Cruiserweight: 2013: Feb 25- Mar 3

In the week’s most important action, #15 Alexander Alekseev shook off the rust from a 9 and a half month layoff and jabbed, grabbed, and shoved his way to a unanimous decision over American fringe contender Garrett Wilson in Galati, Romania on Saturday.  It wasn’t easy.  Alekseev controlled range very effectively early in the fight, while Wilson was left to swing wildly and miss badly against his taller and longer opponent.  When not trying and failing to hit a home run during this time, Wilson could be found hiding behind his high guard.  The measured pace produced by this tactic heavily favored the careful and scientific Russian.  But slowly- almost imperceptibly if you weren’t scoring it closely- Wilson began to close the distance and creep into the fight.  He won the 5th and probably the 6th before Alekseev countered with perhaps his best two rounds of the fight in the 7th and 8th.  But Wilson was right back at it from the 9th on.  I gave him each of the last 4 rounds, though all but the last one were almost impossible calls.  My final card was 114-114.  The judges were unanimous for Alekseev, but for once I’m actually fairly on board with that.  It felt like Alekseev was getting the better of it overall, and even the widest of the cards (118-111) was not remotely something I’d argue with to any great extent.  I suspect it would have been a draw or split decision had it occurred in America instead of Europe, but the decision was relatively fair, even if I’m a bit on the fence about whether I can get behind it completely or not.


#20 Pawel Glazewski won a stay-busy light heavyweight fight that I’ll treat in more detail for that division’s update.


As I suspected, Yunier Dorticos’ scheduled fight in Florida fell through.  He hasn’t fought in well over a year, despite having at least 2 fights appear on boxrec’s schedule in the meantime that simply never occurred.


Now for the rankings implications.  You’d think this would have come up before now, but under my normal system wherein I treat an outcome that is reasonable but with which I disagree with minimal deference- basically treating it as a draw with a slight edge to the victor- is not well suited for an instance in which I score the fight a draw but consider the official verdict reasonable.  To follow that precedent in this sort of situation would lead to the disproportionate result of, in effect, substituting my judgement entirely for that of the judges. That’s the same net result as would occur if a robbery had taken place.  So here’s a new precedent to deal with this peculiar situation: when I score the fight a draw but consider the official result to be reasonable, I will treat the winner exactly as I would treat a legitimate and non-controversial winner of a close fight, while I will treat the official loser as if he had received a draw rather than a loss.  Wilson narrowly fails to enter the top 20, owing mainly to his disastrous first half of 2010, when he lost 3 fights to journeyman and low-level gatekeeper-level competition.  In all honesty, my discomfort with my own scorecard is a factor as well. 


Alekseev moves up to #13.  The fact that he and Masternak are now pretty clearly peers in terms of accomplishment could perhaps set up an interesting rivalry on the European scene, though Masternak seems to have the higher upside.  Masternak and Palacios are each forced down one place.


Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (24-160-160)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- KO4 Santander Silgado (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
After much speculation that he’d be making his US debut against Eddie Chambers, it now appears he’ll be fighting heavily inactive former titlist Guillermo Jones in either Miami, Panama, or Nigeria.  Don King is the promoter, so you never know for sure if it’ll come off, but it’s looking likely for April.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (24-140-140)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez pulled out of his scheduled 2/2 fight with Eric Fields with a fractured hand.
3) Troy Ross (24-24-56)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ross deserved to beat Hernandez.
4) Ola Afolabi (3-207-207)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Though Huck admits he doesn’t want the fight, he says he will fight his mandatory rematch with Afolabi in either late March or early April.  There should be an announcement soon.
5) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (3-401-401)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- UD12 #13 Francisco Palacios
Next Fight: Unknown
After Mormeck withdrew with injury, Wlodarczyk has a fight with Fragomeni on the horizon, but probably after a voluntary defense.
6) Firat Arslan (3-42-85)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #5 Marco Huck (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
A bizarre twist in Arslan’s schedule, 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.
7) Marco Huck (3-325-325)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #10 Firat Arslan (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Afolabi’s notes, above.
8) Lateef Kayode (3-39-119)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. ‘Roided up #3 Antonio Tarver
Next Fight: Unknown
All indications are that Kayode will next fight at heavyweight, but the plan to get him in the ring in February obviously didn’t work.
9) Danny Green (3-16-169)
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.
10) B.J. Flores (3-3-140)
Last Fight: 10/6/2012- TKO2 David McNemar (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores says he’s looking to fight Lebedev or the Huck-Afolabi winner.  I’ll believe it when I see it, as he’s talked about fighting good fighters before recently, only to fight the likes of David McNemar.
11) Giacobbe Fragomeni (3-224)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- W*(SD12) vs. #13 Silvio Branco
Next Fight: Unknown
After limping to back-to-back tossup fights with the painfully old Silvio Branco, Fragomeni is now looking to step up to what would have to be seen as a cash-out trilogy fight with the much better Krzysztof Wlodarczyk.
12) Silvio Branco (3-50)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- L*(SD12) vs. #12 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Branco can still hang with whippersnappers like 43 year-old countryman Fragomeni, but you’ve gotta think his active days are numbered at 46.
13) Alexander Alekseev (1-111)
Last Fight: 2/22/2013- UD12* Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alekseev barely squeaked by after building an early lead against Wilson, but it’s still an improvement from his previous fight.
14) Mateusz Masternak (1-48)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- UD12 Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Masternak just put it on cruise control and walked away with a European title belt.
15) Francisco Palacios (1-100)
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) Thabiso Mchunu (3-16)
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.
17) Dmitro Kucher (3-35)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- UD8 Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/21/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Kucher’s return is set for March 21 in Kiev.
18) Enad Licina (3-140)
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.
19) Grigory Drozd (3-16)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- UD12 Jean-Marc Monrose (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Pawel Glazewski (3-3)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- UD10 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It was with a bit of regret that I chose Glazewski to assume the #20 spot, as I expect him to campaign around the light heavyweight limit for the foreseeable future.


THE WEEK AHEAD: Nothing of note to report for the upcoming week.

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