Archive for Wilbeforce Shihepo

Light Heavyweight: 2014, Mar 3-9

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on July 24, 2014 by danboxing
Both of the significant fights in the division last week were on a single card at the Emperor’s Palace in Kempton Park, South Africa.

 

Namibian gatekeeper Wilbeforce Shihepo dominated mid-level journeyman Johnny Muller in Muller’s backyard, but the backyard judges couldn’t be bothered to notice.  I had it 117-110 for Shihepo, and I don’t see how on Earth anyone could have it more than one round closer.  That being said, I’ll give Daniel Van de Wiele’s pretty incredible 114-113 card a bit of a pass because he at least got the right winner.  South Africa’s Joseph Chaane and Ghana’s Eddie Pappoe are a different story.  I don’t know if they were paid off or if they just wanted Muller to win so badly that they couldn’t help but make it happen, but I can’t see how it wasn’t one of the two.  Both agreed on an egregious 116-113 Muller.  That score is remarkable not only for the fact that it reflects at least 5 botched rounds, but also for that both judges agreed that there were exactly two even rounds in the fight- theoretically both dominant Shihepo rounds- to arrive at that score.  At 116-113, these guys are almost giving Muller a round for every clean punch he landed.  I might be exaggerating slightly, since Muller did come on a little bit in the last 3 rounds, but the guy really could barely land anything for the majority of the fight.  He was as technically sound as a drunk Sakio Bika, and almost always overshot the target and ended up wrapping his arm behind Shihepo’s head after missing long.  

 

In a much less controversial result, undefeated South African Ryno Liebenberg came out on top in an entertaining one-round slugfest with Ugandan gatekeeper Joey Vegas.  Vegas hurt Liebenberg early in the round before getting tagged and dropped himself.  He then rose and suffered a barrage in the corner, though he took a lot of the shots off his shoulder.  Still, a relentless Liebenberg was able to catch him once again, and though Vegas appeared reasonably steady at the count of eight, he had stumbled enough in standing that referee Daniel Van de Wiele felt he was unable to continue.  I think that was debatable based on what I could see on TV, but I’m not going to complain too much.

 

If Muller had legitimately won, his victory would have been a significant event in the division.  As it is, it’s just a gatekeeper beating a journeyman and getting robbed.  No effect on the rankings whatsoever.  Liebenberg’s nice win gets him in the conversation.  He’s not a top 20 contender yet, but he is probably top 30, and on the rise.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (78-78-78)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says his manager is working on his next fight despite his lawsuit against promoter Dan Goossen.  He had indicated interest in Golovkin, but the Kazakh’s own trainer recently said his fighter is not ready for that fight.
1) Adonis Stevenson (39-39-39)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO6 #6 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #6 Andrzej Fonfara
According to Ringtv.com, Stevenson-Fonfara will most likely land on May 24.  After that, it looks like the Kovalev fight will happen in late 2014.
2) Bernard Hopkins (78-404-404)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Karo Murat (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Hopkins will fight Shumenov in mid-April at the D.C. Armory in Washington.
3) Jean Pascal (7-7-7)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD12 #16 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Pascal appears to be fully back from his 2 years in the desert, figuratively speaking, having dominated an apparently shopworn Bute.
4) Sergey Kovalev (7-59-59)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO2 Ismayl Sillakh (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. #15 Cedric Agnew
Kovalev is likely to fight Stevenson in late 2014, and has a March 29 fight coming up in Atlantic City with Cedric Agnew.
5) Chad Dawson (7-405-405)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L(TKO1) vs. SMW #6 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Dawson is now a promotional free agent, and is looking to sign with a top promoter to start rebuilding after a rough year.  He says he is interested in a Stevenson rematch.  Prospects for another occasionally-discussed rematch- with Jean Pascal- increased recently with word that Pascal’s trainer offered Dawson a contract.
6) Andrzej Fonfara (7-29-86)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- KO2 Samuel Miller (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
May 24 looks likely for Fonfara-Stevenson.
7) Tony Bellew (7-125-125)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- L (TKO6) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
Bellew plans a move to cruiserweight, and his first fight there is scheduled for March 15 in Liverpool, against Valery Brudov.
8) Gabriel Campillo (7-193-193)
Last Fight: 8/16/2013- L (KO9) vs. #14 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: 5/9/2014- vs. Ibrahim Lopez (UNR)
Campillo will reportedly fight unproven one-loss Spanish prospect Ibrahim Lopez on May 9 in Madrid.
9) Tavoris Cloud (7-236-236)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Cloud should probably get himself back in the win column at some point.
10) Nathan Cleverly (7-213-213)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (TKO4) vs. #3 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
Cleverly’s cruiserweight debut is once again delayed by what’s being called a minor injury.  His promoter says he intends to schedule him another fight very soon.
11) Isaac Chilemba (7-109)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD8 Michael Gbenga (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Denis Grachev (UNR)
Chilemba is in the US, training for a March 15 bout with fringe contender Grachev.
12) Jürgen Brähmer (7-98)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD12 Marcus Oliveira (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Enzo Maccarinelli (UNR)
Braehmer returns April 5 in Rostock, Germany against moderately resurgent Welshman Enzo Maccarinelli.
13) Karo Murat (6-19)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat is a free agent after his contract with Sauerland recently expired.
14) Thomas Williams, Jr. (6-6)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- TKO1 #13 Cornelius White
Next Fight: Unknown
Williams has been well-matched against vulnerable guys with good resumes.
15) Cedric Agnew (7-47)
Last Fight: 4/12/2013- UD12 #14 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. #4 Sergey Kovalev
Agnew was ordered to defend his regional title against fringe contender Anatoliy Dudchenko, and also appeared to have the option of fighting Sukhotsky for a position as IBF mandatory.  Instead, he’ll now roll the dice big against Kovalev.
16) Edwin Rodriguez (7-34)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez’s trainer Ronnie Shields opines that a fight against a top-15 level light heavyweight would be a good jumping-off point for his anticipated permanent move up.  Before that happens, he’ll need to recover from minor elbow surgery he had in December.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (19-36)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (6-116)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- L (TKO1) vs. Thomas Williams, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Never blessed with big-time promotional or managerial ties, White has risked becoming a permanent opponent with his last two losses.
19) Eleider Alvarez (6-58)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD10 Andy Gardiner (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alvarez may have been suffering from a letdown after Oosthuizen withdrew from what could have been the Colombian’s biggest fight ever, and almost let it effect him to the point of losing to an unheralded undefeated prospect in Gardiner.
20) Lucian Bute (6-70)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- L (UD12) vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute looks rather shopworn after the brutal beating at the hands of Froch, the close pitched battle with Grachev, and the humiliation at the hands of Pascal.

 

The Week Ahead:
Saturday
Zsolt Erdei vs. Shalva Jomardashvili; Kecskemet, Hungary; Sport 1 (Hungary)
Erdei is simply getting some work in (his first work in nearly a year) against a low-level Georgian journeyman.

Light Heavyweight: 2014, Feb 24- Mar 2

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on June 20, 2014 by danboxing
The scheduled fight between undefeated Atlanta prospect Michael Seals and Lester Gonzalez did not come off as scheduled in Laughlin, Nevada on Friday, but there was a good fight I forgot to advertise that did.  In Moore Park, Australia, prospect Robert Berridge of New Zealand was in a rematch with Kerry Foley.  Foley was a low-level fringe prospect when, in 2011, he snatched a majority draw with Berridge, who was then a 10-0 undefeated, though untested, prospect himself.  Since then, Foley has gone nearly 30 months without a fight, while Berridge has put himself at or near the top of the South Pacific scene.  

 

The fight was fairly brutal.  Neither guy showed a great deal of defense, but both were excellent at delivering punishing bombs.  Berridge was pulling ahead on the cards by all rights, as he was applying consistent pressure and consistent work, but Foley was able to assert himself in spurts, usually hurting Berridge when he did.  It was pretty even through 5.  In the 6th, Foley was hurt and appeared on the verge of being stopped by Berridge, but pulled a perfect right hand out of the bag to drop his antagonist.  Berridge came back strong and probably won the round outside of the knockdown.  Berridge returned the favor, dropping Foley to a knee in the 7th, though that round was competitive as well.  It was an excellent two-way slugfest, though by the 9th it appeared Foley had given all he had and was just looking to hang around.  That brought us to the 10th, when one of the best of Berridge’s many brutal body shots landed flush and caused Foley to take a knee again.  This time his corner quite correctly asked referee Charlie Lucas to call a halt for a 10th round TKO.  

 

This does nothing for the Butcher’s ranking, since Foley is proven- to the extent he’s proven at all- only against Berridge himself, but it sure was a fun fight.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (77-77-77)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says his manager is working on his next fight despite his lawsuit against promoter Dan Goossen.  He had indicated interest in Golovkin, but the Kazakh’s own trainer recently said his fighter is not ready for that fight.
1) Adonis Stevenson (38-38-38)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO6 #6 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #6 Andrzej Fonfara
According to Ringtv.com, Stevenson-Fonfara will most likely land on May 24.  After that, it looks like the Kovalev fight will happen in late 2014.
2) Bernard Hopkins (77-403-403)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Karo Murat (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Hopkins will fight Shumenov in mid-April at the D.C. Armory in Washington.
3) Jean Pascal (6-6-6)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD12 #16 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Pascal appears to be fully back from his 2 years in the desert, figuratively speaking, having dominated an apparently shopworn Bute.
4) Sergey Kovalev (6-58-58)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO2 Ismayl Sillakh (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. #15 Cedric Agnew
Kovalev is likely to fight Stevenson in late 2014, and has a March 29 fight coming up in Atlantic City with Cedric Agnew.
5) Chad Dawson (6-404-404)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L(TKO1) vs. SMW #6 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Dawson is now a promotional free agent, and is looking to sign with a top promoter to start rebuilding after a rough year.  He says he is interested in a Stevenson rematch.  Prospects for another occasionally-discussed rematch- with Jean Pascal- increased recently with word that Pascal’s trainer offered Dawson a contract.
6) Andrzej Fonfara (6-28-85)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- KO2 Samuel Miller (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
May 24 looks likely for Fonfara-Stevenson.
7) Tony Bellew (6-124-124)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- L (TKO6) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
Bellew plans a move to cruiserweight, and his first fight there is scheduled for March 15 in Liverpool, against Valery Brudov.
8) Gabriel Campillo (6-192-192)
Last Fight: 8/16/2013- L (KO9) vs. #14 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: Unknown
Campillo might be on his way to deserved obscurity after being robbed of deserved prominence for so much of his career.  He still has plenty of boxing skill, but his will might be fading just a bit.  For anyone who is wondering he says he plans to make another push for a title, rather than retiring.
9) Tavoris Cloud (6-235-235)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Cloud should probably get himself back in the win column at some point.
10) Nathan Cleverly (6-212-212)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (TKO4) vs. #3 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
Cleverly’s cruiserweight debut is once again delayed by what’s being called a minor injury.  His promoter says he intends to schedule him another fight very soon.
11) Isaac Chilemba (6-108)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD8 Michael Gbenga (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Denis Grachev (UNR)
Chilemba is in the US, training for a March 15 bout with fringe contender Grachev.
12) Jürgen Brähmer (6-97)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD12 Marcus Oliveira (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Enzo Maccarinelli (UNR)
Braehmer returns April 5 in Rostock, Germany against moderately resurgent Welshman Enzo Maccarinelli.
13) Karo Murat (5-18)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat is a free agent after his contract with Sauerland recently expired.
14) Thomas Williams, Jr. (5-5)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- TKO1 #13 Cornelius White
Next Fight: Unknown
Williams has been well-matched against vulnerable guys with good resumes.
15) Cedric Agnew (6-46)
Last Fight: 4/12/2013- UD12 #14 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. #4 Sergey Kovalev
Agnew was ordered to defend his regional title against fringe contender Anatoliy Dudchenko, and also appeared to have the option of fighting Sukhotsky for a position as IBF mandatory.  Instead, he’ll now roll the dice big against Kovalev.
16) Edwin Rodriguez (6-33)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez’s trainer Ronnie Shields opines that a fight against a top-15 level light heavyweight would be a good jumping-off point for his anticipated permanent move up.  Before that happens, he’ll need to recover from minor elbow surgery he had in December.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (18-35)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (5-115)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- L (TKO1) vs. Thomas Williams, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Never blessed with big-time promotional or managerial ties, White has risked becoming a permanent opponent with his last two losses.
19) Eleider Alvarez (5-57)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD10 Andy Gardiner (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alvarez may have been suffering from a letdown after Oosthuizen withdrew from what could have been the Colombian’s biggest fight ever, and almost let it effect him to the point of losing to an unheralded undefeated prospect in Gardiner.
20) Lucian Bute (5-69)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- L (UD12) vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute looks rather shopworn after the brutal beating at the hands of Froch, the close pitched battle with Grachev, and the humiliation at the hands of Pascal.

 

The Week Ahead:
Saturday
Ryno Liebenberg vs. Joey Vegas; Kempton Park, South Africa; Fight Klub (Poland)
Undefeated prospect Liebenberg gets by far his toughest test to date in gatekeeper Joey Vegas of Uganda.  The winner will at least be on the map.

 

Wilbeforce Shihepo vs. Johnny Muller; Kempton Park, South Africa; Fight Klub (Poland)
On the Liebenberg card, Muller looks to get his career going after thrice failing at or below the gatekeeper level (twice against Ryno himself).  Shihepo is no world-beater, but has to be the favorite against Muller, who looks like a mid-level journeyman so far.

Super Middleweight: 2013, Dec 9-15

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (104-238-238)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says he would fight Golovkin or Hopkins, but seems to doubt that either of them wants to fight him.  In the meantime, he has maybe another fight to deal with that could do more damage to his career than any he has yet met in the ring- a lawsuit against his promoter.
1) Carl Froch (81-391-391)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO9 #8 George Groves
Next Fight: Unknown
After a grueling fight that showed Froch returning to his pre-Super 6 ways by pulling one out of the fire late, Froch has a very credible and vehement rematch challenge in his lap, courtesy of George Groves.  Rumor has it that he intends to refuse, and has also resisted suggestions that he move up to 175 to fight Stevenson.  His current focus seems to be on trying to make a Ward rematch.
2) Robert Stieglitz (38-224-224)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- UD12 Isaac Ekpo (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. #4 Arthur Abraham
The Abraham-Stieglitz trilogy bout, originally announced for February 1, is now official for March 1, in Stieglitz’s home base of Magdeburg.
3) Mikkel Kessler (52-470-470)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
After meeting with Kessler, his promoter says he won’t be fighting anytime soon, and Kessler hinted at possible retirement immediately after the Froch fight.  It’s not looking good for Kessler fans, though the Viking Warrior recently said, rather vaguely, that he still wants a big fight.
4) Arthur Abraham (30-216-216)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Giovanni De Carolis (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. #2 Robert Stieglitz
See Stieglitz’s notes, above.
5) Brandon Gonzales (24-24-24)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzales says he is planning to fight again in early 2014, but nothing too specific right now.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (11-132-180)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: 1/18/2014- vs. LHW #18 Eleider Alvarez (at LHW)
Oosthuizen’s scheduled January fight has been denied title sanctioning by an alphabet organization.  It’s not clear whether that will pose a problem for the fight coming off.
7) Ezequiel Maderna (5-5-50)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #6 Thomas Oosthuizen
Next Fight: Unknown
I doubt he’ll get much love from the alphabets for his effort, but I think you could make a better case for him winning than losing against Oosthuizen, though I had it a draw personally.
8) George Groves (5-52-74)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- L (TKO9) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
While I think the result of a TKO loss was an inevitable one, I also don’t fault Groves for the ultimatum he recently issued to Froch: rematch or retire.  Obviously he can’t make Froch do that, but I think he earned the rematch, and I think there’s a lot of money in it for both guys.  He’s having to resort to personal attacks to try and get a reluctant Froch to agree, however.
9) James DeGale (4-27-113)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 Dyah Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
DeGale is agitating for a title fight after beating Davis, and thinks Froch and Groves are ducking him.
10) Christopher Rebrasse (4-4-27)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #10 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye
Next Fight: Unknown
Rebrasse’s unnecessary rematch with Ndiaye appears to have been cancelled. 
11) Sakio Bika (4-349)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dirrell wants a rematch, and that’s obviously a worthy endeavor given the legitimate draw the first time around.
12) Maxim Vlasov (5-57)
Last Fight: 12/5/2013- KO4 Maxell Taylor (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vlasov has until May to make 168 to remain in the rankings.
13) Edwin Rodriguez (5-47)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
According to his trainer Ronnie Shields, they might be looking to fight a top-15 level light heavyweight, and have absolutely no intention to ever try to make 168 again.
 14) Andy Lee (11-30)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013-TKO2 Ferenc Hafner (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lee seems to be focused on a Macklin clash for the Spring.
15) Ryota Murata (11-16)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO8 Dave Peterson (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/22/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Murata is slated for a February 22 card in Macau.
16) Caleb Truax (11-25)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO4 Ceresso Fort (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 1/3/2014- vs. Derek Ennis (UNR)
Truax’s January 3 kickoff to 2014 will be on Friday Night Fights against Derek Ennis.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (11-41)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
 18) Badou Jack (1-21)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 Rogelio Medina (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jack called out the winner of Bika vs. Dirrell after his win over Medina, but might want to restate, since the fight ended in a draw the following night.
19) Don Mouton (1-11)
Last Fight: 5/13/2013- L* (UD8) vs. #10 Anthony Dirrell
Next Fight: Unknown
Mouton was set to fight Gilberto Ramirez on December 7, but that whole show has evidently been postponed or cancelled.
20) Anthony Dirrell (1-1)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. #11 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: Unknown
His hard-fought draw with Sakio Bika gained Dirrell a measure of redemption for what pretty clearly should have been a loss against Don Mouton, and has him back in the hot prospect category.

 

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

 

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

 

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

Super Middleweight: 2013, Dec 2-8

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on January 29, 2014 by danboxing
#17 Hadillah Mohoumadi snuck in an under-the-radar short notice fight, stopping low-level Polish journeyman Bartlomiej Grafka in 5 at Cergy-Pointoise, France.

 

No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (103-237-237)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says he would fight Golovkin or Hopkins, but seems to doubt that either of them wants to fight him.
1) Carl Froch (80-390-390)
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. 
2) Robert Stieglitz (37-223-223)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- UD12 Isaac Ekpo (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. #4 Arthur Abraham
Abraham has announced a date of February 1 for his trilogy bout with Stieglitz.
3) Mikkel Kessler (51-469-469)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
After meeting with Kessler, his promoter says he won’t be fighting anytime soon, and Kessler hinted at possible retirement immediately after the Froch fight.  It’s not looking good for Kessler fans.
4) Arthur Abraham (29-215-215)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Giovanni De Carolis (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. #2 Robert Stieglitz
See Stieglitz’s notes, above.
5) Brandon Gonzales (23-23-23)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzales says he is planning to fight again in early 2014, but nothing too specific right now.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (10-131-179)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: 1/18/2014- vs. LHW #18 Eleider Alvarez (at LHW)
Oosthuizen barely survived an upset for the second fight in a row.  His promoter says it’s clear that he’s outgrown 168, so it’s very unlikely we’ll see him here again.  He had a pre-arranged fight set up with Eleider Alvarez at 175 at last check.
7) Ezequiel Maderna (4-4-49)
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 (4-51-73)
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.
9) James DeGale (3-26-112)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 Dyah Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
DeGale is agitating for a title fight after beating Davis, and thinks Froch and Groves are ducking him.
10) Christopher Rebrasse (3-3-26)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #10 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye
Next Fight: Unknown
Rebrasse’s unnecessary rematch with Ndiaye appears to have been cancelled. 
11) Sakio Bika (3-348)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- MD12 Marco Antonio Periban (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/7/2013- vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Bika will be fighting Anthony Dirrell on the Malignaggi-Judah undercard on December 7.
12) Maxim Vlasov (4-56)
Last Fight: 11/4/2013- TKO6 Artem Redko (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/5/2013- vs. Maxell Taylor (UNR)
Fresh off his win over Redko, Vlasov will go stateside and fight Baltimore journeyman Maxell Taylor in Orange County, California on Thursday, December 5.
13) Edwin Rodriguez (4-46)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez was overweight, dirty, and outclassed.  Not a good night.  He’s probably done with 168, at any rate.
 14) Andy Lee (10-29)
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) Ryoto Murata (10-15)
Last Fight: 8/25/2013- TKO2 #14 MW Akio Shibata
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. Dave Peterson (UNR)
Murata is back in action on December 6 in Tokyo against unproven Minnesota prospect Dave Peterson.  He also recently signed with Top Rank, which gives hardcore US fans hope that we might see him eventually.  The next step after Peterson is probably a February fight in Macau.
16) Caleb Truax (10-24)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO4 Ceresso Fort (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 1/3/2014- vs. Derek Ennis (UNR)
Truax’s January 3 kickoff to 2014 will be on Friday Night Fights against Derek Ennis.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (10-40)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Glen Johnson (10-31)
Last Fight: 4/19/2013- TKO2 Junior Ramos (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rumor has it that Johnson may replace Roy Jones on short notice as a replacement headliner for a cruiserweight fight with journeyman Bobby Gunn on December 18.
19) Badou Jack (10-20)
Last Fight: 9/12/2013- Draw (MD12) vs. Marco Antonio Periban (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. Rogelio Medina (UNR)
Jack’s opponent is a good journeyman, but took the fight on rather short notice.
20) Don Mouton (10-10)
Last Fight: 5/13/2013- L* (UD8) vs. #10 Anthony Dirrell
Next Fight: 12/7/2013- vs. Gilberto Ramirez (UNR) (at MW)
Mouton fights Mexican prospect Ramirez this weekend in Oklahoma.

 

The Week Ahead: This very busy week kicks off on Thursday, when #12 Maxim Vlasov keeps busy with Baltimore/D.C. journeyman Maxell Taylor in Costa Mesa, California.

 

Friday in Tokyo, #15 Ryoto Murata meets low-level and inactive one-loss Minnesota prospect Dave Petersen.

 

Later that night in Windhoek, Namibia, local gatekeeper Wilbeforce Shihepo meets mid-level Kenyan journeyman Daniel Wanyonyi for an African alphabet title.

 

On the Fragomeni-Wlodarczyk undercard in Chicago that same night, undefeated Puerto Rican prospect Jonathan Gonzalez meets very low-level journeyman Jaison Palomeque.

 

On a Shobox card from Shelton, Washington a little later, #19 Badou Jack meets top-level Mexican journeyman Rogelio Medina.

 

Finally, on Saturday’s Showtime card, #11 Sakio Bika meets (technically undefeated, but should be one-loss) prospect Anthony Dirrell.  Dirrell was a respected undefeated fringe contender on a steep upward trajectory not all that long ago after beating Renan St. Juste, but his stock was diminished by a layoff induced by injuries from a motorcycle accident that followed it, and by the abysmal performance that followed it against Don Mouton.

Super Middleweight: 2013, Aug 19-25

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on August 25, 2013 by danboxing
No action to report from last week.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (88-222-222)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward has fights on the table with Stevenson and Froch.  He is trying to separate himself from promoter Dan Goossen, though, which might complicate matters.  Goossen has also said Ward wouldn’t take the Froch fight immediately, since he has been laid up with injury for the better part of a year.
1) Carl Froch (65-375-375)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- UD12 #3 Mikkel Kessler
Next Fight: 11/23/2013- vs. #8 George Groves
Froch-Groves is set for November 23 in Manchester.
2) Robert Stieglitz (22-208-208)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- TKO10 Yuzo Kiyota (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arthur Abraham badly wants a trilogy.
3) Mikkel Kessler (36-454-454)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
Froch is interested in a trilogy on neutral ground, perhaps even more so than a Ward rematch.  But it’s not even clear that Kessler will fight again, after saying pre-fight he might retire.
4) Arthur Abraham (14-200-200)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- L (TKO3) vs. #5 Robert Stieglitz
Next Fight: 8/24/2013- vs. Wilbeforce Shihepo (UNR)
Abraham is slated to fight Namibian journeyman Wilbeforce Shihepo on 8/24, and has now struck a deal to keep fighting until at least 2015, and continues to push for a trilogy with Stieglitz.
5) Brandon Gonzales (8-8-8)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- D* vs. #5 Thomas Oosthuizen
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzales at least earned a draw with Oosthuizen despite fading late.  I had it a win, and I give him credit for that.
6) Adonis Stevenson (14-89-89)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- TKO1 LHW#1 Chad Dawson (at LHW)
Next Fight: 9/28/2013- vs. #7 LHW Tavoris Cloud (at LHW)
Stevenson looks like he’ll be fighting Cloud in Montreal in late September.  After that, he’ll probably get Tony Bellew before the end of the year when he wins.  He’ll probably be removed here in October, since he hasn’t fought at 168 in nearly a year.
7) Thomas Oosthuizen (8-116-164)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- D* vs. Brandon Gonzales (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Oosthuizen laid a complete, fully-formed goose egg in the first half of his fight with deserved underdog Brandon Gonzales, and was extremely lucky to escape with a draw.
8) George Groves (8-36-58)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- TKO5 Noe Gonzalez (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/23/2013- vs. #1 Carl Froch
Groves and Froch will face off on November 23 in Manchester.
9) Sakio Bika (8-27-333)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- MD12 Marco Antonio Periban (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bika seems to consider an Andre Ward rematch his top priority.  The two fought a very close fight the first time around.  He’s also been called out by Chavez, Rodriguez, Badou Jack, and Anthony Dirrell recently.  A guy gets a meaningless alphabet belt, and all of a sudden he goes from one of the most avoided fighters in the sport to a guy everyone wants to fight.
10) James DeGale (8-11-97)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- RTD4 Stjepan Bozic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
DeGale badly wants a big-money fight with Froch.
11) Christopher Rebrasse (8-11)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #10 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye
Next Fight: Unknown
Rebrasse was so blatantly robbed against Ndiaye that I have to remember to point it out.  It’s so clearly a win that I almost forget the judges’ world-class crookedness. The EBU has ordered a rematch, as if one were needed.
12) Maxim Vlasov (7-41)
Last Fight: 7/12/2013- UD8 Mark Suarez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
13) Edwin Rodriguez (7-31)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- TKO1 #16 LHW Denis Grachev (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez named Bika as someone he’d like to fight next.  Both are talented fighters who care little about technique as they wing wild punches.  Could be fun if it happens.
14) Ezequiel Maderna (7-34)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- L* (UD10) vs. #17 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Maderna, despite arguably deserving a win against Rodriguez, did himself few favors in dropping the decision, especially considering how ugly the fight was.  I don’t imagine he’ll be getting too many international suitors anytime soon since he seems difficult to look good against.
15) Andy Lee (7-14)
Last Fight: 5/15/2013- TKO1 Darryl Cunningham (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/28/2013- vs. Domenico Spada (UNR) (at MW)
Lee will be in a rare title fight for him, and will thus most likely make the 160 pound limit for his Haye-Fury undercard fight with Domenico Spada- a rarity for him.
16) Caleb Truax (7-9)
Last Fight: 6/21/2013- KO6 #15 Don George
Next Fight: 9/21/2013- vs. Ceresso Fort (UNR) (at MW?)
Truax will see action in Minneapolis on September 21 against fellow Minnesota prospect Ceresso Fort.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (7-25)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- TKO7 #20 CW Pawel Glazewski (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mohoumadi cancelled his long-scheduled fight with Giovanni De Carolis in favor of an opportunity with Pawel Glazewki at light heavyweight, it would appear.
18) Glen Johnson (7-16)
Last Fight: 4/19/2013- TKO2 Junior Ramos (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Looks like Johnson’s scheduled fight with Isiah Thomas, which would have been on Friday Night Fights, was canceled.  I don’t know why.
19) Badou Jack (5-5)
Last Fight: 7/19/2013- UD10 Farah Ennis (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/12/13- vs. Marco Antonio Periban (UNR)
No soft touches for Jack.  He will get prospect Marco Antonio Periban- who gave Sakio Bika all he could handle- on the newly rebranded Fox Sports 2 (formerly Fuel TV) a couple days before Mayweather-Canelo.
20) Don Mouton (5-14)
Last Fight: 5/3/2013- L* (UD8) vs. #10 Anthony Dirrell (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mouton deserved to beat Dirrell, whom he also spotted nearly a full weight class.  Mouton was also a short-notice opponent.

 

The Week Ahead: Four notables will see action in separate fights in Europe on Saturday, none against particularly impressive opponents.

 

In Donetsk, Ukraine, fringe contending prospect Stanislav Kashtanov stays busy against mediocre Costa Rican journeyman Jaime Barboza.

 

Aging one-loss Montenegran prospect Nikola Sjekloca will be in against very low-level sub-.500 Serbian journeyman Misa Nikolic in Budva, Montenegro.

 

In Gladbach, Germany, fringe contender Dimitri Sartison takes on mid-level journeyman Baker Barakat.

 

And finally, on the Thompson-Pulev undercard in Schwerin, Germany, #4 Arthur Abraham stays busy against Namibian gatekeeper Wilbeforce Shihepo.