Archive for Andy Ruiz

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!
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Heavyweight: 2014, Dec 15-21

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Heavyweight: 2014, Oct 27- Nov 2

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

Heavyweight: 2014, Oct 20-26

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on December 27, 2015 by danboxing
Thursday in Auckland, New Zealand, unbeaten Kiwi prospect Joseph Parker pounded out a 10-round decision with the capable Sherman Williams.  Unfortunately I’ve yet to locate a video of the fight, so I’m going to have to leave you with just the cold results for now, which included 2 clean 100-90 scorecards, along with a 97-94, all in Parker’s favor.  
 

One-loss Polish giant Mariusz Wach finally returned on Friday from a steroid suspension and accompanying two-year layoff, winning virtually every round of an 8-rounder against fellow big man Samir Kurtagic, a durable but limited Turk.  

 

Undefeated and totally untested Samoan prospect Natu Visinia overperformed expectations in many ways on Saturday in Philly.  After 7 rounds, I had the fight even.  Visinia managed to drop the much smaller Cunningham in the 5th after a very close first four rounds.  Cunningham fired the one-two combos constantly, but got himself in trouble when he found himself on the ropes, which frankly happened more often than it probably should have.  His chin did hold up well for the most part against the 278 pound prospect, and Visinia ultimately retired in his corner, apparently due to a general state of busted-upness.

 

Williams came in as a low-level gatekeeper around the fringe of the top 50, which is roughly the same level as Parker’s previous best win over Brian Minto.  Still, the win moves Parker up a couple slots unofficially.  He’s right at about the top 25 level now.  Wach is back to activity and rankability now, but he’s only got one gatekeeper-level win in his career, and tops out around the top 40 currently.  No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (278-491-491)
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 (36-36-36)
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 (21-365-365)
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 (21-32-96)
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 (29-29-29)
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 (36-129-206)
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 (36-151-214)
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 (20-20-40)
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 (20-24-86)
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 (20-96-96)
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 (20-31-230)
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 (20-235)
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 (20-230)
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 (24-78)
Last Fight: 8/16/2014- W(RTD4) vs. Jason Gavern (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Chris Arreola (24-59)
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 (29-60)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper is rumored to be close to signing for a fight with 36 year old one-loss Polish prospect(?) Marcin Rekowski in December.
16) Alex Leapai (29-48)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 10/31/2014- vs. #20 Malik Scott
Leapai-Scott has been moved back a week to Halloween after Leapai suffered a minor leg injury.
17) Andy Ruiz (29-48)
Last Fight: 5/17/2014- TKO2 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/25/2014- vs. Kenny Lemos (UNR)
Ruiz will look to make up for some lost fight in short order.  He will be in the ring this Saturday on about a week’s notice against an easy mark in Kenny Lemos, and then expects to be back on December 6, as well.
18) Bryant Jennings (7-13)
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 (7-13)
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 (7-7)

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

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Friday
#2 Alexander Povetkin vs. #7 Carlos Takam; Moscow, Russia; TV Unknown
This is a big matchup, needless to say.  I haven’t run the numbers yet, but a win from either guy could give Tyson Fury a run for the #2 spot, it would seem.

 

Manuel Charr vs. Michael Grant; Moscow, Russia; TV Unknown
Charr had been beaten twice, but only by a Klitschko and Povetkin.  Grant, who stands 6’7″, may once have been a real challenge, but at 42 years old and coming off a layoff, I’d say his odds are pretty long in this one.  The big American comes off a stoppage loss to Carlos Takam 16 months ago, in what was his most recent fight.

 

Saturday
#17 Andy Ruiz vs. Kenny Lemos; Fresno, CA; Unimas (US)
This is a stay-busy fight for Ruiz against a 12-8 nobody in Lemos.  Ruiz was recently scheduled to fight Sergei Liakhovich, but pulled out of that fight for some sort of family issue.  Apparently it wasn’t a long-standing problem.

Heavyweight: 2014, May 19-25

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 14, 2014 by danboxing
On the MaxiNutrition Knockout tournament undercard in Leeds, England, fringe contender Eddie Chambers beat up the morbidly obese and just generally huge Carl Baker for 3 rounds before the big man’s corner called it off.  Baker hadn’t been down, but he was hurt very badly in the final seconds of the last round.

 

A still-shockingly flabby Andy Ruiz returned to the ring on Saturday in Fresno, California against washed-up former fringe contender Manuel Quezada.  It wasn’t really a contest.  Ruiz brutalized Quezada to both the head and the body with heavy-handed athleticism that makes you scratch your head.  The crisp power and ease of movement frankly look contrived coming from someone with Ruiz’s physique.  The Mexican prospect dropped Quezada in each of the first two rounds before referee Marcos Rosales had quite reasonably seen enough.  

 

Ruiz had turned down an earlier fight saying he preferred to focus on weight loss, and that he wanted to fight at around 240.  He only got down to 250 for this fight after coming in at an atrocious 257 for his career-best win over Tor Hamer.  I’d say that if I were him, I wouldn’t even feel comfortable taking my shirt off in public at anything north of 220.  That being said, there was really nothing not to like about his performance itself, or the skills he displayed in making it happen.

 

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 (256-469-469)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: 9/6/2014- vs. #5 Kubrat Pulev
The most likely scenario is Klitschko-Pulev taking place on September 6.  There is also some talk of a possible step-aside settlement to Deontay Wilder that might put Stiverne in position for the shot, instead.  Wlad’s statements indicate that he might think more of Stiverne’s ability than Pulev’s.  It doesn’t hurt that he’d unify all the major alphabets by notching that win, I’m sure.
1) Tyson Fury (14-14-14)
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.  The winner will become one of Wlad’s mandatories.
2) Vyacheslav Glazkov (10-10-74)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Reports have a fight between Glazkov and Main Events stablemate Bryant Jennings being targeted for July on HBO.
3) Alexander Povetkin (10-343-343)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 5/30/2014- vs. Manuel Charr (UNR)
Povetkin, who could have faced Glazkov, will instead take on the less proven Manuel Charr in Moscow on May 30.
4) Amir Mansour (7-7-7)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery L (UD10) vs. #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham had the more sympathetic story and a legitimately great comeback attempt, but Mansour had the better collection of rounds legitimately won.  Mansour was robbed even though the fight was close, and deserves Cunningham’s former position in the rankings for his effort.
5) Kubrat Pulev (14-107-184)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/6/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Klitschko’s notes, above.
6) Dereck Chisora (14-129-192)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Bermane Stiverne (2-2-64)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
From all appearances, Deontay Wilder has likely got the next crack at Stiverne- something the WBC is mandating, as opposed to a possible unification fight with Klitschko.
8) Steve Cunningham (2-74-74)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery W (UD10) vs. Amir Mansour (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I hope you’ll all pray for his daughter to recover from her life-threatening health condition, and the guy had guts to come back from the 2 knockdowns.  But he didn’t win the fight.
9) Tony Thompson (2-9-208)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- W* (SD12) vs. #8 Odlanier Solis
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. #11 Carlos Takam
Thompson- no stranger to the road- will visit France for a fight with tough customer Carlos Takam on June 6.
10) Tomasz Adamek (2-213-213)
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.  He’s recently announced his candidacy for the European parliament elections in May, so that may be a sign that he’s leaning that direction.
11) Odlanier Solis (2-208)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
The Solis haters are out in force, claiming a clear loss in a fight that Solis deserved to win.  You might not like his physique or his training habits or his style, but if he outfights the other guy, he still deserves to be respected as a winner at least as much as a disappointment.  A loss to Thompson is not that embarrassing, especially when you ought to have won it.
12) Carlos Takam (2-18)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. #8 Tony Thompson
See Thompson’s notes, above.
13) Deontay Wilder (2-56)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 #19 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
Wilder is probably on deck to fight Stiverne, and in the mean time, he’s keeping busy by beating up morons from Youtube in the gym.
14) Chris Arreola (2-37)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
Having spent the better part of the last 5 years losing or fighting nobodies, Arreola’s resume now depends entirely on the Mitchell win.
15) Erkan Teper (7-38)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper, after months of radio silence, is said to be in line for an impending European Union title fight with France’s Johann Duhaupas, a so-so prospect in my estimation.
16) Alex Leapai (7-26)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Leapai is reportedly interested in fighting Shannon Briggs in the wake of his total non-performance against the Champ.
17) Andy Ruiz (7-26)
Last Fight: 5/17/2014- TKO2 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Even against a faded Quezada who showed little resistance, I must confess to being impressed by Ruiz’s skill and heavy hands, especially considering the sharp contrast between his physique and the results it yields.
18) Seth Mitchell (7-50)
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 (7-11)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
With Sam Peter out with injury, the word is that Banks has been officially offered a spot in the “Super 8” tournament in Auckland.  Kali Meehan, Martin Rogan, and Michael Sprott are among the other participants.  This would take place on June 4, and would be similar to Britain’s Prizefighter concept.
20) Francesco Pianeta (7-10)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO2 Robert Teuber (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/30/2014- vs. Mickael Vieira (UNR)
Pianeta makes his 2014 debut in Dresden on May 30 against lower-mid-level journeyman Mickael Vieira of France.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Tuesday
Charles Martin vs. Rafael Pedro; Santa Monica, California; Off TV
Martin is a Midwestern prospect quietly building career momentum on King Sports’ quirky mid-week cards in Santa Monica of late.  He comes off his career-best win, a fourth-round knockout over fellow undefeated prospect Alex Flores just over a month ago.  His opponent this time is a major step down in competition.  Rafael Pedro is a veteran at 21-10, and his record indicates a fair degree of durability.  Still, at 39, he’s likely on the downside, and even at his best he was a mid-level journeyman at absolute best.  He did upset a prospect at one point in his career, but that was back in 2002, and the victim wasn’t on the same level as Martin.

Heavyweight: 2014, May 12-18

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 10, 2014 by danboxing
#12 Bermane Stiverne confirmed the result of his 2013 fight with Chris Arreola in a shorter but more competitive and action-packed fight on ESPN from Los Angeles this Saturday.  Arreola was generally effective behind his aggression and his jab, but his always suspect defense was just too lax to avoid getting caught by a guy like Stiverne who carried the power to take him out.  Stiverne, for his part, has a pretty scary combination of one-punch knockout power and impressive heavyweight hand speed.  Arreola won 3 of the first 4 rounds (perhaps all of them, really), but Stiverne began to take over in the 5th, and never looked back.  He dropped Arreola twice in the 6th en route to the stoppage, and it should have ended sooner than it did.  Referee Jack Reiss- usually a good ref- bent over backwards to give Arreola extra time to recover, and was way too slow to pull the plug when it was clear that the recovery wasn’t going to happen.

 

On the undercard, two-loss Texas prospect Eric Molina stopped 45 year-old former fringe contender Davarryl Williamson, who was coming off a two-year layoff.  No video of the fight is available, so all I can really say is that Molina, per Boxrec, didn’t score any knockdowns en route to the victory.

 

Stiverne not only just beat the highest-ranked contender of his career so far, but also saw his head-scratching draw with a journeyman become 5 years old last month.  He’s now got no blemishes on his relevant record, and 3 wins over top 20 contenders (even if two of them are the same guy).  He rises to his highest level yet at #7, though it’s not his first time in the top 10.  Arreola doesn’t suffer much from losing to an impressive performer he’s already lost to, but unfortunately he saw his win over Jameel McCline become 5 years old around the same time as Stiverne’s draw, so he does slump one place, swapping spots with Deontay Wilder, who just so happens to be Stiverne’s likely next opponent.  It’s crazy to think about, but the Seth Mitchell destruction is Arreola’s only top 50 win in the last 5 years now, essentially meaning that his entire time as a hot-ticket prospect has now been squandered.  With the shake-up, everyone ranked #7-11 last week drops a spot, including Odlanier Solis, who exits the top 10 after 59 consecutive weeks in.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (255-468-468)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: 9/6/2014- vs. #5 Kubrat Pulev
All signs point to the long-awaited defense against Pulev taking place on September 6.
1) Tyson Fury (13-13-13)
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.  The winner will become one of Wlad’s mandatories.
2) Vyacheslav Glazkov (9-9-73)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov reports that negotiations for a fight with Povetkin have failed, and that Povetkin would likely be fighting Manuel Charr, instead.
3) Alexander Povetkin (9-342-342)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 5/30/2014- vs. Manuel Charr (UNR)
Povetkin, who could have faced Glazkov, will instead take on the less proven Manuel Charr in Moscow on May 30.
4) Amir Mansour (6-6-6)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery L (UD10) vs. #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham had the more sympathetic story and a legitimately great comeback attempt, but Mansour had the better collection of rounds legitimately won.  Mansour was robbed even though the fight was close, and deserves Cunningham’s former position in the rankings for his effort.
5) Kubrat Pulev (13-106-183)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/6/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Klitschko’s notes, above.
6) Dereck Chisora (13-128-191)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Bermane Stiverne (1-1-63)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
From all appearances, Deontay Wilder has likely got the next crack at Stiverne.
8) Steve Cunningham (1-73-73)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery W (UD10) vs. Amir Mansour (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I hope you’ll all pray for his daughter to recover from her life-threatening health condition, and the guy had guts to come back from the 2 knockdowns.  But he didn’t win the fight.
9) Tony Thompson (1-8-207)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- W* (SD12) vs. #8 Odlanier Solis
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. #11 Carlos Takam
Thompson- no stranger to the road- will visit France for a fight with tough customer Carlos Takam on June 6.
10) Tomasz Adamek (1-212-212)
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.  He’s recently announced his candidacy for the European parliament elections in May, so that may be a sign that he’s leaning that direction.
11) Odlanier Solis (1-207)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
The Solis haters are out in force, claiming a clear loss in a fight that Solis deserved to win.  You might not like his physique or his training habits or his style, but if he outfights the other guy, he still deserves to be respected as a winner at least as much as a disappointment.  A loss to Thompson is not that embarrassing, especially when you ought to have won it.
12) Carlos Takam (1-17)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. #8 Tony Thompson
See Thompson’s notes, above.
13) Deontay Wilder (1-55)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 #19 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
Wilder is probably on deck to fight Stiverne, and in the mean time, he’s keeping busy by beating up morons from Youtube in the gym.
14) Chris Arreola (1-36)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
Having spent the better part of the last 5 years losing or fighting nobodies, Arreola’s resume now depends entirely on the Mitchell win.
15) Erkan Teper (6-37)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Alex Leapai (6-25)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Leapai is reportedly interested in fighting Shannon Briggs in the wake of his total non-performance against the Champ.
17) Andy Ruiz (6-25)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Ruiz was scheduled to fight on the Marquez-Alvarado undercard on May 10, but has been bumped back a week to a fight in Fresno against Manuel Quezada.
18) Seth Mitchell (6-49)
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 (6-10)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
With Sam Peter out with injury, the word is that Banks has been officially offered a spot in the “Super 8” tournament in Auckland.  Kali Meehan, Martin Rogan, and Michael Sprott are among the other participants.  This would take place on June 4, and would be similar to Britain’s Prizefighter concept.
20) Francesco Pianeta (6-9)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO2 Robert Teuber (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/30/2014- vs. Mickael Vieira (UNR)
Pianeta makes his 2014 debut in Dresden on May 30 against lower-mid-level journeyman Mickael Vieira of France.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Saturday
Eddie Chambers vs. TBA; Leeds, England; TV Unknown
Another stay VERY busy fight for Chambers.  The fact that his opponent isn’t known a matter of days before fight night should tell you it’s not going to be a big deal.

 

#17 Andy Ruiz vs. Manuel Quezada; Fresno, California; Unimas (US)
Ruiz is already proven well beyond the level of former fringe contender but current journeyman Quezada.  Still, Quezada is a half-decent measuring stick, if nothing else, having made a halfway decent showing against Chris Arreola as recently as a few years ago.

Heavyweight: 2013, Nov 25- Dec 1

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 18, 2014 by danboxing
The Hernandez-Alekseev undercard in Bamberg, Germany featured a pretty significant upset.  #20 Denis Boytsov, who was probably in line for a shot at Wlad in his next fight, having been considered among the best available options for years, was soundly outpointed by Samoan gatekeeper Alex Leapai.  Boytsov appeared to be in mediocre shape, having cruised to easy victories against weak opponents for years.  Leapai’s punches seemed to have more steam at the start, and to have held that steam better down the stretch.  Leapai also appeared to want the win a lot more than the Russian.

 

We almost saw another upset in Macau on Sunday (Saturday US time), where undefeated Mexican prospect Andy Ruiz looked to be rather outclassed against gatekeeper Tor Hamer, getting out-hustled and out-punched, while looking very easy to hit.  But Hamer had a rough third and took some shots, and promptly quit before the 4th.  This is unfortunately Hamer’s M.O., as he did very much the same thing against Vyacheslav Glazkov.

 

I agonized a bit over this news, because frankly I think in the end it will just be a case of posturing and attention-seeking, but #1 Tyson Fury retired this week.  He couldn’t have been more clear about it, stating on Twitter that he is “officially” retired, and even after his promoter and his uncle/trainer vehemently denied the retirement, Fury himself confirmed it, clarifying that he is, in fact, a million percent retired.  Fury is very undisciplined in his use of Twitter, and is prone to blurt out dramatic sound bytes based on however he’s feeling at the moment, and I suspect this is little different, but ultimately if I started ignoring unequivocal statements from fighters regarding their statuses, there wouldn’t really be any effective way for a fighter to retire from the rankings at all.  That being the case, and even though I think the result is rather artificial and silly in this case, I am forced to take Fury at his word and remove him from the rankings.  He won’t be eligible until he fights again, since he is essentially inactive now, and can’t change that until he actually enters the ring.  Everyone ranked #2-13 last week moves up a spot, allowing Erkan Teper to make his debut in the top 10.

 

Both of the week’s fights prompt a shakeup in the division this week, as well.  Leapai is naturally going to benefit from clearly beating a top 20 contender.  He does have one inconsistent loss on his record- a fairly dominant TKO loss to Kevin Johnson- but that loss is far enough in the past (over 18 months) that it can detract from his resume without leading to the conclusion that he’s proven to be that kind of fighter in the present day.  He’s also got a 2009 6-round draw to a complete nobody, but that has to be treated as a fluke, since he has destroyed many much better fighters since then.  While comparing resumes as a whole without respect to timing would not allow this result, when weighting recent results more, it’s clear that Leapai belongs ahead of Robert Helenius.  Helenius has had two consecutive inconclusive fights with clearly non-top-20 opposition and a clear loss to Chisora before that.  One of those opponents was not even top 50.  Leapai just beat a top 20 guy, and I think it would be hard to say that Helenius is currently capable of doing that with any degree of confidence.  Obviously injury has played a major part in that, but the Nordic Nightmare has been fighting with injury for so long now that it’s become a part of who he is as a fighter.  For these reasons, Leapai debuts at #13.  

 

Ruiz’s opponent Hamer, meanwhile, was not quite as good as Boytsov.  Hamer made a name for himself by- perhaps ironically- beating Kevin Johnson on Prizefighter.  Johnson was a borderline top 20 guy at the time, and so that got Hamer near that level.  But it was a non-shutout decision in a 3-round fight.  You’ve gotta take that into account, especially after he straight up quit against Glazkov.  He also had a loss to an unheralded prospect in Kelvin Price earlier on.  I had Hamer as roughly the #29 heavyweight in the world going in.  Not bad, but not Boytsov, who if anything was viewed as underrated at #20.  When comparing Ruiz to Helenius, a different result emerges.  While I’m not willing to give Helenius credit for wins over Sprott and Williams (I scored both fights as draws), he also didn’t lose.  When I treat a fight as a draw, I generally imagine a midpoint between the status of the two fighters, and act as if both guys showed a level right around that point.  Even as lowly as Sherman Williams was in the ranks at the time of their fight, Helenius was high enough that the midpoint still was around the fringe contender level.  Even after Helenius was diminished by that fight, the Sprott fight had him roughly at the same level, since Sprott himself was nearly a fringe contender after beating Gerber.  So I’ve yet to see anything to suggest that Helenius has fallen so far that he can’t compete at around the level of the top 25, and the aging wins over Peter, Brewster, and Bidenko still justifiably buoy him to a great extent.  Ruiz’s win over Hamer was at a level just below what I’d call the fringe contender level…roughly equivalent to Sprott.  So even taking only the most recent performances into account, it’s not a slam dunk.  The fact that Helenius has beaten a #6 contender and one or two more guys roughly equivalent to Hamer- even if it was in the fairly distant past- is dispositive in this case.  

 

Ruiz does, however, surpass Seth Mitchell in a close call.  Mitchell got a win over #19 Ibragimov to give him the advantage, but then got stopped by a guy only a shade more credible than Hamer in Johnathan Banks.  Technically Mitchell then beat a #10 contender by winning his rematch with Banks, but you’ve gotta discount that for the most part, since essentially he had created that #10 contender himself by the first fight.  So he beat #19, and then lost and won against a guy ranked between 20-25 on his own merits.  That means he had probably proved himself pretty much in his element around the 19-25 range, which is a notch better than Ruiz has done in the one relevant fight.  But unfortunately for Mitchell, his last fight was a demolition at the hands of Chris Arreola, who was ranked in the low-mid 20’s, and just a couple spots ahead of Hamer at the time.  That’s a pretty compelling case that Ruiz has proven himself at the higher level of late.  

 

Accordingly, Ruiz debuts at #15.  Helenius holds firm at #14.  Mitchell remains at #16.  Alexander Dimitrenko, with his win over Luan Krasniqi now over 5 years old, takes a dive from #15 to #17.  Glazkov and Scott each fall two places to #18 and 19, respectively, and Banks hangs on at #20.  Boytsov doesn’t need the help to make his own exit.  I must say that the heavyweight division is getting more exciting overall with all of this new blood, though the top of the division is greatly diminished by the removal of the top two contenders in the past two weeks.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (231-444-444)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
While the order is unclear at least to me, Klitschko’s current mandatory obligations include Alex Leapai and Kubrat Pulev.  In the WBA, it looks like the spot would be filled by an eliminator at some point, either between Povetkin and Luis Ortiz, or whatever other fighters in their rankings would be available.  The technically retired Tyson Fury also called Wlad out right before his retirement.
 
1) Alexander Povetkin (1-318-318)
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.
2) Steve Cunningham (1-49-49)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- L (KO7) vs. #6 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Cunningham will appear on a December 14 card in Atlantic City.
3) Tomasz Adamek (1-188-188)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kathy Duva, who promotes both fighters, says she will reschedule the cancelled Adamek-Glazkov fight.
4) Kubrat Pulev (1-82-159)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- UD12 #11 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Ondrej Pala (UNR)
Pulev will be fighting on December 14 while waiting for a shot at Wlad.  His opponent is reported to be, interestingly, Ondrej Pala.  Pala is scheduled to fight Dereck Chisora this weekend, so there’s a lot that can happen on the way to that fight, obviously, if true.
5) Dereck Chisora (1-104-167)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO5 Edmund Gerber (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/30/2013- vs. Ondrej Pala (UNR)
Chisora has secured Ondrej Pala as a replacement opponent for this weekend- an upgrade from the original opponent.  This begins what could be a heck of a 3-weekend span for Pala, who according to Bulgarian media has also agreed to fight Kubrat Pulev on 12/14.
6) Odlanier Solis (1-36-183)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis was briefly set to fight Kevin Johnson on November 26, but quickly withdrew due to an IBF mandate that he fight Carlos Takam, instead.  Reportedly that fight will now happen in January, though it’s not finalized yet.
7) Bermane Stiverne (1-23-39)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne is currently fighting his promoter Don King, in court, for the right to possibly fight Vitali in February.
8) Chris Arreola (1-12-12)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola may be a candidate for Wilder, or could fight for a vacant title in a rematch with Stiverne, should Vitali retire.  Fury has also named him as someone he’d like to replace David Haye with for February 8.
9) Tony Thompson (1-2-183)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson is now actively seeking a fight with Povetkin, Fury, Adamek, or Wilder.
10) Erkan Teper (1-1-13)
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.
11) Mike Perez (1-4)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- UD10 Magomed Abdusalamov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Perez will have to do what many great fighters have had to do in the past- get over the psychological difficulty of having beaten a man to within an inch of his life, just by doing his job.
12) Deontay Wilder (1-31)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO4 Nicolai Firtha (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
In the immediate aftermath of the Haye-Fury fallout, Wilder apparently agreed verbally to fight Fury on February 8.  But a couple days later, Wilder’s promoter revealed that Fury’s management wasn’t returning phone calls, and Fury announced his retirement around that same time.  The fight looks dead.
13) Alex Leapai (1-1)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov
Next Fight: Unknown
Leapai, in Rocky-like fashion, now stands as one of Wlad’s two mandatory challengers, and should get his shot in the early part of 2014.
14) Robert Helenius (2-183)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
If there was a fatal rift between Helenius and Sauerland, it appears to have been quietly repaired, as Helenius’ team now claims there is no plan to buy out his contract.  Helenius is reportedly back in fighting condition after a wrist injury in his last fight, and intends to return in early 2014.
15) Andy Ruiz (1-1)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I’m not sure we got a good picture of Ruiz’s ability against Hamer, as he really needed just one solid round to make the mentally fragile New Yorker submit.
16) Seth Mitchell (2-25)
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 (1-150)
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 (1-49)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Adamek’s notes, above.
19) Malik Scott (1-40)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- L (KO6*) vs. #8 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott is getting serious buzz for a fight with Wilder.
20) Johnathon Banks (1-54)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Banks apparently dinged his hands up pretty good in the Mitchell fight- an alternate explanation for those who, like me, thought his inexplicable failure to follow up on his early success was a bit suspicious.  He’s been doing physical therapy, and is about ready to get back in the ring.  He’d like a rematch with Mitchell, but unfortunately a trilogy probably isn’t of much benefit to the fragile young contender at this point.  He’s 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: Monday features a rare occurrence in Tokyo.  No, not Godzilla, but rather a boxrec top-50 heavyweight in action.  Kyotaro Fujimoto is his name.  He’s a one-loss prospect.  Not a great prospect, I’ll admit, having lost to Solomon Haumono within the last year, but his back-to-back stoppage wins over fairly low-level journeymen since then have nevertheless given him the rankings points necessary.  For what it’s worth, he’s the Japanese Champion- the best of 5 currently active Japanese heavyweights.

 

The next night in Sunrise, Florida, Antonio Tarver returns from a steroid suspension to fight journeyman Mike Sheppard in a heavyweight match from Sunrise, Florida, to be televised by Fox Sports 1.

 

Saturday in London, #5 Derek Chisora takes on reasonably solid Czech journeyman Ondrej Pala, who does have a few decent wins over arguably top 50 opposition in his career.