Archive for the Heavyweight Category

Year-End Awards: Heavyweight, 2014

Posted in Heavyweight, Yearly Awards and Wrap Up with tags , , , , , , , on January 24, 2016 by danboxing
Welcome to my 3rd Annual Year-End Awards and Wrap-Up.  First, a list of awards for the division.  Then, a look at the 20 fighters that did the best work in 2012 specifically, followed by a rundown of the year’s rankings history.  Dig in!

 

Heavyweight Fighter of the Year: Wladimir Klitschko
Technically Glazkov beat a higher-ranked fighter (and Mansour should have), but #5 Pulev was probably more of a live body subjectively than were #4 Adamek and #4 Cunningham. Klitschko not only defended his Championship, but also his Heavyweight Fighter of the Year title, by being the only fighter to go undefeated on the year while beating two top 20 fighters- adding #16 Alex Leapai to clinch.

 

Prospect of the Year: Deontay Wilder
The winner of this award is the fighter to do the most during the year who has never been ranked in the top 10 and has fewer than 3 losses in his career.  Wilder was the narrow runner up to Mike Perez for the award last year, but Perez didn’t manage to keep his momentum going, while Wilder has yet to find the ceiling of his talent.  He earned the nod this year with his embarrassingly easy 1st-round KO of #19 Malik Scott, who is probably the runner-up despite the loss.

 

Most Important Knockout of the Year: Wladimir Klitschko KO5 Kubrat Pulev
This award goes to the fighter who knocks out the highest-ranked opponent to get stopped during the year.  The best unfortunate contender blasted out of the ring this year was #5 Pulev, who fought more aggressively than most Klitschko challengers, but paid a heavy price, though it was actually during a brief lull in his own activity that he caught a mean left hook from the Champ that he seemed completely unprepared for.

 

Most Sensational Knockout of the Year: Alexander Povetkin KO10 Carlos Takam
This is one award where the video is going to say a lot more than I can.  Takam had been doing well in the fight, to the point that I had it even going into the 10th, though Povetkin’s conditioning had led him back from well behind.  Povetkin caught his tired opponent with a short left hook in an exchange that left his man sprawling and glassy-eyed on his back.  The runner-up would probably be Klitschko-Pulev.  And for those of you who are crying out for Mansour-Kassi, please note that to be considered for this award, the victim has to be a top 50 fighter.  Kassi was nowhere near that.

 

Match-Up of the Year: Champ Wladimir Klitschko vs. #5 Kubrat Pulev
This is a simple recognition of the fight between the two fighters whose combined rank totaled the lowest number.  Klitschko didn’t quite match the level he reached last year with #3 Povetkin, but he had a solid year with solid defenses, as opposed to the abysmal competition he fought in 2013.  With an average rank of 2.5 (Champ’s rank is figured at 0), this was the clear winner.  Runner-up was Fury-Chisora II, with an average of 3.5.

 

Fight of the Year: #4 Steve Cunningham Robbery UD10 W vs. Amir Mansour
This is perhaps my most subjective award.  In choosing the winner, I attempt to balance importance, exciting action, and competitiveness.  There were a lot of good candidates this year, but none could match the high drama of Cunningham-Mansour.  Cunningham’s ridiculous display of guts after being twice dropped and nearly stopped in the 5th overshadowed the vicious display of power Mansour showed to put him in that position, and (unfortunately) won over the judges and TV commentators, whose cards not only indefensibly gave the fight to Cunningham, but did so by comfortable margins.  He came back well and even capped it off with a knockdown in the 10th, but Mansour by all rights had built up too big a lead and deserved the nod.  But that doesn’t change the fact that it was a great fight.  Runner-up was probably Stiverne-Arreola II.

 

Upset of the Year: Sergei Liakhovich vs. #17 Andy Ruiz
You might think this is a stretch, since the ranked fighter actually technically won.  But as always, I go by my own scores.  Liakhovich earned a draw on my card, or more accurately, Ruiz allowed the draw.  He had every bit the case for victory as did Ruiz, and the machinations of biased judges don’t change the fact that the ranked Ruiz embarrassed himself with exceptionally poor conditioning and effort, and lost his top 20 spot as a result.  All to a guy who not only hadn’t been remotely relevant or good in years, but who also didn’t exactly dazzle in the fight himself.  If you disagree with my call, I offer an even clearer scoring debacle in Musafarov-Boytsov as another contender, as well as both of Adamek’s losses as backup options.

 

Comeback Fighter of the Year: Antonio Tarver
This was a pretty easy call.  After drawing with the apparently mediocre Lateef Kayode at cruiserweight in the middle of 2012 and the disgrace and suspension that resulted from his apparent need for steroids to even manage that result, you couldn’t help but assume the then-43 year-old Tarver was done as a player in any division.  But out of nowhere, and having fought just one inconsequential opponent in 2.5 years, Tarver dominated and stopped a guy at top 20 level in a heavyweight division he’d barely visited before.  The resurgence is remarkable, especially considering he appears to be a better heavyweight at 46 than he was a cruiserweight at 43.  Maybe not even the worse for wear as compared to where he was at as a 175-pounder in 2009, though obviously a prime Chad Dawson was a much stiffer challenge pound-for-pound than today’s Johnathon Banks.

 

Robbery of the Year: Denis Boytsov W (UD10) vs. Timur Musafarov
Sadly, there were several solid candidates this year, including the aforementioned Cunningham-Mansour, Perez-Takam, and Ruiz-Liakhovich, to name a few.  This one takes the cake, though.  Musafarov was a clear winner, having earned a 97-92 nod on my card.  I could see it as close at 95-94 if I really wanted to, but that was even after the equally awful referee Joerg Milke blatantly stole an undeserved point from Musafarov in the 7th for having his head a little too low for Milke’s liking.  Or for being a good bet to win a decision at that point.  Take your pick.  Boytsov didn’t even come close to winning a round after the 6th of 10.  Yet the famous German robbery machine had it thusly: 95-94 (Ingo Barrabas), 97-93 (Norbert Duernberger), and a truly despicable 98-91 (Alexander Plumanns), all for the clear loser.  Not that Duernberger’s wasn’t truly despicable, but Plumanns put in that extra effort, and deserves recognition for it.

 

Now, for anyone that cares, I will rank the division based solely on the fighters’ 2014 accomplishments.  I will use the same criteria that I use to rank them overall (with victories, draws, or should-be victories and draws over top 50 opposition making one eligible), but will completely ignore all fights prior to 2014. 

 

1) Wladimir Klitschko
Significant Results: Apr 26- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai.  Nov 15- KO5 #5 Kubrat Pulev.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Champion
2) Vyacheslav Glazkov
Significant Results: Mar 15- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 16: #18. Feb 17- Mar 9: #19. Mar 10-16: #18. Mar 17- Jun 1: #2. Jun 2- Dec 31: #3.
3) Amir Mansour
Significant Results: Apr 4- Robbery L (UD10) vs. #4 Steve Cunningham
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Apr 6: Unranked. Apr 7- Dec 31: #4.
4) Alexander Povetkin
Significant Results: May 30- KO7 Prospect Manuel Charr.  Oct 24- KO10 #7 Carlos Takam.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 16: #1. Feb 17- Mar 16: #2. Mar 17- Jun 1: #3. Jun 2- Dec 31: #2.
5) Tyson Fury
Significant Results: Nov 29- RTD 10 #6 Dereck Chisora.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 16: Unranked (Retired). Feb 17- Dec 31: #1.
6) Carlos Takam
Significant Results: Jan 18- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez. Jun 6- UD12 #9 Tony Thompson. Oct 24- L (KO10) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1-19: Unranked. Jan 20- Feb 16: #7. Feb 17- Mar 16: #8. Mar 17-23: #9. Mar 24- Apr 6: #10. Apr 7- May 11: #11.  May 12- Jun 8: #12. Jun 9- Nov 30: #7. Dec 1-31: #6.
7) Bermane Stiverne
Significant Results: May 10- TKO 6 #13 Chris Arreola.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1-19: #7. Jan 20- Feb 16: #8. Feb 17- Mar 16: #9. Mar 17-23: #10. Mar 24- Apr 6: #11. Apr 7- May 11: #12. May 12- Jun 8: #7. Jun 9- Dec 31: #8.
8) Tony Thompson
Significant Results: Mar 22- Wrong W (SD12) vs. #8 Odlanier Solis. Jun 6- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1-19: #9.  Jan 20- Feb 16: #10.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #11.  Mar 17-23: #13.  Mar 24- Apr 6: #7.  Apr 7- May 11: #8.  May 12- Jun 8: #9.  Jun 9- Dec 31: #10.
9) Deontay Wilder
Significant Results: Mar 15- KO1 #19 Malik Scott.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 16: #12.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #13.  Mar 17-23: #12.  Mar 24- Apr 6 #13.  Apr 7- May 11: #14.  May 12- Nov 9: #13.  Nov 10- Dec 31: #12.
10) Odlanier Solis
Significant Results: Mar 22- Wrong L (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 16: #6.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #7.  Mar 17-23: #8.  Mar 24- Apr 6: #9.  Apr 7- May 11: #10.  May 12- Jun 8: #11.  Jun 9- Nov 9: #12.  Nov 10- Dec 31: #11.
11) Antonio Tarver
Significant Results: Dec 11- TKO7 Inactive Fringe Contender Johnathon Banks.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 14: Unranked.  Dec 15-31: #16.
12) Malik Scott
Significant Results: Mar 15- L (KO1) vs. #13 Deontay Wilder.  Oct 31- UD10 #16 Alex Leapai.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 16: #19.  Feb 17- Mar 9: #20.  Mar 10-16: #19.  Mar 17-23: Unranked.  Mar 24-30: #20.  Mar 31- Jun 22: Unranked.  Jun 23- Jul 27: #20.  Jul 28- Sep 7: Unranked.  Sep 8- Nov 2: #20.  Nov 3-9: #15.  Nov 10- Dec 31: #14.
13) Bryant Jennings
Significant Results: Jan 25- TKO10 Undefeated Prospect Artur Szpilka.  Jul 26- Wrong W (SD12) vs. Fringe Contender/Prospect Mike Perez.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Jul 27: Unranked.  Jul 28- Sep 7: #19.  Sep 8- Nov 9: #18.  Nov 10- Dec 14: #17.  Dec 15-21: #18.  Dec 22-31: #17.
14) Artur Szpilka
Significant Results: Jan 25- L (TKO10) vs. Undefeated Prospect Bryant Jennings.  Nov 8- UD10 #11 Tomasz Adamek.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Nov 9: Unranked.  Nov 10-Dec 14: #18.  Dec 15-21: #19.  Dec 22-31: #18.
15) Sergei Liakhovich
Significant Results: Dec 20- Wrong L (UD10) vs. #17 Andy Ruiz.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
16) Mike Perez
Significant Results: Jan 18- Robbery Draw (Loss) vs. Prospect Carlos Takam.  Jul 26- Wrong L (SD12) vs. Undefeated Prospect Bryant Jennings.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1-19: #11.  Jan 20- Jul 27: Unranked.  Jul 28- Sep 7: #20.  Sep 8- Dec 14: #19.  Dec 15-21: #20.  Dec 22-31: #19.
17) Ruslan Chagaev
Significant Results: Jul 6- Wrong MD12 W (Draw) vs. Gatekeeper Fres Oquendo.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
18) Fres Oquendo
Significant Results: Jul 6- Wrong MD12 L (Draw) vs. Fringe Contender Ruslan Chagaev.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
19) Anthony Joshua
Significant Results: Oct 11- TKO2 Gatekeeper Denis Bakhtov.  Nov 22- TKO1 Gatekeeper Michael Sprott.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
20) Kali Meehan
Significant Results: Jun 4- KO1 Fringe Contender Michael Sprott
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Other fighters ranked during the year are detailed below.  These guys, while members of the top 20 at some point, didn’t exactly have a top-20 quality 2014 for varying reasons.

 

Steve Cunningham: Jan 1- Feb 16: #2.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #3.  Mar 17- Apr 6: #4.  Apr 7- May 11: #7.  May 12- Jun 8: #8.  Jun 9- Dec 31: #9.

 

Tomasz Adamek: Jan 1- Feb 16: #3.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #4.  Mar 17-23: #7.  Mar 24- Apr 6: #8.  Apr 7- May 11: #9.  May 12- Jun 8: #10.  Jun 9- Nov 9: #11.  Nov 10- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Kubrat Pulev– Jan 1- Feb 16: #4.  Feb 17- Dec 31: #5.

 

Dereck Chisora: Jan 1- Feb 16: #5.  Feb 17- Nov 30: #6.  Dec 1-31: #7.

 

Chris Arreola: Jan 1-19: #8.  Jan 20- Feb 16: #9.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #10.  Mar 17-23: #11.  Mar 24- Apr 6: #12.  Apr 7- May 11: #13.  May 12- Nov 9: #14.  Nov 10- Dec 31: #13.

 

Erkan Teper: Jan 1-19: #10.  Jan 20- Feb 16: #11.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #12.  Mar 17- Apr 6: #14.  Apr 7- Nov 2: #15.  Nov 3-9: #16.  Nov 10- Dec 31: #15.

 

Alex Leapai: Jan 1- Feb 16: #13.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #14.  Mar 17- Apr 6: #15.  Apr 7- Nov 2: #16.  Nov 3- Dec 14: #20.  Dec 15-21: Unranked.  Dec 22-31: #20.

 

Robert Helenius– Jan 1- Feb 16: #14.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #15.  Mar 17-23: #16.  Mar 24- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Andy Ruiz– Jan 1- Feb 16: #15.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #16.  Mar 17-23: #17.  Mar 24- Apr 6: #16.  Apr 7- Nov 9: #17.  Nov 10- Dec 14: #16.  Dec 15-21: #17.  Dec 22-31: Unranked.

 

Seth Mitchell– Jan 1- Feb 16: #16.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #17.  Mar 17-23: #18.  Mar 24- Apr 6: #17.  Apr 7- Sep 7: #18.  Sep 8- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Alexander Dimitrenko: Jan 1- Feb 16: #17.  Feb 17- Mar 9: #18.  Mar 10- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive). 

 

Johnathon Banks: Jan 1- Feb 16: #20.  Feb 17- Mar 9: Unranked.  Mar 10-16: #20.  Mar 17-23: #19.  Mar 24- Apr 6: #18.  Apr 7- Jun 22: #19.  Jun 23- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Francesco Pianeta: Jan 1- Mar 16: Unranked.  Mar 17-23: #20.  Mar 24- Apr 6: #19.  Apr 7- Jun 22: #20.  Jun 23- Jul 27: #19.  Jul 28- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Eddie Chambers– Jan 1- Mar 30: Unranked.  Mar 31- Apr 6: #20.  Apr 7- Dec 31: Unranked.
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Year-End Awards: Heavyweight, 2013

Posted in Heavyweight, Yearly Awards and Wrap Up with tags , , , , , , , on March 26, 2014 by danboxing
Welcome to my 2nd Annual Year-End Awards and Wrap-Up.  First, a list of awards for the division.  Then, a look at the 20 fighters that did the best work in 2012 specifically, followed by a rundown of the year’s rankings history.  Dig in!

 

Heavyweight Fighter of the Year: Wladimir Klitschko
After spending 2012 practically sitting on his title by failing to fight a single top 10 fighter, Klitschko got back to business a bit this year.  He and runner-up Tyson Fury each beat #3 contenders- Povetkin for Klitschko and Cunningham for Fury- but Klitschko took the nod by throwing in a fringe contender in Francesco Pianeta.

 

Prospect of the Year: Mike Perez
The winner of this award is the fighter to do the most during the year who has never been ranked in the top 10 and has fewer than 3 losses in his career.  Under those criteria, Perez is a clear-cut winner.  He has peaked at his current #11 so far, and while both he and Deontay Wilder have won at an almost identical level this year (Abdusalamov and Audley Harrison), but Perez also added a throw-in win against gatekeeper Travis Walker.

 

Most Important Knockout of the Year: Tyson Fury KO7 Steve Cunningham
This award goes to the fighter who knocks out the highest-ranked opponent to get stopped during the year.  Fury had a little help from his forearm and subtler illegal tactics like constantly leaning on his opponent’s neck, but he nevertheless wore down and knocked out the much smaller #3 Steve Cunningham, who was 2012’s Heavyweight Fighter of the Year after clearly beating Tomasz Adamek.

 

Most Sensational Knockout of the Year: Erkan Teper KO1 Martin Rogan
Normally I would list all the potential candidates and re-watch to pick the most exciting.  But there was no need this time around.  Teper’s under-viewed performance featured about 3 separate knockout punches in succession, and almost certainly retired the Irish veteran, whose jaw was left completely shattered by the blows.

 

Match-Up of the Year: Champ Wladimir Klitschko vs. #3 Alexander Povetkin
This is a simple recognition of the fight between the two fighters whose combined rank totaled the lowest number.  Klitschko-Povetkin is by far the best, with an average rank of 1.5 (with Champ=0).  The runner up is #6 Fury vs. #3 Cunningham.  Unfortunately, Povetkin’s performance didn’t really live up to his ranking, though that may have had a lot to do with abysmal referee Luis Pabon’s determination to let Wlad cheat in absolutely any way he wished throughout the fight.

 

Fight of the Year: #6 Tyson Fury KO7 #3 Steve Cunningham
This is perhaps my most subjective award.  In choosing the winner, I attempt to balance importance, exciting action, and competitiveness.  Fury-Cunningham was a pretty easy call this year.  It was the 2nd highest-ranked fight of the year, behind only the nigh-unwatchable Klitschko-Povetkin.  It was very competitive, with Fury being dropped hard early before coming back to win.  It also had very good action overall, and ended in a knockout.  Can’t get much better.

 

Upset of the Year: Alex Leapai UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov
Apparently #20 is not where you want to be in my rankings, as this award has been won now in consecutive years by underdogs knocking off #20 contenders.  Last year it was Michael Sprott- whose upset was tempered a bit by the fact that he had already outboxed his opponent in a previous fight that was prematurely stopped against him.  This year it was Samoan gatekeeper Alex Leapai springing a total shocker on #20 Denis Boytsov who, despite injury and inactivity, had been long been considered a top 10 contender in many quarters, and who was in line for a shot at the Championship in his next fight.  Leapai now looks poised to get that shot instead, having soundly outworked the Russian and just plain old wanting it more.  Leapai did not appear to be much of a threat, having 4 career losses, 3 of which were against such mediocrities as Yan Kulkov, Baden Oui (a stoppage), Colin Wilson, and with the 4th being a stoppage against the reasonably decent Kevin Johnson.

 

Comeback Fighter of the Year: Chris Arreola
Arreola might be a bit of a peculiar winner in this category, since his fall and comeback both occurred in the same year.  He fell from the top 20 for the first time in memory after a clear-cut loss to Bermane Stiverne, but rose to his highest level in years by destroying the chinless #12 contender Seth Mitchell.  Opportunistic?  Sure.  But he was lost and now he’s found, which makes him really the only choice for this particular award.

 

Robbery of the Year: Vyacheslav Glazkov D10 vs. Malik Scott
Was this a true robbery?  I wouldn’t go that far, personally, to be honest.  To me, a robbery is when one guy clearly won beyond all doubt, and the other guy gets the decision (or draw).  This was close to that, but there were enough toss up rounds to justify a draw if you were a reasonable judge that just consistently favored something about Glazkov’s style, for instance.  I personally scored it 98-92 for Scott, though, and so by my lights it was pretty darned close to clear-cut.  The judges mostly behaved themselves in heavyweight fights this year, and so the only other fight that would really come close to qualifying was Robert Helenius’ victory over Michael Sprott, in a fight that I scored a draw.

 

Now, for anyone that cares, I will rank the division based solely on the fighters’ 2013 accomplishments.  I will use the same criteria that I use to rank them overall (with victories, draws, or should-be victories and draws over top 50 opposition making one eligible), but will completely ignore all fights prior to 2013. 

 

1) Wladimir Klitschko
Significant Results: May 4- TKO6 Fringe Contender Francesco Pianeta.  Oct 5- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Champion
2) Tyson Fury
Significant Results: Apr 20- KO7 #3 Steve Cunningham.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Apr 21: #6.  Apr 22- Sep 8: #2.  Sep 9- Nov 24: #1.  Nov 25- Dec 31: Unranked (Retired).
3) Kubrat Pulev
Significant Results: Aug 24- UD12 #11 Tony Thompson.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Jun 9: #8. Jun 10- Jul 21: #7.  Jul 22- Aug 25: #8.  Aug 26- Sep 8: #7.  Sep 9- Nov 17: #6.  Nov 18-24: #5.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #4.
4) Dereck Chisora
Significant Results: Jul 20- KO6* #17 Malik Scott.  Sep 21- TKO5 Gatekeeper Edmund Gerber.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Jun 9: #1.  Jun 10- Jul 21: #8.  Jul 22- Aug 25: #7.  Aug 26- Sep 8: #8.  Sep 9- Nov 17: #7.  Nov 18- 24: #6.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #5.
5) Erkan Teper
Significant Results: Aug 31- TKO1 Fringe Contender Michael Sprott.  Nov 16- KO1 Gatekeeper Martin Rogan.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Sep 1: Unranked.  Sep 2-8: #13.  Sep 9- Nov 17: #12.  Nov 18-24: #11.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #10.
6) Bermane Stiverne
Significant Results: Apr 27- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-20: Unranked.  Jan 21- Feb 24: #20.  Feb 25- Mar 3: Unranked.  Mar 4- Apr 28: #19.  Apr 29- Jun 9: #12.  Jun 10-23: #11.  Jun 24- Sep 8: #10.  Sep 9- Nov 17: #9.  Nov 18-24: #8.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #7.
7) Alex Leapai
Significant Results: Nov 23- UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Nov 24: Unranked.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #13.
8) Chris Arreola
Significant Results: Apr 27- L (UD12) vs. #19 Bermane Stiverne.  Sep 7- KO1 #12 Seth Mitchell.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-20: #17.  Jan 21- Mar 3: #16.  Mar 4- Apr 28: #15.  Apr 29- Sep 8: Unranked.  Sep 9- Nov 17: #10.  Nov 18-24: #9.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #8.
9) Tony Thompson
Significant Results: Feb 23- TKO2 Undefeated Prospect David Price.  Jul 6- TKO5 Prospect David Price.  Aug 24- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-20: #16.  Jan 21- Feb 24: #15.  Feb 25- Mar 3: #13.  Mar 4- Apr 28: #12.  Apr 29- Jun 9: #13.  Jun 10-23: #12.  Jun 24- Nov 17: #11.  Nov 18-24: #10.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #9.
10) Mike Perez
Significant Results: May 4- UD10 Gatekeeper Travis Walker.  Nov 2- UD10 Undefeated Prospect Magomed Abdusalamov.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Nov 3: Unranked.  Nov 4-17: #13.  Nov 18-24: #12.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #11.
11) Deontay Wilder
Significant Results: Apr 27- TKO1 Fringe Contender Audley Harrison.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Apr 28: Unranked.  Apr 29- Jun 9: #14.  Jun 10- Sep 1: #13.  Sep 2-8: #14.  Sep 9- Nov 3: #13.  Nov 4-17: #14.  Nov 18-24: #13.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #12.
12) Seth Mitchell
Significant Results: Jun 22- UD12 #10 Johnathon Banks. Sep 7- L (KO1) vs. Fringe Contender Chris Arreola.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Jun 9: Unranked.  Jun 10-23: #20.  Jun 24- Sep 8: #12.  Sep 9- Nov 3: #16.  Nov 4-17: #17.  Nov 18- Dec 31: #16.
13) Andy Ruiz
Significant Results: Nov 24- RTD3 Gatekeeper Tor Hamer.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Nov 24: Unranked. Nov 25- Dec 31- #15.
14) Audley Harrison
Significant Results: Feb 23- UD3 Fringe Contender Martin Rogan.  Feb 23- TKO2 Gatekeeper Derric Rossy.  Apr 27- L (TKO1) vs. Undefeated Prospect Deontay Wilder.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
15) Eric Molina
Significant Results: Apr 27- UD12 Gatekeeper Tony Grano.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
17) Lucas Browne
Significant Results: Apr 28- UD12 Gatekeeper James Toney.  Nov 2- TKO5 Undefeated Prospect Richard Towers.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
18) Robert Helenius
Significant Results: Mar 23- UD10 (should have been draw) vs. Gatekeeper Michael Sprott.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 24: #13.  Feb 25- Mar 3: #14.  Mar 4- Apr 28: #13.  Apr 29- Jun 9: #15.  Jun 10- Sep 1: #14.  Sep 2-8: #15.  Sep 9- Nov 3: #14.  Nov 4-17: #15.  Nov 18- Dec 31: #14.
19) Fres Oquendo
Significant Results: Jun 8- UD10 Gatekeeper Derric Rossy.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
20) Gerald Washington
Significant Results: Jun 8- UD8 Gatekeeper Sherman Williams.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Other fighters ranked during the year are detailed below.  These guys had either bad or rather indifferent years, with most of them failing to snag a rateable victory for various reasons:

 

Vitali Klitschko: Jan 1- Sep 8: #1.  Sep 9- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

David Haye: Jan 1- Apr 21: #2.  Apr 22- Sep 8: #3.  Sep 9- Nov 17: #2.  Nov 18- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Steve Cunningham: Jan 1- Apr 21: #3.  Apr 22- Sep 8: #5.  Sep 9- Nov 17: #4.  Nov 18-24: #3.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #2.

 

Alexander Povetkin: Jan 1- Sep 8: #4.  Sep 9- Nov 17: #3.  Nov 18-24: #2.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #1.

 

Tomasz Adamek: Jan 1- Apr 21: #5.  Apr 22- Sep 8: #6.  Sep 9- Nov 17: #5.  Nov 18-24: #4.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #3.

 

Eddie Chambers– Jan 1- Jun 9: #7.  Jun 10- Dec 31: Unranked (Moved Down).

 

Johnathon Banks: Jan 1- Mar 24: #10.  Mar 25- Jun 9: #11.  Jun 10-23: #10.  Jun 24- Sep 1: #18.  Sep 2- Nov 3: #19.  Nov 4-17: #20.  Nov 18-24: #19.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #20.

 

Odlanier Solis– Jan 1- Mar 24: #11.  Mar 25- Jun 9: #10.  Jun 10- Sep 8: #9.  Sep 9- Nov 17: #8.  Nov 18-24: #7.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #6.

 

Marco Huck: Jan 1- Mar 3: #12.  Mar 4- Dec 31: Unranked (Moved Down).

 

Ruslan Chagaev: Jan 1-20: #14.  Jan 21- Dec 31: Unranked. 

 

Alexander Dimitrenko: Jan 1-20: #15.  Jan 21- Feb 24: #14.  Feb 25- Mar 3: #15.  Mar 4- Apr 28: #14.  Apr 29- Jun 9: #16. Jun 10- Sep 1: #15.  Sep 2-8: #16.  Sep 9- Nov 3: #15.  Nov 4-17: #16.  Nov 18-24: #15.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #17. 

 

Denis Boytsov: Jan 1-20: #18.  Jan 21- Mar 3: #17.  Mar 4- Apr 28: #16.  Apr 29- Jun 9: #19.  Jun 10-23: #18.  Jun 24- Sep 1: #19.  Sep 2- Nov 3: #20.  Nov 4-17: Unranked.  Nov 18-24: #20.  Nov 25- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Jean-Marc Mormeck: Jan 1-20: #19.  Jan 21- Mar 3: #18.  Mar 4- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Vyacheslav Glazkov: Jan 1-20: #20.  Jan 21- Mar 3: #19.  Mar 4- Jun 9: #17.  Jun 10- Sep 1: #16.  Sep 2- Nov 3: #17.  Nov 4-17: #18.  Nov 18- 24: #17.  Nov 25- Dec 31- #18.

 

Malik Scott– Jan 1- Feb 24: Unranked.  Feb 25- Mar 3: #20.  Mar 4- Jun 9: #18.  Jun 10- Sep 1: #17.  Sep 2- Nov 3: #18.  Nov 4-17: #19.  Nov 18-24: #18.  Nov 25- Dec 31: #19.

 

Franklin Lawrence– Jan 1- Mar 3: Unranked.  Mar 4- Jun 9: #20.  Jun 10-23: #19.  Jun 24- Sep 1: #20.  Sep 2- Dec 31: Unranked.

Year-End Awards: Heavyweight, 2012

Posted in Heavyweight, Yearly Awards and Wrap Up with tags , , , , , , , on January 2, 2013 by danboxing
This is the first time I’ve done this, and I hope you like it.  It’s been a lot of effort.  First, a list of awards for the division.  Then, a look at the 20 fighters that did the best work in 2012 specifically, followed by a rundown of the year’s rankings history.  Dig in!

 

Heavyweight Fighter of the Year: Steve Cunningham
It’s a bit of an upset for a guy that didn’t have a truly significant fight in the weight class until the waning days of the year and who was given little chance of winning that fight- and who officially did not win the fight, for that matter- to win fighter of the year.  But he did win the fight, and did so clearly.  That being the case, the highest-ranked fighter to get beaten this year was beaten by Cunningham.  By contrast, Champion Wladimir Klitschko, who finished as the runner up for the award, did not even beat a top 10 contender this year.

 

Prospect of the Year: Vyacheslav Glazkov
The winner of this award is the fighter to do the most during the year who has never been ranked in the top 10 and has fewer than 3 losses in his career.  Glazkov has two wins over fringe contenders this year in Tor Hamer and Konstantin Airich.  Pulev and Banks would have been in the running for the award, but both have crossed over into contender status. 

 

Most Important Knockout of the Year: David Haye TKO6 Dereck Chisora
This award goes to the fighter who knocks out the highest-ranked opponent to get stopped during the year.  Haye wins that honor by TKOing #6-ranked Dereck Chisora in their controversial grudge match fight from July.

 

Most Sensational Knockout of the Year: Shane Cameron KO4 Monte Barrett
Not one of the more talked-about fights of the year by any means, but Shane Cameron absolutely detonated Monte Barrett in their May fight, as his big right hand arrived first in an exchange.  Wladimir Klitschko, David Price, and Johnathon Banks all scored exciting knockout wins this year, but none could match the combination of picture-perfect precision,  one-punch savagery, and devastating effect that Cameron produced on that night.  To see video of the knockout, click on “KO4” in the headline.

 

Match-Up of the Year: #1 Vitali Klitschko vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
This is a simple recognition of the fight between the two fighters whose combined rank totaled the lowest number.  Klitschko-Chisora takes the cake, with an average ranking of 3.5.  Chambers-Adamek gets an honorable mention.  Chambers had last been ranked #3 before being removed for inactivity a few months before the fight, and Adamek came in at that rank exactly.  The removal has to have some effect, though.  The Klitschko-Chisora fight was surprisingly close giving Vitali’s dominance, but it might have had as much to do with Vitali’s arm injury as with Chisora’s skill.

 

Fight of the Year: David Haye vs. Dereck Chisora
This is perhaps my most subjective award.  In choosing the winner, I attempt to balance importance, exciting action, and competitiveness.  There weren’t really any fights this year among top 50 heavyweights that could be scored an “A” in all categories.   But Haye-Chisora scored high marks in the first two criteria, and Chisora at least had his moments- having arguably won the two rounds immediately before he was stopped.
 
Upset of the Year: Michael Sprott W(MD10) vs. #20 Edmund Gerber (December 15)
This was a tough category to call.  Cunningham-Adamek was certainly an upset, but Cunningham was still a top 5 cruiser, while Adamek had built his #3 ranking largely by a combination of luck and barely squeaking by.  Banks-Mitchell was a huge upset as well, but Banks was a fringe contender and Mitchell had demonstrated chin problems in his previous fight.  Povetkin-Huck qualifies, but Povetkin managed to get a semi-credible decision win despite my scoring it a draw, and Huck did have credentials at cruiser.  Robert Helenius vs. Sherman Williams was nearly the mother of all upsets, but although the scorecards heavily in his favor were ridiculous, it’s entirely reasonable to think he did indeed win the fight.  That leaves me with Sprott-Gerber.  Sprott was a journeyman that had repeatedly failed at approximately Gerber’s level over the past few years.  However, it should be noted that Sprott previously outboxed Gerber for a few rounds before their earlier fight was prematurely stopped, and that he had shown occasional quality in the recent past by barely losing to Alexander Dimitrenko in 2011.  Honestly, the result may not have been as surprising as Mitchell-Banks, but I chose it in a close call merely because the difference in the status of the two fighters was more pronounced.

 

Comeback Fighter of the Year: Steve Cunningham
After being all but written off a division to the South, Cunningham made a big statement at heavyweight by soundly outboxing the divisions #3 contender just before Christmas.  What should have been a massive celebration was marred by the complete incompetence of the judges, but his performance in the ring left no doubt.  Steve Cunningham is back.

 

Now, for anyone that cares, I will rank the division based solely on the fighters’ 2012 accomplishments.  I will use the same criteria that I use to rank them overall (with victories, draws, or should-be victories and draws over top 50 opposition making one eligible), but will completely ignore all fights prior to 2012. 

 

1) Steve Cunningham
Significant Results: Dec 22- Robbery Loss (should have been UD12 Win) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 23: Ranked only at cruiserweight.  Dec 24-31: #3.
2) Wladimir Klitschko
Significant Results: Mar 3- KO4 #16 Jean-Marc Mormeck.  Jul 7- TKO6 #11 Tony Thompson.  Nov 12- UD12 Undefeated Prospect/Fringe Contender Mariusz Wach.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Champion
3) Vitali Klitschko
Significant Results: Feb 18- UD12 #6 Dereck Chisora.  Sep 8- TKO4 Undefeated Prospect Manuel Charr.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: #1
4) David Haye
Significant Results: Jul 14- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1- Jul 15: Unranked (Retired).  Jul 16- Dec 31: #2
5) Tomasz Adamek
Significant Results: Jun 16- UD12 Inactive Contender Eddie Chambers.  Sep 8- TKO5 Gatekeeper Travis Walker.  Dec 22- Robbery UD12 W vs. #4 Cruiserweight Steve Cunningham.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Mar 18: #4.  Mar 19-Jun 17: #3.  Jun 18-Jul 15: #2.  Jul 16-Dec 23: #3.  Dec 24-31: #5.
6) Kubrat Pulev
Significant Results: May 5- KO11 #12 Alexander Dimitrenko.  Sep 29- KO11 Fringe Contender Alexander Ustinov.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 26: #18.  Feb 27-Mar 18: #19.  Mar 19-Apr 8: #18.  Apr 9-May 6: #17.  May 7-Jun 17: #8.  Jun 18-Jul 15: #9.  Jul 16-Sep 31: #10.  Oct 1-Nov 4: #8.  Nov 5- Dec 23: #7.  Dec 24-31: #8.
7) Johnathon Banks
Significant Results: Nov 17- TKO2 #11 Seth Mitchell
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Nov 18: Unranked.  Nov 19-Dec 23: #9.  Dec 24-31: #10.
8) Alexander Povetkin
Significant Results: Feb 25- W(MD12) vs. #5 Cruiserweight Marco Huck.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Jun 17: #2.  Jun 18-Jul 15: #3.  Jul 16-Dec 31: #4.
9) Vyacheslav Glazkov
Significant Results: Sep 8- UD10 Gatekeeper Konstantin Airich.  Dec 22- RTD4 Fringe Contender Tor Hamer.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 23: Unranked.  Dec 24-31: #20.
10) Albert Sosnowski
Significant Results: Jun 20- W(SD3) vs. Gatekeeper Maurice Harris.  Jun 20- Robbery L(SD3) vs. Fringe Contender Kevin Johnson.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
11) Odlanier Solis
Significant Results: May 19- UD12 Fringe Contender Konstantin Airich.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 26: #10.  Feb 27-Mar 18: #11.  Mar 19-May 20: #10.  May 21-Jun 17: #9.  Jun 18-Jul 15: #10.  Jul 16-Nov 4: #11.  Nov 5-11: #10.  Nov 12-18: #9.  Nov 19-Dec 23: #10.  Dec 24-31: #11.
12) Marco Huck
Significant Results: Feb 25- L(MD12) (should be draw) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin.  Nov 3- Robbery UD12 W vs. #10 Cruiserweight Firat Arslan (at Cruiserweight).
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 26: Ranked only at Cruiserweight.  Feb 27-Mar 18: #5.  Mar 19-Jul 15: #4.  Jul 16-Nov 4: #5.  Nov 5-11: #11.  Nov 12-18: #10.  Nov 19-Dec 23: #11.  Dec 24-31: #12.
13) Michael Sprott
Significant Results: Jan 14- L(RTD9) vs. #18 Kubrat Pulev.  Dec 15- W(MD10) vs. #20 Edmund Gerber.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
14) Sherman Williams
Significant Results: Questionable UD10 Loss vs. #9 Robert Helenius (Should be Draw).
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
15) Tor Hamer
Significant Results: Jun 20- W(SD3) vs. Fringe Contender Kevin Johnson.  Dec 22: L(RTD4) vs. Undefeated Prospect/Fringe Contender Vyacheslav Glazkov.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked
16) Shane Cameron
Significant Results: Jul 5- KO4 Gatekeeper Monte Barrett.  Nov 21- L(UD12) vs. #10 Cruiserweight Danny Green (at Cruiserweight).
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
17) David Price
Significant Results: May 19- KO4 Gatekeeper Sam Sexton.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
18) Francesco Pianeta
Significant Results: May 16- UD10 Gatekeeper Oliver McCall.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
19) Tyson Fury
Significant Results: Dec 1- UD12 Gatekeeper Kevin Johnson
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 26: #5.  Feb 27-Mar 18: #6.  Mar 19-Jul 15: #5.  Jul 16-Nov 4: #6.  Nov 5-Dec 23: #5.  Dec 24-31: #6.
20) Kevin Johnson
Significant Results: Apr 1- TKO9 Gatekeeper Alex Leapai.  Jun 20- Robbery SD3 W vs. Gatekeeper Albert Sosnowski.  Jun 20- L(SD3) vs. Prospect Tor Hamer.  Dec 1- L(UD12) vs. #5 Tyson Fury.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Apr 1: Unranked.  Apr 2-8: #20.  Apr 9-May 6: #19.  May 7-Jun 17: #20.  Jun 18-Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Other fighters ranked during the year are detailed below.  These guys had either bad or wasted years, with none of them snagging a rateable victory for various reasons:

 

Eddie Chambers: Jan 1-Mar 18: #3.  Mar 19-Jun 17: Unranked (Inactive).  Jun 18-Nov 4: #7.  Nov 5-Dec 23: #6.  Dec 24-31: #7.

 

Dereck Chisora: Jan 1-Feb 26: #6.  Feb 27-Mar 18: #7.  Mar 19-Jul 15: #6.  Jul 16-Sep 31: #8.  Oct 1-Nov 4: #9.  Nov 5-Dec 23: #8.  Dec 24-31: #9.

 

Robert Helenius: Jan 1-Feb 26: #7.  Feb 27-Mar 18: #8.  Mar 19-Jun 17: #7.  Jun 18-Jul 15: #8.  Jul 16-Sep 31: #9.  Oct 1-Nov 4: #10.  Nov 5-11: #9.  Nov 12-Dec 23: #12.  Dec 24-31: #13.

 

Ruslan Chagaev: Jan 1-Feb 26: #8.  Feb 27-Mar 18: #9.  Mar 19-May 6: #8.  May 7-Jun 17: #12.  Jun 18-Jul 8: #13.  Jul 9-15: #12.  Jul 16-Dec 23: #13.  Dec 24-31: #14.

 

Alexander Dimitrenko: Jan 1-Feb 26: #12.  Feb 27-Mar 18: #13.  Mar 19-May 6: #12.  May 7-Jun 17: #13.  Jun 18-Jul 8: #14.  Jul 9-15: #13.  Jul 16-Dec 23: #14.  Dec 24-31: #15.

 

Tony Thompson: Jan 1-Feb 26: #9.  Feb 27-Mar 18: #10.  Mar 19-May 20: #9.  May 21-Jun 17: #10.  Jun 18-Jul 8: #11.  Jul 9-15: #14.  Jul 16-Dec 23: #15.  Dec 24-31: #16.

 

Chris Arreola: Jan 1-Feb 26: #13.  Feb 27-Mar 18: #14.  Mar 19-May 6: #13.  May 7-Jun 17: #14.  Jun 18-Jul 15: #15.  Jul 16-Dec 23: #16.  Dec 24-31: #17.

 

Denis Boytsov: Jan 1-Feb 26: #14.  Feb 27-Mar 18: #15.  Mar 19-May 6: #14.  May 7-Jun 17: #15.  Jun 18-Jul 15: #16.  Jul 16-Dec 23: #17.  Dec 24-31: #18.

 

Jean-Marc Mormeck: Jan 1-Feb 26: #15.  Feb 27-Mar 18: #16.  Mar 19-May 6: #15.  May 7-Jun 17: #16.  Jun 18-Jul 15: #17.  Jul 16-Dec 23: #18.  Dec 24-31: #19.

 

Bermane Stiverne– Jan 1-Feb 26: #16.  Feb 27-Mar 18: #17.  Mar 19-May 6: #16.  May 7-Jun 17: #17.  Jun 18-Jul 15: #18.  Jul 16-Dec 23: #19.  Dec 24-31: Unranked.

 

Franklin Lawrence– Jan 1-Feb 26: #19.  Feb 27-Mar 18: #20.  Mar 19-Apr 8: #19.  Apr 9-May 6: #18.  May 7-Jun 17: #19.  Jun 18-Jul 15: #20.  Jul 16-Dec 16: Unrated.  Dec 17-23: #20.  Dec 24-31: Unrated.

 

Seth Mitchell: Jan 1-Feb 26: #11.  Feb 27-Mar 18: #12.  Mar 19-Jun 17: #11.  Jun 18-Jul 8: #12.  Jul 9-15: #11.  Jul 16-Nov 11: #12.  Nov 12-18: #11.  Nov 19-Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Cedric Boswell– Jan 1-Feb 26: #20.  Feb 27-Mar 18: Unranked.  Mar 19-Apr 1: #20.  Apr 2-8: Unranked.  Apr 9-May 6: #20.  May 7-Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Samuel Peter: Jan 1-Feb 26: #17.  Feb 27-Mar 18: #18.  Mar 19-Apr 8: #17.  Apr 9-Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Edmund Gerber: Jan 1-May 6: Unranked.  May 7-Jun 17: #18.  Jun 18-Jul 15: #19.  Jul 16-Dec 16: #20.  Dec 17-31: Unranked.