Heavyweight: 2012, Apr 23-29

#8 Ruslan Chagaev came in noticeably fat for his fight with Utah journeyman Billly Zumbrun, but the somewhat shopworn and undertrained contender still had plenty of thunder in his southpaw left hand to thoroughly batter the mostly defenseless Zumbrun.  The ref stopped the fight immediately after Zumbrun was deposited on the canvas for the second time in a matter of seconds during round 3.

 

In other action on the same card, former top 10 contender Juan Carlos Gomez got revenge on Darnell Wilson, the man that- along with Gomez’ own stupidity in fighting with a bad and pre-existing shoulder injury- took that status away from him last year with a shocking upset.  A case could be made that Gomez should be rated again.  After all, he only lost the first fight due to a severely impaired state in the first place, and has avenged that loss now.  But this isn’t like a guy that goes inactive and then returns to activity.  In this case, Gomez was removed for a poor in-ring performance, and beating a journeyman (Wilson has gone 0-2 since the Gomez fight) isn’t going to change that, even if the journeyman was the reason he was removed.  The past successes on which his ranking was originally built also aren’t getting more recent.  His last notable win was in 2008.

 

So this is much ado about nothing, and there are again no changes to 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 (148-361-361)
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 (185-185-185)
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 (35-235-235)
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 (6-105-105)
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 (6-9-9)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- L*(MD12) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 5/5/2012- vs. CW #7 Ola Afolabi (at CW)
Huck is now officially set for his return to Cruiserweight on May 5 against Afolabi.
5) Tyson Fury (6-40-40)
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 (6-21-84)
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.  Chisora has appealed his suspension and will have a hearing on May 14.
7) Robert Helenius (6-56-100)
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 (6-284-284)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO3 Billy Zumbrun (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chagaev proved that he can beat a mediocre fighter badly even while fat.
9) Tony Thompson (6-100-100)
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 (6-6-100)
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 (6-20)
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 (6-67)
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 May 5, and has been moved from Kiel to Erfurt.
13) Chris Arreola (6-162)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The Champ wants to return to the US in November for the first time since ’08.  Arreola and Mitchell are the names being tossed around by the Klitschko camp at the moment.
14) Denis Boytsov (6-149)
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 (6-100)
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.  No deal yet, but they have agreed on the prospective date: June 29, in Paris.
16) Bermane Stiverne (6-44)
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 (3-76)
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 (3-48)
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 (3-4)
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 (3-3)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- L(KO8) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Undefeated Russian giant Alexander Ustinov takes on veteran American journeyman Jason Gavern in the Ukraine on Thursday.  On Saturday, #11 Seth Mitchell faces borderline gatekeeper/fringe prospect/journeyman Chazz Witherspoon on the Hopkins-Dawson undercard on HBO.

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