Cruiserweight: 2012, May 14-20

The major fight of the week was #12 Alexander Alekseev vs. #19 Firat Arslan in Germany.  And it was yet another pathetic robbery in Germany.  Two judges had it a draw, which is pretty indefensible.  I had it 117-111 Arslan, and there’s no way it was closer than 115-113.  But the real outrage was the third judge: Juergen Langos.  Langos had a disgustingly awful card at 116-113 Alekseev, and to compound matters further, it turns out he’s facebook friends with Alekseev.  I would say I’m surprised the commission didn’t vet Langos well enough to know his apparent bias ahead of time, but German officials have sat idly by while witnessing outrage after outrage for years.  Anyway, Arslan won the fight, and will be treated as such.  It’s a pretty remarkable achievement for a 41-year-old that had been all but written off after passing out in the corner late in a close fight with Steve Herelius a couple years ago.

 

In other action on the card, up-and-coming Russian Rakhim Chakhkiev stopped normally durable trial horse Zack Page in 6.

 

#19 Arslan moves up 10 spots and back into the top 10 for the first time in years on the strength of his should-be win over Alekseev.  Alekseev drops down below Mateusz Masternak to #17, just above his own recent victim, Enad Licina.  This forces B.J. Flores out of the top 10 after 2 consecutive months at #10.

 

And just a quick note- you may have noticed that I’ve started referring to the Russian as Alekseev rather than Alexeev as I had before.  The reasoning is this: since the Cyrillic alphabet doesn’t necessarily translate 1 to 1 to our own, I make value judgments when in doubt.  Most of the time I choose an “x” over a “ks” for the sake of aesthetics and efficiency.  In this case, I’ve noticed that the fighter renders his own name with a “ks” on his trunks, on his facebook page, etc., and that’s good enough for me.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (15-99-99)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Erased any doubt as to the better fighter between him and Cunningham.  A fight with Lebedev now would be huge.
2) Denis Lebedev (15-119-119)
Last Fight: 4/4/2012- KO2 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The deal isn’t done yet, but contingent upon a final agreement, Lebedev and Mormeck have chosen a date and location for their prospective fight: June 29 in Paris.
3) Antonio Tarver (15-43-43)
Last Fight: 7/20/2011- RTD9 #7 Danny Green
Next Fight: 5/26/2012- vs. #13 Lateef Kayode
Tarver criticized Kayode on ShoBox, and Kayode took exception.  So now we have a grudge match.  I don’t think the Nigerian is ready for this, but perhaps Tarver will finally show his age.
4) Steve Cunningham (2-413-413)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
5) Marco Huck (2-284-284)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
A summary of where Huck is at: Afolabi understandably wants a third fight with him- this time in the UK.  Huck wants a rematch with Povetkin.  Meanwhile, Huck is laying the groundwork for hyping a potential fight with Alekseev following the Russian’s poor performance against Arslan.
6) Ola Afolabi (2-166-166)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi would like a third fight with Huck, this time in the UK.
7) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (2-360-360)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- TKO11 #9 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
8) Guillermo Jones (24-85-85)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With all of his possible mandatories tied up with other fights, Jones has made renewed noises about moving up to face a Klitschko.  In the meantime, he continues to train in Miami for a fight that has yet to materialize. 
9) Firat Arslan (1-1-44)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #12 Alexander Alekseev (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arslan clearly beat Alekseev and didn’t get full credit for it from the judges (including one who was manifestly corrupt).  I’ve heard whispers of a rematch, but there are also indications that Alekseev might fight Huck or Masternak next.
10) Danny Green (1-128-128)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- L(TKO11) vs. #8 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Shane Cameron is hoping to fight Green if he beats Monte Barrett in May.  No major news from Green’s end, except that he’s trying to goad the much, much smaller Anthony Mundine into a rematch.
11) B.J. Flores (1-99)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO6 Hugo Pineda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores has said he might fight the Fragomeni-Branco winner.  Not sure how that will be affected by the fact that there is no winner.
12) Francisco Palacios (1-59)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- UD8 Joell Godfrey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has mandated a rematch with Wlodarczyk, but that seems almost forgotten as Wlodarczyk has since chased fights with Roy Jones and Antonio Tarver, neither of which seem to be currently on the table.
13) Lateef Kayode (9-78)
Last Fight: 9/9/2011- UD10 Felix Cora, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/26/2012- vs. #3 Antonio Tarver
Kayode has snubbed a mandatory shot at Guillermo Jones’ alphabet belt for a shot at an even better fighter, the aging but still very capable Antonio Tarver.
14) Giacobbe Fragomeni (9-183)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fragomeni appears to be showing his age after nearly losing to an even older man in Branco.
15) Silvio Branco (9-9)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
45 year old veteran Silvio Branco got what may have been his final hurrah with a close-fought draw with top 10-ranked Giacobbe Fragomeni.
16) Mateusz Masternak (7-7)
Last Fight: 3/31/2012- TKO10 Felipe Romero (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/19/2012- vs. Hari Miles (UNR)
Masternak’s opponent for this weekend will be very underwhelming Welsh journeyman Hari Miles.
17) Alexander Alekseev (1-70)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw*(MD12) vs. #19 Firat Arslan (robbery- should have been L)
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck has randomly been talking smack, which seems like a contrived attempt at hyping a pretty pointless fight between the two of them.  A rematch with Arslan would seem like a pretty natural move.
18) Enad Licina (1-99)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #17 Alexander Alexeev
Next Fight: Unknown
May be getting a little shopworn.  He’s not a pushover by any means, but you’d have to be crazy to imagine him as a top-10-type guy.
19) Troy Ross (1-15)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD8 Lukasz Rusiewicz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Inactivity combined with poor competition are killing the career of top-level talent Ross, but at least he’s technically an active cruiserweight again, and thus eligible to remain in the rankings.
20) Grigory Drozd (7-14)
Last Fight: 2/8/2012- RTD9 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/2/2012- vs. Cesar Crenz (UNR)
After a scheduled matchup with washed-up William Joppy thankfully fell through, Drozd is now scheduled for an interesting matchup with fringe contender Cesar Crenz of Argentina in early June.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:  #16 Mateusz Masternak stays busy against low-level Welsh journeyman Hari Miles in Denmark on the Kessler-Green undercard Saturday.
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