Archive for Kevin Johnson

Heavyweight: 2014, Apr 14-20

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 17, 2014 by danboxing
Another relatively busy week led off on Friday with what turned out to be similar to a generic form of Ambien.  And no, nobody got put to sleep in the ring.  It was simply a sleep-inducing performance by both Konstantin Airich and Christian Hammer.  Hammer appears to have decent physical tools, and certainly has a marketable name, but he was less than scintillating in his decision victory (the scores weren’t announced, nor are they available on Boxrec) over Airich.  Shopworn veteran journeyman Airich- the shorter man- clearly won the second round, and backed up and probably hurt Hammer in the last round, but overall he was passive and seemed resigned to a decision loss.  Hammer probably wasn’t in top shape, as his output was fairly low, even while he was dominating.  He also didn’t sit down on what looked like they could have been devastating punches, if thrown with better technique and conviction.  Nevertheless, Hammer moves along, while Airich fades further into obscurity.

 

The following night in Bonn, Germany, Lebanese-German prospect Manuel Charr got the best win of his career by walking down and outpointing gatekeeper Kevin Johnson over 10 rounds.  Johnson boxed effectively at times- particularly in the first few rounds of the fight, but in the long run he was unable to hold off the constant pressure of Charr, who had him on the ropes frequently.  I had it 98-92 Charr, and 2 of the 3 judges agreed, with the third having it a round closer, which is reasonable.

 

Meanwhile, in Esbjerg, Denmark, 2-loss prospect David Price got yet another scare- losing the first two rounds and getting dropped in the first against Czech journeyman Ondrej Pala.  He didn’t appear to enjoy the idea of a third loss, though, and quickly dispatched Pala with 2 single right hands, scoring two knockdowns in quick succession and ending the fight.  

 

Eddie Chambers also snuck in some late-breaking action in London, stopping the comically bad (5-39-4) Moses Matovu in 70 seconds in the most obvious stay-busy fight since perhaps Chambers’ last fight against 9-45-6 Tomas Mrazek.  Don’t strain yourself, Eddie.

 

Are you randomly wondering how premature Manuel Charr’s ill-fated September 2012 shot at Vitali Klitschko really was?  Well, you’re in luck, because I’m gonna tell you.  Very premature.  Charr hadn’t beaten anyone even arguably within the top 50 at that point.  He did so (emphasis on the arguably) in his next fight, for the first time, against Konstantin Airich, and only now- 18 months later- does he beat his first clearly top-50 fighter.  Again, to highlight just how premature the opportunity really was: even now that he’s at a much higher level of achievement than he was back then, Charr still barely cracks the top 30 with the Johnson win.  Perhaps more importantly, though, he’s reinvigorated his career, and is back on track as a serious prospect.  No changes this week.

 

 
Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (251-464-464)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. #16 Alex Leapai
Klitschko-Leapai appears to be finalized for April 26 in Germany.  He said recently that he wants to capture his brother’s old alphabet title, which would unify all the major titles for the first time since Lewis in 1999.  He would have to wait for someone else to pick it up first, as the silly alphabets don’t let current titlists fight for vacant titles.
1) Tyson Fury (9-9-9)
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) Vyacheslav Glazkov (5-5-69)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
3) Alexander Povetkin (5-338-338)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin declined an opportunity to fight undefeated Cuban prospect Luis Ortiz for a “regular” title that would have set him up for an eventual rematch for the real title.
4) Amir Mansour (2-2-2)
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 (9-102-179)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev dominated Perkovic, a low-level journeyman who took the fight on roughly a day or two’s notice.  He’s now back in the position to wait for a Klitschko shot.
6) Dereck Chisora (9-124-187)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Steve Cunningham (2-69-69)
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.
8) Tony Thompson (2-4-203)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- W* (SD12) vs. #8 Odlanier Solis
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson has been on a pretty decent run in the past couple years, and he might be at his highest point since his first fight with Wlad after getting a questionable win in a very close fight with Solis.  He has called out Tyson Fury, though the timing for that is a bit odd.
9) Tomasz Adamek (2-208-208)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
I’d have to think Adamek would at least consider retirement after being brutalized for 12 rounds by a guy that had looked like he might top out around the top 15.  He’s recently announced his candidacy for the European parliament elections in May, so that may be a sign that he’s leaning that direction.
10) Odlanier Solis (2-56-203)
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.
11) Carlos Takam (2-13)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam has been called in to spar with Tyson Fury.  Good call.  He’s about as close to Chisora as you can get.
12) Bermane Stiverne (2-59)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #13 Chris Arreola
ESPN has landed the fight- their biggest score in a while on that front.  May 10 in Los Angeles.
13) Chris Arreola (2-32)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Deontay Wilder (2-51)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 #19 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
With the win over Scott, Wilder appears poised to fight the Stiverne-Arreola winner for an alphabet title and probably near-universal recognition as the best American heavyweight.
15) Erkan Teper (2-33)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Alex Leapai (2-21)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Leapai-Klitschko is done for April 26 in Germany.
17) Andy Ruiz (2-21)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Ruiz was scheduled to fight on the Marquez-Alvarado undercard on May 10, but has been bumped back a week to a fight in Fresno against Manuel Quezada.
18) Seth Mitchell (2-45)
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 (2-6)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Francesco Pianeta (2-5)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO2 Robert Teuber (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Wednesday
Charles Martin vs. Alexander Flores; Santa Monica, California; Off TV
Martin and Flores are both undefeated prospect, and both are close to top 50 level, give or take.  Martin comes from St. Louis and is now based near L.A.  Flores is a California native and most likely the local favorite.  He also has the cleaner record of the two, having won all but two of his fights by knockout, including each of his last 10.  Martin has flashed similar power, earning a stoppage in 13 of his 15 wins, but he did have to settle for a draw with a bad fighter in a 4-rounder last year.  The best mark (based on Boxrec rankings) on each man’s resume were similarly-ranked mid-level journeymen.  Martin won a 6 round decision at that level, while Flores scored an 8-round TKO.  Any way you slice it, it’s a pick ’em fight, though if you split enough hairs, I think you have to make Flores the slight favorite despite his slightly lower ranking.  Regardless of who wins, that guy will become a top prospect instantly.  The fight and the deep and excellent card it’s part of, is not televised.  Hopefully it ends up on YouTube at some point.

 

Friday
Maurice Harris vs. Andrey Fedosov; Hammond, Indiana; Off TV
Another potentially significant off-TV heavyweight fight.  Harris is a 38 year-old American gatekeeper who has lost 3 of his last 4 and 4 of his last 6 against mostly solid competition.  Fedosov is a Hollywood-based 3-loss journeyman from Russia who is looking to jump-start his career after a stoppage loss to Bryant Jennings last year stalled his bid to get into the top 50, himself.

Heavyweight: 2014, Apr 7-13

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 2, 2014 by danboxing
‘Twas a busy week among the big men this week.  Thursday featured two notable contests on FS1 from Indio, California.  In the main event, undefeated Cuban prospect Luis Ortiz got an impressive win over 42 year-old veteran journeyman Monte Barrett.  Barrett couldn’t really get his punches off, and certainly wasn’t able to earn the respect of  Ortiz, who wasn’t a paragon of activity himself, but was generally able to walk right through Barrett.  Barrett took a knee after walking right into a hard left from the Cuban southpaw, and the fight was instantly stopped by Raul Caiz, Sr.  Why he did so is beyond me.  It was the first knockdown of the fight.  Though he’d lost every round clearly, it’s not like Barrett had taken a brutal sustained beating at any point.  Barrett took a knee of his own volition, and so it’s not like a 10-count would have endangered Barrett’s health any further.  Bottom line: there’s a really good chance that Barrett could have and would have continued, but the referee didn’t seem to care about that.  On the other hand, the chances that Barrett seriously posed a threat to win the fight from that point were low indeed, so it’s perhaps a little on the moot side.

 

In what turned out to be a farce on the undercard, undefeated prospect Gerald Washington “KO”d less advanced one-loss fringe prospect Skipp Scott.  Here’s how it went down.  The first round was close and sloppy.  I gave it narrowly to Washington.  In the second, Washington landed a hard shot to Scott’s head that caused Scott to fall to a knee in the ensuing clinch.  While his opponent was still on a knee, Washington took a step back and landed a hard right hook to the body that sent Scott reeling back to the ropes and onto his back.  Scott rose to his feet by the count of 8, but when referee Lou Moret asked if he was okay, he fell back down in apparent agony, whereupon the fight was waved off.  But there should never have been a count in the first place.  Scott was legitimately knocked down from a punch, but less than a second later, he was hit by an equally hard illegal punch that at least arguably caused him to be unable to continue.  I’m not necessarily blaming Washington.  Scott is a 6’8” behemoth, and when he’s on his knee, it might be hard to tell since he’s probably still close to 6 feet tall.  But at the very least, Moret needed to call time and give Scott up to 5 minutes to recover from the illegal blow.  If he couldn’t do so, it should have been a no contest.  You just can’t knock a guy out when he’s already down.  Lou Moret may have been a good ref in his time, but he’s slow-footed and never in good position, and his judgment at this stage in his career is frequently way off.  He should retire from at least this aspect of the sport.  On the bright side, Scott was proven at only a fairly low level, and so whether I treat it as a knockout or a no contest, the affect on the rankings is nil.

 

The following night in an NBC Sports main event from Philadelphia, we saw a heck of a tilt between #4 Steve Cunningham and hard-hitting but aged undefeated prospect/fringe contender Amir Mansour.  Cunningham had trouble with the bigger Mansour’s power and physicality early, as he clearly lost the first two rounds before maybe taking the next two narrowly.  But it was the 5th in which things really unraveled, as Cunningham tasted the canvas twice and was nearly stopped.  Mansour kept the momentum going enough to win a competitive 6th, as well, and by that point was up 58-54 at a minimum on any competent card.  Cunningham narrowly edged the 7th on my card to pull within 3 before Mansour won a competitive 8th, but did so fairly clearly.  77-73 Mansour.  Cunningham closed strong, easily winning the 9th to pull within 3 points, and dropping Mansour with a well-timed shot in the 10th.  That earned him a narrow loss on my card at 94-93.  The official scores were 97-90 (Alan Rubenstein) and 95-92 (John Poturaj and David Braslow), all for Cunningham.  That’s a joke.  My card was already as generous as it reasonably could be in Cunningham’s favor, as the three closest rounds of the fight (3, 4, and 7) were already rounds I gave to him.  97-90 is a borderline reasonable score, but only if it’s in favor of Mansour.  BJ Flores in broadcasting the fight stated as a matter of fact that Cunningham had come back to clearly win the fight.  That’s obviously a biased view, as he is a friend of Cunningham and- perhaps along with the judges and even Mansour himself in his post-fight comments- was influenced by the heart-wrenching medical problems of Cunningham’s young daughter.

 

Main Events always seems to get favorable cards for its favored house fighter, whether it be Adamek, Glazkov, Karl Dargan, Curtis Stevens, or now Cunningham, for a change.  They’ve all won fights on NBC Sports air that they did not deserve to win, while none of the b-side opponents on their cards have, to the best of my memory, ever received such treatment.  I love Steve Cunningham, and have called out a robbery or two that he’s suffered in the past, but in this case he clearly got the benefit of one, and no matter how much he deserves good things due to his being a good guy in a bad situation in his personal life, I can’t just pretend the other guy didn’t deserve to win.  Amir Mansour is 41 years old, and is not going to get too many more bites at the apple.  He deserved to win this fight, and he deserved to be the guy that moved on to bigger and better things.  Thanks to some bad judging (which hurts me to say, since John Poturaj is normally great), he may never get a shot at anything meaningful.  It doesn’t help when the media fix is in, as well.  I’m just one voice and will never make a big difference, but that won’t stop me from calling it like I see it.

 

In a tune-up fight on the Braehmer-Maccarinelli undercard in Rostock, Germany on Saturday, #5 Kubrat Pulev got a walk in the park against chubby Croatian travelling opponent Ivica Perkovic.  Perkovic has never beaten anyone with a winning record, and has only a few wins against guys with as many as 3 pro wins.  He’s best known for dropping a faded Alexander Dimitrenko in what has so far been Dimitrenko’s last fight.  In this contest, which he took on just a few days’ notice, he was little more than a human heavy bag.  Pulev was able to walk him back to the ropes at will, and then proceeded to pick him apart until Perkovic decided it wasn’t worth it anymore and quit on his stool after round 3.  I’m not sure he landed so much as a glancing blow the entire fight.

 

Due to his should-be win over a top-5 contender, Mansour crashes my top ten (if nobody else’s) at #4.  Cunningham’s should-be loss drops him to #7.  Everyone ranked #7 and below last week backtracks a spot to make room for Mansour, which forces Carlos Takam out of the top 10 after a 2-week stint, and Eddie Chambers from the top 20 after just a single week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (250-463-463)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. #15 Alex Leapai
Klitschko-Leapai appears to be finalized for April 26 in Germany.  He said recently that he wants to capture his brother’s old alphabet title, which would unify all the major titles for the first time since Lewis in 1999.  He would have to wait for someone else to pick it up first, as the silly alphabets don’t let current titlists fight for vacant titles.
1) Tyson Fury (8-8-8)
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) Vyacheslav Glazkov (4-4-68)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
3) Alexander Povetkin (4-337-337)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 6/1/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
The WBA has ordered Povetkin vs. Cuban prospect Luis Ortiz for their “regular” belt.  Naturally, Wlad is the “Super Champion.”  Povetkin had already held the “regular” belt since beating Chagaev, but apparently it became vacant when the Superchief…er…Super Champion…beat him.  Does that make Wlad the Super-Duper Champion?  If so, what fight are they going to stage for the “regular” Super Championship?  I should stop making fun, before I give them any more ideas.
4) Amir Mansour (1-1-1)
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 (8-101-178)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev dominated Perkovic, a low-level journeyman who took the fight on roughly a day or two’s notice.  He’s now back in the position to wait for a Klitschko shot.
6) Dereck Chisora (8-123-186)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Steve Cunningham (1-68-68)
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.
8) Tony Thompson (1-3-202)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- W* (SD12) vs. #8 Odlanier Solis
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson has been on a pretty decent run in the past couple years, and he might be at his highest point since his first fight with Wlad after getting a questionable win in a very close fight with Solis.  He has called out Tyson Fury, though the timing for that is a bit odd.
9) Tomasz Adamek (1-207-207)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
I’d have to think Adamek would at least consider retirement after being brutalized for 12 rounds by a guy that had looked like he might top out around the top 15.  He’s recently announced his candidacy for the European parliament elections in May, so that may be a sign that he’s leaning that direction.
10) Odlanier Solis (1-55-202)
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.
11) Carlos Takam (1-12)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam has been called in to spar with Tyson Fury.  Good call.  He’s about as close to Chisora as you can get.
12) Bermane Stiverne (1-58)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #11 Chris Arreola
ESPN has landed the fight- their biggest score in a while on that front.  May 10 in Los Angeles.
13) Chris Arreola (1-31)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #10 Bermane Stiverne
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Deontay Wilder (1-50)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 #19 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
With the win over Scott, Wilder appears poised to fight the Stiverne-Arreola winner for an alphabet title and probably near-universal recognition as the best American heavyweight.
15) Erkan Teper (1-32)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Alex Leapai (1-20)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Leapai-Klitschko is done for April 26 in Germany.
17) Andy Ruiz (1-20)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Ruiz is penciled in for the Marquez-Alvarado undercard on May 10 in LA.
18) Seth Mitchell (1-44)
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 (1-5)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Francesco Pianeta (1-4)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO2 Robert Teuber (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Friday
Christian Hammer vs. Konstantin Airich; Berlin, Germany; Eurosport
Hammer is a 3-loss gatekeeper who should really have 4 losses, having gotten a gift against Kevin Johnson in his last fight.  Airich is a former gatekeeper himself, but is coming off consecutive losses to Solis, Glazkov, and Manuel Charr, steroid controversy, and well over a year of inactivity.

 

Saturday
Kevin Johnson vs. Manuel Charr; Bonn, Germany; Off TV
This is a heck of a match-up, really, and a pick-’em fight.  Charr is a perennial prospect who has flopped at the Klitschko level and pretty much just beat up on journeymen otherwise.  This will be his first truly fair test.  Johnson is up and down.  He owns a dominant win over soon-to-be Championship challenger Alex Leapai and should have beaten Hammer as mentioned above, but has failed at the top 5 level (Klitschko, Fury, and Chisora) and also at the gatekeeper level or below (Tor Hamer, plus an undeserved win over Sosnowski, both on Prizefighter).  Johnson would probably be my pick, because he’s won at at least the level Charr has proven himself to belong on.  That would mean that if he turns in a good performance for him, he would require Charr to be better than he’s ever been before to win.  If Charr turns in as good a performance as he’s ever turned in, Johnson may still be too much for him as far as we know.  The venue will likely be an advantage for Charr, however.

 

David Price vs. Ondrej Pala; Esbjerg, Denmark; BoxNation (UK)
Czech journeyman Pala might qualify as a stay-busy fight for top guys like Chisora, but he’s only lost twice since 2006, and was considered a top 50 fighter as recently as last year.  Price has got to be a heavy favorite since he’s clearly at a higher level than Pala’s loss other than Chisora- to a streaking and likely roided-up Konstantin Airich- but it’s no gimme.  If Price isn’t prepared for a real fight, he may be in for a difficult night.  The English prospect is coming off back-to-back stoppage losses to Tony Thompson and an easy tune-up.

Heavyweight: 2014, Feb 17-23

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on May 27, 2014 by danboxing
Tyson Fury came out of his rather frivolous retirement to pummel American journeyman Joey Abell in London on Saturday.  Abell was dropped twice in the 3rd and twice in the 4th, but did manage to pretty clearly win round 2.  If comparisons of this kind are worth anything, Fury’s work against Abell was very similar to Kubrat Pulev’s from a few months ago, except that Pulev was knocked down by Abell in his outing.

 

On the same card, #5 Dereck Chisora easily handled a slightly passive Kevin Johnson, who too often seemed content to hang around and go the distance.  For his part, Chisora applied steady pressure.  His attack was pretty basic, largely based on a jab to the body followed by a chopping overhand right, but it was plenty effective in the fight.

 

Fury reprises the ranking he threw away 3 months ago, returning at #1.  Chisora and Pulev are locked in a virtual deadlock for the #5 spot.  Chisora has the better single win- over Helenius- but he also has 3 legitimate losses to go with the aforementioned bogus one.  All of those came against guys that either are now or were then ranked either #1 or #2, but that’s still enough to make a decisive difference in a very close contest.  With Fury’s return, everyone ranked below the Champ falls one position.  This includes Tony Thompson, who leaves the top 10 after 13 consecutive weeks, and Johnathon Banks, who exits the top 20 after 65.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (243-456-456)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. #14 Alex Leapai
Klitschko-Leapai appears to be finalized for April 26 in Germany.  He said recently that he wants to capture his brother’s old alphabet title, which would unify all the major titles for the first time since Lewis in 1999.  He would have to wait for someone else to pick it up first, as the silly alphabets don’t let current titlists fight for vacant titles.
1) Tyson Fury (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury appears to be on a collision course with Chisora for the summer.  He also continues to call out Wladimir Klitschko.
2) Alexander Povetkin (1-330-330)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
There are rumors of a May fight in Moscow with Dereck Chisora, though there’s also a good chance that Chisora will fight Tyson Fury around that time.
3) Steve Cunningham (1-61-61)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD8 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham had little trouble dominating a fading former gatekeeper in Quezada.
4) Tomasz Adamek (1-200-200)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #19 Vyacheslav Glazkov
The rescheduled fight with Glazkov is now official for March 15.
5) Kubrat Pulev (1-94-171)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO5 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Pulev is back on the Braehmer card on April 5 in Rostock, Germany, but no opponent just yet.
6) Dereck Chisora (1-116-179)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Fury and Povetkin’s notes, above.
7) Odlanier Solis (1-48-195)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #11 Tony Thompson
Solis was first set to fight Kevin Johnson.  But he backed out because the IBF wanted him to fight Takam.  But now word from Tony Thompson is that Solis will fight Thompson, instead, on March 22.
8) Carlos Takam (1-5-5)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam clearly beat #11 Perez, and is ranked accordingly.
9) Bermane Stiverne (1-35-51)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #10 Chris Arreola
Purse bids were cancelled as Stiverne and Arreola reached an agreement for their upcoming alphabet title fight, with April being targeted.
10) Chris Arreola (1-24-24)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #9 Bermane Stiverne
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
11) Tony Thompson (1-195)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #7 Odlanier Solis
Thompson says he’s fighting Odlanier Solis on March 22.
12) Erkan Teper (1-25)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper might have scored the heavyweight knockout of the year, and probably retired Martin Rogan in the process.
13) Deontay Wilder (1-43)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO4 Nicolai Firtha (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #20 Malik Scott
Wilder will fight his close friend, Malik Scott, on March 15.
14) Alex Leapai (1-13)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
It looks like Leapai-Klitschko is done for April 26 in Germany.
15) Robert Helenius (1-195)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
We finally have a bit of clarification on the Helenius-Sauerland situation.  Helenius says that when he signed a promotional contract with Sauerland in 2007, he had no representation and couldn’t even read it in German.  He is currently trying to get a Finnish court to allow him to fight in Finland, as he says Sauerland is blocking him from fighting now despite the fact that his health will now allow it.
16) Andy Ruiz (1-13)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ruiz passed up a proposed date in February, saying he wants to focus on weight loss so that his performances become more of a story than his physique.  He wants to be around or below 240.
17) Seth Mitchell (1-37)
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.
18) Alexander Dimitrenko (1-162)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko is rumored at least to be fighting Sam Sexton in the first round of the WBC World Cup, but that tournament appears to be in limbo for the time being, at least.
19) Vyacheslav Glazkov (1-61)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #4 Tomasz Adamek
Glazkov-Adamek is back on, for March 15, after the first attempt was cancelled due to an Adamek illness.
20) Malik Scott (1-52)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- L (KO6*) vs. #8 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #13 Deontay Wilder
See Wilder’s notes, above.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Friday
Ray Austin vs. Unknown Opponent; Cleveland, Ohio; Off TV
Former fringe contender Ray Austin, now 43 years old, whose last fight was his competitive stoppage loss to Bermane Stiverne in June 2011, returns to the ring against an opponent to be announced (pronounced “stiff”).  Despite the inactivity, an active Ray Austin probably still qualifies as a legitimate gatekeeper.

Heavyweight: 2014, Feb 10-16

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on May 22, 2014 by danboxing
No 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: Wladimir Klitschko (242-455-455)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. #13 Alex Leapai
Klitschko-Leapai appears to be finalized for April 26 in Germany.  He said recently that he wants to capture his brother’s old alphabet title, which would unify all the major titles for the first time since Lewis in 1999.  He would have to wait for someone else to pick it up first, as the silly alphabets don’t let current titlists fight for vacant titles.
1) Alexander Povetkin (12-329-329)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
American journeyman Travis Kauffman has reportedly been offered a May fight with Povetkin.  If he wins, Povetkin will likely be in line for an eventual eliminator to fight Wlad again.
2) Steve Cunningham (12-60-60)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD8 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham had little trouble dominating a fading former gatekeeper in Quezada.
3) Tomasz Adamek (12-199-199)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
The rescheduled fight with Glazkov is now official for March 15.
4) Kubrat Pulev (12-93-170)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO5 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Pulev is back on the Braehmer card on April 5 in Rostock, Germany, but no opponent just yet.
5) Dereck Chisora (12-115-178)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO3 Ondrej Pala (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/15/2014- vs. Kevin Johnson (UNR)
After prospect Andriy Rudenko withdrew from their scheduled February 15 fight, Chisora replaced him with a better opponent in credible gatekeeper Kevin Johnson.
6) Odlanier Solis (12-47-194)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #10 Tony Thompson
Solis was first set to fight Kevin Johnson.  But he backed out because the IBF wanted him to fight Takam.  But now word from Tony Thompson is that Solis will fight Thompson, instead, on March 22.
7) Carlos Takam (4-4-4)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam clearly beat #11 Perez, and is ranked accordingly.
8) Bermane Stiverne (4-34-50)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #9 Chris Arreola
Purse bids were cancelled as Stiverne and Arreola reached an agreement for their upcoming alphabet title fight, with April being targeted.
9) Chris Arreola (4-23-23)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #8 Bermane Stiverne
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
10) Tony Thompson (4-13-194)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #6 Odlanier Solis
Thompson says he’s fighting Odlanier Solis on March 22.
11) Erkan Teper (4-24)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper might have scored the heavyweight knockout of the year, and probably retired Martin Rogan in the process.
12) Deontay Wilder (12-42)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO4 Nicolai Firtha (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #19 Malik Scott
Wilder will fight his close friend, Malik Scott, on March 15.
13) Alex Leapai (12-12)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
It looks like Leapai-Klitschko is done for April 26 in Germany.
14) Robert Helenius (13-194)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
We finally have a bit of clarification on the Helenius-Sauerland situation.  Helenius says that when he signed a promotional contract with Sauerland in 2007, he had no representation and couldn’t even read it in German.  He is currently trying to get a Finnish court to allow him to fight in Finland, as he says Sauerland is blocking him from fighting now despite the fact that his health will now allow it.
15) Andy Ruiz (12-12)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ruiz passed up a proposed date in February, saying he wants to focus on weight loss so that his performances become more of a story than his physique.  He wants to be around or below 240.
16) Seth Mitchell (13-36)
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.
17) Alexander Dimitrenko (12-161)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko is rumored at least to be fighting Sam Sexton in the first round of the WBC World Cup, but that tournament appears to be in limbo for the time being, at least.
18) Vyacheslav Glazkov (12-60)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Glazkov-Adamek is back on, for March 15, after the first attempt was cancelled due to an Adamek illness.
19) Malik Scott (12-51)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- L (KO6*) vs. #8 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #12 Deontay Wilder
See Wilder’s notes, above.
20) Johnathon Banks (12-65)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Banks is penciled-in for the second round of the WBC World Cup, against the winner of Sam Sexton and Alexander Dimitrenko, but as noted above, that whole tournament is delayed and in doubt.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Saturday
Tyson Fury vs. Joey Abell; London, England; BoxNation (UK)
Fury is several levels above journeyman Abell, but does have a questionable chin that has allowed him to be hurt by similar clubfighter-types in the past, and Abell did manage to drop Kubrat Pulev in his last fight.

 

#5 Dereck Chisora vs. Kevin Johnson; London, England; BoxNation (UK)
This is a reasonably decent stay-busy outing for Chisora, but not much more.  Johnson is a decent gatekeeper who conclusively beat current title challenger Alex Leapai, and deserved the nod against Christian Hammer in his last fight.

Heavyweight: 2013, Dec 23-29

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 15, 2014 by danboxing
Last week I referred to a possible hometown advantage being the largest potential edge for Christian Hammer on Friday against closely-matched fellow top-50 gatekeeper Kevin Johnson.  Hammer is Romanian, but makes his home in Hamburg, where the fight went down, while Johnson is American.  That turned out to be very true, unfortunately.  The fight was razor-thin, with a lot of close rounds, and an even split in the few clear ones.  I had Johnson winning 96-94.  With anything between 98-92 either way being fairly reasonable.  Johnson threw and landed more, while boxing on the outside and employing a defensive posture.  Hammer came forward frequently, and landed the harder punches when he landed something, but was much more sparing in his output.  You would think the scores would have tended to be varied but generally close, if the judges were being fair.  Instead, judges Mihai Leu (a Romanian-born Hamburger who seems like an objectively bad choice to work this particular fight) and Joerg Ilinseer had it 98-92, which means they gave every debatable round to Hammer.  Timo Habighorst, while still rather slanted, at least managed to see a couple of them even to arrive at 98-94.  

 

One-loss prospect Carlos Takam got some work in that same night in Martinique, knocking out low-level journeyman Jakov Gospic in 3.

 

Since I disagree with the still more-or-less reasonable result of Hammer-Johnson, I can only treat it as essentially a draw, but with the barest of edges to Hammer in deference to the official result, which fell short of an obvious robbery.  It’s not going to be visible.  Hammer moves from a mid-30s ranking unofficially to a high-30s one, while Johnson goes from mid-40s to high 30s.  No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (235-448-448)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Klitschko is in talks to fight his mandatory, Alex Leapai.  He said recently that he wants to capture his brother’s old alphabet title, which would unify all the major titles for the first time since Lewis in 1999.  He would have to wait for someone else to pick it up first, as the silly alphabets don’t let current titlists fight for vacant titles.
1) Alexander Povetkin (5-322-322)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin is calling for a rematch.  He would probably need to become the WBA mandatory by winning an eliminator (possibly against Luis Ortiz) in order to get that shot.  His promotional ties expire at the end of the year, and he says he’ll announce his next move in early 2014.
2) Steve Cunningham (5-53-53)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD8 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham had little trouble dominating a fading former gatekeeper in Quezada.
3) Tomasz Adamek (5-192-192)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kathy Duva, who promotes both fighters, says she will reschedule the cancelled Adamek-Glazkov fight.  Adamek shot down rumors that he wants to fight Bryant Jennings in January, saying he’s fighting Glazkov in March.
4) Kubrat Pulev (5-86-163)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO5 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev was dropped (lightly) for the first time in his career, and seems to have taken Abell lightly in general.  Nevertheless, he finished it off with an impressive stoppage.
5) Dereck Chisora (5-108-171)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO3 Ondrej Pala (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/15/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chisora returns on February 15, with an opponent as yet unannounced.  There is a lot of speculation in Britain that he might be in line to fight Tyson Fury in a rematch for the vacated WBC title.  How that would come to pass, when neither guy is at the top of the rankings in that organization, is beyond me.  That being said, boxing politics seldom fails to surprise, and Chisora and Fury are more deserving at this point than Stiverne and Arreola, anyhow.
6) Odlanier Solis (5-40-187)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #9 Tony Thompson
Solis was first set to fight Kevin Johnson.  But he backed out because the IBF wanted him to fight Takam.  But now word from Tony Thompson is that Solis will fight Thompson, instead, on March 22.
7) Bermane Stiverne (5-27-43)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite speculation in the UK of a possible match-up between Fury and Chisora for the WBC title, that organization has officially ordered Stiverne-Arreola, with purse bids due on January 17.  Stiverne’s legal situation with Don King seems to be the only possible stumbling block at this point.
8) Chris Arreola (5-16-16)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
9) Tony Thompson (5-6-187)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #6 Odlanier Solis
Thompson says he’s fighting Odlanier Solis on March 22.
10) Erkan Teper (5-5-17)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper might have scored the heavyweight knockout of the year, and probably retired Martin Rogan in the process.
11) Mike Perez (5-8)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- UD10 Magomed Abdusalamov (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/18/2014- vs. Carlos Takam (UNR)
With Solis-Takam falling through, Takam will now be offered up to Perez, instead, on the Pascal-Bute undercard on January 18 in Montreal.
12) Deontay Wilder (5-35)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO4 Nicolai Firtha (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wilder had hoped to supersede either Stiverne or Arreola for a shot at the WBC belt, but with that fight now officially ordered, he can only hope that Stiverne can’t work the fight out due to legal problems, or that he can fight the winner.
13) Alex Leapai (5-5)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov
Next Fight: Unknown
Leapai and Wlad are beginning negotiations for a mandatory fight.
14) Robert Helenius (6-187)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
According to Per Ake Persson at Boxingscene, Helenius will be working with a Finnish team going forward, with German promotional powerhouse Sauerland still involved in a diminished role.  He will talk about his future at a press conference later this week.
15) Andy Ruiz (5-5)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ruiz has called out Tyson Fury, whose team says he’s out until at least March.
16) Seth Mitchell (6-29)
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.
17) Alexander Dimitrenko (5-154)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko is rumored at least to be fighting Sam Sexton in the first round of the WBC World Cup, but that tournament appears to be in limbo for the time being, at least.
18) Vyacheslav Glazkov (5-53)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Adamek’s notes, above.
19) Malik Scott (5-44)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- L (KO6*) vs. #8 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott is getting serious buzz for a fight with Wilder.
20) Johnathon Banks (5-58)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Banks apparently dinged his hands up pretty good in the Mitchell fight- an alternate explanation for those who, like me, thought his inexplicable failure to follow up on his early success was a bit suspicious.  He’s been doing physical therapy, and is about ready to get back in the ring.  He’d like a rematch with Mitchell, but unfortunately a trilogy probably isn’t of much benefit to the fragile young contender at this point.  He’s penciled-in for the second round of the WBC World Cup, against the winner of Sam Sexton and Alexander Dimitrenko, but as noted above, that whole tournament is delayed and in doubt.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Merry Christmas!

Heavyweight: 2013, Dec 16-22

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 5, 2014 by danboxing
Friday in Flemington, Australia, aging Australian prospect Lucas Browne destroyed low-level journeyman Clarence Tillman in the second round of  a fairly inexplicable and pointless stay-busy outing.  

 

The following night, another aging prospect- Amir Mansour- dominated a fun fight with tall, skinny one-loss prospect Kelvin Price.  Mansour won every round, and dropped Price one each in rounds five and seven before the doctor stopped the fight in the eighth.  

 

Rugged American journeyman Brian Minto sprung a minor upset on Kiwi gatekeeper Shane Cameron in the latter’s hometown of Auckland earlier that night, returning to the form he found in his recent impressive Prizefighter outing and punishing Cameron for seven rounds before the corner called a stop to it.  Minto was subtly dirty, using his elbow and head liberally, but never to the extent that he was at risk of a DQ, despite losing two points.  Partially due to this, and partially due to the work he did with his hands, Cameron was a bit of a tattered man when he was stopped.

 

Meanwhile, in Neubrandenburg, Germany, #4 Kubrat Pulev was dropped for the 1st time in his career (not hard) by American brawler Joey Abell, but managed to throw in 4 knockdowns of his own, including three in the action-packed round in which he fell himself.  Pulev didn’t really seem prepared for a tough challenge, having lost the first two rounds on my card.  He nevertheless had secured an advantage by the time he stopped his man at the start of the 5th, and was particularly impressive to the body.  He hurt Abell to the body almost every time he went there.

 

On the non-televised Mansour-Price undercard (don’t ask me why), #2 Steve Cunningham won a dominant 8-round decision over inactive former gatekeeper Manuel Quezada.

 

Minto’s win is the most significant win of the week, but it doesn’t really come close to affecting 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 (234-447-447)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Klitschko is in talks to fight his mandatory, Alex Leapai.
1) Alexander Povetkin (4-321-321)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin is calling for a rematch.  He would probably need to become the WBA mandatory by winning an eliminator (possibly against Luis Ortiz) in order to get that shot.  His promotional ties expire at the end of the year, and he says he’ll announce his next move in early 2014.
2) Steve Cunningham (4-52-52)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD8 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham had little trouble dominating a fading former gatekeeper in Quezada.
3) Tomasz Adamek (4-191-191)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kathy Duva, who promotes both fighters, says she will reschedule the cancelled Adamek-Glazkov fight.  Adamek shot down rumors that he wants to fight Bryant Jennings in January, saying he’s fighting Glazkov in March.
4) Kubrat Pulev (4-85-162)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO5 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev was dropped (lightly) for the first time in his career, and seems to have taken Abell lightly in general.  Nevertheless, he finished it off with an impressive stoppage.
5) Dereck Chisora (4-107-170)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO3 Ondrej Pala (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/15/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chisora returns on February 15, with an opponent as yet unannounced.
6) Odlanier Solis (4-39-186)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #9 Tony Thompson
Solis was first set to fight Kevin Johnson.  But he backed out because the IBF wanted him to fight Takam.  But now word from Tony Thompson is that Solis will fight Thompson, instead, on March 22.
7) Bermane Stiverne (4-26-42)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
If Stiverne can get clear of his legal problems regarding his Don King contract, he figures to fight either Chris Arreola or Deontay Wilder for the alphabet title vacated by Vitali Klitschko.
8) Chris Arreola (4-15-15)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola may be a candidate for Wilder, or could fight for a vacant title in a rematch with Stiverne.  Fury has also named him as someone he’d like to replace David Haye with for February 8.
9) Tony Thompson (4-5-186)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson says he’s fighting Odlanier Solis on March 22.
10) Erkan Teper (4-4-16)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper might have scored the heavyweight knockout of the year, and probably retired Martin Rogan in the process.
11) Mike Perez (4-7)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- UD10 Magomed Abdusalamov (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/18/2014- vs. Carlos Takam (UNR)
With Solis-Takam falling through, Takam will now be offered up to Perez, instead, on the Pascal-Bute undercard on January 18 in Montreal.
12) Deontay Wilder (4-34)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO4 Nicolai Firtha (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
In the immediate aftermath of the Haye-Fury fallout, Wilder apparently agreed verbally to fight Fury on February 8.  But a couple days later, Wilder’s promoter revealed that Fury’s management wasn’t returning phone calls, and Fury announced his retirement around that same time.  Now Wilder says his first choice would be to fight for Vitali’s vacated title.
13) Alex Leapai (4-4)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov
Next Fight: Unknown
Leapai and Wlad are beginning negotiations for a mandatory fight.
14) Robert Helenius (5-186)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
If there was a fatal rift between Helenius and Sauerland, it appears to have been quietly repaired, as Helenius’ team now claims there is no plan to buy out his contract.  Helenius is reportedly back in fighting condition after a wrist injury in his last fight, and intends to return in early 2014.
15) Andy Ruiz (4-4)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ruiz has called out Tyson Fury, whose team says he’s out until at least March.
16) Seth Mitchell (5-28)
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.
17) Alexander Dimitrenko (4-153)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko is rumored at least to be fighting Sam Sexton in the first round of the WBC World Cup, but that tournament appears to be in limbo for the time being, at least.
18) Vyacheslav Glazkov (4-52)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Adamek’s notes, above.
19) Malik Scott (4-43)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- L (KO6*) vs. #8 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott is getting serious buzz for a fight with Wilder.
20) Johnathon Banks (4-57)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Banks apparently dinged his hands up pretty good in the Mitchell fight- an alternate explanation for those who, like me, thought his inexplicable failure to follow up on his early success was a bit suspicious.  He’s been doing physical therapy, and is about ready to get back in the ring.  He’d like a rematch with Mitchell, but unfortunately a trilogy probably isn’t of much benefit to the fragile young contender at this point.  He’s penciled-in for the second round of the WBC World Cup, against the winner of Sam Sexton and Alexander Dimitrenko, but as noted above, that whole tournament is delayed and in doubt.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Friday
Christian Hammer vs. Kevin Johnson; Hamburg, Germany; Eurosport
Romania’s Hammer and American Kevin Johnson are both top 50 gatekeepers.  I’d rank Hammer a bit higher.  Nevertheless, this is anybody’s fight, except to the extent Hammer has a hometown advantage in a potential decision, since he now calls Hamburg home.

 

Carlos Takam vs. Jakov Gospic; Fort-de-France, Martinique; Off-TV
33 year-old one-loss prospect Takam takes a low-profile tune-up in the Caribbean this week.  He might be in it more as a vacation than a serious fight, as Jakov Gospic is a rather low-level Croatian journeyman that has virtually no chance to trouble a top 50 fighter like Takam.

Heavyweight: 2012, Dec 3-9

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on December 5, 2012 by danboxing
All-England week in the heavyweight division last week, although one of the fights was in Northern Ireland.  There, #5 Tyson Fury completely dominated a mostly passive Kevin Johnson.  Johnson came alive and put on an impressive performance against fringe contender Alex Leapai in the spring, but has looked rather lazy in his other four significant fights- against Fury, Vitali Klitschko, Albert Sosnowski, and Tor Hamer.  In each of those efforts, he neither exhibited a decent workrate nor sat down on his punches- giving him little chance to win (although the judges inexplicably gave him the 3-round decision over Sosnowski).  Fury did more to hurt his own cause than Johnson did, as only a point deduction for hitting on the break prevented him from pocketing every round.

 

Meanwhile, fellow undefeated British giant David Price was in action in his native Liverpool, where he extended his impressive streak to 9 straight knockouts, even as his competition has improved.  He knocked out 45 year-old Matt Skelton- who despite his age is still a top-level journeyman- in just 2 rounds.  This is his second defense of the BBBofC British title belt, which I believe means that he now gets to keep the actual belt even after he loses the title.  Nevermind that there are at 3 other British fighters who have accomplished more than him in Tyson Fury, David Haye, and Dereck Chisora.

 

No changes to the rankings.  Price’s opponent wasn’t quite good enough to support any kind of rating, and Fury is already too high up to benefit significantly from a gatekeeper like Johnson.  Povetkin’s overall body of work is still far superior.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (180-393-393)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Mariusz Wach (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Tyson Fury says that Wlad has agreed to fight him probably in mid-2013.  Fury’s impression is that Wlad will likely fight Povetkin first in March.  The latter is consistent with previous reports that Wlad’s March opponent prospects included Povetkin and Boytsov.  No statement either way from the Klitschko camp yet.
1) Vitali Klitschko (217-217-217)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vitali says he’ll decide whether to retire or fight on by December 17.
2) David Haye (21-21-21)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Haye has indicated that a fight with Vitali may be the only fight that would lure him away from re-retiring.  He may get his wish, as there is now talk of a March 2013 matchup.
3) Tomasz Adamek (21-137-137)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO5 Travis Walker (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/22/2012- vs. CW #4 Steve Cunningham
Originally scheduled to fight Odlanier Solis, Adamek will instead fight a rematch of his classic cruiserweight title fight of 4 years ago when he fights Steve Cunningham in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, after Solis pulled out.
4) Alexander Povetkin (21-267-267)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO2 Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There are currently rumors floating around to the effect that Povetkin has emerged as the frontrunner for the March shot at Wlad.
5) Tyson Fury (5-72-72)
Last Fight: 12/1/2012- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury’s promoter says that David Price has made a non-serious offer to fight him.  In reality, the money probably doesn’t matter.   Fury could sit around eating Cheetos indefinitely and still get a big-money Klitschko shot in 2013.  The same is not true if he loses to Price.  If he loses to Klitschko, he can probably still fight Price later.
6) Eddie Chambers (5-25-25)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers has announced he’ll be moving down to cruiserweight.  He’ll stay rated here for the time being, until he’s been inactive at heavyweight for a year or schedules a cruiserweight fight for after that time.
7) Kubrat Pulev (5-31-108)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev may be in for a fight with the Adamek-Cunningham winner, or may go straight to a shot at Wlad in early 2013.
8) Dereck Chisora (5-53-116)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- L(TKO5) vs. David Haye (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chisora is in the process of re-applying for his British license, and if successful, may very well fight David Price next.
9) Johnathon Banks (3-3-3)

Last Fight: 11/17/2012- TKO2 #11 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Seth Mitchell apparently plans to exercise a rematch clause for a return bout with Banks.  If the rematch is called off by Mitchell or is anything but immediate, Banks is interested in Adamek, Povetkin, as well as the Arreola-Stiverne winner.  
10) Odlanier Solis (3-5-132)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD12 Konstantin Airich (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis pulled out of his December 22 fight with Adamek, apparently due to severe differences with his Turkish promoter Ahmet Oner, from whom he is apparently trying to separate himself.  Solis’ scheduling has been notoriously unreliable under Oner ever since he injured his knee against Vitali Klitschko.
11) Marco Huck (3-41)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- W*(UD12) vs. CW #10 Firat Arslan (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck will be fighting a trilogy with Afolabi, with the last fight being in March, when Afolabi is likely to get robbed in Germany.
12) Robert Helenius (4-132)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- W*(UD10) vs. Sherman Williams (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Barely squeaked by after a comatose performance against journeyman Williams.  The judges had it pretty wide, but make no mistake- it was a 1 or 2 point either way kind of fight.
13) Ruslan Chagaev (21-316)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- TKO7 Werner Kreiskott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
A real mess surrounding what was supposed to be a 12/1 fight with Mike Perez.  First Perez pulled out with a bum shoulder and Chagaev was set to face late replacement Yakup Saglam.  But then Chagaev pulled out as well, only to be replaced on two days’ notice by Firat Arslan, fighting somebody totally different on two days’ notice.  But then Arslan pulled out on the day of the fight.
14) Alexander Dimitrenko (21-99)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- L(KO11) vs. #17 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko is now free of his Universum contract, and has a new trainer in Tommy Brooks.  No prospective fights yet, though.
15) Tony Thompson (21-132)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- L(TKO6) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
In case any of you thought the first fight was a fluke, now you know for sure: Thompson really isn’t as good as Wlad Klitschko.
16) Chris Arreola (21-194)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/26/2013- vs. #19 Bermane Stiverne
As I long expected, Don King wasn’t able to finalize the fight in Venezuela.  Dan Goossen will now stage the fight as the co-feature to Ward-Pavlik in L.A., January 26.
17) Denis Boytsov (21-181)
Last Fight: 4/13/2012- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov very well may remain a candidate to fight Wlad in March, but it now appears that Povetkin may have the inside track.  It’s not out of the question, as far as I know, that he might fight Fury- who is also in line for a fight with Wlad later in the year.  The two had briefly been scheduled to do just that, but Boytsov got cold feet.
18) Jean-Marc Mormeck (21-132)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- L(TKO4) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 12/22/2012- vs. CW #6 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (at CW)
Wlodarczyk has now confirmed that he will indeed be fighting Mormeck in December.
19) Bermane Stiverne (21-76)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- UD8 Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/26/2013- vs. #16 Chris Arreola
See Arreola’s notes above.
20) Edmund Gerber (21-31)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD8 Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/15/2012- vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Gerber will fight a rematch with Sprott on the Abraham-Bouadla undercard.  Their first fight ended inconclusively when referee Gerhard Sigl atrociously stopped the fight following a flash knockdown of Sprott in a fight the Brit had been controlling.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Saturday in Philadelphia, undefeated local prospect Bryant Jennings takes on decent Tongan journeyman Bowie Tupou.  The fight will be televised on NBC Sports Network.

Heavyweight: 2012, Nov 26- Dec 2

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 26, 2012 by danboxing
No heavyweight fights of note to report on from last week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (179-392-392)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Mariusz Wach (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Tyson Fury says that Wlad has agreed to fight him probably in mid-2013.  Fury’s impression is that Wlad will likely fight Povetkin first in March.  The latter is consistent with previous reports that Wlad’s March opponent prospects included Povetkin and Boytsov.  No statement either way from the Klitschko camp yet.
1) Vitali Klitschko (216-216-216)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vitali says he’ll decide whether to retire or fight on by December 17.
2) David Haye (20-20-20)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Haye has indicated that a fight with Vitali may be the only fight that would lure him away from re-retiring.  He may get his wish, as there is now talk of a March 2013 matchup.
3) Tomasz Adamek (20-136-136)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO5 Travis Walker (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/22/2012- vs. CW #4 Steve Cunningham
Originally scheduled to fight Odlanier Solis, Adamek will instead fight a rematch of his classic cruiserweight title fight of 4 years ago when he fights Steve Cunningham in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, after Solis pulled out.
4) Alexander Povetkin (20-266-266)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO2 Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There are currently rumors floating around to the effect that Povetkin has emerged as the frontrunner for the March shot at Wlad.
5) Tyson Fury (4-71-71)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- TKO5 Vinny Maddalone (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/1/2012- vs. Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Fury says that Wlad has orally agreed to fight him, likely in mid-2013.  But Fury has to get by Kevin Johnson first.
6) Eddie Chambers (4-24-24)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers has announced he’ll be moving down to cruiserweight.  He’ll stay rated here for the time being, until he’s been inactive at heavyweight for a year or schedules a cruiserweight fight for after that time.
7) Kubrat Pulev (4-30-107)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev may be in for a fight with the Adamek-Cunningham winner, or may go straight to a shot at Wlad in early 2013.
8) Dereck Chisora (4-52-115)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- L(TKO5) vs. David Haye (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The Haye loss will be a huge setback for the already underrated Chisora.  Many will forget that he did clearly beat Helenius.
9) Johnathon Banks (2-2-2)

Last Fight: 11/17/2012- TKO2 #11 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Seth Mitchell apparently plans to exercise a rematch clause for a return bout with Banks.  If the rematch is called off by Mitchell or is anything but immediate, Banks is interested in Adamek, Povetkin, as well as the Arreola-Stiverne winner.  
10) Odlanier Solis (2-4-131)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD12 Konstantin Airich (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis pulled out of his December 22 fight with Adamek, apparently due to severe differences with his Turkish promoter Ahmet Oner, from whom he is apparently trying to separate himself.  Solis’ scheduling has been notoriously unreliable under Oner ever since he injured his knee against Vitali Klitschko.
11) Marco Huck (2-40)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- W*(UD12) vs. CW #10 Firat Arslan (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck will be fighting a trilogy with Afolabi, with the last fight being in March, when Afolabi is likely to get robbed in Germany.
12) Robert Helenius (3-131)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- W*(UD10) vs. Sherman Williams (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Barely squeaked by after a comatose performance against journeyman Williams.  The judges had it pretty wide, but make no mistake- it was a 1 or 2 point either way kind of fight.
13) Ruslan Chagaev (20-315)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- TKO7 Werner Kreiskott (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/1/2012- vs. Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Unfortunately the really interesting crossroads fight between Chagaev and undefeated Cuban prospect Mike Perez was canceled when Perez came down with a shoulder injury a week before the fight.  Chagaev will now fight Turkish fringe prospect Yakup Saglam in what figures to be a much easier fight.
14) Alexander Dimitrenko (20-98)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- L(KO11) vs. #17 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite showing the heart of a quitter and the consistency of a random number generator against Pulev, Dimitrenko hangs on to a solid ranking because the other guys in his tier haven’t been winning meaningful fights lately.
15) Tony Thompson (20-131)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- L(TKO6) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
In case any of you thought the first fight was a fluke, now you know for sure: Thompson really isn’t as good as Wlad Klitschko.
16) Chris Arreola (20-193)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/26/2013- vs. #19 Bermane Stiverne
As I long expected, Don King wasn’t able to finalize the fight in Venezuela.  Dan Goossen will now stage the fight as the co-feature to Ward-Pavlik in L.A., January 26.
17) Denis Boytsov (20-180)
Last Fight: 4/13/2012- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov very well may remain a candidate to fight Wlad in March, but it now appears that Povetkin may have the inside track.  It’s not out of the question, as far as I know, that he might fight Fury- who is also in line for a fight with Wlad later in the year.  The two had briefly been scheduled to do just that, but Boytsov got cold feet.
18) Jean-Marc Mormeck (20-131)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- L(TKO4) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 12/22/2012- vs. CW #6 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (at CW)
Wlodarczyk has now confirmed that he will indeed be fighting Mormeck in December.
19) Bermane Stiverne (20-75)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- UD8 Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/26/2013- vs. #16 Chris Arreola
See Arreola’s notes above.
20) Edmund Gerber (20-30)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD8 Darnell Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Had little problem with fat little journeyman Darnell Wilson, except a big scare in the closing seconds of round 1.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: England’s two rising heavyweights- who also happen to be bitter rivals- are both in action this weekend.  Knockout sensation David Price fights quality journeyman Matt Skelton in Price’s native Liverpool on Friday, while on Saturday, #5 Tyson Fury takes on American Kevin Johnson, who is either a prospect or a gatekeeper depending on how you view his record.  Johnson was briefly in the top 20 after stopping Alex Leapai in April, but squandered that success in the British Prizefighter International Heavyweights tournament, when he lost to Tor Hamer and should have lost to Albert Sosnowski in the finals and semis, respectively.  In fairness, those were merely 3-round fights and were his second and third fights of the night, so I hesitate to draw Earth-shattering conclusions from those results.

Heavyweight: 2012, Jun 25- Jul 1

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on July 7, 2012 by danboxing
Wednesday in London, the Prizefighter series trotted out some decent Heavyweights for a single elimination tournament of 3-round fights.  Here’s a rundown of the action:

 

Quarterfinal #1: Gatekeeper Albert Sosnowski (Poland) vs. Gatekeeper Maurice Harris (USA): In a fight that could have gone either way, I believe the right verdict was reached.  The aged Harris threw the much harder punches, while Sosnowski generally outboxed the American with better movement and volume.  Round 1 was clearly for Harris, while the last two rounds, I thought, were ever so slightly in favor of the Pole.

 

Quarterfinal #2: Fringe contender Kevin Johnson (USA) vs. Novice Prospect Noureddine Meddoun (Morocco)- After a shaky first few seconds, Johnson bounced back to score an impressive, if inconsequential, TKO in the final seconds of round 1.

 

Quarterfinal #3: One-loss Prospect Tor Hamer (USA) vs. Journeyman Marcelo Nascimento (Brazil): Hamer managed to avoid the sweeping, wild haymakers of the very crude but much larger Nascimento, winning a very clear shutout decision.

 

Quarterfinal #4: Journeyman Tom Dallas (UK) vs. Novice Undefeated Prospect Tom Little: Little dominated the first two rounds with heavy shots and superior timing, but started to gas badly late in the second.  Between the 2nd and 3rd, he appeared ready to throw up and could barely stand under his own power.  Dallas, clearly needing a knockout, got it.  Dallas was rather hapless in general, but couldn’t help but win by TKO when Little became a stationary target.  The ref stopped the fight as much because of Little’s inability to support his own weight as any shots Dallas was landing.

 

Semifinal #1: Gatekeeper Albert Sosnowski vs. Fringe Contender Kevin Johnson: I’m not going to impugn the judges like I normally would because I don’t think any of the 3 rounds were super-clear, and it’s impossible to know how a bad or obstructed view might have affected the cards. But I think Sosnowski fairly clearly won the first two rounds, and thus I’m treating Johnson’s split decision victory as a robbery.  As in the Harris fight, Johnson was throwing the harder punches, while Sosnowski generally outboxed and outworked him.  But I think the differential in the scoring criteria was greater in Sosnowski’s favor in this fight than it was in his first round matchup.

 

Semifinal #2: Prospect Tor Hamer vs. Journeyman Tom Dallas: Hamer took just over 30 seconds to dispose of what little was left of Dallas following his grueling test against Little.  Hamer jumped on the Brit from the opening bell and broke him down in record time.

 

Final: Gatekeeper Kevin Johnson vs. Prospect Tor Hamer: In what turned out to be one of the major themes of the night, Johnson threw the harder punches, but Hamer’s skilled boxing kept him off balance and unable to answer more often than not.  Johnson appeared fairly fatigued and unsure of himself from the opening bell.  Hamer took the first two rounds, with Johnson taking the third.

 

So by my estimation, there were two big winners on the night.  Tor Hamer beat a recently-ranked fringe contender in Johnson, while Sosnowski beat a fellow Gatekeeper in Maurice Harris, and earned a win against Johnson, as well.

 

Surprisingly, none of the combatants manage to earn a ranking.  I view Sosnowski as having done the most worthwhile work in the tournament, and yet he is hampered- in comparison to #20 Franklin Lawrence- by a inexplicable draw with total bum Hastings Rasani within the past year.  Hamer- who beat Johnson- also falls short of eclipsing Lawrence because Lawrence’s record features two wins over roughly comparable opposition which- while over a year old- were of a knockout variety.  In my estimation, this type of win is clearly preferable and- in addition to the quantity argument- is enough for Lawrence to hang onto his position for now.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (157-370-370)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- TKO4 #16 Jean-Marc Mormeck
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. #11 Tony Thompson
Wlad will be defending the title against #11 Tony Thompson in what will likely be another ho-hum matchup for the Champ.  On the bright side, Thompson did put up a relatively spirited challenge the last time the two met in 2008.
1) Vitali Klitschko (194-194-194)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 9/8/2012- vs. Manuel Charr (UNR)
Vitali has scheduled what it sounds like will be his final fight.  Unfortunately, it’s hardly a fight at all.  He’ll take on one of the weakest undefeated fighters you’ll ever see- Syrian Manuel Charr.
2) Tomasz Adamek (2-114-114)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- UD12 Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/8/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Adamek, staying busy, is already scheduled for another fight- September 8 at the Prudential Center.  No opponent yet- although Kevin Johnson’s name has been mentioned.  Word is it’ll be another ridiculous Adamek-driven independent PPV.
3) Alexander Povetkin (2-244-244)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- W*(MD12) vs. CW #5 Marco Huck
Next Fight: 7/14/2012- vs. Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Povetkin’s fight has been moved to Hamburg from the Haye-Chisora undercard.
4) Marco Huck (15-18-18)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. CW #7 Ola Afolabi (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Unfortunately, Huck is apparently making a thinly-veiled attempt to make a pointless fight with weak European cruiserweight paper champion Alexander Alekseev.  
5) Tyson Fury (15-49-49)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- TKO5 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. Vinny Maddalone (UNR)
Fury has taken another low-risk, no reward fight in Vinny Maddalone, the strong but crude American journeyman brawler.  The fight will take place in Clevedon, England.
6) Dereck Chisora (15-30-93)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(UD12) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: 7/14/2012- vs. David Haye (UNR)
The British Board is bitterly opposed to this bout- which they refuse to license- but apparently it is going forward anyway.  Get ready for a highly controversial blood-feud between Chisora and recent brawl opponent David Haye, July 14 in London.
7) Eddie Chambers (2-2-2)
Last Fight: L (UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers is still unclear as to the severity of his arm injury.  His doctor is reportedly hopeful that it’s only a strained bicep, but he has an MRI scheduled to find out.
8) Robert Helenius (2-65-109)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- W*(SD12) vs. #18 Dereck Chisora (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Encouraging news for Helenius, as he is back to limited rehab-style training after shoulder surgery.
9) Kubrat Pulev (2-8-85)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- KO11 #12 Alexander Dimitrenko
Next Fight: Unknown
Might have a Helenius clash on the horizon, though the Finn’s health is a factor.
10) Odlanier Solis (2-15-109)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD12 Konstantin Airich (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Considering he was extremely out of shape and had a surgically-repaired knee to worry about, Solis didn’t look too terrible in coasting to victory over a disappointing Konstantin Airich.
11) Tony Thompson (2-109)
Last Fight: 5/27/2011- TKO3 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Wladimir Klitschko’s comments, above.
12) Seth Mitchell (2-29)
Last Fight: 4/28/2012- TKO3 Chazz Witherspoon (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mitchell was set to fight the Klitschko-promoted Johnathon Banks, a mediocre one-loss prospect who is probably an upgrade from Witherspoon at least in terms of accomplishment, but a downgrade from Ibragimov- but he is now on the shelf until the fall due to a hand injury.
13) Ruslan Chagaev (2-293)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO3 Billy Zumbrun (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The Valuev win is now over 5 years old, and Chagaev’s ranking has suffered as a result.
14) Alexander Dimitrenko (2-76)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- L(KO11) vs. #17 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite showing the heart of a quitter and the consistency of a random number generator against Pulev, Dimitrenko hangs on to a solid ranking because the other guys in his tier haven’t been winning meaningful fights lately.
15) Chris Arreola (2-171)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola pulled out of a scheduled fight with journeyman Mike Mollo  with an injury.
16) Denis Boytsov (2-158)
Last Fight: 4/13/2012- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov will likely fight in Moscow on August 24, but nothing official yet.
17) Jean-Marc Mormeck (2-109)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- L(TKO4) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s unclear why or how, but Mormeck’s cruiserweight fight with Lebedev appears to be off- with little fanfare- as Lebedev is working on a Guillermo Jones clash.
18) Bermane Stiverne (2-53)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- UD8 Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Edmund Gerber (2-8)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- UD8 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most scintillating effort against a passive Harris, but the old man is what passes for a fringe contender in this division at the moment, and thus Gerber has built himself a ranking.
20) Franklin Lawrence (2-57)
Last Fight: 10/28/2011- TKO2 Raymond Ochieng (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:  Busy week.  Fringe contender Timur Ibragimov leads off the week looking to bounce back with a win in his native Uzbekistan against South African journeyman Wiseman Dlomo.

 

Rhode Island gatekeeper Jason Estrada is in light in Providence against low-level journeyman Alex Gonzales on Friday.

 

Capping off the week, undefeated Polish prospect Artur Szpilka takes on washed-up former contender Jameel McCline- with a 19-year age gap between the fighters- in Lodz, Poland on Saturday.

Heavyweight: 2012, Jun 18-24

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on July 5, 2012 by danboxing
Saturday in Newark, #3 Tomasz Adamek managed to win an unimpressive decision over a mostly one-armed version of Eddie Chambers.  BJ Flores, delivering what passed for commentary on NBC Sports, somehow thought that Chambers had won the fight.  A draw, at best, and maybe as wide as 118-110 Adamek.  Now that doesn’t mean the Polish contender looked good.  He didn’t.  Chambers probably handles him if he isn’t injured for most of the fight.  But apparently Adamek has a talent for making opponents’ arms go bad (like Arreola a couple years ago).

 

Prospect Bryant Jennings outclassed journeyman Steve Collins on the undercard, winning a shutout 10-round decision. 

 

It’s hard to feel good about ranking a guy #2 based on a shaky victory over a one-armed fighter, but Povetkin’s hold on that spot was already weakened by the debatable win over blown-up cruiserweight Marco Huck, and a legitimate win over a quality contender is what it is.  Thus, Adamek and Povetkin switch spots.  Chambers, having become an active fighter again, reclaims a spot in the top 10 at #7, which forces everyone ranked #7 and below last week down one spot each, including Tony Thompson- who exits the top 10 after 107 consecutive weeks in- and Kevin Johnon- who exits the rankings for at least this  week after 11 straight weeks on the list.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (156-369-369)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- TKO4 #16 Jean-Marc Mormeck
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. #11 Tony Thompson
Wlad will be defending the title against #11 Tony Thompson in what will likely be another ho-hum matchup for the Champ.  On the bright side, Thompson did put up a relatively spirited challenge the last time the two met in 2008.
1) Vitali Klitschko (193-193-193)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 9/8/2012- vs. Manuel Charr (UNR)
Vitali has scheduled what it sounds like will be his final fight.  Unfortunately, it’s hardly a fight at all.  He’ll take on one of the weakest undefeated fighters you’ll ever see- Syrian Manuel Charr.
2) Tomasz Adamek (1-113-113)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- UD12 Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Adamek managed to bag a significant win over recent-#3 Chambers without impressing in any way, shape, or form.  How?  Just like in the Arreola fight, his opponent blew out an arm.
3) Alexander Povetkin (1-243-243)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- W*(MD12) vs. CW #5 Marco Huck
Next Fight: 7/14/2012- vs. Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Povetkin’s ludicrous fight with Rahman will now be the co-feature to Haye-Chisora in London.
4) Marco Huck (14-17-17)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. CW #7 Ola Afolabi (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Unfortunately, Huck is apparently making a thinly-veiled attempt to make a pointless fight with weak European cruiserweight paper champion Alexander Alekseev.  
5) Tyson Fury (14-48-48)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- TKO5 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. Vinny Maddalone (UNR)
Fury has taken another low-risk, no reward fight in Vinny Maddalone, the strong but crude American journeyman brawler.  The fight will take place in Clevedon, England.
6) Dereck Chisora (14-29-92)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(UD12) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: 7/14/2012- vs. David Haye (UNR)
The British Board is bitterly opposed to this bout- which they refuse to license- but apparently it is going forward anyway.  Get ready for a highly controversial blood-feud between Chisora and recent brawl opponent David Haye, July 14 in London.
7) Eddie Chambers (1-1-1)
Last Fight: L (UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers is active again and of course grabs a top-10 spot, but given his arm injury, I would expect another bout with inactivity to come.
8) Robert Helenius (1-64-108)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- W*(SD12) vs. #18 Dereck Chisora (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Helenius is now the mandatory challenger to #8 Kubrat Pulev’s European title- previously held by Helenius.  Helenius is still in the midst of an uncertain recovery from shoulder surgery, however.
9) Kubrat Pulev (1-7-84)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- KO11 #12 Alexander Dimitrenko
Next Fight: Unknown
Might have a Helenius clash on the horizon, though the Finn’s health is a factor.
10) Odlanier Solis (1-14-108)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD12 Konstantin Airich (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Considering he was extremely out of shape and had a surgically-repaired knee to worry about, Solis didn’t look too terrible in coasting to victory over a disappointing Konstantin Airich.
11) Tony Thompson (1-108)
Last Fight: 5/27/2011- TKO3 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Wladimir Klitschko’s comments, above.
12) Seth Mitchell (1-28)
Last Fight: 4/28/2012- TKO3 Chazz Witherspoon (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mitchell was set to fight the Klitschko-promoted Johnathon Banks, a mediocre one-loss prospect who is probably an upgrade from Witherspoon at least in terms of accomplishment, but a downgrade from Ibragimov- but he is now on the shelf until the fall due to a hand injury.
13) Ruslan Chagaev (1-292)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO3 Billy Zumbrun (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The Valuev win is now over 5 years old, and Chagaev’s ranking has suffered as a result.
14) Alexander Dimitrenko (1-75)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- L(KO11) vs. #17 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite showing the heart of a quitter and the consistency of a random number generator against Pulev, Dimitrenko hangs on to a solid ranking because the other guys in his tier haven’t been winning meaningful fights lately.
15) Chris Arreola (1-170)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola pulled out of a scheduled fight with journeyman Mike Mollo this weekend with an injury.
16) Denis Boytsov (1-157)
Last Fight: 4/13/2012- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov will likely fight in Moscow on August 24, but nothing official yet.
17) Jean-Marc Mormeck (1-108)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- L(TKO4) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s unclear why or how, but Mormeck’s cruiserweight fight with Lebedev appears to be off- with little fanfare- as Lebedev is working on a Guillermo Jones clash.
18) Bermane Stiverne (1-52)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- UD8 Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Edmund Gerber (1-7)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- UD8 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most scintillating effort against a passive Harris, but the old man is what passes for a fringe contender in this division at the moment, and thus Gerber has built himself a ranking.
20) Franklin Lawrence (1-56)
Last Fight: 10/28/2011- TKO2 Raymond Ochieng (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
 

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: The International Heavyeight Prizefighter tournament in London takes center stage this week, as 8 heavyeights of varying quality hash it out in a series of 3 rounders in a one-night single-elimination tournament.  The entrants:
Last week’s #20 Contender, Kevin Johnson from the USA,
Gatekeepers Albert Sosnowski of Poland and Maurice Harris of the USA,
One-loss American Prospect Tor Hamer,
Journeymen Marcelo Nascimento of Brazil and Tom Dallas of England,
and novice-level prospects Noureddine Meddoun of Morocco and undefeated Tom Little of England.

 

With three members of the top 50 in the mix and one member of the top 25, it’s almost certain that the winner will emerge with a ranking.