Archive for the Cruiserweight Category

Cruiserweight: 2014, Jul 21-27

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on December 12, 2014 by danboxing
Argentine Gatekeeper Victor Ramirez continued his rather leisurely comeback on Saturday, knocking out low-level Brazilian journeyman Cleiton Conceicao in 4, having dropped him twice in the final round.  No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Marco Huck (10-398-398)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: 8/30/2014- vs. Mirko Larghetti (UNR)
As it turns out, Huck’s August 30 opponent will be Mirko Larghetti, the Italian prospect he was scheduled to fight earlier this year before injury scuttled the bout.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (10-213-213)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #6 Firat Arslan
Hernandez is set to fight Arslan on August 16, in Erfurt, Germany.  
3) Denis Lebedev (10-233-233)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lebedev is said to be returning in September, with the exact date to be reported in August.  Pawel Kolodziej is being considered, along with a couple unnamed options.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (45-474-474)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s looking like Wlodarczyk will be back in August, possibly against BJ Flores, though Makabu’s win over Glen Johnson has him in position for a shot, as well.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (26-51-89)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu’s scheduled fight with Brazilian prospect was scrapped on just a day’s notice due to the surprise withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
6) Firat Arslan (26-115-158)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- UD8 Tamas Bajzath (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
See Hernandez’s notes, above.
7) Grigory Drozd (35-42-89)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
8) Rakhim Chakhkiev (8-8-8)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- UD12 #11 Santander Silgado
Next Fight: Unknown
Chakhkiev has finally cashed in a high-level win to go with his hype and promise.  Most likely another title shot is not far off.
9) Ilunga Makabu (4-4-54)
Last Fight: 6/28/2014- TKO9 Glen Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Makabu didn’t look great for most of his fight with 45 year-old Glen Johnson, but he had a lot more in the tank than the old veteran, and became only the 2nd guy to get him out of there.
10) Ola Afolabi (4-280-280)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. Anthony Caputo Smith (UNR)
The rumor that is Pawel Kolodziej is once again involved in a fight that’s not coming off, as he withdrew from his July 26 date with Afolabi, who will now fight the much weaker Anthony Caputo Smith.
11) Lukasz Janik (4-38)
Last Fight: 6/28/2014- UD10 Rico Hoye (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik did enough to beat a perhaps better-than-expected Rico Hoye, but didn’t exactly light the world on fire in doing so.
12) Ovill McKenzie (4-15)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- TKO2 Jon-Lewis Dickinson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After blowing out the British Champion, McKenzie has his sites set on a European or perhaps World belt.  He wants to fight Marco Huck most of all.
13) Youri Kalenga (4-5)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- W (SD12*) vs. #12 Mateusz Masternak
Next Fight: Unknown
How a guy can get dominated by Arturs Kulikauskis, only to come back and dominate Mateusz Masternak within about 9 months, is beyond me.  Still, the former fight aside, he’s got another pretty nice win on his resume right before that, over Iago Kiladze, a then-undefeated prospect.
14) Nathan Cleverly (2-2)
Last Fight: 7/12/2014- TKO4 Alejandro Valori (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Cleverly will likely fight Bellew in November, give or take.
15) Giacobbe Fragomeni (2-297)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Olegs Lopajevs (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The fight with Lopajevs was purely a stay-busy contest, but he’s talking about another title shot even at 44 years old.
16) Mateusz Masternak (2-121)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- L (SD12*) vs. Youri Kalenga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Having now lost to his last two decent opponents, the future of Masternak, who looked like a can’t-miss talent not long ago, seems very much in doubt.
17) Santander Silgado (2-38)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- L (UD12) vs. Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I don’t want to say Silgado made it easy for Chakhkiev, because it looked relatively difficult, but he sure didn’t help himself by taking a fight with a fringe contending Olympic Gold Medalist on 2 weeks’ notice.
18) Danie Venter (2-45)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Venter’s June 6 fight was cancelled a day in advance due to a withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
19) Nuri Seferi (5-31)
Last Fight: 5/16/2014- UD12 Tamas Lodi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I took Seferi’s stated desire to fight Marco Huck as idle chatter, but that fight now looks likely for August 30, deserved or not.
20) Gusmyr Perdomo (5-15)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- Robbery Loss (should be draw) vs. #15 Nuri Seferi
Next Fight: 8/30/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Perdomo deserved at least a draw against Seferi, but the judges summoned just enough coincidental incompetence to take it from him.  He’s back on August 30.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Saturday
Mairis Briedis vs. Joey Vegas; Riga, Latvia; TV Unknown
This is a very nice test for undefeated local prospect Briedis.  Vegas recently gave fringe contender Dmitry Sukhotsky all he could handle in Sukhotsky’s backyard, so this is not a gimme fight.  The only problem is that that fight was at Vegas’ natural 175 weight.  Briedis, you would think, is the much bigger man.

 

Roy Jones, Jr. vs. Courtney Fry; Riga, Latvia; TV Unknown
Well, I guess you could at least give the 45 year-old Jones credit for knowing where he’s at in his career.  Fry is a low-level British journeyman, and is pushing 40, himself.  Even a fully washed-up Jones shouldn’t have trouble in this one.

 

#10 Ola Afolabi vs. Anthony Caputo Smith; New York, New York; Off TV
Afolabi comes off essentially a robbery win over Lukasz Janik, and will have a much easier night against mid-level journeyman Anthony Caputo Smith on the Golovkin-Geale undercard.

 

William Fernando Souza Bezerra vs. Ricardo Souza; Sao Paolo, Brazil; TV Unknown
I still can’t really confirm that Souza Bezerra’s fights are real.  The two I’ve seen video of have both looked extremely fishy.  Neither of those fights were against Souza, whom Bezerra has fought twice before.  He knocked him out in one and four rounds in those two fights, so I’m not sure what there is left to prove.

Cruiserweight: 2014, Jul 14-20

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 25, 2014 by danboxing
Nathan Cleverly and Tony Bellew remained on their collision course for presumably late this year, as both men took care of business on Saturday.  Cleverly led off by scoring a 4th round TKO over Argentine gatekeeper Alejandro Valori, who was dropped twice by body shots from the former light heavyweight contender.  Cleverly actually struggled more than just a little bit in the first round, as he was caught with several flush shots from the wild-swinging Valori.  The Argentine seemed to get a bit tired pretty quick though, especially after the first knockdown, which came early in the 2nd round.  He was still game and mounted the occasional offensive, sometimes even catching Cleverly clean with a shot or two, but Cleverly seems to have moved up strong to 200, and was never visibly bothered by anything.  Valori showed valor, and did get up after the second crushing body shot knockdown, but he wobbled right at about the count of 8, which gave referee Terry O’Connor all the reason he needed to call it off.  The Sky broadcast team repeatedly implied that Valori was practically a bum off the street compared to Bellew’s opponent, which I don’t get.  He was cruder, it’s fair to say, but the guy is the class of a solid Argentine scene, and quite legitimately ranked in the top 50 by Boxrec.  It was a nice little win for the Welshman, in my view.

 

Bellew had a similarly successful outing with Julio Cesar Dos Santos of Brazil, a high-level journeyman who was treated like a serious contender by the Sky team.  I would give him enough credit to say that he’s a tough nut to crack.  His defense is very sturdy, and so Bellew had to be content to poke away and score points against the Brazilian, who wasn’t throwing much himself.  He did tag Bellew once or twice in a close 3rd, but that was about all he could manage offensively.  In the 5th, he got caught hooking with a hooker, and Bellew made him pay by driving him hard to the seat of his pants.  Dos Santos staggered as he pulled himself to his feet, which was enough for Phil Edwards to call it off despite his looking relatively steady by the completion of the 8 count.  

 

Going back to Thursday, undefeated Cuban Yunier Dorticos got a wide decision win over faded former middleweight contender Edison Miranda in Miami.  Fox Sports 1 picked the fight up at the halfway point, so I can only speak with any detail of the last half.  For that last half, Miranda was very much a live dog, getting an occasional shot in, and showing a good chin even 40 pounds up from his prime fighting weight.  Dorticos, for his part, seemed to be tiring for the part of the fight I saw, and his punches were consequently not as concise as I’d expect, while his defense was a bit on the lax side.  Still, considering I only came in at round 6, it wasn’t bad, and his overall ability was still more than enough to handle Miranda.  I scored 4 of the 5 rounds for Dorticos, with only one other round being a toss-up that could go to Miranda.  I can’t give you a true range of scores or my exact score.  I will say that Bob Sheridan and Raul Marquez both said the 6th, which Dorticos clearly one, was Miranda’s best round to that point.  If that’s the case, you might assume a shutout through 5.  With that being assumed, my score would be 99-91, with 98-92 also being a reasonable score.  Judge Alex Levin had it 99-91, which I’m obviously okay with.  Judges Rocky Young and Richard Green both had it a shutout, which, with all due respect, are not credible scores.

 

Cleverly’s debut at the serious level of the cruiserweight division is enough to cut through the soft 4th quarter of the top 20 like the butter it basically is, and he ends up at #14.  Everyone ranked #14-17 last week falls a spot.  #18 Dmytro Kucher is removed for inactivity, which allows #19 and 20 Seferi and Perdomo to maintain their rankings.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Marco Huck (9-397-397)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: 8/30/2014- vs. Mirko Larghetti (UNR)
As it turns out, Huck’s August 30 opponent will be Mirko Larghetti, the Italian prospect he was scheduled to fight earlier this year before injury scuttled the bout.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (9-212-212)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #6 Firat Arslan
Hernandez is set to fight Arslan on August 16, in Erfurt, Germany.  
3) Denis Lebedev (9-232-232)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Given his legitimate injury that shelved him for a big chunk of the year and the fact that his opponent screwed him over via PED use, I’m going to use my discretion and leave Lebedev ranked at this point.  Still, his best work is simply getting too old to stay at the very top.  Some reports have him returning in the fall against Pawel Kolodziej.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (44-473-473)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s looking like Wlodarczyk will be back in August, possibly against BJ Flores, though Makabu’s win over Glen Johnson has him in position for a shot, as well.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (25-50-88)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu’s scheduled fight with Brazilian prospect was scrapped on just a day’s notice due to the surprise withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
6) Firat Arslan (25-114-157)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- UD8 Tamas Bajzath (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
See Hernandez’s notes, above.
7) Grigory Drozd (34-41-88)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
8) Rakhim Chakhkiev (7-7-7)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- UD12 #11 Santander Silgado
Next Fight: Unknown
Chakhkiev has finally cashed in a high-level win to go with his hype and promise.  Most likely another title shot is not far off.
9) Ilunga Makabu (3-3-53)
Last Fight: 6/28/2014- TKO9 Glen Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Makabu didn’t look great for most of his fight with 45 year-old Glen Johnson, but he had a lot more in the tank than the old veteran, and became only the 2nd guy to get him out of there.
10) Ola Afolabi (3-279-279)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
The rumor that is Pawel Kolodziej is once again involved in a fight that’s not coming off, as he withdrew from his July 26 date with Afolabi, who is now in search of a replacement.
11) Lukasz Janik (3-37)
Last Fight: 6/28/2014- UD10 Rico Hoye (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik did enough to beat a perhaps better-than-expected Rico Hoye, but didn’t exactly light the world on fire in doing so.
12) Ovill McKenzie (3-14)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- TKO2 Jon-Lewis Dickinson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After blowing out the British Champion, McKenzie has his sites set on a European or perhaps World belt.  He wants to fight Marco Huck most of all.
13) Youri Kalenga (3-4)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- W (SD12*) vs. #12 Mateusz Masternak
Next Fight: Unknown
How a guy can get dominated by Arturs Kulikauskis, only to come back and dominate Mateusz Masternak within about 9 months, is beyond me.  Still, the former fight aside, he’s got another pretty nice win on his resume right before that, over Iago Kiladze, a then-undefeated prospect.
14) Nathan Cleverly (1-1)
Last Fight: 7/12/2014- TKO4 Alejandro Valori (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Cleverly will likely fight Bellew in November, give or take.
15) Giacobbe Fragomeni (1-296)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Olegs Lopajevs (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The fight with Lopajevs was purely a stay-busy contest, but he’s talking about another title shot even at 44 years old.
16) Mateusz Masternak (1-120)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- L (SD12*) vs. Youri Kalenga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Having now lost to his last two decent opponents, the future of Masternak, who looked like a can’t-miss talent not long ago, seems very much in doubt.
17) Santander Silgado (1-37)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- L (UD12) vs. Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I don’t want to say Silgado made it easy for Chakhkiev, because it looked relatively difficult, but he sure didn’t help himself by taking a fight with a fringe contending Olympic Gold Medalist on 2 weeks’ notice.
18) Danie Venter (1-44)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Venter’s June 6 fight was cancelled a day in advance due to a withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
19) Nuri Seferi (4-30)
Last Fight: 5/16/2014- UD12 Tamas Lodi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I took Seferi’s stated desire to fight Marco Huck as idle chatter, but that fight now looks likely for August 30, deserved or not.
20) Gusmyr Perdomo (4-14)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- Robbery Loss (should be draw) vs. #15 Nuri Seferi
Next Fight: Unknown
Perdomo deserved at least a draw against Seferi, but the judges summoned just enough coincidental incompetence to take it from him.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Saturday
Victor Ramirez vs. Cleiton Conceicao; Benavidez, Argentina; TyC Sports (Argentina)
Ramirez is a former fringe contender who hasn’t done much of anything in over 5 years, having been essentially retired for the majority of that time.  He takes on Brazil’s Conceicao, who put forth very little effort in the direction of winning in losing by 14 points on my card in a 12-rounder against later exposed German prospect Dustin Dirks a couple years ago.  Ramirez should eat him alive, even if he’s not what he once was.

Cruiserweight: 2014, Jul 7-13

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 20, 2014 by danboxing
No notable cruiserweight fights took place last week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Marco Huck (8-396-396)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: 8/30/2014- vs. Mirko Larghetti (UNR)
As it turns out, Huck’s August 30 opponent will be Mirko Larghetti, the Italian prospect he was scheduled to fight earlier this year before injury scuttled the bout.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (8-211-211)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #6 Firat Arslan
Hernandez is set to fight Arslan on August 16, in Erfurt, Germany.  
3) Denis Lebedev (8-231-231)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Given his legitimate injury that shelved him for a big chunk of the year and the fact that his opponent screwed him over via PED use, I’m going to use my discretion and leave Lebedev ranked at this point.  Still, his best work is simply getting too old to stay at the very top.  Some reports have him returning in the fall against Pawel Kolodziej.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (43-472-472)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s looking like Wlodarczyk will be back in August, possibly against BJ Flores, though Makabu’s win over Glen Johnson has him in position for a shot, as well.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (24-49-87)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu’s scheduled fight with Brazilian prospect was scrapped on just a day’s notice due to the surprise withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
6) Firat Arslan (24-113-156)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- UD8 Tamas Bajzath (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
See Hernandez’s notes, above.
7) Grigory Drozd (33-40-87)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
8) Rakhim Chakhkiev (6-6-6)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- UD12 #11 Santander Silgado
Next Fight: Unknown
Chakhkiev has finally cashed in a high-level win to go with his hype and promise.  Most likely another title shot is not far off.
9) Ilunga Makabu (2-2-52)
Last Fight: 6/28/2014- TKO9 Glen Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Makabu didn’t look great for most of his fight with 45 year-old Glen Johnson, but he had a lot more in the tank than the old veteran, and became only the 2nd guy to get him out of there.
10) Ola Afolabi (2-278-278)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
The rumor that is Pawel Kolodziej is once again involved in a fight that’s not coming off, as he withdrew from his July 26 date with Afolabi, who is now in search of a replacement.
11) Lukasz Janik (2-36)
Last Fight: 6/28/2014- UD10 Rico Hoye (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik did enough to beat a perhaps better-than-expected Rico Hoye, but didn’t exactly light the world on fire in doing so.
12) Ovill McKenzie (2-13)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- TKO2 Jon-Lewis Dickinson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After blowing out the British Champion, McKenzie has his sites set on a European or perhaps World belt.  He wants to fight Marco Huck most of all.
13) Youri Kalenga (2-3)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- W (SD12*) vs. #12 Mateusz Masternak
Next Fight: Unknown
How a guy can get dominated by Arturs Kulikauskis, only to come back and dominate Mateusz Masternak within about 9 months, is beyond me.  Still, the former fight aside, he’s got another pretty nice win on his resume right before that, over Iago Kiladze, a then-undefeated prospect.
14) Giacobbe Fragomeni (2-295)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Olegs Lopajevs (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The fight with Lopajevs was purely a stay-busy contest, but he’s talking about another title shot even at 44 years old.
15) Mateusz Masternak (3-119)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- L (SD12*) vs. Youri Kalenga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Having now lost to his last two decent opponents, the future of Masternak, who looked like a can’t-miss talent not long ago, seems very much in doubt.
16) Santander Silgado (3-36)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- L (UD12) vs. Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I don’t want to say Silgado made it easy for Chakhkiev, because it looked relatively difficult, but he sure didn’t help himself by taking a fight with a fringe contending Olympic Gold Medalist on 2 weeks’ notice.
17) Danie Venter (3-43)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Venter’s June 6 fight was cancelled a day in advance due to a withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
18) Dmytro Kucher (3-106)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher will be removed next week unless he schedules a fight before then.
19) Nuri Seferi (3-29)
Last Fight: 5/16/2014- UD12 Tamas Lodi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I took Seferi’s stated desire to fight Marco Huck as idle chatter, but that fight now looks likely for August 30, deserved or not.
20) Gusmyr Perdomo (3-13)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- Robbery Loss (should be draw) vs. #15 Nuri Seferi
Next Fight: Unknown
Perdomo deserved at least a draw against Seferi, but the judges summoned just enough coincidental incompetence to take it from him.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Thursday
Yunier Dorticos vs. Edison Miranda; Miami, Florida; FS1 (US)
Dorticos is a fringe contending undefeated Cuban who has been ranked in the top 20 when the division ebbs a bit.  Miranda is a former middleweight contender who has certainly seen better days in his career.  At cruiserweight in 2014, he’s basically an upper-level journeyman.  Dorticos comes off the two best wins of his career back-to-back in Hamilton Ventura and especially Eric Fields.  This would probably be his 3rd-best.  Miranda will be making his debut as anything like a full-fledged cruiserweight, and has lost 4 of his last 5, all at 175.

 

Saturday
#5 LHW Tony Bellew vs. Julio Cesar Dos Santos; Liverpool, England; Sky (UK)
This figures to be the final tune-up for Bellew before he meets Nathan Cleverly in a big-money grudge match in the fall.  Dos Santos is an upper-level journeyman who is right on the borderline of the top 50.  The last time he fought anywhere near Bellew’s level, he was unanimously shut out over 12 rounds by Dmytro Kucher.  He also has a majority decision loss to a journeyman back in 2012.

 

#9 LHW Nathan Cleverly vs. Alejandro Valori; Liverpool, England; Sky (UK)
Cleverly probably has a bit tougher an opponent on his hands than Bellew, as Valori is a veteran gatekeeper with a couple top 50-level wins of his own in Argentina.  That being said, he has also lost at a relatively low level at times.  If Cleverly has any business competing at this weight, he should handle Valori easily, as even natural light heavyweight prospect Marcos Ahumada managed to notch a win with him.  If he’s too small for cruiser, there’s a reasonable chance that Valori will be able to prove it.

Cruiserweight: 2014, Jun 30- Jul 6

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 19, 2014 by danboxing
Ilunga Makabu overcame a rather poor start against veteran contender, now gatekeeper, Glen Johnson on Saturday in Kinshasa, Congo, becoming only the 2nd man (after Bernard Hopkins) to stop the now 45 year-old Road Warrior.  Johnson soundly outworked the Congolese contender in the first couple rounds, but seemed to fade in and out of tiredness thereafter.  I actually still had it even after 8, largely due to Makabu giving away rounds, when Makabu apparently sensed Johnson weaken, and poured on a sustained flurry that prompted the referee to call a halt to the bout.  Makabu’s style was very odd.  As I mentioned, he gave away entire rounds by not working, and often threw tapping punches when he did work.  But there was nothing tapping about his finishing flurry, as he was beginning to ping-pong Johnson’s head back and forth along the ropes.

 

Wednesday, in parts unknown in Russia, undefeated prospect Murat Gassiev socred a post-1st-round stoppage over 41 year-old sub-.500 journeyman Daniil Peretyatko, who honestly looked closer to 60 in appearance.  I was going to avoid saying anything out of respect, but since his nickname is “Shreck,” I assume he’s aware that he looks like a fantasy creature of some kind, and owns it.  Gassiev scored two knockdowns in the lone round, and Shreck retired before the 2nd.  Even better, this fight looked like it was not fixed, unlike Gassiev’s last farce.

 

Thursday featured the return, in France, of French former Champion Jean-Marc Mormeck, who last fought at Cruiserweight when he lost the title in late 2007 to David Haye, and last fought in general in March 2012, in what was a comatose and pathetic attempt at the Heavyweight Championship against Wladimir Klitschko, who put him out of his misery in 4.  I must say, Mormeck looked as in-shape and determined in this fight with mid-level Hungarian journeyman Tamas Lodi as he did out of shape and checked-out against Klitschko.  I’m not sure how much we can learn about how much of his old skill he’s retained by watching him beat up on a mediocre opponent who offered little resistance, but he looked good enough that you’ve got to wonder if he can maybe still be a major factor in the division, even at 42.  Mormeck won every round, put a large amount of hurt on Lodi in a dominant 3rd round, and stopped him in the 4th after dropping him hard and following up with a relentless attack.  To the extent such comparisons matter, Mormeck looked significantly better against Lodi than Nuri Seferi had, and approximately as good as Ilunga Makabu.  That might speak well of his continued potential in this division.

 

BJ Flores saw action in a non-televised 8-rounder in Vegas on Friday, winning a unanimous shutout over low-level journeyman Anthony Caputo Smith just a few pounds over the divisional limit.  Unfortunately for Flores, the decision not to make 200 ensures that he can’t reclaim the ranking that is no doubt still waiting for him here at cruiser when he returns to action in the division.

 

Hard-hitting undefeated and fringe-contending Polish prospect Krzysztof Glowacki got a comfortable decision over veteran journeyman Ismail Abdoul, who at one point was a gatekeeper.  The challenge here for the concussive Glowacki seemed to be whether he could stop Abdoul, who had not been halted early since the late stoppage he suffered to Glowacki’s countryman and namesake, Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, way back in 2002.  By that standard, Glowacki failed.  But he certainly moves forward in his career, having won every round according to Olena Pobyvailo, 6 with 2 even according to Leszek Jankowiak, and 6 with one lost and one even according to Pawel Kardyni.  I couldn’t readily find a video of the full fight, so I can’t comment on the fight more than that.

 

Speaking of 2002 (okay maybe that’s exaggerating just a bit), #12 Lukasz Janik dredged up long-forgotten former contender Rico Hoye.  The Detroit veteran didnt embarrass himself by any stretch, winning anywhere between one and five rounds (I gave him 3 of the 10).  Janik threw with conviction for the entire fight, and more often in meaningful combinations than did his opponent.  Hoye was relaxed and showed good technique in some ways and featured a nice jab throughout, but he generally only strung punches together while in too close for them to have much effect.  The judges all saw it reasonably similar to my card of 97-93 Janik, with Grzegorz Molenda turning in 98-92, Pawel Kardyni at 98-93, and Olena Pobyvailo at 97-94.

 

Makabu moves up to #9, aided as much by the expiration (more than 5 years old) of two of his rivals’ best results (Fragomeni’s draw with #2-ranked Wlodarczyk and Afolabi’s knockout of 6th-ranked Maccarinelli, both in 2009) than by his win over the faded Johnson.  Afolabi falls to #10.  Fragomeni, whose loss that should have been a win over Zsolt Erdei now stands as by far his best performance in the last 5 years, slips all the way to #14 from #10 last week.  That allows Janik, McKenzie, and Kalenga all to move up a spot.  Fragomeni had been in the top 10 for 41 consecutive weeks.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Marco Huck (7-395-395)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: 8/30/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Bild Zeitung in Germany reports that Huck will be back on August 30, with Nuri Seferi appearing the most likely candidate to be his opponent, but with Pawel Kolodziej getting some buzz, as well.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (7-210-210)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #6 Firat Arslan
Hernandez is set to fight Arslan on August 16, in Erfurt, Germany.  
3) Denis Lebedev (7-230-230)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Given his legitimate injury that shelved him for a big chunk of the year and the fact that his opponent screwed him over via PED use, I’m going to use my discretion and leave Lebedev ranked at this point.  Still, his best work is simply getting too old to stay at the very top.  Some reports have him returning in the fall against Pawel Kolodziej.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (42-471-471)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s looking like Wlodarczyk will be back in August, possibly against BJ Flores, though Makabu’s win over Glen Johnson has him in position for a shot, as well.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (23-48-86)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu’s scheduled fight with Brazilian prospect was scrapped on just a day’s notice due to the surprise withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
6) Firat Arslan (23-112-155)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- UD8 Tamas Bajzath (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
See Hernandez’s notes, above.
7) Grigory Drozd (32-39-86)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
8) Rakhim Chakhkiev (5-5-5)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- UD12 #11 Santander Silgado
Next Fight: Unknown
Chakhkiev has finally cashed in a high-level win to go with his hype and promise.  Most likely another title shot is not far off.
9) Ilunga Makabu (1-1-51)
Last Fight: 6/28/2014- TKO9 Glen Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Makabu didn’t look great for most of his fight with 45 year-old Glen Johnson, but he had a lot more in the tank than the old veteran, and became only the 2nd guy to get him out of there.
10) Ola Afolabi (1-277-277)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. Pawel Kolodziej (UNR)
After we got no news on the fight for months, Afolabi-Kolodziej is now scheduled for the Golovkin-Geale undercard on July 26.
11) Lukasz Janik (1-35)
Last Fight: 6/28/2014- UD10 Rico Hoye (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik did enough to beat a perhaps better-than-expected Rico Hoye, but didn’t exactly light the world on fire in doing so.
12) Ovill McKenzie (1-12)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- TKO2 Jon-Lewis Dickinson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After blowing out the British Champion, McKenzie has his sites set on a European or perhaps World belt.  He wants to fight Marco Huck most of all.
13) Youri Kalenga (1-2)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- W (SD12*) vs. #12 Mateusz Masternak
Next Fight: Unknown
How a guy can get dominated by Arturs Kulikauskis, only to come back and dominate Mateusz Masternak within about 9 months, is beyond me.  Still, the former fight aside, he’s got another pretty nice win on his resume right before that, over Iago Kiladze, a then-undefeated prospect.
14) Giacobbe Fragomeni (1-294)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Olegs Lopajevs (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The fight with Lopajevs was purely a stay-busy contest, but he’s talking about another title shot even at 44 years old.
15) Mateusz Masternak (2-118)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- L (SD12*) vs. Youri Kalenga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Having now lost to his last two decent opponents, the future of Masternak, who looked like a can’t-miss talent not long ago, seems very much in doubt.
16) Santander Silgado (2-35)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- L (UD12) vs. Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I don’t want to say Silgado made it easy for Chakhkiev, because it looked relatively difficult, but he sure didn’t help himself by taking a fight with a fringe contending Olympic Gold Medalist on 2 weeks’ notice.
17) Danie Venter (2-42)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Venter’s June 6 fight was cancelled a day in advance due to a withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
18) Dmytro Kucher (2-105)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The inactive Kucher may now be in danger of losing his ranking in the next couple weeks, as his stay-busy fight in late May did not come off.
19) Nuri Seferi (2-28)
Last Fight: 5/16/2014- UD12 Tamas Lodi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I took Seferi’s stated desire to fight Marco Huck as idle chatter, but that fight now looks likely for August 30, deserved or not.
20) Gusmyr Perdomo (2-12)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- Robbery Loss (should be draw) vs. #15 Nuri Seferi
Next Fight: Unknown
Perdomo deserved at least a draw against Seferi, but the judges summoned just enough coincidental incompetence to take it from him.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:  After a packed week last time around, we’ve got at least a brief respite on our hands this week.

Cruiserweight: 2014, Jun 23-29

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2014 by danboxing
In what very well may end up as the upset of the year, unheralded one-loss prospect Youri Kalenga shockingly dominated #12 Mateusz Masternak in Monte Carlo on Saturday.  Kalenga wasn’t a total unknown, and had even beat a couple top-50 fighters himself, but he was also saddled with an apparently dominating loss in September against Arturs Kulikauskis, who is best described as a travelling opponent.  It appeared for all the world that he might be more or less a Darnell Boone character- a journeyman who often rises to the occasion against good opposition, but can’t seem to break through by consistently winning all the fights he’s supposed to win.  He certainly didn’t strike much of anyone as a world-class performer, which was the general consensus about Masternak, whose only loss was to the very tough Grigory Drozd.  If you had told me that Kalenga was going to beat Masternak, I’d have expected that he caught him with a single shot, since Kalenga has always appeared to me to be a one-dimensional free-swinger with little or no boxing skill.  But it wasn’t that, either.  Kalenga just dominated Masternak from bell to bell.  There were maybe two rounds- the 7th and 12th- that Masternak may or may not have won, but he just plain got bullied in every other round.  He was always backing up, and looked simultaneously baffled and intimidated by Kalenga, who boxed more technically than I would have thought him capable, but still mixed in the big shot from left field just enough to keep Masternak cautious.  It was a good, honest effort by Kalenga, and frankly a total botch job by Masternak.

 

Speaking of botch jobs…remember how I said essentially that Masternak won maybe two rounds, if he was lucky?  Don’t tell that to the blind, pathetic judges.  I mean you don’t really get rounds more clear than the 10 of 12 that Kalenga dominated, unless we’re talking Calzaghe-Lacy style “holy crap how is he still standing there” beatings.  Juan Manuel Garcia Reyes, to his everlasting shame and infamy, scored the fight 115-113 for Masternak.  Raul Caiz, at 116-112 (for the right guy, at least), was still impossible to justify.  Pawel Kardyni, perhaps not incidentally from Poland, is probably viewed as something of a hero for scoring the fight against his countryman to break the tie and give the fight correctly to Kalenga.  Still, while he did score it for the right guy, I find it hard to see a guy as a paragon of virtue when he still gives his countryman both of the close rounds along with three of the other guy’s clear rounds.  This was, despite everything working out mostly alright in the end, one of the worst-judged fights I’ve ever seen.

 

Kalenga debuts at #14, held back from taking full advantage of his win over the #12 contender by his still relatively recent aforementioned loss to Kulikauskis.  Despite the comprehensive nature of the defeat, Masternak falls only to #15, due to the overall strength of his resume at large.  Janik and McKenzie move up a spot each to fill the void left by Masternak.  Everyone #15 and below last week drops a spot, including #20 Yunier Dorticos, who exits the rankings after 9 weeks in.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Marco Huck (6-394-394)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: 8/30/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Bild Zeitung in Germany reports that Huck will be back on August 30, with Nuri Seferi appearing the most likely candidate to be his opponent.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (6-209-209)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #6 Firat Arslan
Hernandez is set to fight Arslan on August 16, in Erfurt, Germany.  
3) Denis Lebedev (6-229-229)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Given his legitimate injury that shelved him for a big chunk of the year and the fact that his opponent screwed him over via PED use, I’m going to use my discretion and leave Lebedev ranked at this point.  Still, his best work is simply getting too old to stay at the very top.  Some reports have him returning in the fall against Pawel Kolodziej.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (41-470-470)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s looking like Wlodarczyk will be back in August, possibly against BJ Flores.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (22-47-85)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu’s scheduled fight with Brazilian prospect was scrapped on just a day’s notice due to the surprise withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
6) Firat Arslan (22-111-154)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- UD8 Tamas Bajzath (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
See Hernandez’s notes, above.
7) Grigory Drozd (31-38-85)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
8) Rakhim Chakhkiev (4-4-4)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- UD12 #11 Santander Silgado
Next Fight: Unknown
Chakhkiev has finally cashed in a high-level win to go with his hype and promise.  Most likely another title shot is not far off.
9) Ola Afolabi (4-276-276)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. Pawel Kolodziej (UNR)
After we got no news on the fight for months, Afolabi-Kolodziej is now scheduled for the Golovkin-Geale undercard on July 26.
10) Giacobbe Fragomeni (4-41-293)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Olegs Lopajevs (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The fight with Lopajevs was purely a stay-busy contest, but he’s talking about another title shot even at 44 years old.
11) Ilunga Makabu (4-50)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO2 Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/28/2014- vs. Glen Johnson (UNR)
Initially sketchy reports of a June 28 fight with Glen Johnson appear true.
12) Lukasz Janik (1-34)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 6/28/2014- vs. Rico Hoye (UNR)
Janik will dredge up a name from the past when he fights Rico Hoye on June 28.
13) Ovill McKenzie (1-11)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- TKO2 Jon-Lewis Dickinson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After blowing out the British Champion, McKenzie has his sites set on a European or perhaps World belt.  He wants to fight Marco Huck most of all.
14) Youri Kalenga (1-1)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- W (SD12*) vs. #12 Mateusz Masternak
Next Fight: Unknown
How a guy can get dominated by Arturs Kulikauskis, only to come back and dominate Mateusz Masternak within about 9 months, is beyond me.  Still, the former fight aside, he’s got another pretty nice win on his resume right before that, over Iago Kiladze, a then-undefeated prospect.
15) Mateusz Masternak (1-117)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- L (SD12*) vs. Youri Kalenga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Having now lost to his last two decent opponents, the future of Masternak, who looked like a can’t-miss talent not long ago, seems very much in doubt.
16) Santander Silgado (1-34)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- L (UD12) vs. Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I don’t want to say Silgado made it easy for Chakhkiev, because it looked relatively difficult, but he sure didn’t help himself by taking a fight with a fringe contending Olympic Gold Medalist on 2 weeks’ notice.
17) Danie Venter (1-41)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Venter’s June 6 fight was cancelled a day in advance due to a withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
18) Dmytro Kucher (1-104)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The inactive Kucher may now be in danger of losing his ranking in the next couple months, as his stay-busy fight in late May did not come off.
19) Nuri Seferi (1-27)
Last Fight: 5/16/2014- UD12 Tamas Lodi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I took Seferi’s stated desire to fight Marco Huck as idle chatter, but that fight now looks likely for August 30, deserved or not.
20) Gusmyr Perdomo (1-11)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- Robbery Loss (should be draw) vs. #15 Nuri Seferi
Next Fight: Unknown
Perdomo deserved at least a draw against Seferi, but the judges summoned just enough coincidental incompetence to take it from him.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Wednesday
Murat Gassiev vs. Daniil Peretyatko; Unknown Location; TV Unknown
This fight is an oddity, as Boxrec doesn’t list a location for this fight.  Both fighters are from Russia, so that country would tend to be likely.  Peretyatko is a low-level journeyman who is probably a little better than his 17-32 record, but that’s not saying much.  Gassiev is an undefeated prospect.  I’ve seen him once, and I’m almost certain the fight was fixed.

 

Thursday
Jean-Marc Mormeck vs. Tamas Lodi; Asnieres-sur-Seine, France; L’Equipe 21 (France)
Mormeck is the former Champion, but hasn’t fought at cruiser since losing his Championship to David Haye in 2007.  He hasn’t fought anyone at all since his awful performance against Wladimir Klitschko for the Heavyweight Championship well over 2 years ago.  Lodi is a Hungarian journeyman.  With only two losses, you could almost call him a prospect, but he’s lost pretty comprehensively to the only two fighters of any pedigree that he’s ever been in with- Ilunga Makabu in 2013 and Nuri Seferi last month.  That being the case, I think his prospects as a prospect, as it were, would tend to top out around the fringes of the top 50.  We’ve seen stranger things than long-inactive and aging former cruiserweight champions getting shockingly upset in comeback fights (see O’Neil Bell for a recent example), but he’d have to have regressed a fair amount for Lodi to have a serious chance, I would think.

 

Friday
B.J. Flores vs. Anthony Caputo Smith; Las Vegas, Nevada; Off TV
Flores hasn’t fought anyone of any note in at least nearly three years while he suffered through promotional woes and focused on his TV gig with NBC.  He’s at least a credible fringe contender when he’s active, though.  Like Lodi above, Caputo Smith is a two-loss fighter who is no longer a legitimate prospect, having lost to the estimable Sean Monaghan, but also to midwestern journeyman Kevn Engel, both by early stoppage.  If Flores makes 200, he’ll likely be ranked again next week just due to his returning to activity within the division.  The fight is on the ShoBox card, but will not make the broadcast.

 

Saturday
#11 Ilunga Makabu vs. Glen Johnson; Kinshasa, Congo; TV Unknown
I’ve thought this for a few fights now, but this might be the end of the line for the Road Warrior, who is a heck of a guy, but at this point has faded more than Roy Jones.  Makabu might as well be undefeated, having been stopped in his first fight more than 5 years ago with no subsequent setbacks.  More importantly, he’s looked formidable in his two true tests- back-t0-back 2013 wins against Dmytro Kucher and Eric Fields.  Throw in the fact that the 45 year-old Johnson was competing at 168 fairly recently, and there’s really not much going for the Jamaican native, other than experience, of course.  True to form, this will be in Makabu’s homeland.  By the way, is it hard for anyone else to say “Kinshasa” without following it up with “Zaire?”  The Rumble in the Jungle and the times it evokes define that city, for me.

 

Krzysztof Glowacki vs. Ismail Abdoul; Rzeszow, Poland; PolSat Sport (Poland)
Glowacki is an impressive and hard-hitting Polish prospect who is sometimes ranked here.  Abdoul is 37 and has seen better days.  He does come off three consecutive wins over generic competition, but is not really the serious gatekeeper he was at one point.  Still, he hasn’t been stopped since Wlodarczyk got him in the the very last round in 2002, so that will be a challenge for Glowacki, if nothing else.

 

#12 Lukasz Janik vs. Rico Hoye; Rzeszow, Poland; PolSat Sport (Poland)
Janik really ought to have a top ten ranking, since he pretty clearly beat Ola Afolabi, who was ranked #7 at the time.  Unfortunately, he was borderline robbed, and so he’s left fighting has-beens like Hoye.  Hoye, a 39 year-old from Detroit, was a contender back around 2004, and a top 50 fighter as recently as 2009, but he’s fought just one low-level opponent since then.  Janik should have too much for him, assuming his performance against Afolabi was not a huge fluke.

Cruiserweight: 2014, Jun 16-22

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 7, 2014 by danboxing
Two-loss Nigerian prospect Olanrewaju Durodola notched an apparently easy win over an easy opponent in low-level New Mexico journeyman Max Heyman on Friday in St. Joseph, Missouri, stopping his man early in the 2nd round.

 

No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Marco Huck (5-393-393)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck’s TV deal in Germany is set to expire, he’s reportedly leaving Sauerland, and has met with HBO about coming to the US.  Ovill McKenzie would like to fight him.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (5-208-208)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #6 Firat Arslan
Hernandez is set to fight Arslan on August 16, in Erfurt, Germany.  
3) Denis Lebedev (5-228-228)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Given his legitimate injury that shelved him for a big chunk of the year and the fact that his opponent screwed him over via PED use, I’m going to use my discretion and leave Lebedev ranked at this point.  Still, his best work is simply getting too old to stay at the very top.  Some reports have him returning in the fall against Pawel Kolodziej.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (40-469-469)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk probably won’t return until the fall, with Drozd and BJ Flores being considered.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (21-46-84)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu’s scheduled fight with Brazilian prospect was scrapped on just a day’s notice due to the surprise withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
6) Firat Arslan (21-110-153)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- UD8 Tamas Bajzath (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
See Hernandez’s notes, above.
7) Grigory Drozd (30-37-84)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
8) Rakhim Chakhkiev (3-3-3)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- UD12 #11 Santander Silgado
Next Fight: Unknown
Chakhkiev has finally cashed in a high-level win to go with his hype and promise.  Most likely another title shot is not far off.
9) Ola Afolabi (3-275-275)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. Pawel Kolodziej (UNR)
After we got no news on the fight for months, Afolabi-Kolodziej is now scheduled for the Golovkin-Geale undercard on July 26.
10) Giacobbe Fragomeni (3-40-292)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Olegs Lopajevs (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The fight with Lopajevs was purely a stay-busy contest, but he’s talking about another title shot even at 44 years old.
11) Ilunga Makabu (3-49)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO2 Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/28/2014- vs. Glen Johnson (UNR)
Initially sketchy reports of a June 28 fight with Glen Johnson appear true.
12) Mateusz Masternak (8-116)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- UD8 Stjepan Vugdelija (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. Youri Kayembre Kalenga (UNR)
Masternak’s fight with Makabu fell through, and he’ll instead be fighting crude and inconsistent one-loss prospect Youri Kalenga.
13) Lukasz Janik (8-33)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 6/28/2014- vs. Rico Hoye (UNR)
Janik will dredge up a name from the past when he fights Rico Hoye on June 28.
14) Ovill McKenzie (8-10)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- TKO2 Jon-Lewis Dickinson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After blowing out the British Champion, McKenzie has his sites set on a European or perhaps World belt.  He wants to fight Marco Huck most of all.
15) Santander Silgado (3-33)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- L (UD12) vs. Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I don’t want to say Silgado made it easy for Chakhkiev, because it looked relatively difficult, but he sure didn’t help himself by taking a fight with a fringe contending Olympic Gold Medalist on 2 weeks’ notice.
16) Danie Venter (3-40)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Venter’s June 6 fight was cancelled a day in advance due to a withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
17) Dmytro Kucher (3-103)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The inactive Kucher may now be in danger of losing his ranking in the next couple months, as his stay-busy fight in late May did not come off.
18) Nuri Seferi (3-26)
Last Fight: 5/16/2014- UD12 Tamas Lodi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Seferi looked pretty decent against Lodi, who fought the wrong fight.  At this point, he ought to give Perdomo a rematch.
19) Gusmyr Perdomo (3-10)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- Robbery Loss (should be draw) vs. #15 Nuri Seferi
Next Fight: Unknown
Perdomo deserved at least a draw against Seferi, but the judges summoned just enough coincidental incompetence to take it from him.
20) Yunier Dorticos (3-9)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- KO4 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Saturday
#12 Mateusz Masternak vs. Youri Kayembre Kalenga; Monte Carlo, Monaco; PolSat Sport (Poland)
This is for a silly alphabet title, but that’s meaningless.  The real importance of the fight is that it’s Masternak’s first serious fight since his stoppage loss to Drozd back in October.  Kalenga is a Congolese prospect who throws recklessly wild punches almost exclusively, throwing his entire body behind every shot.  This gives him the power he needed for his upset knockout win over fellow unbeaten Iago Kiladze a year ago, as well as for his knockout of gatekeeper Cesar Crenz in his last fight in February.  It also was a likely reason he was dominated by sub-.500 journeyman Arturs Kulikauskis in September.  Kalenga is an all-or-nothing guy, and the fact that he’s gotten nothing against a guy wayyyyy below Masternak’s level in the past makes it hard to pick against the Polish prospect in this one.

 

Also, Chad Dawson takes on journeyman George Blades in Carson, California, but even though it’s contracted at 179, I’ll treat it as a light heavyweight fight, since its most likely impact is in that division.

Cruiserweight: 2014, Jun 9-15

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 31, 2014 by danboxing
In the week’s biggest cruiserweight fight, #14 and Commonwealth Champion Ovill McKenzie took the fight to British Champion Jon-Lewis Dickinson from the opening bell in Newcastle, England.  Nothing flashy initially, but just hitting Dickinson with solid shots, mostly to the body, and taking the first round clearly.  Dickinson still hadn’t gotten fully untracked, it seemed, when at the bell to end the 2nd, McKenzie hit him with a nice left hook on the temple and behind the gloves, followed by a hard right hand between said gloves and on the chin.  This stretched Dickinson out, and though he was up well before 8, he staggered back at the conclusion of the mandatory count, just as Victor Loughlin was looking to certify him to continue, and necessitating a stoppage.  McKenzie has never won a fight that lasted past 6 rounds in his long career, and so I think it likely that Dickinson wasn’t trying to take any chances, and was probably just trying to feel out McKenzie for 3 or 4 rounds.  The Jamaican native has too much power to even stand in front of him defensively though.  I’ll bet that Dickinson would have mixed in more movement if he had it to do over.  McKenzie now owns the British and Commonwealth title (he lives in Derbyshire now), and says he wants to move on to a European title, or perhaps a world title shot in the near future.  He named Marco Huck as a person of particular interest.

 

#6 Firat Arslan was in a stay-busy fight with a sub-.500 Hungarian fighter in Schwerin named Tamas Bajzath.  To the best of my ability to find, it was not televised, but just from the scores (80-71 unanimously) it appears that Arslan won every round and most likely threw in a knockdown.

 

The same night in Tolfa, Italy, undefeated Italian Mirko Larghetti dropped his own low-level Hungarian, Attila Palko, twice in the 2nd, including the second time for the full count.  This was essentially a tune-up ahead of a planned shot at Marco Huck.

 

#5 Thabiso Mchunu was supposed to be in with a Brazilian prospect on Saturday, but that fight didn’t come off. 

 

No movement in the rankings will occur because of the week’s fights.  McKenzie is still stuck behind Janik, who comes off what should be a win over a #7 contender.  McKenzie has uniformly lost to guys who would so much as go on to that level, and has no fights against guys that were at that level at the time.  Dickinson also stays put, for what it’s worth, unofficially just a few spots shy of the top 25.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Marco Huck (4-392-392)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck’s TV deal in Germany is set to expire, he’s reportedly leaving Sauerland, and has met with HBO about coming to the US.  Ovill McKenzie would like to fight him.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (4-207-207)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez’s fight with Kolodziej- originally postponed- has now been cancelled due to an illness to Hernandez.
3) Denis Lebedev (4-227-227)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Given his legitimate injury that shelved him for a big chunk of the year and the fact that his opponent screwed him over via PED use, I’m going to use my discretion and leave Lebedev ranked at this point.  Still, his best work is simply getting too old to stay at the very top.  Some reports have him returning in the fall against Pawel Kolodziej.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (39-468-468)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk probably won’t return until the fall, with Drozd and BJ Flores being considered.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (20-45-83)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu’s scheduled fight with Brazilian prospect was scrapped on just a day’s notice due to the surprise withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
6) Firat Arslan (20-109-152)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- UD8 Tamas Bajzath (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arslan wasn’t scheduled to fight this weekend, but on short notice, he’ll replace an injured Ruslan Chagaev on the Schwerin undercard of Braehmer-Bolonti.  His opponent is a hopeless Hungarian.
7) Grigory Drozd (29-36-83)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
8) Rakhim Chakhkiev (2-2-2)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- UD12 #11 Santander Silgado
Next Fight: Unknown
Chakhkiev has finally cashed in a high-level win to go with his hype and promise.  Most likely another title shot is not far off.
9) Ola Afolabi (2-274-274)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. Pawel Kolodziej (UNR)
After we got no news on the fight for months, Afolabi-Kolodziej is now scheduled for the Golovkin-Geale undercard on July 26.
10) Giacobbe Fragomeni (2-39-291)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Olegs Lopajevs (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The fight with Lopajevs was purely a stay-busy contest, but he’s talking about another title shot even at 44 years old.
11) Ilunga Makabu (2-48)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO2 Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/28/2014- vs. Glen Johnson (UNR)
Initially sketchy reports of a June 28 fight with Glen Johnson appear true.
12) Mateusz Masternak (7-115)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- UD8 Stjepan Vugdelija (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. Youri Kayembre Kalenga (UNR)
Masternak’s fight with Makabu fell through, and he’ll instead be fighting crude and inconsistent one-loss prospect Youri Kalenga.
13) Lukasz Janik (7-32)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 6/28/2014- vs. Rico Hoye (UNR)
Janik will dredge up a name from the past when he fights Rico Hoye on June 28.
14) Ovill McKenzie (7-9)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- TKO2 Jon-Lewis Dickinson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After blowing out the British Champion, McKenzie has his sites set on a European or perhaps World belt.  He wants to fight Marco Huck most of all.
15) Santander Silgado (2-32)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- L (UD12) vs. Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I don’t want to say Silgado made it easy for Chakhkiev, because it looked relatively difficult, but he sure didn’t help himself by taking a fight with a fringe contending Olympic Gold Medalist on 2 weeks’ notice.
16) Danie Venter (2-39)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Venter’s June 6 fight was cancelled a day in advance due to a withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
17) Dmytro Kucher (2-102)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The inactive Kucher may now be in danger of losing his ranking in the next couple months, as his stay-busy fight in late May did not come off.
18) Nuri Seferi (2-25)
Last Fight: 5/16/2014- UD12 Tamas Lodi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Seferi looked pretty decent against Lodi, who fought the wrong fight.  At this point, he ought to give Perdomo a rematch.
19) Gusmyr Perdomo (2-9)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- Robbery Loss (should be draw) vs. #15 Nuri Seferi
Next Fight: Unknown
Perdomo deserved at least a draw against Seferi, but the judges summoned just enough coincidental incompetence to take it from him.
20) Yunier Dorticos (2-8)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- KO4 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Friday
Olanrewaju Durodola vs. Max Heyman; St. Joseph, Missouri; Off TV
Durodola is a Nigerian based in Kansas City.  He has an impressive physique and flashed a lot of power in the amateurs.  His pro results have been mixed, but in his only TV exposure to this point, he made a decent account of himself against Thabiso Mchunu, who was coming off a dominating performance against Eddie Chambers.  Heyman is a low-level journeyman from Albuquerque, New Mexico who ought to have no chance whatsoever.

Cruiserweight: 2014, Jun 2-8

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 25, 2014 by danboxing
Friday in Moscow, much-heralded one-loss prospect Rakhim Chakhkiev got a nice win over #11 Santander Silgado, who shot himself in the foot by taking the fight on short notice.  Chakhkiev is considered by many to be a future champion, and his stoppage loss to Wlodarczyk last year is treated by some as a huge victory, considering he was manhandling a top 5 fighter for the majority of the first fight he’d ever had anywhere near that level.  So how’d he look this week?  Decent.  He was fighting a near-top-10 fighter this time, though I am not sure how many people other than me have him ranked there, and won comfortably, though at no point did he look spectacular.  I had him winning 10 of the 12 rounds, as did one of the judges, with the other two giving Silgado an additional round (good judging, by the way, by Alejandro Rochin, Predrag Aleksic, and Esa Lehtosaari).  The question would be whether losing 2-3 rounds against a possibly overrated #11 contender who took the fight on short notice is a good enough result for an Olympic Gold Medalist tabbed to be the next big thing.  I leave that for you to decide subjectively.  Objectively speaking, it’s going to be great for his ranking.

 

#16 Dmytro Kucher was supposed to have a tune-up in Odessa, Ukraine on Saturday, but that fight did not come off for one reason or another.

 

 Undefeated Ukrainian prospect Oleksandr Usyk knocked out Argentine journeyman Cesar Crenz with a body shot in the 4th round after dropping him with a headshot in the 3rd on Saturday in a fight that actually did come off in Odessa.  Usyk spent much of the fight simply backing Crenz off and throwing the boxing equivalent of a baseball change-up, just showing him soft punches, but everytime he did crank up something hard, it seemed to drop Crenz, who you could almost make a case for as a top 50 fighter, though both Boxrec and I believe he is a little shy of that after several consecutive losses.  That being the case, Usyk still has yet to beat a top 50 fighter, though he’s taken out about 4 guys at the level just below that, all by knockout.  He may be the best fighter in the division not in my rankings.

 

Undefeated prospect Jordan Shimmell of Hudsonville, Michigan was in action Saturday in Davenport, Iowa on Saturday, where he pummelled Jonathan Corn, a 40 year-old Wisconsin journeyman who currently has zero rankings points on Boxrec despite having 78 career fights.  Corn was once better than that, having peaked as a mid-level journeyman at middleweight back in 1999.  He came in on a 14-fight winless streak dating back to 2006, which is pretty rough.  Corn looked extremely overmatched, despite Shimmell looking fairly crude in his attack, and his corner threw in the towel during the 8-count after the first knockdown, while Corn was on his feet.  That tells me they just came to cash a check.

 

Chakhkiev returns to the rankings for the first time since March 3, and makes his debut in the top 10 just behind Russian comrade Grigory Drozd, in what was an extremely close race to call.  Technically, #11 Silgado was a marginally better win than #13 Masternak, but I think the division was slightly better when Drozd beat Masternak.  Drozd also has 2 gatekeeper-level wins to Chakhkiev’s one, and hasn’t lost, while Chakhkiev has, albeit at a higher level than Drozd has fought.  Chakhkiev’s arrival forces Afolabi, Fragomeni, and Makabu down a spot each.  Silgado falls to #15, and everyone ranked below that falls a spot, as well, including Krzysztof Glowacki, who exits the top 20 after 5 consecutive weeks in.  Makabu falls from the top 10, also after 5 weeks.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Marco Huck (3-391-391)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck’s TV deal in Germany is set to expire, he’s reportedly leaving Sauerland, and has met with HBO about coming to the US.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (3-206-206)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez’s fight with Kolodziej- originally postponed- has now been cancelled due to an illness to Hernandez.
3) Denis Lebedev (3-226-226)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Given his legitimate injury that shelved him for a big chunk of the year and the fact that his opponent screwed him over via PED use, I’m going to use my discretion and leave Lebedev ranked at this point.  Still, his best work is simply getting too old to stay at the very top.  Some reports have him returning in the fall against Pawel Kolodziej.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (38-467-467)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk probably won’t return until the fall, with Drozd and BJ Flores being considered.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (19-44-82)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. Julio Cesar Dos Santos (UNR)
Mchunu will stay busy with upper-level journeyman Julio Cesar Santos of Brazil on June 6 in South Africa.
6) Firat Arslan (19-108-151)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #3 Marco Huck
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. Tamaz Bajzath (UNR)
Arslan wasn’t scheduled to fight this weekend, but on short notice, he’ll replace an injured Ruslan Chagaev on the Schwerin undercard of Braehmer-Bolonti.  His opponent is a hopeless Hungarian.
7) Grigory Drozd (28-35-82)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
8) Rakhim Chakhkiev (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- UD12 #11 Santander Silgado
Next Fight: Unknown
Chakhkiev has finally cashed in a high-level win to go with his hype and promise.  Most likely another title shot is not far off.
9) Ola Afolabi (1-273-273)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi is now slated for an eventual eliminator with Pawel Kolodziej for a shot at Yoan Pablo Hernandez.  K2 has won the purse bids, and the fight is currently in the process of being worked out.  It’s targeted for the summer.  At least that was the word in the spring.  There have been no reported developments in some time now.
10) Giacobbe Fragomeni (1-38-290)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Olegs Lopajevs (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The fight with Lopajevs was purely a stay-busy contest, but he’s talking about another title shot even at 44 years old.
11) Ilunga Makabu (1-47)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO2 Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/28/2014- vs. Glen Johnson (UNR)
Unconfirmed message board reports have Makabu fighting Glen Johnson in the Congo on June 28.  Stay-tuned for confirmation.
12) Mateusz Masternak (6-114)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- UD8 Stjepan Vugdelija (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. Youri Kayembre Kalenga (UNR)
Masternak’s fight with Makabu fell through, and he’ll instead be fighting crude and inconsistent one-loss prospect Youri Kalenga.
13) Lukasz Janik (6-31)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik would like a well-deserved rematch with Afolabi.
14) Ovill McKenzie (6-8)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- KO5 #18 Tony Conquest
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. Jon-Lewis Dickinson (UNR)
After capturing the Commonwealth title with an upset knockout of Tony Conquest, McKenzie will have a quick turnaround, as he’ll fight Jon-Lewis Dickinson for the British title on June 7.
15) Santander Silgado (1-31)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- L (UD12) vs. Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I don’t want to say Silgado made it easy for Chakhkiev, because it looked relatively difficult, but he sure didn’t help himself by taking a fight with a fringe contending Olympic Gold Medalist on 2 weeks’ notice.
16) Danie Venter (1-38)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The reason is unclear, but Venter’s scheduled fight in early June appears to be totally off, and his prospective opponent, Silgado, already fought someone else.
17) Dmytro Kucher (1-101)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The inactive Kucher may now be in danger of losing his ranking in the next couple months, as his stay-busy fight in late May did not come off.
18) Nuri Seferi (1-24)
Last Fight: 5/16/2014- UD12 Tamas Lodi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Seferi looked pretty decent against Lodi, who fought the wrong fight.  At this point, he ought to give Perdomo a rematch.
19) Gusmyr Perdomo (1-8)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- Robbery Loss (should be draw) vs. #15 Nuri Seferi
Next Fight: Unknown
Perdomo deserved at least a draw against Seferi, but the judges summoned just enough coincidental incompetence to take it from him.
20) Yunier Dorticos (1-7)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- KO4 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Saturday
#5 Thabiso Mchunu vs. Julio Cesar Dos Santos; Pretoria, South Africa; TV Unknown
Mchunu takes on Brazilian in Dos Santos who probably projects as a high-level journeyman.  Mchunu shouldn’t have any trouble with him.

 

#6 Firat Arslan vs. Tamas Bajzath; Schwerin, Germany; Off TV
Arslan popped up at the last minute in this short-notice tune-up.  Bajzath is a Hungarian journeyman with a sub-.500 record who has no chance to compete.

 

Mirko Larghetti vs. Attila Palko; Tolfa, Italy; Off TV
Larghetti is an undefeated Italian prospect who is nominally a member of the top 10, though he’s never beat anyone better than an upper-mid-level journeyman.  His opponent is a low-level Hungarian journeyman.  Slightly better than the one Arslan is fighting, perhaps, but no better than Larghetti’s most recent unproven opponent.  Palko has only ever won against bad or completely unproven opponents, and tends to get stopped when he fights guys at or around the top 50.

 

#14 Ovill McKenzie vs. Jon-Lewis Dickinson; Newcastle, England; BoxNation (UK)
This is the best fight of the week at 200 by a long shot.  McKenzie is a long-time fringe contender who actually prefers the light heavyweight division in which reportedly nobody is willing to fight him.  At cruiserweight, he comes off a minor upset over #18 Tony Conquest in April that netted him the Commonwealth title.  Dickinson holds the British title, and McKenzie has to be the favorite, since he not only just beat a guy likely better than Dickinson, but is also proven on an international level.  Dickinson does come off his best career performance in a TKO win over domestic gatekeeper Neil Dawson.  Other than that, his best win is a decision over unproven prospect Matty Askin in 2012, and he has 2 bad stoppage losses from 2010, though both of those were injury-related.

Cruiserweight: 2014, May 26- Jun 1

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 20, 2014 by danboxing
Friday in Krasnodar, Russia, undefeated Russian Dmitry Kudryashov got the knockout everyone expected, though it took a fair amount longer than I would have thought.  Kudryashov has made his reputation detonating gatekeeper-type competition in short order.  Bacurin is a journeyman- a step down from that- and yet he lasted into the 7th, having gone down just once in the first 6.  In fairness to both, it should probably be noted that Bacurin had been stopped only once prior, and that that was at heavyweight against Johnathon Banks.  Still, Kudryashov looked a bit disinterested almost throughout the contest.  Ultimately, he caught Bacurin in the 7th and did a decent job of following up on that.  In total, he scored 3 knockdowns in the 7th alone, and Bacurin stayed down on all fours until the 10 count had passed.

 

Mark Flanagan notched a minor upset down under, winning a split decision over gatekeeper Daniel Ammann in Townsville, Australia on Saturday.  Scores were 97-93, 97-95, and 95-96.  So far, I haven’t had any luck finding a video.  With the win, Flanagan captured the vacant Australian title.

 

Flanagan certainly enters the top 50, but nothing above affects the top 20 at this time. 

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Marco Huck (2-390-390)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck’s TV deal in Germany is set to expire, he’s reportedly leaving Sauerland, and has met with HBO about coming to the US.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (2-205-205)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez’s fight with Kolodziej- originally postponed- has now been cancelled due to an illness to Hernandez.
3) Denis Lebedev (2-225-225)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Given his legitimate injury that shelved him for a big chunk of the year and the fact that his opponent screwed him over via PED use, I’m going to use my discretion and leave Lebedev ranked at this point.  Still, his best work is simply getting too old to stay at the very top.  Some reports have him returning in the fall against Pawel Kolodziej.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (37-466-466)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk probably won’t return until the fall, with Drozd and BJ Flores being considered.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (18-43-81)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. Julio Cesar Dos Santos (UNR)
Mchunu will stay busy with upper-level journeyman Julio Cesar Santos of Brazil on June 6 in South Africa.
6) Firat Arslan (18-107-150)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #3 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Having visibly regressed since his excellent first effort against Huck, it might be time for the 43 year-old Arslan to consider retirement.
7) Grigory Drozd (27-34-81)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
8) Ola Afolabi (27-272-272)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi is now slated for an eventual eliminator with Pawel Kolodziej for a shot at Yoan Pablo Hernandez.  K2 has won the purse bids, and the fight is currently in the process of being worked out.  It’s targeted for the summer.
9) Giacobbe Fragomeni (27-37-289)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Olegs Lopajevs (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The fight with Lopajevs was purely a stay-busy contest, but he’s talking about another title shot even at 44 years old.
10) Ilunga Makabu (5-5-46)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO2 Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Makabu’s excellent matchup with Masternak has been scrapped due to a dispute between the Congolese contender and his promoter.
11) Santander Silgado (5-30)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: 5/30/2014- vs. Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Silgado, despite his rank, will be a short-notice opponent for one-loss prospect Rakhim Chakhkiev this weekend.
12) Mateusz Masternak (5-113)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- UD8 Stjepan Vugdelija (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. Youri Kayembre Kalenga (UNR)
Masternak’s fight with Makabu fell through, and he’ll instead be fighting crude and inconsistent one-loss prospect Youri Kalenga.
13) Lukasz Janik (5-30)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik would like a well-deserved rematch with Afolabi.
14) Ovill McKenzie (5-7)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- KO5 #18 Tony Conquest
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. Jon-Lewis Dickinson (UNR)
After capturing the Commonwealth title with an upset knockout of Tony Conquest, McKenzie will have a quick turnaround, as he’ll fight Jon-Lewis Dickinson for the British title on June 7.
15) Danie Venter (5-37)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Dmytro Kucher (5-100)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. Paata Berikashvili (UNR)
Kucher will be featured on May 31 in Odessa, Ukraine against a low-level opponent.
17) Nuri Seferi (5-23)
Last Fight: 5/16/2014- UD12 Tamas Lodi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Seferi looked pretty decent against Lodi, who fought the wrong fight.  At this point, he ought to give Perdomo a rematch.
18) Gusmyr Perdomo (5-7)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- Robbery Loss (should be draw) vs. #15 Nuri Seferi
Next Fight: Unknown
Perdomo deserved at least a draw against Seferi, but the judges summoned just enough coincidental incompetence to take it from him.
19) Yunier Dorticos (5-6)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- KO4 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Krzysztof Glowacki (5-5)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)

Next Fight: Unknown
Glowacki is the top contender for the title held by Huck, but might never get that exact shot, since Huck is making noise about moving up.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Friday
#11 Santander Silgado vs. Rakhim Chakhkiev; Moscow, Russia; Boytsovskiy Klub (Russia)
Chakhkiev looked like a future top contender in his near-miss against Wlodarczyk.  Silgado hasn’t really been as visible and probably isn’t nearly as good, but he does come off an early stoppage win over the once-formidable Steve Herelius.  Unfortunately for those looking to back the Colombian, he took the fight on very short notice.  That’s a bit disappointing, because it otherwise could have been an intriguing fight.  Still is to some extent, I guess, though Silgado has put himself behind the 8-ball on the circumstances.  As for Chakhkiev, his manager clearly deserves some kind of award.

 

Saturday
#16 Dmytro Kucher vs. Paata Berikashvili; Odessa, Ukraine; IHTEP (Ukraine)
This is a stay-busy fight for the fairly inactive Kucher.  Berikashvili is a low-level Georgian whose record hovers around .500. 

 

Oleksandr Usyk vs. Cesar Crenz; Odessa, Ukraine; IHTEP (Ukraine)
Not a bad early-career test for the impressive-looking Usyk.  Crenz is an Argentine journeyman who has sometimes found himself in the top 50 during his career.  Usyk is in just his 4th fight as a pro, but is already clearly in that company.

Cruiserweight: 2014, May 19-25

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 16, 2014 by danboxing
Undefeated local kid Murat Gassiev got a 2nd-round TKO in what was a pretty obviously fixed fight in what looked like a converted funeral parlor in Vladikavkaz, Russia on Wednesday.  Gassiev appeared to be measuring his opponent- veteran Georgian travelling opponent George Tevdorashvili- for the entire first round.  That is to say he didn’t so much as throw anything with intent.  Tevdorashvili didn’t exactly wow anyone, but he outworked the Russian to claim the first round almost by default.  The second round was largely the same until Gassiev suddenly came out of his tentative shell to throw a combination.  A jab may have partially gotten through, though it was significantly blocked.  A right hand then caught nothing but air as it whistled over the Georgian’s head.  Tevdorashvili then fell hard to the canvas.  Maybe the jab was enough to put him down, or maybe it was a dive.  I will reserve judgment on that point specifically.  But this is where it gets really fishy.  Tevdorashvili gets to his feet very quickly, but despite being completely unhurt and perhaps never having been hit with a punch in the whole fight, his cornerman is standing on the ring apron asking the referee to stop the fight before the count is half over.  There is simply no legitimate justification for this.  If anything, the corner should have been arguing for a slip.  Who knew what and when exactly they knew it may be a bit open to debate, but it’s clear that somebody had big money on a 2nd round stoppage.  I’d hate to mar the career of a potentially promising prospect (though I saw nothing to support that proposition on this particular night), but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it looked to me like Gassiev was carrying his opponent for as long as it went.

 

The following evening in Brooklyn, undefeated prospects Stivens Bujaj, a New York-based Albanian and the more advanced of the two, and Junior Wright of Chicago, met up in a rare early-career test for both guys.  At first, Bujaj was boxing fairly effectively, catching Wright on the way in enough to nick the first couple rounds.  But Wright’s pressure was relentless, and he continued to pick up steam and wear down his counterpart, and in doing so won 6 or 7 of the last 8 rounds.  The last round was a totally different matter, though, as Bujaj was able to summon a second wind in a gust that included a fight-turning shot.  Wright was left badly hurt and holding on for the last half of the round, and it looked like there was a decent chance Wright would be stopped.  Referee Shada Murdagh, in the midst of a clinch, saw that Wright’s tape had begun to unravel badly from his glove.  He tried to rip it off himself and prevent a pause in the compelling life-and-death action, but failed to accomplish that mission.  Wright therefore was granted any extra time he may have needed to survive.  When the fight went to the cards, there was no doubt that Wright had at least edged it by a round, if not more, and all that despite Bujaj’s final-round heroics.  No doubt, that is, except in the minds of chronically inept judges John McKaie and Robin Taylor, whose hometown cards had it 96-94 Bujaj and 95-95 respectively.  When combined with Don Trella’s dead-on 96-94 card, the official result was a draw.  To be honest, that result feels kinda fair when you consider the fact that an equipment malfunction on Wright may have cost Bujaj a come-from-behind stoppage, or at least a fighting chance at one.  But whether it feels fair or not, it’s not fair.  It may have been wider than 96-94 in Wright’s favor, but it certainly wasn’t closer.  It’s a robbery by judges that often do just that.  Plain and simple.  I’ll be treating it as a close win for Wright.  Hopefully the draw, incorrect as it is, might lead to a rematch of what was definitely one of the candidates for cruiserweight fight of the year.

 

Friday in Hamburg, #17 Nuri Seferi got back on track with a pretty dominant win over one-loss Hungarian prospect Tamas Lodi.  Seferi did what he typically does when he’s on his game, coming forward constantly and consistently landing solid, if not concussive, punches with both hands.  As for Lodi, he blew what may have been an opportunity.  Perdomo had exposed a perfect gameplan to fight Seferi just over a month ago, but the similarly-built Lodi fought a tactically incompetent fight, instead.  He allowed the plodding shorter man with slower hands to walk to him and yet control range, and also to be first with his punches the vast majority of the time.  Seferi lost his groove a bit in the early-to-middle rounds, but his slow-burning pressure took plenty of a toll on Lodi down the stretch.  In the last couple rounds, the Hungarian was looking to do little more than survive.  I had it 118-110, as did judge Manfred Kuechler.  Matteo Montella of Rome had it 119-109, which is perfectly reasonable.  Holger Wiemann, who we mainly know as an incompetent referee who helps out Albanians all the time for some reason, did Albania’s Seferi no favors this time around, scoring it 116-112 for Seferi, at least one unreasonably-scored round too close, in my opinion.

 

In the division’s headlining fight on Saturday, #10 Light Heavyweight Nathan Cleverly finally made his long-awaited, injury-delayed cruiserweight debut, taking on Guyana journeyman Shawn Corbin.  Corbin was able to nullify Cleverly just a little bit in the first round, but other than that, it was never really a contest.  Cleverly showed that he may have carried whatever power he had at 175 up to his new weight, as he badly hurt Corbin in the 2nd and followed up with wide-open potshots to put him away, with referee Richard Davies stepping in at the 2:19 mark.  

 

The only winner (in my eyes, at least) who beat a top 50 opponent was Wright, and while he has broken through to the high gatekeeper level, Bujaj simply wasn’t proven enough to get him as high as the top 20.  I’m leaving Lebedev ranked because his inactivity is entirely due to an injury, followed by dirty dealings by his opponent.  However, he hasn’t won a fight of consequence since 2012, and hasn’t beaten a top 20 contender since he was robbed against Marco Huck in 2010.  This inactivity at the top level causes him to slide to #3 behind Huck and Hernandez.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Marco Huck (1-389-389)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck’s TV deal in Germany is set to expire, he’s reportedly leaving Sauerland, and has met with HBO about coming to the US.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (1-204-204)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez’s fight with Kolodziej- originally postponed- has now been cancelled due to an illness to Hernandez.
3) Denis Lebedev (1-224-224)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Given his legitimate injury that shelved him for a big chunk of the year and the fact that his opponent screwed him over via PED use, I’m going to use my discretion and leave Lebedev ranked at this point.  Still, his best work is simply getting too old to stay at the very top.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (36-465-465)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk probably won’t return until the fall, with Drozd and BJ Flores being considered.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (17-42-80)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. Julio Cesar Dos Santos (UNR)
Mchunu will stay busy with upper-level journeyman Julio Cesar Santos of Brazil on June 6 in South Africa.
6) Firat Arslan (17-106-149)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #3 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Having visibly regressed since his excellent first effort against Huck, it might be time for the 43 year-old Arslan to consider retirement.
7) Grigory Drozd (26-33-80)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
8) Ola Afolabi (26-271-271)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi is now slated for an eventual eliminator with Pawel Kolodziej for a shot at Yoan Pablo Hernandez.  K2 has won the purse bids, and the fight is currently in the process of being worked out.  It’s targeted for the summer.
9) Giacobbe Fragomeni (26-36-288)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Olegs Lopajevs (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The fight with Lopajevs was purely a stay-busy contest, but he’s talking about another title shot even at 44 years old.
10) Ilunga Makabu (4-4-45)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO2 Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Makabu’s excellent matchup with Masternak has been scrapped due to a dispute between the Congolese contender and his promoter.
11) Santander Silgado (4-29)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. #15 Danie Venter
Silgado will apparently now be fighting in South Africa on June 6 in a very good matchup with Danie Venter.
12) Mateusz Masternak (4-112)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- UD8 Stjepan Vugdelija (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. Youri Kayembre Kalenga (UNR)
Masternak’s fight with Makabu fell through, and he’ll instead be fighting crude and inconsistent one-loss prospect Youri Kalenga.
13) Lukasz Janik (4-29)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik would like a well-deserved rematch with Afolabi.
14) Ovill McKenzie (4-6)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- KO5 #18 Tony Conquest
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. Jon-Lewis Dickinson (UNR)
After capturing the Commonwealth title with an upset knockout of Tony Conquest, McKenzie will have a quick turnaround, as he’ll fight Jon-Lewis Dickinson for the British title on the Froch-Groves undercard.
15) Danie Venter (4-36)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. #11 Santander Silgado
A big opportunity for Venter, as he takes on a potentially overrated Silgado in his own back yard.
16) Dmytro Kucher (4-99)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Kucher will be featured on May 31 in Odessa, Ukraine, but no opponent yet.
17) Nuri Seferi (4-22)
Last Fight: 5/16/2014- UD12 Tamas Lodi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Seferi looked pretty decent against Lodi, who fought the wrong fight.  At this point, he ought to give Perdomo a rematch.
18) Gusmyr Perdomo (4-6)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- Robbery Loss (should be draw) vs. #15 Nuri Seferi
Next Fight: Unknown
Perdomo deserved at least a draw against Seferi, but the judges summoned just enough coincidental incompetence to take it from him.
19) Yunier Dorticos (4-5)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- KO4 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Krzysztof Glowacki (4-4)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)

Next Fight: Unknown
Glowacki is the top contender for the title held by Huck, but might never get that exact shot, since Huck is making noise about moving up.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Friday
Dmitry Kudryashov vs. Ivica Bacurin; Krasnodar, Russia; TV Unknown
Kudryashov is a human highlight reel, scoring spectacular knockouts against gatekeeper and journeyman-level opposition with consistency.  Bacurin is a mid-level journeyman from Croatia who generally loses close decisions to guys proven on Kudryashov’s level.  He’s coming off an 8-round split decision loss to former top-10 contender Juan Carlos Gomez.  Catch this one if you can, because the Russian has yet to disappoint the viewer.

 

Saturday
Daniel Ammann vs. Mark Flanagan; Townsville, Australia; TV Unknown
This one is for the vacant Australian title.  Ammann, on an international level, is a gatekeeper, who looks to rebound from a dominant loss to Tony Conquest from February.  Flanagan is a journeyman, and probably not a member of the top 50.  However, he did upset Kenyan gatekeeper Kariz Kariuki at 175 in late 2012, so he’s a live dog.