Archive for Rowland Bryant

Light Heavyweight: 2014, Apr 28- May 4

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 2, 2014 by danboxing
Thursday in Rancho Mirage, California, #14 Thomas Williams, Jr. continued his unbeaten career by disposing of shopworn journeyman Enrique Ornelas in a matter of 3 rounds.  Williams’ shots were crisp and hard, and although he was a little stiff defensively, he had way too much talent for it to matter against Librado Andrade’s less accomplished brother, who himself was once a fringe contender.  Ornelas summoned a few decent moments, but was way outgunned overall by the impressive Williams, who scored a knockdown in the 2nd and another in the 3rd, after the latter of which Ornelas fell back to the canvas while trying to get up, prompting Raul Caiz, Jr. to stop the fight in favor of the other “Jr.” in the ring.

 

Earlier that evening in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, gatekeeper Rowland Bryant apparently more or less dominated low-level veteran journeyman Rayco Saunders to an 8-round decision in an off-TV fight.  Scores were 80-72 (x2), 78-74.

 

Leading off Saturday in Vienna, undefeated prospect Timy Shala, a Kosovar living in Vienna, escaped with an 8-round draw in the opinion of ref and sole judge Gerhard Sigl against mid-level journeyman Emmanuel Feuzeu of Cameroon.  There doesn’t seem to be video of the fight floating around, but if the result is an accurate reflection of the fight, it probably illuminates the ceiling of Shala’s potential.  He was already only very arguably a top 50 fighter, having benefited from the high point of career journeyman Mounir Toumi’s career, who had defeated a puffed up Tony Averlant, who was himself at a high point based on a narrow robbery loss to fringe contender Eddy Gutknecht at the time.  Shala stopped Toumi in the Moroccan’s first fight after the Averlant upset.  Considering Feuzeu lost to a 1-2 fighter back in 2008 and hadn’t beaten anyone of note since, this draw probably tells you about all you need to know about Shala’s apparently limited potential to knock off a legitimate top 50 performer.

 

That same night in Legionowo, Poland, we got yet another surprising effort from an underdog.  The favorite, Pawel Glazewski, had been stopped in his last major fight by super middleweight fringe contender Hadillah Mohoumadi, but he was in with an unproven one-loss prospect in Maciej Miszkin.  Miszkin was coming off a major setback, himself, having been stopped in three by a much smaller and also unproven 18 year old by the name of Vincent Feigenbutz in his previous fight.  On paper, it looked like a fairly comfortable match-up for Glazewski, who very clearly beat Roy Jones, Jr. when the two met in the summer of 2012.  But that just wasn’t the case.  Miszkin attacked Glazewski from the opening bell, and the fight quickly developed into a phone booth-style war of attrition, with Miszkin appearing the more prepared for battle between the two.  Early on, it appeared that Glazewski was the more precise puncher, but Miszkin was the consistent aggressor and unloaded more punches overall.  As the fight wore on, it was Glazewski’s shots that began to find air more often than not, as Miszkin showed off some subtle but effective defensive techniques.  Glazewski made his stand in the 7th round, scoring with a ton of clean power shots as Miszkin’s work began to look a bit ragged, but it was the determined Miszkin who came back to win a close but clear 8th.  I had it 78-74 for the underdog, and I could only see it potentially a round wider or a round closer potentially.  That means it was a clear win in a competitive dogfight for Maciej Miszkin, and it would put the career of the once-promising Glazewski very much in doubt.  Apparently the judges weren’t on board with bringing that storyline to pass, as they blatantly robbed the determined young prospect, handing a win to Glazewski that was every bit as fraudulent as was his loss to Jones.  The scoundrels were, in ascending order of shameworthiness, Przemyslaw Moszumanski (who had enough shame to score it even), Grzegorz Molenda (78-75 Glazewski), and the incomparable Wlodzimierz Gulc (78-74 Glazewski).  I, on the other hand, will treat it as the Miszkin win that it is, by all rights.  Still, with his difficult-t0-reconcile loss to Feigenbutz not at all far in the past, he’s probably not a clear top 50 guy in any case.  Therefore, there are….

 

No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks   in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (86-86-86)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says he’s been trying to talk his promoter into getting him a fight despite an ongoing lawsuit between the two.  Not sure if that’s going to work out for him.
1) Adonis Stevenson (47-47-47)
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 (86-412-412)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- W (SD12*) vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Hopkins continued looking good against competent, if unspectacular, opposition.  Pay no attention to the insane split decision verdict.  It was a domination.  In the aftermath, B-Hop has called out Stevenson.
3) Jean Pascal (15-15-15)
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 (15-67-67)
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 (15-413-413)
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 (15-37-94)
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 (15-133-133)
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 (15-201-201)
Last Fight: 8/16/2013- L (KO9) vs. #14 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: 5/9/2014- vs. Ricky Pow (UNR)
Campillo has replaced one low-level tune-up opponent with another, as Ibrahim Lopez is out and Ricky Pow is in for Campillo’s May 9 Madrid date.
9) Tavoris Cloud (15-244-244)
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 (15-221-221)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (TKO4) vs. #3 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Cleverly’s cruiserweight debut is once again on the schedule.  This time for May 17 in Cardiff.
11) Isaac Chilemba (15-117)
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 (15-106)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD5 Enzo Maccarinelli (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Braehmer might give Maccarinelli a rematch in June.  I like it.
13) Karo Murat (14-27)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat is a free agent after his contract with Sauerland recently expired.
14) Thomas Williams, Jr. (14-14)
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 (15-55)
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 (15-42)
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 (27-44)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (14-124)
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 (14-66)
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 (14-78)
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.

 

The Week Ahead
Thursday
Yunieski Gonzalez vs. Jaison Palomeque; Hialeah, Florida; Off TV
Gonzalez will appear on the Miami-adjacent ESPN special this weekend, but his stay-busy outing with the totally insignificant Palomeque is not expected to make the broadcast.  It’s a walk in the park, so you’ll get no tears from me on the subject.

 

Saturday
Eduard Gutknecht vs. Pablo Sosa; Berlin, Germany; ARD (Germany)
If Gutknecht were any sort of puncher, I’d say this fight is such a mismatch that it would be dangerous of the commission to sanction it.  Gutknecht, while no longer the contender he once was at 168 by any means, does occasionally summon a world class performance.  He looked as if he might be able to do something along those lines in his last fight against Sukhotsky, but a heap of swelling on his eye turned a fight he was initially leading after 2 to an even affair after 4 and a TKO loss during the 5th.  Sosa, an very novice Argentine journeyman at 3-3-2, is sort of Sauerland’s whipping boy.  He’s been used as an opponent by Erik Skoglund and Enrico Koelling, as well as lesser known undefeated prospect Stephane Roethlisberger.  At least he won a round or two from Koelling and Roethlisberger, which I guess isn’t half bad for a guy with so little experience.  Gutknecht is the most accomplished guy, at least at the time, that he’s faced, and by a mile.  This is on the Abraham-Sjekloca undercard.

Light Heavyweight: 2014, Apr 21-27

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 24, 2014 by danboxing
Saturday in Atlantic City, #2 Bernard Hopkins continued to redefine what we know about aging in sports.  Now let’s not go crazy over it.  Beibut Shumenov, especially if you gave any credence to his title as “Super Champion” or even simply Champion, was vastly overrated.  He’s been inactive, and his level of competition has been abysmal for years now.  For all the disrespect he got from the media and fans, Karo Murat was a much more qualified challenger, and I think allowed Hopkins to prove more than did the Kazakh.  All that said, this was a really impressive outing for “the Alien.”  Whatever else you can say about Shumenov, he was a reasonably young, fairly strong, warm body that Hopkins utterly dominated.  I had it 119-108, giving Shumenov only the 10th, and even that one was a toss-up.  Hopkins was ridiculously accurate with his shots, and predictably crafty throughout.  As for the Kazakh, he was limited to throwing one supremely wild inaccurate punch at a time, and really could scarcely hit the Philadelphian with a 10-foot pole.  Hopkins even added insult to injury with an 11th-round knockdown.  The judges should probably be committed en masse for psychiatric evaluation- particularly Gustavo Padilla, who somehow had it 114-113 for Shumenov, which is potentially more inexplicable a card in his favor than those he got in his second fight with Campillo (that being one of the most notorious robberies of modern times).  Shumenov gets such consistently insane favors from the judges on the rare occasion that he actually fights, that I really honestly have to wonder if there’s some illicit money changing hands…especially when he also is inexplicably loved by the WBA more strongly than one would expect from his own mother, from all indications.  Jerry Roth and Dave Moretti both turned in head-scratching, but less inflammatory cards of 116-111 Hopkins.  I personally don’t see how anyone could have it closer than 117-110.  Keep in mind that I’m not historically a guy that has been warm to Hopkins’ style in my scoring.

 

In a low-profile upset that is nevertheless rather significant, Tanzanian gatekeeper Francis Cheka probably punched his final ticket on his connecting flight to obscurity, notching just a majority draw in his 8-rounder with…wait for it…Iranian undefeated prospect Sajjad Mehrabi.  Look, maybe Mehrabi is the chosen one.  Maybe he’ll singlehandedly turn Iran into a global boxing power and vindicate their all but non-existent fight scene.  But it’s hard to put much faith in the Persian’s world-class credentials at this point, considering that Cheka is the first guy he’s fought with even the faintest hint of a pulse, and yet he already had a prior draw on his record.  There’s no video out there of the fight, so I can’t opine on the scoring…but you’ve gotta wonder if it might even be worse than it looks for the veteran from Africa, who couldn’t even negotiate a victory in his home country.  To make matters worse, Mehrabi is a natural middleweight.

 

No movement in the rankings from the Hopkins-Shumenov fight, as it’s exactly what you’d expect from fighters of their respective ranks.  Mehrabi technically now is qualified for a ranking, but he’s not even in my unofficial top 50, and he’ll need to be proven substantially more than this to get within shouting distance of a ranking.

 

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 (85-85-85)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kovalev’s promoter has zeroed in on the inactive Ward as an “inevitable” future opponent.
1) Adonis Stevenson (46-46-46)
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 (85-411-411)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- W (SD12*) vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Hopkins continued looking good against competent, if unspectacular, opposition.  Pay no attention to the insane split decision verdict.  It was a domination.  In the aftermath, B-Hop has called out Stevenson.
3) Jean Pascal (14-14-14)
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 (14-66-66)
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 (14-412-412)
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 (14-36-93)
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 (14-132-132)
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 (14-200-200)
Last Fight: 8/16/2013- L (KO9) vs. #14 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: 5/9/2014- vs. Ricky Pow (UNR)
Campillo has replaced one low-level tune-up opponent with another, as Ibrahim Lopez is out and Ricky Pow is in for Campillo’s May 9 Madrid date.
9) Tavoris Cloud (14-243-243)
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 (14-220-220)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (TKO4) vs. #3 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Cleverly’s cruiserweight debut is once again on the schedule.  This time for May 17 in Cardiff.
11) Isaac Chilemba (14-116)
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 (14-105)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD5 Enzo Maccarinelli (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Braehmer might give Maccarinelli a rematch in June.  I like it.
13) Karo Murat (13-26)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat is a free agent after his contract with Sauerland recently expired.
14) Thomas Williams, Jr. (13-13)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- TKO1 #13 Cornelius White
Next Fight: Unknown
Williams has been well-matched against vulnerable guys with good resumes.
15) Cedric Agnew (14-54)
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 (14-41)
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 (26-43)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (13-123)
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 (13-65)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD10 Andy Gardiner (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. Radivoje Kalajdzic (UNR)
Alvarez will fight a physically talented and undefeated prospect in Kalajdzic on the Stevenson-Fonfara undercard, but a prospect who is still a little rough around the edges.
20) Lucian Bute (13-77)
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.

 

The Week Ahead
Thursday
#14 Thomas Williams, Jr. vs. Enrique Ornelas; Rancho Mirage, California; FS1 (US)
Williams is a fast-rising Golden Boy prospect who has risen in the rankings due to both his talent and excellent matchmaking.  That is to say that he’s been matched with vulnerable guys like Cornelius White and Yusaf Mack who nevertheless have very solid- some would say inflated- resumes.  This is more of a showcase.  Ornelas- the brother of former top 5 super middleweight Librado Andrade- was once a fringe contender, but since at least 2008 he’s done one of two things exclusively: beat nobodies or lose to contenders, though it should be noted that he did give Bernard Hopkins unexpected trouble in late 2009.  With that all being the case, it’s possible that he’s the opposite of Williams’ typical recent opponent in that he might be more dangerous than his current status might indicate.  But that status is merely that of a mid-level journeyman at this point, so an Ornelas win would be a huge upset, indeed.

 

Rowland Bryant vs. Rayco Saunders; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Off TV
Speaking of Librado Andrade, the man known almost exclusively for effectively ending his career is also in action on Thursday.  He’s not getting a ton of love from the Boxrec rankings, and he is coming off losses in 2 of his 3 fights since the destruction of the Mexican contender- albeit against the likes of undefeated prospects/contenders like Thomas Oosthuizen and Yunieski Gonzalez.  There’s much less ambiguity about the proper status of Saunders, who comes in with only one more win than loss, and at 39 years old has been declared the loser in 8 of his last 9.

 

Saturday
Timy Shala vs. Emmanuel Feuzeu; Vienna, Austria; TV Unknown
Shala, who makes his home in Vienna by way of Kosovo, is an undefeated prospect, who is arguably a top 50 fighter based on his stoppage win over Mounir Toumi- a likely overrated journeyman who had made a minor name for himself by beating Tony Averlant right after Averlant was robbed versus Eddy Gutknecht.  Feuzeu is a veteran of just 11 fights, and a mid-level journeyman who comes off his best career win over Ricky Pow in October.  He does, however, have at least one unacceptable loss on his resume, a decision to a 1-2 fighter back in March 2008.  He’s not a challenge for a bona fide top 50 fighter, but I’m not sure we really know yet if Shala is among that company.

 

Pawel Glazewski vs. Maciej Miszkin; Legionowo, Poland; Polsat Sport (Poland)
Glazewski is hard to figure.  He clearly beat no less a name than Roy Jones, Jr. in a cruiserweight fight in which he was blatantly robbed, but then was stopped in his home country by a natural super middleweight in Hadillah Mohoumadi.  I figure he’s still got to be considered a top 50 guy despite that setback, and he’s in against a one-loss prospect in Miszkin, but a one-loss prospect coming off a TKO loss to an inexperienced 18-year old.

Light Heavyweight: 2014, Mar 17-23

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on August 5, 2014 by danboxing
The week’s light heavyweight headliner was in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where #11 Isaac Chilemba of Malawi fought an almost perfect fight against rugged fringe contender Denis Grachev of Russia.  Grachev was game as always, and gave a good effort, but the tall and long-armed Chilemba controlled range expertly, and had very few let-downs that would have given Grachev any kind of chance.  I had it 99-91, having just barely found round 6 for Chilemba, and I only saw one other debatable round.  Judges Lederman (100-90) Morgan (99-91) and McNair (99-91) all did competent work.

 

In another good match-up- this one from Reading, England- 40 year-old gatekeeper Dean Francis and 2-loss prospect Bob Ajisafe fought it out for the vacant British title and a spot in the semi-finals of the Maxi Nutrition Knockout tournament.  Francis showed much of the form that had won him that title, as well as the British 168-pound title, in the past.  He frequently frustrated the long-armed Ajisafe’s attempts to control range and the pace by bulling his way in and landing everything from jabs to right hands.  On the other hand, when Francis would have a lull in his offense, Ajisafe would often capitalize by landing a potshot to hurt Francis from the outside.  If we were scoring based only one times that one guy hurt the other, it would be about 4-1 for Ajisafe.  

 

I ultimately had it 115-113 for Ajisafe, though I thought the two closest rounds of the fight (the only two I could really imagine going any other way) were ones I had given to the taller man, meaning I could imagine a draw or 115-113 Francis as reasonable scores.  The sick-brained judges couldn’t quite manage that.  John Keane had it closest to reality at 116-114.  I should say that I have no real idea how British judges are trained to decide even rounds.  In the US, an even round usually means that a judge lost concentration, since truly even rounds are supposed to happen only once in a blue moon.  I get the sense that when I call a round a toss-up and award it narrowly to one fighter, my British counterpart might tend to score it even more often than not.  Even by that standard, though, Keane was off.  If I gave even rounds for all the toss-ups, it would actually have benefited Francis to the tune of a draw.  To score two even rounds and still have it for Ajisafe, Keane must have scored at least one clear Francis round the wrong way.  Marcus McDonnell’s score was reported by the ring announcer as 116-114, but Boxrec has it reported as the same as Keane.  Either that’s a typo, or there was a tabulation/announcing error.  Jeff Hinds, though, really outdid himself, scoring it an unconscionable 118-112 for Ajisafe, meaning that he totally botched a minimum of 3 rounds that were clearly won by Francis.

 

In a non-televised bout from New Jersey on Friday, gatekeeper Rowland Bryant (best known for stopping Librado Andrade and basically ending the contender’s career) won an easy TKO victory in 4 rounds over low-level sub-.500 journeyman William Santiago.

 

Francis was only barely a top 50 fighter going in, and Ajisafe’s only other performance against a top 50 fighter in the last 5 years was a respectable loss to an up-and-coming Tony Bellew in 2010.  For those reasons, Ajisafe is only in the high-30s in terms of ranking at this point.  Chilemba still can’t quite get by Cleverly and into the top 10 either, so there are 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 (80-80-80)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says his manager is working on his next fight despite his lawsuit against promoter Dan Goossen.  He had indicated interest in Golovkin, but the Kazakh’s own trainer recently said his fighter is not ready for that fight.
1) Adonis Stevenson (41-41-41)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO6 #6 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #6 Andrzej Fonfara
According to Ringtv.com, Stevenson-Fonfara will most likely land on May 24.  After that, it looks like the Kovalev fight will happen in late 2014.
2) Bernard Hopkins (80-406-406)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Karo Murat (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Hopkins will fight Shumenov in mid-April at the D.C. Armory in Washington.
3) Jean Pascal (9-9-9)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD12 #16 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Bob Arum has floated the possibility of a July fight with Julio Cesar Chavez.
4) Sergey Kovalev (9-61-61)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO2 Ismayl Sillakh (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. #15 Cedric Agnew
Kovalev is likely to fight Stevenson in late 2014, and has a March 29 fight coming up in Atlantic City with Cedric Agnew.
5) Chad Dawson (9-407-407)
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 (9-31-88)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- KO2 Samuel Miller (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
May 24 looks likely for Fonfara-Stevenson.
7) Tony Bellew (9-127-127)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO12 Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
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.
8) Gabriel Campillo (9-195-195)
Last Fight: 8/16/2013- L (KO9) vs. #14 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: 5/9/2014- vs. Ibrahim Lopez (UNR)
Campillo will reportedly fight unproven one-loss Spanish prospect Ibrahim Lopez on May 9 in Madrid.
9) Tavoris Cloud (9-238-238)
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 (9-215-215)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (TKO4) vs. #3 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
Cleverly’s cruiserweight debut is once again delayed by what’s being called a minor injury.  His promoter says he intends to schedule him another fight very soon.
11) Isaac Chilemba (9-111)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD10 Denis Grachev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba looked very very sharp in dominating a game Denis Grachev.
12) Jürgen Brähmer (9-100)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD12 Marcus Oliveira (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Enzo Maccarinelli (UNR)
Braehmer returns April 5 in Rostock, Germany against moderately resurgent Welshman Enzo Maccarinelli.
13) Karo Murat (8-21)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat is a free agent after his contract with Sauerland recently expired.
14) Thomas Williams, Jr. (8-8)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- TKO1 #13 Cornelius White
Next Fight: Unknown
Williams has been well-matched against vulnerable guys with good resumes.
15) Cedric Agnew (9-49)
Last Fight: 4/12/2013- UD12 #14 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. #4 Sergey Kovalev
Agnew was ordered to defend his regional title against fringe contender Anatoliy Dudchenko, and also appeared to have the option of fighting Sukhotsky for a position as IBF mandatory.  Instead, he’ll now roll the dice big against Kovalev.
16) Edwin Rodriguez (9-36)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez’s trainer Ronnie Shields opines that a fight against a top-15 level light heavyweight would be a good jumping-off point for his anticipated permanent move up.  Before that happens, he’ll need to recover from minor elbow surgery he had in December.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (21-38)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (8-118)
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 (8-60)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD10 Andy Gardiner (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alvarez may have been suffering from a letdown after Oosthuizen withdrew from what could have been the Colombian’s biggest fight ever, and almost let it effect him to the point of losing to an unheralded undefeated prospect in Gardiner.
20) Lucian Bute (8-72)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- L (UD12) vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute wants his contractually-guaranteed rematch with Pascal.

 

The Week Ahead: No meaningful action this week.

Light Heavyweight: 2014, Mar 10-16

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on July 28, 2014 by danboxing
Saturday in Kecskemet, Hungary, Hungarian former Champion Zsolt Erdei won a dominant unanimous decision over low-level journeyman Shalva Jomardashvili of Georgia, won a completely manufactured alphabet Euro title in the process, and then promptly retired.  I wish I could say he was a real credit to the sport.  The truth is that he beat a Champion in the late Julio Cesar Gonzalez to become light heavyweight champion of the world in 2004, and then went on a run of defenses so pathetic in their overall quality that most boxing fans sort of forgot that he was champion and started recognizing the far superior Roy Jones, whom Erdei wouldn’t have fought in a million years.  It might be an exaggeration to say that he hurt the status of boxing championships as much as an alphabet organization, but he sure did his best to try.  He protected his “0” more carefully than Floyd Mayweather ever dreamed, and finally lost that mark in just his penultimate fight- ironically in very controversial fashion- to Denis Grachev.  He goes out winning a so-called title against a total non-entity, but the sad truth is that that non-entity who had no right challenging for a vacant European belt was not all that much worse than some of the guys that Erdei actually defended his lineal belt against, when you consider such luminaries as Paul Murdoch, Danny Santiago, George Blades, Tito Mendoza, DeAndrey Abron, Yuriy Barashian and, arguably, Samson Onyango (who in particular is probably worse than Jomardashvili).

 

No changes, since Erdei already ceased to afflict the rankings a while ago.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (79-79-79)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says his manager is working on his next fight despite his lawsuit against promoter Dan Goossen.  He had indicated interest in Golovkin, but the Kazakh’s own trainer recently said his fighter is not ready for that fight.
1) Adonis Stevenson (40-40-40)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO6 #6 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #6 Andrzej Fonfara
According to Ringtv.com, Stevenson-Fonfara will most likely land on May 24.  After that, it looks like the Kovalev fight will happen in late 2014.
2) Bernard Hopkins (79-405-405)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Karo Murat (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Hopkins will fight Shumenov in mid-April at the D.C. Armory in Washington.
3) Jean Pascal (8-8-8)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD12 #16 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Pascal appears to be fully back from his 2 years in the desert, figuratively speaking, having dominated an apparently shopworn Bute.
4) Sergey Kovalev (8-60-60)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO2 Ismayl Sillakh (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. #15 Cedric Agnew
Kovalev is likely to fight Stevenson in late 2014, and has a March 29 fight coming up in Atlantic City with Cedric Agnew.
5) Chad Dawson (8-406-406)
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 (8-30-87)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- KO2 Samuel Miller (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
May 24 looks likely for Fonfara-Stevenson.
7) Tony Bellew (8-126-126)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- L (TKO6) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
Bellew plans a move to cruiserweight, and his first fight there is scheduled for March 15 in Liverpool, against Valery Brudov.
8) Gabriel Campillo (8-194-194)
Last Fight: 8/16/2013- L (KO9) vs. #14 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: 5/9/2014- vs. Ibrahim Lopez (UNR)
Campillo will reportedly fight unproven one-loss Spanish prospect Ibrahim Lopez on May 9 in Madrid.
9) Tavoris Cloud (8-237-237)
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 (8-214-214)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (TKO4) vs. #3 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
Cleverly’s cruiserweight debut is once again delayed by what’s being called a minor injury.  His promoter says he intends to schedule him another fight very soon.
11) Isaac Chilemba (8-110)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD8 Michael Gbenga (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Denis Grachev (UNR)
Chilemba is in the US, training for a March 15 bout with fringe contender Grachev.
12) Jürgen Brähmer (8-99)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD12 Marcus Oliveira (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Enzo Maccarinelli (UNR)
Braehmer returns April 5 in Rostock, Germany against moderately resurgent Welshman Enzo Maccarinelli.
13) Karo Murat (7-20)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat is a free agent after his contract with Sauerland recently expired.
14) Thomas Williams, Jr. (7-7)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- TKO1 #13 Cornelius White
Next Fight: Unknown
Williams has been well-matched against vulnerable guys with good resumes.
15) Cedric Agnew (8-48)
Last Fight: 4/12/2013- UD12 #14 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. #4 Sergey Kovalev
Agnew was ordered to defend his regional title against fringe contender Anatoliy Dudchenko, and also appeared to have the option of fighting Sukhotsky for a position as IBF mandatory.  Instead, he’ll now roll the dice big against Kovalev.
16) Edwin Rodriguez (8-35)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez’s trainer Ronnie Shields opines that a fight against a top-15 level light heavyweight would be a good jumping-off point for his anticipated permanent move up.  Before that happens, he’ll need to recover from minor elbow surgery he had in December.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (20-37)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (7-117)
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 (7-59)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD10 Andy Gardiner (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alvarez may have been suffering from a letdown after Oosthuizen withdrew from what could have been the Colombian’s biggest fight ever, and almost let it effect him to the point of losing to an unheralded undefeated prospect in Gardiner.
20) Lucian Bute (7-71)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- L (UD12) vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute might be back on the May 24 undercard of Stevenson-Fonfara.

 

The Week Ahead:
Friday
Rowland Bryant vs. William Santiago; Hamilton Township, New Jersey; Off TV
Bryant, despite losing to solid prospects like Thomas Oosthuizen and Yunieski Gonzalez, is still a top 50 fighter in my eyes due to his destruction of then-ranked contender Librado Andrade in 2012.  It’s a bit disappointing, then, to find him fighting a sub-.500 fighter like Santiago.  Easy work.

 

Saturday
Bob Ajisafe vs. Dean Francis; Reading, England; Channel 5 (UK)
Both Francis and Ajisafe are English gatekeeper-types, and this fight has the potential to propel the winner to a really prominent position in the division.  This is actually the first quarterfinal of the UK’s MaxiNutrition Knockout Tournament.  The winner of this fight ought to be at least the co-favorite with the winner of next week’s meeting between Danny McIntosh and Travis Dickinson.

 

#11 Isaac Chilemba vs. Denis Grachev; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; NBC Sports (US)
Chilemba is looking for another breakthrough after losing a rematch to Bellew.  Grachev is even more in need of good news.  He was once at around the same level as Chilemba now finds himself, but he has been struggling of late.  He acquitted himself very well against Bute, but lost.  He beat Erdei, but perhaps it was undeserved.  And he was totally blown out of the water against Edwin Rodriguez.  Still, I think this fight could go either way.  Chilemba is long and tall, and if Grachev steps lively enough, he’s got a good chance to get inside and land some bombs on the Malawian contender, especially if Chilemba is not on top of his game.  Chilemba likes to mix it up more than a trainer might advise for someone of his physique.

 

Speaking of Tony Bellew: he’s got a fight too, but it’s unambiguously a cruiserweight fight, so I’ll only discuss it there.

Light Heavyweight: 2013, Mar 18-24

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 20, 2013 by danboxing
Friday in Hollywood, Florida, undefeated Cuban Yunieski Gonzalez made good on his first step up to top 50 competition, knocking out Rowland Bryant- best known as the man who effectively ended the career of Librado Andrade back in April- in the 8th round.

 

In a shocking upset, France-based Congolese gatekeeper Doudou Ngumbu dominated #14 Vyacheslav Uzelkoff in Uzelkoff’s back yard of Kiev.  Ngumbu worked beautifully, using movement and sharp combinations to pepper the comparatively slow-footed Ukranian.  Uzelkoff tried to walk in without jabbing and land clubbing shots on the inside- a bad strategy to be sure against a more agile and active opponent.  Ngumbu’s win is even more impressive when you consider that it was Sofiane Sebihi that was scheduled to fight Uzelkoff just a week ago.

 

Normally Ngumbu’s win would propel him into the top 20, and in fact it would have if his had been the only significant win of the weekend.  What holds him back is the fact that he has anything but a clean record of success overall.  The most important fight to that analysis was his stoppage loss 9 months ago to gatekeeper Nadjib Mohammedi, who himself has never been ranked here.  He also has 3 other losses that hurt him, though at least two of them were apparently arguable, and all came before his prior significant win over Alexei Kuziemski.  Despite all this, Ngumbu would fit in at #20 compared to last week’s rankings.  Unfortunately for him, Yunieski Gonzalez’s win was nearly as big as his own, while he has none of the baggage in terms of red ink that Ngumbu brings with him. 

 

Uzelkoff falls from the rankings, allowing everyone ranked #15 and below to advance.  Gonzalez debuts at #20, while Ngumbu is probably next in line should somebody drop out.  One more note- I hinted in recent weeks at the possibility that I would remove Jean Pascal from the rankings for inactivity if he did indeed bail on Chad Dawson in favor of Lucian Bute.  Pascal hasn’t fought at 175 in nearly 2 years, and so he is obviously living on borrowed time.  But since before he hit the one year mark in May 2012, he’s continuously had a fight scheduled.  He has postponed, canceled, or come in heavy for some of those scheduled dates, but he always has the next option finalized before failing to make good on the last.  For this reason, he’s been able to float with his ranking intact.  After signing and then postponing a fight with Dawson, he has now canceled on him.  I would have LOVED to have removed him for that, but he waited until he had a fight with Lucian Bute well in hand.  I considered removing him anyway just for playing too many games, but upon reflection I realized I would be doing so entirely out of spite.  We know he’s planning to fight, even if it’s not the matchup that non-Canadian fans were hoping for, and so the removal would be temporary and would not reflect the true state of the division.  It would also make a somewhat unintuitive alteration to a system that has served me and my rankings pretty well to this point.  So Pascal remains.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (28-28-28)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 Champ Chad Dawson (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
After taking some seemingly unsolicited smack talk from Mayweather, Ward said he’d drain down to 160 to fight him.  Probably just talk, since neither man has ever fought that high/low.
1) Chad Dawson (28-355-355)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- L(TKO10) vs. SMW Champ Andre Ward (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
After Pascal pulled out of their excellent rematch, Dawson is searching for a new opponent.  Word is he might fight Adonis Stevenson on June 8.
2) Bernard Hopkins (28-354-354)
Last Fight: 3/9/2012- UD12 #6 Tavoris Cloud
Next Fight: Unknown
It sounds like Hopkins-Cleverly is likely in the cards for later this year.
3) Jean Pascal (28-196-196)
Last Fight: 12/14/2012- UD10 Alexei Kuziemski (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #16 Lucian Bute
Pascal bailed on Dawson for a less internationally compelling fight with Lucian Bute on the same date.
4) Sergey Kovalev (9-9-9)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- TKO3 #4 Gabriel Campillo
Next Fight: Unknown
Kovalev is hoping to return in Moscow in April.
5) Gabriel Campillo (9-143-143)
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 (9-186-186)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
The division is as weak in terms of talent as it’s ever been, and Cloud can’t beat a 48 year old contender in it.  I don’t think he’s ever going to be a champion.
7) Cornelius White (9-36-66)
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.
8) Nathan Cleverly (9-163-163)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO8 Shawn Hawk (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. Robin Krasniqi (UNR)
Cleverly’s long-lingering and mostly pointless fight against gatekeeper Robin Krasniqi has been moved to April 20.
9) Tony Bellew (9-75-75)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- UD12 Roberto Feliciano Bolonti (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #13 Isaac Chilemba
Bellew has a mandatory shot at the European title against Braehmer waiting for him if he gets by Chilemba, but that may never happen since Bellew would also become the challenger-in-waiting for Chad Dawson, and might even get that opportunity on May 25 if Pascal does pull out.
10) Jürgen Brähmer (7-7-48)
Last Fight: 2/2/2013- UD12 Eduard Gutknecht (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Braehmer defends his European title in Hamburg on April 27.  No opponent yet.
11) Karo Murat (7-98)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO7 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat last made 175 on October 1, 2011.  He’s fought once slightly over the limit since then, giving him until April 1 to schedule a fight here.  This is partly Cloud’s fault for essentially standing him up, but that’s way too little activity to draw sympathy from me.  Murat remains the mandatory challenger for Hopkins, but the old man may have a more lucrative fight to consider with Cleverly.
12) Beibut Shumenov (7-143)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- UD12 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
13) Isaac Chilemba (7-59)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- UD8 Rayco Saunders (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #9 Tony Bellew
Up-and-coming African star Chilemba takes a high-risk, high-reward fight on March 30 in Tony Bellew’s hometown of Liverpool.
14) Andrzej Fonfara (1-36)
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) Yusaf Mack (1-143)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- L(KO3) vs. #1 SMW Carl Froch (at SMW)
Next Fight: 4/12/2013- vs. Cedric Agnew (UNR)
After I rather thought he should retire after his showing against Carl Froch, Mack is instead back in the ring on April 12 against undefeated prospect Cedric Agnew.
16) Lucian Bute (1-20)
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.
17) Denis Grachev (1-47)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- L(UD12) vs. SMW #4 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. Zsolt Erdei (UNR)
Grachev will fight inactive former champ Zsolt Erdei in Monaco on March 30, with the winner to fight there against the winner of Edwin Rodriguez vs. Ezequiel Maderna in July.
18) Dmitri Sukhotski (1-125)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO1 Vladimir Borovsky (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sukhotski was originally rumored for the Monaco tourney, but he is not one of the 4 scheduled.
19) Eleider Alvarez (1-8)
Last Fight: 12/14/2012- KO8 Danny McIntosh (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: 3/22/2013- vs. Nicholson Poulard (UNR)
Alvarez will fight in Montreal on March 22, and will take over the spot opposite Nicholson Poulard that was vacated by an injured Andrzej Fonfara on the FNF broadcast.
20) Yunieski Gonzalez (1-1)
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. 

 

The Week Ahead: Friday in Montreal, #19 Eleider Alvarez of Colombia takes on Jean Pascal’s brother, solid journeyman Nicholson Poulard.

Light Heavyweight: 2013, Mar 11-17

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 11, 2013 by danboxing
In far and away the biggest fight of the week in any division, #2 Bernard Hopkins defied father time again, capturing a unanimous decision over #6 Tavoris Cloud in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday.  I do have some qualms, though.  I preface this by saying that I did score the fight for Hopkins 115-113.  So naturally I don’t have a problem with giving him full credit for a win.  But it seems to me that both the commentary and the judges demonstrated a fair amount of bias.  They made a Hopkins win seem like a clear and foregone conclusion on HBO before the decision was read, and the decision itself reinforced their cheerleading.  Judges Poturaj and Stewart scored it 116-112, while Schreck went even further at 117-111.  Despite being as little as 1 round difference from my own score, I do not consider any of the cards particularly reasonable.  I feel that I gave Hopkins every round he had any claim to.  Despite believing that Hopkins did just enough to win, I would buy a 119-109 Cloud card before a 117-111 Hopkins one.  The Cloud rounds- of which there were no fewer than 5- were generally the clearest rounds.

 

Nevertheless, Cloud has every reason to be embarrassed with himself.  At 48 years old, the one and only chance Hopkins had to win the fight was to slow the pace and fight a tactical and cerebral fight.  If things got physical or in any way gruelling, Cloud would win easily.  So what did Cloud do?  He hung back.  He was cautious even against an opponent that hasn’t won by stoppage since 2000.  He let it become, by and large, a jab and move kind of fight.  He followed Hopkins around carefully, allowing himself to be kept off balance and out of punching range.  He didn’t need to try and match Hopkins’ boxing ability.  He needed to go all out to get inside and try to rough the old man up.  He did nothing of the kind- at least not for more than about a minute of the fight.  So while I believe the fight easily could have gone in his favor, I don’t really think that he deserved success based on his effort.

 

American prospect Marcus Oliveira was scheduled for a fight with a bad opponent named Junior Ramos in the Dominican Republic, but it appears the fight may not have come off.  Even if it did and the reports are just late in coming, it is barely worth mentioning unless there is a major upset.

 

#7 Cornelius White also managed to sneak in a fight that wasn’t even on Boxrec a week before it happened.  He won what appears to have been a reasonably comfortable 8-round decision over quality journeyman Otis Griffin.

 

And backtracking to Wednesday, fringe contender Roberto Bolonti knocked out mid-level Uruguayan journeyman Jorge Rodriguez in Santa Clara, Argentina in the latter half of round 3.

 

Although by all laws of reason and the physical world Cloud should have been expected to beat Hopkins, the result is actually very much in line with what you’d expect from a generic #2 and #6 contender.  Hopkins is unable to advance past Dawson because Dawson beat him in his previous fight- the fact that Dawson lost a fight in the meantime notwithstanding.  As for Cloud, he hasn’t won an honest fight in nearly 2 years, but he has still both won and lost at a significantly higher level than #7 Cornelius White, and thus stays put, as well. 

 

So a bit surprisingly, 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 (27-27-27)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 Champ Chad Dawson (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward’s surgery is complete.  He’s expected to be out until at least Summer, though he is already in the gym.
1) Chad Dawson (27-354-354)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- L(TKO10) vs. SMW Champ Andre Ward (at SMW)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #3 Jean Pascal
The Pascal fight was signed, and there hasn’t been any official word that it’s off.  So for now I’ll leave it on the schedule.  But a recent interview I saw of Dawson indicates that he seems at least pessimistic and at most resigned to the fact that Pascal will pull out or has effectively done so already.  It sounds like Dawson will save the date anyway, though.
2) Bernard Hopkins (27-353-353)
Last Fight: 3/9/2012- UD12 #6 Tavoris Cloud
Next Fight: Unknown
It sounds like Hopkins-Cleverly is likely in the cards for later this year.
3) Jean Pascal (27-195-195)
Last Fight: 12/14/2012- UD10 Alexei Kuziemski (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #1 Chad Dawson
As mentioned in Dawson’s notes, there is some intrigue involving a Pascal fight with Bute, either after or instead of the scheduled fight with Dawson.  If Pascal does ditch Dawson and scheduleds the Bute fight for any date after May 25, I believe I will be forced to take the long-overdue step of removing Pascal for inactivity, since he’s been stringing together scheduled fights that either don’t happen or for which he comes in heavy.
4) Sergey Kovalev (8-8-8)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- TKO3 #4 Gabriel Campillo
Next Fight: Unknown
Kovalev is hoping to return in Moscow in April.
5) Gabriel Campillo (8-142-142)
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 (8-185-185)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
The division is as weak in terms of talent as it’s ever been, and Cloud can’t beat a 48 year old contender in it.  I don’t think he’s ever going to be a champion.
7) Cornelius White (8-35-65)
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.
8) Nathan Cleverly (8-162-162)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO8 Shawn Hawk (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. Robin Krasniqi (UNR)
Cleverly’s long-lingering and mostly pointless fight against gatekeeper Robin Krasniqi has been moved to April 20.
9) Tony Bellew (8-74-74)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- UD12 Roberto Feliciano Bolonti (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #13 Isaac Chilemba
Bellew has a mandatory shot at the European title against Braehmer waiting for him if he gets by Chilemba, but that may never happen since Bellew would also become the challenger-in-waiting for Chad Dawson, and might even get that opportunity on May 25 if Pascal does pull out.
10) Jürgen Brähmer (6-6-47)
Last Fight: 2/2/2013- UD12 Eduard Gutknecht (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Braehmer defends his European title in Hamburg on April 27.  No opponent yet.
11) Karo Murat (6-97)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO7 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat last made 175 on October 1, 2011.  He’s fought once slightly over the limit since then, giving him until April 1 to schedule a fight here.  This is partly Cloud’s fault for essentially standing him up, but that’s way too little activity to draw sympathy from me.  Murat remains the mandatory challenger for the Hopkins-Cloud winner, but either man could have a more lucrative fight to consider should he win, and Hopkins always seems a decent bet to retire at his age.
12) Beibut Shumenov (6-142)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- UD12 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
13) Isaac Chilemba (6-58)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- UD8 Rayco Saunders (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #9 Tony Bellew
Up-and-coming African star Chilemba takes a high-risk, high-reward fight on March 30 in Tony Bellew’s hometown of Liverpool.
14) Vyacheslav Uzelkoff (6-58)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- TKO1 Giorgi Marosi (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/16/2013- vs. Sofiane Sebihi (UNR)
Uzelkoff will be in on short notice against Algerian journeyman Sofiane Sebihi in Kiev.
15) Andrzej Fonfara (6-35)
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.
16) Yusaf Mack (6-142)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- L(KO3) vs. #1 SMW Carl Froch (at SMW)
Next Fight: 4/12/2013- vs. Cedric Agnew (UNR)
After I rather thought he should retire after his showing against Carl Froch, Mack is instead back in the ring on April 12 against undefeated prospect Cedric Agnew.
17) Lucian Bute (8-19)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 #16 Denis Grachev
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
It originally appeared that Bute would be fighting Bika for a shot at Ward, but now he seems to have reached a deal to fight the seemingly otherwise-engaged Jean Pascal, instead.  Not sure of the timeline of the latter fight, or how it affects the Bika fight.
18) Denis Grachev (8-46)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- L(UD12) vs. SMW #4 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. Zsolt Erdei (UNR)
Grachev will fight inactive former champ Zsolt Erdei in Monaco on March 30, with the winner to fight there against the winner of Edwin Rodriguez vs. Ezequiel Maderna in July.
19) Dmitri Sukhotski (8-124)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO1 Vladimir Borovsky (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sukhotski was originally rumored for the Monaco tourney, but he is not one of the 4 scheduled.
20) Eleider Alvarez (7-7)
Last Fight: 12/14/2012- KO8 Danny McIntosh (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: 3/22/2013- vs. Nicholson Poulard (UNR)
Alvarez will fight in Montreal on March 22, and will take over the spot opposite Nicholson Poulard that was vacated by an injured Andrzej Fonfara on the FNF broadcast.

 

The Week Ahead: On Thursday, fringe contender Ismayl Sillakh is slated to fight an opponent to be determined in Hollywood, California.

 

In the Florida version of Hollywood, strong gatekeeper Rowland Bryant looks to swat down the challenge of undefeated but totally untested Cuban prospect Yunieski Gonzalez on Friday.

 

And Saturday in Kiev, #14 Vyacheslav Uzelkoff takes on mid-range Algerian journeyman Sofiane Sebihi.

Super Middleweight: 2012, Aug 6-12

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on September 23, 2012 by danboxing
#5 Thomas Oosthuizen saw action on Thursday in New York against prospect Rowland Bryant, best known for stopping a faded Librado Andrade on Showtime Extreme’s first live undercard broadcast back in April.  Oosthuizen had occasional trouble with Bryant- who was in his first scheduled 12-round fight after never having seen even the seventh before- but the South African ultimately hammered out a fairly solid decision.

 

Stieglitz and Oosthuizen’s records are REALLY tough to pick between, but ultimately Stieglitz’ two top-10 victories to Oosthuizen’s one keeps him on top.  No changes to the rankings.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (34-168-168)
Last Fight: 12/17/2011- UD12 #2 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 9/8/2012- vs. LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Ward and Dawson are now set to make history in September.  As far as I know, this may be the first time in history a reigning champion has challenged for a championship at a lower weight.  Since Dawson and Ward will be fighting at or below both the Super Middleweight and Light Heavyweight limits, both Championships will be on the line as far as I’m concerned.
1) Carl Froch (11-321-321)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- TKO5 #1 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute is exercising his rematch clause, but not until probably March.  In the interim, Froch will fight in November.  He’s expressed interest in Kessler and Pavlik, although Oosthuizen now looks like the most likley option.
2) Mikkel Kessler (11-400-400)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- KO5 Allan Green (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Both Pavlik and Froch are jonesing for a fight with the Viking Warrior.
3) Lucian Bute (11-330-330)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- L(TKO5) vs. #2 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 11/3/2012- vs. LHW #15 Denis Grachev (at LHW)
Bute will exercise his rematch clause to fight Froch in March, but will be fighting an interim fight in November against otherwise mediocre but hard-hitting light heavyweight Denis Grachev.
4) Robert Stieglitz (34-154-154)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- UD12 Nader Hamdan (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/25/2012- vs. #6 Arthur Abraham
Stieglitz vs. Abraham is official- August 25 in Berlin.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (34-62-110)
Last Fight: 8/2/2012- UD12 Rowland Bryant (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Oosthuizen appears to be the frontrunner to fight Carl Froch in November.
6) Arthur Abraham (34-146-146)
Last Fight: 3/31/2012- UD12 Piotr Wilczewski (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/25/2012- vs. #4 Robert Stieglitz
See Stieglitz’s notes, above.
7) Kelly Pavlik (5-5-5)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- UD10 #12 Will Rosinsky
Next Fight: Unknown
Pavlik will likely return in October, possibly against Kessler.
8) Adonis Stevenson (5-35-35)
Last Fight: 4/20/2012- TKO2 Noe Gonzalez (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/17/2012- vs. Don George (UNR)
Stevenson’s fight with Don George has been moved back a week and will now be the main event of Friday Night Fights’ season finale.
9) Sakio Bika (2-34-279)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO10 Dyah Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bika has been talking about a willingness to fight Froch, or even to move up and fight Danny Green as high as cruiserweight.
10) Karoly Balzsay (2-2-16)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO12 #8 Dimitri Sartison
Next Fight: Unknown
Balzsay pulled out of a scheduled alphabet title defense with fringe contender Brian Magee with a back injury.
11) Andy Lee (5-74)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(TKO7) vs. MW#? Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
12) Anthony Dirrell (2-36)
Last Fight: 12/2/2011- TKO4 Renan St. Juste (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dirrell had been all set for a somewhat goofy vacant title opportunity against the underwhelming Nikola Sjekloca, but Dirrell crashed his motorcycle, breaking an arm and leg.  He’s expected to be out of action until approximately November at the earliest.
13) Will Rosinsky (2-8)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- L(UD10) vs. Kelly Pavlik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (2-39)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- RTD9 Jose Maria Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Dimitri Sartison (2-110)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- L(TKO12) vs. Karoly Balzsay (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sartison unfortunately underwent another knee surgery following his loss to Balzsay, and will be out until at least October.  It’s looking more and more likely that he’ll never be the same fighter.
16) Bryan Vera (2-79)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- UD8 Taronze Washington (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 8/11/2012- vs. Sergio Mora (UNR) (at MW)
Vera will give Sergio Mora a rematch of their competitive bout from early 2011.  Both of these guys are all over the map with their performances, so this could go either way.  The fight will be at 160.
17) Jesus Gonzales (2-57)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(KO1) vs. #9 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
18) James DeGale (2-43)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO4 Cristian Sanavia (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) George Groves (2-4)
Last Fight: 7/28/2012- TKO6 Francisco Sierra (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fought Sierra’s type of fight but still came out easily on top. 
20) Edwin Rodriguez (2-2)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- UD10 Don George (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/29/2012- vs. Jason Escalera (UNR)
Rodriguez will headline a fairly ShoBoxy edition of HBO’s Boxing After Dark on September 29.

 

The Week Ahead: Nothing going on this week in the division, but #16 Bryan Vera is fighting Sergio Mora in a rematch a division to the south.

Super Middleweight: 2012, Jul 30- Aug 5

Posted in Rankings, Super Middleweight with tags , , , , , , , on September 20, 2012 by danboxing
Undefeated prospect Nikola Sjekloca of Montenegro by way of Serbia met one-loss Frenchman Hadillah Mohoumadi of France on Tuesday in Sjekloca’s home city of Budva, Montenegro.  From all I’ve been able to learn of the fight, it was very close and could have gone either way.  The official score somewhat reflected that, but not really.  A close result in one fighter’s hometown always makes me want to examine the video for poor scoring, but unfortunately this fight doesn’t appear to be available anywhere online.  Therefore, I’ll have to recognize this as a close win for Sjekloca, even though I’ve witnessed him getting a rather unfair decision over Khoren Gevor in the past under similar circumstances.

 

In Saturday action in San Jose, California, #20 George Groves dispatched fringe contender Francisco Sierra with a  6th round knockdown and TKO when Sierra’s corner threw in the towel.  Groves fought in an uncharacteristic slugging style that on paper should have played into Sierra’s hands, and suffered a bit of adversity himself in the 3rd, when he was cut over the right eye by an apparent clash of heads.

 

Sjekloca has still done nothing more than edge out mid-range guys.  As a result, I still have him just outside the top 25.  I was tempted to promote Groves with his significant win, but the last few spots in the rankings at this weight are very very competitive.  Groves technically has a win over current #19 James DeGale, but I treat that essentially as a draw since I thought DeGale deserved the nod in a close fight.  So if we treat that as pretty close to a wash and move on to other major fights on their respective resumes.  Both men have stoppage wins over Paul Smith.  Groves’ was quicker and almost a year more recent, but Smith was slightly more respected before DeGale handed him his second career loss than he was when he met Groves with that loss on his record.  Call that a wash, as well.  So it comes down to Groves’ performance against Sierra this week against DeGale’s win over Polish fringe contender Piotr Wilczewski.  Groves won by knockout in his fight and did so almost a year more recently, while DeGale squeaked out a decision in a close fight, but ultimately I’m swayed by the quality of the opposition, with Wilczewski being roughly a full class better than Sierra.  Therefore DeGale retains his position by the narrowest of margins.

 

But not to worry.  Groves still gets some breathing room thanks to last week’s #9 Peter Quillin, who has not ventured north of 160 in more than a year now, and is therefore removed.  This allows everyone rated #10 or below last week to move up one place each, with the exception of Andy Lee and Karoly Balzsay.  Despite the completely unjust win over Stas Kashtanov that preceded his upset win over Dimitri Sartison, I’ve decided that Balzsay is still more deserving of the #10 spot than is Andy Lee, who not only lost recently at middleweight, but whose signature wins at this weight have never found him fighting a guy weighing over 163.  That being the case, Balzsay leaps forward 2 places, while Lee stands pat at #11.  Quillin’s departure also makes room for Edwin Rodriguez to debut at #20.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Andre Ward (33-167-167)
Last Fight: 12/17/2011- UD12 #2 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 9/8/2012- vs. LHW Champ Chad Dawson
Ward and Dawson are now set to make history in September.  As far as I know, this may be the first time in history a reigning champion has challenged for a championship at a lower weight.  Since Dawson and Ward will be fighting at or below both the Super Middleweight and Light Heavyweight limits, both Championships will be on the line as far as I’m concerned.
1) Carl Froch (10-320-320)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- TKO5 #1 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute is exercising his rematch clause, but not until probably March.  In the interim, Froch will fight in November.  He’s expressed interest in Kessler and Pavlik, although Oosthuizen now looks like the most likley option.
2) Mikkel Kessler (10-399-399)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- KO5 Allan Green (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Both Pavlik and Froch are jonesing for a fight with the Viking Warrior.
3) Lucian Bute (10-329-329)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- L(TKO5) vs. #2 Carl Froch
Next Fight: 11/3/2012- vs. LHW #15 Denis Grachev (at LHW)
Bute will exercise his rematch clause to fight Froch in March, but will be fighting an interim fight in November against otherwise mediocre but hard-hitting light heavyweight Denis Grachev.
4) Robert Stieglitz (33-153-153)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- UD12 Nader Hamdan (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/25/2012- vs. #6 Arthur Abraham
Stieglitz vs. Abraham is official- August 25 in Berlin.
5) Thomas Oosthuizen (33-61-109)
Last Fight: 4/27/2012- UD10 Marcus Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/2/2012- vs. Rowland Bryant (UNR)
Oosthuizen will be fighting in New York against Rowland Bryant, the athletic fighter that put a beating on Librado Andrade in a big upset earlier this year.
6) Arthur Abraham (33-145-145)
Last Fight: 3/31/2012- UD12 Piotr Wilczewski (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/25/2012- vs. #4 Robert Stieglitz
See Stieglitz’s notes, above.
7) Kelly Pavlik (4-4-4)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- UD10 #12 Will Rosinsky
Next Fight: Unknown
Pavlik will likely return in October, possibly against Kessler.
8) Adonis Stevenson (4-34-34)
Last Fight: 4/20/2012- TKO2 Noe Gonzalez (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/11/2012- vs. Don George (UNR)
After no fewer than 7 contenders turned him down, Stevenson has finally found an August dance partner in fringe prospect/gatekeeper Don George.
9) Sakio Bika (1-33-278)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO10 Dyah Davis (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bika has been talking about a willingness to fight Froch, or even to move up and fight Danny Green as high as cruiserweight.
10) Karoly Balzsay (1-1-15)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO12 #8 Dimitri Sartison
Next Fight: 9/22/2012- vs. Brian Magee (UNR)
Balzsay’s mandatory defense against Brian Magee has been tentatively rescheduled for September 22.
11) Andy Lee (4-73)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(TKO7) vs. MW#? Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (at MW)
Next Fight: Unknown
12) Anthony Dirrell (1-35)
Last Fight: 12/2/2011- TKO4 Renan St. Juste (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dirrell had been all set for a somewhat goofy vacant title opportunity against the underwhelming Nikola Sjekloca, but Dirrell crashed his motorcycle, breaking an arm and leg.  He’s expected to be out of action until approximately November at the earliest.
13) Will Rosinsky (1-7)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- L(UD10) vs. Kelly Pavlik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (1-38)
Last Fight: 5/26/2012- RTD9 Jose Maria Guerrero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There is word of negotiations for a potential fight with James DeGale.
15) Dimitri Sartison (1-109)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- L(TKO12) vs. Karoly Balzsay (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sartison unfortunately underwent another knee surgery following his loss to Balzsay, and will be out until at least October.  It’s looking more and more likely that he’ll never be the same fighter.
16) Bryan Vera (1-78)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- UD8 Taronze Washington (UNR) (at MW)
Next Fight: 8/11/2012- vs. Sergio Mora (UNR) (at MW)
Vera will give Sergio Mora a rematch of their competitive bout from early 2011.  Both of these guys are all over the map with their performances, so this could go either way.  The fight will be at 160.
17) Jesus Gonzales (1-56)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L(KO1) vs. #9 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
18) James DeGale (1-42)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- TKO4 Cristian Sanavia (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
May be up for a very good test against Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye next.
19) George Groves (1-3)
Last Fight: 7/28/2012- TKO6 Francisco Sierra (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fought Sierra’s type of fight but still came out easily on top. 
20) Edwin Rodriguez (1-1)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- UD10 Don George (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/29/2012- vs. Jason Escalera (UNR)
Rodriguez will headline a fairly ShoBoxy edition of HBO’s Boxing After Dark on September 29.

 

The Week Ahead: One significant fight on tap despite the Olympics being in full swing:
#5 Thomas Oosthuizen battles Librado Andrade’s conquerer, Rowland Bryant, on Tuesday in New York.