Heavyweight: 2014, Sep 1-7

Coming into Saturday’s 10-rounder with 6-1 novice Timur Musafarov, Denis Boytsov was fighting for his status as a top 50 heavyweight.  Even to that point, it had been a shocking fall from grace for the once-hot prospect who had been ranked in or around the top 5 within the last few years, and even as little as 9 months ago had been just one gimme win away from a shot at Klitschko.  But as you may know, he was soundly defeated by gatekeeper Alex Leapai, who claimed the shot in his stead.  Musafarov probably wasn’t as much a novice nor non-entity as I presumed him to be.  A closer look at his record reveals that his lone loss was a split decision to current #15 Erkan Teper, in a fight I now really wish I’d seen.  In retrospect, Teper may be lucky that there appears to be no video of the fight online.  But by the same token, Musafarov hadn’t beaten anybody remotely competent to this point, either.  

 

That changed on Saturday, though the typically in-the-tank German judges failed to notice.  Referee Joerg Milke, who I would have to say I typically see as one of the more fair German officials out there, was anything but in this fight.  He would break the action for little or no reason just as it appeared Musafarov was at an advantage.  Late in the fight when Boytsov was exhausted and looking to kill clock, Milke would wait about 3 or 4 ticks before moving in to break the clinch.  But even worse, he took a point from Musafarov for accidental head clashes, which to my eyes looked very run of the mill, and which didn’t seem to be especially caused by Musafarov.  

 

Boytsov was extremely out of shape, and didn’t look like much better than an average club fighter.  He didn’t do much of anything until about round 5, where he finally started to uncork some power shots.  Unfortunately for him, he only seemed to have about 2 rounds worth of gas in him for the 10 round fight, as he faded badly after two good rounds in the 5th and 6th, and was dominated, bullied, and frankly looking to survive for the last 4 rounds.  Reasonable scores could range, in my opinion, from 96-94 Musafarov to 98-92 Musafarov (technically 95-94 and 97-92 from the judges’ perspective because of the blatantly biased point deduction that they were required to honor).  Actual scores were 95-94 from Ingo Barrabas, 97-93 from Norbert Duernberger, and 98-91 from Alexander Plumanns.  I’ll give Barrabas the benefit of the doubt that maybe he just made a mistake in scoring the blood that Musafarov wore on his face in several spots due to the head clash, or that he gave some of the semi-close early rounds to Boytsov because of confirmation bias given the disparate reputations of the fighters.  Not excusable, but maybe not sinister.  Duernberger and Plumanns are likely irredeemable crooks.  Plumanns is new to me, and I kinda hope he’s quickly forgotten.  I’ve scored 2 fights along with Duernberger that I’m aware of.  He did a good job in Gbenga Oloukun vs. Edmund Gerber, but not so much in Robert Helenius vs. Sherman Williams.  So he’s 1 for 3 on turning in reasonable cards.

 

Regardless of what awful or corrupt judges say, Musafarov clearly won the fight, and Boytsov has now conclusively fallen out of the top 50.  He’s not even 30 years old yet, but he may be done.  Musafarov caught Boytsov on the way down pretty clearly, though, so he’ll need another good win or two land anywhere near the top 20.  No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (271-484-484)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: 11/15/2014- vs. #5 Kubrat Pulev
The Pulev defense has now been rescheduled for November 15.
1) Tyson Fury (29-29-29)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/22/2014- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
After saying he was no longer interested in fighting Chisora after his rival withdrew from a scheduled fight, the fight is now rescheduled for November 22.
2) Alexander Povetkin (14-358-358)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- TKO7 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/24/2014- vs. #7 Carlos Takam
Povetkin will attempt to halt the meteoric rise of rugged slugger Carlos Takam when the two meet in Russia on October 24.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (14-25-89)
Last Fight: 8/9/2014- W(MD10) vs. Derric Rossy (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov didn’t exactly earn any style points for his lazy showing against big underdog Rossy, but a win’s a win, I suppose…
4) Amir Mansour (22-22-22)
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 (29-122-199)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/15/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Klitschko’s notes, above.
6) Dereck Chisora (29-144-207)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/22/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Carlos Takam (13-13-33)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- UD12 #9 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 10/24/2014- vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Takam looks to go from contender to international superstar when he looks to topple Povetkin in Russia in late October.
8) Bermane Stiverne (13-17-79)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne had been looking at November for a big fight with Wilder.  Purse bids are scheduled for 9/12.
9) Steve Cunningham (13-89-89)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery W (UD10) vs. Amir Mansour (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There are unconfirmed reports of a potential fight with Bryant Jennings in the works.  It would make sense, as both guys are Main Events fighters.
10) Tony Thompson (13-24-223)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: 10/?/2014- vs. #12 Odlanier Solis
Thompson will be giving Odlanier Solis a well-deserved rematch in October, it would appear.
11) Tomasz Adamek (13-228)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: 11/8/2014- vs. Artur Szpilka (UNR)
Originally penciled in for October 18 in Lodz, it now appears that Adamek-Szpilka is destined for November 8 in Krakow.
12) Odlanier Solis (13-223)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 10/?/2014- vs. #10 Tony Thompson
After taking a tough loss and a heap of excessive criticism in a fight he frankly deserved to win, Solis will get a chance to avenge the slight with an October rematch with Tony Thompson.
13) Deontay Wilder (17-71)
Last Fight: 8/16/2014- W(RTD4) vs. Jason Gavern (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Chris Arreola (17-52)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola had elbow surgery, but is expected back in the ring in October.
15) Erkan Teper (22-53)
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 (22-41)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 10/24/2014- vs. Malik Scott (UNR)
After intended fights with Shannon Briggs and Sam Peter fell through, Leapai will have an interesting matchup with Malik Scott.
17) Andy Ruiz (22-41)
Last Fight: 5/17/2014- TKO2 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/20/2014- vs. Sergey Liakhovich (UNR)
Ruiz will headline a Solo Boxeo card from Phoenix on September 20 against former contender and current journeyman Sergey Liakhovich.
18) Seth Mitchell (22-65)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- L (TKO1) vs. Chris Arreola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mitchell will be out for inactivity next week, unless he should schedule something by then- something there’s been zero buzz about.
19) Bryant Jennings (6-6)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- W* (SD12) vs. Mike Perez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Reasonable minds can disagree on the correct result of Jennings-Perez.  What’s clear, though, is that Jennings is not nearly ready for Klitschko, a fight some of his supporters have been proposing for a while now.  He himself appears to want the Wilder-Stiverne winner, which might be more within his competency.
20) Mike Perez (6-6)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- L* (SD12) vs. Bryant Jennings (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/?/2014 – vs. Unknown Opponent
Perez, who calls Cork, Ireland home, will return to his home base in November when he headlines a card there.  Details TBD.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Saturday
Ian Lewison vs. Gary Cornish; Paisley, Scotland; TV Unknown
This is a nice little under-the-radar matchup.  Lewison impressed in his Prizefighter appearance, having destroyed Timo Hoffmann and gotten a bit of a raw deal in the 2nd round against Derric Rossy.  This fight could get him legitimately on the map for the first time, but the fact that they’re fighting in 6’7″ Scotsman Cornish’s back yard should tell you something about which fighter is thought to have the brighter future.
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