Heavyweight: 2013, Nov 4- 10

Okay so I’m behind in my rankings, and normally I like to just produce the posts in order as if they were being published on time, and as if in full ignorance of anything that had happened since.  But in this one isolated case, I will not do that, because I feel the topic is far too serious to play even unintended games with.  In the November 2 fight between Mike Perez and Magomed Abdusalamov, Abdusalomov absorbed such a terrific beating (while, to his credit, fighting back hard the whole way) that he suffered a blood clot and a stroke in the hour or so after the fight.  He was placed in a medically-induced coma, and appeared likely to die to varying degrees for weeks.  As I write this on December 29, he appears to be out of the woods to the extent that his long-term survival appears highly likely.  He was brought out of the coma a week or so ago (after an initial attempt had ended badly), and has been moved from the hospital to a rehab facility.  According to his promoter, as reported by Dan Rafael, he has lost a large amount of weight, and can’t walk or speak at this point, and some of the damage is believed to be permanent.  He will obviously never box again.  We can only hope he can progress to the point of leading a normal life from here- especially since he is married with three young daughters.

 

 Now to the more normal reporting.  The same night in Hull, Yorkshire, hard-hitting Australian slugger Lucas Browne, after a mutually cautious first few rounds, proceeded to bludgeon a gun-shy undefeated Brit named Richard Towers.  Both men had top-50 credentials going in.  Towers now looks every inch (80, if you’re counting) the pretender, while Browne remains a hot prospect, though at the fairly advanced age of  34.  Browne could not necessarily be accused of being sensational in his 5th-round TKO victory for the most part.  He was largely deliberate.  The 6’8″ Towers would not engage in any way.  His sole apparent goal was to make the fight as negative as possible.  But luckily for Browne and eventually the fans, the lanky Towers simply wasn’t physically strong enough to keep it up.  Browne looked for any opening in Towers’ passiveness- a lazy movement or a weak clinch.  He finally got it in the 5th round, as Towers failed to adequately lock up Browne’s arms in a clinch.  Browne caught him flush, and pummeled his opponent mercilessly.  Towers’ frame dangled at the waist over the top rope, at which point referee Steve Gray quite correctly ruled a technical knockdown.  Towers had little or no control over his legs by the count of 8, and the fight was waved off, with Towers hardly having thrown a hand in anger for 5 rounds.

 

In lesser action, former contender Juan Carlos Gomez returned for the first time in about 18 months, stopping low-level Bosnian journeyman Adnan Buharalija in Dachau, Bavaria.  Gomez, having weighed in at a mere half-pound over the cruiserweight limit, appears to be plotting his future at that weight.  As for the present division, the self-styled Black Panther is not eligible for even a re-examination of his ranking, as his most recent rankable win became more than 5 years old while he was away.

 

Perez, under tough circumstances, debuts at #13.  This forces everyone ranked #13 and below last week down a spot, and last week’s #20 Denis Boytsov is out, having been an inaugural member of my rankings, and a member of the Ring Top 10 before that.  Browne is still on the way up, but not there yet.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (228-441-441)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Klitschko intends to be back in March.  Denis Boytsov sounds like a candidate.
1Tyson Fury (9-120-120)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- KO7 #3 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: 2/8/2014- vs. #2 David Haye
Fury-Haye has been rescheduled for February 8.
2) David Haye (9-69-69)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 2/8/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
3) Alexander Povetkin (9-315-315)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin is calling for a rematch.  Wishful thinking, all the way.
4) Steve Cunningham (9-46-46)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- L (KO7) vs. #6 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham is now sparring with the man that knocked him out in April- Tyson Fury.
5Tomasz Adamek (9-185-185)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/16/2013- #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
With the Bryant Jennings proposal falling apart over money, Adamek will now be fighting Glazkov in one of NBC’s mid-afternoon telecasts.
6) Kubrat Pulev (9-79-156)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- UD12 #11 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev will now be at least one of Wlad’s mandatories after beating Thompson.  There is serious talk of him fighting Chisora for a European title in the mean time.
7) Dereck Chisora (9-101-164)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO5 Edmund Gerber (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/30/2013- vs. Matteo Modugno (UNR)
Chisora has switched November 30 opponents, and will no be facing unbeaten Italian Matteo Modugno.  It’s still too early in Modugno’s career to expect much from him at this level, though.
8) Odlanier Solis (9-33-180)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/26/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Solis will be fighting on the undercard for Antonio Tarver’s late November showcase in Florida.
9) Bermane Stiverne (9-20-36)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne said after being challenged to a rematch by Chris Arreola that he will wait on Klitschko and will not consider that fight.  There are powerful forces (Golden Boy) trying to match him with Wilder for Vitali’s title, as well.
10) Chris Arreola (9-9-9)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola may be a candidate for Wilder, or could fight for a vacant title in a rematch with Stiverne, should Vitali retire.
11) Tony Thompson (20-180)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson is now actively seeking a fight with Povetkin, Fury, Adamek, or Wilder.
12) Erkan Teper (9-10)
Last Fight: 8/31/2013- TKO1 Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/16/2013- vs. Martin Rogan (UNR)
Irish sources are reporting that Teper will be fighting Rogan in Germany in November.
13) Mike Perez (1-1)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- UD10 Magomed Abdusalamov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Perez will have to do what many great fighters have had to do in the past- get over the psychological difficulty of having beaten a man to within an inch of his life, just by doing his job.
14) Deontay Wilder (1-28)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO4 Nicolai Firtha (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wilder says he’ll be looking for a title shot in 2014, and has been called out by Tony Thompson recently.
15) Robert Helenius (1-180)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Helenius intends to sit out the rest of his Sauerland contract, which might only last until the end of 2013 (though that issue might be litigated), and is moving back to Finland.  There is also speculation in the air that the long-term prognosis on his hand injury is very poor, and it might very well end his career at anything but a local level.  On the other hand, Sauerland recently tweeted that Helenius will be back in December or January.  We’ll see.
16) Alexander Dimitrenko (1-147)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko is rumored at least to be fighting Sam Sexton in the first round of the WBC World Cup, but that tournament appears to be in limbo for the time being, at least.
17) Seth Mitchell (1-22)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- L (TKO1) vs. Chris Arreola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mitchell’s chin is so fragile that he might want to consider calling it a career.  Golden Boy’s CEO says he’s advised Mitchell to do just that, though he reports that Mitchell seems to have no such intention.
18) Vyacheslav Glazkov (1-46)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- TKO2 Byron Polley (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/16/2013- vs. #5 Tomasz Adamek
Glazkov will go from a non-TV tune-up directly to a NBC-televised afternoon showdown with Adamek.
19) Malik Scott (1-37)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- L (KO6*) vs. #8 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott was up at 9.5 and ready to go, but Phil Edwards called the fight off in an unfortunate SNAFU.  That being said, Chisora was coming on and I already had him ahead.  Scott probably would have gone on to lose anyway.
20) Johnathon Banks (1-51)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Banks apparently dinged his hands up pretty good in the Mitchell fight- an alternate explanation for those who, like me, thought his inexplicable failure to follow up on his early success was a bit suspicious.  He’s been doing physical therapy, and is about ready to get back in the ring.  He’d like a rematch with Mitchell, but unfortunately a trilogy probably isn’t of much benefit to the fragile young contender at this point.  He’s penciled-in for the second round of the WBC World Cup, against the winner of Sam Sexton and Alexander Dimitrenko, but as noted above, that whole tournament is delayed and in doubt.

 

 
THE WEEK AHEAD: On-again, off-again cruiserweight fringe contender Eric Fields takes what will likely be a temporary journey up to heavyweight this Saturday, when he meets lower-mid-level heavyweight journeyman Jonte Willis in Whitehall, New York.
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