Heavyweight: 2014, Mar 17-23

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on August 1, 2014 by danboxing
#18 Vyacheslav Glazkov on Saturday became the first guy, Vitali aside, to put together the technique, power, and resistance to freak arm injuries necessary to annihilate the undersized Tomasz Adamek, who came in at #4.  Glazkov brutally dominated the first 3/4 of the fight, busting the veteran Polish contender up and winning each of the first 9 rounds beyond any doubt.  Adamek did come back fairly strong to win probably two of the last three rounds as Glazkov faded, but by then it was all but in the books, given Adamek’s lack of serious heavyweight power.  Glazkov’s jab and right hand were both clicking on all cylinders, though he does need to include his pacing, conditioning, or both.  Adamek showed no defense at all for the first half of the fight.  It was an easy fight to score…either 119-109 or 118-110 for Glazkov.  NBC Sports’ unofficial judge Larry Hazzard- who is comically wrong in nearly 100% of the fights he’s scored for the network so far- had it a laughable 115-113 for Adamek.  They world doesn’t make enough liquor to explain a score like that.  The official ringsiders Julie Lederman (117-110), Kevin Morgan (117-111), and the normally excellent John Poturaj (116-112) did at least a little better, but hardly covered themselves in glory.  It was a one-sided beating overall.

 

Speaking of one-sided beating, #13 Deontay Wilder scored an all too quick and easy first round knockout over his friend and (on paper, at least) best career opponent #19 Malik Scott.  The punch that knocked Scott out didn’t even appear to land.  I follow Scott on Twitter, and he seems to be an excellent dude, but I can’t help but say that, at the very least, he didn’t seem fully committed to trying to win this fight.  By the halfway point of the first and only round, it was all over but the counting.

 

And in even less admirable action, Polish fringe prospect Andrzej Wawrzyk stopped fat 45 year-old has-been Frans Botha in 5.  I think it was shameful for Wawrzyk to accept the fight in the first place, since even though I’m not all that high on Wawrzyk, it looked more likely that he’d seriously hurt Botha than that Botha would be competitive.  Even more shamefully, it appears that the fight was indeed competitive, at least as long as it lasted.  One judge even had Botha up two points after 4, according to Boxrec.  This was for the Republic of Poland International Title, whatever the heck that nonsensical phrase means.

 

Glazkov is obviously the big winner here.  In one fight, he goes from being seen as the guy that got a gift against Malik Scott (an epitaph that would look even worse today than a week ago) to being one of less than a handful of contenders in the division to have beaten anyone as good as a #4 contender.  In doing so, he rockets all the way to #2.  This forces Povetkin down to #3 and Cunningham to #4.  Adamek falls back to #7.  The new blood forces everyone ranked #7-17 last week down one position, including Chris Arreola, who exits the top 10 after 27 successive weeks in.  Scott exits the top 20, though only barely, based on his embarrassingly impotent performance.  This allows Johnathon Banks to advance to #19, and Francesco Pianeta is promoted to the top 20 for the first time since he was forced out on July 25, 2011 due to the debut of Tyson Fury, who was fresh off his victory over Chisora.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (247-460-460)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. #15 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) Tyson Fury (5-5-5)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
Fury-Chisora has been made.  July 26, in Manchester.
2) Vyacheslav Glazkov (1-1-65)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
3) Alexander Povetkin (1-334-334)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBA has ordered Povetkin vs. Cuban prospect Luis Ortiz for their “regular” belt.  Naturally, Wlad is the “Super Champion.”  Povetkin had already held the “regular” belt since beating Chagaev, but apparently it became vacant when the Superchief…er…Super Champion…beat him.  Does that make Wlad the Super-Duper Champion?  If so, what fight are they going to stage for the “regular” Super Championship?  I should stop making fun, before I give them any more ideas.
4) Steve Cunningham (1-65-65)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD8 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/4/2014- vs. Amir Mansour (UNR)
Cunningham takes on unbeaten fringe contender Amir Mansour in Cunningham’s hometown of Philadelphia on April 4.
5) Kubrat Pulev (5-98-175)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO5 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Pulev was in talks with Chisora for an eliminator, but Chisora signed with Fury, instead.  Meanwhile, I have no idea if Pulev’s announced April 5 bout is still on or not.
6) Dereck Chisora (5-120-183)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Tomasz Adamek (1-204-204)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
I’d have to think Adamek would at least consider retirement after being brutalized for 12 rounds by a guy that had looked like he might top out around the top 15.
8) Odlanier Solis (1-52-199)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #13 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.
9) Carlos Takam (1-9-9)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam clearly beat #11 Perez, and is ranked accordingly.
10) Bermane Stiverne (1-39-55)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #11 Chris Arreola
ESPN has landed the fight- their biggest score in a while on that front.  May 10, location to be determined.
11) Chris Arreola (1-28)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #10 Bermane Stiverne
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
12) Deontay Wilder (1-47)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 #19 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
With the win over Scott, Wilder appears poised to fight the Stiverne-Arreola winner for an alphabet title and probably near-universal recognition as the best American heavyweight.
13) Tony Thompson (1-199)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #8 Odlanier Solis
Thompson is fighting Odlanier Solis on March 22.
14) Erkan Teper (1-29)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Alex Leapai (1-17)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Leapai-Klitschko is done for April 26 in Germany.
16) Robert Helenius (1-199)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sauerland has Helenius in mothballs, and he’s going to be removed next week unless he announces a fight.
17) Andy Ruiz (1-17)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ruiz passed up a proposed date in February, saying he wants to focus on weight loss so that his performances become more of a story than his physique.  He wants to be around or below 240.
18) Seth Mitchell (1-41)
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.
19) Johnathon Banks (1-2)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Francesco Pianeta (1-1)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO2 Robert Teuber (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Saturday
#8 Odlanier Solis vs. #13 Tony Thompson; Istanbul, Turkey; PolSat Sport (Poland)
This is a very interesting crossroads fight.  Solis has been taking the slow route to the top, if indeed that’s where he’s headed.  Considering his distinguished amateur background, he’s long been considering an underachiever, even as a top-10 contender.  Thompson is maybe best described as the ultimate gatekeeper.  I usually use gatekeeper here as shorthand for just about any non-prospect ranked between about 25-50.  Thompson is better described as a fringe contender or even contender by that standard, but he truly does keep the gate, twice stopping promising prospect David Price and testing the hell out of contender Kubrat Pulev in recent fights.  Solis is the younger man and probably has more technical and physical skills and talents at this point in his career, but you can never be sure of his conditioning, and Thompson is never to be overlooked.

 

Matias Vidondo vs. Alfredo Ruiz; Neuquen, Argentina; TV Unknown
Vidondo is a 37 year old gatekeeper and National Champion of Argentina, in addition to being a Neuquen native.  He meets a very non-descript opponent in low-level countryman Ruiz.  The Argentine title is on the line, but it’s really nothing more than a stay-busy fight for Vidondo from an international perspective.

Welterweight: 2014, Mar 10-16

Posted in Rankings, Welterweight with tags , , , , , , , on August 1, 2014 by danboxing
Rustam Nugaev won a stoppage victory at a 143 pound contract weight over should-be lightweight titlist Marvin Quintero, when Quintero injured his hand and could not continue past the 4th round.  It was a dead even fight to that point, as I saw it.  Nugaev narrowly edged round 1 and clearly won round 4, while Quintero clearly won 2 and 3.  You can’t necessarily tell a lot from a victory like this, given the circumstances, and especially with the catchweight.  Nugaev is not a real threat to be ranked in this tough division, at least not at this point.  No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (202-234-234)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #2 JMW Saul Alvarez (at JMW)
Next Fight: 5/3/2014- vs. #4 Marcos Maidana
Thankfully, it will be the worthy Maidana rather than the likely washed-up Khan that fights Floyd on May 3.
1) Timothy Bradley (22-22-92)
Last Fight: 10/12/2013- W (SD12) vs. #1 Juan Manuel Marquez
Next Fight: 4/12/2014- vs. #3 Manny Pacquiao
Bradley-Pacquiao II is on, and it’s made all the more intriguing by Bradley’s win over Pac’s nemesis.
2) Juan Manuel Marquez (22-122-122)
Last Fight: 10/12/2013- L (SD12) vs. #17 Timothy Bradley
Next Fight: Unknown
It appears Marquez is close to a deal to fight Alvarado on May 17.  He also wants the Pac-Bradley winner.
3) Manny Pacquiao (22-275-275)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD12 #5? JWW Brandon Rios
Next Fight: 4/12/2014- vs. #1 Timothy Bradley
See Bradley’s notes, above. 
4) Marcos Maidana (14-40-40)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD12 LW Champ Adrien Broner
Next Fight: 5/3/2014- vs. Champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Maidana will get a shot at the true title on May 3.
5) Keith Thurman (13-13-53)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 #6 Jesus Soto-Karass
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Thurman is tentatively scheduled to fight on April 26 in Carson, CA as part of a doubleheader with Lucas Matthysse, with an eventual meeting between the two being considered if they both win.
6) Shawn Porter (13-14-14)
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 a Thurman or Marquez fight has also been discussed, while Malignaggi has also indicated interest, and that fight currently appears to be in the works for April 19.
7) Robert Guerrero (14-68-85)
Last Fight: 5/4/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Next Fight: Unknown
Guerrero is in the mix to fight Khan on May 3.
8) Kell Brook (14-150-150)
Last Fight:10/26/2013- TKO4 Vyacheslav Senchenko (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Alvaro Robles (UNR) (at JMW)
Brook’s opponent for this weekend will be gatekeeper Alvaro Robles- not a bad guy to find on 10 days’ notice.
9) Devon Alexander (14-107-107)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- L (UD12) vs. Shawn Porter (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alexander’s trainer has named Berto and Judah as guys that would make sense for the St. Louisan’s next fight.
10) Randall Bailey (16-16-16)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- W (DQ8) vs. Humberto Toledo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bailey said recently in an interview that he’d like to fight Thurman.
11) Josesito Lopez (16-90)
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 (13-59)
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 (13-68)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- L (TKO12) vs. #11 Jesus Soto Karass
Next Fight: Unknown 
Berto is now recovered from surgery and is training for a summer return.  Alexander wants him.
14) Paulie Malignaggi (14-14) 
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #8? JWW Zab Judah 
Next Fight: Unknown 
Malignaggi says he wants Porter, and that fight is reportedly in the works for April 19.
15) Chris van Heerden (14-91)
Last Fight: 2/6/2014- RTD4 Cosme Rivera (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
Van Heerden finally got a fight in, albeit a stay-busy one.
16) Luis Carlos Abregu (14-46)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Antonin Decarie (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/4/2014- vs. Jean Carlos Prada (UNR)
Abregu is set to return on April 4 in his hometown of Salta, Argentina against unbeaten but totally untested Venezuelan Jean Carlos Prada.
17) Luis Collazo (6-6)
Last Fight: 1/30/2014- KO2 Victor Ortiz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Collazo wants Khan, and there’s some buzz building behind that fight.
18) Jan Zaveck (6-222)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- UD8 Sebastien Allais (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Ruslan Provodnikov (6-52)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- RTD10 #3 JWW Mike Alvarado (at JWW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Provodnikov is looking to defend his title at 140 on June 14, possibly against Antonio Demarco.  If he sets that fight (or any other at 140), he’ll be removed here, as he hasn’t fought at 147 since his March 16 fight with Tim Bradley.  In any case, he’ll be removed on March 17 unless he scheduled a welterweight fight.
20) Leonard Bundu (2-2)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO12 Lee Purdy (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bundu’s fight with Gianluca Branco, scheduled for April 12, is now off due to a training injury to Branco.  Bundu’s camp is now targeting May as his next appearance, but it’s not known if Branco will still be the opponent or not.

 

The Week Ahead:
Saturday
Kermit Cintron vs. Ronald Cruz; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Off TV
Cintron still qualifies as a gatekeeper despite almost certainly losing to unproven Adrian Granados while being gifted a draw.  Cruz was an undefeated prospect before back-to-back losses to Ray Narh and Antwone Smith.  Still, with Cintron’s precipitous decline in the last few years, I’m not sure I’d want to bet either way on this one.

 

Kell Brook is in action in Liverpool as well against Alvaro Robles, but that’s expected to be a junior middleweight fight.  I might discuss it here as it effects the rankings, but will treat it primarily at 154.

Junior Middleweight: 2014, Mar 10-16

Posted in Junior Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on July 31, 2014 by danboxing
#4 Canelo Alvarez was too crisp, too heavy-handed, and too good for #10 Alfredo Angulo in the Saturday main event of Showtime’s PPV show from Las Vegas.  Canelo had a lot of zip on his punches, and stayed uncharacteristically active throughout the fight.  Angulo was ready-made for him.  He kept walking into the shots, but just couldn’t get anything behind his own shots.  I narrowly gave Angulo round 8, but that was it.  Canelo was pretty dominant, and Tony Weeks mercifully stopped it in the 10th after Canelo landed yet another hard, flush uppercut to El Perro’s chin.  

 

The overzealous fans and to some extent the Showtime broadcast team created what in my opinion was a fake controversy by acting like the stoppage might in some way be tantamount to a robbery.  Look.  Everybody with eyes or ears knew that Angulo wasn’t going to win the fight, and he was taking a legitimately horrific beating on his way to the loss.  Tony Weeks is there to enforce the rules and ensure a fair fight, but above all, he’s there to protect the safety of the fighters.  Was two rounds of a foregone conclusion really worth risking the life or long-term health of a family man (with no defense) like Angulo?  Not by a long shot.  Angulo is a fighter, so he is naturally going to disagree and maybe even believe irrationally in his ability to win.  But that doesn’t change the unequivocal fact that Weeks did exactly the right thing.

 

The chief support bout for the fight was to be #1 Carlos Molina vs. Jermall Charlo, a highly-touted undefeated prospect.  Unfortunately (and surprisingly to many, including me), it turns out Molina has a checkered past.  I won’t get into it here, but if you want to know the details it’s readily available online.  Apparently he was deported on the basis of these “checkers” several years ago, and so when he was picked up on a warrant from Wisconsin, ICE detained him essentially as an illegal immigrant, and the fight was cancelled.  Molina loses out on a reasonably big fight- and perhaps deservedly so.  Charlo does too, and that is unfortunate for any measure.  Despite being unranked currently, Charlo is legitimately a top prospect, and was far from a no-hoper in this one.

 

It may be due to incompetent googling on my part, but am frequently unable to find video on the many close decisions at the Japanese Championship level, and this Tuesday’s upset of gatekeeper Tadashi Yuba by Takayuki Hosokawa in Tokyo (by close majority decision, no less) was unfortunately no exception.  I’ve been saying this too much lately, but I have to simply take the result at face value.  Scores were 95-95, 96-94, and 97-93.

 

Canelo actually pulled some shenanigans and paid Angulo to raise the contract weight to 155 shortly before the weigh-in.  In this case, I’m still not going to treat it as a middleweight fight.  Neither guy has ever met a serious opponent as a middleweight until now, and I have little doubt that Canelo would have made weight if a title had been at stake, since he only missed it (at the first try) by a pound and came into the ring as the smaller man unofficially.  If I eventually have to remove Canelo from these rankings for moving up, I’ll consider ranking him at 160 based on this fight, but I think it would be rewarding bad behavior to give him a dual ranking just because he’d rather pay a small portion of his large purse than burn off an extra pound.  That being the case, I’m treating it for all intents and purposes as a standard light middleweight contest.

 

This is a messy division to rate.  The easy thing to do would be to leave both Canelo and Angulo where they are.  Angulo, after all, has still been proven on a higher level than Rabchenko, and Floyd got a win over Canelo in their recent fight.  No brainer, right?  Well here’s the thing.  I thought there was truly nothing to separate Floyd and Canelo in the fight, except Floyd’s reputation.  I’m one of a small minority of probably 2 people (the other being unjustly pilloried judge CJ Ross) that believe that, but I believe it just the same.  I’ve never made it a practice to make what other people will think part of my scoring or rankings criteria, and I won’t start now.  Canelo’s win is the small spur he needs, in my book, to overcome the deference I gave to the judges’ decision in the Mayweather fight, especially when coupled with the fact that Floyd’s only other outing at 154 was another close one- and another debatable decision, as I saw it- against Cotto.  Absent an absolute requirement that Floyd be ranked ahead of him, Canelo’s deep resume at 154 completely overwhelms Floyd’s work at that weight, no questions asked.  

 

So then it’s Alvarez vs. Lara.  Lara just dominated a guy that I thought Alvarez all but certainly lost to in Austin Trout.  The stoppage wins over Angulo cancel out, and beyond that, Alvarez’s sheer volume of good wins just crushes Lara’s, especially when you give him some degree of credit for the Mayweather effort, as I do.  So although I see logical problems with it due to Trout, Alvarez wins that head-to-head, as well.  

 

Now it’s Alvarez vs. Molina for the #1 spot.  The Angulo and Spinks wins were roughly equivalent.  Rhodes and Cintron were both ranked #7, and only a month apart.  Canelo vs. #3 Trout was roughly a draw as I treat it, and that roughly cancels out with Molina’s legit but very close and debatable win over #5 Smith.  The Mayweather fight cancels out with Molina’s should-be win over (admittedly overrated) #3 James Kirkland.  Molina’s 2009 win over Danny Perez, let’s say, cancels out with Alvarez’s destruction of Cintron (even though that’s really advantage Alvarez).  That just leaves Molina with a draw against then-#20 Lara.  Canelo answers with dominant wins over welterweight contenders or fringe contenders Josesito Lopez, Shane Mosley, Alfonso Gomez, and Matthew Hatton, as well as fringe contender Lovemore N’Dou and gatekeeper Carlos Baldomir.  I think between all of them, they easily overwhelm the Lara draw, especially as unproven as Lara was at the time relative to today.  

 

So Canelo is the new #1, as Molina, Lara, and Mayweather each drop a place.  Angulo does stay put.  Hosokawa assumes Yuba’s former position as a gatekeeper.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1) Saul Alvarez (1-158-173)
Last Fight: 3/8/2014- TKO10 #10 Alfredo Angulo
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s a very soupy division, with a lot of action at the top, but a few paradoxes, especially with the way I saw some close fights.  You could make an argument, I think, for Alvarez to be ranked anywhere between #1 and #5.
2) Carlos Molina (1-140-155)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W (SD12) vs. #5 Ishe Smith
Next Fight: Unknown
We found out some pretty bad info about Molina’s past when he was arrested on past warrants and detained for illegal immigration following an apparent deportation from several years ago.  His fight with Jermall Charlo was cancelled, and Molina’s immediate future in the sport is up in the air.
3) Erislandy Lara (1-140-162)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #4 Austin Trout
Next Fight: 5/2/2014- vs. #6 Ishe Smith
Mayweather says that his protege Smith will be fighting Lara on May 2, the day before Mayweather-Maidana.
4) Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (1-26-26)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #2 Saul Alvarez
Next Fight: 5/3/2014- vs. #4 WW Marcos Maidana (at WW)
Floyd will fight Maidana rather than Khan.  Thank goodness.
5) Austin Trout (14-93-162)
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 (26-55-55)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- L (SD12) vs. #1 Carlos Molina
Next Fight: 5/2/2014- vs. #3 Erislandy Lara
See Lara’s notes, above.
7) Anthony Mundine (15-15-15)
Last Fight: 1/29/2014- UD10 Gunnar Jackson (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 4/2/2014- vs. Joshua Clottey (UNR)
Mundine will be fighting Joshua Clottey on April 2, and wants a fight with Lara after that.
8) Miguel Cotto (15-197-197)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- TKO3 #11 Delvin Rodriguez
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. MW Champ Sergio Martinez (at MW)
Cotto and Martinez have now officially agreed to a Middleweight Championship fight on June 7 at MSG.
9) Cornelius Bundrage (15-188-188)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD12 Joey Hernandez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
K9 was the mandatory for the Molina-Charlo winner.  With that fight at least postponed, it’s unclear what will happen next.
10Alfredo Angulo (15-233-233)
Last Fight: 3/8/2014- L (TKO10) vs. #4 Saul Alvarez
Next Fight: Unknown
Angulo could probably use a fight with a gatekeeper or low level fringe contender just to get his career momentum going.
11) Sergey Rabchenko (15-91)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 Bradley Pryce (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Apparently reports that Rabchenko had dumped his Euro belt were premature.  His promoter, Ricky Hatton, is saying that he is waiting on a date to fight Italy’s Emanuele Della Rosa for that title.  He’s also ranked #1 by the WBC, so with Mayweather apparently going back down to 147, he hopes to fight for a vacant alphabet belt after that.

12) Javier Maciel (15-20)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- Robbery L (SD12) vs. #14 Brian Rose
Next Fight: Unknown
After the blog “A Puro Boxeo” reported that Maciel would be fighting Baysangurov on March 15, there’s been no mention of that fight anywhere else, and it doesn’t appear on Boxrec’s schedule.  I have to assume it’s off, or that the reporting was incorrect to begin with.
13) Demetrius Andrade (15-18)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (SD12) vs. #13 Vanes Martirosyan
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #19 Brian Rose
Andrade and Rose have agreed to fight in the US, with June 14 now likely.
14) Delvin Rodriguez (15-139)
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 (15-145)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- L* (SD12) vs. Demetrius Andrade (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/21/2014- vs. Mario Lozano (UNR)
Vanes has signed with a new promoter, and will debut under the Goossen-Tutor banner on March 21st’s Friday Night Fights broadcast.  He was initially slated to fight the solid Luciano Cuello, but he’ll settle for mid-level journeyman Mario Lozano after Cuello pulled out over money.
16) Jermell Charlo (7-40)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- UD10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Charlo let Rosado back into the fight late, but overall was very impressive against a battle-tested opponent.
17) Gabriel Rosado (7-7)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- L (UD10) vs. #18 Jermell Charlo
Next Fight: Unknown
Atrocious judges and a fragile eyelid have helped put Rosado’s career more or less in tatters.
18) Willie Nelson (7-54)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- UD10 Luciano Cuello (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. James Kirkland (UNR)
Nelson’s camp says there’s a deal in place to fight Kirkland.  The fight will likely take place on April 26 at MSG.
19) Brian Rose (7-51)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- Robbery W (Draw at best) vs. Javier Maciel (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Andrade’s notes, above.
20) Guido Pitto (7-13)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L* (UD12) vs. #20 Jack Culcay
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: 
Saturday
Kell Brook vs. Alvaro Robles; Liverpool, England; Sky Sports 2 (UK)
Brook is mostly a welterweight, but this fight will be fought well above that limit.  I’ve got the unbeaten British prospect ranked just outside the top 20 at the moment, and since Mexico’s Robles is a legit gatekeeper, there’s a good chance the winner could be ranked next week.  

 

Ed Paredes vs. George Sosa; Bayamon, Puerto Rico; Off TV
Paredes is an American gatekeeper who can’t seem to get significant fights, having had his last one in 2010 against Antonio Pitalua.  This will be no exception, as Sosa is a low-level New Jersey journeyman who always destroys abysmal competition, but always loses decisively against those with a pulse.  This will be on the Garcia-Herrera undercard, but no TV for this particular fight.

 

Patrick Teixeira vs. Ignacio Lucero; Sao Paolo, Brazil; TV Unknown
Teixeira is an undefeated Brazilian prospect who was lucky to get the decision the one time I’ve seen him fight on Friday Night Fights against Marcus Willis (I had it a draw).  He’s ridiculously easy to hit- a face-first pressure fighter who never lifts his hands.  Lucero is probably not the guy to expose him, though.  He’s basically a lower-mid-level journeyman from Argentina, though he is coming off a decision win in his last fight against a less advanced undefeated prospect.

Middleweight: 2014, Mar 10-16

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on July 31, 2014 by danboxing
Undefeated Venezuelan prospect Jose Uzcategui got his best win to date by knocking out veteran gatekeeper David Lopez in Nogales, Mexico on Saturday.  The tall and thin Uzcategui, with his long arms, really needs to work on defense and controlling range, but he was younger and clearly fresher than the somewhat shopworn Lopez.  That’s not to say that Lopez didn’t have his moments- in fact he held his own in many respects.  The main difference is that Uzcategui’s combination of power and punch resistance was significantly better than the older man. 

 

 Lopez at this point isn’t a good enough mark to support a ranking for Uzcategui all by himself, though the young Venzuelan does establish himself at approximately the fringe contender level…top 25, give or take.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (204-204-204)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. # 8 JMW Miguel Cotto
If there was any lingering doubt, Martinez-Cotto is now on for June 7 at Madison Square Garden.
1) Gennady Golovkin (13-80-143)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golovkin was well on his way to signing for a fight with Andy Lee on April 26, but that fight and the date are off to allow GGG to mourn his father’s death.  Now it looks like a Chavez fight might be in the offing for July 12.
2) Felix Sturm (13-547-547)
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 all trying to get rematches with him, as well.  There is also talk of an Arthur Abraham fight on May 31.
3) Daniel Geale (3-247-247)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Geale cut through Wood like an unsympathetic buzzsaw, and is hoping for a fight with Golovkin, who would also fit that description well.
4) Martin Murray (3-119-119)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- W* (PTS8) vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
After splitting with promoter Ricky Hatton, it looked like Murray was close to signing with Matchroom, another British firm.  Instead, he surprisingly signed with Golden Gloves, the South African firm that is best known internationally for Monaco shows featuring Gennady Golovkin.  Coincidence?
5) Matthew Macklin (8-142-233)
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 (possibly on April 26) and has expressed interest in Quillin.
6) Peter Quillin (8-73-94)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Lukas Konecny (UNR)
Quillin will fight former 154-pound fringe contender Lukas Konecny, who will be making his first appearance in a meaningful fight at 160 on the Hopkins-Shumenov undercard on April 19 in D.C.
7) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (8-13-13)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Ricardo Ramallo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
N’Dam totally dominated journeyman Ramallo.  Here’s hoping he gets another worthwhile fight at something near championship-level soon.
8) Sam Soliman (8-13-13)
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 (8-37-37)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora is reportedly in the mix for a fight with Quillin.
10) Osumanu Adama (6-6-6)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most pleasant entry into the rankings we’ve ever seen, but his resume stacks up pretty well as long as he’s active and on weight.
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (6-163)
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.
12) Anthony Mundine (6-163)
Last Fight: 1/29/2014- UD10 Gunnar Jackson (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/2/2014- vs. Joshua Clottey (UNR) (at JMW)
Mundine confirms that he will be fighting, of all people, the long-forgotten Joshua Clottey on April 2, and then perhaps Erislandy Lara in July if that works out for him.
13) Jarrod Fletcher (6-6)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown
Fletcher is said to have received 7 serious fight offers after he was given the nod against Bursak.  The team behind Dmitry Chudinov, who presumably made one of those offers, says a fight is being discussed, possibly for March or April.  There is also some talk of a domestic showdown with Geale.
14) Max Bursak (6-163)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L* (UD12) vs. Jarrod Fletcher (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
He didn’t get robbed, and it’s hard to feel sorry for him considering how dirty he fought, but I did think Bursak deserved better than a loss against Fletcher.
15) Bryan Vera (6-73)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vera’s loss to Chavez at a heavier weight has no effect on his ranking here.  He will need to schedule a fight at 160 by March 29 to avoid removal here, though.
16) Grzegorz Proksa (6-152)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Proksa is likely to fight again on April 19 according to Polish news reports.
17) Caleb Truax (6-25)
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.
18) Curtis Stevens (6-32)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- TKO1 Patrick Majewski (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevens has his sites set on Peter Quillin.
19) Andrey Meryasev (6-18)
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.
20) Daniel Jacobs (6-29)
Last Fight: 8/19/2013- TKO3 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Milton Nunez (UNR)
Jacobs shouldn’t have too much trouble with Nunez, who has some name recognition due to a near-upset of overrated Deandre Latimore a few years ago, but who really a low-level journeyman overall, and is consistently knocked out against most guys on that level.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Saturday
#20 Daniel Jacobs vs. Milton Nunez; Bayamon, Puerto Rico; Showtime Extreme (US)
The newly formal Daniel Jacobs has replaced the younger Danny.  He will be in with normally low-level Colombian banger Milton Nunez, who gave Deandre Latimore a life-and-death struggle a few years ago, but got blasted out by the likes of Jorge Melendez, Dmitry Chudinov, and even the light-hitting Sergio Mora in his last fight.  My money is on another stoppage loss for him.

Super Middleweight: 2014, Mar 10-16

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on July 29, 2014 by danboxing
No action to report from last week.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (117-251-251)
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 (94-404-404)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO9 #8 George Groves
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #8 George Groves
There is talk of a record gate when Froch meets Groves in a highly anticipated rematch in a London soccer stadium at the end of May.
2) Arthur Abraham (2-229-229)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- W (SD12) vs. #2 Robert Stieglitz
Next Fight: Unknown
Abraham is back near the top again after defeating Stieglitz convincingly in  the rubber match.
3) Robert Stieglitz (2-237-237)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (SD12) vs. #4 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s back to the drawing board for Stieglitz, though his resume still compares favorably to the field.
4) Mikkel Kessler (2-483-483)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
Kessler is reportedly discussing a return with Sauerland, but there is no obvious opponent available for him at present.
5) Brandon Gonzales (37-37-37)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzales was said to have reached a deal to fight Vlasov, but Vlasov has scheduled another fight, and it’s been hard to find any mention of the match since it was reportedly made.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (24-145-193)
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 (18-18-63)
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 (18-65-87)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- L (TKO9) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #1 Carl Froch
See Froch’s notes, above.
9) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (2-2-2)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD10 #15 MW Bryan Vera
Next Fight: Unknown
Chavez may have earned some fans back in the Vera rematch, after the loss of said fans was made apparent by the poor gate at the Alamodome that night.  There is talk of a big fight with Golovkin, maybe for sometime in the summer or fall.
10) Bryan Vera (2-2-2)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Even in defeat, Vera has regained a ranking at 168 and is- at least temporarily- ranked in 2 divisions.   There are also credible-looking reports to the effect that he broke his left hand early in the fight, for what it’s worth.
11) James DeGale (2-126)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- TKO11 Gevorg Khatchikian (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dirty dealings in the dirty WBC.  DeGale was ordered to fight Badou Jack for the right to fight Bika for the alphabet’s title.  Jack lost his tune-up fight, while DeGale won.  Obviously DeGale should have expected to either fight Bika directly, or at least have another eliminator opponent set up.  Instead, according to the Bristol Post, he is being completely passed over in favor of J.C. Chavez.  Don’t get me wrong.  Chavez is marginally the more proven fighter (though there are multiple non-titlists that are better than either), but it’s just another example of an alphabet not living up to the logical conclusions of its own dictates.
12) Christopher Rebrasse (2-40)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- UD6 George Kandelaki (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (UNR)
Rebrasse will get a March 22 rematch against Ndiaye that is hardly needed, as Rebrasse dominated the first fight on his way to being robbed.
13) Sakio Bika (2-362)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With both Anthony Dirrell and James DeGale having rather legitimate claims to the spot, the WBC has instead, it appears, installed JC Chavez as Bika’s mandatory.  Bika seems happy with the decision, as it will no doubt net him a huge payday.
14) Maxim Vlasov (2-70)
Last Fight: 12/5/2013- KO4 Maxell Taylor (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Derrick Findley (UNR)
Derrick Findley has apparently replaced Henry Buchanan for Vlasov’s scheduled fight this weekend, which is inexplicably getting absolutely no buzz online.  Findley is a better fighter than Buchanan, and this one just got intriguing, for me.
15) Edwin Rodriguez (2-60)
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.
 16) Andy Lee (2-43)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013-TKO2 Ferenc Hafner (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After negotiations for an April 26 fight with Golovkin were terminated, there is now word that an April 24 fight with Matthew Macklin might be in the cards.  Macklin, however, says he is focused on landing a rematch with Sturm.
17) Gilberto Ramirez (2-6)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO1 #19 Don Mouton
Next Fight: Unknown
Much like many of his peers in the 168 pound rankings, Ramirez might really be a middleweight, but nevertheless has a solid resume in this division.
18) Ryota Murata (2-29)
Last Fight: 2/22/2014- TKO4 Carlos Nascimento (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bob Arum plans to have Murata in action at Singapore this year according to Dan Rafael, but I don’t have any further details.
19) Anthony Dirrell (2-14)
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).
20) Hadillah Mohoumadi (2-54)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: 
Saturday
Rocky Fielding vs. Charles Adamu; Liverpool, England; Sky (UK)
Fielding is a Liverpool native and an undefeated prospect.  Adamu is a low-level Ghanaian gatekeeper, and figures to be nothing more than an easy win for a popular local fighter.  

 

#14 Maxim Vlasov vs. Derrick Findley; Oxnard, California; Off TV
This is a pretty good match-up not to be televised.  Findley was robbed of a win over Curtis Stevens less than a year ago, and probably deserved the nod over J’Leon Love, as well.  He’s a journeyman in the eyes of many, but only because he gets the shaft routinely from judges.  As for Vlasov, well, he’s a serious prospect and fringe contender.  I desperately hope a video surfaces by the time I report on the fight.

Light Heavyweight: 2014, Mar 10-16

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on July 28, 2014 by danboxing
Saturday in Kecskemet, Hungary, Hungarian former Champion Zsolt Erdei won a dominant unanimous decision over low-level journeyman Shalva Jomardashvili of Georgia, won a completely manufactured alphabet Euro title in the process, and then promptly retired.  I wish I could say he was a real credit to the sport.  The truth is that he beat a Champion in the late Julio Cesar Gonzalez to become light heavyweight champion of the world in 2004, and then went on a run of defenses so pathetic in their overall quality that most boxing fans sort of forgot that he was champion and started recognizing the far superior Roy Jones, whom Erdei wouldn’t have fought in a million years.  It might be an exaggeration to say that he hurt the status of boxing championships as much as an alphabet organization, but he sure did his best to try.  He protected his “0” more carefully than Floyd Mayweather ever dreamed, and finally lost that mark in just his penultimate fight- ironically in very controversial fashion- to Denis Grachev.  He goes out winning a so-called title against a total non-entity, but the sad truth is that that non-entity who had no right challenging for a vacant European belt was not all that much worse than some of the guys that Erdei actually defended his lineal belt against, when you consider such luminaries as Paul Murdoch, Danny Santiago, George Blades, Tito Mendoza, DeAndrey Abron, Yuriy Barashian and, arguably, Samson Onyango (who in particular is probably worse than Jomardashvili).

 

No changes, since Erdei already ceased to afflict the rankings a while ago.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (79-79-79)
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 (40-40-40)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO6 #6 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #6 Andrzej Fonfara
According to Ringtv.com, Stevenson-Fonfara will most likely land on May 24.  After that, it looks like the Kovalev fight will happen in late 2014.
2) Bernard Hopkins (79-405-405)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Karo Murat (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Hopkins will fight Shumenov in mid-April at the D.C. Armory in Washington.
3) Jean Pascal (8-8-8)
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 (8-60-60)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO2 Ismayl Sillakh (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. #15 Cedric Agnew
Kovalev is likely to fight Stevenson in late 2014, and has a March 29 fight coming up in Atlantic City with Cedric Agnew.
5) Chad Dawson (8-406-406)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L(TKO1) vs. SMW #6 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Dawson has signed a deal with manager Al Haymon, which certainly brightens his career prospects.  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 (8-30-87)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- KO2 Samuel Miller (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
May 24 looks likely for Fonfara-Stevenson.
7) Tony Bellew (8-126-126)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- L (TKO6) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
Bellew plans a move to cruiserweight, and his first fight there is scheduled for March 15 in Liverpool, against Valery Brudov.
8) Gabriel Campillo (8-194-194)
Last Fight: 8/16/2013- L (KO9) vs. #14 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: 5/9/2014- vs. Ibrahim Lopez (UNR)
Campillo will reportedly fight unproven one-loss Spanish prospect Ibrahim Lopez on May 9 in Madrid.
9) Tavoris Cloud (8-237-237)
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 (8-214-214)
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 (8-110)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD8 Michael Gbenga (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Denis Grachev (UNR)
Chilemba is in the US, training for a March 15 bout with fringe contender Grachev.
12) Jürgen Brähmer (8-99)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD12 Marcus Oliveira (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Enzo Maccarinelli (UNR)
Braehmer returns April 5 in Rostock, Germany against moderately resurgent Welshman Enzo Maccarinelli.
13) Karo Murat (7-20)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat is a free agent after his contract with Sauerland recently expired.
14) Thomas Williams, Jr. (7-7)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- TKO1 #13 Cornelius White
Next Fight: Unknown
Williams has been well-matched against vulnerable guys with good resumes.
15) Cedric Agnew (8-48)
Last Fight: 4/12/2013- UD12 #14 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. #4 Sergey Kovalev
Agnew was ordered to defend his regional title against fringe contender Anatoliy Dudchenko, and also appeared to have the option of fighting Sukhotsky for a position as IBF mandatory.  Instead, he’ll now roll the dice big against Kovalev.
16) Edwin Rodriguez (8-35)
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 (20-37)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (7-117)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- L (TKO1) vs. Thomas Williams, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Never blessed with big-time promotional or managerial ties, White has risked becoming a permanent opponent with his last two losses.
19) Eleider Alvarez (7-59)
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.
20) Lucian Bute (7-71)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- L (UD12) vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute might be back on the May 24 undercard of Stevenson-Fonfara.

 

The Week Ahead:
Friday
Rowland Bryant vs. William Santiago; Hamilton Township, New Jersey; Off TV
Bryant, despite losing to solid prospects like Thomas Oosthuizen and Yunieski Gonzalez, is still a top 50 fighter in my eyes due to his destruction of then-ranked contender Librado Andrade in 2012.  It’s a bit disappointing, then, to find him fighting a sub-.500 fighter like Santiago.  Easy work.

 

Saturday
Bob Ajisafe vs. Dean Francis; Reading, England; Channel 5 (UK)
Both Francis and Ajisafe are English gatekeeper-types, and this fight has the potential to propel the winner to a really prominent position in the division.  This is actually the first quarterfinal of the UK’s MaxiNutrition Knockout Tournament.  The winner of this fight ought to be at least the co-favorite with the winner of next week’s meeting between Danny McIntosh and Travis Dickinson.

 

#11 Isaac Chilemba vs. Denis Grachev; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; NBC Sports (US)
Chilemba is looking for another breakthrough after losing a rematch to Bellew.  Grachev is even more in need of good news.  He was once at around the same level as Chilemba now finds himself, but he has been struggling of late.  He acquitted himself very well against Bute, but lost.  He beat Erdei, but perhaps it was undeserved.  And he was totally blown out of the water against Edwin Rodriguez.  Still, I think this fight could go either way.  Chilemba is long and tall, and if Grachev steps lively enough, he’s got a good chance to get inside and land some bombs on the Malawian contender, especially if Chilemba is not on top of his game.  Chilemba likes to mix it up more than a trainer might advise for someone of his physique.

 

Speaking of Tony Bellew: he’s got a fight too, but it’s unambiguously a cruiserweight fight, so I’ll only discuss it there.

Cruiserweight: 2014, Mar 10-16

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on July 28, 2014 by danboxing
Former cruiserweight and heavyweight contender Juan Carlos Gomez returned to cruiser for the first time since 2001 on Saturday, and won a split decision in Hungary against mid-level Croatian journeyman Ivica Bacurin.  This is the type of fight that I’d like to watch for accuracy’s sake, but even though I’m pretty sure the fight was carried on Hungarian TV, there’s no video of it online anywhere that I can find.  It’ll have to stand with the official result, which is essentially null as it concerns the rankings.  Gomez is an active cruiserweight now, but all of his significant wins at that weight are over 12 years old, and thus don’t matter here at this point.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (33-214-214)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Lebedev-Jones II appears to be more or less a done deal for April 19 in Moscow.
2) Marco Huck (7-379-379)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. Mirko Larghetti (UNR)
Huck’s hastily-procured March 29 opponent will be undefeated Italian prospect Mirko Larghetti.
3) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (7-194-194)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez’s fight with Kolodziej- originally postponed- has now been cancelled due to an illness to Hernandez.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (26-455-455)
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.  More recently, he’s being openly pursued by Mchunu.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (7-32-70)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
6) Firat Arslan (7-96-139)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #3 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Having visibly regressed since his excellent first effort against Huck, it might be time for the 43 year-old Arslan to consider retirement.
7) Grigory Drozd (16-23-70)
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 (16-261-261)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
An alphabet eliminator has been ordered between Afolabi and unbeaten but unproven Italian prospect Mirko Larghetti.
9) Giacobbe Fragomeni (16-26-278)
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 (16-16-104)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- W (TD10) vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Branco says that Chakhkiev lowered their monetary offer at the last minute, and that is why the fight didn’t come off.  He’s saying now that he may soon announce his retirement if he doesn’t get a good fight offer soon.
11) Ilunga Makabu (16-35)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO2 Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Makabu will no doubt look for a big fight after his last one was changed into a stay-busy outing without his consent.
12) Santander Silgado (14-19)
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 (14-102)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- KO4 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/12/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Masternak will be back on April 12 at Esbjerg, Denmark. 
14) Lukasz Janik (14-19)
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 (12-12)
Last Fight: 12/20/2013- W (DQ7*) vs. Steve Herelius (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/11/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Seferi will now apparently fight on April 11 in Berlin.  If I understood the Albanian translation correctly, he’s hoping for Marco Huck.  It was not clear to me how he expects to get around Huck’s fight just two weeks earlier.
16) Danie Venter (7-26)
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.
17) Dmytro Kucher (7-89)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Tony Conquest (3-3)
Last Fight: 2/22/2014- UD12 Daniel Ammann (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Conquest is set to fight in London on April 12, and is hoping to fight for the British title in the foreseeable future.
19) Krzysztof Glowacki (3-33)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glowacki is the top contender for the title held by Huck, but might never get that exact shot, since Huck is making noise about moving up.
20) Yunier Dorticos (2-2)
Last Fight: 2/28/2014- KO1 Hamilton Ventura (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dorticos- after making one step up recently- is shooting for the stars.  He says he wants either Wlodarczyk or the winner of Jones-Lebedev next.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Saturday
#7 Grigory Drozd vs. Jeremy Ouanna; Moscow, Russia; TV Unknown
Ouanna is a high-level French journeyman.  He would be a threat to a lot of gatekeeper-types and unproven prospects, but probably not to as impressive a contender as Drozd.

 

Rakhim Chakhkiev vs. Juho Haapoja; Moscow, Russia; TV Unknown
Chakhkiev is probably the most impressive unranked fighter in the division.  Largely due to his failure to secure a win in a fight he was looking great in against Wlodarczyk, his actual achievements do not yet match his talents.  Haapoja is a high-level journeyman from Finland, who spent some time as a gatekeeper before some recent losses laid him low.  I see him as having no chance.

 

#7 LHW Tony Bellew vs. Valery Brudov; Liverpool, England; Sky (UK)
Liverpool’s own Bellew is moving up to cruiser after making a name for himself at 175.  Brudov is a pretty well-chosen opponent for a first opponent on that quest.  The Russian is a gatekeeper, but a rather small cruiserweight who could probably make 175 himself, if need be.  That is to say, he may or may not actually be a bigger man than Bellew.
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