Light Heavyweight: 2012, Sep 10-16

First of all, here’s the big reveal: as I discussed last week the winner of the historic matchup between Light Heavyweight Champ Chad Dawson and Super Middleweight Champ Andre Ward- since the fight was contested at or below the weight limits of both divisions- would claim both titles.  With his stunningly sensational performance in making Dawson submit in round 10 for a rather uncharacteristic TKO victory, Andre Ward has become the first simultaneous 2-division Champion since Joe Calzaghe ruled the very same two divisions back in 2008.  And it’s the first time, as far as I know, that anyone’s ever won a legitimate World Championship as a reigning Champion moving down in weight.


For those of you that will argue that Dawson’s belt was not rightly on the line and that he is thus still the light heavyweight champion, my argument is simply this: once a fighter wins the World Championship, he remains the Champion so long as he does not retire, relinquish his title (ie by moving up in weight permanently), or lose that title in the ring.  Dawson was, therefore the Champion.  On that we can all agree.  Historically and logically speaking, though, Dawson also puts his Championship on the line in a de facto manner everytime he comes into the ring qualified to defend it, against a similarly qualified opponent.  So Dawson, as 175 pound champion- having agreed to a fight at or below the weight limit of the division he ruled- fought an opponent who also weighed less than the 175 pound limit, and thus was qualified to challenge for the Light Heavyweight Championship.  A reigning champion is not restricted by a minimum weight, nor is any fighter that wishes to compete in a given division.  He comes to the ring as the Light Heavyweight Champion every time he doesn’t fight ABOVE his weight class.  For more in-depth discussion of the historical precedents involved, please check the “Week Ahead” section of last week’s update.


In actual 175-pound action, #8 Tony Bellew took control in the second half of a back-and-forth fight with fringe contender Edison Miranda in London, with the contest stopped after Miranda was dropped in the 9th, and with Miranda’s apparent consent.


With Ward’s installment as Champion and Dawson’s demotion to #1 contender status, everyone ranked last week is forced down one place each, except Tony Bellew, who swaps position with Karo Murat to maintain his #8 spot.  Murat therefore falls two spots in the reshuffle to #9.  Included in the demotions are Yusaf Mack, who exits the top 10 for the first time in almost a year, and Eduard Gutknecht, who is bounced from the top 20 after a questionable win and an abominable one in his last two outings.


Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 Champ Chad Dawson (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward hasn’t scaled over 168 since 2009, and has done so just twice in his whole career, and yet finds himself as the reigning Light Heavyweight AND Super Middleweight champion after breaking down fellow reigning Champion Chad Dawson in a fight at 168.
1) Chad Dawson (1-328-328)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- L(TKO10) vs. SMW Champ Andre Ward (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Most sources will still credit him with being the light heavyweight championship, but he lost a fight at or below the 175 pound limit, and thus his conqueror deserves that honor regardless of the actual weights of the fighters.
2) Bernard Hopkins (1-327-327)
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.
3) Jean Pascal (1-169-169)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- L(UD12) vs. #1 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Pascal will come back in December following his long inactivity and hand injury (thus retaining his ranking), with venue and TV problems ensuring that the Cloud fight could not be rescheduled until 2013.  No opponent has been announced.
4) Gabriel Campillo (1-116-116)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #3 Tavoris Cloud (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Campillo was injured in training and has withdrawn from his scheduled late-September fight with Sergei Kovalev.
5) Tavoris Cloud (1-159-159)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12* vs. #4 Gabriel Campillo (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #9 Karo Murat
With Pascal’s injury and subsequent scheduling difficulties related to TV dates and the venue, Cloud will now apparently fight Karo Murat sometime in November.  If successful, the idea would be for him to reschedule the Pascal fight for next year.
6) Cornelius White (1-9-39)
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.
7) Nathan Cleverly (1-136-136)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- UD12 Tommy Karpency (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/27/2012- vs. #13 Vyacheslav Uzelkoff
Cleverly has taken what could be a trap fight against the somewhat underachieving Uzelkoff, in Cardiff.
8) Tony Bellew (9-48-48)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO9 Edison Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bellew continues to impress as he continues his rise to the top.
9) Karo Murat (1-50-71)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO7 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #5 Tavoris Cloud
With Pascal’s injury, Murat will get his alphabet title shot a little earlier than expected, with November being the apparent target.
10) Beibut Shumenov (1-112-116)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- UD12 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Word has it that Shumenov is working on fighting gatekeeper/journeyman hybrid Nicholson Poulard in November, either in Vegas or Kazakhstan.  While it could be argued that Poulard is a bit more live of a body than Shumenov’s last 3 opponents, the step up would be marginal at best, and he’s really not at a different level than those guys.  Let’s hope this fight falls through, because Shumenov hasn’t fought a decent opponent in well over 2 years, and this would be a pathetic way to move forward in his career.
11) Yusaf Mack (1-116)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- UD6 Sabou Ballogou (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/17/2012- vs. #1 SMW Carl Froch (at SMW)
In a fairly sudden development, Mack will drop back down to 168 to fight Carl Froch.
12) Isaac Chilemba (1-32)
Last Fight: 2/3/2012- UD10 #16 Edison Miranda
Next Fight: 9/29/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chilemba’s notoriously fragile opponent Zsolt Erdei had to pull out of their fight.  Chilemba will keep the date, but so far no opponent has been announced.  He reportedly won’t be fighting live on HBO anymore, though clips will appear.
13) Vyacheslav Uzelkoff (1-32)
Last Fight: 7/21/2012- W(MD12) vs. Mohamed Belkacem (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/27/2012- vs. #7 Nathan Cleverly
Uzelkoff won’t be able to muddle his way through his next fight the way he did with Belkacem if he intends to have a shot.
14) Andrzej Fonfara (1-9)
Last Fight: 7/13/2012- UD10* SMW #16 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.
15) Jürgen Brähmer (1-21)
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. 
16) Denis Grachev (1-20)
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.
17) Dmitri Sukhotski (1-98)
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.
18) Mikkel Kessler (1-17)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- TKO4 Allan Green (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kessler has an offer from Brian Magee, but may have the inside track on a big fight with the resurgent Arthur Abraham.
19) Tony Averlant (1-24)
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).
20) Ismayl Sillakh (1-87)
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.


The Week Ahead: Nothing going on this week.

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