Archive for Tony Averlant

Light Heavyweight: 2013, Apr 22-28

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Light Heavyweight: 2013, Jan 14-20

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 26, 2013 by danboxing
It was upset time in St. Quentin, France on Saturday.  #20 Tony Averlant- who claimed a ranking by earning a clear victory over Eddy Gutknecht (which he was robbed of) last year- had what looked like a soft touch on his agenda in Germany’s Mounir Toumi, a 14-11 journeyman who had been stopped by several unidentifiable nobodies in his undistinguished career.  But Toumi shocked Averlant by taking a 10-round split decision in his opponent’s backyard.  The fight was obviously close and I would really like a look at it, but considering that the general public isn’t aware of Averlant’s performance in the Gutknecht fight, the fight was so under the radar that I’m not sure a video even exists.  I suppose the likelihood of foul play is below average anyway, since it’s fairly rare for local favorites to get robbed at home, but stranger things have happened. 

 

Whatever the case may be, I’ve got to take the result at face value.  Averlant just lost to a sub-par journeyman.  Obviously he can’t maintain his ranking with that being the case.  As for Toumi, it’s true that, as a general rule, a guy that beats a #20 contender is likely to earn a ranking.  But even a cursory glance at Toumi’s record makes it obvious that he’s an exception. He’s lost 11 fights, and only one of those losses was to a fighter that a hardcore fan would have heard of (Pawel Glazewski).  Maybe Baker Barakat also, but that is mostly because he’s fought good fighters- not for being good himself.  Toumi’s nowhere close to a ranking.  Filling the void is Eleider Alvarez- the undefeated Montreal-based Colombian undefeated prospect- who debuts at #20.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (19-19-19)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 Champ Chad Dawson (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward’s surgery is complete.  He’s expected to be out until at least Summer.
1) Chad Dawson (19-346-346)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- L(TKO10) vs. SMW Champ Andre Ward (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #3 Jean Pascal
Likely in large part due to Pascal’s torn shoulder, Dawson will be fighting Pascal sometime in May rather than March.  In the mean time, Dawson has switched trainers from John Scully back to Eddie Mustafa Muhammed.
2) Bernard Hopkins (19-345-345)
Last Fight: 4/28/2012- L(MD12) vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: 3/9/2012- vs. #5 Tavoris Cloud
Hopkins appeared likely to fight Nathan Cleverly, but instead opted for Tavoris Cloud.  The fight will take place in Brooklyn.
3) Jean Pascal (19-187-187)
Last Fight: 12/14/2012- UD10 Alexei Kuziemski (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #1 Chad Dawson
This latest delay is really testing my patience on continuing to rate Pascal, who will not have fought for approximately 2 years at 175 when the Dawson fight goes down.  But he keeps staying rateable by constantly having a fight scheduled- even if the fights seldom come off when intended.
4) Gabriel Campillo (19-134-134)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #3 Tavoris Cloud (Robbery)
Next Fight: 1/19/2013- vs. Sergei Kovalev (UNR)
Campillo will now officially fight hot prospect Sergey Kovalev on January 19, in Bethlehem, PA, on NBC Sports.
5) Tavoris Cloud (19-177-177)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12* vs. #4 Gabriel Campillo (Robbery)
Next Fight: 3/9/2013- vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Perhaps Cloud’s reasoning for pulling out of the Murat fight had something to do with his apparently better-than-expected chances of landing a much more lucrative Hopkins battle- a fight that now appears set for March.
6) Cornelius White (19-27-57)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- UD12 #10 Dmitri Sukhotski
Next Fight: Unknown
White is on a tear.  Is he really top-5 good?  I wouldn’t think so, but he proves me wrong every time I feel I might be overrating him.
7) Nathan Cleverly (19-154-154)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO8 Shawn Hawk (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/16/2013- vs. Robin Krasniqi (UNR)
Cleverly will be fighting a long-rumored fight with fringe prospect Robin Krasniqi on March 16 in the UK.
8) Tony Bellew (27-66-66)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- UD12 Roberto Feliciano Bolonti (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #11 Isaac Chilemba
A big time opportunity for two up-and-comers on tap for March 30, as Bellew collides with Isaac Chilemba in Liverpool.
9) Karo Murat (19-68-89)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO7 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
No idea what’s next for Murat after Cloud left him at the proverbial altar.
10) Beibut Shumenov (19-130-134)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- UD12 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
11) Isaac Chilemba (9-50)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- UD8 Rayco Saunders (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #8 Tony Bellew
Up-and-coming African star Chilemba takes a high-risk, high-reward fight on March 30 in Tony Bellew’s hometown of Liverpool.
12) Vyacheslav Uzelkoff (9-50)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- TKO1 Giorgi Marosi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Uzelkoff easily dispatched Marosi, in a fight so last-minute that I didn’t even know about it a week in advance.
13) Andrzej Fonfara (9-27)
Last Fight: 11/16/2012- TKO7 Tommy Karpency (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2013- vs. Nicholson Poulard (UNR)
Fonfara is scheduled to be in action on March 22 in Chicago.  His opponent is Jean Pascal’s brother, journeyman Nicholson Poulard.
14) Yusaf Mack (9-134)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- L(KO3) vs. #1 SMW Carl Froch (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s no shame to lose to Carl Froch, but Mack’s showing was bad enough that you’ve got to wonder if he’s finished.
15) Jürgen Brähmer (19-39)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- UD10 Vikapita Meroro (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/2/2013- vs. Eduard Gutknecht (UNR)
Braehmer has reportedly rescheduled his fight with Gutknecht for early February.  We’ll see if he follows through this time- always a big “if” with him.
16) Lucian Bute (11-11)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 #16 Denis Grachev
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute was trying to fight Kelly Pavlik, but with Pavlik retiring, it now looks like the Romanian may instead fight the winner of Nikola Sjekloca vs Sakio Bika (it will be Bika) for the right to fight Andre Ward next.  This would of course be at 168.
17) Denis Grachev (11-38)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- L(UD12) vs. SMW #4 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Grachev put forth a valiant effort against a heavy favorite in Bute, even after presumably draining almost all the way to 168.  As a result, his ranking remains mostly intact.
18) Dmitri Sukhotski (11-116)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO1 Vladimir Borovsky (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Mikkel Kessler (11-35)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO3 Brian Magee (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kessler dismantled Brian Magee, but that was at 168.  I don’t know if Kessler plans to compete at light heavy again anytime soon.  He is in very significant discussions to rematch Froch at 168 right now.
20) Eleider Alvarez (1-1)
Last Fight: 12/14/2012- KO8 Danny McIntosh (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alvarez is a real prospect to watch.  He’d be ranked even higher if his fight with McIntosh had been under the 175 limit, I do believe.

 

The Week Ahead: Two fights to mention- both on Saturday.  In the biggest one, #4 Gabriel Campillo hopes to both beat his opponent and actually win for a change when he takes on power-punching undefeated prospect Sergey Kovalev.  He might be in for another tough night on the cards, though.  Kovalev is the house fighter, and Campillo lacks knockout power. 

 

Meanwhile, in Santa Clara, Argentina, local gatekeeper type Roberto Feliciano Bolonti looks to rebound from his recent loss to Tony Bellew when he takes on mid-level journeyman Franco Sanchez.

Light Heavyweight: 2013, Jan 7-13

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 25, 2013 by danboxing
No notable light heavyweight fights were available to ring in the new year.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (18-18-18)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 Champ Chad Dawson (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward’s surgery is complete.  He’s expected to be out until at least Summer.
1) Chad Dawson (18-345-345)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- L(TKO10) vs. SMW Champ Andre Ward (at SMW)
Next Fight: 3/23/2013- vs. #3 Jean Pascal
Jean Pascal tore a shoulder muscle and tendon, but somehow still expects to be good to go against Dawson on March 23.
2) Bernard Hopkins (18-344-344)
Last Fight: 4/28/2012- L(MD12) vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: 3/9/2012- vs. #5 Tavoris Cloud
Hopkins appeared likely to fight Nathan Cleverly, but instead opted for Tavoris Cloud.  The fight will take place in Brooklyn.
3) Jean Pascal (18-186-186)
Last Fight: 12/14/2012- UD10 Alexei Kuziemski (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/23/2013- vs. #1 Chad Dawson
See Dawson’s notes, above.
4) Gabriel Campillo (18-133-133)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #3 Tavoris Cloud (Robbery)
Next Fight: 1/19/2013- vs. Sergei Kovalev (UNR)
Campillo will now officially fight hot prospect Sergei Kovalev on January 19, in Bethlehem, PA, on NBC Sports.
5) Tavoris Cloud (18-176-176)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12* vs. #4 Gabriel Campillo (Robbery)
Next Fight: 3/9/2013- vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Perhaps Cloud’s reasoning for pulling out of the Murat fight had something to do with his apparently better-than-expected chances of landing a much more lucrative Hopkins battle- a fight that now appears set for March.
6) Cornelius White (18-26-56)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- UD12 #10 Dmitri Sukhotski
Next Fight: Unknown
White is on a tear.  Is he really top-5 good?  I wouldn’t think so, but he proves me wrong every time I feel I might be overrating him.
7) Nathan Cleverly (18-153-153)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO8 Shawn Hawk (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/16/2013- vs. Robin Krasniqi (UNR)
Cleverly will be fighting a long-rumored fight with fringe prospect Robin Krasniqi on March 16 in the UK.
8) Tony Bellew (26-65-65)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- UD12 Roberto Feliciano Bolonti (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Bellew has a date set for Liverpool in late March, but no opponent as of yet.
9) Karo Murat (18-67-88)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO7 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
No idea what’s next for Murat after Cloud left him at the proverbial altar.
10) Beibut Shumenov (18-129-133)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- UD12 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
11) Isaac Chilemba (8-49)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- UD8 Rayco Saunders (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba came in a bit heavy, but performed as expected, shutting out journeyman Rayco Saunders.
12) Vyacheslav Uzelkoff (8-49)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- TKO1 Giorgi Marosi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Uzelkoff easily dispatched Marosi, in a fight so last-minute that I didn’t even know about it a week in advance.
13) Andrzej Fonfara (8-26)
Last Fight: 11/16/2012- TKO7 Tommy Karpency (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/22/2013- vs. Nicholson Poulard (UNR)
Fonfara is scheduled to be in action on March 22 in Chicago.  His opponent is Jean Pascal’s brother, journeyman Nicholson Poulard.
14) Yusaf Mack (8-133)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- L(KO3) vs. #1 SMW Carl Froch (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s no shame to lose to Carl Froch, but Mack’s showing was bad enough that you’ve got to wonder if he’s finished.
15) Jürgen Brähmer (18-38)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- UD10 Vikapita Meroro (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/2/2013- vs. Eduard Gutknecht (UNR)
Braehmer has reportedly rescheduled his fight with Gutknecht for early February.  We’ll see if he follows through this time- always a big “if” with him.
16) Lucian Bute (10-10)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 #16 Denis Grachev
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute is apparently not fighting Froch next afterall, with Kelly Pavlik being the current target.  The rematch could still happen in the fall, though.
17) Denis Grachev (10-37)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- L(UD12) vs. SMW #4 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Grachev put forth a valiant effort against a heavy favorite in Bute, even after presumably draining almost all the way to 168.  As a result, his ranking remains mostly intact.
18) Dmitri Sukhotski (10-115)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO1 Vladimir Borovsky (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Mikkel Kessler (10-34)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO3 Brian Magee (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kessler dismantled Brian Magee, but that was at 168.  I don’t know if Kessler plans to compete at light heavy again anytime soon.
20) Tony Averlant (10-41)
Last Fight: 11/9/2012- UD6 Lubo Hantak (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/12/2013- vs. Mounir Toumi (UNR)
Averlant is moving back up to a 12-rounder against a lower-mid-level journeyman.  A step up from his last fight, but still not doing him any favors.

 

The Week Ahead: In St. Quentin, France, #20 Tony Averlant takes on low-level German journeyman Mounir Toumi in a 10-rounder.

Year-End Awards: Light Heavyweight, 2012

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Yearly Awards and Wrap Up with tags , , , , , , , on January 4, 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!

 

Light Heavyweight Fighter of the Year: Chad Dawson
Obviously it was an up-and-down year for Dawson, which ended on a low note, but since Andre Ward never actually fought in the weight class despite winning its championship, Dawson is still the only light heavyweight to have beaten a Champion this year.  The runner up would be Campillo.

 

Prospect of the Year: Isaac Chilemba
It’s a bit surprising- considering his major victory in February that had him on the cusp of the top 10- that I’m still talking about Chilemba as a prospect.  He’s already been in the top 20 in two divisions now.  But perhaps largely due to a withdrawal on the part of would-be September opponent Zsolt Erdei, Chilemba failed to follow up on that victory, and has stalled at the #11-12 range.  Since a fighter only loses prospect designation for me when they either crack the top 10 or lose too much, and since the only other comparable win this year by a prospect was a questionable one by Andrzej Fonfara, Chilemba carries the category.

 

Most Important Knockout of the Year: Denis Grachev TKO8 #15 Ismayl Sillakh
Ward’s TKO of Dawson was the stoppage during the year that had the greatest effect on the division, but I’ve decided not to consider it because it didn’t actually happen in a fight at this weight at all.  Instead, unheralded prospect Denis Grachev’s arrival on the scene with his shocking knockout of the more advanced Ismayl Sillakh- which allowed not only Grachev, but also Lucian Bute, to enter the rankings at 175, and sent Sillakh reeling into relative obscurity- takes the prize.  Click “TKO8” to see a video.

 

Most Sensational Knockout of the Year: #7 Tony Bellew TKO5 #20 Danny McIntosh
As sensational as Grachev’s stoppage of Sillakh was, there are really only two choices.  Bellew’s sensational right hand counter shot put McIntosh’s lights out instantly.  The same could be said of Mikkel Kessler’s fantastic left hook to the chin of Allan Green.  I’m not sure how I chose, except perhaps that the Bellew knockout seemed more exciting while watching the fight.  Perhaps the raucous Liverpool crowd deserves the credit for that, as they absolutely lost their minds when Bellew’s shot connected, while Kessler’s Copenhagen fans were a bit more reserved.  Click “TKO5” in the headline to see a video.

 

Match-Up of the Year: Champ Bernard Hopkins vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Considering Hopkins had already beaten #1 Contender Jean Pascal, this was the best fight that could have been made in the division.  Or at least the best combination of rankings.  The fight itself was a snoozer, but this is a purely numerical award as I distribute it.  It also featured the oldest man to defend his title (legitimate or otherwise) since George Foreman, and began the short reign of Dawson.

 

Fight of the Year: Mikkel Kessler KO4 Allan Green
The main contenders for this honor for me are Bute-Grachev (a competitive, close style clash with decent action), Kessler-Green (a see-saw chess match with moments of intense excitement), and Cloud-Campillo (a great comeback from a disastrous round, clouded by an atrocious robbery).  If you like gritty distance fights, you’d pick Bute-Grachev.  If you like effective boxing and occasional excitement in your distance fights (or unnecessary drama), Cloud-Campillo is for you.  But I went with the short but sweet Kessler-Green.  You can’t ask for much more competitiveness than a 10-8 first round for the guy that lost the fight a few rounds later, nor can you ask for a better finish than the knockout of the year candidate scored by Kessler.
 
Upset of the Year: Tony Averlant Robbery SD12 L vs. #12 Eduard Gutknecht
Okay, so maybe this wasn’t technically an upset.  The favored guy technically won, but only because of biased judges.  Averlant clearly beat Gutknecht, and it was the shocker of the year despite the scorecards.  Averlant came in as a journeyman with 5 losses, while Gutknecht- despite a poor performance in his previous fight against Vyachelsav Uzelkoff- looked to be a pretty strong #12.

 

Comeback Fighter of the Year: Cornelius White
White began this comeback last year by taking a 6-rounder against fringe contender Yordanis Despaigne, but put himself all the way up near the top tier of contenders with his shocking and dominant 12-round drubbing of 10th-ranked Dmitri Sukhotski.  What was he coming back from, you ask?  The answer is relative obscurity, courtesy of his brutal February 2011 first round beatdown at the hands of ordinary prospect Don George.

 

Robbery of the Year: #3 Tavoris Cloud W (SD12) vs. #4 Gabriel Campillo
This isn’t even the worst robbery Campillo has been victimized by in recent years, but it’s the worst in the division- and one of the worst in the sport- during 2012.  Campillo all but dominated the fight after going down twice in the opening round, and very obviously won 115-111 or 114-112.  It’s not just that the judges missed the call.  One of them in particular- David Robertson- embarrassed himself, the sport, and likely his own mother by scoring the fight for Cloud 116-110.  That means- giving Cloud all benefit of the doubt- that Robertson scored no less than 4 obvious Campillo rounds in favor of Cloud.  He made Joel Elizondo’s preposterous 114-112 Cloud card look positively acceptable by comparison.  All Elizondo did is give all the close rounds to Cloud, plus two that Campillo clearly won.  All in a day’s work for a Texas boxing judge, I guess.  Credit to the third judge, Denny Nelson, who scored it 115-111 for Campillo.  The runner up for this dubious award is Gutknecht-Averlant.

 

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) Chad Dawson
Significant Results: Apr 28- W (MD12) vs. Champ Bernard Hopkins.  Sep 8- L (TKO10) vs. Super Middleweight Champ Andre Ward (at Super Middleweight).
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Apr 29: #2.  Apr 30-Sep 9: Champ.  Sep 10-Dec 31: #1.
2) Gabriel Campillo
Significant Results: Feb 18- Robbery Loss (SD12) vs. #3 Tavoris Cloud.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 19: #4.  Feb 20-Sep 9: #3.  Sep 10-Dec 31: #4.
3) Cornelius White
Significant Results: Jul 14- UD12 #10 Dmitri Sukhotski.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 5: #14.  Feb 6-Apr 1: #16.  Apr 2-22: #15.  Apr 23-May 20: #16.  May 21-27: #17.  May 28-Jul 15: #16.  Jul 16-Sep 9: #5.  Sep 10-Dec 31: #6.
4) Tony Bellew
Significant Results: Apr 27- TKO5 #20 Danny McIntosh.  Sep 8- TKO9 Fringe Contender Edison Miranda.  Nov 17- UD12 Fringe Contender Roberto Bolonti.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Jul 15: #7.  Jul 16-Dec 31: #8.
5) Isaac Chilemba
Significant Results: Feb 3- UD10 #16 Edison Miranda.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 5: Unranked.  Feb 6-Sep 9: #11.  Sep 10-Nov 18: #12.  Nov 19-Dec 31: #11.
6) Vyacheslav Uzelkoff
Significant Results: Feb 4- Questionable Loss (UD12) vs. #8 Eduard Gutknecht.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 5: Unranked.  Feb 6-Apr 1: #13.  Apr 2-Sep 9: #12.  Sep 10-Nov 18: #13.  Nov 19-Dec 31: #12.
7) Andrzej Fonfara
Significant Results: Jul 13- Robbery UD10 W (possibly draw) vs. Contender Glen Johnson.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Jul 15: Unranked.  Jul 16-Sep 9: #13.  Sep 10-Nov 18: #14.  Nov 19-Dec 31: #13.
8) Tony Averlant
Significant Results: Mar 31- Robbery Loss (SD12) vs. #12 Eduard Gutknecht.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Apr 1: Unranked.  Apr 2-22: #17.  Apr 23-May 20: #18.  May 21-27: #19.  May 28-Jun 10: #18.  Jun 11-Jul 15: #17.  Jul 16-Sep 9: #18.  Sep 10-Nov 4: #19.  Nov 5-Dec 31: #20.
9) Lucian Bute
Significant Results: Nov 3- UD12 #16 Denis Grachev.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Nov 4: Ranked only at Super Middleweight.  Nov 5-Dec 31: #16.
10) Denis Grachev
Significant Results: Apr 27- TKO8 #15 Ismayl Sillakh.  Nov 3- L (UD12) vs. #4 Super Middleweight Lucian Bute.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Apr 29: Unranked.  Apr 30-Jul 15: #14.  Jul 16-Sep 9: #15.  Sep 10-Nov 4: #16.  Nov 5-Dec 31: #17.
11) Eleider Alvarez
Significant Results: Jun 8- UD12 Prospect Shawn Hawk.  Dec 14- KO8 Fringe Contender Danny McIntosh (at Cruiserweight).
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
12) Mikkel Kessler
Significant Results: May 19- TKO4 Fringe Contender Allan Green.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-May 20: Ranked only at Super Middleweight.  May 21-27: #16.  May 28-Jul 15: #15.  Jul 16-Sep 9: #17.  Sep 10-Nov 4: #18.  Nov 5-Dec 31: #19.
13) Nadjib Mohammedi
Significant Results: TKO5 Gatekeeper Doudou Ngumbu.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
14) Umberto Savigne
Significant Results: May 18- TKO6 Gatekeeper Richard Hall.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
15) Mark Flanagan
Significant Results: Nov 30- TKO11 Gatekeeper Kariz Kariuki.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
16) Fulgencio Zuniga

Significant Results: Jul 19- KO7 Gatekeeper Alejandro Berrio.  Nov 10- L (UD12) vs. Super Middleweight Contender Thomas Oosthuizen (at Super Middleweight).  Dec 8- L (UD12) vs. Super Middleweight Fringe Contender James DeGale (at Super Middleweight).
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
17) Nathan Cleverly
Significant Results: Nov 10- TKO8 Fringe Prospect Shawn Hawk.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Jul 15: #5.  Jul 16-Sep 9: #6.  Sep 10-Dec 31: #7.
18) Eduard Gutknecht
Significant Results: Feb 4- Questionable W (UD12) vs. Prospect Vyacheslav Glazkov.  Mar 31- Robbery Win (SD12) vs. Journeyman Tony Averlant.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 5: #8.  Feb 6-Apr 1: #12.  Apr 2-22: #18.  Apr 23-29: #19.  Apr 30-May 20: #20.  May 21-27: Unranked.  May 28-Jun 10: #20.  Jun 11-Jul 15: #19.  Jul 16-Sep 9: #20.  Sep 10-Dec 31: Unranked.
19) Jerson Ravelo

Significant Results: Mar 24- Robbery Win (should be draw) vs. Gatekeeper Joey Spina.

2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.

20) Togasilimai Letoa

Significant Results: Mar 30- TKO3 Gatekeeper Manny Vlamis.  Nov 30- L (UD6) vs. Journeyman Tyrone Jones.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.

 

The following fighters 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:

 

Bernard Hopkins– Jan 1-Apr 29: Champ.  Apr 30-Sep 9: #1.  Sep 10-Dec 31: #2.

 

Jean Pascal– Jan 1-Apr 29: #1.  Apr 30-Sep 9: #2.  Sep 10-Dec 31: #3.

 

Tavoris Cloud– Jan 1-Feb 19: #3.  Feb 20-Sep 9: #4.  Sep 10-Dec 31: #5.

 

Karo Murat– Jan 1-Jul 15: #6.  Jul 16-Sep 9: #7.  Sep 10-Dec 31: #9.

 

Beibut Shumenov– Jan 1-Feb 5: #9.  Feb 6-Jul 15: #8.  Jul 16-Sep 9: #9.  Sep 10-Dec 31: #10.

 

Yusaf Mack– Jan 1-Feb 5: #10.  Feb 6-Jul 15: #9.  Jul 16-Sep 9: #10.  Sep 10-Nov 18: #11.  Nov 19-Dec 31: #14.

 

Dmitri Sukhotski– Jan 1-Feb 5: #11.  Feb 6-Jul 15: #10.  Jul 16-Sep 9: #16.  Sep 10-Nov 4: #17.  Nov 5-Dec 31: #18.

 

Adrian Diaconu– Jan 1-Feb 5: #12.  Feb 6-Apr 1: #14.  Apr 2-22: #13.  Apr 23-29: #14.  Apr 30-May 27: #15.  May 28-Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Ismayl Sillakh– Jan 1-Feb 5: #13.  Feb 6-Apr 1: #15.  Apr 2-22: #14.  Apr 23-29: #15.  Apr 30-May 20: #19.  May 21-27: #20.  May 28-Jun 10: #19.  Jul 11-Jul 15: #18.  Jul 16-Sep 9: #19.  Sep 10-Nov 4: #20.  Nov 5-Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Zsolt Erdei– Jan 1-Feb 5: #15.  Feb 6-Apr 1: #17.  Apr 2-22: #16.  Apr 23-May 20: #17.  May 21-27: #18.  May 28-Jun 10: #17.  Jun 11-Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Edison Miranda– Jan 1-Feb 5: #16.  Feb 6-Apr 1: #19.  Apr 2-22: #20.  Apr 23-Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Danny McIntosh– Jan 1-Feb 5: #17.  Feb 6-Apr 1: #18.  Apr 2-22: #19.  Apr 23-29: #20.  Apr 30-Jun 10: Unranked.  Jun 11-Jul 15: #20.  Jul 16-Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Jesus Gonzales– Jan 1-Feb 5: #18.  Feb 6-19: #20.  Feb 20-Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Thierry Karl– Jan 1-22: #19.  Jan 23-Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Dyah Davis– Jan 1: #20.  Jan 2-22: Unranked.  Jan 23-Feb 5: #20.  Feb 6-Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Luis Garcia– Jan 1: Unranked.  Jan 2-22: #20.  Jan 23-Feb 5: #19.  Feb 6-19: Unranked.  Feb 20-Apr 1: #20.  Apr 2-Dec 31: Unranked.
 

Light Heavyweight: 2012, Nov 12-18

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 16, 2012 by danboxing
Friday: #20 Tony Averlant won a 6-round decision over Lubo Hantak- a Slovakian who is in the discussion for the title of world’s worst light heavyweight. 

 

In Liverpool, British referee Ian John-Lewis essentially canceled the scheduled fight between Enzo Maccarinelli and Ovill McKenzie by stopping it for little or no reason in the 2nd round.  This is a candidate for worst stoppage of the year, with the only other serious contender being Gerber-Sprott.  Rumor has it that John-Lewis was walking around his hotel lobby telling everyone who would listen that he “didn’t fancy the fight” due to his belief that Maccarinelli was a shot fighter who was in danger in the ring.  Well, if true, I must say that I don’t fancy referees sabotaging fights.  If he wished to protest the fight happening, he should have turned down his appointment to it.  I’m treating this one as a no-contest due to an accidental foul by the referee that caused the fight to end before the completion of four rounds.  It’s too bad for McKenzie, too…because he really was looking pretty good.

 

Saturday: #7 Nathan Cleverly went into full windmill mode on South Dakota prospect Shawn Hawk at Staples Center in L.A., stopping Hawk in the 8th round with an overwhelming volume attack. 

 

In South Africa, undefeated local prospect Ryno Liebenberg knocked out novice Zambian journeyman Donald Kampamba in the 9th.

 

In France, local fringe contender Nadjib Mohammedi stopped low-level Russian Sergei Beloshapkin.

 

Due to the completely unsupportable stoppage in the Maccarinelli-McKenzie fight, the only remotely important fight out of these 5 is Cleverly-Hawk, and even that one doesn’t carry much weight, since Hawk is merely a borderline top-50 fighter.  Cleverly remains at #7, as he can’t come close to matching Cornelius White’s win over Sukhotski.  No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (10-10-10)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 Champ Chad Dawson (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward and Pavlik’s promoters have both confirmed that talks are underway for a February 23 fight on HBO.
1) Chad Dawson (10-337-337)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- L(TKO10) vs. SMW Champ Andre Ward (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rumors of a Dawson-Pascal rematch are now floating around.
2) Bernard Hopkins (10-336-336)
Last Fight: 4/28/2012- L(MD12) vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: 3/9/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Hopkins has decided not to hang ’em up just yet, as he says he will fight either Shumenov, Cloud, or- most likely- Cleverly on March 9 in Brooklyn.
3) Jean Pascal (10-178-178)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- L(UD12) vs. #1 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: 12/14/2012- vs. Aleksy Kuziemski
Pascal will come back in December following his long inactivity and hand injury (thus retaining his ranking), with venue and TV problems ensuring that the Cloud fight could not be rescheduled until 2013.  His opponent will be Polish gatekeeper Aleksy Kuziemski.
4) Gabriel Campillo (10-125-125)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #3 Tavoris Cloud (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
It now looks likely that Campillo will reschedule his fight with hot prospect Sergei Kovalev, from which he withdrew with injury this summer.  It looks like the fight will be the main event of a NBC Sports card from Bethlehem Pennsylvania on January 19.
5) Tavoris Cloud (10-168-168)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12* vs. #4 Gabriel Campillo (Robbery)
Next Fight: 11/24/2012- vs. #9 Karo Murat
The Cloud-Murat fight has been shifted back a week, but it will still rather inexplicably take place in Venezuela.
6) Cornelius White (10-18-48)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- UD12 #10 Dmitri Sukhotski
Next Fight: Unknown
White is on a tear.  Is he really top-5 good?  I wouldn’t think so, but he proves me wrong every time I feel I might be overrating him.
7) Nathan Cleverly (10-145-145)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- UD12 Tommy Karpency (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/10/2012- vs. Shawn Hawk (UNR)
Cleverly’s replacement opponent for his Showtime Extreme debut is actually a bit more proven than ill-fated original choice Ryan Coyne.  It’ll be proud Native American and South Dakota prospect Shawn Hawk.
8) Tony Bellew (18-57-57)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO9 Edison Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/17/2012- vs. Roberto Feliciano Bolonti (UNR)
Bellew now has an opponent for his appearance on the Froch-Mack undercard: Argentine Champion Roberto Feliciano Bolonti.
9) Karo Murat (10-59-80)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO7 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/24/2012- vs. #5 Tavoris Cloud
See Cloud’s notes, above.
10) Beibut Shumenov (10-121-125)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- UD12 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
11) Yusaf Mack (10-125)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- UD6 Sabou Ballogou (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/17/2012- vs. #1 SMW Carl Froch (at SMW)
In a fairly sudden development, Mack will drop back down to 168 to fight Carl Froch.
12) Isaac Chilemba (10-41)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- UD8 Rayco Saunders (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba came in a bit heavy, but performed as expected, shutting out journeyman Rayco Saunders.
13) Vyacheslav Uzelkoff (10-41)
Last Fight: 7/21/2012- W(MD12) vs. Mohamed Belkacem (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Andrzej Fonfara (10-18)
Last Fight: 7/13/2012- UD10* SMW #16 Glen Johnson
Next Fight: 11/16/2012- vs. Tommy Karpency (UNR)
Fonfara will fight journeyman Tommy Karpency in Chicago in mid-November.
15) Jürgen Brähmer (10-30)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- UD10 Vikapita Meroro (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Here we go again!  An announced Braehmer bout will not go forward as planned.  At least this time there was some notice.  No word on why the Gutknecht fight was scuttled.
16) Lucian Bute (2-2)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 #16 Denis Grachev
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. SMW #1 Carl Froch (at SMW)
Bute barely beat Grachev, and even more barely did so at light heavyweight, but I’ve still got to rate him. He’ll now fight a rematch with Froch in March or April.
17) Denis Grachev (2-29)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- L(UD12) vs. SMW #4 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Grachev put forth a valiant effort against a heavy favorite in Bute, even after presumably draining almost all the way to 168.  As a result, his ranking remains mostly intact.
18) Dmitri Sukhotski (2-107)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- L(UD12) vs. #16 Cornelius White
Next Fight: 12/8/2012- vs. Mikhail Ryzhonkin (UNR)
Sukhotski will look for an easy tune-up on December 8 when he fights a very weak 2-3 Russian in Russia.
19) Mikkel Kessler (2-26)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- TKO4 Allan Green (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/8/2012- vs. Brian Magee (UNR) (at SMW)
Kessler will fight Irish fringe contender Brian Magee on December 8 in Denmark.  The fight will be at 168 it would seem.
20) Tony Averlant (2-33)
Last Fight: 11/9/2012- UD6 Lubo Hantak (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It looks like Averlant’s profile hasn’t benefited much from what should have been a victory over a fringe contender from back in March, as he’s back to fighting awful opponents in 6-rounders.

 

The Week Ahead: A pair of fights each on both Friday and Saturday this week.

 

Friday: Serbian two-loss prospect Robin Krasniqi takes on Albuquerque journeyman Max Heyman in Magdeburg, Germany.  Later on in Chicago, #14 Andrzej Fonfara fights Pennsylvania journeyman Tommy Karpency.

 

Saturday: On the Froch-Mack undercard in Nottingham, #8 Tony Bellew fights Argentine fringe contender Roberto Feliciano Bolonti.  Finally, in L.A., aging 2-loss Ukranian prospect Anatoly Dudchenko battles local journeyman Tyrell Hendrix.

Light Heavyweight: 2012, Nov 5-11

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 13, 2012 by danboxing
#16 Denis Grachev put forth a heck of an effort against Lucian Bute (#4 at 168).  In truth, he fought a whole heck of a lot better than he did in his crowning victory over Ismayl Sillakh, in which he got the stoppage after being dominated for much of the fight.  He was in the fight every step of the way with Bute.  While Bute appeared to be the much sharper puncher, Grachev was able to impose his physical strength and keep Bute backing up for the vast majority of the fight.  I had it 116-112, with a possible margin of 2 rounds in either direction.  All of the judges did a good job and had it within that range. 

 

In the co-feature of the same Montreal card, two fringe contenders whose careers had been flagging lately met, giving one a chance to get back on the right track.  The combatants?  40-year-old Renan St. Juste and once-hyped prospect Allan Green.  Both men are fairly recent former super middleweights- St. Juste in his last fight, Green most recently 2 years ago.  Green put on a gutsy performance, getting dropped and badly hurt in round 4, but bouncing back to win every other round in a competitive fight.  The unfortunate backstory, however, was that Green badly missed weight (the fight was contracted for the 175 pound limit), and payed for the privilege of weighing in at 178 3/4.  This may have helped him bust St. Juste up to the tune of a 7th round stoppage by the doctor, and also may have helped him avoid being hurt worse by St. Juste’s power punching.  As a result, he gets no credit here, as these rankings don’t encompass cruiserweights who beat light heavyweights.

 

Weight is also a factor in deciding how to treat the main event.  Incredibly, Grachev came in at just 168.5 pounds, while Bute scaled 169.  I can’t see giving Bute full-fledged credit for beating a guy who was practically a super middleweight after presumably draining significantly, especially giving the fairly close margin.  But at the same time, he did technically beat a ranked light heavyweight at light heavyweight, so it’s got to count for something.  In particular, it’s only fair that he be rated ahead of wherever Grachev ends up.  Furthermore, Grachev probably shouldn’t drop too far precisely because of the disadvantages he faced from the contract weight.  The situation is fairly similar to that under which Kessler moved up to face Green, except that Green was a bit bigger, and Grachev a bit better in terms of the rankings.  But then again, Kessler won by early KO, while Bute won by close decision.  When all is said and done, Bute slips into the rankings in Grachev’s former position of #16, causing Grachev and everyone rated below him last week to backtrack one spot.  Grachev’s prior victim, Ismayl Sillakh, exits after 94 consecutive weeks.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (9-9-9)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 Champ Chad Dawson (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward and Pavlik’s promoters have both confirmed that talks are underway for a February 23 fight on HBO.
1) Chad Dawson (9-336-336)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- L(TKO10) vs. SMW Champ Andre Ward (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Rumors of a Dawson-Pascal rematch are now floating around.
2) Bernard Hopkins (9-335-335)
Last Fight: 4/28/2012- L(MD12) vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
Hopkins is currently non-committal on whether or not he’ll fight again.
3) Jean Pascal (9-177-177)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- L(UD12) vs. #1 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: 12/14/2012- vs. Aleksy Kuziemski
Pascal will come back in December following his long inactivity and hand injury (thus retaining his ranking), with venue and TV problems ensuring that the Cloud fight could not be rescheduled until 2013.  His opponent will be Polish gatekeeper Aleksy Kuziemski.
4) Gabriel Campillo (9-124-124)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #3 Tavoris Cloud (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
It now looks likely that Campillo will reschedule his fight with hot prospect Sergei Kovalev, from which he withdrew with injury this summer.  It looks like the fight will be the main event of a NBC Sports card from Bethlehem Pennsylvania on January 19.
5) Tavoris Cloud (9-167-167)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12* vs. #4 Gabriel Campillo (Robbery)
Next Fight: 11/24/2012- vs. #9 Karo Murat
The Cloud-Murat fight has been shifted back a week, but it will still rather inexplicably take place in Venezuela.
6) Cornelius White (9-17-47)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- UD12 #10 Dmitri Sukhotski
Next Fight: Unknown
White is on a tear.  Is he really top-5 good?  I wouldn’t think so, but he proves me wrong every time I feel I might be overrating him.
7) Nathan Cleverly (9-144-144)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- UD12 Tommy Karpency (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/10/2012- vs. Shawn Hawk (UNR)
Cleverly’s replacement opponent for his Showtime Extreme debut is actually a bit more proven than ill-fated original choice Ryan Coyne.  It’ll be proud Native American and South Dakota prospect Shawn Hawk.
8) Tony Bellew (17-56-56)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO9 Edison Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/17/2012- vs. Roberto Feliciano Bolonti (UNR)
Bellew now has an opponent for his appearance on the Froch-Mack undercard: Argentine Champion Roberto Feliciano Bolonti.
9) Karo Murat (9-58-79)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO7 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/24/2012- vs. #5 Tavoris Cloud
See Cloud’s notes, above.
10) Beibut Shumenov (9-120-124)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- UD12 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
11) Yusaf Mack (9-124)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- UD6 Sabou Ballogou (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/17/2012- vs. #1 SMW Carl Froch (at SMW)
In a fairly sudden development, Mack will drop back down to 168 to fight Carl Froch.
12) Isaac Chilemba (9-40)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- UD8 Rayco Saunders (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba came in a bit heavy, but performed as expected, shutting out journeyman Rayco Saunders.
13) Vyacheslav Uzelkoff (9-40)
Last Fight: 7/21/2012- W(MD12) vs. Mohamed Belkacem (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Andrzej Fonfara (9-17)
Last Fight: 7/13/2012- UD10* SMW #16 Glen Johnson
Next Fight: 11/16/2012- vs. Tommy Karpency (UNR)
Fonfara will fight journeyman Tommy Karpency in Chicago in mid-November.
15) Jürgen Brähmer (9-29)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- UD10 Vikapita Meroro (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Here we go again!  An announced Braehmer bout will not go forward as planned.  At least this time there was some notice.  No word on why the Gutknecht fight was scuttled.
16) Lucian Bute (1-1)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 #16 Denis Grachev
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. SMW #1 Carl Froch (at SMW)
Bute barely beat Grachev, and even more barely did so at light heavyweight, but I’ve still got to rate him. He’ll now fight a rematch with Froch in March or April.
17) Denis Grachev (1-28)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- L(UD12) vs. SMW #4 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Grachev put forth a valiant effort against a heavy favorite in Bute, even after presumably draining almost all the way to 168.  As a result, his ranking remains mostly intact.
18) Dmitri Sukhotski (1-106)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- L(UD12) vs. #16 Cornelius White
Next Fight: Unknown
The White loss must be a bitter disappointment for Sukhotski, who had been in line for a shot at an alphabet strap held by Cleverly for some time, but with Cleverly blatantly ducking him to great effect.
19) Mikkel Kessler (1-25)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- TKO4 Allan Green (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/8/2012- vs. Brian Magee (UNR) (at SMW)
Kessler will fight Irish fringe contender Brian Magee on December 8 in Denmark.  The fight will be at 168 it would seem.
20) Tony Averlant (1-32)
Last Fight: 3/31/2012- L*(SD12) vs. #12 Eduard Gutknecht (Robbery)
Next Fight: 11/9/2012- vs. Lubo Hantak (UNR)
Averlant is scheduled to return against a truly awful Slovakian opponent this weekend.

 

The Week Ahead: Two mentionable fights on Friday and another four on Saturday, amounting to one of the busiest weeks of the year for any division.

 

Friday: #20 Tony Averlant fights arguably one of the worst light heavyweights in the world, Slovakia’s Lubo Hantak, in France.  In a much more interesting fight in Liverpool, gatekeepers Ovill McKenzie (originally of Jamaica) and Welshman and former top Cruiserweight contender Enzo Maccarinelli do battle in an attempt to halt a negative trend in one of their careers.  The loser is likely done as anything but an opponent. 

 

Saturday: #7 Nathan Cleverly of Wales ventures to the US for the second time and faces South Dakota prospect Shawn Hawk on the Showtime Extreme-televised undercard of Mares-Moreno. 

 

Another notable Brit, Danny McIntosh, is scheduled to return in his hometown of Norwich against an unnamed opponent.  McIntosh has been out of the ring since he was roughed up by Tony Bellew back in April. 

 

Undefeated South African prospect Ryno Liebenberg will fight Zambian journeyman Donald Kampamba on the Oosthuizen-headlined card in Kempton Park, South Africa for what is being billed as a minor alphabet African title fight. 

 

Finally, fringe contender Nadjib Mohammedi of France will see action in his back yard against low-level Russian journeyman Sergei Beloshapkin (who I have referred to in the past as “Shapkin the Napkin,” due to his tendency to fall apart when hit by contenders like Gabriel Campillo and probably Mohammedi.

Light Heavyweight: 2012, Apr 2-8

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on April 9, 2012 by danboxing
Out of the three significant fights in the division this week, two of them amounted to upsets.  Well…at least they should have.

 

In Australia, gatekeeper Manny Vlamis was battered to a pulp by otherwise completely unimpressive Samoan journeyman Togasilimai Letoa, who came in with a 11-9 record.  The beating was so bad that Vlamis’ corner stopped the fight in the 3rd round.

 

In Germany (yes, get ready for it), French journeyman Tony Averlant clearly beat #12 Eduard Gutknecht anywhere between 115-113 and 116-112, but British judge Ian-John Lewis and Spanish judge Alfredo Garcia Perez botched it, giving it to Gutknecht by close margins.  A close fight, yes, but a clear-cut win for Averlant, and that’s exactly how I shall treat it.  To give credit where credit is due, Belgium’s Philippe Verbeke had it scored exactly right.

 

Avoiding the trend of underwhelming performances was former Middleweight Champion Kelly Pavlik whose alcoholism has kept him out of the ring for the last 10 months.  It was only his choice of opponent that was underwhelming, as he stopped the completely overmatched Aaron Jaco in the 2nd round.

 

I can’t give more than 2 seconds’ thought to a ranking for Letoa since he was winless in his last 8 fights coming in.  About half of those were against prospects, and about half were against bad fighters.  Vlamis was simply heavily overrated, or else his loss was a complete fluke.  Averlant has a bit of a stronger argument.  For one thing, beating a #12 contender is a lot different than beating a top-50 guy.  Also, his results have been somewhat more acceptable.  He drew with German prospect Artur Hein about a year ago, in Germany.  I’ve got to assume he probably deserved to win that fight.  Also, he avenged it in the next match.  He lost a shutout decision to Pawel Glazewski over 6 rounds, but Glazewski remains an undefeated prospect at present, the fight was in Poland, and Glasewski came in at 177.5 to Averlant’s 171.5.  The hardest one to swallow is his 2-year-old loss to fellow frenchman Abdelkader Benzinia, a roughly .500 fighter at the time who has lost his next three fights against lesser opposition since then. 

 

So how do we make sense of all of this?  Clearly Gutknecht is not as good as the stoppage of McIntosh would suggest.  Averlant is likely better today than he was 2 years ago, and likely has been the victim of hometown judges and weight disadvantages before.  Clearly you could never have imagined him cracking the top 20 before the Gutknecht fight, but it’s hard to keep him out now.  If he had been a blank slate leading up to that fight, he would be a clear member of the top 10 now.  As it is, it’s pretty clear that to avoid embarrassingly confused results in the future when Gutknecht loses to another mediocre fighter, I must put the emphasis on Gutknecht’s loss moreso than Averlant’s win.  But Gutknecht still beat a #11 contender not long ago, and McIntosh has done nothing to re-distinguish himself since then.  Accordingly, Gutknecht takes a healthy tumble down to #18.  Averlant debuts at #17 just ahead of him.  The only reason Gutknecht didn’t fall further is because Danny McIntosh (now #19) caught him on his way down.  Edison Miranda (who himself lost to a guy that is now not considered a top 20 fighter in Despaigne) rounds out the top 20, as last week’s #20 Luis Garcia is once again forced out by Averlant’s arrival.

 

It seems to me that there are two divergent ways to look at this division.  Either it’s a hot division with lots of dangerous young fighters waiting in the wings, or it’s a division with a handful of dominant fighters (arguably ending at Dawson, Campillo, or Cloud) followed by an endless sea of indistinguishably mediocre fighters.  Gutknecht is not singular in his ability to look ordinary against seemingly lesser opposition.  Campillo struggled to a draw with Murat.  Cleverly was lucky to beat Bellew.  One thing’s for sure: I’m going to thing twice before I write off a light heavyweight journeyman fighting one of my contenders again.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Bernard Hopkins (46-304-304)
Last Fight: 10/15/2011- NC vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: 4/28/2012- vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Hopkins and Dawson will square off- hopefully to a conclusion this time- on regular HBO in late April.
1) Jean Pascal (46-146-146)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- L(UD12) vs. #1 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Pascal plans a tuneup in April or May, followed by a fight with Dawson.
2) Chad Dawson (68-305-305)
Last Fight: 10/15/2011- NC* vs. Champ Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: 4/28/2012- vs. Champ Bernard Hopkins
See Hopkins’ notes, above.
3) Gabriel Campillo (7-93-93)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #3 Tavoris Cloud (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
The IBF unsurprisingly rejected Campillo’s appeal and request for an immediate rematch.  Hopefully Campillo won’t need it since everyone saw him win.
4) Tavoris Cloud (7-136-136)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12* vs. #4 Gabriel Campillo (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #6 Karo Murat
With the IBF’s complicity, he’s ducking a rematch with the man who clearly beat him, and will instead fight Karo Murat next.  Kessler is agitating for a fight with him, as well.
5) Nathan Cleverly (25-113-113)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- UD12 Tommy Karpency (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/28/2012- vs. Robin Krasniqi (UNR)
After originally quite admirably rejecting Cleverly’s proposed title fight with Krasniqi, the WBO folded and gave Cleverly 120 days after the fight to face Dmitri Sukhotski.
6) Karo Murat (27-27-48)
Last Fight: 10/1/2011- Draw (SD12) vs. #4 Gabriel Campillo
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #4 Tavoris Cloud
After a draw with Campillo, he’ll now get a chance to get screwed just as badly against Cloud.
7) Tony Bellew (25-25-25)
Last Fight: 10/15/2011- L*(MD12) vs. #4 Nathan Cleverly
Next Fight: 4/13/2012- vs. #19 Danny McIntosh
Bellew’s fight with McIntosh has been moved from Saturday the 14th to Friday the 13th.
8) Beibut Shumenov (9-89-93)
Last Fight: 7/29/2011- TKO9 Danny Santiago (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Shumenov’s attempts to get a fight with Cleverly have apparently failed.  Shumenov wants to unify the alphabet titles, but he appears to be the odd man out in a lot of those fights.  This might be an ideal time for a rematch with Campillo if he can’t get a unification at this point.
9) Yusaf Mack (9-57-93)
Last Fight: 6/25/2011- L(TKO8) vs. #3 Tavoris Cloud
Next Fight: 4/27/2012- vs. Omar Sheika (UNR)
Mack will apparently be fighting journeyman Omar Sheika on April 27 in Atlantic City.
10) Dmitri Sukhotski (9-9-75)
Last Fight: 10/8/2011- TKO2 Nadjib Mohammedi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBO originally demanded that Cleverly fight Sukhotski rather than the mediocre Krasniqi, but then backed down and gave Cleverly an extra 4 months to take the fight.
11) Isaac Chilemba (9-9)
Last Fight: 2/3/2012- UD10 #16 Edison Miranda
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba, a former super middleweight, now has the highest ranking of his career at either weight after beating fringe contender Miranda.
12) Vyacheslav Uzelkov (1-9)
Last Fight: 3/4/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #8 Eduard Gutknecht
Next Fight: Unknown
Deserved much better than a unanimous decision loss against Gutknecht, and is rewarded for it in my rankings.
13) Adrian Diaconu (1-256)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- L(UD12) vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
A quality fighter, Diaconu is nevertheless slipping in the rankings simply because he never wins against anyone above the journeyman level.  He ought to try and find some kind of mid-range fringe contender just to get a decent win, because fighting journeymen or top contenders isn’t working out for him.
14) Ismayl Sillakh (1-64)
Last Fight: 11/4/2011- TKO4 Ali Ismailov (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: 4/27/2012- vs. Denis Grachev (UNR)
With Pascal ducking him, Sillakh will settle for a fight with undefeated Russian prospect Denis Grachev on Friday Night Fights.
15) Cornelius White (1-16)
Last Fight: 12/17/2011- UD6 #16 Yordanis Despaigne
Next Fight: Unknown
White, who was blown out in one round by prospect Don George at super middleweight early in 2011, may be a fluke.  But at least for one night, he looked a lot better against former top amateur Yordanis Despaigne than did established fringe contender Edison Miranda.
16) Zsolt Erdei (1-72)
Last Fight: 6/4/2011- KO6 Byron Mitchell (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Had a fight with Pascal lined up, but Showtime couldn’t come up with the money to make it happen.
17) Tony Averlant (1-1)
Last Fight: 3/31/2012- L*(SD12) vs. #12 Eduard Gutknecht (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Averlant is probably closer to the journeyman he was on 3/30 than the solid fringe contender he became on 3/31, but a win is a win…even when it’s a loss (in Germany).
18) Eduard Gutknecht (1-48)
Last Fight: 3/31/2012- W*(SD12) vs. Tony Averlant (UNR) (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lost a close but clear fight against Averlant, but got the decision.  That’s two at least questionable verdicts in a row for Gutknecht, both against extremely unranked fighters.
19) Danny McIntosh (1-93)
Last Fight: 5/7/2011- L(TKO8) vs. Eduard Gutknecht (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/13/2012- vs. #7 Tony Bellew
McIntosh will travel to Liverpool to fight Bellew for the British title.
20) Edison Miranda (1-16)
Last Fight: 2/3/2012- L(UD10) vs. Isaac Chilemba (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Miranda was winning the fight with Chilemba before suffering a cut that appeared to really throw him off.  Hopefully he can bounce back from this setback.

 

The Week Ahead: The crap shoot that is the light heavyweight top 50 takes a week off for the Easter holiday.