Archive for Denis Grachev

Light Heavyweight: 2014, Mar 17-23

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

The Week Ahead: No meaningful action this week.

Light Heavyweight: 2014, Mar 10-16

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Light Heavyweight: 2013, Jul 15-21

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on July 18, 2013 by danboxing
#13 Super Middleweight Edwin Rodriguez moved up to a catchweight of 171.5 like a mercenary, and left with his bounty on Saturday in Monte Carlo.  Rodriguez threw wild winging punches and cut through #16 Denis Grachev like butter, scoring 2 knockdowns and a stoppage in the very first round.  Granted, the first knockdown was a clubbing shot entirely to the back of the head, but that doesn’t take away from Rodriguez’s dominance.  It’s really the first performance against any kind of a decent fighter in which I can honestly say he looked good.  Before now, his three biggest wins were all fights he should have lost in my opinion.

 

The same night in Dresden, gatekeeper Robin Krasniqi struggled to an 8-round decision over low-level veteran journeyman Tomas Adamek of the Czech Republic.  Two of the judges had it a two-point fight, with the other giving Krasniqi a 3-point margin.

 

Despite the catchweight and the fact that Rodriguez has no plans to fight at 175 again anytime soon, he has earned a ranking and will hold one until it’s been a year since he’s competed in the division.  He checks in at #13, while Grachev- despite the short night he suffered- drops just one place to #17.  Rodriguez’s arrival forces Glen Johnson out after just a week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (45-45-45)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 Champ Chad Dawson (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward has offers more or less on the table to fight Froch or Stevenson.  He is trying to split with promoter Dan Goossen, though, which could conceivably complicate matters.
1) Adonis Stevenson (6-6-6)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- TKO1 #1 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevenson and Hopkins reportedly wanted to fight each other, but HBO threw a tantrum and won’t do business with Hopkins because he’s a Golden Boy fighter.  Way to hurt the sport, HBO.  We really needed more of that.  In the meantime, the WBC has scheduled a purse bid for Stevenson-Bellew on July 26, while Stevenson’s promoter says a volunatary defense against Tavoris Cloud is likely for the fall.
2) Bernard Hopkins (45-371-371)
Last Fight: 3/9/2012- UD12 #6 Tavoris Cloud
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat’s visa issue appears to have been cleared up, and there is talk of the fight being rescheduled for September 21.  Kovalev was briefly the mandatory, but he has signed to fight Cleverly.
3) Sergey Kovalev (5-26-26)
Last Fight: 6/14/2013- TKO3 #10 Cornelius White
Next Fight: 8/17/2013- vs. #8 Nathan Cleverly
Kovalev had the inside track to fight Hopkins, but instead opted for a sure thing against Cleverly.
4) Chad Dawson (5-372-372)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L(TKO1) vs. SMW #6 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Dawson’s career is suddenly in an all-out tailspin just 2 fights after winning the lineal title from Hopkins.
5) Tony Bellew (5-92-92)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- UD12 #7 Isaac Chilemba
Next Fight: Unknown
Bellew’s ultimate triumph over Chilemba has now set him up with a mandatory shot at Stevenson, which would continue the trend of the best fighting the best at 175.  Purse bids are scheduled for July 26, but it sounds like Stevenson is looking at Cloud, instead.
6) Gabriel Campillo (6-160-160)
Last Fight: 6/14/2013- TKO2 Ionut Trandafir Ilie (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2013- vs. #14 Andrzej Fonfara
Campillo will fight Fonfara in an interesting crossroads fight at Comiskey Park in Chicago.
7) Tavoris Cloud (6-203-206)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stevenson’s notes, above.
8) Nathan Cleverly (6-180-180)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- UD12 Robin Krasniqi (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/17/2013- vs. #3 Sergey Kovalev
Kovalev-Cleverly is done for 8/17 in Cardiff, with HBO to televise in the states.
9) Isaac Chilemba (6-16-76)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- L (UD12) vs. #9 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba may have lost the second fight to Bellew in his opponent’s back yard, but between the two fights, he’s managed to elevate himself somewhat.
10) Cornelius White (6-53-83)
Last Fight: 6/14/2013- L (TKO3) vs. #5 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
White was blasted out by Kovalev, but at least he has good company in that regard.
11) Cedric Agnew (6-14)
Last Fight: 4/12/2013- UD12 #14 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: Unknown
Agnew may have caught a fading Yusaf Mack at the right time, but he’s clearly a climber, having now beaten both Mack and Otis Griffin.
12) Jürgen Brähmer (6-65)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- TKO2 Tony Averlant (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/24/2013- vs. Stefano Abatangelo (UNR)
Braehmer will take on low-level Italian gatekeeper Abatangelo on August 24, while awaiting a title shot.
13) Edwin Rodriguez (1-1)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- TKO1 #16 Denis Grachev
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez turned in a career-best performance against Grachev, and thus has earned a ranking in a division he has no intention of continuing in.
14) Andrzej Fonfara (1-53)
Last Fight: 11/16/2012- TKO7 Tommy Karpency (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2013- vs. #6 Gabriel Campillo
Fonfara will get a huge opportunity to launch himself into the top 5 when he takes on Gabriel Campillo in Chicago.
15) Lucian Bute (1-37)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 #16 Denis Grachev
Next Fight: 12/7/2013- vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Bute-Pascal has been rescheduled tentatively for December 7 after Bute suffered a hand injury.  They’ve also reserved January 25 as a back-up plan.  Either way, it will be in Montreal.
16) Hadillah Mohoumadi (1-3)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- TKO7 CW #20 Pawel Glazewski
Next Fight: Unknown
Often robbed at 168, Mohoumadi took matters into his hands in his first major outing at 175 by stopping the local favorite.
17) Denis Grachev (1-64)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (TKO1) vs. #13 SMW Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Dmitry Sukhotsky (1-142)
Last Fight: 6/4/2013- KO3 Mikhail Krinitsin (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sukhotsky may be sticking around at 168 from now on, but only time will tell.  He has until December to schedule a fight at 175 if he wants to keep his ranking.
19) Eleider Alvarez (1-25)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- TKO3 Nicholson Poulard (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alvarez was ready to tolerate Allan Green’s almost comical failure to make weight, but the fight was scrapped anyway due to Green’s hospitalization with what the Green camp claims was food poisoning.  No word yet on Alvarez’s next move.
20) Yunieski Gonzalez (1-18)
Last Fight: 6/15/2013- KO7 Emiliano Cayetano (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzalez snuck in a very low-profile knockout over low-level journeyman Emiliano Cayetano in the Dominican Republic.   Strictly stay-busy material.

 

The Week Ahead: Nothing of note going on in the division this week.

Light Heavyweight: 2013, Jul 8-14

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on July 9, 2013 by danboxing
Friday in Auckland, New Zealand, fringe contender Robert Berridge dominated and stopped Japanese journeyman Shintaro Matsumoto in the 5th round of a scheduled 12. 

 

Later that night in Thiase, France, #20 Doudou Ngumbu apparently injured his shoulder during the 10th round of a close fight with Igor Mikhalkin, in a rematch of their close 2010 battle.  I couldn’t find a video, but according to the scores (Mikhalkin won by between 1 and 3 points according to the French report I translated), the rounds under which Ngumbu labored with a damaged appendage may have been critical.

 

Two fights apparently fell through for the weekend.  Eleider Alvarez and Allan Green’s Friday Night Fights main event was scrapped on the day of the fight by Green’s hospitalization for food poisoning after the match survived Green’s failure (by a full 6 pounds) to make what turned out to be an already generous contract weight of 180.  Maybe the illness prevented him from training, or maybe the thought of fighting Alvarez with the limited amount of training he did do was the real reason he was sick to his stomach.  Edison Miranda vs. Konni Konrad also fell through, for reasons of which I’m unaware.

 

Mikhalkin, despite the top-20 victory, falls just shy of a ranking.  The reason?  Glen Johnson has a win over a #7 contender, and despite several bumps in the road since then, still has yet to prove himself to be below the top 20 level (with the disclaimer that I felt he did enough to defeat Fonfara).  Therefore, Johnson rises to claim the spot vacated by Ngumbu.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (44-44-44)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 Champ Chad Dawson (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward has offers more or less on the table to fight Froch or Stevenson.  He is trying to split with promoter Dan Goossen, though, which could conceivably complicate matters.
1) Adonis Stevenson (5-5-5)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- TKO1 #1 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevenson and Hopkins reportedly wanted to fight each other, but HBO threw a tantrum and won’t do business with Hopkins because he’s a Golden Boy fighter.  Way to hurt the sport, HBO.  We really needed more of that.  In the meantime, the WBC has scheduled a purse bid for Stevenson-Bellew on July 26.
2) Bernard Hopkins (44-370-370)
Last Fight: 3/9/2012- UD12 #6 Tavoris Cloud
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat’s visa issue appears to have been cleared up, and there is talk of the fight being rescheduled for September 21.  Kovalev was briefly the mandatory, but he has signed to fight Cleverly.
3) Sergey Kovalev (4-25-25)
Last Fight: 6/14/2013- TKO3 #10 Cornelius White
Next Fight: 8/17/2013- vs. #8 Nathan Cleverly
Kovalev had the inside track to fight Hopkins, but instead opted for a sure thing against Cleverly.
4) Chad Dawson (4-371-371)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L(TKO1) vs. SMW #6 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Dawson’s career is suddenly in an all-out tailspin just 2 fights after winning the lineal title from Hopkins.
5) Tony Bellew (4-91-91)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- UD12 #7 Isaac Chilemba
Next Fight: Unknown
Bellew’s ultimate triumph over Chilemba has now set him up with a mandatory shot at Stevenson, which would continue the trend of the best fighting the best at 175.  Purse bids are scheduled for July 26.
6) Gabriel Campillo (5-159-159)
Last Fight: 6/14/2013- TKO2 Ionut Trandafir Ilie (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2013- vs. #13 Andrzej Fonfara
Campillo will fight Fonfara in an interesting crossroads fight at Comiskey Park in Chicago.
7) Tavoris Cloud (5-202-205)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
There is apparently HBO interest in Stevenson-Cloud, but nothing solid at this point.
8) Nathan Cleverly (5-179-179)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- UD12 Robin Krasniqi (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/17/2013- vs. #3 Sergey Kovalev
Kovalev-Cleverly is done for 8/17 in Cardiff, with HBO to televise in the states.
9) Isaac Chilemba (5-15-75)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- L (UD12) vs. #9 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba may have lost the second fight to Bellew in his opponent’s back yard, but between the two fights, he’s managed to elevate himself somewhat.
10) Cornelius White (5-52-82)
Last Fight: 6/14/2013- L (TKO3) vs. #5 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
White was blasted out by Kovalev, but at least he has good company in that regard.
11) Cedric Agnew (5-13)
Last Fight: 4/12/2013- UD12 #14 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: Unknown
Agnew may have caught a fading Yusaf Mack at the right time, but he’s clearly a climber, having now beaten both Mack and Otis Griffin.
12) Jürgen Brähmer (5-64)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- TKO2 Tony Averlant (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/24/2013- vs. Stefano Abatangelo (UNR)
Braehmer will take on low-level Italian gatekeeper Abatangelo on August 24, while awaiting a title shot.
13) Andrzej Fonfara (5-52)
Last Fight: 11/16/2012- TKO7 Tommy Karpency (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2013- vs. #6 Gabriel Campillo
Fonfara will get a huge opportunity to launch himself into the top 5 when he takes on Gabriel Campillo in Chicago.
14) Lucian Bute (5-36)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 #16 Denis Grachev
Next Fight: 12/7/2013- vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Bute-Pascal has been rescheduled tentatively for December 7 after Bute suffered a hand injury.  They’ve also reserved January 25 as a back-up plan.  Either way, it will be in Montreal.
15) Hadillah Mohoumadi (2-2)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- TKO7 CW #20 Pawel Glazewski
Next Fight: Unknown
Often robbed at 168, Mohoumadi took matters into his hands in his first major outing at 175 by stopping the local favorite.
16) Denis Grachev (2-63)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013– W* (SD10) vs. Zsolt Erdei (UNR) (should be draw)
Next Fight: 7/13/2013- vs. SMW #13 Edwin Rodriguez
Grachev will be fighting Edwin Rodriguez at a catchweight of 171.5 in Monte Carlo for a million dollar prize.
17) Dmitry Sukhotsky (2-141)
Last Fight: 6/4/2013- KO3 Mikhail Krinitsin (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sukhotsky may be sticking around at 168 from now on, but only time will tell.  He has until December to schedule a fight at 175 if he wants to keep his ranking.
18) Eleider Alvarez (2-24)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- TKO3 Nicholson Poulard (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alvarez was ready to tolerate Allan Green’s almost comical failure to make weight, but the fight was scrapped anyway due to Green’s hospitalization with what the Green camp claims was food poisoning.  No word yet on Alvarez’s next move.
19) Yunieski Gonzalez (2-17)
Last Fight: 6/15/2013- KO7 Emiliano Cayetano (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzalez snuck in a very low-profile knockout over low-level journeyman Emiliano Cayetano in the Dominican Republic.   Strictly stay-busy material.
20) Glen Johnson (1-1)
Last Fight: 4/19/2013- TKO2 Junior Ramos (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: 8/23/2013- vs. Isiah Thomas (UNR)
 

 

The Week Ahead: The division features two significant fights in Europe, both on Saturday.

 

In the more important of the two, #16 Denis Grachev takes on #14 Super Middleweight Edwin Rodriguez for a million dollar prize, at a catchweight of 171.5 pounds.  For what it’s worth, I had neither guy winning the fight that advanced them into this tournament final.

 

Kosovar gatekeeper Robin Krasniqi will see action in Dresden against Tomas Adamek (nope, not him…the Czech journeyman), as well.

Light Heavyweight: 2013, Apr 1-7

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on April 4, 2013 by danboxing
Friday in Verona, New York, undefeated Brazilian prospect Jackson Junior battled one-loss Cuban Umberto Savigne on the Friday Night Fights undercard.  After a close first round, Savigne began to take over.  Junior’s tendency was to stand in front and pose without jabbing, a strategy (or lack thereof) that gave him no chance to win, and that allowed Savigne to increasingly pick him apart as the fight progressed.   Savigne fought like a good, hard-hitting counter puncher, capable of attacking when appropriate.  Savigne dropped Junior in round 2, and then 3 times in round 4.  Referee Mark Nelson stopped it immediately upon the 3rd knockdown, despite the fact that it wasn’t a particularly bad one.  I guess there might be a tendency to assume the fight should be stopped when a guy fails to keep his feet 3 times in a single round, but I’m personally not a fan of forgoing a count unless the guy appears to be in some sort of peril, which Junior hardly was.

 

The following night in Monte Carlo, Zsolt Erdei returned to action for the first time since June 2011.  If you’re willing to forgive 2 instances in which he was inactive within the division for nearly two years (including one in which he moved up to cruiser) and the fact that his defenses of the title in general were embarrassingly weak, Erdei might still have had a claim to the lineal title, though most observers got so tired of his sitting on the title that they withdrew his recognition in favor of a subsequent lineage beginning with Roy Jones.  I am among those observers.  Anyway, his return came against #17 Denis Grachev, who made his bones with an upset knockout against Ismayl Sillakh, who had been soundly outboxing him to that point.  He then earned a new level of respect by giving Lucian Bute all he could handle in a loss that could conceivably have gone the other way.  Erdei made a fool of those that expected ring rust from him, working brilliantly behind the jab, keeping Grachev off balance and inactive, and winning 4 of the first 5 rounds on my card, and giving himself an argument in the other.  It was his conditioning rather than his rust that seemed to bedevil him, as he stopped the jab to a great extent in the 6th.  I gave Grachev 4 of the last 5, yielding a draw on my card.  I felt that I gave 3 arguable rounds to Grachev and only 1 to Erdei, and so I guess if I had to pick a winner that the fight leaned towards, it would be Erdei.  The judges went the other way, via split decision.  All of them had a one-round margin.  I can’t argue with any of them really. 

 

Now to Bellew-Chilemba.  If you saw the fight with the British commentary, as I expect most English-speakers did, then you were sorely deceived.  Their color man, Jim Watt, gave Bellew literally every round in which he didn’t get clowned.  He gave him at least a round or two in which he didn’t land a punch.  Bellew did enough to edge the first 3 rounds I thought, but I only gave him one other round the rest of the fight.  Bellew only clearly won one round.  I had it 116-112 for Chilemba, and in my opinion the range of reasonable scores was between 114-114 and 119-109 Chilemba.  The interesting thing about Chilemba to me was that his shots were so quick that they could be called sneaky fast or lightning fast.  So much so that I think Jim Watt missed half of them.  That’s not how I remember Chilemba looking a couple years ago.  When he beat Maxim Vlasov, I noted that he did so with slickness, but that his punches were sloppy, wide, and slapping.  In this fight they were fast, concise, and surgical.  But he was every bit as slick.  Bellew could scarcely find him at all, let alone cleanly. 

 

Savigne falls just a little short of earning a top-20 spot.  Erdei, despite getting credit for something close to a draw from me, has lost credit for most of his good wins due to their being over 5 years old, and thus he too falls short of reclaiming a ranking.  Grachev’s narrow win- both due to its questionable nature and the inactivity-diminished status of his opponent- is insufficient to propel him forward, particularly since #16 Lucian Bute recently beat him.  And so ultimately only Bellew-Chilemba will impact the rankings.  In keeping with precedent, I give Chilemba credit for a win, since I had it for him and since an actual win for Bellew would have been unreasonable.  He surges to #7 as a result.  This precedent also demands that I give Bellew credit for the draw he actually received, since that draw itself is reasonable.  He stays exactly where he is, since a draw to a #13 contender still leaves him in better condition than Juergen Braehmer, whose best wins are mostly too old to help as much as they otherwise would, and since he’s never actually beaten an opponent quite as good as Chilemba- at least not since 2006.  Chilemba’s promotion forces the demotion of everyone ranked #7-12 last week, including Juergen Braehmer, who falls from the top 10 after 8 weeks in.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (30-30-30)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 Champ Chad Dawson (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
After taking some seemingly unsolicited smack talk from Mayweather, Ward said he’d drain down to 160 to fight him.  Probably just talk, since neither man has ever fought that high/low.
1) Chad Dawson (30-357-357)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- L(TKO10) vs. SMW Champ Andre Ward (at SMW)
Next Fight: 6/8/2013- vs. SMW #7 Adonis Stevenson
Dawson will fight Adonis Stevenson (who moves up from 168) on June 8 in Montreal.
2) Bernard Hopkins (30-356-356)
Last Fight: 3/9/2012- UD12 #6 Tavoris Cloud
Next Fight: Unknown
It sounds like Hopkins-Cleverly is likely in the cards for later this year.
3) Jean Pascal (30-198-198)
Last Fight: 12/14/2012- UD10 Alexei Kuziemski (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #16 Lucian Bute
Pascal bailed on Dawson for a less internationally compelling fight with Lucian Bute on the same date.
4) Sergey Kovalev (11-11-11)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- TKO3 #4 Gabriel Campillo
Next Fight: Unknown
Kovalev is hoping to return in Moscow in April.
5) Gabriel Campillo (11-145-145)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- L(TKO3) vs. Sergey Kovalev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It remains to be seen whether we’ve seen Campillo rapidly decline, have a bad night, or just run into a world-beater.  But he’s still going to be highly ranked because he recently beat the guy ranked right below him.
6) Tavoris Cloud (11-188-188)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Cloud’s manager expects him back in action by the end of the year.  Normally that wouldn’t be saying much, but that would be against type for Cloud.
7) Isaac Chilemba (1-1-61)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- Draw* (SD12) vs. #9 Tony Bellew (should be win)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba put on a master-class defensive and boxing performance against the typically hard-hitting but totally befuddled Tony Bellew, and was only minimally rewarded for it, getting a split draw from the judges in his opponent’s hometown.
8) Cornelius White (1-38-68)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Otis Griffin (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
White snuck in an under-the-radar 8-rounder against Otis Griffin.  It was a pound over the limit, but will buy him some more time to stay active at 175, at least.
9) Nathan Cleverly (1-165-165)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO8 Shawn Hawk (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. Robin Krasniqi (UNR)
Cleverly’s long-lingering and mostly pointless fight against gatekeeper Robin Krasniqi has been moved to April 20.
10) Tony Bellew (1-77-77)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- Draw* (SD12) vs. #13 Isaac Chilemba (should be loss)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bellew failed to get a mandatory shot at the Dawson-Stevenson winner with his stymied performance against Chilemba, but at last check was still the mandatory for Braehmer’s European belt.  But he seems focused on a Chilemba rematch.
11) Jürgen Brähmer (1-50)
Last Fight: 2/2/2013- UD12 Eduard Gutknecht (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. Tony Averlant (UNR)
Braehmer defends his European title in Hamburg on April 27 against journeyman Tony Averlant.  Averlant so far only steps up when he fights for the European belt, having previously been robbed against then-beltholder Eddy Gutknecht, only to get beat by a journeyman himself.
12) Karo Murat (1-100)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO7 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat last made 175 on October 1, 2011, and despite the fact that Tavoris Cloud and Don King are largely to blame for his recent inactivity, Murat will be removed in next week’s update if he fails to schedule a fight by then, since he  has had 18 months to get in the ring at 175.
13) Beibut Shumenov (1-145)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- UD12 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Andrzej Fonfara (3-38)
Last Fight: 11/16/2012- TKO7 Tommy Karpency (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fonfara aggravated a previous injury to his right hand and had to withdraw from his ESPN2 fight with Nicholson Poulard.  He will hope that it heals on its own in a month, but if not he will need surgery that would keep him out for an additional 3-6 months.
15) Yusaf Mack (3-145)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- L(KO3) vs. #1 SMW Carl Froch (at SMW)
Next Fight: 4/12/2013- vs. Cedric Agnew (UNR)
After I rather thought he should retire after his showing against Carl Froch, Mack is instead back in the ring on April 12 against undefeated prospect Cedric Agnew.
16) Lucian Bute (3-22)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 #16 Denis Grachev
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #3 Jean Pascal
Bute will look to prove what I have long believed- that the 168 pound division is much better man-for-man than 175, by fighting his larger peer in Montreal on May 25.
17) Denis Grachev (3-49)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013– W* (SD10) vs. Zsolt Erdei (UNR) (should be draw)
Next Fight: 7/13/2013- vs. SMW #? Edwin Rodriguez
Grachev will be fighting Edwin Rodriguez at a catchweight of 171.5 in Monte Carlo for a million dollar prize.
18) Dmitri Sukhotski (3-127)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO1 Vladimir Borovsky (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/4/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Sukhotski will fight in Barnaul, Russia on June 4, but no opponent yet.
19) Eleider Alvarez (3-10)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- TKO3 Nicholson Poulard (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Alvarez continues to stay busy, as he already has another fight scheduled for the Bute-Pascal undercard on May 25.  No opponent yet, though.
20) Yunieski Gonzalez (3-3)
Last Fight: 3/15/2013- KO8 Rowland Bryant (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzalez took a huge step up in competition and made good, knocking out strong fringe contender Bryant. 

 

The Week Ahead: No action to report for this week.

Light Heavyweight: 2013, Mar 25-31

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2013 by danboxing
#19 Eleider Alvarez stopped journeyman Nicholson Poulard in 3 round in Montreal on Friday in the week’s only significant action.  No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (29-29-29)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 Champ Chad Dawson (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
After taking some seemingly unsolicited smack talk from Mayweather, Ward said he’d drain down to 160 to fight him.  Probably just talk, since neither man has ever fought that high/low.
1) Chad Dawson (29-356-356)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- L(TKO10) vs. SMW Champ Andre Ward (at SMW)
Next Fight: 6/8/2013- vs. SMW #7 Adonis Stevenson
Dawson will fight Adonis Stevenson (who moves up from 168) on June 8 in Montreal.
2) Bernard Hopkins (29-355-355)
Last Fight: 3/9/2012- UD12 #6 Tavoris Cloud
Next Fight: Unknown
It sounds like Hopkins-Cleverly is likely in the cards for later this year.
3) Jean Pascal (29-197-197)
Last Fight: 12/14/2012- UD10 Alexei Kuziemski (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #16 Lucian Bute
Pascal bailed on Dawson for a less internationally compelling fight with Lucian Bute on the same date.
4) Sergey Kovalev (10-10-10)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- TKO3 #4 Gabriel Campillo
Next Fight: Unknown
Kovalev is hoping to return in Moscow in April.
5) Gabriel Campillo (10-144-144)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- L(TKO3) vs. Sergey Kovalev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It remains to be seen whether we’ve seen Campillo rapidly decline, have a bad night, or just run into a world-beater.  But he’s still going to be highly ranked because he recently beat the guy ranked right below him.
6) Tavoris Cloud (10-187-187)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
The division is as weak in terms of talent as it’s ever been, and Cloud can’t beat a 48 year old contender in it.  I don’t think he’s ever going to be a champion.
7) Cornelius White (10-37-67)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Otis Griffin (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
White snuck in an under-the-radar 8-rounder against Otis Griffin.  It was a pound over the limit, but will buy him some more time to stay active at 175, at least.
8) Nathan Cleverly (10-164-164)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO8 Shawn Hawk (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. Robin Krasniqi (UNR)
Cleverly’s long-lingering and mostly pointless fight against gatekeeper Robin Krasniqi has been moved to April 20.
9) Tony Bellew (10-76-76)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- UD12 Roberto Feliciano Bolonti (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #13 Isaac Chilemba
Bellew has a mandatory shot at the European title against Braehmer waiting for him if he gets by Chilemba, but that may never happen since Bellew would also become the challenger-in-waiting for Chad Dawson, and might even get that opportunity on May 25 if Pascal does pull out.
10) Jürgen Brähmer (8-8-49)
Last Fight: 2/2/2013- UD12 Eduard Gutknecht (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Braehmer defends his European title in Hamburg on April 27.  No opponent yet.
11) Karo Murat (8-99)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO7 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat last made 175 on October 1, 2011.  He’s fought once slightly over the limit since then, giving him until April 1 to schedule a fight here.  This is partly Cloud’s fault for essentially standing him up, but that’s way too little activity to draw sympathy from me.  Murat remains the mandatory challenger for Hopkins, but the old man may have a more lucrative fight to consider with Cleverly.
12) Beibut Shumenov (8-144)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- UD12 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
13) Isaac Chilemba (8-60)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- UD8 Rayco Saunders (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #9 Tony Bellew
Up-and-coming African star Chilemba takes a high-risk, high-reward fight on March 30 in Tony Bellew’s hometown of Liverpool.
14) Andrzej Fonfara (2-37)
Last Fight: 11/16/2012- TKO7 Tommy Karpency (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fonfara aggravated a previous injury to his right hand and had to withdraw from his ESPN2 fight with Nicholson Poulard.  He will hope that it heals on its own in a month, but if not he will need surgery that would keep him out for an additional 3-6 months.
15) Yusaf Mack (2-144)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- L(KO3) vs. #1 SMW Carl Froch (at SMW)
Next Fight: 4/12/2013- vs. Cedric Agnew (UNR)
After I rather thought he should retire after his showing against Carl Froch, Mack is instead back in the ring on April 12 against undefeated prospect Cedric Agnew.
16) Lucian Bute (2-21)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 #16 Denis Grachev
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #3 Jean Pascal
Bute will look to prove what I have long believed- that the 168 pound division is much better man-for-man than 175, by fighting his larger peer in Montreal on May 25.
17) Denis Grachev (2-48)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- L(UD12) vs. SMW #4 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. Zsolt Erdei (UNR)
Grachev will fight inactive former champ Zsolt Erdei in Monaco on March 30, with the winner to fight there against the winner of Edwin Rodriguez vs. Ezequiel Maderna in July.
18) Dmitri Sukhotski (2-126)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO1 Vladimir Borovsky (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sukhotski was originally rumored for the Monaco tourney, but he is not one of the 4 scheduled.
19) Eleider Alvarez (2-9)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- TKO3 Nicholson Poulard (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Alvarez continues to stay busy, as he already has another fight scheduled for the Bute-Pascal undercard on May 25.  No opponent yet, though.
20) Yunieski Gonzalez (2-2)
Last Fight: 3/15/2013- KO8 Rowland Bryant (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzalez took a huge step up in competition and made good, knocking out strong fringe contender Bryant. 

 

The Week Ahead: In a mostly slow week, the light heavyweights are the exception.  The Friday Night Fights undercard in Verona, New York features a much better fight than the Vera showcase, as two prospects clash in undefeated Jackson Junior of Brazil and one-loss Umberto Savigne of Miami by way of Cuba.

 

The following night in Monte Carlo, #17 Denis Grachev takes on inactive former Champion (who still has a claim to the lineal title) Zsolt Erdei in the first leg of a 4-man tournament.  In the other leg, Super Middleweight prospects Edwin Rodriguez and Ezequiel Maderna do battle.  Rodriguez-Maderna and possibly also Erdei-Grachev will be held at a 171-pound contract weight.

 

Last but not least, #9 Tony Bellew battles #13 Isaac Chilemba in Liverpool, for the right to be considered a clear top 10 contender.

Year-End Awards: Light Heavyweight, 2012

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Yearly Awards and Wrap Up with tags , , , , , , , on January 4, 2013 by danboxing
This is the first time I’ve done this, and I hope you like it.  It’s been a lot of effort.  First, a list of awards for the division.  Then, a look at the 20 fighters that did the best work in 2012 specifically, followed by a rundown of the year’s rankings history.  Dig in!

 

Light Heavyweight Fighter of the Year: Chad Dawson
Obviously it was an up-and-down year for Dawson, which ended on a low note, but since Andre Ward never actually fought in the weight class despite winning its championship, Dawson is still the only light heavyweight to have beaten a Champion this year.  The runner up would be Campillo.

 

Prospect of the Year: Isaac Chilemba
It’s a bit surprising- considering his major victory in February that had him on the cusp of the top 10- that I’m still talking about Chilemba as a prospect.  He’s already been in the top 20 in two divisions now.  But perhaps largely due to a withdrawal on the part of would-be September opponent Zsolt Erdei, Chilemba failed to follow up on that victory, and has stalled at the #11-12 range.  Since a fighter only loses prospect designation for me when they either crack the top 10 or lose too much, and since the only other comparable win this year by a prospect was a questionable one by Andrzej Fonfara, Chilemba carries the category.

 

Most Important Knockout of the Year: Denis Grachev TKO8 #15 Ismayl Sillakh
Ward’s TKO of Dawson was the stoppage during the year that had the greatest effect on the division, but I’ve decided not to consider it because it didn’t actually happen in a fight at this weight at all.  Instead, unheralded prospect Denis Grachev’s arrival on the scene with his shocking knockout of the more advanced Ismayl Sillakh- which allowed not only Grachev, but also Lucian Bute, to enter the rankings at 175, and sent Sillakh reeling into relative obscurity- takes the prize.  Click “TKO8” to see a video.

 

Most Sensational Knockout of the Year: #7 Tony Bellew TKO5 #20 Danny McIntosh
As sensational as Grachev’s stoppage of Sillakh was, there are really only two choices.  Bellew’s sensational right hand counter shot put McIntosh’s lights out instantly.  The same could be said of Mikkel Kessler’s fantastic left hook to the chin of Allan Green.  I’m not sure how I chose, except perhaps that the Bellew knockout seemed more exciting while watching the fight.  Perhaps the raucous Liverpool crowd deserves the credit for that, as they absolutely lost their minds when Bellew’s shot connected, while Kessler’s Copenhagen fans were a bit more reserved.  Click “TKO5” in the headline to see a video.

 

Match-Up of the Year: Champ Bernard Hopkins vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Considering Hopkins had already beaten #1 Contender Jean Pascal, this was the best fight that could have been made in the division.  Or at least the best combination of rankings.  The fight itself was a snoozer, but this is a purely numerical award as I distribute it.  It also featured the oldest man to defend his title (legitimate or otherwise) since George Foreman, and began the short reign of Dawson.

 

Fight of the Year: Mikkel Kessler KO4 Allan Green
The main contenders for this honor for me are Bute-Grachev (a competitive, close style clash with decent action), Kessler-Green (a see-saw chess match with moments of intense excitement), and Cloud-Campillo (a great comeback from a disastrous round, clouded by an atrocious robbery).  If you like gritty distance fights, you’d pick Bute-Grachev.  If you like effective boxing and occasional excitement in your distance fights (or unnecessary drama), Cloud-Campillo is for you.  But I went with the short but sweet Kessler-Green.  You can’t ask for much more competitiveness than a 10-8 first round for the guy that lost the fight a few rounds later, nor can you ask for a better finish than the knockout of the year candidate scored by Kessler.
 
Upset of the Year: Tony Averlant Robbery SD12 L vs. #12 Eduard Gutknecht
Okay, so maybe this wasn’t technically an upset.  The favored guy technically won, but only because of biased judges.  Averlant clearly beat Gutknecht, and it was the shocker of the year despite the scorecards.  Averlant came in as a journeyman with 5 losses, while Gutknecht- despite a poor performance in his previous fight against Vyachelsav Uzelkoff- looked to be a pretty strong #12.

 

Comeback Fighter of the Year: Cornelius White
White began this comeback last year by taking a 6-rounder against fringe contender Yordanis Despaigne, but put himself all the way up near the top tier of contenders with his shocking and dominant 12-round drubbing of 10th-ranked Dmitri Sukhotski.  What was he coming back from, you ask?  The answer is relative obscurity, courtesy of his brutal February 2011 first round beatdown at the hands of ordinary prospect Don George.

 

Robbery of the Year: #3 Tavoris Cloud W (SD12) vs. #4 Gabriel Campillo
This isn’t even the worst robbery Campillo has been victimized by in recent years, but it’s the worst in the division- and one of the worst in the sport- during 2012.  Campillo all but dominated the fight after going down twice in the opening round, and very obviously won 115-111 or 114-112.  It’s not just that the judges missed the call.  One of them in particular- David Robertson- embarrassed himself, the sport, and likely his own mother by scoring the fight for Cloud 116-110.  That means- giving Cloud all benefit of the doubt- that Robertson scored no less than 4 obvious Campillo rounds in favor of Cloud.  He made Joel Elizondo’s preposterous 114-112 Cloud card look positively acceptable by comparison.  All Elizondo did is give all the close rounds to Cloud, plus two that Campillo clearly won.  All in a day’s work for a Texas boxing judge, I guess.  Credit to the third judge, Denny Nelson, who scored it 115-111 for Campillo.  The runner up for this dubious award is Gutknecht-Averlant.

 

Now, for anyone that cares, I will rank the division based solely on the fighters’ 2012 accomplishments.  I will use the same criteria that I use to rank them overall (with victories, draws, or should-be victories and draws over top 50 opposition making one eligible), but will completely ignore all fights prior to 2012.

 

1) Chad Dawson
Significant Results: Apr 28- W (MD12) vs. Champ Bernard Hopkins.  Sep 8- L (TKO10) vs. Super Middleweight Champ Andre Ward (at Super Middleweight).
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Apr 29: #2.  Apr 30-Sep 9: Champ.  Sep 10-Dec 31: #1.
2) Gabriel Campillo
Significant Results: Feb 18- Robbery Loss (SD12) vs. #3 Tavoris Cloud.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 19: #4.  Feb 20-Sep 9: #3.  Sep 10-Dec 31: #4.
3) Cornelius White
Significant Results: Jul 14- UD12 #10 Dmitri Sukhotski.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 5: #14.  Feb 6-Apr 1: #16.  Apr 2-22: #15.  Apr 23-May 20: #16.  May 21-27: #17.  May 28-Jul 15: #16.  Jul 16-Sep 9: #5.  Sep 10-Dec 31: #6.
4) Tony Bellew
Significant Results: Apr 27- TKO5 #20 Danny McIntosh.  Sep 8- TKO9 Fringe Contender Edison Miranda.  Nov 17- UD12 Fringe Contender Roberto Bolonti.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Jul 15: #7.  Jul 16-Dec 31: #8.
5) Isaac Chilemba
Significant Results: Feb 3- UD10 #16 Edison Miranda.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 5: Unranked.  Feb 6-Sep 9: #11.  Sep 10-Nov 18: #12.  Nov 19-Dec 31: #11.
6) Vyacheslav Uzelkoff
Significant Results: Feb 4- Questionable Loss (UD12) vs. #8 Eduard Gutknecht.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 5: Unranked.  Feb 6-Apr 1: #13.  Apr 2-Sep 9: #12.  Sep 10-Nov 18: #13.  Nov 19-Dec 31: #12.
7) Andrzej Fonfara
Significant Results: Jul 13- Robbery UD10 W (possibly draw) vs. Contender Glen Johnson.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Jul 15: Unranked.  Jul 16-Sep 9: #13.  Sep 10-Nov 18: #14.  Nov 19-Dec 31: #13.
8) Tony Averlant
Significant Results: Mar 31- Robbery Loss (SD12) vs. #12 Eduard Gutknecht.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Apr 1: Unranked.  Apr 2-22: #17.  Apr 23-May 20: #18.  May 21-27: #19.  May 28-Jun 10: #18.  Jun 11-Jul 15: #17.  Jul 16-Sep 9: #18.  Sep 10-Nov 4: #19.  Nov 5-Dec 31: #20.
9) Lucian Bute
Significant Results: Nov 3- UD12 #16 Denis Grachev.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Nov 4: Ranked only at Super Middleweight.  Nov 5-Dec 31: #16.
10) Denis Grachev
Significant Results: Apr 27- TKO8 #15 Ismayl Sillakh.  Nov 3- L (UD12) vs. #4 Super Middleweight Lucian Bute.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Apr 29: Unranked.  Apr 30-Jul 15: #14.  Jul 16-Sep 9: #15.  Sep 10-Nov 4: #16.  Nov 5-Dec 31: #17.
11) Eleider Alvarez
Significant Results: Jun 8- UD12 Prospect Shawn Hawk.  Dec 14- KO8 Fringe Contender Danny McIntosh (at Cruiserweight).
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
12) Mikkel Kessler
Significant Results: May 19- TKO4 Fringe Contender Allan Green.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-May 20: Ranked only at Super Middleweight.  May 21-27: #16.  May 28-Jul 15: #15.  Jul 16-Sep 9: #17.  Sep 10-Nov 4: #18.  Nov 5-Dec 31: #19.
13) Nadjib Mohammedi
Significant Results: TKO5 Gatekeeper Doudou Ngumbu.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
14) Umberto Savigne
Significant Results: May 18- TKO6 Gatekeeper Richard Hall.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
15) Mark Flanagan
Significant Results: Nov 30- TKO11 Gatekeeper Kariz Kariuki.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
16) Fulgencio Zuniga

Significant Results: Jul 19- KO7 Gatekeeper Alejandro Berrio.  Nov 10- L (UD12) vs. Super Middleweight Contender Thomas Oosthuizen (at Super Middleweight).  Dec 8- L (UD12) vs. Super Middleweight Fringe Contender James DeGale (at Super Middleweight).
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
17) Nathan Cleverly
Significant Results: Nov 10- TKO8 Fringe Prospect Shawn Hawk.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Jul 15: #5.  Jul 16-Sep 9: #6.  Sep 10-Dec 31: #7.
18) Eduard Gutknecht
Significant Results: Feb 4- Questionable W (UD12) vs. Prospect Vyacheslav Glazkov.  Mar 31- Robbery Win (SD12) vs. Journeyman Tony Averlant.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 5: #8.  Feb 6-Apr 1: #12.  Apr 2-22: #18.  Apr 23-29: #19.  Apr 30-May 20: #20.  May 21-27: Unranked.  May 28-Jun 10: #20.  Jun 11-Jul 15: #19.  Jul 16-Sep 9: #20.  Sep 10-Dec 31: Unranked.
19) Jerson Ravelo

Significant Results: Mar 24- Robbery Win (should be draw) vs. Gatekeeper Joey Spina.

2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.

20) Togasilimai Letoa

Significant Results: Mar 30- TKO3 Gatekeeper Manny Vlamis.  Nov 30- L (UD6) vs. Journeyman Tyrone Jones.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.

 

The following fighters could be found in the top 20 at various parts of the year, but did nothing at this weight to help their ranking.  Most are no longer around:

 

Bernard Hopkins– Jan 1-Apr 29: Champ.  Apr 30-Sep 9: #1.  Sep 10-Dec 31: #2.

 

Jean Pascal– Jan 1-Apr 29: #1.  Apr 30-Sep 9: #2.  Sep 10-Dec 31: #3.

 

Tavoris Cloud– Jan 1-Feb 19: #3.  Feb 20-Sep 9: #4.  Sep 10-Dec 31: #5.

 

Karo Murat– Jan 1-Jul 15: #6.  Jul 16-Sep 9: #7.  Sep 10-Dec 31: #9.

 

Beibut Shumenov– Jan 1-Feb 5: #9.  Feb 6-Jul 15: #8.  Jul 16-Sep 9: #9.  Sep 10-Dec 31: #10.

 

Yusaf Mack– Jan 1-Feb 5: #10.  Feb 6-Jul 15: #9.  Jul 16-Sep 9: #10.  Sep 10-Nov 18: #11.  Nov 19-Dec 31: #14.

 

Dmitri Sukhotski– Jan 1-Feb 5: #11.  Feb 6-Jul 15: #10.  Jul 16-Sep 9: #16.  Sep 10-Nov 4: #17.  Nov 5-Dec 31: #18.

 

Adrian Diaconu– Jan 1-Feb 5: #12.  Feb 6-Apr 1: #14.  Apr 2-22: #13.  Apr 23-29: #14.  Apr 30-May 27: #15.  May 28-Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Ismayl Sillakh– Jan 1-Feb 5: #13.  Feb 6-Apr 1: #15.  Apr 2-22: #14.  Apr 23-29: #15.  Apr 30-May 20: #19.  May 21-27: #20.  May 28-Jun 10: #19.  Jul 11-Jul 15: #18.  Jul 16-Sep 9: #19.  Sep 10-Nov 4: #20.  Nov 5-Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Zsolt Erdei– Jan 1-Feb 5: #15.  Feb 6-Apr 1: #17.  Apr 2-22: #16.  Apr 23-May 20: #17.  May 21-27: #18.  May 28-Jun 10: #17.  Jun 11-Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Edison Miranda– Jan 1-Feb 5: #16.  Feb 6-Apr 1: #19.  Apr 2-22: #20.  Apr 23-Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Danny McIntosh– Jan 1-Feb 5: #17.  Feb 6-Apr 1: #18.  Apr 2-22: #19.  Apr 23-29: #20.  Apr 30-Jun 10: Unranked.  Jun 11-Jul 15: #20.  Jul 16-Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Jesus Gonzales– Jan 1-Feb 5: #18.  Feb 6-19: #20.  Feb 20-Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Thierry Karl– Jan 1-22: #19.  Jan 23-Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Dyah Davis– Jan 1: #20.  Jan 2-22: Unranked.  Jan 23-Feb 5: #20.  Feb 6-Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Luis Garcia– Jan 1: Unranked.  Jan 2-22: #20.  Jan 23-Feb 5: #19.  Feb 6-19: Unranked.  Feb 20-Apr 1: #20.  Apr 2-Dec 31: Unranked.
 

Light Heavyweight: 2012, Oct 29- Nov 4

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 31, 2012 by danboxing
Gusmyr Perdomo and his 7-pound weight advantage destroyed late replacement opponent Dario Matorras in Caracas on Saturday, with a 2nd-round stoppage.  The fight was a woeful mismatch in more ways than just the weight, too.  Their numerical records were similar, but Perdomo has been in with the likes of Mikkel Kessler, while Matorras has only beaten 4 men with even a single win, and has never beaten an opponent with a winning record.  No changes to the rankings this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (8-8-8)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 Champ Chad Dawson (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward and Pavlik’s promoters have both confirmed that talks are underway for a February 23 fight on HBO.
1) Chad Dawson (8-335-335)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- L(TKO10) vs. SMW Champ Andre Ward (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rumors of a Dawson-Pascal rematch are now floating around.
2) Bernard Hopkins (8-334-334)
Last Fight: 4/28/2012- L(MD12) vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
Hopkins is currently non-committal on whether or not he’ll fight again.
3) Jean Pascal (8-176-176)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- L(UD12) vs. #1 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: 12/14/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Pascal will come back in December following his long inactivity and hand injury (thus retaining his ranking), with venue and TV problems ensuring that the Cloud fight could not be rescheduled until 2013.  No opponent has been announced.  Pascal is on thin ice with me, though.  He didn’t have to wait as long as he did to schedule the fight with Cloud in the first place, and so if it ever appears that he is no longer returning in December, he will be promptly removed.
4) Gabriel Campillo (8-123-123)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #3 Tavoris Cloud (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
It now looks likely that Campillo will reschedule his fight with hot prospect Sergei Kovalev, from which he withdrew with injury this summer.  It looks like the fight will be the main event of a NBC Sports card from Bethlehem Pennsylvania on January 19.
5) Tavoris Cloud (8-166-166)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12* vs. #4 Gabriel Campillo (Robbery)
Next Fight: 11/16/2012- vs. #9 Karo Murat
Dan Rafael reports that Cloud-Murat is tentative for November 16 in Venezuela.
6) Cornelius White (8-16-46)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- UD12 #10 Dmitri Sukhotski
Next Fight: Unknown
White is on a tear.  Is he really top-5 good?  I wouldn’t think so, but he proves me wrong every time I feel I might be overrating him.
7) Nathan Cleverly (8-143-143)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- UD12 Tommy Karpency (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/10/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Don King pulled a real a-hole move and ripped the Cleverly fight right out from under Ryan Coyne via a lawsuit, forcing Clev to look for a new opponent, which will be announced any day.
8) Tony Bellew (16-55-55)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO9 Edison Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/17/2012- vs. Roberto Feliciano Bolonti (UNR)
Bellew now has an opponent for his appearance on the Froch-Mack undercard: Argentine Champion Roberto Feliciano Bolonti.
9) Karo Murat (8-57-78)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO7 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/16/2012- vs. #5 Tavoris Cloud
With Pascal’s injury, Murat will get his alphabet title shot a little earlier than expected, with November being the apparent target.
10) Beibut Shumenov (8-119-123)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- UD12 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
11) Yusaf Mack (8-123)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- UD6 Sabou Ballogou (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/17/2012- vs. #1 SMW Carl Froch (at SMW)
In a fairly sudden development, Mack will drop back down to 168 to fight Carl Froch.
12) Isaac Chilemba (8-39)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- UD8 Rayco Saunders (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba came in a bit heavy, but performed as expected, shutting out journeyman Rayco Saunders.
13) Vyacheslav Uzelkoff (8-39)
Last Fight: 7/21/2012- W(MD12) vs. Mohamed Belkacem (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Cleverly understandably skipped out on him for a shot on HBO.  No new plans announced for the Ukrainian.
14) Andrzej Fonfara (8-16)
Last Fight: 7/13/2012- UD10* SMW #16 Glen Johnson
Next Fight: 11/16/2012- vs. Tommy Karpency (UNR)
Fonfara will fight journeyman Tommy Karpency in Chicago in mid-November.
15) Jürgen Brähmer (8-28)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- UD10 Vikapita Meroro (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/15/2012- vs. Eduard Gutknecht (UNR)
Braehmer gets a shot at very vulnerable paper titlist Eduard Gutknecht in December.  That sounds like a fight safe enough to actually show up to.
16) Denis Grachev (8-27)
Last Fight: 4/27/2012- TKO8 #15 Ismayl Sillakh
Next Fight: 11/3/2012- vs. SMW #4 Lucian Bute
Grachev will fight Lucian Bute at a 170 pound catchweight in November.
17) Dmitri Sukhotski (8-105)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- L(UD12) vs. #16 Cornelius White
Next Fight: Unknown
The White loss must be a bitter disappointment for Sukhotski, who had been in line for a shot at an alphabet strap held by Cleverly for some time, but with Cleverly blatantly ducking him to great effect.
18) Mikkel Kessler (8-24)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- TKO4 Allan Green (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/8/2012- vs. Brian Magee (UNR) (at SMW)
Kessler will fight Irish fringe contender Brian Magee on December 8 in Denmark.  The fight will be at 168 it would seem.
19) Tony Averlant (8-31)
Last Fight: 3/31/2012- L*(SD12) vs. #12 Eduard Gutknecht (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
I don’t know if Averlant is now considered too high-risk, low-reward after getting robbed against Gutknecht, but he sure hasn’t fought since then.
20) Ismayl Sillakh (8-94)
Last Fight: 4/27/2012- L(TKO8) vs. Denis Grachev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sillakh and his manager are apparently in a very bitter dispute at present, and so Sillakh may have difficulty securing another fight anytime soon.

 

The Week Ahead: Two significant fights in the division, both in Montreal on Saturday.  Super middleweight #4 Lucian Bute moves up to fight #16 Denis Grachev at a 170-pound catchweight, after gatekeepers Renan St. Juste and Allan Green both look to get back in the win column on the undercard.

Light Heavyweight: 2012, Apr 30- May 6

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on May 10, 2012 by danboxing
What do you get when you schedule a Championship fight between two skilled boxers who like to win ugly and/or low action fights?  If you don’t know the answer to that, you obviously weren’t watching HBO this weekend.  Chad Dawson became the World Light Heavyweight Champion Saturday, in one of the least entertaining major fights you’ll ever see.  Some of the blame for that goes to Dawson, but really we’re talking about a sad end to Bernard Hopkins’ latest (and likely last) reign.  With his experience, he had to know that he was well on his way to losing the fight, but he never really tried to push the pace- the only hope he had.  Granted, that’s not Bernard’s game, but the rare truth was that Bernard was not as sharp or effective as Dawson, and he needed to overcome that deficit somehow.  He simply didn’t noticeably try to do that.  It’s like he was okay with a decision loss, as long he wasn’t made to look bad.

 

#7 Tony Bellew proved my faith in him well-placed by absolutely destroying #20 Danny McIntosh in Liverpool the night before.  He picked off McIntosh through leaky defense pummeling him for a 4th round knockdown after doing everything but knocking him down in round 3.  After a head clash opened a nick over Bellew’s eye in the 5th, McIntosh lunged in recklessly and allowed Bellew to tee off on him with a windmill right hand.  McIntosh went down as if he’d been shot, and considering the mounting punishment, referee Terry O’Connor immediately stopped the fight.

 

Now for the upset of the week: up-and-coming #15 Ismayl Sillakh was shockingly stopped late in a fight with much less heralded (and much less skilled) undefeated prospect Denis Grachev on Friday Night Fights.  Sillakh had clearly won each of the 7 completed rounds and scored a knockdown in the 3rd.  But then came the 8th.  Grachev caught and hurt Sillakh, and then chased him to the ropes, where he proceeded to land clean with every left hand he threw.  My only issue with the stoppage is this: referee Rocky Burke evidently determined that Sillakh couldn’t defend himself- reasonably, I think.  But by the time Burke got in to stop the fight, Sillakh had gone down.  He was no longer in danger of further punishment.  To me, you let him try and beat the count and THEN assess his ability to continue.  I think there’s an even chance he could have stayed out of danger after getting the 8 count and held on to win a decision.  Maybe he even wins rounds 9 and 10.  Grachev took his opportunity, and he showed great killer instinct.  Maybe he would have finished the job if given the chance, but I personally don’t think the job was finished yet, even when the fight effectively was.  That being said, I can’t treat this as anything other than the TKO win it was for Grachev.  I just wanted to get my personal reservations on the record.

 

Last and in many ways least, #9 Yusaf Mack won a decision in what appears to have been a once-sided competitive bout Friday in Atlantic City against veteran Omar Sheika.  This does little for him either way, as Sheika is nothing more than a journeyman at this stage.

 

Now for the rather significant fallout.  Obviously Chad Dawson is the new Champion.  Hopkins becomes the #1 contender, solely because he’s beaten Pascal head-to-head.  Honestly, you could make an argument that Pascal deserves it based on his having beaten the current Champ, but the fact that the loss to Hopkins was subsequent to that makes the difference for me. 

 

#7 Bellew stands pat, although it was a very close call as to whether to swap him with Murat.  They both had very even fights with guys rated #4 at the time.  I think Campillo, with whom Murat drew, is a bit better than Cleverly with whom Bellew deserved to.  Then again, Murat lost to Cleverly a while back.  On the other hand, Otis Griffin was ranked #17 when Murat beat him, while McIntosh was only #20.  Ultimately I decided to keep the status quo since there is no clear right answer.  #9 Mack also stays put, with his win not considered significant for ratings purposes. 

 

Grachev has obligated me to significantly overrate him by winning, and the best common sense can do in the face of his new resume builder is to limit him to #14.  This further forces down the inactive Adrian Diaconu to #15.  Sillakh has enough quality results- much like Eduard Gutknecht- to hold on to a ranking despite the awful loss, and he slides to #19.  This forces the aforementioned Gutknecht to #20, and poetically forces out last week’s #20 Danny McIntosh, fresh off his loss to Bellew.  McIntosh was an inaugural member of my rankings 97 weeks ago, and is on the outs for the first time since.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Chad Dawson (1-309-309)
Last Fight: 4/28/2012- W (MD12) Champ Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
All hail the new Champ!  But let’s hope he gets in against some opponents that will make him come out of his shell, because his coronation was excruciating to watch.  I want to see him in against either Campillo or the Pascal-Cloud winner.  He also said he wants Andre Ward, and will even fight him at 168.  I’ll believe that when I see it.
1) Bernard Hopkins (1-308-308)
Last Fight: 4/28/2012- L(MD12) vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
I’m not sure what he thinks he can or still wants to prove, but 47-year-old Hopkins has shrugged off retirement talk and there is talk of potential fights with Lucian Bute and Nathan Cleverly.
2) Jean Pascal (1-150-150)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- L(UD12) vs. #1 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: 8/11/2012- vs. #4 Tavoris Cloud
Showtime has kindly provided the date of August 11 for the Pascal-Cloud tilt.  That’s more than 14-months since Pascal’s last fight…just sayin’.
3) Gabriel Campillo (11-97-97)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #3 Tavoris Cloud (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
With Cloud apparently sidestepping not only Campillo, but also a mandatory with Karo Murat in favor of an even better match with Pascal, I wonder if Campillo might get the rematch with Murat, instead.
4) Tavoris Cloud (11-140-140)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12* vs. #4 Gabriel Campillo (Robbery)
Next Fight: 8/11/2012- vs. #2 Jean Pascal
It appeared certain that Cloud would fight Murat next, but now he’s fighting Pascal instead.
5) Nathan Cleverly (29-117-117)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- UD12 Tommy Karpency (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Originally scheduled to fight the underwhelming Robin Krasniqi, a virus scuttled that fight for him.  Not that anyone’s complaining.  Barring a rescheduling, which would be problematic from the WBO’s perspective, Cleverly may be looking toward his mandatory with Sukhotski next, though there’s some talk of a Hopkins fight, as well.
6) Karo Murat (31-31-52)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- Draw (SD12) vs. #4 Gabriel Campillo
Next Fight: Unknown
Not sure where Murat goes from here after his mandatory shot at Cloud was at least delayed for Cloud to seek greener pastures.  My vote: Campillo-Murat II.
7) Tony Bellew (29-29-29)
Last Fight: 4/27/2012- TKO5 #20 Danny McIntosh
Next Fight: Unknown
After demolishing McIntosh for the British title, Bellew has renewed his calls for a rematch with Cleverly.  He also named Cloud and Shumenov as guys he’s ready for.
8) Beibut Shumenov (13-93-97)
Last Fight: 7/29/2011- TKO9 Danny Santiago (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Shumenov’s attempts to get a fight with Cleverly have apparently failed.  Shumenov wants to unify the alphabet titles, but he appears to be the odd man out in a lot of those fights.  This might be an ideal time for a rematch with Campillo if he can’t get a unification at this point.
9) Yusaf Mack (13-61-97)
Last Fight: 4/27/2012- UD12 Omar Sheika (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mack called out Cloud and Dawson after beating Sheika.  Sure, he’s a top 10 fighter, but that still feels like a stretch for him.
10) Dmitri Sukhotski (13-13-79)
Last Fight: 10/8/2011- TKO2 Nadjib Mohammedi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBO originally demanded that Cleverly fight Sukhotski rather than the mediocre Krasniqi, but then backed down and gave Cleverly an extra 4 months to take the fight.  Now that Cleverly got sick and cancelled on Krasniqi, surely this fight will have to happen now…
11) Isaac Chilemba (13-13)
Last Fight: 2/3/2012- UD10 #16 Edison Miranda
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba, a former super middleweight, now has the highest ranking of his career at either weight after beating fringe contender Miranda.
12) Vyacheslav Uzelkov (5-13)
Last Fight: 3/4/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #8 Eduard Gutknecht
Next Fight: 5/12/2012- vs. Ravshanbek Jabbarov (UNR)
Deserved much better than a unanimous decision loss against Gutknecht, and is rewarded for it in my rankings.
13) Jürgen Brähmer (2-2)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- UD10 Vikapita Meroro (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Braehmer has showed up for his last two fights, which at least feels like a record for him. 
14) Denis Grachev (1-1)
Last Fight: 4/27/2012- TKO8 #15 Ismayl Sillakh
Next Fight: Unknown
Yes, it was a flukey win, and it’s clear from his performance on its face that, at least at this point, he’s not this good.  But honestly the result in black and white could have supported a rating as high as around #10.  Common sense can only demote a guy so far (in conjunction with relative inexperience) when his actual resume calls out for a decent ranking.
15) Adrian Diaconu (1-260)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- L(UD12) vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
A quality fighter, Diaconu is nevertheless slipping in the rankings simply because he never wins against anyone above the journeyman level.  He ought to try and find some kind of mid-range fringe contender just to get a decent win, because fighting journeymen or top contenders isn’t working out for him.
16) Cornelius White (5-20)
Last Fight: 12/17/2011- UD6 #16 Yordanis Despaigne
Next Fight: Unknown
White, who was blown out in one round by prospect Don George at super middleweight early in 2011, may be a fluke.  But at least for one night, he looked a lot better against former top amateur Yordanis Despaigne than did established fringe contender Edison Miranda.
17) Zsolt Erdei (2-76)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- KO6 Byron Mitchell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Had a fight with Pascal lined up, but Showtime couldn’t come up with the money to make it happen.
18) Tony Averlant (2-5)
Last Fight: 3/31/2012- L*(SD12) vs. #12 Eduard Gutknecht (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Averlant is probably closer to the journeyman he was on 3/30 than the solid fringe contender he became on 3/31, but a win is a win…even when it’s a loss (in Germany).
19) Ismayl Sillakh (1-68)
Last Fight: 4/27/2012- L(TKO8) vs. Denis Grachev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I didn’t see that coming at all.  I trust Sillakh will bounce back from the upset loss to Grachev.  But wow.
20) Eduard Gutknecht (1-52)
Last Fight: 3/31/2012- W*(SD12) vs. Tony Averlant (UNR) (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lost a close but clear fight against Averlant, but got the decision.  That’s two at least questionable verdicts in a row for Gutknecht, both against extremely unranked fighters.

 

The Week Ahead: The light heavyweights take a much-deserved break after 6 of the top 20 were in action last week.

Light Heavyweight: 2012, Apr 23-29

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2012 by danboxing
Three fights to discuss from this past weekend:

 

Friday: French gatekeeper Nadjib Mohammedi outpointed Algerian journeyman Mohamed Belkachem in France.

 

Saturday: Juergen Braehmer returned to action in Schwerin, and weighed in under 175, which means he gets considered for a ranking based on his past success after inactivity saw him removed a while ago.  He didn’t exactly bring the house down in his fight with Namibian journeyman Vikapita Meroro, but he did just enough to edge out most of the rounds, knocked his guy down once, and earned a 99-90 score on my card.  The judges had it similar, though apparently they are allowed to give even rounds liberally in Germany.  Braehmer’s timing appeared poor for the most part, and he looked crude and vulnerable to me.  Meroro simply didn’t push the tempo enough to snatch many rounds.

 

Meanwhile, in Poland, prospect Dawid Kostecki won a shutout on two cards and a 5-1 verdict on the third in his 6-round walk in the park with Georgian journeyman Sandro Siproshvili.

 

Braehmer’s return to activity in the division requires me to re-rate him.  He has certainly lost some luster since being removed as a top 10 fighter for inactivity, but he still hasn’t fallen quite as far down the ladder as Adrian Diaconu.  Diaconu (at least for now) has technically maintained his status as an active fighter, but an inactive Braehmer has 3 notable wins since Diaconu’s last one in 2008 and thus checks in immediately ahead of Diaconu at #13, forcing Dianconu and everyone rated below him down a spot, including Edison Miranda, who exits the rankings after 18 weeks in.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Bernard Hopkins (49-307-307)
Last Fight: 10/15/2011- NC vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: 4/28/2012- vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Hopkins and Dawson will square off- hopefully to a conclusion this time- on regular HBO in late April.
1) Jean Pascal (49-149-149)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- L(UD12) vs. #1 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Pascal and Cloud are close to a deal, and are just waiting on a date from Showtime.
2) Chad Dawson (71-308-308)
Last Fight: 10/15/2011- NC* vs. Champ Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: 4/28/2012- vs. Champ Bernard Hopkins
See Hopkins’ notes, above.
3) Gabriel Campillo (10-96-96)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #3 Tavoris Cloud (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
The IBF unsurprisingly rejected Campillo’s appeal and request for an immediate rematch.  Hopefully Campillo won’t need it since everyone saw him win.
4) Tavoris Cloud (10-139-139)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12* vs. #4 Gabriel Campillo (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
It appeared certain that Cloud would fight Murat next, but there’s now a deal on the table for him to fight Jean Pascal.
5) Nathan Cleverly (28-116-116)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- UD12 Tommy Karpency (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/28/2012- vs. Robin Krasniqi (UNR)
After originally quite admirably rejecting Cleverly’s proposed title fight with Krasniqi, the WBO folded and gave Cleverly 120 days after the fight to face Dmitri Sukhotski.
6) Karo Murat (30-30-51)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- Draw (SD12) vs. #4 Gabriel Campillo
Next Fight: Unknown
His planned fight with Cloud is very much in doubt, as Cloud and Pascal appear close to a deal.
7) Tony Bellew (28-28-28)
Last Fight: 10/15/2011- L*(MD12) vs. #4 Nathan Cleverly
Next Fight: 4/27/2012- vs. #20 Danny McIntosh
The Bellew-McIntosh fight is now scheduled for 4/27.
8) Beibut Shumenov (12-92-96)
Last Fight: 7/29/2011- TKO9 Danny Santiago (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Shumenov’s attempts to get a fight with Cleverly have apparently failed.  Shumenov wants to unify the alphabet titles, but he appears to be the odd man out in a lot of those fights.  This might be an ideal time for a rematch with Campillo if he can’t get a unification at this point.
9) Yusaf Mack (12-60-96)
Last Fight: 6/25/2011- L(TKO8) vs. #3 Tavoris Cloud
Next Fight: 4/27/2012- vs. Omar Sheika (UNR)
Mack will apparently be fighting journeyman Omar Sheika on April 27 in Atlantic City.
10) Dmitri Sukhotski (12-12-78)
Last Fight: 10/8/2011- TKO2 Nadjib Mohammedi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBO originally demanded that Cleverly fight Sukhotski rather than the mediocre Krasniqi, but then backed down and gave Cleverly an extra 4 months to take the fight.
11) Isaac Chilemba (12-12)
Last Fight: 2/3/2012- UD10 #16 Edison Miranda
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba, a former super middleweight, now has the highest ranking of his career at either weight after beating fringe contender Miranda.
12) Vyacheslav Uzelkov (4-12)
Last Fight: 3/4/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #8 Eduard Gutknecht
Next Fight: 5/12/2012- vs. Ravshanbek Jabbarov (UNR)
Deserved much better than a unanimous decision loss against Gutknecht, and is rewarded for it in my rankings.
13) Jürgen Brähmer (1-1)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- UD10 Vikapita Meroro (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Braehmer has showed up for his last two fights, which at least feels like a record for him. 
14) Adrian Diaconu (1-259)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- L(UD12) vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
A quality fighter, Diaconu is nevertheless slipping in the rankings simply because he never wins against anyone above the journeyman level.  He ought to try and find some kind of mid-range fringe contender just to get a decent win, because fighting journeymen or top contenders isn’t working out for him.
15) Ismayl Sillakh (1-67)
Last Fight: 11/4/2011- TKO4 Ali Ismailov (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: 4/27/2012- vs. Denis Grachev (UNR)
With Pascal ducking him, Sillakh will settle for a fight with undefeated Russian prospect Denis Grachev on Friday Night Fights.
16) Cornelius White (4-19)
Last Fight: 12/17/2011- UD6 #16 Yordanis Despaigne
Next Fight: Unknown
White, who was blown out in one round by prospect Don George at super middleweight early in 2011, may be a fluke.  But at least for one night, he looked a lot better against former top amateur Yordanis Despaigne than did established fringe contender Edison Miranda.
17) Zsolt Erdei (1-75)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- KO6 Byron Mitchell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Had a fight with Pascal lined up, but Showtime couldn’t come up with the money to make it happen.
18) Tony Averlant (1-4)
Last Fight: 3/31/2012- L*(SD12) vs. #12 Eduard Gutknecht (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Averlant is probably closer to the journeyman he was on 3/30 than the solid fringe contender he became on 3/31, but a win is a win…even when it’s a loss (in Germany).
19) Eduard Gutknecht (1-51)
Last Fight: 3/31/2012- W*(SD12) vs. Tony Averlant (UNR) (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lost a close but clear fight against Averlant, but got the decision.  That’s two at least questionable verdicts in a row for Gutknecht, both against extremely unranked fighters.
20) Danny McIntosh (1-96)
Last Fight: 5/7/2011- L(TKO8) vs. Eduard Gutknecht (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/27/2012- vs. #7 Tony Bellew
McIntosh will travel to Liverpool to fight Bellew for the British title.

 

The Week Ahead: The weekend we’ve all been waiting for is upon us.  No fewer than 6 ranked fighters are in action at light heavyweight this week.  The headliner is obviously the World Championship battle and rematch between Champion Bernard Hopkins and #2 Chad Dawson in Atlantic City. 

 

#7 Tony Bellew takes on #20 Danny McIntosh in an interesting domestic-level skirmish in Liverpool on Friday, as well.  This will give Bellew a chance to somewhat justify the high ranking I gave him, which far exceeds the consideration he gets elsewhere.  You may remember that I ranked Bellew in the top 10 based on his loss to Cleverly, in which I felt he earned at least a draw.  #9 Yusaf Mack battles veteran journeyman Omar Sheika as an Atlantic City warmup on Friday for Saturday’s Championship, and supremely talented fringe contending prospect Ismayl Sillakh (#15), with Jean Pascal apparently ducking him, will settle for Friday Night Fights main event against the equally undefeated much much less experienced and heralded Russian prospect Denis Grachev.

 

This division is really heating up at all levels.  None of these guys are in super easy, although Sheika has certainly seen better days.