Light Heavyweight: 2014, Jun 16-22

Saturday in Brooklyn, undefeated New York prospect Seanie Monaghan showed improvement and looked mostly impressive in notching a fairly dominant 10-round decision over veteran Kosovar journeyman Elvir Muriqi.  Monaghan throws crisp and precise combinations, but his defense leaves a fair amount to be desired.  Perhaps his greatest liability, though, is weak skin around his eyes.  He cuts really easily, and suffered a cut over both eyes- one, I think, in the 8th or 9th, and another in the 9th or 10th.  If they had occurred earlier in the fight, I am not sure it would have gone the distance.  Still, so far so good for Monaghan, who is considered a middling talent, but who is said to have an excellent work ethic, and who has an entertaining style.  I scored it 100-89, while all three judges gave one round to Muriqi.  That includes a 4th-round knockdown that Monaghan scored with a perfect counter right hand.

 

No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks   in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (93-93-93)
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 (54-54-54)
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 (93-419-419)
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 (22-22-22)
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 (22-74-74)
Last Fight: 3/29/2014- KO7 #15 Cedric Agnew
Next Fight: 8/2/2014- vs. Blake Caparello (UNR)
Kovalev is back on August 2 against apparently one of the few guys willing to fight him- Australian undefeated prospect Blake Caparello.
5) Chad Dawson (22-420-420)
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.  With the news that the fight is contracted at 179, I’ll leave him in for one more week based on the possibility he might still make 177 and thereby buy himself more time to make 175.  Chances are he’ll be gone next week, though.
6) Tony Bellew (4-140-140)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO12 Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. Julio Cesar Dos Santos (UNR) (at CW)
Bellew’s July 12 opponent has been announced as Brazilian 2-loss fringe prospect Julio Cesar Dos Santos, who will basically just be extending his training camp after an aborted fight with Thabiso Mchunu. 
7) Andrzej Fonfara (4-44-101)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- L (UD12) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
See Kovalev’s notes, above.
8) Gabriel Campillo (22-208-208)
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 (22-251-251)
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 (22-228-228)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- TKO2 Shawn Corbin (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. Alejandro Valori (UNR)
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, when he takes on Argentine gatekeeper Alejandro Valori at the 200 pound limit.  Valori is a solid performer on the South American scene, but has never fought outside Argentina.  If he gets by that, Bellew-Cleverly II is being targeted for November.
11) Isaac Chilemba (22-124)
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 (22-113)
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 (21-34)
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. (21-21)
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 (22-62)
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 (22-49)
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 (34-51)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (21-131)
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 (21-73)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- UD10 Alexander Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There are rumors springing up in Russia of Alvarez fighting Dmitry Sukhotsky on July 19 in Quebec.
20) Lucian Bute (21-85)
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
Doudou Ngumbu vs. Johnny Muller; Monte Carlo, Monaco; PolSat Sport (Poland)
Ngumbu is a Nigerian gatekeeper who comes off an easy win a couple weeks ago, and a close loss to a prospect before that.  Muller is a South African journeyman who comes off a blatant robbery win over gatekeeper Wilbeforce Shihepo in March.  I’d make Ngumbu a strong favorite.

 

Anatoliy Dudchenko vs. Nadjib Mohammedi; Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; NBC Sports (US)
This is a well-matched fight.  Both guys are right around the top 30, with Dudchenko being ranked just a shade higher in my book.  Mohammedi, a French gatekeeper, comes off a stoppage win over gatekeeper Oleksandr Cherviak in November.  Dudchenko, from Ukraine, was last seen in October, when he comprehensively outpointed undefeated prospect Robert Woge in Germany.  Without crunching the numbers in advance, my sense is that the winner will be ranked next week.

 

#5 Chad Dawson vs. George Blades; Carson, California; Showtime Extreme (US)
Considering how shaky the aging Blades looked against Jean Pascal, this isn’t much of a challenge for the comebacking Dawson.  The real intrigue here, from a ratings perspective, is that the former Champ hasn’t fought in over a year.  This fight is actually contracted at 179.  Since that’s 4 pounds over the divisional limit, he’s going to be removed for inactivity at 175 next week, unless he happens to make 177, since I do give two pounds of conditional leeway here.  By my rule, that would at least buy him an additional 6 months to actually make 175.
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