Archive for October, 2014

Cruiserweight: 2014, Jun 9-15

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 31, 2014 by danboxing
In the week’s biggest cruiserweight fight, #14 and Commonwealth Champion Ovill McKenzie took the fight to British Champion Jon-Lewis Dickinson from the opening bell in Newcastle, England.  Nothing flashy initially, but just hitting Dickinson with solid shots, mostly to the body, and taking the first round clearly.  Dickinson still hadn’t gotten fully untracked, it seemed, when at the bell to end the 2nd, McKenzie hit him with a nice left hook on the temple and behind the gloves, followed by a hard right hand between said gloves and on the chin.  This stretched Dickinson out, and though he was up well before 8, he staggered back at the conclusion of the mandatory count, just as Victor Loughlin was looking to certify him to continue, and necessitating a stoppage.  McKenzie has never won a fight that lasted past 6 rounds in his long career, and so I think it likely that Dickinson wasn’t trying to take any chances, and was probably just trying to feel out McKenzie for 3 or 4 rounds.  The Jamaican native has too much power to even stand in front of him defensively though.  I’ll bet that Dickinson would have mixed in more movement if he had it to do over.  McKenzie now owns the British and Commonwealth title (he lives in Derbyshire now), and says he wants to move on to a European title, or perhaps a world title shot in the near future.  He named Marco Huck as a person of particular interest.


#6 Firat Arslan was in a stay-busy fight with a sub-.500 Hungarian fighter in Schwerin named Tamas Bajzath.  To the best of my ability to find, it was not televised, but just from the scores (80-71 unanimously) it appears that Arslan won every round and most likely threw in a knockdown.


The same night in Tolfa, Italy, undefeated Italian Mirko Larghetti dropped his own low-level Hungarian, Attila Palko, twice in the 2nd, including the second time for the full count.  This was essentially a tune-up ahead of a planned shot at Marco Huck.


#5 Thabiso Mchunu was supposed to be in with a Brazilian prospect on Saturday, but that fight didn’t come off. 


No movement in the rankings will occur because of the week’s fights.  McKenzie is still stuck behind Janik, who comes off what should be a win over a #7 contender.  McKenzie has uniformly lost to guys who would so much as go on to that level, and has no fights against guys that were at that level at the time.  Dickinson also stays put, for what it’s worth, unofficially just a few spots shy of the top 25.


Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Marco Huck (4-392-392)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck’s TV deal in Germany is set to expire, he’s reportedly leaving Sauerland, and has met with HBO about coming to the US.  Ovill McKenzie would like to fight him.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (4-207-207)
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.
3) Denis Lebedev (4-227-227)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Given his legitimate injury that shelved him for a big chunk of the year and the fact that his opponent screwed him over via PED use, I’m going to use my discretion and leave Lebedev ranked at this point.  Still, his best work is simply getting too old to stay at the very top.  Some reports have him returning in the fall against Pawel Kolodziej.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (39-468-468)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk probably won’t return until the fall, with Drozd and BJ Flores being considered.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (20-45-83)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu’s scheduled fight with Brazilian prospect was scrapped on just a day’s notice due to the surprise withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
6) Firat Arslan (20-109-152)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- UD8 Tamas Bajzath (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arslan wasn’t scheduled to fight this weekend, but on short notice, he’ll replace an injured Ruslan Chagaev on the Schwerin undercard of Braehmer-Bolonti.  His opponent is a hopeless Hungarian.
7) Grigory Drozd (29-36-83)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
8) Rakhim Chakhkiev (2-2-2)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- UD12 #11 Santander Silgado
Next Fight: Unknown
Chakhkiev has finally cashed in a high-level win to go with his hype and promise.  Most likely another title shot is not far off.
9) Ola Afolabi (2-274-274)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. Pawel Kolodziej (UNR)
After we got no news on the fight for months, Afolabi-Kolodziej is now scheduled for the Golovkin-Geale undercard on July 26.
10) Giacobbe Fragomeni (2-39-291)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Olegs Lopajevs (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The fight with Lopajevs was purely a stay-busy contest, but he’s talking about another title shot even at 44 years old.
11) Ilunga Makabu (2-48)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO2 Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/28/2014- vs. Glen Johnson (UNR)
Initially sketchy reports of a June 28 fight with Glen Johnson appear true.
12) Mateusz Masternak (7-115)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- UD8 Stjepan Vugdelija (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. Youri Kayembre Kalenga (UNR)
Masternak’s fight with Makabu fell through, and he’ll instead be fighting crude and inconsistent one-loss prospect Youri Kalenga.
13) Lukasz Janik (7-32)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 6/28/2014- vs. Rico Hoye (UNR)
Janik will dredge up a name from the past when he fights Rico Hoye on June 28.
14) Ovill McKenzie (7-9)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- TKO2 Jon-Lewis Dickinson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After blowing out the British Champion, McKenzie has his sites set on a European or perhaps World belt.  He wants to fight Marco Huck most of all.
15) Santander Silgado (2-32)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- L (UD12) vs. Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I don’t want to say Silgado made it easy for Chakhkiev, because it looked relatively difficult, but he sure didn’t help himself by taking a fight with a fringe contending Olympic Gold Medalist on 2 weeks’ notice.
16) Danie Venter (2-39)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Venter’s June 6 fight was cancelled a day in advance due to a withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
17) Dmytro Kucher (2-102)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The inactive Kucher may now be in danger of losing his ranking in the next couple months, as his stay-busy fight in late May did not come off.
18) Nuri Seferi (2-25)
Last Fight: 5/16/2014- UD12 Tamas Lodi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Seferi looked pretty decent against Lodi, who fought the wrong fight.  At this point, he ought to give Perdomo a rematch.
19) Gusmyr Perdomo (2-9)
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 (2-8)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- KO4 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown


Olanrewaju Durodola vs. Max Heyman; St. Joseph, Missouri; Off TV
Durodola is a Nigerian based in Kansas City.  He has an impressive physique and flashed a lot of power in the amateurs.  His pro results have been mixed, but in his only TV exposure to this point, he made a decent account of himself against Thabiso Mchunu, who was coming off a dominating performance against Eddie Chambers.  Heyman is a low-level journeyman from Albuquerque, New Mexico who ought to have no chance whatsoever.

Heavyweight: 2014, Jun 9-15

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 31, 2014 by danboxing
The heavyweight week got off to an interesting start on Wednesday with the New Zealand version of Prizefighter, dubbed the “Super 8.”  The field was made up of 50% has-beens (some more viable than others) like Michael Sprott, Martin Rogan, Kali Meehan, Hasim Rahman, an inactive career high-level journeyman in Alonzo Butler, and 3 novices in Brice Ritani-Coe, Hunter Sam, and Antz Nansen.  I’m not sure if it was a random draw or a true seeding system (they called it seeding), but if it was the latter, it was a misbegotten attempt.  The correct order of seeding would have been #1 Sprott vs. #8 Brice Ritani-Coe, #2 Martin Rogan vs. #7 Antz Nansen, #3 Kali Meehan vs. #6 Hunter Sam, and #4 Hasim Rahman vs. #5 Alonzo Butler.  As it happened, the Meehan-Sam fight was an actual matchup, but the rest were not.  #1 Sprott instead fought #2 Rogan inexplicably in the first round, while #4 Rahman and #5 Butler each got what should have been easy matchups in Nansen and Ritani-Coe, respectively.  I’ll break down the action fight by fight.


Round 1
1. Hasim Rahman, the inactive former champion who looked awful in his last fight with Alexander Povetkin in 2012, looked even more awful against 3-2 novice Antz Nansen, whose inclusion in the tournament in the first place couldn’t have been more random.  Nansen was coming off back-to-back losses against bad fighters with losing records, including one by KO.  His last loss was against an 0-10 fighter, and so it would have been more reasonable to assume he was in the bottom 5% of all pro heavyweights than to assume he belonged in a ring even with  a badly faded Rahman.  But apparently Rahman’s fadedness knew no bounds.  His handspeed was non-existent, and his footwork and balance were pathetic.  He was almost totally non-threatening, as even if Nansen couldn’t see every shot coming about 5 seconds before it arrived, Rahman was reaching so badly that he couldn’t have had much power.  Even so, I gave him the first round in a close call before Nansen took the last two going away.  Two of the judges had it the same as me, while a third had it a shutout.


2. Alonzo Butler- an American who was once a serious prospect, but who failed the only two times he tried his hand with a top 50 opponent, and who has had only 2 fights since 2009- fought his own 3-2 novice in Brice Ritani-Coe.  Ritani-Coe had zero boxrec rankings points entering the fight, and while he did suffer a draw against a 3-5 nobody in 2012, his two actual losses were at least more forgivable.  He dropped a decision to Jerry Forrest, a 1-0 prospect who now has a loss, but only against legit prospect Gerald Washington, and in his next fight he dropped a decision to current hot prospect Joseph Parker.  For no reason at all, the mammoth Butler- who had more than 35 pounds on his 260 pound opponent, chose to try and fight like Miguel Vazquez.  He was on the back foot, by choice, the entire time, and honestly didn’t really seem to be trying before he appeared to gas out in the 2nd round.  You could make a case for Butler winning the 3rd, but I had it a shutout for Ritani-Coe, who won essentially just by working.  He came forward, which made him the aggressor by a mile, and threw punches with reasonable regularity.  It was an easy formula.  One judge, Jeff Nelson, turned in a 30-27 card in favor of Butler, which is one of the silliest things you’ll ever see.  The other two were more reasonable, scoring it 29-28 for Ritani-Coe, who advanced in the second upset in as many fights.


3. Tall Kiwi veteran Kali Meehan, a former contender aged 44 years and without a fight in over 2 years, got through some apparent rust and made it through a very competitive test against the 10-2 Hunter Sam, who fought well despite his record being probably a little better than the reality underlying it.  Meehan was actually trailing significantly in the vitally important 3rd round, but came back strong at the end to take it pretty clearly.  The already questionable Jeff Nelson struck again, scoring it for Sam.  Meehan advances, though not by a lot.
4. Michael Sprott vs. Martin Rogan was a fight that really shouldn’t have been possible until the finals, give or take.  Not only were both guys Prizefighter champions at some point (Sprott twice, including the most recent), but both have had relatively recent success against top 25 opposition.  Sprott won round one with ease, but with Rogan’s surprisingly straighter punches gave his shots greater leverage and power, and he hurt Sprott in the 2nd, and kept him in borderline buzzed status for the rest of the fight.  Rounds two and three were as clear for Rogan as round one was for Sprott, and thus the correct score was a very clear 29-28 Rogan.  But this time the judges went too far in crappiness, and botched the result.  Nelson wasn’t even involved, surprisingly.  Paul McSharry scored an even round in one of Rogan’s two, and therefore had it 29-29.  Laurie Glozier and Steve Miles inexplicably had it 29-28 for Sprott, and thus the wrong guy moved on in a clear robbery that marred a really good fight.


Round 2:
1. After an intermission that included a couple entertaining 4-rounders, Sprott returned on short rest and outpointed Nansen in what I would call a lackluster performance in a lackluster fight.  Basically Sprott won it simply by being first behind the jab.  It’s not that Nansen didn’t try, but he couldn’t grab the initiative and was ineffective and comparatively wild when he tried to counter, or to punch in general.  I had it a shutout, though all the rounds were kinda close, and round 1 in particular could have gone either way.  All the judges had it a shutout, just like me.  Putting Sprott in the Final despite winning a closely-contested fight against a nobody and, by all rights, losing to a gatekeeper in Rogan.


2. The action continued with Meehan vs. Ritani-Coe, who from now on I’ll just call Coe for brevity’s sake, in a battle of Kiwis at very different career stages.  Meehan landed almost at will early, apparently having left the rust of the first fight far behind him.  Despite the defensive lapses against a solid puncher, Coe showed impressive desire as Meehan began to look a little tired and sloppy from about the midway point of round 2.  By the third, Meehan was just looking to hold on, as Coe won that round going away with Meehan trying to hang on him.  29-28 was the clearly correct score, and all the judges got it right this time.  Meehan moves on to the final on shorter rest, and looking like the more tired fighter in the first place.


In a bit of a surprise, Sprott just got caught and dropped by Meehan, and continued getting caught until the fight was stopped after he rose in wobbly fashion from the first round’s second knockdown.


I doubt anyone has ever looked as bad in making the finals of a tournament like this.  A top 50 fighter was rightfully defeated twice in the tournament, and it was Sprott both times.  I’ll get to the rankings implications later.


Moving ahead to Friday, #12 Carlos Takam dominated the first 9 rounds against #9 Tony Thompson before apparently deciding to coast his way to three lackluster rounds to finish the fight, winning 117-111 on my card.  I don’t want to be too hard on Thompson, who follows me on Twitter and is a great guy, but even aside from probably not having the physical tools to compete with the strong and comparatively young Takam, he fought a terrible tactical fight.  He spent perhaps most of the fight with his back to the ropes and Takam more or less on his chest, which was not a fight he could remotely win considering his height, long arms, and slow hands.  Not only that, but he circled consistently to his left, especially early in the fight.  This not only lined him up nicely for Takam’s power shots, but also frequently rendered his own jab largely useless.  Robin Dolpierre and Daniel Van de Wiele had it the same as me at 117-111, while Barry Lindenman was maybe a little kind to Takam’s spoiling strategy late, but still had it fairly reasonably 119-109.


Finally, in Saturday action, 2-loss Liverpool prospect David Price (whose two losses were to Thompson, incidentally) turned in a workmanlike 10-round decision win over durable but ultimately low-level Ukrainian journeyman Yaroslav Zavorotnyi in Schwerin, Germany, in a fight that was anything but scintillating.  In fairness, Zavorotnyi had only been stopped twice in a long career- once to Valuev and once to Dimitrenko- and had gone an 8-round distance with no less than Kubrat Pulev.  So it’s not like Price let a bum hang around who was just looking to collect a check.  On the other hand, Price is supposed to be a much bigger puncher than any of the three guys mentioned above, and had built his pre-Thompson career on being an intimidating destroyer that knocked guys out viciously, generally in the first couple rounds.  This was only Price’s 3rd decision in 20 fights, and his first of over 6 rounds.  The bottom line is that regardless of Zavorotnyi’s bona fides, Price simply doesn’t look like the same monster that terrorized the likes of Audley Harrison less than a couple years ago.  He was very jab-heavy and cautious in the fight.  He does have a suspect chin and most likely won each of the first 7 rounds with those tactics, so perhaps it wasn’t the worst idea from a competitive perspective.  From an analytical perspective, however, it’s hard not to be down on a performance like that.  Frankly, Price looked like a guy trying to rebuild his technique from scratch.  In addition to the aforementioned caution and reliance on the jab, he was rather robotic and deliberate in letting his hands go, as if his offense was no longer flowing naturally.  I don’t know if it was fatigue, or if perhaps the Ukrainian just didn’t feel he had to worry as much about getting knocked out, and thus took more chances, but Zavorotnyi’s shots started finding a home behind Price’s gloves in the 8th round, and he had an argument to have won every round from that point on.  I gave him 8 and 9, personally, and scored it 98-92.  Gerhard Sigl agreed with my card.  Josef Temml had it 100-90, and thus probably didn’t watch the fight.  Joerg Milke turned in a 97-92 card, which is about right, but numerically puzzling nevertheless.  


Now to the rankings implications of all the above.  If Sprott had beaten Rogan legitimately before losing to Meehan, it might have given the Kiwi the fuel he needed to make a run at or near the top 20.  Since Sprott was slightly diminished by the Rogan fight instead of better for it, Meehan, Sprott, and Rogan all find themselves mired in the 30s.  Takam boosts himself to #7, halted only by Dereck Chisora, whose deserved win over #4-ranked Helenius is by far the best result between the two still, and who has only lost to the very top level (ie guys ranked #1-2 then or now).  Thompson drops less drastically than you might think, backtracking only the one place required by Takam’s promotion.  This is due largely to Adamek having no legitimate wins of consequence since 2012 to go with his loss to #18 Glazkov, while Thompson at least has the debatable win over #8 Solis to go with his wins over prospect Price and his loss to the more prestigious Takam.  This means that Adamek is forced from the top 10 after being an inaugural and continuous member of my top 10, and having been ranked by the Ring for 5 weeks before I started publishing.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (259-472-472)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: 9/6/2014- vs. #5 Kubrat Pulev
It’s looking all but certain that Wlad will fight Pulev on September 6.
1) Tyson Fury (17-17-17)
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) Alexander Povetkin (2-346-346)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- TKO7 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin made a case that he’s the most technically skilled heavyweight in the division with a beautifully-executed performance against an outclassed Charr.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (2-13-77)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Reports have a fight between Glazkov and Main Events stablemate Bryant Jennings being targeted for July on HBO.
4) Amir Mansour (10-10-10)
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 (17-110-187)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/6/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Klitschko’s notes, above.
6) Dereck Chisora (17-132-195)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Carlos Takam (1-1-21)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- UD12 #9 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam’s potential appears nearly boundless after he handled Tony Thompson more easily than anyone not named Wladimir Klitschko.
8) Bermane Stiverne (1-5-67)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne is hoping to fight Wilder sometime in November in either Montreal or Las Vegas.
9) Steve Cunningham (1-77-77)
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.
10) Tony Thompson (1-12-211)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Not that there’s any shame in being beaten by Takam necessarily, but Thompson’s performance was poor enough that you have to start wondering how much he has left.
11) Tomasz Adamek (1-216)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
Adamek expects to return on October 18.  Not much detail yet, but Ray Austin is a potential opponent.
12) Odlanier Solis (1-211)
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.
13) Deontay Wilder (5-59)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 #19 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Chris Arreola (5-40)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
Having spent the better part of the last 5 years losing or fighting nobodies, Arreola’s resume now depends entirely on the Mitchell win.
15) Erkan Teper (10-41)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/13/2014- vs. Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Teper may have upgraded his opponent slightly when Ouatah replaced a slightly less-impressive French prospect in Duhaupas on just about 5 days’ notice.
16) Alex Leapai (10-29)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Leapai is reportedly interested in fighting Shannon Briggs in the wake of his total non-performance against the Champ.
17) Andy Ruiz (10-29)
Last Fight: 5/17/2014- TKO2 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Even against a faded Quezada who showed little resistance, I must confess to being impressed by Ruiz’s skill and heavy hands, especially considering the sharp contrast between his physique and the results it yields.
18) Seth Mitchell (10-53)
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 (10-14)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Banks had an offer to fight in the Auckland Super 8 Tournament on June 6, but either turned it down or failed to respond.  He’ll need to schedule something else in the next few weeks to avoid removal for inactivity.
20) Francesco Pianeta (10-13)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- KO1 Mickael Vieira (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pianeta says he wants to give Vieira a rematch due to the flukey broken arm that KO’d the Frenchman.  The fight was a waste of time the first time, honestly, so I’m not sure we need a second helping, regardless of the reason.


Arnold Gjergjaj vs. Tibor Balogh; Kaltacker, Switzerland; TV Unknown
Gjergjaj is an undefeated prospect from Kosovo originally, who now lives in Switzerland.  He’s 24-0, but still about as unproven as a top 50 fighter could possibly be.  Even so, Balogh is far from his best opponent to date, being a low-level journeyman from Hungary.


Ian Lewison vs. Kreso Bogdanovic; Glasgow, Scotland; Off TV
I consider Lewison a borderline top 50 fighter on the basis of a loss against Derric Rossy in Prizefighter that I thought should have been a win.  Bogdanovic is a terrible Croatian who has only once beaten a fighter with even a single win, that being the 4-8 Werner Kreiskott.


#15 Erkan Teper vs. Newfel Ouatah; Munich, Germany; TV Unknown
Teper is finally back in the ring after his vicious demolition of Martin Rogan’s jaw in November.  It’s kinda shocking that Rogan, whose career appeared to be over at that time, beat Teper back to action by 9 days.  Germany’s Teper has a reasonably decent opponent on his hands, or at least that appears to be a strong possibility.  Ouatah is an unbeaten Frenchman who boasts the exact same 12-0 record as Teper.  That being said, Teper is ranked due to his having been in with- and beaten- the much better competition.  Ouatah’s best wins are a couple domestic-level French journeymen in Gregory Tony and Mickael Vieira.  Those guys were nothing to write home about, but there’s a substantial drop-off from them to the next-best guy on Ouatah’s record.  Nevertheless, he disposed of both of them by stoppage, and you can never write off a guy who’s never lost, or really come close to losing as far as I can tell.  Teper needed a grand total of just over 4 minutes to stop Rogan and Michael Sprott, another fringe contender, in his last two fights.

Welterweight: 2014, Jun 2-8

Posted in Rankings, Welterweight with tags , , , , , , , on October 29, 2014 by danboxing
Nothing worth reporting at 147 last week.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (214-246-246)
Last Fight: 5/3/2014- W* (MD12) vs. #4 Marcos Maidana
Next Fight: 9/13/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Mayweather has booked his next fight on September 13.  Let’s hope he gives Maidana a rematch.
1) Marcos Maidana (5-52-52)
Last Fight:5/3/2014- L* (MD12) vs. Champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Next Fight: Unknown
There are rumors swirling around two possible fights for Maidana- a Mayweather rematch and a showdown with Keith Thurman.
2) Manny Pacquiao (5-287-287)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- UD12 #1 Timothy Bradley
Next Fight: 11/23/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Pacquiao will be back on November 23 in Macau, with a 5th Marquez fight being the most likely scenario.
3) Juan Manuel Marquez (5-134-134)
Last Fight: 5/17/2014- UD12 #? JWW Mike Alvarado
Next Fight: Unknown
See Pacquiao’s notes, above.
4) Timothy Bradley (5-34-104)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- L (UD12) vs. #3 Manny Pacquiao
Next Fight: Unknown
Bradley says he intends to return in October or November, and says he wants Mayweather.  Good luck, especially coming off a loss.  Bradley’s best options for a next fight, practically-speaking, are limited to re-hashes of previous fights like Marquez and Provodnikov.
5) Keith Thurman (25-25-65)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- RTD3 Julio Diaz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There’s a rumor that has Thurman fighting Maidana on September 13.  He’s also expressed interest in Tim Bradley, a politically difficult proposition, though some believe the departure of Richard Schaeffer from Golden Boy might make it more realistic.
6) Shawn Porter (25-26-26)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- KO4 #14 Paulie Malignaggi
Next Fight: Unknown
Thurman wants him and Golden Boy is making noise about him fighting Mayweather, but it’s hard to imagine Porter being able to put off his mandatory with Brook any longer.  That fight is being worked on for August, it’s said.
7) Robert Guerrero (26-80-97)
Last Fight: 5/4/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. Yoshihiro Kamegai (UNR)
Guerrero scheduled the Kamegai fight just in time to avoid removal.  It’s not exactly the sexiest possible matchup, though Kamegai does make good fights generally.
8) Kell Brook (26-162-162)
Last Fight:3/15/2014- TKO8 Alvaro Robles (UNR) (at JMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Porter’s notes, above.
9) Devon Alexander (26-119-119)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- L (UD12) vs. Shawn Porter (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. #12 Jesus Soto Karass
Boxingscene now reports that Alexander-Soto Karass is done, but not for June 21 as originally reported, but rather on the Canelo-Lara undercard on July 12.
10) Randall Bailey (28-28-28)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- W (DQ8) vs. Humberto Toledo (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. Freddy Lawson (UNR)
Bailey wants Thurman, but it sounds like he’s settling for undefeated but fairly untested Ghanaian prospect Freddy Lawson in Minnesota.
11) Josesito Lopez (28-102)
Last Fight: 4/24/2014- TKO5 Aron Martinez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lopez is back on the right track, looking at least decent against a likely better fighter than Arnaoutis, whom he almost lost to.
12) Jesus Soto Karass (25-71)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- L (TKO9) vs. #13 Keith Thurman
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. #9 Devon Alexander
See Alexander’s notes, above.
13) Andre Berto (25-80)
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. 
14) Amir Khan (5-5)
Last Fight: 5/3/2014- UD12 #17 Luis Collazo
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite the fairly impressive win over Collazo, Khan has ruled himself out of a possible Mayweather shot in September, due to Ramadan.  He posits Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman, and Robert Guerrero as possible opponents, and has indicated interest in fighting in Dubai.
15) Paulie Malignaggi (5-26) 
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- L (KO4) vs. #6 Shawn Porter
Next Fight: Unknown
Malignaggi confirms he’s considering retirement.
16) Chris van Heerden (5-103)
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.
17) Luis Carlos Abregu (5-58)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- TKO8 Jean Carlos Prada (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Abregu offered Brandon Rios a fight, but Rios turned it down.  He is also interested in Thurman.
18) Jan Zaveck (18-234)
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 (12-14)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO12 Lee Purdy (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/1/2014- vs. Frankie Gavin (UNR)
Bundu will fight unbeaten Brit Frankie Gavin in Wolverhampton, England on August 1 for Bundu’s European belt.

20) Luis Collazo (5-18)
Last Fight: 5/3/2014- L (UD12) vs. Amir Khan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s back to the drawing board for Collazo, whose career momentum was abruptly halted by a sharp Khan.


The Week Ahead: 
#10 Randall Bailey vs. Freddy Lawson; St. Paul, Minnesota; Off TV
Bailey fights undefeated but unproven Ghanaian Freddy Lawson on Saturday, in a fight that could scarcely be more under the radar, decent though it is.  

Junior Middleweight: 2014, Jun 2-8

Posted in Junior Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2014 by danboxing
There was no significant action to report from 154 last week.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1) Saul Alvarez (13-170-185)
Last Fight: 3/8/2014- TKO10 #10 Alfredo Angulo (at 155)
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. #3 Erislandy Lara
Canelo came knocking, and Lara answered the door.
2) Carlos Molina (13-152-167)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W (SD12) vs. #5 Ishe Smith
Next Fight: Unknown
Molina is out of jail and training in Mexico City.  He lobbied the IBF to give him an exemption to defend his belt against Jermall Charlo, whom he was supposed to face already before he was jailed, but the alphabet is sticking to its guns and will try to make him fight Bundrage, instead.
3) Erislandy Lara (13-152-174)
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. (13-38-38)
Last Fight: 5/3/2014- W* (MD12) vs. #4 WW Marcos Maidana (at WW)
Next Fight: 9/13/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Floyd will be fighting on September 13.  A Maidana rematch remains a possibility.
5) Austin Trout (26-105-174)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- L (UD12) vs. #5 Erislandy Lara
Next Fight: 7/19/2014- vs. Daniel Dawson (UNR)
Trout will look to get back on track with a fairly easy Friday Night Fights main event against upper mid-level Australian journeyman Daniel Dawson, who was once a fringe contender, but not since 2007.
6) Ishe Smith (38-67-67)
Last Fight: 5/2/2014- KO2 Ryan Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I know he was a relatively short-notice replacement, but Ryan Davis was a little too hapless even by that standard.
7) Joshua Clottey (8-8-8)
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 (27-209-209)
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 (8-27-27)
Last Fight: 4/9/2014- L (UD12) vs. Joshua Clottey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mundine is reportedly in talks to bring the now much larger and also more retired Danny Green into a rematch.
10) Cornelius Bundrage (8-200-200)
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, and his would-be opponent is now out of jail and training.
11Alfredo Angulo (8-245)
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 (8-103)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 Bradley Pryce (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rabchenko’s fight in Rome was cancelled on 3 days’ notice due to Visa issues, and his would-be opponent, journeyman Emanuele Della Rosa, will be fighting undefeated prospect Isaac Real for what had been Rabchenko’s European title.
13) Jermell Charlo (2-52)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- UD12 Charlie Ota (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With the cancellation of Smith-Lara, Charlo has been bumped back to May 24, and will fight fringe contending prospect Charlie Ota.
14) Demetrius Andrade (2-30)
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.
15) Cesar Sastre Silva (2-7)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- Robbery UD10 Loss (should be win) vs. #13 Javier Maciel
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. Brian Castano (UNR)
Sastre Silva dominated a confused-looking Javier Maciel, but got robbed even worse than Maciel had been robbed against Rose in his previous fight.  Now he’ll be in with an undefeated prospect in Brian Castano on June 6.
16) Vanes Martirosyan (2-157)
Last Fight: 3/21/2014- UD10 Mario Lozano (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vanes was supposed to fight on the Stiverne-Arreola card from what I understood, but that fight quietly disappeared from the schedule at some unknown point in time.  He’s been dropped by Top Rank and signed with Dan Goossen, as well.
17) Gabriel Rosado (3-19)
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.
18) Zaurbek Baysangurov (3-8)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- TKO12 #20 Guido Pitto
Next Fight: Unknown
Baysangurov looked the best I’ve seen him, by far, against Pitto.
19) Willie Nelson (3-66)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- UD10 Luciano Cuello (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. Darryl Cunningham (UNR)
Nelson gets a fairly easy tune-up after a year of inactivity when he gets in with 39 year-old journeyman Darryl Cunningham Saturday.
20) Brian Rose (3-3)
Last Fight: 10/26/2014- Robbery SD12 W (Draw at best) vs. Javier Maciel (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/14/2014- vs. #14 Demetrius Andrade
See Andrade’s notes, above.


The Week Ahead: 
Frank Haroche Horta vs. Unknown Opponent; Levallois-Perret, France; Ma Chaine Sport (France)
Horta comes off  a robbery loss against Andy Lee in April, and will almost certainly get an easier night, as his opponent has not been announced less than a week before fight night.


#15 Cesar Sastre Silva vs. Brian Castano; Benavidez, Argentina; TyC Sports (Argentina)
Sastre Silva is about as vulnerable as a top 15 contender gets.  He is ranked based on a loss that clearly should have been a win over #13 Javier Maciel back in April.  He actually benefitted from his own inactivity in earning his ranking, since he had three consecutive losses in 2008, but they are too old to be counted against him.  He only had 4 fairly inconsequential wins between that and the Maciel fight.  He’s not really that good, I don’t think, but caught Maciel on a terrible night.  Castano is an undefeated Argentine prospect, and despite only having 6 pro fights, he’s beaten one pretty highly-ranked (though not top 50) journeyman already.  This is a really interesting matchup, and could serve as a great launching pad for Castano if he can pull off the victory.


Eddie Gomez vs. Francisco Santana; Indio, California; Showtime (US)
Gomez is an undefeated Bronx prospect who comes off his best career win against fellow undefeated Daquan Arnett in January.  Santana has 3 losses and a draw on his record, so it’s hard to rate him a prospect, but his only losses were two against Karim Mayfield (once by split decision, the other by stoppage) and one against Jermell Charlo, and his draw was against Julian Williams.  He owns wins over Freddy Hernandez and Joachim Alcine.  All of this illuminates the fact that he’s been in tougher overall, by a long shot.  This is a very intriguing fight.


Javier Maciel vs. Jorge Melendez; New York, New York; HBO (US)
Maciel was a top 15 contender before he very clearly lost to journeyman Cesar Sastre Silva in his last fight.  Most will still view him as a major player in the division because that fight got zero press, as opposed to his prior fight, which he clearly won against top-20 ranked Brian Rose, but in which HE was the victim of a blatant robbery.  Melendez is a gatekeeper, but he’s never beaten a top 50 fighter, while being saddled with 3 losses and a draw against lesser opposition.  Based on that alone, you’d have to make Maciel the favorite.  If he does pull off the win, Maciel would gain back some of the stock he lost to Sastre Silva.


John Jackson vs. Andy Lee; New York, New York; HBO (US)
Another fight on the Martinez-Cotto undercard in which the guy who would have been a heavy favorite just a few months ago looked abysmal in his last fight.  Lee needed a blatant robbery to beat French gatekeeper Frank Haroche Horta in April, and Jackson is most likely better than Horta.  For his part, Jackson has had two fights on the top 50 level.  A little over a year ago, he solidly outpointed undefeated prospect Ceresso Fort in an 8-rounder, and in 2012 he dropped a close unanimous decision to current #19 Willie Nelson.  This could be a heck of a match-up.


#19 Willie Nelson vs. Darryl Cunningham; New York, New York; Off TV
This will be an easy showcase for Nelson.  Cunningham was once a credible high-level journeyman (though never top 50), but at 39, he’s been in decline, and comes off a 4th round TKO loss to a 4-13 scrub in his last fight back in October.  Nelson might be rusty after nearly a year out of the ring, and in fact he struggled in his last fight, but this should be nothing more than an opportunity to shake off that rust and get some momentum going.


On the same card, Miguel Cotto gets a shot at the middleweight title against Sergio Martinez.  I’ll discuss the fight itself at middleweight, and only mention it here to the extent it affects the rankings at 154.

Middleweight: 2014, Jun 2-8

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 29, 2014 by danboxing
I’m going to make this point one time, and then set aside my bias against the obfuscation and cheating that has typified #8 Sam Soliman’s public persona for the last year.  Soliman looked great against #2 Felix Sturm on Saturday, and at 40 years old appeared to have a boundless reserve of energy.  He was much better than he was a year ago, when he was busted for a banned stimulant.  Frankly, he looked like he was on a banned stimulant.  But I have no special reason to believe that except that he has been before and looked really good, so I can only report my impressions.  I’m going to treat him as if he was clean this time around except to mention my unfounded suspicion that he was not.  


Now on to the fight itself.  Soliman flashed a brilliant jab that was penetrating and stinging, and which landed almost at will throughout the fight.  He was also very awkward, and showed just enough frenetic movement to keep Sturm off balance and seemingly a bit confused.  Sturm was very repetitive in his tendency to walk to Soliman, but seldom let his hands go.  I only gave Sturm the first round, and only thought he had an argument in rounds six and nine besides that.  The judges did a solid job, scoring it 118-110 (Don Trella), 117-111 (Miroslav Brozio), and 118-110 (John Poturaj).


I could only dig up brief highlights, but to the extent those can be believed, #9 Sergio Mora fully had his way with Samuel Rogers, a moderately-unproven one-loss prospect from the Virgin Islands who was coming off his first career loss to a mid-level journeyman in Argentina.  I can’t accurately describe the overall flow of the 5 rounds, but I know that Rogers went down at least once, and that referee Russell Mora stepped in to stop it 5 seconds before the close of the 5th, with Mora pounding Rogers relentlessly on the ropes.


In a very excellent matchup of two fairly advanced undefeated prospects in Mytishchi, Russia on Sunday, #20 Dmitry Chudinov frankly had a much easier time of it than I would have expected with Patrick Nielsen.  Nielsen simply wasn’t willing to engage earlier in the fight.  That’s not merely to say he was trying to box, though he was, but rather that he wasn’t committing to his punches even when he would counter, apparently out of fear of the aggressive and harder-hitting Chudinov.  I had it 119-109 for the Russian, and thought it could legitimately have swung a round in either direction.  The judges apparently saw a different fight for some reason, with Ignacio Robles scoring it a generous 117-111, Carlos Sucre having it a head-scratching 116-112, and Glenn Feldman turning in a preposterous 115-113.  Even so, the right guy won.


Soliman’s win over Sturm is the best win either man has between him and Golovkin, but while Sturm is narrowly more highly-ranked than was Proksa when Golovkin beat him, Golovkin’s 2nd-best was #5 Macklin, while Soliman’s was much less impressive: #15 Garth Wood.  That, coupled with greater activity against top 20, top 25, and top 50 fighters, makes it easy to choose Golovkin to retain his position as #1 contender.  Soliman does obviously supplant Sturm at #2, who is still able to hold off Geale at #3 due to his recent win over Barker and Geale’s recent loss to same.  Chudinov’s win puts him in a much more comfortable position, just outside the top 10 at #11.  This naturally forces everyone #11-19 last week to fall one spot.


Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (216-216-216)
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 (25-92-155)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #4 Daniel Geale
Golovkin-Geale is official for July 26 in New York.
2) Sam Soliman (1-25-25)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- UD12 #2 Felix Sturm
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman dominated Sturm in the rematch after getting a very fortunate decision the first time before a banned stimulant incident led to a no contest.  So far as we know so far, he was clean this time, too, though he did look extremely energetic.
3) Felix Sturm (1-559-559)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- L (UD12) vs. #8 Sam Soliman
Next Fight: Unknown
Sturm might be on his way out, with his rematch performance head and shoulders below his effort in the first fight with Soliman.
4) Daniel Geale (1-259-259)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
See Golovkin’s notes, above.
5) Peter Quillin (1-85-106)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- UD12 Lukas Konecny (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBO has mandated Quillin to fight British prospect Billy Joe Saunders next.  There continues to be talk of an endlessly-theorized all-Golden Boy showdown with Daniel Jacobs, though, and perhaps a fight with Lemieux after that.  Sergio Mora has also indicated interest.
6) Martin Murray (1-131-131)
Last Fight: 4/23/2014- RTD6 Ishmael Tetteh (UNR) at SMW
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. #14 Max Bursak
Murray hasn’t looked at all special since nearly and probably deservedly knocking off the Champ last April, but he’ll need to be in some kind of form in June if he hopes to handle the always tough Max Bursak.
7) Matthew Macklin (1-154-245)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Macklin’s fight with Geale is off due to an injury on the card, and Geale has bailed on the fight altogether in favor of a shot at GGG.
8) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (1-25-25)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- UD10 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
N’Dam says he wants Rosado next, and then Golovkin.
9) Sergio Mora (20-49-49)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- TKO5 Samuel Rogers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora wants Quillin.
10) Osumanu Adama (18-18-18)
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) Dmitry Chudinov (1-10)
Last Fight: 6/1/2014- UD12 Patrick Nielsen (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chudinov got a shocking lack of love from an international judging panel in his own back yard, but still got the win and can rightly claim to have dominated a solid undefeated prospect in Nielsen.
12) Marco Antonio Rubio (1-175)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- KO10* Domenico Spada (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
13) Jarrod Fletcher (1-18)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBA randomly ordered Golovkin to fight Fletcher, but then apparently relented in favor of Daniel Geale.
14) Max Bursak (1-175)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L* (UD12) vs. Jarrod Fletcher (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. #6 Martin Murray
Bursak will get a big opportunity before Jarrod Fletcher, who outpointed him in a moderately controversial decision in February, as he has been tapped by Martin Murray for a June 21 fight in Monte Carlo.
15) David Lemieux (1-2)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- KO3 Fernando Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lemieux’s eye-popping domination of Guerrero has fueled idle speculation of a potential shot at Peter Quillin, who is short on options for high-level opponents due to the ongoing Showtime-HBO feud.
16) Grzegorz Proksa (1-164)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Caleb Truax (1-37)
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.
18) Curtis Stevens (1-44)
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.
19) Andrey Meryasev (1-30)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- UD10 Carlos Baldomir (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Meryasev dominated in pedestrian fashion against the now-retired Baldomir.
20) Daniel Jacobs (1-41)
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.


The Week Ahead:  
Hugo Centeno vs. Gerardo Ibarra; Indio, California; Showtime (US)
Centeno is technically an undefeated prospect, but was pretty badly beaten by Julian Williams in what ended up as a no contest probably a matter of seconds before Williams would have gone on to stop him.  Still, he’s much more advanced than Ibarra, who is also unbeaten, but has never fought anyone really at all.  Ibarra is from Houston, while Centeno hails from Oxnard, CA.  Centeno is more of a light middleweight really, while Ibarra seems to be more of a middleweight.


Les Sherrington vs. Kazuyuki Fukuyama; Townsville, Australia; TV Unknown
Sherrington is a perennial gatekeeper who will have no trouble with a low-level and inexperienced journeyman like Japan’s Fukuyama, barring an injury like the broken leg that led to a stoppage loss against the awful Kashif Mumtaz in 2011.


Michel Soro vs. Alexey Ribchev; Villeurbanne, France; Off TV
Soro is a French prospect who was robbed of his biggest win in 2012 against currently-ranked Zaurbek Baysangurov at 154.  He’s probably still a 154-pounder, but will be tuning up against mid-level Bulgarian journeyman Alexey Ribchev.  Ribchev is nothing special by any means, but he has played an effective spoiler before, upsetting the decent Matthew Hall in England back in 2011.


Chris Eubank, Jr. vs. Stepan Horvath; Newcastle, England; BoxNation (UK)
Eubank is a very talented guy with a minimalist style (that is to say he poses as often as he punches) and an annoying personality reminiscent of Adrien Broner.  Horvath is a low-level Czech journeyman who doesn’t stand the slightest chance.


Marcos Reyes vs. Octavio Castro; Chihuahua, Mexico; Fox Deportes (US)
Reyes is a one-loss prospect from Chihuahua.  He avenged his lone loss, which occurred 18 fights ago in 2010.  That’s a lot of activity in that time period, if you’re keeping count.  Castro is a 31 year-old lower-mid-level journeyman from Sonora who has lost 7 of his last 9 fights that reached conclusion, and shouldn’t pose much of a problem for his younger countryman.


Champ Sergio Martinez vs. #8 JMW Miguel Cotto; New York, New York; HBO (US)
Martinez is bigger and faster, and maybe more powerful, as well.  The odds would be long on Cotto winning if you could assume a healthy outing from the Champ.  You simply can’t do that, though.  Sergio injured his knee and hand and should have lost his fight with Martin Murray in 2013.  Before that, he suffered a similar set of injuries in his previous fight- a dominant win with a scary ending against Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.  Cotto looked dynamic in his last fight, a stoppage of Delvin Rodriguez, but Rodriguez didn’t look like much in his subsequent outing.  Before that, he was easily handled by Austin Trout, who, while a quality boxer, is smaller and less dynamic than Maravilla.  I truly think that a healthy Martinez probably dominates and maybe stops Cotto, but that Cotto easily wins against a compromised Sergio.  The chances of a fight that is competitive from bell to bell is very small, I think.  It’ll be one extreme or the other.

Super Middleweight: 2014, Jun 2-8

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on October 28, 2014 by danboxing
In Saturday’s headliner from London, #1 Carl Froch notched another win in the rematch with bitter rival #7 George Groves, and this time avoided any of the controversy from the first fight.  It was still a good, competitive affair, and Groves still had his share of success early, but he wasn’t able to put Froch through anything approaching the same level of adversity he dealt out the first time.  The rounds Groves may have won early on were also significantly less clear than the first iteration.  If you really want to boil it down to the most fundamental difference, Groves was still the sharper and faster guy at the outset, but he countered with much less abandon- that is to say more cautiously- than he did the first time around.  You might describe him, at least relative to the first fight, as tense.  This tension allowed Froch to catch up to him much more quickly in terms of speed and timing, and with Froch ahead 67-66 on my card, he knocked Groves out in the 8th.  The fact that Froch was not concussed early in the fight, as he clearly was the first time, couldn’t have hurt.


In an excellent co-feature match-up that could have headlined many a fine Saturday TV card in its own right, #10 James DeGale looked sensational at times against #4 Brandon Gonzales, including the entire first round, and especially the 4th in which he dropped Gonzales with a blistering combination.  Gonzales gamely rose to his feet, and seemed to retain a surprising amount of his faculties considering how heavily and often he had just been hit.  DeGale didn’t let up, and once again landed a heavy shot that had Gonzales hurt with about 30 seconds remaining in the round.  That’s when it all went South, though, as British referee Steve Gray pulled a pathetic hometown move and stopped the fight ridiculously prematurely, with Gonzales having his hands up, and with DeGale having just missed wildly with two swings from the heels.  Obviously Gonzales was hurt and struggling at that moment, but he had been competitive in the fight- winning the 2nd round on my card- and with that little time left and with no landed punch actually necessitating the stoppage at that moment, I think it’s impossible to reasonably conclude that Gonzales didn’t stand a chance to make it out of the 4th, and didn’t stand some chance to come back in the fight overall.  We’ll never know because of Steve Gray, who probably unintentionally robbed James DeGale of an unquestionable, complete, and sensational win in the biggest fight of his career to this point, all while trying subconsciously to rob the visiting fighter Gonzales of a chance- shrinking though it was- to win the fight.  For rankings purposes, I’ll have to view it as something along the lines of a clear 4-round decision, since the ref’s error prevented a legitimate stoppage from occurring, and since DeGale would certainly have been clearly up on the cards if the 4th had been allowed to complete.  Technically, my own precedent might demand that I treat this as a no contest since the fight was ended before the completion of 4 rounds by what amounts to a foul by the referee.  But that would be a bad result given the spirit of that precedent.  I can’t give DeGale full credit for a stoppage he hadn’t fully earned, but a badly hurt Gonzales needed two knockdowns in less than 30 seconds to avoid being behind on the scorecards if and when the 4th round ended, and that would have been practically impossible.


In one of the most heinous robberies I’ve ever seen, Mariano Hilario was gifted a unanimous decision victory over Italian journeyman Roberto Cocco.  The fight wasn’t even particularly competitive.  Cocco suffered a flash knockdown that appeared to be more from balance than anything else in the 12th, but clearly won the round apart from that.  He may have won every round other than that one, and certainly lost no more than three.  Cocco was clearly the much harder puncher, landed much more, was constantly the aggressor, and fought the entirety of the fight with his back to the ring, while Hilario fought it with his back to the ropes.  Hilario contantly grabbed and pulled Cocco’s head down, to the point that he probably should have lost about three points, but yet referee Jan Christensen warned Cocco more often for absolutely nothing than he did Hilario for this and other assorted fouls.  Even aside from the pernicious bias, Christensen was WAY too fussy.  He interrupted the fight for various verbose warnings so much that he may have actually been speaking more often than the fighters were fighting.  While he didn’t take needed points from Hilario, though, he at least was sensible enough to limit his undeserved sanctions against Cocco to constant fussing rather than actually taking a point.  The same can’t be said for the frankly disgusting and pathetic judges.  Erkki Meronen turned in maybe the worst single card I’ve ever personally witnessed, scoring it 117-110 for Hilario.  To reach that score, it means he gave Hilario an undeserved 10-8 round, scored both close rounds in favor of Hilario, and then scored SIX clear Cocco rounds for Hilario.  SIX!  Andre Pasquier was nearly as bad, but managed to only give five clear Cocco rounds to Hilario, in addition to the other conditions.  Beat Hausammann turned in a card that’s harder to pin down because it had some undetermined number of even rounds added in, but he was pretty horrible, as well, though he had it only 115-114 in favor of the dominated loser, Hilario.  Obviously I’m going to treat this as the dominant win for Cocco that it truly was.


Groves and Froch merely confirmed their earlier result, and the fight has no material effect on either man’s ranking.  DeGale moves up to #4, while former #4 Gonzales falls back to #8 behind Groves, who arguably beat DeGale when those two met in 2011.  Cocco has a very poor overall record, and thus only moves to the borderline top 50 level, despite beating a borderline top 50 guy.  Hilario is just below that now.  With the movement of DeGale and Gonzales, Chavez and Vera each backtrack one spot.


Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (129-263-263)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward lost an arbitration with his promoter, but it sounds like the rift between the two is far from solved.  Kessler is the latest guy to renew a stated desire to fight him.
1) Carl Froch (106-416-416)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- KO8 #7 George Groves
Next Fight: Unknown
Froch dispelled any doubts with a more conclusive stoppage of Groves.
2) Arthur Abraham (14-241-241)
Last Fight: 5/3/2014- UD12 Nikola Sjekloca (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
While he recovers from a broken hand, Abraham’s promoter is working on a fall bout with English gatekeeper Paul Smith.
3) Robert Stieglitz (14-249-249)
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) James DeGale (1-2-138)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- TKO4* #4 Brandon Gonzales
Next Fight: Unknown
DeGale is now set up for a shot at Froch’s title, in a fight that would no doubt do huge numbers in the UK again.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (2-157-205)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. Doudou Ngumbu (UNR) (at LHW)
Oosthuizen and promoter Rodney Berman have patched things up, and the lanky South African will make effective his move to 175 on June 21 against fringe contender Doudou Ngumbu.  He’ll keep his ranking here until after November 9, or until he schedules a clearly light heavyweight fight for after that date.
6) Ezequiel Maderna (2-30-75)
Last Fight: 4/25/2014- TKO3 Richard Vidal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Maderna stayed busy in impressive fashion against Vidal.
7) George Groves (2-77-99)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- L (TKO9) vs. #1 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #1 Carl Froch
Some unconfirmed theories suggest Groves might finally rematch DeGale soon, though DeGale is already in line for a shot at Froch.
8) Brandon Gonzales (1-49-49)
Last Fight: 5/31/2014- L (TKO4*) vs. #10 James DeGale
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzales deserved a shot to continue, but he certainly didn’t look like an eventual winner under the best of circumstances against DeGale.
9) Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (1-14-14)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD10 #5 MW Bryan Vera
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite Froch’s #1 contender being DeGale now, Chavez is getting buzz as a possible next opponent for the world-beating Brit.
10) Bryan Vera (1-14-14)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vera is calling out Peter Quillin.
11) Christopher Rebrasse (2-52)
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.
12) Sakio Bika (2-374)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- Draw (SD12) vs. Anthony Dirrell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bika is interested in a fight with Froch.
13) Maxim Vlasov (2-82)
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.
14) Edwin Rodriguez (2-72)
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.
15) Gilberto Ramirez (2-18)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- TKO5 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/19/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Ramirez will fight a TBA opponent in Macau on July 19.
16) Ryota Murata (2-41)
Last Fight: 5/22/2014- KO6 Jesus Angel Nerio (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Murata set the bar high for himself by beating a fringe contender in his pro debut.  Fights like the Nerio domination are just stay-busy efforts by comparison.
17) Anthony Dirrell (2-26)
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).
18) Hadillah Mohoumadi (2-66)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Caleb Truax (2-8)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (MD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Derek Edwards (2-2)
Last Fight: 2/28/2014- TKO1 #20 Badou Jack
Next Fight: Unknown


The Week Ahead: 
Jorge Sebastian Heiland vs. Cesar Reynoso; Benavidez, Argentina; TyC Sports (Argentina)
Heiland is a gatekeeper at middleweight coming off the biggest win of his career- a very tight battle with Billi Godoy that ended controversially, in my view.  Reynoso is a mid-level journeyman from Mar del Plata, and not likely much of a threat

Light Heavyweight: 2014, Jun 2-8

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 27, 2014 by danboxing
Nothing consequential to report from last week.


Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks   in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (91-91-91)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward lost an arbitration with his promoter, but it sounds like the rift between the two is far from solved.  Kessler is the latest guy to renew a stated desire to fight him.
1) Adonis Stevenson (52-52-52)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- UD12 #6 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevenson is very likely to fight Bernard Hopkins next, though there have been no negotiations that I’m aware of yet.
2) Bernard Hopkins (91-417-417)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- W (SD12*) vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stevenson’s notes, above.
3) Jean Pascal (20-20-20)
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.  There is currently talk of Tavoris Cloud being the September opponent.  That’s a significant step up from Sean Monaghan, who had been the odds-on favorite to fight Pascal on that date.
4) Sergey Kovalev (20-72-72)
Last Fight: 3/29/2014- KO7 #15 Cedric Agnew
Next Fight: Unknown
Kovalev might return on August 2, and there is also talk of a possible October fight with Fonfara.
5) Chad Dawson (20-418-418)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L(TKO1) vs. SMW #6 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Dawson will be removed for inactivity next week if he doesn’t have anything scheduled.
6) Tony Bellew (2-138-138)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO12 Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Bellew and Cleverly are slated for separate bouts on the same card in Liverpool this July.  If all goes to plan, the two would then meet in the ring on November 29.  Since this is all taking place at cruiserweight, Bellew would be removed the following week, since he last fought at 175 on November 30 of last year.
7) Andrzej Fonfara (2-42-99)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- L (UD12) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
See Kovalev’s notes, above.
8) Gabriel Campillo (20-206-206)
Last Fight: 5/9/2014- TKO7 Ricky Pow (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
While the result looked good on paper, the reality of Campillo’s uneven performance against Pow should be a little alarming to those who hope to see him remain at the top level.
9) Tavoris Cloud (20-249-249)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
A September 27 fight with Pascal is a possibility.
10) Nathan Cleverly (20-226-226)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- TKO2 Shawn Corbin (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Cleverly looked good against Corbin in his cruiserweight debut.  He’ll keep his ranking here until he schedules a cruiserweight fight for after August 17 (the anniversary of his last fight in this division), or until that date passes, whichever comes first.  He will fight next on July 12, followed by a possible November rematch with bitter rival Tony Bellew.
11) Isaac Chilemba (20-122)
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 (20-111)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD5 Enzo Maccarinelli (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. Roberto Feliciano Bolonti (UNR)
After it initially appeared a Maccarinelli rematch is in the works, Braehmer will instead fight perennial gatekeeper Roberto Feliciano Bolonti of Argentina.
13) Karo Murat (19-32)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat wants Braehmer, his former stablemate, but is now without a promoter, which probably means Sauerland isn’t falling all over themselves to make that fight.
14) Thomas Williams, Jr. (19-19)
Last Fight: 4/24/2014- TKO3 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Williams just added another faded name to his resume…this one perhaps a bit too faded.  Blake Caparello’s team says they offered him a fight, but were turned down.
15) Cedric Agnew (20-60)
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 (20-47)
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 (32-49)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (19-129)
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 (19-71)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- UD10 Alexander Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Lucian Bute (19-83)
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, and says he’s in no hurry to get back in the ring.


The Week Ahead
Dmitry Sukhotsky vs. Joey Vegas; Barnaul, Russia; TV Unknown
Sukhotsky is probably the first guy out of the rankings right now, so it wouldn’t take much to get him in.  Vegas is a borderline top 50 fighter, and thus has a fighting chance to provide that kind of win for Sukhotsky if the Russian can pull off the win.


Doudou Ngumbu vs. Yoann Bloyer; Blagnac, France; TV Unknown
This is just a stay-busy fight for gatekeeper Ngumbu.  Frenchman Bloyer is a low-level journeyman with a significantly sub-.500 record.


#12 Juergen Braehmer vs. Roberto Feliciano Bolonti; Schwerin, Germany; ARD (Germany)
Bolonti is on a 5-fight winning streak since his one-sided decision loss to Tony Bellew in 2012.  All were stoppages, and all were against mid-level competition or worse.  Going into the Bellew fight, he was on a 26-fight win streak that included 2 wins over domestic-level Argentines that were on the borderline of the top 50.  His last fight was a rehash of the latter of these, against a slightly diminished version of Jose Clavero.  Braehmer is on the verge of the top 10, and has been for some time.  He’s undefeated in the last 5 years, and has been feeding on a steady diet of mostly top 50, mostly non-top-25 competition.  His last fight was a stoppage over fringe contender Enzo Maccarinelli.  Braehmer was winning the fight in a shutout when Maccarinelli’s corner stopped it after 5 due to a busted-up eye.  That shutout was a total joke, though, as Maccarinelli probably should have been narrowly ahead in reality.