Heavyweight: 2014, Jun 2-8

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 24, 2014 by danboxing
Friday night in Moscow, #3 Alexander Povetkin fought a beautiful, near perfect fight, standing toe-to-toe in the pocket with Manuel Charr and giving the Syrian prospect a lesson in punching technique, as he patiently and crisply picked his opponent apart, while avoiding any telling blows for the entire 7 rounds the fight lasted.  Povetkin hurt Charr a few different times during the fight, starting in the first round.  He capped it off in the 7th by lifting Charr’s head with a perfect uppercut as the Syrian bent down, and then capitalizing with a relentless fusilade of hooks and right hands to send Charr crashing partially through the ropes.  Referee Massimo Barrovecchio stopped the fight without a count for some reason, a trend in the sport that I really hate.  Sure, it was a devastating combination, but you never know what a guy’s chin can take and how fast he can recover.  In this case, I don’t think Charr would have been able to continue in a meaningful way, but I truly don’t believe Barrovecchio could have known that when he stopped it.

 

In a much less conventional ending in Dresden, #20 Francesco Pianeta got a knockout win of his own when his opponent, French journeyman Mickael Vieira, broke his arm by hitting Pianeta’s shoulder with a punch.

 

Povetkin swaps places with #2 Glazkov this week.  It’s a very very close call, but the way I see it, #4 Adamek is a bit better of a win than the declining #6 Chagaev, and when it comes to fights they nearly lost that they probably should not have, Povetkin’s debateable win over top 5 cruiser Marco Huck is a bit more forgivable than Glazkov’s debateable draw with unproven Malik Scott.  This is one of those races that could swing every time one guy or the other fights.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (258-471-471)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: 9/6/2014- vs. #5 Kubrat Pulev
It’s looking all but certain that Wlad will fight Pulev on September 6.
1) Tyson Fury (16-16-16)
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.  The winner will become one of Wlad’s mandatories.
2) Alexander Povetkin (1-345-345)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- TKO7 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin made a case that he’s the most technically skilled heavyweight in the division with a beautifully-executed performance against an outclassed Charr.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (1-12-76)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Reports have a fight between Glazkov and Main Events stablemate Bryant Jennings being targeted for July on HBO.
4) Amir Mansour (9-9-9)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery L (UD10) vs. #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham had the more sympathetic story and a legitimately great comeback attempt, but Mansour had the better collection of rounds legitimately won.  Mansour was robbed even though the fight was close, and deserves Cunningham’s former position in the rankings for his effort.
5) Kubrat Pulev (16-109-186)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/6/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Klitschko’s notes, above.
6) Dereck Chisora (16-131-194)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Bermane Stiverne (4-4-66)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne is hoping to fight Wilder sometime in November in either Montreal or Las Vegas.
8) Steve Cunningham (4-76-76)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery W (UD10) vs. Amir Mansour (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I hope you’ll all pray for his daughter to recover from her life-threatening health condition, and the guy had guts to come back from the 2 knockdowns.  But he didn’t win the fight.
9) Tony Thompson (4-11-210)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- W* (SD12) vs. #8 Odlanier Solis
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Thompson- no stranger to the road- will visit France for a fight with tough customer Carlos Takam on June 6.
10) Tomasz Adamek (4-215-215)
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.  He’s recently announced his candidacy for the European parliament elections in May, so that may be a sign that he’s leaning that direction.
11) Odlanier Solis (4-210)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
The Solis haters are out in force, claiming a clear loss in a fight that Solis deserved to win.  You might not like his physique or his training habits or his style, but if he outfights the other guy, he still deserves to be respected as a winner at least as much as a disappointment.  A loss to Thompson is not that embarrassing, especially when you ought to have won it.
12) Carlos Takam (4-20)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. #8 Tony Thompson
See Thompson’s notes, above.
13) Deontay Wilder (4-58)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 #19 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Chris Arreola (4-39)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
Having spent the better part of the last 5 years losing or fighting nobodies, Arreola’s resume now depends entirely on the Mitchell win.
15) Erkan Teper (9-40)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper, after months of radio silence, is said to be in line for an impending European Union title fight with France’s Johann Duhaupas, a so-so prospect in my estimation.
16) Alex Leapai (9-28)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Leapai is reportedly interested in fighting Shannon Briggs in the wake of his total non-performance against the Champ.
17) Andy Ruiz (9-28)
Last Fight: 5/17/2014- TKO2 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Even against a faded Quezada who showed little resistance, I must confess to being impressed by Ruiz’s skill and heavy hands, especially considering the sharp contrast between his physique and the results it yields.
18) Seth Mitchell (9-52)
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 (9-13)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Banks had an offer to fight in the Auckland Super 8 Tournament on June 6, but either turned it down or failed to respond.
20) Francesco Pianeta (9-12)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- KO1 Mickael Vieira (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pianeta says he wants to give Vieira a rematch due to the flukey broken arm that KO’d the Frenchman.  The fight was a waste of time the first time, honestly, so I’m not sure we need a second helping, regardless of the reason.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Wednesday
Super 8 Heavyweight Tournament; Auckland, New Zealand; Main Events PPV (Australia/NZ)
This is the New Zealand version of Prizefighter, complete with 3 minute rounds and a wide range of mid-level talent.  The participants include, in approximate order of current quality, Michael Sprott, Martin Rogan, Kali Meehan, Hasim Rahman, Alonzo Butler, and three guys even I’ve never heard of in Hunter Sam (some relation to Sinan Samil Sam, perhaps?), Anthony Nansen, and Brice Ritani-Coe.  Based on what I know of the fighters and excluding the guys I’m not familiar with from consideration, I think Sprott has shown the best form of late, and remains close to a top 25 guy.  Rahman is a former Heavyweight Champion, but should have been retired for at least 5 years or so by now.  Rogan is close to Sprott’s level, but he was knocked out by Erkan Teper last year so brutally that I think everyone thought he was finished, having reportedly shattered his jaw.  I’m shocked that he’s fighting again so soon.  Meehan was a solid guy in his prime, but he hasn’t made any noise in roughly 5 years.

 

Friday
#9 Tony Thompson vs. #12 Carlos Takam; Levallois-Perret, France; TV Unknown
Yet another important road fight for Thompson.  He got a questionable win over Odlanier Solis just a couple months ago to follow up on a couple upset-type wins over intimidating prospect David Price.  Takam is a different challenge, as he’s sure to come forward and looks to stay in on the much taller Thompson.  He comes off a clear win over contender Mike Perez, though he was robbed and awarded only a draw in that fight.  Before that, he was a sort of gatekeeper/prospect type.  If Takam is really as good as he looked against Perez, this may very well be a barn-burner.  If he’s more like what most assumed him to be going into that fight, Thompson should win relatively comfortably.

 

Saturday
David Price vs. Yaroslav Zavorotnyi; Schwerin, Germany; BoxNation (UK)
Zavorotnyi is a mid-level Ukrainian journeyman whose crowning achievement was a knockout of a moderately established undefeated prospect back in 2010.  I guess that gives him a puncher’s chance against Price, a hard-hitting but chinny British giant who’s just looking to rebuild his career under new promoter Sauerland following back-to-back stoppage losses to Tony Thompson and a shaky performance against Ondrej Pala in his last fight before he won by knockout.

Welterweight: 2014, May 26- Jun 1

Posted in Rankings, Welterweight with tags , , , , , , , on October 22, 2014 by danboxing
Thursday in Pointe Claire, Quebec, fringe contender Jo Jo Dan got a picturesque but easy win over Polish journeyman Lukasz Janik, in a fight that was contracted at 150.  Dan mainly worked off the jab while dominating from the outside with a high workrate.  At the same time, he didn’t let himself get too jab-heavy, mixing it up well with a diverse arsenal of effective punches.  In the 4th round, when it became apparent from body language that Janik was close to succumbing to an accumulation of shots, Dan started concentrating more on power, and began leading and doubling up with his southpaw right hook, which he used to no mean effect.  In the 5th he got a used-up Janik pinned in the corner and went to work, landing dozens of unanswered shots that caused referee Steve St. Germain to reasonably stop the fight.  Janik was basically on the level of a decent sparring partner, but never really made Dan remotely uncomfortable.

 

On Saturday’s Stevenson-Fonfara undercard in Montreal, another Quebec favorite, prospect Kevin Bizier, also fought at a junior middleweight contract weight, this one at 152 against lower-mid-level Argentine journeyman Carlos Herrera.  In the first round, Bizier allowed himself to be circled consistently by Herrera, who looked to dance and jab from the outside, but still managed to be first and land all of the telling blows.  He began to make the ring a little smaller for Herrera in the 2nd, though I still wouldn’t say he cut the ring off, exactly.  Regardless, he continued to land heavy shots, including a flush uppercut that rocked Herrera about midway through the round.  From there, Bizier’s finishing skills proved formidable, as he quickly scored a knockdown.  After the count he jumped all over Herrera on the ropes, blistering him with a sustained flurry that prompted the Argentine to crouch down on the canvas.  After St. Germain, who apparently had a busy week, reached the count of 8, Herrera’s corner hopped onto the ring apron and waved the towel, yielding a 2nd round TKO win for Bizier.  He’s still got a lot to work on, but the talent is definitely there.

 

No changes this week, since both guys were in light, and technically not even at 147.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (213-245-245)
Last Fight: 5/3/2014- W* (MD12) vs. #4 Marcos Maidana
Next Fight: 9/13/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Mayweather has booked his next fight on September 13.  Let’s hope he gives Maidana a rematch.
1) Marcos Maidana (4-51-51)
Last Fight:5/3/2014- L* (MD12) vs. Champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Next Fight: Unknown
There are rumors swirling around two possible fights for Maidana- a Mayweather rematch and a showdown with Keith Thurman.
2) Manny Pacquiao (4-286-286)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- UD12 #1 Timothy Bradley
Next Fight: Unknown
Pacquiao signed a 2-year extension with Top Rank, limiting his fight options and potentially killing any forlorn hope fans might still have of a Mayweather fight.
3) Juan Manuel Marquez (4-133-133)
Last Fight: 5/17/2014- UD12 #? JWW Mike Alvarado
Next Fight: Unknown
Marquez still has plenty in the tank, it would appear, as he fairly comfortably handled a young hungry contender in Alvarado.  He’s not ruling out another Pacquiao fight, it seems.
4) Timothy Bradley (4-33-103)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- L (UD12) vs. #3 Manny Pacquiao
Next Fight: Unknown
Bradley says he intends to return in October or November, and says he wants Mayweather.  Good luck, especially coming off a loss.  Bradley’s best options for a next fight, practically-speaking, are limited to re-hashes of previous fights like Marquez and Provodnikov.
5) Keith Thurman (24-24-64)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- RTD3 Julio Diaz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There’s a rumor that has Thurman fighting Maidana on September 13.  He’s also expressed interest in Tim Bradley, a politically difficult proposition.
6) Shawn Porter (24-25-25)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- KO4 #14 Paulie Malignaggi
Next Fight: Unknown
Thurman wants him and Golden Boy is making noise about him fighting Mayweather, but it’s hard to imagine Porter being able to put off his mandatory with Brook any longer.  That fight is being worked on for July, it’s said.
7) Robert Guerrero (25-79-96)
Last Fight: 5/4/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. Yoshihiro Kamegai (UNR)
Guerrero scheduled the Kamegai fight just in time to avoid removal.  It’s not exactly the sexiest possible matchup, though Kamegai does make good fights generally.
8) Kell Brook (25-161-161)
Last Fight:3/15/2014- TKO8 Alvaro Robles (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Porter’s notes, above.
9) Devon Alexander (25-118-118)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- L (UD12) vs. Shawn Porter (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. #12 Jesus Soto Karass
Boxingscene now reports that Alexander-Soto Karass is done, but not for June 21 as originally reported, but rather on the Canelo-Lara undercard on July 12.
10) Randall Bailey (27-27-27)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- W (DQ8) vs. Humberto Toledo (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. Freddy Lawson (UNR)
Bailey wants Thurman, but it sounds like he’s settling for undefeated but fairly untested Ghanaian prospect Freddy Lawson in Minnesota.
11) Josesito Lopez (27-101)
Last Fight: 4/24/2014- TKO5 Aron Martinez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lopez is back on the right track, looking at least decent against a likely better fighter than Arnaoutis, whom he almost lost to.
12) Jesus Soto Karass (24-70)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- L (TKO9) vs. #13 Keith Thurman
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. #9 Devon Alexander
See Alexander’s notes, above.
13) Andre Berto (24-79)
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 July return. 
14) Amir Khan (4-4)
Last Fight: 5/3/2014- UD12 #17 Luis Collazo
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite the fairly impressive win over Collazo, Khan has ruled himself out of a possible Mayweather shot in September, due to Ramadan.  He posits Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman, and Robert Guerrero as possible opponents, and has indicated interest in fighting in Dubai.
15) Paulie Malignaggi (4-25) 
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- L (KO4) vs. #6 Shawn Porter
Next Fight: Unknown
Malignaggi confirms he’s considering retirement.
16) Chris van Heerden (4-102)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- W (SD10) vs. Ray Narh (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Van Heerden’s split decision win over Ray Narh doesn’t look very worthy of a top 15 contender on paper, but I unfortunately am unable to find video, and thus can’t opine on what it might mean for his future.
17) Luis Carlos Abregu (4-57)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- TKO8 Jean Carlos Prada (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Abregu offered Brandon Rios a fight, but Rios turned it down.  He is also interested in Thurman.
18) Jan Zaveck (17-233)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- UD8 Sebastien Allais (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There are rumors that Zaveck may soon be positioned for a minor (IBO) title fight.
19) Leonard Bundu (11-13)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO12 Lee Purdy (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/1/2014- vs. Frankie Gavin (UNR)
Bundu will fight unbeaten Brit Frankie Gavin in Wolverhampton, England on August 1 for Bundu’s European belt.

20) Luis Collazo (4-17)
Last Fight: 5/3/2014- L (UD12) vs. Amir Khan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s back to the drawing board for Collazo, whose career momentum was abruptly halted by a sharp Khan.

 

The Week Ahead: Nothing big this week.  Borderline gatekeeper Aslanbek Kozaev is in action against a journeyman, but that fight is only arguably significant since Kozaev is only arguably top 50.  It’s only going to be seriously significant if he loses anyway, so I’ll skip it for the sake of efficiency unless that happens.

Junior Middleweight: 2014, May 26- Jun 1

Posted in Junior Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 22, 2014 by danboxing
#16 Jermell Charlo got a really nice win on the Saturday undercard of Stevenson-Fonfara, capturing a unanimous decision over fringe contending prospect Charlie Ota, whose only loss came way back in 2007 in his 7th pro fight.  It wasn’t exactly a blowout.  Ota did score a knockdown in the 3rd round (a round he otherwise lost), and may have won as many as four rounds, which is the number I gave him.  Judge Lapointe had it essentially the same as me, except that at 115-111, he apparently gave Ota an undeserved 10-8 in round 3.  The other two judges, Larry Hazzard and Robert Paolino, apparently gave Charlo every close round, and had it 118-109.  Either way, it was a clear win for Charlo.  My main criticism of him is that he ran a bit too much.  He would have been well-served, both from a fan-friendly perspective and from a competitive one, to punch off movement more consistently, instead of waiting until he gets stuck on the ropes to let his hands go, which is something he did fairly often.  But on the flipside, Ota’s main problem was that he couldn’t cut off the ring very often, and thus allowed the generally passive Charlo to still be first, and to control range.  One side note on the officiating.  French-Canadian ref Jean-Guy Brousseau functionally couldn’t speak English, which makes him an inexcusably poor choice to referee a fight between two English-speaking fighters.  It’s not like they didn’t have other options in Quebec, such as Michael Griffin.  Even aside from the language barrier, Brousseau had a bad moment in the 9th, when he took a point from Charlo for a low blow.  It was only the second low blow I’d seen, and neither was blatant.  Definitely not a warranted deduction, in my opinion.

 

On the deeper, Showtime Extreme-televised undercard, undefeated prospect Julian Williams got the biggest win of his young career with a dominant 8 round TKO win over gatekeeper Michael Medina.  Williams appeared to be both accurate and heavy-handed, although you simultaneously have to question his natural power when you stop to consider that he hit Medina with the proverbial kitchen sink about 10 times before he was finally able to drop him in the 8th.  Even if Williams indeed is not another Golovkin-type puncher, you still have to credit the heart and chin of Medina (though not much else about his performance).  He had no head movement and was practically unable to defend himself really at all for any of the 8 rounds the fight lasted.  Medina’s stock is way down after he had little or nothing to offer in back-to-back fights against Willie Nelson and now Williams.

 

Gatekeeper Luciano Cuello got a little bit of help from the judges in La Plata, Argentina to remain viable internationally, as he took a 12-round decision over undefeated prospect Martin Rios.  I had it 114-113 Rios, and would have had it 115-113 if not for a point deduction by referee Jorge Basile for a backhanded punch that was petty, at best.  There were several close rounds, and I could have seen the fight legitimately going anywhere between 116-111 Rios and 117-110 Cuello, or 117-111 either way without the deduction.  Judges Manuel Veliz (116-111) and Juan Carlos Palmieri (114-112) had it within that range (both for Cuello), while Jorge Gorin apparently had a really good time at happy hour right before the fight, because his 119-108 card was just hideous.  I mean Rios completely dominated the first 2 rounds, as well as the last.  A drunken monkey could have scored those rounds right.  Judging aside, the story of the fight was a blistering fast start from Rios, who came out winging wild shots with his long arms, and having a great deal of success with that, especially on the plethora of occasions on which he had a passive Cuello backed to the ropes.  He appeared to be entirely punched out in the middle rounds, though, as he was forced to throw his whole body into his shots just to deliver them credibly.  This allowed Cuello to block nearly all of them.  Surprisingly, Cuello seemed content most of the time to tap away with the jab at close range, just trying to score points rather than hurt Rios.  This may have contributed to Rios’ ability to catch his second wind late in the fight.  Besides that, Rios simply appeared to want it more.  He hustled and threw his shots with conviction, while Cuello’s workrate was too low to win many of the rounds, while he allowed himself to get smothered on the inside.  Rios deserved better, I think, and Cuello looked nothing like the strong rugged guy that almost upset Willie Nelson not long ago.

 

Williams falls shy of claiming a ranking, though he does unofficially take a spot in the top 25.  Charlo benefits from the extra quality win on his resume, advancing to #13 on Ota’s back.  The Japan-based American, for his part, slumps down into roughly the mid-30s.  Cuello hasn’t beaten any top 50 opponents yet, so he’s not eligible for a ranking, and thus even though Rios would otherwise earn at least token consideration, he’s not eligible either, due to the paradox.  If either guy does have success against a top 50 opponent at some stage, though, this fight will figure into the calculus when determining his rightful place.  With Charlo’s promotion, everyone ranked #13-15 backtracks a spot.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1) Saul Alvarez (12-169-184)
Last Fight: 3/8/2014- TKO10 #10 Alfredo Angulo (at 155)
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. #3 Erislandy Lara
Canelo came knocking, and Lara answered the door.
2) Carlos Molina (12-151-166)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W (SD12) vs. #5 Ishe Smith
Next Fight: Unknown
Molina is out of jail and training in Mexico City.  He lobbied the IBF to give him an exemption to defend his belt against Jermall Charlo, whom he was supposed to face already before he was jailed, but the alphabet is sticking to its guns and will try to make him fight Bundrage, instead.
3) Erislandy Lara (12-151-173)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #4 Austin Trout
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. #1 Saul Alvarez
Lara traded an intended fight with Ishe Smith for a more lucrative and important showdown with Canelo.  The fight might not determine a legitimate champion, but it should at least crown a preeminent top contender.
4) Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (12-37-37)
Last Fight: 5/3/2014- W* (MD12) vs. #4 WW Marcos Maidana (at WW)
Next Fight: 9/13/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Floyd will be fighting on September 13.  A Maidana rematch remains a possibility.
5) Austin Trout (25-104-173)
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 (37-66-66)
Last Fight: 5/2/2014- KO2 Ryan Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I know he was a relatively short-notice replacement, but Ryan Davis was a little too hapless even by that standard.
7) Joshua Clottey (7-7-7)
Last Fight: 4/9/2014- UD12 #7 Anthony Mundine
Next Fight: Unknown
For those looking for a good way to revitalize a practically evaporated career, you couldn’t do much better than the example Clottey just provided.  He wants to fight Mayweather, but I’d say he’s at least one top 5 win away from having a chance at that.
8) Miguel Cotto (26-208-208)
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) Anthony Mundine (7-26-26)
Last Fight: 4/9/2014- L (UD12) vs. Joshua Clottey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mundine is reportedly in talks to bring the now much larger and also more retired Danny Green into a rematch.
10) Cornelius Bundrage (7-199-199)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD12 Joey Hernandez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It appears that Bundrage has jumped to the front of the line to challenge for Molina’s belt, and his would-be opponent is now out of jail and training.
11Alfredo Angulo (7-244)
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.
12) Sergey Rabchenko (7-102)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 Bradley Pryce (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rabchenko’s fight in Rome was cancelled on 3 days’ notice due to Visa issues, and his would-be opponent, journeyman Emanuele Della Rosa, will be fighting undefeated prospect Isaac Real for what had been Rabchenko’s European title.
13) Jermell Charlo (1-51)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- UD12 Charlie Ota (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With the cancellation of Smith-Lara, Charlo has been bumped back to May 24, and will fight fringe contending prospect Charlie Ota.
14) Demetrius Andrade (1-29)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (SD12) vs. #13 Vanes Martirosyan
Next Fight: 6/14/2014- vs. Brian Rose (UNR)
Andrade and Rose have agreed to fight in the US, with a date of June 14.
15) Cesar Sastre Silva (1-6)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- Robbery UD10 Loss (should be win) vs. #13 Javier Maciel
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. Brian Castano (UNR)
Sastre Silva dominated a confused-looking Javier Maciel, but got robbed even worse than Maciel had been robbed against Rose in his previous fight.  Now he’ll be in with an undefeated prospect in Brian Castano on June 6.
16) Vanes Martirosyan (1-156)
Last Fight: 3/21/2014- UD10 Mario Lozano (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vanes was supposed to fight on the Stiverne-Arreola card from what I understood, but that fight quietly disappeared from the schedule at some unknown point in time.  He’s been dropped by Top Rank and signed with Dan Goossen, as well.
17) Gabriel Rosado (2-18)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- L (UD10) vs. #18 Jermell Charlo
Next Fight: Unknown
Rosado was offered to Ishe Smith as a May 2 replacement, but Smith turned him down.  In turn, Rosado is being challenged by Hassan N’Dam.
18) Zaurbek Baysangurov (2-7)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- TKO12 #20 Guido Pitto
Next Fight: Unknown
Baysangurov looked the best I’ve seen him, by far, against Pitto.
19) Willie Nelson (2-65)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- UD10 Luciano Cuello (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After a big fight fell through for him in May, Nelson’s co-promoter Lou DiBella says the lanky Nelson will be fighting in a main event in August.
20) Brian Rose (2-2)
Last Fight: 10/26/2014- Robbery SD12 W (Draw at best) vs. Javier Maciel (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/14/2014- vs. #13 Demetrius Andrade
See Andrade’s notes, above.

 

The Week Ahead: Nothing going on this week.

Middleweight: 2014, May 26- Jun 1

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 21, 2014 by danboxing
In a battle of fallen prospects on Saturday, David Lemieux got his career back on the right track by destroying Fernando Guerrero, who went down in every round and twice in the 3rd, for a 3rd-round knockout.  Lemieux reminded us why he has a lot of fans despite his inconsistent results over the past few years, as he was ridiculously explosive in the fight, and walked right through a reasonably decent opponent.  Guerrero simply could not keep the much stronger Lemieux off of him, and it probably didn’t help that he suffered a bad and extremely bloody cut on his eyelid in the 2nd round.  It was a total wipeout, and it gets Lemieux to heights he never (legitimately) reached, even as an undefeated prospect.  

 

Combined with the win over Jose Miguel Torres that he scored a couple pounds over the limit during a period I considered him inactive at 160, Lemieux makes what I’m pretty sure is his debut in any of my rankings, at #14.  This forces everyone ranked #14 and below last week down a spot, including Akio Shibata, who exits the rankings after 6 weeks back in.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (215-215-215)
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 (24-91-154)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Golovkin will fight July 26 in New York, and the Chavez fight looks dead.  All signs point to Daniel Geale as the opponent.  He renewed his stated desire to fight the Martinez-Cotto winner after that.
2) Felix Sturm (24-558-558)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- TKO2 #3 Darren Barker
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #8 Sam Soliman (UNR)
Soliman has obfuscated his clear banned stimulant violation to the point that he has perhaps most people thinking he was totally clean.  He wasn’t.  And he didn’t win that fight even if he had been.  Sturm got screwed all the way around, and now he’s forced to rematch the Australian, who deserves the opportunity much less than would Macklin, Murray, or Geale.  But that’s what we’ve got.  May 31 in Krefeld.
3) Daniel Geale (14-258-258)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It looks extremely likely that Geale will get a shot at Golovkin on July 26.
4) Peter Quillin (6-84-105)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- UD12 Lukas Konecny (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBO has mandated Quillin to fight British prospect Billy Joe Saunders next.  There continues to be talk of an endlessly-theorized all-Golden Boy showdown with Daniel Jacobs, though, and perhaps a fight with Lemieux after that.  Golovkin also wants a piece of him.
5) Martin Murray (6-130-130)
Last Fight: 4/23/2014- RTD6 Ishmael Tetteh (UNR) at SMW
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. #13 Max Bursak
Murray hasn’t looked at all special since nearly and probably deservedly knocking off the Champ last April, but he’ll need to be in some kind of form in June if he hopes to handle the always tough Max Bursak.
6) Matthew Macklin (6-153-244)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Macklin’s fight with Geale is off due to an injury on the card, and Geale has bailed on the fight altogether in favor of a shot at GGG.
7) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (19-24-24)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- UD10 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
N’Dam says he wants Rosado next, and then Golovkin.
8) Sam Soliman (19-24-24)
Last Fight: 12/11/2013- TKO9 Les Sherrington (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #2 Felix Sturm
Soliman cheated with a stimulant, won by ridiculous robbery before being stripped of the victory, and now he gets what I would argue is an undeserved chance at a do-over.
9) Sergio Mora (19-48-48)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. Samuel Rogers (UNR)
I missed the memo about the date for Mora-Rogers.  I originally read that it was going to be on Arreola-Stiverne II in LA, but at some point it was moved to HBO2’s May 31 card in Vegas.
10) Osumanu Adama (17-17-17)
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 (17-174)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- KO10* Domenico Spada (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
Rubio likely will rather embarrassingly take on the still-existing Ricardo Mayorga in late July.  Anytime the early fight hype involves talk of extensive medical tests to ensure fighter safety, you know the fight shouldn’t be happening.
12) Jarrod Fletcher (7-17)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBA randomly ordered Golovkin to fight Fletcher, but then apparently relented in favor of Daniel Geale.
13) Max Bursak (7-174)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L* (UD12) vs. Jarrod Fletcher (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. #5 Martin Murray
Bursak will get a big opportunity before Jarrod Fletcher, who outpointed him in a moderately controversial decision in February, as he has been tapped by Martin Murray for a June 21 fight in Monte Carlo.
14) David Lemieux (1-1)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- KO3 Fernando Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lemieux’s eye-popping domination of Guerrero has fueled idle speculation of a potential shot at Peter Quillin, who is short on options for high-level opponents due to the ongoing Showtime-HBO feud.
15) Grzegorz Proksa (1-163)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Caleb Truax (1-36)
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.
17) Curtis Stevens (1-43)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- TKO10* Tureano Johnson (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevens’ haplessness for all but the last few seconds of his prematurely-stopped bout with Tureano Johnson has got to raise questions about his ability to rise any higher than he finds himself now.  Johnson has respectfully pushed for a rematch.
18) Andrey Meryasev (1-29)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- UD10 Carlos Baldomir (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Meryasev dominated in pedestrian fashion against the now-retired Baldomir.
19) Daniel Jacobs (1-40)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- TKO1 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Easy work for Jacobs against Nunez.  He’s looking for a title fight- probably against Quillin- at the earliest opportunity.
20) Dmitry Chudinov (1-9)
Last Fight: 12/21/2013- TKO6 Juan Camilo Novoa (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/1/2014- vs. Patrick Nielsen (UNR)
Chudinov will fight promising Danish prospect Patrick Nielsen in a very interesting clash on June 1 in Moscow.

 

The Week Ahead:  
Saturday
#2 Felix Sturm vs. #8 Sam Soliman; Krefeld, Germany; SAT1 (Germany)
This is a rematch of a fight from last year that Sturm pretty clearly won, but in which he was pretty clearly robbed.  Soliman then tested positive for a banned stimulant, causing the bout to be declared a no contest.  I view it as a Sturm win…I pretty much did all along.  Soliman’s public relations team has done a great job obfuscating the test results.  He tested positive under local commission protocols, and then insisted that his B-sample be opened by an independent lab in the US, but under protocols that expressly do not test for the substance that he tested positive for.  He now claims to have been clean, under the flawed rationale that the substance he tested positive for (which, by the way, he’s never claimed he didn’t take, to my knowledge) was not banned by the alphabet organization whose title he was seeking, nor by the bout contract.  That’s a preposterous strawman argument, though.  It was banned by the local German commission, and if you’re going to fight there, you obviously are bound by their rules.  Maybe the IBF and and the bout contract didn’t include a “no baseball bats” clause either, but I’m pretty sure the German authorities would have had every authority to deny Soliman the use of one, had he brought one with him.  Same principle applies.  The largely weak-minded and uninquisitive boxing media, along with the IBF, has given Soliman a pass and accepted his narrative blindly, by and large.  I will not.  He is a dirty fighter, and the fact that he’s getting this shot is a real shame, especially after Sturm already handled him the first time.  He’s ranked in the top 10 independently of the first meeting, based mostly on a 2012 decision over 15th-ranked Garth Wood, along with three other gatekeeper-level wins for which he did not test dirty.  As for Sturm, he can’t catch a break on the cards lately, after having benefited from biased judging in his favor for years.

 

#9 Sergio Mora vs. Samuel Rogers; Las Vegas, Nevada; Off TV
Mora continues to wait for a big fight after converting on a huge upset against fringe contender, and ultimately shooting star, Grzegorz Proksa back in June.  He comes off a 5th round knockout over low level journeyman Milton Nunez.  Rogers, of the Virgin Islands, comes off a decision loss- the first of his career- against veteran journeyman Carlos Jerez.  I wouldn’t rule him out as a legitimate prospect despite that loss, but it’s a pretty big ask to expect him to be competitive with a top 10 contender after losing to a journeyman.

 

Sunday
#20 Dmitry Chudinov vs. Patrick Nielsen; Mytishchi, Russia; Boytsovskiy Klub (Russia)
This is one of those fights you love to see.  Two blue-chip undefeated prospects on their way up meeting in a high-stakes matchup.  I’ve seen both guys, and both have had occasional struggles with opponents far below this level.  Nielsen seems to be the better technical fighter to me, but still only narrowly outpointed a guy named Jamel Bakhi at one point.  Chudinov had perhaps even greater trouble with journeyman Patrick Mendy not that long ago.  He has apparent power- probably more than Nielsen, but he tends to club with his punches, and has a tendency to headhunt.  I’ve seen him tire himself out from all the heavily-thrown misses.  On neutral ground, I think I’d give a narrow edge to Nielsen, but maybe in Russia you’d have to give Chudinov a slight edge if you were betting, particularly since Nielsen is not much of a knockout threat.

Super Middleweight: 2014, May 26- Jun 1

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on October 20, 2014 by danboxing
All of the action this week at 168 strangely took place on two separate Thursday cards in far-flung parts of the world.

 

Undefeated #17 Ryota Murata once again fought just a shade over 160, pummelling a game but overmatched Jesus Nerio of Mexico with increasing ferocity as the fight wore on, finally breaking his man down to a 6th-round TKO.  Murata still looks a little stiff and unimaginitive, and doesn’t seem to have great reflexes on defense, but he is a solid puncher who at least so far shows relentless aggression from bell to bell.  He might not be a future champ, but he’s probably always going to be a fun guy to watch, if nothing else.  Not to mention the fact that he does still have plenty of room to improve, considering he’s only had 4 fights now as a pro.

 

Later that night in Pointe Claire, Quebec, once-beaten Haitian Schiller Hyppolite knocked out mid-level Uruguayan journeyman Rafael Sosa with a body shot late in round 1, having only had maybe two punches thrown at him in the whole fight.  Sosa was simply covering up, and was pretty much just there to collect a check, it appeared.

 

The only change on the week is that Mikkel Kessler, despite his recent announcement that he would not retire, is removed for failing to schedule a fight for over a year.  Everyone ranked #5 and below last week moves up, including James DeGale, who claims a top 10 spot just in time for his upcoming fight with newly-minted #4 Brandon Gonzales.  Claiming the vacancy at #20 is Derek Edwards, on the strength of his upset knockout win over Badou Jack.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (128-262-262)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward lost an arbitration with his promoter, but it sounds like the rift between the two is far from solved.  Kessler is the latest guy to renew a stated desire to fight him.
1) Carl Froch (105-415-415)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO9 #8 George Groves
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #7 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 (13-240-240)
Last Fight: 5/3/2014- UD12 Nikola Sjekloca (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
While he recovers from a broken hand, Abraham’s promoter is working on a fall bout with English gatekeeper Paul Smith.
3) Robert Stieglitz (13-248-248)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (SD12) vs. #4 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: Unknown
Sauerland prospect Tyron Zeuge has expressed interest in a fight with Stieglitz.
4) Brandon Gonzales (1-48-48)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #10 James DeGale
Gonzales’ elminator with DeGale is finally set, for May 31 in London, on the Froch-Groves undercard.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (1-156-204)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. Doudou Ngumbu (UNR) (at LHW)
Oosthuizen and promoter Rodney Berman have patched things up, and the lanky South African will make effective his move to 175 on June 21 against fringe contender Doudou Ngumbu.  He’ll keep his ranking here until after November 9, or until he schedules a clearly light heavyweight fight for after that date.
6) Ezequiel Maderna (1-29-74)
Last Fight: 4/25/2014- TKO3 Richard Vidal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Maderna stayed busy in impressive fashion against Vidal.
7) George Groves (1-76-98)
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.
8) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (1-13-13)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD10 #5 MW Bryan Vera
Next Fight: Unknown
Chavez is, at least for the time being, effectively a former Top Rank fighter, and he and Arum are at odds over who truly scuttled the now apparently unlikely Golovkin fight that appeared all but made at one point.
9) Bryan Vera (1-13-13)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vera is calling out Peter Quillin.
10) James DeGale (1-1-137)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- TKO11 Gevorg Khatchikian (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #4 Brandon Gonzales
See Gonzales’ notes, above.
11) Christopher Rebrasse (1-51)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- TKO4 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rebrasse now has two dominant wins over what was a top 10 contender the first time around.  He didn’t need the judges to notice the second time.
12) Sakio Bika (1-373)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After initially granting Julio Cesar Chavez the spot, the WBC has now made James DeGale the mandatory after it appeared Chavez would likely look at a different opportunity.  That may also have gone by the wayside by now, as DeGale is fighting Brandon Gonzales for a shot at the IBF title.  For Bika’s part, he wants Chavez.
13) Maxim Vlasov (1-81)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD8 Derrick Findley (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vlasov looked very good against Findley, but he’ll need to schedule a fight at Super Middleweight before May 5 and make weight in order to keep his ranking, since he hasn’t made the divisional limit since November 2012.
14) Edwin Rodriguez (1-71)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez was briefly scheduled to fight Marcus Johnson on May 24, but Johnson withdrew.
15) Gilberto Ramirez (1-17)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- TKO5 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ramirez was pencilled in to return on the Chavez-Golovkin card, but that fight now looks dead.
16) Ryota Murata (1-40)
Last Fight: 5/22/2014- KO6 Jesus Angel Nerio (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Murata set the bar high for himself by beating a fringe contender in his pro debut.  Fights like the Nerio domination are just stay-busy efforts by comparison.
17) Anthony Dirrell (1-25)
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).
18) Hadillah Mohoumadi (1-65)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Caleb Truax (1-7)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (MD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Derek Edwards (1-1)
Last Fight: 2/28/2014- TKO1 #20 Badou Jack
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: 
Saturday
Mariano Hilario vs. Roberto Cocco; Teguise, Spain; TV Unknown
Hilario is a Dominican living in Spain’s Canary Islands.  He comes off his career-best performance in a TKO win over prospect Samy Anouche, but is still on the borderline of the top 50 by reason of a couple really bad losses before that.  Cocco is a mid-level journeyman from Torino, Italy who should have a shot only if Hilario is less the man that beat Anouche and more the man that has the two bad losses.  That’s very much an open question.

 

#1 Carl Froch vs. #8 George Groves; London, England; Sky (UK)
There’s not a lot left to be said about this one, but just in case you don’t follow the division much, this is a rematch of the pair’s November meeting, in which Groves was leading Froch and had most likely concussed him early in the fight.  Froch had dramatically turned it around in the 9th, and had Groves reeling, turning around, and falling away, when referee Howard Foster stepped in to stop it.  The general consensus seems to be that it was a premature ending.  I personally differ on that point.  Groves had given Froch his back involuntarily, and was helpless at that moment against what was about to be an incoming Froch punch.  I wouldn’t have minded seeing a few more seconds to give Groves a chance to recover, but it also could have gone very bad very quickly.  Froch is by a mile the #1 contender to Ward’s crown, and Groves may just be the future of the division if he can build on his prior performance and avoid a similar letdown.

 

#5 Brandon Gonzales vs. #11 James DeGale; London, England; Sky (UK)
This is very much a toss-up fight.  DeGale is the more heralded prospect, really, but he’s had some fairly indifferent performances over the last few years.  Most of those have been explained away by a nagging injury, but I’m still not sure he’s fully dispelled the doubts.  Gonzales was at one point no great prospect, having needed a blatant robbery to survive a tough fight with Ossie Duran in October 2011.  But he bounced back a year ago with what should have been a win (it was declared a draw) against then-5th-ranked Thomas Oosthuizen.  He hasn’t had any significant action since then, so this will be a heck of a test for two guys that both need to be tested a little bit.  A likely top 5 berth in the rankings is on the line.

Light Heavyweight: 2014, May 26- Jun 1

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 20, 2014 by danboxing
Saturday in Montreal, #1 Adonis Stevenson had a surprisingly tough time over the second half of the fight with #6 Andrzej Fonfara, who if anything seemed to be overrated going in.  Let’s be honest.  It’s surprising not only that Stevenson had problems over the second half of the fight, but really that Fonfara was around at that point to begin with.  I don’t want to be too harsh on the division’s top contender.  He looked good overall- especially with downright great body work- but he got visibly tired at times during the latter part of the fight.  That’s new for him, at least to the extent I’ve seen.  Fonfara was able to dig deep and make it a bit interesting late, but he was so far behind from the first half of the fight in which he was no match for the Haitian, that he pretty much needed a knockout the whole time.  He came closest in the 9th round, when he was actually able to drop Stevenson.  It was never really that dramatic, though.  Pretty much just a gutsy but futile performance from a big underdog, in the final analysis.  Speaking of final analysis, my score was 116-109 Stevenson (he scored a couple knockdowns of his own, by the way).  John McKaie and Jack Woodburn had it a reasonable 115-110, while Richard De Carufel agreed with me exactly.

 

On the undercard, #19 Eleider Alvarez really did disappoint against American journeyman Alexander Johnson, who we last saw getting dominated by Luis Garcia.  Alvarez was methodical, which is perhaps another way of saying he had a low workrate.  That was his major problem.  Johnson made it interesting with nice snappy 1-2 combos and body shots, but he too had a lot of lulls, and let the Colombian walk him down consistently in the latter stages.  I did have it for Alvarez by a score of 96-93, though I thought the scores could have legitimately varied pretty widely.  As it turned out, they did not.  All of the judges had it 97-92 for Alvarez, which I have no serious argument with.

 

Despite the decent performance, Fonfara slumps one spot below Bellew, who was behind only because of his own recent loss to Stevenson.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks   in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (90-90-90)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward lost an arbitration with his promoter, but it sounds like the rift between the two is far from solved.  Kessler is the latest guy to renew a stated desire to fight him.
1) Adonis Stevenson (51-51-51)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- UD12 #6 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevenson is very likely to fight Bernard Hopkins yet, though there have been no negotiations that I’m aware of yet.
2) Bernard Hopkins (90-416-416)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- W (SD12*) vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stevenson’s notes, above.
3) Jean Pascal (19-19-19)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD12 #16 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Pascal is pencilled in for a September fight, and perhaps one more before the end of the year.  Prospective opponents, in order, are Sean Monaghan and Lucian Bute.  He wants Stevenson after that, assuming he comes through cleanly.
4) Sergey Kovalev (19-71-71)
Last Fight: 3/29/2014- KO7 #15 Cedric Agnew
Next Fight: Unknown
Kovalev had some choice words for Stevenson after the Haitian defected to Showtime and, apparently, scuttled their much-hyped matchup for later this year.  No news yet on what Kovalev’s next move will be after the development.  Australian prospect Blake Caparello is among the few that sound like they want to fight him.
5) Chad Dawson (19-417-417)
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) Tony Bellew (1-137-137)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO12 Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Bellew and Cleverly are slated for separate bouts on the same card in Liverpool this July.  If all goes to plan, the two would then meet in the ring on November 29.  Since this is all taking place at cruiserweight, Bellew would be removed the following week, since he last fought at 175 on November 30 of last year.
7) Andrzej Fonfara (1-41-98)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- L (UD12) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Fonfara probably looked better in a clear loss to Stevenson than he had in any of his wins.
8) Gabriel Campillo (19-205-205)
Last Fight: 5/9/2014- TKO7 Ricky Pow (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
While the result looked good on paper, the reality of Campillo’s uneven performance against Pow should be a little alarming to those who hope to see him remain at the top level.
9) Tavoris Cloud (19-248-248)
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 (19-225-225)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- TKO2 Shawn Corbin (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Cleverly looked good against Corbin in his cruiserweight debut.  He’ll keep his ranking here until he schedules a cruiserweight fight for after August 17 (the anniversary of his last fight in this division), or until that date passes, whichever comes first.  He will fight next on July 12, followed by a possible November rematch with bitter rival Tony Bellew.
11) Isaac Chilemba (19-121)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD10 Denis Grachev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba looked very very sharp in dominating a game Denis Grachev, and might soon be in line for a shot at Adonis Stevenson.
12) Jürgen Brähmer (19-110)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD5 Enzo Maccarinelli (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. Roberto Feliciano Bolonti (UNR)
After it initially appeared a Maccarinelli rematch is in the works, Braehmer will instead fight perennial gatekeeper Roberto Feliciano Bolonti of Argentina.
13) Karo Murat (18-31)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat wants Braehmer, his former stablemate, but is now without a promoter, which probably means Sauerland isn’t falling all over themselves to make that fight.
14) Thomas Williams, Jr. (18-18)
Last Fight: 4/24/2014- TKO3 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Williams just added another faded name to his resume…this one perhaps a bit too faded.
15) Cedric Agnew (19-59)
Last Fight: 3/29/2014- L (KO7) vs. #4 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
After taking a risk against Kovalev and coming up short, I can only assume that his prospects for a regional title bout against Dudchenko and a IBF eliminator against Sukhotsky might both be out the window at least for the moment.
16) Edwin Rodriguez (19-46)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez was scheduled to fight Marcus Johnson on May 24, but Johnson quickly withdrew.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (31-48)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (18-128)
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 (18-70)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- UD10 Alexander Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Lucian Bute (18-82)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- L (UD12) vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute wants his contractually-guaranteed rematch with Pascal, a fight that appears tentatively planned for late in the year.  He recently parted ways with his long-time trainer, and says he’s in no hurry to get back in the ring.

 

The Week Ahead: Nothing going on at 175 this week.

Cruiserweight: 2014, May 26- Jun 1

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 20, 2014 by danboxing
Friday in Krasnodar, Russia, undefeated Russian Dmitry Kudryashov got the knockout everyone expected, though it took a fair amount longer than I would have thought.  Kudryashov has made his reputation detonating gatekeeper-type competition in short order.  Bacurin is a journeyman- a step down from that- and yet he lasted into the 7th, having gone down just once in the first 6.  In fairness to both, it should probably be noted that Bacurin had been stopped only once prior, and that that was at heavyweight against Johnathon Banks.  Still, Kudryashov looked a bit disinterested almost throughout the contest.  Ultimately, he caught Bacurin in the 7th and did a decent job of following up on that.  In total, he scored 3 knockdowns in the 7th alone, and Bacurin stayed down on all fours until the 10 count had passed.

 

Mark Flanagan notched a minor upset down under, winning a split decision over gatekeeper Daniel Ammann in Townsville, Australia on Saturday.  Scores were 97-93, 97-95, and 95-96.  So far, I haven’t had any luck finding a video.  With the win, Flanagan captured the vacant Australian title.

 

Flanagan certainly enters the top 50, but nothing above affects the top 20 at this time. 

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Marco Huck (2-390-390)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck’s TV deal in Germany is set to expire, he’s reportedly leaving Sauerland, and has met with HBO about coming to the US.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (2-205-205)
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.
3) Denis Lebedev (2-225-225)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Given his legitimate injury that shelved him for a big chunk of the year and the fact that his opponent screwed him over via PED use, I’m going to use my discretion and leave Lebedev ranked at this point.  Still, his best work is simply getting too old to stay at the very top.  Some reports have him returning in the fall against Pawel Kolodziej.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (37-466-466)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk probably won’t return until the fall, with Drozd and BJ Flores being considered.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (18-43-81)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. Julio Cesar Dos Santos (UNR)
Mchunu will stay busy with upper-level journeyman Julio Cesar Santos of Brazil on June 6 in South Africa.
6) Firat Arslan (18-107-150)
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 (27-34-81)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
8) Ola Afolabi (27-272-272)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi is now slated for an eventual eliminator with Pawel Kolodziej for a shot at Yoan Pablo Hernandez.  K2 has won the purse bids, and the fight is currently in the process of being worked out.  It’s targeted for the summer.
9) Giacobbe Fragomeni (27-37-289)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Olegs Lopajevs (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The fight with Lopajevs was purely a stay-busy contest, but he’s talking about another title shot even at 44 years old.
10) Ilunga Makabu (5-5-46)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO2 Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Makabu’s excellent matchup with Masternak has been scrapped due to a dispute between the Congolese contender and his promoter.
11) Santander Silgado (5-30)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: 5/30/2014- vs. Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Silgado, despite his rank, will be a short-notice opponent for one-loss prospect Rakhim Chakhkiev this weekend.
12) Mateusz Masternak (5-113)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- UD8 Stjepan Vugdelija (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. Youri Kayembre Kalenga (UNR)
Masternak’s fight with Makabu fell through, and he’ll instead be fighting crude and inconsistent one-loss prospect Youri Kalenga.
13) Lukasz Janik (5-30)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik would like a well-deserved rematch with Afolabi.
14) Ovill McKenzie (5-7)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- KO5 #18 Tony Conquest
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. Jon-Lewis Dickinson (UNR)
After capturing the Commonwealth title with an upset knockout of Tony Conquest, McKenzie will have a quick turnaround, as he’ll fight Jon-Lewis Dickinson for the British title on June 7.
15) Danie Venter (5-37)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Dmytro Kucher (5-100)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. Paata Berikashvili (UNR)
Kucher will be featured on May 31 in Odessa, Ukraine against a low-level opponent.
17) Nuri Seferi (5-23)
Last Fight: 5/16/2014- UD12 Tamas Lodi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Seferi looked pretty decent against Lodi, who fought the wrong fight.  At this point, he ought to give Perdomo a rematch.
18) Gusmyr Perdomo (5-7)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- Robbery Loss (should be draw) vs. #15 Nuri Seferi
Next Fight: Unknown
Perdomo deserved at least a draw against Seferi, but the judges summoned just enough coincidental incompetence to take it from him.
19) Yunier Dorticos (5-6)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- KO4 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Krzysztof Glowacki (5-5)
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.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Friday
#11 Santander Silgado vs. Rakhim Chakhkiev; Moscow, Russia; Boytsovskiy Klub (Russia)
Chakhkiev looked like a future top contender in his near-miss against Wlodarczyk.  Silgado hasn’t really been as visible and probably isn’t nearly as good, but he does come off an early stoppage win over the once-formidable Steve Herelius.  Unfortunately for those looking to back the Colombian, he took the fight on very short notice.  That’s a bit disappointing, because it otherwise could have been an intriguing fight.  Still is to some extent, I guess, though Silgado has put himself behind the 8-ball on the circumstances.  As for Chakhkiev, his manager clearly deserves some kind of award.

 

Saturday
#16 Dmytro Kucher vs. Paata Berikashvili; Odessa, Ukraine; IHTEP (Ukraine)
This is a stay-busy fight for the fairly inactive Kucher.  Berikashvili is a low-level Georgian whose record hovers around .500. 

 

Oleksandr Usyk vs. Cesar Crenz; Odessa, Ukraine; IHTEP (Ukraine)
Not a bad early-career test for the impressive-looking Usyk.  Crenz is an Argentine journeyman who has sometimes found himself in the top 50 during his career.  Usyk is in just his 4th fight as a pro, but is already clearly in that company.
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