Heavyweight: 2014, Sep 8-14

Last week’s only potentially significant fight- Ian Lewison vs. Gary Cornish, was rendered insignificant for my purposes when Lewison- a member of my top 50- was replaced as opponent to the unproven Cornish by the not-so-great Larry Olubamiwo, whom Cornish outpointed over 8.

 

Seth Mitchell, #18 last week, has now been inactive for over a year.  I think a lot of people saw that coming practically the second he lost to Arreola.  In any case, he’s removed from the rankings, at least until he gets around to resuming his career.

 

Mike Perez and Bryant Jennings each move up a spot due to Mitchell’s ouster, and Malik Scott returns at #20 for the first time since those two fellas combined to force him out on July 28.  Francesco Pianeta may have appeared to be next in line since he was ahead of Scott back then.  Unfortunately for the German-based Italian, his best career win over Matt Skelton is now only days away from being five years old and, therefore, irrelevant.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (272-485-485)
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 (30-30-30)
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 (15-359-359)
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 (15-26-90)
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 (23-23-23)
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 (30-123-200)
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 (30-145-208)
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 (14-14-34)
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 (14-18-80)
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 (14-90-90)
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 (14-25-224)
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 (14-229)
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 (14-224)
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 (18-72)
Last Fight: 8/16/2014- W(RTD4) vs. Jason Gavern (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Chris Arreola (18-53)
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 (23-54)
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 (23-42)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 10/24/2014- vs. #20 Malik Scott
After intended fights with Shannon Briggs and Sam Peter fell through, Leapai will have an interesting matchup with Malik Scott.
17) Andy Ruiz (23-42)
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) Bryant Jennings (1-7)
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.
19) Mike Perez (1-7)
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.

20) Malik Scott (1-1)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (KO1) vs. #13 Deontay Wilder
Next Fight: 10/24/2014 – vs. #16 Alex Leapai
See Leapai’s notes, above.
 

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Wednesday
Kyotaro Fujimoto vs. Kotatsu Takehara; Tokyo, Japan; TV Unknown
The not-so-internationally-prestigious Japanese Heavyweight title is on the line as fringe-top-50 one-loss prospect and national Champion Fujimoto defends against Takahara, who is a mid-level journeyman in a worldwide context.  Fujimoto is best known for outpointing pumped-up middleweight Nobuhiro Ishida back in April.
 
Thursday
Luis Ortiz vs. Lateef Kayode; Las Vegas, Nevada; Fox Sports 1 (US)
Kayode at one point was closing in on a top 5 ranking at cruiserweight.  He moved up to heavyweight following his draw with a steroid-aided Antonio Tarver, but hasn’t fought a significant fighter since.  Enter Ortiz.  He’s a former top Cuban amateur, who really hasn’t fought anyone of serious note at any point, aside from maybe an old Monte Barrett.  Like many Cubano pro fighters, he got a late start, and is just now ready to make a potential splash at the age of 35.  Kayode, who you might reasonably still view as a prospect, is 31 himself.
 
Saturday
Anthony Joshua vs. Konstantin Airich; Manchester, England; Sky (UK)
This is a matchup of the next big thing versus a journeyman who has occasionally broken through to the lower part of the top 50.  Airich appears very much on the downside of his already relatively modest career, having lost to his last 5 half-decent opponents since his huge upset win over Ondrej Pala in 2012.  If nothing else, a victory for Joshua would elevate him to the status of a clearly proven top 50 fighter, as opposed to merely a somewhat proven top 50 fighter.  If he’s able to stop Airich (which seems very likely), he will be ready to move up about 2 levels and make a run towards the top 10.
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