Light Heavyweight: 2012, May 28- Jun 3

No in-ring action to report at 175, this week, but Adrian Diaconu has not fought in over a year now, and has no fight scheduled.  Diaconu hasn’t won since October 2010, and has not beaten anybody worth fighting since his close-fought April 2008 decision over Chris Henry.  Diaconu’s exit makes room for the return of the otherwise plummeting Eduard Gutknecht, who was bumped out only last week after a bit over a year in the rankings.


Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Chad Dawson (5-313-313)
Last Fight: 4/28/2012- W (MD12) Champ Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: 9/8/2012- vs. SMW Champ Andre Ward (at SMW)
Wow- it really is happening!  Dawson will reportedly drop down to 168 to challenge Andre Ward for the World Championship at Super Middle.  For my money, it will also be an opportunity for Ward to capture Dawson’s light heavyweight title.  He’s fighting the 175 champion under the 175 limit.  I’m not sure this scenario has ever played out in the history of boxing…and it’s pretty exciting- even if the fight itself may not  be.
1) Bernard Hopkins (5-312-312)
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 a potential fight with Nathan Cleverly.
2) Jean Pascal (5-154-154)
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 (15-101-101)
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 (15-144-144)
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 (33-121-121)
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 (35-35-56)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- Draw (SD12) vs. #4 Gabriel Campillo
Next Fight: 6/2/2012- vs. Miguel Velozo (UNR)
After his hopes for a Cloud fight were dashed, Murat will settle for a short-notice stay-busy fight with Cuban prospect Miguel Velozo.
7) Tony Bellew (33-33-33)
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.  He also recently became the latest fighter to announce a split with promoter Frank Warren which Warren denies.
8) Beibut Shumenov (17-97-101)
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 (17-65-101)
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 (17-17-83)
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 (17-17)
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 (9-17)
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 (6-6)
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 (5-5)
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) Mikkel Kessler (1-2)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- TKO4 Allan Green (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kessler recently expressed interest in rematching both Andre Ward and Carl Froch following Froch’s demolition of Lucian Bute.  He may not be at 175 for long.
16) Cornelius White (1-24)
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 (1-80)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- KO6 Byron Mitchell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Erdei will be subject to removal when I perform the June 11-17 update if he doesn’t schedule a fight before that.  He has run into some hard luck with injury and Showtime’s budget, but he’s had time to find something when neither were a factor.  And his level of competition over the years doesn’t call for much sympathy.
18) Tony Averlant (1-9)
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 (1-72)
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 (1-1)
Last Fight: 3/31/2012- W*(SD12) vs. Tony Averlant (UNR) (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown


The Week Ahead:
Friday: Russian prospect Sergei Kovalev faces still-dangerous journeyman Darnell Boone in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.


Saturday: #6 Karo Murat takes on one-loss but otherwise untested Cuban prospect Miguel Velozo in Herning, Denmark.  #8 Beibut Shumenov makes an embarrassing title defense in Vegas against journeyman Enrique Ornelas.  Sakio Bika and Francisco Sierra are also in action- super middleweights that have been known to come in over the limit.

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