Light Heavyweight: 2013, Nov 25- Dec 1

Saturday in Bamberg, Germany, a result that was quite conclusive on paper did surprisingly little to clarify the relative quality of the fighters involved.  Gatekeeper Eddy Gutknecht looked pretty good in the first couple rounds, appearing slightly but decisively sharper than fringe contender Dmitry Sukhotsky.  But with perhaps the first connected punch of round three, Sukhotsky caused a nearly Lebedev-level hematoma on the right eye of Gutknecht that, in very short order, had to make it impossible for him to see on that side.  Sukhotsky proceeded to dominate rounds 3 and 4, and the fight was stopped due to the damage before round 5.  So it’s a TKO win for Sukhotsky.  But did it prove his superiority conclusively?  I would submit that it did not.  When the two men were on equal footing, it was Gutknecht that had the better of the action.  Only from the point that Sukhotsky gained a physical advantage did he overtake his opponent.  The only questions are whether or not simply causing the cut should yield a TKO level benefit in terms of rankings evaluation, and whether or not Sukhotsky should get less, more, or the same credit for winning the second half of the short fight as he would have if he’d not caused the cut.  

 

I submit that causing cuts, while largely based on luck, does have a significant element of skill to it.  Still, it doesn’t reveal the quality of a boxer to the extent that a knockout win, or even a clear decision would.  I’m therefore going to treat these kinds of results on the following basis.  First, I’ll look at the scorecards, and for the purposes of evaluation, swing one round to the winner, and treat it as equivalent to a technical decision one round more in favor of that winner than the scorecards would merit otherwise.  In the case of a shutout that goes at least 6 full rounds, I will give it the same treatment as any other TKO.  In the case that the fight was a draw or worse for the winner (after factoring in the flipped round) at the time of the stoppage, I will treat it like a no contest.  But this is inconsistent with my recent treatment of Quillin-Rosado, since I had that fight a draw at the time of the stoppage, but treated it like a no contest anyway.  So to stay consistent with what I thought was the appropriate call in that instance, I will add the following “Quillin Proviso” to this precedent: if, in the context of the fight, it appears highly likely that the loser would go on to win but for the stoppage, I may at my discretion treat the fight as a no contest even if the scorecards don’t otherwise justify it.  Since the fight was even and Rosado was coming on like gangbusters even after being cut, I would count Quillin-Rosado as a qualifying fight.  In addition, if the fight doesn’t go at least 4 rounds, I reserve the right to treat it as anything between a no contest and a knockout, depending on the context of the action.

 

Peter Manfredo was in action on Friday night in Lincoln, Rhode Island, stopping low-to-mid level journeyman Richard Gingras in 8, at an apparent contract weight of 169.

 

So applying the new cuts policy, Sukhotsky’s win is akin to a close technical decision.  Nevertheless, it counts, and gives him the modest boost he needs to regain a ranking at #19 after a brief absence that began on October 28.  This forces Enzo Maccarinelli down to #20, and boots Denis Grachev from the ranks after 82 consecutive weeks in.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (64-64-64)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
When asked about a fight with Hopkins, Ward acknowledged that it’s one of only two fights that would get him on PPV (the other being Chavez), but said he would only fight Hopkins if the legend called him out.
1) Adonis Stevenson (25-25-25)
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 (64-390-390)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Karo Murat (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Ward’s notes, above.
3) Sergey Kovalev (24-45-45)
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 (24-391-391)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L(TKO1) vs. SMW #6 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Dawson is now a promotional free agent, and is looking to sign with a top promoter to start rebuilding after a rough year.
5) Andrzej Fonfara (15-15-72)
Last Fight: 8/16/2013- KO9 #6 Gabriel Campillo
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. Samuel Miller (UNR)
Fonfara will return on December 6, on the Chicago undercard of Wlodarczyk-Fragomeni III.
6) Tony Bellew (15-111-111)
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 (15-179-179)
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 (15-222-222)
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 (15-199-199)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (TKO4) vs. #3 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
Cleverly withdrew from his cruiserweight debut against Daniel Ammann with a back injury, on just 4 days notice.
10) Isaac Chilemba (15-35-95)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD8 Michael Gbenga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
11) Cornelius White (15-102)
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 (14-84)
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 (5-5)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Cedric Agnew (5-33)
Last Fight: 4/12/2013- UD12 #14 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: Unknown
Agnew has been ordered to defend his regional title against fringe contender Anatoliy Dudchenko.
15) Edwin Rodriguez (5-20)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez came in two pounds overweight for the Ward fight, and couldn’t put it to much use.
16) Lucian Bute (5-56)
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 (5-22)
Last Fight: 10/17/2013- TKO1 Raimonds Sniedze (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Eleider Alvarez (5-44)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- UD10 Edison Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/18/2013- vs. #6 SMW Thomas Oosthuizen
Alvarez is tentatively scheduled to fight Oosthuizen in January, and I have no new information to suggest whether or not Oosthuizen’s shaky performance and bad cut against Maderna will affect that.
19) Dmitry Sukhotsky (1-1)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO5 Eduard Gutknecht (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
As conclusive as the Sukhotsky-Gutknecht result looks on paper, I’d actually like to see a rematch, since Gutknecht was having the better of it before his eye began to balloon.
20) Enzo Maccarinelli (1-15)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- TKO11 Ovill McKenzie (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/7/2013- vs. Courtney Fry (UNR)
Maccarinelli is back on December 7 against mid-level journeyman Courtney Fry of Liverpool.

 

The Week Ahead: It’s a busy week, front to back.

 

Tuesday: Undefeated South African Ryno Liebenberg meets very low-level Ghanaian journeyman Daniel Adotey Allotey in Kempton Park, South Africa.

 

On the FS1-televised Tarver undercard later that night, gatekeeper Yusaf Mack looks for his first worthwhile win in nearly 3 years when he takes on undefeated DC-area prospect Thomas Williams in Sunrise, Florida.

 

Saturday: The best fighters in the division are on full display in Quebec City.  #1 Adonis Stevenson gets a very credible test from #6 Tony Bellew of England in the HBO main event, while #3 Sergey Kovalev has a different and, honestly, lesser challenge on his hands in the very fast and slick, but also very chinny Ismayl Sillakh of the Ukraine.  Sillakh’s resume puts him roughly on the borderline of the top 25, but to the best of my knowledge he hasn’t made 175 since his upset stoppage loss to Denis Grachev in April, 2012, opting to fight low-level opposition at cruiserweight, instead.  
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