Heavyweight: 2012, Dec 3-9

All-England week in the heavyweight division last week, although one of the fights was in Northern Ireland.  There, #5 Tyson Fury completely dominated a mostly passive Kevin Johnson.  Johnson came alive and put on an impressive performance against fringe contender Alex Leapai in the spring, but has looked rather lazy in his other four significant fights- against Fury, Vitali Klitschko, Albert Sosnowski, and Tor Hamer.  In each of those efforts, he neither exhibited a decent workrate nor sat down on his punches- giving him little chance to win (although the judges inexplicably gave him the 3-round decision over Sosnowski).  Fury did more to hurt his own cause than Johnson did, as only a point deduction for hitting on the break prevented him from pocketing every round.

 

Meanwhile, fellow undefeated British giant David Price was in action in his native Liverpool, where he extended his impressive streak to 9 straight knockouts, even as his competition has improved.  He knocked out 45 year-old Matt Skelton- who despite his age is still a top-level journeyman- in just 2 rounds.  This is his second defense of the BBBofC British title belt, which I believe means that he now gets to keep the actual belt even after he loses the title.  Nevermind that there are at 3 other British fighters who have accomplished more than him in Tyson Fury, David Haye, and Dereck Chisora.

 

No changes to the rankings.  Price’s opponent wasn’t quite good enough to support any kind of rating, and Fury is already too high up to benefit significantly from a gatekeeper like Johnson.  Povetkin’s overall body of work is still far superior.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (180-393-393)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Mariusz Wach (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Tyson Fury says that Wlad has agreed to fight him probably in mid-2013.  Fury’s impression is that Wlad will likely fight Povetkin first in March.  The latter is consistent with previous reports that Wlad’s March opponent prospects included Povetkin and Boytsov.  No statement either way from the Klitschko camp yet.
1) Vitali Klitschko (217-217-217)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vitali says he’ll decide whether to retire or fight on by December 17.
2) David Haye (21-21-21)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Haye has indicated that a fight with Vitali may be the only fight that would lure him away from re-retiring.  He may get his wish, as there is now talk of a March 2013 matchup.
3) Tomasz Adamek (21-137-137)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO5 Travis Walker (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/22/2012- vs. CW #4 Steve Cunningham
Originally scheduled to fight Odlanier Solis, Adamek will instead fight a rematch of his classic cruiserweight title fight of 4 years ago when he fights Steve Cunningham in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, after Solis pulled out.
4) Alexander Povetkin (21-267-267)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO2 Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There are currently rumors floating around to the effect that Povetkin has emerged as the frontrunner for the March shot at Wlad.
5) Tyson Fury (5-72-72)
Last Fight: 12/1/2012- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury’s promoter says that David Price has made a non-serious offer to fight him.  In reality, the money probably doesn’t matter.   Fury could sit around eating Cheetos indefinitely and still get a big-money Klitschko shot in 2013.  The same is not true if he loses to Price.  If he loses to Klitschko, he can probably still fight Price later.
6) Eddie Chambers (5-25-25)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers has announced he’ll be moving down to cruiserweight.  He’ll stay rated here for the time being, until he’s been inactive at heavyweight for a year or schedules a cruiserweight fight for after that time.
7) Kubrat Pulev (5-31-108)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev may be in for a fight with the Adamek-Cunningham winner, or may go straight to a shot at Wlad in early 2013.
8) Dereck Chisora (5-53-116)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- L(TKO5) vs. David Haye (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chisora is in the process of re-applying for his British license, and if successful, may very well fight David Price next.
9) Johnathon Banks (3-3-3)

Last Fight: 11/17/2012- TKO2 #11 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Seth Mitchell apparently plans to exercise a rematch clause for a return bout with Banks.  If the rematch is called off by Mitchell or is anything but immediate, Banks is interested in Adamek, Povetkin, as well as the Arreola-Stiverne winner.  
10) Odlanier Solis (3-5-132)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD12 Konstantin Airich (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis pulled out of his December 22 fight with Adamek, apparently due to severe differences with his Turkish promoter Ahmet Oner, from whom he is apparently trying to separate himself.  Solis’ scheduling has been notoriously unreliable under Oner ever since he injured his knee against Vitali Klitschko.
11) Marco Huck (3-41)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- W*(UD12) vs. CW #10 Firat Arslan (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck will be fighting a trilogy with Afolabi, with the last fight being in March, when Afolabi is likely to get robbed in Germany.
12) Robert Helenius (4-132)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- W*(UD10) vs. Sherman Williams (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Barely squeaked by after a comatose performance against journeyman Williams.  The judges had it pretty wide, but make no mistake- it was a 1 or 2 point either way kind of fight.
13) Ruslan Chagaev (21-316)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- TKO7 Werner Kreiskott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
A real mess surrounding what was supposed to be a 12/1 fight with Mike Perez.  First Perez pulled out with a bum shoulder and Chagaev was set to face late replacement Yakup Saglam.  But then Chagaev pulled out as well, only to be replaced on two days’ notice by Firat Arslan, fighting somebody totally different on two days’ notice.  But then Arslan pulled out on the day of the fight.
14) Alexander Dimitrenko (21-99)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- L(KO11) vs. #17 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko is now free of his Universum contract, and has a new trainer in Tommy Brooks.  No prospective fights yet, though.
15) Tony Thompson (21-132)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- L(TKO6) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
In case any of you thought the first fight was a fluke, now you know for sure: Thompson really isn’t as good as Wlad Klitschko.
16) Chris Arreola (21-194)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/26/2013- vs. #19 Bermane Stiverne
As I long expected, Don King wasn’t able to finalize the fight in Venezuela.  Dan Goossen will now stage the fight as the co-feature to Ward-Pavlik in L.A., January 26.
17) Denis Boytsov (21-181)
Last Fight: 4/13/2012- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov very well may remain a candidate to fight Wlad in March, but it now appears that Povetkin may have the inside track.  It’s not out of the question, as far as I know, that he might fight Fury- who is also in line for a fight with Wlad later in the year.  The two had briefly been scheduled to do just that, but Boytsov got cold feet.
18) Jean-Marc Mormeck (21-132)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- L(TKO4) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 12/22/2012- vs. CW #6 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (at CW)
Wlodarczyk has now confirmed that he will indeed be fighting Mormeck in December.
19) Bermane Stiverne (21-76)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- UD8 Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/26/2013- vs. #16 Chris Arreola
See Arreola’s notes above.
20) Edmund Gerber (21-31)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD8 Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/15/2012- vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Gerber will fight a rematch with Sprott on the Abraham-Bouadla undercard.  Their first fight ended inconclusively when referee Gerhard Sigl atrociously stopped the fight following a flash knockdown of Sprott in a fight the Brit had been controlling.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Saturday in Philadelphia, undefeated local prospect Bryant Jennings takes on decent Tongan journeyman Bowie Tupou.  The fight will be televised on NBC Sports Network.

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