Archive for Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam

Middleweight: 2014, Apr 21-27

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 28, 2014 by danboxing
#7 Hassan N’Dam was in action this week, but it turned out to be a super middleweight fight, and so I’ve discussed it there as fully as possible.

 

ESPN’s Boxcino Middleweight tournament featured its first major upset on Friday, as the tournament’s favorite (and only top 50 fighter) Vitaliy Kopylenko was shockingly upended by Willie Monroe, Jr., winning only one round on my card and on two of the three official judges’ (John McKaie had it just one round closer).  Monroe- who frankly didn’t deserve the opportunity after benefitting from a robbery against Donatas Bondas in the previous round- took advantage of said opportunity.  He was very slick, and controlled the distance and pace to such an extent that he made Kopylenko look like his sparring partner.  Kopylenko fought Monroe’s fight the entire way, failing to step in, failing to go to the body, and failing to commit to his punches.  

 

Brandon Adams had a similarly effective performance against Ray Gatica in the other fight, though neither guy was ranked in the top 50 going in.  Gatica gave a better effort than did Kopylenko, and won the first round behind effective subtle pressure, but he was unable to ramp that pressure up as Adams adjusted to it, and his hands were way too slow to match his opponent’s athleticism.  Adams reminded me, personally, of the effective version of Shawn Porter.

 

In the week’s biggest fight in the division, #6 Peter Quillin somehow impressed the hell out of the cheerleaders at Showtime, as well as awful judges Milos Rados, Bill Lerch, and Michael Pernick (120-108, 119-109 x2, respectively), but to me he did just enough to win.  Whether it’s against N’Dam, Rosado, or Konecny (as was the case this time), the dude is allergic to truly impressing, despite plenty of apparent talent.  Late in fights, he seems to either gas out or coast.  In this case, it appeared to be a bit of the latter.  After building up a 59-55 advantage on my card after 6, he spent the last half of the fight running and jabbing defensively, which allowed me to give him just 2 of the last 6- one by a mere hair’s breadth.  I had it for Quillin in the end, 115-113, and although I think a reasonable judge could have scored it a draw, I think I can comfortably join the general consensus to the effect that Quillin did indeed win the fight.  That being said, the idea that he won 11 or 12 rounds is simply preposterous.  Despite the underwhelming effort, however, and despite the sour taste I’m left with due to the biased scorecards being shoved in my face, I can’t be too down on Quillin in this instance.  Frankly, given his monumental struggles with N’Dam and Rosado and the fact that Konecny was underrated due to a robbery loss against Baysangurov, I actually thought it was a 50-50 fight going in, give or take.  So even a close win for the American is worthwhile.

 

In an off-TV stay-busy fight in Orlando, Florida, unbeaten Russian prospect Matt Korobov stopped his low-level Puerto Rican journeyman opponent Emil Gonzalez after the 6th round of a scheduled 8.

 

Quillin’s win, regardless of how he looked, came against a high-quality fighter, and when combined with the fact that one of Macklin’s better wins just became more than 5 years old last month, it allows him to slip past Macklin in the rankings.  Ditto with Martin Murray, who put his entire resume into question with a debateable points win against journeyman Khomitsky recently.  He hits the wall with Geale.  Despite Geale’s last fight at that kind of level being a close loss to Barker, he still has a much deeper overall resume than Quillin.  It’s a little bit of a judgment call, but I’m going to say that Geale is still the more proven guy at the moment.  Konecny remains unranked due to his having no significant wins at 160.  As for Monroe, he’s now beaten a guy that I considered a top 50 fighter, and is thus qualified for rankings consideration.  That being said, I think he falls just outside my top 50, considering the generous judging he needed to get by Bondas recently.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (210-210-210)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. # 8 JMW Miguel Cotto
If there was any lingering doubt, Martinez-Cotto is now on for June 7 at Madison Square Garden.
1) Gennady Golovkin (19-86-149)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
A fight between Golovkin and Julio Cesar Chavez appears to be nearly done for July 19 at 168.
2) Felix Sturm (19-553-553)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- TKO2 #3 Darren Barker
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #8 Sam Soliman (UNR)
Soliman has obfuscated his clear banned stimulant violation to the point that he has perhaps most people thinking he was totally clean.  He wasn’t.  And he didn’t win that fight even if he had been.  Sturm got screwed all the way around, and now he’s forced to rematch the Australian, who deserves the opportunity much less than would Macklin, Murray, or Geale.  But that’s what we’ve got.  May 31 in Krefeld.
3) Daniel Geale (9-253-253)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #6 Matthew Macklin
Geale is apparently set to fight Macklin in an intriguing fight on May 24 in the US, on HBO.
4) Peter Quillin (1-79-100)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- UD12 Lukas Konecny (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Quillin is cobbling together a resume full of unimpressive narrow wins over fringe contenders, mostly, and despite his high ranking, he’ll need to take on at least another N’Dam-level challenge to gain full respect from more discerning observers.
5) Martin Murray (1-125-125)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- W* (PTS8) vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: 4/23/2014- vs. Ishmail Tetteh (UNR)
Murray will look to shake off some rust in Kempton Park, South Africa on April 23, fighting very low-level Ghanaian journeyman Ishmail Tetteh.  Murray will most likely be removed next week, unless he comes within 2 pounds of making 160, since his April 27 fight in 2013 was his last at, or really near, the 160 pound limit.
6) Matthew Macklin (1-148-239)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #3 Daniel Geale
See Geale’s notes, above.
7) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (14-19-19)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- UD10 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
N’Dam says he wants Rosado next, and then Golovkin.
8) Sam Soliman (14-19-19)
Last Fight: 12/11/2013- TKO9 Les Sherrington (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #2 Felix Sturm
Soliman cheated with a stimulant, won by ridiculous robbery before being stripped of the victory, and now he gets what I would argue is an undeserved chance at a do-over.
9) Sergio Mora (14-43-43)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. Samuel Rogers (UNR)
Mora will be back on the L.A. undercard of Stiverne-Arreola II against prospect Samuel Rogers who, in addition to being a natural junior middleweight and much less accomplished, is coming off his first career loss.
10) Osumanu Adama (12-12-12)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most pleasant entry into the rankings we’ve ever seen, but his resume stacks up pretty well as long as he’s active and on weight.
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (12-169)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- KO10* Domenico Spada (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
Rubio finished a rigged fight against Domenico Spada in style, but he was losing the fight at the time, and may have lost it entirely if Jon Schorle hadn’t yelled “break” every time his opponent landed a punch or got close to Rubio.
12) Jarrod Fletcher (2-12)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown
Fletcher was among the candidates for a fight with Chudinov on June 1, but the Russian opted for Patrick Nielsen, instead.
13) Max Bursak (2-169)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L* (UD12) vs. Jarrod Fletcher (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
He didn’t get robbed, and it’s hard to feel sorry for him considering how dirty he fought, but I did think Bursak deserved better than a loss against Fletcher.
14) Grzegorz Proksa (2-158)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Caleb Truax (2-31)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (UD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Truax’s status as a promising prospect has been derailed somewhat by the very tough Ossie Duran.
16) Curtis Stevens (2-38)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- TKO10* Tureano Johnson (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevens’ haplessness for all but the last few seconds of his prematurely-stopped bout with Tureano Johnson has got to raise questions about his ability to rise any higher than he finds himself now.  Johnson has respectfully pushed for a rematch.
17) Andrey Meryasev (2-24)
Last Fight: 11/4/2013- UD10 Sergio Sanders (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Carlos Baldomir (UNR)
Meryasev is back in action on April 26- on apparently just over 2 weeks’ notice- against faded veteran Carlos Baldomir in Mexico.  That fight will be at 168.
18) Daniel Jacobs (2-35)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- TKO1 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Easy work for Jacobs against Nunez.  He’s looking for a title fight- probably against Quillin- at the earliest opportunity.
19) Dmitry Chudinov (2-4)
Last Fight: 12/21/2013- TKO6 Juan Camilo Novoa (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/1/2014- vs. Patrick Nielsen (UNR)
Chudinov will fight promising Danish prospect Patrick Nielsen in a very interesting clash on June 1 in Moscow.
20) Akio Shibata (2-2)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD12 Daisuke Nakagawa (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Shibata’s loss to Murata- an Olympic champion with no pro track record- was a significant setback, but he showed that he’s still viable internationally by beating domestic gatekeeper Daisuke Nakagawa.

 

The Week Ahead:   
Friday
Arif Magomedov vs. Alex Theran; Moscow, Russia; TV Unknown
Magomedov is an undefeated Russian, who broke into the top 50 with a sensational performance in his last fight.  Theran is at the same level as his previous opponent in terms of what he’s proven, but Theran- a Colombian- adds spice to the matchup by entering as an undefeated young prospect, himself.  I haven’t seen either guy in the ring yet, but you’d think Magomedov will have at least the home field advantage.  Both guys appear to have decent power, though neither is a Golovkin-type puncher.

 

#17 Andrey Meryasev and #5 Martin Murray are also in action this week, but they are at 168, and their fights will be discussed exclusively there unless their rankings here are affected.

Super Middleweight: 2014, Apr 21-27

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on September 27, 2014 by danboxing
Wednesday saw two top 50 fighters in super middleweight action in Santa Monica, California.  Louis Rose knocked out unproven fellow one-loss prospect Emanuel Ledezma in the final round of an eight rounder.  Unfortunately I have no more detail than that, since there was no video available at press time.  The fight was contested less than a pound over the middleweight limit.  

 

In other non-televised action on the same card, #7 Middleweight Hassan N’Dam also saw action at 168 (I incorrectly identified it as a middleweight fight last week), winning a shutout decision unanimously over 10 rounds against solid Colombian journeyman Fulgencio Zuniga, despite reportedly tearing a bicep in the 4th.  There’s a highlight video on YouTube, but that’s all I could find.

 

Friday in Hammond, Indiana, gatekeeper Don George bounced back successfully from his brutal loss to Caleb Truax last year, returning from 10 months off to twice drop and eventually stop (in the final round of a 6-rounder) low-level journeyman Troy Lowry in what ended up being a light heavyweight fight.

 

Finally, undefeated 6’3″ English prospect Callum Smith looked sensational in destroying former French national middleweight champion Francois Bastient, who is really just a mid-level journeyman coming off two years of inactivity prior to his last fight.  Smith controlled distance when he chose, but also worked the body effectively and frequently, culminating in a devastating 3rd-round body shot that dropped Bastient.  The Frenchman got up (conveniently without his mouthpiece), but was in obvious agony.  This prompted his corner to throw in the towel just before the referee waved the fighters back to action.

 

None of the 4 top 50 operators in action this week was in with a peer, and thus no changes to the rankings this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (123-257-257)
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 (100-410-410)
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 (8-235-235)
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 (8-243-243)
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 (8-489-489)
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 (43-43-43)
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 (30-151-199)
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 (24-24-69)
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 (24-71-93)
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. (8-8-8)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD10 #5 MW Bryan Vera
Next Fight: Unknown
Chavez is talking like he might not renew his Top Rank contract, which might put a proposed Golovkin fight in jeopardy- especially since he’s reportedly negotiating with the Showtime-friendly Al Haymon.
10) Bryan Vera (8-8-8)
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 (8-132)
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 (8-46)
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 (8-368)
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 (8-76)
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 (8-66)
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.
16) Gilberto Ramirez (2-12)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- TKO5 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ramirez says he’d like to fight Sakio Bika.
17) Ryota Murata (2-35)
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 (2-20)
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 (2-60)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Caleb Truax (2-2)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (MD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: 
Wednesday
#4 MW Martin Murray vs. Ishmael Tetteh; Kempton Park, South Africa; Premier (South Africa)
Murray takes a second consecutive tune-up-type fight at super middleweight.  The first one didn’t go very well, as he narrowly got the nod from the ref and sole judge in a fight he very well might have lost against journeyman Sergey Khomitsky.  Tetteh is significantly less of a threat.  He always loses to any fighter proven on any level, and in December he was even stopped by a very low-level journeyman who’d proven nothing to that point.

 

Friday
#7 Ezequiel Maderna vs. Richard Vidal; La Plata, Argentina; TyC Sports (ARG)
Maderna is an underrated contender who probably deserved a draw or better in fights with both Oosthuizen and Edwin Rodriguez.  Vidal is a low-level journeyman from Uruguay.

 

#17 MW Andrey Merysasev vs. Carlos Baldomir; Kanasin, Mexico; Boytsovskiy Klub (Russia)
Meryasev is another ranked middleweight taking a fight at 168 this week.  He’s early in his career, but he’s been impressive so far.  Baldomir is a former welterweight champion, who is long past it, not to mention fairly fat at 168.  Meryasev appears to have only average power, but I still see this as a knockout waiting to happen.

Middleweight: 2014, Apr 14-20

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 23, 2014 by danboxing
#16 Super Middleweight and long-time middleweight fringe contender Andy Lee turned in a pathetic excuse for a performance on the Skoglund-D’Agata undercard in Esbjerg, Denmark on Saturday against French light middleweight journeyman and occasional gatekeeper Frank Haroche Horta.  The smaller Horta bullied Lee around the ring for most of the fight.  When on the inside, his uppercuts in particular were really effective.  Lee, while he clearly won 3 of the first 4 rounds, just didn’t work hardly at all in the last half of the fight, and his defense was atrocious…almost non-existent.  The fight was pretty easy to score, and should pretty clearly have stood at 77-75 for Haroche Horta.  Lee, to put it simply, lost the fight.  It’s the latest and most stark examples of a theme in Lee’s career.  Actual middleweight fights are like kryptonite to him.  When he strays over the weight by even a fraction of a pound, he does fine, even against reasonably decent opposition.  But whether against Chavez or Vera or now against Haroche Horta, he always falls flat when he makes 160.

 

The same night in London, undefeated prospect Chris Eubank, Jr. came in more than 4 pounds heavy, and more than 8 pounds heavier than his opponent, journeyman Sandor Micsko.  It wasn’t much of a fight.  Despite clearly winning a very uneventful first round, Eubank had put in frightfully little work by the time he finally exploded on his overmatched and chinny opponent and knocked him out in the 2nd.  As if he were trying to be a larger British Adrien Broner, he did more talking and posing than he did fighting.  But at least he got the job done.

 

#12 Anthony Mundine lost badly at 154 to Joshua Clottey.  I will discuss that fight in detail at that weight, but the loss does affect Mundine’s standing here, as well.  His only middleweight win at above the gatekeeper level will become over 5 years old next month, so there’s very little left to arrest his nosedive, and at least at this weight class, he’s been zapped all the way down to the gatekeeper level.  Haroche Horta has a bit too checkered a resume to allow his debut here.  Therefore, the vacancy created by Mundine’s ouster is filled by Akio Shibata, who returns to the rankings for the first time since December 9.  Shibata’s status was damaged by his loss to Murata in Murata’s pro debut last year, but he bounced back to prove that it said more about Murata being good than his being bad when he outpointed gatekeeper Daisuke Nakagawa in March.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (209-209-209)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. # 8 JMW Miguel Cotto
If there was any lingering doubt, Martinez-Cotto is now on for June 7 at Madison Square Garden.
1) Gennady Golovkin (18-85-148)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
A fight between Golovkin and Julio Cesar Chavez appears to be nearly done for July 19 at 168.
2) Felix Sturm (18-552-552)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- TKO2 #3 Darren Barker
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #8 Sam Soliman (UNR)
Soliman has obfuscated his clear banned stimulant violation to the point that he has perhaps most people thinking he was totally clean.  He wasn’t.  And he didn’t win that fight even if he had been.  Sturm got screwed all the way around, and now he’s forced to rematch the Australian, who deserves the opportunity much less than would Macklin, Murray, or Geale.  But that’s what we’ve got.  May 31 in Krefeld.
3) Daniel Geale (8-252-252)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #5 Matthew Macklin
Geale is apparently set to fight Macklin in an intriguing fight on May 24 in the US, on HBO.
4) Martin Murray (8-124-124)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- W* (PTS8) vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: 4/23/2014- vs. Ishmail Tetteh (UNR)
Murray will look to shake off some rust in Kempton Park, South Africa on April 23, fighting very low-level Ghanaian journeyman Ishmail Tetteh.
5) Matthew Macklin (13-147-238)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #3 Daniel Geale
See Geale’s notes, above.
6) Peter Quillin (13-78-99)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Lukas Konecny (UNR)
Quillin will fight former 154-pound fringe contender Lukas Konecny, who will be making his first appearance in a meaningful fight at 160 on the Hopkins-Shumenov undercard on April 19 in D.C.
7) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (13-18-18)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Ricardo Ramallo (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/16/2014- vs. Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
N’Dam has an opponent for this week, and it’s Colombian journeyman Fulgencio Zuniga.
8) Sam Soliman (13-18-18)
Last Fight: 12/11/2013- TKO9 Les Sherrington (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #2 Felix Sturm
Soliman cheated with a stimulant, won by ridiculous robbery before being stripped of the victory, and now he gets what I would argue is an undeserved chance at a do-over.
9) Sergio Mora (13-42-42)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. Samuel Rogers (UNR)
Mora will be back on the L.A. undercard of Stiverne-Arreola II against prospect Samuel Rogers who, in addition to being a natural junior middleweight and much less accomplished, is coming off his first career loss.
10) Osumanu Adama (11-11-11)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most pleasant entry into the rankings we’ve ever seen, but his resume stacks up pretty well as long as he’s active and on weight.
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (11-168)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- KO10* Domenico Spada (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
Rubio finished a rigged fight against Domenico Spada in style, but he was losing the fight at the time, and may have lost it entirely if Jon Schorle hadn’t yelled “break” every time his opponent landed a punch or got close to Rubio.
12) Jarrod Fletcher (1-11)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown
Fletcher is said to be among those being considered for a June 1 fight with Dmitry Chudinov in Russia.
13) Max Bursak (1-168)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L* (UD12) vs. Jarrod Fletcher (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
He didn’t get robbed, and it’s hard to feel sorry for him considering how dirty he fought, but I did think Bursak deserved better than a loss against Fletcher.
14) Grzegorz Proksa (1-157)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I can’t find any information on why, but Proksa’s scheduled fight with Matthew Hall this weekend has disappeared from the schedule.
15) Caleb Truax (1-30)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (UD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Truax’s status as a promising prospect has been derailed somewhat by the very tough Ossie Duran.
16) Curtis Stevens (1-37)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- TKO10* Tureano Johnson (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevens’ haplessness for all but the last few seconds of his prematurely-stopped bout with Tureano Johnson has got to raise questions about his ability to rise any higher than he finds himself now.  Johnson has respectfully pushed for a rematch.
17) Andrey Meryasev (1-23)
Last Fight: 11/4/2013- UD10 Sergio Sanders (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Carlos Baldomir (UNR)
Meryasev is back in action on April 26- on apparently just over 2 weeks’ notice- against faded veteran Carlos Baldomir in Mexico.
18) Daniel Jacobs (1-34)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- TKO1 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Easy work for Jacobs against Nunez.  He’s looking for a title fight- probably against Quillin- at the earliest opportunity.
19) Dmitry Chudinov (1-3)
Last Fight: 12/21/2013- TKO6 Juan Camilo Novoa (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/1/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chudinov will return on June 1, and Jarrod Fletcher and Patrick Nielsen- both excellent options- are being considered for the fight.
20) Akio Shibata (1-1)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD12 Daisuke Nakagawa (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Shibata’s loss to Murata- an Olympic champion with no pro track record- was a significant setback, but he showed that he’s still viable internationally by beating domestic gatekeeper Daisuke Nakagawa.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Wednesday
#7 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam vs. Fulgencio Zuniga; Santa Monica, California; Off TV
This is a pretty solid fight on a pretty solid card, but it sadly won’t be on TV.  N’Dam, from France by way of Cameroon, is the big favorite, obviously, and one of the better pure boxers in the sport.  Zuniga is a fairly competent journeyman from Colombia who typically fights at 168 or 175.

 

Friday
ESPN Boxcino Tournament Semi-Finals; Verona, New York; ESPN2
The first semi-final features two guys still looking to prove themselves.  Undefeated Brandon Adams got a nice-looking win against veteran journeyman Daniel Edouard in the first round, but Edouard was a mere shadow of his former self, and was never that great to begin with.  Gatica destroyed an untested undefeated fighter in Ghana’s Sena Agbeko, giving some support to the idea that he is a serious force- an idea which had its roots in his punishing near-victory over battle-tested fringe prospect Fernando Guerrero.  Gatica gets the edge in experience, but Adams did look more than a little talented last time out.  I see it as an interesting fight that’s tough to call.

 

In the second fight, Ukrainian tournament favorite Vitaliy Kopylenko gets what should be an easy path to the finals against Willie Monroe, Jr.  Kopylenko destroyed borderline top-50 fringe prospect Ceresso Fort to begin his tourney campaign, while the light-hitting Monroe was clearly beaten, yet was given a win over rugged journeyman Donatas Bondas.

 

Saturday
#6 Peter Quillin vs. Lukas Konecny; Washington, D.C.; Showtime (US)
I hope Quillin isn’t taking this fight for granted as much as most in the media seem to be.  Konecny was an underrated guy at 154, and was a big enough, strong enough guy at that weight to suggest he might have the strength and power necessary to threaten Quillin, who has given plenty of reason to doubt his chin and his conditioning when it comes to rough physical fights.  Obviously I agree that Quillin should be the favorite, but Konecny is every inch an underrated live dog in this one.

 

Matt Korobov vs. Emil Gonzalez; Orlando, Florida; Off TV
Korobov is a Russian undefeated prospect whose career has essentially plateaued after he appeared to be the next big thing back around 2009.  Korobov did how some signs of life in destroying the extremely competent Ossie Duran nearly a year ago, but he’s actually been stepping down his competition in each fight since.  That trend continues this week, as Emil Gonzalez is a very nondescript Puerto Rican journeyman who is coming off a points loss to Derek Ennis, and has lost to some lesser guys earlier in his career, as well.  It’s a stay-busy fight and not expected to make the UniMas broadcast of the card.

Middleweight: 2014, Mar 24-30

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on August 7, 2014 by danboxing
Nothing big going on at 160 last week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (206-206-206)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. # 8 JMW Miguel Cotto
If there was any lingering doubt, Martinez-Cotto is now on for June 7 at Madison Square Garden.
1) Gennady Golovkin (15-82-145)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golovkin was well on his way to signing for a fight with Andy Lee on April 26, but that fight and the date are off to allow GGG to mourn his father’s death.  Now it looks like a Chavez fight might be in the offing for July 12.
2) Felix Sturm (15-549-549)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- TKO2 #3 Darren Barker
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Soliman is the #1 contender for Sturm’s alphabet title, and Murray, Macklin, and Geale are all trying to get rematches with him, as well.  There is a lot of buzz about a May 31 fight.  Abraham was rumored, but he’s since gone elsewhere.
3) Daniel Geale (5-249-249)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Geale cut through Wood like an unsympathetic buzzsaw, and is hoping for a fight with Golovkin, who would also fit that description well.
4) Martin Murray (5-121-121)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- W* (PTS8) vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: 4/23/2014- vs. Ishmail Tetteh (UNR)
Murray will look to shake off some rust in Kempton Park, South Africa on April 23, fighting very low-level Ghanaian journeyman Ishmail Tetteh.
5) Matthew Macklin (10-144-235)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After a legitimate but very unspectacular win over only moderately proven prospect Lamar Russ, Macklin has joined the chorus of quality middleweights looking for a rematch with Sturm.  He’s also pushing for a fight with Andy Lee (possibly on April 26) and has expressed interest in Quillin.
6) Peter Quillin (10-75-96)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Lukas Konecny (UNR)
Quillin will fight former 154-pound fringe contender Lukas Konecny, who will be making his first appearance in a meaningful fight at 160 on the Hopkins-Shumenov undercard on April 19 in D.C.
7) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (10-15-15)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Ricardo Ramallo (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/16/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
N’Dam will fight in Santa Monica, California on April 16.
8) Sam Soliman (10-15-15)
Last Fight: 12/11/2013- TKO9 Les Sherrington (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman has been re-installed as the #1 contender to Sturm’s alphabet strap, and will likely get another shot soon.
9) Sergio Mora (10-39-39)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora is reportedly in the mix for a fight with Quillin.
10) Osumanu Adama (8-8-8)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most pleasant entry into the rankings we’ve ever seen, but his resume stacks up pretty well as long as he’s active and on weight.
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (8-165)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- KO2 Dionisio Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Domenico Spada (UNR)
Rubio-Spada is now set for April 5 in Mexico.  It’s for an interim title, if such trifles mean anything to you.
12) Anthony Mundine (8-165)
Last Fight: 1/29/2014- UD10 Gunnar Jackson (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/2/2014- vs. Joshua Clottey (UNR) (at JMW)
Mundine confirms that he will be fighting, of all people, the long-forgotten Joshua Clottey on April 2, and then perhaps Erislandy Lara in July if that works out for him.
13) Jarrod Fletcher (8-8)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown
Fletcher is said to have received 7 serious fight offers after he was given the nod against Bursak.  The team behind Dmitry Chudinov, who presumably made one of those offers, says a fight is being discussed, possibly for March or April.  There is also some talk of a domestic showdown with Geale.
14) Max Bursak (8-165)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L* (UD12) vs. Jarrod Fletcher (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
He didn’t get robbed, and it’s hard to feel sorry for him considering how dirty he fought, but I did think Bursak deserved better than a loss against Fletcher.
15) Bryan Vera (8-75)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vera will be removed next week if he doesn’t schedule a fight at 160, since he’s been occupied at 168 and even 175 for the past year.
16) Grzegorz Proksa (8-154)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Matthew Hall (UNR)
Proksa will fight British journeyman Matthew Hall on April 19.
17) Caleb Truax (8-27)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (UD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Truax’s status as a promising prospect has been derailed somewhat by the very tough Ossie Duran.
18) Curtis Stevens (8-34)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- TKO1 Patrick Majewski (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: 4/4/2014- vs. Tureano Johnson (UNR)
Stevens will continue to stay active following his brutal loss to Golovkin, taking on undefeated prospect Tureano Johnson of the Bahamas April 4 on NBC Sports.
19) Andrey Meryasev (8-20)
Last Fight: 11/4/2013- UD10 Sergio Sanders (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I’ve still yet to see Meryasev in action, but his win over Sanders at this point in his career proves that he’s a real prospect.
20) Daniel Jacobs (8-31)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- TKO1 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Easy work for Jacobs against Nunez.  He’s looking for a title fight- probably against Quillin- at the earliest opportunity.

 

The Week Ahead: A second straight week of no action at 160.

Middleweight: 2014, Feb 17-23

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on June 19, 2014 by danboxing
Saturday featured 3 fights worth a mention.

 

In Albertslund, Denmark, hot Danish prospect Patrick Nielsen thoroughly dominated lower-mid-level Maryland journeyman Tony Jeter.  Nielsen set the tone from the very start, dropping his outclassed opponent about 5 seconds into the contest with a well-timed counter jab.  Southpaw Nielsen followed up on that early success a couple minutes later with a second knockdown, this time by following up on a missed combination with a straight left that landed flush near the ropes.  Early in the second round, Nielsen mauled Jeter with a combination along the ropes that sent the American to his knees.  Jeter appeared to be clear-headed, but chose not to get up, resulting in a 2nd round KO win for Nielsen, who appears more than ready for bigger and better things.

 

Dublin, Ireland hosted a geographically unlikely matchup between #7 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam of France and high-level Argentine journeyman Ricardo Ramallo.  Ramallo was ranked in the top 50 not long ago by Boxrec, but lost that status by way of a TKO loss to countryman Mateo Veron in November.  I must say that he didn’t look to me like a guy that could ever hang with a true top 50 fighter.  Granted, N’Dam ought to outclass even a legitimate lower-level top 50 guy under the best of circumstances, but this was kinda extreme.  N’Dam was, by a wide margin, faster, quicker, stronger, more aggressive, harder-hitting, more confident, and even appeared to be a full weight class or two larger.  It was a total domination, and it built to the point where, in round 4, Ramallo couldn’t (or wouldn’t) keep on his feet anymore.  Frankly the two knockdowns that led to a TKO looked like they were inflicted upon a guy looking for a way out.  The second time in particular, Ramallo fell so slowly and dramatically that he looked like he was trying to sell it.

 

Speaking of Mateo Veron, he made the trip to Dublin, too, and fared only somewhat better against unheralded unbeaten Englishman Mark Heffron.  It was a huge step-up for Heffron, whose undefeated record didn’t come with the kind of amateur background or promotional backing that would indicate his being anything special.  But against a significant veteran fighter with just 8 pro fights behind him, Heffron did enough to get the job done, and then some.  He was cautious, but from an aggressive posture, and he kept Veron uncomfortable by cutting off the ring well.  The hallmark of his game appears to be some very crisp body shots that he landed almost at will.  Several of the rounds were fairly close, but Heffron got my nod in all but one round, largely because he controlled the pace and geography of the fight with an iron fist.  Referee Emile Tiedt- the sole judge- went a bit further, and rather reasonably gave Heffron every round.

 

Heffron hasn’t quite proven enough to crack the top 20 in this competitive division, but he’s now at home at the fringe contender level.  Not bad for 9 fights.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (201-201-201)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. # 8 JMW Miguel Cotto
If there was any lingering doubt, Martinez-Cotto is now on for June 7 at Madison Square Garden.
1) Gennady Golovkin (10-77-140)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golovkin wants a shot at the Championship against Martinez– a fight Sergio appears to be interested in after Cotto- and there are rumors that Andy Lee is being considered for an April fight, as well.
2) Felix Sturm (10-544-544)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- TKO2 #3 Darren Barker
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman is the #1 contender for Sturm’s alphabet title, and Murray, Macklin, and Geale are all trying to get rematches with him, as well.
3) Martin Murray (10-116-116)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- W* (PTS8) vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Initial reports had Murray’s withdrawal from his scheduled fight with Jarrod Fletcher as a result of an offer to fight Felix Sturm, but Murray says he doesn’t know if those negotiations are even underway or not, and says nagging injuries to both hands are to blame.
4) Daniel Geale (5-244-244)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (SD12) vs. #15 Darren Barker
Next Fight: 2/19/2014- vs. Garth Wood (UNR)
Geale will face gatekeeper Garth Wood- his former sparring partner- on February 19 in Sydney.
5) Matthew Macklin (5-139-230)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After a legitimate but very unspectacular win over only moderately proven prospect Lamar Russ, Macklin has joined the chorus of quality middleweights looking for a rematch with Sturm.  He’s also pushing for a fight with Andy Lee and has expressed interest in Quillin.
6) Peter Quillin (5-70-91)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Macklin’s notes, above.  Stevens is also looking for a fight with him.
7) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (5-10-10)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Ricardo Ramallo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
N’Dam totally dominated journeyman Ramallo.  Here’s hoping he gets another worthwhile fight at something near championship-level soon.
8) Sam Soliman (5-10-10)
Last Fight: 12/11/2013- TKO9 Les Sherrington (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman has been re-installed as the #1 contender to Sturm’s alphabet strap, and will likely get another shot soon.
9) Sergio Mora (5-34-34)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora had hoped to fight Golovkin on February 1, but says he was never offered the fight.
10) Osumanu Adama (3-3-3)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most pleasant entry into the rankings we’ve ever seen, but his resume stacks up pretty well as long as he’s active and on weight.
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (3-160)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- KO2 Dionisio Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Domenico Spada (UNR)
Rubio-Spada is now set for April 5 in Mexico.  It’s for an interim title, if such trifles mean anything to you.
12) Anthony Mundine (3-160)
Last Fight: 1/29/2014- UD10 Gunnar Jackson (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/2/2014- vs. Joshua Clottey (UNR)
Mundine confirms that he will be fighting, of all people, the long-forgotten Joshua Clottey on April 2, and then perhaps Erislandy Lara in July if that works out for him.
13) Jarrod Fletcher (3-3)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown
Fletcher is said to have received 7 serious fight offers after he was given the nod against Bursak.  The team behind Dmitry Chudinov, who presumably made one of those offers, says a fight is being discussed, possibly for March or April.
14) Max Bursak (3-160)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L* (UD12) vs. Jarrod Fletcher (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
He didn’t get robbed, and it’s hard to feel sorry for him considering how dirty he fought, but I did think Bursak deserved better than a loss against Fletcher.
15) Bryan Vera (3-70)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L* (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. Julio Cesar Chavez (UNR) (at SMW)
Vera-Chavez is on for March 1 on HBO.
16) Grzegorz Proksa (3-149)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Proksa is likely to fight again on April 19 according to Polish news reports.
17) Caleb Truax (3-22)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (UD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Truax’s status as a promising prospect has been derailed somewhat by the very tough Ossie Duran.
18) Curtis Stevens (3-29)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- TKO1 Patrick Majewski (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevens has his sites set on Peter Quillin.
19) Andrey Meryasev (3-15)
Last Fight: 11/4/2013- UD10 Sergio Sanders (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I’ve still yet to see Meryasev in action, but his win over Sanders at this point in his career proves that he’s a real prospect.
20) Danny Jacobs (3-26)
Last Fight: 8/19/2013- TKO3 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: No significant action at 160 this week.

Middleweight: 2014, Feb 10-16

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on May 23, 2014 by danboxing
Junior Middleweight fringe contender Robert Garcia barely escaped with a decision in the Friday Night Fights main event from Chicago, with John McCarthy scoring it 95-94 for his opponent, journeyman Norberto Gonzalez.  Robert Hecko had it 96-93 Garcia, while Bill Lerch agreed with my card at 95-94 Garcia.  Those cards reflected the fight perfectly.  Garcia, as you might expect, took an aggressive stance throughout, but still gave away the early rounds by failing to let his hands go.  For his part, Gonzalez appeared to fade a bit down the stretch, and was largely unable to handle it when Garcia stepped up the pace.  Garcia lost a point in the 8th for pushing off with the elbow, and frankly he was a bit lucky he didn’t lose another one, as he seemed to do it even more after the deduction.  A second deduction would have caused a draw, incidentally.

 

No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (200-200-200)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. # 8 JMW Miguel Cotto
If there was any lingering doubt, Martinez-Cotto is now on for June 7 at Madison Square Garden.
1) Gennady Golovkin (9-76-139)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golovkin wants a shot at the Championship against Martinez, and there are rumors that Andy Lee is being considered for an April fight, as well.
2) Felix Sturm (9-543-543)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- TKO2 #3 Darren Barker
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman is the #1 contender for Sturm’s alphabet title, and Murray, Macklin, and Geale are both trying to get rematches with him, as well.
3) Martin Murray (9-115-115)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- W* (PTS8) vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Initial reports had Murray’s withdrawal from his scheduled fight with Jarrod Fletcher as a result of an offer to fight Felix Sturm, but Murray says he doesn’t know if those negotiations are even underway or not, and says nagging injuries to both hands are to blame.
4) Daniel Geale (4-243-243)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (SD12) vs. #15 Darren Barker
Next Fight: 2/19/2014- vs. Garth Wood (UNR)
Geale will face gatekeeper Garth Wood- his former sparring partner- on February 19 in Sydney.
5) Matthew Macklin (4-138-229)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After a legitimate but very unspectacular win over only moderately proven prospect Lamar Russ, Macklin has joined the chorus of quality middleweights looking for a rematch with Sturm.  He’s also pushing for a fight with Andy Lee and has expressed interest in Quillin.
6) Peter Quillin (4-69-90)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Macklin’s notes, above.  Stevens is also looking for a fight with him.
7) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (4-9-9)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD10 Anthony Fitzgerald (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/15/2014- vs. Ricardo Ramallo (UNR)
After Andy Lee turned down a proposed fight for March 1, N’Dam will be back on February 15 in Ireland against Ricardo Ramall0, who- while a journeyman- is not half bad for a 1 week’s notice opponent.
8) Sam Soliman (4-9-9)
Last Fight: 12/11/2013- TKO9 Les Sherrington (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman has been re-installed as the #1 contender to Sturm’s alphabet strap, and will likely get another shot soon.
9) Sergio Mora (4-33-33)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora had hoped to fight Golovkin on February 1, but says he was never offered the fight.
10) Osumanu Adama (2-2-2)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most pleasant entry into the rankings we’ve ever seen, but his resume stacks up pretty well as long as he’s active and on weight.
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (2-159)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- KO2 Dionisio Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Domenico Spada (UNR)
Rubio-Spada is now set for April 5 in Mexico.  It’s for an interim title, if such trifles mean anything to you.
12) Anthony Mundine (2-159)
Last Fight: 1/29/2014- UD10 Gunnar Jackson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There are rumors that Mundine might be fighting, of all people, the long-forgotten Joshua Clottey in April, and then perhaps Erislandy Lara in July if that works out for him.
13) Jarrod Fletcher (2-2)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown
Fletcher is said to have received 7 serious fight offers after he was given the nod against Bursak.  The team behind Dmitry Chudinov, who presumably made one of those offers, says a March fight is being discussed.
14) Max Bursak (2-159)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L* (UD12) vs. Jarrod Fletcher (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
He didn’t get robbed, and it’s hard to feel sorry for him considering how dirty he fought, but I did think Bursak deserved better than a loss against Fletcher.
15) Bryan Vera (2-69)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L* (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. Julio Cesar Chavez (UNR) (at SMW)
Vera-Chavez is on for March 1 on HBO.
16) Grzegorz Proksa (2-148)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Proksa would like to fight in April or May.  Setting reports of hand problems to rest, he says there’s currently nothing wrong with him.
17) Caleb Truax (2-21)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (UD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Truax’s status as a promising prospect has been derailed somewhat by the very tough Ossie Duran.
18) Curtis Stevens (2-28)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- TKO1 Patrick Majewski (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevens has his sites set on Peter Quillin.
19) Andrey Meryasev (2-14)
Last Fight: 11/4/2013- UD10 Sergio Sanders (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I’ve still yet to see Meryasev in action, but his win over Sanders at this point in his career proves that he’s a real prospect.
20) Danny Jacobs (2-25)
Last Fight: 8/19/2013- TKO3 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: 
Saturday
Patrick Nielsen vs. Tony Jeter; Albertslund, Denmark; 3+ (Denmark)
Nielsen is an undefeated Danish prospect who hasn’t really had so much as a hiccup in his 21 wins, with his best win being a clear decision over 1-loss Polish prospect Patrick Majewski.  Maryland journeyman Jeter, as far as I can see, has nothing to test him, having been stopped twice by fighters with sub-.500 records, and having never beaten anyone better than the low-level journeyman that he, himself, is.

 

#7 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam vs. Ricardo Ramallo; Dublin, Ireland; Off-TV?
N’Dam is a classy French-based Cameroon native who nearly beat Peter Quillin despite hitting the canvas 6 times.  Ramallo is an Argentine journeyman who was a top 50 fighter before being stopped by Mateo Veron in his last fight.  He’s certainly need to catch N’Dam with something to have a chance- an unlikely prospect considering he’s never stopped a worthwhile opponent.

 

Mateo Veron vs. Mark Heffron; Dublin, Ireland; Off-TV?
Speaking of Veron, he appears to be travelling with his recently-conquered countryman, as he will fight unbeaten Englishman Heffron on the undercard.  This could make for an interesting fight.  Veron is hardly a special fighter, but is a consummate gatekeeper.  Heffron is 22 years old, and hasn’t truly been tested.  Not only that, but it’s hard to see him as a can’t-miss kind of prospect, since he can probably be best described as a British or maybe European-level amateur.  If they want to build him up to contender status, it appears to me that this may be a little early to be matching him with someone of Veron’s proven caliber.  We’ll see on Saturday.

Middleweight: 2013, Dec 16-22

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 7, 2014 by danboxing
Wednesday in Flemington, Australia, Sam Soliman returned from a PED suspension to dominate and stop gatekeeper Les Sherrington in the 9th, dropping his man twice along the way.  I can’t find a video.  The result is an important one, as I’ll discuss below.

 

Inactive contender Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam also returned from a more voluntary brand of inactivity on Saturday, fighting for the first time since his exciting and close October 2012 loss to Peter Quillin.  The fight was in Barcelona against mid-level Irish journeyman Anthony Fitzgerald.  N’Dam won a 10-round decision, and Fitzgerald was kind enough to confirm for me on facebook that the fight was indeed contested at the 160 pound limit.  This means that N’Dam is eligible for a re-ranking now that he’s active again.  

 

#1 Martin Murray had an awful outing that night in London.  The fight- against Belorussian journeyman Sergey Khomitsky- had been postponed from a couple weeks ago due to a virus that laid Murray low.  It could be that he was not entirely over its effects, because he was flat and very ordinary-looking.  The fight was at a contract weight of 163 or 164, but it can’t go unnoticed here.  Referee Robert Williams was also charged with the task of sole judge.  This is customary in Britain for non-title fights, and stands as one of the worst ideas that nation has had since it decided to bow to another person based solely on who her parents were and pay millions of pounds in tax money to that individual.  I do not fault Williams for his 77-75 card in favor of Murray because in the first place it was fairly reasonable despite the fact that I disagree with it, and in the second place because he could not possibly provide the concentration required to accurately judge a close round while simultaneously doing his job of enforcing the rules and ensuring fighter safety.  I think Murray lost the fight 77-75, and even giving minimal deference to the ref’s decision, the effect of this- the equivalent of a draw- is potentially devastating to Murray’s ranking.  But at the same time, he himself got even more clearly robbed against the Champion of the World in his previous fight, and thus it’s hard to drop him too far down the ranks.

 

In less momentous action, #11 Max Bursak shut out low-level journeyman Gari Abajian over 8.

 

I decided that with regard to Murray, he’s got to drop below Golovkin, and also below Sturm, who just beat a guy that Martinez beat.  He remains ahead of Barker in part because I’m maybe more merciful with regard to the Khomitsky fight than I should be, and in part because Murray performed better against Martinez (that’s really just my excuse that I’m using not to drop him to the #15 range or something).  I do think it’s important to strike a reasonable balance here, since his poor performance against Khomitsky is probably much more of a fluke than are his fine performances against Sturm and Sergio.  So Murray slides to #3.

 

N’Dam, whose only drawbacks are inactivity and his loss to an only semi-proven contender in Quillin, re-emerges at #8, just behind Quillin himself.

 

A quick analysis on Soliman: his overall resume is still solid.  But it was quite a stretch to have him winning the Sturm fight in the first place, and when you factor in his PED use for that fight, I don’t think it makes any sense at all to give him any positive credit for that particular outing.  So on the merits of his remaining resume (with the instant Sherrington win figuring prominently therein), he returns to the ranks just a couple spots lower than he left them, landing just behind N’Dam at #9.  Everyone ranked #8 and below last week dives two places, including Rubio and Mundine, who are forced from the top 10 after 10 and 8 weeks, respectively.  James Kirkland and Jorge Heiland are both forced from the rankings after one and two week stints, respectively.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (192-192-192)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. # 8 JMW Miguel Cotto
According to fighthype.com, citing anonymous sources close to Cotto, there is now no doubt that Cotto-Martinez will happen on June 7 in New York. 
1) Gennady Golovkin (1-68-131)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- RTD8 #15 Curtis Stevens
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Golovkin returns February 1 in Monte Carlo.  Originally it looked like Murray was the opponent, but he will instead fight former borderline top 10 contender Osumanu Adama, who was removed from a #13 berth in September for failing to make 160 for 18 months.
2) Felix Sturm (1-535-535)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- TKO2 #3 Darren Barker
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman is the #1 contender for Sturm’s alphabet title, and Macklin and Geale are both trying to get rematches with him, as well.
3) Martin Murray (1-107-107)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- W* (PTS8) vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Murray barely avoided an abject disaster with his abysmal performance against Khomitsky, and though he probably deserved to lose the fight, his narrow decision win allows him to stay in line for what looks like a shot at a second-rate alphabet belt in February, though the opponent hasn’t been announced.
4) Darren Barker (2-18-114)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- L (TKO2) vs. #4 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown
Barker’s body failed him against Sturm, and it’s led to heavy speculation that we may have seen the last of him.  His team has only fueled this speculation further.
5) Daniel Geale (18-235-235)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (SD12) vs. #15 Darren Barker
Next Fight: Unknown
In the wake of Sturm’s victory over the man that beat him, Geale has renewed calls for what would be a very interesting rematch with the German.  On the other hand, he’s got a loose verbal agreement to fight Golovkin, likely toward the end of 2014.
6) Matthew Macklin (18-130-221)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After a legitimate but very unspectacular win over only moderately proven prospect Lamar Russ, Macklin has joined the chorus of quality middleweights looking for a rematch with Sturm.  He’s also pushing for a fight with Andy Lee.
7) Peter Quillin (34-61-82)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golden Boy is looking to match Quillin with Danny Jacobs in Brooklyn on February 1.  A recent interview indicates he might prefer to fight some of the top contenders, instead.  Unfortunately most of them fight on HBO in this division, while Quillin’s promoter is tied to Showtime.
8) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD10 Anthony Fitzgerald (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
No word on a potential big fight for N’Dam, but at least he’s active again.
9) Sam Soliman (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 12/11/2013- TKO9 Les Sherrington (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman has been re-installed as the #1 contender to Sturm’s alphabet strap, and will likely get another shot soon.
10) Sergio Mora (1-25-25)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora had hoped to fight Golovkin on February 1, but says he was never offered the fight.
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (1-151)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- KO2 Dionisio Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rubio looks poised to take on Sergio if Maravilla’s intended fight with Cotto falls through, though that possibility has begun to look increasingly unlikely.
12) Anthony Mundine (1-151)
Last Fight: 11/27/2013- TKO7 #4 WW Shane Mosley (at JMW)
Next Fight: 1/29/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
In a quick turnaround, Mundine announced that he will headline a January 29 show in Brisbane.  Most likely this will be nothing more than a quick payday, as I’m sure he won’t want to prepare for two big fights that close together.
13) Max Bursak (1-151)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD8 Gari Abajian (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Caleb Truax (1-13)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO4 Ceresso Fort (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/3/2014- vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Truax’s January 3 fight will likely be the first notable fight of the New Year.  His opponent was to be Derek Ennis, but he’s been replaced by the marginally better Ossie Duran.
15) Bryan Vera (1-61)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L* (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. Julio Cesar Chavez (UNR)
Vera-Chavez II now looks likely for March 1 in either Vegas or Texas, after a proposed February date was abandoned over concerns related to Olympic conflicts.
16) Grzegorz Proksa (1-140)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Proksa had another hand operation in August, but thinks he’ll be ready to go for a proposed February fight in Poland with undefeated prospect Maciej Suleckim.
17) Curtis Stevens (1-20)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L (RTD8) vs. #2 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: 1/24/2014- vs. Patrick Majewski (UNR)
Stevens will make a surprisingly quick return from a grueling battle with Golovkin.  His January 24 opponent will be one-loss Polish fringe prospect Patrick Majewski.
18) Andrey Meryasev (1-6)
Last Fight: 11/4/2013- UD10 Sergio Sanders (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I’ve still yet to see Meryasev in action, but his win over Sanders at this point in his career proves that he’s a real prospect.
19) Danny Jacobs (1-17)
Last Fight: 8/19/2013- TKO3 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golden Boy is apparently looking to match Jacobs and Quillin on February 1 in Brooklyn.
20) Dmitry Chudinov (1-17)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- W (PTS8) vs. Max Maxwell (UNR) (at SMW/LHW)
Next Fight: 12/21/2013- vs. Juan Camilo Novoa (UNR)
Chudinov makes his return in Moscow on December 21, taking on mid-level Colombian journeyman Juan Camilo Novoa.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Saturday
#20 Dmitry Chudinov vs. Juan Camilo Novoa; Moscow, Russia; Sport 2 (Hungary)
Chudinov gets a reasonable stay-busy outing against mid-range Colombian journeyman Juan Camilo Novoa on the Roy Jones undercard in Moscow.

 

Jose Uzcategui vs. Francisco Villanueva; Tijuana, Mexico; Azteca (Mexico)
Undefeated young Venezuelan Uzcategui takes on Mexican journeyman Francisco Villanueva in a 6-rounder.  Villanueva is much much better and more accomplished than his abysmal 14-28 record would indicate, and comes off a solid win over prospect Guillermo Arroyo.  You could easily argue that Villanueva is one of the best couple opponents Uzcategui has met so far, though it should be noted that Villanueva- who fought as a junior featherweight as recently as 2008- is probably undersized even as low as junior welter at this point, and painfully so at 160.
 

Middleweight: 2013, Dec 9-15

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (191-191-191)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. # 8 JMW Miguel Cotto
According to fighthype.com, citing anonymous sources close to Cotto, there is now no doubt that Cotto-Martinez will happen on June 7 in New York. 
1) Martin Murray (33-106-106)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- L* (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez (Robbery- D at worst)
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR)
Murray’s fight with Khomitsky for the Froch-Groves undercard was cancelled on 3 days’ notice on account of a virus, but has been rescheduled for December 14.
2) Gennady Golovkin (24-67-130)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- RTD8 #15 Curtis Stevens
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Golovkin returns February 1 in Monte Carlo.  Originally it looked like Murray was the opponent, but he will instead fight former borderline top 10 contender Osumanu Adama, who was removed from a #13 berth in September for failing to make 160 for 18 months.
3) Felix Sturm (1-534-534)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- TKO2 #3 Darren Barker
Next Fight: Unknown
Sturm got a little help from Barker’s trick hip, but it’s gotta count for something, and he did score the first knockdown on his own.
4) Darren Barker (1-17-113)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- L (TKO2) vs. #4 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown
Barker’s body failed him against Sturm, and it’s led to heavy speculation that we may have seen the last of him.  His team has only fueled this speculation further.
5) Daniel Geale (17-234-234)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (SD12) vs. #15 Darren Barker
Next Fight: Unknown
In the wake of Sturm’s victory over the man that beat him, Geale has renewed calls for what would be a very interesting rematch with the German.
6) Matthew Macklin (17-129-220)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/7/2013- vs. Lamar Russ (UNR)
After a legitimate but very unspectacular win over only moderately proven prospect Lamar Russ, Macklin has joined the chorus of quality middleweights looking for a rematch with Sturm.
7) Peter Quillin (33-60-81)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golden Boy is looking to match Quillin with Danny Jacobs in Brooklyn on February 1.  A recent interview indicates he might prefer to fight some of the top contenders, instead.  Unfortunately most of them fight on HBO in this division, while Quillin’s promoter is tied to Showtime.
8) Sergio Mora (8-24-24)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora had hoped to fight Golovkin on February 1, but says he was never offered the fight.
9) Marco Antonio Rubio (8-10-150)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- KO2 Dionisio Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rubio looks poised to take on Sergio if Maravilla’s intended fight with Cotto falls through, though that possibility has begun to look increasingly unlikely.
10) Anthony Mundine (8-8-150)
Last Fight: 11/27/2013- TKO7 #4 WW Shane Mosley (at JMW)
Next Fight: 1/29/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
In a quick turnaround, Mundine announced that he will headline a January 29 show in Brisbane.  Most likely this will be nothing more than a quick payday, as I’m sure he won’t want to prepare for two big fights that close together.
11) Max Bursak (8-150)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- UD12 Nick Blackwell (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Gari Abajian (UNR)
Bursak will fight a low-level Georgian journeyman this weekend in a short-notice stay-busy contest.
12) Caleb Truax (8-12)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO4 Ceresso Fort (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/3/2014- vs. Derek Ennis (UNR)
Truax’s January 3 fight will likely be the first notable fight of the New Year.  He’ll face Derek Ennis.
13) Bryan Vera (8-60)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L* (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. Julio Cesar Chavez (UNR)
Vera-Chavez II now looks likely for March 1 in either Vegas or Texas, after a proposed February date was abandoned over concerns related to Olympic conflicts.
14) Grzegorz Proksa (8-139)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Proksa had another hand operation in August, but thinks he’ll be ready to go for a proposed February fight in Poland with undefeated prospect Maciej Suleckim.
15) Curtis Stevens (8-19)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L (RTD8) vs. #2 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: 1/24/2014- vs. Patrick Majewski (UNR)
Stevens will make a surprisingly quick return from a grueling battle with Golovkin.  His January 24 opponent will be one-loss Polish fringe prospect Patrick Majewski.
16) Andrey Meryasev (5-5)
Last Fight: 11/4/2013- UD10 Sergio Sanders (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I’ve still yet to see Meryasev in action, but his win over Sanders at this point in his career proves that he’s a real prospect.
17) Danny Jacobs (2-16)
Last Fight: 8/19/2013- TKO3 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golden Boy is apparently looking to match Jacobs and Quillin on February 1 in Brooklyn.
18) Dmitry Chudinov (2-16)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- W (PTS8) vs. Max Maxwell (UNR) (at SMW/LHW)
Next Fight: 12/21/2013- vs. Juan Camilo Novoa (UNR)
Chudinov makes his return in Moscow on December 21, taking on mid-level Colombian journeyman Juan Camilo Novoa.
19) James Kirkland (1-1)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- TKO6 Glen Tapia (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Only time will tell whether Kirkland does any serious campaigning at middleweight in the near future, but even though both men are typically junior middleweights, Tapia was a credible enough opponent at 160 (or 156, as it were) to earn Kirkland a ranking here.
20) Jorge Heiland (1-2)
Last Fight: 11/29/2013- TKO*12 #17 Billi Godoy
Next Fight: Unknown
After two closely-contested battles, there’s already talk of a trilogy with Godoy.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Middleweight: 2013, Oct 21-27

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on December 24, 2013 by danboxing
The middleweights took a second consecutive week off last week.  Unfortunately for #8 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, he also took a year off, and is thus removed.  Everyone ranked #9 and below last week advances, including Anthony Mundine, who enters the top 10 for the first time in, I believe, a year.  Nobuhiro Ishida re-enters the rankings for the first time in a while, at #20.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (184-184-184)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: Unknown
Martinez wants to fight Miguel Cotto at 158.
1) Martin Murray (26-99-99)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- L* (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez (Robbery- D at worst)
Next Fight: 12/11/2013- vs. Garth Wood (UNR)
Murray-Wood has a new date of December 11 in Sydney.
2) Gennady Golovkin (17-60-123)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- KO3 #5 Matthew Macklin
Next Fight: 11/2/2013- vs. #15 Curtis Stevens
Apparently 2 gatekeeper-level knockouts, a gift decision over a journeyman, and a ton of undeserved hype will get you a shot at getting demolished by Golovkin.  Curtis Stevens will get just that on November 2.
3) Darren Barker (10-10-106)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- W (SD12) vs. #3 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: 12/7/2013- vs. #4 Felix Sturm
Another excellent middleweight match-up in 2013, as Barker will take on Felix Sturm in Germany on December 7.
4) Felix Sturm (17-527-527)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- TKO4 Predrag Radosevic (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/7/2013- vs. #3 Darren Barker
See Barker’s notes, above.
5) Daniel Geale (10-227-227)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (SD12) vs. #15 Darren Barker
Next Fight: Unknown
Geale wants a rematch, but will probably have to wait until at least 2014, since it appears likely Barker will make a mandatory defense in December against Sturm, instead.  March appears to be the current target.
6) Matthew Macklin (10-122-213)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- L (KO3) vs. #4 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
According to sources close to Willie Nelson, the tall Cleveland fringe contender is in talks to move up to 160 to fight Macklin on HBO in early December.  There is also talk of a March bout with Andy Lee.
7) Peter Quillin (26-53-74)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- TKO7 Fernando Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/26/2013- vs. Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Quillin will fight the very solid Rosado on the Hopkins-Murat undercard, though his opponent is clearly much better at 154.
8) Sergio Mora (1-17-17)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- UD10 #9 Grzegorz Proksa
Next Fight: 11/16/2013- vs. Milton Nunez (UNR)
Mora will fight Milton Nunez- best known for nearly knocking out Deandre Latimore a couple years ago- on the Ward-Rodriguez undercard.
9) Marco Antonio Rubio (1-3-143)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- KO2 Dionisio Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
10) Anthony Mundine (1-1-143)
Last Fight: 1/30/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown
Mosley-Mundine is off, due to an apparent monetary breach of the fight contract by Mundine’s side.
11) Max Bursak (1-143)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- UD12 Nick Blackwell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bursak got a bit of a scare from underdog Blackwell, and it will be important for him to look strong in his next fight.
12) Caleb Truax (1-5)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO4 Ceresso Fort (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The Twin Cities Pioneer Press reports that Truax plans to fight again in January.
13) Bryan Vera (1-53)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L* (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
There was talk of a December rematch with Chavez, but February now looks more likely.
14) Grzegorz Proksa (1-132)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Proksa is an enigma.  He looked like the next big thing against Sylvester, but did practically nothing against Mora. 
15) Curtis Stevens (1-12)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- KO1 Saul Roman (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/2/2013- vs. #2 Gennady Golovkin
Stevens needed a gift to beat journeyman Derrick Findley, and has never beat anything better than a gatekeeper at this weight.  My opinion is that his fight with Golovkin will be akin to an execution.
16) Billi Godoy (1-10)
Last Fight: 7/19/2013- UD12 Mateo Veron (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2013- vs. Jorge Heiland (UNR)
Godoy will fight high-level domestic journeyman Jorge Heiland in Neuquen, Argentina on November 29, in a rematch of their July 2012 fight.
17) Danny Jacobs (1-9)
Last Fight: 8/19/2013- TKO3 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Dmitry Chudinov (1-9)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- W (PTS8) vs. Max Maxwell (UNR) (at SMW/LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chudinov weighed in at 174 to fight his already hopeless 162-pound opponent on September 21.  He’s invited a great deal of scrutiny over his weight and discipline in doing so.
19) Akio Shibata (1-3)
Last Fight: 8/25/2013- L (TKO2) vs. Ryoto Murata (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Nobuhiro Ishida (1-1)
Last Fight: 8/4/2013- KO2 Elly Pangaribuan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: Friday in Albany, New York, one-loss local prospect Nick Brinson meets Cuban journeyman Lester Gonzalez.

 

The next night in Oldenburg, undefeated Austrian Marcos Nader looks to put two consecutive disputed decision wins behind him, as he faces a significantly lesser opponent in southpaw Spanish journeyman Luis Crespo.

 

Later that night on the Hopkins-Murat undercard in Atlantic City, #7 Peter Quillin battles tough-as-nails fringe contender Gabriel Rosado.  Rosado was ranked in the top 10 at 154 before being removed for moving up in weight.  He hasn’t yet established himself as a top middleweight, though.  Both guys have power and an aggressive style, so this should be a fun one.

Year-End Awards: Middleweight, 2012

Posted in Middleweight, Yearly Awards and Wrap Up with tags , , , , , , , on January 24, 2013 by danboxing
This is the first time I’ve done this, and I hope you like it.  It’s been a lot of effort.  First, a list of awards for the division.  Then, a look at the 20 fighters that did the best work in 2012 specifically, followed by a rundown of the year’s rankings history.  Dig in!

 

Middleweight Fighter of the Year: Sergio Martinez
You always know you’re doing pretty well as a reigning Champ when you also win Fighter of the Year.  Martinez’s best win of the year- over #3 Matthew Macklin back in March- matches the best win of runner up Gennady Golovkin, who beat #3 Grzegorz Proksa.  But Sergio’s other win over #4 Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. is much much better than Golovkin’s answer- a stoppage of then-unranked Makoto Fuchigami.

 

Prospect of the Year: Sanosuke Sasaki
In what tured out to be a very easy category to win, one-loss fringe prospect Sasaki’s upset KO victory over gatekeeper Tadashi Yuba from October turned out to be all that was required.  The only other real options were Billy Joe Saunders- likely the better fighter but with a slightly less-impressive win- and I guess Marcos Nader if you give him credit for the dubious draw with Roberto Santos.

 

Most Important Knockout of the Year: Champ Sergio Martinez RTD11 #3 Matthew Macklin
Easy call here- this award is automatic for the fight with the highest-rated fighters that ends in a stoppage.  Champ vs. #3 was the best match-up in the year, and Sergio closed the show.

 

Most Sensational Knockout of the Year: Sanosuke Sasaki KO4 Tadashi Yuba
Forget the huge upset involved.  Sasaki’s looping right hand was the only middleweight punch this year that put a top 50 fighter down for the full 10-count.  See the video by clicking on “KO4” above.  The only candidate even close in my view was Gennady Golovkin’s TKO of Grzegorz Proksa, but even in that case Proksa beat the count after a big punch, but was stopped by the referee as unable to continue.

 

Match-Up of the Year: Champ Sergio Martinez vs. #3 Matthew Macklin
If you count the Champion at #0, then this fight featured an average ranking of 1.5.  Only Martinez vs. #4 Chavez and #1 Geale vs. #4 Sturm were even close.

 

Fight of the Year: #20 Peter Quillin UD12 #6 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam
This category had a lot of worthy candidates this year.  Martinez-Macklin, Geale-Sturm, Geale-Adama, and Vera-Mora were all competitive bouts with plenty of action.  But how can you go against a fight that featured 6 knockdowns and still should have been a 1-point fight.  The story of the fight: N’Dam wins every round in which he stays on his feet, but still gets edged out because Quillin’s left hook couldn’t help but drop him.  The only negative thing I can say about the event is that if N’Dam had managed to keep his feet one or two more times and thereby earn a draw or a win, the judges were not going to let him have it.

 

Upset of the Year: Sergio Sanders W (SD8) vs. #18 Billi Godoy
There were 3 clear choices this year.  Journeyman Roberto Santos clearly beat German undefeated prospect Dominik Britsch back in February, was robbed by the judges, and then reinforced his superiority by stoppage in September.  Untested one-loss fringe prospect Sanosuke Sasaki stunned veteran gatekeeper Tadashi Yuba by knockout in October.  But taking the cake was journeyman Sergio Sanders’ ever-so-narrow points win over 18th-ranked undefeated prospect Billi Godoy.  You could make a case for any of the 3 fights.  Santos appeared to be a permanent journeyman with 6 losses, including one right before that, to a nobody, in a 6-rounder.  But he had also beaten a reasonably decent journeyman in 2011, and Britsch was coming off a poor performance against Billy Lyell that had cost him a spot in the top 20 already.  Sasaki was the least-proven of any of the fighters and had lost a shutout 4-rounder to a nobody early in his career, but Yuba was the least impressive of the three upset victims, and any time a fighter has only one loss, he has the capacity to surprise you.  Sanders’ win was actually the least clear-cut of the three (I had it a draw), but Godoy was the most prestigious of the three victims despite struggling against mediocre competition even leading up to the fight.  Sanders had won only 3 of his previous 13 fights, and only a handful of those were against truly solid competition.

 

Comeback Fighter of the Year: Felix Sturm
5 different guys struck me initially as possibilities.  Felix Sturm, Sam Soliman, Roberto Santos, Brian Vera, and Sergio Sanders.  I first eliminated Soliman because despite his surprising late-career rise, he’s not really coming back from anything identifiable.  He came into the year on a 5-fight winning streak since his last loss 4.5 years ago to Anthony Mundine.  His only problem has been that he’s gone long stretches without fighting anybody worthwhile.  I then eliminated Sanders and Santos, since the term comeback implies that you were already somewhere to begin with at some point.  Those two were career-long journeymen who are flashing potential for the first time, really.  That leaves Sturm and Vera.  Vera was coming back from a revenge loss to Andy Lee late last year.  But what did he really do to accomplish that comeback?  He beat a no-hoper in April and then narrowly outpointed a decent fighter he’d already beaten once before.  I still don’t see him as having rebounded to the status he enjoyed before the Lee loss.  So that leaves Sturm.  What is Sturm coming back from?  On paper, he’s only coming back from a low top-5 ranking.  But he was buoyed at that level by his past glory.  His 2011 had been all but a disaster, as he squeaked by with an undeserved win over underdog Macklin and managed only a draw with unproven prospect Martin Murray.  Despite his still-decent ranking, he honestly didn’t seem like an obvious top 10 fighter in reality.  To be frank, he looked nearly washed-up.  But 2012 was a true comeback from all that.  First, he handled fringe contender Sebastian Zbik WAY more easily than had Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., and then fought to a true stalemate with #1 contender Daniel Geale.  He lost the decision in that fight- the first time I can remember him potentially getting less than he deserved in Germany- but proved that he’s still viable at the top level.

 

Robbery of the Year: Roberto Santos Draw (SD12) vs. Dominik Britsch
Santos won this fight anywhere between 117-111 and 115-113, but only managed to walk away with a split draw.  One shameful judge- Zvonko Rukavina- somehow saw it 117-112 for Britsch, while Dave Parris cemented the robbery with a 114-114 scorecard.  Santos also suffered a draw against Marcos Nader in a less clear fight that I also thought he won later on.  But luckily, he was able to clear the air by stopping Britsch in a rematch.

 

Now, for anyone that cares, I will rank the division based solely on the fighters’ 2012 accomplishments.  I will use the same criteria that I use to rank them overall (with victories, draws, or should-be victories and draws over top 50 opposition making one eligible), but will completely ignore all fights prior to 2012.  Only 17 fighters qualified for rankings this year.

 

1) Sergio Martinez
Significant Results: Mar 17- RTD11 #3 Matthew Macklin.  Sep 15- UD12 #4 Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr..
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Champ.
2) Gennady Golovkin
Significant Results: May 12- TKO3 fringe contender Makoto Fuchigami.  Sep 1- TKO5 #3 Grzegorz Proksa.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 19: #16.  Feb 20-Mar 4: #17.  Mar 5-May 13: #16.  May 14-27: #14.  May 28-Sep 2: #13.  Sep 3-Dec 31: #3.
3) Daniel Geale
Significant Results: Mar 7- UD12 #11 Osumanu Adama.  Sep 1- W (SD12) (should be draw) vs. #4 Felix Sturm.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: #1.
4) Felix Sturm
Significant Results: Apr 13- RTD9 Gatekeeper Sebastian Zbik.  Sep 1- L (SD12) (should be draw) vs. #1 Daniel Geale.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 5: #4.  Feb 6-Apr 15: #5.  Apr 16-Jun 17: #3.  Jun 18-Sep 2: #4.  Sep 3-Dec 31: #2.
5) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.
Significant Results: Feb 4- UD12 #10 Marco Antonio Rubio.  Jun 16- TKO7 SMW #10 Andy Lee.  Sep 15- L (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 5: #7.  Feb 6-Mar 18: #4.  Mar 19-Apr 15: #3.  Apr 16-Jun 17: #4.  Jun 18-Sep 2: #2.  Sep 3-16: #4.  Sep 17-Dec 31: #5.
6) Peter Quillin
Significant Results: Jun 2- UD10 inactive former JMW Champ Winky Wright.  Oct 20- UD12 #6 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-May 27: Unranked.  May 28-Oct 21: #20.  Oct 22-Dec 31: #6.
7) Sam Soliman
Significant Results: Feb 19- UD12 #15 Garth Wood.  Aug 24- UD12 gatekeeper Giovanni Lorenzo.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 19: Unranked.  Feb 20-Mar 4: #11.  Mar 5-Sep 2: #10.  Sep 3-Oct 21: #11.  Oct 22-Dec 31: #12.
8) Roberto Santos
Significant Results: Feb 25- Robbery Draw (SD12) vs. fringe contender Dominik Britsch.  Sep 15- TKO8 prospect Dominik Britsch.  Nov 2- Draw (MD12) (should be win) vs. undefeated prospect Marcos Nader.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
9) Matthew Macklin
Significant Results: Mar 17- L (RTD11) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez.  Sep 15- TKO1 fringe contender Joachim Alcine (.5 over limit).
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1- Mar 18: #3.  Mar 19-Apr 15: #4.  Apr 16-Sep 16: #5.  Sep17-Dec 31: #4.
10) Dmitry Pirog
Significant Results: May 1- UD12 #20 Nobuhiro Ishida.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-May 6: #8.  May 7-Dec 31: #7.
11) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam
Significant Results: May 4- UD12 #15 Max Bursak.  Oct 20- L (UD12) vs. #20 Peter Quillin.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 5: #5.  Feb 6-Oct 21: #6.  Oct 22-Dec 31: #10.
12) Paul Williams
Significant Results: Feb 18- UD12 #17 Nobuhiro Ishida.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 19: Unranked.  Feb 20-Mar 4: #14.  Mar 5-May 27: #13.  May 28-Dec 31: Unranked (paralyzed).
13) Bryan Vera
Significant Results: Aug 11- W (MD12) vs. gatekeeper Sergio Mora.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Oct 21: Unranked.  Oct 22-Dec 23: #20.  Dec 24-31: #19.
14) Sanosuke Sasaki
Significant Results: Oct 8- KO4 gatekeeper Tadashi Yuba.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
15) Billy Joe Saunders
Significant Results: Sep 14- TKO2 undefeated prospect Jarrod Fletcher.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
16) Sergio Sanders

Significant Results: Jan 5- L (TKO8) vs. journeyman Mateo Veron.  Oct 20- W (SD8) vs. #18 Billi Godoy.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
17) Marcos Nader
Significant Results: Nov 2- Draw (MD12) (should be loss) vs. gatekeeper Roberto Santos.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.

 

The following fighters could be found in the top 20 at various parts of the year, but did nothing at this weight to help their ranking:

 

Grzegorz Proksa: Jan 1-Jun 17: #2.  Jun 18-Sep 2: #3.  Sep 3-Dec 31: #8.
Martin Murray: Jan 1-Feb 5: #6.  Feb 6-May 6: #7.  May 7-Sep 2: #8.  Sep 3-Dec 31: #9.
Sebastian Sylvester: Jan 1-Mar 4: #9.  Mar 5-Dec 31: Unranked (retired).
Marco Antonio Rubio: Jan 1-Feb 5: #10.  Feb 6-19: #12.  Feb 20-Mar 4: #13.  Mar 5-11: #12.  Mar 12-Sep 2: #11.  Sep 3-Oct 21: #12.  Oct 22-Dec 31: #13.
Anthony Mundine: Jan 1-Feb 5: #11.  Feb 6-Mar 4: #10.  Mar 5-Sep 2: #9.  Sep 3-Oct 21: #10.  Oct 22-Dec 31: #11.
Osumanu Adama: Jan 1-Feb 5: #12.  Feb 6-19: #11.  Feb 20-Mar 4: #12.  Mar 5-11: #11.  Mar 12-Sep 2: #12.  Sep 3-Oct 21: #13.  Oct 22-Dec 31: #14.
Avtandil Khurtsidze: Jan 1-Feb 19: #13.  Feb 20-Mar 4: #15.  Mar 5-May 13: #14.  May 14-27: #15.  May 28-Oct 21: #14.  Oct 22-Dec 23: #15.  Dec 24-31: Unranked (inactive).
Max Bursak: Jan 1-Feb 19: #14.  Feb 20-Mar 4: #16.  Mar 5-May 13: #15.  May 14-27: #16.  May 28-Oct 21: #15.  Oct 22-Dec 23: #16.  Dec 24-31: #15.
Garth Wood: Jan 1-Feb 19: #15.  Feb 20-Dec 31: Unranked.
Nobuhiro Ishida: Jan 1-Feb 19: #17.  Feb 20-Mar 4: Unranked.  Mar 5-May 27: #20.  May 28-Dec 23: #19.  Dec 24-31: #18.
Demetrius Andrade: Jan 1-Mar 4: #18.  Mar 5-May 27: #17.  May 28-Oct 21: #16.  Oct 22-Dec 23: #17.  Dec 24-31: #16.
Darren Barker: Jan 1-Mar 4: #19.  Mar 5-May 27: #18.  May 28-Oct 21: #17.  Oct 22-Dec 23: #18.  Dec 24-31: #17.
Billi Godoy: Jan 1-Mar 4: #20.  Mar 5-May 27: #19.  May 28-Oct 21: #18.  Oct 22-Dec 31: Unranked.
Makoto Fuchigami: Jan 1-Dec 23: Unranked.  Dec 24-31: #20.