Light Heavyweight: 2013, Dec 2-8

Last week’s marquee card was in Quebec City, where #1 Adonis Stevenson thumped a game but outgunned #6 Tony Bellew, showing that hit ’em and hurt ’em power that so few fighters possess.  Bellew hung in there admirably, even edging the first two rounds on my card, but the Haitian-Canadian bruiser increasingly walked the Liverpool fighter down as the rounds wore on, dropped him in the 6th during an exchange, and seconds later, rubberized Bellew’s legs with what for any other fighter would be a fairly ordinary southpaw left.  But Stevenson is not any other fighter.  If he hits you clean, you’re not gonna like it.  Credit to referee Michael Griffin for jumping in there just in time to save Bellew from becoming a tee ball.


In the co-main, #3 Sergey Kovalev didn’t feel like waiting around for 6 rounds.  He actually got schooled a little bit in the first round, as the much faster and more nimble Ismayl Sillakh boxed expertly for a good solid round.  But early in the second, after dancing around a bit, Sillakh got a little careless and leaned in to throw, but was beaten to the punch by a right hand right on the button from Kovalev, and he was still visibly shaken when the 8-count ended.  Kovalev didn’t wait for a further invitation.  As soon as the action resumed, the Russian charged in and blasted a helpless Sillakh more or less through the ropes to bring a swift end to proceedings.


Earlier that night in France, local gatekeeper Nadjib Mohammedi put a beating on Ukrainian peer Oleksandr Cherviak, in a manner reminiscent of Calzaghe vs. Lacy.  Cherviak- normally a dangerous challenge, having stopped undefeated Sauerland prospect Dustin Dirks in his last fight- looked clumsy, sluggish, somewhat disinterested, and a bit out of shape.  It was ugly.  And it almost got uglier.  Referee Giuseppe Quartarone- whom I’m more than happy to take another shot at, considering he was one of the crooks that robbed Chisora against Helenius- made a fool of himself, as usual.  After three rounds of non-stop bludgeoning, Mohammedi pinned Cherviak on the ropes and landed 4 unanswered vicious shots flush on the face, as a dazed Cherviak held Mohammedi’s other arm.  It was a crystal-clear moment to stop the fight.  Instead, Quartarone broke the action to warn Cherviak for holding.  Granted, he stopped it just seconds later when the Ukrainian’s corner threw in the towel, but that doesn’t excuse his complete disregard for Cherviak’s safety.


Tuesday night in Sunrise, Florida, another gatekeeper- Philly’s Yusaf Mack- failed to keep the gate on undefeated Thomas Williams, Jr. of Maryland.  Mack worked hard and looked like he came to try and win (unlike the Froch fight), and he generally held his own for the first half of the 10-rounder.  But Williams proved to be a very strong puncher who looks like he can box a little.  He did some very nice body work, and essentially beat the starch out of Mack by about round 5 or 6, by which time Mack’s strength had clearly waned.  It was a clear decision win for Williams.  Anything between a shutout and 97-93, with my score being 98-92.  Judge Roark Young agreed with me, while Richard Green and Alex Levin had it one round different in either direction (Levin also gave Williams a 10-8, presumably in the 9th).  


Least, but not last, unbeaten South African prospect Ryno Liebenberg finished off low-level Ghanaian journeyman Daniel Adotey Allotey at the Emperor’s Palace in Kempton Park in under a round, despite being outweighed by 11 pounds at the weigh-in.


Despite no less than 4 fights featuring exclusively top 50 fighters, there is no change to the top 20 this week, as the winning and losing fighters all merely confirmed their relative merit at that level, while Mohammedi and Williams still haven’t yet proven enough to advance that far.


Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (65-65-65)
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 (26-26-26)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO6 #6 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevenson-Kovalev is the obvious can’t-miss battle in the division.
2) Bernard Hopkins (65-391-391)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Karo Murat (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Ward’s notes, above.
3) Sergey Kovalev (25-46-46)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO2 Ismayl Sillakh (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stevenson’s notes, above.
4) Chad Dawson (25-392-392)
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.  He says he is interested in a Stevenson rematch.
5) Andrzej Fonfara (16-16-73)
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 (16-112-112)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- L (TKO6) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the greatest birthday present for Bellew- getting blasted by Stevenson.
7) Gabriel Campillo (16-180-180)
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 (16-223-223)
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 (16-200-200)
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 (16-36-96)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD8 Michael Gbenga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
11) Cornelius White (16-103)
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 (15-85)
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 (6-6)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Cedric Agnew (6-34)
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 (6-21)
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.  He will likely fight exclusively at 175 from now on.
16) Lucian Bute (6-57)
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 (6-23)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mohoumadi snuck in a low-level win on November 30, apparently at 168.
18) Eleider Alvarez (6-45)
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 (2-2)
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 (2-16)
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: Polish prospect Pawel Glazewski is in action for the first time since his loss to Hadillah Mohoumadi this Friday in his home country against low-level journeyman Andrei Salakhutdzinau.


Also on Friday, on the Wlodarczyk-Fragomeni undercard in Chicago, #5 Andrzej Fonfara stays busy against mid-level journeyman Samuel Miller.


Saturday features #20 Enzo Maccarinelli against his own mid-level journeyman, Liverpool’s Courtney Fry.

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