Search

Middle Men

Sept. 24, 2012
Sept. 24, 2012

Table of Contents
Sept. 24, 2012

GOLF PLUS
LEADING OFF
THE MAIL
Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS
Departments

Middle Men

The landscape between 160 and 168 pounds is crowded with hungry, exciting and talented fighters. Here's a look at the roster and some potential matchups

DANIEL GEALE

This is an article from the Sept. 24, 2012 issue

The Australian-born Geale (28--1) went to Germany twice to win his WBA and IBF titles, not an easy task. Geale, 31, lacks name recognition, but his two belts make him an attractive foe. He may try to avenge his only loss, to fellow Aussie Anthony Mundine, before taking on Gennady Golovkin, the WBA's No. 1 contender.

GENNADY GOLOVKIN

A big puncher, Golovkin (24--0) made his U.S. debut in style, knocking out Grzegorz Proksa earlier this month. The 30-year-old wants a shot at Sergio Martínez but is more likely to face Geale, the unified 160-pound champ. Golovkin is Geale's mandatory challenger, and HBO is interested in making the fight next year.

SERGIO MARTINEZ

The 37-year-old Martínez (50-2-2) is the division's top dog, an HBO staple and, after his performance on Saturday (in which he dominated Julio César Chàvez Jr. for 11 rounds before surviving a near KO in the 12th), a likely pay-per-view headliner. Martínez is looking for big paydays, which means a rematch with Chàvez in 2013.

JULIO CÉSAR CHAVEZ JR.

Despite Saturday's loss to Martínez, Chàvez (46-1-1) is still the division's cash cow. Given the expected pay-per-view numbers, a rematch with Martínez is a no-brainer. If Martínez, who suffered hand and knee injuries against Chàvez, 26, is laid up awhile, a tune-up against Matthew Macklin is possible.

ANDRE WARD

Ward (26--0) cleaned out the 168-pound division, and on Sept. 8 he battered 175-pound kingpin Chad Dawson. Now he's eyeing the top middleweights. His trainer, Virgil Hunter, told SI that Ward, 28, would drop to 165 for the right fight. Chàvez wants no part of him, but for the right price Martínez might.

KELLY PAVLIK

The 30-year-old Pavlik (40--2) has fallen off the radar since losing his 160-pound title to Martínez in 2010 and doing two stints in alcohol rehab, but he is looking for a big fight, and his name will get him one. Promoter Bob Arum says he'd make Pavlik-Ward. Chàvez, who has struggled to get down to 160, is also possible at 168.

FOLLOW @ChrisMannixSI

PHOTOBORIS STREUBEL/GETTY IMAGES (GEALE)PHOTOMARTIN MEISSNER/AP (GOLOVKIN)PHOTOMIKE SEGAR/REUTERS (MARTINEZ)PHOTOJULIE JACOBSON/AP (CHAVEZ)PHOTOANDREW COULDRIDGE/ACTION IMAGES/ZUMAPRESS.COM (WARD)PHOTOHOWARD SCHATZ (PAVLIK)