Heavyweight: 2012-2013, Dec 31- Jan 6

Former high-ranked contender Oleg Maskaev returned to action on Sunday for the first time since 2009.  Even at the time of his last fight, he was no more than a gatekeeper, but with no other heavyweight fights on the schedule for the week worth mentioning, I figured I’d play the nostalgia angle and mention him.  He beat journeyman Owen Beck in Moscow by 3rd-round TKO, dropping his man twice in the process.  Beck was an undefeated prospect as recently as 2004 and a still-credible top-50-type fighter as recently as 2007, but has lost his last 9 fights now, although most were to undefeated or high-level opponents.  No changes to the rankings.  Happy New Year!


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (184-397-397)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Mariusz Wach (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It now appears to be a virtual certainty that Wlad and Povetkin will meet in or around March.
1) Vitali Klitschko (221-221-221)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vitali originally said he’d decide whether to retire or fight on by December 17, but has now said he won’t decide until 2013.
2) David Haye (25-25-25)
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. 
3) Steve Cunningham (2-2-2)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- L (SD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Judges don’t like Steve Cunningham, and he’s the visiting fighter even at home.  I don’t know why.  He makes interesting fights and has been excellent for years.  But he was borderline robbed in his first fight with Hernandez, and now blatantly so against Adamek.
4) Alexander Povetkin (25-271-271)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO2 Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It now looks like a good bet that Povetkin-Wlad will be made early in 2013.
5) Tomasz Adamek (2-141-141)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- W (SD12)* vs. CW #4 Steve Cunningham (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
The judges, at first blush, appeared to have helped Adamek.  But what he gets is undeserved public scorn at having won a fight in which he put in an honest effort but clearly lost.  For a bonus, he most likely gets a fight with Kubrat Pulev that he is likely to lose very badly.
6) Tyson Fury (2-76-76)
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.
7) Eddie Chambers (2-29-29)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
After announcing that he’s moving down to cruiserweight, Chambers has a suitor at that weight in #1 Denis Lebedev.  Lebedev would like to come to New York to fight him in March or before.  Chambers has said he wishes to accept the challenge.
8) Kubrat Pulev (2-35-112)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With Wlad likely to take care of his WBA mandatory against Povetkin in March, Pulev appears likely to fight for the IBF mandatory position against Adamek around the same time.
9) Dereck Chisora (2-57-120)
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.
10) Johnathon Banks (2-7-7)

Last Fight: 11/17/2012- TKO2 #11 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: 2/16/2013- vs. Seth Mitchell (UNR)
Banks doesn’t get to rest on his laurels for too long, as Mitchell has invoked his rematch clause.  The second helping will be placed on the table on a February 16 Adrien Broner undercard.
11) Odlanier Solis (2-136)
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.
12) Marco Huck (2-45)
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 probably in March, when Afolabi is likely to get robbed in Germany.
13) Robert Helenius (2-136)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- W*(UD10) vs. Sherman Williams (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Helenius will reportedly fight Michael Sprott next, but reports that it was done for March 2 have been vehemently denied by Sauerland.
14) Ruslan Chagaev (2-320)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- TKO7 Werner Kreiskott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
An observant commenter pointed out that Chagaev’s last significant win was over Kali Meehan, as opposed to Matt Skelton nearly 5 years ago.  Meehan- despite his last good win being 2 1/2 years old when he fought Chagaev- probably was still at least at the gatekeeper level in fairness.  I still expect that when the Skelton win expires, Chagaev will sink below the top 20, but he might remain in the mix.
15) Alexander Dimitrenko (2-103)
Last Fight: 12/21/2012- UD8 Samir Kurtagic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko beat the very mediocre Samir Kurtagic, but couldn’t avoid getting dropped late in the contest.
16) Tony Thompson (2-136)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- L(TKO6) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 2/23/2013- vs. David Price (UNR)
After failing to take the title from Wlad, Thompson will serve as a stepping stone to a top 10 ranking for sensational English giant David Price in a February fight in Liverpool- or at least he will if he plays along with Price’s plan.
17) Chris Arreola (2-198)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/23/2013- vs. Bermane Stiverne (UNR)
The oft-delayed Arreola-Stiverne fight once again has a new date- this time February 23- due to an injury to main event headliner Andre Ward.
18) Denis Boytsov (2-185)
Last Fight: 4/13/2012- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov hopes to return February 9, but will have to get past issues with his cash-strapped promoter in order to make that fight a reality.
19) Jean-Marc Mormeck (2-136)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- L(TKO4) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 2/2/2013- vs. CW #6 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (at CW)
The Wlodarczyk fight has a new date of February 2, apparently due to difficulties in negotiating the particulars of the fight.
20) Vyacheslav Glazkov (2-2)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- RTD4 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov may have had a bit easier a time in dispatching Hamer than you’d like to see, but he deserves plenty of credit for the performance nevertheless.


THE WEEK AHEAD: Nothing to report this week, but I hope you have a happy and blessed new year!

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