Heavyweight: 2011, Sep 26- Oct 2

Three top-20 heavyweights saw action in separate bouts on one card in Hamburg, Germany this Saturday.  All three figured to be gimme fights, but there was one surprise along the way.  The highest ranked of the three, #11 Juan Carlos Gomez suffered a majority decision epic fail against the seemingly completely shot former cruiserweight contender Darnell Wilson over 10 rounds.  Normally a guy with the kind of solid long-term resume that Gomez enjoys would be given the benefit of the doubt and remain clinging to a ranking after an upset loss, but the magnitude of this one is just too great.  To leave Gomez in the rankings, you’d obviously have to rank Wilson even higher, and that’s just untenable under the circumstances.  Wilson had been a loser of his previous six fights, and 7 of his last 8, including two losses to true no-future journeymen.  To rank him, even after having beaten a legitimate #11 contender, would be simply preposterous, and thus Gomez’ staying ranked would be even more so.


The other two ranked fighters, Alexander Dimitrenko and Denis Boytsov, fared somewhat better.  #14 Boytsov easily cruised to a 6th round stoppage over no-hoper Matthew Greer, while #12 Dimitrenko actually had his own struggles against Michael Sprott, a British former fringe contender that has settled in as somewhat of a “name” journeyman in the division.  British fans especially are crying robbery with respect to the Sprott fight, and after seeing the fight I must agree at least that the officials involved would certainly have robbed Sprott before they’d have allowed him to win.  I must also confess that I think Dimitrenko did enough to win 115-113 without any help.  That being said, veteran Italian referee Massimo Barrovecchio was a disgrace at least in this assignment.  Not a Russell Mora-level disgrace, but think maybe Joe Cortez’ average performance.  He broke the two fighters practically every time they touched.  Hands free all over the place, and Barrovecchio is still breaking everybody in sight.  And then there were two ludicrous point deductions late in the fight against Sprott.  Basically Massimo wasn’t quite sure if the ringside judges were fully on board with giving Sprott no chance to win (Roger Tilleman at 117-111 and especially Andre Pasquier at a disgusting 119-108 evidently were), so he snatched a point from Sprott for throwing a completely blocked punch a half second after the bell (with no prior offenses) at the end of the 10th, and then again in the 12th for continuing to punch while Dimitrenko was trying to grab him to hold on for dear life in the 12th, and causing the Ukrainian to flop to the canvas like a fish out of water for about the 10th time in the fight. 


Gomez’ exit from the rankings makes room for Timur Ibragimov to return for the first time since May at #20.


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


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (118-331-331)
Last Fight: 7/2/2011- UD12 #2 David Haye
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlad is apparently negotiating a fight with #15 Jean Marc Mormeck which would take place December 10.
1) Vitali Klitschko (155-155-155)
Last Fight: 9/10/2011- TKO10 #6 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko and Haye both want to fight him, and there is even talk by business interests in Bern, Switzerland of bringing Valuev back to fight him there.
2) Alexander Povetkin (5-205-205)
Last Fight: 8/27/2011- UD12 #6 Ruslan Chagaev
Next Fight: Unknown
Appears to be looking at Alexander Dimitrenko and the ancient Evander Holyfield for his next fight, which will likely take place in Zurich, Switzerland.  In addition, he has made an offer to Mormeck.
3) David Haye (5-132-132)
Last Fight: 7/2/2011- L(UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
The word on the street has it that a Haye-Vitali fight is likely in the cards.
 4) Eddie Chambers (5-130-130)
Last Fight: 2/11/2011- UD12 Derric Rossy (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/28/2011- vs. #9 Tony Thompson
The Chambers-Thompson fight has now been moved up one day, and will now headline a ShoBox triple-header instead of a possibly non-televised place on the postponed Ward-Froch undercard.
5) Robert Helenius (5-26-70)
Last Fight: 8/27/2011- TKO9 Sergei Liakhovich (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After taking out Liakhovich, Helenius now wants a Klitschko.
6) Tomasz Adamek (5-75-75)
Last Fight: 9/10/2011- L (TKO10) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Adamek plans to return next year and wants only the best fights.
7) Ruslan Chagaev (5-254-254)
Last Fight: 8/27/2011- L (UD12) vs. #5 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Chagaev wants to fight again by the end of the year and get back on a title track.
8) Tyson Fury (10-10)
Last Fight: 9/17/2011- TKO5 Nicolai Firtha (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After a shaky win over Firtha, Fury is already looking to get back in the ring.  He may return on November 12 in Belfast.
9) Tony Thompson (10-70-70)
Last Fight: 5/27/2011- TKO3 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/29/2011- vs. #3 Eddie Chambers
See Chambers’ comments, above.
10) Odlanier Solis (41-41-70)
Last Fight: 3/19/2011- L (TKO1) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
As I suspected, the rumored 10/14 fight for Solis will not happen, as he is nowhere near ready after knee surgery.
11) Alexander Dimitrenko (1-37)
Last Fight: 9/24/2011- UD12 Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Almost did enough to lose to Sprott, though it’s obvious referee Massimo Barrovecchio and at least two of the judges had no intention of ever letting that happen under any circumstances.
12) Chris Arreola (1-132)
Last Fight: 7/9/2011- UD10 Friday Ahunanya (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola is expected to be in action again in either October or November.
13) Denis Boytsov (1-119)
Last Fight: 9/24/2011- TKO6 Matthew Greer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Jean Marc Mormeck (1-70)
Last Fight: 12/2/2010- SD12 #19 Timur Ibragimov
Next Fight: Unknown
May be in line to fight Wlad on December 10, and also has an offer on the table from Povetkin.
15) Bermane Stiverne (1-14)
Last Fight: 6/25/2011- TKO10 #20 Ray Austin
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite a still-thin resume, Stiverne has somehow been maneuvered into the position of being Vitali Klitschko’s WBC mandatory challenger.
16) Samuel Peter (1-70)
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.
17) Franklin Lawrence (1-18)
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.
18) Kubrat Pulev (1-46)
Last Fight: 7/16/2011- UD8 Maxim Pediura (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/22/2011- vs. Unknown Opponent
After turning down Tyson Fury, Martin Rogan has withdrawn from a fight with Pulev, as well.  Pulev will fight on October 22, but the opponent is now unknown.
19) Dereck Chisora (1-54)
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.
20) Timur Ibragimov (1-1)
Last Fight: 12/2/2010- L (SD12) vs. #18 Jean Marc Mormeck
Next Fight: Unknown
Ibragimov returns to the rankings for the first time since May despite not having fought or scheduled a fight since then.


THE WEEK AHEAD:  Nothing doing in the division this week.

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