Heavyweight: 2014, Mar 24-30

#8 Odlanier Solis took on the toughest challenge of his career in Turkey on Saturday, meeting #13 Tony Thompson, who is renowned for derailing the promising.  It was a tight fight, with Thompson eeking out a split decision at 115-113 (x2), 112-116.  While I confess to liking Thompson personally and professionally quite a bit, and having no strong opinion one way or the other regarding Solis, I must say that I think the wrong man won.  My scorecard was the same as Juergen Langos’ 116-112.  I did see three very close rounds late in the fight, all of which I gave Solis based on his greater aggression.  By flipping all of those the other way, I could reach the 115-113 cards of Predrag Aleksic and Ian John-Lewis.  I therefore can’t speak too ill of them in this instance, though I do think they missed the sliver of difference that should have swung the fight to Solis.  As always in these cases, I afford the official verdict minimal deference.

 

This result, whatever I think of it, causes Thompson’s stock to rise to the tune of #7.  Adamek backtracks to #8 as a result.  Solis falls to #9- only far enough to accommodate Thompson’s rise.  Takam slips to #10.  Stiverne exits the top 10 after 39 consecutive weeks.  Arreola recedes to #12, and Wilder to #13.  Meanwhile, #16 Robert Helenius is removed for inactivity, and everyone ranked #17 and below last week advances.  Malik Scott- recently bounced by his loss to Wilder- takes the vacancy.

 

In other, less momentous news, 37 year-old Argentine champion and gatekeeper Matias Vidondo, though painfully slow and flabby, was able to impose his size, will, and heavy-handedness on the much smaller Alfredo Ruiz, whom he knocked out with a body shot deep into a sustained barrage in the 2nd, defending his national title in the process.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (248-461-461)
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 (6-6-6)
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.  The winner will become one of Wlad’s mandatories.
2) Vyacheslav Glazkov (2-2-66)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
3) Alexander Povetkin (2-335-335)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 6/1/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
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 (2-66-66)
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 (6-99-176)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO5 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Pulev’s April 5 fight in Rostock is still on, and Pulev recently voiced annoyance at not having an opponent yet.
6) Dereck Chisora (6-121-184)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Tony Thompson (1-1-200)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- W* (SD12) vs. #8 Odlanier Solis
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson has been on a pretty decent run in the past couple years, and he might be at his highest point since his first fight with Wlad after getting a questionable win in a very close fight with Solis.
8) Tomasz Adamek (1-205-205)
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.
9) Odlanier Solis (1-53-200)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
The Solis haters are out in force, claiming a clear loss in a fight that Solis deserved to win.  You might not like his physique or his training habits or his style, but if he outfights the other guy, he still deserves to be respected as a winner at least as much as a disappointment.  A loss to Thompson is not that embarrassing, especially when you ought to have won it.
10) Carlos Takam (1-10-10)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam has been called in to spar with Tyson Fury.  Good call.  He’s about as close to Chisora as you can get.
11) Bermane Stiverne (1-56)
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 in Los Angeles.
12) Chris Arreola (1-29)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #10 Bermane Stiverne
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
13) Deontay Wilder (1-48)
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.
14) Erkan Teper (2-30)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Alex Leapai (2-18)
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) Andy Ruiz (1-18)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Ruiz is penciled in for the Marquez-Alvarado undercard on May 10 in LA.
17) Seth Mitchell (1-42)
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.
18) Johnathon Banks (1-3)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Francesco Pianeta (1-2)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO2 Robert Teuber (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Malik Scott (1-1)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (KO1) vs. #13 Deontay Wilder
Next Fight: Unknown
Many are questioning Scott’s honesty following a fishy-looking knockout loss to Wilder.  At the very least, you’ve gotta question his chin.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Saturday
Eddie Chambers vs. TBA; Newcastle, England; BoxNation (UK)
Chambers makes his return to heavyweight after a failed foray a division to the south.  No opponent yet, so it obviously won’t be anybody special.  Even so, Chambers will probably get a ranking here based on his past performance if the fight does come off.
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