Archive for Kali Meehan

Heavyweight: 2014, Nov 24-30

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 9, 2016 by danboxing
44 year old Gatekeeper Kali Meehan continued his late-career resurgence on Saturday in Auckland by outpointing the once decent but, at 37, apparently completely finished Shane Cameron.  Scores were 97-93, 98-92, and 99-91.  I couldn’t find a video, and thus have no comment on the scoring.

 

 In perhaps his toughest test to date (at least on paper), blue chip British prospect Anthony Joshua showed why the hype is justified, obliterating Michael Sprott in less than a round.  Sprott has traditionally tested all but the absolute elite, and won Prizefighter in 2014 against a middling field before failing in the finals of the New Zealand version of the tournament.  That loss, a first-round knockout to Meehan, may have put the writing on the wall for this one, since even if he doesn’t fulfill the prophecies about him, Anthony Joshua is clearly a lot better than Meehan ever was.  Granted, the Prizefighter/Super 8 format can yield an unlevel playing field and Sprott wasn’t as fresh at that stage was was Meehan, but still.  Joshua shows fantastic power, punching technique, and offensive footwork.  The only thing I haven’t yet seen from him is how well he takes a punch and/or defends against them.  That’s not a bad commentary on what a guy’s doing in the ring by any means, but until it should happen, he’s still got that one question remaining about his overall game.

 

Finally, in a low-profile scrap in Indianapolis, former fringe contender Franklin Lawrence returned from a layoff of nearly 2 years to stop Ghanaian journeyman Daniel Adotey Allotey in 3 rounds.  Allotey is nothing to write hope about in terms of competition, but the return to activity alone is enough to get Lawrence back into the mix.  He was ranked #21 unofficially when he was removed early this year.  Comparing him to the current field, I’d say he’s still in the top 30.

 

Speaking of the top 30, that’s around where Anthony Joshua began the night.  With Sprott being almost identically positioned as compared to Joshua’s most recent prior victim, Bakhtov, as a very borderline member of the top 50, Joshua gets a mild boost from quantity, but in my book only manages to edge past Gerald Washington and close to the top 25.  As for the top 20, no changes.
 

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (283-496-496)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- KO5 #5 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Klitschko plans to make his next defense in the Spring.  Bryant Jennings has been mentioned.  That sounds undeserved, until you hear the other name being mentioned- Shannon Briggs.
1) Tyson Fury (41-41-41)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2014- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
Fury-Chisora II has been moved back a week, to November 29.
2) Alexander Povetkin (26-370-370)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- KO10 #7 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin’s finishing skills were quite impressive, but it might be a bit worrisome that he was clearly getting outboxed by Takam for a good chunk of the fight.  With the win, he now figures to eventually become the mandatory for the winner of Wilder-Stiverne.  His team seems to want Tyson Fury, though, which would be amazing.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (26-37-101)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- TKO7 Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
An easy stoppage win for Glazkov over Wilson will hopefully be a quick confidence boost after he struggled mightily against mediocre opposition last time around.
4) Amir Mansour (34-34-34)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- KO7 Fred Kassi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mansour’s power was brought to bear on the mediocre Kassi, who did a good job of hanging in there- perhaps for longer than most expected while losing every round.
5) Kubrat Pulev (41-134-211)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Back to the drawing board for the Bulgarian.  He at least mounted an attack.  That’s more than some challengers can say.
6) Dereck Chisora (41-156-219)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Carlos Takam (25-25-45)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- L (KO10) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam found the ceiling on his rise to the top in #2 Povetkin.  He actually appeared more than a match for the Russian early in the fight, but couldn’t hang in the later rounds.
8) Bermane Stiverne (25-29-91)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: 1/17/2015- vs. #12 Deontay Wilder
Stiverne-Wilder is finally set for January 17 at the MGM Grand in Vegas, it would appear.
9) Steve Cunningham (25-101-101)
Last Fight: 10/18/2014- W (RTD7) vs. Natu Visinia (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite some scary moments with the much bigger relative novice Visinia, Cunningham ultimately took care of business.
10) Tony Thompson (25-36-235)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
The Thompson-Solis rematch set for November 22 has apparently been postponed again, or perhaps canceled, due to another Solis ankle injury.
11) Odlanier Solis (3-235)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
See Thompson’s notes, above.
12) Deontay Wilder (3-83)
Last Fight: 8/16/2014- W(RTD4) vs. Jason Gavern (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/17/2015 – vs. #8 Bermane Stiverne 
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
13) Chris Arreola (3-64)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
Bad news for Arreola fans- he’s reportedly pulled out of a planned December 11 return due to an elbow injury.  Elbow surgery is what he was trying to come back from in the first place.
14) Malik Scott (3-12)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- UD10 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: Unknown
After an apparently dominant win over Leapai, Scott is probably back in the mix for some sort of big fight.
15) Erkan Teper (3-65)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/13/2014- vs. Johann Duhaupas (UNR)
Teper will apparently be defending his European title against France’s Johann Duhaupas in Germany on December 13.
16) Andy Ruiz (3-53)
Last Fight: 10/25/2014- TKO1 Kenny Lemos (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/20/2014- vs. Sergei Liakhovich (UNR)
Ruiz has rescheduled his planned October fight with faded former contender Liakhovich for December 20.
17) Bryant Jennings (3-18)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- W* (SD12) vs. Mike Perez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jennings is once again said to be in the running for a Klitschko shot.  After barely and perhaps undeservedly getting by Mike Perez, I’m not sure that’s a natural fit at this stage.
18) Artur Szpilka (3-3)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- W (UD10) vs. #11 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: 1/31/2015- vs. Unknown Opponent
Szpilka returned to camp just a week after the Adamek fight, as he is planning a return for January 31 in Torun, Poland.
19) Mike Perez (12-18)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- L* (SD12) vs. Bryant Jennings (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Alex Leapai (4-53)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- L (UD10) vs. #20 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
It looks pretty clear now that Leapai’s win over Boytsov was more about Boytsov’s shortcomings than Leapai’s quality.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Friday
Zoltan Petranyi vs. Temoo Tamaititahio; Papeete, French Polynesia; TV Unknown
You don’t really hear a lot about Petranyi, and maybe with good reason.  But he’s actually kind of an unlikely, if borderline, member of the top 50.  He began his career in 1996 and was under .500 going into his 28th fight in 2005.  He’s hardly been perfect since then, but hasn’t really been within shouting distance of .500 in about a decade.  He’s also 48 years old.  At the moment, he’s on a 15-fight win streak.  Most of that was against very weak opposition, but his last two came against halfway credible journeymen/prospects on the domestic level.  He’s now the Hungarian champion, and this weekend he’ll fight on the road in French Polynesia against a 40-year old local who has still never fought anyone, but is nevertheless trying to rebound from his first career loss.  I don’t know that there’s a whole lot of rhyme or reason to this fight, but Petranyi’s career is interesting enough to deserve a comment or two.

 

Saturday
#1 Tyson Fury vs. #6 Dereck Chisora; London, England; Sky (UK)
This is a highly anticipated rematch between Britain and the Commonwealth’s two best (or at least most proven) active Heavyweights.  Fury comprehensively outboxed Chisora in the last meeting to win a one-sided decision, but many saw his win as almost a default, since Chisora inexplicably came in fat and woefully underprepared.  Since then, he’s shown considerable mettle in defeating Robert Helenius (I know), Malik Scott (I know), Edmund Gerber, Ondrej Pala, and Kevin Johnson, as well as giving Vitali Klitschko perhaps the best challenge he’d had since Lennox Lewis.  If Chisora trains decently, there are a lot of people that think he might end Fury’s impressive run.

 

Eddie Chambers vs. Dorian Darch; London, England; Sky (UK)
Chambers returns from a 3-week layoff, and steps back down from the mediocre journeyman level to the novice level when he fights Welshman Dorian Darch.  Darch may sound like a Bond or Star Wars villain, but he’s not really that threatening.  At 8-3, he’s been beaten by Anthony Joshua, Hughie Fury, and Ian Lewison, and has never beaten anyone with both a winning record and 5 or more wins. Not sure if this one makes the broadcast or not.
 

Heavyweight: 2014, Nov 17-23

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 5, 2016 by danboxing
The highlight of the week was another defense of the Heavyweight Championship by Wladimir Klitschko.  This one was more entertaining than most, though.  His challenger, #5 Kubrat Pulev, actually landed a hard shot here and there, a few of which weren’t to the back of the head (though many were), which is something we haven’t seen in a while.  This was likely due to Klitschko’s uncharacteristic willingness to mix it up with the Bulgarian.  Still, even in more of an action fight than he’s used to, Klitschko dominated, knocking Pulev down 4 times while winning every round, including a clean knockout in the 5th.  As a side note, the normally excellent referee Tony Weeks let Pulev get away with a ton of rabbit punches, essentially without incident. 

 

In my preview last week, I mentioned two chubby heavyweights in Lucas Browne and Chauncy Welliver.  Browne actually came in looking relatively fit this time around, having shed 7 pounds since his outing against Andriy Rudenko in August, and 17 pounds since he fought Eric Martel Bahoeli in April.  He even looked quicker this time around, and was able to let loose with combinations when called for, something we didn’t really see in the Rudenko fight.  The same couldn’t be said for Welliver.  I saw the often flabby but affable Spokane native when he fought in Kansas City in 2011.  Back then, I was actually impressed that a fighter noted more for his excessive flab than his actually decent skills was able to come to the ring looking like a semi-plausible fighter at a pudgy but capable 238.  At 304, as he weighed for this fight, he frankly makes a joke out of himself, making Chris Arreola at his absolute worst look like Charles Atlas.  Even at that weight, he flashed skills for a round or two, but by round 5 he was looking for a way out, even turning his back at one time as his left eye closed completely.  The fight was stopped in the corner after that round- a round that Browne dominated, primarily with right hands.

 

Losing even dominantly/painfully to the Champ really doesn’t hurt even as high as a #5 contender.  He’s been entrenched as the unquestionable best in the division so deeply, that really no loss to him would likely affect one’s standing with respect to anyone else.  As for Browne, his opposition simply wasn’t good enough to affect his ranking, either.  No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (282-495-495)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- KO5 #5 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Klitschko plans to make his next defense in the Spring.
1) Tyson Fury (40-40-40)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2014- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
Fury-Chisora II has been moved back a week, to November 29.
2) Alexander Povetkin (25-369-369)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- KO10 #7 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin’s finishing skills were quite impressive, but it might be a bit worrisome that he was clearly getting outboxed by Takam for a good chunk of the fight.  With the win, he now figures to eventually become the mandatory for the winner of Wilder-Stiverne.  His team seems to want Tyson Fury, though, which would be amazing.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (25-36-100)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- TKO7 Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
An easy stoppage win for Glazkov over Wilson will hopefully be a quick confidence boost after he struggled mightily against mediocre opposition last time around.
4) Amir Mansour (33-33-33)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- KO7 Fred Kassi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mansour’s power was brought to bear on the mediocre Kassi, who did a good job of hanging in there- perhaps for longer than most expected while losing every round.
5) Kubrat Pulev (40-133-210)
Last Fight: 11/15/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Back to the drawing board for the Bulgarian.  He at least mounted an attack.  That’s more than some challengers can say.
6) Dereck Chisora (40-155-218)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Carlos Takam (24-24-44)
Last Fight: 10/24/2014- L (KO10) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam found the ceiling on his rise to the top in #2 Povetkin.  He actually appeared more than a match for the Russian early in the fight, but couldn’t hang in the later rounds.
8) Bermane Stiverne (24-28-90)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #12 Deontay Wilder
Stiverne-Wilder is finally signed.  Details haven’t been finalized, but it’s apparently looking like mid-January in either Vegas or New York.
9) Steve Cunningham (24-100-100)
Last Fight: 10/18/2014- W (RTD7) vs. Natu Visinia (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite some scary moments with the much bigger relative novice Visinia, Cunningham ultimately took care of business.
10) Tony Thompson (24-35-234)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
The Thompson-Solis rematch set for November 22 has apparently been postponed again, or perhaps canceled, due to another Solis ankle injury.
11) Odlanier Solis (2-234)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
See Thompson’s notes, above.
12) Deontay Wilder (2-82)
Last Fight: 8/16/2014- W(RTD4) vs. Jason Gavern (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date – vs. #8 Bermane Stiverne 
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
13) Chris Arreola (2-63)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: 12/11/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Arreola is scheduled to return from an elbow injury on December 11 in Temecula, California, but no opponent yet.
14) Malik Scott (2-11)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- UD10 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: Unknown
After an apparently dominant win over Leapai, Scott is probably back in the mix for some sort of big fight.
15) Erkan Teper (2-64)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/13/2014- vs. Johann Duhaupas (UNR)
Teper will apparently be defending his European title against France’s Johann Duhaupas in Germany on December 13.
16) Andy Ruiz (2-52)
Last Fight: 10/25/2014- TKO1 Kenny Lemos (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/20/2014- vs. Sergei Liakhovich (UNR)
Ruiz has rescheduled his planned October fight with faded former contender Liakhovich for December 20.
17) Bryant Jennings (2-17)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- W* (SD12) vs. Mike Perez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jennings is once again said to be in the running for a Klitschko shot.  After barely and perhaps undeservedly getting by Mike Perez, I’m not sure that’s a natural fit at this stage.
18) Artur Szpilka (2-2)
Last Fight: 11/8/2014- W (UD10) vs. #11 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
In the immediate aftermath of his victory over Adamek, Szpilka says he’d like to fight Andy Ruiz.
19) Mike Perez (11-17)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- L* (SD12) vs. Bryant Jennings (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Perez was said to be planning a fight in Cork, Ireland in November, but I’m assuming that’s off since I’ve heard nothing about it in several weeks.
20) Alex Leapai (3-52)
Last Fight: 10/31/2014- L (UD10) vs. #20 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
It looks pretty clear now that Leapai’s win over Boytsov was more about Boytsov’s shortcomings than Leapai’s quality.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Saturday
Kali Meehan vs. Shane Cameron; Auckland, New Zealand; Sky Arena (New Zealand)
Meehan is 44, but recently rejuvenated his essentially finished career with a surprise victory in the Super 8 Heavyweight tournament (New Zealand’s version of Prizefighter) that included a knockout of Michael Sprott.  Cameron is practically a pup at only 37, but he’s in need of a similar rejuvenation, himself, having been dominated and stopped by Brian Minto in his last fight.  The prize is the privilege of joining or remaining in the top 50.

 

Anthony Joshua vs. Michael Sprott; Liverpool, England; Sky (UK)
Having been mentioned in the paragraph above as a recent Kali Meehan knockout victim, you know Michael Sprott is not necessarily in a good place right now.  A year ago around this time, he was winning Prizefighter and roughly a top 25 fighter.  At the moment, he’s just fodder for the rise of Anthony Joshua.  Barring an historic upset, the question isn’t who will win, but in what round Joshua will stop Sprott.

 

Franklin Lawrence vs. Daniel Adotey Allotey; Indianapolis, Indiana; Off TV
Lawrence was ranked in the top 20 as recently as last September, but hasn’t fought since January of that year, and hadn’t fought anybody remotely notable since 2011.  Allotey will not change that.  An 11-year veteran, he has nevertheless never beaten anyone good whatsoever, and turned pro at light middleweight.
 

Heavyweight: 2014, Jun 9-15

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 31, 2014 by danboxing
The heavyweight week got off to an interesting start on Wednesday with the New Zealand version of Prizefighter, dubbed the “Super 8.”  The field was made up of 50% has-beens (some more viable than others) like Michael Sprott, Martin Rogan, Kali Meehan, Hasim Rahman, an inactive career high-level journeyman in Alonzo Butler, and 3 novices in Brice Ritani-Coe, Hunter Sam, and Antz Nansen.  I’m not sure if it was a random draw or a true seeding system (they called it seeding), but if it was the latter, it was a misbegotten attempt.  The correct order of seeding would have been #1 Sprott vs. #8 Brice Ritani-Coe, #2 Martin Rogan vs. #7 Antz Nansen, #3 Kali Meehan vs. #6 Hunter Sam, and #4 Hasim Rahman vs. #5 Alonzo Butler.  As it happened, the Meehan-Sam fight was an actual matchup, but the rest were not.  #1 Sprott instead fought #2 Rogan inexplicably in the first round, while #4 Rahman and #5 Butler each got what should have been easy matchups in Nansen and Ritani-Coe, respectively.  I’ll break down the action fight by fight.

 

Round 1
1. Hasim Rahman, the inactive former champion who looked awful in his last fight with Alexander Povetkin in 2012, looked even more awful against 3-2 novice Antz Nansen, whose inclusion in the tournament in the first place couldn’t have been more random.  Nansen was coming off back-to-back losses against bad fighters with losing records, including one by KO.  His last loss was against an 0-10 fighter, and so it would have been more reasonable to assume he was in the bottom 5% of all pro heavyweights than to assume he belonged in a ring even with  a badly faded Rahman.  But apparently Rahman’s fadedness knew no bounds.  His handspeed was non-existent, and his footwork and balance were pathetic.  He was almost totally non-threatening, as even if Nansen couldn’t see every shot coming about 5 seconds before it arrived, Rahman was reaching so badly that he couldn’t have had much power.  Even so, I gave him the first round in a close call before Nansen took the last two going away.  Two of the judges had it the same as me, while a third had it a shutout.

 

2. Alonzo Butler- an American who was once a serious prospect, but who failed the only two times he tried his hand with a top 50 opponent, and who has had only 2 fights since 2009- fought his own 3-2 novice in Brice Ritani-Coe.  Ritani-Coe had zero boxrec rankings points entering the fight, and while he did suffer a draw against a 3-5 nobody in 2012, his two actual losses were at least more forgivable.  He dropped a decision to Jerry Forrest, a 1-0 prospect who now has a loss, but only against legit prospect Gerald Washington, and in his next fight he dropped a decision to current hot prospect Joseph Parker.  For no reason at all, the mammoth Butler- who had more than 35 pounds on his 260 pound opponent, chose to try and fight like Miguel Vazquez.  He was on the back foot, by choice, the entire time, and honestly didn’t really seem to be trying before he appeared to gas out in the 2nd round.  You could make a case for Butler winning the 3rd, but I had it a shutout for Ritani-Coe, who won essentially just by working.  He came forward, which made him the aggressor by a mile, and threw punches with reasonable regularity.  It was an easy formula.  One judge, Jeff Nelson, turned in a 30-27 card in favor of Butler, which is one of the silliest things you’ll ever see.  The other two were more reasonable, scoring it 29-28 for Ritani-Coe, who advanced in the second upset in as many fights.

 

3. Tall Kiwi veteran Kali Meehan, a former contender aged 44 years and without a fight in over 2 years, got through some apparent rust and made it through a very competitive test against the 10-2 Hunter Sam, who fought well despite his record being probably a little better than the reality underlying it.  Meehan was actually trailing significantly in the vitally important 3rd round, but came back strong at the end to take it pretty clearly.  The already questionable Jeff Nelson struck again, scoring it for Sam.  Meehan advances, though not by a lot.
 
4. Michael Sprott vs. Martin Rogan was a fight that really shouldn’t have been possible until the finals, give or take.  Not only were both guys Prizefighter champions at some point (Sprott twice, including the most recent), but both have had relatively recent success against top 25 opposition.  Sprott won round one with ease, but with Rogan’s surprisingly straighter punches gave his shots greater leverage and power, and he hurt Sprott in the 2nd, and kept him in borderline buzzed status for the rest of the fight.  Rounds two and three were as clear for Rogan as round one was for Sprott, and thus the correct score was a very clear 29-28 Rogan.  But this time the judges went too far in crappiness, and botched the result.  Nelson wasn’t even involved, surprisingly.  Paul McSharry scored an even round in one of Rogan’s two, and therefore had it 29-29.  Laurie Glozier and Steve Miles inexplicably had it 29-28 for Sprott, and thus the wrong guy moved on in a clear robbery that marred a really good fight.

 

Round 2:
1. After an intermission that included a couple entertaining 4-rounders, Sprott returned on short rest and outpointed Nansen in what I would call a lackluster performance in a lackluster fight.  Basically Sprott won it simply by being first behind the jab.  It’s not that Nansen didn’t try, but he couldn’t grab the initiative and was ineffective and comparatively wild when he tried to counter, or to punch in general.  I had it a shutout, though all the rounds were kinda close, and round 1 in particular could have gone either way.  All the judges had it a shutout, just like me.  Putting Sprott in the Final despite winning a closely-contested fight against a nobody and, by all rights, losing to a gatekeeper in Rogan.

 

2. The action continued with Meehan vs. Ritani-Coe, who from now on I’ll just call Coe for brevity’s sake, in a battle of Kiwis at very different career stages.  Meehan landed almost at will early, apparently having left the rust of the first fight far behind him.  Despite the defensive lapses against a solid puncher, Coe showed impressive desire as Meehan began to look a little tired and sloppy from about the midway point of round 2.  By the third, Meehan was just looking to hold on, as Coe won that round going away with Meehan trying to hang on him.  29-28 was the clearly correct score, and all the judges got it right this time.  Meehan moves on to the final on shorter rest, and looking like the more tired fighter in the first place.

 

Final:
In a bit of a surprise, Sprott just got caught and dropped by Meehan, and continued getting caught until the fight was stopped after he rose in wobbly fashion from the first round’s second knockdown.

 

I doubt anyone has ever looked as bad in making the finals of a tournament like this.  A top 50 fighter was rightfully defeated twice in the tournament, and it was Sprott both times.  I’ll get to the rankings implications later.

 

Moving ahead to Friday, #12 Carlos Takam dominated the first 9 rounds against #9 Tony Thompson before apparently deciding to coast his way to three lackluster rounds to finish the fight, winning 117-111 on my card.  I don’t want to be too hard on Thompson, who follows me on Twitter and is a great guy, but even aside from probably not having the physical tools to compete with the strong and comparatively young Takam, he fought a terrible tactical fight.  He spent perhaps most of the fight with his back to the ropes and Takam more or less on his chest, which was not a fight he could remotely win considering his height, long arms, and slow hands.  Not only that, but he circled consistently to his left, especially early in the fight.  This not only lined him up nicely for Takam’s power shots, but also frequently rendered his own jab largely useless.  Robin Dolpierre and Daniel Van de Wiele had it the same as me at 117-111, while Barry Lindenman was maybe a little kind to Takam’s spoiling strategy late, but still had it fairly reasonably 119-109.

 

Finally, in Saturday action, 2-loss Liverpool prospect David Price (whose two losses were to Thompson, incidentally) turned in a workmanlike 10-round decision win over durable but ultimately low-level Ukrainian journeyman Yaroslav Zavorotnyi in Schwerin, Germany, in a fight that was anything but scintillating.  In fairness, Zavorotnyi had only been stopped twice in a long career- once to Valuev and once to Dimitrenko- and had gone an 8-round distance with no less than Kubrat Pulev.  So it’s not like Price let a bum hang around who was just looking to collect a check.  On the other hand, Price is supposed to be a much bigger puncher than any of the three guys mentioned above, and had built his pre-Thompson career on being an intimidating destroyer that knocked guys out viciously, generally in the first couple rounds.  This was only Price’s 3rd decision in 20 fights, and his first of over 6 rounds.  The bottom line is that regardless of Zavorotnyi’s bona fides, Price simply doesn’t look like the same monster that terrorized the likes of Audley Harrison less than a couple years ago.  He was very jab-heavy and cautious in the fight.  He does have a suspect chin and most likely won each of the first 7 rounds with those tactics, so perhaps it wasn’t the worst idea from a competitive perspective.  From an analytical perspective, however, it’s hard not to be down on a performance like that.  Frankly, Price looked like a guy trying to rebuild his technique from scratch.  In addition to the aforementioned caution and reliance on the jab, he was rather robotic and deliberate in letting his hands go, as if his offense was no longer flowing naturally.  I don’t know if it was fatigue, or if perhaps the Ukrainian just didn’t feel he had to worry as much about getting knocked out, and thus took more chances, but Zavorotnyi’s shots started finding a home behind Price’s gloves in the 8th round, and he had an argument to have won every round from that point on.  I gave him 8 and 9, personally, and scored it 98-92.  Gerhard Sigl agreed with my card.  Josef Temml had it 100-90, and thus probably didn’t watch the fight.  Joerg Milke turned in a 97-92 card, which is about right, but numerically puzzling nevertheless.  

 

Now to the rankings implications of all the above.  If Sprott had beaten Rogan legitimately before losing to Meehan, it might have given the Kiwi the fuel he needed to make a run at or near the top 20.  Since Sprott was slightly diminished by the Rogan fight instead of better for it, Meehan, Sprott, and Rogan all find themselves mired in the 30s.  Takam boosts himself to #7, halted only by Dereck Chisora, whose deserved win over #4-ranked Helenius is by far the best result between the two still, and who has only lost to the very top level (ie guys ranked #1-2 then or now).  Thompson drops less drastically than you might think, backtracking only the one place required by Takam’s promotion.  This is due largely to Adamek having no legitimate wins of consequence since 2012 to go with his loss to #18 Glazkov, while Thompson at least has the debatable win over #8 Solis to go with his wins over prospect Price and his loss to the more prestigious Takam.  This means that Adamek is forced from the top 10 after being an inaugural and continuous member of my top 10, and having been ranked by the Ring for 5 weeks before I started publishing.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (259-472-472)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: 9/6/2014- vs. #5 Kubrat Pulev
It’s looking all but certain that Wlad will fight Pulev on September 6.
1) Tyson Fury (17-17-17)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
Fury-Chisora has been made.  July 26, in Manchester.  The winner will become one of Wlad’s mandatories.
2) Alexander Povetkin (2-346-346)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- TKO7 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin made a case that he’s the most technically skilled heavyweight in the division with a beautifully-executed performance against an outclassed Charr.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (2-13-77)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Reports have a fight between Glazkov and Main Events stablemate Bryant Jennings being targeted for July on HBO.
4) Amir Mansour (10-10-10)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery L (UD10) vs. #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham had the more sympathetic story and a legitimately great comeback attempt, but Mansour had the better collection of rounds legitimately won.  Mansour was robbed even though the fight was close, and deserves Cunningham’s former position in the rankings for his effort.
5) Kubrat Pulev (17-110-187)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/6/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Klitschko’s notes, above.
6) Dereck Chisora (17-132-195)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Carlos Takam (1-1-21)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- UD12 #9 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam’s potential appears nearly boundless after he handled Tony Thompson more easily than anyone not named Wladimir Klitschko.
8) Bermane Stiverne (1-5-67)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne is hoping to fight Wilder sometime in November in either Montreal or Las Vegas.
9) Steve Cunningham (1-77-77)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery W (UD10) vs. Amir Mansour (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I hope you’ll all pray for his daughter to recover from her life-threatening health condition, and the guy had guts to come back from the 2 knockdowns.  But he didn’t win the fight.
10) Tony Thompson (1-12-211)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Not that there’s any shame in being beaten by Takam necessarily, but Thompson’s performance was poor enough that you have to start wondering how much he has left.
11) Tomasz Adamek (1-216)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
Adamek expects to return on October 18.  Not much detail yet, but Ray Austin is a potential opponent.
12) Odlanier Solis (1-211)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
The Solis haters are out in force, claiming a clear loss in a fight that Solis deserved to win.  You might not like his physique or his training habits or his style, but if he outfights the other guy, he still deserves to be respected as a winner at least as much as a disappointment.  A loss to Thompson is not that embarrassing, especially when you ought to have won it.
13) Deontay Wilder (5-59)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 #19 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Chris Arreola (5-40)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
Having spent the better part of the last 5 years losing or fighting nobodies, Arreola’s resume now depends entirely on the Mitchell win.
15) Erkan Teper (10-41)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/13/2014- vs. Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Teper may have upgraded his opponent slightly when Ouatah replaced a slightly less-impressive French prospect in Duhaupas on just about 5 days’ notice.
16) Alex Leapai (10-29)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Leapai is reportedly interested in fighting Shannon Briggs in the wake of his total non-performance against the Champ.
17) Andy Ruiz (10-29)
Last Fight: 5/17/2014- TKO2 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Even against a faded Quezada who showed little resistance, I must confess to being impressed by Ruiz’s skill and heavy hands, especially considering the sharp contrast between his physique and the results it yields.
18) Seth Mitchell (10-53)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- L (TKO1) vs. Chris Arreola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mitchell’s chin is so fragile that he might want to consider calling it a career.  Golden Boy’s CEO says he’s advised Mitchell to do just that, though he reports that Mitchell seems to have no such intention.
19) Johnathon Banks (10-14)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Banks had an offer to fight in the Auckland Super 8 Tournament on June 6, but either turned it down or failed to respond.  He’ll need to schedule something else in the next few weeks to avoid removal for inactivity.
20) Francesco Pianeta (10-13)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- KO1 Mickael Vieira (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pianeta says he wants to give Vieira a rematch due to the flukey broken arm that KO’d the Frenchman.  The fight was a waste of time the first time, honestly, so I’m not sure we need a second helping, regardless of the reason.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Monday
Arnold Gjergjaj vs. Tibor Balogh; Kaltacker, Switzerland; TV Unknown
Gjergjaj is an undefeated prospect from Kosovo originally, who now lives in Switzerland.  He’s 24-0, but still about as unproven as a top 50 fighter could possibly be.  Even so, Balogh is far from his best opponent to date, being a low-level journeyman from Hungary.

 

Ian Lewison vs. Kreso Bogdanovic; Glasgow, Scotland; Off TV
I consider Lewison a borderline top 50 fighter on the basis of a loss against Derric Rossy in Prizefighter that I thought should have been a win.  Bogdanovic is a terrible Croatian who has only once beaten a fighter with even a single win, that being the 4-8 Werner Kreiskott.

 

Friday
#15 Erkan Teper vs. Newfel Ouatah; Munich, Germany; TV Unknown
Teper is finally back in the ring after his vicious demolition of Martin Rogan’s jaw in November.  It’s kinda shocking that Rogan, whose career appeared to be over at that time, beat Teper back to action by 9 days.  Germany’s Teper has a reasonably decent opponent on his hands, or at least that appears to be a strong possibility.  Ouatah is an unbeaten Frenchman who boasts the exact same 12-0 record as Teper.  That being said, Teper is ranked due to his having been in with- and beaten- the much better competition.  Ouatah’s best wins are a couple domestic-level French journeymen in Gregory Tony and Mickael Vieira.  Those guys were nothing to write home about, but there’s a substantial drop-off from them to the next-best guy on Ouatah’s record.  Nevertheless, he disposed of both of them by stoppage, and you can never write off a guy who’s never lost, or really come close to losing as far as I can tell.  Teper needed a grand total of just over 4 minutes to stop Rogan and Michael Sprott, another fringe contender, in his last two fights.