Archive for Glen Johnson

Cruiserweight: 2014, Jun 30- Jul 6

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 19, 2014 by danboxing
Ilunga Makabu overcame a rather poor start against veteran contender, now gatekeeper, Glen Johnson on Saturday in Kinshasa, Congo, becoming only the 2nd man (after Bernard Hopkins) to stop the now 45 year-old Road Warrior.  Johnson soundly outworked the Congolese contender in the first couple rounds, but seemed to fade in and out of tiredness thereafter.  I actually still had it even after 8, largely due to Makabu giving away rounds, when Makabu apparently sensed Johnson weaken, and poured on a sustained flurry that prompted the referee to call a halt to the bout.  Makabu’s style was very odd.  As I mentioned, he gave away entire rounds by not working, and often threw tapping punches when he did work.  But there was nothing tapping about his finishing flurry, as he was beginning to ping-pong Johnson’s head back and forth along the ropes.

 

Wednesday, in parts unknown in Russia, undefeated prospect Murat Gassiev socred a post-1st-round stoppage over 41 year-old sub-.500 journeyman Daniil Peretyatko, who honestly looked closer to 60 in appearance.  I was going to avoid saying anything out of respect, but since his nickname is “Shreck,” I assume he’s aware that he looks like a fantasy creature of some kind, and owns it.  Gassiev scored two knockdowns in the lone round, and Shreck retired before the 2nd.  Even better, this fight looked like it was not fixed, unlike Gassiev’s last farce.

 

Thursday featured the return, in France, of French former Champion Jean-Marc Mormeck, who last fought at Cruiserweight when he lost the title in late 2007 to David Haye, and last fought in general in March 2012, in what was a comatose and pathetic attempt at the Heavyweight Championship against Wladimir Klitschko, who put him out of his misery in 4.  I must say, Mormeck looked as in-shape and determined in this fight with mid-level Hungarian journeyman Tamas Lodi as he did out of shape and checked-out against Klitschko.  I’m not sure how much we can learn about how much of his old skill he’s retained by watching him beat up on a mediocre opponent who offered little resistance, but he looked good enough that you’ve got to wonder if he can maybe still be a major factor in the division, even at 42.  Mormeck won every round, put a large amount of hurt on Lodi in a dominant 3rd round, and stopped him in the 4th after dropping him hard and following up with a relentless attack.  To the extent such comparisons matter, Mormeck looked significantly better against Lodi than Nuri Seferi had, and approximately as good as Ilunga Makabu.  That might speak well of his continued potential in this division.

 

BJ Flores saw action in a non-televised 8-rounder in Vegas on Friday, winning a unanimous shutout over low-level journeyman Anthony Caputo Smith just a few pounds over the divisional limit.  Unfortunately for Flores, the decision not to make 200 ensures that he can’t reclaim the ranking that is no doubt still waiting for him here at cruiser when he returns to action in the division.

 

Hard-hitting undefeated and fringe-contending Polish prospect Krzysztof Glowacki got a comfortable decision over veteran journeyman Ismail Abdoul, who at one point was a gatekeeper.  The challenge here for the concussive Glowacki seemed to be whether he could stop Abdoul, who had not been halted early since the late stoppage he suffered to Glowacki’s countryman and namesake, Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, way back in 2002.  By that standard, Glowacki failed.  But he certainly moves forward in his career, having won every round according to Olena Pobyvailo, 6 with 2 even according to Leszek Jankowiak, and 6 with one lost and one even according to Pawel Kardyni.  I couldn’t readily find a video of the full fight, so I can’t comment on the fight more than that.

 

Speaking of 2002 (okay maybe that’s exaggerating just a bit), #12 Lukasz Janik dredged up long-forgotten former contender Rico Hoye.  The Detroit veteran didnt embarrass himself by any stretch, winning anywhere between one and five rounds (I gave him 3 of the 10).  Janik threw with conviction for the entire fight, and more often in meaningful combinations than did his opponent.  Hoye was relaxed and showed good technique in some ways and featured a nice jab throughout, but he generally only strung punches together while in too close for them to have much effect.  The judges all saw it reasonably similar to my card of 97-93 Janik, with Grzegorz Molenda turning in 98-92, Pawel Kardyni at 98-93, and Olena Pobyvailo at 97-94.

 

Makabu moves up to #9, aided as much by the expiration (more than 5 years old) of two of his rivals’ best results (Fragomeni’s draw with #2-ranked Wlodarczyk and Afolabi’s knockout of 6th-ranked Maccarinelli, both in 2009) than by his win over the faded Johnson.  Afolabi falls to #10.  Fragomeni, whose loss that should have been a win over Zsolt Erdei now stands as by far his best performance in the last 5 years, slips all the way to #14 from #10 last week.  That allows Janik, McKenzie, and Kalenga all to move up a spot.  Fragomeni had been in the top 10 for 41 consecutive weeks.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Marco Huck (7-395-395)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: 8/30/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Bild Zeitung in Germany reports that Huck will be back on August 30, with Nuri Seferi appearing the most likely candidate to be his opponent, but with Pawel Kolodziej getting some buzz, as well.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (7-210-210)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #6 Firat Arslan
Hernandez is set to fight Arslan on August 16, in Erfurt, Germany.  
3) Denis Lebedev (7-230-230)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Given his legitimate injury that shelved him for a big chunk of the year and the fact that his opponent screwed him over via PED use, I’m going to use my discretion and leave Lebedev ranked at this point.  Still, his best work is simply getting too old to stay at the very top.  Some reports have him returning in the fall against Pawel Kolodziej.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (42-471-471)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s looking like Wlodarczyk will be back in August, possibly against BJ Flores, though Makabu’s win over Glen Johnson has him in position for a shot, as well.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (23-48-86)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu’s scheduled fight with Brazilian prospect was scrapped on just a day’s notice due to the surprise withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
6) Firat Arslan (23-112-155)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- UD8 Tamas Bajzath (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
See Hernandez’s notes, above.
7) Grigory Drozd (32-39-86)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
8) Rakhim Chakhkiev (5-5-5)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- UD12 #11 Santander Silgado
Next Fight: Unknown
Chakhkiev has finally cashed in a high-level win to go with his hype and promise.  Most likely another title shot is not far off.
9) Ilunga Makabu (1-1-51)
Last Fight: 6/28/2014- TKO9 Glen Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Makabu didn’t look great for most of his fight with 45 year-old Glen Johnson, but he had a lot more in the tank than the old veteran, and became only the 2nd guy to get him out of there.
10) Ola Afolabi (1-277-277)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. Pawel Kolodziej (UNR)
After we got no news on the fight for months, Afolabi-Kolodziej is now scheduled for the Golovkin-Geale undercard on July 26.
11) Lukasz Janik (1-35)
Last Fight: 6/28/2014- UD10 Rico Hoye (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik did enough to beat a perhaps better-than-expected Rico Hoye, but didn’t exactly light the world on fire in doing so.
12) Ovill McKenzie (1-12)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- TKO2 Jon-Lewis Dickinson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After blowing out the British Champion, McKenzie has his sites set on a European or perhaps World belt.  He wants to fight Marco Huck most of all.
13) Youri Kalenga (1-2)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- W (SD12*) vs. #12 Mateusz Masternak
Next Fight: Unknown
How a guy can get dominated by Arturs Kulikauskis, only to come back and dominate Mateusz Masternak within about 9 months, is beyond me.  Still, the former fight aside, he’s got another pretty nice win on his resume right before that, over Iago Kiladze, a then-undefeated prospect.
14) Giacobbe Fragomeni (1-294)
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.
15) Mateusz Masternak (2-118)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- L (SD12*) vs. Youri Kalenga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Having now lost to his last two decent opponents, the future of Masternak, who looked like a can’t-miss talent not long ago, seems very much in doubt.
16) Santander Silgado (2-35)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- L (UD12) vs. Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I don’t want to say Silgado made it easy for Chakhkiev, because it looked relatively difficult, but he sure didn’t help himself by taking a fight with a fringe contending Olympic Gold Medalist on 2 weeks’ notice.
17) Danie Venter (2-42)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Venter’s June 6 fight was cancelled a day in advance due to a withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
18) Dmytro Kucher (2-105)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The inactive Kucher may now be in danger of losing his ranking in the next couple weeks, as his stay-busy fight in late May did not come off.
19) Nuri Seferi (2-28)
Last Fight: 5/16/2014- UD12 Tamas Lodi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I took Seferi’s stated desire to fight Marco Huck as idle chatter, but that fight now looks likely for August 30, deserved or not.
20) Gusmyr Perdomo (2-12)
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.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:  After a packed week last time around, we’ve got at least a brief respite on our hands this week.

Cruiserweight: 2014, Jun 23-29

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2014 by danboxing
In what very well may end up as the upset of the year, unheralded one-loss prospect Youri Kalenga shockingly dominated #12 Mateusz Masternak in Monte Carlo on Saturday.  Kalenga wasn’t a total unknown, and had even beat a couple top-50 fighters himself, but he was also saddled with an apparently dominating loss in September against Arturs Kulikauskis, who is best described as a travelling opponent.  It appeared for all the world that he might be more or less a Darnell Boone character- a journeyman who often rises to the occasion against good opposition, but can’t seem to break through by consistently winning all the fights he’s supposed to win.  He certainly didn’t strike much of anyone as a world-class performer, which was the general consensus about Masternak, whose only loss was to the very tough Grigory Drozd.  If you had told me that Kalenga was going to beat Masternak, I’d have expected that he caught him with a single shot, since Kalenga has always appeared to me to be a one-dimensional free-swinger with little or no boxing skill.  But it wasn’t that, either.  Kalenga just dominated Masternak from bell to bell.  There were maybe two rounds- the 7th and 12th- that Masternak may or may not have won, but he just plain got bullied in every other round.  He was always backing up, and looked simultaneously baffled and intimidated by Kalenga, who boxed more technically than I would have thought him capable, but still mixed in the big shot from left field just enough to keep Masternak cautious.  It was a good, honest effort by Kalenga, and frankly a total botch job by Masternak.

 

Speaking of botch jobs…remember how I said essentially that Masternak won maybe two rounds, if he was lucky?  Don’t tell that to the blind, pathetic judges.  I mean you don’t really get rounds more clear than the 10 of 12 that Kalenga dominated, unless we’re talking Calzaghe-Lacy style “holy crap how is he still standing there” beatings.  Juan Manuel Garcia Reyes, to his everlasting shame and infamy, scored the fight 115-113 for Masternak.  Raul Caiz, at 116-112 (for the right guy, at least), was still impossible to justify.  Pawel Kardyni, perhaps not incidentally from Poland, is probably viewed as something of a hero for scoring the fight against his countryman to break the tie and give the fight correctly to Kalenga.  Still, while he did score it for the right guy, I find it hard to see a guy as a paragon of virtue when he still gives his countryman both of the close rounds along with three of the other guy’s clear rounds.  This was, despite everything working out mostly alright in the end, one of the worst-judged fights I’ve ever seen.

 

Kalenga debuts at #14, held back from taking full advantage of his win over the #12 contender by his still relatively recent aforementioned loss to Kulikauskis.  Despite the comprehensive nature of the defeat, Masternak falls only to #15, due to the overall strength of his resume at large.  Janik and McKenzie move up a spot each to fill the void left by Masternak.  Everyone #15 and below last week drops a spot, including #20 Yunier Dorticos, who exits the rankings after 9 weeks in.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Marco Huck (6-394-394)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: 8/30/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Bild Zeitung in Germany reports that Huck will be back on August 30, with Nuri Seferi appearing the most likely candidate to be his opponent.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (6-209-209)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #6 Firat Arslan
Hernandez is set to fight Arslan on August 16, in Erfurt, Germany.  
3) Denis Lebedev (6-229-229)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Given his legitimate injury that shelved him for a big chunk of the year and the fact that his opponent screwed him over via PED use, I’m going to use my discretion and leave Lebedev ranked at this point.  Still, his best work is simply getting too old to stay at the very top.  Some reports have him returning in the fall against Pawel Kolodziej.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (41-470-470)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s looking like Wlodarczyk will be back in August, possibly against BJ Flores.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (22-47-85)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu’s scheduled fight with Brazilian prospect was scrapped on just a day’s notice due to the surprise withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
6) Firat Arslan (22-111-154)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- UD8 Tamas Bajzath (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
See Hernandez’s notes, above.
7) Grigory Drozd (31-38-85)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
8) Rakhim Chakhkiev (4-4-4)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- UD12 #11 Santander Silgado
Next Fight: Unknown
Chakhkiev has finally cashed in a high-level win to go with his hype and promise.  Most likely another title shot is not far off.
9) Ola Afolabi (4-276-276)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. Pawel Kolodziej (UNR)
After we got no news on the fight for months, Afolabi-Kolodziej is now scheduled for the Golovkin-Geale undercard on July 26.
10) Giacobbe Fragomeni (4-41-293)
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.
11) Ilunga Makabu (4-50)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO2 Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/28/2014- vs. Glen Johnson (UNR)
Initially sketchy reports of a June 28 fight with Glen Johnson appear true.
12) Lukasz Janik (1-34)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 6/28/2014- vs. Rico Hoye (UNR)
Janik will dredge up a name from the past when he fights Rico Hoye on June 28.
13) Ovill McKenzie (1-11)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- TKO2 Jon-Lewis Dickinson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After blowing out the British Champion, McKenzie has his sites set on a European or perhaps World belt.  He wants to fight Marco Huck most of all.
14) Youri Kalenga (1-1)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- W (SD12*) vs. #12 Mateusz Masternak
Next Fight: Unknown
How a guy can get dominated by Arturs Kulikauskis, only to come back and dominate Mateusz Masternak within about 9 months, is beyond me.  Still, the former fight aside, he’s got another pretty nice win on his resume right before that, over Iago Kiladze, a then-undefeated prospect.
15) Mateusz Masternak (1-117)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- L (SD12*) vs. Youri Kalenga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Having now lost to his last two decent opponents, the future of Masternak, who looked like a can’t-miss talent not long ago, seems very much in doubt.
16) Santander Silgado (1-34)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- L (UD12) vs. Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I don’t want to say Silgado made it easy for Chakhkiev, because it looked relatively difficult, but he sure didn’t help himself by taking a fight with a fringe contending Olympic Gold Medalist on 2 weeks’ notice.
17) Danie Venter (1-41)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Venter’s June 6 fight was cancelled a day in advance due to a withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
18) Dmytro Kucher (1-104)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The inactive Kucher may now be in danger of losing his ranking in the next couple months, as his stay-busy fight in late May did not come off.
19) Nuri Seferi (1-27)
Last Fight: 5/16/2014- UD12 Tamas Lodi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I took Seferi’s stated desire to fight Marco Huck as idle chatter, but that fight now looks likely for August 30, deserved or not.
20) Gusmyr Perdomo (1-11)
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.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Wednesday
Murat Gassiev vs. Daniil Peretyatko; Unknown Location; TV Unknown
This fight is an oddity, as Boxrec doesn’t list a location for this fight.  Both fighters are from Russia, so that country would tend to be likely.  Peretyatko is a low-level journeyman who is probably a little better than his 17-32 record, but that’s not saying much.  Gassiev is an undefeated prospect.  I’ve seen him once, and I’m almost certain the fight was fixed.

 

Thursday
Jean-Marc Mormeck vs. Tamas Lodi; Asnieres-sur-Seine, France; L’Equipe 21 (France)
Mormeck is the former Champion, but hasn’t fought at cruiser since losing his Championship to David Haye in 2007.  He hasn’t fought anyone at all since his awful performance against Wladimir Klitschko for the Heavyweight Championship well over 2 years ago.  Lodi is a Hungarian journeyman.  With only two losses, you could almost call him a prospect, but he’s lost pretty comprehensively to the only two fighters of any pedigree that he’s ever been in with- Ilunga Makabu in 2013 and Nuri Seferi last month.  That being the case, I think his prospects as a prospect, as it were, would tend to top out around the fringes of the top 50.  We’ve seen stranger things than long-inactive and aging former cruiserweight champions getting shockingly upset in comeback fights (see O’Neil Bell for a recent example), but he’d have to have regressed a fair amount for Lodi to have a serious chance, I would think.

 

Friday
B.J. Flores vs. Anthony Caputo Smith; Las Vegas, Nevada; Off TV
Flores hasn’t fought anyone of any note in at least nearly three years while he suffered through promotional woes and focused on his TV gig with NBC.  He’s at least a credible fringe contender when he’s active, though.  Like Lodi above, Caputo Smith is a two-loss fighter who is no longer a legitimate prospect, having lost to the estimable Sean Monaghan, but also to midwestern journeyman Kevn Engel, both by early stoppage.  If Flores makes 200, he’ll likely be ranked again next week just due to his returning to activity within the division.  The fight is on the ShoBox card, but will not make the broadcast.

 

Saturday
#11 Ilunga Makabu vs. Glen Johnson; Kinshasa, Congo; TV Unknown
I’ve thought this for a few fights now, but this might be the end of the line for the Road Warrior, who is a heck of a guy, but at this point has faded more than Roy Jones.  Makabu might as well be undefeated, having been stopped in his first fight more than 5 years ago with no subsequent setbacks.  More importantly, he’s looked formidable in his two true tests- back-t0-back 2013 wins against Dmytro Kucher and Eric Fields.  Throw in the fact that the 45 year-old Johnson was competing at 168 fairly recently, and there’s really not much going for the Jamaican native, other than experience, of course.  True to form, this will be in Makabu’s homeland.  By the way, is it hard for anyone else to say “Kinshasa” without following it up with “Zaire?”  The Rumble in the Jungle and the times it evokes define that city, for me.

 

Krzysztof Glowacki vs. Ismail Abdoul; Rzeszow, Poland; PolSat Sport (Poland)
Glowacki is an impressive and hard-hitting Polish prospect who is sometimes ranked here.  Abdoul is 37 and has seen better days.  He does come off three consecutive wins over generic competition, but is not really the serious gatekeeper he was at one point.  Still, he hasn’t been stopped since Wlodarczyk got him in the the very last round in 2002, so that will be a challenge for Glowacki, if nothing else.

 

#12 Lukasz Janik vs. Rico Hoye; Rzeszow, Poland; PolSat Sport (Poland)
Janik really ought to have a top ten ranking, since he pretty clearly beat Ola Afolabi, who was ranked #7 at the time.  Unfortunately, he was borderline robbed, and so he’s left fighting has-beens like Hoye.  Hoye, a 39 year-old from Detroit, was a contender back around 2004, and a top 50 fighter as recently as 2009, but he’s fought just one low-level opponent since then.  Janik should have too much for him, assuming his performance against Afolabi was not a huge fluke.

Cruiserweight: 2014, Feb 24- Mar 2

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on June 20, 2014 by danboxing
There were two notables in action on Friday, and a pair of fights to mention on Saturday, too.

 

Friday in Albany, two-loss Oklahoma prospect Eric Fields got an easy 6-round decision over 8-14 punching bag Rayford Johnson, who should probably be congratulated on lasting the full 6.  I don’t have a full account of the fight, but the scoring on boxrec would indicate that he did go down twice.

 

Old warhorse Glen Johnson continued what might be seen as his farewell tour by stopping very low-level journeyman Jaime Velasquez in the 4th of a scheduled 8 in Lincoln, Rhode Island.

 

One-loss English prospect Tony Conquest won handily on Saturday against Australian fringe contender Daniel Ammann, scoring by a wide margin the biggest win of his career.  Conquest showed himself to be a classy boxer, and was much more in control than he was in his other significant win against Wadi Camacho.  Ammann, for his part, was disappointing.  Holding his own early, he faded as time went on.  That is perhaps a surprise, since it was Conquest that was making his first appearance in a 12-round fight, while Ammann had more experience in that regard.  Ammann’s style was a doomed one.  He’s a big slow guy, and yet he fought in what you might describe as an athletic style, with his lead hand frequently below his waist.  He was way too easy to hit, especially as the fight wore on and his energy waned.

 

Maxell Taylor is not even a great journeyman at 168 where he belongs.  As a light heavyweight-ish cruiserweight, he’s even less of a threat.  Cuban prospect Umberto Savigne took him out in the first half of the second round.

 

Also, in a fight I missed initially, fortuitously named undefeated Australian cruiserweight Brad Pitt returned from an inexplicable 15-month spell of inactivity to brutally knock out much less proven undefeated Samoan Emosi Solitua inside a round.  Solitua actually had Pitt- who looked a bit out of sorts- very much on the back foot for the majority of the round, but as soon as Pitt established a little distance even for a moment, he planted, threw a blinding lead right hand, and followed it with a devastating left hook that had Solitua out before he hit the ground.

 

Conquest’s biggest win of his career has somewhat marginalized the effect of his upset knockout loss to the mediocre Neil Dawson.  He debuts at #18, and would have gone a spot or two higher if not for the aforementioned loss.  Garrett Wilson is bounced from the rankings, saving me the trouble of deciding whether to drop him for inactivity at the weight.  For the record, though, I intended to keep him ranked due to injury.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (31-212-212)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Lebedev-Jones II appears to be more or less a done deal for April 19 in Moscow.
2) Marco Huck (5-377-377)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: 5/3/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Sauerland says Huck will return on May 3, and then likely move up to heavyweight.
3) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (5-192-192)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. Pawel Kolodziej (UNR)
Hernandez’s scheduled March 29 fight with Kolodziej has been postponed to March 29 due to a viral infection to Hernandez.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (24-453-453)
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.  More recently, he’s being openly pursued by Mchunu.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (5-30-68)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
6) Firat Arslan (5-94-137)
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 (14-21-68)
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 (14-259-259)
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 (14-24-276)
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 (14-14-102)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- W (TD10) vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
According to Rakhim Chakhkiev’s team, Branco never responded to their offer for a March 15 fight, and Chakhkiev may instead fight Seferi.
11) Ilunga Makabu (14-33)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO2 Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Makabu will no doubt look for a big fight after his last one was changed into a stay-busy outing without his consent.
12) Santander Silgado (12-17)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: Unknown
Silgado is being slammed by his own manager after he declined an arranged fight with Thabiso Mchunu.
13) Mateusz Masternak (12-100)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- KO4 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Lukasz Janik (12-17)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik would like a well-deserved rematch with Afolabi.
15) Nuri Seferi (10-10)
Last Fight: 12/20/2013- W (DQ7*) vs. Steve Herelius (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Seferi originally expected to fight April 11,  then was in and then out of a May fight with Chakhkiev.  With the latter news, it’s unclear what his current status is.
16) Danie Venter (5-24)
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 (5-87)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Tony Conquest (1-1)
Last Fight: 2/22/2014- UD12 Daniel Ammann (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Conquest took the Commonwealth title against Ammann, and says he wants the British title next.  That would theoretically put him in with the winner of Jon-Lewis Dickinson and Neil Dawson, who knocked him out in 2012.
19) Krzysztof Glowacki (1-31)
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.
20) Rakhim Chakhkiev (1-6)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- KO10 Giulian Ilie (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
After fights with Branco and Seferi fell through, Chakhkiev will now fight high level Finnish journeyman Juho Haapoja on March 15.
 

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Friday
Yunier Dorticos vs. Hamilton Ventura; San Diego, California; Off TV
It’s a battle of unbeatens in San Diego, and it would have made a good FNF main event.  Instead, we’ll have to hope someone posts it on Youtube.  Generally you’ll be well served to pick an unbeaten Cuban over an unbeaten Brazilian, so Dorticos has got to be the favorite.  Still, each man is the other’s best opponent to date, and both have claimed berths in the boxrec top 50.  Definitely an important, under the radar kind of fight.

 

Marcos Ahumada vs. Alejandro Valori; San Luis, Argentina; TyC Sports (Argentina)
Ahumada holds the psychological advantage in this trilogy bout.  About a year ago, Valori was gifted a dubious win when Ahumada was stopped by what appeared to be a very vicious head clash while clearly leading the fight.  He got revenge 9 weeks later, knocking Valori flat in 4.  But this time, the physical advantage may very well be in Valori’s favor.  The last two fights were contested much closer to the light heavyweight limit than the cruiserweight one, a weight that is much more comfortable for Ahumada, as Valori has campaigned as high as 260+.  This fight will be contested at or around 200, so we’ll see if Valori can use his natural size to his advantage.

Cruiserweight: 2014, Feb 17-23

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on May 28, 2014 by danboxing
Saturday in Dublin, one-loss Congolese prospect Youri Kalenga scored a TKO win over veteran Argentine gatekeeper Cesar Crenz, with the referee David Irving stopping the fight- quite prematurely- without a count.  Despite the impressiveness of the technical result, I must say that I can see how Kalenga could lose to a semi-serious opponent like sub-.500 journeyman Arturs Kulikauskis, which he did last year.  Kalenga is crude as all get-out, loading up and looking to land wide, swinging left hooks and equally wide right hands.  He throws these with all his weight and might, and in doing so, he telegraphs them as much as virtually any fighter you’ve ever seen.  He also throws himself off balance.  Crenz was just lax enough on defense to get caught with them, compounded by the fact that his lateral movement left plenty to be desired, which led to him getting caught on the ropes at the end of some of these shots.  He can clearly change the course of a round or a fight by landing one of these all-or-nothing bombs, but if he fails to land any cleanly, he’s got virtually no chance to win a round.

 

Across the pond in Mississauga, Ontario, undefeated local prospect Denton Daley dominated, winning every round on every card against Pennsylvania journeyman Andres Taylor.

 

The aforementioned Kulikauskis loss still weights Kalenga down enough to prevent his debut in the top 20.  No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (30-211-211)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Lebedev-Jones II will soon be announced for an April date.
2) Marco Huck (4-376-376)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: 5/3/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Sauerland says Huck will return on May 3, and then likely move up to heavyweight.
3) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (4-191-191)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. Pawel Kolodziej (UNR)
Hernandez’s scheduled March 29 fight with Kolodziej has been postponed to March 29 due to a viral infection to Hernandez.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (23-452-452)
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.  More recently, he’s being openly pursued by Mchunu.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (4-29-67)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
6) Firat Arslan (4-93-136)
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 (13-20-67)
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 (13-258-258)
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 (13-23-275)
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 (13-13-101)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- W (TD10) vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
According to Rakhim Chakhkiev’s team, Branco never responded to their offer for a March 15 fight, and Chakhkiev may instead fight Seferi.
11) Ilunga Makabu (13-32)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO2 Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Makabu will no doubt look for a big fight after his last one was changed into a stay-busy outing without his consent.
12) Santander Silgado (11-16)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: Unknown
Silgado is being slammed by his own manager after he declined an arranged fight with Thabiso Mchunu.
13) Mateusz Masternak (11-99)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- KO4 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Lukasz Janik (11-16)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik would like a well-deserved rematch with Afolabi.
15) Nuri Seferi (9-9)
Last Fight: 12/20/2013- W (DQ7*) vs. Steve Herelius (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Seferi originally expected to fight April 11, but reports suggest he’s now being considered for a March 15 bout with Rakhim Chakhkiev.
16) Danie Venter (4-23)
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 (4-86)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Krzysztof Glowacki (4-30)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glowacki is seriously interested in fighting Francisco Palacios. 
19) Rakhim Chakhkiev (4-5)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- KO10 Giulian Ilie (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chakhkiev was expected to fight Silvio Branco on March 15, but with Branco reportedly not interested, it looks like Nuri Seferi is now likely for that date.
20) Garrett Wilson (4-4)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD10) vs. #18 HW Vyacheslav Glazkov (at HW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wilson is subject to removal next week, when his last fight as a cruiserweight becomes a year old.  That being said, he was recently forced to pull out of a cruiserweight fight with Mchunu due to injury, so I’ll most likely give him some time for recovery.  It doesn’t hurt that he came in at only 204 for a heavyweight fight with Glazkov in the interim, meaning he was only a very modest water drain or a couple meals away from making 200, completely unnecessarily, for that fight.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Friday
Eric Fields vs. Rayford Johnson; Albany, New York; Off TV
Fields is a 2-loss prospect from Oklahoma whose two losses both came to pretty good fighters in Makabu and Afolabi.  Johnson is no match for him.  He’s an 8-14 punching bag.

 

Glen Johnson vs. Jaime Velasquez; Lincoln, Rhode Island; Off TV
Johnson, now 45, is in the twilight of his career, and has yet to make any real noise at cruiser.  He could be 60 years old and still handle Velasquez, who is a very low-level journeyman.

 

Saturday
Tony Conquest vs. Daniel Ammann; London, England; BoxNation (UK)
Conquest is a one-loss British prospect.  His crowning achievement was edging out fellow prospect Wadi Camacho last year, but his status is significantly hindered by his late-2012 first round KO loss to middling prospect Neil Dawson, who has since failed to impress.  Australia’s Ammann is what passes for a fringe contender in this rather shallow division, having beaten gatekeeper Anthony McCracken in his last really significant action back in 2012.  Before that, he was saddled with three losses against decent opposition in Brad Pitt, Shane Cameron, and Alexander Alekseev.  The winner probably claims a ranking next week.  

 

Umberto Savigne vs. Maxell Taylor; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Off TV
Savigne is a fairly promising light heavyweight prospect staying busy over the limit.  Taylor is a fairly low-level journeyman from Baltimore and/or D.C.  He’s been in with Don George and Maxim Vlasov, but was stopped by both.

Super Middleweight: 2013, May 6-12

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on May 7, 2013 by danboxing
The easy night I saw coming in #10 Anthony Dirrell’s comeback fight in Las Vegas turned out to be anything but.  First of all, Dirrell came in at 172.5 to Mouton’s 167.  I am not sure if Mouton came in light for a contracted light heavyweight fight, or whether Dirrell came in heavy.  Despite (or perhaps in part due to) the extra weight, Dirrell looked sluggish and lazy, mostly backing up and spending about half the fight on the ropes, looking to land counters while Mouton unloaded shots.   Dirrell had occasional success with this strategy, but Mouton’s consistent body work, constant aggression, and better command of the ring’s real estate carried the day by my lights.  I gave Dirrell only one round- the second- and didn’t think he had much of an argument for any more than 3.  The judges all disagreed with me.  Herb Santos (who badly botched Rosado-Love the following night) and Al Lefkowitz had it 77-75 (5 rounds to 3) for Dirrell, while Adelaide Byrd had it even a round wider.  To me, this is indicative of a disturbing trend in judging, wherein judges score talent and slickness at the expense of real criteria like clean effective punching and effective aggressiveness, while completely misunderstanding the concept of ring generalship.  I feel like many judges- both official and otherwise- view ring generalship as a stylistic counterpoint to aggressiveness.  These judges, I believe, equate dancing, moving, and sometimes running with ring generalship.  Here’s the problem with that.  If backing up artistically equaled ring generalship, then it would be to the advantage of fighters (particular if they were lighter punchers than their opponents) to simply avoid engagement for the entire fight.  Practically run until they back into their opponents somewhere on the ropes.  A backward step, to me, is only ring generalship if it actually sets up your own offense by keeping the other guy off balance or walking him into a shot.  If he’s the one moving his hands while you move your legs, he’s the general.  He’s the boss, as Teddy Atlas would say.  You can’t control the ring- or your opponent- by backing off from him consistently.  You certainly can’t do so by laying on the ropes, either. 

 

Having needed a robbery to beat an opponent that has lost to unproven and/or average prospects in his last two fights (and a guy that took the fight on less than a week’s notice to boot), despite a 5.5 pound weight advantage, Dirrell can no longer remain in the rankings at this point.  Having tested my opinion of the decision out on a message board, I am fully aware that it is not widely shared, and also acknowledge that the copy of the fight I was able to obtain is something less than HD.  I will re-watch it with a bit better quality if and when FSN or Fuel TV re-airs it, and will adjust Dirrell’s standing accordingly should I change my opinion at that point.  For those of you who have seen the fight and disagree with me vehemently, then please stay with me.  The fact that he came in so heavy for his first fight in nearly a year and a half is, by itself, arguably enough reason to remove him.  He says he plans to be back to 168 and fight again in about 2 months.  I had committed to keeping him in the rankings until June 2 due to his injury situation, and if he either hadn’t announced a fight at 168 by then, or if he came in at all heavy for that fight, he would have been removed for sure less than a month from now.  So what I’m saying is that if you feel strongly that he deserved to win the fight, just think of him as having been removed for being inactive at 168 and/or moving up in weight.

 

On the Showtime-televised undercard for the Mayweather PPV the following night in the same city, undefeated Swedish prospect Badou Jack- who beat Mouton in both men’s previous fight- turned in a fairly impressive performance against so-so Nigerian journeyman Michael Gbenga.  Jack mixed in some telling head shots with his damaging body attack.  Jack won by TKO when, after dropping Gbenga with a vicious body shot in the third round, his opponent refused to continue while trying to convince referee Russell Mora that the punch was low.  Considering how justifiably hard on him I was when he offensively refused to handle Abner Mares’ onslaught of low blows against Joseph Agbeko, I must give Mora credit in this instance.  In real time, it appeared to me that the punch was indeed low, but on the replay, it was clear that Mora correctly ruled it a legal punch.  Given his history of controversy in this area and the tough position Gbenga placed him in by refusing to continue and thus making the outcome of the fight contingent upon Mora’s correctness, Mora deserves a lot of credit in this instance by making the correct call and standing by it.

 

Dirrell’s ouster is pretty disappointing to me, despite it being my own decision.  This division has atrophied to the point that Will Rosinsky now qualifies as a top 10 contender (not that I’m down on Will- he just hasn’t really fully arrived yet), and a completely finished Glen Johnson has now backed into the top 20 yet again.  Naturally, everyone else rated #11-20 last week move up a spot as well.   While Mouton has lost respectably to respectable opposition in his last couple significant fights before Dirrell, those opponents were not proven enough to completely excuse.  As a result, he still falls a little shy of the fringe contender level at this point.  You could make the case that Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye deserves the #10 spot more than Rosinsky now that his lone loss to Lolenga Mock is more than 5 years old, but Rosinsky’s win over Aaron Pryor is at least comparable to Ndiaye’s only other significant fight- the win over Andrea Di Luisa.  It’s also a bit more recent, and I consider his close loss to Edwin Rodriguez to be slightly more of a win than a loss, having scored it for him, and so that helps him a tad, as well.  The only real red ink on his resume is Kelly Pavlik, and that was at a level that neither man has otherwise been tested at, and is thus excusable for the purposes of this comparison.

 

One more quick note.  I noticed while writing this update that #12 Dimitri Sartison’s last fight in January was contested well into the light heavyweight division.  Since his last fight anywhere near the 168 pound division was April 21, 2012, he would have been removed on April 22 if I’d have known or noticed that at the time.  Nevertheless, I’m going to leave him in because he had a fight announced just 3 days later (possibly earlier, but that is the first news report I can find on it), and because frankly the guy who would replace him in the top 20 at this point is David Lopez, who got a gift to even get a draw in his only super middleweight fight against a weight-drained Don George less than halfway to the 168 pound limit, is so unworthy that it’s something of a bad joke.  But if Sartison comes in the slightest bit heavy or if his May 15 fight falls through for any reason, I will do what I would have done a few weeks ago had I been on top of things and remove him.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (73-207-207)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward is said to be planning a return for August.  He has expressed interest in fighting the Froch-Kessler or Bute-Pascal winner at some point.
1) Carl Froch (50-360-360)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- KO3 LHW #11 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #3 Mikkel Kessler
The deal is done.  Froch will get a rematch with Kessler on May 25 in London.
2) Robert Stieglitz (7-193-193)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- TKO3 #2 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: Unknown
After being blitzed by an uncharacteristically aggressive Stieglitz, Abraham has demanded a trilogy bout, which Stieglitz seems disposed to grant.  Sauerland also seems to be on board.
3) Mikkel Kessler (21-439-439)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO3 Brian Magee (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #1 Carl Froch
See Froch’s notes, above.
4) Lucian Bute (37-369-369)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 LHW #16 Denis Grachev (at LHW)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. LHW #3 Jean Pascal (at LHW)
Bute will be fighting Jean Pascal at light heavyweight in a huge Canadian event in May.  His super middleweight fight with Carl Froch was just a day shy of one year earlier, and thus Bute will probably be removed for inactivity at this weight the week after that fight unless he signs something immediately.
5) Arthur Abraham (7-185-185)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- L (TKO3) vs. #5 Robert Stieglitz
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stieglitz’s notes above.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (37-101-149)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. Brandon Gonzales (UNR)
Oosthuizen will be fighting highly overrated and nominally “undefeated ” prospect Brandon Gonzales on the Golovkin-Macklin undercard.
7) Adonis Stevenson (30-74-74)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- TKO6 Darnell Boone (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: 6/8/2013- vs. LHW #1 Chad Dawson (at LHW)
After tending to unfinished business with the lowly Boone, Stevenson will now set sites on #1 light heavyweight Chad Dawson, who most outlets still consider the Champ.
8) George Groves (16-21-43)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- TKO2 Baker Barakat (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. Noe Gonzalez (UNR)
Groves will fight Uruguayan gatekeeper Noe Gonzalez on the Froch-Kessler undercard.
9) Sakio Bika (10-12-318)
Last Fight: 2/16/2013- UD12 Nikola Sjekloca (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/8/2013- vs. Marco Antonio Periban (UNR)
Bika will fight undefeated Mexican Marco Antonio Periban in California on June 8 for the WBC belt that that organization just heisted from Andre Ward.
10) Will Rosinsky (1-1-47)
Last Fight: 12/19/2012- UD10 Otis Griffin (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rosinsky was all but set to fight Brandon Gonzales on Friday Night Fights, but Gonzales withdrew with a bad hamstring.  Sounds like Gonzales is moving on to a higher-reward opportunity with Oosthuizen.
11) Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (1-78)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W (PTS6) vs. Jevgenijs Andrejevs (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ndiaye did nothing other than stay busy against low-level Latvian Andrejevs.  But in fairness, he needed to do that.
12) Dimitri Sartison (1-149)
Last Fight: 1/27/2013- UD6 Artem Solomko (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: 5/15/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Sartison returns to action against an unknown opponent in St. Petersburg, Russia on May 15.
13) James DeGale (1-82)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- UD12 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
DeGale will be fighting in Quebec on May 17.  No opponent yet.  He was supposed to fight Alexander Brand before that fight was postponed.  It doesn’t sound like Brand will be his opponent this time, though.
14) Maxim Vlasov (1-26)
Last Fight: 12/30/2012- RTD7 Geard Ajetovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Edwin Rodriguez (1-16)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- W* (UD10) vs. #15 Ezequiel Maderna
Next Fight: 7/13/2013- vs. #16 LHW Denis Grachev (at LHW)
After getting the benefit of yet another questionable but not totally out-of-bounds decision against Maderna, Rodriguez remains in the mix, but kinda on the periphery of the division’s contenders.  He gets a chance at a million bucks against Grachev, who also arguably deserved to lose his first round fight.
16) Ezequiel Maderna (1-19)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- L* (UD10) vs. #17 Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
Maderna, despite arguably deserving a win against Rodriguez, did himself few favors in dropping the decision, especially considering how ugly the fight was.  I don’t imagine he’ll be getting too many international suitors anytime soon since he seems difficult to look good against.
17) Dyah Davis (1-11)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- L (TKO10) vs. #9 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: Unknown
Davis said on Saturday morning via Twitter that “a particular some(one)” called him on May 3 for a fight, and that based on “that performance” he’d better not call again.  That seems like a veiled reference to Anthony Dirrell to me.  He says he’s looking at a return date of July 19, which also fits reasonably well with Dirrell’s post-fight statement that he intends to fight at 168 in roughly two months.  If I’m reading the situation accurately, that would give both guys a good opportunity to prove they are for real after each has suffered significant setbacks in and/or out of the ring since their last significant success.
18) Don George (1-7)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. David Lopez (should be win)
Next Fight: 6/21/2013- vs. Caleb Truax (UNR)
Another reasonably decent challenge for George, as he travvels to Caleb Truax’s hometown of Minneapolis for their fight.
19) Hadillah Mohoumadi (1-10)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- UD10 Cedric Bellais (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2013- vs. Giovanni De Carolis (UNR)
Mohoumadi gets a halfway decent outing on May 17 against borderline top 50 Italian Giovanni De Carolis, for the European Union title.
20) Glen Johnson (1-1)
Last Fight: 4/19/2013- TKO2 Junior Ramos (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Johnson should be retired, but instead finds himself clinging to a ranking in a very shallow division.

 

The Week Ahead: Nothing doing at 168 this week.

Super Middleweight: 2013, Mar 11-17

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on March 11, 2013 by danboxing
#8 George Groves stopped short-notice opponent and halfway decent Argentine journeyman Dario Balmaceda early in Round 3 in their London clash on Saturday.

 

Andy Lee is removed for not fighting over 160.25 for the last year.  Yes, I know…technically that’s still super middleweight, but he’s never really been one, and coming in a quarter-pound heavy for a low level middleweight fight doesn’t mean he deserves to be considered a top 10 super middleweight.

 

Everyone ranked #11-20 last week moves up, including Anthony Dirrell, who has not fought in well over a year due to a motorcycle crash.  He moves up to claim the #10 spot.  This, combined with the ascendancy of a completely finished Glen Johnson to the #20 spot, demonstrates just how weak the division is after the top 9.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (65-199-199)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward’s done with surgery and back in the gym doing light work, but is likely out until at least the Summer.
1) Carl Froch (42-352-352)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- KO3 LHW #11 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #3 Mikkel Kessler
The deal is done.  Froch will get a rematch with Kessler on May 25 in London.
2) Arthur Abraham (13-177-177)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- TKO8 Mehdi Bouadla (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/23/2013- vs. #5 Robert Stieglitz
Abraham will rematch Stieglitz on March 23 in Stieglitz’s hometown of Magdeburg.
3) Mikkel Kessler (13-431-431)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO3 Brian Magee (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #1 Carl Froch
See Froch’s notes, above.
4) Lucian Bute (29-361-361)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 LHW #16 Denis Grachev (at LHW)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Bute appeared to be in line for Bika, and that may still be so, but apparently he has already agreed to fight Jean Pascal.  Both men have good opportunities in front of them already, so we’ll see if this fight will get in the way.
5) Robert Stieglitz (29-185-185)
Last Fight: 8/25/2012- L(UD12) vs. #6 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: 3/23/2013- #2 Arthur Abraham
See Abraham’s notes, above.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (29-93-141)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Oosthuizen was supposed to be fighting in February, but no opponent was ever named, and the fight seems to have quietly vacated the schedule.
7) Adonis Stevenson (22-66-66)
Last Fight: 10/12/2012- TKO12 Don George (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2013- vs. Darnell Boone (UNR)
With his hopes of fighting Carl Froch dashed for the moment, Stevenson will tend to some unfinished business when he tries to avenge his 2010 stoppage loss to Darnell Boone on March 22 in Montreal.
8) George Groves (8-13-35)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- TKO3 Dario Balmaceda (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Groves will fight an as-yet-unnamed opponent on the Froch-Kessler undercard in London on May 25.
9) Sakio Bika (2-4-310)
Last Fight: 2/16/2013- UD12 Nikola Sjekloca (UNR)

Next Fight: Unknown
Bika did as expected and outclassed Sjekloca, and now has a fight with Bute (possibly) on the horizon, with an upside of a theoretical rematch with Andre Ward, or may just end up fighting Ward.
10) Anthony Dirrell (1-1-67)
Last Fight: 12/2/2011- TKO4 Renan St. Juste (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dirrell stated via Twitter on February 20 that he’d be fighting a tune-up in 2 months.  That means roughly mid-April.  It’ll be good to see him back in the ring after coming back from several orthopedic injuries due to a motorcycle crash.
11) Will Rosinsky (1-39)
Last Fight: 12/19/2012- UD10 Otis Griffin (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
According to Rosinsky, he’s got an “unofficially official” date to fight Brandon Gonzales on Friday Night Fights April 12, and is just waiting on Gonzales’ signature.  There are rumors of a Gonzales injury, though, so stay tuned.
12) Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (1-70)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- RTD9 Jose Maria Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Groves withdrew from their scheduled 3/16 European title fight due to promotional changes.
13) Dimitri Sartison (1-141)
Last Fight: 1/27/2013- UD6 Artem Solomko (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) James DeGale (1-74)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- UD12 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/23/2013- vs. Alexander Brand (UNR)
DeGale upgraded his opponent for 3/23 a bit, as he will fight fringe contender Alexander Brand in place of inconsistent Argentine prospect Pablo Farias.
15) Ezequiel Maderna (1-11)
Last Fight: 12/14/2012- RTD7 Claudio Abalos
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #17 Edwin Rodriguez
Maderna gets the first real international break of his career on March 30, when he fights fellow up-and-coming prospect Edwin Rodriguez of Massachusetts by way of the Dominican Republic, with the winner to fight the winner of Erdei-Grachev.  I actually can’t find it anywhere, but the fact that Grachev and especially Erdei are light heavyweights typically would seem to indicate that Maderna-Rodriguez might be at that weight, too.
16) Maxim Vlasov (1-18)
Last Fight: 12/30/2012- RTD7 Geard Ajetovic (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/6/2013- vs. Ruben Acosta (UNR)
Vlasov has been keeping busy against basically a good journeyman level of opposition, and continues that trend by taking on Argentina’s Ruben Acosta in Russia.
17) Edwin Rodriguez (1-8)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO8 Jason Escalera (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #15 Ezequiel Maderna
See Maderna’s notes, above.
18) Dyah Davis (1-3)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- L (TKO10) vs. #9 Sakio Bika
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Hadillah Mohoumadi (1-2)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- UD10 Cedric Bellais (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mohoumadi isn’t maybe the most obvious choice to be ranked, but he arguably beat DeGale (I thought he did better against him than Groves did) and by most accounts may have beaten Sjekloca, as well.
20) Glen Johnson (1-1)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- L (UD12) vs. #18 George Groves
Next Fight: Unknown
Johnson appears to be done, but the division has weakened to the point that he can reclaim a ranking.
 

 

The Week Ahead: Peter Manfredo, Jr. returns on Friday in Lincoln, Rhode Island against Walter Wright, a journeyman coming off a nearly 3-year layoff. 

 

The following night in Cancun, Mexico, undefeated prospect Marco Antonio Periban fights an unnamed opponent in just a 6-rounder.

Super Middleweight: 2012, Dec 17-23

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on December 23, 2012 by danboxing
Saturday in Nuremberg, Germany, #3 Arthur Abraham attempted to make a case to regain the #2 spot taken from him by Mikkel Kessler just last week, by fighting a top 50 opponent that Kessler defeated last year in Frenchman Mehdi Bouadla, with Abraham and Kessler being neck and neck in the rankings.  Abraham certainly did what he could, knocking Bouadla out in 8. 

 

In a possibly even more important fight in London, #18 George Groves took on former Light Heavyweight Champion Glen Johnson, who was returning from a very brief retirement.  As it turns out, the venerable Road Warrior should have stayed retired, and frankly fought like he might still be.  If the fight was all about coming forward, or if it had been some sort of staring contest, Johnson would have come out on top hands down, but although he frequently walked the younger man down, Johnson just could not or would not let his hands go, even in the apparent best of circumstances.  At 43, it appears that Johnson just can’t pull the trigger anymore when needed.  My guess is we’ll see him hang them up again in the near future, and this time I expect it will stick.  I had the fight 118-109, and that was a bit more generous to Johnson than were any of the official judges.

 

Bouadla is just barely enough for Abraham to nudge back past Kessler to regain the #2 spot he lost last week. 

 

Groves’ movement is much more dramatic.  Even though Johnson was unranked due to his retirement, and even though he fought like a mere journeyman, he came into the fight as the equivalent of a top 20 contender, and likely would have been rated as such had he not removed himself after his previous fight.  This amounts to the most significant victory of Groves’ career, and he is launched all the way to #9, just behind Kelly Pavlik. 

 

Johnson, having become active again (at least for now), nearly returns to the rankings, but narrowly misses out.  I am glad he does, because I’d honestly hate to have to rank him after the showing he made on Saturday.

 

As he was passed by Groves, I noticed that 3 of last week’s #9 Sakio Bika’s signature wins from late 2007 on the Contender series had recently expired, in that they have passed the 5-year threshold after which I cease to consider them significant in principle.  Therefore, I have re-evaluated Bika’s position, and found that his two remaining significant wins only justify a ranking of #12 at this time.  He had been in the top 10 for a year straight, pretty much to the day.  Everyone rated #12-17 last week is forced down one spot in the re-alignment.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (53-187-187)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Next Fight: 2/23/2012- vs. #8 Kelly Pavlik
An injury to Ward has caused his January 26 fight with Kelly Pavlik to be postponed to February 23.
1) Carl Froch (30-340-340)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- KO3 LHW #11 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: Unknown
All indications are that Bute still wants a rematch, but Froch has now started making noise about fighting Kessler suspiciously close to the prospective date for the Bute fight.  Meanwhile, Adonis Stevenson is Froch’s mandatory, but appears to be on the outside looking in at the moment.
2) Arthur Abraham (1-165-165)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- TKO8 Mehdi Bouadla (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Not really much intrigue to the Bouadla fight, but it did give him a narrow edge here over Kessler again.
3) Mikkel Kessler (1-419-419)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO3 Brian Magee (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kessler and Froch are discussing a fight according to Froch, but it’s unclear what effect the contracted Bute rematch will have on those discussions.
4) Lucian Bute (17-349-349)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 LHW #16 Denis Grachev (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown
At last check, Bute still wanted the Froch rematch, but Froch has inexplicably begun talking publicly about negotiating another fight.
5) Robert Stieglitz (17-173-173)
Last Fight: 8/25/2012- L(UD12) vs. #6 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: Unknown
Stieglitz was somewhat busted up in the tough Abraham fight, and so I expect him to take a few months off at least.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (17-81-129)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Oosthuizen missed weight initially but managed to sweat it off to fight Zuniga.
7) Adonis Stevenson (10-54-54)
Last Fight: 10/12/2012- TKO12 Don George (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevenson probably has a shot at Carl Froch due to him at some point, as he is the mandatory challenger for Froch’s belt.  But Froch already has a contracted fight with Bute likely in March.
8) Kelly Pavlik (10-24-24)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- UD10 #12 Will Rosinsky
Next Fight: 2/23/2013- vs. Champ Andre Ward
Ward was injured, so his fight with Pavlik was rescheduled for February 23.
9) George Groves (1-1-23)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- UD12 Glen Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Groves may have gotten a bit of a lucky break considering how old Johnson looked in their fight, but the old veteran still had the credentials to help support Groves’ rise to the top 10.
10) Karoly Balzsay (21-21-35)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO12 #8 Dimitri Sartison
Next Fight: Unknown
Balzsay suffered a back injury way back in August, but I don’t know if that remains a factor as to why he hasn’t scheduled a fight since then.
11) Andy Lee (24-93)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(TKO7) vs. MW#? Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lee has recently challenged Matthew Macklin to what would likely be a middleweight bout.  No word on whether or not that’s likely to happen.
12) Sakio Bika (1-298)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO10 Dyah Davis (UNR)

Next Fight: Unknown
13) Anthony Dirrell (1-55)
Last Fight: 12/2/2011- TKO4 Renan St. Juste (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After his motorcycle crash, Anthony Dirrell was said to be out until at least November.  November has come and gone, and not a peep.  Hopefully he gets back in the ring before his woefully inactive twin brother.  As for his ranking, I will now commit to not remove him until at least June 2, 2013 due to his very serious injury situation.
14) Will Rosinsky (1-27)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- L(UD10) vs. Kelly Pavlik (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/19/2012- vs. Otis Griffin (UNR)
Rosinsky will fight former fringe contender Otis Griffin- who recently reversed a losing streak with a win over a weaker journeyman- on December 19 in New York.
15) Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (1-58)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- RTD9 Jose Maria Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/26/2013- vs. #16 James DeGale
Ndiaye’s fight with DeGale is set for late January instead of December 8 as reported earlier.  DeGale will be fighting a likely lesser opponent on December 8, it appears.
16) Dimitri Sartison (1-129)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- L(TKO12) vs. Karoly Balzsay (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sartison has been medically cleared since August following another knee surgery, and was said to be looking to return in December, but he has no fight scheduled yet, and no recent buzz of any kind, either.
17) James DeGale (1-62)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- UD12 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/26/2013- vs. #14 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye
After a nice win for DeGale over Zuniga, there is no rest for the wicked, as he’ll be fighting the toughest opponent of his career (or at least highest-ranked) in Ndiaye just 6 weeks later.
18) Jesus Gonzales (1-76)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(KO1) vs. #9 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: 1/19/2012- vs. Albert Onolunose (UNR)
Gonzales’ fight at Desperado’s Nightclub in Calgary has been pushed back for a second time- this time to January 19.  But at least he has an opponent now- Nigerian journeyman Albert Onolunose, who is frankly a level or two better than I was expecting Gonzales to fight in such a small-sounding venue.
19) Maxim Vlasov (6-6)
Last Fight: 11/5/2012- UD10 Khoren Gevor (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/30/2012- vs. Geard Ajetovic (UNR)
Vlasov will fight again on New Year’s Eve Eve against decent Serbian journeyman Geard Ajetovic in Moscow.
20) Edwin Rodriguez (6-21)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO8 Jason Escalera (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
According to Gennady Golovkin’s trainer, Rodriguez turned down a huge offer to fight Golovkin.

 

The Week Ahead: Nothing to report this week.

Super Middleweight: 2012, Dec 10-16

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on December 12, 2012 by danboxing
#18 James DeGale had less trouble than I expected with gatekeeper Fulgencio Zuniga.  I didn’t watch the fight, but the sources I was able to find were unanimous that he won it comfortably, although apparently he still has a bit of a problem with hanging out on the ropes too often.  
 

#3 Mikkel Kessler had even less trouble with fringe contender Brian Magee, knocking the Northern Irishman down three times in just over 2 rounds, all from body shots, and stopping him on the last one. 

 

Both fights have some effect on the rankings.  Kessler was behind Abraham in part due to much of his success being a bit old due to inactivity.  Magee isn’t a ranked fighter, but he is still an estimable fringe contender.  As a result, he gives Kessler the fresh blood he needs to just barely slip past Abraham into the #2 position.  DeGale surpasses the man that questionably beat him in 2011 in George Groves, as well as Jesus Gonzales, whom the year 2012 has not served well.  DeGale therefore settles in at #16, which I believe to be his highest ranking to date.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (52-186-186)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Next Fight: 2/23/2012- vs. #8 Kelly Pavlik
An injury to Ward has caused his January 26 fight with Kelly Pavlik to be postponed to February 23.
1) Carl Froch (29-339-339)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- KO3 LHW #11 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: Unknown
All indications are that Bute still wants a rematch, but Froch has now started making noise about fighting Kessler suspiciously close to the prospective date for the Bute fight.  Meanwhile, Adonis Stevenson is Froch’s mandatory, but appears to be on the outside looking in at the moment.
2) Mikkel Kessler (1-418-418)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO3 Brian Magee (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kessler and Froch are discussing a fight according to Froch, but it’s unclear what effect the contracted Bute rematch will have on those discussions.
3) Arthur Abraham (1-164-164)
Last Fight: 8/25/2012- UD12 #4 Robert Stieglitz
Next Fight: 12/15/2012- vs. Mehdi Bouadla (UNR)
Abraham will make a fairly weak follow-up to his big win over Stieglitz.  His opponent is Mehdi Bouadla, who made a brave stand against Kessler before getting stopped fairly early in their 2011 fight.  Since then, Bouadla- essentially a journeyman- has been fighting exclusively nobodies, mostly at middleweight.
4) Lucian Bute (16-348-348)

Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 LHW #16 Denis Grachev (at LHW)
Next Fight: Unknown

At last check, Bute still wanted the Froch rematch, but Froch has inexplicably begun talking publicly about negotiating another fight.
5) Robert Stieglitz (16-172-172)
Last Fight: 8/25/2012- L(UD12) vs. #6 Arthur Abraham
Next Fight: Unknown
Stieglitz was somewhat busted up in the tough Abraham fight, and so I expect him to take a few months off at least.
6) Thomas Oosthuizen (16-80-128)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Oosthuizen missed weight initially but managed to sweat it off to fight Zuniga.
7) Adonis Stevenson (9-53-53)
Last Fight: 10/12/2012- TKO12 Don George (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevenson probably has a shot at Carl Froch due to him at some point, as he is the mandatory challenger for Froch’s belt.  But Froch already has a contracted fight with Bute likely in March.
8) Kelly Pavlik (9-23-23)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- UD10 #12 Will Rosinsky
Next Fight: 2/23/2013- vs. Champ Andre Ward
Ward is injured, so his fight with Pavlik is rescheduled for February 23.
9) Sakio Bika (20-52-297)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO10 Dyah Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
10) Karoly Balzsay (20-20-34)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO12 #8 Dimitri Sartison
Next Fight: Unknown
Balzsay pulled out of a scheduled alphabet title defense with fringe contender Brian Magee with a back injury.
11) Andy Lee (23-92)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(TKO7) vs. MW#? Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lee has recently challenged Matthew Macklin to what would likely be a middleweight bout.  No word on whether or not that’s likely to happen.
12) Anthony Dirrell (20-54)
Last Fight: 12/2/2011- TKO4 Renan St. Juste (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After his motorcycle crash, Anthony Dirrell was said to be out until at least November.  November has come and gone, and not a peep.  Hopefully he gets back in the ring before his woefully inactive twin brother.  As for his ranking, I will now commit to not remove him until at least June 2, 2013 due to his very serious injury situation.
13) Will Rosinsky (20-26)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- L(UD10) vs. Kelly Pavlik (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/19/2012- vs. Otis Griffin (UNR)
Rosinsky will fight former fringe contender Otis Griffin- who recently reversed a losing streak with a win over a weaker journeyman- on December 19 in New York.
14) Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (20-57)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- RTD9 Jose Maria Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/26/2013- vs. #16 James DeGale
Ndiaye’s fight with DeGale is set for late January instead of December 8 as reported earlier.  DeGale will be fighting a likely lesser opponent on December 8, it appears.
15) Dimitri Sartison (20-128)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- L(TKO12) vs. Karoly Balzsay (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sartison has been medically cleared following his third knee surgery, and is looking to return in December.
16) James DeGale (1-61)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- UD12 Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/26/2013- vs. #14 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye
After a nice win for DeGale over Zuniga, there is no rest for the wicked, as he’ll be fighting the toughest opponent of his career (or at least highest-ranked) in Ndiaye just 6 weeks later.
17) Jesus Gonzales (1-75)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(KO1) vs. #9 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: 1/19/2012- vs. Albert Onolunose (UNR)
Gonzales’ fight at Desperado’s Nightclub in Calgary has been pushed back for a second time- this time to January 19.  But at least he has an opponent now- Nigerian journeyman Albert Onolunose, who is frankly a level or two better than I was expecting Gonzales to fight in such a small-sounding venue.
18) George Groves (1-22)
Last Fight: 7/28/2012- TKO6 Francisco Sierra (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/15/2012- vs. Glen Johnson (UNR)
Groves’s December 15 opponent turned out to be kind of a surprise: former light heavyweight champion Glen Johnson.  Johnson retired just a few months ago, but evidently isn’t ready to keep them hung up yet.  This could be an interesting crossroads fight.
19) Maxim Vlasov (5-5)
Last Fight: 11/5/2012- UD10 Khoren Gevor (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/30/2012- vs. Geard Ajetovic (UNR)
Vlasov will fight again on New Year’s Eve Eve against decent Serbian journeyman Geard Ajetovic in Moscow.
20) Edwin Rodriguez (5-20)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO8 Jason Escalera (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
According to Gennady Golovkin’s trainer, Rodriguez turned down a huge offer to fight Golovkin.

 

The Week Ahead: Two major fights in Europe this Saturday.  In Nürnberg, Germany, #3 Arthur Abraham follows the lead of the man who just passed him in the rankings (Mikkel Kessler) by fighting French gatekeeper Mehdi Bouadla. 

 

In London, #18 George Groves fights most likely the toughest opponent of his career in Glen Johnson, who is coming out of a brief retirement for the fight.

Super Middleweight: 2012, Jul 16-22

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on July 22, 2012 by danboxing
Mexican undefeated prospect Marco Antonio Periban won on Saturday when his journeyman opponent, Lester Gonzalez of Cuba, failed to answer the bell for the 10th round.

 

The biggest news related to the division this week, though, was the retirement of last week’s #16 Glen Johnson.  With Johnson’s removal, everyone rated #17 or below last week advances one space, allowing George Groves to re-enter after a brief 1-week hiatus.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (31-165-165)
Last Fight: 12/17/2011- UD12 #2 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 9/8/2012- vs. LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Ward and Dawson are now set to make history in September.  As far as I know, this may be the first time in history a reigning champion has challenged for a championship at a lower weight.  Since Dawson and Ward will be fighting at or below both the Super Middleweight and Light Heavyweight limits, both Championships will be on the line as far as I’m concerned.
1) Carl Froch (8-318-318)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- TKO5 #1 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute is exercising his rematch clause, but not until probably March.  In the interim, Froch will fight in November, and wants Kessler.
2) Mikkel Kessler (8-397-397)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- KO5 Allan Green (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Both Pavlik and Froch are jonesing for a fight with the Viking Warrior.
3) Lucian Bute (8-327-327)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- L(TKO5) vs. #2 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute will exercise his rematch clause to fight Froch in March, and is a possible opponent for Kelly Pavlik in the fall.
4) Robert Stieglitz (31-151-151)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- UD12 Nader Hamdan (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/25/2012- vs. #6 Arthur Abraham
Stieglitz vs. Abraham is official- August 25 in Berlin.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (31-59-107)
Last Fight: 4/27/2012- UD10 Marcus Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/2/2012- vs. Rowland Bryant (UNR)
Oosthuizen will be fighting in New York against Rowland Bryant, the athletic fighter that put a beating on Librado Andrade in a big upset earlier this year.
6) Arthur Abraham (31-143-143)
Last Fight: 3/31/2012- UD12 Piotr Wilczewski (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/25/2012- vs. #4 Robert Stieglitz
See Stieglitz’s notes, above.
7) Kelly Pavlik (2-2-2)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- UD10 #12 Will Rosinsky
Next Fight: Unknown
Pavlik will likely return in October, possibly against Bute or Kessler.
8) Adonis Stevenson (2-32-32)
Last Fight: 4/20/2012- TKO2 Noe Gonzalez (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/11/2012- vs. Don George (UNR)
After no fewer than 7 contenders turned him down, Stevenson has finally found an August dance partner in fringe prospect/gatekeeper Don George.
9) Peter Quillin (2-64-64)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- UD10 Winky Wright (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Quillin appears likely to fight on September 8, perhaps against Marco Antonio Rubio.  If this fight is announced, Quillin will be removed since he has not fought over the 160 limit since last July.
10) Sakio Bika (2-31-276)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO10 Dyah Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bika became the 6th known fighter to turn down a shot at Adonis Stevenson.
11) Andy Lee (2-71)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(TKO7) vs. MW#? Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
12) Karoly Balzsay (2-13)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO12 #8 Dimitri Sartison
Next Fight: 9/22/2012- vs. Brian Magee (UNR)
Balzsay’s mandatory defense against Brian Magee has been tentatively rescheduled for September 22.
13) Anthony Dirrell (5-33)
Last Fight: 12/2/2011- TKO4 Renan St. Juste (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dirrell had been all set for a somewhat goofy vacant title opportunity against the underwhelming Nikola Sjekloca, but Dirrell crashed his motorcycle, breaking an arm and leg.  He’s expected to be out of action until approximately November at the earliest.
14) Will Rosinsky (2-5)
Last Fight: 6/14/2012- UD8 #17 Aaron Pryor, Jr.
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. Kelly Pavlik (UNR)
Rosinsky and Pavlik are both jumping into the ring after only a few weeks’ break when they do battle on HBO on July 7.
15) Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (2-36)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- RTD9 Jose Maria Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There is word of negotiations for a potential fight with James DeGale.
16) Dimitri Sartison (1-107)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- L(TKO12) vs. Karoly Balzsay (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sartison unfortunately underwent another knee surgery following his loss to Balzsay, and will be out until at least October.  It’s looking more and more likely that he’ll never be the same fighter.
17) Bryan Vera (1-76)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- UD8 Taronze Washington (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 8/11/2012- vs. Sergio Mora (UNR) (at MW)
Vera will give Sergio Mora a rematch of their competitive bout from early 2011.  Both of these guys are all over the map with their performances, so this could go either way.  The fight will be at 160.
18) Jesus Gonzales (1-54)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(KO1) vs. #9 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
19) James DeGale (1-40)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO4 Cristian Sanavia (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
May be up for a very good test against Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye next.
20) George Groves (1-1)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO2 Paul Smith (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/28/2012- vs. Francisco Sierra (UNR)
Groves is fighting in San Jose to keep busy for his oft-delayed rematch with Kenny Anderson, but against a fighter that is better than the usual stay-busy opponent in gatekeeper Francisco Sierra.

 

The Week Ahead: Thursday in Lincoln, Rhode Island, one-loss prospect Vladine Biosse takes on journeyman Michael Walchuk.

Super Middleweight: 2012, Jul 9-15

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on July 22, 2012 by danboxing
Kelly Pavlik got back into the rankings mix this weekend, winning a pedestrian but still clear decision over perhaps slightly overrated but very game #12 Will Rosinsky in California.  In conjunction with his 2008 164 pound catchweight decision win over Jermain Taylor, and his arguable win over now-discredited former prospect Alfonso Lopez notwithstanding, Pavlik settles firmly into the top 10 at #7.  Given his solid effort and Pavlik’s residual status as former Middleweight champion, Rosinsky avoids sliding down the list too far, perching at #14 after flip-flopping with currently-injured Anthony Dirrell.  Due to Pavlik’s debut, last weeks #s 7-11 and 14-20 each slip one spot, including Andy Lee, who exits the top 10 after 11 weeks in, and George Groves, who is forced out of the top 20 after clinging to a ranking for 29 weeks in a row.

 

English undefeated prospect Rocky Fielding needed just over 2 minutes to stop Hungarian journeyman Ferenc Hafner in Sheffield, while the all-Tanzania fight between gatekeeper Francis Cheka and journeyman Japhet Kaseba was cancelled at the last minute.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (30-164-164)
Last Fight: 12/17/2011- UD12 #2 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 9/8/2012- vs. LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Ward and Dawson are now set to make history in September.  As far as I know, this may be the first time in history a reigning champion has challenged for a championship at a lower weight.  Since Dawson and Ward will be fighting at or below both the Super Middleweight and Light Heavyweight limits, both Championships will be on the line as far as I’m concerned.
1) Carl Froch (7-317-317)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- TKO5 #1 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute is exercising his rematch clause, but not until probably March.  In the interim, Froch will fight in November, and wants Kessler.
2) Mikkel Kessler (7-396-396)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- KO5 Allan Green (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Both Pavlik and Froch are jonesing for a fight with the Viking Warrior.
3) Lucian Bute (7-326-326)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- L(TKO5) vs. #2 Carl Froch
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute will exercise his rematch clause to fight Froch in March, and is a possible opponent for Kelly Pavlik in the fall.
4) Robert Stieglitz (30-150-150)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- UD12 Nader Hamdan (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/25/2012- vs. #6 Arthur Abraham
Stieglitz vs. Abraham is official- August 25 in Berlin.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (30-58-106)
Last Fight: 4/27/2012- UD10 Marcus Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/2/2012- vs. Rowland Bryant (UNR)
Oosthuizen will be fighting in New York against Rowland Bryant, the athletic fighter that put a beating on Librado Andrade in a big upset earlier this year.
6) Arthur Abraham (30-142-142)
Last Fight: 3/31/2012- UD12 Piotr Wilczewski (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/25/2012- vs. #4 Robert Stieglitz
See Stieglitz’s notes, above.
7) Kelly Pavlik (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- UD10 #12 Will Rosinsky
Next Fight: Unknown
Pavlik will likely return in October, possibly against Bute or Kessler.
8) Adonis Stevenson (1-31-31)
Last Fight: 4/20/2012- TKO2 Noe Gonzalez (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/11/2012- vs. Don George (UNR)
After no fewer than 7 contenders turned him down, Stevenson has finally found an August dance partner in fringe prospect/gatekeeper Don George.
9) Peter Quillin (1-63-63)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- UD10 Winky Wright (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Quillin appears likely to fight on September 8, perhaps against Marco Antonio Rubio.  If this fight is announced, Quillin will be removed since he has not fought over the 160 limit since last July.
10) Sakio Bika (1-30-275)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO10 Dyah Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bika became the 6th known fighter to turn down a shot at Adonis Stevenson.
11) Andy Lee (1-70)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(TKO7) vs. MW#? Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
12) Karoly Balzsay (1-12)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO12 #8 Dimitri Sartison
Next Fight: Unknown
Balzsay had a 7/7 date tentatively set to fight Brian Magee, but he reportedly was still in relaxation mode after his last fight, and hadn’t resumed serious training.  The fight appears to be off for the moment.
13) Anthony Dirrell (4-32)
Last Fight: 12/2/2011- TKO4 Renan St. Juste (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dirrell had been all set for a somewhat goofy vacant title opportunity against the underwhelming Nikola Sjekloca, but Dirrell crashed his motorcycle, breaking an arm and leg.  He’s expected to be out of action until approximately November at the earliest.
14) Will Rosinsky (1-4)
Last Fight: 6/14/2012- UD8 #17 Aaron Pryor, Jr.
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. Kelly Pavlik (UNR)
Rosinsky and Pavlik are both jumping into the ring after only a few weeks’ break when they do battle on HBO on July 7.
15) Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (1-35)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- RTD9 Jose Maria Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There is word of negotiations for a potential fight with James DeGale.
16) Glen Johnson (1-88)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- L(UD12) vs. #3 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: 7/13/2012- vs. Andrzej Fonfara (UNR) (at LHW)
Johnson will now be in a clear gatekeeper role for the first time since he knocked out Yusaf Mack in 2009 when he takes on Polish steroid user/prospect Andrzej Fonfara on Friday Night Fights on July 13- apparently at Light Heavyweight.
17) Dimitri Sartison (1-106)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- L(TKO12) vs. Karoly Balzsay (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sartison unfortunately underwent another knee surgery following his loss to Balzsay, and will be out until at least October.  It’s looking more and more likely that he’ll never be the same fighter.
18) Bryan Vera (1-75)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- UD8 Taronze Washington (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 8/11/2012- vs. Sergio Mora (UNR) (at MW)
Vera will give Sergio Mora a rematch of their competitive bout from early 2011.  Both of these guys are all over the map with their performances, so this could go either way.  The fight will be at 160.
19) Jesus Gonzales (1-53)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(KO1) vs. #9 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
20) James DeGale (1-39)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO4 Cristian Sanavia (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
May be up for a very good test against Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye next.

 

The Week Ahead: Undefeated Mexican prospect Marco Antonio Periban fights Cuban journeyman Lester Gonzalez in Texas on Saturday.  #16 Glen Johnson is also in action, but at 175.