Archive for Antonio Tarver

Year-End Awards: Heavyweight, 2014

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Eddie Chambers– Jan 1- Mar 30: Unranked.  Mar 31- Apr 6: #20.  Apr 7- Dec 31: Unranked.
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Heavyweight: 2014, Dec 15-21

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Heavyweight: 2014, Dec 8-14

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

 

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

 

No changes this week.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Heavyweight: 2013, Dec 2-8

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 21, 2014 by danboxing
Czech journeyman Ondrej Pala was actually having a fair amount of success in London against #5 Dereck Chisora on Saturday, visibly bothering Chisora with clean straight shots from the outside.  But it could only last so long.  Chisora kept the pressure up, intelligently utilizing the double jab to get in, landing power shots to shake Pala up, and then stopping him in the 3rd when Pala turned his back in the corner after a combination.  

 

Tuesday night in Sunrise, Florida, Antonio Tarver began a comeback attempt at a very advanced age after nearly 18 months of steroid-related inactivity. He didn’t look that great, but got a great result anyway.  He looked generally sluggish and his knees looked stiff, but yet he had probably won all three rounds when the first was stopped before the 4th.  Tarver began the three-knockdown onslaught that ended the fight when he caught Sheppard on the end of a perfectly timed, perfectly placed uppercut from the outside.

 

And Monday in Tokyo, one-loss prospect Kyotaro Fujimoto won a surprisingly close unanimous decision  over 9-8 journeyman Kotatsu Takehara, defending his Japanese title, but winning by just a one-round margin on one card, and three points on a second.  This probably indicates that he’s significantly overrated by his inclusion in Boxrec’s top 50.

 

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 (232-445-445)
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 (2-319-319)
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 expire at the end of the year, and he says he’ll announce his next move in early 2014.
2) Steve Cunningham (2-50-50)
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 (2-189-189)
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.  Adamek shot down rumors that he wants to fight Bryant Jennings in January, saying he’s fighting Glazkov in March.
4) Kubrat Pulev (2-83-160)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- UD12 #11 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Sherman Williams (UNR)
The reported match with Ondrej Pala was always a tenuous proposition.  Pulev will now be fighting Sherman Williams on December 14, instead.
5) Dereck Chisora (2-105-168)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO3 Ondrej Pala (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chisora looks likely to return in February, and David Price and Tyson Fury are apparently in the running.
6) Odlanier Solis (2-37-184)
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 (2-24-40)
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.  But Klitschko has been given until December 15 to decide what he wants to do with his alphabet title, so the situation is very unclear at present.
8) Chris Arreola (2-13-13)
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 (2-3-184)
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 (2-2-14)
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 (2-5)
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 (2-32)
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 (2-2)
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 (3-184)
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 (2-2)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ruiz has called out Tyson Fury, whose team says he’s out until at least March.
16) Seth Mitchell (3-26)
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 (2-151)
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 (2-50)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Adamek’s notes, above.
19) Malik Scott (2-41)
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 (2-55)
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: Fringe contender Francesco Pianeta sees the inside of a ring for the first time since his TKO loss to Wladimir Klitschko in May on Friday, testing untested German undefeated prospect Robert Teuber in Brandenburg.

 

The same night in Santa Ynez, California, former cruiserweight contender Lateef Kayode returns from 18 months’ inactivity, and debuts at heavyweight against low-level journeyman Travis Fulton.

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.

Cruiserweight: 2012, Jun 4-10

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on June 15, 2012 by danboxing
It was a tale of two fights in Carson, California this Saturday.  The first fight saw #3 Antonio Tarver doing very little and #13 Lateef Kayode controlling the fight.  That fight lasted 5 rounds.  The second fight saw Tarver start to land power punches and hurt the much younger man over the last seven rounds.  Overall, the fight was very close- certainly between 116-112 Kayode and 115-113 Tarver in my estimation.  I had it a draw, as did judge Dave Moretti.  The other two judges had it 115-113 for either fighter, yielding a draw.  The difference-makers in the fight as far as I could tell were as follows: Tarver did almost nothing in the first several rounds of the fight and didn’t seem to realize it, Kayode goofed off and clowned too much while Tarver was eeking out some of the middle rounds, and Tarver tired too much in the late rounds to quite end the fight on the 7-round sweep he needed to win, but gutted it out enough to salvage the draw.

 

Tarver, whose #3 rating had been built on one good win and a lack of offsetting losses or draws, takes a healthy tumble in the rankings from his draw against the #13 contender, slipping all the way to #7.  Meanwhile, while he was no doubt disappointed with the final result after controlling the early fight, this stands as Kayode’s most impressive performance in its own way, prompting his promotion to #8.  This bumps up everybody rated #4-7 last week one spot each, dropping everybody rated #8-12 a spot each, including Danny Green, who exit’s the top 10 for the first time since entering the Ring’s version of the rankings 131 weeks ago.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (18-102-102)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Since there’s been no news on Hernandez’ next opponent for months, I might as well start speculating.  For what it’s worth, the IBF has Polish prospect Pawel Kolodziej ranked as their top contender for his belt.  That’s a crazy ranking, but it could put Kolodziej in line for a shot soon.
2) Denis Lebedev (18-122-122)
Last Fight: 4/4/2012- KO2 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/21/2012- vs. HW #16 Jean-Marc Mormeck
Lebedev-Mormeck is now official, and will happen on July 21 in Paris.
3) Steve Cunningham (1-416-416)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham said recently that although he would consider fighting Kayode in the event he beat Tarver (the fight ultimately ended in a draw), he doesn’t believe there are any other big fights available for him at Cruiser.  He is therefore likely to move up to heavyweight.
4) Marco Huck (1-287-287)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
A summary of where Huck is at: Afolabi understandably wants a third fight with him- this time in the UK.  Huck wants a rematch with Povetkin.  Meanwhile, Huck is laying the groundwork for hyping a potential fight with Alekseev following the Russian’s poor performance against Arslan, and also for a shot at Vitali.
5) Ola Afolabi (1-169-169)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi would like a third fight with Huck, this time in the UK, or a fight with Tarver or Kayode in the US.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (1-363-363)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- TKO11 #9 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
7) Antonio Tarver (1-46-46)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. #13 Lateef Kayode
Next Fight: Unknown
Tarver retained his IBO belt with the Kayode draw, but it’s up in the air where he goes from here.  He often says he wants to be heavyweight champion, but he’s clearly not even a full-sized cruiser at this point considering how soft he looked in comparison to Kayode.
8) Lateef Kayode (1-1-81)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. #3 Antonio Tarver
Next Fight: Unknown
Kayode has snubbed a mandatory shot at Guillermo Jones’ alphabet belt for a shot at an even better fighter, the aging but still very capable Antonio Tarver.
9) Guillermo Jones (1-88-88)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/23/2012- vs. Joell Godfrey (UNR)
After missing out on several potential big fights, Jones will settle for a stay-busy outing against St. Louis area journeyman Joell Godfrey, June 23 in Miami.
10) Firat Arslan (1-4-47)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #12 Alexander Alekseev (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
The EBU has ordered a rematch between Arslan-who was robbed- and Alekseev, who escaped with a gift draw.
11) Danny Green (1-131)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- L(TKO11) vs. #8 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Shane Cameron is hoping to fight Green if he beats Monte Barrett in May.  No major news from Green’s end, except that he’s trying to goad the much, much smaller Anthony Mundine into a rematch.
12) B.J. Flores (1-102)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO6 Hugo Pineda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores has said he might fight the Fragomeni-Branco winner.  Not sure how that will be affected by the fact that there is no winner.
13) Francisco Palacios (1-62)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- UD8 Joell Godfrey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has mandated a rematch with Wlodarczyk, but that seems almost forgotten as Wlodarczyk has since chased fights with Roy Jones and Antonio Tarver, neither of which seem to be currently on the table.
14) Giacobbe Fragomeni (12-186)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fragomeni appears to be showing his age after nearly losing to an even older man in Branco.
15) Silvio Branco (12-12)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
45 year old veteran Silvio Branco got what may have been his final hurrah with a close-fought draw with top 10-ranked Giacobbe Fragomeni.
16) Mateusz Masternak (10-10)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD10 Hari Miles (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Alexander Alekseev (4-73)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw*(MD12) vs. #19 Firat Arslan (robbery- should have been L)
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck has randomly been talking smack, which seems like a contrived attempt at hyping a pretty pointless fight between the two of them.  A rematch with Arslan would seem like a pretty natural move- and the EBU has ordered just that.
18) Enad Licina (4-102)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #17 Alexander Alexeev
Next Fight: Unknown
May be getting a little shopworn.  He’s not a pushover by any means, but you’d have to be crazy to imagine him as a top-10-type guy.
19) Troy Ross (4-18)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD8 Lukasz Rusiewicz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Inactivity combined with poor competition are killing the career of top-level talent Ross, but at least he’s technically an active cruiserweight again, and thus eligible to remain in the rankings.
20) Grigory Drozd (10-17)
Last Fight: 2/8/2012- RTD9 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Drozd’s scheduled fight with Cesar Crenz was mysteriously cancelled- the same fate that befell a scheduled fight with William Joppy.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:  Nothing going on this time around.

Cruiserweight: 2012, May 28- Jun 3

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on May 28, 2012 by danboxing
Nothing to report at Cruiser from this past week.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (17-101-101)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Erased any doubt as to the better fighter between him and Cunningham.  A fight with Lebedev now would be huge.
2) Denis Lebedev (17-121-121)
Last Fight: 4/4/2012- KO2 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/21/2012- vs. HW #16 Jean-Marc Mormeck
Lebedev-Mormeck is now official, and will happen on July 21 in Paris.
3) Antonio Tarver (17-45-45)
Last Fight: 7/20/2011- RTD9 #7 Danny Green
Next Fight: 6/2/2012- vs. #13 Lateef Kayode
I seem to have missed this over a month ago, but Kayode-Tarver was sneakily movedto June 2.
4) Steve Cunningham (4-415-415)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
5) Marco Huck (4-286-286)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
A summary of where Huck is at: Afolabi understandably wants a third fight with him- this time in the UK.  Huck wants a rematch with Povetkin.  Meanwhile, Huck is laying the groundwork for hyping a potential fight with Alekseev following the Russian’s poor performance against Arslan.
6) Ola Afolabi (4-168-168)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi would like a third fight with Huck, this time in the UK.
7) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (4-362-362)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- TKO11 #9 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
8) Guillermo Jones (26-87-87)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/23/2012- vs. Joell Godfrey (UNR)
After missing out on several potential big fights, Jones will settle for a stay-busy outing against St. Louis area journeyman Joell Godfrey, June 23 in Miami.
9) Firat Arslan (3-3-46)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #12 Alexander Alekseev (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
The EBU has ordered a rematch between Arslan-who was robbed- and Alekseev, who escaped with a gift draw.
10) Danny Green (3-130-130)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- L(TKO11) vs. #8 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Shane Cameron is hoping to fight Green if he beats Monte Barrett in May.  No major news from Green’s end, except that he’s trying to goad the much, much smaller Anthony Mundine into a rematch.
11) B.J. Flores (3-101)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO6 Hugo Pineda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores has said he might fight the Fragomeni-Branco winner.  Not sure how that will be affected by the fact that there is no winner.
12) Francisco Palacios (3-61)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- UD8 Joell Godfrey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has mandated a rematch with Wlodarczyk, but that seems almost forgotten as Wlodarczyk has since chased fights with Roy Jones and Antonio Tarver, neither of which seem to be currently on the table.
13) Lateef Kayode (11-80)
Last Fight: 9/9/2011- UD10 Felix Cora, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/2/2012- vs. #3 Antonio Tarver
Kayode has snubbed a mandatory shot at Guillermo Jones’ alphabet belt for a shot at an even better fighter, the aging but still very capable Antonio Tarver.
14) Giacobbe Fragomeni (11-185)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fragomeni appears to be showing his age after nearly losing to an even older man in Branco.
15) Silvio Branco (11-11)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
45 year old veteran Silvio Branco got what may have been his final hurrah with a close-fought draw with top 10-ranked Giacobbe Fragomeni.
16) Mateusz Masternak (9-9)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD10 Hari Miles (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Alexander Alekseev (3-72)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw*(MD12) vs. #19 Firat Arslan (robbery- should have been L)
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck has randomly been talking smack, which seems like a contrived attempt at hyping a pretty pointless fight between the two of them.  A rematch with Arslan would seem like a pretty natural move– and the EBU has ordered just that.
18) Enad Licina (3-101)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #17 Alexander Alexeev
Next Fight: Unknown
May be getting a little shopworn.  He’s not a pushover by any means, but you’d have to be crazy to imagine him as a top-10-type guy.
19) Troy Ross (3-17)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD8 Lukasz Rusiewicz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Inactivity combined with poor competition are killing the career of top-level talent Ross, but at least he’s technically an active cruiserweight again, and thus eligible to remain in the rankings.
20) Grigory Drozd (9-16)
Last Fight: 2/8/2012- RTD9 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Drozd’s scheduled fight with Cesar Crenz was mysteriously cancelled- the same fate that befell a scheduled fight with William Joppy.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:  #3 Antonio Tarver takes on #13 Lateef Kayode as the main event of a Showtime Championship Boxing broadcast.  Both men have a lot to prove.  Tarver needs to prove that he’s still got it at 43 years old, while Kayode needs to prove that he ever will have it.  He’s proven to be at least at home in the middle of the 2nd tier of the top 20, but there have been indications- such as his struggles with gatekeeper-level Nick Iannuzzi- that he might not have what it takes to go much further than that.  For the aged Tarver, a loss probably ends his career as a major contender.  For the still-youthful Kayode, it might very well send him back to square one for a rebuilding period.  And with one of the best trainers in the world already in his corner, it’s hard to picture him as championship material if he can’t beat a 43-year-old ex-champion from a division below, while seemingly in his prime.