Heavyweight: 2013, Feb 18-24

#17 Denis Boytsov apparently wasn’t scared off by legal threats from his all but defunct promoter Universum, as he did indeed fight in Schwerin on Saturday.  His originally announced opponent, Marcelo Nasimento, fell through for some reason, and was replaced by slightly lower-level low-level journeyman Samir Kurtagic.  Boytsov didn’t exactly rock the house, it would appear, as Kurtagic won as many as two rounds on one judge’s scorecard.  Persistent hand injuries and terrible promotion have turned Boytsov from a guy being mentioned as one of the best hopes to dethrone the Klitschkos into a practically forgotten man.

 

No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (191-404-404)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Mariusz Wach (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Still no word on Wlad’s April 6 opponent, but his new trainer James Ali Bashir stated publicly that he believes Pulev and David Price to be the division’s only real threats.
1) Vitali Klitschko (228-228-228)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With 2013 in full swing, we’re still waiting on Vitali’s decision to fight on or retire.
2) David Haye (32-32-32)
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 (9-9-9)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- L (SD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
The judges denied him what should have been a shot at Kubrat Pulev by robbing him against Adamek, but there appears to be justice in the world, as Cunningham appears likely to get a comparable opponent in #6 Tyson Fury, on April 20.  The likely fight would be on big NBC during the afternoon, from MSG.
4) Alexander Povetkin (32-278-278)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO2 Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlad appears to be avoiding Povetkin, in something of a role-reversal.  Povetkin’s team is fighting it, but Wlad has successfully requested a voluntary defense before having to fight him.
5) Tomasz Adamek (9-148-148)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- W (SD12)* vs. CW #4 Steve Cunningham (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Adamek is acting erratic lately, I think it’s fair to say.  First he gets busted drunk driving, and now he has turned down the Pulev shot that he “won” by “beating” Cunningham, claiming to have a much more lucrative offer to fight an unknown opponent in Poland- an offer that all the major Polish networks claim to have no part of.
6) Tyson Fury (9-83-83)
Last Fight: 12/1/2012- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Fury is looking to fight in the US on April 20, with the opponent likely being the formidable Steve Cunningham.
7) Eddie Chambers (9-36-36)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers appeared set to fight Lebedev at cruiserweight, but it now appears that Lebedev will fight Guillermo Jones, instead.
8) Kubrat Pulev (9-42-119)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With Adamek running scared, Pulev will reportedly defend his EBU title in March or April.  Next, he might expect either a mandatory shot at Wlad or- more likely- an eliminator against Adamek’s replacement, who rumor has it may be prospect and Adamek stablemate Bryant Jennings.
9) Dereck Chisora (9-64-127)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- L(TKO5) vs. David Haye (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/16/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chisora is penciled in for the big Frank Warren event on 3/16 in London.  The only obstacles at this point are securing an opponent and getting his license back.
10) Johnathon Banks (9-14-14)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- TKO2 #11 Seth Mitchell

Next Fight: Unknown
Banks broke his thumb in sparring, scuttling the Mitchell rematch.
11) Odlanier Solis (9-143)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD12 Konstantin Airich (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Solis’ promoter- with whom he seems to have healed a major rift- says they’re looking at 3/22 for the big Cuban’s return, in Berlin.
12) Marco Huck (9-52)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- W*(UD12) vs. CW #10 Firat Arslan (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck admits to not wanting the trilogy fight with Afolabi, but intends to go forward with it in late March or early April.  Since his last heavyweight fight was February 25, he will be removed when I publish my first update after that date, or my first update after that fight is announced at cruiser, whichever comes first.
13) Robert Helenius (9-143)
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) Alexander Dimitrenko (5-110)
Last Fight: 12/21/2012- UD8 Samir Kurtagic (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/9/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Dimitrenko is scheduled to return on March 9 in Hamburg.
15) Tony Thompson (5-143)
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.
16) Chris Arreola (5-205)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/9/2013- vs. Bermane Stiverne (UNR)
Arreola-Stiverne has been delayed yet again- this time likely owing to Andre Ward’s injury.  It will now be March 9 in Costa Mesa, California.
17) Denis Boytsov (5-192)
Last Fight: 2/17/2013- UD8 Samir Kurtagic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov appears to have won the battle of wills with Universum over whether he gets to fight or not.  Now the trick will be getting him in against worthwhile opposition.
18) Jean-Marc Mormeck (5-143)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- L(TKO4) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Mormeck reports a bad shoulder injury while training for his cruiserweight fight with Wlodarczyk.  He will be unable to train for two months- at which point he’ll have been inactive for over a year.  Theoretically he could still schedule a heavyweight fight during that period, so he will retain his ranking until March, if only as a formality.
19) Vyacheslav Glazkov (5-9)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- RTD4 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/23/2013- vs. Malik Scott (UNR)
Fresh off the Hamer win, Glazkov has an intriguing match with undefeated prospect Malik Scott, a 32 year old who took 3 years off leading up to 2012.
20) Bermane Stiverne (5-5)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- UD8 Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/9/2013- vs. #16 Chris Arreola
Stiverne’s fight with Arreola is now scheduled for 3/9.  I haven’t been counting, but this is at least the 3rd or 4th scheduled date for the fight.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:  Welcome to a rather busy week at Heavyweight.

 

Tuesday: Gatekeeper-level Czech Ondrej Pala fights a weak and inexperienced Belorussian journeyman named Yuri Bihoutseu in Minsk, Belarus.

 

Friday: In Galati, Romania, Syrian fringe contender and recent Vitali Klitschko victim Manuel Charr takes on fellow one-loss prospect Yakup Saglam of Turkey.  Saglam will be coming off a 22-month layoff since his last fight, whereas Charr scored a quick stoppage over fast-sliding journeyman Konstantin Airich just 2 months ago.

 

Saturday: 2 fights and a tournament, all with the potential to affect the rankings:

 

In Liverpool, local undefeated and sensational giant/prospect David Price takes a huge step up against American #15 contender Tony Thompson.  This will be Price’s first foray into top 25 opposition.  If he’s as good as he’s looked in scoring 9 consecutive knockouts (even as his competition has improved), Price will likely be too quick for the relatively slow and robotic Thompson, and could make it an early night.  If not, Thompson might be able to find him with his slow freight trains and…well…make it an early night.  Either way, it’s a very good crossroads fight that will likely end in a knockout.

 

Meanwhile, in London, we’ve got another installment of Prizefighter International Heavyweights on our hands.  The contestants this time around include 3 underdogs from the UK: London native Audley Harrison, a former Olympic gold medalist who could only very briefly claim to be anything more than a fringe contender in the pro ranks, and who- at 41- is very clearly a mere journeyman at this stage; Martin Rogan of Belfast, also 41 and a winner of a Brits-only version of Prizefighter back in 2008 who won a razor-thin points decision over Harrison and stopped Commonwealth Champion Matt Skelton in his next two fights before being stopped in back-to-back fights with Sam Sexton and recently being destroyed by a randomly left-handed version of Tyson Fury; and London’s Ian Lewison, just 6-1-1 at 31 years old, who has never beaten anyone remotely decent, and who suffered a draw against a 2-2 fighter that’s gone 7-16 since, and a loss to a man that was winless in his previous 9 fights.  The US contributes gatekeeper Travis Walker and high-level journeyman Derric Rossy.  From Denmark comes career journeyman Claus Bertino, who is approximately on the same level as Lewison.  From Germany, Timo Hoffmann.  He was a respectable fringe contender for the majority of the 2000s, but at 38 he’s clearly a mere journeyman.  Rounding out the field is Polish fringe contender Albert Sosnowski, who was robbed of a chance at the finals in the last installment of the International Heavyweight Prizefighter.

 

I’m not a gambling man, nor am I particularly confident in my skills of prognostication, but here’s how I would handicap the field, expressed in a percentage chance of winning: Sosnowski- 35%, Walker- 31%, Rossy- 14%, Hoffmann- 6%, Harrison- 6%, Rogan- 4%, Bertino- 2%, Lewison- 2%.  Despite the 3-round format of Prizefighter fights, when you consider that there are 2 top 50 fighters in the field and another man one decent win away from that status, there seems a better than even chance for the winner to take a top 20 spot.

 

Last but not least, #19 Vyacheslav Glazkov takes on Philadelphia’s Malik Scott in a battle of undefeated prospects in Huntington, New York.

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