Light Heavyweight: 2011-2012, Dec 26 – Jan 1

If you asked Santa for a significant light heavyweight fight for Christmas, you must have been bad this year.


For comparison, here are the current Ring Magazine Ratings:
Champ: Bernard Hopkins
1) Jean Pascal
2) Tavoris Cloud
3) Chad Dawson
4) Nathan Cleverly
5) Adrian Diaconu
6) Zsolt Erdei
7) Beibut Shumenov
8) Karo Murat
9) Gabriel Campillo
10) Ismayl Sillakh


Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Bernard Hopkins (32-290-290)
Last Fight: 10/15/2011- NC* vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has ordered a Dawson rematch.  There is much speculation floating around that the matchup is extremely unmarketable due to the poor PPV numbers of the first fight.  Also, Dawson has unequivocally stated his desire for a Paschal rematch next.  But on the other hand, Hopkins is under contract for another fight with HBO, and it’s hard to come up with anyone realistic that would make a more natural opponent for Hopkins.
1) Jean Pascal (32-132-132)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- L(UD12) vs. #1 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has ordered an eliminator vs. Sillakh after originally offering Paschal an outright shot at the winner of the ill-fated Hopkins-Dawson fight.  Pascal has basically confirmed that he is 100% all for that fight and his sole goal is winning his title back.
2) Chad Dawson (54-291-291)
Last Fight: 10/15/2011- NC* vs. Champ Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
See Hopkins’ notes, above.
3) Tavoris Cloud (54-122-122)
Last Fight: 6/25/2011- TKO8 #8 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: Unknown
Erdei’s injured hand has nixed the entire New Year’s Eve card.  Somewhat inexplicably, Showtime rejected Gabriel Campillo- who is likely better than Erdei- as a replacement opponent.
4) Gabriel Campillo (11-79-79)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- Draw (SD12) vs. #14 Karo Murat
Next Fight: Unknown
See Cloud’s notes, above.
5) Nathan Cleverly (11-99-99)
Last Fight: 10/15/2011- W*(MD12) vs. Tony Bellew (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/25/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Cleverly will fight an unknown opponent on February 25 in Cardiff, Wales.  Some names being mentioned: Edison Miranda, Bernard Hopkins, and Enzo Maccarinelli.
6) Karo Murat (13-13-34)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- Draw (SD12) vs. #4 Gabriel Campillo
Next Fight: Unknown
I never thought this would happen, but I now rate the long-overrated Murat even higher than does Ring Magazine.
7) Tony Bellew (11-11-11)
Last Fight: 10/15/2011- L*(MD12) vs. #4 Nathan Cleverly
Next Fight: Unknown
Deserved better than a majority decision loss against Cleverly.  I thought he won the fight or deserved, at worst, a draw.
8) Eduard Gutknecht (11-34-34)
Last Fight: 7/16/2011- UD12 Lorenzo Di Giacomo (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/4/2011- vs. Vyacheslav Uzelkov (UNR)
Gutknecht will fight fringe contender/prospect Uzelkov on February 4.
9) Beibut Shumenov (11-75-79)
Last Fight: 7/29/2011- TKO9 Danny Santiago (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Shumenov’s attempts to get a fight with Cleverly have apparently failed.  Shumenov wants to unify the alphabet titles, but he appears to be the odd man out in a lot of those fights.  This might be an ideal time for a rematch with Campillo if he can’t get a unification at this point.
10) Yusaf Mack (11-43-79)
Last Fight: 6/25/2011- L(TKO8) vs. #3 Tavoris Cloud
Next Fight: Unknown
Mack looks a little too small to compete with the top guys at this weight, but still has a good enough resume to avoid dropping too far.
11) Dmitri Sukhotski (11-61)
Last Fight: 10/8/2011- TKO2 Nadjib Mohammedi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sukhotski has a fight with Cleverly on the horizon, but it appears unlikely to be in Cleverly’s next appearance in February.
12) Adrian Diaconu (11-242)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- L(UD12) vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
A quality fighter, Diaconu is nevertheless slipping in the rankings simply because he never wins against anyone above the journeyman level.  He ought to try and find some kind of mid-range fringe contender just to get a decent win, because fighting journeymen or top contenders isn’t working out for him.
13) Ismayl Sillakh (11-50)
Last Fight: 11/4/2011- TKO4 Ali Ismailov (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has slated Sillakh for an eliminator against Pascal.
14) Cornelius White (2-2)
Last Fight: 12/17/2011- UD6 #16 Yordanis Despaigne
Next Fight: Unknown
White, who was blown out in one round by prospect Don George at super middleweight early in 2011, may be a fluke.  But at least for one night, he looked a lot better against former top amateur Yordanis Despaigne than did established fringe contender Edison Miranda.
15) Zsolt Erdei (2-58)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- KO6 Byron Mitchell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Erdei’s injured hand has nixed the entire New Year’s Eve card, including his fight with Cloud. 
16) Edison Miranda (2-2)
Last Fight: 12/17/2011- TKO5 Kariz Kariuki (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Yordanis Despaigne’s upset loss appears to have nixed the essentially made fight with Miranda.  Miranda is now talking about wanting a fight with Nathan Cleverly.
17) Danny McIntosh (2-79)
Last Fight: 5/7/2011- L(TKO8) vs. Eduard Gutknecht (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Significantly diminished by his loss to Gutknecht, but still has a better win in Thierry Karl than the two guys rated immediately below him: Karo Murat and…well…Thierry Karl.
18) Jesus Gonzales (2-25)
Last Fight: 7/8/2011- UD12 Francisco Sierra (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
His present and future are probably both at 168, but he beat a good enough light heavyweight to earn this ranking, nevertheless.
19) Thierry Karl (2-79)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- KO1 Mile Nikolic (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Karl is a threat to be removed in late January if he doesn’t schedule a light heavyweight fight soon.
20) Dyah Davis (2-40)
Last Fight: 10/21/2011- UD6 Darnell Boone (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/6/2012- vs. Alfonso Lopez (UNR)
Davis will lead off the new season of Friday Night Fights on January 6, when he takes on Alfonso Lopez, the prospect who probably deserved a win over Kelly Pavlik in 2011.


The Week Ahead: Undefeated Cuban prospect Luis Garcia returns to the sport he abandoned for the past year when he fights fellow unbeaten Alexander Johnson of Maryland in the opening (and likely most competitive) bout of ShoBox’s Friday telecast.  The winner of this fight will almost certainly earn (or re-earn) a rating.  In other words, it was nice knowing you, Dyah Davis!

2 Responses to “Light Heavyweight: 2011-2012, Dec 26 – Jan 1”

  1. bellew at 7 is a complete joke who has he beat that is any good

    • It’s mostly based on the Cleverly fight. I thought he deserved the win, or at least a draw. The #7 rating is based on a draw with Cleverly that I thought the judges robbed him of. I would agree with you that, based on official wins (Ovill McKenzie being the only reasonably significant one of his career) he would not be top 20.

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