Light Heavyweight: 2013, Oct 28- Nov 3

Apparently Sauerland does occasionally allow honest judges to work fights involving their prospects.  Undefeated Robert Woge was about to get the benefit of a massive robbery two fights ago when he won, at most, two of the first 10 rounds against unheralded Hakim Zoulikha before suddenly knocking Zoulikha out in the 11th.  All of the judges were crooked, and had Woge up, and two of them had him up big.  Not so this week.  Woge got his just desserts, and more importantly, so did his Ukrainian opponent, Anatoliy Dudchenko.  Dudchenko boxed Woge’s ears off, and all the German could do was constantly club the back of Dudchenko’s head.  Referee Steve Willis was awful.  He should have taken a point for the constant infractions as early as the 4th round, but never did at all.  One of the judges managed not to escape my scorn, as Poland’s Miroslav Brozio had it far too close at 115-112.  The reasonable range of scoring, in my view, was between 119-108 and 117-110 for Dudchenko (my score was 118-109).  Michael Pernick had a respectable 117-110 card, and Pawel Kardyni turned in a similar 117-111.  Dudchenko basically had easy work after the 5th, and dropped Woge heavily in the 7th.  He also darn near stopped his man late in the 11th before the bell intervened.  It was a great performance by Dudchenko, and he’s now on to bigger and better things.

 

Speaking of bigger and better things, I must confess that I buried the lead.  #2 Bernard Hopkins got what many will consider just another win for him.  Karo Murat wasn’t really viewed as a great opponent even for a top contender that could theoretically get old overnight, considering he actually is really old.  But Murat managed a draw with a version of Gabriel Campillo that frankly looked like a world-beater, and was ranked #12 here before he was removed for inactivity after being stood up by Cloud.  What’s more, Murat actually came to win.  He fought a physical, aggressive fight that would have exposed any physical weakness or serious lack of world-class conditioning on the part of his freakishly youthful 48 year-old opponent.  None of Hopkins’ victims since the first Pascal fight have executed or even really attempted anything like a potentially winning game plan.  Murat did.  Hopkins simply was as good as advertised.  I hereby promise not to expect him to get old anymore, until he actually does.  He’s answered any remaining questions as to just how capable he truly is at his age.  He’s still a world-class operator, beyond any doubt.  Now do I think he could defeat physical beasts like Stevenson or Kovalev?  No way.  But at this point, that can hardly diminish his legacy.

 

Hopkins is unable to advance, since #1 Stevenson beat the guy that beat Hopkins.  Murat is now active again, and returns to the rankings at #13 based on his past work.  Dudchenko doesn’t quite claim a ranking, but is now close to being a top 25 fringe contender.  Murat’s return forces everyone ranked #13 and below last week down, and causes Dmitry Sukhotsky to slide from the rankings after 156 weeks in (he was an inaugural member of my top 20).  

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (60-60-60)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 Champ Chad Dawson (at SMW)
Next Fight: 11/16/2013- vs. #15 Edwin Rodriguez (at SMW)
After tons of posturing, Ward-Rodriguez is now done for 11/16 in Ontario, California.
1) Adonis Stevenson (21-21-21)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- TKO7 #8 Tavoris Cloud
Next Fight: 11/30/2013- vs. #6 Tony Bellew
Stevenson is set to fight Tony Bellew on November 30 in a quick turnaround from his fight two months earlier.
2) Bernard Hopkins (60-386-386)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Karo Murat (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Due to the effort and strategy of Murat, I think Hopkins proved more in that fight than he did against higher-rated fighters like Cloud and Pascal.
3) Sergey Kovalev (20-41-41)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- TKO4 #8 Nathan Cleverly
Next Fight: 11/30/2013- vs. Ismayl Sillakh (UNR)
Kovalev will fight Ismayl Sillakh on a twin bill with Stevenson-Bellew on HBO November 30.
4) Chad Dawson (20-387-387)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L(TKO1) vs. SMW #6 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Dawson may be returning sometime in November.
5) Andrzej Fonfara (11-11-68)
Last Fight: 8/16/2013- KO9 #6 Gabriel Campillo
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Fonfara will return on December 6, on the Chicago undercard of Wlodarczyk-Fragomeni III.
6) Tony Bellew (11-107-107)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- UD12 #7 Isaac Chilemba
Next Fight: 11/30/2013- vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Bellew will fight Stevenson on his November 30 birthday.
7) Gabriel Campillo (11-175-175)
Last Fight: 8/16/2013- L (KO9) vs. #14 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: Unknown
Campillo might be on his way to deserved obscurity after being robbed of deserved prominence for so much of his career.  He still has plenty of boxing skill, but his will might be fading just a bit.
8) Tavoris Cloud (11-218-218)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Cloud should probably get himself back in the win column at some point.
9) Nathan Cleverly (11-195-195)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (TKO4) vs. #3 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
After originally indicating retirement as a possibility, Cleverly has now called for a rematch with Kovalev.  He obviously could stand to rebuild a bit first, though.  More recently, he’s hinted at a possible move to Cruiser.
10) Isaac Chilemba (11-31-91)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- L (UD12) vs. #9 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: 11/16/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chilemba has recently signed with Main Events, the Northeastern US-based promotional outfit whose NBC affiliation has them solidly in the 2nd tier of American promotional firms, behind Golden Boy and Top Rank.  They’ll have him back in the ring on November 16 in New York.
11) Cornelius White (11-98)
Last Fight: 6/14/2013- L (TKO3) vs. #5 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
White was blasted out by Kovalev, but at least he has good company in that regard.
12) Jürgen Brähmer (10-80)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- UD12 Stefano Abatangelo (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Marcus Oliveira (UNR)
Since getting dominated in your title fight, fighting journeymen, and then taking two years off is the required resume for becoming a WBA Super Champion, Beibut Shumenov has now assumed that dubious title.  Braehmer will now fight prospect Marcus Oliveira for the “regular” title on December 14 in Neubrandenburg, Germany.
13) Karo Murat (1-1)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Cedric Agnew (1-29)
Last Fight: 4/12/2013- UD12 #14 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: Unknown
Agnew was approved by HBO as a potential November 30 opponent for Kovalev, but reportedly turned down the opportunity.
15) Edwin Rodriguez (1-16)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- TKO1 #16 Denis Grachev
Next Fight: 11/16/2013- vs. Champ Andre Ward (at SMW)
See Ward’s notes, above.
16) Lucian Bute (1-52)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 #16 Denis Grachev
Next Fight: 1/18/2014- vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Bute-Pascal has been pushed back to January 18.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (1-18)
Last Fight: 10/17/2013- TKO1 Raimonds Sniedze (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Eleider Alvarez (1-40)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- UD10 Edison Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/18/2013- vs. #6 SMW Thomas Oosthuizen
Alvarez is scheduled to fight Oosthuizen in January, but likely only if Oosthuizen gets past Maderna in November.
19) Enzo Maccarinelli (1-11)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- TKO11 Ovill McKenzie (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Maccarinelli has revitalized his career to an extent with the gutsy McKenzie win.
20) Denis Grachev (1-79)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (TKO1) vs. #13 SMW Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: Friday, in an intriguing all-Colombian battle in Cartagena, gatekeeper Fulgencio Zuniga will face journeyman Alejandro Berrio in a rematch of their 2012 battle, which Zuniga won via an upset 7th round knockout.
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