The Middleweight Shake Up Breaks Bore 'nard' Ing Era
11.12.05 - By Jim Amato: Two middleweight fights yesterday may have shifted the balance in this long boring division. With all due respect to Bernard Hopkins, his long tenure as champion featured few exciting battles. Add to that the both his razor close losses to new titleholder Jermain Taylor were about as thrilling as a John Ruiz fight..
Yesterday undefeated Arthur Abraham scored an impressive and decisive knockout over highly regarded Kingsley Ikele. The victory gave him recognition as the middleweight champion according to the IBF.
Later in the day Winky Wright who many consider pound for pound, one of the best fighters in the world had all he could do to capture a decision over a feisty Sam Soliman. It was a pretty exciting contest and it served notice to the rest of the division that Soliman is going to be around for a while.
Coming up...Youngstown, Ohio's undefeated Kelly Pavlik takes on a rugged customer in Edison Miranda. The winner of this projected slug fest will put himself in a good position for a title shot. Add to the mix New Zealand's Maselino Masoe and Germany's Felix Sturm to round out the new Top Ten.
01) Jermaine Taylor
02) Bernard Hopkins
03) Winky Wright
04) Arthur Abraham
05) Sam Soliman
06) Kelly Pavlik
07) Felix Sturm
08) Kingsley Ikele
09) Maselino Masoe
10) Edison Miranda
Will Jermain Taylor give Winky Wright his long overdue shot at the title or will we see Taylor-Hopkins III ? There are a lot of Hopkins fans who feel he did enough to beat Taylor in both bouts. If Taylor accepts the challenge of Wright, will Bernard call out the new IBF titleholder Abraham? Personally I would like to see an Abraham-Soliman contest. That one has excitement written all over it.
There is changing of the guard in the middleweight class and I believe the fans will again become interested in this long dormant division.