Light Heavyweight: 2014, Jun 9-16

Fringe contender Dmitry Sukhotsky got a really close decision (115-114, 115-113, 116-112) in his home country of Russia on Wednesday.  I can’t for the life of me find a video, which is very unfortunate.  You’ve always got to wonder about the legitimacy of results that close in the winner’s back yard.  My only choice when a decision comes down without sufficient video evidence to overturn it is to accept it as-is, unfortunately.  If anybody sees the video somewhere, please give me a heads-up.

 

Doudou Ngumbu, the Nigerian gatekeeper, took care of business on Friday, stopping the awful Yoann Bloyer in 5 rounds in Blagnac, France.  Bloyer falls to 16-25-2, if that tells you anything.

 

In Schwerin, Germany on Saturday, #12 Juergen Braehmer put on another classy display of boxing, punching with surgical accuracy while busting his opponent up for the better part of 12 rounds.  That opponent, Argentine gatekeeper Roberto Feliciano Bolonti, occasionally fired back with chopping right hands over the top, but rarely found a home for them.  I gave him a couple toss-up rounds in the first half of the fight, but it wasn’t until the last round that he started getting to Braehmer with any consistency.  It was too little, too late.  The judges scored it 118-109 (Mikael Hook) and 119-108 (Jean-Francois Toupin and Manuel Oliver Palomo).  I had it a bit closer at 117-110, but I have no argument with any of the official cards, really.  Those scores included a point deduction for hitting behind the head that I thought was rather unnecessary, but ultimately it was of little importance.

 

Braehmer continues to succeed at a level just a little too soft to allow him past Chilemba, whose should-be win against #9 Bellew stands out like a sore thumb amidst the otherwise moderate opposition of both men.  As for Sukhotsky, a case could be made to advance him into the rankings on the basis of the Vegas win.  But Vegas is very much on the borderline of the top 50.  It’s honestly very difficult to make a call on whether he’s in or out of that company.  That being the case, I’m going to err on the side of excluding him from that company, if only to avoid giving Sukhotsky excessive credit for winning a fight that he should have won easily, but which he may have truly lost, for all I know.  No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks   in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (92-92-92)
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 (53-53-53)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- UD12 #6 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevenson is very likely to fight Bernard Hopkins next, though there have been no negotiations that I’m aware of yet.
2) Bernard Hopkins (92-418-418)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- W (SD12*) vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Hopkins is considering leaving Golden Boy.  This would give him free choice between Stevenson, Kovalev, or anyone else, really.
3) Jean Pascal (21-21-21)
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.  There is currently talk of Tavoris Cloud being the September opponent.  That’s a significant step up from Sean Monaghan, who had been the odds-on favorite to fight Pascal on that date.
4) Sergey Kovalev (21-73-73)
Last Fight: 3/29/2014- KO7 #15 Cedric Agnew
Next Fight: Unknown
Kovalev might return on August 2, and there is also talk of a possible October fight with Fonfara.  Blake Caparello may turn out to be the August 2 one, according to reports.
5) Chad Dawson (21-419-419)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L(TKO1) vs. SMW #6 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. George Blades (UNR)
Dawson avoided removal for inactivity by a day or two when he scheduled a tune-up with George Blades on the Guerrero-Kamegai undercard.
6) Tony Bellew (3-139-139)
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 (3-43-100)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- L (UD12) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
See Kovalev’s notes, above.
8) Gabriel Campillo (21-207-207)
Last Fight: 5/9/2014- TKO7 Ricky Pow (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/1/2014- vs. #14 Thomas Williams, Jr.
This could be the start of Campillo’s resurgence, or the continuation of his decline.  He’ll fight up-and-comer Thomas Williams, Jr. on Friday Night Fights, August 1.
9) Tavoris Cloud (21-250-250)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
A September 27 fight with Pascal is a possibility.
10) Nathan Cleverly (21-227-227)
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 (21-123)
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 (21-112)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- UD12 Roberto Feliciano Bolonti (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Braehmer looked solid for 11 of the 12 rounds against Bolonti.  It’s said that he aspires to a Hopkins fight.
13) Karo Murat (20-33)
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. (20-20)
Last Fight: 4/24/2014- TKO3 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/1/2014- vs. #8 Gabriel Campillo
See Campillo’s notes, above.
15) Cedric Agnew (21-61)
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 (21-48)
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 (33-50)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (20-130)
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 (20-72)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- UD10 Alexander Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Lucian Bute (20-84)
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
Sean Monaghan vs. Elvir Muriqi; Brooklyn, New York; Off TV
Monaghan is a rugged New York native.  It seemed like HBO and Top Rank were actively grooming him to become a Gatti-like action star, but they seem to have put those plans by the wayside, as he hasn’t been on TV in the US for a couple fights now.  Muriqi is a former fringe contender who comes off an average decision loss to Blake Caparello.  At 35, Muriqi’s best days are likely well behind him.  The only question is whether Monaghan is anything special.  He’s only beat mid-level journeyman and worse so far.
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