Cruiserweight: 2014, Jun 9-15

In the week’s biggest cruiserweight fight, #14 and Commonwealth Champion Ovill McKenzie took the fight to British Champion Jon-Lewis Dickinson from the opening bell in Newcastle, England.  Nothing flashy initially, but just hitting Dickinson with solid shots, mostly to the body, and taking the first round clearly.  Dickinson still hadn’t gotten fully untracked, it seemed, when at the bell to end the 2nd, McKenzie hit him with a nice left hook on the temple and behind the gloves, followed by a hard right hand between said gloves and on the chin.  This stretched Dickinson out, and though he was up well before 8, he staggered back at the conclusion of the mandatory count, just as Victor Loughlin was looking to certify him to continue, and necessitating a stoppage.  McKenzie has never won a fight that lasted past 6 rounds in his long career, and so I think it likely that Dickinson wasn’t trying to take any chances, and was probably just trying to feel out McKenzie for 3 or 4 rounds.  The Jamaican native has too much power to even stand in front of him defensively though.  I’ll bet that Dickinson would have mixed in more movement if he had it to do over.  McKenzie now owns the British and Commonwealth title (he lives in Derbyshire now), and says he wants to move on to a European title, or perhaps a world title shot in the near future.  He named Marco Huck as a person of particular interest.

 

#6 Firat Arslan was in a stay-busy fight with a sub-.500 Hungarian fighter in Schwerin named Tamas Bajzath.  To the best of my ability to find, it was not televised, but just from the scores (80-71 unanimously) it appears that Arslan won every round and most likely threw in a knockdown.

 

The same night in Tolfa, Italy, undefeated Italian Mirko Larghetti dropped his own low-level Hungarian, Attila Palko, twice in the 2nd, including the second time for the full count.  This was essentially a tune-up ahead of a planned shot at Marco Huck.

 

#5 Thabiso Mchunu was supposed to be in with a Brazilian prospect on Saturday, but that fight didn’t come off. 

 

No movement in the rankings will occur because of the week’s fights.  McKenzie is still stuck behind Janik, who comes off what should be a win over a #7 contender.  McKenzie has uniformly lost to guys who would so much as go on to that level, and has no fights against guys that were at that level at the time.  Dickinson also stays put, for what it’s worth, unofficially just a few spots shy of the top 25.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Marco Huck (4-392-392)
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.  Ovill McKenzie would like to fight him.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (4-207-207)
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.
3) Denis Lebedev (4-227-227)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Given his legitimate injury that shelved him for a big chunk of the year and the fact that his opponent screwed him over via PED use, I’m going to use my discretion and leave Lebedev ranked at this point.  Still, his best work is simply getting too old to stay at the very top.  Some reports have him returning in the fall against Pawel Kolodziej.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (39-468-468)
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 (20-45-83)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu’s scheduled fight with Brazilian prospect was scrapped on just a day’s notice due to the surprise withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
6) Firat Arslan (20-109-152)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- UD8 Tamas Bajzath (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arslan wasn’t scheduled to fight this weekend, but on short notice, he’ll replace an injured Ruslan Chagaev on the Schwerin undercard of Braehmer-Bolonti.  His opponent is a hopeless Hungarian.
7) Grigory Drozd (29-36-83)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
8) Rakhim Chakhkiev (2-2-2)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- UD12 #11 Santander Silgado
Next Fight: Unknown
Chakhkiev has finally cashed in a high-level win to go with his hype and promise.  Most likely another title shot is not far off.
9) Ola Afolabi (2-274-274)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. Pawel Kolodziej (UNR)
After we got no news on the fight for months, Afolabi-Kolodziej is now scheduled for the Golovkin-Geale undercard on July 26.
10) Giacobbe Fragomeni (2-39-291)
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.
11) Ilunga Makabu (2-48)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO2 Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/28/2014- vs. Glen Johnson (UNR)
Initially sketchy reports of a June 28 fight with Glen Johnson appear true.
12) Mateusz Masternak (7-115)
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 (7-32)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 6/28/2014- vs. Rico Hoye (UNR)
Janik will dredge up a name from the past when he fights Rico Hoye on June 28.
14) Ovill McKenzie (7-9)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- TKO2 Jon-Lewis Dickinson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After blowing out the British Champion, McKenzie has his sites set on a European or perhaps World belt.  He wants to fight Marco Huck most of all.
15) Santander Silgado (2-32)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- L (UD12) vs. Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I don’t want to say Silgado made it easy for Chakhkiev, because it looked relatively difficult, but he sure didn’t help himself by taking a fight with a fringe contending Olympic Gold Medalist on 2 weeks’ notice.
16) Danie Venter (2-39)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Venter’s June 6 fight was cancelled a day in advance due to a withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
17) Dmytro Kucher (2-102)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The inactive Kucher may now be in danger of losing his ranking in the next couple months, as his stay-busy fight in late May did not come off.
18) Nuri Seferi (2-25)
Last Fight: 5/16/2014- UD12 Tamas Lodi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Seferi looked pretty decent against Lodi, who fought the wrong fight.  At this point, he ought to give Perdomo a rematch.
19) Gusmyr Perdomo (2-9)
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.
20) Yunier Dorticos (2-8)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- KO4 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Friday
Olanrewaju Durodola vs. Max Heyman; St. Joseph, Missouri; Off TV
Durodola is a Nigerian based in Kansas City.  He has an impressive physique and flashed a lot of power in the amateurs.  His pro results have been mixed, but in his only TV exposure to this point, he made a decent account of himself against Thabiso Mchunu, who was coming off a dominating performance against Eddie Chambers.  Heyman is a low-level journeyman from Albuquerque, New Mexico who ought to have no chance whatsoever.
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