Archive for Alexander Alekseev

Cruiserweight: 2013, Dec 9-15

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on February 5, 2014 by danboxing
On Friday in Chicago, #4 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk took bragging rights in his trilogy with the now 44 year-old #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni, arguably winning every round before the fight was stopped by the ring doctor between rounds 6 and 7 due to a cut, and knocking the Italian down in round 4 for good measure.

 

As much as I think Fragomeni is clearly not a top 10 fighter anymore, I can’t objectively justify dropping him.  He’s got the 2009 draw with Wlodarczyk that still counts more than Branco’s win over gatekeeper Haapoja, and the rest of Branco’s relevant resume cancels out with Fragomeni’s, since at cruiserweight it consists exclusively of inconclusive results in fights against Fragomeni.  Fragomeni’s losses (including this one) are at a high enough level to not really alter that.  Huck’s resume still overwhelms Wlodarczyk’s, so there is no change there.

 

Alexander Alekseev announced his retirement, as he will now transition into a position as a promoter.  Supposedly, he would have made the same decision even if he had won a title against Hernandez.  He is therefore removed, allowing everyone ranked #13 and below last week to move up, and opening a spot at #20 for Garrett Wilson.  This proves once and for all how shallow this division has become.  I searched high and low for a contender to take the spot.  I even considered installing William Souza Bezerra despite my position that his fights are most likely fake.  Wilson gets in largely based on a loss- that I scored a draw- against Alekseev, himself.  

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (20-201-201)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The rematch with Jones, according to Lebedev’s promoter, is all but done for mid-March in Moscow.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (65-181-181)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez still seems a little vulnerable, needing his power to bail him out a little against Alekseev.
3) Marco Huck (13-366-366)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- W (MD12) vs. #5 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 1/25/2014- vs. #5 Firat Arslan
Huck-Arslan II has a new date of January 25 after Huck suffered a hand injury.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (13-442-442)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk had a relatively easy time in his third fight with Fragomeni, and is interested in Huck, Hernandez, Afolabi, Drozd, and Chakhkiev for his next fight.
5) Firat Arslan (13-83-126)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/25/2014- vs. #3 Marco Huck
See Huck’s notes, above.

6) Thabiso Mchunu (13-19-57)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/24/2013- vs. #20 Garrett Wilson
Mchunu will be back on an NBC Sports card on January 24 against Garrett Wilson.
7) Grigory Drozd (3-10-57)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- TKO11 #13 Mateusz Masternak
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Drozd will defend his European title in March against solid French journeyman Jeremy Ouanna, though Wlodarczyk’s team seems to think they might get Drozd in their next fight.
8) Ola Afolabi (3-248-248)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi needed a gift to squeak by Janik, and is on Wlodarczyk’s short list for the Pole’s next fight.
9) Giacobbe Fragomeni (3-13-265)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- L (TKO6) vs. #4 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
I really hope that Fragomeni will call it a career.  
10) Silvio Branco (3-91)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- W (TD10) vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I’ve heard unconfirmed reports that Russian prospect Chakhkiev wants a fight with Branco.
11) Ilunga Makabu (3-22)
Last Fight: 8/31/2013- TKO5 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. Pawel Kolodziej (UNR)
Makabu is set to fight undefeated Polish prospect Pawel Kolodziej in Monaco for an interim alphabet belt on February 1.
12) Santander Silgado (1-6)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: Unknown
Silgado may have caught a finished fighter at the right time in stopping Herelius, but in a fairly shallow division, that’s enough for now.
13) Mateusz Masternak (1-89)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (TKO11) vs. #16 Grigory Drozd
Next Fight: Unknown
Masternak is still a legitimate prospect despite his first loss, but can no longer lay claim to the status of “top prospect” after losing to Drozd.
14) Lukasz Janik (1-6)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik would like a well-deserved rematch with Afolabi.
15) Enad Licina (1-181)
Last Fight: 9/27/2013- TKO3 Levan Jomardashvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Licina needs a significant win before January, as his only relevant win in the last 5 years will become older than 5 years at that point, prompting his removal.
16) Danie Venter (1-13)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I must admit I wrote Venter off when he lost a bit of an upset to Mchunu last year, but Mchunu has proven to be something of a world beater since, and Venter’s overall resume is quietly starting to look pretty solid.
17) Dmytro Kucher (1-76)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher would like a rematch with Makabu, and has his sights set on Wlodarczyk down the road, as well.  He expects to be back against someone in November or December.
18) Krzysztof Glowacki (1-20)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- TKO3 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Glowacki is keeping very busy, and will fight on December 14 in Poland, less than 2 months after his previous fight.  He will be fighting Varol Vekiloglu, a late replacement.
19) Rakhim Chakhkiev (1-3)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- KO10 Giulian Ilie (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Garrett Wilson (1-1)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD10) vs. #18 HW Vyacheslav Glazkov (at HW)
Next Fight: 1/24/2014- vs. #6 Thabiso Mchunu
Wilson is not really a top-20 caliber performer, but I’m being forced to scrape the bottom of the barrel in a shallow division.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Friday
Alejandro Valori vs. Ruben Ponce; San Isidro, Argentina; Off-TV
Strictly a stay-busy fight, with gatekeeper Valori set to beat up on Ruben Ponce, a journeyman (to put it charitably) with a 2-8 record that Valori has already beaten twice.

 

Saturday
#19 Krzysztof Glowacki vs. Varol Vekiloglu; Walcz, Poland; Polsat Sport (Poland)
Glowacki is an undefeated prospect with crushing power.  Vekiloglu, a German Turk, is nothing special, really, but did gain a bit of respect in his last fight by unexpectedly going this distance with Firat Arslan.  This is really a pretty straightforward test of Glowacki’s vaunted reputation as a finisher, although Vekiloglu is not an unbreakable rock historically, having been stopped by the likes of Konstantin Airich and Nenad Borovcanin prior to the Arslan effort.

Cruiserweight: 2013, Nov 25- Dec 1

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 18, 2014 by danboxing
The big fight of the week was in Bamberg, Germany, where #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez got a very tough test in his return to the ring after 14 months off from #12 Alexander Alekseev.  Alekseev looked pretty sharp offensively, controlling large sections of the fight.  He even appeared to have better conditioning, as Hernandez’s work began looking pretty ragged even in the middle rounds.  But he had basically three deficits to his game, as compared to Hernandez, that made a decisive difference.  He obviously had less power than Hernandez, and his chin and defense really let him down.  Despite often being outboxed for long stretches of the fight, Hernandez’s one-shot knockdowns bailed him out in the scoring, and made that scoring academic by achieving the stoppage.  In all, Hernandez scored 3 knockdowns, including a flash one in the 2nd, a very hard one in the 5th, and a third in the 10th that- I think incorrectly- caused referee Lindsey Page to stop the fight without a count.  Despite scoring two knockdowns to that point, I had Hernandez up just 85-84 at the time of the stoppage.

 

That same night in Hamburg, Juan Carlos Gomez won an easy shutout 8-round decision over the awful Jindrich Valecky.  Gomez came in a pound and change over 200, but it hardly matters.  His rankable wins at 200 are all over 5 years old, so he’ll have to start from scratch against a lot better fighters than this in order to sniff a ranking here.

 

In Poland, and also on Saturday, fringe contending undefeated prospect Pawel Kolodziej came in at approximately the same weight as Gomez, and stopped low-level Nigerian journeyman Prince Anthony Ikeji in the 7th of a scheduled 8.

 

In Friday action, undefeated Italian Mirko Larghetti remained both undefeated and Italian, winning a comfortable but, at least by the scores, unimpressive victory over unproven one-loss prospect Stjepan Vugdelija of Croatia.  Scores were 117-111 (x2) and 118-112.  To give you an idea of Vugdelija’s credentials, he lost a decisive decision to solid veteran journeyman Ismail Abdoul in his only prior loss, though for what it’s worth he did win as many as 2 of the 8 rounds according to one judge, and has fought nobody else with a pulse up to this point.

 

Also on Friday, undefeated Latvian Mairis Briedis dominated and stopped credible Czech journeyman Lubos Suda after 5 rounds, with Suda retiring in his corner before the 6th.

 

Hernandez holds firm at #2, while Alekseev trades places with last week’s #13 Ilunga Makabu.  Given what I consider a pretty respectable performance against a significantly better-ranked fighter, that movement has more to do with me disagreeing with my earlier decision to rank him ahead of Makabu than with the result of the fight.  As for Hernandez, you could make the case that he should be ranked over Lebedev, but I’ve determined that Lebedev’s ranking should not be affected at all by his stoppage loss to Jones, since Jones clearly cheated.  The fact that Hernandez needed a gift to avoid a loss to then-20th-ranked Troy Ross makes the decisive difference in otherwise very evenly-matched resumes.

 

The other change that affects the rankings this week is the inactivity of #7 Danny Green.  He is removed, and everyone ranked #8 and below last week moves up one, except that for the reasons stated above, Makabu moves up 2 places to #11, and Alekseev remains at #12.  Silvio Branco enters the top 10, while Rakhim Chakhkiev returns at #20.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (18-199-199)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The rematch with Jones, according to Lebedev’s promoter, is all but done for mid-March in Moscow.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (63-179-179)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez still seems a little vulnerable, needing his power to bail him out a little against Alekseev.
3) Marco Huck (11-364-364)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- W (MD12) vs. #5 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 1/25/2014- vs. #5 Firat Arslan
Huck-Arslan II has a new date of January 25 after Huck suffered a hand injury.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (11-440-440)
Last Fight: 6/21/2013- TKO8 Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Wlodarczyk will see action in the US for the first time since 2005 on December 6, fighting a trilogy bout with the rapidly aging Italian Giacobbe Fragomeni in Chicago.
5) Firat Arslan (11-81-124)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/25/2014- vs. #3 Marco Huck
See Huck’s notes, above.

6) Thabiso Mchunu (11-17-55)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu recently signed a promotional deal with Main Events, the promoter of his recent victim Eddie Chambers.  This ensures that US fans will be seeing him on NBC Sports in 2014, if not earlier.
7) Grigory Drozd (1-8-55)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- TKO11 #13 Mateusz Masternak
Next Fight: Unknown
The first notable call-out of Drozd following his impressive victory over Masternak comes from Masternak’s countryman Krzysztof Glowacki.
8) Ola Afolabi (1-246-246)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi needed a gift to squeak by Janik.
9) Giacobbe Fragomeni (1-11-263)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- UD8 Toni Visic (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. #4 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
10) Silvio Branco (1-89)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- W (TD10) vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I’ve heard unconfirmed reports that Russian prospect Chakhkiev wants a fight with Branco.
11) Ilunga Makabu (1-20)
Last Fight: 8/31/2013- TKO5 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. Pawel Kolodziej (UNR)
Makabu is set to fight undefeated Polish prospect Pawel Kolodziej in Monaco for an interim alphabet belt on February 1.
12) Alexander Alekseev (11-150)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- L (TKO10) vs. #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Alekseev acquitted himself better in his TKO loss to Hernandez than he has in some of his wins.
13) Santander Silgado (1-4)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: Unknown
Silgado may have caught a finished fighter at the right time in stopping Herelius, but in a fairly shallow division, that’s enough for now.
14) Mateusz Masternak (1-87)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (TKO11) vs. #16 Grigory Drozd
Next Fight: Unknown
Masternak is still a legitimate prospect despite his first loss, but can no longer lay claim to the status of “top prospect” after losing to Drozd.
15) Lukasz Janik (1-4)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik would like a well-deserved rematch with Afolabi.
16) Enad Licina (1-179)
Last Fight: 9/27/2013- TKO3 Levan Jomardashvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Licina needs a significant win before January, as his only relevant win in the last 5 years will become older than 5 years at that point, prompting his removal.
17) Danie Venter (1-11)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I must admit I wrote Venter off when he lost a bit of an upset to Mchunu last year, but Mchunu has proven to be something of a world beater since, and Venter’s overall resume is quietly starting to look pretty solid.
18) Dmytro Kucher (1-74)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher would like a rematch with Makabu, and has his sights set on Wlodarczyk down the road, as well.  He expects to be back against someone in November or December.
19) Krzysztof Glowacki (1-18)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- TKO3 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Glowacki is keeping very busy, and will fight on December 14 in Poland, less than 2 months after his previous fight.
20) Rakhim Chakhkiev (1-1)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- KO10 Giulian Ilie (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Saturday in Lyubertsy, Russia, undefeated prospect Dmitry Kudryashov meets South African gatekeeper Zack Mwekassa who, it should be noted, owns a stoppage win over apparent world-beater Thabiso Mchunu.

Cruiserweight: 2013, Nov 18-24

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 15, 2014 by danboxing
The only notable in action this week was Marcos Ahumada, the impressive Argentine who probably projects more as a light heavyweight than a cruiser.  He scored a 5th-round TKO over low-level journeyman Mauricio Caceda, in San Luis, a city in both men’s native Argentina.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (17-198-198)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Guillermo Jones has finally been stripped of the WBA belt he took from Lebedev, for PED use leading up to that fight.  Strangely, the WBA is now insisting on a rematch.  Apparently PEDs are just a minor technicality for that organization.  Since the WBA appears to be in Don King’s pocket, the result is not surprising, though.  Purse bids are scheduled for December 9.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (62-178-178)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: 11/23/2013- vs. #12 Alexander Alekseev
Hernandez will make his long-awaited return on November 23 in Germany against Alexander Alekseev.
3) Marco Huck (10-363-363)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- W (MD12) vs. #5 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 1/25/2014- vs. #5 Firat Arslan
Huck-Arslan II has a new date of January 25 after Huck suffered a hand injury.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (10-439-439)
Last Fight: 6/21/2013- TKO8 Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Wlodarczyk will see action in the US for the first time since 2005 on December 6, fighting a trilogy bout with the rapidly aging Italian Giacobbe Fragomeni in Chicago.
5) Firat Arslan (10-80-123)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/25/2014- vs. #3 Marco Huck
See Huck’s notes, above.

6) Thabiso Mchunu (10-16-54)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu recently signed a promotional deal with Main Events, the promoter of his recent victim Eddie Chambers.  This ensures that US fans will be seeing him on NBC Sports in 2014, if not earlier.
7) Danny Green (3-54-207)
Last Fight: 11/21/2012- UD12 Shane Cameron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Green is all but retired, it would appear, and it would take the highly unlikely scheduling of a fight during he upcoming week to avoid his removal at the next update.
8) Grigory Drozd (3-7-54)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- TKO11 #13 Mateusz Masternak
Next Fight: Unknown
The first notable call-out of Drozd following his impressive victory over Masternak comes from Masternak’s countryman Krzysztof Glowacki.
9) Ola Afolabi (3-245-245)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi needed a gift to squeak by Janik.
10) Giacobbe Fragomeni (10-10-262)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- UD8 Toni Visic (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. #4 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
11) Silvio Branco (10-88)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- W (TD10) vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I’ve heard unconfirmed reports that Russian prospect Chakhkiev wants a fight with Branco.
12) Alexander Alekseev (10-149)
Last Fight: 2/22/2013- UD12* Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/23/2013- vs. #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Alekseev gets a shot at Hernandez on November 23.
13) Ilunga Makabu (7-19)
Last Fight: 8/31/2013- TKO5 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. Pawel Kolodziej (UNR)
Makabu is set to fight undefeated Polish prospect Pawel Kolodziej in Monaco for an interim alphabet belt on February 1.
14) Santander Silgado (3-3)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: Unknown
Silgado may have caught a finished fighter at the right time in stopping Herelius, but in a fairly shallow division, that’s enough for now.
15) Mateusz Masternak (3-86)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (TKO11) vs. #16 Grigory Drozd
Next Fight: Unknown
Masternak is still a legitimate prospect despite his first loss, but can no longer lay claim to the status of “top prospect” after losing to Drozd.
16) Lukasz Janik (3-3)
Last Fight: L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik would like a well-deserved rematch with Afolabi.
17) Enad Licina (3-178)
Last Fight: 9/27/2013- TKO3 Levan Jomardashvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Licina needs a significant win before January, as his only relevant win in the last 5 years will become older than 5 years at that point, prompting his removal.
18) Danie Venter (3-10)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I must admit I wrote Venter off when he lost a bit of an upset to Mchunu last year, but Mchunu has proven to be something of a world beater since, and Venter’s overall resume is quietly starting to look pretty solid.
19) Dmytro Kucher (3-73)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher would like a rematch with Makabu, and has his sights set on Wlodarczyk down the road, as well.  He expects to be back against someone in November or December.
20) Krzysztof Glowacki (3-17)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- TKO3 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Glowacki is keeping very busy, and will fight on December 14 in Poland, less than 2 months after his previous fight.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: It’s a busy week, with one big fight and a few minor ones to mention.‘

 

Friday: In Frontino, Italy, local undefeated prospect Mirko Larghetti meets very low-level one-loss Croatian prospect Stjepan Vugdelija.

 

Meanwhile, in Liepaja, Latvia, undefeated local Mairis Briedis takes on Lubos Suda, the fairly high-level veteran Czech journeyman.

 

Saturday: #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez takes on #12 Alexander Alekseev in Bamberg, Germany.  This is Hernandez’s first action in over a year, and Alekseev’s first in over 9 months.

 

Meanwhile, in Hamburg, former cruiserweight and heavyweight contender Juan Carlos Gomez makes his return to cruiser against low-level sub-.500 journeyman Jindrich Valecky.

 

In Poland, fringe contending undefeated prospect Pawel Kolodziej stays busy against low-level Nigerian journeyman Prince Anthony Ikeji.  

Cruiserweight: 2013: Feb 25- Mar 3

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 1, 2013 by danboxing
In the week’s most important action, #15 Alexander Alekseev shook off the rust from a 9 and a half month layoff and jabbed, grabbed, and shoved his way to a unanimous decision over American fringe contender Garrett Wilson in Galati, Romania on Saturday.  It wasn’t easy.  Alekseev controlled range very effectively early in the fight, while Wilson was left to swing wildly and miss badly against his taller and longer opponent.  When not trying and failing to hit a home run during this time, Wilson could be found hiding behind his high guard.  The measured pace produced by this tactic heavily favored the careful and scientific Russian.  But slowly- almost imperceptibly if you weren’t scoring it closely- Wilson began to close the distance and creep into the fight.  He won the 5th and probably the 6th before Alekseev countered with perhaps his best two rounds of the fight in the 7th and 8th.  But Wilson was right back at it from the 9th on.  I gave him each of the last 4 rounds, though all but the last one were almost impossible calls.  My final card was 114-114.  The judges were unanimous for Alekseev, but for once I’m actually fairly on board with that.  It felt like Alekseev was getting the better of it overall, and even the widest of the cards (118-111) was not remotely something I’d argue with to any great extent.  I suspect it would have been a draw or split decision had it occurred in America instead of Europe, but the decision was relatively fair, even if I’m a bit on the fence about whether I can get behind it completely or not.

 

#20 Pawel Glazewski won a stay-busy light heavyweight fight that I’ll treat in more detail for that division’s update.

 

As I suspected, Yunier Dorticos’ scheduled fight in Florida fell through.  He hasn’t fought in well over a year, despite having at least 2 fights appear on boxrec’s schedule in the meantime that simply never occurred.

 

Now for the rankings implications.  You’d think this would have come up before now, but under my normal system wherein I treat an outcome that is reasonable but with which I disagree with minimal deference- basically treating it as a draw with a slight edge to the victor- is not well suited for an instance in which I score the fight a draw but consider the official verdict reasonable.  To follow that precedent in this sort of situation would lead to the disproportionate result of, in effect, substituting my judgement entirely for that of the judges. That’s the same net result as would occur if a robbery had taken place.  So here’s a new precedent to deal with this peculiar situation: when I score the fight a draw but consider the official result to be reasonable, I will treat the winner exactly as I would treat a legitimate and non-controversial winner of a close fight, while I will treat the official loser as if he had received a draw rather than a loss.  Wilson narrowly fails to enter the top 20, owing mainly to his disastrous first half of 2010, when he lost 3 fights to journeyman and low-level gatekeeper-level competition.  In all honesty, my discomfort with my own scorecard is a factor as well. 

 

Alekseev moves up to #13.  The fact that he and Masternak are now pretty clearly peers in terms of accomplishment could perhaps set up an interesting rivalry on the European scene, though Masternak seems to have the higher upside.  Masternak and Palacios are each forced down one place.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (24-160-160)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- KO4 Santander Silgado (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
After much speculation that he’d be making his US debut against Eddie Chambers, it now appears he’ll be fighting heavily inactive former titlist Guillermo Jones in either Miami, Panama, or Nigeria.  Don King is the promoter, so you never know for sure if it’ll come off, but it’s looking likely for April.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (24-140-140)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez pulled out of his scheduled 2/2 fight with Eric Fields with a fractured hand.
3) Troy Ross (24-24-56)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ross deserved to beat Hernandez.
4) Ola Afolabi (3-207-207)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Though Huck admits he doesn’t want the fight, he says he will fight his mandatory rematch with Afolabi in either late March or early April.  There should be an announcement soon.
5) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (3-401-401)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- UD12 #13 Francisco Palacios
Next Fight: Unknown
After Mormeck withdrew with injury, Wlodarczyk has a fight with Fragomeni on the horizon, but probably after a voluntary defense.
6) Firat Arslan (3-42-85)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #5 Marco Huck (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
A bizarre twist in Arslan’s schedule, as he signed on to save Felix Sturm’s 12/1 show by replacing Ruslan Chagaev as the main support on just 2 days’ notice, but then he mysteriously changed his mind just hours before the bell.
7) Marco Huck (3-325-325)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #10 Firat Arslan (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Afolabi’s notes, above.
8) Lateef Kayode (3-39-119)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. ‘Roided up #3 Antonio Tarver
Next Fight: Unknown
All indications are that Kayode will next fight at heavyweight, but the plan to get him in the ring in February obviously didn’t work.
9) Danny Green (3-16-169)
Last Fight: 11/21/2012- UD12 Shane Cameron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
As has been the case after every fight since he had very serious surgery a couple years ago, there is speculation that Green may retire following his win over Shane Cameron.  Green himself remains non-committal.
10) B.J. Flores (3-3-140)
Last Fight: 10/6/2012- TKO2 David McNemar (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores says he’s looking to fight Lebedev or the Huck-Afolabi winner.  I’ll believe it when I see it, as he’s talked about fighting good fighters before recently, only to fight the likes of David McNemar.
11) Giacobbe Fragomeni (3-224)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- W*(SD12) vs. #13 Silvio Branco
Next Fight: Unknown
After limping to back-to-back tossup fights with the painfully old Silvio Branco, Fragomeni is now looking to step up to what would have to be seen as a cash-out trilogy fight with the much better Krzysztof Wlodarczyk.
12) Silvio Branco (3-50)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- L*(SD12) vs. #12 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Branco can still hang with whippersnappers like 43 year-old countryman Fragomeni, but you’ve gotta think his active days are numbered at 46.
13) Alexander Alekseev (1-111)
Last Fight: 2/22/2013- UD12* Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alekseev barely squeaked by after building an early lead against Wilson, but it’s still an improvement from his previous fight.
14) Mateusz Masternak (1-48)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- UD12 Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Masternak just put it on cruise control and walked away with a European title belt.
15) Francisco Palacios (1-100)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- L(UD12) vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Very little of note left on his resume after his should-be win over Wlodarczyk was neutralized by a close but clear loss to same, and with his win over Louis Azille over 5 years old now.
16) Thabiso Mchunu (3-16)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO5 #20 Danie Venter
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu is probably ready to take the Chilemba/Oosthuizen journey out of South Africa and into the international scene after conquering the local scene in the form of Venter.  He may have some unfinished business with Zack Mwekassa first, however.
17) Dmitro Kucher (3-35)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- UD8 Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/21/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Kucher’s return is set for March 21 in Kiev.
18) Enad Licina (3-140)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO2 Koeksal Orduhan
Next Fight: Unknown
Really, Enad?  He just fought the most obviously terrible opponent I think I’ve ever had to write about on here.  The record of said fighter?  0-15.  No joke.
19) Grigory Drozd (3-16)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- UD12 Jean-Marc Monrose (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Pawel Glazewski (3-3)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- UD10 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It was with a bit of regret that I chose Glazewski to assume the #20 spot, as I expect him to campaign around the light heavyweight limit for the foreseeable future.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Nothing of note to report for the upcoming week.

Cruiserweight: 2013: Feb 18-24

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on February 18, 2013 by danboxing
Two-loss prospect and British titlist Jon Lewis Dickinson won a comfortable if unspectacular decision over journeyman David Dolan near his opponent’s hometown.  No changes to the rankings.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (23-159-159)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- KO4 Santander Silgado (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
After much speculation that he’d be making his US debut against Eddie Chambers, it now appears he’ll be fighting heavily inactive former titlist Guillermo Jones in either Miami, Panama, or Nigeria.  Don King is the promoter, so you never know for sure if it’ll come off, but it’s looking likely for April.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (23-139-139)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez pulled out of his scheduled 2/2 fight with Eric Fields with a fractured hand.
3) Troy Ross (23-23-55)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ross deserved to beat Hernandez.
4) Ola Afolabi (2-206-206)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Though Huck admits he doesn’t want the fight, he says he will fight his mandatory rematch with Afolabi in either late March or early April.  There should be an announcement soon.
5) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (2-400-400)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- UD12 #13 Francisco Palacios
Next Fight: Unknown
After Mormeck withdrew with injury, Wlodarczyk has a fight with Fragomeni on the horizon, but probably after a voluntary defense.
6) Firat Arslan (2-41-84)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #5 Marco Huck (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
A bizarre twist in Arslan’s schedule, as he signed on to save Felix Sturm’s 12/1 show by replacing Ruslan Chagaev as the main support on just 2 days’ notice, but then he mysteriously changed his mind just hours before the bell.
7) Marco Huck (2-324-324)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #10 Firat Arslan (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Afolabi’s notes, above.
8) Lateef Kayode (2-38-118)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. ‘Roided up #3 Antonio Tarver
Next Fight: Unknown
All indications are that Kayode will next fight at heavyweight, but the plans to get him in the ring in February appear unlikely to come to fruition.
9) Danny Green (2-15-168)
Last Fight: 11/21/2012- UD12 Shane Cameron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
As has been the case after every fight since he had very serious surgery a couple years ago, there is speculation that Green may retire following his win over Shane Cameron.  Green himself remains non-committal.
10) B.J. Flores (2-2-139)
Last Fight: 10/6/2012- TKO2 David McNemar (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores says he’s looking to fight Lebedev or the Huck-Afolabi winner.  I’ll believe it when I see it, as he’s talked about fighting good fighters before recently, only to fight the likes of David McNemar.
11) Giacobbe Fragomeni (2-223)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- W*(SD12) vs. #13 Silvio Branco
Next Fight: Unknown
After limping to back-to-back tossup fights with the painfully old Silvio Branco, Fragomeni is now looking to step up to what would have to be seen as a cash-out trilogy fight with the much better Krzysztof Wlodarczyk.
12) Silvio Branco (2-49)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- L*(SD12) vs. #12 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Branco can still hang with whippersnappers like 43 year-old countryman Fragomeni, but you’ve gotta think his active days are numbered at 46.
13) Mateusz Masternak (2-47)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- UD12 Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Masternak just put it on cruise control and walked away with a European title belt.
14) Francisco Palacios (2-99)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- L(UD12) vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Very little of note left on his resume after his should-be win over Wlodarczyk was neutralized by a close but clear loss to same, and with his win over Louis Azille over 5 years old now.
15) Alexander Alekseev (2-110)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw*(MD12) vs. #19 Firat Arslan (robbery- should have been L)
Next Fight: 2/22/2013- vs. Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Alekseev will fight fringe contender Garrett Wilson in Romania on February 22.
16) Thabiso Mchunu (2-15)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO5 #20 Danie Venter
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu is probably ready to take the Chilemba/Oosthuizen journey out of South Africa and into the international scene after conquering the local scene in the form of Venter.  He may have some unfinished business with Zack Mwekassa first, however.
17) Dmitro Kucher (2-34)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- UD8 Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/21/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Kucher’s return is set for March 21 in Kiev.
18) Enad Licina (2-139)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO2 Koeksal Orduhan
Next Fight: Unknown
Really, Enad?  He just fought the most obviously terrible opponent I think I’ve ever had to write about on here.  The record of said fighter?  0-15.  No joke.
19) Grigory Drozd (2-15)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- UD12 Jean-Marc Monrose (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Pawel Glazewski (2-2)
Last Fight: 12/9/2012- TKO3 Alexander Garaschenko (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/23/2013- vs. Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
It was with a bit of regret that I chose Glazewski to assume the #20 spot, as I expect him to campaign around the light heavyweight limit for the foreseeable future.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: #15 Alexander Alekseev returns to action for the first time in the 9+ months since being given a gift against Firat Arslan, facing American fringe contender Garrett Wilson in Galati, Romania.  Later that night, Cuban undefeated prospect Yunier Dorticos is scheduled for action in Palm Bay, Florida against an unnamed opponent.  One bit of caution- last time this was the case, the fight never happened, and Dorticos has consequently been inactive for well over a year at this point.

 

Saturday, #20 Pawel Glazewski fights journeyman Bartholomiej Grafka in Gdansk, Poland, in what will likely be a light heavyweight fight, or within a few pounds thereof.

Cruiserweight: 2012, Sep 24-30

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 29, 2012 by danboxing
Last week’s biggest fight was the rematch between Puerto Rico’s Francisco Palacios (#13) and Poland’s Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (#7).  In their 2011 meeting, Wlodarczyk got a fairly comfortable decision that completely lacked credibility.  The fight (a total snoozer) was a complete toss up, though I thought Palacios deserved the nod.  This time around, the fight was downright watchable, and it was Wlodarczyk with the edge, and the cards were pretty decent, though I think Christophe Fernandez of France gave Wlodarczyk an even round that he lost.  The difference in the fight- which was contested mostly on even terms throughout- was the Polish fighter’s apparently superior power and hand defense, with the most dramatic example coming in the 10th, when Wlodarczyk caught Palacios with a perfect right hand that had him out on his feet, but only a few seconds remained in the round and Palacios was able to hold on for dear life and survive.

 

In the weekend’s other notable card, the semifinals of the South African Super 8 Cruiserweight Tournament played out.  Gatekeeper-level fighters Zack Mwekassa and Danie Venter met in one bout, with Venter scoring an upset knockout win in round 4 to advance to November’s final.  The other semifinal was an immediate rematch of one of the first-round fights, between Thabiso Mchunu and Flo Simba.  This became the case after one first round fight fell through when the tournament favorite Ran Nakash of Israel bailed.  His heavy underdog of an opponent, Johnny Muller, who it was originally believed would get a bye to fight the winner of Simba-Mchunu.  But Muller stepped aside in favor of a shot at an African Light Heavyweight title shot on the same card (which he lost), allowing the rematch of what was a 1st round TKO win for Mchunu.  But why rematch a fight that ended like that, you ask?  Bad officiating, of course.  The fight was stopped without justification.  Unfortunately for Simba, the rematch was simply a confirmation of Mchunu’s superiority, as the result was another first round TKO.  Mchunu, who was stopped by Mwekassa a year ago, will now face the new tournament favorite, Danie Venter, in the finals.

 

Now for the inevitable ratings shakeup.  Mchunu really did nothing but confirm his earlier win over Simba.  Given his loss to an unheralded Mwekassa less than a year before the two wins over Simba, he’s not in the conversation for a ranking at the moment.  Venter, however, does manage to sneak in at #20.  His record is hardly spotless, but he hasn’t fought any meaningful fights below heavyweight since a 4 year hiatus that ended in 2010, and thus he gets a clean slate.  His win over Mwekassa, in a vacuum, is enough to sneak past last week’s #20 Pawel Glazewski, whose banner performance against Roy Jones had the disadvantage of taking place at a catchweight in the low 180s.  He’s roughly on equal footing with #19 Dmitro Kucher, but Kucher’s win over Cesar Crenz is ever-so-slightly more impressive than Venter’s resume. 

 

Wlodarczyk somewhat surprisingly stays put at #7, since #6 Ola Afolabi’s draw against Marco Huck still sets him narrowly apart in my opinion.  Palacios takes a dive.  Two things happened to him since the last time his ranking was examined.  Obviously he just lost…and that loss undermines his whole resume, since his undeserved loss to Wlodarczyk supported his being ranked in the first place, almost entirely by itself.  His only other significant fight has gone stale recently, as his win over Louis Azille is now over 5 years old.  These two factors together drive the Puerto Rican down to #16.  Fragomeni, Branco, and Masternak each benefit from this, advancing to #13, 14, and 15, respectively. 

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (2-138-138)
Last Fight: 4/4/2012- KO2 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/27/2012- vs. #9 Guillermo Jones
Lebedev will fight very inactive alphabet titleholder and former welterweight Guillermo Jones in Moscow this October.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (2-118-118)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez officially got the win over Ross, and I’m not quite willing to call it a robbery, but it’s pretty close to one.  I think you’d be pushing the limits of reason to give the fight to Hernandez, and I think that even if you managed to do so in terms of rounds won, you’d have to admit that Ross got the better of the fight overall.  Even Hernandez promoter Sauerland admits that Hernandez didn’t deserve a win, and believes a rematch is warranted.
3) Troy Ross (2-2-34)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ross deserved to beat Hernandez.  That’s all I’ve got to say (except the more detailed statement I made above).
4) Steve Cunningham (2-432-432)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- UD10 Jason Gavern (UNR) (at HW)
Next Fight: Unknown
So far so good for Cunningham at Heavyweight.  He’ll retain his ranking here until the anniversary of his February 4 cruiserweight fight, or until he schedules a heavyweight fight for a date after that.
5) Marco Huck (2-303-303)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 11/3/2012- vs. #10 Firat Arslan
Huck will fight Arslan next in early November.
6) Ola Afolabi (2-185-185)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
7) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (2-379-379)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- UD12 #13 Francisco Palacios
Next Fight: Unknown
Redemption for El Diablo, as he confirmed his superiority over Palacios after a year of living with a gift decision.
8) Lateef Kayode (2-17-97)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. ‘Roided up #3 Antonio Tarver
Next Fight: Unknown
Kayode is upset that he has been passed over for a shot at Tarver’s stripped alphabet title, as an Aussie-Kiwi rivalry match between Danny Green and Shane Cameron will fill that vacancy for whatever that’s worth.  It’s unclear if rumored negotiations with Grigory Drozd are still pending or not.
9) Guillermo Jones (2-104-104)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/27/2012- vs. #1 Denis Lebedev
Jones will travel to Moscow to put his alphabet title on the line against the much younger Lebedev.
10) Firat Arslan (2-20-63)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #12 Alexander Alekseev (Robbery)
Next Fight: 11/3/2012- vs. #5 Marco Huck
Long-since slated for a November rematch with Alekseev, Arslan was the subject of a surprise announcement that he would instead fight Marco Huck.
11) Danny Green (2-147)
Last Fight: 7/25/2012- TKO5 Danny Santiago (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/21/2012- vs. Shane Cameron (UNR)
Will take on Kiwi fringe contender Shane Cameron in late November.
12) B.J. Flores (2-118)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO6 Hugo Pineda (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/6/2012- vs. Ahmed Samir (UNR)
Flores will take on undefeated/untested Egyptian prospect Ahmed Samir in Springfield, MO on October 6.
13) Giacobbe Fragomeni (1-202)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fragomeni appears to be showing his age after nearly losing to an even older man in Branco.
14) Silvio Branco (1-28)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
45 year old veteran Silvio Branco got what may have been his final hurrah with a close-fought draw with top 10-ranked Giacobbe Fragomeni.
15) Mateusz Masternak (1-26)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- TKO8 David Quinonero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Masternak put on a Masterful performance against a game but apparently limited Quinonero, but that was only the 2nd-best event of his week, as his son was born that same Wednesday.
16) Francisco Palacios (1-78)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- L(UD12) vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Very little of note left on his resume after his should-be win over Wlodarczyk was neutralized by a close but clear loss to same, and with his win over Louis Azille over 5 years old now.
17) Alexander Alekseev (2-89)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw*(MD12) vs. #19 Firat Arslan (robbery- should have been L)
Next Fight: 9/28/2012-  vs. Agron Dzila (UNR)
We know that Alekseev will fight journeyman Agron Dzila in September.  We also know he won’t be rematching Arslan in November as previously-expected.  It remains to be seen if that fight will eventually happen after Arslan fights Huck or not.
18) Enad Licina (2-118)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #17 Alexander Alexeev
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Dmitro Kucher (2-13)
Last Fight: 8/19/2012- TKO5 Geoffrey Battelo (UNR) (at HW)
Next Fight: 10/27/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Kucher will be fighting in Kiev on October 27 for some alphabet regional color-coded belt, but no announced opponent yet.
20) Danie Venter (1-1)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- TKO4 Zack Mwekassa (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/10/2012- vs. Thabiso Mchunu (UNR)
Venter has established himself as clearly the best South African cruiserweight, and will fight for what amounts to that country’s undisputed championship in the Super 8 Tournament finals in November.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: #17 Alexander Alekseev takes on once-beaten novice Agron Dzila of Macedonia in Germany on Friday.

Cruiserweight: 2012, May 14-20

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on May 22, 2012 by danboxing
The major fight of the week was #12 Alexander Alekseev vs. #19 Firat Arslan in Germany.  And it was yet another pathetic robbery in Germany.  Two judges had it a draw, which is pretty indefensible.  I had it 117-111 Arslan, and there’s no way it was closer than 115-113.  But the real outrage was the third judge: Juergen Langos.  Langos had a disgustingly awful card at 116-113 Alekseev, and to compound matters further, it turns out he’s facebook friends with Alekseev.  I would say I’m surprised the commission didn’t vet Langos well enough to know his apparent bias ahead of time, but German officials have sat idly by while witnessing outrage after outrage for years.  Anyway, Arslan won the fight, and will be treated as such.  It’s a pretty remarkable achievement for a 41-year-old that had been all but written off after passing out in the corner late in a close fight with Steve Herelius a couple years ago.

 

In other action on the card, up-and-coming Russian Rakhim Chakhkiev stopped normally durable trial horse Zack Page in 6.

 

#19 Arslan moves up 10 spots and back into the top 10 for the first time in years on the strength of his should-be win over Alekseev.  Alekseev drops down below Mateusz Masternak to #17, just above his own recent victim, Enad Licina.  This forces B.J. Flores out of the top 10 after 2 consecutive months at #10.

 

And just a quick note- you may have noticed that I’ve started referring to the Russian as Alekseev rather than Alexeev as I had before.  The reasoning is this: since the Cyrillic alphabet doesn’t necessarily translate 1 to 1 to our own, I make value judgments when in doubt.  Most of the time I choose an “x” over a “ks” for the sake of aesthetics and efficiency.  In this case, I’ve noticed that the fighter renders his own name with a “ks” on his trunks, on his facebook page, etc., and that’s good enough for me.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (15-99-99)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Erased any doubt as to the better fighter between him and Cunningham.  A fight with Lebedev now would be huge.
2) Denis Lebedev (15-119-119)
Last Fight: 4/4/2012- KO2 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The deal isn’t done yet, but contingent upon a final agreement, Lebedev and Mormeck have chosen a date and location for their prospective fight: June 29 in Paris.
3) Antonio Tarver (15-43-43)
Last Fight: 7/20/2011- RTD9 #7 Danny Green
Next Fight: 5/26/2012- vs. #13 Lateef Kayode
Tarver criticized Kayode on ShoBox, and Kayode took exception.  So now we have a grudge match.  I don’t think the Nigerian is ready for this, but perhaps Tarver will finally show his age.
4) Steve Cunningham (2-413-413)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
5) Marco Huck (2-284-284)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
A summary of where Huck is at: Afolabi understandably wants a third fight with him- this time in the UK.  Huck wants a rematch with Povetkin.  Meanwhile, Huck is laying the groundwork for hyping a potential fight with Alekseev following the Russian’s poor performance against Arslan.
6) Ola Afolabi (2-166-166)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi would like a third fight with Huck, this time in the UK.
7) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (2-360-360)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- TKO11 #9 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
8) Guillermo Jones (24-85-85)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With all of his possible mandatories tied up with other fights, Jones has made renewed noises about moving up to face a Klitschko.  In the meantime, he continues to train in Miami for a fight that has yet to materialize. 
9) Firat Arslan (1-1-44)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #12 Alexander Alekseev (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arslan clearly beat Alekseev and didn’t get full credit for it from the judges (including one who was manifestly corrupt).  I’ve heard whispers of a rematch, but there are also indications that Alekseev might fight Huck or Masternak next.
10) Danny Green (1-128-128)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- L(TKO11) vs. #8 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Shane Cameron is hoping to fight Green if he beats Monte Barrett in May.  No major news from Green’s end, except that he’s trying to goad the much, much smaller Anthony Mundine into a rematch.
11) B.J. Flores (1-99)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO6 Hugo Pineda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores has said he might fight the Fragomeni-Branco winner.  Not sure how that will be affected by the fact that there is no winner.
12) Francisco Palacios (1-59)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- UD8 Joell Godfrey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has mandated a rematch with Wlodarczyk, but that seems almost forgotten as Wlodarczyk has since chased fights with Roy Jones and Antonio Tarver, neither of which seem to be currently on the table.
13) Lateef Kayode (9-78)
Last Fight: 9/9/2011- UD10 Felix Cora, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/26/2012- vs. #3 Antonio Tarver
Kayode has snubbed a mandatory shot at Guillermo Jones’ alphabet belt for a shot at an even better fighter, the aging but still very capable Antonio Tarver.
14) Giacobbe Fragomeni (9-183)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fragomeni appears to be showing his age after nearly losing to an even older man in Branco.
15) Silvio Branco (9-9)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
45 year old veteran Silvio Branco got what may have been his final hurrah with a close-fought draw with top 10-ranked Giacobbe Fragomeni.
16) Mateusz Masternak (7-7)
Last Fight: 3/31/2012- TKO10 Felipe Romero (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/19/2012- vs. Hari Miles (UNR)
Masternak’s opponent for this weekend will be very underwhelming Welsh journeyman Hari Miles.
17) Alexander Alekseev (1-70)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw*(MD12) vs. #19 Firat Arslan (robbery- should have been L)
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck has randomly been talking smack, which seems like a contrived attempt at hyping a pretty pointless fight between the two of them.  A rematch with Arslan would seem like a pretty natural move.
18) Enad Licina (1-99)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #17 Alexander Alexeev
Next Fight: Unknown
May be getting a little shopworn.  He’s not a pushover by any means, but you’d have to be crazy to imagine him as a top-10-type guy.
19) Troy Ross (1-15)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD8 Lukasz Rusiewicz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Inactivity combined with poor competition are killing the career of top-level talent Ross, but at least he’s technically an active cruiserweight again, and thus eligible to remain in the rankings.
20) Grigory Drozd (7-14)
Last Fight: 2/8/2012- RTD9 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/2/2012- vs. Cesar Crenz (UNR)
After a scheduled matchup with washed-up William Joppy thankfully fell through, Drozd is now scheduled for an interesting matchup with fringe contender Cesar Crenz of Argentina in early June.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:  #16 Mateusz Masternak stays busy against low-level Welsh journeyman Hari Miles in Denmark on the Kessler-Green undercard Saturday.