Archive for Ilunga Makabu

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 3-9

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on May 15, 2014 by danboxing
Three notables were in action last week, but none of them were really much to look at.  

 

I’ll start with Saturday’s Monte Carlo meeting between #11 Ilunga Makabu and Argentina’s Ruben Angel Mino.  This fight is the one that was the most interesting of the week, if only because we didn’t know for sure that the opponent sucked.  But as it turned out, the opponent sucked.  Mino came in with a glossy 20-0 record with 20 KOs against frankly pathetic opposition.  Makabu started slowly, barely doing anything in the first before dropping the visibly overweight Mino twice in the second.  Referee Daniel Van De Wiele stopped the fight immediately upon the second knockdown, despite the fact that it looked to be a flash knockdown.  

 

In Saturday’s other mentionable fight, in Fredrikshavn, Denmark, #13 Mateusz Masternak made fairly short work of veteran Georgian journeyman Sandro Siproshvili, who has been in with many of the best fighters at 200 and 175, but seldom gives them much trouble.  Masternak won by clean knockout late in round 4, after having taken the first 3 unanimously.

 

In Friday action, Argentine gatekeeper Victor Ramirez dropped 40 year-old journeyman Danny Santiago in the 3rd before stopping him midway through the 4th.  No big deal there, either.  Santiago was never so much as a top 50 fighter in the division, and is a good 7 years off his peak.  

 

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 (28-209-209)
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 (2-374-374)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: Unknown
For Huck, it’s been all about redemption of late, with two results that were, at best, inconclusive being put to rest with clear wins against Afolabi and now Arslan.  I suppose I’m dreaming when I hope that a Lebedev rematch might not be far behind.  The top two contenders for Huck’s alphabet belt, Arslan aside, are Krzysztof Glowacki and, ridiculously, Vikapita Meroro.  He’s renewed his long-standing challenge to Wladimir Klitschko, and so might be looking to move back up to heavyweight, instead.
3) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (2-189-189)
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.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (21-450-450)
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 (2-27-65)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
6) Firat Arslan (2-91-134)
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 (11-18-65)
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 (11-256-256)
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 (11-21-273)
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 (11-11-99)
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 March 15 reportedly in play.
11) Ilunga Makabu (11-30)
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 (9-14)
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 (9-97)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- KO4 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Lukasz Janik (9-14)
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 (7-7)
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) Danie Venter (2-21)
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 (2-84)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Krzysztof Glowacki (2-28)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glowacki is seriously interested in fighting Francisco Palacios. 
19) Rakhim Chakhkiev (2-3)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- KO10 Giulian Ilie (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Branco’s notes, above.
20) Garrett Wilson (2-2)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD10) vs. #18 HW Vyacheslav Glazkov (at HW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wilson was originally scheduled to fight Mchunu instead of Durodola.  His tenuous foothold in the rankings may be short-lived, as his last fight at or below 200 was on February 22, which means he could be removed for that reason in less than a month.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: This week amounts to an Olympic break.

Cruiserweight: 2014, Jan 27- Feb 2

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on May 8, 2014 by danboxing
It was a pretty worthwhile week in the division, with 3 of the top 6 fighters in action across two fights.  

 

Leading off on Friday in Atlantic City, ridiculously promising #6 contender Thabiso Mchunu got maybe a tougher-than-expected night against Olanrewaju Durodola, a less advanced one-loss prospect and former Nigerian Olympian who has achieved to roughly gatekeeper level.  Durodola was the more active of the two fighters, but this advantage was largely nullified by his painfully slow hands.  Mchunu still showed off his impressive countering skills, but was nowhere near as sharp as he was against Eddie Chambers.  He also looked significantly less muscular, but I suppose it’s possible that it can be attributed to the visible contrast between the physiques of the slightly soft Chambers and the Adonis-like Durodola standing opposite him.  Half of the fight was composed of toss-up rounds, and so while I had it fairly wide for Mchunu at 97-92, it actually could conceivably have gone either way.  That being said, the judges all had it within one round of my own score, with Hilton Whitaker agreeing with my score.  It wasn’t exactly an impressive follow-up to the Chambers win, but Mchunu got the job done.

 

The following night in Stuttgart, Marco Huck got his revenge on a second straight opponent that either arguably or clearly beat him in a previous fight.  #5 Firat Arslan had been heinously robbed against Huck in a November 2012 fight in which Huck only arguably won any rounds at all, though he may have done as well as a draw if you’re being really generous.  Huck delayed the rematch long enough for Arslan to get old.  At 43, he couldn’t nearly sustain the pressure that he applied for almost the entirety of the first fight.  He did have success early this time around, giving himself at least an argument to win each of the first 3 rounds, of which I awarded him two.  But this time, Arslan began to slowly fade in the 4th, and by the 6th he had been broken down, going down twice en route to a necessary stoppage by referee Mark Nelson.

 

While the Durodola win might theoretically be enough to get a fighter ranked in the top 20 by itself in a shallow division, it’s little more than a stay busy fight for an established contender like Mchunu.  Even so, with Arslan’s loss essentially cancelling out what I always treated as his best win against Huck, Mchunu’s ledger compares favorably to the 43 year-old German, and thus the two switch places with Mchunu at 5 and Arslan at 6.  As for Huck, he has just one undeserved win yet to avenge- the 2010 robbery win against Lebedev.  Even though Lebedev’s opposition has been far inferior to Huck’s since then, he’s managed to at least hold serve against everyone except Guillermo Jones, in a fight which is not being factored in because of Jones’ PED test.  Lebedev’s performance is for all intents and purposes the best win on either man’s resume, and obviously the head-to-head factor is an issue, as well.  I must say it is a close call, but I feel the need to continue ranking Lebedev at #1 and Huck at #2.  A rematch would crown a legit champion.

 

In another minor shakeup, Victor Ramirez falls from the rankings, since his best win- over Alekseev- is now over 5 years old.  This actually became the case last week and I missed it.  As a result, I will treat it as if I had caught it then in terms of counting ranked weeks, but I won’t actually edit the prior post.  Last week and this week’s new #19 is Glowacki, and Rakhim Chakhkiev fills the void at #20.

 

Finally, in a similar move that actually belongs in this week’s update, #16 Enad Licina is removed over the fact that his last worthwhile win was now over 5 years ago.  This allows Venter, Kucher, Glowacki, and Chakhkiev to advance one place each, and makes room for Garrett Wilson to once again dubiously return at #20.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (27-208-208)
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 (1-373-373)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: Unknown
For Huck, it’s been all about redemption of late, with two results that were, at best, inconclusive being put to rest with clear wins against Afolabi and now Arslan.  I suppose I’m dreaming when I hope that a Lebedev rematch might not be far behind.  The top two contenders for Huck’s alphabet belt, Arslan aside, are Krzysztof Glowacki and, ridiculously, Vikapita Meroro.
3) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (1-188-188)
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.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (20-449-449)
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 (1-26-64)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
6) Firat Arslan (1-90-133)
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 (10-17-64)
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 (10-255-255)
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 (10-20-272)
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 (10-10-98)
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 (10-29)
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 (8-13)
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 (8-96)
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 (8-13)
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 (6-6)
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) Danie Venter (1-20)
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 (1-83)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Krzysztof Glowacki (1-27)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glowacki is seriously interested in fighting Francisco Palacios. 
19) Rakhim Chakhkiev (1-2)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- KO10 Giulian Ilie (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Garrett Wilson (1-1)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD10) vs. #18 HW Vyacheslav Glazkov (at HW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wilson was originally scheduled to fight Mchunu instead of Durodola.  His tenuous foothold in the rankings may be short-lived, as his last fight at or below 200 was on February 22, which means he could be removed for that reason in less than a month.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Friday
Victor Ramirez vs. Danny Santiago; Mar del Plata, Argentina; TyC Sports (Argentina)
In the week’s mismatch #1, Ramirez continues to stay very busy against 40 year-old journeyman Santiago, who is about 7 years past his very mediocre peak.  

 

Saturday
#11 Ilunga Makabu vs. Ruben Angel Mino; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Main Event (Australia)
This was supposed to be a pretty momentous fight, back when it was set to be contested between Makabu and light heavyweight contender Nathan Cleverly.  Unfortunately, Cleverly withdrew, and it became this week’s mismatch #2.  In fairness, Mino is undefeated and all his fights have ended in stoppages.  On the other hand, he’s 39 years old, and the best opponent he’s beaten is currently 10-8 and a very low-level journeyman.

 

#13 Mateusz Masternak vs. Sandro Siproshvili; Fredrikshavn, Denmark; 3+ (Denmark)
In mismatch #3, Georgian Siproshvili plays sacrificial lamb to #13 Masternak’s comeback push.  He’s been a low-to-mid level journeyman over his entire career, essentially, while Masternak is certainly safe at even 2 or 3 levels above his opponent.

Year-End Awards: Cruiserweight, 2013

Posted in Cruiserweight, Yearly Awards and Wrap Up with tags , , , , , , , on March 27, 2014 by danboxing
Welcome to my 2nd Annual Cruiserweight Year End Awards and Wrap-Up.  First, a list of awards for the division.  Then, a look at the 20 fighters that did the best work in 2012 specifically, followed by a rundown of the year’s rankings history.  Dig in!

 

Cruiserweight Fighter of the Year: Thabiso Mchunu
Last year’s Prospect of the Year made good on his potential, dominating highly credible heavyweight Eddie Chambers in what was supposed to be just the beginning of a productive cruiserweight run for Fast Eddie.  It was Mchunu’s only significant win of the year, though, and it’s really a toss-up between him and Marco Huck, who beat #5 Ola Afolabi- the highest ranked actual cruiserwight to fall.  If nothing else, I give it to the South African beast just based on the comprehensive nature of his victory.  

 

Prospect of the Year: Lukasz Janik
This award goes to the fighter with fewer than 3 wins that has never been in the top 10 and had the best year in 2013.  Janik gets it on the strength of a performance that, frankly, should have made him ineligible by getting him well within the top 10.  I’m referring to his “loss” to 7th-ranked Ola Afolabi from November.  Janik pretty clearly won the fight, but it wasn’t a blatant enough robbery to treat him as the unequivocal winner, which means he’s currently sitting in the teens.  His only other prior loss was against Mateusz Masternak.

 

Most Important Knockout of the Year: #4 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
This is a simple recognition of the guy who stopped the highest-ranked contender to be stopped during the year.  This one might have been a foregone conclusion, since the 44 year-old Fragomeni had begun to show his age in recent fights, and since Wlodarczyk stopped him in their second meeting in 2010, when Fragomeni was closer to his prime.  Nevertheless, Fragomeni is the highest-ranked guy to suffer a stoppage on the year, and Wlodarczyk is the guy that made it happen.  Yoan Pablo Hernandez’s TKO of #12 Alexander Alekseev is the runner-up.

 

Most Sensational Knockout of the Year: #16 Ilunga Makabu KO5 Eric Fields
Makabu’s picture-perfect left-hand was such a devastating shot that he was already posing for the cameras before Fields hit the canvas.  Click “KO5” to see a brief video of the shot on Youtube.  The only other KO anywhere near the aesthetic value of this one was Dmitry Kudryashov’s shot on Zack Mwekassa, but in the latter case, Mwekassa was able to recover from the shot well enough to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the ref’s stoppage.  Fields was completely done.

 

Match-Up of the Year: #5 Ola Afolabi vs. #8 Marco Huck
Lots of options here, and no clear winner.  Afolabi-Huck featured an average ranking of 6.5.  Ditto on #4 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk vs. #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni.  Falling just short of that is #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez vs. #12 Alexander Alekseev.  You could also make a strong case for #1 Denis Lebedev vs. Guillermo Jones, who had been #10 when he was removed for inactivity.  I think the inactivity would have to lower his standing a bit- just enough to lose out to the winner here.  With Afolabi-Huck and Wlodarczyk-Fragomeni being essentially a tie, I will go with the more closely-matched fight, and the one that was more competitive.

 

Fight of the Year: #6 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk TKO8 Rakhim Chakhkiev
 Jones-Lebedev would be a tough candidate to beat given the extremely competitive nature, the gruesome swelling, and the dramatic stoppage, but that fight is unfortunately tainted by Jones’ PED use and the ensuing no contest verdict.  But even if not for that drawback, that contest would get very stiff competition from Wlodarczyk-Chakhkiev.  Chakhkiev was brutally dominating the Polish contender early, and looked on the verge of stopping him, having scored a knockdown in the third and most likely sweeping the opening 5 rounds.  That was before the 6th, when “el Diablo” began a streak of 4 knockdown in three rounds that ultimately led to referee Lindsey Page waving the fight off in the 8th.  I must say that I didn’t care for that decision, hich was made without a count.  Chakhkiev had shown a very weak chin against the knockdown at that point, but he didn’t seem so hurt that he conclusively needed to be saved in that fashion.  Nevetheless, it was an all-action affair full of guys hitting the floor, perseverance, competitive action, and a great comeback.

 

Upset of the Year: #7 Ola Afolabi W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik
This is a bit of a problematic pick, I realize.  Technically, the heavy favorite won, but it was only due to a heavy dose of assistance from the judges.  While you could make a case for a legitimate Afolabi win, you’d have to bend over backwards to do so, I think.  While the fight was rather close, the only reasonable conclusion is that Janik deserved at least a draw, and a draw in itself would constitute a major upset.  Janik was a one-loss prospect, but was really only proven at a mid-range journeyman sort of level, while Afolabi had fought on essentially even terms with Marco Huck for 3 fights.  If you don’t like this pick from me, then feel free to go with the runner up, Ilunga Makabu’s fairly convincing decision win over then-17th-ranked Dmytro Kucher.  Both guys entered as undefeated prospects, but Kucher had been tested on a far higher level, and had looked like a destroyer to that point.  I have trouble giving that fight the nod over Janik-Afolabi, though, since Makabu had not ruled him out of the likelihood of competitiveness by his prior results- we just didn’t know what he was capable of yet.  Janik’s prior loss to Masternak seemed to be a good reason to believe he was outclassed by Afolabi.

 

Comeback Fighter of the Year: Marco Huck
If you just looked at the official record, you’d be puzzled as to just what Huck had to come back from.  But for those that actually watched his last two fights of 2012, you’d know that he took a serious hit to his credibility last year by maybe getting a small benefit of the doubt to earn a draw with Afolabi and especially by needing a blatant robbery to leave with a victory against the ancient Firat Arslan.  He fought only once in 2013- a very low number for the busy contender- but managed to put any Afolabi-related angst to rest with a competitive but clear win over his old nemesis in their trilogy bout.  He’ll get a chance in January to come all the way back with a rematch against Arslan.

 

Robbery of the Year: #7 Ola Afolabi W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik
The judges mostly behaved themselves in the cruiserweight division this year, after an especially scandalous 2012.  The only clearly wrong decision of the year in serious action was in November, when #7 Afolabi squeaked by with a majority decision over one-loss Polish prospect Lukasz Janik at Madison Square Garden.  It really was a close fight.  I had it 115-113 for Janik.  Fair scores could range from about 115-113 Afolabi to 117-111 Janik.  It’s hard to gripe too much at Jerry Roth’s draw card, or even to any great extent at Joseph Pasquale’s 115-113 pro-Afolabi card, but Waleska Roldan’s 117-111 for the Brit was absolutely shameful, having given Afolabi all the debatable rounds and at least 2 clear Janik frames.  Technically-speaking, I wouldn’t quite go so far as to call this a robbery, but it was definitely the worst decision of the year.  The only other one I really disagreed with at all was Alekseev vs. Garrett Wilson, won by Alekseev, which I had a draw.  That one wasn’t a big deal.

 

Now, for anyone that cares, I will rank the division based solely on the fighters’ 2013 accomplishments.  I will use the same criteria that I use to rank them overall (with victories, draws, or should-be victories and draws over top 50 opposition making one eligible), but will completely ignore all fights prior to 2012. 

 

1) Thabiso Mchunu
Significant Results: Aug 3- UD12 Heavyweight Contender Eddie Chambers.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 10: #17.  Feb 11- May 19: #16.  May 20- Jun 2: #17. Jun 3- Jul 14: #16. Jul 15-28: #17. Jul 29- Aug 4: #16. Aug 5- Sep 15: #7. Sep 16- Dec 31: #6.
2) Marco Huck
Significant Results: Jun 8- W (MD12) vs. #5 Ola Afolabi.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 10: #8. Feb 11- May 19: #7. May 20- Jun 9: #8. Jun 10- Jul 28: #5. Jul 29- Sep 15: #4. Sep 16- Dec 31: #3.
3) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Significant Results: Jun 21- TKO8 Undefeated Prospect Rakhim Chakhkiev. Dec 6- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 10: #6. Feb 11- May 19: #5. May 20- Jul 28: #6. Jul 29- Sep 15: #5. Sep 16- Dec 31: #4.
4) Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Significant Results: Nov 23- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: #2.
5) Grigory Drozd
Significant Results: Oct 5- TKO11 #13 Mateusz Masternak.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 10: #20. Feb 11- May 19: #19. May 20- Jun 2: #20. Jun 3- Jul 28: #19. Jul 29- Sep 15: #18. Sep 16-22: #17. Sep 23- Oct 6: #16. Oct 7- Nov 3: #9. Nov 4-24: #8. Nov 25- Dec 31: #7..
6) Lukasz Janik
Significant Results: Nov 2- L (should be W) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Nov 3: Unranked. Nov 4-24: #16. Nov 25- Dec 8: #15. Dec 9-31: #14.
7) Ilunga Makabu
Significant Results: Jul 13- W (MD12) vs. #17 Dmytro Kucher. Aug 31- TKO5 Prospect Eric Fields.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Jul 14: Unranked. Jul 15-28: #16. Jul 29- Aug 4: #15. Aug 5- Sep 1: #16. Sep 2-15: #15. Sep 16- Oct 6: #14. Oct 7- Nov 24: #13. Nov 25- Dec 31: #11.
8) Santander Silgado
Significant Results: Nov 1- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Nov 3: Unranked. Nov 4-24: #14. Nov 25- Dec 8: #13. Dec 9-31: #12.
9) Alexander Alekseev
Significant Results: Feb 22- UD12 W (should be Draw) vs. Fringe Contender Garrett Wilson. Nov 23- L (TKO10) vs. #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 10: #16. Feb 11-24: #15. Feb 25- May 19: #13. May 20- Jun 2: #14. Jun 3- Jul 28: #13. Jul 29- Aug 4: #12. Aug 5- Sep 15: #13. Sep 16- Dec 8: #12. Dec 9-31: Unranked (Retired).
10) Garrett Wilson
Significant Results: Feb 22- UD12 L (should be Draw) vs. #15 Alexander Alekseev. Nov 16- L (UD10) vs. Vyacheslav Glazkov (at HW).
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 8: Unranked.  Dec 9-22: #20. Dec 23-31: Unranked.
11) Nuri Seferi
Significant Results: Dec 20- W (DQ7) vs. Fringe Contender Steve Herelius.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 22: Unranked. Dec 23-31: #15.
12) Marcos Ahumada
Significant Results: May 25- KO4 Gatekeeper Alejandro Valori (at 179).
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
13) Silvio Branco
Significant Results: Jul 6- W (TD10) vs. Gatekeeper Juho Haapoja.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 10: #13. Feb 11- May 19: #12. May 20- Jun 2: #13. Jun 3- Jul 28: #12. Jul 29- Aug 4: #11. Aug 5- Sep 15: #12. Sep 16- Nov 24: #11. Nov 25- Dec 31: #10.
14) Danie Venter
Significant Results: Sep 21- KO1 Gatekeeper Shawn Cox.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Sep 15: Unranked. Sep 16-22: #20. Sep 23- Oct 6: #17. Oct 7- Nov 3: #16. Nov 4-24: #18. Nov 25- Dec 8: #17. Dec 9-22: #16. Dec 23-31: #17.
15) Eleider Alvarez
Significant Results: Sep 28- UD10 Gatekeeper Edison Miranda (at 180).
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
16) Tony Conquest
Significant Results: Oct 5- UD10 Prospect Wadi Camacho.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
17) Ola Afolabi
Significant Results: Jun 8- L (MD12) vs. #8 Marco Huck.  Nov 2- W* (MD12- should have been L) vs. Prospect Lukasz Janik.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 10: #5. Feb 11- May 19: #4. May 20- Jun 9: #5. Jun 10- Jul 28: #8. Jul 29- Aug 4: #7. Aug 5- Sep 15: #8. Sep 16- Nov 3: #7. Nov 4-24: #9. Nov 25- Dec 31: #8.

 

The following fights could be found in the top 20 at various parts of the year, but did nothing at this weight to help their ranking.  Or in the case of Guillermo Jones, self-sabotaged.  Most are no longer around:

 

Denis Lebedev– Jan 1- May 19: #1. May 20- Jul 28: #4. Jul 29- Dec 31: #1.

 

Troy Ross– Jan 1- Sep 15: #3. Sep 16- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Steve Cunningham– Jan 1- Feb 10: #4. Feb 11- Dec 31: Unranked (Moved Up).

 

Firat Arslan– Jan 1- Feb 10: #7. Feb 11- May 19: #6. May 20- Jul 28: #7. Jul 29- Sep 15: #6. Sep 16- Dec 31: #5.

 

Lateef Kayode– Jan 1- Feb 10: #9. Feb 11- May 19: #8. May 20- Jun 2: #9. Jun 3- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Danny Green– Jan 1- Feb 10: #10. Feb 11- May 19: #9. May 20- Jun 2: #10. Jun 3- Jul 28: #9. Jul 29- Aug 4: #8. Aug 5- Sep 15: #9. Sep 16- Nov 3: #8. Nov 4-24: #7. Nov 25- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

B.J. Flores– Jan 1- Feb 10: #11. Feb 11- May 19: #10. May 20- Jun 2: #11. Jun 3- Jul 28: #10. Jul 29- Aug 4: #9. Aug 5- Sep 15: #10. Sep 16- Oct 6: #9. Oct 7- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Giacobbe Fragomeni– Jan 1- Feb 10: #12. Feb 11- May 19: #11. May 20- Jun 2: #12. Jun 3- Jul 28: #11. Jul 29- Aug 4: #10. Aug 5- Sep 15: #11. Sep 16- Nov 24: #10. Nov 25- Dec 31: #9.

 

Mateusz Masternak– Jan 1- Feb 10: #14. Feb 1-24: #13. Feb 25- May 19: #14. May 20- Jun 2: #15. Jun 3- Jul 28: #14. Jul 29- Aug 4: #13. Aug 5- Sep 15: #14. Sep 16- Oct 6: #13. Oct 7- Nov 3: #14. Nov 4-24: #15. Nov 25- Dec 8: #14. Dec 9-31: #13.

 

Francisco Palacios– Jan 1- Feb 10: #15. Feb 11- 24: #14. Feb 25- May 19: #15. May 20- Jun 2: #16. Jun 3- Jul 28: #15. Jul 29- Aug 4: #14. Aug 5- Sep 1: #15. Sep 2-15: #16. Sep 16-22: #15. Sep 23- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Dmytro Kucher– Jan 1- Feb 10: #18. Feb 11- May 19: #17. May 20- Jun 2: #18. Jun 3- Jul 14: #17. Jul 15-28: #20. Jul 29- Sep 15: #19. Sep 16- Oct 6: #18. Oct 7- Nov 3: #17. Nov 4-24: #19. Nov 25- Dec 8: #18. Dec 9-22: #17. Dec 23-31: #18.

 

Enad Licina– Jan 1- Feb 10: #19. Feb 11- May 19: #18. May 20- Jun 2: #19. Jun 3- Jul 28: #18. Jul 29- Sep 15: #17. Sep 16-22: #16. Sep 23- Nov 3: #15. Nov 4-24: #17. Nov 25- Dec 8: #16. Dec 9- 22: #15. Dec 23-31: #16.

 

Pawel Glazewski– Jan 1- Feb 10: Unranked.  Feb 11- May 19: #20. May 20- Jun 2: Unranked. Jun 3-30: #20. Jul 1- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Guillermo Jones– Jan 1- May 19: Unranked. May 20- Jul 28: #1. Jul 29- Dec 31: Unranked (PEDs).

 

Krzysztof Glowacki– Jan 1- Jun 30: Unranked. Jul 1-14: #20. Jul 15-28: Unranked. Jul 29- Sep 15: #20. Sep 16- Oct 6: #19. Oct 7- Nov 3: #18. Nov 4-24: #20. Nov 25- Dec 8: #19. Dec 9-22: #18. Dec 23-31: #19.

 

Rakhim Chakhkiev– Jan 1- Sep 22: Unranked.  Sep 23- Oct 6: #20. Oct 7- Nov 3: #19. Nov 4-24: Unranked. Nov 25- Dec 8: #20. Dec 9-22: #19. Dec 23-31: #20.

 

Steve Herelius– Jan 1- Oct 6: Unranked. Oct 7- Nov 3: #20. Nov 4- Dec 31: Unranked.

Cruiserweight: 2013: Sep 2-8

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 8, 2013 by danboxing
All kinds of action to talk about this week, although only one or two of the fights were really worth talking about.  I’ll start with the most significant:

 

Saturday at the Emperor’s Palace in Kempton Park, South Africa, #16 Ilunga “Junior” Makabu of South Africa by way of the Congo was in pretty tough against Oklahoma prospect Eric Fields.  Fields was very obviously the bigger and rangier man, and was doing a great job of splitting Makabu’s guard in the first round.  It looked at that point like a long night for the home fighter.  But it didn’t take long to turn around.  Makabu started giving angles and throwing in combination in the second round, and never looked back.  He had completely taken over the fight by the 5th, when he caught Fields with a beautiful southpaw left hand that chopped Fields down like a tree.  The American gamely rose to his feet after the devastating punch, but was nowhere near ready to continue when the referee called a halt to proceedings.

 

Potentially fictional Brazilian prospect William Fernando Souza Bezerra was scheduled to fight a rematch with fringe top 50-type Ricardo Augusto Souza on Friday, but true to form, the result has not turned up anywhere online yet.  I’ve explained my growing skepticism multiple times in the past as to Souza Bezerra’s legitimacy, with his whole career possibly being staged, and it is continuing to grow as I write this.

 

In Newcastle, Australia on Friday, Daniel Ammann dominated short-notice opponent Ayitey Powers, who was an even lesser challenge than the already awful Peter Brennan who was originally featured.  Ammann won all 10 rounds on all 3 cards.

 

The next night in Krasnogorsk, Russia, gatekeeper Valery Brudov was similarly dominant in a 6 rounder against similarly awful Jevgenijs Andrejevs in a fight contested at about 180.

 

Makabu’s win is enough to narrowly edge him past Francisco Palacios to #15.  Palacios’ only positive and significant performance in the last 5 years was a loss that probably should have been a win against 6th-ranked Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, before losing a rematch to the same guy, and he will very likely be removed in a few weeks for inactivity.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (6-187-187)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lebedev was winning the fight on points against Jones when his eye ballooned and he faded to a stoppage.  Who’s to say that he wouldn’t have won if Jones had been weakened by making weight the right way (or by not using whatever PEDs he may have been masking with the substance)?  Lebedev is accorded the benefit of the doubt, and will be treated like the fight never happened.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (51-167-167)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown
Finally some Hernandez news: his hand has been slow to heal, but he’s ready to train again.  He’s looking at a likely October fight with Alekseev.
3) Troy Ross (51-51-83)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Quote from Ross’s Twitter: “If the right opportunity arises I will fight again.”  That sounds more like a semi-retired fighter than the guy that just outfought the division’s #1 contender.  Here’s hoping he starts hunting for good fights like a starving mountain man any second now.
4) Marco Huck (6-352-352)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- W (MD12) vs. #5 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 9/14/2013- vs. #6 Firat Arslan
Huck will make a mandatory defense in a rematch against Firat Arslan on September 14.
5) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (6-428-428)
Last Fight: 6/21/2013- TKO8 Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s not official, but all signs point to a February 22 heavyweight fight in Poland against countryman Albert Sosnowski.
6) Firat Arslan (6-69-112)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/14/2013- vs. #4 Marco Huck
See Huck’s notes, above.

7) Thabiso Mchunu (5-5-43)
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.
8) Ola Afolabi (5-234-234)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L (MD12) vs. #8 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
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.
9) Danny Green (5-43-196)
Last Fight: 11/21/2012- UD12 Shane Cameron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Green is leaning toward retirement at last check.
10) B.J. Flores (5-14-167)
Last Fight: 10/6/2012- TKO2 David McNemar (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores has been released from his contract with Don King, and is now rumored for an upcoming Million Dollar tournament in Monaco.
11) Giacobbe Fragomeni (5-251)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- UD8 Toni Visic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fragomeni snuck in a strictly stay-busy fight with Toni Visic on about 1 day’s notice as far as I can tell.
12) Silvio Branco (5-77)
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.
13) Alexander Alekseev (5-138)
Last Fight: 2/22/2013- UD12* Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alekseev is very likely for a shot at Yoan Pablo Hernandez in October.
14) Mateusz Masternak (5-75)
Last Fight: 4/13/2013- TKO9 Sean Corbin (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. #18 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.
15) Ilunga Makabu (1-8)
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.

16) Francisco Palacios (1-127)

Last Fight: 9/22/2012- L(U12) vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Palacios very likely will not fight until after his contract with Don King expires in September.
17) Enad Licina (6-167)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- UD6 Marko Rupcic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Licina has been fighting nobodies slightly over the heavyweight limit since November.  He’ll be removed in November for inactivity at cruiserweight if he doesn’t schedule something at 200 by then, or in January if he does that but doesn’t get a significant win, since his last one will be 5 years old then.
18) Grigory Drozd (6-43)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- UD12 Jean-Marc Monrose (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. #14 Mateusz Masternak
See Masternak’s notes, above.
19) Dmytro Kucher (6-62)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher is practically back to square one after falling short against Makabu.
20) Krzysztof Glowacki (6-6)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- UD8 Taylor Mabika (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: No action to report in the upcoming week.

Cruiserweight: 2013: Aug 26- Sep 1

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on August 27, 2013 by danboxing
Both of the fights mentioned in my “The Week Ahead” section last week were cancelled on short notice.  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 (5-186-186)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lebedev was winning the fight on points against Jones when his eye ballooned and he faded to a stoppage.  Who’s to say that he wouldn’t have won if Jones had been weakened by making weight the right way (or by not using whatever PEDs he may have been masking with the substance)?  Lebedev is accorded the benefit of the doubt, and will be treated like the fight never happened.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (50-166-166)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown
Finally some Hernandez news: his hand has been slow to heal, but he’s ready to train again.  He’s looking at a likely October fight with Alekseev.
3) Troy Ross (50-50-82)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Quote from Ross’s Twitter: “If the right opportunity arises I will fight again.”  That sounds more like a semi-retired fighter than the guy that just outfought the division’s #1 contender.  Here’s hoping he starts hunting for good fights like a starving mountain man any second now.
4) Marco Huck (5-351-351)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- W (MD12) vs. #5 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 9/14/2013- vs. #6 Firat Arslan
Huck will make a mandatory defense in a rematch against Firat Arslan on September 14.
5) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (5-427-427)
Last Fight: 6/21/2013- TKO8 Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk indicated interest in moving up to fight Adamek, but Adamek isn’t for it, and Albert Sosnowski has been discussed instead.  Meanwhile, his mandatory is Giacobbe Fragomeni, who would have little chance after struggling to practical stalemates with 46-47 year old Silvio Branco.
6) Firat Arslan (5-68-111)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/14/2013- vs. #4 Marco Huck
See Huck’s notes, above.

7) Thabiso Mchunu (4-4-42)
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.
8) Ola Afolabi (4-233-233)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L (MD12) vs. #8 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi is rumored for the next Monaco Million Dollar Super 4 tournament, along with BJ Flores, Ilunga Makabu, and Australian prospect Brad Pitt.
9) Danny Green (4-42-195)
Last Fight: 11/21/2012- UD12 Shane Cameron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Green is leaning toward retirement at last check.
10) B.J. Flores (4-13-166)
Last Fight: 10/6/2012- TKO2 David McNemar (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores has been released from his contract with Don King, and is now rumored for an upcoming Million Dollar tournament in Monaco on November 2, with the other participants rumored to be Ilunga Makabu, Brad Pitt, and Ola Afolabi.
11) Giacobbe Fragomeni (4-250)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- UD8 Toni Visic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fragomeni snuck in a strictly stay-busy fight with Toni Visic on about 1 day’s notice as far as I can tell.
12) Silvio Branco (4-76)
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.
13) Alexander Alekseev (4-137)
Last Fight: 2/22/2013- UD12* Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alekseev is very likely for a shot at Yoan Pablo Hernandez in October.
14) Mateusz Masternak (4-74)
Last Fight: 4/13/2013- TKO9 Sean Corbin (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. #18 Grigory Drozd
The Masternak-Drozd fight on October 5 no longer appears on Boxrec’s schedule.  That’s usually an ominous sign.  Still, I have seen no report of it falling through, so I’ll continue to list it until I actually hear otherwise.
15) Francisco Palacios (4-126)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- L(U12) vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Palacios very likely will not fight until after his contract with Don King expires in September.
16) Ilunga Makabu (4-7)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- W (MD12) vs. #17 Dmytro Kucher
Next Fight: 8/31/2013- vs. Eric Fields (UNR)
Makabu takes on borderline top-30 Oklahoma one-loss prospect Eric Fields in South Africa on August 31.  He’s also rumored for a Monaco 4-man tournament in the fall along with Flores, Afolabi, and Australian Brad Pitt.
17) Enad Licina (5-166)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- UD6 Marko Rupcic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Licina has been fighting nobodies slightly over the heavyweight limit since November.  He’ll be removed in November for inactivity at cruiserweight if he doesn’t schedule something at 200 by then, or in January if he does that but doesn’t get a significant win, since his last one will be 5 years old then.
18) Grigory Drozd (5-42)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- UD12 Jean-Marc Monrose (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. #14 Mateusz Masternak
See Masternak’s notes, above.
19) Dmytro Kucher (5-61)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher is practically back to square one after falling short against Makabu.
20) Krzysztof Glowacki (5-5)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- UD8 Taylor Mabika (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Friday: In Newcastle, Australia, gatekeeper Daniel Ammann stays busy against the awful Peter Brennan in both men’s home state of New South Wales.

 

In Villa Anastacio, Brazil, fringe contending undefeated prospect William Fernando Souza Bezerra will at least theoretically be fighting Ricardo Augusto Souza, who boxrec lists as a top 50 fighter.  I can almost guarantee, however, that the results of the fight will not be available anywhere online until about a week after it supposedly happened.  This always happens with Souza Bezerra’s fights, and it only feeds the growing perception that his record is fabricated.  I have looked hard for evidence of Souza Bezerra’s being a legitimate fighter, and have found one very poor-quality photograph in an online newspaper and one ringside handy-cam video of one of his fights against a nobody, and that video is frankly less convincing than a WWE match.  He knocked his opponent out at something like the 3:15 mark of round 1, with a punch that didn’t didn’t look all that devastating.  The ref also didn’t appear real, as he began counting, at 1, about 5 seconds after the knockdown occurred.  So even though his official record puts him in serious consideration for a top 20 spot, I will not rank him until it appears at least 50-50 that he’s actually fighting his fights, and doing so on the level.

 

Saturday: In Kempton Park, South Africa, #16 Ilunga Makabu faces probably the 2nd-toughest test of his career in one-loss Oklahoma prospect Eric Fields.  Fields’ only loss was over 5 years ago to Ola Afolabi, but he has been borderline irrelevant of late, having not fought anyone even near the top 50 in over 2 years.

 

The same night in Krasnogorsk, Russia, gatekeeper Valery Brudov will be in action against low-level journeyman Jevgenijs Andrejevs.  This fight may be at 175, though, since Brudov has been edging down in weight for some time.  I’ll only discuss it here next week if it was indeed above 175.
 

Cruiserweight: 2013: Jul 15-21

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on July 18, 2013 by danboxing
Saturday in Monte Carlo, #17 Dmytro Kucher couldn’t fend off the aggressive and hard-hitting challenge of Congolese prospect Ilunga “Junior” Makabu.  Kucher both started and finished the fight rather well, but Makabu swept rounds 2-10 to win a comfortable verdict on my card.  

 

The judging was pretty poor overall, however, forcing the African to settle for just a 3 point margin- total- between the 3 cards.  I had him up 6 points on mine alone.  The only judge to even turn in a reasonable card was Robin Dolpierre, scoring it 115-113.  That’s basically giving Kucher all the close rounds.  Joseph Chaane at 115-114 did the same, except he called one clear Makabu round even.  Predrag Aleksic appears to have missed the fight, scoring it 114-114.

 

Makabu was the aggressor most of the time, and did a very nice job of setting up his punches with a crouch and head movement that made Kucher’s longer arms miss more often than not.  Kucher was a vaunted puncher coming in, having scored the cruiserweight knockout of the year in 2012 by knocking Steve Herelius through the ropes, but Makabu looked to have the significantly heavier hands.  

 

In lesser action in Inglewood, California later that night, undefeated Cuban prospect Yunier Dorticos destroyed weak journeyman Keith Barr via second round knockout several pounds over the divisional limit.

 

Makabu debuts at #16, just ahead of fellow African Thabiso Mchunu.  Kucher just barely clings to a ranking on the strength of his 2 prior wins over gatekeepers, slipping to #20.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Guillermo Jones (9-9-9)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- TKO11 #1 Denis Lebedev
Next Fight: Unknown
Jones wants to fight Wladimir Klitschko (he said the same a couple years ago), while Lebedev is asking for a rematch.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (44-160-160)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez pulled out of his scheduled 2/2 fight with Eric Fields with a fractured hand.
3) Troy Ross (44-44-76)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Quote from Ross’s Twitter: “If the right opportunity arises I will fight again.”  That sounds more like a semi-retired fighter than the guy that just outfought the division’s #1 contender.  Here’s hoping he starts hunting for good fights like a starving mountain man any second now.
4) Denis Lebedev (9-180-180)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lebedev hopes to return on the Klitschko-Povetkin undercard in early October, which seems a bit quick given how ugly his eye looked after his last fight.  He is hoping for a rematch with Jones, too.  He has also parted from his promoter.
5) Marco Huck (6-345-345)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- W (MD12) vs. #5 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 9/14/2013- vs. #7 Firat Arslan
Huck will make a mandatory defense in a rematch against Firat Arslan on September 14.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (9-421-421)
Last Fight: 6/21/2013- TKO8 Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk showed tremendous determination in first weathering a storm, and then rapidly breaking down a strong young challenger in his own backyard in Chakhkiev.  He indicated interest in moving up to fight Adamek, but Adamek isn’t for it.  His mandatory is Giacobbe Fragomeni, who would have little chance after struggling to practical stalemates with 46-47 year old Silvio Branco.
7) Firat Arslan (9-62-105)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/14/2013- vs. #5 Marco Huck
See Huck’s notes, above.
8) Ola Afolabi (6-227-227)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L (MD12) vs. #8 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
9) Danny Green (7-36-189)
Last Fight: 11/21/2012- UD12 Shane Cameron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Green is leaning toward retirement at last check.
10) B.J. Flores (7-7-160)
Last Fight: 10/6/2012- TKO2 David McNemar (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores’ fight with Nuri Seferi appears to have been off very quickly after it was apparently made.  No word on his next move.
11) Giacobbe Fragomeni (7-244)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- W*(SD12) vs. #13 Silvio Branco
Next Fight: Unknown
There is some speculation that Masternak might try to lure Fragomeni out of his mandatory shot at Wlodarczyk with a higher monetary offer that might put Masternak in the same position with a victory.
12) Silvio Branco (7-70)
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.
13) Alexander Alekseev (7-131)
Last Fight: 2/22/2013- UD12* Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alekseev barely squeaked by after building an early lead against Wilson, but it’s still an improvement from his previous fight.
14) Mateusz Masternak (7-68)
Last Fight: 4/13/2013- TKO9 Sean Corbin (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/24/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Masternak returns on August 24.  His opponent was to be Jeremy Ouanna, but Ouanna lost to Latvian prospect Mairis Briedis soon after.  Perhaps Briedis is the new man for the job.
15) Francisco Palacios (7-120)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- L(U12) vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Palacios very likely will not fight until after his contract with Don King expires in September.
16) Ilunga Makabu (1-1)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- W (MD12) vs. #17 Dmytro Kucher
Next Fight: Unknown
Makabu impressed against Kucher, gassing a little bit at the end, but showing his quality for the majority of the fight.
17) Thabiso Mchunu (1-36)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO5 #20 Danie Venter
Next Fight: 8/3/2013- vs. Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Mchunu is being treated as a stepping stone f0r the cruiserweight ambitions of recent heavyweight contender Eddie Chambers, and the two will do battle in that context on NBC Sports Network come August 3.
18) Enad Licina (7-160)
Last Fight: 6/15/2013- KO3 Marcel Zeller (UNR) (at HW)
Next Fight: 7/27/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Licina has now fought two generic weak opponents in a row.  No idea if he plans to be a serious contender ever again or not.  His only significant win in the last 5 years is now roughly 4 1/2 years old.  That means he’ll fade to obscurity if he doesn’t beat someone worth beating in the next half-year or so.
19) Grigory Drozd (7-36)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- UD12 Jean-Marc Monrose (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Drozd will be back in action on the Klitschko-Povetkin undercard.
20) Dmytro Kucher (1-55)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher is practically back to square one after falling short against Makabu.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Nothing to report for the week.

Cruiserweight: 2013: Jul 8-14

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on July 8, 2013 by danboxing
Undefeated Latvian Mairis Briedis got his best win so far on Friday, outpointing top-level journeyman Jeremy Ouanna of France over 8 rounds in Greece.

 

The next night in Civitavecchia, Italy, local graybeard Silvio Branco continued his Hopkins-esque run of credible performances, winning a close but unanimous technical decision over Juho Haapoja, the gatekeeper-level Finn, following the last of several head clashes in a very sloppy fight.  I can’t find any video so far, and one report I read made it sound like a very close fight.  The judges’ scorecards paint a different picture, as Branco won by 7, 9, and 11 points over the 10 rounds. 

 

I’m treating the Branco-Fragomeni fights essentially as if they cancel each other out on the two men’s resumes, since I thought both were draws.  That leaves Branco with the Haapoja win, and Fragomeni with the Wlodarczyk draw and the Kraj win.  Since, despite the age of these two performances, they are clearly superior to Branco’s win, Fragomeni remains ahead, and there are no changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Guillermo Jones (8-8-8)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- TKO11 #1 Denis Lebedev
Next Fight: Unknown
Jones wants to fight Wladimir Klitschko (he said the same a couple years ago), while Lebedev is asking for a rematch.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (43-159-159)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez pulled out of his scheduled 2/2 fight with Eric Fields with a fractured hand.
3) Troy Ross (43-43-75)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Quote from Ross’s Twitter: “If the right opportunity arises I will fight again.”  That sounds more like a semi-retired fighter than the guy that just outfought the division’s #1 contender.  Here’s hoping he starts hunting for good fights like a starving mountain man any second now.
4) Denis Lebedev (8-179-179)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lebedev hopes to return on the Klitschko-Povetkin undercard in early October, which seems a bit quick given how ugly his eye looked after his last fight.  He is hoping for a rematch with Jones, too.  He has also parted from his promoter.
5) Marco Huck (5-344-344)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- W (MD12) vs. #5 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 9/14/2013- vs. #7 Firat Arslan
Huck will make a mandatory defense in a rematch against Firat Arslan on September 14.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (8-420-420)
Last Fight: 6/21/2013- TKO8 Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk showed tremendous determination in first weathering a storm, and then rapidly breaking down a strong young challenger in his own backyard in Chakhkiev.  He indicated interest in moving up to fight Adamek, but Adamek isn’t for it.
7) Firat Arslan (8-61-104)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/14/2013- vs. #5 Marco Huck
See Huck’s notes, above.
8) Ola Afolabi (5-226-226)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L (MD12) vs. #8 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
9) Danny Green (6-35-188)
Last Fight: 11/21/2012- UD12 Shane Cameron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Green has been helping an Australian UFC fighter prepare for an upcoming fight, but still no word on whether he plans to fight again.
10) B.J. Flores (6-6-159)
Last Fight: 10/6/2012- TKO2 David McNemar (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores’ fight with Nuri Seferi appears to have been off very quickly after it was apparently made.  No word on his next move.
11) Giacobbe Fragomeni (6-243)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- W*(SD12) vs. #13 Silvio Branco
Next Fight: Unknown
There is some speculation that Masternak might try to lure Fragomeni out of his mandatory shot at Wlodarczyk with a higher monetary offer that might put Masternak in the same position with a victory.
12) Silvio Branco (6-69)
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.
13) Alexander Alekseev (6-130)
Last Fight: 2/22/2013- UD12* Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alekseev barely squeaked by after building an early lead against Wilson, but it’s still an improvement from his previous fight.
14) Mateusz Masternak (6-67)
Last Fight: 4/13/2013- TKO9 Sean Corbin (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/24/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Masternak returns on August 24.  His opponent was to be Jeremy Ouanna, but Ouanna lost to Latvian prospect Mairis Briedis soon after.  Perhaps Briedis is the new man for the job.
15) Francisco Palacios (6-119)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- L(U12) vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Palacios very likely will not fight until after his contract with Don King expires in September.
16) Thabiso Mchunu (6-35)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO5 #20 Danie Venter
Next Fight: 8/3/2013- vs. Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Mchunu is being treated as a stepping stone f0r the cruiserweight ambitions of recent heavyweight contender Eddie Chambers, and the two will do battle in that context on NBC Sports Network come August 3.
17) Dmytro Kucher (6-54)
Last Fight: 3/21/2013- UD12 Julio Cesar Dos Santos (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/13/2013- vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
A clash of good-looking prospects is on tap for July 13, as Kucher will meet Junior Makabu in Monaco.
18) Enad Licina (6-159)
Last Fight: 6/15/2013- KO3 Marcel Zeller (UNR) (at HW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Licina has now fought two generic weak opponents in a row.  No idea if he plans to be a serious contender ever again or not.  His only significant win in the last 5 years is now roughly 4 1/2 years old.  That means he’ll fade to obscurity if he doesn’t beat someone worth beating in the next half-year or so.
19) Grigory Drozd (6-35)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- UD12 Jean-Marc Monrose (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Krzysztof Glowacki (2-2)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- UD8 Taylor Mabika (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/18/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Glowacki is back in action on August 18, but no opponent has been announced yet.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Saturday in Monte Carlo, #17 Dmytro Kucher meets a tough early-career test in one-loss Congolese prospect Ilunga “Junior” Makabu.

 

Later that night in Inglewood, California, undefeated Cuban Yunier Dorticos gets an outing against a TBA opponent.

Cruiserweight: 2013: Apr 1-7

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on April 3, 2013 by danboxing
Congolese prospect Ilunga “Junior” Makabu, who hasn’t lost since his pro debut, dominated and stopped totally untested unbeaten Hungarian Tamas Lodi.  In failing to recognize that I was trying to click on Makabu’s boxrec page and instead taking me to the Wikipedia page for the name/word Ilunga, my internet browser gave me the very interesting fact that in addition to a name, Ilunga is also a Bantu word that is considered by linguists to be the hardest single word to translate in the world.  Essentially, it means “a person who will forgive any abuse one time, tolerate it a second, but never a third.”  Makabu didn’t live up to his name.  He may have forgiven Lodi, but he certainly didn’t tolerate anything from his unfortunate opponent, bullying him around the ring and beating him mercilessly.  Lodi was a late-replacement for veteran French trial horse Jean Marc Monrose.

 

No changes to the rankings.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (28-164-164)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- KO4 Santander Silgado (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2013- vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Lebedev will be fighting inactive titlist Guillermo Jones near Moscow on May 17.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (28-144-144)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez pulled out of his scheduled 2/2 fight with Eric Fields with a fractured hand.
3) Troy Ross (28-28-60)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Quote from Ross’s Twitter: “If the right opportunity arises I will fight again.”  That sounds more like a semi-retired fighter than the guy that just outfought the division’s #1 contender.  Here’s hoping he starts hunting for good fights like a starving mountain man any second now.
4) Ola Afolabi (7-211-211)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: 5/11/2013- vs. #7 Marco Huck
Originally scheduled for May 25, the Huck-Afolabi trilogy fight is now on for May 11 in Hannover, Germany.
5) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (7-405-405)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- UD12 #13 Francisco Palacios
Next Fight: Unknown
After Mormeck withdrew with injury, Wlodarczyk has a fight with Fragomeni on the horizon, but probably after a voluntary defense.
6) Firat Arslan (7-46-89)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #5 Marco Huck (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
A rematch with Huck might be in the offing for the summer, but there’s plenty that can happen between now and then.
7) Marco Huck (7-329-329)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #10 Firat Arslan (Robbery)
Next Fight: 5/11/2013- vs. #4 Ola Afolabi
See Afolabi’s notes, above.
8) Lateef Kayode (7-43-123)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. ‘Roided up #3 Antonio Tarver
Next Fight: Unknown
All indications are that Kayode will next fight at heavyweight, but the plan to get him in the ring in February obviously didn’t work.
9) Danny Green (7-20-173)
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.
10) B.J. Flores (7-7-144)
Last Fight: 10/6/2012- TKO2 David McNemar (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/11/2013- vs. #15 Francisco Palacios
Flores will be fighting Puerto Rico’s Francisco Palacios in Germany on May 11.
11) Giacobbe Fragomeni (7-228)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- W*(SD12) vs. #13 Silvio Branco
Next Fight: Unknown
After limping to back-to-back tossup fights with the painfully old Silvio Branco, Fragomeni is now looking to step up to what would have to be seen as a cash-out trilogy fight with the much better Krzysztof Wlodarczyk.
12) Silvio Branco (7-54)
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.
13) Alexander Alekseev (5-115)
Last Fight: 2/22/2013- UD12* Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alekseev barely squeaked by after building an early lead against Wilson, but it’s still an improvement from his previous fight.
14) Mateusz Masternak (5-52)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- UD12 Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/13/2013- vs. Sean Corbin (UNR)
Masternak’s scheduled meeting with Jeremy Ouanna gave way to an even less impressive match-up against Sean Corbin, a mediocre Guyana journeyman best known for beating a totally shot Wayne Braithwaite after being inactive for 2 years.
15) Francisco Palacios (5-104)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- L(UD12) vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: 5/11/2013- vs. #10 B.J. Flores
Palacios will look to renew his relevance with a win over B.J. Flores in Germany.
16) Thabiso Mchunu (7-20)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO5 #20 Danie Venter
Next Fight: Unknown
The promoter of Congolese prospect Ilunga Makabu has offered to fight Mchunu, but reportedly met with tepid interest from Mchunu’s camp.
17) Dmytro Kucher (7-39)
Last Fight: 3/21/2013- UD12 Julio Cesar Dos Santos (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Enad Licina (7-144)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO2 Koeksal Orduhan
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Grigory Drozd (7-20)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- UD12 Jean-Marc Monrose (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/8/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Drozd will apparently be fighting in an unpronounceable Russian town in early June, but no opponent has been named yet.  He suffered a hand injury in his last fight, and is on the shelf from training until April.
20) Pawel Glazewski (7-7)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- UD10 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Glazewski returns in late June in Ostroda, Poland.  Probably more or less at light heavyweight.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Nothing notable going on in the division this week.