Cruiserweight: 2014, Feb 3-9

Three notables were in action last week, but none of them were really much to look at.  


I’ll start with Saturday’s Monte Carlo meeting between #11 Ilunga Makabu and Argentina’s Ruben Angel Mino.  This fight is the one that was the most interesting of the week, if only because we didn’t know for sure that the opponent sucked.  But as it turned out, the opponent sucked.  Mino came in with a glossy 20-0 record with 20 KOs against frankly pathetic opposition.  Makabu started slowly, barely doing anything in the first before dropping the visibly overweight Mino twice in the second.  Referee Daniel Van De Wiele stopped the fight immediately upon the second knockdown, despite the fact that it looked to be a flash knockdown.  


In Saturday’s other mentionable fight, in Fredrikshavn, Denmark, #13 Mateusz Masternak made fairly short work of veteran Georgian journeyman Sandro Siproshvili, who has been in with many of the best fighters at 200 and 175, but seldom gives them much trouble.  Masternak won by clean knockout late in round 4, after having taken the first 3 unanimously.


In Friday action, Argentine gatekeeper Victor Ramirez dropped 40 year-old journeyman Danny Santiago in the 3rd before stopping him midway through the 4th.  No big deal there, either.  Santiago was never so much as a top 50 fighter in the division, and is a good 7 years off his peak.  


No changes this week.


Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (28-209-209)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Lebedev-Jones II will soon be announced for an April date.
2) Marco Huck (2-374-374)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: Unknown
For Huck, it’s been all about redemption of late, with two results that were, at best, inconclusive being put to rest with clear wins against Afolabi and now Arslan.  I suppose I’m dreaming when I hope that a Lebedev rematch might not be far behind.  The top two contenders for Huck’s alphabet belt, Arslan aside, are Krzysztof Glowacki and, ridiculously, Vikapita Meroro.  He’s renewed his long-standing challenge to Wladimir Klitschko, and so might be looking to move back up to heavyweight, instead.
3) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (2-189-189)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: 3/8/2014- vs. Pawel Kolodziej (UNR)
Hernandez’s March 8 opponent is Pawel Kolodziej, an undefeated Polish prospect who would probably have been ranked here frequently if he ever bothered to make 200.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (21-450-450)
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.  More recently, he’s being openly pursued by Mchunu.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (2-27-65)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
6) Firat Arslan (2-91-134)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #3 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Having visibly regressed since his excellent first effort against Huck, it might be time for the 43 year-old Arslan to consider retirement.
7) Grigory Drozd (11-18-65)
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 (11-256-256)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
An alphabet eliminator has been ordered between Afolabi and unbeaten but unproven Italian prospect Mirko Larghetti.
9) Giacobbe Fragomeni (11-21-273)
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 (11-11-99)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- W (TD10) vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Branco has been tabbed by the WBC to fight Chakhkiev for some silly color coded title belt, with March 15 reportedly in play.
11) Ilunga Makabu (11-30)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO2 Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Makabu will no doubt look for a big fight after his last one was changed into a stay-busy outing without his consent.
12) Santander Silgado (9-14)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: Unknown
Silgado is being slammed by his own manager after he declined an arranged fight with Thabiso Mchunu.
13) Mateusz Masternak (9-97)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- KO4 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Lukasz Janik (9-14)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik would like a well-deserved rematch with Afolabi.
15) Nuri Seferi (7-7)
Last Fight: 12/20/2013- W (DQ7*) vs. Steve Herelius (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/11/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Seferi will be among the headliners- against an unknown opponent- on April 11 on a show billed, a bit oddly, as “Evil Fight Night” in Hamburg.
16) Danie Venter (2-21)
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 (2-84)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Krzysztof Glowacki (2-28)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glowacki is seriously interested in fighting Francisco Palacios. 
19) Rakhim Chakhkiev (2-3)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- KO10 Giulian Ilie (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Branco’s notes, above.
20) Garrett Wilson (2-2)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD10) vs. #18 HW Vyacheslav Glazkov (at HW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wilson was originally scheduled to fight Mchunu instead of Durodola.  His tenuous foothold in the rankings may be short-lived, as his last fight at or below 200 was on February 22, which means he could be removed for that reason in less than a month.


THE WEEK AHEAD: This week amounts to an Olympic break.

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