Cruiserweight: 2012, Dec 10-16

Undefeated Cuban Yunier Dorticos was scheduled to fight on Friday, but that fight was evidently canceled within a week of the fight.  Dorticos already had been inactive for more than a year, and I’m not sure what problems he’s having to cause that at this stage.  No changes to the rankings.


Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (13-149-149)
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 (13-129-129)
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 (13-13-45)
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 (13-443-443)
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 (6-196-196)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi will fight Huck- likely in March- and will get robbed again in Germany.  There was some talk of a December tune-up, but I haven’t heard anything about that lately.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (6-390-390)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- UD12 #13 Francisco Palacios
Next Fight: 12/22/2012- vs. HW #18 Jean-Marc Mormeck
Wlodarczyk confirmed the 12/22 fight with Mormeck.
7) Firat Arslan (6-31-74)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #5 Marco Huck (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
A bizarre twist in Arslan’s schedule this week, as he signed on to save Felix Sturm’s 12/1 show by replacing Ruslan Chagaev as the main support on just 2 days’ notice, but then he mysteriously changed his mind just hours before the bell.
8) Marco Huck (6-314-314)
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 (6-28-108)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. ‘Roided up #3 Antonio Tarver
Next Fight: Unknown
After he turned down a fight with Lebedev over insufficient prep time, Kayode is once again indicating that his next fight might be at heavyweight.
10) Danny Green (5-5-158)
Last Fight: 11/21/2012- UD12 Shane Cameron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
As has been the case after every fight since he had very serious surgery a couple years ago, there is speculation that Green may retire following his win over Shane Cameron.  Green himself remains non-committal.
11) B.J. Flores (5-129)
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 (5-213)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/15/2012- vs. #13 Silvio Branco
Just when I thought both quatrogenarians might call it a career, we’ll see a rematch of Fragomeni-Branco real soon.
13) Silvio Branco (5-39)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: 12/15/2012- vs. #12 Giacobbe Fragomeni
A rematch is on tap for Branco and relative spring chicken Fragomeni.  Combined age of the two fighters: 89.
14) Mateusz Masternak (5-37)
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 (5-89)
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 (5-100)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw*(MD12) vs. #19 Firat Arslan (robbery- should have been L)
Next Fight: Unknown
Apparently there are talks underway for Alekseev to fight American fringe contender Garrett Wilson.
17) Thabiso Mchunu (5-5)
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 (7-24)
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 (7-129)
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 (5-5)
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: Three notable fights on Friday, with two having high potential to seriously impact the rankings.  The biggest one being in Riva del Garda, Italy- a rematch between #12 Giacobbe Fragomeni and #13 Silvio Branco, who fought to a draw in March.  Both men should be getting long in the tooth right now, with Fragomeni being 43 and Branco being 46, but that doesn’t change the fact that the winner (if we get one this time) will most likely have to be considered a top 10 fighter.


#14 Mateusz Masternak fights on the Abraham-Bouadla undercard in Nuremberg against Finnish gatekeeper Juho Haapoja for a vacant European belt.  Haapoja opened his career as a pudgy heavyweight, and lost his first fight to fellow first-timer Remigijus Ziausys, who has gone on to be a low-level journeyman.  In 2007 he endured a 10-round draw with a 3-1 fighter that never fought again.  The following year he was knocked out by Denis Bakhtov, who was a mid-level journeyman then, just as he is now.  He also lost a split decision as recently as 2009 to Jarno Rosberg, an undefeated fighter who I’ve seen on a Haapoja undercard looking incredibly crappy against a total bum.  In fairness, Rosberg was caught doping after the fight.  Haapoja is at the gatekeeper level right now primarily because of a fairly close decision he won 15 months ago, at home, over a mid-level journeyman in Faisal Arrami.  My point is, I’m not sure why anyone considers him one of the top 2 available contenders for a European title.  Assume Lebedev, Afolabi, Wlodarczyk, Arslan, and Huck are all at too high a level.  Assume Fragomeni and Branco had already decided to fight each other and were not available.  That makes Masternak a worthy choice.  Alekseev was stripped of the title already, so let’s rule him out.  What about Dmitro Kucher?  Enad Licina?  Grigory Drozd?  Glazewski?  Glowacki?  Chakhkiev?  Vincenzo Rossito?  Kolodziej?  Herelius?  Dudchenko?  You can’t tell me all of those guys turned it down.


In a likely less important fight in San Miguel, Argentina, local fringe contender Alejandro Valori fights mid-level journeyman Orlando Farias.

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