Light Heavyweight: 2012, May 14-20

Friday in Meridian, Mississippi, #16 Cornelius White destroyed the hapless Anthony Bowman midway through the 2nd round of a scheduled 6.  As if  Bowman’s 9-40 record didn’t make him enough of an underdog, he was also giving up ELEVEN POUNDS on the official scales, and even more than that in terms of natural size.  Bowman usually fights as a smallish 154-pounder.  The following night in the Ukraine, #12 Vyacheslav Uzelkov won an 8-round decision over totally unproven 10-2 journeyman Ravshanbek Jabbarov.  Can’t say that’s all that impressive.  Jabbarov has never been stopped, but he also has to be considered a rank novice who had never fought anybody.  He also managed to win an average of one round per scorecard.  No changes to the rankings.


Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Chad Dawson (3-311-311)
Last Fight: 4/28/2012- W (MD12) Champ Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
All hail the new Champ!  But let’s hope he gets in against some opponents that will make him come out of his shell, because his coronation was excruciating to watch.  I want to see him in against either Campillo or the Pascal-Cloud winner.  He also said he wants Andre Ward, and will even fight him at 168.  I’ll believe that when I see it.
1) Bernard Hopkins (3-310-310)
Last Fight: 4/28/2012- L(MD12) vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
I’m not sure what he thinks he can or still wants to prove, but 47-year-old Hopkins has shrugged off retirement talk and there is talk of potential fights with Lucian Bute and Nathan Cleverly.
2) Jean Pascal (3-152-152)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- L(UD12) vs. #1 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: 8/11/2012- vs. #4 Tavoris Cloud
Showtime has kindly provided the date of August 11 for the Pascal-Cloud tilt.  That’s more than 14-months since Pascal’s last fight…just sayin’.
3) Gabriel Campillo (13-99-99)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #3 Tavoris Cloud (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
With Cloud apparently sidestepping not only Campillo, but also a mandatory with Karo Murat in favor of an even better match with Pascal, I wonder if Campillo might get the rematch with Murat, instead.
4) Tavoris Cloud (13-142-142)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12* vs. #4 Gabriel Campillo (Robbery)
Next Fight: 8/11/2012- vs. #2 Jean Pascal
It appeared certain that Cloud would fight Murat next, but now he’s fighting Pascal instead.
5) Nathan Cleverly (31-119-119)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- UD12 Tommy Karpency (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Originally scheduled to fight the underwhelming Robin Krasniqi, a virus scuttled that fight for him.  Not that anyone’s complaining.  Barring a rescheduling, which would be problematic from the WBO’s perspective, Cleverly may be looking toward his mandatory with Sukhotski next, though there’s some talk of a Hopkins fight, as well.
6) Karo Murat (33-33-54)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- Draw (SD12) vs. #4 Gabriel Campillo
Next Fight: Unknown
Not sure where Murat goes from here after his mandatory shot at Cloud was at least delayed for Cloud to seek greener pastures.  My vote: Campillo-Murat II.
7) Tony Bellew (31-31-31)
Last Fight: 4/27/2012- TKO5 #20 Danny McIntosh
Next Fight: Unknown
After demolishing McIntosh for the British title, Bellew has renewed his calls for a rematch with Cleverly.  He also named Cloud and Shumenov as guys he’s ready for.
8) Beibut Shumenov (15-95-99)
Last Fight: 7/29/2011- TKO9 Danny Santiago (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/2/2012- vs. Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
How this guy gets to keep even an alphabet title while fighting exactly William Joppy, Danny Santiago, and Enrique Ornelas over what will become more than a 2-year span is well beyond me.  And that’s setting aside the fact that he got totally worked in the fight that “won” him the title in the first place.  I know for a fact that Adrian Diaconu wanted to fight him, so it’s not like he’s being ducked by every name fighter out there.
9) Yusaf Mack (15-63-99)
Last Fight: 4/27/2012- UD12 Omar Sheika (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mack called out Cloud and Dawson after beating Sheika.  Sure, he’s a top 10 fighter, but that still feels like a stretch for him.
10) Dmitri Sukhotski (15-15-81)
Last Fight: 10/8/2011- TKO2 Nadjib Mohammedi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBO originally demanded that Cleverly fight Sukhotski rather than the mediocre Krasniqi, but then backed down and gave Cleverly an extra 4 months to take the fight.  Now that Cleverly got sick and cancelled on Krasniqi, surely this fight will have to happen now…
11) Isaac Chilemba (15-15)
Last Fight: 2/3/2012- UD10 #16 Edison Miranda
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba, a former super middleweight, now has the highest ranking of his career at either weight after beating fringe contender Miranda.
12) Vyacheslav Uzelkov (7-15)
Last Fight: 5/12/2012- UD8 Ravshanbek Jabbarov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Deserved much better than a unanimous decision loss against Gutknecht, and is rewarded for it in my rankings.
13) Jürgen Brähmer (4-4)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- UD10 Vikapita Meroro (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Braehmer has showed up for his last two fights, which at least feels like a record for him. 
14) Denis Grachev (3-3)
Last Fight: 4/27/2012- TKO8 #15 Ismayl Sillakh
Next Fight: Unknown
Yes, it was a flukey win, and it’s clear from his performance on its face that, at least at this point, he’s not this good.  But honestly the result in black and white could have supported a rating as high as around #10.  Common sense can only demote a guy so far (in conjunction with relative inexperience) when his actual resume calls out for a decent ranking.
15) Adrian Diaconu (3-262)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- L(UD12) vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
The leap year buys Diaconu an extra week to schedule a fight, so he will not be removed next week since technically his year anniversary occurs during that week.
16) Cornelius White (7-22)
Last Fight: 5/12/2012- KO2 Anthony Bowman (UNR)
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.
17) Zsolt Erdei (4-78)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- KO6 Byron Mitchell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Had a fight with Pascal lined up, but Showtime couldn’t come up with the money to make it happen.
18) Tony Averlant (4-7)
Last Fight: 3/31/2012- L*(SD12) vs. #12 Eduard Gutknecht (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Averlant is probably closer to the journeyman he was on 3/30 than the solid fringe contender he became on 3/31, but a win is a win…even when it’s a loss (in Germany).
19) Ismayl Sillakh (3-70)
Last Fight: 4/27/2012- L(TKO8) vs. Denis Grachev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I didn’t see that coming at all.  I trust Sillakh will bounce back from the upset loss to Grachev.  But wow.
20) Eduard Gutknecht (3-54)
Last Fight: 3/31/2012- W*(SD12) vs. Tony Averlant (UNR) (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lost a close but clear fight against Averlant, but got the decision.  That’s two at least questionable verdicts in a row for Gutknecht, both against extremely unranked fighters.


The Week Ahead: Friday in Flemington, Australia, undefeated prospects Blake Caparello of Australia and Robert Berridge of New Zealand collide.  Berridge has actually had more fights, but Caparello has been in against the better competition and is further along in his development thus far.


Two fights of note on Saturday: Super Middleweight #3 contender Mikkel Kessler moves up to challenge former super middleweight fringe contender Allan Green in Denmark, while in France, local gatekeeper Nadjib Mohammedi battles countryman and journeyman Mehdi Amar in Marseille.  The former fight could have interesting implications in the rankings.  Neither Kessler nor Green has yet established himself in this weight class, but off the top of my head I’d say both guys likely carry enough credibility with them from 168 to potentially support a rating for the victor.

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