Archive for Michael Sprott

Heavyweight: 2014, Nov 17-23

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Heavyweight: 2014, Jun 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, Sep 2-8

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 7, 2013 by danboxing
In a wild back and forth fight with an ultimately unsatisfying ending in Remedios de Escalada, Argentina, 44 year old gatekeeper Fabio Moli threw away a probable victory and the Argentine title on Friday by hitting his opponent with an uppercut long after he’d already hit the deck.  That opponent, power-punching one-loss prospect Matias Vidondo looked quite good early, dropping Moli twice in the first 4 rounds (plus a standing 8 in the first).  But by the 5th, the big man looked completely spent, and was being tattooed from pillar to post and finally falling to his knees on what may have been a push on the back of the head.  When referee Rodolfo Stella stepped in to send Moli to a neutral corner, Moli uncorked an uppercut aimed for the chin of the fallen Vidondo, who had been down for probably a full 2 seconds.  It was blatant.  But I’m not sure it was much more than a glancing blow, despite an epic flop by Vidondo.  I don’t know how clearly Stella saw it, but I think if it were me, I’d have deducted 2 points for the intentional foul, given Vidondo 5 minutes, and tried to keep the fight going.  Still, it’s hard to feel much sympathy for the guy that intentionally uppercutted an obviously fallen opponent.

 

The following night in Basel, Switzerland, British fringe contender Michael Sprott looked to follow up on his questionable loss to Robert Helenius by testing Turkish-German undefeated prospect Erkan Teper.  It didn’t go so well.  Midway through the first round, Teper caught Sprott with a perfect counter right, dropping him heavily.  Sprott got to his feet, appearing dazed.  Seconds later he went down again, though it was incorrectly ruled a slip by the referee.  Teper continued to follow up with a barrage of headshots, at which point Sprott’s corner tossed in the towel and ended it, with about 20 seconds remaining in the round.

 

Teper debuts at #13, forcing everyone ranked #13 and below last week down a spot, and forcing Franklin Lawrence out after 26 consecutive weeks in.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (219-432-432)
Last Fight: 5/4/2013- TKO6 Francesco Pianeta
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. #4 Alexander Povetkin
Klitschko-Povetkin is now officially signed for 10/5 in Moscow.
1) Vitali Klitschko (256-256-256)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vitali is struggling with a hand injury according to the WBC.  But it’s already been nearly a year, and he’s made no attempt to get a fight done.  I’ll keep him ranked based on the logical possibility that he may still schedule a fight before the 2nd week of September.  Most likely, though, he’ll be removed at that time.
2) Tyson Fury (20-111-111)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- KO7 #3 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: 9/28/2013- vs. #3 David Haye
Fury-Haye is a done deal for September 28 in Manchester.
3) David Haye (20-60-60)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 9/28/2013- vs. #2 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
4) Alexander Povetkin (60-306-306)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- TKO3 Andrzej Wawryzk (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Wlad’s notes, above.
5) Steve Cunningham (20-37-37)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- L (KO7) vs. #6 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham is now sparring with the man that knocked him out in April- Tyson Fury.
6Tomasz Adamek (20-176-176)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
A collision between two of Main Events’ blue chip heavyweights is being discussed for November, as they’re looking to match Adamek with Bryant Jennings.
7) Kubrat Pulev (2-70-147)
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.
8) Dereck Chisora (2-92-155)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- KO6* #17 Malik Scott
Next Fight: 9/21/2013- vs. Edmund Gerber (UNR)
Chisora will fight busted German prospect Edmund Gerber on the 21st.  Gerber is, in my opinion, very little threat to win a fight at this level, especially without his German home cooking.
9) Odlanier Solis (13-24-171)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis is now pushing for what would be a very intriguing fight with Deontay Wilder.
10) Bermane Stiverne (11-11-27)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne was the victim of another delayed purse bid, as Vitali asked for and was granted another extension from the scheduled 7/22 date.
11) Tony Thompson (11-171)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson may have come up a bit short against Pulev, but he proved that even at 41, he’s still a challenge for obviously top-10 opposition.
12) Seth Mitchell (11-13)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- UD12 #10 Johnathon Banks
Next Fight: 9/7/2013- vs. Chris Arreola (UNR)
The Mitchell-Arreola fight has been moved back to Saturday the 7th instead of Friday the 6th.
13) Erkan Teper (1-1)
Last Fight: 8/31/2013- TKO1 Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper impressed by putting a beating on an underrated Sprott.
14) Deontay Wilder (1-19)
Last Fight: 8/9/2013- KO1 Sergei Liakhovich (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wilder would like to fight the winner of the fight between Arreola and his friend and stablemate Seth Mitchell.  He’s also been challenged by the Odlanier Solis camp, and says he wants the Klitschkos before they retire.
15) Robert Helenius (1-171)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
If Helenius’ team was accurate on the severity of his hand injury, it should be long healed by now, although there were immediate rumors that the injury was more serious.
16) Alexander Dimitrenko (1-138)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko turned down a Pulev rematch.  He’s sparring with David Haye currently, but no word on who he might fight next.
17) Vyacheslav Glazkov (1-37)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- TKO2 Byron Polley (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov’s gift of a draw to Scott seems to have hurt his standing a bit, as his follow-up was so weak it didn’t even make TV on his promoter’s show.  He’s currently sparring with Klitschko to prepare the Champ for the Povetkin fight.
18) Malik Scott (1-28)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- L (KO6*) vs. #8 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott was up at 9.5 and ready to go, but Phil Edwards called the fight off in an unfortunate SNAFU.  That being said, Chisora was coming on and I already had him ahead.  Scott probably would have gone on to lose anyway.
19) Johnathon Banks (1-42)
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.
20) Denis Boytsov (1-220)
Last Fight: 6/15/2013- KO3 Alexander Nesterenko (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After the Chisora match-up fell through, Boytsov has turned his attention to prospect Christian Hammer.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Two fights worth mentioning this week, both on Saturday.

 

In London, prospect Ian Lewison battles fellow Prizefighter veteran Tom Dallas in a 10-rounder.

 

Later that night in Indio, California, a very intriguing heavyweight clash pits chinny #12 Seth Mitchell against gatekeeper Chris Arreola, who will be looking to re-establish his long-time spot in the top 20.

Heavyweight: 2013, Aug 26- Sep 1

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on August 26, 2013 by danboxing
Christian Hammer- whose assumed name is right up there with Charles “The Hammer of God” Martel in terms of pure crusaderesque imagery- finally lived up to that name on Friday in his native Galati, Romania by knocking out a top 50 fighter, ending the night of Norwegian prospect/gatekeeper Leif Larsen in round 7.  Hammer had previously fallen short against Taras Bidenko and Mariusz Wach, both in 2010.

 

Later that night in Dover, Delaware, undefeated 41 year-old prospect Amir Mansour won what went down on paper, at least, as a fairly dominant decision over gatekeeper Maurice Harris.  Judge Joseph Pasquale dissented a bit, scoring it 116-112 compared to the wide scores of Mark D’Attilio (120-108) and Brian Costello (119-109).  With no video to review, I have to take it as a pretty dominant win given the majority of scores.

 

But in by far the biggest fight of the week, #8 Kubrat Pulev edged out #11 Tony Thompson in a workmanlike decision win.  I had it 115-113 Pulev, though I thought there were enough close rounds that it could have gone either way by a round or two.  The judges, given that it was a Sauerland event, were predictably biased.  Polish judge Pawel Kardyni had it a respectable 116-112 for Pulev, but the US’s Don Trella went too far at 117-111, and Mickey Vann of England, as he often is, was way off at 118-110.

 

Pulev just barely creeps past Chisora to the #7 spot.  It’s a tough call.  Chisora has by far the best result of the two, with his domination of Robert Helenius.  But he does have losses to Vitali, Haye, and Tyson Fury, meaning he has a potentially lower upside, while Pulev also has a ton of decent wins over gatekeepers, with Chisora lacking that level of depth.  Thompson stands pat at #11, since the fight really just confirmed that both guys were ranked about right relative to one another.  Mansour’s win gets him within shouting distance of the top 20, but he’s about 2 spots shy in my book.  Hammer, dragged down a bit by his past struggles, parks within the top 35, but has some work to do to get any higher than that.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (218-431-431)
Last Fight: 5/4/2013- TKO6 Francesco Pianeta
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. #4 Alexander Povetkin
Klitschko-Povetkin is now officially signed for 10/5 in Moscow.
1) Vitali Klitschko (255-255-255)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vitali is struggling with a hand injury according to the WBC.  But it’s already been nearly a year, and he’s made no attempt to get a fight done.  I’ll keep him ranked based on the logical possibility that he may still schedule a fight before the 2nd week of September.  Most likely, though, he’ll be removed at that time.
2) Tyson Fury (19-110-110)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- KO7 #3 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: 9/28/2013- vs. #3 David Haye
Fury-Haye is a done deal for September 28 in Manchester.
3) David Haye (19-59-59)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 9/28/2013- vs. #2 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
4) Alexander Povetkin (59-305-305)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- TKO3 Andrzej Wawryzk (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Wlad’s notes, above.
5) Steve Cunningham (19-36-36)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- L (KO7) vs. #6 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham is now sparring with the man that knocked him out in April- Tyson Fury.
6Tomasz Adamek (19-175-175)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
A collision between two of Main Events’ blue chip heavyweights is being discussed for November, as they’re looking to match Adamek with Bryant Jennings.
7) Kubrat Pulev (1-69-146)
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.
8) Dereck Chisora (1-91-154)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- KO6* #17 Malik Scott
Next Fight: 9/21/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Pulev has dropped the EBU belt and will thus not be fighting Chisora anytime soon.  Chisora will now likely fight Denis Boytsov for the belt, though it’s not clear if there’s any chance of that happening on September 21 or not.
9) Odlanier Solis (12-23-170)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis is now pushing for what would be a very intriguing fight with Deontay Wilder.
10) Bermane Stiverne (10-10-26)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne was the victim of another delayed purse bid, as Vitali asked for and was granted another extension from the scheduled 7/22 date.
11) Tony Thompson (10-170)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson may have come up a bit short against Pulev, but he proved that even at 41, he’s still a challenge for obviously top-10 opposition.
12) Seth Mitchell (10-12)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- UD12 #10 Johnathon Banks
Next Fight: 9/7/2013- vs. Chris Arreola (UNR)
The Mitchell-Arreola fight has been moved back to Saturday the 7th instead of Friday the 6th.
13) Deontay Wilder (12-18)
Last Fight: 8/9/2013- KO1 Sergei Liakhovich (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wilder would like to fight the winner of the fight between Arreola and his friend and stablemate Seth Mitchell.  He’s also been challenged by the Odlanier Solis camp, and says he wants the Klitschkos before they retire.
14) Robert Helenius (12-170)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
If Helenius’ team was accurate on the severity of his hand injury, it should be long healed by now, although there were immediate rumors that the injury was more serious.
15) Alexander Dimitrenko (12-137)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko turned down a Pulev rematch.
16) Vyacheslav Glazkov (12-36)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- TKO2 Byron Polley (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov’s gift of a draw to Scott seems to have hurt his standing a bit, as his follow-up was so weak it didn’t even make TV on his promoter’s show.  He’s currently sparring with Klitschko to prepare the Champ for the Povetkin fight.
17) Malik Scott (12-27)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- L (KO6*) vs. #8 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott was up at 9.5 and ready to go, but Phil Edwards called the fight off in an unfortunate SNAFU.  That being said, Chisora was coming on and I already had him ahead.  Scott probably would have gone on to lose anyway.
18) Johnathon Banks (10-41)
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.
19) Denis Boytsov (10-219)
Last Fight: 6/15/2013- KO3 Alexander Nesterenko (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov is likely to fight Dereck Chisora for the EBU belt.  Perhaps on September 21, or perhaps at a later date.
20) Franklin Lawrence (10-26)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- Mark Brown (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Friday in Remedios de Escalada, Argentina, inactive 44 year-old gatekeeper Fabio Moli battles aging one-loss prospect Matias Vidondo for the Argentine title.  Both men are coming off wins of Emilio Zarate in their previous fight.

 

The next night, Turkish-German undefeated prospect Erkan Teper will take by far his toughest test against fringe contender Michael Sprott in Basel, Switzerland.

Heavyweight: 2013, Mar 25-31

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 27, 2013 by danboxing
With five fights featuring top 50 heavyweights, I’ll build from the crap fights to the more momentous ones in my reporting this week.

 

In Poland, mediocre undefeated prospect Andrzej Wawrzyk took care of late replacement journeyman Robert Hawkins on Saturday, winning 5 or 6 of the 6 rounds depending on which judge you ask.

 

Friday on the Solis-Larsen undercard in Berlin, nearly forgotten former top contender Ruslan Chagaev continued to beat up on outgunned opponents, knocking out West Virginia journeyman Mike Sheppard in a half-round despite being about 20 pounds over his prime fighting weight.

 

On the Abraham-Stieglitz undercard in Magdeburg, one-loss prospect Edmund Gerber won a narrow decision over Nigerian journeyman Gbenga Oloukun.  Lou DiBella, broadcasting the televised portion of the card for Epix, made a passing reference to Gerber winning an undeserved decision, and Oloukun all but went berserk after the decision was read, but there was really no reason for the controversy.  Oloukun basically gave away the first four rounds, doing almost nothing and allowing Gerber’s solid workmanlike shots to carry each by a wide margin.  Oloukun did essentially dominate and hurt Gerber for each of the last 3 rounds, but not to the point where a 10-8 was any kind of consideration.  The only round that wasn’t easy to score was round 5.  I gave it to Gerber by a narrow margin.  Two of the three judges apparently scored it even, while the other agreed with me and gave it to Gerber.  I wouldn’t argue with you if you scored it a draw, but the idea that it was a robbery or that Oloukun could have had any reasonable expectation for a win when he was nowhere close for exactly half the fight are both ridiculous.  Accounting for the fact that even rounds aren’t taboo in Europe, I’d say the judges (Rainer Schwarz, Norbert Duernberger, and Ingo Barrabas) all did an admirable job.  That being said, it was definitely an embarrassing performance for Gerber, since he was getting battered so badly by the end of the fight that you’d have to think he would have been stopped in a 10-rounder.

 

Backtracking to Friday, #11 Odlanier Solis put forth a solid if unspectacular effort against much taller Norwegian undefeated prospect Leif Larsen.  I say prospect with some reservation, since he is nearly 38 years old, having made his pro debut in 2003 but having been generally inactive and not having fought at all in 2008 or 2009.  I watched a British broadcast of the fight, and the commentary was unbelievably biased against Solis.  The whole intro was about how terrible he is, and then the commentators scored rounds against him that he basically dominated.  The judges, too, were mostly asleep at the wheel, evidently liking Larsen’s pawing jab- a punch that wasn’t even TRYING to land- more than Solis’ considerably more sparing but infinitely more effective shots, including some consistently hard body work.  In my estimation, Solis clearly lost the 11th after he, the ref, and the ring announcer all clearly believed the fight was scheduled for 10 and he went pretty much all-out in the 10th.  He may have also lost the 8th, though that one was a toss-up.  He won all the other rounds by a wide margin.  Yet judge Benny Decroos had it only 115-114.  Thomas Hakenberg had it 116-112, and Arno Pokrandt had it 117-111.  The Eurosport commentators were shocked at how wide two of the cards were.  All of the above were incompetently scoring the fight.  There’s no other way to say it.  This is a nice little win for Solis, no matter what anyone says.  To me, he appears to be all the way back from knee surgery.  He probably needs to get in a bit better shape, with 245 probably being a good goal for his weight considering his career to this point.  But in fairness he came in just 10 pounds heavier for this fight, and nearly five pounds lighter than his weight for his career-best performance against Ray Austin.

 

And finally in Abraham-Stieglitz’s main support bout on Saturday, I saw another fight that provoked a bit of scoring outrage for me.  Robert Helenius was coming off an abysmal performance that rightfully could have gone either way against mediocre journeyman Sherman Williams.  This was after a long layoff following a fight he definitely lost to Dereck Chisora.  His opponent this time around was Michael Sprott, who typically functions as a designated opponent for the high-level fighters, but who rose to gatekeeper status recently by defeating the aforementioned Gerber.  Helenius did nearly as bad as he did against Williams (even after adjusting for Sprott being better than Williams).  In the opening round, he came out looking plenty lively, snapping and moving laterally off a jab, and getting some combinations in.  He carried that success forward into the second round, as well.  But in the 3rd, Sprott began to assert himself, and on my card won that and the three rounds that followed- three of the four pretty clearly.  Helenius managed to hurt a slightly fading Sprott in the 7th and carried that momentum for a few rounds, winning 7-9 (2 of them clearly) on  my card.  Sprott showed more effort in the final round, and easily carried that one.  That led to a draw on my scorecard.  The judges, likely influenced by the fact that it was a Sauerland card and a Sauerland fighter, had it 98-93 x2 (Norbert Duernberger and Rainer Schwarz) and 97-93 (Joerg Milke).  None of those are defensible, in my view.  Referee Ingo Barrabas also showed bias, breaking the action to warn the fighters for nothing, and at excessive length, just as Sprott was coming on strong and looking for a big round. 

 

In general, neither guy was impressive.  Sprott was too often inactive to clearly win the fight, and for his part, Helenius was usually backing up behind a defensive jab that seldom landed, and almost never with anything on it.  He claimed  post-fight that his right hand hurt when it landed.  If he has chronic problems that keep him from having an effective right hand, then it’s hard to imagine him beating much better than a journeyman in the future.

 

Helenius maintains his #13 ranking, if only because he already fell a fair amount due to his similar performance against a much lesser opponent than Sprott, and because #14 Alexander Dimitrenko has an inferior overall resume and hasn’t exactly been lighting it up recently, either.  Solis slips past Jonathan Banks and into the top 10 based on his superior overall resume as compared to Banks’ one good win.  No other changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (196-409-409)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Mariusz Wach (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/4/2013- vs. Francesco Pianeta (UNR)
Wlad will be fighting Italian fringe contending prospect Francesco Pianeta in Mannheim, Germany.  It’s hard to knock Pianeta as a fighter because he remains undefeated and was knocked off track by a bout with cancer a couple years ago, but it’s hard to get excited about any fight that, if the underdog won, would be considered the greatest upset in the history of the Heavyweight Championship.
1) Vitali Klitschko (233-233-233)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vitali hasn’t decided whether to retire or not, but he has very clearly stated he has no interest in David Haye after Haye turned down a fight in September.
2) David Haye (37-37-37)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 7/6/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Haye will be fighting in July, and he’s likely going to have to break his promise not to fight anybody but Vitali in order to do so.  No opponent yet, though.
3) Steve Cunningham (14-14-14)
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 (37-283-283)
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.  The WBA has mandated that the fight take place by the end of that month, but we’ll see on that.
5) Tomasz Adamek (14-153-153)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- W (SD12)* vs. CW #4 Steve Cunningham (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
After claiming he turned down the Pulev fight for a more lucrative opportunity for a domestic Polish fight, Adamek is now saying he’ll fight next in the US.  If this were a game of “Duck, Duck, Goose,” we know which bird Adamek would be.  Now he’s separated from his promoter, Main Events.  One strange development after another.
6) Tyson Fury (14-88-88)
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 (14-41-41)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers is getting some buzz as a possible next opponent for Haye, and he’s done nothing to discourage this.
8) Kubrat Pulev (14-47-124)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With Adamek running scared, Pulev will reportedly defend his EBU title soon.  Next, he will likely fight the winner of Cunningham-Fury, with the winner becoming Wlad’s IBF mandatory.
9) Dereck Chisora (14-69-132)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- L(TKO5) vs. David Haye (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. Ondrej Pala (UNR)
Chisora will be fighting the best available Czech heavyweight out there in Ondrej Pala, though that’s not saying much.  Still, Pala is at least arguably a top 50 guy, despite getting stopped by the soft-punching Konstantin Airich.
10) Odlanier Solis (1-1-148)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- UD12 Leif Larsen (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis’ promoter wants to get him back in the ring within 3 months after the Larsen fight.
11) Johnathon Banks (1-19)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- TKO2 #11 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Banks broke his thumb in sparring, scuttling the Mitchell rematch.
12) Tony Thompson (4-148)

Last Fight: 2/23/2013- TKO2 David Price (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson has been approached about fighting a comebacking David Tua in the summer.  My sense is that he can do a lot better.
13) Robert Helenius (4-148)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
If he can’t get his injury situation together and start fighting with a bit more urgency, Helenius is heading for journeyman status and a premature retirement.
14) Alexander Dimitrenko (4-115)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko’s future is in doubt after he struggled mightily to survive a heavy knockdown and outpoint typically inept journeyman Ivica Perkovic.
15) Chris Arreola (4-210)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. #19 Bermane Stiverne (UNR)
The Stiverne fight is once again on the schedule, this time for April 27.
16) Denis Boytsov (4-197)
Last Fight: 2/15/2013- 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.
17) Vyacheslav Glazkov (4-14)
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. 
18) Malik Scott (4-5)
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.
19) Bermane Stiverne (4-4)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- vs. Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. #15 Chris Arreola
See Arreola’s notes, above.
20) Franklin Lawrence (4-4)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- Mark Brown (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/14/2013- vs. Bryant Jennings (UNR)
Lawrence finally has a worthwhile fight on his schedule for the first time in a while in hot prospect Bryant Jennings.  It’ll be in Jennings’ backyard in Bethlehem, PA, though.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: No heavyweight fights of note after a busy time last week.  Happy Easter!