Archive for James DeGale

Super Middleweight: 2014, Jul 7-13

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on November 21, 2014 by danboxing
Nothing to report from the division last week.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (134-268-268)
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 (111-421-421)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- KO8 #7 George Groves
Next Fight: Unknown
Froch now says he doesn’t want Ward due to a lack of marketability on the part of the American Champion.  Bika has offered him a unification, but I imagine there would be similar problems with that.  Chavez, Jr. might be the answer, and that fight is definitely in talks, with Froch apparently targeting November or December.
2) Arthur Abraham (19-246-246)
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 (19-254-254)
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 (6-7-143)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- TKO4* #4 Brandon Gonzales
Next Fight: Unknown
DeGale is now set up for a shot at Froch’s title, in a fight that would no doubt do huge numbers in the UK again.  Froch appears cold to the matchup, for his part.  DeGale is likely back on October 11, in any event.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (7-162-210)
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 (7-35-80)
Last Fight: 4/25/2014- TKO3 Richard Vidal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Maderna stayed busy in impressive fashion against Vidal.
7) George Groves (7-82-104)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- L (KO8) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 9/13/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Groves is scheduled to fight again on September 13, in what is expected to be an eliminator for a shot at the Bika-Dirrell winner.
8) Brandon Gonzales (6-54-54)
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. (6-19-19)
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 (6-19-19)
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 (7-57)
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.
12) Sakio Bika (7-379)
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, with the location yet to be determined.
13) Maxim Vlasov (7-87)
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 (7-77)
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 (7-23)
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 (7-46)
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 (7-31)
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 (7-71)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Caleb Truax (7-13)
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 (7-7)
Last Fight: 2/28/2014- TKO1 #20 Badou Jack
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: 
Saturday
Callum Smith vs. Vladine Biosse; Liverpool, England; Sky (UK)
Smith is an undefeated English prospect, and the younger brother of gatekeeper Paul Smith.  He’s been almost entirely impressive in every fight I’ve seen him in so far, using his long arms to get great leverage on his shots.  Biosse is a Rhode Island journeyman originally from Cape Verde.  He was once a promising prospect, but he’s just 1-2-1 in his last four fights, and it’s not like he was fighting Andre Ward.  He’s been stopped in all three of his career losses, so this should be a golden opportunity for Smith to shine.

 

Rocky Fielding vs. Noe Gonzalez; Liverpool, England; Sky (UK)
Fielding is an undefeated Liverpool native.  He’s yet to really be tested above the mid-level journeyman tier of competition.  Now he will be.  Gonzalez is a reliable gatekeeper who has a win over a top 50 fighter within the last 5 years.  The Uruguayan has 3 losses in his career, and they read like a who’s who: Felix Sturm, Adonis Stevenson, and George Groves.  The latter two stopped Gonzalez with little difficulty, though, and that is an accomplishment to which Fielding would love to lay claim.

Super Middleweight: 2014, Jun 16-22

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on November 8, 2014 by danboxing
In his second fight in as many weeks on Friday in Munich, one-loss German prospect Vincent Feigenbutz did what he does, slugging his way to a 2nd round TKO over low-level Hungarian journeyman Peter Orlik, whose best defense was usually to put his gloves over his ears and bend at the waist.  He was mostly just a target.  Feigenbutz only knows how to slug, and he squares himself up almost completely, but I must say that his punches land loudly.  He’ll get to a certain level (and maybe he’s already reached it) by just having good power.  Not sure if his boxing skills will ever really show up, though.

 

Later that night in Montreal, another one loss prospect, Haitian Schiller Hyppolite, looked pretty dynamic against Mohammed Akrong, a low-level Ghanaian journeyman who nevertheless showed a solid beard just to last the 5 completed rounds he did, considering how often and how apparently hard he got hit.  The corner called it off before the 6th.  Hyppolite looked miles and miles more polished than Feigenbutz, who on paper is at a similar level.

 

In last week’s tease, I proposed that the Saturday fight between Jesse Hart and Shujaa El Amin would be televised by Unimas.  I actually am not sure if it made that broadcast or not, since I can’t find any sort of video of the bout.  Looks like it was an entertaining, if one-sided, affair.  El Amin, a lower-mid-level Detroit journeyman, went down once each in rounds 1, 3, and 6, and referee Ricardo Vera stopped it without a count after the latter knockdown.

 

No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (131-265-265)
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 (108-418-418)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- KO8 #7 George Groves
Next Fight: Unknown
Froch now says he doesn’t want Ward due to a lack of marketability on the part of the American Champion.  Bika has offered him a unification, but I imagine there would be similar problems with that.  Chavez, Jr. might be the answer, and that fight is lightly rumored.
2) Arthur Abraham (16-243-243)
Last Fight: 5/3/2014- UD12 Nikola Sjekloca (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
While he recovers from a broken hand, Abraham’s promoter is working on a fall bout with English gatekeeper Paul Smith.
3) Robert Stieglitz (16-251-251)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (SD12) vs. #4 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: 6/26/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Stieglitz will return on short notice on June 26 in Dessau, Germany.  His TBA opponent will have even less notice.
4) James DeGale (3-4-140)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- TKO4* #4 Brandon Gonzales
Next Fight: Unknown
DeGale is now set up for a shot at Froch’s title, in a fight that would no doubt do huge numbers in the UK again.  Froch appears cold to the matchup, for his part.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (4-159-207)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. Doudou Ngumbu (UNR) (at LHW)
Oosthuizen and promoter Rodney Berman have patched things up, and the lanky South African will make effective his move to 175 on June 21 against fringe contender Doudou Ngumbu.  He’ll keep his ranking here until after November 9, or until he schedules a clearly light heavyweight fight for after that date.
6) Ezequiel Maderna (4-32-77)
Last Fight: 4/25/2014- TKO3 Richard Vidal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Maderna stayed busy in impressive fashion against Vidal.
7) George Groves (4-79-101)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- L (KO8) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
Groves is rumored to be expected back in September.  Some unconfirmed theories suggest Groves might finally rematch DeGale soon, though DeGale is already in line for a shot at Froch.
8) Brandon Gonzales (3-51-51)
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. (3-16-16)
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 (3-16-16)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vera is calling out Peter Quillin.
11) Christopher Rebrasse (4-54)
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.
12) Sakio Bika (4-376)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bika is interested in a fight with Froch.
13) Maxim Vlasov (4-84)
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 (4-74)
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 (4-20)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- TKO5 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/19/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Ramirez will fight in Macau on July 19.  The likely opponent is Junior Talipeau, a relatively high-level Samoan-Australian journeyman.
16) Ryota Murata (4-43)
Last Fight: 5/22/2014- KO6 Jesus Angel Nerio (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Murata set the bar high for himself by beating a fringe contender in his pro debut.  Fights like the Nerio domination are just stay-busy efforts by comparison.
17) Anthony Dirrell (4-28)
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 (4-68)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Caleb Truax (4-10)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (MD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/25/2014- vs. Rogelio Medina (UNR)
Truax fights the very serviceable Porky Medina, who comes off a split decision loss to to Jonathan Gonzalez that could have gone the other way.  He’s on a similar level to Duran, who gave Truax all he could handle.
20) Derek Edwards (4-4)
Last Fight: 2/28/2014- TKO1 #20 Badou Jack
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: Nothing to see here.

Super Middleweight: 2014, Jun 2-8

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on October 28, 2014 by danboxing
In Saturday’s headliner from London, #1 Carl Froch notched another win in the rematch with bitter rival #7 George Groves, and this time avoided any of the controversy from the first fight.  It was still a good, competitive affair, and Groves still had his share of success early, but he wasn’t able to put Froch through anything approaching the same level of adversity he dealt out the first time.  The rounds Groves may have won early on were also significantly less clear than the first iteration.  If you really want to boil it down to the most fundamental difference, Groves was still the sharper and faster guy at the outset, but he countered with much less abandon- that is to say more cautiously- than he did the first time around.  You might describe him, at least relative to the first fight, as tense.  This tension allowed Froch to catch up to him much more quickly in terms of speed and timing, and with Froch ahead 67-66 on my card, he knocked Groves out in the 8th.  The fact that Froch was not concussed early in the fight, as he clearly was the first time, couldn’t have hurt.

 

In an excellent co-feature match-up that could have headlined many a fine Saturday TV card in its own right, #10 James DeGale looked sensational at times against #4 Brandon Gonzales, including the entire first round, and especially the 4th in which he dropped Gonzales with a blistering combination.  Gonzales gamely rose to his feet, and seemed to retain a surprising amount of his faculties considering how heavily and often he had just been hit.  DeGale didn’t let up, and once again landed a heavy shot that had Gonzales hurt with about 30 seconds remaining in the round.  That’s when it all went South, though, as British referee Steve Gray pulled a pathetic hometown move and stopped the fight ridiculously prematurely, with Gonzales having his hands up, and with DeGale having just missed wildly with two swings from the heels.  Obviously Gonzales was hurt and struggling at that moment, but he had been competitive in the fight- winning the 2nd round on my card- and with that little time left and with no landed punch actually necessitating the stoppage at that moment, I think it’s impossible to reasonably conclude that Gonzales didn’t stand a chance to make it out of the 4th, and didn’t stand some chance to come back in the fight overall.  We’ll never know because of Steve Gray, who probably unintentionally robbed James DeGale of an unquestionable, complete, and sensational win in the biggest fight of his career to this point, all while trying subconsciously to rob the visiting fighter Gonzales of a chance- shrinking though it was- to win the fight.  For rankings purposes, I’ll have to view it as something along the lines of a clear 4-round decision, since the ref’s error prevented a legitimate stoppage from occurring, and since DeGale would certainly have been clearly up on the cards if the 4th had been allowed to complete.  Technically, my own precedent might demand that I treat this as a no contest since the fight was ended before the completion of 4 rounds by what amounts to a foul by the referee.  But that would be a bad result given the spirit of that precedent.  I can’t give DeGale full credit for a stoppage he hadn’t fully earned, but a badly hurt Gonzales needed two knockdowns in less than 30 seconds to avoid being behind on the scorecards if and when the 4th round ended, and that would have been practically impossible.

 

In one of the most heinous robberies I’ve ever seen, Mariano Hilario was gifted a unanimous decision victory over Italian journeyman Roberto Cocco.  The fight wasn’t even particularly competitive.  Cocco suffered a flash knockdown that appeared to be more from balance than anything else in the 12th, but clearly won the round apart from that.  He may have won every round other than that one, and certainly lost no more than three.  Cocco was clearly the much harder puncher, landed much more, was constantly the aggressor, and fought the entirety of the fight with his back to the ring, while Hilario fought it with his back to the ropes.  Hilario contantly grabbed and pulled Cocco’s head down, to the point that he probably should have lost about three points, but yet referee Jan Christensen warned Cocco more often for absolutely nothing than he did Hilario for this and other assorted fouls.  Even aside from the pernicious bias, Christensen was WAY too fussy.  He interrupted the fight for various verbose warnings so much that he may have actually been speaking more often than the fighters were fighting.  While he didn’t take needed points from Hilario, though, he at least was sensible enough to limit his undeserved sanctions against Cocco to constant fussing rather than actually taking a point.  The same can’t be said for the frankly disgusting and pathetic judges.  Erkki Meronen turned in maybe the worst single card I’ve ever personally witnessed, scoring it 117-110 for Hilario.  To reach that score, it means he gave Hilario an undeserved 10-8 round, scored both close rounds in favor of Hilario, and then scored SIX clear Cocco rounds for Hilario.  SIX!  Andre Pasquier was nearly as bad, but managed to only give five clear Cocco rounds to Hilario, in addition to the other conditions.  Beat Hausammann turned in a card that’s harder to pin down because it had some undetermined number of even rounds added in, but he was pretty horrible, as well, though he had it only 115-114 in favor of the dominated loser, Hilario.  Obviously I’m going to treat this as the dominant win for Cocco that it truly was.

 

Groves and Froch merely confirmed their earlier result, and the fight has no material effect on either man’s ranking.  DeGale moves up to #4, while former #4 Gonzales falls back to #8 behind Groves, who arguably beat DeGale when those two met in 2011.  Cocco has a very poor overall record, and thus only moves to the borderline top 50 level, despite beating a borderline top 50 guy.  Hilario is just below that now.  With the movement of DeGale and Gonzales, Chavez and Vera each backtrack one spot.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (129-263-263)
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 (106-416-416)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- KO8 #7 George Groves
Next Fight: Unknown
Froch dispelled any doubts with a more conclusive stoppage of Groves.
2) Arthur Abraham (14-241-241)
Last Fight: 5/3/2014- UD12 Nikola Sjekloca (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
While he recovers from a broken hand, Abraham’s promoter is working on a fall bout with English gatekeeper Paul Smith.
3) Robert Stieglitz (14-249-249)
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) James DeGale (1-2-138)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- TKO4* #4 Brandon Gonzales
Next Fight: Unknown
DeGale is now set up for a shot at Froch’s title, in a fight that would no doubt do huge numbers in the UK again.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (2-157-205)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. Doudou Ngumbu (UNR) (at LHW)
Oosthuizen and promoter Rodney Berman have patched things up, and the lanky South African will make effective his move to 175 on June 21 against fringe contender Doudou Ngumbu.  He’ll keep his ranking here until after November 9, or until he schedules a clearly light heavyweight fight for after that date.
6) Ezequiel Maderna (2-30-75)
Last Fight: 4/25/2014- TKO3 Richard Vidal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Maderna stayed busy in impressive fashion against Vidal.
7) George Groves (2-77-99)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- L (TKO9) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #1 Carl Froch
Some unconfirmed theories suggest Groves might finally rematch DeGale soon, though DeGale is already in line for a shot at Froch.
8) Brandon Gonzales (1-49-49)
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. (1-14-14)
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 (1-14-14)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vera is calling out Peter Quillin.
11) Christopher Rebrasse (2-52)
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.
12) Sakio Bika (2-374)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bika is interested in a fight with Froch.
13) Maxim Vlasov (2-82)
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 (2-72)
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 (2-18)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- TKO5 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/19/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Ramirez will fight a TBA opponent in Macau on July 19.
16) Ryota Murata (2-41)
Last Fight: 5/22/2014- KO6 Jesus Angel Nerio (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Murata set the bar high for himself by beating a fringe contender in his pro debut.  Fights like the Nerio domination are just stay-busy efforts by comparison.
17) Anthony Dirrell (2-26)
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 (2-66)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Caleb Truax (2-8)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (MD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Derek Edwards (2-2)
Last Fight: 2/28/2014- TKO1 #20 Badou Jack
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: 
Friday
Jorge Sebastian Heiland vs. Cesar Reynoso; Benavidez, Argentina; TyC Sports (Argentina)
Heiland is a gatekeeper at middleweight coming off the biggest win of his career- a very tight battle with Billi Godoy that ended controversially, in my view.  Reynoso is a mid-level journeyman from Mar del Plata, and not likely much of a threat

Super Middleweight: 2014, May 26- Jun 1

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on October 20, 2014 by danboxing
All of the action this week at 168 strangely took place on two separate Thursday cards in far-flung parts of the world.

 

Undefeated #17 Ryota Murata once again fought just a shade over 160, pummelling a game but overmatched Jesus Nerio of Mexico with increasing ferocity as the fight wore on, finally breaking his man down to a 6th-round TKO.  Murata still looks a little stiff and unimaginitive, and doesn’t seem to have great reflexes on defense, but he is a solid puncher who at least so far shows relentless aggression from bell to bell.  He might not be a future champ, but he’s probably always going to be a fun guy to watch, if nothing else.  Not to mention the fact that he does still have plenty of room to improve, considering he’s only had 4 fights now as a pro.

 

Later that night in Pointe Claire, Quebec, once-beaten Haitian Schiller Hyppolite knocked out mid-level Uruguayan journeyman Rafael Sosa with a body shot late in round 1, having only had maybe two punches thrown at him in the whole fight.  Sosa was simply covering up, and was pretty much just there to collect a check, it appeared.

 

The only change on the week is that Mikkel Kessler, despite his recent announcement that he would not retire, is removed for failing to schedule a fight for over a year.  Everyone ranked #5 and below last week moves up, including James DeGale, who claims a top 10 spot just in time for his upcoming fight with newly-minted #4 Brandon Gonzales.  Claiming the vacancy at #20 is Derek Edwards, on the strength of his upset knockout win over Badou Jack.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (128-262-262)
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 (105-415-415)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO9 #8 George Groves
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #7 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 (13-240-240)
Last Fight: 5/3/2014- UD12 Nikola Sjekloca (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
While he recovers from a broken hand, Abraham’s promoter is working on a fall bout with English gatekeeper Paul Smith.
3) Robert Stieglitz (13-248-248)
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) Brandon Gonzales (1-48-48)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #10 James DeGale
Gonzales’ elminator with DeGale is finally set, for May 31 in London, on the Froch-Groves undercard.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (1-156-204)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. Doudou Ngumbu (UNR) (at LHW)
Oosthuizen and promoter Rodney Berman have patched things up, and the lanky South African will make effective his move to 175 on June 21 against fringe contender Doudou Ngumbu.  He’ll keep his ranking here until after November 9, or until he schedules a clearly light heavyweight fight for after that date.
6) Ezequiel Maderna (1-29-74)
Last Fight: 4/25/2014- TKO3 Richard Vidal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Maderna stayed busy in impressive fashion against Vidal.
7) George Groves (1-76-98)
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.
8) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (1-13-13)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD10 #5 MW Bryan Vera
Next Fight: Unknown
Chavez is, at least for the time being, effectively a former Top Rank fighter, and he and Arum are at odds over who truly scuttled the now apparently unlikely Golovkin fight that appeared all but made at one point.
9) Bryan Vera (1-13-13)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vera is calling out Peter Quillin.
10) James DeGale (1-1-137)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- TKO11 Gevorg Khatchikian (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #4 Brandon Gonzales
See Gonzales’ notes, above.
11) Christopher Rebrasse (1-51)
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.
12) Sakio Bika (1-373)
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.  For Bika’s part, he wants Chavez.
13) Maxim Vlasov (1-81)
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 (1-71)
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 (1-17)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- TKO5 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ramirez was pencilled in to return on the Chavez-Golovkin card, but that fight now looks dead.
16) Ryota Murata (1-40)
Last Fight: 5/22/2014- KO6 Jesus Angel Nerio (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Murata set the bar high for himself by beating a fringe contender in his pro debut.  Fights like the Nerio domination are just stay-busy efforts by comparison.
17) Anthony Dirrell (1-25)
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 (1-65)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Caleb Truax (1-7)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (MD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Derek Edwards (1-1)
Last Fight: 2/28/2014- TKO1 #20 Badou Jack
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: 
Saturday
Mariano Hilario vs. Roberto Cocco; Teguise, Spain; TV Unknown
Hilario is a Dominican living in Spain’s Canary Islands.  He comes off his career-best performance in a TKO win over prospect Samy Anouche, but is still on the borderline of the top 50 by reason of a couple really bad losses before that.  Cocco is a mid-level journeyman from Torino, Italy who should have a shot only if Hilario is less the man that beat Anouche and more the man that has the two bad losses.  That’s very much an open question.

 

#1 Carl Froch vs. #8 George Groves; London, England; Sky (UK)
There’s not a lot left to be said about this one, but just in case you don’t follow the division much, this is a rematch of the pair’s November meeting, in which Groves was leading Froch and had most likely concussed him early in the fight.  Froch had dramatically turned it around in the 9th, and had Groves reeling, turning around, and falling away, when referee Howard Foster stepped in to stop it.  The general consensus seems to be that it was a premature ending.  I personally differ on that point.  Groves had given Froch his back involuntarily, and was helpless at that moment against what was about to be an incoming Froch punch.  I wouldn’t have minded seeing a few more seconds to give Groves a chance to recover, but it also could have gone very bad very quickly.  Froch is by a mile the #1 contender to Ward’s crown, and Groves may just be the future of the division if he can build on his prior performance and avoid a similar letdown.

 

#5 Brandon Gonzales vs. #11 James DeGale; London, England; Sky (UK)
This is very much a toss-up fight.  DeGale is the more heralded prospect, really, but he’s had some fairly indifferent performances over the last few years.  Most of those have been explained away by a nagging injury, but I’m still not sure he’s fully dispelled the doubts.  Gonzales was at one point no great prospect, having needed a blatant robbery to survive a tough fight with Ossie Duran in October 2011.  But he bounced back a year ago with what should have been a win (it was declared a draw) against then-5th-ranked Thomas Oosthuizen.  He hasn’t had any significant action since then, so this will be a heck of a test for two guys that both need to be tested a little bit.  A likely top 5 berth in the rankings is on the line.

Super Middleweight: 2014, Mar 3-9

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on July 24, 2014 by danboxing
It was a stacked week at 168, with something like 8 notable performers in action.  I’ll take it chronologically by card.

 

Friday’s ShoBox broadcast from Verona, New York featured three undefeated prospects on one card.

 

#20 Badou Jack was shockingly upset in a first-round TKO to mid-level journeyman Derek Edwards.  Edwards landed a perfect right hand counter on the button, Jack was caught probably rather cold, and never recovered.  About 20 seconds and two knockdowns later, it was all over, as was Jack’s imminent title shot.

 

J’Leon Love looked unambiguously good for the first time in his much-heralded televised career in the main event of the card, winning every round (most decisively) against busted prospect Vladine Biosse.  It should have been a 100-89 decision for Love, but Benji Estevez took it upon himself to improve Love’s knockout record by randomly stopping the fight in the 10th.  I wouldn’t have necessarily argued much with a stoppage in the 3rd round when Biosse was getting pounded viciously, but the 10th round stoppage was completely unnecessary, as the fight was almost over and Biosse was not even hurt.  Nevertheless, a decent showcase-type win for Love.

 

In another intriguing fight on the unfortunately non-televised undercard, undefeated prospect Luis Arias eeked out a majority decision win over veteran spoiler Dashon Johnson, who is much better than his 15-14 record.  Tom Schreck and Don Ackerman had it 77-75, while Wynn Kintz saw it even at 76-76.  I’m not really a fan of any of those judges’ work, so as far as I’m concerned it’s anyone’s guess as to who actually won the fight.  Sadly, there’s not so much as a Youtube video available for the fight.  I’ll have to take it at face value.

 

Saturday began with the rubber match between #2 Robert Stieglitz and #4 Arthur Abraham, with Abraham looking to rebound from a shockingly dominant 3rd round TKO loss after winning a close decision in their first bout.  Given the most recent result, Stieglitz had to be viewed as a solid favorite this time around, but this fight turned out a lot more like the former, only slightly more in Abraham’s favor.  The Armenian native was very sharp for most of the bout, and while he didn’t necessarily display the same level of power that made him a universally-feared middleweight circa five years ago, he did punctuate the fight with a 12th round knockdown of a flagging Stieglitz.  I had the fight 115-110, with reasonable scores in my opinion ranging from 118-107 Abraham to 114-111 Abraham.  Florida judge Michael Pernick apparently mailed in his scorecard from another fight stateside, because he had it 113-112 for Stieglitz, which is shockingly awful.  Clark Sammartino had it a reasonable 114-111, while Paul Thomas (whose name I don’t even recognize) nailed it at 115-110.  One additional note: referee Geno Rodriguez took an absolutely ridiculous point from Abraham in round 8 for hitting behind the head.  Stieglitz initiated a clinch.  While Abraham tried to punch his way out, Stieglitz turned his head.  It wasn’t even a foul, and certainly not a deductible one.  Especially in light of Stieglitz’ excessive holding, which he at least lost a point for a round later.  With better refereeing, I would have had it 116-110.

 

#9 James DeGale fought injury-free for the first time, by his account, in 18 months.  Overall, he looked pretty good against unbeaten/untested Armenian-born Dutchman Gevorg Khatchikian.  He didn’t have his characteristic spells of hanging out taking shots on the ropes this time around, and scored an 11th-round stoppage.  On the negative side, he did get noticeably hurt and chased around the ring in the 7th round.  On the brighter side, it was the only round I gave Khatchikian and one of only two in which he was even close.  DeGale’s body attack was consistently punishing, and he was the aggressor for virtually the entire fight (7th round aside).  Khatchikian had been looking progressively more ragged ever since his 7th round success, and took a knee on two body shots in quick succession in the 11th.  On the second one, referee Mark Green reached the count of 8 with just 6 seconds remaining in the round.  Khatchikian was standing fully upright without wavering at that point, and I saw nothing in his face that indicated he couldn’t have continued.  Would it ultimately have changed the outcome of the fight?  Probably not.  I mean DeGale would certainly have won in any case, but I’m not certain he would have won by stoppage.  Anyway, it’s a small matter, but I feel it’s a good idea to call out small mistakes as a deterrent to bigger ones later.

 

#15 Middleweight Bryan Vera looked to prove that his robbery loss against Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. was no fluke later that night in San Antonio, when he gave the Mexican star a rematch on HBO.  Chavez showed up without weight problems this time, and had apparently actually trained hard.  Chavez was sharper and harder-hitting than Vera throughout, and took a 117-110 win on my card.  Max DeLuca and Ruben Carrion agreed with me, while David Sutherland (apparently having frequent flashbacks to the first fight) turned in an incredible 114-113 for a unanimous decision.  I gave Vera 3 rounds, but two of them were toss-ups.  The other- the 12th- I think should have gone to Chavez via a knockdown for Chavez that was called a slip by Rafael “No one is more professional than I” Ramos, who may have been looking to balance out a ridiculous point deduction on Vera from round 8. 

 

Naturally, we have a fair amount of movement in the rankings.  Abraham grabs the #2 spot with his big win.  Stieglitz falls back to #3, forcing the inactive Kessler to #4.  Chavez makes his debut at 168 with a #9 berth, while Vera returns to the rankings at #10 based on his past wins over Mora and Demers, as well as his highly debatable light heavyweight loss to Chavez.  This forces James DeGale down two spots to #11 and Rebrasse to #12.  They had been in the top 10 for 38 and 15 consecutive weeks, respectively.  Bika falls to #13, Vlasov to #14, Rodriguez to #15, Andy Lee to #16, Gilberto Ramirez to #17, Murata to #18, Anthony Dirrell to #19, and Hadillah Mohoumadi to #20.  Truax slips from the rankings after 36 weeks in, as does Jack- by a long shot- after 32.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (116-250-250)
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 (93-403-403)
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 (1-228-228)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- W (SD12) vs. #2 Robert Stieglitz
Next Fight: Unknown
Abraham is back near the top again after defeating Stieglitz convincingly in  the rubber match.
3) Robert Stieglitz (1-236-236)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (SD12) vs. #4 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s back to the drawing board for Stieglitz, though his resume still compares favorably to the field.
4) Mikkel Kessler (1-482-482)
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 (36-36-36)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzales was said to have reached a deal to fight Vlasov, but Vlasov has scheduled another fight, and it’s been hard to find any mention of the match since it was reportedly made.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (23-144-192)
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 (17-17-62)
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 (17-64-86)
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. (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD10 #15 MW Bryan Vera
Next Fight: Unknown
Chavez may have earned some fans back in the Vera rematch, after the loss of said fans was made apparent by the poor gate at the Alamodome that night.
10) Bryan Vera (1-1-1)
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 division.
11) James DeGale (1-125)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- TKO11 Gevorg Khatchikian (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
DeGale may now get an immediate shot at Sakio Bika after his tune-up win and eliminator rival Badou Jack’s collapse.
12) Christopher Rebrasse (1-39)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- UD6 George Kandelaki (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (UNR)
Rebrasse will get a March 22 rematch against Ndiaye that is hardly needed, as Rebrasse dominated the first fight on his way to being robbed.
13) Sakio Bika (1-361)
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, but with Jack falling out of the eliminator picture, Bika may be ordered to face DeGale next.
14) Maxim Vlasov (1-69)
Last Fight: 12/5/2013- KO4 Maxell Taylor (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Henry Buchanan (UNR)
An IBF eliminator with Brandon Gonzales appears to be on hold, as Vlasov will now fight lower-mid-level journeyman Henry Buchanan on March 15.
15) Edwin Rodriguez (1-59)
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 (1-42)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013-TKO2 Ferenc Hafner (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lee was close to a deal to fight Golovkin on April 26, but the Kazakh will no longer be fighting on that date due to his father’s death.
17) Gilberto Ramirez (1-5)
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.
18) Ryota Murata (1-28)
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 (1-13)
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 (1-53)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: After a week of action and upheaval, no follow-up this week.

Super Middleweight: 2014, Feb 24- Mar 2

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on June 26, 2014 by danboxing
#16 Ryota Murata again fought just a pound or two over the middleweight limit, and looked very good against competent but overmatched veteran journeyman Carlos Nascimento of Brazil, whom he stopped in four.  Murata showed big power, good timing, nice finishing skills, and even substantially improved defense as opposed to his last fight.  Not bad for a guy in his 3rd fight.  Even so, his best win by far was his pro debut, which got him ranked where he is.

 

No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (115-249-249)
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 (92-402-402)
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) Robert Stieglitz (49-235-235)
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 (63-481-481)
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.
4) Arthur Abraham (41-227-227)
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 (35-35-35)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzales was said to have reached a deal to fight Vlasov, but Vlasov has scheduled another fight, and it’s been hard to find any mention of the match since it was reportedly made.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (22-143-191)
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 (16-16-61)
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 (16-63-85)
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) James DeGale (15-38-124)
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 (15-15-38)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- UD6 George Kandelaki (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (UNR)
Rebrasse will get a March 22 rematch against Ndiaye that is hardly needed, as Rebrasse dominated the first fight on his way to being robbed.
11) Sakio Bika (15-360)
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 (16-68)
Last Fight: 12/5/2013- KO4 Maxell Taylor (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Henry Buchanan (UNR)
An IBF eliminator with Brandon Gonzales appears to be on hold, as Vlasov will now fight lower-mid-level journeyman Henry Buchanan on March 15.
13) Edwin Rodriguez (16-58)
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 (22-41)
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 (4-4)
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 (4-27)
Last Fight: 2/22/2014- TKO4 Carlos Nascimento (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Anthony Dirrell (4-12)
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 (4-52)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Caleb Truax (4-36)
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 (4-32)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 Rogelio Medina (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/28/2014- vs. Derek Edwards (UNR)
Jack will be on ShoBox at the end of the month against journeyman Derek Edwards, in what amounts to a tune-up for his eliminator against DeGale.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Friday
J’Leon Love vs. Vladine Biosse; Verona, New York; Showtime (US)
Love is one of Floyd Mayweather’s top promotional prospects.  He’s got a long jab and some slick defensive skills, but in my opinion, he’s vastly overrated.  He deserved losses to both Derrick Findley and Gabriel Rosado, and I had him behind to Lajuan Simon when he scored the stoppage.  He also has been busted for banned diuretics- that in the Rosado fight.  Biosse is a busted prospect, having been stopped in upset fashion by Marcus Upshaw and an unknown version of Denis Grachev.  Even worse, he’s coming off a draw in his last fight against journeyman Richard Gingras.  This is a good scenario for Love- a fairly recognizable name that has little or no chance.

 

#20 Badou Jack vs. Derek Edwards; Verona, New York; Showtime (US)
Jack is another Mayweather prospect, and so far the more impressive of the two I’ve mentioned.  He will be in against veteran journeyman Derek Edwards, who you might describe as mid-level and no great threat.  Edwards was an undefeated prospect at one point, but has gone 1-3-1 in his last 5.

 

Luis Arias vs. Dashon Johnson; Verona, New York; Off TV
This fight won’t make the TV card, but is not the least of the match-ups in terms of competition.  Johnson is deservedly the big underdog, but he made a name for himself- at least for me- with a shocking upset of Canadian prospect Adam Trupish in 2013.  He followed that up later in the year by outpointing once-impressive middleweight Craig McEwan.  He’s got more than his share of losses at that level, too, though.  If nothing else, it’s a good measuring stick for Arias, who has been steadily stepping up his competition.

 

Saturday
#2 Robert Stieglitz vs. #4 Arthur Abraham; Magdeburg, Germany; SAT1 (Germany)
There’s not a lot left to say about this match-up, as this is the third meeting for the two fighters.  Abraham won a close but clear decision in the first iteration, and was shockingly dominated and stopped early in the second.  Stieglitz comes in as the favorite, and the winner will most likely be the number 2 contender next week.

 

#9 James DeGale vs. Gevorg Khatchikian; Bristol, England; Channel 5 (UK)
Khatchikian is an unbeaten Armenian who has made his home in the Netherlands since age 13.  He’s the best super middleweight in Holland, though that’s not saying much.  He’s quite untested, and is the huge underdog against top-10 DeGale.  The Englishman might even be better than that.  He probably deserved the decision against George Groves when the pair fought, and has been struggling with a groin injury possibly ever since.  He finally had surgery to correct the issue, and so the suggestion, at least, is that we’ll see a fully functional DeGale for the first time in a while. 

 

#15 MW Bryan Vera vs. Julio Cesar Chavez; San Antonio, Texas; HBO (US)
Another intriguing re-match.  Vera almost certainly deserved a win in the first fight, but was borderline robbed.  Chavez came in extremely heavy for that fight, and looked sluggish.  If he can motivate himself, this might be a good one.  Vera is no slouch, despite being the naturally much smaller man, and always comes to fight.

Super Middleweight: 2013, Nov 18-24

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2014 by danboxing
Champ Andre Ward successfully defended his title in dominant fashion on Saturday against #13 Edwin Rodriguez, who came in 2 pounds overweight, but failed to turn his size advantage into any kind of tangible results.  After a close first round, Ward reeled off 11 straight.  His jab, which he shot like a piston while darting in from angles, was consistently landing as if it was a lead right hand, instead.  The biggest single story of the fight, however, was an ugly episode in the fourth, in which Ward hit Rodriguez low, Rodriguez jerked his head down, got caught over the top in that clinch, and then threw about 5 punches after referee Jack Reiss had wrestled Ward away, one of which hit Reiss himself.  Reiss recommended fines for both fighters to the commission, and then deducted two points from each for intentional fouls.  Honestly, that may have been a bit harsh against Ward, whose foul or fouls was/were pretty ordinary in character.  But it did send a strong message, and the fight was much cleaner thereafter.  It had been extremely grabby and otherwise dirty before that.

 

A bit earlier in the night, #10 James DeGale mostly had his way with inactive fringe contender Dyah Davis in Bluewater, Kent.  DeGale- whose career has mostly been stalled in neutral while he wins in underwhelming fashion during recent fights- did have one lull mid-fight, but generally controlled it in every way for the majority of the duration.  Davis fell behind early, and didn’t really have the power to seriously challenge from that position.  I scored it 117-111, while all of the official judges had it a resaonable 118-110.

 

On the non-televised Ward-Rodriguez undercard, #5 Brandon Gonzales did little more than keep busy against undefeated but untested Arkansas prospect Jonathan Nelson, winning a comfortable 10-round decision.

 

Undefeated Russian Fedor Chudinov- brother of notable middleweight Dmitry- dominated light middleweight gatekeeper Jimmy Colas to a 10-round shutout in Podolsk, Russia on Friday.  Both guys were just short of top-50 status in this division going in, but I figure I should mention it since I teased it last week.  Chudinov will be a definite notable going forward.

 

Returning to Saturday, Argentine 154-pound gatekeeper Mateo Veron moved up all the way to 168 to defeat gatekeeper Ricardo Ramallo.  Well, not quite.  Veron weighed in at just 162, while Ramallo scaled 164.5.  It was a pretty wild, entertaining fight.  Veron’s technique has the relative length of Thomas Hearns, but wings punches from crazy angles with everything he has.  Ramallo likes to potshot from the outside, as well, but was more careful about picking his shots.  Nevertheless, Veron’s relentless motor allowed him to grind down the bigger man, even after absorbing a significant knockdown in the opening round.  Veron most likely evened things up with a dominant and punishing second round that didn’t feature a knockdown, but was probably 10-8 anyway.  He went on to win every round after that, and caught a fatigued-looking Ramallo with a crazy uppercut from way on the outside that landed right on the button.  This had to be one of the best fights in the division this year.

 

DeGale’s win gets him a promotion to #9, though he probably would have landed there anyway, since Sakio Bika’s best win in the previous five years exceeded that 5-year threshold this week and is thus no longer considered.  Accordingly, Bika falls from #9 to #11- his first time out of the top 10 in 40 weeks.  This allows Christopher Rebrasse to reprise his role as a top-10 fighter after just one week away.  None of the other fights leads to any change that shows up in the top 20.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (101-235-235)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says he would fight Golovkin or Hopkins, but seems to doubt that either of them wants to fight him.
1) Carl Froch (78-388-388)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- UD12 #3 Mikkel Kessler
Next Fight: 11/23/2013- vs. #8 George Groves
Froch-Groves is set for November 23 in Manchester.
2) Robert Stieglitz (35-221-221)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- UD12 Isaac Ekpo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stieglitz and Abraham’s recent wins over mediocre competition sets them up for a likely trilogy battle in early 2014, which the WBO has now ordered.
3) Mikkel Kessler (49-467-467)
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.
4) Arthur Abraham (27-213-213)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Giovanni De Carolis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Abraham-Stieglitz III is being negotiated.
5) Brandon Gonzales (21-21-21)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzales will fight undefeated but untested prospect Jonathan Nelson on the Ward-Rodriguez undercard.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (8-129-177)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: 1/18/2014- vs. LHW #18 Eleider Alvarez (at LHW)
Oosthuizen barely survived an upset for the second fight in a row.  His promoter says it’s clear that he’s outgrown 168, so it’s very unlikely we’ll see him here again.  He had a pre-arranged fight set up with Eleider Alvarez at 175 at last check.
7) Ezequiel Maderna (2-2-47)
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 (2-49-71)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- TKO5 Noe Gonzalez (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/23/2013- vs. #1 Carl Froch
Groves and Froch will face off on November 23 in Manchester.
9) James DeGale (1-24-110)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 Dyah Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
DeGale is agitating for a title fight after beating Davis, and thinks Froch and Groves are ducking him.
10) Christopher Rebrasse (1-1-24)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #10 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye
Next Fight: Unknown
Rebrasse’s unnecessary rematch with Ndiaye appears to have been cancelled. 
11) Sakio Bika (1-346)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- MD12 Marco Antonio Periban (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/7/2013- vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Bika will be fighting Anthony Dirrell on the Malignaggi-Judah undercard on December 7.
12) Maxim Vlasov (2-54)
Last Fight: 11/4/2013- TKO6 Artem Redko (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/5/2013- vs. Maxell Taylor (UNR)
Fresh off his win over Redko, Vlasov will go stateside and fight Baltimore journeyman Maxell Taylor in Orange County, California on Thursday, December 5.
13) Edwin Rodriguez (2-44)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez was overweight, dirty, and outclassed.  Not a good night.
 14) Andy Lee (8-27)
Last Fight: 5/15/2013- TKO1 Darryl Cunningham (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/23/2013- vs. Ferenc Hafner (UNR)
Lee now says he’s in talks to fight Macklin in March.
15) Ryoto Murata (8-13)
Last Fight: 8/25/2013- TKO2 #14 MW Akio Shibata
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. Dave Peterson (UNR)
Murata is back in action on December 6 in Tokyo against unproven Minnesota prospect Dave Peterson.  He also recently signed with Top Rank, which gives hardcore US fans hope that we might see him eventually.  The next step after Peterson is probably a February fight in Macau.
16) Caleb Truax (8-22)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO4 Ceresso Fort (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 1/3/2014- vs. Derek Ennis (UNR)
Truax’s January 3 kickoff to 2014 will be on Friday Night Fights against Derek Ennis.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (8-38)
Last Fight: 10/17/2013- TKO1 Raimonds Sniedze (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Glen Johnson (8-29)
Last Fight: 4/19/2013- TKO2 Junior Ramos (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Johnson needs to schedule a fight at 168 before mid-December to keep his ranking.
19) Badou Jack (8-18)
Last Fight: 9/12/2013- Draw (MD12) vs. Marco Antonio Periban (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Jack will be back in action against an opponent to be announced on a December 6 ShoBox telecast.
20) Don Mouton (8-8)
Last Fight: 5/13/2013- L* (UD8) vs. #10 Anthony Dirrell
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: #1 Carl Froch takes on #8 George Groves in what will be a huge event in England on Saturday.

 

On the undercard, Andy Lee gets a stay-busy outing against low-level Hungarian journeyman Ferenc Hafner.

Super Middleweight: 2013, Nov 11-17

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2014 by danboxing
#11 Maxim Vlasov dominated and stopped low-level Ukrainian journeyman Artem Redko on Monday, in a rematch of a fairly interesting 6-round scrap they had in 2006.  Coincidentally, this fight ended in 6, as well, but with a TKO late in that round.

 

Fast-forwarding to Saturday, #6 Thomas Oosthuizen had his hands full for the second fight in a row, this time against one-loss Argentine prospect, #13 Ezequiel Maderna, at the Emperor’s Palace in Kempton Park, South Africa.  Just as in his last fight with Brandon Gonzales, he got a little bit of luck on the cards.  I had it all even at 114-114, even after scoring the first 4 in a sweep for Oosthuizen, though the first three at least were toss-ups.  Maderna dominated the middle rounds, earning a sweep from rounds 5-9 on my card to lead by a point.  Oosthuizen appeared to edge the 10th, having gotten his second wind, and easily won the 11th before Maderna reasserted himself to conclusively capture the 12th.  In fairness to Oosthuizen, he was dealing with a cut that appeared to be a threat to stop the fight at any time after the 5th or 6th when it happened.

 

 I counted no less than 6 toss-up rounds in the fight, and while I think Maderna, if anyone, deserved the edge, Oosthuizen’s win wasn’t fundamentally unfair.  England’s Dave Parris (whom I’m seldom a fan of) actually had the best card at 114-114.  Stanley Christodoulou, the aging hall of fame ref/judge, who appears to be losing his ability if recent performances are any measure, apparently gave Oosthuizen all the close rounds to arrive at 116-112.  Canadian judge Benoit Roussel turned in a rather indefensible 117-111 in favor of Oosthuizen.  Since the fight obviously could have gone either way, I will treat Oosthuizen as the winner in deference to the official scores, but, appropriately, I think, by only the narrowest of margins.

 

For ratings purposes, the fight will have an effect similar to a draw.  Maderna, as a result, is really the big winner.  Oosthuizen stands pat at #6, while Maderna moves up to meet him at #7.  This forces everyone ranked #7-12 last week down one place each, and causes Christopher Rebrasse to slip from the top 10 for the first time in 6 weeks.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (100-234-234)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Next Fight: 11/16/2013- vs. #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Ward has finally secured an opponent for his November 16 return: two-division fringe contender Edwin Rodriguez.
1) Carl Froch (77-387-387)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- UD12 #3 Mikkel Kessler
Next Fight: 11/23/2013- vs. #7 George Groves
Froch-Groves is set for November 23 in Manchester.
2) Robert Stieglitz (34-220-220)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- UD12 Isaac Ekpo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stieglitz and Abraham’s recent wins over mediocre competition sets them up for a likely trilogy battle in early 2014, which the WBO has now ordered.
3) Mikkel Kessler (48-466-466)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
Froch is interested in a trilogy on neutral ground, perhaps even more so than a Ward rematch.  But it’s not even clear that Kessler will fight again, after saying pre-fight he might retire.
4) Arthur Abraham (26-212-212)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Giovanni De Carolis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Abraham-Stieglitz III is being negotiated.
5) Brandon Gonzales (20-20-20)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- D* vs. #5 Thomas Oosthuizen
Next Fight: 11/16/2013- vs. Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Gonzales will fight undefeated but untested prospect Jonathan Nelson on the Ward-Rodriguez undercard.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (7-128-176)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: 1/18/2014- vs. LHW #18 Eleider Alvarez (at LHW)
Oosthuizen barely survived an upset for the second fight in a row.  His promoter says it’s clear that he’s outgrown 168, so it’s very unlikely we’ll see him here again.  He had a pre-arranged fight set up with Eleider Alvarez at 175 at last check.
7) Ezequiel Maderna (1-1-46)
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 (1-48-70)

Last Fight: 5/25/2013- TKO5 Noe Gonzalez (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/23/2013- vs. #1 Carl Froch
Groves and Froch will face off on November 23 in Manchester.
9) Sakio Bika (1-39-345)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- MD12 Marco Antonio Periban (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/7/2013- vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Bika will be fighting Anthony Dirrell on the Malignaggi-Judah undercard on December 7.
10) James DeGale (1-23-109)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- RTD4 Stjepan Bozic (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/16/2013- vs. Dyah Davis (UNR)
DeGale will return to action in Bluewater, Kent on November 16.  He’ll be up against a good measuring stick in Dyah Davis.
11) Christopher Rebrasse (1-23)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #10 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye
Next Fight: Unknown
Rebrasse’s unnecessary rematch with Ndiaye appears to have been cancelled. 
12) Maxim Vlasov (1-53)
Last Fight: 11/4/2013- TKO6 Artem Redko (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/5/2013- vs. Maxell Taylor (UNR)
Fresh off his win over Redko, Vlasov will go stateside and fight Baltimore journeyman Maxell Taylor in Orange County, California on Thursday, December 5.
13) Edwin Rodriguez (1-43)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- TKO1 #16 LHW Denis Grachev (at LHW)
Next Fight: 11/16/2013- vs. Champ Andre Ward
Rodriguez will get a shot at reigning two-division Champion Andre Ward in mid-November, after a drama-filled negotiation.
 
14) Andy Lee (7-26)
Last Fight: 5/15/2013- TKO1 Darryl Cunningham (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lee now says he’s in talks to fight Macklin in March.
15) Ryoto Murata (7-12)
Last Fight: 8/25/2013- TKO2 #14 MW Akio Shibata
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. Dave Peterson (UNR)
Murata is back in action on December 6 in Tokyo against unproven Minnesota prospect Dave Peterson.  He also recently signed with Top Rank, which gives hardcore US fans hope that we might see him eventually.
16) Caleb Truax (7-21)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO4 Ceresso Fort (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 1/3/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Truax looks to get off to a fast start in 2014, likely participating in the first notable fight of the year in Minneapolis.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (7-37)
Last Fight: 10/17/2013- TKO1 Raimonds Sniedze (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Glen Johnson (7-28)
Last Fight: 4/19/2013- TKO2 Junior Ramos (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Johnson needs to schedule a fight at 168 before mid-December to keep his ranking.
19) Badou Jack (7-17)
Last Fight: 9/12/2013- Draw (MD12) vs. Marco Antonio Periban (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Jack will be back in action against an opponent to be announced on a December 6 ShoBox telecast.
20) Don Mouton (7-7)
Last Fight: 5/13/2013- L* (UD8) vs. #10 Anthony Dirrell
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: Undefeated Russian Fedor Chudinov (brother of Middleweight notable Dmitry) takes a step up in competition against gatekeeper Jimmy Colas.  It should be noted that Colas is moving up two divisions from his normal 154.  Even so, he’s a borderline top 50 fighter in the very shallow 168 pound ranks.  That’s Friday in Barnaul, Russia.

 

The next night is a busy one.  Champion Andre Ward defends his titles against #13 Edwin Rodriguez in Ontario, California.  

 

On the undercard, #5 Brandon Gonzales battles undefeated but untested prospect Jonathan Nelson of Little Rock, Arkansas.

 

Back to the theme of 154 pounders moving up to super middle, Mateo Veron of Argentina takes a trip up in weight to take on the bigger Ricardo Ramallo, a top 50 operator at 168.  Very interesting tilt.

 

A little earlier that night, in a pretty good test given his recent performances, #10 James DeGale takes on the serviceable but inactive Dyah Davis, who is roughly a top-20-level guy when he’s active, in Bluewater, Kent.

 

This is more of a note for myself than anything else, but Sakio Bika is likely to fall in the rankings next week, as his best win of the last 5 years will be more than 5 years old this time next week.

Super Middleweight: 2013, Jun 10-16

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on June 16, 2013 by danboxing
#6 Adonis Stevenson got the biggest win of the weekend at 175, but it won’t affect his ranking here, since the guy he beat was a flop in his only fight at 168, and thus it could be that any of the top 5 contenders here would have done the same.  Nevertheless, it obviously makes him one of only a few guys at either weight with enough credibility to fight Ward.

 

Saturday in Brindisi, Italy, the mafia apparently struck hard.  French gatekeeper Christopher Rebrasse dominated nearly every round against #10 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye.  I had the fight a shutout at 120-108.  There were 2 rounds I could have seen potentially giving to Ndiaye if I were a bit more sympathetic to his awful performance, and one other round that was reasonably close.  Other than that, it was complete domination.  A good judge couldn’t have possibly had it closer than 118-110 (117-111 if he was having a really bad night).  The other 9 rounds were ridiculously easy to score.  That is, unless the Italian mafia is paying the judges for the Italian (by way of Senegal) fighter to win, or at least not lose.  The best of the judges was pretty clearly biased toward Ndiaye.  That was Anssi Perajoki of Finland, who had it 118-111.  Respectable, except that he gave Ndiaye all the debatable rounds, plus scored another close one that Rebrasse clearly won as even.  But get ready for the others.  These guys should get a lifetime ban from judging, because there’s no excuse that could even begin to adequately excuse this travesty.  These are perhaps the two worst scorecards I’ve ever seen.  Manuel Palomo of Spain had it a draw.  The sad thing about this guy, is that this is actually the second time I’ve opined that he should never be allowed to judge again (and I didn’t even realize it until after I typed it this time).  He has previously been involved in robbing Dereck Chisora against Robert Helenius.  If I were a fighter and not the favorite, I would protest to the commission the second I saw he was assigned to the fight.  But he wasn’t even the worst crook in the bunch.  Fellow Spaniard Francisco Vazquez Marcos embarrassed the sport and himself beyond all measure, scoring the fight for the badly beaten Ndiaye 115-114. 

 

Needless to say, this will be treated like the huge upset victory for Rebrasse that it truly was.  One angle that might get lost in all this is that Ndiaye looked overly relaxed during the 3 national anthems (no- not Senegal- they did one for German referee Juergen Langos for some reason), while Rebrasse looked intense, continuing to warm up throughout.  During the fight, Ndiaye appeared to have showed up for a sparring session, while Rebrasse showed up for a fight.

 

The same night in Bluewater, Kent, England, #11 James DeGale looked pretty solid against borderline top-50 Croatian Stjepan Bozic.  He showed the slick skills you’d expect from such an accomplished amateur star, and threw in some (often low) body work.  The ending was strange.  DeGale had banked the first 4 rounds, though Bozic had his best round in the 4th.  Bozic retired following that round, and it was a bit unclear whether it was an injury or if they simply didn’t want anymore.  I lean toward the former, since he did seem to be coming on slightly at the time.  It’s a decent, if somewhat unsatisfying win for DeGale.  As Channel 5 commentator Richie Woodhall astutely observed, DeGale continues to spend too much time on the ropes for no apparent reason.  That’s something he’ll definitely need to fix if his ambition of fighting Carl Froch ever comes to fruition.

 

Speaking of spending too much time on the ropes, Philly prospect Farah Ennis was guilty of this, as well, and it made his Friday Night fight with Anthony Hanshaw a lot closer than it needed to be.  The first 2/3 of the fight was essentially even, or slighly favored Hanshaw (I know 2/3 is an amorphous number for a 10-round fight), and it was all because of Ennis’ laziness in hanging out on the ropes, along with Hanshaw’s opportunism in punishing him for it.  But to his credit, Ennis closed very strong- sweeping the last three rounds, and scoring a knockdown in the 10th.  I saw it as a very clear 96-93 score for Ennis.  Two of the judges agreed, while Teddy Atlas and the third judge Marlon Perry had it a round too close.

 

With his dominant loss to a guy who was not even in the top  30 (mostly because he had lost and/or drawn with complete non-entities in early 2011), Ndiaye nosedives way out of the top 20.  Rebrasse erases those bad memories to some extent, and debuts at #10.  DeGale- partly by default, and partly because of his win- advances to #9.  Rosinsky is bounced from the top 10 after 5 weeks in.  Everyone else stays put.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (78-212-212)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
It sounds like both sides are interested in a Froch rematch.  There was no controversy the first time, but the Brit has definitely earned it since.
1) Carl Froch (55-365-365)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- UD12 #3 Mikkel Kessler
Next Fight: Unknown
See Ward’s notes, above.
2) Robert Stieglitz (12-198-198)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- TKO3 #2 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: 7/13/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Stieglitz will return on July 13 in Dresden, but no opponent yet.
3) Mikkel Kessler (26-444-444)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
Froch is interested in a trilogy on neutral ground, perhaps even more so than a Ward rematch.  But it’s not even clear that Kessler will fight again, after saying pre-fight he might retire.
4) Arthur Abraham (4-190-190)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- L (TKO3) vs. #5 Robert Stieglitz
Next Fight: 8/24/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Abraham will likely be back on August 24, against an opponent to be determined.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (4-106-154)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. Brandon Gonzales (UNR)
Oosthuizen will be fighting highly overrated and nominally “undefeated ” prospect Brandon Gonzales on the Golovkin-Macklin undercard.
6) Adonis Stevenson (4-79-79)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- TKO1 LHW#1 Chad Dawson (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevenson is now the #1 light heavyweight as well as the #6 Super Middleweight.  His mandatory at 175 is Tony Bellew, and he may or may not still have a mandatory shot at Carl Froch waiting at 168- probably not.  He has tons of options, overall.
7) George Groves (4-26-48)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- TKO5 Noe Gonzalez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Groves is pressuring Froch to fight him.
8) Sakio Bika (4-17-323)
Last Fight: 2/16/2013- UD12 Nikola Sjekloca (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/22/2013- vs. Marco Antonio Periban (UNR)
Bika will fight undefeated Mexican Marco Antonio Periban in California on June 22 for the WBC belt that that organization just heisted from Andre Ward.
9) James DeGale (1-1-87)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- RTD4 Stjepan Bozic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
DeGale badly wants a big-money fight with Froch.
10) Christopher Rebrasse (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #10 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye
Next Fight: Unknown
Rebrasse was so blatantly robbed against Ndiaye that I have to remember to point it out.  It’s so clearly a win that I almost forget the judges world-class crookedness. 

11) Will Rosinsky (1-52)

Last Fight: 12/19/2012- UD10 Otis Griffin (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Rosinsky has been added to the Golovkin-Macklin undercard, but no opponent yet.
12) Maxim Vlasov (4-31)
Last Fight: 12/30/2012- RTD7 Geard Ajetovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
13) Edwin Rodriguez (4-21)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- W* (UD10) vs. #15 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: 7/13/2013- vs. #15 LHW Denis Grachev (at LHW)
After getting the benefit of yet another questionable but not totally out-of-bounds decision against Maderna, Rodriguez remains in the mix, but kinda on the periphery of the division’s contenders.  He gets a chance at a million bucks against Grachev, who also arguably deserved to lose his first round fight.
14) Ezequiel Maderna (4-24)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- L* (UD10) vs. #17 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Maderna, despite arguably deserving a win against Rodriguez, did himself few favors in dropping the decision, especially considering how ugly the fight was.  I don’t imagine he’ll be getting too many international suitors anytime soon since he seems difficult to look good against.
15) Don George (2-12)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. David Lopez (should be win)
Next Fight: 6/21/2013- vs. Caleb Truax (UNR)
Another reasonably decent challenge for George, as he travvels to Caleb Truax’s hometown of Minneapolis for their fight.
16) Andy Lee (2-4)
Last Fight: 5/15/2013- TKO1 Darryl Cunningham (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Yes, I know.  Andy Lee is not a Super Middleweight.  The only problem is he almost exclusively fights as one, if only barely.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (2-15)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- UD10 Cedric Bellais (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/22/2013- vs. Giovanni De Carolis (UNR)
Mohoumadi gets a halfway decent outing on June 22 against borderline top 50 Italian Giovanni De Carolis, for the European Union title.
18) Glen Johnson (2-6)
Last Fight: 4/19/2013- TKO2 Junior Ramos (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Johnson should be retired, but instead finds himself clinging to a ranking in a very shallow division.
19) Don Mouton (2-4)
Last Fight: 5/3/2013- L* (UD8) vs. #10 Anthony Dirrell (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mouton deserved to beat Dirrell, whom he also spotted nearly a full weight class.  Mouton was also a short-notice opponent.
20) Brian Magee (2-2)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- vs. L (TKO3) vs. #3 Mikkel Kessler
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: The division takes a deserved break from action this week.

Super Middleweight: 2013, Jun 3-9

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on June 6, 2013 by danboxing
No action to report in the division from last week, but #15 Dyah Davis last fought on June 2, 2012, has nothing scheduled, and is therefore removed for inactivity.  Alexander Brand, Stanislav Kashtanov, and Brian Magee are all practically tied for the vacant #20 spot, but I give it to Magee simply because he has two wins of some consequence as opposed to just one for everyone else.  He also has 2 relevant losses, but both of them came against #3 contenders, and thus hardly hurt him for top 20 consideration.  If you needed any more evidence that this division is regressing overall, consider that Dyah Davis was ebbing and flowing in and out of the rankings at one point, and now is being removed from the #15 spot after doing nothing but losing and being inactive since. 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (77-211-211)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
It sounds like both sides are interested in a Froch rematch.  There was no controversy the first time, but the Brit has definitely earned it since.
1) Carl Froch (54-364-364)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- UD12 #3 Mikkel Kessler
Next Fight: Unknown
See Ward’s notes, above.
2) Robert Stieglitz (11-197-197)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- TKO3 #2 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: Unknown
Stieglitz has signed a TV deal with SAT1, which due to a conflict with Abraham’s ARD contract makes a once-likely trilogy bout appear unlikely for the near future.
3) Mikkel Kessler (25-443-443)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
Froch is interested in a trilogy on neutral ground, perhaps even more so than a Ward rematch.  But it’s not even clear that Kessler will fight again, after saying pre-fight he might retire.
4) Arthur Abraham (3-189-189)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- L (TKO3) vs. #5 Robert Stieglitz
Next Fight: 8/24/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Abraham will likely be back on August 24, against an opponent to be determined.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (3-105-153)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. Brandon Gonzales (UNR)
Oosthuizen will be fighting highly overrated and nominally “undefeated ” prospect Brandon Gonzales on the Golovkin-Macklin undercard.
6) Adonis Stevenson (3-78-78)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- TKO6 Darnell Boone (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: 6/8/2013- vs. LHW #1 Chad Dawson (at LHW)
After tending to unfinished business with the lowly Boone, Stevenson will now set sites on #1 light heavyweight Chad Dawson, who most outlets still consider the Champ.
7) George Groves (3-25-47)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- TKO5 Noe Gonzalez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Groves is pressuring Froch to fight him.
8) Sakio Bika (3-16-322)
Last Fight: 2/16/2013- UD12 Nikola Sjekloca (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/22/2013- vs. Marco Antonio Periban (UNR)
Bika will fight undefeated Mexican Marco Antonio Periban in California on June 22 for the WBC belt that that organization just heisted from Andre Ward.
9) Will Rosinsky (3-5-51)
Last Fight: 12/19/2012- UD10 Otis Griffin (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Rosinsky has been added to the Golovkin-Macklin undercard, but no opponent yet.
10) Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (3-3-82)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W (PTS6) vs. Jevgenijs Andrejevs (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/8/2013- vs. Christopher Rebrasse (UNR)
Ndiaye battles French gatekeeper Christopher Rebrasse on June 8 in Italy.
11) James DeGale (3-86)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- KO2 Sebastian Demers (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/8/2013- vs. Stjepan Bozic (UNR)
DeGale is taking a page from the book of rival George Groves in terms of activity, taking on at least an arguably top 50 opponent just 3 weeks after handling Demers in Canada.
12) Maxim Vlasov (3-30)
Last Fight: 12/30/2012- RTD7 Geard Ajetovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
13) Edwin Rodriguez (3-20)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- W* (UD10) vs. #15 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: 7/13/2013- vs. #14 LHW Denis Grachev (at LHW)
After getting the benefit of yet another questionable but not totally out-of-bounds decision against Maderna, Rodriguez remains in the mix, but kinda on the periphery of the division’s contenders.  He gets a chance at a million bucks against Grachev, who also arguably deserved to lose his first round fight.
14) Ezequiel Maderna (3-23)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- L* (UD10) vs. #17 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Maderna, despite arguably deserving a win against Rodriguez, did himself few favors in dropping the decision, especially considering how ugly the fight was.  I don’t imagine he’ll be getting too many international suitors anytime soon since he seems difficult to look good against.
15) Don George (1-11)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. David Lopez (should be win)
Next Fight: 6/21/2013- vs. Caleb Truax (UNR)
Another reasonably decent challenge for George, as he travvels to Caleb Truax’s hometown of Minneapolis for their fight.
16) Andy Lee (1-3)
Last Fight: 5/15/2013- TKO1 Darryl Cunningham (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Yes, I know.  Andy Lee is not a Super Middleweight.  The only problem is he almost exclusively fights as one, if only barely.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (1-14)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- UD10 Cedric Bellais (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/22/2013- vs. Giovanni De Carolis (UNR)
Mohoumadi gets a halfway decent outing on June 22 against borderline top 50 Italian Giovanni De Carolis, for the European Union title.
18) Glen Johnson (1-5)
Last Fight: 4/19/2013- TKO2 Junior Ramos (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Johnson should be retired, but instead finds himself clinging to a ranking in a very shallow division.
19) Don Mouton (1-3)
Last Fight: 5/3/2013- L* (UD8) vs. #10 Anthony Dirrell (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mouton deserved to beat Dirrell, whom he also spotted nearly a full weight class.  Mouton was also a short-notice opponent.
20) Brian Magee (1-1)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- vs. L (TKO3) vs. #3 Mikkel Kessler
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: One-loss Philly prospect Farah Ennis gets us started on the Friday Night Fights undercard in Shelton, Washington against journeyman Anthony Hanshaw.

 

Saturday features a couple pretty solid fights, as well.  The first is in Brindisi, Italy, where #10 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye of Italy by way of Senegal takes on French gatekeeper Christopher Rebrasse for the EBU European belt.

 

The same night in Bluewater, Kent, #11 James DeGale takes on Slovenian-born Croatian borderline journeyman/gatekeeper Stjepan Bozic. 

 

#6 Adonis Stevenson is in action against Chad Dawson, but that is at light heavyweight and will be detailed there.