Heavyweight: 2012, Apr 16-22

#14 Denis Boytsov dominated former fringe contender Dominick Guinn, now a journeyman, to a 10-round decision in Cologne on Friday. 

 

The following night, #5 Tyson Fury shockingly fought as a southpaw for his entire fight against 40-year-old former Commonwealth Champion Martin Rogan.  He had a rocky start, losing the first two rounds, but appeared to get more comfortable as time went on, and eventually began landing his jab crisply and clubbing with an effective left hand.  By the time he pummeled Rogan sufficiently for Rogan’s corner to step in and stop the fight, Fury had scored 2 knockdowns, had completely taken over the fight, and was looking as good left-handed as he normally does with his right.  Given the switch, this has to be viewed as a pretty impressive performance, though it should be pointed out that Rogan had been inactive for almost 18 months, and hadn’t fought a decent opponent in nearly 2 1/2 years,  and consequently shouldn’t be confused for more than a journeyman at the moment.

 

#16 Bermane Stiverne returned to action for the first time in 10 months, winning a pretty average 8-round decision over a blown-up cruiserweight in Willie Herring who was coming off a loss to cruiserweight prospect Santander Silgado just a few weeks ago.

 

3 contenders in action, but no changes to the rankings because they all merely held serve against relatively weak opposition.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (147-360-360)
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 (184-184-184)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Will David Haye be Vitali’s next opponent?  Nobody seems to know.  But there is some news.  Polls show Vitali as the favorite in the race for Mayor of Kiev at the end of the year.  September sounds like the most likely date for Vitali’s next fight.
2) Alexander Povetkin (34-234-234)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- W*(MD12) vs. CW #5 Marco Huck
Next Fight: 7/14/2012- 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 (5-104-104)
Last Fight: 3/24/2012- UD10 Nagy Aguilera (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/16/2012- vs. Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Big news!  Eddie Chambers- who was removed for inactivity from this very spot in the rankings not long ago- will be fighting Adamek in June on NBC Sports.  The stakes will of course be the #2 spot, which Povetkin now appears to be merely warming for the winner.  That is, if Chambers doesn’t withdraw from a 3rd consecutive bout.
4) Marco Huck (5-8-8)
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 (5-39-39)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- TKO5 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After a fairly impressive left-handed win over Martin Rogan, Fury appears interested in making a fight with Wlad or Alexander Povetkin.
6) Dereck Chisora (5-20-83)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(UD12) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Chisora is spending a suspicious amount of time in Moscow.  Seems he’s planning to get around his BBBofC suspension by getting a license in Russia.  Both Klitschkos, Haye, and Povetkin are all being discussed as future opponents, and Chisora plans to appeal his British suspension this week.
7) Robert Helenius (5-55-99)
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 (5-283-283)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- UD8 Kertson Manswell (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/21/2012- vs. Billy Zumbrun (UNR)
Chagaev’s opponent on Saturday will be Utah journeyman Billy Zumbrun.
9) Tony Thompson (5-99-99)
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 (5-5-99)
Last Fight: 3/19/2011- L (TKO1) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: 5/19/2012- vs. Konstantin Airich (UNR)
Solis will fight Kazakh-born German fringe contender Konstantin Airich in Texas on 5/19.  That’s a pretty tough opponent given the layoff and physical problems from which Solis is trying to rebound.  But if he does well, it’s a great choice.
11) Seth Mitchell (5-19)
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 (5-66)
Last Fight: 9/24/2011- UD12 Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/5/2012- vs. #17 Kubrat Pulev
The Pulev fight has been postponed until probably May 5, and has been moved from Kiel to Erfurt.
13) Chris Arreola (5-161)
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 (5-148)
Last Fight: 4/13/2012- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov continued his slow walk to a title shot with an easy win over journeyman Dominick Guinn.
15) Jean-Marc Mormeck (5-99)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- L(TKO4) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
The word is Mormeck might be dropping back to cruiser for the first time since 2007 to fight Denis Lebedev.
16) Bermane Stiverne (5-43)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- UD8 Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne had a ho-hum performance against an opponent that should never have been considered adequate after he was off for 10 months.
17) Kubrat Pulev (2-75)
Last Fight: 1/14/2012- RTD9 Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/5/2012- vs. #12 Alexander Dimitrenko
See Dimitrenko’s notes, above.
18) Franklin Lawrence (2-47)
Last Fight: 10/28/2011- TKO2 Raymond Ochieng (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/18/2012- vs. Mike Mollo (UNR)
Lawrence will fight journeyman and former fringe contender Mike Mollo in Dover, Delaware on May 18.
19) Kevin Johnson (2-3)
Last Fight: 4/1/2012- TKO9 Alex Leapai (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Johnson put the cart before the horse by fighting the division’s #1 contender before he’d beaten anyone in the top 50.  Now he’s done the latter at last, and we’ll see if he starts progressing towards the former again.
20) Cedric Boswell (2-2)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- L(KO8) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Two notable heavyweights see action in Schwerin, Germany on Saturday.  #8 Ruslan Chagaev takes on an opponent yet to be announced, while Juan Carlos Gomez looks to avenge his recent loss to journeyman Darnell Wilson, which occurred when the then-top-10 contender was foolishly fighting with a pre-existing shoulder injury.

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