Light Heavyweight: 2012, Jul 23-29

Former middleweight contender Fulgencio Zuniga- inactive since his December 2010 decision loss to Tavoris Cloud- scored the biggest win of at least the last 5 years of his career with a 7th round knockout of Colombian countryman and more-or-less equally inactive former 168 contender Alejandro Berrio on Thursday. 

 

Friday in Australia, undefeated local prospect Blake Caparello predictably stopped gimme opponent Dante Craig, disposing of the journeyman in 2 rounds.

 

Finally, on Saturday in Odessa, Ukraine, #12 Vyachelsav Uzelkoff (whose name I’m changing to that from “Uzelkov” because he’s spelled it the former way on his trunks in at least his last two fights) got all he could handle from unheralded Swiss-based Algerian journeyman Mohamed Belkacem.  The fight legitimately could have gone either way- I had it for Uzelkoff 115-113- which is not something you want to hear if you’re part of Uzelkoff’s team.  Speaking of said team: I’m no trainer nor really an expert on the technical aspects of boxing, but I’ve sure as hell watched enough of it to know that Uzelkoff either doesn’t listen to his trainer or badly needs a new one.  The guy looked like he was a full weight class or two larger than Belkacem, was clearly the stronger puncher, and yet he fought extremely light.  That can be good if you’re sticking and moving, showing superior handspeed, etc.  Not so for Uzelkoff.  He simply bounced around like an rank amateur, and showed the kind of awful footwork you’d expect from a no-account club fighter.  Belkacem was able to pick him apart for long stretches and, I think clearly, won the overall fight  even if he didn’t necessarily take 7 of the rounds.  He made Belkacem- who has lost to decent and mediocre competition alike in the past- look like Sugar Ray Leonard as often as not.  In Uzelkoff’s defense, he did close the fight strong- clearly winning the final round to nick the fight on my card.

 

No changes to the rankings.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Chad Dawson (13-321-321)
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 (13-320-320)
Last Fight: 4/28/2012- L(MD12) vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
Hopkins might be looking to return- likely for his last fight- around the end of the year.
2) Jean Pascal (13-162-162)
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 (23-109-109)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #3 Tavoris Cloud (Robbery)
Next Fight: 9/21/2012- vs. Sergei Kovalev (UNR)
With Cloud otherwise occupied and Shumenov no doubt wanting nothing to do with him, Campillo will fight Russian prospect Sergei Kovalev in late September on NBC Sports.
4) Tavoris Cloud (23-152-152)
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) Cornelius White (2-2-32)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- UD12 #10 Dmitri Sukhotski
Next Fight: Unknown
White is on a tear.  Is he really top-5 good?  I wouldn’t think so, but he proves me wrong every time I feel I might be overrating him.
6) Nathan Cleverly (2-129-129)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- UD12 Tommy Karpency (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There is talk of a fight with Shumenov in October, with Hopkins as a second possibility.
7) Karo Murat (2-43-64)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO7 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
8) Tony Bellew (2-41-41)
Last Fight: 4/27/2012- TKO5 #20 Danny McIntosh
Next Fight: 9/8/2012- vs. Edison Miranda (UNR)
Bellew will fight another halfway decent matchup with Edison Miranda in early September.
9) Beibut Shumenov (2-105-109)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- UD12 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After embarrassing both Enrique Ornelas and himself (merely for taking the fight), Shumenov has already been approached for fights with Hopkins, Cleverly, and Kessler.  That being the case, he won’t have much of an excuse left if he ends up fighting his 4th consecutive journeyman.
10) Yusaf Mack (2-73-109)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- UD6 Sabou Ballogou (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
11) Isaac Chilemba (25-25)
Last Fight: 2/3/2012- UD10 #16 Edison Miranda
Next Fight: 9/29/2012- vs. Zsolt Erdei (UNR)
Chilemba will fight former (I guess arguably current) lineal Champion Zsolt Erdei in late September on HBO.
12) Vyacheslav Uzelkoff (17-25)
Last Fight: 7/21/2012- W(MD12) vs. Mohamed Belkacem (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Got a bit of a scare from the mediocre Belkacem.
13) Andrzej Fonfara (2-2)
Last Fight: 7/13/2012- UD10* SMW #14(?) Glen Johnson
Next Fight: Unknown
I don’t think he landed enough clean blows to have cleanly beaten Johnson, but since I could have pictured a draw being a fair result, I am compelled to rate him anyhow.
14) Jürgen Brähmer (2-14)
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. 
15) Denis Grachev (2-13)
Last Fight: 4/27/2012- TKO8 #15 Ismayl Sillakh
Next Fight: 11/3/2012- vs. SMW #3 Lucian Bute
Grachev will fight Lucian Bute at a 170 pound catchweight in November.
16) Dmitri Sukhotski (2-91)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- L(UD12) vs. #16 Cornelius White
Next Fight: Unknown
The White loss must be a bitter disappointment for Sukhotski, who had been in line for a shot at an alphabet strap held by Cleverly for some time, but with Cleverly blatantly ducking him to great effect.
17) Mikkel Kessler (2-10)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- TKO4 Allan Green (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
A Froch fight in the fall now looks extremely likely, at 168, though Pavlik is acting like an October fight with Kessler is a distinct possibility, too.
18) Tony Averlant (2-17)
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 (2-80)
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 (2-9)
Last Fight: 3/31/2012- W*(SD12) vs. Tony Averlant (UNR) (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: No action in the division this week, with the start of the Olympics taking center stage.
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