In recent years, the middleweight division has fallen from glory a bit, handcuffed by promotional and sanctioning body politics. However, if you take a look at the current fight scene, you'll notice a 160 lb. class that is definitely starting to come alive.
Of course, the big fight is September 15th's Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Sergio Martinez grudge match in Las Vegas for the WBC middleweight title and, more importantly, for consensus recognition as the best in the division. After almost two years in the making, the bad blood between the two fighters is legitimate and the action will likely be intense.
Earlier on Saturday, IBF Middleweight champ, Daniel Geale took the WBA title from long-reigning titlist, Felix Sturm in a unification bout. Australia's Geale fought hard and edged out a split decision victory over Germany's Sturm in an entertaining and competitive scrap in Sturm's own backyard. The win now puts Geale among the top three in the division and makes him a logical opponent for the winner of Chavez-Martinez.
Also on Saturday, Kazakhstan's Gennady Golovkin made his U.S. debut on HBO with a successful defense of his WBA middleweight title against Poland's Grzegorz Proksa at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York. The 30-year-old former Olympic silver medalist impressed with an exciting performance, dropping Proksa three times en route to a 5th round TKO. With the win, Golovkin marks his territory among the division's very best.
On the back burner, France's Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam, who was recently elevated to full WBO middleweight champ, is in negotiations to face Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin on October 20th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. If the relatively untested Quillin can beat the completely untested N'Jikam, at the very least, the belt comes back to the United States and back into the available big fight talent pool.
Even tough, talented former world title challengers, Marco Antonio Rubio and Matthew Macklin are scheduled for solid bouts in coming weeks and, eventually, a second chance at the elite names in the division.
All in all, things are finally starting to look bright for the historically glamorous middleweight class. This can only bee seen as very good news for boxing, indeed.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and The BoxingTribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.
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