Welterweight: 2014, Jan 20-26

Posted in Rankings, Welterweight with tags , , , , , , , on April 16, 2014 by danboxing
No notable welterweights saw action last week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (195-227-227)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #2 JMW Saul Alvarez (at JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Floyd will likely be back on both May 3 and September 13.  Amir Khan has long been rumored as the May 3 opponent, but reports suggest Maidana may have supplanted him in that regard.
1) Timothy Bradley (15-15-85)
Last Fight: 10/12/2013- W (SD12) vs. #1 Juan Manuel Marquez
Next Fight: Unknown
Bradley-Pacquiao II is very likely for April 12, though rumors also have Marquez and Pacquiao renewing their rivalry.
2) Juan Manuel Marquez (15-115-115)
Last Fight: 10/12/2013- L (SD12) vs. #17 Timothy Bradley
Next Fight: Unknown
Marquez’s future plans are totally nebulous.  He seems to want Bradley above all, but he’s also looking at Maidana and Porter, among others.  He thinks he might next fight in May, after a March tune-up had been previously discussed.
3) Manny Pacquiao (15-268-268)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD12 #5? JWW Brandon Rios
Next Fight: Unknown
See Bradley and Marquez’s notes, above. 
4) Marcos Maidana (7-33-33)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD12 LW Champ Adrien Broner
Next Fight: Unknown
Broner has exercised his rematch clause with Maidana.  No word on whether Maidana-Mayweather remains a possibility in light of that news.
5) Keith Thurman (6-6-46)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 #6 Jesus Soto-Karass
Next Fight: Unknown
Thurman is said to be returning in April.  With the news that Maidana-Broner II is likely for that month, the inescapable conclusion is that it will probably be on the same card.  Porter sounds like the likely opponent.
6) Shawn Porter (6-7-7)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #5 Devon Alexander
Next Fight: Unknown
For the longest time, it looked like Porter would be fighting his mandatory, Kell Brook.  But now all signs are pointing to an April showdown with stablemate Thurman.
7) Robert Guerrero (7-61-78)
Last Fight: 5/4/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Next Fight: Unknown
Guerrero is seeking to separate from Golden Boy, and wants Pacquiao next.  I see his style as potentially problematic for Pacquiao, which probably renders the match-up unlikely at this time, when combined with his lack of a recent win.
8) Kell Brook (7-143-143)
Last Fight:10/26/2013- TKO4 Vyacheslav Senchenko (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Brook will be back on March 15 in what looks like a stay-busy fight.  After that, he’ll almost certainly fight the winner of Porter’s next fight- likely against Thurman- as he will be the mandatory.
9) Devon Alexander (7-100-100)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- L (UD12) vs. Shawn Porter (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alexander would like to fight three times in 2014.
10) Randall Bailey (9-9-9)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- W (DQ8) vs. Humberto Toledo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
11) Josesito Lopez (9-83)
Last Fight: 12/13/2013- W (TD8) vs. Mike Arnaoutis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lopez appears set to return in mid-to-late March, according to a Boxingscene report.
12) Jesus Soto Karass (6-52)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- L (TKO9) vs. #13 Keith Thurman
Next Fight: Unknown
His results are now decidedly mixed, but I suspect Soto Karass will continue to get decent TV fights, since his fights are almost always entertaining, and  always a test for his opponent.
13) Andre Berto (6-61)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- L (TKO12) vs. #11 Jesus Soto Karass
Next Fight: Unknown 
Berto’s shoulder surgery will keep him out until sometime in 2014.
14) Paulie Malignaggi (7-7) 
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #8? JWW Zab Judah 
Next Fight: Unknown 
Malignaggi expects a big money fight in the wake of his handy victory over Judah.  He is interested in Maidana. 
15) Chris van Heerden (7-84)
Last Fight: 3/2/2013- UD12 Matthew Hatton (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/6/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Van Heerden is finally getting back in the ring, with his return scheduled for February 6 in Hollywood.
16) Luis Carlos Abregu (7-39)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Antonin Decarie (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Abregu says his rehab from hand surgery is progressing well, and he is expecting to return in Salta, Argentina in a March tune-up.
17) Jan Zaveck (7-215)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- UD8 Sebastien Allais (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
As expected, Zaveck had little trouble with French journeyman Allais.
18) Ruslan Provodnikov (7-45)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- RTD10 #3 JWW Mike Alvarado (at JWW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Provodnikov initially said that he would not accept a fight with his friend Manny Pacquiao, but with the Bradley-Pacquiao match-up in jeopardy over money, the two sides seem to be laying the groundwork for just such a fight.
19) Pablo Cesar Cano (7-19)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W (SD10*) vs. Ashley Theophane (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Cano said after the 143-pound catchweight win against Theophane that he intends to seek title contention at 140 now.  I must say I’m surprised by the move, considering he failed to make weight for one of his biggest fights at 147 against Malignaggi.

20) Leonard Bundu (6-6)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO12 Lee Purdy (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bundu retains his European title and undefeated record with the impressive effort over Purdy.

 

The Week Ahead: The welterweights continue their hibernation period this week.

Junior Middleweight: 2014, Jan 20-26

Posted in Junior Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on April 16, 2014 by danboxing
#11 Javier Maciel was supposed to be in action against a Brazilian journeyman this week, but the show was cancelled for reasons that weren’t immediately apparent.

 

No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1Carlos Molina (51-133-148)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W (SD12) vs. #5 Ishe Smith
Next Fight: 3/8/2014- vs. Jermall Charlo (UNR)
Molina will put his belt on the line against the lower-ranked Charlo brother on the Canelo-Angulo undercard.
2) Erislandy Lara (7-133-155)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #4 Austin Trout
Next Fight: Unknown
Lara wants Canelo next, but has reportedly been ruled out by the Mexican superstar. In the meantime, Ishe Smith is trying to fight him.
3) Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (7-19-19)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #2 Saul Alvarez
Next Fight: Unknown
Mayweather intends to fight twice in 2014: on May 3 and September 13, if all goes to plan.  Amir Khan is the rumored opponent for May 3.  Bradley is getting a bit of buzz lately, too, as is Bernard Hopkins, at middleweight- though Floyd Sr. has said the latter will never happen.  The new kid on the block is Maidana, who it has been said has moved to the front of the line after his win over Broner.
4) Saul Alvarez (7-151-166)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- L* (MD12) vs. WW Champion Floyd Mayweather
Next Fight: 3/8/2014- vs. #10 Alfredo Angulo
Canelo says he will fight Angulo on March 8.
5) Austin Trout (7-86-155)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- L (UD12) vs. #5 Erislandy Lara
Next Fight: Unknown
Trout might be getting to that unfortunate position of having a record underwhelming enough to be low-reward, while still being easily skilled enough to be high-risk.  He says essentially that he wants worthwhile fights in 2014, rather than a soft diet for rebuilding purposes.
6) Ishe Smith (19-48-48)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- L (SD12) vs. #1 Carlos Molina
Next Fight: Unknown
Smith sounds like he’s open to a variety of options for his next fight.  Anything from a Molina rematch, to Trout, to Angulo or Lara.  And even more various than that- he says he wants one UFC fight.
7) Anthony Mundine (8-8-8)
Last Fight: 11/27/2013- vs. #4 WW Shane Mosley
Next Fight: 1/29/2014- vs. Billy Lyell (UNR)
Mundine has replaced Carson Jones with a roughly lateral move of an opponent in Billy Lyell after Jones withdrew with illness.
8) Miguel Cotto (8-190-190)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- TKO3 #11 Delvin Rodriguez
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. MW Champ Sergio Martinez (at MW)
Cotto is said to be all but signed for a June 7 superfight with Sergio.
9) Cornelius Bundrage (8-181-181)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ishe Smith (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/24/2014- vs. Joey Hernandez (UNR)
Bundrage has been approved to fight Joey Hernandez in an IBF eliminator.  Golden Boy won the purse bid at a paltry $11,000, meaning Bundrage will bank just $6,600.  The fight is set for Indio, California on January 24, but incredibly is not on the card’s telecast.
10Alfredo Angulo (8-226-226)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L (TKO10) vs. #4 Erislandy Lara
Next Fight: 3/8/2014- vs. #4 Saul Alvarez
Angulo gets a big shot against Canelo on a March 8 PPV.
11) Sergey Rabchenko (8-84)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 Bradley Pryce (UNR)

Next Fight: Unknown
Rabchenko is in line for an alphabet eliminator at any time.  The EBU, meanwhile, has set a date of January 21 for purse bids for his mandatory European title defense against Emanuele Della Rosa.  
12) Javier Maciel (8-13)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- Robbery L (SD12) vs. #14 Brian Rose
Next Fight: Unknown
Maciel’s scheduled January 17 fight was abruptly cancelled- with no real explanation- on about 2 days’ notice.
13) Demetrius Andrade (8-11)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (SD12) vs. #13 Vanes Martirosyan
Next Fight: Unknown
Andrade wants to unify against Carlos Molina, but negotiations are underway for a Brian Rose fight, with purse bids set for this week.
14) Delvin Rodriguez (8-132)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (TKO3) vs. #7 Miguel Cotto
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez appears to be solid against borderline top-10 types (see Wolak), but completely out of his depth at just a tad higher level.
15) Vanes Martirosyan (8-138)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- L* (SD12) vs. Demetrius Andrade (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vanes recently challenged Austin Trout, which seems like a good but unlikely matchup considering their ties to rival promoters.  
16) Willie Nelson (8-47)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- UD10 Luciano Cuello (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Nelson’s promoter tells me that he’s recovered from the elbow injury that nixed his fight with Matthew Macklin, and that he might be in line for an alphabet title against Sergey Rabchenko if Mayweather chooses to vacate.
17) Brian Rose (8-44)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- Robbery W (Draw at best) vs. Javier Maciel (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Andrade’s notes, above.
18) Jermell Charlo (8-33)
Last Fight: 10/14/2013- TKO10 Jose Angel Rodriguez (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/25/2014- vs. Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Charlo gets likely his toughest test to date in former junior middleweight contender Gabe Rosado, who has recently been used as an opponent at 160, but with mixed results.
19) Guido Pitto (4-6)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L* (UD12) vs. #20 Jack Culcay
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Kell Brook (4-4)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- vs. Vyacheslav Senchenko (UNR) (at WW)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Brook will be back on March 15 in what is being tabbed as a stay-busy fight, and is interested in the winner of a proposed fight between Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter, too.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Friday
#9 Cornelius Bundrage vs. Joey Hernandez; Indio, California; Off TV
In a pathetic decision by Golden Boy and/or FS1, they’re leaving the most important fight of the Indio card off the TV broadcast.  Apparently it wasn’t enough that the two fighters were only going to make $11,000 between them, so the powers that be had to make sure that both quality fighters got no exposure either.  Hopefully some sort of video will pop up afterward, or else the fight will forever be just a line on boxrec.  Bundrage obviously has to be the favorite, but he looked so bad against Smith that Hernandez has to be considered a very live dog.  He’s a one-loss Miami prospect who’s been tested at the gatekeeper level.

 

Saturday
#18 Jermell Charlo vs. Gabriel Rosado; Washington, D.C.; Showtime (US)
This is a heck of a test for the unbeaten Charlo.  Rosado was a bona fide top-10 contender at 154 when various promoters started using him, about a year ago, to test their undefeated fighters at 160.  He’s been put in with J’Leon Love, Gennady Golovkin, and Peter Quillin, and the only one that outfought him was Golovkin.  Golden Boy has every reason to be confident in Charlo’s ability, but I hope they’ve given serious thought to this one.  If they’re putting him in with Rosado, they must feel that he’s potentially about one fight away from Championship-level competition.  Think about it.  Even if Charlo is able to perform as well as #6 Peter Quillin did against Rosado, that’s a 50/50 fight at best.  Quillin was looking like he was going to lose that fight until Rosado’s face fell apart.  If Charlo passes this test, he’s gone beyond a mere prospect and proven himself a Championship-level contender.

Middleweight: 2014, Jan 20-26

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on April 16, 2014 by danboxing
No action in the ring this past week, but #4 Darren Barker retired on Wednesday due to ongoing hip problems, and is therefore removed.  Everyone ranked #5 and below last week moves up one.  This includes Marco Antonio Rubio, who regains a spot in the top 10 for the first time since mid-December.  Filling the void at #20 is Nobuhiro Ishida.  I know this isn’t entirely consistent with prior decisions, as Kirkland and Heiland both have been in line ahead of him.  That being said, it occurs to me that in choosing the last remaining spot in the rankings, it’s hard indeed to rank Kirkland ahead of Ishida, considering that Ishida destroyed Kirkland in their 2011 head-to-head, and hasn’t really lost to anyone at or below the status of Tapia- Kirkland’s lone success in this division.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (197-197-197)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. # 8 JMW Miguel Cotto
According to fighthype.com, citing anonymous sources close to Cotto, there is now no doubt that Cotto-Martinez will happen on June 7 in New York. 
1) Gennady Golovkin (6-73-136)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- RTD8 #15 Curtis Stevens
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Golovkin returns February 1 in Monte Carlo.  Originally it looked like Murray was the opponent, but he will instead fight former borderline top 10 contender Osumanu Adama, who was removed from a #13 berth in September for failing to make 160 for 18 months.
2) Felix Sturm (6-540-540)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- TKO2 #3 Darren Barker
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman is the #1 contender for Sturm’s alphabet title, and Murray, Macklin, and Geale are both trying to get rematches with him, as well.
3) Martin Murray (6-112-112)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- W* (PTS8) vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Initial reports had Murray’s withdrawal from his scheduled fight with Jarrod Fletcher as a result of an offer to fight Felix Sturm, but Murray says he doesn’t know if those negotiations are even underway or not, and says nagging injuries to both hands are to blame.
4) Daniel Geale (1-240-240)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (SD12) vs. #15 Darren Barker
Next Fight: 2/19/2014- vs. Garth Wood (UNR)
Geale will face gatekeeper Garth Wood- his former sparring partner- on February 19 in Sydney.
5) Matthew Macklin (1-135-226)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After a legitimate but very unspectacular win over only moderately proven prospect Lamar Russ, Macklin has joined the chorus of quality middleweights looking for a rematch with Sturm.  He’s also pushing for a fight with Andy Lee.
6) Peter Quillin (1-66-87)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golovkin’s team has called out Quillin, but that fight is likely impossible for the time being due to the HBO-Showtime allegiances of the two.
7) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (1-6-6)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD10 Anthony Fitzgerald (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/15/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
After Andy Lee turned down a proposed fight for March 1, N’Dam will be back on February 15 in Ireland against an opponent yet to be named.
8) Sam Soliman (1-6-6)
Last Fight: 12/11/2013- TKO9 Les Sherrington (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman has been re-installed as the #1 contender to Sturm’s alphabet strap, and will likely get another shot soon.
9) Sergio Mora (1-30-30)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora had hoped to fight Golovkin on February 1, but says he was never offered the fight.
10) Marco Antonio Rubio (1-1-156)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- KO2 Dionisio Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Domenico Spada (UNR)
Rubio-Spada is now set for April 5 in Mexico.  It’s for an interim title, if such trifles mean anything to you.
11) Anthony Mundine (1-156)
Last Fight: 11/27/2013- TKO7 #4 WW Shane Mosley (at JMW)
Next Fight: 1/29/2014- vs. Billy Lyell (UNR) (at JMW?)
With Carson Jones pulling out due to illness, Mundine has made a fairly lateral move to Billy Lyell, a former fringe contender himself.
12) Max Bursak (1-156)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD8 Gari Abajian (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/1/2013- vs. Jarrod Fletcher (UNR)
Bursak has replaced Martin Murray against Aussie prospect Jarrod Fletcher on February 1.  He’ll be in the rare position of a favored fighter in a fairly high-profile fight becoming a short-notice opponent.
13) Bryan Vera (1-66)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L* (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. Julio Cesar Chavez (UNR) (at SMW)
Vera-Chavez II now looks likely for March 1 in either Vegas or Texas, after a proposed February date was abandoned over concerns related to Olympic conflicts.
14) Grzegorz Proksa (1-145)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Plans for a February fight have apparently been scrapped, and Proksa would like to fight in April or May.  Setting reports of hand problems to rest, he says there’s currently nothing wrong with him.
15) Caleb Truax (1-18)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (UD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Truax’s status as a promising prospect has been derailed somewhat by the very tough Ossie Duran.
16) Curtis Stevens (1-25)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L (RTD8) vs. #2 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: 1/24/2014- vs. Patrick Majewski (UNR)
Stevens will make a surprisingly quick return from a grueling battle with Golovkin.  His January 24 opponent will be two-loss Polish fringe prospect Patrick Majewski.
17) Andrey Meryasev (1-11)
Last Fight: 11/4/2013- UD10 Sergio Sanders (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I’ve still yet to see Meryasev in action, but his win over Sanders at this point in his career proves that he’s a real prospect.
18) Danny Jacobs (1-22)
Last Fight: 8/19/2013- TKO3 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Dmitry Chudinov (1-22)
Last Fight: 12/21/2013- TKO6 Juan Camilo Novoa (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
A fight with Ricardo Mayorga had been discussed, but Mayorga is no longer interested.
20) Nobuhiro Ishida (1-1)
Last Fight: 8/4/2013- KO2 Elly Pangaribuan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
This sounds crazy, but the rather light-hitting middleweight is currently doing heavy weight training and has applied for clearance from the Japanese commission to compete as a heavyweight.  That’s a 4-division, 40 to, let’s say, 100 pound jump in weight.  If he’s approved, he will likely fight for the rather lightly-regarded Japanese Heavyweight title against Kyotaro Fujimoto.  As for his ranking here, that means he’ll most likely just hang around the rankings until he becomes ineligible on or about August 4.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Friday
Curtis Stevens vs. Patrick Majewski; Atlantic City, New Jersey; NBC Sports (US)
Stevens makes a quick return from his taxing loss to Golovkin, taking on two-loss fringe prospect Patrick Majewski, who appeared to be going places before being stunningly upset by Jose Miguel Torres in 2011.  He threw in a fairly dominant loss to solid prospect Patrick Nielsen in his last fight, as well.  It shouldn’t be a terribly tough night for Stevens, who- Derrick Findley aside- tends to detonate guys on Majewski’s level.

 

Saturday
Marcos Nader vs. Emanuele Blandamura; Stuttgart, Germany; ARD (Germany)
Blandamura is an undefeated but untested 35 year-old Italian prospect.  Nader is a Spanish-born Austrian who is also technically undefeated, having been tested twice at the gatekeeper level.  Both times, he fought Roberto Santos of Spain, and both times I had Santos winning 115-113.  Nader, however, received a minor gift in those fights, escaping with a draw and a win.  This could be a very interesting fight, though I honestly can’t say I know what level Blandamura is at with any clarity.

Super Middleweight: 2014, Jan 20-26

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on April 16, 2014 by danboxing
No action to report from the week of the 13th.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (110-244-244)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says his manager is working on his next fight despite his lawsuit against promoter Dan Goossen.  He had indicated interest in Golovkin, but the Kazakh’s own trainer recently said his fighter is not ready for that fight.
1) Carl Froch (87-397-397)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO9 #8 George Groves
Next Fight: Unknown
It sounds like Froch will be deciding between giving in to a Groves rematch or pursuing a Ward rematch by about the first week of February.
2) Robert Stieglitz (44-230-230)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- UD12 Isaac Ekpo (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. #4 Arthur Abraham
The Abraham-Stieglitz trilogy bout, originally announced for February 1, is now official for March 1, in Stieglitz’s home base of Magdeburg.
3) Mikkel Kessler (58-476-476)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
After meeting with Kessler, his promoter says he won’t be fighting anytime soon, and Kessler hinted at possible retirement immediately after the Froch fight.  It’s not looking good for Kessler fans, though the Viking Warrior recently said, rather vaguely, that he still wants a big fight.
4) Arthur Abraham (36-222-222)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Giovanni De Carolis (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. #2 Robert Stieglitz
See Stieglitz’s notes, above.
5) Brandon Gonzales (30-30-30)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #12 Maxim Vlasov
Gonzales and Vlasov have reached a deal for an eliminator to become Froch’s mandatory, but I haven’t been able to find a date yet.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (17-138-186)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: Unknown
Oosthuizen was yanked from his intended January 18 fight with Eleider Alvarez and released by his promoter after a bicycle accident and reportedly being hopelessly out of shape about 2 weeks before the fight.
7) Ezequiel Maderna (11-11-56)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #6 Thomas Oosthuizen
Next Fight: Unknown
I doubt he’ll get much love from the alphabets for his effort, but I think you could make a better case for him winning than losing against Oosthuizen, though I had it a draw personally.
8) George Groves (11-58-80)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- L (TKO9) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
While I think the result of a TKO loss was an inevitable one, I also don’t fault Groves for the ultimatum he recently issued to Froch: rematch or retire.  Obviously he can’t make Froch do that, but I think he earned the rematch, and I think there’s a lot of money in it for both guys.  He’s having to resort to personal attacks to try and get a reluctant Froch to agree, however.  If Froch doesn’t come through with the rematch, Ward might come calling.
9) James DeGale (10-33-119)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 Dyah Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
DeGale has been ordered to face Badou Jack for a shot at Bika’s alphabet belt.
10) Christopher Rebrasse (10-10-33)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- UD6 George Kandelaki (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rebrasse was apparently involved in a December 6 fight that was so under the radar that I missed it until two weeks after it happened.
11) Sakio Bika (10-355)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dirrell wants a rematch, and that’s obviously a worthy endeavor given the legitimate draw the first time around.  In the meantime, machinations are underway for an eliminator between Jack and DeGale, with the winner to become his mandatory.  On Bika’s end, he’d like a unification with Froch.
12) Maxim Vlasov (11-63)
Last Fight: 12/5/2013- KO4 Maxell Taylor (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #5 Brandon Gonzales
Vlasov appears set for an IBF eliminator against Brandon Gonzales.  A deal has been reached, but no date has been reported.
13) Edwin Rodriguez (11-53)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
According to his trainer Ronnie Shields, they might be looking to fight a top-15 level light heavyweight, and have absolutely no intention to ever try to make 168 again.  He’ll be on the shelf for a little while due to bone chip-removal surgery on his elbow in December.
 14) Andy Lee (17-36)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013-TKO2 Ferenc Hafner (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lee has apparently turned down a March 1 fight with Hassan N’Dam.  A Macklin fight might still be in play.
15) Ryota Murata (17-22)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO8 Dave Peterson (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/22/2014- vs. Carlos Nascimento (UNR)
Murata is slated for a February 22 card in Macau against mediocre Brazilian journeyman Carlos Nascimento.
16) Hadillah Mohoumadi (3-47)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Caleb Truax (3-31)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (MD12) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Truax may have been a little lucky to escape with a draw against Duran.  I agree with the decision, but it could only have tilted the other way if it tilted at all.
 18) Badou Jack (7-27)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 Rogelio Medina (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jack has been ordered to face DeGale for a shot at Bika.
19) Don Mouton (7-17)
Last Fight: 5/13/2013- L* (UD8) vs. #10 Anthony Dirrell
Next Fight: 2/1/2013- vs. Gilberto Ramirez (UNR)
Mouton-Ramirez has been rescheduled for February 1.
20) Anthony Dirrell (7-7)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. #11 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: Unknown
His hard-fought draw with Sakio Bika gained Dirrell a measure of redemption for what pretty clearly should have been a loss against Don Mouton, and has him back in the hot prospect category.  He’s called for a rematch (good idea) and a fight with Golovkin (bad idea).

 

The Week Ahead: Another slow week at 168.

Light Heavyweight: 2014, Jan 20-26

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on April 16, 2014 by danboxing
Jean Pascal got his mojo back on Saturday in Montreal.  The long-time contender- inactive at 175 and in significant fights in general- looked dynamic and entertaining in mostly dominating #16 Lucian Bute over 12 rounds.  For the first 11, Pascal virtually dominated.  I gave him every round, though there were as many as 4 toss-ups in the mix.  Round 12 was a different story, as Bute’s desperate attempt at a knockout seemed to be paying dividends, as Pascal appeared significantly hurt for a large portion of the frame.  In the post-fight interview, Pascal said he was basically taking punches intentionally in order to sell a possible rematch.  I think I believe him, at least to the extent that may have been laying on the ropes initially for that purpose.  I do think that Bute managed to capitalize on that and actually hurt him at some point, though I think HBO- perhaps also with selling the re-match in mind- oversold the drama to some extent.  He was hurt, but he wasn’t out on his feet or really in danger of getting stopped at any point, nor was it even arguably a 10-8 round.

 

On the undercard, #18 Eleider Alvarez got a fairly spirited challenge from late replacement opponent Andy Gardiner, who in fairness came in undefeated.  So spirited a challenge, in fact, that on my card, Alvarez needed every one of the last three rounds I gave him in order to get the nod.  The Quebec judges were predictably slanted in favor of the house fighter- even though Gardiner was actually the native Canadian of the two- with Marie-Josee Guerin turning in a ludicrous 99-91, a score that would prompt me to investigate her qualifications if I were the commission.  Jean LaPointe turned in a mostly reasonable 96-93, though I think he clearly erred in giving Alvarez a 10-8 round, it would appear, in round 8.  Alvarez hurt Gardiner at the close of the round, but it was a competitive frame prior to that, and the period of dominance was only 10 seconds, give or take.  Sylvain LeBlance had it 97-93, which is hard to argue with too much, considering it was only one toss-up round away from my own.  I would call this something of a dodged bullet for the Colombian prospect.

 

Pascal, who was only unranked due to inactivity- having been ranked #3 when he was removed last year- resumes that position with the decent win and his return.  Do I really think he’s better than Kovalev right now, you might ask?  Not really.  But he’s got a win over a #1 ranked contender in Dawson, and even though Hopkins’ age made those two fights rather significant upsets, Hopkins was ranked #3 for the draw and #1 for Pascal’s loss to him.  Kovalev’s best win so far is the destruction of #4 Campillo.  So while I acknowledge that the relative age of Pascal’s relevant resume introduces plenty of room for disagreement, I would say that Pascal has established himself at a slightly higher level, and that despite his adversity, he has not yet done anything to lower that level to anything less than #3.  That being said, he’s got two top-10 wins over Adrian Diaconu that will be expiring this year, and so I could see his ranking slipping over the course of the year unless he keeps busy among good competition.

 

Bute probably should have been viewed as better than his #16 ranking going in, since his super middleweight ranking sat at #4 when he was removed last year for moving up, and since he’s done nothing to significantly hurt his standing since.  Nevertheless, his record at 175 specifically has suffered.  There’s not much shame in losing to Pascal for a mid-teens contender, but the amount of time it took to make the fight happen and the resulting inactivity has helped diminish him.  His lone win at the weight, a fairly close decision over Denis Grachev in late 2012, is now over a year old, while Hadillah Mohoumadi has a more recent and more impressive victory over a guy not ranked far below.  In addition, Eleider Alvarez, irrespective of his low-level win this weekend, has the kind of quantity (3 significant wins) that allows him to pass Bute as well.  Mohoumadi therefore stays put at #17, and Alvarez at #18, while Bute slides two places in addition to the one which Pascal’s return would demand- to #19.  Last week’s #s 4-15 backtrack a spot, with Isaac Chilemba bouncd from the top 10 after 42 consecutive weeks.  Sukhotsky falls from #19 to #20, while Enzo Maccarinelli is forced from the rankings after 22 consecutive weeks in.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (72-72-72)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says his manager is working on his next fight despite his lawsuit against promoter Dan Goossen.  He had indicated interest in Golovkin, but the Kazakh’s own trainer recently said his fighter is not ready for that fight.
1) Adonis Stevenson (33-33-33)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO6 #6 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #6 Andrzej Fonfara
Fightnews.com reports that Stevenson’s next fight will be on an undetermined date against #6 Andrzej Fonfara.
2) Bernard Hopkins (72-398-398)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Karo Murat (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Golden Boy has reportedly closed the deal on Hopkins-Shumenov, with March or April expected.
3) Jean Pascal (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD12 #16 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Pascal appears to be fully back from his 2 years in the desert, figuratively speaking, having dominated an apparently shopworn Bute.
4) Sergey Kovalev (1-53-53)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO2 Ismayl Sillakh (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kovalev is actively pursuing a fight with a seemingly reluctant Stevenson, and says he’s open to fighting Ward at 175, too.  More recently, there is talk of a March 15 bout, with Pascal being one possibility.
5) Chad Dawson (1-399-399)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L(TKO1) vs. SMW #6 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Dawson is now a promotional free agent, and is looking to sign with a top promoter to start rebuilding after a rough year.  He says he is interested in a Stevenson rematch.  Prospects for another occasionally-discussed rematch- with Jean Pascal- increased recently with word that Pascal’s trainer offered Dawson a contract.
6) Andrzej Fonfara (1-23-80)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- KO2 Samuel Miller (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Fonfara will reportedly be fighting Stevenson next, but no date yet.
7) Tony Bellew (1-119-119)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- L (TKO6) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: 3/15/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent (at CW)
Bellew plans a move to cruiserweight, and his first fight there is scheduled for March 15 in Liverpool.
8) Gabriel Campillo (1-187-187)
Last Fight: 8/16/2013- L (KO9) vs. #14 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: Unknown
Campillo might be on his way to deserved obscurity after being robbed of deserved prominence for so much of his career.  He still has plenty of boxing skill, but his will might be fading just a bit.  For anyone who is wondering he says he plans to make another push for a title, rather than retiring.
9) Tavoris Cloud (1-230-230)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Cloud should probably get himself back in the win column at some point.
10) Nathan Cleverly (1-207-207)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (TKO4) vs. #3 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
Cleverly’s cruiserweight debut is once again delayed by what’s being called a minor injury.  His promoter says he intends to schedule him another fight very soon.
11) Isaac Chilemba (1-103)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD8 Michael Gbenga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
12) Jürgen Brähmer (1-92)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD12 Marcus Oliveira (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Braehmer returns April 5 in Rostock, Germany.
13) Cornelius White (1-110)
Last Fight: 6/14/2013- L (TKO3) vs. #5 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: 1/24/2014- vs. Thomas Williams, Jr. (UNR)
White will once again play underdog, but to much less-proven fighter in Thomas Williams.
14) Karo Murat (1-13)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Cedric Agnew (1-41)
Last Fight: 4/12/2013- UD12 #14 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: Unknown
Agnew was ordered to defend his regional title against fringe contender Anatoliy Dudchenko, but now it looks like he might instead fight Sukhotsky for a position as IBF mandatory.
16) Edwin Rodriguez (1-28)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez’s trainer Ronnie Shields opines that a fight against a top-15 level light heavyweight would be a good jumping-off point for his anticipated permanent move up.  Before that happens, he’ll need to recover from minor elbow surgery he had in December.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (13-30)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mohoumadi snuck in a low-level win on November 30, apparently at 168.
18) Eleider Alvarez (13-52)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD10 Andy Gardiner (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alvarez may have been suffering from a letdown after Oosthuizen withdrew from what could have been the Colombian’s biggest fight ever, and almost let it effect him to the point of losing to an unheralded undefeated prospect in Gardiner.
19) Lucian Bute (1-64)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- L (UD12) vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute looks rather shopworn after the brutal beating at the hands of Froch, the close pitched battle with Grachev, and the humiliation at the hands of Pascal.
20) Dmitry Sukhotsky (1-9)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO5 Eduard Gutknecht (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sukhotsky was penciled in to fight Fonfara for a mandatory shot at an alphabet belt, but it now looks like Cedric Agnew will be in the other corner, instead.

 

The Week Ahead
Friday
Roberto Feliciano Bolonti vs. Jose Clavero; Pinamar, Argentina; TyC Sports (ARG)Roberto Feliciano Bolonti is a 35 year-old gatekeeper from the Buenos Aires area.  He lost a 4-rounder early in his career, but his only loss since that one in 2006 was a decision to Tony Bellew in 2012.  He has generally prospered against mid-level journeyman and below, aside from that.  His best win to date- at least arguably- was an 8th round KO of none other than Clavero from 2012.  As for Clavero, he’s a mid-level journeyman.  Usually gives a good account of himself, but if Feliciano Bolonti is the top 30 fighter Boxrec imagines him to be, a repeat of the first meeting is likely.
 
 
#13 Cornelius White vs. Thomas Williams, Jr.; Shelton, Washington; ESPN2 (US)
Despite being more accomplished, White is clearly being cast as the underdog in this one, as Williams has superior promotional backing and is considered a high-level prospect.  White could use this upset- in the tradition of his shocking wins over Yordanis Despaigne and Dmitry Sukhotsky- to confirm himself as the relevant fighter few ever noticed he was in the first place.
 
Saturday
Sean Monaghan vs. Matt Vanda; New York, New York; Off TV
Even in the eyes of HBO, which has an interest in career and has put one of his fights on a major PPV card recently, Monaghan is seen as a fun-to-watch crude bar brawler-type, but one that has managed to build a top-50 resume by applying that style to its full potential.  Vanda is a veteran clubfighter that has generally been seen as a high-level journeyman for most of his career, but has been slipping lately.

Cruiserweight: 2014, Jan 20-26

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on April 16, 2014 by danboxing
No cruiserweight action last week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (26-207-207)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lebedev-Jones II is expected in either March or April.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (71-187-187)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: 3/8/2014- vs. Pawel Kolodziej (UNR)
Hernandez’s March 8 opponent is Pawel Kolodziej, an undefeated Polish prospect who would probably have been ranked here frequently if he ever bothered to make 200.
3) Marco Huck (19-372-372)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- W (MD12) vs. #5 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 1/25/2014- vs. #5 Firat Arslan
Huck-Arslan II has a new date of January 25 after Huck suffered a hand injury.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (19-448-448)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk had a relatively easy time in his third fight with Fragomeni, and is interested in Huck, Hernandez, Afolabi, Drozd, and Chakhkiev for his next fight.
5) Firat Arslan (19-89-132)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/25/2014- vs. #3 Marco Huck
See Huck’s notes, above.
6) Thabiso Mchunu (19-25-63)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/24/2013- vs. Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Mchunu found a pretty decent replacement for would-be opponents Garrett Wilson and Santander Silgado.  He’ll face hard-hitting former Nigerian Olympian Olanrewaju Durodola on January 24.  Durodola has been fighting on a regional level around Missouri, and has only lost once when fighting a much larger  prospect at heavyweight.  He’s ranked in the top 40 by Boxrec.
7) Grigory Drozd (9-16-63)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- TKO11 #13 Mateusz Masternak
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Drozd will defend his European title in March against solid French journeyman Jeremy Ouanna, though Wlodarczyk’s team seems to think they might get Drozd in their next fight.
8) Ola Afolabi (9-254-254)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi needed a gift to squeak by Janik, and is on Wlodarczyk’s short list for the Pole’s next fight.
9) Giacobbe Fragomeni (9-19-271)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- L (TKO6) vs. #4 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
I really hope that Fragomeni will call it a career.  
10) Silvio Branco (9-9-97)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- W (TD10) vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Branco has been tabbed by the WBC to fight Chakhkiev for some silly color coded title belt, with January 3 the deadline to avoid purse bids.
11) Ilunga Makabu (9-28)
Last Fight: 8/31/2013- TKO5 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Nathan Cleverly withdrew with what his promoter calls a minor injury, leaving Makabu with a mere stay-busy outing on February 1.
12) Santander Silgado (7-12)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: Unknown
Silgado is being slammed by his own manager after he declined an arranged fight with Thabiso Mchunu.
13) Mateusz Masternak (7-95)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (TKO11) vs. #16 Grigory Drozd
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Polish news reports have Masternak returning on February 1 against Georgian journeyman Siproshvili.
14) Lukasz Janik (7-12)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik would like a well-deserved rematch with Afolabi.
15) Nuri Seferi (5-5)
Last Fight: 12/20/2013- W (DQ7*) vs. Steve Herelius (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/11/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Seferi will be among the headliners- against an unknown opponent- on April 11 on a show billed, a bit oddly, as “Evil Fight Night” in Hamburg.
16) Enad Licina (5-187)
Last Fight: 9/27/2013- TKO3 Levan Jomardashvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Licina’s last win over a top 50 fighter was January 24, 2009.  Since I only consider results from the last 5 years in my rankings, he will be removed next week, unless he gets used as a short-notice opponent by somoene good, and then beats that person.  He’s essentially certain to be removed.
17) Danie Venter (5-19)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I must admit I wrote Venter off when he lost a bit of an upset to Mchunu last year, but Mchunu has proven to be something of a world beater since, and Venter’s overall resume is quietly starting to look pretty solid.
18) Dmytro Kucher (5-82)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher would like a rematch with Makabu, and has his sights set on Wlodarczyk down the road, as well.  He expects to be back against someone in November or December.
 19) Victor Ramirez (3-3)
Last Fight: 1/4/2014- UD10 Mariano Diaz Strunz (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/31/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Ramirez was a fringe contender when he lost to Marco Huck in August 2009.  He’s done nothing of note since then, having been inactive for more than 4 years.  Yet his resume in the year that preceded that is still enough to claim a ranking in a shallow division.  He will be back for the 3rd time in 6 weeks on January 31.
20) Krzysztof Glowacki (3-26)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glowacki is seriously interested in fighting Francisco Palacios. 

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Friday
#6 Thabiso Mchunu vs. Olanrewaju Durodola; Atlantic City, New Jersey; NBC Sports (US)
South African Mchunu is a rising star in the sport, while Nigeria’s Durodola is a former Olympian who showed immense power even in the amateurs.  He has lost a fight already in his career- an upset to a much larger guy at heavyweight- but still finds himself easily in Boxrec’s top 50.  Mchunu is on a higher level at this juncture, having dominated world class heavyweight Eddie Chambers.

 

Saturday
#3 Marco Huck vs. #5 Firat Arslan; Stuttgart, Germany; ARD (Germany)
This is a long-awaited rematch.  Arslan had his way with Huck in the first fight, but was blatantly robbed.  Huck is ranked above Arslan only because he legitimately avenged an arguable win over Afolabi in the meantime, while Arslan has done nothing of consequence.  Having waited over a year since the first fight, Huck has opened himself up to criticism that he waited for the now-43 year-old Arslan to get old.  Or older, I suppose.  That being said, if he loses, it will be a blow to his career that will be difficult to recover from.

Heavyweight: 2014, Jan 20-26

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on April 16, 2014 by danboxing
2014 is off to a bad start, as the first truly significant heavyweight fight of the year ended in a blatant robbery.

 

#11 Mike Perez was in action for the first time since the tragic November battle with Magomed Abdusalamov that ended with Abdusalamov fighting for his life in a hospital bed.   Whether the psychological impact of that fight impacted Perez’s performance, I don’t know.  What I do know is that Perez had a terrible gameplan.  One of his strengths is great footwork, which he uses to set up angles.  He abandoned that advantage by failing to keep his distance in order to box at all.  He basically stood in the trenches with the bigger and cruder Takam, and whether due to tentativeness or due to Takam’s effective body work, he was rarely throwing with bad intentions.  Takam, on the flip side, got inside and outslugged Perez.  He was in charge from round 6 on, by a wide margin.

 

Scoring-wise, the first round was a toss-up that I gave to Perez.  Perez easily won the 2nd.  Takam took the third pretty clearly, though it was pretty close.  The 4th was another tossup, but I gave it to Takam.  The 5th was another fairly close round, but pretty clearly for Perez.  Takam clearly took rounds 6-10, with only the 7th and 8th being even remotely close.  I had it 97-93 for Takam, and could see it being either a round closer or a round wider.  

 

Judge Nicolas Esnault had it reasonable at 96-94 Takam.  Jean Gauthier and Sylvain LeBlanc both botched it, though, scoring it an unacceptable draw at 95-95.  Takam clearly won, and the fight will be treated as a Takam win here.

 

Takam debuts at #7.  He fits in rather well there, as both he and new #8 Stiverne are held back ever-so-slightly by a hiccup against a not-so-great fighter early in their careers.  Aside from that, Stiverne has beaten two guys ranked in the 15-20 range in Arreola and Austin, while Takam brings a gatekeeper-level win over Grant and a #11 in Perez.  That makes for a close call, but I tend to err on the side of the higher-level win in such situations.  Stiverne, Arreola, Thompson, and Teper are each forced down one space, with Teper exiting the top 10 after 8 weeks.  Perez takes a major dive out of the top 20- probably even out of the top 25 for the time being- as Takam, while a reasonably legitimate prospect, was only ranked in the low-40s at the time of the fight in my book, and had a loss to a prospect who never rose above the journeyman level.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (239-452-452)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. #13 Alex Leapai
Klitschko-Leapai appears to be finalized for April 26 in Germany.  He said recently that he wants to capture his brother’s old alphabet title, which would unify all the major titles for the first time since Lewis in 1999.  He would have to wait for someone else to pick it up first, as the silly alphabets don’t let current titlists fight for vacant titles.
1) Alexander Povetkin (9-326-326)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin is calling for a rematch.  He would probably need to become the WBA mandatory by winning an eliminator (possibly against Luis Ortiz) in order to get that shot.  His promotional ties expired on December 31, and he says he’ll announce his next move in early 2014.
2) Steve Cunningham (9-57-57)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD8 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham had little trouble dominating a fading former gatekeeper in Quezada.
3) Tomasz Adamek (9-196-196)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
The rescheduled fight with Glazkov is now official for March 15.
4) Kubrat Pulev (9-90-167)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO5 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Pulev is back on the Braehmer card on April 5 in Rostock, Germany, but no opponent just yet.
5) Dereck Chisora (9-112-175)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO3 Ondrej Pala (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/15/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent (UNR)
Chisora returns on February 15, but he’s looking for a new opponent after undefeated Ukrainian Andriy Rudenko withdrew.
6) Odlanier Solis (9-44-191)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #10 Tony Thompson
Solis was first set to fight Kevin Johnson.  But he backed out because the IBF wanted him to fight Takam.  But now word from Tony Thompson is that Solis will fight Thompson, instead, on March 22.
7) Carlos Takam (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam clearly beat #11 Perez, and is ranked accordingly.
8) Bermane Stiverne (1-31-47)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite speculation in the UK of a possible match-up between Fury and Chisora for the WBC title, that organization has officially ordered Stiverne-Arreola, with purse bids due on January 17.  Stiverne’s legal situation with Don King seems to be the only possible stumbling block at this point.
9) Chris Arreola (1-20-20)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
10) Tony Thompson (1-10-191)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #6 Odlanier Solis
Thompson says he’s fighting Odlanier Solis on March 22.
11) Erkan Teper (1-21)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper might have scored the heavyweight knockout of the year, and probably retired Martin Rogan in the process.
12) Deontay Wilder (9-39)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO4 Nicolai Firtha (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wilder had hoped to supersede either Stiverne or Arreola for a shot at the WBC belt, but with that fight now officially ordered, he can only hope that Stiverne can’t work the fight out due to legal problems, or that he can fight the winner.
13) Alex Leapai (9-9)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
It looks like Leapai-Klitschko is done for April 26 in Germany.
14) Robert Helenius (10-191)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
We finally have a bit of clarification on the Helenius-Sauerland situation.  Helenius says that when he signed a promotional contract with Sauerland in 2007, he had no representation and couldn’t even read it in German.  He is currently trying to get a Finnish court to allow him to fight in Finland, as he says Sauerland is blocking him from fighting now despite the fact that his health will now allow it.
15) Andy Ruiz (9-9)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ruiz has called out Tyson Fury, whose team says he’s out until at least March.
16) Seth Mitchell (10-33)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- L (TKO1) vs. Chris Arreola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mitchell’s chin is so fragile that he might want to consider calling it a career.  Golden Boy’s CEO says he’s advised Mitchell to do just that, though he reports that Mitchell seems to have no such intention.
17) Alexander Dimitrenko (9-158)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko is rumored at least to be fighting Sam Sexton in the first round of the WBC World Cup, but that tournament appears to be in limbo for the time being, at least.
18) Vyacheslav Glazkov (9-57)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Glazkov-Adamek is back on, for March 15, after the first attempt was cancelled due to an Adamek illness.
19) Malik Scott (9-48)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- L (KO6*) vs. #8 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott is getting serious buzz for a fight with Wilder.
20) Johnathon Banks (9-62)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Banks is penciled-in for the second round of the WBC World Cup, against the winner of Sam Sexton and Alexander Dimitrenko, but as noted above, that whole tournament is delayed and in doubt.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Friday
Gerald Washington vs. Arron Lyons; Indio, California; Fox Sports 1 (US)
Washington is a pretty solid prospect, having turned in a much better showing against Sherman Williams than did Robert Helenius.  He honestly doesn’t look that spectacular to the eye, as I see it, but he’s got the credentials for a guy so early in his career.  Lyons is a sub-.500 journeyman from Gulfport, Mississippi, and should pose little or no threat to Washington.

 

Saturday
David Price vs. Konstantin Airich; Stuttgart, Germany; ARD (Germany)Price will look to start 2014 on the right foot after a VERY rough 2013 campaign.  Airich has sprung an upset or two in his time, but is a smallish heavyweight who probably lacks the height and power to exploit Price’s weak chin.
 

 

Bryant Jennings vs. Artur Szpilka; New York, New York; HBO (US)
Both of these guys are undefeated prospects, who have shown promise and been given a large degree of exposure on the US and international scene.  The winner will most likely claim a top 20 spot, and will accumulate a lot of buzz for a Klitschko shot at some point.  Jennings has shown himself to be a boxer-puncher of some skill at the gatekeeper level, while Szpilka is more of a brawler.  The hotter the fight, the more it favors Szpilka, as I see it.
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