Heavyweight: 2012, Mar 19-25

The scheduled fight between gatekeeper Alex Leapai and fringe prospect Kevin Johnson has been postponed until Sunday, April 1, due to flu-like symptoms experienced by Johnson.

 

The big news this week is that I’m finally removing Eddie Chambers- inactive for over a year- from the rankings.  I gave Chambers some injury time before removing him, but it’s now over a month since he confirmed he was medically cleared to train, and he really should have been chomping at the bit to get back in the ring.  He wasn’t.  Obviously the second he steps back in the ring and wins, he’ll end up back in the top 10, but for now it’s time to get Odlanier Solis back in the mix.  Solis has been inactive for a year this week, but has a serious knee injury and status updates have been unreliable at best.  He’s going to get plenty of time if he needs it.  Naturally, everybody ranked #4 and below jumps up one position, while (somewhat unfortunately) Cedric Boswell returns at #20 after a few weeks out.

 

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 (143-356-356)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- TKO4 #16 Jean-Marc Mormeck
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #9 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 (180-180-180)
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 (30-230-230)
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 (1-100-100)
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.  Word is he’s planning to be at a career high 230 for the fight.
4) Marco Huck (1-4-4)
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.  He thinks he’s ready for the Klitschkos, though, and plans to return to heavyweight.
5) Tyson Fury (1-35-35)
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 (1-16-79)
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 (1-51-95)
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 (1-279-279)
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 (1-95-95)
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.
10) Odlanier Solis (1-1-95)
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.
11) Seth Mitchell (1-15)
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 (1-62)
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 (1-157)
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 (1-144)
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 (1-95)
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 (1-39)
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 (1-95)
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 (1-71)
Last Fight: 1/14/2012- RTD9 Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/31/2012- vs. #12 Alexander Dimitrenko
See Dimitrenko’s notes, above.
19) Franklin Lawrence (1-43)
Last Fight: 10/28/2011- TKO2 Raymond Ochieng (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Cedric Boswell (1-1)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- L(KO8) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: A few fights worth mentioning on Saturday:
#3 Tomasz Adamek fights journeyman Nagy Aguilera in a showcase/stay busy fight on NBC Sports from Brooklyn.  Main Events stablemate Sergei Liakhovich is also in action against Bryant Jennings, a prospect who won a fight on the series’ first installment.  Down the road in Atlantic City, 6’7″ undefeated Polish prospect Mariusz Wach battles dangerous American journeyman Tye Fields.

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