Cruiserweight: 2012, Mar 12-18

Nothing to report this week.


Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (6-90-90)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Erased any doubt as to the better fighter between him and Cunningham.  A fight with Lebedev now would be huge.
2) Denis Lebedev (6-110-110)
Last Fight: 11/4/2011- UD12 James Toney (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/4/2012- vs. Shawn Cox (UNR)
After reportedly being close to signing a fight with French gatekeeper Rachid El Hadak, Lebedev has instead opted for a bout with Shawn Cox.  This seems like a very low-reward fight for Lebedev, and if Cox happens to be for real after demolishing former contender Wayne Braithwaite, it might carry some risk, too.  I don’t understand the matchmaking from Lebedev’s team.
3) Antonio Tarver (6-34-34)
Last Fight: 7/20/2011- RTD9 #7 Danny Green
Next Fight: 5/26/2012- vs. #14 Lateef Kayode
Tarver criticized Kayode on ShoBox, and Kayode took exception.  So now we have a grudge match.  I don’t think the Nigerian is ready for this, but perhaps Tarver will finally show his age.
4) Marco Huck (6-275-275)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- L*(MD12) vs. HW #2 Alexander Povetkin (at HW)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Denied a well-deserved rematch with Alexander Povetkin, Huck is dropping back to cruiser, where he’ll fight a rematch of his close fight with Ola Afolabi at a date to be determined.
5) Steve Cunningham (6-404-404)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
See Lebedev’s notes, above.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (15-351-351)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- TKO11 #9 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
7) Ola Afolabi (15-157-157)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- RTD5 Valery Brudov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Huck’s notes, above.
8) Guillermo Jones (15-76-76)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jones has come to Miami for the purpose of training for a fight with either Lateef Kayode or Denis Lebedev.  The only problem is that both of those guys signed other fights almost immediately thereafter. 
9) Danny Green (34-119-119)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- L(TKO11) vs. #8 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Green says he would like a rematch with Anthony Mundine- something that’s unlikely at best now that Mundine is fighting about 4 divisions to the south of him.  I do not believe retirement has been ruled out for Green.
10) Giacobbe Fragomeni (34-174-174)
Last Fight: 7/8/2011- UD6 Remigijus Ziausys (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/17/2012- vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Fragomeni will fight fellow Italian Silvio Branco for some silly color-coordinated “world title” on St. Patrick’s day.  The combined age of the two combatants: 87.
11) B.J. Flores (22-90)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO6 Hugo Pineda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores has been accused by Afolabi of ducking, but Flores claims he was given only 3 weeks notice for an offered fight.
12) Francisco Palacios (22-50)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- UD8 Joell Godfrey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has mandated a rematch with Wlodarczyk, but that seems almost forgotten as Wlodarczyk has since chased fights with Roy Jones and Antonio Tarver, neither of which seem to be currently on the table.
13) Alexander Alexeev (6-61)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #15 Enad Licina
Next Fight: Unknown
If his record is any indication, he has probably reached just about the ranking he currently tops out at.
14) Lateef Kayode (6-69)
Last Fight: 9/9/2011- UD10 Felix Cora, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/26/2012- vs. #3 Antonio Tarver
Kayode has snubbed a mandatory shot at Guillermo Jones’ alphabet belt for a shot at an even better fighter, the aging but still very capable Antonio Tarver.
15) Enad Licina (5-90)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #17 Alexander Alexeev
Next Fight: Unknown
May be getting a little shopworn.  He’s not a pushover by any means, but you’d have to be crazy to imagine him as a top-10-type guy.
16) Troy Ross (5-6)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD8 Lukasz Rusiewicz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Inactivity combined with poor competition are killing the career of top-level talent Ross, but at least he’s technically an active cruiserweight again, and thus eligible to remain in the rankings.
17) Firat Arslan (5-35)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO2 Orlando Farias (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arslan is 41 and not getting any younger.  Unless he’s already decided to call it a day, expect a better opponent in his next fight than Farias.
18) Grigory Drozd (5-5)
Last Fight: 2/8/2012- RTD9 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Drozd hasn’t been doing badly whatsoever when he steps into the ring.  The only problem?  He has averaged less than 1 fight per year since the start of 2009.
19) Matt Godfrey (6-26)
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.
20) Eric Fields (6-22)
Last Fight: 1/28/2011- UD8 Derrick Brown (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
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.


THE WEEK AHEAD: Two notable fights go down on Saturday.  In Pavia, Italy, two Italian graybeards battle it out to see which one is the least geriatric when #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni takes on gatekeeper-level Silvio Branco.  Combined age of the two fighters: 87, with Branco claiming the largest share at 45.  Meanwhile, in Poland, undefeated local prospect Pawel Kolodziej takes on solid Romanian journeyman Giulian Ilie.

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