Archive for Sam Soliman

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.

Middleweight: 2014, Jul 7-13

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 22, 2014 by danboxing
Saturday in Tokyo, fringe contender Akio Shibata got a decision win over high-level journeyman Hikaru Nishida to defend his Japanese title.  It was apparently at least a fairly close fight, with one judge having it 7 rounds to 5 at 115-113, another at 116-112, and the third a more comfortable 118-110.  As is often the case with Japanese fights, though, no video is apparently available.  The best summary of the action I can find is here.

 

No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Miguel Cotto (5-5-5)
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 (30-97-160)
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 (6-30-30)
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.
3) Sergio Martinez (5-221-221)
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 (5-564-564)
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 (5-264-264)
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 (3-136-136)
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 (3-90-111)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- UD12 Lukas Konecny (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBO has ordered Quillin-Korobov.
8) Matthew Macklin (5-159-250)
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 (5-30-30)
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 (5-54-54)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- TKO5 Samuel Rogers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora wants Quillin or Golovkin.
11) Osumanu Adama (5-23)
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 (5-15)
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 (5-180)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- KO10* Domenico Spada (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
Rubio wants a shot at Cotto.
14) Matt Korobov (2-2)
Last Fight: 6/28/2014- UD10 Jose Uzcategui (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Quillin’s notes, above.
15) Jarrod Fletcher (2-23)
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 (2-180)
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 (2-7)
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 (5-42)
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 (5-49)
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 (5-35)
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
#1 JMW Saul Alvarez vs. #3 JMW Erislandy Lara; Las Vegas, Nevada; Showtime PPV (US)
This is basically a junior middleweight fight, but will be contested, for no apparent reason, at a 155 pound catchweight.  I’ll mostly consider it at 154, but it could come into play here, as well.

Middleweight: 2014, Jun 30- Jul 6

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 20, 2014 by danboxing
Saturday in Omaha, Nebraska, undefeated prospects Jose Uzcategui of Colombia and Matt Korobov of Russia met up in a key showdown.  It was a pretty solid fight, with the 7th round looming large on my card, at least.  Korobov dropped Uzcategui twice in that round to seize control of a fight that I had scored even to that point.  My final score was 96-92, a score judge Denny Nelson agreed with.  Levi Martinez and Jeff Sinnett each had it a round wider at 97-91, which is entirely reasonable.  The lanky Uzcategui simply didn’t maintain control enough on the outside, and his punches became less and less concise as he tired late in the fight.  Korobov, for his part, had some lulls in his activity, but was aggressive just often enough to get the job done.

 

Mark Heffron’s scheduled fight on Saturday didn’t end up happening, so that’s all she wrote for the week.

 

Last week’s #17 Grzegorz Proksa is removed, having no fights scheduled and none on his resume in the past year.  Korobov gets a sudden boost not only from his present win, but also from his impressive knockout of Ossie Duran last year that didn’t qualify to rank him on its own because it was fought at 162, but which is a big factor on his overall resume at this point.  He debuts at #14, forcing Fletcher, Bursak, and Lemieux to recede one position each.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Miguel Cotto (4-4-4)
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 (29-96-159)
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 (5-29-29)
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 (4-220-220)
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 (4-563-563)
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 (4-263-263)
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 (2-135-135)
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 (2-89-110)
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 (4-158-249)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Macklin is reportedly hoping to fight in Dublin soon.  He’s suggested Soliman and Murray as possible opponents.
9) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (4-29-29)
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 (4-53-53)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- TKO5 Samuel Rogers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora wants Quillin or Golovkin.
11) Osumanu Adama (4-22)
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 (4-14)
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 (4-179)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- KO10* Domenico Spada (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
Rubio wants a shot at Cotto.
14) Matt Korobov (1-1)
Last Fight: 6/28/2014- UD10 Jose Uzcategui (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Korobov has finally started to make good on his talent and prior hype, and with his undefeated record still very much intact, the sky is theoretically the limit.  I would assume he’s getting close to a big fight.
15) Jarrod Fletcher (1-22)
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 (1-179)
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 (1-6)
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 (4-41)
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 (4-48)
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 (4-34)
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
Akio Shibata vs. Hikaru Nishida; Tokyo, Japan; TV Unknown
Shibata is a fringe contender  who would certainly be ranked if he hadn’t lost to Olympic Gold Medalist Ryota Murata in Murata’s pro debut.  Nishida is a high-level journeyman.

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, Jun 2-8

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 29, 2014 by danboxing
I’m going to make this point one time, and then set aside my bias against the obfuscation and cheating that has typified #8 Sam Soliman’s public persona for the last year.  Soliman looked great against #2 Felix Sturm on Saturday, and at 40 years old appeared to have a boundless reserve of energy.  He was much better than he was a year ago, when he was busted for a banned stimulant.  Frankly, he looked like he was on a banned stimulant.  But I have no special reason to believe that except that he has been before and looked really good, so I can only report my impressions.  I’m going to treat him as if he was clean this time around except to mention my unfounded suspicion that he was not.  

 

Now on to the fight itself.  Soliman flashed a brilliant jab that was penetrating and stinging, and which landed almost at will throughout the fight.  He was also very awkward, and showed just enough frenetic movement to keep Sturm off balance and seemingly a bit confused.  Sturm was very repetitive in his tendency to walk to Soliman, but seldom let his hands go.  I only gave Sturm the first round, and only thought he had an argument in rounds six and nine besides that.  The judges did a solid job, scoring it 118-110 (Don Trella), 117-111 (Miroslav Brozio), and 118-110 (John Poturaj).

 

I could only dig up brief highlights, but to the extent those can be believed, #9 Sergio Mora fully had his way with Samuel Rogers, a moderately-unproven one-loss prospect from the Virgin Islands who was coming off his first career loss to a mid-level journeyman in Argentina.  I can’t accurately describe the overall flow of the 5 rounds, but I know that Rogers went down at least once, and that referee Russell Mora stepped in to stop it 5 seconds before the close of the 5th, with Mora pounding Rogers relentlessly on the ropes.

 

In a very excellent matchup of two fairly advanced undefeated prospects in Mytishchi, Russia on Sunday, #20 Dmitry Chudinov frankly had a much easier time of it than I would have expected with Patrick Nielsen.  Nielsen simply wasn’t willing to engage earlier in the fight.  That’s not merely to say he was trying to box, though he was, but rather that he wasn’t committing to his punches even when he would counter, apparently out of fear of the aggressive and harder-hitting Chudinov.  I had it 119-109 for the Russian, and thought it could legitimately have swung a round in either direction.  The judges apparently saw a different fight for some reason, with Ignacio Robles scoring it a generous 117-111, Carlos Sucre having it a head-scratching 116-112, and Glenn Feldman turning in a preposterous 115-113.  Even so, the right guy won.

 

Soliman’s win over Sturm is the best win either man has between him and Golovkin, but while Sturm is narrowly more highly-ranked than was Proksa when Golovkin beat him, Golovkin’s 2nd-best was #5 Macklin, while Soliman’s was much less impressive: #15 Garth Wood.  That, coupled with greater activity against top 20, top 25, and top 50 fighters, makes it easy to choose Golovkin to retain his position as #1 contender.  Soliman does obviously supplant Sturm at #2, who is still able to hold off Geale at #3 due to his recent win over Barker and Geale’s recent loss to same.  Chudinov’s win puts him in a much more comfortable position, just outside the top 10 at #11.  This naturally forces everyone #11-19 last week to fall one spot.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (216-216-216)
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 (25-92-155)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #4 Daniel Geale
Golovkin-Geale is official for July 26 in New York.
2) Sam Soliman (1-25-25)
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.
3) Felix Sturm (1-559-559)
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.
4) Daniel Geale (1-259-259)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
See Golovkin’s notes, above.
5) Peter Quillin (1-85-106)
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.
6) Martin Murray (1-131-131)
Last Fight: 4/23/2014- RTD6 Ishmael Tetteh (UNR) at SMW
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. #14 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.
7) Matthew Macklin (1-154-245)
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.
8) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (1-25-25)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- UD10 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
N’Dam says he wants Rosado next, and then Golovkin.
9) Sergio Mora (20-49-49)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- TKO5 Samuel Rogers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora wants Quillin.
10) Osumanu Adama (18-18-18)
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) Dmitry Chudinov (1-10)
Last Fight: 6/1/2014- UD12 Patrick Nielsen (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chudinov got a shocking lack of love from an international judging panel in his own back yard, but still got the win and can rightly claim to have dominated a solid undefeated prospect in Nielsen.
12) Marco Antonio Rubio (1-175)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- KO10* Domenico Spada (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
13) Jarrod Fletcher (1-18)
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.
14) Max Bursak (1-175)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L* (UD12) vs. Jarrod Fletcher (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. #6 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.
15) David Lemieux (1-2)
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.
16) Grzegorz Proksa (1-164)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Caleb Truax (1-37)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (UD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Truax’s status as a promising prospect has been derailed somewhat by the very tough Ossie Duran.
18) Curtis Stevens (1-44)
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.
19) Andrey Meryasev (1-30)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- UD10 Carlos Baldomir (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Meryasev dominated in pedestrian fashion against the now-retired Baldomir.
20) Daniel Jacobs (1-41)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- TKO1 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Easy work for Jacobs against Nunez.  He’s looking for a title fight- probably against Quillin- at the earliest opportunity.
 

 

The Week Ahead:  
Friday
Hugo Centeno vs. Gerardo Ibarra; Indio, California; Showtime (US)
Centeno is technically an undefeated prospect, but was pretty badly beaten by Julian Williams in what ended up as a no contest probably a matter of seconds before Williams would have gone on to stop him.  Still, he’s much more advanced than Ibarra, who is also unbeaten, but has never fought anyone really at all.  Ibarra is from Houston, while Centeno hails from Oxnard, CA.  Centeno is more of a light middleweight really, while Ibarra seems to be more of a middleweight.

 

Saturday
Les Sherrington vs. Kazuyuki Fukuyama; Townsville, Australia; TV Unknown
Sherrington is a perennial gatekeeper who will have no trouble with a low-level and inexperienced journeyman like Japan’s Fukuyama, barring an injury like the broken leg that led to a stoppage loss against the awful Kashif Mumtaz in 2011.

 

Michel Soro vs. Alexey Ribchev; Villeurbanne, France; Off TV
Soro is a French prospect who was robbed of his biggest win in 2012 against currently-ranked Zaurbek Baysangurov at 154.  He’s probably still a 154-pounder, but will be tuning up against mid-level Bulgarian journeyman Alexey Ribchev.  Ribchev is nothing special by any means, but he has played an effective spoiler before, upsetting the decent Matthew Hall in England back in 2011.

 

Chris Eubank, Jr. vs. Stepan Horvath; Newcastle, England; BoxNation (UK)
Eubank is a very talented guy with a minimalist style (that is to say he poses as often as he punches) and an annoying personality reminiscent of Adrien Broner.  Horvath is a low-level Czech journeyman who doesn’t stand the slightest chance.

 

Marcos Reyes vs. Octavio Castro; Chihuahua, Mexico; Fox Deportes (US)
Reyes is a one-loss prospect from Chihuahua.  He avenged his lone loss, which occurred 18 fights ago in 2010.  That’s a lot of activity in that time period, if you’re keeping count.  Castro is a 31 year-old lower-mid-level journeyman from Sonora who has lost 7 of his last 9 fights that reached conclusion, and shouldn’t pose much of a problem for his younger countryman.

 

Champ Sergio Martinez vs. #8 JMW Miguel Cotto; New York, New York; HBO (US)
Martinez is bigger and faster, and maybe more powerful, as well.  The odds would be long on Cotto winning if you could assume a healthy outing from the Champ.  You simply can’t do that, though.  Sergio injured his knee and hand and should have lost his fight with Martin Murray in 2013.  Before that, he suffered a similar set of injuries in his previous fight- a dominant win with a scary ending against Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.  Cotto looked dynamic in his last fight, a stoppage of Delvin Rodriguez, but Rodriguez didn’t look like much in his subsequent outing.  Before that, he was easily handled by Austin Trout, who, while a quality boxer, is smaller and less dynamic than Maravilla.  I truly think that a healthy Martinez probably dominates and maybe stops Cotto, but that Cotto easily wins against a compromised Sergio.  The chances of a fight that is competitive from bell to bell is very small, I think.  It’ll be one extreme or the other.

Middleweight: 2014, May 26- Jun 1

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 21, 2014 by danboxing
In a battle of fallen prospects on Saturday, David Lemieux got his career back on the right track by destroying Fernando Guerrero, who went down in every round and twice in the 3rd, for a 3rd-round knockout.  Lemieux reminded us why he has a lot of fans despite his inconsistent results over the past few years, as he was ridiculously explosive in the fight, and walked right through a reasonably decent opponent.  Guerrero simply could not keep the much stronger Lemieux off of him, and it probably didn’t help that he suffered a bad and extremely bloody cut on his eyelid in the 2nd round.  It was a total wipeout, and it gets Lemieux to heights he never (legitimately) reached, even as an undefeated prospect.  

 

Combined with the win over Jose Miguel Torres that he scored a couple pounds over the limit during a period I considered him inactive at 160, Lemieux makes what I’m pretty sure is his debut in any of my rankings, at #14.  This forces everyone ranked #14 and below last week down a spot, including Akio Shibata, who exits the rankings after 6 weeks back in.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (215-215-215)
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 (24-91-154)
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.  He renewed his stated desire to fight the Martinez-Cotto winner after that.
2) Felix Sturm (24-558-558)
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 (14-258-258)
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 (6-84-105)
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.  Golovkin also wants a piece of him.
5) Martin Murray (6-130-130)
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 (6-153-244)
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 (19-24-24)
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 (19-24-24)
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 (19-48-48)
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 (17-17-17)
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 (17-174)
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 (7-17)
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 (7-174)
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) David Lemieux (1-1)
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.
15) Grzegorz Proksa (1-163)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Caleb Truax (1-36)
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.
17) Curtis Stevens (1-43)
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.
18) Andrey Meryasev (1-29)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- UD10 Carlos Baldomir (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Meryasev dominated in pedestrian fashion against the now-retired Baldomir.
19) Daniel Jacobs (1-40)
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.
20) Dmitry Chudinov (1-9)
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.

 

The Week Ahead:  
Saturday
#2 Felix Sturm vs. #8 Sam Soliman; Krefeld, Germany; SAT1 (Germany)
This is a rematch of a fight from last year that Sturm pretty clearly won, but in which he was pretty clearly robbed.  Soliman then tested positive for a banned stimulant, causing the bout to be declared a no contest.  I view it as a Sturm win…I pretty much did all along.  Soliman’s public relations team has done a great job obfuscating the test results.  He tested positive under local commission protocols, and then insisted that his B-sample be opened by an independent lab in the US, but under protocols that expressly do not test for the substance that he tested positive for.  He now claims to have been clean, under the flawed rationale that the substance he tested positive for (which, by the way, he’s never claimed he didn’t take, to my knowledge) was not banned by the alphabet organization whose title he was seeking, nor by the bout contract.  That’s a preposterous strawman argument, though.  It was banned by the local German commission, and if you’re going to fight there, you obviously are bound by their rules.  Maybe the IBF and and the bout contract didn’t include a “no baseball bats” clause either, but I’m pretty sure the German authorities would have had every authority to deny Soliman the use of one, had he brought one with him.  Same principle applies.  The largely weak-minded and uninquisitive boxing media, along with the IBF, has given Soliman a pass and accepted his narrative blindly, by and large.  I will not.  He is a dirty fighter, and the fact that he’s getting this shot is a real shame, especially after Sturm already handled him the first time.  He’s ranked in the top 10 independently of the first meeting, based mostly on a 2012 decision over 15th-ranked Garth Wood, along with three other gatekeeper-level wins for which he did not test dirty.  As for Sturm, he can’t catch a break on the cards lately, after having benefited from biased judging in his favor for years.

 

#9 Sergio Mora vs. Samuel Rogers; Las Vegas, Nevada; Off TV
Mora continues to wait for a big fight after converting on a huge upset against fringe contender, and ultimately shooting star, Grzegorz Proksa back in June.  He comes off a 5th round knockout over low level journeyman Milton Nunez.  Rogers, of the Virgin Islands, comes off a decision loss- the first of his career- against veteran journeyman Carlos Jerez.  I wouldn’t rule him out as a legitimate prospect despite that loss, but it’s a pretty big ask to expect him to be competitive with a top 10 contender after losing to a journeyman.

 

Sunday
#20 Dmitry Chudinov vs. Patrick Nielsen; Mytishchi, Russia; Boytsovskiy Klub (Russia)
This is one of those fights you love to see.  Two blue-chip undefeated prospects on their way up meeting in a high-stakes matchup.  I’ve seen both guys, and both have had occasional struggles with opponents far below this level.  Nielsen seems to be the better technical fighter to me, but still only narrowly outpointed a guy named Jamel Bakhi at one point.  Chudinov had perhaps even greater trouble with journeyman Patrick Mendy not that long ago.  He has apparent power- probably more than Nielsen, but he tends to club with his punches, and has a tendency to headhunt.  I’ve seen him tire himself out from all the heavily-thrown misses.  On neutral ground, I think I’d give a narrow edge to Nielsen, but maybe in Russia you’d have to give Chudinov a slight edge if you were betting, particularly since Nielsen is not much of a knockout threat.

Middleweight: 2013, Dec 16-22

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Middleweight: 2013, Dec 9-15

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Middleweight: 2013, Mar 4-10

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 4, 2013 by danboxing
No fights from last week to report, but last week’s #6 Sam Soliman tested positive for a designer stimulant after his already highly controversial victory over Sturm, and he is consequently removed.  The precedent established during the Tarver debacle holds that he will be removed and, should he return, will be treated as if he had been removed for inactivity.  Should he be vindicated (e.g. by a negative test of his “B” sample), he will be restored to the ranking he would have held had the positive test never occurred, with the appropriate dates applied retroactively.  Soliman vehemently denies using a banned substance, for what it’s worth.  As for Sturm, the Tarver precedent held that he would not suffer any ill effects from the tainted fight.  In effect, it would be treated for the victim as a no contest.  In this case, I had Sturm winning 115-112 (most others had him winning, as well).  So in the few cases this is likely to come up in the future, let the record show that in the event that the PED victim lost the fight in a minimum deference fashion (i.e. the winner by my score disagreed with the official outcome, but not to the point of a blatant robbery), I will substitute my score for the victim’s benefit.  Clearer losses will still be rendered as no contests.

 

Sturm would probably return to #2 with or without full credit for a win, and that’s just where he ends up.  Last week’s #s 3-5 are pushed back one place each, while #s 8-20 advance, placing Hassan N’Dam in the top 10 for the first time in a month.  Filling the void at #20 is Makoto Fuchigami, who was last ranked there on January 27th.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (151-151-151)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- UD12 #4 Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. #10 Martin Murray
Martinez will look to come back strong from knee surgery when he takes on Martin Murray in Argentina on April 27.
1) Daniel Geale (89-194-194)
Last Fight: 1/30/2013- UD12 #11 Anthony Mundine
Next Fight: Unknown
With Soliman testing positive for a PED, his expected fight with Geale is probably out.  Perhaps a Sturm rematch is the most obvious follow-up.
2) Felix Sturm (1-494-494)
Last Fight: 2/1/2013- L* (UD12) vs. #12 Sam Soliman (on PEDs)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sturm is considering a move to 168, but may be emboldened at 160 by having deserved a win over Soliman even knowing that Soliman was apparently on PEDs.
3) Gennady Golovkin (1-27-90)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- TKO7 JMW #? Gabriel Rosado

Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #20 Nobuhiro Ishida
Golovkin will headline the Super 4 Light Heavyweight Tourney card in Monaco, fighting Nobuhiro Ishida, who is starting to lose all traces of the luster he gained by beating James Kirkland.
4) Matthew Macklin (1-89-180)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- TKO1 Joachim Alcine (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Macklin reciprocated the calling out he got from Andy Lee, and raised him a specific date and show- challenging Lee to fight him on HBO May 11.
5) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (1-92-110)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L (UD12) vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Next Fight: Unknown
Chavez finally got the details of his punishment from the Nevada comission.  He is suspended until June 15 and was fined 900k, or 30% of his purse from the Martinez fight.  He plans to come back on the first available day- June 15 itself, and has floated Bryan Vera and Matthew Macklin as possible opponents.  Macklin in particular would be a spectacular matchup and would likely justify the November rematch with Sergio that he’s shooting for if he pulls off the win.
6) Peter Quillin (1-20-41)
Last Fight: 10/20/2012- UD12 #6 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. Fernando Guerrero (UNR)
Quillin’s fight with Guerrero has been postponed from February 9 to April 27 due to an injury to the card’s headliner, Danny Garcia.
7) Dmitry Pirog (1-136-136)
Last Fight: 5/1/2012- UD12 #20 Nobuhiro Ishida
Next Fight: Unknown
It sounds like Pirog has more than a run of the mill back injury.  His promoter calls his situation “spine trauma” he’s been nursing since the Maciel fight, and says that it “doesn’t look particularly good.”  It looks like a foregone conclusion that Pirog will be inactive for well over a year.  My mission between now and his May 1 anniversary will be to determine whether there’s a significant chance of a return in the foreseeable future.  There’s a fine line between giving an injured fighter time to recover and holding a spot for a guy that may not fight again for years, if ever.
8) Grzegorz Proksa (1-99-99)
Last Fight: 2/9/2013- UD6 Norbert Szekeres (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Proksa’s worthless fight with Szekeres came at a steep price, as he hurt his hand badly enough to scuttle a proposed 3/23 appearance on Friday Night Fights.
9) Martin Murray (1-66-66)
Last Fight: 11/24/2012- TKO6 Jorge Navarro (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. Champ Sergio Martinez
Murray will look to prove that he belongs at or above the level he achieved by drawing with Sturm when he fights the Champ in Argentina on April 27.
10) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (1-1-123)
Last Fight: 10/20/2012- L (UD12) vs. #20 Peter Quillin
Next Fight: Unknown

N’Dam was recently seen sparring at Mayweather’s gym with some of his top prospects.  This has fueled speculation of his possibly signing with Mayweather Promotions, himself.
11) Osumanu Adama (1-102)
Last Fight: 3/7/2012- L(UD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: 3/16/2013- vs. Grady Brewer (UNR)
Adama’s return has been bumped up to March 16, when he’ll fight declining gatekeeper Grady Brewer in Lowell, Massachusetts.
12) Marco Antonio Rubio (1-110)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- KO11 Michel Rosales (UNR)

Next Fight: 3/23/2013- vs. Marcus Upshaw (UNR)
Rubio is now part of Robert Garcia’s impressive stable of fighters, and has potential future rematch with Chavez and a likely mandatory against the Quillin-Guerrero winner.  For now, he’s fighting upset specialist Marcus Upshaw in late March.
13) Anthony Mundine (1-110)
Last Fight: 1/30/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Daniel Geale
Next Fight: Unknown
A delusional Mundine is crying robbery after being thoroughly defeated by Geale.
14) Max Bursak (1-110)
Last Fight: 2/2/2013- TKO3 Julien Marie Sainte (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bursak is now the EBU champion after destroying journeyman Sainte.
15) Demetrius Andrade (1-81)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- UD10 Freddy Hernandez (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
On his recent ShoBox appearance, a big deal was made of Andrade’s speculated move up to 160 in the future.  But as his ranking would suggest, he’s already had at least one foot firmly planted in this division for quite some time.
16) Darren Barker (1-73)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO4 Kerry Hope (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/9/2013- vs. Simone Rotolo (UNR)
Barker fights Italian Champion Simone Rotolo- borderline top 50 on the world stage- March 9 in London.
17) Bryan Vera (1-20)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- TKO10 Sergei Dzinziruk (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/29/2013- vs. Donatus Bondorovas (UNR)
Vera stays busy on March 29, when he fights Lithuanian journeyman Donatus Bondorovas in New York on a Friday Night Fights card.  He is also being considered for a June 15 fight with JCC, Jr.
18) Curtis Stevens (1-7)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- KO1 Elvin Ayala (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Stevens will fight on the Fury-Cunningham undercard at MSG on 4/20.  Opponent to be announced.
19) Nobuhiro Ishida (1-53)
Last Fight: 5/1/2012- L(UD12) vs. #8 Dmitry Pirog
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #3 Gennady Golovkin
Ishida is probably about to spend his last remaining bit of currency from the Kirkland win.  He would need an even more shocking upset to survive- much less beat- the rampaging Gennady Golovkin.
20) Makoto Fuchigami (1-1)
Last Fight: 10/12/2012- RTD6 Marlon Alta (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/30/2013- vs. Akio Shibata (UNR)
Fuchigami has a good domestic-level opportunity on his hands, fighting essentially a peer in junior middleweight fringe contender Akio Shibata.

 

The Week Ahead: Friday in Manchester, England, former top 10 junior middleweight contender Prince Arron is on the schedule to fight an opponent to be announced.
Saturday in Santo Domingo of the Dominican Republic, gatekeeper Giovanni Lorenzo stays busy against very weak journeyman Jairo Siris. 

 

And Saturday in London, #16 Darren Barker battles Italian champion and borderline top-50 contender Simone Rotolo.  This is his first fight against that caliber of opposition since his October 2011 stoppage loss to Champion Sergio Martinez.