Cruiserweight: 2012, Jun 11-17

No action in the division this week.


Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (19-103-103)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Since there’s been no news on Hernandez’ next opponent for months, I might as well start speculating.  For what it’s worth, the IBF has Polish prospect Pawel Kolodziej ranked as their top contender for his belt.  That’s a crazy ranking, but it could put Kolodziej in line for a shot soon.
2) Denis Lebedev (19-123-123)
Last Fight: 4/4/2012- KO2 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lebedev-Mormeck appears to be off.  Reporting on the subject has been virtually non-existent, so I can’t readily say why exactly.  But it appears that Lebedev may be fighting Guillermo Jones, instead.  WBA purse bid scheduled for June 29.
3) Steve Cunningham (2-417-417)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham said recently that although he would consider fighting Kayode in the event he beat Tarver (the fight ultimately ended in a draw), he doesn’t believe there are any other big fights available for him at Cruiser.  He is therefore likely to move up to heavyweight.
4) Marco Huck (2-288-288)
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, and also for a shot at Vitali.
5) Ola Afolabi (2-170-170)
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, or a fight with Tarver or Kayode in the US.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (2-364-364)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- TKO11 #9 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
Originally rumored and long-since forgotten, the rematch with Palacios is now back on the table, and reportedly being negotiated for a September date.
7) Antonio Tarver (2-47-47)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. #13 Lateef Kayode
Next Fight: Unknown
Tarver retained his IBO belt with the Kayode draw, but it’s up in the air where he goes from here.  He often says he wants to be heavyweight champion, but he’s clearly not even a full-sized cruiser at this point considering how soft he looked in comparison to Kayode.
8) Lateef Kayode (2-2-82)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. #3 Antonio Tarver
Next Fight: Unknown
The first major fighter to agitate for a fight with Kayode after his draw with Tarver is B.J. Flores.
9) Guillermo Jones (2-89-89)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Reading news and googling Jones’ name, it appears that the Joell Godfrey fight is off, but nobody ever seems to have actually reported that fact.  The fight simply disappeared.  Jones has been ordered to make a mandatory defense against Denis Lebedev, with purse bids scheduled for June 29.
10) Firat Arslan (2-5-48)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #12 Alexander Alekseev (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
The EBU has ordered a rematch between Arslan-who was robbed- and Alekseev, who escaped with a gift draw.
11) Danny Green (2-132)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- L(TKO11) vs. #8 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: 7/25/2012- vs. Danny Santiago (UNR) (at LHW)
Green is dropping down in weight in hopes of luring the much-smaller Anthony Mundine into a rematch.
12) B.J. Flores (2-103)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO6 Hugo Pineda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores is chasing a fight with Kayode that failed to materialize last year.
13) Francisco Palacios (2-63)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- UD8 Joell Godfrey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The almost forgotten rumor of a rematch with Wlodarczyk is now back on the front-burner, with a deal being worked on for a September fight between the two.
14) Giacobbe Fragomeni (13-187)
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 (13-13)
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 (11-11)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD10 Hari Miles (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Alexander Alekseev (5-74)
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- and the EBU has ordered just that.
18) Enad Licina (5-103)
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 (5-19)
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 (11-18)
Last Fight: 2/8/2012- RTD9 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/20/2012- vs. Fabio Garrido (UNR)
After expected fights with William Joppy and Cesar Crenz both fell through with little explanation, Drozd will fight mediocre Brazilian journeyman Fabio Garrido on relatively short notice, in Moscow.


THE WEEK AHEAD:  We’ve got two fights to mention on Friday and the start of a significant tournament on Saturday.  See below for details.


Friday: Australian gatekeeper Anthony McCracken- who we last saw getting all-out robbed against Kiwi prospect David Aloua- appears to have recovered better than I thought possible from a bad cut in that fight, as he is scheduled to face solid journeyman Daniel Ammann in Newcastle, Australia.  Then, in Toulouse, France, local gatekeeper Faisal Arrami fights countryman and mid-level journeyman Jeremy Ouanna.


Saturday: All the cruiserweight action is located in South Africa, where local promoters have put together a single elimination tournament for mostly South African-based cruisers.  This tournament features 8 fighters.  Three of these begin the tournament in the world top 50.  The winners of the first round will fight again in September, with the final to be settled in November.  The first round draw:
1) Congolese gatekeeper/prospect Zack Mwekassa vs. South African journeyman Tshepang Mohale
2) Israeli prospect/fringe contender Ran Nakash vs. South African journeyman Johnny Muller
3) Power punching Congolese gatekeeper Flo Simba vs. South African prospect Thabiso Mchunu
4) South African Olympian and current journeyman Danie Venter vs. countryman and fellow journeyman Daniel Bruwer.


All but #4 feature at least one credible fighter, and the winner of this tournament figures to be close to a top 10 fighter when the dust settles. 


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