Cruiserweight: 2013: Sep 2-8

All kinds of action to talk about this week, although only one or two of the fights were really worth talking about.  I’ll start with the most significant:

 

Saturday at the Emperor’s Palace in Kempton Park, South Africa, #16 Ilunga “Junior” Makabu of South Africa by way of the Congo was in pretty tough against Oklahoma prospect Eric Fields.  Fields was very obviously the bigger and rangier man, and was doing a great job of splitting Makabu’s guard in the first round.  It looked at that point like a long night for the home fighter.  But it didn’t take long to turn around.  Makabu started giving angles and throwing in combination in the second round, and never looked back.  He had completely taken over the fight by the 5th, when he caught Fields with a beautiful southpaw left hand that chopped Fields down like a tree.  The American gamely rose to his feet after the devastating punch, but was nowhere near ready to continue when the referee called a halt to proceedings.

 

Potentially fictional Brazilian prospect William Fernando Souza Bezerra was scheduled to fight a rematch with fringe top 50-type Ricardo Augusto Souza on Friday, but true to form, the result has not turned up anywhere online yet.  I’ve explained my growing skepticism multiple times in the past as to Souza Bezerra’s legitimacy, with his whole career possibly being staged, and it is continuing to grow as I write this.

 

In Newcastle, Australia on Friday, Daniel Ammann dominated short-notice opponent Ayitey Powers, who was an even lesser challenge than the already awful Peter Brennan who was originally featured.  Ammann won all 10 rounds on all 3 cards.

 

The next night in Krasnogorsk, Russia, gatekeeper Valery Brudov was similarly dominant in a 6 rounder against similarly awful Jevgenijs Andrejevs in a fight contested at about 180.

 

Makabu’s win is enough to narrowly edge him past Francisco Palacios to #15.  Palacios’ only positive and significant performance in the last 5 years was a loss that probably should have been a win against 6th-ranked Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, before losing a rematch to the same guy, and he will very likely be removed in a few weeks for inactivity.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (6-187-187)
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 (51-167-167)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown
Finally some Hernandez news: his hand has been slow to heal, but he’s ready to train again.  He’s looking at a likely October fight with Alekseev.
3) Troy Ross (51-51-83)
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 (6-352-352)
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 (6-428-428)
Last Fight: 6/21/2013- TKO8 Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s not official, but all signs point to a February 22 heavyweight fight in Poland against countryman Albert Sosnowski.
6) Firat Arslan (6-69-112)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/14/2013- vs. #4 Marco Huck
See Huck’s notes, above.

7) Thabiso Mchunu (5-5-43)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu intends to be back by the end of the year, and says he’ll take on anyone in the division.  I don’t blame him.  I’d pick him to beat anyone.
8) Ola Afolabi (5-234-234)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L (MD12) vs. #8 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
If there is to be a Super 4 Cruiserweight tournament in Monaco, it appears it either won’t be on November 2 anymore, or that Afolabi won’t be participating if so, as he is slated for a November 2 fight on the Golovkin-Stevens undercard at Madison Square Garden.
9) Danny Green (5-43-196)
Last Fight: 11/21/2012- UD12 Shane Cameron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Green is leaning toward retirement at last check.
10) B.J. Flores (5-14-167)
Last Fight: 10/6/2012- TKO2 David McNemar (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores has been released from his contract with Don King, and is now rumored for an upcoming Million Dollar tournament in Monaco.
11) Giacobbe Fragomeni (5-251)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- UD8 Toni Visic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fragomeni snuck in a strictly stay-busy fight with Toni Visic on about 1 day’s notice as far as I can tell.
12) Silvio Branco (5-77)
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 (5-138)
Last Fight: 2/22/2013- UD12* Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alekseev is very likely for a shot at Yoan Pablo Hernandez in October.
14) Mateusz Masternak (5-75)
Last Fight: 4/13/2013- TKO9 Sean Corbin (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. #18 Grigory Drozd
Masternak-Drozd once again appears set for 10/5 on the Klitsckho-Povetkin undercard after Boxrec had it off the schedule for some reason for a few weeks.
15) Ilunga Makabu (1-8)
Last Fight: 8/31/2013- TKO5 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Makabu is rumored for a Monaco 4-man tournament in the fall along with Flores and Australian Brad Pitt.

16) Francisco Palacios (1-127)

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.
17) Enad Licina (6-167)
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 will be 5 years old then.
18) Grigory Drozd (6-43)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- UD12 Jean-Marc Monrose (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. #14 Mateusz Masternak
See Masternak’s notes, above.
19) Dmytro Kucher (6-62)
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 (6-6)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- UD8 Taylor Mabika (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: No action to report in the upcoming week.
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