Cruiserweight: 2013, Nov 4-10

#20 Steve Herelius is now not only out of the rankings, but appears to be done as anything but the most basic measuring stick.  Herelius- who beat Firat Arslan a few years ago, but has been greatly outlasted in terms of career prospects by the much older Arslan, who appeared finished at that time.  Herelius lasted less than two rounds with Colombian one-loss prospect Santander Silgado.  As far as I can tell, no video is available of the fight- at least not internationally, having happened in Colombia.


#7 Ola Afolabi got a very very difficult night from one-loss prospect Lukasz Janik at Madison Square Garden Saturday.  Afolabi started very slow, dropping the first 4 rounds on my card (the first three for certain).  Janik seemed to get fatigued pretty rapidly in the 5th, as Afolabi came on strong and took the next three rounds (two for certain).  Janik got a second win in the 8th to just barely shade that frame, and easily won the 9th.  The two men traded the next two rounds in clear fashion, and the sloppy 12th could have gone either way.  Janik was so tired by then that he was largely just flailing, but he somehow remained somewhat effective in doing so, and got in a few decently hard shots.  In the end, I had it 115-113 for Janik.  I counted four toss-up rounds: the 4th, 7th, 8th, and 12th, and I happened to have scored two for each fighter.  If you were to see them all for Janik, he may have won by as much as 117-111.  If all for Afolabi, he could have just eeked out a victory at 115-113.  Judge Jerry Roth turned in a very respectable 114-114 draw.  Joseph Pasquale answered with a perhaps slanted, but mostly fair 115-113 for Afolabi.  Waleska Roldan embarrassed herself, the New York commission, and the sport at large by proposing that the fight was won by Afolabi 117-111.  Not a chance.  Without scanning her record intensely, I can say that Roldan is building a reputation, at least in my head, for really poor judgement at ringside.  Frankly, I consider New York and New Jersey judges as a whole to be pretty shaky.


As in all cases in which an objectively reasonable outcome with which I disagree is reached, I defer to the official winner to the extent that the unfortunate loser cannot eclipse him in the rankings.  In this case, that’s a convenient result, since an actual victory for Janik would have demanded that he be promoted well past Mateusz Masternak, who beat him by TKO a few years back.  Afolabi is perhaps lucky to only slump two places to #9, ahead of Giacobbe Fragomeni, whose recent results have been every bit as shaky as Afolabi’s, and who appears to be too old to really compete at the level he occupies.  Silgado’s best-ever victory leads to his debut at #14.  That forces Masternak down one to #15.  Janik- who deserves better, truly- gets throttled a bit by the official result and also by his loss to Masternak, but still makes a respectable debut at #16.  This forces last week’s #15 Enad Licina and everyone ranked below him down two spots, which ejects #19 Rakhim Chakhkiev after 6 weeks in.  Steve Herelius (#20 last week) obviously exits on his own merits.


Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (15-196-196)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Guillermo Jones has finally been stripped of the WBA belt he took from Lebedev, for PED use leading up to that fight.  Strangely, the WBA is now insisting on a rematch.  Apparently PEDs are just a minor technicality for that organization.  Since the WBA appears to be in Don King’s pocket, the result is not surprising, though.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (60-176-176)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: 11/23/2013- vs. #12 Alexander Alekseev
Hernandez will make his long-awaited return on November 23 in Germany against Alexander Alekseev.
3) Marco Huck (8-361-361)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- W (MD12) vs. #5 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 1/25/2014- vs. #5 Firat Arslan
Huck-Arslan II has a new date of January 25 after Huck suffered a hand injury.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (8-437-437)
Last Fight: 6/21/2013- TKO8 Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Wlodarczyk will see action in the US for the first time since 2005 on December 6, fighting a trilogy bout with the rapidly aging Italian Giacobbe Fragomeni in Chicago.
5) Firat Arslan (8-78-121)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/25/2014- vs. #3 Marco Huck
See Huck’s notes, above.

6) Thabiso Mchunu (8-14-52)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu recently signed a promotional deal with Main Events, the promoter of his recent victim Eddie Chambers.  This ensures that US fans will be seeing him on NBC Sports in 2014, if not earlier.
7) Danny Green (1-52-205)
Last Fight: 11/21/2012- UD12 Shane Cameron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Green has vacated his alphabet belt, and says essentially that only a really good opportunity would get him back between the ropes at this point.  Still…he stopped short of retiring.  He recently shrugged off a fairly frivolous proposal of a super middleweight fight with Anthony Mundine, though he later said he would fight him under certain conditions.
8) Grigory Drozd (1-5-52)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- TKO11 #13 Mateusz Masternak
Next Fight: Unknown
The first notable call-out of Drozd following his impressive victory over Masternak comes from Masternak’s countryman Krzysztof Glowacki.
9) Ola Afolabi (1-243-243)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi needed a gift to squeak by Janik.
10) Giacobbe Fragomeni (8-8-260)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- UD8 Toni Visic (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. #4 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
11) Silvio Branco (8-86)
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 (8-147)
Last Fight: 2/22/2013- UD12* Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/23/2013- vs. #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Alekseev gets a shot at Hernandez on November 23.
13) Ilunga Makabu (5-17)
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.
14) Santander Silgado (1-1)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: Unknown
Silgado may have caught a finished fighter at the right time in stopping Herelius, but in a fairly shallow division, that’s enough for now.
15) Mateusz Masternak (1-84)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (TKO11) vs. #16 Grigory Drozd
Next Fight: Unknown
Masternak is still a legitimate prospect despite his first loss, but can no longer lay claim to the status of “top prospect” after losing to Drozd.
16) Lukasz Janik (1-1)
Last Fight: L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
Deserved better than a loss against Afolabi.  He may be one to watch in the future.
17) Enad Licina (1-176)
Last Fight: 9/27/2013- TKO3 Levan Jomardashvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Licina needs a significant win before January, as his only relevant win in the last 5 years will become older than 5 years at that point, prompting his removal.
18) Danie Venter (1-8)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I must admit I wrote Venter off when he lost a bit of an upset to Mchunu last year, but Mchunu has proven to be something of a world beater since, and Venter’s overall resume is quietly starting to look pretty solid.
19) Dmytro Kucher (1-71)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher would like a rematch with Makabu, and has his sights set on Wlodarczyk down the road, as well.  He expects to be back against someone in November or December.
20) Krzysztof Glowacki (1-15)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- TKO3 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s not clear how much we can learn from Glowacki’s brutal destruction of a washed-up Hall, but he certainly looked good.


THE WEEK AHEAD: Undefeated Brazilian William Fernando Souza Bezerra is scheduled to fight in Sao Paolo on Saturday.  As I mention every time this is the case, I have serious doubts as to the legitimacy of his fights, and even as to whether many of them even happen.  If he’s legitimately beat all of his opponents in non-fixed, non-staged fights, he is at least borderline top-20.  His opponent is the unestimable Eduardo Rojas.

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