Heavyweight: 2015, Mar 9-15

 
Thursday in New Zealand, undefeated blue chip prospect Joseph Parker took care of 35 year-old one-loss fringe prospect Jason Pettaway of West Virginia in 4 rounds, which is probably roughly as expected.  Parker had Pettaway down once each in rounds 3 and 4.  There was a bit of drama at the very end, however, as Parker hit Pettaway with a pretty clean uppercut well after he had gone down to a knee.  It was a dirty enough shot that, frankly, one could hardly have blamed anyone involved but Parker himself had it ended in disqualification.  Luckily for Parker, he was fighting at home, and perhaps even more luckily, Pettaway didn’t force the issue by feigning additional injury.  This took a lot of pressure off referee John Conway, who might have been obligated to at least give Pettaway five minutes to recover had Pettaway reacted to the punch with anything worse than an irritated look.  It seemed instead that he’d had his fill of the fight by then.  A dominant performance, but still in some way a narrow escape.
 

The following night in Philly, local slugger Joey Dawejko, who has made his way into the latter rungs of the top 50 in recent months, detonated the chin of Nigerian journeyman Enobong Umohette just 27 seconds into the fight,  with a beautiful short left hook in an exchange.  Umohette was out before he ever hit the ground.  The Milwaukee-based Nigerian previously showed some degree of power against very basic competition, but wasn’t really a credible test for anyone at Dawejko’s level.  Still, a thrilling performance by the local man.


In a non-televised tilt on the Thurman-Guerrero undercard in Vegas, undefeated prospect and former Olympian Dominic Breazeale apparently took card of business, scoring a 4th-round stoppage over half-decent Boricua journeyman Victor Bisbal.  I wasn’t able to so much as find a highlight of the match, so I’ll have to leave it at that.


With none of the above results being particularly significant given the levels of competition, there’s no change to the rankings this week.
 
 
Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (298-511-511)
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 (56-56-56)
Last Fight: 2/28/2015- W (RTD8) vs. Christian Hammer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury is now in a well-earned position as Klitschko’s mandatory, and says he wants exactly that fight.  
2) Alexander Povetkin (41-385-385)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- KO10 #7 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Negotiations are underway for a potential May 22 clash with Mike Perez in Moscow, with the winner to get a mandatory shot at Wilder’s belt.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (41-52-116)
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 in March.
4) Amir Mansour (49-49-49)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- KO7 Fred Kassi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mansour was ringside on the commentary team for Joey Dawejko’s recent win, and it sounds for all the world like they plan to fight each other next.
5) Kubrat Pulev (56-149-226)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite his knockout loss to the Champ, Pulev and Sauerland have recently extended their promotional contract, and Pulev is set to begin working with Uli Wegner, who is essentially Sauerland’s house trainer.
6) Carlos Takam (15-40-60)
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 (8-8-98)
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.  He says he wants Fury next.
8) Dereck Chisora (8-171-234)
Last Fight: 11/29/2014- L (RTD10) vs. #1 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: Unknown
9) Tony Thompson (2-2-250)
Last Fight: 2/27/2015- W (RTD8) vs. #12 Odlanier Solis
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson cleared up any doubt as to who the better fighter is with an easy night’s work against the badly out of shape Odlanier Solis.
10) Bermane Stiverne (2-44-106)
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.
11) Steve Cunningham (2-116)
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.
12) Odlanier Solis (8-250)
Last Fight: 2/27/2015- L (RTD8) vs. #11 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
If the Thompson rematch is an indication of his current ability, Solis would be overrated even at #100, and his promoter seems to be publicly of the same mind, saying essentiallly that Solis is now a journeyman, and that he’s going to feed him to anybody willing to pay for a fight.
13) Chris Arreola (18-79)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: 3/13/2015- vs. Curtis Harper (UNR)
Arreola’s return has now been set for March 13 in Ontario, CA.  His opponent is journeyman Curtis Harper.
14) Malik Scott (18-27)
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 (18-80)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/14/2015- vs. Johann Duhaupas (UNR)
Teper-Duhaupas has a new date: March 14 in Stuttgart.
16) Antonio Tarver (13-13)
Last Fight: 12/11/2014- TKO7 Johnathon Banks (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After being shelved by Showtime due to steroids a few years back, Tarver has landed another commentary gig for Premiere Boxing Champions.
17) Bryant Jennings (12-33)
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 (12-18)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- W (UD10) vs. #11 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: 4/24/2015- vs. Unknown Opponent
Now advised by Al Haymon and trained by Ronnie Shields, Szpilka will debut his new team against an opponent to be announced on an April 24 Showtime card in Chicago.
19) Mike Perez (12-33)
Last Fight: 2/5/2015- TKO2 Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Povetkin’s notes, above.
20) Alex Leapai (12-12)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- L (UD10) vs. #20 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown 
 
THE WEEK AHEAD:
Friday
#13 Chris Arreola vs. Curtis Harper; Ontario, CA; SpikeTV
Arreola gets a TV showcase against a relatively soft touch as he looks to rebound from the stoppage loss to Stiverne last time out.  Arreola comes of a 10-month layoff.  Harper does come in with a modest 5-fight win streak (including an upset over an undefeated local fighter), but has typically only succeeded against basic competition.  His three losses include stoppages to Yasmany Conseguera and Gerald Washington, and a decision against Donovan Dennis.  

Gerald Washington vs. Jason Gavern; Ontario, CA; Off TV
I don’t believe this one will make the broadcast, but the aforementioned Washington gets a decent development fight against Gavern, a sometimes good journeyman who was last seen being served up as an out-of-shape short-notice sacrificial lamb for Deontay Wilder in August.  Still, Gavern is proven on a certain level, and inasmuch as Washington hasn’t particularly impressed against a similar level (eg Nagy Aguilera) in the past, it wouldn’t shock me to see this be a competitive fight.  Unfortunately, I understand it is unlikely to make the Spike broadcast.
 
Saturday
#3 Vyachelsav Glazkov vs. #11 Steve Cunningham; Montreal, Quebec; HBO
Glazkov comes off a fairly dominant win over a top-5 contender in Adamek.  Cunningham’s most recent effort was a gutty win over Mansour, in a fight he nevertheless should have lost on the cards, despite a strong comeback in the end.  Glazkov is likely the harder puncher, and also has youth on his side, as he comes in at just 30 compared to Cunningham’s 38 years.  The winner would make an excellent case for a Klitschko shot, almost needless to say.
 
#15 Erkan Teper vs. Johann Duhaupas; Stuttgart, Germany; TV Unknown
Teper is a ranked and undefeated German who has risen to relative prominence with a couple first round stoppages over aging gatekeepers Martin Rogan and Michael Sprott, but has been somewhat derailed over the past year by health issues.  DuHaupas is a French prospect whose only loss is to a prime Francesco Pianeta in 2008, but who also hasn’t beaten anyone of note. Duhaupas, at 34, is no spring chicken, but he is likely significantly more fresh than any worthwhile opponents Teper has faced, even if he isn’t really proven at a top-50 level by any means.

Mariusz Wach vs. Gbenga Oluokun; Lubin, Poland; TV Unknown
Wach is a gargantuan Polish fighter who was dominated by Wlad in a 2012 title shot before testing dirty for steroids in the post-fight drug tests.  To his credit, he made no excuses, and took a lengthy suspension.  He’s fought a couple mediocrities since then, and looks to continue on the comeback trail against Nigeria’s Oluokun.   Oluokun was at one time a 16-0 propsect, but has only had his hand raised three times since 2008, and hasn’t beaten anyone even remotely worth fighting since 2010.
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