Cruiserweight: 2011, Oct 17-23

Veteran Argentine fighter Cesar Crenz- who has alternated between journeyman and gatekeeper status of late- pulled off a notable upset on Friday in Buenos Aires, stopping more well-known countryman Hugo Garay in the 5th round of a scheduled 8-round contest.  Garay was a top-10 light heavyweight just a couple years ago, but failed in his only real attempt at cruiserweight glory when he was knocked out in an otherwise close fight by Marco Huck in July.  In a weak field, Crenz would normally move into the top 20 easily on the strength of this win alone, but he has lost to a similar or lesser level of opposition in the past (including to countryman Rogelio Rossi, another top-25 type guy that he otherwise would have passed at this point).


In other action, #12 BJ Flores shut out average journeyman Paul Jennette in Springfield, Missouri on Saturday.


Outside the ring, Alexander Frenkel’s team has talked their fighter out of my rankings.  Frenkel withdrew from a scheduled fight with Enad Licina a couple weeks ago, with a vague reference to injury as a reason.  But the latest word from the past week is that Frenkel is going to take some time off from boxing due to “burnout.”  A hand injury was also mentioned in the release, but only in passing.  Even if the hand injury was the primary reason for the cancelation, a fighter who has been inactive for over a year is not afforded the luxury of going on vacation once the immediate injury is healed.  As soon as it appears the fighter and his team are not diligently seeking a fight, I’ve gotta give him the axe.  I do believe that Frenkel had a legitimate injury for much- perhaps most- of the past 13 months, and I know he spent quite some time waiting around for a Silvio Branco fight that never materialized for one reason or another.  But still, when whatever hand injury he currently has is healed, I don’t have sympathy for the burnout he developed while not fighting all this time, at least not as it relates to how I rank him.


Frenkel’s ouster makes way for one-loss Oklahoma prospect Eric Fields to debut at #20.


For Comparison, here are the Current Ring Magazine Cruiserweight Rankings:
Champ: None
1) Marco Huck
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez
3) Steve Cunningham
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
5) Denis Lebedev
6) Troy Ross
7) Antonio Tarver
8) Giacobbe Fragomeni
9) Ola Afolabi
10) Guillermo Jones

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (13-89-89)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- TKO10 Roy Jones, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/4/2011- vs. James Toney (UNR)
Lebedev follows his ugly beat-down of washed-up legend Roy Jones, Jr. with a fight against…washed-up legend James Toney.
2) Antonio Tarver (3-13-13)
Last Fight: 7/20/2011- RTD9 #7 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
Danny Green was looking for a rematch, but after meeting deafening silence from the Tarver camp, has moved on.
3) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (3-69-69)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- W(SD6) vs. #2 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez’s mandatory for now appears to be Troy Ross.  It seems possible that popular demand could lead to a rematch with Cunningham, though, too.
4) Steve Cunningham (3-383-383)
Last Fight: 2/12/2011- UD12 #14 Enad Licina
Next Fight: 10/1/2011- vs. #6 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Cunningham will fight Yoan Pablo Hernandez on October 1 in Germany.
5) Marco Huck (3-254-254)
Last Fight: 7/16/2011- KO10 Hugo Garay (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/22/2011- vs. Rogelio Rossi (UNR)
It’s official.  Instead of trying to prove himself against the man who rightfully beat him, Huck has opted for a so-so defense against fringe contender Rogelio Rossi.
6) Ola Afolabi (3-136-136)
Last Fight: 9/10/2011- UD8 Lukasz Rusiewicz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
7) Guillermo Jones (13-55-55)
Last Fight: 10/2/2010- TKO11 Valery Brudov (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/5/2011- vs. Michael Marrone (UNR)
If it’s still possible to do so, Jones is making a mockery of his alphabet title.  He hasn’t fought a mandatory defense in something like 3 years, injury-free, and is now set to fight a joke of a defense against Michael Marrone.
8) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (29-330-330)
Last Fight: 4/2/2011- W(SD12*) vs. Francisco Palacios (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/30/2011- vs. #9 Danny Green
A really good matchup on tap between Wlodarczyk and Green- two contenders with a lot to prove.
9) Danny Green (13-98-98)
Last Fight: 7/20/2011- L(RTD9) vs. Antonio Tarver (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/30/2011- vs. #8 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
See Wlodarczyk’s comments, above.
10) Giacobbe Fragomeni (13-153-153)
Last Fight: 7/8/2011- UD6 Remigijus Ziausys (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
11) B.J. Flores (1-69)
Last Fight: 10/15/2011- UD10 Paul Jennette (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The natural assumption is that Flores is in line for a shot at Don King stablemate Guillermo Jones.
12) Francisco Palacios (1-29)
Last Fight: 4/2/2011- L (SD12*) vs. #6 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
In my opinion he did just enough to win one of the worst fights I’ve ever seen against Wlodarczyk, so I’m in no hurry to see him again.  That being said, he performed well against a top 10 guy and deserved the win on that night, so I can’t exactly ignore that.
13) Lateef Kayode (1-48)
Last Fight: 9/9/2011- UD10 Felix Cora, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kayode has engaged in close fights with less-than-stellar opposition in 2 of his last 3 fights.
14) Troy Ross (1-138)
Last Fight: 10/30/2010- UD10 Carl Handy (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ross is reportedly the mandatory challenger for newly (and dubiously) crowned beltholder Yoan Pablo Hernandez.  Still no word on why his scheduled eliminator with Garrett Wilson fell through.
15) Steve Herelius (1-68)
Last Fight: 2/12/2011- L(KO7) vs. #6 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s always hard to come back from a knockout loss.  Herelius could become a go-to quality opponent for the guys locked out of the Super Six.
16) Enad Licina (1-69)
Last Fight: 5/7/2011- KO1 Michele De Meo (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/22/2011- vs. Hari Miles (UNR)
Licina has a very non-threatening fight this week, and the power brokers are already working on his next fight- a vacant European title match versus Alexander Alexeev.  Sauerland won the purse bid, but most likely this fight will be in early 2012.
17) Firat Arslan (1-14)
Last Fight: 7/15/2011- TKO5 Lubos Suda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arslan has finally got his comeback on the right track after the Herelius setback by destroying the decent Suda.
18) Alexander Alexeev (1-40)
Last Fight: 6/11/2011- TKO2 Damian Norris (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/18/2011- vs. Daniel Bruwer (UNR)
Sauerland recently won the right to promote a European title fight between Alexeev and Licina, likely in early 2012.
19) Matt Godfrey (1-5)
Last Fight: 6/10/2011- L(UD10) vs. #17 Lateef Kayode
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s a testament to the stagnation in the bottom half of the rankings that Godfrey- who last had a significant win over 3 years ago- continues to hang around the top 20.
20) Eric Fields (1-1)
Last Fight: 9/2/2011- TKO2 Rubin Williams (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fields is the latest in a fairly long line of iffy candidates to enter in the rankings.  He’s a one-loss prospect with a win over marginal gatekeeper Danny Batchelder back in June.  What separates him from the 2 or 3 guys he beat out for this spot is the fact that his loss- in 2008 against current #6 Ola Afolabi- is a lot more forgivable than the losses of his competitors.


THE WEEK AHEADOn a single card in Ludwigsburg, Germany, #5 Marco Huck battles fringe contender Rogelio Rossi of Argentina, and #16 Enad Licina is in light against 6-3 novice Hari Miles, who is a short-notice replacement for Alexander Frenkel.

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