Heavyweight: 2014, Jul 7-13

Joseph Parker, an absolute beast of an undefeated Kiwi prospect at 6’4,” 230, just walked through 5’11” veteran gatekeeper Brian Minto.  Minto is typically no shrinking violet, but he looked totally intimidated by Parker’s size and power, dancing around on the outside and scraping his back on the ropes constantly.  He was clearly only trying to survive, which is not his style.  Parker did have some trouble catching up with Minto’s quick feet (never thought I’d say that), but Minto wasn’t really trying to win the rounds, and the few times Parker did catch up to him, he punished him plenty.  Minto was dropped hard in the 5th, and again in the 7th, after which his corner pulled the plug between rounds.  It wasn’t always the prettiest fight to watch, and in fairness you do have to wonder how well the careful and somewhat plodding Parker would fare against a classy boxer, but for what he was up against, it was a plenty impressive performance for the Kiwi.

 

This is an edit, because I apparently forgot to check the schedule for Sunday and missed this rather significant fight initially, but top 30 contenders Ruslan Chagaev and Fres Oquendo met up in Chagaev’s adopted home of Grozny, Chechnya, and it was a very very close fight.  Chagaev came out hot, applying pressure at least with his feet, and occasionally landing something of minor note.  But Chagaev was visibly fat, and it showed in his conditioning as well as his gut.  The Uzbek native was never a super fit guy, but to put his current state in perspective, consider that when he was beating Nikolay Valuev to reach his highest level back in 2007, he was under 230 pounds.  For this fight, he was a shade over 246.  I had Boricua-American Oquendo winning each of the last 3 rounds, and 5 of the last 7 to earn a draw on my card, despite the fact that he looked totally uninterested in working until at least round 4.  Despite the heavily-partisan crowd in Grozny, the judges did an admirable and completely unbiased job.  Guillermo Perez Pineda had it exactly the same as I did at 114-114, while the other two, Gustavo Jarquin and Alexs Marin, both had it a very reasonable 115-113 for Chagaev.  I thought a reasonable person could have scored it as wide as 117-111 for Chagaev, and maybe you could stretch it to 115-113 for Oquendo if you really wanted to.  Oquendo must be kicking himself if he’s seen the tape, because he didn’t even try to win more than 6 or 7 rounds in any meaningful way.

 

The undercard featured busted prospect but still borderline-top-50 fighter Edmund Gerber getting an easy 2nd-round TKO over low-level Mexican journeyman Vicente Sandez in his first action since he was stopped by Dereck Chisora in September.

 

Parker…ahem…parks himself in the top 30, but hasn’t done quite enough yet to earn a real ranking.  Chagaev and Oquendo both benefit substantially from the close fight, with both now ranked unofficially in my top 25, but with neither quite being able to quite sneak into the top 20.  If the result had been more emphatic, it might have been a different story.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (263-476-476)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: 9/6/2014- vs. #5 Kubrat Pulev
It’s looking all but certain that Wlad will fight Pulev on September 6.
1) Tyson Fury (21-21-21)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
Fury-Chisora has been made.  July 26, in Manchester.  The winner will become one of Wlad’s mandatories.
2) Alexander Povetkin (6-350-350)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- TKO7 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin wants to return in late October, and wants to rematch the Champ when he’s gotten at least 3 fights in with his new trainer.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (6-17-81)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: 8/9/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Glazkov returns in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on August 9, in a fight with an undetermined opponent to be televised on NBC Sports.
4) Amir Mansour (14-14-14)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery L (UD10) vs. #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham had the more sympathetic story and a legitimately great comeback attempt, but Mansour had the better collection of rounds legitimately won.  Mansour was robbed even though the fight was close, and deserves Cunningham’s former position in the rankings for his effort.
5) Kubrat Pulev (21-114-191)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/6/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Klitschko’s notes, above.
6) Dereck Chisora (21-136-199)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Carlos Takam (5-5-25)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- UD12 #9 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam’s potential appears nearly boundless after he handled Tony Thompson more easily than anyone not named Wladimir Klitschko.
8) Bermane Stiverne (5-9-71)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne is hoping to fight Wilder sometime in November in either Montreal or Las Vegas, while Don King wants to stage it in Mexico for some reason.
9) Steve Cunningham (5-81-81)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery W (UD10) vs. Amir Mansour (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I hope you’ll all pray for his daughter to recover from her life-threatening health condition, and the guy had guts to come back from the 2 knockdowns.  But he didn’t win the fight.
10) Tony Thompson (5-16-215)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Not that there’s any shame in being beaten by Takam necessarily, but Thompson’s performance was poor enough that you have to start wondering how much he has left.
11) Tomasz Adamek (5-220)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: 10/18/2014- vs. Artur Szpilka (UNR)
Adamek is back on October 18 against all-action gatekeeper Artur Szpilka, in what should be a cash cow for the promoters in Lodz, Poland.
12) Odlanier Solis (5-215)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
The Solis haters are out in force, claiming a clear loss in a fight that Solis deserved to win.  You might not like his physique or his training habits or his style, but if he outfights the other guy, he still deserves to be respected as a winner at least as much as a disappointment.  A loss to Thompson is not that embarrassing, especially when you ought to have won it.
13) Deontay Wilder (9-63)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 #19 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Chris Arreola (9-44)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola just had elbow surgery, but is expected back in the ring in October.
15) Erkan Teper (14-45)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper’s effort in his last fight- and perhaps especially in the gym leading up to it- was awful, and he got lucky when his opponent turned out to be almost as out of shape as him, in addition to being an apparent quitter.
16) Alex Leapai (14-33)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Leapai is reportedly interested in fighting Shannon Briggs in the wake of his total non-performance against the Champ.
17) Andy Ruiz (14-33)
Last Fight: 5/17/2014- TKO2 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/9/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Ruiz will return in a Unimas-televised fight on August 9.  No opponent yet.
18) Seth Mitchell (14-57)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- L (TKO1) vs. Chris Arreola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mitchell’s chin is so fragile that he might want to consider calling it a career.  Golden Boy’s CEO says he’s advised Mitchell to do just that, though he reports that Mitchell seems to have no such intention.
19) Francesco Pianeta (3-17)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- KO1 Mickael Vieira (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pianeta says he wants to give Vieira a rematch due to the flukey broken arm that KO’d the Frenchman.  The fight was a waste of time the first time, honestly, so I’m not sure we need a second helping, regardless of the reason.
20) Malik Scott (3-3)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (KO1) vs. #13 Deontay Wilder
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: No significant action among the heavies this week.
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