Archive for Amir Mansour

Year-End Awards: Heavyweight, 2014

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Eddie Chambers– Jan 1- Mar 30: Unranked.  Mar 31- Apr 6: #20.  Apr 7- Dec 31: Unranked.
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Heavyweight: 2015, Jan 5-11

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 22, 2016 by danboxing
37 year-old whippersnapper Zoltan Csala won the battle of the Zoltans (sounds like a really bad sci-fi film, right?) in Budapest on Monday, lifting 48 year-old Zoltan Petranyi’s Hungarian title and halting the career momentum that remarkably had his ancient countryman in the top 50 for the first time in his career.  Maybe it was as much opportunism as ability, but the 3rd round knockout gives Csala, at only 6-0, a real prospect and minor player on the world stage.  No changes to the rankings.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (289-502-502)
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 (47-47-47)
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 (32-376-376)
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 (32-43-107)
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 (40-40-40)
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 (47-140-217)
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 (6-31-51)
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 (6-162-225)
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 (31-35-97)
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 (31-107-107)
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 (31-42-241)
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 (9-241)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 1/24/2015- vs. #10 Tony Thompson
See Thompson’s notes, above.
12) Deontay Wilder (9-89)
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 (9-70)
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 (9-18)
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 (9-71)
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 (4-4)
Last Fight: 12/11/2014- TKO7 Johnathon Banks (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Tarver has recently challenged a comebacking David Haye.
 17) Bryant Jennings (3-24)
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 (3-9)
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 (3-24)
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 (3-3)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- L (UD10) vs. #20 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown 

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Friday
Charles Martin vs. Damon McCreary; Cabazon, California; Off TV
Martin is a rising prospect from St. Louis.  McCreary has a decent enough record at 15-3, but it’s a very hollow 15-3.  First, he’s really just a fattened-up super middleweight.  He’s been in with Deontay Wilder and cruiserweight prospect Jordan Shimmell, but was blown out in 2 rounds by both.  He did go the 6-round distance in an apparently competitive fight with unbeaten Ali Mansour, but Mansour hasn’t fought anyone before or since.  At 41, he does have two decent wins in his career, but those were about 15 years ago and at light heavyweight or below.  If Martin wants to make any kind of point with this fight, he’s gotta make a short night of it like Wilder and Shimmell did.  Because of McCreary’s mediocrity, I am guessing this won’t make the ShoBox telecast.

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, 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 6-12

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on December 24, 2015 by danboxing
Nothing to report from last week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (276-489-489)
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 (34-34-34)
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 (19-363-363)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- TKO7 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/24/2014- vs. #7 Carlos Takam
Povetkin will attempt to halt the meteoric rise of rugged slugger Carlos Takam when the two meet in Russia on October 24.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (19-30-94)
Last Fight: 8/9/2014- W(MD10) vs. Derric Rossy (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov didn’t exactly earn any style points for his lazy showing against big underdog Rossy, but a win’s a win, I suppose…
4) Amir Mansour (27-27-27)
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 (34-127-204)
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 (34-149-212)
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 (18-18-38)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- UD12 #9 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 10/24/2014- vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Takam looks to go from contender to international superstar when he looks to topple Povetkin in Russia in late October.
8) Bermane Stiverne (18-22-84)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Another postponement of the purse bid for the Wilder fight, as Don King and Oscar De La Hoya are apparently desperately trying to reach a deal to keep Jay-Z from getting a shot at buying the rights to the promotion.
9) Steve Cunningham (18-94-94)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery W (UD10) vs. Amir Mansour (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/18/2014 – vs. Natu Visinia (UNR)
Cunningham gets what, at least on paper, looks like a stay-busy fight in October against Natu Visinia. Visinia is unbeaten at 10-0, but has fought nobody.  He’s a big boy, though.  The Samoan typically tips the scales in the 260s or 270s.
10) Tony Thompson (18-29-228)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: 10/18/2014- vs. #12 Odlanier Solis
Thompson will be giving Odlanier Solis a well-deserved rematch in October.
11) Tomasz Adamek (18-233)
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 (18-228)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 10/18/2014- vs. #10 Tony Thompson
After taking a tough loss and a heap of excessive criticism in a fight he frankly deserved to win, Solis will get a chance to avenge the slight with an October rematch with Tony Thompson.
13) Deontay Wilder (22-76)
Last Fight: 8/16/2014- W(RTD4) vs. Jason Gavern (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Chris Arreola (22-57)
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 (27-58)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper’s effort in his last fight- and perhaps especially in the gym leading up to it- was awful, and he got lucky when his opponent turned out to be almost as out of shape as him, in addition to being an apparent quitter.
16) Alex Leapai (27-46)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 10/24/2014- vs. #20 Malik Scott
After intended fights with Shannon Briggs and Sam Peter fell through, Leapai will have an interesting matchup with Malik Scott.
17) Andy Ruiz (27-46)
Last Fight: 5/17/2014- TKO2 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ruiz’s fight with Sergei Liakhovich was cancelled about a week in advance of the September 20 date when Ruiz withdrew for “family reasons.”
18) Bryant Jennings (5-11)
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 (5-11)
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 (5-5)

Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (KO1) vs. #13 Deontay Wilder
Next Fight: 10/24/2014 – vs. #16 Alex Leapai
See Leapai’s notes, above.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Saturday
Anthony Joshua vs. Denis Bakhtov; London, England; Sky (UK)
Joshua, maybe the hottest prospect in the division right now, is staying admirably busy against at least half-decent competition.  Bakhtov is a reliable Russian trial horse, though almost certainly no match for the British Olympian.  This still wouldn’t be quite the signature win that Joshua needs to break through to the next level, but it does give him decent experience and build his hype somewhat legitimately if he wins impressively.

 

Matias Vidondo vs. Marcelo Dominguez; Neuquen, Argentina; TyC (Arg)
Vidondo defends his Argentine national title against decent but ancient journeyman Dominguez.  Vidondo, at 38, is far from a spring chicken, but his opponent trumps him in the graybeard sweepstakes at 44.  Vidondo’s youthful energy makes him a clear favorite, and I’m only half joking.  Frankly, Vidondo is a highly dubious member of the top 50.  He won his title against Fabio Moli, who was disqualified for hitting him while he was down.  Vidondo appeared completely finished in the fight when that happened, only 5 rounds in.