Light Heavyweight: 2010, Dec 13-19

Alejandro Lakatos withdrew from his scheduled fight with British contender Nathan Cleverly, but in a rare turn of events, he was replaced on very short notice by a more relevant fighter, Nadjib Mohammedi, the French fringe contender that put himself easily within the top 30 light heavyweights with his recent stoppage of an overweight Djamel Selini.  Despite having only a couple days to prepare, Mohammedi apparently put up a solid fight, winning at least 3 or 4 rounds in the 12 round fight, but could not overcome Cleverly.  Despite the closeness of the affair, this adds a pretty decent name to Cleverly’s resume, but it’s not enough to advance him past #5 Gabriel Campillo, a more accomplished fighter who has a win over then-#9 Hugo Garay and has a win and a laughable loss in which he nevertheless dominated against current #9 Beibut Shumenov.


On that same card, fellow undefeated Brit Tony Bellew picked up a nice victory over gatekeeper Ovill McKenzie in what appears to have been an entertaining fight.  Bellew rose from knockdowns in the 1st and 2nd rounds to knock down and then stop McKenzie in the 8th.  Apparently the stoppage was very premature, but it does sound like Bellew had turned the fight around by that time.  This effort is enough to get Bellew into the top 20.  Upon further review of the last few rated fighters, it is determined that despite being rated #18 last week, Karo Murat is the best candidate to exit the rankings, as the wins at this weight that previously earned him a rating were, upon further review, against overrated prospects.  Bellew debuts at #19, leapfrogging both Murat and #20 Plotinsky (who retains his ranking), while Danny McIntosh moves up to #18 due to Murat’s exit.


For comparison, here are the current Ring Magazine Ratings:
Champ: Jean Pascal
1) Chad Dawson
2) Tavoris Cloud
3) Glen Johnson
4) Bernard Hopkins
5) Nathan Cleverly
6) Adrian Diaconu
7) Karo Murat
8 ) Beibut Shumenov
9) Chris Henry
10) Gabriel Campillo


Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Jean Pascal (18-78-78)
Last Fight: 8/14/2010- TD11 #1 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: 12/18/2010- vs. #3 Bernard Hopkins
1) Chad Dawson (58-237-237)
Last Fight: 8/14/2010- L (TD11) vs. #3 Jean Pascal
Next Fight: Unknown
2) Tavoris Cloud (19-68-68)
Last Fight: 8/7/2010- UD12 #4 Glen Johnson
Next Fight: 12/17/2010- vs. Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
3) Bernard Hopkins (18-236-236)
Last Fight: 4/3/2010- UD12 Roy Jones, Jr.
Next Fight: 12/18/2010- vs. Champ Jean Pascal
4) Glen Johnson (18-391-391)
Last Fight: 11/6/2010- KO8 Allan Green (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. SMW #3 Carl Froch (at SMW)
5) Gabriel Campillo (18-25-25)
Last Fight: 5/15/2010- KO1 Luzimar Gonzaga
Next Fight: Unknown
6) Nathan Cleverly (13-45-45)
Last Fight: 12/11/2010- UD12 Nadjib Mohammedi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
7) Jürgen Brähmer (13-25-25)
Last Fight: 4/24/2010- TKO5 Mariano Plotinsky
Next Fight: 1/8/2010- vs. #9 Beibut Shumenov
8) Chris Henry (13-31-31)
Last Fight: 3/27/2010- TKO1 Hugo Garay
Next Fight: Unknown
9) Beibut Shumenov (13-21-25)
Last Fight: 7/23/2010- UD12 #18 Vyacheslav Uzelkov
Next Fight: 1/8/2010- vs. #7 Jürgen Brähmer
10) Roy Jones, Jr. (18-18-25)
Last Fight: 4/3/2010- L(UD12) vs. Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
11) Adrian Diaconu (18-188)
Last Fight: 10/15/2010- UD10 Omar Sheika (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
12) Yusaf Mack (7-25)
Last Fight: 2/5/2010- L(TKO6) vs. Glen Johnson
Next Fight: Unknown
13) Dmitri Sukhotski (7-7)
Last Fight: 10/29/2010- TKO6 #16 Alexei Kuziemski
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Thierry Karl (7-25)
Last Fight: 11/6/2010- UD6 Arturs Kuliauskis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Hugo Garay (7-25)
Last Fight: 8/14/2010- KO1 Marcelo Da Silva (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Zsolt Erdei (4-4)
Last Fight: 11/20/2010- UD8 Samson Onyango (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Gayrat Ahmedov (4-21)
Last Fight: 7/23/10- KO1 Dallas Vargas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Danny McIntosh (1-25)
Last Fight: 11/6/2010- TKO3 Hastings Rasani (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Tony Bellew (1-1)
Last Fight: 12/11/2010- TKO8 Ovill McKenzie (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Mariano Plotinsky (4-21)
Last Fight: 4/24/2010- L(TKO5) vs. Juergen Braehmer
Next Fight: Unknown


The Week Ahead: Friday: #2 Contender Tavoris Cloud stays busy against good journeyman Fulgencio Zuniga.  Zuniga was a fringe contender at Middleweight early in his career, and briefly a real force at 168 after stopping Victor Oganov 2007, but has fought only two hilarious mismatches since being stopped by Lucian Bute in March of ’09, and has never had a legitimate light heavyweight fight.  He should be no match for a bruiser like Cloud above his natural weight.


Saturday: The Championship of the World is on the line, as Jean Pascal defends his title for the first time against nearly 46 year-old but still 3rd-ranked Bernard Hopkins, a legend and former champion.  Pascal is a bit wild and hasn’t shown lately that he can fight well on the inside, while Hopkins is a master technician who will benefit if he can drag Pascal into an inside fight or a slow-paced boxing match.  Hopkins also looked quite bad in beating current #10 but badly faded Roy Jones, and in decisioning fringe contender Enrique Ornelas, and one has to wonder if he has enough physical tools left at his age to compete with the flawed but young, strong, and quick Pascal.  In addition, the fight is in Quebec, where the crowd will be riotously partial to the Champion.  If Hopkins can overcome the odds, however, he will become the oldest fighter to win any major belt, as well as a legitimate championship.  George Foreman was just over a month younger when he knocked out Michael Moorer to win the legitimate Heavyweight Championship in 1994, though he defended the title for another 3 years thereafter.


On the Huck-Lebedev undercard in Germany, German prospect Dustin Dirks treads water against losing journeyman Alpay Kobal.


Sunday: Formerly rated prospect Alexei Kuziemski looks to rebound from a stoppage loss to Dmitri Sukhotski by fighting awful journeyman Dmitri Protkunas less than two months later in Poland.

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