGale (4-45)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO4 Cristian Sanavia (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) George Groves (4-6)
Last Fight: 7/28/2012- TKO6 Francisco Sierra (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Groves was supposed to headline a fight on September 14 in London, but seemed to have had other ideas almost from the start, as the show will now go on without him.
20) Edwin Rodriguez (4-4)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- UD10 Don George (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/29/2012- vs. Jason Escalera (UNR)
Rodriguez will headline a fairly ShoBoxy edition of HBO’s Boxing After Dark on September 29.

 

The Week Ahead: Two fights merit a mention this Saturday.  The big one is in Berlin, where #4 Robert Stieglitz takes on #6 Arthur Abraham in a battle of boxer versus puncher.  Later that evening in Buenos Aires, two Argentines clash in undefeated fringe contending prospect Ezequiel Maderna and journeyman Oscar Veliz.

Super Middleweight: 2012, May 28- Jun 3

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on June 3, 2012 by danboxing
It’s not a shock that Carl Froch won this weekend, though he was the underdog to the apparently more dynamic if less-tested Lucian Bute even in his own hometown.  What was a shock was how thoroughly the destroyed the Romanian contender.  After a fairly tactical, pretty even first round, Froch took over.  He blasted Bute after backing him to the ropes time and time again.  Bute was seemingly badly hurt for what felt like the majority of the fight, and finally the ref mercifully stopped it with encouragement from Bute’s corner after Froch had pummeled the helpless Canadian resident to a technical knockdown on the ropes in the 5th.

 

Bute had been the subject of a great deal of speculation as to how he would have fared had he been included in the Super Six.  For what it’s worth, had this fight been included in the tournament, it would have been the tournament’s most lopsided mismatch.  It remains to be seen whether Bute will dare exercise his contractual option of a Quebec rematch.

 

Undefeated Argentine prospect Ezequiel Maderna reinforced his comfortable decision win from last year over countryman and gatekeeper Ruben Acosta with a 12-round decision on Saturday.  In Italy earlier in the night, #13 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye beat Spaniard Jose Maria Guerrero when the Spanish journeyman retired in his corner after the 9th round.

 

Speaking of Italy, there was a fight there on Friday, as well.  Ndiaye’s most recent prior victim, prospect Andrea Di Luisa, won by DQ in the 4th round over journeyman Luciano Lombardi for the Italian title.

 

As for the rankings, Froch ascends to the #1 contender position he so emphatically removed Bute from.  Bute drops to #3, behind new #2 Mikkel Kessler, who picked up a tossup-type decision over Froch during a Super Six fight in Kessler’s back yard a couple years ago.  No other changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (24-158-158)
Last Fight: 12/17/2011- UD12 #2 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 9/8/2012- vs. LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Ward and Dawson are now set to make history in September.  As far as I know, this may be the first time in history a reigning champion has challenged for a championship at a lower weight.  Since Dawson and Ward will be fighting at or below both the Super Middleweight and Light Heavyweight limits, both Championships will be on the line as far as I’m concerned.
1) Carl Froch (1-311-311)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- TKO5 #1 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
The two most likely fights for Froch at this point appear to be the contractually required rematch with Bute (if Bute wants it) or Kessler (if not).  Could a third consecutive #1 vs. #2 matchup in this division be too much to ask for?
2) Mikkel Kessler (1-390-390)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- KO5 Allan Green (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kessler said recently that he is willing to fight Ward next, or Froch- even in England.
3) Lucian Bute (1-320-320)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- L(TKO5) vs. #2 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute appears uncertain as to whether he’ll exercise his right to a home-field rematch against Froch.  It sounds like he’ll fight someone else first, even if so.
4) Robert Stieglitz (24-144-144)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- UD12 Nader Hamdan (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/25/2012- vs. #6 Arthur Abraham
Stieglitz vs. Abraham is official- August 25 in Berlin.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (24-52-100)
Last Fight: 4/27/2012- UD10 Marcus Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
In the wake of Oosthuizen’s victory over Johnson, Adonis Stevenson has expressed interest in fighting him.
6) Arthur Abraham (24-136-136)
Last Fight: 3/31/2012- UD12 Piotr Wilczewski (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/25/2012- vs. #4 Robert Stieglitz
See Stieglitz’s notes, above.
7) Adonis Stevenson (15-25-25)
Last Fight: 4/20/2012- TKO2 Noe Gonzalez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Even as he appears in line for a completely ridiculous and likely very easy WBC title shot against Nikola Sjekloca, the IBF just ordered a fight for that title between him and Edwin Rodriguez.  But didn’t Carl Froch just win that title?  Who knows anymore…
8) Peter Quillin (6-57-57)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Craig McEwan (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 6/2/2012- vs. Winky Wright (UNR) (at MW?)
After it originally appeared a no-go, Quillin’s proposed fight with inactive former champ Winky Wright is now on for the Tarver-Kayode undercard on Showtime.
9) Sakio Bika (6-24-269)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- RTD3 Alfredo Contreras (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/2/2012- vs. Dyah Davis (UNR)
Bika’s manager finally deserves credit.  After spending the last few years fighting either nearly unbeatable world-beaters like Andre Ward and rank journeyman like Alfredo Contreras, Bika finally takes a middle road by signing on to fight steady fringe contender Dyah Davis on the Tarver-Kayode undercard.
10) Andy Lee (6-6-64)
Last Fight: 3/10/2012- TKO2 Saul Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/16/2012- vs. MW #? Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (at MW)
Lee gets the fight he’s been waiting for, against the best opponent of his career in Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.  The fight will be in El Paso in mid-June.
11) Karoly Balzsay (6-6)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO12 #8 Dimitri Sartison
Next Fight: Unknown
Balzsay has been ordered to defend against fringe contender Brian Magee before the end of July.  Magee’s team won the purse bid, and the fight will likely take place in Belfast as a result.
12) Anthony Dirrell (24-26)
Last Fight: 12/2/2011- TKO4 Renan St. Juste (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dirrell had been all set for a somewhat goofy vacant title opportunity against the underwhelming Nikola Sjekloca, but Dirrell crashed his motorcycle, breaking an arm and leg.  He’s expected to be out of action until approximately November at the earliest.
13) Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (24-29)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- RTD9 Jose Maria Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Glen Johnson (24-82)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- L(UD12) vs. #3 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: 7/13/2012- vs. Andrzej Fonfara (UNR)
Johnson will now be in a clear gatekeeper role for the first time since he knocked out Yusaf Mack in 2009 when he takes on Polish steroid user/prospect Andrzej Fonfara on Friday Night Fights on July 13- apparently at Light Heavyweight.
15) Dimitri Sartison (6-100)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- L(TKO12) vs. Karoly Balzsay (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sartison unfortunately underwent another knee surgery following his loss to Balzsay, and will be out until at least October.  It’s looking more and more likely that he’ll never be the same fighter.
16) Bryan Vera (6-69)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- UD8 Taronze Washington (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vera will fight no-name journeyman Taronze Washignton on April 21.
17) Aaron Pryor, Jr. (24-56)
Last Fight: 12/10/2011- L(TKO9) vs. Adonis Stevenson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Well, it’s clear that he can’t play with at least one of the big boys.  Every division needs fringe contenders, though, and that looks like Pryor’s lane for the time being.
18) Jesus Gonzales (24-47)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(KO1) vs. #9 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
19) James DeGale (24-33)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO4 Cristian Sanavia (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Easy pickings for a European defense against the faded Sanavia.
20) George Groves (24-24)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO2 Paul Smith (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/30/2012- vs. Kenny Anderson (UNR)
Groves is once again scheduled for a rematch against Kenny Anderson- a fight which he backed out of on fight week last time around.

 

The Week Ahead: Two notable fights on Saturday:

 

In Tijuana, gatekeeper Francisco Sierra takes on journeyman Rogelio Ruvalcaba.

 

On the Tarver-Kayode undercard in Carson, California, #9 Sakio Bika returns to meaningful competition when he takes on fringe contender Dyah Davis.  This fight will most likely be featured on the Showtime Extreme undercard.

Super Middleweight: 2012, May 21-27

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on June 3, 2012 by danboxing
#3 Mikkel Kessler fought at light heavyweight over the weekend against former Super Middleweight contender Allan Green, knocking Green out viciously in the 5th.  I have given this the full treatment in my light heavy update, but just wanted to point out that Kessler must have been reading my inactivity policies.  He was savvy enough to know that by keeping his weight at or under 170, he would earn himself an extra 6 months to schedule a fight at 168 without being removed for inactivity within the division.  No changes to the rankings.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (23-157-157)
Last Fight: 12/17/2011- UD12 #2 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 9/8/2012- vs. LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Ward and Dawson are now set to make history in September.  As far as I know, this may be the first time in history a reigning champion has challenged for a championship at a lower weight.  Since Dawson and Ward will be fighting at or below both the Super Middleweight and Light Heavyweight limits, both Championships will be on the line as far as I’m concerned.
1) Lucian Bute (23-319-319)
Last Fight: 11/5/2012- UD12 #13 Glen Johnson
Next Fight: 5/26/2012- vs. #2 Carl Froch
Despite Showtime rejecting the fight, Bute will face Froch in Nottingham on May 26.  Epix will likely televise in the US.
2) Carl Froch (23-310-310)
Last Fight: 12/17/2011- L(UD12) vs. #1 Andre Ward
Next Fight: 5/26/2012- vs. #1 Lucian Bute
See Bute’s notes, above.
3) Mikkel Kessler (23-389-389)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- TKO6 Mehdi Bouadla (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/19/2012- vs. Allan Green (UNR) (at LHW)
After icing Green, Kessler says he’s now looking at the winners of Bute-Froch, Ward-Dawson, and Pascal-Cloud.
4) Robert Stieglitz (23-143-143)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- UD12 Nader Hamdan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There is a really good chance that Stieglitz will be fighting Arthur Abraham on August 25th in either Berlin, Hamburg, or Magdeburg, Germany.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (23-51-99)
Last Fight: 4/27/2012- UD10 Marcus Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
In the wake of Oosthuizen’s victory over Johnson, Adonis Stevenson has expressed interest in fighting him.
6) Arthur Abraham (23-135-135)
Last Fight: 3/31/2012- UD12 Piotr Wilczewski (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stieglitz’s notes, above.
7) Adonis Stevenson (14-24-24)
Last Fight: 4/20/2012- TKO2 Noe Gonzalez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With Anthony Dirrell on the shelf with broken bones following a motorcycle accident, it appears likely that Stevenson will fight mediocre fringe contender Nikola Sjekloca for a silly excuse for a championship supposedly vacated by Andre Ward.
8) Peter Quillin (5-56-56)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Craig McEwan (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 6/2/2012- vs. Winky Wright (UNR) (at MW?)
After it originally appeared a no-go, Quillin’s proposed fight with inactive former champ Winky Wright is now on for the Tarver-Kayode undercard on Showtime.
9) Sakio Bika (5-23-268)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- RTD3 Alfredo Contreras (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/2/2012- vs. Dyah Davis (UNR)
Bika’s manager finally deserves credit.  After spending the last few years fighting either nearly unbeatable world-beaters like Andre Ward and rank journeyman like Alfredo Contreras, Bika finally takes a middle road by signing on to fight steady fringe contender Dyah Davis on the Tarver-Kayode undercard.
10) Andy Lee (5-5-63)
Last Fight: 3/10/2012- TKO2 Saul Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/16/2012- vs. MW #? Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (at MW)
Lee gets the fight he’s been waiting for, against the best opponent of his career in Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.  The fight will be in El Paso in mid-June.
11) Karoly Balzsay (5-5)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO12 #8 Dimitri Sartison
Next Fight: Unknown
Balzsay has been ordered to defend against fringe contender Brian Magee before the end of July.  Magee’s team won the purse bid, and the fight will likely take place in Belfast as a result.
12) Anthony Dirrell (23-25)
Last Fight: 12/2/2011- TKO4 Renan St. Juste (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dirrell had been all set for a somewhat goofy vacant title opportunity against the underwhelming Nikola Sjekloca, but Dirrell crashed his motorcycle, breaking an arm and leg.  He’s expected to be out of action until approximately November at the earliest.
13) Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (23-28)
Last Fight: 11/11/2011- TKO12 Andrea Di Luisa (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/26/2012- vs. Jose Maria Guerrero (UNR)
Ndiaye will fight Spanish journeyman Jose Maria Guerrero on May 26.
14) Glen Johnson (23-81)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- L(UD12) vs. #3 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: 7/13/2012- vs. Andrzej Fonfara (UNR)
Johnson will now be in a clear gatekeeper role for the first time since he knocked out Yusaf Mack in 2009 when he takes on Polish steroid user/prospect Andrzej Fonfara on Friday Night Fights on July 13.
15) Dimitri Sartison (5-99)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- L(TKO12) vs. Karoly Balzsay (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sartison unfortunately underwent another knee surgery following his loss to Balzsay, and will be out until at least October.  It’s looking more and more likely that he’ll never be the same fighter.
16) Bryan Vera (5-68)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- UD8 Taronze Washington (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vera will fight no-name journeyman Taronze Washignton on April 21.
17) Aaron Pryor, Jr. (23-55)
Last Fight: 12/10/2011- L(TKO9) vs. Adonis Stevenson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Well, it’s clear that he can’t play with at least one of the big boys.  Every division needs fringe contenders, though, and that looks like Pryor’s lane for the time being.
18) Jesus Gonzales (23-46)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(KO1) vs. #9 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
19) James DeGale (23-32)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO4 Cristian Sanavia (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Easy pickings for a European defense against the faded Sanavia.
20) George Groves (23-23)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO2 Paul Smith (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Groves is starting to earn himself a reputation as an unreliable opponent.  He withdrew from a scheduled fight back in December with injury.  Then he scheduled a fight for March that he withdrew from in order to fight for Robert Stieglitz’s belt.  But now he has withdrawn with that bout with a new injury.

 

The Week Ahead: This week is a very active and important one at 168.

 

The most important fight is #1 Lucian Bute versus #2 Carl Froch on Saturday in Nottingham.  Just to put this in perspective- if Andre Ward unexpectedly announces his retirement this week, this fight will be for the vacant World Championship.  It’s hard enough to get a #1 vs. #2 matchup in a given division given years of matchups.  At super middle, we’ve gotten that kind of matchup twice in less than 6 months.  To further put it in perspective: if there was a sanctioning organization that actually sought to organize the sport for the good of the sport, they would no doubt make the winner of this fight the mandatory challenger to Ward.  Of course if Froch wins, that fight will have lost some of its luster due to Ward’s clear win the last time around.   If Bute walks away with the win, however, he will establish himself as Ward’s arch-rival and as the serious Championship threat many already believe him to be.

 

In other action on Saturday, undefeated prospect Ezequiel Maderna meets gateekeper Ruben Acosta in a rematch of their Argentine title fight from last year.  A bit earlier in the night, in Italy, locally-based #13 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye of Senegal fights Spanish journeyman Jose Maria Guerrero for the European Union title- which apparently is slightly different than James DeGale’s European title.

 

Also in Italy, but the night before, prospect Andrea Di Luisa- who recently lost to Ndiaye- returns for the first time since that loss when he fights journeyman Luciano Lombardi for the Italian title.

Super Middleweight: 2011, Nov 7-13

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2012 by danboxing
#3 Lucian Bute was in tougher than he has been for some time, and passed the test with flying colors.  Bute more or less dominated #13 and former Light Heavyweight Champion Glen Johnson to a 12-round decision.  Johnson is so used to being on the wrong end of close or arguable decisions that he imagined in the post-fight interview that this was such an occasion.  It wasn’t.

 

Across the pond in England, George Groves showed surprising power in knocking down British class fringe contender twice en route to a second round stoppage in London. 

 

Back in the Americas, #20 Ezequiel Maderna subjected journeyman Dario Balmaceda to three knockdowns and a cracked rib in less than a round, successfully and quite easily defending his Argentine title. 

 

Last week’s #14 Isaac Chilemba exits the rankings as he’s now been campaigning at light heavyweight for over a year.  This weekend’s winners all fail to advance (except for any mandatory advancement provided by Chilemba’s removal).  Groves has a win over DeGale, but I scored that fight for DeGale, and feel pretty strongly that he deserved to win that.  I treat it as roughly a draw for ratings purposes.  DeGale and Groves now both own wins over Smith.  That’s all Groves has in terms of notable wins, while DeGale adds a decision over fringe contender Piotr Wilczewski.  For Bute, his win against Johnson cancels out Froch’s recent win over the same guy, but Froch has been fighting the much better competition over the last few years apart from that.

 

Everybody rated #15 or below last week moves up a spot.  This makes room for Stanislav Kashtanov- a prospect who was robbed in August against Karoly Balzsay- to debut at #20.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Andre Ward (50-129-129)
Last Fight: 5/14/2011- UD12 #6 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: 12/17/2011- vs. #2 Carl Froch
Ward-Froch has been rescheduled for December 17 in Atlantic City.
2) Carl Froch (50-282-282)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- W(MD12) vs. #12 Glen Johnson
Next Fight: 12/17/2011- vs. #1 Andre Ward
See Ward’s comments above.
3) Lucian Bute (50-291-291)
Last Fight: 11/5/2012- UD12 #13 Glen Johnson
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute passed up Mikkel Kessler for a potentially slightly easier night with #12 Glen Johnson in early November.
4) Mikkel Kessler (50-361-361)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- TKO6 Mehdi Bouadla (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #5 Robert Stieglitz
Kessler’s team is targeting March or April for his recovery and the Stieglitz bout.
5) Robert Stieglitz (31-115-115)
Last Fight: 4/9/2011- W(DQ10) vs. Khoren Gevor (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #4 Mikkel Kessler
See Kessler’s notes above.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (10-23-71)
Last Fight: 9/3/2011- UD12 #9 Aaron Pryor, Jr.
Next Fight: 11/23/2011- vs. Unknown Opponent
Oosthuizen will fight on November 23.  Maxim Vlasov was originally the opponent, but backed out shortly thereafter.
7) Arthur Abraham (10-107-107)
Last Fight: 5/14/2011- L(UD12) vs. #1 Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Abraham now expects to fight in December in Germany.
8) Dimitri Sartison (10-67-71)
Last Fight: 7/31/2010- UD12 Khoren Gevor (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/12/2011- vs. Arturs Kulikauskis (UNR)
Sartison returns to the ring on Saturday for the first time since suffering a bad knee injury training for a Stieglitz bout.  His opponent is strictly a stay-busy mark in Latvian nobody Arturs Kulikauskis.
9) Peter Quillin (10-28-28)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Craig McEwan (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Quillin netted a nice win at Middleweight against Craig McEwan, though it doesn’t affect his ranking here.
10) Sakio Bika (10-10-240)
Last Fight: 11/27/2010- L(UD12) vs. #2 Andre Ward
Next Fight: 12/3/2011- vs. Unknown Opponent
Bika announced on his website that he will be fighting on December 3 in the US.  No opponent yet.
11) Andy Lee (6-35)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- UD10 #14 Bryan Vera
Next Fight: Unknown
Exorcised whatever demons he had left in his career with the win over Vera, and is now ready to move on like the sure-fire contender he was originally seen as.
12) Aaron Pryor, Jr. (6-27)
Last Fight: 9/3/2011- L(UD12) vs. #10 Thomas Oosthuizen
Next Fight: 12/10/2011- vs. Adonis Stevenson (UNR)
Pryor looks to rebound from his momentum-halting loss to Oosthuizen with another tough fight against human highlight reel Adonis Stevenson in October.
13) Glen Johnson (6-53)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- L(UD12) vs. #3 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
The Bute fight was the only one of Johnson’s recent career that wasn’t really close.  Bute is certainly a top fighter, but it could be that the Road Warrior is starting to wind down a bit.
14) Bryan Vera (1-40)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- L(UD10) vs. #15 Andy Lee
Next Fight: Unknown
Totally outclassed by Lee in the rematch of a fight he won last time around.
15) Librado Andrade (1-11)
Last Fight: 8/27/2011- TKO3 Matt O’Brien (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/17/2011- vs. Don George (UNR)
Andrade has not been deterred from fighting top prospects after the Pryor loss, and is now scheduled to fight knockout artist Don George in December.
16) Jesus Gonzales (1-18)
Last Fight: 7/8/2011- UD12 Francisco Sierra (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With a fairly comfortable win over a generally solid and much bigger opponent, Gonzalez finds his way easily within the top 20.
17) James DeGale (1-4)
Last Fight: 10/15/2011- W(MD12) vs. Piotr Wilczewski (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
DeGale finally gets a measure of justice after a questionable loss to Groves now that he has another good win under his belt, albeit a close one.  He already appears to have Italian journeyman Cristian Sanavia in line as his next opponent, likely in December.
18) George Groves (1-25)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO2 Paul Smith (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Groves showed surprising power in stopping Paul Smith 7 rounds earlier than James DeGale managed to a year ago.
19) Ezequiel Maderna (1-36)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO1 Dario Balmaceda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
No problem with a relatively weak opponent in Balmaceda.
20) Stanislav Kashtanov (1-1)
Last Fight: 8/26/2011- L*(SD12) vs. Karoly Balzsay (UNR) (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kashtanov was blatantly robbed in his home country against Hungarian former contender Karoly Balzsay.  Since he rightfully won the fight, he gets credit for it, and now finds himself ranked after Chilemba’s exit.

 

The Week Ahead: Friday: Undefeated Italian prospect Andrea Di Luisa (who was probably next in line for the #20 spot after Kashtanov this week) takes on one-loss Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye of Senegal in Italy.  In Vegas, undefeated Russian Matt Korobov (who projects as a middleweight if he starts fighting title fights) takes on journeyman Latif Mundy.

 

Saturday: #8 Dimitri Sartison takes on weak Latvian bum Arturs Kulikauskis in Belgium.

Super Middleweight: 2011, Oct 31- Nov 6

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on April 10, 2012 by danboxing
Another slow time last week.

 

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Andre Ward (49-128-128)
Last Fight: 5/14/2011- UD12 #6 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: 12/17/2011- vs. #2 Carl Froch
Ward-Froch has been rescheduled for December 17 in Atlantic City.
2) Carl Froch (49-281-281)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- W(MD12) vs. #12 Glen Johnson
Next Fight: 12/17/2011- vs. #1 Andre Ward
See Ward’s comments above.
3) Lucian Bute (49-290-290)
Last Fight: 7/9/2011- KO4 Jean Paul Mendy (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/5/2011- vs. #13 Glen Johnson
Bute passed up Mikkel Kessler for a potentially slightly easier night with #12 Glen Johnson in early November.
4) Mikkel Kessler (49-360-360)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- TKO6 Mehdi Bouadla (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #5 Robert Stieglitz
Kessler’s team is targeting March or April for his recovery and the Stieglitz bout.
5) Robert Stieglitz (30-114-114)
Last Fight: 4/9/2011- W(DQ10) vs. Khoren Gevor (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/5/2011- vs. #4 Mikkel Kessler
See Kessler’s notes above.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (9-22-70)
Last Fight: 9/3/2011- UD12 #9 Aaron Pryor, Jr.
Next Fight: 11/23/2011- vs. Unknown Opponent
Oosthuizen will fight on November 23.  Maxim Vlasov was originally the opponent, but backed out shortly thereafter.
7) Arthur Abraham (9-106-106)
Last Fight: 5/14/2011- L(UD12) vs. #1 Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Abraham now expects to fight in December in Germany.
8) Dimitri Sartison (9-66-70)
Last Fight: 7/31/2010- UD12 Khoren Gevor (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sartison badly injured his knee in training and will be out until about October.  He will be given adequate time to schedule a fight thereafter without being removed.  I probably won’t even consider removing him until February.
9) Peter Quillin (9-27-27)
Last Fight: 7/23/2011- TKO5 Jason LeHoullier (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/5/2011- vs. Craig McEwan (UNR)
Quillin will fight Craig McEwan on the Angulo-Kirkland undercard in Cancun on November 5.
10) Sakio Bika (9-9-239)
Last Fight: 11/27/2010- L(UD12) vs. #2 Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
11) Andy Lee (5-34)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- UD10 #14 Bryan Vera
Next Fight: Unknown
Exorcised whatever demons he had left in his career with the win over Vera, and is now ready to move on like the sure-fire contender he was originally seen as.
12) Aaron Pryor, Jr. (5-26)
Last Fight: 9/3/2011- L(UD12) vs. #10 Thomas Oosthuizen
Next Fight: 12/10/2011- vs. Adonis Stevenson (UNR)
Pryor looks to rebound from his momentum-halting loss to Oosthuizen with another tough fight against human highlight reel Adonis Stevenson in October.
13) Glen Johnson (5-52)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- L(MD12) vs. #2 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 11/5/2011- vs. #3 Lucian Bute
With no apparent buzz leading up to the announcement, Johnson suddenly had a fight signed with Bute for November.
14) Isaac Chilemba (5-70)
Last Fight: 3/26/2011- UD12 Vikapita Meroro (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba seems to be toying with the idea of moving up to 175.  We’ll have to see if he ultimately takes that route or not.
15) Bryan Vera (5-39)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- L(UD10) vs. #15 Andy Lee
Next Fight: Unknown
Totally outclassed by Lee in the rematch of a fight he won last time around.
16) Librado Andrade (10-10)
Last Fight: 8/27/2011- TKO3 Matt O’Brien (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/17/2011- vs. Don George (UNR)
Andrade has not been deterred from fighting top prospects after the Pryor loss, and is now scheduled to fight knockout artist Don George in December.
17) Jesus Gonzalez (10-17)
Last Fight: 7/8/2011- UD12 Francisco Sierra (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With a fairly comfortable win over a generally solid and much bigger opponent, Gonzalez finds his way easily within the top 20.
18) James DeGale (3-3)
Last Fight: 10/15/2011- W(MD12) vs. Piotr Wilczewski (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
DeGale finally gets a measure of justice after a questionable loss to Groves now that he has another good win under his belt, albeit a close one.  He already appears to have Italian journeyman Cristian Sanavia in line as his next opponent, likely in December.
19) George Groves (3-24)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- W(MD12*) vs. #20 James DeGale
Next Fight: 11/5/2011- vs. Paul Smith (UNR)
Groves and Smith were originally scheduled to fight December 17, but perhaps because of a conflict with Ward-Froch, it has been moved up to November 5.
20) Ezequiel Maderna (3-35)
Last Fight: 8/28/2011- TKO3 Jorge Rodriguez Olivera (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/5/2011- vs. Dario Balmaceda (UNR)
Scheduled for a stay-busy fight this week against Balmaceda for the Argentine title.

 

The Week Ahead:  The action picks up this week after a couple slow ones in a row.  All the major fights are on Saturday.  The main event is #3 Lucian Bute fighting his best opponent for quite some time in #12 Glen Johnson in Quebec City.  A little earlier in the night across the pond, #19 George Groves and Paul Smith will do battle in London in a good British-level matchup.  Finally, #20 Ezequiel Maderna fights journeyman Dario Balmaceda in Buenos Aires.

 

Also, except in the unlikely event that he schedules a super middleweight fight before Monday, #13 Isaac Chilemba will be removed for apparently moving up to light heavyweight.

Super Middleweight: 2011, Aug 29- Sep 4

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on October 10, 2011 by danboxing
The most significant fight of this week was Friday between untested but undefeated prospect Stanislav Kashtanov and former contender Karoly Balzsay- who spent the last 2 years fighting pointless matchups at light heavyweight since Eddy Gutknecht decisioned him in late 2009.  Kashtanov came in undefeated.  Balzsay did not.  Kashtanov is Ukrainian, and Balzsay is Hungarian.  The fight took place in the Ukraine.  The clear winner of the fight ended up losing a split decision.  With only that information given, the obvious assumption would be that Balzsay was robbed and that Kashtanov won an undeserved decision.  But not so.  Apparently in the Ukraine, a hometown decision means that the hometown kid dominates the fight and still loses the decision.  French judge Jean-Louis Legland’s card was more-or-less dead on at 116-113 (I had it 116-112), and the fight was definitely between 118-110 and 115-113 Kashtanov.  That’s where the other two judges- Pasquale Procopio of Canada and Stefano Carozza of Italy come in.  These two jokers are the sole reason that Stas Kashtanov has a loss in his career.  Accordingly, I treat the fight- a clear robbery- as a win for Kashtanov.  It’s still not enough to get him into the top 20, but he’s around the top 25 range.

 

The next night, #17 Ezequiel Maderna had no trouble in his native Mexico with journeyman Jorge Rodriguez Olivera, whom he dropped in the third before scoring a TKO in the same round.  Librado Andrade- a former top-level contender who has been sliding in the last couple years- had a similar performance against an opponent of similar quality in Matt O’Brien.  The only difference is that Andrade dropped O’Brien twice en route to his own 3rd round stoppage win.  This win would normally be relatively inconsequential, but in this case it does affect the rankings, since Andrade made 168 for the first time since his 2009 fight with Lucian Bute.  Back at the end of May, I removed Andrade from the rankings shortly after he fell precipitously to #15 due to his close loss to Aaron Pryor because of his inactivity at 168.  Now that he’s an active super middleweight again, his overall record gets a fresh look, and even with his recent difficulties and lack of new and significant success, that record is good enough to regain him a ranking, though the 3 months since he was last ranked has dimmed my view of him enough to see him slide below Vera and Lee to settle back in at #16.  Unfortunately I have to drop hard-luck James DeGale again, even though I definitely believe he deserves to be there over George Groves, who beat him by controversial and close decision earlier this year.

 

Here are The Ring’s top 10 for comparison purposes:
1) Andre Ward
2) Carl Froch
3) Lucian Bute
4) Mikkel Kessler
5) Robert Stieglitz
6) Sakio Bika
7) Glen Johnson
8) Arthur Abraham
9) Dimitri Sartison
10) Thomas Oosthuizen

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Andre Ward (39-118-118)
Last Fight: 5/14/2011- UD12 #6 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: 10/29/2011- vs. #2 Carl Froch
We now have a date certain for the Championship fight between Ward and Froch: October 29 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
2) Carl Froch (39-271-271)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- W(MD12) vs. #12 Glen Johnson
Next Fight: 10/29/2011- vs. #1 Andre Ward
See Ward’s comments above.
3) Lucian Bute (39-280-280)
Last Fight: 7/9/2011- KO4 Jean Paul Mendy (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/5/2011- vs. #12 Glen Johnson
Bute passed up Mikkel Kessler for a potentially slightly easier night with #12 Glen Johnson in early November.
4) Mikkel Kessler (39-350-350)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- TKO6 Mehdi Bouadla (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/5/2011- vs. #5 Robert Stieglitz
The Stieglitz bout is now official, and will be in Copenhagen.
5) Robert Stieglitz (20-104-104)
Last Fight: 4/9/2011- W(DQ10) vs. Khoren Gevor (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/5/2011- vs. #4 Mikkel Kessler
See Kessler’s notes above.
6) Arthur Abraham (17-96-96)
Last Fight: 5/14/2011- L(UD12) vs. #1 Andre Ward
Next Fight: 11/5/2011- vs. Unknown Opponent
Abraham is scheduled to return to the ring on November 5, probably in a catchweight fight between 160 and 168, and probably against a tune-up-type opponent.
7) Dimitri Sartison (16-56-60)
Last Fight: 7/31/2010- UD12 Khoren Gevor (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sartison badly injured his knee in training and will be out until about October.  He will be given adequate time to schedule a fight thereafter without being removed.  I probably won’t even consider removing him until February.
8) Peter Quillin (16-17-17)
Last Fight: 7/23/2011- TKO5 Jason LeHoullier (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Quillin turned down an offer to fight Ishe Smith on the Hopkins-Dawson undercard.  He has bigger ambitions, hoping to fight Sergio Martinez or the winner of Vera-Lee.
9) Aaron Pryor, Jr. (16-16-16)
Last Fight: 5/6/2011- W*(MD10) vs. #7 Librado Andrade
Next Fight: 9/3/2011- vs. #10 Thomas Oosthuizen
Fights Thomas Oosthuizen in a big test for both fighters this week.
10) Thomas Oosthuizen (12-12-60)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- UD12 William Gare (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/3/2011- vs. #9 Aaron Pryor, Jr.
See Pryor’s notes, above.
11) Sakio Bika (12-229)
Last Fight: 11/27/2010- L(UD12) vs. #2 Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Too talented to be #11, but inactivity, a key foul, and a tendency to fight (and lose to) elite fighters when he does fight have conspired to make Bika start sliding down the rankings.
12) Glen Johnson (19-42)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- L(MD12) vs. #2 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 11/5/2011- vs. #3 Lucian Bute
With no apparent buzz leading up to the announcement, Johnson suddenly had a fight signed with Bute for November.
13) Isaac Chilemba (17-60)
Last Fight: 3/26/2011- UD12 Vikapita Meroro (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba seems to be toying with the idea of moving up to 175.  We’ll have to see if he ultimately takes that route or not.
14) Bryan Vera (12-29)
Last Fight: 6/24/2011- KO8 Eloy Suarez (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/1/2011- vs. #15 Andy Lee
Now officially scheduled for a rematch with #15 Andy Lee on October 1, on the Martinez-Barker undercard.  Not sure yet whether that will be a Middleweight or Super Middleweight fight.
15) Andy Lee (12-24)
Last Fight: 5/18/2011- UD10 Alex Bunema (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 10/1/2011- vs. #14 Bryan Vera
See Vera’s notes, above.
16) Librado Andrade (1-1)
Last Fight: 8/27/2011- TKO3 Matt O’Brien (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Still appears to be well on the downside of his career, but with his past success he only needs to stay active and win to stay in the rankings at this point.
17) Jesus Gonzalez (1-7)
Last Fight: 7/8/2011- UD12 Francisco Sierra (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With a fairly comfortable win over a generally solid and much bigger opponent, Gonzalez finds his way easily within the top 20.
18) Ezequiel Maderna (1-25)
Last Fight: 8/28/2011- TKO3 Jorge Rodriguez Olivera (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Jesse Brinkley (1-60)
Last Fight: 4/29/2011- L (TKO3) vs. Peter Quillin (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Brinkley’s career now appears a shambles after he was destroyed by rising star Peter Quillin.
20) George Groves (1-14)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- W(MD12*) vs. #20 James DeGale
Next Fight: Unknown
Very questionable outcome in his fight with DeGale, but Groves edges out his rival  on the strength of the win.

 

The Week Ahead: The big fight this week finds #9 Aaron Pryor, Jr. attempting to prove that his success has not been a fluke as he faces off against fellow up-and-comer #10 Thomas Oosthuizen in Biloxi, Mississippi on Saturday.  Earlier in the week on Wednesday, one-loss prospect Serge Yannick of Cameroon takes on decent journeyman Jamie Pittman, who was himself an undefeated prospect until he lost to Felix Sturm, and a fair prospect thereafter until his second loss to Joseph Kwadjo last year.

Super Middleweight: 2011, Aug 22-28

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on September 26, 2011 by danboxing
No action in the division this week.

 

Here are The Ring’s top 10 for comparison purposes:
1) Andre Ward
2) Carl Froch
3) Lucian Bute
4) Mikkel Kessler
5) Robert Stieglitz
6) Sakio Bika
7) Glen Johnson
8) Arthur Abraham
9) Dimitri Sartison
10) Thomas Oosthuizen

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Andre Ward (38-117-117)
Last Fight: 5/14/2011- UD12 #6 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: 10/29/2011- vs. #2 Carl Froch
We now have a date certain for the Championship fight between Ward and Froch: October 29 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
2) Carl Froch (38-270-270)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- W(MD12) vs. #12 Glen Johnson
Next Fight: 10/29/2011- vs. #1 Andre Ward
See Ward’s comments above.
3) Lucian Bute (38-279-279)
Last Fight: 7/9/2011- KO4 Jean Paul Mendy (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/5/2011- vs. #12 Glen Johnson
Bute passed up Mikkel Kessler for a potentially slightly easier night with #12 Glen Johnson in early November.
4) Mikkel Kessler (38-349-349)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- TKO6 Mehdi Bouadla (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/5/2011- vs. #5 Robert Stieglitz
The Stieglitz bout is now official, and will be in Copenhagen.
5) Robert Stieglitz (19-103-103)
Last Fight: 4/9/2011- W(DQ10) vs. Khoren Gevor (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/5/2011- vs. #4 Mikkel Kessler
See Kessler’s notes above.
6) Arthur Abraham (16-95-95)
Last Fight: 5/14/2011- L(UD12) vs. #1 Andre Ward
Next Fight: 11/5/2011- vs. Unknown Opponent
Abraham is scheduled to return to the ring on November 5, probably in a catchweight fight between 160 and 168, and probably against a tune-up-type opponent.
7) Dimitri Sartison (15-55-59)
Last Fight: 7/31/2010- UD12 Khoren Gevor (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sartison badly injured his knee in training and will be out until about October.  He will be given adequate time to schedule a fight thereafter without being removed.  I probably won’t even consider removing him until February.
8) Peter Quillin (15-16-16)
Last Fight: 7/23/2011- TKO5 Jason LeHoullier (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Quillin will likely fight on the Hopkins-Dawson undercard on October 15.  Ishe Smith is a potential opponent.
9) Aaron Pryor, Jr. (15-15-15)
Last Fight: 5/6/2011- W*(MD10) vs. #7 Librado Andrade
Next Fight: Unknown
There is talk of a good test against #10 Thomas Oosthuizen on September 3.
10) Thomas Oosthuizen (11-11-59)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- UD12 William Gare (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Pryor’s notes, above.
11) Sakio Bika (11-228)
Last Fight: 11/27/2010- L(UD12) vs. #2 Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Too talented to be #11, but inactivity, a key foul, and a tendency to fight (and lose to) elite fighters when he does fight have conspired to make Bika start sliding down the rankings.
12) Glen Johnson (18-41)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- L(MD12) vs. #2 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 11/5/2011- vs. #3 Lucian Bute
With no apparent buzz leading up to the announcement, Johnson suddenly had a fight signed with Bute for November.
13) Isaac Chilemba (16-59)
Last Fight: 3/26/2011- UD12 Vikapita Meroro (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba seems to be toying with the idea of moving up to 175.  We’ll have to see if he ultimately takes that route or not.
14) Bryan Vera (11-28)
Last Fight: 6/24/2011- KO8 Eloy Suarez (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/1/2011- vs. #15 Andy Lee
Now officially scheduled for a rematch with #15 Andy Lee on October 1, on the Martinez-Barker undercard.  Not sure yet whether that will be a Middleweight or Super Middleweight fight.
15) Andy Lee (11-23)
Last Fight: 5/18/2011- UD10 Alex Bunema (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 10/1/2011- vs. #14 Bryan Vera
See Vera’s notes, above.
16) Jesus Gonzalez (6-6)
Last Fight: 7/8/2011- UD12 Francisco Sierra (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With a fairly comfortable win over a generally solid and much bigger opponent, Gonzalez finds his way easily within the top 20.
17) Ezequiel Maderna (6-24)
Last Fight: 5/28/2011- TKO1 Martin Abel Bruer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Jesse Brinkley (6-59)
Last Fight: 4/29/2011- L (TKO3) vs. Peter Quillin (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Brinkley’s career now appears a shambles after he was destroyed by rising star Peter Quillin.
19) George Groves (6-13)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- W(MD12*) vs. #20 James DeGale
Next Fight: Unknown
Very questionable outcome in his fight with DeGale, but Groves edges out his rival  on the strength of the win.
20) James DeGale (6-12)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- L(MD12*) vs. George Groves (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/17/2011- vs. Piotr Wilczewski (UNR)
Set to fight fringe contender Piotr Wilczewski in September in a fight that should put one of the two guys very solidly within the top 20.

 

The Week Ahead:  Former contender Karoly Balzsay- whose apparently pointless foray into the 175 pound division cost him his ranking here- will return to 168 on Friday when he fights undefeated but still largely untested Stanislav Kashtanov of the Ukraine in the prospect’s home country.  

 

Saturday, #17 Ezequiel Maderna stays busy against mid-level journeyman Jorge Rodriguez Olivera in Maderna’s native Argentina.  Former contender Librado Andrade- who was severely tarnished by a close loss to current #9 Aaron Pryor, Jr. and exited the rankings due to inactivity under the 168 pound limit- looks to bounce back against journeyman Matt O’Brien in Leon, Mexico.

Super Middleweight: 2011, Jul 4-10

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2011 by danboxing
The landscape is barren at 168 this week. 

 

Here are The Ring’s top 10 for comparison purposes:
1) Andre Ward
2) Carl Froch
3) Lucian Bute
4) Mikkel Kessler
5) Robert Stieglitz
6) Sakio Bika
7) Glen Johnson
8) Arthur Abraham
9) Dimitri Sartison
10) Thomas Oosthuizen

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Andre Ward (32-111-111)
Last Fight: 5/14/2011- UD12 #6 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #2 Carl Froch
Will now fight Carl Froch for the Super Six and World Championships, likely in the Fall.
2) Carl Froch (32-264-264)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- W(MD12) vs. #12 Glen Johnson
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #1 Andre Ward
After doing what he needed to do against Johnson, Froch now has a shot at the World Championship when he fights Ward for the Super Six title.
3) Lucian Bute (32-273-273)
Last Fight: 3/19/2011- TKO10 Brian Magee (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/9/2011- vs. Jean Paul Mendy (UNR)
Recently signed on for a pretty solid tune-up fight with Jean Paul Mendy to prepare for his prospective fight with Mikkel Kessler in the fall.
4) Mikkel Kessler (32-343-343)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- TKO6 Mehdi Bouadla (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kessler has recently  been named the mandatory challenger for Robert Stieglitz’ strap, and Kessler’s promoter has referred to a Stieglitz fight as his primary target.
5) Robert Stieglitz (13-97-97)
Last Fight: 4/9/2011- W(DQ10) vs. Khoren Gevor (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
#4 Kessler has been named Stieglitz’ mandatory challenger, and Kessler appears to want that fight.
6) Arthur Abraham (10-89-89)
Last Fight: 5/14/2011- L(UD12) vs. #1 Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
After initially dismissing the possibility of returning to Middleweight, Abraham has recently told reporters he’s considering it.
7) Dimitri Sartison (9-49-53)
Last Fight: 7/31/2010- UD12 Khoren Gevor (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sartison badly injured his knee in training and will be out until about October.  He will be given adequate time to schedule a fight thereafter without being removed.  I probably won’t even consider removing him until February.
8) Peter Quillin (9-10-10)
Last Fight: 4/29/2011- TKO3 #13 Jesse Brinkley
Next Fight: 7/23/2011- vs. Tarvis Simms (UNR)
Quillin will test himself against gatekeeper Tarvis Simms, who would be a prospect if he wasn’t 40, and would be undefeated if not for a questionable loss to Allan Green.
9) Aaron Pryor, Jr. (9-9-9)
Last Fight: 5/6/2011- W*(MD10) vs. #7 Librado Andrade
Next Fight: Unknown
Big upset against Andrade.  I thought it was a draw, but he still deserves mad props.
10) Thomas Oosthuizen (5-5-53)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- UD12 William Gare (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Most people thought Chilemba deserved the nod in their 2010 draw, but Oosthuizen has beaten the more accomplished fighters outside that fight and earned a top 10 berth.
11) Sakio Bika (5-222)
Last Fight: 11/27/2010- L(UD12) vs. #2 Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Too talented to be #11, but inactivity, a key foul, and a tendency to fight (and lose to) elite fighters when he does fight have conspired to make Bika start sliding down the rankings.
12) Glen Johnson (12-35)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- L(MD12) vs. #2 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
Another close loss for Johnson.  At 42, he could conceivably move back up to 175, stay at 168 (where he looks a little bit drained to me), or retire.  We’ll keep you posted.
13) Isaac Chilemba (10-53)
Last Fight: 3/26/2011- UD12 Vikapita Meroro (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba seems to be toying with the idea of moving up to 175.  We’ll have to see if he ultimately takes that route or not.
14) Bryan Vera (5-22)
Last Fight: 6/24/2011- KO8 Eloy Suarez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vera is talking about giving #15 Andy Lee a rematch in perhaps October.
15) Andy Lee (5-17)
Last Fight: 5/18/2011- UD10 Alex Bunema (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
May be looking at a rematch with the man who derailed his career over 3 years ago- Bryan Vera.  Target date appears to be in October.
16) Ezequiel Maderna (5-18)
Last Fight: 5/28/2011- TKO1 Martin Abel Bruer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Jesse Brinkley (5-53)
Last Fight: 4/29/2011- L (TKO3) vs. Peter Quillin (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Brinkley’s career now appears a shambles after he was destroyed by rising star Peter Quillin.
18) George Groves (5-7)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- W(MD12*) vs. #20 James DeGale
Next Fight: Unknown
Very questionable outcome in his fight with DeGale, but Groves edges out his rival  on the strength of the win.
19) James DeGale (5-6)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- L(MD12*) vs. George Groves (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Spent just a week on the outside looking in.  That’s good, because I think he deserved better than the loss he was given by the judges, and also the boot from the ratings he got from me as a necessary consequence.
20) Garth Wood (5-5)
Last Fight: 4/13/2011- L(UD10) vs. MW #20 Anthony Mundine (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wood really backs into the #20 spot by default, as both he and his principal competitor, Allan Green, lack any recent good wins at this weight.  Still, they are a cut above some up-and-comers that have yet to reach the same level of achievement.

 

The Week Ahead:  The action picks up this week.  On Friday, fringe contender Francisco Sierra will do battle with prospect Jesus Gonzalez, who is nearly 6 years removed from his only career loss, in the main event of Friday Night Fights.  The next night in Romania, #3 Lucian Bute takes on fringe contender Jean Paul Mendy after fringe contender Renan St. Juste no doubt smacks around journeyman Jaudiel Zepeda on the same card.