Archive for Danie Venter

Cruiserweight: 2013: Sep 23-29

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 28, 2013 by danboxing
#20 Danie Venter knocked out Barbados gatekeeper Shawn Cox in the very first round of their fight in Pretoria on Saturday, in the division’s only meaningful action of the week.

 

With the win, Venter grabs a firmer foothold on the rankings, climbing a couple spots to #18, displacing Kucher and Glowacki one spot each.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (9-190-190)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lebedev was winning the fight on points against Jones when his eye ballooned and he faded to a stoppage.  Who’s to say that he wouldn’t have won if Jones had been weakened by making weight the right way (or by not using whatever PEDs he may have been masking with the substance)?  Lebedev is accorded the benefit of the doubt, and will be treated like the fight never happened.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (54-170-170)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. #12 Alexander Alekseev
Hernandez will make his long-awaited return on December 14 in Germany against Alexander Alekseev.
3) Marco Huck (2-355-355)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- W (MD12) vs. #5 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 1/25/2014- vs. #5 Firat Arslan
Huck-Arslan II has a new date of January 25 after Huck suffered a hand injury.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (2-431-431)
Last Fight: 6/21/2013- TKO8 Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Wlodarczyk will see action in the US for the first time since 2005 on December 6, fighting a trilogy bout with the rapidly aging Italian Giacobbe Fragomeni in Chicago.
5) Firat Arslan (2-72-115)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/25/2014- vs. #3 Marco Huck
See Huck’s notes, above.

6) Thabiso Mchunu (2-8-46)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu intends to be back by the end of the year, and says he’ll take on anyone in the division.  I don’t blame him.  I’d pick him to beat anyone.
7) Ola Afolabi (2-237-237)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L (MD12) vs. #8 Marco Huck
Next Fight: 11/2/2013- vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
If there is to be a Super 4 Cruiserweight tournament in Monaco, it appears it either won’t be on November 2 anymore, or that Afolabi won’t be participating if so, as he is slated for a November 2 fight on the Golovkin-Stevens undercard at Madison Square Garden against Polish prospect Lukasz Janik.
8) Danny Green (2-46-199)
Last Fight: 11/21/2012- UD12 Shane Cameron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Green has vacated his alphabet belt, and says essentially that only a really good opportunity would get him back between the ropes at this point.  Still…he stopped short of retiring.
9) B.J. Flores (2-17-170)
Last Fight: 10/6/2012- TKO2 David McNemar (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores has been released from his contract with Don King, and is now rumored for an upcoming Million Dollar tournament in Monaco.
10) Giacobbe Fragomeni (2-2-254)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- UD8 Toni Visic (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. #4 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
11) Silvio Branco (2-80)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- W (TD10) vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Branco continues to chug along at 47 years young.  He’s like a lower-level Hopkins.
12) Alexander Alekseev (2-141)
Last Fight: 2/22/2013- UD12* Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Alekseev gets a shot at Hernandez on December 14.
13) Mateusz Masternak (2-78)
Last Fight: 4/13/2013- TKO9 Sean Corbin (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. #17 Grigory Drozd
Masternak-Drozd once again appears set for 10/5 on the Klitsckho-Povetkin undercard after Boxrec had it off the schedule for some reason for a few weeks.
14) Ilunga Makabu (2-11)
Last Fight: 8/31/2013- TKO5 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Makabu is rumored for a Monaco 4-man tournament in the fall along with Flores and Australian Brad Pitt.
15) Francisco Palacios (2-130)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- L(U12) vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Enad Licina (2-170)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- UD6 Marko Rupcic (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/27/2013- vs. Levan Jomardashvili (UNR)
Licina will fight on the Aydin-Corley undercard in Istanbul this weekend.  He’s not fighting anyone special, but it could at least buy him another few months in the rankings if he makes 200.
17) Grigory Drozd (2-46)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- UD12 Jean-Marc Monrose (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. #13 Mateusz Masternak
See Masternak’s notes, above.
18) Danie Venter (1-2)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I must admit I wrote Venter off when he lost a bit of an upset to Mchunu last year, but Mchunu has proven to be something of a world beater since, and Venter’s overall resume is quietly starting to look pretty solid.
19) Dmytro Kucher (1-65)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher would like a rematch with Makabu, and has his sights set on Wlodarczyk down the road, as well.  He expects to be back against someone in November or December.
20) Krzysztof Glowacki (1-9)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- UD8 Taylor Mabika (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/19/2013- vs. Richard Hall (UNR)
Glowacki is back in October against 41 year-old washed-up former fringe contender Richard Hall in Poland.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: #16 Enad Licina is back in action on Friday in Istanbul, where he fights low-level journeyman Levan Jomardashvili of Georgia.  If he wins and makes 200, it will buy him a chance to stay in the rankings until his last significant win becomes over a year old in January, instead of the anniversary of his prior last fight at 200, which would see him removed in November.

Cruiserweight: 2013: Sep 16-22

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 19, 2013 by danboxing
Undefeated Canadian prospect Denton Daley won a unanimously 100-90 decision over French journeyman Jean Marc Monrose in Rama, Ontario on Saturday. 
 

As I mentioned last week, William Fernando Souza Bezerra was supposed to have a fight in Brazil on Friday, but as I write this on Wednesday night, it’s still showing as a scheduled fight on Boxrec, and no results can be found online.  This is nothing new for Souza Bezerra.  He may or may not actually be fighting these fights.

 

Last week’s #3 Troy Ross falls out this week, having been inactive for a year with nothing scheduled.  Everyone ranked below him last week moves up one, and Danie Venter returns at #20.  I had originally decided to install Pawel Kolodziej, but he hasn’t made 200 in essentially 18 months.  He is technically eligible this week because he has been within 2 pounds of the limit in that time, but even the extra 6 months that gives him will expire next week.  Giacobbe Fragomeni ascends to #10 for the first time since I think early last year.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (8-189-189)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lebedev was winning the fight on points against Jones when his eye ballooned and he faded to a stoppage.  Who’s to say that he wouldn’t have won if Jones had been weakened by making weight the right way (or by not using whatever PEDs he may have been masking with the substance)?  Lebedev is accorded the benefit of the doubt, and will be treated like the fight never happened.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (53-169-169)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. #12 Alexander Alekseev
Hernandez will make his long-awaited return on December 14 in Germany against Alexander Alekseev.
3) Marco Huck (1-354-354)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- W (MD12) vs. #5 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 1/25/2014- vs. #5 Firat Arslan
Huck-Arslan II has a new date of January 25 after Huck suffered a hand injury.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (1-430-430)
Last Fight: 6/21/2013- TKO8 Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s not official, but all signs point to a February 22 heavyweight fight in Poland against countryman Albert Sosnowski.
5) Firat Arslan (1-71-114)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/25/2014- vs. #3 Marco Huck
See Huck’s notes, above.

6) Thabiso Mchunu (1-7-45)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu intends to be back by the end of the year, and says he’ll take on anyone in the division.  I don’t blame him.  I’d pick him to beat anyone.
7) Ola Afolabi (1-236-236)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L (MD12) vs. #8 Marco Huck
Next Fight: 11/2/2013- vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
If there is to be a Super 4 Cruiserweight tournament in Monaco, it appears it either won’t be on November 2 anymore, or that Afolabi won’t be participating if so, as he is slated for a November 2 fight on the Golovkin-Stevens undercard at Madison Square Garden against Polish prospect Lukasz Janik.
8) Danny Green (1-45-198)
Last Fight: 11/21/2012- UD12 Shane Cameron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Green is leaning toward retirement at last check.
9) B.J. Flores (1-16-169)
Last Fight: 10/6/2012- TKO2 David McNemar (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores has been released from his contract with Don King, and is now rumored for an upcoming Million Dollar tournament in Monaco.
10) Giacobbe Fragomeni (1-1-253)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- UD8 Toni Visic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fragomeni snuck in a strictly stay-busy fight with Toni Visic on about 1 day’s notice as far as I can tell.
11) Silvio Branco (1-79)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- W (TD10) vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Branco continues to chug along at 47 years young.  He’s like a lower-level Hopkins.
12) Alexander Alekseev (1-140)
Last Fight: 2/22/2013- UD12* Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Alekseev gets a shot at Hernandez on December 14.
13) Mateusz Masternak (1-77)
Last Fight: 4/13/2013- TKO9 Sean Corbin (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. #17 Grigory Drozd
Masternak-Drozd once again appears set for 10/5 on the Klitsckho-Povetkin undercard after Boxrec had it off the schedule for some reason for a few weeks.
14) Ilunga Makabu (1-10)
Last Fight: 8/31/2013- TKO5 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Makabu is rumored for a Monaco 4-man tournament in the fall along with Flores and Australian Brad Pitt.
15) Francisco Palacios (1-129)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- L(U12) vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Palacios very likely will not fight until after his contract with Don King expires in September.
16) Enad Licina (1-169)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- UD6 Marko Rupcic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Licina has been fighting nobodies slightly over the heavyweight limit since November.  He’ll be removed in November for inactivity at cruiserweight if he doesn’t schedule something at 200 by then, or in January if he does that but doesn’t get a significant win, since his last one will be 5 years old then.
17) Grigory Drozd (1-45)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- UD12 Jean-Marc Monrose (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. #13 Mateusz Masternak
See Masternak’s notes, above.
18) Dmytro Kucher (1-64)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher is practically back to square one after falling short against Makabu.
19) Krzysztof Glowacki (1-8)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- UD8 Taylor Mabika (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Danie Venter (1-1)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- UD6 Elvis Moyo (UNR) (at HW)
Next Fight: 9/21/2013- vs. Shawn Cox (UNR)
Venter gets a re-ranking just in time for his fight this weekend.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: South African fringe contender Danie Venter takes on Shawn Cox of Barbados, a borderline top 50 operator.  That will be Saturday in Pretoria.

Cruiserweight: 2012, Nov 12-18

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 16, 2012 by danboxing
Here’s a new name for you: Thabiso Mchunu.  The new undisputed Champion of South Africa thoroughly demolished #20 Danie Venter- whom he had previously edged out by majority decision two years ago when they were both mere prospects- knocking the favored Venter out in just 5 rounds.  Mchunu has lost just once in his career- a stoppage to recent Venter victim Zack Mwekassa.  I don’t know how he will do if and when he steps up to the inter-continental level, but after proving himself to be the class of a solid boxing nation like South Africa, I’m looking forward to finding out.  Mchunu is just 23- rather young for a contending cruiserweight.

 

In other Saturday action, undefeated Georgian Iago Kiladze won a dominant decision over journeyman Ismail Abdoul in Donetsk, Ukraine.  Undefeated Russian Rakhim Chakhkiev won by a similar margin against American journeyman Andres Taylor in Hamburg, while #19 Enad Licina did nothing more than get into the ring for the first time in a while, slapping around an embarrassingly bad opponent 5 hours away in Koblenz, when he got a 2nd-round stoppage against 0-15 German Koeksal Orduhan.  I can’t believe the latter fight was even sanctioned.

 

The night before, Tampa gatekeeper Nick Iannuzzi needed just a minute forty to knock out Adam Collins, a low-level journeyman and last-minute replacement, in Iannuzzi’s hometown.

 

Guillermo Jones (#9 last week) is removed for inactivity.  This allows Danny Green to enter the top 10 for the first time since September, and gets everyone rated #17 and better last week promoted a spot. Mchunu debuts at #17, which keeps Kucher and Licina where they started.  Last week’s #20 Venter is out with the loss, and is replaced by Grigory Drozd, who has been out since early July.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (9-145-145)
Last Fight: 4/4/2012- KO2 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/17/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Lebedev is scheduled for a December 17 fight in Moscow.  Three opponents are being explored: Lateef Kayode (solid fight), Santander Silgado (decent to stay busy), and Andres Taylor (waste of time).
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (9-125-125)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez officially got the win over Ross, and I’m not quite willing to call it a robbery, but it’s pretty close to one.  I think you’d be pushing the limits of reason to give the fight to Hernandez, and I think that even if you managed to do so in terms of rounds won, you’d have to admit that Ross got the better of the fight overall.  Even Hernandez promoter Sauerland admits that Hernandez didn’t deserve a win, and believes a rematch is warranted.
3) Troy Ross (9-9-41)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ross deserved to beat Hernandez.  That’s all I’ve got to say (except the more detailed statement I made above).
4) Steve Cunningham (9-439-439)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- UD10 Jason Gavern (UNR) (at HW)
Next Fight: 12/22/2012- vs. HW #3 Tomasz Adamek (at HW)
With Odlanier Solis’ withdrawal, Cunningham has a chance to avenge his 2008 loss to Tomasz Adamek just before Christmas, at heavyweight.  He’ll retain his ranking here until the anniversary of his February 4 cruiserweight fight, or until he schedules a heavyweight fight for a date after that.
5) Ola Afolabi (2-192-192)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
One of the alphabets has mandated that the Huck-Arslan winner fight Afolabi next, but that could be complicated by calls for a rematch of the robbery in that fight.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (2-386-386)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- UD12 #13 Francisco Palacios
Next Fight: 12/22/2012- vs. HW #18 Jean-Marc Mormeck
After initially dismissing speculation of a Mormeck fight, it appears Wlodarczyk has signed on.
7) Firat Arslan (2-27-70)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #5 Marco Huck (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arslan is a modern marvel, fairly conclusively defeating Marco Huck at age 42.  Period.
8) Marco Huck (2-310-310)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #10 Firat Arslan (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
In any discussion where justice reigns, Huck is now 0-2-1 in his last 3 major cruiserweight fights.  At last check, he had been ordered to rematch Afolabi next, but there is also speculation of an Arslan rematch.  I’m assuming the Klitschko buzz will subside, as that’s a big step up from Arslan.
9) Lateef Kayode (2-24-104)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. ‘Roided up #3 Antonio Tarver
Next Fight: Unknown
Kayode is currently the most qualified of three candidates to fight Denis Lebedev.
10) Danny Green (1-1-154)
Last Fight: 7/25/2012- TKO5 Danny Santiago (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/21/2012- vs. Shane Cameron (UNR)
Will take on Kiwi fringe contender Shane Cameron in late November.
11) B.J. Flores (1-125)
Last Fight: 10/6/2012- TKO2 David McNemar (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores’ level of opposition lately is consistent with that of a protected undefeated prospect rather than a veteran contender trying to get back on top.  He’s completely treading water at this point in his career.
12) Giacobbe Fragomeni (1-209)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fragomeni appears to be showing his age after nearly losing to an even older man in Branco.
13) Silvio Branco (1-35)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
45 year old veteran Silvio Branco got what may have been his final hurrah with a close-fought draw with top 10-ranked Giacobbe Fragomeni.
14) Mateusz Masternak (1-33)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- TKO8 David Quinonero (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/15/2012- vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Masternak will fight for a vacant and highly questionable European belt against Finnish gatekeeper Juho Haapoja in mid-December.
15) Francisco Palacios (1-85)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- L(UD12) vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Very little of note left on his resume after his should-be win over Wlodarczyk was neutralized by a close but clear loss to same, and with his win over Louis Azille over 5 years old now.
16) Alexander Alekseev (1-96)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw*(MD12) vs. #19 Firat Arslan (robbery- should have been L)
Next Fight: Unknown
The EBU just yanked Alekseev’s European title due to a possibly faked injury.  This is the same title that the judges should have yanked already when he clearly lost to Arslan.
17) Thabiso Mchunu (1-1)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO5 #20 Danie Venter
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu is probably ready to take the Chilemba/Oosthuizen journey out of South Africa and into the international scene after conquering the local scene in the form of Venter.  He may have some unfinished business with Zack Mwekassa first, however.
18) Dmitro Kucher (3-20)
Last Fight: 10/27/2012- KO2 Steve Herelius (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher took out one-time contender Steve Herelius in spectacular fashion, making him definitively one to watch.
19) Enad Licina (3-125)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO2 Koeksal Orduhan
Next Fight: Unknown
Really, Enad?  He just fought the most obviously terrible opponent I think I’ve ever had to write about on here.  The record of said fighter?  0-15.  No joke.
20) Grigory Drozd (1-1)
Last Fight: 6/20/2012- TKO1 Fabio Garrido (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/17/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: On Friday, Croatian gatekeeper Ivica Bacurin takes a big risk by traveling to enemy territory when he fights Italian journeyman Vincenzo Rossito in Rome.

 

The following night, Argentine fringe contender defends the national championship he won with an upset stoppage victory over Rogelio Rossi against journeyman Franco Sanchez, and undefeated Pole Krzysztof Glowacki takes on less-proven one-loss British fringe prospect Matty Askin in Warsaw.

Cruiserweight: 2012, Nov 5-11

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 11, 2012 by danboxing
Firat Arslan is the Turkish Gabriel Campillo.  It doesn’t matter how bad he beats up the other guy, he still gets stuck with an L.  And as for Marco Huck, he seems unable to escape controversy.  Each of his last 3 fights, and 4 of his last 7, have ended with either an inconclusive or downright offensive decision.  This is probably the worst of all of them.  Firat Arslan- 42 years young- came out of his corner in each and every round like a man starving for victory.  Let’s not forget that he was robbed in his last fight, as well.  From each opening bell, he was on Huck like a snow plow.  He backed up for maybe a total of 30 seconds of the 2160 that elapsed.  He forced Huck to the ropes and dictated the pace 95% of the time.  He was more accurate with his shots- especially to the head.  Huck, despite his experience, clearly hasn’t learned to tuck his chin, as every shot that hit him had his head bouncing around like a pinball.  Arslan completely dominated the first half of the fight, and held his own in every round from start to finish. 

 

I must say that  I expected Arslan to be competitive, but at his age I expected him to fade and perhaps get stopped late, much as he did a few years ago against Steve Herelius.  He did lose some of his strength and precision late as compared to the younger Huck, but he was in the fight every second of the way.  I had the fight 117-111, and every round I gave to Huck was pretty much a toss-up, especially when you factor in Arslan’s ring generalship and effective aggressiveness, criteria he dominated in every round.  If you gave Huck every close round somehow, you’d have it 114-114.  If you did the same for Arslan, you’d have it 120-108.  Ready for the official scores?  115-113 Huck (x2) and 117-111 Huck (no typo).

 

Now to shame the corrupt or incompetent judges.  England’s Mickey Vann.  Vann is a repeat offender, having helped to award another Sauerland star an undeserved win quite recently, when he had an indefensible card in favor of Yoan Pablo Hernandez against Troy Ross.  So he’s lost the benefit of the doubt.  It’s not a case of a guy having a bad night, it’s a case of a chronically incompetent or completely corrupt judge, who cares nothing for what’s right.  If I were the Czar of boxing, I would suspend him from officiating a fight for at least a year or two. 

 

Also from England, Paul Thomas.  Thomas already showed questionable judgment in refereeing the co-feature, taking a point from Brazil’s Cleiton Conseicao for holding almost before he did any holding.  Conseicao went on to deserve one or two point deductions by tripling his rate of holding, and by the time all was said and done he had lost 3 points.  But Thomas was being ridiculous at the point he took the first point.  Surprise, surprise.  It favored Sauerland-owned prospect Dustin Dirks (who, I might add, didn’t need the help).  Thomas had the same card as Vann.  I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and say he probably was unintentionally biased, had a bad night, and simply goofed.  The reason is that I’ve seen him turn in reasonable cards in Sauerland fights (Afolabi-Huck II, for example).  A few years ago, he did turn in cards in Chambers-Dimitrenko and Kotelnik-Maidana that I know to be controversial, but having never actually seen those fights in full, I can’t credibly comment on the quality of those scores.  Even with the benefit of the doubt, he should be admonished by whatever passes for a commission in Germany.

 

Now for the real villain.  Italian  judge (it seems like they’re always the worst) Giustino Di Giovanni’s 117-111 card in favor of Huck was so flamboyantly awful that one of the following MUST be true: a) he got the fighters mixed up somehow, b) he payed zero attention to the fight, possibly falling asleep, or c) he was billing someone affiliated with Huck by the round for his services.  I can’t even reasonably give him credit for simple incompetence.  Any random person (boxing fan or not) could judge fights for a lifetime and, provided they simply wanted to get it right, never turn in a card as bad as this one.  If I were the Czar, I would probably ban this guy for life.  He’s got no scores on his record that are known by me to be controversial or wrong before this one, but the simple fact is that if you’re demonstrably worse at your job than any random person on the street for whatever reason (and he must be to turn in that card), there’s no need to pay you for your services ever again.

 

Technically I marked enough rounds on my card as toss-ups that I have to acknowledge a halfway reasonable position that the fight could have been scored a draw.  That’s a very biased view in my opinion, but I couldn’t necessarily argue any specific round was scored wrong per se if that was the final score.  As a result, past precedent would indicate that I’d give the decision minimum deference up to the point of it being a draw.  That’s worked alright for me in situations where I thought one guy won a close fight that could at least technically go either way and the judges saw it the other way.  In those cases I treat the fight essentially as a draw, but give a slight edge to the official winner such that the official loser can’t surpass him in the rankings.  In light of this result, however, I recognize that the same treatment isn’t ideal or just in a case such as this, where the absolute best an official winner could have hoped for was a draw anyway.  Therefore, from this point forward, my policy will be that when there is a minimum deference decision in one fighter’s favor and that fighter deserved at best a draw and arguably a loss, I will not be bound to give the official winner any edge from the virtual draw scenario and may give such an edge to the official loser if appropriate.  I will, however, still treat the fight as a draw for rankings purposes with that one caveat.

 

So how does that apply here?  Arslan’s right to the victory was plain enough that I have no hesitation in promoting him past Huck.  But it’s difficult to determine at what point in the rankings they are to intersect.  Arslan must get past Guillermo Jones.  Jones actually beat Arslan back in 2008, but his existence has practically been a rumor ever since then, while Arslan has had at least a couple good performances.  It’s probably only an issue for one week anyway, since Jones is likely days away from removal for inactivity.  Arslan also supplants Kayode in a close call.  Kayode owns a recent draw with Antonio Tarver who was not only on PEDs, but also was ranked #3 going in.  Arslan’s slightly more conclusive performance against #5 Huck, when coupled with his deserved win over Alekseev this year puts him over the top.  Then you get to Wlodarczyk, and you’re getting into the territory of a guy that has beaten multiple top 10 contenders, and so that’s where the Arslan train screeches to a halt, at #7.  Huck tumbles down to just below Arslan at #8.  This allows Afolabi to displace the man he arguably beat already anyway and move into the #5 spot.  The aforementioned Wlodarczyk advances to #6, while Kayode and Jones are bumped back to 9 and 10, respectively.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (8-144-144)
Last Fight: 4/4/2012- KO2 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The fight with Guillermo Jones appears to be off indefinitely.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (8-124-124)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez officially got the win over Ross, and I’m not quite willing to call it a robbery, but it’s pretty close to one.  I think you’d be pushing the limits of reason to give the fight to Hernandez, and I think that even if you managed to do so in terms of rounds won, you’d have to admit that Ross got the better of the fight overall.  Even Hernandez promoter Sauerland admits that Hernandez didn’t deserve a win, and believes a rematch is warranted.
3) Troy Ross (8-8-40)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ross deserved to beat Hernandez.  That’s all I’ve got to say (except the more detailed statement I made above).
4) Steve Cunningham (8-438-438)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- UD10 Jason Gavern (UNR) (at HW)
Next Fight: 12/22/2012- vs. HW #3 Tomasz Adamek (at HW)
With Odlanier Solis’ withdrawal, Cunningham has a chance to avenge his 2008 loss to Tomasz Adamek just before Christmas, at heavyweight.  He’ll retain his ranking here until the anniversary of his February 4 cruiserweight fight, or until he schedules a heavyweight fight for a date after that.
5) Ola Afolabi (1-191-191)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
One of the alphabets has mandated that the Huck-Arslan winner fight Afolabi next, but that could be complicated by calls for a rematch of the robbery in that fight.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (1-385-385)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- UD12 #13 Francisco Palacios
Next Fight: Unknown
There is talk of a fight with former Champ Jean-Marc Mormeck, but Wlodarczyk’s team is dismissing these rumors.
7) Firat Arslan (1-26-69)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #5 Marco Huck (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arslan is a modern marvel, fairly conclusively defeating Marco Huck at age 42.  Period.

8) Marco Huck (1-309-309)

Last Fight: 11/3/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #10 Firat Arslan (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
In any discussion where justice reigns, Huck is now 0-2-1 in his last 3 major cruiserweight fights.  At last check, he had been ordered to rematch Afolabi next, but there is also speculation of an Arslan rematch.  I’m assuming the Klitschko buzz will subside, as that’s a big step up from Arslan.

9) Lateef Kayode (1-23-103)

Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. ‘Roided up #3 Antonio Tarver
Next Fight: Unknown
With no mention of Kayode’s rumored fight with Drozd being made in a while, the latest news is that Kayode might be trying to move up to fight Seth Mitchell.
10) Guillermo Jones (1-110-110)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Unless Jones miraculously schedules a fight this week, he’s removed for inactivity this time next week.
11) Danny Green (8-153)
Last Fight: 7/25/2012- TKO5 Danny Santiago (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/21/2012- vs. Shane Cameron (UNR)
Will take on Kiwi fringe contender Shane Cameron in late November.
12) B.J. Flores (8-124)
Last Fight: 10/6/2012- TKO2 David McNemar (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores’ level of opposition lately is consistent with that of a protected undefeated prospect rather than a veteran contender trying to get back on top.  He’s completely treading water at this point in his career.
13) Giacobbe Fragomeni (7-208)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fragomeni appears to be showing his age after nearly losing to an even older man in Branco.
14) Silvio Branco (7-34)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
45 year old veteran Silvio Branco got what may have been his final hurrah with a close-fought draw with top 10-ranked Giacobbe Fragomeni.
15) Mateusz Masternak (7-32)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- TKO8 David Quinonero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Masternak appears set to fight for the European title technically held by Alekseev next.
16) Francisco Palacios (7-84)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- L(UD12) vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Very little of note left on his resume after his should-be win over Wlodarczyk was neutralized by a close but clear loss to same, and with his win over Louis Azille over 5 years old now.
17) Alexander Alekseev (8-95)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw*(MD12) vs. #19 Firat Arslan (robbery- should have been L)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alekseev’s camp reports an undisclosed illness, which has caused him to lose his hold on his illegitimate European title.
18) Dmitro Kucher (2-19)
Last Fight: 10/27/2012- KO2 Steve Herelius (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher took out one-time contender Steve Herelius in spectacular fashion, making him definitively one to watch.
19) Enad Licina (2-124)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #17 Alexander Alexeev
Next Fight: 11/10/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Licina, inactive since his loss to Alekseev, appears to have a fight scheduled for November 10 in Koblenz, Germany.  No opponent has been announced.
20) Danie Venter (7-7)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- TKO4 Zack Mwekassa (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/10/2012- vs. Thabiso Mchunu (UNR)
Venter has established himself as clearly the best South African cruiserweight, and will fight for what amounts to that country’s undisputed championship in the Super 8 Tournament finals in November.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: A very busy week in the division.  Leading things off on Friday, Tampa gatekeeper Nick Iannuzzi will see action in his hometown against sub-.500 journeyman Grover Young of Memphis.

 

Saturday: In Hamburg, undefeated Russian Rakhim Chakhkiev battles Pennsylvania journeyman Andres Taylor- who had briefly been scheduled to fight Guillermo Jones instead- on the Klitschko-Wach undercard.  About 5 hours to the South in Koblenz, #19 Enad Licina is scheduled, but no opponent has been announced yet as far as I can tell.  In Donetsk, Ukraine, undefeated locally-based Georgian Iago Kiladze will fight veteran Belgian journeyman Ismail Abdoul.  Proceeding way South to Kempton Park, South Africa, #20 Danie Venter will meet fringe contender Thabiso Mchunu for the Super 8 Cruiserweight Tournament Championship, and effectively also for the undisputed South African title. 

Cruiserweight: 2012, Sep 24-30

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 29, 2012 by danboxing
Last week’s biggest fight was the rematch between Puerto Rico’s Francisco Palacios (#13) and Poland’s Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (#7).  In their 2011 meeting, Wlodarczyk got a fairly comfortable decision that completely lacked credibility.  The fight (a total snoozer) was a complete toss up, though I thought Palacios deserved the nod.  This time around, the fight was downright watchable, and it was Wlodarczyk with the edge, and the cards were pretty decent, though I think Christophe Fernandez of France gave Wlodarczyk an even round that he lost.  The difference in the fight- which was contested mostly on even terms throughout- was the Polish fighter’s apparently superior power and hand defense, with the most dramatic example coming in the 10th, when Wlodarczyk caught Palacios with a perfect right hand that had him out on his feet, but only a few seconds remained in the round and Palacios was able to hold on for dear life and survive.

 

In the weekend’s other notable card, the semifinals of the South African Super 8 Cruiserweight Tournament played out.  Gatekeeper-level fighters Zack Mwekassa and Danie Venter met in one bout, with Venter scoring an upset knockout win in round 4 to advance to November’s final.  The other semifinal was an immediate rematch of one of the first-round fights, between Thabiso Mchunu and Flo Simba.  This became the case after one first round fight fell through when the tournament favorite Ran Nakash of Israel bailed.  His heavy underdog of an opponent, Johnny Muller, who it was originally believed would get a bye to fight the winner of Simba-Mchunu.  But Muller stepped aside in favor of a shot at an African Light Heavyweight title shot on the same card (which he lost), allowing the rematch of what was a 1st round TKO win for Mchunu.  But why rematch a fight that ended like that, you ask?  Bad officiating, of course.  The fight was stopped without justification.  Unfortunately for Simba, the rematch was simply a confirmation of Mchunu’s superiority, as the result was another first round TKO.  Mchunu, who was stopped by Mwekassa a year ago, will now face the new tournament favorite, Danie Venter, in the finals.

 

Now for the inevitable ratings shakeup.  Mchunu really did nothing but confirm his earlier win over Simba.  Given his loss to an unheralded Mwekassa less than a year before the two wins over Simba, he’s not in the conversation for a ranking at the moment.  Venter, however, does manage to sneak in at #20.  His record is hardly spotless, but he hasn’t fought any meaningful fights below heavyweight since a 4 year hiatus that ended in 2010, and thus he gets a clean slate.  His win over Mwekassa, in a vacuum, is enough to sneak past last week’s #20 Pawel Glazewski, whose banner performance against Roy Jones had the disadvantage of taking place at a catchweight in the low 180s.  He’s roughly on equal footing with #19 Dmitro Kucher, but Kucher’s win over Cesar Crenz is ever-so-slightly more impressive than Venter’s resume. 

 

Wlodarczyk somewhat surprisingly stays put at #7, since #6 Ola Afolabi’s draw against Marco Huck still sets him narrowly apart in my opinion.  Palacios takes a dive.  Two things happened to him since the last time his ranking was examined.  Obviously he just lost…and that loss undermines his whole resume, since his undeserved loss to Wlodarczyk supported his being ranked in the first place, almost entirely by itself.  His only other significant fight has gone stale recently, as his win over Louis Azille is now over 5 years old.  These two factors together drive the Puerto Rican down to #16.  Fragomeni, Branco, and Masternak each benefit from this, advancing to #13, 14, and 15, respectively. 

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (2-138-138)
Last Fight: 4/4/2012- KO2 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/27/2012- vs. #9 Guillermo Jones
Lebedev will fight very inactive alphabet titleholder and former welterweight Guillermo Jones in Moscow this October.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (2-118-118)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez officially got the win over Ross, and I’m not quite willing to call it a robbery, but it’s pretty close to one.  I think you’d be pushing the limits of reason to give the fight to Hernandez, and I think that even if you managed to do so in terms of rounds won, you’d have to admit that Ross got the better of the fight overall.  Even Hernandez promoter Sauerland admits that Hernandez didn’t deserve a win, and believes a rematch is warranted.
3) Troy Ross (2-2-34)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ross deserved to beat Hernandez.  That’s all I’ve got to say (except the more detailed statement I made above).
4) Steve Cunningham (2-432-432)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- UD10 Jason Gavern (UNR) (at HW)
Next Fight: Unknown
So far so good for Cunningham at Heavyweight.  He’ll retain his ranking here until the anniversary of his February 4 cruiserweight fight, or until he schedules a heavyweight fight for a date after that.
5) Marco Huck (2-303-303)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 11/3/2012- vs. #10 Firat Arslan
Huck will fight Arslan next in early November.
6) Ola Afolabi (2-185-185)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
7) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (2-379-379)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- UD12 #13 Francisco Palacios
Next Fight: Unknown
Redemption for El Diablo, as he confirmed his superiority over Palacios after a year of living with a gift decision.
8) Lateef Kayode (2-17-97)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. ‘Roided up #3 Antonio Tarver
Next Fight: Unknown
Kayode is upset that he has been passed over for a shot at Tarver’s stripped alphabet title, as an Aussie-Kiwi rivalry match between Danny Green and Shane Cameron will fill that vacancy for whatever that’s worth.  It’s unclear if rumored negotiations with Grigory Drozd are still pending or not.
9) Guillermo Jones (2-104-104)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/27/2012- vs. #1 Denis Lebedev
Jones will travel to Moscow to put his alphabet title on the line against the much younger Lebedev.
10) Firat Arslan (2-20-63)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #12 Alexander Alekseev (Robbery)
Next Fight: 11/3/2012- vs. #5 Marco Huck
Long-since slated for a November rematch with Alekseev, Arslan was the subject of a surprise announcement that he would instead fight Marco Huck.
11) Danny Green (2-147)
Last Fight: 7/25/2012- TKO5 Danny Santiago (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/21/2012- vs. Shane Cameron (UNR)
Will take on Kiwi fringe contender Shane Cameron in late November.
12) B.J. Flores (2-118)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO6 Hugo Pineda (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/6/2012- vs. Ahmed Samir (UNR)
Flores will take on undefeated/untested Egyptian prospect Ahmed Samir in Springfield, MO on October 6.
13) Giacobbe Fragomeni (1-202)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fragomeni appears to be showing his age after nearly losing to an even older man in Branco.
14) Silvio Branco (1-28)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
45 year old veteran Silvio Branco got what may have been his final hurrah with a close-fought draw with top 10-ranked Giacobbe Fragomeni.
15) Mateusz Masternak (1-26)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- TKO8 David Quinonero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Masternak put on a Masterful performance against a game but apparently limited Quinonero, but that was only the 2nd-best event of his week, as his son was born that same Wednesday.
16) Francisco Palacios (1-78)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- L(UD12) vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Very little of note left on his resume after his should-be win over Wlodarczyk was neutralized by a close but clear loss to same, and with his win over Louis Azille over 5 years old now.
17) Alexander Alekseev (2-89)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw*(MD12) vs. #19 Firat Arslan (robbery- should have been L)
Next Fight: 9/28/2012-  vs. Agron Dzila (UNR)
We know that Alekseev will fight journeyman Agron Dzila in September.  We also know he won’t be rematching Arslan in November as previously-expected.  It remains to be seen if that fight will eventually happen after Arslan fights Huck or not.
18) Enad Licina (2-118)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #17 Alexander Alexeev
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Dmitro Kucher (2-13)
Last Fight: 8/19/2012- TKO5 Geoffrey Battelo (UNR) (at HW)
Next Fight: 10/27/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Kucher will be fighting in Kiev on October 27 for some alphabet regional color-coded belt, but no announced opponent yet.
20) Danie Venter (1-1)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- TKO4 Zack Mwekassa (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/10/2012- vs. Thabiso Mchunu (UNR)
Venter has established himself as clearly the best South African cruiserweight, and will fight for what amounts to that country’s undisputed championship in the Super 8 Tournament finals in November.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: #17 Alexander Alekseev takes on once-beaten novice Agron Dzila of Macedonia in Germany on Friday.

Cruiserweight: 2012, Sep 17-23

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2012 by danboxing
#1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez can’t have a completely non-controversial fight, it seems.  Both of his decision wins over Steve Cunningham were disputed in some quarters (I agreed completely with the second), and now he gets very clearly outfought by #20 Troy Ross, but still walks away with what appeared from the cards to be a relatively routine decision win.  Now I will qualify that.  Ross straight-up gave away enough rounds (including while Hernandez was obviously still wobbly from a 5th round knockdown) to open the door to a narrow Hernandez victory, especially in Hernandez’ adopted home of Germany.  I think Floridian Michael Pernick’s card of 114-113 Hernandez gave the Cuban every benefit of the doubt, but that it was a respectable score.  The UK’s Mickey Vann (115-112 Hernandez) and especially Belgium’s Benny Decroos (116-112 Hernandez), on the other hand, were obviously determined not to give Ross any round that he didn’t dominate, or else they were intimidated by the venue and the promoter, in which case they don’t deserve to judge on this level.  I had the fight 115-112 Ross.  I think anything between 116-111 Ross and 114-113 Hernandez would be defensible.  I want to call this a robbery because it basically was.  But since I could see Hernandez winning the fight if he got all the toss-up rounds, this is a textbook example of a decision that will receive minimum deference here.  That is to say that it will be treated essentially as a draw, but with the barest of edges granted to the official winner, Hernandez, wherever relevant.

 

As for the fight itself, it was a wild and unpredictable affair.  There were times when it looked as if someone plucked Max Baer out of the Primo Carnera fight, cloned him, and matched him against himself, with wild swinging and tripping over each other being the rule rather than the exception.  But after the 5th, when Ross badly hurt Hernandez to the extent that it appeared he never totally recovered, Hernandez was a spoiler.  He held, he flopped, he slipped, and he even turned his back more than once.  But the visibly much smaller Ross, still evidently afraid of Hernandez’ power, too often laid back and let Hernandez walk him down, which likely won the Cuban a round or two almost by itself.

 

Lost a bit in the shuffle, #15 Mateusz Masternak turned in an excellent performance against the aging but still undefeated prospect David Quinonero, who came into the fight at 27-0 with 26 knockouts, including a 5th round knockout of borderline top-50 gatekeeper-type Ali Ismailov.  Quinonero showed nothing to suggest the devastating puncher his record might indicate.  He showed a really good chin and a lot of heart, which ultimately just meant he got a busted-up eye added to his defeat.  Masternak appeared bigger, stronger, faster, rangier, and more skilled.  I think he’s a special fighter.  The thing that most impressed me was that he was able to throw heavy, hurtful punches while going backwards.  Any opponent that hopes to get close enough to hurt Masternak is going to need a dynamic defense and a lot of will.  As Teddy Atlas would say, you have to go through a bad neighborhood to get to him.

 

In the also ran category, Finnish gatekeeper Juho Haapoja slammed the gate shut, as expected, on middling Italian fringe prospect Francesco Versaci in Finland, as the Italian failed to answer the bell for the 4th round.

 

Hernandez’ performance against a mere #20 contender obviously hurts his standing.  Ross has proven credible in the past, as it’s at least arguably the case that he should have won against then-#1 Steve Cunningham, as well.  It’s legitimately a reasonable conclusion that he might be the best cruiserweight in the world.  However, he hasn’t conclusively beaten anyone near that level.  Nevertheless, he gets credit for beating Hernandez on my scorecard, at least.  Hernandez has fairly conclusively beaten Cunningham, but a struggle like that he had against Ross shows that his status as the best cruiserweight in the world is at least arguable.  Enter last week’s #2 Denis Lebedev.  Lebedev conclusively beat then-#2 Marco Huck (without getting credit for it), and has torn through a series of fringe contenders (including a #19-ranked Alexander Alekseev) without coming close to losing against anyone but Huck.  His resume is of similar quality to Hernandez’, but without any setbacks of any significance such as you’d find on the Cuban’s ledger.  As a result, Lebedev succeeds him at #1. 

 

With Steve Cunningham still deserving the spot right behind Lebedev’s former position (arguments for his removal due to moving up in weight aside), it would be impossible for Hernandez to fall too far- particularly since Ross has given a near-prime Cunningham as significant a problem in abbreviated action as he did Hernandez, who therefore settles in at #2.  Ross, having done everything but clearly beat Hernandez, jumps all the way up to claim the #3 spot, forcing Cunningham and everyone else rated #3-19 last week down one place apeice.  Even Masternak is not immune from this with his win, since he still has not fought anyone on the level that Fragomeni and Branco have wins and/or draws against.  Included in the wave of demotion is Danny Green, who exits the top 10 after 3 consecutive months within its confines.  You know it was a significant week of action when not one fighter on the list has the same rank at which he found himself the week before.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (1-137-137)
Last Fight: 4/4/2012- KO2 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/20/2012- vs. #9 Guillermo Jones
Lebedev will fight very inactive alphabet titleholder and former welterweight Guillermo Jones in Moscow this October.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (1-117-117)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez officially got the win over Ross, and I’m not quite willing to call it a robbery, but it’s pretty close to one.  I think you’d be pushing the limits of reason to give the fight to Hernandez, and I think that even if you managed to do so in terms of rounds won, you’d have to admit that Ross got the better of the fight overall.  Even Hernandez promoter Sauerland admits that Hernandez didn’t deserve a win, and believes a rematch is warranted.
3) Troy Ross (1-1-33)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ross deserved to beat Hernandez.  That’s all I’ve got to say (except the more detailed statement I made above).
4) Steve Cunningham (1-431-431)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- UD10 Jason Gavern (UNR) (at HW)
Next Fight: Unknown
So far so good for Cunningham at Heavyweight.  He’ll retain his ranking here until the anniversary of his February 4 cruiserweight fight, or until he schedules a heavyweight fight for a date after that.
5) Marco Huck (1-302-302)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 11/3/2012- vs. #10 Firat Arslan
Huck will fight Arslan next in early November.
6) Ola Afolabi (1-184-184)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
7) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (1-378-378)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- TKO11 #9 Danny Green
Next Fight: 9/22/2012- vs. #13 Francisco Palacios
It appears- according to Boxrec- that Wlodarczyk has finally consented to an alphabet-mandated rematch with Palacios. The first fight was close (I thought Palacios won), but unfortunately almost unwatchable, as well.
8) Lateef Kayode (1-16-96)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. ‘Roided up #3 Antonio Tarver
Next Fight: Unknown
Kayode originally was angling for a fight with Roy Jones, but now appears to be in discussions to fight Grigory Drozd in Siberia.
9) Guillermo Jones (1-103-103)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/20/2012- vs. #1 Denis Lebedev
Jones will travel to Moscow to put his alphabet title on the line against the much younger Lebedev.
10) Firat Arslan (1-19-62)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #12 Alexander Alekseev (Robbery)
Next Fight: 11/3/2012- vs. #5 Marco Huck
Long-since slated for a November rematch with Alekseev, Arslan was the subject of a surprise announcement that he would instead fight Marco Huck.
11) Danny Green (1-146)
Last Fight: 7/25/2012- TKO5 Danny Santiago (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
12) B.J. Flores (1-117)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO6 Hugo Pineda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores suffered a hand injury in training for his September 14 date, and is now on the shelf for the moment.
13) Francisco Palacios (1-77)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- UD8 Joell Godfrey (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/22/2012- vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
14) Giacobbe Fragomeni (1-201)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fragomeni appears to be showing his age after nearly losing to an even older man in Branco.
15) Silvio Branco (1-27)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
45 year old veteran Silvio Branco got what may have been his final hurrah with a close-fought draw with top 10-ranked Giacobbe Fragomeni.
16) Mateusz Masternak (1-25)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- TKO8 David Quinonero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Masternak put on a Masterful performance against a game but apparently limited Quinonero, but that was only the 2nd-best event of his week, as his son was born that same Wednesday.
17) Alexander Alekseev (1-88)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw*(MD12) vs. #19 Firat Arslan (robbery- should have been L)
Next Fight: 9/28/2012-  vs. Agron Dzila (UNR)
We know that Alekseev will fight journeyman Agron Dzila in September.  We also know he won’t be rematching Arslan in November as previously-expected.  It remains to be seen if that fight will eventually happen after Arslan fights Huck or not.
18) Enad Licina (1-117)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #17 Alexander Alexeev
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Dmitro Kucher (1-12)
Last Fight: 8/19/2012- TKO5 Geoffrey Battelo (UNR) (at HW)
Next Fight: 10/27/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Kucher will be fighting in Kiev on October 27 for some alphabet regional color-coded belt, but no announced opponent yet.
20) Pawel Glazewski (1-12)
Last Fight: 6/30/2012- L(Robbery) vs. Roy Jones, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/13/2012- vs. Sofiane Sebihi (UNR) (at LHW)
Glazewski’s opponent for October is decent Swiss journeyman Sofiane Sebihi, and the fight will be contested at the 175 pound limit.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Three notable fights can be found on two cards on Saturday.  In Wroclaw, Poland, #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk takes on #13 Francisco Palacios in a rematch of their close and controversial (and deathly boring) spring 2011 fight.  I scored that fight for Palacios 115-113, while two of the three judges disagreed.  Neither judge had a credible scorecard, incidentally.  Adrio Zannoni in particular scored a fight that was certainly between 115-113 Wlodarczyk and 117-111 Palacios as a 118-112 win for Wlodarczyk.  Regardless of the winner, I hope it’s a fair result this time around.

 

Meanwhile, in Kempton Park, South Africa, the semifinals of the “Super 8” Cruiserweight tournament plays out, with gatekeepers Zack Mwekassa  and Danie Venter doing battle.  The other fight originally figured to be a battle between the winners of first-round matchups between Israeli prospect/fringe contender Ran Nakash fighting seemingly overmatched fringe prospect Johnny Muller and Congolese gatekeeper Flo Simba fighting South African prospect Thabiso Mchunu.  When Nakash initially came in heavy and then bailed on the tournament entirely, it appeared Muller would fight the Simba-Mchunu winner after passing to the semis with a bye.   But after the Mchunu-Simba fight ended with an unnessesary and premature stoppage win for Mchunu, it appears that the promoter was able to prevail upon Muller to step aside in favor of a shot at an African Light Heavyweight title, allowing Simba and Mchunu to rematch on Saturday for a shot at the finals.

Cruiserweight: 2012, Jun 18-24

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on July 20, 2012 by danboxing
Australian Anthony McCracken- who deserved to be considered a top-50 cruiserweight despite his robbery loss to David Aloua in the spring- dropped a unanimous decision to solid journeyman Daniel Ammann on Friday.  While news reports speak of a competitive bout in which the scores didn’t reflect the action, there is no video available that I can find, and so I must give Ammann credit and let McCracken take a hit.

 

In Friday’s second upset, gatekeeper Faisal Arrami dropped a decision to low-to-mid-level journeyman Jeremy Ouanna in both men’s native France. 

 

But the real good stuff was brewing on Saturday in South Africa’s 8-man cruiserweight tournament, the Super 8.  Unfortunately, it was not without a pair of SNAFUs.  The tournament favorite (and only non-African participant), Ran Nakash of Israel, failed to make weight initially by more than 2 pounds.  He trimmed one of these pounds in a 2 hour grace period, but then refused to try any further.  Faced with forfeiting his purse if the fight continued, Nakash essentially bolted.  This gives Johnny Muller- the weakest entrant to the tournament- and effective bye into the second round. 

 

Now to the fights that actually happened:
Congolese prospect Zack Mwekassa wasted no time in dispatching South African journeyman Tshepang Mohale, winning by 1st-round TKO.

 

Previously unproven South African prospect Thabiso Mchunu impressed during the first round, getting favorite Flo Simba in some trouble.  This was the second SNAFU of the tournament, however, as referee Tony Nyangiwe, by all accounts, prematurely stopped the contest with a matter of seconds to go in the opening round.

 

And finally, heavyweight journeyman and former South African Olympian Danie Venter- who probably translates to roughly gatekeeper-level as a cruiserweight given the comparative thinness of the division- won a solid 8-round decision over journeyman and countryman Daniel Bruwer. 

 

Even without Nakash’s credentials feeding the system, and even with the Mchunu-Simba controversy, the eventual winner of this tournament figures to earn a top 20 ranking.  No changes to the rankings yet, though.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (20-104-104)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Since there’s been no news on Hernandez’ next opponent for months, I might as well start speculating.  For what it’s worth, the IBF has Polish prospect Pawel Kolodziej ranked as their top contender for his belt.  That’s a crazy ranking, but it could put Kolodziej in line for a shot soon.
2) Denis Lebedev (20-124-124)
Last Fight: 4/4/2012- KO2 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lebedev-Mormeck appears to be off.  Reporting on the subject has been virtually non-existent, so I can’t readily say why exactly.  But it appears that Lebedev may be fighting Guillermo Jones, instead.  WBA purse bid scheduled for June 29.
3) Steve Cunningham (3-418-418)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham said recently that although he would consider fighting Kayode in the event he beat Tarver (the fight ultimately ended in a draw), he doesn’t believe there are any other big fights available for him at Cruiser.  He is therefore likely to move up to heavyweight.
4) Marco Huck (3-289-289)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
A summary of where Huck is at: Afolabi understandably wants a third fight with him- this time in the UK.  Huck wants a rematch with Povetkin.  Meanwhile, Huck is laying the groundwork for hyping a potential fight with Alekseev following the Russian’s poor performance against Arslan, and also for a shot at Vitali.
5) Ola Afolabi (3-171-171)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi would like a third fight with Huck, this time in the UK, or a fight with Tarver or Kayode in the US.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (3-365-365)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- TKO11 #9 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
Originally rumored and long-since forgotten, the rematch with Palacios is now back on the table, and reportedly being negotiated for a September date.
7) Antonio Tarver (3-48-48)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. #13 Lateef Kayode
Next Fight: Unknown
Tarver retained his IBO belt with the Kayode draw, but it’s up in the air where he goes from here.  He often says he wants to be heavyweight champion, but he’s clearly not even a full-sized cruiser at this point considering how soft he looked in comparison to Kayode.
8) Lateef Kayode (3-3-83)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. #3 Antonio Tarver
Next Fight: Unknown
The first major fighter to agitate for a fight with Kayode after his draw with Tarver is B.J. Flores.
9) Guillermo Jones (3-90-90)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Reading news and googling Jones’ name, it appears that the Joell Godfrey fight is off, but nobody ever seems to have actually reported that fact.  The fight simply disappeared.  Jones has been ordered to make a mandatory defense against Denis Lebedev, with purse bids scheduled for June 29.
10) Firat Arslan (3-6-49)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #12 Alexander Alekseev (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
The EBU has ordered a rematch between Arslan-who was robbed- and Alekseev, who escaped with a gift draw.
11) Danny Green (3-133)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- L(TKO11) vs. #8 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: 7/25/2012- vs. Danny Santiago (UNR) (at LHW)
Green is dropping down in weight in hopes of luring the much-smaller Anthony Mundine into a rematch.
12) B.J. Flores (3-104)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO6 Hugo Pineda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores is chasing a fight with Kayode that failed to materialize last year.
13) Francisco Palacios (3-64)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- UD8 Joell Godfrey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The almost forgotten rumor of a rematch with Wlodarczyk is now back on the front-burner, with a deal being worked on for a September fight between the two.
14) Giacobbe Fragomeni (14-188)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fragomeni appears to be showing his age after nearly losing to an even older man in Branco.
15) Silvio Branco (14-14)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
45 year old veteran Silvio Branco got what may have been his final hurrah with a close-fought draw with top 10-ranked Giacobbe Fragomeni.
16) Mateusz Masternak (12-12)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD10 Hari Miles (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Alexander Alekseev (6-75)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw*(MD12) vs. #19 Firat Arslan (robbery- should have been L)
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck has randomly been talking smack, which seems like a contrived attempt at hyping a pretty pointless fight between the two of them.  A rematch with Arslan would seem like a pretty natural move- and the EBU has ordered just that.
18) Enad Licina (6-104)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #17 Alexander Alexeev
Next Fight: Unknown
May be getting a little shopworn.  He’s not a pushover by any means, but you’d have to be crazy to imagine him as a top-10-type guy.
19) Troy Ross (6-20)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD8 Lukasz Rusiewicz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Inactivity combined with poor competition are killing the career of top-level talent Ross, but at least he’s technically an active cruiserweight again, and thus eligible to remain in the rankings.
20) Grigory Drozd (12-19)
Last Fight: 2/8/2012- RTD9 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/20/2012- vs. Fabio Garrido (UNR)
After expected fights with William Joppy and Cesar Crenz both fell through with little explanation, Drozd will fight mediocre Brazilian journeyman Fabio Garrido on relatively short notice, in Moscow.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:  #20 Grigory Drozd takes on Brazilian journeyman Fabio Garrido Wednesday in Moscow.