Heavyweight: 2014, Apr 7-13

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 2, 2014 by danboxing
‘Twas a busy week among the big men this week.  Thursday featured two notable contests on FS1 from Indio, California.  In the main event, undefeated Cuban prospect Luis Ortiz got an impressive win over 42 year-old veteran journeyman Monte Barrett.  Barrett couldn’t really get his punches off, and certainly wasn’t able to earn the respect of  Ortiz, who wasn’t a paragon of activity himself, but was generally able to walk right through Barrett.  Barrett took a knee after walking right into a hard left from the Cuban southpaw, and the fight was instantly stopped by Raul Caiz, Sr.  Why he did so is beyond me.  It was the first knockdown of the fight.  Though he’d lost every round clearly, it’s not like Barrett had taken a brutal sustained beating at any point.  Barrett took a knee of his own volition, and so it’s not like a 10-count would have endangered Barrett’s health any further.  Bottom line: there’s a really good chance that Barrett could have and would have continued, but the referee didn’t seem to care about that.  On the other hand, the chances that Barrett seriously posed a threat to win the fight from that point were low indeed, so it’s perhaps a little on the moot side.

 

In what turned out to be a farce on the undercard, undefeated prospect Gerald Washington “KO”d less advanced one-loss fringe prospect Skipp Scott.  Here’s how it went down.  The first round was close and sloppy.  I gave it narrowly to Washington.  In the second, Washington landed a hard shot to Scott’s head that caused Scott to fall to a knee in the ensuing clinch.  While his opponent was still on a knee, Washington took a step back and landed a hard right hook to the body that sent Scott reeling back to the ropes and onto his back.  Scott rose to his feet by the count of 8, but when referee Lou Moret asked if he was okay, he fell back down in apparent agony, whereupon the fight was waved off.  But there should never have been a count in the first place.  Scott was legitimately knocked down from a punch, but less than a second later, he was hit by an equally hard illegal punch that at least arguably caused him to be unable to continue.  I’m not necessarily blaming Washington.  Scott is a 6’8″ behemoth, and when he’s on his knee, it might be hard to tell since he’s probably still close to 6 feet tall.  But at the very least, Moret needed to call time and give Scott up to 5 minutes to recover from the illegal blow.  If he couldn’t do so, it should have been a no contest.  You just can’t knock a guy out when he’s already down.  Lou Moret may have been a good ref in his time, but he’s slow-footed and never in good position, and his judgment at this stage in his career is frequently way off.  He should retire from at least this aspect of the sport.  On the bright side, Scott was proven at only a fairly low level, and so whether I treat it as a knockout or a no contest, the affect on the rankings is nil.

 

The following night in an NBC Sports main event from Philadelphia, we saw a heck of a tilt between #4 Steve Cunningham and hard-hitting but aged undefeated prospect/fringe contender Amir Mansour.  Cunningham had trouble with the bigger Mansour’s power and physicality early, as he clearly lost the first two rounds before maybe taking the next two narrowly.  But it was the 5th in which things really unraveled, as Cunningham tasted the canvas twice and was nearly stopped.  Mansour kept the momentum going enough to win a competitive 6th, as well, and by that point was up 58-54 at a minimum on any competent card.  Cunningham narrowly edged the 7th on my card to pull within 3 before Mansour won a competitive 8th, but did so fairly clearly.  77-73 Mansour.  Cunningham closed strong, easily winning the 9th to pull within 3 points, and dropping Mansour with a well-timed shot in the 10th.  That earned him a narrow loss on my card at 94-93.  The official scores were 97-90 (Alan Rubenstein) and 95-92 (John Poturaj and David Braslow), all for Cunningham.  That’s a joke.  My card was already as generous as it reasonably could be in Cunningham’s favor, as the three closest rounds of the fight (3, 4, and 7) were already rounds I gave to him.  97-90 is a borderline reasonable score, but only if it’s in favor of Mansour.  BJ Flores in broadcasting the fight stated as a matter of fact that Cunningham had come back to clearly win the fight.  That’s obviously a biased view, as he is a friend of Cunningham and- perhaps along with the judges and even Mansour himself in his post-fight comments- was influenced by the heart-wrenching medical problems of Cunningham’s young daughter.

 

Main Events always seems to get favorable cards for its favored house fighter, whether it be Adamek, Glazkov, Karl Dargan, Curtis Stevens, or now Cunningham, for a change.  They’ve all won fights on NBC Sports air that they did not deserve to win, while none of the b-side opponents on their cards have, to the best of my memory, ever received such treatment.  I love Steve Cunningham, and have called out a robbery or two that he’s suffered in the past, but in this case he clearly got the benefit of one, and no matter how much he deserves good things due to his being a good guy in a bad situation in his personal life, I can’t just pretend the other guy didn’t deserve to win.  Amir Mansour is 41 years old, and is not going to get too many more bites at the apple.  He deserved to win this fight, and he deserved to be the guy that moved on to bigger and better things.  Thanks to some bad judging (which hurts me to say, since John Poturaj is normally great), he may never get a shot at anything meaningful.  It doesn’t help when the media fix is in, as well.  I’m just one voice and will never make a big difference, but that won’t stop me from calling it like I see it.

 

In a tune-up fight on the Braehmer-Maccarinelli undercard in Rostock, Germany on Saturday, #5 Kubrat Pulev got a walk in the park against chubby Croatian travelling opponent Ivica Perkovic.  Perkovic has never beaten anyone with a winning record, and has only a few wins against guys with as many as 3 pro wins.  He’s best known for dropping a faded Alexander Dimitrenko in what has so far been Dimitrenko’s last fight.  In this contest, which he took on just a few days’ notice, he was little more than a human heavy bag.  Pulev was able to walk him back to the ropes at will, and then proceeded to pick him apart until Perkovic decided it wasn’t worth it anymore and quit on his stool after round 3.  I’m not sure he landed so much as a glancing blow the entire fight.

 

Due to his should-be win over a top-5 contender, Mansour crashes my top ten (if nobody else’s) at #4.  Cunningham’s should-be loss drops him to #7.  Everyone ranked #7 and below last week backtracks a spot to make room for Mansour, which forces Carlos Takam out of the top 10 after a 2-week stint, and Eddie Chambers from the top 20 after just a single week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (250-463-463)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. #15 Alex Leapai
Klitschko-Leapai appears to be finalized for April 26 in Germany.  He said recently that he wants to capture his brother’s old alphabet title, which would unify all the major titles for the first time since Lewis in 1999.  He would have to wait for someone else to pick it up first, as the silly alphabets don’t let current titlists fight for vacant titles.
1) Tyson Fury (8-8-8)
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 (4-4-68)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
3) Alexander Povetkin (4-337-337)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 6/1/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
The WBA has ordered Povetkin vs. Cuban prospect Luis Ortiz for their “regular” belt.  Naturally, Wlad is the “Super Champion.”  Povetkin had already held the “regular” belt since beating Chagaev, but apparently it became vacant when the Superchief…er…Super Champion…beat him.  Does that make Wlad the Super-Duper Champion?  If so, what fight are they going to stage for the “regular” Super Championship?  I should stop making fun, before I give them any more ideas.
4) Amir Mansour (1-1-1)
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 (8-101-178)
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 (8-123-186)
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 (1-68-68)
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 (1-3-202)
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 (1-207-207)
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 (1-55-202)
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 (1-12)
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 (1-58)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #11 Chris Arreola
ESPN has landed the fight- their biggest score in a while on that front.  May 10 in Los Angeles.
13) Chris Arreola (1-31)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #10 Bermane Stiverne
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Deontay Wilder (1-50)
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 (1-32)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Alex Leapai (1-20)
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 (1-20)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Ruiz is penciled in for the Marquez-Alvarado undercard on May 10 in LA.
18) Seth Mitchell (1-44)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- L (TKO1) vs. Chris Arreola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mitchell’s chin is so fragile that he might want to consider calling it a career.  Golden Boy’s CEO says he’s advised Mitchell to do just that, though he reports that Mitchell seems to have no such intention.
19) Johnathon Banks (1-5)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Francesco Pianeta (1-4)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO2 Robert Teuber (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Friday
Christian Hammer vs. Konstantin Airich; Berlin, Germany; Eurosport
Hammer is a 3-loss gatekeeper who should really have 4 losses, having gotten a gift against Kevin Johnson in his last fight.  Airich is a former gatekeeper himself, but is coming off consecutive losses to Solis, Glazkov, and Manuel Charr, steroid controversy, and well over a year of inactivity.

 

Saturday
Kevin Johnson vs. Manuel Charr; Bonn, Germany; Off TV
This is a heck of a match-up, really, and a pick-‘em fight.  Charr is a perennial prospect who has flopped at the Klitschko level and pretty much just beat up on journeymen otherwise.  This will be his first truly fair test.  Johnson is up and down.  He owns a dominant win over soon-to-be Championship challenger Alex Leapai and should have beaten Hammer as mentioned above, but has failed at the top 5 level (Klitschko, Fury, and Chisora) and also at the gatekeeper level or below (Tor Hamer, plus an undeserved win over Sosnowski, both on Prizefighter).  Johnson would probably be my pick, because he’s won at at least the level Charr has proven himself to belong on.  That would mean that if he turns in a good performance for him, he would require Charr to be better than he’s ever been before to win.  If Charr turns in as good a performance as he’s ever turned in, Johnson may still be too much for him as far as we know.  The venue will likely be an advantage for Charr, however.

 

David Price vs. Ondrej Pala; Esbjerg, Denmark; BoxNation (UK)
Czech journeyman Pala might qualify as a stay-busy fight for top guys like Chisora, but he’s only lost twice since 2006, and was considered a top 50 fighter as recently as last year.  Price has got to be a heavy favorite since he’s clearly at a higher level than Pala’s loss other than Chisora- to a streaking and likely roided-up Konstantin Airich- but it’s no gimme.  If Price isn’t prepared for a real fight, he may be in for a difficult night.  The English prospect is coming off back-to-back stoppage losses to Tony Thompson and an easy tune-up.

Welterweight: 2014, Mar 31- Apr 6

Posted in Rankings, Welterweight with tags , , , , , , , on September 1, 2014 by danboxing
Friday in Gatineau, Quebec, 2-loss prospect and Montreal native Antonin Decarie scored a unanimous decision over gatekeeper Pablo Munguia.  This was the headliner of a pay-per-view card.  I made a calculated decision not to buy it on the basis of it being of a quality similar to the average Friday Night Fights card, and assuming I could probably see it online.  But apparently I was not the only person that stayed away.  There’s no video available anywhere, it seems.  Even though one judge had it for Decarie by just a one-round margin in the winner’s hometown (the other two having it 97-93 and 98-92), I have to unfortunately take it at face value.  It’s also extremely worth noting that the fight technically was a light middleweight contest.  Decarie came in at over 149, and Munguia at 147.25.  It doesn’t count here, especially since Decarie has lost both of his top-50-level fights at the 147 limit, and it’s not enough to get the Canadien a ranking at 154.

 

In what turned out to be a surprisingly intriguing contest Saturday in Newcastle, England, undefeated English prospect Frankie Gavin lost 4 of the first 5 rounds on my card, and was knocked down in the 2nd by unheralded Namibian journeyman Sacky Shikukutu.  But he went on to carry each of the last 7 rounds with a dazzling display of pure boxing to take it 115-112 as I saw it.  I could see a judge having it anything between 117-110 and 114-113 for Gavin.  Marcus McDonnell was in range at 117-111, but the normal British bias was in full effect with Phil Edwards and the habitually awful Dave Parris, each of whom saw it 118-109, meaning they gave Shikukutu not one round besides the knockdown frame.  That’s a shame.  It was a good fight overall.  Shikukutu had lost a split decision for the Namibian title to 11-3 journeyman Tommy Hango back in 2012 and was stopped in one by a losing fighter in 2009, along with a draw in a 4-rounder against another losing fighter.  This close fight with a supposedly world-class Gavin has got to leave you questioning the Englishman’s future a little.

 

No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (205-237-237)
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 (25-25-95)
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 (25-125-125)
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 (25-278-278)
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 (17-43-43)
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 (16-16-56)
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 (16-17-17)
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 (17-71-88)
Last Fight: 5/4/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Next Fight: Unknown
Guerrero was trying to get a fight with Khan on the Mayweather undercard, but the Brit opted, instead, for Collazo.
8) Kell Brook (17-153-153)
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 (17-110-110)
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 (19-19-19)
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 (19-93)
Last Fight: 12/13/2013- W (TD8) vs. Mike Arnaoutis (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/24/2014- vs. Aaron Martinez (UNR)
Lopez will fight journeyman Aaron Martinez in Riverside on April 24.
12) Jesus Soto Karass (16-62)
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 (16-71)
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 (17-17) 
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 (17-94)
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 (17-49)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Antonin Decarie (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/4/2014- vs. Jean Carlos Prada (UNR)
Abregu is set to return on April 4 in his hometown of Salta, Argentina against unbeaten but totally untested Venezuelan Jean Carlos Prada.
17) Luis Collazo (9-9)
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 (9-225)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- UD8 Sebastien Allais (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Leonard Bundu (3-5)
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 (3-3)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- W* SD12 vs. Kevin Bizier (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead:
Friday
#16 Luis Carlos Abregu vs. Jean Carlos Prada; Salta, Argentina; TyC Sports (Argentina)
The excellent Abregu returns from injury after nearly a year with what will likely end up looking like a tune-up against the unbeaten but completely untested Venezuelan prospect Jean Carlos Prada.

Junior Middleweight: 2014, Mar 31- Apr 6

Posted in Junior Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on August 27, 2014 by danboxing
One-loss Belgian prospect Sasha Yengoyan appears to have more or less dominated mid-level Tunisian journeyman Ayoub Nefzi on Friday in Gent, but I can’t add much to that, since I can’t find a video.  No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1) Saul Alvarez (4-161-176)
Last Fight: 3/8/2014- TKO10 #10 Alfredo Angulo
Next Fight: Unknown
Canelo-Lara is now being floated for late June, despite Lara having a current agreement to fight Ishe Smith.
2) Carlos Molina (4-143-158)
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 (4-143-165)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #4 Austin Trout
Next Fight: 5/2/2014- vs. #6 Ishe Smith
Mayweather says that his protege Smith will be fighting Lara on May 2, the day before Mayweather-Maidana.  That being said, Canelo appears to have become interested in fighting the Cuban of late.
4) Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (4-29-29)
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 (17-96-165)
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 (29-58-58)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- L (SD12) vs. #1 Carlos Molina
Next Fight: 5/2/2014- vs. #3 Erislandy Lara
See Lara’s notes, above.
7) Anthony Mundine (18-18-18)
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 (18-200-200)
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 (18-191-191)
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 (18-236-236)
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 (18-94)
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 (18-23)

Last Fight: 10/26/2013- Robbery L (SD12) vs. #14 Brian Rose
Next Fight: Unknown
Maciel wants to fight Billi Godoy or Sebastian Heiland, saying he has no problem moving up to 160.
13) Demetrius Andrade (18-21)
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 (18-142)
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 (18-148)
Last Fight: 3/21/2014- UD10 Mario Lozano (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vanes successfully stayed busy against Lozano.  I’m not sure what his endgame is.
16) Jermell Charlo (10-43)
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 (10-10)
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 (10-57)
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 (10-54)
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 (10-16)
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: 
Thursday
Czar Amonsot vs. Sapapetch Sor Sakaorat; Flemington, Australia; Fox (Australia)
Both of these guys are really 140-pounders, but this fight is randomly being contested halfway between 147 and 154, with Amonsot’s level in his native weight class being sufficiently high to allow him a mention even 2 divisions to the north.  Sakaorat is a veteran of 44 fights who has won more than twice as often as he’s lost, but the most proven fighter he’s beaten based on boxrec’s computerized system was  5-12 at the time, and had only 8 points on that site.  Oh, and that was back in 2005.  Literally every time he fights someone better than a complete tomato can, he gets knocked out- not that he hasn’t also been knocked out a time or two by that same level of opponent.  This fight is basically a joke, but technically meets my requirements for including it.

 

Saturday
Jack Culcay vs. Salim Larbi; Rostock, Germany; ARD (Germany)
Culcay was once a top prospect, and maybe some still see him that way.  But he had two pick ‘em fights with internationally anonymous Argentine Guido Pitto, and then needed help from both the ref and the judges to pull out a debatable and perhaps tainted victory over lightly-regarded French journeyman Dieudonne Belinga in December.  The latter result has me rather low on him.  Larbi is a French journeyman, himself, and at least on paper appears to be equal to or greater than Belinga in terms of the threat he would have appeared to pose at the time of his fight with Culcay.  He’s been in with the likes of Lukas Konecny (who stopped him) and Antonin Decarie (with whom he appears to have held his own in a close 6-round unanimous decision loss).  Culcay, of course, remains the heavy favorite, but after his last performance, you never know.

Middleweight: 2014, Mar 31- Apr 6

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on August 27, 2014 by danboxing
Last week was a second consecutive slow one here at 160, but #15 Bryan Vera is removed.  He has nothing scheduled, and has fought at 175 and 168 in his last two fights spanning a full year.  He may very well return to 160, but for now he can’t be considered an active middleweight.  Dmitry Chudinov returns for the first time since being forced out on January 27, at #20.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (207-207-207)
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 (16-83-146)
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 (16-550-550)
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 (6-250-250)
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 (6-122-122)
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 (11-145-236)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
6) Peter Quillin (11-76-97)
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 (11-16-16)
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 (11-16-16)
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 (11-40-40)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
10) Osumanu Adama (9-9-9)
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 (9-166)
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 (9-166)
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 (9-9)
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, and there has been some talk of a fight with Dmitry Chudinov and a domestic showdown with Geale.
14) Max Bursak (9-166)
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 (1-155)
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 (1-28)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (UD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Truax’s status as a promising prospect has been derailed somewhat by the very tough Ossie Duran.
17) Curtis Stevens (1-35)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- TKO1 Patrick Majewski (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: 4/4/2014- vs. Tureano Johnson (UNR)
Stevens will continue to stay active following his brutal loss to Golovkin, taking on undefeated prospect Tureano Johnson of the Bahamas April 4 on NBC Sports.
18) Andrey Meryasev (1-21)
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 (1-32)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- TKO1 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Easy work for Jacobs against Nunez.  He’s looking for a title fight- probably against Quillin- at the earliest opportunity.
20) Dmitry Chudinov (1-1)
Last Fight: 12/21/2013- TKO6 Juan Camilo Novoa (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There was some serious talk of a fight with Jarrod Fletcher, but the dates being discussed are at or around expiration, with no updates recently.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Friday
Eamonn O’Kane vs. Alvaro Gaona; Belfast, Northern Ireland; BoxNation (UK)
O’Kane is a one-loss North Irish prospect who needs to get busy.  He’s 32 now, and after a pretty solid amateur career, didn’t turn pro until 2011. His lone loss was to a then-unbeaten John Ryder in 2012.  Gaona is a mid-to-high-level journeyman from Mexico, and is roughly on the same level as some of O’Kane’s best career opponents.

 

#17 Curtis Stevens vs. Tureano Johnson; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NBC Sports (US)
This fight will most likely be contested a few pounds north of middleweight.  I’ll discuss it primarily in that update if that’s so, and only talk about it here to the extent it affects the rankings here.

 

Saturday
John Ryder vs. Jez Wilson; London, England; Sky (UK)
Ryder is a one-loss prospect who has lost only to Billy Joe Saunders, and owns a win over the above-mentioned O’Kane.  Wilson also comes in with only a single loss, but it was at a much lower level, and he also was saddled with a draw against journeyman Max Maxwell.

 

#11 Marco Antonio Rubio vs. Domenico Spada; Chihuahua, Mexico; 5+ (Mexico)
Rubio continues to hold a fairly prominent spot in the division, but it’s important to note that he last fought a clearly top-50 fighter well over 2 years ago (JCC), and last beat one almost exactly 3 years ago (Lemieux).  Spada’s recent track record is even worse.  He last fought a top 50 fighter nearly 3 years ago in his loss to Darren Barker.  Though he’s had a couple near misses, he’s never beaten a top 50 fighter, himself, and according to boxrec, he’s no longer near that category himself due to poor recent competition.  Not the way to go into a fight with a top 15 contender.

 

Marcos Reyes vs. Idiozan Matos; Chihuahua, Mexico; 5+ (Mexico)
Reyes is a one-loss prospect who has been stuck pretty much in neutral fighting low or mid-level journeymen for the past 3 1/2 years.  No change this week, as Matos fits that bill, as well.

Super Middleweight: 2014, Mar 31- Apr 6

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on August 26, 2014 by danboxing
Nothing of note to discuss from last week.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (120-254-254)
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 (97-407-407)
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 (5-232-232)
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 (5-240-240)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (SD12) vs. #4 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s back to the drawing board for Stieglitz, though his resume still compares favorably to the field.
4) Mikkel Kessler (5-486-486)
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 (40-40-40)
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 (27-148-196)
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 (21-21-66)
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 (21-68-90)
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. (5-5-5)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD10 #15 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 (5-5-5)
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 (5-129)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- TKO11 Gevorg Khatchikian (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #5 Brandon Gonzales
See Gonzales’ notes, above.
12) Christopher Rebrasse (5-43)
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 (5-365)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With both Anthony Dirrell and James DeGale having rather legitimate claims to the spot, the WBC has instead, it appears, installed JC Chavez as Bika’s mandatory.  Bika seems happy with the decision, as it will no doubt net him a huge payday.
14) Maxim Vlasov (5-73)
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 (5-63)
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 (5-46)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013-TKO2 Ferenc Hafner (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/12/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Lee will see action on April 12 in Denmark, with the opponent yet to be named.  He seems to have a move to 154 in the gameplan after that.
17) Gilberto Ramirez (5-9)
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 (5-32)
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 (5-17)
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 (5-57)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: 
Friday
#18 MW Curtis Stevens vs. Tureano Johnson; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NBC Sports (US)
This is basically a middleweight fight, but is expected a few pounds over the limit.  Stevens has looked quite impressive in his last couple fights, including a brave effort against Golovkin.  Johnson is an undefeated prospect from the Bahamas.  He comes off the biggest win of his career against fellow undefeated prospect Willie Fortune, but still isn’t particularly proven aside from his Olympic pedigree.

Light Heavyweight: 2014, Mar 31- Apr 6

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on August 25, 2014 by danboxing
In the week’s headline act on Saturday, #4 Sergey Kovalev got a spirited challenge from #15 Cedric Agnew.  The unbeaten Agnew definitely came to win, and probably won the first round, and cut the imposing Russian with a head clash in round 4.  In the end, though, the lanky Agnew was just not physically strong enough to compete with consistency, and he was dropped in both the 2nd and the 6th before a body shot in the 7th ended it.  Kovalev stayed composed through adversity, and that’s a feather to put in his cap, if nothing else.  The knockout win over a top 15 contender doesn’t hurt, either.

 

On the non-televised undercard, American gatkeeper Lionell Thompson, who came in at 178.25, got some love from the judges in a quirky 8-rounder against undefeated Florida-based Bosnian Radivoje Kalajdzic, but still fell just short of the win.  I had it an easy win for “Hot Rad,” scoring it 78-73, while thinking it entirely possible that the Bosnian might have carried every round on the cards.  Instead, the judges apparently watched a whole different fight.  Kaison Cheeks had it 78-72, which is mathematically puzzling to me, but otherwise pretty well in line with what I saw.  Shafeeq Rashada had it 77-75, which I guess would have to include an even round to go with the point deduction assessed on Thompson in round 7, and would also include a high level of insanity, since he had that score in favor of Thompson.  Unless I’m out of my mind, Rashada gave all the toss-up rounds to Thompson, gave an additional close but clear round for Rad to Thompson, gave one completely clear-cut Kalajdzic round to Thompson, and then called a completely clear Kalajdzic round even, as well.  Awful card on all levels.  John McKaie, as I saw it, gave all the rounds that were even kinda close to Thompson, but still managed to see it for the right guy at 76-75.  It’s a weird situation.  Allen Huggins took a point from Thompson late in the fight for losing his mouthpiece.  I didn’t see it come out (my video wasn’t exactly high def), but unless it was a blatant spit-out situation, the deduction was ludicrous.  He had lost it as a result of a punch earlier in the fight, but that was the only other incident, and at least in the first case was certainly not intentional or even really negligent.  So with apologies in advance if Huggins saw a clear stall tactic that I missed, this was a terrible call.  But in the end, I’m glad it happened, because John McKaie needed this mistake to avoid robbing the Bosnian fighter that clearly won the fight.  Obviously there was no helping Rashada.  

 

Now I don’t want to give you the impression that I thought Kalajdzic fought a great fight.  He really didn’t.  He was the more talented and physically gifted fighter by a mile, though.  He appeared to be 5-6 inches taller and naturally 10 or more pounds heavier than Thompson, and his hands- which he tended to swing like an ax rather than throw- appeared fairly heavy.  Aside from technique, his gameplan was all wrong.  Every time Kalajdzic decided to come forward even just a little bit, Thompson would go into full retreat mode.  Not backing up and setting traps, mind you, but rather backing up constantly and maybe occasionally throwing a jab or two to try and keep him off.  Thompson was not able to do any effective work at all during these spells.  But for some reason, Kalajdzic spent nearly half the fight dancing around like a fool and backing off.  Look, I’m no expert on tactics really, but I’m pretty sure if you’ve got your much shorter opponent backing up constantly, you’ve got very little to worry about unless you just plain get reckless.  Kalajdzic had a chance to win every round so clearly that even Rashada might have noticed.

 

Friday in Potsdam, Germany, gatekeeper-level Albanian Robin Krasniqi looked impressive against undefeated but unproven Ghanaian prospect Emmmanuel Danso.  Danso, the much shorter man, constantly came forward, but wasn’t quick enough or clever enough to cut off the ring on Krasniqi.  The first few rounds were close, but by the third or the fourth, it was clear that Krasniqi was practically leading Danso around on a string as he circled around him.  His work wasn’t always effective, but it was more than enough, considering there were some rounds that I don’t think Danso even landed a punch.  In the 7th, having possibly won all the rounds on the cards to that point, Krasniqi walked Danso into a wound-up, sudden, and perfectly-landed uppercut that sent Danso crashing to the canvas like a felled tree.  Seeing this dramatic body language, referee Holger Wiemann immediately decided to stop the fight.  The problem is this: Danso somehow got up at the count of two, and appeared relatively steady.  The fight definitely could and should have continued, and I think by the time he actually got around to waving it off after walking with Danso to a neutral corner without having started the count, Wiemann probably had begun to realize it, but had to save face.  The lack of a clean knockout on that devastating of a punch probably tells you that Krasniqi lacks real one-punch power.  His record of only 16 stoppages in 41 wins further supports that.

 

Undefeated Atlanta prospect Michael Seals got a 5th round TKO over low-level journeyman Willis Lockett on the non-televised portion of the ESPN card in New Town, North Dakota.  I have nothing to add to that, since I wasn’t able to see it.

 

Kalajdzic’s win is naturally a boon to his career, but he’s still very much a prospect and a work in progress, and currently can’t crack the top 30.  Kovalev stays put.  Since Pascal has only lost to Hopkins at light heavyweight and has beaten a #1 contender, the only way Kovalev could get past him would be to beat him or someone ranked higher.  Agnew also stands pat, as there’s no shame in a mid-rounds KO to a guy like Kovalev, and since Edwin Rodriguez has struggled at a much lower level.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks   in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (82-82-82)
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 (43-43-43)
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 (82-408-408)
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 (11-11-11)
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.
4) Sergey Kovalev (11-63-63)
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 (11-409-409)
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 (11-33-90)
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 (11-129-129)
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 (11-197-197)
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 (11-240-240)
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 (11-217-217)
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.  He’s changed promoters, and it looks like a cruiserweight rematch with Bellew is very much in the works.
11) Isaac Chilemba (11-113)
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 (11-102)
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 (10-23)
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. (10-10)
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 (11-51)
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 (11-38)
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 (23-40)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (10-120)
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 (10-62)
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 (10-74)
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
Saturday
#12 Juergen Braehmer vs. Enzo Maccarinelli; Rostock, Germany; BoxNation (UK)
Braehmer always seems one fight away from establishing himself as a clear top 10 force in the division.  I’m not sure Maccarinelli is at quite high enough a level to alter that perception much, but obviously a win would bolster the German’s resume a fair amount.  As for Enzo the Welshman, a win would really be a bit of a rebirth for him.  He took his career off life support with his last win over Ovill McKenzie, and is now on the fringes of the top 20.  This would get him in the top 10, somewhere he hasn’t been since his glory days at cruiserweight.

Cruiserweight: 2014, Mar 31- Apr 6

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on August 25, 2014 by danboxing
Thursday in Novorossiysk, Russia, undefeated and sensational Russian prospect Dmitry Kudryashov shined, as expected, against shopworn Czech journeyman Lubos Suda.  The ring appeared exceptionally large to my eyes, and the mostly gun-shy Suda was trying to milk it for all it was worth.  Kudryashov applied calm, methodical pressure constantly, but I feel I must point out that he really did a terrible job of cutting off the ring for the most part.  Even so, his all-offense onslaught had a used-up-looking Suda taking a knee in the first and going down thrice in the second before the referee had finally seen enough.  I could probably count the number of punches thrown by the Czech on one hand.  Kudryashov appears to have two of the most legitimately heavy hands in the sport, but my sense is that he needs to work on his footwork and ring generalship quite a bit to avoid being exposed by the first Steve Cunningham or Troy Ross-type boxer he runs into at a high level.

 

Two-loss English fringe prospect Jon-Lewis Dickinson retained his British title and won the Lonsdale Challenge Belt outright by defending for a third time, as he wore down fellow two-loss Brit Neil Dawson to a 10th round TKO.  The early rounds were very close for the most part, and although Dawson actually started having more sustained success somewhat late in the fight, the fact that he’d never been past the 6th round really proved pivotal.  After clearly winning the 6th (the only round I think he won clearly), Dawson faded noticeably, allowing a much quicker and more energetic Dickinson to start really picking him apart from the outside.  Dickinson then trapped him on the ropes and began mugging him in the 10th after hurting him with several unanswered potshots at center ring, and when an exhausted Dawson took a seat on the bottom rope, referee Phil Edwards correctly called a technical knockdown.  At the end of the mandatory 8-count, Dawson looked out on his feet, and the fight was correctly waved off.  It was a really nice win for Dickinson, and the most prestigious of his career by a rather wide margin.  I don’t think he’s a special talent by any means, but he’s a responsible boxer with good technique and conditioning, and I think any but the very top level guys in the division would at least have to work really hard to notch a victory against him.

 

Dickinson put himself on the map with his effort, but his two really bad stoppage losses from 2010 hold him back.  Chakhkiev, for example, is not in the rankings, owns a similar-quality win (from 2012), and has lost only at the very top level.  It would be absurd, then, to rank Dickinson right now.  One more good win like this, though, and it might be hard to deny him.  

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (36-217-217)
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 (10-382-382)
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 (10-197-197)
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 (29-458-458)
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 (10-35-73)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
6) Firat Arslan (10-99-142)
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 (19-26-73)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Drozd made quick work of Ouanna, and will hopefully get a short at a top contender soon.
8) Ola Afolabi (19-264-264)
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 (19-29-281)
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 (19-19-107)
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 (19-38)
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 (17-22)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: Unknown
Silgado was slammed by his own (now former) manager after he declined an arranged fight with Thabiso Mchunu.
13) Mateusz Masternak (17-105)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- KO4 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/12/2014- vs. Gogita Gorgiladze (UNR)
Masternak will be back on April 12 at Esbjerg, Denmark against generic opponent Gogita Gorgiladze of Georgia.
14) Lukasz Janik (17-22)
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 (15-15)
Last Fight: 12/20/2013- W (DQ7*) vs. Steve Herelius (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/11/2014- vs. Gusmyr Perdomo (UNR)
Seferi will now fight on April 11 in Berlin against former super middleweight and light heavyweight fringe contender Gusmyr Perdomo of Venezuela.
16) Danie Venter (10-29)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Dmytro Kucher (10-92)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Tony Conquest (6-6)
Last Fight: 2/22/2014- UD12 Daniel Ammann (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/12/2014- vs. Ovill McKenzie (UNR)
Conquest is set to fight in London on April 12 against Ovill McKenzie, who takes the fight on just 2 weeks notice after the original opponent, Carl Dilks, was deemed too light a challenge for the Commonwealth title.  It’s rare to see a major upgrade on short notice, but that’s definitely the case here.
19) Krzysztof Glowacki (6-36)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glowacki is the top contender for the title held by Huck, but might never get that exact shot, since Huck is making noise about moving up.
20) Yunier Dorticos (5-5)
Last Fight: 2/28/2014- KO1 Hamilton Ventura (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dorticos- after making one step up recently- is shooting for the stars.  He says he wants either Wlodarczyk or the winner of Jones-Lebedev next.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: No meaningful action to report this week.
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