Cruiserweight: 2012, Nov 12-18

Here’s a new name for you: Thabiso Mchunu.  The new undisputed Champion of South Africa thoroughly demolished #20 Danie Venter- whom he had previously edged out by majority decision two years ago when they were both mere prospects- knocking the favored Venter out in just 5 rounds.  Mchunu has lost just once in his career- a stoppage to recent Venter victim Zack Mwekassa.  I don’t know how he will do if and when he steps up to the inter-continental level, but after proving himself to be the class of a solid boxing nation like South Africa, I’m looking forward to finding out.  Mchunu is just 23- rather young for a contending cruiserweight.


In other Saturday action, undefeated Georgian Iago Kiladze won a dominant decision over journeyman Ismail Abdoul in Donetsk, Ukraine.  Undefeated Russian Rakhim Chakhkiev won by a similar margin against American journeyman Andres Taylor in Hamburg, while #19 Enad Licina did nothing more than get into the ring for the first time in a while, slapping around an embarrassingly bad opponent 5 hours away in Koblenz, when he got a 2nd-round stoppage against 0-15 German Koeksal Orduhan.  I can’t believe the latter fight was even sanctioned.


The night before, Tampa gatekeeper Nick Iannuzzi needed just a minute forty to knock out Adam Collins, a low-level journeyman and last-minute replacement, in Iannuzzi’s hometown.


Guillermo Jones (#9 last week) is removed for inactivity.  This allows Danny Green to enter the top 10 for the first time since September, and gets everyone rated #17 and better last week promoted a spot. Mchunu debuts at #17, which keeps Kucher and Licina where they started.  Last week’s #20 Venter is out with the loss, and is replaced by Grigory Drozd, who has been out since early July.


Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (9-145-145)
Last Fight: 4/4/2012- KO2 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/17/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Lebedev is scheduled for a December 17 fight in Moscow.  Three opponents are being explored: Lateef Kayode (solid fight), Santander Silgado (decent to stay busy), and Andres Taylor (waste of time).
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (9-125-125)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez officially got the win over Ross, and I’m not quite willing to call it a robbery, but it’s pretty close to one.  I think you’d be pushing the limits of reason to give the fight to Hernandez, and I think that even if you managed to do so in terms of rounds won, you’d have to admit that Ross got the better of the fight overall.  Even Hernandez promoter Sauerland admits that Hernandez didn’t deserve a win, and believes a rematch is warranted.
3) Troy Ross (9-9-41)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ross deserved to beat Hernandez.  That’s all I’ve got to say (except the more detailed statement I made above).
4) Steve Cunningham (9-439-439)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- UD10 Jason Gavern (UNR) (at HW)
Next Fight: 12/22/2012- vs. HW #3 Tomasz Adamek (at HW)
With Odlanier Solis’ withdrawal, Cunningham has a chance to avenge his 2008 loss to Tomasz Adamek just before Christmas, at heavyweight.  He’ll retain his ranking here until the anniversary of his February 4 cruiserweight fight, or until he schedules a heavyweight fight for a date after that.
5) Ola Afolabi (2-192-192)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
One of the alphabets has mandated that the Huck-Arslan winner fight Afolabi next, but that could be complicated by calls for a rematch of the robbery in that fight.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (2-386-386)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- UD12 #13 Francisco Palacios
Next Fight: 12/22/2012- vs. HW #18 Jean-Marc Mormeck
After initially dismissing speculation of a Mormeck fight, it appears Wlodarczyk has signed on.
7) Firat Arslan (2-27-70)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #5 Marco Huck (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arslan is a modern marvel, fairly conclusively defeating Marco Huck at age 42.  Period.
8) Marco Huck (2-310-310)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #10 Firat Arslan (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
In any discussion where justice reigns, Huck is now 0-2-1 in his last 3 major cruiserweight fights.  At last check, he had been ordered to rematch Afolabi next, but there is also speculation of an Arslan rematch.  I’m assuming the Klitschko buzz will subside, as that’s a big step up from Arslan.
9) Lateef Kayode (2-24-104)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. ‘Roided up #3 Antonio Tarver
Next Fight: Unknown
Kayode is currently the most qualified of three candidates to fight Denis Lebedev.
10) Danny Green (1-1-154)
Last Fight: 7/25/2012- TKO5 Danny Santiago (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/21/2012- vs. Shane Cameron (UNR)
Will take on Kiwi fringe contender Shane Cameron in late November.
11) B.J. Flores (1-125)
Last Fight: 10/6/2012- TKO2 David McNemar (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores’ level of opposition lately is consistent with that of a protected undefeated prospect rather than a veteran contender trying to get back on top.  He’s completely treading water at this point in his career.
12) Giacobbe Fragomeni (1-209)
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.
13) Silvio Branco (1-35)
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.
14) Mateusz Masternak (1-33)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- TKO8 David Quinonero (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/15/2012- vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Masternak will fight for a vacant and highly questionable European belt against Finnish gatekeeper Juho Haapoja in mid-December.
15) Francisco Palacios (1-85)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- L(UD12) vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Very little of note left on his resume after his should-be win over Wlodarczyk was neutralized by a close but clear loss to same, and with his win over Louis Azille over 5 years old now.
16) Alexander Alekseev (1-96)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw*(MD12) vs. #19 Firat Arslan (robbery- should have been L)
Next Fight: Unknown
The EBU just yanked Alekseev’s European title due to a possibly faked injury.  This is the same title that the judges should have yanked already when he clearly lost to Arslan.
17) Thabiso Mchunu (1-1)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO5 #20 Danie Venter
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu is probably ready to take the Chilemba/Oosthuizen journey out of South Africa and into the international scene after conquering the local scene in the form of Venter.  He may have some unfinished business with Zack Mwekassa first, however.
18) Dmitro Kucher (3-20)
Last Fight: 10/27/2012- KO2 Steve Herelius (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher took out one-time contender Steve Herelius in spectacular fashion, making him definitively one to watch.
19) Enad Licina (3-125)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO2 Koeksal Orduhan
Next Fight: Unknown
Really, Enad?  He just fought the most obviously terrible opponent I think I’ve ever had to write about on here.  The record of said fighter?  0-15.  No joke.
20) Grigory Drozd (1-1)
Last Fight: 6/20/2012- TKO1 Fabio Garrido (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/17/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent


THE WEEK AHEAD: On Friday, Croatian gatekeeper Ivica Bacurin takes a big risk by traveling to enemy territory when he fights Italian journeyman Vincenzo Rossito in Rome.


The following night, Argentine fringe contender defends the national championship he won with an upset stoppage victory over Rogelio Rossi against journeyman Franco Sanchez, and undefeated Pole Krzysztof Glowacki takes on less-proven one-loss British fringe prospect Matty Askin in Warsaw.

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