Archive for Odlanier Solis

Heavyweight: 2013, Mar 25-31

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (196-409-409)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Mariusz Wach (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/4/2013- vs. Francesco Pianeta (UNR)
Wlad will be fighting Italian fringe contending prospect Francesco Pianeta in Mannheim, Germany.  It’s hard to knock Pianeta as a fighter because he remains undefeated and was knocked off track by a bout with cancer a couple years ago, but it’s hard to get excited about any fight that, if the underdog won, would be considered the greatest upset in the history of the Heavyweight Championship.
1) Vitali Klitschko (233-233-233)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vitali hasn’t decided whether to retire or not, but he has very clearly stated he has no interest in David Haye after Haye turned down a fight in September.
2) David Haye (37-37-37)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 7/6/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Haye will be fighting in July, and he’s likely going to have to break his promise not to fight anybody but Vitali in order to do so.  No opponent yet, though.
3) Steve Cunningham (14-14-14)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- L (SD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek (Robbery)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. #6 Tyson Fury
Adamek’s erratic behavior has yielded justice.  Cunningham beat Adamek, but was robbed.  Now he’ll fight Tyson Fury, with the winner to fight Kubrat Pulev for a mandatory shot at Wlad.  The fight will be at MSG and will be televised live in the afternoon by NBC.
4) Alexander Povetkin (37-283-283)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO2 Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After failing to convince the WBA to deny Wlad a voluntary before fighting him, Povetkin and his team are now raising cain about the 75-25 split the WBA has set for the purse bid.  No word on whether he’ll stay busy in the meantime, as it would be hard to imagine the fight happening before August at the earliest.  The WBA has mandated that the fight take place by the end of that month, but we’ll see on that.
5) Tomasz Adamek (14-153-153)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- W (SD12)* vs. CW #4 Steve Cunningham (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
After claiming he turned down the Pulev fight for a more lucrative opportunity for a domestic Polish fight, Adamek is now saying he’ll fight next in the US.  If this were a game of “Duck, Duck, Goose,” we know which bird Adamek would be.  Now he’s separated from his promoter, Main Events.  One strange development after another.
6) Tyson Fury (14-88-88)
Last Fight: 12/1/2012- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. #3 Steve Cunningham
See Cunningham’s notes, above.
7) Eddie Chambers (14-41-41)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers is getting some buzz as a possible next opponent for Haye, and he’s done nothing to discourage this.
8) Kubrat Pulev (14-47-124)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With Adamek running scared, Pulev will reportedly defend his EBU title soon.  Next, he will likely fight the winner of Cunningham-Fury, with the winner becoming Wlad’s IBF mandatory.
9) Dereck Chisora (14-69-132)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- L(TKO5) vs. David Haye (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. Ondrej Pala (UNR)
Chisora will be fighting the best available Czech heavyweight out there in Ondrej Pala, though that’s not saying much.  Still, Pala is at least arguably a top 50 guy, despite getting stopped by the soft-punching Konstantin Airich.
10) Odlanier Solis (1-1-148)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- UD12 Leif Larsen (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis’ promoter wants to get him back in the ring within 3 months after the Larsen fight.
11) Johnathon Banks (1-19)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- TKO2 #11 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Banks broke his thumb in sparring, scuttling the Mitchell rematch.
12) Tony Thompson (4-148)

Last Fight: 2/23/2013- TKO2 David Price (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson has been approached about fighting a comebacking David Tua in the summer.  My sense is that he can do a lot better.
13) Robert Helenius (4-148)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
If he can’t get his injury situation together and start fighting with a bit more urgency, Helenius is heading for journeyman status and a premature retirement.
14) Alexander Dimitrenko (4-115)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko’s future is in doubt after he struggled mightily to survive a heavy knockdown and outpoint typically inept journeyman Ivica Perkovic.
15) Chris Arreola (4-210)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. #19 Bermane Stiverne (UNR)
The Stiverne fight is once again on the schedule, this time for April 27.
16) Denis Boytsov (4-197)
Last Fight: 2/15/2013- UD8 Samir Kurtagic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov appears to have won the battle of wills with Universum over whether he gets to fight or not.  Now the trick will be getting him in against worthwhile opposition.
17) Vyacheslav Glazkov (4-14)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. Malik Scott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov got the benefit of the doubt in every close round from two of the judges against Scott.  It was just about as close to a robbery as you can get without me calling it that. 
18) Malik Scott (4-5)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. #19 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott was the victim of a bad decision against Glazkov it’s fair to say, but I stop short of calling it a blatant robbery.  I do believe he won 8 of the 10 rounds, but he only won 4 of them with clarity.  By easing off the gas in the latter half of the fight, he gave the judges the opportunity to hand it to the house fighter, which 2 of them were all too happy to do.
19) Bermane Stiverne (4-4)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- vs. Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. #15 Chris Arreola
See Arreola’s notes, above.
20) Franklin Lawrence (4-4)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- Mark Brown (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/14/2013- vs. Bryant Jennings (UNR)
Lawrence finally has a worthwhile fight on his schedule for the first time in a while in hot prospect Bryant Jennings.  It’ll be in Jennings’ backyard in Bethlehem, PA, though.

 

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

Heavyweight: 2013, Mar 18-24

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 20, 2013 by danboxing
It sounded like #9 Dereck Chisora would be fighting Saturday if he got his license back early in the week.  But it was not to be.  Though he did get his license back, his return is being delayed until April 20.

 

No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (195-408-408)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Mariusz Wach (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/4/2013- vs. Francesco Pianeta (UNR)
Wlad will be fighting Italian fringe contending prospect Francesco Pianeta in Mannheim, Germany.  It’s hard to knock Pianeta as a fighter because he remains undefeated and was knocked off track by a bout with cancer a couple years ago, but it’s hard to get excited about any fight that, if the underdog won, would be considered the greatest upset in the history of the Heavyweight Championship.
1) Vitali Klitschko (232-232-232)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vitali hasn’t decided whether to retire or not, but he has very clearly stated he has no interest in David Haye after Haye turned down a fight in September.
2) David Haye (36-36-36)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Haye has indicated that a fight with Vitali may be the only fight that would lure him away from re-retiring.  If Vitali’s recent statement is any indication, we’ll never see Haye again.
3) Steve Cunningham (13-13-13)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- L (SD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek (Robbery)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. #6 Tyson Fury
Adamek’s erratic behavior has yielded justice.  Cunningham beat Adamek, but was robbed.  Now he’ll fight Tyson Fury, with the winner to fight Kubrat Pulev for a mandatory shot at Wlad.  The fight will be at MSG and will be televised live in the afternoon by NBC.
4) Alexander Povetkin (36-282-282)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO2 Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After failing to convince the WBA to deny Wlad a voluntary before fighting him, Povetkin and his team are now raising cain about the 75-25 split the WBA has set for the purse bid.  No word on whether he’ll stay busy in the meantime, as it would be hard to imagine the fight happening before August at the earliest.  The WBA has mandated that the fight take place by the end of that month, but we’ll see on that.
5) Tomasz Adamek (13-152-152)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- W (SD12)* vs. CW #4 Steve Cunningham (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
After claiming he turned down the Pulev fight for a more lucrative opportunity for a domestic Polish fight, Adamek is now saying he’ll fight next in the US.  If this were a game of “Duck, Duck, Goose,” we know which bird Adamek would be.  Now he’s separated from his promoter, Main Events.  One strange development after another.
6) Tyson Fury (13-87-87)
Last Fight: 12/1/2012- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. #3 Steve Cunningham
See Cunningham’s notes, above.
7) Eddie Chambers (13-40-40)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers appeared set to fight Lebedev at cruiserweight, but it now appears that Lebedev will fight Guillermo Jones, instead.
8) Kubrat Pulev (13-46-123)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With Adamek running scared, Pulev will reportedly defend his EBU title in March or April.  Next, he will likely fight the winner of Cunningham-Fury, with the winner becoming Wlad’s IBF mandatory.
9) Dereck Chisora (13-68-131)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- L(TKO5) vs. David Haye (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chisora has his British license back, and will fight on April 20.
10) Johnathon Banks (13-18-18)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- TKO2 #11 Seth Mitchell

Next Fight: Unknown
Banks broke his thumb in sparring, scuttling the Mitchell rematch.
11) Odlanier Solis (13-147)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD12 Konstantin Airich (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2013- vs. Leif Larsen (UNR)
Solis takes on undefeated Norwegian prospect Leif Larsen in Berlin on March 22.  The two had been scheduled to meet in October, but Solis bailed to go straight for Adamek, whom he also bailed on.
12) Tony Thompson (3-147)

Last Fight: 2/23/2013- TKO2 David Price (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson wants Fury- who recently signed to fight Cunningham.  Price has a rematch clause, but Price himself has indicated he may not be “crying for a rematch,” while Thompson says he wouldn’t consider it unless they paid him a lot better and came to the US.
13) Robert Helenius (3-147)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- W*(UD10) vs. Sherman Williams (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/23/2013- vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
It appeared to be off for a while, but the Sprott fight is apparently very much on.
14) Alexander Dimitrenko (3-114)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko’s future is in doubt after he struggled mightily to survive a heavy knockdown and outpoint typically inept journeyman Ivica Perkovic.
15) Chris Arreola (3-209)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. #19 Bermane Stiverne (UNR)
The Stiverne fight is once again on the schedule, this time for April 27.
16) Denis Boytsov (3-196)
Last Fight: 2/15/2013- UD8 Samir Kurtagic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov appears to have won the battle of wills with Universum over whether he gets to fight or not.  Now the trick will be getting him in against worthwhile opposition.
17) Vyacheslav Glazkov (3-13)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. Malik Scott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov got the benefit of the doubt in every close round from two of the judges against Scott.  It was just about as close to a robbery as you can get without me calling it that. 
18) Malik Scott (3-4)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. #19 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott was the victim of a bad decision against Glazkov it’s fair to say, but I stop short of calling it a blatant robbery.  I do believe he won 8 of the 10 rounds, but he only won 4 of them with clarity.  By easing off the gas in the latter half of the fight, he gave the judges the opportunity to hand it to the house fighter, which 2 of them were all too happy to do.
19) Bermane Stiverne (3-3)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- vs. Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. #15 Chris Arreola
See Arreola’s notes, above.
20) Franklin Lawrence (3-3)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- Mark Brown (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite signing with well-connected promoter Gary Shaw in July 2011, Lawrence has had nothing but stay-busy fights (and he’s not staying all that busy) since before that time.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:  Several fights to report, all on Saturday in Europe.

 

In Poland, local undefeated prospect Andrzej Wawrzyk is back in action for the first time since he just squeaked by journeyman Denis Bakhtov last June, fighting a significantly weaker journeyman in 41 year-old Hungarian Laszlo Toth.

 

#11 Odlanier Solis takes on undefeated Norwegian prospect Leif Larsen in Berlin in what could be a trap fight for the big Cuban, especially if he’s not all the way back from multiple knee surgeries.

 

On the same card, badly mismanaged former contender Ruslan Chagaev continues to slum against low-level West Virginia journeyman Mike Sheppard.

 

Not all that far away in Magdeburg, #13 Robert Helenius will try to get his career back on the right track against resurgent English gatekeeper Michael Sprott.  Helenius is coming off two consecutive abysmal performances and some injury trouble that has limited him to just 2 fights in the last 18 months.  Helenius had the excuse of a decent opponent and an injury when he was given a gift after very clearly losing to Chisora, but the Sherman Williams fight- in which he won a inappropriately wide decision that should have been within two points either way- appeared to be simply a case of gross laziness.  Sprott is recently heading in the opposite direction, having decisioned then-20th-ranked undefeated prospect Edmund Gerber in December.

 

Speaking of Gerber, he will see action on the undercard against Nigerian journeyman Gbenga Oloukun.

Heavyweight: 2012, May 21-27

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2012 by danboxing
Last week saw a lot of meaningful activity in the division.  First up, on Wednesday, was formerly-ranked undefeated Italian Francesco Pianeta, who won an average 10-round decision against serviceable 47-year-old gatekeeper Oliver McCall.  Pianeta makes a strong case to regain a ranking after cancer-related inactivity led to his ouster, but falls just short.

 

Saturday saw one fight- #19 Franklin Lawrence’s scheduled tilt with former fringe contender Mike Mollo- canceled.  Mollo’s pre-fight MRI revealed an old vertebrae injury that rendered him unfit to compete.

 

As for the fights that did come off: undefeated Liverpool giant David Price stormed through former Commonwealth champion Sam Sexton en route to a 4th round KO in the former’s hometown.  This was for the British title vacated by Tyson Fury, and was Sexton’s second unsuccessful attempt at the belt.  Later that evening in Texas, #10 Odlanier Solis ground out a methodical but fairly dominant decision win over borderline fringe contender Konstantin Airich of Germany.  It was Solis’ first fight in 14 months after multiple knee surgeries stemming from his inexplicable collapse against Vitali Klitschko last year.  I don’t understand Airich’s strategy (if he had one).  Solis came in more than 20 pounds heavier than the Klitschko fight, had a suspect knee to worry about, and he’s plodding even at his best.  Complete joke opponent Arturs Kulikauskis nearly beat highly-ranked super middleweight Dimitri Sartison- who was also coming off knee surgery- late last year by moving around and making Sartison uncomfortable.  This would have been the perfect strategy for Airich, who was giving up about 40 pounds and yet had a disadvantage in every conceivable area  except his wheels and conditioning.  Instead, Airich mainly hung out right in front of Solis and allowed the fight to become largely a jabbing contest, and one he was destined to lose considering he had less power, lower accuracy, and a more porous defense.  Solis didn’t exactly dazzle anybody, but he picked up a solid win and moves ahead of Tony Thompson to #9 as a result.  As for Price: this is his best win, but he needs probably at least one more like it to crack the top 20.  He and Pianeta both moved right up to the cusp of making it in, though.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (152-365-365)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- TKO4 #16 Jean-Marc Mormeck
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. #10 Tony Thompson
Wlad will be defending the title against #10 Tony Thompson in what will likely be another ho-hum matchup for the Champ.  On the bright side, Thompson did put up a relatively spirited challenge the last time the two met in 2008.
1) Vitali Klitschko (189-189-189)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Now that Haye is fighting Chisora, Vitali may be looking for another opponent.  Perhaps one of his last two opponents ever.
2) Alexander Povetkin (39-239-239)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- W*(MD12) vs. CW #5 Marco Huck
Next Fight: 7/14/2012- vs. Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Povetkin’s ludicrous fight with Rahman will now be the co-feature to Haye-Chisora in London.
3) Tomasz Adamek (10-109-109)
Last Fight: 3/24/2012- UD10 Nagy Aguilera (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/16/2012- vs. Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Big news!  Eddie Chambers- who was removed for inactivity from this very spot in the rankings not long ago- will be fighting Adamek in June on NBC Sports.  The stakes will of course be the #2 spot, which Povetkin now appears to be merely warming for the winner.  That is, if Chambers doesn’t withdraw from a 3rd consecutive bout.
4) Marco Huck (10-13-13)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. CW #7 Ola Afolabi (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Shaky performance against Afolabi, but there’s no rule saying he has to be the #1 or #2 Cruiser in order to be the #4 heavyweight.  If there was, he wouldn’t be here in the first place.
5) Tyson Fury (10-44-44)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- TKO5 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After a fairly impressive left-handed win over Martin Rogan, Fury appears interested in making a fight with Wlad or Alexander Povetkin.
6) Dereck Chisora (10-25-88)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(UD12) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: 7/14/2012- vs. David Haye (UNR)
The British Board is bitterly opposed to this bout- which they refuse to license- but apparently it is going forward anyway.  Get ready for a highly controversial blood-feud between Chisora and recent brawl opponent David Haye, July 14 in London.
7) Robert Helenius (10-60-104)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- W*(SD12) vs. #18 Dereck Chisora (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
In addition to his injured hand suffered in the Chisora bout, Helenius says he was fighting with an injured shoulder.  Now comes the news that he will require surgery for that injury, and will be out until at least the fall.  His doctors say there is a chance it will never heal well enough for boxing.
8) Kubrat Pulev (3-3-80)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- KO11 #12 Alexander Dimitrenko
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev showed determination if nothing else in wearing down Dimitrenko to a late knockout.
9) Odlanier Solis (1-10-104)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD12 Konstantin Airich (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Considering he was extremely out of shape and had a surgically-repaired knee to worry about, Solis didn’t look too terrible in coasting to victory over a disappointing Konstantin Airich.
10) Tony Thompson (1-104-104)
Last Fight: 5/27/2011- TKO3 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Wladimir Klitschko’s comments, above.

11) Seth Mitchell (10-24)
Last Fight: 4/28/2012- TKO3 Chazz Witherspoon (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Now that Wlad is actively dropping his name as a possible next opponent, Mitchell is showing he’s likely going to take the Adamek approach: fight low-quality opponents that happen to be really tall so that you can pretend you’re trying to prepare yourself for Wlad, when what you’re really doing is waiting around for your big payday with little risk.  Even the specific opponent being discussed is familiar to that scenario- Michael Grant.
12) Ruslan Chagaev (3-288)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO3 Billy Zumbrun (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The Valuev win is now over 5 years old, and Chagaev’s ranking has suffered as a result.
13) Alexander Dimitrenko (3-71)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- L(KO11) vs. #17 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite showing the heart of a quitter and the consistency of a random number generator against Pulev, Dimitrenko hangs on to a solid ranking because the other guys in his tier haven’t been winning meaningful fights lately.
14) Chris Arreola (3-166)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/23/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Arreola, it appears, will fight on the Matthysse-Soto, Ortiz-Lopez card on June 23.  Most likely his fight will be televised on Showtime Extreme again.
15) Denis Boytsov (3-153)
Last Fight: 4/13/2012- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov continued his slow walk to a title shot with an easy win over journeyman Dominick Guinn.
16) Jean-Marc Mormeck (3-104)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- L(TKO4) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 7/21/2012- vs. CW #2 Denis Lebedev (at CW)
It’s official.  Mormeck will drop back to cruiserweight for the first time since 2007 to fight #2 contender Denis Lebedev in Paris on July 21.
17) Bermane Stiverne (3-48)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- UD8 Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne had a ho-hum performance against an opponent that should never have been considered adequate after he was off for 10 months.
18) Edmund Gerber (3-3)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- UD8 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most scintillating effort against a passive Harris, but the old man is what passes for a fringe contender in this division at the moment, and thus Gerber has built himself a ranking.
19) Franklin Lawrence (3-52)
Last Fight: 10/28/2011- TKO2 Raymond Ochieng (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lawrence’s stay-busy fight was canceled after Mollo was medically disqualified- apparently on fight day.
20) Kevin Johnson (3-8)
Last Fight: 4/1/2012- TKO9 Alex Leapai (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Johnson put the cart before the horse by fighting the division’s #1 contender before he’d beaten anyone in the top 50.  Now he’s done the latter at last, and we’ll see if he starts progressing towards the former again.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: A few mildly mentionable fights to alert you to this week:
Friday: Former contender Fres Oquendo fights journeyman Joey Abell- best known as a Chris Arreola victim- in Hammond, Indiana.

 

Saturday:In Brentwood, England, former Olympic gold medalist and somewhat discredited British gatekeeper Audley Harrison returns to action for the first time since a shameful non-effort against David Haye a little over 18 months ago.  He’ll fight Iraqi-born journeyman Ali Adams.

 

In Managua, Nicaragua, Luis Ortiz- an undefeated Cuban prospect looking to emerge from the shadow of Solis and Mike Perez- will do nothing to achieve that goal in fighting weak local journeyman Walter Palacios in a 6-rounder.

Heavyweight: 2012, May 14-20

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on May 22, 2012 by danboxing
Juan Carlos Gomez won an eight-round decision on the Arslan-Alexeev card on Friday.  I stand corrected, as I thought there was little chance the oft-inactive Gomez would actually be fighting just three weeks after his last win when I saw that he was scheduled to fight an opponent to be announced.  That opponent was heavily-recycled journeyman Maxim Pedyura of the Ukraine.  There has been very little mention of this fight in news sources, and I skipped watching the undercard because of a lack of interesting matchups, so it’s just a generic, rather unimportant win for Gomez as I see it.  No changes to the rankings.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (151-364-364)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- TKO4 #16 Jean-Marc Mormeck
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. #9 Tony Thompson
Wlad will be defending the title against #9 Tony Thompson in what will likely be another ho-hum matchup for the Champ.  On the bright side, Thompson did put up a relatively spirited challenge the last time the two met in 2008.
1) Vitali Klitschko (188-188-188)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Now that Haye is fighting Chisora, Vitali may be looking for another opponent.  Perhaps one of his last two opponents ever.
2) Alexander Povetkin (38-238-238)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- W*(MD12) vs. CW #5 Marco Huck
Next Fight: 7/14/2012- vs. Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Povetkin got the benefit of the doubt in a fight he was dangerously close to losing against big underdog Marco Huck.  A rematch is widely desired and eminently deserved, but Povetkin is fighting HASIM RAHMAN next.  Shame on the WBA for ordering such a ridiculous mandatory fight for its ridiculous title, and shame on Povetkin for being their pawn.
3) Tomasz Adamek (9-108-108)
Last Fight: 3/24/2012- UD10 Nagy Aguilera (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/16/2012- vs. Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Big news!  Eddie Chambers- who was removed for inactivity from this very spot in the rankings not long ago- will be fighting Adamek in June on NBC Sports.  The stakes will of course be the #2 spot, which Povetkin now appears to be merely warming for the winner.  That is, if Chambers doesn’t withdraw from a 3rd consecutive bout.
4) Marco Huck (9-12-12)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. CW #7 Ola Afolabi (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Shaky performance against Afolabi, but there’s no rule saying he has to be the #1 or #2 Cruiser in order to be the #4 heavyweight.  If there was, he wouldn’t be here in the first place.
5) Tyson Fury (9-43-43)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- TKO5 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After a fairly impressive left-handed win over Martin Rogan, Fury appears interested in making a fight with Wlad or Alexander Povetkin.
6) Dereck Chisora (9-24-87)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(UD12) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: 7/14/2012- vs. David Haye (UNR)
The British Board is bitterly opposed to this bout- which they refuse to license- but apparently it is going forward anyway.  Get ready for a highly controversial blood-feud between Chisora and recent brawl opponent David Haye, July 14 in London.
7) Robert Helenius (9-59-103)
Last Fight: 12/3/2011- W*(SD12) vs. #18 Dereck Chisora (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
In addition to his injured hand suffered in the Chisora bout, Helenius says he was fighting with an injured shoulder.  Now comes the news that he will require surgery for that injury, and will be out until at least the fall.  His doctors say there is a chance it will never heal well enough for boxing.
8) Kubrat Pulev (2-2-79)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- KO11 #12 Alexander Dimitrenko
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev showed determination if nothing else in wearing down Dimitrenko to a late knockout.
9) Tony Thompson (9-103-103)
Last Fight: 5/27/2011- TKO3 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/7/2012- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Wladimir Klitschko’s comments, above.
10) Odlanier Solis (9-9-103)
Last Fight: 3/19/2011- L (TKO1) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: 5/19/2012- vs. Konstantin Airich (UNR)
Solis will fight Kazakh-born German fringe contender Konstantin Airich in Texas on 5/19.  That’s a pretty tough opponent given the layoff and physical problems from which Solis is trying to rebound.  But if he does well, it’s a great choice.
11) Seth Mitchell (9-23)
Last Fight: 4/28/2012- TKO3 Chazz Witherspoon (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Now that Wlad is actively dropping his name as a possible next opponent, Mitchell is showing he’s likely going to take the Adamek approach: fight low-quality opponents that happen to be really tall so that you can pretend you’re trying to prepare yourself for Wlad, when what you’re really doing is waiting around for your big payday with little risk.  Even the specific opponent being discussed is familiar to that scenario- Michael Grant.
12) Ruslan Chagaev (2-287)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO3 Billy Zumbrun (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The Valuev win is now over 5 years old, and Chagaev’s ranking has suffered as a result.
13) Alexander Dimitrenko (2-70)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- L(KO11) vs. #17 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite showing the heart of a quitter and the consistency of a random number generator against Pulev, Dimitrenko hangs on to a solid ranking because the other guys in his tier haven’t been winning meaningful fights lately.
14) Chris Arreola (2-165)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The Champ wants to return to the US in November for the first time since ’08.  Arreola and Mitchell are the names being tossed around by the Klitschko camp at the moment.
15) Denis Boytsov (2-152)
Last Fight: 4/13/2012- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov continued his slow walk to a title shot with an easy win over journeyman Dominick Guinn.
16) Jean-Marc Mormeck (2-103)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- L(TKO4) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
The word is Mormeck might be dropping back to cruiser for the first time since 2007 to fight Denis Lebedev.  No deal yet, but they have agreed on the prospective date: June 29, in Paris.
17) Bermane Stiverne (2-47)
Last Fight: 4/14/2012- UD8 Willie Herring (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne had a ho-hum performance against an opponent that should never have been considered adequate after he was off for 10 months.
18) Edmund Gerber (2-2)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- UD8 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most scintillating effort against a passive Harris, but the old man is what passes for a fringe contender in this division at the moment, and thus Gerber has built himself a ranking.
19) Franklin Lawrence (2-51)
Last Fight: 10/28/2011- TKO2 Raymond Ochieng (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/18/2012- vs. Mike Mollo (UNR)
Lawrence will fight journeyman and former fringe contender Mike Mollo in Dover, Delaware on May 18.
20) Kevin Johnson (2-7)
Last Fight: 4/1/2012- TKO9 Alex Leapai (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Johnson put the cart before the horse by fighting the division’s #1 contender before he’d beaten anyone in the top 50.  Now he’s done the latter at last, and we’ll see if he starts progressing towards the former again.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 4 notable fights this week:
Wednesday: Undefeated Italian prospect Francesco Pianeta takes on his best opponent in about 18 months when he takes on very old but still halfway serviceable gatekeeper Oliver McCall, who is 47.  That’s in Frankfurt, Germany.

 

Saturday: In Liverpool, local undefeated giant David Price battles former Commonwealth champion and prior British title challenger Sam Sexton for the British title that Tyson Fury vacated essentially out of an unwillingness to fight Price.  Across the pond in Pharr, Texas, #10 Odlanier Solis hopes his heavily-surgerized knee holds up against capable gatekeeper Konstantin Airich.  This is the Cuban’s first fight in exactly 14 months.  Also, in Dover, Delaware, #19 Franklin Lawrence keeps busy against Illinois journeyman and one-time fringe contender Mike Mollo.

Heavyweight: 2011, Nov 21-27

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 20, 2011 by danboxing
Lebanese-born Syrian prospect Manuel Charr saw action in Germany Friday, beating up fringe prospect Marcelo Nascimento of Brazil en route to an 8th round stoppage.  The following night, 39 year old fringe contender Michael Grant was reportedly nearly stopped in both the 7th and 11th round by 43-year-old journeyman and former contender Francois Botha in the latter’s native South Africa, but Grant came back in the 12th and, with one right hand, ended Botha’s night about 40 seconds early with a thrilling last-minute knockout to steal victory from the jaws of defeat.  No changes to the rankings.

 

For Comparison, here are the Current Ring Magazine Heavyweight Rankings:
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko
1) Vitali Klitschko
2) Alexander Povetkin
3) Tomasz Adamek
4) Eddie Chambers
5) Robert Helenius
6) Alexander Dimitrenko
7) Denis Boystov
8) Ruslan Chagaev
9) Chris Arreola
10) Kubrat Pulev

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (126-339-339)
Last Fight: 7/2/2011- UD12 #2 David Haye
Next Fight: 12/10/2011- vs. #13 Jean Marc Mormeck
Wlad is already looking past Mormeck to his next fight, which he hopes will be against Antonio Tarver in the US.
1) Vitali Klitschko (163-163-163)
Last Fight: 9/10/2011- TKO10 #6 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
The two names being mentioned as Vitali’s next opponent seem to be Marco Huck and Nikolai Valuev.
2) Alexander Povetkin (13-213-213)
Last Fight: 8/27/2011- UD12 #6 Ruslan Chagaev
Next Fight: 12/3/2011- vs. #20 Cedric Boswell
Povetkin is apparently looking to fight old guys only for his next fight.  Originally it looked like a Holyfield fight was all but done, then it looked like Rahman was the guy.  As it turns out, he will fight 42-year-0ld #20 Cedric Boswell on December 3 in Helsinki.
3) Eddie Chambers (6-138-138)
Last Fight: 2/11/2011- UD12 Derric Rossy (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #8 Tony Thompson
The Chambers-Thompson fight scheduled for a 10/28 ShoBox appearance is now off due to a Chambers back injury.  Chambers hopes to be ready to go by the end of the year.
4) Robert Helenius (6-34-78)
Last Fight: 8/27/2011- TKO9 Sergei Liakhovich (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/3/2011- vs. #18 Dereck Chisora
Helenius has finally named an opponent for 12/3, and it’s Dereck Chisora, who hopefully will show up in shape.
5) Tomasz Adamek (6-83-83)
Last Fight: 9/10/2011- L (TKO10) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
After initially saying he was only looking for the best fights, the latest word from Adamek’s camp is that he looks to fight 3 times in 2012, but does not expect to seek a title fight until 2013.  So 3 bums for Adamek.  Sounds pretty similar to his normal pattern since moving up.  Maybe we’ll get lucky and one of those fights will be a compelling Arreola rematch.
6) Tyson Fury (2-18-18)
Last Fight: 11/12/2011- TKO3 Neven Pajkic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury is already working on his next fight, which may be March 17 at Madison Square Garden for his US debut.
7) Ruslan Chagaev (2-262-262)
Last Fight: 8/27/2011- L (UD12) vs. #5 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 1/21/2011- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chagaev has a fight scheduled against an opponent to be announced in January.
8) Tony Thompson (6-78-78)
Last Fight: 5/27/2011- TKO3 Maurice Harris (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #3 Eddie Chambers
See Chambers’ comments, above.
9) Odlanier Solis (6-49-78)
Last Fight: 3/19/2011- L (TKO1) vs. #1 Vitali Klitschko
Next Fight: 11/26/2011- vs. Unknown Opponent
Solis, for the second time in as many months, has a fight scheduled.  Last time, he had no idea, and was nowhere near ready while recovering from knee surgery.  Only time will tell if this one is for real or not.
10) Alexander Dimitrenko (6-6-45)
Last Fight: 9/24/2011- UD12 Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko had elbow surgery, and his mandatory defense with Robert Helenius has been delayed until presumably sometime after Helenius’ reserved December 3 date.
11) Chris Arreola (6-140)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO3 Raphael Butler (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola’s trainer insists he’s done with the rebuilding phase of his comeback, and ready for big fights.  It’s about time.
12) Denis Boytsov (6-127)
Last Fight: 9/24/2011- TKO6 Matthew Greer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
13) Jean Marc Mormeck (6-78)
Last Fight: 12/2/2010- SD12 #19 Timur Ibragimov
Next Fight: 12/10/2011- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
The former cruiserweight king will fight for a legitimate championship in his 2nd weight division on December 10 in Germany.  If David Haye couldn’t do anything against Wlad, I don’t know why the guy from whom Haye took the title will fare any better, especially when he is significantly older and more used up than was the Brit.
14) Bermane Stiverne (6-22)
Last Fight: 6/25/2011- TKO10 #20 Ray Austin
Next Fight: Unknown
Despite a still-thin resume, Stiverne has somehow been maneuvered into the position of being Vitali Klitschko’s WBC mandatory challenger.
15) Samuel Peter (6-78)
Last Fight: 4/2/2011- L(KO9) vs. #16 Robert Helenius
Next Fight: Unknown
It appeared that Peter would be fighting Vyacheslav Glazkov this week, but apparently it was never a done deal and is now off.
16) Kubrat Pulev (5-54)
Last Fight: 10/22/2011- UD12 Travis Walker (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Franklin Lawrence (5-26)
Last Fight: 10/28/2011- TKO2 Raymond Ochieng (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Dereck Chisora (6-62)
Last Fight: 11/11/2011- UD6 Remigijus Ziausys (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/3/2011- vs. #4 Robert Helenius
He’ll need to be in top shape to have a chance against the crushing power of Robert Helenius.
19) Timur Ibragimov (6-9)
Last Fight: 12/2/2010- L (SD12) vs. #18 Jean Marc Mormeck
Next Fight: 11/4/2011- vs. Seth Mitchell (UNR)
Ibragimov will serve as a measuring stick on December 10 when he attempts to shut the gate on America’s best heavyweight prospect, Seth Mitchell.
20) Cedric Boswell (6-6)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- UD10 Kertson Manswell (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/3/2011- vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Boswell gets the opportunity of his life on December 3, but it will be no easy task against #2 Povetkin.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: #9 Odlanier Solis is apparently scheduled to fight an as-yet unannounced opponent in Trabzon, Turkey on Saturday.  With Solis’ knee surgery and his cancelled last fight that he knew nothing about, I’ll believe this one when I see it.  On the same card, Czech Fringe prospect Ondrej Pala is also scheduled for a fight, but again, no opponent yet.