There could be plenty of movement this coming week, but the May 14 weekend had nothing unexpected happen, and not much movement. The only movement was Arthur Abraham dropping again in the super middleweight rankings.
"King" Arthur and the Super Middleweight Division
As I said in the Ward vs Abraham recap late Saturday night, I don't think Arthur Abraham really has a problem fighting at 168 pounds. He has a problem fighting really good opponents.
Lucky for him, as he intends to stay at 168, he's already fought just about all the "really good" or "great" opponents that currently reside in the division. Super middleweight is hot, but like welterweight before the current run-down state of that division, it's very, very top heavy. Quick look at our new top ten:
- Andre Ward
- Lucian Bute
- Carl Froch
- Glen Johnson
- Sakio Bika
- Dimitri Sartison
- Brian Magee
- Robert Stieglitz
- Arthur Abraham
- Thomas Oosthuizen
It's enough to make you hope that James DeGale looks incredible this Saturday, and that George Groves does, too -- the division needs fresh blood. The good news is that Mikkel Kessler will be back here soon (currently inactive), and Andre Dirrell might also be back soon, too. Those two, plus the DeGale vs Groves winner (potentially), beef this up a lot.
But there's no guarantee with any of that. DeGale and Groves are both still prospects. Good prospects -- DeGale a great one right now -- but prospects, and better prospects than either of them have screwed the pooch in the past and never made it. Kessler's eye trouble could come right back on him even against a weak opponent, as we saw in 2009 when Israel Vazquez had incredible trouble with creampuff Angel Antonio Priolo, largely thanks to an injury that was not going to go away. Vazquez fought once more, a regrettable fourth fight with Rafael Marquez, and retired. And Dirrell is all kinds of iffy, no matter what angle you want to take.
But there are a lot of guys who could make a difference, and soon, which makes this better than the current state at 147. Beyond just Kessler, Dirrell and DeGale/Groves, you have former middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik; revived prospect Peter Quillin; Edwin Rodriguez; Mexican power puncher Marco Antonio Periban; and guys like Dyah Davis, Aaron Pryor Jr, Isaac Chilemba, and plenty more who could make some noise with the right fights.
It's still a good division, and a dig beneath our top ten surface reveals a lot of activity and promise. But just glancing at the top ten right now, there isn't a lot to get too excited about, and only the top four really stand out.