Heavyweight: 2012, Jan 2-8

Cuban rising star Mike Perez had no trouble with 40-year-old Nigerian journeyman Friday Ahunanya on the non-televised undercard of a stacked ShoBox broadcast on Friday.  Perez won every round on all three judges’ cards in Cabazon, California.  This was the US debut for the Ireland-based Cuban, whose first 17 fights were in Great Britain and Ireland.


No changes in the rankings this week.


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) Alexander Dimitrenko
6) Robert Helenius
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 (132-345-345)
Last Fight: 7/2/2011- UD12 #2 David Haye
Next Fight: 3/3/2011- vs. #15 Jean Marc Mormeck
Wlad has rescheduled with Mormeck after reportedly offering the March 3 date to Tyson Fury (who said he’s not ready), Alexander Povetkin (ditto) and Robert Helenius (wants the fight later in the year).
1) Vitali Klitschko (169-169-169)
Last Fight: 9/10/2011- TKO10 #6 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: 2/18/2011- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
After flirting with Haye and Dimitrenko, Vitali announced a fight with the man of the hour- recently robbed Dereck Chisora.  Word is he’ll fight David Haye in a stadium in the summer and then likely retire.
2) Alexander Povetkin (19-219-219)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- KO8 #20 Cedric Boswell
Next Fight: 2/25/2011- vs. CW #5 Marco Huck
Povetkin and Huck have now signed to fight in late February in Stuttgart.
3) Eddie Chambers (12-144-144)
Last Fight: 2/11/2011- UD12 Derric Rossy (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/21/2012- vs. Sergei Liakhovich (UNR)
After recovering from a back injury that nixed his scheduled eliminator with Tony Thompson, Chambers is now set to headline the first installment of Main Events’ new NBC Sports (formerly Versus) network show against house fighter Sergei Liakhovich.
4) Tomasz Adamek (5-89-89)
Last Fight: 9/10/2011- L (TKO10) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Adamek will reportedly fight a tune-up in March (possibly on the Martinez-Macklin card at MSG), and then will look to fight on HBO later in the year.  Arreola and Seth Mitchell appear to be candidates.
5) Tyson Fury (5-24-24)
Last Fight: 11/12/2011- TKO3 Neven Pajkic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury was reportedly offered a fight with Alexander Povetkin, but turned that fight down.
6) Dereck Chisora (5-5-68)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- L*(SD12) vs. #4 Robert Helenius (Robbery)
Next Fight: 2/18/2012- vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Despite being robbed, Chisora will get a chance to capitalize on his winning performance against Helenius by fighting #1 contender Vitali Klitschkho in February.
7) Robert Helenius (5-40-84)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- W*(SD12) vs. #18 Dereck Chisora (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Helenius turned down a March opportunity with Wlad, perhaps in part due to an injured hand.  I’ve heard unconfirmed reports that he may fight Dimitrenko next.
8) Ruslan Chagaev (5-268-268)
Last Fight: 8/27/2011- L (UD12) vs. #5 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 1/28/2011- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chagaev wants to fight every 3 months and hopes for another title shot by the end of 2012.  Step one: January 28 against an unknown opponent.
9) Tony Thompson (5-84-84)
Last Fight: 5/27/2011- TKO3 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson has been elevated to a spot as the IBF’s mandatory contender without the need for an eliminator against Chambers, who withdrew with a back injury.  This most likely means he won’t be fighting Chambers as originally planned.
10) Odlanier Solis (5-55-84)
Last Fight: 3/19/2011- L (TKO1) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis appears to still be recovering from multiple knee surgeries.
11) Seth Mitchell (4-4)
Last Fight: 12/10/2011- TKO2 #19 Timur Ibragimov
Next Fight: Unknown
Announced that he’s for real in a big way by destroying the normally durable Ibragimov.  He says he’ll be ready for a Klitschko in 3 or 4 fights.
12) Alexander Dimitrenko (4-51)
Last Fight: 9/24/2011- UD12 Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Appeared to have been bumped out of his EBU mandatory spot in favor of a Chisora rematch, but appeared to be in the running for a fight with Vitali in February.  Instead, it is Chisora that will fight Klitschko, while Dimitrenko is likely back at the top of the list of contenders for Helenius’ illegitimate European belt.
13) Chris Arreola (4-146)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO3 Raphael Butler (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola wants to fight Wlad and/or Adamek in the near future.
14) Denis Boytsov (4-133)
Last Fight: 9/24/2011- TKO6 Matthew Greer (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/28/2011- vs. Unknown Opponent
Universum is planning a big European card featuring many of the promoter’s top fighters at HW, CW, and LHW, but true to form, none of the house fighters are likely to fight each other.  Boytsov will apparently appear.
15) Jean Marc Mormeck (4-84)
Last Fight: 12/2/2010- SD12 #19 Timur Ibragimov
Next Fight: 3/3/2012- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Klitschko’s comments, above.
16) Bermane Stiverne (4-28)
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.  That fight may never happen, though, as there is talk that Vitali might fight Chisora, Haye, and then retire.
17) Samuel Peter (4-84)
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.
18) Kubrat Pulev (4-60)
Last Fight: 10/22/2011- UD12 Travis Walker (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/14/2012- vs. Taras Bidenko (UNR)
Pulev will fight journeyman Taras Bidenko on January 14.
19) Franklin Lawrence (4-32)
Last Fight: 10/28/2011- TKO2 Raymond Ochieng (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Cedric Boswell (12-12)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- L(KO8) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Boswell was the most comatose participant in a comatose fight with Alexander Povetkin prior to being rendered semi-conscious by Povetkin in the 8th.  In this case, semi-conscious is a downgrade from comatose…don’t ask how that works.


THE WEEK AHEAD: Italian undefeated prospect Francesco Pianeta returns to action in Magdeburg, Germany on Saturday against veteran trial horse Zack Page.  Page is much better than his ugly record, as he only fights the best, but appears to be on the decline after losing his last 8.  For Pianeta- a rising top-20 fighter before being sidelined with cancer- this might be a logical last step before moving up to top-50 opposition again.

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