Heavyweight: 2012, Mar 12-18

Gatekeeper Jason Estrada took just a round and a half to stop journeyman Dominique Alexander in Providence.  However, we did see a significant upset in Turkey, where Kazakh journeyman Konstantin Airich stopped Czech fringe contender Ondrej Pala in the 9th round of a rematch of their three-year-old fight in Germany where Pala won a close majority decision. 


Pala is a significant enough fighter that we must examine whether or not Airich has earned a ranking.  I considered Pala to be ranked in the low-to-mid 30s in terms of ranking.  Boxrec had him ranked much higher, but that was mostly based on a win over the mirage that was Darnell Wilson coming off his flukey, injury driven win over J.C. Gomez.  Looking at Airich’s record, this is his first significant win.  What also stands out is that he lost twice in the past year- a 1st round knockout to journeyman Tye Fields on Prizefighter and a 3-round decision to a complete nobody in the Danish equivalent of the show.  I needn’t delve into his other 3 career losses.  That alone keeps him out of the top 20.  Good job, Konstantin, but come back when you’ve got another good win under your belt.  That being the case, there are no changes to 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) 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 (142-355-355)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- TKO4 #16 Jean-Marc Mormeck
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #10 Tony Thompson
Wlad spoke his mind and said he wants Arreola next, and that he was also interested in Seth Mitchell, David Price, and Tyson Fury.  The following day, he told us that he will follow his marching orders from the alphabets and instead fight Tony Thompson in the summer.
1) Vitali Klitschko (179-179-179)
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 (29-229-229)
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) Eddie Chambers (22-154-154)
Last Fight: 2/11/2011- UD12 Derric Rossy (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers has now been clear to train for a month.  It might be a little harsh, but he only has until the end of this week to schedule a fight or be removed after about 3 years in the top 10.
4) Tomasz Adamek (15-99-99)
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 (3-3)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- L*(MD12) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck has decided to return to cruiserweight, having been denied a much-deserved rematch by Povetkin.  He will now almost certainly fight his mandatory challenger, Ola Afolabi.
6) Tyson Fury (3-34-34)
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 (3-15-78)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(UD12) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
For the brawl with David Haye, Chisora has been banned indefinitely by the WBC (not that big a deal), but faces a hearing on his license by the British Boxing Board of Control on March 14 (much bigger deal).
8) Robert Helenius (3-50-94)
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 (3-278-278)
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.
10) Tony Thompson (3-94-94)
Last Fight: 5/27/2011- TKO3 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Wlad has confirmed that he’ll be fighting Thompson- his IBF mandatory- next.
11) Odlanier Solis (3-94)
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 (3-14)
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 (3-61)
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 (3-156)
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.
15) Denis Boytsov (3-143)
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.
16) Jean Marc Mormeck (3-94)
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.
17) Bermane Stiverne (3-38)
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 (3-94)
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 (3-70)
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 (3-42)
Last Fight: 10/28/2011- TKO2 Raymond Ochieng (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown


THE WEEK AHEAD: Samoan Gatekeeper Alex Leapai and American fringe prospect Kevin Johnson battle in Ascot, Australia on Sunday.  The winner becomes a certified fringe contender and may even wrangle a wranking (intentional misspelling).  Also, #3 Eddie Chambers will be removed for inactivity if he doesn’t schedule a fight this week.

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