Archive for Sergey Khomitsky

Super Middleweight: 2014, Jul 21-27

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on December 13, 2014 by danboxing
In last week’s preview of the Macau undercard fight between #15 Gilberto Ramirez and Junior Talipeau, I opined that Talipeau, a quality journeyman, would provide some resistance for the fast rising Mexican prospect.  I was wrong.  Talipeau got blitzed from the opening bell, and never even managed to get into the fight.  Ramirez caught him on the end of a long uppercut that led to a knockdown, and the fight was functionally over from there.  Ramirez added two more knockdowns in the one and only round before the fight was mercifully stopped. 

 

Talipeau was once a top 50 fighter, but hasn’t deserved such recognition since his 2011 loss to Zac Awad, and so Ramirez gets no opportunity to advance with the victory.  However, last week’s #13 Maxim Vlasov is removed in light of the news that his fight this weekend will be contested at the 175 pound limit.  He hasn’t made 168 in about 20 months, and is thus ineligible for a continued ranking here.  Everyone ranked #14 and below last week moves up a spot, and Don Mouton re-enters for the first time since Gilberto Ramirez knocked him out and out of the rankings at the beginning of February.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (136-270-270)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says his lawsuit is not keeping him from fighting, and says he expects a fight by the end of the year, along with 3 in 2015.  Seems optimistic to me.
1) Carl Froch (113-423-423)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- KO8 #7 George Groves
Next Fight: Unknown
Froch is reportedly close to reaching a deal to fight DeGale in November or December.
2) Arthur Abraham (21-248-248)
Last Fight: 5/3/2014- UD12 Nikola Sjekloca (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/27/2014- vs. Paul Smith (UNR)
Abraham gets what should be a relatively easy defense on September 27 against gatekeeper Paul Smith of England.
3) Robert Stieglitz (21-256-256)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (SD12) vs. #4 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR)
I thnk I read the initial report wrong, as Stieglitz will fight on July 26 instead of June 26.  His opponent will be the dangerously underrated Sergey Khomitsky, who arguably ought to own a win over Martin Murray.
4) James DeGale (8-9-145)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- TKO4* #4 Brandon Gonzales
Next Fight: Unknown
See Froch’s notes, above.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (9-164-212)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: Unknown
Oosthuizen was supposed to fight Doudou Ngumbu on 6/21 and then enter his promoter’s Super 6 Tournament at 175.  Instead, Johnny Muller replaced him and lost, and thus ruined his own chances to fight in that tournament.  Now the word is that Oosthuizen is “in no position” to get in the ring for the tournament.  I wonder if that’s a reference to an injury, or just more weight issues.  Either way, it’s entirely clear that the South African is done at 168.
6) Ezequiel Maderna (9-37-82)
Last Fight: 4/25/2014- TKO3 Richard Vidal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
7) George Groves (9-84-106)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- L (KO8) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 9/20/2014- vs. #11 Christopher Rebrasse
Groves is scheduled to fight again on September 20, in an eliminator for a shot at the Bika-Dirrell winner.
8) Brandon Gonzales (8-56-56)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- L (TKO4*) vs. #10 James DeGale
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzales deserved a shot to continue, but he certainly didn’t look like an eventual winner under the best of circumstances against DeGale.
9) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (8-21-21)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD10 #5 MW Bryan Vera
Next Fight: Unknown
With the Froch fight apparently dead, Cotto is now interested in Chavez, whose camp claims he can still make 160 for the fight.
10) Bryan Vera (8-21-21)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #17 JMW Gabriel Rosado (BKB)
In a surprise move, Vera will fight Gabriel Rosado in the main event of a “Big Knockout Boxing” card.  This is not quite the boxing you’re used to, with different rules regarding knockdowns and a circular “pit” replacing the traditional ring.  I haven’t yet decided if I will let it affect the rankings, considering that it will theoretically be a fair fight between two legitimate boxers.  I may have to see it in action before I know how I feel about its applicability to normal boxing.
11) Christopher Rebrasse (9-59)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- TKO4 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/20/2014- vs. #7 George Groves
See Groves’ notes, above.
12) Sakio Bika (9-381)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #16 Anthony Dirrell
Bika will re-match Anthony Dirrell on August 16 in Carson, California.
13) Edwin Rodriguez (1-79)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Gilberto Ramirez (1-25)
Last Fight: 7/19/2014- TKO1 Junior Talipeau (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ramirez confirms that he feels comfortable at 168, and is looking for big fights in his more or less new division.
15) Ryota Murata (1-48)
Last Fight: 5/22/2014- KO6 Jesus Angel Nerio (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Murata is rumored to be fighting in Singapore in October.
16) Anthony Dirrell (1-33)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. #11 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #12 Sakio Bika
Dirrell will get a second crack at Bika on August 16.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (1-73)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Caleb Truax (1-15)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (MD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/25/2014- vs. Derek Ennis (UNR)
Truax’s July 25 Friday Night Fights opponent is now Derek Ennis, rather than Porky Medina.  Basically a lateral move, but maybe a bit of a downgrade.
19) Derek Edwards (1-9)
Last Fight: 2/28/2014- TKO1 #20 Badou Jack
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Don Mouton (1-1)
Last Fight: 5/3/2014- TKO3 William Johnson (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. Larry Smith (UNR) (at MW)
Mouton’s career took a big hit with the Ramirez loss, as you can tell from his last opponent and the one for this week.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Wednesday
Avtandil Khurtsidze vs. Allen Conyers; New York, New York; Off TV
Khurtsidze is a long-time middleweight fringe contender from the Republic of Georgia, who is returning to the ring, a few pounds heavier than usual, for the first time since late 2011.  Conyers is a mid-level journeyman who is said to have some power and can handle himself, but is probably not much of a threat on this level.

 

Saturday
#3 Robert Stieglitz vs. Sergey Khomitsky; Dessau, Germany; RAN (Germany) 
The idea of #3 Stieglitz losing to an unranked guy like Khomitsky- a career journeyman until very recently- sounds far-fetched.  That being said, Khomitsky arguably beat Martin Murray (who I would have considered a better fighter than Stieglitz) this year and then upset British prospect Frank Buglioni.  I don’t know that he should be anything like a favorite against Stieglitz’s long and distinguished overall resume, but I do believe you’re likely to get odds that might justify a bet for the underdog, if you are of a betting mind.  Should be an excellent fight.

 

Juergen Doberstein vs. Matingu Kindele; Kaarst, Germany; Off TV
Doberstein is a one-loss prospect.  I’m not sure he qualifies as a blue-chipper, but he is coming off his career best win, by a mile, in a dominant 12-round decision over the very capable William Gare.  Kindele is basically a novice at just 5-2, and hasn’t proven much of anything to this point.  It shouldn’t be all that competitive.

Super Middleweight: 2014, Apr 14-20

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on September 19, 2014 by danboxing
#17 Gilberto Ramirez dominated journeyman and former fringe contender Giovanni Lorenzo on Friday Night Fights this week in Vegas, winning every round clearly, and dropping Lorenzo once in the third and twice in the 5th to cement the win.  Ramirez looked good, showing impressive activity and a level of accuracy in his punches that is often uncharacteristic with tall long-armed fighters like him.  Lorenzo is now pretty clearly done as a significant fighter.  He accepted defeat, it appeared, rather easily, and his body language indicates a terminal lack of confidence at this stage, as well.  One caveat to the first knockdown, though: Jay Nady- a normally excellent referee- was way off his game.  He recognized that Ramirez had landed a low blow on Lorenzo, but allowed the action to continue unabated, even though it was apparent that the shot had hurt Lorenzo.  Ramirez proceeded to pummel a weakened Lorenzo to create the knockdown.  Nady completed the unflattering sequence by forgetting to wipe off Lorenzo’s gloves after he rose, and sending Ramirez to the wrong corner and then yelling at him for going to the wrong one.

 

In what’s being called a major upset despite being extremely easy to predict, undefeated London prospect Frank Buglioni was walked down and busted up by the tank-like aggression and thudding punches of Sergey Khomitsky of Belarus.  Why predictable?  Well, Khomitsky was coming off what probably should have been a win over Martin Murray, a guy who probably should have been the Middleweight Champion at the time.  Sure, he was a rather ordinary journeyman coming into that fight, but you can’t outfight a guy that just outfought Sergio Martinez and somehow remain a big underdog against an undefeated prospect who hasn’t yet fought even a mid-level journeyman. 

 

Lorenzo was no longer at the level necessary to boost Ramirez’s ranking, nor had Buglioni proven enough to establish Khomitsky here.  Let’s be honest.  Khomitsky is clearly a top 20 super middleweight at the moment.  It’s just that I still can’t give him credit for the Murray performance because it was a debateable fight that Murray officially won.  For that reason, I’d have to rank Murray along with Khomitsky if I were to rank the Belorussian, the problem being that Murray has never beaten a top 50 fighter at 168, including Khomitsky, who was not top 50 at the time. 

 

The one change that does occur this week is the removal of Andy Lee.  He was ranked here due to some wins that were technically over the middleweight limit.  He just clearly lost a fight at middleweight to a career welterweight and light middleweight in Frank Haroche Horta (who was only borderline top 50 at 154), slinking away with an absolute robbery of a majority decision win.  Losing on that level at a lower weight is going to get you bounced 10 out of 10 times.  I’ll discuss the fight in more detail in my middleweight update.  Caleb Truax returns at #20 for the first time since being forced out on March 3.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (122-256-256)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward is being targeted by at least some on Kovalev’s team.
1) Carl Froch (99-409-409)
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 (7-234-234)
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 (7-242-242)
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 (7-488-488)
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 (42-42-42)
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 (29-150-198)
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 (23-23-68)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #6 Thomas Oosthuizen
Next Fight: 4/25/2014- vs. Richard Vidal (UNR)
Maderna apparently will fight low-level journeyman Richard Vidal in La Plata, Argentina on April 25.
8) George Groves (23-70-92)
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. (7-7-7)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD10 #5 MW Bryan Vera
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s not signed, but it’s looking highly likely that Chavez will fight Golovkin on July 19 right here at 168.
10) Bryan Vera (7-7-7)
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 (7-131)
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 (7-45)
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 (7-367)
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 (7-75)
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 (7-65)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. Marcus Johnson (UNR) (at LHW)
Rodriguez is back from elbow surgery, and has a decent light heavyweight fight on the horizon against Marcus Johnson on May 24.
16) Gilberto Ramirez (1-11)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- TKO5 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ramirez got some nice US TV exposure, along with a decent name on his resume, even if that name was well past his prime.
17) Ryota Murata (1-34)
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 (1-19)
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 (1-59)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Caleb Truax (1-1)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (MD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: 
Wednesday
Louis Rose vs. Emanuel Ledezma; Santa Monica, California; Off TV
Rose is a one-loss prospect that has apparently rounded into form since an inexplicable loss to journeyman Tony Hirsch in 2012.  He broke into the top 50 (maybe the top 25) with a convincing victory over gatekeeper/prospect hybrid Paul Mendez in October.  Well, convincing for everyone except two really awful judges in Susan Thomas-Gitlin and Michael Tate, whose scores led to an absolutely ludicrous draw.  Ledezma is a fellow one-loss prospect whose loss came against decent 6-0 prospect Albert Onolunose back in 2006.  He has, however, had draws since then against a pair of very mediocre opponents, and he’s been fairly inactive overall.  Edge to Rose.  The fight will be contested right around the middleweight limit, but is likely to leak over.  Combined with the fact that Rose is more established at super middle, I decided to discuss it here exclusively unless it does turn out to be a middleweight fight.

 

Friday
Don George vs. Troy Lowry; Hammond, Indiana; Off TV
George has been off 10 months since a brutal beating suffered at the hands of Caleb Truax.  He’s getting back in the game slowly, taking on the experienced but non-threatening Troy Lowry, an inactive lower-mid-level journeyman who made 154 just two fights ago in early 2012. 

 

Saturday
Callum Smith vs. Francois Bastient; Manchester, England; Sky Sports 2 (UK)
Smith is an impressive young Liverpool prospect who is tall for the weight class at 6’3″.  Bastient is a veteran but rather mediocre journeyman from France.  Shouldn’t be too difficult a night for the young Brit.

Super Middleweight: 2014, Apr 7-13

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on September 3, 2014 by danboxing
On Friday, we saw another fight botched by a referee, and another Main Events fighter got a win that he arguably didn’t deserve thanks to bad officiating.  Undefeated but (as a pro, at least) untested prospect Tureano Johnson of the Bahamas dominated #18 middleweight Curtis Stevens to a shocking degree for 9 rounds.  Needing a stoppage going into the final round, Stevens managed to get it…just not with full legitimacy.  Johnson had Stevens and his vaunted power smothered on the ropes for virtually the entire fight, with a brief hiccup in the 4th, in which Stevens clearly took control to win a round.  Stevens was clearly behind 89-82 going into the final round, and in that round he caught a rapidly tiring Johnson with his right hand low while infighting.  He took a step back and fired a vicious left hook that badly hurt Johnson and sent him reeling back to the ropes with his legs largely gone.  Stevens then jumped on him and let loose with a flurry of short quick punches- none of which landed, as far as I could tell- whereupon referee Gary Rosato jumped in to stop it with 53 seconds remaining.  

 

Here’s the truth.  Johnson was BADLY hurt, and there is an excellent chance (I’d put it at 60% or more, personally) that Stevens was on his way to stopping him without any special help from Rosato.  But being badly hurt doesn’t equal the end of the fight.  If Stevens had landed even one telling blow after putting Johnson in that condition and on the ropes, that would be a different story and at least lend an arguable justification to the stoppage, but if any punches landed at all from that point, they were not clean or damaging.  Johnson still might have summoned the wherewithal to hold and/or smother Stevens’ shots long enough to regain the faculties necessary to finish the fight on his feet, or at the very least might have realized his peril and taken a knee.  If Johnson had taken a knee just one second after Rosato’s stoppage as he should have been given the chance to do, for instance, he would have found himself with no more than 43 seconds left in the fight, and would probably have recovered at least a little from the punch.  It’s not particularly difficult, if you’re being honest, to picture Johnson surviving from that point.  Two or three clinches and/or a second time taking a knee, if necessary, would kill enough clock for that.

 

Now that’s all assuming that Johnson’s faculties were sufficiently gathered up at some point before it was legitimately too late in order to attempt and execute the survival tactics necessary to make it.  That’s by no means certain.  For all we know, Stevens might have followed his flurry immediately with a crisp body-head combination to turn the lights out.  The sad truth is that because Rosato rushed to action, we will simply never know, and will thus never know the rightful winner of the fight.

 

A previous precedent I announced back when Jon Schorle stole a clear victory from Carlos Molina by ridiculously disqualifying him holds that when a fight is abbreviated by a clearly erroneous decision by a referee, the fight will be treated as if it had ended due to an accidental foul, with my scorecard being consulted to determine the winner.  This would be that kind of instance, but I think a distinction is necessary here.  As I said, I think it’s a bit more likely than not that Stevens was about to legitimately stop Johnson.  To go to the cards and award Johnson the win in this case would be no less arbitrary in one direction than Rosato himself was in awarding a perhaps impending, but as-yet unearned, victory to Stevens.  So here’s my amendment to that rule: when the beneficiary of a fight-ending bad call by a ref is behind in the fight but has a clear and significant path to legitimate victory (let’s say greater than a 25% or greater chance as a guideline), the fight will be treated as a no contest, since no satisfactory winner had legitimately be determined with an acceptable degree of confidence.  Here’s how that distinguishes from Kirkland-Molina.  Kirkland had just scored a knockdown in a fight in which he was (or should have been) hopelessly behind.  That may have been enough to give him some hope for a comeback, but he was behind 5 points on my card and thus had no realistic path to victory on the scorecard.  Molina did not appear seriously hurt, and the 10th round was over.  While Kirkland obviously still had a puncher’s chance to win the fight in the last 2 rounds, I think it would be a stretch to say he was more than 25% likely to win that fight by stoppage at the point it was ended.  In addition, Molina had dropped Kirkland earlier in the round and won the thing overall, but Schorle had messed that up, as well.  Molina had demonstrated that in all likelihood, he would have gone on to be the legitimate winner of the fight, and the balance of the action to that late stage had made a victory for him feel abstractly like an appropriate- if imperfect- result.  In the more recent case, the legitimate outcome was hanging entirely in the balance at the moment the fight was stopped, and thus no victory for either fighter could be satisfactory on any level.  Future examples of this type of issue will be treated with one rule or the other based on which scenario it more closely resembles.  That’s more subjective than I like to be, but ultimately I care more for keeping the rankings free from unnecessary pollution from bad officiating and enforcing justice and fairness on the parallel universe I control here than I do about slavishly enforcing the letter of the law that I wrote on an ad hoc basis in the first place.

 

What this means in the final analysis is that we have no real winner here, and no changes- whether here or at 160- will result from this murkier-than-necessary contest.  I do feel that Johnson’s stock has risen a good deal, despite how he looked in the final seconds.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (121-255-255)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward is being targeted by at least some on Kovalev’s team.
1) Carl Froch (98-408-408)
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 (6-233-233)
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 (6-241-241)
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 (6-487-487)
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 (41-41-41)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #11 James DeGale
The IBF has ordered an eliminator between Gonzales and DeGale, with the winner becoming the mandatory to the Froch-Groves winner, and DeGale confirmed that he’s agreed to the battle.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (28-149-197)
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 (22-22-67)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #6 Thomas Oosthuizen
Next Fight: 4/25/2014- vs. Richard Vidal (UNR)
Maderna apparently will fight low-level journeyman Richard Vidal in La Plata, Argentina on April 25.
8) George Groves (22-69-91)
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. (6-6-6)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD10 #5 MW Bryan Vera
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s not signed, but it’s looking highly likely that Chavez will fight Golovkin on July 19 right here at 168.
10) Bryan Vera (6-6-6)
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 (6-130)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- TKO11 Gevorg Khatchikian (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #5 Brandon Gonzales
DeGale has split from his promoter Mick Hennessy.  He’s still rumored to be fighting Brandon Gonzales next, who himself has just gone through a promotional change.
12) Christopher Rebrasse (6-44)
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 (6-366)
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.
14) Maxim Vlasov (6-74)
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 (6-64)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
According to his trainer Ronnie Shields, they might be looking to fight a top-15 level light heavyweight, and have absolutely no intention to ever try to make 168 again.  He’ll be on the shelf for a little while due to bone chip-removal surgery on his elbow in December.
 16) Andy Lee (6-47)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013-TKO2 Ferenc Hafner (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/12/2014- vs. Frank Haroche Horta (UNR) (at JMW)
In a surprising development, Lee will be moving down to 154, and will be taking on Frenchman Frank Haroche Horta at or around that weight this weekend.
17) Gilberto Ramirez (6-10)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO1 #19 Don Mouton
Next Fight: 4/11/2014- vs. Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Ramirez is back on April 11 in the Friday Night Fights main event against gatekeeper Lorenzo.
18) Ryota Murata (6-33)
Last Fight: 2/22/2014- TKO4 Carlos Nascimento (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bob Arum plans to have Murata in action at Singapore this year according to Dan Rafael, but I don’t have any further details.
19) Anthony Dirrell (6-18)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. #11 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: Unknown
His hard-fought draw with Sakio Bika gained Dirrell a measure of redemption for what pretty clearly should have been a loss against Don Mouton, and has him back in the hot prospect category.  He’s called for a rematch (good idea) and a fight with Golovkin (bad idea).
20) Hadillah Mohoumadi (6-58)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: 
Friday
#17 Gilberto Ramirez vs. Giovanni Lorenzo; Las Vegas, Nevada; ESPN2 (US)
Ramirez is an undefeated 23 year-old Mexican who reached all-new heights by beating the deeply underrated Don Mouton in lightning-fast fashion in his last fight.  You could make the argument that he proved himself more as a middleweight than a 168-pounder in that one, since Mouton entered at under 163 pounds.  This fight will be contested at or near the 168 pound limit, though.  Lorenzo is probably not what he once was, having lost his last 5 significant fights dating back to 2009, and is probably not even a legitimate top 50 fighter anymore.  Furthermore, since he’s only dabbled at 168 himself, I doubt this will do much to cement Ramirez’s status as a serious force at 168 as opposed to 160, at least among any who currently doubt that status.  It will provide the most recognizable name on Ramirez’s resume, though, should he leave with a win.

 

Saturday
Sergey Khomitsky vs. Frank Buglioni; London, England; BoxNation (UK)
Khomitsky was viewed as a rather garden-variety journeyman 5 months ago, and signed for what was supposed to be just a tune-up fight for Martin Murray, who probably deserved to be the middleweight champion at that point after getting borderline robbed against Sergio Martinez.  Perhaps with some help from the lingering effects of a virus that Murray was contending with, Khomitsky went out and at least arguably beat Murray in the 8-round fight.  The ref and sole judge disagreed, and gave Murray every benefit of the doubt to have it for the Englishman by a single round.  That created a bit of a paradox for me.  The fight was contracted a few pounds over the middleweight limit.  Khomitsky’s performance really should have entitled him to at least some consideration for a ranking at 168.  But since the result was ambiguous, I would have had to treat Murray as if he had achieved something like a draw.  But having never done any significant business at 168 before, this would have been the only significant result Murray could claim.  As the official loser, I couldn’t rank Khomitsky ahead of Murray, but I also couldn’t rank Murray at all because all he’d achieved was the equivalent of a draw with a non-top 50 fighter.  As for Buglioni, he’s an undefeated prospect from the London area who usually wins by stoppage, but he’s never fought anyone on Khomitsky’s level as a pro, even if the Murray performance is set aside.  I’m picking Khomitsky here, to he honest.

Super Middleweight: 2013, Dec 16-22

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (105-239-239)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says he would fight Golovkin or Hopkins, but seems to doubt that either of them wants to fight him.  In the meantime, he has maybe another fight to deal with that could do more damage to his career than any he has yet met in the ring- a lawsuit against his promoter.  He hopes to be back in March or April, though.
1) Carl Froch (82-392-392)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO9 #8 George Groves
Next Fight: Unknown
After a grueling fight that showed Froch returning to his pre-Super 6 ways by pulling one out of the fire late, Froch has a very credible and vehement rematch challenge in his lap, courtesy of George Groves.  Rumor has it that he intends to refuse, and has also resisted suggestions that he move up to 175 to fight Stevenson.  His current focus seems to be on trying to make a Ward rematch.
2) Robert Stieglitz (39-225-225)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- UD12 Isaac Ekpo (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. #4 Arthur Abraham
The Abraham-Stieglitz trilogy bout, originally announced for February 1, is now official for March 1, in Stieglitz’s home base of Magdeburg.
3) Mikkel Kessler (53-471-471)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
After meeting with Kessler, his promoter says he won’t be fighting anytime soon, and Kessler hinted at possible retirement immediately after the Froch fight.  It’s not looking good for Kessler fans, though the Viking Warrior recently said, rather vaguely, that he still wants a big fight.
4) Arthur Abraham (31-217-217)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Giovanni De Carolis (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. #2 Robert Stieglitz
See Stieglitz’s notes, above.
5) Brandon Gonzales (25-25-25)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzales was placed in the position of fighting Vlasov in an alphabet eliminator, but it’s unclear at present if that fight is still on the table or not.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (12-133-181)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: 1/18/2014- vs. LHW #18 Eleider Alvarez (at LHW)
Oosthuizen-Alvarez looks like it’s staying on the Bute-Pascal card despite a few roadblocks.
7) Ezequiel Maderna (6-6-51)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #6 Thomas Oosthuizen
Next Fight: Unknown
I doubt he’ll get much love from the alphabets for his effort, but I think you could make a better case for him winning than losing against Oosthuizen, though I had it a draw personally.
8) George Groves (6-53-75)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- L (TKO9) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
While I think the result of a TKO loss was an inevitable one, I also don’t fault Groves for the ultimatum he recently issued to Froch: rematch or retire.  Obviously he can’t make Froch do that, but I think he earned the rematch, and I think there’s a lot of money in it for both guys.  He’s having to resort to personal attacks to try and get a reluctant Froch to agree, however.
9) James DeGale (5-28-114)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 Dyah Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
DeGale is agitating for a title fight after beating Davis, and thinks Froch and Groves are ducking him.  Billy Joe Saunders appears to be credibly calling him out from below, though, as well, and that fight seems to have more promotional momentum at present.
10) Christopher Rebrasse (5-5-28)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- UD6 George Kandelaki (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rebrasse was apparently involved in a December 6 fight that was so under the radar that I missed it until two weeks after it happened.
11) Sakio Bika (5-350)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dirrell wants a rematch, and that’s obviously a worthy endeavor given the legitimate draw the first time around.
12) Maxim Vlasov (6-58)
Last Fight: 12/5/2013- KO4 Maxell Taylor (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vlasov appears set for an IBF eliminator, and Brandon Gonzales and Ndiaye appear to be the possibilities to oppose him.
13) Edwin Rodriguez (6-48)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
According to his trainer Ronnie Shields, they might be looking to fight a top-15 level light heavyweight, and have absolutely no intention to ever try to make 168 again.
 14) Andy Lee (12-31)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013-TKO2 Ferenc Hafner (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lee seems to be focused on a Macklin clash for the Spring.
15) Ryota Murata (12-17)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO8 Dave Peterson (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/22/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Murata is slated for a February 22 card in Macau.
16) Caleb Truax (12-26)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO4 Ceresso Fort (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 1/3/2014- vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Ossie Duran has replaced Derek Ennis as Truax’s January 3 opponent- a modest upgrade, actually.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (12-42)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
 18) Badou Jack (2-22)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 Rogelio Medina (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jack called out the winner of Bika vs. Dirrell after his win over Medina, but might want to restate, since the fight ended in a draw the following night.
19) Don Mouton (2-12)
Last Fight: 5/13/2013- L* (UD8) vs. #10 Anthony Dirrell
Next Fight: 2/1/2013- vs. Gilberto Ramirez (UNR)
Mouton-Ramirez has been rescheduled for February 1.
20) Anthony Dirrell (2-2)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. #11 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: Unknown
His hard-fought draw with Sakio Bika gained Dirrell a measure of redemption for what pretty clearly should have been a loss against Don Mouton, and has him back in the hot prospect category.  He’s called for a rematch (good idea) and a fight with Golovkin (bad idea).

 

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