Cruiserweight: 2012, Jun 4-10

It was a tale of two fights in Carson, California this Saturday.  The first fight saw #3 Antonio Tarver doing very little and #13 Lateef Kayode controlling the fight.  That fight lasted 5 rounds.  The second fight saw Tarver start to land power punches and hurt the much younger man over the last seven rounds.  Overall, the fight was very close- certainly between 116-112 Kayode and 115-113 Tarver in my estimation.  I had it a draw, as did judge Dave Moretti.  The other two judges had it 115-113 for either fighter, yielding a draw.  The difference-makers in the fight as far as I could tell were as follows: Tarver did almost nothing in the first several rounds of the fight and didn’t seem to realize it, Kayode goofed off and clowned too much while Tarver was eeking out some of the middle rounds, and Tarver tired too much in the late rounds to quite end the fight on the 7-round sweep he needed to win, but gutted it out enough to salvage the draw.


Tarver, whose #3 rating had been built on one good win and a lack of offsetting losses or draws, takes a healthy tumble in the rankings from his draw against the #13 contender, slipping all the way to #7.  Meanwhile, while he was no doubt disappointed with the final result after controlling the early fight, this stands as Kayode’s most impressive performance in its own way, prompting his promotion to #8.  This bumps up everybody rated #4-7 last week one spot each, dropping everybody rated #8-12 a spot each, including Danny Green, who exit’s the top 10 for the first time since entering the Ring’s version of the rankings 131 weeks ago.


Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (18-102-102)
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 (18-122-122)
Last Fight: 4/4/2012- KO2 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/21/2012- vs. HW #16 Jean-Marc Mormeck
Lebedev-Mormeck is now official, and will happen on July 21 in Paris.
3) Steve Cunningham (1-416-416)
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 (1-287-287)
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 (1-169-169)
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 (1-363-363)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- TKO11 #9 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
7) Antonio Tarver (1-46-46)
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 (1-1-81)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. #3 Antonio Tarver
Next Fight: Unknown
Kayode has snubbed a mandatory shot at Guillermo Jones’ alphabet belt for a shot at an even better fighter, the aging but still very capable Antonio Tarver.
9) Guillermo Jones (1-88-88)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/23/2012- vs. Joell Godfrey (UNR)
After missing out on several potential big fights, Jones will settle for a stay-busy outing against St. Louis area journeyman Joell Godfrey, June 23 in Miami.
10) Firat Arslan (1-4-47)
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 (1-131)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- L(TKO11) vs. #8 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Shane Cameron is hoping to fight Green if he beats Monte Barrett in May.  No major news from Green’s end, except that he’s trying to goad the much, much smaller Anthony Mundine into a rematch.
12) B.J. Flores (1-102)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO6 Hugo Pineda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores has said he might fight the Fragomeni-Branco winner.  Not sure how that will be affected by the fact that there is no winner.
13) Francisco Palacios (1-62)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- UD8 Joell Godfrey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has mandated a rematch with Wlodarczyk, but that seems almost forgotten as Wlodarczyk has since chased fights with Roy Jones and Antonio Tarver, neither of which seem to be currently on the table.
14) Giacobbe Fragomeni (12-186)
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 (12-12)
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 (10-10)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD10 Hari Miles (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Alexander Alekseev (4-73)
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 (4-102)
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 (4-18)
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 (10-17)
Last Fight: 2/8/2012- RTD9 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Drozd’s scheduled fight with Cesar Crenz was mysteriously cancelled- the same fate that befell a scheduled fight with William Joppy.


THE WEEK AHEAD:  Nothing going on this time around.

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