Archive for Tony Bellew

Light Heavyweight: 2014, Jul 14-20

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 25, 2014 by danboxing
Thursday in Miami, Cuban (H)umberto Savigne basically just clubbed the hell out of the stationary target that was Jeff Lacy, or at least the empty shell of what once was Jeff Lacy.  This has been true for years, but Lacy needs to retire.  He barely tried, and he also behaved like a total novice by trying to complain about borderline shots behind the head that he himself caused by bending and twisting excessively.  Savigne dropped him in the first and stopped him in the second for a picnic of a win.

 

No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks   in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (97-97-97)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward lost an arbitration with his promoter, but it sounds like the rift between the two is far from solved.  Kessler is the latest guy to renew a stated desire to fight him.
1) Adonis Stevenson (58-58-58)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- UD12 #6 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevenson is very likely to fight Bernard Hopkins next, though there have been no negotiations that I’m aware of yet.
2) Bernard Hopkins (97-423-423)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- W (SD12*) vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Hopkins is considering leaving Golden Boy.  This would give him free choice between Stevenson, Kovalev, or anyone else, really.  Mohammedi is now technically his mandatory, but we’ll see if they find some way around that.
3) Jean Pascal (26-26-26)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD12 #16 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Pascal is pencilled in for a September fight, and perhaps one more before the end of the year.  There is currently talk of Tavoris Cloud being the September opponent.  That’s a significant step up from Sean Monaghan, who had been the odds-on favorite to fight Pascal on that date.
4) Sergey Kovalev (26-78-78)
Last Fight: 3/29/2014- KO7 #15 Cedric Agnew
Next Fight: 8/2/2014- vs. Blake Caparello (UNR)
Kovalev is back on August 2 against apparently one of the few guys willing to fight him- Australian undefeated prospect Blake Caparello.
5) Tony Bellew (4-144-144)
Last Fight: 7/12/2014- TKO5 Julio Cesar Dos Santos (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
By all accounts, Bellew will fight Cleverly in the fall.  The date and location is all that’s left to decide.
6) Andrzej Fonfara (4-48-105)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- L (UD12) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
There are rumors of negotiations for a fight with Chad Dawson.
7) Gabriel Campillo (4-212-212)
Last Fight: 5/9/2014- TKO7 Ricky Pow (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/1/2014- vs. #13 Thomas Williams, Jr.
This could be the start of Campillo’s resurgence, or the continuation of his decline.  He’ll fight up-and-comer Thomas Williams, Jr. on Friday Night Fights, August 1.
8) Tavoris Cloud (4-255-255)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
A September 27 fight with Pascal is a possibility.
9) Nathan Cleverly (4-232-232)
Last Fight: 7/12/2014- TKO4 Alejandro Valori (UNR)(at CW)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Bellew’s notes, above.
10) Isaac Chilemba (4-4-128)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD10 Denis Grachev (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/2/2014- vs. Cory Cummings (UNR)
Chilemba will fight on the Kovalev-Caparello card on August 2, taking on mid-level journeyman Cory Cummings in a stay-busy fight.
11) Jürgen Brähmer (4-117)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- UD12 Roberto Feliciano Bolonti (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Braehmer looked solid for 11 of the 12 rounds against Bolonti.  It’s said that he aspires to a Hopkins fight.
12) Karo Murat (4-38)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat wants Braehmer, his former stablemate, but is now without a promoter, which probably means Sauerland isn’t falling all over themselves to make that fight.
13) Thomas Williams, Jr. (4-25)
Last Fight: 4/24/2014- TKO3 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/1/2014- vs. #7 Gabriel Campillo
See Campillo’s notes, above.
14) Cedric Agnew (4-66)
Last Fight: 6/27/2014- RTD2 Shannon Miller (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After taking a risk against Kovalev and coming up short, I can only assume that his prospects for a regional title bout against Dudchenko and a IBF eliminator against Sukhotsky might both be out the window at least for the moment.
15) Edwin Rodriguez (4-53)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez was scheduled to fight Marcus Johnson on May 24, but Johnson quickly withdrew.
16) Hadillah Mohoumadi (4-55)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Cornelius White (4-135)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- L (TKO1) vs. Thomas Williams, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Never blessed with big-time promotional or managerial ties, White has risked becoming a permanent opponent with his last two losses.
18) Eleider Alvarez (4-77)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- UD10 Alexander Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Lucian Bute (4-89)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- L (UD12) vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute wants his contractually-guaranteed rematch with Pascal, a fight that appears tentatively planned for late in the year.  He recently parted ways with his long-time trainer, and says he’s in no hurry to get back in the ring.
20) Dmitry Sukhotsky (4-4)
Last Fight: 6/4/2014- UD12 Joey Vegas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I can’t find a video anywhere, but Sukhotsky’s win over Joey Vegas in Russia was suspiciously close.

 

The Week Ahead: No light heavyweight action on tap for this week.
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Cruiserweight: 2014, Jul 14-20

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 25, 2014 by danboxing
Nathan Cleverly and Tony Bellew remained on their collision course for presumably late this year, as both men took care of business on Saturday.  Cleverly led off by scoring a 4th round TKO over Argentine gatekeeper Alejandro Valori, who was dropped twice by body shots from the former light heavyweight contender.  Cleverly actually struggled more than just a little bit in the first round, as he was caught with several flush shots from the wild-swinging Valori.  The Argentine seemed to get a bit tired pretty quick though, especially after the first knockdown, which came early in the 2nd round.  He was still game and mounted the occasional offensive, sometimes even catching Cleverly clean with a shot or two, but Cleverly seems to have moved up strong to 200, and was never visibly bothered by anything.  Valori showed valor, and did get up after the second crushing body shot knockdown, but he wobbled right at about the count of 8, which gave referee Terry O’Connor all the reason he needed to call it off.  The Sky broadcast team repeatedly implied that Valori was practically a bum off the street compared to Bellew’s opponent, which I don’t get.  He was cruder, it’s fair to say, but the guy is the class of a solid Argentine scene, and quite legitimately ranked in the top 50 by Boxrec.  It was a nice little win for the Welshman, in my view.

 

Bellew had a similarly successful outing with Julio Cesar Dos Santos of Brazil, a high-level journeyman who was treated like a serious contender by the Sky team.  I would give him enough credit to say that he’s a tough nut to crack.  His defense is very sturdy, and so Bellew had to be content to poke away and score points against the Brazilian, who wasn’t throwing much himself.  He did tag Bellew once or twice in a close 3rd, but that was about all he could manage offensively.  In the 5th, he got caught hooking with a hooker, and Bellew made him pay by driving him hard to the seat of his pants.  Dos Santos staggered as he pulled himself to his feet, which was enough for Phil Edwards to call it off despite his looking relatively steady by the completion of the 8 count.  

 

Going back to Thursday, undefeated Cuban Yunier Dorticos got a wide decision win over faded former middleweight contender Edison Miranda in Miami.  Fox Sports 1 picked the fight up at the halfway point, so I can only speak with any detail of the last half.  For that last half, Miranda was very much a live dog, getting an occasional shot in, and showing a good chin even 40 pounds up from his prime fighting weight.  Dorticos, for his part, seemed to be tiring for the part of the fight I saw, and his punches were consequently not as concise as I’d expect, while his defense was a bit on the lax side.  Still, considering I only came in at round 6, it wasn’t bad, and his overall ability was still more than enough to handle Miranda.  I scored 4 of the 5 rounds for Dorticos, with only one other round being a toss-up that could go to Miranda.  I can’t give you a true range of scores or my exact score.  I will say that Bob Sheridan and Raul Marquez both said the 6th, which Dorticos clearly one, was Miranda’s best round to that point.  If that’s the case, you might assume a shutout through 5.  With that being assumed, my score would be 99-91, with 98-92 also being a reasonable score.  Judge Alex Levin had it 99-91, which I’m obviously okay with.  Judges Rocky Young and Richard Green both had it a shutout, which, with all due respect, are not credible scores.

 

Cleverly’s debut at the serious level of the cruiserweight division is enough to cut through the soft 4th quarter of the top 20 like the butter it basically is, and he ends up at #14.  Everyone ranked #14-17 last week falls a spot.  #18 Dmytro Kucher is removed for inactivity, which allows #19 and 20 Seferi and Perdomo to maintain their rankings.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Marco Huck (9-397-397)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: 8/30/2014- vs. Mirko Larghetti (UNR)
As it turns out, Huck’s August 30 opponent will be Mirko Larghetti, the Italian prospect he was scheduled to fight earlier this year before injury scuttled the bout.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (9-212-212)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #6 Firat Arslan
Hernandez is set to fight Arslan on August 16, in Erfurt, Germany.  
3) Denis Lebedev (9-232-232)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Given his legitimate injury that shelved him for a big chunk of the year and the fact that his opponent screwed him over via PED use, I’m going to use my discretion and leave Lebedev ranked at this point.  Still, his best work is simply getting too old to stay at the very top.  Some reports have him returning in the fall against Pawel Kolodziej.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (44-473-473)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s looking like Wlodarczyk will be back in August, possibly against BJ Flores, though Makabu’s win over Glen Johnson has him in position for a shot, as well.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (25-50-88)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu’s scheduled fight with Brazilian prospect was scrapped on just a day’s notice due to the surprise withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
6) Firat Arslan (25-114-157)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- UD8 Tamas Bajzath (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
See Hernandez’s notes, above.
7) Grigory Drozd (34-41-88)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
8) Rakhim Chakhkiev (7-7-7)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- UD12 #11 Santander Silgado
Next Fight: Unknown
Chakhkiev has finally cashed in a high-level win to go with his hype and promise.  Most likely another title shot is not far off.
9) Ilunga Makabu (3-3-53)
Last Fight: 6/28/2014- TKO9 Glen Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Makabu didn’t look great for most of his fight with 45 year-old Glen Johnson, but he had a lot more in the tank than the old veteran, and became only the 2nd guy to get him out of there.
10) Ola Afolabi (3-279-279)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
The rumor that is Pawel Kolodziej is once again involved in a fight that’s not coming off, as he withdrew from his July 26 date with Afolabi, who is now in search of a replacement.
11) Lukasz Janik (3-37)
Last Fight: 6/28/2014- UD10 Rico Hoye (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik did enough to beat a perhaps better-than-expected Rico Hoye, but didn’t exactly light the world on fire in doing so.
12) Ovill McKenzie (3-14)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- TKO2 Jon-Lewis Dickinson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After blowing out the British Champion, McKenzie has his sites set on a European or perhaps World belt.  He wants to fight Marco Huck most of all.
13) Youri Kalenga (3-4)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- W (SD12*) vs. #12 Mateusz Masternak
Next Fight: Unknown
How a guy can get dominated by Arturs Kulikauskis, only to come back and dominate Mateusz Masternak within about 9 months, is beyond me.  Still, the former fight aside, he’s got another pretty nice win on his resume right before that, over Iago Kiladze, a then-undefeated prospect.
14) Nathan Cleverly (1-1)
Last Fight: 7/12/2014- TKO4 Alejandro Valori (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Cleverly will likely fight Bellew in November, give or take.
15) Giacobbe Fragomeni (1-296)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Olegs Lopajevs (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The fight with Lopajevs was purely a stay-busy contest, but he’s talking about another title shot even at 44 years old.
16) Mateusz Masternak (1-120)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- L (SD12*) vs. Youri Kalenga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Having now lost to his last two decent opponents, the future of Masternak, who looked like a can’t-miss talent not long ago, seems very much in doubt.
17) Santander Silgado (1-37)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- L (UD12) vs. Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I don’t want to say Silgado made it easy for Chakhkiev, because it looked relatively difficult, but he sure didn’t help himself by taking a fight with a fringe contending Olympic Gold Medalist on 2 weeks’ notice.
18) Danie Venter (1-44)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Venter’s June 6 fight was cancelled a day in advance due to a withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
19) Nuri Seferi (4-30)
Last Fight: 5/16/2014- UD12 Tamas Lodi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I took Seferi’s stated desire to fight Marco Huck as idle chatter, but that fight now looks likely for August 30, deserved or not.
20) Gusmyr Perdomo (4-14)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- Robbery Loss (should be draw) vs. #15 Nuri Seferi
Next Fight: Unknown
Perdomo deserved at least a draw against Seferi, but the judges summoned just enough coincidental incompetence to take it from him.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Saturday
Victor Ramirez vs. Cleiton Conceicao; Benavidez, Argentina; TyC Sports (Argentina)
Ramirez is a former fringe contender who hasn’t done much of anything in over 5 years, having been essentially retired for the majority of that time.  He takes on Brazil’s Conceicao, who put forth very little effort in the direction of winning in losing by 14 points on my card in a 12-rounder against later exposed German prospect Dustin Dirks a couple years ago.  Ramirez should eat him alive, even if he’s not what he once was.

Light Heavyweight: 2014, Jul 7-13

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 20, 2014 by danboxing
One-loss Kiwi prospect Robert Berridge lived up to his “butcher” nickname on Saturday, chopping down overpowered fellow one-loss prospect Rogerio Damasco of Brazil with big right hands to score two knockdowns and end it by the end of the first, when the unproven Brazilian’s corner stepped up to call it off.  No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks   in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (96-96-96)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward lost an arbitration with his promoter, but it sounds like the rift between the two is far from solved.  Kessler is the latest guy to renew a stated desire to fight him.
1) Adonis Stevenson (57-57-57)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- UD12 #6 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevenson is very likely to fight Bernard Hopkins next, though there have been no negotiations that I’m aware of yet.
2) Bernard Hopkins (96-422-422)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- W (SD12*) vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Hopkins is considering leaving Golden Boy.  This would give him free choice between Stevenson, Kovalev, or anyone else, really.  Mohammedi is now technically his mandatory, but we’ll see if they find some way around that.
3) Jean Pascal (25-25-25)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD12 #16 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Pascal is pencilled in for a September fight, and perhaps one more before the end of the year.  There is currently talk of Tavoris Cloud being the September opponent.  That’s a significant step up from Sean Monaghan, who had been the odds-on favorite to fight Pascal on that date.
4) Sergey Kovalev (25-77-77)
Last Fight: 3/29/2014- KO7 #15 Cedric Agnew
Next Fight: 8/2/2014- vs. Blake Caparello (UNR)
Kovalev is back on August 2 against apparently one of the few guys willing to fight him- Australian undefeated prospect Blake Caparello.
5) Tony Bellew (3-143-143)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO12 Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. Julio Cesar Dos Santos (UNR) (at CW)
Bellew’s July 12 opponent has been announced as Brazilian 2-loss fringe prospect Julio Cesar Dos Santos, who will basically just be extending his training camp after an aborted fight with Thabiso Mchunu. 
6) Andrzej Fonfara (3-47-104)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- L (UD12) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
See Kovalev’s notes, above.
7) Gabriel Campillo (3-211-211)
Last Fight: 5/9/2014- TKO7 Ricky Pow (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/1/2014- vs. #13 Thomas Williams, Jr.
This could be the start of Campillo’s resurgence, or the continuation of his decline.  He’ll fight up-and-comer Thomas Williams, Jr. on Friday Night Fights, August 1.
8) Tavoris Cloud (3-254-254)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
A September 27 fight with Pascal is a possibility.
9) Nathan Cleverly (3-231-231)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- TKO2 Shawn Corbin (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. Alejandro Valori (UNR)
Cleverly looked good against Corbin in his cruiserweight debut.  He’ll keep his ranking here until he schedules a cruiserweight fight for after August 17 (the anniversary of his last fight in this division), or until that date passes, whichever comes first.  He will fight next on July 12, when he takes on Argentine gatekeeper Alejandro Valori at the 200 pound limit.  Valori is a solid performer on the South American scene, but has never fought outside Argentina.  If he gets by that, Bellew-Cleverly II is being targeted for November.
10) Isaac Chilemba (3-3-127)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD10 Denis Grachev (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/2/2014- vs. Cory Cummings (UNR)
Chilemba will fight on the Kovalev-Caparello card on August 2, taking on mid-level journeyman Cory Cummings in a stay-busy fight.
11) Jürgen Brähmer (3-116)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- UD12 Roberto Feliciano Bolonti (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Braehmer looked solid for 11 of the 12 rounds against Bolonti.  It’s said that he aspires to a Hopkins fight.
12) Karo Murat (3-37)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat wants Braehmer, his former stablemate, but is now without a promoter, which probably means Sauerland isn’t falling all over themselves to make that fight.
13) Thomas Williams, Jr. (3-24)
Last Fight: 4/24/2014- TKO3 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/1/2014- vs. #7 Gabriel Campillo
See Campillo’s notes, above.
14) Cedric Agnew (3-65)
Last Fight: 6/27/2014- RTD2 Shannon Miller (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After taking a risk against Kovalev and coming up short, I can only assume that his prospects for a regional title bout against Dudchenko and a IBF eliminator against Sukhotsky might both be out the window at least for the moment.
15) Edwin Rodriguez (3-52)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez was scheduled to fight Marcus Johnson on May 24, but Johnson quickly withdrew.
16) Hadillah Mohoumadi (3-54)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Cornelius White (3-134)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- L (TKO1) vs. Thomas Williams, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Never blessed with big-time promotional or managerial ties, White has risked becoming a permanent opponent with his last two losses.
18) Eleider Alvarez (3-76)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- UD10 Alexander Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There are rumors springing up in Russia of Alvarez fighting Dmitry Sukhotsky on July 19 in Quebec.
19) Lucian Bute (3-88)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- L (UD12) vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute wants his contractually-guaranteed rematch with Pascal, a fight that appears tentatively planned for late in the year.  He recently parted ways with his long-time trainer, and says he’s in no hurry to get back in the ring.
20) Dmitry Sukhotsky (3-3)
Last Fight: 6/4/2014- UD12 Joey Vegas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I can’t find a video anywhere, but Sukhotsky’s win over Joey Vegas in Russia was suspiciously close.

 

The Week Ahead
Thursday
Umberto Savigne vs. Jeff Lacy; Miami, Florida; FS1 (US)
Savigne is a one-loss Cuban prospect who is roughly at about the top 25-30 level, but hasn’t made 175 since March of last year.  Not only that, but he failed a drug test for that fight, though for the life of me I can’t find any reporting on what exactly he tested positive for.  Lacy was once a serious contender, but he’s all kinds of shot at this point, and has been for a while.  Lacy last beat a fighter that was even kinda good back in April 2009, when he won a questionable decision against Otis Griffin.  Since then, he’s lost to someone named Dhafir Smith (2010) and made a fairly shot Roy Jones look fantastic in late 2009.  Savigne should cut through him like butter.

 

Ranked contenders Tony Bellew and Nathan Cleverly are in action, but their fights are both at cruiserweight and will only be mentioned there unless they happen to affect the rankings here.

Cruiserweight: 2014, Jul 7-13

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 20, 2014 by danboxing
No notable cruiserweight fights took place last week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Marco Huck (8-396-396)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: 8/30/2014- vs. Mirko Larghetti (UNR)
As it turns out, Huck’s August 30 opponent will be Mirko Larghetti, the Italian prospect he was scheduled to fight earlier this year before injury scuttled the bout.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (8-211-211)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #6 Firat Arslan
Hernandez is set to fight Arslan on August 16, in Erfurt, Germany.  
3) Denis Lebedev (8-231-231)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Given his legitimate injury that shelved him for a big chunk of the year and the fact that his opponent screwed him over via PED use, I’m going to use my discretion and leave Lebedev ranked at this point.  Still, his best work is simply getting too old to stay at the very top.  Some reports have him returning in the fall against Pawel Kolodziej.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (43-472-472)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
It’s looking like Wlodarczyk will be back in August, possibly against BJ Flores, though Makabu’s win over Glen Johnson has him in position for a shot, as well.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (24-49-87)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu’s scheduled fight with Brazilian prospect was scrapped on just a day’s notice due to the surprise withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
6) Firat Arslan (24-113-156)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- UD8 Tamas Bajzath (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/16/2014- vs. #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
See Hernandez’s notes, above.
7) Grigory Drozd (33-40-87)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
8) Rakhim Chakhkiev (6-6-6)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- UD12 #11 Santander Silgado
Next Fight: Unknown
Chakhkiev has finally cashed in a high-level win to go with his hype and promise.  Most likely another title shot is not far off.
9) Ilunga Makabu (2-2-52)
Last Fight: 6/28/2014- TKO9 Glen Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Makabu didn’t look great for most of his fight with 45 year-old Glen Johnson, but he had a lot more in the tank than the old veteran, and became only the 2nd guy to get him out of there.
10) Ola Afolabi (2-278-278)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
The rumor that is Pawel Kolodziej is once again involved in a fight that’s not coming off, as he withdrew from his July 26 date with Afolabi, who is now in search of a replacement.
11) Lukasz Janik (2-36)
Last Fight: 6/28/2014- UD10 Rico Hoye (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik did enough to beat a perhaps better-than-expected Rico Hoye, but didn’t exactly light the world on fire in doing so.
12) Ovill McKenzie (2-13)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- TKO2 Jon-Lewis Dickinson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After blowing out the British Champion, McKenzie has his sites set on a European or perhaps World belt.  He wants to fight Marco Huck most of all.
13) Youri Kalenga (2-3)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- W (SD12*) vs. #12 Mateusz Masternak
Next Fight: Unknown
How a guy can get dominated by Arturs Kulikauskis, only to come back and dominate Mateusz Masternak within about 9 months, is beyond me.  Still, the former fight aside, he’s got another pretty nice win on his resume right before that, over Iago Kiladze, a then-undefeated prospect.
14) Giacobbe Fragomeni (2-295)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Olegs Lopajevs (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The fight with Lopajevs was purely a stay-busy contest, but he’s talking about another title shot even at 44 years old.
15) Mateusz Masternak (3-119)
Last Fight: 6/21/2014- L (SD12*) vs. Youri Kalenga (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Having now lost to his last two decent opponents, the future of Masternak, who looked like a can’t-miss talent not long ago, seems very much in doubt.
16) Santander Silgado (3-36)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- L (UD12) vs. Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I don’t want to say Silgado made it easy for Chakhkiev, because it looked relatively difficult, but he sure didn’t help himself by taking a fight with a fringe contending Olympic Gold Medalist on 2 weeks’ notice.
17) Danie Venter (3-43)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Venter’s June 6 fight was cancelled a day in advance due to a withdrawal of the card’s sponsors.
18) Dmytro Kucher (3-106)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher will be removed next week unless he schedules a fight before then.
19) Nuri Seferi (3-29)
Last Fight: 5/16/2014- UD12 Tamas Lodi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I took Seferi’s stated desire to fight Marco Huck as idle chatter, but that fight now looks likely for August 30, deserved or not.
20) Gusmyr Perdomo (3-13)
Last Fight: 4/11/2014- Robbery Loss (should be draw) vs. #15 Nuri Seferi
Next Fight: Unknown
Perdomo deserved at least a draw against Seferi, but the judges summoned just enough coincidental incompetence to take it from him.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Thursday
Yunier Dorticos vs. Edison Miranda; Miami, Florida; FS1 (US)
Dorticos is a fringe contending undefeated Cuban who has been ranked in the top 20 when the division ebbs a bit.  Miranda is a former middleweight contender who has certainly seen better days in his career.  At cruiserweight in 2014, he’s basically an upper-level journeyman.  Dorticos comes off the two best wins of his career back-to-back in Hamilton Ventura and especially Eric Fields.  This would probably be his 3rd-best.  Miranda will be making his debut as anything like a full-fledged cruiserweight, and has lost 4 of his last 5, all at 175.

 

Saturday
#5 LHW Tony Bellew vs. Julio Cesar Dos Santos; Liverpool, England; Sky (UK)
This figures to be the final tune-up for Bellew before he meets Nathan Cleverly in a big-money grudge match in the fall.  Dos Santos is an upper-level journeyman who is right on the borderline of the top 50.  The last time he fought anywhere near Bellew’s level, he was unanimously shut out over 12 rounds by Dmytro Kucher.  He also has a majority decision loss to a journeyman back in 2012.

 

#9 LHW Nathan Cleverly vs. Alejandro Valori; Liverpool, England; Sky (UK)
Cleverly probably has a bit tougher an opponent on his hands than Bellew, as Valori is a veteran gatekeeper with a couple top 50-level wins of his own in Argentina.  That being said, he has also lost at a relatively low level at times.  If Cleverly has any business competing at this weight, he should handle Valori easily, as even natural light heavyweight prospect Marcos Ahumada managed to notch a win with him.  If he’s too small for cruiser, there’s a reasonable chance that Valori will be able to prove it.

Light Heavyweight: 2014, Jun 30- Jul 6

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 20, 2014 by danboxing
#14 Cedric Agnew got an easy night on Friday in Houston against hopelessly outmatched very low-level veteran journeyman Shannon Miller, who failed to answer the bell for the 2nd round.  For what it’s worth, Agnew came in at 176.  No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks   in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (95-95-95)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward lost an arbitration with his promoter, but it sounds like the rift between the two is far from solved.  Kessler is the latest guy to renew a stated desire to fight him.
1) Adonis Stevenson (56-56-56)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- UD12 #6 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevenson is very likely to fight Bernard Hopkins next, though there have been no negotiations that I’m aware of yet.
2) Bernard Hopkins (95-421-421)
Last Fight: 4/19/2014- W (SD12*) vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Hopkins is considering leaving Golden Boy.  This would give him free choice between Stevenson, Kovalev, or anyone else, really.  Mohammedi is now technically his mandatory, but we’ll see if they find some way around that.
3) Jean Pascal (24-24-24)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD12 #16 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Pascal is pencilled in for a September fight, and perhaps one more before the end of the year.  There is currently talk of Tavoris Cloud being the September opponent.  That’s a significant step up from Sean Monaghan, who had been the odds-on favorite to fight Pascal on that date.
4) Sergey Kovalev (24-76-76)
Last Fight: 3/29/2014- KO7 #15 Cedric Agnew
Next Fight: 8/2/2014- vs. Blake Caparello (UNR)
Kovalev is back on August 2 against apparently one of the few guys willing to fight him- Australian undefeated prospect Blake Caparello.
5) Tony Bellew (2-142-142)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO12 Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. Julio Cesar Dos Santos (UNR) (at CW)
Bellew’s July 12 opponent has been announced as Brazilian 2-loss fringe prospect Julio Cesar Dos Santos, who will basically just be extending his training camp after an aborted fight with Thabiso Mchunu. 
6) Andrzej Fonfara (2-46-103)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- L (UD12) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
See Kovalev’s notes, above.
7) Gabriel Campillo (2-210-210)
Last Fight: 5/9/2014- TKO7 Ricky Pow (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/1/2014- vs. #13 Thomas Williams, Jr.
This could be the start of Campillo’s resurgence, or the continuation of his decline.  He’ll fight up-and-comer Thomas Williams, Jr. on Friday Night Fights, August 1.
8) Tavoris Cloud (2-253-253)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
A September 27 fight with Pascal is a possibility.
9) Nathan Cleverly (2-230-230)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- TKO2 Shawn Corbin (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: 7/12/2014- vs. Alejandro Valori (UNR)
Cleverly looked good against Corbin in his cruiserweight debut.  He’ll keep his ranking here until he schedules a cruiserweight fight for after August 17 (the anniversary of his last fight in this division), or until that date passes, whichever comes first.  He will fight next on July 12, when he takes on Argentine gatekeeper Alejandro Valori at the 200 pound limit.  Valori is a solid performer on the South American scene, but has never fought outside Argentina.  If he gets by that, Bellew-Cleverly II is being targeted for November.
10) Isaac Chilemba (2-2-126)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD10 Denis Grachev (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/2/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chilemba looked very very sharp in dominating a game Denis Grachev, and might soon be in line for a shot at Adonis Stevenson. He’s coming back on the Rios-Chaves undercard on August 2, but no opponent yet.
11) Jürgen Brähmer (2-115)
Last Fight: 6/7/2014- UD12 Roberto Feliciano Bolonti (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Braehmer looked solid for 11 of the 12 rounds against Bolonti.  It’s said that he aspires to a Hopkins fight.
12) Karo Murat (2-36)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat wants Braehmer, his former stablemate, but is now without a promoter, which probably means Sauerland isn’t falling all over themselves to make that fight.
13) Thomas Williams, Jr. (2-23)
Last Fight: 4/24/2014- TKO3 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/1/2014- vs. #7 Gabriel Campillo
See Campillo’s notes, above.
14) Cedric Agnew (2-64)
Last Fight: 6/27/2014- RTD2 Shannon Miller (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After taking a risk against Kovalev and coming up short, I can only assume that his prospects for a regional title bout against Dudchenko and a IBF eliminator against Sukhotsky might both be out the window at least for the moment.
15) Edwin Rodriguez (2-51)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez was scheduled to fight Marcus Johnson on May 24, but Johnson quickly withdrew.
16) Hadillah Mohoumadi (2-53)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Cornelius White (2-133)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- L (TKO1) vs. Thomas Williams, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Never blessed with big-time promotional or managerial ties, White has risked becoming a permanent opponent with his last two losses.
18) Eleider Alvarez (2-75)
Last Fight: 5/24/2014- UD10 Alexander Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
There are rumors springing up in Russia of Alvarez fighting Dmitry Sukhotsky on July 19 in Quebec.
19) Lucian Bute (2-87)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- L (UD12) vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute wants his contractually-guaranteed rematch with Pascal, a fight that appears tentatively planned for late in the year.  He recently parted ways with his long-time trainer, and says he’s in no hurry to get back in the ring.
20) Dmitry Sukhotsky (2-2)
Last Fight: 6/4/2014- UD12 Joey Vegas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I can’t find a video anywhere, but Sukhotsky’s win over Joey Vegas in Russia was suspiciously close.

 

The Week Ahead
Saturday
Robert Berridge vs. Rogerio Damasco; Manukau, New Zealand; Sky Arena (NZ)
Robbie “the Butcher” is a veteran prospect of some note, whose only loss was to Blake Caparello.  Damasco, from Brazil, is a one-loss prospect in his own right, and his only career loss was to a fellow undefeated in Isidro Ranoni Prieto earlier this year in Argentina.  That was the only real fighter he’s been in with, unfortunately, so Berridge has to be the heavy favorite, as if the location of the fight wasn’t enough of a clue.

Light Heavyweight: 2014, Mar 17-23

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Francis was only barely a top 50 fighter going in, and Ajisafe’s only other performance against a top 50 fighter in the last 5 years was a respectable loss to an up-and-coming Tony Bellew in 2010.  For those reasons, Ajisafe is only in the high-30s in terms of ranking at this point.  Chilemba still can’t quite get by Cleverly and into the top 10 either, so there are no changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (80-80-80)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says his manager is working on his next fight despite his lawsuit against promoter Dan Goossen.  He had indicated interest in Golovkin, but the Kazakh’s own trainer recently said his fighter is not ready for that fight.
1) Adonis Stevenson (41-41-41)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO6 #6 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #6 Andrzej Fonfara
According to Ringtv.com, Stevenson-Fonfara will most likely land on May 24.  After that, it looks like the Kovalev fight will happen in late 2014.
2) Bernard Hopkins (80-406-406)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Karo Murat (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Hopkins will fight Shumenov in mid-April at the D.C. Armory in Washington.
3) Jean Pascal (9-9-9)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD12 #16 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Bob Arum has floated the possibility of a July fight with Julio Cesar Chavez.
4) Sergey Kovalev (9-61-61)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO2 Ismayl Sillakh (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. #15 Cedric Agnew
Kovalev is likely to fight Stevenson in late 2014, and has a March 29 fight coming up in Atlantic City with Cedric Agnew.
5) Chad Dawson (9-407-407)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L(TKO1) vs. SMW #6 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Dawson has signed a deal with manager Al Haymon, which certainly brightens his career prospects.  He says he is interested in a Stevenson rematch.  Prospects for another occasionally-discussed rematch- with Jean Pascal- increased recently with word that Pascal’s trainer offered Dawson a contract.
6) Andrzej Fonfara (9-31-88)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- KO2 Samuel Miller (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
May 24 looks likely for Fonfara-Stevenson.
7) Tony Bellew (9-127-127)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO12 Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
Bellew is campaigning at cruiserweight now, but he’ll keep his ranking here until he schedules a fight there for after November 30, or until after November 30 itself.
8) Gabriel Campillo (9-195-195)
Last Fight: 8/16/2013- L (KO9) vs. #14 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: 5/9/2014- vs. Ibrahim Lopez (UNR)
Campillo will reportedly fight unproven one-loss Spanish prospect Ibrahim Lopez on May 9 in Madrid.
9) Tavoris Cloud (9-238-238)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Cloud should probably get himself back in the win column at some point.
10) Nathan Cleverly (9-215-215)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (TKO4) vs. #3 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
Cleverly’s cruiserweight debut is once again delayed by what’s being called a minor injury.  His promoter says he intends to schedule him another fight very soon.
11) Isaac Chilemba (9-111)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD10 Denis Grachev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba looked very very sharp in dominating a game Denis Grachev.
12) Jürgen Brähmer (9-100)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD12 Marcus Oliveira (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Enzo Maccarinelli (UNR)
Braehmer returns April 5 in Rostock, Germany against moderately resurgent Welshman Enzo Maccarinelli.
13) Karo Murat (8-21)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat is a free agent after his contract with Sauerland recently expired.
14) Thomas Williams, Jr. (8-8)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- TKO1 #13 Cornelius White
Next Fight: Unknown
Williams has been well-matched against vulnerable guys with good resumes.
15) Cedric Agnew (9-49)
Last Fight: 4/12/2013- UD12 #14 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. #4 Sergey Kovalev
Agnew was ordered to defend his regional title against fringe contender Anatoliy Dudchenko, and also appeared to have the option of fighting Sukhotsky for a position as IBF mandatory.  Instead, he’ll now roll the dice big against Kovalev.
16) Edwin Rodriguez (9-36)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez’s trainer Ronnie Shields opines that a fight against a top-15 level light heavyweight would be a good jumping-off point for his anticipated permanent move up.  Before that happens, he’ll need to recover from minor elbow surgery he had in December.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (21-38)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (8-118)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- L (TKO1) vs. Thomas Williams, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Never blessed with big-time promotional or managerial ties, White has risked becoming a permanent opponent with his last two losses.
19) Eleider Alvarez (8-60)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD10 Andy Gardiner (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alvarez may have been suffering from a letdown after Oosthuizen withdrew from what could have been the Colombian’s biggest fight ever, and almost let it effect him to the point of losing to an unheralded undefeated prospect in Gardiner.
20) Lucian Bute (8-72)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- L (UD12) vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute wants his contractually-guaranteed rematch with Pascal.

 

The Week Ahead: No meaningful action this week.

Cruiserweight: 2014, Mar 17-23

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on August 5, 2014 by danboxing
Russia’s 2 best cruiserweights were on the same card in Moscow on Saturday.  In the main event, #7 Grigory Drozd destroyed a decent, willing, but ultimately outgunned French journeyman in Jeremy Ouanna.  Ouanna came out showing some impressive quickness and boxing skill, but late in the very first round, Drozd found a jab, looping right combination that caught Ouanna flush, but without much behind it.  Just seconds later, Drozd threw the same combination from maybe 6 inches further out, and the right hand dropped Ouanna for the count this time.

 

On the undercard, narrowly unranked Rakhim Chakhkiev was much too sharp for the willing, durable, yet limited Finnish journeyman Juho Haapoja.  Chakhkiev both outclassed and out-punched Haapoja.  I’d seen the Finn before, but was struck this time in particular by how chubby he looked.  I’d say he’s a blown up super middleweight, at most.  Chakhkiev knocked Haapoja down in the 2nd with a combination, and stopped him on his feet in the 9th.

 

Later that night in Liverpool, #7 Light Heavyweight Tony Bellew made his cruiserweight debut with an entertaining win over Russian gatekeeper Valery Brudov, who certainly didn’t come to lay down.  Bellew scored knockdowns in the 2nd, 6th, and 12th rounds- all fairly devastating shots- but had his struggles, as well.  Brudov badly hurt Bellew in the 7th, and it looked for all the world like he was going to have trouble escaping the round.  He appeared almost totally out on his feet with over a minute left in the round.  Unfortunately for Brudov, one of his punches strayed significantly low while he had Bellew on the ropes.  Referee Phil Edwards did a good job by not giving Bellew the full 5 minutes, but still allowing him a fair amount of time to recover from that particular punch.  It was enough to see Bellew through to the bell, and though Brudov was fighting on mostly even terms for the remainder of the fight, he never again got Bellew in trouble.  Bellew’s recovery culminated in the 12th round knockdown mentioned above, when Bellew’s wide left hand got there just a fraction of a second before Brudov’s in a wide-open exchange.  Brudov hit the canvas for his third time, was unable to get any higher than his hands and knees in his attempt to rise, resulting in a hard-earned knockout win for the local contender.

 

Bellew’s win gets him into the conversation, but just shy of the top 20.  No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (34-215-215)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Lebedev-Jones II appears to be more or less a done deal for April 19 in Moscow.
2) Marco Huck (8-380-380)
Last Fight:1/25/2014- TKO6 #5 Firat Arslan
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck fractured his thumb in training, and his fight with Mirko Larghetti is off.
3) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (8-195-195)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez’s fight with Kolodziej- originally postponed- has now been cancelled due to an illness to Hernandez.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (27-456-456)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk had a relatively easy time in his third fight with Fragomeni, and is interested in Huck, Hernandez, Afolabi, Drozd, and Chakhkiev for his next fight.  More recently, he’s being openly pursued by Mchunu.
5) Thabiso Mchunu (8-33-71)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- UD10 Olanrewaju Durodola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
6) Firat Arslan (8-97-140)
Last Fight: 1/25/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #3 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Having visibly regressed since his excellent first effort against Huck, it might be time for the 43 year-old Arslan to consider retirement.
7) Grigory Drozd (17-24-71)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Drozd made quick work of Ouanna, and will hopefully get a short at a top contender soon.
8) Ola Afolabi (17-262-262)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
An alphabet eliminator has been ordered between Afolabi and unbeaten but unproven Italian prospect Mirko Larghetti.
9) Giacobbe Fragomeni (17-27-279)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- L (TKO6) vs. #4 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
I really hope that Fragomeni will call it a career.  
10) Silvio Branco (17-17-105)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- W (TD10) vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Branco says that Chakhkiev lowered their monetary offer at the last minute, and that is why the fight didn’t come off.  He’s saying now that he may soon announce his retirement if he doesn’t get a good fight offer soon.
11) Ilunga Makabu (17-36)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO2 Ruben Angel Mino (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Makabu will no doubt look for a big fight after his last one was changed into a stay-busy outing without his consent.
12) Santander Silgado (15-20)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: Unknown
Silgado was slammed by his own (now former) manager after he declined an arranged fight with Thabiso Mchunu.
13) Mateusz Masternak (15-103)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- KO4 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/12/2014- vs. Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Masternak will be back on April 12 at Esbjerg, Denmark.
14) Lukasz Janik (15-20)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik would like a well-deserved rematch with Afolabi.
15) Nuri Seferi (13-13)
Last Fight: 12/20/2013- W (DQ7*) vs. Steve Herelius (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/11/2014- vs. Gusmyr Perdomo (UNR)
Seferi will now fight on April 11 in Berlin against former super middleweight and light heavyweight fringe contender Gusmyr Perdomo of Venezuela.
16) Danie Venter (8-27)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Dmytro Kucher (8-90)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Tony Conquest (4-4)
Last Fight: 2/22/2014- UD12 Daniel Ammann (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Conquest is set to fight in London on April 12, and is hoping to fight for the British title in the foreseeable future.
19) Krzysztof Glowacki (4-34)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- TKO9 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glowacki is the top contender for the title held by Huck, but might never get that exact shot, since Huck is making noise about moving up.
20) Yunier Dorticos (3-3)
Last Fight: 2/28/2014- KO1 Hamilton Ventura (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dorticos- after making one step up recently- is shooting for the stars.  He says he wants either Wlodarczyk or the winner of Jones-Lebedev next.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:
Friday
Victor Ramirez vs. Glendy Hernandez; Benavidez, Argentina; TyC Sports
Ramirez’s last significant win will be 5 years old in May, and although he’s taking on an interesting challenge in 1-loss Cuban prospect Hernandez (whose only loss was in his last fight against a 242-pound undefeated opponent), Hernandez is insufficiently proven to change that this weekend.  Still, this is a fight worth seeing, and could tell us a lot about the overall quality of the Cuban, or about what Ramirez might have left.