Archive for Eric Molina

Heavyweight: 2015, Jan 12-18

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 24, 2016 by danboxing
Unbeaten prospect Charles Martin did what he had to do on the non-televised ShoBox undercard on Friday in Cabazon, California, dispatching 41 year-old fattened-up super middleweight Damon McCreary late in the first round.  I was able to find a youtube video of the last few seconds of the fight, and it appears that Martin caught McCreary coming in reckless, with a southpaw counter left hand high on the head.  Martin pretty much had to win by stoppage inside of 2 rounds to avoid negative comparisons to Deontay Wilder and even cruiserweight Jordan Shimmell, both of whom took care of McCreary within 2.  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 (290-503-503)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- KO5 #5 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: 4/25/2015- vs. #17 Bryant Jennings
Klitschko-Jennings is on, and figures to be a fairly average defense for the Champ.
1) Tyson Fury (48-48-48)
Last Fight: 11/29/2014- RTD10 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 2/28/2015- vs. Christian Hammer (UNR)
Christian Hammer is a very beatable gatekeeper, but did look good in his last fight, and is probably about a class better than you’d expect a guy with a mandatory championship shot coming his way to stay busy against.
2) Alexander Povetkin (33-377-377)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- KO10 #7 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Nothing has been signed yet, but the WBC has given approval for Povetkin to fight an eliminator with Mike Perez.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (33-44-108)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- TKO7 Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/14/2015- vs. #9 Steve Cunningham
With Main Events behind both fighters, you could almost see this one coming.  Glazkov will take on Steve Cunningham, likely on NBC Sports, in March.
4) Amir Mansour (41-41-41)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- KO7 Fred Kassi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mansour’s power was brought to bear on the mediocre Kassi, who did a good job of hanging in there- perhaps for longer than most expected while losing every round.
5) Kubrat Pulev (48-141-218)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Back to the drawing board for the Bulgarian.  He at least mounted an attack.  That’s more than some challengers can say.
6) Carlos Takam (7-32-52)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- L (KO10) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam found the ceiling on his rise to the top in #2 Povetkin.  He actually appeared more than a match for the Russian early in the fight, but couldn’t hang in the later rounds.
7) Dereck Chisora (7-163-226)
Last Fight: 11/29/2014- L (RTD10) vs. #1 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: Unknown
Chisora apparently doesn’t want to leave the bad taste in his mouth from his last performance, as he is reportedly planning to fight again on February 28.  He is also said to be splitting from trainer Don Charles.
8) Bermane Stiverne (32-36-98)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: 1/17/2015- vs. #12 Deontay Wilder
Stiverne-Wilder is finally set for January 17 at the MGM Grand in Vegas, it would appear.
9) Steve Cunningham (32-108-108)
Last Fight: 10/18/2014- W (RTD7) vs. Natu Visinia (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/14/2015- vs. #3 Vyacheslav Glazkov
See Glazkov’s notes, above.
10) Tony Thompson (32-43-242)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: 1/24/2015 – vs. #11 Odlanier Solis
Maybe the third time will be the charm.  Thompson-Solis II gets its 3rd intended date on January 24.
11) Odlanier Solis (10-242)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 1/24/2015- vs. #10 Tony Thompson
See Thompson’s notes, above.
12) Deontay Wilder (10-90)
Last Fight: 8/16/2014- W(RTD4) vs. Jason Gavern (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/17/2015 – vs. #8 Bermane Stiverne 
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
13) Chris Arreola (10-71)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola advised Boxingscene.com that he’s likely back in late January or February, and called out Antonio Tarver, as well.
14) Malik Scott (10-19)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- UD10 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: Unknown
After an apparently dominant win over Leapai, Scott is probably back in the mix for some sort of big fight.
15) Erkan Teper (10-72)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
Teper will most likely fight France’s Johann Duhaupas at some point, but the fight has been postponed to a later date due to Teper having his appendix out.
16) Antonio Tarver (5-5)
Last Fight: 12/11/2014- TKO7 Johnathon Banks (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Tarver has recently challenged a comebacking David Haye.
17) Bryant Jennings (4-25)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- W* (SD12) vs. Mike Perez (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/25/2015- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Jennings has got his shot at Klitschko for April 25.  Almost certanily too soon for him, given his mediocre last performance against Perez.
18) Artur Szpilka (4-10)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- W (UD10) vs. #11 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: 3/?/2015- vs. Unknown Opponent
Szpilka was originally due back on January 31, but after signing with Al Haymon, it appears he’s pushed that back to a Showtime card in late March.
19) Mike Perez (4-25)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- L* (SD12) vs. Bryant Jennings (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/5/2015- vs. Unknown Opponent
Perez looks like he’s on his way to a fight with Povetkin, but will stay busy against an unknown opponent on February 5.
20) Alex Leapai (4-4)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- L (UD10) vs. #20 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown 

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Saturday
#8 Bermane Stiverne vs. #12 Deontay Wilder; Las Vegas, NV; ESPN
In the first major heavyweight fight of 2016, two rising stars with plenty of knockout power compete for the alphabet belt vacated by Vitali Klitschko and picked up by Stiverne in his rematch with Arreola.  It’s being billed as the return of heavyweight title boxing to basic cable.  It’s an interesting matchup with plenty of potential for fireworks. 

 

Eric Molina vs. TBA; Las Vegas, NV; Off TV
Molina has the distinct edge against TBA, who rarely wins, and never does so under his own name.

Heavyweight: 2014, May 12-18

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 10, 2014 by danboxing
#12 Bermane Stiverne confirmed the result of his 2013 fight with Chris Arreola in a shorter but more competitive and action-packed fight on ESPN from Los Angeles this Saturday.  Arreola was generally effective behind his aggression and his jab, but his always suspect defense was just too lax to avoid getting caught by a guy like Stiverne who carried the power to take him out.  Stiverne, for his part, has a pretty scary combination of one-punch knockout power and impressive heavyweight hand speed.  Arreola won 3 of the first 4 rounds (perhaps all of them, really), but Stiverne began to take over in the 5th, and never looked back.  He dropped Arreola twice in the 6th en route to the stoppage, and it should have ended sooner than it did.  Referee Jack Reiss- usually a good ref- bent over backwards to give Arreola extra time to recover, and was way too slow to pull the plug when it was clear that the recovery wasn’t going to happen.

 

On the undercard, two-loss Texas prospect Eric Molina stopped 45 year-old former fringe contender Davarryl Williamson, who was coming off a two-year layoff.  No video of the fight is available, so all I can really say is that Molina, per Boxrec, didn’t score any knockdowns en route to the victory.

 

Stiverne not only just beat the highest-ranked contender of his career so far, but also saw his head-scratching draw with a journeyman become 5 years old last month.  He’s now got no blemishes on his relevant record, and 3 wins over top 20 contenders (even if two of them are the same guy).  He rises to his highest level yet at #7, though it’s not his first time in the top 10.  Arreola doesn’t suffer much from losing to an impressive performer he’s already lost to, but unfortunately he saw his win over Jameel McCline become 5 years old around the same time as Stiverne’s draw, so he does slump one place, swapping spots with Deontay Wilder, who just so happens to be Stiverne’s likely next opponent.  It’s crazy to think about, but the Seth Mitchell destruction is Arreola’s only top 50 win in the last 5 years now, essentially meaning that his entire time as a hot-ticket prospect has now been squandered.  With the shake-up, everyone ranked #7-11 last week drops a spot, including Odlanier Solis, who exits the top 10 after 59 consecutive weeks in.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (255-468-468)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: 9/6/2014- vs. #5 Kubrat Pulev
All signs point to the long-awaited defense against Pulev taking place on September 6.
1) Tyson Fury (13-13-13)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
Fury-Chisora has been made.  July 26, in Manchester.  The winner will become one of Wlad’s mandatories.
2) Vyacheslav Glazkov (9-9-73)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov reports that negotiations for a fight with Povetkin have failed, and that Povetkin would likely be fighting Manuel Charr, instead.
3) Alexander Povetkin (9-342-342)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 5/30/2014- vs. Manuel Charr (UNR)
Povetkin, who could have faced Glazkov, will instead take on the less proven Manuel Charr in Moscow on May 30.
4) Amir Mansour (6-6-6)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery L (UD10) vs. #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham had the more sympathetic story and a legitimately great comeback attempt, but Mansour had the better collection of rounds legitimately won.  Mansour was robbed even though the fight was close, and deserves Cunningham’s former position in the rankings for his effort.
5) Kubrat Pulev (13-106-183)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/6/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Klitschko’s notes, above.
6) Dereck Chisora (13-128-191)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Bermane Stiverne (1-1-63)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
From all appearances, Deontay Wilder has likely got the next crack at Stiverne.
8) Steve Cunningham (1-73-73)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery W (UD10) vs. Amir Mansour (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I hope you’ll all pray for his daughter to recover from her life-threatening health condition, and the guy had guts to come back from the 2 knockdowns.  But he didn’t win the fight.
9) Tony Thompson (1-8-207)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- W* (SD12) vs. #8 Odlanier Solis
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. #11 Carlos Takam
Thompson- no stranger to the road- will visit France for a fight with tough customer Carlos Takam on June 6.
10) Tomasz Adamek (1-212-212)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
I’d have to think Adamek would at least consider retirement after being brutalized for 12 rounds by a guy that had looked like he might top out around the top 15.  He’s recently announced his candidacy for the European parliament elections in May, so that may be a sign that he’s leaning that direction.
11) Odlanier Solis (1-207)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
The Solis haters are out in force, claiming a clear loss in a fight that Solis deserved to win.  You might not like his physique or his training habits or his style, but if he outfights the other guy, he still deserves to be respected as a winner at least as much as a disappointment.  A loss to Thompson is not that embarrassing, especially when you ought to have won it.
12) Carlos Takam (1-17)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. #8 Tony Thompson
See Thompson’s notes, above.
13) Deontay Wilder (1-55)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 #19 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
Wilder is probably on deck to fight Stiverne, and in the mean time, he’s keeping busy by beating up morons from Youtube in the gym.
14) Chris Arreola (1-36)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
Having spent the better part of the last 5 years losing or fighting nobodies, Arreola’s resume now depends entirely on the Mitchell win.
15) Erkan Teper (6-37)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Alex Leapai (6-25)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Leapai is reportedly interested in fighting Shannon Briggs in the wake of his total non-performance against the Champ.
17) Andy Ruiz (6-25)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Ruiz was scheduled to fight on the Marquez-Alvarado undercard on May 10, but has been bumped back a week to a fight in Fresno against Manuel Quezada.
18) Seth Mitchell (6-49)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- L (TKO1) vs. Chris Arreola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mitchell’s chin is so fragile that he might want to consider calling it a career.  Golden Boy’s CEO says he’s advised Mitchell to do just that, though he reports that Mitchell seems to have no such intention.
19) Johnathon Banks (6-10)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
With Sam Peter out with injury, the word is that Banks has been officially offered a spot in the “Super 8” tournament in Auckland.  Kali Meehan, Martin Rogan, and Michael Sprott are among the other participants.  This would take place on June 4, and would be similar to Britain’s Prizefighter concept.
20) Francesco Pianeta (6-9)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO2 Robert Teuber (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/30/2014- vs. Mickael Vieira (UNR)
Pianeta makes his 2014 debut in Dresden on May 30 against lower-mid-level journeyman Mickael Vieira of France.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Saturday
Eddie Chambers vs. TBA; Leeds, England; TV Unknown
Another stay VERY busy fight for Chambers.  The fact that his opponent isn’t known a matter of days before fight night should tell you it’s not going to be a big deal.

 

#17 Andy Ruiz vs. Manuel Quezada; Fresno, California; Unimas (US)
Ruiz is already proven well beyond the level of former fringe contender but current journeyman Quezada.  Still, Quezada is a half-decent measuring stick, if nothing else, having made a halfway decent showing against Chris Arreola as recently as a few years ago.

Heavyweight: 2014, May 5-11

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 5, 2014 by danboxing
Former junior middleweight and middleweight fringe contender Nobuhiro Ishida attempted a move up to heavyweight to fight the national champion and fringe top 50 member Kyotaro Fujimoto, whose bright pink hair can probably be seen from space.  He fell just short.  In a fairly low-action fight, both men had their moments, but the telling blows, what few there were, tended to come from Fujimoto, particularly in the last half of the fight.  Ishida controlled stretches of the fight with his jab, but it wasn’t always especially effective.  I had it 77-75 Fujimoto, as did 2 of the 3 judges.  The other had it virtually the same, but with one even round to narrow the gap.  My score, in terms of what I could justify, would have room for another round to either man.  I haven’t been following the Japanese heavyweight scene for more than a few years to say for sure, but this strikes me as possibly the most consequential meeting of Japanese big men in perhaps the history of the sport.

 

This is a tricky fight to rate.  Taking Ishida’s top 25 middleweight ranking into account and penalizing him 8% the equivalent boxrec points for every class he jumped, he’s still roughly a top 40 heavyweight.  I don’t know if that’s really accurate in such an extreme case, but that’s how I’ve always reconciled inter-divisional weight jumping.  The win over a top 50 heavyweight, then, makes Fujimoto rateable, but only technically.  His loss to Solomon Haumono from December 2012 holds him back, and he remains on the fringes of the top 50.  No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (254-467-467)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: Unknown
Klitschko easily handled Leapai, and it seems he’ll probably get his long-delayed mandatory with Pulev next.
1) Tyson Fury (12-12-12)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
Fury-Chisora has been made.  July 26, in Manchester.  The winner will become one of Wlad’s mandatories.
2) Vyacheslav Glazkov (8-8-72)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov reports that negotiations for a fight with Povetkin have failed, and that Povetkin would likely be fighting Manuel Charr, instead.
3) Alexander Povetkin (8-341-341)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 5/30/2014- vs. Manuel Charr (UNR)
Povetkin, who could have faced Glazkov, will instead take on the less proven Manuel Charr in Moscow on May 30.
4) Amir Mansour (5-5-5)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery L (UD10) vs. #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham had the more sympathetic story and a legitimately great comeback attempt, but Mansour had the better collection of rounds legitimately won.  Mansour was robbed even though the fight was close, and deserves Cunningham’s former position in the rankings for his effort.
5) Kubrat Pulev (12-105-182)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s sounding increasingly likely that Pulev will get a long awaited shot at Klitschko next.
6) Dereck Chisora (12-127-190)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Steve Cunningham (5-72-72)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery W (UD10) vs. Amir Mansour (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I hope you’ll all pray for his daughter to recover from her life-threatening health condition, and the guy had guts to come back from the 2 knockdowns.  But he didn’t win the fight.
8) Tony Thompson (5-7-206)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- W* (SD12) vs. #8 Odlanier Solis
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. #11 Carlos Takam
Thompson- no stranger to the road- will visit France for a fight with tough customer Carlos Takam on June 6.
9) Tomasz Adamek (5-211-211)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
I’d have to think Adamek would at least consider retirement after being brutalized for 12 rounds by a guy that had looked like he might top out around the top 15.  He’s recently announced his candidacy for the European parliament elections in May, so that may be a sign that he’s leaning that direction.
10) Odlanier Solis (5-59-206)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
The Solis haters are out in force, claiming a clear loss in a fight that Solis deserved to win.  You might not like his physique or his training habits or his style, but if he outfights the other guy, he still deserves to be respected as a winner at least as much as a disappointment.  A loss to Thompson is not that embarrassing, especially when you ought to have won it.
11) Carlos Takam (5-16)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. #8 Tony Thompson
See Thompson’s notes, above.
12) Bermane Stiverne (5-62)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #13 Chris Arreola
ESPN has landed the fight- their biggest score in a while on that front.  May 10 in Los Angeles.
13) Chris Arreola (5-35)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Deontay Wilder (5-54)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 #19 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
With the win over Scott, Wilder appears poised to fight the Stiverne-Arreola winner for an alphabet title and probably near-universal recognition as the best American heavyweight.  If that falls through for some reason, Andy Ruiz wants to step in to fight him.
15) Erkan Teper (5-36)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Alex Leapai (5-24)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Leapai is reportedly interested in fighting Shannon Briggs in the wake of his total non-performance against the Champ.
17) Andy Ruiz (5-24)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Ruiz was scheduled to fight on the Marquez-Alvarado undercard on May 10, but has been bumped back a week to a fight in Fresno against Manuel Quezada.
18) Seth Mitchell (5-48)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- L (TKO1) vs. Chris Arreola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mitchell’s chin is so fragile that he might want to consider calling it a career.  Golden Boy’s CEO says he’s advised Mitchell to do just that, though he reports that Mitchell seems to have no such intention.
19) Johnathon Banks (5-9)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
There is some buzz about Banks potentially entering an 8-man tournament in Auckland, which already includes Sam Peter, Kali Meehan, Martin Rogan, and Michael Sprott.  This would take place on June 4, and would be similar to Britain’s Prizefighter concept.
20) Francesco Pianeta (5-8)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO2 Robert Teuber (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/30/2014- vs. Mickael Vieira (UNR)
Pianeta makes his 2014 debut in Dresden on May 30 against lower-mid-level journeyman Mickael Vieira of France.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Saturday
#12 Bermane Stiverne vs. #13 Chris Arreola; Los Angeles, California; ESPN (US)
Stiverne had a fair amount too much for Arreola the first time, and I see little reason to think this will be much different.  My belief is that Arreola is not concise enough in his punches to be consistently effective while avoiding the heavy artillery of Stiverne, whose only problem is his often sparing punch output- a problem Arreola emphatically does not suffer from.  Still, Arreola can be hurt, and I think he will be.  The one ray of hope from the first fight is that Arreola was fighting with a broken nose from early in the fight.  Perhaps he has more for Stiverne than he was able to show that night.  The winner will claim the alphabet belt Vitali vacated, but will be far from a true champion or even the top contender that the previous holder was at the time of his retirement.

 

Eric Molina vs. Davarryl Williamson; Los Angeles, California; Off TV
Molina is a two-loss fringe prospect whose lone loss since his first pro fight came against Arreola in 2012.  He crashed the top 50 by defeating gatekeeper Tony Grano in his last fight a little over a year ago.  Williamson was once a notable name in the division, but he last beat a top 50 fighter in 2005, last fought in 2012, and last won in 2011.  He’s very much a journeyman at present.

Heavyweight: 2013, Apr 29- May 5

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on April 30, 2013 by danboxing
There were no fewer than 5 fights involving top 50 heavyweights this week.  Here is a rundown, in order of expected importance.

 

#15 Chris Arreola returned to the ring to fight his best opponent, by far, in the 3 years since his close loss to Tomasz Adamek when his long-delayed fight with #19 Bermane Stiverne finally came off on Saturday in Ontario, California.  The favored Arreola won the first round and avoided being hit by anything of note, but Stiverne got into the fight in the second before taking it over in the third.  Just as the bell was about to ring to end that round , Stiverne caught Arreola with a huge right hand that all at once dropped him, hurt him, and broke his nose.  Arreola had little answer thereafter, as Stiverne was more active (the one aspect that Arreola very clearly seemed to have in his favor going into the fight), moved well behind the jab, had demonstrably more one-shot power, and appeared in significantly better condition.  Arreola mounted what was in many ways a last stand in the 9th to easily carry the round, but faded ever the more quickly thereafter, as Stiverne beat him from pillar to post in the 12th to put a cap on the fight.  Stiverne won by scores of 117-110 (x2) and 118-109 (my score, as well), to take the biggest win of his career so far.  And he looked good in doing it.

 

In a stereotypical crossroads fight earlier on Saturday, we got a stereotypical result on the Khan-Diaz undercard in Sheffield, England.  2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist Deontay Wilder, who had 27 (mostly empty) knockouts in 27 fights, finally got one worth having, battering recently resurgent fringe contender Audley Harrison to the canvas (perhaps even after he was already on it) before referee Terry O’Connor correctly stopped it after Harrison rose on wobbly legs.  The end came just 70  seconds into the contest.

 

Gatekeeper and former Vitali Klitschko opponent Kevin Johnson, who has been slipping lately, may have made himself somewhat relevant again by stopping one-loss Kiwi prospect Solomon Haumono in the 10th round in Melbourne, Australia.  Johnson, according to the report I read from East Side Boxing, largely dominated the fight before catching Haumono with a perfect right hand in the 10th that dropped him and prompted referee Tony Marretta to stop the fight without a count.

 

On the Martinez-Murray undercard in Buenos Aires, Russian undefeated prospect Magomed Abdusalamov put an old-fashioned whoopin’ on local journeyman Sebastian Ceballos, knocking the bigger man down 3 times in the 61 second-long fight.

 

On the undercard of Arreola-Stiverne, another significant upset as 2-loss prospect Eric Molina- best known for badly hurting Chris Arreola in early 2012 right before Arreola came back to knock him out in the first round- scored a unanimous decision over Tony Grano.  Grano has been viewed a rugged journeyman throughout most of his career, but came in as a top 50 gatekeeper type after a victory over DaVarryl Williamson in his last fight.  Molina was knocked out less than 2 minutes into his pro career, but went on an 18-fight winning streak thereafter against mostly weak opposition before stepping up far too steeply against Arreola.  As for the fight itself (which I have been unable to find video of), my source (Philboxing.com) leaves the impression the fight was largely boring, with Molina controlling range and keeping Grano at bay, dropping him once in the 5th but failing to follow up.  He appeared to be cruising to an easy victory but nondescript victory when, in the final round, he was dropped and badly hurt by a tired but determined Grano, and had to run and hold on for dear life to survive to the bell and secure the victory.  Scores were 116-110 (x2) and 114-112.

 

The two biggest winners of the night both made plenty of hay from their victories.  Stiverne advances to #12, his rise halted only by the fact that Johnathon Banks has beaten a #11 contender in Seth Mitchell, coupled with the fact that Stiverne drew, within a relevant time frame, with a very lowly regarded journeyman, while Banks only similarly struggled at heavyweight with a much better journeyman in Jason Gavern.  Wilder debuts at #14, halted by Tony Thompson, who has recently knocked out the man, in David Price, who knocked Wilder’s crowning opponent out in almost the exact same amount of time, and has also beaten a couple other top 50 guys, while losing only to the Champion in the past several years.  Arreola tumbles way out of the rankings.  Tony Thompson falls from #12 to #13.  Last week’s #13 and #14 Robert Helenius and Alexander Dimitrenko each fall two spots.  This is coincidentally also the week that last week’s #16 Denis Boytsov’s 2nd best win (out of a total of 2 significant ones) became more than 5 years old and thus no longer eligible for consideration.  With just his nearly 4 year old win over Taras Bidenko left to look at, Boytsov tumbles to #19.  No other changes.  Sorry if those weren’t enough.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (201-414-414)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Mariusz Wach (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/4/2013- vs. Francesco Pianeta (UNR)
Wlad will be fighting Italian fringe contending prospect Francesco Pianeta in Mannheim, Germany.  It’s hard to knock Pianeta as a fighter because he remains undefeated and was knocked off track by a bout with cancer a couple years ago, but it’s hard to get excited about any fight that, if the underdog won, would be considered the greatest upset in the history of the Heavyweight Championship.
1) Vitali Klitschko (238-238-238)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After speculation went wild over a Daily Beast article that seemed to be hinting at an impending retirement announcement, Vitali seems to have every intention of continuing his career.  He says he may eventually fight David Haye, but implies he would at least fight his mandatory challenger (the Stiverne-Arreola winner) first.
2) Tyson Fury (2-93-93)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- KO7 #3 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury is now suddenly the most proven heavyweight not named Klitschko, and will likely get a chance to add to his resume against Kubrat Pulev next, as an eliminator for Wlad in the IBF.
3) David Haye (2-42-42)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. Manuel Charr (UNR)
Haye had some good fighters willing to fight him- including Eddie Chambers and possibly Kubrat Pulev.  The disappointment I feel at learning that he will instead fight borderline fringe contender Manuel Charr can not be overstated.
4) Alexander Povetkin (42-288-288)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO2 Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2013- vs. Andrzej Wawrzyk (UNR)
Povetkin is set to fight mediocre-looking undefeated Polish prospect Andrzej Wawrzyk in Moscow, on the Lebedev-Jones undercard.
5) Steve Cunningham (2-19-19)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- L (KO7) vs. #6 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: Unknown
Only time will tell where Cunningham goes form here.  His hopes for a title shot are dashed at least for awhile.  Perhaps a trilogy with Adamek would make sense at this point.
6Tomasz Adamek (2-158-158)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- W (SD12)* vs. CW #4 Steve Cunningham (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Word is that Adamek will likely be fighting still relatively unproven Newark prospect Joe Hanks on June 14 in that town that they both currently call home.
7) Eddie Chambers (19-46-46)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers seems willing to fight anyone at heavyweight or cruiserweight, but you can’t have a fight with just one guy willing.
8) Kubrat Pulev (19-52-129)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After negotiatings to fight David Haye failed, it now seems likely Pulev has got Tyson Fury next, for a likely shot at Wladimir Klitschko in early 2014.
9) Dereck Chisora (19-74-137)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- TKO9 Hector Avila (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chisora put on a world-class snoozer against Avila, but still managed to bag a late stoppage.
10) Odlanier Solis (6-6-153)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- UD12 Leif Larsen (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis’ promoter wants to get him back in the ring within 3 months after the Larsen fight.
11) Johnathon Banks (6-24)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- TKO2 #11 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: 6/22/2013- vs. Seth Mitchell (UNR)
The Mitchell rematch- postponed due to a broken thumb by Banks- has been reset for the Malignaggi-Broner undercard on June 22.
12) Bermane Stiverne (1-9)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne is hoping that Vitali doesn’t retire so that he can try and do the honors himself.  At this point he’d be a pretty credible opponent, too.
13) Tony Thompson (1-153)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- TKO2 David Price (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/6/2013- vs. David Price (UNR)
After originally saying he’d only fight David Price in a rematch if Price came to the US, Thompson has instead agreed to fight in Price’s Liverpool backyard again.
14) Deontay Wilder (1-1)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- TKO1 Audley Harrison (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wilder wants a crack at Fury next, but the Brit is likely to go for Pulev instead, since the winner gets Wlad.
15) Robert Helenius (1-153)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Helenius’ team confirms another hand injury.  They say it will take 6 weeks to heal, despite rumors that it is more serious.
16) Alexander Dimitrenko (1-120)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko’s future is in doubt after he struggled mightily to survive a heavy knockdown and outpoint typically inept journeyman Ivica Perkovic.
17) Vyacheslav Glazkov (9-19)
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. 
18) Malik Scott (9-10)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. #19 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott is in Moscow at last check, sparring with Povetkin and Lebedev.
19) Denis Boytsov (1-202)
Last Fight: 2/15/2013- UD8 Samir Kurtagic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov’s 2nd best win- over Robert Hawkins- is now over 5 years old, and he has slipped a few spots as a result.  He’s getting closer to obscurity with each passing month.
20) Franklin Lawrence (9-9)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- Mark Brown (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lawrence reportedly pulled out of a planned (and very good) crossroads fight with prospect Bryant Jennings.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: The Heavyweight Championship is on the line Saturday in Mannheim, as long-reigning Champ Wladimir Klitschko takes on a relatively non-threatening opponent in undefeated prospect Francesco Pianeta.   Pianeta is unofficially my #22 contender, a cancer survivor, and a former Klitschko sparring partner.  To put in perspective just how light of a challenge this appears to be, here’s a comparison: Buster Douglas’ defeat of Mike Tyson is often viewed as one of the most shocking upsets in sports history.  That fight was Champ vs. #7 Contender.  This is Champ vs. #22.  A Pianeta win would be without question the greatest upset (in terms of rankings differential, at least) in the history of the Heavyweight Championship.

 

On the undercard, undefeated but rather inactive Cuban prospect Mike Perez finally gets back in the ring against journeyman Travis Walker.  Perez was the dominant winner of the first Prizefighter International Heavyweight tournament in 2011.  Walker was arguably the co-favorite for the most recent installment, but laid an egg in the first round of the tourney against Derric Rossy.