Heavyweight: 2014, May 5-11

Former junior middleweight and middleweight fringe contender Nobuhiro Ishida attempted a move up to heavyweight to fight the national champion and fringe top 50 member Kyotaro Fujimoto, whose bright pink hair can probably be seen from space.  He fell just short.  In a fairly low-action fight, both men had their moments, but the telling blows, what few there were, tended to come from Fujimoto, particularly in the last half of the fight.  Ishida controlled stretches of the fight with his jab, but it wasn’t always especially effective.  I had it 77-75 Fujimoto, as did 2 of the 3 judges.  The other had it virtually the same, but with one even round to narrow the gap.  My score, in terms of what I could justify, would have room for another round to either man.  I haven’t been following the Japanese heavyweight scene for more than a few years to say for sure, but this strikes me as possibly the most consequential meeting of Japanese big men in perhaps the history of the sport.

 

This is a tricky fight to rate.  Taking Ishida’s top 25 middleweight ranking into account and penalizing him 8% the equivalent boxrec points for every class he jumped, he’s still roughly a top 40 heavyweight.  I don’t know if that’s really accurate in such an extreme case, but that’s how I’ve always reconciled inter-divisional weight jumping.  The win over a top 50 heavyweight, then, makes Fujimoto rateable, but only technically.  His loss to Solomon Haumono from December 2012 holds him back, and he remains on the fringes of the top 50.  No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (254-467-467)
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 (12-12-12)
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 (8-8-72)
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 (8-341-341)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 5/30/2014- vs. Manuel Charr (UNR)
Povetkin, who could have faced Glazkov, will instead take on the less proven Manuel Charr in Moscow on May 30.
4) Amir Mansour (5-5-5)
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 (12-105-182)
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 (12-127-190)
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 (5-72-72)
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 (5-7-206)
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 (5-211-211)
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 (5-59-206)
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 (5-16)
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 (5-62)
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 (5-35)
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 (5-54)
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 (5-36)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Alex Leapai (5-24)
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 (5-24)
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 (5-48)
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 (5-9)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
There is some buzz about Banks potentially entering an 8-man tournament in Auckland, which already includes Sam Peter, Kali Meehan, Martin Rogan, and Michael Sprott.  This would take place on June 4, and would be similar to Britain’s Prizefighter concept.
20) Francesco Pianeta (5-8)
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.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Saturday
#12 Bermane Stiverne vs. #13 Chris Arreola; Los Angeles, California; ESPN (US)
Stiverne had a fair amount too much for Arreola the first time, and I see little reason to think this will be much different.  My belief is that Arreola is not concise enough in his punches to be consistently effective while avoiding the heavy artillery of Stiverne, whose only problem is his often sparing punch output- a problem Arreola emphatically does not suffer from.  Still, Arreola can be hurt, and I think he will be.  The one ray of hope from the first fight is that Arreola was fighting with a broken nose from early in the fight.  Perhaps he has more for Stiverne than he was able to show that night.  The winner will claim the alphabet belt Vitali vacated, but will be far from a true champion or even the top contender that the previous holder was at the time of his retirement.

 

Eric Molina vs. Davarryl Williamson; Los Angeles, California; Off TV
Molina is a two-loss fringe prospect whose lone loss since his first pro fight came against Arreola in 2012.  He crashed the top 50 by defeating gatekeeper Tony Grano in his last fight a little over a year ago.  Williamson was once a notable name in the division, but he last beat a top 50 fighter in 2005, last fought in 2012, and last won in 2011.  He’s very much a journeyman at present.
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