Heavyweight: 2015, Jan 19-25

#12 Deontay Wilder made his long-heralded arrival in the top tier of contenders on Saturday, outboxing #8 Bermane Stiverne in a responsible, somewhat careful performance that, while impressive, cost him his career-long knockout streak.  I think it was a pretty clear-cut 116-112 fight.  The judges, apparently in the tank for Wilder for whatever reason, not only gave the winner too many rounds, but also uniformly awarded him a 10-8 round in a fight with no knockdowns.  Stiverne did pretty clearly go down from a punch at one point, but it was 2 or 3 seconds after the bell to end the 2nd and required a flying tackle of Wilder by referee Tony Weeks.  The biased scores were 118-109 (Adelaide Byrd), 119-108 (Jerry Roth), and 120-107 (Craig Metcalfe).  The best of the judges I  think was clearly two rounds off from reality, and all of them, perhaps mistakenly, in effect made themselves referees by crediting Wilder with a knockdown that not only wasn’t ruled by the referee, but which didn’t legitimately happen.  The poor judging shouldn’t take away from Wilder’s clear and convincing win, however.
 
On the undercard, gatekeeper or perhaps fringe prospect Eric Molina nearly went the distance himself with decent journeyman Rafael Zumbano of Brazil before stopping his man on accumulation in the last round of a scheduled 8.  Molina consistently landed a crushing uppercut that dominated the fight.  Zumbano showed a ridiculous chin, but outside of a decent and aggressive first round or two, that’s about all the Brazilian was able to show.
 
Wilder makes his debut as a top 10 fighter at #7, while Stiverne slips behind Dereck Chisora and lands at #9.  Cunningham, Thompson, and Solis each drop one rank.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (291-504-504)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- KO5 #5 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: 4/25/2015- vs. #17 Bryant Jennings
Klitschko-Jennings is on, and figures to be a fairly average defense for the Champ.
1) Tyson Fury (49-49-49)
Last Fight: 11/29/2014- RTD10 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 2/28/2015- vs. Christian Hammer (UNR)
Christian Hammer is a very beatable gatekeeper, but did look good in his last fight, and is probably about a class better than you’d expect a guy with a mandatory championship shot coming his way to stay busy against.
2) Alexander Povetkin (34-378-378)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- KO10 #7 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Nothing has been signed yet, but the WBC has given approval for Povetkin to fight an eliminator with Mike Perez.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (34-45-109)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- TKO7 Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/14/2015- vs. #10 Steve Cunningham
With Main Events behind both fighters, you could almost see this one coming.  Glazkov will take on Steve Cunningham, likely on NBC Sports, in March.
4) Amir Mansour (42-42-42)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- KO7 Fred Kassi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mansour’s power was brought to bear on the mediocre Kassi, who did a good job of hanging in there- perhaps for longer than most expected- while losing every round.
5) Kubrat Pulev (49-142-219)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Back to the drawing board for the Bulgarian.  He at least mounted an attack.  That’s more than some challengers can say.
6) Carlos Takam (8-33-53)
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.
7) Deontay Wilder (1-1-91)
Last Fight: 1/17/2015- UD12 #8 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
With an alphabet belt under his…um…belt….Wilder will have plenty of suitors.
8) Dereck Chisora (1-164-227)
Last Fight: 11/29/2014- L (RTD10) vs. #1 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: Unknown
Chisora apparently doesn’t want to leave the bad taste in his mouth from his last performance, as he is reportedly planning to fight again on February 28.  He is also said to be splitting from trainer Don Charles.
9) Bermane Stiverne (1-37-99)
Last Fight: 1/17/2015- L (UD12) vs. #12 Deontay Wilder
Next Fight: Unknown
No word just yet on what’s next for now former beltholder Stiverne.
10) Steve Cunningham (1-109-109)
Last Fight: 10/18/2014- W (RTD7) vs. Natu Visinia (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/14/2015- vs. #3 Vyacheslav Glazkov
See Glazkov’s notes, above.
11) Tony Thompson (1-243)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: 1/24/2015 – vs. #12 Odlanier Solis
Yet another delay for Thompson-Solis II, with a 4th date now scheduled for April 27 in Hungary, of all places.
12) Odlanier Solis (1-243)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 1/24/2015- vs. #11 Tony Thompson
See Thompson’s notes, above.
13) Chris Arreola (11-72)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola advised Boxingscene.com that he’s likely back in late January or February, and called out Antonio Tarver, as well.
14) Malik Scott (11-20)
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.
15) Erkan Teper (11-73)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
Teper will most likely fight France’s Johann Duhaupas at some point, but the fight has been postponed to a later date due to Teper having his appendix out.
16) Antonio Tarver (6-6)
Last Fight: 12/11/2014- TKO7 Johnathon Banks (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Tarver has recently challenged a comebacking David Haye.
17) Bryant Jennings (5-26)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- W* (SD12) vs. Mike Perez (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/25/2015- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Jennings has got his shot at Klitschko for April 25.  Almost certanily too soon for him, given his mediocre last performance against Perez.
18) Artur Szpilka (5-11)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- W (UD10) vs. #11 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: 3/?/2015- vs. Unknown Opponent
Szpilka was originally due back on January 31, but after signing with Al Haymon, it appears he’s pushed that back to a Showtime card in late March.
19) Mike Perez (5-26)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- L* (SD12) vs. Bryant Jennings (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/5/2015- vs. Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Perez will stay busy on February 5 against Darnell Wilson in Costa Mesa, California.
20) Alex Leapai (5-5)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- L (UD10) vs. #20 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown 

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
No significant action on tap for this week..

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