Heavyweight: 2011, Nov 28- Dec 4

There was one card with heavyweight significance this week, and- perhaps appropriately on Thanksgiving weekend- it was in Turkey.  Boxrec had Odlanier Solis scheduled to fight an unknown opponent, but I suspected he probably still wasn’t ready following multiple knee surgeries.  I seem to have been correct, as the fight evidently did not come off.  Czech fringe prospect Ondrej Pala, meanwhile, did answer the bell for his fight on the same card, however, and basically proved what we all pretty much knew anyway- that Darnell Wilson only beat Juan Carlos Gomez because the latter had a badly messed-up shoulder.  Pala, who in his career has lost to one nobody as well as Denis Boytsov, won by scores of 120-108 and 118-110 (twice) against glorified journeyman Wilson.


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 (127-340-340)
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 (164-164-164)
Last Fight: 9/10/2011- TKO10 #6 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
David Haye’s camp says Haye isn’t interested in coming out of his very brief retirement to fight Vitali, but Team Klitschko seems to be hearing different feedback from Haye’s people.  Vitali apparently wants that fight, but has given Haye a mid-December deadline to decide whether or not to take the offer he’s been given.  Vitali says he’ll announce his next opponent the week after his brother’s December 10 defense regardless of who it is.
2) Alexander Povetkin (14-214-214)
Last Fight: 8/27/2011- UD12 #6 Ruslan Chagaev
Next Fight: 12/3/2011- vs. #20 Cedric Boswell
Povetkin’s fight with Boswell will be televised by EPIX (which is not available in my area) and streamed on EpixHD.com.  Povetkin definitely wants a Klitschko in 2012.
3) Eddie Chambers (7-139-139)
Last Fight: 2/11/2011- UD12 Derric Rossy (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s been about a month since Chambers-Thompson was supposed to have happened before a Chambers back injury, and I’ve seen no talk of rescheduling.  I would expect it will still happen, but will assume the fight is off until I hear different.
4) Robert Helenius (7-35-79)
Last Fight: 8/27/2011- TKO9 Sergei Liakhovich (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/3/2011- vs. #18 Dereck Chisora
Helenius-Chisora will be televised on EPIX (an on-demand-based cable channel that isn’t available in my area) and streamed on Epixhd.com.
5) Tomasz Adamek (7-84-84)
Last Fight: 9/10/2011- L (TKO10) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Chris Arreola wants to fight him, but Adamek is talking about a rematch with Andrew Golota.  Are you f’ing kidding me???
6) Tyson Fury (3-19-19)
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.  The most likley opponent at this point appears to be undefeated Russian prospect Magomed Abdusalamov.
7) Ruslan Chagaev (3-263-263)
Last Fight: 8/27/2011- L (UD12) vs. #5 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 1/21/2011- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chagaev has a fight scheduled against an opponent to be announced in January.
8) Tony Thompson (7-79-79)
Last Fight: 5/27/2011- TKO3 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Chambers’ comments, above.
9) Odlanier Solis (7-50-79)
Last Fight: 3/19/2011- L (TKO1) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis appears to still be recovering from multiple knee surgeries.
10) Alexander Dimitrenko (7-7-46)
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 (7-141)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO3 Raphael Butler (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola wants to fight Wlad and/or Adamek in the near future.
12) Denis Boytsov (7-128)
Last Fight: 9/24/2011- TKO6 Matthew Greer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
13) Jean Marc Mormeck (7-79)
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 (7-23)
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 (7-79)
Last Fight: 4/2/2011- L(KO9) vs. #16 Robert Helenius
Next Fight: Unknown
It appeared that Peter would be fighting Vyacheslav Glazkov, but apparently it was never a done deal.
16) Kubrat Pulev (6-55)
Last Fight: 10/22/2011- UD12 Travis Walker (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Franklin Lawrence (6-27)
Last Fight: 10/28/2011- TKO2 Raymond Ochieng (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Dereck Chisora (7-63)
Last Fight: 11/11/2011- UD6 Remigijus Ziausys (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/3/2011- vs. #4 Robert Helenius
He’ll need to be in top shape to have a chance against the crushing power of Robert Helenius.
19) Timur Ibragimov (7-10)
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.  The fight will be televised by HBO.
20) Cedric Boswell (7-7)
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: This is actually a pretty big week at heavyweight.  We get our appetizer on Friday, when aging but still promising undefeated prospect Amir Mansour of Wilmington, Delaware takes on journeyman Epifanio Mendoza in Dover, just a short drive from Mansour’s house.  Mendoza, listed at 6’1″ incredibly turned pro way down at junior lightweight, but was a reasonably competitive fighter as high as light heavyweight.  He is not a big threat at this size, though, as he has been stopped in 4 (all at cruiserweight) of his last 8 fights, though he did score a stoppage victory against an undefeated prospect recently in fellow undersized heavyweight Carlos Negron.  I’m betting that Mansour will prove to be light years ahead of Negron.


The following night, Finland will play host to one of those typical European cards loaded with notable heavyweights.  And none of these are really cupcake gimme type of fights, either.  #2 Alexander Povetkin will take on aged but still very capable #20 Cedric Boswell.  #4 Robert Helenius will face a most likely in-shape version of #18 Dereck Chisora, and undefeated prospect Edmund Gerber gets a halfway decent opponent for once in respectable English journeyman Matt Skelton. 


Skelton was a real contender a few years ago, but began a precipitous slide into mediocrity when he lost his Commonwealth title to Martin Rogan in 2009.  Still, he’s about twice as good as anybody Gerber has fought in nearly 2 years. 


Helenius is one of the most devastating punchers in the sport, but frequently gets outboxed badly before seemingly destroying his opponent at will late in the fight.  Chisora has proven to be a pretty good fighter, but came in so badly out of shape for this year’s fight with Tyson Fury that he gave himself little chance.  Since he has only 3 weeks between his last fight and this one, and since he came in just one pound over his career low weight for his last fight, we can assume he’ll be in something like top shape for Helenius, and thus I predict we’ll see a close fight or maybe even a dominant performance by Chisora, at least until Helenius turns it on late.


Povetkin should be too young and skilled for Boswell, but I expect Boswell to give a pretty decent account of himself, especially given his age.

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