There were not many high-profile fights last week, but there were some interesting matchups that are worth noting even though they brought no changes to THE RING’s divisional ratings.
In the middleweight division, rising Danish star Patrick Nielsen outpointed Patrick Mendy. Nielsen (18-0, 8 knockouts) is a young (21) prospect and a work in progress but worth keeping an eye on. On the Nielsen-Mendy undercard, 21-year-old light heavyweight prospect Erik Skoglund looked good scoring a second-round TKO of Atilla Baran. He’s also worth keeping an eye on.
Also in the middleweight division, former title challenger Andy Lee returned and labored to a decision win over Anthony Fitzgerald. Lee is just outside THE RING’s middleweight top-10 rankings. Although he seemed a little listless at times, the rounds were good for him. It’s possible that the passing of his longtime trainer Emanuel Steward could have affected him and played on his mind since this was his first fight since his mentor’s passing.
In the junior welterweight division, Humberto Soto won a unanimous decision over Silverio Ortiz. Soto is not a puncher at 140 pounds and has seen better days. Still, it’s possible that he may get another big fight soon.
At featherweight, UK standout Lee Selby put forth a very solid performance in beating Martin Lindsay over the 12-round distance. Selby (14-1, 5 KOs), a skilled 26-year-old boxer from Wales, is one to keep an eye on as he’s developed well over the last couple of years and has a few notable domestic wins.
Alexander Miskirtchian, who fought on the Nielsen-Mendy card in Denmark, retained his EBU featherweight title stopping Andreas Evansen late in the 12th round in a competitive fight.
Selby, who holds Commonwealth and British titles, may look to fight Miskirtchian soon for top European honors.
At junior featherweight Carl Frampton and Kiko Martinez put on a very good fight. Martinez looked good early and put the pressure on Frampton, but this brought out the best in the 25-year-old Belfast native who for the first time was in with someone who pushed him back and didn’t let him have it all his way. Frampton (16-0, 11 KOs) was impressive in stopping Martinez in the ninth round. Martinez had never been stopped before. Frampton is already ranked No. 5 in THE RING rankings so our panel agreed to keep him there. This win justifies his placement.
At bantamweight Julio Ceja stayed busy stopping Henry Maldonado by KO in the fifth round. Ceja is currently ranked No. 8 in THE RING rankings and similar to Frampton, there won’t be any movement for him. This win justifies his placement.