Light Heavyweight: 2014, Apr 28- May 4

Thursday in Rancho Mirage, California, #14 Thomas Williams, Jr. continued his unbeaten career by disposing of shopworn journeyman Enrique Ornelas in a matter of 3 rounds.  Williams’ shots were crisp and hard, and although he was a little stiff defensively, he had way too much talent for it to matter against Librado Andrade’s less accomplished brother, who himself was once a fringe contender.  Ornelas summoned a few decent moments, but was way outgunned overall by the impressive Williams, who scored a knockdown in the 2nd and another in the 3rd, after the latter of which Ornelas fell back to the canvas while trying to get up, prompting Raul Caiz, Jr. to stop the fight in favor of the other “Jr.” in the ring.


Earlier that evening in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, gatekeeper Rowland Bryant apparently more or less dominated low-level veteran journeyman Rayco Saunders to an 8-round decision in an off-TV fight.  Scores were 80-72 (x2), 78-74.


Leading off Saturday in Vienna, undefeated prospect Timy Shala, a Kosovar living in Vienna, escaped with an 8-round draw in the opinion of ref and sole judge Gerhard Sigl against mid-level journeyman Emmanuel Feuzeu of Cameroon.  There doesn’t seem to be video of the fight floating around, but if the result is an accurate reflection of the fight, it probably illuminates the ceiling of Shala’s potential.  He was already only very arguably a top 50 fighter, having benefited from the high point of career journeyman Mounir Toumi’s career, who had defeated a puffed up Tony Averlant, who was himself at a high point based on a narrow robbery loss to fringe contender Eddy Gutknecht at the time.  Shala stopped Toumi in the Moroccan’s first fight after the Averlant upset.  Considering Feuzeu lost to a 1-2 fighter back in 2008 and hadn’t beaten anyone of note since, this draw probably tells you about all you need to know about Shala’s apparently limited potential to knock off a legitimate top 50 performer.


That same night in Legionowo, Poland, we got yet another surprising effort from an underdog.  The favorite, Pawel Glazewski, had been stopped in his last major fight by super middleweight fringe contender Hadillah Mohoumadi, but he was in with an unproven one-loss prospect in Maciej Miszkin.  Miszkin was coming off a major setback, himself, having been stopped in three by a much smaller and also unproven 18 year old by the name of Vincent Feigenbutz in his previous fight.  On paper, it looked like a fairly comfortable match-up for Glazewski, who very clearly beat Roy Jones, Jr. when the two met in the summer of 2012.  But that just wasn’t the case.  Miszkin attacked Glazewski from the opening bell, and the fight quickly developed into a phone booth-style war of attrition, with Miszkin appearing the more prepared for battle between the two.  Early on, it appeared that Glazewski was the more precise puncher, but Miszkin was the consistent aggressor and unloaded more punches overall.  As the fight wore on, it was Glazewski’s shots that began to find air more often than not, as Miszkin showed off some subtle but effective defensive techniques.  Glazewski made his stand in the 7th round, scoring with a ton of clean power shots as Miszkin’s work began to look a bit ragged, but it was the determined Miszkin who came back to win a close but clear 8th.  I had it 78-74 for the underdog, and I could only see it potentially a round wider or a round closer potentially.  That means it was a clear win in a competitive dogfight for Maciej Miszkin, and it would put the career of the once-promising Glazewski very much in doubt.  Apparently the judges weren’t on board with bringing that storyline to pass, as they blatantly robbed the determined young prospect, handing a win to Glazewski that was every bit as fraudulent as was his loss to Jones.  The scoundrels were, in ascending order of shameworthiness, Przemyslaw Moszumanski (who had enough shame to score it even), Grzegorz Molenda (78-75 Glazewski), and the incomparable Wlodzimierz Gulc (78-74 Glazewski).  I, on the other hand, will treat it as the Miszkin win that it is, by all rights.  Still, with his difficult-t0-reconcile loss to Feigenbutz not at all far in the past, he’s probably not a clear top 50 guy in any case.  Therefore, there are….


No changes.


Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks   in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (86-86-86)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says he’s been trying to talk his promoter into getting him a fight despite an ongoing lawsuit between the two.  Not sure if that’s going to work out for him.
1) Adonis Stevenson (47-47-47)
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 (86-412-412)
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 (15-15-15)
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 (15-67-67)
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 (15-413-413)
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 (15-37-94)
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 (15-133-133)
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 (15-201-201)
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 (15-244-244)
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 (15-221-221)
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 (15-117)
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 (15-106)
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 (14-27)
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. (14-14)
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.
15) Cedric Agnew (15-55)
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 (15-42)
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 (27-44)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (14-124)
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 (14-66)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD10 Andy Gardiner (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. Alexander Johnson (UNR)
Alvarez has switched from an undefeated prospect to a defeated- but more experienced- one in Alexander Johnson, and in doing so has gotten his fight televised in the US.
20) Lucian Bute (14-78)
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
Yunieski Gonzalez vs. Jaison Palomeque; Hialeah, Florida; Off TV
Gonzalez will appear on the Miami-adjacent ESPN special this weekend, but his stay-busy outing with the totally insignificant Palomeque is not expected to make the broadcast.  It’s a walk in the park, so you’ll get no tears from me on the subject.


Eduard Gutknecht vs. Pablo Sosa; Berlin, Germany; ARD (Germany)
If Gutknecht were any sort of puncher, I’d say this fight is such a mismatch that it would be dangerous of the commission to sanction it.  Gutknecht, while no longer the contender he once was at 168 by any means, does occasionally summon a world class performance.  He looked as if he might be able to do something along those lines in his last fight against Sukhotsky, but a heap of swelling on his eye turned a fight he was initially leading after 2 to an even affair after 4 and a TKO loss during the 5th.  Sosa, an very novice Argentine journeyman at 3-3-2, is sort of Sauerland’s whipping boy.  He’s been used as an opponent by Erik Skoglund and Enrico Koelling, as well as lesser known undefeated prospect Stephane Roethlisberger.  At least he won a round or two from Koelling and Roethlisberger, which I guess isn’t half bad for a guy with so little experience.  Gutknecht is the most accomplished guy, at least at the time, that he’s faced, and by a mile.  This is on the Abraham-Sjekloca undercard.

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