Heavyweight: 2012, Mar 26- Apr 1

#3 Tomasz Adamek was back in action Saturday for the first time since the beating he took at the hands of Vitali Klitschko.  His opponent, Nagy Aguilera, is a one-time prospect that stunningly stopped former top-flight contender Oleg Maskaev in 2009.  His results have not been as auspicious since then, however, and he therefore had descended to journeyman status.  This was, as a result, intended purely as a showcase fight for Adamek.  Adamek, despite his ranking, had shown some deficiencies in power, chin, and physical strength since moving up to heavyweight, in my opinion, and he did a bit of the same in this fight.  I certainly think Aguilera won a round or two (even though two of the judges disagreed).  Ultimately, though, Adamek’s superior class showed through, and he won the fight- competitive as it was- rather comfortably.

 

On the same card in Brooklyn, we may have witnessed the birth of a new star.  Technically this fight didn’t involve a top 50 fighter going in (at least not according to Boxrec), so I ordinarily wouldn’t report on it, but Sergei Liakhovich is a big name and at least feels like he ought to be considered top 50 to me.  But no more.  Philadelphia’s Bryant Jennings- who made a slight name for himself by outpointing fellow undefeated prospect Maurice Byarm on the first Main Events-NBC Sports televised card in January- basically outclassed the veteran from Belarus, and is now certainly a serious prospect.

 

Finally, just down the road in Atlantic City, Klitschko-sized Polish unbeaten Mariusz Wach took out power-punching and equally large American journeyman Tye Fields.

 

No changes in the rankings this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (144-357-357)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- TKO4 #16 Jean-Marc Mormeck
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. #9 Tony Thompson
Wlad will be defending the title against #9 Tony Thompson in what will likely be another ho-hum matchup for the Champ.  On the bright side, Thompson did put up a relatively spirited challenge the last time the two met in 2008.
1) Vitali Klitschko (181-181-181)
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 (31-231-231)
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 (2-101-101)
Last Fight: 3/24/2012- UD10 Nagy Aguilera (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/16/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Adamek looked about as good as he always does against limited competition in the Aguilera fight.  Good enough to win, but not good enough to show that he’s as good a heavyweight as his ranking would suggest.  Adamek injured his hand in the fight, and a previously-scheduled June 16 fight in New Jersey hangs in the balance, as a result.
4) Marco Huck (2-5-5)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- L*(MD12) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 5/5/2012- vs. CW #8 Ola Afolabi (at CW)
Huck is now officially set for his return to Cruiserweight on May 5 against Afolabi.
5) Tyson Fury (2-36-36)
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 (2-17-80)
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 (2-52-96)
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 (2-280-280)
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 (2-96-96)
Last Fight: 5/27/2011- TKO3 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Wladimir Klitschko’s comments, above.
10) Odlanier Solis (2-2-96)
Last Fight: 3/19/2011- L (TKO1) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: 5/19/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Solis was said to be returning on 4/14, but that ended up being just another phantom return date.  The new date is 5/19 in Texas, and there are actually photos of Solis in training camp for the fight.  Maybe this one’s for real…
11) Seth Mitchell (2-16)
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 (2-63)
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 (2-158)
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 (2-145)
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 (2-96)
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 (2-40)
Last Fight: 6/25/2011- TKO10 #20 Ray Austin
Next Fight: 4/14/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Stiverne- who at last check was Vitali’s mandatory- has finally scheduled a return bout, on April 14 in Miami.  The opponent is not known.  It ought to be somebody good after the long layoff.
17) Samuel Peter (2-96)
Last Fight: 4/2/2011- L(KO9) vs. #16 Robert Helenius
Next Fight: Unknown
The leap year has essentially bought Peter an extra week to make a fight, meaning he won’t be removed until the April 9-15 update, if at all.
18) Kubrat Pulev (2-72)
Last Fight: 1/14/2012- RTD9 Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/5/2012- vs. #12 Alexander Dimitrenko
See Dimitrenko’s notes, above.
19) Franklin Lawrence (2-44)
Last Fight: 10/28/2011- TKO2 Raymond Ochieng (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lawrence has made a curious lack of noise since signing with Gary Shaw- a move that should have opened a door or two for him.
20) Cedric Boswell (2-2)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- L(KO8) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: A few fights spread out across the upcoming week:

 

Tuesday: Brazilian champion and gatekeeper-level overall fighter George Arias defends his national title against undefeated but totally green Bruno Moreira de Oliveira in Sao Paolo. 

 

Friday: Turkish prospect Manuel Charr takes on journeyman Taras Bidenko of the Ukraine in Cologne.

 

Sunday: The fight between American prospect Kevin Johnson and Samoan fringe contender Alex Leapai, which was postponed from its original date two weeks ago due Johnson catching the flu, is scheduled to finally happen in Australia.  But then again, it will be April Fool’s day, so we’ll have to wait and see.
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