By Cliff Rold

The sizzling winter and early spring fight schedule took a breather in May with less ‘must-see’ and more ‘wait until.’  That didn’t mean there was nothing to watch.  For fans of the bigger boys, it was dry spell, and June will be too, but for fans of the sport in general, a heavy hand of new faces was dealt both at the blooming contender and championship levels.   Boxing’s biggest star, Oscar De La Hoya, returned to action for some heated sparring with Contender alum Stevie Forbes; Jr. Bantamweight continued its impressive 2008 run of heavy, and quality, activity; and Jr. Welterweight stepped up to the plate with a big upset and a super-looking stadium show featuring Ricky Hatton.  It could be worse.

June will offer a look at the world’s two best Middleweights, a stellar rematch at Welterweight and serious intrigue at 122, 108, and 105 lbs. before things really heat up in July…but that’s then.  This is the time to remember the recent when in BoxingScene’s May Review. 

Fighter of the Month:  Timothy Bradley

While Jr. Bantamweight titlist Cristian Mijares pulled off the biggest accomplishment of the month in unifying two titles at 115 lbs. against Alexander Munoz, it was Bradley (22-0, 11 KO) who stood out as the story, and fighter, of the month.  Heading into hostile British territory, Bradley set sail to take on WBC Jr. Welterweight titlist Junior Witter (36-2-2, 21 KO) in a fight few expected him to win.  After all, who had Bradley faced that merited a second look?  If anything, it was seen as Witter’s big second chance by way of a ShoBox Saturday night to make a mark on the U.S. television market.  His first chance, a 2000 IBF title shot against Zab Judah, turned out to be a dull fiasco…but Witter rebounded.

Between Judah and Bradley, Witter had won 21 in a row and picked up the WBC belt, soundly defeating divisional stalwarts Lovemore N’Dou, DeMarcus Corley, Andreas Kotelnik and Vivian Harris along the way.  Those wins had the volume on charges that he was being ducked by World Champion Ricky Hatton reaching maximum pitch.  Bradley became the mute button. Using a hard jab and basic fundamentals, Bradley unsettled the unorthodox Witter, dropping him with a hard right in the sixth and picking up a split (should have been unanimous) decision that changed the face of the division.  Only 24 years old, there’s no telling how far Bradley can go and no one can ask who he’s faced that merits a second look anymore.

Fight of the Month:  Alfredo Angulo-Richar Gutierrez

The press for HBO Boxing After Dark’s big ‘night of next’ on May 17 was focused on Cuban Jr. Lightweight Yuriorkis Gamboa but it was the 25-year old Jr. Middleweight Angulo (13-0, 10 KO) that truly stole the show.  Faced with the toughest test of his developing career, Angulo went toe-to-toe with the tested veteran welterweight Gutierrez for all of the bouts five rounds.  Through the first four, a phone booth affair saw each man land heavy leather and show big guts in responding when tagged but it went to another level in the fifth.  In what was probably the best round of the month, Angulo was badly stunned but reacted like a future champion should, weathering the storm and then reversing the tide of the battle, battering back at Gutierrez, clearing his own head and transferring the clouds to the dome of Gutierrez.  With twelve seconds to go in the round, referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the action.  Also featured on the card was fellow Jr. Middleweight prospect James Kirkland (22-0, 19 KO) who scored a first round knockout.  A night that started with the question “What for Gamboa?” ended with “When for Angulo-Kirkland?”  That’s a solid night’s work.

Critical Results

Using a formula inspired by the college football BCS, I’ve been compiling quarterly divisional ratings at Boxing Scene since the beginning of the year.  The second quarter lists were published over the last weekend and here’s a look at the critcal results from the month of April; full ratings can be found at: https://www.boxingscene.com/forums/view.php?pg=boxing-ratings

Heavyweight (201 lbs. – Unlimited)

05/03: #10 Alexander Dimitrenko (28-0, 18 KO) W TKO5 Derric Rossy (18-2, 10 KO)

Scheduled for June

No rated fighters are scheduled to compete in June.

Cruiserweight (176-200 lbs.)

05/03: #6 Firat Arslan (29-3-1, 18 KO, WBA) W UD12 Darnell Wilson (23-7-3, 20 KO)

Scheduled for June

No rated fighters are scheduled to compete in June.

Light Heavyweight (169-175 lbs.)

No rated fighters competed in May or are scheduled to compete in June.

Super Middleweight (161-168 lbs.)

05/10: #5 Carl Froch (23-0, 19 KO) W TKO4 Albert Rybacki (15-1, 8 KO)

05/28: #3 Anthony Mundine (32-3, 23 KO) W UD12 Sam Soliman (35-11, 13 KO)

Scheduled for June

06/21: #2 Mikkel Kessler (39-1, 29 KO) vs. Dimitri Sartison (22-0, 14 KO), vacant WBA title

06/21: #9 Edison Miranda (30-2, 26 KO) vs. 160 lb. #1 Arthur Abraham (26-0, 21 KO, WBA)

Middleweight (155-160 lbs.)

No rated fighters competed in May.

Scheduled for June

06/07: World Champion Kelly Pavlik (33-0, 29 KO, Lineal/Ring/WBC/WBO) vs. Gary Lockett (30-1, 21 KO)

06/21: #8 Giovanni Lorenzo (26-0, 18 KO) vs. Raul Marquez (40-3-1, 29 KO)

06/28: #7 John Duddy (24-0, 17 KO) vs. Charles Howe (17-4-2, 9 KO)

Jr. Middleweight (148-154 lbs.)

05/03: #5 Oscar De La Hoya (39-5, 30 KO) W UD12 Stevie Forbes (33-6, 9 KO)

Scheduled for June

06/07: #1 Vernon Forrest (40-2, 29 KO, WBC) vs. Sergio Mora (20-0-1, 5 KO)

06/07: #8 Sergio Martinez (42-1-1, 22 KO) vs. Archak Termeliksetian (16-6, 13 KO)

Welterweight (141-147 lbs.)

No rated fighters competed in May.

Scheduled for June

06/07: #2 Carlos Quintana (25-1, 19 KO, WBO) vs. #6 Paul Williams (33-1, 24 KO)

06/21: #7 Andre Berto (21-0, 18 KO) vs. Miguel Rodriguez (29-2, 23 KO)

Jr. Welterweight (136-140 lbs.)

05/10: Timothy Bradley (22-0, 11 KO, WBC) W SD12 #1 Junior Witter (36-2, 21 KO)

05/24: #2 Paulie Malignaggi (25-1, 5 KO, IBF) W SD 12 Lovemore N’Dou (46-10-1, 31 KO)

05/24: World Champion Ricky Hatton (44-1, 31 KO, Lineal/Ring) W UD12 Juan Lazcano (37-5-1, 27 KO)

Scheduled for June

06/06: #6 Soulemayne M’Baye (36-2-1, 21 KO) vs. Herman Ngoudjo (16-2, 9 KO)

Lightweight (131-135 lbs.)

No rated fighters competed in May.

Scheduled for June

06/14: #6 Jose Armando Santa Cruz (25-3, 14 KO) vs. Antonio Pitalua (42-3, 36 KO)

06/21: #8 Amir Khan (17-0, 13 KO) vs. Michael Gomez (35-8, 24 KO)

06/25: #4 Julio Diaz (34-4, 25 KO) vs. David Torres (20-0, 13 KO)

06/28: #3 David Diaz (34-1-1, 17 KO, WBC) vs. World Jr. Lightweight Champion Manny Pacquiao (46-3-2, 35 KO, Lineal/Ring/WBC)

Jr. Lightweight (127-130 lbs.)

No rated fighters competed in May.

Scheduled for June

06/12: #2 Edwin Valero (23-0, 23 KO, WBA) vs. Takehiro Shimada (22-3-1, 15 KO)

06/28: #5 Humberto Soto (44-6-2, 28 KO) vs. Francisco Lorenzo (32-4, 14 KO)

Featherweight (123-126 lbs.)

05/17: #5 Jorge Solis (35-1-2, 25 KO) W UD10 Miguel Roman (25-3, 17 KO)

Scheduled for June

06/28: #3 Steven Luevano (35-1, 15 KO, WBO) vs. Mario Santiago (19-1, 14 KO)

 

Jr. Featherweight (119-122 lbs.)

05/06: #8 Ricardo Cordoba (32-1-2, 21 KO) W TKO3 Franklin Solis (11-4-1, 7 KO)

05/09: #9 Jhonny Gonzalez (38-6, 32 KO) W TKO4 Mauricio Pastrana (34-9-2, 22 KO)

05/23: #5 Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym (34-1, 24 KO) W TKO2 Ifan Bone (?)

Scheduled for June

06/07: #1 Celestino Caballero (28-2, 19 KO, WBA) vs. Lorenzo Parra (28-1, 18 KO)

06/07: #2 Daniel Ponce De Leon (34-1, 30 KO, WBO) vs. #7 Juan Manuel Lopez (21-0, 19 KO)

Bantamweight (116-118 lbs.)

05/31: #9 Anselmo Moreno (22-1-1, 8 KO, WBA) W UD12 #2 Wladimir Sidorenko (21-1, 7 KO)

05/31: #6 Silence Mabuza (22-2, 18 KO) W TKO5 Damian Marchiano (15-4-1, 5 KO)

Scheduled for June

06/12: #1 Hozumi Hasegawa (23-2, 7 KO, WBC) vs. Cristian Faccio (15-2, 10 KO)

Jr. Bantamweight (113-115 lbs.)

05/17: #1 Cristian Mijares (35-3-2, 14 KO, WBC/WBA) W SD12 #3 Alexander Munoz (32-3, 27 KO)

05/17: #7 Jorge Arce (49-4-1, 37 KO) W MD12 Devid Lookmahanak (18-2, 9 KO)

05/31: #2 Fernando Montiel (37-2-1, 28 KO) W TKO3 Flyweight #10 Luis Maldonado (37-3-1, 28 KO)

05/31: #8 Z Gorres (28-2-2, 15 KO) W UD10 Nick Otieno (15-2, 5 KO)

Scheduled for June

No rated fighters are scheduled to compete in June.

Flyweight (109-112 lbs.)

05/03: Bernard Inom (19-1-1, 10 KO) W TKO8 #8 Andrea Sarritzu (27-4-4, 10 KO)

05/07: #7 Roberto Vasquez (25-2, 18 KO) W TKO3 Cesar Singo (21-4-1, 12 KO)

05/09: #4 Omar Narvaez (27-0-2, 17 KO, WBO) W TKO7 Ivan Pozo (28-5-1, 18 KO)

05/17: Julio Cesar Miranda (25-3-1, 18 KO) W TKO5 Jr. Flyweight #6 Omar Salado (19-1-2, 11 KO)

05/29: #9 Wandee Singwancha (56-8-1, 12 KO) W KO4 Roland Latuni (5-5-2, 2 KO)

Scheduled for June

No rated fighters are scheduled to compete in June.

Jr. Flyweight (106-108 lbs.)

05/17: #10 Brian Viloria (22-2, 13 KO) W KO3 Fred Valdez (10-18, 5 KO)

Scheduled for June

06/07: #8 Juan Landaeta (24-6-1, 19 KO) vs. Adrian Hernandez (13-0, 11 KO)

06/14: #2 Edgar Sosa (31-5, 16 KO, WBC) vs. Takashi Kunishige (18-2-1, 2 KO)

06/14: #7 Omar Nino (25-2-1) vs. Juanito Rubillar (45-10-7)

06/21: #1 Ulises Solis (26-1, 20 KO, IBF) vs. Glenn Donaire (17-3-1, 9 KO)

Strawweight (105 lbs.)

No rated fighters competed in May.

Scheduled for June

06/14: #2 Florante Condes (22-3-1, 20 KO, IBF) vs. Raul Garcia (22-0-1, 15 KO)

06/18: #3 Oleydong Sithsamerchai (26-0, 10 KO, WBC) vs. Junichi Ebisuoka (17-10-3, 7 KO)

06/27: #10 Nkosianthi Joyi (17-0, 13 KO) vs. Sammy Gutierrez (20-2-2, 12 KO)

Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at roldboxing@hotmail.com