Light Heavyweight: 2014, May 26- Jun 1

Saturday in Montreal, #1 Adonis Stevenson had a surprisingly tough time over the second half of the fight with #6 Andrzej Fonfara, who if anything seemed to be overrated going in.  Let’s be honest.  It’s surprising not only that Stevenson had problems over the second half of the fight, but really that Fonfara was around at that point to begin with.  I don’t want to be too harsh on the division’s top contender.  He looked good overall- especially with downright great body work- but he got visibly tired at times during the latter part of the fight.  That’s new for him, at least to the extent I’ve seen.  Fonfara was able to dig deep and make it a bit interesting late, but he was so far behind from the first half of the fight in which he was no match for the Haitian, that he pretty much needed a knockout the whole time.  He came closest in the 9th round, when he was actually able to drop Stevenson.  It was never really that dramatic, though.  Pretty much just a gutsy but futile performance from a big underdog, in the final analysis.  Speaking of final analysis, my score was 116-109 Stevenson (he scored a couple knockdowns of his own, by the way).  John McKaie and Jack Woodburn had it a reasonable 115-110, while Richard De Carufel agreed with me exactly.

 

On the undercard, #19 Eleider Alvarez really did disappoint against American journeyman Alexander Johnson, who we last saw getting dominated by Luis Garcia.  Alvarez was methodical, which is perhaps another way of saying he had a low workrate.  That was his major problem.  Johnson made it interesting with nice snappy 1-2 combos and body shots, but he too had a lot of lulls, and let the Colombian walk him down consistently in the latter stages.  I did have it for Alvarez by a score of 96-93, though I thought the scores could have legitimately varied pretty widely.  As it turned out, they did not.  All of the judges had it 97-92 for Alvarez, which I have no serious argument with.

 

Despite the decent performance, Fonfara slumps one spot below Bellew, who was behind only because of his own recent loss to Stevenson.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks   in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (90-90-90)
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 (51-51-51)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- UD12 #6 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevenson is very likely to fight Bernard Hopkins yet, though there have been no negotiations that I’m aware of yet.
2) Bernard Hopkins (90-416-416)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- W (SD12*) vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stevenson’s notes, above.
3) Jean Pascal (19-19-19)
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 (19-71-71)
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.  Australian prospect Blake Caparello is among the few that sound like they want to fight him.
5) Chad Dawson (19-417-417)
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) Tony Bellew (1-137-137)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO12 Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Bellew and Cleverly are slated for separate bouts on the same card in Liverpool this July.  If all goes to plan, the two would then meet in the ring on November 29.  Since this is all taking place at cruiserweight, Bellew would be removed the following week, since he last fought at 175 on November 30 of last year.
7) Andrzej Fonfara (1-41-98)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- L (UD12) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Fonfara probably looked better in a clear loss to Stevenson than he had in any of his wins.
8) Gabriel Campillo (19-205-205)
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 (19-248-248)
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 (19-225-225)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- TKO2 Shawn Corbin (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Cleverly looked good against Corbin in his cruiserweight debut.  He’ll keep his ranking here until he schedules a cruiserweight fight for after August 17 (the anniversary of his last fight in this division), or until that date passes, whichever comes first.  He will fight next on July 12, followed by a possible November rematch with bitter rival Tony Bellew.
11) Isaac Chilemba (19-121)
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 (19-110)
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 (18-31)
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. (18-18)
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 (19-59)
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 (19-46)
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 (31-48)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (18-128)
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 (18-70)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- UD10 Alexander Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Lucian Bute (18-82)
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: Nothing going on at 175 this week.
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