Cruiserweight: 2014, May 12-18

Former light heavyweight fringe contender Thierry Karl, who had been cutting a vicious swath through the European level at 175 back around 2009, returned from a 2-year layoff on Wednesday in his native France, taking a 8-round points decision over 9-9 low-level journeyman Tamas Bajzath.  That’s got to be seen as a disappointment, considering that at his best, he was stopping the likes of Nadjib Mohammedi.  Boxrec has him well outside the top 50 with his layoff, though I think that’s a little harsh given how thin cruiserweight really is.

 

Inactive contender BJ Flores got in the ring for the first time in more than 18 months on Saturday on the Stiverne-Arreola undercard in LA, knocking out total non-entity Adam Collins in less than 2 minutes.  Unfortunately for Flores and his fans, he came in more than 5 pounds over the cruiserweight limit, and is thus not eligible for a re-ranking.

 

No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (42-223-223)
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 (16-388-388)
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.
3) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (16-203-203)
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 (35-464-464)
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 (16-41-79)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. Julio Cesar Dos Santos (UNR)
Mchunu will stay busy with upper-level journeyman Julio Cesar Santos of Brazil on June 6 in South Africa.
6) Firat Arslan (16-105-148)
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 (25-32-79)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
8) Ola Afolabi (25-270-270)
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 (25-35-287)
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 (3-3-44)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO2 Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Makabu’s excellent matchup with Masternak has been scrapped due to a dispute between the Congolese contender and his promoter.
11) Santander Silgado (3-28)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. #15 Danie Venter
Silgado will apparently now be fighting in South Africa on June 6 in a very good matchup with Danie Venter.
12) Mateusz Masternak (3-111)
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 (3-28)
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 (3-5)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- KO5 #18 Tony Conquest
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. Jon-Lewis Dickinson (UNR)
After capturing the Commonwealth title with an upset knockout of Tony Conquest, McKenzie will have a quick turnaround, as he’ll fight Jon-Lewis Dickinson for the British title on the Froch-Groves undercard.
15) Danie Venter (3-35)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. #11 Santander Silgado
A big opportunity for Venter, as he takes on a potentially overrated Silgado in his own back yard.
16) Dmytro Kucher (3-98)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Nuri Seferi (3-21)
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 Hungarian prospect Tamas Lodi in Hamburg on May 16.
18) Gusmyr Perdomo (3-5)
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 (3-4)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- KO4 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Krzysztof Glowacki (3-3)
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: 
Wednesday
Murat Gassiev vs. George Tevdorashvili; Vladikavkaz, Russia; TV Unknown
Gassiev is an undefeated native of Vladikavkaz who is coming off his best win thus far in his career against quality journeyman Ismail Abdoul back in February.  Tevdorashvili is a Georgian journeyman who has been in with some decent names, but seldom escapes from that type of fight without a loss.  He was beaten by Abdoul back in 2012.

 

Thursday
Stivens Bujaj vs. Junior Wright; Brighton Beach, New York; Comcast Sportsnet (US)
Bujaj is an undefeated Albanian who makes his home in New York.  He’s flashed solid power against middling opposition, and is coming off a TKO over journeyman Victor Barragan.  Wright is also undefeated, but has been in softer than Bujaj so far.  He’s knocked out all but one of his opponents so far, and comes off a 4th round knockout of travelling midwestern opponent-type Galen Brown.  Bujaj has proven more than Wright so far, but this one could go either way.  I’ve seen neither guy so far, personally.  It appears this will be televised by Comcast Sportsnet.  I don’t know what that is, to be honest, but I assume it’s only available to Comcast cable subscribers.  Not sure if that’s national or local only.  Hopefully I can see a video one way or another.

 

Friday
#17 Nuri Seferi vs. Tamas Lodi; Hamburg, Germany; Eurosport 2
Seferi, of Albania, looks to rebound from a fight he was lucky to escape without a loss against Gusmyr Perdomo, just over a month ago.  Lodi is a Hungarian one-loss prospect.  He was destroyed in his first serious fight against Ilunga Makabu, whom he had no business fighting at that point.  In his most difficult match-up apart from that, back in November, Lodi got what was probably a slight upset in knocking out undefeated Janne Forsman.  Seferi ought to win this, but I wouldn’t totally rule out the Hungarian, given recent form.

 

Saturday
#10 LHW Nathan Cleverly vs. Shawn Corbin; Cardiff, Wales; Sky (UK)
Cleverly makes his long-awaited debut at cruiserweight, in a fight that’s more or less intended to set up a showdown with bitter English rival Tony Bellew.  Corbin is the very definition of a mid-level journeyman, whose crowning achievement was a shocking decision that ended the would-be comeback of a faded Wayne Braithwaite back in 2012.
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