Heavyweight: 2012, May 14-20

Juan Carlos Gomez won an eight-round decision on the Arslan-Alexeev card on Friday.  I stand corrected, as I thought there was little chance the oft-inactive Gomez would actually be fighting just three weeks after his last win when I saw that he was scheduled to fight an opponent to be announced.  That opponent was heavily-recycled journeyman Maxim Pedyura of the Ukraine.  There has been very little mention of this fight in news sources, and I skipped watching the undercard because of a lack of interesting matchups, so it’s just a generic, rather unimportant win for Gomez as I see it.  No changes to the rankings.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (151-364-364)
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 (188-188-188)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Now that Haye is fighting Chisora, Vitali may be looking for another opponent.  Perhaps one of his last two opponents ever.
2) Alexander Povetkin (38-238-238)
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 (9-108-108)
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 (9-12-12)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. CW #7 Ola Afolabi (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Shaky performance against Afolabi, but there’s no rule saying he has to be the #1 or #2 Cruiser in order to be the #4 heavyweight.  If there was, he wouldn’t be here in the first place.
5) Tyson Fury (9-43-43)
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 (9-24-87)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(UD12) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: 7/14/2012- vs. David Haye (UNR)
The British Board is bitterly opposed to this bout- which they refuse to license- but apparently it is going forward anyway.  Get ready for a highly controversial blood-feud between Chisora and recent brawl opponent David Haye, July 14 in London.
7) Robert Helenius (9-59-103)
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) Kubrat Pulev (2-2-79)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- KO11 #12 Alexander Dimitrenko
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev showed determination if nothing else in wearing down Dimitrenko to a late knockout.
9) Tony Thompson (9-103-103)
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 (9-9-103)
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 (9-23)
Last Fight: 4/28/2012- TKO3 Chazz Witherspoon (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Now that Wlad is actively dropping his name as a possible next opponent, Mitchell is showing he’s likely going to take the Adamek approach: fight low-quality opponents that happen to be really tall so that you can pretend you’re trying to prepare yourself for Wlad, when what you’re really doing is waiting around for your big payday with little risk.  Even the specific opponent being discussed is familiar to that scenario- Michael Grant.
12) Ruslan Chagaev (2-287)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO3 Billy Zumbrun (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The Valuev win is now over 5 years old, and Chagaev’s ranking has suffered as a result.
13) Alexander Dimitrenko (2-70)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- L(KO11) vs. #17 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite showing the heart of a quitter and the consistency of a random number generator against Pulev, Dimitrenko hangs on to a solid ranking because the other guys in his tier haven’t been winning meaningful fights lately.
14) Chris Arreola (2-165)
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.
15) Denis Boytsov (2-152)
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.
16) Jean-Marc Mormeck (2-103)
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.
17) Bermane Stiverne (2-47)
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.
18) Edmund Gerber (2-2)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- UD8 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most scintillating effort against a passive Harris, but the old man is what passes for a fringe contender in this division at the moment, and thus Gerber has built himself a ranking.
19) Franklin Lawrence (2-51)
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.
20) Kevin Johnson (2-7)
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.


THE WEEK AHEAD: 4 notable fights this week:
Wednesday: Undefeated Italian prospect Francesco Pianeta takes on his best opponent in about 18 months when he takes on very old but still halfway serviceable gatekeeper Oliver McCall, who is 47.  That’s in Frankfurt, Germany.


Saturday: In Liverpool, local undefeated giant David Price battles former Commonwealth champion and prior British title challenger Sam Sexton for the British title that Tyson Fury vacated essentially out of an unwillingness to fight Price.  Across the pond in Pharr, Texas, #10 Odlanier Solis hopes his heavily-surgerized knee holds up against capable gatekeeper Konstantin Airich.  This is the Cuban’s first fight in exactly 14 months.  Also, in Dover, Delaware, #19 Franklin Lawrence keeps busy against Illinois journeyman and one-time fringe contender Mike Mollo.

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