Heavyweight: 2013, Dec 16-22

Friday in Flemington, Australia, aging Australian prospect Lucas Browne destroyed low-level journeyman Clarence Tillman in the second round of  a fairly inexplicable and pointless stay-busy outing.  

 

The following night, another aging prospect- Amir Mansour- dominated a fun fight with tall, skinny one-loss prospect Kelvin Price.  Mansour won every round, and dropped Price one each in rounds five and seven before the doctor stopped the fight in the eighth.  

 

Rugged American journeyman Brian Minto sprung a minor upset on Kiwi gatekeeper Shane Cameron in the latter’s hometown of Auckland earlier that night, returning to the form he found in his recent impressive Prizefighter outing and punishing Cameron for seven rounds before the corner called a stop to it.  Minto was subtly dirty, using his elbow and head liberally, but never to the extent that he was at risk of a DQ, despite losing two points.  Partially due to this, and partially due to the work he did with his hands, Cameron was a bit of a tattered man when he was stopped.

 

Meanwhile, in Neubrandenburg, Germany, #4 Kubrat Pulev was dropped for the 1st time in his career (not hard) by American brawler Joey Abell, but managed to throw in 4 knockdowns of his own, including three in the action-packed round in which he fell himself.  Pulev didn’t really seem prepared for a tough challenge, having lost the first two rounds on my card.  He nevertheless had secured an advantage by the time he stopped his man at the start of the 5th, and was particularly impressive to the body.  He hurt Abell to the body almost every time he went there.

 

On the non-televised Mansour-Price undercard (don’t ask me why), #2 Steve Cunningham won a dominant 8-round decision over inactive former gatekeeper Manuel Quezada.

 

Minto’s win is the most significant win of the week, but it doesn’t really come close to affecting the top 20.  No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (234-447-447)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Klitschko is in talks to fight his mandatory, Alex Leapai.
1) Alexander Povetkin (4-321-321)
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 (4-52-52)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD8 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham had little trouble dominating a fading former gatekeeper in Quezada.
3) Tomasz Adamek (4-191-191)
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 (4-85-162)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO5 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev was dropped (lightly) for the first time in his career, and seems to have taken Abell lightly in general.  Nevertheless, he finished it off with an impressive stoppage.
5) Dereck Chisora (4-107-170)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO3 Ondrej Pala (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/15/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chisora returns on February 15, with an opponent as yet unannounced.
6) Odlanier Solis (4-39-186)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #9 Tony Thompson
Solis was first set to fight Kevin Johnson.  But he backed out because the IBF wanted him to fight Takam.  But now word from Tony Thompson is that Solis will fight Thompson, instead, on March 22.
7) Bermane Stiverne (4-26-42)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
If Stiverne can get clear of his legal problems regarding his Don King contract, he figures to fight either Chris Arreola or Deontay Wilder for the alphabet title vacated by Vitali Klitschko.
8) Chris Arreola (4-15-15)
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.  Fury has also named him as someone he’d like to replace David Haye with for February 8.
9) Tony Thompson (4-5-186)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson says he’s fighting Odlanier Solis on March 22.
10) Erkan Teper (4-4-16)
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 (4-7)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- UD10 Magomed Abdusalamov (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/18/2014- vs. Carlos Takam (UNR)
With Solis-Takam falling through, Takam will now be offered up to Perez, instead, on the Pascal-Bute undercard on January 18 in Montreal.
12) Deontay Wilder (4-34)
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.  Now Wilder says his first choice would be to fight for Vitali’s vacated title.
13) Alex Leapai (4-4)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov
Next Fight: Unknown
Leapai and Wlad are beginning negotiations for a mandatory fight.
14) Robert Helenius (5-186)
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 (4-4)
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 (5-28)
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 (4-153)
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 (4-52)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Adamek’s notes, above.
19) Malik Scott (4-43)
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 (4-57)
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: 
Friday
Christian Hammer vs. Kevin Johnson; Hamburg, Germany; Eurosport
Romania’s Hammer and American Kevin Johnson are both top 50 gatekeepers.  I’d rank Hammer a bit higher.  Nevertheless, this is anybody’s fight, except to the extent Hammer has a hometown advantage in a potential decision, since he now calls Hamburg home.

 

Carlos Takam vs. Jakov Gospic; Fort-de-France, Martinique; Off-TV
33 year-old one-loss prospect Takam takes a low-profile tune-up in the Caribbean this week.  He might be in it more as a vacation than a serious fight, as Jakov Gospic is a rather low-level Croatian journeyman that has virtually no chance to trouble a top 50 fighter like Takam.
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