Archive for Bob Ajisafe

Light Heavyweight: 2014, May 19-25

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 16, 2014 by danboxing
The MaxiNutrition Knockout Tournament held its semi-final round in Leeds, England on Saturday.

 

In the first semifinal, one-loss prospect Travis Dickinson got all he could handle from somewhat less proven fellow one-loss man Matty Clarkson.  It looked like it might be an early night after a couple rounds, as Dickinson dropped his man once in each of those frames.  But Clarkson bounced back with a knockdown in the 3rd (one I feel strongly was a slip).  Dickinson otherwise had a decent round, and I scored it only 10-9 for Clarkson.  Dickinson probably just nicked the 4th, before disaster struck in the 5th.  Clarkson landed a vicious body shot that dropped and hurt Dickinson badly.  Dickinson rose, but was dropped two more times with body shots by the end of the round.  Clarkson had developed his own problems by this time, as his right cheek was grotesquely swollen with a broken jaw.  Even with the 10-6 round in favor of Clarkson, I had it all even.  The 6th was shaping up to be a competitive affair when referee Michael Alexander abruptly stopped it, apparently due to the broken jaw.  I am not sure I want to argue with that decision too much, though the timing did seem fairly arbitrary after he’d already gotten an all-clear from the doctor earlier in the round.  Unfortunately, it interrupted a highly dramatic and competitive fight, and one that hadn’t really been decided yet on the merits.  As it is, Dickinson gets the win over a non-top-50 opponent, and thus pretty much remains the prospect that he was to begin with.

 

In the second semi, heavy tournament favorite Bob Ajisafe had a great deal of trouble finding the target on journeyman Leon Senior, who was just awkward and clever enough to grind the rangy Ajisafe’s offense to a standstill.  I actually gave Senior both of the first two rounds, though I thought the first in particular could legitimately have gone either way.  Ajisafe at least began to outwork his man in the 3rd, though I thought Senior may have again come back to nick the 4th.  That means I actually had the huge underdog leading 39-37 after 4.  But that’s all the time Ajisafe needed to figure things out.  Senior’s elusiveness began to wane noticeably, and Ajisafe began to find his face at the end of some of his probing one-two combos.  The fight really turned on a dime, and Ajisafe tattooed Senior with a sustained barrage that caused Mark Lyson to stop it, and quite correctly.  Senior went from possibly winning to stopped on his feet in a matter of a couple minutes.

 

Both guys, at least in terms of the provenness of the opposition, were in tougher in the quarters than they were this time around, and neither does much more than advance to the no-doubt significant finals with these particular wins.  No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks   in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (89-89-89)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward lost an arbitration with his promoter, but it sounds like the rift between the two is far from solved.  Kessler is the latest guy to renew a stated desire to fight him.
1) Adonis Stevenson (50-50-50)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO6 #6 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #6 Andrzej Fonfara
In something of a coup, Stevenson-Fonfara will be carried by Showtime.   This not only further diminishes HBO’s stable of top fighters, but also puts in serious doubt the plausibility of what appeared to be an upcoming megafight with Kovalev.
2) Bernard Hopkins (89-415-415)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- W (SD12*) vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Hopkins has been ordered to fight his mandatory, which is the winner of Anatoliy Dudchenko and Nadjib Mohammedi- not exactly big money names- but he has been given leave for a unification fight (presumably with Stevenson) before that.
3) Jean Pascal (18-18-18)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD12 #16 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Pascal is pencilled in for a September fight, and perhaps one more before the end of the year.  Prospective opponents, in order, are Sean Monaghan and Lucian Bute.  He wants Stevenson after that, assuming he comes through cleanly.
4) Sergey Kovalev (18-70-70)
Last Fight: 3/29/2014- KO7 #15 Cedric Agnew
Next Fight: Unknown
Kovalev had some choice words for Stevenson after the Haitian defected to Showtime and, apparently, scuttled their much-hyped matchup for later this year.  No news yet on what Kovalev’s next move will be after the development.
5) Chad Dawson (18-416-416)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L(TKO1) vs. SMW #6 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Dawson has signed a deal with manager Al Haymon, which certainly brightens his career prospects.  He says he is interested in a Stevenson rematch.  Prospects for another occasionally-discussed rematch- with Jean Pascal- increased recently with word that Pascal’s trainer offered Dawson a contract.
6) Andrzej Fonfara (18-40-97)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- KO2 Samuel Miller (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
See Stevenson’s notes, above.
7) Tony Bellew (18-136-136)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO12 Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bellew is campaigning at cruiserweight now, but he’ll keep his ranking here until he schedules a fight there for after November 30, or until after November 30 itself.  BJ Flores wants to fight him, but it sounds like he’ll fight Cleverly before the year is out.
8) Gabriel Campillo (18-204-204)
Last Fight: 5/9/2014- TKO7 Ricky Pow (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
While the result looked good on paper, the reality of Campillo’s uneven performance against Pow should be a little alarming to those who hope to see him remain at the top level.
9) Tavoris Cloud (18-247-247)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Cloud should probably get himself back in the win column at some point.
10) Nathan Cleverly (18-224-224)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- TKO2 Shawn Corbin (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Cleverly looked good against Corbin in his cruiserweight debut.  He’ll keep his ranking here until he schedules a cruiserweight fight for after August 17 (the anniversary of his last fight in this division), or until that date passes, whichever comes first.  He wants to fight in July again, followed by a possible November rematch with bitter rival Tony Bellew.
11) Isaac Chilemba (18-120)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD10 Denis Grachev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba looked very very sharp in dominating a game Denis Grachev, and might soon be in line for a shot at Adonis Stevenson.
12) Jürgen Brähmer (18-109)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD5 Enzo Maccarinelli (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. Roberto Feliciano Bolonti (UNR)
After it initially appeared a Maccarinelli rematch is in the works, Braehmer will instead fight perennial gatekeeper Roberto Feliciano Bolonti of Argentina.
13) Karo Murat (17-30)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat wants Braehmer, his former stablemate, but is now without a promoter, which probably means Sauerland isn’t falling all over themselves to make that fight.
14) Thomas Williams, Jr. (17-17)
Last Fight: 4/24/2014- TKO3 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Williams just added another faded name to his resume…this one perhaps a bit too faded.
15) Cedric Agnew (18-58)
Last Fight: 3/29/2014- L (KO7) vs. #4 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
After taking a risk against Kovalev and coming up short, I can only assume that his prospects for a regional title bout against Dudchenko and a IBF eliminator against Sukhotsky might both be out the window at least for the moment.
16) Edwin Rodriguez (18-45)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez was scheduled to fight Marcus Johnson on May 24, but Johnson quickly withdrew.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (30-47)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (17-127)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- L (TKO1) vs. Thomas Williams, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Never blessed with big-time promotional or managerial ties, White has risked becoming a permanent opponent with his last two losses.
19) Eleider Alvarez (17-69)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD10 Andy Gardiner (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. Alexander Johnson (UNR)
Alvarez has switched from an undefeated prospect to a defeated- but more experienced- one in Alexander Johnson, and in doing so has gotten his fight televised in the US.
20) Lucian Bute (17-81)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- L (UD12) vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute wants his contractually-guaranteed rematch with Pascal, a fight that appears tentatively planned for late in the year.  He recently parted ways with his long-time trainer, and says he’s in no hurry to get back in the ring.

 

The Week Ahead
Saturday
#1 Adonis Stevenson vs. #6 Andrzej Fonfara; Montreal, Quebec; Showtime (US)
Most people consider Stevenson the lineal champion, though I think that belongs to Andre Ward on a technicality.  Fonfara is probably a little overrated at #6 in terms of his actual skill, but his results- chiefly his come-from-behind knockout over Campillo- demand that kind of placement.  This feels like a so-so challenge for the intimidating Stevenson, but it’s hard to sneeze at a #1-#6 showdown.  This division produces so many high-level match-ups, I think maybe we’ve gotten spoiled.  The winner of this has an excellent chance to fight Hopkins next.

 

#19 Eleider Alvarez vs. Alexander Johnson; Montreal, Quebec; Showtime Extreme (US)
Alvarez is a promising Colombian who fights out of Quebec.  He is coming off a mediocre performance in his last fight, though, and will be looking to make a bigger impression against one-loss American fringe prospect Alexander Johnson, who was last seen on TV getting dominated by another prospect in Luis Garcia.

Light Heavyweight: 2014, May 12-18

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 11, 2014 by danboxing
Friday in Las Palmas of the Spanish Canary Islands, #8 Gabriel Campillo got a bit more stern a test than expected from low-level British journeyman Ricky Pow.  Campillo looked a bit sluggish of both hand and foot early in the fight, and I actually gave his aggressive and rugged opponent rounds one and six, and thought he had an argument in 3 and 4, as well.  But when Pow got a little lax on defense, it didn’t take Campillo long to capitalize, blistering his man with a string of sharp combinations that left Pow defenseless on the ropes and obligated the ref to step in during the 7th round.  Speaking of that ref, I didn’t catch his name, but I did want to shame him for a crooked-looking point deduction on Pow in the 4th.  Pow was unexpectedly competitive at that point, and the ref decided that a minor head clash that looked very accidental merited a lost point for the non-Spanish fighter, despite no visible warnings to that point.  Ultimately it wasn’t a major factor, but it could have been.

 

No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks   in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (88-88-88)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward lost an arbitration with his promoter, but it sounds like the rift between the two is far from solved.  Kessler is the latest guy to renew a stated desire to fight him.
1) Adonis Stevenson (49-49-49)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO6 #6 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #6 Andrzej Fonfara
In something of a coup, Stevenson-Fonfara will be carried by Showtime.   This not only further diminishes HBO’s stable of top fighters, but also puts in serious doubt the plausibility of what appeared to be an upcoming megafight with Kovalev.
2) Bernard Hopkins (88-414-414)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- W (SD12*) vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Hopkins has been ordered to fight his mandatory, which is the winner of Anatoliy Dudchenko and Nadjib Mohammedi- not exactly big money names- but he has been given leave for a unification fight (presumably with Stevenson) before that.
3) Jean Pascal (17-17-17)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD12 #16 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Pascal is pencilled in for a September fight, and perhaps one more before the end of the year.  Prospective opponents, in order, are Sean Monaghan and Lucian Bute.  He wants Stevenson after that, assuming he comes through cleanly.
4) Sergey Kovalev (17-69-69)
Last Fight: 3/29/2014- KO7 #15 Cedric Agnew
Next Fight: Unknown
Kovalev had some choice words for Stevenson after the Haitian defected to Showtime and, apparently, scuttled their much-hyped matchup for later this year.  No news yet on what Kovalev’s next move will be after the development.
5) Chad Dawson (17-415-415)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L(TKO1) vs. SMW #6 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Dawson has signed a deal with manager Al Haymon, which certainly brightens his career prospects.  He says he is interested in a Stevenson rematch.  Prospects for another occasionally-discussed rematch- with Jean Pascal- increased recently with word that Pascal’s trainer offered Dawson a contract.
6) Andrzej Fonfara (17-39-96)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- KO2 Samuel Miller (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
See Stevenson’s notes, above.
7) Tony Bellew (17-135-135)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO12 Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bellew is campaigning at cruiserweight now, but he’ll keep his ranking here until he schedules a fight there for after November 30, or until after November 30 itself.  BJ Flores wants to fight him, but it sounds like he’ll fight Cleverly before the year is out.
8) Gabriel Campillo (17-203-203)
Last Fight: 5/9/2014- TKO7 Ricky Pow (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
While the result looked good on paper, the reality of Campillo’s uneven performance against Pow should be a little alarming to those who hope to see him remain at the top level.
9) Tavoris Cloud (17-246-246)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Cloud should probably get himself back in the win column at some point.
10) Nathan Cleverly (17-223-223)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (TKO4) vs. #3 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Shawn Corbin (UNR)
Cleverly’s cruiserweight debut is once again on the schedule.  This time for May 17 in Cardiff, and his opponent- on a little over 2 weeks’ notice- is journeyman Shawn Corbin.
11) Isaac Chilemba (17-119)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD10 Denis Grachev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba looked very very sharp in dominating a game Denis Grachev, and might soon be in line for a shot at Adonis Stevenson.
12) Jürgen Brähmer (17-108)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD5 Enzo Maccarinelli (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. Roberto Feliciano Bolonti (UNR)
After it initially appeared a Maccarinelli rematch is in the works, Braehmer will instead fight perennial gatekeeper Roberto Feliciano Bolonti of Argentina.
13) Karo Murat (16-29)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat wants Braehmer, his former stablemate, but is now without a promoter, which probably means Sauerland isn’t falling all over themselves to make that fight.
14) Thomas Williams, Jr. (16-16)
Last Fight: 4/24/2014- TKO3 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Williams just added another faded name to his resume…this one perhaps a bit too faded.
15) Cedric Agnew (17-57)
Last Fight: 3/29/2014- L (KO7) vs. #4 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
After taking a risk against Kovalev and coming up short, I can only assume that his prospects for a regional title bout against Dudchenko and a IBF eliminator against Sukhotsky might both be out the window at least for the moment.
16) Edwin Rodriguez (17-44)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez was scheduled to fight Marcus Johnson on May 24, but Johnson quickly withdrew.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (29-46)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (16-126)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- L (TKO1) vs. Thomas Williams, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Never blessed with big-time promotional or managerial ties, White has risked becoming a permanent opponent with his last two losses.
19) Eleider Alvarez (16-68)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD10 Andy Gardiner (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. Alexander Johnson (UNR)
Alvarez has switched from an undefeated prospect to a defeated- but more experienced- one in Alexander Johnson, and in doing so has gotten his fight televised in the US.
20) Lucian Bute (16-80)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- L (UD12) vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute wants his contractually-guaranteed rematch with Pascal, a fight that appears tentatively planned for late in the year.  He recently parted ways with his long-time trainer, and says he’s in no hurry to get back in the ring.

 

The Week Ahead
Saturday
Bob Ajisafe vs. Leon Senior; Leeds, England; Channel 5 (UK)
This is one of the two semi-finals of Britain’s MaxiNutrition knockout light heavyweight tournament.  Ajisafe narrowly edged out veteran Dean Francis in an all-out war of attrition in the quarters, and has to be the big favorite in this clash.  Senior defaulted into the semis after a 2nd-round no contest with Tony Hill, who suffered a cut and was thus unable to move on.  His last fight that came to a normal conclusion was back in November, when he was bludgeoned to a 6th round TKO against undefeated prospect Arfan Iqbal, tasting the canvas three times in the process.  He’s also never beat anybody of consequence.

 

Travis Dickinson vs. Matty Clarkson; Leeds, England; Channel 5 (UK)
In the other semifinal, two one-loss prospects meet up.  Dickinson’s lone loss, ominously, was a clear decision against Ajisafe in late 2012.  His first round fight was a minor upset TKO against once-prominent Danny McIntosh.  Clarkson comes off a gimme in the first round against a 5-8-2 fighter, whose presence in the tournament field I can’t quite explain.  Even so, he didn’t exactly dominate.  Dickinson is the clear favorite in this fight, especially since Clarkson’s lone loss came against mid-level journeyman Courtney Fry, and since he adds a pair of draws against middling competition.  

 

#10 Nathan Cleverly will be in action on a separate card in Cardiff, but he will be at cruiser, and the fight will be discussed exclusively there except to the extent it affects his ranking here.

Light Heavyweight: 2014, Mar 17-23

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on August 5, 2014 by danboxing
The week’s light heavyweight headliner was in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where #11 Isaac Chilemba of Malawi fought an almost perfect fight against rugged fringe contender Denis Grachev of Russia.  Grachev was game as always, and gave a good effort, but the tall and long-armed Chilemba controlled range expertly, and had very few let-downs that would have given Grachev any kind of chance.  I had it 99-91, having just barely found round 6 for Chilemba, and I only saw one other debatable round.  Judges Lederman (100-90) Morgan (99-91) and McNair (99-91) all did competent work.

 

In another good match-up- this one from Reading, England- 40 year-old gatekeeper Dean Francis and 2-loss prospect Bob Ajisafe fought it out for the vacant British title and a spot in the semi-finals of the Maxi Nutrition Knockout tournament.  Francis showed much of the form that had won him that title, as well as the British 168-pound title, in the past.  He frequently frustrated the long-armed Ajisafe’s attempts to control range and the pace by bulling his way in and landing everything from jabs to right hands.  On the other hand, when Francis would have a lull in his offense, Ajisafe would often capitalize by landing a potshot to hurt Francis from the outside.  If we were scoring based only one times that one guy hurt the other, it would be about 4-1 for Ajisafe.  

 

I ultimately had it 115-113 for Ajisafe, though I thought the two closest rounds of the fight (the only two I could really imagine going any other way) were ones I had given to the taller man, meaning I could imagine a draw or 115-113 Francis as reasonable scores.  The sick-brained judges couldn’t quite manage that.  John Keane had it closest to reality at 116-114.  I should say that I have no real idea how British judges are trained to decide even rounds.  In the US, an even round usually means that a judge lost concentration, since truly even rounds are supposed to happen only once in a blue moon.  I get the sense that when I call a round a toss-up and award it narrowly to one fighter, my British counterpart might tend to score it even more often than not.  Even by that standard, though, Keane was off.  If I gave even rounds for all the toss-ups, it would actually have benefited Francis to the tune of a draw.  To score two even rounds and still have it for Ajisafe, Keane must have scored at least one clear Francis round the wrong way.  Marcus McDonnell’s score was reported by the ring announcer as 116-114, but Boxrec has it reported as the same as Keane.  Either that’s a typo, or there was a tabulation/announcing error.  Jeff Hinds, though, really outdid himself, scoring it an unconscionable 118-112 for Ajisafe, meaning that he totally botched a minimum of 3 rounds that were clearly won by Francis.

 

In a non-televised bout from New Jersey on Friday, gatekeeper Rowland Bryant (best known for stopping Librado Andrade and basically ending the contender’s career) won an easy TKO victory in 4 rounds over low-level sub-.500 journeyman William Santiago.

 

Francis was only barely a top 50 fighter going in, and Ajisafe’s only other performance against a top 50 fighter in the last 5 years was a respectable loss to an up-and-coming Tony Bellew in 2010.  For those reasons, Ajisafe is only in the high-30s in terms of ranking at this point.  Chilemba still can’t quite get by Cleverly and into the top 10 either, so there are no changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (80-80-80)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says his manager is working on his next fight despite his lawsuit against promoter Dan Goossen.  He had indicated interest in Golovkin, but the Kazakh’s own trainer recently said his fighter is not ready for that fight.
1) Adonis Stevenson (41-41-41)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO6 #6 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #6 Andrzej Fonfara
According to Ringtv.com, Stevenson-Fonfara will most likely land on May 24.  After that, it looks like the Kovalev fight will happen in late 2014.
2) Bernard Hopkins (80-406-406)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Karo Murat (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Hopkins will fight Shumenov in mid-April at the D.C. Armory in Washington.
3) Jean Pascal (9-9-9)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD12 #16 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Bob Arum has floated the possibility of a July fight with Julio Cesar Chavez.
4) Sergey Kovalev (9-61-61)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO2 Ismayl Sillakh (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. #15 Cedric Agnew
Kovalev is likely to fight Stevenson in late 2014, and has a March 29 fight coming up in Atlantic City with Cedric Agnew.
5) Chad Dawson (9-407-407)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L(TKO1) vs. SMW #6 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Dawson has signed a deal with manager Al Haymon, which certainly brightens his career prospects.  He says he is interested in a Stevenson rematch.  Prospects for another occasionally-discussed rematch- with Jean Pascal- increased recently with word that Pascal’s trainer offered Dawson a contract.
6) Andrzej Fonfara (9-31-88)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- KO2 Samuel Miller (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
May 24 looks likely for Fonfara-Stevenson.
7) Tony Bellew (9-127-127)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO12 Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
Bellew is campaigning at cruiserweight now, but he’ll keep his ranking here until he schedules a fight there for after November 30, or until after November 30 itself.
8) Gabriel Campillo (9-195-195)
Last Fight: 8/16/2013- L (KO9) vs. #14 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: 5/9/2014- vs. Ibrahim Lopez (UNR)
Campillo will reportedly fight unproven one-loss Spanish prospect Ibrahim Lopez on May 9 in Madrid.
9) Tavoris Cloud (9-238-238)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Cloud should probably get himself back in the win column at some point.
10) Nathan Cleverly (9-215-215)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (TKO4) vs. #3 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
Cleverly’s cruiserweight debut is once again delayed by what’s being called a minor injury.  His promoter says he intends to schedule him another fight very soon.
11) Isaac Chilemba (9-111)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD10 Denis Grachev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba looked very very sharp in dominating a game Denis Grachev.
12) Jürgen Brähmer (9-100)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD12 Marcus Oliveira (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Enzo Maccarinelli (UNR)
Braehmer returns April 5 in Rostock, Germany against moderately resurgent Welshman Enzo Maccarinelli.
13) Karo Murat (8-21)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat is a free agent after his contract with Sauerland recently expired.
14) Thomas Williams, Jr. (8-8)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- TKO1 #13 Cornelius White
Next Fight: Unknown
Williams has been well-matched against vulnerable guys with good resumes.
15) Cedric Agnew (9-49)
Last Fight: 4/12/2013- UD12 #14 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. #4 Sergey Kovalev
Agnew was ordered to defend his regional title against fringe contender Anatoliy Dudchenko, and also appeared to have the option of fighting Sukhotsky for a position as IBF mandatory.  Instead, he’ll now roll the dice big against Kovalev.
16) Edwin Rodriguez (9-36)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez’s trainer Ronnie Shields opines that a fight against a top-15 level light heavyweight would be a good jumping-off point for his anticipated permanent move up.  Before that happens, he’ll need to recover from minor elbow surgery he had in December.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (21-38)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (8-118)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- L (TKO1) vs. Thomas Williams, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Never blessed with big-time promotional or managerial ties, White has risked becoming a permanent opponent with his last two losses.
19) Eleider Alvarez (8-60)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD10 Andy Gardiner (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alvarez may have been suffering from a letdown after Oosthuizen withdrew from what could have been the Colombian’s biggest fight ever, and almost let it effect him to the point of losing to an unheralded undefeated prospect in Gardiner.
20) Lucian Bute (8-72)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- L (UD12) vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute wants his contractually-guaranteed rematch with Pascal.

 

The Week Ahead: No meaningful action this week.

Light Heavyweight: 2014, Mar 10-16

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on July 28, 2014 by danboxing
Saturday in Kecskemet, Hungary, Hungarian former Champion Zsolt Erdei won a dominant unanimous decision over low-level journeyman Shalva Jomardashvili of Georgia, won a completely manufactured alphabet Euro title in the process, and then promptly retired.  I wish I could say he was a real credit to the sport.  The truth is that he beat a Champion in the late Julio Cesar Gonzalez to become light heavyweight champion of the world in 2004, and then went on a run of defenses so pathetic in their overall quality that most boxing fans sort of forgot that he was champion and started recognizing the far superior Roy Jones, whom Erdei wouldn’t have fought in a million years.  It might be an exaggeration to say that he hurt the status of boxing championships as much as an alphabet organization, but he sure did his best to try.  He protected his “0” more carefully than Floyd Mayweather ever dreamed, and finally lost that mark in just his penultimate fight- ironically in very controversial fashion- to Denis Grachev.  He goes out winning a so-called title against a total non-entity, but the sad truth is that that non-entity who had no right challenging for a vacant European belt was not all that much worse than some of the guys that Erdei actually defended his lineal belt against, when you consider such luminaries as Paul Murdoch, Danny Santiago, George Blades, Tito Mendoza, DeAndrey Abron, Yuriy Barashian and, arguably, Samson Onyango (who in particular is probably worse than Jomardashvili).

 

No changes, since Erdei already ceased to afflict the rankings a while ago.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (79-79-79)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says his manager is working on his next fight despite his lawsuit against promoter Dan Goossen.  He had indicated interest in Golovkin, but the Kazakh’s own trainer recently said his fighter is not ready for that fight.
1) Adonis Stevenson (40-40-40)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO6 #6 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #6 Andrzej Fonfara
According to Ringtv.com, Stevenson-Fonfara will most likely land on May 24.  After that, it looks like the Kovalev fight will happen in late 2014.
2) Bernard Hopkins (79-405-405)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Karo Murat (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Hopkins will fight Shumenov in mid-April at the D.C. Armory in Washington.
3) Jean Pascal (8-8-8)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD12 #16 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Pascal appears to be fully back from his 2 years in the desert, figuratively speaking, having dominated an apparently shopworn Bute.
4) Sergey Kovalev (8-60-60)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO2 Ismayl Sillakh (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. #15 Cedric Agnew
Kovalev is likely to fight Stevenson in late 2014, and has a March 29 fight coming up in Atlantic City with Cedric Agnew.
5) Chad Dawson (8-406-406)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L(TKO1) vs. SMW #6 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Dawson has signed a deal with manager Al Haymon, which certainly brightens his career prospects.  He says he is interested in a Stevenson rematch.  Prospects for another occasionally-discussed rematch- with Jean Pascal- increased recently with word that Pascal’s trainer offered Dawson a contract.
6) Andrzej Fonfara (8-30-87)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- KO2 Samuel Miller (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
May 24 looks likely for Fonfara-Stevenson.
7) Tony Bellew (8-126-126)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- L (TKO6) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
Bellew plans a move to cruiserweight, and his first fight there is scheduled for March 15 in Liverpool, against Valery Brudov.
8) Gabriel Campillo (8-194-194)
Last Fight: 8/16/2013- L (KO9) vs. #14 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: 5/9/2014- vs. Ibrahim Lopez (UNR)
Campillo will reportedly fight unproven one-loss Spanish prospect Ibrahim Lopez on May 9 in Madrid.
9) Tavoris Cloud (8-237-237)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Cloud should probably get himself back in the win column at some point.
10) Nathan Cleverly (8-214-214)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (TKO4) vs. #3 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
Cleverly’s cruiserweight debut is once again delayed by what’s being called a minor injury.  His promoter says he intends to schedule him another fight very soon.
11) Isaac Chilemba (8-110)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD8 Michael Gbenga (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Denis Grachev (UNR)
Chilemba is in the US, training for a March 15 bout with fringe contender Grachev.
12) Jürgen Brähmer (8-99)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD12 Marcus Oliveira (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Enzo Maccarinelli (UNR)
Braehmer returns April 5 in Rostock, Germany against moderately resurgent Welshman Enzo Maccarinelli.
13) Karo Murat (7-20)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat is a free agent after his contract with Sauerland recently expired.
14) Thomas Williams, Jr. (7-7)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- TKO1 #13 Cornelius White
Next Fight: Unknown
Williams has been well-matched against vulnerable guys with good resumes.
15) Cedric Agnew (8-48)
Last Fight: 4/12/2013- UD12 #14 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. #4 Sergey Kovalev
Agnew was ordered to defend his regional title against fringe contender Anatoliy Dudchenko, and also appeared to have the option of fighting Sukhotsky for a position as IBF mandatory.  Instead, he’ll now roll the dice big against Kovalev.
16) Edwin Rodriguez (8-35)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez’s trainer Ronnie Shields opines that a fight against a top-15 level light heavyweight would be a good jumping-off point for his anticipated permanent move up.  Before that happens, he’ll need to recover from minor elbow surgery he had in December.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (20-37)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (7-117)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- L (TKO1) vs. Thomas Williams, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Never blessed with big-time promotional or managerial ties, White has risked becoming a permanent opponent with his last two losses.
19) Eleider Alvarez (7-59)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD10 Andy Gardiner (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alvarez may have been suffering from a letdown after Oosthuizen withdrew from what could have been the Colombian’s biggest fight ever, and almost let it effect him to the point of losing to an unheralded undefeated prospect in Gardiner.
20) Lucian Bute (7-71)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- L (UD12) vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute might be back on the May 24 undercard of Stevenson-Fonfara.

 

The Week Ahead:
Friday
Rowland Bryant vs. William Santiago; Hamilton Township, New Jersey; Off TV
Bryant, despite losing to solid prospects like Thomas Oosthuizen and Yunieski Gonzalez, is still a top 50 fighter in my eyes due to his destruction of then-ranked contender Librado Andrade in 2012.  It’s a bit disappointing, then, to find him fighting a sub-.500 fighter like Santiago.  Easy work.

 

Saturday
Bob Ajisafe vs. Dean Francis; Reading, England; Channel 5 (UK)
Both Francis and Ajisafe are English gatekeeper-types, and this fight has the potential to propel the winner to a really prominent position in the division.  This is actually the first quarterfinal of the UK’s MaxiNutrition Knockout Tournament.  The winner of this fight ought to be at least the co-favorite with the winner of next week’s meeting between Danny McIntosh and Travis Dickinson.

 

#11 Isaac Chilemba vs. Denis Grachev; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; NBC Sports (US)
Chilemba is looking for another breakthrough after losing a rematch to Bellew.  Grachev is even more in need of good news.  He was once at around the same level as Chilemba now finds himself, but he has been struggling of late.  He acquitted himself very well against Bute, but lost.  He beat Erdei, but perhaps it was undeserved.  And he was totally blown out of the water against Edwin Rodriguez.  Still, I think this fight could go either way.  Chilemba is long and tall, and if Grachev steps lively enough, he’s got a good chance to get inside and land some bombs on the Malawian contender, especially if Chilemba is not on top of his game.  Chilemba likes to mix it up more than a trainer might advise for someone of his physique.

 

Speaking of Tony Bellew: he’s got a fight too, but it’s unambiguously a cruiserweight fight, so I’ll only discuss it there.