Archive for March, 2012

Cruiserweight: 2012, Mar 26- Apr 1

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 31, 2012 by danboxing
Oh goodness.  What a weekend.  The fight I’m about to mention was overshadowed greatly (at least stateside) by the controversy surrounding Molina-Kirkland, but it may be perhaps even more difficult in this case to determine the proper treatment of the situation.  Enzo Maccarinelli (a former contender in this division removed for inactivity and nominally moving down to light heavyweight) fought rugged but green Shane McPhilbin on Friday night in England for the British cruiserweight title.  Maccarinelli, who clearly needs to retire to save his brain at this point, was knocked silly by a fairly ordinary shot in the first round.  He rose from it and then fell again before returning to his feet a second time to barely beat the count.  Frankly, it was very questionable whether he was ready to continue at 10.  I didn’t get a good view of the look on his face, but the broadcasters were very adamant that he didn’t know where he was.  McPhilbin waded in after the bout was allowed to continue, and was the only one in the ring, it seems, to hear the bell ring FORTY SEVEN SECONDS EARLY- basically the second Maccarinelli otherwise would have been placed back in harm’s way.  Let me be clear: it would have taken an historic show of guts, fortitude, and survival instincts for Maccarinelli to remotely last 47 more seconds at that point.  In my estimation, there was about a 90% chance the eventual result with proper officiating was a KO or TKO1 for McPhilbin.  Maccarinelli took a while to recover and was bullied around for the entire second round before being dropped again by a mediocre wide right hand in the 3rd.  At that point, he seemed to get his wits about him.  By the middle rounds, it was clear that McPhilbin had given everything he had to give.  From that point on he looked every bit the crude, poorly conditioned pub-brawler that he almost certainly is, and he lost a decision by a fairly solid margin after winning perhaps 1 of the final 9 rounds.

 

So what to do about this whole situation?  Well, Maccarinelli is unquestionably an active cruiserweight again.  First, let’s look at the most charitable view of the situation or Enzo.  Let’s just ignore the controversy and difficulties and say he won the fight with an average decision.  To be brutally honest, even a clean win over McPhilbin does nothing or Enzo’s resume except to classify him as active.  The 8-2 McPhilbin, despite being the British cruiserweight champion, had done nothing to get him considered as anything above a low-level journeyman.  So granting Enzo the win, he basically has an argument to be ranked around where he was when he exits for inactivity, minus whatever effect his layoff and low level of opposition might be deemed to have.  His last ranking was between Enad Licina and Firat Arslan back in September, which puts him somewhere around 17 or 18 in the current rankings, before any negative considerations are factored in.  Now, to factor those things.  It’s been 2 years since Enzo’s last significant win.  Before that?  4 1/2 years.  Throw in the fact that he basically fought two separate fights against a total non-entity in McPhilbin on Friday and walked away with a 1-1 record, and there’s really no justification for rating him.   It’s really too bad for McPhilbin, though.  If the fight had ended- as it likely should have- in the first round, McPhilbin would have almost certainly earned a ranking.  It would have been a flukey ranking, as proved totally unworthy of one over the latter half of the fight, but it would have been his moment.  In truth, he appears to be a 6-round clubfighter.  Maybe someday he’ll progress past that, but not yet.

 

Swallowed up in all this is the fact that there were actually a couple other notable fights last week.  Prospect Ilunga Makubu of the Congo stopped Nigerian journeyman Michael Gbenga in the 5th round of a scheduled 8 on Saturday.  Later that night, gatekeeper Willie Herring took on undefeated Columbian Santander Silgado on the non-televised Judah-Paris undercard in Brooklyn.  Silgado came out with a average decision, but I am not going examine this one too closely for rankings purposes because even though Boxrec had Herring rated in the top 50, it’s hard to see this as anything but a computer error, since the fight that got him that ranking was a win over Ravea Springs, a 40-year-old former gatekeeper coming off a 3 1/2 year layoff.  So for all the sound and fury, no changes to the rankings this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (8-92-92)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Erased any doubt as to the better fighter between him and Cunningham.  A fight with Lebedev now would be huge.
2) Denis Lebedev (8-112-112)
Last Fight: 11/4/2011- UD12 James Toney (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/4/2012- vs. Shawn Cox (UNR)
After reportedly being close to signing a fight with French gatekeeper Rachid El Hadak, Lebedev has instead opted for a bout with Shawn Cox.  This seems like a very low-reward fight for Lebedev, and if Cox happens to be for real after demolishing former contender Wayne Braithwaite, it might carry some risk, too.  I don’t understand the matchmaking from Lebedev’s team.
3) Antonio Tarver (8-36-36)
Last Fight: 7/20/2011- RTD9 #7 Danny Green
Next Fight: 5/26/2012- vs. #14 Lateef Kayode
Tarver criticized Kayode on ShoBox, and Kayode took exception.  So now we have a grudge match.  I don’t think the Nigerian is ready for this, but perhaps Tarver will finally show his age.
4) Marco Huck (8-277-277)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- L*(MD12) vs. HW #2 Alexander Povetkin (at HW)
Next Fight: 5/5/2012- vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Huck will fight Afolabi May 5 in Erfurt, Germany, fresh off his near victory over Povetkin at heavyweight.
5) Steve Cunningham (8-406-406)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (17-353-353)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- TKO11 #9 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
7) Ola Afolabi (17-159-159)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- RTD5 Valery Brudov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Huck’s notes, above.
8) Guillermo Jones (17-78-78)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With all of his possible mandatories tied up with other fights, Jones has made renewed noises about moving up to face a Klitschko.  In the meantime, he continues to train in Miami for a fight that has yet to materialize. 
9) Danny Green (36-121-121)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- L(TKO11) vs. #8 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Shane Cameron is hoping to fight Green if he beats Monte Barrett in May.  No major news from Green’s end.
10) B.J. Flores (2-2-92)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO6 Hugo Pineda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores has said he might fight the Fragomeni-Branco winner.  Not sure how that will be affected by the fact that there is no winner.
11) Francisco Palacios (2-52)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- UD8 Joell Godfrey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has mandated a rematch with Wlodarczyk, but that seems almost forgotten as Wlodarczyk has since chased fights with Roy Jones and Antonio Tarver, neither of which seem to be currently on the table.
12) Alexander Alexeev (2-63)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #15 Enad Licina
Next Fight: 5/11/2012- vs. #18 Firat Arslan
Alexeev will fight Firat Arslan in an interesting crossroads-type fight on May 11 in Germany.
13) Lateef Kayode (2-71)
Last Fight: 9/9/2011- UD10 Felix Cora, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/26/2012- vs. #3 Antonio Tarver
Kayode has snubbed a mandatory shot at Guillermo Jones’ alphabet belt for a shot at an even better fighter, the aging but still very capable Antonio Tarver.
14) Giacobbe Fragomeni (2-176)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fragomeni appears to be showing his age after nearly losing to an even older man in Brnaco.
15) Silvio Branco (2-2)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
45 year old veteran Silvio Branco got what may have been his final hurrah with a close-fought draw with top 10-ranked Giacobbe Fragomeni.
16) Enad Licina (2-92)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #17 Alexander Alexeev
Next Fight: Unknown
May be getting a little shopworn.  He’s not a pushover by any means, but you’d have to be crazy to imagine him as a top-10-type guy.
17) Troy Ross (2-8)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD8 Lukasz Rusiewicz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Inactivity combined with poor competition are killing the career of top-level talent Ross, but at least he’s technically an active cruiserweight again, and thus eligible to remain in the rankings.
18) Firat Arslan (2-37)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO2 Orlando Farias (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/11/2012- vs. #12 Alexander Alexeev
See Alexeev’s notes, above.
19) Grigory Drozd (2-7)
Last Fight: 2/8/2012- RTD9 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/4/2012- vs. William Joppy (UNR)
Drozd is following up a nice win over Richard Hall with what will probably a slightly less nice win over badly faded former middleweight contender William Joppy in Russia.
20) Matt Godfrey (2-28)
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.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Friday in Tampa, local gatekeeper Nick Iannuzzi battles poor prospect Dan Biddle of Delaware.  Iannuzzi is best known for giving Lateef Kayode all he could handle last year.  Biddle will likely soon be best known or losing to Iannuzzi.

 

Saturday night in the port city of Kiel, Germany, recently-ranked undefeated Polish prospect Mateusz Masternak takes on fringe contender and Mexican champion Felipe Romero, who in his last fight decisioned Julio Cesar Gonzalez in September, who tragically passed away in a motorcycle accident by a drunk driver earlier this month.  This is the toughest test of Masternak’s career, and the winner will almost certainly earn a ranking.

Heavyweight: 2012, Mar 26- Apr 1

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 31, 2012 by danboxing
#3 Tomasz Adamek was back in action Saturday for the first time since the beating he took at the hands of Vitali Klitschko.  His opponent, Nagy Aguilera, is a one-time prospect that stunningly stopped former top-flight contender Oleg Maskaev in 2009.  His results have not been as auspicious since then, however, and he therefore had descended to journeyman status.  This was, as a result, intended purely as a showcase fight for Adamek.  Adamek, despite his ranking, had shown some deficiencies in power, chin, and physical strength since moving up to heavyweight, in my opinion, and he did a bit of the same in this fight.  I certainly think Aguilera won a round or two (even though two of the judges disagreed).  Ultimately, though, Adamek’s superior class showed through, and he won the fight- competitive as it was- rather comfortably.

 

On the same card in Brooklyn, we may have witnessed the birth of a new star.  Technically this fight didn’t involve a top 50 fighter going in (at least not according to Boxrec), so I ordinarily wouldn’t report on it, but Sergei Liakhovich is a big name and at least feels like he ought to be considered top 50 to me.  But no more.  Philadelphia’s Bryant Jennings- who made a slight name for himself by outpointing fellow undefeated prospect Maurice Byarm on the first Main Events-NBC Sports televised card in January- basically outclassed the veteran from Belarus, and is now certainly a serious prospect.

 

Finally, just down the road in Atlantic City, Klitschko-sized Polish unbeaten Mariusz Wach took out power-punching and equally large American journeyman Tye Fields.

 

No changes in the rankings this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (144-357-357)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- TKO4 #16 Jean-Marc Mormeck
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. #9 Tony Thompson
Wlad will be defending the title against #9 Tony Thompson in what will likely be another ho-hum matchup for the Champ.  On the bright side, Thompson did put up a relatively spirited challenge the last time the two met in 2008.
1) Vitali Klitschko (181-181-181)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
After expressing interest in a rematch with Chisora (to knock him out), Vitali then revived serious talk of fighting David Haye, in a very short period of time, that fight appeared nearly made, but talks now appear to be falling apart.
2) Alexander Povetkin (31-231-231)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- W*(MD12) vs. CW #5 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Povetkin got the benefit of the doubt in a fight he was dangerously close to losing against big underdog Marco Huck.  A rematch is widely desired and eminently deserved, but Povetkin is fighting HASIM RAHMAN next.  Shame on the WBA for ordering such a ridiculous mandatory fight for its ridiculous title, and shame on Povetkin for being their pawn.
3) Tomasz Adamek (2-101-101)
Last Fight: 3/24/2012- UD10 Nagy Aguilera (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/16/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Adamek looked about as good as he always does against limited competition in the Aguilera fight.  Good enough to win, but not good enough to show that he’s as good a heavyweight as his ranking would suggest.  Adamek injured his hand in the fight, and a previously-scheduled June 16 fight in New Jersey hangs in the balance, as a result.
4) Marco Huck (2-5-5)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- L*(MD12) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 5/5/2012- vs. CW #8 Ola Afolabi (at CW)
Huck is now officially set for his return to Cruiserweight on May 5 against Afolabi.
5) Tyson Fury (2-36-36)
Last Fight: 11/12/2011- TKO3 Neven Pajkic (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/14/2012- vs. Martin Rogan (UNR)
In lieu of a British title defense against the dangerous David Price, Fury has opted to fight also-ran former British Champion Martin Rogan- who had been reduced to fighting 6-rounders before his current 18-month layoff- instead.
6) Dereck Chisora (2-17-80)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(UD12) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
The British Boxing Board of Control has withdrawn Chisora’s license indefinitely.  He has the right to appeal, and it’s unclear how easy it would be for him to get a license elsewhere.  At present, though, he appears to be on the shelf.
7) Robert Helenius (2-52-96)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- W*(SD12) vs. #18 Dereck Chisora (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
In addition to his injured hand suffered in the Chisora bout, Helenius says he was fighting with an injured shoulder.  Now comes the news that he will require surgery for that injury, and will be out until at least the fall.  His doctors say there is a chance it will never heal well enough for boxing.
8) Ruslan Chagaev (2-280-280)
Last Fight: 1/28/2011- UD8 Kertson Manswell (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/21/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chagaev is sticking to his earlier statement that he wants to fight ever 3 months- coming in about a week ahead of schedule when he fights in mid-April in Schwerin, Germany.
9) Tony Thompson (2-96-96)
Last Fight: 5/27/2011- TKO3 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Wladimir Klitschko’s comments, above.
10) Odlanier Solis (2-2-96)
Last Fight: 3/19/2011- L (TKO1) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: 5/19/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Solis was said to be returning on 4/14, but that ended up being just another phantom return date.  The new date is 5/19 in Texas, and there are actually photos of Solis in training camp for the fight.  Maybe this one’s for real…
11) Seth Mitchell (2-16)
Last Fight: 12/10/2011- TKO2 #19 Timur Ibragimov
Next Fight: 4/28/2012- vs. Chazz Witherspoon (UNR)
I talked to Mitchell while sitting 2 seats down from him at the Alexander-Maidana card, and he says he will fight Chazz Witherspoon next as the televised co-feature to Hopkins-Dawson on April 28.  I can’t argue with getting to see Mitchell on a big stage since I believe him to be the next Champ, but I’m a little surprised that HBO would approve a borderline journeyman like Witherspoon.
12) Alexander Dimitrenko (2-63)
Last Fight: 9/24/2011- UD12 Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/5/2012- vs. #18 Kubrat Pulev
The Pulev fight has been postponed until probably May 5, and has been moved from Kiel to Erfurt.
13) Chris Arreola (2-158)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola and Wlad both want to fight each other, but the IBF has intervened, mandating Wlad-Thompson.
14) Denis Boytsov (2-145)
Last Fight: 1/28/2011- KO4 Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/13/2012- vs. Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Boytsov will be fighting Dominick Guinn- a one time contender who is now roughly a high-level journeyman- in Cologne on April 13.
15) Jean-Marc Mormeck (2-96)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- L(TKO4) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Mormeck embarrassed himself as much in the ring against Wlad as Chisora did outside the ring against Vitali.  That’s saying something.  Don’t be surprised if he retires after his nice (but undeserved) payday.
16) Bermane Stiverne (2-40)
Last Fight: 6/25/2011- TKO10 #20 Ray Austin
Next Fight: 4/14/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Stiverne- who at last check was Vitali’s mandatory- has finally scheduled a return bout, on April 14 in Miami.  The opponent is not known.  It ought to be somebody good after the long layoff.
17) Samuel Peter (2-96)
Last Fight: 4/2/2011- L(KO9) vs. #16 Robert Helenius
Next Fight: Unknown
The leap year has essentially bought Peter an extra week to make a fight, meaning he won’t be removed until the April 9-15 update, if at all.
18) Kubrat Pulev (2-72)
Last Fight: 1/14/2012- RTD9 Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/5/2012- vs. #12 Alexander Dimitrenko
See Dimitrenko’s notes, above.
19) Franklin Lawrence (2-44)
Last Fight: 10/28/2011- TKO2 Raymond Ochieng (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lawrence has made a curious lack of noise since signing with Gary Shaw- a move that should have opened a door or two for him.
20) Cedric Boswell (2-2)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- L(KO8) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: A few fights spread out across the upcoming week:

 

Tuesday: Brazilian champion and gatekeeper-level overall fighter George Arias defends his national title against undefeated but totally green Bruno Moreira de Oliveira in Sao Paolo. 

 

Friday: Turkish prospect Manuel Charr takes on journeyman Taras Bidenko of the Ukraine in Cologne.

 

Sunday: The fight between American prospect Kevin Johnson and Samoan fringe contender Alex Leapai, which was postponed from its original date two weeks ago due Johnson catching the flu, is scheduled to finally happen in Australia.  But then again, it will be April Fool’s day, so we’ll have to wait and see.

Cruiserweight: 2012, Mar 19-25

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 30, 2012 by danboxing
A pretty major upset went down this week in Pavia, Italy.  #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni was somewhat befuddled by the superior movement and precision of the 45-year-old Silvio Branco.  Fragomeni came forward for most of the fight and threw the harder shots, but even when he got Branco backed to the ropes, it was often Branco who calmly landed straight counters, while Fragomeni missed or cuffed Branco with looping shots.  The judging was solid, and the result was a majority draw. 

 

Meanwhile, in Poland, local undefeated prospect Pawel Kolodziej defeated Romanian journeyman Giulian Ilie by a fair margin.

 

The Fragomeni-Branco result naturally throws the rankings into a bit of flux.  Fragomeni really had to be ranked #10 due to his win over 10th-ranked Rudolph Kraj and draw with Krzyzstof Wlodarczyk- both pretty old fights at this point- but I think it’s been a general consensus that, at 42, he was no longer as good as his ranking.  He proved that against the even older Branco.  Branco has a couple losses against good competition at light heavyweight a couple years or so ago, but this was his first significant fight at 200, giving him essentially a clean slate.  A draw against a top ten contender isn’t exactly a bad way to start filling that slate.  Fragomeni slides down to #14 since his draw with Branco reveals him to be at a significantly lower level than he occupied when he fought Kraj and Wlodarczyk.  Branco, with the good mark on his resume, debuts at #15, ahead of Enad Licina, who has been losing lately.  Fragomeni’s fall makes way for B.J. Flores to re-enter the top 10 for the first time in about 18 months, I believe.  Everybody else ranked 11-14 last week moves up a spot, as well.  Meanwhile, Branco’s debut forces everyone ranked 15 or below down a notch, including Eric Fields, who exits the rankings for the time being after 22 consecutive weeks.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (7-91-91)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Erased any doubt as to the better fighter between him and Cunningham.  A fight with Lebedev now would be huge.
2) Denis Lebedev (7-111-111)
Last Fight: 11/4/2011- UD12 James Toney (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/4/2012- vs. Shawn Cox (UNR)
After reportedly being close to signing a fight with French gatekeeper Rachid El Hadak, Lebedev has instead opted for a bout with Shawn Cox.  This seems like a very low-reward fight for Lebedev, and if Cox happens to be for real after demolishing former contender Wayne Braithwaite, it might carry some risk, too.  I don’t understand the matchmaking from Lebedev’s team.
3) Antonio Tarver (7-35-35)
Last Fight: 7/20/2011- RTD9 #7 Danny Green
Next Fight: 5/26/2012- vs. #14 Lateef Kayode
Tarver criticized Kayode on ShoBox, and Kayode took exception.  So now we have a grudge match.  I don’t think the Nigerian is ready for this, but perhaps Tarver will finally show his age.
4) Marco Huck (7-276-276)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- L*(MD12) vs. HW #2 Alexander Povetkin (at HW)
Next Fight: 5/5/2012- vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Huck will fight Afolabi May 5 in Erfurt, Germany, fresh off his near victory over Povetkin at heavyweight.
5) Steve Cunningham (7-405-405)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (16-352-352)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- TKO11 #9 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
7) Ola Afolabi (16-158-158)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- RTD5 Valery Brudov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Huck’s notes, above.
8) Guillermo Jones (16-77-77)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jones has come to Miami for the purpose of training for a fight with either Lateef Kayode or Denis Lebedev.  The only problem is that both of those guys signed other fights almost immediately thereafter. 
9) Danny Green (35-120-120)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- L(TKO11) vs. #8 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Green says he would like a rematch with Anthony Mundine- something that’s unlikely at best now that Mundine is fighting about 4 divisions to the south of him.  I do not believe retirement has been ruled out for Green.
10) B.J. Flores (1-1-91)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO6 Hugo Pineda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores has said he might fight the Fragomeni-Branco winner.  Not sure how that will be affected by the fact that there is no winner.
11) Francisco Palacios (1-51)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- UD8 Joell Godfrey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has mandated a rematch with Wlodarczyk, but that seems almost forgotten as Wlodarczyk has since chased fights with Roy Jones and Antonio Tarver, neither of which seem to be currently on the table.
12) Alexander Alexeev (1-62)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #15 Enad Licina
Next Fight: 5/11/2012- vs. #18 Firat Arslan
Alexeev will fight Firat Arslan in an interesting crossroads-type fight on May 11 in Germany.
13) Lateef Kayode (1-70)
Last Fight: 9/9/2011- UD10 Felix Cora, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/26/2012- vs. #3 Antonio Tarver
Kayode has snubbed a mandatory shot at Guillermo Jones’ alphabet belt for a shot at an even better fighter, the aging but still very capable Antonio Tarver.
14) Giacobbe Fragomeni (1-175)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fragomeni appears to be showing his age after nearly losing to an even older man in Brnaco.
15) Silvio Branco (1-1)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
45 year old veteran Silvio Branco got what may have been his final hurrah with a close-fought draw with top 10-ranked Giacobbe Fragomeni.
16) Enad Licina (1-91)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #17 Alexander Alexeev
Next Fight: Unknown
May be getting a little shopworn.  He’s not a pushover by any means, but you’d have to be crazy to imagine him as a top-10-type guy.
17) Troy Ross (1-7)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD8 Lukasz Rusiewicz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Inactivity combined with poor competition are killing the career of top-level talent Ross, but at least he’s technically an active cruiserweight again, and thus eligible to remain in the rankings.
18) Firat Arslan (1-36)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO2 Orlando Farias (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/11/2012- vs. #12 Alexander Alexeev
See Alexeev’s notes, above.
19) Grigory Drozd (1-6)
Last Fight: 2/8/2012- RTD9 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/4/2012- vs. William Joppy (UNR)
Drozd is following up a nice win over Richard Hall with what will probably a slightly less nice win over badly faded former middleweight contender William Joppy in Russia.
20) Matt Godfrey (1-27)
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.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: On Friday in England, Enzo Maccarinelli returns to the cruiserweight division after never really leaving (he fought a few fights at a contract weight just over the light heavyweight limit) when he fights for the British Cruiserweight title against fringe prospect Shane McPhilbin.  If he takes care of business, he may return to the rankings just by returning to activity.

 

The following night, South Africa plays host to a fight between prospect Ilunga Makubu of the Congo and Nigerian journeyman Michael Gbenga.  Finally, gatekeeper Willie Herring of Florida takes on undefeated Colombian prospect Santander Silgado in Brooklyn.

Cruiserweight: 2012, Mar 12-18

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 26, 2012 by danboxing
Nothing to report this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (6-90-90)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Erased any doubt as to the better fighter between him and Cunningham.  A fight with Lebedev now would be huge.
2) Denis Lebedev (6-110-110)
Last Fight: 11/4/2011- UD12 James Toney (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/4/2012- vs. Shawn Cox (UNR)
After reportedly being close to signing a fight with French gatekeeper Rachid El Hadak, Lebedev has instead opted for a bout with Shawn Cox.  This seems like a very low-reward fight for Lebedev, and if Cox happens to be for real after demolishing former contender Wayne Braithwaite, it might carry some risk, too.  I don’t understand the matchmaking from Lebedev’s team.
3) Antonio Tarver (6-34-34)
Last Fight: 7/20/2011- RTD9 #7 Danny Green
Next Fight: 5/26/2012- vs. #14 Lateef Kayode
Tarver criticized Kayode on ShoBox, and Kayode took exception.  So now we have a grudge match.  I don’t think the Nigerian is ready for this, but perhaps Tarver will finally show his age.
4) Marco Huck (6-275-275)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- L*(MD12) vs. HW #2 Alexander Povetkin (at HW)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Denied a well-deserved rematch with Alexander Povetkin, Huck is dropping back to cruiser, where he’ll fight a rematch of his close fight with Ola Afolabi at a date to be determined.
5) Steve Cunningham (6-404-404)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
See Lebedev’s notes, above.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (15-351-351)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- TKO11 #9 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
7) Ola Afolabi (15-157-157)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- RTD5 Valery Brudov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Huck’s notes, above.
8) Guillermo Jones (15-76-76)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jones has come to Miami for the purpose of training for a fight with either Lateef Kayode or Denis Lebedev.  The only problem is that both of those guys signed other fights almost immediately thereafter. 
9) Danny Green (34-119-119)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- L(TKO11) vs. #8 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Green says he would like a rematch with Anthony Mundine- something that’s unlikely at best now that Mundine is fighting about 4 divisions to the south of him.  I do not believe retirement has been ruled out for Green.
10) Giacobbe Fragomeni (34-174-174)
Last Fight: 7/8/2011- UD6 Remigijus Ziausys (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/17/2012- vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Fragomeni will fight fellow Italian Silvio Branco for some silly color-coordinated “world title” on St. Patrick’s day.  The combined age of the two combatants: 87.
11) B.J. Flores (22-90)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO6 Hugo Pineda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores has been accused by Afolabi of ducking, but Flores claims he was given only 3 weeks notice for an offered fight.
12) Francisco Palacios (22-50)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- UD8 Joell Godfrey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has mandated a rematch with Wlodarczyk, but that seems almost forgotten as Wlodarczyk has since chased fights with Roy Jones and Antonio Tarver, neither of which seem to be currently on the table.
13) Alexander Alexeev (6-61)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #15 Enad Licina
Next Fight: Unknown
If his record is any indication, he has probably reached just about the ranking he currently tops out at.
14) Lateef Kayode (6-69)
Last Fight: 9/9/2011- UD10 Felix Cora, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/26/2012- vs. #3 Antonio Tarver
Kayode has snubbed a mandatory shot at Guillermo Jones’ alphabet belt for a shot at an even better fighter, the aging but still very capable Antonio Tarver.
15) Enad Licina (5-90)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #17 Alexander Alexeev
Next Fight: Unknown
May be getting a little shopworn.  He’s not a pushover by any means, but you’d have to be crazy to imagine him as a top-10-type guy.
16) Troy Ross (5-6)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD8 Lukasz Rusiewicz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Inactivity combined with poor competition are killing the career of top-level talent Ross, but at least he’s technically an active cruiserweight again, and thus eligible to remain in the rankings.
17) Firat Arslan (5-35)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO2 Orlando Farias (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arslan is 41 and not getting any younger.  Unless he’s already decided to call it a day, expect a better opponent in his next fight than Farias.
18) Grigory Drozd (5-5)
Last Fight: 2/8/2012- RTD9 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Drozd hasn’t been doing badly whatsoever when he steps into the ring.  The only problem?  He has averaged less than 1 fight per year since the start of 2009.
19) Matt Godfrey (6-26)
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 (6-22)
Last Fight: 1/28/2011- UD8 Derrick Brown (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 AHEAD: Two notable fights go down on Saturday.  In Pavia, Italy, two Italian graybeards battle it out to see which one is the least geriatric when #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni takes on gatekeeper-level Silvio Branco.  Combined age of the two fighters: 87, with Branco claiming the largest share at 45.  Meanwhile, in Poland, undefeated local prospect Pawel Kolodziej takes on solid Romanian journeyman Giulian Ilie.

Cruiserweight: 2012, Mar 5-11

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 26, 2012 by danboxing
On the Klitschko-Mormeck undercard in Dusseldorf, Russian gatekeeper Valery Brudov was the victim of a comprehensive beating at the hands of #7 Ola Afolabi of England.  The fight was halted after completion of a 5th round that saw Brudov suffering his second knockdown of the fight.  This fight was for the “interim WBO title,” or in practical terms, the right to face either Marco Huck (should he return to cruiser), or perhaps Denis Lebedev.  No changes to the rankings, as Afolabi has basically just been treading water with borderline opponents while waiting around for a fight with Huck.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (5-89-89)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Erased any doubt as to the better fighter between him and Cunningham.  A fight with Lebedev now would be huge.
2) Denis Lebedev (5-109-109)
Last Fight: 11/4/2011- UD12 James Toney (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There appears to be a deal in the works for Lebedev to fight French gatekeeper Rachid El Hadak in Moscow on April 4.  If true, this would be a strangely weak and low-profile opponent for a contender of Lebedev’s stature.
3) Antonio Tarver (5-33-33)
Last Fight: 7/20/2011- RTD9 #7 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
After it appeared Tarver would likely fight Wlodarczyk, there is now serious buzz that he might accept a challenge from Lateef Kayode in late May, instead.
4) Marco Huck (5-274-274)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- L*(MD12) vs. HW #2 Alexander Povetkin (at HW)
Next Fight: Unknown
After a shockingly strong showing against Povetkin that he probably deserved to win, Huck’s immediate future as a cruiserweight is uncertain.  Povetkin is ducking an immediate rematch, but Huck has previously stated a desire to fight one of the Klitschkos. 
5) Steve Cunningham (5-403-403)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
See Lebedev’s notes, above.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (14-350-350)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- TKO11 #9 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
The Tarver fight now appears unlikely, and I’ve found no news on what plan B is for Wlodarczyk.
7) Ola Afolabi (14-156-156)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- RTD5 Valery Brudov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Having won an interim title with the win over Brudov, Afolabi is now set to fight for the full WBO belt against Huck should the latter drop back to 200.
8) Guillermo Jones (14-75-75)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jones is still in talks with his mandatory Kayode at last check, but the latest buzz has the Nigerian fighting Tarver, instead.
9) Danny Green (33-118-118)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- L(TKO11) vs. #8 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Green says he would like a rematch with Anthony Mundine- something that’s unlikely at best now that Mundine is fighting about 4 divisions to the south of him.  I do not believe retirement has been ruled out for Green.
10) Giacobbe Fragomeni (33-173-173)
Last Fight: 7/8/2011- UD6 Remigijus Ziausys (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/17/2012- vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Fragomeni will fight fellow Italian Silvio Branco for some silly color-coordinated “world title” on St. Patrick’s day.  The combined age of the two combatants: 87.
11) B.J. Flores (21-89)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO6 Hugo Pineda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores has been accused by Afolabi of ducking, but Flores claims he was given only 3 weeks notice for an offered fight.
12) Francisco Palacios (21-49)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- UD8 Joell Godfrey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has mandated a rematch with Wlodarczyk, but that seems almost forgotten as Wlodarczyk appears poised for a fight with Antonio Tarver.
13) Alexander Alexeev (5-60)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #15 Enad Licina
Next Fight: Unknown
If his record is any indication, he has probably reached just about the ranking he currently tops out at.
14) Lateef Kayode (5-68)
Last Fight: 9/9/2011- UD10 Felix Cora, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
WBA titlist Guillermo Jones has been ordered to fight Kayode, but Kayode is currently deep into talks with Antonio Tarver, as well.
15) Enad Licina (4-89)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #17 Alexander Alexeev
Next Fight: Unknown
May be getting a little shopworn.  He’s not a pushover by any means, but you’d have to be crazy to imagine him as a top-10-type guy.
16) Troy Ross (4-5)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD8 Lukasz Rusiewicz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Inactivity combined with poor competition are killing the career of top-level talent Ross, but at least he’s technically an active cruiserweight again, and thus eligible to remain in the rankings.
17) Firat Arslan (4-34)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO2 Orlando Farias (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arslan is 41 and not getting any younger.  Unless he’s already decided to call it a day, expect a better opponent in his next fight than Farias.
18) Grigory Drozd (4-4)
Last Fight: 2/8/2012- RTD9 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Drozd hasn’t been doing badly whatsoever when he steps into the ring.  The only problem?  He has averaged less than 1 fight per year since the start of 2009.
19) Matt Godfrey (5-25)
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 (5-21)
Last Fight: 1/28/2011- UD8 Derrick Brown (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 AHEAD: Nothing of note going on at cruiser this week.

Cruiserweight: 2012, Feb 27- Mar 4

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 26, 2012 by danboxing
Former light heavyweight fringe contender Thierry Karl fought for- get this- the WBF International Cruiserweight title (note it’s not even the WBF world title) on Friday in his native France against Georgian journeyman Sandro Siproshvili, and escaped with a decision that awarded him between 7 and 10 rounds of a 10-rounder, depending on which judge you ask.

 

Former top contender Wayne Braithwaite of Guyana fought as a small  heavyweight against unproven fringe prospect Shawn Cox of Barbados, in Braithwaite’s home country, and was shockingly sparked out in the first round, having failed to rise from his 3rd knockdown at the hands of the younger Cox.  It’s hard to view Cox as a world-beater considering he lost to Salvatore Erittu, a fellow undefeated prospect that has gone nowhere since that fight over two years ago, and so this has got to be seen as a sure sign that Braithwaite- the only man to ever beat Yoan Pablo Hernandez so far- is finished.  In lesser news, Philadelphia fringe contender Garrett Wilson stopped no-hoper Pedro Martinez early in round 3 of a scheduled 8 in the hometown of both fighters.

 

Finally, on Sunday, undefeated Ukrainian Dmitro Kucher walked away with a win in Kiev when his opponent- solid Czech journeyman Lubos Suda, retired with an injury following the 8th round of a 10-rounder.

 

It’s tempting to consider rating Cox based on his sensational performance against Braithwaite, but I don’t feel that I can do so at the moment.  Braithwaite is a good 2 years removed from his last prior fight, and almost 4 years removed from his last significant victory.  Given that fact and Cox’s less than stellar prior record of accomplishment, it is extremely unclear whether Braithwaite entered the ring as anything like a top 50 fighter, and even if so, I get out of having to rate the fight based on the fact that both guys came in roughly 10 full pounds over the cruiserweight limit.  This result definitely makes Cox a prospect to watch, but at this time I think it would be premature to give him any consideration for a ranking.  Therefore, no movement this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (4-88-88)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Erased any doubt as to the better fighter between him and Cunningham.  A fight with Lebedev now would be huge.
2) Denis Lebedev (4-108-108)
Last Fight: 11/4/2011- UD12 James Toney (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There has been speculation that Lebedev might fight Steve Cunningham next.
3) Antonio Tarver (4-32-32)
Last Fight: 7/20/2011- RTD9 #7 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
The latest word is that there is a 75% chance that Tarver will fight Wlodarczyk on Showtime, April 28.
4) Marco Huck (4-273-273)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- L*(MD12) vs. HW #2 Alexander Povetkin (at HW)
Next Fight: Unknown
After a shockingly strong showing against Povetkin that he probably deserved to win, Huck’s immediate future as a cruiserweight is uncertain.  Povetkin is ducking an immediate rematch, but Huck has previously stated a desire to fight one of the Klitschkos. 
5) Steve Cunningham (4-402-402)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
See Lebedev’s notes, above.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (13-349-349)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- TKO11 #9 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
See Tarver’s notes, above.
7) Ola Afolabi (13-155-155)
Last Fight: 9/10/2011- UD8 Lukasz Rusiewicz (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/3/2012- vs. Valery Brudov (UNR)
Afolabi signed a late-breaking fight with a very good short-notice opponent in gatekeeper Valery Brudov.  This will probably serve as a warm up for his next fight against either Huck or Lebedev.
8) Guillermo Jones (13-74-74)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After discussions with Lebedev fell apart, it now appears that his mandatory obligation against Kayode is the most probable next fight for Jones.
9) Danny Green (32-117-117)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- L(TKO11) vs. #8 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Green says he would like a rematch with Anthony Mundine- something that’s unlikely at best now that Mundine is fighting about 4 divisions to the south of him.  I do not believe retirement has been ruled out for Green.
10) Giacobbe Fragomeni (32-172-172)
Last Fight: 7/8/2011- UD6 Remigijus Ziausys (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/17/2012- vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Fragomeni will fight fellow Italian Silvio Branco for some silly color-coordinated “world title” on St. Patrick’s day.  The combined age of the two combatants: 87.
11) B.J. Flores (20-88)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO6 Hugo Pineda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores has been accused by Afolabi of ducking.
12) Francisco Palacios (20-48)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- UD8 Joell Godfrey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has mandated a rematch with Wlodarczyk, but that seems almost forgotten as Wlodarczyk appears poised for a fight with Antonio Tarver.
13) Alexander Alexeev (4-59)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #15 Enad Licina
Next Fight: Unknown
If his record is any indication, he has probably reached just about the ranking he currently tops out at.
14) Lateef Kayode (4-67)
Last Fight: 9/9/2011- UD10 Felix Cora, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
WBA titlist Guillermo Jones has been ordered to fight Kayode.
15) Enad Licina (3-88)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #17 Alexander Alexeev
Next Fight: Unknown
May be getting a little shopworn.  He’s not a pushover by any means, but you’d have to be crazy to imagine him as a top-10-type guy.
16) Troy Ross (3-4)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD8 Lukasz Rusiewicz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Inactivity combined with poor competition are killing the career of top-level talent Ross, but at least he’s technically an active cruiserweight again, and thus eligible to remain in the rankings.
17) Firat Arslan (3-33)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO2 Orlando Farias (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arslan is 41 and not getting any younger.  Unless he’s already decided to call it a day, expect a better opponent in his next fight than Farias.
18) Grigory Drozd (3-3)
Last Fight: 2/8/2012- RTD9 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Drozd hasn’t been doing badly whatsoever when he steps into the ring.  The only problem?  He has averaged less than 1 fight per year since the start of 2009.
19) Matt Godfrey (4-24)
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 (4-20)
Last Fight: 1/28/2011- UD8 Derrick Brown (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 AHEAD: Russian gatekeeper Valery Brudov takes on #7 Ola Afolabi of England on the Klitschko-Mormeck undercard in Dusseldorf on Saturday in the division’s only meaningful action.

Cruiserweight: 2012, Feb 20-26

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 26, 2012 by danboxing
Nothing doing this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (3-87-87)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Erased any doubt as to the better fighter between him and Cunningham.  A fight with Lebedev now would be huge.
2) Denis Lebedev (3-107-107)
Last Fight: 11/4/2011- UD12 James Toney (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There has been speculation that Lebedev might fight Steve Cunningham next.
3) Antonio Tarver (3-31-31)
Last Fight: 7/20/2011- RTD9 #7 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
The latest word is that there is a 75% chance that Tarver will fight Wlodarczyk on Showtime, April 28.
4) Marco Huck (3-272-272)
Last Fight: 10/22/2011- KO5 Rogelio Rossi (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/25/2011- vs. HW #2 Alexander Povetkin (at HW)
Povetkin vs. Huck is now set a division to the north.
5) Steve Cunningham (3-401-401)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
See Lebedev’s notes, above.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (12-348-348)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- TKO11 #9 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
See Tarver’s notes, above.
7) Ola Afolabi (12-154-154)
Last Fight: 9/10/2011- UD8 Lukasz Rusiewicz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi claims that BJ Flores is ducking him.  He is of course also in line for a shot at the alphabet title currently held by Marco Huck.
8) Guillermo Jones (12-73-73)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After discussions with Lebedev fell apart, it now appears that his mandatory obligation against Kayode is the most probable next fight for Jones.
9) Danny Green (31-116-116)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- L(TKO11) vs. #8 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Green says he would like a rematch with Anthony Mundine- something that’s unlikely at best now that Mundine is fighting about 4 divisions to the south of him.  I do not believe retirement has been ruled out for Green.
10) Giacobbe Fragomeni (31-171-171)
Last Fight: 7/8/2011- UD6 Remigijus Ziausys (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/17/2012- vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Fragomeni will fight fellow Italian Silvio Branco for some silly color-coordinated “world title” on St. Patrick’s day.  The combined age of the two combatants: 87.
11) B.J. Flores (19-87)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO6 Hugo Pineda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores has been accused by Afolabi of ducking.
12) Francisco Palacios (19-47)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- UD8 Joell Godfrey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has mandated a rematch with Wlodarczyk, but that seems almost forgotten as Wlodarczyk appears poised for a fight with Antonio Tarver.
13) Alexander Alexeev (3-58)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #15 Enad Licina
Next Fight: Unknown
If his record is any indication, he has probably reached just about the ranking he currently tops out at.
14) Lateef Kayode (3-66)
Last Fight: 9/9/2011- UD10 Felix Cora, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
WBA titlist Guillermo Jones has been ordered to fight Kayode.
15) Enad Licina (2-87)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #17 Alexander Alexeev
Next Fight: Unknown
May be getting a little shopworn.  He’s not a pushover by any means, but you’d have to be crazy to imagine him as a top-10-type guy.
16) Troy Ross (2-3)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD8 Lukasz Rusiewicz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Inactivity combined with poor competition are killing the career of top-level talent Ross, but at least he’s technically an active cruiserweight again, and thus eligible to remain in the rankings.
17) Firat Arslan (2-32)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO2 Orlando Farias (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arslan is 41 and not getting any younger.  Unless he’s already decided to call it a day, expect a better opponent in his next fight than Farias.
18) Grigory Drozd (2-2)
Last Fight: 2/8/2012- RTD9 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Drozd hasn’t been doing badly whatsoever when he steps into the ring.  The only problem?  He has averaged less than 1 fight per year since the start of 2009.
19) Matt Godfrey (3-23)
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 (3-19)
Last Fight: 1/28/2011- UD8 Derrick Brown (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 AHEAD: This is a pretty busy week in the division.


Things get started on Friday, when former Light Heavyweight fringe contender Thierry Karl of France fights Georgian journeyman Sandro Siproshvili for a title so inconsequential that even the WBF admits it’s not a world title.

 

Saturday sees the return of former top contender Wayne Braithwaite, who returns from a long layoff against Shawn Cox- a one-loss fringe prospect from Barbados- in Braithwaite’s native Guyana.  Later in the evening, fringe contender Garrett Wilson of Philadelphia takes on former Expos and Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez in an eight rounder.  Wait.  Maybe it’s a different Pedro Martinez, but this one is probably not any better at boxing than the future hall of fame pitcher, judging by the skimpy 6-4 record against entirely nondescript opposition.

 

The week’s action wraps up on Sunday, when undefeated Ukrainian prospect Dmitro Kucher fights serviceable Czech journeyman Lubos Suda in Kiev.