Cruiserweight: 2011, Mar 14-20

Friday saw three notable cruisers in action.  Inactive fringe contender Grigory Drozd- who previously last saw the ring in September 2009- shut out really bad journeyman Remigijus Ziausys in Russia.  On the same evening in Poland, #20 Mateusz Masternak stopped gatekeeper Ali Ismailov in the 5th after winning all of the previous rounds.  Finally, French gatekeeper Rachid El Hadak also scored a shutout in France over journeyman Levan Jomardishvili, over 12 rounds.  Drozd would probably be a top 20 contender if it weren’t for his inactivity, but given well over a year out of the ring, this pointless fight does nothing more than get him back into the conversation.  Meanwhile, Masternak’s win places him in a bit safer position in the rankings, supplanting Rogelio Rossi at #19.


For Comparison, here are the Current Ring Magazine Cruiserweight Rankings:
Champ: None
1) Steve Cunningham
2) Marco Huck
3) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
4) Denis Lebedev
5) Troy Ross
6) Danny Green
7) Giacobbe Fragomeni
8) Ola Afolabi
9) Guillermo Jones
10) Yoan Pablo Hernandez

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Steve Cunningham (149*-352-352)
Last Fight: 2/12/2011- UD12 #14 Enad Licina
Next Fight: Unknown
* Not actually sure how long he’s been rated #1, but it has been at least this number of weeks.
Cunningham defeated Licina, and will likely fight next in Sauerland’s Super Six.
2) Marco Huck (38-223-223)
Last Fight: 12/18/2010- SD12 #6 Denis Lebedev
Next Fight: 4/2/2011- vs. #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Shrwedly signed on to fight Giacobbe Fragomeni in what is probably his last bout before entering the Super Six.  This is probably a good opportunity to bounce back from a win that everyone knows he lost against a well-rated but aged former titlist.
3) Denis Lebedev (13-58-58)
Last Fight: 12/18/2010- L(SD12) vs. #2 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
For those that enjoy public executions, the fight being negotiated between Lebedev and Roy Jones, Jr. will reportedly be headed to pay-per-view.  The target date now appears to be June.  No word on whether the late March date Lebedev once had scheduled will still hold.
4) Ola Afolabi (13-105-105)
Last Fight: 10/16/2010- UD10 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/18/2011- vs. Lubos Suda (UNR)
Afolabi is probably the best fighter not set to fight in the Super Six.    His route to the top 5 was probably quieter than his peers, and he has the wrong promoter (Duva Boxing) for a division that’s now completely dominated by Sauerland.  It might be hard for him to get good fights in the near future.
5) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (5-38-38)
Last Fight: 2/12/2011- KO7 #12 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: Unknown
Reports suggest a clash with Guillermo Jones might be next.  So much for his being already in the Super Six, I guess.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (5-299-299)
Last Fight: 9/25/2010- UD12 Jason Robinson (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/2/2011- vs. Francisco Palacios (UNR)
Palacios should be his last fight before he enters Sauerland’s Super Six.  We’ll see how much a broken leg in the lead up to the fight will affect his performance.
7) Guillermo Jones (17-24-24)
Last Fight: 10/2/2010- TKO11 Valery Brudov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Reportedly considering fighting Yoan Pablo Hernandez in May.
8) Danny Green (17-67-67)
Last Fight: 11/17/2010- UD12 #12 B.J. Flores
Next Fight: Unknown
Green’s promotional firm is promoting a minor card in April, but he still has yet to decide on his fighting future after emergency surgery a couple months ago.
9) Giacobbe Fragomeni (17-122-122)
Last Fight: 11/5/2010- TKO6 Eduardo Ayala (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/2/2011- vs. #2 Marco Huck
Surprised me by signing a fight with Marco Huck this week.  This will likely be a last hurrah for the 41-year-old Italian.
10) Alexander Frenkel (17-17-26)
Last Fight: 9/18/2010- KO7 #12 Enzo Maccarinelli
Next Fight: Unknown
Has apparently overcome his hand injury enough to begin training for a possible bout with Silvio Branco, though that fight is not yet signed.
11) B.J. Flores (2-38)
Last Fight: 11/17/2010- L(UD12) vs. #9 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
Began calling out Lateef Kayode after Kayode’s lackluster win over Nick Iannuzzi.  It looks like Kayode doesn’t want that fight yet, and with good reason.  Flores boxes with a similar style to Iannuzzi, but with much more class.
12) Troy Ross (2-107)
Last Fight: 10/30/2010- UD10 Carl Handy (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I’m finally forced to give Ross more credit for his ill-fated impressive effort against Cunningham, since everyone immediately above him is losing.
13) Steve Herelius (2-37)
Last Fight: 2/12/2011- L(KO7) vs. #6 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s always hard to come back from a knockout loss.  Herelius could become a go-to quality opponent for the guys locked out of the Super Six.
14) Enad Licina (2-38)
Last Fight: 2/12/2011- L(UD12) vs. #1 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Enzo Maccarinelli (2-38)
Last Fight: 9/18/2010- L(KO7) vs. Alexander Frenkel (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Probably all but retired after a vicious knockout loss to Frenkel, but no official announcement yet.
16) Lateef Kayode (2-17)
Last Fight: 2/4/2011- UD10 Nicholas Iannuzzi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Went life and death with Nick Iannuzzi, but any win at that level is better than losses and inactivity, which are mostly what Alexeev and Godfrey have to show for the last 2 years.
17) Alexander Alexeev (2-9)
Last Fight: 7/17/2010- L (KO2) vs. #7 Denis Lebedev
Next Fight: 4/9/2011- vs. Unknown Opponent
Alexeev will look to bounce back on April 9 from his stoppage loss to Denis Lebedev last summer.  Don’t expect him to fight anyone dangerous.
18) Matt Godfrey (2-114)
Last Fight: 8/21/2010- L(TKO5) vs. #2 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Never the most active fighter, we don’t yet know what Godfrey’s up to next after Marco Huck destroyed him.

19) Mateusz Masternak (1-2)
Last Fight: 3/11/2011- TKO5 Ali Ismailov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Masternak easily disposed of the pretty decent Ismailov, prompting his promotion to #19.  He has now defeated 2 gatekeepers a year apart.
20) Rogelio Rossi (1-9)
Last Fight: 1/14/2011- KO5 Cesar Crenz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown


THE WEEK AHEAD: On the Klitschko-Solis card in Cologne, #4 Ola Afolabi meets gatekeeper Lubos Suda in the only meaningful action in the division this week.

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