Archive for Vitaliy Kopylenko

Middleweight: 2014, Apr 14-20

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 23, 2014 by danboxing
#16 Super Middleweight and long-time middleweight fringe contender Andy Lee turned in a pathetic excuse for a performance on the Skoglund-D’Agata undercard in Esbjerg, Denmark on Saturday against French light middleweight journeyman and occasional gatekeeper Frank Haroche Horta.  The smaller Horta bullied Lee around the ring for most of the fight.  When on the inside, his uppercuts in particular were really effective.  Lee, while he clearly won 3 of the first 4 rounds, just didn’t work hardly at all in the last half of the fight, and his defense was atrocious…almost non-existent.  The fight was pretty easy to score, and should pretty clearly have stood at 77-75 for Haroche Horta.  Lee, to put it simply, lost the fight.  It’s the latest and most stark examples of a theme in Lee’s career.  Actual middleweight fights are like kryptonite to him.  When he strays over the weight by even a fraction of a pound, he does fine, even against reasonably decent opposition.  But whether against Chavez or Vera or now against Haroche Horta, he always falls flat when he makes 160.

 

The same night in London, undefeated prospect Chris Eubank, Jr. came in more than 4 pounds heavy, and more than 8 pounds heavier than his opponent, journeyman Sandor Micsko.  It wasn’t much of a fight.  Despite clearly winning a very uneventful first round, Eubank had put in frightfully little work by the time he finally exploded on his overmatched and chinny opponent and knocked him out in the 2nd.  As if he were trying to be a larger British Adrien Broner, he did more talking and posing than he did fighting.  But at least he got the job done.

 

#12 Anthony Mundine lost badly at 154 to Joshua Clottey.  I will discuss that fight in detail at that weight, but the loss does affect Mundine’s standing here, as well.  His only middleweight win at above the gatekeeper level will become over 5 years old next month, so there’s very little left to arrest his nosedive, and at least at this weight class, he’s been zapped all the way down to the gatekeeper level.  Haroche Horta has a bit too checkered a resume to allow his debut here.  Therefore, the vacancy created by Mundine’s ouster is filled by Akio Shibata, who returns to the rankings for the first time since December 9.  Shibata’s status was damaged by his loss to Murata in Murata’s pro debut last year, but he bounced back to prove that it said more about Murata being good than his being bad when he outpointed gatekeeper Daisuke Nakagawa in March.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (209-209-209)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. # 8 JMW Miguel Cotto
If there was any lingering doubt, Martinez-Cotto is now on for June 7 at Madison Square Garden.
1) Gennady Golovkin (18-85-148)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
A fight between Golovkin and Julio Cesar Chavez appears to be nearly done for July 19 at 168.
2) Felix Sturm (18-552-552)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- TKO2 #3 Darren Barker
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #8 Sam Soliman (UNR)
Soliman has obfuscated his clear banned stimulant violation to the point that he has perhaps most people thinking he was totally clean.  He wasn’t.  And he didn’t win that fight even if he had been.  Sturm got screwed all the way around, and now he’s forced to rematch the Australian, who deserves the opportunity much less than would Macklin, Murray, or Geale.  But that’s what we’ve got.  May 31 in Krefeld.
3) Daniel Geale (8-252-252)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #5 Matthew Macklin
Geale is apparently set to fight Macklin in an intriguing fight on May 24 in the US, on HBO.
4) Martin Murray (8-124-124)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- W* (PTS8) vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: 4/23/2014- vs. Ishmail Tetteh (UNR)
Murray will look to shake off some rust in Kempton Park, South Africa on April 23, fighting very low-level Ghanaian journeyman Ishmail Tetteh.
5) Matthew Macklin (13-147-238)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #3 Daniel Geale
See Geale’s notes, above.
6) Peter Quillin (13-78-99)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Lukas Konecny (UNR)
Quillin will fight former 154-pound fringe contender Lukas Konecny, who will be making his first appearance in a meaningful fight at 160 on the Hopkins-Shumenov undercard on April 19 in D.C.
7) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (13-18-18)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Ricardo Ramallo (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/16/2014- vs. Fulgencio Zuniga (UNR)
N’Dam has an opponent for this week, and it’s Colombian journeyman Fulgencio Zuniga.
8) Sam Soliman (13-18-18)
Last Fight: 12/11/2013- TKO9 Les Sherrington (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/31/2014- vs. #2 Felix Sturm
Soliman cheated with a stimulant, won by ridiculous robbery before being stripped of the victory, and now he gets what I would argue is an undeserved chance at a do-over.
9) Sergio Mora (13-42-42)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/10/2014- vs. Samuel Rogers (UNR)
Mora will be back on the L.A. undercard of Stiverne-Arreola II against prospect Samuel Rogers who, in addition to being a natural junior middleweight and much less accomplished, is coming off his first career loss.
10) Osumanu Adama (11-11-11)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most pleasant entry into the rankings we’ve ever seen, but his resume stacks up pretty well as long as he’s active and on weight.
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (11-168)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- KO10* Domenico Spada (UNR)
Next Fight:Unknown
Rubio finished a rigged fight against Domenico Spada in style, but he was losing the fight at the time, and may have lost it entirely if Jon Schorle hadn’t yelled “break” every time his opponent landed a punch or got close to Rubio.
12) Jarrod Fletcher (1-11)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown
Fletcher is said to be among those being considered for a June 1 fight with Dmitry Chudinov in Russia.
13) Max Bursak (1-168)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L* (UD12) vs. Jarrod Fletcher (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
He didn’t get robbed, and it’s hard to feel sorry for him considering how dirty he fought, but I did think Bursak deserved better than a loss against Fletcher.
14) Grzegorz Proksa (1-157)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I can’t find any information on why, but Proksa’s scheduled fight with Matthew Hall this weekend has disappeared from the schedule.
15) Caleb Truax (1-30)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (UD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Truax’s status as a promising prospect has been derailed somewhat by the very tough Ossie Duran.
16) Curtis Stevens (1-37)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- TKO10* Tureano Johnson (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevens’ haplessness for all but the last few seconds of his prematurely-stopped bout with Tureano Johnson has got to raise questions about his ability to rise any higher than he finds himself now.  Johnson has respectfully pushed for a rematch.
17) Andrey Meryasev (1-23)
Last Fight: 11/4/2013- UD10 Sergio Sanders (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/26/2014- vs. Carlos Baldomir (UNR)
Meryasev is back in action on April 26- on apparently just over 2 weeks’ notice- against faded veteran Carlos Baldomir in Mexico.
18) Daniel Jacobs (1-34)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- TKO1 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Easy work for Jacobs against Nunez.  He’s looking for a title fight- probably against Quillin- at the earliest opportunity.
19) Dmitry Chudinov (1-3)
Last Fight: 12/21/2013- TKO6 Juan Camilo Novoa (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/1/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Chudinov will return on June 1, and Jarrod Fletcher and Patrick Nielsen- both excellent options- are being considered for the fight.
20) Akio Shibata (1-1)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- UD12 Daisuke Nakagawa (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Shibata’s loss to Murata- an Olympic champion with no pro track record- was a significant setback, but he showed that he’s still viable internationally by beating domestic gatekeeper Daisuke Nakagawa.

 

The Week Ahead: 
Wednesday
#7 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam vs. Fulgencio Zuniga; Santa Monica, California; Off TV
This is a pretty solid fight on a pretty solid card, but it sadly won’t be on TV.  N’Dam, from France by way of Cameroon, is the big favorite, obviously, and one of the better pure boxers in the sport.  Zuniga is a fairly competent journeyman from Colombia who typically fights at 168 or 175.

 

Friday
ESPN Boxcino Tournament Semi-Finals; Verona, New York; ESPN2
The first semi-final features two guys still looking to prove themselves.  Undefeated Brandon Adams got a nice-looking win against veteran journeyman Daniel Edouard in the first round, but Edouard was a mere shadow of his former self, and was never that great to begin with.  Gatica destroyed an untested undefeated fighter in Ghana’s Sena Agbeko, giving some support to the idea that he is a serious force- an idea which had its roots in his punishing near-victory over battle-tested fringe prospect Fernando Guerrero.  Gatica gets the edge in experience, but Adams did look more than a little talented last time out.  I see it as an interesting fight that’s tough to call.

 

In the second fight, Ukrainian tournament favorite Vitaliy Kopylenko gets what should be an easy path to the finals against Willie Monroe, Jr.  Kopylenko destroyed borderline top-50 fringe prospect Ceresso Fort to begin his tourney campaign, while the light-hitting Monroe was clearly beaten, yet was given a win over rugged journeyman Donatas Bondas.

 

Saturday
#6 Peter Quillin vs. Lukas Konecny; Washington, D.C.; Showtime (US)
I hope Quillin isn’t taking this fight for granted as much as most in the media seem to be.  Konecny was an underrated guy at 154, and was a big enough, strong enough guy at that weight to suggest he might have the strength and power necessary to threaten Quillin, who has given plenty of reason to doubt his chin and his conditioning when it comes to rough physical fights.  Obviously I agree that Quillin should be the favorite, but Konecny is every inch an underrated live dog in this one.

 

Matt Korobov vs. Emil Gonzalez; Orlando, Florida; Off TV
Korobov is a Russian undefeated prospect whose career has essentially plateaued after he appeared to be the next big thing back around 2009.  Korobov did how some signs of life in destroying the extremely competent Ossie Duran nearly a year ago, but he’s actually been stepping down his competition in each fight since.  That trend continues this week, as Emil Gonzalez is a very nondescript Puerto Rican journeyman who is coming off a points loss to Derek Ennis, and has lost to some lesser guys earlier in his career, as well.  It’s a stay-busy fight and not expected to make the UniMas broadcast of the card.

Middleweight: 2014, Mar 3-9

Posted in Middleweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on July 25, 2014 by danboxing
I’ll start off with the Friday Night Fights Boxcino tournament and move on to the more regular action.

 

Undefeated but untested American prospect Brandon Adams was very impressive in stopping inactive veteran journeyman Daniel Edouard between the 4th and 5th, at which point I had it 39-36 (Adams scored a knockdown in the 4th).  This fight is not particularly significant, however, as neither guy came in at anywhere near a top 50 fighter.

 

Hard-hitting slugger Ray Gatica demolished paper tiger Sena Agbeko, an undefeated Ghanaian who hadn’t fought anyone with a pulse, stopping Agbeko in the 4th after beating the breaks off of him in the 3rd.  Gatica’s technique was horrible, but he hit every bit as hard as he did against Fernando Guerrero in a narrowly losing effort.  Again, not a significant fight in itself.

 

Undefeated Ukrainian Vitaliy Kopylenko, an undefeated prospect who came in tested at a slightly higher level than Adams and Agbeko, scored the night’s biggest win when he stopped Ceresso Fort- a two loss fringe prospect who existed on the fringes of the top 50- in just two rounds.  Fort was arguably the most proven member of the field, so Kopylenko has quickly become a favorite to win the whole thing.

 

Finally, Donatas Bondas was arguably robbed for a second fight in a row against pure boxer Willie Monroe, Jr.  Bondas was by far the more aggressive and harder hitting fighter between the two, and clearly won anywhere between 2-6 of the 6 rounds.  That is to say, he won the clearest two rounds of the fight in the 3rd and 4th, and the rest were toss-ups, the majority of which I felt very strongly that he carried on his aggression.  Nathan Palmer’s 58-56 for Monroe was maybe a reasonable stretch, but Eric Burris and Gary Merritt’s overwhelmingly stupid 59-55 cards lead me to believe that this fight was likely rigged.  Again, no importance here, except that the wrong guy moves forward in the tournament.

 

Monroe will be fed to Kopylenko next, and Adams and Gatica will battle it out on April 18.

 

Tokyo was host to all of Saturday’s action.  Unfortunately, said action cannot be found on video anywhere on the internet.  In one of these fights, Akio Shibata won an apparently close decision (117-111, 116-113, 115-113) over gatekeeper Daisuke Nakagawa, mirroring the result of their 2012 ten-rounder.  In the other, gatekeeper Makoto Fuchigami was shockingly upset (also in close fashion) by 9-6-1 journeyman Hikaru Nishida in an 8-rounder by scores of 78-75, 77-75, and 77-76.  I am bound to take these results at face value given the lack of video.

 

Kopylenko has established himself as a clear top 50 fighter, and most likely the favorite to win Boxcino, but that’s all that’s come out of it so far.

 

As for the Japanese results, Shibata has made some progress to overcome the stain of the Murata loss, and now sits squarely within the top 25 (but short of the top 20).  Nakagawa slides back to the mid-30s.  Nishida becomes a legitimate gatekeeper, though his ugly past record holds him back from getting even as high as the mid-30s.  Fuchigami is now clearly in steep decline, and is now on the fringes of the top 50.  No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in Current Position-Weeks in Top 10 if applicable-Weeks in Top 20)
Champ: Sergio Martinez (203-203-203)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD12* #9 Martin Murray (Robbery- draw at best)
Next Fight: 6/7/2014- vs. # 8 JMW Miguel Cotto
If there was any lingering doubt, Martinez-Cotto is now on for June 7 at Madison Square Garden.
1) Gennady Golovkin (12-79-142)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- TKO7 Osumanu Adama (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Golovkin was well on his way to signing for a fight with Andy Lee on April 26, but that fight and the date are off to allow GGG to mourn his father’s death.
2) Felix Sturm (12-546-546)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- TKO2 #3 Darren Barker
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman is the #1 contender for Sturm’s alphabet title, and Murray, Macklin, and Geale are all trying to get rematches with him, as well.  There is also talk of an Arthur Abraham fight on May 31.
3) Daniel Geale (2-246-246)
Last Fight: 2/19/2014- RTD6 Garth Wood (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Geale cut through Wood like an unsympathetic buzzsaw, and is hoping for a fight with Golovkin, who would also fit that description well.
4) Martin Murray (2-118-118)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- W* (PTS8) vs. Sergey Khomitsky (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Murray and Hatton promotions have parted ways which, along with nagging injuries, may further delay his rumored title fight.  It looks like he’s close to a deal with Matchroom, though.
5) Matthew Macklin (7-141-232)
Last Fight: 12/7/2013- UD10 Lamar Russ (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After a legitimate but very unspectacular win over only moderately proven prospect Lamar Russ, Macklin has joined the chorus of quality middleweights looking for a rematch with Sturm.  He’s also pushing for a fight with Andy Lee (possibly on April 26) and has expressed interest in Quillin.
6) Peter Quillin (7-72-93)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- TKO10 Gabriel Rosado (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
See Macklin’s notes, above.  Stevens is also looking for a fight with him, as is Sergio Mora.
7) Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (7-12-12)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Ricardo Ramallo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
N’Dam totally dominated journeyman Ramallo.  Here’s hoping he gets another worthwhile fight at something near championship-level soon.
8) Sam Soliman (7-12-12)
Last Fight: 12/11/2013- TKO9 Les Sherrington (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Soliman has been re-installed as the #1 contender to Sturm’s alphabet strap, and will likely get another shot soon.
9) Sergio Mora (7-36-36)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- KO5 Milton Nunez (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mora is reportedly in the mix for a fight with Quillin.
10) Osumanu Adama (5-5-5)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: Unknown
Not the most pleasant entry into the rankings we’ve ever seen, but his resume stacks up pretty well as long as he’s active and on weight.
11) Marco Antonio Rubio (5-162)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- KO2 Dionisio Miranda (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Domenico Spada (UNR)
Rubio-Spada is now set for April 5 in Mexico.  It’s for an interim title, if such trifles mean anything to you.
12) Anthony Mundine (5-162)
Last Fight: 1/29/2014- UD10 Gunnar Jackson (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/2/2014- vs. Joshua Clottey (UNR) (at JMW)
Mundine confirms that he will be fighting, of all people, the long-forgotten Joshua Clottey on April 2, and then perhaps Erislandy Lara in July if that works out for him.
13) Jarrod Fletcher (5-5)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- W* (UD12) vs. #12 Max Bursak
Next Fight: Unknown
Fletcher is said to have received 7 serious fight offers after he was given the nod against Bursak.  The team behind Dmitry Chudinov, who presumably made one of those offers, says a fight is being discussed, possibly for March or April.  There is also some talk of a domestic showdown with Geale.
14) Max Bursak (5-162)
Last Fight: 2/1/2014- L* (UD12) vs. Jarrod Fletcher (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
He didn’t get robbed, and it’s hard to feel sorry for him considering how dirty he fought, but I did think Bursak deserved better than a loss against Fletcher.
15) Bryan Vera (5-72)
Last Fight: 3/1/2014- L (UD10) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Vera’s loss to Chavez at a heavier weight has no effect on his ranking here.  He will need to schedule a fight at 160 by March 29 to avoid removal here, though.
16) Grzegorz Proksa (5-151)
Last Fight: 6/28/2013- L (UD10) vs. Sergio Mora (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Proksa is likely to fight again on April 19 according to Polish news reports.
17) Caleb Truax (5-24)
Last Fight: 1/3/2014- Draw (UD10) vs. Ossie Duran (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Truax’s status as a promising prospect has been derailed somewhat by the very tough Ossie Duran.
18) Curtis Stevens (5-31)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- TKO1 Patrick Majewski (UNR) (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Stevens has his sites set on Peter Quillin.
19) Andrey Meryasev (5-17)
Last Fight: 11/4/2013- UD10 Sergio Sanders (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I’ve still yet to see Meryasev in action, but his win over Sanders at this point in his career proves that he’s a real prospect.
20) Danny Jacobs (5-28)
Last Fight: 8/19/2013- TKO3 Giovanni Lorenzo (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: 
Saturday
Jose Uzcategui vs. David Lopez; Nogales, Mexico; Azteca America (US)
Uzcategui is an undefeated Venezuelan prospect who rightly generates some buzz south of the border.  Lopez is a veteran fringe contender who was last seen nearly a year ago getting a gift against Don George.  Even so, Lopez represents Uzcategui’s sternest test to date.