Beyond the rematch between middleweight champ Sergio Martinez and Paul Williams there’s not a whole lot to get excited about in 160-pound division.
Williams says he wants to fight at welterweight. Kelly Pavlik isn’t sure if he wants to campaign at middleweight or super middleweight, and fans aren’t sure if the former champ from Ohio wants to fight at all.
Felix Sturm is a skilled titleholder who has been among the top middleweights for years. Sturm’s fellow Germany-based beltholder Sebastian Sylvester seems to be following in his footsteps.
However, apart from Dmitry Pirog is there any new blood in the 160-pound division worth noting?
Perhaps, Daniel Geale (24-1, 15 knockouts) has finally accomplished enough to merit some recognition outside of his native Australia.
The 29-year-old contender stopped Roman Karmazin in 12th round of an elimination bout for one of the alphabet titles on Sunday in Sydney.
Karmazin, a hardnosed former 154-pound beltholder, was unbeaten in his last five bouts, including a draw with Sylvester in a middleweight title bout, going into the Geale fight.
The athletic Tasmanian out-boxed and out-hustled Karmazin (40-4-2, 26 KOs) for much of the brisk fight until a hard flurry of punches backed the 37-year-old Russian veteran into a corner where Geale overwhelmed him, forcing referee Pat Russell to halt the fight with 29 seconds left in the bout.
It was Geale’s best performance since his only loss, a close split decision to former super middleweight titleholder Anthony Mundine last May. However, now that Mundine is campaigning at junior middleweight, Geale is clearly Australia’s best 160 pounder.
He’s also one of the best in the world, according to THE RING, which moved him from No. 6 to No. 5 in its middleweight rankings over the weekend.
The magazine’s advancement switches Geale, who earned a shot at Sylvester, with Britain’s Matthew Macklin (No. 5 last week).
Karmazin (No. 8 last week) exited the rankings, which moved everybody rated eight through 10 last week up one spot each, making room for France’s undefeated Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, who won an interim alphabet title with a unanimous decision over Avtandil Khurtsidze on Saturday, to debut at No. 10.
RING RATINGS UPDATE:
Vusi Malinga beat Michael Domingo (No. 10 last week), which results in Domingo’s exit. It is, however, Malcolm Tunacao who replaces Domingo at No. 10 due to the fact that he has a slightly superior record compared to Malinga.