Archive for June, 2010

Cruiserweight: 2010, June 28-July 4

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings on June 29, 2010 by danboxing
Welcome to my inaugural cruiserweight rankings!  Enjoy!  I hope to get at least one more division posted by the end of the week.
For Comparison, here are the Current Ring Magazine Cruiserweight Rankings:
Champ: None
1) Steve Cunningham
2) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
3) Marco Huck
4) Troy Ross
5) Zsolt Erdei
6) Danny Green
7) Dennis Lebedev
8 ) Giacobbe Fragomeni
9) Ola Afolabi
10) Matt Godfrey

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Steve Cunningham (112*-315-315)
Last Fight: 6/5/2010- TKO5 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown
Shaky victory over Troy Ross notwithstanding, nobody has accomplished as much in the division as USS Cunningham.  We’ll see how he fares in the rumored Super Six, but for now he’s the man to beat.
2) Marco Huck (1-186-186)
Last Fight: 5/1/2010- RTD9 Brian Minto
Next Fight: 8/21/2010- vs. #17 Matt Godfrey
Huck is fighting significant fights 4 times a year, and he’s set to fight inactive fringe (but Ring-rated) contender Matt Godfrey in late August.  If only we could get his fights on US TV, we might realize how good he really is.
3) Ola Afolabi (1-68-68)
Last Fight: 12/5/2009- L(UD12) vs. Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
His resume is definitely one of the more debatable ones I had to examine.  His hallmark win was against Enzo Maccarinelli who, while he was ranked #6 at the time, hasn’t been heard from a ton since.  That said, even after losing 3 of 4, Maccarinelli seems to still be more or less a player in the division even now.  A very close loss to Marco Huck in Germany actually helps him in my book, too.
4) Krzsztof Wlodarczyk (1-262-262)
Last Fight: 5/15/2010- TKO8 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Since graduating to the level of contender in 2006, the Pole with the confounding name has fought significant fights against only tough opponents, a total of 4 times.  A close win against Steve Cunningham was followed by a close loss to same, and after a draw to Giacobbe Fragomeni, he was finally able to win a clear-cut fight by stopping the Italian in their rematch.  Anyone who can fight on even terms with Cunningham for 24 rounds is going to be rated top-5, and a pretty good argument could be made for ranking him 3 or even 2.
5) Zsolt Erdei (4-32-32)
Last Fight: 11/21/09- MD12 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
He probably will return to Light Heavyweight soon and fight nobodies again for the rest of his career.  He’s such dead weight in any top 10 list that I hate to rate him, but somehow he fights just enough contenders to remain a top 5 contender, while still leaving us with the unshakeable impression that he’s never fought anyone in his entire life.  Fragomeni is a significant conquest, especially above his natural weight, but I can’t help but think the Italian was already fading by that time.
6) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 6/5/2010- UD8 Zack Page
Next Fight: Unknown
His biggest win was in October over underrated contender Enad Licina.  He’s dominated a steady diet of decent but non-threatening fighters since then, and appears to be staying active.  His lone career loss against the always tough Wayne Braithwaite is now more than 2 years in the past, and he appears to be on the rise.  Still only a step above a prospect, but that’s good enough in a fairly thin division.
7) Denis Lebedev (7-21-21)
Last Fight: 2/22/2010- KO4 Ignacio Esparza
Next Fight: 7/17/2010- vs. #18 Alexander Alexeev
Speaking of prospects.  He did beat a down-on-his-luck Maccarinelli about a year ago, and perhaps doesn’t get enough credit for it considering where Enzo was in his career at that time.  That’s the only win that really distinguishes him from the pack, although he appears to be destined for the top 5 in the very near future.
8 ) Danny Green (1-30-30)
Last Fight: 4/14/2010- KO3 Manny Siaca
Next Fight: 7/21/2010- vs. Paul Briggs (UNR)
Green’s ranking was a really tough call.  He’s just now, at 37, beginning to make an international name for himself after toiling in the shadow of light heavyweights like Jones, Hopkins, Tarver, etc.  His only cruiserweight win worth mentioning, in fact, was that shocking TKO win over Jones from December.  So where do you rank a blown-up light heavyweight whose only major victory at cruiserweight was over another blown-up (and washed-up) light heavyweight when both fighters were fighting 20 pounds under the division’s weight limit?  Well, the answer is apparently “8th.”
9) Giacobbe Fragomeni (1-85-85)
Last Fight: 5/15/2010- L(TKO8) vs. Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Fragomeni definitely appears to be on the downslope of his career after his stoppage loss to Wlodarczyk, but he does still own a victory inside of 2 years over then-10th ranked Rudolf Kraj, and a draw in his first fight with Wlodarczyk.  It’s hard to say that his performance since entering the division’s elite has been really impressive, but he still has yet to lose to anyone not currently ranked among the top 5 cruisers or heavyweights.
10) B.J. Flores (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 8/15/2009- TKO4 Epifanio Mendoza
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores’ management is a disgrace, and has squandered all of the career momentum his fighter had built following his win over legitimate contender Darnell Wilson in February 2008.  It took them a little over a year to match him with a halfway-credible opponent, and it’s been 15 months since Flores decisioned that glorified journeyman.  It would be a shame for a marketable American fighter to be forgotten and dropped from the rankings in what should be the prime of his career, but that’s exactly what is going to happen if he doesn’t get a fight scheduled before the August 21.  Let’s hope it’s someone good, too.
11) Enad Licina (1-1)
Last Fight: 10/17/2009 L(UD12) vs. Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Defeated then-fringe contender Rob Norton in late 2007 and stopped another one in Jose Herrera in early ‘09.  His only major fight since then was a reasonably close loss to Yoan Hernandez in October.  He’s got a few solid victories over gatekeeper types, as well.  Hasn’t done enough to solidify himself as a bona fide top 10 contender yet, but has done more than some that currently claim that title elsewhere.
12) Enzo Maccarinelli (1-1)
Last Fight: 4/27/2010- TKO1 Alexander Kotlobay
Next Fight: Unknown
Fell on some hard times in ’08 and ’09, but bounced back in April with a 1st round TKO of normally-capable fringe contender Alexander Kotlobay.  With that one win, he’s re-established himself as a threat, if not to the top 5, certainly to the lower top ten contenders.  It’ll be interesting to see which direction he goes from here.
13) Wayne Braithwaite (1-1)
Last Fight: 3/6/2010- TKO1 Adam Harris
Next Fight: Unknown
Back in 2005, Braithwaite was on the losing end of a #1-#2 matchup that crowned Ring champion Jean Marc Mormeck.  He’s only had one notable victory since then- against up-and-coming current #6 contender Yoan Pablo Hernandez- a little over 2 years ago.  That’s a long time, but that’s still a better victory than anyone below can claim, and at least he’s staying active, albeit against less than significant competition.
14) Victor Ramirez (1-1)
Last Fight: 8/29/2009- L (UD12) vs. Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
His momentum was derailed recently by a decision loss to Marco Huck, but owns a big win over contender Alexander Alexeev 17 months ago sandwiched between two run-of-the mill wins over gatekeepers.  Needs to get more active, though ,as he hasn’t fought in 10 months and has nothing scheduled.
15) Troy Ross (1-70)
Last Fight: 6/5/2010- L (TKO5) vs. Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Yes, he looked really good in a controversial TKO loss to Cunningham, but even discounting the fact that this was still a loss completely, it’s hard to rank a guy in the top 5 based on four rounds in one fight that he, at the very least, didn’t win.  Meanwhile, he’s got 4 or 5 significant wins, but none of them against anyone who could reasonably be called even a fringe contender, and he did lose to a relative non-entity, albeit over 5 years ago.  I’d say he’s gotta get into the win column against a legitimate top 30 contender before he can get any higher than he is, and that’s why it’s a travesty that he’s rated #4 by The Ring.
16) Pawel Kolodziej (1-1)
Last Fight: 6/12/2010- KO12 Parfait Amougou
Next Fight: Unknown
Undefeated fringe contender with win over fringe contender Rob Calloway 6 months ago.
17) Matt Godfrey (1-77)
Last Fight: 9/12/2009- SD10 Michael Simms
Next Fight: 8/21/2010 vs. #2 Marco Huck
Severely overrated given his lack of activity (his last significant fight was almost 2 years ago- against Emmanuel Nwodo), Godfrey does have a significant opportunity to get his career going again when he takes on world-beater Marco Huck in August.
18) Alexander Alexeev (1-1)
Last Fight: 12/19/2009- KO2 Daniel Ammann
Next Fight: 7/17/2010 vs. #7 Denis Lebedev
A middling contender, Alexeev’s best win came over fringe contender Rob Calloway in ’08.  He lost to Victor Ramirez and beat a pair of lesser, gatekeeper-level opponents , including in his most recent fight in November.  Has a big fight upcoming against #7 Denis Lebedev in mid-July.
19) Julio Cesar Matthews (1-1)
Last Fight: 6/13/2010- UD6 Garrett Wilson
Next Fight: Unknown
A guy in his late 30s that’s still fighting 6-rounders doesn’t sound like a top 20 contender by any means, but one recent 6-rounder was actually against a fairly significant opponent, and the division starts looking very, very thin by this point.
20) Mateusz Masternak (1-1)
Last Fight: 6/19/2010- TKO5 Levan Jomardishvili
Next Fight: Unknown
At 20-0, he is still really a prospect.  He has only one win of any note, a 8th round TKO over 11-1 prospect Faisal Arrami in March.
THE WEEK AHEAD: Firat Arslan and Steve Herelius face off in Germany this Saturday.  The winner of this fight should easily end up in the top 10, as both are legitimate contenders despite Arslan’s inactivity since losing to Guillermo Jones in 2008.  According to online advertisements, this fight should be available in addition to the big-time female match of Menzer vs. Garside live on YouTube.  Check back for updates on time and details.

Heavyweight: 2010, June 28-July 4

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings on June 29, 2010 by danboxing
Okay, so I’m finally caught up to real-time!  So we had a couple fights on the fringes of the division this week, but nothing that’s going to shake up the rankings.  In the Ukraine, Alexander Ustinov, who is knocking on the door of the top 20, cruised to a 12-round decision over badly faded former fringe contender Paolo Vidoz of Italy.  Vidoz has now lost his last three bouts and five of his last six.  Because the 39-year-old Italian is clearly washed up, this win does nothing for Ustinov’s resume, and the Klitschko protege remains unranked.
Meanwhile, lightly-regarded journeyman Nicolai Firtha of Ohio upset veteran gatekeeper Tony Grano, who is best known for his controversial 2009 knockout victory over undefeated prospect Travis Kauffman on Showbox, via a dominant 2nd round stoppage.  With the win, Firtha (18-7-1) becomes a viable opponent for up-and-coming contenders and veterans alike, while Grano, fresh off avenging his only prior career loss, must start over from square one.
The rankings are unchanged from last week, but I’ll repost them with comments, since there is a bit of news on a fighter or two.
For Comparison, here are the Current Ring Magazine Heavyweight Rankings:
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko
1) Vitali Klitschko
2) David Haye
3) Alexander Povetkin
4) Tomasz Adamek
5) Ruslan Chagaev
6) Eddie Chambers
7) Denis Boytsov
8 ) Nikolai Valuev
9) Alexander Dimitrenko
10) Chris Arreola

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (53-266-266)
Last Fight: 3/20/2010- KO12 Eddie Chambers
Next Fight: Unknown
1) Vitali Klitschko (90-90-90)
Last Fight: 5/29/2010- KO10 Albert Sosnowski
Next Fight: Unknown
Appears to be in serious talks with Valuev for a huge (literally) fight, which will probably take place in Germany sometime during October.
2) David Haye (13-67-67)
Last Fight: 4/3/2010- TKO9 John Ruiz
Next Fight: Unknown
Harrison-Haye unfortunately still looks like a good bet, although Haye’s camp is still talking about Klitschko fight as a possibility for the fall.
3) Alexander Povetkin (13-140-140)
Last Fight: 3/13/2010- TKO5 Javier Mora
Next Fight: Unknown
Sounds like he and Teddy Atlas are getting more comfortable with the idea of actually taking a crack at his mandatory against Wlad.  It’ll be a credible fight if it comes off.
4) Eddie Chambers (5-66-66)
Last Fight: 3/20/2010- L(KO12) vs. Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Nothing seems imminent, but there are whispers that he might move down to cruiserweight.  He’d be a beast there.
5) Ruslan Chagaev (6-189-189)
Last Fight: 5/22/2010- UD12 Kali Meehan
Next Fight: Unknown
6) Samuel Peter (5-5-5)
Last Fight: 3/12/2010- TKO2 Nagy Aguilera
Next Fight: Unknown
7) Nikolai Valuev (5-237-237)
Last Fight: 11/7/2009- L(MD12)
Next Fight: Unknown
Potential fight with Vitali might represent his last attempt to reach the top of the division.
8 ) Tony Thompson (5-5-5)
Last Fight: 4/16/2010- TKO4 Owen Beck
Next Fight: Unknown
A late-breaking rotator cuff tear derailed his stay-busy fight against Friday Ahunanya on the Ward-Green undercard.  Here’s hoping he comes back looking for a better challenge and a late-career push for another title shot.
9) Juan Carlos Gomez (5-5-5)
Last Fight: 6/4/2010- UD8 Oezcan Cetinkaya
Next Fight: Unknown
Gomez’s scheduled 6/26 fight against no-hoper Rafael Zumbano disappeared without a trace.  No idea why it didn’t come off, but we’ll see what’s next.
10) Tomasz Adamek (5-10-10)
Last Fight: 4/24/2010- MD12 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: 8/21/2010- vs. Michael Grant (UNR)
Of all the fights Adamek could have taken, Michael Grant is not the sexiest matchup.
11) Chris Arreola (5-67)
Last Fight: 4/24/2010- L(MD12) vs. Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
12) Denis Boytsov (5-54)
Last Fight: 1/9/2010- KO2 Kevin Montiy
Next Fight: Unknown
13) Alexander Dimitrenko (5-85)
Last Fight: 7/4/2010- L(MD12) vs. Eddie Chambers
Next Fight: 7/31?/2010 vs. Denis Bakhtov (UNR)
Looks like he’s finally got another fight in the works- for the European title against solid gatekeeper Denis Bakhtov.  Looks like it’s tentatively scheduled for the end of July.
14) Ray Austin (5-5)
Last Fight: 10/31/2009- TKO4 DaVarryl Williamson
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Robert Helenius (5-5)
Last Fight: 3/26/2010- UD8 Gbenga Oloukun
Next Fight: 8/21/2010 vs. Gregory Tony (UNR)
Recently scheduled a mid-August fight for the European Union title against fellow 12-0 prospect Gregory Tony of France.  Despite the identical record, Helenius has seen the better opposition.  Still, this should be an interesting fight to determine if either or both men are for real.
16) Francesco Pianeta (5-5)
Last Fight: 12/5/2009- UD8 Evgeny Orlov
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Odlanier Solis (5-5)
Last Fight: 3/20/2010- RTD3 Carl Davis Drumond
Next Fight: Unknown
With almost no concrete pro accomplishments, he’s already calling out the Klitschkos.  A little ambitious, aren’t we?
18) Jean Marc Mormeck (5-5)
Last Fight: 5/6/2010- UD10 Fres Oquendo
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Timur Ibragimov (2-2)
Last Fight: 6/15/2010- UD12 Oliver McCall (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Sam Sexton (2-5)
Last Fight: 11/6/2009- RTD6 Martin Rogan
Next Fight: Unknown
THE WEEK AHEAD: No major fights in the division this week…sorry!

Heavyweight: 2010, June 21-27

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings on June 29, 2010 by danboxing
A little bit of action this week.  Timur Ibragimov (UNR) defeated gatekeeper Oliver McCall (UNR) by a solid 12-round decision this past Tuesday, vaulting the Uzbek into the top 20.  See below for the details:
For Comparison, here are the Current Ring Magazine Heavyweight Rankings:
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko
1) Vitali Klitschko
2) David Haye
3) Alexander Povetkin
4) Tomasz Adamek
5) Ruslan Chagaev
6) Eddie Chambers
7) Denis Boytsov
8 ) Nikolai Valuev
9) Alexander Dimitrenko
10) Chris Arreola

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (52-265-265)
Last Fight: 3/20/2010- KO12 Eddie Chambers
Next Fight: Unknown
Just celebrated the 1-year anniversary of becoming the more-or-less undisputed Heavyweight champion of the world.
1) Vitali Klitschko (89-89-89)
Last Fight: 5/29/2010- KO10 Albert Sosnowski
Next Fight: Unknown
2) David Haye (12-66-66)
Last Fight: 4/3/2010- TKO9 John Ruiz
Next Fight: Unknown
The talk is that he might fight fellow Brit Audley Harrison next, which is very disappointing.  Haye’s mother probably isn’t interested in that fight, though it might still do business in the UK.  Any fight against a non-top 10 fighter is a waste of time for Haye at this point.  His rep is kinda contingent on proving he’s not really afraid of the Klitschkos at this point.
3) Alexander Povetkin (12-139-139)
Last Fight: 3/13/2010- TKO5 Javier Mora
Next Fight: Unknown
Sounds like he and Teddy Atlas are getting more comfortable with the idea of actually taking a crack at his mandatory against Wlad.  It’ll be a credible fight if it comes off.
4) Eddie Chambers (4-65-65)
Last Fight: 3/20/2010- L(KO12) vs. Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Nothing seems imminent, but there are whispers that he might move down to cruiserweight.  He’d be a beast there.
5) Ruslan Chagaev (5-188-188)
Last Fight: 5/22/2010- UD12 Kali Meehan
Next Fight: Unknown
6) Samuel Peter (4-4-4)
Last Fight: 3/12/2010- TKO2 Nagy Aguilera
Next Fight: Unknown
7) Nikolai Valuev (4-236-236)
Last Fight: 11/7/2009- L(MD12)
Next Fight: Unknown
8 ) Tony Thompson (4-4-4)
Last Fight: 4/16/2010- TKO4 Owen Beck
Next Fight: Unknown
A late-breaking rotator cuff tear derailed his stay-busy fight against Friday Ahunanya on the Ward-Green undercard.  Here’s hoping he comes back looking for a better challenge and a late-career push for another title shot.
9) Juan Carlos Gomez (4-4-4)
Last Fight: 6/4/2010- UD8 Oezcan Cetinkaya
Next Fight: Unknown
Gomez’s scheduled 6/26 fight against no-hoper Rafael Zumbano disappeared without a trace.  No idea why it didn’t come off, but we’ll see what’s next.
10) Tomasz Adamek (4-9-9)
Last Fight: 4/24/2010- MD12 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: 8/21/2010- vs. Michael Grant (UNR)
Of all the fights Adamek could have taken, Michael Grant is not the sexiest matchup.
11) Chris Arreola (4-66)
Last Fight: 4/24/2010- L(MD12) vs. Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
12) Denis Boytsov (4-53)
Last Fight: 1/9/2010- KO2 Kevin Montiy
Next Fight: Unknown
13) Alexander Dimitrenko (4-84)
Last Fight: 7/4/2010- L(MD12) vs. Eddie Chambers
Next Fight: 7/31?/2010 vs. Denis Bakhtov (UNR)
Looks like he’s finally got another fight in the works- for the European title against solid gatekeeper Denis Bakhtov.  Looks like it’s tentatively scheduled for the end of July.
14) Ray Austin (4-4)
Last Fight: 10/31/2009- TKO4 DaVarryl Williamson
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Robert Helenius (4-4)
Last Fight: 3/26/2010- UD8 Gbenga Oloukun
Next Fight: 8/21/2010 vs. Gregory Tony (UNR)
Recently scheduled a mid-August fight for the European Union title against fellow 12-0 prospect Gregory Tony of France.  Despite the identical record, Helenius has seen the better opposition.  Still, this should be an interesting fight to determine if either or both men are for real.
16) Francesco Pianeta (4-4)
Last Fight: 12/5/2009- UD8 Evgeny Orlov
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Odlanier Solis (4-4)
Last Fight: 3/20/2010- RTD3 Carl Davis Drumond
Next Fight: Unknown
With almost no concrete pro accomplishments, he’s already calling out the Klitschkos.  A little ambitious, aren’t we?
18) Jean Marc Mormeck (4-4)
Last Fight: 5/6/2010- UD10 Fres Oquendo
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Timur Ibragimov (1-1)
Last Fight: 6/15/2010- UD12 Oliver McCall (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The cousin of retired former titlist Sultan Ibragimov debuts after his fairly convincing decision victory over former contender Oliver McCall, who was still considered reasonably capable.  Also owns a win 3 years ago over solid gatekeeper Timo Hoffman.  His only losses were in his two preceeding fights, to contenders Calvin Brock and Tony Thompson.
20) Sam Sexton (1-4) (#19 last week)
Last Fight: 11/6/2009- RTD6 Martin Rogan
Next Fight: Unknown
Sexton gets bumped down this week by Ibragimov, since it’s hard to give him too much extra credit for stopping the same guy a second time, and since his loss to Chisora was much less respectable than Ibragimov’s 2 career losses to Brock and Thompson, which in any event were over 3 years ago.
Albert Sosnowski exits the rankings due to Ibragimov’s debut.
THE WEEK AHEAD: 2 borderline-significant fights on tap for this week:
Saturday 6/26: Undefeated prospect and near-top-20 contender Alexander Ustinov faces off against Italian former fringe contender Paolo Vidoz, who has lost his last 3 fights and 5 of his last 6, in the Ukraine.  Meanwhile, gatekeeper Tony Grano of the US takes on fellow American journeyman Nicolai Firtha in Connecticut.

Heavyweight: 2010, June 14-20

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings on June 29, 2010 by danboxing

Got behind there a little bit.  Looking back, there was again no major action in the division to affect the rankings for this week.  To view the ratings for this week, again just look back at the ranking for the week of May 31-June 6, this time adding 2 to any relevant accounting of weeks.  Those rankings are here:

https://danboxing.wordpress.com/2010/06/08/heavyweight-2010-may-31-june-6/

Looking forward from this post, but still backward from where I stand today, there is a potentially significant fight “this” week between current gatekeepers Timur Ibragimov and Oliver McCall that might propel the winner into the top 20.  Check back “next” week!

Heavyweight: 2010, June 7-13

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings on June 12, 2010 by danboxing

No changes to the Top 20 Heavies this week (or the Ring top 10), and no significant action in the division this week, so refer to the link below for last week’s rankings and just add a week to the numbers!

https://danboxing.wordpress.com/2010/06/08/heavyweight-2010-may-31-june-6/

Heavyweight: 2010, May 31-June 6

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings on June 8, 2010 by danboxing
Since this is my first set of heavyweight rankings, I’ll do a couple things different than I expect to in an average week.  I’ll include more comments on each fighter than normal, and also explain why I disagree with the Ring’s ratings when applicable.  I’ll also post the Ring ratings for reference, though I’ll probably do that routinely in the future, as well.  For my rankings, the parentheses after a fighter’s name contains: (weeks in current position- weeks in top 10 (if applicable)- weeks in top 20).  From this point forward, fighters get credit for weeks they spent in the Ring top 10, while the rest of the current top 20 is considered brand new.  So with no further ado:

Current Ring Heavyweight Rankings:
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko
1) Vitali Klitschko
2) David Haye
3) Alexander Povetkin
4) Tomasz Adamek
5) Ruslan Chagaev
6) Eddie Chambers
7) Denis Boytsov
8 ) Nikolai Valuev
9) Alexander Dimitrenko
10) Chris Arreola

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (49-262-262)
Last Fight: 3/20/2010- KO12 Eddie Chambers
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlad won the championship by defeating #3 Ring rated contender Ruslan Chagaev on June 20, 2009, while his brother was occupying the #2 spot and refused to fight him.
1) Vitali Klitschko (86-86-86)
Last Fight: 5/29/2010- KO10 Albert Sosnowski
Next Fight: Unknown
The elder Klitschko has been totally dominant since coming back from a lengthy retirement.  In his return in October 2008, he has beaten ranked contenders Samuel Peter (#2), Juan Carlos Gomez (#9), Chris Arreola (#6), as well as undeserving #10 Kevin Johnson and fringe contender Albert Sosnowski.  No doubt that he and his brother are the top dogs.
2) David Haye (9-63-63)
Last Fight: 4/3/2010- TKO9 John Ruiz
Next Fight: Unknown
His recent win over then-5th ranked Nikolai Valuev and an impressive TKO that retired the aging but still probably top 15 fighter John Ruiz trump anything Povetkin has done recently.
3) Alexander Povetkin (9-136-136)
Last Fight: 3/13/2010- TKO5 Javier Mora
Next Fight: Unknown
He potentially takes a back seat only to the Klitschkos, but his career-defining wins over Chris Byrd and Eddie Chambers are now both well over two years in the past, and he’s only had one notable win since then- against lower-tier top 25 guy Jason Estrada, which itself was 14 months ago.  He clearly takes a back seat to Haye due to the Brit’s greater activity against top competition.
4) Eddie Chambers (1-62-62)
Last Fight: 3/20/2010- L(KO12) vs. Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s impossible to blame him much for getting KO’d by Wlad, but he still has to rank below the guy that beat him in ’08 and hasn’t yet lost to a Klitschko.  Big wins over an overweight but always formidable Sam Peter and an overrated but Ring-ranked Alexander Dimitrenko give him the best resume among those who have already lost to K2.
5) Ruslan Chagaev (2-185-185)
Last Fight: 5/22/2010- UD12 Kali Meehan
Next Fight: Unknown
He has been fairly inactive inactive since toppling the Giant Nikolai Valuev in April of 2007, with only two fights of note- a solid decision over Matt Skelton and the one-sided stoppage loss to Wlad- in that span.  His recent victory over Kali Meehan fails to impress, but at least it keeps him busy enough to maintain his spot among the top challengers.
6) Samuel Peter (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 3/12/2010- TKO2 Nagy Aguilera
Next Fight: Unknown
Peter is underrated in some quarters because nobody realized at the time just how excusable his ugly loss to Vitali really was.  He then lost a fairly close fight to Eddie Chambers, who also is no slouch as it turns out, and promptly lost his Ring ranking.  He didn’t help himself regain his stature very quickly by choosing to whack out journeymen for a year and a half, but he still has one of the best victim’s list of any contending heavyweight, and showed that he’s back in business by showing up in-shape and demolishing then-top 20 contender Nagy Aguilera back in March.
7) Nikolai Valuev (1-233-233)
Last Fight: 11/7/2009- L(MD12)
Next Fight: Unknown
Never really impressive for his size, Valuev is still a tough assignment for any heavyweight under 6’6”.  At 7’, his chin is hard to reach, and he’s never been stopped and has only lost to top contenders.  Still, his last significant win came in rather close fashion over Ring #9 contender John Ruiz in August 2008, and he has since barely escaped with a heavily disputed win over washed-up Evander Holyfield and then lost to former cruiserweight champion David Haye.  He’s getting up there in age and seems to be slowly declining.
8 ) Tony Thompson (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 4/16/2010- TKO4 Owen Beck
Next Fight: 6/19/2010- vs. Friday Ahunanya (UNR)
It doesn’t take a lot of big-name victories to earn a ranking in today’s heavyweight division.  Case in point: Tony Thompson.  His only losses are to world-beating Champion Wlad Klitschko and to some undefeated prospect in a four-rounder 10 years ago that scarcely matters anymore.  Meanwhile, he hasn’t beaten any of the big names in the division, but has knocked off three second-tier guys in Dominick Guinn (2006), Luan Krasniqi (his best win, 2007), and Chazz Witherspoon in December, as well as gatekeeper Cliff Couser back in ’07.  Spread out over 4 years, that doesn’t sound like the resume of an 8th-ranked contender, but in the heavyweight division of 2010 and with no bad losses, these wins end up being more than enough.
9) Juan Carlos Gomez (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 6/4/2010- UD8 Oezcan Cetinkaya
Next Fight: 6/26/2010- vs. Raphael Zumbano (UNR)
Even aside from his solid cruiserweight resume of years ago, he twice beat fringe contender Oliver McCall.  His only losses were 6 years ago to fringe contender Yanqui Diaz and of course to Vitali, the latter of which can’t be held against him.  His most recent mentionable win, a solid decision over #8 contender Vladimir Virchis, easily puts him in the top 10, and the only reason it doesn’t trump Tony Thompson’s claim to the #8 spot is that it occurred way back in September 2008.  Inactivity against top competition is definitely a problem for Gomez.
10) Tomasz Adamek (1-6-6)
Last Fight: 4/24/2010- MD12 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: 8/21/2010- vs. Michael Grant (UNR)
The Ring now ranks Adamek at 4, but I decline to do so for a couple reasons.  First, even if I were to give him full credit for his decision over Arreola, I believe Arreola was more appropriately the #10 contender than the #6 he was ranked by the Ring.  Secondly, it’s hard for me to vault someone too high into the rankings based on a fight in which I had him losing 115-113.  To me, although Adamek showed good boxing skill, he was getting hurt by every landed punch and might have been stopped had Arreola not fought the last 3 rounds with an injured right arm, and I don’t think he proved anything more in that fight than he did in his shaky decision over fringe contender Jason Estrada, especially since Arreola reportedly was absent from camp as often as he was present.  I don’t want to substitute my opinion fully for that of the judges though, particularly in a close fight.  Accordingly, I rank Adamek immediately ahead of the man he nominally defeated.
11) Chris Arreola (1-63)
Last Fight: 4/24/2010- L(MD12) vs. Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
I believe the Ring overrated Arreola from the get-go.  He’s an entertaining and interesting American fighter, but his resume is relatively thin.  He does have 5 notable wins, but none over fighters that were anything close to top 10 contenders at the time.  He has defeated  prospects Damian Wills, Chazz Witherspoon, Travis Walker, and Brian Minto, as well as gatekeeper and former contender Jameel McCline, but in doing so, I think he only proved conclusively that he was a really good prospect and a pretty solid fringe contender.  When he was tested against a top contender (Vitali Klitschko) he lost, as you might expect.  I believe he narrowly beat another heavyweight prospect/fringe contender in Tomasz Adamek which should have finally proved him to be a borderline top-10 fighter, but the judges denied him that victory in a close fight, and thus he debuts in my rankings just outside the top 10.
12) Denis Boytsov (1-50)
Last Fight: 1/9/2010- KO2 Kevin Montiy
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov is another fighter that the Ring is very high on, having rated him for nearly a year, currently at #7.  In my opinion, however, he is still not proven enough to earn a top 10 spot, with his only significant wins coming against gatekeeper Robert Hawkins over 2 years ago and prospect/fringe contender Taras Bidenko a year ago.  He’s knocked out two journeymen in the last year, but it’s time for him to fight a top 10 contender- or at least another Bidenko- if he wants to advance to the next level.
13) Alexander Dimitrenko (1-81-81)
Last Fight: 7/4/2010- L(MD12) vs. Eddie Chambers
Next Fight: Unknown
This tall Ukranian is another fighter significantly overrated by the Ring.  He didn’t deserve a top 10 ranking even before he was beaten, and yet still retains a dubious #9 spot according to the Ring.  His resume is truly even thinner than Boytsov’s- wins over gatekeepers Timo Hoffman and an aging Luan Krasniqi- and he also has a loss.  Chambers is formidable, but when a guy like Sam Peter was dropped from the Ring ratings for losing to Chambers and a Klitschko and guys like Thompson and Gomez were dropped for losing only to a Klitsckho, I fail to see how Dimitrenko can remain with only a couple good wins after losing not to a Klitschko, but rather to a guy who was knocked out by one and had lost to Povetkin.  In addition, Dimitrenko hasn’t fought since that loss over 11 months ago.  It could be that the young man will give up the Ring ranking he hasn’t really earned through inactivity, even though he couldn’t lose it by losing in the ring.
14) Ray Austin (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 10/31/2009- TKO4 DaVarryl Williamson
Next Fight: Unknown
This guy is kind of a poster boy for what’s wrong with alphabet rankings- he’s involved in a lawsuit right now because the WBC denied him a mandatory challenge for their belt even though he won an eliminator to become their #1 contender.  That’s right- #1.  In the last 5 years, his only significant win is a first round knockout over a rapidly fading Andrew Golota in November ’08.  Even his eliminator win was not really worth mentioning- a stoppage over a guy named DaVarryl Williamson who, at age 41 and having lost to the aforementioned Kali Meehan, wasn’t even really worthy of gatekeeper status at that stage.  He did have a draw against contender and future undeserving titleholder Sultan Ibragimov in 2006, but given his thin resume and some bad losses early in his career, it’s a sad commentary to even note that he’s ranked #14 overall.
15) Robert Helenius (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 3/26/2010- UD8 Gbenga Oloukun
Next Fight: Unknown
Helenius is a fast-rising 12-0 prospect who has been steadily stepping up in class.  In the past year, he’s stopped two solid gatekeepers in Taras Bidenko and Lamon Brewster.
16) Francesco Pianeta (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 12/5/2009- UD8 Evgeny Orlov
Next Fight: Unknown
This 20-0 Italian southpaw fought to a draw with tough Polish fringe contender and recent title challenger Albert Sosnowski 14 months ago, and followed it up with a stoppage of tough gatekeeper Matt Skelton in September.
17) Odlanier Solis (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 3/20/2010- RTD3 Carl Davis Drumond
Next Fight: Unknown
This former amateur star and Cuban defector is as plodding as they come and doesn’t throw many punches, but he possesses devastating power and massive size, though he probably could stand to lose a few pounds.  He is mostly untested to this point, with his only significant win in 16 pro fights coming by 2nd-round stoppage over everyone’s favorite stepping stone: Monte Barrett.
18) Jean Marc Mormeck (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 5/6/2010- UD10 Fres Oquendo
Next Fight: Unknown
The former cruiserweight Champion of the World appeared to be done after being stopped by David Haye, but after a 13-month hiatus the Frenchman is now 2-0 at heavyweight, including a close decision win over still-dangerous former contender Fres Oquendo just last month.  He probably doesn’t have enough left at 38 to conquer his new division, but seems to be making an honest effort at it nevertheless.
19) Sam Sexton (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 11/6/2009- RTD6 Martin Rogan
Next Fight: Unknown
This Brit was a rising 7-0 prospect when he was stopped by his 4-0 countryman Derek Chisora in 2008.  He went back to light opposition after that loss, but has rebuilt his career on the back of another formerly unbeaten and highly-regarded British Heavyweight named Martin Rogan, whom he stopped twice in May and November of ’09.
20) Albert Sosnowski (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 5/29/2010- L(KO10) vs. Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
His 2001 knockout loss to non-entity Arthur Cook long behind him, Sosnowski holds a knockout win over gatekeeper and former contender Danny Williams from late 2008, and a draw with undefeated prospect Francesco Pianeta from 14 months ago.  He also saw his stock rise with a spirited effort against Vitali Klitsckho in May.  His only bad loss in the last 8 years was to perpetual pest Zuri Lawrence, who appeared to be long past it in August 2008.

Best Boxing Ratings Ever

Posted in Mission Statements and Theory with tags on June 4, 2010 by danboxing

So this is my first foray into publishing my rankings and blogging seriously in general.  Hope it works out!  So here’s kind of what this is all about.  I love Ring Magazine.  I think their weekly rankings are the best out there.  But every once in a while I’ll see a boxer that I think is completely mis-rated.  Occasionally I’ll even write them about it.  And when I do, I have noticed that they actually tend to take my advice the next week.  It makes me think I might know what I’m talking about sometimes.  Anyway, I don’t know where this is all going to end.  I guess I dream of being followed by boxing fans everywhere, and eventually being asked to become a real boxing journalist or a part of the Ring ratings panel or something.  Time will tell.  But hell, if all I get is a universally ignored blog where I can put my thoughts down for my own later consumption- so be it.  I can live with that.

I intend to get these rankings correct right out of the gate, so I’m going to take it slow.  I’ve got Heavyweights ready to go now, and will publish new divisions as I complete them.  In addition to ratings, I’ll probably publish my thoughts and reports of fights whenever the mood strikes me.

Now for my philosophy.  I generally follow two sets of rankings.  First and foremost, the Ring.  I think their policies are top notch, but occasionally I think they make mistakes, and they never publish anything beyond a top 10.  Secondly, Boxrec.com.  They don’t have bias or human error because they do it all by computer.  On the other hand, they lack common sense sometimes, and I think they often misrate fighters that change weight classes.  So here’s what I’m going to do: whip up my own rankings, from scratch.  My basic policies are going to be as follows:

1) Rankings are based on accomplishment rather than potential.

2) In most circumstances, results from the 5 years immediately preceding the rating week will be almost exclusively focused upon at the expense of earlier accomplishments.

3) Recent results may be emphasized over older results.

4) True champions are recognized outside the ratings and can only win their championship by winning a fight between the #1 and #2 contenders in that division, or defeating a reigning champion.  Like the Ring, exceptions will be made in some cases for fights between #1 and #3 contenders, where because of some extenuating circumstance, it is acceptable to pass over the #2 (such as when he has recently been defeated by the #1 or manifests a clear unwillingness to fight the #1).  Unlike the Ring, there will be a clear policy for stripping champions in extreme circumstances (to avoid a Zsolt Erdei-like champion).  A champion may vacate his title by relinquishing a corresponding Ring title, permanently moving to a new weight division, or retiring.  In addition, if a champion fails to defend his title for two years within the division, or to fight a top-10 ranked contender in the division within 30 months, he may be stripped at my discretion.  Provided there have been no intervening champions, a former divisional champion who relinquished or was stripped of his title during the prior 3 years can fill a vacancy by fighting the existing #1 contender without needing to re-earn a ranking.

5) All current Ring Magazine champions will be recognized, as I view them all as legitimate.

6) Any ranked non-champion who has not fought in the division for at least 1 calendar year will be dropped from the rankings unless he has a fight scheduled on Boxrec.com as of the beginning of the rating week.  Regardless of the quality of his opposition or whether he wins or loses, he will be eligible for re-ranking immediately following his next fight, though any re-ranking will depend on his relative merit at that time without reference to his prior ranking.  A fighter who has fought in a non-title (WBA, IBF, WBC, WBO) bout within two pounds of the division’s weight range within the calendar year may be treated as active in the division at my discretion.

7) An unranked fighter may be allowed to fight for a vacant championship if he was dropped from a #1 or #2 spot in the same division for inactivity or changing weight classes within the previous 6 months, but only if his record at the time of the bout would still merit a sufficient ranking despite the inactivity and any subsequent developments in the division if the rule that led to his being dropped did not exist.

8) A fighter may hold multiple rankings and multiple belts, provided he continues to meet the requirements to keep each of them.

9) Victories over insignificant opposition (generally those lacking at least 150 points on boxrec.com, but potentially varying by division) will typically have little or no effect on the rankings, except that they will allow a fighter to be considered active in the division.

10) Accomplishments in a different division will only be marginally considered for purposes of ranking in a given division.

If I come up with other principles as I go along, I’ll be sure to mention them.