Heavyweight: 2014, Mar 31- Apr 6

Eddie Chambers took 6 rounds to stop his hapless Czech opponent on Saturday’s Boxnation undercard.  The opponent was so completely unqualified to be in the ring with anyone you’ve ever heard of that I have decided it’s unwarranted to glorify the matchmaking by even mentioning the guy’s name.

 

That being said, it gets Chambers back to activity at heavyweight after his ill-fated sojourn to cruiser.  His status, due to both time and the Mchunu loss, is significantly diminished compared to the #7 spot he abandoned last year.  He checks in at #20 this time around, pushing Malik Scott out of the rankings after just a one-week return.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (249-462-462)
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 (7-7-7)
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 (3-3-67)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
3) Alexander Povetkin (3-336-336)
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 (3-67-67)
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 (7-100-177)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO5 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Pulev’s April 5 opponent appeared to be set as journeyman Elijah McCall, but that fight is off according to McCall.  No word on the status of Pulev’s scheduled date.  Tune in next week to see how it shook out.
6) Dereck Chisora (7-122-185)
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 (2-2-201)
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.  He has called out Tyson Fury, though the timing for that is a bit odd.
8) Tomasz Adamek (2-206-206)
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 (2-54-201)
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 (2-11-11)
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 (2-57)
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 (2-30)
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 (2-49)
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 (3-31)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Alex Leapai (3-19)
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 (2-19)
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 (2-43)
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 (2-4)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Francesco Pianeta (2-3)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO2 Robert Teuber (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Eddie Chambers (1-1)
Last Fight: 3/29/2014- TKO6 Tomas Mrazek (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers still has enough credentials left over from his prior stint at heavyweight to be ranked- if only barely- after a failed foray into the division to the south.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Thursday
Luis Ortiz vs. Monte Barrett; Indio, California; FS1 (US)
Cuban native Ortiz is a very promising prospect who burst on the scene in 2010 with a win over high-level journeyman Zack Page in just his 4th pro fight.  Unfortunately, Page is still the best opponent he’s mixed it up with, and he’s given us all a lot of reasons to forget him over the last 2+ years, since his last fight against even a semi-serious opponent.  He’s back on the right track this week, taking on veteran Monte Barrett.  Barrett is probably the best opponent he’s faced at least since Page, and was borderline top-50 even after losing to Shane Cameron in July 2012.  On the other hand, this is the first fight since then for the 42 year-old Barrett, and he’s clearly best viewed more as a mid-level journeyman at the moment.

 

Gerald Washington vs. Skipp Scott; Indio, California; FS1 (US)
Washington is on my radar as a prospect.  I’ve got him in the top 35 unofficially based on his win over Sherman Williams, who was fresh off what easily could have been a draw against Robert Helenius.  That being said, he didn’t look particularly good in notching that win, and I would say I probably overrate him as compared to his actual skill.  He’s not a seasoned boxer, though, and probably does have room to improve.  If Washington is all hat and no cattle, Scott might just be a guy who can expose him.  He’s not necessarily anything special himself, but he’s coming off a win over Kertson Manswell- a garden variety journeyman, but a guy that can at least handle himself- and has shown good power, albeit against sub-par competition.  Manswell aside, he hasn’t faced anyone remotely worth mentioning, but for what it’s worth he is undefeated since a 4-round decision loss in his first career fight over 8 years ago.

 

Friday
#4 Steve Cunningham vs. Amir Mansour; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NBC Sports (US)
Cunningham is by a large margin the classier boxer in this one, and his resume speaks for itself.  Mansour is taking a significant step up, and this is by far the best opponent of the unbeaten 41 year-old’s abbreviated career.  If you’re looking for a case to be made for Mansour, here it is.  Mansour is a pure, clubbing puncher.  He will look to come after the naturally smaller Cunningham all night.  Cunningham showed in his last major fight against Fury that he can be worn down physically by a bigger man who imposes himself, and his chin looked shaky before his move up from cruiserweight.  It’s not a crazy thought to imagine Mansour landing a big shot here and there to take over the fight.  I’d call this one a lot more intriguing than your average top-5 versus top-25 match up.

 

Saturday
#5 Kubrat Pulev vs. TBA; Rostock, Germany; BoxNation (UK)
Pulev was reportedly scheduled to fight unknown journeyman Elijah McCall, but McCall denied that the fight will happen as of Monday.  I assume Pulev will still fight someone, but I can’t imagine it being anything but an easy stay-busy outing.
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