Archive for Audley Harrison

Heavyweight: 2013, Apr 29- May 5

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on April 30, 2013 by danboxing
There were no fewer than 5 fights involving top 50 heavyweights this week.  Here is a rundown, in order of expected importance.

 

#15 Chris Arreola returned to the ring to fight his best opponent, by far, in the 3 years since his close loss to Tomasz Adamek when his long-delayed fight with #19 Bermane Stiverne finally came off on Saturday in Ontario, California.  The favored Arreola won the first round and avoided being hit by anything of note, but Stiverne got into the fight in the second before taking it over in the third.  Just as the bell was about to ring to end that round , Stiverne caught Arreola with a huge right hand that all at once dropped him, hurt him, and broke his nose.  Arreola had little answer thereafter, as Stiverne was more active (the one aspect that Arreola very clearly seemed to have in his favor going into the fight), moved well behind the jab, had demonstrably more one-shot power, and appeared in significantly better condition.  Arreola mounted what was in many ways a last stand in the 9th to easily carry the round, but faded ever the more quickly thereafter, as Stiverne beat him from pillar to post in the 12th to put a cap on the fight.  Stiverne won by scores of 117-110 (x2) and 118-109 (my score, as well), to take the biggest win of his career so far.  And he looked good in doing it.

 

In a stereotypical crossroads fight earlier on Saturday, we got a stereotypical result on the Khan-Diaz undercard in Sheffield, England.  2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist Deontay Wilder, who had 27 (mostly empty) knockouts in 27 fights, finally got one worth having, battering recently resurgent fringe contender Audley Harrison to the canvas (perhaps even after he was already on it) before referee Terry O’Connor correctly stopped it after Harrison rose on wobbly legs.  The end came just 70  seconds into the contest.

 

Gatekeeper and former Vitali Klitschko opponent Kevin Johnson, who has been slipping lately, may have made himself somewhat relevant again by stopping one-loss Kiwi prospect Solomon Haumono in the 10th round in Melbourne, Australia.  Johnson, according to the report I read from East Side Boxing, largely dominated the fight before catching Haumono with a perfect right hand in the 10th that dropped him and prompted referee Tony Marretta to stop the fight without a count.

 

On the Martinez-Murray undercard in Buenos Aires, Russian undefeated prospect Magomed Abdusalamov put an old-fashioned whoopin’ on local journeyman Sebastian Ceballos, knocking the bigger man down 3 times in the 61 second-long fight.

 

On the undercard of Arreola-Stiverne, another significant upset as 2-loss prospect Eric Molina- best known for badly hurting Chris Arreola in early 2012 right before Arreola came back to knock him out in the first round- scored a unanimous decision over Tony Grano.  Grano has been viewed a rugged journeyman throughout most of his career, but came in as a top 50 gatekeeper type after a victory over DaVarryl Williamson in his last fight.  Molina was knocked out less than 2 minutes into his pro career, but went on an 18-fight winning streak thereafter against mostly weak opposition before stepping up far too steeply against Arreola.  As for the fight itself (which I have been unable to find video of), my source (Philboxing.com) leaves the impression the fight was largely boring, with Molina controlling range and keeping Grano at bay, dropping him once in the 5th but failing to follow up.  He appeared to be cruising to an easy victory but nondescript victory when, in the final round, he was dropped and badly hurt by a tired but determined Grano, and had to run and hold on for dear life to survive to the bell and secure the victory.  Scores were 116-110 (x2) and 114-112.

 

The two biggest winners of the night both made plenty of hay from their victories.  Stiverne advances to #12, his rise halted only by the fact that Johnathon Banks has beaten a #11 contender in Seth Mitchell, coupled with the fact that Stiverne drew, within a relevant time frame, with a very lowly regarded journeyman, while Banks only similarly struggled at heavyweight with a much better journeyman in Jason Gavern.  Wilder debuts at #14, halted by Tony Thompson, who has recently knocked out the man, in David Price, who knocked Wilder’s crowning opponent out in almost the exact same amount of time, and has also beaten a couple other top 50 guys, while losing only to the Champion in the past several years.  Arreola tumbles way out of the rankings.  Tony Thompson falls from #12 to #13.  Last week’s #13 and #14 Robert Helenius and Alexander Dimitrenko each fall two spots.  This is coincidentally also the week that last week’s #16 Denis Boytsov’s 2nd best win (out of a total of 2 significant ones) became more than 5 years old and thus no longer eligible for consideration.  With just his nearly 4 year old win over Taras Bidenko left to look at, Boytsov tumbles to #19.  No other changes.  Sorry if those weren’t enough.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (201-414-414)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Mariusz Wach (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/4/2013- vs. Francesco Pianeta (UNR)
Wlad will be fighting Italian fringe contending prospect Francesco Pianeta in Mannheim, Germany.  It’s hard to knock Pianeta as a fighter because he remains undefeated and was knocked off track by a bout with cancer a couple years ago, but it’s hard to get excited about any fight that, if the underdog won, would be considered the greatest upset in the history of the Heavyweight Championship.
1) Vitali Klitschko (238-238-238)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After speculation went wild over a Daily Beast article that seemed to be hinting at an impending retirement announcement, Vitali seems to have every intention of continuing his career.  He says he may eventually fight David Haye, but implies he would at least fight his mandatory challenger (the Stiverne-Arreola winner) first.
2) Tyson Fury (2-93-93)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- KO7 #3 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury is now suddenly the most proven heavyweight not named Klitschko, and will likely get a chance to add to his resume against Kubrat Pulev next, as an eliminator for Wlad in the IBF.
3) David Haye (2-42-42)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. Manuel Charr (UNR)
Haye had some good fighters willing to fight him- including Eddie Chambers and possibly Kubrat Pulev.  The disappointment I feel at learning that he will instead fight borderline fringe contender Manuel Charr can not be overstated.
4) Alexander Povetkin (42-288-288)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO2 Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2013- vs. Andrzej Wawrzyk (UNR)
Povetkin is set to fight mediocre-looking undefeated Polish prospect Andrzej Wawrzyk in Moscow, on the Lebedev-Jones undercard.
5) Steve Cunningham (2-19-19)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- L (KO7) vs. #6 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: Unknown
Only time will tell where Cunningham goes form here.  His hopes for a title shot are dashed at least for awhile.  Perhaps a trilogy with Adamek would make sense at this point.
6Tomasz Adamek (2-158-158)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- W (SD12)* vs. CW #4 Steve Cunningham (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Word is that Adamek will likely be fighting still relatively unproven Newark prospect Joe Hanks on June 14 in that town that they both currently call home.
7) Eddie Chambers (19-46-46)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers seems willing to fight anyone at heavyweight or cruiserweight, but you can’t have a fight with just one guy willing.
8) Kubrat Pulev (19-52-129)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After negotiatings to fight David Haye failed, it now seems likely Pulev has got Tyson Fury next, for a likely shot at Wladimir Klitschko in early 2014.
9) Dereck Chisora (19-74-137)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- TKO9 Hector Avila (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chisora put on a world-class snoozer against Avila, but still managed to bag a late stoppage.
10) Odlanier Solis (6-6-153)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- UD12 Leif Larsen (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis’ promoter wants to get him back in the ring within 3 months after the Larsen fight.
11) Johnathon Banks (6-24)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- TKO2 #11 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: 6/22/2013- vs. Seth Mitchell (UNR)
The Mitchell rematch- postponed due to a broken thumb by Banks- has been reset for the Malignaggi-Broner undercard on June 22.
12) Bermane Stiverne (1-9)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne is hoping that Vitali doesn’t retire so that he can try and do the honors himself.  At this point he’d be a pretty credible opponent, too.
13) Tony Thompson (1-153)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- TKO2 David Price (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/6/2013- vs. David Price (UNR)
After originally saying he’d only fight David Price in a rematch if Price came to the US, Thompson has instead agreed to fight in Price’s Liverpool backyard again.
14) Deontay Wilder (1-1)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- TKO1 Audley Harrison (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wilder wants a crack at Fury next, but the Brit is likely to go for Pulev instead, since the winner gets Wlad.
15) Robert Helenius (1-153)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Helenius’ team confirms another hand injury.  They say it will take 6 weeks to heal, despite rumors that it is more serious.
16) Alexander Dimitrenko (1-120)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko’s future is in doubt after he struggled mightily to survive a heavy knockdown and outpoint typically inept journeyman Ivica Perkovic.
17) Vyacheslav Glazkov (9-19)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. Malik Scott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov got the benefit of the doubt in every close round from two of the judges against Scott.  It was just about as close to a robbery as you can get without me calling it that. 
18) Malik Scott (9-10)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. #19 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott is in Moscow at last check, sparring with Povetkin and Lebedev.
19) Denis Boytsov (1-202)
Last Fight: 2/15/2013- UD8 Samir Kurtagic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov’s 2nd best win- over Robert Hawkins- is now over 5 years old, and he has slipped a few spots as a result.  He’s getting closer to obscurity with each passing month.
20) Franklin Lawrence (9-9)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- Mark Brown (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lawrence reportedly pulled out of a planned (and very good) crossroads fight with prospect Bryant Jennings.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: The Heavyweight Championship is on the line Saturday in Mannheim, as long-reigning Champ Wladimir Klitschko takes on a relatively non-threatening opponent in undefeated prospect Francesco Pianeta.   Pianeta is unofficially my #22 contender, a cancer survivor, and a former Klitschko sparring partner.  To put in perspective just how light of a challenge this appears to be, here’s a comparison: Buster Douglas’ defeat of Mike Tyson is often viewed as one of the most shocking upsets in sports history.  That fight was Champ vs. #7 Contender.  This is Champ vs. #22.  A Pianeta win would be without question the greatest upset (in terms of rankings differential, at least) in the history of the Heavyweight Championship.

 

On the undercard, undefeated but rather inactive Cuban prospect Mike Perez finally gets back in the ring against journeyman Travis Walker.  Perez was the dominant winner of the first Prizefighter International Heavyweight tournament in 2011.  Walker was arguably the co-favorite for the most recent installment, but laid an egg in the first round of the tourney against Derric Rossy.

Heavyweight: 2013, Apr 22-28

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on April 24, 2013 by danboxing
In by far the week’s biggest fight at heavyweight, #6 Tyson Fury scored a dramatic (and somewhat dirty) come-from-behind knockout victory over undersized #3 Steve Cunningham at Madison Square Garden. Cunningham started off in fine form, dropping the gigantic Fury heavily in the 2nd en route to sweeping the first 4 rounds on my card.  But around the 5th round, Fury’s sheer size and roughhouse tactics seemed to take their toll on Cunningham’s conditioning, as Fury edged the 5th (aside from a point deduction for use of his head inside) and the 6th, as Cunningham became noticeably less elusive.  Fury then managed to hurt Cunningham in the 7th and pin him against the ropes.  At that point, he shoved his forearm into Cunningham’s face to ensure that he wouldn’t be able to see the big right hand that ended the night.  It wasn’t always pretty from Fury, but in the end it turned out to be plenty effective.  The same can not be said of his random decision to butcher the country classic “Keep it Between the Lines” by Ricky Van Shelton while addressing the crowd post-fight.

 

Just about an hour or two later, and across the pond in London, #9 Dereck Chisora sleepwalked his way to a snoozer of a 9th round TKO over journeyman and former Argentine Cruiserweight Champ Hector Avila.  Avila was content to hold and slow the pace, as he was even less in shape than the moderately fat Chisora.  Chisora, for his part, seemed content to throw one punch at a time more often than not, several committing to any really hard punches or combinations that might have made Avila’s night a little more difficult.  But ultimately Avila did sort of fold just when it looked like he might torture the viewer further by surviving to the final bell. 

 

Undefeated Polish prospect Artur Szpilka was in action in his home country, getting a short night’s work when his opponent, journeyman Taras Bidenko, retired on his stool with an injury at the start of the 2nd round.

 

And finally, Russian gatekeeper Alexander Ustinov cruised to a shutout decision over 8 rounds with Croatian journeyman Ivica Perkovic, whose lone claim to fame was dropping Ustinov’s fellow Kubrat Pulev victim Alexander Dimitrenko hard in their recent fight.

 

Fury advances to #2 with the win.  Simply put, nobody else but the Klitschkos and Cunningham himself has beaten a fighter ranked as highly as #3 in the last five years.  Despite a short resume at heavyweight, Cunningham still only falls to #5, as he can’t possibly dip below the man he clearly beat last time out in Tomasz Adamek.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (200-413-413)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Mariusz Wach (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/4/2013- vs. Francesco Pianeta (UNR)
Wlad will be fighting Italian fringe contending prospect Francesco Pianeta in Mannheim, Germany.  It’s hard to knock Pianeta as a fighter because he remains undefeated and was knocked off track by a bout with cancer a couple years ago, but it’s hard to get excited about any fight that, if the underdog won, would be considered the greatest upset in the history of the Heavyweight Championship.
1) Vitali Klitschko (237-237-237)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After speculation went wild over a Daily Beast article that seemed to be hinting at an impending retirement announcement, Vitali seems to have every intention of continuing his career.  He says he may eventually fight David Haye, but implies he would at least fight his mandatory challenger (the Stiverne-Arreola winner) first.
2) Tyson Fury (1-92-92)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- KO7 #3 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury is now suddenly the most proven heavyweight not named Klitschko, and will likely get a chance to add to his resume against Kubrat Pulev next, as an eliminator for Wlad in the IBF.
3) David Haye (1-41-41)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Haye’s initially-announced July fight has been moved up to the end of June, and Eddie Chambers and especially Kubrat Pulev seem to be possibilities.
4) Alexander Povetkin (41-287-287)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO2 Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2013- vs. Andrzej Wawrzyk (UNR)
Povetkin is set to fight mediocre-looking undefeated Polish prospect Andrzej Wawrzyk in Moscow, on the Lebedev-Jones undercard.
5) Steve Cunningham (1-18-18)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- L (KO7) vs. #6 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: Unknown
Only time will tell where Cunningham goes form here.  His hopes for a title shot are dashed at least for awhile.  Perhaps a trilogy with Adamek would make sense at this point.
6Tomasz Adamek (1-157-157)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- W (SD12)* vs. CW #4 Steve Cunningham (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Word is that Adamek will likely be fighting still relatively unproven Newark prospect Joe Hanks on June 14 in that town that they both currently call home.
7) Eddie Chambers (18-45-45)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers’ very active twitter continues to reference David Haye a lot, but the tone has noticeably shifted from “come on and fight me David Haye” to “Haye is ducking Chambers.”  It seems that nobody decent wants to fight Chambers.
8) Kubrat Pulev (18-51-128)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev says he’s negotiating to be David Haye’s 6/29 opponent.
9) Dereck Chisora (18-73-136)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- TKO9 Hector Avila (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chisora put on a world-class snoozer against Avila, but still managed to bag a late stoppage.
10) Odlanier Solis (5-5-152)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- UD12 Leif Larsen (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis’ promoter wants to get him back in the ring within 3 months after the Larsen fight.
11) Johnathon Banks (5-23)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- TKO2 #11 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: 6/22/2013- vs. Seth Mitchell (UNR)
The Mitchell rematch- postponed due to a broken thumb by Banks- has been reset for the Malignaggi-Broner undercard on June 22.
12) Tony Thompson (8-152)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- TKO2 David Price (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/6/2013- vs. David Price (UNR)
After originally saying he’d only fight David Price in a rematch if Price came to the US, Thompson has instead agreed to fight in Price’s Liverpool backyard again.
13) Robert Helenius (8-152)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Helenius’ team confirms another hand injury.  They say it will take 6 weeks to heal, despite rumors that it is more serious.
14) Alexander Dimitrenko (8-119)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko’s future is in doubt after he struggled mightily to survive a heavy knockdown and outpoint typically inept journeyman Ivica Perkovic.
15) Chris Arreola (8-214)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. #19 Bermane Stiverne (UNR)
The Stiverne fight is once again on the schedule, this time for April 27.
16) Denis Boytsov (8-201)
Last Fight: 2/15/2013- UD8 Samir Kurtagic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov appears to have won the battle of wills with Universum over whether he gets to fight or not.  Now the trick will be getting him in against worthwhile opposition.
17) Vyacheslav Glazkov (8-18)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. Malik Scott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov got the benefit of the doubt in every close round from two of the judges against Scott.  It was just about as close to a robbery as you can get without me calling it that. 
18) Malik Scott (8-9)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. #19 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott is in Moscow at last check, sparring with Povetkin and Lebedev.
19) Bermane Stiverne (8-8)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- vs. Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. #15 Chris Arreola
See Arreola’s notes, above.
20) Franklin Lawrence (8-8)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- Mark Brown (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lawrence reportedly pulled out of a planned (and very good) crossroads fight with prospect Bryant Jennings.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Several fights to talk about this week.  The likely most significant one is Saturday in Ontario, CA, where #15 Chris Arreola meets #19 Bermane Stiverne in a long-planned battle to determine Vitali Klitschko’s mandatory- or possibly his successor should he elect to retire.

 

On the undercard for that one, Connecticut gatekeeper Tony Grano takes on Texas journeyman Eric Molina for the right the be vastly overrated by the IBF.

 

Another pretty significant tilt can be found in Sheffield, England, as undefeated prospect and 2008 Olympic medalist Deontay Wilder fights the toughest opponent of his career in the resurgent Brit Audley Harrison. Harrison had descended well into journeyman status before winning the Prizefighter tournament out of what on paper looked like a pretty good field, though his exact draw was not as good as you’d have thought going in.  The victory in the one-night tournament qualified him as a top-25 fringe contender once again, which means on paper he’ll be a huge step up for Wilder, who still has yet to fight even a legitimate top 50 opponent.

 

On the Martinez-Murray undercard in Buenos Aires, undefeated Oxnard, CA-based Russian prospect Magomed Abdusalamov takes on Argentina’s own Sebastian Ceballos, a serviceable career journeyman who has thrice popped up as a failed contender for that country’s national title.  In one of those “only in boxing” quirks we’re so used to, this fight will somehow be for the WBC’s USA title, even though neither fighter is native to the US, and even though Ceballos in particular still lives in Argentina and has never even fought stateside.

 

Finally, former undefeated Vitali Klitschko opponent Kevin Johnson of Georgia- now barely in the top 50 and seemingly in rapid decline for about a year or so now- will continue his 2 year-long road show, fighting solid one-loss, Sydney-based Kiwi prospect Solomon Haumono in Melbourne, Australia on Sunday.

Heavyweight: 2013, Feb 25- Mar 3

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on February 28, 2013 by danboxing
Insanely busy weeks with a lot of important fights are always tough to organize.  Here’s my best effort, roughly in order of importance.

 

#15 Tony Thompson took out unranked fringe contending and undefeated English prospect David Price in the latter’s hometown of Liverpool, and needed just 2 rounds to accomplish the task.  After Price had apparently taken full control earlier in the 2nd, Thompson caught Price with a bit of an awkward looping right hand on the inside just above the ear.  It wasn’t particularly flush, nor did it appear to have an extraordinary amount of weight behind it.  I would say it was a classic equilibrium shot, except that Price collapsed very quickly as if hit on the chin.  If I had to guess, I’d say that it was indeed a bit of an equilibrium shot, but also that Price simply doesn’t take a head shot very well in general.  This was seen as a huge upset, though it’s hard for me to see it that way when Thompson had never lost to anyone not named Wladimir Klitschko since a 4-rounder in 2000, and since Price had never fought anyone in the top 25.

 

Another prospect had his own share of struggles a bit later on Saturday, when #19 Vyacheslav Glazkov of the Ukraine took on fellow undefeated prospect Malik Scott of Philadelphia on Long Island.  Scott had control of the fight throughout.  That’s not to say he dominated by any means.  Just that whatever Scott did or didn’t do made all the difference in the fight, while Glazkov’s efforts remained fairly steady and mediocre.  How did that play out?  Well, Scott clearly won the first 3 rounds behind a sharp jab, and lost the next two when he slowed down a bit.  Scott then reasserted himself slightly to sweep the last 5 rounds on my card. 

 

Judge John Poturaj saw it exactly as I did at 98-92.  But John McKaie had it 96-94 for Glazkov, while Julie Lederman had it all even.  That does bother me, because I think Scott pretty clearly won the fight, but at the same time, of the last 5 rounds that I gave to Scott, I do think Glazkov had an argument in 4 of them, since Scott had lost a lot of steam and was just doing enough in terms of activity to barely nick each frame.  I can’t necessarily say that any of the judges got any specific round blatantly wrong, but I think Lederman’s 95-95 and especially McKaie’s 96-94 indicate mild but consistent bias in favor of Glazkov, the house fighter.  Favoring the house fighter is unfortunately nothing new for McKaie and Lederman, who teamed up to rob Ossie Duran blind against Brandon Gonzales.  McKaie is particularly notable for his poor cards.  Among his other lowlights: he gave Jerson Ravelo the decision against Joey Spina in a fight that was clearly either a draw or a win for Spina in March 2012, had Mayfield-Herrera a bit too close in October, and was fixing to rob Luis Abregu until he stopped Thomas Dulorme the same night.  He’s had some good cards mixed in there too, but he’s a very busy judge that I would consider a risky choice if I were making the appointments.
 
 

In London on the same busy evening, the latest installment of the Prizefighter series brought international heavyweights together for a series of 3-rounders.  The field of 8 included 2 members of the top 50 in Albert Sosnowski and Travis Walker.  Sosnowski in particular was something like a co-winner of the last installment, having been blatantly robbed in the semis.  But neither of these two deserved favorites made it past the first round.  Sosnowski was roughed up and stopped late in the 3rd by a 41 year old but apparently resurgent Martin Rogan, who was last seen in high level action getting clowned, dominated, and stopped by a southpaw version of Tyson Fury.  Walker lost a close split decision to fellow American Derric Rossy, a former prospect who was easily handled in consecutive fights by Eddie Chambers, Kubrat Pulev, and Maurice Harris.  British journeyman Audley Harrison took advantage of an easy first-round assignment by scoring a sensational one-punch stoppage of Danish journeyman Claus Bertino.  Ian Lewison, a novice at just 6-3-1, sprung a bit of an upset himself, stopping gargantuan German former fringe contender Timo Hoffmann in the first round, though it was a terrible stoppage by referee John Keane.  Nevertheless, Lewison did well to drop Hoffmann hard. 

 

In the second round, Harrison easily handled Rogan over the 3 round distance, leading to the conclusion that Rogan simply can’t begin to handle tall fighters.  In the other semi, Rossy eeked out a split decision over Lewison.  I had it a shutout for Lewison, but 2 of the 3 rounds were close. 

 

In the finals, Harrison simply finished off an already-tired Rossy, stopping him in the second round to win the tournament for the second time in his career.  I was reminded why I don’t bet on sports, as I only gave Harrison a 6% chance of winning in my preview last week.  Then again, if I’d have known he was going to draw Bertino, Rogan, and Rossy, I might have given him a significantly better shot.

 

Backtracking to Friday, one-loss prospect Manuel Charr- best known for his stoppage loss to Vitali Klitschko- was in what was shaping up as a barn-burner with one-loss and largely untested Turk Yakup Saglam.  Through two rounds, the two were just squaring up and throwing bombs, rock ’em sock ’em robots style, with each man giving as well as he received.  But the fight fell off the rails, as Saglam complained of a shoulder injury between rounds and retired in his corner.

 

Way back on Tuesday in Minsk, Belarus, Ondrej Pala of the Czech Republic (nominally a top 50 fighter), managed to win just 6 of 8 rounds against 6-3 novice Yuri Bihoutseu, though in Pala’s defense, Bihoutseu was the home fighter.

 

Prizefighter fails to make its mark on the rankings, contrary to my expectations.  The reason for this is that Harrison had a bit too easy a road.  Bertino did absolutely nothing for him.  Rogan helped, since his win over Sosnowski had made him a temporary fringe contender, but the Rossy win was tainted a bit by the fact that Rossy had probably deserved to lose to a journeyman in the semis.  That, combined with Harrison’s prior struggles in losing ugly stoppages to Davids Price and Haye, as well as a prior close loss to Rogan 4 years ago, conspire to leave him in the top 25, but outside the top 20.

 

Thompson’s TKO of Price gives the veteran a modest boost to #13.  It could have been better if I’d overrated Price as heavily as most did, but the fact is he had never proven himself to be anything better than a fringe contending prospect.  He looked scary against mid-level opposition and worse, but to view him as anything better than a borderline top 25 guy would involve a fair amount of projection, which I try to avoid here.

 

With the help of a pair of judges, Glazkov manages to stay put at #19, while Scott wins out in a close struggle for the #20 spot, ultimately displacing Bermane Stiverne, who had been on the inside for just 5 weeks since the last time he was forced out.  Stiverne owns a win over a #20 contender in Ray Austin, but that win is getting pretty old as his last major success, and he also suffered an embarrassing draw to complete nobody Charles Davis in ’09.  Scott has a win over a low-level gatekeeper in Bowie Tupuo to add to his fresh draw with #19 Glazkov.  It doesn’t hurt his case that he all but certainly won it.

 

Charr and Pala’s wins are nowhere near significant enough to matter.  Whew!  If I keep writing entries this long, I’m going to start feeling like an actual journalist!

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (192-405-405)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Mariusz Wach (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlad is now expecting to return on May 4 instead of April 6, with Italian fringe contender Francesco Pianeta being the leading contender.  He would then theoretically face Povetkin, but there seems to be 3-way drama between the WBA and the two fighters’ camps right now.
1) Vitali Klitschko (229-229-229)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With 2013 in full swing, we’re still waiting on Vitali’s decision to fight on or retire.
2) David Haye (33-33-33)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Haye has indicated that a fight with Vitali may be the only fight that would lure him away from re-retiring. 
3) Steve Cunningham (10-10-10)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- L (SD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek (Robbery)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. #6 Tyson Fury
Adamek’s erratic behavior has yielded justice.  Cunningham beat Adamek, but was robbed.  Now he’ll fight Tyson Fury, with the winner to fight Kubrat Pulev for a mandatory shot at Wlad.  The fight will be at MSG and will be televised live in the afternoon by NBC.
4) Alexander Povetkin (33-279-279)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO2 Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After failing to convince the WBA to deny Wlad a voluntary before fighting him, Povetkin and his team are now raising cain about the 75-25 split the WBA has set for the purse bid.  No word on whether he’ll stay busy in the meantime, as it would be hard to imagine the fight happening before August at the earliest.
5) Tomasz Adamek (10-149-149)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- W (SD12)* vs. CW #4 Steve Cunningham (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Adamek is acting erratic lately, I think it’s fair to say.  First he gets busted drunk driving, and now he has turned down the Pulev shot that he “won” by “beating” Cunningham, claiming to have a much more lucrative offer to fight an unknown opponent in Poland- an offer that all the major Polish networks claim to have no part of.  He has also denied rumors that he might be fighting Artur Szpilka.
6) Tyson Fury (10-84-84)
Last Fight: 12/1/2012- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. #3 Steve Cunningham
See Cunningham’s notes, above.
7) Eddie Chambers (10-37-37)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers appeared set to fight Lebedev at cruiserweight, but it now appears that Lebedev will fight Guillermo Jones, instead.
8) Kubrat Pulev (10-43-120)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With Adamek running scared, Pulev will reportedly defend his EBU title in March or April.  Next, he will likely fight the winner of Cunningham-Fury, with the winner becoming Wlad’s IBF mandatory.
9) Dereck Chisora (10-65-128)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- L(TKO5) vs. David Haye (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/16/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chisora is penciled in for the big Frank Warren event on 3/16 in London.  The only obstacles at this point are securing an opponent and getting his license back.
10) Johnathon Banks (10-15-15)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- TKO2 #11 Seth Mitchell

Next Fight: Unknown
Banks broke his thumb in sparring, scuttling the Mitchell rematch.
11) Odlanier Solis (10-144)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD12 Konstantin Airich (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Solis’ promoter- with whom he seems to have healed a major rift- says they’re looking at 3/22 for the big Cuban’s return, in Berlin.
12) Marco Huck (10-53)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- W*(UD12) vs. CW #10 Firat Arslan (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck admits to not wanting the trilogy fight with Afolabi, but intends to go forward with it in late March or early April.  Since his last heavyweight fight was February 25, he will be removed when I publish my first update after that date, or my first update after that fight is announced at cruiser, whichever comes first.
13) Tony Thompson (1-144)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- TKO2 David Price (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson wants Fury- who recently signed to fight Cunningham.  Price has a rematch clause, but Price himself has indicated he may not be “crying for a rematch,” while Thompson says he wouldn’t consider it unless they paid him a lot better and came to the US.
14) Robert Helenius (1-144)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- W*(UD10) vs. Sherman Williams (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Helenius was rumored for a March fight with Sprott, but no news since.
15) Alexander Dimitrenko (1-111)
Last Fight: 12/21/2012- UD8 Samir Kurtagic (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/9/2013- vs. Dzenan Hodzic (UNR)
Dimitrenko is scheduled to return on March 9 in Hamburg.  He will reportedly fight Dzenan Hodzic, a totally untested 4-0 Bosnian that has been inactive since 2008.
16) Chris Arreola (6-206)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/9/2013- vs. Bermane Stiverne (UNR)
Arreola-Stiverne has been delayed yet again- this time likely owing to Andre Ward’s injury.  It will now be March 9 in Costa Mesa, California.
17) Denis Boytsov (6-193)
Last Fight: 2/17/2013- UD8 Samir Kurtagic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov appears to have won the battle of wills with Universum over whether he gets to fight or not.  Now the trick will be getting him in against worthwhile opposition.
18) Jean-Marc Mormeck (6-144)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- L(TKO4) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Mormeck will be removed on Monday, except in the unlikely event that he schedules a heavyweight fight this week.
19) Vyacheslav Glazkov (6-10)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. Malik Scott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov got the benefit of the doubt in every close round from two of the judges against Scott.  It was just about as close to a robbery as you can get without me calling it that. 
20) Malik Scott (1-1)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. #19 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott was the victim of a bad decision against Glazkov it’s fair to say, but I stop short of calling it a blatant robbery.  I do believe he won 8 of the 10 rounds, but he only won 4 of them with clarity.  By easing off the gas in the latter half of the fight, he gave the judges the opportunity to hand it to the house fighter, which 2 of them were all too happy to do.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:  In an effort to prevent me from getting carpal tunnel, the division takes a much-deserved breather after the melee that was last week.  But I will have something to write about, since both #12 Marco Huck and #18 Jean-Marc Mormeck are essentially certain to be removed for inactivity next week.

Heavyweight: 2012, Oct 8-14

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 8, 2012 by danboxing
No heavyweight fights to report from last week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (172-385-385)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- TKO6 #11 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 11/10/2012- vs. Mariusz Wach (UNR)
Klitschko-Wach is now a done deal for November 10.  Wach- a Polish prospect- is in no way worthy of a shot at the legitimate title yet, but is considered by many to be a dangerous fighter anyway due to his size and power.
1) Vitali Klitschko (209-209-209)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With the early indications being that Vitali’s silly sparring match with Charr being his last fight, there is now plenty of buzz that he might fight Haye in March of next year.  His upcoming election for the Kiev mayoral race is an obvious potential factor.
2) David Haye (13-13-13)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Haye has indicated that a fight with Vitali may be the only fight that would lure him away from re-retiring.  He may get his wish, as there is now talk of a March 2013 matchup.
3) Tomasz Adamek (13-129-129)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO5 Travis Walker (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/22/2012- vs. #11 Odlanier Solis
Solis has decided to scrap his tune-up fight with Leif Larsen, and will go straight to Adamek.
4) Alexander Povetkin (13-259-259)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO2 Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin and his team have named Wlad, Fury, and Adamek as options for fights in the near future.  Any of those would be great, unlike many of his recent choices.
5) Marco Huck (13-33-33)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. CW #7 Ola Afolabi (at CW)
Next Fight: 11/3/2012- vs. CW #10 Firat Arslan (at CW)
Huck just signed for an alphabet defense against Arslan, kind of out of nowhere.
6) Tyson Fury (13-64-64)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- TKO5 Vinny Maddalone (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Unable to secure a fight with Chagaev, Fury has apparently been turned down by David Haye, too.  An offer was apparently made for the two to meet in Belfast on December 1.
7) Eddie Chambers (17-17-17)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers’ MRI revealed a torn tendon, and he had surgery to repair that.  No definite timetable has been set, but I’d be very surprised if we saw him back in the ring before early 2013.
8) Kubrat Pulev (2-23-100)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev may be in for a fight with the Adamek-Solis winner, or may go straight to a shot at Wlad in early 2013.
9) Dereck Chisora (2-45-108)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- L(TKO5) vs. David Haye (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The Haye loss will be a huge setback for the already underrated Chisora.  Many will forget that he did clearly beat Helenius.
10) Robert Helenius (2-80-124)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- W*(SD12) vs. #18 Dereck Chisora (Robbery)
Next Fight: 11/10/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Helenius is scheduled to return in early November.  The opponent may be fello Finn Jarno Rosberg.  Rosberg is technically undefeated, but I randomly saw one of his fights back in January in which he deserved a draw with truly awful Latvian Pavels Dolgovs and was gifted a win.  Should be a gimme for Helenius.
11) Odlanier Solis (13-124)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD12 Konstantin Airich (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/22/2012- vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Solis saw no point in fighting Leif Larsen as a tune-up, and canceled his scheduled fight with him in Madrid, preferring instead to go straight to the excellent matchup with Adamek in December.
12) Seth Mitchell (13-44)
Last Fight: 4/28/2012- TKO3 Chazz Witherspoon (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/17/2012- vs. Johnathon Banks (UNR)
Not sure why, but Mitchell’s return has been moved back about 6 weeks to November 17.
13) Ruslan Chagaev (13-308)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- TKO7 Werner Kreiskott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chagaev has a fight with Tyson Fury on the table at last check, but is currently looking for a new trainer after his split with Universum.
14) Alexander Dimitrenko (13-91)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- L(KO11) vs. #17 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite showing the heart of a quitter and the consistency of a random number generator against Pulev, Dimitrenko hangs on to a solid ranking because the other guys in his tier haven’t been winning meaningful fights lately.
15) Tony Thompson (13-124)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- L(TKO6) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
In case any of you thought the first fight was a fluke, now you know for sure: Thompson really isn’t as good as Wlad Klitschko.
16) Chris Arreola (13-186)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/10/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Don King just laid down big money on the Arreola-Stiverne purse bid.  Boxrec has Arreola back on 11/10 against a TBA opponent, but look for that to get bumped back, as the Stiverne fight is more likely for late November.
17) Denis Boytsov (13-173)
Last Fight: 4/13/2012- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/12/2012- vs. Konstantin Airich (UNR)
Konstantin Airich recently tested positive for a banned substance in his last fight.  As of now, the 10/12 fight is still on, but stay tuned.
18) Jean-Marc Mormeck (13-124)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- L(TKO4) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Bermane Stiverne (13-68)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- UD8 Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Arreola’s notes above.
20) Edmund Gerber (13-23)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- TKO4* Michael Sprott (UNR) (terrible stoppage)
Next Fight: Unknown
Gerber was losing to Sprott when he scored a knockdown.  The ref then ended the fight because he’s in the tank for Gerber’s team.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: There are two mentionable fights on Friday and one on Saturday.

 

Friday: In Hamburg, Germany, oft-injured Russian #17 Denis Boytsov, who is thought to be much more talented than that, but who hasn’t fought anyone better than a journeyman since 2009, will continue that pattern, but will at least fight arguably the best journeyman of that span in recently-significant Konstantin Airich.  Airich tested positive for a banned substance in his last fight, but Boytsov is confident enough to go forward, anyway.

 

In a bizarre entry on the schedule, fringe contender Tor Hamer- who rose to relative prominence in beating Kevin Johnson to win the recent International Heavyweight Prizefighter Tournament in England- appears to be scheduled for just a 4-rounder on the ShoBox undercard from St. Charles, Missouri.  I may be at the fight, so I’ll have all the details next week.  Hamer is still relatively green, having only once been scheduled for as much as 8 rounds, but a 4-rounder still seems a bit excessive, especially against a veteran like his opponent Dominque Alexander.  Hamer is a quick, smaller heavyweight, so this isn’t a Butterbean situation.

 

Saturday: 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist Audley Harrison of England- a disappointing pro to say the least and merely a journeyman at present- will look for what might be a last chance at international prominence when he fights sensational and undefeated Liverpool giant David Price in Liverpool.

Heavyweight: 2012, May 28- Jun 3

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on May 28, 2012 by danboxing
Nothing too consequential this week, but a few notable fighters were in action.  Friday in Hammond, Indiana, former contender Fres Oquendo needed 9 rounds to stop journeyman Joey Abell, best known as the guy Chris Arreola kissed after stopping him.  The following night, former Olympic Gold Medalist Audley Harrison of the UK stopped Iraqi-born journeyman Ali Adams in 4 in Harrison’s first fight since his 18-month old debacle against David Haye.  Later that evening in Managua, Nicaragua, Cuban prospect Luis Ortiz needed just two of the scheduled 6 to dispose of local journeyman Walter Palacios.  No changes to the rankings this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (153-366-366)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- TKO4 #16 Jean-Marc Mormeck
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. #10 Tony Thompson
Wlad will be defending the title against #10 Tony Thompson in what will likely be another ho-hum matchup for the Champ.  On the bright side, Thompson did put up a relatively spirited challenge the last time the two met in 2008.
1) Vitali Klitschko (190-190-190)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Klitschko’s potential choices for a September opponent currently appear to include the following: Seth Mitchell, Bermane Stiverne, Franklin Lawrence, as well as unranked prospects Mariusz Wach, Manuel Charr, and Luis Ortiz.  Fairly disappointing that Vitali’s not even considering any top 10 fighters this close to the end of his career, though there might be at least one interesting fight to be had from that group.
2) Alexander Povetkin (40-240-240)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- W*(MD12) vs. CW #5 Marco Huck
Next Fight: 7/14/2012- vs. Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Povetkin’s ludicrous fight with Rahman will now be the co-feature to Haye-Chisora in London.
3) Tomasz Adamek (11-110-110)
Last Fight: 3/24/2012- UD10 Nagy Aguilera (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/16/2012- vs. Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Big news!  Eddie Chambers- who was removed for inactivity from this very spot in the rankings not long ago- will be fighting Adamek in June on NBC Sports.  The stakes will of course be the #2 spot, which Povetkin now appears to be merely warming for the winner.  That is, if Chambers doesn’t withdraw from a 3rd consecutive bout.
4) Marco Huck (11-14-14)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. CW #7 Ola Afolabi (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Unfortunately, Huck is apparently making a thinly-veiled attempt to make a pointless fight with weak European cruiserweight paper champion Alexander Alekseev.
5) Tyson Fury (11-45-45)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- TKO5 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After a fairly impressive left-handed win over Martin Rogan, Fury appears interested in making a fight with Wlad or Alexander Povetkin.
6) Dereck Chisora (11-26-89)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(UD12) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: 7/14/2012- vs. David Haye (UNR)
The British Board is bitterly opposed to this bout- which they refuse to license- but apparently it is going forward anyway.  Get ready for a highly controversial blood-feud between Chisora and recent brawl opponent David Haye, July 14 in London.
7) Robert Helenius (11-61-105)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- W*(SD12) vs. #18 Dereck Chisora (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Helenius is now the mandatory challenger to #8 Kubrat Pulev’s European title- previously held by Helenius.  Helenius is still in the midst of an uncertain recovery from shoulder surgery, however.
8) Kubrat Pulev (4-4-81)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- KO11 #12 Alexander Dimitrenko
Next Fight: Unknown
Might have a Helenius clash on the horizon, though the Finn’s health is a factor.
9) Odlanier Solis (2-11-105)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD12 Konstantin Airich (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Considering he was extremely out of shape and had a surgically-repaired knee to worry about, Solis didn’t look too terrible in coasting to victory over a disappointing Konstantin Airich.
10) Tony Thompson (2-105-105)
Last Fight: 5/27/2011- TKO3 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Wladimir Klitschko’s comments, above.
11) Seth Mitchell (11-25)
Last Fight: 4/28/2012- TKO3 Chazz Witherspoon (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/14/2012- vs. Johnathon Banks (UNR)
Mitchell is set to fight the Klitschko-promoted Johnathon Banks, a mediocre one-loss prospect who is probably an upgrade from Witherspoon at least in terms of accomplishment, but a downgrade from Ibragimov.
12) Ruslan Chagaev (4-289)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO3 Billy Zumbrun (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The Valuev win is now over 5 years old, and Chagaev’s ranking has suffered as a result.
13) Alexander Dimitrenko (4-72)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- L(KO11) vs. #17 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite showing the heart of a quitter and the consistency of a random number generator against Pulev, Dimitrenko hangs on to a solid ranking because the other guys in his tier haven’t been winning meaningful fights lately.
14) Chris Arreola (4-167)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/23/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Arreola, it appears, will fight on the Matthysse-Soto, Ortiz-Lopez card on June 23.  Most likely his fight will be televised on Showtime Extreme again.
15) Denis Boytsov (4-154)
Last Fight: 4/13/2012- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov will likely fight in Moscow on August 24, but nothing official yet.
16) Jean-Marc Mormeck (4-105)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- L(TKO4) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 7/21/2012- vs. CW #2 Denis Lebedev (at CW)
It’s official.  Mormeck will drop back to cruiserweight for the first time since 2007 to fight #2 contender Denis Lebedev in Paris on July 21.
17) Bermane Stiverne (4-49)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- UD8 Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne is one of several opponents being floated by Vitali’s team right now.
18) Edmund Gerber (4-4)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- UD8 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most scintillating effort against a passive Harris, but the old man is what passes for a fringe contender in this division at the moment, and thus Gerber has built himself a ranking.
19) Franklin Lawrence (4-53)
Last Fight: 10/28/2011- TKO2 Raymond Ochieng (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lawrence is yet another fighter Vitali is interested in fighting in September.
20) Kevin Johnson (4-9)
Last Fight: 4/1/2012- TKO9 Alex Leapai (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/20/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Johnson is set to fight on June 20th in London, but no opponent yet.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: It’s fights like this that make me glad I don’t do audio on this blog, because there isn’t a way in hell I could pronounce this name right.  Polish prospect Andrzej Wawrzyk gets the toughest assignment of his career against veteran Russian trial horse Denis Bakhtov in some even more unpronounceable Polish town.

Heavyweight: 2012, May 21-27

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2012 by danboxing
Last week saw a lot of meaningful activity in the division.  First up, on Wednesday, was formerly-ranked undefeated Italian Francesco Pianeta, who won an average 10-round decision against serviceable 47-year-old gatekeeper Oliver McCall.  Pianeta makes a strong case to regain a ranking after cancer-related inactivity led to his ouster, but falls just short.

 

Saturday saw one fight- #19 Franklin Lawrence’s scheduled tilt with former fringe contender Mike Mollo- canceled.  Mollo’s pre-fight MRI revealed an old vertebrae injury that rendered him unfit to compete.

 

As for the fights that did come off: undefeated Liverpool giant David Price stormed through former Commonwealth champion Sam Sexton en route to a 4th round KO in the former’s hometown.  This was for the British title vacated by Tyson Fury, and was Sexton’s second unsuccessful attempt at the belt.  Later that evening in Texas, #10 Odlanier Solis ground out a methodical but fairly dominant decision win over borderline fringe contender Konstantin Airich of Germany.  It was Solis’ first fight in 14 months after multiple knee surgeries stemming from his inexplicable collapse against Vitali Klitschko last year.  I don’t understand Airich’s strategy (if he had one).  Solis came in more than 20 pounds heavier than the Klitschko fight, had a suspect knee to worry about, and he’s plodding even at his best.  Complete joke opponent Arturs Kulikauskis nearly beat highly-ranked super middleweight Dimitri Sartison- who was also coming off knee surgery- late last year by moving around and making Sartison uncomfortable.  This would have been the perfect strategy for Airich, who was giving up about 40 pounds and yet had a disadvantage in every conceivable area  except his wheels and conditioning.  Instead, Airich mainly hung out right in front of Solis and allowed the fight to become largely a jabbing contest, and one he was destined to lose considering he had less power, lower accuracy, and a more porous defense.  Solis didn’t exactly dazzle anybody, but he picked up a solid win and moves ahead of Tony Thompson to #9 as a result.  As for Price: this is his best win, but he needs probably at least one more like it to crack the top 20.  He and Pianeta both moved right up to the cusp of making it in, though.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (152-365-365)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- TKO4 #16 Jean-Marc Mormeck
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. #10 Tony Thompson
Wlad will be defending the title against #10 Tony Thompson in what will likely be another ho-hum matchup for the Champ.  On the bright side, Thompson did put up a relatively spirited challenge the last time the two met in 2008.
1) Vitali Klitschko (189-189-189)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Now that Haye is fighting Chisora, Vitali may be looking for another opponent.  Perhaps one of his last two opponents ever.
2) Alexander Povetkin (39-239-239)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- W*(MD12) vs. CW #5 Marco Huck
Next Fight: 7/14/2012- vs. Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Povetkin’s ludicrous fight with Rahman will now be the co-feature to Haye-Chisora in London.
3) Tomasz Adamek (10-109-109)
Last Fight: 3/24/2012- UD10 Nagy Aguilera (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/16/2012- vs. Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Big news!  Eddie Chambers- who was removed for inactivity from this very spot in the rankings not long ago- will be fighting Adamek in June on NBC Sports.  The stakes will of course be the #2 spot, which Povetkin now appears to be merely warming for the winner.  That is, if Chambers doesn’t withdraw from a 3rd consecutive bout.
4) Marco Huck (10-13-13)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. CW #7 Ola Afolabi (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Shaky performance against Afolabi, but there’s no rule saying he has to be the #1 or #2 Cruiser in order to be the #4 heavyweight.  If there was, he wouldn’t be here in the first place.
5) Tyson Fury (10-44-44)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- TKO5 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After a fairly impressive left-handed win over Martin Rogan, Fury appears interested in making a fight with Wlad or Alexander Povetkin.
6) Dereck Chisora (10-25-88)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(UD12) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: 7/14/2012- vs. David Haye (UNR)
The British Board is bitterly opposed to this bout- which they refuse to license- but apparently it is going forward anyway.  Get ready for a highly controversial blood-feud between Chisora and recent brawl opponent David Haye, July 14 in London.
7) Robert Helenius (10-60-104)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- W*(SD12) vs. #18 Dereck Chisora (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
In addition to his injured hand suffered in the Chisora bout, Helenius says he was fighting with an injured shoulder.  Now comes the news that he will require surgery for that injury, and will be out until at least the fall.  His doctors say there is a chance it will never heal well enough for boxing.
8) Kubrat Pulev (3-3-80)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- KO11 #12 Alexander Dimitrenko
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev showed determination if nothing else in wearing down Dimitrenko to a late knockout.
9) Odlanier Solis (1-10-104)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD12 Konstantin Airich (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Considering he was extremely out of shape and had a surgically-repaired knee to worry about, Solis didn’t look too terrible in coasting to victory over a disappointing Konstantin Airich.
10) Tony Thompson (1-104-104)
Last Fight: 5/27/2011- TKO3 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Wladimir Klitschko’s comments, above.

11) Seth Mitchell (10-24)
Last Fight: 4/28/2012- TKO3 Chazz Witherspoon (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Now that Wlad is actively dropping his name as a possible next opponent, Mitchell is showing he’s likely going to take the Adamek approach: fight low-quality opponents that happen to be really tall so that you can pretend you’re trying to prepare yourself for Wlad, when what you’re really doing is waiting around for your big payday with little risk.  Even the specific opponent being discussed is familiar to that scenario- Michael Grant.
12) Ruslan Chagaev (3-288)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO3 Billy Zumbrun (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The Valuev win is now over 5 years old, and Chagaev’s ranking has suffered as a result.
13) Alexander Dimitrenko (3-71)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- L(KO11) vs. #17 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite showing the heart of a quitter and the consistency of a random number generator against Pulev, Dimitrenko hangs on to a solid ranking because the other guys in his tier haven’t been winning meaningful fights lately.
14) Chris Arreola (3-166)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/23/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Arreola, it appears, will fight on the Matthysse-Soto, Ortiz-Lopez card on June 23.  Most likely his fight will be televised on Showtime Extreme again.
15) Denis Boytsov (3-153)
Last Fight: 4/13/2012- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov continued his slow walk to a title shot with an easy win over journeyman Dominick Guinn.
16) Jean-Marc Mormeck (3-104)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- L(TKO4) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 7/21/2012- vs. CW #2 Denis Lebedev (at CW)
It’s official.  Mormeck will drop back to cruiserweight for the first time since 2007 to fight #2 contender Denis Lebedev in Paris on July 21.
17) Bermane Stiverne (3-48)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- UD8 Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne had a ho-hum performance against an opponent that should never have been considered adequate after he was off for 10 months.
18) Edmund Gerber (3-3)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- UD8 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most scintillating effort against a passive Harris, but the old man is what passes for a fringe contender in this division at the moment, and thus Gerber has built himself a ranking.
19) Franklin Lawrence (3-52)
Last Fight: 10/28/2011- TKO2 Raymond Ochieng (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lawrence’s stay-busy fight was canceled after Mollo was medically disqualified- apparently on fight day.
20) Kevin Johnson (3-8)
Last Fight: 4/1/2012- TKO9 Alex Leapai (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Johnson put the cart before the horse by fighting the division’s #1 contender before he’d beaten anyone in the top 50.  Now he’s done the latter at last, and we’ll see if he starts progressing towards the former again.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: A few mildly mentionable fights to alert you to this week:
Friday: Former contender Fres Oquendo fights journeyman Joey Abell- best known as a Chris Arreola victim- in Hammond, Indiana.

 

Saturday:In Brentwood, England, former Olympic gold medalist and somewhat discredited British gatekeeper Audley Harrison returns to action for the first time since a shameful non-effort against David Haye a little over 18 months ago.  He’ll fight Iraqi-born journeyman Ali Adams.

 

In Managua, Nicaragua, Luis Ortiz- an undefeated Cuban prospect looking to emerge from the shadow of Solis and Mike Perez- will do nothing to achieve that goal in fighting weak local journeyman Walter Palacios in a 6-rounder.