Cruiserweight: 2011, Oct 31- Nov 6

No notable fights occurred in the division this week, but #14 Troy Ross vanishes from the rankings since he has not fought since his frankly inconsequential win over Carl Handy a year ago.  Polish undefeated prospect Mateusz Masternak is, to me, the clear choice to take over the #20 spot.  Masternak was ranked for 5 months until he was forced out by Firat Arslan’s victory over Lubos Suda 4 months ago.

 

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 (15-91-91)
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 (5-15-15)
Last Fight: 7/20/2011- RTD9 #7 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
Wladimir Klitschko’s trainer Manny Steward wants his champion to defend his title against Tarver.
3) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (5-71-71)
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 (5-385-385)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- L(SD6) vs. #6 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham was all but robbed in his last fight, but left just enough doubt by getting knocked down in the first to leave him behind his opponent in the rankings.
5) Marco Huck (5-256-256)
Last Fight: 10/22/2011- KO5 Rogelio Rossi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck may be literally getting too big for his britches, as he has been publicly agitating for a fight with heavyweight #1 contender Vitali Klitschko.  Vitali seems to have some interest, and there are talks that the fight might happen in February or March.  He also says he wants to fight Guillermo Jones.
6) Ola Afolabi (5-138-138)
Last Fight: 9/10/2011- UD8 Lukasz Rusiewicz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
7) Guillermo Jones (15-57-57)
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 (31-332-332)
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 (15-100-100)
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 (15-155-155)
Last Fight: 7/8/2011- UD6 Remigijus Ziausys (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
11) B.J. Flores (3-71)
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 (3-31)
Last Fight: 4/2/2011- L (SD12*) vs. #6 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: 11/5/2011- vs. Joell Godfrey (UNR)
Palacios has a stay-busy fight scheduled on Saturday in Florida.
13) Lateef Kayode (3-50)
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 outings.
14) Steve Herelius (1-70)
Last Fight: 2/12/2011- L(KO7) vs. #6 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Enad Licina (1-71)
Last Fight: 10/22/2011- UD8 Hari Miles (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #18 Alexander Alexeev
It appears that the EBU-mandated fight between Licina and Alexeev is essentially made for an unnamed date in January.
16) Firat Arslan (1-16)
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.
17) Alexander Alexeev (1-42)
Last Fight: 6/11/2011- TKO2 Damian Norris (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/18/2011- vs. Daniel Bruwer (UNR)
See Licina’s notes, above.
18) Matt Godfrey (1-7)
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.
19) Eric Fields (1-3)
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.
20) Mateusz Masternak (1-1)
Last Fight: 9/10/2011- TKO3 Carl Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD#1 Denis Lebedev leads us off this week by taking on another old-time Middleweight Champion in James Toney.  If Lebedev manages to knock out the 43-year-old Toney, I hope he’ll at least do so more quickly and humanely than the difficult-to-watch execution inflicted on Jones by Lebedev and referee Steve Smoger earlier in the year.

 

On Saturday, #12 Francisco Palacios fights so-so journeyman Joell Godfrey in Hollywood, Florida in an 8-round stay-busy fight, on the undercard of #7 Guillermo Jones’ stay-busy fight against the only slightly better Michael Marrone.  Jones somehow still holds the WBA title despite this being only his second fight since he won the title in September 2008.

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