Light Heavyweight: 2011, Mar 7-13

Huge shake-up in the rankings this week.  #12 Yusaf Mack- whose real problem was that he hadn’t beat anyone since he edged out Chris Henry in February of 2009- finally corrected his problem by outpointing #18 Otis Griffin.  The win vaults him back into the top 10 in a big way.  It’s not that Griffin is really good enough to support that high a ranking per se, but rather that Mack had already earned that ranking before essentially two lost years commenced, and just needed to get another meaningful win to reinforce that.  He finds a place at #7 behind Nathan Cleverly, whose sheer quantity of credible wins is hard to overcome.  Griffin slips to #20 due in large part to the fact that the losses are starting to pile up, and not all of them are against quite as solid an opponent as Mack.  Roy Jones, Jr. exits the top 10 in the shakeup, and the odds of him ever returning are long, indeed.


Ismayl Syllakh also had a good night, dropping and beating undefeated and fast-rising prospect Yordanis Despaigne on Friday Night Fights.  Syllakh moves up two slots to #15.  He would have progressed further if his win were viewed based on the probable ability of his opponent, but the truth is Despaigne’s accomplishments did not yet match his talent and I rank based on accomplishment almost exclusively.  Garay and Erdei, who have both been inactive and/or unsuccessful against top competition lately, are forced down by the advancement.


In less exciting news, Polish prospect Dawid Kostecki won all six rounds against low-level journeyman Juan Nelongo in what actually turned out to be a cruiserweight fight.


For comparison, here are the current Ring Magazine Ratings:
Champ: Jean Pascal
1) Bernard Hopkins
2) Tavoris Cloud
3) Chad Dawson
4) Glen Johnson
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 (30-90-90)
Last Fight: 12/18/2010- Draw (MD12) vs. #3 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: 5/21/2011- vs. #1 Bernard Hopkins
Looks like Pascal-Hopkins II is a done deal for the title.
1) Bernard Hopkins (12-248-248)
Last Fight: 12/18/2010- Draw (MD12) vs. Champ Jean Pascal
Next Fight: 5/21/2011- vs. Champ Jean Pascal
He’ll get his shot to avenge the draw in the first fight with Pascal.
2) Chad Dawson (12-249-249)
Last Fight: 8/14/2010- L (TD11) vs. #3 Jean Pascal
Next Fight: 5/21/2011- vs. Unknown Opponent
It looks like Dawson will likely face Adrian Diaconu in the Pascal-Hopkins co-feature.
3) Tavoris Cloud (12-80-80)
Last Fight: 12/17/2010- UD12 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Cloud’s mandatory is now Yusaf Mack, the winner of an eliminator with Otis Griffin.  This is actually a pretty decent matchup as alphabet contests go.  But according to Zsolt Erdei promoter Lou DiBella, HBO is trying to match Cloud with his guy.  Either bout is fine with me.  This is one hot division.
4) Glen Johnson (30-403-403)
Last Fight: 11/6/2010- KO8 Allan Green (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: 5/21/2011- vs. SMW #3 Carl Froch (at SMW)
If he manages to beat Froch, he will fight for the Super Six Championship, and possibly the legitimate Super Middleweight Championship of the World.  If not, maybe he moves back up to 175.  If he beats Froch, he will most likely forfeit his 175 rating because the Super Six will tie him up beyond the year anniversary of his light heavyweight fight with Cloud.
5) Gabriel Campillo (30-37-37)
Last Fight: 5/15/2010- KO1 Luzimar Gonzaga
Next Fight: Unknown
There are some conflicting reports, but there seems to be some possibility that Campillo will return on April 15.  Opponents being mentioned are Zsolt Erdei (who is also under consideration to fight Tavoris Cloud) and Vyacheslav Uzelkov.
6) Nathan Cleverly (25-57-57)
Last Fight: 12/11/2010- UD12 Nadjib Mohammedi (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/2/2011- vs. #8 Juergen Braehmer
Cleverly has expressed a desire to fight Cloud if he beats Braehmer, and there are also discussions of an all-Welsh showdown with cruiserweight fringe contender Enzo Maccarinelli at 175.
7) Yusaf Mack (1-1-37)
Last Fight: 3/4/2010- W(SD12) vs. #18 Otis Griffin
Next Fight: Unknown
The oft-delayed eliminator with Otis Griffin finally went down, and Mack escaped with a comfortable split decision, if there is such a thing.  Mack is now the mandatory challenger for Cloud’s belt, but may have to wait awhile as HBO is pushing Zsolt Erdei for that honor, instead.
8) Jürgen Brähmer (1-37-37)
Last Fight: 4/24/2010- TKO5 Mariano Plotinsky
Next Fight: 4/2/2011- vs. #6 Nathan Cleverly
9) Chris Henry (1-43-43)
Last Fight: 3/27/2010- TKO1 Hugo Garay
Next Fight: Unknown
There’s still not much buzz about Henry scheduling another fight, even as the year anniversary of his sensational performance against Garay approaches.
10) Beibut Shumenov (1-33-37)
Last Fight: 1/8/2011- KO6 William Joppy (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
11) Roy Jones, Jr. (1-37)
Last Fight: 4/3/2010- L(UD12) vs. Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
He’s reportedly in talks for a suicidal return to cruiserweight to fight #2 Denis Lebedev.
12) Adrian Diaconu (1-200)
Last Fight: 10/15/2010- UD10 Omar Sheika (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It sounds like a fight with Chad Dawson on 5/21 is almost set.
13) Danny McIntosh (7-37)
Last Fight: 1/22/2011- TKO11 #14 Thierry Karl
Next Fight: Unknown
McIntosh has a European title with some good challengers in those rankings, and also appears to be the mandatory challenger for a British title held by Tony Bellew.
14) Dmitri Sukhotski (7-19)
Last Fight: 10/29/2010- TKO6 #16 Alexei Kuziemski
Next Fight: 3/11/2011- vs. Jose Clavero (UNR)
Will be fighting a decent journeyman in early March.
15) Ismayl Sillakh (1-8)
Last Fight: 3/4/2011- UD10 Yordanis Despaigne (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Looked real good in outboxing Despaigne.  Probably top 10-bound.
16) Hugo Garay (1-37)
Last Fight: 8/14/2010- KO1 Marcelo Da Silva (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Garay understandably pulled out of his fight on Friday, March 11th due to the death of his mother on the 8th.  I’ll give him an extra month to schedule a fight at 175 before removing him from the rankings.
17) Zsolt Erdei (1-16)
Last Fight: 11/20/2010- UD8 Samson Onyango (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Erdei is a hot commodity since returning to 175.  His name is being heavily discussed for both an HBO fight with Tavoris Cloud and a minor title fight with Gabriel Campillo.
18) Thierry Karl (1-37)
Last Fight: 1/22/2011- L (TKO11) vs. #17 Danny McIntosh
Next Fight: Unknown
Will probably see a long layoff and a few tune-ups after being stopped by McIntosh.  Karl might be done as a major contender.
19) Luis Garcia (1-8)
Last Fight: 11/6/2010- TKO2 Byron Mitchell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Garcia’s March 19 fight has disappeared from the schedules.  Not sure why.
20) Otis Griffin (1-8)
Last Fight: 3/4/2011- L (SD12) vs. #12 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: Unknown



The Week Ahead: #14 Dmitri Sukhotski will fight journeyman Jose Clavero in Russia on Friday, and gatekeepers William Joppy and Cory Cummings meet up Saturday in a rematch of their November draw, though it’s unclear whether the fight will take place at 175 or 168.

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