Light Heavyweight: 2013, Jan 14-20

It was upset time in St. Quentin, France on Saturday.  #20 Tony Averlant- who claimed a ranking by earning a clear victory over Eddy Gutknecht (which he was robbed of) last year- had what looked like a soft touch on his agenda in Germany’s Mounir Toumi, a 14-11 journeyman who had been stopped by several unidentifiable nobodies in his undistinguished career.  But Toumi shocked Averlant by taking a 10-round split decision in his opponent’s backyard.  The fight was obviously close and I would really like a look at it, but considering that the general public isn’t aware of Averlant’s performance in the Gutknecht fight, the fight was so under the radar that I’m not sure a video even exists.  I suppose the likelihood of foul play is below average anyway, since it’s fairly rare for local favorites to get robbed at home, but stranger things have happened. 

 

Whatever the case may be, I’ve got to take the result at face value.  Averlant just lost to a sub-par journeyman.  Obviously he can’t maintain his ranking with that being the case.  As for Toumi, it’s true that, as a general rule, a guy that beats a #20 contender is likely to earn a ranking.  But even a cursory glance at Toumi’s record makes it obvious that he’s an exception. He’s lost 11 fights, and only one of those losses was to a fighter that a hardcore fan would have heard of (Pawel Glazewski).  Maybe Baker Barakat also, but that is mostly because he’s fought good fighters- not for being good himself.  Toumi’s nowhere close to a ranking.  Filling the void is Eleider Alvarez- the undefeated Montreal-based Colombian undefeated prospect- who debuts at #20.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (19-19-19)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 Champ Chad Dawson (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward’s surgery is complete.  He’s expected to be out until at least Summer.
1) Chad Dawson (19-346-346)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- L(TKO10) vs. SMW Champ Andre Ward (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #3 Jean Pascal
Likely in large part due to Pascal’s torn shoulder, Dawson will be fighting Pascal sometime in May rather than March.  In the mean time, Dawson has switched trainers from John Scully back to Eddie Mustafa Muhammed.
2) Bernard Hopkins (19-345-345)
Last Fight: 4/28/2012- L(MD12) vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: 3/9/2012- vs. #5 Tavoris Cloud
Hopkins appeared likely to fight Nathan Cleverly, but instead opted for Tavoris Cloud.  The fight will take place in Brooklyn.
3) Jean Pascal (19-187-187)
Last Fight: 12/14/2012- UD10 Alexei Kuziemski (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #1 Chad Dawson
This latest delay is really testing my patience on continuing to rate Pascal, who will not have fought for approximately 2 years at 175 when the Dawson fight goes down.  But he keeps staying rateable by constantly having a fight scheduled- even if the fights seldom come off when intended.
4) Gabriel Campillo (19-134-134)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #3 Tavoris Cloud (Robbery)
Next Fight: 1/19/2013- vs. Sergei Kovalev (UNR)
Campillo will now officially fight hot prospect Sergey Kovalev on January 19, in Bethlehem, PA, on NBC Sports.
5) Tavoris Cloud (19-177-177)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12* vs. #4 Gabriel Campillo (Robbery)
Next Fight: 3/9/2013- vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Perhaps Cloud’s reasoning for pulling out of the Murat fight had something to do with his apparently better-than-expected chances of landing a much more lucrative Hopkins battle- a fight that now appears set for March.
6) Cornelius White (19-27-57)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- UD12 #10 Dmitri Sukhotski
Next Fight: Unknown
White is on a tear.  Is he really top-5 good?  I wouldn’t think so, but he proves me wrong every time I feel I might be overrating him.
7) Nathan Cleverly (19-154-154)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO8 Shawn Hawk (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/16/2013- vs. Robin Krasniqi (UNR)
Cleverly will be fighting a long-rumored fight with fringe prospect Robin Krasniqi on March 16 in the UK.
8) Tony Bellew (27-66-66)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- UD12 Roberto Feliciano Bolonti (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #11 Isaac Chilemba
A big time opportunity for two up-and-comers on tap for March 30, as Bellew collides with Isaac Chilemba in Liverpool.
9) Karo Murat (19-68-89)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO7 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
No idea what’s next for Murat after Cloud left him at the proverbial altar.
10) Beibut Shumenov (19-130-134)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- UD12 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
11) Isaac Chilemba (9-50)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- UD8 Rayco Saunders (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #8 Tony Bellew
Up-and-coming African star Chilemba takes a high-risk, high-reward fight on March 30 in Tony Bellew’s hometown of Liverpool.
12) Vyacheslav Uzelkoff (9-50)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- TKO1 Giorgi Marosi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Uzelkoff easily dispatched Marosi, in a fight so last-minute that I didn’t even know about it a week in advance.
13) Andrzej Fonfara (9-27)
Last Fight: 11/16/2012- TKO7 Tommy Karpency (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2013- vs. Nicholson Poulard (UNR)
Fonfara is scheduled to be in action on March 22 in Chicago.  His opponent is Jean Pascal’s brother, journeyman Nicholson Poulard.
14) Yusaf Mack (9-134)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- L(KO3) vs. #1 SMW Carl Froch (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s no shame to lose to Carl Froch, but Mack’s showing was bad enough that you’ve got to wonder if he’s finished.
15) Jürgen Brähmer (19-39)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- UD10 Vikapita Meroro (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/2/2013- vs. Eduard Gutknecht (UNR)
Braehmer has reportedly rescheduled his fight with Gutknecht for early February.  We’ll see if he follows through this time- always a big “if” with him.
16) Lucian Bute (11-11)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 #16 Denis Grachev
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute was trying to fight Kelly Pavlik, but with Pavlik retiring, it now looks like the Romanian may instead fight the winner of Nikola Sjekloca vs Sakio Bika (it will be Bika) for the right to fight Andre Ward next.  This would of course be at 168.
17) Denis Grachev (11-38)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- L(UD12) vs. SMW #4 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Grachev put forth a valiant effort against a heavy favorite in Bute, even after presumably draining almost all the way to 168.  As a result, his ranking remains mostly intact.
18) Dmitri Sukhotski (11-116)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO1 Vladimir Borovsky (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Mikkel Kessler (11-35)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO3 Brian Magee (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kessler dismantled Brian Magee, but that was at 168.  I don’t know if Kessler plans to compete at light heavy again anytime soon.  He is in very significant discussions to rematch Froch at 168 right now.
20) Eleider Alvarez (1-1)
Last Fight: 12/14/2012- KO8 Danny McIntosh (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alvarez is a real prospect to watch.  He’d be ranked even higher if his fight with McIntosh had been under the 175 limit, I do believe.

 

The Week Ahead: Two fights to mention- both on Saturday.  In the biggest one, #4 Gabriel Campillo hopes to both beat his opponent and actually win for a change when he takes on power-punching undefeated prospect Sergey Kovalev.  He might be in for another tough night on the cards, though.  Kovalev is the house fighter, and Campillo lacks knockout power. 

 

Meanwhile, in Santa Clara, Argentina, local gatekeeper type Roberto Feliciano Bolonti looks to rebound from his recent loss to Tony Bellew when he takes on mid-level journeyman Franco Sanchez.

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