Heavyweight: 2014, Mar 3-9

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on July 22, 2014 by danboxing
There were no significant heavyweight contests last week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (245-458-458)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. #14 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 (3-3-3)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury appears to be on a collision course with Chisora for the summer.  He also continues to call out Wladimir Klitschko.
2) Alexander Povetkin (3-332-332)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Chisora has been ruled out as Povetkin’s next opponent.
3) Steve Cunningham (3-63-63)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD8 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/4/2014- vs. Amir Mansour (UNR)
Cunningham takes on unbeaten fringe contender Amir Mansour in Cunningham’s hometown of Philadelphia on April 4.
4) Tomasz Adamek (3-202-202)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #19 Vyacheslav Glazkov
The rescheduled fight with Glazkov is now official for March 15.
5) Kubrat Pulev (3-96-173)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO5 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Pulev is back on the Braehmer card on April 5 in Rostock, Germany, but no opponent just yet.
6) Dereck Chisora (3-118-181)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Fury and Povetkin’s notes, above.
7) Odlanier Solis (3-50-197)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #11 Tony Thompson
Solis was first set to fight Kevin Johnson.  But he backed out because the IBF wanted him to fight Takam.  But now word from Tony Thompson is that Solis will fight Thompson, instead, on March 22.
8) Carlos Takam (3-7-7)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam clearly beat #11 Perez, and is ranked accordingly.
9) Bermane Stiverne (3-37-53)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #10 Chris Arreola
The latest rumors have the Arreola fight taking place in June and in Mexico.
10) Chris Arreola (3-26-26)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #9 Bermane Stiverne
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
11) Tony Thompson (3-197)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #7 Odlanier Solis
Thompson is fighting Odlanier Solis on March 22.
12) Erkan Teper (3-27)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper might have scored the heavyweight knockout of the year, and probably retired Martin Rogan in the process.
13) Deontay Wilder (3-45)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO4 Nicolai Firtha (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #20 Malik Scott
Wilder will fight his close friend, Malik Scott, on March 15.
14) Alex Leapai (3-15)
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.
15) Robert Helenius (3-197)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
We finally have a bit of clarification on the Helenius-Sauerland situation.  Helenius says that when he signed a promotional contract with Sauerland in 2007, he had no representation and couldn’t even read it in German.  He is currently trying to get a Finnish court to allow him to fight in Finland, as he says Sauerland is blocking him from fighting now despite the fact that his health will now allow it.
16) Andy Ruiz (3-15)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ruiz passed up a proposed date in February, saying he wants to focus on weight loss so that his performances become more of a story than his physique.  He wants to be around or below 240.
17) Seth Mitchell (3-39)
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.
18) Alexander Dimitrenko (3-164)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko is rumored at least to be fighting Sam Sexton in the first round of the WBC World Cup, but that tournament appears to be in limbo for the time being, at least.  In the meantime, Dimitrenko is set to be removed for inactivity next week.
19) Vyacheslav Glazkov (3-63)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #4 Tomasz Adamek
Glazkov-Adamek is back on, for March 15, after the first attempt was cancelled due to an Adamek illness.
20) Malik Scott (3-54)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- L (KO6*) vs. #8 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #13 Deontay Wilder
See Wilder’s notes, above.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Nothing important to report this week.

Welterweight: 2014, Feb 24- Mar 2

Posted in Rankings, Welterweight with tags , , , , , , , on July 11, 2014 by danboxing
I’m a little furious that I have so little I can report on this fight.  Ray Robinson won what appears to have been a clear decision over undefeated Russian Aslanbek Kozaev- by scores of 118-110 (x2) and 117-111 in Dover, Delaware on Friday.  That’s all I can really tell you about this fight between two top 50 fighters in boxing’s best division because it was inexplicably not carried on any TV station, nor even on Youtube.  

 

Even with the good win, Robinson is still more or less in the gatekeeper category, with the competition in this division proving very stiff indeed.  Kozaev is now decidedly on the fringes of the top 50.  No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (200-232-232)
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 (20-20-90)
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 (20-120-120)
Last Fight: 10/12/2013- L (SD12) vs. #17 Timothy Bradley
Next Fight: Unknown
It appears Marquez is close to a deal to fight Alvarado on May 17.
3) Manny Pacquiao (20-273-273)
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 (12-38-38)
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 (11-11-51)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 #6 Jesus Soto-Karass
Next Fight: Unknown
Golden Boy’s CEO wants to match Thurman with Collazo.  Thurman, for his part, is dreaming of a Mayweather fight.
6) Shawn Porter (11-12-12)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #5 Devon Alexander
Next Fight: Unknown
For the longest time, it looked like Porter would be fighting his mandatory, Kell Brook, but a Thurman or Marquez fight has also been discussed, while Malignaggi has also indicated interest.
7) Robert Guerrero (12-66-83)
Last Fight: 5/4/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Next Fight: Unknown
Guerrero is seeking to separate from Golden Boy, and wants Pacquiao next.  I see his style as potentially problematic for Pacquiao, which probably renders the match-up unlikely at this time, when combined with his lack of a recent win.  Meanwhile, his dad has suggested that Mayweather should give him a rematch- even less likely.
8) Kell Brook (12-148-148)
Last Fight:10/26/2013- TKO4 Vyacheslav Senchenko (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Brook will be back on March 15 in what looks like a stay-busy fight.  After that, he’ll almost certainly fight the winner of Porter’s next fight, as he will be the mandatory.  That being said, he’s aggressively seeking a fight with Amir Khan, too.
9) Devon Alexander (12-105-105)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- L (UD12) vs. Shawn Porter (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alexander would like to fight three times in 2014.
10) Randall Bailey (14-14-14)
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 (14-88)
Last Fight: 12/13/2013- W (TD8) vs. Mike Arnaoutis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lopez appears set to return in mid-to-late March, according to a Boxingscene report.
12) Jesus Soto Karass (11-57)
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 (11-66)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- L (TKO12) vs. #11 Jesus Soto Karass
Next Fight: Unknown 
Berto is now recovered from surgery and is training for a summer return.
14) Paulie Malignaggi (12-12) 
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #8? JWW Zab Judah 
Next Fight: Unknown 
Malignaggi says he wants Porter, and Porter seems open to it.
15) Chris van Heerden (12-89)
Last Fight: 2/6/2014- RTD4 Cosme Rivera (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
Van Heerden finally got a fight in, albeit a stay-busy one.
16) Luis Carlos Abregu (12-44)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Antonin Decarie (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Abregu says his rehab from hand surgery is progressing well, and he is expecting to return in Salta, Argentina in a March tune-up.
17) Luis Collazo (4-4)
Last Fight: 1/30/2014- KO2 Victor Ortiz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golden Boy’s CEO wants to match him with Keith Thurman.
18) Jan Zaveck (4-220)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- UD8 Sebastien Allais (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Ruslan Provodnikov (4-50)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- RTD10 #3 JWW Mike Alvarado (at JWW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Provodnikov’s promoter is not high on a potential Rios fight, since he doesn’t think Rios can make 140.
20) Pablo Cesar Cano (4-24)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W (SD10*) vs. Ashley Theophane (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. Fernando Angulo (UNR)
Cano’s opponent for Saturday has been somewhat downgraded from fringe contender Silverio Ortiz to quality journeyman Fernando Angulo.

 

The Week Ahead:
Saturday
#20 Pablo Cesar Cano vs. Fernando Angulo; Naucalpan, Mexico; Fox Deportes (US)
Cano of Mexico is a proven fringe contender and a huge favorite, especially at home.  Colombia’s Angulo is a solid journeyman with 9 losses, but I must say that he did acquit himself quite well in the only fight I’ve actually seen him in against Leo Zappavigna.  Angulo is a late replacement for the more threatening Silverio Ortiz.

 

Jose Zepeda vs. Johnnie Edwards; San Antonio, Texas; Off TV
Zepeda, from California, is an undefeated fringe contending prospect at 140, and is merely staying busy with Edwards, who is a journeyman from the Carolinas.  Edwards would be a big underdog under the best of circumstances, but is even more so due to the fact that he hasn’t won in 5 years, hasn’t fought in well over a year, and has fought only once since 2009.  This is on the Chavez-Vera undercard, but will not make the TV broadcast.

Junior Middleweight: 2014, Feb 24- Mar 2

Posted in Junior Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on July 11, 2014 by danboxing
No action again last week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1Carlos Molina (56-138-153)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W (SD12) vs. #5 Ishe Smith
Next Fight: 3/8/2014- vs. Jermall Charlo (UNR)
Molina will put his belt on the line against the lower-ranked Charlo brother on the Canelo-Angulo undercard.
2) Erislandy Lara (12-138-160)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #4 Austin Trout
Next Fight: Unknown
Lara wants Canelo, Mayweather, or now Golovkin.  Meanwhile, he’s being sought out by Ishe Smith and Anthony Mundine.
3) Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (12-24-24)
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.
4) Saul Alvarez (12-156-171)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- L* (MD12) vs. WW Champion Floyd Mayweather
Next Fight: 3/8/2014- vs. #10 Alfredo Angulo
Canelo says he will fight Angulo on March 8.
5) Austin Trout (12-91-160)
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 (24-53-53)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- L (SD12) vs. #1 Carlos Molina
Next Fight: Unknown
Smith and Lara have been exchanging words on Twitter, and there is speculation they might fight on Mayweather’s May 3 undercard.
7) Anthony Mundine (13-13-13)
Last Fight: 1/29/2014- UD10 Gunnar Jackson (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 4/2/2014- vs. Joshua Clottey (UNR)
Mundine will be fighting Joshua Clottey on April 2, and wants a fight with Lara after that.
8) Miguel Cotto (13-195-195)
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 (13-186-186)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD12 Joey Hernandez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The IBF rankings are pretty incestuous in the sense that the same lower-profile contenders continue to get repeated bites at the apple.  Bundrage could be one fight away from another shot, even after badly losing to the guy that lost to the current titlist.
10Alfredo Angulo (13-231-231)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L (TKO10) vs. #4 Erislandy Lara
Next Fight: 3/8/2014- vs. #4 Saul Alvarez
Angulo gets a big shot against Canelo on a March 8 PPV.
11) Sergey Rabchenko (13-89)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 Bradley Pryce (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rabchenko is in line for an alphabet eliminator at any time, and has apparently relinquished his European belt to pursue that opportunity.

12) Javier Maciel (13-18)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- Robbery L (SD12) vs. #14 Brian Rose
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Zaurbek Baysangurov (UNR)
According to the blog “A Puro Boxeo,” Maciel will fight the ridiculously overrated Zaurbek Baysangurov on March 15 in the Ukraine.
13) Demetrius Andrade (13-16)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (SD12) vs. #13 Vanes Martirosyan
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #19 Brian Rose
Andrade and Rose have agreed to fight in the US, with May-ish being targeted.
14) Delvin Rodriguez (13-137)
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 (13-143)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- L* (SD12) vs. Demetrius Andrade (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/21/2014- vs. Luciano Cuello (UNR)
Vanes has signed with a new promoter, and will debut under the Goossen-Tutor banner on March 21st’s Friday Night Fights broadcast against Luciano Cuello of Argentina, who gave Willie Nelson a hell of a fight recently.
16) Jermell Charlo (5-38)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- UD10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Charlo let Rosado back into the fight late, but overall was very impressive against a battle-tested opponent.
17) Gabriel Rosado (5-5)
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 (5-52)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- UD10 Luciano Cuello (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. James Kirkland (UNR)
Nelson’s camp says there’s a deal in place to fight Kirkland.  The fight will likely take place on April 26 at MSG.
19) Brian Rose (5-49)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- Robbery W (Draw at best) vs. Javier Maciel (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Andrade’s notes, above.
20) Guido Pitto (5-11)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L* (UD12) vs. #20 Jack Culcay
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: A fourth straight week with no action.

Middleweight: 2014, Feb 24- Mar 2

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on July 10, 2014 by danboxing
Wednesday in Moore Park, Australia, #4 Daniel Geale outclassed gatekeeper Garth Wood, fighting a nearly perfect fight and flashing more power than we’re used to seeing from him.  Wood failed to answer the bell for round 7.  Geale scored 3 official knockdowns- a technical one in the first and one each in the 5th and 6th.  He should have probably been credited with two more.  Referee Charlie Lucas- in one of the worst jobs of reffing I’ve seen since Mares-Agbeko I- took a point from Geale in the second for a phantom low blow which also wiped out what should have been a good knockdown, and also failed to call what looked like another good knockdown at the bell to end round 6.  Lucas was blatantly favoring Wood to such an extent it was embarrassing, and he was flawed in the more technical aspects of his job, as well.  Still, Geale hardly missed a beat.

 

Geale and Murray each put forth similar efforts against Sturm, and so those fights cancel out.  That leaves, for Murray, two relevant fights.  He had what should have been a win over the Champion Martinez, but also a completely unforgivable win that probably should have been a loss against so-so journeyman Sergey Khomitsky.  Even though he probably should be the Champion of the division, that’s no longer a free ticket for Murray given his last performance.  Geale’s only losses are an avenged and aging one against Mundine from 2009 and a very close nail-biter to Darren Barker.  His best win was against 3rd-ranked Sebastian Sylvester, and he adds another top 10 performance against #8 Roman Karmazin, along with wins over #11 Adama and #11 Mundine.  That’s enough to overwhelm the one great performance for Murray.  Since the Sturm-Geale fight could have gone either way very easily, and since Sturm stopped Barker where Geale had been outpointed, Geale can’t eclipse Sturm at this time.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (202-202-202)
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 (11-78-141)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golovkin wants a shot at the Championship against Martinez- a fight Sergio appears to be interested in after Cotto- and there are rumors that Andy Lee is being considered for an April fight, as well.  Daniel Geale has also laid down the gauntlet.
2) Felix Sturm (11-545-545)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- TKO2 #3 Darren Barker
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman is the #1 contender for Sturm’s alphabet title, and Murray, Macklin, and Geale are all trying to get rematches with him, as well.
3) Daniel Geale (1-245-245)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Geale cut through Wood like an unsympathetic buzzsaw, and is hoping for a fight with Golovkin, who would also fit that description well.
4) Martin Murray (1-117-117)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- W* (PTS8) vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Murray and Hatton promotions have parted ways which, along with nagging injuries, may further delay his rumored title fight.
5) Matthew Macklin (6-140-231)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After a legitimate but very unspectacular win over only moderately proven prospect Lamar Russ, Macklin has joined the chorus of quality middleweights looking for a rematch with Sturm.  He’s also pushing for a fight with Andy Lee and has expressed interest in Quillin.
6) Peter Quillin (6-71-92)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Macklin’s notes, above.  Stevens is also looking for a fight with him, as is Sergio Mora.
7) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (6-11-11)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Ricardo Ramallo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
N’Dam totally dominated journeyman Ramallo.  Here’s hoping he gets another worthwhile fight at something near championship-level soon.
8) Sam Soliman (6-11-11)
Last Fight: 12/11/2013- TKO9 Les Sherrington (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman has been re-installed as the #1 contender to Sturm’s alphabet strap, and will likely get another shot soon.
9) Sergio Mora (6-35-35)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora is reportedly in the mix for a fight with Quillin.
10) Osumanu Adama (4-4-4)
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 (4-161)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- KO2 Dionisio Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Domenico Spada (UNR)
Rubio-Spada is now set for April 5 in Mexico.  It’s for an interim title, if such trifles mean anything to you.
12) Anthony Mundine (4-161)
Last Fight: 1/29/2014- UD10 Gunnar Jackson (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/2/2014- vs. Joshua Clottey (UNR) (at JMW)
Mundine confirms that he will be fighting, of all people, the long-forgotten Joshua Clottey on April 2, and then perhaps Erislandy Lara in July if that works out for him.
13) Jarrod Fletcher (4-4)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown
Fletcher is said to have received 7 serious fight offers after he was given the nod against Bursak.  The team behind Dmitry Chudinov, who presumably made one of those offers, says a fight is being discussed, possibly for March or April.  There is also some talk of a domestic showdown with Geale.
14) Max Bursak (4-161)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L* (UD12) vs. Jarrod Fletcher (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
He didn’t get robbed, and it’s hard to feel sorry for him considering how dirty he fought, but I did think Bursak deserved better than a loss against Fletcher.
15) Bryan Vera (4-71)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L* (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. Julio Cesar Chavez (UNR) (at SMW)
Vera-Chavez is on for March 1 on HBO.
16) Grzegorz Proksa (4-150)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Proksa is likely to fight again on April 19 according to Polish news reports.
17) Caleb Truax (4-23)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (UD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Truax’s status as a promising prospect has been derailed somewhat by the very tough Ossie Duran.
18) Curtis Stevens (4-30)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- TKO1 Patrick Majewski (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevens has his sites set on Peter Quillin.
19) Andrey Meryasev (4-16)
Last Fight: 11/4/2013- UD10 Sergio Sanders (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I’ve still yet to see Meryasev in action, but his win over Sanders at this point in his career proves that he’s a real prospect.
20) Danny Jacobs (4-27)
Last Fight: 8/19/2013- TKO3 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: 
Friday
ESPN Boxcino Tournament; Laughlin, Nevada; ESPN2 (US)
The middleweight draw, all 6 round bouts:

 

1) Daniel Edouard vs. Brandon Adams.  Edouard topped out at gatekeeper level in about 2004-2006, and was roughly a mid-level journeyman when Peter Manfredo retired him in 2011.  This fight remains a toss-up, though, since Adams’ undefeated record was built against absolutely nobody.  I can’t even tell you how he’s looked in those easy wins, since to the best of my knowledge he’s never been on TV.

 

2) Ray Gatica vs. Sena Agbeko.  Another interesting one.  Gatica is no joke.  He came within a hair’s breadth of stopping and also outpointing the reasonably proven Fernando Guerrero recently, and is a real puncher.  Agbeko is undefeated and has knocked out everyone he’s fought but, to an even greater extent than Adams, he’s never fought anyone with even a hint of a pulse.

 

3) Ceresso Fort vs. Vitaliy Kopylenko. Kopylenko is another undefeated prospect, and hails from the Ukraine.  He’s slightly more tested than Agbeko and Adams, but still not at anything close to this level.  Fort is right around the lower tier of the top 50, give or take, and has been confirmed at that level by wins over Andy Kolle and Marcus Upshaw and losses to Caleb Truax and John Jackson.  

 

4) Donatas Bondas vs. Willie Monroe, Jr.  Bondas doesn’t have the resume to prove it, really, but he’s a very solid fighter.  Depending on who you ask, he was either robbed of or voluntarily gave up an opportunity to be blatantly robbed of a win over Bryan Vera recently.  He was easily winning the fight, but was stopped by the referee after giving unsatisfactory answers to inquiries in the corner regarding a cut.  He says it was a language barrier, but we will never know for sure.  Monroe is a one-loss prospect.  He lost an apparently close fight to his best opponent- Darnell Boone- and has beaten only very weak opposition besides that.

 

Saturday
Akio Shibata vs. Daisuke Nakagawa; Tokyo, Japan; TV Unknown
Shibata is a fringe contender who was effectively the undisputed champion of Japan before rookie Ryota Murata destroyed him in a fight just slightly over the divisional limit.  Nakagawa is a gatekeeper in the division who lost an apparently close decision to Shibata in 2012.

 

Makoto Fuchigami vs. Hikaru Nishida; Tokyo, Japan; TV Unknown
Fuchigami is a veteran gatekeeper who also has a loss on his record against Shibata.  Nishida is a fairly novice 9-6 mid-level journeyman.  Probably not much of a threat.

Super Middleweight: 2014, Feb 24- Mar 2

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on June 26, 2014 by danboxing
#16 Ryota Murata again fought just a pound or two over the middleweight limit, and looked very good against competent but overmatched veteran journeyman Carlos Nascimento of Brazil, whom he stopped in four.  Murata showed big power, good timing, nice finishing skills, and even substantially improved defense as opposed to his last fight.  Not bad for a guy in his 3rd fight.  Even so, his best win by far was his pro debut, which got him ranked where he is.

 

No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (115-249-249)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says his manager is working on his next fight despite his lawsuit against promoter Dan Goossen.  He had indicated interest in Golovkin, but the Kazakh’s own trainer recently said his fighter is not ready for that fight.
1) Carl Froch (92-402-402)
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) Robert Stieglitz (49-235-235)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- UD12 Isaac Ekpo (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. #4 Arthur Abraham
The Abraham-Stieglitz trilogy bout, originally announced for February 1, is now official for March 1, in Stieglitz’s home base of Magdeburg.
3) Mikkel Kessler (63-481-481)
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.
4) Arthur Abraham (41-227-227)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Giovanni De Carolis (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. #2 Robert Stieglitz
See Stieglitz’s notes, above.
5) Brandon Gonzales (35-35-35)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzales was said to have reached a deal to fight Vlasov, but Vlasov has scheduled another fight, and it’s been hard to find any mention of the match since it was reportedly made.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (22-143-191)
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 (16-16-61)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #6 Thomas Oosthuizen
Next Fight: Unknown
I doubt he’ll get much love from the alphabets for his effort, but I think you could make a better case for him winning than losing against Oosthuizen, though I had it a draw personally.
8) George Groves (16-63-85)
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) James DeGale (15-38-124)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 Dyah Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/1/2014- vs. Gevorg Khatchikian (UNR)
DeGale has been ordered to face Badou Jack for a shot at Bika’s alphabet belt.  Before that, he’ll fight undefeated Dutchman Gevorg Khatchikian on March 1 in Bristol.
10) Christopher Rebrasse (15-15-38)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- UD6 George Kandelaki (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (UNR)
Rebrasse will get a March 22 rematch against Ndiaye that is hardly needed, as Rebrasse dominated the first fight on his way to being robbed.
11) Sakio Bika (15-360)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dirrell wants a rematch, and that’s obviously a worthy endeavor given the legitimate draw the first time around.  In the meantime, machinations are underway for an eliminator between Jack and DeGale, with the winner to become his mandatory.  On Bika’s end, he’d like a unification with Froch.
12) Maxim Vlasov (16-68)
Last Fight: 12/5/2013- KO4 Maxell Taylor (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Henry Buchanan (UNR)
An IBF eliminator with Brandon Gonzales appears to be on hold, as Vlasov will now fight lower-mid-level journeyman Henry Buchanan on March 15.
13) Edwin Rodriguez (16-58)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
According to his trainer Ronnie Shields, they might be looking to fight a top-15 level light heavyweight, and have absolutely no intention to ever try to make 168 again.  He’ll be on the shelf for a little while due to bone chip-removal surgery on his elbow in December.
 14) Andy Lee (22-41)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013-TKO2 Ferenc Hafner (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lee is reportedly being considered for a shot at Gennady Golovkin on April 26.
15) Gilberto Ramirez (4-4)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO1 #19 Don Mouton
Next Fight: Unknown
Much like many of his peers in the 168 pound rankings, Ramirez might really be a middleweight, but nevertheless has a solid resume in this division.
16) Ryota Murata (4-27)
Last Fight: 2/22/2014- TKO4 Carlos Nascimento (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Anthony Dirrell (4-12)
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 (4-52)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Caleb Truax (4-36)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (MD12) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Truax may have been a little lucky to escape with a draw against Duran.  I agree with the decision, but it could only have tilted the other way if it tilted at all.
 20) Badou Jack (4-32)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 Rogelio Medina (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/28/2014- vs. Derek Edwards (UNR)
Jack will be on ShoBox at the end of the month against journeyman Derek Edwards, in what amounts to a tune-up for his eliminator against DeGale.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Friday
J’Leon Love vs. Vladine Biosse; Verona, New York; Showtime (US)
Love is one of Floyd Mayweather’s top promotional prospects.  He’s got a long jab and some slick defensive skills, but in my opinion, he’s vastly overrated.  He deserved losses to both Derrick Findley and Gabriel Rosado, and I had him behind to Lajuan Simon when he scored the stoppage.  He also has been busted for banned diuretics- that in the Rosado fight.  Biosse is a busted prospect, having been stopped in upset fashion by Marcus Upshaw and an unknown version of Denis Grachev.  Even worse, he’s coming off a draw in his last fight against journeyman Richard Gingras.  This is a good scenario for Love- a fairly recognizable name that has little or no chance.

 

#20 Badou Jack vs. Derek Edwards; Verona, New York; Showtime (US)
Jack is another Mayweather prospect, and so far the more impressive of the two I’ve mentioned.  He will be in against veteran journeyman Derek Edwards, who you might describe as mid-level and no great threat.  Edwards was an undefeated prospect at one point, but has gone 1-3-1 in his last 5.

 

Luis Arias vs. Dashon Johnson; Verona, New York; Off TV
This fight won’t make the TV card, but is not the least of the match-ups in terms of competition.  Johnson is deservedly the big underdog, but he made a name for himself- at least for me- with a shocking upset of Canadian prospect Adam Trupish in 2013.  He followed that up later in the year by outpointing once-impressive middleweight Craig McEwan.  He’s got more than his share of losses at that level, too, though.  If nothing else, it’s a good measuring stick for Arias, who has been steadily stepping up his competition.

 

Saturday
#2 Robert Stieglitz vs. #4 Arthur Abraham; Magdeburg, Germany; SAT1 (Germany)
There’s not a lot left to say about this match-up, as this is the third meeting for the two fighters.  Abraham won a close but clear decision in the first iteration, and was shockingly dominated and stopped early in the second.  Stieglitz comes in as the favorite, and the winner will most likely be the number 2 contender next week.

 

#9 James DeGale vs. Gevorg Khatchikian; Bristol, England; Channel 5 (UK)
Khatchikian is an unbeaten Armenian who has made his home in the Netherlands since age 13.  He’s the best super middleweight in Holland, though that’s not saying much.  He’s quite untested, and is the huge underdog against top-10 DeGale.  The Englishman might even be better than that.  He probably deserved the decision against George Groves when the pair fought, and has been struggling with a groin injury possibly ever since.  He finally had surgery to correct the issue, and so the suggestion, at least, is that we’ll see a fully functional DeGale for the first time in a while. 

 

#15 MW Bryan Vera vs. Julio Cesar Chavez; San Antonio, Texas; HBO (US)
Another intriguing re-match.  Vera almost certainly deserved a win in the first fight, but was borderline robbed.  Chavez came in extremely heavy for that fight, and looked sluggish.  If he can motivate himself, this might be a good one.  Vera is no slouch, despite being the naturally much smaller man, and always comes to fight.

Light Heavyweight: 2014, Feb 24- Mar 2

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on June 20, 2014 by danboxing
The scheduled fight between undefeated Atlanta prospect Michael Seals and Lester Gonzalez did not come off as scheduled in Laughlin, Nevada on Friday, but there was a good fight I forgot to advertise that did.  In Moore Park, Australia, prospect Robert Berridge of New Zealand was in a rematch with Kerry Foley.  Foley was a low-level fringe prospect when, in 2011, he snatched a majority draw with Berridge, who was then a 10-0 undefeated, though untested, prospect himself.  Since then, Foley has gone nearly 30 months without a fight, while Berridge has put himself at or near the top of the South Pacific scene.  

 

The fight was fairly brutal.  Neither guy showed a great deal of defense, but both were excellent at delivering punishing bombs.  Berridge was pulling ahead on the cards by all rights, as he was applying consistent pressure and consistent work, but Foley was able to assert himself in spurts, usually hurting Berridge when he did.  It was pretty even through 5.  In the 6th, Foley was hurt and appeared on the verge of being stopped by Berridge, but pulled a perfect right hand out of the bag to drop his antagonist.  Berridge came back strong and probably won the round outside of the knockdown.  Berridge returned the favor, dropping Foley to a knee in the 7th, though that round was competitive as well.  It was an excellent two-way slugfest, though by the 9th it appeared Foley had given all he had and was just looking to hang around.  That brought us to the 10th, when one of the best of Berridge’s many brutal body shots landed flush and caused Foley to take a knee again.  This time his corner quite correctly asked referee Charlie Lucas to call a halt for a 10th round TKO.  

 

This does nothing for the Butcher’s ranking, since Foley is proven- to the extent he’s proven at all- only against Berridge himself, but it sure was a fun fight.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (77-77-77)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says his manager is working on his next fight despite his lawsuit against promoter Dan Goossen.  He had indicated interest in Golovkin, but the Kazakh’s own trainer recently said his fighter is not ready for that fight.
1) Adonis Stevenson (38-38-38)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO6 #6 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #6 Andrzej Fonfara
According to Ringtv.com, Stevenson-Fonfara will most likely land on May 24.  After that, it looks like the Kovalev fight will happen in late 2014.
2) Bernard Hopkins (77-403-403)
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 (6-6-6)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD12 #16 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Pascal appears to be fully back from his 2 years in the desert, figuratively speaking, having dominated an apparently shopworn Bute.
4) Sergey Kovalev (6-58-58)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO2 Ismayl Sillakh (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. #15 Cedric Agnew
Kovalev is likely to fight Stevenson in late 2014, and has a March 29 fight coming up in Atlantic City with Cedric Agnew.
5) Chad Dawson (6-404-404)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L(TKO1) vs. SMW #6 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Dawson is now a promotional free agent, and is looking to sign with a top promoter to start rebuilding after a rough year.  He says he is interested in a Stevenson rematch.  Prospects for another occasionally-discussed rematch- with Jean Pascal- increased recently with word that Pascal’s trainer offered Dawson a contract.
6) Andrzej Fonfara (6-28-85)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- KO2 Samuel Miller (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
May 24 looks likely for Fonfara-Stevenson.
7) Tony Bellew (6-124-124)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- L (TKO6) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
Bellew plans a move to cruiserweight, and his first fight there is scheduled for March 15 in Liverpool, against Valery Brudov.
8) Gabriel Campillo (6-192-192)
Last Fight: 8/16/2013- L (KO9) vs. #14 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: Unknown
Campillo might be on his way to deserved obscurity after being robbed of deserved prominence for so much of his career.  He still has plenty of boxing skill, but his will might be fading just a bit.  For anyone who is wondering he says he plans to make another push for a title, rather than retiring.
9) Tavoris Cloud (6-235-235)
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 (6-212-212)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (TKO4) vs. #3 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
Cleverly’s cruiserweight debut is once again delayed by what’s being called a minor injury.  His promoter says he intends to schedule him another fight very soon.
11) Isaac Chilemba (6-108)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD8 Michael Gbenga (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Denis Grachev (UNR)
Chilemba is in the US, training for a March 15 bout with fringe contender Grachev.
12) Jürgen Brähmer (6-97)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD12 Marcus Oliveira (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Enzo Maccarinelli (UNR)
Braehmer returns April 5 in Rostock, Germany against moderately resurgent Welshman Enzo Maccarinelli.
13) Karo Murat (5-18)
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. (5-5)
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 (6-46)
Last Fight: 4/12/2013- UD12 #14 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. #4 Sergey Kovalev
Agnew was ordered to defend his regional title against fringe contender Anatoliy Dudchenko, and also appeared to have the option of fighting Sukhotsky for a position as IBF mandatory.  Instead, he’ll now roll the dice big against Kovalev.
16) Edwin Rodriguez (6-33)
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 (18-35)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (5-115)
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 (5-57)
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 (5-69)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- L (UD12) vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute looks rather shopworn after the brutal beating at the hands of Froch, the close pitched battle with Grachev, and the humiliation at the hands of Pascal.

 

The Week Ahead:
Saturday
Ryno Liebenberg vs. Joey Vegas; Kempton Park, South Africa; Fight Klub (Poland)
Undefeated prospect Liebenberg gets by far his toughest test to date in gatekeeper Joey Vegas of Uganda.  The winner will at least be on the map.

 

Wilbeforce Shihepo vs. Johnny Muller; Kempton Park, South Africa; Fight Klub (Poland)
On the Liebenberg card, Muller looks to get his career going after thrice failing at or below the gatekeeper level (twice against Ryno himself).  Shihepo is no world-beater, but has to be the favorite against Muller, who looks like a mid-level journeyman so far.

Cruiserweight: 2014, Feb 24- Mar 2

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on June 20, 2014 by danboxing
There were two notables in action on Friday, and a pair of fights to mention on Saturday, too.

 

Friday in Albany, two-loss Oklahoma prospect Eric Fields got an easy 6-round decision over 8-14 punching bag Rayford Johnson, who should probably be congratulated on lasting the full 6.  I don’t have a full account of the fight, but the scoring on boxrec would indicate that he did go down twice.

 

Old warhorse Glen Johnson continued what might be seen as his farewell tour by stopping very low-level journeyman Jaime Velasquez in the 4th of a scheduled 8 in Lincoln, Rhode Island.

 

One-loss English prospect Tony Conquest won handily on Saturday against Australian fringe contender Daniel Ammann, scoring by a wide margin the biggest win of his career.  Conquest showed himself to be a classy boxer, and was much more in control than he was in his other significant win against Wadi Camacho.  Ammann, for his part, was disappointing.  Holding his own early, he faded as time went on.  That is perhaps a surprise, since it was Conquest that was making his first appearance in a 12-round fight, while Ammann had more experience in that regard.  Ammann’s style was a doomed one.  He’s a big slow guy, and yet he fought in what you might describe as an athletic style, with his lead hand frequently below his waist.  He was way too easy to hit, especially as the fight wore on and his energy waned.

 

Maxell Taylor is not even a great journeyman at 168 where he belongs.  As a light heavyweight-ish cruiserweight, he’s even less of a threat.  Cuban prospect Umberto Savigne took him out in the first half of the second round.

 

Also, in a fight I missed initially, fortuitously named undefeated Australian cruiserweight Brad Pitt returned from an inexplicable 15-month spell of inactivity to brutally knock out much less proven undefeated Samoan Emosi Solitua inside a round.  Solitua actually had Pitt- who looked a bit out of sorts- very much on the back foot for the majority of the round, but as soon as Pitt established a little distance even for a moment, he planted, threw a blinding lead right hand, and followed it with a devastating left hook that had Solitua out before he hit the ground.

 

Conquest’s biggest win of his career has somewhat marginalized the effect of his upset knockout loss to the mediocre Neil Dawson.  He debuts at #18, and would have gone a spot or two higher if not for the aforementioned loss.  Garrett Wilson is bounced from the rankings, saving me the trouble of deciding whether to drop him for inactivity at the weight.  For the record, though, I intended to keep him ranked due to injury.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (31-212-212)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Lebedev-Jones II appears to be more or less a done deal for April 19 in Moscow.
2) Marco Huck (5-377-377)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: 5/3/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Sauerland says Huck will return on May 3, and then likely move up to heavyweight.
3) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (5-192-192)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. Pawel Kolodziej (UNR)
Hernandez’s scheduled March 29 fight with Kolodziej has been postponed to March 29 due to a viral infection to Hernandez.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (24-453-453)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk had a relatively easy time in his third fight with Fragomeni, and is interested in Huck, Hernandez, Afolabi, Drozd, and Chakhkiev for his next fight.  More recently, he’s being openly pursued by Mchunu.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (5-30-68)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
6) Firat Arslan (5-94-137)
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 (14-21-68)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- TKO11 #13 Mateusz Masternak
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Drozd will defend his European title in March against solid French journeyman Jeremy Ouanna, though Wlodarczyk’s team seems to think they might get Drozd in their next fight.
8) Ola Afolabi (14-259-259)
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 (14-24-276)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- L (TKO6) vs. #4 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
I really hope that Fragomeni will call it a career.  
10) Silvio Branco (14-14-102)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- W (TD10) vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
According to Rakhim Chakhkiev’s team, Branco never responded to their offer for a March 15 fight, and Chakhkiev may instead fight Seferi.
11) Ilunga Makabu (14-33)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO2 Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Makabu will no doubt look for a big fight after his last one was changed into a stay-busy outing without his consent.
12) Santander Silgado (12-17)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: Unknown
Silgado is being slammed by his own manager after he declined an arranged fight with Thabiso Mchunu.
13) Mateusz Masternak (12-100)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- KO4 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Lukasz Janik (12-17)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik would like a well-deserved rematch with Afolabi.
15) Nuri Seferi (10-10)
Last Fight: 12/20/2013- W (DQ7*) vs. Steve Herelius (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Seferi originally expected to fight April 11,  then was in and then out of a May fight with Chakhkiev.  With the latter news, it’s unclear what his current status is.
16) Danie Venter (5-24)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I must admit I wrote Venter off when he lost a bit of an upset to Mchunu last year, but Mchunu has proven to be something of a world beater since, and Venter’s overall resume is quietly starting to look pretty solid.
17) Dmytro Kucher (5-87)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Tony Conquest (1-1)
Last Fight: 2/22/2014- UD12 Daniel Ammann (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Conquest took the Commonwealth title against Ammann, and says he wants the British title next.  That would theoretically put him in with the winner of Jon-Lewis Dickinson and Neil Dawson, who knocked him out in 2012.
19) Krzysztof Glowacki (1-31)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glowacki is the top contender for the title held by Huck, but might never get that exact shot, since Huck is making noise about moving up.
20) Rakhim Chakhkiev (1-6)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- KO10 Giulian Ilie (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
After fights with Branco and Seferi fell through, Chakhkiev will now fight high level Finnish journeyman Juho Haapoja on March 15.
 

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Friday
Yunier Dorticos vs. Hamilton Ventura; San Diego, California; Off TV
It’s a battle of unbeatens in San Diego, and it would have made a good FNF main event.  Instead, we’ll have to hope someone posts it on Youtube.  Generally you’ll be well served to pick an unbeaten Cuban over an unbeaten Brazilian, so Dorticos has got to be the favorite.  Still, each man is the other’s best opponent to date, and both have claimed berths in the boxrec top 50.  Definitely an important, under the radar kind of fight.

 

Marcos Ahumada vs. Alejandro Valori; San Luis, Argentina; TyC Sports (Argentina)
Ahumada holds the psychological advantage in this trilogy bout.  About a year ago, Valori was gifted a dubious win when Ahumada was stopped by what appeared to be a very vicious head clash while clearly leading the fight.  He got revenge 9 weeks later, knocking Valori flat in 4.  But this time, the physical advantage may very well be in Valori’s favor.  The last two fights were contested much closer to the light heavyweight limit than the cruiserweight one, a weight that is much more comfortable for Ahumada, as Valori has campaigned as high as 260+.  This fight will be contested at or around 200, so we’ll see if Valori can use his natural size to his advantage.
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