Heavyweight: 2011, Aug 15-21

The door is now closed on the career of David Tua.  During his heyday in the late 90s and early 2000s, Tua was a feared puncher who was a poor man’s Mike Tyson with a better chin.  Tua stopped undefeated future Champ Hasim Rahman, iced former Champ Michael Moorer, went the distance with reigning Champion Lennox Lewis, and all the while never once hit the deck.  But that all changed last year, when former contender turned journeyman Monte Barrett floored- and many thought beat- the comebacking Tua.  Tua escaped with a draw, and went on to shut out journeyman Demetrice King to a 10-round decision.  Barrett, who announced his retirement before the first fight, did himself no favors in his return by drawing with fairly bad journeyman Charles Davis in his return bout in January, but nevertheless got a rematch with Tua.  This time he was the one who tasted the canvas- in the 12th and final round- but also came away with the decision in Tua’s adopted home of New Zealand.  Even after the draw to Barrett last year, Tua was approximately a fringe contender, but Barrett still fails to crack the rankings largely because of that inexcusable draw to Davis.  Tua, meanwhile, has got to be just about done.  At 38, the Samoan-born star still has lots of hardcore fans, but even they have to be doubting his chances for a successful comeback at this point.  Tua reportedly needs money and still has a punch which could theoretically win him just about any given fight with enough luck, so he’ll probably continue in the sport for a while longer, but he and his fans are now reduced to hoping for lightning to strike.  It is fairly inconcievable that Tua can be a consistent contender going forward.


#18 Franklin Lawrence stopped awful journeyman Marcus Rhode in the first round of what was just a scheduled 6-round affair in Miami, Oklahoma on the same evening (Saturday).  The previous evening, Cuban prospect Luis Ortiz stopped average journeyman Arron Lyons after 7 rounds complete in Hollywood, Florida for his second stoppage win in just under 2 weeks.


For Comparison, here are the Current Ring Magazine Heavyweight Rankings:
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko
1) Vitali Klitschko
2) Tomasz Adamek
3) Alexander Povetkin
4) David Haye
5) Ruslan Chagaev
6) Eddie Chambers
7) Alexander Dimitrenko
8) Denis Boystov
9) Robert Helenius
10) Chris Arreola


Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (112-325-325)
Last Fight: 7/2/2011- UD12 #2 David Haye
Next Fight: Unknown
There was talk about a potential fight with prospect Mariusz Wach, but that fight is off.
1) Vitali Klitschko (149-149-149)
Last Fight: 3/19/2011- TKO1 #10 Odlanier Solis
Next Fight: 9/10/2011- vs. #7 Tomasz Adamek
Klitschko apparently broke camp for one day to visit the Ukraine, where a political opposition leader was arrested under dubious circumstances.  Vitali is something of a political leader himself, but was back in training just a day later.
2) David Haye (72-126-126)
Last Fight: 7/2/2011- L(UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
As he is still the #2 contender almost by default, Haye appears likely to get a shot at Vitali in late 2011 or early 2012, or at least the Povetkin-Chagaev winner- that is if he is doesn’t retire in October as he has promised repeatedly.
 3) Eddie Chambers (27-124-124)
Last Fight: 2/11/2011- UD12 Derric Rossy (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/29/2011- vs. #9 Tony Thompson
Chambers’ eliminator with Tony Thompson is now set for late October on the Ward-Froch undercard.
4) Robert Helenius (20-20-64)
Last Fight: 4/2/2011- KO9 #6 Samuel Peter
Next Fight: 8/27/2011- vs. Sergei Liakhovich (UNR)
Will get some exposure on EPIX again Liakhovich.
5) Alexander Povetkin (20-199-199)
Last Fight: 12/18/2010- UD8 Nicolai Firtha (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/27/2011- vs. #6 Ruslan Chagaev
The Povetkin-Chagaev fight along with Helenius-Liakhovich will be televised by premium cable network/video on demand service EPIX.
6) Ruslan Chagaev (20-248-248)
Last Fight: 11/19/2010- UD8 Travis Walker (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/27/2011- vs. #5 Alexander Povetkin
See Povetkin’s comments above.
7) Tomasz Adamek (29-69-69)
Last Fight: 4/9/2011- UD12 Kevin McBride (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/10/2011- vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Time for Adamek to get serious, as he faces a live opponent for the first time in a long stretch this September.
8) Tyson Fury (4-4)
Last Fight: 7/23/2011- UD12 #14 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
A fine performance versus Chisora has silenced a lot of Fury’s doubters.
9) Tony Thompson (4-64-64)
Last Fight: 5/27/2011- TKO3 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/29/2011- vs. #3 Eddie Chambers
The Chambers fight is now official for the Ward-Froch undercard in October.
10) Odlanier Solis (35-35-64)
Last Fight: 3/19/2011- L (TKO1) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: 10/14/2011- vs. Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Solis is bouncing back admirably from his knee surgery, and already has a fight scheduled for mid-October.
11) Juan Carlos Gomez (4-64)
Last Fight: 12/4/2010- TKO4 Harold Sconiers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Treading water like nobody’s business.
12) Alexander Dimitrenko (4-31)
Last Fight: 3/26/2011- TKO12 Albert Sosnowski (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/24/2011- vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Will fight journeyman Michael Sprott, about a month later than originally planned.
13) Chris Arreola (4-126)
Last Fight: 7/9/2011- UD10 Friday Ahunanya (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/15/2011- vs. Unknown Opponent
Arreola remains one of the busiest fighters in the division, and returns to action against a TBA opponent on September 15.
14) Denis Boytsov (4-113)
Last Fight: 11/19/2010- KO2 Mike Sheppard (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Jean Marc Mormeck (21-64)
Last Fight: 12/2/2010- SD12 #19 Timur Ibragimov
Next Fight: Unknown
Prospective opponent Dimitrenko is passing on his EBU mandatory defense with Mormeck in favor of a voluntary one with someone else.
16) Bermane Stiverne (8-8)
Last Fight: 6/25/2011- TKO10 #20 Ray Austin
Next Fight: Unknown
The only thing impressive about Stiverne’s performance against Austin was his power, but a win is a win.
17) Samuel Peter (8-64)
Last Fight: 4/2/2011- L(KO9) vs. #16 Robert Helenius
Next Fight: Unknown
We’ll have to see if and how Peter rebounds from his latest knockout loss- this one more brutal than the last.  If the relatively young (30) Nigerian decides to forge on, he’ll have to overcome the reality of being treated as a stepping stone at least for tall up-and-comers.
18) Franklin Lawrence (8-12)
Last Fight:5/27/2011- RTD7 Jason Gavern (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lawrence has signed with Gary Shaw and figures to get a decent fight or two as a result.
19) Kubrat Pulev (8-40)
Last Fight: 7/16/2011- UD8 Maxim Pediura (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev is likely to fight former British titlist Martin Rogan on October 22.
20) Dereck Chisora (4-48)
Last Fight: 7/23/2011- L(UD12) vs. Tyson Fury (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chisora recently said that he expects a rematch with Fury.  I’m not sure he’s earned it based on his effort in training and his performance in the ring.


THE WEEK AHEAD: Gatekeeper Dominick Guinn takes on very atypical undefeated prospect Amir Mansour on Friday in Dover, Delaware.  In June of 2001, both American fighters were 9-0 prospects.  Guinn went on to run his record to 24-0- including a career-best stoppage win over Michael Grant in 2003 that vaulted him to contender status- before losing to Monte Barrett in 2003.  Now 36, he has alternated between fringe contender and gatekeeper status ever since.  Mansour took a different path, getting busted for drug possession and serving 8 years in federal prison, but earning a college degree in the process.  He return to the ring late last August the same day he was released from a halfway house, and has rattled off 5 wins since then, all by knockout.  Yet at 39, he still has yet to fight anything resembling a quality opponent.  That will change in a hurry on Friday.  It’s a huge step up for Mansour, but obviously he has a very limited window if he wants to make noise in the sport due to his age, and appears to have the intention of doing just that.

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