Cruiserweight: 2013: Jul 29- Aug 4

This sucks.  The best cruiserweight fight of the year (and best matched, as well) is now essentially wiped out.  Last week’s #1 Guillermo Jones tested positive for Furosemide, a banned drug used to cut weight and also to mask the presence of performance enhancing drugs, for his fight against Denis Lebedev.  Honestly, the Russian mob appeared to be trying to influence the outcome of the fight even while it was going on, as the doctor was physically intimidated out of stopping the fight while Lebedev’s eye ballooned to ridiculous proportions.  For that reason, it wouldn’t shock me if the positive test was bogus.  But I was very clear on how this works when Tarver tested positive for steroids last year.  You test positive for a performance enhancing or weight-cutting drug, you’re out of the rankings.  If you get vindicated later, you’re back in as if nothing happened.  As for Lebedev, the rule is that under no circumstances will a fighter be punished for losing to a fighter who tests positive for these substances.  That makes it easy to decide.  #1 Jones is out, while #4 Lebedev gets a reprieve and is back to #1.  No, I don’t like it either.


Enad Licina once again took on a totally unworthy opponent on Saturday in 2-3 Marko Rupcic.  Rupcic was actually a little more in the fight than I expected, for the most part, but he lost every round and went down 4 times in the 6-rounder- once in the 2nd and 4th, and twice in the 6th. 


Apparently Cuxhaven isn’t a hotbed of quality officiating, though.  This fight was not easy for the judges to screw up.  Assuming Licina did indeed win every round, the only possible score with 4 knockdowns is 60-50.  One judge had it 60-53, which means he either didn’t give proper credit for the knockdowns, or that he scored each round that didn’t include a knockdown as even.  That’s preposterous.  I wasn’t scoring the fight too closely like normal, but the only round that Rupcic even seemed to sorta hold his own was the 3rd.  Another judge had it 60-49, which means that he scored one of the non-knockdown rounds 10-8, which is equally silly.  As for the ref , he was clearly incompetent, as well.  Each time Rupcic went down, this ref would casually direct Licina to a neutral corner, and then inexplicably begin the count (which was also painfully slow) at one, instead of picking it up from the timekeeper.  This resulted in an average of about 13 seconds for each of the mandatory 8-counts he administered.  Luckily for these clowns, not one of the officials has been identified on Boxrec.  In fairness, one of the judges did turn in a competent scorecard.


The fight was not at cruiserweight either, as Rupcic came in a shade over 200, and Licina checked in at nearly 210.  He hasn’t fought at 200 since November, and hasn’t beaten a top 50 opponent since January 2009, so his ranking is in peril sometime in either the Fall or Winter no matter how you look at it.


#10 Giacobbe Fragomeni also got a decision (in an 8-rounder) over a similarly hapless opponent.


Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None

1) Denis Lebedev (1-182-182)

Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)

Next Fight: Unknown

Lebedev was winning the fight on points against Jones when his eye ballooned and he faded to a stoppage.  Who’s to say that he wouldn’t have won if Jones had been weakened by making weight the right way (or by not using whatever PEDs he may have been masking with the substance)?  Lebedev is accorded the benefit of the doubt, and will be treated like the fight never happened.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (46-162-162)
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 (46-46-78)
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) Marco Huck (1-347-347)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- W (MD12) vs. #5 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 9/14/2013- vs. #6 Firat Arslan
Huck will make a mandatory defense in a rematch against Firat Arslan on September 14.
5) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (1-423-423)
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.
6) Firat Arslan (1-64-107)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/14/2013- vs. #4 Marco Huck
See Huck’s notes, above.
7) Ola Afolabi (1-229-229)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L (MD12) vs. #8 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
8) Danny Green (1-38-191)
Last Fight: 11/21/2012- UD12 Shane Cameron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Green is leaning toward retirement at last check.
9) B.J. Flores (1-9-162)
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.
10) Giacobbe Fragomeni (1-1-246)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- UD8 Toni Visic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fragomeni snuck in a strictly stay-busy fight with Toni Visic on Saturday, on about 1 day’s notice as far as I can tell.
11) Silvio Branco (1-72)
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.
12) Alexander Alekseev (1-133)
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.
13) Mateusz Masternak (1-70)
Last Fight: 4/13/2013- TKO9 Sean Corbin (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. #18 Grigory Drozd
Masternak will fight Drozd on the Klitschko-Povetkin undercard on October 5.  I assume his August 24 fight is now off since it’s no longer appearing on the schedule, but I’ll let you know if I learn otherwise.
14) Francisco Palacios (1-122)
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.
15) Ilunga Makabu (1-3)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- W (MD12) vs. #17 Dmytro Kucher
Next Fight: 8/31/2013- vs. Eric Fields (UNR)
Makabu takes on borderline top-30 Oklahama one-loss prospect Eric Fields in South Africa on August 31.
16) Thabiso Mchunu (1-38)
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) Enad Licina (1-162)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- UD6 Marko Rupcic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Licina has been fighting nobodies slightly over the heavyweight limit since November.  He’ll be removed in November for inactivity at cruiserweight if he doesn’t schedule something at 200 by then, or in January if he does that, but doesn’t get a significant win, since his last one is 5 years old in January.
18) Grigory Drozd (1-38)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- UD12 Jean-Marc Monrose (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. #13 Mateusz Masternak
This is a pleasant surprise: Drozd’s Klitschko undercard fight will be an excellent match-up against Mateusz Masternak.
19) Dmytro Kucher (1-57)
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.
20) Krzysztof Glowacki (1-1)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- UD8 Taylor Mabika (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown


THE WEEK AHEAD: This week at cruiserweight is all about Eddie Chambers move down to 200, and the resulting battle with South African prospect #16 Thabiso Mchunu.  That fight will be televised on Saturday by NBC Sports Network from Uncasville, Connecticut.

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