Light Heavyweight: 2012, Jan 30- Feb 5

Former contender Juergen Braehmer returned to action as advertised and, as expected, stopped journeyman Jose Maria Guerrero of Spain.  What was not expected- at least by me- was that both guys came in at 176.25 pounds for the fight.  As a result, Braehmer still is not an active light heavyweight, and does not reclaim a ranking after being inactive since spring 2010.


Undefeated Kansas-based Wisconsinite Marcus Oliveira did exactly as expected, as well, stopping badly faded former contender Antwun Echols.  Echols needs to retire, and commissions need to stop licensing him.  He’s been stopped in 7 of his last 9 fights against decent but not great fighters, and there is no way that is healthy.  Echols is not remotely a threat to ever win a significant fight again, and at this point he’s just sacrificing his long-term health for a quick buck and a chance to lend his once-worthy name to the resume of prospects.  Echols is apparently good for 2 plus rounds, though- he has been stopped in the third round of each of his last 4 fights, this one included.


No changes to the rankings this week.


Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Bernard Hopkins (37-295-295)
Last Fight: 10/15/2011- NC vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: 4/28/2012- vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Hopkins and Dawson will square off- hopefully to a conclusion this time- on regular HBO in late April.
1) Jean Pascal (37-137-137)
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 (59-296-296)
Last Fight: 10/15/2011- NC* vs. Champ Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
See Hopkins’ notes, above.
3) Tavoris Cloud (59-127-127)
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 (16-84-84)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- Draw (SD12) vs. #14 Karo Murat
Next Fight: Unknown
See Cloud’s notes, above.
5) Nathan Cleverly (16-104-104)
Last Fight: 10/15/2011- W*(MD12) vs. Tony Bellew (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/25/2012- vs. Tommy Karpency (UNR)
Cleverly’s next opponent is American journeyman Tommy Karpency.  A bit of a disappointment.
6) Karo Murat (18-18-39)
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 (16-16-16)
Last Fight: 10/15/2011- L*(MD12) vs. #4 Nathan Cleverly
Next Fight: 4/14/2012- vs. #17 Danny McIntosh
Bellew will face McIntosh in Liverpool on April 14.
8) Eduard Gutknecht (16-39-39)
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 (16-80-84)
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 (16-48-84)
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 (16-66)
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 (16-247)
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 (16-55)
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 (7-7)
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 (7-63)
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 (7-7)
Last Fight: 12/17/2011- TKO5 Kariz Kariuki (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/3/2012- vs. Isaac Chilemba (UNR)
Despaigne has withdrawn from an essentially made rematch with Miranda, citing mental unreadiness after being upset by Cornelius White.  Miranda will instead face an even tougher foe in fringe contender Isaac Chilemba on Friday Night Fights’ February 3 installment.
17) Danny McIntosh (7-84)
Last Fight: 5/7/2011- L(TKO8) vs. Eduard Gutknecht (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/14/2012- vs. #7 Tony Bellew
McIntosh will travel to Liverpool to fight Bellew for the British title.
18) Jesus Gonzales (7-30)
Last Fight: 7/8/2011- UD12 Francisco Sierra (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/18/2012- vs. Adonis Stevenson (UNR) (at SMW)
His present and future are probably both at 168, but he beat a good enough light heavyweight to earn this ranking, nevertheless.
19) Luis Garcia (2-5)
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.
20) Dyah Davis (2-2)
Last Fight: 1/6/2012- UD10 Alfonso Gomez (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
In a fight in January that has no bearing on his ranking here, Davis dominated a guy that outboxed Kelly Pavlik.


The Week Ahead: There is one good fight each on both Friday and Saturday.  Headlining Friday Night Fights on ESPN2, #16 Edison Miranda of Colombia takes on fringe contender and former top-15 Super Middleweight Isaac Chilemba of Malawi in Las Vegas, in a fight that will obviously have implications in the rankings.  The following night in Frankfurt, Germany, #8 Eduard Gutknecht battles one-loss prospect Vyacheslav Uzelkov of the Ukraine.

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