Cruiserweight: 2014, Jul 7-13

No notable cruiserweight fights took place last week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Marco Huck (8-396-396)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: 8/30/2014- vs. Mirko Larghetti (UNR)
As it turns out, Huck’s August 30 opponent will be Mirko Larghetti, the Italian prospect he was scheduled to fight earlier this year before injury scuttled the bout.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (8-211-211)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #6 Firat Arslan
Hernandez is set to fight Arslan on August 16, in Erfurt, Germany.  
3) Denis Lebedev (8-231-231)
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 (43-472-472)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s looking like Wlodarczyk will be back in August, possibly against BJ Flores, though Makabu’s win over Glen Johnson has him in position for a shot, as well.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (24-49-87)
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 (24-113-156)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- UD8 Tamas Bajzath (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
See Hernandez’s notes, above.
7) Grigory Drozd (33-40-87)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
8) Rakhim Chakhkiev (6-6-6)
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) Ilunga Makabu (2-2-52)
Last Fight: 6/28/2014- TKO9 Glen Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Makabu didn’t look great for most of his fight with 45 year-old Glen Johnson, but he had a lot more in the tank than the old veteran, and became only the 2nd guy to get him out of there.
10) Ola Afolabi (2-278-278)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
The rumor that is Pawel Kolodziej is once again involved in a fight that’s not coming off, as he withdrew from his July 26 date with Afolabi, who is now in search of a replacement.
11) Lukasz Janik (2-36)
Last Fight: 6/28/2014- UD10 Rico Hoye (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik did enough to beat a perhaps better-than-expected Rico Hoye, but didn’t exactly light the world on fire in doing so.
12) Ovill McKenzie (2-13)
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.
13) Youri Kalenga (2-3)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- W (SD12*) vs. #12 Mateusz Masternak
Next Fight: Unknown
How a guy can get dominated by Arturs Kulikauskis, only to come back and dominate Mateusz Masternak within about 9 months, is beyond me.  Still, the former fight aside, he’s got another pretty nice win on his resume right before that, over Iago Kiladze, a then-undefeated prospect.
14) Giacobbe Fragomeni (2-295)
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.
15) Mateusz Masternak (3-119)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- L (SD12*) vs. Youri Kalenga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Having now lost to his last two decent opponents, the future of Masternak, who looked like a can’t-miss talent not long ago, seems very much in doubt.
16) Santander Silgado (3-36)
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.
17) Danie Venter (3-43)
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.
18) Dmytro Kucher (3-106)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher will be removed next week unless he schedules a fight before then.
19) Nuri Seferi (3-29)
Last Fight: 5/16/2014- UD12 Tamas Lodi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I took Seferi’s stated desire to fight Marco Huck as idle chatter, but that fight now looks likely for August 30, deserved or not.
20) Gusmyr Perdomo (3-13)
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.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Thursday
Yunier Dorticos vs. Edison Miranda; Miami, Florida; FS1 (US)
Dorticos is a fringe contending undefeated Cuban who has been ranked in the top 20 when the division ebbs a bit.  Miranda is a former middleweight contender who has certainly seen better days in his career.  At cruiserweight in 2014, he’s basically an upper-level journeyman.  Dorticos comes off the two best wins of his career back-to-back in Hamilton Ventura and especially Eric Fields.  This would probably be his 3rd-best.  Miranda will be making his debut as anything like a full-fledged cruiserweight, and has lost 4 of his last 5, all at 175.

 

Saturday
#5 LHW Tony Bellew vs. Julio Cesar Dos Santos; Liverpool, England; Sky (UK)
This figures to be the final tune-up for Bellew before he meets Nathan Cleverly in a big-money grudge match in the fall.  Dos Santos is an upper-level journeyman who is right on the borderline of the top 50.  The last time he fought anywhere near Bellew’s level, he was unanimously shut out over 12 rounds by Dmytro Kucher.  He also has a majority decision loss to a journeyman back in 2012.

 

#9 LHW Nathan Cleverly vs. Alejandro Valori; Liverpool, England; Sky (UK)
Cleverly probably has a bit tougher an opponent on his hands than Bellew, as Valori is a veteran gatekeeper with a couple top 50-level wins of his own in Argentina.  That being said, he has also lost at a relatively low level at times.  If Cleverly has any business competing at this weight, he should handle Valori easily, as even natural light heavyweight prospect Marcos Ahumada managed to notch a win with him.  If he’s too small for cruiser, there’s a reasonable chance that Valori will be able to prove it.
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