Archive for David Price

Heavyweight: 2013, Feb 25- Mar 3

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

Heavyweight: 2013, Feb 18-24

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2013 by danboxing
#17 Denis Boytsov apparently wasn’t scared off by legal threats from his all but defunct promoter Universum, as he did indeed fight in Schwerin on Saturday.  His originally announced opponent, Marcelo Nasimento, fell through for some reason, and was replaced by slightly lower-level low-level journeyman Samir Kurtagic.  Boytsov didn’t exactly rock the house, it would appear, as Kurtagic won as many as two rounds on one judge’s scorecard.  Persistent hand injuries and terrible promotion have turned Boytsov from a guy being mentioned as one of the best hopes to dethrone the Klitschkos into a practically forgotten man.

 

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 (191-404-404)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Mariusz Wach (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Still no word on Wlad’s April 6 opponent, but his new trainer James Ali Bashir stated publicly that he believes Pulev and David Price to be the division’s only real threats.
1) Vitali Klitschko (228-228-228)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With 2013 in full swing, we’re still waiting on Vitali’s decision to fight on or retire.
2) David Haye (32-32-32)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Haye has indicated that a fight with Vitali may be the only fight that would lure him away from re-retiring. 
3) Steve Cunningham (9-9-9)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- L (SD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
The judges denied him what should have been a shot at Kubrat Pulev by robbing him against Adamek, but there appears to be justice in the world, as Cunningham appears likely to get a comparable opponent in #6 Tyson Fury, on April 20.  The likely fight would be on big NBC during the afternoon, from MSG.
4) Alexander Povetkin (32-278-278)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO2 Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlad appears to be avoiding Povetkin, in something of a role-reversal.  Povetkin’s team is fighting it, but Wlad has successfully requested a voluntary defense before having to fight him.
5) Tomasz Adamek (9-148-148)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- W (SD12)* vs. CW #4 Steve Cunningham (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Adamek is acting erratic lately, I think it’s fair to say.  First he gets busted drunk driving, and now he has turned down the Pulev shot that he “won” by “beating” Cunningham, claiming to have a much more lucrative offer to fight an unknown opponent in Poland- an offer that all the major Polish networks claim to have no part of.
6) Tyson Fury (9-83-83)
Last Fight: 12/1/2012- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Fury is looking to fight in the US on April 20, with the opponent likely being the formidable Steve Cunningham.
7) Eddie Chambers (9-36-36)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers appeared set to fight Lebedev at cruiserweight, but it now appears that Lebedev will fight Guillermo Jones, instead.
8) Kubrat Pulev (9-42-119)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With Adamek running scared, Pulev will reportedly defend his EBU title in March or April.  Next, he might expect either a mandatory shot at Wlad or- more likely- an eliminator against Adamek’s replacement, who rumor has it may be prospect and Adamek stablemate Bryant Jennings.
9) Dereck Chisora (9-64-127)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- L(TKO5) vs. David Haye (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/16/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chisora is penciled in for the big Frank Warren event on 3/16 in London.  The only obstacles at this point are securing an opponent and getting his license back.
10) Johnathon Banks (9-14-14)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- TKO2 #11 Seth Mitchell

Next Fight: Unknown
Banks broke his thumb in sparring, scuttling the Mitchell rematch.
11) Odlanier Solis (9-143)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD12 Konstantin Airich (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Solis’ promoter- with whom he seems to have healed a major rift- says they’re looking at 3/22 for the big Cuban’s return, in Berlin.
12) Marco Huck (9-52)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- W*(UD12) vs. CW #10 Firat Arslan (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck admits to not wanting the trilogy fight with Afolabi, but intends to go forward with it in late March or early April.  Since his last heavyweight fight was February 25, he will be removed when I publish my first update after that date, or my first update after that fight is announced at cruiser, whichever comes first.
13) Robert Helenius (9-143)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- W*(UD10) vs. Sherman Williams (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Helenius will reportedly fight Michael Sprott next, but reports that it was done for March 2 have been vehemently denied by Sauerland.
14) Alexander Dimitrenko (5-110)
Last Fight: 12/21/2012- UD8 Samir Kurtagic (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/9/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Dimitrenko is scheduled to return on March 9 in Hamburg.
15) Tony Thompson (5-143)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- L(TKO6) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 2/23/2013- vs. David Price (UNR)
After failing to take the title from Wlad, Thompson will serve as a stepping stone to a top 10 ranking for sensational English giant David Price in a February fight in Liverpool- or at least he will if he plays along with Price’s plan.
16) Chris Arreola (5-205)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/9/2013- vs. Bermane Stiverne (UNR)
Arreola-Stiverne has been delayed yet again- this time likely owing to Andre Ward’s injury.  It will now be March 9 in Costa Mesa, California.
17) Denis Boytsov (5-192)
Last Fight: 2/17/2013- UD8 Samir Kurtagic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov appears to have won the battle of wills with Universum over whether he gets to fight or not.  Now the trick will be getting him in against worthwhile opposition.
18) Jean-Marc Mormeck (5-143)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- L(TKO4) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Mormeck reports a bad shoulder injury while training for his cruiserweight fight with Wlodarczyk.  He will be unable to train for two months- at which point he’ll have been inactive for over a year.  Theoretically he could still schedule a heavyweight fight during that period, so he will retain his ranking until March, if only as a formality.
19) Vyacheslav Glazkov (5-9)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- RTD4 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/23/2013- vs. Malik Scott (UNR)
Fresh off the Hamer win, Glazkov has an intriguing match with undefeated prospect Malik Scott, a 32 year old who took 3 years off leading up to 2012.
20) Bermane Stiverne (5-5)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- UD8 Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/9/2013- vs. #16 Chris Arreola
Stiverne’s fight with Arreola is now scheduled for 3/9.  I haven’t been counting, but this is at least the 3rd or 4th scheduled date for the fight.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:  Welcome to a rather busy week at Heavyweight.

 

Tuesday: Gatekeeper-level Czech Ondrej Pala fights a weak and inexperienced Belorussian journeyman named Yuri Bihoutseu in Minsk, Belarus.

 

Friday: In Galati, Romania, Syrian fringe contender and recent Vitali Klitschko victim Manuel Charr takes on fellow one-loss prospect Yakup Saglam of Turkey.  Saglam will be coming off a 22-month layoff since his last fight, whereas Charr scored a quick stoppage over fast-sliding journeyman Konstantin Airich just 2 months ago.

 

Saturday: 2 fights and a tournament, all with the potential to affect the rankings:

 

In Liverpool, local undefeated and sensational giant/prospect David Price takes a huge step up against American #15 contender Tony Thompson.  This will be Price’s first foray into top 25 opposition.  If he’s as good as he’s looked in scoring 9 consecutive knockouts (even as his competition has improved), Price will likely be too quick for the relatively slow and robotic Thompson, and could make it an early night.  If not, Thompson might be able to find him with his slow freight trains and…well…make it an early night.  Either way, it’s a very good crossroads fight that will likely end in a knockout.

 

Meanwhile, in London, we’ve got another installment of Prizefighter International Heavyweights on our hands.  The contestants this time around include 3 underdogs from the UK: London native Audley Harrison, a former Olympic gold medalist who could only very briefly claim to be anything more than a fringe contender in the pro ranks, and who- at 41- is very clearly a mere journeyman at this stage; Martin Rogan of Belfast, also 41 and a winner of a Brits-only version of Prizefighter back in 2008 who won a razor-thin points decision over Harrison and stopped Commonwealth Champion Matt Skelton in his next two fights before being stopped in back-to-back fights with Sam Sexton and recently being destroyed by a randomly left-handed version of Tyson Fury; and London’s Ian Lewison, just 6-1-1 at 31 years old, who has never beaten anyone remotely decent, and who suffered a draw against a 2-2 fighter that’s gone 7-16 since, and a loss to a man that was winless in his previous 9 fights.  The US contributes gatekeeper Travis Walker and high-level journeyman Derric Rossy.  From Denmark comes career journeyman Claus Bertino, who is approximately on the same level as Lewison.  From Germany, Timo Hoffmann.  He was a respectable fringe contender for the majority of the 2000s, but at 38 he’s clearly a mere journeyman.  Rounding out the field is Polish fringe contender Albert Sosnowski, who was robbed of a chance at the finals in the last installment of the International Heavyweight Prizefighter.

 

I’m not a gambling man, nor am I particularly confident in my skills of prognostication, but here’s how I would handicap the field, expressed in a percentage chance of winning: Sosnowski- 35%, Walker- 31%, Rossy- 14%, Hoffmann- 6%, Harrison- 6%, Rogan- 4%, Bertino- 2%, Lewison- 2%.  Despite the 3-round format of Prizefighter fights, when you consider that there are 2 top 50 fighters in the field and another man one decent win away from that status, there seems a better than even chance for the winner to take a top 20 spot.

 

Last but not least, #19 Vyacheslav Glazkov takes on Philadelphia’s Malik Scott in a battle of undefeated prospects in Huntington, New York.

Heavyweight: 2012, Dec 3-9

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on December 5, 2012 by danboxing
All-England week in the heavyweight division last week, although one of the fights was in Northern Ireland.  There, #5 Tyson Fury completely dominated a mostly passive Kevin Johnson.  Johnson came alive and put on an impressive performance against fringe contender Alex Leapai in the spring, but has looked rather lazy in his other four significant fights- against Fury, Vitali Klitschko, Albert Sosnowski, and Tor Hamer.  In each of those efforts, he neither exhibited a decent workrate nor sat down on his punches- giving him little chance to win (although the judges inexplicably gave him the 3-round decision over Sosnowski).  Fury did more to hurt his own cause than Johnson did, as only a point deduction for hitting on the break prevented him from pocketing every round.

 

Meanwhile, fellow undefeated British giant David Price was in action in his native Liverpool, where he extended his impressive streak to 9 straight knockouts, even as his competition has improved.  He knocked out 45 year-old Matt Skelton- who despite his age is still a top-level journeyman- in just 2 rounds.  This is his second defense of the BBBofC British title belt, which I believe means that he now gets to keep the actual belt even after he loses the title.  Nevermind that there are at 3 other British fighters who have accomplished more than him in Tyson Fury, David Haye, and Dereck Chisora.

 

No changes to the rankings.  Price’s opponent wasn’t quite good enough to support any kind of rating, and Fury is already too high up to benefit significantly from a gatekeeper like Johnson.  Povetkin’s overall body of work is still far superior.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (180-393-393)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Mariusz Wach (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Tyson Fury says that Wlad has agreed to fight him probably in mid-2013.  Fury’s impression is that Wlad will likely fight Povetkin first in March.  The latter is consistent with previous reports that Wlad’s March opponent prospects included Povetkin and Boytsov.  No statement either way from the Klitschko camp yet.
1) Vitali Klitschko (217-217-217)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vitali says he’ll decide whether to retire or fight on by December 17.
2) David Haye (21-21-21)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Haye has indicated that a fight with Vitali may be the only fight that would lure him away from re-retiring.  He may get his wish, as there is now talk of a March 2013 matchup.
3) Tomasz Adamek (21-137-137)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO5 Travis Walker (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/22/2012- vs. CW #4 Steve Cunningham
Originally scheduled to fight Odlanier Solis, Adamek will instead fight a rematch of his classic cruiserweight title fight of 4 years ago when he fights Steve Cunningham in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, after Solis pulled out.
4) Alexander Povetkin (21-267-267)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO2 Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There are currently rumors floating around to the effect that Povetkin has emerged as the frontrunner for the March shot at Wlad.
5) Tyson Fury (5-72-72)
Last Fight: 12/1/2012- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury’s promoter says that David Price has made a non-serious offer to fight him.  In reality, the money probably doesn’t matter.   Fury could sit around eating Cheetos indefinitely and still get a big-money Klitschko shot in 2013.  The same is not true if he loses to Price.  If he loses to Klitschko, he can probably still fight Price later.
6) Eddie Chambers (5-25-25)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers has announced he’ll be moving down to cruiserweight.  He’ll stay rated here for the time being, until he’s been inactive at heavyweight for a year or schedules a cruiserweight fight for after that time.
7) Kubrat Pulev (5-31-108)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev may be in for a fight with the Adamek-Cunningham winner, or may go straight to a shot at Wlad in early 2013.
8) Dereck Chisora (5-53-116)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- L(TKO5) vs. David Haye (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chisora is in the process of re-applying for his British license, and if successful, may very well fight David Price next.
9) Johnathon Banks (3-3-3)

Last Fight: 11/17/2012- TKO2 #11 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Seth Mitchell apparently plans to exercise a rematch clause for a return bout with Banks.  If the rematch is called off by Mitchell or is anything but immediate, Banks is interested in Adamek, Povetkin, as well as the Arreola-Stiverne winner.  
10) Odlanier Solis (3-5-132)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD12 Konstantin Airich (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis pulled out of his December 22 fight with Adamek, apparently due to severe differences with his Turkish promoter Ahmet Oner, from whom he is apparently trying to separate himself.  Solis’ scheduling has been notoriously unreliable under Oner ever since he injured his knee against Vitali Klitschko.
11) Marco Huck (3-41)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- W*(UD12) vs. CW #10 Firat Arslan (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck will be fighting a trilogy with Afolabi, with the last fight being in March, when Afolabi is likely to get robbed in Germany.
12) Robert Helenius (4-132)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- W*(UD10) vs. Sherman Williams (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Barely squeaked by after a comatose performance against journeyman Williams.  The judges had it pretty wide, but make no mistake- it was a 1 or 2 point either way kind of fight.
13) Ruslan Chagaev (21-316)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- TKO7 Werner Kreiskott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
A real mess surrounding what was supposed to be a 12/1 fight with Mike Perez.  First Perez pulled out with a bum shoulder and Chagaev was set to face late replacement Yakup Saglam.  But then Chagaev pulled out as well, only to be replaced on two days’ notice by Firat Arslan, fighting somebody totally different on two days’ notice.  But then Arslan pulled out on the day of the fight.
14) Alexander Dimitrenko (21-99)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- L(KO11) vs. #17 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko is now free of his Universum contract, and has a new trainer in Tommy Brooks.  No prospective fights yet, though.
15) Tony Thompson (21-132)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- L(TKO6) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
In case any of you thought the first fight was a fluke, now you know for sure: Thompson really isn’t as good as Wlad Klitschko.
16) Chris Arreola (21-194)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/26/2013- vs. #19 Bermane Stiverne
As I long expected, Don King wasn’t able to finalize the fight in Venezuela.  Dan Goossen will now stage the fight as the co-feature to Ward-Pavlik in L.A., January 26.
17) Denis Boytsov (21-181)
Last Fight: 4/13/2012- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov very well may remain a candidate to fight Wlad in March, but it now appears that Povetkin may have the inside track.  It’s not out of the question, as far as I know, that he might fight Fury- who is also in line for a fight with Wlad later in the year.  The two had briefly been scheduled to do just that, but Boytsov got cold feet.
18) Jean-Marc Mormeck (21-132)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- L(TKO4) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 12/22/2012- vs. CW #6 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (at CW)
Wlodarczyk has now confirmed that he will indeed be fighting Mormeck in December.
19) Bermane Stiverne (21-76)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- UD8 Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/26/2013- vs. #16 Chris Arreola
See Arreola’s notes above.
20) Edmund Gerber (21-31)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD8 Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/15/2012- vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Gerber will fight a rematch with Sprott on the Abraham-Bouadla undercard.  Their first fight ended inconclusively when referee Gerhard Sigl atrociously stopped the fight following a flash knockdown of Sprott in a fight the Brit had been controlling.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Saturday in Philadelphia, undefeated local prospect Bryant Jennings takes on decent Tongan journeyman Bowie Tupou.  The fight will be televised on NBC Sports Network.

Heavyweight: 2012, Nov 26- Dec 2

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 26, 2012 by danboxing
No heavyweight fights of note to report on from last week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (179-392-392)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Mariusz Wach (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Tyson Fury says that Wlad has agreed to fight him probably in mid-2013.  Fury’s impression is that Wlad will likely fight Povetkin first in March.  The latter is consistent with previous reports that Wlad’s March opponent prospects included Povetkin and Boytsov.  No statement either way from the Klitschko camp yet.
1) Vitali Klitschko (216-216-216)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vitali says he’ll decide whether to retire or fight on by December 17.
2) David Haye (20-20-20)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Haye has indicated that a fight with Vitali may be the only fight that would lure him away from re-retiring.  He may get his wish, as there is now talk of a March 2013 matchup.
3) Tomasz Adamek (20-136-136)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO5 Travis Walker (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/22/2012- vs. CW #4 Steve Cunningham
Originally scheduled to fight Odlanier Solis, Adamek will instead fight a rematch of his classic cruiserweight title fight of 4 years ago when he fights Steve Cunningham in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, after Solis pulled out.
4) Alexander Povetkin (20-266-266)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO2 Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There are currently rumors floating around to the effect that Povetkin has emerged as the frontrunner for the March shot at Wlad.
5) Tyson Fury (4-71-71)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- TKO5 Vinny Maddalone (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/1/2012- vs. Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Fury says that Wlad has orally agreed to fight him, likely in mid-2013.  But Fury has to get by Kevin Johnson first.
6) Eddie Chambers (4-24-24)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers has announced he’ll be moving down to cruiserweight.  He’ll stay rated here for the time being, until he’s been inactive at heavyweight for a year or schedules a cruiserweight fight for after that time.
7) Kubrat Pulev (4-30-107)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev may be in for a fight with the Adamek-Cunningham winner, or may go straight to a shot at Wlad in early 2013.
8) Dereck Chisora (4-52-115)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- L(TKO5) vs. David Haye (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The Haye loss will be a huge setback for the already underrated Chisora.  Many will forget that he did clearly beat Helenius.
9) Johnathon Banks (2-2-2)

Last Fight: 11/17/2012- TKO2 #11 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Seth Mitchell apparently plans to exercise a rematch clause for a return bout with Banks.  If the rematch is called off by Mitchell or is anything but immediate, Banks is interested in Adamek, Povetkin, as well as the Arreola-Stiverne winner.  
10) Odlanier Solis (2-4-131)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD12 Konstantin Airich (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis pulled out of his December 22 fight with Adamek, apparently due to severe differences with his Turkish promoter Ahmet Oner, from whom he is apparently trying to separate himself.  Solis’ scheduling has been notoriously unreliable under Oner ever since he injured his knee against Vitali Klitschko.
11) Marco Huck (2-40)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- W*(UD12) vs. CW #10 Firat Arslan (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck will be fighting a trilogy with Afolabi, with the last fight being in March, when Afolabi is likely to get robbed in Germany.
12) Robert Helenius (3-131)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- W*(UD10) vs. Sherman Williams (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Barely squeaked by after a comatose performance against journeyman Williams.  The judges had it pretty wide, but make no mistake- it was a 1 or 2 point either way kind of fight.
13) Ruslan Chagaev (20-315)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- TKO7 Werner Kreiskott (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/1/2012- vs. Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Unfortunately the really interesting crossroads fight between Chagaev and undefeated Cuban prospect Mike Perez was canceled when Perez came down with a shoulder injury a week before the fight.  Chagaev will now fight Turkish fringe prospect Yakup Saglam in what figures to be a much easier fight.
14) Alexander Dimitrenko (20-98)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- L(KO11) vs. #17 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite showing the heart of a quitter and the consistency of a random number generator against Pulev, Dimitrenko hangs on to a solid ranking because the other guys in his tier haven’t been winning meaningful fights lately.
15) Tony Thompson (20-131)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- L(TKO6) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
In case any of you thought the first fight was a fluke, now you know for sure: Thompson really isn’t as good as Wlad Klitschko.
16) Chris Arreola (20-193)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/26/2013- vs. #19 Bermane Stiverne
As I long expected, Don King wasn’t able to finalize the fight in Venezuela.  Dan Goossen will now stage the fight as the co-feature to Ward-Pavlik in L.A., January 26.
17) Denis Boytsov (20-180)
Last Fight: 4/13/2012- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov very well may remain a candidate to fight Wlad in March, but it now appears that Povetkin may have the inside track.  It’s not out of the question, as far as I know, that he might fight Fury- who is also in line for a fight with Wlad later in the year.  The two had briefly been scheduled to do just that, but Boytsov got cold feet.
18) Jean-Marc Mormeck (20-131)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- L(TKO4) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 12/22/2012- vs. CW #6 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (at CW)
Wlodarczyk has now confirmed that he will indeed be fighting Mormeck in December.
19) Bermane Stiverne (20-75)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- UD8 Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/26/2013- vs. #16 Chris Arreola
See Arreola’s notes above.
20) Edmund Gerber (20-30)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD8 Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Had little problem with fat little journeyman Darnell Wilson, except a big scare in the closing seconds of round 1.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: England’s two rising heavyweights- who also happen to be bitter rivals- are both in action this weekend.  Knockout sensation David Price fights quality journeyman Matt Skelton in Price’s native Liverpool on Friday, while on Saturday, #5 Tyson Fury takes on American Kevin Johnson, who is either a prospect or a gatekeeper depending on how you view his record.  Johnson was briefly in the top 20 after stopping Alex Leapai in April, but squandered that success in the British Prizefighter International Heavyweights tournament, when he lost to Tor Hamer and should have lost to Albert Sosnowski in the finals and semis, respectively.  In fairness, those were merely 3-round fights and were his second and third fights of the night, so I hesitate to draw Earth-shattering conclusions from those results.

Heavyweight: 2012, Oct 15-21

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 29, 2012 by danboxing
Fringe contending prospect Tor Hamer fought on the non-televised Shobox undercard in St. Charles, Missouri on Friday, stopping veteran journeyman Dominique Alexander in the second round.  I was ringside at the card, but unfortunately missed this fight. For some reason Hamer’s fight led off the entire card very early in the evening, and I arrived about 5 minutes late when it was already over.

 

In Liverpool, undefeated and sensational local giant David Price detonated the floundering hull that once was Olympic gold medalist Audley Harrison just under halfway through the first round, brutally knocking him out and very possibly ending his disappointing pro career.

 

Unfortunately for Price, inactivity coupled with an awful performance against David Haye in his last fight have conspired to render Harrison a mere journeyman at this point, and thus Price will make no inroads into the rankings this week.  Hamer, too, merely held serve.  No changes this week.

 

As a side note, #17 Denis Boytsov was scheduled to fight Konstantin Airich this week, but had to pull out on short notice with an illness.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (173-386-386)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- TKO6 #11 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 11/10/2012- vs. Mariusz Wach (UNR)
Klitschko-Wach is now a done deal for November 10.  Wach- a Polish prospect- is in no way worthy of a shot at the legitimate title yet, but is considered by many to be a dangerous fighter anyway due to his size and power.
1) Vitali Klitschko (210-210-210)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With the early indications being that Vitali’s silly sparring match with Charr being his last fight, there is now plenty of buzz that he might fight Haye in March of next year.  His upcoming election for the Kiev mayoral race is an obvious potential factor.
2) David Haye (14-14-14)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Haye has indicated that a fight with Vitali may be the only fight that would lure him away from re-retiring.  He may get his wish, as there is now talk of a March 2013 matchup.
3) Tomasz Adamek (14-130-130)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO5 Travis Walker (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/22/2012- vs. #11 Odlanier Solis
Solis has decided to scrap his tune-up fight with Leif Larsen, and will go straight to Adamek.
4) Alexander Povetkin (14-260-260)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO2 Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin and his team have named Wlad, Fury, and Adamek as options for fights in the near future.  Any of those would be great, unlike many of his recent choices.
5) Marco Huck (14-34-34)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. CW #7 Ola Afolabi (at CW)
Next Fight: 11/3/2012- vs. CW #10 Firat Arslan (at CW)
Huck just signed for an alphabet defense against Arslan, kind of out of nowhere.
6) Tyson Fury (14-65-65)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- TKO5 Vinny Maddalone (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/1/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Unable to secure a fight with Chagaev, Fury has apparently been turned down by David Haye, too.  An offer was apparently made for the two to meet in Belfast on December 1.  It appears the rest of the division is ducking Fury almost as blatantly as Fury is ducking David Price.
7) Eddie Chambers (18-18-18)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Tyson Fury said he offered Chambers a fight on December 1.  I’m not sure if Chambers is healthy again, or if he’s not and that’s part of the reason he said no.
8) Kubrat Pulev (3-24-101)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev may be in for a fight with the Adamek-Solis winner, or may go straight to a shot at Wlad in early 2013.
9) Dereck Chisora (3-46-109)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- L(TKO5) vs. David Haye (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The Haye loss will be a huge setback for the already underrated Chisora.  Many will forget that he did clearly beat Helenius.
10) Robert Helenius (3-81-125)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- W*(SD12) vs. #18 Dereck Chisora (Robbery)
Next Fight: 11/10/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Helenius is scheduled to return in early November.  The opponent may be fello Finn Jarno Rosberg.  Rosberg is technically undefeated, but I randomly saw one of his fights back in January in which he deserved a draw with truly awful Latvian Pavels Dolgovs and was gifted a win.  Should be a gimme for Helenius.
11) Odlanier Solis (14-125)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD12 Konstantin Airich (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/22/2012- vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Solis saw no point in fighting Leif Larsen as a tune-up, and canceled his scheduled fight with him in Madrid, preferring instead to go straight to the excellent matchup with Adamek in December.
12) Seth Mitchell (14-45)
Last Fight: 4/28/2012- TKO3 Chazz Witherspoon (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/17/2012- vs. Johnathon Banks (UNR)
Not sure why, but Mitchell’s return has been moved back about 6 weeks to November 17.
13) Ruslan Chagaev (14-309)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- TKO7 Werner Kreiskott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chagaev has a fight with Tyson Fury on the table at last check, but is currently looking for a new trainer after his split with Universum.
14) Alexander Dimitrenko (14-92)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- L(KO11) vs. #17 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite showing the heart of a quitter and the consistency of a random number generator against Pulev, Dimitrenko hangs on to a solid ranking because the other guys in his tier haven’t been winning meaningful fights lately.
15) Tony Thompson (14-125)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- L(TKO6) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
In case any of you thought the first fight was a fluke, now you know for sure: Thompson really isn’t as good as Wlad Klitschko.
16) Chris Arreola (14-187)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/10/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Don King just laid down big money on the Arreola-Stiverne purse bid.  Boxrec has Arreola back on 11/10 against a TBA opponent, but look for that to get bumped back, as the Stiverne fight is more likely for late November.
17) Denis Boytsov (14-174)
Last Fight: 4/13/2012- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Another in a long list of setbacks in Boytsov’s career, as he fell ill and had to pull out of the Airich fight at the last minute.
18) Jean-Marc Mormeck (14-125)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- L(TKO4) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Bermane Stiverne (14-69)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- UD8 Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Arreola’s notes above.
20) Edmund Gerber (14-24)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- TKO4* Michael Sprott (UNR) (terrible stoppage)
Next Fight: Unknown
Gerber was losing to Sprott when he scored a knockdown.  The ref then ended the fight because he’s in the tank for Gerber’s team.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: No notable heavyweights in action this week.

Heavyweight: 2012, Oct 8-14

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Heavyweight: 2012, May 21-27

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Heavyweight: 2012, May 14-20

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on May 22, 2012 by danboxing
Juan Carlos Gomez won an eight-round decision on the Arslan-Alexeev card on Friday.  I stand corrected, as I thought there was little chance the oft-inactive Gomez would actually be fighting just three weeks after his last win when I saw that he was scheduled to fight an opponent to be announced.  That opponent was heavily-recycled journeyman Maxim Pedyura of the Ukraine.  There has been very little mention of this fight in news sources, and I skipped watching the undercard because of a lack of interesting matchups, so it’s just a generic, rather unimportant win for Gomez as I see it.  No changes to the rankings.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (151-364-364)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- TKO4 #16 Jean-Marc Mormeck
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. #9 Tony Thompson
Wlad will be defending the title against #9 Tony Thompson in what will likely be another ho-hum matchup for the Champ.  On the bright side, Thompson did put up a relatively spirited challenge the last time the two met in 2008.
1) Vitali Klitschko (188-188-188)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Now that Haye is fighting Chisora, Vitali may be looking for another opponent.  Perhaps one of his last two opponents ever.
2) Alexander Povetkin (38-238-238)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- W*(MD12) vs. CW #5 Marco Huck
Next Fight: 7/14/2012- vs. Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Povetkin got the benefit of the doubt in a fight he was dangerously close to losing against big underdog Marco Huck.  A rematch is widely desired and eminently deserved, but Povetkin is fighting HASIM RAHMAN next.  Shame on the WBA for ordering such a ridiculous mandatory fight for its ridiculous title, and shame on Povetkin for being their pawn.
3) Tomasz Adamek (9-108-108)
Last Fight: 3/24/2012- UD10 Nagy Aguilera (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/16/2012- vs. Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Big news!  Eddie Chambers- who was removed for inactivity from this very spot in the rankings not long ago- will be fighting Adamek in June on NBC Sports.  The stakes will of course be the #2 spot, which Povetkin now appears to be merely warming for the winner.  That is, if Chambers doesn’t withdraw from a 3rd consecutive bout.
4) Marco Huck (9-12-12)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. CW #7 Ola Afolabi (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Shaky performance against Afolabi, but there’s no rule saying he has to be the #1 or #2 Cruiser in order to be the #4 heavyweight.  If there was, he wouldn’t be here in the first place.
5) Tyson Fury (9-43-43)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- TKO5 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After a fairly impressive left-handed win over Martin Rogan, Fury appears interested in making a fight with Wlad or Alexander Povetkin.
6) Dereck Chisora (9-24-87)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(UD12) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: 7/14/2012- vs. David Haye (UNR)
The British Board is bitterly opposed to this bout- which they refuse to license- but apparently it is going forward anyway.  Get ready for a highly controversial blood-feud between Chisora and recent brawl opponent David Haye, July 14 in London.
7) Robert Helenius (9-59-103)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- W*(SD12) vs. #18 Dereck Chisora (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
In addition to his injured hand suffered in the Chisora bout, Helenius says he was fighting with an injured shoulder.  Now comes the news that he will require surgery for that injury, and will be out until at least the fall.  His doctors say there is a chance it will never heal well enough for boxing.
8) Kubrat Pulev (2-2-79)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- KO11 #12 Alexander Dimitrenko
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev showed determination if nothing else in wearing down Dimitrenko to a late knockout.
9) Tony Thompson (9-103-103)
Last Fight: 5/27/2011- TKO3 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Wladimir Klitschko’s comments, above.
10) Odlanier Solis (9-9-103)
Last Fight: 3/19/2011- L (TKO1) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: 5/19/2012- vs. Konstantin Airich (UNR)
Solis will fight Kazakh-born German fringe contender Konstantin Airich in Texas on 5/19.  That’s a pretty tough opponent given the layoff and physical problems from which Solis is trying to rebound.  But if he does well, it’s a great choice.
11) Seth Mitchell (9-23)
Last Fight: 4/28/2012- TKO3 Chazz Witherspoon (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Now that Wlad is actively dropping his name as a possible next opponent, Mitchell is showing he’s likely going to take the Adamek approach: fight low-quality opponents that happen to be really tall so that you can pretend you’re trying to prepare yourself for Wlad, when what you’re really doing is waiting around for your big payday with little risk.  Even the specific opponent being discussed is familiar to that scenario- Michael Grant.
12) Ruslan Chagaev (2-287)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO3 Billy Zumbrun (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The Valuev win is now over 5 years old, and Chagaev’s ranking has suffered as a result.
13) Alexander Dimitrenko (2-70)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- L(KO11) vs. #17 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite showing the heart of a quitter and the consistency of a random number generator against Pulev, Dimitrenko hangs on to a solid ranking because the other guys in his tier haven’t been winning meaningful fights lately.
14) Chris Arreola (2-165)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The Champ wants to return to the US in November for the first time since ’08.  Arreola and Mitchell are the names being tossed around by the Klitschko camp at the moment.
15) Denis Boytsov (2-152)
Last Fight: 4/13/2012- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov continued his slow walk to a title shot with an easy win over journeyman Dominick Guinn.
16) Jean-Marc Mormeck (2-103)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- L(TKO4) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
The word is Mormeck might be dropping back to cruiser for the first time since 2007 to fight Denis Lebedev.  No deal yet, but they have agreed on the prospective date: June 29, in Paris.
17) Bermane Stiverne (2-47)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- UD8 Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne had a ho-hum performance against an opponent that should never have been considered adequate after he was off for 10 months.
18) Edmund Gerber (2-2)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- UD8 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most scintillating effort against a passive Harris, but the old man is what passes for a fringe contender in this division at the moment, and thus Gerber has built himself a ranking.
19) Franklin Lawrence (2-51)
Last Fight: 10/28/2011- TKO2 Raymond Ochieng (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/18/2012- vs. Mike Mollo (UNR)
Lawrence will fight journeyman and former fringe contender Mike Mollo in Dover, Delaware on May 18.
20) Kevin Johnson (2-7)
Last Fight: 4/1/2012- TKO9 Alex Leapai (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Johnson put the cart before the horse by fighting the division’s #1 contender before he’d beaten anyone in the top 50.  Now he’s done the latter at last, and we’ll see if he starts progressing towards the former again.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 4 notable fights this week:
Wednesday: Undefeated Italian prospect Francesco Pianeta takes on his best opponent in about 18 months when he takes on very old but still halfway serviceable gatekeeper Oliver McCall, who is 47.  That’s in Frankfurt, Germany.

 

Saturday: In Liverpool, local undefeated giant David Price battles former Commonwealth champion and prior British title challenger Sam Sexton for the British title that Tyson Fury vacated essentially out of an unwillingness to fight Price.  Across the pond in Pharr, Texas, #10 Odlanier Solis hopes his heavily-surgerized knee holds up against capable gatekeeper Konstantin Airich.  This is the Cuban’s first fight in exactly 14 months.  Also, in Dover, Delaware, #19 Franklin Lawrence keeps busy against Illinois journeyman and one-time fringe contender Mike Mollo.