Archive for Grigory Drozd

Cruiserweight: 2014, Mar 17-23

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on August 5, 2014 by danboxing
Russia’s 2 best cruiserweights were on the same card in Moscow on Saturday.  In the main event, #7 Grigory Drozd destroyed a decent, willing, but ultimately outgunned French journeyman in Jeremy Ouanna.  Ouanna came out showing some impressive quickness and boxing skill, but late in the very first round, Drozd found a jab, looping right combination that caught Ouanna flush, but without much behind it.  Just seconds later, Drozd threw the same combination from maybe 6 inches further out, and the right hand dropped Ouanna for the count this time.

 

On the undercard, narrowly unranked Rakhim Chakhkiev was much too sharp for the willing, durable, yet limited Finnish journeyman Juho Haapoja.  Chakhkiev both outclassed and out-punched Haapoja.  I’d seen the Finn before, but was struck this time in particular by how chubby he looked.  I’d say he’s a blown up super middleweight, at most.  Chakhkiev knocked Haapoja down in the 2nd with a combination, and stopped him on his feet in the 9th.

 

Later that night in Liverpool, #7 Light Heavyweight Tony Bellew made his cruiserweight debut with an entertaining win over Russian gatekeeper Valery Brudov, who certainly didn’t come to lay down.  Bellew scored knockdowns in the 2nd, 6th, and 12th rounds- all fairly devastating shots- but had his struggles, as well.  Brudov badly hurt Bellew in the 7th, and it looked for all the world like he was going to have trouble escaping the round.  He appeared almost totally out on his feet with over a minute left in the round.  Unfortunately for Brudov, one of his punches strayed significantly low while he had Bellew on the ropes.  Referee Phil Edwards did a good job by not giving Bellew the full 5 minutes, but still allowing him a fair amount of time to recover from that particular punch.  It was enough to see Bellew through to the bell, and though Brudov was fighting on mostly even terms for the remainder of the fight, he never again got Bellew in trouble.  Bellew’s recovery culminated in the 12th round knockdown mentioned above, when Bellew’s wide left hand got there just a fraction of a second before Brudov’s in a wide-open exchange.  Brudov hit the canvas for his third time, was unable to get any higher than his hands and knees in his attempt to rise, resulting in a hard-earned knockout win for the local contender.

 

Bellew’s win gets him into the conversation, but just shy of the top 20.  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 (34-215-215)
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 (8-380-380)
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 (8-195-195)
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 (27-456-456)
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 (8-33-71)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
6) Firat Arslan (8-97-140)
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 (17-24-71)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Drozd made quick work of Ouanna, and will hopefully get a short at a top contender soon.
8) Ola Afolabi (17-262-262)
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 (17-27-279)
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 (17-17-105)
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 (17-36)
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 (15-20)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: Unknown
Silgado was slammed by his own (now former) manager after he declined an arranged fight with Thabiso Mchunu.
13) Mateusz Masternak (15-103)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- KO4 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/12/2014- vs. Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Masternak will be back on April 12 at Esbjerg, Denmark.
14) Lukasz Janik (15-20)
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 (13-13)
Last Fight: 12/20/2013- W (DQ7*) vs. Steve Herelius (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/11/2014- vs. Gusmyr Perdomo (UNR)
Seferi will now fight on April 11 in Berlin against former super middleweight and light heavyweight fringe contender Gusmyr Perdomo of Venezuela.
16) Danie Venter (8-27)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Dmytro Kucher (8-90)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Tony Conquest (4-4)
Last Fight: 2/22/2014- UD12 Daniel Ammann (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Conquest is set to fight in London on April 12, and is hoping to fight for the British title in the foreseeable future.
19) Krzysztof Glowacki (4-34)
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) Yunier Dorticos (3-3)
Last Fight: 2/28/2014- KO1 Hamilton Ventura (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dorticos- after making one step up recently- is shooting for the stars.  He says he wants either Wlodarczyk or the winner of Jones-Lebedev next.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Friday
Victor Ramirez vs. Glendy Hernandez; Benavidez, Argentina; TyC Sports
Ramirez’s last significant win will be 5 years old in May, and although he’s taking on an interesting challenge in 1-loss Cuban prospect Hernandez (whose only loss was in his last fight against a 242-pound undefeated opponent), Hernandez is insufficiently proven to change that this weekend.  Still, this is a fight worth seeing, and could tell us a lot about the overall quality of the Cuban, or about what Ramirez might have left.

Cruiserweight: 2014, Mar 10-16

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on July 28, 2014 by danboxing
Former cruiserweight and heavyweight contender Juan Carlos Gomez returned to cruiser for the first time since 2001 on Saturday, and won a split decision in Hungary against mid-level Croatian journeyman Ivica Bacurin.  This is the type of fight that I’d like to watch for accuracy’s sake, but even though I’m pretty sure the fight was carried on Hungarian TV, there’s no video of it online anywhere that I can find.  It’ll have to stand with the official result, which is essentially null as it concerns the rankings.  Gomez is an active cruiserweight now, but all of his significant wins at that weight are over 12 years old, and thus don’t matter here at this point.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (33-214-214)
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 (7-379-379)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. Mirko Larghetti (UNR)
Huck’s hastily-procured March 29 opponent will be undefeated Italian prospect Mirko Larghetti.
3) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (7-194-194)
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 (26-455-455)
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 (7-32-70)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
6) Firat Arslan (7-96-139)
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 (16-23-70)
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 (16-261-261)
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 (16-26-278)
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 (16-16-104)
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 (16-35)
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 (14-19)
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 (14-102)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- KO4 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/12/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Masternak will be back on April 12 at Esbjerg, Denmark. 
14) Lukasz Janik (14-19)
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 (12-12)
Last Fight: 12/20/2013- W (DQ7*) vs. Steve Herelius (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/11/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Seferi will now apparently fight on April 11 in Berlin.  If I understood the Albanian translation correctly, he’s hoping for Marco Huck.  It was not clear to me how he expects to get around Huck’s fight just two weeks earlier.
16) Danie Venter (7-26)
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 (7-89)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Tony Conquest (3-3)
Last Fight: 2/22/2014- UD12 Daniel Ammann (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Conquest is set to fight in London on April 12, and is hoping to fight for the British title in the foreseeable future.
19) Krzysztof Glowacki (3-33)
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) Yunier Dorticos (2-2)
Last Fight: 2/28/2014- KO1 Hamilton Ventura (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dorticos- after making one step up recently- is shooting for the stars.  He says he wants either Wlodarczyk or the winner of Jones-Lebedev next.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Saturday
#7 Grigory Drozd vs. Jeremy Ouanna; Moscow, Russia; TV Unknown
Ouanna is a high-level French journeyman.  He would be a threat to a lot of gatekeeper-types and unproven prospects, but probably not to as impressive a contender as Drozd.

 

Rakhim Chakhkiev vs. Juho Haapoja; Moscow, Russia; TV Unknown
Chakhkiev is probably the most impressive unranked fighter in the division.  Largely due to his failure to secure a win in a fight he was looking great in against Wlodarczyk, his actual achievements do not yet match his talents.  Haapoja is a high-level journeyman from Finland, who spent some time as a gatekeeper before some recent losses laid him low.  I see him as having no chance.

 

#7 LHW Tony Bellew vs. Valery Brudov; Liverpool, England; Sky (UK)
Liverpool’s own Bellew is moving up to cruiser after making a name for himself at 175.  Brudov is a pretty well-chosen opponent for a first opponent on that quest.  The Russian is a gatekeeper, but a rather small cruiserweight who could probably make 175 himself, if need be.  That is to say, he may or may not actually be a bigger man than Bellew.

Cruiserweight: 2014, Jan 20-26

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on April 16, 2014 by danboxing
No cruiserweight action last week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (26-207-207)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lebedev-Jones II is expected in either March or April.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (71-187-187)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: 3/8/2014- vs. Pawel Kolodziej (UNR)
Hernandez’s March 8 opponent is Pawel Kolodziej, an undefeated Polish prospect who would probably have been ranked here frequently if he ever bothered to make 200.
3) Marco Huck (19-372-372)
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 (19-448-448)
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 (19-89-132)
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 (19-25-63)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/24/2013- vs. Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Mchunu found a pretty decent replacement for would-be opponents Garrett Wilson and Santander Silgado.  He’ll face hard-hitting former Nigerian Olympian Olanrewaju Durodola on January 24.  Durodola has been fighting on a regional level around Missouri, and has only lost once when fighting a much larger  prospect at heavyweight.  He’s ranked in the top 40 by Boxrec.
7) Grigory Drozd (9-16-63)
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 (9-254-254)
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 (9-19-271)
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 (9-9-97)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- W (TD10) vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Branco has been tabbed by the WBC to fight Chakhkiev for some silly color coded title belt, with January 3 the deadline to avoid purse bids.
11) Ilunga Makabu (9-28)
Last Fight: 8/31/2013- TKO5 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Nathan Cleverly withdrew with what his promoter calls a minor injury, leaving Makabu with a mere stay-busy outing on February 1.
12) Santander Silgado (7-12)
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 (7-95)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (TKO11) vs. #16 Grigory Drozd
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Polish news reports have Masternak returning on February 1 against Georgian journeyman Siproshvili.
14) Lukasz Janik (7-12)
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 (5-5)
Last Fight: 12/20/2013- W (DQ7*) vs. Steve Herelius (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/11/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Seferi will be among the headliners- against an unknown opponent- on April 11 on a show billed, a bit oddly, as “Evil Fight Night” in Hamburg.
16) Enad Licina (5-187)
Last Fight: 9/27/2013- TKO3 Levan Jomardashvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Licina’s last win over a top 50 fighter was January 24, 2009.  Since I only consider results from the last 5 years in my rankings, he will be removed next week, unless he gets used as a short-notice opponent by somoene good, and then beats that person.  He’s essentially certain to be removed.
17) Danie Venter (5-19)
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 (5-82)
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) Victor Ramirez (3-3)
Last Fight: 1/4/2014- UD10 Mariano Diaz Strunz (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/31/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Ramirez was a fringe contender when he lost to Marco Huck in August 2009.  He’s done nothing of note since then, having been inactive for more than 4 years.  Yet his resume in the year that preceded that is still enough to claim a ranking in a shallow division.  He will be back for the 3rd time in 6 weeks on January 31.
20) Krzysztof Glowacki (3-26)

Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glowacki is seriously interested in fighting Francisco Palacios. 

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Friday
#6 Thabiso Mchunu vs. Olanrewaju Durodola; Atlantic City, New Jersey; NBC Sports (US)
South African Mchunu is a rising star in the sport, while Nigeria’s Durodola is a former Olympian who showed immense power even in the amateurs.  He has lost a fight already in his career- an upset to a much larger guy at heavyweight- but still finds himself easily in Boxrec’s top 50.  Mchunu is on a higher level at this juncture, having dominated world class heavyweight Eddie Chambers.

 

Saturday
#3 Marco Huck vs. #5 Firat Arslan; Stuttgart, Germany; ARD (Germany)
This is a long-awaited rematch.  Arslan had his way with Huck in the first fight, but was blatantly robbed.  Huck is ranked above Arslan only because he legitimately avenged an arguable win over Afolabi in the meantime, while Arslan has done nothing of consequence.  Having waited over a year since the first fight, Huck has opened himself up to criticism that he waited for the now-43 year-old Arslan to get old.  Or older, I suppose.  That being said, if he loses, it will be a blow to his career that will be difficult to recover from.

Cruiserweight: 2014, Jan 13-19

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on April 11, 2014 by danboxing
No action of note last week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (25-206-206)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lebedev-Jones II is expected in either March or April.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (70-186-186)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: 3/8/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Sauerland says Hernandez will be back on March 8 in Berlin, in a voluntary defense.  No opponent yet.
3) Marco Huck (18-371-371)
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 (18-447-447)
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 (18-88-131)
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 (18-24-62)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/24/2013- vs. Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Mchunu found a pretty decent replacement for would-be opponents Garrett Wilson and Santander Silgado.  He’ll face hard-hitting former Nigerian Olympian Olanrewaju Durodola on January 24.  Durodola has been fighting on a regional level around Missouri, and has only lost once when fighting a much larger  prospect at heavyweight.  He’s ranked in the top 40 by Boxrec.
7) Grigory Drozd (8-15-62)
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 (8-253-253)
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 (8-18-270)
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 (8-8-96)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- W (TD10) vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Branco has been tabbed by the WBC to fight Chakhkiev for some silly color coded title belt, with January 3 the deadline to avoid purse bids.
11) Ilunga Makabu (8-27)
Last Fight: 8/31/2013- TKO5 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Nathan Cleverly withdrew with what his promoter calls a minor injury, leaving Makabu with a mere stay-busy outing on February 1.
12) Santander Silgado (6-11)
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 (6-94)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (TKO11) vs. #16 Grigory Drozd
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Polish news reports have Masternak returning on February 1 against Georgian journeyman Siproshvili.
14) Lukasz Janik (6-11)
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 (4-4)
Last Fight: 12/20/2013- W (DQ7*) vs. Steve Herelius (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Seferi says he wants to fight Marco Huck in 2014.
16) Enad Licina (4-186)
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 (4-18)
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 (4-81)
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) Victor Ramirez (2-2)
Last Fight: 1/4/2014- UD10 Mariano Diaz Strunz (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/31/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Ramirez was a fringe contender when he lost to Marco Huck in August 2009.  He’s done nothing of note since then, having been inactive for more than 4 years.  Yet his resume in the year that preceded that is still enough to claim a ranking in a shallow division.  He will be back for the 3rd time in 6 weeks on January 31.
20) Krzysztof Glowacki (2-25)

Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glowacki is seriously interested in fighting Francisco Palacios. 

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: A second actionless week in a row.

Cruiserweight: 2014- Jan 6-12

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on April 7, 2014 by danboxing
Argentine fringe contender Victor Ramirez made 200 for the first time since 2009, capturing a dominant decision over countryman and mid-level journeyman Mariano Diaz Strunz, who apparently took the fight on short notice.  This win was nothing special, of course, but now that he’s back and active at the weight, the heavily inactive Ramirez actually deserves a ranking, despite doing nothing of note since being removed for inactivity- from the #15 position- way back on August 30, 2010.  If you desire sad commentary on the depth of the division, I’m not sure I can do better than that.  Ramirez checks in at #19, forcing Glowacki to #20 and bumping Chakhkiev for the time being, after 6 weeks in.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (24-205-205)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lebedev-Jones II is expected in either March or April.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (69-185-185)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: 3/8/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Sauerland says Hernandez will be back on March 8 in Berlin, in a voluntary defense.  No opponent yet.
3) Marco Huck (17-370-370)
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 (17-446-446)
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 (17-87-130)
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 (17-23-61)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/24/2013- vs. Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Mchunu found a pretty decent replacement for would-be opponents Garrett Wilson and Santander Silgado.  He’ll face hard-hitting former Nigerian Olympian Olanrewaju Durodola on January 24.  Durodola has been fighting on a regional level around Missouri, and has only lost once when fighting a much larger  prospect at heavyweight.  He’s ranked in the top 40 by Boxrec.
7) Grigory Drozd (7-14-61)
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 (7-252-252)
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 (7-17-269)
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 (7-7-95)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- W (TD10) vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Branco has been tabbed by the WBC to fight Chakhkiev for some silly color coded title belt, with January 3 the deadline to avoid purse bids.
11) Ilunga Makabu (7-26)
Last Fight: 8/31/2013- TKO5 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. #9 LHW Nathan Cleverly
Makabu gets a high-profile opponent in Monaco on February 1- Welsh contender Nathan Cleverly, who takes a big chance in his cruiserweight debut.
12) Santander Silgado (5-10)
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 (5-93)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (TKO11) vs. #16 Grigory Drozd
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Polish news reports have Masternak returning on February 1.
14) Lukasz Janik (5-10)
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 (3-3)
Last Fight: 12/20/2013- W (DQ7*) vs. Steve Herelius (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Seferi says he wants to fight Marco Huck in 2014.
16) Enad Licina (3-185)
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 (3-17)
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 (3-80)
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) Victor Ramirez (1-1)
Last Fight: 1/4/2014- UD10 Mariano Diaz Strunz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ramirez was a fringe contender when he lost to Marco Huck in August 2009.  He’s done nothing of note since then, having been inactive for more than 4 years.  Yet his resume in the year that preceded that is still enough to claim a ranking in a shallow division.
20) Krzysztof Glowacki (1-24)

Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glowacki has been tearing through the middle tier of the division like a wrecking ball.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Nothing to report.

Cruiserweight: 2013-2014, Dec 30- Jan 5

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 24, 2014 by danboxing
Nothing to report from last week, except that Christmas happened, as scheduled.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (23-204-204)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Citing delays from the Guillermo Jones/Don King side, Lebedev has petitioned to the WBA for the ability to seek a unification fight with Wlodarczyk, instead.  In the mean time, purse bids have been set for January 6 on the Jones fight.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (68-184-184)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: 3/8/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Sauerland says Hernandez will be back on March 8 in Berlin, in a voluntary defense.  No opponent yet.
3) Marco Huck (16-369-369)
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 (16-445-445)
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 (16-86-129)
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 (16-22-60)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/24/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Mchunu is in search of an opponent for January 24, after Garrett Wilson and then Santander Silgado both fell through in the space of a week.
7) Grigory Drozd (6-13-60)
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 (6-251-251)
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 (6-16-268)
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 (6-6-94)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- W (TD10) vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Branco has been tabbed by the WBC to fight Chakhkiev for some silly color coded title belt, with January 3 the deadline to avoid purse bids.
11) Ilunga Makabu (6-25)
Last Fight: 8/31/2013- TKO5 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. #9 LHW Nathan Cleverly
Makabu gets a high-profile opponent in Monaco on February 1- Welsh contender Nathan Cleverly, who takes a big chance in his cruiserweight debut.
12) Santander Silgado (4-9)
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 (4-92)
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 (4-9)
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 (2-2)
Last Fight: 12/20/2013- W (DQ7*) vs. Steve Herelius (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Enad Licina (2-184)
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 (2-16)
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 (2-79)
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 (2-23)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glowacki has been tearing through the middle tier of the division like a wrecking ball.
20) Rakhim Chakhkiev (2-6)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- KO10 Giulian Ilie (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chakhkiev will apparently get a chance at some silly color-coded alphabet belt against Silvio Branco, with a deadline to avoid purse bids of January 3.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD
Saturday
Victor Ramirez vs. TBA; Mar del Plata, Argentina; TyC Sports (ARG)
Ramirez was a ranked fringe contender before taking 4 years off.  Even with that layoff, he might not be far from reclaiming a ranking in this weakened division if he manages to make 200 for this fight.

Cruiserweight: 2013: Sep 30 – Oct 6

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 12, 2013 by danboxing
A quick note before I get started this week:  I missed the fact that Francisco Palacios had gone a year without fighting as of last week, and thus everyone ranked #16 and below last week should have been one spot higher, and while I won’t go back and edit that post, I will pretend from this point forward that I had done it correctly.  Last week’s new #20 was/is Rakhim Chakhkiev.

 

Now to this week’s update.  #15 Enad Licina was in action this past weekend.  He knocked around a low-level journeyman in Levan Jomardashvili, which is no great accomplishment, but in one sense the fight is still significant.  The reason is that he made the 200 pound limit for the first time since last November, and thus assures himself of rankings eligibility beyond November, when he would otherwise have been removed for inactivity at this weight.  He still faces likely removal in January, however, since his last worthwhile win will be 5 years old at that point.  

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (10-191-191)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After originally talking about a return on the Klitschko-Povetkin undercard that never materialized, Lebedev has parted with his long-time promoter.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (55-171-171)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #12 Alexander Alekseev
Hernandez will make his long-awaited return in November or on December 14 in Germany against Alexander Alekseev.
3) Marco Huck (3-356-356)
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 (3-432-432)
Last Fight: 6/21/2013- TKO8 Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. #10 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 (3-73-116)
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 (3-9-47)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu intends to be back by the end of the year, and says he’ll take on anyone in the division.  I don’t blame him.  I’d pick him to beat anyone.
7) Ola Afolabi (3-238-238)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L (MD12) vs. #8 Marco Huck
Next Fight: 11/2/2013- vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
If there is to be a Super 4 Cruiserweight tournament in Monaco, it appears it either won’t be on November 2 anymore, or that Afolabi won’t be participating if so, as he is slated for a November 2 fight on the Golovkin-Stevens undercard at Madison Square Garden against Polish prospect Lukasz Janik.
8) Danny Green (3-47-200)
Last Fight: 11/21/2012- UD12 Shane Cameron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Green has vacated his alphabet belt, and says essentially that only a really good opportunity would get him back between the ropes at this point.  Still…he stopped short of retiring.
9) B.J. Flores (3-18-171)
Last Fight: 10/6/2012- TKO2 David McNemar (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores needs to schedule a fight this week to keep his ranking.
10) Giacobbe Fragomeni (3-3-255)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- UD8 Toni Visic (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. #4 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
11) Silvio Branco (3-81)
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 (3-142)
Last Fight: 2/22/2013- UD12* Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Alekseev gets a shot at Hernandez on December 14, or possibly sometime in November.
13) Mateusz Masternak (3-79)
Last Fight: 4/13/2013- TKO9 Sean Corbin (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. #16 Grigory Drozd
Masternak-Drozd once again appears set for 10/5 on the Klitsckho-Povetkin undercard after Boxrec had it off the schedule for some reason for a few weeks.
14) Ilunga Makabu (3-12)
Last Fight: 8/31/2013- TKO5 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Makabu is rumored for a Monaco 4-man tournament in the fall along with Flores and Australian Brad Pitt.
15) Enad Licina (2-171)
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) Grigory Drozd (2-47)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- UD12 Jean-Marc Monrose (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. #13 Mateusz Masternak
See Masternak’s notes, above.
17) Danie Venter (2-3)
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 (2-66)
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 (2-10)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- UD8 Taylor Mabika (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/19/2013- vs. Richard Hall (UNR)
Glowacki is back in October against 41 year-old washed-up former fringe contender Richard Hall in Poland.
20) Rakhim Chakhkiev (2-2)
Last Fight: 6/21/2013- L (TKO8) vs. #6 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. Giulian Ilie (UNR)
Chakhkiev fights mid-level Romanian journeyman Giulian Ilie on the Klitschko-Povetkin undercard in Moscow this weekend.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Friday in Tapiales, Argentina, local gatekeeper Cesar Crenz gets a 6-rounder against low-level countryman Mariano Diaz.

 

Saturday in Moscow, #13 Mateusz Masternak and #16 Grigory Drozd collide in a high-stakes battle of undefeated up-and-coming Eastern European prospects on the Klitschko-Povetkin undercard.

 

On that same card, #20 Rakhim Chakhkiev looks to rebound from his first loss back in June by taking on decent Romanian Giulian Ilie.

 

And wrapping up the week from London, Tony Conquest looks to add a conquest of Spanish-born and London-based one-loss prospect Wadi Camacho to his own one-loss record.  It’s a pick ’em kind of fight.  Camacho may be marginally the more tested, although both men have lost only to fellow prospects.  

Cruiserweight: 2013: Oct 7-13

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 3, 2013 by danboxing
In last week’s biggest fight, #16 Grigory Drozd put on a bit of a show in Moscow on the Klitschko-Povetkin undercard.  Drozd was probably the underdog against #13 Mateusz Masternak.  Both were undefeated prospect, but Drozd had largely been treading water since he first made a minor splash in the 2008-2009 range, while Masternak had been rattling off a string of good wins more recently.  Drozd proved the better of the two, however, by winning 8 of 10 rounds by my count before wearing down and stopping a discouraged Masternak in the 11th.  The stoppage was a bit quick, in my opinion, by Italian referee Massimo Barrovecchio, but there was no doubt of the rightful winner.  Masternak seemed to be having trouble letting his hands go, and Drozd was largely beating him up- looking rather quick for a cruiserweight in doing so.

 

On the same card, #20 Rakhim Chakhkiev successfully rebounded from his first career loss, knocking out decent Romanian journeyman Giulian Ilie in the final round of their scheduled ten.  That was pretty much the script from the start, but it should be noted that it was a clean knockout, and the first stoppage (DQ aside) that Ilie had ever suffered- even against as good an opponent as Pawel Kolodziej.

 

One-loss English prospect Tony Conquest rose from a knockdown in each of the opening two rounds and suffered through a bloody cut over his eye to edge out a narrow decision over Spanish-born Wadi Camacho in London that same night.  Camacho- clearly the bigger and taller man- was in charge and physically imposing in the first couple rounds, backing Conquest up behind a jab and hurting him from the front foot.  The knockdown in the first round was with a follow-up uppercut that may have glanced off the chest before landing to the chin.  It didn’t appear to land as sharply as it could, and while it thudded Conquest to the canvas, it didn’t seem to cloud his mind or nervous system at all.  The second knockdown was a different matter, as the Englishman hit the floor in something of a heap, and didn’t seem entirely in command of his faculties for seconds after the action resumed.  Nevertheless, he soldiered through this adversity, even going so far as to answer back with some nice shots before the bell rang in that second round.  After those initial rounds, the story was an entirely different one.  Camacho seemed a bit complacent- an impression that was confirmed by his apparently genuine belief at the conclusion of the bout that he had won the fight- reaching with his jab as opposed to snapping or even pushing it.  His right southpaw left hand fell strangely silent after it had achieved such success from various angles in the early going.  Rather than Camacho’s physical tools dominating the fight, it was Conquest’s quickness, precision, and athleticism that controlled the fight.  I gave Camacho just one round- the 6th, and he had an argument in just one other.  The official word was a unanimous decision for Conquest, and a well-deserved one.

 

In the also-ran category, local gatekeeper Cesar Crenz won 6-round decision over journeyman and countryman Mariano Diaz, though I haven’t seen the fight nor found the scores.

 

B.J. Flores- whose recent Don King stablemate Francisco Palacios was removed a couple weeks ago for inactivity- suffers the same fate this week, after going a year without fighting or scheduling a fight.

 

Drozd advances from #16 to #9 with the win, while Masternak backtracks just one spot to #14, as he spaps position with Ilunga Makabu.  #s 17-20 from last week each move up one place, and Steve Herelius- who hasn’t won anything at all since 2010- nevertheless rises from a very dismal field to claim the #20 position.  For what it’s worth, Conquest isn’t really in the mix yet, as he is held back by his prior knockout loss to the unheralded Neil Dawson.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (11-192-192)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After originally talking about a return on the Klitschko-Povetkin undercard that never materialized, Lebedev has parted with his long-time promoter.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (56-172-172)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #12 Alexander Alekseev
Hernandez will make his long-awaited return in November or on December 14 in Germany against Alexander Alekseev.
3) Marco Huck (4-357-357)
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 (4-433-433)
Last Fight: 6/21/2013- TKO8 Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. #10 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 (4-74-117)
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 (4-10-48)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu intends to be back by the end of the year, and says he’ll take on anyone in the division.  I don’t blame him.  I’d pick him to beat anyone.
7) Ola Afolabi (4-239-239)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L (MD12) vs. #8 Marco Huck
Next Fight: 11/2/2013- vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
If there is to be a Super 4 Cruiserweight tournament in Monaco, it appears it either won’t be on November 2 anymore, or that Afolabi won’t be participating if so, as he is slated for a November 2 fight on the Golovkin-Stevens undercard at Madison Square Garden against Polish prospect Lukasz Janik.
8) Danny Green (4-48-201)
Last Fight: 11/21/2012- UD12 Shane Cameron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Green has vacated his alphabet belt, and says essentially that only a really good opportunity would get him back between the ropes at this point.  Still…he stopped short of retiring.
9) Grigory Drozd (1-1-48)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- TKO11 #13 Mateusz Masternak
Next Fight: Unknown
Drozd has, in one night, gone from a stagnant prospect to a rising contender by beating one of the division’s very best undefeated fighters.

10) Giacobbe Fragomeni (4-4-256)

Last Fight: 7/27/2013- UD8 Toni Visic (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. #4 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
11) Silvio Branco (4-82)
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 (4-143)
Last Fight: 2/22/2013- UD12* Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Alekseev gets a shot at Hernandez on December 14, or possibly sometime in November.
13) Ilunga Makabu (1-13)
Last Fight: 8/31/2013- TKO5 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Makabu is rumored for a Monaco 4-man tournament in the fall along with Flores and Australian Brad Pitt.
14) Mateusz Masternak (1-80)
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) Enad Licina (3-172)

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 (1-4)
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 (1-67)
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 (1-11)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- UD8 Taylor Mabika (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/19/2013- vs. Richard Hall (UNR)
Glowacki is back in October against 41 year-old washed-up former fringe contender Richard Hall in Poland.
19) Rakhim Chakhkiev (1-3)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- KO10 Giulian Ilie (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chakhkiev is back on a winning track, becoming the first man to stop Romanian journeyman Giulian Ilie.
20) Steve Herelius (1-1)
Last Fight: 10/27/2013- L (KO2) vs. #19 Dmytro Kucher
Next Fight: Unknown
Herelius has not won a fight since 2010, and thus his inclusion in the rankings is a stark reminder of the weathering effect the division has experienced over the last year.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: No action of note in the division this week.

Cruiserweight: 2012, Dec 24-30

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on December 26, 2012 by danboxing
#1 Denis Lebedev knocked out Colombian prospect Santander Silgado in 4 on Monday in Moscow.  On the undercard, #20 Grigory Drozd dominated French journeyman Jean-Marc Monrose, dropping him twice in the 9th en route to a wide 12-round decision.  

 

Several days later on Saturday, fringe contending undefeated Brazilian prospect William Fernando Souza Bezerra knocked out one-loss prospect (and top 50 fighter, give or take) Ricardo Augusto Souza in 4 rounds.  This is an improvement for Ricardo, who was knocked out in round two when he last fought Souza Bezerra in January.

 

Souza Bezerra advanced to probably the first spot out of the rankings, but ultimately his resume falls well short of eclipsing Drozd.  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 (15-151-151)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- KO4 Santander Silgado (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lebedev is hoping to fight in the first quarter of 2013 at MSG, and is targeting a showdown with Eddie Chambers.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (15-131-131)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: 2/2/2013- vs. Eric Fields (UNR)
Hernandez will step down the ladder a bit after needing a lot of help to get by Troy Ross, as he will fight the rather inactive prospect Eric Fields, who hasn’t fought anyone of consequence in about 18 months.
3) Troy Ross (15-15-47)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ross deserved to beat Hernandez.
4) Steve Cunningham (15-445-445)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- L*(SD12) vs. HW #3 Tomasz Adamek (at HW) (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham easily outboxed Adamek, but was blatantly robbed not far from his own hometown.  He now must schedule a cruiserweight fight by February 4 or he will be removed from the 200 lb. rankings.  He’s got a shiny new heavyweight ranking for his trouble, though.
5) Ola Afolabi (8-198-198)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
There were reports that Huck-Afolabi III would hit Germany on March 2, but Sauerland says that’s absolutely false.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (8-392-392)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- UD12 #13 Francisco Palacios
Next Fight: 2/2/2013- vs. HW #19 Jean-Marc Mormeck
Slowed negotiations have led to a new date of 2/2 for Wlodarczyk-Mormeck.
7) Firat Arslan (8-33-76)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #5 Marco Huck (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
A bizarre twist in Arslan’s schedule, 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 (8-316-316)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #10 Firat Arslan (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Afolabi’s notes, above.
9) Lateef Kayode (8-30-110)
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 (7-7-160)
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 (7-131)
Last Fight: 10/6/2012- TKO2 David McNemar (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores says he’s looking to fight Lebedev or the Huck-Afolabi winner.  I’ll believe it when I see it, as he’s talked about fighting good fighters before recently, only to fight the likes of David McNemar.
12) Giacobbe Fragomeni (7-215)
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 (7-41)
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 (7-39)
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 (7-91)
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 (7-102)
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 (7-7)
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 (9-26)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- UD8 Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher snuck in a fight on December 22 that was never on the schedule on Boxrec.  Not that big a deal, anyway. 
19) Enad Licina (9-131)
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 (7-7)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- UD12 Jean-Marc Monrose (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
 

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Barbados gatekeeper Shawn Cox- known for stopping Wayne Braithwaite’s comeback and for getting destroyed by Denis Lebedev- gets a soft touch on Friday, against Guyana’s Leon Gilkes- a 6-16 bum.

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.