Archive for Joshua Clottey

Junior Middleweight: 2014, May 12-18

Posted in Junior Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 13, 2014 by danboxing
No significant action to report from last week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1) Saul Alvarez (10-167-182)
Last Fight: 3/8/2014- TKO10 #10 Alfredo Angulo (at 155)
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. #3 Erislandy Lara
Canelo came knocking, and Lara answered the door.
2) Carlos Molina (10-149-164)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W (SD12) vs. #5 Ishe Smith
Next Fight: Unknown
Molina is out of jail and training in Mexico City.  He will most likely get Cornelius Bundrage next.
3) Erislandy Lara (10-149-171)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #4 Austin Trout
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. #1 Saul Alvarez
Lara traded an intended fight with Ishe Smith for a more lucrative and important showdown with Canelo.  The fight might not determine a legitimate champion, but it should at least crown a preeminent top contender.
4) Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (10-35-35)
Last Fight: 5/3/2014- W* (MD12) vs. #4 WW Marcos Maidana (at WW)
Next Fight: Unknown
I’m not taking anything away from the very impressive Maidana, but it’s been clear to me in recent fights that Floyd is falling back to the pack.  He lost this fight beyond all but the most generous of doubt.
5) Austin Trout (23-102-171)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- L (UD12) vs. #5 Erislandy Lara
Next Fight: Unknown
Trout might be getting to that unfortunate position of having a record underwhelming enough to be low-reward, while still being easily skilled enough to be high-risk.  He says essentially that he wants worthwhile fights in 2014, rather than a soft diet for rebuilding purposes.
6) Ishe Smith (35-64-64)
Last Fight: 5/2/2014- KO2 Ryan Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I know he was a relatively short-notice replacement, but Ryan Davis was a little too hapless even by that standard.
7) Joshua Clottey (5-5-5)
Last Fight: 4/9/2014- UD12 #7 Anthony Mundine
Next Fight: Unknown
For those looking for a good way to revitalize a practically evaporated career, you couldn’t do much better than the example Clottey just provided.  He wants to fight Mayweather, but I’d say he’s at least one top 5 win away from having a chance at that.
8) Miguel Cotto (24-206-206)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- TKO3 #11 Delvin Rodriguez
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. MW Champ Sergio Martinez (at MW)
Cotto and Martinez have now officially agreed to a Middleweight Championship fight on June 7 at MSG.
9) Anthony Mundine (5-24-24)
Last Fight: 4/9/2014- L (UD12) vs. Joshua Clottey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Not one to be kept down for long, Mundine offered to substitute for Erislandy Lara for Ishe Smith’s May 2 date.
10) Cornelius Bundrage (5-197-197)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD12 Joey Hernandez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It appears that Bundrage has jumped to the front of the line to challenge for Molina’s belt, and his would-be opponent is now out of jail and training.
11Alfredo Angulo (5-242)
Last Fight: 3/8/2014- L (TKO10) vs. #4 Saul Alvarez
Next Fight: Unknown
Angulo could probably use a fight with a gatekeeper or low level fringe contender just to get his career momentum going.
12) Sergey Rabchenko (5-100)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 Bradley Pryce (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Emanuele Della Rosa (UNR)
Rabchenko will defend his European belt in Rome on May 17 against a local prospect, and is hoping for a shot at a vacant alphabet belt after that.
13) Demetrius Andrade (4-27)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (SD12) vs. #13 Vanes Martirosyan
Next Fight: 6/14/2014- vs. Brian Rose (UNR)
Andrade and Rose have agreed to fight in the US, with a date of June 14.
14) Cesar Sastre Silva (4-4)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- Robbery UD10 Loss (should be win) vs. #13 Javier Maciel
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. Brian Castano (UNR)
Sastre Silva dominated a confused-looking Javier Maciel, but got robbed even worse than Maciel had been robbed against Rose in his previous fight.  Now he’ll be in with an undefeated prospect in Brian Castano on June 6.
15) Delvin Rodriguez (5-148)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (TKO3) vs. #7 Miguel Cotto
Next Fight: 5/16/2014- vs. Joachim Alcine (UNR)
Rodriguez looks to get back on track on May 16 against veteran Alcine on Friday Night Fights.
16) Vanes Martirosyan (5-154)
Last Fight: 3/21/2014- UD10 Mario Lozano (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vanes was supposed to fight on the Stiverne-Arreola card from what I understood, but that fight quietly disappeared from the schedule at some unknown point in time.
17) Jermell Charlo (5-49)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- UD10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. Charlie Ota (UNR)
With the cancellation of Smith-Lara, Charlo has been bumped back to May 24, and will fight fringe contending prospect Charlie Ota.
18) Gabriel Rosado (5-16)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- L (UD10) vs. #18 Jermell Charlo
Next Fight: Unknown
Rosado was offered to Ishe Smith as a May 2 replacement, but Smith turned him down.  In turn, Rosado is being challenged by Hassan N’Dam.
19) Zaurbek Baysangurov (5-5)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- TKO12 #20 Guido Pitto
Next Fight: Unknown
Baysangurov looked the best I’ve seen him, by far, against Pitto.
20) Willie Nelson (5-63)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- UD10 Luciano Cuello (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After a big fight fell through for him in May, Nelson’s co-promoter Lou DiBella says the lanky Nelson will be fighting in a main event in August.

 

The Week Ahead:
Friday
#15 Delvin Rodriguez vs. Joachim Alcine; Montreal, Quebec; ESPN2 (US)
Rodriguez is not exactly on a roll, having been flat-out destroyed by Miguel Cotto in October.  This fight is all about getting a win against a respected fighter on his last legs.  Alcine may be just that.  He once held an alphabet title, and more recently upset David Lemieux at the outset of his rebuilding effort, but he lost 5 straight against good opposition after that fight, and has only beaten complete nobodies in his two fights since.  Rodriguez might be on a downward swing, himself, but he ought to still be a level or two above Alcine at the moment.

Junior Middleweight: 2014, Apr 14-20

Posted in Junior Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 23, 2014 by danboxing
Former top 5 welterweight Joshua Clottey more or less shocked the world on Wednesday, coming back from virtual retirement to brutalize #7 Anthony Mundine in unrelenting fashion for 12 cringe-worthy rounds in Newcastle, Australia.  I guess in retrospect it wasn’t completely shocking that Clottey might win the fight.  After all, he did go the distance with Pacquiao at a time when Pacquiao was knocking everyone out, and came close to defeating Cotto, who even as of last week was viewed as probably equal to or better than Mundine.  But that was a long time ago, and it was naturally assumed that Clottey’s competitive edge had likely abated a bit, considering he’d fought just two journeymen in the four years since the one-sided Pacquiao loss.  There’s absolutely no way anyone could have predicted the comprehensive and brutal beating he put on Mundine at this point in his career.  Mundine went down a total of five times by my count, and there’s absolutely no way he lost by any less than 13 points, despite the fact that all of the pathetic judges had it way too close: Pat O’Connor (116-108), Alex Fraser (117-108), and Justin Kennedy at an incredible 115-109.  Honestly, it would bother me not one little bit if none of these guys were ever allowed to work again.

 

Gatekeeper Zaurbek Baysangurov finally looked as good as his alphabet rankings would suggest he is.  He dominated a rather amateurish-looking #20 Guido Pitto for very nearly a full 12 rounds, before finally putting him down and leaving him flopping around like a fish with just seconds to go.  In the first round, it looked like it was well on the way to evolving into a close and competitive affair.  I thought Pitto clearly won that round, and I thought he was just edged out in the 2nd.  But from there, it was total dominance by the Russian, whose calm jab and counterpunch strategy allowed him to conserve energy as compared to the frantic, lunging, volume arm-punching style of Pitto.  As that might suggest, Pitto’s movement and the steam on his punches lessened as the fight went on, allowing Baysangurov to punish him with increasing frequency and ferocity as the fight progressed.  Someone should certainly have stopped it in the 11th, when the Russian had Pitto bouncing from one set of ropes to the other like a pinball, but he was allowed to take a sustained beating with absolutely no hope of victory for at least 3 minutes too long.

 

Clottey makes his debut in the rankings at 154, taking over Mundine’s #7 berth.  Mundine, despite looking like a man several levels below Clottey, still makes enough hay from the Mosley win to remain in the top 10 at #9.  This degrades the standing of everyone ranked #9 to #17 last week, including Alfredo Angulo, who drops from the top 10 after 237 consecutive weeks in.  Baysangurov, despite needing gifts from the judges to achieve victory in consecutive fights with unheralded prospect Michel Soro and fringe contender Lukas Konecny, now has the resume of a top 20 contender, debuting at #19.  This, coupled with Clottey’s debut, forces last week’s #18 Willie nelson down to #20, and kicks out Brian Rose after 55 weeks in the rankings.  Pitto, of course, exits as well, though he didn’t need any help to do so.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1) Saul Alvarez (6-163-178)
Last Fight: 3/8/2014- TKO10 #10 Alfredo Angulo
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. #3 Erislandy Lara
Canelo came knocking, and Lara answered the door.
2) Carlos Molina (6-145-160)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W (SD12) vs. #5 Ishe Smith
Next Fight: Unknown
At last check, Molina remained in a Las Vegas jail.
3) Erislandy Lara (6-145-167)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #4 Austin Trout
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. #1 Saul Alvarez
Lara traded an intended fight with Ishe Smith for a more lucrative and important showdown with Canelo.  The fight might not determine a legitimate champion, but it should at least crown a preeminent top contender.
4) Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (6-31-31)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #2 Saul Alvarez
Next Fight: 5/3/2014- vs. #4 WW Marcos Maidana (at WW)
Floyd will fight Maidana rather than Khan.  Thank goodness.
5) Austin Trout (19-98-167)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- L (UD12) vs. #5 Erislandy Lara
Next Fight: Unknown
Trout might be getting to that unfortunate position of having a record underwhelming enough to be low-reward, while still being easily skilled enough to be high-risk.  He says essentially that he wants worthwhile fights in 2014, rather than a soft diet for rebuilding purposes.
6) Ishe Smith (31-60-60)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- L (SD12) vs. #1 Carlos Molina
Next Fight: Unknown
Smith was left without an opponent after Lara jumped ship on their May 2 fight to battle Canelo.  Smith had an offer to replace Lara with Gabe Rosado, but passed.  Mundine is reportedly interested, as well.
7) Joshua Clottey (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 4/9/2014- UD12 #7 Anthony Mundine
Next Fight: Unknown
For those looking for a good way to revitalize a practically evaporated career, you couldn’t do much better than the example Clottey just provided.
8) Miguel Cotto (20-202-202)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- TKO3 #11 Delvin Rodriguez
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. MW Champ Sergio Martinez (at MW)
Cotto and Martinez have now officially agreed to a Middleweight Championship fight on June 7 at MSG.
9) Anthony Mundine (1-20-20)
Last Fight: 4/9/2014- L (UD12) vs. Joshua Clottey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Not one to be kept down for long, Mundine has offered to substitute for Erislandy Lara for Ishe Smith’s May 2 date.
10) Cornelius Bundrage (1-193-193)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD12 Joey Hernandez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It appears that Bundrage has jumped to the front of the line to challenge for Molina’s belt, though there is uncertainty regarding that bout and Molina’s availability for it.
11Alfredo Angulo (1-238)
Last Fight: 3/8/2014- L (TKO10) vs. #4 Saul Alvarez
Next Fight: Unknown
Angulo could probably use a fight with a gatekeeper or low level fringe contender just to get his career momentum going.
12) Sergey Rabchenko (1-96)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 Bradley Pryce (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Emanuele Della Rosa (UNR)
Rabchenko will defend his European belt in Rome on May 17 against a local prospect, and is hoping for a shot at a vacant alphabet belt after that.
13) Javier Maciel (1-25)

Last Fight: 10/26/2013- Robbery L (SD12) vs. #14 Brian Rose
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Cesar Sastre Silva (UNR)
Maciel will stay busy with a mid-level journeyman on April 19 in Argentina.
14) Demetrius Andrade (1-23)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (SD12) vs. #13 Vanes Martirosyan
Next Fight: 6/14/2014- vs. Brian Rose (UNR)
Andrade and Rose have agreed to fight in the US, with a date of June 14.
15) Delvin Rodriguez (1-144)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (TKO3) vs. #7 Miguel Cotto
Next Fight: 5/16/2014- vs. Joachim Alcine (UNR)
Rodriguez looks to get back on track on May 16 against veteran Alcine on Friday Night Fights.
16) Vanes Martirosyan (1-150)
Last Fight: 3/21/2014- UD10 Mario Lozano (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Vanes successfully stayed busy against Lozano.  I’m not sure what his endgame is, but he’ll be back in action again on May 10 on the Stiverne-Arreola undercard in LA.
17) Jermell Charlo (1-45)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- UD10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/2/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
With the cancellation of Smith-Lara, Charlo’s undercard fight may be in doubt, as well.
18) Gabriel Rosado (1-12)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- L (UD10) vs. #18 Jermell Charlo
Next Fight: Unknown
Rosado was offered to Ishe Smith as a May 2 replacement, but Smith turned him down.
19) Zaurbek Baysangurov (1-1)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- TKO12 #20 Guido Pitto
Next Fight: Unknown
Baysangurov looked the best I’ve seen him, by far, against Pitto.
20) Willie Nelson (1-59)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- UD10 Luciano Cuello (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The once-delayed fight with Kirkland is apparently in the works to headline a May 24 HBO card.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Saturday
#13 Javier Maciel vs. Cesar Sastre Silva; Malvinas Argentinas, Argentina; TyC Sports (ARG)
This is a rematch of a 2008 fight that resulted in a close 6-round decision.  At that time, Maciel was a green 8-0 prospect.  Now he’s at a different level.  Sastre Silva, from Uruguay, is roughly a mid-level journeyman.  He’s coming off a close upset win at middleweight over undefeated prospect Carlos Ozan in February.  That was his first fight in over 3 years.  Maciel comes off what should have been a career-best win over 14th-ranked Brian Rose back in October, but he was blatantly robbed in that fight.

Junior Middleweight: 2014, Apr 7-13

Posted in Junior Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 9, 2014 by danboxing
140-pound gatekeeper Czar Amonsot won every round before stopping very low-level veteran Thai journeyman Sapapetch Sor Sakaorat in the 4th round in Flemington, Australia on Wednesday, in a fight that was frankly completely inconsequential on every level.  The fight was at a contract weight of about 150, and the only reason I mentioned it here at all is that Amonsot would arguably be a top 50 fighter at 154 if he were to seriously move up here.

 

In a more mentionable fight on the Braehmer-Maccarinelli undercard in Rostock, Germany on Saturday, prospect Jack Culcay avoided embarrassment with a competent, if not awe-inspiring, decision win over mid-range journeyman Salim Larbi of France.  Culcay was clearly the more skilled fighter, and was the clear aggressor throughout, but he was fairly careful with his punch output, which led to a fairly lackluster fight with Larbi, who himself was rather selective and constantly on the back foot.  I’m of the opinion that Culcay is still very wary of the 12-round distance.  He appeared to be completely gassed by round 8 of his second fight with Guido Pitto, arguably giving back the big lead he had built to that point.  He did actually improve late in his fight with Dieudonne Belinga in a fight I thought he lost, but I think that he had saved perhaps a bit too much energy by giving away rounds early on in that one.  So while he certainly didn’t impress to any great degree given the competition, you have to at least give him credit for comfortably winning the fight while still leaving enough in the tank to step on the gas in the last couple rounds.  He seems to be learning the art of pacing by trial and error, but this time, at least, was relatively lacking in error.  I had it 117-111, as did each of the official judges.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: None
1) Saul Alvarez (5-162-177)
Last Fight: 3/8/2014- TKO10 #10 Alfredo Angulo
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. #3 Erislandy Lara
Canelo came knocking, and Lara answered the door.  It appears Lara will still fight Ishe Smith in May, which is one hell of a tune-up.
2) Carlos Molina (5-144-159)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W (SD12) vs. #5 Ishe Smith
Next Fight: Unknown
We found out some pretty bad info about Molina’s past when he was arrested on past warrants and detained for illegal immigration following an apparent deportation from several years ago.  His fight with Jermall Charlo was cancelled, and Molina’s immediate future in the sport is up in the air.
3) Erislandy Lara (5-144-166)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD12 #4 Austin Trout
Next Fight: 5/2/2014- vs. #6 Ishe Smith
See Canelo’s notes, above.
4) Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (5-30-30)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- W* (MD12) vs. #2 Saul Alvarez
Next Fight: 5/3/2014- vs. #4 WW Marcos Maidana (at WW)
Floyd will fight Maidana rather than Khan.  Thank goodness.
5) Austin Trout (18-97-166)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- L (UD12) vs. #5 Erislandy Lara
Next Fight: Unknown
Trout might be getting to that unfortunate position of having a record underwhelming enough to be low-reward, while still being easily skilled enough to be high-risk.  He says essentially that he wants worthwhile fights in 2014, rather than a soft diet for rebuilding purposes.
6) Ishe Smith (30-59-59)
Last Fight: 9/14/2013- L (SD12) vs. #1 Carlos Molina
Next Fight: 5/2/2014- vs. #3 Erislandy Lara
Smith now looks like he has a chance to be the ultimate spoiler, as Lara has a victory-contingent fight lined up with Canelo.
7) Anthony Mundine (19-19-19)
Last Fight: 1/29/2014- UD10 Gunnar Jackson (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 4/9/2014- vs. Joshua Clottey (UNR)
Mundine’s fight with Clottey has been delayed a week, in the finest tradition of Australian last-minute delays.
8) Miguel Cotto (19-201-201)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- TKO3 #11 Delvin Rodriguez
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. MW Champ Sergio Martinez (at MW)
Cotto and Martinez have now officially agreed to a Middleweight Championship fight on June 7 at MSG.
9) Cornelius Bundrage (19-192-192)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD12 Joey Hernandez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It appears that Bundrage has jumped to the front of the line to challenge for Molina’s belt, though there is uncertainty regarding that bout and Molina’s availability for it.
10Alfredo Angulo (19-237-237)
Last Fight: 3/8/2014- L (TKO10) vs. #4 Saul Alvarez
Next Fight: Unknown
Angulo could probably use a fight with a gatekeeper or low level fringe contender just to get his career momentum going.
11) Sergey Rabchenko (19-95)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 Bradley Pryce (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Emanuele Della Rosa (UNR)
Rabchenko will defend his European belt in Rome on May 17 against a local prospect, and is hoping for a shot at a vacant alphabet belt after that.
12) Javier Maciel (19-24)

Last Fight: 10/26/2013- Robbery L (SD12) vs. #14 Brian Rose
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Cesar Sastre Silva (UNR)
Maciel will stay busy with a mid-level journeyman on April 19 in Argentina.
13) Demetrius Andrade (19-22)
Last Fight: 11/9/2013- W* (SD12) vs. #13 Vanes Martirosyan
Next Fight: 6/14/2014- vs. #19 Brian Rose
Andrade and Rose have agreed to fight in the US, with a date of June 14.
14) Delvin Rodriguez (19-143)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (TKO3) vs. #7 Miguel Cotto
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez appears to be solid against borderline top-10 types (see Wolak), but completely out of his depth at just a tad higher level.
15) Vanes Martirosyan (19-149)
Last Fight: 3/21/2014- UD10 Mario Lozano (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Vanes successfully stayed busy against Lozano.  I’m not sure what his endgame is, but he’ll be back in action again on May 10 on the Stiverne-Arreola undercard in LA.
16) Jermell Charlo (11-44)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- UD10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/2/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Charlo is back on the Lara-Smith undercard in Vegas, apparently in an eliminator.
17) Gabriel Rosado (11-11)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- L (UD10) vs. #18 Jermell Charlo
Next Fight: Unknown
Atrocious judges and a fragile eyelid have helped put Rosado’s career more or less in tatters.
18) Willie Nelson (11-58)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- UD10 Luciano Cuello (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The once-delayed fight with Kirkland is apparently in the works to headline a May 24 HBO card.
19) Brian Rose (11-55)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- Robbery W (Draw at best) vs. Javier Maciel (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/14/2014- vs. #13 Demetrius Andrade
See Andrade’s notes, above.
20) Guido Pitto (11-17)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L* (UD12) vs. #20 Jack Culcay
Next Fight: 4/12/2014- vs. Zaurbek Baysangurov (UNR)
The fight was difficult to make due to Ukrainian turmoil and originally involved Javier Maciel, but Pitto is now slated to fight Baysangurov on April 12.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Wednesday
#7 Anthony Mundine vs. Joshua Clottey; Newcastle, Australia; Main Event (Australia)
Mundine has been on a bit of a roll since decisively losing his rematch with Daniel Geale.  He’s looking strong at both 160 and 154, and takes on Joshua Clottey this week.  Mundine is hoping this is more of a tune-up than anything, as he looks to be in good position to get a shot at the estimable Erislandy Lara later this year if he wins.  Clottey was a top 5 welterweight best known for a toss-up fight that he narrowly lost to Miguel Cotto and a passive check-cashing type of performance against Pacquiao.  In those days, he was a top 5 welterweight.  He hasn’t been in with anyone better than a journeyman in the more than 4 years since the demoralizing Pacquiao defeat, and has had just 2 fights overall in that time.  Frankly, he’s been semi-retired.  That’s not necessarily a good footing on which to enter a fight with the relatively active Mundine, who is also the home fighter and the naturally bigger man.

 

Saturday
#20 Guido Pitto vs. Zaurbek Baysangurov; Brovari, Ukraine; Boytsovskiy Klub (Russia)
Baysangurov had an alphabet belt at one point, but even by alphabet standards, that belt was ludicrous at the outset, and downright fraudulent before all was said and done.  He was given the vacant title by beating a journeyman in Mike Miranda who had absolutely no business contending for anything of the sort.  He then clearly lost consecutive fights to Michel Soro and Lukas Konecny, but was gifted decisions in both of those contests.  Some small measure of justice was finally served when he was stripped of one of the most illegitimate world titles in a history of a sport replete with them, by way of inactivity.  This fight is for an arguably less prestigious world belt, but please don’t mistake it for anything close to a legitimate title fight.  Pitto is ranked, but his actual quality depends a great deal on how good Jack Culcay- whose stock has been steadily dropping of late- really is.  Pitto fought the Ecuadorian-German prospect twice, and both times deserved roughly a draw.  He got a close win and a close loss, instead.  Still, I’d say he’s likely the marginally better fighter than Baysangurov, who no doubt enters as the betting favorite anyway.  After all, we know he routinely gets special treatment on the cards, and the fight is a loooong way from Argentina.  My bet is on controversy, and I’m willing to give odds.