Cruiserweight: 2014, Apr 28- May 4

The division’s biggest event of the week was the cancellation of Lebedev-Jones II.  Jones failed a drug test for Furosemide, the same banned diuretic (and potential steroid masking agent) he was busted for after their original fight, and which he had been busted for earlier in his career.  I don’t know if Guillermo Jones is this dumb, or if someone on his team is, or both.  Either way, someone is REALLY dumb.  Jones is nearly 42 years old, and is probably done in the sport, at least when it comes to serious contention.  The only remaining question is what becomes of Lebedev’s ranking if he isn’t able to get another fight scheduled within the next couple weeks.  I’m leaning towards giving him a couple extra months given the eye injuries that must have delayed this meeting, and given the foul play that may have played a part in those injuries and which torpedoed this fight on just one day’s notice.


#9 Giacobbe Fragomeni got a 6-round stay-busy outing in, pounding out an as-expected 2nd round TKO victory over 7-8 journeyman Olegs Lopajevs of Latvia on Saturday in Rho, Italy.  Lopajevs tried hard, but he clearly didn’t have the skill or physical tools to compete on this level, even with a fading 44 year-old contender like Fragomeni.


On the Klitschko-Leapai undercard in Oberhausen, Germany, fast-rising undefeated Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk dominated and stopped Ghanaian journeyman Ben Nsafoah in what was really a major step down in competition from each of 2012 Olympian Usyk’s first two fights, both of which were against upper-level type journeymen in Epifanio Mendoza and Felipe Romero.  Nsafoah certainly looked intimidating, having a splendidly muscled-physique that would be at home in the Mr. Universe competition, but save for a couple isolated moments, he was entirely in survival mode for the roughly 2 1/2 rounds before he was stopped, having tasted the canvas twice in quick succession.  He managed to frustrate Usyk’s attack for long stretches by bobbing and weaving on the ropes, but he seldom gave the Ukrainian anything to worry about on the other end.


Last week’s #10 Silvio Branco- 47 years young- finally decided to hang them up, and did it mostly on his own terms.  He didn’t always get the results he deserved in recent years, but he hung with top 10 opposition at his advanced age, at the very least.  Happy Retirement, Il Barbaro.  Branco is removed due to his retirement, and everyone ranked #11 and below last week advances.  Ilunga Makabu makes his debut in the top 10 with the vacancy, and Krzysztof Glowacki returns at #20 after a brief one-week stint on the outside.


Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (40-221-221)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Hopefully Lebedev can get back in the ring soon after Jones fell out of the fight with a second consecutive positive Furosemide test.
2) Marco Huck (14-386-386)
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 (14-201-201)
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 (33-462-462)
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 (14-39-77)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
6) Firat Arslan (14-103-146)
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 (23-30-77)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
8) Ola Afolabi (23-268-268)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi is now slated for an eventual eliminator with Pawel Kolodziej for a shot at Yoan Pablo Hernandez.  K2 has won the purse bids, and the fight is currently in the process of being worked out.  It’s targeted for the summer.
9) Giacobbe Fragomeni (23-33-285)
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.
10) Ilunga Makabu (1-1-42)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO2 Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. #12 Mateusz Masternak
Makabu will fight Masternak in a heck of a match-up on June 21 in Monaco.
11) Santander Silgado (1-26)
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.
12) Mateusz Masternak (1-109)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- UD8 Stjepan Vugdelija (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. #10 Ilunga Makabu
See Makabu’s notes, above.
13) Lukasz Janik (1-26)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik would like a well-deserved rematch with Afolabi.
14) Ovill McKenzie (1-3)
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.
15) Danie Venter (1-33)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Dmytro Kucher (1-96)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Nuri Seferi (1-19)
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.
18) Gusmyr Perdomo (1-3)
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.
19) Yunier Dorticos (1-2)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- KO4 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Krzysztof Glowacki (1-1)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)

Next Fight: Unknown
Glowacki is the top contender for the title held by Huck, but might never get that exact shot, since Huck is making noise about moving up.


THE WEEK AHEAD: No action to report this week.

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