Cruiserweight: 2014, Feb 17-23

Saturday in Dublin, one-loss Congolese prospect Youri Kalenga scored a TKO win over veteran Argentine gatekeeper Cesar Crenz, with the referee David Irving stopping the fight- quite prematurely- without a count.  Despite the impressiveness of the technical result, I must say that I can see how Kalenga could lose to a semi-serious opponent like sub-.500 journeyman Arturs Kulikauskis, which he did last year.  Kalenga is crude as all get-out, loading up and looking to land wide, swinging left hooks and equally wide right hands.  He throws these with all his weight and might, and in doing so, he telegraphs them as much as virtually any fighter you’ve ever seen.  He also throws himself off balance.  Crenz was just lax enough on defense to get caught with them, compounded by the fact that his lateral movement left plenty to be desired, which led to him getting caught on the ropes at the end of some of these shots.  He can clearly change the course of a round or a fight by landing one of these all-or-nothing bombs, but if he fails to land any cleanly, he’s got virtually no chance to win a round.


Across the pond in Mississauga, Ontario, undefeated local prospect Denton Daley dominated, winning every round on every card against Pennsylvania journeyman Andres Taylor.


The aforementioned Kulikauskis loss still weights Kalenga down enough to prevent his debut in the top 20.  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 (30-211-211)
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 (4-376-376)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: 5/3/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Sauerland says Huck will return on May 3, and then likely move up to heavyweight.
3) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (4-191-191)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. Pawel Kolodziej (UNR)
Hernandez’s scheduled March 29 fight with Kolodziej has been postponed to March 29 due to a viral infection to Hernandez.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (23-452-452)
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 (4-29-67)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
6) Firat Arslan (4-93-136)
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 (13-20-67)
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 (13-258-258)
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 (13-23-275)
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 (13-13-101)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- W (TD10) vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
According to Rakhim Chakhkiev’s team, Branco never responded to their offer for a March 15 fight, and Chakhkiev may instead fight Seferi.
11) Ilunga Makabu (13-32)
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 (11-16)
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 (11-99)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- KO4 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Lukasz Janik (11-16)
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 (9-9)
Last Fight: 12/20/2013- W (DQ7*) vs. Steve Herelius (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Seferi originally expected to fight April 11, but reports suggest he’s now being considered for a March 15 bout with Rakhim Chakhkiev.
16) Danie Venter (4-23)
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 (4-86)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Krzysztof Glowacki (4-30)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glowacki is seriously interested in fighting Francisco Palacios. 
19) Rakhim Chakhkiev (4-5)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- KO10 Giulian Ilie (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chakhkiev was expected to fight Silvio Branco on March 15, but with Branco reportedly not interested, it looks like Nuri Seferi is now likely for that date.
20) Garrett Wilson (4-4)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD10) vs. #18 HW Vyacheslav Glazkov (at HW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wilson is subject to removal next week, when his last fight as a cruiserweight becomes a year old.  That being said, he was recently forced to pull out of a cruiserweight fight with Mchunu due to injury, so I’ll most likely give him some time for recovery.  It doesn’t hurt that he came in at only 204 for a heavyweight fight with Glazkov in the interim, meaning he was only a very modest water drain or a couple meals away from making 200, completely unnecessarily, for that fight.


Eric Fields vs. Rayford Johnson; Albany, New York; Off TV
Fields is a 2-loss prospect from Oklahoma whose two losses both came to pretty good fighters in Makabu and Afolabi.  Johnson is no match for him.  He’s an 8-14 punching bag.


Glen Johnson vs. Jaime Velasquez; Lincoln, Rhode Island; Off TV
Johnson, now 45, is in the twilight of his career, and has yet to make any real noise at cruiser.  He could be 60 years old and still handle Velasquez, who is a very low-level journeyman.


Tony Conquest vs. Daniel Ammann; London, England; BoxNation (UK)
Conquest is a one-loss British prospect.  His crowning achievement was edging out fellow prospect Wadi Camacho last year, but his status is significantly hindered by his late-2012 first round KO loss to middling prospect Neil Dawson, who has since failed to impress.  Australia’s Ammann is what passes for a fringe contender in this rather shallow division, having beaten gatekeeper Anthony McCracken in his last really significant action back in 2012.  Before that, he was saddled with three losses against decent opposition in Brad Pitt, Shane Cameron, and Alexander Alekseev.  The winner probably claims a ranking next week.  


Umberto Savigne vs. Maxell Taylor; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Off TV
Savigne is a fairly promising light heavyweight prospect staying busy over the limit.  Taylor is a fairly low-level journeyman from Baltimore and/or D.C.  He’s been in with Don George and Maxim Vlasov, but was stopped by both.

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