Archive for Tor Hamer

Heavyweight: 2013, Nov 25- Dec 1

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 18, 2014 by danboxing
The Hernandez-Alekseev undercard in Bamberg, Germany featured a pretty significant upset.  #20 Denis Boytsov, who was probably in line for a shot at Wlad in his next fight, having been considered among the best available options for years, was soundly outpointed by Samoan gatekeeper Alex Leapai.  Boytsov appeared to be in mediocre shape, having cruised to easy victories against weak opponents for years.  Leapai’s punches seemed to have more steam at the start, and to have held that steam better down the stretch.  Leapai also appeared to want the win a lot more than the Russian.

 

We almost saw another upset in Macau on Sunday (Saturday US time), where undefeated Mexican prospect Andy Ruiz looked to be rather outclassed against gatekeeper Tor Hamer, getting out-hustled and out-punched, while looking very easy to hit.  But Hamer had a rough third and took some shots, and promptly quit before the 4th.  This is unfortunately Hamer’s M.O., as he did very much the same thing against Vyacheslav Glazkov.

 

I agonized a bit over this news, because frankly I think in the end it will just be a case of posturing and attention-seeking, but #1 Tyson Fury retired this week.  He couldn’t have been more clear about it, stating on Twitter that he is “officially” retired, and even after his promoter and his uncle/trainer vehemently denied the retirement, Fury himself confirmed it, clarifying that he is, in fact, a million percent retired.  Fury is very undisciplined in his use of Twitter, and is prone to blurt out dramatic sound bytes based on however he’s feeling at the moment, and I suspect this is little different, but ultimately if I started ignoring unequivocal statements from fighters regarding their statuses, there wouldn’t really be any effective way for a fighter to retire from the rankings at all.  That being the case, and even though I think the result is rather artificial and silly in this case, I am forced to take Fury at his word and remove him from the rankings.  He won’t be eligible until he fights again, since he is essentially inactive now, and can’t change that until he actually enters the ring.  Everyone ranked #2-13 last week moves up a spot, allowing Erkan Teper to make his debut in the top 10.

 

Both of the week’s fights prompt a shakeup in the division this week, as well.  Leapai is naturally going to benefit from clearly beating a top 20 contender.  He does have one inconsistent loss on his record- a fairly dominant TKO loss to Kevin Johnson- but that loss is far enough in the past (over 18 months) that it can detract from his resume without leading to the conclusion that he’s proven to be that kind of fighter in the present day.  He’s also got a 2009 6-round draw to a complete nobody, but that has to be treated as a fluke, since he has destroyed many much better fighters since then.  While comparing resumes as a whole without respect to timing would not allow this result, when weighting recent results more, it’s clear that Leapai belongs ahead of Robert Helenius.  Helenius has had two consecutive inconclusive fights with clearly non-top-20 opposition and a clear loss to Chisora before that.  One of those opponents was not even top 50.  Leapai just beat a top 20 guy, and I think it would be hard to say that Helenius is currently capable of doing that with any degree of confidence.  Obviously injury has played a major part in that, but the Nordic Nightmare has been fighting with injury for so long now that it’s become a part of who he is as a fighter.  For these reasons, Leapai debuts at #13.  

 

Ruiz’s opponent Hamer, meanwhile, was not quite as good as Boytsov.  Hamer made a name for himself by- perhaps ironically- beating Kevin Johnson on Prizefighter.  Johnson was a borderline top 20 guy at the time, and so that got Hamer near that level.  But it was a non-shutout decision in a 3-round fight.  You’ve gotta take that into account, especially after he straight up quit against Glazkov.  He also had a loss to an unheralded prospect in Kelvin Price earlier on.  I had Hamer as roughly the #29 heavyweight in the world going in.  Not bad, but not Boytsov, who if anything was viewed as underrated at #20.  When comparing Ruiz to Helenius, a different result emerges.  While I’m not willing to give Helenius credit for wins over Sprott and Williams (I scored both fights as draws), he also didn’t lose.  When I treat a fight as a draw, I generally imagine a midpoint between the status of the two fighters, and act as if both guys showed a level right around that point.  Even as lowly as Sherman Williams was in the ranks at the time of their fight, Helenius was high enough that the midpoint still was around the fringe contender level.  Even after Helenius was diminished by that fight, the Sprott fight had him roughly at the same level, since Sprott himself was nearly a fringe contender after beating Gerber.  So I’ve yet to see anything to suggest that Helenius has fallen so far that he can’t compete at around the level of the top 25, and the aging wins over Peter, Brewster, and Bidenko still justifiably buoy him to a great extent.  Ruiz’s win over Hamer was at a level just below what I’d call the fringe contender level…roughly equivalent to Sprott.  So even taking only the most recent performances into account, it’s not a slam dunk.  The fact that Helenius has beaten a #6 contender and one or two more guys roughly equivalent to Hamer- even if it was in the fairly distant past- is dispositive in this case.  

 

Ruiz does, however, surpass Seth Mitchell in a close call.  Mitchell got a win over #19 Ibragimov to give him the advantage, but then got stopped by a guy only a shade more credible than Hamer in Johnathan Banks.  Technically Mitchell then beat a #10 contender by winning his rematch with Banks, but you’ve gotta discount that for the most part, since essentially he had created that #10 contender himself by the first fight.  So he beat #19, and then lost and won against a guy ranked between 20-25 on his own merits.  That means he had probably proved himself pretty much in his element around the 19-25 range, which is a notch better than Ruiz has done in the one relevant fight.  But unfortunately for Mitchell, his last fight was a demolition at the hands of Chris Arreola, who was ranked in the low-mid 20’s, and just a couple spots ahead of Hamer at the time.  That’s a pretty compelling case that Ruiz has proven himself at the higher level of late.  

 

Accordingly, Ruiz debuts at #15.  Helenius holds firm at #14.  Mitchell remains at #16.  Alexander Dimitrenko, with his win over Luan Krasniqi now over 5 years old, takes a dive from #15 to #17.  Glazkov and Scott each fall two places to #18 and 19, respectively, and Banks hangs on at #20.  Boytsov doesn’t need the help to make his own exit.  I must say that the heavyweight division is getting more exciting overall with all of this new blood, though the top of the division is greatly diminished by the removal of the top two contenders in the past two weeks.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (231-444-444)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
While the order is unclear at least to me, Klitschko’s current mandatory obligations include Alex Leapai and Kubrat Pulev.  In the WBA, it looks like the spot would be filled by an eliminator at some point, either between Povetkin and Luis Ortiz, or whatever other fighters in their rankings would be available.  The technically retired Tyson Fury also called Wlad out right before his retirement.
 
1) Alexander Povetkin (1-318-318)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin is calling for a rematch.  He would probably need to become the WBA mandatory by winning an eliminator (possibly against Luis Ortiz) in order to get that shot.
2) Steve Cunningham (1-49-49)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- L (KO7) vs. #6 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Cunningham will appear on a December 14 card in Atlantic City.
3) Tomasz Adamek (1-188-188)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kathy Duva, who promotes both fighters, says she will reschedule the cancelled Adamek-Glazkov fight.
4) Kubrat Pulev (1-82-159)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- UD12 #11 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Ondrej Pala (UNR)
Pulev will be fighting on December 14 while waiting for a shot at Wlad.  His opponent is reported to be, interestingly, Ondrej Pala.  Pala is scheduled to fight Dereck Chisora this weekend, so there’s a lot that can happen on the way to that fight, obviously, if true.
5) Dereck Chisora (1-104-167)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO5 Edmund Gerber (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/30/2013- vs. Ondrej Pala (UNR)
Chisora has secured Ondrej Pala as a replacement opponent for this weekend- an upgrade from the original opponent.  This begins what could be a heck of a 3-weekend span for Pala, who according to Bulgarian media has also agreed to fight Kubrat Pulev on 12/14.
6) Odlanier Solis (1-36-183)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis was briefly set to fight Kevin Johnson on November 26, but quickly withdrew due to an IBF mandate that he fight Carlos Takam, instead.  Reportedly that fight will now happen in January, though it’s not finalized yet.
7) Bermane Stiverne (1-23-39)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne is currently fighting his promoter Don King, in court, for the right to possibly fight Vitali in February.
8) Chris Arreola (1-12-12)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola may be a candidate for Wilder, or could fight for a vacant title in a rematch with Stiverne, should Vitali retire.  Fury has also named him as someone he’d like to replace David Haye with for February 8.
9) Tony Thompson (1-2-183)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson is now actively seeking a fight with Povetkin, Fury, Adamek, or Wilder.
10) Erkan Teper (1-1-13)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper might have scored the heavyweight knockout of the year, and probably retired Martin Rogan in the process.
11) Mike Perez (1-4)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- UD10 Magomed Abdusalamov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Perez will have to do what many great fighters have had to do in the past- get over the psychological difficulty of having beaten a man to within an inch of his life, just by doing his job.
12) Deontay Wilder (1-31)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO4 Nicolai Firtha (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
In the immediate aftermath of the Haye-Fury fallout, Wilder apparently agreed verbally to fight Fury on February 8.  But a couple days later, Wilder’s promoter revealed that Fury’s management wasn’t returning phone calls, and Fury announced his retirement around that same time.  The fight looks dead.
13) Alex Leapai (1-1)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- UD10 #20 Denis Boytsov
Next Fight: Unknown
Leapai, in Rocky-like fashion, now stands as one of Wlad’s two mandatory challengers, and should get his shot in the early part of 2014.
14) Robert Helenius (2-183)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
If there was a fatal rift between Helenius and Sauerland, it appears to have been quietly repaired, as Helenius’ team now claims there is no plan to buy out his contract.  Helenius is reportedly back in fighting condition after a wrist injury in his last fight, and intends to return in early 2014.
15) Andy Ruiz (1-1)
Last Fight: 11/24/2013- RTD3 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I’m not sure we got a good picture of Ruiz’s ability against Hamer, as he really needed just one solid round to make the mentally fragile New Yorker submit.
16) Seth Mitchell (2-25)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- L (TKO1) vs. Chris Arreola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mitchell’s chin is so fragile that he might want to consider calling it a career.  Golden Boy’s CEO says he’s advised Mitchell to do just that, though he reports that Mitchell seems to have no such intention.
17) Alexander Dimitrenko (1-150)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko is rumored at least to be fighting Sam Sexton in the first round of the WBC World Cup, but that tournament appears to be in limbo for the time being, at least.
18) Vyacheslav Glazkov (1-49)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Adamek’s notes, above.
19) Malik Scott (1-40)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- L (KO6*) vs. #8 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott is getting serious buzz for a fight with Wilder.
20) Johnathon Banks (1-54)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Banks apparently dinged his hands up pretty good in the Mitchell fight- an alternate explanation for those who, like me, thought his inexplicable failure to follow up on his early success was a bit suspicious.  He’s been doing physical therapy, and is about ready to get back in the ring.  He’d like a rematch with Mitchell, but unfortunately a trilogy probably isn’t of much benefit to the fragile young contender at this point.  He’s penciled-in for the second round of the WBC World Cup, against the winner of Sam Sexton and Alexander Dimitrenko, but as noted above, that whole tournament is delayed and in doubt.
 

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Monday features a rare occurrence in Tokyo.  No, not Godzilla, but rather a boxrec top-50 heavyweight in action.  Kyotaro Fujimoto is his name.  He’s a one-loss prospect.  Not a great prospect, I’ll admit, having lost to Solomon Haumono within the last year, but his back-to-back stoppage wins over fairly low-level journeymen since then have nevertheless given him the rankings points necessary.  For what it’s worth, he’s the Japanese Champion- the best of 5 currently active Japanese heavyweights.

 

The next night in Sunrise, Florida, Antonio Tarver returns from a steroid suspension to fight journeyman Mike Sheppard in a heavyweight match from Sunrise, Florida, to be televised by Fox Sports 1.

 

Saturday in London, #5 Derek Chisora takes on reasonably solid Czech journeyman Ondrej Pala, who does have a few decent wins over arguably top 50 opposition in his career.

Heavyweight: 2013, Nov 18-24

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 14, 2014 by danboxing
I don’t want to be writing all night, so I’ll jump right into the Thursday Prizefighter results from London:

 

Round 1: Journeyman Jason Gavern of the US dropped and outpointed the UK’s Larry Olubamiwo.  His chin and conditioning appeared questionable by the time it was all over, but he got a retty clear 29-27 win over the rather dirty Brit.

 

Faded and chubby legend James Toney looked pretty decent for a 45 year-old.  He didn’t work too hard, but had solid defense as always, and threw in surprising quickness and handspeed.  It was more than enough to take care of rather novice journeyman Matt Legg.  Toney lit Legg up with a combination in round 3, and referee Victor Loughlin stopped it.  Objectively, it was a quick stoppage, but Legg was obviously out of his league, pretty badly hurt, and had zero chance of winning.  I think Loughlin was being intentionally merciful.

 

English gatekeeper Michael Sprott had his hands full early against the powerful and sharp American Damian Wills.  But after seemingly outclassing Sprott in the first round, Wills seemed to lose all desire to win, and let Sprott vastly outwork him in the last two to take the win.  I didn’t make note of what judge had what score while watching it, and boxrec doesn’t specify, but one of the judges could only make a call in one round of what was a pretty easy fight to score, having it 30-29.  Nevertheless, a well-earned UD for Sprott.

 

In the 4th quarterfinal, undersized American Brian Minto showed a world-class motor, grinding Britain’s Tom Little- much taller, but a little ungainly- to dust for 3 clear rounds.  The British judges, obviously biased, had it only 29-28 (Victor Loughlin and Steve Gray) for Minto and 29-28 Little (Richie Davies).  Davies should have been relieved of his duties for the night right then and there, because he obviously wasn’t in the right frame of mind to be judging.

 

Round 2: Gavern pulled off a bit of an upset.  All three of his rounds with Toney were close, but Toney showed surprisingly sloppy technique and a noticeable lack of fire by comparison to Gavern.  Gavern, for his part, appeared to have the heavier hands, worked harder, and was a bit more accurate.  He also used his natural size well at times.  Marcus McDonnell had it even, having failed to pull the trigger in one of the rounds.  Davies and Gray both had it 29-28 for Gavern, who advanced.

 

In the second semi, Sprott dominated and frustrated Minto behind a wonderful jab for the first round, but nearly got stopped after Minto caught up in the 2nd.  Sprott then won a hard-fought third with veteran tactics, alternating holding with hitting, frustrating Minto just enough to grab the win.  All the judges agreed at 29-28 for Sprott.

 

Final: A bit anticlimactic.  Sprott probably edged the first, again establishing the jab.  In the second, Gavern punished Sprott and nearly stopped him, as the Brit appeared totally gassed.  But he seemed to have tweaked his elbow in the process, and was totally unable to fight back in the third, allowing Sprott to cruise to a foregone conclusion of a victory.  Even more foregone than it should have been, as it turned out.  Two of the, again, biased judges had it a shutout, which is completely incredible.

 

Now, on to Saturday:

 

In Hamilton, New Zealand, Belorussian giant Alexander Ustinov easily handled David Tua.  I don’t know how much my opinion was swayed by Bob Sheridan’s frequently glowing commentary, but I really did feel like Tua looked more lively than usual, even while getting handled by Ustinov’s Klitschko-like 1-2 efficiency.  That being said, Ustinov isn’t exactly Klitschko, is he?  And on the other hand, Tua never ever threw in combination, and never appeared to hurt Ustinov, either.

 

In Ludwigsburg, Germany, #12 Erkan Teper scored a highlight-reel knockout over Irish gatekeeper Martin Rogan.  The fight lasted roughly 90 seconds.  Teper backed Rogan to the ropes, knocked him out with a left, and then landed two further KO-quality follow-ups before Rogan could fall, and the ref got in there right as Rogan slumped to the canvas.  Rogan was hospitalized afterward, and received surgery to repair a shattered jaw.  According to Rogan himself, he’s going to have multiple steel plates inserted to put the jaw together like a jigsaw.

 

Finally, in Verona, New York, #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov outpointed cruiserweight gatekeeper Garrett Wilson- a late replacement for Tomasz Adamek, who suffered an injury during fight week.  Wilson was aggressive but wild, and though he did catch Glazkov with several winging punches during the 10 rounds, he seemed to lack legitimate heavyweight power when he did.  In the end, Glazkov’s size and more concise punching carried the day.  I scored it 97-93 for the Russian.  One of the judges agreed, and the other two had it a round and two rounds wider.

 

Garrett Wilson wasn’t quite credible enough at heavyweight to help Glazkov out in the rankings.  Ditto for Tua-Ustinov, as Tua hasn’t won anything of real consequence since beating Shane Cameron over 4 years ago.  An additional ditto in the case of Prizefighter.  Sprott was the only member of the field that was at a top 50 level at any point during the proceedings, despite the often impressive work of Gavern.

 

The remaining result is Teper-Rogan.  Rogan, due to his prior Prizefighter win over Sosnowski, was probably at least technically in the top 50 going in.  Even so, the difference in established levels between the two prior to the fight means that it neither improves Teper’s ranking nor hurts Rogan’s. 

 

The one change that does affect the rankings is that #2 David Haye withdrew from the Fury fight, citing a serious injury.  Injury or no, Haye was living on borrowed time after waiting nearly a year to schedule the fight before now pulling out twice.  Even aside from that, the injury- according to Haye- is serious enough that he might never fight again, and so his removal is justified on multiple grounds.  Everyone ranked #3 and below last week moves up a spot, and Denis Boytsov returns to the rankings just in time for his fight with Leapai this weekend, while Tony Thompson reclaims a spot in the top 10 for the first time in a while.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (230-443-443)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- UD12 #3 Alexander Povetkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Tyson Fury called Wlad out immediately after Haye withdrew from their fight, but there are rumors that the Champ might fight Ustinov or the Boytsov-Leapai winner in March.
1Tyson Fury (11-122-122)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- KO7 #3 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury is…well…furious, after Haye withdrew a second consecutive time.  He’s now calling out Wlad, and rightly so.
2) Alexander Povetkin (1-317-317)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin is calling for a rematch.  Wishful thinking, all the way.
3) Steve Cunningham (1-48-48)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- L (KO7) vs. #6 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Cunningham will appear on a December 14 card in Atlantic City.
4) Tomasz Adamek (1-187-187)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Adamek withdrew from the Glazkov fight due to illness, on just two days notice.
5) Kubrat Pulev (1-81-158)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- UD12 #11 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Pulev will be fighting on December 14 while waiting for a shot at Wlad.  No opponent yet.
6) Dereck Chisora (1-103-166)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- TKO5 Edmund Gerber (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/30/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chisora is now scrambling for a new opponent after Matteo Modugno withdrew from their November 30 bout.
7) Odlanier Solis (1-35-182)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis was briefly set to fight Kevin Johnson on November 26, but quickly withdrew.
8) Bermane Stiverne (1-22-38)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne’s immediate future- which appeared bright since he is in line to fight for what figures to be a vacant title now that Vitali Klitschko is more or less out of the picture- is now in doubt, as he joins a long list of fighters to sue his promoter, Don King.
9) Chris Arreola (1-11-11)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- TKO1 #12 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Arreola may be a candidate for Wilder, or could fight for a vacant title in a rematch with Stiverne, should Vitali retire.  Fury has also named him as someone he’d like to replace David Haye with for February 8.
10) Tony Thompson (1-1-182)
Last Fight: 8/24/2013- L (UD12) vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Next Fight: Unknown
Thompson is now actively seeking a fight with Povetkin, Fury, Adamek, or Wilder.
11) Erkan Teper (1-12)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO1 Martin Rogan (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper might have scored the heavyweight knockout of the year, and probably retired Martin Rogan in the process.
12) Mike Perez (1-3)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- UD10 Magomed Abdusalamov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Perez will have to do what many great fighters have had to do in the past- get over the psychological difficulty of having beaten a man to within an inch of his life, just by doing his job.
13) Deontay Wilder (1-30)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO4 Nicolai Firtha (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wilder says he’ll be looking for a title shot in 2014, and has been called out by Tony Thompson recently.  Malik Scott also appears to be an option, and Wilder is also among the three fighters that Fury wants to replace Haye with for February 8.
14) Robert Helenius (1-182)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
If there was a fatal rift between Helenius and Sauerland, it appears to have been quietly repaired, as Helenius’ team now claims there is no plan to buy out his contract.  Helenius is reportedly back in fighting condition after a wrist injury in his last fight, and intends to return in early 2014.
15) Alexander Dimitrenko (1-149)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko is rumored at least to be fighting Sam Sexton in the first round of the WBC World Cup, but that tournament appears to be in limbo for the time being, at least.
16) Seth Mitchell (1-24)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- L (TKO1) vs. Chris Arreola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mitchell’s chin is so fragile that he might want to consider calling it a career.  Golden Boy’s CEO says he’s advised Mitchell to do just that, though he reports that Mitchell seems to have no such intention.
17) Vyacheslav Glazkov (1-48)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD10 Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov will go from a non-TV tune-up directly to a NBC-televised afternoon showdown with Adamek.
18) Malik Scott (1-39)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- L (KO6*) vs. #8 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott is getting serious buzz for a fight with Wilder.
19) Johnathon Banks (1-53)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
Banks apparently dinged his hands up pretty good in the Mitchell fight- an alternate explanation for those who, like me, thought his inexplicable failure to follow up on his early success was a bit suspicious.  He’s been doing physical therapy, and is about ready to get back in the ring.  He’d like a rematch with Mitchell, but unfortunately a trilogy probably isn’t of much benefit to the fragile young contender at this point.  He’s penciled-in for the second round of the WBC World Cup, against the winner of Sam Sexton and Alexander Dimitrenko, but as noted above, that whole tournament is delayed and in doubt.
20) Denis Boytsov (1-1)
Last Fight: 6/15/2013- KO3 Oleksandr Nesterenko (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/23/2013- vs. Alex Leapai (UNR)
Boytsov probably has a shot at the Championship waiting for him if he can get by Leapai.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Saturday, on the Bamberg, Germany undercard for Hernandez-Alekseev, undefeated fringe contender Denis Boytsov takes on Samoan gatekeeper Alex Leapai.  Leapai is barely a member of the top 50, but is still the best opponent Boytsov has fought since 2009.

 

On the Pacquiao-Rios undercard (Sunday in Macau, though it’s going to be Saturday when those of us stateside watch it live on PPV), undefeated prospect Andy Ruiz meets gatekeeper Tor Hamer- his toughest test to date.

Heavyweight: 2013, Aug 19-25

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on August 19, 2013 by danboxing
Wednesday in New York, gatekeeper/fringe prospect hybrid Tor Hamer apparently pounded journeyman Kertson Manswell so thoroughly in three minutes that he was unable to continue to the 2nd round.

 

Friday Night Fights and Comiskey Park were the respective stages for the rematch of the brilliant February slugfest between undefeated Pole Artur Szpilka and rugged, slugging journeyman Mike Mollo that Spilka won by spectacular knockout in comeback style.  Once again, we were treated to a back-and-forth two-way bludgeoning.  Mollo once again put his man down, and appeared to have turned the corner from some difficult moments in the first couple rounds when Szpilka once again abruptly ended the fight with one spectacular shot as Mollo squared up and made a failed attempt to cover up.

 

No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (217-430-430)
Last Fight: 5/4/2013- TKO6 Francesco Pianeta
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. #4 Alexander Povetkin
Klitschko-Povetkin is now officially signed for 10/5 in Moscow.
1) Vitali Klitschko (254-254-254)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vitali is struggling with a hand injury according to the WBC.  But it’s already been nearly a year, and he’s made no attempt to get a fight done.  I’ll keep him ranked based on the logical possibility that he may still schedule a fight before the 2nd week of September.  Most likely, though, he’ll be removed at that time.
2) Tyson Fury (18-109-109)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- KO7 #3 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: 9/28/2013- vs. #3 David Haye
Fury-Haye is a done deal for September 28 in Manchester.
3) David Haye (18-58-58)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 9/28/2013- vs. #2 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
4) Alexander Povetkin (58-304-304)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- TKO3 Andrzej Wawryzk (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Wlad’s notes, above.
5) Steve Cunningham (18-35-35)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- L (KO7) vs. #6 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham is now sparring with the man that knocked him out in April- Tyson Fury.
6Tomasz Adamek (18-174-174)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
A collision between two of Main Events’ blue chip heavyweights is being discussed for November, as they’re looking to match Adamek with Bryant Jennings.
7) Dereck Chisora (5-90-153)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- KO6* #17 Malik Scott
Next Fight: 9/21/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Pulev has dropped the EBU belt and will thus not be fighting Chisora anytime soon.  Chisora will now likely fight Denis Boytsov for the belt, though it’s not clear if there’s any chance of that happening on September 21 or not.
8) Kubrat Pulev (5-68-145)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/24/2013- vs. #11 Tony Thompson
Pulev is scheduled for a high-stakes battle with Tony Thompson in Schwerin, Germany on August 24.  Plans for a follow-up with Dereck Chisora have been scrapped, as Pulev has dropped the EBU belt that figured to set that fight up.
9) Odlanier Solis (11-22-169)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis is now pushing for what would be a very intriguing fight with Deontay Wilder.
10) Bermane Stiverne (9-9-25)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne was the victim of another delayed purse bid, as Vitali asked for and was granted another extension from the scheduled 7/22 date.
11) Tony Thompson (9-169)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- TKO5 David Price (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/24/2013- vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Thompson gets a final eliminator on the 24th against Kubrat Pulev.  The upside would theoretically be another fight with Wladimir Klitschko.  That feels like a score that’s been settled, but I can’t say the winner wouldn’t reasonably deserve it.
12) Seth Mitchell (9-11)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- UD12 #10 Johnathon Banks
Next Fight: 9/6/2013- vs. Chris Arreola (UNR)
Mitchell-Arreola appears done for September 6 in Indio, California.
13) Deontay Wilder (11-17)
Last Fight: 8/9/2013- KO1 Sergei Liakhovich (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wilder would like to fight the winner of the fight between Arreola and his friend and stablemate Seth Mitchell.  He’s also been challenged by the Odlanier Solis camp, and says he wants the Klitschkos before they retire.
14) Robert Helenius (11-169)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
If Helenius’ team was accurate on the severity of his hand injury, it should be long healed by now, although there were immediate rumors that the injury was more serious.
15) Alexander Dimitrenko (11-136)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko turned down a Pulev rematch.
16) Vyacheslav Glazkov (11-35)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- TKO2 Byron Polley (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov’s gift of a draw to Scott seems to have hurt his standing a bit, as his follow-up was so weak it didn’t even make TV on his promoter’s show.
17) Malik Scott (11-26)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- L (KO6*) vs. #8 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott was up at 9.5 and ready to go, but Phil Edwards called the fight off in an unfortunate SNAFU.  That being said, Chisora was coming on and I already had him ahead.  Scott probably would have gone on to lose anyway.
18) Johnathon Banks (9-40)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Denis Boytsov (9-218)
Last Fight: 6/15/2013- KO3 Alexander Nesterenko (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov is likely to fight Dereck Chisora for the EBU belt.  Perhaps on September 21, or perhaps at a later date.
20) Franklin Lawrence (9-25)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- Mark Brown (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Leading off Friday in Galati, Romania, gatekeeper Leif Larsen will look to halt the rise of undefeated prospect Christian Hammer, who’s got the name of a top heavyweight.  We’ll see if he’s got more than that, as this is a major step up for Hammer (born, disappointingly, as Cristian Ciocan), who fights in his native city.

 

Later that night in Dover, Delaware, aging undefeated prospect Amir Mansour takes a step up of his own against gatekeeper Maurice Harris.

 

The big fight of the week, however, is in Schwerin, Germany on Saturday.  That’s the scene of the showdown between #8 Kubrat Pulev and #11 Tony Thompson.

Heavyweight: 2013, Aug 12-18

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on August 17, 2013 by danboxing
Samoan borderline top 50 heavyweight Alex Leapai got the job done on Friday in Hengyang, China, stopping former top 50 cruiserweight Felipe Romero in 9.  Romero was on the downside after absorbing defeats against Polish prospects Masternak and Glowacki, but in the end it may have been Leapai’s greater comfort at heavyweight that made the difference.  Romero apparently did have his moments, as he won 2 rounds unanimously of the completed 8, and a 3rd by majority, but went down 3 times: once in the first, and twice again in the 9th.

 

#13 Deontay Wilder did his thing in Indio, California later that night, destroying inactive and likely totally shot journeyman Sergei Liakhovich- a former contender- in under a round.  Wilder brutalized Liakhovich along the ropes, leaving the Belarorussian spasming on the canvas.  Liakhovich has been brutally stopped in his last three, and should consider retiring.  Given Liakhovich’s status as nowhere near the top 50, however, this fight does probably a lot for Wilder’s reputation, but nothing for his ranking.

 

No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (216-429-429)
Last Fight: 5/4/2013- TKO6 Francesco Pianeta
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. #4 Alexander Povetkin
Klitschko-Povetkin is now officially signed for 10/5 in Moscow.
1) Vitali Klitschko (253-253-253)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Klitschko requested and was granted an extension on purse bids by the WBC for his mandated showdown with Bermane Stiverne, frustrating the would-be challenger to no end.
2) Tyson Fury (17-108-108)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- KO7 #3 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: 9/28/2013- vs. #3 David Haye
Fury-Haye is a done deal for September 28 in Manchester.
3) David Haye (17-57-57)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 9/28/2013- vs. #2 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
4) Alexander Povetkin (57-303-303)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- TKO3 Andrzej Wawryzk (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Wlad’s notes, above.
5) Steve Cunningham (17-34-34)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- L (KO7) vs. #6 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham is now sparring with the man that knocked him out in April- Tyson Fury.
6Tomasz Adamek (17-173-173)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
A collision between two of Main Events’ blue chip heavyweights is being discussed for November, as they’re looking to match Adamek with Bryant Jennings.
7) Dereck Chisora (4-89-152)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- KO6* #17 Malik Scott
Next Fight: 9/21/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Frank Warren has Chisora scheduled again already for 9/21, promising a big name.  He also has a purse bid scheduled for a EBU mandatory with Kubrat Pulev on August 20.
8) Kubrat Pulev (4-67-144)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/24/2013- vs. #11 Tony Thompson
Pulev is scheduled for a high-stakes battle with Tony Thompson in Schwerin, Germany on August 24, and will also be involved with a purse bid on the 20th for one whale of an EBU title defense against Dereck Chisora, as well.
9) Odlanier Solis (10-21-168)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- TKO7 Yakup Saglam (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis is now pushing for what would be a very intriguing fight with Deontay Wilder.
10) Bermane Stiverne (8-8-24)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne was the victim of another delayed purse bid, as Vitali asked for and was granted another extension from the scheduled 7/22 date.
11) Tony Thompson (8-168)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- TKO5 David Price (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/24/2013- vs. #8 Kubrat Pulev
Thompson gets a final eliminator on the 24th against Kubrat Pulev.  The upside would theoretically be another fight with Wladimir Klitschko.  That feels like a score that’s been settled, but I can’t say the winner wouldn’t reasonably deserve it.
12) Seth Mitchell (8-10)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- UD12 #10 Johnathon Banks
Next Fight: 9/6/2013- vs. Chris Arreola (UNR)
Mitchell-Arreola appears done for September 6 in Indio, California.
13) Deontay Wilder (10-16)
Last Fight: 8/9/2013- KO1 Sergei Liakhovich (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wilder would like to fight the winner of the fight between Arreola and his friend and stablemate Seth Mitchell.  He’s also been challenged by the Odlanier Solis camp.
14) Robert Helenius (10-168)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
If Helenius’ team was accurate on the severity of his hand injury, it should be long healed by now, although there were immediate rumors that the injury was more serious.
15) Alexander Dimitrenko (10-135)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko turned down a Pulev rematch.
16) Vyacheslav Glazkov (10-34)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- TKO2 Byron Polley (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov’s gift of a draw to Scott seems to have hurt his standing a bit, as his follow-up was so weak it didn’t even make TV on his promoter’s show.
17) Malik Scott (10-25)
Last Fight: 7/20/2013- L (KO6*) vs. #8 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott was up at 9.5 and ready to go, but Phil Edwards called the fight off in an unfortunate SNAFU.  That being said, Chisora was coming on and I already had him ahead.  Scott probably would have gone on to lose anyway.
18) Johnathon Banks (8-39)
Last Fight: 6/22/2013- L (UD12) vs. #20 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Denis Boytsov (8-217)
Last Fight: 6/15/2013- KO3 Alexander Nesterenko (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov has signed with Sauerland, and looks to make his debut under their banner in August or September.
20) Franklin Lawrence (8-24)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- Mark Brown (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Wednesday in New York, local prospect-gatekeeper hybrid Tor Hamer takes on oft-recycled journeyman Kertson Manswell.

 

Friday, undefeated Polish prospect Artur Szpilka once again throws hands with rugged journeyman Mike Mollo, a crude banger who sent Szpilka to the canvas twice back in February before Szpilka came back to knock him out with a dynamite 1-2 combo in one of the best fights of the year.  The first fight will be replayed on Friday Night Fights (it was originally only televised on an ESPN3 internet stream) to open the night, with the rematch to follow on the Campillo-Fonfara undercard from Comiskey Park in Chicago.

Heavyweight: 2013, May 20-26

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on May 21, 2013 by danboxing
2-loss fringe prospect Tor Hamer got back on the right track Wednesday in New York, stopping journeyman Maurenzo Smith midway through the 3rd round to claim a victory in his first fight since quitting on his stool against Vyacheslav Glazkov in December.

 

In the week’s biggest fight at the weight, #4 Alexander Povetkin put a beating on weak-chinned Polish stringbean Andrzej Wawrzyk in Moscow, knocking the technically undefeated prospect down 3 times in as many rounds, before referee Russell Mora had seen enough and called a stop to it.  Wawrzyk arguably deserved a loss two fights ago against journeyman Denis Bakhtov, so I’m not even sure he’s a clear top 50 fighter.

 

No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (204-417-417)
Last Fight: 5/4/2013- TKO6 Francesco Pianeta
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. #4 Alexander Povetkin
After original reports had the fight all but set for August 31- a proposition that always seemed a bit far-fetched- it now appears that Klitschko-Povetkin is essentially done for October 5, though there is a sticking point over what organization will handle the drug testing.
1) Vitali Klitschko (241-241-241)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has officially ordered Vitali-Stiverne, and it sounds like it will happen.
2) Tyson Fury (5-96-96)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- KO7 #3 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury is now suddenly the most proven heavyweight not named Klitschko, and will likely get a chance to add to his resume against Kubrat Pulev next, as an eliminator for Wlad in the IBF.
3) David Haye (5-45-45)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. Manuel Charr (UNR)
Haye had some good fighters willing to fight him- including Eddie Chambers and possibly Kubrat Pulev.  The disappointment I feel at learning that he will instead fight borderline fringe contender Manuel Charr can not be overstated.
4) Alexander Povetkin (45-291-291)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- TKO3 Andrzej Wawryzk (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/5/2013- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
After hanging around the top of the rankings for years on end, Povetkin will finally get and accept a shot at the legitimate title on October 5, apparently pending the two sides agreeing on the terms of drug testing.
5) Steve Cunningham (5-22-22)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- L (KO7) vs. #6 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: Unknown
Only time will tell where Cunningham goes form here.  His hopes for a title shot are dashed at least for awhile.  Perhaps a trilogy with Adamek would make sense at this point.
6Tomasz Adamek (5-161-161)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- W (SD12)* vs. CW #4 Steve Cunningham (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Word is that Adamek will likely be fighting still relatively unproven Newark prospect Joe Hanks on June 14 in that town that they both currently call home.
7) Eddie Chambers (22-49-49)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers continues to fish for opponents, but nothing solid yet.
8) Kubrat Pulev (22-55-132)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pulev and Fury have until May 28 to reach a deal to avoid a purse bid.
9) Dereck Chisora (22-77-140)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- TKO9 Hector Avila (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It was announced by Chisora’s team that he’d be fighting Deontay Wilder on June 15, but that fight was apparently dead before it was born, with Wilder’s camp concerned about his ability to go to England for the fight due to a pending assault charge.  It’s likely that Chisora will still fight on June 15, though.
10) Odlanier Solis (9-9-156)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- UD12 Leif Larsen (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis’ promoter wants to get him back in the ring within 3 months after the Larsen fight.
11) Johnathon Banks (9-27)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- TKO2 #11 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: 6/22/2013- vs. Seth Mitchell (UNR)
The Mitchell rematch- postponed due to a broken thumb by Banks- has been reset for the Malignaggi-Broner undercard on June 22.
12) Bermane Stiverne (4-12)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne is hoping that Vitali doesn’t retire so that he can try and do the honors himself.  At this point he’d be a pretty credible opponent, too.
13) Tony Thompson (4-156)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- TKO2 David Price (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/6/2013- vs. David Price (UNR)
After originally saying he’d only fight David Price in a rematch if Price came to the US, Thompson has instead agreed to fight in Price’s Liverpool backyard again.
14) Deontay Wilder (4-4)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- TKO1 Audley Harrison (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wilder may be fighting in Brooklyn on July 13.
15) Robert Helenius (4-156)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
If Helenius’ team was accurate on the severity of his hand injury, it should be healed by about now, although there were immediate rumors that the injury was more serious.
16) Alexander Dimitrenko (4-123)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko’s future is in doubt after he struggled mightily to survive a heavy knockdown and outpoint typically inept journeyman Ivica Perkovic.
17) Vyacheslav Glazkov (12-22)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. Malik Scott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov got the benefit of the doubt in every close round from two of the judges against Scott.  It was just about as close to a robbery as you can get without me calling it that. 
18) Malik Scott (12-13)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. #19 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott is waiting for his next fight after spending several weeks sparring Povetkin and Lebedev in Moscow.
19) Denis Boytsov (4-205)
Last Fight: 2/15/2013- UD8 Samir Kurtagic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov’s 2nd best win- over Robert Hawkins- is now over 5 years old, and he has slipped a few spots as a result.  He’s getting closer to obscurity with each passing month.
20) Franklin Lawrence (12-12)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- Mark Brown (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lawrence reportedly pulled out of a planned (and very good) crossroads fight with prospect Bryant Jennings.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: One-loss Cameroonian prospect Carlos Takam fights in his adopted hometown of Noisy-le-Grand, France against 6’7″ gatekeeper Michael Grant, who hasn’t fought since his November 2011 win over Frans Botha.  The winner will probably gain some degree of prominence in the division, somewhere along the lines of a fringe contender.

Heavyweight: 2013, May 13-19

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on May 13, 2013 by danboxing
Alex Leapai fought as scheduled in Brisbane on Thursday, but his undefeated novice opponent John Napari was replaced by an even weaker challenge in 2-4 Joe Lloyd, who lasted just 78 seconds before succumbing to a knockout.

 

No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (203-416-416)
Last Fight: 5/4/2013- TKO6 Francesco Pianeta
Next Fight: 8/31/2013- vs. #4 Alexander Povetkin
After an easy fight against Pianeta, Klitschko seems to have a big (but probably still easier than it might look on paper) defense against Povetkin.  He’ll get a big payday to travel to Moscow.  This is undoubtedly contingent on Povetkin beating Wawrzyk.
1) Vitali Klitschko (240-240-240)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBC has officially ordered Vitali-Stiverne, and it sounds like it will happen.
2) Tyson Fury (4-95-95)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- KO7 #3 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury is now suddenly the most proven heavyweight not named Klitschko, and will likely get a chance to add to his resume against Kubrat Pulev next, as an eliminator for Wlad in the IBF.
3) David Haye (4-44-44)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. Manuel Charr (UNR)
Haye had some good fighters willing to fight him- including Eddie Chambers and possibly Kubrat Pulev.  The disappointment I feel at learning that he will instead fight borderline fringe contender Manuel Charr can not be overstated.
4) Alexander Povetkin (44-290-290)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO2 Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/17/2013- vs. Andrzej Wawrzyk (UNR)
Povetkin is set to fight mediocre-looking undefeated Polish prospect Andrzej Wawrzyk in Moscow, on the Lebedev-Jones undercard.  After that, he will almost certainly have a fight with Wlad on tap for late August.
5) Steve Cunningham (4-21-21)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- L (KO7) vs. #6 Tyson Fury
Next Fight: Unknown
Only time will tell where Cunningham goes form here.  His hopes for a title shot are dashed at least for awhile.  Perhaps a trilogy with Adamek would make sense at this point.
6Tomasz Adamek (4-160-160)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- W (SD12)* vs. CW #4 Steve Cunningham (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Word is that Adamek will likely be fighting still relatively unproven Newark prospect Joe Hanks on June 14 in that town that they both currently call home.
7) Eddie Chambers (21-48-48)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
Chambers has hinted at negotiations with a fighter with an “animal name.”  Most likely he’s talking about Lateef Kayode.  That fight, if it gets made, could be at either heavyweight or cruiser.
8) Kubrat Pulev (21-54-131)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After negotiatings to fight David Haye failed, it now seems likely Pulev has got Tyson Fury next, for a likely shot at Wladimir Klitschko in early 2014.
9) Dereck Chisora (21-76-139)
Last Fight: 4/20/2013- TKO9 Hector Avila (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It was announced by Chisora’s team that he’d be fighting Deontay Wilder on June 15, but that fight was apparently dead before it was born, with Wilder’s camp concerned about his ability to go to England for the fight due to a pending assault charge.  It’s likely that Chisora will still fight on June 15, though.
10) Odlanier Solis (8-8-155)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- UD12 Leif Larsen (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis’ promoter wants to get him back in the ring within 3 months after the Larsen fight.
11) Johnathon Banks (8-26)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- TKO2 #11 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: 6/22/2013- vs. Seth Mitchell (UNR)
The Mitchell rematch- postponed due to a broken thumb by Banks- has been reset for the Malignaggi-Broner undercard on June 22.
12) Bermane Stiverne (3-11)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12 #15 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne is hoping that Vitali doesn’t retire so that he can try and do the honors himself.  At this point he’d be a pretty credible opponent, too.
13) Tony Thompson (3-155)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- TKO2 David Price (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/6/2013- vs. David Price (UNR)
After originally saying he’d only fight David Price in a rematch if Price came to the US, Thompson has instead agreed to fight in Price’s Liverpool backyard again.
14) Deontay Wilder (3-3)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- TKO1 Audley Harrison (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Chisora’s notes, above.
15) Robert Helenius (3-155)
Last Fight: 3/23/2013- W*(UD10) vs. Michael Sprott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Helenius’ team confirms another hand injury.  They say it will take 6 weeks to heal, despite rumors that it is more serious.
16) Alexander Dimitrenko (3-122)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko’s future is in doubt after he struggled mightily to survive a heavy knockdown and outpoint typically inept journeyman Ivica Perkovic.
17) Vyacheslav Glazkov (11-21)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. Malik Scott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov got the benefit of the doubt in every close round from two of the judges against Scott.  It was just about as close to a robbery as you can get without me calling it that. 
18) Malik Scott (11-12)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- Draw* (SD10) vs. #19 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
Scott is in Moscow at last check, sparring with Povetkin and Lebedev.
19) Denis Boytsov (3-204)
Last Fight: 2/15/2013- UD8 Samir Kurtagic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov’s 2nd best win- over Robert Hawkins- is now over 5 years old, and he has slipped a few spots as a result.  He’s getting closer to obscurity with each passing month.
20) Franklin Lawrence (11-11)
Last Fight: 1/25/2013- Mark Brown (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lawrence reportedly pulled out of a planned (and very good) crossroads fight with prospect Bryant Jennings.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Friday in New York, former Prizefighter Champion Tor Hamer looks to get back on track after quitting on his stool against Vyacheslav Glazkov in December.  He will be in with low-level journeyman Maurenzo Smith.

 

Saturday in Moscow, #4 Alexander Povetkin will stay busy against mediocre-looking undefeated prospect Andrzej Wawrzyk ahead of his anticipated Championship fight with Wlad, tentatively scheduled for August.

Heavyweight: 2012, Dec 24-30

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on December 24, 2012 by danboxing
I’ll start with the bigger fights and move on to the smaller ones this week.

 

First and foremost, the rematch between #3 Tomasz Adamek and #4 cruiserweight Steve Cunningham.  What should have been a grand showcase for the sport on network TV turned into a debacle that no doubt reinforced many of the public’s negative perceptions about the sport.  Cunningham came in at 203 pounds, proving that he is probably a small cruiserweight who likely barely needs to drain- if at all- to make that weight.  While lacking serious power, he boxed the ears off Adamek.  The Polish contender took on a persona largely unfamiliar to his heavyweight run, fighting as an aggressive come-forward slugger.  Unfortunately for him, he was significantly too slow, with his 20 pound weight advantage, to frustrate Cunningham’s hit and run, long-range sharpshooting game plan.  Cunningham won no fewer than 8 of the 12 rounds- perhaps as many as 10- and landed the more effective shots overall from all appearances, but was blatantly robbed by 2 of the 3 judges.  Judge Debra Barnes- whose card was twice announced incorrectly- incredibly gave the fight to Adamek 115-113, and Dave Greer went even further at 116-112.  Even the one judge that had it for Cunningham- Tom Miller- had it too close at 115-113.  On this page, Cunningham will obviously be given full credit as the winner. 

 

On the undercard, a battle of fringe contending prospects ended in an unsatisfying way, as New York’s Tor Hamer- who rose to a degree of prominence by beating fringe contender Kevin Johnson in a 3-rounder to win Britain’s latest International Prizefighter Heavyweight tournament- quit on his stool after round 4.  His opponent Vyacheslav Glazkov- who had obtained essentially the same status by dominating then-credible Konstantin Airich in September- had begun to catch him with clean shots on a consistent basis, after a relatively even first three rounds.  The NBC broadcast left the impression that Hamer quit essentially from frustration and lack of desire.  Unfortunately, they did not conduct an interview with Hamer to confirm that impression.  There is no way to know Hamer’s real reason or lack thereof until we hear from the fighter himself.  But two things are certain: Glazkov has made a name for himself and made himself a real fighter to watch, and Hamer will be adjudged a quitter- whether fairly or unfairly- among most fans.

 

Backtracking to Friday, Lebanese prospect Manuel Charr- who suffered his first loss in his last fight by questionable stoppage against Vitali Klitschko, and whom I misidentified last week as Turkish- stopped the aforementioned Konstantin Airich in just 44 seconds in Cologne.  Prior to a recent losing streak and positive PED test, Airich had been viewed as a legitimate gatekeeper-type.

 

In the Czech Republic, #14 Alexander Dimitrenko returned to the ring for the first time since his demoralizing stoppage loss in May to Kubrat Pulev.  I’m not sure how the overall fight went, but I do know that he won a unanimous 8-round decision over low-level journeyman Samir Kurtagic, but was dropped in the final round along the way.

 

Last and least, borderline gatekeeper Alex Leapai of Samoa gave me my first-ever opportunity to report on a fight held in China, when he traveled there to stop weak Uzbek Akmal Aslanov midway through the 5th round.

 

Cunningham’s clear victory propels him from heavyweight obscurity to #3.  Adamek, despite losing to a cruiserweight, slumps below a fighter who had a similar moment within the year, although the fact that Povetkin had a better argument for a win over Huck than Adamek did over Cunningham is probably the decisive difference that allows the Russian to overtake the Pole.  Tyson Fury still lacks the top 10 victory he’d need to advance past Adamek, though.

 

Glazkov’s win also earns him a spot in the top 20- just barely.  His debut and that of Cunningham force out last week’s #s 19 and 20, Bermane Stiverne and Franklin Lawrence.  Stiverne had been rated for 78 weeks straight, while Lawrence had only returned last week after a long absence.  Everyone rated 5-18 last week drops a spot, as well, including Odlanier Solis, who drops back to #11 after just 7 straight weeks in the top 10.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (183-396-396)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- UD12 Mariusz Wach (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It now appears to be a virtual certainty that Wlad and Povetkin will meet in or around March.
1) Vitali Klitschko (220-220-220)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO4 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vitali originally said he’d decide whether to retire or fight on by December 17, but has now said he won’t decide until 2013.
2) David Haye (24-24-24)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- TKO5 #6 Dereck Chisora
Next Fight: Unknown
Haye has indicated that a fight with Vitali may be the only fight that would lure him away from re-retiring. 
3) Steve Cunningham (1-1-1)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- L (SD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Judges don’t like Steve Cunningham, and he’s the visiting fighter even at home.  I don’t know why.  He makes interesting fights and has been excellent for years.  But he was borderline robbed in his first fight with Hernandez, and now blatantly so against Adamek.
4) Alexander Povetkin (24-270-270)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- TKO2 Hasim Rahman (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It now looks like a good bet that Povetkin-Wlad will be made early in 2013.
5) Tomasz Adamek (1-140-140)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- W (SD12)* vs. CW #4 Steve Cunningham (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
The judges, at first blush, appeared to have helped Adamek.  But what he gets is undeserved public scorn at having won a fight in which he put in an honest effort but clearly lost.  For a bonus, he most likely gets a fight with Kubrat Pulev that he is likely to lose very badly.
6) Tyson Fury (1-75-75)
Last Fight: 12/1/2012- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fury’s promoter says that David Price has made a non-serious offer to fight him.  In reality, the money probably doesn’t matter.   Fury could sit around eating Cheetos indefinitely and still get a big-money Klitschko shot in 2013.  The same is not true if he loses to Price.  If he loses to Klitschko, he can probably still fight Price later.
7) Eddie Chambers (1-28-28)
Last Fight: 6/16/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: Unknown
After announcing that he’s moving down to cruiserweight, Chambers has a suitor at that weight in #1 Denis Lebedev.  Lebedev would like to come to New York to fight him in March or before.
8) Kubrat Pulev (1-34-111)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- KO11 Alexander Ustinov (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
With Wlad likely to take care of his WBA mandatory against Povetkin in March, Pulev appears likely to fight for the IBF mandatory position against Adamek around the same time.
9) Dereck Chisora (1-56-119)
Last Fight: 7/14/2012- L(TKO5) vs. David Haye (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chisora is in the process of re-applying for his British license, and if successful, may very well fight David Price next.
10) Johnathon Banks (1-6-6)

Last Fight: 11/17/2012- TKO2 #11 Seth Mitchell
Next Fight: 2/16/2013- vs. Seth Mitchell (UNR)
Banks doesn’t get to rest on his laurels for too long, as Mitchell has invoked his rematch clause.  The second helping will be placed on the table on a February 16 Adrien Broner undercard.
11) Odlanier Solis (1-135)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD12 Konstantin Airich (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Solis pulled out of his December 22 fight with Adamek, apparently due to severe differences with his Turkish promoter Ahmet Oner, from whom he is apparently trying to separate himself.  Solis’ scheduling has been notoriously unreliable under Oner ever since he injured his knee against Vitali Klitschko.
12) Marco Huck (1-44)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- W*(UD12) vs. CW #10 Firat Arslan (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck will be fighting a trilogy with Afolabi, with the last fight being in March, when Afolabi is likely to get robbed in Germany.
13) Robert Helenius (1-135)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- W*(UD10) vs. Sherman Williams (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Barely squeaked by after a comatose performance against journeyman Williams.  The judges had it pretty wide, but make no mistake- it was a 1 or 2 point either way kind of fight.
14) Ruslan Chagaev (1-319)
Last Fight: 9/1/2012- TKO7 Werner Kreiskott (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chagaev is almost certain to be removed in January, when his last significant win- a solid decision over a contender in Matt Skelton- exceeds the 5 year mark of age.  I don’t factor fights over 5 years old in my rankings.
15) Alexander Dimitrenko (1-102)
Last Fight: 12/21/2012- UD8 Samir Kurtagic (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Dimitrenko beat the very mediocre Samir Kurtagic, but couldn’t avoid getting dropped late in the contest.
16) Tony Thompson (1-135)
Last Fight: 7/7/2012- L(TKO6) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 2/23/2013- vs. David Price (UNR)
After failing to take the title from Wlad, Thompson will serve as a stepping stone to a top 10 ranking for sensational English giant David Price in a February fight in Liverpool- or at least he will if he plays along with Price’s plan.
17) Chris Arreola (1-197)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- KO1 Eric Molina (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/23/2013- vs. Bermane Stiverne (UNR)
The oft-delayed Arreola-Stiverne fight once again has a new date- this time February 23- due to an injury to main event headliner Andre Ward.
18) Denis Boytsov (1-184)
Last Fight: 4/13/2012- UD10 Dominick Guinn (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Boytsov hopes to return February 9, but will have to get past issues with his cash-strapped promoter in order to make that fight a reality.
19) Jean-Marc Mormeck (1-135)
Last Fight: 3/3/2012- L(TKO4) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: 2/2/2013- vs. CW #6 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (at CW)
The Wlodarczyk fight has a new date of February 2, apparently due to difficulties in negotiating the particulars of the fight.
20) Vyacheslav Glazkov (1-1)
Last Fight: 12/22/2012- RTD4 Tor Hamer (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Glazkov may have had a bit easier a time in dispatching Hamer than you’d like to see, but he deserves plenty of credit for the performance nevertheless.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Only one significant fight to report this week- and its significance is largely due to name recognition alone.  Former contender Oleg Maskaev returns to the sport for the first time since 2009, taking on oft-recycled journeyman Owen Beck in Moscow.  After so long, Maskaev certainly is not a current top 50 fighter, but has a recognizable enouigh name to merit a mention,  I think.