Light Heavyweight: 2013, Mar 4-10

Brisbane, Australia played host to a significant upset on Thursday, when Kiwi journeyman Daniel MacKinnon slipped by Aussie gatekeeper Mark Flanagan by 12-round split decision.  I’m still trying to get my hands on a video, as I am not keen on accepting the official results of especially close fights without watching them.  However, given MacKinnon’s status leading up to the fight- that of a mid-range journeyman- neither man could have hoped for a top 20 spot regardless of the outcome, so the point is moot as it relates to this update.


The following night, a ways to the south near Melbourne, undefeated prospect Blake Caparello decisioned weak journeyman Ayittey Powers over 8 rounds.


No changes to the rankings.


Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (26-26-26)
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 (26-353-353)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- L(TKO10) vs. SMW Champ Andre Ward (at SMW)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #3 Jean Pascal
The Pascal fight was signed, and there hasn’t been any official word that it’s off.  So for now I’ll leave it on the schedule.  But a recent interview I saw of Dawson indicates that he seems at least pessimistic and at most resigned to the fact that Pascal will pull out or has effectively done so already.  It sounds like Dawson will save the date anyway, though.
2) Bernard Hopkins (26-352-352)
Last Fight: 4/28/2012- L(MD12) vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: 3/9/2012- vs. #6 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 (26-194-194)
Last Fight: 12/14/2012- UD10 Alexei Kuziemski (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #1 Chad Dawson
As mentioned in Dawson’s notes, there is some intrigue involving a Pascal fight with Bute, either after or instead of the scheduled fight with Dawson.  If Pascal does ditch Dawson and scheduleds the Bute fight for any date after May 25, I believe I will be forced to take the long-overdue step of removing Pascal for inactivity, since he’s been stringing together scheduled fights that either don’t happen or for which he comes in heavy.
4) Sergey Kovalev (7-7-7)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- TKO3 #4 Gabriel Campillo
Next Fight: Unknown
Kovalev is hoping to return in Moscow in April.
5) Gabriel Campillo (7-141-141)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- L(TKO3) vs. Sergey Kovalev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It remains to be seen whether we’ve seen Campillo rapidly decline, have a bad night, or just run into a world-beater.  But he’s still going to be highly ranked because he recently beat the guy ranked right below him.
6) Tavoris Cloud (7-184-184)
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.
7) Cornelius White (7-34-64)
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.
8) Nathan Cleverly (7-161-161)
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.
9) Tony Bellew (7-73-73)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- UD12 Roberto Feliciano Bolonti (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #13 Isaac Chilemba
Bellew has a mandatory shot at the European title against Braehmer waiting for him if he gets by Chilemba, but that may never happen since Bellew would also become the challenger-in-waiting for Chad Dawson, and might even get that opportunity on May 25 if Pascal does pull out.
10) Jürgen Brähmer (5-5-46)
Last Fight: 2/2/2013- UD12 Eduard Gutknecht (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Braehmer has the European title and is also the mandatory challenger to Nathan Cleverly’s alphabet belt should Cleverly defeat Krasniqi as expected.  Braehmer has a mandatory challenger of his own in Tony Bellew, but Bellew may also have loftier ambitions to tend to.
11) Karo Murat (5-96)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO7 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat last made 175 on October 1, 2011.  He’s fought once slightly over the limit since then, giving him until April 1 to schedule a fight here.  This is partly Cloud’s fault for essentially standing him up, but that’s way too little activity to draw sympathy from me.  Murat remains the mandatory challenger for the Hopkins-Cloud winner, but either man could have a more lucrative fight to consider should he win, and Hopkins always seems a decent bet to retire at his age.
12) Beibut Shumenov (5-141)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- UD12 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
13) Isaac Chilemba (5-57)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- UD8 Rayco Saunders (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #9 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.
14) Vyacheslav Uzelkoff (5-57)
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.
15) Andrzej Fonfara (5-34)
Last Fight: 11/16/2012- TKO7 Tommy Karpency (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fonfara aggravated a previous injury to his right hand and had to withdraw from his ESPN2 fight with Nicholson Poulard.  He will hope that it heals on its own in a month, but if not he will need surgery that would keep him out for an additional 3-6 months.
16) Yusaf Mack (5-141)
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.
17) Lucian Bute (7-18)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 #16 Denis Grachev
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
It originally appeared that Bute would be fighting Bika for a shot at Ward, but now he seems to have reached a deal to fight the seemingly otherwise-engaged Jean Pascal, instead.  Not sure of the timeline of the latter fight, or how it affects the Bika fight.
18) Denis Grachev (7-45)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- L(UD12) vs. SMW #4 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. Zsolt Erdei (UNR)
Grachev will fight inactive former champ Zsolt Erdei in Monaco on March 30, with the winner to fight there against the winner of Edwin Rodriguez vs. Ezequiel Maderna in July.
19) Dmitri Sukhotski (7-123)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO1 Vladimir Borovsky (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sukhotski was originally rumored for the Monaco tourney, but he is not one of the 4 scheduled.
20) Eleider Alvarez (6-6)
Last Fight: 12/14/2012- KO8 Danny McIntosh (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: 3/22/2013- vs. Nicholson Poulard (UNR)
Alvarez will fight in Montreal on March 22, and will take over the spot opposite Nicholson Poulard that was vacated by an injured Andrzej Fonfara on the FNF broadcast.


The Week Ahead: Wednesday in Santa Clara, Argentina, fringe contender Roberto Bolonti takes on mid-level journeyman Jorge Rodriguez. 


Saturday in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, undefeated American Marcus Oliveira fights a soft opponent in Dominican journeyman Junior Ramos.  Oliveira squandered the momentum that reached it’s crescendo with a knockout of Otis Griffin in 2009 by fighting infrequently and against comically weak opposition in each of his 5 fights since.  This one is par for the course.  Someone get this guy a manager with some connections!


And last but certainly not least, #2 Bernard Hopkins rumbles with #6 Tavoris Cloud in Brooklyn.  Cloud  showed himself to be less than a world-beater in getting the ears boxed off of him a little over a year ago against Gabriel Campillo, but I’d still make him the favorite based on the fact that Hopkins looked like less than a world-beater against Dawson and hasn’t actually done anything close to actually winning a fight in almost 2 years.  Oh yeah…and he’s 48.  This could be a great opportunity to rise to the top of the rankings for Cloud, or could be a humiliating defeat for him while further cementing the legacy of first-ballot Hall of Famer Hopkins.

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