Heavyweight: 2012, Jun 25- Jul 1

Wednesday in London, the Prizefighter series trotted out some decent Heavyweights for a single elimination tournament of 3-round fights.  Here’s a rundown of the action:


Quarterfinal #1: Gatekeeper Albert Sosnowski (Poland) vs. Gatekeeper Maurice Harris (USA): In a fight that could have gone either way, I believe the right verdict was reached.  The aged Harris threw the much harder punches, while Sosnowski generally outboxed the American with better movement and volume.  Round 1 was clearly for Harris, while the last two rounds, I thought, were ever so slightly in favor of the Pole.


Quarterfinal #2: Fringe contender Kevin Johnson (USA) vs. Novice Prospect Noureddine Meddoun (Morocco)- After a shaky first few seconds, Johnson bounced back to score an impressive, if inconsequential, TKO in the final seconds of round 1.


Quarterfinal #3: One-loss Prospect Tor Hamer (USA) vs. Journeyman Marcelo Nascimento (Brazil): Hamer managed to avoid the sweeping, wild haymakers of the very crude but much larger Nascimento, winning a very clear shutout decision.


Quarterfinal #4: Journeyman Tom Dallas (UK) vs. Novice Undefeated Prospect Tom Little: Little dominated the first two rounds with heavy shots and superior timing, but started to gas badly late in the second.  Between the 2nd and 3rd, he appeared ready to throw up and could barely stand under his own power.  Dallas, clearly needing a knockout, got it.  Dallas was rather hapless in general, but couldn’t help but win by TKO when Little became a stationary target.  The ref stopped the fight as much because of Little’s inability to support his own weight as any shots Dallas was landing.


Semifinal #1: Gatekeeper Albert Sosnowski vs. Fringe Contender Kevin Johnson: I’m not going to impugn the judges like I normally would because I don’t think any of the 3 rounds were super-clear, and it’s impossible to know how a bad or obstructed view might have affected the cards. But I think Sosnowski fairly clearly won the first two rounds, and thus I’m treating Johnson’s split decision victory as a robbery.  As in the Harris fight, Johnson was throwing the harder punches, while Sosnowski generally outboxed and outworked him.  But I think the differential in the scoring criteria was greater in Sosnowski’s favor in this fight than it was in his first round matchup.


Semifinal #2: Prospect Tor Hamer vs. Journeyman Tom Dallas: Hamer took just over 30 seconds to dispose of what little was left of Dallas following his grueling test against Little.  Hamer jumped on the Brit from the opening bell and broke him down in record time.


Final: Gatekeeper Kevin Johnson vs. Prospect Tor Hamer: In what turned out to be one of the major themes of the night, Johnson threw the harder punches, but Hamer’s skilled boxing kept him off balance and unable to answer more often than not.  Johnson appeared fairly fatigued and unsure of himself from the opening bell.  Hamer took the first two rounds, with Johnson taking the third.


So by my estimation, there were two big winners on the night.  Tor Hamer beat a recently-ranked fringe contender in Johnson, while Sosnowski beat a fellow Gatekeeper in Maurice Harris, and earned a win against Johnson, as well.


Surprisingly, none of the combatants manage to earn a ranking.  I view Sosnowski as having done the most worthwhile work in the tournament, and yet he is hampered- in comparison to #20 Franklin Lawrence- by a inexplicable draw with total bum Hastings Rasani within the past year.  Hamer- who beat Johnson- also falls short of eclipsing Lawrence because Lawrence’s record features two wins over roughly comparable opposition which- while over a year old- were of a knockout variety.  In my estimation, this type of win is clearly preferable and- in addition to the quantity argument- is enough for Lawrence to hang onto his position for now.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (157-370-370)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- TKO4 #16 Jean-Marc Mormeck
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. #11 Tony Thompson
Wlad will be defending the title against #11 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 (194-194-194)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 9/8/2012- vs. Manuel Charr (UNR)
Vitali has scheduled what it sounds like will be his final fight.  Unfortunately, it’s hardly a fight at all.  He’ll take on one of the weakest undefeated fighters you’ll ever see- Syrian Manuel Charr.
2) Tomasz Adamek (2-114-114)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- UD12 Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/8/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Adamek, staying busy, is already scheduled for another fight- September 8 at the Prudential Center.  No opponent yet- although Kevin Johnson’s name has been mentioned.  Word is it’ll be another ridiculous Adamek-driven independent PPV.
3) Alexander Povetkin (2-244-244)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- W*(MD12) vs. CW #5 Marco Huck
Next Fight: 7/14/2012- vs. Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Povetkin’s fight has been moved to Hamburg from the Haye-Chisora undercard.
4) Marco Huck (15-18-18)
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.  
5) Tyson Fury (15-49-49)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- TKO5 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. Vinny Maddalone (UNR)
Fury has taken another low-risk, no reward fight in Vinny Maddalone, the strong but crude American journeyman brawler.  The fight will take place in Clevedon, England.
6) Dereck Chisora (15-30-93)
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) Eddie Chambers (2-2-2)
Last Fight: L (UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers is still unclear as to the severity of his arm injury.  His doctor is reportedly hopeful that it’s only a strained bicep, but he has an MRI scheduled to find out.
8) Robert Helenius (2-65-109)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- W*(SD12) vs. #18 Dereck Chisora (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Encouraging news for Helenius, as he is back to limited rehab-style training after shoulder surgery.
9) Kubrat Pulev (2-8-85)
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.
10) Odlanier Solis (2-15-109)
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.
11) Tony Thompson (2-109)
Last Fight: 5/27/2011- TKO3 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Wladimir Klitschko’s comments, above.
12) Seth Mitchell (2-29)
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.
13) Ruslan Chagaev (2-293)
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.
14) Alexander Dimitrenko (2-76)
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.
15) Chris Arreola (2-171)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola pulled out of a scheduled fight with journeyman Mike Mollo  with an injury.
16) Denis Boytsov (2-158)
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.
17) Jean-Marc Mormeck (2-109)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- L(TKO4) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s unclear why or how, but Mormeck’s cruiserweight fight with Lebedev appears to be off- with little fanfare- as Lebedev is working on a Guillermo Jones clash.
18) Bermane Stiverne (2-53)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- UD8 Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Edmund Gerber (2-8)
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.
20) Franklin Lawrence (2-57)
Last Fight: 10/28/2011- TKO2 Raymond Ochieng (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown


THE WEEK AHEAD:  Busy week.  Fringe contender Timur Ibragimov leads off the week looking to bounce back with a win in his native Uzbekistan against South African journeyman Wiseman Dlomo.


Rhode Island gatekeeper Jason Estrada is in light in Providence against low-level journeyman Alex Gonzales on Friday.


Capping off the week, undefeated Polish prospect Artur Szpilka takes on washed-up former contender Jameel McCline- with a 19-year age gap between the fighters- in Lodz, Poland on Saturday.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: