Light Heavyweight: 2011, Mar 28- Apr 3

Malawi’s Isaac Chilemba, a solid fringe contender at 168, fought for a regional title at 175 this week in South Africa, outpointing mid-range Namibian prospect Vikapita Meroro.


The biggest events ratings-wise in the division were not in the ring.  The one-year anniversary of #9 Chris Henry’s last fight causes him to vanish from the rankings.  Likewise, since #11 Roy Jones, Jr. has scheduled a cruiserweight fight for May, he logically can’t fight at 175 before the one-year anniversary of his loss to Bernard Hopkins and also disappears.  This naturally causes a big shake-up.  Beibut Shumenov moves up to #9, Adrian Diaconu re-enters the top 10 for the first time since I started ranking, and everyone rated below him moves up two spaces.  Tony Bellew re-enters at #19 after 10 weeks on the outside, while Dyah Davis debuts at #20 on the strength of a draw with fairly accomplished borderline light heavyweight Francisco Sierra that he probably deserved to win.


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) Gabriel Campillo
10) Isaac Chilemba


Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Jean Pascal (33-93-93)
Last Fight: 12/18/2010- Draw (MD12) vs. #3 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: 5/21/2011- vs. #1 Bernard Hopkins
1) Bernard Hopkins (15-251-251)
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 (15-252-252)
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 (15-83-83)
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 (33-406-406)
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 (33-40-40)
Last Fight: 5/15/2010- KO1 Luzimar Gonzaga
Next Fight: 4/15/2011- vs. Unknown Opponent
Apparently #12 Dmitri Sukhotski never signed for the fight, and Campillo is now searching for another opponent on short notice.
6) Nathan Cleverly (28-60-60)
Last Fight: 12/11/2010- UD12 Nadjib Mohammedi (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/21/2011- 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 (4-4-40)
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 (4-40-40)
Last Fight: 4/24/2010- TKO5 Mariano Plotinsky
Next Fight: 5/21/2011- vs. #6 Nathan Cleverly
9) Beibut Shumenov (1-36-40)
Last Fight: 1/8/2011- KO6 William Joppy (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Shumenov, an attorney, is suing his promoter, Goosen-Tutor, and attempting to break away.  Hopefully this doesn’t hurt his now-promising career.
10) Adrian Diaconu (1-1-203)
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.
11) Danny McIntosh (1-40)
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.
12) Dmitri Sukhotski (1-22)
Last Fight: 3/11/2011- TKO5 Konstantin Piternov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Apparently  was never fully on board for the proposed fight with #5 Campillo.  That fight is now off.
13) Ismayl Sillakh (1-11)
Last Fight: 3/4/2011- UD10 Yordanis Despaigne (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Looked real good in outboxing Despaigne.  Probably top 10-bound.
14) Hugo Garay (1-40)
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.
15) Zsolt Erdei (1-19)
Last Fight: 11/20/2010- UD8 Samson Onyango (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With Campillo off the table, an HBO fight with Tavoris Cloud now looks like the most likely route for Erdei.
16) Thierry Karl (1-40)
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.
17) Luis Garcia (1-11)
Last Fight: 11/6/2010- TKO2 Byron Mitchell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Otis Griffin (1-11)
Last Fight: 3/4/2011- L (SD12) vs. #12 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Tony Bellew (1-1)
Last Fight: 12/11/2010- TKO8 Ovill McKenzie (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Dyah Davis (1-1)
Last Fight: 2/5/2011- D (MD10) vs. Francisco Sierra (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/8/2011 – vs. Marcus Johnson (UNR)
Davis continues to get airtime, as he prepares to fight hot prospect Marcus Johnson on ShoBox.  He got some of his own prospect street cred back by upsetting Francisco Sierra following his own upset loss to Aaron Pryor, Jr.


The Week Ahead: Friday: Undefeated North Carolina-based Russian prospect Sergey Kovalev will fight Julius Fogle in Chicago.  Fogle is a journeyman who has a decent record overall, but has been largely discredited as a serious opponent of late.


Saturday: Undefeated German prospect Dustin Dirks will fight a journeyman of similar quality (or lack thereof) in Roberto Cocco of Italy.

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