Cruiserweight: 2013: Apr 15-21

#14 Mateusz Masternak most likely looked past his journeyman opponent Sean Corbin leading up to their fight on Saturday.  I didn’t see the fight because quite frankly the match-up wasn’t worth my time absent a major upset or controversy.  According to reports I’ve read, though, Masternak looked quite ordinary and didn’t really get his attack going in earnest for at least a few rounds.  Nevertheless, he lost just a single round total on the 3 official scorecards.  That is, before winning by TKO in the 9th, with Corbin’s eyes badly swollen and having dropped his opponent a round earlier.  It’s hard to argue with the result, but it could be said that this is at least the second consecutive fight in which Masternak looked less than spectacular, or even less dominant than you’d expect given his opposition.


No changes to the rankings this week.  One note, though.  It looks like I failed to advance the number of weeks each fighter has been in the rankings, etc. back on March 4, and am just now catching the oversight.  Frankly it would take me hours and hours of work to fix the error for each of those entries, and so I’m just going to fix it from this point forward.


Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (31-167-167)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- KO4 Santander Silgado (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2013- vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Lebedev will be fighting inactive titlist Guillermo Jones near Moscow on May 17.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (31-147-147)
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 (31-31-63)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Quote from Ross’s Twitter: “If the right opportunity arises I will fight again.”  That sounds more like a semi-retired fighter than the guy that just outfought the division’s #1 contender.  Here’s hoping he starts hunting for good fights like a starving mountain man any second now.
4) Ola Afolabi (10-214-214)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
I don’t know if Don King does this intentionally just to create chaos, or if he’s just slipping in his old age.  But this is the third major fight outside the US that he’s bought the rights to and seemingly put forth no effort at all to make happen.  I don’t see any reason to believe Huck-Afolabi won’t happen next, but it will very likely be set back until at least June.
5) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (10-408-408)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- UD12 #13 Francisco Palacios
Next Fight: 6/22/2013- vs. Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Apparently an agreement has been fully reached, but not fully signed, for Wlodarczyk to fight undefeated and fringe-contending Russian Olympian Rakhim Chakhkiev in Moscow, June 22.  Wlodarczyk will reportedly have a rematch clause in the event he loses.
6) Firat Arslan (10-49-92)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #5 Marco Huck (Robbery)
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Arslan’s first fight under the Sauerland banner is unfortunately a waste of time, as he will fight lower-mid-level German journeyman Varol Vekiloglu.  Too bad.  At 42, it’s hard not tho think that every fight he takes outside the top level is seriously damaging his chances of getting to the very top of the division.
7) Marco Huck (10-332-332)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #10 Firat Arslan (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Afolabi’s notes, above.
8) Lateef Kayode (10-46-126)
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 (10-23-176)
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 (10-10-147)
Last Fight: 10/6/2012- TKO2 David McNemar (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. Nuri Seferi (UNR)
Don King’s embarrassing failure to make the Huck-Afolabi card happen has claimed Flores-Palacios as collateral damage.  Flores instead will be fighting a couple weeks later against Albanian gatekeeper Nuri Seferi, in Albania.
11) Giacobbe Fragomeni (10-231)
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 (10-57)
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 (8-118)
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 (8-55)
Last Fight: 4/13/2013- TKO9 Sean Corbin (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Masternak’s scheduled meeting with Jeremy Ouanna gave way to an even less impressive match-up against Sean Corbin, a mediocre Guyana journeyman best known for beating a totally shot Wayne Braithwaite after being inactive for 2 years.
15) Francisco Palacios (8-107)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- L(UD12) vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Palacios is left without a date after Don King blew another international card that was supposed to feature him and B.J. Flores.
16) Thabiso Mchunu (10-23)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO5 #20 Danie Venter
Next Fight: Unknown
The promoter of Congolese prospect Ilunga Makabu has offered to fight Mchunu, but reportedly met with tepid interest from Mchunu’s camp.
17) Dmytro Kucher (10-42)
Last Fight: 3/21/2013- UD12 Julio Cesar Dos Santos (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Kucher will be figthing on May 17 just outside of Moscow.  No opponent yet.
18) Enad Licina (10-147)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO2 Koeksal Orduhan
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Grigory Drozd (10-23)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- UD12 Jean-Marc Monrose (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/8/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Drozd will apparently be fighting in an unpronounceable Russian town in early June, but no opponent has been named yet.  He suffered a hand injury in his last fight, and is on the shelf from training until April.
20) Pawel Glazewski (10-10)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- UD10 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Glazewski returns in late June in Ostroda, Poland.  Probably more or less at light heavyweight.


THE WEEK AHEAD: This is shaping up to be a pretty active week at cruiser.


British titlist Jon Lewis Dickinson defends his title on Friday in Sunderland, England against relatively inexperienced one-loss Liverpool area prospect Mike Stafford.


Tampere, Finland is the stage as recent failed European title challenger Juho Haapoja looks to stay busy against weak Italian journeyman Michele De Meo.


Rsezsow, Poland plays host to two undefeated Polish prospects, unfortunately in separate fights.  Krzysztof Glowacki takes on unproven 9-1 Gabon prospect Taylor Mabika, who comes off his first loss to an even less proven 3-0 prospect.  His countryman Pawel Kolodziej takes on a more significant name in Richard Hall.  But Hall has lost 4 straight (though mainly to good prospects) since shockingly halting the attempted comeback of former Champion O’Neil Bell in the summer of 2011.

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