Archive for Gilberto Ramirez

Super Middleweight: 2014, Jul 21-27

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on December 13, 2014 by danboxing
In last week’s preview of the Macau undercard fight between #15 Gilberto Ramirez and Junior Talipeau, I opined that Talipeau, a quality journeyman, would provide some resistance for the fast rising Mexican prospect.  I was wrong.  Talipeau got blitzed from the opening bell, and never even managed to get into the fight.  Ramirez caught him on the end of a long uppercut that led to a knockdown, and the fight was functionally over from there.  Ramirez added two more knockdowns in the one and only round before the fight was mercifully stopped. 

 

Talipeau was once a top 50 fighter, but hasn’t deserved such recognition since his 2011 loss to Zac Awad, and so Ramirez gets no opportunity to advance with the victory.  However, last week’s #13 Maxim Vlasov is removed in light of the news that his fight this weekend will be contested at the 175 pound limit.  He hasn’t made 168 in about 20 months, and is thus ineligible for a continued ranking here.  Everyone ranked #14 and below last week moves up a spot, and Don Mouton re-enters for the first time since Gilberto Ramirez knocked him out and out of the rankings at the beginning of February.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (136-270-270)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says his lawsuit is not keeping him from fighting, and says he expects a fight by the end of the year, along with 3 in 2015.  Seems optimistic to me.
1) Carl Froch (113-423-423)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- KO8 #7 George Groves
Next Fight: Unknown
Froch is reportedly close to reaching a deal to fight DeGale in November or December.
2) Arthur Abraham (21-248-248)
Last Fight: 5/3/2014- UD12 Nikola Sjekloca (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/27/2014- vs. Paul Smith (UNR)
Abraham gets what should be a relatively easy defense on September 27 against gatekeeper Paul Smith of England.
3) Robert Stieglitz (21-256-256)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (SD12) vs. #4 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR)
I thnk I read the initial report wrong, as Stieglitz will fight on July 26 instead of June 26.  His opponent will be the dangerously underrated Sergey Khomitsky, who arguably ought to own a win over Martin Murray.
4) James DeGale (8-9-145)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- TKO4* #4 Brandon Gonzales
Next Fight: Unknown
See Froch’s notes, above.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (9-164-212)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: Unknown
Oosthuizen was supposed to fight Doudou Ngumbu on 6/21 and then enter his promoter’s Super 6 Tournament at 175.  Instead, Johnny Muller replaced him and lost, and thus ruined his own chances to fight in that tournament.  Now the word is that Oosthuizen is “in no position” to get in the ring for the tournament.  I wonder if that’s a reference to an injury, or just more weight issues.  Either way, it’s entirely clear that the South African is done at 168.
6) Ezequiel Maderna (9-37-82)
Last Fight: 4/25/2014- TKO3 Richard Vidal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
7) George Groves (9-84-106)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- L (KO8) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 9/20/2014- vs. #11 Christopher Rebrasse
Groves is scheduled to fight again on September 20, in an eliminator for a shot at the Bika-Dirrell winner.
8) Brandon Gonzales (8-56-56)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- L (TKO4*) vs. #10 James DeGale
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzales deserved a shot to continue, but he certainly didn’t look like an eventual winner under the best of circumstances against DeGale.
9) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (8-21-21)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD10 #5 MW Bryan Vera
Next Fight: Unknown
With the Froch fight apparently dead, Cotto is now interested in Chavez, whose camp claims he can still make 160 for the fight.
10) Bryan Vera (8-21-21)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #17 JMW Gabriel Rosado (BKB)
In a surprise move, Vera will fight Gabriel Rosado in the main event of a “Big Knockout Boxing” card.  This is not quite the boxing you’re used to, with different rules regarding knockdowns and a circular “pit” replacing the traditional ring.  I haven’t yet decided if I will let it affect the rankings, considering that it will theoretically be a fair fight between two legitimate boxers.  I may have to see it in action before I know how I feel about its applicability to normal boxing.
11) Christopher Rebrasse (9-59)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- TKO4 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/20/2014- vs. #7 George Groves
See Groves’ notes, above.
12) Sakio Bika (9-381)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #16 Anthony Dirrell
Bika will re-match Anthony Dirrell on August 16 in Carson, California.
13) Edwin Rodriguez (1-79)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Gilberto Ramirez (1-25)
Last Fight: 7/19/2014- TKO1 Junior Talipeau (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ramirez confirms that he feels comfortable at 168, and is looking for big fights in his more or less new division.
15) Ryota Murata (1-48)
Last Fight: 5/22/2014- KO6 Jesus Angel Nerio (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Murata is rumored to be fighting in Singapore in October.
16) Anthony Dirrell (1-33)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. #11 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #12 Sakio Bika
Dirrell will get a second crack at Bika on August 16.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (1-73)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Caleb Truax (1-15)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (MD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/25/2014- vs. Derek Ennis (UNR)
Truax’s July 25 Friday Night Fights opponent is now Derek Ennis, rather than Porky Medina.  Basically a lateral move, but maybe a bit of a downgrade.
19) Derek Edwards (1-9)
Last Fight: 2/28/2014- TKO1 #20 Badou Jack
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Don Mouton (1-1)
Last Fight: 5/3/2014- TKO3 William Johnson (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. Larry Smith (UNR) (at MW)
Mouton’s career took a big hit with the Ramirez loss, as you can tell from his last opponent and the one for this week.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Wednesday
Avtandil Khurtsidze vs. Allen Conyers; New York, New York; Off TV
Khurtsidze is a long-time middleweight fringe contender from the Republic of Georgia, who is returning to the ring, a few pounds heavier than usual, for the first time since late 2011.  Conyers is a mid-level journeyman who is said to have some power and can handle himself, but is probably not much of a threat on this level.

 

Saturday
#3 Robert Stieglitz vs. Sergey Khomitsky; Dessau, Germany; RAN (Germany) 
The idea of #3 Stieglitz losing to an unranked guy like Khomitsky- a career journeyman until very recently- sounds far-fetched.  That being said, Khomitsky arguably beat Martin Murray (who I would have considered a better fighter than Stieglitz) this year and then upset British prospect Frank Buglioni.  I don’t know that he should be anything like a favorite against Stieglitz’s long and distinguished overall resume, but I do believe you’re likely to get odds that might justify a bet for the underdog, if you are of a betting mind.  Should be an excellent fight.

 

Juergen Doberstein vs. Matingu Kindele; Kaarst, Germany; Off TV
Doberstein is a one-loss prospect.  I’m not sure he qualifies as a blue-chipper, but he is coming off his career best win, by a mile, in a dominant 12-round decision over the very capable William Gare.  Kindele is basically a novice at just 5-2, and hasn’t proven much of anything to this point.  It shouldn’t be all that competitive.

Super Middleweight: 2014, Jul 14-20

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on November 26, 2014 by danboxing
Undefeated Liverpool prospect Rocky Fielding got his first win on Saturday over a really solid opponent, stopping top 50 gatekeeper Noe Gonzalez of Uruguay in 5 rounds, in what to that point had been an extremely competitive scrap.  I had given Fielding the first and fourth in clear fashion, while I thought Gonzalez had just nicked the third and fourth.  In the 5th, Gonzalez appeared to be fading just a bit when he was caught and dropped hard at center ring.  He managed to get up and convince referee Terry O’Connor that he was good to go, but Fielding followed up with a merciless assault in the corner that led to a very timely stoppage by the veteran Birmingham ref.  All in all, it was an impressive and exciting performance, as he did what only George Groves and Adonis Stevenson were able to do by stopping Gonzalez.

 

Two fights later on the same card, fellow Liverpool undefeated prospect Callum Smith got his sternest test to date against quality journeyman Vladine Biosse, who took a ton of hard shots from Smith for 10 rounds, and put the Brit in an uncomfortable position more often than any other fighter has to date, including some with better resumes.  As the Sky commentators constantly pointed out, this was a very valuable fight for Smith, in that he got quality rounds in, something that has been hard for him to come by up to now.  I had Smith winning 99-91, with a few rounds that could have potentially swung one direction or the other.  Anything between 100-90 and 97-93 Smith would have been okay with me.  The judges more or less saw it right at 99-91 (x2), but Italy’s Franco Ciminale (never one of my favorite judges) saw it a shutout and then also somehow found a 10-8 round that clearly didn’t exist.

 

Fielding gets the only real resume boost of the two, even though Smith maybe progressed more on the night in subjective terms.  Fielding is now, in my opinion, a top 25 fighter, though he falls short of the top 20.  No changes.
 
 

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (135-269-269)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward lost an arbitration with his promoter, but it sounds like the rift between the two is far from solved.  Kessler is the latest guy to renew a stated desire to fight him.
1) Carl Froch (112-422-422)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- KO8 #7 George Groves
Next Fight: Unknown
Talk of a Chavez fight is quickly being superseded by DeGale discussions.
2) Arthur Abraham (20-247-247)
Last Fight: 5/3/2014- UD12 Nikola Sjekloca (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/27/2014- vs. Paul Smith (UNR)
Abraham gets what should be a relatively easy defense on September 27 against gatekeeper Paul Smith of England.
3) Robert Stieglitz (20-255-255)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (SD12) vs. #4 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR)
I thnk I read the initial report wrong, as Stieglitz will fight on July 26 instead of June 26.  His opponent will be the dangerously underrated Sergey Khomitsky, who arguably ought to own a win over Martin Murray.
4) James DeGale (7-8-144)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- TKO4* #4 Brandon Gonzales
Next Fight: Unknown
See Froch’s notes, above.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (8-163-211)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: Unknown
Oosthuizen was supposed to fight Doudou Ngumbu on 6/21 and then enter his promoter’s Super 6 Tournament at 175.  Instead, Johnny Muller replaced him and lost, and thus ruined his own chances to fight in that tournament.  Now the word is that Oosthuizen is “in no position” to get in the ring for the tournament.  I wonder if that’s a reference to an injury, or just more weight issues.  Either way, it’s entirely clear that the South African is done at 168.
6) Ezequiel Maderna (8-36-81)
Last Fight: 4/25/2014- TKO3 Richard Vidal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
7) George Groves (8-83-105)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- L (KO8) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 9/20/2014- vs. #11 Christopher Rebrasse
Groves is scheduled to fight again on September 20, in an eliminator for a shot at the Bika-Dirrell winner.
8) Brandon Gonzales (7-55-55)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- L (TKO4*) vs. #10 James DeGale
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzales deserved a shot to continue, but he certainly didn’t look like an eventual winner under the best of circumstances against DeGale.
9) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (7-20-20)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD10 #5 MW Bryan Vera
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite Froch’s #1 contender being DeGale now, Chavez is getting buzz as a possible next opponent for the world-beating Brit.
10) Bryan Vera (7-20-20)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #17 JMW Gabriel Rosado (BKB)
In a surprise move, Vera will fight Gabriel Rosado in the main event of a “Big Knockout Boxing” card.  This is not quite the boxing you’re used to, with different rules regarding knockdowns and a circular “pit” replacing the traditional ring.  I haven’t yet decided if I will let it affect the rankings, considering that it will theoretically be a fair fight between two legitimate boxers.  I may have to see it in action before I know how I feel about its applicability to normal boxing.
11) Christopher Rebrasse (8-58)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- TKO4 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/20/2014- vs. #7 George Groves
See Groves’ notes, above.
12) Sakio Bika (8-380)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #17 Anthony Dirrell
Bika will re-match Anthony Dirrell on August 16 in Carson, California.
13) Maxim Vlasov (8-88)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD8 Derrick Findley (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vlasov looked very good against Findley, but he’ll need to schedule a fight at Super Middleweight before May 5 and make weight in order to keep his ranking, since he hasn’t made the divisional limit since November 2012.
14) Edwin Rodriguez (8-78)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez was briefly scheduled to fight Marcus Johnson on May 24, but Johnson withdrew.
15) Gilberto Ramirez (8-24)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- TKO5 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/19/2014- vs. Junior Talipeau (UNR)
Ramirez will fight in Macau on July 19.  The opponent is Junior Talipeau, a relatively high-level Samoan-Kiwi-Australian journeyman.
16) Ryota Murata (8-47)
Last Fight: 5/22/2014- KO6 Jesus Angel Nerio (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Murata is rumored to be fighting in Singapore in October.
17) Anthony Dirrell (8-32)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. #11 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #12 Sakio Bika
Dirrell will get a second crack at Bika on August 16.
18) Hadillah Mohoumadi (8-72)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Caleb Truax (8-14)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (MD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/25/2014- vs. Derek Ennis (UNR)
Truax’s July 25 Friday Night Fights opponent is now Derek Ennis, rather than Porky Medina.  Basically a lateral move, but maybe a bit of a downgrade.
20) Derek Edwards (8-8)
Last Fight: 2/28/2014- TKO1 #20 Badou Jack
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: 
Saturday
#15 Gilberto Ramirez vs. Junior Talipeau; Macao, China; HBO2 (US)
Ramirez gets a decent if unspectacular match-up this weekend on the Zou Shiming undercard in Macao.  Talipeau is a Kiwi-born resident of Australia.  He’s never beaten anyone on Ramirez’s level, but he did beat a top-50 version of Shannan Taylor back in 2010.  He comes off 3 consecutive wins over nobody in particular, while Ramirez has really been picking up steam with stoppage wins over the likes of underrated gatekeepers Derrick Findley and Don Mouton, along with faded former fringe contender Giovanni Lorenzo.  Talipeau should give him some resistance, but I can’t see him as a real threat to knock off the unbeaten Ramirez.

Super Middleweight: 2014, Apr 14-20

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (122-256-256)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward is being targeted by at least some on Kovalev’s team.
1) Carl Froch (99-409-409)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO9 #8 George Groves
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #8 George Groves
There is talk of a record gate when Froch meets Groves in a highly anticipated rematch in a London soccer stadium at the end of May.
2) Arthur Abraham (7-234-234)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- W (SD12) vs. #2 Robert Stieglitz
Next Fight: 5/3/2014- vs. Nikola Sjekloca (UNR)
Abraham will have a quick turn-around when he defends his newly-won belt against the mostly fraudulent Nikola Sjekloca on May 3 in Berlin.
3) Robert Stieglitz (7-242-242)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (SD12) vs. #4 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: Unknown
Sauerland prospect Tyron Zeuge has expressed interest in a fight with Stieglitz.
4) Mikkel Kessler (7-488-488)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
Kessler is reportedly discussing a return with Sauerland, but there is no obvious opponent available for him at present.
5) Brandon Gonzales (42-42-42)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #11 James DeGale
Gonzales’ elminator with DeGale is finally set, for May 31 in London, on the Froch-Groves undercard.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (29-150-198)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: Unknown
Oosthuizen was yanked from his intended January 18 fight with Eleider Alvarez and released by his promoter after a bicycle accident and reportedly being hopelessly out of shape about 2 weeks before the fight.
7) Ezequiel Maderna (23-23-68)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #6 Thomas Oosthuizen
Next Fight: 4/25/2014- vs. Richard Vidal (UNR)
Maderna apparently will fight low-level journeyman Richard Vidal in La Plata, Argentina on April 25.
8) George Groves (23-70-92)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- L (TKO9) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #1 Carl Froch
See Froch’s notes, above.
9) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (7-7-7)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD10 #5 MW Bryan Vera
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s not signed, but it’s looking highly likely that Chavez will fight Golovkin on July 19 right here at 168.
10) Bryan Vera (7-7-7)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Even in defeat, Vera has regained a ranking at 168 and is- at least temporarily- ranked in 2 divisions.   There are also credible-looking reports to the effect that he broke his left hand early in the fight, for what it’s worth.
11) James DeGale (7-131)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- TKO11 Gevorg Khatchikian (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #5 Brandon Gonzales
See Gonzales’ notes, above.
12) Christopher Rebrasse (7-45)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- TKO4 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rebrasse now has two dominant wins over what was a top 10 contender the first time around.  He didn’t need the judges to notice the second time.
13) Sakio Bika (7-367)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After initially granting Julio Cesar Chavez the spot, the WBC has now made James DeGale the mandatory after it appeared Chavez would likely look at a different opportunity.  That may also have gone by the wayside by now, as DeGale is fighting Brandon Gonzales for a shot at the IBF title.
14) Maxim Vlasov (7-75)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD8 Derrick Findley (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vlasov looked very good against Findley, but he’ll need to schedule a fight at Super Middleweight before May 5 and make weight in order to keep his ranking, since he hasn’t made the divisional limit since November 2012.
15) Edwin Rodriguez (7-65)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. Marcus Johnson (UNR) (at LHW)
Rodriguez is back from elbow surgery, and has a decent light heavyweight fight on the horizon against Marcus Johnson on May 24.
16) Gilberto Ramirez (1-11)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- TKO5 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ramirez got some nice US TV exposure, along with a decent name on his resume, even if that name was well past his prime.
17) Ryota Murata (1-34)
Last Fight: 2/22/2014- TKO4 Carlos Nascimento (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/22/2014- vs. Jesus Angel Nerio (UNR)
Murata will stay busy in Kyoto on May 22 with Mexican journeyman Jesus Angel Nerio.
18) Anthony Dirrell (1-19)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. #11 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: Unknown
His hard-fought draw with Sakio Bika gained Dirrell a measure of redemption for what pretty clearly should have been a loss against Don Mouton, and has him back in the hot prospect category.  He’s called for a rematch (good idea) and a fight with Golovkin (bad idea).
19) Hadillah Mohoumadi (1-59)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Caleb Truax (1-1)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (MD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

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

 

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

 

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

Super Middleweight: 2014, Apr 7-13

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (121-255-255)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward is being targeted by at least some on Kovalev’s team.
1) Carl Froch (98-408-408)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO9 #8 George Groves
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #8 George Groves
There is talk of a record gate when Froch meets Groves in a highly anticipated rematch in a London soccer stadium at the end of May.
2) Arthur Abraham (6-233-233)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- W (SD12) vs. #2 Robert Stieglitz
Next Fight: 5/3/2014- vs. Nikola Sjekloca (UNR)
Abraham will have a quick turn-around when he defends his newly-won belt against the mostly fraudulent Nikola Sjekloca on May 3 in Berlin.
3) Robert Stieglitz (6-241-241)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (SD12) vs. #4 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: Unknown
Sauerland prospect Tyron Zeuge has expressed interest in a fight with Stieglitz.
4) Mikkel Kessler (6-487-487)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
Kessler is reportedly discussing a return with Sauerland, but there is no obvious opponent available for him at present.
5) Brandon Gonzales (41-41-41)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #11 James DeGale
The IBF has ordered an eliminator between Gonzales and DeGale, with the winner becoming the mandatory to the Froch-Groves winner, and DeGale confirmed that he’s agreed to the battle.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (28-149-197)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: Unknown
Oosthuizen was yanked from his intended January 18 fight with Eleider Alvarez and released by his promoter after a bicycle accident and reportedly being hopelessly out of shape about 2 weeks before the fight.
7) Ezequiel Maderna (22-22-67)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #6 Thomas Oosthuizen
Next Fight: 4/25/2014- vs. Richard Vidal (UNR)
Maderna apparently will fight low-level journeyman Richard Vidal in La Plata, Argentina on April 25.
8) George Groves (22-69-91)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- L (TKO9) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #1 Carl Froch
See Froch’s notes, above.
9) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (6-6-6)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD10 #5 MW Bryan Vera
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s not signed, but it’s looking highly likely that Chavez will fight Golovkin on July 19 right here at 168.
10) Bryan Vera (6-6-6)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Even in defeat, Vera has regained a ranking at 168 and is- at least temporarily- ranked in 2 divisions.   There are also credible-looking reports to the effect that he broke his left hand early in the fight, for what it’s worth.
11) James DeGale (6-130)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- TKO11 Gevorg Khatchikian (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #5 Brandon Gonzales
DeGale has split from his promoter Mick Hennessy.  He’s still rumored to be fighting Brandon Gonzales next, who himself has just gone through a promotional change.
12) Christopher Rebrasse (6-44)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- TKO4 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rebrasse now has two dominant wins over what was a top 10 contender the first time around.  He didn’t need the judges to notice the second time.
13) Sakio Bika (6-366)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After initially granting Julio Cesar Chavez the spot, the WBC has now made James DeGale the mandatory after it appeared Chavez would likely look at a different opportunity.
14) Maxim Vlasov (6-74)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD8 Derrick Findley (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vlasov looked very good against Findley, but he’ll need to schedule a fight at Super Middleweight before May 5 and make weight in order to keep his ranking, since he hasn’t made the divisional limit since November 2012.
15) Edwin Rodriguez (6-64)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
According to his trainer Ronnie Shields, they might be looking to fight a top-15 level light heavyweight, and have absolutely no intention to ever try to make 168 again.  He’ll be on the shelf for a little while due to bone chip-removal surgery on his elbow in December.
 16) Andy Lee (6-47)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013-TKO2 Ferenc Hafner (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/12/2014- vs. Frank Haroche Horta (UNR) (at JMW)
In a surprising development, Lee will be moving down to 154, and will be taking on Frenchman Frank Haroche Horta at or around that weight this weekend.
17) Gilberto Ramirez (6-10)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO1 #19 Don Mouton
Next Fight: 4/11/2014- vs. Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Ramirez is back on April 11 in the Friday Night Fights main event against gatekeeper Lorenzo.
18) Ryota Murata (6-33)
Last Fight: 2/22/2014- TKO4 Carlos Nascimento (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bob Arum plans to have Murata in action at Singapore this year according to Dan Rafael, but I don’t have any further details.
19) Anthony Dirrell (6-18)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. #11 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: Unknown
His hard-fought draw with Sakio Bika gained Dirrell a measure of redemption for what pretty clearly should have been a loss against Don Mouton, and has him back in the hot prospect category.  He’s called for a rematch (good idea) and a fight with Golovkin (bad idea).
20) Hadillah Mohoumadi (6-58)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

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

 

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

Super Middleweight: 2014, Feb 3-9

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on May 21, 2014 by danboxing
Undefeated Mexican prospect Gilberto Ramirez blitzed #19 Don Mouton in the opening round of their scheduled 10 in Laredo, Texas on Saturday,  sending the frequently hard-luck fringe contender down twice in the first 90 seconds of the fight, whereupon referee Rafael Ramos quite prematurely stopped the fight.  Ramirez first maneuvered Mouton to the ropes and hit him with an impressive double right hand to knock his man through the ropes.  Despite being a bit hurt and somewhat entangled in the bottom rope, Mouton managed to gain his feet in time to continue, but Ramirez took advantage of his opponent’s compromised balance to make him take a seat with a heavy-handed straight right just a few seconds later.  Ramos ridiculously stopped it without a count.  Were Mouton’s legs all the way there?  No, they weren’t.  But Ramirez’s right hand was not a knockout blow.  Mouton was not in any danger health-wise, and so even if ultimately the ref might have legitimately determined that the fighter was not fit to continue, he absolutely should have given Mouton the 8 count to recover.  I suspect he’d have been able to continue, if so.

 

Despite that minor controversy, however, you could hardly have asked more of Ramirez’s performance.  With the caveat that Mouton weighed in at under 163 for the fight (Ramirez was 166), this was a win over a proven formidable player in this division, and thus Ramirez can’t help but earn a ranking.  That being said, there’ s a pretty good case to be made that Ramirez projects as a middleweight, which would make him one of four ranked fighters in this division that perhaps don’t really belong here, with Lee, Murata, and Traux being the others.  Perhaps it’s not entirely coincidence, then, that Ramirez debuts just behind Lee and just ahead of Murata at #15.  As for Mouton, he really can’t avoid a demotion, slipping below the guy he unquestionably deserved a win against last year in Anthony Dirrell, and thus out of the rankings.  Dirrell, without being stuck behind Mouton, is able to press a claim to an even higher ranking, since his overall resume- largely on the basis of his draw with Bika- is pretty clearly superior to those of Jack, Truax, and Mohoumadi.  He therefore gets a passive promotion to #17.  In the reshuffling, Murata slips a spot to #17, while Mohoumadi, Truax, and Jack each fall two places.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (112-246-246)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says his manager is working on his next fight despite his lawsuit against promoter Dan Goossen.  He had indicated interest in Golovkin, but the Kazakh’s own trainer recently said his fighter is not ready for that fight.
1) Carl Froch (89-399-399)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO9 #8 George Groves
Next Fight: Unknown
In George Groves’ quest for a Froch rematch, he’s found an ally in the IBF, who recently mandated that the fight be staged within 90 days.  The two sides failed to agree to terms, but with bids having been held, Froch will get a whopping 85% of the purse.  Date and venue have still yet to be finalized, though May 31 in London looks like a good bet.
2) Robert Stieglitz (46-232-232)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- UD12 Isaac Ekpo (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. #4 Arthur Abraham
The Abraham-Stieglitz trilogy bout, originally announced for February 1, is now official for March 1, in Stieglitz’s home base of Magdeburg.
3) Mikkel Kessler (60-478-478)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
After meeting with Kessler, his promoter says he won’t be fighting anytime soon, and Kessler hinted at possible retirement immediately after the Froch fight.  It’s not looking good for Kessler fans, though the Viking Warrior recently said, rather vaguely, that he still wants a big fight.
4) Arthur Abraham (38-224-224)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Giovanni De Carolis (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. #2 Robert Stieglitz
See Stieglitz’s notes, above.
5) Brandon Gonzales (32-32-32)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #12 Maxim Vlasov
Gonzales and Vlasov have reached a deal for an eliminator to become Froch’s mandatory, but I haven’t been able to find a date yet.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (19-140-188)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: Unknown
Oosthuizen was yanked from his intended January 18 fight with Eleider Alvarez and released by his promoter after a bicycle accident and reportedly being hopelessly out of shape about 2 weeks before the fight.
7) Ezequiel Maderna (13-13-58)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #6 Thomas Oosthuizen
Next Fight: Unknown
I doubt he’ll get much love from the alphabets for his effort, but I think you could make a better case for him winning than losing against Oosthuizen, though I had it a draw personally.
8) George Groves (13-60-82)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- L (TKO9) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
See Froch’s notes, above.
9) James DeGale (12-35-121)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 Dyah Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. Gevorg Khatchikian (UNR)
DeGale has been ordered to face Badou Jack for a shot at Bika’s alphabet belt.  Before that, he’ll fight undefeated Dutchman Gevorg Khatchikian on March 1 in Bristol.
10) Christopher Rebrasse (12-12-35)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- UD6 George Kandelaki (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rebrasse was apparently involved in a December 6 fight that was so under the radar that I missed it until two weeks after it happened.
11) Sakio Bika (12-357)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dirrell wants a rematch, and that’s obviously a worthy endeavor given the legitimate draw the first time around.  In the meantime, machinations are underway for an eliminator between Jack and DeGale, with the winner to become his mandatory.  On Bika’s end, he’d like a unification with Froch.
12) Maxim Vlasov (13-65)
Last Fight: 12/5/2013- KO4 Maxell Taylor (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #5 Brandon Gonzales
Vlasov appears set for an IBF eliminator against Brandon Gonzales.  A deal has been reached, but no date has been reported.
13) Edwin Rodriguez (13-55)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
According to his trainer Ronnie Shields, they might be looking to fight a top-15 level light heavyweight, and have absolutely no intention to ever try to make 168 again.  He’ll be on the shelf for a little while due to bone chip-removal surgery on his elbow in December.
 14) Andy Lee (19-38)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013-TKO2 Ferenc Hafner (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lee is reportedly being considered for a shot at Gennady Golovkin on April 26.
15) Gilberto Ramirez (1-1)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO1 #19 Don Mouton
Next Fight: Unknown
Much like many of his peers in the 168 pound rankings, Ramirez might really be a middleweight, but nevertheless has a solid resume in this division.
16) Ryota Murata (1-24)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO8 Dave Peterson (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/22/2014- vs. Carlos Nascimento (UNR)
Murata is slated for a February 22 card in Macau against mediocre Brazilian journeyman Carlos Nascimento.
17) Anthony Dirrell (1-9)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. #11 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: Unknown
His hard-fought draw with Sakio Bika gained Dirrell a measure of redemption for what pretty clearly should have been a loss against Don Mouton, and has him back in the hot prospect category.  He’s called for a rematch (good idea) and a fight with Golovkin (bad idea).
18) Hadillah Mohoumadi (1-49)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Caleb Truax (1-33)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (MD12) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Truax may have been a little lucky to escape with a draw against Duran.  I agree with the decision, but it could only have tilted the other way if it tilted at all.
 20) Badou Jack (1-29)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 Rogelio Medina (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jack has been ordered to face DeGale for a shot at Bika.
 

 

The Week Ahead: The super middleweights take a break to watch the Olympics this week.

Super Middleweight: 2014, Jan 27- Feb 2

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on May 10, 2014 by danboxing
No action to report again this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (111-245-245)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says his manager is working on his next fight despite his lawsuit against promoter Dan Goossen.  He had indicated interest in Golovkin, but the Kazakh’s own trainer recently said his fighter is not ready for that fight.
1) Carl Froch (88-398-398)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO9 #8 George Groves
Next Fight: Unknown
In George Groves’ quest for a Froch rematch, he’s found an ally in the IBF, who recently mandated that the fight be staged within 90 days.  There is some speculation that it might happen on May 31.  Still, no agreement.
2) Robert Stieglitz (45-231-231)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- UD12 Isaac Ekpo (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. #4 Arthur Abraham
The Abraham-Stieglitz trilogy bout, originally announced for February 1, is now official for March 1, in Stieglitz’s home base of Magdeburg.
3) Mikkel Kessler (59-477-477)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
After meeting with Kessler, his promoter says he won’t be fighting anytime soon, and Kessler hinted at possible retirement immediately after the Froch fight.  It’s not looking good for Kessler fans, though the Viking Warrior recently said, rather vaguely, that he still wants a big fight.
4) Arthur Abraham (37-223-223)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Giovanni De Carolis (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. #2 Robert Stieglitz
See Stieglitz’s notes, above.
5) Brandon Gonzales (31-31-31)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #12 Maxim Vlasov
Gonzales and Vlasov have reached a deal for an eliminator to become Froch’s mandatory, but I haven’t been able to find a date yet.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (18-139-187)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: Unknown
Oosthuizen was yanked from his intended January 18 fight with Eleider Alvarez and released by his promoter after a bicycle accident and reportedly being hopelessly out of shape about 2 weeks before the fight.
7) Ezequiel Maderna (12-12-57)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #6 Thomas Oosthuizen
Next Fight: Unknown
I doubt he’ll get much love from the alphabets for his effort, but I think you could make a better case for him winning than losing against Oosthuizen, though I had it a draw personally.
8) George Groves (12-59-81)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- L (TKO9) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
See Froch’s notes, above.
9) James DeGale (11-34-120)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 Dyah Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
DeGale has been ordered to face Badou Jack for a shot at Bika’s alphabet belt.  He’s back in action on March 1, but that’s probably too quick a turnaround for that to be the Jack fight.
10) Christopher Rebrasse (11-11-34)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- UD6 George Kandelaki (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rebrasse was apparently involved in a December 6 fight that was so under the radar that I missed it until two weeks after it happened.
11) Sakio Bika (11-356)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dirrell wants a rematch, and that’s obviously a worthy endeavor given the legitimate draw the first time around.  In the meantime, machinations are underway for an eliminator between Jack and DeGale, with the winner to become his mandatory.  On Bika’s end, he’d like a unification with Froch.
12) Maxim Vlasov (12-64)
Last Fight: 12/5/2013- KO4 Maxell Taylor (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #5 Brandon Gonzales
Vlasov appears set for an IBF eliminator against Brandon Gonzales.  A deal has been reached, but no date has been reported.
13) Edwin Rodriguez (12-54)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
According to his trainer Ronnie Shields, they might be looking to fight a top-15 level light heavyweight, and have absolutely no intention to ever try to make 168 again.  He’ll be on the shelf for a little while due to bone chip-removal surgery on his elbow in December.
 14) Andy Lee (18-37)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013-TKO2 Ferenc Hafner (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lee has apparently turned down a March 1 fight with Hassan N’Dam.  A Macklin fight might still be in play.
15) Ryota Murata (18-23)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO8 Dave Peterson (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/22/2014- vs. Carlos Nascimento (UNR)
Murata is slated for a February 22 card in Macau against mediocre Brazilian journeyman Carlos Nascimento.
16) Hadillah Mohoumadi (4-48)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Caleb Truax (4-32)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (MD12) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Truax may have been a little lucky to escape with a draw against Duran.  I agree with the decision, but it could only have tilted the other way if it tilted at all.
 18) Badou Jack (8-28)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 Rogelio Medina (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jack has been ordered to face DeGale for a shot at Bika.
19) Don Mouton (8-18)
Last Fight: 5/13/2013- L* (UD8) vs. #10 Anthony Dirrell
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. Gilberto Ramirez (UNR)
Mouton-Ramirez has been rescheduled for February 1.
20) Anthony Dirrell (8-8)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. #11 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: Unknown
His hard-fought draw with Sakio Bika gained Dirrell a measure of redemption for what pretty clearly should have been a loss against Don Mouton, and has him back in the hot prospect category.  He’s called for a rematch (good idea) and a fight with Golovkin (bad idea).

 

The Week Ahead: 
Saturday
#19 Don Mouton vs. Gilberto Ramirez; Laredo, Texas; UniMas (US)
Mouton is generally considered a mere journeyman, and is severely underrated by that view.  Mouton clearly beat a much larger and top 10-ranked Anthony Dirrell, but was blatantly robbed.  Ramirez, for his part, is an undefeated Mexican prospect, and hasn’t looked half-bad the couple times I’ve seen him.

Middleweight: 2013, Aug 26- Sep 1

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 2, 2013 by danboxing
One-loss prospect and cancer survivor Danny Jacobs made a big statement on Monday.  He’s back.  Jacobs made 160 for the first time since his 2010 knockout loss to Pirog, and since beating cancer.  And fighting the first serious opponent since Pirog, he managed to look better than he has since at least the Ishe Smith fight in 2009.  But let’s not overhype it just yet.  Jacobs dances away from his opponent too much for my liking.  When he does so, he crosses the line from boxing into light running.  I actually gave the first to rounds to the more aggressive and solid Lorenzo.  But Jacobs didn’t wait too long to get going, absolutely detonating Lorenzo’s chin in the 3rd.  This was perhaps a bit surprising, since Jacobs had never even knocked down a top 50 opponent before, and Lorenzo had never been stopped despite fighting 3 top-5 contenders, and another top 10.

 

Speaking of quick knockouts, undefeated Russian prospect Dmitry Chudinov moved on a bit from his rather embarrassing draw with Patrick Mendy, knocking out one-loss Venezuelan fringe prospect Jorge Navarro in the 2nd.

 

Gilberto Ramirez, the undefeated Mexican prospect, had been scheduled to take on veteran journeyman Julio Cesar Garcia, but got a short notice replacement in veteran spoiler Derrick Findley.  It’s unfortunate that Findley continues to be put in this type of situation.  We’ve seen that he’s a pretty good fighter when he gets something like a full camp.  He definitely deserved to beat Curtis Stevens in that situation earlier this year.  But against Ramirez, on a few days’ notice, he didn’t win a single round on a single card.  The fight was actually at super middleweight, and perhaps unintentionally makes Ramirez a minor player in that division (at least in my book).

 

And last but certainly not least, Olympic Gold Medalist Ryoto Murata made his pro debut on Sunday in Tokyo.  Why am I spending time on a pro debut, you ask?  Afterall, I pretty much only report on match-ups involving top 50 fighters.  Well, simple: Murata’s pro debut came against none other than #14 Akio Shibata, Asia’s best middleweight.  This was a bold and confident move for Murata’s team, and a very high-risk one for Shibata.  It paid off for Murata, as he dropped Shibata in the first and finished him off late in the second.  Unfortunately, the fight was contested at 161, and thus doesn’t establish Murata’s eligibility as a middleweight.  It’s a shame, since that pound almost certainly made little difference in the outcome, and since Murata probably otherwise earned a top-10 spot in his very first fight.  The win will be considered in the future, but only once Murata has achieved the requisite top 50 win while making the 160 limit.

 

Demetrius Andrade (#16 last week) is removed, having scheduled a fight at 154 for November- more than a year after his last fight against an opponent that weighed more than that.  Shibata also falls out, although I give him enough benefit of the doubt as to Murata being a top-quality prospect that he’s still in the neighborhood of a ranking.  This allows Max Bursak to advance from #15 to #14.  Meanwhile, everyone ranked #17-20 last week moves up two places.  Jacobs assumes the #19 spot with his big win.  Chudinov is back in at #20, though I assure you, the fact that he had a  stay-busy win this week had no bearing on his ranking.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (176-176-176)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: Unknown
Martinez should be back in March or April of 2014.  Golovkin has been mentioned, but that would be a bit too much for his first fight back, I would think.
1) Martin Murray (18-91-91)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- L* (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez (Robbery- D at worst)
Next Fight: Unknown
Apparently Hatton Promotions, who handle Murray, had an offer on the table to fight Quillin in England.  Golden Boy blames the deal falling through on Hatton’s CEO- Richard Poxon, essentially crying incompetence.  But with no word from Murray’s camp, it’s hard to say whether that’s a fight the should-be Champ wanted or not.
2) Gennady Golovkin (9-52-115)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- KO3 #5 Matthew Macklin
Next Fight: 11/2/2013- vs. #19 Curtis Stevens
Apparently 2 gatekeeper-level knockouts, a gift decision over a journeyman, and a ton of undeserved hype will get you a shot at getting demolished by Golovkin.  Curtis Stevens will get just that on November 2.
3) Darren Barker (2-2-98)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- W (SD12) vs. #3 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown
Geale wants a rematch, and Martin Murray is knocking, as well.  But more than likely, a mandatory against Sturm is the next move, probably in December.
4) Felix Sturm (9-519-519)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- TKO4 Predrag Radosevic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Barker’s notes, above.
5) Daniel Geale (2-219-219)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (SD12) vs. #15 Darren Barker
Next Fight: Unknown
Geale wants a rematch, but will probably have to wait until at least 2014, since it appears likely Barker will make a mandatory defense in December against Sturm, instead.
6) Matthew Macklin (2-114-205)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- L (KO3) vs. #4 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Macklin has now suffered his 2nd knockout loss at the top level, but still has plenty of cred against anyone not in the top 5.
7) Peter Quillin (18-45-66)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- TKO7 Fernando Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/26/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Golden Boy expects to put Quillin on the Hopkins-Murat undercard in late October.  Sergio Mora is apparently dying to be the opponent.
8) Dmitry Pirog (18-161-161)
Last Fight: 5/1/2012- UD12 #20 Nobuhiro Ishida
Next Fight: Unknown
Pirog says his back injuries have fully healed, and will be meeting with his people in the US soon to determine his next fight.  I’ll probably give him until the end of September to calendar that fight before removing him.
9) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (9-26-148)
Last Fight: 10/20/2012- L (UD12) vs. #20 Peter Quillin
Next Fight: Unknown
10) Sergio Mora (9-9-9)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- UD10 #9 Grzegorz Proksa
Next Fight: Unknown
See Quillin’s notes, above.
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (24-135)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- KO2 Dionisio Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rubio is theoretically set up for a alphabet title fight with Chavez, but Chavez has to beat Vera and decide to continue campaigning at 160, which seems increasingly unlikely.
12) Anthony Mundine (24-135)
Last Fight: 1/30/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: 8/23/2013- vs. #3 WW Shane Mosley (at JMW)
Mundine says the fight is signed with Mosley, but no date has been announced yet.
13) Osumanu Adama (24-127)
Last Fight: 7/26/2013- RTD7 Doel Carasquillo (UNR) (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Adama has until September 7 to schedule a middleweight fight to avoid removal, having missed 160 in his last two fights.
14) Max Bursak (1-135)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- UD12 Prince Arron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Bryan Vera (1-45)
Last Fight: 3/29/2013- TKO7* Donatas Bondorovas (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/28/2013- vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR) (at SMW)
Vera’s fight with Chavez has been delayed again, this time to 9/28.
16) Grzegorz Proksa (1-124)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Proksa is an enigma.  He looked like the next big thing against Sylvester, but did practically nothing against Mora. 
17) Curtis Stevens (1-4)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- KO1 Saul Roman (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/2/2013- vs. #2 Gennady Golovkin
Stevens needed a gift to beat journeyman Derrick Findley, and has never beat anything better than a gatekeeper at this weight.  My opinion is that his fight with Golovkin will be akin to an execution.
18) Billi Godoy (1-2)
Last Fight: 7/19/2013- UD12 Mateo Veron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Danny Jacobs (1-1)
Last Fight: 8/19/2013- TKO3 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Dmitry Chudinov (1-1)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- KO2 Jorge Navarro (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: Nothing going on this week, after a very active last week.

Middleweight: 2013, Aug 19-25

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on August 26, 2013 by danboxing
In what must be viewed as an upset from Atlantic City, #3 Daniel Geale was defeated in a legitimately razor-thin fight on HBO.  Geale, who lacks real power but usually makes up for it with volume, was a bit more cautious than normal, perhaps because Barker seemed to have a pretty fair amount of steam behind his punches to an extent that guys like Sebastian Sylvester and Anthony Mundine may not have.  Maybe even more than Sturm, with whom Geale also had a toss-up kind of fight.  I had it 114-113 for Barker, with the Englishman winning 7 rounds to overcome a devastatingly placed body shot that produced a knockdown and almost a knockout in the 6th.  Half the fight was composed of toss-up rounds, but in my estimation, Barker swept the first 5, came back strong in the 7th, and managed to nick the 10th to seal the victory.

 

In much less significant action, gatekeeper Sergio Sanders knocked out low-level countryman Abel Adriel in 7 from Malvinas, Argentina.

 

Barker revitalizes his injury-plagued career with by far its best win.  He rockets to #3, replacing Geale at that position.  Geale slumps two spots, displaced by Barker and also swapping positions with Sturm, over whom he holds an indecisive win.  Macklin is displaced one spot by Barker, as well.

 

Having re-scheduled his 165 pound catchweight fight with Vera for after the 1-year anniversary of his last middleweight fight, Julio Cesar Chavez (#6 last week) is removed.  Brought into equilibrium by Barker and Chavez, everyone ranked #7-14 last week stays put.  #s 16-20 each move up, and the vacancy at #20 is filled by Billi Godoy, who had been bumped out of that spot on August 5.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (175-175-175)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: Unknown
Martinez should be back in March or April of 2014.  Golovkin has been mentioned, but that would be a bit too much for his first fight back, I would think.
1) Martin Murray (17-90-90)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- L* (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez (Robbery- D at worst)
Next Fight: Unknown
With the Golovkin talks having amounted to nothing, Murray is looking for what should be a make-able showdown with Darren Barker.
2) Gennady Golovkin (8-51-114)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- KO3 #5 Matthew Macklin
Next Fight: 11/2/2013- vs. #19 Curtis Stevens
Apparently 2 gatekeeper-level knockouts, a gift decision over a journeyman, and a ton of undeserved hype will get you a shot at getting demolished by Golovkin.  Curtis Stevens will get just that on November 2.
3) Darren Barker (1-1-97)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- W (SD12) vs. #3 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown
Geale wants a rematch, and Martin Murray is knocking, as well.  But more than likely, a mandatory against Sturm is the next move, probably in December.

4) Felix Sturm (8-518-518)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- TKO4 Predrag Radosevic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Barker’s notes, above.
5) Daniel Geale (1-218-218)

Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (SD12) vs. #15 Darren Barker

Next Fight: Unknown

Geale wants a rematch, but will probably have to wait until at least 2014, since it appears likely Barker will make a mandatory defense in December against Sturm, instead.
6) Matthew Macklin (1-113-204)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- L (KO3) vs. #4 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Macklin has now suffered his 2nd knockout loss at the top level, but still has plenty of cred against anyone not in the top 5.
7) Peter Quillin (17-44-65)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- TKO7 Fernando Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/26/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Golden Boy expects to put Quillin on the Hopkins-Murat undercard in late October.
8) Dmitry Pirog (17-160-160)
Last Fight: 5/1/2012- UD12 #20 Nobuhiro Ishida
Next Fight: Unknown
Pirog says his back injuries have fully healed, and will be meeting with his people in the US soon to determine his next fight.  I’ll probably give him until the end of September to calendar that fight before removing him.
9) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (8-25-147)
Last Fight: 10/20/2012- L (UD12) vs. #20 Peter Quillin
Next Fight: Unknown
10) Sergio Mora (8-8-8)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- UD10 #9 Grzegorz Proksa
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora is hoping for a shot at Golovkin off the Proksa win, and has signed with a solid promoter in Lou DiBella.
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (23-134)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- KO2 Dionisio Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rubio is theoretically set up for a alphabet title fight with Chavez, but Chavez has to beat Vera and decide to continue campaigning at 160, which seems increasingly unlikely.
12) Anthony Mundine (23-134)
Last Fight: 1/30/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #3 WW Shane Mosley (at JMW)
Mundine says the fight is signed with Mosley, but no date has been announced yet.
13) Osumanu Adama (23-126)
Last Fight: 7/26/2013- RTD7 Doel Carasquillo (UNR) (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Adama has until September 7 to schedule a middleweight fight to avoid removal, having missed 160 in his last two fights.
14) Akio Shibata (16-16)
Last Fight: W (TD9) vs. #18 Makoto Fuchigami
Next Fight: 8/25/2013- vs. Ryota Murata (UNR)
This is a bit stunning.  After proving himself the best Asian middleweight against Fuchigami, Shibata will follow up with a high-risk, no reward fight against Ryota Murata, a fighter making his pro debut, but an Olympic Gold Medalist, as well.
15) Max Bursak (1-134)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- UD12 Prince Arron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Demetrius Andrade (1-105)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- UD10 Freddy Hernandez (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #14 JMW Vanes Martirosyan (at JMW)
Andrade-Martirosyan has been postponed along with Chavez-Vera due to Chavez’s cut.  Chances are the new date will lead to his removal, since it will probably be after his 1-year anniversary of his last middleweight fight.  That’s now even more likely with the news that the fight will not be on the same date as Chavez-Vera anymore.
17) Bryan Vera (1-44)
Last Fight: 3/29/2013- TKO7* Donatas Bondorovas (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/28/2013- vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR) (at SMW)
Vera’s fight with Chavez has been delayed again, this time to 9/28.
18) Grzegorz Proksa (1-123)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Proksa is an enigma.  He looked like the next big thing against Sylvester, but did practically nothing against Mora. 
19) Curtis Stevens (1-3)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- KO1 Saul Roman (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/2/2013- vs. #2 Gennady Golovkin
Stevens needed a gift to beat journeyman Derrick Findley, and has never beat anything better than a gatekeeper at this weight.  My opinion is that his fight with Golovkin will be akin to an execution.
20) Billi Godoy (1-1)
Last Fight: 7/19/2013- UD12 Mateo Veron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: One-loss prospect and cancer survivor Danny Jacobs will get his stiffest test, by far, since he was knocked out by Pirog back in 2010, when he takes on Dominican gatekeeper Giovanni Lorenzo, a once-promising prospect who still has only lost to top-10 opposition.  That fight will inaugurate Fox Sports 1’s new Monday Night Boxing series.

 

Saturday in Volgograd, Russia, undefeated Russian prospect Dmitry Chudinov- recently ranked in the top 20 before being humbled by a draw to journeyman Patrick Mendy- looks to get back on a winning track against a lesser journeyman in Venezuela’s Jorge Navarro.

 

A battle of Mexicans is brewing in Glendale, California later that night, as undefeated prospect Gilberto Ramirez takes on veteran journeyman Julio Cesar Garcia.

 

Capping off the week on Sunday is a very intriguing match-up in Tokyo, where #14 Akio Shibata will look to rudely welcome Olympic Gold Medalist Ryoto Murata to the pro ranks.  That’s right.  Murata is making his pro debut against the best middleweight in Asia.  No baby steps here.  I hope Shibata is getting paid well, because this is a very high-risk, low-reward kind of fight.  It’s not every day a guy has a chance to be 1-0 and something close to a top-10 fighter.

Middleweight: 2013, Apr 22-28

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on April 27, 2013 by danboxing
Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden, #18 Curtis Stevens was the beneficiary of a judging debacle on the Cunningham-Fury undercard.  You could probably have seen it coming, sadly, when the judges were announced.  John McKaie is, I feel confident in saying, the single worst judge in America, if not the world.  You can generally pick the true winner of the fight by choosing the guy that McKaie had losing.  It’s like the guy is testing the New York commission to see how many fights a judge can blatantly ruin before they stop hiring him.  Don Trella is very hit and miss, but at least he’s avoided embarrassing himself since his ludicrous Quillin-N’Dam card in October.  I was not particularly familiar with Robin Taylor’s work going into the fight, as he seldom works TV fights.  Naturally NBC’s commentary crew of BJ Flores, Kenny Rice, and silent partner Larry “Rubber Stamp” Hazzard tried to sell the public on the idea that Stevens was winning.  But for those of you that bought their ludicrous commentary, here’s what really happened:

 

Journeyman Derrick Findley came forward, consistently backing Stevens up and landing the better shots- particularly to the body.  Simply put, he was more aggressive, controlled the ring, and landed more and more telling shots.  Round-by-round, he clearly won the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 7th.  He clearly lost the 1st, 4th, and 6th.  The only difficult round to score was the 8th and final, which I narrowly gave to Findley to earn him a 77-75 edge.  Obviously if you were generous to Stevens, he may have eked out a draw.  But this is where the ringside crooks stepped in.  McKaie and Taylor each had it 78-74 for Stevens, meaning that in a short 8 round fight, they both gave Stevens the lone toss-up, as well as two clear Findley rounds.  That’s just another day at the office for McKaie, at least.  But Don Trella returned to Quillin-N’Dam form, throroughly embarrassing himself by giving Stevens all but one round.  Trella and Taylor need some major intervention and rehabilitation, and in my opinion should not work high-profile fights until they’ve proven themselves competent.  McKaie is a different matter.  He’s a consistent and flagrant offender, and should without any question never be allowed to judge a fight again under any circumstances. 

 

A few hours later in Mexico City, undefeated prospect Gilberto Ramirez knocked out inexperienced low-level journeyman and late replacement Juan De Angel with a body shot in the latter half of the 3rd round.  Ramirez had been scheduled to fight comparatively top-notch journeyman Dionisio Miranda until that fight fell through.
 
Stevens tumbles from the top 20 with the awful performance, allowing the rather unworthy Jose Miguel Torres to claim the #20 spot on the strength of his upset win over undefeated prospect and fringe contender Patrick Majewski from November 2011.  He’s been slumming since then, and has a spotty prior record at lower weights, both factors which make me regret having to rank him at this stage.  What about Findley, you ask?  Well, two things.  He has a poor record prior to Saturday as a traveling opponent to often unproven or mediocre prospects and other fighters.  Also, he came in at 161 to Stevens’ 159, making it hard to give him full credit for a close win in the middleweight division.  He’s made me want to watch his fights going forward, but I can’t in good conscience consider ranking him.  The Japanese duo of Fuchigami and Ishida move up to 18 and 19, respectively.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (158-158-158)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- UD12 #4 Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. #9 Martin Murray
Martinez will look to come back strong from knee surgery when he takes on Martin Murray in Argentina on April 27.  The fight will be revolutionary in that instant replay will be available to the referee.
1) Daniel Geale (96-201-201)
Last Fight: 1/30/2013- UD12 #11 Anthony Mundine
Next Fight: Unknown
With Soliman testing positive for a PED, his expected fight with Geale is probably out.  Perhaps a Sturm rematch is the most obvious follow-up.  Sergio has also expressed interest in a fight with him after Murray.
2) Felix Sturm (8-501-501)
Last Fight: 2/1/2013- L* (UD12) vs. #12 Sam Soliman (on PEDs)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sturm says on Twitter that he’s resumed light training, and will soon announce his plans for his next fight, which he describes as a big event.
3) Gennady Golovkin (8-34-97)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- KO3 #19 Nobuhiro Ishida

Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. #4 Matthew Macklin
Golovkin-Macklin appears to be on for June 29 on HBO, and that’s huge.
4) Matthew Macklin (8-96-187)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- TKO1 Joachim Alcine (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. #3 Gennady Golovkin
See Golovkin’s notes, above.
5) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (8-99-117)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: 7/13/2013- vs. #17 Bryan Vera
Chavez has apparently settled on Bryan Vera for his next outing, which has been delayed to July 13.
6) Peter Quillin (8-27-48)
Last Fight: 10/20/2012- UD12 #6 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. Fernando Guerrero (UNR)
Quillin’s fight with Guerrero has been postponed from February 9 to April 27 due to an injury to the card’s headliner, Danny Garcia.
7) Dmitry Pirog (8-143-143)
Last Fight: 5/1/2012- UD12 #20 Nobuhiro Ishida
Next Fight: Unknown
After bleak reports of his back injury situation surfaced over recent weeks, finally we get a bit of hopeful news, as Pirog’s US promoter Art Pelullo says that Pirog is hoping to return in late August if all goes well.
8) Grzegorz Proksa (8-106-106)
Last Fight: 2/9/2013- UD6 Norbert Szekeres (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/28/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Proksa will bounce back from a hand injury and return on June 28 in the US.  No further details yet.
9) Martin Murray (8-73-73)
Last Fight: 11/24/2012- TKO6 Jorge Navarro (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Murray will look to prove that he belongs at or above the level he achieved by drawing with Sturm when he fights the Champ in Argentina on April 27.
10) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (8-8-130)
Last Fight: 10/20/2012- L (UD12) vs. #20 Peter Quillin
Next Fight: Unknown

N’Dam was recently seen sparring at Mayweather’s gym with some of his top prospects.  This has fueled speculation of his possibly signing with Mayweather Promotions, himself.
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (6-117)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- UD12 Marcus Upshaw (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

Rubio seems to be the mandatory for both the Quillin-Guerrero and the Martinez-Murray winner unless I’ve missed something.
12) Anthony Mundine (6-117)
Last Fight: 1/30/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown
Mundine expects to fight again in late June or July, but doesn’t know against whom or in what division yet.  He has hinted he may be moving back down to 154.
13) Osumanu Adama (6-109)
Last Fight: 3/16/2012- W(SD10) vs. Grady Brewer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Adama came in heavy and nearly lost to 42 year-old Grady Brewer.  The fact that he missed weight by only a half pound gives him the opportunity to schedule a middleweight fight by September 7 to maintain a ranking, though.
14) Darren Barker (7-80)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- RTD4 Simone Rotolo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It appears that Barker has lost out to Bryan Vera for an opportunity to fight Chavez.
15) Max Bursak (7-117)
Last Fight: 2/2/2013- TKO3 Julien Marie Sainte (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bursak is now the EBU champion after destroying journeyman Sainte.
16) Demetrius Andrade (7-88)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- UD10 Freddy Hernandez (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: 7/6/2013- vs. Zaurbek Baysangurov (UNR) (at JMW)
Andrade will finally have a significant fight at the 154 pound limit, as he challenges for the ridiculous title of Russia’s Zaurbek Baysangurov in either Kiev or Odessa in the Ukraine.
17) Bryan Vera (8-27)
Last Fight: 3/29/2013- TKO7* Donatas Bondorovas (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/13/2013- vs. #5 Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.
After an absolutely abysmal performance from which he was lucky to escape without a loss against journeyman Donatas Bondas, Vera appears to be the choice to fight JCC on July 13.
18) Makoto Fuchigami (1-8)
Last Fight: 10/12/2012- RTD6 Marlon Alta (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/4/2013- vs. Akio Shibata (UNR)
Fuchigami has a good domestic-level opportunity on his hands, fighting essentially a peer in junior middleweight fringe contender Akio Shibata.
19) Nobuhiro Ishida (1-60)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- L (KO3) vs. #3 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Ishida said before the Golovkin fight that he’d retire if he lost.  But that could have just been posturing.  I won’t remove him as a retired fighter until I find some post-fight confirmation of his intentions.
20) Jose Miguel Torres (1-1)
Last Fight: 3/16/2013- TKO4 Javier Gonzalez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Torres sneaks into the rankings based on a nearly 18 month old upset win over Patrick Majewski, but considering the awful opposition he has faced since, I’m not particularly happy about it.

 

The Week Ahead: Five notable middleweights are in action this week in 3 separate fights.  The big one is the Championship fight between reigning Champ Sergio Martinez and promising Englishman Martin Murray (#9), who is best known for a draw with Felix Sturm that he easily could have won.  That fight will be televised on HBO in the US, and takes place in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Murray is hardly the most daunting opponent Sergio has fought since beating Pavlik for the title, but there’s always a bit of added intrigue when a guy is coming off major knee surgery, especially a fighter that relies on mobility as much as Sergio.

 

In a competing card on Showtime from Brooklyn, #6 Peter Quillin takes on prospect/fringe contender Fernando Guerrero.  Guerrero has won 4 straight against limited opposition since his ill-fated foray into the junior middleweight division that saw him being stopped by Grady Brewer back in 2011.  Quillin fights for the first time since he dropped Hassan N’Dam 6 times and still barely eked out a win last year.

 

On that undercard, prospect Danny Jacobs looks to continue his comeback from cancer, still taking it easy in terms of his competition level.  His opponent is mediocre journeyman Keenan Collins.

Middleweight: 2013, Apr 15-21

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on April 24, 2013 by danboxing
In last week’s most significant fight, fringe contender and EU titlist Roberto Santos of Spain gave Austrian prospect Marcos Nader a rematch of their nip-and-tuck draw from last fall, and yet again was served an unsatisfactory outcome in his opponent’s backyard.  I scored both fights 115-113 for Santos, but I can’t say that Nader didn’t have an argument in both.  In the first few rounds, a nimble Nader grossly out-boxed a sluggish-looking Santos to build an early lead.  Most of the rounds between 4 and 11 could have gone either way, though Santos was building momentum and closing the distance progressively round-by-round.  By the final round, Nader was in full retreat with Santos bum rushing him with plenty of flush shots.  Nader won by scores of 116-112 (x2) and 115-113.  I can’t say any of the scores were completely out of line, but I do think they reflect a highly partisan Nader crowd. 

 

Staying with the Marcos theme for the moment, one-loss Mexican prospect Marcos Reyes stopped journeyman Eric Mitchell late in the 5th round of their fight in Hidalgo, Mexico.

 

And in Neuquen, Argentina, local one-loss prospect Billi Godoy successfully continued his rebound from his debatable first loss, establishing a 2-fight winning streak by outpointing weak Brazilian journeyman Valdevan Pereira.  The only problem is that he probably was expected to stop Pereira sometime before the final bell rang to close the 10-round contest.

 

No changes to the rankings, as the Santos-Nader fight will be treated much like a draw given the nature of the decision.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (157-157-157)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- UD12 #4 Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. #9 Martin Murray
Martinez will look to come back strong from knee surgery when he takes on Martin Murray in Argentina on April 27.  The fight will be revolutionary in that instant replay will be available to the referee.
1) Daniel Geale (95-200-200)
Last Fight: 1/30/2013- UD12 #11 Anthony Mundine
Next Fight: Unknown
With Soliman testing positive for a PED, his expected fight with Geale is probably out.  Perhaps a Sturm rematch is the most obvious follow-up.  Sergio has also expressed interest in a fight with him after Murray.
2) Felix Sturm (7-500-500)
Last Fight: 2/1/2013- L* (UD12) vs. #12 Sam Soliman (on PEDs)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sturm says on Twitter that he’s resumed light training, and will soon announce his plans for his next fight, which he describes as a big event.
3) Gennady Golovkin (7-33-96)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- KO3 #19 Nobuhiro Ishida

Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. #4 Matthew Macklin
Golovkin-Macklin appears to be on for June 29 on HBO, and that’s huge.
4) Matthew Macklin (7-95-186)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- TKO1 Joachim Alcine (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Golovkin’s notes, above.
5) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (7-98-116)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: 6/22/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Lots of Chavez news breaking.  He’s staying with Freddie Roach after it looked like they were splitsville.  It looks likely that Darren Barker is likely his guy for 6/22, and he’s saying that Andre Ward and Gennady Golovkin are his top choices for a fall fight, rather than a rematch with Martinez.
6) Peter Quillin (7-26-47)
Last Fight: 10/20/2012- UD12 #6 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. Fernando Guerrero (UNR)
Quillin’s fight with Guerrero has been postponed from February 9 to April 27 due to an injury to the card’s headliner, Danny Garcia.
7) Dmitry Pirog (7-142-142)
Last Fight: 5/1/2012- UD12 #20 Nobuhiro Ishida
Next Fight: Unknown
After bleak reports of his back injury situation surfaced over recent weeks, finally we get a bit of hopeful news, as Pirog’s US promoter Art Pelullo says that Pirog is hoping to return in late August if all goes well.
8) Grzegorz Proksa (7-105-105)
Last Fight: 2/9/2013- UD6 Norbert Szekeres (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/28/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Proksa will bounce back from a hand injury and return on June 28 in the US.  No further details yet.
9) Martin Murray (7-72-72)
Last Fight: 11/24/2012- TKO6 Jorge Navarro (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Murray will look to prove that he belongs at or above the level he achieved by drawing with Sturm when he fights the Champ in Argentina on April 27.
10) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (7-7-129)
Last Fight: 10/20/2012- L (UD12) vs. #20 Peter Quillin
Next Fight: Unknown

N’Dam was recently seen sparring at Mayweather’s gym with some of his top prospects.  This has fueled speculation of his possibly signing with Mayweather Promotions, himself.
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (5-116)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- UD12 Marcus Upshaw (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

Rubio seems to be the mandatory for both the Quillin-Guerrero and the Martinez-Murray winner unless I’ve missed something.
12) Anthony Mundine (5-116)
Last Fight: 1/30/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown
Mundine expects to fight again in June, but doesn’t know against whom or in what division yet.  He has hinted he may be moving back down to 154.
13) Osumanu Adama (5-108)
Last Fight: 3/16/2012- W(SD10) vs. Grady Brewer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Adama came in heavy and nearly lost to 42 year-old Grady Brewer.  The fact that he missed weight by only a half pound gives him the opportunity to schedule a middleweight fight by September 7 to maintain a ranking, though.
14) Darren Barker (6-79)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- RTD4 Simone Rotolo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Barker is the leading candidate for a 6/22 fight with Chavez.
15) Max Bursak (6-116)
Last Fight: 2/2/2013- TKO3 Julien Marie Sainte (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bursak is now the EBU champion after destroying journeyman Sainte.
16) Demetrius Andrade (6-87)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- UD10 Freddy Hernandez (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: 7/6/2013- vs. Zaurbek Baysangurov (UNR) (at JMW)
Andrade will finally have a significant fight at the 154 pound limit, as he challenges the ridiculous title of Russia’s Zaurbek Baysangurov in either Kiev or Odessa in the Ukraine.
17) Bryan Vera (7-26)
Last Fight: 3/29/2013- TKO7* Donatas Bondorovas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vera looked like absolute crap against ordinary journeyman Donatas Bondas, getting a potential gift from the referee in a highly questionable 7th round stoppage, which saved him from needing the robbery that the judges were cooking up on the scorecards.  He remains one of the top candidates to fight JCC in June.
18) Curtis Stevens (7-13)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- KO1 Elvin Ayala (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. Derrick Findley (UNR)
Stevens will fight on the Fury-Cunningham undercard at MSG on 4/20 against veteran journeyman Derrick Findley.
19) Makoto Fuchigami (3-7)
Last Fight: 10/12/2012- RTD6 Marlon Alta (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/4/2013- vs. Akio Shibata (UNR)
Fuchigami has a good domestic-level opportunity on his hands, fighting essentially a peer in junior middleweight fringe contender Akio Shibata.
20) Nobuhiro Ishida (3-59)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- L (KO3) vs. #3 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Ishida said before the Golovkin fight that he’d retire if he lost.  But that could have just been posturing.  I won’t remove him as a retired fighter until I find some post-fight confirmation of his intentions.

 

The Week Ahead: Two notable middleweight fights to report next week, both on Saturday:

 

In the middle of the afternoon, #18 Curtis Stevens opens NBC’s live broadcast from Madison Square Garden with a showcase fight against durable journeyman Derrick Findley. 

 

That evening in Mexico City, undefeated prospect Gilberto Ramirez takes on very capable Colombian journeyman Dionisio Miranda.