Archive for Giacobbe Fragomeni

Cruiserweight: 2014, Apr 28- May 4

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 1, 2014 by danboxing
The division’s biggest event of the week was the cancellation of Lebedev-Jones II.  Jones failed a drug test for Furosemide, the same banned diuretic (and potential steroid masking agent) he was busted for after their original fight, and which he had been busted for earlier in his career.  I don’t know if Guillermo Jones is this dumb, or if someone on his team is, or both.  Either way, someone is REALLY dumb.  Jones is nearly 42 years old, and is probably done in the sport, at least when it comes to serious contention.  The only remaining question is what becomes of Lebedev’s ranking if he isn’t able to get another fight scheduled within the next couple weeks.  I’m leaning towards giving him a couple extra months given the eye injuries that must have delayed this meeting, and given the foul play that may have played a part in those injuries and which torpedoed this fight on just one day’s notice.

 

#9 Giacobbe Fragomeni got a 6-round stay-busy outing in, pounding out an as-expected 2nd round TKO victory over 7-8 journeyman Olegs Lopajevs of Latvia on Saturday in Rho, Italy.  Lopajevs tried hard, but he clearly didn’t have the skill or physical tools to compete on this level, even with a fading 44 year-old contender like Fragomeni.

 

On the Klitschko-Leapai undercard in Oberhausen, Germany, fast-rising undefeated Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk dominated and stopped Ghanaian journeyman Ben Nsafoah in what was really a major step down in competition from each of 2012 Olympian Usyk’s first two fights, both of which were against upper-level type journeymen in Epifanio Mendoza and Felipe Romero.  Nsafoah certainly looked intimidating, having a splendidly muscled-physique that would be at home in the Mr. Universe competition, but save for a couple isolated moments, he was entirely in survival mode for the roughly 2 1/2 rounds before he was stopped, having tasted the canvas twice in quick succession.  He managed to frustrate Usyk’s attack for long stretches by bobbing and weaving on the ropes, but he seldom gave the Ukrainian anything to worry about on the other end.

 

Last week’s #10 Silvio Branco- 47 years young- finally decided to hang them up, and did it mostly on his own terms.  He didn’t always get the results he deserved in recent years, but he hung with top 10 opposition at his advanced age, at the very least.  Happy Retirement, Il Barbaro.  Branco is removed due to his retirement, and everyone ranked #11 and below last week advances.  Ilunga Makabu makes his debut in the top 10 with the vacancy, and Krzysztof Glowacki returns at #20 after a brief one-week stint on the outside.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (40-221-221)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Hopefully Lebedev can get back in the ring soon after Jones fell out of the fight with a second consecutive positive Furosemide test.
2) Marco Huck (14-386-386)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck fractured his thumb in training, and his fight with Mirko Larghetti is off.
3) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (14-201-201)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez’s fight with Kolodziej- originally postponed- has now been cancelled due to an illness to Hernandez.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (33-462-462)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk probably won’t return until the fall, with Drozd and BJ Flores being considered.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (14-39-77)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
6) Firat Arslan (14-103-146)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #3 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Having visibly regressed since his excellent first effort against Huck, it might be time for the 43 year-old Arslan to consider retirement.
7) Grigory Drozd (23-30-77)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
8) Ola Afolabi (23-268-268)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi is now slated for an eventual eliminator with Pawel Kolodziej for a shot at Yoan Pablo Hernandez.  K2 has won the purse bids, and the fight is currently in the process of being worked out.  It’s targeted for the summer.
9) Giacobbe Fragomeni (23-33-285)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Olegs Lopajevs (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The fight with Lopajevs was purely a stay-busy contest, but he’s talking about another title shot even at 44 years old.
10) Ilunga Makabu (1-1-42)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO2 Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. #12 Mateusz Masternak
Makabu will fight Masternak in a heck of a match-up on June 21 in Monaco.
11) Santander Silgado (1-26)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Silgado is scheduled to return against an unannounced opponent on May 17 in Arjona, Colombia.
12) Mateusz Masternak (1-109)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- UD8 Stjepan Vugdelija (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. #10 Ilunga Makabu
See Makabu’s notes, above.
13) Lukasz Janik (1-26)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik would like a well-deserved rematch with Afolabi.
14) Ovill McKenzie (1-3)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- KO5 #18 Tony Conquest
Next Fight: Unknown
McKenzie is at cruiserweight mainly because he can’t get fights at 175.  He doesn’t seem married to the idea of staying at this weight, and has mentioned wanting a shot at Juergen Braehmer.
15) Danie Venter (1-33)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Dmytro Kucher (1-96)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Nuri Seferi (1-19)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- Robbery Win (should be draw) vs. Gusmyr Perdomo (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/16/2014- vs. Tamas Lodi (UNR)
A quick turnaround for Seferi, and unfortunately no immediate rematch for Perdomo, as Seferi will take on mid-level Hungarian journeyman Tamas Lodi in Hamburg on May 16.
18) Gusmyr Perdomo (1-3)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- Robbery Loss (should be draw) vs. #15 Nuri Seferi
Next Fight: Unknown
Perdomo deserved at least a draw against Seferi, but the judges summoned just enough coincidental incompetence to take it from him.
19) Yunier Dorticos (1-2)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- KO4 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Krzysztof Glowacki (1-1)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)

Next Fight: Unknown
Glowacki is the top contender for the title held by Huck, but might never get that exact shot, since Huck is making noise about moving up.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: No action to report this week.

Cruiserweight: 2014, Apr 21-27

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 24, 2014 by danboxing
Undefeated prospect Yunier Dorticos continued to rip through the gatekeeper level of the division on Wednesday, knocking out Eric Fields at the end of the 4th round in Santa Monica.  It wasn’t all fun and games, though, as Fields dropped Dorticos in the first round along the way.  The card wasn’t televised, so I can’t add a lot of color to that result.  What I can tell you is that Dorticos- whose name, if I’m being honest, leaves me craving Spicy Nacho every time I type it- returns to the rankings with the win after a brief spell of one week on the outside.  He leapfrogs Glowacki- who exits after 38 consecutive weeks- and takes over at #20.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (39-220-220)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/25/2014- vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Reports of a done deal for April 19 were premature…the real date for Lebedev-Jones II will be April 25, in Moscow.
2) Marco Huck (13-385-385)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck fractured his thumb in training, and his fight with Mirko Larghetti is off.
3) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (13-200-200)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez’s fight with Kolodziej- originally postponed- has now been cancelled due to an illness to Hernandez.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (32-461-461)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk probably won’t return until the fall, with Drozd emerging as the most likely option.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (13-38-76)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
6) Firat Arslan (13-102-145)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #3 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Having visibly regressed since his excellent first effort against Huck, it might be time for the 43 year-old Arslan to consider retirement.
7) Grigory Drozd (22-29-76)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
8) Ola Afolabi (22-267-267)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
An alphabet eliminator has been ordered between Afolabi and unbeaten but unproven Italian prospect Mirko Larghetti.
9) Giacobbe Fragomeni (22-32-284)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- L (TKO6) vs. #4 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
I was sorta rooting for the shopworn Fragomeni to retire after taking a beating from Wlodarczyk, but he’s preparing for a tune-up on April 26 in Italy.  After that, he appears to be set up for the opportunity of fighting the destructive Grigory Drozd next.
10) Silvio Branco (22-22-110)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- W (TD10) vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Branco says that Chakhkiev lowered their monetary offer at the last minute, and that is why the fight didn’t come off.  He’s saying now that he may soon announce his retirement if he doesn’t get a good fight offer soon.
11) Ilunga Makabu (22-41)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO2 Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #13 Mateusz Masternak
Makabu and Masternak have reportedly agreed to fight, but I don’t have any details on time or place.
12) Santander Silgado (20-25)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Silgado is scheduled to return against an unannounced opponent on May 17 in Arjona, Colombia.
13) Mateusz Masternak (20-108)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- UD8 Stjepan Vugdelija (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #11 Ilunga Makabu
See Makabu’s notes, above.
14) Lukasz Janik (20-25)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik would like a well-deserved rematch with Afolabi.
15) Ovill McKenzie (2-2)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- KO5 #18 Tony Conquest
Next Fight: Unknown
McKenzie is at cruiserweight mainly because he can’t get fights at 175.  He doesn’t seem married to the idea of staying at this weight, and has mentioned wanting a shot at Juergen Braehmer.
16) Danie Venter (13-32)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Dmytro Kucher (13-95)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Nuri Seferi (2-18)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- Robbery Win (should be draw) vs. Gusmyr Perdomo (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/16/2014- vs. Tamas Lodi (UNR)
A quick turnaround for Seferi, and unfortunately no immediate rematch for Perdomo, as Seferi will take on mid-level Hungarian journeyman Tamas Lodi in Hamburg on May 16.
19) Gusmyr Perdomo (2-2)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- Robbery Loss (should be draw) vs. #15 Nuri Seferi
Next Fight: Unknown
Perdomo deserved at least a draw against Seferi, but the judges summoned just enough coincidental incompetence to take it from him.
20) Yunier Dorticos (1-1)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- KO4 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Friday
#1 Denis Lebedev vs. Guillermo Jones; Moscow, Russia; TV Unknown
Lebedev may have to overcome some demons to win this one.  Despite his #1 ranking, he was stopped in the ring in the pair’s prior meeting last year.  Lebedev was legitimately leading in the fight, but was worn down and stopped late in a brutal war of attrition, after his eye ballooned to grotesque proportions.  Why is he ranked #1 while Jones is unranked then?  Well, Jones tested positive (and not for the first time in his career, mind you) for a particular banned diuretic and potential steroid masking agent, which prompted me to ignore the result.  After all, even if I didn’t care to judge the behavior in a punitive sense, there’s simply too much doubt as to the legitimacy of the outcome.  If Jones had been clean, it’s very likely that he would not have been so strong later in the fight as Lebedev wilted a bit.  But Lebedev isn’t the only guy dealing with adversity heading into the fight.  Jones will presumably have to go drug-free this time, and will have to try and reproduce a performance from a fight he didn’t win by much without that presumed advantage, and all while carrying essentially 42 years of age along with him.  Lebedev would have to be the favorite this time around, as he was the first time.

 

Saturday
#9 Giacobbe Fragomeni vs. TBA; Rho, Italy; TV Unknown
Fragomeni should probably retire, to be honest.  He’s 44 years old, and is no Bernard Hopkins.  It’s remarkable that he’s in the top 10 at this point, though in fairness he’s still relying to a large extent on fights that are almost 4 years old.  In recent outings, he’s struggled to controversial outcomes in toss-up fights with the even older Silvio Branco, and was beaten up in a trilogy bout with Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, and I think those fights give a more accurate picture of where he’s headed.  Still, his resume is good enough to hang on to a ranking in a thin division.  But he doesn’t have to retire just because I think he should, and if all he’s looking to do is cash paychecks in 6 rounders, there’s really no reason he can’t do that almost indefinitely.

 

Oleksandr Usyk vs. Ben Nsafoah; Oberhausen, Germany; Eurosport
Usyk is the 2012 Olympic Heavyweight Gold Medalist from Ukraine, and his career trajectory is steeper than most, in keeping with his more proven ability.  This is just his 3rd career fight, and he took on solid journeymen in his first two- perhaps even names you’d recognize if you follow the division closely- in Felipe Romero and Epifanio Mendoza, both of whom he stopped in the second half of scheduled 6-rounders.  He’s now a bona fide top 50 fighter in the pro ranks.  Unfortunately for those who were hoping to see him step up even more this time around, his Ghanaian opponent is nothing to write home about, and frankly shouldn’t amount to more than a stay-busy fight for Usyk.  But he could use the work.  After his first two fights were contested in just a 5-week span, he has had more than 4 months off.  Not bad for a top 50 fighter generally, but not good for a prospect this early in his career.

Cruiserweight: 2013, Dec 9-15

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on February 5, 2014 by danboxing
On Friday in Chicago, #4 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk took bragging rights in his trilogy with the now 44 year-old #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni, arguably winning every round before the fight was stopped by the ring doctor between rounds 6 and 7 due to a cut, and knocking the Italian down in round 4 for good measure.

 

As much as I think Fragomeni is clearly not a top 10 fighter anymore, I can’t objectively justify dropping him.  He’s got the 2009 draw with Wlodarczyk that still counts more than Branco’s win over gatekeeper Haapoja, and the rest of Branco’s relevant resume cancels out with Fragomeni’s, since at cruiserweight it consists exclusively of inconclusive results in fights against Fragomeni.  Fragomeni’s losses (including this one) are at a high enough level to not really alter that.  Huck’s resume still overwhelms Wlodarczyk’s, so there is no change there.

 

Alexander Alekseev announced his retirement, as he will now transition into a position as a promoter.  Supposedly, he would have made the same decision even if he had won a title against Hernandez.  He is therefore removed, allowing everyone ranked #13 and below last week to move up, and opening a spot at #20 for Garrett Wilson.  This proves once and for all how shallow this division has become.  I searched high and low for a contender to take the spot.  I even considered installing William Souza Bezerra despite my position that his fights are most likely fake.  Wilson gets in largely based on a loss- that I scored a draw- against Alekseev, himself.  

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (20-201-201)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The rematch with Jones, according to Lebedev’s promoter, is all but done for mid-March in Moscow.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (65-181-181)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez still seems a little vulnerable, needing his power to bail him out a little against Alekseev.
3) Marco Huck (13-366-366)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- W (MD12) vs. #5 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 1/25/2014- vs. #5 Firat Arslan
Huck-Arslan II has a new date of January 25 after Huck suffered a hand injury.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (13-442-442)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk had a relatively easy time in his third fight with Fragomeni, and is interested in Huck, Hernandez, Afolabi, Drozd, and Chakhkiev for his next fight.
5) Firat Arslan (13-83-126)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/25/2014- vs. #3 Marco Huck
See Huck’s notes, above.

6) Thabiso Mchunu (13-19-57)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/24/2013- vs. #20 Garrett Wilson
Mchunu will be back on an NBC Sports card on January 24 against Garrett Wilson.
7) Grigory Drozd (3-10-57)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- TKO11 #13 Mateusz Masternak
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Drozd will defend his European title in March against solid French journeyman Jeremy Ouanna, though Wlodarczyk’s team seems to think they might get Drozd in their next fight.
8) Ola Afolabi (3-248-248)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi needed a gift to squeak by Janik, and is on Wlodarczyk’s short list for the Pole’s next fight.
9) Giacobbe Fragomeni (3-13-265)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- L (TKO6) vs. #4 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
I really hope that Fragomeni will call it a career.  
10) Silvio Branco (3-91)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- W (TD10) vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I’ve heard unconfirmed reports that Russian prospect Chakhkiev wants a fight with Branco.
11) Ilunga Makabu (3-22)
Last Fight: 8/31/2013- TKO5 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. Pawel Kolodziej (UNR)
Makabu is set to fight undefeated Polish prospect Pawel Kolodziej in Monaco for an interim alphabet belt on February 1.
12) Santander Silgado (1-6)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: Unknown
Silgado may have caught a finished fighter at the right time in stopping Herelius, but in a fairly shallow division, that’s enough for now.
13) Mateusz Masternak (1-89)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (TKO11) vs. #16 Grigory Drozd
Next Fight: Unknown
Masternak is still a legitimate prospect despite his first loss, but can no longer lay claim to the status of “top prospect” after losing to Drozd.
14) Lukasz Janik (1-6)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik would like a well-deserved rematch with Afolabi.
15) Enad Licina (1-181)
Last Fight: 9/27/2013- TKO3 Levan Jomardashvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Licina needs a significant win before January, as his only relevant win in the last 5 years will become older than 5 years at that point, prompting his removal.
16) Danie Venter (1-13)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I must admit I wrote Venter off when he lost a bit of an upset to Mchunu last year, but Mchunu has proven to be something of a world beater since, and Venter’s overall resume is quietly starting to look pretty solid.
17) Dmytro Kucher (1-76)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher would like a rematch with Makabu, and has his sights set on Wlodarczyk down the road, as well.  He expects to be back against someone in November or December.
18) Krzysztof Glowacki (1-20)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- TKO3 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Glowacki is keeping very busy, and will fight on December 14 in Poland, less than 2 months after his previous fight.  He will be fighting Varol Vekiloglu, a late replacement.
19) Rakhim Chakhkiev (1-3)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- KO10 Giulian Ilie (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Garrett Wilson (1-1)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD10) vs. #18 HW Vyacheslav Glazkov (at HW)
Next Fight: 1/24/2014- vs. #6 Thabiso Mchunu
Wilson is not really a top-20 caliber performer, but I’m being forced to scrape the bottom of the barrel in a shallow division.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Friday
Alejandro Valori vs. Ruben Ponce; San Isidro, Argentina; Off-TV
Strictly a stay-busy fight, with gatekeeper Valori set to beat up on Ruben Ponce, a journeyman (to put it charitably) with a 2-8 record that Valori has already beaten twice.

 

Saturday
#19 Krzysztof Glowacki vs. Varol Vekiloglu; Walcz, Poland; Polsat Sport (Poland)
Glowacki is an undefeated prospect with crushing power.  Vekiloglu, a German Turk, is nothing special, really, but did gain a bit of respect in his last fight by unexpectedly going this distance with Firat Arslan.  This is really a pretty straightforward test of Glowacki’s vaunted reputation as a finisher, although Vekiloglu is not an unbreakable rock historically, having been stopped by the likes of Konstantin Airich and Nenad Borovcanin prior to the Arslan effort.

Cruiserweight: 2013, Dec 2-8

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 21, 2014 by danboxing
Undefeated prospect Dmitry Kudryashov detonated Congolese gatekeeper Zack Mwekassa who, despite mixed results, can still claim a stoppage victory over no less a world-beater than Thabiso Mchunu.  Kudryashov needed just 50 seconds.  Kudryashov is fast building a case as the biggest puncher in the division.  This victory may very well have earned the Russian a ranking, except that he came in a half-pound over the divisional limit, and is thus technically ineligible for consideration, considering this is his only top 50 win.  It will be considered fully (or nearly so) if and when he adds to it while making weight, but not yet.

 

No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (19-200-200)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The rematch with Jones, according to Lebedev’s promoter, is all but done for mid-March in Moscow.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (64-180-180)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez still seems a little vulnerable, needing his power to bail him out a little against Alekseev.
3) Marco Huck (12-365-365)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- W (MD12) vs. #5 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 1/25/2014- vs. #5 Firat Arslan
Huck-Arslan II has a new date of January 25 after Huck suffered a hand injury.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (12-441-441)
Last Fight: 6/21/2013- TKO8 Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Wlodarczyk will see action in the US for the first time since 2005 on December 6, fighting a trilogy bout with the rapidly aging Italian Giacobbe Fragomeni in Chicago.
5) Firat Arslan (12-82-125)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/25/2014- vs. #3 Marco Huck
See Huck’s notes, above.

6) Thabiso Mchunu (12-18-56)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu recently signed a promotional deal with Main Events, the promoter of his recent victim Eddie Chambers.  This ensures that US fans will be seeing him on NBC Sports in 2014, if not earlier.
7) Grigory Drozd (2-9-56)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- TKO11 #13 Mateusz Masternak
Next Fight: 3/15/2013- vs. Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Drozd will defend his European title in March against solid French journeyman Jeremy Ouanna.
8) Ola Afolabi (2-247-247)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi needed a gift to squeak by Janik.
9) Giacobbe Fragomeni (2-12-264)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- UD8 Toni Visic (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. #4 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
10) Silvio Branco (2-90)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- W (TD10) vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I’ve heard unconfirmed reports that Russian prospect Chakhkiev wants a fight with Branco.
11) Ilunga Makabu (2-21)
Last Fight: 8/31/2013- TKO5 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. Pawel Kolodziej (UNR)
Makabu is set to fight undefeated Polish prospect Pawel Kolodziej in Monaco for an interim alphabet belt on February 1.
12) Alexander Alekseev (12-151)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- L (TKO10) vs. #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Alekseev acquitted himself better in his TKO loss to Hernandez than he has in some of his wins.
13) Santander Silgado (2-5)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: Unknown
Silgado may have caught a finished fighter at the right time in stopping Herelius, but in a fairly shallow division, that’s enough for now.
14) Mateusz Masternak (2-88)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (TKO11) vs. #16 Grigory Drozd
Next Fight: Unknown
Masternak is still a legitimate prospect despite his first loss, but can no longer lay claim to the status of “top prospect” after losing to Drozd.
15) Lukasz Janik (2-5)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik would like a well-deserved rematch with Afolabi.
16) Enad Licina (2-180)
Last Fight: 9/27/2013- TKO3 Levan Jomardashvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Licina needs a significant win before January, as his only relevant win in the last 5 years will become older than 5 years at that point, prompting his removal.
17) Danie Venter (2-12)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I must admit I wrote Venter off when he lost a bit of an upset to Mchunu last year, but Mchunu has proven to be something of a world beater since, and Venter’s overall resume is quietly starting to look pretty solid.
18) Dmytro Kucher (2-75)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher would like a rematch with Makabu, and has his sights set on Wlodarczyk down the road, as well.  He expects to be back against someone in November or December.
19) Krzysztof Glowacki (2-19)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- TKO3 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Serdar Sahin (UNR)
Glowacki is keeping very busy, and will fight on December 14 in Poland, less than 2 months after his previous fight.  His opponent is one-loss German prospect Serdar Sahin.
20) Rakhim Chakhkiev (2-2)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- KO10 Giulian Ilie (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Chicago plays host on Friday to a trilogy bout between #4 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk and #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni.  But don’t be confused by the similar rankings.  Wlodarczyk is the prohibitive favorite, as Fragomeni needed perhaps a bit of undue deference from the judges to emerge from his two razor-thin fights with the ancient Silvio Branco.

Cruiserweight: 2013: Jul 29- Aug 4

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on August 2, 2013 by danboxing
This sucks.  The best cruiserweight fight of the year (and best matched, as well) is now essentially wiped out.  Last week’s #1 Guillermo Jones tested positive for Furosemide, a banned drug used to cut weight and also to mask the presence of performance enhancing drugs, for his fight against Denis Lebedev.  Honestly, the Russian mob appeared to be trying to influence the outcome of the fight even while it was going on, as the doctor was physically intimidated out of stopping the fight while Lebedev’s eye ballooned to ridiculous proportions.  For that reason, it wouldn’t shock me if the positive test was bogus.  But I was very clear on how this works when Tarver tested positive for steroids last year.  You test positive for a performance enhancing or weight-cutting drug, you’re out of the rankings.  If you get vindicated later, you’re back in as if nothing happened.  As for Lebedev, the rule is that under no circumstances will a fighter be punished for losing to a fighter who tests positive for these substances.  That makes it easy to decide.  #1 Jones is out, while #4 Lebedev gets a reprieve and is back to #1.  No, I don’t like it either.

 

Enad Licina once again took on a totally unworthy opponent on Saturday in 2-3 Marko Rupcic.  Rupcic was actually a little more in the fight than I expected, for the most part, but he lost every round and went down 4 times in the 6-rounder- once in the 2nd and 4th, and twice in the 6th. 

 

Apparently Cuxhaven isn’t a hotbed of quality officiating, though.  This fight was not easy for the judges to screw up.  Assuming Licina did indeed win every round, the only possible score with 4 knockdowns is 60-50.  One judge had it 60-53, which means he either didn’t give proper credit for the knockdowns, or that he scored each round that didn’t include a knockdown as even.  That’s preposterous.  I wasn’t scoring the fight too closely like normal, but the only round that Rupcic even seemed to sorta hold his own was the 3rd.  Another judge had it 60-49, which means that he scored one of the non-knockdown rounds 10-8, which is equally silly.  As for the ref , he was clearly incompetent, as well.  Each time Rupcic went down, this ref would casually direct Licina to a neutral corner, and then inexplicably begin the count (which was also painfully slow) at one, instead of picking it up from the timekeeper.  This resulted in an average of about 13 seconds for each of the mandatory 8-counts he administered.  Luckily for these clowns, not one of the officials has been identified on Boxrec.  In fairness, one of the judges did turn in a competent scorecard.

 

The fight was not at cruiserweight either, as Rupcic came in a shade over 200, and Licina checked in at nearly 210.  He hasn’t fought at 200 since November, and hasn’t beaten a top 50 opponent since January 2009, so his ranking is in peril sometime in either the Fall or Winter no matter how you look at it.

 

#10 Giacobbe Fragomeni also got a decision (in an 8-rounder) over a similarly hapless opponent.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None

1) Denis Lebedev (1-182-182)

Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)

Next Fight: Unknown

Lebedev was winning the fight on points against Jones when his eye ballooned and he faded to a stoppage.  Who’s to say that he wouldn’t have won if Jones had been weakened by making weight the right way (or by not using whatever PEDs he may have been masking with the substance)?  Lebedev is accorded the benefit of the doubt, and will be treated like the fight never happened.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (46-162-162)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez pulled out of his scheduled 2/2 fight with Eric Fields with a fractured hand.
3) Troy Ross (46-46-78)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Quote from Ross’s Twitter: “If the right opportunity arises I will fight again.”  That sounds more like a semi-retired fighter than the guy that just outfought the division’s #1 contender.  Here’s hoping he starts hunting for good fights like a starving mountain man any second now.
4) Marco Huck (1-347-347)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- W (MD12) vs. #5 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 9/14/2013- vs. #6 Firat Arslan
Huck will make a mandatory defense in a rematch against Firat Arslan on September 14.
5) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (1-423-423)
Last Fight: 6/21/2013- TKO8 Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk showed tremendous determination in first weathering a storm, and then rapidly breaking down a strong young challenger in his own backyard in Chakhkiev.  He indicated interest in moving up to fight Adamek, but Adamek isn’t for it.  His mandatory is Giacobbe Fragomeni, who would have little chance after struggling to practical stalemates with 46-47 year old Silvio Branco.
6) Firat Arslan (1-64-107)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/14/2013- vs. #4 Marco Huck
See Huck’s notes, above.
7) Ola Afolabi (1-229-229)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L (MD12) vs. #8 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
8) Danny Green (1-38-191)
Last Fight: 11/21/2012- UD12 Shane Cameron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Green is leaning toward retirement at last check.
9) B.J. Flores (1-9-162)
Last Fight: 10/6/2012- TKO2 David McNemar (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores’ fight with Nuri Seferi appears to have been off very quickly after it was apparently made.  No word on his next move.
10) Giacobbe Fragomeni (1-1-246)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- UD8 Toni Visic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fragomeni snuck in a strictly stay-busy fight with Toni Visic on Saturday, on about 1 day’s notice as far as I can tell.
11) Silvio Branco (1-72)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- W (TD10) vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Branco continues to chug along at 47 years young.  He’s like a lower-level Hopkins.
12) Alexander Alekseev (1-133)
Last Fight: 2/22/2013- UD12* Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alekseev barely squeaked by after building an early lead against Wilson, but it’s still an improvement from his previous fight.
13) Mateusz Masternak (1-70)
Last Fight: 4/13/2013- TKO9 Sean Corbin (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. #18 Grigory Drozd
Masternak will fight Drozd on the Klitschko-Povetkin undercard on October 5.  I assume his August 24 fight is now off since it’s no longer appearing on the schedule, but I’ll let you know if I learn otherwise.
14) Francisco Palacios (1-122)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- L(U12) vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Palacios very likely will not fight until after his contract with Don King expires in September.
15) Ilunga Makabu (1-3)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- W (MD12) vs. #17 Dmytro Kucher
Next Fight: 8/31/2013- vs. Eric Fields (UNR)
Makabu takes on borderline top-30 Oklahama one-loss prospect Eric Fields in South Africa on August 31.
16) Thabiso Mchunu (1-38)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO5 #20 Danie Venter
Next Fight: 8/3/2013- vs. Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Mchunu is being treated as a stepping stone f0r the cruiserweight ambitions of recent heavyweight contender Eddie Chambers, and the two will do battle in that context on NBC Sports Network come August 3.
17) Enad Licina (1-162)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- UD6 Marko Rupcic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Licina has been fighting nobodies slightly over the heavyweight limit since November.  He’ll be removed in November for inactivity at cruiserweight if he doesn’t schedule something at 200 by then, or in January if he does that, but doesn’t get a significant win, since his last one is 5 years old in January.
18) Grigory Drozd (1-38)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- UD12 Jean-Marc Monrose (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. #13 Mateusz Masternak
This is a pleasant surprise: Drozd’s Klitschko undercard fight will be an excellent match-up against Mateusz Masternak.
19) Dmytro Kucher (1-57)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher is practically back to square one after falling short against Makabu.
20) Krzysztof Glowacki (1-1)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- UD8 Taylor Mabika (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: This week at cruiserweight is all about Eddie Chambers move down to 200, and the resulting battle with South African prospect #16 Thabiso Mchunu.  That fight will be televised on Saturday by NBC Sports Network from Uncasville, Connecticut.

Cruiserweight: 2012, Dec 17-23

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on December 22, 2012 by danboxing
We got another inconclusive result in the Giacobbe Fragomeni-Silvio Branco saga on Saturday.  The first third of the fight was essentially even, with #12 Fragomeni coming on strong in the middle rounds, only to fade a bit down the stretch as #13 Branco closed strong.  All three judges- Sergio Silvi (116-112 Fragomeni), Massimo Barrovecchio (115-114 Fragomeni), and Franco Criminale (115-113 Branco)- had reasonable scores.  I had it a draw.  Two fights between the two, and I’ve had them both draws.  It could have been anything between 116-112 Fragomeni and 115-113 Branco without any serious argument from me.  I must say, though, that I don’t like the fact that Barrovecchio’s cop out even round may have made the difference.

 

#14 Mateusz Masternak, on the other hand, had a very easy night against Finnish gatekeeper Juho Haapoja.  Reportedly, he seemed bored with the matchup, and just hung out and won rounds in a boring fight.

 

Finally, on this side of the Atlantic, Argentine fringe contender Alejandro Valori stopped mid-range journeyman Orlando Farias in San Miguel, Argentina via 3rd round TKO.

 

Surprisingly, even though 3 ranked fighters were fighting top-50 opponents, there are no changes to the rankings this week.  Fragomeni and Branco pretty much proved that they belong back to back in the rankings, just as they already were.  And Masternak’s win doesn’t change the fact that he still hasn’t fought anyone in the same league as those guys yet.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (14-150-150)
Last Fight: 4/4/2012- KO2 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/17/2012- vs. Santander Silgado (UNR)
Lebedev has made a decision for his next opponent: Colombian undefeated prospect Santander Silgado.  Silgado figures to be little more than a stay-busy fight for the division’s #1 contender, but it could have been a lot worse.  In addition to a very credible fight with Kayode, a useless fight with journeyman Andres Taylor had also been discussed.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (14-130-130)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez officially got the win over Ross, and I’m not quite willing to call it a robbery, but it’s pretty close to one.  I think you’d be pushing the limits of reason to give the fight to Hernandez, and I think that even if you managed to do so in terms of rounds won, you’d have to admit that Ross got the better of the fight overall.  Even Hernandez promoter Sauerland admits that Hernandez didn’t deserve a win, and believes a rematch is warranted.
3) Troy Ross (14-14-46)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ross deserved to beat Hernandez.  That’s all I’ve got to say (except the more detailed statement I made above).
4) Steve Cunningham (14-444-444)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- UD10 Jason Gavern (UNR) (at HW)
Next Fight: 12/22/2012- vs. HW #3 Tomasz Adamek (at HW)
With Odlanier Solis’ withdrawal, Cunningham has a chance to avenge his 2008 loss to Tomasz Adamek just before Christmas, at heavyweight.  He’ll retain his ranking here until the anniversary of his February 4 cruiserweight fight, or until he schedules a heavyweight fight for a date after that.
5) Ola Afolabi (7-197-197)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi will fight Huck- likely in March- and will get robbed again in Germany.  There was some talk of a December tune-up, but I haven’t heard anything about that lately.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (7-391-391)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- UD12 #13 Francisco Palacios
Next Fight: 2/2/2013- vs. HW #18 Jean-Marc Mormeck
Slowed negotiations have led to a new date of 2/2 for Wlodarczyk-Mormeck.
7) Firat Arslan (7-32-75)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #5 Marco Huck (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
A bizarre twist in Arslan’s schedule this week, as he signed on to save Felix Sturm’s 12/1 show by replacing Ruslan Chagaev as the main support on just 2 days’ notice, but then he mysteriously changed his mind just hours before the bell.
8) Marco Huck (7-315-315)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #10 Firat Arslan (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck will apparently be fighting a 3rd fight with Afolabi in March.  The fight will sadly take place in Germany, nearly ensuring a robbery.
9) Lateef Kayode (7-29-109)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. ‘Roided up #3 Antonio Tarver
Next Fight: Unknown
After he turned down a fight with Lebedev over insufficient prep time, Kayode is once again indicating that his next fight might be at heavyweight.
10) Danny Green (6-6-159)
Last Fight: 11/21/2012- UD12 Shane Cameron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
As has been the case after every fight since he had very serious surgery a couple years ago, there is speculation that Green may retire following his win over Shane Cameron.  Green himself remains non-committal.
11) B.J. Flores (6-130)
Last Fight: 10/6/2012- TKO2 David McNemar (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores’ level of opposition lately is consistent with that of a protected undefeated prospect rather than a veteran contender trying to get back on top.  He’s completely treading water at this point in his career.
12) Giacobbe Fragomeni (6-214)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- W*(SD12) vs. #13 Silvio Branco
Next Fight: Unknown
You’ve gotta wonder if Fragomeni might consider calling it a career after now twice failing to conclusively beat 46-year old Branco.
13) Silvio Branco (6-40)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- L*(SD12) vs. #12 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Branco can still hang with whippersnappers like 43 year-old countryman Fragomeni, but you’ve gotta think his active days are numbered at 46.
14) Mateusz Masternak (6-38)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- UD12 Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Masternak just put it on cruise control and walked away with a European title belt.
15) Francisco Palacios (6-90)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- L(UD12) vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Very little of note left on his resume after his should-be win over Wlodarczyk was neutralized by a close but clear loss to same, and with his win over Louis Azille over 5 years old now.
16) Alexander Alekseev (6-101)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw*(MD12) vs. #19 Firat Arslan (robbery- should have been L)
Next Fight: Unknown
Apparently there are talks underway for Alekseev to fight American fringe contender Garrett Wilson.
17) Thabiso Mchunu (6-6)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO5 #20 Danie Venter
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu is probably ready to take the Chilemba/Oosthuizen journey out of South Africa and into the international scene after conquering the local scene in the form of Venter.  He may have some unfinished business with Zack Mwekassa first, however.
18) Dmitro Kucher (8-25)
Last Fight: 10/27/2012- KO2 Steve Herelius (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher took out one-time contender Steve Herelius in spectacular fashion, making him definitively one to watch.
19) Enad Licina (8-130)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO2 Koeksal Orduhan
Next Fight: Unknown
Really, Enad?  He just fought the most obviously terrible opponent I think I’ve ever had to write about on here.  The record of said fighter?  0-15.  No joke.
20) Grigory Drozd (6-6)
Last Fight: 6/20/2012- TKO1 Fabio Garrido (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/17/2012- vs. Jean-Marc Monrose (UNR)
Drozd now has an opponent for 12/17: French journeyman Jean-Marc Monrose.  They will do battle on the Lebedev-Silgado undercard.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: We’re off and running bright and early in the week with a cruiserweight-heavy card in Moscow.  #1 Denis Lebedev headlines with a tilt against undefeated Colombian prospect Santander Silgado.  On the undercard, #20 Grigory Drozd sees action against French journeyman Jean-Marc Monrose.  Monrose was briefly a contender after shocking unbeaten Johny Jensen in 2008, but was chopped back down to Earth by 4 consecutive losses between then and 2010.

 

Fast forward to Saturday, when Brazil’s two best cruiserweights meet up in Sao Paolo.  William Fernando Souza Bezerra is undefeated, and none of his 32 opponents have lasted the distance.  Ricardo Augusto Souza has only one loss.  The bad news?  That one loss was a two-round, three-knockdown drubbing at the hands of Souza Bezerra less than a year ago.  Souza has been very busy and effective since the loss, though, stopping 8 opponents in a row.  Anybody want to bet this one doesn’t go the distance?  This fight is for Souza Bezerra’s Brazilian title, which is very legitimate.  It’s also being billed as a South American title fight.  Souza Bezerra won that vacant title in October 2010 over a guy who was not one of the top contenders by any legitimate measure.  The true South American champion can only be determined at present by a matchup between Souza Bezerra and Alejandro Valori of Argentina- a fight I’d certainly like to see.

Cruiserweight: 2012, Dec 10-16

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on December 10, 2012 by danboxing
Undefeated Cuban Yunier Dorticos was scheduled to fight on Friday, but that fight was evidently canceled within a week of the fight.  Dorticos already had been inactive for more than a year, and I’m not sure what problems he’s having to cause that at this stage.  No changes to the rankings.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (13-149-149)
Last Fight: 4/4/2012- KO2 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/17/2012- vs. Santander Silgado (UNR)
Lebedev has made a decision for his next opponent: Colombian undefeated prospect Santander Silgado.  Silgado figures to be little more than a stay-busy fight for the division’s #1 contender, but it could have been a lot worse.  In addition to a very credible fight with Kayode, a useless fight with journeyman Andres Taylor had also been discussed.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (13-129-129)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez officially got the win over Ross, and I’m not quite willing to call it a robbery, but it’s pretty close to one.  I think you’d be pushing the limits of reason to give the fight to Hernandez, and I think that even if you managed to do so in terms of rounds won, you’d have to admit that Ross got the better of the fight overall.  Even Hernandez promoter Sauerland admits that Hernandez didn’t deserve a win, and believes a rematch is warranted.
3) Troy Ross (13-13-45)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ross deserved to beat Hernandez.  That’s all I’ve got to say (except the more detailed statement I made above).
4) Steve Cunningham (13-443-443)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- UD10 Jason Gavern (UNR) (at HW)
Next Fight: 12/22/2012- vs. HW #3 Tomasz Adamek (at HW)
With Odlanier Solis’ withdrawal, Cunningham has a chance to avenge his 2008 loss to Tomasz Adamek just before Christmas, at heavyweight.  He’ll retain his ranking here until the anniversary of his February 4 cruiserweight fight, or until he schedules a heavyweight fight for a date after that.
5) Ola Afolabi (6-196-196)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi will fight Huck- likely in March- and will get robbed again in Germany.  There was some talk of a December tune-up, but I haven’t heard anything about that lately.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (6-390-390)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- UD12 #13 Francisco Palacios
Next Fight: 12/22/2012- vs. HW #18 Jean-Marc Mormeck
Wlodarczyk confirmed the 12/22 fight with Mormeck.
7) Firat Arslan (6-31-74)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #5 Marco Huck (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
A bizarre twist in Arslan’s schedule this week, as he signed on to save Felix Sturm’s 12/1 show by replacing Ruslan Chagaev as the main support on just 2 days’ notice, but then he mysteriously changed his mind just hours before the bell.
8) Marco Huck (6-314-314)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #10 Firat Arslan (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck will apparently be fighting a 3rd fight with Afolabi in March.  The fight will sadly take place in Germany, nearly ensuring a robbery.
9) Lateef Kayode (6-28-108)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. ‘Roided up #3 Antonio Tarver
Next Fight: Unknown
After he turned down a fight with Lebedev over insufficient prep time, Kayode is once again indicating that his next fight might be at heavyweight.
10) Danny Green (5-5-158)
Last Fight: 11/21/2012- UD12 Shane Cameron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
As has been the case after every fight since he had very serious surgery a couple years ago, there is speculation that Green may retire following his win over Shane Cameron.  Green himself remains non-committal.
11) B.J. Flores (5-129)
Last Fight: 10/6/2012- TKO2 David McNemar (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores’ level of opposition lately is consistent with that of a protected undefeated prospect rather than a veteran contender trying to get back on top.  He’s completely treading water at this point in his career.
12) Giacobbe Fragomeni (5-213)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/15/2012- vs. #13 Silvio Branco
Just when I thought both quatrogenarians might call it a career, we’ll see a rematch of Fragomeni-Branco real soon.
13) Silvio Branco (5-39)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: 12/15/2012- vs. #12 Giacobbe Fragomeni
A rematch is on tap for Branco and relative spring chicken Fragomeni.  Combined age of the two fighters: 89.
14) Mateusz Masternak (5-37)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- TKO8 David Quinonero (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/15/2012- vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Masternak will fight for a vacant and highly questionable European belt against Finnish gatekeeper Juho Haapoja in mid-December.
15) Francisco Palacios (5-89)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- L(UD12) vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Very little of note left on his resume after his should-be win over Wlodarczyk was neutralized by a close but clear loss to same, and with his win over Louis Azille over 5 years old now.
16) Alexander Alekseev (5-100)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw*(MD12) vs. #19 Firat Arslan (robbery- should have been L)
Next Fight: Unknown
Apparently there are talks underway for Alekseev to fight American fringe contender Garrett Wilson.
17) Thabiso Mchunu (5-5)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO5 #20 Danie Venter
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu is probably ready to take the Chilemba/Oosthuizen journey out of South Africa and into the international scene after conquering the local scene in the form of Venter.  He may have some unfinished business with Zack Mwekassa first, however.
18) Dmitro Kucher (7-24)
Last Fight: 10/27/2012- KO2 Steve Herelius (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher took out one-time contender Steve Herelius in spectacular fashion, making him definitively one to watch.
19) Enad Licina (7-129)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO2 Koeksal Orduhan
Next Fight: Unknown
Really, Enad?  He just fought the most obviously terrible opponent I think I’ve ever had to write about on here.  The record of said fighter?  0-15.  No joke.
20) Grigory Drozd (5-5)
Last Fight: 6/20/2012- TKO1 Fabio Garrido (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/17/2012- vs. Jean-Marc Monrose (UNR)
Drozd now has an opponent for 12/17: French journeyman Jean-Marc Monrose.  They will do battle on the Lebedev-Silgado undercard.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Three notable fights on Friday, with two having high potential to seriously impact the rankings.  The biggest one being in Riva del Garda, Italy- a rematch between #12 Giacobbe Fragomeni and #13 Silvio Branco, who fought to a draw in March.  Both men should be getting long in the tooth right now, with Fragomeni being 43 and Branco being 46, but that doesn’t change the fact that the winner (if we get one this time) will most likely have to be considered a top 10 fighter.

 

#14 Mateusz Masternak fights on the Abraham-Bouadla undercard in Nuremberg against Finnish gatekeeper Juho Haapoja for a vacant European belt.  Haapoja opened his career as a pudgy heavyweight, and lost his first fight to fellow first-timer Remigijus Ziausys, who has gone on to be a low-level journeyman.  In 2007 he endured a 10-round draw with a 3-1 fighter that never fought again.  The following year he was knocked out by Denis Bakhtov, who was a mid-level journeyman then, just as he is now.  He also lost a split decision as recently as 2009 to Jarno Rosberg, an undefeated fighter who I’ve seen on a Haapoja undercard looking incredibly crappy against a total bum.  In fairness, Rosberg was caught doping after the fight.  Haapoja is at the gatekeeper level right now primarily because of a fairly close decision he won 15 months ago, at home, over a mid-level journeyman in Faisal Arrami.  My point is, I’m not sure why anyone considers him one of the top 2 available contenders for a European title.  Assume Lebedev, Afolabi, Wlodarczyk, Arslan, and Huck are all at too high a level.  Assume Fragomeni and Branco had already decided to fight each other and were not available.  That makes Masternak a worthy choice.  Alekseev was stripped of the title already, so let’s rule him out.  What about Dmitro Kucher?  Enad Licina?  Grigory Drozd?  Glazewski?  Glowacki?  Chakhkiev?  Vincenzo Rossito?  Kolodziej?  Herelius?  Dudchenko?  You can’t tell me all of those guys turned it down.

 

In a likely less important fight in San Miguel, Argentina, local fringe contender Alejandro Valori fights mid-level journeyman Orlando Farias.

Cruiserweight: 2012, Mar 19-25

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 30, 2012 by danboxing
A pretty major upset went down this week in Pavia, Italy.  #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni was somewhat befuddled by the superior movement and precision of the 45-year-old Silvio Branco.  Fragomeni came forward for most of the fight and threw the harder shots, but even when he got Branco backed to the ropes, it was often Branco who calmly landed straight counters, while Fragomeni missed or cuffed Branco with looping shots.  The judging was solid, and the result was a majority draw. 

 

Meanwhile, in Poland, local undefeated prospect Pawel Kolodziej defeated Romanian journeyman Giulian Ilie by a fair margin.

 

The Fragomeni-Branco result naturally throws the rankings into a bit of flux.  Fragomeni really had to be ranked #10 due to his win over 10th-ranked Rudolph Kraj and draw with Krzyzstof Wlodarczyk- both pretty old fights at this point- but I think it’s been a general consensus that, at 42, he was no longer as good as his ranking.  He proved that against the even older Branco.  Branco has a couple losses against good competition at light heavyweight a couple years or so ago, but this was his first significant fight at 200, giving him essentially a clean slate.  A draw against a top ten contender isn’t exactly a bad way to start filling that slate.  Fragomeni slides down to #14 since his draw with Branco reveals him to be at a significantly lower level than he occupied when he fought Kraj and Wlodarczyk.  Branco, with the good mark on his resume, debuts at #15, ahead of Enad Licina, who has been losing lately.  Fragomeni’s fall makes way for B.J. Flores to re-enter the top 10 for the first time in about 18 months, I believe.  Everybody else ranked 11-14 last week moves up a spot, as well.  Meanwhile, Branco’s debut forces everyone ranked 15 or below down a notch, including Eric Fields, who exits the rankings for the time being after 22 consecutive weeks.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (7-91-91)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Erased any doubt as to the better fighter between him and Cunningham.  A fight with Lebedev now would be huge.
2) Denis Lebedev (7-111-111)
Last Fight: 11/4/2011- UD12 James Toney (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/4/2012- vs. Shawn Cox (UNR)
After reportedly being close to signing a fight with French gatekeeper Rachid El Hadak, Lebedev has instead opted for a bout with Shawn Cox.  This seems like a very low-reward fight for Lebedev, and if Cox happens to be for real after demolishing former contender Wayne Braithwaite, it might carry some risk, too.  I don’t understand the matchmaking from Lebedev’s team.
3) Antonio Tarver (7-35-35)
Last Fight: 7/20/2011- RTD9 #7 Danny Green
Next Fight: 5/26/2012- vs. #14 Lateef Kayode
Tarver criticized Kayode on ShoBox, and Kayode took exception.  So now we have a grudge match.  I don’t think the Nigerian is ready for this, but perhaps Tarver will finally show his age.
4) Marco Huck (7-276-276)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- L*(MD12) vs. HW #2 Alexander Povetkin (at HW)
Next Fight: 5/5/2012- vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Huck will fight Afolabi May 5 in Erfurt, Germany, fresh off his near victory over Povetkin at heavyweight.
5) Steve Cunningham (7-405-405)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (16-352-352)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- TKO11 #9 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
7) Ola Afolabi (16-158-158)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- RTD5 Valery Brudov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Huck’s notes, above.
8) Guillermo Jones (16-77-77)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jones has come to Miami for the purpose of training for a fight with either Lateef Kayode or Denis Lebedev.  The only problem is that both of those guys signed other fights almost immediately thereafter. 
9) Danny Green (35-120-120)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- L(TKO11) vs. #8 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Green says he would like a rematch with Anthony Mundine- something that’s unlikely at best now that Mundine is fighting about 4 divisions to the south of him.  I do not believe retirement has been ruled out for Green.
10) B.J. Flores (1-1-91)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO6 Hugo Pineda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores has said he might fight the Fragomeni-Branco winner.  Not sure how that will be affected by the fact that there is no winner.
11) Francisco Palacios (1-51)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- UD8 Joell Godfrey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has mandated a rematch with Wlodarczyk, but that seems almost forgotten as Wlodarczyk has since chased fights with Roy Jones and Antonio Tarver, neither of which seem to be currently on the table.
12) Alexander Alexeev (1-62)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #15 Enad Licina
Next Fight: 5/11/2012- vs. #18 Firat Arslan
Alexeev will fight Firat Arslan in an interesting crossroads-type fight on May 11 in Germany.
13) Lateef Kayode (1-70)
Last Fight: 9/9/2011- UD10 Felix Cora, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/26/2012- vs. #3 Antonio Tarver
Kayode has snubbed a mandatory shot at Guillermo Jones’ alphabet belt for a shot at an even better fighter, the aging but still very capable Antonio Tarver.
14) Giacobbe Fragomeni (1-175)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fragomeni appears to be showing his age after nearly losing to an even older man in Brnaco.
15) Silvio Branco (1-1)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
45 year old veteran Silvio Branco got what may have been his final hurrah with a close-fought draw with top 10-ranked Giacobbe Fragomeni.
16) Enad Licina (1-91)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #17 Alexander Alexeev
Next Fight: Unknown
May be getting a little shopworn.  He’s not a pushover by any means, but you’d have to be crazy to imagine him as a top-10-type guy.
17) Troy Ross (1-7)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD8 Lukasz Rusiewicz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Inactivity combined with poor competition are killing the career of top-level talent Ross, but at least he’s technically an active cruiserweight again, and thus eligible to remain in the rankings.
18) Firat Arslan (1-36)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO2 Orlando Farias (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/11/2012- vs. #12 Alexander Alexeev
See Alexeev’s notes, above.
19) Grigory Drozd (1-6)
Last Fight: 2/8/2012- RTD9 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/4/2012- vs. William Joppy (UNR)
Drozd is following up a nice win over Richard Hall with what will probably a slightly less nice win over badly faded former middleweight contender William Joppy in Russia.
20) Matt Godfrey (1-27)
Last Fight: 6/10/2011- L(UD10) vs. #17 Lateef Kayode
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s a testament to the stagnation in the bottom half of the rankings that Godfrey- who last had a significant win over 3 years ago- continues to hang around the top 20.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: On Friday in England, Enzo Maccarinelli returns to the cruiserweight division after never really leaving (he fought a few fights at a contract weight just over the light heavyweight limit) when he fights for the British Cruiserweight title against fringe prospect Shane McPhilbin.  If he takes care of business, he may return to the rankings just by returning to activity.

 

The following night, South Africa plays host to a fight between prospect Ilunga Makubu of the Congo and Nigerian journeyman Michael Gbenga.  Finally, gatekeeper Willie Herring of Florida takes on undefeated Colombian prospect Santander Silgado in Brooklyn.

Cruiserweight: 2012, Mar 12-18

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 26, 2012 by danboxing
Nothing to report this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (6-90-90)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Erased any doubt as to the better fighter between him and Cunningham.  A fight with Lebedev now would be huge.
2) Denis Lebedev (6-110-110)
Last Fight: 11/4/2011- UD12 James Toney (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/4/2012- vs. Shawn Cox (UNR)
After reportedly being close to signing a fight with French gatekeeper Rachid El Hadak, Lebedev has instead opted for a bout with Shawn Cox.  This seems like a very low-reward fight for Lebedev, and if Cox happens to be for real after demolishing former contender Wayne Braithwaite, it might carry some risk, too.  I don’t understand the matchmaking from Lebedev’s team.
3) Antonio Tarver (6-34-34)
Last Fight: 7/20/2011- RTD9 #7 Danny Green
Next Fight: 5/26/2012- vs. #14 Lateef Kayode
Tarver criticized Kayode on ShoBox, and Kayode took exception.  So now we have a grudge match.  I don’t think the Nigerian is ready for this, but perhaps Tarver will finally show his age.
4) Marco Huck (6-275-275)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- L*(MD12) vs. HW #2 Alexander Povetkin (at HW)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Denied a well-deserved rematch with Alexander Povetkin, Huck is dropping back to cruiser, where he’ll fight a rematch of his close fight with Ola Afolabi at a date to be determined.
5) Steve Cunningham (6-404-404)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
See Lebedev’s notes, above.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (15-351-351)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- TKO11 #9 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
7) Ola Afolabi (15-157-157)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- RTD5 Valery Brudov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Huck’s notes, above.
8) Guillermo Jones (15-76-76)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jones has come to Miami for the purpose of training for a fight with either Lateef Kayode or Denis Lebedev.  The only problem is that both of those guys signed other fights almost immediately thereafter. 
9) Danny Green (34-119-119)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- L(TKO11) vs. #8 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Green says he would like a rematch with Anthony Mundine- something that’s unlikely at best now that Mundine is fighting about 4 divisions to the south of him.  I do not believe retirement has been ruled out for Green.
10) Giacobbe Fragomeni (34-174-174)
Last Fight: 7/8/2011- UD6 Remigijus Ziausys (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/17/2012- vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Fragomeni will fight fellow Italian Silvio Branco for some silly color-coordinated “world title” on St. Patrick’s day.  The combined age of the two combatants: 87.
11) B.J. Flores (22-90)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO6 Hugo Pineda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores has been accused by Afolabi of ducking, but Flores claims he was given only 3 weeks notice for an offered fight.
12) Francisco Palacios (22-50)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- UD8 Joell Godfrey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has mandated a rematch with Wlodarczyk, but that seems almost forgotten as Wlodarczyk has since chased fights with Roy Jones and Antonio Tarver, neither of which seem to be currently on the table.
13) Alexander Alexeev (6-61)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #15 Enad Licina
Next Fight: Unknown
If his record is any indication, he has probably reached just about the ranking he currently tops out at.
14) Lateef Kayode (6-69)
Last Fight: 9/9/2011- UD10 Felix Cora, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/26/2012- vs. #3 Antonio Tarver
Kayode has snubbed a mandatory shot at Guillermo Jones’ alphabet belt for a shot at an even better fighter, the aging but still very capable Antonio Tarver.
15) Enad Licina (5-90)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #17 Alexander Alexeev
Next Fight: Unknown
May be getting a little shopworn.  He’s not a pushover by any means, but you’d have to be crazy to imagine him as a top-10-type guy.
16) Troy Ross (5-6)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD8 Lukasz Rusiewicz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Inactivity combined with poor competition are killing the career of top-level talent Ross, but at least he’s technically an active cruiserweight again, and thus eligible to remain in the rankings.
17) Firat Arslan (5-35)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO2 Orlando Farias (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arslan is 41 and not getting any younger.  Unless he’s already decided to call it a day, expect a better opponent in his next fight than Farias.
18) Grigory Drozd (5-5)
Last Fight: 2/8/2012- RTD9 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Drozd hasn’t been doing badly whatsoever when he steps into the ring.  The only problem?  He has averaged less than 1 fight per year since the start of 2009.
19) Matt Godfrey (6-26)
Last Fight: 6/10/2011- L(UD10) vs. #17 Lateef Kayode
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s a testament to the stagnation in the bottom half of the rankings that Godfrey- who last had a significant win over 3 years ago- continues to hang around the top 20.
20) Eric Fields (6-22)
Last Fight: 1/28/2011- UD8 Derrick Brown (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fields is the latest in a fairly long line of iffy candidates to enter in the rankings.  He’s a one-loss prospect with a win over marginal gatekeeper Danny Batchelder back in June.  What separates him from the 2 or 3 guys he beat out for this spot is the fact that his loss- in 2008 against current #6 Ola Afolabi- is a lot more forgivable than the losses of his competitors.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Two notable fights go down on Saturday.  In Pavia, Italy, two Italian graybeards battle it out to see which one is the least geriatric when #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni takes on gatekeeper-level Silvio Branco.  Combined age of the two fighters: 87, with Branco claiming the largest share at 45.  Meanwhile, in Poland, undefeated local prospect Pawel Kolodziej takes on solid Romanian journeyman Giulian Ilie.