Cruiserweight: 2012, Jan 9-15

No action worth mentioning this week, but one side note.  The Ring has made its rankings silly and irrelevant by arbitrarily dropping Marco Huck from its rankings for the sole purpose of setting up the Hernandez-Cunningham fight as a Ring title fight.  And that’s ignoring the fact that the 1-2-3 lineup was pretty far off the mark in the first place.  As a result of this shameful deviation from the magazine’s once solid integrity, I will no longer give the magazine’s ratings any credence on this blog.  That’s right, folks- if you’re looking for honest, well considered divisional rankings, I’m now the only game in town.

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (25-101-101)
Last Fight: 11/4/2011- UD12 James Toney (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
If Marco Huck loses his alphabet title due to his move to heavyweight, we might see Lebedev-Afolabi for that vacant title.  Jones and Tarver remain possibilities, as well.  Huck also may drop back down for a rematch.
2) Antonio Tarver (15-25-25)
Last Fight: 7/20/2011- RTD9 #7 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
Tarver has laid out his ideal 2012 plan.  First, he wants to fight Lebedev (!) or Wlodarczyk.  Second, David Haye at Madison Square Garden.  Finally, Wladimir Klitschko, anywhere in the world.
3) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (15-81-81)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- W(SD6) vs. #2 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: 2/4/2012- vs. #4 Steve Cunningham
Hernandez will give Steve Cunningham a much-deserved rematch after their cut-shortened and highly controversial October fight.
4) Steve Cunningham (15-395-395)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- L(SD6) vs. #6 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: 2/4/2012- vs. #3 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
See Hernandez’ comments above.
5) Marco Huck (15-266-266)
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.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (6-342-342)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- TKO11 #9 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk has a alphabet obligation to give a rematch to Francisco Palacios who probably deserved the win against Wlodarczyk, and is being challenged by Tarver, as well.  But the Polish contender appears less interested in these fights than in a disgusting execution of the oft-executed Roy Jones.  And he, like Lebedev before him, should be ashamed of himself.
7) Ola Afolabi (6-148-148)
Last Fight: 9/10/2011- UD8 Lukasz Rusiewicz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi might get a shot at Huck’s alphabet title despite Huck’s moving up to Heavyweight, as there may be a fight with Denis Lebedev offered for the vacant title.
8) Guillermo Jones (6-67-67)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Reportedly there is a fight in discussion between Jones and Lebedev for March or April.
9) Danny Green (25-110-110)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- L(TKO11) vs. #8 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Green is undecided on a possible retirement after 2 consecutive stoppage losses.
10) Giacobbe Fragomeni (25-165-165)
Last Fight: 7/8/2011- UD6 Remigijus Ziausys (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
11) B.J. Flores (13-81)
Last Fight: 10/15/2011- UD10 Paul Jennette (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/28/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Flores will keep up his streak of fighting in his hometown of Springfield, MO when he fights for a regional title in late January.  Several names have been mentioned, including Ed Perry (who put up a spirited but clearly losing effort against Lateef Kayode on ShoBox not long ago) and Jeremiah Graziano, a Kansas City-based undefeated prospect who impressed me when I saw him fight a no-hoper.
12) Francisco Palacios (13-41)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- UD8 Joell Godfrey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has mandated a rematch with Wlodarczyk, who has made noises about ducking that fight and losing his belt in favor of a joke fight with Roy Jones.
13) Lateef Kayode (13-60)
Last Fight: 9/9/2011- UD10 Felix Cora, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kayode recently vacated his NABF title rather than fight BJ Flores.  It’s starting to become apparent that Kayode might not be the can’t-miss prospect most assumed he was about a year ago.
14) Steve Herelius (11-80)
Last Fight: 2/12/2011- L(KO7) vs. #6 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Enad Licina (11-81)
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 (11-26)
Last Fight: 7/15/2011- TKO5 Lubos Suda (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/28/2011- vs. Unknown Opponent
Arslan will be featured on Universum’s big January 28 card.
17) Alexander Alexeev (11-52)
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 (11-17)
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 (11-13)
Last Fight: 9/2/2011- TKO2 Rubin Williams (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/28/2011- vs. Derrick Brown (UNR)
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 (11-11)
Last Fight: 9/10/2011- TKO3 Carl Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/4/2012- vs. Michael Simms (UNR)
Masternak will fight journeyman Michael Simms on the Hernandez-Cunningham undercard on February 4.


THE WEEK AHEAD:  We still are left waiting for 2012’s first notable cruiserweight fight.

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