Archive for Erik Skoglund

Light Heavyweight: 2014, Apr 14-20

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 19, 2014 by danboxing
Berlin was the scene on Friday for a dominant display by one-loss Russian prospect Igor Mikhalkin, who won every round clearly, and in fairly punishing fashion for the most part, before a cut to his opponent stopped the fight.  That opponent, Algerian journeyman Mohamed Belkacem, was very flawed technically, and especially lacked defensive skill.  He also was too slow.  To sum up, he was outclassed and outgunned.  For his part, Mikhalkin looked strong, technically sound, and methodical.  His power looked pretty impressive, but he never really pushed the pace in an effort to get rid of his guy.  One note on the stoppage, which sent the fight to the cards: I never saw a head clash.  I can’t say for sure, but I personally thought the cut was from a punch and should have yielded a TKO.  But that’s just one guy’s opinion.  Either way, a nice little performance for a decent-looking up-and-comer.

 

Saturday was pretty busy, though none of the matchups will really set the world on fire.

 

This fight ended up being contested a few pounds over the limit, but I’ll discuss it here anyway.  Vyacheslav Uzelkoff threw his career away Saturday in Brovari, Ukraine by fighting like a total idiot against Serbian journeyman Geard Ajetovic.  The dude spent the first several rounds of the 8-rounder wasting as much energy as humanly possible while doing absolutely nothing that could have been remotely effective even under the most ideal of circumstances.  He bounced up and down like a jack-in-the-box constantly, even sometimes while in prime punching range for his opponent.  He constantly flicked out perhaps the most comically inconsequential jab I’ve ever seen, and really didn’t throw a punch that even remotely hinted that he was trying to win a round until the 6th.  If you don’t know Uzelkoff, he’s a big strong brutish kind of guy.  Picture a (very) poor man’s Sergey Kovalev.  Yet he was fighting as if he aspired to be a very poor man’s Miguel Vazquez.  It was literally insane.  The level of incompetence he and, I assume, his corner showed in terms of both gameplan and execution were frankly stunning from a guy with his extensive amateur and pro experience.  He fought with the skill and ring intelligence of a fighter making his amateur debut.  It was mind-boggling.  As for Ajetovic, he took what was given to him.  He fought only in spurts, but constantly came forward behind a high guard that Uzelkoff was content to tap at, rather than try to penetrate.  When he did let his hands go, though, it was extremely effective against Uzelkoff, who frequently backed straight up, and stood that way, as well.  I did give Uzelkoff the nod in a close 7th round, but the rest was all Ajetovic.  Shamefully, the verdict at the end of 8 was a close-looking split decision, as the judges were apparently trying to do to Ajetovic what the Russians are trying to do to Uzelkoff’s native Ukraine.  The best of the judges, Vadym Lavrenets, had it probably a round too close at 78-74.  Volodymyr Dyachuk’s 77-75 was pretty insane, though he at least had it for the right guy.  Oleg Kuderov, who on this evidence alone might be the worst active judge in the whole wide world, scored it 77-76 for the thoroughly dominated and embarrassed Uzelkoff.  Ajetovic’s dominant victory is nevertheless largely wasted for the time being, though.  He’s done nothing at the light heavyweight limit of any note, and considering Uzelkoff is a career 175 pounder and Ajetovic himself is pretty clearly a natural super middleweight, it simply makes no sense to treat this as a meaningful cruiserweight fight.  I will give this fight consideration, however, if Ajetovic adds a rateable win in an actual light heavyweight fight at some point.

 

Oleksandr Cherviak salvaged some sort of light heavyweight silver lining for the Ukrainian fans on the undercard, though, winning what was apparently, at least, a fairly clear decision over Artem Redko, a low-level fellow Ukranian whose only claim to viability in the fight going in was the fact that he had given Cherviak a close fight back in 2010.  That fight was also technically at cruiserweight, though in this case it didn’t really make a difference.

 

In the main event of the Sauerland Nordic Fight Night broadcast from Esbjerg, Denmark, Sweden’s Erik Skoglund successfully defended his European Union crown with a 9th-round stoppage of mostly game but totally outgunned Italian fringe prospect Danilo D’Agata.  Skoglund had won every round to that point by a wide margin, and finally put his man down in the 9th.  D’Agata got up, but had clearly had enough and turned to his corner while the referee completed the 8 count.  The stoppage couldn’t hid the startling incompetence of two of the judges, though.  Let me be clear…every round was clear.  Not kinda close.  Completely one-sided.  Yet judge Predrag Aleksic found a round for D’Agata, and Raiko Djajic found two, plus apparently another even.  After 8 rounds, he had Skoglund up by just 3 points, meaning D’Agata was still very much in the fight on his card.  Disgusting.

 

Last and perhaps least, on the non-televised Bradley-Pacquiao undercard, rugged undefeated prospect Sean Monaghan of New York scored a predictable 5th round TKO over low-level journeyman Irish Joey McCreedy of Lowell, Massachusetts.

 

Aside from Ajetovic, whose argument for rankings consideration is a non-started for reasons discussed above, none of the week’s winners were in deep enough to help their cases for rankings love.  That being the case, 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 (84-84-84)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kovalev’s promoter has zeroed in on the inactive Ward as an “inevitable” future opponent.
1) Adonis Stevenson (45-45-45)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO6 #6 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #6 Andrzej Fonfara
In something of a coup, Stevenson-Fonfara will be carried by Showtime.   This not only further diminishes HBO’s stable of top fighters, but also puts in serious doubt the plausibility of what appeared to be an upcoming megafight with Kovalev.
2) Bernard Hopkins (84-410-410)
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 (13-13-13)
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.  Once promoted exclusively by Yvon Michel, he’s recently added their fellow Canadian rival, Interbox, as a 50-50 co-promoter.
4) Sergey Kovalev (13-65-65)
Last Fight: 3/29/2014- KO7 #15 Cedric Agnew
Next Fight: Unknown
Kovalev had some choice words for Stevenson after the Haitian defected to Showtime and, apparently, scuttled their much-hyped matchup for later this year.  No news yet on what Kovalev’s next move will be after the development.
5) Chad Dawson (13-411-411)
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 (13-35-92)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- KO2 Samuel Miller (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
See Stevenson’s notes, above.
7) Tony Bellew (13-131-131)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO12 Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
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.  BJ Flores wants to fight him, but it sounds like he’ll fight Cleverly before the year is out.
8) Gabriel Campillo (13-199-199)
Last Fight: 8/16/2013- L (KO9) vs. #14 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: 5/9/2014- vs. Ricky Pow (UNR)
Campillo has replaced one low-level tune-up opponent with another, as Ibrahim Lopez is out and Ricky Pow is in for Campillo’s May 9 Madrid date.
9) Tavoris Cloud (13-242-242)
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 (13-219-219)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (TKO4) vs. #3 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Cleverly’s cruiserweight debut is once again on the schedule.  This time for May 17 in Cardiff.
11) Isaac Chilemba (13-115)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD10 Denis Grachev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba looked very very sharp in dominating a game Denis Grachev, and might soon be in line for a shot at Adonis Stevenson.
12) Jürgen Brähmer (13-104)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD5 Enzo Maccarinelli (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Braehmer certainly didn’t look spectacular after inflicting a gruesome eye injury on Maccarinelli, and the closeness of the fight thereafter has emboldened the Welshman to demand a rematch- one I, for one, would be interested to see.
13) Karo Murat (12-25)
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. (12-12)
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 (13-53)
Last Fight: 3/29/2014- L (KO7) vs. #4 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
After taking a risk against Kovalev and coming up short, I can only assume that his prospects for a regional title bout against Dudchenko and a IBF eliminator against Sukhotsky might both be out the window at least for the moment.
16) Edwin Rodriguez (13-40)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. Marcus Johnson (UNR)
Rodriguez will fight largely forgotten but still-viable prospect Marcus Johnson somewhere in the US on May 24.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (25-42)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (12-122)
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 (12-64)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD10 Andy Gardiner (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. Radivoje Kalajdzic (UNR)
Alvarez will fight a physically talented and undefeated prospect in Kalajdzic on the Stevenson-Fonfara undercard, but a prospect who is still a little rough around the edges.
20) Lucian Bute (12-76)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- L (UD12) vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute wants his contractually-guaranteed rematch with Pascal.  He recently parted ways with his long-time trainer.

 

The Week Ahead
Saturday
Francis Cheka vs. Sajjad Mehrabi; Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania; TV Unknown
Did you know Iran had a fight scene?  I sure didn’t.  Mehrabi is a product of that entity, such as it is, and an undefeated prospect.  He settled for a 4-round draw in his 2nd fight against a fellow 1-0 fighter, and has won on points in all but one of his victories since, having never fought outside Tehran.  Only 3 of his 13 wins have come against fighters with as many as one career win, and only one came against a guy with as many as 2 (that being a 2-3 fighter).  So he wins decisions against terrible/inexperienced fighters.  Not sounding too good so far, though he does have yet to lose.  Cheka is a veteran local gatekeeper who hangs around right on the fringes of the top 50 for the most part.  He’s coming off a 3-round stoppage loss to undefeated Fedor Chudinov, and has been struggling with middling prospects at times of late.  That being said, Mehrabi is so unproven that it’s hard to project him into having much of a chance against a guy this experienced, especially on the road.

 

#2 Bernard Hopkins vs. Beibut Shumenov; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Showtime (US)
The silly machinations of the WBA have elevated the very inactive Beibut Shumenov- who won his title on one of the most heinous robberies of the modern era and has defended it largely against borderline top 50 opposition since then, at best- to the status of “Super Champion.”  That’s a farce on multiple levels.  The guy has generally looked alright since getting battered in his “title-winning” performance against Gabriel Campillo in early 2010, but for the most part he might as well have been fighter a slew of 10 year-old girls.  I mean seriously.  This guy’s title defenses make Zsolt Erdei’s resume look like Muhammad Ali’s by comparison.  Uzelkoff was his toughest, and he’s followed that up with William Joppy, Danny Santiago, Enrique Ornelas, and Tamas Kovacs.  Shumenov is not only not a real Champion, but he’s not really even that close to being in the top 20 at the moment.  The last time he so much as fought a top 50 fighter- and only very arguably so- was well over 3 years ago.  Unless the 49 year-old Hopkins begins showing his age at long last, he’ll probably outclass Shumenov, though the former scenario is always possible at Hopkins’ age, and against a young, strong, competent operator, all of which do, in all fairness, describe the Kazakh.

Light Heavyweight: 2014, Apr 7-13

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 2, 2014 by danboxing
What might have otherwise been a competitive fight in Rostock, Germany on Saturday was compromised by the utter destruction of Enzo Maccarinelli’s eye inside of one round by #12 Juergen Braehmer.  Maccarinelli’s defense was leaky as a sieve, and Braehmer scored at will.  Braehmer’s hands reaped grotesque swelling on Maccarinelli’s right eye just a matter of seconds before the end of the initial round, after the Welshman had opened a small cut over the German’s eye.  Maccarinelli still couldn’t break Braehmer’s rhythm in the second, as his eye ballooned to full closure.  In the third, though, he began to hold his own.  I don’t know if it was because Braehmer was focusing too intently on the eye as a target or if Maccarinelli’s own focus simply sharpened due to the dire straights in which he found himself.  But whatever the reason, Maccarinelli clearly won the 3rd, and I thought he may have edged both the fourth and the 5th, as well.  But having exhorted their charge to give everything he had in each of the rounds since the 3rd in hopes of scoring a stoppage, and seeing that his eye was in desperately bad shape, Maccarinelli’s trainer pulled the plug after the 5th, a decision the Welshman didn’t seem to mind too terribly much.  I must say that Maccarinelli’s corner let him down at least a little bit in one respect.  There was no endswell.  When the swelling needed initial treatment after the first, the best Maccarinelli’s corner could summon was a rag that I charitably assume was filled with ice.  Now I’m no cutman, so it is possible there’s a school of thought among such practitioners that holds an ice-filled rag in greater esteem than an endswell, but if that is true, I’ve never heard that opinion.  To the best of my knowledge, the lack of an endswell is a universal sign of unpreparedness.  I can’t say that an endswell could have controlled the swelling any better in this instance, but it would have been worth finding out.

 

The fight was essentially even in rounds, which means I wouldn’t want to go so far as to treat Braehmer’s win as the type of unequivocal triumph that other forms of stoppages would deserve.  In these instances, I’ve reserved by precedent the ability to differentiate cut/injury stoppages based on the course of the action.  For fights 4 rounds or longer, I look at the scorecards, artificially flip a round to the winner, and if that score favors the winner, I treat it as a decision win for the winner at the least.  If he was winning convincingly, I can treat it like a regular KO.  If he wasn’t winning even after the extra round is given him, I’m more likely to treat it as more of a non-event.  In this case, 2 of the 3 Maccarinelli rounds were toss-ups, and if one of them were flipped to Braehmer, he would have been ahead.  I’ll treat it similarly to a close decision win for the German.

 

Braehmer, if he ever beat a top 20 contender in the past 5 years, did so 4 1/2 years ago against Kuziemski.  He’s therefore unable to eclipse Isaac Chilemba, who has beaten a #16 in Edison Miranda and a #9 (or should have) in Tony Bellew.  As a result, there are no changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks   in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (83-83-83)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kovalev’s promoter has zeroed in on the inactive Ward as an “inevitable” future opponent.
1) Adonis Stevenson (44-44-44)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO6 #6 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #6 Andrzej Fonfara
In something of a coup, Stevenson-Fonfara will be carried by Showtime.   This not only further diminishes HBO’s stable of top fighters, but also puts in serious doubt the plausibility of what appeared to be an upcoming megafight with Kovalev.
2) Bernard Hopkins (83-409-409)
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 (12-12-12)
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.  Perhaps toward that end, Pascal has split from his previous promoter, Yvon Michel.
4) Sergey Kovalev (12-64-64)
Last Fight: 3/29/2014- KO7 #15 Cedric Agnew
Next Fight: Unknown
Kovalev had some choice words for Stevenson after the Haitian defected to Showtime and, apparently, scuttled their much hyped matchup for later this year.  No news yet on what Kovalev’s next move will be after the development.
5) Chad Dawson (12-410-410)
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 (12-34-91)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- KO2 Samuel Miller (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
See Stevenson’s notes, above.
7) Tony Bellew (12-130-130)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO12 Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
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.  BJ Flores wants to fight him, but it sounds like he’ll fight Cleverly before the year is out.
8) Gabriel Campillo (12-198-198)
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 (12-241-241)
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 (12-218-218)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (TKO4) vs. #3 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Cleverly’s cruiserweight debut is once again on the scheduled.  This time for May 17 in Cardiff.
11) Isaac Chilemba (12-114)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD10 Denis Grachev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba looked very very sharp in dominating a game Denis Grachev, and might soon be in line for a shot at Adonis Stevenson.
12) Jürgen Brähmer (12-103)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD5 Enzo Maccarinelli (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Braehmer certainly didn’t look spectacular after inflicting a gruesome eye injury on Maccarinelli, and the closeness of the fight thereafter has emboldened the Welshman to demand a rematch- one I, for one, would be interested to see.
13) Karo Murat (11-24)
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. (11-11)
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 (12-52)
Last Fight: 3/29/2014- L (KO7) vs. #4 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
After taking a risk against Kovalev and coming up short, I can only assume that his prospects for a regional title bout against Dudchenko and a IBF eliminator against Sukhotsky might both be out the window at least for the moment.
16) Edwin Rodriguez (12-39)
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 (24-41)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (11-121)
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 (11-63)
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 (11-75)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- L (UD12) vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute wants his contractually-guaranteed rematch with Pascal.  He recently parted ways with his long-time trainer.

 

The Week Ahead
Friday
Igor Mikhalkin vs. Mohamed Belkacem; Berlin, Germany; Eurosport
Mikhalkin is a one-loss Russian who has been defeated only by the solid Aleksy Kuziemsky in 2010.  He comes off a split decision over Doudou Ngumbu, who himself was fresh off an upset over Vyacheslav Uzelkoff.  Belkacem is a mid-level journeyman from Algeria who has lost 3 of his last 5, including close decisions to both Uzelkoff and Ngumbu.

 

Vyacheslav Uzelkoff vs. Geard Ajetovic; Brovari, Ukraine; Boytsovskiy Klub (Russia)
Uzelkoff is a Ukrainian gatekeeper who was once a top prospect.  He has been stumbling of late.  Ajetovic is a Serbian mid-level journeyman who at one point over 5 years ago could have been called something like a fringe contender, but since suffering his second loss to Daniel Geale in 2008, he’s lost as often as won, and hasn’t beaten anyone better than a low-level journeyman in that time span.

 

Oleksandr Cherviak vs. Artem Redko; Brovari, Ukraine; Off TV
Cherviak is a gatkeeper coming off a loss by TKO to fringe contender Nadjib Mohammedi after derailing the career of undefeated Dustin Dirks.  Redko is, well, merely an opponent.  He comes off back-to-back draws to low and lower-mid-level journeymen, followed by a 6 round destruction at the hands of Maxim Vlasov.  He already fought Cherviak once, though, in 2009, and lost a close decision.  For that reason and that reason alone, the fight has some intrigue.

 

Erik Skoglund vs. Danilo D’Agata; Esbjerg, Denmark; BoxNation (UK)
Skoglund is an undefeated Swede whose best wins thus far were so-so decisions over journeyman Lolenga Mock and untested undefeated prospect Luke Blackledge.  D’Agata of Sicily is a one-loss prospect, having lost a split decision to Orial Kolaj, a journeyman on a similar level to Mock, after having beaten the same fighter earlier in his career, and he’s never faced anyone else at that level or above.  Neither fighter has really excelled above the mid-level of journeyman/prospects, and so there is plenty of room to imagine different outcomes for this fight.  Skoglund has earned the right to be considered a mild or perhaps moderate favorite, though.  I’m not sure if this one will make the TV portion of the card.

 

Sean Monaghan vs. Joe McCreedy; Las Vegas, Nevada; Off TV
Monaghan is an undefeated prospect who has been featured on HBO pay-per-view undercards in the past, with hope that he would become the next Mickey Ward or perhaps Arturo Gatti.  This is because his style is fairly crude and aggressive.  Whether or not he has enough talent to really merit the kind of long-term TV exposure that could keep him in the limelight remains to be seen.   It won’t be seen- at least not too widely or clearly- on Saturday, for a couple reasons.  First, because McCreedy is a fairly low-level operator who shouldn’t be able to test a guy like Monaghan on any level.  Second, because the fight is not expected to be carried on the PPV broadcast this time around.

Light Heavyweight: 2014, Feb 3-9

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on May 15, 2014 by danboxing
Undefeated Australian prospect Blake Caparello made his American debut on Friday’s ESPN2-televised card from West Orange, New Jersey.  Caparello more or less cruised to victory.  His opponent- Kosovo native and journeyman Elvir Muriqi- barely did anything at all for four rounds.  He did start to find his range a little bit and have his moments from there, to the point that I did give him 3 rounds, but he didn’t win any of them clearly.  

 

Undefeated Danish prospect Erik Skoglund predictably had his way with low-level Spanish journeyman Adasat Rodriguez, dominating for 11 rounds before stopping Rodriguez early in the 12th.  

 

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 (74-74-74)
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 (35-35-35)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO6 #6 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: Unknown Date- 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 (74-400-400)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Karo Murat (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Golden Boy has reportedly closed the deal on Hopkins-Shumenov, with March or April expected.
3) Jean Pascal (3-3-3)
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 (3-55-55)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO2 Ismayl Sillakh (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Kovalev is likely to fight Stevenson in late 2014, and has a March 29 fight coming up in Atlantic City- perhaps with Cedric Agnew.
5) Chad Dawson (3-401-401)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L(TKO1) vs. SMW #6 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Dawson is now a promotional free agent, and is looking to sign with a top promoter to start rebuilding after a rough year.  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 (3-25-82)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- KO2 Samuel Miller (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
May 24 looks likely for Fonfara-Stevenson.
7) Tony Bellew (3-121-121)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- L (TKO6) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: 3/15/2013- 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 (3-189-189)
Last Fight: 8/16/2013- L (KO9) vs. #14 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: Unknown
Campillo might be on his way to deserved obscurity after being robbed of deserved prominence for so much of his career.  He still has plenty of boxing skill, but his will might be fading just a bit.  For anyone who is wondering he says he plans to make another push for a title, rather than retiring.
9) Tavoris Cloud (3-232-232)
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 (3-209-209)
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 (3-105)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD8 Michael Gbenga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
12) Jürgen Brähmer (3-94)
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 (2-15)
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. (2-2)
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 (3-43)
Last Fight: 4/12/2013- UD12 #14 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: Unknown
Agnew was ordered to defend his regional title against fringe contender Anatoliy Dudchenko, and also appears to have the option of fighting Sukhotsky for a position as IBF mandatory.  Even so, he’s now being mentioned as a possible March opponent for Sergey Kovalev.
16) Edwin Rodriguez (3-30)
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 (15-32)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (2-112)
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 (2-54)
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 (2-66)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- L (UD12) vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute looks rather shopworn after the brutal beating at the hands of Froch, the close pitched battle with Grachev, and the humiliation at the hands of Pascal.

 

The Week Ahead: Light Heavyweight is no exception to the general rule of no fights, as the Olympics kick off this week.

Light Heavyweight: 2014, Jan 27- Feb 2

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on May 10, 2014 by danboxing
The week’s most important fight was the Friday Night Fights clash in Shelton, Washington between underrated #13 Cornelius White and well-connected undefeated prospect Thomas Williams, Jr.  In a single action-packed round, Williams dropped White with a left that may not even have landed, but which nevertheless caused an off-balance White to take a seat.  Later in the round, Williams caught White on the top of the head as he carelessly leaned forward.  This appeared to hurt him, and Williams displayed his killer instinct by peppering White on the ropes, causing referee Bobby Howard to stop it with only a matter of a few seconds remaining in the round.  But in between, White nailed Williams with a beautiful left that arrived first in an exchange, and dropped the prospect pretty hard.  The best knockdown punch of the night was White’s, but his chin- combined with a fair amount of sloppiness- really let him down in this fight.  An inescapable conclusion has emerged with regard to White’s career: if you can punch at a world class level or thereabouts (Williams, Kovalev, and Don George), you’re going to get him out of there early, since the opportunity is definitely there.  If you can’t (Despaigne and Sukhotsky), you might be in for a tough night, as he beat up those to guys in (non-televised) distance fights.

 

That same night in Pinamar, Argentina, fringe contender Roberto Feliciano Bolonti knocked out decent-ish journeyman Jose Clavero late in the 6th round of a scheduled 10.  

 

Saturday on the non-televised portion of the Mikey Garcia card in New York, undefeated local prospect Sean Monaghan blitzed faded journeyman Matt Vanda, stopping him in the closing seconds of the opening round.  Vanda announced his retirement after the fight.

 

Williams’ win allows him to debut at #14, with Karo Murat still taking precedence with his draw against Campillo.  White slumps to #18, rescued from total obscurity by his still-relevant 2012 win over Sukhotsky.  Sukhotsky himself is forced out in the transaction, after 9 weeks in.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (73-73-73)
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 (34-34-34)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO6 #6 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #6 Andrzej Fonfara
According to Ringtv.com, Stevenson-Fonfara will most likely land on May 24.
2) Bernard Hopkins (73-399-399)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Karo Murat (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Golden Boy has reportedly closed the deal on Hopkins-Shumenov, with March or April expected.
3) Jean Pascal (2-2-2)
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 (2-54-54)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO2 Ismayl Sillakh (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kovalev is actively pursuing a fight with a seemingly reluctant Stevenson, and says he’s open to fighting Ward at 175, too.  More recently, there is talk of a March 15 bout, with Pascal being one possibility.
5) Chad Dawson (2-400-400)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L(TKO1) vs. SMW #6 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Dawson is now a promotional free agent, and is looking to sign with a top promoter to start rebuilding after a rough year.  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 (2-24-81)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- KO2 Samuel Miller (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
See Stevenson’s notes, above.
7) Tony Bellew (2-120-120)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- L (TKO6) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: 3/15/2013- 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 (2-188-188)
Last Fight: 8/16/2013- L (KO9) vs. #14 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: Unknown
Campillo might be on his way to deserved obscurity after being robbed of deserved prominence for so much of his career.  He still has plenty of boxing skill, but his will might be fading just a bit.  For anyone who is wondering he says he plans to make another push for a title, rather than retiring.
9) Tavoris Cloud (2-231-231)
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 (2-208-208)
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 (2-104)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD8 Michael Gbenga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
12) Jürgen Brähmer (2-93)
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 (1-14)
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. (1-1)
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 (2-42)
Last Fight: 4/12/2013- UD12 #14 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: Unknown
Agnew was ordered to defend his regional title against fringe contender Anatoliy Dudchenko, and also appears to have the option of fighting Sukhotsky for a position as IBF mandatory.  Even so, he’s now being mentioned as a possible March opponent for Sergey Kovalev.
16) Edwin Rodriguez (2-29)
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 (14-31)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (1-111)
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 (1-53)
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 (1-65)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- L (UD12) vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute looks rather shopworn after the brutal beating at the hands of Froch, the close pitched battle with Grachev, and the humiliation at the hands of Pascal.
 

 

The Week Ahead
Friday
Blake Caparello vs. Elvir Muriqi; West Orange, NJ; ESPN2 (US)
Top Australian prospect Caparello makes his US debut in a Friday Night Fights main event against Kosovar journeyman Muriqi, who made a name for himself by losing a very close decision to post-Rocky Balboa-gig Antonio Tarver in 2007, but who has been in steady decline since then.

 

Saturday
Erik Skoglund vs. Adasat Rodriguez; Fredrikshavn, Denmark; 3+ (Denmark)
Skoglund is a Danish undefeated prospect- still largely untested- who has nevertheless made a bit of hay with his close win in 2013 over fellow undefeated prospect Luke Blackledge.  I can’t vouch for that result, since I can’t find a video of the close decision in Skoglund’s back yard.  Rodriguez is a low-level Spanish journeyman at 9-2-1.  His losses weren’t against anybody special, so it should be an easy night for the Dane.