Archive for Martin Murray

Middleweight: 2014, Jul 14-20

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on December 10, 2014 by danboxing
In a fight I’ll discuss in detail at 154, #1 light middleweight Canelo Alvarez clearly and convincingly beat #3 Erislandy Lara, but was cast in a light of ridiculous controversy by commentators like Paulie Malignaggi, who somehow believes that running like a jackrabbit in a totally defensive manner is somehow equal to or greater than coming forward and throwing meaningful punches.

 

The fight was contested, for no apparent reason, at a catchweight of 155.  This creates a quandry for me.  The boxing rankings blog equivalent of a constitutional crisis.  In light of all of my prior decisions in similar cases, it’s very difficult to make a case for what I’m about to say as a matter of consistency.  I can’t rank Canelo as a middleweight.  Frankly, if I did, I’d have to rank him easily in the top 10.  To do anything else would be arbitrary, at best.  But everyone knows that Lara and Canelo are both light middleweights in both their past and present.  The extra pound was superfluous.  Granted, that was the case in the barely-super middleweight fight that got Ryota Murata ranked there while being ineligible at middleweight.  That makes it hard to make a rule based on this, but let me give it a shot.  In cases where a fight barely within a given division could affect the rankings in that division, it will only be allowed to do so under one of the following circumstances: a) the fighter has proven himself against a fighter who was in the top 50 of that division at the time he fought him, or b) the fighter is ineligible for a ranking in his more natural home division.  That accounts for Murata and super middleweight Andy Lee from days past, as well as this outcome. 

 

No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Miguel Cotto (6-6-6)
Last Fight: RTD10 Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
Cotto is the Champion.  The only question now is whether he will risk that Championship against the dominant #1 contender against whom he probably would have very little chance.  His thoughts seem to be more in the direction of Canelo.
1) Gennady Golovkin (31-98-161)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #5 Daniel Geale
Golovkin-Geale is official for July 26 in New York.
2) Sam Soliman (7-31-31)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- UD12 #2 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown
His trainer wants Cotto, but Martin Murray looks more likely.  Soliman himself says he wants the winner of Golovkin-Geale.  On the other hand, the winner of N’Dam-Stevens will become his mandatory.
3) Sergio Martinez (6-222-222)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- L (RTD10) vs. #8 JMW Miguel Cotto
Next Fight: Unknown
When assessing Maravilla’s viability as a contender at this point, it really comes down to one question: is his base athletic level and chin as bad as his performance against Cotto, or can it be blamed on a knee or other sort of leg injury?  If the latter, he might stand some chance to come back given enough recuperation time.  If the former, then he’s one of the most obviously finished fighters I’ve ever seen.  His manager ominously said after the fight that his only injury was a broken nose.  That’s incredible, if true, considering how bad his legs looked.  A big soccer fan, he says he’ll determine his future after the World Cup.
4) Felix Sturm (6-565-565)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- L (UD12) vs. #8 Sam Soliman
Next Fight: Unknown
Sturm passed on an eliminator with Curtis Stevens, right after David Lemieux passed on an eliminator with Sturm.  Apparently nobody wants the IBF title.
5) Daniel Geale (6-265-265)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
See Golovkin’s notes, above.
6) Martin Murray (4-137-137)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- UD12 #15 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown
Murray wants Cotto, in what would be his second shot at the lineal Championship.  I thought he won the first one pretty clearly, and I’d favor him in this one.
7) Peter Quillin (4-91-112)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- UD12 Lukas Konecny (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBO has ordered Quillin-Korobov.
8) Matthew Macklin (6-160-251)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/30/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Macklin is back on August 30 in Dublin.
9) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (6-31-31)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- UD10 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/30/2014- vs. #19 Curtis Stevens
N’Dam-Stevens is set for September 30, with the winner getting a shot at Soliman’s belt.
10) Sergio Mora (6-55-55)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- TKO5 Samuel Rogers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora wants Quillin or Golovkin.
11) Osumanu Adama (6-24)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most pleasant entry into the rankings we’ve ever seen, but his resume stacks up pretty well as long as he’s active and on weight.
12) Dmitry Chudinov (6-16)
Last Fight: 6/1/2014- UD12 Patrick Nielsen (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/9/2014- vs. Mehdi Bouadla (UNR)
Russian Chudinov will be in action in Sevastopol- a city his country is currently occupying in the Ukraine- against decent French journeyman Mehdi Bouadla on August 9.
13) Marco Antonio Rubio (6-181)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- KO10* Domenico Spada (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
Rubio wants a shot at Cotto.
14) Matt Korobov (3-3)
Last Fight: 6/28/2014- UD10 Jose Uzcategui (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Quillin’s notes, above.
15) Jarrod Fletcher (3-24)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: 8/9/2014- vs. Daniel Jacobs (UNR)
Fletcher will fight fringe contender Daniel Jacobs on August 9 for a trumped up (aka WBA) title.
16) Max Bursak (3-181)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- L (UD12) vs. #7 Martin Murray
Next Fight: Unknown
Monte Carlo isn’t kind to Bursak.  He lost a debatable decision to Jarrod Fletcher there, and then was more or less dominated by Martin Murray.
17) David Lemieux (3-8)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- KO3 Fernando Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lemieux’s eye-popping domination of Guerrero has fueled idle speculation of a potential shot at Peter Quillin, who is short on options for high-level opponents due to the ongoing Showtime-HBO feud.  In the meantime, he’s reportedly turned down an eliminator with Sturm.
18) Caleb Truax (6-43)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (UD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: 7/25/2014- vs. Derek Ennis (UNR)
Truax has a new opponent for 7/25, with a slight downgrade to Derek Ennis.
19) Curtis Stevens (6-50)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- TKO10* Tureano Johnson (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: 9/30/2014- vs. #9 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam
The winner of Stevens-N’Dam will get a shot at Soliman’s belt.
20) Andrey Meryasev (6-36)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- UD10 Carlos Baldomir (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Meryasev dominated in pedestrian fashion against the now-retired Baldomir.

 

The Week Ahead: No action to report this week.
Advertisements

Middleweight: 2014, Jun 23-29

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 17, 2014 by danboxing
#7 Martin Murray got a solid win on Saturday in Monte Carlo over #15 Max Bursak.  Murray employed a markedly different strategy early than I was used to seeing at his best, and I’m not sure it served him well early.  Instead of walking forward and looking for openings in tank-like fashion behind a passive but tight high guard the way he did against Martinez, for example, he looked to be much lighter on his feet in this fight.  This led, in my opinion, to the first 4 rounds all being fairly close, though I did have Murray ahead 39-37 at that point, as he did at least manage to be first with his punches more often than not, and clearly had the better power and skills even while Bursak was able to put him in awkward positions with some frequency.  From the 5th on, though, it was all Murray, as perhaps his solid body attack began to pay dividends and he began holding his ground with more frequency.  I had it 119-109 for the Brit, with 2 of the 3 judges seeing it the same way.  

 

Murray receives a modest rankings boost just from proving that he’s most likely still world class, and not likely the same fighter that probably should have taken a loss against journeyman Khomitsky in December.  This is enough to get him by Quillin, who obviously can’t boast a performance anywhere near as impressive as the should-be victory over then-Champion Martinez (or the should-be victory over #3 Sturm, for that matter), and who never seems to beat good fighters by more than the skin of his teeth (give or take some bad judging).  Geale is able to hold him off in a fairly close call, though, since he at least has a win over a #3 contender in Sebastian Sylvester. on his resume.  While he did lose in an upset to Darren Barker last year, this is frankly more excusable than Murray’s performance against Khomitsky, and Geale’s resume is also significantly longer in terms of good wins.

 

Bursak stays put at #15, since his loss to a #7 contender says absolutely nothing about whether or not he’s better than #16 Lemieux, who has losses to a non-top-20 fringe contender in Alcine and a #11 Contender in Rubio, and who has never beaten anyone better than borderline top 25 level, and that’s if you generously credit Jose Miguel Torres with that kind of status as I grudgingly have.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Miguel Cotto (3-3-3)
Last Fight: RTD10 Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
Cotto is the Champion.  The only question now is whether he will risk that Championship against the dominant #1 contender against whom he probably would have very little chance.  His thoughts seem to be more in the direction of Canelo.
1) Gennady Golovkin (28-95-158)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #5 Daniel Geale
Golovkin-Geale is official for July 26 in New York.
2) Sam Soliman (4-28-28)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- UD12 #2 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman dominated Sturm in the rematch after getting a very fortunate decision the first time before a banned stimulant incident led to a no contest.  So far as we know so far, he was clean this time, too, though he did look extremely energetic. His trainer wants Cotto, but Martin Murray looks more likely.
3) Sergio Martinez (3-219-219)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- L (RTD10) vs. #8 JMW Miguel Cotto
Next Fight: Unknown
When assessing Maravilla’s viability as a contender at this point, it really comes down to one question: is his base athletic level and chin as bad as his performance against Cotto, or can it be blamed on a knee or other sort of leg injury?  If the latter, he might stand some chance to come back given enough recuperation time.  If the former, then he’s one of the most obviously finished fighters I’ve ever seen.  His manager ominously said after the fight that his only injury was a broken nose.  That’s incredible, if true, considering how bad his legs looked.  A big soccer fan, he says he’ll determine his future after the World Cup.
4) Felix Sturm (3-562-562)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- L (UD12) vs. #8 Sam Soliman
Next Fight: Unknown
Sturm passed on an eliminator with Curtis Stevens, right after David Lemieux passed on an eliminator with Sturm.  Apparently nobody wants the IBF title.
5) Daniel Geale (3-262-262)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
See Golovkin’s notes, above.
6) Martin Murray (1-134-134)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- UD12 #15 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown
Finally another solid performance from Murray, who had been apparently hanging over from his robbery loss to Martinez.  He is now in line for a shot at Soliman’s belt, and also is in the running to fight Golovkin, it seems.

7) Peter Quillin (1-88-109)

Last Fight: 4/19/2014- UD12 Lukas Konecny (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBO has mandated Quillin to fight British prospect Billy Joe Saunders next.  There continues to be talk of an endlessly-theorized all-Golden Boy showdown with Daniel Jacobs, though, and perhaps a fight with Lemieux after that.  Sergio Mora has also indicated interest.
8) Matthew Macklin (3-157-248)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Macklin is reportedly hoping for an eliminator or some sort in Dublin soon, but there’s nothing much more specific than that to report.
9) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (3-28-28)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- UD10 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With the first 3 of the first 4 guys offered the shot having turned it down already, the 4th- Curtis Stevens- is now in talks for an IBF eliminator with N’Dam.  The winner would earn a shot at Soliman’s belt.
10) Sergio Mora (3-52-52)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- TKO5 Samuel Rogers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora wants Quillin or Golovkin.
11) Osumanu Adama (3-21)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most pleasant entry into the rankings we’ve ever seen, but his resume stacks up pretty well as long as he’s active and on weight.
12) Dmitry Chudinov (3-13)
Last Fight: 6/1/2014- UD12 Patrick Nielsen (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chudinov’s promoter has verbally offered Sam Soliman a fight on August 8.
13) Marco Antonio Rubio (3-178)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- KO10* Domenico Spada (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
Rubio wants a shot at Cotto.
14) Jarrod Fletcher (3-21)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: 8/9/2014- vs. Daniel Jacobs (UNR)
Fletcher will fight fringe contender Daniel Jacobs on August 9 for a trumped up (aka WBA) title.
15) Max Bursak (3-178)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- L (UD12) vs. #7 Martin Murray
Next Fight: Unknown
Monte Carlo isn’t kind to Bursak.  He lost a debatable decision to Jarrod Fletcher there, and then was more or less dominated by Martin Murray.
16) David Lemieux (3-5)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- KO3 Fernando Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lemieux’s eye-popping domination of Guerrero has fueled idle speculation of a potential shot at Peter Quillin, who is short on options for high-level opponents due to the ongoing Showtime-HBO feud.  In the meantime, he’s reportedly turned down an eliminator with Sturm.
17) Grzegorz Proksa (3-167)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Proksa has just a week to schedule a fight before he’s removed for inactivity.
18) Caleb Truax (3-40)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (UD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR) (at SMW)
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.
19) Curtis Stevens (3-47)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- TKO10* Tureano Johnson (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevens will likely fight N’Dam for a shot at Soliman’s alphabet belt.
20) Andrey Meryasev (3-33)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- UD10 Carlos Baldomir (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Meryasev dominated in pedestrian fashion against the now-retired Baldomir.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Saturday
Mark Heffron vs. Vigilijus Stapulionis; Rzeszow, Poland; TV Unknown
Heffron is an impressive 23 year-old prospect from Lancashire, England, who burst on the scene in just his 9th pro fight in February by winning a comfortable points decision over Argentine gatekeeper Mateo Veron.  Stapulionis is a solid journeyman from Lithuania.  If the Veron win was in any way a fluke, he’s good enough to at least challenge the young Brit.  If not, Heffron should handle him with relative ease.

 

Matt Korobov vs. Jose Uzcategui; Omaha, Nebraska; HBO (US)
Korobov is a longstanding top prospect whose stock had been sinking at one point due to some underwhelming wins over so-so opposition.  A knockout of the very credible Ossie Duran a year ago put him back on the right track, but in Uzcategui he faces a fresh undefeated guy who probably has a lot more to offer at this stage than did Duran.  Uzcategui is a native of Colombia who has never fought outside his adopted home of Mexico.  He has very long arms, but probably needs to learn to control range better.  He’s rather predictable and easy to hit, or so it appears to my relatively untrained eyes.  Still, he comes off a knockout win over what I believe to have been a used-up version of David Lopez back in March.  If you twist my arm for a prediction, I’ll say that Korobov’s sturdier approach and more technically-sound skill set is likely to allow the Russian to prevail, and perhaps by knockout.  Whomever wins, my guess is that he’ll claim a ranking next week.

Middleweight: 2014, Jun 16-22

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 8, 2014 by danboxing
After a choc-full slate a week ago, the division took a break this past week.  No changes.

 

 
Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Miguel Cotto (2-2-2)
Last Fight: RTD10 Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
Cotto is the Champion.  The only question now is whether he will risk that Championship against the dominant #1 contender against whom he probably would have very little chance.  His thoughts seem to be more in the direction of Canelo.
1) Gennady Golovkin (27-94-157)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #5 Daniel Geale
Golovkin-Geale is official for July 26 in New York.
2) Sam Soliman (3-27-27)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- UD12 #2 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman dominated Sturm in the rematch after getting a very fortunate decision the first time before a banned stimulant incident led to a no contest.  So far as we know so far, he was clean this time, too, though he did look extremely energetic. His trainer wants Cotto, but Martin Murray looks more likely, assuming he gets by Bursak.
3) Sergio Martinez (2-218-218)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- L (RTD10) vs. #8 JMW Miguel Cotto
Next Fight: Unknown
When assessing Maravilla’s viability as a contender at this point, it really comes down to one question: is his base athletic level and chin as bad as his performance against Cotto, or can it be blamed on a knee or other sort of leg injury?  If the latter, he might stand some chance to come back given enough recuperation time.  If the former, then he’s one of the most obviously finished fighters I’ve ever seen.  His manager ominously said after the fight that his only injury was a broken nose.  That’s incredible, if true, considering how bad his legs looked.
4) Felix Sturm (2-561-561)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- L (UD12) vs. #8 Sam Soliman
Next Fight: Unknown
Sturm might be on his way out, with his rematch performance head and shoulders below his effort in the first fight with Soliman.  Nevertheless, he has denied any thoughts of retirement.  He’s still in position for an alphabet eliminator.  Lemieux turned down a crack at him, and now it seems Curtis Stevens is in line for that shot.
5) Daniel Geale (2-261-261)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
See Golovkin’s notes, above.
6) Peter Quillin (2-87-108)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- UD12 Lukas Konecny (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBO has mandated Quillin to fight British prospect Billy Joe Saunders next.  There continues to be talk of an endlessly-theorized all-Golden Boy showdown with Daniel Jacobs, though, and perhaps a fight with Lemieux after that.  Sergio Mora has also indicated interest.
7) Martin Murray (2-133-133)
Last Fight: 4/23/2014- RTD6 Ishmael Tetteh (UNR) at SMW
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. #15 Max Bursak
Murray hasn’t looked at all special since nearly and probably deservedly knocking off the Champ last April, but he’ll need to be in some kind of form in June if he hopes to handle the always tough Max Bursak.
8) Matthew Macklin (2-156-247)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Macklin’s fight with Geale is off due to an injury on the card, and Geale has bailed on the fight altogether in favor of a shot at GGG.
9) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (2-27-27)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- UD10 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
N’Dam’s team is trying to get a shot at Soliman.
10) Sergio Mora (2-51-51)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- TKO5 Samuel Rogers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora wants Quillin or Golovkin.
11) Osumanu Adama (2-20)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most pleasant entry into the rankings we’ve ever seen, but his resume stacks up pretty well as long as he’s active and on weight.
12) Dmitry Chudinov (2-12)
Last Fight: 6/1/2014- UD12 Patrick Nielsen (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chudinov’s promoter has verbally offered Sam Soliman a fight on August 8.
13) Marco Antonio Rubio (2-177)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- KO10* Domenico Spada (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
Rubio wants a shot at Cotto.
14) Jarrod Fletcher (2-20)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: 8/?/2014- vs. Daniel Jacobs (UNR)
Fletcher will fight fringe contender Daniel Jacobs on either August 2 or 9 for a trumped up (aka WBA) title.
15) Max Bursak (2-177)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L* (UD12) vs. Jarrod Fletcher (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. #7 Martin Murray
Bursak will get a big opportunity before Jarrod Fletcher, who outpointed him in a moderately controversial decision in February, as he has been tapped by Martin Murray for a June 21 fight in Monte Carlo.
16) David Lemieux (2-4)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- KO3 Fernando Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lemieux’s eye-popping domination of Guerrero has fueled idle speculation of a potential shot at Peter Quillin, who is short on options for high-level opponents due to the ongoing Showtime-HBO feud.  In the meantime, he’s reportedly turned down an eliminator with Sturm.
17) Grzegorz Proksa (2-166)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Proksa has just a couple weeks to schedule a fight before he’s removed for inactivity.
18) Caleb Truax (2-39)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (UD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR) (at SMW)
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.
19) Curtis Stevens (2-46)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- TKO10* Tureano Johnson (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevens is backed by the IBF to fight Sturm in an eliminator, should both men so choose.
20) Andrey Meryasev (2-32)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- UD10 Carlos Baldomir (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Meryasev dominated in pedestrian fashion against the now-retired Baldomir.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Saturday
#7 Martin Murray vs. #15 Max Bursak; Monte Carlo, Monaco; PolSat Sport (Poland)
Murray was a borderline robbery away from being Middleweight Champion a little over a year ago, but his recent performances have allowed others to pass him by pretty clearly.  If he’s still hanging over, he might get upset this week.  Max Bursak is a solid operator, and probably a hair better than his current ranking.  He most likely deserved at least a draw in his February fight with Jarrod Fletcher, for which he took an upset loss.

Middleweight: 2014, May 19-25

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 16, 2014 by danboxing
Colombian gatekeeper Jose Miguel Torres was scheduled to fight Jhonatan Ricar over the weekend, but that fight fell through.  No action to report, and no changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (214-214-214)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. # 8 JMW Miguel Cotto
If there was any lingering doubt, Martinez-Cotto is now on for June 7 at Madison Square Garden.
1) Gennady Golovkin (23-90-153)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Golovkin will fight July 26 in New York, and the Chavez fight looks dead.  All signs point to Daniel Geale as the opponent, though the WBA has ordered him to fight Jarrod Fletcher.
2) Felix Sturm (23-557-557)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- TKO2 #3 Darren Barker
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #8 Sam Soliman (UNR)
Soliman has obfuscated his clear banned stimulant violation to the point that he has perhaps most people thinking he was totally clean.  He wasn’t.  And he didn’t win that fight even if he had been.  Sturm got screwed all the way around, and now he’s forced to rematch the Australian, who deserves the opportunity much less than would Macklin, Murray, or Geale.  But that’s what we’ve got.  May 31 in Krefeld.
3) Daniel Geale (13-257-257)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It looks extremely likely that Geale will get a shot at Golovkin on July 26.
4) Peter Quillin (5-83-104)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- UD12 Lukas Konecny (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBO has mandated Quillin to fight British prospect Billy Joe Saunders next.
5) Martin Murray (5-129-129)
Last Fight: 4/23/2014- RTD6 Ishmael Tetteh (UNR) at SMW
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. #13 Max Bursak
Murray hasn’t looked at all special since nearly and probably deservedly knocking off the Champ last April, but he’ll need to be in some kind of form in June if he hopes to handle the always tough Max Bursak.
6) Matthew Macklin (5-152-243)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Macklin’s fight with Geale is off due to an injury on the card, and Geale has bailed on the fight altogether in favor of a shot at GGG.
7) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (18-23-23)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- UD10 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
N’Dam says he wants Rosado next, and then Golovkin.
8) Sam Soliman (18-23-23)
Last Fight: 12/11/2013- TKO9 Les Sherrington (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #2 Felix Sturm
Soliman cheated with a stimulant, won by ridiculous robbery before being stripped of the victory, and now he gets what I would argue is an undeserved chance at a do-over.
9) Sergio Mora (18-47-47)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. Samuel Rogers (UNR)
I missed the memo about the date for Mora-Rogers.  I originally read that it was going to be on Arreola-Stiverne II in LA, but at some point it was moved to HBO2’s May 31 card in Vegas.
10) Osumanu Adama (16-16-16)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most pleasant entry into the rankings we’ve ever seen, but his resume stacks up pretty well as long as he’s active and on weight.
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (16-173)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- KO10* Domenico Spada (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
Rubio likely will rather embarrassingly take on the still-existing Ricardo Mayorga in late July.  Anytime the early fight hype involves talk of extensive medical tests to ensure fighter safety, you know the fight shouldn’t be happening.
12) Jarrod Fletcher (6-16)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBA randomly ordered Golovkin to fight Fletcher, but then apparently relented in favor of Daniel Geale.
13) Max Bursak (6-173)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L* (UD12) vs. Jarrod Fletcher (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. #5 Martin Murray
Bursak will get a big opportunity before Jarrod Fletcher, who outpointed him in a moderately controversial decision in February, as he has been tapped by Martin Murray for a June 21 fight in Monte Carlo.
14) Grzegorz Proksa (6-162)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Caleb Truax (6-35)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (UD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Truax’s status as a promising prospect has been derailed somewhat by the very tough Ossie Duran.
16) Curtis Stevens (6-42)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- TKO10* Tureano Johnson (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevens’ haplessness for all but the last few seconds of his prematurely-stopped bout with Tureano Johnson has got to raise questions about his ability to rise any higher than he finds himself now.  Johnson has respectfully pushed for a rematch.
17) Andrey Meryasev (6-28)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- UD10 Carlos Baldomir (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Meryasev dominated in pedestrian fashion against the now-retired Baldomir.
18) Daniel Jacobs (6-39)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- TKO1 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Easy work for Jacobs against Nunez.  He’s looking for a title fight- probably against Quillin- at the earliest opportunity.
19) Dmitry Chudinov (6-8)
Last Fight: 12/21/2013- TKO6 Juan Camilo Novoa (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/1/2014- vs. Patrick Nielsen (UNR)
Chudinov will fight promising Danish prospect Patrick Nielsen in a very interesting clash on June 1 in Moscow.
20) Akio Shibata (6-6)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD12 Daisuke Nakagawa (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/5/2014- vs. Hikaru Nishida (UNR)
Shibata takes on his second consecutive domestic gatekeeper in Hikaru Nishida in early July in Tokyo.

 

The Week Ahead:  
Saturday
David Lemieux vs. Fernando Guerrero; Montreal, Quebec; Showtime (US)
Lemieux is a two-loss prospect who makes fun fights.  Guerrero could be best described as a two-loss fringe prospect.  He’s still probably top 50 despite losses to Grady Brewer and Peter Quillin, but he came dangerously close to becoming a full-on busted prospect when he narrowly outpointed Ray Gatica in life-or-death fashion.  Guerrero’s losses have been narrowly more forgivable (Lemieux’s loss to Alcine was particularly unexpected) perhaps, but Lemieux looks more impressive when he’s winning.  This fight is very much a toss-up based on levels, and both guys really need it to maintain their viability.  I lean toward Lemieux coming out on top.  He’s the home fighter for one, and he’s a power guy.  Guerrero was overwhelmed by power in both of his losses, as well as in the difficult moments of the Gatica fight.  Good style matchup for Lemieux, I think.
 

Middleweight: 2014, May 5-11

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 8, 2014 by danboxing
No significant combat to report from last week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (212-212-212)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. # 8 JMW Miguel Cotto
If there was any lingering doubt, Martinez-Cotto is now on for June 7 at Madison Square Garden.
1) Gennady Golovkin (21-88-151)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s not clear that the fight is dead, but delays related to a cloudy promotional situation on the part of Chavez have left that superfight very much in doubt, as Golovkin is looking for other options.
2) Felix Sturm (21-555-555)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- TKO2 #3 Darren Barker
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #8 Sam Soliman (UNR)
Soliman has obfuscated his clear banned stimulant violation to the point that he has perhaps most people thinking he was totally clean.  He wasn’t.  And he didn’t win that fight even if he had been.  Sturm got screwed all the way around, and now he’s forced to rematch the Australian, who deserves the opportunity much less than would Macklin, Murray, or Geale.  But that’s what we’ve got.  May 31 in Krefeld.
3) Daniel Geale (11-255-255)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #6 Matthew Macklin
Geale is apparently set to fight Macklin in an intriguing fight on May 24 in the US, on HBO.
4) Peter Quillin (3-81-102)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- UD12 Lukas Konecny (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Quillin is trying to float the idea of him fighting Mayweather, with whom he shares a hometown.
5) Martin Murray (3-127-127)
Last Fight: 4/23/2014- RTD6 Ishmael Tetteh (UNR) at SMW
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. #13 Max Bursak
Murray hasn’t looked at all special since nearly and probably deservedly knocking off the Champ last April, but he’ll need to be in some kind of form in June if he hopes to handle the always tough Max Bursak.
6) Matthew Macklin (3-150-241)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #3 Daniel Geale
See Geale’s notes, above.
7) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (16-21-21)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- UD10 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
N’Dam says he wants Rosado next, and then Golovkin.
8) Sam Soliman (16-21-21)
Last Fight: 12/11/2013- TKO9 Les Sherrington (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #2 Felix Sturm
Soliman cheated with a stimulant, won by ridiculous robbery before being stripped of the victory, and now he gets what I would argue is an undeserved chance at a do-over.
9) Sergio Mora (16-45-45)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. Samuel Rogers (UNR)
I missed the memo about the date for Mora-Rogers.  I originally read that it was going to be on Arreola-Stiverne II in LA, but at some point it was moved to HBO2’s May 31 card in Vegas.
10) Osumanu Adama (14-14-14)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most pleasant entry into the rankings we’ve ever seen, but his resume stacks up pretty well as long as he’s active and on weight.
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (14-171)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- KO10* Domenico Spada (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
Rubio likely will rather embarrassingly take on the still-existing Ricardo Mayorga in late July.  Anytime the early fight hype involves talk of extensive medical tests to ensure fighter safety, you know the fight shouldn’t be happening.
12) Jarrod Fletcher (4-14)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown
Fletcher was among the candidates for a fight with Chudinov on June 1, but the Russian opted for Patrick Nielsen, instead.
13) Max Bursak (4-171)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L* (UD12) vs. Jarrod Fletcher (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. #5 Martin Murray
Bursak will get a big opportunity before Jarrod Fletcher, who outpointed him in a moderately controversial decision in February, as he has been tapped by Martin Murray for a June 21 fight in Monte Carlo.
14) Grzegorz Proksa (4-160)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Caleb Truax (4-33)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (UD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Truax’s status as a promising prospect has been derailed somewhat by the very tough Ossie Duran.
16) Curtis Stevens (4-40)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- TKO10* Tureano Johnson (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevens’ haplessness for all but the last few seconds of his prematurely-stopped bout with Tureano Johnson has got to raise questions about his ability to rise any higher than he finds himself now.  Johnson has respectfully pushed for a rematch.
17) Andrey Meryasev (4-26)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- UD10 Carlos Baldomir (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Meryasev dominated in pedestrian fashion against the now-retired Baldomir.
18) Daniel Jacobs (4-37)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- TKO1 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Easy work for Jacobs against Nunez.  He’s looking for a title fight- probably against Quillin- at the earliest opportunity.
19) Dmitry Chudinov (4-6)
Last Fight: 12/21/2013- TKO6 Juan Camilo Novoa (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/1/2014- vs. Patrick Nielsen (UNR)
Chudinov will fight promising Danish prospect Patrick Nielsen in a very interesting clash on June 1 in Moscow.
20) Akio Shibata (4-4)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD12 Daisuke Nakagawa (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/5/2014- vs. Hikaru Nishida (UNR)
Shibata takes on his second consecutive domestic gatekeeper in Hikaru Nishida in early July in Tokyo.

 

The Week Ahead:  
Saturday
Karim Achour vs. Davy Armand; Niort, France; TV Unknown
Achour holds the French national title, and is a gatekeeper who finds himself at the pinnacle of his career to this point, having defended that title 3 times now, including a career-best win over countryman Julien Marie Sainte in November.  Armand is a mid-level journeyman looking to follow in Achour’s footsteps and take his career to the next level.

 

Chris Eubank, Jr. vs. Robert Swierzbinski; Liverpool, England; BoxNation
Eubank, Jr. is England’s answer to Adrien Broner.  He is, at least to my tastes, utterly insufferable, and doesn’t like to overly exert himself in the ring from what I’ve seen.  Still, he’s got undeniable talent, and has inherited a popular name. Swierzbinski is a Polish journeyman and/or fringe prospect whose only two losses came against recognizable names in David Lemieux and Maciej Sulecki.  He’s coming off an upset win over an undefeated prospect, and although Eubank is at a manifestly higher level than that guy, you never know what could happen if the Brit overlooks his opponent.   

Middleweight: 2014, Apr 28- May 4

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 3, 2014 by danboxing
Unbeaten Russian Arif Magomedov got an excellent win in Moscow on Friday against another theretofore reasonably impressive young undefeated prospect in Alex Theran of Colombia.  I couldn’t find a video, but Magomedov dropped Theran in rounds one and three, and the Colombian wanted no more from that point, quitting on his stool after that round.  Magomedov still lacks a win over a proven top 50 fighter, but he has established himself to be something close to the fringe contender level even without that level of win.

 

#17 Andrey Meryasev and #5 Martin Murray were both in action this week at 168, and their fights have been given full treatment at that weight.  Murray was slated for removal this week due to his not having fought at 160 since a year ago, but he got in just under the wire by scheduling a fight with Max Bursak for Monte Carlo in June.  Assuming the fight goes forward and he makes 160 for that fight, his ranking is safe for now.

 

No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (211-211-211)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. # 8 JMW Miguel Cotto
If there was any lingering doubt, Martinez-Cotto is now on for June 7 at Madison Square Garden.
1) Gennady Golovkin (20-87-150)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
A fight between Golovkin and Julio Cesar Chavez appears to be nearly done for July 19 at 168.
2) Felix Sturm (20-554-554)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- TKO2 #3 Darren Barker
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #8 Sam Soliman (UNR)
Soliman has obfuscated his clear banned stimulant violation to the point that he has perhaps most people thinking he was totally clean.  He wasn’t.  And he didn’t win that fight even if he had been.  Sturm got screwed all the way around, and now he’s forced to rematch the Australian, who deserves the opportunity much less than would Macklin, Murray, or Geale.  But that’s what we’ve got.  May 31 in Krefeld.
3) Daniel Geale (10-254-254)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #6 Matthew Macklin
Geale is apparently set to fight Macklin in an intriguing fight on May 24 in the US, on HBO.
4) Peter Quillin (2-80-101)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- UD12 Lukas Konecny (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Quillin is cobbling together a resume full of unimpressive narrow wins over fringe contenders, mostly, and despite his high ranking, he’ll need to take on at least another N’Dam-level challenge to gain full respect from more discerning observers.
5) Martin Murray (2-126-126)
Last Fight: 4/23/2014- RTD6 Ishmael Tetteh (UNR) at SMW
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. #13 Max Bursak
Murray hasn’t looked at all special since nearly and probably deservedly knocking off the Champ last April, but he’ll need to be in some kind of form in June if he hopes to handle the always tough Max Bursak.
6) Matthew Macklin (2-149-240)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #3 Daniel Geale
See Geale’s notes, above.
7) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (15-20-20)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- UD10 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
N’Dam says he wants Rosado next, and then Golovkin.
8) Sam Soliman (15-20-20)
Last Fight: 12/11/2013- TKO9 Les Sherrington (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #2 Felix Sturm
Soliman cheated with a stimulant, won by ridiculous robbery before being stripped of the victory, and now he gets what I would argue is an undeserved chance at a do-over.
9) Sergio Mora (15-44-44)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. Samuel Rogers (UNR)
Mora will be back on the L.A. undercard of Stiverne-Arreola II against prospect Samuel Rogers who, in addition to being a natural junior middleweight and much less accomplished, is coming off his first career loss.
10) Osumanu Adama (13-13-13)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most pleasant entry into the rankings we’ve ever seen, but his resume stacks up pretty well as long as he’s active and on weight.
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (13-170)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- KO10* Domenico Spada (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
Rubio likely will rather embarrassingly take on the still-existing Ricardo Mayorga in late July.  Anytime the early fight hype involves talk of extensive medical tests to ensure fighter safety, you know the fight shouldn’t be happening.
12) Jarrod Fletcher (3-13)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown
Fletcher was among the candidates for a fight with Chudinov on June 1, but the Russian opted for Patrick Nielsen, instead.
13) Max Bursak (3-170)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L* (UD12) vs. Jarrod Fletcher (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. #5 Martin Murray
Bursak will get a big opportunity before Jarrod Fletcher, who outpointed him in a moderately controversial decision in February, as he has been tapped by Martin Murray for a June 21 fight in Monte Carlo.
14) Grzegorz Proksa (3-159)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Caleb Truax (3-32)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (UD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Truax’s status as a promising prospect has been derailed somewhat by the very tough Ossie Duran.
16) Curtis Stevens (3-39)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- TKO10* Tureano Johnson (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevens’ haplessness for all but the last few seconds of his prematurely-stopped bout with Tureano Johnson has got to raise questions about his ability to rise any higher than he finds himself now.  Johnson has respectfully pushed for a rematch.
17) Andrey Meryasev (3-25)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- UD10 Carlos Baldomir (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Meryasev dominated in pedestrian fashion against the now-retired Baldomir.
18) Daniel Jacobs (3-36)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- TKO1 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Easy work for Jacobs against Nunez.  He’s looking for a title fight- probably against Quillin- at the earliest opportunity.
19) Dmitry Chudinov (3-5)
Last Fight: 12/21/2013- TKO6 Juan Camilo Novoa (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/1/2014- vs. Patrick Nielsen (UNR)
Chudinov will fight promising Danish prospect Patrick Nielsen in a very interesting clash on June 1 in Moscow.
20) Akio Shibata (3-3)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD12 Daisuke Nakagawa (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/5/2014- vs. Hikaru Nishida (UNR)
Shibata takes on his second consecutive domestic gatekeeper in Hikaru Nishida in early July in Tokyo.

 

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

Super Middleweight: 2014, Apr 28- May 4

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on October 3, 2014 by danboxing
#4 Middleweight Martin Murray took his second consecutive stay-busy fight at super middleweight (the first of which he arguably lost), making his debut for his new South African promoter in that country on Wednesday.  Murray didn’t exactly light the world on fire, but most likely won every round in fairly pedestrian fashion against low-level Ghanaian journeyman Ishmael Tetteh, who quit for no apparent reason after 6 rounds.  I’m not sure how much criticism Murray deserves in this instance for not looking sensational against such an easy opponent.  After all, he seldom looks sensational even at his best.  He neutralizes the opposition with a tight guard, and does just enough catch-and-shoot counterpunching to outpoint his man.  That’s more or less what he did to Tetteh.  With Murray failing to really put on a show, we at least got a little bit of comic relief from the quirky Ghanaian, who apparently told the broadcast team that he is better than Azumah Nelson.  Well, Ghanaian Hall of Famer Nelson is almost 56 years old, so I guess it might be close at this point, especially if Nelson spots Tetteh the 24 pound weight difference in Tetteh’s favor, prime for prime.  To put this in perspective, Tetteh currently has a total of 5 boxrec rankings points, which is just over 1% as many as Murray, and his career high number of 23 from back in 2007 is right at about 2% of Nelson’s career high total.  Not only that, but Tetteh appropriated Roy Jones, Jr.’s entire name as his announced ring nickname.  That’s right.  Ishmael “Roy Jones, Jr.” Tetteh.  He should try changing it to “The Identity Thief.”  Or, if he insists on using the full name of another fighter, maybe he could switch to “Victor Ortiz,” considering how easily he gave up in the fight.  Yeah, I know…ouch.

 

One fighter that did look good at 168 this week was #7 Ezequiel Maderna, who used his long arms to devastating effect in a variety of ways in a Friday fight from La Plata, Argentina.  His opponent, Richard Vidal of Uruguay, was roughly comparable in overall quality to Tetteh, but is at least a naturally bigger man than the Ghanaian.  Maderna peppered Vidal with long-range 1-2 combos, whip-like body shots, and the odd uppercut just for good measure.  Maderna has one of the more complete arsenals in the sport, bar none, and is probably among the game’s most underrated contenders.  That being said, he didn’t do anything we wouldn’t expect and possibly demand of him against a guy on Vidal’s level.

 

The same night in a small outdoor venue in Kanasin, Mexico, undefeated #17 middleweight Andrey Meryasev of Russia dominated a flabby, slow, but incredibly durable Carlos Baldomir for 10 rounds.  Baldomir hadn’t been in the ring since September 2012, and it probably should have stayed that way.  Baldomir, it’s incredible to think, was the Welterweight Champion of the World 7 1/2 years ago before Floyd took that title from him.  Since then, his skills and career have been on a steady decline, even as his weight has steadily ballooned.  I do have to give the old man credit on some level.  Not only did he keep himself upright for the full 10 rounds despite being visibly out of shape, but he actually never appeared hurt in the fight, despite being in with a guy with the style of a puncher, and a respectable KO percentage, as well.  Meryasev helped him out a bit in that respect, though, as he seldom put his punches together.  This was actually the first Meryasev fight I’ve seen, and although I’m certain he won every round of a fight in which the scorecards were not announced, I can’t say I’m particularly impressed by his performance.  In case you were keeping track, it appears that Baldomir’s head has actually grown since the days in which he appeared to have merely double the intracranial volume of Mayweather.

 

No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (124-258-258)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says he’s asked his promoter for a fight, even as the two hash out a lawsuit.
1) Carl Froch (101-411-411)
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 (9-236-236)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- W (SD12) vs. #2 Robert Stieglitz
Next Fight: 5/3/2014- vs. Nikola Sjekloca (UNR)
Abraham will have a quick turn-around when he defends his newly-won belt against the mostly fraudulent Nikola Sjekloca on May 3 in Berlin.
3) Robert Stieglitz (9-244-244)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (SD12) vs. #4 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: Unknown
Sauerland prospect Tyron Zeuge has expressed interest in a fight with Stieglitz.
4) Mikkel Kessler (9-490-490)
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 (44-44-44)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #11 James DeGale
Gonzales’ elminator with DeGale is finally set, for May 31 in London, on the Froch-Groves undercard.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (31-152-200)
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 (25-25-70)
Last Fight: 4/25/2014- TKO3 Richard Vidal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Maderna stayed busy in impressive fashion against Vidal.
8) George Groves (25-72-94)
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. (9-9-9)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD10 #5 MW Bryan Vera
Next Fight: Unknown
Chavez is talking like he might not renew his Top Rank contract, which might put a proposed Golovkin fight in jeopardy- especially since he’s reportedly negotiating with the Showtime-friendly Al Haymon.
10) Bryan Vera (9-9-9)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Even in defeat, Vera has regained a ranking at 168 and is- at least temporarily- ranked in 2 divisions.   There are also credible-looking reports to the effect that he broke his left hand early in the fight, for what it’s worth.
11) James DeGale (9-133)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- TKO11 Gevorg Khatchikian (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #5 Brandon Gonzales
See Gonzales’ notes, above.
12) Christopher Rebrasse (9-47)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- TKO4 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rebrasse now has two dominant wins over what was a top 10 contender the first time around.  He didn’t need the judges to notice the second time.
13) Sakio Bika (9-369)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After initially granting Julio Cesar Chavez the spot, the WBC has now made James DeGale the mandatory after it appeared Chavez would likely look at a different opportunity.  That may also have gone by the wayside by now, as DeGale is fighting Brandon Gonzales for a shot at the IBF title.
14) Maxim Vlasov (9-77)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD8 Derrick Findley (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vlasov looked very good against Findley, but he’ll need to schedule a fight at Super Middleweight before May 5 and make weight in order to keep his ranking, since he hasn’t made the divisional limit since November 2012.
15) Edwin Rodriguez (9-67)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez was briefly scheduled to fight Marcus Johnson on May 24, but Johnson withdrew.
16) Gilberto Ramirez (3-13)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- TKO5 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ramirez says he’d like to fight Sakio Bika and Chavez.
17) Ryota Murata (3-36)
Last Fight: 2/22/2014- TKO4 Carlos Nascimento (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/22/2014- vs. Jesus Angel Nerio (UNR)
Murata will stay busy in Kyoto on May 22 with Mexican journeyman Jesus Angel Nerio.
18) Anthony Dirrell (3-21)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. #11 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: Unknown
His hard-fought draw with Sakio Bika gained Dirrell a measure of redemption for what pretty clearly should have been a loss against Don Mouton, and has him back in the hot prospect category.  He’s called for a rematch (good idea) and a fight with Golovkin (bad idea).
19) Hadillah Mohoumadi (3-61)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Caleb Truax (3-3)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (MD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: 
Thursday
Jonathan Gonzalez vs. Rogelio Medina; Hialeah, Florida; ESPN2 (US)
Gonzalez is an undefeated prospect with inconsistent efforts and weight issues in his past.  He gets often dangerous veteran Mexican journeyman Rogelio “Porky” Medina on a Thursday night edition of Friday Night Fights in Miami-adjacent Hialeah, Florida.

 

Saturday
#2 Arthur Abraham vs. Nikola Sjekloca; Berlin, Germany; ARD (Germany)
For a guy that has been publicly discredited as a top contender at least 3 different times, Abraham is sure in a nice position.  He’s obviously not the terrifying puncher he once was, but he has perhaps evolved as a boxer to some extent.  Sjekloca keeps getting bites at the apple despite having fallen short even, some would say, in his only two significant wins.  This shouldn’t be one of Abraham’s tougher fights, but it’s hard to see what good options he has now that the Super Six is long over and he’s being fed essentially European-level opposition.  He’s lost to Ward and Froch already, and has won the trilogy with Stieglitz.  I guess a Kessler fight would be worthy if the Dane decides to renew his career at some stage.

 

Marco Antonio Periban vs. J’Leon Love; Las Vegas, Nevada; Showtime PPV (US)
An interesting and potentially even match-up on the Mayweather-Maidana undercard.  The winner most likely earns a ranking.  I’d make Periban the favorite, since he’s fought on even terms with the well-proven Bika, while Love has struggled at nearly every turn since he stepped up even to the upper level of non-top-50 journeymen.