Archive for Nathan Cleverly

Cruiserweight: 2014, Jul 14-20

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 25, 2014 by danboxing
Nathan Cleverly and Tony Bellew remained on their collision course for presumably late this year, as both men took care of business on Saturday.  Cleverly led off by scoring a 4th round TKO over Argentine gatekeeper Alejandro Valori, who was dropped twice by body shots from the former light heavyweight contender.  Cleverly actually struggled more than just a little bit in the first round, as he was caught with several flush shots from the wild-swinging Valori.  The Argentine seemed to get a bit tired pretty quick though, especially after the first knockdown, which came early in the 2nd round.  He was still game and mounted the occasional offensive, sometimes even catching Cleverly clean with a shot or two, but Cleverly seems to have moved up strong to 200, and was never visibly bothered by anything.  Valori showed valor, and did get up after the second crushing body shot knockdown, but he wobbled right at about the count of 8, which gave referee Terry O’Connor all the reason he needed to call it off.  The Sky broadcast team repeatedly implied that Valori was practically a bum off the street compared to Bellew’s opponent, which I don’t get.  He was cruder, it’s fair to say, but the guy is the class of a solid Argentine scene, and quite legitimately ranked in the top 50 by Boxrec.  It was a nice little win for the Welshman, in my view.

 

Bellew had a similarly successful outing with Julio Cesar Dos Santos of Brazil, a high-level journeyman who was treated like a serious contender by the Sky team.  I would give him enough credit to say that he’s a tough nut to crack.  His defense is very sturdy, and so Bellew had to be content to poke away and score points against the Brazilian, who wasn’t throwing much himself.  He did tag Bellew once or twice in a close 3rd, but that was about all he could manage offensively.  In the 5th, he got caught hooking with a hooker, and Bellew made him pay by driving him hard to the seat of his pants.  Dos Santos staggered as he pulled himself to his feet, which was enough for Phil Edwards to call it off despite his looking relatively steady by the completion of the 8 count.  

 

Going back to Thursday, undefeated Cuban Yunier Dorticos got a wide decision win over faded former middleweight contender Edison Miranda in Miami.  Fox Sports 1 picked the fight up at the halfway point, so I can only speak with any detail of the last half.  For that last half, Miranda was very much a live dog, getting an occasional shot in, and showing a good chin even 40 pounds up from his prime fighting weight.  Dorticos, for his part, seemed to be tiring for the part of the fight I saw, and his punches were consequently not as concise as I’d expect, while his defense was a bit on the lax side.  Still, considering I only came in at round 6, it wasn’t bad, and his overall ability was still more than enough to handle Miranda.  I scored 4 of the 5 rounds for Dorticos, with only one other round being a toss-up that could go to Miranda.  I can’t give you a true range of scores or my exact score.  I will say that Bob Sheridan and Raul Marquez both said the 6th, which Dorticos clearly one, was Miranda’s best round to that point.  If that’s the case, you might assume a shutout through 5.  With that being assumed, my score would be 99-91, with 98-92 also being a reasonable score.  Judge Alex Levin had it 99-91, which I’m obviously okay with.  Judges Rocky Young and Richard Green both had it a shutout, which, with all due respect, are not credible scores.

 

Cleverly’s debut at the serious level of the cruiserweight division is enough to cut through the soft 4th quarter of the top 20 like the butter it basically is, and he ends up at #14.  Everyone ranked #14-17 last week falls a spot.  #18 Dmytro Kucher is removed for inactivity, which allows #19 and 20 Seferi and Perdomo to maintain their rankings.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Marco Huck (9-397-397)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: 8/30/2014- vs. Mirko Larghetti (UNR)
As it turns out, Huck’s August 30 opponent will be Mirko Larghetti, the Italian prospect he was scheduled to fight earlier this year before injury scuttled the bout.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (9-212-212)
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 (9-232-232)
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 (44-473-473)
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 (25-50-88)
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 (25-114-157)
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 (34-41-88)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
8) Rakhim Chakhkiev (7-7-7)
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 (3-3-53)
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 (3-279-279)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
The rumor that is Pawel Kolodziej is once again involved in a fight that’s not coming off, as he withdrew from his July 26 date with Afolabi, who is now in search of a replacement.
11) Lukasz Janik (3-37)
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 (3-14)
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 (3-4)
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) Nathan Cleverly (1-1)
Last Fight: 7/12/2014- TKO4 Alejandro Valori (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Cleverly will likely fight Bellew in November, give or take.
15) Giacobbe Fragomeni (1-296)
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.
16) Mateusz Masternak (1-120)
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.
17) Santander Silgado (1-37)
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.
18) Danie Venter (1-44)
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.
19) Nuri Seferi (4-30)
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 (4-14)
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: 
Saturday
Victor Ramirez vs. Cleiton Conceicao; Benavidez, Argentina; TyC Sports (Argentina)
Ramirez is a former fringe contender who hasn’t done much of anything in over 5 years, having been essentially retired for the majority of that time.  He takes on Brazil’s Conceicao, who put forth very little effort in the direction of winning in losing by 14 points on my card in a 12-rounder against later exposed German prospect Dustin Dirks a couple years ago.  Ramirez should eat him alive, even if he’s not what he once was.

Light Heavyweight: 2014, Jul 7-13

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 20, 2014 by danboxing
One-loss Kiwi prospect Robert Berridge lived up to his “butcher” nickname on Saturday, chopping down overpowered fellow one-loss prospect Rogerio Damasco of Brazil with big right hands to score two knockdowns and end it by the end of the first, when the unproven Brazilian’s corner stepped up to call it off.  No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks   in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (96-96-96)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward lost an arbitration with his promoter, but it sounds like the rift between the two is far from solved.  Kessler is the latest guy to renew a stated desire to fight him.
1) Adonis Stevenson (57-57-57)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- UD12 #6 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevenson is very likely to fight Bernard Hopkins next, though there have been no negotiations that I’m aware of yet.
2) Bernard Hopkins (96-422-422)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- W (SD12*) vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Hopkins is considering leaving Golden Boy.  This would give him free choice between Stevenson, Kovalev, or anyone else, really.  Mohammedi is now technically his mandatory, but we’ll see if they find some way around that.
3) Jean Pascal (25-25-25)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD12 #16 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Pascal is pencilled in for a September fight, and perhaps one more before the end of the year.  There is currently talk of Tavoris Cloud being the September opponent.  That’s a significant step up from Sean Monaghan, who had been the odds-on favorite to fight Pascal on that date.
4) Sergey Kovalev (25-77-77)
Last Fight: 3/29/2014- KO7 #15 Cedric Agnew
Next Fight: 8/2/2014- vs. Blake Caparello (UNR)
Kovalev is back on August 2 against apparently one of the few guys willing to fight him- Australian undefeated prospect Blake Caparello.
5) Tony Bellew (3-143-143)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO12 Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. Julio Cesar Dos Santos (UNR) (at CW)
Bellew’s July 12 opponent has been announced as Brazilian 2-loss fringe prospect Julio Cesar Dos Santos, who will basically just be extending his training camp after an aborted fight with Thabiso Mchunu. 
6) Andrzej Fonfara (3-47-104)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- L (UD12) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
See Kovalev’s notes, above.
7) Gabriel Campillo (3-211-211)
Last Fight: 5/9/2014- TKO7 Ricky Pow (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/1/2014- vs. #13 Thomas Williams, Jr.
This could be the start of Campillo’s resurgence, or the continuation of his decline.  He’ll fight up-and-comer Thomas Williams, Jr. on Friday Night Fights, August 1.
8) Tavoris Cloud (3-254-254)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
A September 27 fight with Pascal is a possibility.
9) Nathan Cleverly (3-231-231)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- TKO2 Shawn Corbin (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. Alejandro Valori (UNR)
Cleverly looked good against Corbin in his cruiserweight debut.  He’ll keep his ranking here until he schedules a cruiserweight fight for after August 17 (the anniversary of his last fight in this division), or until that date passes, whichever comes first.  He will fight next on July 12, when he takes on Argentine gatekeeper Alejandro Valori at the 200 pound limit.  Valori is a solid performer on the South American scene, but has never fought outside Argentina.  If he gets by that, Bellew-Cleverly II is being targeted for November.
10) Isaac Chilemba (3-3-127)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD10 Denis Grachev (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/2/2014- vs. Cory Cummings (UNR)
Chilemba will fight on the Kovalev-Caparello card on August 2, taking on mid-level journeyman Cory Cummings in a stay-busy fight.
11) Jürgen Brähmer (3-116)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- UD12 Roberto Feliciano Bolonti (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Braehmer looked solid for 11 of the 12 rounds against Bolonti.  It’s said that he aspires to a Hopkins fight.
12) Karo Murat (3-37)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat wants Braehmer, his former stablemate, but is now without a promoter, which probably means Sauerland isn’t falling all over themselves to make that fight.
13) Thomas Williams, Jr. (3-24)
Last Fight: 4/24/2014- TKO3 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/1/2014- vs. #7 Gabriel Campillo
See Campillo’s notes, above.
14) Cedric Agnew (3-65)
Last Fight: 6/27/2014- RTD2 Shannon Miller (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After taking a risk against Kovalev and coming up short, I can only assume that his prospects for a regional title bout against Dudchenko and a IBF eliminator against Sukhotsky might both be out the window at least for the moment.
15) Edwin Rodriguez (3-52)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez was scheduled to fight Marcus Johnson on May 24, but Johnson quickly withdrew.
16) Hadillah Mohoumadi (3-54)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Cornelius White (3-134)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- L (TKO1) vs. Thomas Williams, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Never blessed with big-time promotional or managerial ties, White has risked becoming a permanent opponent with his last two losses.
18) Eleider Alvarez (3-76)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- UD10 Alexander Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There are rumors springing up in Russia of Alvarez fighting Dmitry Sukhotsky on July 19 in Quebec.
19) Lucian Bute (3-88)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- L (UD12) vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute wants his contractually-guaranteed rematch with Pascal, a fight that appears tentatively planned for late in the year.  He recently parted ways with his long-time trainer, and says he’s in no hurry to get back in the ring.
20) Dmitry Sukhotsky (3-3)
Last Fight: 6/4/2014- UD12 Joey Vegas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I can’t find a video anywhere, but Sukhotsky’s win over Joey Vegas in Russia was suspiciously close.

 

The Week Ahead
Thursday
Umberto Savigne vs. Jeff Lacy; Miami, Florida; FS1 (US)
Savigne is a one-loss Cuban prospect who is roughly at about the top 25-30 level, but hasn’t made 175 since March of last year.  Not only that, but he failed a drug test for that fight, though for the life of me I can’t find any reporting on what exactly he tested positive for.  Lacy was once a serious contender, but he’s all kinds of shot at this point, and has been for a while.  Lacy last beat a fighter that was even kinda good back in April 2009, when he won a questionable decision against Otis Griffin.  Since then, he’s lost to someone named Dhafir Smith (2010) and made a fairly shot Roy Jones look fantastic in late 2009.  Savigne should cut through him like butter.

 

Ranked contenders Tony Bellew and Nathan Cleverly are in action, but their fights are both at cruiserweight and will only be mentioned there unless they happen to affect the rankings here.

Cruiserweight: 2014, Jul 7-13

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 20, 2014 by danboxing
No notable cruiserweight fights took place last week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Marco Huck (8-396-396)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: 8/30/2014- vs. Mirko Larghetti (UNR)
As it turns out, Huck’s August 30 opponent will be Mirko Larghetti, the Italian prospect he was scheduled to fight earlier this year before injury scuttled the bout.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (8-211-211)
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 (8-231-231)
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 (43-472-472)
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 (24-49-87)
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 (24-113-156)
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 (33-40-87)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
8) Rakhim Chakhkiev (6-6-6)
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 (2-2-52)
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 (2-278-278)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
The rumor that is Pawel Kolodziej is once again involved in a fight that’s not coming off, as he withdrew from his July 26 date with Afolabi, who is now in search of a replacement.
11) Lukasz Janik (2-36)
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 (2-13)
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 (2-3)
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 (2-295)
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 (3-119)
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 (3-36)
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 (3-43)
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 (3-106)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher will be removed next week unless he schedules a fight before then.
19) Nuri Seferi (3-29)
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 (3-13)
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: 
Thursday
Yunier Dorticos vs. Edison Miranda; Miami, Florida; FS1 (US)
Dorticos is a fringe contending undefeated Cuban who has been ranked in the top 20 when the division ebbs a bit.  Miranda is a former middleweight contender who has certainly seen better days in his career.  At cruiserweight in 2014, he’s basically an upper-level journeyman.  Dorticos comes off the two best wins of his career back-to-back in Hamilton Ventura and especially Eric Fields.  This would probably be his 3rd-best.  Miranda will be making his debut as anything like a full-fledged cruiserweight, and has lost 4 of his last 5, all at 175.

 

Saturday
#5 LHW Tony Bellew vs. Julio Cesar Dos Santos; Liverpool, England; Sky (UK)
This figures to be the final tune-up for Bellew before he meets Nathan Cleverly in a big-money grudge match in the fall.  Dos Santos is an upper-level journeyman who is right on the borderline of the top 50.  The last time he fought anywhere near Bellew’s level, he was unanimously shut out over 12 rounds by Dmytro Kucher.  He also has a majority decision loss to a journeyman back in 2012.

 

#9 LHW Nathan Cleverly vs. Alejandro Valori; Liverpool, England; Sky (UK)
Cleverly probably has a bit tougher an opponent on his hands than Bellew, as Valori is a veteran gatekeeper with a couple top 50-level wins of his own in Argentina.  That being said, he has also lost at a relatively low level at times.  If Cleverly has any business competing at this weight, he should handle Valori easily, as even natural light heavyweight prospect Marcos Ahumada managed to notch a win with him.  If he’s too small for cruiser, there’s a reasonable chance that Valori will be able to prove it.

Light Heavyweight: 2014, May 19-25

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 16, 2014 by danboxing
The MaxiNutrition Knockout Tournament held its semi-final round in Leeds, England on Saturday.

 

In the first semifinal, one-loss prospect Travis Dickinson got all he could handle from somewhat less proven fellow one-loss man Matty Clarkson.  It looked like it might be an early night after a couple rounds, as Dickinson dropped his man once in each of those frames.  But Clarkson bounced back with a knockdown in the 3rd (one I feel strongly was a slip).  Dickinson otherwise had a decent round, and I scored it only 10-9 for Clarkson.  Dickinson probably just nicked the 4th, before disaster struck in the 5th.  Clarkson landed a vicious body shot that dropped and hurt Dickinson badly.  Dickinson rose, but was dropped two more times with body shots by the end of the round.  Clarkson had developed his own problems by this time, as his right cheek was grotesquely swollen with a broken jaw.  Even with the 10-6 round in favor of Clarkson, I had it all even.  The 6th was shaping up to be a competitive affair when referee Michael Alexander abruptly stopped it, apparently due to the broken jaw.  I am not sure I want to argue with that decision too much, though the timing did seem fairly arbitrary after he’d already gotten an all-clear from the doctor earlier in the round.  Unfortunately, it interrupted a highly dramatic and competitive fight, and one that hadn’t really been decided yet on the merits.  As it is, Dickinson gets the win over a non-top-50 opponent, and thus pretty much remains the prospect that he was to begin with.

 

In the second semi, heavy tournament favorite Bob Ajisafe had a great deal of trouble finding the target on journeyman Leon Senior, who was just awkward and clever enough to grind the rangy Ajisafe’s offense to a standstill.  I actually gave Senior both of the first two rounds, though I thought the first in particular could legitimately have gone either way.  Ajisafe at least began to outwork his man in the 3rd, though I thought Senior may have again come back to nick the 4th.  That means I actually had the huge underdog leading 39-37 after 4.  But that’s all the time Ajisafe needed to figure things out.  Senior’s elusiveness began to wane noticeably, and Ajisafe began to find his face at the end of some of his probing one-two combos.  The fight really turned on a dime, and Ajisafe tattooed Senior with a sustained barrage that caused Mark Lyson to stop it, and quite correctly.  Senior went from possibly winning to stopped on his feet in a matter of a couple minutes.

 

Both guys, at least in terms of the provenness of the opposition, were in tougher in the quarters than they were this time around, and neither does much more than advance to the no-doubt significant finals with these particular wins.  No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks   in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (89-89-89)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward lost an arbitration with his promoter, but it sounds like the rift between the two is far from solved.  Kessler is the latest guy to renew a stated desire to fight him.
1) Adonis Stevenson (50-50-50)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO6 #6 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #6 Andrzej Fonfara
In something of a coup, Stevenson-Fonfara will be carried by Showtime.   This not only further diminishes HBO’s stable of top fighters, but also puts in serious doubt the plausibility of what appeared to be an upcoming megafight with Kovalev.
2) Bernard Hopkins (89-415-415)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- W (SD12*) vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Hopkins has been ordered to fight his mandatory, which is the winner of Anatoliy Dudchenko and Nadjib Mohammedi- not exactly big money names- but he has been given leave for a unification fight (presumably with Stevenson) before that.
3) Jean Pascal (18-18-18)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD12 #16 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Pascal is pencilled in for a September fight, and perhaps one more before the end of the year.  Prospective opponents, in order, are Sean Monaghan and Lucian Bute.  He wants Stevenson after that, assuming he comes through cleanly.
4) Sergey Kovalev (18-70-70)
Last Fight: 3/29/2014- KO7 #15 Cedric Agnew
Next Fight: Unknown
Kovalev had some choice words for Stevenson after the Haitian defected to Showtime and, apparently, scuttled their much-hyped matchup for later this year.  No news yet on what Kovalev’s next move will be after the development.
5) Chad Dawson (18-416-416)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L(TKO1) vs. SMW #6 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Dawson has signed a deal with manager Al Haymon, which certainly brightens his career prospects.  He says he is interested in a Stevenson rematch.  Prospects for another occasionally-discussed rematch- with Jean Pascal- increased recently with word that Pascal’s trainer offered Dawson a contract.
6) Andrzej Fonfara (18-40-97)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- KO2 Samuel Miller (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
See Stevenson’s notes, above.
7) Tony Bellew (18-136-136)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO12 Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bellew is campaigning at cruiserweight now, but he’ll keep his ranking here until he schedules a fight there for after November 30, or until after November 30 itself.  BJ Flores wants to fight him, but it sounds like he’ll fight Cleverly before the year is out.
8) Gabriel Campillo (18-204-204)
Last Fight: 5/9/2014- TKO7 Ricky Pow (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
While the result looked good on paper, the reality of Campillo’s uneven performance against Pow should be a little alarming to those who hope to see him remain at the top level.
9) Tavoris Cloud (18-247-247)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Cloud should probably get himself back in the win column at some point.
10) Nathan Cleverly (18-224-224)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- TKO2 Shawn Corbin (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Cleverly looked good against Corbin in his cruiserweight debut.  He’ll keep his ranking here until he schedules a cruiserweight fight for after August 17 (the anniversary of his last fight in this division), or until that date passes, whichever comes first.  He wants to fight in July again, followed by a possible November rematch with bitter rival Tony Bellew.
11) Isaac Chilemba (18-120)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD10 Denis Grachev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba looked very very sharp in dominating a game Denis Grachev, and might soon be in line for a shot at Adonis Stevenson.
12) Jürgen Brähmer (18-109)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD5 Enzo Maccarinelli (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. Roberto Feliciano Bolonti (UNR)
After it initially appeared a Maccarinelli rematch is in the works, Braehmer will instead fight perennial gatekeeper Roberto Feliciano Bolonti of Argentina.
13) Karo Murat (17-30)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat wants Braehmer, his former stablemate, but is now without a promoter, which probably means Sauerland isn’t falling all over themselves to make that fight.
14) Thomas Williams, Jr. (17-17)
Last Fight: 4/24/2014- TKO3 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Williams just added another faded name to his resume…this one perhaps a bit too faded.
15) Cedric Agnew (18-58)
Last Fight: 3/29/2014- L (KO7) vs. #4 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
After taking a risk against Kovalev and coming up short, I can only assume that his prospects for a regional title bout against Dudchenko and a IBF eliminator against Sukhotsky might both be out the window at least for the moment.
16) Edwin Rodriguez (18-45)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez was scheduled to fight Marcus Johnson on May 24, but Johnson quickly withdrew.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (30-47)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (17-127)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- L (TKO1) vs. Thomas Williams, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Never blessed with big-time promotional or managerial ties, White has risked becoming a permanent opponent with his last two losses.
19) Eleider Alvarez (17-69)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD10 Andy Gardiner (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. Alexander Johnson (UNR)
Alvarez has switched from an undefeated prospect to a defeated- but more experienced- one in Alexander Johnson, and in doing so has gotten his fight televised in the US.
20) Lucian Bute (17-81)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- L (UD12) vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute wants his contractually-guaranteed rematch with Pascal, a fight that appears tentatively planned for late in the year.  He recently parted ways with his long-time trainer, and says he’s in no hurry to get back in the ring.

 

The Week Ahead
Saturday
#1 Adonis Stevenson vs. #6 Andrzej Fonfara; Montreal, Quebec; Showtime (US)
Most people consider Stevenson the lineal champion, though I think that belongs to Andre Ward on a technicality.  Fonfara is probably a little overrated at #6 in terms of his actual skill, but his results- chiefly his come-from-behind knockout over Campillo- demand that kind of placement.  This feels like a so-so challenge for the intimidating Stevenson, but it’s hard to sneeze at a #1-#6 showdown.  This division produces so many high-level match-ups, I think maybe we’ve gotten spoiled.  The winner of this has an excellent chance to fight Hopkins next.

 

#19 Eleider Alvarez vs. Alexander Johnson; Montreal, Quebec; Showtime Extreme (US)
Alvarez is a promising Colombian who fights out of Quebec.  He is coming off a mediocre performance in his last fight, though, and will be looking to make a bigger impression against one-loss American fringe prospect Alexander Johnson, who was last seen on TV getting dominated by another prospect in Luis Garcia.

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.

Light Heavyweight: 2014, May 12-18

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 11, 2014 by danboxing
Friday in Las Palmas of the Spanish Canary Islands, #8 Gabriel Campillo got a bit more stern a test than expected from low-level British journeyman Ricky Pow.  Campillo looked a bit sluggish of both hand and foot early in the fight, and I actually gave his aggressive and rugged opponent rounds one and six, and thought he had an argument in 3 and 4, as well.  But when Pow got a little lax on defense, it didn’t take Campillo long to capitalize, blistering his man with a string of sharp combinations that left Pow defenseless on the ropes and obligated the ref to step in during the 7th round.  Speaking of that ref, I didn’t catch his name, but I did want to shame him for a crooked-looking point deduction on Pow in the 4th.  Pow was unexpectedly competitive at that point, and the ref decided that a minor head clash that looked very accidental merited a lost point for the non-Spanish fighter, despite no visible warnings to that point.  Ultimately it wasn’t a major factor, but it could have been.

 

No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks   in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (88-88-88)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward lost an arbitration with his promoter, but it sounds like the rift between the two is far from solved.  Kessler is the latest guy to renew a stated desire to fight him.
1) Adonis Stevenson (49-49-49)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO6 #6 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #6 Andrzej Fonfara
In something of a coup, Stevenson-Fonfara will be carried by Showtime.   This not only further diminishes HBO’s stable of top fighters, but also puts in serious doubt the plausibility of what appeared to be an upcoming megafight with Kovalev.
2) Bernard Hopkins (88-414-414)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- W (SD12*) vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Hopkins has been ordered to fight his mandatory, which is the winner of Anatoliy Dudchenko and Nadjib Mohammedi- not exactly big money names- but he has been given leave for a unification fight (presumably with Stevenson) before that.
3) Jean Pascal (17-17-17)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD12 #16 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Pascal is pencilled in for a September fight, and perhaps one more before the end of the year.  Prospective opponents, in order, are Sean Monaghan and Lucian Bute.  He wants Stevenson after that, assuming he comes through cleanly.
4) Sergey Kovalev (17-69-69)
Last Fight: 3/29/2014- KO7 #15 Cedric Agnew
Next Fight: Unknown
Kovalev had some choice words for Stevenson after the Haitian defected to Showtime and, apparently, scuttled their much-hyped matchup for later this year.  No news yet on what Kovalev’s next move will be after the development.
5) Chad Dawson (17-415-415)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L(TKO1) vs. SMW #6 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Dawson has signed a deal with manager Al Haymon, which certainly brightens his career prospects.  He says he is interested in a Stevenson rematch.  Prospects for another occasionally-discussed rematch- with Jean Pascal- increased recently with word that Pascal’s trainer offered Dawson a contract.
6) Andrzej Fonfara (17-39-96)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- KO2 Samuel Miller (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
See Stevenson’s notes, above.
7) Tony Bellew (17-135-135)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO12 Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bellew is campaigning at cruiserweight now, but he’ll keep his ranking here until he schedules a fight there for after November 30, or until after November 30 itself.  BJ Flores wants to fight him, but it sounds like he’ll fight Cleverly before the year is out.
8) Gabriel Campillo (17-203-203)
Last Fight: 5/9/2014- TKO7 Ricky Pow (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
While the result looked good on paper, the reality of Campillo’s uneven performance against Pow should be a little alarming to those who hope to see him remain at the top level.
9) Tavoris Cloud (17-246-246)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Cloud should probably get himself back in the win column at some point.
10) Nathan Cleverly (17-223-223)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (TKO4) vs. #3 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Shawn Corbin (UNR)
Cleverly’s cruiserweight debut is once again on the schedule.  This time for May 17 in Cardiff, and his opponent- on a little over 2 weeks’ notice- is journeyman Shawn Corbin.
11) Isaac Chilemba (17-119)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD10 Denis Grachev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba looked very very sharp in dominating a game Denis Grachev, and might soon be in line for a shot at Adonis Stevenson.
12) Jürgen Brähmer (17-108)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD5 Enzo Maccarinelli (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. Roberto Feliciano Bolonti (UNR)
After it initially appeared a Maccarinelli rematch is in the works, Braehmer will instead fight perennial gatekeeper Roberto Feliciano Bolonti of Argentina.
13) Karo Murat (16-29)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat wants Braehmer, his former stablemate, but is now without a promoter, which probably means Sauerland isn’t falling all over themselves to make that fight.
14) Thomas Williams, Jr. (16-16)
Last Fight: 4/24/2014- TKO3 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Williams just added another faded name to his resume…this one perhaps a bit too faded.
15) Cedric Agnew (17-57)
Last Fight: 3/29/2014- L (KO7) vs. #4 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
After taking a risk against Kovalev and coming up short, I can only assume that his prospects for a regional title bout against Dudchenko and a IBF eliminator against Sukhotsky might both be out the window at least for the moment.
16) Edwin Rodriguez (17-44)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez was scheduled to fight Marcus Johnson on May 24, but Johnson quickly withdrew.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (29-46)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (16-126)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- L (TKO1) vs. Thomas Williams, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Never blessed with big-time promotional or managerial ties, White has risked becoming a permanent opponent with his last two losses.
19) Eleider Alvarez (16-68)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD10 Andy Gardiner (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. Alexander Johnson (UNR)
Alvarez has switched from an undefeated prospect to a defeated- but more experienced- one in Alexander Johnson, and in doing so has gotten his fight televised in the US.
20) Lucian Bute (16-80)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- L (UD12) vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute wants his contractually-guaranteed rematch with Pascal, a fight that appears tentatively planned for late in the year.  He recently parted ways with his long-time trainer, and says he’s in no hurry to get back in the ring.

 

The Week Ahead
Saturday
Bob Ajisafe vs. Leon Senior; Leeds, England; Channel 5 (UK)
This is one of the two semi-finals of Britain’s MaxiNutrition knockout light heavyweight tournament.  Ajisafe narrowly edged out veteran Dean Francis in an all-out war of attrition in the quarters, and has to be the big favorite in this clash.  Senior defaulted into the semis after a 2nd-round no contest with Tony Hill, who suffered a cut and was thus unable to move on.  His last fight that came to a normal conclusion was back in November, when he was bludgeoned to a 6th round TKO against undefeated prospect Arfan Iqbal, tasting the canvas three times in the process.  He’s also never beat anybody of consequence.

 

Travis Dickinson vs. Matty Clarkson; Leeds, England; Channel 5 (UK)
In the other semifinal, two one-loss prospects meet up.  Dickinson’s lone loss, ominously, was a clear decision against Ajisafe in late 2012.  His first round fight was a minor upset TKO against once-prominent Danny McIntosh.  Clarkson comes off a gimme in the first round against a 5-8-2 fighter, whose presence in the tournament field I can’t quite explain.  Even so, he didn’t exactly dominate.  Dickinson is the clear favorite in this fight, especially since Clarkson’s lone loss came against mid-level journeyman Courtney Fry, and since he adds a pair of draws against middling competition.  

 

#10 Nathan Cleverly will be in action on a separate card in Cardiff, but he will be at cruiser, and the fight will be discussed exclusively there except to the extent it affects his ranking here.

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.

Light Heavyweight: 2013, Aug 19-25

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on August 24, 2013 by danboxing
Friday at Comiskey Park in Chicago, #14 Andrzej Fonfara pulled one out of the fire against #6 Gabriel Campillo.  This was a great crossroads fight, as it held the potential to prove whether or not Fonfara was for real, and whether or not Campillo had faded.  I’d say the answers to both are likely yes, although I’m more convinced of the negative on Campillo than the positive on Fonfara.  Campillo clearly still has world-class skill, but he has now been stopped in his last two significant fights.  His intangibles seem to have withered.  Not so much his chin, since he went down multiple times in perhaps his finest performance overall against Cloud- but rather his raw desire not to get stopped, and thereby to win. 

 

I don’t know what the likely pro-Fonfara scorecards looked like at the time of the stoppage, but I had Campillo winning 7 of the 8 completed rounds when Fonfara put him down with a combination midway through the 9th, and Campillo stayed there, his body language that of a broken man.

 

The following night in Cardiff, Wales, #3 Sergey Kovalev easily handled #8 Nathan Cleverly in his opponent’s backyard.  It wasn’t quite the all-out, seek-and-destroy destruction from the jump the way Kovalev’s victories over Campillo and White played out, but it was close.  It was more like Kovalev methodically broke Cleverly down, but as a testament to Kovalev’s devastating power, that breaking down process took less than 4 rounds to complete.  Regardless of the method, it was clear in the end that Cleverly was hopelessly outgunned and never had a chance.  The Welshman is by nature a volume puncher, and he had no chance to apply that style against a guy who could counter that style by punching in between with devastating effect.  As a result, he was much more careful than usual, but still couldn’t remotely deal with the Russian’s power, even in more of a skirmish.

 

On the undercard, fringe contender Ovill McKenzie and gatekeeper Enzo Maccarinelli fought a rematch of their very prematurely stopped fight from last fall.  In that fight, McKenzie was looking the better of the two by far, but hadn’t hurt Maccarinelli significantly when the fight was stopped in the 2nd.  It’s also worth noting that McKenzie is known to fade after about 5 or 6 rounds. 

 

Flash forward to last weekend.  It was a gut check for both guys.  The British commentary team took it as a foregone conclusion that the fight would end within a round or two either way.  Not the case.  Both fighters fought with dogged determination through 10 rather grueling rounds, with each guy largely seeking the knockout everyone expected.  On my card, the Welshman Maccarinelli won 3 of the first 4, with McKenzie coming back strong to sweep the next three and claim a narrow lead after 7.  BoxNation color man Barry Jones, who appeared to be strongly biased in favor of Maccarinelli, had it for the home fighter even at that point.  But it became a moot point, as Maccarinelli caught a second wind in the 8th, swept the next three rounds, and- having pinned McKenzie in the corner- landed a devastating uppercut in the 10th that had McKenzie in a very vulnerable position: hunched over with his hands hanging down, completely unconscious, but still very much on his feet.  Luckily, Maccarinelli landed only one glancing blow to the top of the head before the ref made it there to stop it.

 

Fonfara rockets up to #5, joining no less than Kovalev as the only fighters to ever legitimately beat Campillo.  Campillo is forced down to #7 by the move, but avoids further descent due to the fact that he still compares favorably to new #8 Tavoris Cloud, since he clearly beat Cloud last year and since Cloud has no wins since.  Likewise, Cleverly is bumped down to #9 by Fonfara’s promotion, but suffers no further decline since there’s no particular shame in even an early stoppage to Kovalev at this point, and since his overall resume still swamps that of new #10 Chilemba, with both having what could be described as mixed results against Bellew and wins over #16 contenders, but with the remainder of Cleverly’s body of work being far superior.  Kovalev can’t eclipse Hopkins, since Hopkins has won at a Championship level in the last 5 years and failed only at the level of #2 in that span, where Kovalev has yet to venture.  Maccarinelli makes his debut as a light heavyweight player, well after many had written him off as shot, parking at #17 behind Hadillah Mohoumadi and ahead of the recently-struggling Denis Grachev.  Everyone #5-13 last week is forced down a spot by Fonfara’s rise, including Cornelius White, who exits the top 10 after 57 weeks.  Everyone #17 and below likewise takes a slight dip due to Maccarinelli’s debut, including last week’s #20 Yunieski Gonzalez, whose ouster comes after 22 weeks in the rankings.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (50-50-50)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 Champ Chad Dawson (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward has offers more or less on the table to fight Froch or Stevenson.  He is trying to split with promoter Dan Goossen, though, which could conceivably complicate matters.
1) Adonis Stevenson (11-11-11)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- TKO1 #1 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: 9/28/2013- vs. #8 Tavoris Cloud
It’s Stevenson-Cloud in September, with the winner to fight Bellew in November. 
2) Bernard Hopkins (50-376-376)
Last Fight: 3/9/2012- UD12 #6 Tavoris Cloud
Next Fight: 10/26/2013- vs. Karo Murat (UNR)
Hopkins-Murat has been reset for October 26, with Showtime televising.
3) Sergey Kovalev (10-31-31)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- TKO4 #8 Nathan Cleverly
Next Fight: Unknown
Kovalev continues to cut through top 10 light heavyweights like butter.  The only two challenges that would really mean anything to his ranking at this point (assuming Ward won’t move up) are Hopkins and Stevenson.
4) Chad Dawson (10-377-377)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L(TKO1) vs. SMW #6 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Dawson’s career is suddenly in an all-out tailspin just 2 fights after winning the lineal title from Hopkins.
5) Andrzej Fonfara (1-1-58)
Last Fight: 8/16/2013- KO9 #6 Gabriel Campillo
Next Fight: Unknown
Fonfara looked outclassed for the most part, but got the desired result in the end, knocking out a fading Campillo in the latter half of the fight.
6) Tony Bellew (1-97-97)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- UD12 #7 Isaac Chilemba
Next Fight: 11/30/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Bellew is scheduled to fight the Stevenson-Cloud winner on his November 30 birthday.
7) Gabriel Campillo (1-165-165)
Last Fight: 8/16/2013- L (KO9) vs. #14 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: Unknown
Campillo might be on his way to deserved obscurity after being robbed of deserved prominence for so much of his career.  He still has plenty of boxing skill, but his will might be fading just a bit.
8) Tavoris Cloud (1-208-208)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: 9/28/2013- vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
See Stevenson’s notes, above.
9) Nathan Cleverly (1-185-185)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (TKO4) vs. #3 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
Cleverly says he’ll take a vacation after his drubbing at the hands of Kovalev, and is unsure as to whether he’ll keep fighting or not.
10) Isaac Chilemba (1-21-81)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- L (UD12) vs. #9 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba may have lost the second fight to Bellew in his opponent’s back yard, but between the two fights, he’s managed to elevate himself somewhat.
11) Cornelius White (1-88)
Last Fight: 6/14/2013- L (TKO3) vs. #5 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
White was blasted out by Kovalev, but at least he has good company in that regard.
12) Cedric Agnew (1-19)
Last Fight: 4/12/2013- UD12 #14 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: Unknown
Agnew may have caught a fading Yusaf Mack at the right time, but he’s clearly a climber, having now beaten both Mack and Otis Griffin.
13) Jürgen Brähmer (1-70)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- TKO2 Tony Averlant (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/24/2013- vs. Stefano Abatangelo (UNR)
Braehmer will take on low-level Italian gatekeeper Abatangelo on August 24, while awaiting a title shot.
14) Edwin Rodriguez (1-6)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- TKO1 #16 Denis Grachev
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez turned in a career-best performance against Grachev, and thus has earned a ranking in a division he has no intention of continuing in.  He wants Ward or Bika next.
15) Lucian Bute (6-42)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 #16 Denis Grachev
Next Fight: 12/7/2013- vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Bute-Pascal has been rescheduled tentatively for December 7 after Bute suffered a hand injury.  They’ve also reserved January 25 as a back-up plan.  Either way, it will be in Montreal.
16) Hadillah Mohoumadi (6-8)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- TKO7 CW #20 Pawel Glazewski
Next Fight: Unknown
Often robbed at 168, Mohoumadi took matters into his hands in his first major outing at 175 by stopping the local favorite.
17) Enzo Maccarinelli (1-1)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- TKO11 Ovill McKenzie (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Maccarinelli has revitalized his career to an extent with the gutsy McKenzie win.
18) Denis Grachev (1-69)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (TKO1) vs. #13 SMW Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Dmitry Sukhotsky (1-147)
Last Fight: 6/4/2013- KO3 Mikhail Krinitsin (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sukhotsky may be sticking around at 168 from now on, but only time will tell.  He has until December to schedule a fight at 175 if he wants to keep his ranking.
20) Eleider Alvarez (1-30)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- TKO3 Nicholson Poulard (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/28/2013- vs. Edison Miranda (UNR)
Alvarez’s 9/28 opponent will be fringe contender Edison Miranda.
 
 
The Week Ahead: There are two Euro fights to report this week, both on Saturday.

 

In Schwerin, Germany, #13 Juergen Braehmer takes on barely top-50 Italian fringe prospect Stefano Abatangelo.

 

In Donetsk, Ukraine, local one-loss prospect Ismayl Sillakh will fight low-level Russian journeyman Konstantin Piternov in essentially a stay-busy fight.

Light Heavyweight: 2013, Aug 12-18

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on August 18, 2013 by danboxing
No action to report from last week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (49-49-49)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 Champ Chad Dawson (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward has offers more or less on the table to fight Froch or Stevenson.  He is trying to split with promoter Dan Goossen, though, which could conceivably complicate matters.
1) Adonis Stevenson (10-10-10)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- TKO1 #1 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: 9/28/2013- vs. #7 Tavoris Cloud
It’s Stevenson-Cloud in September, with the winner to fight Bellew in November. 
2) Bernard Hopkins (49-375-375)
Last Fight: 3/9/2012- UD12 #6 Tavoris Cloud
Next Fight: 10/26/2013- vs. Karo Murat (UNR)
Hopkins-Murat has been reset for October 26, with Showtime televising.
3) Sergey Kovalev (9-30-30)
Last Fight: 6/14/2013- TKO3 #10 Cornelius White
Next Fight: 8/17/2013- vs. #8 Nathan Cleverly
Kovalev had the inside track to fight Hopkins, but instead opted for a sure thing against Cleverly.
4) Chad Dawson (9-376-376)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L(TKO1) vs. SMW #6 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Dawson’s career is suddenly in an all-out tailspin just 2 fights after winning the lineal title from Hopkins.
5) Tony Bellew (9-96-96)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- UD12 #7 Isaac Chilemba
Next Fight: 11/30/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Bellew is scheduled to fight the Stevenson-Cloud winner on his November 30 birthday.
6) Gabriel Campillo (10-164-164)
Last Fight: 6/14/2013- TKO2 Ionut Trandafir Ilie (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2013- vs. #14 Andrzej Fonfara
Campillo will fight Fonfara in an interesting crossroads fight at Comiskey Park in Chicago.  The fight has been declared an eliminator for the Hopkins-Murat winner, too.
7) Tavoris Cloud (10-207-207)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: 9/28/2013- vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
See Stevenson’s notes, above.
8) Nathan Cleverly (10-184-184)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- UD12 Robin Krasniqi (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/17/2013- vs. #3 Sergey Kovalev
Kovalev-Cleverly is done for 8/17 in Cardiff, with HBO to televise in the states.
9) Isaac Chilemba (10-20-80)
Last Fight: 5/25/2013- L (UD12) vs. #9 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba may have lost the second fight to Bellew in his opponent’s back yard, but between the two fights, he’s managed to elevate himself somewhat.
10) Cornelius White (10-57-87)
Last Fight: 6/14/2013- L (TKO3) vs. #5 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
White was blasted out by Kovalev, but at least he has good company in that regard.
11) Cedric Agnew (10-18)
Last Fight: 4/12/2013- UD12 #14 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: Unknown
Agnew may have caught a fading Yusaf Mack at the right time, but he’s clearly a climber, having now beaten both Mack and Otis Griffin.
12) Jürgen Brähmer (10-69)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- TKO2 Tony Averlant (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/24/2013- vs. Stefano Abatangelo (UNR)
Braehmer will take on low-level Italian gatekeeper Abatangelo on August 24, while awaiting a title shot.
13) Edwin Rodriguez (5-5)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- TKO1 #16 Denis Grachev
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez turned in a career-best performance against Grachev, and thus has earned a ranking in a division he has no intention of continuing in.  He wants Ward or Bika next.
14) Andrzej Fonfara (5-57)
Last Fight: 11/16/2012- TKO7 Tommy Karpency (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2013- vs. #6 Gabriel Campillo
Fonfara will get a huge opportunity to launch himself into the top 5 when he takes on Gabriel Campillo in Chicago.  The winner is apparently to become the mandatory for the Hopkins-Murat winner, as well.
15) Lucian Bute (5-41)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 #16 Denis Grachev
Next Fight: 12/7/2013- vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Bute-Pascal has been rescheduled tentatively for December 7 after Bute suffered a hand injury.  They’ve also reserved January 25 as a back-up plan.  Either way, it will be in Montreal.
16) Hadillah Mohoumadi (5-7)
Last Fight: 6/29/2013- TKO7 CW #20 Pawel Glazewski
Next Fight: Unknown
Often robbed at 168, Mohoumadi took matters into his hands in his first major outing at 175 by stopping the local favorite.
17) Denis Grachev (5-68)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (TKO1) vs. #13 SMW Edwin Rodriguez
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Dmitry Sukhotsky (5-146)
Last Fight: 6/4/2013- KO3 Mikhail Krinitsin (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sukhotsky may be sticking around at 168 from now on, but only time will tell.  He has until December to schedule a fight at 175 if he wants to keep his ranking.
19) Eleider Alvarez (5-29)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- TKO3 Nicholson Poulard (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/28/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Alvarez is being placed on the September 28 Stevenson-Cloud undercard.
20) Yunieski Gonzalez (5-22)
Last Fight: 6/15/2013- KO7 Emiliano Cayetano (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzalez snuck in a very low-profile knockout over low-level journeyman Emiliano Cayetano in the Dominican Republic.   Strictly stay-busy material.

 

The Week Ahead: The division kicks back into high gear this weekend, with two crucial bouts, and another that bears watching. 

 

Friday in Comiskey Park in Chicago (yes, I know the name has changed, but I’ll go with history over sponsorship any day), #6 Gabriel Campillo will look to prove he’s still one of the divisional elite after his brutal loss to Sergey Kovalev when he battles locally-based Polish prospect and #14 contender (and noted yet essentially unpunished steroid cheat) Andrzej Fonfara.  

 

The following night in Cardiff, Wales, the sensational #3 Sergey Kovalev goes on the road to take on local favorite and #8 contender Nathan Cleverly.

 

On the Cleverly-Kovalev undercard, fading and chinny gatekeeper and former cruiserweight contender Enzo Macarinelli gets a rematch with fringe contender Ovill McKenzie.  In their first meating back in November, McKenzie was looking good in the 2nd round, when Referee Ian John-Lewis essentially cancelled the fight.  Macca wasn’t hut and hadn’t taken an extraordinary amount of punishment.  Rumors abound that John-Lewis could be found in his hotel lobby before the fight telling anyone that would listen that he didn’t “fancy the fight” because he believed Macca was shot and had no chin left.  Instead of protesting the fight by declining his appointment, he instead took matters into his own hands, turning it into what can only be fairly viewed as a no contest.  He made a mockery of proceedings by giving Macca no chance to show that he had something left, and gave McKenzie no chance to earn the victory.  Based on how he looked in the short first fight, I think McKenzie has an excellent chance to prevail this time.  Hopefully on the level this time.

Light Heavyweight: 2013, Apr 22-28

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on April 26, 2013 by danboxing
#9 Nathan Cleverly finally fought his oft-delayed contest with Robin Krasniqi on Saturday in London.  Krasniqi entered as a two-loss top 50 fighter who probably still qualified as a prospect, considering those two losses both came at the very beginning of his career.  Now he’s more like a 3-loss gatekeeper.  Cleverly dominated the fight, losing at most a round or two when he got maybe a bit lazy in the middle rounds, but 2 of the judges quite reasonably scored it a shut.  It was basically seek and destroy in terms of tactics, pressuring and outpunching Krasniqi constantly.  The one negative aspect of his continuous and successful assault on Krasniqi, however, was that it revealed that his punching power is nothing special, since he hurt his man much less often than you might expect from how often he landed cleanly.

 

In the week’s other truly meaningful matchup, one-loss Kiwi prospect Robert Berridge stopped 2-loss prospect Serge Yannick of Melbourne by way of Cameroon to cap a very interesting fight in Footscray, Australia on Thursday.  The fight was very back and forth early, with the fighters evenly splitting the first 4 rounds on my card.  Yannick began to take over in the 4th, dominating round 5 to the point where Berridge looked discouraged.  But then Berridge began to reassert himself from behind, losing a very close call in the 6th on my card, and easily winning the 7th.  By the 8th, Yannick was starting to look a bit ragged- perhaps due to Berridge’s commitment to the body.  It was in this context that Berridge managed to catch Yannick trading with his hands down in the 8th, and dropped him heavily to the canvas.  Yannick stood at the count of 9, looking less than steady.  Referee Tony Marretta allowed the fight to continue, as Yannick got on his bike trying to wake his legs up.  Berridge tracked him down threw a heavy combination that landed entirely on the gloves, but managed to disturb the weakened Yannick’s balance enough to send him down for a second time. 

 

That’s when Marretto screwed up.  He waved off the fight without a count, as if Yannick was either in need of medical attention, or as if there was some kind of two knockdown rule in effect.  Yannick blocked all the punches, so it’s impossible to conclude that he was incapable of defending himself.  Sure, he needed to lose a point for the knockdown, but that fight was not over at that point, and the fight would still have been close on the scorecards despite the 2 knockdowns.  I had Yannick up a point when the round began, and the announcers (no doubt partial to the adopted Australian Yannick) commented at, I believe, the beginning of the 7th round that Berridge actually needed a knockout.  Don’t get me wrong.  I think Berridge likely would have won, probably even by TKO or KO.  But the fight was not over.

 

In a lesser fight that was actually the main event of that particular card in Footscray,  undefeated prospect and prior Berridge conqueror Blake Caparello thoroughly dominated Uruguayan journeyman Jorge Rodriguez, winning every round on every card en route to a 12-round decision.

 

On the Cleverly undercard, used-up gatekeeper Enzo Maccarinelli stopped the awful Carl Wild late in the 6th and final round of their rather insignificant affair. 

 

Berridge fails to make a serious play for the top 20, mainly because he loss to a rather unproven Caparello in the past.  Cleverly, however, makes a surprising move to #7.  Frankly his resume remains very weak in terms of the overall quality of his opposition.  Krasniqi is pretty much in line with the average of those opponents, but the overall volume of top 50 fighters he’s fought allows him to push past Cornelius White and Isaac Chilemba, who despite generally getting better marks on their resume when they do fight, have relatively little experience at the top 50 level in this division.  In comparing him to Chilemba, it was difficult to weight each man’s fight with Tony Bellew.  Despite the scorecards indicating otherwise, I thought that Chilemba pretty clearly beat Bellew while Cleverly pretty clearly lost to him.  In addition, Bellew was more highly-ranked when he fought Chilemba than when he fought Cleverly.  Ultimately Cleverly just had too many fights against gatekeepers and the like, and at some point they have to add up to a really good win or two.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (33-33-33)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 Champ Chad Dawson (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward is looking to return in August, and is reportedly thinking about fighting one of the winners of Kessler-Froch and Pascal-Bute, at least at some point.
1) Chad Dawson (33-360-360)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- L(TKO10) vs. SMW Champ Andre Ward (at SMW)
Next Fight: 6/8/2013- vs. SMW #7 Adonis Stevenson
Dawson will fight Adonis Stevenson (who moves up from 168) on June 8 in Montreal.
2) Bernard Hopkins (33-359-359)
Last Fight: 3/9/2012- UD12 #6 Tavoris Cloud
Next Fight: 7/27/2013- vs. Karo Murat (UNR)
All the buzz had been revolving around a Hopkins-Cleverly showdown, but with little or no warning, he signed to fight his mandatory, the slightly more proven but inactive Karo Murat, instead.
3) Jean Pascal (33-201-201)
Last Fight: 12/14/2012- UD10 Alexei Kuziemski (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #15 Lucian Bute
Pascal bailed on Dawson for a less internationally compelling fight with Lucian Bute on the same date.
4) Sergey Kovalev (14-14-14)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- TKO3 #4 Gabriel Campillo
Next Fight: Unknown
5) Gabriel Campillo (14-148-148)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- L(TKO3) vs. Sergey Kovalev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It remains to be seen whether we’ve seen Campillo rapidly decline, have a bad night, or just run into a world-beater.  But he’s still going to be highly ranked because he recently beat the guy ranked right below him.
6) Tavoris Cloud (14-191-191)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Cloud’s manager expects him back in action by the end of the year.  Normally that wouldn’t be saying much, but that would be against type for Cloud.
7) Nathan Cleverly (1-168-168)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- UD12 Robin Krasniqi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Cleverly has beaten a lot of decent opponents, but we’re still waiting for him to take on a top guy.
8) Isaac Chilemba (1-4-64)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- Draw* (SD12) vs. #9 Tony Bellew (should be win)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #10 Tony Bellew
That didn’t take long!  Chilemba will rematch Bellew on the Froch-Kessler undercard in London, less than two months removed from getting borderline robbed the first time around.
9) Cornelius White (1-41-71)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Otis Griffin (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
White snuck in an under-the-radar 8-rounder against Otis Griffin.  It was a pound over the limit, but will buy him some more time to stay active at 175, at least.
10) Tony Bellew (4-80-80)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- Draw* (SD12) vs. #13 Isaac Chilemba (should be loss)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #7 Isaac Chilemba
See Chilemba’s notes, above.
11) Cedric Agnew (2-2)
Last Fight: 4/12/2013- UD12 #14 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: Unknown
Agnew may have caught a fading Yusaf Mack at the right time, but he’s clearly a climber, having now beaten both Mack and Otis Griffin.
12) Jürgen Brähmer (2-53)
Last Fight: 2/2/2013- UD12 Eduard Gutknecht (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. Tony Averlant (UNR)
Braehmer defends his European title in Hamburg on April 27 against journeyman Tony Averlant.  Averlant so far only steps up when he fights for the European belt, having previously been robbed against then-beltholder Eddy Gutknecht, only to get beat by a journeyman himself.
13) Beibut Shumenov (2-148)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- UD12 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Andrzej Fonfara (2-41)
Last Fight: 11/16/2012- TKO7 Tommy Karpency (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fonfara aggravated a previous injury to his right hand and had to withdraw from his ESPN2 fight with Nicholson Poulard.  He will hope that it heals on its own in a month, but if not he will need surgery that would keep him out for an additional 3-6 months.
15) Lucian Bute (3-25)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 #16 Denis Grachev
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #3 Jean Pascal
Bute will look to prove what I have long believed- that the 168 pound division is much better man-for-man than 175, by fighting his larger peer in Montreal on May 25.
16) Denis Grachev (3-52)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013– W* (SD10) vs. Zsolt Erdei (UNR) (should be draw)
Next Fight: 7/13/2013- vs. SMW #16 Edwin Rodriguez
Grachev will be fighting Edwin Rodriguez at a catchweight of 171.5 in Monte Carlo for a million dollar prize.
17) Dmitri Sukhotski (3-130)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO1 Vladimir Borovsky (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/4/2013- vs. Mikhail Krinitsin
Sukhotski will fight in Barnaul, Russia on June 4 against low-level Kazakh journeyman Mikhail Krinitsin.
18) Eleider Alvarez (3-13)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- TKO3 Nicholson Poulard (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Alvarez continues to stay busy, as he already has another fight scheduled for the Bute-Pascal undercard on May 25.  No opponent yet, though.
19) Yunieski Gonzalez (3-6)
Last Fight: 3/15/2013- KO8 Rowland Bryant (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzalez took a huge step up in competition and made good, knocking out strong fringe contender Bryant. 
20) Doudou Ngumbu (3-3)
Last Fight: 3/16/2013- UD12 #14 Vyacheslav Uzelkoff
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: Saturday in Hamburg, #12 Juergen Braehmer takes on journeyman Tony Averlant, who was briefly ranked in the top 20 after getting robbed against the highly overrated Eduard Gutknecht, but resoundingly removed after getting beat by no-account journeyman Mounir Toumi.