Archive for September, 2014

Heavyweight: 2014, Apr 28- May 4

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 30, 2014 by danboxing
The Champ got one of his easier title defenses on Saturday in Oberhausen, Germany, stopping Australia-based Samoan upstart Alex Leapai in 5, having encountered very little resistance on the way.  Leapai was trying to work his way in a little bit in the first round, but simply lacked the talent to do so.  He paid for the little boldness he showed with a clean knockdown, and was apparently completely domesticated by the experience.  If it was survival mode he was aiming for, however, he did a terrible job of that, as well.  After the first round, he basically just hung around in prime punching range for the rangy Klitsckho, allowing the Champion to punish him more and more with each passing round.  It was the most non-competitive of many non-competitive fights, or perhaps second only to the Mormeck whitewash.


Lucas Browne won the Commonwealth title with a knockout over high-level Quebec journeyman Eric Martel Bahoeli Saturday in Sheffield, England.  Browne is simultaneously everything we love and everything we hate about today’s heavyweight boxing.  He’s got raw power of legendary proportions, and can seemingly knock anyone out if he can get a shot in.  But the guy is clearly not committed to becoming a champion or even a true professional.  From all appearances, he hasn’t bothered to develop any boxing skill whatsoever.  I mean not even enough to pass a test of basic competency.  He looks like just some big strong dude from the street got hired to fight for one night.  Literally the only times that Bahoeli didn’t look like Mohammed Ali by comparison was when he was hurt or on the canvas.  Luckily for Browne, that was enough.  Browne admitted after the fight that he relies on his power, but also said that his fitness and technique are getting better.  I’ve only seen him a couple times, and in fairness he did look better overall against a gun-shy Richard Towers, but it’s terrifying, if this is what progress looks like, to imagine the fitness and technique of Browne when making his debut 5 years ago.  The wasted potential is immense.  The guy has the raw power of a prime David Tua or Sam Peter, but he’s also tall enough at 6’4″ to avoid being automatically held at bay by the 6’6″+ champion and others like him.  My advice to Browne, as if it means anything, would be NOT to rely on your power.  You say your fitness and technique is getting better, but you need to truly commit.  The gut is not helping anything.  As he said in the same interview, his power will always be there…but if he can gain some semblance of learned skill, it will allow him to deliver that power against real contenders, something I very much doubt he could consistently do now.  And with the level of fitness that would come with simply treating his body like that of an athlete, he could afford to let his bombs fly more than once every round or two.  


One story is that I’ve skipped so far is that Browne was badly cut in the 3rd from an accidental clash of heads.  The fight was at risk of being stopped at any moment, and frankly it was looking as if the smart thing for Browne to do at the point in the 4th in which the doctor was taking a serious look would have been to beg out of the fight and sneak away with a no contest.  The fight was clearly even after three, and Bahoeli had been controlling the 4th to that point.  But to his credit, Browne realized the urgency, and rather than quitting, he determined to win the fight.  He summoned a burst of aggression, and dropped the Quebec fighter for the second time in the fight, giving himself a two point working margin heading into the 5th round of a fight that could be stopped at any moment.  Not content to rest on that lead for a moment, he came out and ended it with a continued assault in the 5th.  Bahoeli appeared overwhelmed, and was ready to submit at that point, and stayed down for the count.  Nevertheless, his stock may have gone up in the fight, if only because of the exposure and the fact that he outboxed Browne for perhaps the majority of the fight.


Obviously Wlad retains his crown.  Leapai doesn’t lose any ground.  He looked awful, granted, but I don’t rate based on aesthetics.  The truth is, a TKO5 loss to Klitschko is probably about the best that most would-be #16 contenders could ever hope for.  Despite the wipeout, he hardly proved himself any less worthy than those behind him, who would likely suffer a similar fate.  As for Browne, he’s now beaten his 3rd top 50 fighter (though none were much better than just that), and that quantity is enough for him to graduate to the fringe contender level, aka the top 25 in my parlance.  I’ve got him unofficially at #25 even.  No changes to the top 20, though.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (253-466-466)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: Unknown
Klitschko easily handled Leapai, and it seems he’ll probably get his long-delayed mandatory with Pulev next.
1) Tyson Fury (11-11-11)
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 (7-7-71)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov reports that negotiations for a fight with Povetkin have failed, and that Povetkin would likely be fighting Manuel Charr, instead.
3) Alexander Povetkin (7-340-340)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
See Glazkov’s notes, above.
4) Amir Mansour (4-4-4)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery L (UD10) vs. #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham had the more sympathetic story and a legitimately great comeback attempt, but Mansour had the better collection of rounds legitimately won.  Mansour was robbed even though the fight was close, and deserves Cunningham’s former position in the rankings for his effort.
5) Kubrat Pulev (11-104-181)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s sounding increasingly likely that Pulev will get a long awaited shot at Klitschko next.
6) Dereck Chisora (11-126-189)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Steve Cunningham (4-71-71)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery W (UD10) vs. Amir Mansour (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I hope you’ll all pray for his daughter to recover from her life-threatening health condition, and the guy had guts to come back from the 2 knockdowns.  But he didn’t win the fight.
8) Tony Thompson (4-6-205)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- W* (SD12) vs. #8 Odlanier Solis
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. #11 Carlos Takam
Thompson- no stranger to the road- will visit France for a fight with tough customer Carlos Takam on June 6.
9) Tomasz Adamek (4-210-210)
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.  He’s recently announced his candidacy for the European parliament elections in May, so that may be a sign that he’s leaning that direction.
10) Odlanier Solis (4-58-205)
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.
11) Carlos Takam (4-15)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. #8 Tony Thompson
See Thompson’s notes, above.
12) Bermane Stiverne (4-61)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #13 Chris Arreola
ESPN has landed the fight- their biggest score in a while on that front.  May 10 in Los Angeles.
13) Chris Arreola (4-34)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Deontay Wilder (4-53)
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.  If that falls through for some reason, Andy Ruiz wants to step in to fight him.
15) Erkan Teper (4-35)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Alex Leapai (4-23)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Eh…nothing ventured, nothing gained, I suppose.
17) Andy Ruiz (4-23)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Ruiz was scheduled to fight on the Marquez-Alvarado undercard on May 10, but has been bumped back a week to a fight in Fresno against Manuel Quezada.
18) Seth Mitchell (4-47)
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 (4-8)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Francesco Pianeta (4-7)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO2 Robert Teuber (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/30/2014- vs. Mickael Vieira (UNR)
Pianeta makes his 2014 debut in Dresden on May 30 against lower-mid-level journeyman Mickael Vieira of France.


Kyotaro Fujimoto vs. Nobuhiro Ishida; Tokyo, Japan; TV Unknown
Fujimoto is a shaky-looking top 50 fighter, but has cobbled together enough journeyman wins to claim that status on boxrec, at least.  If Ishida, who is moving up drastically in weight from his last fight at middleweight, is ever going to beat a top 50 heavyweight, he could scarcely have picked a better opportunity.  Fujimoto is the Japanese champion, though for some reason this is an 8 round non-title fight.  I’m almost certain this is the first heavyweight fight I’ve ever reported on between two Japanese fighters, and to the best of my admittedly limited knowledge on this particular subject, this might be the most important fight ever contested between to Japanese heavyweight boxers.  Besides moving up to a nearly unprecedented degree, Ishida also hasn’t had much success recently in his career.  Nevertheless, his upset knockout of James Kirkland a few years ago still gives him enough quality on his resume to be ranked in the top 25 middleweights currently.  It’s a big projection, but I would say that makes him a top 50 heavyweight too, give or take.

Welterweight: 2014, Apr 21-27

Posted in Rankings, Welterweight with tags , , , , , , , on September 29, 2014 by danboxing
#6 Shawn Porter solidified his position as a world-class welterweight by slapping the always competent #14 Paulie Malignaggi around like nobody since at least Amir Khan has on Saturday in the Hopkins-Shumenov co-feature in Washington.  Porter can be described in one word as beastly, as he basically silverbacked the overwhelmed Malignaggi, who was not strong enough to hold Porter off, or even clinch effectively.  It was already a one-sided beating before the fourth round, when Porter put Malignaggi down twice and earned a knockout.


Even with the spectacular performance over a big name, Porter fails to move up.  His best two wins (Alexander and Malignaggi) are marginally better than Thurman’s (Soto Karass and Quintana), but Thurman’s 3rd and 4th best (Chaves and Zaveck) are answered by only a pedestrian decision over Julio Diaz, a guy he had earlier drawn with, and with a robbery win over Alfonso Gomez that he definitely lost.  Malignaggi also stays put, since Chris Van Heerden isn’t even remotely tested at this kind of level.


Speaking of Van Heerden, he was evidently in a hell of a scrap with top-shelf journeyman Ray Narh of Ghana on Wednesday, slipping by with a split decision.  Unfortunately this pretty solid match-up has no readily available video, and so I am left to take this apparently close fight at face value, exactly as the judges saw it.  That means it’s a virtual non-event in the rankings.


Sandwiched between those two fights (and sorry for jumping around like this) was a tight little scrap in Krasnodar, Russia between one-loss Russian prospect David Avanesyan and journeyman and former serious junior welterweight contender Kaizer Mabuza of South Africa.  Unfortunately, it appears that the Russian commission has no interest whatsoever in trying to ensure a fair fight.  As noted, the fight was in Russia between a Russian and a South African.  Already a big advantage for the Avanesyan, right?  Now for a rundown of the neutral officials: Referee Viktor Panin of Russia, who took a point from Mabuza in the 5th for essentially daring to be an orthodox fighter in the same ring as the hometown southpaw.  That is to say, he took a point from Mabuza for a mutual and accidental clash of heads that any boxing fan knows is often inevitable in these fights.  Next, judge Yuri Koptsev of Russia, who scored a virtually dead-even fight 117-110 for the Russian.  Judge #2 was Rozalin Nasibulin of Russia, who scored that same fight 118-110.  Finally, Alexander Sushkov, who scored that fight- which, again, probably was a draw, give or take- 119-108 for the Russian.  What this means is that the fix was in from the moment the officials were named, and that’s the commission’s fault to almost the same extent as the officials themselves.  The wolf was guarding the hen house.  


You’ve gotta think of this objectively.  Imagine a closely-fought, toss-up contest in Krasnodar, Russia between a generic Russian prospect and a South African journeyman with generic judges.  The Russian is already going to get that decision 9 times out of 10 if we know nothing more.  It’s incumbent on the commission to do what it can to mitigate that bias by appointing presumably unbiased officials.  The fact that, in addition to the natural hometown bias, the commission built in additional bias in the same direction by appointing 3 judges that, based solely on their home addresses, would probably tend to give a Russian fighter the nod in that theoretical close fight 9 out of 10 times even if it were to be held in South Africa, is simply inexcusable and disgraceful.  To call its conduct a dereliction would be far too kind.  The commission actively participated in this travesty.  This doesn’t excuse the conduct of the four officials, who should be ashamed of themselves, but they also shouldn’t have been put in that position.


All of this sadly overshadows a pretty good fight, in which both men did admirable work.  My official unofficial card had Avanesyan winning by a single point- that being the point that Panin stole from Mabuza.  So for all intents and purposes, I had it a draw, and thought it was the kind of fight that could have legitimately swung anywhere between 116-112 either way.  Mabuza was clearly the bigger and stronger guy, and imposed his will on Avanesyan for the majority- but not all- of the first 7 rounds.  However, even in the face of a pretty solid body attack from his African foil, Avanesyan’s conditioning shone in the last half, as he was able to outbox Mabuza and sometimes even push him back for the better part of the last 5.  


Despite none of the actual cards being reasonable, the idea that Avansyan actually won the fight is just that.  Given a debateable fight outcome and a winner I disagree with, my rule requires that I treat it as a draw, but with a minimal edge going to the official winner for rankings purposes.


Regardless of how much intriguing action played out this week, we’ve still got no changes.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (208-240-240)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #2 JMW Saul Alvarez (at JMW)
Next Fight: 5/3/2014- vs. #4 Marcos Maidana
Thankfully, it will be the worthy Maidana rather than the likely washed-up Khan that fights Floyd on May 3.
1) Manny Pacquiao (2-281-281)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- UD12 #1 Timothy Bradley
Next Fight: Unknown
The fight has lost some of its luster over time, but Pacquiao has once again put himself in a position to deserve a shot at Mayweather.  Still, that fight is likely not practically possible at the moment, and as crazy as it sounds after 4 odd fights, another Pacquiao and Marquez fight might help clarify the divisional picture further in the mean time.
2) Juan Manuel Marquez (28-128-128)
Last Fight: 10/12/2013- L (SD12) vs. #17 Timothy Bradley
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. #? JWW Mike Alvarado
Marquez takes on Alvarado near L.A. on May 17.
3) Timothy Bradley (2-28-98)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- L (UD12) vs. #3 Manny Pacquiao
Next Fight: Unknown
Bradley’s best options for a next fight, practically-speaking, are limited to re-hashes of previous fights like Marquez and Provodnikov.
4) Marcos Maidana (20-46-46)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD12 LW Champ Adrien Broner
Next Fight: 5/3/2014- vs. Champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Maidana will get a shot at the true title on May 3.
5) Keith Thurman (19-19-59)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 #6 Jesus Soto-Karass
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Julio Diaz (UNR)
Thurman gets tough gatekeeper Julio Diaz on April 26.  If he passes that test, there’s talk of a Matthysse fight after that.
6) Shawn Porter (19-20-20)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- KO4 #14 Paulie Malignaggi
Next Fight: Unknown
After being the mandatory for a little while now, there seems to be little doubt that Kell Brook is next on the agenda for Porter.  The alphabet org has told them to get it made by late May.
7) Robert Guerrero (20-74-91)
Last Fight: 5/4/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Next Fight: Unknown
Guerrero is being called out by Devon Alexander currently, and needs to schedule a fight before early May to avoid removal.
8) Kell Brook (20-156-156)
Last Fight:3/15/2014- TKO8 Alvaro Robles (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Porter’s notes, above.
9) Devon Alexander (20-113-113)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- L (UD12) vs. Shawn Porter (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boxingscene reports that Alexander and Soto Karass are working on a fight for June 21.
10) Randall Bailey (22-22-22)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- W (DQ8) vs. Humberto Toledo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bailey said recently in an interview that he’d like to fight Thurman.
11) Josesito Lopez (22-96)
Last Fight: 12/13/2013- W (TD8) vs. Mike Arnaoutis (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/24/2014- vs. Aron Martinez (UNR)
Lopez will fight journeyman Aron Martinez in Riverside on April 24.
12) Jesus Soto Karass (19-65)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- L (TKO9) vs. #13 Keith Thurman
Next Fight: Unknown
See Alexander’s notes, above.
13) Andre Berto (19-74)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- L (TKO12) vs. #11 Jesus Soto Karass
Next Fight: Unknown 
Berto is now recovered from surgery and is training for a July return.  Alexander wants him.
14) Paulie Malignaggi (20-20) 
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- L (KO4) vs. #6 Shawn Porter
Next Fight: Unknown
Many- including myself- believe there is a strong chance Malignaggi will retire and focus on his flourishing broadcasting career after taking a brutal beating at the hands of Shawn Porter.
15) Chris van Heerden (20-97)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- W (SD10) vs. Ray Narh (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Van Heerden’s split decision win over Ray Narh doesn’t look very worthy of a top 15 contender on paper, but I unfortunately am unable to find video, and thus can’t opine on what it might mean for his future.
16) Luis Carlos Abregu (20-52)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- TKO8 Jean Carlos Prada (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Abregu is interested in fighting Brandon Rios in the US.
17) Luis Collazo (12-12)
Last Fight: 1/30/2014- KO2 Victor Ortiz (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/3/2014- vs. Amir Khan (UNR)
It appears that Collazo-Khan is on for the Mayweather-Maidana undercard on May 3.
18) Jan Zaveck (12-228)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- UD8 Sebastien Allais (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There are rumors that Zaveck may soon be positioned for a minor (IBO) title fight.
19) Leonard Bundu (6-8)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO12 Lee Purdy (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bundu’s fight with Gianluca Branco, scheduled for April 12, is now off due to a training injury to Branco.  Bundu’s camp is now targeting May as his next appearance, and Frankie Gavin has been installed as his new mandatory.
20) Jo Jo Dan (6-6)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- W* SD12 vs. Kevin Bizier (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown


The Week Ahead:
#11 Josesito Lopez vs. Aron Martinez; Rancho Mirage, California; FS1 (US)
This looks like a stay-busy fight for Lopez, but his last fight with Arnaoutis looked like that too, and he nearly got himself upset.  Martinez is a fringe prospect at best and a journeyman at worst, but he did beat prospects in Joseph Elegele and Prenice Brewer, and managed to win a round or two against Jessie Vargas, as well.  At the very least, Martinez is at a higher level than Arnaoutis appeared to be going into that fight in December.


#5 Keith Thurman vs. Julio Diaz; Carson, California; Showtime (US)
This is a good test for Thurman.  Diaz had a draw with Golden Boy’s other rising young contender, Shawn Porter, before dropping a competitive decision to same.  He also deserved a win over Amir Khan, a big star who is still looking to establish himself at 147.  If Thurman can win this in style, it won’t necessarily cause him to surge in the rankings, but it will give him major bragging rights over two of his best in-house rivals.  Diaz is accumulating a lot of miles on his 33-year old engine, but I wouldn’t rule him out for one more unexpected stand.


Jose Zepeda vs. Robert Frankel; Port Hueneme, California; UniMas (US)
Zepeda is an undefeated Top Rank prospect who is really a 140 pounder, but will fight veteran journeyman Frankel a couple pounds over the limit.

Junior Middleweight: 2014, Apr 21-27

Posted in Junior Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 29, 2014 by danboxing
Saturday in Malvinas, Argentina, #13 Javier Maciel looked like a guy expecting to be given the win just for showing up, much the way his opponent was in his last fight.  Turns out he was right.  Maciel came out completely flat, allowing his mid-level journeyman opponent Cesar Sastre Silva to box circles around him and beat him to the punch with amazing consistency.  Maciel did score a knockdown in the 2nd, a round he otherwise clearly lost, and was given credit for another in the third for no discernible reason, also in a round I thought he lost fairly clearly.  Maciel had landed a body shot that caused Sastre Silva to double over somewhat, but his gloves never dipped near the canvas or anything of that nature.  I don’t understand Spanish well enough to know, but I might theorize that it was a standing 8 count, something I’ve seen done in Argentina in particular.  Either way, it strikes me as supremely unwarranted.  But after those two hiccups, Sastre Silva pretty clearly won every round.  Weird refereeing aside, it wasn’t a tough fight to score, really.  Sastre Silva dominated more often than not.  I had it 98-92 Sastre Silva, and frankly it’s hard for me to imagine any given round going the other way.  I guess there were about 3 close rounds, but I didn’t see any of them as true toss-ups.  The TyC Sports broadcast team had it something like 98-96.5 for Maciel- partly because they somehow didn’t know what scoring system was being used, even though I did.  As for the job they did picking the winner of any given round- it was embarrassing.  A trained monkey certainly would have done better.  The official judges were worse, I think, though again they were using a different scoring system.  They had it 98-90 (Edgardo Codutti), 97-91 (Manuel Veliz), and 96-94 (Juan Carlos Palmieri), all for Maciel.  One of the biggest jokes I’ve ever seen.  With better refereeing, the correct score would have been 99-91 Sastre Silva.  Not since at least Campillo-Shumenov II have I seen a fighter dominate the fight to such an extent and still lose on the cards.  Truly pathetic.


Since I don’t abide robberies, this obviously will make big waves in my rankings.  Sastre Silva’s 9-4 record coming in might lead you to believe that he’d be obviously unqualified to claim a ranking, but a closer look reveals that all 4 of his losses were over 5 years ago, and thus don’t count.  He has been very inactive in recent years, but he’s got a 4-0 record against journeymen and prospects in that span, plus this performance.  Sastre Silva debuts, with his sole significant performance being a clear win over a #13 contender, at #14.  His should-be win over Maciel was much clearer than Demetrius Andrade’s was over an equally-ranked Vanes Martirosyan, but Andrade does add two more solid wins slightly over the divisional limit, which must be a factor, and which put him over the top.  All that said, while Sastre Silva does have an effectively clean resume, he was still a clear journeyman coming into the fight, and in all candor, probably isn’t as good as Maciel made him look.  That being the case, Maciel has to take a dive out of the rankings.  I’ve got him back on the gatekeeper level at this point.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1) Saul Alvarez (7-164-179)
Last Fight: 3/8/2014- TKO10 #10 Alfredo Angulo
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. #3 Erislandy Lara
Canelo came knocking, and Lara answered the door.
2) Carlos Molina (7-146-161)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W (SD12) vs. #5 Ishe Smith
Next Fight: Unknown
At last check, Molina remained in a Las Vegas jail.
3) Erislandy Lara (7-146-168)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #4 Austin Trout
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. #1 Saul Alvarez
Lara traded an intended fight with Ishe Smith for a more lucrative and important showdown with Canelo.  The fight might not determine a legitimate champion, but it should at least crown a preeminent top contender.
4) Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (7-32-32)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #2 Saul Alvarez
Next Fight: 5/3/2014- vs. #4 WW Marcos Maidana (at WW)
Floyd will fight Maidana rather than Khan.  Thank goodness.
5) Austin Trout (20-99-168)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- L (UD12) vs. #5 Erislandy Lara
Next Fight: Unknown
Trout might be getting to that unfortunate position of having a record underwhelming enough to be low-reward, while still being easily skilled enough to be high-risk.  He says essentially that he wants worthwhile fights in 2014, rather than a soft diet for rebuilding purposes.
6) Ishe Smith (32-61-61)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- L (SD12) vs. #1 Carlos Molina
Next Fight: Unknown
Smith was left without an opponent after Lara jumped ship on their May 2 fight to battle Canelo.  Smith had an offer to replace Lara with Gabe Rosado, but passed.  Mundine is reportedly interested, as well.
7) Joshua Clottey (2-2-2)
Last Fight: 4/9/2014- UD12 #7 Anthony Mundine
Next Fight: Unknown
For those looking for a good way to revitalize a practically evaporated career, you couldn’t do much better than the example Clottey just provided.  He wants to fight Mayweather, but I’d say he’s at least one top 5 win away from having a chance at that.
8) Miguel Cotto (21-203-203)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- TKO3 #11 Delvin Rodriguez
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. MW Champ Sergio Martinez (at MW)
Cotto and Martinez have now officially agreed to a Middleweight Championship fight on June 7 at MSG.
9) Anthony Mundine (2-21-21)
Last Fight: 4/9/2014- L (UD12) vs. Joshua Clottey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Not one to be kept down for long, Mundine has offered to substitute for Erislandy Lara for Ishe Smith’s May 2 date.
10) Cornelius Bundrage (2-194-194)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD12 Joey Hernandez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It appears that Bundrage has jumped to the front of the line to challenge for Molina’s belt, though there is uncertainty regarding that bout and Molina’s availability for it.
11Alfredo Angulo (2-239)
Last Fight: 3/8/2014- L (TKO10) vs. #4 Saul Alvarez
Next Fight: Unknown
Angulo could probably use a fight with a gatekeeper or low level fringe contender just to get his career momentum going.
12) Sergey Rabchenko (2-97)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 Bradley Pryce (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Emanuele Della Rosa (UNR)
Rabchenko will defend his European belt in Rome on May 17 against a local prospect, and is hoping for a shot at a vacant alphabet belt after that.
13) Demetrius Andrade (1-24)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (SD12) vs. #13 Vanes Martirosyan
Next Fight: 6/14/2014- vs. Brian Rose (UNR)
Andrade and Rose have agreed to fight in the US, with a date of June 14.
14) Cesar Sastre Silva (1-1)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- Robbery UD10 Loss (should be win) vs. #13 Javier Maciel
Next Fight: Unknown
Sastre Silva dominated a confused-looking Javier Maciel, but got robbed even worse than Maciel had been robbed against Rose in his previous fight.
15) Delvin Rodriguez (2-145)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (TKO3) vs. #7 Miguel Cotto
Next Fight: 5/16/2014- vs. Joachim Alcine (UNR)
Rodriguez looks to get back on track on May 16 against veteran Alcine on Friday Night Fights.
16) Vanes Martirosyan (2-151)
Last Fight: 3/21/2014- UD10 Mario Lozano (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Vanes successfully stayed busy against Lozano.  I’m not sure what his endgame is, but he’ll be back in action again on May 10 on the Stiverne-Arreola undercard in LA.
17) Jermell Charlo (2-46)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- UD10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. Charlie Ota (UNR)
With the cancellation of Smith-Lara, Charlo has been bumped back to May 24, and will fight fringe contending prospect Charlie Ota.
18) Gabriel Rosado (2-13)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- L (UD10) vs. #18 Jermell Charlo
Next Fight: Unknown
Rosado was offered to Ishe Smith as a May 2 replacement, but Smith turned him down.  In turn, Rosado is being challenged by Hassan N’Dam.
19) Zaurbek Baysangurov (2-2)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- TKO12 #20 Guido Pitto
Next Fight: Unknown
Baysangurov looked the best I’ve seen him, by far, against Pitto.
20) Willie Nelson (2-60)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- UD10 Luciano Cuello (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The once-delayed fight with Kirkland is apparently in the works to headline a May 24 HBO card.


The Week Ahead: 
Dieudonne Belinga vs. Matiouze Royer; Haute Vienne, France; TV Unknown
Belinga is only a relevant fighter because he earned a draw in his last fight with Jack Culcay, but was robbed by a combination of referee Mikael Hook and the three blind mice at ringside.  Even now, however, Belinga is only a borderline member of the top 50, having three totally unforgivable losses on his record along with that performance.  Royer is, frankly, a bad fighter.  He sports an 8-15 record, and I couldn’t spot a legitimate European-level fighter or better on his entire record.


Jermall Charlo vs. Hector Munoz; Carson, California; Showtime Extreme (US)
Charlo gets an easy night on the Thurman-Diaz undercard on Saturday, as he’ll be mixing on the ShoX undercard with veteran mediocre journeyman Hector Munoz.  Munoz has been in with a fair number of quality operators, but he’s never come particularly close to beating any of them.  Against the type of fighter that most believe Charlo will end up being, he generally gets stopped.


Charles Whittaker vs. Terrell Gausha; Carson, California; Showtime Extreme (US)
Whittaker is a gatekeeper from the Cayman Islands who now fights out of Miami.  He’s the best opponent of rising prospect Gausha’s career by a long shot, and in truth is the first significant test of any kind.  Gausha is a former US Olympian, and seems to project as contender eventually.  If he looks good against Whittaker, he’s already going to be roughly a fringe contender.

Middleweight: 2014, Apr 21-27

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 28, 2014 by danboxing
#7 Hassan N’Dam was in action this week, but it turned out to be a super middleweight fight, and so I’ve discussed it there as fully as possible.


ESPN’s Boxcino Middleweight tournament featured its first major upset on Friday, as the tournament’s favorite (and only top 50 fighter) Vitaliy Kopylenko was shockingly upended by Willie Monroe, Jr., winning only one round on my card and on two of the three official judges’ (John McKaie had it just one round closer).  Monroe- who frankly didn’t deserve the opportunity after benefitting from a robbery against Donatas Bondas in the previous round- took advantage of said opportunity.  He was very slick, and controlled the distance and pace to such an extent that he made Kopylenko look like his sparring partner.  Kopylenko fought Monroe’s fight the entire way, failing to step in, failing to go to the body, and failing to commit to his punches.  


Brandon Adams had a similarly effective performance against Ray Gatica in the other fight, though neither guy was ranked in the top 50 going in.  Gatica gave a better effort than did Kopylenko, and won the first round behind effective subtle pressure, but he was unable to ramp that pressure up as Adams adjusted to it, and his hands were way too slow to match his opponent’s athleticism.  Adams reminded me, personally, of the effective version of Shawn Porter.


In the week’s biggest fight in the division, #6 Peter Quillin somehow impressed the hell out of the cheerleaders at Showtime, as well as awful judges Milos Rados, Bill Lerch, and Michael Pernick (120-108, 119-109 x2, respectively), but to me he did just enough to win.  Whether it’s against N’Dam, Rosado, or Konecny (as was the case this time), the dude is allergic to truly impressing, despite plenty of apparent talent.  Late in fights, he seems to either gas out or coast.  In this case, it appeared to be a bit of the latter.  After building up a 59-55 advantage on my card after 6, he spent the last half of the fight running and jabbing defensively, which allowed me to give him just 2 of the last 6- one by a mere hair’s breadth.  I had it for Quillin in the end, 115-113, and although I think a reasonable judge could have scored it a draw, I think I can comfortably join the general consensus to the effect that Quillin did indeed win the fight.  That being said, the idea that he won 11 or 12 rounds is simply preposterous.  Despite the underwhelming effort, however, and despite the sour taste I’m left with due to the biased scorecards being shoved in my face, I can’t be too down on Quillin in this instance.  Frankly, given his monumental struggles with N’Dam and Rosado and the fact that Konecny was underrated due to a robbery loss against Baysangurov, I actually thought it was a 50-50 fight going in, give or take.  So even a close win for the American is worthwhile.


In an off-TV stay-busy fight in Orlando, Florida, unbeaten Russian prospect Matt Korobov stopped his low-level Puerto Rican journeyman opponent Emil Gonzalez after the 6th round of a scheduled 8.


Quillin’s win, regardless of how he looked, came against a high-quality fighter, and when combined with the fact that one of Macklin’s better wins just became more than 5 years old last month, it allows him to slip past Macklin in the rankings.  Ditto with Martin Murray, who put his entire resume into question with a debateable points win against journeyman Khomitsky recently.  He hits the wall with Geale.  Despite Geale’s last fight at that kind of level being a close loss to Barker, he still has a much deeper overall resume than Quillin.  It’s a little bit of a judgment call, but I’m going to say that Geale is still the more proven guy at the moment.  Konecny remains unranked due to his having no significant wins at 160.  As for Monroe, he’s now beaten a guy that I considered a top 50 fighter, and is thus qualified for rankings consideration.  That being said, I think he falls just outside my top 50, considering the generous judging he needed to get by Bondas recently.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (210-210-210)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. # 8 JMW Miguel Cotto
If there was any lingering doubt, Martinez-Cotto is now on for June 7 at Madison Square Garden.
1) Gennady Golovkin (19-86-149)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
A fight between Golovkin and Julio Cesar Chavez appears to be nearly done for July 19 at 168.
2) Felix Sturm (19-553-553)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- TKO2 #3 Darren Barker
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #8 Sam Soliman (UNR)
Soliman has obfuscated his clear banned stimulant violation to the point that he has perhaps most people thinking he was totally clean.  He wasn’t.  And he didn’t win that fight even if he had been.  Sturm got screwed all the way around, and now he’s forced to rematch the Australian, who deserves the opportunity much less than would Macklin, Murray, or Geale.  But that’s what we’ve got.  May 31 in Krefeld.
3) Daniel Geale (9-253-253)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #6 Matthew Macklin
Geale is apparently set to fight Macklin in an intriguing fight on May 24 in the US, on HBO.
4) Peter Quillin (1-79-100)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- UD12 Lukas Konecny (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Quillin is cobbling together a resume full of unimpressive narrow wins over fringe contenders, mostly, and despite his high ranking, he’ll need to take on at least another N’Dam-level challenge to gain full respect from more discerning observers.
5) Martin Murray (1-125-125)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- W* (PTS8) vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: 4/23/2014- vs. Ishmail Tetteh (UNR)
Murray will look to shake off some rust in Kempton Park, South Africa on April 23, fighting very low-level Ghanaian journeyman Ishmail Tetteh.  Murray will most likely be removed next week, unless he comes within 2 pounds of making 160, since his April 27 fight in 2013 was his last at, or really near, the 160 pound limit.
6) Matthew Macklin (1-148-239)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #3 Daniel Geale
See Geale’s notes, above.
7) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (14-19-19)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- UD10 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
N’Dam says he wants Rosado next, and then Golovkin.
8) Sam Soliman (14-19-19)
Last Fight: 12/11/2013- TKO9 Les Sherrington (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #2 Felix Sturm
Soliman cheated with a stimulant, won by ridiculous robbery before being stripped of the victory, and now he gets what I would argue is an undeserved chance at a do-over.
9) Sergio Mora (14-43-43)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. Samuel Rogers (UNR)
Mora will be back on the L.A. undercard of Stiverne-Arreola II against prospect Samuel Rogers who, in addition to being a natural junior middleweight and much less accomplished, is coming off his first career loss.
10) Osumanu Adama (12-12-12)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most pleasant entry into the rankings we’ve ever seen, but his resume stacks up pretty well as long as he’s active and on weight.
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (12-169)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- KO10* Domenico Spada (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
Rubio finished a rigged fight against Domenico Spada in style, but he was losing the fight at the time, and may have lost it entirely if Jon Schorle hadn’t yelled “break” every time his opponent landed a punch or got close to Rubio.
12) Jarrod Fletcher (2-12)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown
Fletcher was among the candidates for a fight with Chudinov on June 1, but the Russian opted for Patrick Nielsen, instead.
13) Max Bursak (2-169)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L* (UD12) vs. Jarrod Fletcher (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
He didn’t get robbed, and it’s hard to feel sorry for him considering how dirty he fought, but I did think Bursak deserved better than a loss against Fletcher.
14) Grzegorz Proksa (2-158)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Caleb Truax (2-31)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (UD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Truax’s status as a promising prospect has been derailed somewhat by the very tough Ossie Duran.
16) Curtis Stevens (2-38)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- TKO10* Tureano Johnson (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevens’ haplessness for all but the last few seconds of his prematurely-stopped bout with Tureano Johnson has got to raise questions about his ability to rise any higher than he finds himself now.  Johnson has respectfully pushed for a rematch.
17) Andrey Meryasev (2-24)
Last Fight: 11/4/2013- UD10 Sergio Sanders (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Carlos Baldomir (UNR)
Meryasev is back in action on April 26- on apparently just over 2 weeks’ notice- against faded veteran Carlos Baldomir in Mexico.  That fight will be at 168.
18) Daniel Jacobs (2-35)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- TKO1 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Easy work for Jacobs against Nunez.  He’s looking for a title fight- probably against Quillin- at the earliest opportunity.
19) Dmitry Chudinov (2-4)
Last Fight: 12/21/2013- TKO6 Juan Camilo Novoa (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/1/2014- vs. Patrick Nielsen (UNR)
Chudinov will fight promising Danish prospect Patrick Nielsen in a very interesting clash on June 1 in Moscow.
20) Akio Shibata (2-2)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD12 Daisuke Nakagawa (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Shibata’s loss to Murata- an Olympic champion with no pro track record- was a significant setback, but he showed that he’s still viable internationally by beating domestic gatekeeper Daisuke Nakagawa.


The Week Ahead:   
Arif Magomedov vs. Alex Theran; Moscow, Russia; TV Unknown
Magomedov is an undefeated Russian, who broke into the top 50 with a sensational performance in his last fight.  Theran is at the same level as his previous opponent in terms of what he’s proven, but Theran- a Colombian- adds spice to the matchup by entering as an undefeated young prospect, himself.  I haven’t seen either guy in the ring yet, but you’d think Magomedov will have at least the home field advantage.  Both guys appear to have decent power, though neither is a Golovkin-type puncher.


#17 Andrey Meryasev and #5 Martin Murray are also in action this week, but they are at 168, and their fights will be discussed exclusively there unless their rankings here are affected.

Super Middleweight: 2014, Apr 21-27

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on September 27, 2014 by danboxing
Wednesday saw two top 50 fighters in super middleweight action in Santa Monica, California.  Louis Rose knocked out unproven fellow one-loss prospect Emanuel Ledezma in the final round of an eight rounder.  Unfortunately I have no more detail than that, since there was no video available at press time.  The fight was contested less than a pound over the middleweight limit.  


In other non-televised action on the same card, #7 Middleweight Hassan N’Dam also saw action at 168 (I incorrectly identified it as a middleweight fight last week), winning a shutout decision unanimously over 10 rounds against solid Colombian journeyman Fulgencio Zuniga, despite reportedly tearing a bicep in the 4th.  There’s a highlight video on YouTube, but that’s all I could find.


Friday in Hammond, Indiana, gatekeeper Don George bounced back successfully from his brutal loss to Caleb Truax last year, returning from 10 months off to twice drop and eventually stop (in the final round of a 6-rounder) low-level journeyman Troy Lowry in what ended up being a light heavyweight fight.


Finally, undefeated 6’3″ English prospect Callum Smith looked sensational in destroying former French national middleweight champion Francois Bastient, who is really just a mid-level journeyman coming off two years of inactivity prior to his last fight.  Smith controlled distance when he chose, but also worked the body effectively and frequently, culminating in a devastating 3rd-round body shot that dropped Bastient.  The Frenchman got up (conveniently without his mouthpiece), but was in obvious agony.  This prompted his corner to throw in the towel just before the referee waved the fighters back to action.


None of the 4 top 50 operators in action this week was in with a peer, and thus no changes to the rankings this week.


Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (123-257-257)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward is being targeted by at least some on Kovalev’s team.
1) Carl Froch (100-410-410)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO9 #8 George Groves
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #8 George Groves
There is talk of a record gate when Froch meets Groves in a highly anticipated rematch in a London soccer stadium at the end of May.
2) Arthur Abraham (8-235-235)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- W (SD12) vs. #2 Robert Stieglitz
Next Fight: 5/3/2014- vs. Nikola Sjekloca (UNR)
Abraham will have a quick turn-around when he defends his newly-won belt against the mostly fraudulent Nikola Sjekloca on May 3 in Berlin.
3) Robert Stieglitz (8-243-243)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (SD12) vs. #4 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: Unknown
Sauerland prospect Tyron Zeuge has expressed interest in a fight with Stieglitz.
4) Mikkel Kessler (8-489-489)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- L (UD12) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
Kessler is reportedly discussing a return with Sauerland, but there is no obvious opponent available for him at present.
5) Brandon Gonzales (43-43-43)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Jonathan Nelson (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #11 James DeGale
Gonzales’ elminator with DeGale is finally set, for May 31 in London, on the Froch-Groves undercard.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (30-151-199)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: Unknown
Oosthuizen was yanked from his intended January 18 fight with Eleider Alvarez and released by his promoter after a bicycle accident and reportedly being hopelessly out of shape about 2 weeks before the fight.
7) Ezequiel Maderna (24-24-69)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #6 Thomas Oosthuizen
Next Fight: 4/25/2014- vs. Richard Vidal (UNR)
Maderna apparently will fight low-level journeyman Richard Vidal in La Plata, Argentina on April 25.
8) George Groves (24-71-93)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- L (TKO9) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #1 Carl Froch
See Froch’s notes, above.
9) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (8-8-8)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD10 #5 MW Bryan Vera
Next Fight: Unknown
Chavez is talking like he might not renew his Top Rank contract, which might put a proposed Golovkin fight in jeopardy- especially since he’s reportedly negotiating with the Showtime-friendly Al Haymon.
10) Bryan Vera (8-8-8)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Even in defeat, Vera has regained a ranking at 168 and is- at least temporarily- ranked in 2 divisions.   There are also credible-looking reports to the effect that he broke his left hand early in the fight, for what it’s worth.
11) James DeGale (8-132)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- TKO11 Gevorg Khatchikian (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #5 Brandon Gonzales
See Gonzales’ notes, above.
12) Christopher Rebrasse (8-46)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- TKO4 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rebrasse now has two dominant wins over what was a top 10 contender the first time around.  He didn’t need the judges to notice the second time.
13) Sakio Bika (8-368)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After initially granting Julio Cesar Chavez the spot, the WBC has now made James DeGale the mandatory after it appeared Chavez would likely look at a different opportunity.  That may also have gone by the wayside by now, as DeGale is fighting Brandon Gonzales for a shot at the IBF title.
14) Maxim Vlasov (8-76)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD8 Derrick Findley (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vlasov looked very good against Findley, but he’ll need to schedule a fight at Super Middleweight before May 5 and make weight in order to keep his ranking, since he hasn’t made the divisional limit since November 2012.
15) Edwin Rodriguez (8-66)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez was briefly scheduled to fight Marcus Johnson on May 24, but Johnson withdrew.
16) Gilberto Ramirez (2-12)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- TKO5 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ramirez says he’d like to fight Sakio Bika.
17) Ryota Murata (2-35)
Last Fight: 2/22/2014- TKO4 Carlos Nascimento (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/22/2014- vs. Jesus Angel Nerio (UNR)
Murata will stay busy in Kyoto on May 22 with Mexican journeyman Jesus Angel Nerio.
18) Anthony Dirrell (2-20)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. #11 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: Unknown
His hard-fought draw with Sakio Bika gained Dirrell a measure of redemption for what pretty clearly should have been a loss against Don Mouton, and has him back in the hot prospect category.  He’s called for a rematch (good idea) and a fight with Golovkin (bad idea).
19) Hadillah Mohoumadi (2-60)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Caleb Truax (2-2)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (MD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown


The Week Ahead: 
#4 MW Martin Murray vs. Ishmael Tetteh; Kempton Park, South Africa; Premier (South Africa)
Murray takes a second consecutive tune-up-type fight at super middleweight.  The first one didn’t go very well, as he narrowly got the nod from the ref and sole judge in a fight he very well might have lost against journeyman Sergey Khomitsky.  Tetteh is significantly less of a threat.  He always loses to any fighter proven on any level, and in December he was even stopped by a very low-level journeyman who’d proven nothing to that point.


#7 Ezequiel Maderna vs. Richard Vidal; La Plata, Argentina; TyC Sports (ARG)
Maderna is an underrated contender who probably deserved a draw or better in fights with both Oosthuizen and Edwin Rodriguez.  Vidal is a low-level journeyman from Uruguay.


#17 MW Andrey Merysasev vs. Carlos Baldomir; Kanasin, Mexico; Boytsovskiy Klub (Russia)
Meryasev is another ranked middleweight taking a fight at 168 this week.  He’s early in his career, but he’s been impressive so far.  Baldomir is a former welterweight champion, who is long past it, not to mention fairly fat at 168.  Meryasev appears to have only average power, but I still see this as a knockout waiting to happen.

Light Heavyweight: 2014, Apr 21-27

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 24, 2014 by danboxing
Saturday in Atlantic City, #2 Bernard Hopkins continued to redefine what we know about aging in sports.  Now let’s not go crazy over it.  Beibut Shumenov, especially if you gave any credence to his title as “Super Champion” or even simply Champion, was vastly overrated.  He’s been inactive, and his level of competition has been abysmal for years now.  For all the disrespect he got from the media and fans, Karo Murat was a much more qualified challenger, and I think allowed Hopkins to prove more than did the Kazakh.  All that said, this was a really impressive outing for “the Alien.”  Whatever else you can say about Shumenov, he was a reasonably young, fairly strong, warm body that Hopkins utterly dominated.  I had it 119-108, giving Shumenov only the 10th, and even that one was a toss-up.  Hopkins was ridiculously accurate with his shots, and predictably crafty throughout.  As for the Kazakh, he was limited to throwing one supremely wild inaccurate punch at a time, and really could scarcely hit the Philadelphian with a 10-foot pole.  Hopkins even added insult to injury with an 11th-round knockdown.  The judges should probably be committed en masse for psychiatric evaluation- particularly Gustavo Padilla, who somehow had it 114-113 for Shumenov, which is potentially more inexplicable a card in his favor than those he got in his second fight with Campillo (that being one of the most notorious robberies of modern times).  Shumenov gets such consistently insane favors from the judges on the rare occasion that he actually fights, that I really honestly have to wonder if there’s some illicit money changing hands…especially when he also is inexplicably loved by the WBA more strongly than one would expect from his own mother, from all indications.  Jerry Roth and Dave Moretti both turned in head-scratching, but less inflammatory cards of 116-111 Hopkins.  I personally don’t see how anyone could have it closer than 117-110.  Keep in mind that I’m not historically a guy that has been warm to Hopkins’ style in my scoring.


In a low-profile upset that is nevertheless rather significant, Tanzanian gatekeeper Francis Cheka probably punched his final ticket on his connecting flight to obscurity, notching just a majority draw in his 8-rounder with…wait for it…Iranian undefeated prospect Sajjad Mehrabi.  Look, maybe Mehrabi is the chosen one.  Maybe he’ll singlehandedly turn Iran into a global boxing power and vindicate their all but non-existent fight scene.  But it’s hard to put much faith in the Persian’s world-class credentials at this point, considering that Cheka is the first guy he’s fought with even the faintest hint of a pulse, and yet he already had a prior draw on his record.  There’s no video out there of the fight, so I can’t opine on the scoring…but you’ve gotta wonder if it might even be worse than it looks for the veteran from Africa, who couldn’t even negotiate a victory in his home country.  To make matters worse, Mehrabi is a natural middleweight.


No movement in the rankings from the Hopkins-Shumenov fight, as it’s exactly what you’d expect from fighters of their respective ranks.  Mehrabi technically now is qualified for a ranking, but he’s not even in my unofficial top 50, and he’ll need to be proven substantially more than this to get within shouting distance of a ranking.


No changes this week.


Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks   in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (85-85-85)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kovalev’s promoter has zeroed in on the inactive Ward as an “inevitable” future opponent.
1) Adonis Stevenson (46-46-46)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO6 #6 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #6 Andrzej Fonfara
In something of a coup, Stevenson-Fonfara will be carried by Showtime.   This not only further diminishes HBO’s stable of top fighters, but also puts in serious doubt the plausibility of what appeared to be an upcoming megafight with Kovalev.
2) Bernard Hopkins (85-411-411)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- W (SD12*) vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Hopkins continued looking good against competent, if unspectacular, opposition.  Pay no attention to the insane split decision verdict.  It was a domination.  In the aftermath, B-Hop has called out Stevenson.
3) Jean Pascal (14-14-14)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD12 #16 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Pascal is pencilled in for a September fight, and perhaps one more before the end of the year.  Prospective opponents, in order, are Sean Monaghan and Lucian Bute.  He wants Stevenson after that, assuming he comes through cleanly.
4) Sergey Kovalev (14-66-66)
Last Fight: 3/29/2014- KO7 #15 Cedric Agnew
Next Fight: Unknown
Kovalev had some choice words for Stevenson after the Haitian defected to Showtime and, apparently, scuttled their much-hyped matchup for later this year.  No news yet on what Kovalev’s next move will be after the development.
5) Chad Dawson (14-412-412)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L(TKO1) vs. SMW #6 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Dawson has signed a deal with manager Al Haymon, which certainly brightens his career prospects.  He says he is interested in a Stevenson rematch.  Prospects for another occasionally-discussed rematch- with Jean Pascal- increased recently with word that Pascal’s trainer offered Dawson a contract.
6) Andrzej Fonfara (14-36-93)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- KO2 Samuel Miller (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
See Stevenson’s notes, above.
7) Tony Bellew (14-132-132)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO12 Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bellew is campaigning at cruiserweight now, but he’ll keep his ranking here until he schedules a fight there for after November 30, or until after November 30 itself.  BJ Flores wants to fight him, but it sounds like he’ll fight Cleverly before the year is out.
8) Gabriel Campillo (14-200-200)
Last Fight: 8/16/2013- L (KO9) vs. #14 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: 5/9/2014- vs. Ricky Pow (UNR)
Campillo has replaced one low-level tune-up opponent with another, as Ibrahim Lopez is out and Ricky Pow is in for Campillo’s May 9 Madrid date.
9) Tavoris Cloud (14-243-243)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Cloud should probably get himself back in the win column at some point.
10) Nathan Cleverly (14-220-220)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (TKO4) vs. #3 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Cleverly’s cruiserweight debut is once again on the schedule.  This time for May 17 in Cardiff.
11) Isaac Chilemba (14-116)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD10 Denis Grachev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba looked very very sharp in dominating a game Denis Grachev, and might soon be in line for a shot at Adonis Stevenson.
12) Jürgen Brähmer (14-105)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD5 Enzo Maccarinelli (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Braehmer might give Maccarinelli a rematch in June.  I like it.
13) Karo Murat (13-26)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat is a free agent after his contract with Sauerland recently expired.
14) Thomas Williams, Jr. (13-13)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- TKO1 #13 Cornelius White
Next Fight: Unknown
Williams has been well-matched against vulnerable guys with good resumes.
15) Cedric Agnew (14-54)
Last Fight: 3/29/2014- L (KO7) vs. #4 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
After taking a risk against Kovalev and coming up short, I can only assume that his prospects for a regional title bout against Dudchenko and a IBF eliminator against Sukhotsky might both be out the window at least for the moment.
16) Edwin Rodriguez (14-41)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez was scheduled to fight Marcus Johnson on May 24, but Johnson quickly withdrew.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (26-43)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (13-123)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- L (TKO1) vs. Thomas Williams, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Never blessed with big-time promotional or managerial ties, White has risked becoming a permanent opponent with his last two losses.
19) Eleider Alvarez (13-65)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD10 Andy Gardiner (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. Radivoje Kalajdzic (UNR)
Alvarez will fight a physically talented and undefeated prospect in Kalajdzic on the Stevenson-Fonfara undercard, but a prospect who is still a little rough around the edges.
20) Lucian Bute (13-77)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- L (UD12) vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute wants his contractually-guaranteed rematch with Pascal, a fight that appears tentatively planned for late in the year.  He recently parted ways with his long-time trainer.


The Week Ahead
#14 Thomas Williams, Jr. vs. Enrique Ornelas; Rancho Mirage, California; FS1 (US)
Williams is a fast-rising Golden Boy prospect who has risen in the rankings due to both his talent and excellent matchmaking.  That is to say that he’s been matched with vulnerable guys like Cornelius White and Yusaf Mack who nevertheless have very solid- some would say inflated- resumes.  This is more of a showcase.  Ornelas- the brother of former top 5 super middleweight Librado Andrade- was once a fringe contender, but since at least 2008 he’s done one of two things exclusively: beat nobodies or lose to contenders, though it should be noted that he did give Bernard Hopkins unexpected trouble in late 2009.  With that all being the case, it’s possible that he’s the opposite of Williams’ typical recent opponent in that he might be more dangerous than his current status might indicate.  But that status is merely that of a mid-level journeyman at this point, so an Ornelas win would be a huge upset, indeed.


Rowland Bryant vs. Rayco Saunders; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Off TV
Speaking of Librado Andrade, the man known almost exclusively for effectively ending his career is also in action on Thursday.  He’s not getting a ton of love from the Boxrec rankings, and he is coming off losses in 2 of his 3 fights since the destruction of the Mexican contender- albeit against the likes of undefeated prospects/contenders like Thomas Oosthuizen and Yunieski Gonzalez.  There’s much less ambiguity about the proper status of Saunders, who comes in with only one more win than loss, and at 39 years old has been declared the loser in 8 of his last 9.


Timy Shala vs. Emmanuel Feuzeu; Vienna, Austria; TV Unknown
Shala, who makes his home in Vienna by way of Kosovo, is an undefeated prospect, who is arguably a top 50 fighter based on his stoppage win over Mounir Toumi- a likely overrated journeyman who had made a minor name for himself by beating Tony Averlant right after Averlant was robbed versus Eddy Gutknecht.  Feuzeu is a veteran of just 11 fights, and a mid-level journeyman who comes off his best career win over Ricky Pow in October.  He does, however, have at least one unacceptable loss on his resume, a decision to a 1-2 fighter back in March 2008.  He’s not a challenge for a bona fide top 50 fighter, but I’m not sure we really know yet if Shala is among that company.


Pawel Glazewski vs. Maciej Miszkin; Legionowo, Poland; Polsat Sport (Poland)
Glazewski is hard to figure.  He clearly beat no less a name than Roy Jones, Jr. in a cruiserweight fight in which he was blatantly robbed, but then was stopped in his home country by a natural super middleweight in Hadillah Mohoumadi.  I figure he’s still got to be considered a top 50 guy despite that setback, and he’s in against a one-loss prospect in Miszkin, but a one-loss prospect coming off a TKO loss to an inexperienced 18-year old.

Cruiserweight: 2014, Apr 21-27

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 24, 2014 by danboxing
Undefeated prospect Yunier Dorticos continued to rip through the gatekeeper level of the division on Wednesday, knocking out Eric Fields at the end of the 4th round in Santa Monica.  It wasn’t all fun and games, though, as Fields dropped Dorticos in the first round along the way.  The card wasn’t televised, so I can’t add a lot of color to that result.  What I can tell you is that Dorticos- whose name, if I’m being honest, leaves me craving Spicy Nacho every time I type it- returns to the rankings with the win after a brief spell of one week on the outside.  He leapfrogs Glowacki- who exits after 38 consecutive weeks- and takes over at #20.


Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (39-220-220)
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 (13-385-385)
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 (13-200-200)
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 (32-461-461)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk probably won’t return until the fall, with Drozd emerging as the most likely option.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (13-38-76)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
6) Firat Arslan (13-102-145)
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 (22-29-76)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
8) Ola Afolabi (22-267-267)
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 (22-32-284)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- L (TKO6) vs. #4 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
I was sorta rooting for the shopworn Fragomeni to retire after taking a beating from Wlodarczyk, but he’s preparing for a tune-up on April 26 in Italy.  After that, he appears to be set up for the opportunity of fighting the destructive Grigory Drozd next.
10) Silvio Branco (22-22-110)
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 (22-41)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO2 Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #13 Mateusz Masternak
Makabu and Masternak have reportedly agreed to fight, but I don’t have any details on time or place.
12) Santander Silgado (20-25)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Silgado is scheduled to return against an unannounced opponent on May 17 in Arjona, Colombia.
13) Mateusz Masternak (20-108)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- UD8 Stjepan Vugdelija (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #11 Ilunga Makabu
See Makabu’s notes, above.
14) Lukasz Janik (20-25)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik would like a well-deserved rematch with Afolabi.
15) Ovill McKenzie (2-2)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- KO5 #18 Tony Conquest
Next Fight: Unknown
McKenzie is at cruiserweight mainly because he can’t get fights at 175.  He doesn’t seem married to the idea of staying at this weight, and has mentioned wanting a shot at Juergen Braehmer.
16) Danie Venter (13-32)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Dmytro Kucher (13-95)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Nuri Seferi (2-18)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- Robbery Win (should be draw) vs. Gusmyr Perdomo (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/16/2014- vs. Tamas Lodi (UNR)
A quick turnaround for Seferi, and unfortunately no immediate rematch for Perdomo, as Seferi will take on mid-level Hungarian journeyman Tamas Lodi in Hamburg on May 16.
19) Gusmyr Perdomo (2-2)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- Robbery Loss (should be draw) vs. #15 Nuri Seferi
Next Fight: Unknown
Perdomo deserved at least a draw against Seferi, but the judges summoned just enough coincidental incompetence to take it from him.
20) Yunier Dorticos (1-1)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- KO4 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

#1 Denis Lebedev vs. Guillermo Jones; Moscow, Russia; TV Unknown
Lebedev may have to overcome some demons to win this one.  Despite his #1 ranking, he was stopped in the ring in the pair’s prior meeting last year.  Lebedev was legitimately leading in the fight, but was worn down and stopped late in a brutal war of attrition, after his eye ballooned to grotesque proportions.  Why is he ranked #1 while Jones is unranked then?  Well, Jones tested positive (and not for the first time in his career, mind you) for a particular banned diuretic and potential steroid masking agent, which prompted me to ignore the result.  After all, even if I didn’t care to judge the behavior in a punitive sense, there’s simply too much doubt as to the legitimacy of the outcome.  If Jones had been clean, it’s very likely that he would not have been so strong later in the fight as Lebedev wilted a bit.  But Lebedev isn’t the only guy dealing with adversity heading into the fight.  Jones will presumably have to go drug-free this time, and will have to try and reproduce a performance from a fight he didn’t win by much without that presumed advantage, and all while carrying essentially 42 years of age along with him.  Lebedev would have to be the favorite this time around, as he was the first time.


#9 Giacobbe Fragomeni vs. TBA; Rho, Italy; TV Unknown
Fragomeni should probably retire, to be honest.  He’s 44 years old, and is no Bernard Hopkins.  It’s remarkable that he’s in the top 10 at this point, though in fairness he’s still relying to a large extent on fights that are almost 4 years old.  In recent outings, he’s struggled to controversial outcomes in toss-up fights with the even older Silvio Branco, and was beaten up in a trilogy bout with Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, and I think those fights give a more accurate picture of where he’s headed.  Still, his resume is good enough to hang on to a ranking in a thin division.  But he doesn’t have to retire just because I think he should, and if all he’s looking to do is cash paychecks in 6 rounders, there’s really no reason he can’t do that almost indefinitely.


Oleksandr Usyk vs. Ben Nsafoah; Oberhausen, Germany; Eurosport
Usyk is the 2012 Olympic Heavyweight Gold Medalist from Ukraine, and his career trajectory is steeper than most, in keeping with his more proven ability.  This is just his 3rd career fight, and he took on solid journeymen in his first two- perhaps even names you’d recognize if you follow the division closely- in Felipe Romero and Epifanio Mendoza, both of whom he stopped in the second half of scheduled 6-rounders.  He’s now a bona fide top 50 fighter in the pro ranks.  Unfortunately for those who were hoping to see him step up even more this time around, his Ghanaian opponent is nothing to write home about, and frankly shouldn’t amount to more than a stay-busy fight for Usyk.  But he could use the work.  After his first two fights were contested in just a 5-week span, he has had more than 4 months off.  Not bad for a top 50 fighter generally, but not good for a prospect this early in his career.