Archive for Murat Gassiev

Cruiserweight: 2014, Jun 30- Jul 6

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 19, 2014 by danboxing
Ilunga Makabu overcame a rather poor start against veteran contender, now gatekeeper, Glen Johnson on Saturday in Kinshasa, Congo, becoming only the 2nd man (after Bernard Hopkins) to stop the now 45 year-old Road Warrior.  Johnson soundly outworked the Congolese contender in the first couple rounds, but seemed to fade in and out of tiredness thereafter.  I actually still had it even after 8, largely due to Makabu giving away rounds, when Makabu apparently sensed Johnson weaken, and poured on a sustained flurry that prompted the referee to call a halt to the bout.  Makabu’s style was very odd.  As I mentioned, he gave away entire rounds by not working, and often threw tapping punches when he did work.  But there was nothing tapping about his finishing flurry, as he was beginning to ping-pong Johnson’s head back and forth along the ropes.

 

Wednesday, in parts unknown in Russia, undefeated prospect Murat Gassiev socred a post-1st-round stoppage over 41 year-old sub-.500 journeyman Daniil Peretyatko, who honestly looked closer to 60 in appearance.  I was going to avoid saying anything out of respect, but since his nickname is “Shreck,” I assume he’s aware that he looks like a fantasy creature of some kind, and owns it.  Gassiev scored two knockdowns in the lone round, and Shreck retired before the 2nd.  Even better, this fight looked like it was not fixed, unlike Gassiev’s last farce.

 

Thursday featured the return, in France, of French former Champion Jean-Marc Mormeck, who last fought at Cruiserweight when he lost the title in late 2007 to David Haye, and last fought in general in March 2012, in what was a comatose and pathetic attempt at the Heavyweight Championship against Wladimir Klitschko, who put him out of his misery in 4.  I must say, Mormeck looked as in-shape and determined in this fight with mid-level Hungarian journeyman Tamas Lodi as he did out of shape and checked-out against Klitschko.  I’m not sure how much we can learn about how much of his old skill he’s retained by watching him beat up on a mediocre opponent who offered little resistance, but he looked good enough that you’ve got to wonder if he can maybe still be a major factor in the division, even at 42.  Mormeck won every round, put a large amount of hurt on Lodi in a dominant 3rd round, and stopped him in the 4th after dropping him hard and following up with a relentless attack.  To the extent such comparisons matter, Mormeck looked significantly better against Lodi than Nuri Seferi had, and approximately as good as Ilunga Makabu.  That might speak well of his continued potential in this division.

 

BJ Flores saw action in a non-televised 8-rounder in Vegas on Friday, winning a unanimous shutout over low-level journeyman Anthony Caputo Smith just a few pounds over the divisional limit.  Unfortunately for Flores, the decision not to make 200 ensures that he can’t reclaim the ranking that is no doubt still waiting for him here at cruiser when he returns to action in the division.

 

Hard-hitting undefeated and fringe-contending Polish prospect Krzysztof Glowacki got a comfortable decision over veteran journeyman Ismail Abdoul, who at one point was a gatekeeper.  The challenge here for the concussive Glowacki seemed to be whether he could stop Abdoul, who had not been halted early since the late stoppage he suffered to Glowacki’s countryman and namesake, Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, way back in 2002.  By that standard, Glowacki failed.  But he certainly moves forward in his career, having won every round according to Olena Pobyvailo, 6 with 2 even according to Leszek Jankowiak, and 6 with one lost and one even according to Pawel Kardyni.  I couldn’t readily find a video of the full fight, so I can’t comment on the fight more than that.

 

Speaking of 2002 (okay maybe that’s exaggerating just a bit), #12 Lukasz Janik dredged up long-forgotten former contender Rico Hoye.  The Detroit veteran didnt embarrass himself by any stretch, winning anywhere between one and five rounds (I gave him 3 of the 10).  Janik threw with conviction for the entire fight, and more often in meaningful combinations than did his opponent.  Hoye was relaxed and showed good technique in some ways and featured a nice jab throughout, but he generally only strung punches together while in too close for them to have much effect.  The judges all saw it reasonably similar to my card of 97-93 Janik, with Grzegorz Molenda turning in 98-92, Pawel Kardyni at 98-93, and Olena Pobyvailo at 97-94.

 

Makabu moves up to #9, aided as much by the expiration (more than 5 years old) of two of his rivals’ best results (Fragomeni’s draw with #2-ranked Wlodarczyk and Afolabi’s knockout of 6th-ranked Maccarinelli, both in 2009) than by his win over the faded Johnson.  Afolabi falls to #10.  Fragomeni, whose loss that should have been a win over Zsolt Erdei now stands as by far his best performance in the last 5 years, slips all the way to #14 from #10 last week.  That allows Janik, McKenzie, and Kalenga all to move up a spot.  Fragomeni had been in the top 10 for 41 consecutive weeks.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Marco Huck (7-395-395)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: 8/30/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Bild Zeitung in Germany reports that Huck will be back on August 30, with Nuri Seferi appearing the most likely candidate to be his opponent, but with Pawel Kolodziej getting some buzz, as well.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (7-210-210)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #6 Firat Arslan
Hernandez is set to fight Arslan on August 16, in Erfurt, Germany.  
3) Denis Lebedev (7-230-230)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Given his legitimate injury that shelved him for a big chunk of the year and the fact that his opponent screwed him over via PED use, I’m going to use my discretion and leave Lebedev ranked at this point.  Still, his best work is simply getting too old to stay at the very top.  Some reports have him returning in the fall against Pawel Kolodziej.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (42-471-471)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s looking like Wlodarczyk will be back in August, possibly against BJ Flores, though Makabu’s win over Glen Johnson has him in position for a shot, as well.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (23-48-86)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu’s scheduled fight with Brazilian prospect was scrapped on just a day’s notice due to the surprise withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
6) Firat Arslan (23-112-155)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- UD8 Tamas Bajzath (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
See Hernandez’s notes, above.
7) Grigory Drozd (32-39-86)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
8) Rakhim Chakhkiev (5-5-5)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- UD12 #11 Santander Silgado
Next Fight: Unknown
Chakhkiev has finally cashed in a high-level win to go with his hype and promise.  Most likely another title shot is not far off.
9) Ilunga Makabu (1-1-51)
Last Fight: 6/28/2014- TKO9 Glen Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Makabu didn’t look great for most of his fight with 45 year-old Glen Johnson, but he had a lot more in the tank than the old veteran, and became only the 2nd guy to get him out of there.
10) Ola Afolabi (1-277-277)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. Pawel Kolodziej (UNR)
After we got no news on the fight for months, Afolabi-Kolodziej is now scheduled for the Golovkin-Geale undercard on July 26.
11) Lukasz Janik (1-35)
Last Fight: 6/28/2014- UD10 Rico Hoye (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik did enough to beat a perhaps better-than-expected Rico Hoye, but didn’t exactly light the world on fire in doing so.
12) Ovill McKenzie (1-12)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- TKO2 Jon-Lewis Dickinson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After blowing out the British Champion, McKenzie has his sites set on a European or perhaps World belt.  He wants to fight Marco Huck most of all.
13) Youri Kalenga (1-2)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- W (SD12*) vs. #12 Mateusz Masternak
Next Fight: Unknown
How a guy can get dominated by Arturs Kulikauskis, only to come back and dominate Mateusz Masternak within about 9 months, is beyond me.  Still, the former fight aside, he’s got another pretty nice win on his resume right before that, over Iago Kiladze, a then-undefeated prospect.
14) Giacobbe Fragomeni (1-294)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Olegs Lopajevs (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The fight with Lopajevs was purely a stay-busy contest, but he’s talking about another title shot even at 44 years old.
15) Mateusz Masternak (2-118)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- L (SD12*) vs. Youri Kalenga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Having now lost to his last two decent opponents, the future of Masternak, who looked like a can’t-miss talent not long ago, seems very much in doubt.
16) Santander Silgado (2-35)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- L (UD12) vs. Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I don’t want to say Silgado made it easy for Chakhkiev, because it looked relatively difficult, but he sure didn’t help himself by taking a fight with a fringe contending Olympic Gold Medalist on 2 weeks’ notice.
17) Danie Venter (2-42)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Venter’s June 6 fight was cancelled a day in advance due to a withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
18) Dmytro Kucher (2-105)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The inactive Kucher may now be in danger of losing his ranking in the next couple weeks, as his stay-busy fight in late May did not come off.
19) Nuri Seferi (2-28)
Last Fight: 5/16/2014- UD12 Tamas Lodi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I took Seferi’s stated desire to fight Marco Huck as idle chatter, but that fight now looks likely for August 30, deserved or not.
20) Gusmyr Perdomo (2-12)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- Robbery Loss (should be draw) vs. #15 Nuri Seferi
Next Fight: Unknown
Perdomo deserved at least a draw against Seferi, but the judges summoned just enough coincidental incompetence to take it from him.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:  After a packed week last time around, we’ve got at least a brief respite on our hands this week.

Cruiserweight: 2014, Jun 23-29

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2014 by danboxing
In what very well may end up as the upset of the year, unheralded one-loss prospect Youri Kalenga shockingly dominated #12 Mateusz Masternak in Monte Carlo on Saturday.  Kalenga wasn’t a total unknown, and had even beat a couple top-50 fighters himself, but he was also saddled with an apparently dominating loss in September against Arturs Kulikauskis, who is best described as a travelling opponent.  It appeared for all the world that he might be more or less a Darnell Boone character- a journeyman who often rises to the occasion against good opposition, but can’t seem to break through by consistently winning all the fights he’s supposed to win.  He certainly didn’t strike much of anyone as a world-class performer, which was the general consensus about Masternak, whose only loss was to the very tough Grigory Drozd.  If you had told me that Kalenga was going to beat Masternak, I’d have expected that he caught him with a single shot, since Kalenga has always appeared to me to be a one-dimensional free-swinger with little or no boxing skill.  But it wasn’t that, either.  Kalenga just dominated Masternak from bell to bell.  There were maybe two rounds- the 7th and 12th- that Masternak may or may not have won, but he just plain got bullied in every other round.  He was always backing up, and looked simultaneously baffled and intimidated by Kalenga, who boxed more technically than I would have thought him capable, but still mixed in the big shot from left field just enough to keep Masternak cautious.  It was a good, honest effort by Kalenga, and frankly a total botch job by Masternak.

 

Speaking of botch jobs…remember how I said essentially that Masternak won maybe two rounds, if he was lucky?  Don’t tell that to the blind, pathetic judges.  I mean you don’t really get rounds more clear than the 10 of 12 that Kalenga dominated, unless we’re talking Calzaghe-Lacy style “holy crap how is he still standing there” beatings.  Juan Manuel Garcia Reyes, to his everlasting shame and infamy, scored the fight 115-113 for Masternak.  Raul Caiz, at 116-112 (for the right guy, at least), was still impossible to justify.  Pawel Kardyni, perhaps not incidentally from Poland, is probably viewed as something of a hero for scoring the fight against his countryman to break the tie and give the fight correctly to Kalenga.  Still, while he did score it for the right guy, I find it hard to see a guy as a paragon of virtue when he still gives his countryman both of the close rounds along with three of the other guy’s clear rounds.  This was, despite everything working out mostly alright in the end, one of the worst-judged fights I’ve ever seen.

 

Kalenga debuts at #14, held back from taking full advantage of his win over the #12 contender by his still relatively recent aforementioned loss to Kulikauskis.  Despite the comprehensive nature of the defeat, Masternak falls only to #15, due to the overall strength of his resume at large.  Janik and McKenzie move up a spot each to fill the void left by Masternak.  Everyone #15 and below last week drops a spot, including #20 Yunier Dorticos, who exits the rankings after 9 weeks in.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Marco Huck (6-394-394)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: 8/30/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Bild Zeitung in Germany reports that Huck will be back on August 30, with Nuri Seferi appearing the most likely candidate to be his opponent.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (6-209-209)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #6 Firat Arslan
Hernandez is set to fight Arslan on August 16, in Erfurt, Germany.  
3) Denis Lebedev (6-229-229)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Given his legitimate injury that shelved him for a big chunk of the year and the fact that his opponent screwed him over via PED use, I’m going to use my discretion and leave Lebedev ranked at this point.  Still, his best work is simply getting too old to stay at the very top.  Some reports have him returning in the fall against Pawel Kolodziej.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (41-470-470)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s looking like Wlodarczyk will be back in August, possibly against BJ Flores.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (22-47-85)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu’s scheduled fight with Brazilian prospect was scrapped on just a day’s notice due to the surprise withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
6) Firat Arslan (22-111-154)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- UD8 Tamas Bajzath (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
See Hernandez’s notes, above.
7) Grigory Drozd (31-38-85)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
8) Rakhim Chakhkiev (4-4-4)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- UD12 #11 Santander Silgado
Next Fight: Unknown
Chakhkiev has finally cashed in a high-level win to go with his hype and promise.  Most likely another title shot is not far off.
9) Ola Afolabi (4-276-276)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. Pawel Kolodziej (UNR)
After we got no news on the fight for months, Afolabi-Kolodziej is now scheduled for the Golovkin-Geale undercard on July 26.
10) Giacobbe Fragomeni (4-41-293)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Olegs Lopajevs (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The fight with Lopajevs was purely a stay-busy contest, but he’s talking about another title shot even at 44 years old.
11) Ilunga Makabu (4-50)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO2 Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/28/2014- vs. Glen Johnson (UNR)
Initially sketchy reports of a June 28 fight with Glen Johnson appear true.
12) Lukasz Janik (1-34)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 6/28/2014- vs. Rico Hoye (UNR)
Janik will dredge up a name from the past when he fights Rico Hoye on June 28.
13) Ovill McKenzie (1-11)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- TKO2 Jon-Lewis Dickinson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After blowing out the British Champion, McKenzie has his sites set on a European or perhaps World belt.  He wants to fight Marco Huck most of all.
14) Youri Kalenga (1-1)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- W (SD12*) vs. #12 Mateusz Masternak
Next Fight: Unknown
How a guy can get dominated by Arturs Kulikauskis, only to come back and dominate Mateusz Masternak within about 9 months, is beyond me.  Still, the former fight aside, he’s got another pretty nice win on his resume right before that, over Iago Kiladze, a then-undefeated prospect.
15) Mateusz Masternak (1-117)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- L (SD12*) vs. Youri Kalenga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Having now lost to his last two decent opponents, the future of Masternak, who looked like a can’t-miss talent not long ago, seems very much in doubt.
16) Santander Silgado (1-34)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- L (UD12) vs. Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I don’t want to say Silgado made it easy for Chakhkiev, because it looked relatively difficult, but he sure didn’t help himself by taking a fight with a fringe contending Olympic Gold Medalist on 2 weeks’ notice.
17) Danie Venter (1-41)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Venter’s June 6 fight was cancelled a day in advance due to a withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
18) Dmytro Kucher (1-104)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The inactive Kucher may now be in danger of losing his ranking in the next couple months, as his stay-busy fight in late May did not come off.
19) Nuri Seferi (1-27)
Last Fight: 5/16/2014- UD12 Tamas Lodi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I took Seferi’s stated desire to fight Marco Huck as idle chatter, but that fight now looks likely for August 30, deserved or not.
20) Gusmyr Perdomo (1-11)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- Robbery Loss (should be draw) vs. #15 Nuri Seferi
Next Fight: Unknown
Perdomo deserved at least a draw against Seferi, but the judges summoned just enough coincidental incompetence to take it from him.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Wednesday
Murat Gassiev vs. Daniil Peretyatko; Unknown Location; TV Unknown
This fight is an oddity, as Boxrec doesn’t list a location for this fight.  Both fighters are from Russia, so that country would tend to be likely.  Peretyatko is a low-level journeyman who is probably a little better than his 17-32 record, but that’s not saying much.  Gassiev is an undefeated prospect.  I’ve seen him once, and I’m almost certain the fight was fixed.

 

Thursday
Jean-Marc Mormeck vs. Tamas Lodi; Asnieres-sur-Seine, France; L’Equipe 21 (France)
Mormeck is the former Champion, but hasn’t fought at cruiser since losing his Championship to David Haye in 2007.  He hasn’t fought anyone at all since his awful performance against Wladimir Klitschko for the Heavyweight Championship well over 2 years ago.  Lodi is a Hungarian journeyman.  With only two losses, you could almost call him a prospect, but he’s lost pretty comprehensively to the only two fighters of any pedigree that he’s ever been in with- Ilunga Makabu in 2013 and Nuri Seferi last month.  That being the case, I think his prospects as a prospect, as it were, would tend to top out around the fringes of the top 50.  We’ve seen stranger things than long-inactive and aging former cruiserweight champions getting shockingly upset in comeback fights (see O’Neil Bell for a recent example), but he’d have to have regressed a fair amount for Lodi to have a serious chance, I would think.

 

Friday
B.J. Flores vs. Anthony Caputo Smith; Las Vegas, Nevada; Off TV
Flores hasn’t fought anyone of any note in at least nearly three years while he suffered through promotional woes and focused on his TV gig with NBC.  He’s at least a credible fringe contender when he’s active, though.  Like Lodi above, Caputo Smith is a two-loss fighter who is no longer a legitimate prospect, having lost to the estimable Sean Monaghan, but also to midwestern journeyman Kevn Engel, both by early stoppage.  If Flores makes 200, he’ll likely be ranked again next week just due to his returning to activity within the division.  The fight is on the ShoBox card, but will not make the broadcast.

 

Saturday
#11 Ilunga Makabu vs. Glen Johnson; Kinshasa, Congo; TV Unknown
I’ve thought this for a few fights now, but this might be the end of the line for the Road Warrior, who is a heck of a guy, but at this point has faded more than Roy Jones.  Makabu might as well be undefeated, having been stopped in his first fight more than 5 years ago with no subsequent setbacks.  More importantly, he’s looked formidable in his two true tests- back-t0-back 2013 wins against Dmytro Kucher and Eric Fields.  Throw in the fact that the 45 year-old Johnson was competing at 168 fairly recently, and there’s really not much going for the Jamaican native, other than experience, of course.  True to form, this will be in Makabu’s homeland.  By the way, is it hard for anyone else to say “Kinshasa” without following it up with “Zaire?”  The Rumble in the Jungle and the times it evokes define that city, for me.

 

Krzysztof Glowacki vs. Ismail Abdoul; Rzeszow, Poland; PolSat Sport (Poland)
Glowacki is an impressive and hard-hitting Polish prospect who is sometimes ranked here.  Abdoul is 37 and has seen better days.  He does come off three consecutive wins over generic competition, but is not really the serious gatekeeper he was at one point.  Still, he hasn’t been stopped since Wlodarczyk got him in the the very last round in 2002, so that will be a challenge for Glowacki, if nothing else.

 

#12 Lukasz Janik vs. Rico Hoye; Rzeszow, Poland; PolSat Sport (Poland)
Janik really ought to have a top ten ranking, since he pretty clearly beat Ola Afolabi, who was ranked #7 at the time.  Unfortunately, he was borderline robbed, and so he’s left fighting has-beens like Hoye.  Hoye, a 39 year-old from Detroit, was a contender back around 2004, and a top 50 fighter as recently as 2009, but he’s fought just one low-level opponent since then.  Janik should have too much for him, assuming his performance against Afolabi was not a huge fluke.

Cruiserweight: 2014, May 19-25

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 16, 2014 by danboxing
Undefeated local kid Murat Gassiev got a 2nd-round TKO in what was a pretty obviously fixed fight in what looked like a converted funeral parlor in Vladikavkaz, Russia on Wednesday.  Gassiev appeared to be measuring his opponent- veteran Georgian travelling opponent George Tevdorashvili- for the entire first round.  That is to say he didn’t so much as throw anything with intent.  Tevdorashvili didn’t exactly wow anyone, but he outworked the Russian to claim the first round almost by default.  The second round was largely the same until Gassiev suddenly came out of his tentative shell to throw a combination.  A jab may have partially gotten through, though it was significantly blocked.  A right hand then caught nothing but air as it whistled over the Georgian’s head.  Tevdorashvili then fell hard to the canvas.  Maybe the jab was enough to put him down, or maybe it was a dive.  I will reserve judgment on that point specifically.  But this is where it gets really fishy.  Tevdorashvili gets to his feet very quickly, but despite being completely unhurt and perhaps never having been hit with a punch in the whole fight, his cornerman is standing on the ring apron asking the referee to stop the fight before the count is half over.  There is simply no legitimate justification for this.  If anything, the corner should have been arguing for a slip.  Who knew what and when exactly they knew it may be a bit open to debate, but it’s clear that somebody had big money on a 2nd round stoppage.  I’d hate to mar the career of a potentially promising prospect (though I saw nothing to support that proposition on this particular night), but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it looked to me like Gassiev was carrying his opponent for as long as it went.

 

The following evening in Brooklyn, undefeated prospects Stivens Bujaj, a New York-based Albanian and the more advanced of the two, and Junior Wright of Chicago, met up in a rare early-career test for both guys.  At first, Bujaj was boxing fairly effectively, catching Wright on the way in enough to nick the first couple rounds.  But Wright’s pressure was relentless, and he continued to pick up steam and wear down his counterpart, and in doing so won 6 or 7 of the last 8 rounds.  The last round was a totally different matter, though, as Bujaj was able to summon a second wind in a gust that included a fight-turning shot.  Wright was left badly hurt and holding on for the last half of the round, and it looked like there was a decent chance Wright would be stopped.  Referee Shada Murdagh, in the midst of a clinch, saw that Wright’s tape had begun to unravel badly from his glove.  He tried to rip it off himself and prevent a pause in the compelling life-and-death action, but failed to accomplish that mission.  Wright therefore was granted any extra time he may have needed to survive.  When the fight went to the cards, there was no doubt that Wright had at least edged it by a round, if not more, and all that despite Bujaj’s final-round heroics.  No doubt, that is, except in the minds of chronically inept judges John McKaie and Robin Taylor, whose hometown cards had it 96-94 Bujaj and 95-95 respectively.  When combined with Don Trella’s dead-on 96-94 card, the official result was a draw.  To be honest, that result feels kinda fair when you consider the fact that an equipment malfunction on Wright may have cost Bujaj a come-from-behind stoppage, or at least a fighting chance at one.  But whether it feels fair or not, it’s not fair.  It may have been wider than 96-94 in Wright’s favor, but it certainly wasn’t closer.  It’s a robbery by judges that often do just that.  Plain and simple.  I’ll be treating it as a close win for Wright.  Hopefully the draw, incorrect as it is, might lead to a rematch of what was definitely one of the candidates for cruiserweight fight of the year.

 

Friday in Hamburg, #17 Nuri Seferi got back on track with a pretty dominant win over one-loss Hungarian prospect Tamas Lodi.  Seferi did what he typically does when he’s on his game, coming forward constantly and consistently landing solid, if not concussive, punches with both hands.  As for Lodi, he blew what may have been an opportunity.  Perdomo had exposed a perfect gameplan to fight Seferi just over a month ago, but the similarly-built Lodi fought a tactically incompetent fight, instead.  He allowed the plodding shorter man with slower hands to walk to him and yet control range, and also to be first with his punches the vast majority of the time.  Seferi lost his groove a bit in the early-to-middle rounds, but his slow-burning pressure took plenty of a toll on Lodi down the stretch.  In the last couple rounds, the Hungarian was looking to do little more than survive.  I had it 118-110, as did judge Manfred Kuechler.  Matteo Montella of Rome had it 119-109, which is perfectly reasonable.  Holger Wiemann, who we mainly know as an incompetent referee who helps out Albanians all the time for some reason, did Albania’s Seferi no favors this time around, scoring it 116-112 for Seferi, at least one unreasonably-scored round too close, in my opinion.

 

In the division’s headlining fight on Saturday, #10 Light Heavyweight Nathan Cleverly finally made his long-awaited, injury-delayed cruiserweight debut, taking on Guyana journeyman Shawn Corbin.  Corbin was able to nullify Cleverly just a little bit in the first round, but other than that, it was never really a contest.  Cleverly showed that he may have carried whatever power he had at 175 up to his new weight, as he badly hurt Corbin in the 2nd and followed up with wide-open potshots to put him away, with referee Richard Davies stepping in at the 2:19 mark.  

 

The only winner (in my eyes, at least) who beat a top 50 opponent was Wright, and while he has broken through to the high gatekeeper level, Bujaj simply wasn’t proven enough to get him as high as the top 20.  I’m leaving Lebedev ranked because his inactivity is entirely due to an injury, followed by dirty dealings by his opponent.  However, he hasn’t won a fight of consequence since 2012, and hasn’t beaten a top 20 contender since he was robbed against Marco Huck in 2010.  This inactivity at the top level causes him to slide to #3 behind Huck and Hernandez.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Marco Huck (1-389-389)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck’s TV deal in Germany is set to expire, he’s reportedly leaving Sauerland, and has met with HBO about coming to the US.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (1-204-204)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez’s fight with Kolodziej- originally postponed- has now been cancelled due to an illness to Hernandez.
3) Denis Lebedev (1-224-224)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Given his legitimate injury that shelved him for a big chunk of the year and the fact that his opponent screwed him over via PED use, I’m going to use my discretion and leave Lebedev ranked at this point.  Still, his best work is simply getting too old to stay at the very top.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (36-465-465)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk probably won’t return until the fall, with Drozd and BJ Flores being considered.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (17-42-80)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. Julio Cesar Dos Santos (UNR)
Mchunu will stay busy with upper-level journeyman Julio Cesar Santos of Brazil on June 6 in South Africa.
6) Firat Arslan (17-106-149)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #3 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Having visibly regressed since his excellent first effort against Huck, it might be time for the 43 year-old Arslan to consider retirement.
7) Grigory Drozd (26-33-80)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
8) Ola Afolabi (26-271-271)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi is now slated for an eventual eliminator with Pawel Kolodziej for a shot at Yoan Pablo Hernandez.  K2 has won the purse bids, and the fight is currently in the process of being worked out.  It’s targeted for the summer.
9) Giacobbe Fragomeni (26-36-288)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Olegs Lopajevs (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The fight with Lopajevs was purely a stay-busy contest, but he’s talking about another title shot even at 44 years old.
10) Ilunga Makabu (4-4-45)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO2 Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Makabu’s excellent matchup with Masternak has been scrapped due to a dispute between the Congolese contender and his promoter.
11) Santander Silgado (4-29)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. #15 Danie Venter
Silgado will apparently now be fighting in South Africa on June 6 in a very good matchup with Danie Venter.
12) Mateusz Masternak (4-112)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- UD8 Stjepan Vugdelija (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. Youri Kayembre Kalenga (UNR)
Masternak’s fight with Makabu fell through, and he’ll instead be fighting crude and inconsistent one-loss prospect Youri Kalenga.
13) Lukasz Janik (4-29)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik would like a well-deserved rematch with Afolabi.
14) Ovill McKenzie (4-6)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- KO5 #18 Tony Conquest
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. Jon-Lewis Dickinson (UNR)
After capturing the Commonwealth title with an upset knockout of Tony Conquest, McKenzie will have a quick turnaround, as he’ll fight Jon-Lewis Dickinson for the British title on the Froch-Groves undercard.
15) Danie Venter (4-36)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. #11 Santander Silgado
A big opportunity for Venter, as he takes on a potentially overrated Silgado in his own back yard.
16) Dmytro Kucher (4-99)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Kucher will be featured on May 31 in Odessa, Ukraine, but no opponent yet.
17) Nuri Seferi (4-22)
Last Fight: 5/16/2014- UD12 Tamas Lodi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Seferi looked pretty decent against Lodi, who fought the wrong fight.  At this point, he ought to give Perdomo a rematch.
18) Gusmyr Perdomo (4-6)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- Robbery Loss (should be draw) vs. #15 Nuri Seferi
Next Fight: Unknown
Perdomo deserved at least a draw against Seferi, but the judges summoned just enough coincidental incompetence to take it from him.
19) Yunier Dorticos (4-5)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- KO4 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Krzysztof Glowacki (4-4)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)

Next Fight: Unknown
Glowacki is the top contender for the title held by Huck, but might never get that exact shot, since Huck is making noise about moving up.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Friday
Dmitry Kudryashov vs. Ivica Bacurin; Krasnodar, Russia; TV Unknown
Kudryashov is a human highlight reel, scoring spectacular knockouts against gatekeeper and journeyman-level opposition with consistency.  Bacurin is a mid-level journeyman from Croatia who generally loses close decisions to guys proven on Kudryashov’s level.  He’s coming off an 8-round split decision loss to former top-10 contender Juan Carlos Gomez.  Catch this one if you can, because the Russian has yet to disappoint the viewer.

 

Saturday
Daniel Ammann vs. Mark Flanagan; Townsville, Australia; TV Unknown
This one is for the vacant Australian title.  Ammann, on an international level, is a gatekeeper, who looks to rebound from a dominant loss to Tony Conquest from February.  Flanagan is a journeyman, and probably not a member of the top 50.  However, he did upset Kenyan gatekeeper Kariz Kariuki at 175 in late 2012, so he’s a live dog.

Cruiserweight: 2014, May 12-18

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 11, 2014 by danboxing
Former light heavyweight fringe contender Thierry Karl, who had been cutting a vicious swath through the European level at 175 back around 2009, returned from a 2-year layoff on Wednesday in his native France, taking a 8-round points decision over 9-9 low-level journeyman Tamas Bajzath.  That’s got to be seen as a disappointment, considering that at his best, he was stopping the likes of Nadjib Mohammedi.  Boxrec has him well outside the top 50 with his layoff, though I think that’s a little harsh given how thin cruiserweight really is.

 

Inactive contender BJ Flores got in the ring for the first time in more than 18 months on Saturday on the Stiverne-Arreola undercard in LA, knocking out total non-entity Adam Collins in less than 2 minutes.  Unfortunately for Flores and his fans, he came in more than 5 pounds over the cruiserweight limit, and is thus not eligible for a re-ranking.

 

No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (42-223-223)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Hopefully Lebedev can get back in the ring soon after Jones fell out of the fight with a second consecutive positive Furosemide test.
2) Marco Huck (16-388-388)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck’s TV deal in Germany is set to expire, he’s reportedly leaving Sauerland, and has met with HBO about coming to the US.
3) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (16-203-203)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez’s fight with Kolodziej- originally postponed- has now been cancelled due to an illness to Hernandez.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (35-464-464)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk probably won’t return until the fall, with Drozd and BJ Flores being considered.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (16-41-79)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. Julio Cesar Dos Santos (UNR)
Mchunu will stay busy with upper-level journeyman Julio Cesar Santos of Brazil on June 6 in South Africa.
6) Firat Arslan (16-105-148)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #3 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Having visibly regressed since his excellent first effort against Huck, it might be time for the 43 year-old Arslan to consider retirement.
7) Grigory Drozd (25-32-79)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
8) Ola Afolabi (25-270-270)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi is now slated for an eventual eliminator with Pawel Kolodziej for a shot at Yoan Pablo Hernandez.  K2 has won the purse bids, and the fight is currently in the process of being worked out.  It’s targeted for the summer.
9) Giacobbe Fragomeni (25-35-287)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Olegs Lopajevs (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The fight with Lopajevs was purely a stay-busy contest, but he’s talking about another title shot even at 44 years old.
10) Ilunga Makabu (3-3-44)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO2 Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Makabu’s excellent matchup with Masternak has been scrapped due to a dispute between the Congolese contender and his promoter.
11) Santander Silgado (3-28)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. #15 Danie Venter
Silgado will apparently now be fighting in South Africa on June 6 in a very good matchup with Danie Venter.
12) Mateusz Masternak (3-111)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- UD8 Stjepan Vugdelija (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. Youri Kayembre Kalenga (UNR)
Masternak’s fight with Makabu fell through, and he’ll instead be fighting crude and inconsistent one-loss prospect Youri Kalenga.
13) Lukasz Janik (3-28)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik would like a well-deserved rematch with Afolabi.
14) Ovill McKenzie (3-5)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- KO5 #18 Tony Conquest
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. Jon-Lewis Dickinson (UNR)
After capturing the Commonwealth title with an upset knockout of Tony Conquest, McKenzie will have a quick turnaround, as he’ll fight Jon-Lewis Dickinson for the British title on the Froch-Groves undercard.
15) Danie Venter (3-35)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/6/2014- vs. #11 Santander Silgado
A big opportunity for Venter, as he takes on a potentially overrated Silgado in his own back yard.
16) Dmytro Kucher (3-98)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Nuri Seferi (3-21)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- Robbery Win (should be draw) vs. Gusmyr Perdomo (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/16/2014- vs. Tamas Lodi (UNR)
A quick turnaround for Seferi, and unfortunately no immediate rematch for Perdomo, as Seferi will take on Hungarian prospect Tamas Lodi in Hamburg on May 16.
18) Gusmyr Perdomo (3-5)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- Robbery Loss (should be draw) vs. #15 Nuri Seferi
Next Fight: Unknown
Perdomo deserved at least a draw against Seferi, but the judges summoned just enough coincidental incompetence to take it from him.
19) Yunier Dorticos (3-4)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- KO4 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Krzysztof Glowacki (3-3)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)

Next Fight: Unknown
Glowacki is the top contender for the title held by Huck, but might never get that exact shot, since Huck is making noise about moving up.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Wednesday
Murat Gassiev vs. George Tevdorashvili; Vladikavkaz, Russia; TV Unknown
Gassiev is an undefeated native of Vladikavkaz who is coming off his best win thus far in his career against quality journeyman Ismail Abdoul back in February.  Tevdorashvili is a Georgian journeyman who has been in with some decent names, but seldom escapes from that type of fight without a loss.  He was beaten by Abdoul back in 2012.

 

Thursday
Stivens Bujaj vs. Junior Wright; Brighton Beach, New York; Comcast Sportsnet (US)
Bujaj is an undefeated Albanian who makes his home in New York.  He’s flashed solid power against middling opposition, and is coming off a TKO over journeyman Victor Barragan.  Wright is also undefeated, but has been in softer than Bujaj so far.  He’s knocked out all but one of his opponents so far, and comes off a 4th round knockout of travelling midwestern opponent-type Galen Brown.  Bujaj has proven more than Wright so far, but this one could go either way.  I’ve seen neither guy so far, personally.  It appears this will be televised by Comcast Sportsnet.  I don’t know what that is, to be honest, but I assume it’s only available to Comcast cable subscribers.  Not sure if that’s national or local only.  Hopefully I can see a video one way or another.

 

Friday
#17 Nuri Seferi vs. Tamas Lodi; Hamburg, Germany; Eurosport 2
Seferi, of Albania, looks to rebound from a fight he was lucky to escape without a loss against Gusmyr Perdomo, just over a month ago.  Lodi is a Hungarian one-loss prospect.  He was destroyed in his first serious fight against Ilunga Makabu, whom he had no business fighting at that point.  In his most difficult match-up apart from that, back in November, Lodi got what was probably a slight upset in knocking out undefeated Janne Forsman.  Seferi ought to win this, but I wouldn’t totally rule out the Hungarian, given recent form.

 

Saturday
#10 LHW Nathan Cleverly vs. Shawn Corbin; Cardiff, Wales; Sky (UK)
Cleverly makes his long-awaited debut at cruiserweight, in a fight that’s more or less intended to set up a showdown with bitter English rival Tony Bellew.  Corbin is the very definition of a mid-level journeyman, whose crowning achievement was a shocking decision that ended the would-be comeback of a faded Wayne Braithwaite back in 2012.