Archive for Andrzej Wawrzyk

Heavyweight: 2014, Mar 17-23

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on August 1, 2014 by danboxing
#18 Vyacheslav Glazkov on Saturday became the first guy, Vitali aside, to put together the technique, power, and resistance to freak arm injuries necessary to annihilate the undersized Tomasz Adamek, who came in at #4.  Glazkov brutally dominated the first 3/4 of the fight, busting the veteran Polish contender up and winning each of the first 9 rounds beyond any doubt.  Adamek did come back fairly strong to win probably two of the last three rounds as Glazkov faded, but by then it was all but in the books, given Adamek’s lack of serious heavyweight power.  Glazkov’s jab and right hand were both clicking on all cylinders, though he does need to include his pacing, conditioning, or both.  Adamek showed no defense at all for the first half of the fight.  It was an easy fight to score…either 119-109 or 118-110 for Glazkov.  NBC Sports’ unofficial judge Larry Hazzard- who is comically wrong in nearly 100% of the fights he’s scored for the network so far- had it a laughable 115-113 for Adamek.  They world doesn’t make enough liquor to explain a score like that.  The official ringsiders Julie Lederman (117-110), Kevin Morgan (117-111), and the normally excellent John Poturaj (116-112) did at least a little better, but hardly covered themselves in glory.  It was a one-sided beating overall.

 

Speaking of one-sided beating, #13 Deontay Wilder scored an all too quick and easy first round knockout over his friend and (on paper, at least) best career opponent #19 Malik Scott.  The punch that knocked Scott out didn’t even appear to land.  I follow Scott on Twitter, and he seems to be an excellent dude, but I can’t help but say that, at the very least, he didn’t seem fully committed to trying to win this fight.  By the halfway point of the first and only round, it was all over but the counting.

 

And in even less admirable action, Polish fringe prospect Andrzej Wawrzyk stopped fat 45 year-old has-been Frans Botha in 5.  I think it was shameful for Wawrzyk to accept the fight in the first place, since even though I’m not all that high on Wawrzyk, it looked more likely that he’d seriously hurt Botha than that Botha would be competitive.  Even more shamefully, it appears that the fight was indeed competitive, at least as long as it lasted.  One judge even had Botha up two points after 4, according to Boxrec.  This was for the Republic of Poland International Title, whatever the heck that nonsensical phrase means.

 

Glazkov is obviously the big winner here.  In one fight, he goes from being seen as the guy that got a gift against Malik Scott (an epitaph that would look even worse today than a week ago) to being one of less than a handful of contenders in the division to have beaten anyone as good as a #4 contender.  In doing so, he rockets all the way to #2.  This forces Povetkin down to #3 and Cunningham to #4.  Adamek falls back to #7.  The new blood forces everyone ranked #7-17 last week down one position, including Chris Arreola, who exits the top 10 after 27 successive weeks in.  Scott exits the top 20, though only barely, based on his embarrassingly impotent performance.  This allows Johnathon Banks to advance to #19, and Francesco Pianeta is promoted to the top 20 for the first time since he was forced out on July 25, 2011 due to the debut of Tyson Fury, who was fresh off his victory over Chisora.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (247-460-460)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. #15 Alex Leapai
Klitschko-Leapai appears to be finalized for April 26 in Germany.  He said recently that he wants to capture his brother’s old alphabet title, which would unify all the major titles for the first time since Lewis in 1999.  He would have to wait for someone else to pick it up first, as the silly alphabets don’t let current titlists fight for vacant titles.
1) Tyson Fury (5-5-5)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
Fury-Chisora has been made.  July 26, in Manchester.
2) Vyacheslav Glazkov (1-1-65)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
3) Alexander Povetkin (1-334-334)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBA has ordered Povetkin vs. Cuban prospect Luis Ortiz for their “regular” belt.  Naturally, Wlad is the “Super Champion.”  Povetkin had already held the “regular” belt since beating Chagaev, but apparently it became vacant when the Superchief…er…Super Champion…beat him.  Does that make Wlad the Super-Duper Champion?  If so, what fight are they going to stage for the “regular” Super Championship?  I should stop making fun, before I give them any more ideas.
4) Steve Cunningham (1-65-65)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD8 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/4/2014- vs. Amir Mansour (UNR)
Cunningham takes on unbeaten fringe contender Amir Mansour in Cunningham’s hometown of Philadelphia on April 4.
5) Kubrat Pulev (5-98-175)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO5 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Pulev was in talks with Chisora for an eliminator, but Chisora signed with Fury, instead.  Meanwhile, I have no idea if Pulev’s announced April 5 bout is still on or not.
6) Dereck Chisora (5-120-183)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Tomasz Adamek (1-204-204)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
I’d have to think Adamek would at least consider retirement after being brutalized for 12 rounds by a guy that had looked like he might top out around the top 15.
8) Odlanier Solis (1-52-199)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Solis was first set to fight Kevin Johnson.  But he backed out because the IBF wanted him to fight Takam.  But now word from Tony Thompson is that Solis will fight Thompson, instead, on March 22.
9) Carlos Takam (1-9-9)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam clearly beat #11 Perez, and is ranked accordingly.
10) Bermane Stiverne (1-39-55)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #11 Chris Arreola
ESPN has landed the fight- their biggest score in a while on that front.  May 10, location to be determined.
11) Chris Arreola (1-28)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #10 Bermane Stiverne
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
12) Deontay Wilder (1-47)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 #19 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
With the win over Scott, Wilder appears poised to fight the Stiverne-Arreola winner for an alphabet title and probably near-universal recognition as the best American heavyweight.
13) Tony Thompson (1-199)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #8 Odlanier Solis
Thompson is fighting Odlanier Solis on March 22.
14) Erkan Teper (1-29)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Alex Leapai (1-17)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Leapai-Klitschko is done for April 26 in Germany.
16) Robert Helenius (1-199)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sauerland has Helenius in mothballs, and he’s going to be removed next week unless he announces a fight.
17) Andy Ruiz (1-17)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ruiz passed up a proposed date in February, saying he wants to focus on weight loss so that his performances become more of a story than his physique.  He wants to be around or below 240.
18) Seth Mitchell (1-41)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- L (TKO1) vs. Chris Arreola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mitchell’s chin is so fragile that he might want to consider calling it a career.  Golden Boy’s CEO says he’s advised Mitchell to do just that, though he reports that Mitchell seems to have no such intention.
19) Johnathon Banks (1-2)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Francesco Pianeta (1-1)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO2 Robert Teuber (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Saturday
#8 Odlanier Solis vs. #13 Tony Thompson; Istanbul, Turkey; PolSat Sport (Poland)
This is a very interesting crossroads fight.  Solis has been taking the slow route to the top, if indeed that’s where he’s headed.  Considering his distinguished amateur background, he’s long been considering an underachiever, even as a top-10 contender.  Thompson is maybe best described as the ultimate gatekeeper.  I usually use gatekeeper here as shorthand for just about any non-prospect ranked between about 25-50.  Thompson is better described as a fringe contender or even contender by that standard, but he truly does keep the gate, twice stopping promising prospect David Price and testing the hell out of contender Kubrat Pulev in recent fights.  Solis is the younger man and probably has more technical and physical skills and talents at this point in his career, but you can never be sure of his conditioning, and Thompson is never to be overlooked.

 

Matias Vidondo vs. Alfredo Ruiz; Neuquen, Argentina; TV Unknown
Vidondo is a 37 year old gatekeeper and National Champion of Argentina, in addition to being a Neuquen native.  He meets a very non-descript opponent in low-level countryman Ruiz.  The Argentine title is on the line, but it’s really nothing more than a stay-busy fight for Vidondo from an international perspective.

Heavyweight: 2014, Mar 10-16

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on July 27, 2014 by danboxing
There were no significant heavyweight contests last week, but last week’s #18 Alexander Dimitrenko is removed for inactivity, as he last fought on March 9 of last year.  This allows this week’s challengers, Vyacheslav Glazkov and Malik Scott, to move up to #18 and #19, respectively, and Johnathon Banks returns at #20 after being forced out on February 17.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (246-459-459)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. #14 Alex Leapai
Klitschko-Leapai appears to be finalized for April 26 in Germany.  He said recently that he wants to capture his brother’s old alphabet title, which would unify all the major titles for the first time since Lewis in 1999.  He would have to wait for someone else to pick it up first, as the silly alphabets don’t let current titlists fight for vacant titles.
1) Tyson Fury (4-4-4)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury appears to be on a collision course with Chisora for the summer.  He also continues to call out Wladimir Klitschko.
2) Alexander Povetkin (4-333-333)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Chisora has been ruled out as Povetkin’s next opponent.
3) Steve Cunningham (4-64-64)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD8 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/4/2014- vs. Amir Mansour (UNR)
Cunningham takes on unbeaten fringe contender Amir Mansour in Cunningham’s hometown of Philadelphia on April 4.
4) Tomasz Adamek (4-203-203)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
The rescheduled fight with Glazkov is now official for March 15.
5) Kubrat Pulev (4-97-174)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO5 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chisora and Pulev have purse bids scheduled for March 18, though the conventional wisdom has long been that Chisora would be fighting Fury this summer.  This may or may not eliminate
6) Dereck Chisora (4-119-182)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Fury, Pulev, and Povetkin’s notes, above.
7) Odlanier Solis (4-51-198)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #11 Tony Thompson
Solis was first set to fight Kevin Johnson.  But he backed out because the IBF wanted him to fight Takam.  But now word from Tony Thompson is that Solis will fight Thompson, instead, on March 22.
8) Carlos Takam (4-8-8)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam clearly beat #11 Perez, and is ranked accordingly.
9) Bermane Stiverne (4-38-54)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #10 Chris Arreola
The latest rumors have the Arreola fight taking place in June and in Mexico.
10) Chris Arreola (4-27-27)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #9 Bermane Stiverne
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
11) Tony Thompson (4-198)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #7 Odlanier Solis
Thompson is fighting Odlanier Solis on March 22.
12) Erkan Teper (4-28)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
13) Deontay Wilder (4-46)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO4 Nicolai Firtha (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #19 Malik Scott
Wilder will fight his close friend, Malik Scott, on March 15.
14) Alex Leapai (4-16)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Leapai-Klitschko is done for April 26 in Germany.
15) Robert Helenius (4-198)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
We finally have a bit of clarification on the Helenius-Sauerland situation.  Helenius says that when he signed a promotional contract with Sauerland in 2007, he had no representation and couldn’t even read it in German.  He is currently trying to get a Finnish court to allow him to fight in Finland, as he says Sauerland is blocking him from fighting now despite the fact that his health will now allow it.
16) Andy Ruiz (4-16)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ruiz passed up a proposed date in February, saying he wants to focus on weight loss so that his performances become more of a story than his physique.  He wants to be around or below 240.
17) Seth Mitchell (4-40)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- L (TKO1) vs. Chris Arreola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mitchell’s chin is so fragile that he might want to consider calling it a career.  Golden Boy’s CEO says he’s advised Mitchell to do just that, though he reports that Mitchell seems to have no such intention.
18) Vyacheslav Glazkov (1-64)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #4 Tomasz Adamek
Glazkov-Adamek is back on, for March 15, after the first attempt was cancelled due to an Adamek illness.
19) Malik Scott (1-55)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- L (KO6*) vs. #8 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #13 Deontay Wilder
See Wilder’s notes, above.
20) Johnathon Banks (1-1)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Saturday
Andrzej Wawrzyk vs. Frans Botha; Arlamow, Poland; PolSat Sport (Poland)
Frans Botha shouldn’t still be fighting, and frankly Polish prospect Wawrzyk should be a bit ashamed of himself for taking the fight against the 45 year old South African has-been.

 

#13 Deontay Wilder vs. #19 Malik Scott; Bayamon, Puerto Rico; Showtime (US)
Wilder will face his toughest test in Scott, who should at least allow him to prove that he hasn’t gotten to #13 only because of clever matchmaking.  The only two blemishes on Scott’s record are both controversial.  In the first, the judges gave his opponent Glazkov every benefit of the doubt in arriving at a draw.  In the second, he was counted out for a knockout despite being clearly up and ready to go before the count of 10 against Dereck Chisora.  Wilder so far has destroyed everything he’s hit.  We’ll see if he can do that against a classy operator in his prime like Scott.

 

#4 Tomasz Adamek vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; NBC Sports (US)
This is an intriguing fight.  Glazkov hasn’t exactly set the world on fire against high-level opposition, as he was very lucky to escape with a draw against Malik Scott, who was his best opponent to date.  Still, Adamek is about as vulnerable-looking as #4 contenders get, having barely outpointed an injured Eddie Chambers and being clowned by the smaller Steve Cunningham.  At the very least, Glazkov is a strong natural heavyweight in his prime, and Adamek often seems to have difficulty standing up to the kind of power a guy like him brings to the table.  On the other hand, Glazkov has proven himself to have trouble handling slick boxers, which Adamek qualifies for at this weight.  I’m not sure I can pick this one.

Heavyweight: 2014, Feb 3-9

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on May 15, 2014 by danboxing
Glass-chinned Polish prospect Andrzej Wawrzyk brushed aside a laughable challenge from London’s Danny Williams, a 40 year-old former contender who was last remotely relevant in 2009.  He has lost 14 fights since his last decent win, against a grab-bag of opposition.  Wawrzyk needed only 2 minutes to finish the fight.

 

No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (241-454-454)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. #13 Alex Leapai
Klitschko-Leapai appears to be finalized for April 26 in Germany.  He said recently that he wants to capture his brother’s old alphabet title, which would unify all the major titles for the first time since Lewis in 1999.  He would have to wait for someone else to pick it up first, as the silly alphabets don’t let current titlists fight for vacant titles.
1) Alexander Povetkin (11-328-328)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin is calling for a rematch.  He would probably need to become the WBA mandatory by winning an eliminator (possibly against Luis Ortiz) in order to get that shot.  His promotional ties expired on December 31, and he says he’ll announce his next move in early 2014.
2) Steve Cunningham (11-59-59)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD8 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham had little trouble dominating a fading former gatekeeper in Quezada.
3) Tomasz Adamek (11-198-198)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
The rescheduled fight with Glazkov is now official for March 15.
4) Kubrat Pulev (11-92-169)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO5 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Pulev is back on the Braehmer card on April 5 in Rostock, Germany, but no opponent just yet.
5) Dereck Chisora (11-114-177)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO3 Ondrej Pala (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/15/2014- vs. Kevin Johnson (UNR)
After prospect Andriy Rudenko withdrew from their scheduled February 15 fight, Chisora replaced him with a better opponent in credible gatekeeper Kevin Johnson.
6) Odlanier Solis (11-46-193)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #10 Tony Thompson
Solis was first set to fight Kevin Johnson.  But he backed out because the IBF wanted him to fight Takam.  But now word from Tony Thompson is that Solis will fight Thompson, instead, on March 22.
7) Carlos Takam (3-3-3)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam clearly beat #11 Perez, and is ranked accordingly.
8) Bermane Stiverne (3-33-49)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #9 Chris Arreola
Purse bids were cancelled as Stiverne and Arreola reached an agreement for their upcoming alphabet title fight, with April being targeted.
9) Chris Arreola (3-22-22)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #8 Bermane Stiverne
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
10) Tony Thompson (3-12-193)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #6 Odlanier Solis
Thompson says he’s fighting Odlanier Solis on March 22.
11) Erkan Teper (3-23)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper might have scored the heavyweight knockout of the year, and probably retired Martin Rogan in the process.
12) Deontay Wilder (11-41)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO4 Nicolai Firtha (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #19 Malik Scott
Wilder will fight his close friend, Malik Scott, on March 15.
13) Alex Leapai (11-11)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
It looks like Leapai-Klitschko is done for April 26 in Germany.
14) Robert Helenius (12-193)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
We finally have a bit of clarification on the Helenius-Sauerland situation.  Helenius says that when he signed a promotional contract with Sauerland in 2007, he had no representation and couldn’t even read it in German.  He is currently trying to get a Finnish court to allow him to fight in Finland, as he says Sauerland is blocking him from fighting now despite the fact that his health will now allow it.
15) Andy Ruiz (11-11)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ruiz passed up a proposed date in February, saying he wants to focus on weight loss so that his performances become more of a story than his physique.  He wants to be around or below 240.
16) Seth Mitchell (12-35)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- L (TKO1) vs. Chris Arreola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mitchell’s chin is so fragile that he might want to consider calling it a career.  Golden Boy’s CEO says he’s advised Mitchell to do just that, though he reports that Mitchell seems to have no such intention.
17) Alexander Dimitrenko (11-160)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko is rumored at least to be fighting Sam Sexton in the first round of the WBC World Cup, but that tournament appears to be in limbo for the time being, at least.
18) Vyacheslav Glazkov (11-59)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Glazkov-Adamek is back on, for March 15, after the first attempt was cancelled due to an Adamek illness.
19) Malik Scott (11-50)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- L (KO6*) vs. #8 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #12 Deontay Wilder
See Wilder’s notes, above.
20) Johnathon Banks (11-64)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Banks is penciled-in for the second round of the WBC World Cup, against the winner of Sam Sexton and Alexander Dimitrenko, but as noted above, that whole tournament is delayed and in doubt.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: No action to report for next week, as the Olympics take center stage throughout most of the world.

Heavyweight: 2014, Jan 27- Feb 2

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on May 8, 2014 by danboxing
In a Friday showcase fight in Indio, California that failed to make the televised FS1 card, undefeated prospect Gerald Washington took out sub-.500 journeyman Arron Lyons early in the 5th of a scheduled 8.  No major waves there.

 

David Price was supposed to fight Konstantin Airich on Saturday in Stuttgart.  Airich is a journeyman on the downside who had nevertheless enjoyed a stint as a notable gatekeeper fairly recently.  With the cancellation of that fight, Price had to settle for a relative walk in the park against lesser journeyman Istvan Ruzsinszky of Hungary.  He took care of business, stopping his man in the opening round.  That being said, to the extent you can look bad scoring a half-round knockout with a heavy knockdown involved, I think Price kinda did.  He looked very robotic and uncomfortable behind an awkward jab to begin the fight, though he did start leaning into his punches eventually, which is what led to the impressive 1-2 that dropped the Hungarian as if he’d been shot.  I’m probably being too hard on Price, who very likely was just being cautious and feeling his man out.  Another note before I move on: referee Jorg Milke botched his job, in my opinion.  The knockdown was impressive and heavy, no doubt.  But Ruzsinszky was up at 8, and to my eyes looked just fine.  Even if he hadn’t looked fine, Milke was already waving it off as the man was in the process of standing, having not wavered at all on his way up.  He didn’t look at the eyes or anything.  Obviously there was only going to be one winner of a fight like this, but you still can’t call it off any time you want like that if you’re a professional referee.

 

Last but not least, in what was by far the most consequential heavyweight action of the week, fringe contending unbeaten prospect Bryant Jennings notched the first truly significant win of his much-heralded career, making an impressive showing against power-punching fellow unbeaten Artur Szpilka of Poland in an HBO-televised bout from New York.  Szpilka put forth a very respectable effort, and did have some real success in the first 4- and especially the first 2- rounds, but ultimately didn’t have the physical presence over the long haul that Jennings brought to the table, with Jennings imposing his will on the Pole increasingly as the fight wore on.  Jennings showed impressive athleticism, and managed to be simultaneously disciplined and exciting in his work.  Up on the official cards by an 88-82 margin that I heartily agreed with, Jennings put the cherry on the top of a delicious performance with a stoppage in the final round of the scheduled 10, having already sent Szpilka to the canvas in the 6th.

 

With the win, Jennings has established himself as a legitimate fringe contender, but despite now having a good win, he still has yet to beat a truly proven opponent who isn’t totally shot, with Szpilka failing the former test.  As a result, he falls short of  the rankings by about 3 or 4 rungs.  No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (240-453-453)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. #13 Alex Leapai
Klitschko-Leapai appears to be finalized for April 26 in Germany.  He said recently that he wants to capture his brother’s old alphabet title, which would unify all the major titles for the first time since Lewis in 1999.  He would have to wait for someone else to pick it up first, as the silly alphabets don’t let current titlists fight for vacant titles.
1) Alexander Povetkin (10-327-327)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin is calling for a rematch.  He would probably need to become the WBA mandatory by winning an eliminator (possibly against Luis Ortiz) in order to get that shot.  His promotional ties expired on December 31, and he says he’ll announce his next move in early 2014.
2) Steve Cunningham (10-58-58)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD8 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham had little trouble dominating a fading former gatekeeper in Quezada.
3) Tomasz Adamek (10-197-197)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
The rescheduled fight with Glazkov is now official for March 15.
4) Kubrat Pulev (10-91-168)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO5 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Pulev is back on the Braehmer card on April 5 in Rostock, Germany, but no opponent just yet.
5) Dereck Chisora (10-113-176)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO3 Ondrej Pala (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/15/2014- vs. Kevin Johnson (UNR)
After prospect Andriy Rudenko withdrew from their scheduled February 15 fight, Chisora replaced him with a better opponent in credible gatekeeper Kevin Johnson.
6) Odlanier Solis (10-45-192)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #10 Tony Thompson
Solis was first set to fight Kevin Johnson.  But he backed out because the IBF wanted him to fight Takam.  But now word from Tony Thompson is that Solis will fight Thompson, instead, on March 22.
7) Carlos Takam (2-2-2)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam clearly beat #11 Perez, and is ranked accordingly.
8) Bermane Stiverne (2-32-48)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Purse bids were cancelled as Stiverne and Arreola reached an agreement for their upcoming alphabet title fight, with April being targeted.
9) Chris Arreola (2-21-21)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
10) Tony Thompson (2-11-192)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #6 Odlanier Solis
Thompson says he’s fighting Odlanier Solis on March 22.
11) Erkan Teper (2-22)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper might have scored the heavyweight knockout of the year, and probably retired Martin Rogan in the process.
12) Deontay Wilder (10-40)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO4 Nicolai Firtha (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #19 Malik Scott
Wilder will fight his close friend, Malik Scott, on March 15.
13) Alex Leapai (10-10)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
It looks like Leapai-Klitschko is done for April 26 in Germany.
14) Robert Helenius (11-192)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
We finally have a bit of clarification on the Helenius-Sauerland situation.  Helenius says that when he signed a promotional contract with Sauerland in 2007, he had no representation and couldn’t even read it in German.  He is currently trying to get a Finnish court to allow him to fight in Finland, as he says Sauerland is blocking him from fighting now despite the fact that his health will now allow it.
15) Andy Ruiz (10-10)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ruiz is being targeted by Mike Perez.
16) Seth Mitchell (11-34)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- L (TKO1) vs. Chris Arreola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mitchell’s chin is so fragile that he might want to consider calling it a career.  Golden Boy’s CEO says he’s advised Mitchell to do just that, though he reports that Mitchell seems to have no such intention.
17) Alexander Dimitrenko (10-159)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko is rumored at least to be fighting Sam Sexton in the first round of the WBC World Cup, but that tournament appears to be in limbo for the time being, at least.
18) Vyacheslav Glazkov (10-58)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Glazkov-Adamek is back on, for March 15, after the first attempt was cancelled due to an Adamek illness.
19) Malik Scott (10-49)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- L (KO6*) vs. #8 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #12 Deontay Wilder
See Wilder’s notes, above.
20) Johnathon Banks (10-63)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Banks is penciled-in for the second round of the WBC World Cup, against the winner of Sam Sexton and Alexander Dimitrenko, but as noted above, that whole tournament is delayed and in doubt.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Saturday
Andrzej Wawrzyk vs. Danny Williams; Opole, Poland; Polsat Sport (Poland)
Wawrzyk is a one-loss Polish fringe prospect who should have at least two losses to go with his weak chin and poor reflexes, but there’s an excellent chance he will have little trouble with totally shot English former contender Danny Williams, who has lost 11 of his last 12 against less than stellar opposition, and last beat a worthwhile opponent in 2009.

Heavyweight: 2013, May 20-26

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on May 21, 2013 by danboxing
2-loss fringe prospect Tor Hamer got back on the right track Wednesday in New York, stopping journeyman Maurenzo Smith midway through the 3rd round to claim a victory in his first fight since quitting on his stool against Vyacheslav Glazkov in December.

 

In the week’s biggest fight at the weight, #4 Alexander Povetkin put a beating on weak-chinned Polish stringbean Andrzej Wawrzyk in Moscow, knocking the technically undefeated prospect down 3 times in as many rounds, before referee Russell Mora had seen enough and called a stop to it.  Wawrzyk arguably deserved a loss two fights ago against journeyman Denis Bakhtov, so I’m not even sure he’s a clear top 50 fighter.

 

No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (204-417-417)
Last Fight: 5/4/2013- TKO6 Francesco Pianeta
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. #4 Alexander Povetkin
After original reports had the fight all but set for August 31- a proposition that always seemed a bit far-fetched- it now appears that Klitschko-Povetkin is essentially done for October 5, though there is a sticking point over what organization will handle the drug testing.
1) Vitali Klitschko (241-241-241)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has officially ordered Vitali-Stiverne, and it sounds like it will happen.
2) Tyson Fury (5-96-96)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- KO7 #3 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury is now suddenly the most proven heavyweight not named Klitschko, and will likely get a chance to add to his resume against Kubrat Pulev next, as an eliminator for Wlad in the IBF.
3) David Haye (5-45-45)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. Manuel Charr (UNR)
Haye had some good fighters willing to fight him- including Eddie Chambers and possibly Kubrat Pulev.  The disappointment I feel at learning that he will instead fight borderline fringe contender Manuel Charr can not be overstated.
4) Alexander Povetkin (45-291-291)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- TKO3 Andrzej Wawryzk (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
After hanging around the top of the rankings for years on end, Povetkin will finally get and accept a shot at the legitimate title on October 5, apparently pending the two sides agreeing on the terms of drug testing.
5) Steve Cunningham (5-22-22)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- L (KO7) vs. #6 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: Unknown
Only time will tell where Cunningham goes form here.  His hopes for a title shot are dashed at least for awhile.  Perhaps a trilogy with Adamek would make sense at this point.
6Tomasz Adamek (5-161-161)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- W (SD12)* vs. CW #4 Steve Cunningham (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Word is that Adamek will likely be fighting still relatively unproven Newark prospect Joe Hanks on June 14 in that town that they both currently call home.
7) Eddie Chambers (22-49-49)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers continues to fish for opponents, but nothing solid yet.
8) Kubrat Pulev (22-55-132)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev and Fury have until May 28 to reach a deal to avoid a purse bid.
9) Dereck Chisora (22-77-140)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- TKO9 Hector Avila (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It was announced by Chisora’s team that he’d be fighting Deontay Wilder on June 15, but that fight was apparently dead before it was born, with Wilder’s camp concerned about his ability to go to England for the fight due to a pending assault charge.  It’s likely that Chisora will still fight on June 15, though.
10) Odlanier Solis (9-9-156)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- UD12 Leif Larsen (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis’ promoter wants to get him back in the ring within 3 months after the Larsen fight.
11) Johnathon Banks (9-27)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- TKO2 #11 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: 6/22/2013- vs. Seth Mitchell (UNR)
The Mitchell rematch- postponed due to a broken thumb by Banks- has been reset for the Malignaggi-Broner undercard on June 22.
12) Bermane Stiverne (4-12)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne is hoping that Vitali doesn’t retire so that he can try and do the honors himself.  At this point he’d be a pretty credible opponent, too.
13) Tony Thompson (4-156)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- TKO2 David Price (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/6/2013- vs. David Price (UNR)
After originally saying he’d only fight David Price in a rematch if Price came to the US, Thompson has instead agreed to fight in Price’s Liverpool backyard again.
14) Deontay Wilder (4-4)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- TKO1 Audley Harrison (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wilder may be fighting in Brooklyn on July 13.
15) Robert Helenius (4-156)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
If Helenius’ team was accurate on the severity of his hand injury, it should be healed by about now, although there were immediate rumors that the injury was more serious.
16) Alexander Dimitrenko (4-123)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko’s future is in doubt after he struggled mightily to survive a heavy knockdown and outpoint typically inept journeyman Ivica Perkovic.
17) Vyacheslav Glazkov (12-22)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. Malik Scott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov got the benefit of the doubt in every close round from two of the judges against Scott.  It was just about as close to a robbery as you can get without me calling it that. 
18) Malik Scott (12-13)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. #19 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott is waiting for his next fight after spending several weeks sparring Povetkin and Lebedev in Moscow.
19) Denis Boytsov (4-205)
Last Fight: 2/15/2013- UD8 Samir Kurtagic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov’s 2nd best win- over Robert Hawkins- is now over 5 years old, and he has slipped a few spots as a result.  He’s getting closer to obscurity with each passing month.
20) Franklin Lawrence (12-12)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- Mark Brown (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lawrence reportedly pulled out of a planned (and very good) crossroads fight with prospect Bryant Jennings.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: One-loss Cameroonian prospect Carlos Takam fights in his adopted hometown of Noisy-le-Grand, France against 6’7″ gatekeeper Michael Grant, who hasn’t fought since his November 2011 win over Frans Botha.  The winner will probably gain some degree of prominence in the division, somewhere along the lines of a fringe contender.

Heavyweight: 2013, May 13-19

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on May 13, 2013 by danboxing
Alex Leapai fought as scheduled in Brisbane on Thursday, but his undefeated novice opponent John Napari was replaced by an even weaker challenge in 2-4 Joe Lloyd, who lasted just 78 seconds before succumbing to a knockout.

 

No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (203-416-416)
Last Fight: 5/4/2013- TKO6 Francesco Pianeta
Next Fight: 8/31/2013- vs. #4 Alexander Povetkin
After an easy fight against Pianeta, Klitschko seems to have a big (but probably still easier than it might look on paper) defense against Povetkin.  He’ll get a big payday to travel to Moscow.  This is undoubtedly contingent on Povetkin beating Wawrzyk.
1) Vitali Klitschko (240-240-240)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has officially ordered Vitali-Stiverne, and it sounds like it will happen.
2) Tyson Fury (4-95-95)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- KO7 #3 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury is now suddenly the most proven heavyweight not named Klitschko, and will likely get a chance to add to his resume against Kubrat Pulev next, as an eliminator for Wlad in the IBF.
3) David Haye (4-44-44)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. Manuel Charr (UNR)
Haye had some good fighters willing to fight him- including Eddie Chambers and possibly Kubrat Pulev.  The disappointment I feel at learning that he will instead fight borderline fringe contender Manuel Charr can not be overstated.
4) Alexander Povetkin (44-290-290)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO2 Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2013- vs. Andrzej Wawrzyk (UNR)
Povetkin is set to fight mediocre-looking undefeated Polish prospect Andrzej Wawrzyk in Moscow, on the Lebedev-Jones undercard.  After that, he will almost certainly have a fight with Wlad on tap for late August.
5) Steve Cunningham (4-21-21)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- L (KO7) vs. #6 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: Unknown
Only time will tell where Cunningham goes form here.  His hopes for a title shot are dashed at least for awhile.  Perhaps a trilogy with Adamek would make sense at this point.
6Tomasz Adamek (4-160-160)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- W (SD12)* vs. CW #4 Steve Cunningham (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Word is that Adamek will likely be fighting still relatively unproven Newark prospect Joe Hanks on June 14 in that town that they both currently call home.
7) Eddie Chambers (21-48-48)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers has hinted at negotiations with a fighter with an “animal name.”  Most likely he’s talking about Lateef Kayode.  That fight, if it gets made, could be at either heavyweight or cruiser.
8) Kubrat Pulev (21-54-131)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After negotiatings to fight David Haye failed, it now seems likely Pulev has got Tyson Fury next, for a likely shot at Wladimir Klitschko in early 2014.
9) Dereck Chisora (21-76-139)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- TKO9 Hector Avila (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It was announced by Chisora’s team that he’d be fighting Deontay Wilder on June 15, but that fight was apparently dead before it was born, with Wilder’s camp concerned about his ability to go to England for the fight due to a pending assault charge.  It’s likely that Chisora will still fight on June 15, though.
10) Odlanier Solis (8-8-155)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- UD12 Leif Larsen (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis’ promoter wants to get him back in the ring within 3 months after the Larsen fight.
11) Johnathon Banks (8-26)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- TKO2 #11 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: 6/22/2013- vs. Seth Mitchell (UNR)
The Mitchell rematch- postponed due to a broken thumb by Banks- has been reset for the Malignaggi-Broner undercard on June 22.
12) Bermane Stiverne (3-11)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne is hoping that Vitali doesn’t retire so that he can try and do the honors himself.  At this point he’d be a pretty credible opponent, too.
13) Tony Thompson (3-155)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- TKO2 David Price (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/6/2013- vs. David Price (UNR)
After originally saying he’d only fight David Price in a rematch if Price came to the US, Thompson has instead agreed to fight in Price’s Liverpool backyard again.
14) Deontay Wilder (3-3)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- TKO1 Audley Harrison (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Chisora’s notes, above.
15) Robert Helenius (3-155)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Helenius’ team confirms another hand injury.  They say it will take 6 weeks to heal, despite rumors that it is more serious.
16) Alexander Dimitrenko (3-122)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko’s future is in doubt after he struggled mightily to survive a heavy knockdown and outpoint typically inept journeyman Ivica Perkovic.
17) Vyacheslav Glazkov (11-21)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. Malik Scott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov got the benefit of the doubt in every close round from two of the judges against Scott.  It was just about as close to a robbery as you can get without me calling it that. 
18) Malik Scott (11-12)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. #19 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott is in Moscow at last check, sparring with Povetkin and Lebedev.
19) Denis Boytsov (3-204)
Last Fight: 2/15/2013- UD8 Samir Kurtagic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov’s 2nd best win- over Robert Hawkins- is now over 5 years old, and he has slipped a few spots as a result.  He’s getting closer to obscurity with each passing month.
20) Franklin Lawrence (11-11)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- Mark Brown (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lawrence reportedly pulled out of a planned (and very good) crossroads fight with prospect Bryant Jennings.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Friday in New York, former Prizefighter Champion Tor Hamer looks to get back on track after quitting on his stool against Vyacheslav Glazkov in December.  He will be in with low-level journeyman Maurenzo Smith.

 

Saturday in Moscow, #4 Alexander Povetkin will stay busy against mediocre-looking undefeated prospect Andrzej Wawrzyk ahead of his anticipated Championship fight with Wlad, tentatively scheduled for August.

Heavyweight: 2013, Mar 25-31

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 27, 2013 by danboxing
With five fights featuring top 50 heavyweights, I’ll build from the crap fights to the more momentous ones in my reporting this week.

 

In Poland, mediocre undefeated prospect Andrzej Wawrzyk took care of late replacement journeyman Robert Hawkins on Saturday, winning 5 or 6 of the 6 rounds depending on which judge you ask.

 

Friday on the Solis-Larsen undercard in Berlin, nearly forgotten former top contender Ruslan Chagaev continued to beat up on outgunned opponents, knocking out West Virginia journeyman Mike Sheppard in a half-round despite being about 20 pounds over his prime fighting weight.

 

On the Abraham-Stieglitz undercard in Magdeburg, one-loss prospect Edmund Gerber won a narrow decision over Nigerian journeyman Gbenga Oloukun.  Lou DiBella, broadcasting the televised portion of the card for Epix, made a passing reference to Gerber winning an undeserved decision, and Oloukun all but went berserk after the decision was read, but there was really no reason for the controversy.  Oloukun basically gave away the first four rounds, doing almost nothing and allowing Gerber’s solid workmanlike shots to carry each by a wide margin.  Oloukun did essentially dominate and hurt Gerber for each of the last 3 rounds, but not to the point where a 10-8 was any kind of consideration.  The only round that wasn’t easy to score was round 5.  I gave it to Gerber by a narrow margin.  Two of the three judges apparently scored it even, while the other agreed with me and gave it to Gerber.  I wouldn’t argue with you if you scored it a draw, but the idea that it was a robbery or that Oloukun could have had any reasonable expectation for a win when he was nowhere close for exactly half the fight are both ridiculous.  Accounting for the fact that even rounds aren’t taboo in Europe, I’d say the judges (Rainer Schwarz, Norbert Duernberger, and Ingo Barrabas) all did an admirable job.  That being said, it was definitely an embarrassing performance for Gerber, since he was getting battered so badly by the end of the fight that you’d have to think he would have been stopped in a 10-rounder.

 

Backtracking to Friday, #11 Odlanier Solis put forth a solid if unspectacular effort against much taller Norwegian undefeated prospect Leif Larsen.  I say prospect with some reservation, since he is nearly 38 years old, having made his pro debut in 2003 but having been generally inactive and not having fought at all in 2008 or 2009.  I watched a British broadcast of the fight, and the commentary was unbelievably biased against Solis.  The whole intro was about how terrible he is, and then the commentators scored rounds against him that he basically dominated.  The judges, too, were mostly asleep at the wheel, evidently liking Larsen’s pawing jab- a punch that wasn’t even TRYING to land- more than Solis’ considerably more sparing but infinitely more effective shots, including some consistently hard body work.  In my estimation, Solis clearly lost the 11th after he, the ref, and the ring announcer all clearly believed the fight was scheduled for 10 and he went pretty much all-out in the 10th.  He may have also lost the 8th, though that one was a toss-up.  He won all the other rounds by a wide margin.  Yet judge Benny Decroos had it only 115-114.  Thomas Hakenberg had it 116-112, and Arno Pokrandt had it 117-111.  The Eurosport commentators were shocked at how wide two of the cards were.  All of the above were incompetently scoring the fight.  There’s no other way to say it.  This is a nice little win for Solis, no matter what anyone says.  To me, he appears to be all the way back from knee surgery.  He probably needs to get in a bit better shape, with 245 probably being a good goal for his weight considering his career to this point.  But in fairness he came in just 10 pounds heavier for this fight, and nearly five pounds lighter than his weight for his career-best performance against Ray Austin.

 

And finally in Abraham-Stieglitz’s main support bout on Saturday, I saw another fight that provoked a bit of scoring outrage for me.  Robert Helenius was coming off an abysmal performance that rightfully could have gone either way against mediocre journeyman Sherman Williams.  This was after a long layoff following a fight he definitely lost to Dereck Chisora.  His opponent this time around was Michael Sprott, who typically functions as a designated opponent for the high-level fighters, but who rose to gatekeeper status recently by defeating the aforementioned Gerber.  Helenius did nearly as bad as he did against Williams (even after adjusting for Sprott being better than Williams).  In the opening round, he came out looking plenty lively, snapping and moving laterally off a jab, and getting some combinations in.  He carried that success forward into the second round, as well.  But in the 3rd, Sprott began to assert himself, and on my card won that and the three rounds that followed- three of the four pretty clearly.  Helenius managed to hurt a slightly fading Sprott in the 7th and carried that momentum for a few rounds, winning 7-9 (2 of them clearly) on  my card.  Sprott showed more effort in the final round, and easily carried that one.  That led to a draw on my scorecard.  The judges, likely influenced by the fact that it was a Sauerland card and a Sauerland fighter, had it 98-93 x2 (Norbert Duernberger and Rainer Schwarz) and 97-93 (Joerg Milke).  None of those are defensible, in my view.  Referee Ingo Barrabas also showed bias, breaking the action to warn the fighters for nothing, and at excessive length, just as Sprott was coming on strong and looking for a big round. 

 

In general, neither guy was impressive.  Sprott was too often inactive to clearly win the fight, and for his part, Helenius was usually backing up behind a defensive jab that seldom landed, and almost never with anything on it.  He claimed  post-fight that his right hand hurt when it landed.  If he has chronic problems that keep him from having an effective right hand, then it’s hard to imagine him beating much better than a journeyman in the future.

 

Helenius maintains his #13 ranking, if only because he already fell a fair amount due to his similar performance against a much lesser opponent than Sprott, and because #14 Alexander Dimitrenko has an inferior overall resume and hasn’t exactly been lighting it up recently, either.  Solis slips past Jonathan Banks and into the top 10 based on his superior overall resume as compared to Banks’ one good win.  No other changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (196-409-409)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Mariusz Wach (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/4/2013- vs. Francesco Pianeta (UNR)
Wlad will be fighting Italian fringe contending prospect Francesco Pianeta in Mannheim, Germany.  It’s hard to knock Pianeta as a fighter because he remains undefeated and was knocked off track by a bout with cancer a couple years ago, but it’s hard to get excited about any fight that, if the underdog won, would be considered the greatest upset in the history of the Heavyweight Championship.
1) Vitali Klitschko (233-233-233)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vitali hasn’t decided whether to retire or not, but he has very clearly stated he has no interest in David Haye after Haye turned down a fight in September.
2) David Haye (37-37-37)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 7/6/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Haye will be fighting in July, and he’s likely going to have to break his promise not to fight anybody but Vitali in order to do so.  No opponent yet, though.
3) Steve Cunningham (14-14-14)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- L (SD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek (Robbery)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. #6 Tyson Fury
Adamek’s erratic behavior has yielded justice.  Cunningham beat Adamek, but was robbed.  Now he’ll fight Tyson Fury, with the winner to fight Kubrat Pulev for a mandatory shot at Wlad.  The fight will be at MSG and will be televised live in the afternoon by NBC.
4) Alexander Povetkin (37-283-283)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO2 Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After failing to convince the WBA to deny Wlad a voluntary before fighting him, Povetkin and his team are now raising cain about the 75-25 split the WBA has set for the purse bid.  No word on whether he’ll stay busy in the meantime, as it would be hard to imagine the fight happening before August at the earliest.  The WBA has mandated that the fight take place by the end of that month, but we’ll see on that.
5) Tomasz Adamek (14-153-153)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- W (SD12)* vs. CW #4 Steve Cunningham (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
After claiming he turned down the Pulev fight for a more lucrative opportunity for a domestic Polish fight, Adamek is now saying he’ll fight next in the US.  If this were a game of “Duck, Duck, Goose,” we know which bird Adamek would be.  Now he’s separated from his promoter, Main Events.  One strange development after another.
6) Tyson Fury (14-88-88)
Last Fight: 12/1/2012- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. #3 Steve Cunningham
See Cunningham’s notes, above.
7) Eddie Chambers (14-41-41)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers is getting some buzz as a possible next opponent for Haye, and he’s done nothing to discourage this.
8) Kubrat Pulev (14-47-124)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With Adamek running scared, Pulev will reportedly defend his EBU title soon.  Next, he will likely fight the winner of Cunningham-Fury, with the winner becoming Wlad’s IBF mandatory.
9) Dereck Chisora (14-69-132)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- L(TKO5) vs. David Haye (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. Ondrej Pala (UNR)
Chisora will be fighting the best available Czech heavyweight out there in Ondrej Pala, though that’s not saying much.  Still, Pala is at least arguably a top 50 guy, despite getting stopped by the soft-punching Konstantin Airich.
10) Odlanier Solis (1-1-148)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- UD12 Leif Larsen (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis’ promoter wants to get him back in the ring within 3 months after the Larsen fight.
11) Johnathon Banks (1-19)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- TKO2 #11 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Banks broke his thumb in sparring, scuttling the Mitchell rematch.
12) Tony Thompson (4-148)

Last Fight: 2/23/2013- TKO2 David Price (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson has been approached about fighting a comebacking David Tua in the summer.  My sense is that he can do a lot better.
13) Robert Helenius (4-148)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
If he can’t get his injury situation together and start fighting with a bit more urgency, Helenius is heading for journeyman status and a premature retirement.
14) Alexander Dimitrenko (4-115)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko’s future is in doubt after he struggled mightily to survive a heavy knockdown and outpoint typically inept journeyman Ivica Perkovic.
15) Chris Arreola (4-210)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. #19 Bermane Stiverne (UNR)
The Stiverne fight is once again on the schedule, this time for April 27.
16) Denis Boytsov (4-197)
Last Fight: 2/15/2013- UD8 Samir Kurtagic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov appears to have won the battle of wills with Universum over whether he gets to fight or not.  Now the trick will be getting him in against worthwhile opposition.
17) Vyacheslav Glazkov (4-14)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. Malik Scott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov got the benefit of the doubt in every close round from two of the judges against Scott.  It was just about as close to a robbery as you can get without me calling it that. 
18) Malik Scott (4-5)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. #19 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott was the victim of a bad decision against Glazkov it’s fair to say, but I stop short of calling it a blatant robbery.  I do believe he won 8 of the 10 rounds, but he only won 4 of them with clarity.  By easing off the gas in the latter half of the fight, he gave the judges the opportunity to hand it to the house fighter, which 2 of them were all too happy to do.
19) Bermane Stiverne (4-4)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- vs. Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. #15 Chris Arreola
See Arreola’s notes, above.
20) Franklin Lawrence (4-4)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- Mark Brown (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/14/2013- vs. Bryant Jennings (UNR)
Lawrence finally has a worthwhile fight on his schedule for the first time in a while in hot prospect Bryant Jennings.  It’ll be in Jennings’ backyard in Bethlehem, PA, though.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: No heavyweight fights of note after a busy time last week.  Happy Easter!