Archive for Arnold Gjergjaj

Heavyweight: 2015, Mar 2-8

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2020 by danboxing
 
Last week’s action:
Friday
Odlanier Solis apparently didn’t get the memo that his career was on the line against Tony Thompson.  He came in at the heaviest weight of his career: 271.75.  He’s always been somewhat of a chubby lump, let’s be honest.  Even at his career-best weight of 246+, he was well overweight, as he’s under 6’2″.  At 271, he’s practically useless.  He probably averaged about 5 punches per round, and many of those were cursory slaps.  In the meantime, he basically just covered up and gave Thompson a light cardio workout, which is probably more than Solis himself managed to get at any point during his training camp.  And that was while he was still fighting.  He quit in his corner after the 8th, having never really done anything to try to win.  

 

I mean don’t get me wrong- I like Tony Thompson, and he’s clearly got plenty of power.  But Solis allowed him to just casually maul him without any worry or care in the world.  For a guy of Solis’s immense talent, this was an absolutely embarrassing performance.  And don’t just take my word for it.  The Cuban showed more fire in a post-fight confrontation with his own chief second (who was understandably furious at Solis’s effort and helped Thompson celebrate after the bout) than he ever did against Tony the Tiger.  According to Boxingscene.com, Solis’s trainer- who was not in his corner due to schedule conflicts- said that Solis only spent 18 days total in serious training for the fight, despite the fact that it was originally signed in mid-September and was postponed 3 times.  Ahmet Oner, Solis’s promoter, was as candid as I’ve ever heard any promoter be about his fighter’s shortcomings.  He essentially said that while he’s still obligated to promote Solis, he’s now going to treat him as a journeyman and try and feed him to any prospect willing to pay for a name on his record.  This was one of the most embarrassing performances I’ve ever witnessed, all things considered.

In other action lower down the ranks, two borderline top-50 prospects in Arnold Gjergjaj and Zoltan Csala hooked up in an 8-rounder in Basel, Switzerland.  The official tallies were 79-72 (x2) and 78-74, all for Gjergjaj.  I’ve only been able to find a two-minute highlight film and a cellphone video of round one online.  Based on that, I’d say I’m just slightly suspicious that Csala may have done better than that, although I’m far from being able to say that Gjergjaj didn’t deserve to win legitimately.  The suspicion comes from the fact that the Swiss crowd was losing their minds every time a Gjergjaj right hand hit Csala’s gloves, and consistent crowd overreaction like that can sometimes influence judges.  But more importantly, the highlight film showed what appeared to be a light but legit knockdown by Csala ruled a slip by ref Beat Hausamann, which obviously would mean he at least likely did better than the 79-72 cards.  In any case, I can’t remotely argue with the overall result on the little footage I have, so it is what it is.  

 
Saturday
London played host to a one-sided scrap between #1 Tyson Fury and gatekeeper Christian Hammer, who made a good effort in roughly the first three rounds, but smothered his work a bit too much before fading thereafter.  Fury fought as a boxer, and dominated the fight behind the jab until he was able to catch Hammer with a southpaw right hook to put Hammer down in the 5th.  Fury went back to dominating thereafter, until Hammer decided to call it a night in his corner after round 8.  I always viewed Hammer- whom Boxrec had at #11- as significantly overrated, and I think it showed.

 

In non-televised action from Phoenix, undefeated prospect Charles Martin knocked out Brazilian journeyman Raphael Zumbano in the 10th and final round, making it two knockout losses for Zumbano in the first two months of the year.

 
Rankings Analysis
Fury has no rungs left to climb, short of taking on Wlad, so the dominant win over Hammer amounts to a stay-busy fight of little consequence, in retrospect.
 
Thompson returns to the top 10 after 6 weeks on the outside, but stalls at #9, with Chisora’s stolen win over 4th-ranked Helenius still serving as the difference.  This forces Stiverne to #10 and Cunningham to #11 (the latter exiting the top 10 after 114 consecutive weeks within it).

 

Gjergjaj has started to build a resume, but is still working his way into the mid-30s for my money, while Martin still hasn’t beaten anybody in the top 50.

 
As for Solis, I tried bending my mind into position to really savage his ranking, but although his performance was shameful and I doubt he could have beaten the #100 heavyweight in the world on the night, he still has a pretty worthy resume, objectively speaking.  Thompson was ranked #13 and #11, respectively, in the two recent fights, and honestly I thought Solis may have nicked the first one.  I considered swapping him with Arreola, but the big knock on the Nightmare is that he lost twice to Stiverne, who I now have ranked below Thompson, and who was ranked #19 and #12 when he decisioned and knocked out Arreola, respectively.  Arreola does have a 1st-round KO over then-#12 Seth Mitchell, but Solis can answer with the debateable loss to Thompson, a win over #14 Ray Austin a few years ago, and some decent gatekeeper/fringe contender level wins.  Based on results, Solis appears to hit his ceiling somewhere between #9 and #13-ranked opposition, while Arreola does so in the same general region.  Ultimately the longer resume of Solis won out, as counter-intuitive as it might seem on the surface.
 
Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (297-510-510)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- KO5 #5 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: 4/25/2015- vs. #17 Bryant Jennings
Klitschko-Jennings is on, and figures to be a fairly average defense for the Champ.
1) Tyson Fury (55-55-55)
Last Fight: 2/28/2015- W (RTD8) vs. Christian Hammer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury is now in a well-earned position as Klitschko’s mandatory, and says he wants exactly that fight.  
2) Alexander Povetkin (40-384-384)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- KO10 #7 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Negotiations are underway for a potential May 22 clash with Mike Perez in Moscow, with the winner to get a mandatory shot at Wilder’s belt.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (40-51-115)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- TKO7 Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/14/2015- vs. #10 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 (48-48-48)
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 (55-148-225)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite his knockout loss to the Champ, Pulev and Sauerland have recently extended their promotional contract, and Pulev is set to begin working with Uli Wegner, who is essentially Sauerland’s house trainer.
6) Carlos Takam (14-39-59)
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) Deontay Wilder (7-7-97)
Last Fight: 1/17/2015- UD12 #8 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
With an alphabet belt under his…um…belt….Wilder will have plenty of suitors.
8) Dereck Chisora (7-170-233)
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.
9) Tony Thompson (1-1-249)
Last Fight: 2/27/2015- W (RTD8) vs. #12 Odlanier Solis
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson cleared up any doubt as to who the better fighter is with an easy night’s work against the badly out of shape Odlanier Solis.
10) Bermane Stiverne (1-43-105)
Last Fight: 1/17/2015- L (UD12) vs. #12 Deontay Wilder
Next Fight: Unknown
No word just yet on what’s next for now former beltholder Stiverne.
11) Steve Cunningham (1-115)
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.
12) Odlanier Solis (7-249)
Last Fight: 2/27/2015- L (RTD8) vs. #11 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
If the Thompson rematch is an indication of his current ability, Solis would be overrated even at #100, and his promoter seems to be publicly of the same mind, saying essentiallly that Solis is now a journeyman, and that he’s going to feed him to anybody willing to pay for a fight.
13) Chris Arreola (17-78)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: 3/13/2015- vs. Unknown Opponent
Arreola’s return has now been set for March 13 in Ontario, CA.  No opponent yet.
14) Malik Scott (17-26)
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 (17-79)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/14/2015- vs. Johann Duhaupas (UNR)
Teper-Duhaupas has a new date: March 14 in Stuttgart.
16) Antonio Tarver (12-12)
Last Fight: 12/11/2014- TKO7 Johnathon Banks (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After being shelved by Showtime due to steroids a few years back, Tarver has landed another commentary gig for Premiere Boxing Champions.
17) Bryant Jennings (11-32)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- W* (SD12) vs. Mike Perez (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/25/2015- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Jennings has got his shot at Klitschko for April 25.  Almost certanily too soon for him, given his mediocre last performance against Perez.
18) Artur Szpilka (11-17)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- W (UD10) vs. #11 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: 4/24/2015- vs. Unknown Opponent
Now advised by Al Haymon and trained by Ronnie Shields, Szpilka will debut his new team against an opponent to be announced on an April 24 Showtime card in Chicago.
19) Mike Perez (11-32)
Last Fight: 2/5/2015- TKO2 Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Povetkin’s notes, above.
20) Alex Leapai (11-11)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- L (UD10) vs. #20 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown 
 
THE WEEK AHEAD:
Thursday
Joseph Parker vs. Jason Pettaway; Manukau City, New Zealand; Sky Arena (NZ), Main Event (AUS)
Pettaway comes a long way from West Virginia, and this does look a lot like a stay-busy fight for undefeated top-level prospect Parker.  If you’re looking for some hope for Pettaway or for a competitive fight, the American does have only one loss.  It was a 4th-round stoppage, but it did come against a credible prospect in Magomed Abdusalamov.  On the downside, he’s yet to beat anyone anywhere near the level of Abdusalamov or Parker, so it’s a stretch for him by any measure.  Pettaway is also already nearly 35.
 
Friday
Joey Dawejko vs. Enobong Umohette; Philadelpha, Pennsylvania; gofightlive.tv
Dawejko is an exciting brawler who has made a bit of a name for himself with a close win over Derric Rossy and an early-career draw with prospect Jarrell Miller.  Umohette hails from Nigeria.  He’s coming off a stoppage loss to a complete non-entity, so you can’t like his chances of the upset.  If you’re looking for a silver lining, it would be that with Dawejko not being extremely difficult to hit, Umohette does have 8 knockouts in 12 fights, albeit against rather basic opposition.
 
Saturday
Dominic Breazeale vs. Victor Bisbal; Las Vegas, Nevada; Off-TV
Breazeale, the former Olympian, is a rising prospect still waiting to step up to competition against which he can seriously be measured.  At 21-2, Bisbal isn’t necessarily a pushover, having probably been in the hunt for a top-50 ranking about 4 years ago.  But he’s never been a world-beater by any means, and is coming off a stoppage loss to Magomed Abdusalamov and an accompanying 2-year layoff.  Bisbal actually started pretty solidly in that fight, but seemed to burn out after about 2 rounds.  If Breazeale is a legitimate prospect, Bisbal doesn’t look like a serious threat at this point.

Heavyweight: 2015, Feb 23- Mar 1

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on May 12, 2020 by danboxing
 
Saturday in Berlin, the comebacking David Price won by 6th-round TKO over Brazilian journeyman Irineu Beato Costa.  Costa seemed to be mostly in survival mode from the start, which may have been the major factor in Price looking fairly pedestrian over the first 5 rounds (despite winning them all).  The tall Liverpudlian broke through in a big way in round 6, however, bludgeoning Costa to 3 knockdowns and a stoppage.  

Price came in at about #30 in the Boxrec rankings, and I’m sure his win over Costa (whom I think they had ranked around #69) will probably improve that a bit.  As for me, I’ve got him at about #37, and that wasn’t changed by this one.
 
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 (296-509-509)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- KO5 #5 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: 4/25/2015- vs. #17 Bryant Jennings
Klitschko-Jennings is on, and figures to be a fairly average defense for the Champ.
1) Tyson Fury (54-54-54)
Last Fight: 11/29/2014- RTD10 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 2/28/2015- vs. Christian Hammer (UNR)
Christian Hammer is a very beatable gatekeeper, but did look good in his last fight, and is probably about a class better than you’d expect a guy with a mandatory championship shot coming his way to stay busy against.
2) Alexander Povetkin (39-383-383)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- KO10 #7 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Negotiations are underway for a potential May 22 clash with Mike Perez in Moscow, with the winner to get a mandatory shot at Wilder’s belt.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (39-50-114)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- TKO7 Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/14/2015- vs. #10 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 (47-47-47)
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 (54-147-224)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite his knockout loss to the Champ, Pulev and Sauerland have recently extended their promotional contract, and Pulev is set to begin working with Uli Wegner, who is essentially Sauerland’s house trainer.
6) Carlos Takam (13-38-58)
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) Deontay Wilder (6-6-96)
Last Fight: 1/17/2015- UD12 #8 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
With an alphabet belt under his…um…belt….Wilder will have plenty of suitors.
8) Dereck Chisora (6-169-232)
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.
9) Bermane Stiverne (6-42-104)
Last Fight: 1/17/2015- L (UD12) vs. #12 Deontay Wilder
Next Fight: Unknown
No word just yet on what’s next for now former beltholder Stiverne.
10) Steve Cunningham (6-114-114)
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.
11) Tony Thompson (6-248)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: 2/27/2015 – vs. #12 Odlanier Solis
It looked for a couple days that the Solis fight was going to be postponed for a 4th time due to problems with the local Hungarian promotion, but Solis’s promotional team appears to have rescued the February 27 date by moving the fight to Turkey.
12) Odlanier Solis (6-248)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 2/27/2015- vs. #11 Tony Thompson
See Thompson’s notes, above.
13) Chris Arreola (16-77)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: 3/13/2015- vs. Unknown Opponent
Arreola’s return has now been set for March 13 in Ontario, CA.  No opponent yet.
14) Malik Scott (16-25)
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 (16-78)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/14/2015- vs. Johann Duhaupas (UNR)
Teper-Duhaupas has a new date: March 14 in Stuttgart.
16) Antonio Tarver (11-11)
Last Fight: 12/11/2014- TKO7 Johnathon Banks (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After being shelved by Showtime due to steroids a few years back, Tarver has landed another commentary gig for Premiere Boxing Champions.
17) Bryant Jennings (10-31)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- W* (SD12) vs. Mike Perez (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/25/2015- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Jennings has got his shot at Klitschko for April 25.  Almost certanily too soon for him, given his mediocre last performance against Perez.
18) Artur Szpilka (10-16)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- W (UD10) vs. #11 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: 4/24/2015- vs. Unknown Opponent
Now advised by Al Haymon and trained by Ronnie Shields, Szpilka will debut his new team against an opponent to be announced on an April 24 Showtime card in Chicago.
19) Mike Perez (10-31)
Last Fight: 2/5/2015- TKO2 Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Povetkin’s notes, above.
20) Alex Leapai (10-10)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- L (UD10) vs. #20 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown 
 
THE WEEK AHEAD:
Friday
#11 Tony Thompson vs. #12 Odlanier Solis; Antalya, Turkey; Eurosport
This oft-delayed rematch finally appears good to go for Friday.  A clear win would obviously be a huge boon to the career of either man, neither of whom is getting any younger.  The first fight was very close, with Thompson getting what I saw as the benefit of the doubt to pull off a split decision victory by a one-round margin on both cards.  The 3rd judge had it 116-112 for Solis, which matched my own score.  In any case, it was a debatable contest.  Solis has been seen as an underachiever for the majority of his professional career, after having been a storied amateur in Cuba.  Thompson is the division’s ultimate dark horse spoiler, especially with his recent impressive run at a current age of 43.  If Solis plans to ever realize his presumed potential, he needs to emerge from this fight with a win, with his reputation among the public, the media, and the power brokers of the sport probably being even worse than he deserves with his actual performances.
 
Zoltan Csala vs. Arnold Gjergjaj; Basel, Switzerland; TV Unknown
This is an intriguing little scrap between undefeated European prospects.  Csala is from Hungary, and quite long in the tooth at 37.  On the bright side, he is coming off a knockout win only two months ago against borderline top-50 gatekeeper Zoltan Petranyi.  Gjergjaj has 26 spotless professional fights compared to Csala’s 6, and has won his last 13 by knockout.  
 
Saturday
#1 Tyson Fury vs. Christian Hammer; London, England; BoxNation (UK)
Fury, with two wins over Chisora and a stoppage of Steve Cunningham, is the top contender in the division and in line for a Klitschko shot in his next fight.  Boxrec has Hammer ranked #11, making him an apparent solid challenge.   I’ve personally got him ranked no better than #42, in part because of a couple losses in 2010, and in part because I believe he lost what shows up in the record as his best win- a December 2013 decision he was given over Kevin Johnson.  In my view, this is still a well-above-average tune-up for a guy in line for a Championship fight, but still not a major threat.
 
Charles Martin vs. Raphael Zumbano; Phoenix, AZ; Off-TV
Undefeated prospect Charles Martin takes on journeyman Raphael Zumbano on a non-televised Phoenix card which I doubt anyone outside Arizona will ever see.  Zumbano is approximately a top-75 journeyman, which is about on par with Martin’s previous top opposition to date.  Zumbano fought Eric Molina about 6 weeks ago, and was battered to an 8th-round stoppage in that one.  His chin probably earned more time off than this, to be honest.

Heavyweight: 2014, Jun 16-22

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 6, 2014 by danboxing
Monday in Kaltaker, Switzerland, undefeated Swiss-based Kosovo prospect Arnold Gjergjaj pretty much beat down low-level Hungarian journeyman Tibor Balogh for a 2nd-round TKO.  Balogh gave an honest effort, winging wide shots recklessly whenever he got the chance, and occasionally even connecting to little apparent effect.  But it was the much taller Gjergjaj who was able to get a lot more leverage on his slightly less wide shots, and he essentially seemed to drive Balogh to the canvas with the sheer weight of his punches for at least a couple of the 4 knockdowns he scored in the 2-round fight.

 

Later that night in Glasgow, Scotland, British prospect Ian Lewison dropped terrible Croatian opponent Kreso Bogdanovic and in the 2nd, and caused him to quit after that round.  That’s the best report I can give you, with no video available.

 

#15 Erkan Teper of Germany was in action in Munich on Friday, but action might be the wrong word.  Teper was outpunched probably about 6 or 7 to 1 by his fellow undefeated opponent, Newfel Ouatah of France.  Teper’s superior power and accuracy kept him in the fight despite being so vastly outworked, though.  After losing the first three rounds pretty clearly on my card (the first in dominant fashion), Teper finally got on the board by knocking his man down in the 4th after pinning him on the ropes and dislodging his mouthpiece.  It still wasn’t exactly a blowout, but he did earn the 10-8.  Ouatah came back strong in the following round to again earn the round in pretty dominant fashion, but appeared to fade a bit in the 6th, which was the second round I gave to Teper.  The actual effective punches were fairly even, but Teper was coming forward and had Ouatah’s back scraping the ropes for almost the entire round.  I had Ouatah up 57-56 at that point, and so I was shocked when the Frenchman inexplicably quit on his stool after the bell rang to begin the 7th.  I couldn’t find any detailed firsthand reports on the fight, aside from German-language pro-Teper puff pieces, and so I have no idea what Ouatah’s excuse for quitting was, but I certainly didn’t see any obvious injury or pain that might explain it.  It looked like he just gave up.  If true, that’s shameful.  Even if he felt totally spent when he quit, he ought to have kept trying.  Teper was visibly out of shape, and had been gasping for air between rounds since at least the end of round 2.  For what it’s worth, one judge- Grzegorz Molenda- had a respectable card at 58-55 Ouatah at the time of the stoppage.  The other two, Massimo Montanini and Soren Saugmann, were either corrupt or were blatantly rooting for Teper, and each had it 59-54 for the guy clearly losing the fight.

 

No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (260-473-473)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: 9/6/2014- vs. #5 Kubrat Pulev
It’s looking all but certain that Wlad will fight Pulev on September 6.
1) Tyson Fury (18-18-18)
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) Alexander Povetkin (3-347-347)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- TKO7 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin wants to return in late October, and wants to rematch the Champ when he’s gotten at least 3 fights in with his new trainer.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (3-14-78)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: 8/9/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Glazkov returns in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on August 9, in a fight with an undetermined opponent to be televised on NBC Sports.
4) Amir Mansour (11-11-11)
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 (18-111-188)
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 (18-133-196)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Carlos Takam (2-2-22)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- UD12 #9 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam’s potential appears nearly boundless after he handled Tony Thompson more easily than anyone not named Wladimir Klitschko.
8) Bermane Stiverne (2-6-68)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne is hoping to fight Wilder sometime in November in either Montreal or Las Vegas.
9) Steve Cunningham (2-78-78)
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.
10) Tony Thompson (2-13-212)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Not that there’s any shame in being beaten by Takam necessarily, but Thompson’s performance was poor enough that you have to start wondering how much he has left.
11) Tomasz Adamek (2-217)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
Adamek expects to return on October 18.  Not much detail yet, but Ray Austin is a potential opponent.
12) Odlanier Solis (2-212)
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.
13) Deontay Wilder (6-60)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 #19 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Chris Arreola (6-41)
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 (11-42)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper’s effort in his last fight- and perhaps especially in the gym leading up to it- was awful, and he got lucky when his opponent turned out to be almost as out of shape as him, in addition to being an apparent quitter.
16) Alex Leapai (11-30)
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 (11-30)
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 (11-54)
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 (11-15)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Banks had an offer to fight in the Auckland Super 8 Tournament on June 6, but either turned it down or failed to respond.  He’ll need to schedule something else in the next week to avoid removal for inactivity.
20) Francesco Pianeta (11-14)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- KO1 Mickael Vieira (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pianeta says he wants to give Vieira a rematch due to the flukey broken arm that KO’d the Frenchman.  The fight was a waste of time the first time, honestly, so I’m not sure we need a second helping, regardless of the reason.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: No action to report.

Heavyweight: 2014, Jun 9-15

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 31, 2014 by danboxing
The heavyweight week got off to an interesting start on Wednesday with the New Zealand version of Prizefighter, dubbed the “Super 8.”  The field was made up of 50% has-beens (some more viable than others) like Michael Sprott, Martin Rogan, Kali Meehan, Hasim Rahman, an inactive career high-level journeyman in Alonzo Butler, and 3 novices in Brice Ritani-Coe, Hunter Sam, and Antz Nansen.  I’m not sure if it was a random draw or a true seeding system (they called it seeding), but if it was the latter, it was a misbegotten attempt.  The correct order of seeding would have been #1 Sprott vs. #8 Brice Ritani-Coe, #2 Martin Rogan vs. #7 Antz Nansen, #3 Kali Meehan vs. #6 Hunter Sam, and #4 Hasim Rahman vs. #5 Alonzo Butler.  As it happened, the Meehan-Sam fight was an actual matchup, but the rest were not.  #1 Sprott instead fought #2 Rogan inexplicably in the first round, while #4 Rahman and #5 Butler each got what should have been easy matchups in Nansen and Ritani-Coe, respectively.  I’ll break down the action fight by fight.

 

Round 1
1. Hasim Rahman, the inactive former champion who looked awful in his last fight with Alexander Povetkin in 2012, looked even more awful against 3-2 novice Antz Nansen, whose inclusion in the tournament in the first place couldn’t have been more random.  Nansen was coming off back-to-back losses against bad fighters with losing records, including one by KO.  His last loss was against an 0-10 fighter, and so it would have been more reasonable to assume he was in the bottom 5% of all pro heavyweights than to assume he belonged in a ring even with  a badly faded Rahman.  But apparently Rahman’s fadedness knew no bounds.  His handspeed was non-existent, and his footwork and balance were pathetic.  He was almost totally non-threatening, as even if Nansen couldn’t see every shot coming about 5 seconds before it arrived, Rahman was reaching so badly that he couldn’t have had much power.  Even so, I gave him the first round in a close call before Nansen took the last two going away.  Two of the judges had it the same as me, while a third had it a shutout.

 

2. Alonzo Butler- an American who was once a serious prospect, but who failed the only two times he tried his hand with a top 50 opponent, and who has had only 2 fights since 2009- fought his own 3-2 novice in Brice Ritani-Coe.  Ritani-Coe had zero boxrec rankings points entering the fight, and while he did suffer a draw against a 3-5 nobody in 2012, his two actual losses were at least more forgivable.  He dropped a decision to Jerry Forrest, a 1-0 prospect who now has a loss, but only against legit prospect Gerald Washington, and in his next fight he dropped a decision to current hot prospect Joseph Parker.  For no reason at all, the mammoth Butler- who had more than 35 pounds on his 260 pound opponent, chose to try and fight like Miguel Vazquez.  He was on the back foot, by choice, the entire time, and honestly didn’t really seem to be trying before he appeared to gas out in the 2nd round.  You could make a case for Butler winning the 3rd, but I had it a shutout for Ritani-Coe, who won essentially just by working.  He came forward, which made him the aggressor by a mile, and threw punches with reasonable regularity.  It was an easy formula.  One judge, Jeff Nelson, turned in a 30-27 card in favor of Butler, which is one of the silliest things you’ll ever see.  The other two were more reasonable, scoring it 29-28 for Ritani-Coe, who advanced in the second upset in as many fights.

 

3. Tall Kiwi veteran Kali Meehan, a former contender aged 44 years and without a fight in over 2 years, got through some apparent rust and made it through a very competitive test against the 10-2 Hunter Sam, who fought well despite his record being probably a little better than the reality underlying it.  Meehan was actually trailing significantly in the vitally important 3rd round, but came back strong at the end to take it pretty clearly.  The already questionable Jeff Nelson struck again, scoring it for Sam.  Meehan advances, though not by a lot.
 
4. Michael Sprott vs. Martin Rogan was a fight that really shouldn’t have been possible until the finals, give or take.  Not only were both guys Prizefighter champions at some point (Sprott twice, including the most recent), but both have had relatively recent success against top 25 opposition.  Sprott won round one with ease, but with Rogan’s surprisingly straighter punches gave his shots greater leverage and power, and he hurt Sprott in the 2nd, and kept him in borderline buzzed status for the rest of the fight.  Rounds two and three were as clear for Rogan as round one was for Sprott, and thus the correct score was a very clear 29-28 Rogan.  But this time the judges went too far in crappiness, and botched the result.  Nelson wasn’t even involved, surprisingly.  Paul McSharry scored an even round in one of Rogan’s two, and therefore had it 29-29.  Laurie Glozier and Steve Miles inexplicably had it 29-28 for Sprott, and thus the wrong guy moved on in a clear robbery that marred a really good fight.

 

Round 2:
1. After an intermission that included a couple entertaining 4-rounders, Sprott returned on short rest and outpointed Nansen in what I would call a lackluster performance in a lackluster fight.  Basically Sprott won it simply by being first behind the jab.  It’s not that Nansen didn’t try, but he couldn’t grab the initiative and was ineffective and comparatively wild when he tried to counter, or to punch in general.  I had it a shutout, though all the rounds were kinda close, and round 1 in particular could have gone either way.  All the judges had it a shutout, just like me.  Putting Sprott in the Final despite winning a closely-contested fight against a nobody and, by all rights, losing to a gatekeeper in Rogan.

 

2. The action continued with Meehan vs. Ritani-Coe, who from now on I’ll just call Coe for brevity’s sake, in a battle of Kiwis at very different career stages.  Meehan landed almost at will early, apparently having left the rust of the first fight far behind him.  Despite the defensive lapses against a solid puncher, Coe showed impressive desire as Meehan began to look a little tired and sloppy from about the midway point of round 2.  By the third, Meehan was just looking to hold on, as Coe won that round going away with Meehan trying to hang on him.  29-28 was the clearly correct score, and all the judges got it right this time.  Meehan moves on to the final on shorter rest, and looking like the more tired fighter in the first place.

 

Final:
In a bit of a surprise, Sprott just got caught and dropped by Meehan, and continued getting caught until the fight was stopped after he rose in wobbly fashion from the first round’s second knockdown.

 

I doubt anyone has ever looked as bad in making the finals of a tournament like this.  A top 50 fighter was rightfully defeated twice in the tournament, and it was Sprott both times.  I’ll get to the rankings implications later.

 

Moving ahead to Friday, #12 Carlos Takam dominated the first 9 rounds against #9 Tony Thompson before apparently deciding to coast his way to three lackluster rounds to finish the fight, winning 117-111 on my card.  I don’t want to be too hard on Thompson, who follows me on Twitter and is a great guy, but even aside from probably not having the physical tools to compete with the strong and comparatively young Takam, he fought a terrible tactical fight.  He spent perhaps most of the fight with his back to the ropes and Takam more or less on his chest, which was not a fight he could remotely win considering his height, long arms, and slow hands.  Not only that, but he circled consistently to his left, especially early in the fight.  This not only lined him up nicely for Takam’s power shots, but also frequently rendered his own jab largely useless.  Robin Dolpierre and Daniel Van de Wiele had it the same as me at 117-111, while Barry Lindenman was maybe a little kind to Takam’s spoiling strategy late, but still had it fairly reasonably 119-109.

 

Finally, in Saturday action, 2-loss Liverpool prospect David Price (whose two losses were to Thompson, incidentally) turned in a workmanlike 10-round decision win over durable but ultimately low-level Ukrainian journeyman Yaroslav Zavorotnyi in Schwerin, Germany, in a fight that was anything but scintillating.  In fairness, Zavorotnyi had only been stopped twice in a long career- once to Valuev and once to Dimitrenko- and had gone an 8-round distance with no less than Kubrat Pulev.  So it’s not like Price let a bum hang around who was just looking to collect a check.  On the other hand, Price is supposed to be a much bigger puncher than any of the three guys mentioned above, and had built his pre-Thompson career on being an intimidating destroyer that knocked guys out viciously, generally in the first couple rounds.  This was only Price’s 3rd decision in 20 fights, and his first of over 6 rounds.  The bottom line is that regardless of Zavorotnyi’s bona fides, Price simply doesn’t look like the same monster that terrorized the likes of Audley Harrison less than a couple years ago.  He was very jab-heavy and cautious in the fight.  He does have a suspect chin and most likely won each of the first 7 rounds with those tactics, so perhaps it wasn’t the worst idea from a competitive perspective.  From an analytical perspective, however, it’s hard not to be down on a performance like that.  Frankly, Price looked like a guy trying to rebuild his technique from scratch.  In addition to the aforementioned caution and reliance on the jab, he was rather robotic and deliberate in letting his hands go, as if his offense was no longer flowing naturally.  I don’t know if it was fatigue, or if perhaps the Ukrainian just didn’t feel he had to worry as much about getting knocked out, and thus took more chances, but Zavorotnyi’s shots started finding a home behind Price’s gloves in the 8th round, and he had an argument to have won every round from that point on.  I gave him 8 and 9, personally, and scored it 98-92.  Gerhard Sigl agreed with my card.  Josef Temml had it 100-90, and thus probably didn’t watch the fight.  Joerg Milke turned in a 97-92 card, which is about right, but numerically puzzling nevertheless.  

 

Now to the rankings implications of all the above.  If Sprott had beaten Rogan legitimately before losing to Meehan, it might have given the Kiwi the fuel he needed to make a run at or near the top 20.  Since Sprott was slightly diminished by the Rogan fight instead of better for it, Meehan, Sprott, and Rogan all find themselves mired in the 30s.  Takam boosts himself to #7, halted only by Dereck Chisora, whose deserved win over #4-ranked Helenius is by far the best result between the two still, and who has only lost to the very top level (ie guys ranked #1-2 then or now).  Thompson drops less drastically than you might think, backtracking only the one place required by Takam’s promotion.  This is due largely to Adamek having no legitimate wins of consequence since 2012 to go with his loss to #18 Glazkov, while Thompson at least has the debatable win over #8 Solis to go with his wins over prospect Price and his loss to the more prestigious Takam.  This means that Adamek is forced from the top 10 after being an inaugural and continuous member of my top 10, and having been ranked by the Ring for 5 weeks before I started publishing.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (259-472-472)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: 9/6/2014- vs. #5 Kubrat Pulev
It’s looking all but certain that Wlad will fight Pulev on September 6.
1) Tyson Fury (17-17-17)
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) Alexander Povetkin (2-346-346)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- TKO7 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin made a case that he’s the most technically skilled heavyweight in the division with a beautifully-executed performance against an outclassed Charr.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (2-13-77)
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.
4) Amir Mansour (10-10-10)
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 (17-110-187)
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 (17-132-195)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Carlos Takam (1-1-21)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- UD12 #9 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam’s potential appears nearly boundless after he handled Tony Thompson more easily than anyone not named Wladimir Klitschko.
8) Bermane Stiverne (1-5-67)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne is hoping to fight Wilder sometime in November in either Montreal or Las Vegas.
9) Steve Cunningham (1-77-77)
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.
10) Tony Thompson (1-12-211)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Not that there’s any shame in being beaten by Takam necessarily, but Thompson’s performance was poor enough that you have to start wondering how much he has left.
11) Tomasz Adamek (1-216)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
Adamek expects to return on October 18.  Not much detail yet, but Ray Austin is a potential opponent.
12) Odlanier Solis (1-211)
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.
13) Deontay Wilder (5-59)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 #19 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Chris Arreola (5-40)
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 (10-41)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/13/2014- vs. Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Teper may have upgraded his opponent slightly when Ouatah replaced a slightly less-impressive French prospect in Duhaupas on just about 5 days’ notice.
16) Alex Leapai (10-29)
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 (10-29)
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 (10-53)
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 (10-14)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Banks had an offer to fight in the Auckland Super 8 Tournament on June 6, but either turned it down or failed to respond.  He’ll need to schedule something else in the next few weeks to avoid removal for inactivity.
20) Francesco Pianeta (10-13)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- KO1 Mickael Vieira (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pianeta says he wants to give Vieira a rematch due to the flukey broken arm that KO’d the Frenchman.  The fight was a waste of time the first time, honestly, so I’m not sure we need a second helping, regardless of the reason.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Monday
Arnold Gjergjaj vs. Tibor Balogh; Kaltacker, Switzerland; TV Unknown
Gjergjaj is an undefeated prospect from Kosovo originally, who now lives in Switzerland.  He’s 24-0, but still about as unproven as a top 50 fighter could possibly be.  Even so, Balogh is far from his best opponent to date, being a low-level journeyman from Hungary.

 

Ian Lewison vs. Kreso Bogdanovic; Glasgow, Scotland; Off TV
I consider Lewison a borderline top 50 fighter on the basis of a loss against Derric Rossy in Prizefighter that I thought should have been a win.  Bogdanovic is a terrible Croatian who has only once beaten a fighter with even a single win, that being the 4-8 Werner Kreiskott.

 

Friday
#15 Erkan Teper vs. Newfel Ouatah; Munich, Germany; TV Unknown
Teper is finally back in the ring after his vicious demolition of Martin Rogan’s jaw in November.  It’s kinda shocking that Rogan, whose career appeared to be over at that time, beat Teper back to action by 9 days.  Germany’s Teper has a reasonably decent opponent on his hands, or at least that appears to be a strong possibility.  Ouatah is an unbeaten Frenchman who boasts the exact same 12-0 record as Teper.  That being said, Teper is ranked due to his having been in with- and beaten- the much better competition.  Ouatah’s best wins are a couple domestic-level French journeymen in Gregory Tony and Mickael Vieira.  Those guys were nothing to write home about, but there’s a substantial drop-off from them to the next-best guy on Ouatah’s record.  Nevertheless, he disposed of both of them by stoppage, and you can never write off a guy who’s never lost, or really come close to losing as far as I can tell.  Teper needed a grand total of just over 4 minutes to stop Rogan and Michael Sprott, another fringe contender, in his last two fights.