Heavyweight: 2014, Mar 17-23

#18 Vyacheslav Glazkov on Saturday became the first guy, Vitali aside, to put together the technique, power, and resistance to freak arm injuries necessary to annihilate the undersized Tomasz Adamek, who came in at #4.  Glazkov brutally dominated the first 3/4 of the fight, busting the veteran Polish contender up and winning each of the first 9 rounds beyond any doubt.  Adamek did come back fairly strong to win probably two of the last three rounds as Glazkov faded, but by then it was all but in the books, given Adamek’s lack of serious heavyweight power.  Glazkov’s jab and right hand were both clicking on all cylinders, though he does need to include his pacing, conditioning, or both.  Adamek showed no defense at all for the first half of the fight.  It was an easy fight to score…either 119-109 or 118-110 for Glazkov.  NBC Sports’ unofficial judge Larry Hazzard- who is comically wrong in nearly 100% of the fights he’s scored for the network so far- had it a laughable 115-113 for Adamek.  They world doesn’t make enough liquor to explain a score like that.  The official ringsiders Julie Lederman (117-110), Kevin Morgan (117-111), and the normally excellent John Poturaj (116-112) did at least a little better, but hardly covered themselves in glory.  It was a one-sided beating overall.

 

Speaking of one-sided beating, #13 Deontay Wilder scored an all too quick and easy first round knockout over his friend and (on paper, at least) best career opponent #19 Malik Scott.  The punch that knocked Scott out didn’t even appear to land.  I follow Scott on Twitter, and he seems to be an excellent dude, but I can’t help but say that, at the very least, he didn’t seem fully committed to trying to win this fight.  By the halfway point of the first and only round, it was all over but the counting.

 

And in even less admirable action, Polish fringe prospect Andrzej Wawrzyk stopped fat 45 year-old has-been Frans Botha in 5.  I think it was shameful for Wawrzyk to accept the fight in the first place, since even though I’m not all that high on Wawrzyk, it looked more likely that he’d seriously hurt Botha than that Botha would be competitive.  Even more shamefully, it appears that the fight was indeed competitive, at least as long as it lasted.  One judge even had Botha up two points after 4, according to Boxrec.  This was for the Republic of Poland International Title, whatever the heck that nonsensical phrase means.

 

Glazkov is obviously the big winner here.  In one fight, he goes from being seen as the guy that got a gift against Malik Scott (an epitaph that would look even worse today than a week ago) to being one of less than a handful of contenders in the division to have beaten anyone as good as a #4 contender.  In doing so, he rockets all the way to #2.  This forces Povetkin down to #3 and Cunningham to #4.  Adamek falls back to #7.  The new blood forces everyone ranked #7-17 last week down one position, including Chris Arreola, who exits the top 10 after 27 successive weeks in.  Scott exits the top 20, though only barely, based on his embarrassingly impotent performance.  This allows Johnathon Banks to advance to #19, and Francesco Pianeta is promoted to the top 20 for the first time since he was forced out on July 25, 2011 due to the debut of Tyson Fury, who was fresh off his victory over Chisora.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (247-460-460)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. #15 Alex Leapai
Klitschko-Leapai appears to be finalized for April 26 in Germany.  He said recently that he wants to capture his brother’s old alphabet title, which would unify all the major titles for the first time since Lewis in 1999.  He would have to wait for someone else to pick it up first, as the silly alphabets don’t let current titlists fight for vacant titles.
1) Tyson Fury (5-5-5)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
Fury-Chisora has been made.  July 26, in Manchester.
2) Vyacheslav Glazkov (1-1-65)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
3) Alexander Povetkin (1-334-334)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBA has ordered Povetkin vs. Cuban prospect Luis Ortiz for their “regular” belt.  Naturally, Wlad is the “Super Champion.”  Povetkin had already held the “regular” belt since beating Chagaev, but apparently it became vacant when the Superchief…er…Super Champion…beat him.  Does that make Wlad the Super-Duper Champion?  If so, what fight are they going to stage for the “regular” Super Championship?  I should stop making fun, before I give them any more ideas.
4) Steve Cunningham (1-65-65)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD8 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/4/2014- vs. Amir Mansour (UNR)
Cunningham takes on unbeaten fringe contender Amir Mansour in Cunningham’s hometown of Philadelphia on April 4.
5) Kubrat Pulev (5-98-175)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO5 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Pulev was in talks with Chisora for an eliminator, but Chisora signed with Fury, instead.  Meanwhile, I have no idea if Pulev’s announced April 5 bout is still on or not.
6) Dereck Chisora (5-120-183)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Tomasz Adamek (1-204-204)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
I’d have to think Adamek would at least consider retirement after being brutalized for 12 rounds by a guy that had looked like he might top out around the top 15.
8) Odlanier Solis (1-52-199)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #13 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.
9) Carlos Takam (1-9-9)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam clearly beat #11 Perez, and is ranked accordingly.
10) Bermane Stiverne (1-39-55)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #11 Chris Arreola
ESPN has landed the fight- their biggest score in a while on that front.  May 10, location to be determined.
11) Chris Arreola (1-28)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #10 Bermane Stiverne
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
12) Deontay Wilder (1-47)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 #19 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
With the win over Scott, Wilder appears poised to fight the Stiverne-Arreola winner for an alphabet title and probably near-universal recognition as the best American heavyweight.
13) Tony Thompson (1-199)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #8 Odlanier Solis
Thompson is fighting Odlanier Solis on March 22.
14) Erkan Teper (1-29)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Alex Leapai (1-17)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Leapai-Klitschko is done for April 26 in Germany.
16) Robert Helenius (1-199)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sauerland has Helenius in mothballs, and he’s going to be removed next week unless he announces a fight.
17) Andy Ruiz (1-17)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ruiz passed up a proposed date in February, saying he wants to focus on weight loss so that his performances become more of a story than his physique.  He wants to be around or below 240.
18) Seth Mitchell (1-41)
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.
19) Johnathon Banks (1-2)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Francesco Pianeta (1-1)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO2 Robert Teuber (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Saturday
#8 Odlanier Solis vs. #13 Tony Thompson; Istanbul, Turkey; PolSat Sport (Poland)
This is a very interesting crossroads fight.  Solis has been taking the slow route to the top, if indeed that’s where he’s headed.  Considering his distinguished amateur background, he’s long been considering an underachiever, even as a top-10 contender.  Thompson is maybe best described as the ultimate gatekeeper.  I usually use gatekeeper here as shorthand for just about any non-prospect ranked between about 25-50.  Thompson is better described as a fringe contender or even contender by that standard, but he truly does keep the gate, twice stopping promising prospect David Price and testing the hell out of contender Kubrat Pulev in recent fights.  Solis is the younger man and probably has more technical and physical skills and talents at this point in his career, but you can never be sure of his conditioning, and Thompson is never to be overlooked.

 

Matias Vidondo vs. Alfredo Ruiz; Neuquen, Argentina; TV Unknown
Vidondo is a 37 year old gatekeeper and National Champion of Argentina, in addition to being a Neuquen native.  He meets a very non-descript opponent in low-level countryman Ruiz.  The Argentine title is on the line, but it’s really nothing more than a stay-busy fight for Vidondo from an international perspective.
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