Heavyweight: 2012, Feb 27- Mar 4

Woah.  All I can say is whoa.  Povetkin was the best non-Klitschko heavyweight out there.  Marco Huck was a cruiserweight that has been a victim of in-ring bullying by a guy his own size in Lebedev.  This fight struck me as a bit of a joke.  I thought Cedric Boswell was a better bet than Marco Huck to beat Povetkin.  But I was wrong.  Povetkin got the decision.  It wasn’t a total robbery.  A little too close for that.  But let’s be honest.  Huck won the fight.  Prospect Edmund Gerber had a little bit better night on the undercard as former Olympic silver medalist and current journeyman Alexei Mazikin retired following the 5th round of their fight.

 

Tricky situation.  If Huck didn’t win the fight, he at least didn’t get beat.  I scored the fight for him.  Buuuut I could see how someone could score it narrowly for Povetkin.  So that leaves me little choice but to treat the decision with minimum deference- essentially as if it were a draw, but with the barest of edges to Povetkin.  Povetkin is not budging in the rankings.  He’s already beaten the guy directly below him (albeit a while ago), and that guy is on the verge of being removed for over a year of inactivity.  So the only question becomes “where do we put Huck?”.  There’s actually a stark difference in resumes between the top 4 contenders and #5 Tyson Fury.  Fury’s best win came against then-14th-ranked Dereck Chisora, while the higher-ranked contenders beat a minimum of a #6 contender.  My sense is that an essential draw to a #2 contender falls somewhere in between those credentials in terms of quality, so Huck debuts at #5 this week, forcing everyone else down a spot, including Odlanier Solis- who exits the top 10- and Cedric Boswell- who leaves the rankings.

 

For Comparison, here are the Current Ring Magazine Heavyweight Rankings:
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko
1) Vitali Klitschko
2) Alexander Povetkin
3) Tomasz Adamek
4) Alexander Dimitrenko
5) Robert Helenius
6) Denis Boystov
7) Ruslan Chagaev
8) Chris Arreola
9) Kubrat Pulev
10) Tyson Fury

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (140-353-353)
Last Fight: 7/2/2011- UD12 #2 David Haye
Next Fight: 3/3/2011- vs. #16 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 (177-177-177)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Vitali said recently that he wants a rematch with Chisora, disappointed at his inability to knock his bitter enemy out.
2) Alexander Povetkin (27-227-227)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- W*(MD12) vs. CW #5 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
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) Eddie Chambers (20-152-152)
Last Fight: 2/11/2011- UD12 Derric Rossy (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers has now been inactive for a year due largely to minor injuries.  He has confirmed that he is now clear to train again, so I will give him just one more month to sign another fight before he is removed.
4) Tomasz Adamek (13-97-97)
Last Fight: 9/10/2011- L (TKO10) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: 3/24/2012- vs. Nagy Aguilera (UNR)
Adamek will fight journeyman Nagy Aguilera on NBC Sports’ March 24 card after reconciling with his old promotional outfit, Main Events.
5) Marco Huck (1-1)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- L*(MD12) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck shockingly was able to narrowly outfight Povetkin, and gets about half the credit he deserves in my rankings (as opposed to none of it elsewhere).  Povetkin is hiding behind his mandatory obligation against total has-been Hasim Rahman to avoid a rematch.
6) Tyson Fury (1-32-32)
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.
7) Dereck Chisora (1-13-76)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(UD12) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Chisora had a busy couple days.  He slapped Vitali at the weigh-in on Friday, spit on Wladimir in the ring before the fight, lost the fight, and then decided he wasn’t tired enough and started a fight with David Haye at the post-fight press conference.  Outrage now surrounds Chisora.  He was released without charge by the Munich police, but he faces a hearing on his license by the British Boxing Board of Control on March 14.
8) Robert Helenius (1-48-92)
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.
9) Ruslan Chagaev (1-276-276)
Last Fight: 1/28/2011- UD8 Kertson Manswell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chagaev wants to fight every 3 months and hopes for another title shot by the end of 2012.
10) Tony Thompson (1-92-92)
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.
11) Odlanier Solis (1-92)
Last Fight: 3/19/2011- L (TKO1) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: 4/14/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Solis is said to be returning on the Rios-Gamboa undercard on April 14 in Vegas.  This isn’t the first rumored return date for the badly injured Solis, though, so we’ll have to watch the situation.
12) Seth Mitchell (1-12)
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.
13) Alexander Dimitrenko (1-59)
Last Fight: 9/24/2011- UD12 Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/31/2012- vs. #19 Kubrat Pulev
Despite promotional issues, Dimitrenko-Pulev appears to be on for March 31 in Kiel, Germany.
14) Chris Arreola (1-154)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola got rocked by relative novice Eric Molina, but it’s still kinda hard to argue with a 1st round knockout, weak opposition notwithstanding.
15) Denis Boytsov (1-141)
Last Fight: 1/28/2011- KO4 Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After brushing aside a relatively weak opponent in Wilson, Boytsov may have an opportunity against Kubrat Pulev for a European title, should Dimitrenko bow out of that fight as many expect.
16) Jean Marc Mormeck (1-92)
Last Fight: 12/2/2010- SD12 #19 Timur Ibragimov
Next Fight: 3/3/2012- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Klitschko’s comments, above.
17) Bermane Stiverne (1-36)
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.
18) Samuel Peter (1-92)
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.
19) Kubrat Pulev (1-68)
Last Fight: 1/14/2012- RTD9 Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/31/2012- vs. #13 Alexander Dimitrenko
See Dimitrenko’s notes, above.
20) Franklin Lawrence (1-40)
Last Fight: 10/28/2011- TKO2 Raymond Ochieng (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Wladimir Klitschko defends the Heavyweight Championship against #16 Jean Marc Mormeck on Saturday in Dusseldorf.  I know.  Shabby-looking matchup.  But when you look at the situation, the only higher-rated contenders who are even concievably willing and able to fight that haven’t already been beaten by him or his brother are #13 Alexander Dimitrenko and #15 Denis Boytsov, so Wlad was really facing a dearth of good options.  On the undercard for that fight, gargantuan but aging Russian undefeated prospect Alexander Ustinov will fight journeyman Kertson Manswell, who dropped a decision to Ruslan Chagaev just a month ago.
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