Cruiserweight: 2012, Nov 19-25

When I saw that veteran Italian journeyman Vincenzo Rossitto had won by majority decision in Rome against Croatian gatekeeper Ivica Bacurin, I made it a point to seek out the fight, and fully expected to watch Bacurin get robbed blind.  I hinted at the possibility of that happening last week, and that was before I saw that the three judges included Predrag Aleksic (the very busy and very bad Montenegro judge that somehow thought Roy Jones beat Pawel Glazewski by 3 points, Nikola Sjekloca beat Khoren Gevor, and barely managed to pick the right winner in Khurtsidze-Duran) and Franco Criminale (who turned in one of the most atrocious single cards in recent memory when he proposed that James DeGale had just beaten Hadillah Mohoumadi by 10 points).  And don’t get me wrong.  Both of these judges were as bad as every on Saturday- with their partner Massimo Montanini being even worse.  But they weren’t bad in the direction I expected.  In reality, Bacurin- the visiting fighter- probably only won two rounds.  Three more were close enough for reasonable men to disagree.  Apparently all three of the judges loved Bacurin’s useless volume punching, almost none of which landed, because the scores were 114-114 (Montanini), 114-113 Rossitto (Aleksic), and 115-113 Rossitto (Criminale).  Only Criminale’s score was even remotely plausible, and it was a stretch to be sure.


Rather inexperienced Argentine Champion Alejandro Valori had little trouble with journeyman Franco Sanchez (also from Argentina), knocking Sanchez out in the 2nd round Saturday in San Fernando, Argentina.


No changes to the rankings this week, though Rossitto is now in the picture going forward.


Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (10-146-146)
Last Fight: 4/4/2012- KO2 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/17/2012- vs. Santander Silgado (UNR)
Lebedev has made a decision for his next opponent: Colombian undefeated prospect Santander Silgado.  Silgado figures to be little more than a stay-busy fight for the division’s #1 contender, but it could have been a lot worse.  In addition to a very credible fight with Kayode, a useless fight with journeyman Andres Taylor had also been discussed.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (10-126-126)
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 (10-10-42)
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 (10-440-440)
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 (3-193-193)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi is now training for a December return (with no opponent announced), and then no doubt plans to get robbed in March when he fights Marco Huck for a third time, in Germany.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (3-387-387)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- UD12 #13 Francisco Palacios
Next Fight: Unknown
Boxrec has removed the rumored Mormeck fight from the schedule, and I’ll do the same until I get it sorted out.
7) Firat Arslan (3-28-71)
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 (3-311-311)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #10 Firat Arslan (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck will apparently be fighting a 3rd fight with Afolabi in March.  The fight will sadly take place in Germany, nearly ensuring a robbery.
9) Lateef Kayode (3-25-105)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. ‘Roided up #3 Antonio Tarver
Next Fight: Unknown
Lebedev passed on Kayode for a fight with much less proven Santander Silgado.
10) Danny Green (2-2-155)
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 (2-126)
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 (2-210)
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 (2-36)
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 (2-34)
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 (2-86)
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 (2-97)
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 (2-2)
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 (4-21)
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 (4-126)
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 (2-2)
Last Fight: 6/20/2012- TKO1 Fabio Garrido (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/17/2012- vs. Jean-Marc Monrose (UNR)
Drozd now has an opponent for 12/17: French journeyman Jean-Marc Monrose.  They will do battle on the Lebedev-Silgado undercard.


THE WEEK AHEAD: Melbourne, Australia plays host to what could be a classic battle in the Kiwi-Aussie rivalry, when 39-year-old #10 Danny Green of Perth squares off with New Zealand’s Shane Cameron, a fringe contender, on Wednesday.

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