Archive for Fres Oquendo

Heavyweight: 2014, Jul 7-13

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 20, 2014 by danboxing
Joseph Parker, an absolute beast of an undefeated Kiwi prospect at 6’4,” 230, just walked through 5’11” veteran gatekeeper Brian Minto.  Minto is typically no shrinking violet, but he looked totally intimidated by Parker’s size and power, dancing around on the outside and scraping his back on the ropes constantly.  He was clearly only trying to survive, which is not his style.  Parker did have some trouble catching up with Minto’s quick feet (never thought I’d say that), but Minto wasn’t really trying to win the rounds, and the few times Parker did catch up to him, he punished him plenty.  Minto was dropped hard in the 5th, and again in the 7th, after which his corner pulled the plug between rounds.  It wasn’t always the prettiest fight to watch, and in fairness you do have to wonder how well the careful and somewhat plodding Parker would fare against a classy boxer, but for what he was up against, it was a plenty impressive performance for the Kiwi.

 

This is an edit, because I apparently forgot to check the schedule for Sunday and missed this rather significant fight initially, but top 30 contenders Ruslan Chagaev and Fres Oquendo met up in Chagaev’s adopted home of Grozny, Chechnya, and it was a very very close fight.  Chagaev came out hot, applying pressure at least with his feet, and occasionally landing something of minor note.  But Chagaev was visibly fat, and it showed in his conditioning as well as his gut.  The Uzbek native was never a super fit guy, but to put his current state in perspective, consider that when he was beating Nikolay Valuev to reach his highest level back in 2007, he was under 230 pounds.  For this fight, he was a shade over 246.  I had Boricua-American Oquendo winning each of the last 3 rounds, and 5 of the last 7 to earn a draw on my card, despite the fact that he looked totally uninterested in working until at least round 4.  Despite the heavily-partisan crowd in Grozny, the judges did an admirable and completely unbiased job.  Guillermo Perez Pineda had it exactly the same as I did at 114-114, while the other two, Gustavo Jarquin and Alexs Marin, both had it a very reasonable 115-113 for Chagaev.  I thought a reasonable person could have scored it as wide as 117-111 for Chagaev, and maybe you could stretch it to 115-113 for Oquendo if you really wanted to.  Oquendo must be kicking himself if he’s seen the tape, because he didn’t even try to win more than 6 or 7 rounds in any meaningful way.

 

The undercard featured busted prospect but still borderline-top-50 fighter Edmund Gerber getting an easy 2nd-round TKO over low-level Mexican journeyman Vicente Sandez in his first action since he was stopped by Dereck Chisora in September.

 

Parker…ahem…parks himself in the top 30, but hasn’t done quite enough yet to earn a real ranking.  Chagaev and Oquendo both benefit substantially from the close fight, with both now ranked unofficially in my top 25, but with neither quite being able to quite sneak into the top 20.  If the result had been more emphatic, it might have been a different story.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (263-476-476)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: 9/6/2014- vs. #5 Kubrat Pulev
It’s looking all but certain that Wlad will fight Pulev on September 6.
1) Tyson Fury (21-21-21)
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) Alexander Povetkin (6-350-350)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- TKO7 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin wants to return in late October, and wants to rematch the Champ when he’s gotten at least 3 fights in with his new trainer.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (6-17-81)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: 8/9/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Glazkov returns in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on August 9, in a fight with an undetermined opponent to be televised on NBC Sports.
4) Amir Mansour (14-14-14)
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 (21-114-191)
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 (21-136-199)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Carlos Takam (5-5-25)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- UD12 #9 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam’s potential appears nearly boundless after he handled Tony Thompson more easily than anyone not named Wladimir Klitschko.
8) Bermane Stiverne (5-9-71)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne is hoping to fight Wilder sometime in November in either Montreal or Las Vegas, while Don King wants to stage it in Mexico for some reason.
9) Steve Cunningham (5-81-81)
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.
10) Tony Thompson (5-16-215)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Not that there’s any shame in being beaten by Takam necessarily, but Thompson’s performance was poor enough that you have to start wondering how much he has left.
11) Tomasz Adamek (5-220)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: 10/18/2014- vs. Artur Szpilka (UNR)
Adamek is back on October 18 against all-action gatekeeper Artur Szpilka, in what should be a cash cow for the promoters in Lodz, Poland.
12) Odlanier Solis (5-215)
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.
13) Deontay Wilder (9-63)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 #19 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Chris Arreola (9-44)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola just had elbow surgery, but is expected back in the ring in October.
15) Erkan Teper (14-45)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper’s effort in his last fight- and perhaps especially in the gym leading up to it- was awful, and he got lucky when his opponent turned out to be almost as out of shape as him, in addition to being an apparent quitter.
16) Alex Leapai (14-33)
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 (14-33)
Last Fight: 5/17/2014- TKO2 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/9/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Ruiz will return in a Unimas-televised fight on August 9.  No opponent yet.
18) Seth Mitchell (14-57)
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) Francesco Pianeta (3-17)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- KO1 Mickael Vieira (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pianeta says he wants to give Vieira a rematch due to the flukey broken arm that KO’d the Frenchman.  The fight was a waste of time the first time, honestly, so I’m not sure we need a second helping, regardless of the reason.
20) Malik Scott (3-3)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (KO1) vs. #13 Deontay Wilder
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: No significant action among the heavies this week.

Heavyweight: 2013, Jun 10-16

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on June 11, 2013 by danboxing
Undefeated San Jose prospect Gerald Washington passed his first real test Saturday on ShoExtreme, but only barely, and in one of the most boring fights ever, winning a tight fight by a wide 8-round unanimous decision that didn’t remotely reflect the action in the ring.  That is, if there had been any action in the ring.  On the bright side, Washington became the first man to ever knock Williams down, dropping him with a combination in the 2nd.

 

In a battle of two borderline gatekeepers/journeymen in Hammond, Indiana, former contender Fres Oquendo grabbed a foothold on a ladder back to relevance by outpointing Derric Rossy, who recently earned a degree of relevance by a somewhat better-than-expected performance on the most recent heavyweight Prizefighter.

 

The only change this week is that #7 Eddie Chambers, having scheduled a fight at cruiserweight for well over a year after his last fight at heavyweight, is removed by reason of moving down in weight, after he had been back in the rankings for just under a year.  Everyone ranked #8 and below last week moves up.  That includes Johnathon Banks, who returns to the top 10 for the first time since mid-March.  The vacancy at #20 is filled by Seth Mitchell, who resumes a ranking for the first time since November 2012.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (207-420-420)
Last Fight: 5/4/2013- TKO6 Francesco Pianeta
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. #4 Alexander Povetkin
The drug testing issues between Klitschko and Povetkin have reportedly been resolved (with a confidentiality clause), and both sides appear ready to officially sign the contract for the 10/5 fight.
1) Vitali Klitschko (244-244-244)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The Vitali-Stiverne deadline has passed with no deal, but I can’t find any evidence that a scheduled purse bid has been held or rescheduled.  Pretty odd for a very big international fight.
2) Tyson Fury (8-99-99)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- KO7 #3 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury shockingly pulled out the the eliminator with Pulev, and appears close to signing on to a deal to fight Haye, instead, perhaps in August.  Without having really checked, it seems like that winner might have a chance to eclipse Vitali.
3) David Haye (8-48-48)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
See Fury’s notes, above.
4) Alexander Povetkin (48-294-294)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- TKO3 Andrzej Wawryzk (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Wlad’s notes, above.
5) Steve Cunningham (8-25-25)
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 (8-164-164)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- W (SD12)* vs. CW #4 Steve Cunningham (Robbery)
Next Fight: 8/3/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Adamek returns at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut on August 3 against an opponent to be determined, on NBC Sports.
7) Kubrat Pulev (1-58-135)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With Fury withdrawing from an ordered eliminator with him, Pulev now seems likely to get a mandatory shot at Wlad in 2014.
8) Dereck Chisora (1-80-143)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- TKO9 Hector Avila (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/20/2013- vs. #17 Malik Scott
In a surprise announcement, Chisora will be fighting Malik Scott- a much better opponent than the other guys that had been discussed.
9) Odlanier Solis (1-12-159)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- UD12 Leif Larsen (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/27/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Solis has signed on to fight in a planned WBC “World Cup” tournament, but for now appears set for a tune-up type fight against cruiserweight Shawn Cox.
10) Johnathon Banks (1-30)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- TKO2 #11 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: 6/22/2013- vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
The Mitchell rematch- postponed due to a broken thumb by Banks- has been reset for the Malignaggi-Broner undercard on June 22.
11) Bermane Stiverne (1-15)
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.
12) Tony Thompson (1-159)
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.
13) Deontay Wilder (1-7)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- TKO1 Audley Harrison (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/13/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Wilder is set to fight an unknown opponent on July 13 in Brooklyn.
14) Robert Helenius (1-159)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
If Helenius’ team was accurate on the severity of his hand injury, it should be healed by about now, although there were immediate rumors that the injury was more serious.
15) Alexander Dimitrenko (1-126)
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.
16) Vyacheslav Glazkov (1-25)
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. 
17) Malik Scott (1-16)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. #19 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: 7/20/2013- vs. #8 Dereck Chisora
Scott will travel to London and try upset Dereck Chisora on July 20.
18) Denis Boytsov (1-208)
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.
19) Franklin Lawrence (1-15)
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.
20) Seth Mitchell (1-1)
Last Fight: 11/17/2013- L (TKO2) vs. Johnathon Banks (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/22/2013- vs. #10 Johnathon Banks

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Several notables in action this week, but all of the fights would likely require a major upset to be of much consequence.

 

Friday in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, undefeated prospect Bryant Jennings continues his string of highly visible fights against mid-range competition by taking on high-level journeyman Andrey Fedosov on the NBC Sports Network.  In fairness to Jennings and his management, he was originally intended to take a major step up against #20 Franklin Lawrence before Lawrence withdrew.

 

In Hattersheim, Germany, prospect and (strangely) former title challenger Manuel Charr battles mediocre Russian giant Evgeny Orlov on Saturday.

 

In a very unpronounceable Polish town on the same night, undefeated prospect Artur Szpilka takes on mid-range blue collar journeyman Brian Minto.

 

In other Saturday action, former Commonwealth Champion Sam Sexton fights an unannounced opponent in Norwich, England.

Heavyweight: 2012, May 28- Jun 3

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on May 28, 2012 by danboxing
Nothing too consequential this week, but a few notable fighters were in action.  Friday in Hammond, Indiana, former contender Fres Oquendo needed 9 rounds to stop journeyman Joey Abell, best known as the guy Chris Arreola kissed after stopping him.  The following night, former Olympic Gold Medalist Audley Harrison of the UK stopped Iraqi-born journeyman Ali Adams in 4 in Harrison’s first fight since his 18-month old debacle against David Haye.  Later that evening in Managua, Nicaragua, Cuban prospect Luis Ortiz needed just two of the scheduled 6 to dispose of local journeyman Walter Palacios.  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: Wladimir Klitschko (153-366-366)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- TKO4 #16 Jean-Marc Mormeck
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. #10 Tony Thompson
Wlad will be defending the title against #10 Tony Thompson in what will likely be another ho-hum matchup for the Champ.  On the bright side, Thompson did put up a relatively spirited challenge the last time the two met in 2008.
1) Vitali Klitschko (190-190-190)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Klitschko’s potential choices for a September opponent currently appear to include the following: Seth Mitchell, Bermane Stiverne, Franklin Lawrence, as well as unranked prospects Mariusz Wach, Manuel Charr, and Luis Ortiz.  Fairly disappointing that Vitali’s not even considering any top 10 fighters this close to the end of his career, though there might be at least one interesting fight to be had from that group.
2) Alexander Povetkin (40-240-240)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- W*(MD12) vs. CW #5 Marco Huck
Next Fight: 7/14/2012- vs. Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Povetkin’s ludicrous fight with Rahman will now be the co-feature to Haye-Chisora in London.
3) Tomasz Adamek (11-110-110)
Last Fight: 3/24/2012- UD10 Nagy Aguilera (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/16/2012- vs. Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Big news!  Eddie Chambers- who was removed for inactivity from this very spot in the rankings not long ago- will be fighting Adamek in June on NBC Sports.  The stakes will of course be the #2 spot, which Povetkin now appears to be merely warming for the winner.  That is, if Chambers doesn’t withdraw from a 3rd consecutive bout.
4) Marco Huck (11-14-14)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. CW #7 Ola Afolabi (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Unfortunately, Huck is apparently making a thinly-veiled attempt to make a pointless fight with weak European cruiserweight paper champion Alexander Alekseev.
5) Tyson Fury (11-45-45)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- TKO5 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After a fairly impressive left-handed win over Martin Rogan, Fury appears interested in making a fight with Wlad or Alexander Povetkin.
6) Dereck Chisora (11-26-89)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(UD12) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: 7/14/2012- vs. David Haye (UNR)
The British Board is bitterly opposed to this bout- which they refuse to license- but apparently it is going forward anyway.  Get ready for a highly controversial blood-feud between Chisora and recent brawl opponent David Haye, July 14 in London.
7) Robert Helenius (11-61-105)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- W*(SD12) vs. #18 Dereck Chisora (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Helenius is now the mandatory challenger to #8 Kubrat Pulev’s European title- previously held by Helenius.  Helenius is still in the midst of an uncertain recovery from shoulder surgery, however.
8) Kubrat Pulev (4-4-81)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- KO11 #12 Alexander Dimitrenko
Next Fight: Unknown
Might have a Helenius clash on the horizon, though the Finn’s health is a factor.
9) Odlanier Solis (2-11-105)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD12 Konstantin Airich (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Considering he was extremely out of shape and had a surgically-repaired knee to worry about, Solis didn’t look too terrible in coasting to victory over a disappointing Konstantin Airich.
10) Tony Thompson (2-105-105)
Last Fight: 5/27/2011- TKO3 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Wladimir Klitschko’s comments, above.
11) Seth Mitchell (11-25)
Last Fight: 4/28/2012- TKO3 Chazz Witherspoon (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/14/2012- vs. Johnathon Banks (UNR)
Mitchell is set to fight the Klitschko-promoted Johnathon Banks, a mediocre one-loss prospect who is probably an upgrade from Witherspoon at least in terms of accomplishment, but a downgrade from Ibragimov.
12) Ruslan Chagaev (4-289)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO3 Billy Zumbrun (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The Valuev win is now over 5 years old, and Chagaev’s ranking has suffered as a result.
13) Alexander Dimitrenko (4-72)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- L(KO11) vs. #17 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite showing the heart of a quitter and the consistency of a random number generator against Pulev, Dimitrenko hangs on to a solid ranking because the other guys in his tier haven’t been winning meaningful fights lately.
14) Chris Arreola (4-167)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/23/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Arreola, it appears, will fight on the Matthysse-Soto, Ortiz-Lopez card on June 23.  Most likely his fight will be televised on Showtime Extreme again.
15) Denis Boytsov (4-154)
Last Fight: 4/13/2012- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov will likely fight in Moscow on August 24, but nothing official yet.
16) Jean-Marc Mormeck (4-105)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- L(TKO4) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 7/21/2012- vs. CW #2 Denis Lebedev (at CW)
It’s official.  Mormeck will drop back to cruiserweight for the first time since 2007 to fight #2 contender Denis Lebedev in Paris on July 21.
17) Bermane Stiverne (4-49)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- UD8 Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne is one of several opponents being floated by Vitali’s team right now.
18) Edmund Gerber (4-4)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- UD8 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most scintillating effort against a passive Harris, but the old man is what passes for a fringe contender in this division at the moment, and thus Gerber has built himself a ranking.
19) Franklin Lawrence (4-53)
Last Fight: 10/28/2011- TKO2 Raymond Ochieng (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lawrence is yet another fighter Vitali is interested in fighting in September.
20) Kevin Johnson (4-9)
Last Fight: 4/1/2012- TKO9 Alex Leapai (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/20/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Johnson is set to fight on June 20th in London, but no opponent yet.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: It’s fights like this that make me glad I don’t do audio on this blog, because there isn’t a way in hell I could pronounce this name right.  Polish prospect Andrzej Wawrzyk gets the toughest assignment of his career against veteran Russian trial horse Denis Bakhtov in some even more unpronounceable Polish town.

Heavyweight: 2012, May 21-27

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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