Cruiserweight: 2011, Dec 5-11

In a memorable fight in Australia this Wednesday, #8 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk had worked himself into a precarious situation on the scorecards against #9 Danny Green- down 4 points with 2 to go- when he took advantage of a broken nose he inflicted  upon Green at the end of the 10th in order to pummel and drop the local favorite to a dramatic 11th round stoppage.

 

Wlodarczyk moves up to #6, displacing Ola Afolabi, whose opposition has regressed recently.  It was a bit of a tough call whether to advance him past Marco Huck given Huck’s performance against Lebedev.  However, I ultimately decided that since Lebedev is currently rated #1, that performance is somewhat forgivable.  Additionally, Huck’s overall resume, being by far the deepest and longest in the division, helps him retain the #5 position.  You would think that Green would fall based on a loss to someone only one position above him, but in this case he’s insulated against that movement by the fact that #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni hasn’t had a significant win since 2008 and that he’s already beat #11 B.J. Flores.  I’m never one to force punishment upon a guy for losing to a good fighter, especially when his competition has done the same or has not even fought good fighters.

 

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 (19-95-95)
Last Fight: 11/4/2011- UD12 James Toney (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There has been buzz of a possible matchup with Tarver in February in England, but Tarver recently said he has no reason to fight Lebedev.
2) Antonio Tarver (9-19-19)
Last Fight: 7/20/2011- RTD9 #7 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
See Lebedev’s comments above.
3) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (9-75-75)
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 (9-389-389)
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 (9-260-260)
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, and has a mandatory obligation with Ola Afolabi.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (1-336-336)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- TKO11 #9 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
A really good matchup on tap between Wlodarczyk and Green- two contenders with a lot to prove.
7) Ola Afolabi (1-142-142)
Last Fight: 9/10/2011- UD8 Lukasz Rusiewicz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
May be in line for a fight with Huck in February or March.
8) Guillermo Jones (1-61-61)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jones, a former welterweight, now says he wants a Klitschko.
9) Danny Green (19-104-104)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- L(TKO11) vs. #8 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s comments, above.
10) Giacobbe Fragomeni (19-159-159)
Last Fight: 7/8/2011- UD6 Remigijus Ziausys (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
11) B.J. Flores (7-75)
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 (7-35)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- UD8 Joell Godfrey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
13) Lateef Kayode (7-54)
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 (5-74)
Last Fight: 2/12/2011- L(KO7) vs. #6 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Enad Licina (5-75)
Last Fight: 10/22/2011- UD8 Hari Miles (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/4/2011- vs. #17 Alexander Alexeev
Licina-Alexeev now has a date: February 4.
16) Firat Arslan (5-20)
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 (5-46)
Last Fight: 11/18/2011- TKO8 Daniel Bruwer (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/4/2012- vs. #15 Enad Licina
See Licina’s notes, above.
18) Matt Godfrey (5-11)
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 (5-7)
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 (5-5)
Last Fight: 9/10/2011- TKO3 Carl Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Masternak recently signed with Sauerland, giving him lots of great opportunities for big fights in the near future.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:  Roy Jones, Jr. finds himself on a crappy online pay-per-view against not-so-great journeyman Max Alexander in Atlanta.  This fight will reportedly be for an IBS regional title.  Truth be told, even with IBS involved, most people just don’t give a crap.

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