Cruiserweight: 2013, Dec 9-15

On Friday in Chicago, #4 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk took bragging rights in his trilogy with the now 44 year-old #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni, arguably winning every round before the fight was stopped by the ring doctor between rounds 6 and 7 due to a cut, and knocking the Italian down in round 4 for good measure.

 

As much as I think Fragomeni is clearly not a top 10 fighter anymore, I can’t objectively justify dropping him.  He’s got the 2009 draw with Wlodarczyk that still counts more than Branco’s win over gatekeeper Haapoja, and the rest of Branco’s relevant resume cancels out with Fragomeni’s, since at cruiserweight it consists exclusively of inconclusive results in fights against Fragomeni.  Fragomeni’s losses (including this one) are at a high enough level to not really alter that.  Huck’s resume still overwhelms Wlodarczyk’s, so there is no change there.

 

Alexander Alekseev announced his retirement, as he will now transition into a position as a promoter.  Supposedly, he would have made the same decision even if he had won a title against Hernandez.  He is therefore removed, allowing everyone ranked #13 and below last week to move up, and opening a spot at #20 for Garrett Wilson.  This proves once and for all how shallow this division has become.  I searched high and low for a contender to take the spot.  I even considered installing William Souza Bezerra despite my position that his fights are most likely fake.  Wilson gets in largely based on a loss- that I scored a draw- against Alekseev, himself.  

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (20-201-201)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The rematch with Jones, according to Lebedev’s promoter, is all but done for mid-March in Moscow.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (65-181-181)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez still seems a little vulnerable, needing his power to bail him out a little against Alekseev.
3) Marco Huck (13-366-366)
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 (13-442-442)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk had a relatively easy time in his third fight with Fragomeni, and is interested in Huck, Hernandez, Afolabi, Drozd, and Chakhkiev for his next fight.
5) Firat Arslan (13-83-126)
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 (13-19-57)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/24/2013- vs. #20 Garrett Wilson
Mchunu will be back on an NBC Sports card on January 24 against Garrett Wilson.
7) Grigory Drozd (3-10-57)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- TKO11 #13 Mateusz Masternak
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Drozd will defend his European title in March against solid French journeyman Jeremy Ouanna, though Wlodarczyk’s team seems to think they might get Drozd in their next fight.
8) Ola Afolabi (3-248-248)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi needed a gift to squeak by Janik, and is on Wlodarczyk’s short list for the Pole’s next fight.
9) Giacobbe Fragomeni (3-13-265)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- L (TKO6) vs. #4 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
I really hope that Fragomeni will call it a career.  
10) Silvio Branco (3-91)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- W (TD10) vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I’ve heard unconfirmed reports that Russian prospect Chakhkiev wants a fight with Branco.
11) Ilunga Makabu (3-22)
Last Fight: 8/31/2013- TKO5 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. Pawel Kolodziej (UNR)
Makabu is set to fight undefeated Polish prospect Pawel Kolodziej in Monaco for an interim alphabet belt on February 1.
12) Santander Silgado (1-6)
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.
13) Mateusz Masternak (1-89)
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.
14) Lukasz Janik (1-6)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik would like a well-deserved rematch with Afolabi.
15) Enad Licina (1-181)
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.
16) Danie Venter (1-13)
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.
17) Dmytro Kucher (1-76)
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.
18) Krzysztof Glowacki (1-20)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- TKO3 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Glowacki is keeping very busy, and will fight on December 14 in Poland, less than 2 months after his previous fight.  He will be fighting Varol Vekiloglu, a late replacement.
19) Rakhim Chakhkiev (1-3)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- KO10 Giulian Ilie (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Garrett Wilson (1-1)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD10) vs. #18 HW Vyacheslav Glazkov (at HW)
Next Fight: 1/24/2014- vs. #6 Thabiso Mchunu
Wilson is not really a top-20 caliber performer, but I’m being forced to scrape the bottom of the barrel in a shallow division.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Friday
Alejandro Valori vs. Ruben Ponce; San Isidro, Argentina; Off-TV
Strictly a stay-busy fight, with gatekeeper Valori set to beat up on Ruben Ponce, a journeyman (to put it charitably) with a 2-8 record that Valori has already beaten twice.

 

Saturday
#19 Krzysztof Glowacki vs. Varol Vekiloglu; Walcz, Poland; Polsat Sport (Poland)
Glowacki is an undefeated prospect with crushing power.  Vekiloglu, a German Turk, is nothing special, really, but did gain a bit of respect in his last fight by unexpectedly going this distance with Firat Arslan.  This is really a pretty straightforward test of Glowacki’s vaunted reputation as a finisher, although Vekiloglu is not an unbreakable rock historically, having been stopped by the likes of Konstantin Airich and Nenad Borovcanin prior to the Arslan effort.
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