Heavyweight: 2011, Nov 14-20

A couple bouts from London led off the week at heavyweight.  Promising and undefeated Cuban prospect Mike Perez pitched a shutout against reliably solid but increasingly unsuccessful journeyman Zack Page.  In a huge shocker, fringe contender Albert Sosnowski could manage only a draw against very poor journeyman Hastings Rasani in just a 6-round contest.  I had Sosnowski winning 4 of the 6 rounds, but he left enough doubt in the final round that a draw is not unreasonable.  This has got to be a crushing result for Sosnowski’s confidence if not his future, as Rasani came in a loser of his previous 18 fights. 


Friday night, also in the UK, Dereck Chisora shut out Rasani-level journeyman Remigijus Ziausys over the 6-round distance.  More significant than the foregone conclusion of a result was the fact that Chisora came in more-or-less in shape, having dropped 20 pounds from his recent sound defeat at the hands of Tyson Fury in for which he tipped the scales at a pudgy 261.


Speaking of Tyson Fury, he returned to action on Saturday in Manchester, and once again gave both his critics and fans plenty to talk about.  Against the undefeated but rather feather-fisted Neven Pajkic, Fury at a big right hand that dropped him like a sack of potatoes in the 2nd, but true to form rebounded to pulverize his man in the following round.  He dropped the Bosnian-Canadian twice before referee Phil Edwards stopped the contest WAY too early.  A few consistent themes seem to be emerging in Fury’s career.  First, he is defensively irresponsible, dropping his left in close and getting tagged for it.  Second, his chin appears to be very much a liability, as he gets rocked by light punchers.  Third, he is good at surviving once he’s hurt.  And finally, he bounces back from being hurt or put down better than just about anybody out there.  One thing’s for sure: a Tyson Fury bout is a must-see event, regardless of whom he’s fighting. 


Due to the fact that Chagaev hasn’t beaten anyone worthwhile in nearly 4 years, Fury advances past him in the rankings, despite the fact that Chagaev has, in his time, won on a much higher level than has the Brit.


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


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (125-338-338)
Last Fight: 7/2/2011- UD12 #2 David Haye
Next Fight: 12/10/2011- vs. #13 Jean Marc Mormeck
Wlad is already looking past Mormeck to his next fight, which he hopes will be against Antonio Tarver in the US.
1) Vitali Klitschko (162-162-162)
Last Fight: 9/10/2011- TKO10 #6 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
The two names being mentioned as Vitali’s next opponent seem to be Marco Huck and Nikolai Valuev.
2) Alexander Povetkin (12-212-212)
Last Fight: 8/27/2011- UD12 #6 Ruslan Chagaev
Next Fight: 12/3/2011- vs. #20 Cedric Boswell
Povetkin is apparently looking to fight old guys only for his next fight.  Originally it looked like a Holyfield fight was all but done, then it looked like Rahman was the guy.  As it turns out, he will fight 42-year-0ld #20 Cedric Boswell on December 3 in Helsinki.
3) Eddie Chambers (5-137-137)
Last Fight: 2/11/2011- UD12 Derric Rossy (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #8 Tony Thompson
The Chambers-Thompson fight scheduled for a 10/28 ShoBox appearance is now off due to a Chambers back injury.  Chambers hopes to be ready to go by the end of the year.
4) Robert Helenius (5-33-77)
Last Fight: 8/27/2011- TKO9 Sergei Liakhovich (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/3/2011- vs. Unknown Opponent
Dereck Chisora now appears to be the most likely opponent for Helenius’ December 3 date.
5) Tomasz Adamek (5-82-82)
Last Fight: 9/10/2011- L (TKO10) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
After initially saying he was only looking for the best fights, the latest word from Adamek’s camp is that he looks to fight 3 times in 2012, but does not expect to seek a title fight until 2013.  So 3 bums for Adamek.  Sounds pretty similar to his normal pattern since moving up.  Maybe we’ll get lucky and one of those fights will be a compelling Arreola rematch.
6) Tyson Fury (1-17-17)
Last Fight: 11/12/2011- TKO3 Neven Pajkic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury is already working on his next fight, which may be March 17 at Madison Square Garden for his US debut.
7) Ruslan Chagaev (1-261-261)
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) Tony Thompson (5-77-77)
Last Fight: 5/27/2011- TKO3 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #3 Eddie Chambers
See Chambers’ comments, above.
9) Odlanier Solis (5-48-77)
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.
10) Alexander Dimitrenko (5-5-44)
Last Fight: 9/24/2011- UD12 Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko had elbow surgery, and his mandatory defense with Robert Helenius has been delayed until presumably sometime after Helenius’ reserved December 3 date.
11) Chris Arreola (5-139)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO3 Raphael Butler (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola had little or no trouble with yet another tune-up opponent.
12) Denis Boytsov (5-126)
Last Fight: 9/24/2011- TKO6 Matthew Greer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
13) Jean Marc Mormeck (5-77)
Last Fight: 12/2/2010- SD12 #19 Timur Ibragimov
Next Fight: 12/10/2011- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
The former cruiserweight king will fight for a legitimate championship in his 2nd weight division on December 10 in Germany.  If David Haye couldn’t do anything against Wlad, I don’t know why the guy from whom Haye took the title will fare any better, especially when he is significantly older and more used up than was the Brit.
14) Bermane Stiverne (5-21)
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.
15) Samuel Peter (5-77)
Last Fight: 4/2/2011- L(KO9) vs. #16 Robert Helenius
Next Fight: Unknown
It appeared that Peter would be fighting Vyacheslav Glazkov this week, but apparently it was never a done deal and is now off.
16) Kubrat Pulev (4-53)
Last Fight: 10/22/2011- UD12 Travis Walker (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Franklin Lawrence (4-25)
Last Fight: 10/28/2011- TKO2 Raymond Ochieng (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Dereck Chisora (5-61)
Last Fight: 11/11/2011- UD6 Remigijus Ziausys (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Appears to be the likely next opponent for #4 Robert Helenius on December 3.
19) Timur Ibragimov (5-8)
Last Fight: 12/2/2010- L (SD12) vs. #18 Jean Marc Mormeck
Next Fight: 11/4/2011- vs. Seth Mitchell (UNR)
Ibragimov will serve as a measuring stick on December 10 when he attempts to shut the gate on America’s best heavyweight prospect, Seth Mitchell.
20) Cedric Boswell (5-5)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- UD10 Kertson Manswell (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/3/2011- vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Boswell gets the opportunity of his life on December 3, but it will be no easy task against #2 Povetkin.


THE WEEK AHEAD: Two notable overseas heavyweight contests.  On Friday in Germany, undefeated Syrian prospect Manuel Charr faces off with fringe prospect Marcelo Nascimento of Brazil, whose only career loss came against Tyson Fury in February.  The following evening, fringe contender Michael Grant fights 43-year-old name journeyman Francois Botha in Botha’s back yard in South Africa.  Botha was a borderline contender in the early-to-mid  90s, but has been in a steady decline since then.  Still, even at 43 he’s not a complete joke yet- at least not relative to today’s heavyweight division.  Grant finds himself somewhere around the middle of the top 50 heavyweights after bouncing back from a loss to Adamek by knocking out perpetual top-level journeyman Tye Fields in March.

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