Heavyweight: 2014-2015, Dec 29- Jan 4

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 16, 2016 by danboxing
No action to report from last week, and no changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (288-501-501)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- KO5 #5 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: 4/25/2015- vs. #17 Bryant Jennings
Klitschko-Jennings is on, and figures to be a fairly average defense for the Champ.
1) Tyson Fury (46-46-46)
Last Fight: 11/29/2014- RTD10 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 2/28/2015- vs. Christian Hammer (UNR)
Christian Hammer is a very beatable gatekeeper, but did look good in his last fight, and is probably about a class better than you’d expect a guy with a mandatory championship shot coming his way to stay busy against.
2) Alexander Povetkin (31-375-375)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- KO10 #7 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Nothing has been signed yet, but the WBC has given approval for Povetkin to fight an eliminator with Mike Perez.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (31-42-106)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- TKO7 Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/14/2015- vs. #9 Steve Cunningham
With Main Events behind both fighters, you could almost see this one coming.  Glazkov will take on Steve Cunningham, likely on NBC Sports, in March.
4) Amir Mansour (39-39-39)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- KO7 Fred Kassi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mansour’s power was brought to bear on the mediocre Kassi, who did a good job of hanging in there- perhaps for longer than most expected while losing every round.
5) Kubrat Pulev (46-139-216)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Back to the drawing board for the Bulgarian.  He at least mounted an attack.  That’s more than some challengers can say.
6) Carlos Takam (5-30-50)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- L (KO10) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam found the ceiling on his rise to the top in #2 Povetkin.  He actually appeared more than a match for the Russian early in the fight, but couldn’t hang in the later rounds.
7) Dereck Chisora (5-161-224)
Last Fight: 11/29/2014- L (RTD10) vs. #1 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: Unknown
Chisora apparently doesn’t want to leave the bad taste in his mouth from his last performance, as he is reportedly planning to fight again on February 28.  He is also said to be splitting from trainer Don Charles.
8) Bermane Stiverne (30-34-96)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: 1/17/2015- vs. #12 Deontay Wilder
Stiverne-Wilder is finally set for January 17 at the MGM Grand in Vegas, it would appear.
9) Steve Cunningham (30-106-106)
Last Fight: 10/18/2014- W (RTD7) vs. Natu Visinia (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/14/2015- vs. #3 Vyacheslav Glazkov
See Glazkov’s notes, above.
10) Tony Thompson (30-41-240)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: 1/24/2015 – vs. #11 Odlanier Solis
Maybe the third time will be the charm.  Thompson-Solis II gets its 3rd intended date on January 24.
11) Odlanier Solis (8-240)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
See Thompson’s notes, above.
12) Deontay Wilder (8-88)
Last Fight: 8/16/2014- W(RTD4) vs. Jason Gavern (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/17/2015 – vs. #8 Bermane Stiverne 
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
13) Chris Arreola (8-69)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola advised Boxingscene.com that he’s likely back in late January or February, and called out Antonio Tarver, as well.
14) Malik Scott (8-17)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- UD10 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: Unknown
After an apparently dominant win over Leapai, Scott is probably back in the mix for some sort of big fight.
15) Erkan Teper (8-70)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
Teper will most likely fight France’s Johann Duhaupas at some point, but the fight has been postponed to a later date due to Teper having his appendix out.
16) Antonio Tarver (3-3)
Last Fight: 12/11/2014- TKO7 Johnathon Banks (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Tarver has recently challenged a comebacking David Haye.
 17) Bryant Jennings (2-23)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- W* (SD12) vs. Mike Perez (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/25/2015- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Jennings has got his shot at Klitschko for April 25.  Almost certanily too soon for him, given his mediocre last performance against Perez.
18) Artur Szpilka (2-8)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- W (UD10) vs. #11 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: 1/31/2015- vs. Unknown Opponent
Szpilka returned to camp just a week after the Adamek fight, as he is planning a return for January 31 in Torun, Poland.
19) Mike Perez (2-23)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- L* (SD12) vs. Bryant Jennings (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Perez looks like he’s on his way to a fight with Povetkin.
20) Alex Leapai (2-2)

Last Fight: 10/31/2014- L (UD10) vs. #20 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Monday
Zoltan Petranyi vs. Zoltan Csala; Budapest, Hungary; TV Unknown
The heavyweight year is capped off with a somewhat low-profile Hungarian Title fight between unproven 5-0 prospect Zoltan Csala and 48 year old Zoltan Petranyi, the ultimate late bloomer.  And I’m not talking a guy who had a renaissance in his mid-30s and kept it going for a while.  I’m talking a guy who did virtually nothing worthwhile in the sport until he was 47 years old and beat two consecutive top 100 guys to get into the top 50 himself.  Csala is undefeated at 5-0 and probably the best available Hungarian, but marginally less proven than the last two.  Csala, despite his record, is no spring chicken himself, coming in with 37 years under his belt.

Heavyweight: 2014, Dec 22-28

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 16, 2016 by danboxing
Sergei Liakhovich seemed like fodder for the rise of #17 Andy Ruiz, a blue chip prospect despite his ridiculous obesity, but that didn’t really play out on Saturday in Phoenix.  Ruiz was in terrible shape both in appearance and output.  Liakhovich is not anywhere near the contender he was years ago.  He was stopped by Helenius, then dominated and stopped by Bryant Jennings and knocked out in less than 2 minutes by Deontay Wilder in consecutive fights- his last three of any substance leading up to this.  He didn’t necessarily look very good in this one either, often barely throwing any punches, but even when that was the case, Ruiz was visibly having trouble keeping up.  Ruiz clearly won the first three rounds, and almost all of the rest of the fight was very close, but I scored it a draw personally.  The judges were predictably slanted, with Gonzalo Valenzuela having it reasonable at 96-94, Chris Flores giving Ruiz every benefit of the doubt at 98-92, and Derek Zazuetta selling his judging soul to Ruiz at 99-91.  Obviously it’s not a stretch to claim Ruiz won the fight, and it’s hard to feel too sorry for Liakhovich considering how little he did throughout the fight when just a simple consistent jab alone could have won it for him, but this is nevertheless the first dent in the Ruiz armor, and will seriously affect his standing here, if not elsewhere.  For the record, if you gave either fighter all the debatable rounds, I think you could reasonably have had it anywhere between 98-92 for Ruiz and 97-93 for Liakhovich.

 

Backtracking to Thursday in Tokyo, a 5-8-2 fighter took Japanese Champion Kyotaro Fujimoto the 8-round distance on Thursday.  That’s not a good look for a guy who theoretically is a prospect on the world stage, but it might not be that bad. First, he seems to have won every round.  Second, his French opponent, David Radeff, appears to be one of those reasonably durable guys that only gets stopped by real punchers.  Cruiserweight contender Youri Kalenga stopped him twice, and an unbeaten Armenian managed to get him out of there, as well.  He’s at least gone the distance against everyone else.
 

 

Ruiz falls from the top 20 for the time being due to his poor performance.  He’s still a real prospect in my eyes, but he’s just not as advanced as I once saw him.  It may be that a little extra training is the only thing he’s lacking, but he was lacking it a great deal on Saturday.  A clear win may have boosted Liakhovich back to prominence, but a debatable draw, not so much.  He’s probably a low-30s guy at this point.  Everyone ranked #18 and below last week advances (appropriately including Bryant Jennings, who himself easily handled Liakhovich), and Alex Leapai returns at #20 after only a one-week absence.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (287-500-500)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- KO5 #5 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: 4/25/2015- vs. Unknown Opponent
Klitschko is officially fighting on April 25, and while his opponent is not as official, it’s widely believed that it will be Bryant Jennings.
1) Tyson Fury (45-45-45)
Last Fight: 11/29/2014- RTD10 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 2/28/2015- vs. Unknown Opponent
Fury wants Klitschko and has a mandatory position for that fight at some point.  He’ll be likely just staying busy on February 28 in London.
2) Alexander Povetkin (30-374-374)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- KO10 #7 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Nothing has been signed yet, but the WBC has given approval for Povetkin to fight an eliminator with Mike Perez.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (30-41-105)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- TKO7 Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/14/2015- vs. #9 Steve Cunningham
With Main Events behind both fighters, you could almost see this one coming.  Glazkov will take on Steve Cunningham, likely on NBC Sports, in March.
4) Amir Mansour (38-38-38)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- KO7 Fred Kassi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mansour’s power was brought to bear on the mediocre Kassi, who did a good job of hanging in there- perhaps for longer than most expected while losing every round.
5) Kubrat Pulev (45-138-215)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Back to the drawing board for the Bulgarian.  He at least mounted an attack.  That’s more than some challengers can say.
6) Carlos Takam (4-29-49)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- L (KO10) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam found the ceiling on his rise to the top in #2 Povetkin.  He actually appeared more than a match for the Russian early in the fight, but couldn’t hang in the later rounds.
7) Dereck Chisora (4-160-223)
Last Fight: 11/29/2014- L (RTD10) vs. #1 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: Unknown
Chisora apparently doesn’t want to leave the bad taste in his mouth from his last performance, as he is reportedly planning to fight again on February 28.  He is also said to be splitting from trainer Don Charles.
8) Bermane Stiverne (29-33-95)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: 1/17/2015- vs. #12 Deontay Wilder
Stiverne-Wilder is finally set for January 17 at the MGM Grand in Vegas, it would appear.
9) Steve Cunningham (29-105-105)
Last Fight: 10/18/2014- W (RTD7) vs. Natu Visinia (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/14/2015- vs. #3 Vyacheslav Glazkov
See Glazkov’s notes, above.
10) Tony Thompson (29-40-239)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: 1/24/2015 – vs. #11 Odlanier Solis
Maybe the third time will be the charm.  Thompson-Solis II gets its 3rd intended date on January 24.
11) Odlanier Solis (7-239)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
See Thompson’s notes, above.
12) Deontay Wilder (7-87)
Last Fight: 8/16/2014- W(RTD4) vs. Jason Gavern (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/17/2015 – vs. #8 Bermane Stiverne 
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
13) Chris Arreola (7-68)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola advised Boxingscene.com that he’s likely back in late January or February, and called out Antonio Tarver, as well.
14) Malik Scott (7-16)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- UD10 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: Unknown
After an apparently dominant win over Leapai, Scott is probably back in the mix for some sort of big fight.
15) Erkan Teper (7-69)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
16) Antonio Tarver (2-2)
Last Fight: 12/11/2014- TKO7 Johnathon Banks (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Tarver has recently challenged a comebacking David Haye.
 17) Bryant Jennings (1-22)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- W* (SD12) vs. Mike Perez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jennings is once again said to be in the running for a Klitschko shot.  After barely and perhaps undeservedly getting by Mike Perez, I’m not sure that’s a natural fit at this stage.
18) Artur Szpilka (1-7)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- W (UD10) vs. #11 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: 1/31/2015- vs. Unknown Opponent
Szpilka returned to camp just a week after the Adamek fight, as he is planning a return for January 31 in Torun, Poland.
19) Mike Perez (1-22)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- L* (SD12) vs. Bryant Jennings (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Perez looks like he’s on his way to a fight with Povetkin.
20) Alex Leapai (1-1)

Last Fight: 10/31/2014- L (UD10) vs. #20 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
 
 
 
THE WEEK AHEAD:
 Merry Christmas!

Heavyweight: 2014, Dec 15-21

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 13, 2016 by danboxing
In what has to be considered an upset, 46 year old Antonio Tarver easily handled whatever is left of the briefly relevant Johnathon Banks.  To Tarver’s credit, he chose his shots well and set them up nicely, and it was the best he looked since he was campaigning at light heavyweight.  On the other hand, Banks put forth a pathetic joke of a performance.  He only threw about 2 punches the whole fight that had any sort of intent behind them, and was dropped by Tarver before the fight was stopped on the ropes in the 7th.  

 

Unbeaten prospect Gerald Washington needed less than half a round to knock out journeyman Mike Sheppard, a Tarver knockout victim from 2013.  Sheppard was down twice in the 86 seconds the fight lasted.

 

Meanwhile, fellow undefeated American prospect Dominic Breazeale took *gasp* over a full minute longer to get rid of his own journeyman opponent, Epifanio Mendoza of Colombia.  This can be attributed to the fact that Mendoza is a generally competent operator in the ring, having spent some time in the top 50 at 175 and below.  He’s just a lot smaller, and thus similarly had no chance.  Like the bigger and less skilled Sheppard, though, Mendoza fell twice in the short fight.

 

Earlier that day in Moscow, 38 year old one loss…prospect…Alexander Ustinov kinda wasted a significant portion of what little time might be left for him to make a move in the division by fighting morbidly obese journeyman Chauncy Welliver.  The only video I could find of it was edited significantly, but even if I assume Welliver did well in the parts that were cut out, it’s hard to imagine he won a round.  But an 8-round decision over a guy like Welliver is no great accomplishment, especially for a guy looking to presumably make one last push toward a title.  As for his performance, I guess it might be about as expected.  He’s obviously very big- enough so to keep his opponent domesticated and timid- but his hands are slow and his technique robotic enough to prevent him from putting together combinations to any effect, or even generating the concussive power necessary to stop a relatively durable guy like Welliver.  I can’t say I was overly impressed.

 

6’7″ Polish steroid cheat Mariusz Wach is evidently looking to make up for lost time after his suspension and accompanying 2 year layoff, as he stepped into the ring for the second time since October, this time scoring a stoppage in 6 over faded former gatekeeper Travis Walker, who has now lost 6 in a row.  

 

Tarver makes his debut in the heavyweight rankings at #16.  Banks would have been ranked around #20 at the time of the fight if not ineligible for inactivity, but the loss prevents him from returning to the list.  Unfortunately for the division, he’s probably still in the top 25, though.  At 46, it may be that Tarver is the oldest fighter to ever make his debut in the top 20 of a given division.  I don’t have data to back that up, though.  Alex Leapai is bumped from the rankings after 55 consecutive weeks, and everyone else ranked #16 and below drops a slot.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (286-499-499)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- KO5 #5 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Klitschko plans to make his next defense on April 25.  Bryant Jennings appears likely.  That sounds undeserved, until you hear the other name that was being mentioned- Shannon Briggs.  Fury now has a mandatory position at some point, as well.
1) Tyson Fury (44-44-44)
Last Fight: 11/29/2014- RTD10 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury’s win over Chisora was stunningly easy.  Frankly he dominated by a lot more than did Vitali Klitschko when he met Chisora, and so the now eventually mandatory match-up with Wlad is looking more and more intriguing.  Anthony Joshua is also being discussed, though Fury himself seems to strongly prefer the former.
2) Alexander Povetkin (29-373-373)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- KO10 #7 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin’s finishing skills were quite impressive, but it might be a bit worrisome that he was clearly getting outboxed by Takam for a good chunk of the fight.  With the win, he now figures to eventually become the mandatory for the winner of Wilder-Stiverne.  His team seems to want Tyson Fury, though, which would be amazing.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (29-40-104)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- TKO7 Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/14/2015- vs. #9 Steve Cunningham
With Main Events behind both fighters, you could almost see this one coming.  Glazkov will take on Steve Cunningham, likely on NBC Sports, in March.
4) Amir Mansour (37-37-37)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- KO7 Fred Kassi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mansour’s power was brought to bear on the mediocre Kassi, who did a good job of hanging in there- perhaps for longer than most expected while losing every round.
5) Kubrat Pulev (44-137-214)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Back to the drawing board for the Bulgarian.  He at least mounted an attack.  That’s more than some challengers can say.
6) Carlos Takam (3-28-48)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- L (KO10) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam found the ceiling on his rise to the top in #2 Povetkin.  He actually appeared more than a match for the Russian early in the fight, but couldn’t hang in the later rounds.
7) Dereck Chisora (3-159-222)
Last Fight: 11/29/2014- L (RTD10) vs. #1 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: Unknown
Chisora apparently doesn’t want to leave the bad taste in his mouth from his last performance, as he is reportedly planning to fight again on February 28.  He is also said to be splitting from trainer Don Charles.
8) Bermane Stiverne (28-32-94)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: 1/17/2015- vs. #12 Deontay Wilder
Stiverne-Wilder is finally set for January 17 at the MGM Grand in Vegas, it would appear.
9) Steve Cunningham (28-104-104)
Last Fight: 10/18/2014- W (RTD7) vs. Natu Visinia (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/14/2015- vs. #3 Vyacheslav Glazkov
See Glazkov’s notes, above.
10) Tony Thompson (28-39-238)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: 1/24/2015 – vs. #11 Odlanier Solis
Maybe the third time will be the charm.  Thompson-Solis II gets its 3rd intended date on January 24.
11) Odlanier Solis (6-238)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
See Thompson’s notes, above.
12) Deontay Wilder (6-86)
Last Fight: 8/16/2014- W(RTD4) vs. Jason Gavern (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/17/2015 – vs. #8 Bermane Stiverne 
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
13) Chris Arreola (6-67)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
Bad news for Arreola fans- he’s reportedly pulled out of a planned December 11 return due to an elbow injury.  Elbow surgery is what he was trying to come back from in the first place.
14) Malik Scott (6-15)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- UD10 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: Unknown
After an apparently dominant win over Leapai, Scott is probably back in the mix for some sort of big fight.
15) Erkan Teper (6-68)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
16) Antonio Tarver (1-1)
Last Fight: 12/11/2014- TKO7 Johnathon Banks (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I doubted Tarver’s ability to succeed at heavyweight, let alone at his age.  So far, so good, though.  It will be interesting to see how he shows against someone psychologically capable of throwing a punch now and then.
17) Andy Ruiz (1-56)
Last Fight: 10/25/2014- TKO1 Kenny Lemos (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/20/2014- vs. Sergei Liakhovich (UNR)
Ruiz has rescheduled his planned October fight with faded former contender Liakhovich for December 20.
18) Bryant Jennings (1-21)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- W* (SD12) vs. Mike Perez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jennings is once again said to be in the running for a Klitschko shot.  After barely and perhaps undeservedly getting by Mike Perez, I’m not sure that’s a natural fit at this stage.
19) Artur Szpilka (1-6)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- W (UD10) vs. #11 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: 1/31/2015- vs. Unknown Opponent
Szpilka returned to camp just a week after the Adamek fight, as he is planning a return for January 31 in Torun, Poland.
20) Mike Perez (1-21)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- L* (SD12) vs. Bryant Jennings (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Perez is reportedly working with famed trainer Robert Garcia.
 
 
THE WEEK AHEAD:
Thursday
Kyotaro Fujimoto vs. Daniel Radeff; Tokyo, Japan; TV Unknown
Fujimoto is a borderline top 50 fighter, but pretty clearly the best heavyweight in Japan for what that’s worth.  His key accomplishment was outpointing pumped up, light hitting middleweight Nobuhiro Ishida in April.  Before that, he took a TKO loss in 2012 to fairly mediocre Kiwi slugger Solomon Haumono.  Opponent Radeff, to be perfectly blunt, is a French nobody.  Not only does he sport a 5-8-2 record, but he’s also a small cruiserweight in reality.  Fujimoto is probably not a world beater by any stretch, but Radeff’s only practical hope in this one is if the Japanese fighter breaks his leg tripping over his fallen opponent.

 

Saturday
#17 Andy Ruiz vs. Sergei Liakhovich; Phoenix, Arizona; Unimas (US) 
Ruiz will finally, I assume, get around to his long anticipated (for lack of a better term) fight with shopworn former contender Liakhovich.  It was delayed from an original date in September for a family issue.  Liakhovich is a sight better than Ruiz’s lone opponent in the interim, Kenny Lemos, but he’s a shell of his former self, to be sure, and I’m not sure he’ll last much longer than did the morbidly obese Lemos.

Heavyweight: 2014, Dec 8-14

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 10, 2016 by danboxing
Kiwi prospect Joseph Parker took care of business in Auckland Saturday, pulling off a highlight-reel knockout of Brazil’s Irinea Beato Costa, Jr.   I only saw the highlights, but it looked like Costa was similarly passive and defensive as when he fought Christian Hammer 5 weeks ago.  The difference is that Parker has put-away power and Hammer does not.  The fight ended in the 4th round after Parker put Costa on his back.

 

Fringe contender Francesco Pianeta escaped with a too close for comfort decision win over cruiserweight journeyman Ivica Bacurin.  Considering there is no video of the fight available online, you could look at the 116-112 (x2), 115-113 cards a few different ways.  Either a) Pianeta, as the huge favorite, got the benefit of the doubt and escaped from a fight he potentially lost, b) Bacurin got the the benefit of the doubt from the hometown judges in an underwhelming performance that Pianeta still clearly deserved to win, or c) the judges called it right, and Pianeta had a bad night that wasn’t bad enough to actually see him lose.  In any case, it obviously doesn’t do much for Pianeta’s career at this stage, at least not in the eyes of a reasonable observer.

 

No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (285-498-498)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- KO5 #5 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Klitschko plans to make his next defense on April 25.  Bryant Jennings appears likely.  That sounds undeserved, until you hear the other name that was being mentioned- Shannon Briggs.  Fury now has a mandatory position at some point, as well.
1) Tyson Fury (43-43-43)
Last Fight: 11/29/2014- RTD10 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury’s win over Chisora was stunningly easy.  Frankly he dominated by a lot more than did Vitali Klitschko when he met Chisora, and so the now eventually mandatory match-up with Wlad is looking more and more intriguing.  Anthony Joshua is also being discussed, though Fury himself seems to strongly prefer the former.
2) Alexander Povetkin (28-372-372)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- KO10 #7 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin’s finishing skills were quite impressive, but it might be a bit worrisome that he was clearly getting outboxed by Takam for a good chunk of the fight.  With the win, he now figures to eventually become the mandatory for the winner of Wilder-Stiverne.  His team seems to want Tyson Fury, though, which would be amazing.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (28-39-103)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- TKO7 Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/14/2015- vs. #9 Steve Cunningham
With Main Events behind both fighters, you could almost see this one coming.  Glazkov will take on Steve Cunningham, likely on NBC Sports, in March.
4) Amir Mansour (36-36-36)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- KO7 Fred Kassi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mansour’s power was brought to bear on the mediocre Kassi, who did a good job of hanging in there- perhaps for longer than most expected while losing every round.
5) Kubrat Pulev (43-136-213)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Back to the drawing board for the Bulgarian.  He at least mounted an attack.  That’s more than some challengers can say.
6) Carlos Takam (2-27-47)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- L (KO10) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam found the ceiling on his rise to the top in #2 Povetkin.  He actually appeared more than a match for the Russian early in the fight, but couldn’t hang in the later rounds.
7) Dereck Chisora (2-158-221)
Last Fight: 11/29/2014- L (RTD10) vs. #1 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: Unknown
Chisora apparently doesn’t want to leave the bad taste in his mouth from his last performance, as he is reportedly planning to fight again on February 28.
8) Bermane Stiverne (27-31-93)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: 1/17/2015- vs. #12 Deontay Wilder
Stiverne-Wilder is finally set for January 17 at the MGM Grand in Vegas, it would appear.
9) Steve Cunningham (27-103-103)
Last Fight: 10/18/2014- W (RTD7) vs. Natu Visinia (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/14/2015- vs. #3 Vyacheslav Glazkov
See Glazkov’s notes, above.
10) Tony Thompson (27-38-237)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: 1/24/2015 – vs. #11 Odlanier Solis
Maybe the third time will be the charm.  Thompson-Solis II gets its 3rd intended date on January 24.
11) Odlanier Solis (5-237)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
See Thompson’s notes, above.
12) Deontay Wilder (5-85)
Last Fight: 8/16/2014- W(RTD4) vs. Jason Gavern (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/17/2015 – vs. #8 Bermane Stiverne 
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
13) Chris Arreola (5-66)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
Bad news for Arreola fans- he’s reportedly pulled out of a planned December 11 return due to an elbow injury.  Elbow surgery is what he was trying to come back from in the first place.
14) Malik Scott (5-14)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- UD10 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: Unknown
After an apparently dominant win over Leapai, Scott is probably back in the mix for some sort of big fight.
15) Erkan Teper (5-67)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/13/2014- vs. Johann Duhaupas (UNR)
Teper will apparently be defending his European title against France’s Johann Duhaupas in Germany on December 13.
16) Andy Ruiz (5-55)
Last Fight: 10/25/2014- TKO1 Kenny Lemos (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/20/2014- vs. Sergei Liakhovich (UNR)
Ruiz has rescheduled his planned October fight with faded former contender Liakhovich for December 20.
17) Bryant Jennings (5-20)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- W* (SD12) vs. Mike Perez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jennings is once again said to be in the running for a Klitschko shot.  After barely and perhaps undeservedly getting by Mike Perez, I’m not sure that’s a natural fit at this stage.
18) Artur Szpilka (5-5)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- W (UD10) vs. #11 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: 1/31/2015- vs. Unknown Opponent
Szpilka returned to camp just a week after the Adamek fight, as he is planning a return for January 31 in Torun, Poland.
19) Mike Perez (14-20)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- L* (SD12) vs. Bryant Jennings (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Perez is reportedly working with famed trainer Robert Garcia.
20) Alex Leapai (6-55)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- L (UD10) vs. #20 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
It looks pretty clear now that Leapai’s win over Boytsov was more about Boytsov’s shortcomings than Leapai’s quality.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Thursday
Alexander Ustinov vs. Chauncey Welliver; Moscow, Russia; TV Unknown
We saw what Welliver is bringing to the table these days just a matter of weeks ago against Lucas Browne.  I guess for those of you interested in comparing Browne to Ustinov (a hobby that’s all the rage these days, I’m sure), you’ll get a treat in this one.

 

Johnathan Banks vs. Antonio Tarver; Temecula, California; ESPN2 (US)
Tarver has been out of the ring a little over a year, and hasn’t been in the ring against anyone half-decent in over 2 1/2.  He looked kinda stiff-legged and old the last time around.  Not only that, but it’s kind of an open question as to when the last time he was in against someone half-decent without the help of steroids.  The last time he was in against a half-decent heavyweight was, at best, 4 years ago, assuming you count Nagy Aguilera.  These facts don’t bode well for him against Banks who, while he did lose his last fight almost 18 months ago to a guy that was later stopped in one by Chris Arreola, is at least something like a fringe contender at or around his prime in his early 30s.  On the bright side, Banks could probably still make cruiserweight, so he may give Tarver one of his better shots as among notable heavyweights.

 

Gerald Washington vs. Mike Sheppard; Temecula, California; ESPN2 (US)
Remember when I mentioned Tarver’s last fight and implied it wasn’t against a half-decent opponent?  Washington is fighting that same guy on the undercard.  Not sure if this will make TV on a deep card.

 

Dominic Breazeale vs. Epifanio Mendoza; Temecula, CA; ESPN2 (US)
In another fight that might not make the telecast, former Olympian Breazeale looks to showcase his power against a 39 year-old Colombian journeyman who could last have been called anything better than that, if you’re being charitable, about 5 years ago at light heavyweight.  His glory days as a low-level gatekeeper were really at middleweight and 168, though.

 

Friday
Mariusz Wach vs. Travis Walker; Radom, Poland; TV Unknown 
Wach takes a step towards getting back in contention.  His last opponent in October was a durable but unskilled journeyman.  Walker is 35 and clearly past his prime after 5 straight losses, but he was a top 50 fighter less than 2 years ago and is a halfway decent name for Wach to build upon, if nothing else.

Heavyweight: 2014, Dec 1-7

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 9, 2016 by danboxing
 
#1 Tyson Fury on Saturday seemingly put his rivalry with the even more controversial Dereck Chisora to rest permanently.  Going into the fight, there were many who believed an in-shape Chisora might be able to beat Fury, despite the clear decision a fat and lazy Chisora had dropped back in 2011.  This time, Chisora came in at a respectable 241.5 lbs.  That’s not absolutely tip-top shape for him, but it’s similar to his size against Helenius and Klitschko, and almost 20 pounds less than his first fight with Fury.  All in all, you have to say he was ready for the fight at least in terms of weight.  But if he was improved since the 2011 version of himself, you’d have to say Fury has improved a great deal more.  Fury was able to control him virtually with nothing but the jab, and Chisora couldn’t remotely get inside to do any kind of work.  Having been reduced to the occasional lunging attempt, Chisora finally gave up and retired in his corner after 10 one-sided rounds.

 

On the undercard, Eddie Chambers continued his very slow-burning comeback attempt by dropping and stopping 8-3 novice Dorian Darch in the 3rd round of a scheduled 8.  The fight didn’t make the telecast, so that’s all I can tell you.

 

The proper ranking of Chisora as compared to Carlos Takam is very tricky.  Neither guy has ever lost to anyone ranked below #2 unless that guy was still on his way to that ranking or higher.  Both have beaten top 10 fighters.  Takam’s triumph over Tony Thompson was a lot more recent than Chisora’s clear but stolen win over Helenius in 2011, though Helenius at #4 was ranked significantly higher than #9 Thompson.  The rest of the resumes favor Chisora for quantity and Takam for quality.  The deciding factor, though, is Takam’s comparatively recent success, and he therefore slips by Chisora to #6, despite his own recent defeat at a similar level.  He did show a lot better against Povetkin than did Chisora against Fury, though.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (284-497-497)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- KO5 #5 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Klitschko plans to make his next defense in the Spring.  Bryant Jennings has been mentioned.  That sounds undeserved, until you hear the other name being mentioned- Shannon Briggs.  Fury now has a mandatory position at some point, as well.
1) Tyson Fury (42-42-42)
Last Fight: 11/29/2014- RTD10 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury’s win over Chisora was stunningly easy.  Frankly he dominated by a lot more than did Vitali Klitschko when he met Chisora, and so the now eventually mandatory match-up with Wlad is looking more and more intriguing.
2) Alexander Povetkin (27-371-371)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- KO10 #7 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin’s finishing skills were quite impressive, but it might be a bit worrisome that he was clearly getting outboxed by Takam for a good chunk of the fight.  With the win, he now figures to eventually become the mandatory for the winner of Wilder-Stiverne.  His team seems to want Tyson Fury, though, which would be amazing.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (27-38-102)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- TKO7 Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
An easy stoppage win for Glazkov over Wilson will hopefully be a quick confidence boost after he struggled mightily against mediocre opposition last time around.
4) Amir Mansour (35-35-35)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- KO7 Fred Kassi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mansour’s power was brought to bear on the mediocre Kassi, who did a good job of hanging in there- perhaps for longer than most expected while losing every round.
5) Kubrat Pulev (42-135-212)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Back to the drawing board for the Bulgarian.  He at least mounted an attack.  That’s more than some challengers can say.
6) Carlos Takam (1-26-46)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- L (KO10) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam found the ceiling on his rise to the top in #2 Povetkin.  He actually appeared more than a match for the Russian early in the fight, but couldn’t hang in the later rounds.
7) Dereck Chisora (1-157-220)
Last Fight: 11/29/2014- L (RTD10) vs. #1 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: Unknown
Chisora looks to now rebuild from easily the worst performance of his career.
8) Bermane Stiverne (26-30-92)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: 1/17/2015- vs. #12 Deontay Wilder
Stiverne-Wilder is finally set for January 17 at the MGM Grand in Vegas, it would appear.
9) Steve Cunningham (26-102-102)
Last Fight: 10/18/2014- W (RTD7) vs. Natu Visinia (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite some scary moments with the much bigger relative novice Visinia, Cunningham ultimately took care of business.
10) Tony Thompson (26-37-236)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: 1/24/2015 – vs. #11 Odlanier Solis
Maybe the third time will be the charm.  Thompson-Solis II gets its 3rd intended date on January 24.
11) Odlanier Solis (4-236)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
See Thompson’s notes, above.
12) Deontay Wilder (4-84)
Last Fight: 8/16/2014- W(RTD4) vs. Jason Gavern (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/17/2015 – vs. #8 Bermane Stiverne 
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
13) Chris Arreola (4-65)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
Bad news for Arreola fans- he’s reportedly pulled out of a planned December 11 return due to an elbow injury.  Elbow surgery is what he was trying to come back from in the first place.
14) Malik Scott (4-13)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- UD10 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: Unknown
After an apparently dominant win over Leapai, Scott is probably back in the mix for some sort of big fight.
15) Erkan Teper (4-66)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/13/2014- vs. Johann Duhaupas (UNR)
Teper will apparently be defending his European title against France’s Johann Duhaupas in Germany on December 13.
16) Andy Ruiz (4-54)
Last Fight: 10/25/2014- TKO1 Kenny Lemos (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/20/2014- vs. Sergei Liakhovich (UNR)
Ruiz has rescheduled his planned October fight with faded former contender Liakhovich for December 20.
17) Bryant Jennings (4-19)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- W* (SD12) vs. Mike Perez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jennings is once again said to be in the running for a Klitschko shot.  After barely and perhaps undeservedly getting by Mike Perez, I’m not sure that’s a natural fit at this stage.
18) Artur Szpilka (4-4)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- W (UD10) vs. #11 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: 1/31/2015- vs. Unknown Opponent
Szpilka returned to camp just a week after the Adamek fight, as he is planning a return for January 31 in Torun, Poland.
19) Mike Perez (13-19)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- L* (SD12) vs. Bryant Jennings (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Perez is reportedly working with famed trainer Robert Garcia.
20) Alex Leapai (5-54)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- L (UD10) vs. #20 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
It looks pretty clear now that Leapai’s win over Boytsov was more about Boytsov’s shortcomings than Leapai’s quality.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Saturday
Joseph Parker vs. Irineu Beato Costa Jr.; Hamilton, New Zealand; TV Unknown
If there’s one criticism you can’t lob at Costa, it’s that he’s not busy enough.  He is back in against one of the world’s top prospects just 5 weeks after a lifeless performance against Christian Hammer in which he won zero rounds on any of the three cards.  He had been undefeated to that point.  But in no time flat, he’s embraced his new life as a travelling opponent.  At least he might be the kind of guy that can give a beast like Parker some rounds.

 

Francesco Pianeta vs. Ivica Bacurin; Budapest, Hungary; Magyar TV (Hungary)
I’ve previewed this fight before, back before it was postponed from a November date due to Pianeta getting a case of the flu.  Here’s what I said then: Bacurin is a career-long journeyman who pretty much always loses to the guys you’ve heard of or soon will, and pretty much always beats the guys you’ll never hear about.  Pianeta is the former.  Unfortunately for Bacurin, he’s also a natural cruiserweight, while Pianeta is a big heavyweight.  Hard to like the chances of the underdog in this one.

Heavyweight: 2014, Nov 24-30

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 9, 2016 by danboxing
44 year old Gatekeeper Kali Meehan continued his late-career resurgence on Saturday in Auckland by outpointing the once decent but, at 37, apparently completely finished Shane Cameron.  Scores were 97-93, 98-92, and 99-91.  I couldn’t find a video, and thus have no comment on the scoring.

 

 In perhaps his toughest test to date (at least on paper), blue chip British prospect Anthony Joshua showed why the hype is justified, obliterating Michael Sprott in less than a round.  Sprott has traditionally tested all but the absolute elite, and won Prizefighter in 2014 against a middling field before failing in the finals of the New Zealand version of the tournament.  That loss, a first-round knockout to Meehan, may have put the writing on the wall for this one, since even if he doesn’t fulfill the prophecies about him, Anthony Joshua is clearly a lot better than Meehan ever was.  Granted, the Prizefighter/Super 8 format can yield an unlevel playing field and Sprott wasn’t as fresh at that stage was was Meehan, but still.  Joshua shows fantastic power, punching technique, and offensive footwork.  The only thing I haven’t yet seen from him is how well he takes a punch and/or defends against them.  That’s not a bad commentary on what a guy’s doing in the ring by any means, but until it should happen, he’s still got that one question remaining about his overall game.

 

Finally, in a low-profile scrap in Indianapolis, former fringe contender Franklin Lawrence returned from a layoff of nearly 2 years to stop Ghanaian journeyman Daniel Adotey Allotey in 3 rounds.  Allotey is nothing to write hope about in terms of competition, but the return to activity alone is enough to get Lawrence back into the mix.  He was ranked #21 unofficially when he was removed early this year.  Comparing him to the current field, I’d say he’s still in the top 30.

 

Speaking of the top 30, that’s around where Anthony Joshua began the night.  With Sprott being almost identically positioned as compared to Joshua’s most recent prior victim, Bakhtov, as a very borderline member of the top 50, Joshua gets a mild boost from quantity, but in my book only manages to edge past Gerald Washington and close to the top 25.  As for the top 20, no changes.
 

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (283-496-496)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- KO5 #5 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Klitschko plans to make his next defense in the Spring.  Bryant Jennings has been mentioned.  That sounds undeserved, until you hear the other name being mentioned- Shannon Briggs.
1) Tyson Fury (41-41-41)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2014- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
Fury-Chisora II has been moved back a week, to November 29.
2) Alexander Povetkin (26-370-370)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- KO10 #7 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin’s finishing skills were quite impressive, but it might be a bit worrisome that he was clearly getting outboxed by Takam for a good chunk of the fight.  With the win, he now figures to eventually become the mandatory for the winner of Wilder-Stiverne.  His team seems to want Tyson Fury, though, which would be amazing.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (26-37-101)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- TKO7 Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
An easy stoppage win for Glazkov over Wilson will hopefully be a quick confidence boost after he struggled mightily against mediocre opposition last time around.
4) Amir Mansour (34-34-34)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- KO7 Fred Kassi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mansour’s power was brought to bear on the mediocre Kassi, who did a good job of hanging in there- perhaps for longer than most expected while losing every round.
5) Kubrat Pulev (41-134-211)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Back to the drawing board for the Bulgarian.  He at least mounted an attack.  That’s more than some challengers can say.
6) Dereck Chisora (41-156-219)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Carlos Takam (25-25-45)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- L (KO10) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam found the ceiling on his rise to the top in #2 Povetkin.  He actually appeared more than a match for the Russian early in the fight, but couldn’t hang in the later rounds.
8) Bermane Stiverne (25-29-91)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: 1/17/2015- vs. #12 Deontay Wilder
Stiverne-Wilder is finally set for January 17 at the MGM Grand in Vegas, it would appear.
9) Steve Cunningham (25-101-101)
Last Fight: 10/18/2014- W (RTD7) vs. Natu Visinia (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite some scary moments with the much bigger relative novice Visinia, Cunningham ultimately took care of business.
10) Tony Thompson (25-36-235)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
The Thompson-Solis rematch set for November 22 has apparently been postponed again, or perhaps canceled, due to another Solis ankle injury.
11) Odlanier Solis (3-235)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
See Thompson’s notes, above.
12) Deontay Wilder (3-83)
Last Fight: 8/16/2014- W(RTD4) vs. Jason Gavern (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/17/2015 – vs. #8 Bermane Stiverne 
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
13) Chris Arreola (3-64)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
Bad news for Arreola fans- he’s reportedly pulled out of a planned December 11 return due to an elbow injury.  Elbow surgery is what he was trying to come back from in the first place.
14) Malik Scott (3-12)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- UD10 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: Unknown
After an apparently dominant win over Leapai, Scott is probably back in the mix for some sort of big fight.
15) Erkan Teper (3-65)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/13/2014- vs. Johann Duhaupas (UNR)
Teper will apparently be defending his European title against France’s Johann Duhaupas in Germany on December 13.
16) Andy Ruiz (3-53)
Last Fight: 10/25/2014- TKO1 Kenny Lemos (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/20/2014- vs. Sergei Liakhovich (UNR)
Ruiz has rescheduled his planned October fight with faded former contender Liakhovich for December 20.
17) Bryant Jennings (3-18)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- W* (SD12) vs. Mike Perez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jennings is once again said to be in the running for a Klitschko shot.  After barely and perhaps undeservedly getting by Mike Perez, I’m not sure that’s a natural fit at this stage.
18) Artur Szpilka (3-3)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- W (UD10) vs. #11 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: 1/31/2015- vs. Unknown Opponent
Szpilka returned to camp just a week after the Adamek fight, as he is planning a return for January 31 in Torun, Poland.
19) Mike Perez (12-18)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- L* (SD12) vs. Bryant Jennings (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Alex Leapai (4-53)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- L (UD10) vs. #20 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
It looks pretty clear now that Leapai’s win over Boytsov was more about Boytsov’s shortcomings than Leapai’s quality.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Friday
Zoltan Petranyi vs. Temoo Tamaititahio; Papeete, French Polynesia; TV Unknown
You don’t really hear a lot about Petranyi, and maybe with good reason.  But he’s actually kind of an unlikely, if borderline, member of the top 50.  He began his career in 1996 and was under .500 going into his 28th fight in 2005.  He’s hardly been perfect since then, but hasn’t really been within shouting distance of .500 in about a decade.  He’s also 48 years old.  At the moment, he’s on a 15-fight win streak.  Most of that was against very weak opposition, but his last two came against halfway credible journeymen/prospects on the domestic level.  He’s now the Hungarian champion, and this weekend he’ll fight on the road in French Polynesia against a 40-year old local who has still never fought anyone, but is nevertheless trying to rebound from his first career loss.  I don’t know that there’s a whole lot of rhyme or reason to this fight, but Petranyi’s career is interesting enough to deserve a comment or two.

 

Saturday
#1 Tyson Fury vs. #6 Dereck Chisora; London, England; Sky (UK)
This is a highly anticipated rematch between Britain and the Commonwealth’s two best (or at least most proven) active Heavyweights.  Fury comprehensively outboxed Chisora in the last meeting to win a one-sided decision, but many saw his win as almost a default, since Chisora inexplicably came in fat and woefully underprepared.  Since then, he’s shown considerable mettle in defeating Robert Helenius (I know), Malik Scott (I know), Edmund Gerber, Ondrej Pala, and Kevin Johnson, as well as giving Vitali Klitschko perhaps the best challenge he’d had since Lennox Lewis.  If Chisora trains decently, there are a lot of people that think he might end Fury’s impressive run.

 

Eddie Chambers vs. Dorian Darch; London, England; Sky (UK)
Chambers returns from a 3-week layoff, and steps back down from the mediocre journeyman level to the novice level when he fights Welshman Dorian Darch.  Darch may sound like a Bond or Star Wars villain, but he’s not really that threatening.  At 8-3, he’s been beaten by Anthony Joshua, Hughie Fury, and Ian Lewison, and has never beaten anyone with both a winning record and 5 or more wins. Not sure if this one makes the broadcast or not.
 

Heavyweight: 2014, Nov 17-23

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 5, 2016 by danboxing
The highlight of the week was another defense of the Heavyweight Championship by Wladimir Klitschko.  This one was more entertaining than most, though.  His challenger, #5 Kubrat Pulev, actually landed a hard shot here and there, a few of which weren’t to the back of the head (though many were), which is something we haven’t seen in a while.  This was likely due to Klitschko’s uncharacteristic willingness to mix it up with the Bulgarian.  Still, even in more of an action fight than he’s used to, Klitschko dominated, knocking Pulev down 4 times while winning every round, including a clean knockout in the 5th.  As a side note, the normally excellent referee Tony Weeks let Pulev get away with a ton of rabbit punches, essentially without incident. 

 

In my preview last week, I mentioned two chubby heavyweights in Lucas Browne and Chauncy Welliver.  Browne actually came in looking relatively fit this time around, having shed 7 pounds since his outing against Andriy Rudenko in August, and 17 pounds since he fought Eric Martel Bahoeli in April.  He even looked quicker this time around, and was able to let loose with combinations when called for, something we didn’t really see in the Rudenko fight.  The same couldn’t be said for Welliver.  I saw the often flabby but affable Spokane native when he fought in Kansas City in 2011.  Back then, I was actually impressed that a fighter noted more for his excessive flab than his actually decent skills was able to come to the ring looking like a semi-plausible fighter at a pudgy but capable 238.  At 304, as he weighed for this fight, he frankly makes a joke out of himself, making Chris Arreola at his absolute worst look like Charles Atlas.  Even at that weight, he flashed skills for a round or two, but by round 5 he was looking for a way out, even turning his back at one time as his left eye closed completely.  The fight was stopped in the corner after that round- a round that Browne dominated, primarily with right hands.

 

Losing even dominantly/painfully to the Champ really doesn’t hurt even as high as a #5 contender.  He’s been entrenched as the unquestionable best in the division so deeply, that really no loss to him would likely affect one’s standing with respect to anyone else.  As for Browne, his opposition simply wasn’t good enough to affect his ranking, either.  No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (282-495-495)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- KO5 #5 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Klitschko plans to make his next defense in the Spring.
1) Tyson Fury (40-40-40)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2014- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
Fury-Chisora II has been moved back a week, to November 29.
2) Alexander Povetkin (25-369-369)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- KO10 #7 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin’s finishing skills were quite impressive, but it might be a bit worrisome that he was clearly getting outboxed by Takam for a good chunk of the fight.  With the win, he now figures to eventually become the mandatory for the winner of Wilder-Stiverne.  His team seems to want Tyson Fury, though, which would be amazing.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (25-36-100)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- TKO7 Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
An easy stoppage win for Glazkov over Wilson will hopefully be a quick confidence boost after he struggled mightily against mediocre opposition last time around.
4) Amir Mansour (33-33-33)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- KO7 Fred Kassi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mansour’s power was brought to bear on the mediocre Kassi, who did a good job of hanging in there- perhaps for longer than most expected while losing every round.
5) Kubrat Pulev (40-133-210)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Back to the drawing board for the Bulgarian.  He at least mounted an attack.  That’s more than some challengers can say.
6) Dereck Chisora (40-155-218)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Carlos Takam (24-24-44)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- L (KO10) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam found the ceiling on his rise to the top in #2 Povetkin.  He actually appeared more than a match for the Russian early in the fight, but couldn’t hang in the later rounds.
8) Bermane Stiverne (24-28-90)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #12 Deontay Wilder
Stiverne-Wilder is finally signed.  Details haven’t been finalized, but it’s apparently looking like mid-January in either Vegas or New York.
9) Steve Cunningham (24-100-100)
Last Fight: 10/18/2014- W (RTD7) vs. Natu Visinia (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite some scary moments with the much bigger relative novice Visinia, Cunningham ultimately took care of business.
10) Tony Thompson (24-35-234)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
The Thompson-Solis rematch set for November 22 has apparently been postponed again, or perhaps canceled, due to another Solis ankle injury.
11) Odlanier Solis (2-234)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
See Thompson’s notes, above.
12) Deontay Wilder (2-82)
Last Fight: 8/16/2014- W(RTD4) vs. Jason Gavern (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date – vs. #8 Bermane Stiverne 
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
13) Chris Arreola (2-63)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: 12/11/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Arreola is scheduled to return from an elbow injury on December 11 in Temecula, California, but no opponent yet.
14) Malik Scott (2-11)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- UD10 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: Unknown
After an apparently dominant win over Leapai, Scott is probably back in the mix for some sort of big fight.
15) Erkan Teper (2-64)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/13/2014- vs. Johann Duhaupas (UNR)
Teper will apparently be defending his European title against France’s Johann Duhaupas in Germany on December 13.
16) Andy Ruiz (2-52)
Last Fight: 10/25/2014- TKO1 Kenny Lemos (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/20/2014- vs. Sergei Liakhovich (UNR)
Ruiz has rescheduled his planned October fight with faded former contender Liakhovich for December 20.
17) Bryant Jennings (2-17)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- W* (SD12) vs. Mike Perez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jennings is once again said to be in the running for a Klitschko shot.  After barely and perhaps undeservedly getting by Mike Perez, I’m not sure that’s a natural fit at this stage.
18) Artur Szpilka (2-2)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- W (UD10) vs. #11 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
In the immediate aftermath of his victory over Adamek, Szpilka says he’d like to fight Andy Ruiz.
19) Mike Perez (11-17)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- L* (SD12) vs. Bryant Jennings (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Perez was said to be planning a fight in Cork, Ireland in November, but I’m assuming that’s off since I’ve heard nothing about it in several weeks.
20) Alex Leapai (3-52)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- L (UD10) vs. #20 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
It looks pretty clear now that Leapai’s win over Boytsov was more about Boytsov’s shortcomings than Leapai’s quality.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Saturday
Kali Meehan vs. Shane Cameron; Auckland, New Zealand; Sky Arena (New Zealand)
Meehan is 44, but recently rejuvenated his essentially finished career with a surprise victory in the Super 8 Heavyweight tournament (New Zealand’s version of Prizefighter) that included a knockout of Michael Sprott.  Cameron is practically a pup at only 37, but he’s in need of a similar rejuvenation, himself, having been dominated and stopped by Brian Minto in his last fight.  The prize is the privilege of joining or remaining in the top 50.

 

Anthony Joshua vs. Michael Sprott; Liverpool, England; Sky (UK)
Having been mentioned in the paragraph above as a recent Kali Meehan knockout victim, you know Michael Sprott is not necessarily in a good place right now.  A year ago around this time, he was winning Prizefighter and roughly a top 25 fighter.  At the moment, he’s just fodder for the rise of Anthony Joshua.  Barring an historic upset, the question isn’t who will win, but in what round Joshua will stop Sprott.

 

Franklin Lawrence vs. Daniel Adotey Allotey; Indianapolis, Indiana; Off TV
Lawrence was ranked in the top 20 as recently as last September, but hasn’t fought since January of that year, and hadn’t fought anybody remotely notable since 2011.  Allotey will not change that.  An 11-year veteran, he has nevertheless never beaten anyone good whatsoever, and turned pro at light middleweight.
 

Heavyweight: 2014, Nov 10-16

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 3, 2016 by danboxing
#11 Tomasz Adamek came into his all-Polish showdown with one-loss prospect Artur Szpilka looking for redemption after a beatdown at the hands of Vyacheslav Glazkov.  What he found instead may very well be the end of his career- almost certainly so in terms of his career as a world-class heavyweight.  Szpilka dominated most of the early rounds.  Adamek willed his way to victory in a few of the mid-to-late rounds as Szpilka appeared to be sitting on his lead by dancing on the outside a little bit too much, but it was apparent virtually from bell to bell that Szpilka was the bigger, stronger, faster, quicker, and livelier of the two fighters.  That leaves very little to Adamek’s benefit but heart, and though he used it to its full advantage, it simply wasn’t enough.  I had it 96-94, as did judges Pawel Kardyni and Valerie Dorsett.  Howard John Foster had it reasonably wider at 98-92.  It’s hard to see a path to continued relevancy for Adamek, having lost consecutive fights to prospects that haven’t really looked all that impressive when fighting anyone but him.

 

In a fight that was only carried for 2 of its rounds plus highlights on Britain’s Channel 5, Eddie Chambers from all appearances chased around a terrified Brazilian in the rather tall Marcelo Nascimento for 8 full rounds.  Nascimento was on the canvas several times, 3 of which were counted as knockdowns, and Chambers landed some nice right hands in the two rounds and change that I saw, though to be honest Nascimento may have gone down as much from tripping over himself trying to get away from Chambers as from any actual punch.  Chambers was visibly frustrated at not stopping the Brazilian as had Joseph Parker earlier in the year, but had only himself to blame.  Chambers looked amateurish in his pursuit, as he was completely unable to cut the ring.  Lone judge and referee Bob Williams saw it 79-71, which means he must have found 3 rounds even when doing the math on the 3 knockdowns.  I didn’t see the whole fight, and I would normally be critical of a judge punting on that many rounds, but it’s simply not right to ask one man to simultaneously do two jobs that require one’s full concentration to do correctly.

 

#3 Vyacheslav Glazkov stopped journeyman Darnell Wilson in 7th of a scheduled 10 on the Kovalev-Hopkins non-televised undercard.  It seems that you had to have been there to see it, so that’s about all I can say about the fight.

 

In a match-up that, on paper, was worse than Glazkov-Wilson and Chambers-Nascimento and much worse than Adamek-Szpilka, but which was the only one to get any American TV coverage, #4 Amir Mansour took probably longer than expected to dispose of Fred Kassi, a woefully unproven 18-2 journeyman that did just enough to hang around with the much better, much more experienced Mansour.  Kassi got a bit of hero worship from the broadcasters at NBC Sports despite losing every round pretty clearly, and was ultimately chopped down in the corner for a 7th round KO that was pretty scary in its viciousness.

 

A planned fight between Francesco Pianeta and Ivica Bacurin was canceled a few days before the fight due to Pianeta coming down with the flu.

 

Adamek falls from the top 20 despite his long resume, the positivity of which ended in 2012.  Since then, he’s won by robbery against Steve Cunningham, been bludgeoned by Vyacheslav Glazkov (whom frankly I felt at the time was lucky to be in the top 20), and been outpointed by Szpilka, who was stopped by Jennings, a lower-tier member of the top 20 currently.  Szpilka would debut higher, but gets stuck behind the man who beat him at #18.  Everyone ranked #12-18 last week moves up a spot.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (281-494-494)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: 11/15/2014- vs. #5 Kubrat Pulev
The Pulev defense has now been rescheduled for November 15.
1) Tyson Fury (39-39-39)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2014- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
Fury-Chisora II has been moved back a week, to November 29.
2) Alexander Povetkin (24-368-368)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- KO10 #7 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin’s finishing skills were quite impressive, but it might be a bit worrisome that he was clearly getting outboxed by Takam for a good chunk of the fight.  With the win, he now figures to eventually become the mandatory for the winner of Wilder-Stiverne.  His team seems to want Tyson Fury, though, which would be amazing.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (24-35-99)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- TKO7 Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
An easy stoppage win for Glazkov over Wilson will hopefully be a quick confidence boost after he struggled mightily against mediocre opposition last time around.
4) Amir Mansour (32-32-32)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- KO7 Fred Kassi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mansour’s power was brought to bear on the mediocre Kassi, who did a good job of hanging in there- perhaps for longer than most expected while losing every round.
5) Kubrat Pulev (39-132-209)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/15/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Klitschko’s notes, above.
6) Dereck Chisora (39-154-217)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Carlos Takam (23-23-43)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- L (KO10) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam found the ceiling on his rise to the top in #2 Povetkin.  He actually appeared more than a match for the Russian early in the fight, but couldn’t hang in the later rounds.
8) Bermane Stiverne (23-27-89)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #12 Deontay Wilder
Stiverne-Wilder is finally signed.  Details haven’t been finalized, but it’s apparently looking like mid-January in either Vegas or New York.
9) Steve Cunningham (23-99-99)
Last Fight: 10/18/2014- W (RTD7) vs. Natu Visinia (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite some scary moments with the much bigger relative novice Visinia, Cunningham ultimately took care of business.
10) Tony Thompson (23-34-233)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: 11/22/2014- vs. #11 Odlanier Solis
The Thompson-Solis rematch has been postponed due to a Solis ankle injury, with a new date of November 22.
11) Odlanier Solis (1-233)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 11/22/2014- vs. #10 Tony Thompson
See Thompson’s notes, above.
12) Deontay Wilder (1-81)
Last Fight: 8/16/2014- W(RTD4) vs. Jason Gavern (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date – vs. #8 Bermane Stiverne 
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
13) Chris Arreola (1-62)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: 12/11/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Arreola is scheduled to return from an elbow injury on December 11 in Temecula, California, but no opponent yet.
14) Malik Scott (1-10)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- UD10 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: Unknown
After an apparently dominant win over Leapai, Scott is probably back in the mix for some sort of big fight.
15) Erkan Teper (1-63)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/13/2014- vs. Johann Duhaupas (UNR)
Teper will apparently be defending his European title against France’s Johann Duhaupas in Germany on December 13.
16) Andy Ruiz (1-51)
Last Fight: 10/25/2014- TKO1 Kenny Lemos (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/20/2014- vs. Sergei Liakhovich (UNR)
Ruiz has rescheduled his planned October fight with faded former contender Liakhovich for December 20.
17) Bryant Jennings (1-16)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- W* (SD12) vs. Mike Perez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Reasonable minds can disagree on the correct result of Jennings-Perez.  What’s clear, though, is that Jennings is not nearly ready for Klitschko, a fight some of his supporters have been proposing for a while now.  He himself appears to want the Wilder-Stiverne winner, which might be more within his competency.
18) Artur Szpilka (1-1)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- W (UD10) vs. #11 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
In the immediate aftermath of his victory over Adamek, Szpilka says he’d like to fight Andy Ruiz.

19) Mike Perez (10-16)

Last Fight: 7/26/2014- L* (SD12) vs. Bryant Jennings (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Perez was said to be planning a fight in Cork, Ireland in November, but I’m assuming that’s off since I’ve heard nothing about it in several weeks.
20) Alex Leapai (2-51)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- L (UD10) vs. #20 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
It looks pretty clear now that Leapai’s win over Boytsov was more about Boytsov’s shortcomings than Leapai’s quality.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Wednesday
Lucas Browne vs. Chauncey Welliver; Melbourne, Australia; Main Event PPV (Australia)
A couple pudgy heavyweights meet up in this one from the undercard of Rabchenko-Mundine.  Welliver is a reasonably competent journeyman and a very nice fellow who I have met and spoken to, but as long as Browne puts forth something close to a par effort, Chauncy doesn’t have the tools to compete with the visibly much stronger Australian.  In recent years, Welliver, who legitimately loves paying sanctioning fees to compete for minor alphabet belts, has been outpointed by Kyotaro Fujimoto and Sherman Williams, though he did hold the latter to a majority decision that has to be considered somewhat impressive at that level.  He also owns wins over an ancient Bert Cooper and an extremely washed up Rob Calloway within the last five years.  The undefeated Browne dominated a rapidly declining James Toney over 12 rounds in 2013 and has since stopped two borderline top-50 gatekeepers and/or prospects in Richard Towers and Eric Martel Bahoeli, along with beating some lesser opponents.

 

Saturday
Champ Wladimir Klitschko vs. #5 Kubrat Pulev; Hamburg, Germany; HBO (US)
The Champ defends against one of the worthier contenders of his reign against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev.  Despite a solid resume including borderline top 10 victories over Tony Thompson and Alexander Dimitrenko along with a slew of gatekeepers, I don’t know that many people give Pulev a great shot to upend the Champion.  Still, he deserves his first shot about as much as anyone other than Tyson Fury at this point.
 

Heavyweight: 2014, Nov 3-9

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2016 by danboxing
I’ve been completely unable to locate video for the intriguing match-up in Australia between #20 Malik Scott and #16 Alex Leapai, but news reports seem to reveal virtual certainty that it was a dominant boxing performance by Scott, and that Leapai wasn’t able to get much of anything done.  Scores were 100-90, 99-91, and 98-92.  I have no alternative but to take that at face value and pass along that report as-is.

 

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

 

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

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (280-493-493)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: 11/15/2014- vs. #5 Kubrat Pulev
The Pulev defense has now been rescheduled for November 15.
1) Tyson Fury (38-38-38)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2014- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
Fury-Chisora II has been moved back a week, to November 29.
2) Alexander Povetkin (23-367-367)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- KO10 #7 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin’s finishing skills were quite impressive, but it might be a bit worrisome that he was clearly getting outboxed by Takam for a good chunk of the fight.  With the win, he now figures to eventually become the mandatory for the winner of Wilder-Stiverne.  His team seems to want Tyson Fury, though, which would be amazing.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (23-34-98)
Last Fight: 8/9/2014- W(MD10) vs. Derric Rossy (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/8/2014- vs. Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Glazkov is a late addition to the Hopkins-Kovalev undercard, where he will fight Darnell Wilson, a journeyman who was able to upend a compromised version of Juan Carlos Gomez a couple years ago.
4) Amir Mansour (31-31-31)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery L (UD10) vs. #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: 11/8/2014 – vs. Fred Kassi (UNR)
Mansour gets a stay-busy type fight against the unknown Fred Kassi, who despite a relatively attractive 18-2 record, has lost to the likes of Lionel Butler and Kendrick Releford, and has only fought 3 times since April 2010.
5) Kubrat Pulev (38-131-208)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/15/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Klitschko’s notes, above.
6) Dereck Chisora (38-153-216)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Carlos Takam (22-22-42)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- L (KO10) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam found the ceiling on his rise to the top in #2 Povetkin.  He actually appeared more than a match for the Russian early in the fight, but couldn’t hang in the later rounds.
8) Bermane Stiverne (22-26-88)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #13 Deontay Wilder
Stiverne-Wilder is finally signed.  Details haven’t been finalized, but it’s apparently looking like mid-January in either Vegas or New York.
9) Steve Cunningham (22-98-98)
Last Fight: 10/18/2014- W (RTD7) vs. Natu Visinia (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite some scary moments with the much bigger relative novice Visinia, Cunningham ultimately took care of business.
10) Tony Thompson (22-33-232)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: 11/22/2014- vs. #12 Odlanier Solis
The Thompson-Solis rematch has been postponed due to a Solis ankle injury, with a new date of November 22.
11) Tomasz Adamek (22-237)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: 11/8/2014- vs. Artur Szpilka (UNR)
Originally penciled in for October 18 in Lodz, it now appears that Adamek-Szpilka is destined for November 8 in Krakow.
12) Odlanier Solis (22-232)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 10/18/2014- vs. #10 Tony Thompson
See Thompson’s notes, above.
13) Deontay Wilder (26-80)
Last Fight: 8/16/2014- W(RTD4) vs. Jason Gavern (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date – vs. #8 Bermane Stiverne 
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Chris Arreola (26-61)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: 12/11/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Arreola is scheduled to return from an elbow injury on December 11 in Temecula, California, but no opponent yet.
15) Malik Scott (1-9)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- UD10 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: Unknown
After an apparently dominant win over Leapai, Scott is probably back in the mix for some sort of big fight.
16) Erkan Teper (1-62)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper is rumored to be close to signing for a fight with 36 year old one-loss Polish prospect(?) Marcin Rekowski in December.
17) Andy Ruiz (31-50)
Last Fight: 10/25/2014- TKO1 Kenny Lemos (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/20/2014- vs. Sergei Liakhovich (UNR)
Ruiz has rescheduled his planned October fight with faded former contender Liakhovich for December 20.
18) Bryant Jennings (9-15)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- W* (SD12) vs. Mike Perez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Reasonable minds can disagree on the correct result of Jennings-Perez.  What’s clear, though, is that Jennings is not nearly ready for Klitschko, a fight some of his supporters have been proposing for a while now.  He himself appears to want the Wilder-Stiverne winner, which might be more within his competency.
19) Mike Perez (9-15)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- L* (SD12) vs. Bryant Jennings (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/?/2014 – vs. Unknown Opponent
Perez was said to be planning a fight in Cork, Ireland in November, but I’m assuming that’s off since I’ve heard nothing about it in several weeks.
20) Alex Leapai (1-50)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- L (UD10) vs. #20 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
It looks pretty clear now that Leapai’s win over Boytsov was more about Boytsov’s shortcomings than Leapai’s quality.
 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Heavyweight: 2014, Oct 27- Nov 2

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 2, 2016 by danboxing
Moscow played host to a significant card on Friday.  In the main event, #2 Alexander Povetkin clawed his way back from behind even on the local judges’ cards, and ultimately took the fight out of their hands with a highlight-reel 10th round knockout over #7 Carlos Takam, who had clearly showed up to win, himself.  Takam perhaps surprisingly was clearly outboxing Povetkin in the opening rounds of the fight.  I gave Takam 4 of the first 5 rounds, and all were pretty clear.  I’m not sure if Takam simply faded a little, or if Povetkin was holding back some in order to come on strong at the end, but the fight became razor-close in the middle rounds, as I gave Povetkin 6 and 8 and Takam 7, but any of those could have conceivably gone the other way.  In round 9, however, Povetkin began to dominate and break down Takam, culminating in a big-time knockdown in the closing seconds.  Takam looked to have recovered somewhat in the early stages of 10, but Povetkin again crushed him with a big shot.  Big enough, in fact, that Referee Kenny Bayless quite reasonably didn’t even start the count.  Povetkin’s power at world class level appeared to have gone dormant between about 2008 and 2012, possibly due to some intermittent hand problems, but he’s been on a knockout streak of late, as he’s stopped his opponent in each of his last 4 wins.  Granted, only Takam was a clearly world class fighter at the time, but this win alone is plenty impressive, despite the worrisome start.

 

On the undercard, Povetkin’s previous victim, Manuel Charr, got back on the winning track by stopping 6’7″ American former contender Michael Grant.  Grant did some good work in spurts early in the fight, effectively shooting the jab and landing with some very nice body shots.  But by the 4th round, his body language was all wrong.  He gave Charr free shots on the inside by either standing straight up or bending at the waist, all while turning his back somewhat and leaving his hands down.  He took so many sucker punches while inexplicably in this posture, that frankly he almost looked annoyed when Charr wasn’t able to put him away.  Ultimately he did the honors himself, retiring in his corner before the 6th round.

 

In a total mismatch on Saturday in Fresno, #17 Andy Ruiz managed to find an opponent as fat as himself, and made short work of him.  It took only about half of the first round for Ruiz to land a body shot to Kenny Lemos’ comically high trunks for a knockdown, and then only about another 30 seconds of slapping Lemos around on the ropes for the referee to show mercy and stop it, perhaps two or three punches too late.  In truth, anyone could have seen it coming in that Lemos didn’t belong in the ring with any decent fighter, much less a proven world class prospect like Ruiz.

 

It was a very close call whether or not to promote Povetkin to #2 ahead of Tyson Fury.  Once some of the more ordinary wins are cancelled out, it becomes largely a comparison between Fury’s win in 2013 over #3-ranked Steve Cunningham and Povetkin’s win over #7 Takam, plus the 2011 decision over Chagaev, then ranked #6.  For me, a #3 is generally going to trump a #6 and #7, but any remaining doubt is erased by Povetkin’s poor performance against Marco Huck- a narrow win that I’ve always viewed as a draw.  Along with his loss in his Championship shot against Klitschko, this fight reveals the potential for Povetkin to lose, and frankly I only had Marco Huck ranked #5 even at cruiserweight at the time.  As of now, we haven’t seen Fury lose or anything resembling a loss from him.  Given the comparable resumes overall, this keeps Fury at #2, if only by a hair.  Considering #8 Bermane Stiverne has never beaten anyone better than a #13-ranked Chris Arreola, a loss to the division’s #2 contender doesn’t appreciably hurt Takam’s ranking, either.  This, then, was an example of a big fight that really just verified the status quo.

 

Neither Ruiz nor Charr was in tough enough, in my estimation, to change their fortunes, either.  No changes.
 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (279-492-492)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: 11/15/2014- vs. #5 Kubrat Pulev
The Pulev defense has now been rescheduled for November 15.
1) Tyson Fury (37-37-37)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2014- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
Fury-Chisora II has been moved back a week, to November 29.
2) Alexander Povetkin (22-366-366)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- KO10 #7 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin’s finishing skills were quite impressive, but it might be a bit worrisome that he was clearly getting outboxed by Takam for a good chunk of the fight.  With the win, he now figures to eventually become the mandatory for the winner of Wilder-Stiverne.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (22-33-97)
Last Fight: 8/9/2014- W(MD10) vs. Derric Rossy (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/8/2014- vs. Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Glazkov is a late addition to the Hopkins-Kovalev undercard, where he will fight Darnell Wilson, a journeyman who was able to upend a compromised version of Juan Carlos Gomez a couple years ago.
4) Amir Mansour (30-30-30)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery L (UD10) vs. #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: 11/8/2014 – vs. Fred Kassi (UNR)
Mansour gets a stay-busy type fight against the unknown Fred Kassi, who despite a relatively attractive 18-2 record, has lost to the likes of Lionel Butler and Kendrick Releford, and has only fought 3 times since April 2010.
5) Kubrat Pulev (37-130-207)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/15/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Klitschko’s notes, above.
6) Dereck Chisora (37-152-215)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Carlos Takam (21-21-41)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- L (KO10) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam found the ceiling on his rise to the top in #2 Povetkin.  He actually appeared more than a match for the Russian early in the fight, but couldn’t hang in the later rounds.
8) Bermane Stiverne (21-25-87)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #13 Deontay Wilder
Stiverne-Wilder is finally signed.  Details haven’t been finalized, but it’s apparently looking like mid-January in either Vegas or New York.
9) Steve Cunningham (21-97-97)
Last Fight: 10/18/2014- W (RTD7) vs. Natu Visinia (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite some scary moments with the much bigger relative novice Visinia, Cunningham ultimately took care of business.
10) Tony Thompson (21-32-231)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: 11/22/2014- vs. #12 Odlanier Solis
The Thompson-Solis rematch has been postponed due to a Solis ankle injury, with a new date of November 22.
11) Tomasz Adamek (21-236)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: 11/8/2014- vs. Artur Szpilka (UNR)
Originally penciled in for October 18 in Lodz, it now appears that Adamek-Szpilka is destined for November 8 in Krakow.
12) Odlanier Solis (21-231)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 10/18/2014- vs. #10 Tony Thompson
See Thompson’s notes, above.
13) Deontay Wilder (25-79)
Last Fight: 8/16/2014- W(RTD4) vs. Jason Gavern (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date – vs. #8 Bermane Stiverne 
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Chris Arreola (25-60)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola had elbow surgery, and was said to be expected back in October.  No news about an upcoming fight, though.
15) Erkan Teper (30-61)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper is rumored to be close to signing for a fight with 36 year old one-loss Polish prospect(?) Marcin Rekowski in December.
16) Alex Leapai (30-49)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 10/31/2014- vs. #20 Malik Scott
Leapai-Scott has been moved back a week to Halloween after Leapai suffered a minor leg injury.
17) Andy Ruiz (30-49)
Last Fight: 10/25/2014- TKO1 Kenny Lemos (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/6/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
After the cakewalk with Lemos, Ruiz expects to be back in the ring on December 6, perhaps in a rescheduled bout with Liakhovich.
18) Bryant Jennings (8-14)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- W* (SD12) vs. Mike Perez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Reasonable minds can disagree on the correct result of Jennings-Perez.  What’s clear, though, is that Jennings is not nearly ready for Klitschko, a fight some of his supporters have been proposing for a while now.  He himself appears to want the Wilder-Stiverne winner, which might be more within his competency.
19) Mike Perez (8-14)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- L* (SD12) vs. Bryant Jennings (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/?/2014 – vs. Unknown Opponent
Perez, who calls Cork, Ireland home, will return to his home base in November when he headlines a card there.  Details TBD.
20) Malik Scott (8-8)

Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (KO1) vs. #13 Deontay Wilder
Next Fight: 10/31/2014 – vs. #16 Alex Leapai
See Leapai’s notes, above.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Friday
#16 Alex Leapai vs. #20 Malik Scott; Crestmead, Australia; TV Unknown
This is a good matchup that should answer a lot of questions.  Is Leapai somewhat for real as he looked against Boytsov, or somewhat hapless as he looked against Kevin Johnson and Klitschko?  Is Malik Scott an impressive boxer and overall fighter as he looked for at least most of his fight with now-highly-ranked Glazkov, or is he a quitter or worse as he looked while at least practically taking a dive in the first round against Wilder?  I sense the likelihood that one of these guys is going to emerge as (at least a fringe) contender with real credibility, and the other will be proven a pretender.

 

Christian Hammer vs. Irineu Beato Costa Junior; Cuxhaven, Germany; Eurosport
Hammer, who lost to the likes of Mariusz Wach and Taras Bidenko in 2010, rose to prominence last year by knocking out Leif Larsen, a top 50-level prospect.  His own status in the top 50 now hangs in the balance, though, after almost definitely deserving to lose to Kevin Johnson in their fight in December.  I’ve given up trying to figure out which excess names I can safely drop from Brazilian fighters, or even which I can use as their surname, so I’ll just say that Irineu Beato Costa Junior is probably just shy of a top 50 ranking, so this should be a good test for both.