Archive for Jermain Taylor

Super Middleweight: 2013, Dec 16-22

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on March 6, 2014 by danboxing
Precocious undefeated prospect Jake Carr- already a player at 6-0, stopped fairly credible veteran journeyman Zac Awad in the 6th when Awad’s corner tossed the towel.  Carr was up on all cards in shutout fashion when the end came, and Awad had also been penalized a point for a low blow in the 5th.  

 

Saturday featured a completely incomprehensible result at a catch weight between 160 and 168.  #1 Middleweight Martin Murray was looking to stay busy at a contract weight of I guess 163.25 or 164, and was totally flat against veteran journeyman Sergey Khomitsky of Belarus.  This was one of those appalling situations in which the sole judge was the ref.  Judging requires too much concentration to entrust the sole responsibility to one guy whose primary job ought to be to enforce the rules and ensure fighter safety.  Of course the fight probably was not expected to go the distance, let alone be close, but that’s still no excuse.  Judge Robert Williams had it 77-75 for Murray.  That’s not an unreasonable score, but I do believe it was slanted toward Murray, whether by local bias or an inability to adequately concentrate due to his double duty.  I don’t fault him, but it was still a bad result.  I had it 77-75 for Khomitsky, and thought any score between that score the other way and a round wider in favor of Khomitsky would have been reasonable.

 

So what do you do when a mid-level journeyman arguably deserves a win over the #1 middleweight contender, halfway to 168?  That’s a tough one.  My first thought is this: it can’t get either guy ranked.  Why?  Well, since Khomitsky didn’t get the win and I can’t say that he was definitely robbed of it, ranking him would require that I rank the official winner Murray, as well.  What has Murray done to earn a ranking at 168?  Nothing.  He arguably beat a mid-level journeyman who has never really competed at the full 168 limit.  So it certainly gives Khomitsky something to build upon at this weight if he follows up with anything meaningful in the future, but it logically can’t get him ranked here now.

 

On the off-tv undercard of Maidana-Broner, Jermain Taylor got a 7th-round TKO over washed-up former 154 contender JC Candelo, who proved completely incapable of testing anyone in a virtual walkover in his last fight a little over a year ago against Fernando Guerrero.  This fight was at a 163 catchweight give or take, and had no importance at any weight, really.

 

Nothing that happened this week had any bearing on the rankings, which stay the same this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (105-239-239)
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.  In the meantime, he has maybe another fight to deal with that could do more damage to his career than any he has yet met in the ring- a lawsuit against his promoter.  He hopes to be back in March or April, though.
1) Carl Froch (82-392-392)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO9 #8 George Groves
Next Fight: Unknown
After a grueling fight that showed Froch returning to his pre-Super 6 ways by pulling one out of the fire late, Froch has a very credible and vehement rematch challenge in his lap, courtesy of George Groves.  Rumor has it that he intends to refuse, and has also resisted suggestions that he move up to 175 to fight Stevenson.  His current focus seems to be on trying to make a Ward rematch.
2) Robert Stieglitz (39-225-225)
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 (53-471-471)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
After meeting with Kessler, his promoter says he won’t be fighting anytime soon, and Kessler hinted at possible retirement immediately after the Froch fight.  It’s not looking good for Kessler fans, though the Viking Warrior recently said, rather vaguely, that he still wants a big fight.
4) Arthur Abraham (31-217-217)
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 (25-25-25)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzales was placed in the position of fighting Vlasov in an alphabet eliminator, but it’s unclear at present if that fight is still on the table or not.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (12-133-181)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: 1/18/2014- vs. LHW #18 Eleider Alvarez (at LHW)
Oosthuizen-Alvarez looks like it’s staying on the Bute-Pascal card despite a few roadblocks.
7) Ezequiel Maderna (6-6-51)
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 (6-53-75)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- L (TKO9) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
While I think the result of a TKO loss was an inevitable one, I also don’t fault Groves for the ultimatum he recently issued to Froch: rematch or retire.  Obviously he can’t make Froch do that, but I think he earned the rematch, and I think there’s a lot of money in it for both guys.  He’s having to resort to personal attacks to try and get a reluctant Froch to agree, however.
9) James DeGale (5-28-114)
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.  Billy Joe Saunders appears to be credibly calling him out from below, though, as well, and that fight seems to have more promotional momentum at present.
10) Christopher Rebrasse (5-5-28)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- UD6 George Kandelaki (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rebrasse was apparently involved in a December 6 fight that was so under the radar that I missed it until two weeks after it happened.
11) Sakio Bika (5-350)
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.
12) Maxim Vlasov (6-58)
Last Fight: 12/5/2013- KO4 Maxell Taylor (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vlasov appears set for an IBF eliminator, and Brandon Gonzales and Ndiaye appear to be the possibilities to oppose him.
13) Edwin Rodriguez (6-48)
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.
 14) Andy Lee (12-31)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013-TKO2 Ferenc Hafner (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lee seems to be focused on a Macklin clash for the Spring.
15) Ryota Murata (12-17)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO8 Dave Peterson (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/22/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Murata is slated for a February 22 card in Macau.
16) Caleb Truax (12-26)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO4 Ceresso Fort (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 1/3/2014- vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Ossie Duran has replaced Derek Ennis as Truax’s January 3 opponent- a modest upgrade, actually.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (12-42)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
 18) Badou Jack (2-22)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 Rogelio Medina (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jack called out the winner of Bika vs. Dirrell after his win over Medina, but might want to restate, since the fight ended in a draw the following night.
19) Don Mouton (2-12)
Last Fight: 5/13/2013- L* (UD8) vs. #10 Anthony Dirrell
Next Fight: 2/1/2013- vs. Gilberto Ramirez (UNR)
Mouton-Ramirez has been rescheduled for February 1.
20) Anthony Dirrell (2-2)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. #11 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: Unknown
His hard-fought draw with Sakio Bika gained Dirrell a measure of redemption for what pretty clearly should have been a loss against Don Mouton, and has him back in the hot prospect category.  He’s called for a rematch (good idea) and a fight with Golovkin (bad idea).

 

The Week Ahead:
Saturday
Francis Cheka vs. Fedor Chudinov; Moscow, Russia; Sport 2 (Hungary)
Cheka is an inconsistent Tanzanian gatekeeper.  He’s handled all of the low-mid level competition he’s met since his 2008 loss to a young Matthew Macklin, with one random exception.  He was stopped in 7 by mediocre prospect Uensal Arik early this year.  As for Chudinov, he’s a 26 year-old undefeated prospect at 8-0, and he is proven at a level just below Cheka, having recently shut out very serviceable journeyman Jimmy Colas in November.  He’s also the younger brother of undefeated middleweight fringe contender Dmitry Chudinov.  This fight is on the Roy Jones undercard in Moscow.

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.

Super Middleweight: 2013, Dec 9-15

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , , on February 6, 2014 by danboxing
Friday
#15 Ryota Murata was in action for just the second time as a pro on Friday in Tokyo, and didn’t disappoint, stopping Dave Peterson in the final stanza of the 8-rounder.  This is the first time I’ve actually gotten to see him, and since I imagine very few in the western world can say the same, I thought it might be worth giving a scouting report.  I rarely do this, in part because most guys have well-known skill sets by the time they break the top 20, and in part because I’m really not an expert at evaluating technique, style, or potential.  But I’ll take a stab at it anyway.  From what I saw of him, I would say the following about Murata: 

 

Pro: He is very aggressive.  I’ve been told by someone who ought to know that the Japanese fight culture is at least the equal of Mexico in the value it places on coming forward and attacking the opponent.  If this is not true, you wouldn’t know it from seeing Murata.  Even in his worst moments, taking a backward step wasn’t even remotely on his mind.  He is heavy-handed.  His opponent, Minnesota fringe prospect Dave Peterson, was not looking to go away, but you could tell that Murata’s shots were making a dent.  He is a finisher.  When he hurt Peterson in the 8th round, he stepped up the pressure even more, and used well-selected and frequent punches to put him away.  He cuts off the ring relatively well.  Peterson was actually a respectable boxer in terms of style.  He used lateral movement and punched strategically, but Murata was still able to get to him almost at will.  He is very accurate.  Peterson, while no Pernell Whitaker by any stretch of the imagination, was defensively responsible, with a lot of movement of both head and feet, and yet I would bet money that Murata was landing well over 50% of his shots, both jab and power.

 

Con: No defense.  Murata is like a statue from the waist up.  He didn’t move his head once in the fight, I don’t think, even to roll with a punch.  His hand defense, to use the kindest possible description, is passive.  The only reason that a punch wouldn’t land on him would be if it was thrown with wild inaccuracy, or if it was aimed at a place that Murata’s gloves or arms were already stationed.  He does not pick off shots at all.  Speaking of his arms and gloves, his hands are also fairly slow.  Granted, what he gives up in speed, he more than gains in accuracy, but just don’t expect him to be putting them together like Roy Jones.  His one-two is just fine if he doesn’t have something coming back to trump it, but against better competition I fear he might not be hard to time with a big counter.

 

For what it’s worth, Peterson was under 159, while Murata missed 160 by just a half-pound.

 

In other action in Windhoek, Namibia, local gatekeeper Wilbeforce Shihepo knocked out mid-level Kenyan journeyman Daniel Wanyonyi to capture an alphabet-sponsored African title, and in doing so solidified his tenuous position as a top-50 fighter.

 

On the Chicago undercard of Wlodarczyk-Fragomeni, undefeated Puerto Rican Jonathan Gonzalez carved up low-level Colombian journeyman Jaison Palomeque in 5 rounds to win by TKO, and frankly appears much more at home in this division than at 154, where he gained a reputation for badly missing weight before comfortably making it in his last fight, only to win a debatable decision over Derek Ennis.

 

Later that night on the ShoBox card from Shelton, Washington, #19 Badou Jack frankly continued his disturbing trend of apparently fighting down to his competition.  I had him behind by a point after 5 rounds with high-level Mexican journeyman Rogelio Medina, but to Jack’s credit, he was able to call on what looked to be an extra gear at that point, and since it appeared to be taking all of Medina’s effort to hang in there, Jack was able to dispatch his flagging opponent with three knockdowns in a brutal 6th before referee Bobby Howard- far too late- called an end to proceedings.  

 

Thursday
#12 Maxim Vlasov won the first three rounds against lower-mid-level journeyman Maxell Taylor, and knocked him out in the fourth.  The fight was not quite at 168.  Taylor weighed in at a hefty 176, while Vlasov at least stayed in the ballpark at 170.  This is worth bringing up mainly because Vlasov last made 168 on November 5, 2012.  He’s been within 2 pounds of it 3 times, but by my rules that still only buys him until May 5, 2014 to fight at 168 in order to maintain his ranking.

 

Saturday
#11 Sakio Bika retained his alphabet title with a fairly clear-cut draw against Anthony Dirrell on the Maidana-Broner undercard in Brooklyn.  Bika won rounds 4, 6, 7, 8, and 12 clearly.  Dirrell could say the same for 1, 3, 5, and 9.  He added a knockdown in 5.  Bika also would have won round 11 if it weren’t for a point deduction for a low blow.  I might have made it just a hard warning, to be honest, if I were the ref.  Rounds 2 and 10 were swing rounds, and I gave one to each guy.  113-113 Draw, with 114-112 either way being reasonable.  Judge Glenn Feldman was great at 113-113.  Don Trella was reasonable at 114-112 Bika.  Joseph Pasquale was out of his freaking mind at 116-110 Dirrell.  I mean this guy gave Dirrell all the toss-ups, one kind of close round that Bika clearly won, and one round that was 100% clear cut for Bika.  Even with a good result, there’s bad judging on the menu.

 

Conclusion
The Bika-Dirrell result is the only thing that might affect the rankings this week.  It’s an odd bit of data, I must say.  Dirrell was in the neighborhood of the low 30s in terms of unofficial rank, having needed a blatant robbery to notch a W against Don Mouton.  Mouton thereby gained, in effect, a win over a top 10 contender with the performance.  Both due to the head-to-head and the fact that Mouton got a win over #10 and Dirrell a draw against #11, Dirrell cannot reasonably surpass Mouton in the rankings, and is therefore frozen out, narrowly, from the top 20.  Very often in the case of a draw, the two fighters end up back-to-back in the rankings, or nearly so.  Not here.  Bika, despite the draw, must be compared to those that seek to surpass him.  Even against #12 Maxim Vlasov, Bika comes out looking like the better candidate for #11.  Vlasov’s best win was a dominant decision over Khoren Gevor, which itself was not all that significantly better than Bika’s stoppage win the same year over the roughly comparable Dyah Davis.  Bika then adds more recent wins over top 50 prospects Sjekloca and Periban, while Vlasov can only answer with an aging 2010 stoppage of Jerson Ravelo.  Vlasov’s loss to Chilemba supports the idea that his potential is that of a borderline top 10 fighter at best.  While Bika’s draw with Dirrell might say something similar (Dirrell once having occupied that lofty station himself), the greater and more recent volume of ratable wins demands that Bika stay right where he is.  On the merits of the fight alone, there would have very surprisingly been no movement in the top 20, but last week’s #18 Glen Johnson was kind enough to clear a space for Dirrell by signing a fight at Cruiserweight for December 18, which is a year and 3 days after his last fight at 168, and thus makes him officially inactive at this weight a couple weeks early.  Dirrell is among the beneficiaries, returning to the rankings at #20.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (104-238-238)
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.  In the meantime, he has maybe another fight to deal with that could do more damage to his career than any he has yet met in the ring- a lawsuit against his promoter.
1) Carl Froch (81-391-391)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO9 #8 George Groves
Next Fight: Unknown
After a grueling fight that showed Froch returning to his pre-Super 6 ways by pulling one out of the fire late, Froch has a very credible and vehement rematch challenge in his lap, courtesy of George Groves.  Rumor has it that he intends to refuse, and has also resisted suggestions that he move up to 175 to fight Stevenson.  His current focus seems to be on trying to make a Ward rematch.
2) Robert Stieglitz (38-224-224)
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 (52-470-470)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
After meeting with Kessler, his promoter says he won’t be fighting anytime soon, and Kessler hinted at possible retirement immediately after the Froch fight.  It’s not looking good for Kessler fans, though the Viking Warrior recently said, rather vaguely, that he still wants a big fight.
4) Arthur Abraham (30-216-216)
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 (24-24-24)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzales says he is planning to fight again in early 2014, but nothing too specific right now.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (11-132-180)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: 1/18/2014- vs. LHW #18 Eleider Alvarez (at LHW)
Oosthuizen’s scheduled January fight has been denied title sanctioning by an alphabet organization.  It’s not clear whether that will pose a problem for the fight coming off.
7) Ezequiel Maderna (5-5-50)
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 (5-52-74)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- L (TKO9) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
While I think the result of a TKO loss was an inevitable one, I also don’t fault Groves for the ultimatum he recently issued to Froch: rematch or retire.  Obviously he can’t make Froch do that, but I think he earned the rematch, and I think there’s a lot of money in it for both guys.  He’s having to resort to personal attacks to try and get a reluctant Froch to agree, however.
9) James DeGale (4-27-113)
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 (4-4-27)
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 (4-349)
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.
12) Maxim Vlasov (5-57)
Last Fight: 12/5/2013- KO4 Maxell Taylor (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vlasov has until May to make 168 to remain in the rankings.
13) Edwin Rodriguez (5-47)
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.
 14) Andy Lee (11-30)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013-TKO2 Ferenc Hafner (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lee seems to be focused on a Macklin clash for the Spring.
15) Ryota Murata (11-16)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO8 Dave Peterson (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/22/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Murata is slated for a February 22 card in Macau.
16) Caleb Truax (11-25)
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 (11-41)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
 18) Badou Jack (1-21)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 Rogelio Medina (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jack called out the winner of Bika vs. Dirrell after his win over Medina, but might want to restate, since the fight ended in a draw the following night.
19) Don Mouton (1-11)
Last Fight: 5/13/2013- L* (UD8) vs. #10 Anthony Dirrell
Next Fight: Unknown
Mouton was set to fight Gilberto Ramirez on December 7, but that whole show has evidently been postponed or cancelled.
20) Anthony Dirrell (1-1)
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.

 

The Week Ahead:
Friday
Jake Carr vs. Zac Awad; Flemington, Australia; Off TV
Precocious undefeated prospect Carr has only 5 fights under his belt, but he proved himself to be quite advanced by beating veteran gatekeeper Serge Yannick in his last fight.  Awad is something of a veteran, himself, but at 32 his best days might already be behind him.  Since edging out prospect Junior Talipeau in 2011, he has struggled against mediocre opposition.  Nevertheless, I wouldn’t rule him out as a threat, especially if Carr’s performance against Yannick was a bit of a lucky night.  That being said, I don’t think it was.  Carr really did look impressive.

 

Saturday
Martin Murray vs. Sergey Khomitsky; London, England; Sky (UK)
This is basically a middleweight fight without as much dehydration.  I’m only mentioning it now as a formality, and probably won’t discuss it in my update for this weight next week at all, except in the highly unlikely event that it has some significance to the rankings (which would pretty much require a huge upset by Khomitsky).

 

Jermain Taylor vs. J.C. Candelo; San Antonio, Texas; Off TV
Another fight that’s basically intended as a middleweight contest, but since neither fighter is ranked at 160, I’ll probably mention it here if, as expected, one or both fighters don’t make 160.  Candelo is a fully used-up journeyman at this point, and Taylor is a shadow of his former self, teetering  between maybe getting a good enough win to try and scratch out a legitimate role as a fringe contender, and laboring in total obscurity.  A loss here would certainly put him squarely in the latter category.

Middleweight: 2012, Oct 15-21

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on December 7, 2012 by danboxing
In a bit of an upset, untested one-loss prospect Sanosuke Sasaki knocked out gatekeeper Tadashi Yuba in Tokyo to win the Japanese title (though certainly Fuchigami and Ishida would supersede him).  Sasaki has a bad loss early in his career- which incidentally wasn’t all that long ago- a 4-round decision to a 3-3 fighter.

 

On Friday, former Champion Jermain Taylor fought a short, pudgy journeyman in Raul Munoz that wasn’t even in the vicinity of the ballpark of even a diminished version of Taylor.  Munoz was brutally knocked out in the second round after being dropped twice in the first.  I was ringside, and I must say that Munoz made Jessie Nicklow look like Sergio Martinez.

 

Also on Friday, the aforementioned Makoto Fuchigami beat Filipino journeyman Marlon Alta for 6 rounds, whereupon Alta surrendered on his stool in Tokyo.    And later in the night, twice-tarnished prospect David Lemieux wasted no time in dismissing a challenge from somewhat credible Mexican prospect Alvaro Gaona in Montreal, putting Gaona down for the count toward the end of the opening round.

 

Finally, Ghanaian gatekeeper Ossie Duran shut out American journeyman Joshua Snyder in just a 6-round outing.

 

No changes to the rankings this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (131-131-131)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- UD12 #4 Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.
Next Fight: Unknown
Summary of the latest news: Sergio will have knee surgery on November 12, and hopes to return in April or May.  He is interested in a rematch with Chavez if Chavez takes Olympic-style drug tests, and is also interested in Mayweather and Canelo, but not interested in Golovkin.
1) Daniel Geale (69-174-174)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- W*(SD12) vs. #4 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown
The Klitschkos, who promote Golovkin, are trying to make a fight between him and Geale, while Geale appears to be pining for a fight with fellow Australian Sam Soliman, perhaps before Christmas.
2) Felix Sturm (7-474-474)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- L*(SD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown
Golovkin says he’d like to fight Sturm.
3) Gennady Golovkin (7-7-70)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- TKO5 #3 Grzegorz Proksa
Next Fight: Unknown
With Sergio uninterested in a fight with him, Golovkin learned recently that HBO is interested in a 4-man elimination tournament of middleweight contenders to include him, Geale, Macklin, and Pirog. 
4) Matthew Macklin (5-69-160)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- TKO1 Joachim Alcine (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Macklin’s name is among those being mentioned for a possible HBO tournament to include himself, Golovkin, Geale, and Pirog.
5) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (5-72-90)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
Chavez tested positive for marijuana for his fight with Martinez, and is likely to be suspended.  That won’t affect his rating here at all because he lost anyway, and because it’s not a performance enhancer.  The suspension is likely to last about 6 months, and Sergio recently stated that he wants Olympic testing as a precondition to a rematch.
6) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (37-103-103)
Last Fight: 5/4/2012- UD12 #15 Max Bursak
Next Fight: 10/20/2012- vs. #20 Peter Quillin
He’ll be fighting a very good matchup with Peter Quillin in October.
7) Dmitry Pirog (24-116-116)
Last Fight: 5/1/2012- UD12 #20 Nobuhiro Ishida
Next Fight: Unknown
Pirog had a short-lived entry on his calendar to fight Golovkin in August, but withdrew very quickly with a back injury.
8) Grzegorz Proksa (7-79-79)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- L(TKO5) vs. #13 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
After a taxing TKO loss to Golovkin (and a fairly busy first 3 quarters of the year), Proksa now says he’ll take a rest until at least January.
9) Martin Murray (7-46-46)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- UD10 Karim Achour (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/24/2012- vs. Jorge Navarro (UNR)
Murray will return on 11/24, and will be fighting for an “interim title”  against untested but undefeated prospect Jorge Navarro.
10) Anthony Mundine (7-37-90)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO7 Bronco McKart (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mundine recently split with his long-time manager.  Maybe he’s upset that he had to waste time fighting Bronco McKart.
11) Sam Soliman (7-35)
Last Fight: 8/24/2012- UD12 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman is now the mandatory for Geale, which is a potential big-money domestic showdown in Australia.
12) Marco Antonio Rubio (7-90)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- RTD4 Carlos Baldomir (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
13) Osumanu Adama (7-82)
Last Fight: 3/7/2012- L(UD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown
Adama came up short against Geale, but has nothing to be ashamed of.  He frequently took the #1 contender out of his game plan and looked entirely in his league at that lofty level.
14) Avtandil Khurtsidze (21-90)
Last Fight: 12/18/2011- W(MD12) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Max Bursak (21-90)
Last Fight: 7/21/2012- KO1 Sergei Melis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After Martin Murray declined the opportunity, the EBU has ordered a fight between Bursak and Julien Marie Sainte for the European title.  I’m not honestly sure what Sainte in particular ever did to deserve that, but oh well.
16) Demetrius Andrade (21-61)
Last Fight: 9/20/2012- TKO2 Alexis Hloros (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Darren Barker (21-53)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- L(KO11) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
Barker has now been inactive for right at around a year, but he has had multiple apparently legitimate injuries and at least one surgery, so I’ll give him some extra time before removing him.
18) Billi Godoy (21-52)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- UD12 Jorge Heiland (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/20/2012- vs. Sergio Sanders (UNR)
Godoy fights another domestic showdown with journeyman Sergio Sanders, whom he knocked out last February.
19) Nobuhiro Ishida (21-33)
Last Fight: 5/1/2012- L(UD12) vs. #8 Dmitry Pirog
Next Fight: Unknown
Barely challenged Pirog at all, but has enough mileage left on the Kirkland upset to remain ranked for the moment.
20) Peter Quillin (21-21)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- UD10 Winky Wright (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/20/2012- vs. #6 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam
After originally being rumored for a fight September 8, Quillin will instead attempt a star turn against the highly-ranked Hassan N’Dam in mid-October.

 

The Week Ahead: Two significant middleweight fights on tap for Saturday.
 

In the biggest one, #20 Peter Quillin- a prized Golden Boy prospect- will look to certify himself as a top contender by challenging #6 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam in what might be the best and most well-matched fight on the Garcia-Morales card.  Meanwhile, in Buenos Aires, #18 Billi Godoy of Neuquen takes on local journeyman Sergio Sanders.  The two have met before, with Godoy scoring a 5th round knockout of Sanders last February.

Middleweight: 2012, Oct 8-14

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on December 7, 2012 by danboxing
No fights to report from last week, for a second week in a row.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (130-130-130)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- UD12 #4 Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.
Next Fight: Unknown
Summary of the latest news: Sergio may or may not need surgery on his meniscus.  He is interested in a rematch with Chavez if Chavez takes Olympic-style drug tests, and is also interested in Mayweather and Canelo, but not interested in Golovkin.
1) Daniel Geale (68-173-173)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- W*(SD12) vs. #4 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown
The Klitschkos, who promote Golovkin, are trying to make a fight between him and Geale, while Geale appears to be pining for a fight with fellow Australian Sam Soliman, perhaps before Christmas.
2) Felix Sturm (6-473-473)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- L*(SD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown
Golovkin says he’d like to fight Sturm.
3) Gennady Golovkin (6-6-69)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- TKO5 #3 Grzegorz Proksa
Next Fight: Unknown
Sergio’s promoter recently said that there’s not enough money in a Golovkin fight to make it worthwhile, but Golovkin remains interested in Sturm at last check.
4) Matthew Macklin (4-68-159)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- TKO1 Joachim Alcine (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Macklin wants a rematch with Sergio after fighting on his undercard, but given the buzz and the money attached to another rematch (as well as a number of other options), I have a feeling he’s not at the front of the line.
5) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (4-71-89)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
Chavez tested positive for marijuana for his fight with Martinez, and is likely to be suspended.  That won’t affect his rating here at all because he lost anyway, and because it’s not a performance enhancer.  The suspension is likely to last about 6 months, and Sergio recently stated that he wants Olympic testing as a precondition to a rematch.
6) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (36-102-102)
Last Fight: 5/4/2012- UD12 #15 Max Bursak
Next Fight: 10/20/2012- vs. #20 Peter Quillin
He’ll be fighting a very good matchup with Peter Quillin in October.
7) Dmitry Pirog (23-115-115)
Last Fight: 5/1/2012- UD12 #20 Nobuhiro Ishida
Next Fight: Unknown
Pirog had a short-lived entry on his calendar to fight Golovkin in August, but withdrew very quickly with a back injury.
8) Grzegorz Proksa (6-78-78)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- L(TKO5) vs. #13 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
After a taxing TKO loss to Golovkin (and a fairly busy first 3 quarters of the year), Proksa now says he’ll take a rest until at least January.
9) Martin Murray (6-45-45)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- UD10 Karim Achour (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/24/2012- vs. Jorge Navarro (UNR)
Murray will return on 11/24, and will be fighting for an “interim title”  against untested but undefeated prospect Jorge Navarro.
10) Anthony Mundine (6-36-89)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO7 Bronco McKart (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mundine recently split with his long-time manager.  Maybe he’s upset that he had to waste time fighting Bronco McKart.
11) Sam Soliman (6-34)
Last Fight: 8/24/2012- UD12 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman is now the mandatory for Geale, which is a potential big-money domestic showdown in Australia.
12) Marco Antonio Rubio (6-89)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- RTD4 Carlos Baldomir (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
13) Osumanu Adama (6-81)
Last Fight: 3/7/2012- L(UD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown
Adama came up short against Geale, but has nothing to be ashamed of.  He frequently took the #1 contender out of his game plan and looked entirely in his league at that lofty level.
14) Avtandil Khurtsidze (20-89)
Last Fight: 12/18/2011- W(MD12) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Max Bursak (20-89)
Last Fight: 7/21/2012- KO1 Sergei Melis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After Martin Murray declined the opportunity, the EBU has ordered a fight between Bursak and Julien Marie Sainte for the European title.  I’m not honestly sure what Sainte in particular ever did to deserve that, but oh well.
16) Demetrius Andrade (20-60)
Last Fight: 9/20/2012- TKO2 Alexis Hloros (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Darren Barker (20-52)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- L(KO11) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
Barker has now been inactive for right at around a year, but he has had multiple apparently legitimate injuries and at least one surgery, so I’ll give him some extra time before removing him.
18) Billi Godoy (20-51)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- UD12 Jorge Heiland (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Godoy went life and death with solid journeyman Heiland.  He’s going to have to do better than that when he fights legitimate top 50 opposition, or his time in the top 20 will be very short.  Hell of a fight, though.
19) Nobuhiro Ishida (20-32)
Last Fight: 5/1/2012- L(UD12) vs. #8 Dmitry Pirog
Next Fight: Unknown
Barely challenged Pirog at all, but has enough mileage left on the Kirkland upset to remain ranked for the moment.
20) Peter Quillin (20-20)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- UD10 Winky Wright (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/20/2012- vs. #6 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam
After originally being rumored for a fight September 8, Quillin will instead attempt a star turn against the highly-ranked Hassan N’Dam in mid-October.

 

The Week Ahead: After a brief dry spell, the division swings back into action.

 

Monday: Gatekeeper Tadashi Yuba battles untested one-loss fringe prospect Sanosuke Sasaki in Tokyo for what’s being billed as the Japanese title.

 

Friday: Japanese gatekeeper Makoto Fuchigami- a recent Gennady Golovkin victim- looks to rebound with a relatively easy fight with mid-level Filipino journeyman Marlon Alta, in Tokyo.

 

In Montreal, two-loss fringe prospect David Lemieux steps back up just a tad when he fights halfway decent fellow prospect Alvaro Gaona of Mexico in Montreal.  Goana is essentially at the level of solid journeyman.  Lemieux fought a softy in his last fight, and was upset in each of his two prior outings against Rubio and Alcine.

 

Finally, in St. Charles, Missouri, former champion Jermain Taylor continues his comeback with a very soft fight against very mediocre Mexican journeyman Raul Munoz.  I’ll be ringside for that one.

 

Saturday: Ghanaian gatekeeper Ossie Duran takes on American journeyman Joshua Snyder in Newark, New Jersey.

Middleweight: 2012, Apr 23-29

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 20, 2012 by danboxing
 Tuesday in Toronto, 10-0 Canadian Adam Trupish knocked out veteran journeyman Darryl Cunningham, a human measuring stick who in recent months has served as a comeback opponent for Andre Dirrell and was supposed to do the same for Kelly Pavlik before Pavlik suffered a relapse and withdrew on a couple days’ notice.  If, for some reason, you’re looking to compare Trupish to Dirrell, he took 5 rounds to do what Dirrell was able to do in 2.

 

Now for the big middleweight ShoBox card.  I am sad to say it, but Jermain Taylor appears to have become a very ordinary fighter during his losing streak and semi-retirement.  He didn’t exactly wow anyone against Jessie Nicklow in his previous fight, but he flat-out struggled against a borderline top-50 fighter in Caleb Truax.  7 of the 10 rounds were so close that they could have gone either way, with Taylor achieving real separation from his opponent in only one round, the 8th.  Taylor was also the only one to taste the canvas in the fight, when Truax dropped and badly hurt him in the 9th.  I had the fight 96-93 Taylor, but to he honest I wouldn’t argue too hard with someone who thought Truax won a close fight.  If Taylor is going to keep fighting like this, he needs to retire before he gets hurt again, quite honestly.

 

In the co-feature of the same card, highly-ranked junior middleweight Erislandy Lara moved up just a couple pounds and demolished journeyman Ronald Hearns with 3 knockdowns and a TKO in the first round.

 

Fernandeo Guerrero was scheduled to fight on the non-televised undercard, but that fight didn’t come off.

 

Fringe contender Bryan Vera made 160 for the first time since September 2010 against very weak journeyman Taronze Washington in Fort Worth on Saturday.  That would get him back in the rankings discussion, except that he’s never weighed under 160 for any of his significant wins.

 

Speaking of weight, Taylor and Truax also fought fractions of a pound over the divisional limit, and thus Taylor still has not technically fought at middleweight in years.  If Taylor does ever score a significant win at or under 160 again, he will probably be rewarded for this win to the extent appropriate at that time, but it is certainly not acceptable under the rules of these rankings to rank a fighter that is a non-active middleweight, and I don’t think it makes much sense to rank him at 168 for this fight either.

 

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 (106-106-106)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- RTD11 #3 Matthew Macklin
Next Fight: 9/15/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Sergio has signed a contract to fight the Chavez-Lee winner, with 9/15 being the tentative date.
1) Daniel Geale (44-149-149)
Last Fight: 3/7/2012- UD12 #11 Osumanu Adama
Next Fight: 8/25/2012- vs. #8 Dmitry Pirog
Geale will fight Pirog in Washington, D.C. in late August.
2) Grzegorz Proksa (30-54-54)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- L*(MD12) vs. Kerry Hope (UNR) (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Proksa and Hope are exploring the possibility of what should be an unnecessary rematch on July 7.
3) Felix Sturm (2-449-449)
Last Fight: 4/13/2012- RTD9 Sebastian Zbik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With new life in his career, Sturm says now that he’d be open to fighting Pirog next, and that he’s looking to fight again in August.
4) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (2-47-65)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #10 Marco Antonio Rubio
Next Fight: 6/16/2012- vs. SMW #11 Andy Lee
Chavez signed 2 deals in one week.  He will fight Andy Lee on June 16 and, if he wins, will progress to challenge for the title, likely on September 15.
5) Matthew Macklin (2-44-135)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- L(RTD11) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
Macklin deserves a break after a taxing effort against Martinez.
6) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (12-78-78)
Last Fight: 4/2/2011- UD12 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/4/2012- vs. #15 Max Bursak
Originally rumored for April 20 in Equatorial Guinea, N’Dam will now fight Bursak in France two weeks later, instead.
7) Martin Murray (12-21-21)
Last Fight: 12/2/2011- Draw(SD12) vs. #3 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: 6/16/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Murray is scheduled for a June 16 return in Manchester.  He was originally scheduled to fight on that very date against Chavez before visa issues scuttled that one.
8) Dmitry Pirog (21-91-91)
Last Fight: 9/25/2011- RTD10 Gennady Martirosyan (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/1/2012- vs. #20 Nobuhiro Ishida
Pirog will settle for Ishida on May 1 after several other potential opponents fell through, and he’s already scheduled to fight Geale in August, as well.
9) Anthony Mundine (8-12-65)
Last Fight: 10/19/2011- UD12 Rigoberto Alvarez (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mundine wants Chavez foremost, but would settle for Trout or Geale.
10) Sam Soliman (8-8-10)
Last Fight: 2/19/2012- UD12 #15 Garth Wood
Next Fight: Unknown
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (7-65)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #7 Julio Cesar Chavez
Next Fight: Unknown
Rubio is reportedly looking at a July fight with Ricardo Mayorga.
12) Osumanu Adama (7-57)
Last Fight: 3/7/2012- L(UD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown
Adama came up short against Geale, but has nothing to be ashamed of.  He frequently took the #1 contender out of his game plan and looked entirely in his league at that lofty level.
13) Paul Williams (8-10)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12 #17 Nobuhiro Ishida (as JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Williams is likely to fight on Showtime on June 30, with Joachim Alcine reportedly interested.
14) Avtandil Khurtsidze (8-65)
Last Fight: 12/18/2011- W(MD12) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has ordered Khurtsidze to defend his new goofy color-coded belt against gatekeeper Domenico Spada.
15) Max Bursak (8-65)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- TKO3 Laatekwei Hammond (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/4/2012- vs. #6 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam
Bursak will be fighting N’Dam in France on May 4.
16) Gennady Golovkin (8-45)
Last Fight: 12/9/2011- KO1 Lajuan Simon (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golovkin can’t get anyone to fight him, but Sturm has been ordered to defend his belt against him by September.  There are rumors that the fight might take place in August.
17) Demetrius Andrade (8-36)
Last Fight: 2/10/2012- KO2 Angel Hernandez (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Darren Barker (8-28)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- L(KO11) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
Barker bowed out of opportunities to fight Murray and Pirog, and now we have a possible reason as he has apparently been injured for a while, needs surgery, and is done until the fall.
19) Billi Godoy (8-27)
Last Fight: 4/13/2012- UD10 Carlos Baldomir (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Godoy needs a lot of improvement if he’s going to fight his relative peers in the rankings.  He had more than a little trouble with crude and old Carlos Baldomir.
20) Nobuhiro Ishida (8-8)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(UD12) vs. JMW #? Paul Williams
Next Fight: 5/1/2012- vs. #8 Dmitry Pirog
Ishida will look to play spoiler again on May 1 in Moscow.

 

The Week Ahead: Nothing of note going on in the division this week.

Middleweight: 2012, Apr 16-22

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 19, 2012 by danboxing
 Sturm Warning!  Felix Sturm may not have slipped as far as I thought, judging from his performance on Friday in Cologne.  After losing the first 3 rounds on my card (including a big round for his opponent in the 2nd), Sturm came back and dominated the rest of the fight.  He threw with volume and a great deal of accuracy with both hands.  His jab was sharp and set up his right hand to perfection.  His opponent, fringe contender Sebasian Zbik, started out with both of those attributes plus an excellent body attack, but quickly settled in to trying to peck away at Sturm’s effective high guard.  His left hook- which he used way too much- appeared to be targeted specifically for Sturm’s right glove.  Indeed, very few of his punches appeared to have much intention of getting through after about 3 rounds.  Sturm was at his vintage best, and has now regained at least some of the luster he lost in his gift victories over Macklin and Murray.

 

The following night, #19 Billi Godoy won a close and sloppy fight in his home province of Neuquen against crude journeyman and former welterweight champion Carlos Baldomir.  Godoy didn’t really impress, essentially getting dragged into a bar room brawl far too often and looking vulnerable in the process.  But he was in noticeably better shape than the thick-bodied, 40-year-old Baldomir, and managed to come on strong late in rounds often enough to win 96-94 on my card.  The judges were a bit more kind, giving Godoy the win by margins of 4, 5, and 8 points.  All but the latter were reasonable.

 

Here’s a run-down of the also-rans from a busy week: On Monday, Japanese fringe contender Makoto Fuchigami stopped Korean journeyman Kyung-Suk Kwak in Tokyo.

 

Saturday: Fringe prospect Craig McEwan won an easy 8-round decision in Edinburg, Scotland over the very weak Paul Morby.  Prospect Joey Hernandez came in heavy and stopped Shakir Ashanti in just under a round in Miami.  In two fights in Mexico, gatekeeper Saul Roman won an average decision over journeyman Richard Gutierrez in Mexico City, while undefeated Gilberto Ramirez easily outpointed another journeyman named Jaime Barboza in Arandas.

 

Now, to Sturm’s ranking.  It’s not that a win over Zbik in itself is that spectacular.  But Sturm had slumped to #5 based largely on his severely disappointing draw against unproven Murray.  Now that Sturm has conclusively beaten an opponent more accomplished than Murray was at the time, it allows us to believe that Sturm is still viable at the top 10 level, and it lets us begin to consider his overall record, which was kind of cut off from consideration by the poor performances in his last 2 fights.  That being the case, he definitely passes Chavez.  When compared to Macklin, you have to consider their fight a wash.  Sturm technically won it, but most considered it a massive robbery.  I had it a draw, and thought that was about the most generous possible score for Sturm.  When the overall resumes of both men are compared, there is no comparison.  Proksa’s resume is short, but he has what Macklin lacks- a dominant win over a top 5 contender.  Lacking any losses (aside from being robbed against Kerry Hope last month), I still give the Polish contender the nod, since the Murray draw still leads me to believe that Sturm isn’t likely to win against a #4 contender like Proksa did.  No easy solution to the puzzle, but that’s the best I’ve got.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (105-105-105)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- RTD11 #3 Matthew Macklin
Next Fight: 9/15/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Sergio has signed a contract to fight the Chavez-Lee winner, with 9/15 being the tentative date.
1) Daniel Geale (43-148-148)
Last Fight: 3/7/2012- UD12 #11 Osumanu Adama
Next Fight: Unknown
2) Grzegorz Proksa (29-53-53)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- L*(MD12) vs. Kerry Hope (UNR) (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Proksa wants a rematch in the worst kind of way, but his cut may keep him out 5-6 months.  Kerry Hope has audaciously suggested that Proksa (who clearly beat him in reality) might need to build to the rematch.
3) Felix Sturm (1-448-448)
Last Fight: 4/13/2012- RTD9 Sebastian Zbik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With new life in his career, Sturm says now that he’d be open to fighting Pirog next, and that he’s looking to fight again in August.
4) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (1-46-64)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #10 Marco Antonio Rubio
Next Fight: 6/16/2012- vs. SMW #11 Andy Lee
Chavez signed 2 deals in one week.  He will fight Andy Lee on June 16 and, if he wins, will progress to challenge for the title, likely on September 15.
5) Matthew Macklin (1-43-134)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- L(RTD11) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
Macklin deserves a break after a taxing effort against Martinez.
6) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (11-77-77)
Last Fight: 4/2/2011- UD12 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/4/2012- vs. #15 Max Bursak
Originally rumored for April 20 in Equatorial Guinea, N’Dam will now fight Bursak in France two weeks later, instead.
7) Martin Murray (11-20-20)
Last Fight: 12/2/2011- Draw(SD12) vs. #3 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: 6/16/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Murray is scheduled for a June 16 return in Manchester.  He was originally scheduled to fight on that very date against Chavez before visa issues scuttled that one.
8) Dmitry Pirog (20-90-90)
Last Fight: 9/25/2011- RTD10 Gennady Martirosyan (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/1/2012- vs. #20 Nobuhiro Ishida
Pirog will settle for Ishida on May 1 after several other potential opponents fell through.
9) Anthony Mundine (7-11-64)
Last Fight: 10/19/2011- UD12 Rigoberto Alvarez (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mundine wants Chavez foremost, but would settle for Trout or Geale.
10) Sam Soliman (7-7-9)
Last Fight: 2/19/2012- UD12 #15 Garth Wood
Next Fight: Unknown
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (6-64)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #7 Julio Cesar Chavez
Next Fight: Unknown
Rubio is reportedly looking at a July fight with Ricardo Mayorga.
12) Osumanu Adama (6-56)
Last Fight: 3/7/2012- L(UD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown
Adama came up short against Geale, but has nothing to be ashamed of.  He frequently took the #1 contender out of his game plan and looked entirely in his league at that lofty level.
13) Paul Williams (7-9)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12 #17 Nobuhiro Ishida (as JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Williams is likely to fight on Showtime on June 30, with Joachim Alcine reportedly interested.
14) Avtandil Khurtsidze (7-64)
Last Fight: 12/18/2011- W(MD12) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has ordered Khurtsidze to defend his new goofy color-coded belt against gatekeeper Domenico Spada.
15) Max Bursak (7-64)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- TKO3 Laatekwei Hammond (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/4/2012- vs. #6 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam
Bursak will be fighting N’Dam in France on May 4.
16) Gennady Golovkin (7-44)
Last Fight: 12/9/2011- KO1 Lajuan Simon (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golovkin can’t get anyone to fight him, but Sturm has been ordered to defend his belt against him by September.  There are rumors that the fight might take place in August.
17) Demetrius Andrade (7-35)
Last Fight: 2/10/2012- KO2 Angel Hernandez (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Darren Barker (7-27)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- L(KO11) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
Barker bowed out of opportunities to fight Murray and Pirog, and now we have a possible reason as he has apparently been injured for a while, needs surgery, and is done until the fall.
19) Billi Godoy (7-26)
Last Fight: 4/13/2012- UD10 Carlos Baldomir (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Godoy needs a lot of improvement if he’s going to fight his relative peers in the rankings.  He had more than a little trouble with crude and old Carlos Baldomir.
20) Nobuhiro Ishida (7-7)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(UD12) vs. JMW #? Paul Williams
Next Fight: 5/1/2012- vs. #8 Dmitry Pirog
Ishida will look to play spoiler again on May 1 in Moscow.

 

The Week Ahead: We’ve got another busy week on our hands.

 

Tuesday: In Toronto, undefeated Canadian junior middleweight prospect Adam Trupish battles journeyman Darryl Cunningham.

 

Friday: Three fights in Biloxi, Mississippi:  Former Champion Jermain Taylor fights undefeated prospect Caleb Truax in the ShoBox main event.  Erislandy Lara, a top contender at 154, takes a bit of a water break and fights at middleweight against journeyman Ronald Hearns, also televised by Showtime.  On the non-televised undercard, prospect Fernando Guerrero will fight journeyman Chris Fitzpatrick.

 

Saturday: Fringe contender Bryan Vera returns to the ring in his native Fort Worth, Texas, when he takes on sub-par journeyman Taronze Washington.  If he makes 160, it will be the first time since September 2010, and might get him back in the rankings despite the weak opponent.

Middleweight: 2012, Jan 2-8

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 9, 2012 by danboxing
Former middleweight Jermain Taylor was more than adequate in his return to defeat journeyman Jessie Nickow- who looked approximately half Taylor’s size in the ring- on Friday, winning by TKO in the 8th.  I will say that he looked a bit rusty, as you’d expect after a 2-year layoff and a drop in weight.  He was very jab-heavy, and although I’m not sure Nicklow won any rounds, he was definitely in the fight.  The stoppage was also premature.  Taylor definitely had Nicklow hurt, but referee Ray Corona stopped it almost immediately after that happened.  He never gave Nicklow time to hold or fight back.  Nicklow still had his hands up and appeared fairly capable of defending himself.
 

 

 
Taylor came in a pound over the divisional limit, and so he can’t be considered an active middleweight just yet.  I’m not sure he would have gotten a ranking even if he had, since his lone remaining win in this division within the last 5 years was a split decision over Cory Spinks 4 1/2 years ago.  As it is, he’s not even eligible for consideration yet.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (90-90-90)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- KO11 #20 Darren Barker
Next Fight: 3/17/2012- vs. #3 Matthew Macklin
After weeks of speculation, it’s now official: Martinez vs. Macklin, St. Patrick’s Day, MSG.
1) Daniel Geale (28-133-133)
Last Fight: 8/31/2011- UD12 Eromosele Albert (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/29/2012- vs. #12 Osumanu Adama
Geale will fight Osumanu Adama on leap day in Tasmania.
2) Grzegorz Proksa (14-38-38)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- RTD3 #4 Sebastian Sylvester
Next Fight: Unknown
Proksa was set to fight Sebastian Zbik, but Felix Sturm’s promotional firm won the bid to promote the fight, and Zbik hates Sturm and pulled out of the fight as a result.
3) Matthew Macklin (5-28-119)
Last Fight: 6/25/2011- L*(SD12) vs. #1 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: 3/17/2012- vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
See Martinez’s notes, above.
4) Felix Sturm (5-433-433)
Last Fight: 12/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. Martin Murray (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sturm is looking to potentially fight on April 13 against Pirog or Geale.
5) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (26-62-62)
Last Fight: 4/2/2011- UD12 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
A fight rumored to be in the works with Gennady Golovkin has reportedly been scuttled by N’Dam’s unwillingness to fight the Kazakh.
6) Martin Murray (5-5-5)
Last Fight: 12/2/2011- Draw(SD12) vs. #3 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown
Murray rejected a fight with Andy Lee, thinking the offer was too low.
7) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (5-31-49)
Last Fight: 11/19/2011- TKO5 Peter Manfredo, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/4/2012- vs. #10 Marco Antonio Rubio
Chavez gets the toughest test of his career on February 4 when he fights fellow Mexican contender Marco Antonio Rubio in San Antonio.
8) Dmitry Pirog (5-75-75)
Last Fight: 9/25/2011- RTD10 Gennady Martirosyan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pirog has a mandatory obligation with Bursak, but apparently is interested in fighting Sturm on April 13 first.
9) Sebastian Sylvester (5-334-334)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- L(RTD3) vs. #9 Grzegorz Proksa
Next Fight: Unknown
Sylvester may be getting long in the tooth after being destroyed by Proksa.
10) Marco Antonio Rubio (5-39-49)
Last Fight: 12/16/2011- TKO5 Matt Vanda (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/4/2012- vs. #7 Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.
Mexico’s two best middleweights meet in San Antonio in early February as veteran Rubio takes on young gun Chavez.
11) Anthony Mundine (5-49)
Last Fight: 10/19/2011- UD12 Rigoberto Alvarez (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mundine believes he’s been blacklisted in the US for comments he made in 2001 blaming the US for 9/11 and supporting Al Quaeda.  Well boo-hoo, asshole.  Austin Trout is also trying to make a fight with Mundine.
12) Osumanu Adama (5-41)
Last Fight: 10/6/2011- TKO9 Roman Karmazin (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/29/2012- vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Adama gets a shot at real prominence when he fights the most accomplished Middleweight not named Sergio Martinez on leap day in Tasmania.
13) Avtandil Khurtsidze (3-49)
Last Fight: 12/18/2011- W(MD12) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
So far Khurtsidze has beaten all comers among gatekeepers and lost to the lone contender he’s fought.  Maybe a fringe contender should be on the menu next.
14) Max Bursak (3-49)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- TKO3 Laatekwei Hammond (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bursak is the mandatory contender for whatever title Pirog holds, but Pirog appears to be interested in fighting someone else first.
15) Garth Wood (3-49)
Last Fight: 4/13/2011- L (UD10) vs. #20 Anthony Mundine
Next Fight: 2/19/2012- vs. Sam Soliman (UNR)
Wood will fight in Sydney on February 19 against an apparently resurgent Sam Soliman.
16) Gennady Golovkin (3-29)
Last Fight: 12/9/2011- KO1 Lajuan Simon (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Following his destruction of Simon, the WBA has made Golovkin the mandatory to Felix Sturm’s alphabet belt.
17) Nobuhiro Ishida (3-39)
Last Fight: 11/26/2011- TKO1 Edson Espinoza (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There is some talk of a rematch with Kirkland at the moment.
18) Demetrius Andrade (5-20)
Last Fight: 9/21/2011- RTD3 Saul Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Darren Barker (5-12)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- L(KO11) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Billi Godoy (5-11)
Last Fight: 11/12/2011- TKO1 Luciano Silva (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: No activity in the division this week.

Middleweight: 2011-2012, Dec 26- Jan 1

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 9, 2012 by danboxing
No fights of note with Christmas going on and all.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (89-89-89)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- KO11 #20 Darren Barker
Next Fight: 3/17/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Martinez is now scheduled to fight on March 17 at Madison Square Garden.  The likely opponent is Matthew Macklin.
1) Daniel Geale (27-132-132)
Last Fight: 8/31/2011- UD12 Eromosele Albert (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/29/2012- vs. #12 Osumanu Adama
Geale will fight Osumanu Adama on leap day in Tasmania.
2) Grzegorz Proksa (13-37-37)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- RTD3 #4 Sebastian Sylvester
Next Fight: Unknown
Proksa was set to fight Sebastian Zbik, but Felix Sturm’s promotional firm won the bid to promote the fight, and Zbik hates Sturm and pulled out of the fight as a result.
3) Matthew Macklin (4-27-118)
Last Fight: 6/25/2011- L*(SD12) vs. #1 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown
Macklin may have parlayed his controversial draw with Sturm into a shot at the title against Martinez, though nothing is official yet.
4) Felix Sturm (4-432-432)
Last Fight: 12/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. Martin Murray (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBA has ordered Sturm to fight Golovkin.
5) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (25-61-61)
Last Fight: 4/2/2011- UD12 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
A fight rumored to be in the works with Gennady Golovkin has reportedly been scuttled by N’Dam’s unwillingness to fight the Kazakh.
6) Martin Murray (4-4-4)
Last Fight: 12/2/2011- Draw(SD12) vs. #3 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown
Murray may be a candidate to fight Andy Lee what looks like it might be the Martinez-Macklin undercard at MSG on St. Patrick’s Day.  He also wants a rematch with Sturm, who has a mandatory obligation with Gennady Golovkin.
7) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (4-30-48)
Last Fight: 11/19/2011- TKO5 Peter Manfredo, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/4/2012- vs. #10 Marco Antonio Rubio
Chavez gets the toughest test of his career on February 4 when he fights fellow Mexican contender Marco Antonio Rubio in San Antonio.
8) Dmitry Pirog (4-74-74)
Last Fight: 9/25/2011- RTD10 Gennady Martirosyan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pirog has been very active in negotiating with good fighters lately, but things haven’t worked out.  He has a mandatory pending with Max Bursak, but has said he may fight a voluntary first.
9) Sebastian Sylvester (4-333-333)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- L(RTD3) vs. #9 Grzegorz Proksa
Next Fight: Unknown
Sylvester may be getting long in the tooth after being destroyed by Proksa.
10) Marco Antonio Rubio (4-38-48)
Last Fight: 12/16/2011- TKO5 Matt Vanda (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/4/2012- vs. #7 Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.
Mexico’s two best middleweights meet in San Antonio in early February as veteran Rubio takes on young gun Chavez.
11) Anthony Mundine (4-48)
Last Fight: 10/19/2011- UD12 Rigoberto Alvarez (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mundine believes he’s been blacklisted in the US for comments he made in 2001 blaming the US for 9/11 and supporting Al Quaeda.  Well boo-hoo, asshole.  Austin Trout is also trying to make a fight with Mundine.
12) Osumanu Adama (4-40)
Last Fight: 10/6/2011- TKO9 Roman Karmazin (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/29/2012- vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Adama gets a shot at real prominence when he fights the most accomplished Middleweight not named Sergio Martinez on leap day in Tasmania.
13) Avtandil Khurtsidze (2-48)
Last Fight: 12/18/2011- W(MD12) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
So far Khurtsidze has beaten all comers among gatekeepers and lost to the lone contender he’s fought.  Maybe a fringe contender should be on the menu next.
14) Max Bursak (2-48)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- TKO3 Laatekwei Hammond (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bursak is the mandatory contender for whatever title Pirog holds, but Pirog appears to be interested in fighting someone else first.
15) Garth Wood (2-48)
Last Fight: 4/13/2011- L (UD10) vs. #20 Anthony Mundine
Next Fight: 2/19/2012- vs. Sam Soliman (UNR)
Wood will fight in Sydney on February 19 against an apparently resurgent Sam Soliman.
16) Gennady Golovkin (2-28)
Last Fight: 12/9/2011- KO1 Lajuan Simon (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Following his destruction of Simon, the WBA has made Golovkin the mandatory to Felix Sturm’s alphabet belt.
17) Nobuhiro Ishida (2-38)
Last Fight: 11/26/2011- TKO1 Edson Espinoza (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There is some talk of a rematch with Kirkland at the moment.
18) Demetrius Andrade (4-19)
Last Fight: 9/21/2011- RTD3 Saul Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Darren Barker (4-11)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- L(KO11) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Billi Godoy (4-10)
Last Fight: 11/12/2011- TKO1 Luciano Silva (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: Former Champ Jermain Taylor fights Baltimore journeyman Jessie Nicklow in California on New Year’s Eve Eve (Friday).  The fight is Taylor’s first at Middleweight since he lost his Championship to Kelly Pavlik in Fall 2007, and also his first in the more than two years since he was knocked out by Arthur Abraham in the closing seconds of their Super Six tournament opener.  Taylor-Nicklow will be televised as the main event of a ShoBox card.