In the same city on Saturday night, fringe contending prospect Bryant Jennings squeaked out a razor-thin decision over fellow fringe contending prospect Mike Perez. I had it 114-113 for Perez, personally, and would have had it a point wider if not for an unnecessary point deduction on Perez for a borderline first-time offense of hitting on the break in the final round that turned out to be the difference between a draw and a Jennings win on the official cards. Referee Harvey Dock was the deciding factor in an otherwise even fight, and that’s about the worst thing you can say about a referee, although I usually like Dock’s work. While you can legitimately defend a Jennings score in the fight, I don’t think the deduction itself was defensible. For that reason, I’m not recognizing its authority here. Without that point, the official verdict is a draw in my book. That’s a little more credible a result, as I see it, than giving the actual official result minimal deference, which would cause me to treat the fight mostly as a draw, but give a slight edge to Jennings for rankings purposes. As it is, I’m treating it as a draw, period.
Eddie Chambers was supposed to fight lower-mid-level Brazilian journeyman Marcelo Nasimento, but that fight didn’t come off.
Jennings’ dubious victory is still as good a performance as he’s had in his career when you consider the level of competition, and thus it allows him to debut at #19. Perez comes up on the wrong end of a questionable result this time, but in my view it restores his lost credibility somewhat, and thus helps him more than it hurts. He returns to the rankings for the first time since the Takam travesty, at #20. This forces Francesco Pianeta and Malik Scott out after stints of 19 and 5 weeks, respectively.
Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20) Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (266-479-479)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: 9/6/2014- vs. #5 Kubrat Pulev
It’s looking all but certain that Wlad will fight Pulev on September 6. 1) Tyson Fury (24-24-24) Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR) Next Fight: Unknown Fury was briefly scheduled to fight Alexander Ustinov in the wake of Chisora’s withdrawal, but withdrew himself right before the fight. Fury said he was no longer interested in Chisora, but the fight appears likely to be rescheduled for the fall anyway. 2) Alexander Povetkin (9-353-353) Last Fight: 5/30/2014- TKO7 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin wants to return in late October, and wants to rematch the Champ when he’s gotten at least 3 fights in with his new trainer. 3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (9-20-84) Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: 8/9/2014- vs. Derric Rossy (UNR) Glazkov returns in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on August 9, in a fight with gatekeeper Derric Rossy to be televised on NBC Sports. 4) Amir Mansour (17-17-17) 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 (24-117-194) Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/6/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Klitschko’s notes, above. 6) Dereck Chisora (24-139-202) Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Fury’s notes, above. 7) Carlos Takam (8-8-28) Last Fight: 6/6/2014- UD12 #9 Tony Thompson Next Fight: Unknown Takam’s potential appears nearly boundless after he handled Tony Thompson more easily than anyone not named Wladimir Klitschko. 8) Bermane Stiverne (8-12-74) Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola Next Fight: Unknown Stiverne is hoping to fight Wilder sometime in November in either Montreal or Las Vegas, while Don King wants to stage it in Egypt for some reason. 9) Steve Cunningham (8-84-84) 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. 10) Tony Thompson (8-19-218) Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown Thompson volunteered to replace Dereck Chisora against Tyson Fury, but that fight didn’t ultimately materialize. 11) Tomasz Adamek (8-223) Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: 10/18/2014- vs. Artur Szpilka (UNR) Adamek is back on October 18 against all-action gatekeeper Artur Szpilka, in what should be a cash cow for the promoters in Lodz, Poland. 12) Odlanier Solis (8-218) 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. 13) Deontay Wilder (12-66) Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 #19 Malik Scott Next Fight: Unknown See Stiverne’s notes, above. 14) Chris Arreola (12-47) Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne Next Fight: Unknown Arreola just had elbow surgery, but is expected back in the ring in October. 15) Erkan Teper (17-48) Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR) Next Fight: Unknown Teper’s effort in his last fight- and perhaps especially in the gym leading up to it- was awful, and he got lucky when his opponent turned out to be almost as out of shape as him, in addition to being an apparent quitter. 16) Alex Leapai (17-36) Last Fight: 4/26/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko Next Fight: Unknown Leapai is reportedly interested in fighting Shannon Briggs in the wake of his total non-performance against the Champ. 17) Andy Ruiz (17-36) Last Fight: 5/17/2014- TKO2 Manuel Quezada (UNR) Next Fight: Unknown Ruiz pulled out of his August 9 fight with Nagy Aguilera due to a family health issues. 18) Seth Mitchell (17-60) 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) Bryant Jennings (1-1) Last Fight: 7/26/2014- W* (SD12) vs. Mike Perez (UNR) Next Fight: Unknown Reasonable minds can disagree on the correct result of Jennings-Perez. What’s clear, though, is that Jennings is not nearly ready for Klitschko, a fight some of his supporters have been proposing for a while now. 20) Mike Perez (1-1) Last Fight: 7/26/2014- L* (SD12) vs. Bryant Jennings (UNR) Next Fight: Unknown In his previous fight, Perez got a draw in a fight in which he clearly deserved to lose, but most recently he took a loss in a fight in which he probably at least deserved a draw.
THE WEEK AHEAD: Friday Lucas Browne vs. Andriy Rudenko; Wolverhampton, England; BoxNation (UK) Unbeaten Australian slugger Browne heads to England to fight Rudenko, an undefeated Ukrainian who has yet to be significantly tested, but who has at least been on a knockout tear of late, after winning the majority of his first 11 fights by decision. It’s an intriguing fight, but one in which you have to favor Browne due to his greatly superior accomplishment and experience.