Archive for Steve Cunningham

Year-End Awards: Heavyweight, 2014

Posted in Heavyweight, Yearly Awards and Wrap Up with tags , , , , , , , on January 24, 2016 by danboxing
Welcome to my 3rd Annual Year-End Awards and Wrap-Up.  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!

 

Heavyweight Fighter of the Year: Wladimir Klitschko
Technically Glazkov beat a higher-ranked fighter (and Mansour should have), but #5 Pulev was probably more of a live body subjectively than were #4 Adamek and #4 Cunningham. Klitschko not only defended his Championship, but also his Heavyweight Fighter of the Year title, by being the only fighter to go undefeated on the year while beating two top 20 fighters- adding #16 Alex Leapai to clinch.

 

Prospect of the Year: Deontay Wilder
The winner of this award is the fighter to do the most during the year who has never been ranked in the top 10 and has fewer than 3 losses in his career.  Wilder was the narrow runner up to Mike Perez for the award last year, but Perez didn’t manage to keep his momentum going, while Wilder has yet to find the ceiling of his talent.  He earned the nod this year with his embarrassingly easy 1st-round KO of #19 Malik Scott, who is probably the runner-up despite the loss.

 

Most Important Knockout of the Year: Wladimir Klitschko KO5 Kubrat Pulev
This award goes to the fighter who knocks out the highest-ranked opponent to get stopped during the year.  The best unfortunate contender blasted out of the ring this year was #5 Pulev, who fought more aggressively than most Klitschko challengers, but paid a heavy price, though it was actually during a brief lull in his own activity that he caught a mean left hook from the Champ that he seemed completely unprepared for.

 

Most Sensational Knockout of the Year: Alexander Povetkin KO10 Carlos Takam
This is one award where the video is going to say a lot more than I can.  Takam had been doing well in the fight, to the point that I had it even going into the 10th, though Povetkin’s conditioning had led him back from well behind.  Povetkin caught his tired opponent with a short left hook in an exchange that left his man sprawling and glassy-eyed on his back.  The runner-up would probably be Klitschko-Pulev.  And for those of you who are crying out for Mansour-Kassi, please note that to be considered for this award, the victim has to be a top 50 fighter.  Kassi was nowhere near that.

 

Match-Up of the Year: Champ Wladimir Klitschko vs. #5 Kubrat Pulev
This is a simple recognition of the fight between the two fighters whose combined rank totaled the lowest number.  Klitschko didn’t quite match the level he reached last year with #3 Povetkin, but he had a solid year with solid defenses, as opposed to the abysmal competition he fought in 2013.  With an average rank of 2.5 (Champ’s rank is figured at 0), this was the clear winner.  Runner-up was Fury-Chisora II, with an average of 3.5.

 

Fight of the Year: #4 Steve Cunningham Robbery UD10 W vs. Amir Mansour
This is perhaps my most subjective award.  In choosing the winner, I attempt to balance importance, exciting action, and competitiveness.  There were a lot of good candidates this year, but none could match the high drama of Cunningham-Mansour.  Cunningham’s ridiculous display of guts after being twice dropped and nearly stopped in the 5th overshadowed the vicious display of power Mansour showed to put him in that position, and (unfortunately) won over the judges and TV commentators, whose cards not only indefensibly gave the fight to Cunningham, but did so by comfortable margins.  He came back well and even capped it off with a knockdown in the 10th, but Mansour by all rights had built up too big a lead and deserved the nod.  But that doesn’t change the fact that it was a great fight.  Runner-up was probably Stiverne-Arreola II.

 

Upset of the Year: Sergei Liakhovich vs. #17 Andy Ruiz
You might think this is a stretch, since the ranked fighter actually technically won.  But as always, I go by my own scores.  Liakhovich earned a draw on my card, or more accurately, Ruiz allowed the draw.  He had every bit the case for victory as did Ruiz, and the machinations of biased judges don’t change the fact that the ranked Ruiz embarrassed himself with exceptionally poor conditioning and effort, and lost his top 20 spot as a result.  All to a guy who not only hadn’t been remotely relevant or good in years, but who also didn’t exactly dazzle in the fight himself.  If you disagree with my call, I offer an even clearer scoring debacle in Musafarov-Boytsov as another contender, as well as both of Adamek’s losses as backup options.

 

Comeback Fighter of the Year: Antonio Tarver
This was a pretty easy call.  After drawing with the apparently mediocre Lateef Kayode at cruiserweight in the middle of 2012 and the disgrace and suspension that resulted from his apparent need for steroids to even manage that result, you couldn’t help but assume the then-43 year-old Tarver was done as a player in any division.  But out of nowhere, and having fought just one inconsequential opponent in 2.5 years, Tarver dominated and stopped a guy at top 20 level in a heavyweight division he’d barely visited before.  The resurgence is remarkable, especially considering he appears to be a better heavyweight at 46 than he was a cruiserweight at 43.  Maybe not even the worse for wear as compared to where he was at as a 175-pounder in 2009, though obviously a prime Chad Dawson was a much stiffer challenge pound-for-pound than today’s Johnathon Banks.

 

Robbery of the Year: Denis Boytsov W (UD10) vs. Timur Musafarov
Sadly, there were several solid candidates this year, including the aforementioned Cunningham-Mansour, Perez-Takam, and Ruiz-Liakhovich, to name a few.  This one takes the cake, though.  Musafarov was a clear winner, having earned a 97-92 nod on my card.  I could see it as close at 95-94 if I really wanted to, but that was even after the equally awful referee Joerg Milke blatantly stole an undeserved point from Musafarov in the 7th for having his head a little too low for Milke’s liking.  Or for being a good bet to win a decision at that point.  Take your pick.  Boytsov didn’t even come close to winning a round after the 6th of 10.  Yet the famous German robbery machine had it thusly: 95-94 (Ingo Barrabas), 97-93 (Norbert Duernberger), and a truly despicable 98-91 (Alexander Plumanns), all for the clear loser.  Not that Duernberger’s wasn’t truly despicable, but Plumanns put in that extra effort, and deserves recognition for it.

 

Now, for anyone that cares, I will rank the division based solely on the fighters’ 2014 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 2014. 

 

1) Wladimir Klitschko
Significant Results: Apr 26- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai.  Nov 15- KO5 #5 Kubrat Pulev.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Champion
2) Vyacheslav Glazkov
Significant Results: Mar 15- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 16: #18. Feb 17- Mar 9: #19. Mar 10-16: #18. Mar 17- Jun 1: #2. Jun 2- Dec 31: #3.
3) Amir Mansour
Significant Results: Apr 4- Robbery L (UD10) vs. #4 Steve Cunningham
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Apr 6: Unranked. Apr 7- Dec 31: #4.
4) Alexander Povetkin
Significant Results: May 30- KO7 Prospect Manuel Charr.  Oct 24- KO10 #7 Carlos Takam.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 16: #1. Feb 17- Mar 16: #2. Mar 17- Jun 1: #3. Jun 2- Dec 31: #2.
5) Tyson Fury
Significant Results: Nov 29- RTD 10 #6 Dereck Chisora.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 16: Unranked (Retired). Feb 17- Dec 31: #1.
6) Carlos Takam
Significant Results: Jan 18- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez. Jun 6- UD12 #9 Tony Thompson. Oct 24- L (KO10) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1-19: Unranked. Jan 20- Feb 16: #7. Feb 17- Mar 16: #8. Mar 17-23: #9. Mar 24- Apr 6: #10. Apr 7- May 11: #11.  May 12- Jun 8: #12. Jun 9- Nov 30: #7. Dec 1-31: #6.
7) Bermane Stiverne
Significant Results: May 10- TKO 6 #13 Chris Arreola.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1-19: #7. Jan 20- Feb 16: #8. Feb 17- Mar 16: #9. Mar 17-23: #10. Mar 24- Apr 6: #11. Apr 7- May 11: #12. May 12- Jun 8: #7. Jun 9- Dec 31: #8.
8) Tony Thompson
Significant Results: Mar 22- Wrong W (SD12) vs. #8 Odlanier Solis. Jun 6- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1-19: #9.  Jan 20- Feb 16: #10.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #11.  Mar 17-23: #13.  Mar 24- Apr 6: #7.  Apr 7- May 11: #8.  May 12- Jun 8: #9.  Jun 9- Dec 31: #10.
9) Deontay Wilder
Significant Results: Mar 15- KO1 #19 Malik Scott.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 16: #12.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #13.  Mar 17-23: #12.  Mar 24- Apr 6 #13.  Apr 7- May 11: #14.  May 12- Nov 9: #13.  Nov 10- Dec 31: #12.
10) Odlanier Solis
Significant Results: Mar 22- Wrong L (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 16: #6.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #7.  Mar 17-23: #8.  Mar 24- Apr 6: #9.  Apr 7- May 11: #10.  May 12- Jun 8: #11.  Jun 9- Nov 9: #12.  Nov 10- Dec 31: #11.
11) Antonio Tarver
Significant Results: Dec 11- TKO7 Inactive Fringe Contender Johnathon Banks.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 14: Unranked.  Dec 15-31: #16.
12) Malik Scott
Significant Results: Mar 15- L (KO1) vs. #13 Deontay Wilder.  Oct 31- UD10 #16 Alex Leapai.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 16: #19.  Feb 17- Mar 9: #20.  Mar 10-16: #19.  Mar 17-23: Unranked.  Mar 24-30: #20.  Mar 31- Jun 22: Unranked.  Jun 23- Jul 27: #20.  Jul 28- Sep 7: Unranked.  Sep 8- Nov 2: #20.  Nov 3-9: #15.  Nov 10- Dec 31: #14.
13) Bryant Jennings
Significant Results: Jan 25- TKO10 Undefeated Prospect Artur Szpilka.  Jul 26- Wrong W (SD12) vs. Fringe Contender/Prospect Mike Perez.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Jul 27: Unranked.  Jul 28- Sep 7: #19.  Sep 8- Nov 9: #18.  Nov 10- Dec 14: #17.  Dec 15-21: #18.  Dec 22-31: #17.
14) Artur Szpilka
Significant Results: Jan 25- L (TKO10) vs. Undefeated Prospect Bryant Jennings.  Nov 8- UD10 #11 Tomasz Adamek.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Nov 9: Unranked.  Nov 10-Dec 14: #18.  Dec 15-21: #19.  Dec 22-31: #18.
15) Sergei Liakhovich
Significant Results: Dec 20- Wrong L (UD10) vs. #17 Andy Ruiz.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
16) Mike Perez
Significant Results: Jan 18- Robbery Draw (Loss) vs. Prospect Carlos Takam.  Jul 26- Wrong L (SD12) vs. Undefeated Prospect Bryant Jennings.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1-19: #11.  Jan 20- Jul 27: Unranked.  Jul 28- Sep 7: #20.  Sep 8- Dec 14: #19.  Dec 15-21: #20.  Dec 22-31: #19.
17) Ruslan Chagaev
Significant Results: Jul 6- Wrong MD12 W (Draw) vs. Gatekeeper Fres Oquendo.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
18) Fres Oquendo
Significant Results: Jul 6- Wrong MD12 L (Draw) vs. Fringe Contender Ruslan Chagaev.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
19) Anthony Joshua
Significant Results: Oct 11- TKO2 Gatekeeper Denis Bakhtov.  Nov 22- TKO1 Gatekeeper Michael Sprott.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
20) Kali Meehan
Significant Results: Jun 4- KO1 Fringe Contender Michael Sprott
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Other fighters ranked during the year are detailed below.  These guys, while members of the top 20 at some point, didn’t exactly have a top-20 quality 2014 for varying reasons.

 

Steve Cunningham: Jan 1- Feb 16: #2.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #3.  Mar 17- Apr 6: #4.  Apr 7- May 11: #7.  May 12- Jun 8: #8.  Jun 9- Dec 31: #9.

 

Tomasz Adamek: Jan 1- Feb 16: #3.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #4.  Mar 17-23: #7.  Mar 24- Apr 6: #8.  Apr 7- May 11: #9.  May 12- Jun 8: #10.  Jun 9- Nov 9: #11.  Nov 10- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Kubrat Pulev– Jan 1- Feb 16: #4.  Feb 17- Dec 31: #5.

 

Dereck Chisora: Jan 1- Feb 16: #5.  Feb 17- Nov 30: #6.  Dec 1-31: #7.

 

Chris Arreola: Jan 1-19: #8.  Jan 20- Feb 16: #9.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #10.  Mar 17-23: #11.  Mar 24- Apr 6: #12.  Apr 7- May 11: #13.  May 12- Nov 9: #14.  Nov 10- Dec 31: #13.

 

Erkan Teper: Jan 1-19: #10.  Jan 20- Feb 16: #11.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #12.  Mar 17- Apr 6: #14.  Apr 7- Nov 2: #15.  Nov 3-9: #16.  Nov 10- Dec 31: #15.

 

Alex Leapai: Jan 1- Feb 16: #13.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #14.  Mar 17- Apr 6: #15.  Apr 7- Nov 2: #16.  Nov 3- Dec 14: #20.  Dec 15-21: Unranked.  Dec 22-31: #20.

 

Robert Helenius– Jan 1- Feb 16: #14.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #15.  Mar 17-23: #16.  Mar 24- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Andy Ruiz– Jan 1- Feb 16: #15.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #16.  Mar 17-23: #17.  Mar 24- Apr 6: #16.  Apr 7- Nov 9: #17.  Nov 10- Dec 14: #16.  Dec 15-21: #17.  Dec 22-31: Unranked.

 

Seth Mitchell– Jan 1- Feb 16: #16.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #17.  Mar 17-23: #18.  Mar 24- Apr 6: #17.  Apr 7- Sep 7: #18.  Sep 8- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Alexander Dimitrenko: Jan 1- Feb 16: #17.  Feb 17- Mar 9: #18.  Mar 10- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive). 

 

Johnathon Banks: Jan 1- Feb 16: #20.  Feb 17- Mar 9: Unranked.  Mar 10-16: #20.  Mar 17-23: #19.  Mar 24- Apr 6: #18.  Apr 7- Jun 22: #19.  Jun 23- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Francesco Pianeta: Jan 1- Mar 16: Unranked.  Mar 17-23: #20.  Mar 24- Apr 6: #19.  Apr 7- Jun 22: #20.  Jun 23- Jul 27: #19.  Jul 28- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Eddie Chambers– Jan 1- Mar 30: Unranked.  Mar 31- Apr 6: #20.  Apr 7- Dec 31: Unranked.
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Heavyweight: 2014, Oct 20-26

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on December 27, 2015 by danboxing
Thursday in Auckland, New Zealand, unbeaten Kiwi prospect Joseph Parker pounded out a 10-round decision with the capable Sherman Williams.  Unfortunately I’ve yet to locate a video of the fight, so I’m going to have to leave you with just the cold results for now, which included 2 clean 100-90 scorecards, along with a 97-94, all in Parker’s favor.  
 

One-loss Polish giant Mariusz Wach finally returned on Friday from a steroid suspension and accompanying two-year layoff, winning virtually every round of an 8-rounder against fellow big man Samir Kurtagic, a durable but limited Turk.  

 

Undefeated and totally untested Samoan prospect Natu Visinia overperformed expectations in many ways on Saturday in Philly.  After 7 rounds, I had the fight even.  Visinia managed to drop the much smaller Cunningham in the 5th after a very close first four rounds.  Cunningham fired the one-two combos constantly, but got himself in trouble when he found himself on the ropes, which frankly happened more often than it probably should have.  His chin did hold up well for the most part against the 278 pound prospect, and Visinia ultimately retired in his corner, apparently due to a general state of busted-upness.

 

Williams came in as a low-level gatekeeper around the fringe of the top 50, which is roughly the same level as Parker’s previous best win over Brian Minto.  Still, the win moves Parker up a couple slots unofficially.  He’s right at about the top 25 level now.  Wach is back to activity and rankability now, but he’s only got one gatekeeper-level win in his career, and tops out around the top 40 currently.  No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (278-491-491)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: 11/15/2014- vs. #5 Kubrat Pulev
The Pulev defense has now been rescheduled for November 15.
1) Tyson Fury (36-36-36)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2014- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
Fury-Chisora II has been moved back a week, to November 29.
2) Alexander Povetkin (21-365-365)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- TKO7 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/24/2014- vs. #7 Carlos Takam
Povetkin will attempt to halt the meteoric rise of rugged slugger Carlos Takam when the two meet in Russia on October 24.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (21-32-96)
Last Fight: 8/9/2014- W(MD10) vs. Derric Rossy (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov didn’t exactly earn any style points for his lazy showing against big underdog Rossy, but a win’s a win, I suppose…
4) Amir Mansour (29-29-29)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery L (UD10) vs. #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: 11/8/2014 – vs. Fred Kassi (UNR)
Mansour gets a stay-busy type fight against the unknown Fred Kassi, who despite a relatively attractive 18-2 record, has lost to the likes of Lionel Butler and Kendrick Releford, and has only fought 3 times since April 2010.
5) Kubrat Pulev (36-129-206)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/15/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Klitschko’s notes, above.
6) Dereck Chisora (36-151-214)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Carlos Takam (20-20-40)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- UD12 #9 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 10/24/2014- vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Takam looks to go from contender to international superstar when he looks to topple Povetkin in Russia in late October.
8) Bermane Stiverne (20-24-86)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Another postponement of the purse bid for the Wilder fight, as Don King and Oscar De La Hoya are apparently desperately trying to reach a deal to keep Jay-Z from getting a shot at buying the rights to the promotion.
9) Steve Cunningham (20-96-96)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery W (UD10) vs. Amir Mansour (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/18/2014 – vs. Natu Visinia (UNR)
Cunningham gets what, at least on paper, looks like a stay-busy fight in October against Natu Visinia. Visinia is unbeaten at 10-0, but has fought nobody.  He’s a big boy, though.  The Samoan typically tips the scales in the 260s or 270s.
10) Tony Thompson (20-31-230)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: 11/22/2014- vs. #12 Odlanier Solis
The Thompson-Solis rematch has been postponed due to a Solis ankle injury, with a new date of November 22.
11) Tomasz Adamek (20-235)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: 11/8/2014- vs. Artur Szpilka (UNR)
Originally penciled in for October 18 in Lodz, it now appears that Adamek-Szpilka is destined for November 8 in Krakow.
12) Odlanier Solis (20-230)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 10/18/2014- vs. #10 Tony Thompson
See Thompson’s notes, above.
13) Deontay Wilder (24-78)
Last Fight: 8/16/2014- W(RTD4) vs. Jason Gavern (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Chris Arreola (24-59)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola had elbow surgery, and was said to be expected back in October.  No news about an upcoming fight, though.
15) Erkan Teper (29-60)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper is rumored to be close to signing for a fight with 36 year old one-loss Polish prospect(?) Marcin Rekowski in December.
16) Alex Leapai (29-48)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 10/31/2014- vs. #20 Malik Scott
Leapai-Scott has been moved back a week to Halloween after Leapai suffered a minor leg injury.
17) Andy Ruiz (29-48)
Last Fight: 5/17/2014- TKO2 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/25/2014- vs. Kenny Lemos (UNR)
Ruiz will look to make up for some lost fight in short order.  He will be in the ring this Saturday on about a week’s notice against an easy mark in Kenny Lemos, and then expects to be back on December 6, as well.
18) Bryant Jennings (7-13)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- W* (SD12) vs. Mike Perez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Reasonable minds can disagree on the correct result of Jennings-Perez.  What’s clear, though, is that Jennings is not nearly ready for Klitschko, a fight some of his supporters have been proposing for a while now.  He himself appears to want the Wilder-Stiverne winner, which might be more within his competency.
19) Mike Perez (7-13)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- L* (SD12) vs. Bryant Jennings (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/?/2014 – vs. Unknown Opponent
Perez, who calls Cork, Ireland home, will return to his home base in November when he headlines a card there.  Details TBD.
20) Malik Scott (7-7)

Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (KO1) vs. #13 Deontay Wilder
Next Fight: 10/31/2014 – vs. #16 Alex Leapai
See Leapai’s notes, above.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Friday
#2 Alexander Povetkin vs. #7 Carlos Takam; Moscow, Russia; TV Unknown
This is a big matchup, needless to say.  I haven’t run the numbers yet, but a win from either guy could give Tyson Fury a run for the #2 spot, it would seem.

 

Manuel Charr vs. Michael Grant; Moscow, Russia; TV Unknown
Charr had been beaten twice, but only by a Klitschko and Povetkin.  Grant, who stands 6’7″, may once have been a real challenge, but at 42 years old and coming off a layoff, I’d say his odds are pretty long in this one.  The big American comes off a stoppage loss to Carlos Takam 16 months ago, in what was his most recent fight.

 

Saturday
#17 Andy Ruiz vs. Kenny Lemos; Fresno, CA; Unimas (US)
This is a stay-busy fight for Ruiz against a 12-8 nobody in Lemos.  Ruiz was recently scheduled to fight Sergei Liakhovich, but pulled out of that fight for some sort of family issue.  Apparently it wasn’t a long-standing problem.

Heavyweight: 2014, Oct 13-19

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on December 25, 2015 by danboxing
Unbeaten English Olympian Anthony Joshua continued to impress on Saturday, systematically breaking down Russian gatekeeper Denis Bakhtov- who was coming off a win over Joshua’s prior victim Konstantin Airich- all inside two rounds.  Bakhtov is a reliable trial horse who occasionally upsets a prospect, or at least deserves to before the judges get ahold of him.  He’s been stopped before, but never inside of 5 rounds (aside from one injury-related stoppage).  This was the quickest and most thorough dismantling he’d ever suffered, even having fought contenders as solid as Vyacheslav Glazkov, whom he took the distance.  Even aside from comparisons, Joshua looked excellent.  He’s a big, strong, powerful, and athletic heavyweight.  He doesn’t have obvious flaws, and looks like the kind of complete fighter that flourished in the early 90s.  Look out.

 

On the not-so-impressive side of the top 50 coin, massive Argentine champion Matias Vidondo, who won the title on his knees when Fabio Moli hit him while he was on the canvas for a third time in that specific round, took care of 44 year old journeyman Marcelo Dominguez to retain his national championship.  Really all he proved is that a 38 year old 6’7″ fat guy beats a 44 year old 5’9″ fat guy.  The fight was stopped suddenly on a really bad cut while Dominguez was backed up into the corner.  In the Moli fight, Vidondo had completely gassed out by the 5th round, but luckily for him Dominguez wasn’t able to take him even that deep.

 

Bakhtov is the first even borderline top 50 fighter that Joshua has taken on, but it’s enough to get him more or less in the top 30 by my reckoning, and based on the groundwork he’d previously laid with quality journeymen, he’s a very strong #30 despite the limited resume.  He’s already the most proven British contender after Fury and Chisora, and probably has the potential to eclipse both, which is realy saying a lot.  Still, no changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (277-490-490)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: 11/15/2014- vs. #5 Kubrat Pulev
The Pulev defense has now been rescheduled for November 15.
1) Tyson Fury (35-35-35)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2014- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
Fury-Chisora II has been moved back a week, to November 29.
2) Alexander Povetkin (20-364-364)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- TKO7 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/24/2014- vs. #7 Carlos Takam
Povetkin will attempt to halt the meteoric rise of rugged slugger Carlos Takam when the two meet in Russia on October 24.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (20-31-95)
Last Fight: 8/9/2014- W(MD10) vs. Derric Rossy (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov didn’t exactly earn any style points for his lazy showing against big underdog Rossy, but a win’s a win, I suppose…
4) Amir Mansour (28-28-28)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery L (UD10) vs. #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: 11/8/2014 – vs. Fred Kassi (UNR)
Mansour gets a stay-busy type fight against the unknown Fred Kassi, who despite a relatively attractive 18-2 record, has lost to the likes of Lionel Butler and Kendrick Releford, and has only fought 3 times since April 2010.
5) Kubrat Pulev (35-128-205)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/15/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Klitschko’s notes, above.
6) Dereck Chisora (35-150-213)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/29/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Carlos Takam (19-19-39)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- UD12 #9 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 10/24/2014- vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin
Takam looks to go from contender to international superstar when he looks to topple Povetkin in Russia in late October.
8) Bermane Stiverne (19-23-85)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Another postponement of the purse bid for the Wilder fight, as Don King and Oscar De La Hoya are apparently desperately trying to reach a deal to keep Jay-Z from getting a shot at buying the rights to the promotion.
9) Steve Cunningham (19-95-95)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery W (UD10) vs. Amir Mansour (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/18/2014 – vs. Natu Visinia (UNR)
Cunningham gets what, at least on paper, looks like a stay-busy fight in October against Natu Visinia. Visinia is unbeaten at 10-0, but has fought nobody.  He’s a big boy, though.  The Samoan typically tips the scales in the 260s or 270s.
10) Tony Thompson (19-30-229)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #12 Odlanier Solis
The Thompson-Solis rematch has been postponed due to a Solis ankle injury.  No word yet on the new date.
11) Tomasz Adamek (19-234)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: 11/8/2014- vs. Artur Szpilka (UNR)
Originally penciled in for October 18 in Lodz, it now appears that Adamek-Szpilka is destined for November 8 in Krakow.
12) Odlanier Solis (19-229)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 10/18/2014- vs. #10 Tony Thompson
See Thompson’s notes, above.
13) Deontay Wilder (23-77)
Last Fight: 8/16/2014- W(RTD4) vs. Jason Gavern (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Chris Arreola (23-58)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola had elbow surgery, and was said to be expected back in October.  No news about an upcoming fight, though.
15) Erkan Teper (28-59)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper’s effort in his last fight- and perhaps especially in the gym leading up to it- was awful, and he got lucky when his opponent turned out to be almost as out of shape as him, in addition to being an apparent quitter.
16) Alex Leapai (28-47)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 10/24/2014- vs. #20 Malik Scott
After intended fights with Shannon Briggs and Sam Peter fell through, Leapai will have an interesting matchup with Malik Scott.
17) Andy Ruiz (28-47)
Last Fight: 5/17/2014- TKO2 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ruiz’s fight with Sergei Liakhovich was cancelled about a week in advance of the September 20 date when Ruiz withdrew for “family reasons.”
18) Bryant Jennings (6-12)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- W* (SD12) vs. Mike Perez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Reasonable minds can disagree on the correct result of Jennings-Perez.  What’s clear, though, is that Jennings is not nearly ready for Klitschko, a fight some of his supporters have been proposing for a while now.  He himself appears to want the Wilder-Stiverne winner, which might be more within his competency.
19) Mike Perez (6-12)
Last Fight: 7/26/2014- L* (SD12) vs. Bryant Jennings (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/?/2014 – vs. Unknown Opponent
Perez, who calls Cork, Ireland home, will return to his home base in November when he headlines a card there.  Details TBD.
20) Malik Scott (6-6)

Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (KO1) vs. #13 Deontay Wilder
Next Fight: 10/24/2014 – vs. #16 Alex Leapai
See Leapai’s notes, above.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Thursday
Joseph Parker vs. Sherman Williams; Auckland, New Zealand; TV Unknown
After seeing one big athletic prospect coming into his own last week, we get to see New Zealand’s answer this Thursday.  Parker takes on the limited but generally capable Sherman Williams, who gave a somewhat compromised version of Robert Helenius a fair amount of trouble a while back.  Parker is bigger but somewhat slower than Anthony Joshua, but both are members of a new breed of more dynamic heavyweights that may well go on to dominate- or even usher in- the post-Klitschko era at some point.

 

Friday
Mariusz Wach vs. Samir Kurtagic; Dzierzoniow, Poland; TV Unknown
If Joseph Parker is a member of a new breed of dynamic heavyweights, then Wach is a member of the aging breed of mountainous and ponderous giants that has in some ways typified the current era.  He is predictably slow, but iron chinned.  His only loss was a decision to the Champion nearly two years ago, and he hasn’t been in the ring since.  That is in large part due to a positive steroid test following that fight.  Kurtagic began his career 7-0, but has since proven himself very mediocre when matched with reasonably decent opposition.  He is a 6’7″ beast in his own right, and sturdy, if nothing else.  He’s never been stopped in his 6 losses, including fights with the likes of Edmund Gerber, Francesco Pianeta, Alexander Dimitrenko, and Denis Boytsov.  He’s always good for getting work in, which might be what Wach needs most of all right now.

 

Saturday
#9 Steve Cunningham vs. Natu Visinia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NBC Sports (US)
A good big man beats a good small man.  The problem for Visinia is that it’s not at all clear that he’s good.  He comes in at 10-0, but his best opponent has literally less than 1% of the boxrec ratings points as does Cunningham.  For all intents and purposes, he might as well be making his pro debut against a top 10 contender.  You would think that a guy that usually scales around 270 lbs. would have some sort of power, though, so even with the huge experience and skill gap, I’m not sure you can fully take it for granted.  Still, on paper it’s a blatant mismatch.

Heavyweight: 2014, Apr 7-13

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 2, 2014 by danboxing
‘Twas a busy week among the big men this week.  Thursday featured two notable contests on FS1 from Indio, California.  In the main event, undefeated Cuban prospect Luis Ortiz got an impressive win over 42 year-old veteran journeyman Monte Barrett.  Barrett couldn’t really get his punches off, and certainly wasn’t able to earn the respect of  Ortiz, who wasn’t a paragon of activity himself, but was generally able to walk right through Barrett.  Barrett took a knee after walking right into a hard left from the Cuban southpaw, and the fight was instantly stopped by Raul Caiz, Sr.  Why he did so is beyond me.  It was the first knockdown of the fight.  Though he’d lost every round clearly, it’s not like Barrett had taken a brutal sustained beating at any point.  Barrett took a knee of his own volition, and so it’s not like a 10-count would have endangered Barrett’s health any further.  Bottom line: there’s a really good chance that Barrett could have and would have continued, but the referee didn’t seem to care about that.  On the other hand, the chances that Barrett seriously posed a threat to win the fight from that point were low indeed, so it’s perhaps a little on the moot side.

 

In what turned out to be a farce on the undercard, undefeated prospect Gerald Washington “KO”d less advanced one-loss fringe prospect Skipp Scott.  Here’s how it went down.  The first round was close and sloppy.  I gave it narrowly to Washington.  In the second, Washington landed a hard shot to Scott’s head that caused Scott to fall to a knee in the ensuing clinch.  While his opponent was still on a knee, Washington took a step back and landed a hard right hook to the body that sent Scott reeling back to the ropes and onto his back.  Scott rose to his feet by the count of 8, but when referee Lou Moret asked if he was okay, he fell back down in apparent agony, whereupon the fight was waved off.  But there should never have been a count in the first place.  Scott was legitimately knocked down from a punch, but less than a second later, he was hit by an equally hard illegal punch that at least arguably caused him to be unable to continue.  I’m not necessarily blaming Washington.  Scott is a 6’8” behemoth, and when he’s on his knee, it might be hard to tell since he’s probably still close to 6 feet tall.  But at the very least, Moret needed to call time and give Scott up to 5 minutes to recover from the illegal blow.  If he couldn’t do so, it should have been a no contest.  You just can’t knock a guy out when he’s already down.  Lou Moret may have been a good ref in his time, but he’s slow-footed and never in good position, and his judgment at this stage in his career is frequently way off.  He should retire from at least this aspect of the sport.  On the bright side, Scott was proven at only a fairly low level, and so whether I treat it as a knockout or a no contest, the affect on the rankings is nil.

 

The following night in an NBC Sports main event from Philadelphia, we saw a heck of a tilt between #4 Steve Cunningham and hard-hitting but aged undefeated prospect/fringe contender Amir Mansour.  Cunningham had trouble with the bigger Mansour’s power and physicality early, as he clearly lost the first two rounds before maybe taking the next two narrowly.  But it was the 5th in which things really unraveled, as Cunningham tasted the canvas twice and was nearly stopped.  Mansour kept the momentum going enough to win a competitive 6th, as well, and by that point was up 58-54 at a minimum on any competent card.  Cunningham narrowly edged the 7th on my card to pull within 3 before Mansour won a competitive 8th, but did so fairly clearly.  77-73 Mansour.  Cunningham closed strong, easily winning the 9th to pull within 3 points, and dropping Mansour with a well-timed shot in the 10th.  That earned him a narrow loss on my card at 94-93.  The official scores were 97-90 (Alan Rubenstein) and 95-92 (John Poturaj and David Braslow), all for Cunningham.  That’s a joke.  My card was already as generous as it reasonably could be in Cunningham’s favor, as the three closest rounds of the fight (3, 4, and 7) were already rounds I gave to him.  97-90 is a borderline reasonable score, but only if it’s in favor of Mansour.  BJ Flores in broadcasting the fight stated as a matter of fact that Cunningham had come back to clearly win the fight.  That’s obviously a biased view, as he is a friend of Cunningham and- perhaps along with the judges and even Mansour himself in his post-fight comments- was influenced by the heart-wrenching medical problems of Cunningham’s young daughter.

 

Main Events always seems to get favorable cards for its favored house fighter, whether it be Adamek, Glazkov, Karl Dargan, Curtis Stevens, or now Cunningham, for a change.  They’ve all won fights on NBC Sports air that they did not deserve to win, while none of the b-side opponents on their cards have, to the best of my memory, ever received such treatment.  I love Steve Cunningham, and have called out a robbery or two that he’s suffered in the past, but in this case he clearly got the benefit of one, and no matter how much he deserves good things due to his being a good guy in a bad situation in his personal life, I can’t just pretend the other guy didn’t deserve to win.  Amir Mansour is 41 years old, and is not going to get too many more bites at the apple.  He deserved to win this fight, and he deserved to be the guy that moved on to bigger and better things.  Thanks to some bad judging (which hurts me to say, since John Poturaj is normally great), he may never get a shot at anything meaningful.  It doesn’t help when the media fix is in, as well.  I’m just one voice and will never make a big difference, but that won’t stop me from calling it like I see it.

 

In a tune-up fight on the Braehmer-Maccarinelli undercard in Rostock, Germany on Saturday, #5 Kubrat Pulev got a walk in the park against chubby Croatian travelling opponent Ivica Perkovic.  Perkovic has never beaten anyone with a winning record, and has only a few wins against guys with as many as 3 pro wins.  He’s best known for dropping a faded Alexander Dimitrenko in what has so far been Dimitrenko’s last fight.  In this contest, which he took on just a few days’ notice, he was little more than a human heavy bag.  Pulev was able to walk him back to the ropes at will, and then proceeded to pick him apart until Perkovic decided it wasn’t worth it anymore and quit on his stool after round 3.  I’m not sure he landed so much as a glancing blow the entire fight.

 

Due to his should-be win over a top-5 contender, Mansour crashes my top ten (if nobody else’s) at #4.  Cunningham’s should-be loss drops him to #7.  Everyone ranked #7 and below last week backtracks a spot to make room for Mansour, which forces Carlos Takam out of the top 10 after a 2-week stint, and Eddie Chambers from the top 20 after just a single week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (250-463-463)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. #15 Alex Leapai
Klitschko-Leapai appears to be finalized for April 26 in Germany.  He said recently that he wants to capture his brother’s old alphabet title, which would unify all the major titles for the first time since Lewis in 1999.  He would have to wait for someone else to pick it up first, as the silly alphabets don’t let current titlists fight for vacant titles.
1) Tyson Fury (8-8-8)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
Fury-Chisora has been made.  July 26, in Manchester.  The winner will become one of Wlad’s mandatories.
2) Vyacheslav Glazkov (4-4-68)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
3) Alexander Povetkin (4-337-337)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 6/1/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
The WBA has ordered Povetkin vs. Cuban prospect Luis Ortiz for their “regular” belt.  Naturally, Wlad is the “Super Champion.”  Povetkin had already held the “regular” belt since beating Chagaev, but apparently it became vacant when the Superchief…er…Super Champion…beat him.  Does that make Wlad the Super-Duper Champion?  If so, what fight are they going to stage for the “regular” Super Championship?  I should stop making fun, before I give them any more ideas.
4) Amir Mansour (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery L (UD10) vs. #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham had the more sympathetic story and a legitimately great comeback attempt, but Mansour had the better collection of rounds legitimately won.  Mansour was robbed even though the fight was close, and deserves Cunningham’s former position in the rankings for his effort.
5) Kubrat Pulev (8-101-178)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev dominated Perkovic, a low-level journeyman who took the fight on roughly a day or two’s notice.  He’s now back in the position to wait for a Klitschko shot.
6) Dereck Chisora (8-123-186)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Steve Cunningham (1-68-68)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery W (UD10) vs. Amir Mansour (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I hope you’ll all pray for his daughter to recover from her life-threatening health condition, and the guy had guts to come back from the 2 knockdowns.  But he didn’t win the fight.
8) Tony Thompson (1-3-202)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- W* (SD12) vs. #8 Odlanier Solis
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson has been on a pretty decent run in the past couple years, and he might be at his highest point since his first fight with Wlad after getting a questionable win in a very close fight with Solis.  He has called out Tyson Fury, though the timing for that is a bit odd.
9) Tomasz Adamek (1-207-207)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
I’d have to think Adamek would at least consider retirement after being brutalized for 12 rounds by a guy that had looked like he might top out around the top 15.  He’s recently announced his candidacy for the European parliament elections in May, so that may be a sign that he’s leaning that direction.
10) Odlanier Solis (1-55-202)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
The Solis haters are out in force, claiming a clear loss in a fight that Solis deserved to win.  You might not like his physique or his training habits or his style, but if he outfights the other guy, he still deserves to be respected as a winner at least as much as a disappointment.  A loss to Thompson is not that embarrassing, especially when you ought to have won it.
11) Carlos Takam (1-12)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam has been called in to spar with Tyson Fury.  Good call.  He’s about as close to Chisora as you can get.
12) Bermane Stiverne (1-58)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #11 Chris Arreola
ESPN has landed the fight- their biggest score in a while on that front.  May 10 in Los Angeles.
13) Chris Arreola (1-31)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #10 Bermane Stiverne
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Deontay Wilder (1-50)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 #19 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
With the win over Scott, Wilder appears poised to fight the Stiverne-Arreola winner for an alphabet title and probably near-universal recognition as the best American heavyweight.
15) Erkan Teper (1-32)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Alex Leapai (1-20)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Leapai-Klitschko is done for April 26 in Germany.
17) Andy Ruiz (1-20)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Ruiz is penciled in for the Marquez-Alvarado undercard on May 10 in LA.
18) Seth Mitchell (1-44)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- L (TKO1) vs. Chris Arreola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mitchell’s chin is so fragile that he might want to consider calling it a career.  Golden Boy’s CEO says he’s advised Mitchell to do just that, though he reports that Mitchell seems to have no such intention.
19) Johnathon Banks (1-5)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Francesco Pianeta (1-4)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO2 Robert Teuber (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Friday
Christian Hammer vs. Konstantin Airich; Berlin, Germany; Eurosport
Hammer is a 3-loss gatekeeper who should really have 4 losses, having gotten a gift against Kevin Johnson in his last fight.  Airich is a former gatekeeper himself, but is coming off consecutive losses to Solis, Glazkov, and Manuel Charr, steroid controversy, and well over a year of inactivity.

 

Saturday
Kevin Johnson vs. Manuel Charr; Bonn, Germany; Off TV
This is a heck of a match-up, really, and a pick-’em fight.  Charr is a perennial prospect who has flopped at the Klitschko level and pretty much just beat up on journeymen otherwise.  This will be his first truly fair test.  Johnson is up and down.  He owns a dominant win over soon-to-be Championship challenger Alex Leapai and should have beaten Hammer as mentioned above, but has failed at the top 5 level (Klitschko, Fury, and Chisora) and also at the gatekeeper level or below (Tor Hamer, plus an undeserved win over Sosnowski, both on Prizefighter).  Johnson would probably be my pick, because he’s won at at least the level Charr has proven himself to belong on.  That would mean that if he turns in a good performance for him, he would require Charr to be better than he’s ever been before to win.  If Charr turns in as good a performance as he’s ever turned in, Johnson may still be too much for him as far as we know.  The venue will likely be an advantage for Charr, however.

 

David Price vs. Ondrej Pala; Esbjerg, Denmark; BoxNation (UK)
Czech journeyman Pala might qualify as a stay-busy fight for top guys like Chisora, but he’s only lost twice since 2006, and was considered a top 50 fighter as recently as last year.  Price has got to be a heavy favorite since he’s clearly at a higher level than Pala’s loss other than Chisora- to a streaking and likely roided-up Konstantin Airich- but it’s no gimme.  If Price isn’t prepared for a real fight, he may be in for a difficult night.  The English prospect is coming off back-to-back stoppage losses to Tony Thompson and an easy tune-up.

Heavyweight: 2014, Mar 31- Apr 6

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on August 22, 2014 by danboxing
Eddie Chambers took 6 rounds to stop his hapless Czech opponent on Saturday’s Boxnation undercard.  The opponent was so completely unqualified to be in the ring with anyone you’ve ever heard of that I have decided it’s unwarranted to glorify the matchmaking by even mentioning the guy’s name.

 

That being said, it gets Chambers back to activity at heavyweight after his ill-fated sojourn to cruiser.  His status, due to both time and the Mchunu loss, is significantly diminished compared to the #7 spot he abandoned last year.  He checks in at #20 this time around, pushing Malik Scott out of the rankings after just a one-week return.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (249-462-462)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. #15 Alex Leapai
Klitschko-Leapai appears to be finalized for April 26 in Germany.  He said recently that he wants to capture his brother’s old alphabet title, which would unify all the major titles for the first time since Lewis in 1999.  He would have to wait for someone else to pick it up first, as the silly alphabets don’t let current titlists fight for vacant titles.
1) Tyson Fury (7-7-7)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
Fury-Chisora has been made.  July 26, in Manchester.  The winner will become one of Wlad’s mandatories.
2) Vyacheslav Glazkov (3-3-67)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
3) Alexander Povetkin (3-336-336)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 6/1/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
The WBA has ordered Povetkin vs. Cuban prospect Luis Ortiz for their “regular” belt.  Naturally, Wlad is the “Super Champion.”  Povetkin had already held the “regular” belt since beating Chagaev, but apparently it became vacant when the Superchief…er…Super Champion…beat him.  Does that make Wlad the Super-Duper Champion?  If so, what fight are they going to stage for the “regular” Super Championship?  I should stop making fun, before I give them any more ideas.
4) Steve Cunningham (3-67-67)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD8 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/4/2014- vs. Amir Mansour (UNR)
Cunningham takes on unbeaten fringe contender Amir Mansour in Cunningham’s hometown of Philadelphia on April 4.
5) Kubrat Pulev (7-100-177)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO5 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Pulev’s April 5 opponent appeared to be set as journeyman Elijah McCall, but that fight is off according to McCall.  No word on the status of Pulev’s scheduled date.  Tune in next week to see how it shook out.
6) Dereck Chisora (7-122-185)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Tony Thompson (2-2-201)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- W* (SD12) vs. #8 Odlanier Solis
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson has been on a pretty decent run in the past couple years, and he might be at his highest point since his first fight with Wlad after getting a questionable win in a very close fight with Solis.  He has called out Tyson Fury, though the timing for that is a bit odd.
8) Tomasz Adamek (2-206-206)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
I’d have to think Adamek would at least consider retirement after being brutalized for 12 rounds by a guy that had looked like he might top out around the top 15.
9) Odlanier Solis (2-54-201)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
The Solis haters are out in force, claiming a clear loss in a fight that Solis deserved to win.  You might not like his physique or his training habits or his style, but if he outfights the other guy, he still deserves to be respected as a winner at least as much as a disappointment.  A loss to Thompson is not that embarrassing, especially when you ought to have won it.
10) Carlos Takam (2-11-11)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam has been called in to spar with Tyson Fury.  Good call.  He’s about as close to Chisora as you can get.
11) Bermane Stiverne (2-57)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #11 Chris Arreola
ESPN has landed the fight- their biggest score in a while on that front.  May 10 in Los Angeles.
12) Chris Arreola (2-30)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. #10 Bermane Stiverne
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
13) Deontay Wilder (2-49)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 #19 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
With the win over Scott, Wilder appears poised to fight the Stiverne-Arreola winner for an alphabet title and probably near-universal recognition as the best American heavyweight.
14) Erkan Teper (3-31)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
15) Alex Leapai (3-19)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Leapai-Klitschko is done for April 26 in Germany.
16) Andy Ruiz (2-19)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Ruiz is penciled in for the Marquez-Alvarado undercard on May 10 in LA.
17) Seth Mitchell (2-43)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- L (TKO1) vs. Chris Arreola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mitchell’s chin is so fragile that he might want to consider calling it a career.  Golden Boy’s CEO says he’s advised Mitchell to do just that, though he reports that Mitchell seems to have no such intention.
18) Johnathon Banks (2-4)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Francesco Pianeta (2-3)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO2 Robert Teuber (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Eddie Chambers (1-1)
Last Fight: 3/29/2014- TKO6 Tomas Mrazek (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers still has enough credentials left over from his prior stint at heavyweight to be ranked- if only barely- after a failed foray into the division to the south.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Thursday
Luis Ortiz vs. Monte Barrett; Indio, California; FS1 (US)
Cuban native Ortiz is a very promising prospect who burst on the scene in 2010 with a win over high-level journeyman Zack Page in just his 4th pro fight.  Unfortunately, Page is still the best opponent he’s mixed it up with, and he’s given us all a lot of reasons to forget him over the last 2+ years, since his last fight against even a semi-serious opponent.  He’s back on the right track this week, taking on veteran Monte Barrett.  Barrett is probably the best opponent he’s faced at least since Page, and was borderline top-50 even after losing to Shane Cameron in July 2012.  On the other hand, this is the first fight since then for the 42 year-old Barrett, and he’s clearly best viewed more as a mid-level journeyman at the moment.

 

Gerald Washington vs. Skipp Scott; Indio, California; FS1 (US)
Washington is on my radar as a prospect.  I’ve got him in the top 35 unofficially based on his win over Sherman Williams, who was fresh off what easily could have been a draw against Robert Helenius.  That being said, he didn’t look particularly good in notching that win, and I would say I probably overrate him as compared to his actual skill.  He’s not a seasoned boxer, though, and probably does have room to improve.  If Washington is all hat and no cattle, Scott might just be a guy who can expose him.  He’s not necessarily anything special himself, but he’s coming off a win over Kertson Manswell- a garden variety journeyman, but a guy that can at least handle himself- and has shown good power, albeit against sub-par competition.  Manswell aside, he hasn’t faced anyone remotely worth mentioning, but for what it’s worth he is undefeated since a 4-round decision loss in his first career fight over 8 years ago.

 

Friday
#4 Steve Cunningham vs. Amir Mansour; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NBC Sports (US)
Cunningham is by a large margin the classier boxer in this one, and his resume speaks for itself.  Mansour is taking a significant step up, and this is by far the best opponent of the unbeaten 41 year-old’s abbreviated career.  If you’re looking for a case to be made for Mansour, here it is.  Mansour is a pure, clubbing puncher.  He will look to come after the naturally smaller Cunningham all night.  Cunningham showed in his last major fight against Fury that he can be worn down physically by a bigger man who imposes himself, and his chin looked shaky before his move up from cruiserweight.  It’s not a crazy thought to imagine Mansour landing a big shot here and there to take over the fight.  I’d call this one a lot more intriguing than your average top-5 versus top-25 match up.

 

Saturday
#5 Kubrat Pulev vs. TBA; Rostock, Germany; BoxNation (UK)
Pulev was reportedly scheduled to fight unknown journeyman Elijah McCall, but McCall denied that the fight will happen as of Monday.  I assume Pulev will still fight someone, but I can’t imagine it being anything but an easy stay-busy outing.

Heavyweight: 2014, Mar 3-9

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on July 22, 2014 by danboxing
There were no significant heavyweight contests last week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (245-458-458)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. #14 Alex Leapai
Klitschko-Leapai appears to be finalized for April 26 in Germany.  He said recently that he wants to capture his brother’s old alphabet title, which would unify all the major titles for the first time since Lewis in 1999.  He would have to wait for someone else to pick it up first, as the silly alphabets don’t let current titlists fight for vacant titles.
1) Tyson Fury (3-3-3)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury appears to be on a collision course with Chisora for the summer.  He also continues to call out Wladimir Klitschko.
2) Alexander Povetkin (3-332-332)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Chisora has been ruled out as Povetkin’s next opponent.
3) Steve Cunningham (3-63-63)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD8 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/4/2014- vs. Amir Mansour (UNR)
Cunningham takes on unbeaten fringe contender Amir Mansour in Cunningham’s hometown of Philadelphia on April 4.
4) Tomasz Adamek (3-202-202)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #19 Vyacheslav Glazkov
The rescheduled fight with Glazkov is now official for March 15.
5) Kubrat Pulev (3-96-173)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO5 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Pulev is back on the Braehmer card on April 5 in Rostock, Germany, but no opponent just yet.
6) Dereck Chisora (3-118-181)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Fury and Povetkin’s notes, above.
7) Odlanier Solis (3-50-197)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #11 Tony Thompson
Solis was first set to fight Kevin Johnson.  But he backed out because the IBF wanted him to fight Takam.  But now word from Tony Thompson is that Solis will fight Thompson, instead, on March 22.
8) Carlos Takam (3-7-7)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam clearly beat #11 Perez, and is ranked accordingly.
9) Bermane Stiverne (3-37-53)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #10 Chris Arreola
The latest rumors have the Arreola fight taking place in June and in Mexico.
10) Chris Arreola (3-26-26)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #9 Bermane Stiverne
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
11) Tony Thompson (3-197)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #7 Odlanier Solis
Thompson is fighting Odlanier Solis on March 22.
12) Erkan Teper (3-27)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper might have scored the heavyweight knockout of the year, and probably retired Martin Rogan in the process.
13) Deontay Wilder (3-45)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO4 Nicolai Firtha (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #20 Malik Scott
Wilder will fight his close friend, Malik Scott, on March 15.
14) Alex Leapai (3-15)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Leapai-Klitschko is done for April 26 in Germany.
15) Robert Helenius (3-197)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
We finally have a bit of clarification on the Helenius-Sauerland situation.  Helenius says that when he signed a promotional contract with Sauerland in 2007, he had no representation and couldn’t even read it in German.  He is currently trying to get a Finnish court to allow him to fight in Finland, as he says Sauerland is blocking him from fighting now despite the fact that his health will now allow it.
16) Andy Ruiz (3-15)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ruiz passed up a proposed date in February, saying he wants to focus on weight loss so that his performances become more of a story than his physique.  He wants to be around or below 240.
17) Seth Mitchell (3-39)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- L (TKO1) vs. Chris Arreola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mitchell’s chin is so fragile that he might want to consider calling it a career.  Golden Boy’s CEO says he’s advised Mitchell to do just that, though he reports that Mitchell seems to have no such intention.
18) Alexander Dimitrenko (3-164)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko is rumored at least to be fighting Sam Sexton in the first round of the WBC World Cup, but that tournament appears to be in limbo for the time being, at least.  In the meantime, Dimitrenko is set to be removed for inactivity next week.
19) Vyacheslav Glazkov (3-63)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #4 Tomasz Adamek
Glazkov-Adamek is back on, for March 15, after the first attempt was cancelled due to an Adamek illness.
20) Malik Scott (3-54)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- L (KO6*) vs. #8 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #13 Deontay Wilder
See Wilder’s notes, above.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Nothing important to report this week.

Heavyweight: 2014, Feb 24- Mar 2

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on June 20, 2014 by danboxing
Former fringe contender Ray Austin dominated hapless opponent Earl Ladson in for a 6-round unanimous decision in his hometown of Cleveland- his first fight since he lost to a mostly-unknown Bermane Stiverne in 2011.  He’s only very arguably a top 50 heavyweight after such a long layoff, but in fairness, both guys (Solis and Stiverne) that he lost too in the last 5 years are now clear top 10 fighters.

 

No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (244-457-457)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. #14 Alex Leapai
Klitschko-Leapai appears to be finalized for April 26 in Germany.  He said recently that he wants to capture his brother’s old alphabet title, which would unify all the major titles for the first time since Lewis in 1999.  He would have to wait for someone else to pick it up first, as the silly alphabets don’t let current titlists fight for vacant titles.
1) Tyson Fury (2-2-2)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury appears to be on a collision course with Chisora for the summer.  He also continues to call out Wladimir Klitschko.
2) Alexander Povetkin (2-331-331)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
There are rumors of a May fight in Moscow with Dereck Chisora, though there’s also a good chance that Chisora will fight Tyson Fury around that time.
3) Steve Cunningham (2-62-62)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD8 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/4/2014- vs. Amir Mansour (UNR)
Cunningham takes on unbeaten fringe contender Amir Mansour in Cunningham’s hometown of Philadelphia on April 4.
4) Tomasz Adamek (2-201-201)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #19 Vyacheslav Glazkov
The rescheduled fight with Glazkov is now official for March 15.
5) Kubrat Pulev (2-95-172)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO5 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Pulev is back on the Braehmer card on April 5 in Rostock, Germany, but no opponent just yet.
6) Dereck Chisora (2-117-180)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Fury and Povetkin’s notes, above.
7) Odlanier Solis (2-49-196)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #11 Tony Thompson
Solis was first set to fight Kevin Johnson.  But he backed out because the IBF wanted him to fight Takam.  But now word from Tony Thompson is that Solis will fight Thompson, instead, on March 22.
8) Carlos Takam (2-6-6)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam clearly beat #11 Perez, and is ranked accordingly.
9) Bermane Stiverne (2-36-52)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #10 Chris Arreola
Purse bids were cancelled as Stiverne and Arreola reached an agreement for their upcoming alphabet title fight, with April being targeted.
10) Chris Arreola (2-25-25)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #9 Bermane Stiverne
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
11) Tony Thompson (2-196)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: 3/22/2014- vs. #7 Odlanier Solis
Thompson is fighting Odlanier Solis on March 22.
12) Erkan Teper (2-26)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper might have scored the heavyweight knockout of the year, and probably retired Martin Rogan in the process.
13) Deontay Wilder (2-44)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO4 Nicolai Firtha (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #20 Malik Scott
Wilder will fight his close friend, Malik Scott, on March 15.
14) Alex Leapai (2-14)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Leapai-Klitschko is done for April 26 in Germany.
15) Robert Helenius (2-196)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
We finally have a bit of clarification on the Helenius-Sauerland situation.  Helenius says that when he signed a promotional contract with Sauerland in 2007, he had no representation and couldn’t even read it in German.  He is currently trying to get a Finnish court to allow him to fight in Finland, as he says Sauerland is blocking him from fighting now despite the fact that his health will now allow it.
16) Andy Ruiz (2-14)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ruiz passed up a proposed date in February, saying he wants to focus on weight loss so that his performances become more of a story than his physique.  He wants to be around or below 240.
17) Seth Mitchell (2-38)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- L (TKO1) vs. Chris Arreola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mitchell’s chin is so fragile that he might want to consider calling it a career.  Golden Boy’s CEO says he’s advised Mitchell to do just that, though he reports that Mitchell seems to have no such intention.
18) Alexander Dimitrenko (2-163)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko is rumored at least to be fighting Sam Sexton in the first round of the WBC World Cup, but that tournament appears to be in limbo for the time being, at least.
19) Vyacheslav Glazkov (2-62)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #4 Tomasz Adamek
Glazkov-Adamek is back on, for March 15, after the first attempt was cancelled due to an Adamek illness.
20) Malik Scott (2-53)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- L (KO6*) vs. #8 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. #13 Deontay Wilder
See Wilder’s notes, above.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Nothing to report this week.