Heavyweight: 2013, May 6-12

The Heavyweight Championship fight on Saturday in Mannheim went pretty much as you might expect.  Fringe contender Francesco Pianeta made a visible effort to land, if only in spurts, but he was predictably and vastly outclassed by Champion Wladimir Klitschko.  He would lunge in with a wide punch that occasionally landed- especially to the body- but honestly at no point did I see anything that I thought was remotely a threat to even Wlad’s weak chin that was apparent in years past, but which practically hasn’t been touched in 5 years.

 

Wow.  Actually the result was so totally expected that I almost forgot to tell you what it was- a 6th round TKO for Klitschko.  Wlad also dropped the Italian-born German once in each of the last 3 rounds, though I thought the knockdown in the 5th was largely caused by a push to the back of the neck or head.

 

On the undercard, extremely promising Cuban prospect Mike Perez cruised to an easy 10 round decision over high-level journeyman Travis Walker.  After about 16 months on the shelf, it’s entirely sure that Perez- who may have been fairly expected to stop Walker- was at least in part just trying to get some rounds in. 

 

No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (202-415-415)
Last Fight: 5/4/2013- TKO6 Francesco Pianeta
Next Fight: 8/31/2013- vs. #4 Alexander Povetkin
After an easy fight against Pianeta, Klitschko seems to have a big (but probably still easier than it might look on paper) defense against Povetkin.  He’ll get a big payday to travel to Moscow.  This is undoubtedly contingent on Povetkin beating Wawrzyk.
1) Vitali Klitschko (239-239-239)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has officially ordered Vitali-Stiverne, and it sounds like it will happen.
2) Tyson Fury (3-94-94)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- KO7 #3 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury is now suddenly the most proven heavyweight not named Klitschko, and will likely get a chance to add to his resume against Kubrat Pulev next, as an eliminator for Wlad in the IBF.
3) David Haye (3-43-43)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. Manuel Charr (UNR)
Haye had some good fighters willing to fight him- including Eddie Chambers and possibly Kubrat Pulev.  The disappointment I feel at learning that he will instead fight borderline fringe contender Manuel Charr can not be overstated.
4) Alexander Povetkin (43-289-289)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO2 Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2013- vs. Andrzej Wawrzyk (UNR)
Povetkin is set to fight mediocre-looking undefeated Polish prospect Andrzej Wawrzyk in Moscow, on the Lebedev-Jones undercard.  After that, he will almost certainly have a fight with Wlad on tap for late August.
5) Steve Cunningham (3-20-20)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- L (KO7) vs. #6 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: Unknown
Only time will tell where Cunningham goes form here.  His hopes for a title shot are dashed at least for awhile.  Perhaps a trilogy with Adamek would make sense at this point.
6Tomasz Adamek (3-159-159)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- W (SD12)* vs. CW #4 Steve Cunningham (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Word is that Adamek will likely be fighting still relatively unproven Newark prospect Joe Hanks on June 14 in that town that they both currently call home.
7) Eddie Chambers (20-47-47)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers seems willing to fight anyone at heavyweight or cruiserweight, but you can’t have a fight with just one guy willing.
8) Kubrat Pulev (20-53-130)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After negotiatings to fight David Haye failed, it now seems likely Pulev has got Tyson Fury next, for a likely shot at Wladimir Klitschko in early 2014.
9) Dereck Chisora (20-75-138)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- TKO9 Hector Avila (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chisora put on a world-class snoozer against Avila, but still managed to bag a late stoppage.
10) Odlanier Solis (7-7-154)
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 (7-25)
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) Bermane Stiverne (2-10)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne is hoping that Vitali doesn’t retire so that he can try and do the honors himself.  At this point he’d be a pretty credible opponent, too.
13) Tony Thompson (2-154)
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.
14) Deontay Wilder (2-2)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- TKO1 Audley Harrison (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wilder wants a crack at Fury next, but the Brit is likely to go for Pulev instead, since the winner gets Wlad.
15) Robert Helenius (2-154)
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.
16) Alexander Dimitrenko (2-121)
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.
17) Vyacheslav Glazkov (10-20)
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 (10-11)
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) Denis Boytsov (2-203)
Last Fight: 2/15/2013- UD8 Samir Kurtagic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov’s 2nd best win- over Robert Hawkins- is now over 5 years old, and he has slipped a few spots as a result.  He’s getting closer to obscurity with each passing month.
20) Franklin Lawrence (10-10)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- Mark Brown (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lawrence reportedly pulled out of a planned (and very good) crossroads fight with prospect Bryant Jennings.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: The only fight even arguably worth mentioning in the division this week takes place in Brisbane, Australia on Thursday.  Borderline top-50 gatekeeper Alex Leapai will look to deliver a dose of reality to undefeated Ghanaian prospect John Napari.  Napari has only twice fought an opponent with even a single professional win, and both of those guys’ winning percentages were .333 or under.  With his opponents’ combined record at 8-42 by my count, he may as well be making his pro debut against Leapai, and that’s a tall order.

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