Archive for Martin Rogan

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.

Heavyweight: 2014, Jun 2-8

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 24, 2014 by danboxing
Friday night in Moscow, #3 Alexander Povetkin fought a beautiful, near perfect fight, standing toe-to-toe in the pocket with Manuel Charr and giving the Syrian prospect a lesson in punching technique, as he patiently and crisply picked his opponent apart, while avoiding any telling blows for the entire 7 rounds the fight lasted.  Povetkin hurt Charr a few different times during the fight, starting in the first round.  He capped it off in the 7th by lifting Charr’s head with a perfect uppercut as the Syrian bent down, and then capitalizing with a relentless fusilade of hooks and right hands to send Charr crashing partially through the ropes.  Referee Massimo Barrovecchio stopped the fight without a count for some reason, a trend in the sport that I really hate.  Sure, it was a devastating combination, but you never know what a guy’s chin can take and how fast he can recover.  In this case, I don’t think Charr would have been able to continue in a meaningful way, but I truly don’t believe Barrovecchio could have known that when he stopped it.

 

In a much less conventional ending in Dresden, #20 Francesco Pianeta got a knockout win of his own when his opponent, French journeyman Mickael Vieira, broke his arm by hitting Pianeta’s shoulder with a punch.

 

Povetkin swaps places with #2 Glazkov this week.  It’s a very very close call, but the way I see it, #4 Adamek is a bit better of a win than the declining #6 Chagaev, and when it comes to fights they nearly lost that they probably should not have, Povetkin’s debateable win over top 5 cruiser Marco Huck is a bit more forgivable than Glazkov’s debateable draw with unproven Malik Scott.  This is one of those races that could swing every time one guy or the other fights.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (258-471-471)
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 (16-16-16)
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 (1-345-345)
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 (1-12-76)
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 (9-9-9)
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 (16-109-186)
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 (16-131-194)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Bermane Stiverne (4-4-66)
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.
8) Steve Cunningham (4-76-76)
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.
9) Tony Thompson (4-11-210)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- W* (SD12) vs. #8 Odlanier Solis
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Thompson- no stranger to the road- will visit France for a fight with tough customer Carlos Takam on June 6.
10) Tomasz Adamek (4-215-215)
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.
11) Odlanier Solis (4-210)
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.
12) Carlos Takam (4-20)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. #8 Tony Thompson
See Thompson’s notes, above.
13) Deontay Wilder (4-58)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 #19 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Chris Arreola (4-39)
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 (9-40)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper, after months of radio silence, is said to be in line for an impending European Union title fight with France’s Johann Duhaupas, a so-so prospect in my estimation.
16) Alex Leapai (9-28)
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 (9-28)
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 (9-52)
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 (9-13)
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.
20) Francesco Pianeta (9-12)
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:
Wednesday
Super 8 Heavyweight Tournament; Auckland, New Zealand; Main Events PPV (Australia/NZ)
This is the New Zealand version of Prizefighter, complete with 3 minute rounds and a wide range of mid-level talent.  The participants include, in approximate order of current quality, Michael Sprott, Martin Rogan, Kali Meehan, Hasim Rahman, Alonzo Butler, and three guys even I’ve never heard of in Hunter Sam (some relation to Sinan Samil Sam, perhaps?), Anthony Nansen, and Brice Ritani-Coe.  Based on what I know of the fighters and excluding the guys I’m not familiar with from consideration, I think Sprott has shown the best form of late, and remains close to a top 25 guy.  Rahman is a former Heavyweight Champion, but should have been retired for at least 5 years or so by now.  Rogan is close to Sprott’s level, but he was knocked out by Erkan Teper last year so brutally that I think everyone thought he was finished, having reportedly shattered his jaw.  I’m shocked that he’s fighting again so soon.  Meehan was a solid guy in his prime, but he hasn’t made any noise in roughly 5 years.

 

Friday
#9 Tony Thompson vs. #12 Carlos Takam; Levallois-Perret, France; TV Unknown
Yet another important road fight for Thompson.  He got a questionable win over Odlanier Solis just a couple months ago to follow up on a couple upset-type wins over intimidating prospect David Price.  Takam is a different challenge, as he’s sure to come forward and looks to stay in on the much taller Thompson.  He comes off a clear win over contender Mike Perez, though he was robbed and awarded only a draw in that fight.  Before that, he was a sort of gatekeeper/prospect type.  If Takam is really as good as he looked against Perez, this may very well be a barn-burner.  If he’s more like what most assumed him to be going into that fight, Thompson should win relatively comfortably.

 

Saturday
David Price vs. Yaroslav Zavorotnyi; Schwerin, Germany; BoxNation (UK)
Zavorotnyi is a mid-level Ukrainian journeyman whose crowning achievement was a knockout of a moderately established undefeated prospect back in 2010.  I guess that gives him a puncher’s chance against Price, a hard-hitting but chinny British giant who’s just looking to rebuild his career under new promoter Sauerland following back-to-back stoppage losses to Tony Thompson and a shaky performance against Ondrej Pala in his last fight before he won by knockout.

Heavyweight: 2013, Nov 18-24

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 14, 2014 by danboxing
I don’t want to be writing all night, so I’ll jump right into the Thursday Prizefighter results from London:

 

Round 1: Journeyman Jason Gavern of the US dropped and outpointed the UK’s Larry Olubamiwo.  His chin and conditioning appeared questionable by the time it was all over, but he got a retty clear 29-27 win over the rather dirty Brit.

 

Faded and chubby legend James Toney looked pretty decent for a 45 year-old.  He didn’t work too hard, but had solid defense as always, and threw in surprising quickness and handspeed.  It was more than enough to take care of rather novice journeyman Matt Legg.  Toney lit Legg up with a combination in round 3, and referee Victor Loughlin stopped it.  Objectively, it was a quick stoppage, but Legg was obviously out of his league, pretty badly hurt, and had zero chance of winning.  I think Loughlin was being intentionally merciful.

 

English gatekeeper Michael Sprott had his hands full early against the powerful and sharp American Damian Wills.  But after seemingly outclassing Sprott in the first round, Wills seemed to lose all desire to win, and let Sprott vastly outwork him in the last two to take the win.  I didn’t make note of what judge had what score while watching it, and boxrec doesn’t specify, but one of the judges could only make a call in one round of what was a pretty easy fight to score, having it 30-29.  Nevertheless, a well-earned UD for Sprott.

 

In the 4th quarterfinal, undersized American Brian Minto showed a world-class motor, grinding Britain’s Tom Little- much taller, but a little ungainly- to dust for 3 clear rounds.  The British judges, obviously biased, had it only 29-28 (Victor Loughlin and Steve Gray) for Minto and 29-28 Little (Richie Davies).  Davies should have been relieved of his duties for the night right then and there, because he obviously wasn’t in the right frame of mind to be judging.

 

Round 2: Gavern pulled off a bit of an upset.  All three of his rounds with Toney were close, but Toney showed surprisingly sloppy technique and a noticeable lack of fire by comparison to Gavern.  Gavern, for his part, appeared to have the heavier hands, worked harder, and was a bit more accurate.  He also used his natural size well at times.  Marcus McDonnell had it even, having failed to pull the trigger in one of the rounds.  Davies and Gray both had it 29-28 for Gavern, who advanced.

 

In the second semi, Sprott dominated and frustrated Minto behind a wonderful jab for the first round, but nearly got stopped after Minto caught up in the 2nd.  Sprott then won a hard-fought third with veteran tactics, alternating holding with hitting, frustrating Minto just enough to grab the win.  All the judges agreed at 29-28 for Sprott.

 

Final: A bit anticlimactic.  Sprott probably edged the first, again establishing the jab.  In the second, Gavern punished Sprott and nearly stopped him, as the Brit appeared totally gassed.  But he seemed to have tweaked his elbow in the process, and was totally unable to fight back in the third, allowing Sprott to cruise to a foregone conclusion of a victory.  Even more foregone than it should have been, as it turned out.  Two of the, again, biased judges had it a shutout, which is completely incredible.

 

Now, on to Saturday:

 

In Hamilton, New Zealand, Belorussian giant Alexander Ustinov easily handled David Tua.  I don’t know how much my opinion was swayed by Bob Sheridan’s frequently glowing commentary, but I really did feel like Tua looked more lively than usual, even while getting handled by Ustinov’s Klitschko-like 1-2 efficiency.  That being said, Ustinov isn’t exactly Klitschko, is he?  And on the other hand, Tua never ever threw in combination, and never appeared to hurt Ustinov, either.

 

In Ludwigsburg, Germany, #12 Erkan Teper scored a highlight-reel knockout over Irish gatekeeper Martin Rogan.  The fight lasted roughly 90 seconds.  Teper backed Rogan to the ropes, knocked him out with a left, and then landed two further KO-quality follow-ups before Rogan could fall, and the ref got in there right as Rogan slumped to the canvas.  Rogan was hospitalized afterward, and received surgery to repair a shattered jaw.  According to Rogan himself, he’s going to have multiple steel plates inserted to put the jaw together like a jigsaw.

 

Finally, in Verona, New York, #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov outpointed cruiserweight gatekeeper Garrett Wilson- a late replacement for Tomasz Adamek, who suffered an injury during fight week.  Wilson was aggressive but wild, and though he did catch Glazkov with several winging punches during the 10 rounds, he seemed to lack legitimate heavyweight power when he did.  In the end, Glazkov’s size and more concise punching carried the day.  I scored it 97-93 for the Russian.  One of the judges agreed, and the other two had it a round and two rounds wider.

 

Garrett Wilson wasn’t quite credible enough at heavyweight to help Glazkov out in the rankings.  Ditto for Tua-Ustinov, as Tua hasn’t won anything of real consequence since beating Shane Cameron over 4 years ago.  An additional ditto in the case of Prizefighter.  Sprott was the only member of the field that was at a top 50 level at any point during the proceedings, despite the often impressive work of Gavern.

 

The remaining result is Teper-Rogan.  Rogan, due to his prior Prizefighter win over Sosnowski, was probably at least technically in the top 50 going in.  Even so, the difference in established levels between the two prior to the fight means that it neither improves Teper’s ranking nor hurts Rogan’s. 

 

The one change that does affect the rankings is that #2 David Haye withdrew from the Fury fight, citing a serious injury.  Injury or no, Haye was living on borrowed time after waiting nearly a year to schedule the fight before now pulling out twice.  Even aside from that, the injury- according to Haye- is serious enough that he might never fight again, and so his removal is justified on multiple grounds.  Everyone ranked #3 and below last week moves up a spot, and Denis Boytsov returns to the rankings just in time for his fight with Leapai this weekend, while Tony Thompson reclaims a spot in the top 10 for the first time in a while.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (230-443-443)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Tyson Fury called Wlad out immediately after Haye withdrew from their fight, but there are rumors that the Champ might fight Ustinov or the Boytsov-Leapai winner in March.
1Tyson Fury (11-122-122)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- KO7 #3 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury is…well…furious, after Haye withdrew a second consecutive time.  He’s now calling out Wlad, and rightly so.
2) Alexander Povetkin (1-317-317)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin is calling for a rematch.  Wishful thinking, all the way.
3) Steve Cunningham (1-48-48)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- L (KO7) vs. #6 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Cunningham will appear on a December 14 card in Atlantic City.
4) Tomasz Adamek (1-187-187)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Adamek withdrew from the Glazkov fight due to illness, on just two days notice.
5) Kubrat Pulev (1-81-158)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- UD12 #11 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Pulev will be fighting on December 14 while waiting for a shot at Wlad.  No opponent yet.
6) Dereck Chisora (1-103-166)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO5 Edmund Gerber (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/30/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chisora is now scrambling for a new opponent after Matteo Modugno withdrew from their November 30 bout.
7) Odlanier Solis (1-35-182)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis was briefly set to fight Kevin Johnson on November 26, but quickly withdrew.
8) Bermane Stiverne (1-22-38)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne’s immediate future- which appeared bright since he is in line to fight for what figures to be a vacant title now that Vitali Klitschko is more or less out of the picture- is now in doubt, as he joins a long list of fighters to sue his promoter, Don King.
9) Chris Arreola (1-11-11)
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, should Vitali retire.  Fury has also named him as someone he’d like to replace David Haye with for February 8.
10) Tony Thompson (1-1-182)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson is now actively seeking a fight with Povetkin, Fury, Adamek, or Wilder.
11) Erkan Teper (1-12)
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) Mike Perez (1-3)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- UD10 Magomed Abdusalamov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Perez will have to do what many great fighters have had to do in the past- get over the psychological difficulty of having beaten a man to within an inch of his life, just by doing his job.
13) Deontay Wilder (1-30)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO4 Nicolai Firtha (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wilder says he’ll be looking for a title shot in 2014, and has been called out by Tony Thompson recently.  Malik Scott also appears to be an option, and Wilder is also among the three fighters that Fury wants to replace Haye with for February 8.
14) Robert Helenius (1-182)
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) Alexander Dimitrenko (1-149)
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.
16) Seth Mitchell (1-24)
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) Vyacheslav Glazkov (1-48)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov will go from a non-TV tune-up directly to a NBC-televised afternoon showdown with Adamek.
18) Malik Scott (1-39)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- L (KO6*) vs. #8 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott is getting serious buzz for a fight with Wilder.
19) Johnathon Banks (1-53)
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.
20) Denis Boytsov (1-1)
Last Fight: 6/15/2013- KO3 Oleksandr Nesterenko (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/23/2013- vs. Alex Leapai (UNR)
Boytsov probably has a shot at the Championship waiting for him if he can get by Leapai.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Saturday, on the Bamberg, Germany undercard for Hernandez-Alekseev, undefeated fringe contender Denis Boytsov takes on Samoan gatekeeper Alex Leapai.  Leapai is barely a member of the top 50, but is still the best opponent Boytsov has fought since 2009.

 

On the Pacquiao-Rios undercard (Sunday in Macau, though it’s going to be Saturday when those of us stateside watch it live on PPV), undefeated prospect Andy Ruiz meets gatekeeper Tor Hamer- his toughest test to date.

Heavyweight: 2013, Nov 11-17

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 9, 2014 by danboxing
Cruiserweight gatekeeper Eric Fields moved up to heavyweight against journeyman Jonte Willis Saturday in Whitehall, New York, and appeared to have a tough time.  He won a suspiciously close majority decision (76-76, 77-75 x2).  There is no video available of the fight, so I can’t analyze the cards.  Ultimately the objective result is the same.  Fields didn’t stand to benefit from this fight in terms of ranking, regardless of the outcome.

 

 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 (229-442-442)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Klitschko intends to be back in March.  Denis Boytsov sounds like a candidate.
1Tyson Fury (10-121-121)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- KO7 #3 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: 2/8/2014- vs. #2 David Haye
Fury-Haye has been rescheduled for February 8.
2) David Haye (10-70-70)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 2/8/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
3) Alexander Povetkin (10-316-316)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin is calling for a rematch.  Wishful thinking, all the way.
4) Steve Cunningham (10-47-47)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- L (KO7) vs. #6 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Cunningham will appear on a December 14 card in Atlantic City.
5Tomasz Adamek (10-186-186)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/16/2013- #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
With the Bryant Jennings proposal falling apart over money, Adamek will now be fighting Glazkov in one of NBC’s mid-afternoon telecasts.
6) Kubrat Pulev (10-80-157)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- UD12 #11 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev will now be at least one of Wlad’s mandatories after beating Thompson.  There is serious talk of him fighting Chisora for a European title in the mean time.
7) Dereck Chisora (10-102-165)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO5 Edmund Gerber (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/30/2013- vs. Matteo Modugno (UNR)
Chisora has switched November 30 opponents, and will no be facing unbeaten Italian Matteo Modugno.  It’s still too early in Modugno’s career to expect much from him at this level, though.
8) Odlanier Solis (10-34-181)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/26/2013- vs. Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Solis is back in the ring on November 26, fighting Kevin Johnson, who seems to ping pong back and forth between fringe contender and journeyman status.
9) Bermane Stiverne (10-21-37)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne’s immediate future- which appeared bright since he is in line to fight for what figures to be a vacant title now that Vitali Klitschko is more or less out of the picture- is now in doubt, as he joins a long list of fighters to sue his promoter, Don King.
10) Chris Arreola (10-10-10)
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, should Vitali retire.
11) Tony Thompson (21-181)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson is now actively seeking a fight with Povetkin, Fury, Adamek, or Wilder.
12) Erkan Teper (10-11)
Last Fight: 8/31/2013- TKO1 Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/16/2013- vs. Martin Rogan (UNR)
Irish sources are reporting that Teper will be fighting Rogan in Germany in November.
13) Mike Perez (2-2)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- UD10 Magomed Abdusalamov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Perez will have to do what many great fighters have had to do in the past- get over the psychological difficulty of having beaten a man to within an inch of his life, just by doing his job.
14) Deontay Wilder (2-29)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO4 Nicolai Firtha (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wilder says he’ll be looking for a title shot in 2014, and has been called out by Tony Thompson recently.  Malik Scott also appears to be an option.
15) Robert Helenius (2-181)
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.
16) Alexander Dimitrenko (2-148)
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.
17) Seth Mitchell (2-23)
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) Vyacheslav Glazkov (2-47)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- TKO2 Byron Polley (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/16/2013- vs. #5 Tomasz Adamek
Glazkov will go from a non-TV tune-up directly to a NBC-televised afternoon showdown with Adamek.
19) Malik Scott (2-38)
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 (2-52)
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: Thursday in London, Prizefighter returns to the heavyweight division for the second time this year.  The only current top-50 fighter in the field is Michael Sprott, but there is enough live blood in the field to potentially earn somebody a ranking if things proceed a certain way.  The other fighers are Damian Wills, James Toney, Jason Gavern, and Brian Minto (representing the United States) and Larry Olubamiwo, Matt Legg, and Tom Little, along with Sprott (representing the UK).

 

Saturday features three interesting clashes.  First, Russian giant Alexander Ustinov takes on the much shorter and long past his prime David Tua in Hamilton, New Zealand.

 

In Ludwigsburg, Germany, #12 Erkan Teper battles Irish gatekeeper Martin Rogan, who briefly distinguished himself in Prizefighter earlier this year with an upset stoppage of Albert Sosnowski before losing to Audley Harrison.  

 

Finally, a big-time clash in Verona, New York, as #5 Tomasz Adamek looks to hang on to the top 5 for dear life against the rising but unspectacular Vyacheslav Glazkov.  It’s something of a crossroads fight, and definitely bears watching.
 
 

Heavyweight: 2013, Feb 25- Mar 3

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on February 28, 2013 by danboxing
Insanely busy weeks with a lot of important fights are always tough to organize.  Here’s my best effort, roughly in order of importance.

 

#15 Tony Thompson took out unranked fringe contending and undefeated English prospect David Price in the latter’s hometown of Liverpool, and needed just 2 rounds to accomplish the task.  After Price had apparently taken full control earlier in the 2nd, Thompson caught Price with a bit of an awkward looping right hand on the inside just above the ear.  It wasn’t particularly flush, nor did it appear to have an extraordinary amount of weight behind it.  I would say it was a classic equilibrium shot, except that Price collapsed very quickly as if hit on the chin.  If I had to guess, I’d say that it was indeed a bit of an equilibrium shot, but also that Price simply doesn’t take a head shot very well in general.  This was seen as a huge upset, though it’s hard for me to see it that way when Thompson had never lost to anyone not named Wladimir Klitschko since a 4-rounder in 2000, and since Price had never fought anyone in the top 25.

 

Another prospect had his own share of struggles a bit later on Saturday, when #19 Vyacheslav Glazkov of the Ukraine took on fellow undefeated prospect Malik Scott of Philadelphia on Long Island.  Scott had control of the fight throughout.  That’s not to say he dominated by any means.  Just that whatever Scott did or didn’t do made all the difference in the fight, while Glazkov’s efforts remained fairly steady and mediocre.  How did that play out?  Well, Scott clearly won the first 3 rounds behind a sharp jab, and lost the next two when he slowed down a bit.  Scott then reasserted himself slightly to sweep the last 5 rounds on my card. 

 

Judge John Poturaj saw it exactly as I did at 98-92.  But John McKaie had it 96-94 for Glazkov, while Julie Lederman had it all even.  That does bother me, because I think Scott pretty clearly won the fight, but at the same time, of the last 5 rounds that I gave to Scott, I do think Glazkov had an argument in 4 of them, since Scott had lost a lot of steam and was just doing enough in terms of activity to barely nick each frame.  I can’t necessarily say that any of the judges got any specific round blatantly wrong, but I think Lederman’s 95-95 and especially McKaie’s 96-94 indicate mild but consistent bias in favor of Glazkov, the house fighter.  Favoring the house fighter is unfortunately nothing new for McKaie and Lederman, who teamed up to rob Ossie Duran blind against Brandon Gonzales.  McKaie is particularly notable for his poor cards.  Among his other lowlights: he gave Jerson Ravelo the decision against Joey Spina in a fight that was clearly either a draw or a win for Spina in March 2012, had Mayfield-Herrera a bit too close in October, and was fixing to rob Luis Abregu until he stopped Thomas Dulorme the same night.  He’s had some good cards mixed in there too, but he’s a very busy judge that I would consider a risky choice if I were making the appointments.
 
 

In London on the same busy evening, the latest installment of the Prizefighter series brought international heavyweights together for a series of 3-rounders.  The field of 8 included 2 members of the top 50 in Albert Sosnowski and Travis Walker.  Sosnowski in particular was something like a co-winner of the last installment, having been blatantly robbed in the semis.  But neither of these two deserved favorites made it past the first round.  Sosnowski was roughed up and stopped late in the 3rd by a 41 year old but apparently resurgent Martin Rogan, who was last seen in high level action getting clowned, dominated, and stopped by a southpaw version of Tyson Fury.  Walker lost a close split decision to fellow American Derric Rossy, a former prospect who was easily handled in consecutive fights by Eddie Chambers, Kubrat Pulev, and Maurice Harris.  British journeyman Audley Harrison took advantage of an easy first-round assignment by scoring a sensational one-punch stoppage of Danish journeyman Claus Bertino.  Ian Lewison, a novice at just 6-3-1, sprung a bit of an upset himself, stopping gargantuan German former fringe contender Timo Hoffmann in the first round, though it was a terrible stoppage by referee John Keane.  Nevertheless, Lewison did well to drop Hoffmann hard. 

 

In the second round, Harrison easily handled Rogan over the 3 round distance, leading to the conclusion that Rogan simply can’t begin to handle tall fighters.  In the other semi, Rossy eeked out a split decision over Lewison.  I had it a shutout for Lewison, but 2 of the 3 rounds were close. 

 

In the finals, Harrison simply finished off an already-tired Rossy, stopping him in the second round to win the tournament for the second time in his career.  I was reminded why I don’t bet on sports, as I only gave Harrison a 6% chance of winning in my preview last week.  Then again, if I’d have known he was going to draw Bertino, Rogan, and Rossy, I might have given him a significantly better shot.

 

Backtracking to Friday, one-loss prospect Manuel Charr- best known for his stoppage loss to Vitali Klitschko- was in what was shaping up as a barn-burner with one-loss and largely untested Turk Yakup Saglam.  Through two rounds, the two were just squaring up and throwing bombs, rock ’em sock ’em robots style, with each man giving as well as he received.  But the fight fell off the rails, as Saglam complained of a shoulder injury between rounds and retired in his corner.

 

Way back on Tuesday in Minsk, Belarus, Ondrej Pala of the Czech Republic (nominally a top 50 fighter), managed to win just 6 of 8 rounds against 6-3 novice Yuri Bihoutseu, though in Pala’s defense, Bihoutseu was the home fighter.

 

Prizefighter fails to make its mark on the rankings, contrary to my expectations.  The reason for this is that Harrison had a bit too easy a road.  Bertino did absolutely nothing for him.  Rogan helped, since his win over Sosnowski had made him a temporary fringe contender, but the Rossy win was tainted a bit by the fact that Rossy had probably deserved to lose to a journeyman in the semis.  That, combined with Harrison’s prior struggles in losing ugly stoppages to Davids Price and Haye, as well as a prior close loss to Rogan 4 years ago, conspire to leave him in the top 25, but outside the top 20.

 

Thompson’s TKO of Price gives the veteran a modest boost to #13.  It could have been better if I’d overrated Price as heavily as most did, but the fact is he had never proven himself to be anything better than a fringe contending prospect.  He looked scary against mid-level opposition and worse, but to view him as anything better than a borderline top 25 guy would involve a fair amount of projection, which I try to avoid here.

 

With the help of a pair of judges, Glazkov manages to stay put at #19, while Scott wins out in a close struggle for the #20 spot, ultimately displacing Bermane Stiverne, who had been on the inside for just 5 weeks since the last time he was forced out.  Stiverne owns a win over a #20 contender in Ray Austin, but that win is getting pretty old as his last major success, and he also suffered an embarrassing draw to complete nobody Charles Davis in ’09.  Scott has a win over a low-level gatekeeper in Bowie Tupuo to add to his fresh draw with #19 Glazkov.  It doesn’t hurt his case that he all but certainly won it.

 

Charr and Pala’s wins are nowhere near significant enough to matter.  Whew!  If I keep writing entries this long, I’m going to start feeling like an actual journalist!

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (192-405-405)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Mariusz Wach (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlad is now expecting to return on May 4 instead of April 6, with Italian fringe contender Francesco Pianeta being the leading contender.  He would then theoretically face Povetkin, but there seems to be 3-way drama between the WBA and the two fighters’ camps right now.
1) Vitali Klitschko (229-229-229)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With 2013 in full swing, we’re still waiting on Vitali’s decision to fight on or retire.
2) David Haye (33-33-33)
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. 
3) Steve Cunningham (10-10-10)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- L (SD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek (Robbery)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. #6 Tyson Fury
Adamek’s erratic behavior has yielded justice.  Cunningham beat Adamek, but was robbed.  Now he’ll fight Tyson Fury, with the winner to fight Kubrat Pulev for a mandatory shot at Wlad.  The fight will be at MSG and will be televised live in the afternoon by NBC.
4) Alexander Povetkin (33-279-279)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO2 Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After failing to convince the WBA to deny Wlad a voluntary before fighting him, Povetkin and his team are now raising cain about the 75-25 split the WBA has set for the purse bid.  No word on whether he’ll stay busy in the meantime, as it would be hard to imagine the fight happening before August at the earliest.
5) Tomasz Adamek (10-149-149)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- W (SD12)* vs. CW #4 Steve Cunningham (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Adamek is acting erratic lately, I think it’s fair to say.  First he gets busted drunk driving, and now he has turned down the Pulev shot that he “won” by “beating” Cunningham, claiming to have a much more lucrative offer to fight an unknown opponent in Poland- an offer that all the major Polish networks claim to have no part of.  He has also denied rumors that he might be fighting Artur Szpilka.
6) Tyson Fury (10-84-84)
Last Fight: 12/1/2012- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. #3 Steve Cunningham
See Cunningham’s notes, above.
7) Eddie Chambers (10-37-37)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers appeared set to fight Lebedev at cruiserweight, but it now appears that Lebedev will fight Guillermo Jones, instead.
8) Kubrat Pulev (10-43-120)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With Adamek running scared, Pulev will reportedly defend his EBU title in March or April.  Next, he will likely fight the winner of Cunningham-Fury, with the winner becoming Wlad’s IBF mandatory.
9) Dereck Chisora (10-65-128)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- L(TKO5) vs. David Haye (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/16/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chisora is penciled in for the big Frank Warren event on 3/16 in London.  The only obstacles at this point are securing an opponent and getting his license back.
10) Johnathon Banks (10-15-15)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- TKO2 #11 Seth Mitchell

Next Fight: Unknown
Banks broke his thumb in sparring, scuttling the Mitchell rematch.
11) Odlanier Solis (10-144)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD12 Konstantin Airich (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Solis’ promoter- with whom he seems to have healed a major rift- says they’re looking at 3/22 for the big Cuban’s return, in Berlin.
12) Marco Huck (10-53)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- W*(UD12) vs. CW #10 Firat Arslan (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck admits to not wanting the trilogy fight with Afolabi, but intends to go forward with it in late March or early April.  Since his last heavyweight fight was February 25, he will be removed when I publish my first update after that date, or my first update after that fight is announced at cruiser, whichever comes first.
13) Tony Thompson (1-144)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- TKO2 David Price (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson wants Fury- who recently signed to fight Cunningham.  Price has a rematch clause, but Price himself has indicated he may not be “crying for a rematch,” while Thompson says he wouldn’t consider it unless they paid him a lot better and came to the US.
14) Robert Helenius (1-144)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- W*(UD10) vs. Sherman Williams (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Helenius was rumored for a March fight with Sprott, but no news since.
15) Alexander Dimitrenko (1-111)
Last Fight: 12/21/2012- UD8 Samir Kurtagic (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/9/2013- vs. Dzenan Hodzic (UNR)
Dimitrenko is scheduled to return on March 9 in Hamburg.  He will reportedly fight Dzenan Hodzic, a totally untested 4-0 Bosnian that has been inactive since 2008.
16) Chris Arreola (6-206)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/9/2013- vs. Bermane Stiverne (UNR)
Arreola-Stiverne has been delayed yet again- this time likely owing to Andre Ward’s injury.  It will now be March 9 in Costa Mesa, California.
17) Denis Boytsov (6-193)
Last Fight: 2/17/2013- UD8 Samir Kurtagic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov appears to have won the battle of wills with Universum over whether he gets to fight or not.  Now the trick will be getting him in against worthwhile opposition.
18) Jean-Marc Mormeck (6-144)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- L(TKO4) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Mormeck will be removed on Monday, except in the unlikely event that he schedules a heavyweight fight this week.
19) Vyacheslav Glazkov (6-10)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. Malik Scott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov got the benefit of the doubt in every close round from two of the judges against Scott.  It was just about as close to a robbery as you can get without me calling it that. 
20) Malik Scott (1-1)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. #19 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott was the victim of a bad decision against Glazkov it’s fair to say, but I stop short of calling it a blatant robbery.  I do believe he won 8 of the 10 rounds, but he only won 4 of them with clarity.  By easing off the gas in the latter half of the fight, he gave the judges the opportunity to hand it to the house fighter, which 2 of them were all too happy to do.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:  In an effort to prevent me from getting carpal tunnel, the division takes a much-deserved breather after the melee that was last week.  But I will have something to write about, since both #12 Marco Huck and #18 Jean-Marc Mormeck are essentially certain to be removed for inactivity next week.