Heavyweight: 2013, Dec 2-8

Czech journeyman Ondrej Pala was actually having a fair amount of success in London against #5 Dereck Chisora on Saturday, visibly bothering Chisora with clean straight shots from the outside.  But it could only last so long.  Chisora kept the pressure up, intelligently utilizing the double jab to get in, landing power shots to shake Pala up, and then stopping him in the 3rd when Pala turned his back in the corner after a combination.  

 

Tuesday night in Sunrise, Florida, Antonio Tarver began a comeback attempt at a very advanced age after nearly 18 months of steroid-related inactivity. He didn’t look that great, but got a great result anyway.  He looked generally sluggish and his knees looked stiff, but yet he had probably won all three rounds when the first was stopped before the 4th.  Tarver began the three-knockdown onslaught that ended the fight when he caught Sheppard on the end of a perfectly timed, perfectly placed uppercut from the outside.

 

And Monday in Tokyo, one-loss prospect Kyotaro Fujimoto won a surprisingly close unanimous decision  over 9-8 journeyman Kotatsu Takehara, defending his Japanese title, but winning by just a one-round margin on one card, and three points on a second.  This probably indicates that he’s significantly overrated by his inclusion in Boxrec’s top 50.

 

No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (232-445-445)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
While the order is unclear at least to me, Klitschko’s current mandatory obligations include Alex Leapai and Kubrat Pulev.  In the WBA, it looks like the spot would be filled by an eliminator at some point, either between Povetkin and Luis Ortiz, or whatever other fighters in their rankings would be available.  The technically retired Tyson Fury also called Wlad out right before his retirement. 
1) Alexander Povetkin (2-319-319)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin is calling for a rematch.  He would probably need to become the WBA mandatory by winning an eliminator (possibly against Luis Ortiz) in order to get that shot.  His promotional ties expire at the end of the year, and he says he’ll announce his next move in early 2014.
2) Steve Cunningham (2-50-50)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- L (KO7) vs. #6 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Cunningham will appear on a December 14 card in Atlantic City.
3) Tomasz Adamek (2-189-189)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kathy Duva, who promotes both fighters, says she will reschedule the cancelled Adamek-Glazkov fight.  Adamek shot down rumors that he wants to fight Bryant Jennings in January, saying he’s fighting Glazkov in March.
4) Kubrat Pulev (2-83-160)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- UD12 #11 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Sherman Williams (UNR)
The reported match with Ondrej Pala was always a tenuous proposition.  Pulev will now be fighting Sherman Williams on December 14, instead.
5) Dereck Chisora (2-105-168)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO3 Ondrej Pala (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chisora looks likely to return in February, and David Price and Tyson Fury are apparently in the running.
6) Odlanier Solis (2-37-184)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis was briefly set to fight Kevin Johnson on November 26, but quickly withdrew due to an IBF mandate that he fight Carlos Takam, instead.  Reportedly that fight will now happen in January, though it’s not finalized yet.
7) Bermane Stiverne (2-24-40)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne is currently fighting his promoter Don King, in court, for the right to possibly fight Vitali in February.  But Klitschko has been given until December 15 to decide what he wants to do with his alphabet title, so the situation is very unclear at present.
8) Chris Arreola (2-13-13)
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.  Fury has also named him as someone he’d like to replace David Haye with for February 8.
9) Tony Thompson (2-3-184)
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.
10) Erkan Teper (2-2-14)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper might have scored the heavyweight knockout of the year, and probably retired Martin Rogan in the process.
11) Mike Perez (2-5)
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.
12) Deontay Wilder (2-32)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO4 Nicolai Firtha (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
In the immediate aftermath of the Haye-Fury fallout, Wilder apparently agreed verbally to fight Fury on February 8.  But a couple days later, Wilder’s promoter revealed that Fury’s management wasn’t returning phone calls, and Fury announced his retirement around that same time.  The fight looks dead.
13) Alex Leapai (2-2)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov
Next Fight: Unknown
Leapai, in Rocky-like fashion, now stands as one of Wlad’s two mandatory challengers, and should get his shot in the early part of 2014.
14) Robert Helenius (3-184)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
If there was a fatal rift between Helenius and Sauerland, it appears to have been quietly repaired, as Helenius’ team now claims there is no plan to buy out his contract.  Helenius is reportedly back in fighting condition after a wrist injury in his last fight, and intends to return in early 2014.
15) Andy Ruiz (2-2)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ruiz has called out Tyson Fury, whose team says he’s out until at least March.
16) Seth Mitchell (3-26)
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.
17) Alexander Dimitrenko (2-151)
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.
18) Vyacheslav Glazkov (2-50)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Adamek’s notes, above.
19) Malik Scott (2-41)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- L (KO6*) vs. #8 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott is getting serious buzz for a fight with Wilder.
20) Johnathon Banks (2-55)
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: Fringe contender Francesco Pianeta sees the inside of a ring for the first time since his TKO loss to Wladimir Klitschko in May on Friday, testing untested German undefeated prospect Robert Teuber in Brandenburg.

 

The same night in Santa Ynez, California, former cruiserweight contender Lateef Kayode returns from 18 months’ inactivity, and debuts at heavyweight against low-level journeyman Travis Fulton.

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