Heavyweight: 2013, Mar 11-17

It’s time to face the possibility that Alexander Dimitrenko may be a shot fighter.  The #14 contender looked to stay busy on Saturday in his adopted hometown of Hamburg.  His opponent was 19-18 Croatian Ivica Perkovic.  Perkovic’s middling record is deceptive, however.  The vast majority of his wins came against fighters with 0 wins- many of them having lost well over 10 fights along the way.  His most prestigious win- such as it was- was probably his 4 round decision over an 8-22 opponent. 
 

Now that we’ve established what he was up against, let’s talk about Dimitrenko’s actual performance.  Two of the judges gave Perkovic 2 of the 8 rounds, including a fourth round knockdown.  Dimitrenko has now been down in each of his last 3 fights, including the last two against totally bargain basement Balkan opponents.  It’s looking like he may have been broken by the spiritually and physically taxing defeat to Pulev.

 

In a more significant fight, borderline top 50 undefeated prospect Magomed Abdusalamov removed the “borderline” from his title, stopping generally capable Puerto Rican prospect and former Olympian Victor Bisbal on Friday Night Fights from Atlantic City in under 5 rounds.  But I can’t say Abdusalamov really impressed.  Bisbal easily won the first two rounds with superior timing and accuracy.  Neither man had much in the way of defense or any sort of flashy skills or footwork.  It was like rock ’em sock ’em robots, except that early on, Bisbal was hitting Mago first and making him miss as a result.  Bisbal was probably at least 15 pounds over his ideal fighting weight, however, and it showed.  By round 3, he was starting to fade, and Mago started to find him with increasing frequency, wearing him down to a 5th round stoppage after putting Bisbal down with a flush lead right hand.  By that time, the Puerto Rican could barely hold himself up from fatigue.  Considering how poor his opponent’s conditioning appeared to be, Abdusalamov would be justified in saying that “Bisbal been veddy veddy good to me.”  I’ve never been that high on Abdusalamov.  While he does have plenty of power, I expect that the first in-shape, decent-chinned opponent with any kind of skills that he runs into will handle him easily.  I don’t expect him to rise any higher than the edge of the top 25.

 

No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (194-407-407)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Mariusz Wach (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/4/2013- vs. Francesco Pianeta (UNR)
Wlad will be fighting Italian fringe contending prospect Francesco Pianeta in Mannheim, Germany.  It’s hard to knock Pianeta as a fighter because he remains undefeated and was knocked off track by a bout with cancer a couple years ago, but it’s hard to get excited about any fight that, if the underdog won, would be considered the greatest upset in the history of the Heavyweight Championship.
1) Vitali Klitschko (231-231-231)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vitali hasn’t decided whether to retire or not, but he has very clearly stated he has no interest in David Haye after Haye turned down a fight in September.
2) David Haye (35-35-35)
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.  If Vitali’s recent statement is any indication, we’ll never see Haye again.
3) Steve Cunningham (12-12-12)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- L (SD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek (Robbery)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. #6 Tyson Fury
Adamek’s erratic behavior has yielded justice.  Cunningham beat Adamek, but was robbed.  Now he’ll fight Tyson Fury, with the winner to fight Kubrat Pulev for a mandatory shot at Wlad.  The fight will be at MSG and will be televised live in the afternoon by NBC.
4) Alexander Povetkin (35-281-281)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO2 Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After failing to convince the WBA to deny Wlad a voluntary before fighting him, Povetkin and his team are now raising cain about the 75-25 split the WBA has set for the purse bid.  No word on whether he’ll stay busy in the meantime, as it would be hard to imagine the fight happening before August at the earliest.
5) Tomasz Adamek (12-151-151)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- W (SD12)* vs. CW #4 Steve Cunningham (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
After claiming he turned down the Pulev fight for a more lucrative opportunity for a domestic Polish fight, Adamek is now saying he’ll fight next in the US.  If this were a game of “Duck, Duck, Goose,” we know which bird Adamek would be.
6) Tyson Fury (12-86-86)
Last Fight: 12/1/2012- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. #3 Steve Cunningham
See Cunningham’s notes, above.
7) Eddie Chambers (12-39-39)
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 (12-45-122)
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 will likely fight the winner of Cunningham-Fury, with the winner becoming Wlad’s IBF mandatory.
9) Dereck Chisora (12-67-130)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- L(TKO5) vs. David Haye (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/16/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chisora is penciled in for Frank Warren’s 3/16 card at Wembley Arena in London, but won’t find out if he has a license or not until 4 days before.  No prospective opponents have been bandied about, so it will likely be a very weak one.
10) Johnathon Banks (12-17-17)
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 (12-146)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD12 Konstantin Airich (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2013- vs. Leif Larsen (UNR)
Solis takes on undefeated Norwegian prospect Leif Larsen in Berlin on March 22.  The two had been scheduled to meet in October, but Solis bailed to go straight for Adamek, whom he also bailed on.
12) Tony Thompson (2-146)

Last Fight: 2/23/2013- TKO2 David Price (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson wants Fury- who recently signed to fight Cunningham.  Price has a rematch clause, but Price himself has indicated he may not be “crying for a rematch,” while Thompson says he wouldn’t consider it unless they paid him a lot better and came to the US.
13) Robert Helenius (2-146)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- W*(UD10) vs. Sherman Williams (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Helenius was rumored for a March fight with Sprott, but no news since.
14) Alexander Dimitrenko (2-113)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko’s future is in doubt after he struggled mightily to survive a heavy knockdown and outpoint typically inept journeyman Ivica Perkovic.
15) Chris Arreola (2-208)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #19 Bermane Stiverne (UNR)
The most cursed single fight in recent memory has again been delayed.  This time Arreola’s bronchitis is to blame.  He said he can be ready by mid-April, but venues and dates haven’t been sorted out yet.  He’s been in active for over a year, but only the most recent delay is remotely his fault, so he’ll get a reasonable opportunity to reschedule.
16) Denis Boytsov (2-195)
Last Fight: 2/15/2013- 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.
17) Vyacheslav Glazkov (2-12)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. Malik Scott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov got the benefit of the doubt in every close round from two of the judges against Scott.  It was just about as close to a robbery as you can get without me calling it that. 
18) Malik Scott (2-3)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. #19 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott was the victim of a bad decision against Glazkov it’s fair to say, but I stop short of calling it a blatant robbery.  I do believe he won 8 of the 10 rounds, but he only won 4 of them with clarity.  By easing off the gas in the latter half of the fight, he gave the judges the opportunity to hand it to the house fighter, which 2 of them were all too happy to do.
19) Bermane Stiverne (2-2)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- vs. Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #15 Chris Arreola
See Arreola’s notes, above.
20) Franklin Lawrence (2-2)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- Mark Brown (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite signing with well-connected promoter Gary Shaw in July 2011, Lawrence has had nothing but stay-busy fights (and he’s not staying all that busy) since before that time.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:  Dereck Chisora may or may not be fighting on Saturday.  He expects a decision on his British license 4 days before, and at last check was expecting to fight an unnamed opponent if he is restored to legitimacy.

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