Archive for Alex Leapai

Heavyweight: 2014, Nov 3-9

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2016 by danboxing
I’ve been completely unable to locate video for the intriguing match-up in Australia between #20 Malik Scott and #16 Alex Leapai, but news reports seem to reveal virtual certainty that it was a dominant boxing performance by Scott, and that Leapai wasn’t able to get much of anything done.  Scores were 100-90, 99-91, and 98-92.  I have no alternative but to take that at face value and pass along that report as-is.

 

In Cuxhaven, Germany, gatekeeper Christian Hammer looked perfectly solid in dominating Brazilian lump Irineu Beato Costa, Jr.   Costa looked like a caricature of Odlanier Solis for all 12 rounds, barely working at all, and plodding either slightly forward or, usually, slightly backward at all times.  This allowed Hammer to look almost dynamic, which we pretty much know he’s not.  Hammer capped the victory with a knockdown in the 12th on what was a balance issue for Costa, partially caused by an ordinary punch that landed just under the armpit.  Costa thankfully wasn’t ranked in Boxrec’s top 50 nor mine, so Hammer doesn’t profit in the rankings from such a walk in the park.  On the other hand, it has to do wonders for his confidence after the poor job he did in the Johnson fight.

 

Scott advances to #15 on the strength of the Leapai win.  Despite two losses to good competition in Chisora and Wilder, he’s able to outpace the unbeaten Erkan Teper, due to the fact that Teper has yet to meet a top 20 opponent to match Glazkov or Leapai.  Leapai hangs on to the top 20 by a thread, with his resume from the last 5 years just eking out supremacy over Ruslan Chagaev’s.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (280-493-493)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: 11/15/2014- vs. #5 Kubrat Pulev
The Pulev defense has now been rescheduled for November 15.
1) Tyson Fury (38-38-38)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2014- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
Fury-Chisora II has been moved back a week, to November 29.
2) Alexander Povetkin (23-367-367)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- KO10 #7 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin’s finishing skills were quite impressive, but it might be a bit worrisome that he was clearly getting outboxed by Takam for a good chunk of the fight.  With the win, he now figures to eventually become the mandatory for the winner of Wilder-Stiverne.  His team seems to want Tyson Fury, though, which would be amazing.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (23-34-98)
Last Fight: 8/9/2014- W(MD10) vs. Derric Rossy (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/8/2014- vs. Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Glazkov is a late addition to the Hopkins-Kovalev undercard, where he will fight Darnell Wilson, a journeyman who was able to upend a compromised version of Juan Carlos Gomez a couple years ago.
4) Amir Mansour (31-31-31)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery L (UD10) vs. #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: 11/8/2014 – vs. Fred Kassi (UNR)
Mansour gets a stay-busy type fight against the unknown Fred Kassi, who despite a relatively attractive 18-2 record, has lost to the likes of Lionel Butler and Kendrick Releford, and has only fought 3 times since April 2010.
5) Kubrat Pulev (38-131-208)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/15/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Klitschko’s notes, above.
6) Dereck Chisora (38-153-216)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Carlos Takam (22-22-42)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- L (KO10) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam found the ceiling on his rise to the top in #2 Povetkin.  He actually appeared more than a match for the Russian early in the fight, but couldn’t hang in the later rounds.
8) Bermane Stiverne (22-26-88)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #13 Deontay Wilder
Stiverne-Wilder is finally signed.  Details haven’t been finalized, but it’s apparently looking like mid-January in either Vegas or New York.
9) Steve Cunningham (22-98-98)
Last Fight: 10/18/2014- W (RTD7) vs. Natu Visinia (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite some scary moments with the much bigger relative novice Visinia, Cunningham ultimately took care of business.
10) Tony Thompson (22-33-232)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: 11/22/2014- vs. #12 Odlanier Solis
The Thompson-Solis rematch has been postponed due to a Solis ankle injury, with a new date of November 22.
11) Tomasz Adamek (22-237)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: 11/8/2014- vs. Artur Szpilka (UNR)
Originally penciled in for October 18 in Lodz, it now appears that Adamek-Szpilka is destined for November 8 in Krakow.
12) Odlanier Solis (22-232)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 10/18/2014- vs. #10 Tony Thompson
See Thompson’s notes, above.
13) Deontay Wilder (26-80)
Last Fight: 8/16/2014- W(RTD4) vs. Jason Gavern (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date – vs. #8 Bermane Stiverne 
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Chris Arreola (26-61)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: 12/11/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Arreola is scheduled to return from an elbow injury on December 11 in Temecula, California, but no opponent yet.
15) Malik Scott (1-9)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- UD10 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: Unknown
After an apparently dominant win over Leapai, Scott is probably back in the mix for some sort of big fight.
16) Erkan Teper (1-62)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper is rumored to be close to signing for a fight with 36 year old one-loss Polish prospect(?) Marcin Rekowski in December.
17) Andy Ruiz (31-50)
Last Fight: 10/25/2014- TKO1 Kenny Lemos (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/20/2014- vs. Sergei Liakhovich (UNR)
Ruiz has rescheduled his planned October fight with faded former contender Liakhovich for December 20.
18) Bryant Jennings (9-15)
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.  He himself appears to want the Wilder-Stiverne winner, which might be more within his competency.
19) Mike Perez (9-15)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- L* (SD12) vs. Bryant Jennings (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/?/2014 – vs. Unknown Opponent
Perez was said to be planning a fight in Cork, Ireland in November, but I’m assuming that’s off since I’ve heard nothing about it in several weeks.
20) Alex Leapai (1-50)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- L (UD10) vs. #20 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
It looks pretty clear now that Leapai’s win over Boytsov was more about Boytsov’s shortcomings than Leapai’s quality.
 

THE WEEK AHEAD: A busy Saturday:
Saturday
Francesco Pianeta vs. Ivica Bacurin; Stuttgart, Germany; SAT1 (Germany)
Bacurin is a career-long journeyman who pretty much always loses to the guys you’ve heard of or soon will, and pretty much always beats the guys you’ll never hear about.  Pianeta is the former.  Unfortunately for Bacurin, he’s also a natural cruiserweight, while Pianeta is a big heavyweight.  Hard to like the chances of the underdog in this one.

 

#11 Tomasz Adamek vs. Artur Szpilka; Krakow, Poland; PPV (Poland)
Adamek is clearly slipping with age, but whether he’s fallen so far as to be vulnerable to a guy who went life and death with Mike Mollo on two occasions and lost to #18 Bryant Jennings remains to be seen.  

 

Eddie Chambers vs. Marcelo Nascimento; Bluewater, England; Channel 5 (UK)
Only in boxing will you see a faded American former contender fighting a Brazilian journeyman in England.  Nascimento was last seen being stopped by Joseph Parker in April, but did manage to hurt the top prospect in the 6th, before Parker ended it in the 7th.  Even as a lower-mid-level journeyman, Nascimento represents a significant step up from the downright shabby competition Chambers has been in with since his dominant decision loss to Thabiso Mchunu at Cruiserweight over a year ago.

 

#3 Vyacheslav Glazkov vs. Darnell Wilson; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Off TV
Glazkov is in on short notice against journeyman Wilson on the Hopkins-Kovalev undercard.  Wilson managed to beat Juan Carlos Gomez a while back, but only after Gomez was injured.  Glazkov probably shouldn’t have much trouble in this one.  The fact that the #3 Heavyweight in the world is toiling off TV probably tells you that he hasn’t yet gotten his full measure of respect, despite the relatively weak opponent.

 

#4 Amir Mansour vs. Fred Kassi; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; NBC Sports (US)
This is a huge mismatch for a main event.  Mansour is world-class through and through, and probably the most underrated fighter in the division.  Kassi, while sporting a decent 18-2 record, has never beaten anyone decent.  As for his two losses, he was comfortably outpointed by the very mediocre Kendrick Releford in 2010, and failed to win even the San Manuel Casino Heavyweight Championship when he fought for that honor in 2009 against journeyman Lionel Butler.  He’s never been stopped, so I guess that’s just about the only intrigue in this fight with the hard-hitting Mansour.

Heavyweight: 2014, Oct 27- Nov 2

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 2, 2016 by danboxing
Moscow played host to a significant card on Friday.  In the main event, #2 Alexander Povetkin clawed his way back from behind even on the local judges’ cards, and ultimately took the fight out of their hands with a highlight-reel 10th round knockout over #7 Carlos Takam, who had clearly showed up to win, himself.  Takam perhaps surprisingly was clearly outboxing Povetkin in the opening rounds of the fight.  I gave Takam 4 of the first 5 rounds, and all were pretty clear.  I’m not sure if Takam simply faded a little, or if Povetkin was holding back some in order to come on strong at the end, but the fight became razor-close in the middle rounds, as I gave Povetkin 6 and 8 and Takam 7, but any of those could have conceivably gone the other way.  In round 9, however, Povetkin began to dominate and break down Takam, culminating in a big-time knockdown in the closing seconds.  Takam looked to have recovered somewhat in the early stages of 10, but Povetkin again crushed him with a big shot.  Big enough, in fact, that Referee Kenny Bayless quite reasonably didn’t even start the count.  Povetkin’s power at world class level appeared to have gone dormant between about 2008 and 2012, possibly due to some intermittent hand problems, but he’s been on a knockout streak of late, as he’s stopped his opponent in each of his last 4 wins.  Granted, only Takam was a clearly world class fighter at the time, but this win alone is plenty impressive, despite the worrisome start.

 

On the undercard, Povetkin’s previous victim, Manuel Charr, got back on the winning track by stopping 6’7″ American former contender Michael Grant.  Grant did some good work in spurts early in the fight, effectively shooting the jab and landing with some very nice body shots.  But by the 4th round, his body language was all wrong.  He gave Charr free shots on the inside by either standing straight up or bending at the waist, all while turning his back somewhat and leaving his hands down.  He took so many sucker punches while inexplicably in this posture, that frankly he almost looked annoyed when Charr wasn’t able to put him away.  Ultimately he did the honors himself, retiring in his corner before the 6th round.

 

In a total mismatch on Saturday in Fresno, #17 Andy Ruiz managed to find an opponent as fat as himself, and made short work of him.  It took only about half of the first round for Ruiz to land a body shot to Kenny Lemos’ comically high trunks for a knockdown, and then only about another 30 seconds of slapping Lemos around on the ropes for the referee to show mercy and stop it, perhaps two or three punches too late.  In truth, anyone could have seen it coming in that Lemos didn’t belong in the ring with any decent fighter, much less a proven world class prospect like Ruiz.

 

It was a very close call whether or not to promote Povetkin to #2 ahead of Tyson Fury.  Once some of the more ordinary wins are cancelled out, it becomes largely a comparison between Fury’s win in 2013 over #3-ranked Steve Cunningham and Povetkin’s win over #7 Takam, plus the 2011 decision over Chagaev, then ranked #6.  For me, a #3 is generally going to trump a #6 and #7, but any remaining doubt is erased by Povetkin’s poor performance against Marco Huck- a narrow win that I’ve always viewed as a draw.  Along with his loss in his Championship shot against Klitschko, this fight reveals the potential for Povetkin to lose, and frankly I only had Marco Huck ranked #5 even at cruiserweight at the time.  As of now, we haven’t seen Fury lose or anything resembling a loss from him.  Given the comparable resumes overall, this keeps Fury at #2, if only by a hair.  Considering #8 Bermane Stiverne has never beaten anyone better than a #13-ranked Chris Arreola, a loss to the division’s #2 contender doesn’t appreciably hurt Takam’s ranking, either.  This, then, was an example of a big fight that really just verified the status quo.

 

Neither Ruiz nor Charr was in tough enough, in my estimation, to change their fortunes, either.  No changes.
 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (279-492-492)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: 11/15/2014- vs. #5 Kubrat Pulev
The Pulev defense has now been rescheduled for November 15.
1) Tyson Fury (37-37-37)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2014- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
Fury-Chisora II has been moved back a week, to November 29.
2) Alexander Povetkin (22-366-366)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- KO10 #7 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin’s finishing skills were quite impressive, but it might be a bit worrisome that he was clearly getting outboxed by Takam for a good chunk of the fight.  With the win, he now figures to eventually become the mandatory for the winner of Wilder-Stiverne.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (22-33-97)
Last Fight: 8/9/2014- W(MD10) vs. Derric Rossy (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/8/2014- vs. Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Glazkov is a late addition to the Hopkins-Kovalev undercard, where he will fight Darnell Wilson, a journeyman who was able to upend a compromised version of Juan Carlos Gomez a couple years ago.
4) Amir Mansour (30-30-30)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery L (UD10) vs. #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: 11/8/2014 – vs. Fred Kassi (UNR)
Mansour gets a stay-busy type fight against the unknown Fred Kassi, who despite a relatively attractive 18-2 record, has lost to the likes of Lionel Butler and Kendrick Releford, and has only fought 3 times since April 2010.
5) Kubrat Pulev (37-130-207)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/15/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Klitschko’s notes, above.
6) Dereck Chisora (37-152-215)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Carlos Takam (21-21-41)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- L (KO10) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam found the ceiling on his rise to the top in #2 Povetkin.  He actually appeared more than a match for the Russian early in the fight, but couldn’t hang in the later rounds.
8) Bermane Stiverne (21-25-87)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #13 Deontay Wilder
Stiverne-Wilder is finally signed.  Details haven’t been finalized, but it’s apparently looking like mid-January in either Vegas or New York.
9) Steve Cunningham (21-97-97)
Last Fight: 10/18/2014- W (RTD7) vs. Natu Visinia (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite some scary moments with the much bigger relative novice Visinia, Cunningham ultimately took care of business.
10) Tony Thompson (21-32-231)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: 11/22/2014- vs. #12 Odlanier Solis
The Thompson-Solis rematch has been postponed due to a Solis ankle injury, with a new date of November 22.
11) Tomasz Adamek (21-236)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: 11/8/2014- vs. Artur Szpilka (UNR)
Originally penciled in for October 18 in Lodz, it now appears that Adamek-Szpilka is destined for November 8 in Krakow.
12) Odlanier Solis (21-231)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 10/18/2014- vs. #10 Tony Thompson
See Thompson’s notes, above.
13) Deontay Wilder (25-79)
Last Fight: 8/16/2014- W(RTD4) vs. Jason Gavern (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date – vs. #8 Bermane Stiverne 
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Chris Arreola (25-60)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola had elbow surgery, and was said to be expected back in October.  No news about an upcoming fight, though.
15) Erkan Teper (30-61)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper is rumored to be close to signing for a fight with 36 year old one-loss Polish prospect(?) Marcin Rekowski in December.
16) Alex Leapai (30-49)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 10/31/2014- vs. #20 Malik Scott
Leapai-Scott has been moved back a week to Halloween after Leapai suffered a minor leg injury.
17) Andy Ruiz (30-49)
Last Fight: 10/25/2014- TKO1 Kenny Lemos (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/6/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
After the cakewalk with Lemos, Ruiz expects to be back in the ring on December 6, perhaps in a rescheduled bout with Liakhovich.
18) Bryant Jennings (8-14)
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.  He himself appears to want the Wilder-Stiverne winner, which might be more within his competency.
19) Mike Perez (8-14)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- L* (SD12) vs. Bryant Jennings (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/?/2014 – vs. Unknown Opponent
Perez, who calls Cork, Ireland home, will return to his home base in November when he headlines a card there.  Details TBD.
20) Malik Scott (8-8)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (KO1) vs. #13 Deontay Wilder
Next Fight: 10/31/2014 – vs. #16 Alex Leapai
See Leapai’s notes, above.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Friday
#16 Alex Leapai vs. #20 Malik Scott; Crestmead, Australia; TV Unknown
This is a good matchup that should answer a lot of questions.  Is Leapai somewhat for real as he looked against Boytsov, or somewhat hapless as he looked against Kevin Johnson and Klitschko?  Is Malik Scott an impressive boxer and overall fighter as he looked for at least most of his fight with now-highly-ranked Glazkov, or is he a quitter or worse as he looked while at least practically taking a dive in the first round against Wilder?  I sense the likelihood that one of these guys is going to emerge as (at least a fringe) contender with real credibility, and the other will be proven a pretender.

 

Christian Hammer vs. Irineu Beato Costa Junior; Cuxhaven, Germany; Eurosport
Hammer, who lost to the likes of Mariusz Wach and Taras Bidenko in 2010, rose to prominence last year by knocking out Leif Larsen, a top 50-level prospect.  His own status in the top 50 now hangs in the balance, though, after almost definitely deserving to lose to Kevin Johnson in their fight in December.  I’ve given up trying to figure out which excess names I can safely drop from Brazilian fighters, or even which I can use as their surname, so I’ll just say that Irineu Beato Costa Junior is probably just shy of a top 50 ranking, so this should be a good test for both.
 

Heavyweight: 2014, Apr 28- May 4

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 30, 2014 by danboxing
The Champ got one of his easier title defenses on Saturday in Oberhausen, Germany, stopping Australia-based Samoan upstart Alex Leapai in 5, having encountered very little resistance on the way.  Leapai was trying to work his way in a little bit in the first round, but simply lacked the talent to do so.  He paid for the little boldness he showed with a clean knockdown, and was apparently completely domesticated by the experience.  If it was survival mode he was aiming for, however, he did a terrible job of that, as well.  After the first round, he basically just hung around in prime punching range for the rangy Klitsckho, allowing the Champion to punish him more and more with each passing round.  It was the most non-competitive of many non-competitive fights, or perhaps second only to the Mormeck whitewash.

 

Lucas Browne won the Commonwealth title with a knockout over high-level Quebec journeyman Eric Martel Bahoeli Saturday in Sheffield, England.  Browne is simultaneously everything we love and everything we hate about today’s heavyweight boxing.  He’s got raw power of legendary proportions, and can seemingly knock anyone out if he can get a shot in.  But the guy is clearly not committed to becoming a champion or even a true professional.  From all appearances, he hasn’t bothered to develop any boxing skill whatsoever.  I mean not even enough to pass a test of basic competency.  He looks like just some big strong dude from the street got hired to fight for one night.  Literally the only times that Bahoeli didn’t look like Mohammed Ali by comparison was when he was hurt or on the canvas.  Luckily for Browne, that was enough.  Browne admitted after the fight that he relies on his power, but also said that his fitness and technique are getting better.  I’ve only seen him a couple times, and in fairness he did look better overall against a gun-shy Richard Towers, but it’s terrifying, if this is what progress looks like, to imagine the fitness and technique of Browne when making his debut 5 years ago.  The wasted potential is immense.  The guy has the raw power of a prime David Tua or Sam Peter, but he’s also tall enough at 6’4″ to avoid being automatically held at bay by the 6’6″+ champion and others like him.  My advice to Browne, as if it means anything, would be NOT to rely on your power.  You say your fitness and technique is getting better, but you need to truly commit.  The gut is not helping anything.  As he said in the same interview, his power will always be there…but if he can gain some semblance of learned skill, it will allow him to deliver that power against real contenders, something I very much doubt he could consistently do now.  And with the level of fitness that would come with simply treating his body like that of an athlete, he could afford to let his bombs fly more than once every round or two.  

 

One story is that I’ve skipped so far is that Browne was badly cut in the 3rd from an accidental clash of heads.  The fight was at risk of being stopped at any moment, and frankly it was looking as if the smart thing for Browne to do at the point in the 4th in which the doctor was taking a serious look would have been to beg out of the fight and sneak away with a no contest.  The fight was clearly even after three, and Bahoeli had been controlling the 4th to that point.  But to his credit, Browne realized the urgency, and rather than quitting, he determined to win the fight.  He summoned a burst of aggression, and dropped the Quebec fighter for the second time in the fight, giving himself a two point working margin heading into the 5th round of a fight that could be stopped at any moment.  Not content to rest on that lead for a moment, he came out and ended it with a continued assault in the 5th.  Bahoeli appeared overwhelmed, and was ready to submit at that point, and stayed down for the count.  Nevertheless, his stock may have gone up in the fight, if only because of the exposure and the fact that he outboxed Browne for perhaps the majority of the fight.

 

Obviously Wlad retains his crown.  Leapai doesn’t lose any ground.  He looked awful, granted, but I don’t rate based on aesthetics.  The truth is, a TKO5 loss to Klitschko is probably about the best that most would-be #16 contenders could ever hope for.  Despite the wipeout, he hardly proved himself any less worthy than those behind him, who would likely suffer a similar fate.  As for Browne, he’s now beaten his 3rd top 50 fighter (though none were much better than just that), and that quantity is enough for him to graduate to the fringe contender level, aka the top 25 in my parlance.  I’ve got him unofficially at #25 even.  No changes to the top 20, though.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (253-466-466)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: Unknown
Klitschko easily handled Leapai, and it seems he’ll probably get his long-delayed mandatory with Pulev next.
1) Tyson Fury (11-11-11)
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 (7-7-71)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov reports that negotiations for a fight with Povetkin have failed, and that Povetkin would likely be fighting Manuel Charr, instead.
3) Alexander Povetkin (7-340-340)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
See Glazkov’s notes, above.
4) Amir Mansour (4-4-4)
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 (11-104-181)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s sounding increasingly likely that Pulev will get a long awaited shot at Klitschko next.
6) Dereck Chisora (11-126-189)
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 (4-71-71)
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 (4-6-205)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- W* (SD12) vs. #8 Odlanier Solis
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. #11 Carlos Takam
Thompson- no stranger to the road- will visit France for a fight with tough customer Carlos Takam on June 6.
9) Tomasz Adamek (4-210-210)
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 (4-58-205)
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 (4-15)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. #8 Tony Thompson
See Thompson’s notes, above.
12) Bermane Stiverne (4-61)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #13 Chris Arreola
ESPN has landed the fight- their biggest score in a while on that front.  May 10 in Los Angeles.
13) Chris Arreola (4-34)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Deontay Wilder (4-53)
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.  If that falls through for some reason, Andy Ruiz wants to step in to fight him.
15) Erkan Teper (4-35)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Alex Leapai (4-23)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Eh…nothing ventured, nothing gained, I suppose.
17) Andy Ruiz (4-23)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Ruiz was scheduled to fight on the Marquez-Alvarado undercard on May 10, but has been bumped back a week to a fight in Fresno against Manuel Quezada.
18) Seth Mitchell (4-47)
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 (4-8)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Francesco Pianeta (4-7)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO2 Robert Teuber (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/30/2014- vs. Mickael Vieira (UNR)
Pianeta makes his 2014 debut in Dresden on May 30 against lower-mid-level journeyman Mickael Vieira of France.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Wednesday
Kyotaro Fujimoto vs. Nobuhiro Ishida; Tokyo, Japan; TV Unknown
Fujimoto is a shaky-looking top 50 fighter, but has cobbled together enough journeyman wins to claim that status on boxrec, at least.  If Ishida, who is moving up drastically in weight from his last fight at middleweight, is ever going to beat a top 50 heavyweight, he could scarcely have picked a better opportunity.  Fujimoto is the Japanese champion, though for some reason this is an 8 round non-title fight.  I’m almost certain this is the first heavyweight fight I’ve ever reported on between two Japanese fighters, and to the best of my admittedly limited knowledge on this particular subject, this might be the most important fight ever contested between to Japanese heavyweight boxers.  Besides moving up to a nearly unprecedented degree, Ishida also hasn’t had much success recently in his career.  Nevertheless, his upset knockout of James Kirkland a few years ago still gives him enough quality on his resume to be ranked in the top 25 middleweights currently.  It’s a big projection, but I would say that makes him a top 50 heavyweight too, give or take.

Heavyweight: 2014, Apr 21-27

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 23, 2014 by danboxing
Wednesday in Santa Monica, California, undefeated prospect Charles Martin of California by way of St. Louis scored a knockout midway through the 4th round of his high-stakes early career showdown with fellow undefeated Alex Flores.  The card was not televised despite having several fairly compelling fights, so I can’t give you much more info than that, unfortunately. 

 

In a similarly non-televised fight of some significance from Hammond, Indiana on Friday, quality Hollywood-based Russian journeyman Andrey Fedosov propelled himself well into the top 50 with a second-round knockout of veteran gatekeeper Maurice Harris.  Boxrec tells me that Harris was down twice in the second round, but that’s all I can tell you.

 

Martin is now clearly one to watch, but Flores hadn’t proven quite enough to this point to serve as a springboard to rankability for Martin.  Fedosov’s win is a bit more credible in that respect, to the extent that he’s on my radar now.  Still, nowhere near the top 20, especially considering his two relevant losses, to Bryant Jennings and especially Lance Whittaker.

 

No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (252-465-465)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. #16 Alex Leapai
Klitschko-Leapai appears to be finalized for April 26 in Germany.  He said recently that he wants to capture his brother’s old alphabet title, which would unify all the major titles for the first time since Lewis in 1999.  He would have to wait for someone else to pick it up first, as the silly alphabets don’t let current titlists fight for vacant titles.
1) Tyson Fury (10-10-10)
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 (6-6-70)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov reportedly has a fight in the works with Povetkin for early June, in what would be one of the best matchups possible right now in the division- to say nothing of the Russia-Ukraine angle.
3) Alexander Povetkin (6-339-339)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
See Glazkov’s notes, above.
4) Amir Mansour (3-3-3)
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 (10-103-180)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s sounding increasingly likely that Pulev will get a long awaited shot at the Klitschko-Leapai winner.
6) Dereck Chisora (10-125-188)
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 (3-70-70)
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 (3-5-204)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- W* (SD12) vs. #8 Odlanier Solis
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. #11 Carlos Takam
Thompson- no stranger to the road- will visit France for a fight with tough customer Carlos Takam on June 6.
9) Tomasz Adamek (3-209-209)
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 (3-57-204)
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 (3-14)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. #8 Tony Thompson
See Thompson’s notes, above.
12) Bermane Stiverne (3-60)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #13 Chris Arreola
ESPN has landed the fight- their biggest score in a while on that front.  May 10 in Los Angeles.
13) Chris Arreola (3-33)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Deontay Wilder (3-52)
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.  If that falls through for some reason, Andy Ruiz wants to step in to fight him.
15) Erkan Teper (3-34)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Alex Leapai (3-22)
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 (3-22)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Ruiz was scheduled to fight on the Marquez-Alvarado undercard on May 10, but has been bumped back a week to a fight in Fresno against Manuel Quezada.
18) Seth Mitchell (3-46)
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 (3-7)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Francesco Pianeta (3-6)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO2 Robert Teuber (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/30/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Pianeta makes his 2014 debut in Dresden on May 30 against a TBA opponent.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Saturday
Champ Wladimir Klitschko vs. #16 Alex Leapai; Oberhausen, Germany; ESPN (US)
What more can you say about the Champ?  He’s untouchable.  Leapai is a relatively short (6’0″) Samoan heavyweight who lives in Australia.  He’s fairly unheralded, and many fans and media are criticizing Wlad for taking the fight.  On the other hand, Leapai did recently soundly defeat a long-standing prospect in Boytsov, and there are only a handful of guys who have a better claim and who have not been beaten by one of the Klitschkos yet.  Some might wonder what Leapai’s chances are in the fight.  Well, he’s not an especially gifted boxer, nor does he have the kind of size or reach that might lead one to believe a guy like Tyson Fury might have a chance.  On the other hand, we know Wlad has had chin problems in the now-distant past, and Leapai does figure to have above average power, although he’s never stopped anyone close to a top 50 heavyweight.  Puncher’s chance?  Arguably.  Anything beyond that?  Not remotely.

 

Lucas Browne vs. Eric Martel Bahoeli; Sheffield, England; BoxNation (UK)
Browne is an Australian fringe contending prospect who will look to pick up the vacant Commonwealth title against French Canadian journeyman Bahoeli who, despite some not-so-forgivable losses two or three years ago, got himself to the doorstep of the top 50 with an upset stoppage of undefeated prospect Didier Bence in his last fight.  Browne has got to be the favorite, but Bahoeli has enough career momentum to make it at least a little interesting.

Year-End Awards: Heavyweight, 2013

Posted in Heavyweight, Yearly Awards and Wrap Up with tags , , , , , , , on March 26, 2014 by danboxing
Welcome to my 2nd Annual Year-End Awards and Wrap-Up.  First, a list of awards for the division.  Then, a look at the 20 fighters that did the best work in 2012 specifically, followed by a rundown of the year’s rankings history.  Dig in!

 

Heavyweight Fighter of the Year: Wladimir Klitschko
After spending 2012 practically sitting on his title by failing to fight a single top 10 fighter, Klitschko got back to business a bit this year.  He and runner-up Tyson Fury each beat #3 contenders- Povetkin for Klitschko and Cunningham for Fury- but Klitschko took the nod by throwing in a fringe contender in Francesco Pianeta.

 

Prospect of the Year: Mike Perez
The winner of this award is the fighter to do the most during the year who has never been ranked in the top 10 and has fewer than 3 losses in his career.  Under those criteria, Perez is a clear-cut winner.  He has peaked at his current #11 so far, and while both he and Deontay Wilder have won at an almost identical level this year (Abdusalamov and Audley Harrison), but Perez also added a throw-in win against gatekeeper Travis Walker.

 

Most Important Knockout of the Year: Tyson Fury KO7 Steve Cunningham
This award goes to the fighter who knocks out the highest-ranked opponent to get stopped during the year.  Fury had a little help from his forearm and subtler illegal tactics like constantly leaning on his opponent’s neck, but he nevertheless wore down and knocked out the much smaller #3 Steve Cunningham, who was 2012’s Heavyweight Fighter of the Year after clearly beating Tomasz Adamek.

 

Most Sensational Knockout of the Year: Erkan Teper KO1 Martin Rogan
Normally I would list all the potential candidates and re-watch to pick the most exciting.  But there was no need this time around.  Teper’s under-viewed performance featured about 3 separate knockout punches in succession, and almost certainly retired the Irish veteran, whose jaw was left completely shattered by the blows.

 

Match-Up of the Year: Champ Wladimir Klitschko vs. #3 Alexander Povetkin
This is a simple recognition of the fight between the two fighters whose combined rank totaled the lowest number.  Klitschko-Povetkin is by far the best, with an average rank of 1.5 (with Champ=0).  The runner up is #6 Fury vs. #3 Cunningham.  Unfortunately, Povetkin’s performance didn’t really live up to his ranking, though that may have had a lot to do with abysmal referee Luis Pabon’s determination to let Wlad cheat in absolutely any way he wished throughout the fight.

 

Fight of the Year: #6 Tyson Fury KO7 #3 Steve Cunningham
This is perhaps my most subjective award.  In choosing the winner, I attempt to balance importance, exciting action, and competitiveness.  Fury-Cunningham was a pretty easy call this year.  It was the 2nd highest-ranked fight of the year, behind only the nigh-unwatchable Klitschko-Povetkin.  It was very competitive, with Fury being dropped hard early before coming back to win.  It also had very good action overall, and ended in a knockout.  Can’t get much better.

 

Upset of the Year: Alex Leapai UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov
Apparently #20 is not where you want to be in my rankings, as this award has been won now in consecutive years by underdogs knocking off #20 contenders.  Last year it was Michael Sprott- whose upset was tempered a bit by the fact that he had already outboxed his opponent in a previous fight that was prematurely stopped against him.  This year it was Samoan gatekeeper Alex Leapai springing a total shocker on #20 Denis Boytsov who, despite injury and inactivity, had been long been considered a top 10 contender in many quarters, and who was in line for a shot at the Championship in his next fight.  Leapai now looks poised to get that shot instead, having soundly outworked the Russian and just plain old wanting it more.  Leapai did not appear to be much of a threat, having 4 career losses, 3 of which were against such mediocrities as Yan Kulkov, Baden Oui (a stoppage), Colin Wilson, and with the 4th being a stoppage against the reasonably decent Kevin Johnson.

 

Comeback Fighter of the Year: Chris Arreola
Arreola might be a bit of a peculiar winner in this category, since his fall and comeback both occurred in the same year.  He fell from the top 20 for the first time in memory after a clear-cut loss to Bermane Stiverne, but rose to his highest level in years by destroying the chinless #12 contender Seth Mitchell.  Opportunistic?  Sure.  But he was lost and now he’s found, which makes him really the only choice for this particular award.

 

Robbery of the Year: Vyacheslav Glazkov D10 vs. Malik Scott
Was this a true robbery?  I wouldn’t go that far, personally, to be honest.  To me, a robbery is when one guy clearly won beyond all doubt, and the other guy gets the decision (or draw).  This was close to that, but there were enough toss up rounds to justify a draw if you were a reasonable judge that just consistently favored something about Glazkov’s style, for instance.  I personally scored it 98-92 for Scott, though, and so by my lights it was pretty darned close to clear-cut.  The judges mostly behaved themselves in heavyweight fights this year, and so the only other fight that would really come close to qualifying was Robert Helenius’ victory over Michael Sprott, in a fight that I scored a draw.

 

Now, for anyone that cares, I will rank the division based solely on the fighters’ 2013 accomplishments.  I will use the same criteria that I use to rank them overall (with victories, draws, or should-be victories and draws over top 50 opposition making one eligible), but will completely ignore all fights prior to 2013. 

 

1) Wladimir Klitschko
Significant Results: May 4- TKO6 Fringe Contender Francesco Pianeta.  Oct 5- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Champion
2) Tyson Fury
Significant Results: Apr 20- KO7 #3 Steve Cunningham.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Apr 21: #6.  Apr 22- Sep 8: #2.  Sep 9- Nov 24: #1.  Nov 25- Dec 31: Unranked (Retired).
3) Kubrat Pulev
Significant Results: Aug 24- UD12 #11 Tony Thompson.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Jun 9: #8. Jun 10- Jul 21: #7.  Jul 22- Aug 25: #8.  Aug 26- Sep 8: #7.  Sep 9- Nov 17: #6.  Nov 18-24: #5.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #4.
4) Dereck Chisora
Significant Results: Jul 20- KO6* #17 Malik Scott.  Sep 21- TKO5 Gatekeeper Edmund Gerber.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Jun 9: #1.  Jun 10- Jul 21: #8.  Jul 22- Aug 25: #7.  Aug 26- Sep 8: #8.  Sep 9- Nov 17: #7.  Nov 18- 24: #6.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #5.
5) Erkan Teper
Significant Results: Aug 31- TKO1 Fringe Contender Michael Sprott.  Nov 16- KO1 Gatekeeper Martin Rogan.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Sep 1: Unranked.  Sep 2-8: #13.  Sep 9- Nov 17: #12.  Nov 18-24: #11.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #10.
6) Bermane Stiverne
Significant Results: Apr 27- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-20: Unranked.  Jan 21- Feb 24: #20.  Feb 25- Mar 3: Unranked.  Mar 4- Apr 28: #19.  Apr 29- Jun 9: #12.  Jun 10-23: #11.  Jun 24- Sep 8: #10.  Sep 9- Nov 17: #9.  Nov 18-24: #8.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #7.
7) Alex Leapai
Significant Results: Nov 23- UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Nov 24: Unranked.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #13.
8) Chris Arreola
Significant Results: Apr 27- L (UD12) vs. #19 Bermane Stiverne.  Sep 7- KO1 #12 Seth Mitchell.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-20: #17.  Jan 21- Mar 3: #16.  Mar 4- Apr 28: #15.  Apr 29- Sep 8: Unranked.  Sep 9- Nov 17: #10.  Nov 18-24: #9.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #8.
9) Tony Thompson
Significant Results: Feb 23- TKO2 Undefeated Prospect David Price.  Jul 6- TKO5 Prospect David Price.  Aug 24- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-20: #16.  Jan 21- Feb 24: #15.  Feb 25- Mar 3: #13.  Mar 4- Apr 28: #12.  Apr 29- Jun 9: #13.  Jun 10-23: #12.  Jun 24- Nov 17: #11.  Nov 18-24: #10.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #9.
10) Mike Perez
Significant Results: May 4- UD10 Gatekeeper Travis Walker.  Nov 2- UD10 Undefeated Prospect Magomed Abdusalamov.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Nov 3: Unranked.  Nov 4-17: #13.  Nov 18-24: #12.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #11.
11) Deontay Wilder
Significant Results: Apr 27- TKO1 Fringe Contender Audley Harrison.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Apr 28: Unranked.  Apr 29- Jun 9: #14.  Jun 10- Sep 1: #13.  Sep 2-8: #14.  Sep 9- Nov 3: #13.  Nov 4-17: #14.  Nov 18-24: #13.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #12.
12) Seth Mitchell
Significant Results: Jun 22- UD12 #10 Johnathon Banks. Sep 7- L (KO1) vs. Fringe Contender Chris Arreola.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Jun 9: Unranked.  Jun 10-23: #20.  Jun 24- Sep 8: #12.  Sep 9- Nov 3: #16.  Nov 4-17: #17.  Nov 18- Dec 31: #16.
13) Andy Ruiz
Significant Results: Nov 24- RTD3 Gatekeeper Tor Hamer.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Nov 24: Unranked. Nov 25- Dec 31- #15.
14) Audley Harrison
Significant Results: Feb 23- UD3 Fringe Contender Martin Rogan.  Feb 23- TKO2 Gatekeeper Derric Rossy.  Apr 27- L (TKO1) vs. Undefeated Prospect Deontay Wilder.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
15) Eric Molina
Significant Results: Apr 27- UD12 Gatekeeper Tony Grano.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
17) Lucas Browne
Significant Results: Apr 28- UD12 Gatekeeper James Toney.  Nov 2- TKO5 Undefeated Prospect Richard Towers.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
18) Robert Helenius
Significant Results: Mar 23- UD10 (should have been draw) vs. Gatekeeper Michael Sprott.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 24: #13.  Feb 25- Mar 3: #14.  Mar 4- Apr 28: #13.  Apr 29- Jun 9: #15.  Jun 10- Sep 1: #14.  Sep 2-8: #15.  Sep 9- Nov 3: #14.  Nov 4-17: #15.  Nov 18- Dec 31: #14.
19) Fres Oquendo
Significant Results: Jun 8- UD10 Gatekeeper Derric Rossy.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
20) Gerald Washington
Significant Results: Jun 8- UD8 Gatekeeper Sherman Williams.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Other fighters ranked during the year are detailed below.  These guys had either bad or rather indifferent years, with most of them failing to snag a rateable victory for various reasons:

 

Vitali Klitschko: Jan 1- Sep 8: #1.  Sep 9- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

David Haye: Jan 1- Apr 21: #2.  Apr 22- Sep 8: #3.  Sep 9- Nov 17: #2.  Nov 18- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Steve Cunningham: Jan 1- Apr 21: #3.  Apr 22- Sep 8: #5.  Sep 9- Nov 17: #4.  Nov 18-24: #3.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #2.

 

Alexander Povetkin: Jan 1- Sep 8: #4.  Sep 9- Nov 17: #3.  Nov 18-24: #2.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #1.

 

Tomasz Adamek: Jan 1- Apr 21: #5.  Apr 22- Sep 8: #6.  Sep 9- Nov 17: #5.  Nov 18-24: #4.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #3.

 

Eddie Chambers– Jan 1- Jun 9: #7.  Jun 10- Dec 31: Unranked (Moved Down).

 

Johnathon Banks: Jan 1- Mar 24: #10.  Mar 25- Jun 9: #11.  Jun 10-23: #10.  Jun 24- Sep 1: #18.  Sep 2- Nov 3: #19.  Nov 4-17: #20.  Nov 18-24: #19.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #20.

 

Odlanier Solis– Jan 1- Mar 24: #11.  Mar 25- Jun 9: #10.  Jun 10- Sep 8: #9.  Sep 9- Nov 17: #8.  Nov 18-24: #7.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #6.

 

Marco Huck: Jan 1- Mar 3: #12.  Mar 4- Dec 31: Unranked (Moved Down).

 

Ruslan Chagaev: Jan 1-20: #14.  Jan 21- Dec 31: Unranked. 

 

Alexander Dimitrenko: Jan 1-20: #15.  Jan 21- Feb 24: #14.  Feb 25- Mar 3: #15.  Mar 4- Apr 28: #14.  Apr 29- Jun 9: #16. Jun 10- Sep 1: #15.  Sep 2-8: #16.  Sep 9- Nov 3: #15.  Nov 4-17: #16.  Nov 18-24: #15.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #17. 

 

Denis Boytsov: Jan 1-20: #18.  Jan 21- Mar 3: #17.  Mar 4- Apr 28: #16.  Apr 29- Jun 9: #19.  Jun 10-23: #18.  Jun 24- Sep 1: #19.  Sep 2- Nov 3: #20.  Nov 4-17: Unranked.  Nov 18-24: #20.  Nov 25- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Jean-Marc Mormeck: Jan 1-20: #19.  Jan 21- Mar 3: #18.  Mar 4- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Vyacheslav Glazkov: Jan 1-20: #20.  Jan 21- Mar 3: #19.  Mar 4- Jun 9: #17.  Jun 10- Sep 1: #16.  Sep 2- Nov 3: #17.  Nov 4-17: #18.  Nov 18- 24: #17.  Nov 25- Dec 31- #18.

 

Malik Scott– Jan 1- Feb 24: Unranked.  Feb 25- Mar 3: #20.  Mar 4- Jun 9: #18.  Jun 10- Sep 1: #17.  Sep 2- Nov 3: #18.  Nov 4-17: #19.  Nov 18-24: #18.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #19.

 

Franklin Lawrence– Jan 1- Mar 3: Unranked.  Mar 4- Jun 9: #20.  Jun 10-23: #19.  Jun 24- Sep 1: #20.  Sep 2- Dec 31: Unranked.

Heavyweight: 2013, Nov 25- Dec 1

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 18, 2014 by danboxing
The Hernandez-Alekseev undercard in Bamberg, Germany featured a pretty significant upset.  #20 Denis Boytsov, who was probably in line for a shot at Wlad in his next fight, having been considered among the best available options for years, was soundly outpointed by Samoan gatekeeper Alex Leapai.  Boytsov appeared to be in mediocre shape, having cruised to easy victories against weak opponents for years.  Leapai’s punches seemed to have more steam at the start, and to have held that steam better down the stretch.  Leapai also appeared to want the win a lot more than the Russian.

 

We almost saw another upset in Macau on Sunday (Saturday US time), where undefeated Mexican prospect Andy Ruiz looked to be rather outclassed against gatekeeper Tor Hamer, getting out-hustled and out-punched, while looking very easy to hit.  But Hamer had a rough third and took some shots, and promptly quit before the 4th.  This is unfortunately Hamer’s M.O., as he did very much the same thing against Vyacheslav Glazkov.

 

I agonized a bit over this news, because frankly I think in the end it will just be a case of posturing and attention-seeking, but #1 Tyson Fury retired this week.  He couldn’t have been more clear about it, stating on Twitter that he is “officially” retired, and even after his promoter and his uncle/trainer vehemently denied the retirement, Fury himself confirmed it, clarifying that he is, in fact, a million percent retired.  Fury is very undisciplined in his use of Twitter, and is prone to blurt out dramatic sound bytes based on however he’s feeling at the moment, and I suspect this is little different, but ultimately if I started ignoring unequivocal statements from fighters regarding their statuses, there wouldn’t really be any effective way for a fighter to retire from the rankings at all.  That being the case, and even though I think the result is rather artificial and silly in this case, I am forced to take Fury at his word and remove him from the rankings.  He won’t be eligible until he fights again, since he is essentially inactive now, and can’t change that until he actually enters the ring.  Everyone ranked #2-13 last week moves up a spot, allowing Erkan Teper to make his debut in the top 10.

 

Both of the week’s fights prompt a shakeup in the division this week, as well.  Leapai is naturally going to benefit from clearly beating a top 20 contender.  He does have one inconsistent loss on his record- a fairly dominant TKO loss to Kevin Johnson- but that loss is far enough in the past (over 18 months) that it can detract from his resume without leading to the conclusion that he’s proven to be that kind of fighter in the present day.  He’s also got a 2009 6-round draw to a complete nobody, but that has to be treated as a fluke, since he has destroyed many much better fighters since then.  While comparing resumes as a whole without respect to timing would not allow this result, when weighting recent results more, it’s clear that Leapai belongs ahead of Robert Helenius.  Helenius has had two consecutive inconclusive fights with clearly non-top-20 opposition and a clear loss to Chisora before that.  One of those opponents was not even top 50.  Leapai just beat a top 20 guy, and I think it would be hard to say that Helenius is currently capable of doing that with any degree of confidence.  Obviously injury has played a major part in that, but the Nordic Nightmare has been fighting with injury for so long now that it’s become a part of who he is as a fighter.  For these reasons, Leapai debuts at #13.  

 

Ruiz’s opponent Hamer, meanwhile, was not quite as good as Boytsov.  Hamer made a name for himself by- perhaps ironically- beating Kevin Johnson on Prizefighter.  Johnson was a borderline top 20 guy at the time, and so that got Hamer near that level.  But it was a non-shutout decision in a 3-round fight.  You’ve gotta take that into account, especially after he straight up quit against Glazkov.  He also had a loss to an unheralded prospect in Kelvin Price earlier on.  I had Hamer as roughly the #29 heavyweight in the world going in.  Not bad, but not Boytsov, who if anything was viewed as underrated at #20.  When comparing Ruiz to Helenius, a different result emerges.  While I’m not willing to give Helenius credit for wins over Sprott and Williams (I scored both fights as draws), he also didn’t lose.  When I treat a fight as a draw, I generally imagine a midpoint between the status of the two fighters, and act as if both guys showed a level right around that point.  Even as lowly as Sherman Williams was in the ranks at the time of their fight, Helenius was high enough that the midpoint still was around the fringe contender level.  Even after Helenius was diminished by that fight, the Sprott fight had him roughly at the same level, since Sprott himself was nearly a fringe contender after beating Gerber.  So I’ve yet to see anything to suggest that Helenius has fallen so far that he can’t compete at around the level of the top 25, and the aging wins over Peter, Brewster, and Bidenko still justifiably buoy him to a great extent.  Ruiz’s win over Hamer was at a level just below what I’d call the fringe contender level…roughly equivalent to Sprott.  So even taking only the most recent performances into account, it’s not a slam dunk.  The fact that Helenius has beaten a #6 contender and one or two more guys roughly equivalent to Hamer- even if it was in the fairly distant past- is dispositive in this case.  

 

Ruiz does, however, surpass Seth Mitchell in a close call.  Mitchell got a win over #19 Ibragimov to give him the advantage, but then got stopped by a guy only a shade more credible than Hamer in Johnathan Banks.  Technically Mitchell then beat a #10 contender by winning his rematch with Banks, but you’ve gotta discount that for the most part, since essentially he had created that #10 contender himself by the first fight.  So he beat #19, and then lost and won against a guy ranked between 20-25 on his own merits.  That means he had probably proved himself pretty much in his element around the 19-25 range, which is a notch better than Ruiz has done in the one relevant fight.  But unfortunately for Mitchell, his last fight was a demolition at the hands of Chris Arreola, who was ranked in the low-mid 20’s, and just a couple spots ahead of Hamer at the time.  That’s a pretty compelling case that Ruiz has proven himself at the higher level of late.  

 

Accordingly, Ruiz debuts at #15.  Helenius holds firm at #14.  Mitchell remains at #16.  Alexander Dimitrenko, with his win over Luan Krasniqi now over 5 years old, takes a dive from #15 to #17.  Glazkov and Scott each fall two places to #18 and 19, respectively, and Banks hangs on at #20.  Boytsov doesn’t need the help to make his own exit.  I must say that the heavyweight division is getting more exciting overall with all of this new blood, though the top of the division is greatly diminished by the removal of the top two contenders in the past two weeks.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (231-444-444)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
While the order is unclear at least to me, Klitschko’s current mandatory obligations include Alex Leapai and Kubrat Pulev.  In the WBA, it looks like the spot would be filled by an eliminator at some point, either between Povetkin and Luis Ortiz, or whatever other fighters in their rankings would be available.  The technically retired Tyson Fury also called Wlad out right before his retirement.
 
1) Alexander Povetkin (1-318-318)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin is calling for a rematch.  He would probably need to become the WBA mandatory by winning an eliminator (possibly against Luis Ortiz) in order to get that shot.
2) Steve Cunningham (1-49-49)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- L (KO7) vs. #6 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Cunningham will appear on a December 14 card in Atlantic City.
3) Tomasz Adamek (1-188-188)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kathy Duva, who promotes both fighters, says she will reschedule the cancelled Adamek-Glazkov fight.
4) Kubrat Pulev (1-82-159)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- UD12 #11 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Ondrej Pala (UNR)
Pulev will be fighting on December 14 while waiting for a shot at Wlad.  His opponent is reported to be, interestingly, Ondrej Pala.  Pala is scheduled to fight Dereck Chisora this weekend, so there’s a lot that can happen on the way to that fight, obviously, if true.
5) Dereck Chisora (1-104-167)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO5 Edmund Gerber (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/30/2013- vs. Ondrej Pala (UNR)
Chisora has secured Ondrej Pala as a replacement opponent for this weekend- an upgrade from the original opponent.  This begins what could be a heck of a 3-weekend span for Pala, who according to Bulgarian media has also agreed to fight Kubrat Pulev on 12/14.
6) Odlanier Solis (1-36-183)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis was briefly set to fight Kevin Johnson on November 26, but quickly withdrew due to an IBF mandate that he fight Carlos Takam, instead.  Reportedly that fight will now happen in January, though it’s not finalized yet.
7) Bermane Stiverne (1-23-39)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne is currently fighting his promoter Don King, in court, for the right to possibly fight Vitali in February.
8) Chris Arreola (1-12-12)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola may be a candidate for Wilder, or could fight for a vacant title in a rematch with Stiverne, should Vitali retire.  Fury has also named him as someone he’d like to replace David Haye with for February 8.
9) Tony Thompson (1-2-183)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson is now actively seeking a fight with Povetkin, Fury, Adamek, or Wilder.
10) Erkan Teper (1-1-13)
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.
11) Mike Perez (1-4)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- UD10 Magomed Abdusalamov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Perez will have to do what many great fighters have had to do in the past- get over the psychological difficulty of having beaten a man to within an inch of his life, just by doing his job.
12) Deontay Wilder (1-31)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO4 Nicolai Firtha (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
In the immediate aftermath of the Haye-Fury fallout, Wilder apparently agreed verbally to fight Fury on February 8.  But a couple days later, Wilder’s promoter revealed that Fury’s management wasn’t returning phone calls, and Fury announced his retirement around that same time.  The fight looks dead.
13) Alex Leapai (1-1)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov
Next Fight: Unknown
Leapai, in Rocky-like fashion, now stands as one of Wlad’s two mandatory challengers, and should get his shot in the early part of 2014.
14) Robert Helenius (2-183)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
If there was a fatal rift between Helenius and Sauerland, it appears to have been quietly repaired, as Helenius’ team now claims there is no plan to buy out his contract.  Helenius is reportedly back in fighting condition after a wrist injury in his last fight, and intends to return in early 2014.
15) Andy Ruiz (1-1)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I’m not sure we got a good picture of Ruiz’s ability against Hamer, as he really needed just one solid round to make the mentally fragile New Yorker submit.
16) Seth Mitchell (2-25)
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.
17) Alexander Dimitrenko (1-150)
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.
18) Vyacheslav Glazkov (1-49)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Adamek’s notes, above.
19) Malik Scott (1-40)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- L (KO6*) vs. #8 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott is getting serious buzz for a fight with Wilder.
20) Johnathon Banks (1-54)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Banks apparently dinged his hands up pretty good in the Mitchell fight- an alternate explanation for those who, like me, thought his inexplicable failure to follow up on his early success was a bit suspicious.  He’s been doing physical therapy, and is about ready to get back in the ring.  He’d like a rematch with Mitchell, but unfortunately a trilogy probably isn’t of much benefit to the fragile young contender at this point.  He’s penciled-in for the second round of the WBC World Cup, against the winner of Sam Sexton and Alexander Dimitrenko, but as noted above, that whole tournament is delayed and in doubt.
 

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Monday features a rare occurrence in Tokyo.  No, not Godzilla, but rather a boxrec top-50 heavyweight in action.  Kyotaro Fujimoto is his name.  He’s a one-loss prospect.  Not a great prospect, I’ll admit, having lost to Solomon Haumono within the last year, but his back-to-back stoppage wins over fairly low-level journeymen since then have nevertheless given him the rankings points necessary.  For what it’s worth, he’s the Japanese Champion- the best of 5 currently active Japanese heavyweights.

 

The next night in Sunrise, Florida, Antonio Tarver returns from a steroid suspension to fight journeyman Mike Sheppard in a heavyweight match from Sunrise, Florida, to be televised by Fox Sports 1.

 

Saturday in London, #5 Derek Chisora takes on reasonably solid Czech journeyman Ondrej Pala, who does have a few decent wins over arguably top 50 opposition in his career.

Heavyweight: 2013, Nov 18-24

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 14, 2014 by danboxing
I don’t want to be writing all night, so I’ll jump right into the Thursday Prizefighter results from London:

 

Round 1: Journeyman Jason Gavern of the US dropped and outpointed the UK’s Larry Olubamiwo.  His chin and conditioning appeared questionable by the time it was all over, but he got a retty clear 29-27 win over the rather dirty Brit.

 

Faded and chubby legend James Toney looked pretty decent for a 45 year-old.  He didn’t work too hard, but had solid defense as always, and threw in surprising quickness and handspeed.  It was more than enough to take care of rather novice journeyman Matt Legg.  Toney lit Legg up with a combination in round 3, and referee Victor Loughlin stopped it.  Objectively, it was a quick stoppage, but Legg was obviously out of his league, pretty badly hurt, and had zero chance of winning.  I think Loughlin was being intentionally merciful.

 

English gatekeeper Michael Sprott had his hands full early against the powerful and sharp American Damian Wills.  But after seemingly outclassing Sprott in the first round, Wills seemed to lose all desire to win, and let Sprott vastly outwork him in the last two to take the win.  I didn’t make note of what judge had what score while watching it, and boxrec doesn’t specify, but one of the judges could only make a call in one round of what was a pretty easy fight to score, having it 30-29.  Nevertheless, a well-earned UD for Sprott.

 

In the 4th quarterfinal, undersized American Brian Minto showed a world-class motor, grinding Britain’s Tom Little- much taller, but a little ungainly- to dust for 3 clear rounds.  The British judges, obviously biased, had it only 29-28 (Victor Loughlin and Steve Gray) for Minto and 29-28 Little (Richie Davies).  Davies should have been relieved of his duties for the night right then and there, because he obviously wasn’t in the right frame of mind to be judging.

 

Round 2: Gavern pulled off a bit of an upset.  All three of his rounds with Toney were close, but Toney showed surprisingly sloppy technique and a noticeable lack of fire by comparison to Gavern.  Gavern, for his part, appeared to have the heavier hands, worked harder, and was a bit more accurate.  He also used his natural size well at times.  Marcus McDonnell had it even, having failed to pull the trigger in one of the rounds.  Davies and Gray both had it 29-28 for Gavern, who advanced.

 

In the second semi, Sprott dominated and frustrated Minto behind a wonderful jab for the first round, but nearly got stopped after Minto caught up in the 2nd.  Sprott then won a hard-fought third with veteran tactics, alternating holding with hitting, frustrating Minto just enough to grab the win.  All the judges agreed at 29-28 for Sprott.

 

Final: A bit anticlimactic.  Sprott probably edged the first, again establishing the jab.  In the second, Gavern punished Sprott and nearly stopped him, as the Brit appeared totally gassed.  But he seemed to have tweaked his elbow in the process, and was totally unable to fight back in the third, allowing Sprott to cruise to a foregone conclusion of a victory.  Even more foregone than it should have been, as it turned out.  Two of the, again, biased judges had it a shutout, which is completely incredible.

 

Now, on to Saturday:

 

In Hamilton, New Zealand, Belorussian giant Alexander Ustinov easily handled David Tua.  I don’t know how much my opinion was swayed by Bob Sheridan’s frequently glowing commentary, but I really did feel like Tua looked more lively than usual, even while getting handled by Ustinov’s Klitschko-like 1-2 efficiency.  That being said, Ustinov isn’t exactly Klitschko, is he?  And on the other hand, Tua never ever threw in combination, and never appeared to hurt Ustinov, either.

 

In Ludwigsburg, Germany, #12 Erkan Teper scored a highlight-reel knockout over Irish gatekeeper Martin Rogan.  The fight lasted roughly 90 seconds.  Teper backed Rogan to the ropes, knocked him out with a left, and then landed two further KO-quality follow-ups before Rogan could fall, and the ref got in there right as Rogan slumped to the canvas.  Rogan was hospitalized afterward, and received surgery to repair a shattered jaw.  According to Rogan himself, he’s going to have multiple steel plates inserted to put the jaw together like a jigsaw.

 

Finally, in Verona, New York, #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov outpointed cruiserweight gatekeeper Garrett Wilson- a late replacement for Tomasz Adamek, who suffered an injury during fight week.  Wilson was aggressive but wild, and though he did catch Glazkov with several winging punches during the 10 rounds, he seemed to lack legitimate heavyweight power when he did.  In the end, Glazkov’s size and more concise punching carried the day.  I scored it 97-93 for the Russian.  One of the judges agreed, and the other two had it a round and two rounds wider.

 

Garrett Wilson wasn’t quite credible enough at heavyweight to help Glazkov out in the rankings.  Ditto for Tua-Ustinov, as Tua hasn’t won anything of real consequence since beating Shane Cameron over 4 years ago.  An additional ditto in the case of Prizefighter.  Sprott was the only member of the field that was at a top 50 level at any point during the proceedings, despite the often impressive work of Gavern.

 

The remaining result is Teper-Rogan.  Rogan, due to his prior Prizefighter win over Sosnowski, was probably at least technically in the top 50 going in.  Even so, the difference in established levels between the two prior to the fight means that it neither improves Teper’s ranking nor hurts Rogan’s. 

 

The one change that does affect the rankings is that #2 David Haye withdrew from the Fury fight, citing a serious injury.  Injury or no, Haye was living on borrowed time after waiting nearly a year to schedule the fight before now pulling out twice.  Even aside from that, the injury- according to Haye- is serious enough that he might never fight again, and so his removal is justified on multiple grounds.  Everyone ranked #3 and below last week moves up a spot, and Denis Boytsov returns to the rankings just in time for his fight with Leapai this weekend, while Tony Thompson reclaims a spot in the top 10 for the first time in a while.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (230-443-443)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Tyson Fury called Wlad out immediately after Haye withdrew from their fight, but there are rumors that the Champ might fight Ustinov or the Boytsov-Leapai winner in March.
1Tyson Fury (11-122-122)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- KO7 #3 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury is…well…furious, after Haye withdrew a second consecutive time.  He’s now calling out Wlad, and rightly so.
2) Alexander Povetkin (1-317-317)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin is calling for a rematch.  Wishful thinking, all the way.
3) Steve Cunningham (1-48-48)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- L (KO7) vs. #6 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Cunningham will appear on a December 14 card in Atlantic City.
4) Tomasz Adamek (1-187-187)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Adamek withdrew from the Glazkov fight due to illness, on just two days notice.
5) Kubrat Pulev (1-81-158)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- UD12 #11 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Pulev will be fighting on December 14 while waiting for a shot at Wlad.  No opponent yet.
6) Dereck Chisora (1-103-166)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO5 Edmund Gerber (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/30/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chisora is now scrambling for a new opponent after Matteo Modugno withdrew from their November 30 bout.
7) Odlanier Solis (1-35-182)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis was briefly set to fight Kevin Johnson on November 26, but quickly withdrew.
8) Bermane Stiverne (1-22-38)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne’s immediate future- which appeared bright since he is in line to fight for what figures to be a vacant title now that Vitali Klitschko is more or less out of the picture- is now in doubt, as he joins a long list of fighters to sue his promoter, Don King.
9) Chris Arreola (1-11-11)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola may be a candidate for Wilder, or could fight for a vacant title in a rematch with Stiverne, should Vitali retire.  Fury has also named him as someone he’d like to replace David Haye with for February 8.
10) Tony Thompson (1-1-182)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson is now actively seeking a fight with Povetkin, Fury, Adamek, or Wilder.
11) Erkan Teper (1-12)
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.
12) Mike Perez (1-3)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- UD10 Magomed Abdusalamov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Perez will have to do what many great fighters have had to do in the past- get over the psychological difficulty of having beaten a man to within an inch of his life, just by doing his job.
13) Deontay Wilder (1-30)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO4 Nicolai Firtha (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wilder says he’ll be looking for a title shot in 2014, and has been called out by Tony Thompson recently.  Malik Scott also appears to be an option, and Wilder is also among the three fighters that Fury wants to replace Haye with for February 8.
14) Robert Helenius (1-182)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
If there was a fatal rift between Helenius and Sauerland, it appears to have been quietly repaired, as Helenius’ team now claims there is no plan to buy out his contract.  Helenius is reportedly back in fighting condition after a wrist injury in his last fight, and intends to return in early 2014.
15) Alexander Dimitrenko (1-149)
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.
16) Seth Mitchell (1-24)
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.
17) Vyacheslav Glazkov (1-48)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov will go from a non-TV tune-up directly to a NBC-televised afternoon showdown with Adamek.
18) Malik Scott (1-39)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- L (KO6*) vs. #8 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott is getting serious buzz for a fight with Wilder.
19) Johnathon Banks (1-53)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Banks apparently dinged his hands up pretty good in the Mitchell fight- an alternate explanation for those who, like me, thought his inexplicable failure to follow up on his early success was a bit suspicious.  He’s been doing physical therapy, and is about ready to get back in the ring.  He’d like a rematch with Mitchell, but unfortunately a trilogy probably isn’t of much benefit to the fragile young contender at this point.  He’s penciled-in for the second round of the WBC World Cup, against the winner of Sam Sexton and Alexander Dimitrenko, but as noted above, that whole tournament is delayed and in doubt.
20) Denis Boytsov (1-1)
Last Fight: 6/15/2013- KO3 Oleksandr Nesterenko (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/23/2013- vs. Alex Leapai (UNR)
Boytsov probably has a shot at the Championship waiting for him if he can get by Leapai.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Saturday, on the Bamberg, Germany undercard for Hernandez-Alekseev, undefeated fringe contender Denis Boytsov takes on Samoan gatekeeper Alex Leapai.  Leapai is barely a member of the top 50, but is still the best opponent Boytsov has fought since 2009.

 

On the Pacquiao-Rios undercard (Sunday in Macau, though it’s going to be Saturday when those of us stateside watch it live on PPV), undefeated prospect Andy Ruiz meets gatekeeper Tor Hamer- his toughest test to date.
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