Cruiserweight: 2014, Feb 24- Mar 2

There were two notables in action on Friday, and a pair of fights to mention on Saturday, too.

 

Friday in Albany, two-loss Oklahoma prospect Eric Fields got an easy 6-round decision over 8-14 punching bag Rayford Johnson, who should probably be congratulated on lasting the full 6.  I don’t have a full account of the fight, but the scoring on boxrec would indicate that he did go down twice.

 

Old warhorse Glen Johnson continued what might be seen as his farewell tour by stopping very low-level journeyman Jaime Velasquez in the 4th of a scheduled 8 in Lincoln, Rhode Island.

 

One-loss English prospect Tony Conquest won handily on Saturday against Australian fringe contender Daniel Ammann, scoring by a wide margin the biggest win of his career.  Conquest showed himself to be a classy boxer, and was much more in control than he was in his other significant win against Wadi Camacho.  Ammann, for his part, was disappointing.  Holding his own early, he faded as time went on.  That is perhaps a surprise, since it was Conquest that was making his first appearance in a 12-round fight, while Ammann had more experience in that regard.  Ammann’s style was a doomed one.  He’s a big slow guy, and yet he fought in what you might describe as an athletic style, with his lead hand frequently below his waist.  He was way too easy to hit, especially as the fight wore on and his energy waned.

 

Maxell Taylor is not even a great journeyman at 168 where he belongs.  As a light heavyweight-ish cruiserweight, he’s even less of a threat.  Cuban prospect Umberto Savigne took him out in the first half of the second round.

 

Also, in a fight I missed initially, fortuitously named undefeated Australian cruiserweight Brad Pitt returned from an inexplicable 15-month spell of inactivity to brutally knock out much less proven undefeated Samoan Emosi Solitua inside a round.  Solitua actually had Pitt- who looked a bit out of sorts- very much on the back foot for the majority of the round, but as soon as Pitt established a little distance even for a moment, he planted, threw a blinding lead right hand, and followed it with a devastating left hook that had Solitua out before he hit the ground.

 

Conquest’s biggest win of his career has somewhat marginalized the effect of his upset knockout loss to the mediocre Neil Dawson.  He debuts at #18, and would have gone a spot or two higher if not for the aforementioned loss.  Garrett Wilson is bounced from the rankings, saving me the trouble of deciding whether to drop him for inactivity at the weight.  For the record, though, I intended to keep him ranked due to injury.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (31-212-212)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Lebedev-Jones II appears to be more or less a done deal for April 19 in Moscow.
2) Marco Huck (5-377-377)
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 (5-192-192)
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 (24-453-453)
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 (5-30-68)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
6) Firat Arslan (5-94-137)
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 (14-21-68)
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 (14-259-259)
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 (14-24-276)
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 (14-14-102)
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 (14-33)
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 (12-17)
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 (12-100)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- KO4 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Lukasz Janik (12-17)
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 (10-10)
Last Fight: 12/20/2013- W (DQ7*) vs. Steve Herelius (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Seferi originally expected to fight April 11,  then was in and then out of a May fight with Chakhkiev.  With the latter news, it’s unclear what his current status is.
16) Danie Venter (5-24)
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 (5-87)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Tony Conquest (1-1)
Last Fight: 2/22/2014- UD12 Daniel Ammann (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Conquest took the Commonwealth title against Ammann, and says he wants the British title next.  That would theoretically put him in with the winner of Jon-Lewis Dickinson and Neil Dawson, who knocked him out in 2012.
19) Krzysztof Glowacki (1-31)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glowacki is the top contender for the title held by Huck, but might never get that exact shot, since Huck is making noise about moving up.
20) Rakhim Chakhkiev (1-6)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- KO10 Giulian Ilie (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
After fights with Branco and Seferi fell through, Chakhkiev will now fight high level Finnish journeyman Juho Haapoja on March 15.
 

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Friday
Yunier Dorticos vs. Hamilton Ventura; San Diego, California; Off TV
It’s a battle of unbeatens in San Diego, and it would have made a good FNF main event.  Instead, we’ll have to hope someone posts it on Youtube.  Generally you’ll be well served to pick an unbeaten Cuban over an unbeaten Brazilian, so Dorticos has got to be the favorite.  Still, each man is the other’s best opponent to date, and both have claimed berths in the boxrec top 50.  Definitely an important, under the radar kind of fight.

 

Marcos Ahumada vs. Alejandro Valori; San Luis, Argentina; TyC Sports (Argentina)
Ahumada holds the psychological advantage in this trilogy bout.  About a year ago, Valori was gifted a dubious win when Ahumada was stopped by what appeared to be a very vicious head clash while clearly leading the fight.  He got revenge 9 weeks later, knocking Valori flat in 4.  But this time, the physical advantage may very well be in Valori’s favor.  The last two fights were contested much closer to the light heavyweight limit than the cruiserweight one, a weight that is much more comfortable for Ahumada, as Valori has campaigned as high as 260+.  This fight will be contested at or around 200, so we’ll see if Valori can use his natural size to his advantage.
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