Heavyweight: 2013, Apr 15-21

Undefeated 40 year-old Amir Mansour thoroughly pummeled journeyman Jason Gavern in Dover, Delaware on Saturday.  Gavern went down 4 times and was counted out at the 2:43 mark of the very first round.  Two years ago, this would have been a significant victory, but at this point, Gavern was coming off 5 consecutive losses to progressively less proven opposition.  You do have to give Mansour credit for spectacularity, though.  He may not have moved any closer to a ranking with the win, but it wouldn’t surprise me if this creates enough buzz to get him a bigger TV-type fight in the near future.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (199-412-412)
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 (236-236-236)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After speculation went wild over a Daily Beast article that seemed to be hinting at an impending retirement announcement, Vitali seems to have every intention of continuing his career.  He says he may eventually fight David Haye, but implies he would at least fight his mandatory challenger (the Stiverne-Arreola winner) first.
2) David Haye (40-40-40)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Haye’s initially-announced July fight has been moved up to the end of June, and Eddie Chambers and especially Kubrat Pulev seem to be possibilities.
3) Steve Cunningham (17-17-17)
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 (40-286-286)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO2 Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin appears very likely to fight on the May 17 Moscow card that will feature Lebedev-Jones, with undefeated prospect Andrzej Wawrzyk the most likely opponent.
5) Tomasz Adamek (17-156-156)
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.  Now he’s separated from his promoter, Main Events.  One strange development after another.
6) Tyson Fury (17-91-91)
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 (17-44-44)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers’ very active twitter continues to reference David Haye a lot, but the tone has noticeably shifted from “come on and fight me David Haye” to “Haye is ducking Chambers.”  It seems that nobody decent wants to fight Chambers.
8) Kubrat Pulev (17-50-127)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev says he’s negotiating to be David Haye’s 6/29 opponent.
9) Dereck Chisora (17-72-135)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- L(TKO5) vs. David Haye (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. Hector Avila (UNR)
After his original opponent, Ondrej Pala, fell through a week or two before the fight, Chisora will now be fighting former Argentine cruiserweight champion Hector Avila.  He’s definitely a step or two down from the still less than great Pala.
10) Odlanier Solis (4-4-151)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- UD12 Leif Larsen (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis’ promoter wants to get him back in the ring within 3 months after the Larsen fight.
11) Johnathon Banks (4-22)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- TKO2 #11 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: 6/22/2013- vs. Seth Mitchell (UNR)
The Mitchell rematch- postponed due to a broken thumb by Banks- has been reset for the Malignaggi-Broner undercard on June 22.
12) Tony Thompson (7-151)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- TKO2 David Price (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/6/2013- vs. David Price (UNR)
After originally saying he’d only fight David Price in a rematch if Price came to the US, Thompson has instead agreed to fight in Price’s Liverpool backyard again.
13) Robert Helenius (7-151)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Helenius’ team confirms another hand injury.  They say it will take 6 weeks to heal, despite rumors that it is more serious.
14) Alexander Dimitrenko (7-118)
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 (7-213)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. #19 Bermane Stiverne (UNR)
The Stiverne fight is once again on the schedule, this time for April 27.
16) Denis Boytsov (7-200)
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 (7-17)
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 (7-8)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. #19 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott is in Moscow at last check, sparring with Povetkin and Lebedev.
19) Bermane Stiverne (7-7)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- vs. Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. #15 Chris Arreola
See Arreola’s notes, above.
20) Franklin Lawrence (7-7)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- Mark Brown (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/14/2013- vs. Bryant Jennings (UNR)
Lawrence’s scheduled fight with Bryant Jennings has disappeared from the Boxrec schedule, but I can’t find any other evidence that it’s canceled.  Perhaps they just heard that the contracts hadn’t been fully signed yet or something.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: At Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday, we find a huge battle with David vs. Goliath overtones.  Former top cruiserweight contender and #3 Steve Cunningham is riding high after clearly being robbed of a win over Tomasz Adamek.  He comes in against British giant Tyson Fury, who broke out into the top 10 with a dominant win over Dereck Chisora in 2011, but has been fighting somewhat lesser competition since.  Without committing to anything, my sense is that the winner of this fight will end up as the #2 contender behind only the Klitschkos.

 

Speaking of Chisora, he is back in action Saturday, too.  Chisora returns from a suspension to face mid-range journeyman and former Argentine cruiserweight champion Hector Avila in London.

 

Earlier in the evening in Kharkov, Ukraine, Russian gatekeeper Alexander Ustinov returns for the first time since being knocked out by Kubrat Pulev in September.  Apparently it’s mandatory for Pulev knockout victims to fight Ivica Perkovic.  Alexander Dimitrenko fought Perkovic after the mediocre Samir Kurtagic proved a little too tough for comfort, and was knocked down hard by both guys.  I wouldn’t read too much into that, though.  Perkovic is typically pretty awful, and Ustinov definitely has a better chin than Dimitrenko at this point.

 

Meanwhile, in Rzeszow, Poland, undefeated Polish prospect Artur Szpilka takes on inactive Ukranian journeyman Taras Bidenko.  Szpilka is coming off his thrilling back-and-forth battle with journeyman Mike Mollo on ESPN3 in February.
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