Cruiserweight: 2013: Jun 10-16

#4 Ola Afolabi and #8 Marco Huck completed a trilogy on Saturday in Berlin.  Their prior two fights had been razor-thin decisions, with Huck getting the nod in the first , and a draw being the result of the second from last year. 

 

From second round on, Huck proved to be sharper than Afolabi, who had been inactive for the more than 12 months since the last fight.  For my money, Huck earned the decision based on round 2-8 alone, with 12 being thrown in for good measure.  It seemed that both men were functionally exhausted  by about the 10th, but both still had enough left in spurts to land some good shots.  In general, it seemed that Huck either tired earlier, decided to coast, or some combination of the two.  Also, it should be noted that Afolabi tended to due some steady, quality work early in most rounds, with Huck often landing big punches late in the rounds to carry them.  I had it 116-112 for Huck, which is pretty close to the average of the three official scores, which reflected two opposing extremes of reason in 114-114 and 117-111, as well as a very reasonable median of 115-113. Despite the overall closeness of the verdict, there should be no controversy this time.  Huck won it clean.

 

Rachid El Hadak was supposed to fight in Morocco, but I can find no evidence that the fight happened at this point.

 

With the win, Huck advances to #5, his rise still halted by Lebedev, who I still can’t help but give credit for beating Huck in 2010, as well as Huck’s difficult-to-reconcile should-be loss to Arslan.  Afolabi, whose quality resume is based in large part on his prior performances against Huck, falls back to #8 below Arslan, due to Arslan’s superior recent performance against the common opponent.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Guillermo Jones (4-4-4)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- TKO11 #1 Denis Lebedev
Next Fight: Unknown
Jones wants to fight Wladimir Klitschko (he said the same a couple years ago), while Lebedev is asking for a rematch.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (39-155-155)
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 (39-39-71)
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) Denis Lebedev (4-175-175)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lebedev hopes to return on the Klitschko-Povetkin undercard in early October, which seems a bit quick given how ugly his eye looked after his last fight.  He is hoping for a rematch with Jones, too.  He has also parted from his promoter.
5) Marco Huck (1-340-340)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- W (MD12) vs. #5 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #7 Firat Arslan
Huck will make a mandatory defense in a rematch against Firat Arslan next, likely in October.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (4-416-416)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- UD12 #13 Francisco Palacios
Next Fight: 6/21/2013- vs. Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Apparently an agreement has been reached for Wlodarczyk to fight undefeated and fringe-contending Russian Olympian Rakhim Chakhkiev in Moscow, June 21.  Wlodarczyk will reportedly have a rematch clause in the event he loses.
7) Firat Arslan (4-57-100)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #5 Marco Huck
See Huck’s notes, above.
8) Ola Afolabi (1-222-222)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L (MD12) vs. #8 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
9) Danny Green (2-31-184)
Last Fight: 11/21/2012- UD12 Shane Cameron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Green has been helping an Australian UFC fighter prepare for an upcoming fight, but still no word on whether he plans to fight again.
10) B.J. Flores (2-2-155)
Last Fight: 10/6/2012- TKO2 David McNemar (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores’ fight with Nuri Seferi appears to have been off very quickly after it was apparently made.  No word on his next move.
11) Giacobbe Fragomeni (2-239)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- W*(SD12) vs. #13 Silvio Branco
Next Fight: Unknown
There is some speculation that Masternak might try to lure Fragomeni out of his mandatory shot at Wlodarczyk with a higher monetary offer that might put Masternak in the same position with a victory.
12) Silvio Branco (2-65)
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 (2-126)
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 (2-63)
Last Fight: 4/13/2013- TKO9 Sean Corbin (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/24/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Masternak returns on August 24, but no other details are available.
15) Francisco Palacios (2-115)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- L(U12) vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Palacios has been trying to convince Antonio Tarver to fight him, but is behind held back in all of his pursuits by having Don King as a promoter.
16) Thabiso Mchunu (2-31)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO5 #20 Danie Venter
Next Fight: 8/3/2013- vs. Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Mchunu is being treated as a stepping stone f0r the cruiserweight ambitions of recent heavyweight contender Eddie Chambers, and the two will do battle in that context on NBC Sports Network come August 3.
17) Dmytro Kucher (2-50)
Last Fight: 3/21/2013- UD12 Julio Cesar Dos Santos (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/13/2013- vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
A clash of good-looking prospects is on tap for July 13, as Kucher will meet Junior Makabu in Monaco.
18) Enad Licina (2-155)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO2 Koeksal Orduhan
Next Fight: 6/15/2013- vs. Marcel Zeller (UNR)
Licina will fight a second consecutive awful opponent in German Marcel Zeller
19) Grigory Drozd (2-31)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- UD12 Jean-Marc Monrose (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Pawel Glazewski (2-2)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- UD10 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: The division’s most important fight of the week is in Poland, where undefeated 32 year-old prospect Pawel Kolodziej takes on his toughest opponent since at least his 2009 stoppage of Rob Calloway, when he steps in with Argentine gatekeeper Cesar Crenz.  I could imagine the winner earning a top 20 ranking under the right conditions.

 

The undercard will feature another Polish prospect- undefeated borderline top-50 operator Lukasz Janik- against an unannounced opponent.

 

#19 Enad Licina is also in action, essentially wasting his time by fighting 39 year-old awful German journeyman Marcel Zeller.  Zeller is a late replacement for equally awful 41 year-old Turkish journeyman Ergin Solmaz.  This will be Licina’s second consecutive completely ridiculous mismatch, and will take place in Hattersheim, Germany.

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