Archive for Christian Hammer

Heavyweight: 2015, Mar 2-8

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 
As for Solis, I tried bending my mind into position to really savage his ranking, but although his performance was shameful and I doubt he could have beaten the #100 heavyweight in the world on the night, he still has a pretty worthy resume, objectively speaking.  Thompson was ranked #13 and #11, respectively, in the two recent fights, and honestly I thought Solis may have nicked the first one.  I considered swapping him with Arreola, but the big knock on the Nightmare is that he lost twice to Stiverne, who I now have ranked below Thompson, and who was ranked #19 and #12 when he decisioned and knocked out Arreola, respectively.  Arreola does have a 1st-round KO over then-#12 Seth Mitchell, but Solis can answer with the debateable loss to Thompson, a win over #14 Ray Austin a few years ago, and some decent gatekeeper/fringe contender level wins.  Based on results, Solis appears to hit his ceiling somewhere between #9 and #13-ranked opposition, while Arreola does so in the same general region.  Ultimately the longer resume of Solis won out, as counter-intuitive as it might seem on the surface.
 
Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (297-510-510)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- KO5 #5 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: 4/25/2015- vs. #17 Bryant Jennings
Klitschko-Jennings is on, and figures to be a fairly average defense for the Champ.
1) Tyson Fury (55-55-55)
Last Fight: 2/28/2015- W (RTD8) vs. Christian Hammer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury is now in a well-earned position as Klitschko’s mandatory, and says he wants exactly that fight.  
2) Alexander Povetkin (40-384-384)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- KO10 #7 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Negotiations are underway for a potential May 22 clash with Mike Perez in Moscow, with the winner to get a mandatory shot at Wilder’s belt.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (40-51-115)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- TKO7 Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/14/2015- vs. #10 Steve Cunningham
With Main Events behind both fighters, you could almost see this one coming.  Glazkov will take on Steve Cunningham, likely on NBC Sports, in March.
4) Amir Mansour (48-48-48)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- KO7 Fred Kassi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mansour’s power was brought to bear on the mediocre Kassi, who did a good job of hanging in there- perhaps for longer than most expected- while losing every round.
5) Kubrat Pulev (55-148-225)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite his knockout loss to the Champ, Pulev and Sauerland have recently extended their promotional contract, and Pulev is set to begin working with Uli Wegner, who is essentially Sauerland’s house trainer.
6) Carlos Takam (14-39-59)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- L (KO10) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam found the ceiling on his rise to the top in #2 Povetkin.  He actually appeared more than a match for the Russian early in the fight, but couldn’t hang in the later rounds.
7) Deontay Wilder (7-7-97)
Last Fight: 1/17/2015- UD12 #8 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
With an alphabet belt under his…um…belt….Wilder will have plenty of suitors.
8) Dereck Chisora (7-170-233)
Last Fight: 11/29/2014- L (RTD10) vs. #1 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: Unknown
Chisora apparently doesn’t want to leave the bad taste in his mouth from his last performance, as he is reportedly planning to fight again on February 28.  He is also said to be splitting from trainer Don Charles.
9) Tony Thompson (1-1-249)
Last Fight: 2/27/2015- W (RTD8) vs. #12 Odlanier Solis
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson cleared up any doubt as to who the better fighter is with an easy night’s work against the badly out of shape Odlanier Solis.
10) Bermane Stiverne (1-43-105)
Last Fight: 1/17/2015- L (UD12) vs. #12 Deontay Wilder
Next Fight: Unknown
No word just yet on what’s next for now former beltholder Stiverne.
11) Steve Cunningham (1-115)
Last Fight: 10/18/2014- W (RTD7) vs. Natu Visinia (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/14/2015- vs. #3 Vyacheslav Glazkov
See Glazkov’s notes, above.
12) Odlanier Solis (7-249)
Last Fight: 2/27/2015- L (RTD8) vs. #11 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
If the Thompson rematch is an indication of his current ability, Solis would be overrated even at #100, and his promoter seems to be publicly of the same mind, saying essentiallly that Solis is now a journeyman, and that he’s going to feed him to anybody willing to pay for a fight.
13) Chris Arreola (17-78)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: 3/13/2015- vs. Unknown Opponent
Arreola’s return has now been set for March 13 in Ontario, CA.  No opponent yet.
14) Malik Scott (17-26)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- UD10 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: Unknown
After an apparently dominant win over Leapai, Scott is probably back in the mix for some sort of big fight.
15) Erkan Teper (17-79)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/14/2015- vs. Johann Duhaupas (UNR)
Teper-Duhaupas has a new date: March 14 in Stuttgart.
16) Antonio Tarver (12-12)
Last Fight: 12/11/2014- TKO7 Johnathon Banks (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After being shelved by Showtime due to steroids a few years back, Tarver has landed another commentary gig for Premiere Boxing Champions.
17) Bryant Jennings (11-32)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- W* (SD12) vs. Mike Perez (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/25/2015- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Jennings has got his shot at Klitschko for April 25.  Almost certanily too soon for him, given his mediocre last performance against Perez.
18) Artur Szpilka (11-17)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- W (UD10) vs. #11 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: 4/24/2015- vs. Unknown Opponent
Now advised by Al Haymon and trained by Ronnie Shields, Szpilka will debut his new team against an opponent to be announced on an April 24 Showtime card in Chicago.
19) Mike Perez (11-32)
Last Fight: 2/5/2015- TKO2 Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Povetkin’s notes, above.
20) Alex Leapai (11-11)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- L (UD10) vs. #20 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown 
 
THE WEEK AHEAD:
Thursday
Joseph Parker vs. Jason Pettaway; Manukau City, New Zealand; Sky Arena (NZ), Main Event (AUS)
Pettaway comes a long way from West Virginia, and this does look a lot like a stay-busy fight for undefeated top-level prospect Parker.  If you’re looking for some hope for Pettaway or for a competitive fight, the American does have only one loss.  It was a 4th-round stoppage, but it did come against a credible prospect in Magomed Abdusalamov.  On the downside, he’s yet to beat anyone anywhere near the level of Abdusalamov or Parker, so it’s a stretch for him by any measure.  Pettaway is also already nearly 35.
 
Friday
Joey Dawejko vs. Enobong Umohette; Philadelpha, Pennsylvania; gofightlive.tv
Dawejko is an exciting brawler who has made a bit of a name for himself with a close win over Derric Rossy and an early-career draw with prospect Jarrell Miller.  Umohette hails from Nigeria.  He’s coming off a stoppage loss to a complete non-entity, so you can’t like his chances of the upset.  If you’re looking for a silver lining, it would be that with Dawejko not being extremely difficult to hit, Umohette does have 8 knockouts in 12 fights, albeit against rather basic opposition.
 
Saturday
Dominic Breazeale vs. Victor Bisbal; Las Vegas, Nevada; Off-TV
Breazeale, the former Olympian, is a rising prospect still waiting to step up to competition against which he can seriously be measured.  At 21-2, Bisbal isn’t necessarily a pushover, having probably been in the hunt for a top-50 ranking about 4 years ago.  But he’s never been a world-beater by any means, and is coming off a stoppage loss to Magomed Abdusalamov and an accompanying 2-year layoff.  Bisbal actually started pretty solidly in that fight, but seemed to burn out after about 2 rounds.  If Breazeale is a legitimate prospect, Bisbal doesn’t look like a serious threat at this point.

Heavyweight: 2015, Feb 23- Mar 1

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

Price came in at about #30 in the Boxrec rankings, and I’m sure his win over Costa (whom I think they had ranked around #69) will probably improve that a bit.  As for me, I’ve got him at about #37, and that wasn’t changed by this one.
 
No changes this week.
 
Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (296-509-509)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- KO5 #5 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: 4/25/2015- vs. #17 Bryant Jennings
Klitschko-Jennings is on, and figures to be a fairly average defense for the Champ.
1) Tyson Fury (54-54-54)
Last Fight: 11/29/2014- RTD10 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 2/28/2015- vs. Christian Hammer (UNR)
Christian Hammer is a very beatable gatekeeper, but did look good in his last fight, and is probably about a class better than you’d expect a guy with a mandatory championship shot coming his way to stay busy against.
2) Alexander Povetkin (39-383-383)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- KO10 #7 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Negotiations are underway for a potential May 22 clash with Mike Perez in Moscow, with the winner to get a mandatory shot at Wilder’s belt.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (39-50-114)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- TKO7 Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/14/2015- vs. #10 Steve Cunningham
With Main Events behind both fighters, you could almost see this one coming.  Glazkov will take on Steve Cunningham, likely on NBC Sports, in March.
4) Amir Mansour (47-47-47)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- KO7 Fred Kassi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mansour’s power was brought to bear on the mediocre Kassi, who did a good job of hanging in there- perhaps for longer than most expected- while losing every round.
5) Kubrat Pulev (54-147-224)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite his knockout loss to the Champ, Pulev and Sauerland have recently extended their promotional contract, and Pulev is set to begin working with Uli Wegner, who is essentially Sauerland’s house trainer.
6) Carlos Takam (13-38-58)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- L (KO10) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam found the ceiling on his rise to the top in #2 Povetkin.  He actually appeared more than a match for the Russian early in the fight, but couldn’t hang in the later rounds.
7) Deontay Wilder (6-6-96)
Last Fight: 1/17/2015- UD12 #8 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
With an alphabet belt under his…um…belt….Wilder will have plenty of suitors.
8) Dereck Chisora (6-169-232)
Last Fight: 11/29/2014- L (RTD10) vs. #1 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: Unknown
Chisora apparently doesn’t want to leave the bad taste in his mouth from his last performance, as he is reportedly planning to fight again on February 28.  He is also said to be splitting from trainer Don Charles.
9) Bermane Stiverne (6-42-104)
Last Fight: 1/17/2015- L (UD12) vs. #12 Deontay Wilder
Next Fight: Unknown
No word just yet on what’s next for now former beltholder Stiverne.
10) Steve Cunningham (6-114-114)
Last Fight: 10/18/2014- W (RTD7) vs. Natu Visinia (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/14/2015- vs. #3 Vyacheslav Glazkov
See Glazkov’s notes, above.
11) Tony Thompson (6-248)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: 2/27/2015 – vs. #12 Odlanier Solis
It looked for a couple days that the Solis fight was going to be postponed for a 4th time due to problems with the local Hungarian promotion, but Solis’s promotional team appears to have rescued the February 27 date by moving the fight to Turkey.
12) Odlanier Solis (6-248)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 2/27/2015- vs. #11 Tony Thompson
See Thompson’s notes, above.
13) Chris Arreola (16-77)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: 3/13/2015- vs. Unknown Opponent
Arreola’s return has now been set for March 13 in Ontario, CA.  No opponent yet.
14) Malik Scott (16-25)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- UD10 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: Unknown
After an apparently dominant win over Leapai, Scott is probably back in the mix for some sort of big fight.
15) Erkan Teper (16-78)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/14/2015- vs. Johann Duhaupas (UNR)
Teper-Duhaupas has a new date: March 14 in Stuttgart.
16) Antonio Tarver (11-11)
Last Fight: 12/11/2014- TKO7 Johnathon Banks (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After being shelved by Showtime due to steroids a few years back, Tarver has landed another commentary gig for Premiere Boxing Champions.
17) Bryant Jennings (10-31)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- W* (SD12) vs. Mike Perez (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/25/2015- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Jennings has got his shot at Klitschko for April 25.  Almost certanily too soon for him, given his mediocre last performance against Perez.
18) Artur Szpilka (10-16)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- W (UD10) vs. #11 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: 4/24/2015- vs. Unknown Opponent
Now advised by Al Haymon and trained by Ronnie Shields, Szpilka will debut his new team against an opponent to be announced on an April 24 Showtime card in Chicago.
19) Mike Perez (10-31)
Last Fight: 2/5/2015- TKO2 Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Povetkin’s notes, above.
20) Alex Leapai (10-10)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- L (UD10) vs. #20 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown 
 
THE WEEK AHEAD:
Friday
#11 Tony Thompson vs. #12 Odlanier Solis; Antalya, Turkey; Eurosport
This oft-delayed rematch finally appears good to go for Friday.  A clear win would obviously be a huge boon to the career of either man, neither of whom is getting any younger.  The first fight was very close, with Thompson getting what I saw as the benefit of the doubt to pull off a split decision victory by a one-round margin on both cards.  The 3rd judge had it 116-112 for Solis, which matched my own score.  In any case, it was a debatable contest.  Solis has been seen as an underachiever for the majority of his professional career, after having been a storied amateur in Cuba.  Thompson is the division’s ultimate dark horse spoiler, especially with his recent impressive run at a current age of 43.  If Solis plans to ever realize his presumed potential, he needs to emerge from this fight with a win, with his reputation among the public, the media, and the power brokers of the sport probably being even worse than he deserves with his actual performances.
 
Zoltan Csala vs. Arnold Gjergjaj; Basel, Switzerland; TV Unknown
This is an intriguing little scrap between undefeated European prospects.  Csala is from Hungary, and quite long in the tooth at 37.  On the bright side, he is coming off a knockout win only two months ago against borderline top-50 gatekeeper Zoltan Petranyi.  Gjergjaj has 26 spotless professional fights compared to Csala’s 6, and has won his last 13 by knockout.  
 
Saturday
#1 Tyson Fury vs. Christian Hammer; London, England; BoxNation (UK)
Fury, with two wins over Chisora and a stoppage of Steve Cunningham, is the top contender in the division and in line for a Klitschko shot in his next fight.  Boxrec has Hammer ranked #11, making him an apparent solid challenge.   I’ve personally got him ranked no better than #42, in part because of a couple losses in 2010, and in part because I believe he lost what shows up in the record as his best win- a December 2013 decision he was given over Kevin Johnson.  In my view, this is still a well-above-average tune-up for a guy in line for a Championship fight, but still not a major threat.
 
Charles Martin vs. Raphael Zumbano; Phoenix, AZ; Off-TV
Undefeated prospect Charles Martin takes on journeyman Raphael Zumbano on a non-televised Phoenix card which I doubt anyone outside Arizona will ever see.  Zumbano is approximately a top-75 journeyman, which is about on par with Martin’s previous top opposition to date.  Zumbano fought Eric Molina about 6 weeks ago, and was battered to an 8th-round stoppage in that one.  His chin probably earned more time off than this, to be honest.

Heavyweight: 2014, Nov 3-9

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2016 by danboxing
I’ve been completely unable to locate video for the intriguing match-up in Australia between #20 Malik Scott and #16 Alex Leapai, but news reports seem to reveal virtual certainty that it was a dominant boxing performance by Scott, and that Leapai wasn’t able to get much of anything done.  Scores were 100-90, 99-91, and 98-92.  I have no alternative but to take that at face value and pass along that report as-is.

 

In Cuxhaven, Germany, gatekeeper Christian Hammer looked perfectly solid in dominating Brazilian lump Irineu Beato Costa, Jr.   Costa looked like a caricature of Odlanier Solis for all 12 rounds, barely working at all, and plodding either slightly forward or, usually, slightly backward at all times.  This allowed Hammer to look almost dynamic, which we pretty much know he’s not.  Hammer capped the victory with a knockdown in the 12th on what was a balance issue for Costa, partially caused by an ordinary punch that landed just under the armpit.  Costa thankfully wasn’t ranked in Boxrec’s top 50 nor mine, so Hammer doesn’t profit in the rankings from such a walk in the park.  On the other hand, it has to do wonders for his confidence after the poor job he did in the Johnson fight.

 

Scott advances to #15 on the strength of the Leapai win.  Despite two losses to good competition in Chisora and Wilder, he’s able to outpace the unbeaten Erkan Teper, due to the fact that Teper has yet to meet a top 20 opponent to match Glazkov or Leapai.  Leapai hangs on to the top 20 by a thread, with his resume from the last 5 years just eking out supremacy over Ruslan Chagaev’s.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (280-493-493)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: 11/15/2014- vs. #5 Kubrat Pulev
The Pulev defense has now been rescheduled for November 15.
1) Tyson Fury (38-38-38)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2014- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
Fury-Chisora II has been moved back a week, to November 29.
2) Alexander Povetkin (23-367-367)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- KO10 #7 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin’s finishing skills were quite impressive, but it might be a bit worrisome that he was clearly getting outboxed by Takam for a good chunk of the fight.  With the win, he now figures to eventually become the mandatory for the winner of Wilder-Stiverne.  His team seems to want Tyson Fury, though, which would be amazing.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (23-34-98)
Last Fight: 8/9/2014- W(MD10) vs. Derric Rossy (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/8/2014- vs. Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Glazkov is a late addition to the Hopkins-Kovalev undercard, where he will fight Darnell Wilson, a journeyman who was able to upend a compromised version of Juan Carlos Gomez a couple years ago.
4) Amir Mansour (31-31-31)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery L (UD10) vs. #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: 11/8/2014 – vs. Fred Kassi (UNR)
Mansour gets a stay-busy type fight against the unknown Fred Kassi, who despite a relatively attractive 18-2 record, has lost to the likes of Lionel Butler and Kendrick Releford, and has only fought 3 times since April 2010.
5) Kubrat Pulev (38-131-208)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/15/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Klitschko’s notes, above.
6) Dereck Chisora (38-153-216)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Carlos Takam (22-22-42)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- L (KO10) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam found the ceiling on his rise to the top in #2 Povetkin.  He actually appeared more than a match for the Russian early in the fight, but couldn’t hang in the later rounds.
8) Bermane Stiverne (22-26-88)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #13 Deontay Wilder
Stiverne-Wilder is finally signed.  Details haven’t been finalized, but it’s apparently looking like mid-January in either Vegas or New York.
9) Steve Cunningham (22-98-98)
Last Fight: 10/18/2014- W (RTD7) vs. Natu Visinia (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite some scary moments with the much bigger relative novice Visinia, Cunningham ultimately took care of business.
10) Tony Thompson (22-33-232)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: 11/22/2014- vs. #12 Odlanier Solis
The Thompson-Solis rematch has been postponed due to a Solis ankle injury, with a new date of November 22.
11) Tomasz Adamek (22-237)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: 11/8/2014- vs. Artur Szpilka (UNR)
Originally penciled in for October 18 in Lodz, it now appears that Adamek-Szpilka is destined for November 8 in Krakow.
12) Odlanier Solis (22-232)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 10/18/2014- vs. #10 Tony Thompson
See Thompson’s notes, above.
13) Deontay Wilder (26-80)
Last Fight: 8/16/2014- W(RTD4) vs. Jason Gavern (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date – vs. #8 Bermane Stiverne 
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Chris Arreola (26-61)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: 12/11/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Arreola is scheduled to return from an elbow injury on December 11 in Temecula, California, but no opponent yet.
15) Malik Scott (1-9)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- UD10 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: Unknown
After an apparently dominant win over Leapai, Scott is probably back in the mix for some sort of big fight.
16) Erkan Teper (1-62)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper is rumored to be close to signing for a fight with 36 year old one-loss Polish prospect(?) Marcin Rekowski in December.
17) Andy Ruiz (31-50)
Last Fight: 10/25/2014- TKO1 Kenny Lemos (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/20/2014- vs. Sergei Liakhovich (UNR)
Ruiz has rescheduled his planned October fight with faded former contender Liakhovich for December 20.
18) Bryant Jennings (9-15)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- W* (SD12) vs. Mike Perez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Reasonable minds can disagree on the correct result of Jennings-Perez.  What’s clear, though, is that Jennings is not nearly ready for Klitschko, a fight some of his supporters have been proposing for a while now.  He himself appears to want the Wilder-Stiverne winner, which might be more within his competency.
19) Mike Perez (9-15)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- L* (SD12) vs. Bryant Jennings (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/?/2014 – vs. Unknown Opponent
Perez was said to be planning a fight in Cork, Ireland in November, but I’m assuming that’s off since I’ve heard nothing about it in several weeks.
20) Alex Leapai (1-50)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- L (UD10) vs. #20 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
It looks pretty clear now that Leapai’s win over Boytsov was more about Boytsov’s shortcomings than Leapai’s quality.
 

THE WEEK AHEAD: A busy Saturday:
Saturday
Francesco Pianeta vs. Ivica Bacurin; Stuttgart, Germany; SAT1 (Germany)
Bacurin is a career-long journeyman who pretty much always loses to the guys you’ve heard of or soon will, and pretty much always beats the guys you’ll never hear about.  Pianeta is the former.  Unfortunately for Bacurin, he’s also a natural cruiserweight, while Pianeta is a big heavyweight.  Hard to like the chances of the underdog in this one.

 

#11 Tomasz Adamek vs. Artur Szpilka; Krakow, Poland; PPV (Poland)
Adamek is clearly slipping with age, but whether he’s fallen so far as to be vulnerable to a guy who went life and death with Mike Mollo on two occasions and lost to #18 Bryant Jennings remains to be seen.  

 

Eddie Chambers vs. Marcelo Nascimento; Bluewater, England; Channel 5 (UK)
Only in boxing will you see a faded American former contender fighting a Brazilian journeyman in England.  Nascimento was last seen being stopped by Joseph Parker in April, but did manage to hurt the top prospect in the 6th, before Parker ended it in the 7th.  Even as a lower-mid-level journeyman, Nascimento represents a significant step up from the downright shabby competition Chambers has been in with since his dominant decision loss to Thabiso Mchunu at Cruiserweight over a year ago.

 

#3 Vyacheslav Glazkov vs. Darnell Wilson; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Off TV
Glazkov is in on short notice against journeyman Wilson on the Hopkins-Kovalev undercard.  Wilson managed to beat Juan Carlos Gomez a while back, but only after Gomez was injured.  Glazkov probably shouldn’t have much trouble in this one.  The fact that the #3 Heavyweight in the world is toiling off TV probably tells you that he hasn’t yet gotten his full measure of respect, despite the relatively weak opponent.

 

#4 Amir Mansour vs. Fred Kassi; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; NBC Sports (US)
This is a huge mismatch for a main event.  Mansour is world-class through and through, and probably the most underrated fighter in the division.  Kassi, while sporting a decent 18-2 record, has never beaten anyone decent.  As for his two losses, he was comfortably outpointed by the very mediocre Kendrick Releford in 2010, and failed to win even the San Manuel Casino Heavyweight Championship when he fought for that honor in 2009 against journeyman Lionel Butler.  He’s never been stopped, so I guess that’s just about the only intrigue in this fight with the hard-hitting Mansour.

Heavyweight: 2014, Oct 27- Nov 2

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 2, 2016 by danboxing
Moscow played host to a significant card on Friday.  In the main event, #2 Alexander Povetkin clawed his way back from behind even on the local judges’ cards, and ultimately took the fight out of their hands with a highlight-reel 10th round knockout over #7 Carlos Takam, who had clearly showed up to win, himself.  Takam perhaps surprisingly was clearly outboxing Povetkin in the opening rounds of the fight.  I gave Takam 4 of the first 5 rounds, and all were pretty clear.  I’m not sure if Takam simply faded a little, or if Povetkin was holding back some in order to come on strong at the end, but the fight became razor-close in the middle rounds, as I gave Povetkin 6 and 8 and Takam 7, but any of those could have conceivably gone the other way.  In round 9, however, Povetkin began to dominate and break down Takam, culminating in a big-time knockdown in the closing seconds.  Takam looked to have recovered somewhat in the early stages of 10, but Povetkin again crushed him with a big shot.  Big enough, in fact, that Referee Kenny Bayless quite reasonably didn’t even start the count.  Povetkin’s power at world class level appeared to have gone dormant between about 2008 and 2012, possibly due to some intermittent hand problems, but he’s been on a knockout streak of late, as he’s stopped his opponent in each of his last 4 wins.  Granted, only Takam was a clearly world class fighter at the time, but this win alone is plenty impressive, despite the worrisome start.

 

On the undercard, Povetkin’s previous victim, Manuel Charr, got back on the winning track by stopping 6’7″ American former contender Michael Grant.  Grant did some good work in spurts early in the fight, effectively shooting the jab and landing with some very nice body shots.  But by the 4th round, his body language was all wrong.  He gave Charr free shots on the inside by either standing straight up or bending at the waist, all while turning his back somewhat and leaving his hands down.  He took so many sucker punches while inexplicably in this posture, that frankly he almost looked annoyed when Charr wasn’t able to put him away.  Ultimately he did the honors himself, retiring in his corner before the 6th round.

 

In a total mismatch on Saturday in Fresno, #17 Andy Ruiz managed to find an opponent as fat as himself, and made short work of him.  It took only about half of the first round for Ruiz to land a body shot to Kenny Lemos’ comically high trunks for a knockdown, and then only about another 30 seconds of slapping Lemos around on the ropes for the referee to show mercy and stop it, perhaps two or three punches too late.  In truth, anyone could have seen it coming in that Lemos didn’t belong in the ring with any decent fighter, much less a proven world class prospect like Ruiz.

 

It was a very close call whether or not to promote Povetkin to #2 ahead of Tyson Fury.  Once some of the more ordinary wins are cancelled out, it becomes largely a comparison between Fury’s win in 2013 over #3-ranked Steve Cunningham and Povetkin’s win over #7 Takam, plus the 2011 decision over Chagaev, then ranked #6.  For me, a #3 is generally going to trump a #6 and #7, but any remaining doubt is erased by Povetkin’s poor performance against Marco Huck- a narrow win that I’ve always viewed as a draw.  Along with his loss in his Championship shot against Klitschko, this fight reveals the potential for Povetkin to lose, and frankly I only had Marco Huck ranked #5 even at cruiserweight at the time.  As of now, we haven’t seen Fury lose or anything resembling a loss from him.  Given the comparable resumes overall, this keeps Fury at #2, if only by a hair.  Considering #8 Bermane Stiverne has never beaten anyone better than a #13-ranked Chris Arreola, a loss to the division’s #2 contender doesn’t appreciably hurt Takam’s ranking, either.  This, then, was an example of a big fight that really just verified the status quo.

 

Neither Ruiz nor Charr was in tough enough, in my estimation, to change their fortunes, either.  No changes.
 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (279-492-492)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: 11/15/2014- vs. #5 Kubrat Pulev
The Pulev defense has now been rescheduled for November 15.
1) Tyson Fury (37-37-37)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2014- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
Fury-Chisora II has been moved back a week, to November 29.
2) Alexander Povetkin (22-366-366)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- KO10 #7 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin’s finishing skills were quite impressive, but it might be a bit worrisome that he was clearly getting outboxed by Takam for a good chunk of the fight.  With the win, he now figures to eventually become the mandatory for the winner of Wilder-Stiverne.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (22-33-97)
Last Fight: 8/9/2014- W(MD10) vs. Derric Rossy (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/8/2014- vs. Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Glazkov is a late addition to the Hopkins-Kovalev undercard, where he will fight Darnell Wilson, a journeyman who was able to upend a compromised version of Juan Carlos Gomez a couple years ago.
4) Amir Mansour (30-30-30)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery L (UD10) vs. #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: 11/8/2014 – vs. Fred Kassi (UNR)
Mansour gets a stay-busy type fight against the unknown Fred Kassi, who despite a relatively attractive 18-2 record, has lost to the likes of Lionel Butler and Kendrick Releford, and has only fought 3 times since April 2010.
5) Kubrat Pulev (37-130-207)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/15/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Klitschko’s notes, above.
6) Dereck Chisora (37-152-215)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Carlos Takam (21-21-41)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- L (KO10) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam found the ceiling on his rise to the top in #2 Povetkin.  He actually appeared more than a match for the Russian early in the fight, but couldn’t hang in the later rounds.
8) Bermane Stiverne (21-25-87)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #13 Deontay Wilder
Stiverne-Wilder is finally signed.  Details haven’t been finalized, but it’s apparently looking like mid-January in either Vegas or New York.
9) Steve Cunningham (21-97-97)
Last Fight: 10/18/2014- W (RTD7) vs. Natu Visinia (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite some scary moments with the much bigger relative novice Visinia, Cunningham ultimately took care of business.
10) Tony Thompson (21-32-231)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: 11/22/2014- vs. #12 Odlanier Solis
The Thompson-Solis rematch has been postponed due to a Solis ankle injury, with a new date of November 22.
11) Tomasz Adamek (21-236)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: 11/8/2014- vs. Artur Szpilka (UNR)
Originally penciled in for October 18 in Lodz, it now appears that Adamek-Szpilka is destined for November 8 in Krakow.
12) Odlanier Solis (21-231)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 10/18/2014- vs. #10 Tony Thompson
See Thompson’s notes, above.
13) Deontay Wilder (25-79)
Last Fight: 8/16/2014- W(RTD4) vs. Jason Gavern (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date – vs. #8 Bermane Stiverne 
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Chris Arreola (25-60)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola had elbow surgery, and was said to be expected back in October.  No news about an upcoming fight, though.
15) Erkan Teper (30-61)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper is rumored to be close to signing for a fight with 36 year old one-loss Polish prospect(?) Marcin Rekowski in December.
16) Alex Leapai (30-49)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 10/31/2014- vs. #20 Malik Scott
Leapai-Scott has been moved back a week to Halloween after Leapai suffered a minor leg injury.
17) Andy Ruiz (30-49)
Last Fight: 10/25/2014- TKO1 Kenny Lemos (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/6/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
After the cakewalk with Lemos, Ruiz expects to be back in the ring on December 6, perhaps in a rescheduled bout with Liakhovich.
18) Bryant Jennings (8-14)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- W* (SD12) vs. Mike Perez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Reasonable minds can disagree on the correct result of Jennings-Perez.  What’s clear, though, is that Jennings is not nearly ready for Klitschko, a fight some of his supporters have been proposing for a while now.  He himself appears to want the Wilder-Stiverne winner, which might be more within his competency.
19) Mike Perez (8-14)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- L* (SD12) vs. Bryant Jennings (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/?/2014 – vs. Unknown Opponent
Perez, who calls Cork, Ireland home, will return to his home base in November when he headlines a card there.  Details TBD.
20) Malik Scott (8-8)

Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (KO1) vs. #13 Deontay Wilder
Next Fight: 10/31/2014 – vs. #16 Alex Leapai
See Leapai’s notes, above.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Friday
#16 Alex Leapai vs. #20 Malik Scott; Crestmead, Australia; TV Unknown
This is a good matchup that should answer a lot of questions.  Is Leapai somewhat for real as he looked against Boytsov, or somewhat hapless as he looked against Kevin Johnson and Klitschko?  Is Malik Scott an impressive boxer and overall fighter as he looked for at least most of his fight with now-highly-ranked Glazkov, or is he a quitter or worse as he looked while at least practically taking a dive in the first round against Wilder?  I sense the likelihood that one of these guys is going to emerge as (at least a fringe) contender with real credibility, and the other will be proven a pretender.

 

Christian Hammer vs. Irineu Beato Costa Junior; Cuxhaven, Germany; Eurosport
Hammer, who lost to the likes of Mariusz Wach and Taras Bidenko in 2010, rose to prominence last year by knocking out Leif Larsen, a top 50-level prospect.  His own status in the top 50 now hangs in the balance, though, after almost definitely deserving to lose to Kevin Johnson in their fight in December.  I’ve given up trying to figure out which excess names I can safely drop from Brazilian fighters, or even which I can use as their surname, so I’ll just say that Irineu Beato Costa Junior is probably just shy of a top 50 ranking, so this should be a good test for both.
 

Heavyweight: 2014, Apr 14-20

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 17, 2014 by danboxing
Another relatively busy week led off on Friday with what turned out to be similar to a generic form of Ambien.  And no, nobody got put to sleep in the ring.  It was simply a sleep-inducing performance by both Konstantin Airich and Christian Hammer.  Hammer appears to have decent physical tools, and certainly has a marketable name, but he was less than scintillating in his decision victory (the scores weren’t announced, nor are they available on Boxrec) over Airich.  Shopworn veteran journeyman Airich- the shorter man- clearly won the second round, and backed up and probably hurt Hammer in the last round, but overall he was passive and seemed resigned to a decision loss.  Hammer probably wasn’t in top shape, as his output was fairly low, even while he was dominating.  He also didn’t sit down on what looked like they could have been devastating punches, if thrown with better technique and conviction.  Nevertheless, Hammer moves along, while Airich fades further into obscurity.

 

The following night in Bonn, Germany, Lebanese-German prospect Manuel Charr got the best win of his career by walking down and outpointing gatekeeper Kevin Johnson over 10 rounds.  Johnson boxed effectively at times- particularly in the first few rounds of the fight, but in the long run he was unable to hold off the constant pressure of Charr, who had him on the ropes frequently.  I had it 98-92 Charr, and 2 of the 3 judges agreed, with the third having it a round closer, which is reasonable.

 

Meanwhile, in Esbjerg, Denmark, 2-loss prospect David Price got yet another scare- losing the first two rounds and getting dropped in the first against Czech journeyman Ondrej Pala.  He didn’t appear to enjoy the idea of a third loss, though, and quickly dispatched Pala with 2 single right hands, scoring two knockdowns in quick succession and ending the fight.  

 

Eddie Chambers also snuck in some late-breaking action in London, stopping the comically bad (5-39-4) Moses Matovu in 70 seconds in the most obvious stay-busy fight since perhaps Chambers’ last fight against 9-45-6 Tomas Mrazek.  Don’t strain yourself, Eddie.

 

Are you randomly wondering how premature Manuel Charr’s ill-fated September 2012 shot at Vitali Klitschko really was?  Well, you’re in luck, because I’m gonna tell you.  Very premature.  Charr hadn’t beaten anyone even arguably within the top 50 at that point.  He did so (emphasis on the arguably) in his next fight, for the first time, against Konstantin Airich, and only now- 18 months later- does he beat his first clearly top-50 fighter.  Again, to highlight just how premature the opportunity really was: even now that he’s at a much higher level of achievement than he was back then, Charr still barely cracks the top 30 with the Johnson win.  Perhaps more importantly, though, he’s reinvigorated his career, and is back on track as a serious prospect.  No changes this week.

 

 
Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (251-464-464)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. #16 Alex Leapai
Klitschko-Leapai appears to be finalized for April 26 in Germany.  He said recently that he wants to capture his brother’s old alphabet title, which would unify all the major titles for the first time since Lewis in 1999.  He would have to wait for someone else to pick it up first, as the silly alphabets don’t let current titlists fight for vacant titles.
1) Tyson Fury (9-9-9)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
Fury-Chisora has been made.  July 26, in Manchester.  The winner will become one of Wlad’s mandatories.
2) Vyacheslav Glazkov (5-5-69)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
3) Alexander Povetkin (5-338-338)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin declined an opportunity to fight undefeated Cuban prospect Luis Ortiz for a “regular” title that would have set him up for an eventual rematch for the real title.
4) Amir Mansour (2-2-2)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery L (UD10) vs. #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham had the more sympathetic story and a legitimately great comeback attempt, but Mansour had the better collection of rounds legitimately won.  Mansour was robbed even though the fight was close, and deserves Cunningham’s former position in the rankings for his effort.
5) Kubrat Pulev (9-102-179)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev dominated Perkovic, a low-level journeyman who took the fight on roughly a day or two’s notice.  He’s now back in the position to wait for a Klitschko shot.
6) Dereck Chisora (9-124-187)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Steve Cunningham (2-69-69)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery W (UD10) vs. Amir Mansour (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I hope you’ll all pray for his daughter to recover from her life-threatening health condition, and the guy had guts to come back from the 2 knockdowns.  But he didn’t win the fight.
8) Tony Thompson (2-4-203)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- W* (SD12) vs. #8 Odlanier Solis
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson has been on a pretty decent run in the past couple years, and he might be at his highest point since his first fight with Wlad after getting a questionable win in a very close fight with Solis.  He has called out Tyson Fury, though the timing for that is a bit odd.
9) Tomasz Adamek (2-208-208)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
I’d have to think Adamek would at least consider retirement after being brutalized for 12 rounds by a guy that had looked like he might top out around the top 15.  He’s recently announced his candidacy for the European parliament elections in May, so that may be a sign that he’s leaning that direction.
10) Odlanier Solis (2-56-203)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
The Solis haters are out in force, claiming a clear loss in a fight that Solis deserved to win.  You might not like his physique or his training habits or his style, but if he outfights the other guy, he still deserves to be respected as a winner at least as much as a disappointment.  A loss to Thompson is not that embarrassing, especially when you ought to have won it.
11) Carlos Takam (2-13)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam has been called in to spar with Tyson Fury.  Good call.  He’s about as close to Chisora as you can get.
12) Bermane Stiverne (2-59)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #13 Chris Arreola
ESPN has landed the fight- their biggest score in a while on that front.  May 10 in Los Angeles.
13) Chris Arreola (2-32)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Deontay Wilder (2-51)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 #19 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
With the win over Scott, Wilder appears poised to fight the Stiverne-Arreola winner for an alphabet title and probably near-universal recognition as the best American heavyweight.
15) Erkan Teper (2-33)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Alex Leapai (2-21)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Leapai-Klitschko is done for April 26 in Germany.
17) Andy Ruiz (2-21)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Ruiz was scheduled to fight on the Marquez-Alvarado undercard on May 10, but has been bumped back a week to a fight in Fresno against Manuel Quezada.
18) Seth Mitchell (2-45)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- L (TKO1) vs. Chris Arreola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mitchell’s chin is so fragile that he might want to consider calling it a career.  Golden Boy’s CEO says he’s advised Mitchell to do just that, though he reports that Mitchell seems to have no such intention.
19) Johnathon Banks (2-6)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Francesco Pianeta (2-5)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO2 Robert Teuber (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Wednesday
Charles Martin vs. Alexander Flores; Santa Monica, California; Off TV
Martin and Flores are both undefeated prospect, and both are close to top 50 level, give or take.  Martin comes from St. Louis and is now based near L.A.  Flores is a California native and most likely the local favorite.  He also has the cleaner record of the two, having won all but two of his fights by knockout, including each of his last 10.  Martin has flashed similar power, earning a stoppage in 13 of his 15 wins, but he did have to settle for a draw with a bad fighter in a 4-rounder last year.  The best mark (based on Boxrec rankings) on each man’s resume were similarly-ranked mid-level journeymen.  Martin won a 6 round decision at that level, while Flores scored an 8-round TKO.  Any way you slice it, it’s a pick ’em fight, though if you split enough hairs, I think you have to make Flores the slight favorite despite his slightly lower ranking.  Regardless of who wins, that guy will become a top prospect instantly.  The fight and the deep and excellent card it’s part of, is not televised.  Hopefully it ends up on YouTube at some point.

 

Friday
Maurice Harris vs. Andrey Fedosov; Hammond, Indiana; Off TV
Another potentially significant off-TV heavyweight fight.  Harris is a 38 year-old American gatekeeper who has lost 3 of his last 4 and 4 of his last 6 against mostly solid competition.  Fedosov is a Hollywood-based 3-loss journeyman from Russia who is looking to jump-start his career after a stoppage loss to Bryant Jennings last year stalled his bid to get into the top 50, himself.

Heavyweight: 2014, Apr 7-13

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 2, 2014 by danboxing
‘Twas a busy week among the big men this week.  Thursday featured two notable contests on FS1 from Indio, California.  In the main event, undefeated Cuban prospect Luis Ortiz got an impressive win over 42 year-old veteran journeyman Monte Barrett.  Barrett couldn’t really get his punches off, and certainly wasn’t able to earn the respect of  Ortiz, who wasn’t a paragon of activity himself, but was generally able to walk right through Barrett.  Barrett took a knee after walking right into a hard left from the Cuban southpaw, and the fight was instantly stopped by Raul Caiz, Sr.  Why he did so is beyond me.  It was the first knockdown of the fight.  Though he’d lost every round clearly, it’s not like Barrett had taken a brutal sustained beating at any point.  Barrett took a knee of his own volition, and so it’s not like a 10-count would have endangered Barrett’s health any further.  Bottom line: there’s a really good chance that Barrett could have and would have continued, but the referee didn’t seem to care about that.  On the other hand, the chances that Barrett seriously posed a threat to win the fight from that point were low indeed, so it’s perhaps a little on the moot side.

 

In what turned out to be a farce on the undercard, undefeated prospect Gerald Washington “KO”d less advanced one-loss fringe prospect Skipp Scott.  Here’s how it went down.  The first round was close and sloppy.  I gave it narrowly to Washington.  In the second, Washington landed a hard shot to Scott’s head that caused Scott to fall to a knee in the ensuing clinch.  While his opponent was still on a knee, Washington took a step back and landed a hard right hook to the body that sent Scott reeling back to the ropes and onto his back.  Scott rose to his feet by the count of 8, but when referee Lou Moret asked if he was okay, he fell back down in apparent agony, whereupon the fight was waved off.  But there should never have been a count in the first place.  Scott was legitimately knocked down from a punch, but less than a second later, he was hit by an equally hard illegal punch that at least arguably caused him to be unable to continue.  I’m not necessarily blaming Washington.  Scott is a 6’8” behemoth, and when he’s on his knee, it might be hard to tell since he’s probably still close to 6 feet tall.  But at the very least, Moret needed to call time and give Scott up to 5 minutes to recover from the illegal blow.  If he couldn’t do so, it should have been a no contest.  You just can’t knock a guy out when he’s already down.  Lou Moret may have been a good ref in his time, but he’s slow-footed and never in good position, and his judgment at this stage in his career is frequently way off.  He should retire from at least this aspect of the sport.  On the bright side, Scott was proven at only a fairly low level, and so whether I treat it as a knockout or a no contest, the affect on the rankings is nil.

 

The following night in an NBC Sports main event from Philadelphia, we saw a heck of a tilt between #4 Steve Cunningham and hard-hitting but aged undefeated prospect/fringe contender Amir Mansour.  Cunningham had trouble with the bigger Mansour’s power and physicality early, as he clearly lost the first two rounds before maybe taking the next two narrowly.  But it was the 5th in which things really unraveled, as Cunningham tasted the canvas twice and was nearly stopped.  Mansour kept the momentum going enough to win a competitive 6th, as well, and by that point was up 58-54 at a minimum on any competent card.  Cunningham narrowly edged the 7th on my card to pull within 3 before Mansour won a competitive 8th, but did so fairly clearly.  77-73 Mansour.  Cunningham closed strong, easily winning the 9th to pull within 3 points, and dropping Mansour with a well-timed shot in the 10th.  That earned him a narrow loss on my card at 94-93.  The official scores were 97-90 (Alan Rubenstein) and 95-92 (John Poturaj and David Braslow), all for Cunningham.  That’s a joke.  My card was already as generous as it reasonably could be in Cunningham’s favor, as the three closest rounds of the fight (3, 4, and 7) were already rounds I gave to him.  97-90 is a borderline reasonable score, but only if it’s in favor of Mansour.  BJ Flores in broadcasting the fight stated as a matter of fact that Cunningham had come back to clearly win the fight.  That’s obviously a biased view, as he is a friend of Cunningham and- perhaps along with the judges and even Mansour himself in his post-fight comments- was influenced by the heart-wrenching medical problems of Cunningham’s young daughter.

 

Main Events always seems to get favorable cards for its favored house fighter, whether it be Adamek, Glazkov, Karl Dargan, Curtis Stevens, or now Cunningham, for a change.  They’ve all won fights on NBC Sports air that they did not deserve to win, while none of the b-side opponents on their cards have, to the best of my memory, ever received such treatment.  I love Steve Cunningham, and have called out a robbery or two that he’s suffered in the past, but in this case he clearly got the benefit of one, and no matter how much he deserves good things due to his being a good guy in a bad situation in his personal life, I can’t just pretend the other guy didn’t deserve to win.  Amir Mansour is 41 years old, and is not going to get too many more bites at the apple.  He deserved to win this fight, and he deserved to be the guy that moved on to bigger and better things.  Thanks to some bad judging (which hurts me to say, since John Poturaj is normally great), he may never get a shot at anything meaningful.  It doesn’t help when the media fix is in, as well.  I’m just one voice and will never make a big difference, but that won’t stop me from calling it like I see it.

 

In a tune-up fight on the Braehmer-Maccarinelli undercard in Rostock, Germany on Saturday, #5 Kubrat Pulev got a walk in the park against chubby Croatian travelling opponent Ivica Perkovic.  Perkovic has never beaten anyone with a winning record, and has only a few wins against guys with as many as 3 pro wins.  He’s best known for dropping a faded Alexander Dimitrenko in what has so far been Dimitrenko’s last fight.  In this contest, which he took on just a few days’ notice, he was little more than a human heavy bag.  Pulev was able to walk him back to the ropes at will, and then proceeded to pick him apart until Perkovic decided it wasn’t worth it anymore and quit on his stool after round 3.  I’m not sure he landed so much as a glancing blow the entire fight.

 

Due to his should-be win over a top-5 contender, Mansour crashes my top ten (if nobody else’s) at #4.  Cunningham’s should-be loss drops him to #7.  Everyone ranked #7 and below last week backtracks a spot to make room for Mansour, which forces Carlos Takam out of the top 10 after a 2-week stint, and Eddie Chambers from the top 20 after just a single week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (250-463-463)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. #15 Alex Leapai
Klitschko-Leapai appears to be finalized for April 26 in Germany.  He said recently that he wants to capture his brother’s old alphabet title, which would unify all the major titles for the first time since Lewis in 1999.  He would have to wait for someone else to pick it up first, as the silly alphabets don’t let current titlists fight for vacant titles.
1) Tyson Fury (8-8-8)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
Fury-Chisora has been made.  July 26, in Manchester.  The winner will become one of Wlad’s mandatories.
2) Vyacheslav Glazkov (4-4-68)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
3) Alexander Povetkin (4-337-337)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 6/1/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
The WBA has ordered Povetkin vs. Cuban prospect Luis Ortiz for their “regular” belt.  Naturally, Wlad is the “Super Champion.”  Povetkin had already held the “regular” belt since beating Chagaev, but apparently it became vacant when the Superchief…er…Super Champion…beat him.  Does that make Wlad the Super-Duper Champion?  If so, what fight are they going to stage for the “regular” Super Championship?  I should stop making fun, before I give them any more ideas.
4) Amir Mansour (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery L (UD10) vs. #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham had the more sympathetic story and a legitimately great comeback attempt, but Mansour had the better collection of rounds legitimately won.  Mansour was robbed even though the fight was close, and deserves Cunningham’s former position in the rankings for his effort.
5) Kubrat Pulev (8-101-178)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev dominated Perkovic, a low-level journeyman who took the fight on roughly a day or two’s notice.  He’s now back in the position to wait for a Klitschko shot.
6) Dereck Chisora (8-123-186)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Steve Cunningham (1-68-68)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery W (UD10) vs. Amir Mansour (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I hope you’ll all pray for his daughter to recover from her life-threatening health condition, and the guy had guts to come back from the 2 knockdowns.  But he didn’t win the fight.
8) Tony Thompson (1-3-202)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- W* (SD12) vs. #8 Odlanier Solis
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson has been on a pretty decent run in the past couple years, and he might be at his highest point since his first fight with Wlad after getting a questionable win in a very close fight with Solis.  He has called out Tyson Fury, though the timing for that is a bit odd.
9) Tomasz Adamek (1-207-207)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
I’d have to think Adamek would at least consider retirement after being brutalized for 12 rounds by a guy that had looked like he might top out around the top 15.  He’s recently announced his candidacy for the European parliament elections in May, so that may be a sign that he’s leaning that direction.
10) Odlanier Solis (1-55-202)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
The Solis haters are out in force, claiming a clear loss in a fight that Solis deserved to win.  You might not like his physique or his training habits or his style, but if he outfights the other guy, he still deserves to be respected as a winner at least as much as a disappointment.  A loss to Thompson is not that embarrassing, especially when you ought to have won it.
11) Carlos Takam (1-12)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam has been called in to spar with Tyson Fury.  Good call.  He’s about as close to Chisora as you can get.
12) Bermane Stiverne (1-58)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #11 Chris Arreola
ESPN has landed the fight- their biggest score in a while on that front.  May 10 in Los Angeles.
13) Chris Arreola (1-31)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #10 Bermane Stiverne
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Deontay Wilder (1-50)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 #19 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
With the win over Scott, Wilder appears poised to fight the Stiverne-Arreola winner for an alphabet title and probably near-universal recognition as the best American heavyweight.
15) Erkan Teper (1-32)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Alex Leapai (1-20)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Leapai-Klitschko is done for April 26 in Germany.
17) Andy Ruiz (1-20)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Ruiz is penciled in for the Marquez-Alvarado undercard on May 10 in LA.
18) Seth Mitchell (1-44)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- L (TKO1) vs. Chris Arreola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mitchell’s chin is so fragile that he might want to consider calling it a career.  Golden Boy’s CEO says he’s advised Mitchell to do just that, though he reports that Mitchell seems to have no such intention.
19) Johnathon Banks (1-5)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Francesco Pianeta (1-4)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO2 Robert Teuber (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Friday
Christian Hammer vs. Konstantin Airich; Berlin, Germany; Eurosport
Hammer is a 3-loss gatekeeper who should really have 4 losses, having gotten a gift against Kevin Johnson in his last fight.  Airich is a former gatekeeper himself, but is coming off consecutive losses to Solis, Glazkov, and Manuel Charr, steroid controversy, and well over a year of inactivity.

 

Saturday
Kevin Johnson vs. Manuel Charr; Bonn, Germany; Off TV
This is a heck of a match-up, really, and a pick-’em fight.  Charr is a perennial prospect who has flopped at the Klitschko level and pretty much just beat up on journeymen otherwise.  This will be his first truly fair test.  Johnson is up and down.  He owns a dominant win over soon-to-be Championship challenger Alex Leapai and should have beaten Hammer as mentioned above, but has failed at the top 5 level (Klitschko, Fury, and Chisora) and also at the gatekeeper level or below (Tor Hamer, plus an undeserved win over Sosnowski, both on Prizefighter).  Johnson would probably be my pick, because he’s won at at least the level Charr has proven himself to belong on.  That would mean that if he turns in a good performance for him, he would require Charr to be better than he’s ever been before to win.  If Charr turns in as good a performance as he’s ever turned in, Johnson may still be too much for him as far as we know.  The venue will likely be an advantage for Charr, however.

 

David Price vs. Ondrej Pala; Esbjerg, Denmark; BoxNation (UK)
Czech journeyman Pala might qualify as a stay-busy fight for top guys like Chisora, but he’s only lost twice since 2006, and was considered a top 50 fighter as recently as last year.  Price has got to be a heavy favorite since he’s clearly at a higher level than Pala’s loss other than Chisora- to a streaking and likely roided-up Konstantin Airich- but it’s no gimme.  If Price isn’t prepared for a real fight, he may be in for a difficult night.  The English prospect is coming off back-to-back stoppage losses to Tony Thompson and an easy tune-up.

Heavyweight: 2013, Dec 23-29

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 15, 2014 by danboxing
Last week I referred to a possible hometown advantage being the largest potential edge for Christian Hammer on Friday against closely-matched fellow top-50 gatekeeper Kevin Johnson.  Hammer is Romanian, but makes his home in Hamburg, where the fight went down, while Johnson is American.  That turned out to be very true, unfortunately.  The fight was razor-thin, with a lot of close rounds, and an even split in the few clear ones.  I had Johnson winning 96-94.  With anything between 98-92 either way being fairly reasonable.  Johnson threw and landed more, while boxing on the outside and employing a defensive posture.  Hammer came forward frequently, and landed the harder punches when he landed something, but was much more sparing in his output.  You would think the scores would have tended to be varied but generally close, if the judges were being fair.  Instead, judges Mihai Leu (a Romanian-born Hamburger who seems like an objectively bad choice to work this particular fight) and Joerg Ilinseer had it 98-92, which means they gave every debatable round to Hammer.  Timo Habighorst, while still rather slanted, at least managed to see a couple of them even to arrive at 98-94.  

 

One-loss prospect Carlos Takam got some work in that same night in Martinique, knocking out low-level journeyman Jakov Gospic in 3.

 

Since I disagree with the still more-or-less reasonable result of Hammer-Johnson, I can only treat it as essentially a draw, but with the barest of edges to Hammer in deference to the official result, which fell short of an obvious robbery.  It’s not going to be visible.  Hammer moves from a mid-30s ranking unofficially to a high-30s one, while Johnson goes from mid-40s to high 30s.  No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (235-448-448)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Klitschko is in talks to fight his mandatory, Alex Leapai.  He said recently that he wants to capture his brother’s old alphabet title, which would unify all the major titles for the first time since Lewis in 1999.  He would have to wait for someone else to pick it up first, as the silly alphabets don’t let current titlists fight for vacant titles.
1) Alexander Povetkin (5-322-322)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin is calling for a rematch.  He would probably need to become the WBA mandatory by winning an eliminator (possibly against Luis Ortiz) in order to get that shot.  His promotional ties expire at the end of the year, and he says he’ll announce his next move in early 2014.
2) Steve Cunningham (5-53-53)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD8 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham had little trouble dominating a fading former gatekeeper in Quezada.
3) Tomasz Adamek (5-192-192)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kathy Duva, who promotes both fighters, says she will reschedule the cancelled Adamek-Glazkov fight.  Adamek shot down rumors that he wants to fight Bryant Jennings in January, saying he’s fighting Glazkov in March.
4) Kubrat Pulev (5-86-163)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO5 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev was dropped (lightly) for the first time in his career, and seems to have taken Abell lightly in general.  Nevertheless, he finished it off with an impressive stoppage.
5) Dereck Chisora (5-108-171)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO3 Ondrej Pala (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/15/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chisora returns on February 15, with an opponent as yet unannounced.  There is a lot of speculation in Britain that he might be in line to fight Tyson Fury in a rematch for the vacated WBC title.  How that would come to pass, when neither guy is at the top of the rankings in that organization, is beyond me.  That being said, boxing politics seldom fails to surprise, and Chisora and Fury are more deserving at this point than Stiverne and Arreola, anyhow.
6) Odlanier Solis (5-40-187)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #9 Tony Thompson
Solis was first set to fight Kevin Johnson.  But he backed out because the IBF wanted him to fight Takam.  But now word from Tony Thompson is that Solis will fight Thompson, instead, on March 22.
7) Bermane Stiverne (5-27-43)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite speculation in the UK of a possible match-up between Fury and Chisora for the WBC title, that organization has officially ordered Stiverne-Arreola, with purse bids due on January 17.  Stiverne’s legal situation with Don King seems to be the only possible stumbling block at this point.
8) Chris Arreola (5-16-16)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
9) Tony Thompson (5-6-187)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #6 Odlanier Solis
Thompson says he’s fighting Odlanier Solis on March 22.
10) Erkan Teper (5-5-17)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper might have scored the heavyweight knockout of the year, and probably retired Martin Rogan in the process.
11) Mike Perez (5-8)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- UD10 Magomed Abdusalamov (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/18/2014- vs. Carlos Takam (UNR)
With Solis-Takam falling through, Takam will now be offered up to Perez, instead, on the Pascal-Bute undercard on January 18 in Montreal.
12) Deontay Wilder (5-35)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO4 Nicolai Firtha (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wilder had hoped to supersede either Stiverne or Arreola for a shot at the WBC belt, but with that fight now officially ordered, he can only hope that Stiverne can’t work the fight out due to legal problems, or that he can fight the winner.
13) Alex Leapai (5-5)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov
Next Fight: Unknown
Leapai and Wlad are beginning negotiations for a mandatory fight.
14) Robert Helenius (6-187)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
According to Per Ake Persson at Boxingscene, Helenius will be working with a Finnish team going forward, with German promotional powerhouse Sauerland still involved in a diminished role.  He will talk about his future at a press conference later this week.
15) Andy Ruiz (5-5)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ruiz has called out Tyson Fury, whose team says he’s out until at least March.
16) Seth Mitchell (6-29)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- L (TKO1) vs. Chris Arreola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mitchell’s chin is so fragile that he might want to consider calling it a career.  Golden Boy’s CEO says he’s advised Mitchell to do just that, though he reports that Mitchell seems to have no such intention.
17) Alexander Dimitrenko (5-154)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko is rumored at least to be fighting Sam Sexton in the first round of the WBC World Cup, but that tournament appears to be in limbo for the time being, at least.
18) Vyacheslav Glazkov (5-53)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Adamek’s notes, above.
19) Malik Scott (5-44)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- L (KO6*) vs. #8 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott is getting serious buzz for a fight with Wilder.
20) Johnathon Banks (5-58)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Banks apparently dinged his hands up pretty good in the Mitchell fight- an alternate explanation for those who, like me, thought his inexplicable failure to follow up on his early success was a bit suspicious.  He’s been doing physical therapy, and is about ready to get back in the ring.  He’d like a rematch with Mitchell, but unfortunately a trilogy probably isn’t of much benefit to the fragile young contender at this point.  He’s penciled-in for the second round of the WBC World Cup, against the winner of Sam Sexton and Alexander Dimitrenko, but as noted above, that whole tournament is delayed and in doubt.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Merry Christmas!