Cruiserweight: 2013: Jul 15-21

Saturday in Monte Carlo, #17 Dmytro Kucher couldn’t fend off the aggressive and hard-hitting challenge of Congolese prospect Ilunga “Junior” Makabu.  Kucher both started and finished the fight rather well, but Makabu swept rounds 2-10 to win a comfortable verdict on my card.  

 

The judging was pretty poor overall, however, forcing the African to settle for just a 3 point margin- total- between the 3 cards.  I had him up 6 points on mine alone.  The only judge to even turn in a reasonable card was Robin Dolpierre, scoring it 115-113.  That’s basically giving Kucher all the close rounds.  Joseph Chaane at 115-114 did the same, except he called one clear Makabu round even.  Predrag Aleksic appears to have missed the fight, scoring it 114-114.

 

Makabu was the aggressor most of the time, and did a very nice job of setting up his punches with a crouch and head movement that made Kucher’s longer arms miss more often than not.  Kucher was a vaunted puncher coming in, having scored the cruiserweight knockout of the year in 2012 by knocking Steve Herelius through the ropes, but Makabu looked to have the significantly heavier hands.  

 

In lesser action in Inglewood, California later that night, undefeated Cuban prospect Yunier Dorticos destroyed weak journeyman Keith Barr via second round knockout several pounds over the divisional limit.

 

Makabu debuts at #16, just ahead of fellow African Thabiso Mchunu.  Kucher just barely clings to a ranking on the strength of his 2 prior wins over gatekeepers, slipping to #20.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Guillermo Jones (9-9-9)
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 (44-160-160)
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 (44-44-76)
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 (9-180-180)
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 (6-345-345)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- W (MD12) vs. #5 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 9/14/2013- vs. #7 Firat Arslan
Huck will make a mandatory defense in a rematch against Firat Arslan on September 14.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (9-421-421)
Last Fight: 6/21/2013- TKO8 Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk showed tremendous determination in first weathering a storm, and then rapidly breaking down a strong young challenger in his own backyard in Chakhkiev.  He indicated interest in moving up to fight Adamek, but Adamek isn’t for it.  His mandatory is Giacobbe Fragomeni, who would have little chance after struggling to practical stalemates with 46-47 year old Silvio Branco.
7) Firat Arslan (9-62-105)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/14/2013- vs. #5 Marco Huck
See Huck’s notes, above.
8) Ola Afolabi (6-227-227)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L (MD12) vs. #8 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
9) Danny Green (7-36-189)
Last Fight: 11/21/2012- UD12 Shane Cameron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Green is leaning toward retirement at last check.
10) B.J. Flores (7-7-160)
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 (7-244)
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 (7-70)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- W (TD10) vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Branco continues to chug along at 47 years young.  He’s like a lower-level Hopkins.
13) Alexander Alekseev (7-131)
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 (7-68)
Last Fight: 4/13/2013- TKO9 Sean Corbin (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/24/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Masternak returns on August 24.  His opponent was to be Jeremy Ouanna, but Ouanna lost to Latvian prospect Mairis Briedis soon after.  Perhaps Briedis is the new man for the job.
15) Francisco Palacios (7-120)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- L(U12) vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Palacios very likely will not fight until after his contract with Don King expires in September.
16) Ilunga Makabu (1-1)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- W (MD12) vs. #17 Dmytro Kucher
Next Fight: Unknown
Makabu impressed against Kucher, gassing a little bit at the end, but showing his quality for the majority of the fight.
17) Thabiso Mchunu (1-36)
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.
18) Enad Licina (7-160)
Last Fight: 6/15/2013- KO3 Marcel Zeller (UNR) (at HW)
Next Fight: 7/27/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Licina has now fought two generic weak opponents in a row.  No idea if he plans to be a serious contender ever again or not.  His only significant win in the last 5 years is now roughly 4 1/2 years old.  That means he’ll fade to obscurity if he doesn’t beat someone worth beating in the next half-year or so.
19) Grigory Drozd (7-36)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- UD12 Jean-Marc Monrose (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Drozd will be back in action on the Klitschko-Povetkin undercard.
20) Dmytro Kucher (1-55)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher is practically back to square one after falling short against Makabu.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Nothing to report for the week.
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