Cruiserweight: 2014, Jul 14-20

Nathan Cleverly and Tony Bellew remained on their collision course for presumably late this year, as both men took care of business on Saturday.  Cleverly led off by scoring a 4th round TKO over Argentine gatekeeper Alejandro Valori, who was dropped twice by body shots from the former light heavyweight contender.  Cleverly actually struggled more than just a little bit in the first round, as he was caught with several flush shots from the wild-swinging Valori.  The Argentine seemed to get a bit tired pretty quick though, especially after the first knockdown, which came early in the 2nd round.  He was still game and mounted the occasional offensive, sometimes even catching Cleverly clean with a shot or two, but Cleverly seems to have moved up strong to 200, and was never visibly bothered by anything.  Valori showed valor, and did get up after the second crushing body shot knockdown, but he wobbled right at about the count of 8, which gave referee Terry O’Connor all the reason he needed to call it off.  The Sky broadcast team repeatedly implied that Valori was practically a bum off the street compared to Bellew’s opponent, which I don’t get.  He was cruder, it’s fair to say, but the guy is the class of a solid Argentine scene, and quite legitimately ranked in the top 50 by Boxrec.  It was a nice little win for the Welshman, in my view.

 

Bellew had a similarly successful outing with Julio Cesar Dos Santos of Brazil, a high-level journeyman who was treated like a serious contender by the Sky team.  I would give him enough credit to say that he’s a tough nut to crack.  His defense is very sturdy, and so Bellew had to be content to poke away and score points against the Brazilian, who wasn’t throwing much himself.  He did tag Bellew once or twice in a close 3rd, but that was about all he could manage offensively.  In the 5th, he got caught hooking with a hooker, and Bellew made him pay by driving him hard to the seat of his pants.  Dos Santos staggered as he pulled himself to his feet, which was enough for Phil Edwards to call it off despite his looking relatively steady by the completion of the 8 count.  

 

Going back to Thursday, undefeated Cuban Yunier Dorticos got a wide decision win over faded former middleweight contender Edison Miranda in Miami.  Fox Sports 1 picked the fight up at the halfway point, so I can only speak with any detail of the last half.  For that last half, Miranda was very much a live dog, getting an occasional shot in, and showing a good chin even 40 pounds up from his prime fighting weight.  Dorticos, for his part, seemed to be tiring for the part of the fight I saw, and his punches were consequently not as concise as I’d expect, while his defense was a bit on the lax side.  Still, considering I only came in at round 6, it wasn’t bad, and his overall ability was still more than enough to handle Miranda.  I scored 4 of the 5 rounds for Dorticos, with only one other round being a toss-up that could go to Miranda.  I can’t give you a true range of scores or my exact score.  I will say that Bob Sheridan and Raul Marquez both said the 6th, which Dorticos clearly one, was Miranda’s best round to that point.  If that’s the case, you might assume a shutout through 5.  With that being assumed, my score would be 99-91, with 98-92 also being a reasonable score.  Judge Alex Levin had it 99-91, which I’m obviously okay with.  Judges Rocky Young and Richard Green both had it a shutout, which, with all due respect, are not credible scores.

 

Cleverly’s debut at the serious level of the cruiserweight division is enough to cut through the soft 4th quarter of the top 20 like the butter it basically is, and he ends up at #14.  Everyone ranked #14-17 last week falls a spot.  #18 Dmytro Kucher is removed for inactivity, which allows #19 and 20 Seferi and Perdomo to maintain their rankings.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Marco Huck (9-397-397)
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 (9-212-212)
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 (9-232-232)
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 (44-473-473)
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 (25-50-88)
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 (25-114-157)
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 (34-41-88)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
8) Rakhim Chakhkiev (7-7-7)
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 (3-3-53)
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 (3-279-279)
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 (3-37)
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 (3-14)
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 (3-4)
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) Nathan Cleverly (1-1)
Last Fight: 7/12/2014- TKO4 Alejandro Valori (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Cleverly will likely fight Bellew in November, give or take.
15) Giacobbe Fragomeni (1-296)
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.
16) Mateusz Masternak (1-120)
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.
17) Santander Silgado (1-37)
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.
18) Danie Venter (1-44)
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.
19) Nuri Seferi (4-30)
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 (4-14)
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: 
Saturday
Victor Ramirez vs. Cleiton Conceicao; Benavidez, Argentina; TyC Sports (Argentina)
Ramirez is a former fringe contender who hasn’t done much of anything in over 5 years, having been essentially retired for the majority of that time.  He takes on Brazil’s Conceicao, who put forth very little effort in the direction of winning in losing by 14 points on my card in a 12-rounder against later exposed German prospect Dustin Dirks a couple years ago.  Ramirez should eat him alive, even if he’s not what he once was.
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2 Responses to “Cruiserweight: 2014, Jul 14-20”

  1. Could it be possible to update these rankings up to at least the end of February for all the weights mentioned on this page
    and start a month update for flyweight bantamweight, featherweight and lightwight

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