Light Heavyweight: 2012, Jan 2-8

Undefeated prospects Luis Garcia and Alexander Johnson met on Friday’s ShoBox telecast from California.  Garcia is a promising Cuban defector now fighting out of Ireland, but after 6 fights in 2010, he waited until the last week of 2011 to step into the ring.  Johnson is less proven, though he does own a close win over Farah Ennis at 168.  It had the makings of a decent fight, but didn’t live up to expectations.  Garcia totally dominated from the opening bell.  Despite going the 8 round distance, Johnson really barely landed a punch in the fight.  He complained of stomach issues in his corner, and honestly his performance was consistent with a sick fighter. 


Garcia is now active again, and thus reclaims a tenuous place at #20 in the rankings.  Dyah Davis is forced out after 40 weeks.



Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Bernard Hopkins (33-291-291)
Last Fight: 10/15/2011- NC vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has ordered a Dawson rematch.  There is much speculation floating around that the matchup is extremely unmarketable due to the poor PPV numbers of the first fight.  Also, Dawson has unequivocally stated his desire for a Pascal rematch next.  But on the other hand, Hopkins is under contract for another fight with HBO, and it’s hard to come up with anyone realistic that would make a more natural opponent for Hopkins.
1) Jean Pascal (33-133-133)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- L(UD12) vs. #1 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has ordered an eliminator vs. Sillakh after originally offering Pascal an outright shot at the winner of the ill-fated Hopkins-Dawson fight.  Pascal has basically confirmed that he is 100% all for that fight and his sole goal is winning his title back.
2) Chad Dawson (55-292-292)
Last Fight: 10/15/2011- NC* vs. Champ Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
See Hopkins’ notes, above.
3) Tavoris Cloud (55-123-123)
Last Fight: 6/25/2011- TKO8 #8 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: Unknown
Erdei’s injured hand has nixed the entire New Year’s Eve card.  Somewhat inexplicably, Showtime rejected Gabriel Campillo- who is likely better than Erdei- as a replacement opponent.
4) Gabriel Campillo (12-80-80)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- Draw (SD12) vs. #14 Karo Murat
Next Fight: Unknown
See Cloud’s notes, above.
5) Nathan Cleverly (12-100-100)
Last Fight: 10/15/2011- W*(MD12) vs. Tony Bellew (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/25/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Cleverly will fight an unknown opponent on February 25 in Cardiff, Wales.  Some names being mentioned: Edison Miranda, Bernard Hopkins, and Enzo Maccarinelli.  He also wants Carl Froch after Froch fights Bute.
6) Karo Murat (14-14-35)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- Draw (SD12) vs. #4 Gabriel Campillo
Next Fight: Unknown
I never thought this would happen, but I now rate the long-overrated Murat even higher than does Ring Magazine.
7) Tony Bellew (12-12-12)
Last Fight: 10/15/2011- L*(MD12) vs. #4 Nathan Cleverly
Next Fight: Unknown
Deserved better than a majority decision loss against Cleverly.  I thought he won the fight or deserved, at worst, a draw.
8) Eduard Gutknecht (12-35-35)
Last Fight: 7/16/2011- UD12 Lorenzo Di Giacomo (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/4/2011- vs. Vyacheslav Uzelkov (UNR)
Gutknecht will fight fringe contender/prospect Uzelkov on February 4.
9) Beibut Shumenov (12-76-80)
Last Fight: 7/29/2011- TKO9 Danny Santiago (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Shumenov’s attempts to get a fight with Cleverly have apparently failed.  Shumenov wants to unify the alphabet titles, but he appears to be the odd man out in a lot of those fights.  This might be an ideal time for a rematch with Campillo if he can’t get a unification at this point.
10) Yusaf Mack (12-44-80)
Last Fight: 6/25/2011- L(TKO8) vs. #3 Tavoris Cloud
Next Fight: Unknown
Mack looks a little too small to compete with the top guys at this weight, but still has a good enough resume to avoid dropping too far.
11) Dmitri Sukhotski (12-62)
Last Fight: 10/8/2011- TKO2 Nadjib Mohammedi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sukhotski has a fight with Cleverly on the horizon, but it appears unlikely to be in Cleverly’s next appearance in February.
12) Adrian Diaconu (12-243)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- L(UD12) vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
A quality fighter, Diaconu is nevertheless slipping in the rankings simply because he never wins against anyone above the journeyman level.  He ought to try and find some kind of mid-range fringe contender just to get a decent win, because fighting journeymen or top contenders isn’t working out for him.
13) Ismayl Sillakh (12-51)
Last Fight: 11/4/2011- TKO4 Ali Ismailov (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has slated Sillakh for an eliminator against Pascal.
14) Cornelius White (3-3)
Last Fight: 12/17/2011- UD6 #16 Yordanis Despaigne
Next Fight: Unknown
White, who was blown out in one round by prospect Don George at super middleweight early in 2011, may be a fluke.  But at least for one night, he looked a lot better against former top amateur Yordanis Despaigne than did established fringe contender Edison Miranda.
15) Zsolt Erdei (3-59)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- KO6 Byron Mitchell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Erdei’s injured hand has nixed the entire New Year’s Eve card, including his fight with Cloud. 
16) Edison Miranda (3-3)
Last Fight: 12/17/2011- TKO5 Kariz Kariuki (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Yordanis Despaigne’s upset loss appears to have nixed the essentially made fight with Miranda.  Miranda is now talking about wanting a fight with Nathan Cleverly.
17) Danny McIntosh (3-80)
Last Fight: 5/7/2011- L(TKO8) vs. Eduard Gutknecht (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Significantly diminished by his loss to Gutknecht, but still has a better win in Thierry Karl than the two guys rated immediately below him: Karo Murat and…well…Thierry Karl.
18) Jesus Gonzales (3-26)
Last Fight: 7/8/2011- UD12 Francisco Sierra (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
His present and future are probably both at 168, but he beat a good enough light heavyweight to earn this ranking, nevertheless.
19) Thierry Karl (3-80)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- KO1 Mile Nikolic (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Karl is a threat to be removed in late January if he doesn’t schedule a light heavyweight fight soon.
20) Luis Garcia (1-1)
Last Fight: 12/30/2011- UD8 Alexander Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Hopefully 2012 looks a more like 2010 than 2011 for Garcia.  The prospect fought 6 times in the former and only once in the latter.


The Week Ahead: Recently-bumped Dyah Davis is back in action, but at Super Middle.  No action of note at 175 this week.

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