Archive for Silvio Branco

Cruiserweight: 2014, Apr 28- May 4

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on October 1, 2014 by danboxing
The division’s biggest event of the week was the cancellation of Lebedev-Jones II.  Jones failed a drug test for Furosemide, the same banned diuretic (and potential steroid masking agent) he was busted for after their original fight, and which he had been busted for earlier in his career.  I don’t know if Guillermo Jones is this dumb, or if someone on his team is, or both.  Either way, someone is REALLY dumb.  Jones is nearly 42 years old, and is probably done in the sport, at least when it comes to serious contention.  The only remaining question is what becomes of Lebedev’s ranking if he isn’t able to get another fight scheduled within the next couple weeks.  I’m leaning towards giving him a couple extra months given the eye injuries that must have delayed this meeting, and given the foul play that may have played a part in those injuries and which torpedoed this fight on just one day’s notice.

 

#9 Giacobbe Fragomeni got a 6-round stay-busy outing in, pounding out an as-expected 2nd round TKO victory over 7-8 journeyman Olegs Lopajevs of Latvia on Saturday in Rho, Italy.  Lopajevs tried hard, but he clearly didn’t have the skill or physical tools to compete on this level, even with a fading 44 year-old contender like Fragomeni.

 

On the Klitschko-Leapai undercard in Oberhausen, Germany, fast-rising undefeated Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk dominated and stopped Ghanaian journeyman Ben Nsafoah in what was really a major step down in competition from each of 2012 Olympian Usyk’s first two fights, both of which were against upper-level type journeymen in Epifanio Mendoza and Felipe Romero.  Nsafoah certainly looked intimidating, having a splendidly muscled-physique that would be at home in the Mr. Universe competition, but save for a couple isolated moments, he was entirely in survival mode for the roughly 2 1/2 rounds before he was stopped, having tasted the canvas twice in quick succession.  He managed to frustrate Usyk’s attack for long stretches by bobbing and weaving on the ropes, but he seldom gave the Ukrainian anything to worry about on the other end.

 

Last week’s #10 Silvio Branco- 47 years young- finally decided to hang them up, and did it mostly on his own terms.  He didn’t always get the results he deserved in recent years, but he hung with top 10 opposition at his advanced age, at the very least.  Happy Retirement, Il Barbaro.  Branco is removed due to his retirement, and everyone ranked #11 and below last week advances.  Ilunga Makabu makes his debut in the top 10 with the vacancy, and Krzysztof Glowacki returns at #20 after a brief one-week stint on the outside.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (40-221-221)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Hopefully Lebedev can get back in the ring soon after Jones fell out of the fight with a second consecutive positive Furosemide test.
2) Marco Huck (14-386-386)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck fractured his thumb in training, and his fight with Mirko Larghetti is off.
3) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (14-201-201)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez’s fight with Kolodziej- originally postponed- has now been cancelled due to an illness to Hernandez.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (33-462-462)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk probably won’t return until the fall, with Drozd and BJ Flores being considered.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (14-39-77)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
6) Firat Arslan (14-103-146)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #3 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Having visibly regressed since his excellent first effort against Huck, it might be time for the 43 year-old Arslan to consider retirement.
7) Grigory Drozd (23-30-77)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
8) Ola Afolabi (23-268-268)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi is now slated for an eventual eliminator with Pawel Kolodziej for a shot at Yoan Pablo Hernandez.  K2 has won the purse bids, and the fight is currently in the process of being worked out.  It’s targeted for the summer.
9) Giacobbe Fragomeni (23-33-285)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Olegs Lopajevs (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The fight with Lopajevs was purely a stay-busy contest, but he’s talking about another title shot even at 44 years old.
10) Ilunga Makabu (1-1-42)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO2 Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. #12 Mateusz Masternak
Makabu will fight Masternak in a heck of a match-up on June 21 in Monaco.
11) Santander Silgado (1-26)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Silgado is scheduled to return against an unannounced opponent on May 17 in Arjona, Colombia.
12) Mateusz Masternak (1-109)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- UD8 Stjepan Vugdelija (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/21/2014- vs. #10 Ilunga Makabu
See Makabu’s notes, above.
13) Lukasz Janik (1-26)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik would like a well-deserved rematch with Afolabi.
14) Ovill McKenzie (1-3)
Last Fight: 4/12/2014- KO5 #18 Tony Conquest
Next Fight: Unknown
McKenzie is at cruiserweight mainly because he can’t get fights at 175.  He doesn’t seem married to the idea of staying at this weight, and has mentioned wanting a shot at Juergen Braehmer.
15) Danie Venter (1-33)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Dmytro Kucher (1-96)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Nuri Seferi (1-19)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- Robbery Win (should be draw) vs. Gusmyr Perdomo (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/16/2014- vs. Tamas Lodi (UNR)
A quick turnaround for Seferi, and unfortunately no immediate rematch for Perdomo, as Seferi will take on mid-level Hungarian journeyman Tamas Lodi in Hamburg on May 16.
18) Gusmyr Perdomo (1-3)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- Robbery Loss (should be draw) vs. #15 Nuri Seferi
Next Fight: Unknown
Perdomo deserved at least a draw against Seferi, but the judges summoned just enough coincidental incompetence to take it from him.
19) Yunier Dorticos (1-2)
Last Fight: 4/16/2014- KO4 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Krzysztof Glowacki (1-1)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)

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

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: No action to report this week.

Cruiserweight: 2013: Jul 8-14

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on July 8, 2013 by danboxing
Undefeated Latvian Mairis Briedis got his best win so far on Friday, outpointing top-level journeyman Jeremy Ouanna of France over 8 rounds in Greece.

 

The next night in Civitavecchia, Italy, local graybeard Silvio Branco continued his Hopkins-esque run of credible performances, winning a close but unanimous technical decision over Juho Haapoja, the gatekeeper-level Finn, following the last of several head clashes in a very sloppy fight.  I can’t find any video so far, and one report I read made it sound like a very close fight.  The judges’ scorecards paint a different picture, as Branco won by 7, 9, and 11 points over the 10 rounds. 

 

I’m treating the Branco-Fragomeni fights essentially as if they cancel each other out on the two men’s resumes, since I thought both were draws.  That leaves Branco with the Haapoja win, and Fragomeni with the Wlodarczyk draw and the Kraj win.  Since, despite the age of these two performances, they are clearly superior to Branco’s win, Fragomeni remains ahead, and 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: None
1) Guillermo Jones (8-8-8)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- TKO11 #1 Denis Lebedev
Next Fight: Unknown
Jones wants to fight Wladimir Klitschko (he said the same a couple years ago), while Lebedev is asking for a rematch.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (43-159-159)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez pulled out of his scheduled 2/2 fight with Eric Fields with a fractured hand.
3) Troy Ross (43-43-75)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Quote from Ross’s Twitter: “If the right opportunity arises I will fight again.”  That sounds more like a semi-retired fighter than the guy that just outfought the division’s #1 contender.  Here’s hoping he starts hunting for good fights like a starving mountain man any second now.
4) Denis Lebedev (8-179-179)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lebedev hopes to return on the Klitschko-Povetkin undercard in early October, which seems a bit quick given how ugly his eye looked after his last fight.  He is hoping for a rematch with Jones, too.  He has also parted from his promoter.
5) Marco Huck (5-344-344)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- W (MD12) vs. #5 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 9/14/2013- vs. #7 Firat Arslan
Huck will make a mandatory defense in a rematch against Firat Arslan on September 14.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (8-420-420)
Last Fight: 6/21/2013- TKO8 Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk showed tremendous determination in first weathering a storm, and then rapidly breaking down a strong young challenger in his own backyard in Chakhkiev.  He indicated interest in moving up to fight Adamek, but Adamek isn’t for it.
7) Firat Arslan (8-61-104)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/14/2013- vs. #5 Marco Huck
See Huck’s notes, above.
8) Ola Afolabi (5-226-226)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L (MD12) vs. #8 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
9) Danny Green (6-35-188)
Last Fight: 11/21/2012- UD12 Shane Cameron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Green has been helping an Australian UFC fighter prepare for an upcoming fight, but still no word on whether he plans to fight again.
10) B.J. Flores (6-6-159)
Last Fight: 10/6/2012- TKO2 David McNemar (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores’ fight with Nuri Seferi appears to have been off very quickly after it was apparently made.  No word on his next move.
11) Giacobbe Fragomeni (6-243)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- W*(SD12) vs. #13 Silvio Branco
Next Fight: Unknown
There is some speculation that Masternak might try to lure Fragomeni out of his mandatory shot at Wlodarczyk with a higher monetary offer that might put Masternak in the same position with a victory.
12) Silvio Branco (6-69)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- W (TD10) vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Branco continues to chug along at 47 years young.  He’s like a lower-level Hopkins.
13) Alexander Alekseev (6-130)
Last Fight: 2/22/2013- UD12* Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alekseev barely squeaked by after building an early lead against Wilson, but it’s still an improvement from his previous fight.
14) Mateusz Masternak (6-67)
Last Fight: 4/13/2013- TKO9 Sean Corbin (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/24/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Masternak returns on August 24.  His opponent was to be Jeremy Ouanna, but Ouanna lost to Latvian prospect Mairis Briedis soon after.  Perhaps Briedis is the new man for the job.
15) Francisco Palacios (6-119)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- L(U12) vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Palacios very likely will not fight until after his contract with Don King expires in September.
16) Thabiso Mchunu (6-35)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO5 #20 Danie Venter
Next Fight: 8/3/2013- vs. Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Mchunu is being treated as a stepping stone f0r the cruiserweight ambitions of recent heavyweight contender Eddie Chambers, and the two will do battle in that context on NBC Sports Network come August 3.
17) Dmytro Kucher (6-54)
Last Fight: 3/21/2013- UD12 Julio Cesar Dos Santos (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/13/2013- vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
A clash of good-looking prospects is on tap for July 13, as Kucher will meet Junior Makabu in Monaco.
18) Enad Licina (6-159)
Last Fight: 6/15/2013- KO3 Marcel Zeller (UNR) (at HW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Licina has now fought two generic weak opponents in a row.  No idea if he plans to be a serious contender ever again or not.  His only significant win in the last 5 years is now roughly 4 1/2 years old.  That means he’ll fade to obscurity if he doesn’t beat someone worth beating in the next half-year or so.
19) Grigory Drozd (6-35)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- UD12 Jean-Marc Monrose (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Krzysztof Glowacki (2-2)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- UD8 Taylor Mabika (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/18/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Glowacki is back in action on August 18, but no opponent has been announced yet.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Saturday in Monte Carlo, #17 Dmytro Kucher meets a tough early-career test in one-loss Congolese prospect Ilunga “Junior” Makabu.

 

Later that night in Inglewood, California, undefeated Cuban Yunier Dorticos gets an outing against a TBA opponent.

Cruiserweight: 2013: Jul 1-7

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on July 4, 2013 by danboxing
Inactive Russian gatekeeper Valery Brudov got in the ring for the first time in 16 months on Thursday in Pskov, Russia, and won a solid 8-round decision over 1-0 novice Sergey Gorokhov.

 

#20 Pawel Glazewski was stopped by a super middleweight fringe contender at 175 on Saturday, and is thus removed from the rankings.  Taking his place is his countryman, Krzysztof Glowacki, whose entire claim is based on a TKO of gatekeeper Felipe Romero last summer.  You could make a case for William Fernando Souza Bezerra, except that his two wins over boxrec top-50 opponents were barely so.  There is also substantial doubt as to whether the fights actually took place, since the only video of a Souza Bezerra fight in existence appears to depict a WWE-level fixed fight.  You could also make a case for Marcos Ahumada to a similar extent to Glazewski’s own claim- that is to say that he has a very impressive win, but only a few pounds over the light heavyweight limit. 

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Guillermo Jones (7-7-7)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- TKO11 #1 Denis Lebedev
Next Fight: Unknown
Jones wants to fight Wladimir Klitschko (he said the same a couple years ago), while Lebedev is asking for a rematch.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (42-158-158)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez pulled out of his scheduled 2/2 fight with Eric Fields with a fractured hand.
3) Troy Ross (42-42-74)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Quote from Ross’s Twitter: “If the right opportunity arises I will fight again.”  That sounds more like a semi-retired fighter than the guy that just outfought the division’s #1 contender.  Here’s hoping he starts hunting for good fights like a starving mountain man any second now.
4) Denis Lebedev (7-178-178)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lebedev hopes to return on the Klitschko-Povetkin undercard in early October, which seems a bit quick given how ugly his eye looked after his last fight.  He is hoping for a rematch with Jones, too.  He has also parted from his promoter.
5) Marco Huck (4-343-343)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- W (MD12) vs. #5 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 9/14/2013- vs. #7 Firat Arslan
Huck will make a mandatory defense in a rematch against Firat Arslan on September 14.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (7-419-419)
Last Fight: 6/21/2013- TKO8 Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk showed tremendous determination in first weathering a storm, and then rapidly breaking down a strong young challenger in his own backyard in Chakhkiev.  He indicated interest in moving up to fight Adamek, but Adamek isn’t for it.
7) Firat Arslan (7-60-103)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/14/2013- vs. #5 Marco Huck
See Huck’s notes, above.
8) Ola Afolabi (4-225-225)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L (MD12) vs. #8 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
9) Danny Green (5-34-187)
Last Fight: 11/21/2012- UD12 Shane Cameron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Green has been helping an Australian UFC fighter prepare for an upcoming fight, but still no word on whether he plans to fight again.
10) B.J. Flores (5-5-158)
Last Fight: 10/6/2012- TKO2 David McNemar (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores’ fight with Nuri Seferi appears to have been off very quickly after it was apparently made.  No word on his next move.
11) Giacobbe Fragomeni (5-242)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- W*(SD12) vs. #13 Silvio Branco
Next Fight: Unknown
There is some speculation that Masternak might try to lure Fragomeni out of his mandatory shot at Wlodarczyk with a higher monetary offer that might put Masternak in the same position with a victory.
12) Silvio Branco (5-68)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- L*(SD12) vs. #12 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: 7/6/2013- vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Looks like Branco’s moving on from the Fragomeni series, and will be fighting Finnish gatekeeper Juho Haapoja in Italy on 7/6.
13) Alexander Alekseev (5-129)
Last Fight: 2/22/2013- UD12* Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alekseev barely squeaked by after building an early lead against Wilson, but it’s still an improvement from his previous fight.
14) Mateusz Masternak (5-66)
Last Fight: 4/13/2013- TKO9 Sean Corbin (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/24/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Masternak returns on August 24, and it might be against mandatory challenger Jeremy Ouanna if Ouanna can get by Latvian Mairis Briedis.
15) Francisco Palacios (5-118)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- L(U12) vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Palacios very likely will not fight until after his contract with Don King expires in September.
16) Thabiso Mchunu (5-34)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO5 #20 Danie Venter
Next Fight: 8/3/2013- vs. Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Mchunu is being treated as a stepping stone f0r the cruiserweight ambitions of recent heavyweight contender Eddie Chambers, and the two will do battle in that context on NBC Sports Network come August 3.
17) Dmytro Kucher (5-53)
Last Fight: 3/21/2013- UD12 Julio Cesar Dos Santos (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/13/2013- vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
A clash of good-looking prospects is on tap for July 13, as Kucher will meet Junior Makabu in Monaco.
18) Enad Licina (5-158)
Last Fight: 6/15/2013- KO3 Marcel Zeller (UNR) (at HW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Licina has now fought two generic weak opponents in a row.  No idea if he plans to be a serious contender ever again or not.  His only significant win in the last 5 years is now roughly 4 1/2 years old.  That means he’ll fade to obscurity if he doesn’t beat someone worth beating in the next half-year or so.
19) Grigory Drozd (5-34)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- UD12 Jean-Marc Monrose (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Krzysztof Glowacki (1-1)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- UD8 Taylor Mabika (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/18/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Glowacki is back in action on August 18, but no opponent has been announced yet.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Friday in Porto Carras, Greece, French gatekeeper Jeremy Ouanna battles undefeated Latvian prospect Mairis Briedis.

 

The following night in Civitavecchia, Italy, 46 year-old #12 Silvio Branco of that city squares off with Finnish gatekeeper Juho Haapoja.

Year-End Awards: Cruiserweight, 2012

Posted in Cruiserweight, Yearly Awards and Wrap Up with tags , , , , , , , on January 3, 2013 by danboxing
This is the first time I’ve done this, and I hope you like it.  It’s been a lot of effort.  First, a list of awards for the division.  Then, a look at the 20 fighters that did the best work in 2012 specifically, followed by a rundown of the year’s rankings history.  Dig in!

 

Cruiserweight Fighter of the Year: Firat Arslan
Much like my Heavyweight Fighter of the Year- and perhaps appropriately for a division characterized by downright criminal officiating- the Cruiserweight Fighter of the Year has no officially-recognized wins on his ledger for the year.  What he does have is two clear victories that were ignored by awful and/or corrupt judges.

 

Prospect of the Year: Thabiso Mchunu
This category was a total toss-up.  Masternak is more advanced overall, undefeated, and likely the better fighter, but Mchunu, by my estimation, had a slightly better year.  The key to this was his stoppage win over a ranked (#20) contender in Danie Venter.

 

Most Important Knockout of the Year: Thabiso Mchunu TKO5 #20 Danie Venter
This wasn’t a very competitive category this year.  Only one top 20 fighter got knocked out, so Mchunu wins the award by default with his 5th round November stoppage of Danie Venter.

 

Most Sensational Knockout of the Year: #19 Dmitro Kucher KO2 Steve Herelius
Again, not a very competitive category.  But this one is no slouch.  Kucher knocked Herelius through the ropes and out of the ring, meaning Herelius failed to beat a 20-count as opposed to the normal 10.  Even better, it appears from the video that at least 45 or 46 people saw the fight live.  Check out said video by clicking “KO2” in the headline.

 

Match-Up of the Year: #3 Yoan Pablo Hernandez vs. #4 Steve Cunningham
No contest here.  The Hernandez-Cunningham rematch was easily the highest-ranked fight of the year, with the average rank obviously being 3.5 (just like the winner at Heavyweight).  The runner-up was #4 Marco Huck vs. #7 Ola Afolabi, with an average rank of 5.5.

 

Fight of the Year: #4 Marco Huck vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
 A very tough category to call.  Most of the big-time matchups in the division yielded solid, competitive action.  Huck-Afolabi, Huck-Arslan, Hernandez-Cunningham, and Hernandez-Ross would all make worthy- if  unspectacular- choices.  I went with Huck-Afolabi because it was all-out, desperate, tired, gut-check action until the closing bell as I remember it.  It was also the closest of the 4 fights, in my opinion. 

 

Upset of the Year: Silvio Branco (Draw) vs. #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni (March 17)
He couldn’t quite complete the upset in terms of winning the fight, but the fact that 46-year-old Silvio Branco was even competitive with fading but still-relevant #10 contender Fragomeni was, in and of itself, the biggest upset in a year and division full of them.  #20 Troy Ross deserving a victory over #1 Hernandez is probably the runner up, but there are really lots of options.

 

Comeback Fighter of the Year: Firat Arslan
Hands down.  Arslan fell from a top 5- perch with a 2008 TKO loss to Guillermo Jones.  He then was badly injured in a motorcycle accident and didn’t know if he’d ever fight again.  Then he passed out in his corner just before the last round of a competitive fight with Steve Herelius in 2010.  He spent 2011 laying the groundwork for a comeback with mid-level competition, and then absolutely burst back on the scene this year.  He clearly beat a top 5 and a top 15 contender, earning fighter of the year, despite the judges robbing him of the spoils of both of those efforts.

 

Robbery of the Year: Marco Huck UD12 Firat Arslan
Soooo many choices.  I think there were more robberies than honest decisions- certainly at the upper echelon of the division.  Ross-Hernandez and Arslan-Alekseev were both worthy choices, but the former could sorta have gone either way if you wanted it to, and the latter was at least not given to the wrong guy- just declared an outrageous draw.  Huck-Arslan was given to the wrong guy with no doubt and no excuse.

 

Now, for anyone that cares, I will rank the division based solely on the fighters’ 2012 accomplishments.  I will use the same criteria that I use to rank them overall (with victories, draws, or should-be victories and draws over top 50 opposition making one eligible), but will completely ignore all fights prior to 2012. 

 

1) Firat Arslan
Significant Results: May 11- Robbery Draw (Solid Win) vs. #12 Alexander Alekseev.  Nov 3- Robbery Loss (Win) vs. #5 Marco Huck
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 5: #16.  Feb 6-12: #18.  Feb 13-Mar 18: #17.  Mar 19-Apr 1: #18.  Apr 2-May 13: #19.  May 14-Jun 3: #9.  Jun 4-24: #10.  Jun 25-Sep 16: #9.  Sep 17-Nov 4: #10.  Nov 5-Dec 31: #7.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Significant Results: Feb 4- UD12 #4 Steve Cunningham.  Sep 15- Near-Robbery UD12 Win (should be loss) vs. #20 Troy Ross.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 5: #3.  Feb 6-Sep 16: #1.  Sep 17-Dec 31: #2.
3) Troy Ross
Significant Results: Sep 15- Near Robbery UD12 Loss (should be win) vs. #1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 5: Unranked (Inactive).  Feb 6-12: #17.  Feb 13-Mar 18: #16.  Mar 19-Apr 1: #17.  Apr 2-May 13: #18.  May 14-Jun 24: #19.  Jun 25-Jul 1: #18.  Jul 2-Sep 16: #20.  Sep 17-Dec 31: #3.
4) Ola Afolabi
Significant Results: Mar 3- RTD5 Gatekeeper Valery Brudov.  May 5- Draw (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-May 6: #7.  May 7-Jun 3: #6.  Jun 4-Sep 16: #5.  Sep 17-Nov 4: #6.  Nov 5-Dec 31: #5.
5) Lateef Kayode
Significant Results: Jun 2- Draw (SD12) vs. #3 Antonio Tarver.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 5: #13.  Feb 6-Mar 18: #14.  Mar 19-Jun 3: #13.  Jun 4-24: #8.  Jun 25-Sep 16: #7.  Sep 17-Nov 4: #8.  Nov 5-Dec 31: #9.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Significant Results: Sep 22- UD12 #13 Francisco Palacios.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-May 6: #6.  May 7-Jun 3: #7.  Jun 4-Sep 16: #6.  Sep 17-Nov 4: #7.  Nov 5-Dec 31: #6.
7) Marco Huck
Significant Results: May 5- Draw (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi.  Nov 3- Robbery Win (should be a loss) vs. #10 Firat Arslan.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 5: #5.  Feb 6-May 6: #4.  May 7-Jun 3: #5.  Jun 4-Sep 16: #4.  Sep 17-Nov 4: #5.  Nov 5-Dec 31: #8.
8) Silvio Branco
Significant Results: Mar 17- Draw (MD12) vs. #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni.  Dec 15: SD12 Loss (Should be Draw) vs. #12 Giacobbe Fragomeni.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Mar 18: Unranked.  Mar 19-Jun 24: #15.  Jun 25-Sep 16: #14.  Sep 17-23: #15.  Sep 24-Nov 11: #14.  Nov 12-Dec 31: #13.
9) Thabiso Mchunu
Significant Results: Jun 16- TKO1 Gatekeeper Flo Simba.  Nov 10- TKO5 #20 Danie Venter.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Nov 11: Unranked.  Nov 12-Dec 31: #17.
10) Mateusz Masternak
Significant Results: Mar 31- TKO10 Fringe Contender Felipe Romero.  Sep 15- TKO8 Undefeated Prospect David Quinonero.  Dec 15- UD12 Gatekeeper Juho Haapoja.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 5: #20.  Feb 6-Apr 1: Unranked.  Apr 2-Jun 24: #16.  Jun 25-Sep 16: #15.  Sep 17-23: #16.  Sep 24-Nov 11: #15.  Nov 12-Dec 31: #14.
11) Danny Green
Significant Results: Nov 21- UD12 Fringe Contender Shane Cameron.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-May 13: #9.  May 14-Jun 3: #10.  Jun 4-24: #11.  Jun 25-Sep 16: #10.  Sep 17-Nov 11: #11.  Nov 12-Dec 31: #10.
12) Alexander Alekseev
Significant Results: Feb 4- UD12 #15 Enad Licina.  May 11- Robbery Win vs. #19 Firat Arslan.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 5: #17.  Feb 6-Mar 18: #13.  Mar 19-May 13: #12.  May 14-Jun 24: #17.  Jun 25-Sep 16: #16.  Sep 17-Nov 11: #17.  Nov 12-Dec 31: #16.
13) Dmitro Kucher
Significant Results: Jun 27- KO3 Gatekeeper Cesar Crenz.  Oct 27- KO2 Gatekeeper Steve Herelius.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Jul 1: Unranked.  Jul 2-Sep 16: #18.  Sep 17-Oct 28: #19.  Oct 29-Dec 31: #18.
14) Denis Lebedev
Significant Results: Apr 4- KO2 Prospect/Gatekeeper Shawn Cox.  Dec 17- KO4 Undefeated Prospect Santander Silgado.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 5: #1.  Feb 6-Sep 16: #2.  Sep 17-Dec 31: #1.
15) Alejandro Valori
Significant Results: Jul 20- TKO6 Gatekeeper Rogelio Rossi.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
16) Pawel Glazewski
Significant Results: Jun 30- Robbery Loss (Win) vs. Fringe Contender Roy Jones, Jr.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Jul 1: Unranked.  Jul 2-Sep 16: #19.  Sep 17-23: #20.  Sep 24-Dec 31: Unranked.
17) William Fernando Souza Bezerra
Significant Results: Jun 28- TKO6 Gatekeeper Manoel Rodrigues de Souza.  Dec 22- KO4 Prospect Ricardo Augusto Souza.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
18) Krzysztof Glowacki
Significant Results: Aug 18- TKO6 Gatekeeper Felipe Romero.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
19) Grigory Drozd
Significant Results: Feb 8- RTD8 Gatekeeper Richard Hall.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 12: Unranked.  Feb 13-Mar 18: #18.  Mar 19-Apr 1: #19.  Apr 2-Jun 24: #20.  Jun 25-Jul 1: #19.  Jul 2-Nov 11: Unranked.  Nov 12-Dec 31: #20.
20) Danie Venter
Significant Results: Sep 22- TKO4 Gatekeeper Zack Mwekassa.  Nov 10- L(TKO5) vs. Gatekeeper Thabiso Mchunu.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Sep 23: Unranked.  Sep 24-Nov 11: #20.  Nov 12-Dec 31: Unranked.

 

The following fights could be found in the top 20 at various parts of the year, but did nothing at this weight to help their ranking.  Most are no longer around:

 

Antonio Tarver– Jan 1-Feb 5: #2.  Feb 6-Jun 3: #3.  Jun 4-24: #7.  Jun 25-Dec 31: Unranked (PEDs).

 

Steve Cunningham– Jan 1-Feb 5: #4.  Feb 6-May 6: #5.  May 7-Jun 3: #4.  Jun 4-Sep 16: #3.  Sep 17-Dec 31: #4.

 

Guillermo Jones– Jan 1-Jun 3: #8.  Jun 4-24: #9.  Jun 25-Sep 16: #8.  Sep 17-Nov 4: #9.  Nov 5-11: #10.  Nov 12-Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

B.J. Flores– Jan 1-Mar 18: #11.  Mar 19-May 13: #10.  May 14-Jun 3: #11.  Jun 4-24: #12.  Jun 25-Sep 16: #11.  Sep 17-Nov 11: #12.  Nov 12-Dec 31: #11.

 

Francisco Palacios– Jan 1-Mar 18: #12.  Mar 19-May 13: #11.  May 14-Jun 3: #12.  Jun 4-24: #13.  Jun 25-Sep 16: #12.  Sep 17-23: #13.  Sep 24-Nov 11: #16.  Nov 12-Dec 31: #15.

 

Steve Herelius– Jan 1-Feb 5: #14.  Feb 6-12: #15.  Feb 13-Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Enad Licina– Jan 1-Feb 5: #15.  Feb 6-12: #16.  Feb 13-Mar 18: #15.  Mar 19-Apr 1: #16.  Apr 2-May 13: #17.  May 14-Jun 24: #18.  Jun 25-Sep 16: #17.  Sep 17-Oct 28: #18.  Oct 29- Dec 31: #19.

 

Matt Godfrey– Jan 1-Feb 5: #18.  Feb 6-Mar 18: #19.  Mar 19-Apr 1: #20.  Apr 2-Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Eric Fields– Jan 1-Feb 5: #19.  Feb 6-Mar 18: #20.  Mar 19-Dec 31: Unranked.

Cruiserweight: 2012, Dec 17-23

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on December 22, 2012 by danboxing
We got another inconclusive result in the Giacobbe Fragomeni-Silvio Branco saga on Saturday.  The first third of the fight was essentially even, with #12 Fragomeni coming on strong in the middle rounds, only to fade a bit down the stretch as #13 Branco closed strong.  All three judges- Sergio Silvi (116-112 Fragomeni), Massimo Barrovecchio (115-114 Fragomeni), and Franco Criminale (115-113 Branco)- had reasonable scores.  I had it a draw.  Two fights between the two, and I’ve had them both draws.  It could have been anything between 116-112 Fragomeni and 115-113 Branco without any serious argument from me.  I must say, though, that I don’t like the fact that Barrovecchio’s cop out even round may have made the difference.

 

#14 Mateusz Masternak, on the other hand, had a very easy night against Finnish gatekeeper Juho Haapoja.  Reportedly, he seemed bored with the matchup, and just hung out and won rounds in a boring fight.

 

Finally, on this side of the Atlantic, Argentine fringe contender Alejandro Valori stopped mid-range journeyman Orlando Farias in San Miguel, Argentina via 3rd round TKO.

 

Surprisingly, even though 3 ranked fighters were fighting top-50 opponents, there are no changes to the rankings this week.  Fragomeni and Branco pretty much proved that they belong back to back in the rankings, just as they already were.  And Masternak’s win doesn’t change the fact that he still hasn’t fought anyone in the same league as those guys yet.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (14-150-150)
Last Fight: 4/4/2012- KO2 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/17/2012- vs. Santander Silgado (UNR)
Lebedev has made a decision for his next opponent: Colombian undefeated prospect Santander Silgado.  Silgado figures to be little more than a stay-busy fight for the division’s #1 contender, but it could have been a lot worse.  In addition to a very credible fight with Kayode, a useless fight with journeyman Andres Taylor had also been discussed.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (14-130-130)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez officially got the win over Ross, and I’m not quite willing to call it a robbery, but it’s pretty close to one.  I think you’d be pushing the limits of reason to give the fight to Hernandez, and I think that even if you managed to do so in terms of rounds won, you’d have to admit that Ross got the better of the fight overall.  Even Hernandez promoter Sauerland admits that Hernandez didn’t deserve a win, and believes a rematch is warranted.
3) Troy Ross (14-14-46)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ross deserved to beat Hernandez.  That’s all I’ve got to say (except the more detailed statement I made above).
4) Steve Cunningham (14-444-444)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- UD10 Jason Gavern (UNR) (at HW)
Next Fight: 12/22/2012- vs. HW #3 Tomasz Adamek (at HW)
With Odlanier Solis’ withdrawal, Cunningham has a chance to avenge his 2008 loss to Tomasz Adamek just before Christmas, at heavyweight.  He’ll retain his ranking here until the anniversary of his February 4 cruiserweight fight, or until he schedules a heavyweight fight for a date after that.
5) Ola Afolabi (7-197-197)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi will fight Huck- likely in March- and will get robbed again in Germany.  There was some talk of a December tune-up, but I haven’t heard anything about that lately.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (7-391-391)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- UD12 #13 Francisco Palacios
Next Fight: 2/2/2013- vs. HW #18 Jean-Marc Mormeck
Slowed negotiations have led to a new date of 2/2 for Wlodarczyk-Mormeck.
7) Firat Arslan (7-32-75)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #5 Marco Huck (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
A bizarre twist in Arslan’s schedule this week, as he signed on to save Felix Sturm’s 12/1 show by replacing Ruslan Chagaev as the main support on just 2 days’ notice, but then he mysteriously changed his mind just hours before the bell.
8) Marco Huck (7-315-315)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #10 Firat Arslan (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck will apparently be fighting a 3rd fight with Afolabi in March.  The fight will sadly take place in Germany, nearly ensuring a robbery.
9) Lateef Kayode (7-29-109)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. ‘Roided up #3 Antonio Tarver
Next Fight: Unknown
After he turned down a fight with Lebedev over insufficient prep time, Kayode is once again indicating that his next fight might be at heavyweight.
10) Danny Green (6-6-159)
Last Fight: 11/21/2012- UD12 Shane Cameron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
As has been the case after every fight since he had very serious surgery a couple years ago, there is speculation that Green may retire following his win over Shane Cameron.  Green himself remains non-committal.
11) B.J. Flores (6-130)
Last Fight: 10/6/2012- TKO2 David McNemar (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores’ level of opposition lately is consistent with that of a protected undefeated prospect rather than a veteran contender trying to get back on top.  He’s completely treading water at this point in his career.
12) Giacobbe Fragomeni (6-214)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- W*(SD12) vs. #13 Silvio Branco
Next Fight: Unknown
You’ve gotta wonder if Fragomeni might consider calling it a career after now twice failing to conclusively beat 46-year old Branco.
13) Silvio Branco (6-40)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- L*(SD12) vs. #12 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Branco can still hang with whippersnappers like 43 year-old countryman Fragomeni, but you’ve gotta think his active days are numbered at 46.
14) Mateusz Masternak (6-38)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- UD12 Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Masternak just put it on cruise control and walked away with a European title belt.
15) Francisco Palacios (6-90)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- L(UD12) vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Very little of note left on his resume after his should-be win over Wlodarczyk was neutralized by a close but clear loss to same, and with his win over Louis Azille over 5 years old now.
16) Alexander Alekseev (6-101)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw*(MD12) vs. #19 Firat Arslan (robbery- should have been L)
Next Fight: Unknown
Apparently there are talks underway for Alekseev to fight American fringe contender Garrett Wilson.
17) Thabiso Mchunu (6-6)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO5 #20 Danie Venter
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu is probably ready to take the Chilemba/Oosthuizen journey out of South Africa and into the international scene after conquering the local scene in the form of Venter.  He may have some unfinished business with Zack Mwekassa first, however.
18) Dmitro Kucher (8-25)
Last Fight: 10/27/2012- KO2 Steve Herelius (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher took out one-time contender Steve Herelius in spectacular fashion, making him definitively one to watch.
19) Enad Licina (8-130)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO2 Koeksal Orduhan
Next Fight: Unknown
Really, Enad?  He just fought the most obviously terrible opponent I think I’ve ever had to write about on here.  The record of said fighter?  0-15.  No joke.
20) Grigory Drozd (6-6)
Last Fight: 6/20/2012- TKO1 Fabio Garrido (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/17/2012- vs. Jean-Marc Monrose (UNR)
Drozd now has an opponent for 12/17: French journeyman Jean-Marc Monrose.  They will do battle on the Lebedev-Silgado undercard.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: We’re off and running bright and early in the week with a cruiserweight-heavy card in Moscow.  #1 Denis Lebedev headlines with a tilt against undefeated Colombian prospect Santander Silgado.  On the undercard, #20 Grigory Drozd sees action against French journeyman Jean-Marc Monrose.  Monrose was briefly a contender after shocking unbeaten Johny Jensen in 2008, but was chopped back down to Earth by 4 consecutive losses between then and 2010.

 

Fast forward to Saturday, when Brazil’s two best cruiserweights meet up in Sao Paolo.  William Fernando Souza Bezerra is undefeated, and none of his 32 opponents have lasted the distance.  Ricardo Augusto Souza has only one loss.  The bad news?  That one loss was a two-round, three-knockdown drubbing at the hands of Souza Bezerra less than a year ago.  Souza has been very busy and effective since the loss, though, stopping 8 opponents in a row.  Anybody want to bet this one doesn’t go the distance?  This fight is for Souza Bezerra’s Brazilian title, which is very legitimate.  It’s also being billed as a South American title fight.  Souza Bezerra won that vacant title in October 2010 over a guy who was not one of the top contenders by any legitimate measure.  The true South American champion can only be determined at present by a matchup between Souza Bezerra and Alejandro Valori of Argentina- a fight I’d certainly like to see.

Cruiserweight: 2012, Dec 10-16

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on December 10, 2012 by danboxing
Undefeated Cuban Yunier Dorticos was scheduled to fight on Friday, but that fight was evidently canceled within a week of the fight.  Dorticos already had been inactive for more than a year, and I’m not sure what problems he’s having to cause that at this stage.  No changes to the rankings.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (13-149-149)
Last Fight: 4/4/2012- KO2 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/17/2012- vs. Santander Silgado (UNR)
Lebedev has made a decision for his next opponent: Colombian undefeated prospect Santander Silgado.  Silgado figures to be little more than a stay-busy fight for the division’s #1 contender, but it could have been a lot worse.  In addition to a very credible fight with Kayode, a useless fight with journeyman Andres Taylor had also been discussed.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (13-129-129)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez officially got the win over Ross, and I’m not quite willing to call it a robbery, but it’s pretty close to one.  I think you’d be pushing the limits of reason to give the fight to Hernandez, and I think that even if you managed to do so in terms of rounds won, you’d have to admit that Ross got the better of the fight overall.  Even Hernandez promoter Sauerland admits that Hernandez didn’t deserve a win, and believes a rematch is warranted.
3) Troy Ross (13-13-45)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ross deserved to beat Hernandez.  That’s all I’ve got to say (except the more detailed statement I made above).
4) Steve Cunningham (13-443-443)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- UD10 Jason Gavern (UNR) (at HW)
Next Fight: 12/22/2012- vs. HW #3 Tomasz Adamek (at HW)
With Odlanier Solis’ withdrawal, Cunningham has a chance to avenge his 2008 loss to Tomasz Adamek just before Christmas, at heavyweight.  He’ll retain his ranking here until the anniversary of his February 4 cruiserweight fight, or until he schedules a heavyweight fight for a date after that.
5) Ola Afolabi (6-196-196)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi will fight Huck- likely in March- and will get robbed again in Germany.  There was some talk of a December tune-up, but I haven’t heard anything about that lately.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (6-390-390)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- UD12 #13 Francisco Palacios
Next Fight: 12/22/2012- vs. HW #18 Jean-Marc Mormeck
Wlodarczyk confirmed the 12/22 fight with Mormeck.
7) Firat Arslan (6-31-74)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #5 Marco Huck (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
A bizarre twist in Arslan’s schedule this week, as he signed on to save Felix Sturm’s 12/1 show by replacing Ruslan Chagaev as the main support on just 2 days’ notice, but then he mysteriously changed his mind just hours before the bell.
8) Marco Huck (6-314-314)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #10 Firat Arslan (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck will apparently be fighting a 3rd fight with Afolabi in March.  The fight will sadly take place in Germany, nearly ensuring a robbery.
9) Lateef Kayode (6-28-108)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. ‘Roided up #3 Antonio Tarver
Next Fight: Unknown
After he turned down a fight with Lebedev over insufficient prep time, Kayode is once again indicating that his next fight might be at heavyweight.
10) Danny Green (5-5-158)
Last Fight: 11/21/2012- UD12 Shane Cameron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
As has been the case after every fight since he had very serious surgery a couple years ago, there is speculation that Green may retire following his win over Shane Cameron.  Green himself remains non-committal.
11) B.J. Flores (5-129)
Last Fight: 10/6/2012- TKO2 David McNemar (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores’ level of opposition lately is consistent with that of a protected undefeated prospect rather than a veteran contender trying to get back on top.  He’s completely treading water at this point in his career.
12) Giacobbe Fragomeni (5-213)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/15/2012- vs. #13 Silvio Branco
Just when I thought both quatrogenarians might call it a career, we’ll see a rematch of Fragomeni-Branco real soon.
13) Silvio Branco (5-39)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: 12/15/2012- vs. #12 Giacobbe Fragomeni
A rematch is on tap for Branco and relative spring chicken Fragomeni.  Combined age of the two fighters: 89.
14) Mateusz Masternak (5-37)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- TKO8 David Quinonero (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/15/2012- vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Masternak will fight for a vacant and highly questionable European belt against Finnish gatekeeper Juho Haapoja in mid-December.
15) Francisco Palacios (5-89)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- L(UD12) vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Very little of note left on his resume after his should-be win over Wlodarczyk was neutralized by a close but clear loss to same, and with his win over Louis Azille over 5 years old now.
16) Alexander Alekseev (5-100)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw*(MD12) vs. #19 Firat Arslan (robbery- should have been L)
Next Fight: Unknown
Apparently there are talks underway for Alekseev to fight American fringe contender Garrett Wilson.
17) Thabiso Mchunu (5-5)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO5 #20 Danie Venter
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu is probably ready to take the Chilemba/Oosthuizen journey out of South Africa and into the international scene after conquering the local scene in the form of Venter.  He may have some unfinished business with Zack Mwekassa first, however.
18) Dmitro Kucher (7-24)
Last Fight: 10/27/2012- KO2 Steve Herelius (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher took out one-time contender Steve Herelius in spectacular fashion, making him definitively one to watch.
19) Enad Licina (7-129)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO2 Koeksal Orduhan
Next Fight: Unknown
Really, Enad?  He just fought the most obviously terrible opponent I think I’ve ever had to write about on here.  The record of said fighter?  0-15.  No joke.
20) Grigory Drozd (5-5)
Last Fight: 6/20/2012- TKO1 Fabio Garrido (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/17/2012- vs. Jean-Marc Monrose (UNR)
Drozd now has an opponent for 12/17: French journeyman Jean-Marc Monrose.  They will do battle on the Lebedev-Silgado undercard.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Three notable fights on Friday, with two having high potential to seriously impact the rankings.  The biggest one being in Riva del Garda, Italy- a rematch between #12 Giacobbe Fragomeni and #13 Silvio Branco, who fought to a draw in March.  Both men should be getting long in the tooth right now, with Fragomeni being 43 and Branco being 46, but that doesn’t change the fact that the winner (if we get one this time) will most likely have to be considered a top 10 fighter.

 

#14 Mateusz Masternak fights on the Abraham-Bouadla undercard in Nuremberg against Finnish gatekeeper Juho Haapoja for a vacant European belt.  Haapoja opened his career as a pudgy heavyweight, and lost his first fight to fellow first-timer Remigijus Ziausys, who has gone on to be a low-level journeyman.  In 2007 he endured a 10-round draw with a 3-1 fighter that never fought again.  The following year he was knocked out by Denis Bakhtov, who was a mid-level journeyman then, just as he is now.  He also lost a split decision as recently as 2009 to Jarno Rosberg, an undefeated fighter who I’ve seen on a Haapoja undercard looking incredibly crappy against a total bum.  In fairness, Rosberg was caught doping after the fight.  Haapoja is at the gatekeeper level right now primarily because of a fairly close decision he won 15 months ago, at home, over a mid-level journeyman in Faisal Arrami.  My point is, I’m not sure why anyone considers him one of the top 2 available contenders for a European title.  Assume Lebedev, Afolabi, Wlodarczyk, Arslan, and Huck are all at too high a level.  Assume Fragomeni and Branco had already decided to fight each other and were not available.  That makes Masternak a worthy choice.  Alekseev was stripped of the title already, so let’s rule him out.  What about Dmitro Kucher?  Enad Licina?  Grigory Drozd?  Glazewski?  Glowacki?  Chakhkiev?  Vincenzo Rossito?  Kolodziej?  Herelius?  Dudchenko?  You can’t tell me all of those guys turned it down.

 

In a likely less important fight in San Miguel, Argentina, local fringe contender Alejandro Valori fights mid-level journeyman Orlando Farias.

Cruiserweight: 2012, Mar 19-25

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 30, 2012 by danboxing
A pretty major upset went down this week in Pavia, Italy.  #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni was somewhat befuddled by the superior movement and precision of the 45-year-old Silvio Branco.  Fragomeni came forward for most of the fight and threw the harder shots, but even when he got Branco backed to the ropes, it was often Branco who calmly landed straight counters, while Fragomeni missed or cuffed Branco with looping shots.  The judging was solid, and the result was a majority draw. 

 

Meanwhile, in Poland, local undefeated prospect Pawel Kolodziej defeated Romanian journeyman Giulian Ilie by a fair margin.

 

The Fragomeni-Branco result naturally throws the rankings into a bit of flux.  Fragomeni really had to be ranked #10 due to his win over 10th-ranked Rudolph Kraj and draw with Krzyzstof Wlodarczyk- both pretty old fights at this point- but I think it’s been a general consensus that, at 42, he was no longer as good as his ranking.  He proved that against the even older Branco.  Branco has a couple losses against good competition at light heavyweight a couple years or so ago, but this was his first significant fight at 200, giving him essentially a clean slate.  A draw against a top ten contender isn’t exactly a bad way to start filling that slate.  Fragomeni slides down to #14 since his draw with Branco reveals him to be at a significantly lower level than he occupied when he fought Kraj and Wlodarczyk.  Branco, with the good mark on his resume, debuts at #15, ahead of Enad Licina, who has been losing lately.  Fragomeni’s fall makes way for B.J. Flores to re-enter the top 10 for the first time in about 18 months, I believe.  Everybody else ranked 11-14 last week moves up a spot, as well.  Meanwhile, Branco’s debut forces everyone ranked 15 or below down a notch, including Eric Fields, who exits the rankings for the time being after 22 consecutive weeks.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (7-91-91)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Erased any doubt as to the better fighter between him and Cunningham.  A fight with Lebedev now would be huge.
2) Denis Lebedev (7-111-111)
Last Fight: 11/4/2011- UD12 James Toney (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/4/2012- vs. Shawn Cox (UNR)
After reportedly being close to signing a fight with French gatekeeper Rachid El Hadak, Lebedev has instead opted for a bout with Shawn Cox.  This seems like a very low-reward fight for Lebedev, and if Cox happens to be for real after demolishing former contender Wayne Braithwaite, it might carry some risk, too.  I don’t understand the matchmaking from Lebedev’s team.
3) Antonio Tarver (7-35-35)
Last Fight: 7/20/2011- RTD9 #7 Danny Green
Next Fight: 5/26/2012- vs. #14 Lateef Kayode
Tarver criticized Kayode on ShoBox, and Kayode took exception.  So now we have a grudge match.  I don’t think the Nigerian is ready for this, but perhaps Tarver will finally show his age.
4) Marco Huck (7-276-276)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- L*(MD12) vs. HW #2 Alexander Povetkin (at HW)
Next Fight: 5/5/2012- vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Huck will fight Afolabi May 5 in Erfurt, Germany, fresh off his near victory over Povetkin at heavyweight.
5) Steve Cunningham (7-405-405)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (16-352-352)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- TKO11 #9 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
7) Ola Afolabi (16-158-158)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- RTD5 Valery Brudov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Huck’s notes, above.
8) Guillermo Jones (16-77-77)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jones has come to Miami for the purpose of training for a fight with either Lateef Kayode or Denis Lebedev.  The only problem is that both of those guys signed other fights almost immediately thereafter. 
9) Danny Green (35-120-120)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- L(TKO11) vs. #8 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Green says he would like a rematch with Anthony Mundine- something that’s unlikely at best now that Mundine is fighting about 4 divisions to the south of him.  I do not believe retirement has been ruled out for Green.
10) B.J. Flores (1-1-91)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO6 Hugo Pineda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores has said he might fight the Fragomeni-Branco winner.  Not sure how that will be affected by the fact that there is no winner.
11) Francisco Palacios (1-51)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- UD8 Joell Godfrey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has mandated a rematch with Wlodarczyk, but that seems almost forgotten as Wlodarczyk has since chased fights with Roy Jones and Antonio Tarver, neither of which seem to be currently on the table.
12) Alexander Alexeev (1-62)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #15 Enad Licina
Next Fight: 5/11/2012- vs. #18 Firat Arslan
Alexeev will fight Firat Arslan in an interesting crossroads-type fight on May 11 in Germany.
13) Lateef Kayode (1-70)
Last Fight: 9/9/2011- UD10 Felix Cora, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/26/2012- vs. #3 Antonio Tarver
Kayode has snubbed a mandatory shot at Guillermo Jones’ alphabet belt for a shot at an even better fighter, the aging but still very capable Antonio Tarver.
14) Giacobbe Fragomeni (1-175)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fragomeni appears to be showing his age after nearly losing to an even older man in Brnaco.
15) Silvio Branco (1-1)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
45 year old veteran Silvio Branco got what may have been his final hurrah with a close-fought draw with top 10-ranked Giacobbe Fragomeni.
16) Enad Licina (1-91)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #17 Alexander Alexeev
Next Fight: Unknown
May be getting a little shopworn.  He’s not a pushover by any means, but you’d have to be crazy to imagine him as a top-10-type guy.
17) Troy Ross (1-7)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD8 Lukasz Rusiewicz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Inactivity combined with poor competition are killing the career of top-level talent Ross, but at least he’s technically an active cruiserweight again, and thus eligible to remain in the rankings.
18) Firat Arslan (1-36)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO2 Orlando Farias (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/11/2012- vs. #12 Alexander Alexeev
See Alexeev’s notes, above.
19) Grigory Drozd (1-6)
Last Fight: 2/8/2012- RTD9 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/4/2012- vs. William Joppy (UNR)
Drozd is following up a nice win over Richard Hall with what will probably a slightly less nice win over badly faded former middleweight contender William Joppy in Russia.
20) Matt Godfrey (1-27)
Last Fight: 6/10/2011- L(UD10) vs. #17 Lateef Kayode
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s a testament to the stagnation in the bottom half of the rankings that Godfrey- who last had a significant win over 3 years ago- continues to hang around the top 20.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: On Friday in England, Enzo Maccarinelli returns to the cruiserweight division after never really leaving (he fought a few fights at a contract weight just over the light heavyweight limit) when he fights for the British Cruiserweight title against fringe prospect Shane McPhilbin.  If he takes care of business, he may return to the rankings just by returning to activity.

 

The following night, South Africa plays host to a fight between prospect Ilunga Makubu of the Congo and Nigerian journeyman Michael Gbenga.  Finally, gatekeeper Willie Herring of Florida takes on undefeated Colombian prospect Santander Silgado in Brooklyn.

Cruiserweight: 2012, Mar 12-18

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on March 26, 2012 by danboxing
Nothing to report this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (6-90-90)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Erased any doubt as to the better fighter between him and Cunningham.  A fight with Lebedev now would be huge.
2) Denis Lebedev (6-110-110)
Last Fight: 11/4/2011- UD12 James Toney (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/4/2012- vs. Shawn Cox (UNR)
After reportedly being close to signing a fight with French gatekeeper Rachid El Hadak, Lebedev has instead opted for a bout with Shawn Cox.  This seems like a very low-reward fight for Lebedev, and if Cox happens to be for real after demolishing former contender Wayne Braithwaite, it might carry some risk, too.  I don’t understand the matchmaking from Lebedev’s team.
3) Antonio Tarver (6-34-34)
Last Fight: 7/20/2011- RTD9 #7 Danny Green
Next Fight: 5/26/2012- vs. #14 Lateef Kayode
Tarver criticized Kayode on ShoBox, and Kayode took exception.  So now we have a grudge match.  I don’t think the Nigerian is ready for this, but perhaps Tarver will finally show his age.
4) Marco Huck (6-275-275)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- L*(MD12) vs. HW #2 Alexander Povetkin (at HW)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Denied a well-deserved rematch with Alexander Povetkin, Huck is dropping back to cruiser, where he’ll fight a rematch of his close fight with Ola Afolabi at a date to be determined.
5) Steve Cunningham (6-404-404)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
See Lebedev’s notes, above.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (15-351-351)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- TKO11 #9 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
7) Ola Afolabi (15-157-157)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- RTD5 Valery Brudov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Huck’s notes, above.
8) Guillermo Jones (15-76-76)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Jones has come to Miami for the purpose of training for a fight with either Lateef Kayode or Denis Lebedev.  The only problem is that both of those guys signed other fights almost immediately thereafter. 
9) Danny Green (34-119-119)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- L(TKO11) vs. #8 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Green says he would like a rematch with Anthony Mundine- something that’s unlikely at best now that Mundine is fighting about 4 divisions to the south of him.  I do not believe retirement has been ruled out for Green.
10) Giacobbe Fragomeni (34-174-174)
Last Fight: 7/8/2011- UD6 Remigijus Ziausys (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/17/2012- vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Fragomeni will fight fellow Italian Silvio Branco for some silly color-coordinated “world title” on St. Patrick’s day.  The combined age of the two combatants: 87.
11) B.J. Flores (22-90)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO6 Hugo Pineda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores has been accused by Afolabi of ducking, but Flores claims he was given only 3 weeks notice for an offered fight.
12) Francisco Palacios (22-50)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- UD8 Joell Godfrey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has mandated a rematch with Wlodarczyk, but that seems almost forgotten as Wlodarczyk has since chased fights with Roy Jones and Antonio Tarver, neither of which seem to be currently on the table.
13) Alexander Alexeev (6-61)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #15 Enad Licina
Next Fight: Unknown
If his record is any indication, he has probably reached just about the ranking he currently tops out at.
14) Lateef Kayode (6-69)
Last Fight: 9/9/2011- UD10 Felix Cora, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/26/2012- vs. #3 Antonio Tarver
Kayode has snubbed a mandatory shot at Guillermo Jones’ alphabet belt for a shot at an even better fighter, the aging but still very capable Antonio Tarver.
15) Enad Licina (5-90)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #17 Alexander Alexeev
Next Fight: Unknown
May be getting a little shopworn.  He’s not a pushover by any means, but you’d have to be crazy to imagine him as a top-10-type guy.
16) Troy Ross (5-6)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD8 Lukasz Rusiewicz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Inactivity combined with poor competition are killing the career of top-level talent Ross, but at least he’s technically an active cruiserweight again, and thus eligible to remain in the rankings.
17) Firat Arslan (5-35)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO2 Orlando Farias (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Arslan is 41 and not getting any younger.  Unless he’s already decided to call it a day, expect a better opponent in his next fight than Farias.
18) Grigory Drozd (5-5)
Last Fight: 2/8/2012- RTD9 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Drozd hasn’t been doing badly whatsoever when he steps into the ring.  The only problem?  He has averaged less than 1 fight per year since the start of 2009.
19) Matt Godfrey (6-26)
Last Fight: 6/10/2011- L(UD10) vs. #17 Lateef Kayode
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s a testament to the stagnation in the bottom half of the rankings that Godfrey- who last had a significant win over 3 years ago- continues to hang around the top 20.
20) Eric Fields (6-22)
Last Fight: 1/28/2011- UD8 Derrick Brown (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fields is the latest in a fairly long line of iffy candidates to enter in the rankings.  He’s a one-loss prospect with a win over marginal gatekeeper Danny Batchelder back in June.  What separates him from the 2 or 3 guys he beat out for this spot is the fact that his loss- in 2008 against current #6 Ola Afolabi- is a lot more forgivable than the losses of his competitors.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Two notable fights go down on Saturday.  In Pavia, Italy, two Italian graybeards battle it out to see which one is the least geriatric when #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni takes on gatekeeper-level Silvio Branco.  Combined age of the two fighters: 87, with Branco claiming the largest share at 45.  Meanwhile, in Poland, undefeated local prospect Pawel Kolodziej takes on solid Romanian journeyman Giulian Ilie.