Light Heavyweight: 2011, May 30- Jun 5

Kenyan gatekeeper Kariz Kariuki knocked down the truly abysmal Dechapon Suwunnalird twice in the first round on Saturday, at which point the referee did what the promoter should have done before the contracts were signed- stop the fight.  Meanwhile, once-beaten prospect Vyacheslav Uzelkov did himself even less of a favor in Kiev, as he needed 6 rounds to stop his ham-and-egg opponent Ivan Maslov, even though he came in as a cruiserweight (and not just by a pound or two) against a guy that barely cracked the light heavyweight division.


For comparison, here are the current Ring Magazine Ratings:
Champ: Bernard Hopkins
1) Jean Pascal
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: Bernard Hopkins (2-260-260)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- UD12 Champ Jean Pascal
Next Fight: Unknown
The oldest man to ever win a championship, though not the oldest one to hold one yet.  All indications are that he’ll fight Dawson next, whom he ducked for years.
1) Jean Pascal (2-102-102)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- L(UD12) vs. #1 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
After a draw and loss to 45-46 year old Hopkins back-to-back, it’s hard to say that Pascal hasn’t regressed since winning the Championship from Dawson.
2) Chad Dawson (24-261-261)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- UD12 #11 Adrian Diaconu
Next Fight: Unknown
Picked up a solid win over Diaconu, and now will probably fight Hopkins for the Championship in the fall or early winter.
3) Tavoris Cloud (24-92-92)
Last Fight: 12/17/2010- UD12 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/25/2011- vs. #8 Yusaf Mack
Cloud has now signed to fight his mandatory Yusaf Mack on a fairly loaded card outside St. Louis on June 25.
4) Glen Johnson (42-415-415)
Last Fight: 11/6/2010- KO8 Allan Green (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: 6/4/2011- vs. SMW #2 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 (42-49-49)
Last Fight: 4/15/2011- TKO5 Sergei Beloshapkin (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Since being robbed against Beibut Shumenov to start 2010, Campillo has behaved more like the loser of the fight than the guy who clearly deserved to win it- fighting only two generic journeymen since.  In fairness, this most recent fight was supposed to be against top-15 contender Dmitri Sukhotski until he was left scrambling for a last-minute replacement by Sukhotski’s withdrawal.  No excuses for the Spaniard next time, though.
6) Nathan Cleverly (37-69-69)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- TKO4 Alexei Kuziemski (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Beat up Kuziemski.  Next up could be Bellew or Maccarinelli, or possibly Shumenov.
7) Eduard Gutknecht (4-4-4)
Last Fight: 5/7/2011- TKO8 #11 Danny McIntosh
Next Fight: Unknown
A former 168-lb. contender, Gutknecht looks to have increased his power along with his weight.
8) Yusaf Mack (4-13-49)
Last Fight: 3/4/2011- W(SD12) vs. #18 Otis Griffin
Next Fight: 6/25/2011- vs. #3 Tavoris Cloud
Managed to fight off HBO and Zsolt Erdei to land his mandatory shot against Tavoris Cloud.  The fight will happen 6/25 in St. Charles, Missouri on the Alexander-Matthysse HBO card.
9) Beibut Shumenov (2-45-49)
Last Fight: 1/8/2011- KO6 William Joppy (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wants to unify another alphabet belt with his own.  Best chance would probably be Cleverly, and second most likely would be Cloud.  Hopkins will almost certainly fight Dawson next.
10) Dmitri Sukhotski (2-2-31)
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.
11) Adrian Diaconu (4-212)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- L(UD12) vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
A quality fighter, Diaconu is nevertheless slipping in the rankings simply because he never wins against anyone above the journeyman level.  He ought to try and find some kind of mid-range fringe contender just to get a decent win, because fighting journeymen or top contenders isn’t working out for him.
12) Ismayl Sillakh (2-20)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- TKO3 Hamza Wandera (UNR) (as CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Came in heavy but destroyed his unworthy opponent Hamza Wandera.  Hopefully he’ll take a better fight again soon.
13) Zsolt Erdei (2-28)
Last Fight: 11/20/2010- UD8 Samson Onyango (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/4/2011- vs. Byron Mitchell (UNR)
Byron Mitchell isn’t exactly Tavoris Cloud, but, well….well….he’s just not Tavoris Cloud.
14) Danny McIntosh (2-49)
Last Fight: 5/7/2011- L(TKO8) vs. Eduard Gutknecht (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Significantly diminished by his loss to Gutknecht, but still has a better win in Thierry Karl than the two guys rated immediately below him: Karo Murat and…well…Thierry Karl.
15) Karo Murat (2-4)
Last Fight: 5/7/2011- TKO11 #17 Otis Griffin
Next Fight: Unknown
Still hasn’t quite justified his lofty Ring rating, but has finally earned some love on my blog.  He must be ecstatic.
16) Thierry Karl (2-49)
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 (2-20)
Last Fight: 11/6/2010- TKO2 Byron Mitchell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Dyah Davis (2-10)
Last Fight: 4/8/2011- UD10* Marcus Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulled off a bit of an upset in beating hot prospect Marcus Johnson on ShoBox.  Seems to be a magnet for controversial scoring, though, as he’s now been on both the good and bad side of at least debatable scorecards in his last two fights.
19) Marcus Johnson (2-8)
Last Fight: 4/8/2011- L(UD10*) vs. #19 Dyah Davis
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s hard to say that a hot prospect could benefit from an upset loss, but in this case he lost to a rateable fighter, and arguably deserved to win.  He gets credit for that here- especially considering the lack of good options in the division.
20) Tony Bellew (2-2)
Last Fight: 12/11/2010- vs. Ovill McKenzie (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/16/2011- vs. Ovill McKenzie (UNR)
Bellew is fighting mad over being bumped from the Cleverly fight due to weight, but it should cause minimal disruption to his career since he still has a pre-existing rematch scheduled with Ovill McKenzie.


The Week Ahead:  Three notables in action on Saturday.  German undefeated prospect Dustin Dirks continues his string of unnecessarily bad opposition by facing Juan Nelongo in Copenhagen.  There’s no reason for this.  Dirks has never really struggled in his career yet, so there’s no reason to baby him.  I’m not saying he has to shoot for my top 20 right away, but he hasn’t yet even fought a good journeyman yet.  His 20 wins have been totally empty.  It’s a testament to the thinness of the division that I’m even mentioning him at this stage of his career, because he hasn’t proven or tried to prove jack yet except he can dominate nobodies endlessly.


In Atlantic City, former Champ Zsolt Erdei proves that he’s back to his old tricks by fighting a journeyman when by all rights he should be fighting top-10 opposition.  His opponent is Byron Mitchell.  Mitchell is a former Super Middleweight contender, but hasn’t done anything of note or been relevant since Joe Calzaghe retired him for over 4 years back in 2003.  On the same card, recent Super Middleweight contender Edison Miranda, whose weight issues recently nixed a fight at 168 with Renan St. Juste, steps up in weight to fight solid journeyman Rayco Saunders.
Also, #4 Glen Johnson continues his campaign at 168 against Carl Froch.  A win there would spell the end of his Light Heavyweight rating because he would be set to fight for the Super Six Championship over a year after his last fight at 175.

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