Archive for Cedric Boswell

Heavyweight: 2012, May 7-13

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on May 8, 2012 by danboxing
There were two important heavyweight fights on just one card in Erfurt, Germany on Saturday. 

 

In the biggest one, #17 Kubrat Pulev scored a knockout victory over Alexander Dimitrenko.  What really happened, in my estimation, is that Dimitrenko quit.  Dimitrenko was so effective in the first couple rounds at keeping Pulev off of him with a sharp jab and accurate power punching that I was thinking he might be on his way to something like a shutout victory.  Pulev pulled even in rounds 3 and 4 by landing a couple hard shots here and there in the midst of what were otherwise Dimitrenko rounds.  Dimitrenko pulled back ahead in the next two rounds, but whether it was the cuts and bruises on his face, a lack of focus, or fatigue, Pulev began getting in punching range almost at will and cracking the Ukrainian hard to the head for rounds 7-10.  Round 11 started out as more of the same, when suddenly Pulev caught Dimitrenko with a sharp jab to the chin.  Dimitrenko went down as much from balance as anything else, and took the full count on his knees, his eyes clear. 

 

Dimitrenko has the skills and physical tools to be a real contender, but unfortunately it appears that he doesn’t have anything like the heart of a champion.  Pulev doesn’t appear to be any kind of world beater to my eyes, but his resume is starting to tell a different story.

 

In the other fight, American fringe contender Maurice Harris took on German undefeated prospect Edmund Gerber.  Unfortunately, Harris appeared to have flown all the way to Germany just to pick up his paycheck.  His strategy was to backpedal and by and large flick out a jab, all the while making himself extremely accessible to Gerber’s overhand right.  How he thought that could possibly net him a win is beyond me.  As for Gerber, he won the decision comfortably (even though the judges were more than fair to Harris), but didn’t particularly impress me.  His style reminds me of Alexander Povetkin.  Not the entertaining version we saw in the life and death struggles with Chagaev and Huck, but rather the comatose version that quite literally put me to sleep during the first half of the Boswell fight.  Plodding forward, one punch at a time, with no particularly notable level of power or handspeed.  I complained about Gerber’s failure to step up in competition over the past year or two.  Now I’m going to have to start complaining that I’m going to have to watch him fight again now that he has stepped up.  But with luck, maybe I won’t have to say the same for Harris.

 

Now for the rankings shake-up, and it’ s a big one:
Last week’s #17 Pulev rockets to #8 on the strength of his big victory.  Having re-examined the vicinity of that number, it occurred to me that the signature win of #8 Ruslan Chagaev- his win over Nikolai Valuev- is now over 5 years old and thus, out of principal, I am no longer considering it in determining his ranking.  The lone bright spot on his record now is a 4 1/2 year old win over then-contender Matt Skelton.  As a result, Chagaev slides all the way back to #12 after 285 consecutive weeks in the top 10.  This allows Tony Thompson and Odlanier Solis to hang on to their #9 and #10 rankings, respectively, along with Seth Mitchell at #11.  You would think that Dimitrenko was in for a major fall, but he drops just one spot to #13.  The reason?  There’s just nobody knocking on the door.  Chris Arreola, who is next in line, hasn’t recorded a worthwhile win in 3 years.  Boytsov is no better.  Along with Dimitrenko, everybody ranked #13-16 last week drops one spot to make room for Pulev’s advance.  Gerber crashes the party at #18 after his win.  Last week’s #s 18 and 19, Franklin Lawrence and Kevin Johnson, drop a spot apeice as well to 19 and 20.  This (thankfully) forces out Cedric Boswell after he had returned for a month.

 

Also, a quick note on Marco Huck: he was perhaps a bit lucky to eke out a draw with #7 Cruiserweight Ola Afolabi this weekend, but since that fight was at 200, it will not have any effect on his heavyweight ranking.  It’s simply very possible that the lower division is better pound-for-pound than the heavies, at least once you get past the Klitschkos.  Huck has earned his ranking here by deserving to beat the #2 contender, and will keep it until he loses it in this division, fails to fight at heavy for a year, or delivers a performance so bad at cruiser that he’s clearly disqualified himself.  That clearly has not happened here, especially since his last fight with Afolabi was similarly close and yet he was ranked here despite that.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (150-363-363)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- TKO4 #16 Jean-Marc Mormeck
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. #9 Tony Thompson
Wlad will be defending the title against #9 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 (187-187-187)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Will David Haye be Vitali’s next opponent?  Nobody seems to know.  But there is some news.  Polls show Vitali as the favorite in the race for Mayor of Kiev at the end of the year.  September sounds like the most likely date for Vitali’s next fight.
2) Alexander Povetkin (37-237-237)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- W*(MD12) vs. CW #5 Marco Huck
Next Fight: 7/14/2012- vs. Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Povetkin got the benefit of the doubt in a fight he was dangerously close to losing against big underdog Marco Huck.  A rematch is widely desired and eminently deserved, but Povetkin is fighting HASIM RAHMAN next.  Shame on the WBA for ordering such a ridiculous mandatory fight for its ridiculous title, and shame on Povetkin for being their pawn.
3) Tomasz Adamek (8-107-107)
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 (8-11-11)
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 (8-42-42)
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 (8-23-86)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(UD12) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
So apparently there is a deal in place for Chisora-Haye in London on July 14.  And they’re talking about doing it as an unsanctioned fight to avoid the BBBofC’s jurisdiction.  Wow.  An formal announcement is expected this week.  I half expect this to end up on a barge…
7) Robert Helenius (8-58-102)
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 (1-1-78)
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) Tony Thompson (8-102-102)
Last Fight: 5/27/2011- TKO3 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Wladimir Klitschko’s comments, above.
10) Odlanier Solis (8-8-102)
Last Fight: 3/19/2011- L (TKO1) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: 5/19/2012- vs. Konstantin Airich (UNR)
Solis will fight Kazakh-born German fringe contender Konstantin Airich in Texas on 5/19.  That’s a pretty tough opponent given the layoff and physical problems from which Solis is trying to rebound.  But if he does well, it’s a great choice.
11) Seth Mitchell (8-22)
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 (1-286)
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 (1-69)
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 (1-164)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The Champ wants to return to the US in November for the first time since ’08.  Arreola and Mitchell are the names being tossed around by the Klitschko camp at the moment.
15) Denis Boytsov (1-151)
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 (1-102)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- L(TKO4) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
The word is Mormeck might be dropping back to cruiser for the first time since 2007 to fight Denis Lebedev.  No deal yet, but they have agreed on the prospective date: June 29, in Paris.
17) Bermane Stiverne (1-46)
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 (1-1)
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 (1-50)
Last Fight: 10/28/2011- TKO2 Raymond Ochieng (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/18/2012- vs. Mike Mollo (UNR)
Lawrence will fight journeyman and former fringe contender Mike Mollo in Dover, Delaware on May 18.
20) Kevin Johnson (1-6)
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: Juan Carlos Gomez is listed on the undercard of Alexeev-Arslan in Goeppingen, Germany this Friday against an opponent to be announced.  I’ll believe it when I see it, though, since Gomez fought just 3 weeks before, and since he’s not really known as a busy fighter.

Heavyweight: 2011, Dec 5-11

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2011 by danboxing
Amir Mansour took care of business on Friday in Delaware, stopping undersized journeyman Epifanio Mendoza in 6. 

 

The following evening, it might be be a stretch to say that underdog #18 Dereck Chisora dominated #4 Robert Helenius in the latter’s home country, but at the very least, he won by a fairly wide margin.  There’s no way that any non-corrupt judge could have given Helenius (who reportedly injured his hand early in the fight) more than 3 rounds, and yet each of the three disgraceful human beings given that task found a way to give their guy way more credit than that.  One judge apparently really wanted Helenius to win, but eventually got too embarrassed with himself to keep giving him rounds and actually awarded the fight to Chisora by one round.  The other two crooks gave Helenius no fewer than 4 rounds that he clearly lost, as well as a couple more that I personally believe he lost, in order to sickeningly award the fight to Helenius 115-113.  These judges: Leszek Jankowiak of Poland and especially Italy’s Giuseppe Quaratrone and Spain’s Manuel Palomo are incompetent and very likely corrupt, and should never be allowed to judge again.  Ever.  This is one of the all-time worst robberies, and it’s a black mark on the sport.  But luckily, we ignore dirtbags like Palomo and Quartarone here, and so as far as I’m concerned Chisora won the fight in solid fashion. 

 

On the same card in Finland, #2 Alexander Povetkin fought #20 Cedric Boswell.  I saw the first couple rounds on YouTube, and they were so crushingly boring that I just went to Boxrec to find the result.  When I found out if was a middle round knockout, I decided to pick up where I left off, with the happy knowledge that someone would eventually land a punch at some point.  It took a few more rounds before that happened, but eventually a fight so tepid that it makes Wlodarczyk-Palacios look like Gatti-Ward turned into a one-sided beatdown in the last round or two.  Povetkin took his time, but ultimately imposed his will on Boswell, who did very little in the fight except throw out a light jab lazily every now and then.  The sad thing was that was enough to win a round for Boswell on my card. 

 

On the undercard of both of those fights, German prospect Edmund Gerber was supposed to fight former contender Matt Skelton, but instead blasted out late replacement Marcus McGee in a mere 18 seconds.  Not sure what happened to Skelton, who would have at least been a tad bit of a test.

 

Povetkin is already as high in the rankings as he’s getting before he beats a Klitschko or before one of the brothers retires.  The only question arising out of that fight is what to do with Boswell.  If it was all based on how he looked, he’d certainly be out of the rankings, but ultimately his nearest competitor (probably Amir Mansour) still hasn’t accomplished quite as much.  I don’t think it’s necessarily appropriate to punish Boswell for trying to step way above his station to fight a top contender, regardless of how massively he failed.  Accordingly, he stays put at #20 for now.

 

Chisora’s win over Helenius normally would get him in contention with Povetkin for the #2 spot since Helenius was so highly-ranked, but Chisora’s big slip-up earlier in the year- when he came in ridiculously fat and sluggish and lost his British title to Tyson Fury- is a problem for him.  Despite now having a better win on his resume than Fury, it would be logically untenable to promote him over the guy who recently beat him (even considering Fury’s shaky wins since then).  So Chisora rockets up the rankings, but tops out just behind Fury at #6.  Helenius obviously has to fall below Fury as well, despite having accomplished significantly more than the British giant before losing to Chisora.  He settles in just behind Chisora at #7, still ahead of Ruslan Chagaev, who hasn’t had a really significant win in about 4 years.  Adamek and Fury (#5 and #6 last week) each move up one spot due to Helenius’ demotion, while everybody rated #7-17 last week drops one position to accommodate Chisora’s promotion, including Alexander Dimitrenko, who falls to #11 after 7 weeks in the top 10.

 

For Comparison, here are the Current Ring Magazine Heavyweight Rankings:
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko
1) Vitali Klitschko
2) Alexander Povetkin
3) Tomasz Adamek
4) Eddie Chambers
 
5) Alexander Dimitrenko
6) Robert Helenius
7) Denis Boystov
8) Ruslan Chagaev
9) Chris Arreola
10) Kubrat Pulev

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (128-341-341)
Last Fight: 7/2/2011- UD12 #2 David Haye
Next Fight: 3/3/2011- vs. #14 Jean Marc Mormeck
Wlad had surgery to remove a kidney stone on the 5th and quite understandably wasn’t going to be ready to fight on the 10th.  It appears that the fight is only rescheduled and will be held March 3, but it’s not entirely clear yet that Mormeck has accepted the offer to reschedule.
1) Vitali Klitschko (165-165-165)
Last Fight: 9/10/2011- TKO10 #6 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
David Haye’s camp says Haye isn’t interested in coming out of his very brief retirement to fight Vitali, but Team Klitschko seems to be hearing different feedback from Haye’s people.  Vitali apparently wants that fight, but has given Haye a mid-December deadline to decide whether or not to take the offer he’s been given.  Vitali says he’ll announce his next opponent the week after his brother’s December 10 defense regardless of who it is.
2) Alexander Povetkin (15-215-215)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- KO8 #20 Cedric Boswell
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin turned in a tedious but ultimately successful effort against Boswell.  At the post-fight press conference, cruiserweight contender Marco Huck challenged him and Povetkin and trainer Teddy Atlas eagerly accepted.  But now the WBA has named Hasim Rahman the mandatory contender to Povetkin’s made-up belt, so we’ll see how that situation pans out.  Neither matchup is particularly compelling for a fighter of Povetkin’s stature.  Povetkin prefers Tyson Fury over Rahman, and that at least speaks well of him.
3) Eddie Chambers (8-140-140)
Last Fight: 2/11/2011- UD12 Derric Rossy (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It seems as if Thompson has been named the mandatory contender by the IBF without the need for the injury-plagued eliminator previously scheduled between him and Chambers.
4) Tomasz Adamek (1-85-85)
Last Fight: 9/10/2011- L (TKO10) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Chris Arreola wants to fight him, but Adamek is talking about a rematch with Andrew Golota.  Are you f’ing kidding me???
5) Tyson Fury (1-20-20)
Last Fight: 11/12/2011- TKO3 Neven Pajkic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury is already working on his next fight, which may be March 17 at Madison Square Garden for his US debut.  Alexander Povetkin and Magomed Abdusalamov appear to be possible opponents.
6) Dereck Chisora (1-1-64)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- L*(SD12) vs. #4 Robert Helenius (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
He’s one of the most talked about fighters in the division at the moment after comprehensively beating the heavily favored Robert Helenius.  Might be in line for what, to me, seems an unnecessary rematch with Helenius, or maybe something even bigger.
7) Robert Helenius (1-36-80)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- W*(SD12) vs. #18 Dereck Chisora (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Helenius looked like he always does against Chisora- completely horrible.  The only difference is that he didn’t suddenly stop his man as per usual.  In his defense, it appears that he sustained a hairline fracture in his hand early i the bout.
8) Ruslan Chagaev (1-264-264)
Last Fight: 8/27/2011- L (UD12) vs. #5 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 1/21/2011- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chagaev has a fight scheduled against an opponent to be announced in January.
9) Tony Thompson (1-80-80)
Last Fight: 5/27/2011- TKO3 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson has been elevated to a spot as the IBF’s mandatory contender without the need for an eliminator against Chambers, who withdrew with a back injury.  This most likely means he won’t be fighting Chambers as originally planned.
10) Odlanier Solis (1-51-80)
Last Fight: 3/19/2011- L (TKO1) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis appears to still be recovering from multiple knee surgeries.
11) Alexander Dimitrenko (1-47)
Last Fight: 9/24/2011- UD12 Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
May get Helenius next since despite being beaten badly in his last fight, Helenius is still technically the EBU beltholder.
12) Chris Arreola (1-142)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO3 Raphael Butler (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola wants to fight Wlad and/or Adamek in the near future.
13) Denis Boytsov (1-129)
Last Fight: 9/24/2011- TKO6 Matthew Greer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Jean Marc Mormeck (1-80)
Last Fight: 12/2/2010- SD12 #19 Timur Ibragimov
Next Fight: 3/3/2012- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Klitschko’s comments, above.
15) Bermane Stiverne (1-24)
Last Fight: 6/25/2011- TKO10 #20 Ray Austin
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite a still-thin resume, Stiverne has somehow been maneuvered into the position of being Vitali Klitschko’s WBC mandatory challenger.
16) Samuel Peter (1-80)
Last Fight: 4/2/2011- L(KO9) vs. #16 Robert Helenius
Next Fight: Unknown
It appeared that Peter would be fighting Vyacheslav Glazkov, but apparently it was never a done deal.
17) Kubrat Pulev (1-56)
Last Fight: 10/22/2011- UD12 Travis Walker (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Franklin Lawrence (1-28)
Last Fight: 10/28/2011- TKO2 Raymond Ochieng (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Timur Ibragimov (8-11)
Last Fight: 12/2/2010- L (SD12) vs. #18 Jean Marc Mormeck
Next Fight: 12/10/2011- vs. Seth Mitchell (UNR)
Ibragimov will serve as a measuring stick on December 10 when he attempts to shut the gate on America’s best heavyweight prospect, Seth Mitchell.  The fight will be televised by HBO.
20) Cedric Boswell (8-8)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- L(KO8) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Boswell was the most comatose participant in a comatose fight with Alexander Povetkin prior to being rendered semi-conscious by Povetkin in the 8th.  In this case, semi-conscious is a downgrade from comatose…don’t ask how that works.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Thursday in Australia, Samoan fringe contender Alex Leapai takes on totallly outmanned journeyman Troy Weida.  The following night in Rhode Island, gatekeeper Jason Estrada battles journeyman Joseph Rabotte, and then on the undercard of the Khan-Peterson fight on HBO, #19 Timur Ibragimov attempts to close the gate on Seth Mitchell, a former Michigan State linebacker and probably America’s best prospect at this weight in what should be a very intriguing crossroads fight.

Heavyweight: 2011, Nov 28- Dec 4

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 28, 2011 by danboxing
There was one card with heavyweight significance this week, and- perhaps appropriately on Thanksgiving weekend- it was in Turkey.  Boxrec had Odlanier Solis scheduled to fight an unknown opponent, but I suspected he probably still wasn’t ready following multiple knee surgeries.  I seem to have been correct, as the fight evidently did not come off.  Czech fringe prospect Ondrej Pala, meanwhile, did answer the bell for his fight on the same card, however, and basically proved what we all pretty much knew anyway- that Darnell Wilson only beat Juan Carlos Gomez because the latter had a badly messed-up shoulder.  Pala, who in his career has lost to one nobody as well as Denis Boytsov, won by scores of 120-108 and 118-110 (twice) against glorified journeyman Wilson.

 

For Comparison, here are the Current Ring Magazine Heavyweight Rankings:
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko
1) Vitali Klitschko
2) Alexander Povetkin
3) Tomasz Adamek
4) Eddie Chambers
5) Robert Helenius
6) Alexander Dimitrenko
7) Denis Boystov
8) Ruslan Chagaev
9) Chris Arreola
10) Kubrat Pulev

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (127-340-340)
Last Fight: 7/2/2011- UD12 #2 David Haye
Next Fight: 12/10/2011- vs. #13 Jean Marc Mormeck
Wlad is already looking past Mormeck to his next fight, which he hopes will be against Antonio Tarver in the US.
1) Vitali Klitschko (164-164-164)
Last Fight: 9/10/2011- TKO10 #6 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
David Haye’s camp says Haye isn’t interested in coming out of his very brief retirement to fight Vitali, but Team Klitschko seems to be hearing different feedback from Haye’s people.  Vitali apparently wants that fight, but has given Haye a mid-December deadline to decide whether or not to take the offer he’s been given.  Vitali says he’ll announce his next opponent the week after his brother’s December 10 defense regardless of who it is.
2) Alexander Povetkin (14-214-214)
Last Fight: 8/27/2011- UD12 #6 Ruslan Chagaev
Next Fight: 12/3/2011- vs. #20 Cedric Boswell
Povetkin’s fight with Boswell will be televised by EPIX (which is not available in my area) and streamed on EpixHD.com.  Povetkin definitely wants a Klitschko in 2012.
3) Eddie Chambers (7-139-139)
Last Fight: 2/11/2011- UD12 Derric Rossy (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s been about a month since Chambers-Thompson was supposed to have happened before a Chambers back injury, and I’ve seen no talk of rescheduling.  I would expect it will still happen, but will assume the fight is off until I hear different.
4) Robert Helenius (7-35-79)
Last Fight: 8/27/2011- TKO9 Sergei Liakhovich (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/3/2011- vs. #18 Dereck Chisora
Helenius-Chisora will be televised on EPIX (an on-demand-based cable channel that isn’t available in my area) and streamed on Epixhd.com.
5) Tomasz Adamek (7-84-84)
Last Fight: 9/10/2011- L (TKO10) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Chris Arreola wants to fight him, but Adamek is talking about a rematch with Andrew Golota.  Are you f’ing kidding me???
6) Tyson Fury (3-19-19)
Last Fight: 11/12/2011- TKO3 Neven Pajkic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury is already working on his next fight, which may be March 17 at Madison Square Garden for his US debut.  The most likley opponent at this point appears to be undefeated Russian prospect Magomed Abdusalamov.
7) Ruslan Chagaev (3-263-263)
Last Fight: 8/27/2011- L (UD12) vs. #5 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 1/21/2011- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chagaev has a fight scheduled against an opponent to be announced in January.
8) Tony Thompson (7-79-79)
Last Fight: 5/27/2011- TKO3 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Chambers’ comments, above.
9) Odlanier Solis (7-50-79)
Last Fight: 3/19/2011- L (TKO1) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis appears to still be recovering from multiple knee surgeries.
10) Alexander Dimitrenko (7-7-46)
Last Fight: 9/24/2011- UD12 Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko had elbow surgery, and his mandatory defense with Robert Helenius has been delayed until presumably sometime after Helenius’ reserved December 3 date.
11) Chris Arreola (7-141)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO3 Raphael Butler (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola wants to fight Wlad and/or Adamek in the near future.
12) Denis Boytsov (7-128)
Last Fight: 9/24/2011- TKO6 Matthew Greer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
13) Jean Marc Mormeck (7-79)
Last Fight: 12/2/2010- SD12 #19 Timur Ibragimov
Next Fight: 12/10/2011- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
The former cruiserweight king will fight for a legitimate championship in his 2nd weight division on December 10 in Germany.  If David Haye couldn’t do anything against Wlad, I don’t know why the guy from whom Haye took the title will fare any better, especially when he is significantly older and more used up than was the Brit.
14) Bermane Stiverne (7-23)
Last Fight: 6/25/2011- TKO10 #20 Ray Austin
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite a still-thin resume, Stiverne has somehow been maneuvered into the position of being Vitali Klitschko’s WBC mandatory challenger.
15) Samuel Peter (7-79)
Last Fight: 4/2/2011- L(KO9) vs. #16 Robert Helenius
Next Fight: Unknown
It appeared that Peter would be fighting Vyacheslav Glazkov, but apparently it was never a done deal.
16) Kubrat Pulev (6-55)
Last Fight: 10/22/2011- UD12 Travis Walker (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Franklin Lawrence (6-27)
Last Fight: 10/28/2011- TKO2 Raymond Ochieng (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Dereck Chisora (7-63)
Last Fight: 11/11/2011- UD6 Remigijus Ziausys (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/3/2011- vs. #4 Robert Helenius
He’ll need to be in top shape to have a chance against the crushing power of Robert Helenius.
19) Timur Ibragimov (7-10)
Last Fight: 12/2/2010- L (SD12) vs. #18 Jean Marc Mormeck
Next Fight: 11/4/2011- vs. Seth Mitchell (UNR)
Ibragimov will serve as a measuring stick on December 10 when he attempts to shut the gate on America’s best heavyweight prospect, Seth Mitchell.  The fight will be televised by HBO.
20) Cedric Boswell (7-7)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- UD10 Kertson Manswell (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/3/2011- vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Boswell gets the opportunity of his life on December 3, but it will be no easy task against #2 Povetkin.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: This is actually a pretty big week at heavyweight.  We get our appetizer on Friday, when aging but still promising undefeated prospect Amir Mansour of Wilmington, Delaware takes on journeyman Epifanio Mendoza in Dover, just a short drive from Mansour’s house.  Mendoza, listed at 6’1″ incredibly turned pro way down at junior lightweight, but was a reasonably competitive fighter as high as light heavyweight.  He is not a big threat at this size, though, as he has been stopped in 4 (all at cruiserweight) of his last 8 fights, though he did score a stoppage victory against an undefeated prospect recently in fellow undersized heavyweight Carlos Negron.  I’m betting that Mansour will prove to be light years ahead of Negron.

 

The following night, Finland will play host to one of those typical European cards loaded with notable heavyweights.  And none of these are really cupcake gimme type of fights, either.  #2 Alexander Povetkin will take on aged but still very capable #20 Cedric Boswell.  #4 Robert Helenius will face a most likely in-shape version of #18 Dereck Chisora, and undefeated prospect Edmund Gerber gets a halfway decent opponent for once in respectable English journeyman Matt Skelton. 

 

Skelton was a real contender a few years ago, but began a precipitous slide into mediocrity when he lost his Commonwealth title to Martin Rogan in 2009.  Still, he’s about twice as good as anybody Gerber has fought in nearly 2 years. 

 

Helenius is one of the most devastating punchers in the sport, but frequently gets outboxed badly before seemingly destroying his opponent at will late in the fight.  Chisora has proven to be a pretty good fighter, but came in so badly out of shape for this year’s fight with Tyson Fury that he gave himself little chance.  Since he has only 3 weeks between his last fight and this one, and since he came in just one pound over his career low weight for his last fight, we can assume he’ll be in something like top shape for Helenius, and thus I predict we’ll see a close fight or maybe even a dominant performance by Chisora, at least until Helenius turns it on late.

 

Povetkin should be too young and skilled for Boswell, but I expect Boswell to give a pretty decent account of himself, especially given his age.