Light Heavyweight: 2013, Apr 15-21

This was one of those rare fights that just plain fell through the cracks video-wise.  A serious undefeated prospect in Cedric Agnew took on a declining top 15 contender in #14 Yusaf Mack in the prototypical crossroads fight in New Buffalo, Michigan, but it was a total media blackout.  Agnew won the decision unanimously, but the scores varied quite a bit.  One judge had it 115-113, while another had it 120-108 and the third came up with 118-110.  Normally I would insist on watching any important fight in which a judge saw it 115-113.  It could be that the judge was off his rocker.  It could be that there were a lot of close rounds in a fight that generally tilted toward Agnew.  But it could also be that it was a razor-thin fight.  Unfortunately we may never know because there isn’t even a youtube video of the fight out there.  For the purposes of the rankings, the median judge will hold sway, and it will be treated as a solid win for Agnew.

 

Another fairly intriguing fight- this one in Vegas- received similar treatment.  Kansas-based Menominee tribe member Marcus Oliveira battled fairly unproven but disproportionately-hyped Don King prospect Ryan Coyne in a fight that was unfortunately and somewhat peculiarly left off the ShoBox broadcast of the card.  Luckily, the result was a bit more clear-cut in this case.  Coyne reportedly started off strong, but was steadily worn down to an 11th round TKO.  Coyne is Oliveira’s best opponent since he knocked out Otis Griffin in 2009, but had not proven himself to be a real top 50 contender yet.  Frankly, in the two or three times I’d seen Coyne live, I never saw anything to convince me he was much more than a regional threat.  I have no doubt he could have edged his way into the Boxrec top 30 or so if carefully matched, but I think he would find himself outgunned against most of his peers at that level.  Despite Oliveira’s inactivity against decent competition, he is most likely at least that good.  On a sideshow sort of side note, this fight between two guys not ranked in the top 50 by Boxrec has apparently produced a ridiculous mandatory challenger to the ridiculous WBA belt ridiculously won and ridiculously still owned by Beibut Shumenov.  This proves once again that Don King completely owns the WBA rankings despite his dwindling stable of talent.

 

Agnew debuts at #11 with the big win, and Mack- a member of my inaugural rankings 147 weeks ago- falls from the rankings for the first time after losing for the first time to an unranked opponent.  This naturally forces everyone ranked #11-13 last week back one spot.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (32-32-32)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 Champ Chad Dawson (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward’s attention seems fixed a division or two (or three) to the south, as the recent names associated with him have been Chavez, Mayweather, and Golovkin.
1) Chad Dawson (32-359-359)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- L(TKO10) vs. SMW Champ Andre Ward (at SMW)
Next Fight: 6/8/2013- vs. SMW #7 Adonis Stevenson
Dawson will fight Adonis Stevenson (who moves up from 168) on June 8 in Montreal.
2) Bernard Hopkins (32-358-358)
Last Fight: 3/9/2012- UD12 #6 Tavoris Cloud
Next Fight: 7/27/2013- vs. Karo Murat (UNR)
All the buzz had been revolving around a Hopkins-Cleverly showdown, but with little or no warning, he signed to fight his mandatory, the slightly more proven but inactive Karo Murat, instead.
3) Jean Pascal (32-200-200)
Last Fight: 12/14/2012- UD10 Alexei Kuziemski (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #15 Lucian Bute
Pascal bailed on Dawson for a less internationally compelling fight with Lucian Bute on the same date.
4) Sergey Kovalev (13-13-13)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- TKO3 #4 Gabriel Campillo
Next Fight: Unknown
5) Gabriel Campillo (13-147-147)
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 (13-190-190)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Cloud’s manager expects him back in action by the end of the year.  Normally that wouldn’t be saying much, but that would be against type for Cloud.
7) Isaac Chilemba (3-3-63)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- Draw* (SD12) vs. #9 Tony Bellew (should be win)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #10 Tony Bellew
That didn’t take long!  Chilemba will rematch Bellew on the Froch-Kessler undercard in London, less than two months removed from getting borderline robbed the first time around.
8) Cornelius White (3-40-70)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Otis Griffin (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
White snuck in an under-the-radar 8-rounder against Otis Griffin.  It was a pound over the limit, but will buy him some more time to stay active at 175, at least.
9) Nathan Cleverly (3-167-167)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO8 Shawn Hawk (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. Robin Krasniqi (UNR)
Cleverly probably has a Hopkins fight waiting for him just a few months after the Krasniqi fight, assuming he wins.
10) Tony Bellew (3-79-79)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- Draw* (SD12) vs. #13 Isaac Chilemba (should be loss)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #7 Isaac Chilemba
See Chilemba’s notes, above.
11) Cedric Agnew (1-1)
Last Fight: 4/12/2013- UD12 #14 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: Unknown
Agnew may have caught a fading Yusaf Mack at the right time, but he’s clearly a climber, having now beaten both Mack and Otis Griffin.
12) Jürgen Brähmer (1-52)
Last Fight: 2/2/2013- UD12 Eduard Gutknecht (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. Tony Averlant (UNR)
Braehmer defends his European title in Hamburg on April 27 against journeyman Tony Averlant.  Averlant so far only steps up when he fights for the European belt, having previously been robbed against then-beltholder Eddy Gutknecht, only to get beat by a journeyman himself.
13) Beibut Shumenov (1-147)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- UD12 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Andrzej Fonfara (1-40)
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.
15) Lucian Bute (2-24)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 #16 Denis Grachev
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #3 Jean Pascal
Bute will look to prove what I have long believed- that the 168 pound division is much better man-for-man than 175, by fighting his larger peer in Montreal on May 25.
16) Denis Grachev (2-51)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013– W* (SD10) vs. Zsolt Erdei (UNR) (should be draw)
Next Fight: 7/13/2013- vs. SMW #16 Edwin Rodriguez
Grachev will be fighting Edwin Rodriguez at a catchweight of 171.5 in Monte Carlo for a million dollar prize.
17) Dmitri Sukhotski (2-129)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO1 Vladimir Borovsky (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/4/2013- vs. Mikhail Krinitsin
Sukhotski will fight in Barnaul, Russia on June 4 against low-level Kazakh journeyman Mikhail Krinitsin.
18) Eleider Alvarez (2-12)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- TKO3 Nicholson Poulard (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Alvarez continues to stay busy, as he already has another fight scheduled for the Bute-Pascal undercard on May 25.  No opponent yet, though.
19) Yunieski Gonzalez (2-5)
Last Fight: 3/15/2013- KO8 Rowland Bryant (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzalez took a huge step up in competition and made good, knocking out strong fringe contender Bryant. 
20) Doudou Ngumbu (2-2)
Last Fight: 3/16/2013- UD12 #14 Vyacheslav Uzelkoff
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: Thursday- Two notable fights on one card in Footscray, Australia.  Undefeated prospect Blake Caparello stays busy against Uruguayan journeyman Jorge Rodriguez.  In a much better match-up, Melbourne-based Cameroonian fringe contender Serge Yannick looks to successfully move up from 168 against one-loss Kiwi prospect Robert Berridge, whose lone loss came against the aforementioned Caparello.

 

Saturday- A battle of Frenchmen in France, as fringe contender Nadjib Mohammedi meets mid-level journeyman Hakim Chioui.

 

Meanwhile, #9 Nathan Cleverly finally gets his oft-delayed and only barely worthwhile fight with 2-loss prospect Robin Krasniqi in London.  Fast-fading gatekeeper Enzo Maccarinelli is on the undercard in a 6-rounder against weak journeyman Carl Wild.
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