Cruiserweight: 2014, Mar 31- Apr 6

Thursday in Novorossiysk, Russia, undefeated and sensational Russian prospect Dmitry Kudryashov shined, as expected, against shopworn Czech journeyman Lubos Suda.  The ring appeared exceptionally large to my eyes, and the mostly gun-shy Suda was trying to milk it for all it was worth.  Kudryashov applied calm, methodical pressure constantly, but I feel I must point out that he really did a terrible job of cutting off the ring for the most part.  Even so, his all-offense onslaught had a used-up-looking Suda taking a knee in the first and going down thrice in the second before the referee had finally seen enough.  I could probably count the number of punches thrown by the Czech on one hand.  Kudryashov appears to have two of the most legitimately heavy hands in the sport, but my sense is that he needs to work on his footwork and ring generalship quite a bit to avoid being exposed by the first Steve Cunningham or Troy Ross-type boxer he runs into at a high level.


Two-loss English fringe prospect Jon-Lewis Dickinson retained his British title and won the Lonsdale Challenge Belt outright by defending for a third time, as he wore down fellow two-loss Brit Neil Dawson to a 10th round TKO.  The early rounds were very close for the most part, and although Dawson actually started having more sustained success somewhat late in the fight, the fact that he’d never been past the 6th round really proved pivotal.  After clearly winning the 6th (the only round I think he won clearly), Dawson faded noticeably, allowing a much quicker and more energetic Dickinson to start really picking him apart from the outside.  Dickinson then trapped him on the ropes and began mugging him in the 10th after hurting him with several unanswered potshots at center ring, and when an exhausted Dawson took a seat on the bottom rope, referee Phil Edwards correctly called a technical knockdown.  At the end of the mandatory 8-count, Dawson looked out on his feet, and the fight was correctly waved off.  It was a really nice win for Dickinson, and the most prestigious of his career by a rather wide margin.  I don’t think he’s a special talent by any means, but he’s a responsible boxer with good technique and conditioning, and I think any but the very top level guys in the division would at least have to work really hard to notch a victory against him.


Dickinson put himself on the map with his effort, but his two really bad stoppage losses from 2010 hold him back.  Chakhkiev, for example, is not in the rankings, owns a similar-quality win (from 2012), and has lost only at the very top level.  It would be absurd, then, to rank Dickinson right now.  One more good win like this, though, and it might be hard to deny him.  


Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (36-217-217)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/25/2014- vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Reports of a done deal for April 19 were premature…the real date for Lebedev-Jones II will be April 25, in Moscow.
2) Marco Huck (10-382-382)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck fractured his thumb in training, and his fight with Mirko Larghetti is off.
3) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (10-197-197)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez’s fight with Kolodziej- originally postponed- has now been cancelled due to an illness to Hernandez.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (29-458-458)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk probably won’t return until the fall, with Huck and Adamek being discussed as options.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (10-35-73)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
6) Firat Arslan (10-99-142)
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 (19-26-73)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Drozd made quick work of Ouanna, and will hopefully get a short at a top contender soon.
8) Ola Afolabi (19-264-264)
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 (19-29-281)
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 (19-19-107)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- W (TD10) vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Branco says that Chakhkiev lowered their monetary offer at the last minute, and that is why the fight didn’t come off.  He’s saying now that he may soon announce his retirement if he doesn’t get a good fight offer soon.
11) Ilunga Makabu (19-38)
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 (17-22)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: Unknown
Silgado was slammed by his own (now former) manager after he declined an arranged fight with Thabiso Mchunu.
13) Mateusz Masternak (17-105)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- KO4 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/12/2014- vs. Gogita Gorgiladze (UNR)
Masternak will be back on April 12 at Esbjerg, Denmark against generic opponent Gogita Gorgiladze of Georgia.
14) Lukasz Janik (17-22)
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 (15-15)
Last Fight: 12/20/2013- W (DQ7*) vs. Steve Herelius (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/11/2014- vs. Gusmyr Perdomo (UNR)
Seferi will now fight on April 11 in Berlin against former super middleweight and light heavyweight fringe contender Gusmyr Perdomo of Venezuela.
16) Danie Venter (10-29)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Dmytro Kucher (10-92)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Tony Conquest (6-6)
Last Fight: 2/22/2014- UD12 Daniel Ammann (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/12/2014- vs. Ovill McKenzie (UNR)
Conquest is set to fight in London on April 12 against Ovill McKenzie, who takes the fight on just 2 weeks notice after the original opponent, Carl Dilks, was deemed too light a challenge for the Commonwealth title.  It’s rare to see a major upgrade on short notice, but that’s definitely the case here.
19) Krzysztof Glowacki (6-36)
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) Yunier Dorticos (5-5)
Last Fight: 2/28/2014- KO1 Hamilton Ventura (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dorticos- after making one step up recently- is shooting for the stars.  He says he wants either Wlodarczyk or the winner of Jones-Lebedev next.


THE WEEK AHEAD: No meaningful action to report this week.

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