Heavyweight: 2010, May 31-June 6

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.
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2 Responses to “Heavyweight: 2010, May 31-June 6”

  1. […] Dan's Weekly Boxer Rankings and Blog The Best Ratings Around Skip to content HomeAbout ← Heavyweight: 2010, May 31-June 6 […]

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