Heavyweight: 2012, Jun 4-10

Unbeaten Pole Andrzej Wawrzyk, who has somewhat hilariously been floated as a possible Vitali Klitschko opponent- got a really obvious hometown decision in some unpronounceable Polish town on Saturday against Russian journeyman Denis Bakhtov.  Now it’s possible Wawrzyk nicked it by a point (though I had it for Bakhtov by that margin), but the judges were just awful.  Wlodomierz Kromka- whom we last saw as the awful referee in Wilczewski-Ajetovic- put on his other hat as an awful judge, scoring the fight 98-93 for Wawrzyk.  That’s at least 2 rounds that he botched completely.  Unfortunately, he wasn’t the worst.  Piotr Kozlowski had it 98-92, while Olena Pobyvailo’s bad 96-93 card looked positively beautiful by comparison.

 

Wawryzk’s major problems include his chin.  Every time he’s hit clean, he turns into one of those promotional arm-flailing tube-men.  He went down in the first round, and may have been on his way to being stopped after a similar incident in the 8th, but Bakhtov slipped while trying to finish him off in the corner.  Kozlowski somehow didn’t even give Bakhtov that round, it would appear.  This was the same Bakhtov that was dominated by prospect Vyacheslav Glazkov last year.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (154-367-367)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- TKO4 #16 Jean-Marc Mormeck
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. #10 Tony Thompson
Wlad will be defending the title against #10 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 (191-191-191)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Klitschko’s potential choices for a September opponent currently appear to include the following: Seth Mitchell, Bermane Stiverne, Franklin Lawrence, as well as unranked prospects Mariusz Wach, Manuel Charr, and Luis Ortiz.  Fairly disappointing that Vitali’s not even considering any top 10 fighters this close to the end of his career, though there might be at least one interesting fight to be had from that group.
2) Alexander Povetkin (41-241-241)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- W*(MD12) vs. CW #5 Marco Huck
Next Fight: 7/14/2012- vs. Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Povetkin’s ludicrous fight with Rahman will now be the co-feature to Haye-Chisora in London.
3) Tomasz Adamek (12-111-111)
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 (12-15-15)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. CW #7 Ola Afolabi (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Unfortunately, Huck is apparently making a thinly-veiled attempt to make a pointless fight with weak European cruiserweight paper champion Alexander Alekseev.  On a brighter note, he’s also renewed his agitation for a fight with Vitali.
5) Tyson Fury (12-46-46)
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 (12-27-90)
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 (12-62-106)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- W*(SD12) vs. #18 Dereck Chisora (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Helenius is now the mandatory challenger to #8 Kubrat Pulev’s European title- previously held by Helenius.  Helenius is still in the midst of an uncertain recovery from shoulder surgery, however.
8) Kubrat Pulev (5-5-82)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- KO11 #12 Alexander Dimitrenko
Next Fight: Unknown
Might have a Helenius clash on the horizon, though the Finn’s health is a factor.
9) Odlanier Solis (3-12-106)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD12 Konstantin Airich (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Considering he was extremely out of shape and had a surgically-repaired knee to worry about, Solis didn’t look too terrible in coasting to victory over a disappointing Konstantin Airich.
10) Tony Thompson (3-106-106)
Last Fight: 5/27/2011- TKO3 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Wladimir Klitschko’s comments, above.
11) Seth Mitchell (12-26)
Last Fight: 4/28/2012- TKO3 Chazz Witherspoon (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mitchell was set to fight the Klitschko-promoted Johnathon Banks, a mediocre one-loss prospect who is probably an upgrade from Witherspoon at least in terms of accomplishment, but a downgrade from Ibragimov- but he is now on the shelf until the fall due to a hand injury.
12) Ruslan Chagaev (5-290)
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 (5-73)
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 (5-168)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/23/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Arreola, it appears, will fight on the Matthysse-Soto, Ortiz-Lopez card on June 23.  Most likely his fight will be televised on Showtime Extreme again.
15) Denis Boytsov (5-155)
Last Fight: 4/13/2012- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov will likely fight in Moscow on August 24, but nothing official yet.
16) Jean-Marc Mormeck (5-106)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- L(TKO4) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 7/21/2012- vs. CW #2 Denis Lebedev (at CW)
It’s official.  Mormeck will drop back to cruiserweight for the first time since 2007 to fight #2 contender Denis Lebedev in Paris on July 21.
17) Bermane Stiverne (5-50)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- UD8 Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne is one of several opponents being floated by Vitali’s team right now.
18) Edmund Gerber (5-5)
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 (5-54)
Last Fight: 10/28/2011- TKO2 Raymond Ochieng (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lawrence is yet another fighter Vitali is interested in fighting in September.
20) Kevin Johnson (5-10)
Last Fight: 4/1/2012- TKO9 Alex Leapai (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/20/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Johnson is set to fight on June 20th in an international prizefighter tournament, but no word on his draw yet.  Tom Dallas and Albert Sosnowski are also entered in the tournament so far.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 43-year-old Argentine champion Fabio Moli (a gatekeeper on the international level) defends his title in the city of Salta against Emilio Zarate in a rematch of their fight from May 2010, when Moli took Zarate’s undefeated record with a 3rd round knockout.  Since then, Zarate has gone just 7-7-1 against characteristically average opposition.  On the bright side, he has won his last 3, and is 5 for his last 6, including a close decision over the decent Gonzalo Basile late last year.  Moli has fought just twice since, winning the national title from journeyman Lisandro Diaz to close out 2010 and defending it against the decent Sebastian Ceballos in November of last year.  Given Zarate’s moderate resurgence and Moli’s advancing age, this rematch is not without its share of intrigue.

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