Light Heavyweight: 2014, May 12-18

Friday in Las Palmas of the Spanish Canary Islands, #8 Gabriel Campillo got a bit more stern a test than expected from low-level British journeyman Ricky Pow.  Campillo looked a bit sluggish of both hand and foot early in the fight, and I actually gave his aggressive and rugged opponent rounds one and six, and thought he had an argument in 3 and 4, as well.  But when Pow got a little lax on defense, it didn’t take Campillo long to capitalize, blistering his man with a string of sharp combinations that left Pow defenseless on the ropes and obligated the ref to step in during the 7th round.  Speaking of that ref, I didn’t catch his name, but I did want to shame him for a crooked-looking point deduction on Pow in the 4th.  Pow was unexpectedly competitive at that point, and the ref decided that a minor head clash that looked very accidental merited a lost point for the non-Spanish fighter, despite no visible warnings to that point.  Ultimately it wasn’t a major factor, but it could have been.

 

No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks   in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (88-88-88)
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 (49-49-49)
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 (88-414-414)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- W (SD12*) vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Hopkins has been ordered to fight his mandatory, which is the winner of Anatoliy Dudchenko and Nadjib Mohammedi- not exactly big money names- but he has been given leave for a unification fight (presumably with Stevenson) before that.
3) Jean Pascal (17-17-17)
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 (17-69-69)
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 (17-415-415)
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 (17-39-96)
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 (17-135-135)
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 (17-203-203)
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 (17-246-246)
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 (17-223-223)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (TKO4) vs. #3 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Shawn Corbin (UNR)
Cleverly’s cruiserweight debut is once again on the schedule.  This time for May 17 in Cardiff, and his opponent- on a little over 2 weeks’ notice- is journeyman Shawn Corbin.
11) Isaac Chilemba (17-119)
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 (17-108)
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 (16-29)
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. (16-16)
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 (17-57)
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 (17-44)
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 (29-46)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (16-126)
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 (16-68)
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 (16-80)
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
Saturday
Bob Ajisafe vs. Leon Senior; Leeds, England; Channel 5 (UK)
This is one of the two semi-finals of Britain’s MaxiNutrition knockout light heavyweight tournament.  Ajisafe narrowly edged out veteran Dean Francis in an all-out war of attrition in the quarters, and has to be the big favorite in this clash.  Senior defaulted into the semis after a 2nd-round no contest with Tony Hill, who suffered a cut and was thus unable to move on.  His last fight that came to a normal conclusion was back in November, when he was bludgeoned to a 6th round TKO against undefeated prospect Arfan Iqbal, tasting the canvas three times in the process.  He’s also never beat anybody of consequence.

 

Travis Dickinson vs. Matty Clarkson; Leeds, England; Channel 5 (UK)
In the other semifinal, two one-loss prospects meet up.  Dickinson’s lone loss, ominously, was a clear decision against Ajisafe in late 2012.  His first round fight was a minor upset TKO against once-prominent Danny McIntosh.  Clarkson comes off a gimme in the first round against a 5-8-2 fighter, whose presence in the tournament field I can’t quite explain.  Even so, he didn’t exactly dominate.  Dickinson is the clear favorite in this fight, especially since Clarkson’s lone loss came against mid-level journeyman Courtney Fry, and since he adds a pair of draws against middling competition.  

 

#10 Nathan Cleverly will be in action on a separate card in Cardiff, but he will be at cruiser, and the fight will be discussed exclusively there except to the extent it affects his ranking here.
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