Heavyweight: 2014, Nov 3-9

I’ve been completely unable to locate video for the intriguing match-up in Australia between #20 Malik Scott and #16 Alex Leapai, but news reports seem to reveal virtual certainty that it was a dominant boxing performance by Scott, and that Leapai wasn’t able to get much of anything done.  Scores were 100-90, 99-91, and 98-92.  I have no alternative but to take that at face value and pass along that report as-is.

 

In Cuxhaven, Germany, gatekeeper Christian Hammer looked perfectly solid in dominating Brazilian lump Irineu Beato Costa, Jr.   Costa looked like a caricature of Odlanier Solis for all 12 rounds, barely working at all, and plodding either slightly forward or, usually, slightly backward at all times.  This allowed Hammer to look almost dynamic, which we pretty much know he’s not.  Hammer capped the victory with a knockdown in the 12th on what was a balance issue for Costa, partially caused by an ordinary punch that landed just under the armpit.  Costa thankfully wasn’t ranked in Boxrec’s top 50 nor mine, so Hammer doesn’t profit in the rankings from such a walk in the park.  On the other hand, it has to do wonders for his confidence after the poor job he did in the Johnson fight.

 

Scott advances to #15 on the strength of the Leapai win.  Despite two losses to good competition in Chisora and Wilder, he’s able to outpace the unbeaten Erkan Teper, due to the fact that Teper has yet to meet a top 20 opponent to match Glazkov or Leapai.  Leapai hangs on to the top 20 by a thread, with his resume from the last 5 years just eking out supremacy over Ruslan Chagaev’s.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (280-493-493)
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 (38-38-38)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2014- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
Fury-Chisora II has been moved back a week, to November 29.
2) Alexander Povetkin (23-367-367)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- KO10 #7 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin’s finishing skills were quite impressive, but it might be a bit worrisome that he was clearly getting outboxed by Takam for a good chunk of the fight.  With the win, he now figures to eventually become the mandatory for the winner of Wilder-Stiverne.  His team seems to want Tyson Fury, though, which would be amazing.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (23-34-98)
Last Fight: 8/9/2014- W(MD10) vs. Derric Rossy (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/8/2014- vs. Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Glazkov is a late addition to the Hopkins-Kovalev undercard, where he will fight Darnell Wilson, a journeyman who was able to upend a compromised version of Juan Carlos Gomez a couple years ago.
4) Amir Mansour (31-31-31)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery L (UD10) vs. #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: 11/8/2014 – vs. Fred Kassi (UNR)
Mansour gets a stay-busy type fight against the unknown Fred Kassi, who despite a relatively attractive 18-2 record, has lost to the likes of Lionel Butler and Kendrick Releford, and has only fought 3 times since April 2010.
5) Kubrat Pulev (38-131-208)
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 (38-153-216)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Carlos Takam (22-22-42)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- L (KO10) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam found the ceiling on his rise to the top in #2 Povetkin.  He actually appeared more than a match for the Russian early in the fight, but couldn’t hang in the later rounds.
8) Bermane Stiverne (22-26-88)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #13 Deontay Wilder
Stiverne-Wilder is finally signed.  Details haven’t been finalized, but it’s apparently looking like mid-January in either Vegas or New York.
9) Steve Cunningham (22-98-98)
Last Fight: 10/18/2014- W (RTD7) vs. Natu Visinia (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite some scary moments with the much bigger relative novice Visinia, Cunningham ultimately took care of business.
10) Tony Thompson (22-33-232)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: 11/22/2014- vs. #12 Odlanier Solis
The Thompson-Solis rematch has been postponed due to a Solis ankle injury, with a new date of November 22.
11) Tomasz Adamek (22-237)
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 (22-232)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 10/18/2014- vs. #10 Tony Thompson
See Thompson’s notes, above.
13) Deontay Wilder (26-80)
Last Fight: 8/16/2014- W(RTD4) vs. Jason Gavern (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date – vs. #8 Bermane Stiverne 
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Chris Arreola (26-61)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: 12/11/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Arreola is scheduled to return from an elbow injury on December 11 in Temecula, California, but no opponent yet.
15) Malik Scott (1-9)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- UD10 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: Unknown
After an apparently dominant win over Leapai, Scott is probably back in the mix for some sort of big fight.
16) Erkan Teper (1-62)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper is rumored to be close to signing for a fight with 36 year old one-loss Polish prospect(?) Marcin Rekowski in December.
17) Andy Ruiz (31-50)
Last Fight: 10/25/2014- TKO1 Kenny Lemos (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/20/2014- vs. Sergei Liakhovich (UNR)
Ruiz has rescheduled his planned October fight with faded former contender Liakhovich for December 20.
18) Bryant Jennings (9-15)
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 (9-15)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- L* (SD12) vs. Bryant Jennings (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/?/2014 – vs. Unknown Opponent
Perez was said to be planning a fight in Cork, Ireland in November, but I’m assuming that’s off since I’ve heard nothing about it in several weeks.
20) Alex Leapai (1-50)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- L (UD10) vs. #20 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
It looks pretty clear now that Leapai’s win over Boytsov was more about Boytsov’s shortcomings than Leapai’s quality.
 

THE WEEK AHEAD: A busy Saturday:
Saturday
Francesco Pianeta vs. Ivica Bacurin; Stuttgart, Germany; SAT1 (Germany)
Bacurin is a career-long journeyman who pretty much always loses to the guys you’ve heard of or soon will, and pretty much always beats the guys you’ll never hear about.  Pianeta is the former.  Unfortunately for Bacurin, he’s also a natural cruiserweight, while Pianeta is a big heavyweight.  Hard to like the chances of the underdog in this one.

 

#11 Tomasz Adamek vs. Artur Szpilka; Krakow, Poland; PPV (Poland)
Adamek is clearly slipping with age, but whether he’s fallen so far as to be vulnerable to a guy who went life and death with Mike Mollo on two occasions and lost to #18 Bryant Jennings remains to be seen.  

 

Eddie Chambers vs. Marcelo Nascimento; Bluewater, England; Channel 5 (UK)
Only in boxing will you see a faded American former contender fighting a Brazilian journeyman in England.  Nascimento was last seen being stopped by Joseph Parker in April, but did manage to hurt the top prospect in the 6th, before Parker ended it in the 7th.  Even as a lower-mid-level journeyman, Nascimento represents a significant step up from the downright shabby competition Chambers has been in with since his dominant decision loss to Thabiso Mchunu at Cruiserweight over a year ago.

 

#3 Vyacheslav Glazkov vs. Darnell Wilson; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Off TV
Glazkov is in on short notice against journeyman Wilson on the Hopkins-Kovalev undercard.  Wilson managed to beat Juan Carlos Gomez a while back, but only after Gomez was injured.  Glazkov probably shouldn’t have much trouble in this one.  The fact that the #3 Heavyweight in the world is toiling off TV probably tells you that he hasn’t yet gotten his full measure of respect, despite the relatively weak opponent.

 

#4 Amir Mansour vs. Fred Kassi; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; NBC Sports (US)
This is a huge mismatch for a main event.  Mansour is world-class through and through, and probably the most underrated fighter in the division.  Kassi, while sporting a decent 18-2 record, has never beaten anyone decent.  As for his two losses, he was comfortably outpointed by the very mediocre Kendrick Releford in 2010, and failed to win even the San Manuel Casino Heavyweight Championship when he fought for that honor in 2009 against journeyman Lionel Butler.  He’s never been stopped, so I guess that’s just about the only intrigue in this fight with the hard-hitting Mansour.
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