Cruiserweight: 2014, Apr 14-20

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2014 by danboxing
The cruiserweight week began on Wednesday with a big upset.  Unbeaten Australian Brad Pitt appeared to be cruising to a dominant victory through the first 3 rounds of his scheduled 12-rounder with heretofore middling prospect David Aloua of New Zealand, when in the 4th round Aloua shocked him with a sudden bolt of lightning in the form of a right hand that dropped and badly hurt Pitt.  He got up, but the referee should definitely have stopped the fight after seeing Pitt pitching around unsteadily.  He allowed it to continue, which only opened the Australian up to a blistering combination that left him once again senseless on the canvas.  Aloua had been easily brushed aside by Daniel Ammann in 2013 and had been clearly beaten by Anthony McCracken before that, in a fight in which he nevertheless got the decision.  I was fully unprepared for him to be even competitive with Pitt, much less win.  I’d only seen one very short Pitt fight before, so perhaps I can’t draw too much of a comparison, but I sort of wonder if he was really taking the fight seriously.  He had sort of a casual way about his movements, and nevertheless was easily dominating the fight until he just plain got caught.


In the best fight on the Berlin Hammer-Airich card on Friday, #15 Nuri Seferi got a gift from the judges against former Super Middleweight title challenger Gusmyr Perdomo of Venezuela.  It’s not that Seferi lost the fight- I had it a draw at 76-76- but he certainly didn’t win it.  The only round, as I saw it, that was really tough to score was the 8th, which I already gave to Seferi.  Hans Larsen had it exactly as I did, while the other two- Torben Seemen Hansen and Freddy Rafn, must have managed to have found a fairly clear Perdomo round to call even, because they had it 77-76.  It must have been the 7th, I suppose.  That’s the only round I gave to Perdomo that wasn’t sort of a blowout.  The Venezuelan clearly won rounds 1, 3, 4, and 7.  Seferi clearly took 2, 5, and 6, and I gave him the narrow nod in 8.  I’ll be treating the fight as a draw, since that’s both what I had, and also the closest I can come to deferring to the judges, the majority of whose cards were unreasonable, if narrowly so.


Enad Licina’s scheduled fight on the Charr-Johnson undercard Saturday in Bonn was apparently cancelled, so moving right along…


#13 Mateusz Masternak got a unanimous shutout in his 8-rounder with generic eastern European journeyman Stjepan Vugdelija, whose only real qualification for the fight was that he had gone the distance in losing decisions (his only two losses) to a couple halfway decent fighters.  The fight didn’t make the English-language BoxNation broadcast, and I frankly didn’t feel like seeking out the Polish-language video considering the degree of the initial mismatch, coupled with the frankly uninteresting scorecards.  Masternak had to be hoping for a stoppage against this level of guy.  I’m not saying that’s an easy task, but it’s the only feather he could remotely claim to have put in his cap from a stay-busy affair like this.


#18 Tony Conquest suffered his own upset that night in London, with veteran light heavyweight Ovill McKenzie (whose appropriate nickname is “The Upsetter”) the beneficiary.  McKenzie dropped Conquest in the closing seconds of the third round in what had otherwise been a fairly uneventful fight with a perfect counter shot right on the chin.  McKenzie probably took another fairly uneventful round in the 4th before catching Conquest again with a jab followed by a right hand to the back of the head as Conquest leaned forward and to the side.  It didn’t look like anything special, really, but Conquest appeared totally unable to even begin to emerge from the crouch that the punch placed him in.  Technically it was an illegal shot, but there wasn’t a ton of controversy due to the fact that it was Conquest’s choice of body position that made it so.


Now for the rundown of the rankings changes.  Pitt probably wouldn’t have been ranked even with a win.  Now he’s even further from it, though at least he’s on the active list now.  Aloua tops out just shy of the top 25, weighed down by his performances against Ammann and McCracken.  McKenzie returns to the rankings, at #15, for the first time since a Steve Herelius victory forced him out on July 5, 2010.  Seferi’s inconclusive performance prompts his slide from #15 to #18 this week.  Perdomo debuts at #19 for the same reason.  Last week’s #19 Glowacki is forced down to #20, while Yunier Dorticos is forced out after 6 weeks in the rankings.  Conquest drops out after 7 weeks due to his knockout loss, though I’ve still got him unofficially in the top 25.


Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (38-219-219)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/25/2014- vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Reports of a done deal for April 19 were premature…the real date for Lebedev-Jones II will be April 25, in Moscow.
2) Marco Huck (12-384-384)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck fractured his thumb in training, and his fight with Mirko Larghetti is off.
3) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (12-199-199)
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 (31-460-460)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk probably won’t return until the fall, with Huck and Adamek being discussed as options.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (12-37-75)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
6) Firat Arslan (12-101-144)
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 (21-28-75)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The EBU has named Fragomeni the mandatory challenger for Drozd’s European belt.
8) Ola Afolabi (21-266-266)
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 (21-31-283)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- L (TKO6) vs. #4 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
I was sorta rooting for the shopworn Fragomeni to retire after taking a beating from Wlodarczyk, but he’s preparing for a tune-up on April 26 in Italy.  After that, he appears to be set up for the opportunity of fighting the destructive Grigory Drozd next.
10) Silvio Branco (21-21-109)
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 (21-40)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO2 Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #13 Mateusz Masternak
Makabu and Masternak have reportedly agreed to fight, but I don’t have any details on time or place.
12) Santander Silgado (19-24)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Silgado is scheduled to return against an unannounced opponent on May 17 in Arjona, Colombia.
13) Mateusz Masternak (19-107)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- UD8 Stjepan Vugdelija (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Makabu’s notes, above.
14) Lukasz Janik (19-24)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik would like a well-deserved rematch with Afolabi.
15) Ovill McKenzie (1-1)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- KO5 #18 Tony Conquest
Next Fight: Unknown
McKenzie is at cruiserweight mainly because he can’t get fights at 175.  He doesn’t seem married to the idea of staying at this weight, and has mentioned wanting a shot at Juergen Braehmer.
16) Danie Venter (12-31)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Dmytro Kucher (12-94)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Nuri Seferi (1-17)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- Robbery Win (should be draw) vs. Gusmyr Perdomo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Before his most recent fight, Seferi expressed a desire for a rematch with Marco Huck.  After getting a 1-point majority decision in a fight that definitely was either a draw or a close loss for him, a rematch with Perdomo would be much more appropriate.
19) Gusmyr Perdomo (1-1)
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.
20) Krzysztof Glowacki (1-38)
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.


Yunier Dorticos vs. Eric Fields; Santa Monica, California; Off TV
This is one hell of a match-up.  Fields has been ranked here before, although it’s been awhile.  He’s in a bit of a slump of late, though, while the Cuban, Dorticos, is on the rise, having been ranked here as recently as last week.  This fight really would be a natural for an ESPN card, but it seems that the promoter is a bit new to the sport and probably doesn’t yet have those connections.  Even so, they are putting on one heck of a card- one that I hope I get an opportunity to see at some point.

Heavyweight: 2014, Apr 14-20

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 17, 2014 by danboxing
Another relatively busy week led off on Friday with what turned out to be similar to a generic form of Ambien.  And no, nobody got put to sleep in the ring.  It was simply a sleep-inducing performance by both Konstantin Airich and Christian Hammer.  Hammer appears to have decent physical tools, and certainly has a marketable name, but he was less than scintillating in his decision victory (the scores weren’t announced, nor are they available on Boxrec) over Airich.  Shopworn veteran journeyman Airich- the shorter man- clearly won the second round, and backed up and probably hurt Hammer in the last round, but overall he was passive and seemed resigned to a decision loss.  Hammer probably wasn’t in top shape, as his output was fairly low, even while he was dominating.  He also didn’t sit down on what looked like they could have been devastating punches, if thrown with better technique and conviction.  Nevertheless, Hammer moves along, while Airich fades further into obscurity.


The following night in Bonn, Germany, Lebanese-German prospect Manuel Charr got the best win of his career by walking down and outpointing gatekeeper Kevin Johnson over 10 rounds.  Johnson boxed effectively at times- particularly in the first few rounds of the fight, but in the long run he was unable to hold off the constant pressure of Charr, who had him on the ropes frequently.  I had it 98-92 Charr, and 2 of the 3 judges agreed, with the third having it a round closer, which is reasonable.


Meanwhile, in Esbjerg, Denmark, 2-loss prospect David Price got yet another scare- losing the first two rounds and getting dropped in the first against Czech journeyman Ondrej Pala.  He didn’t appear to enjoy the idea of a third loss, though, and quickly dispatched Pala with 2 single right hands, scoring two knockdowns in quick succession and ending the fight.  


Eddie Chambers also snuck in some late-breaking action in London, stopping the comically bad (5-39-4) Moses Matovu in 70 seconds in the most obvious stay-busy fight since perhaps Chambers’ last fight against 9-45-6 Tomas Mrazek.  Don’t strain yourself, Eddie.


Are you randomly wondering how premature Manuel Charr’s ill-fated September 2012 shot at Vitali Klitschko really was?  Well, you’re in luck, because I’m gonna tell you.  Very premature.  Charr hadn’t beaten anyone even arguably within the top 50 at that point.  He did so (emphasis on the arguably) in his next fight, for the first time, against Konstantin Airich, and only now- 18 months later- does he beat his first clearly top-50 fighter.  Again, to highlight just how premature the opportunity really was: even now that he’s at a much higher level of achievement than he was back then, Charr still barely cracks the top 30 with the Johnson win.  Perhaps more importantly, though, he’s reinvigorated his career, and is back on track as a serious prospect.  No changes this week.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (251-464-464)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. #16 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 (9-9-9)
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) Vyacheslav Glazkov (5-5-69)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
3) Alexander Povetkin (5-338-338)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin declined an opportunity to fight undefeated Cuban prospect Luis Ortiz for a “regular” title that would have set him up for an eventual rematch for the real title.
4) Amir Mansour (2-2-2)
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 (9-102-179)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev dominated Perkovic, a low-level journeyman who took the fight on roughly a day or two’s notice.  He’s now back in the position to wait for a Klitschko shot.
6) Dereck Chisora (9-124-187)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Steve Cunningham (2-69-69)
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.
8) Tony Thompson (2-4-203)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- W* (SD12) vs. #8 Odlanier Solis
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson has been on a pretty decent run in the past couple years, and he might be at his highest point since his first fight with Wlad after getting a questionable win in a very close fight with Solis.  He has called out Tyson Fury, though the timing for that is a bit odd.
9) Tomasz Adamek (2-208-208)
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.
10) Odlanier Solis (2-56-203)
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.
11) Carlos Takam (2-13)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam has been called in to spar with Tyson Fury.  Good call.  He’s about as close to Chisora as you can get.
12) Bermane Stiverne (2-59)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #13 Chris Arreola
ESPN has landed the fight- their biggest score in a while on that front.  May 10 in Los Angeles.
13) Chris Arreola (2-32)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Deontay Wilder (2-51)
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.
15) Erkan Teper (2-33)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Alex Leapai (2-21)
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.
17) Andy Ruiz (2-21)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Ruiz was scheduled to fight on the Marquez-Alvarado undercard on May 10, but has been bumped back a week to a fight in Fresno against Manuel Quezada.
18) Seth Mitchell (2-45)
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 (2-6)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Francesco Pianeta (2-5)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO2 Robert Teuber (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown


Charles Martin vs. Alexander Flores; Santa Monica, California; Off TV
Martin and Flores are both undefeated prospect, and both are close to top 50 level, give or take.  Martin comes from St. Louis and is now based near L.A.  Flores is a California native and most likely the local favorite.  He also has the cleaner record of the two, having won all but two of his fights by knockout, including each of his last 10.  Martin has flashed similar power, earning a stoppage in 13 of his 15 wins, but he did have to settle for a draw with a bad fighter in a 4-rounder last year.  The best mark (based on Boxrec rankings) on each man’s resume were similarly-ranked mid-level journeymen.  Martin won a 6 round decision at that level, while Flores scored an 8-round TKO.  Any way you slice it, it’s a pick ‘em fight, though if you split enough hairs, I think you have to make Flores the slight favorite despite his slightly lower ranking.  Regardless of who wins, that guy will become a top prospect instantly.  The fight and the deep and excellent card it’s part of, is not televised.  Hopefully it ends up on YouTube at some point.


Maurice Harris vs. Andrey Fedosov; Hammond, Indiana; Off TV
Another potentially significant off-TV heavyweight fight.  Harris is a 38 year-old American gatekeeper who has lost 3 of his last 4 and 4 of his last 6 against mostly solid competition.  Fedosov is a Hollywood-based 3-loss journeyman from Russia who is looking to jump-start his career after a stoppage loss to Bryant Jennings last year stalled his bid to get into the top 50, himself.

Welterweight: 2014, Apr 7-13

Posted in Rankings, Welterweight with tags , , , , , , , on September 12, 2014 by danboxing
Friday in Salta, Argentina, #16 Luis Carlos Abregu failed to really light the world on fire consistently in his first action in nearly a year following an injury, but was able to impose himself before all was said and done, and scored a TKO victory in round 8 against undefeated and untested Venezuelan Jean Carlos Prada.  Prada certainly had his moments, clearly winning the first round, possibly nicking the 6th, and dropping Abregu a few minutes before the stoppage, in round 7.  I actually only had Abregu up by one point at the time of the stoppage, when he caught Prada with a few shots on the ropes and had him reeling.  Referee Hernan Burgos (who it must be noted gave Abregu a 12-second-long 8 count after he was dropped, though it didn’t seem to make a difference) initiated a standing 8-count (Argentina being one of the few major jurisdictions that allows it), and correctly found him wanting in faculties at the conclusion of the count, which brought an end to the fight.


No changes, with Abregu’s opposition being insufficient to make a dent in the division.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (206-238-238)
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 (26-26-96)
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 (26-126-126)
Last Fight: 10/12/2013- L (SD12) vs. #17 Timothy Bradley
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. #? JWW Mike Alvarado
Marquez takes on Alvarado near L.A. on May 17.
3) Manny Pacquiao (26-279-279)
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 (18-44-44)
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 (17-17-57)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 #6 Jesus Soto-Karass
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Julio Diaz (UNR)
Thurman gets tough gatekeeper Julio Diaz on April 26.  If he passes that test, there’s talk of a Matthysse fight after that.
6) Shawn Porter (17-18-18)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #5 Devon Alexander
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. #14 Paulie Malignaggi
Porter-Malignaggi is made, and it will land on the Hopkins-Shumenov undercard on April 19.
7) Robert Guerrero (18-72-89)
Last Fight: 5/4/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Next Fight: Unknown
Guerrero is being called out by Devon Alexander currently, and needs to schedule a fight before early May to avoid removal.
8) Kell Brook (18-154-154)
Last Fight:3/15/2014- TKO8 Alvaro Robles (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Brook has been assured of a fight with the Porter-Malignaggi winner by July 19.
9) Devon Alexander (18-111-111)
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, while Alexander himself seems to prefer Guerrero or Collazo.
10) Randall Bailey (20-20-20)
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 (20-94)
Last Fight: 12/13/2013- W (TD8) vs. Mike Arnaoutis (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/24/2014- vs. Aron Martinez (UNR)
Lopez will fight journeyman Aron Martinez in Riverside on April 24.
12) Jesus Soto Karass (17-63)
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 (17-72)
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.  Alexander wants him.
14) Paulie Malignaggi (18-18) 
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #8? JWW Zab Judah 
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. #6 Shawn Porter
See Porter’s notes, above.
15) Chris van Heerden (18-95)
Last Fight: 2/6/2014- RTD4 Cosme Rivera (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/16/2014- vs. Ray Narh (UNR)
Van Heerden-Narh is made for Santa Monica on April 16.
16) Luis Carlos Abregu (18-50)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- TKO8 Jean Carlos Prada (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Abregu didn’t look particularly great aside from a few seconds at the end of the fight with Prada, but he probably shook off any rust from his injury layoff, and moves forward to resume his place in the division.
17) Luis Collazo (10-10)
Last Fight: 1/30/2014- KO2 Victor Ortiz (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/3/2014- vs. Amir Khan (UNR)
It appears that Collazo-Khan is on for the Mayweather-Maidana undercard on May 3.
18) Jan Zaveck (10-226)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- UD8 Sebastien Allais (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Leonard Bundu (4-6)
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, and Frankie Gavin has been installed as his new mandatory.
20) Jo Jo Dan (4-4)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- W* SD12 vs. Kevin Bizier (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown


The Week Ahead:
#1 Timothy Bradley vs. #3 Manny Pacquiao; Las Vegas, Nevada; HBO PPV (US)
This is about as big as it gets for a non-Championship fight (alphabets aside).  Bradley is the fairly clear #1 contender in the division, having outpointed the guy that put Pacquiao to sleep.  But it’s not quite as easy as that, since a broad consensus exists to the effect that Pacquiao outpointed Bradley before that.  The winner of the fight becomes the clear guy that Mayweather ought to be required to defend his Championship against, but likely never will.  More realistically, it might set up a rematch (the 5th iteration, if it involved Pacquiao) with Marquez.  The winner of that fight would become a #1 contender of almost unheard-of cache.


Silverio Ortiz vs. Ivan Pereyra; Cancun, Mexico; Fox Deportes (US)
Ortiz is a top 25 contender at 140, while Pereyra is a two-loss journeyman who has been stopped in both of his losses, including one to an 0-2 fighter.  This is strictly a stay-busy fight for Ortiz.  The one thing you might say for Pereyra is that he’s naturally the bigger man.  It won’t do him any good.

Junior Middleweight: 2014, Apr 7-13

Posted in Junior Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 9, 2014 by danboxing
140-pound gatekeeper Czar Amonsot won every round before stopping very low-level veteran Thai journeyman Sapapetch Sor Sakaorat in the 4th round in Flemington, Australia on Wednesday, in a fight that was frankly completely inconsequential on every level.  The fight was at a contract weight of about 150, and the only reason I mentioned it here at all is that Amonsot would arguably be a top 50 fighter at 154 if he were to seriously move up here.


In a more mentionable fight on the Braehmer-Maccarinelli undercard in Rostock, Germany on Saturday, prospect Jack Culcay avoided embarrassment with a competent, if not awe-inspiring, decision win over mid-range journeyman Salim Larbi of France.  Culcay was clearly the more skilled fighter, and was the clear aggressor throughout, but he was fairly careful with his punch output, which led to a fairly lackluster fight with Larbi, who himself was rather selective and constantly on the back foot.  I’m of the opinion that Culcay is still very wary of the 12-round distance.  He appeared to be completely gassed by round 8 of his second fight with Guido Pitto, arguably giving back the big lead he had built to that point.  He did actually improve late in his fight with Dieudonne Belinga in a fight I thought he lost, but I think that he had saved perhaps a bit too much energy by giving away rounds early on in that one.  So while he certainly didn’t impress to any great degree given the competition, you have to at least give him credit for comfortably winning the fight while still leaving enough in the tank to step on the gas in the last couple rounds.  He seems to be learning the art of pacing by trial and error, but this time, at least, was relatively lacking in error.  I had it 117-111, as did each of the official judges.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1) Saul Alvarez (5-162-177)
Last Fight: 3/8/2014- TKO10 #10 Alfredo Angulo
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. #3 Erislandy Lara
Canelo came knocking, and Lara answered the door.  It appears Lara will still fight Ishe Smith in May, which is one hell of a tune-up.
2) Carlos Molina (5-144-159)
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 (5-144-166)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #4 Austin Trout
Next Fight: 5/2/2014- vs. #6 Ishe Smith
See Canelo’s notes, above.
4) Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (5-30-30)
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 (18-97-166)
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 (30-59-59)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- L (SD12) vs. #1 Carlos Molina
Next Fight: 5/2/2014- vs. #3 Erislandy Lara
Smith now looks like he has a chance to be the ultimate spoiler, as Lara has a victory-contingent fight lined up with Canelo.
7) Anthony Mundine (19-19-19)
Last Fight: 1/29/2014- UD10 Gunnar Jackson (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 4/9/2014- vs. Joshua Clottey (UNR)
Mundine’s fight with Clottey has been delayed a week, in the finest tradition of Australian last-minute delays.
8) Miguel Cotto (19-201-201)
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 (19-192-192)
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, though there is uncertainty regarding that bout and Molina’s availability for it.
10Alfredo Angulo (19-237-237)
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 (19-95)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 Bradley Pryce (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Emanuele Della Rosa (UNR)
Rabchenko will defend his European belt in Rome on May 17 against a local prospect, and is hoping for a shot at a vacant alphabet belt after that.
12) Javier Maciel (19-24)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- Robbery L (SD12) vs. #14 Brian Rose
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Cesar Sastre Silva (UNR)
Maciel will stay busy with a mid-level journeyman on April 19 in Argentina.
13) Demetrius Andrade (19-22)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (SD12) vs. #13 Vanes Martirosyan
Next Fight: 6/14/2014- vs. #19 Brian Rose
Andrade and Rose have agreed to fight in the US, with a date of June 14.
14) Delvin Rodriguez (19-143)
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 (19-149)
Last Fight: 3/21/2014- UD10 Mario Lozano (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Vanes successfully stayed busy against Lozano.  I’m not sure what his endgame is, but he’ll be back in action again on May 10 on the Stiverne-Arreola undercard in LA.
16) Jermell Charlo (11-44)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- UD10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/2/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Charlo is back on the Lara-Smith undercard in Vegas, apparently in an eliminator.
17) Gabriel Rosado (11-11)
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 (11-58)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- UD10 Luciano Cuello (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The once-delayed fight with Kirkland is apparently in the works to headline a May 24 HBO card.
19) Brian Rose (11-55)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- Robbery W (Draw at best) vs. Javier Maciel (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/14/2014- vs. #13 Demetrius Andrade
See Andrade’s notes, above.
20) Guido Pitto (11-17)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L* (UD12) vs. #20 Jack Culcay
Next Fight: 4/12/2014- vs. Zaurbek Baysangurov (UNR)
The fight was difficult to make due to Ukrainian turmoil and originally involved Javier Maciel, but Pitto is now slated to fight Baysangurov on April 12.


The Week Ahead: 
#7 Anthony Mundine vs. Joshua Clottey; Newcastle, Australia; Main Event (Australia)
Mundine has been on a bit of a roll since decisively losing his rematch with Daniel Geale.  He’s looking strong at both 160 and 154, and takes on Joshua Clottey this week.  Mundine is hoping this is more of a tune-up than anything, as he looks to be in good position to get a shot at the estimable Erislandy Lara later this year if he wins.  Clottey was a top 5 welterweight best known for a toss-up fight that he narrowly lost to Miguel Cotto and a passive check-cashing type of performance against Pacquiao.  In those days, he was a top 5 welterweight.  He hasn’t been in with anyone better than a journeyman in the more than 4 years since the demoralizing Pacquiao defeat, and has had just 2 fights overall in that time.  Frankly, he’s been semi-retired.  That’s not necessarily a good footing on which to enter a fight with the relatively active Mundine, who is also the home fighter and the naturally bigger man.


#20 Guido Pitto vs. Zaurbek Baysangurov; Brovari, Ukraine; Boytsovskiy Klub (Russia)
Baysangurov had an alphabet belt at one point, but even by alphabet standards, that belt was ludicrous at the outset, and downright fraudulent before all was said and done.  He was given the vacant title by beating a journeyman in Mike Miranda who had absolutely no business contending for anything of the sort.  He then clearly lost consecutive fights to Michel Soro and Lukas Konecny, but was gifted decisions in both of those contests.  Some small measure of justice was finally served when he was stripped of one of the most illegitimate world titles in a history of a sport replete with them, by way of inactivity.  This fight is for an arguably less prestigious world belt, but please don’t mistake it for anything close to a legitimate title fight.  Pitto is ranked, but his actual quality depends a great deal on how good Jack Culcay- whose stock has been steadily dropping of late- really is.  Pitto fought the Ecuadorian-German prospect twice, and both times deserved roughly a draw.  He got a close win and a close loss, instead.  Still, I’d say he’s likely the marginally better fighter than Baysangurov, who no doubt enters as the betting favorite anyway.  After all, we know he routinely gets special treatment on the cards, and the fight is a loooong way from Argentina.  My bet is on controversy, and I’m willing to give odds.

Middleweight: 2014, Apr 7-13

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 4, 2014 by danboxing
For reasons I discussed in depth in the super middleweight update, the Stevens-Johnson fight has no clear and legitimate result, and thus is not treated as a significant contest, unfortunately.  Since it was a super middleweight fight, I’ve discussed the details in my 168 update, and won’t discuss it in any more depth here.


The other Friday fight of note was in Belfast, where one-loss Northern Irish prospect Eamonn O’Kane scored a highlight-reel KO on high-level journeyman Alvaro Gaona in the first round.  It came on a vicious right hand that landed in an exchange and left Gaona slumping on the ropes and out cold.


O’Kane’s lone professional conqueror was in action the following night in London.  John Ryder met less-advanced fellow one-loss prospect Jez Wilson in an eliminator for the British title.  The end came in the 9th, when Wilson was dropped and stopped, having suffered a broken jaw in two places.  I can’t find a video of the fight, so that’s all I can report.


In the week’s middleweight headliner later that night, #11 Marco Antonio Rubio scored a highlight reel knockout of Italy’s Domenico Spada in Chihuahua, Mexico.  Even with that conclusive an ending, though, I’m not sure I am willing to give Rubio full credit for the win.  Referee Jon Schorle, the most disgraceful excuse for a neutral arbiter in the entire sport, repeatedly took unwarranted points from Spada.  Even worse, every time the shorter Spada would work his way in on Rubio, Schorle would break the fighters despite all 4 relevant hands being completely free.  If Spada had the audacity to land a punch, he never got a chance to follow up, because Schorle simply couldn’t allow that kind of thing to go on in his ring.  I don’t like to jump to these kinds of conclusions about a guy’s motives, but let me just say that if Jon Schorle wasn’t paid specifically to assist Rubio in the fight, then he sold himself short.  The last time I saw such a blatant attempt to slant the results of a fight in a particular direction by a referee was in Agbeko-Mares I, when Russell Mora almost singlehandedly won the fight for Mares.  It might be worth noting that one of the only other times that would come close was when Schorle himself disqualified Carlos Molina for having the audacity to be clearly beating James Kirkland.  Schorle is either the most corrupt or the most selectively incompetent referee in, at a minimum, the United States.  What makes Schorle’s performance even more fishy here is that he didn’t seem to want to even warn Spada for anything, much less needlessly break the fighters, until the 6th, when heavy underdog Spada was clearly pulling ahead in the fight.  Even despite the two atrocious point deductions in a single round, and taking into account a lost round in round 8 when the Canal 5 video signal froze mid-round, I had Spada up 86-84 at the time of the stoppage, and I don’t think it was anything better than even for Rubio, if the judges themselves were on the level.


Now maybe the knockout punch itself didn’t have anything to do with Schorle, but giving Rubio full credit for this victory would be akin to congratulating a fighter for beating an opponent who was wearing handcuffs for half the fight.  If I needed to, I would treat this fight as a no contest.  But luckily it’s not necessary to make that decision.  Spada, despite the fact that he’s long been a gatekeeper, hadn’t fought anyone even half-decent in nearly 2 years, which led to boxrec’s system docking him enough points to make him look like an upper mid-level journeyman.  Normally I’d take a critical look at whether that diminishment was warranted, but it’s not worth it here.  Regardless of whether it’s based on referee tampering or Spada’s lack of credentials, this fight shouldn’t count in any way that could conceivably affect the rankings.  For all intents and purposes, it was fixed.


On the Rubio-Spada undercard, one-loss local prospect Marcos Reyes dispatched Brazilian veteran journeyman Idiozan Matos in the 2nd.  Matos was actually clever enough at getting shots in while being backed up that I gave him the first round, as Reyes seemed to be reaching in too much.  The second was a different story.  Reyes was able to get into range with his feet alone, and put Matos down early in the round.  From there, the Brazilian just couldn’t keep the Chihuahua man off him, and went down two more times.  The third knockdown looked as much like a submission to Reyes’ pressure as anything else, and referee Ricardo Manjarrez appropriately waved it off.


No changes this week.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (208-208-208)
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 (17-84-147)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
A fight between Golovkin and Julio Cesar Chavez appears to be nearly done for July 19 at 168.
2) Felix Sturm (17-551-551)
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 (7-251-251)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #5 Matthew Macklin
Geale is apparently set to fight Macklin in an intriguing fight on May 24 in the US, on HBO.
4) Martin Murray (7-123-123)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- W* (PTS8) vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: 4/23/2014- vs. Ishmail Tetteh (UNR)
Murray will look to shake off some rust in Kempton Park, South Africa on April 23, fighting very low-level Ghanaian journeyman Ishmail Tetteh.
5) Matthew Macklin (12-146-237)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #3 Daniel Geale
See Geale’s notes, above.
6) Peter Quillin (12-77-98)
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 (12-17-17)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Ricardo Ramallo (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/16/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
N’Dam will fight in Santa Monica, California on April 16.
8) Sam Soliman (12-17-17)
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 (12-41-41)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
10) Osumanu Adama (10-10-10)
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 (10-167)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- KO10* Domenico Spada (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
Rubio finished a rigged fight against Domenico Spada in style, but he was losing the fight at the time, and may have lost it entirely if Jon Schorle hadn’t yelled “break” every time his opponent landed a punch or got close to Rubio.
12) Anthony Mundine (10-167)
Last Fight: 1/29/2014- UD10 Gunnar Jackson (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/9/2014- vs. Joshua Clottey (UNR) (at JMW)
Mundine confirms that he will be fighting, of all people, the long-forgotten Joshua Clottey on April 9, and then perhaps Erislandy Lara in July if that works out for him.
13) Jarrod Fletcher (10-10)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown
Fletcher is said to be among those being considered for a June 1 fight with Dmitry Chudinov in Russia.
14) Max Bursak (10-167)
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) Grzegorz Proksa (2-156)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Matthew Hall (UNR)
Proksa will fight British journeyman Matthew Hall on April 19.
16) Caleb Truax (2-29)
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 (2-36)
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.
18) Andrey Meryasev (2-22)
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.
19) Daniel Jacobs (2-33)
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 (2-2)
Last Fight: 12/21/2013- TKO6 Juan Camilo Novoa (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/1/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chudinov will return on June 1, and Jarrod Fletcher and Patrick Nielsen- both excellent options- are being considered for the fight.


The Week Ahead: 
#16 SMW Andy Lee vs. Frank Haroche Horta; Esbjerg, Denmark; BoxNation (UK)
Lee is said to be moving down to light middle, but this fight is contracted closer to 160.  In reality, all he’s doing here is dragging a light middleweight up to face him at his own weight.  Haroche Horta is a steady operator on the European scene, but probably lacks the talent to compete seriously with a guy on Lee’s apparent level.  That said, Lee has long been hyped significantly above his level of actual achievement.


Chris Eubank, Jr. vs. Sandor Micsko; London, England; BoxNation (UK)
Eubank is an undefeated British prospect and the son of a legend.  Micsko is just another name on the resume, and his night is likely to end the same way his name does.
In addition, Mundine fights Clottey this Wednesday at 154, but I will mention it here only as it affects the rankings.

Super Middleweight: 2014, Apr 7-13

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on September 3, 2014 by danboxing
On Friday, we saw another fight botched by a referee, and another Main Events fighter got a win that he arguably didn’t deserve thanks to bad officiating.  Undefeated but (as a pro, at least) untested prospect Tureano Johnson of the Bahamas dominated #18 middleweight Curtis Stevens to a shocking degree for 9 rounds.  Needing a stoppage going into the final round, Stevens managed to get it…just not with full legitimacy.  Johnson had Stevens and his vaunted power smothered on the ropes for virtually the entire fight, with a brief hiccup in the 4th, in which Stevens clearly took control to win a round.  Stevens was clearly behind 89-82 going into the final round, and in that round he caught a rapidly tiring Johnson with his right hand low while infighting.  He took a step back and fired a vicious left hook that badly hurt Johnson and sent him reeling back to the ropes with his legs largely gone.  Stevens then jumped on him and let loose with a flurry of short quick punches- none of which landed, as far as I could tell- whereupon referee Gary Rosato jumped in to stop it with 53 seconds remaining.  


Here’s the truth.  Johnson was BADLY hurt, and there is an excellent chance (I’d put it at 60% or more, personally) that Stevens was on his way to stopping him without any special help from Rosato.  But being badly hurt doesn’t equal the end of the fight.  If Stevens had landed even one telling blow after putting Johnson in that condition and on the ropes, that would be a different story and at least lend an arguable justification to the stoppage, but if any punches landed at all from that point, they were not clean or damaging.  Johnson still might have summoned the wherewithal to hold and/or smother Stevens’ shots long enough to regain the faculties necessary to finish the fight on his feet, or at the very least might have realized his peril and taken a knee.  If Johnson had taken a knee just one second after Rosato’s stoppage as he should have been given the chance to do, for instance, he would have found himself with no more than 43 seconds left in the fight, and would probably have recovered at least a little from the punch.  It’s not particularly difficult, if you’re being honest, to picture Johnson surviving from that point.  Two or three clinches and/or a second time taking a knee, if necessary, would kill enough clock for that.


Now that’s all assuming that Johnson’s faculties were sufficiently gathered up at some point before it was legitimately too late in order to attempt and execute the survival tactics necessary to make it.  That’s by no means certain.  For all we know, Stevens might have followed his flurry immediately with a crisp body-head combination to turn the lights out.  The sad truth is that because Rosato rushed to action, we will simply never know, and will thus never know the rightful winner of the fight.


A previous precedent I announced back when Jon Schorle stole a clear victory from Carlos Molina by ridiculously disqualifying him holds that when a fight is abbreviated by a clearly erroneous decision by a referee, the fight will be treated as if it had ended due to an accidental foul, with my scorecard being consulted to determine the winner.  This would be that kind of instance, but I think a distinction is necessary here.  As I said, I think it’s a bit more likely than not that Stevens was about to legitimately stop Johnson.  To go to the cards and award Johnson the win in this case would be no less arbitrary in one direction than Rosato himself was in awarding a perhaps impending, but as-yet unearned, victory to Stevens.  So here’s my amendment to that rule: when the beneficiary of a fight-ending bad call by a ref is behind in the fight but has a clear and significant path to legitimate victory (let’s say greater than a 25% or greater chance as a guideline), the fight will be treated as a no contest, since no satisfactory winner had legitimately be determined with an acceptable degree of confidence.  Here’s how that distinguishes from Kirkland-Molina.  Kirkland had just scored a knockdown in a fight in which he was (or should have been) hopelessly behind.  That may have been enough to give him some hope for a comeback, but he was behind 5 points on my card and thus had no realistic path to victory on the scorecard.  Molina did not appear seriously hurt, and the 10th round was over.  While Kirkland obviously still had a puncher’s chance to win the fight in the last 2 rounds, I think it would be a stretch to say he was more than 25% likely to win that fight by stoppage at the point it was ended.  In addition, Molina had dropped Kirkland earlier in the round and won the thing overall, but Schorle had messed that up, as well.  Molina had demonstrated that in all likelihood, he would have gone on to be the legitimate winner of the fight, and the balance of the action to that late stage had made a victory for him feel abstractly like an appropriate- if imperfect- result.  In the more recent case, the legitimate outcome was hanging entirely in the balance at the moment the fight was stopped, and thus no victory for either fighter could be satisfactory on any level.  Future examples of this type of issue will be treated with one rule or the other based on which scenario it more closely resembles.  That’s more subjective than I like to be, but ultimately I care more for keeping the rankings free from unnecessary pollution from bad officiating and enforcing justice and fairness on the parallel universe I control here than I do about slavishly enforcing the letter of the law that I wrote on an ad hoc basis in the first place.


What this means in the final analysis is that we have no real winner here, and no changes- whether here or at 160- will result from this murkier-than-necessary contest.  I do feel that Johnson’s stock has risen a good deal, despite how he looked in the final seconds.


Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (121-255-255)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward is being targeted by at least some on Kovalev’s team.
1) Carl Froch (98-408-408)
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 (6-233-233)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- W (SD12) vs. #2 Robert Stieglitz
Next Fight: 5/3/2014- vs. Nikola Sjekloca (UNR)
Abraham will have a quick turn-around when he defends his newly-won belt against the mostly fraudulent Nikola Sjekloca on May 3 in Berlin.
3) Robert Stieglitz (6-241-241)
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) Mikkel Kessler (6-487-487)
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 (41-41-41)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #11 James DeGale
The IBF has ordered an eliminator between Gonzales and DeGale, with the winner becoming the mandatory to the Froch-Groves winner, and DeGale confirmed that he’s agreed to the battle.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (28-149-197)
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 (22-22-67)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #6 Thomas Oosthuizen
Next Fight: 4/25/2014- vs. Richard Vidal (UNR)
Maderna apparently will fight low-level journeyman Richard Vidal in La Plata, Argentina on April 25.
8) George Groves (22-69-91)
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. (6-6-6)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD10 #5 MW Bryan Vera
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s not signed, but it’s looking highly likely that Chavez will fight Golovkin on July 19 right here at 168.
10) Bryan Vera (6-6-6)
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 (6-130)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- TKO11 Gevorg Khatchikian (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #5 Brandon Gonzales
DeGale has split from his promoter Mick Hennessy.  He’s still rumored to be fighting Brandon Gonzales next, who himself has just gone through a promotional change.
12) Christopher Rebrasse (6-44)
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.
13) Sakio Bika (6-366)
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.
14) Maxim Vlasov (6-74)
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.
15) Edwin Rodriguez (6-64)
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 (6-47)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013-TKO2 Ferenc Hafner (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/12/2014- vs. Frank Haroche Horta (UNR) (at JMW)
In a surprising development, Lee will be moving down to 154, and will be taking on Frenchman Frank Haroche Horta at or around that weight this weekend.
17) Gilberto Ramirez (6-10)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO1 #19 Don Mouton
Next Fight: 4/11/2014- vs. Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Ramirez is back on April 11 in the Friday Night Fights main event against gatekeeper Lorenzo.
18) Ryota Murata (6-33)
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 (6-18)
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 (6-58)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown


The Week Ahead: 
#17 Gilberto Ramirez vs. Giovanni Lorenzo; Las Vegas, Nevada; ESPN2 (US)
Ramirez is an undefeated 23 year-old Mexican who reached all-new heights by beating the deeply underrated Don Mouton in lightning-fast fashion in his last fight.  You could make the argument that he proved himself more as a middleweight than a 168-pounder in that one, since Mouton entered at under 163 pounds.  This fight will be contested at or near the 168 pound limit, though.  Lorenzo is probably not what he once was, having lost his last 5 significant fights dating back to 2009, and is probably not even a legitimate top 50 fighter anymore.  Furthermore, since he’s only dabbled at 168 himself, I doubt this will do much to cement Ramirez’s status as a serious force at 168 as opposed to 160, at least among any who currently doubt that status.  It will provide the most recognizable name on Ramirez’s resume, though, should he leave with a win.


Sergey Khomitsky vs. Frank Buglioni; London, England; BoxNation (UK)
Khomitsky was viewed as a rather garden-variety journeyman 5 months ago, and signed for what was supposed to be just a tune-up fight for Martin Murray, who probably deserved to be the middleweight champion at that point after getting borderline robbed against Sergio Martinez.  Perhaps with some help from the lingering effects of a virus that Murray was contending with, Khomitsky went out and at least arguably beat Murray in the 8-round fight.  The ref and sole judge disagreed, and gave Murray every benefit of the doubt to have it for the Englishman by a single round.  That created a bit of a paradox for me.  The fight was contracted a few pounds over the middleweight limit.  Khomitsky’s performance really should have entitled him to at least some consideration for a ranking at 168.  But since the result was ambiguous, I would have had to treat Murray as if he had achieved something like a draw.  But having never done any significant business at 168 before, this would have been the only significant result Murray could claim.  As the official loser, I couldn’t rank Khomitsky ahead of Murray, but I also couldn’t rank Murray at all because all he’d achieved was the equivalent of a draw with a non-top 50 fighter.  As for Buglioni, he’s an undefeated prospect from the London area who usually wins by stoppage, but he’s never fought anyone on Khomitsky’s level as a pro, even if the Murray performance is set aside.  I’m picking Khomitsky here, to he honest.

Light Heavyweight: 2014, Apr 7-13

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 2, 2014 by danboxing
What might have otherwise been a competitive fight in Rostock, Germany on Saturday was compromised by the utter destruction of Enzo Maccarinelli’s eye inside of one round by #12 Juergen Braehmer.  Maccarinelli’s defense was leaky as a sieve, and Braehmer scored at will.  Braehmer’s hands reaped grotesque swelling on Maccarinelli’s right eye just a matter of seconds before the end of the initial round, after the Welshman had opened a small cut over the German’s eye.  Maccarinelli still couldn’t break Braehmer’s rhythm in the second, as his eye ballooned to full closure.  In the third, though, he began to hold his own.  I don’t know if it was because Braehmer was focusing too intently on the eye as a target or if Maccarinelli’s own focus simply sharpened due to the dire straights in which he found himself.  But whatever the reason, Maccarinelli clearly won the 3rd, and I thought he may have edged both the fourth and the 5th, as well.  But having exhorted their charge to give everything he had in each of the rounds since the 3rd in hopes of scoring a stoppage, and seeing that his eye was in desperately bad shape, Maccarinelli’s trainer pulled the plug after the 5th, a decision the Welshman didn’t seem to mind too terribly much.  I must say that Maccarinelli’s corner let him down at least a little bit in one respect.  There was no endswell.  When the swelling needed initial treatment after the first, the best Maccarinelli’s corner could summon was a rag that I charitably assume was filled with ice.  Now I’m no cutman, so it is possible there’s a school of thought among such practitioners that holds an ice-filled rag in greater esteem than an endswell, but if that is true, I’ve never heard that opinion.  To the best of my knowledge, the lack of an endswell is a universal sign of unpreparedness.  I can’t say that an endswell could have controlled the swelling any better in this instance, but it would have been worth finding out.


The fight was essentially even in rounds, which means I wouldn’t want to go so far as to treat Braehmer’s win as the type of unequivocal triumph that other forms of stoppages would deserve.  In these instances, I’ve reserved by precedent the ability to differentiate cut/injury stoppages based on the course of the action.  For fights 4 rounds or longer, I look at the scorecards, artificially flip a round to the winner, and if that score favors the winner, I treat it as a decision win for the winner at the least.  If he was winning convincingly, I can treat it like a regular KO.  If he wasn’t winning even after the extra round is given him, I’m more likely to treat it as more of a non-event.  In this case, 2 of the 3 Maccarinelli rounds were toss-ups, and if one of them were flipped to Braehmer, he would have been ahead.  I’ll treat it similarly to a close decision win for the German.


Braehmer, if he ever beat a top 20 contender in the past 5 years, did so 4 1/2 years ago against Kuziemski.  He’s therefore unable to eclipse Isaac Chilemba, who has beaten a #16 in Edison Miranda and a #9 (or should have) in Tony Bellew.  As a result, there are no changes.


Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks   in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (83-83-83)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kovalev’s promoter has zeroed in on the inactive Ward as an “inevitable” future opponent.
1) Adonis Stevenson (44-44-44)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO6 #6 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #6 Andrzej Fonfara
In something of a coup, Stevenson-Fonfara will be carried by Showtime.   This not only further diminishes HBO’s stable of top fighters, but also puts in serious doubt the plausibility of what appeared to be an upcoming megafight with Kovalev.
2) Bernard Hopkins (83-409-409)
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 (12-12-12)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD12 #16 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Bob Arum has floated the possibility of a July fight with Julio Cesar Chavez.  Perhaps toward that end, Pascal has split from his previous promoter, Yvon Michel.
4) Sergey Kovalev (12-64-64)
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.
5) Chad Dawson (12-410-410)
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 (12-34-91)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- KO2 Samuel Miller (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
See Stevenson’s notes, above.
7) Tony Bellew (12-130-130)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO12 Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bellew is campaigning at cruiserweight now, but he’ll keep his ranking here until he schedules a fight there for after November 30, or until after November 30 itself.  BJ Flores wants to fight him, but it sounds like he’ll fight Cleverly before the year is out.
8) Gabriel Campillo (12-198-198)
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 (12-241-241)
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 (12-218-218)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (TKO4) vs. #3 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Cleverly’s cruiserweight debut is once again on the scheduled.  This time for May 17 in Cardiff.
11) Isaac Chilemba (12-114)
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 (12-103)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD5 Enzo Maccarinelli (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Braehmer certainly didn’t look spectacular after inflicting a gruesome eye injury on Maccarinelli, and the closeness of the fight thereafter has emboldened the Welshman to demand a rematch- one I, for one, would be interested to see.
13) Karo Murat (11-24)
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. (11-11)
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 (12-52)
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 (12-39)
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 (24-41)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (11-121)
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 (11-63)
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 (11-75)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- L (UD12) vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute wants his contractually-guaranteed rematch with Pascal.  He recently parted ways with his long-time trainer.


The Week Ahead
Igor Mikhalkin vs. Mohamed Belkacem; Berlin, Germany; Eurosport
Mikhalkin is a one-loss Russian who has been defeated only by the solid Aleksy Kuziemsky in 2010.  He comes off a split decision over Doudou Ngumbu, who himself was fresh off an upset over Vyacheslav Uzelkoff.  Belkacem is a mid-level journeyman from Algeria who has lost 3 of his last 5, including close decisions to both Uzelkoff and Ngumbu.


Vyacheslav Uzelkoff vs. Geard Ajetovic; Brovari, Ukraine; Boytsovskiy Klub (Russia)
Uzelkoff is a Ukrainian gatekeeper who was once a top prospect.  He has been stumbling of late.  Ajetovic is a Serbian mid-level journeyman who at one point over 5 years ago could have been called something like a fringe contender, but since suffering his second loss to Daniel Geale in 2008, he’s lost as often as won, and hasn’t beaten anyone better than a low-level journeyman in that time span.


Oleksandr Cherviak vs. Artem Redko; Brovari, Ukraine; Off TV
Cherviak is a gatkeeper coming off a loss by TKO to fringe contender Nadjib Mohammedi after derailing the career of undefeated Dustin Dirks.  Redko is, well, merely an opponent.  He comes off back-to-back draws to low and lower-mid-level journeymen, followed by a 6 round destruction at the hands of Maxim Vlasov.  He already fought Cherviak once, though, in 2009, and lost a close decision.  For that reason and that reason alone, the fight has some intrigue.


Erik Skoglund vs. Danilo D’Agata; Esbjerg, Denmark; BoxNation (UK)
Skoglund is an undefeated Swede whose best wins thus far were so-so decisions over journeyman Lolenga Mock and untested undefeated prospect Luke Blackledge.  D’Agata of Sicily is a one-loss prospect, having lost a split decision to Orial Kolaj, a journeyman on a similar level to Mock, after having beaten the same fighter earlier in his career, and he’s never faced anyone else at that level or above.  Neither fighter has really excelled above the mid-level of journeyman/prospects, and so there is plenty of room to imagine different outcomes for this fight.  Skoglund has earned the right to be considered a mild or perhaps moderate favorite, though.  I’m not sure if this one will make the TV portion of the card.


Sean Monaghan vs. Joe McCreedy; Las Vegas, Nevada; Off TV
Monaghan is an undefeated prospect who has been featured on HBO pay-per-view undercards in the past, with hope that he would become the next Mickey Ward or perhaps Arturo Gatti.  This is because his style is fairly crude and aggressive.  Whether or not he has enough talent to really merit the kind of long-term TV exposure that could keep him in the limelight remains to be seen.   It won’t be seen- at least not too widely or clearly- on Saturday, for a couple reasons.  First, because McCreedy is a fairly low-level operator who shouldn’t be able to test a guy like Monaghan on any level.  Second, because the fight is not expected to be carried on the PPV broadcast this time around.

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