Archive for Zack Mwekassa

Heavyweight: 2014, Jun 30- Jul 6

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 19, 2014 by danboxing
Argentine gatekeeper Matias Vidondo knocked out mid-level journeyman Miguel Morales in 2 in Capitan Bermudez, Argentina on Friday.

 

Undefeated California prospect Gerald Washington destroyed veteran journeyman Travis Walker in a similar amount of time that same night on the non-televised ShoBox undercard, stopping Walker 31 seconds into the second round in what has to be seen as an impressive performance, though “seen” is a strong word, since I never was able to see it.

 

The following night in Kinshasa, Congo, cruiserweight gatekeeper Zack Mwekassa moved up to heavyweight to win a regional title over very very unproven 11-1 prospect Bernard Adie, whom he stopped in 7.

 

No changes.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (262-475-475)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: 9/6/2014- vs. #5 Kubrat Pulev
It’s looking all but certain that Wlad will fight Pulev on September 6.
1) Tyson Fury (20-20-20)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
Fury-Chisora has been made.  July 26, in Manchester.  The winner will become one of Wlad’s mandatories.
2) Alexander Povetkin (5-349-349)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- TKO7 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin wants to return in late October, and wants to rematch the Champ when he’s gotten at least 3 fights in with his new trainer.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (5-16-80)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: 8/9/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Glazkov returns in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on August 9, in a fight with an undetermined opponent to be televised on NBC Sports.
4) Amir Mansour (13-13-13)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery L (UD10) vs. #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham had the more sympathetic story and a legitimately great comeback attempt, but Mansour had the better collection of rounds legitimately won.  Mansour was robbed even though the fight was close, and deserves Cunningham’s former position in the rankings for his effort.
5) Kubrat Pulev (20-113-190)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/6/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Klitschko’s notes, above.
6) Dereck Chisora (20-135-198)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Carlos Takam (4-4-24)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- UD12 #9 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam’s potential appears nearly boundless after he handled Tony Thompson more easily than anyone not named Wladimir Klitschko.
8) Bermane Stiverne (4-8-70)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne is hoping to fight Wilder sometime in November in either Montreal or Las Vegas, while Don King wants to stage it in Mexico for some reason.
9) Steve Cunningham (4-80-80)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery W (UD10) vs. Amir Mansour (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I hope you’ll all pray for his daughter to recover from her life-threatening health condition, and the guy had guts to come back from the 2 knockdowns.  But he didn’t win the fight.
10) Tony Thompson (4-15-214)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Not that there’s any shame in being beaten by Takam necessarily, but Thompson’s performance was poor enough that you have to start wondering how much he has left.
11) Tomasz Adamek (4-219)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: 10/18/2014- vs. Artur Szpilka (UNR)
Adamek is back on October 18 against all-action gatekeeper Artur Szpilka, in what should be a cash cow for the promoters in Lodz, Poland.
12) Odlanier Solis (4-214)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
The Solis haters are out in force, claiming a clear loss in a fight that Solis deserved to win.  You might not like his physique or his training habits or his style, but if he outfights the other guy, he still deserves to be respected as a winner at least as much as a disappointment.  A loss to Thompson is not that embarrassing, especially when you ought to have won it.
13) Deontay Wilder (8-62)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 #19 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Chris Arreola (8-43)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
Having spent the better part of the last 5 years losing or fighting nobodies, Arreola’s resume now depends entirely on the Mitchell win.
15) Erkan Teper (13-44)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper’s effort in his last fight- and perhaps especially in the gym leading up to it- was awful, and he got lucky when his opponent turned out to be almost as out of shape as him, in addition to being an apparent quitter.
16) Alex Leapai (13-32)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Leapai is reportedly interested in fighting Shannon Briggs in the wake of his total non-performance against the Champ.
17) Andy Ruiz (13-32)
Last Fight: 5/17/2014- TKO2 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/9/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Ruiz will return in a Unimas-televised fight on August 9.  No opponent yet.
18) Seth Mitchell (13-56)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- L (TKO1) vs. Chris Arreola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mitchell’s chin is so fragile that he might want to consider calling it a career.  Golden Boy’s CEO says he’s advised Mitchell to do just that, though he reports that Mitchell seems to have no such intention.
19) Francesco Pianeta (2-16)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- KO1 Mickael Vieira (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pianeta says he wants to give Vieira a rematch due to the flukey broken arm that KO’d the Frenchman.  The fight was a waste of time the first time, honestly, so I’m not sure we need a second helping, regardless of the reason.
20) Malik Scott (2-2)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (KO1) vs. #13 Deontay Wilder
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Saturday
Brian Minto vs. Joseph Parker; Manukau, New Zealand; Sky Arena (NZ)
Butler, Pennsylvania native Minto went from journeyman to gatekeeper by smacking down the comeback attempt of Kiwi Shane Cameron in December.  Now he’s back in New Zealand, looking to derail the rise of extremely talented undefeated prospect Joseph Parker, who so far has had little trouble cutting through the rather soft competition he’s encountered.  Minto is his toughest test by a wide margin.

Heavyweight: 2014, Jun 23-29

Posted in Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on November 9, 2014 by danboxing
No heavyweight action to report from last week, including by last week’s #19 Johnathon Banks, who has been too busy training the Heavyweight Champ, I guess, to get into any fights in the past year, himself.  His removal for that reason allows Pianeta to move up to #19, and makes way for Malik Scott to return at #20 for the first time since he was bounced by Eddie Chambers’ return on March 31.  So why not Chambers, you ask?  Well, March was a far different time than June when viewing his resume.  His best career win- over a #8-ranked Dimitrenko- will be over 5 years old before the end of next week.  While Scott doesn’t have a win like that against someone ranked as high as #8 at the time, he did most likely deserve to beat Glazkov, who is currently #3.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (Weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (261-474-474)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai
Next Fight: 9/6/2014- vs. #5 Kubrat Pulev
It’s looking all but certain that Wlad will fight Pulev on September 6.
1) Tyson Fury (19-19-19)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- TKO4 Joey Abell (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #6 Dereck Chisora
Fury-Chisora has been made.  July 26, in Manchester.  The winner will become one of Wlad’s mandatories.
2) Alexander Povetkin (4-348-348)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- TKO7 Manuel Charr (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Povetkin wants to return in late October, and wants to rematch the Champ when he’s gotten at least 3 fights in with his new trainer.
3) Vyacheslav Glazkov (4-15-79)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek
Next Fight: 8/9/2014- vs. Unknown Opponent
Glazkov returns in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on August 9, in a fight with an undetermined opponent to be televised on NBC Sports.
4) Amir Mansour (12-12-12)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery L (UD10) vs. #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham had the more sympathetic story and a legitimately great comeback attempt, but Mansour had the better collection of rounds legitimately won.  Mansour was robbed even though the fight was close, and deserves Cunningham’s former position in the rankings for his effort.
5) Kubrat Pulev (19-112-189)
Last Fight: 4/5/2014- RTD3 Ivica Perkovic (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/6/2014- vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
See Klitschko’s notes, above.
6) Dereck Chisora (19-134-197)
Last Fight: 2/15/2014- UD12 Kevin Johnson (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/26/2014- vs. #1 Tyson Fury
See Fury’s notes, above.
7) Carlos Takam (3-3-23)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- UD12 #9 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
Takam’s potential appears nearly boundless after he handled Tony Thompson more easily than anyone not named Wladimir Klitschko.
8) Bermane Stiverne (3-7-69)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- TKO6 #13 Chris Arreola
Next Fight: Unknown
Stiverne is hoping to fight Wilder sometime in November in either Montreal or Las Vegas.
9) Steve Cunningham (3-79-79)
Last Fight: 4/4/2014- Robbery W (UD10) vs. Amir Mansour (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I hope you’ll all pray for his daughter to recover from her life-threatening health condition, and the guy had guts to come back from the 2 knockdowns.  But he didn’t win the fight.
10) Tony Thompson (3-14-213)
Last Fight: 6/6/2014- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam
Next Fight: Unknown
Not that there’s any shame in being beaten by Takam necessarily, but Thompson’s performance was poor enough that you have to start wondering how much he has left.
11) Tomasz Adamek (3-218)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (UD12) vs. #18 Vyacheslav Glazkov
Next Fight: Unknown
Adamek expects to return on October 18.  Not much detail yet, but Ray Austin is a potential opponent.
12) Odlanier Solis (3-213)
Last Fight: 3/22/2014- L* (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson
Next Fight: Unknown
The Solis haters are out in force, claiming a clear loss in a fight that Solis deserved to win.  You might not like his physique or his training habits or his style, but if he outfights the other guy, he still deserves to be respected as a winner at least as much as a disappointment.  A loss to Thompson is not that embarrassing, especially when you ought to have won it.
13) Deontay Wilder (7-61)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- KO1 #19 Malik Scott
Next Fight: Unknown
See Stiverne’s notes, above.
14) Chris Arreola (7-42)
Last Fight: 5/10/2014- L (TKO6) vs. #12 Bermane Stiverne
Next Fight: Unknown
Having spent the better part of the last 5 years losing or fighting nobodies, Arreola’s resume now depends entirely on the Mitchell win.
15) Erkan Teper (12-43)
Last Fight: 6/13/2014- RTD6 Newfel Ouatah (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Teper’s effort in his last fight- and perhaps especially in the gym leading up to it- was awful, and he got lucky when his opponent turned out to be almost as out of shape as him, in addition to being an apparent quitter.
16) Alex Leapai (12-31)
Last Fight: 4/26/2014- L (KO5) vs. Champ Wladimir Klitschko
Next Fight: Unknown
Leapai is reportedly interested in fighting Shannon Briggs in the wake of his total non-performance against the Champ.
17) Andy Ruiz (12-31)
Last Fight: 5/17/2014- TKO2 Manuel Quezada (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Even against a faded Quezada who showed little resistance, I must confess to being impressed by Ruiz’s skill and heavy hands, especially considering the sharp contrast between his physique and the results it yields.
18) Seth Mitchell (12-55)
Last Fight: 9/7/2013- L (TKO1) vs. Chris Arreola (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mitchell’s chin is so fragile that he might want to consider calling it a career.  Golden Boy’s CEO says he’s advised Mitchell to do just that, though he reports that Mitchell seems to have no such intention.
19) Francesco Pianeta (1-15)
Last Fight: 5/30/2014- KO1 Mickael Vieira (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Pianeta says he wants to give Vieira a rematch due to the flukey broken arm that KO’d the Frenchman.  The fight was a waste of time the first time, honestly, so I’m not sure we need a second helping, regardless of the reason.
20) Malik Scott (1-1)
Last Fight: 3/15/2014- L (KO1) vs. #13 Deontay Wilder
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: 
Friday
Matias Vidondo vs. Miguel Morales; Capitan Bermudez, Argentina; Off TV
Vidondo is a 38 year old from Neuquen who you could almost still call a prospect, since he has only one loss.  He comes off a couple easy stoppage wins over the past 7 months, and a disqualification win over gatekeeper Fabio Moli in August.  Morales is a lower-mid-level journeyman from Rio Gallegos.  At 45, he makes Vidondo look like a spring chicken.  He comes in with an even .500 record, and has lost to a lot of guys a lot worse than Vidondo in his day.  However, he did get an upset victory against arguably the best opponent of his career back in 2010- a guy roughly at Vidondo’s level.  The fight is scheduled for just 6 rounds.

 

Gerald Washington vs. Travis Walker; Las Vegas, Nevada; Off TV
Washington is a crude-looking undefeated San Jose prospect who nevertheless is quite advanced based on his level of competition.  Walker is a journeyman based in Houston who has never beaten a top 50 fighter, but has taken out a couple decent unbeaten prospects in his time.  Unfortunately, this is no longer his time.  He just turned 35, and has lost 4 consecutive fights to Lucas Browne, Mike Perez, Derric Rossy, and Tomasz Adamek.  This should make the ShoBox broadcast, but my understanding is that it will not.

 

Saturday
Zack Mwekassa vs. Bernard Adie; Kinshasa, Congo; TV Unknown
Mwekassa is a gatekeeper at cruiser, and is moving up to fight for a regional belt against Kenya’s Adie, who at 11-1 has never remotely fought anybody.  I’m not sure if this is a permanent move for Mwekassa, or just a vacation up north, so to speak.

Cruiserweight: 2013, Dec 2-8

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 21, 2014 by danboxing
Undefeated prospect Dmitry Kudryashov detonated Congolese gatekeeper Zack Mwekassa who, despite mixed results, can still claim a stoppage victory over no less a world-beater than Thabiso Mchunu.  Kudryashov needed just 50 seconds.  Kudryashov is fast building a case as the biggest puncher in the division.  This victory may very well have earned the Russian a ranking, except that he came in a half-pound over the divisional limit, and is thus technically ineligible for consideration, considering this is his only top 50 win.  It will be considered fully (or nearly so) if and when he adds to it while making weight, but not yet.

 

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 (19-200-200)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The rematch with Jones, according to Lebedev’s promoter, is all but done for mid-March in Moscow.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (64-180-180)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez still seems a little vulnerable, needing his power to bail him out a little against Alekseev.
3) Marco Huck (12-365-365)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- W (MD12) vs. #5 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 1/25/2014- vs. #5 Firat Arslan
Huck-Arslan II has a new date of January 25 after Huck suffered a hand injury.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (12-441-441)
Last Fight: 6/21/2013- TKO8 Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Wlodarczyk will see action in the US for the first time since 2005 on December 6, fighting a trilogy bout with the rapidly aging Italian Giacobbe Fragomeni in Chicago.
5) Firat Arslan (12-82-125)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/25/2014- vs. #3 Marco Huck
See Huck’s notes, above.

6) Thabiso Mchunu (12-18-56)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu recently signed a promotional deal with Main Events, the promoter of his recent victim Eddie Chambers.  This ensures that US fans will be seeing him on NBC Sports in 2014, if not earlier.
7) Grigory Drozd (2-9-56)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- TKO11 #13 Mateusz Masternak
Next Fight: 3/15/2013- vs. Jeremy Ouanna (UNR)
Drozd will defend his European title in March against solid French journeyman Jeremy Ouanna.
8) Ola Afolabi (2-247-247)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi needed a gift to squeak by Janik.
9) Giacobbe Fragomeni (2-12-264)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- UD8 Toni Visic (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. #4 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
10) Silvio Branco (2-90)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- W (TD10) vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I’ve heard unconfirmed reports that Russian prospect Chakhkiev wants a fight with Branco.
11) Ilunga Makabu (2-21)
Last Fight: 8/31/2013- TKO5 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. Pawel Kolodziej (UNR)
Makabu is set to fight undefeated Polish prospect Pawel Kolodziej in Monaco for an interim alphabet belt on February 1.
12) Alexander Alekseev (12-151)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- L (TKO10) vs. #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Alekseev acquitted himself better in his TKO loss to Hernandez than he has in some of his wins.
13) Santander Silgado (2-5)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: Unknown
Silgado may have caught a finished fighter at the right time in stopping Herelius, but in a fairly shallow division, that’s enough for now.
14) Mateusz Masternak (2-88)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (TKO11) vs. #16 Grigory Drozd
Next Fight: Unknown
Masternak is still a legitimate prospect despite his first loss, but can no longer lay claim to the status of “top prospect” after losing to Drozd.
15) Lukasz Janik (2-5)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik would like a well-deserved rematch with Afolabi.
16) Enad Licina (2-180)
Last Fight: 9/27/2013- TKO3 Levan Jomardashvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Licina needs a significant win before January, as his only relevant win in the last 5 years will become older than 5 years at that point, prompting his removal.
17) Danie Venter (2-12)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I must admit I wrote Venter off when he lost a bit of an upset to Mchunu last year, but Mchunu has proven to be something of a world beater since, and Venter’s overall resume is quietly starting to look pretty solid.
18) Dmytro Kucher (2-75)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher would like a rematch with Makabu, and has his sights set on Wlodarczyk down the road, as well.  He expects to be back against someone in November or December.
19) Krzysztof Glowacki (2-19)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- TKO3 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Serdar Sahin (UNR)
Glowacki is keeping very busy, and will fight on December 14 in Poland, less than 2 months after his previous fight.  His opponent is one-loss German prospect Serdar Sahin.
20) Rakhim Chakhkiev (2-2)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- KO10 Giulian Ilie (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Chicago plays host on Friday to a trilogy bout between #4 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk and #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni.  But don’t be confused by the similar rankings.  Wlodarczyk is the prohibitive favorite, as Fragomeni needed perhaps a bit of undue deference from the judges to emerge from his two razor-thin fights with the ancient Silvio Branco.

Cruiserweight: 2013, Nov 25- Dec 1

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on January 18, 2014 by danboxing
The big fight of the week was in Bamberg, Germany, where #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez got a very tough test in his return to the ring after 14 months off from #12 Alexander Alekseev.  Alekseev looked pretty sharp offensively, controlling large sections of the fight.  He even appeared to have better conditioning, as Hernandez’s work began looking pretty ragged even in the middle rounds.  But he had basically three deficits to his game, as compared to Hernandez, that made a decisive difference.  He obviously had less power than Hernandez, and his chin and defense really let him down.  Despite often being outboxed for long stretches of the fight, Hernandez’s one-shot knockdowns bailed him out in the scoring, and made that scoring academic by achieving the stoppage.  In all, Hernandez scored 3 knockdowns, including a flash one in the 2nd, a very hard one in the 5th, and a third in the 10th that- I think incorrectly- caused referee Lindsey Page to stop the fight without a count.  Despite scoring two knockdowns to that point, I had Hernandez up just 85-84 at the time of the stoppage.

 

That same night in Hamburg, Juan Carlos Gomez won an easy shutout 8-round decision over the awful Jindrich Valecky.  Gomez came in a pound and change over 200, but it hardly matters.  His rankable wins at 200 are all over 5 years old, so he’ll have to start from scratch against a lot better fighters than this in order to sniff a ranking here.

 

In Poland, and also on Saturday, fringe contending undefeated prospect Pawel Kolodziej came in at approximately the same weight as Gomez, and stopped low-level Nigerian journeyman Prince Anthony Ikeji in the 7th of a scheduled 8.

 

In Friday action, undefeated Italian Mirko Larghetti remained both undefeated and Italian, winning a comfortable but, at least by the scores, unimpressive victory over unproven one-loss prospect Stjepan Vugdelija of Croatia.  Scores were 117-111 (x2) and 118-112.  To give you an idea of Vugdelija’s credentials, he lost a decisive decision to solid veteran journeyman Ismail Abdoul in his only prior loss, though for what it’s worth he did win as many as 2 of the 8 rounds according to one judge, and has fought nobody else with a pulse up to this point.

 

Also on Friday, undefeated Latvian Mairis Briedis dominated and stopped credible Czech journeyman Lubos Suda after 5 rounds, with Suda retiring in his corner before the 6th.

 

Hernandez holds firm at #2, while Alekseev trades places with last week’s #13 Ilunga Makabu.  Given what I consider a pretty respectable performance against a significantly better-ranked fighter, that movement has more to do with me disagreeing with my earlier decision to rank him ahead of Makabu than with the result of the fight.  As for Hernandez, you could make the case that he should be ranked over Lebedev, but I’ve determined that Lebedev’s ranking should not be affected at all by his stoppage loss to Jones, since Jones clearly cheated.  The fact that Hernandez needed a gift to avoid a loss to then-20th-ranked Troy Ross makes the decisive difference in otherwise very evenly-matched resumes.

 

The other change that affects the rankings this week is the inactivity of #7 Danny Green.  He is removed, and everyone ranked #8 and below last week moves up one, except that for the reasons stated above, Makabu moves up 2 places to #11, and Alekseev remains at #12.  Silvio Branco enters the top 10, while Rakhim Chakhkiev returns at #20.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (18-199-199)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The rematch with Jones, according to Lebedev’s promoter, is all but done for mid-March in Moscow.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (63-179-179)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez still seems a little vulnerable, needing his power to bail him out a little against Alekseev.
3) Marco Huck (11-364-364)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- W (MD12) vs. #5 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 1/25/2014- vs. #5 Firat Arslan
Huck-Arslan II has a new date of January 25 after Huck suffered a hand injury.
4) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (11-440-440)
Last Fight: 6/21/2013- TKO8 Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Wlodarczyk will see action in the US for the first time since 2005 on December 6, fighting a trilogy bout with the rapidly aging Italian Giacobbe Fragomeni in Chicago.
5) Firat Arslan (11-81-124)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: 1/25/2014- vs. #3 Marco Huck
See Huck’s notes, above.

6) Thabiso Mchunu (11-17-55)
Last Fight: 8/3/2013- UD10 Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mchunu recently signed a promotional deal with Main Events, the promoter of his recent victim Eddie Chambers.  This ensures that US fans will be seeing him on NBC Sports in 2014, if not earlier.
7) Grigory Drozd (1-8-55)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- TKO11 #13 Mateusz Masternak
Next Fight: Unknown
The first notable call-out of Drozd following his impressive victory over Masternak comes from Masternak’s countryman Krzysztof Glowacki.
8) Ola Afolabi (1-246-246)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi needed a gift to squeak by Janik.
9) Giacobbe Fragomeni (1-11-263)
Last Fight: 7/27/2013- UD8 Toni Visic (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/6/2013- vs. #4 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
10) Silvio Branco (1-89)
Last Fight: 7/6/2013- W (TD10) vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I’ve heard unconfirmed reports that Russian prospect Chakhkiev wants a fight with Branco.
11) Ilunga Makabu (1-20)
Last Fight: 8/31/2013- TKO5 Eric Fields (UNR)
Next Fight: 2/1/2014- vs. Pawel Kolodziej (UNR)
Makabu is set to fight undefeated Polish prospect Pawel Kolodziej in Monaco for an interim alphabet belt on February 1.
12) Alexander Alekseev (11-150)
Last Fight: 11/23/2013- L (TKO10) vs. #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Alekseev acquitted himself better in his TKO loss to Hernandez than he has in some of his wins.
13) Santander Silgado (1-4)
Last Fight: 11/1/2013- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius
Next Fight: Unknown
Silgado may have caught a finished fighter at the right time in stopping Herelius, but in a fairly shallow division, that’s enough for now.
14) Mateusz Masternak (1-87)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- L (TKO11) vs. #16 Grigory Drozd
Next Fight: Unknown
Masternak is still a legitimate prospect despite his first loss, but can no longer lay claim to the status of “top prospect” after losing to Drozd.
15) Lukasz Janik (1-4)
Last Fight: 11/2/2013- L* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
Janik would like a well-deserved rematch with Afolabi.
16) Enad Licina (1-179)
Last Fight: 9/27/2013- TKO3 Levan Jomardashvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Licina needs a significant win before January, as his only relevant win in the last 5 years will become older than 5 years at that point, prompting his removal.
17) Danie Venter (1-11)
Last Fight: 9/21/2013- KO1 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I must admit I wrote Venter off when he lost a bit of an upset to Mchunu last year, but Mchunu has proven to be something of a world beater since, and Venter’s overall resume is quietly starting to look pretty solid.
18) Dmytro Kucher (1-74)
Last Fight: 7/13/2013- L (MD12) vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Kucher would like a rematch with Makabu, and has his sights set on Wlodarczyk down the road, as well.  He expects to be back against someone in November or December.
19) Krzysztof Glowacki (1-18)
Last Fight: 10/19/2013- TKO3 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: 12/14/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Glowacki is keeping very busy, and will fight on December 14 in Poland, less than 2 months after his previous fight.
20) Rakhim Chakhkiev (1-1)
Last Fight: 10/5/2013- KO10 Giulian Ilie (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Saturday in Lyubertsy, Russia, undefeated prospect Dmitry Kudryashov meets South African gatekeeper Zack Mwekassa who, it should be noted, owns a stoppage win over apparent world-beater Thabiso Mchunu.

Cruiserweight: 2012, Sep 24-30

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on September 29, 2012 by danboxing
Last week’s biggest fight was the rematch between Puerto Rico’s Francisco Palacios (#13) and Poland’s Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (#7).  In their 2011 meeting, Wlodarczyk got a fairly comfortable decision that completely lacked credibility.  The fight (a total snoozer) was a complete toss up, though I thought Palacios deserved the nod.  This time around, the fight was downright watchable, and it was Wlodarczyk with the edge, and the cards were pretty decent, though I think Christophe Fernandez of France gave Wlodarczyk an even round that he lost.  The difference in the fight- which was contested mostly on even terms throughout- was the Polish fighter’s apparently superior power and hand defense, with the most dramatic example coming in the 10th, when Wlodarczyk caught Palacios with a perfect right hand that had him out on his feet, but only a few seconds remained in the round and Palacios was able to hold on for dear life and survive.

 

In the weekend’s other notable card, the semifinals of the South African Super 8 Cruiserweight Tournament played out.  Gatekeeper-level fighters Zack Mwekassa and Danie Venter met in one bout, with Venter scoring an upset knockout win in round 4 to advance to November’s final.  The other semifinal was an immediate rematch of one of the first-round fights, between Thabiso Mchunu and Flo Simba.  This became the case after one first round fight fell through when the tournament favorite Ran Nakash of Israel bailed.  His heavy underdog of an opponent, Johnny Muller, who it was originally believed would get a bye to fight the winner of Simba-Mchunu.  But Muller stepped aside in favor of a shot at an African Light Heavyweight title shot on the same card (which he lost), allowing the rematch of what was a 1st round TKO win for Mchunu.  But why rematch a fight that ended like that, you ask?  Bad officiating, of course.  The fight was stopped without justification.  Unfortunately for Simba, the rematch was simply a confirmation of Mchunu’s superiority, as the result was another first round TKO.  Mchunu, who was stopped by Mwekassa a year ago, will now face the new tournament favorite, Danie Venter, in the finals.

 

Now for the inevitable ratings shakeup.  Mchunu really did nothing but confirm his earlier win over Simba.  Given his loss to an unheralded Mwekassa less than a year before the two wins over Simba, he’s not in the conversation for a ranking at the moment.  Venter, however, does manage to sneak in at #20.  His record is hardly spotless, but he hasn’t fought any meaningful fights below heavyweight since a 4 year hiatus that ended in 2010, and thus he gets a clean slate.  His win over Mwekassa, in a vacuum, is enough to sneak past last week’s #20 Pawel Glazewski, whose banner performance against Roy Jones had the disadvantage of taking place at a catchweight in the low 180s.  He’s roughly on equal footing with #19 Dmitro Kucher, but Kucher’s win over Cesar Crenz is ever-so-slightly more impressive than Venter’s resume. 

 

Wlodarczyk somewhat surprisingly stays put at #7, since #6 Ola Afolabi’s draw against Marco Huck still sets him narrowly apart in my opinion.  Palacios takes a dive.  Two things happened to him since the last time his ranking was examined.  Obviously he just lost…and that loss undermines his whole resume, since his undeserved loss to Wlodarczyk supported his being ranked in the first place, almost entirely by itself.  His only other significant fight has gone stale recently, as his win over Louis Azille is now over 5 years old.  These two factors together drive the Puerto Rican down to #16.  Fragomeni, Branco, and Masternak each benefit from this, advancing to #13, 14, and 15, respectively. 

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (2-138-138)
Last Fight: 4/4/2012- KO2 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/27/2012- vs. #9 Guillermo Jones
Lebedev will fight very inactive alphabet titleholder and former welterweight Guillermo Jones in Moscow this October.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (2-118-118)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez officially got the win over Ross, and I’m not quite willing to call it a robbery, but it’s pretty close to one.  I think you’d be pushing the limits of reason to give the fight to Hernandez, and I think that even if you managed to do so in terms of rounds won, you’d have to admit that Ross got the better of the fight overall.  Even Hernandez promoter Sauerland admits that Hernandez didn’t deserve a win, and believes a rematch is warranted.
3) Troy Ross (2-2-34)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ross deserved to beat Hernandez.  That’s all I’ve got to say (except the more detailed statement I made above).
4) Steve Cunningham (2-432-432)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- UD10 Jason Gavern (UNR) (at HW)
Next Fight: Unknown
So far so good for Cunningham at Heavyweight.  He’ll retain his ranking here until the anniversary of his February 4 cruiserweight fight, or until he schedules a heavyweight fight for a date after that.
5) Marco Huck (2-303-303)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 11/3/2012- vs. #10 Firat Arslan
Huck will fight Arslan next in early November.
6) Ola Afolabi (2-185-185)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
7) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (2-379-379)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- UD12 #13 Francisco Palacios
Next Fight: Unknown
Redemption for El Diablo, as he confirmed his superiority over Palacios after a year of living with a gift decision.
8) Lateef Kayode (2-17-97)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. ‘Roided up #3 Antonio Tarver
Next Fight: Unknown
Kayode is upset that he has been passed over for a shot at Tarver’s stripped alphabet title, as an Aussie-Kiwi rivalry match between Danny Green and Shane Cameron will fill that vacancy for whatever that’s worth.  It’s unclear if rumored negotiations with Grigory Drozd are still pending or not.
9) Guillermo Jones (2-104-104)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/27/2012- vs. #1 Denis Lebedev
Jones will travel to Moscow to put his alphabet title on the line against the much younger Lebedev.
10) Firat Arslan (2-20-63)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #12 Alexander Alekseev (Robbery)
Next Fight: 11/3/2012- vs. #5 Marco Huck
Long-since slated for a November rematch with Alekseev, Arslan was the subject of a surprise announcement that he would instead fight Marco Huck.
11) Danny Green (2-147)
Last Fight: 7/25/2012- TKO5 Danny Santiago (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/21/2012- vs. Shane Cameron (UNR)
Will take on Kiwi fringe contender Shane Cameron in late November.
12) B.J. Flores (2-118)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO6 Hugo Pineda (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/6/2012- vs. Ahmed Samir (UNR)
Flores will take on undefeated/untested Egyptian prospect Ahmed Samir in Springfield, MO on October 6.
13) Giacobbe Fragomeni (1-202)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fragomeni appears to be showing his age after nearly losing to an even older man in Branco.
14) Silvio Branco (1-28)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
45 year old veteran Silvio Branco got what may have been his final hurrah with a close-fought draw with top 10-ranked Giacobbe Fragomeni.
15) Mateusz Masternak (1-26)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- TKO8 David Quinonero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Masternak put on a Masterful performance against a game but apparently limited Quinonero, but that was only the 2nd-best event of his week, as his son was born that same Wednesday.
16) Francisco Palacios (1-78)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- L(UD12) vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Very little of note left on his resume after his should-be win over Wlodarczyk was neutralized by a close but clear loss to same, and with his win over Louis Azille over 5 years old now.
17) Alexander Alekseev (2-89)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw*(MD12) vs. #19 Firat Arslan (robbery- should have been L)
Next Fight: 9/28/2012-  vs. Agron Dzila (UNR)
We know that Alekseev will fight journeyman Agron Dzila in September.  We also know he won’t be rematching Arslan in November as previously-expected.  It remains to be seen if that fight will eventually happen after Arslan fights Huck or not.
18) Enad Licina (2-118)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #17 Alexander Alexeev
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Dmitro Kucher (2-13)
Last Fight: 8/19/2012- TKO5 Geoffrey Battelo (UNR) (at HW)
Next Fight: 10/27/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Kucher will be fighting in Kiev on October 27 for some alphabet regional color-coded belt, but no announced opponent yet.
20) Danie Venter (1-1)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- TKO4 Zack Mwekassa (UNR)
Next Fight: 11/10/2012- vs. Thabiso Mchunu (UNR)
Venter has established himself as clearly the best South African cruiserweight, and will fight for what amounts to that country’s undisputed championship in the Super 8 Tournament finals in November.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: #17 Alexander Alekseev takes on once-beaten novice Agron Dzila of Macedonia in Germany on Friday.

Cruiserweight: 2012, Sep 17-23

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2012 by danboxing
#1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez can’t have a completely non-controversial fight, it seems.  Both of his decision wins over Steve Cunningham were disputed in some quarters (I agreed completely with the second), and now he gets very clearly outfought by #20 Troy Ross, but still walks away with what appeared from the cards to be a relatively routine decision win.  Now I will qualify that.  Ross straight-up gave away enough rounds (including while Hernandez was obviously still wobbly from a 5th round knockdown) to open the door to a narrow Hernandez victory, especially in Hernandez’ adopted home of Germany.  I think Floridian Michael Pernick’s card of 114-113 Hernandez gave the Cuban every benefit of the doubt, but that it was a respectable score.  The UK’s Mickey Vann (115-112 Hernandez) and especially Belgium’s Benny Decroos (116-112 Hernandez), on the other hand, were obviously determined not to give Ross any round that he didn’t dominate, or else they were intimidated by the venue and the promoter, in which case they don’t deserve to judge on this level.  I had the fight 115-112 Ross.  I think anything between 116-111 Ross and 114-113 Hernandez would be defensible.  I want to call this a robbery because it basically was.  But since I could see Hernandez winning the fight if he got all the toss-up rounds, this is a textbook example of a decision that will receive minimum deference here.  That is to say that it will be treated essentially as a draw, but with the barest of edges granted to the official winner, Hernandez, wherever relevant.

 

As for the fight itself, it was a wild and unpredictable affair.  There were times when it looked as if someone plucked Max Baer out of the Primo Carnera fight, cloned him, and matched him against himself, with wild swinging and tripping over each other being the rule rather than the exception.  But after the 5th, when Ross badly hurt Hernandez to the extent that it appeared he never totally recovered, Hernandez was a spoiler.  He held, he flopped, he slipped, and he even turned his back more than once.  But the visibly much smaller Ross, still evidently afraid of Hernandez’ power, too often laid back and let Hernandez walk him down, which likely won the Cuban a round or two almost by itself.

 

Lost a bit in the shuffle, #15 Mateusz Masternak turned in an excellent performance against the aging but still undefeated prospect David Quinonero, who came into the fight at 27-0 with 26 knockouts, including a 5th round knockout of borderline top-50 gatekeeper-type Ali Ismailov.  Quinonero showed nothing to suggest the devastating puncher his record might indicate.  He showed a really good chin and a lot of heart, which ultimately just meant he got a busted-up eye added to his defeat.  Masternak appeared bigger, stronger, faster, rangier, and more skilled.  I think he’s a special fighter.  The thing that most impressed me was that he was able to throw heavy, hurtful punches while going backwards.  Any opponent that hopes to get close enough to hurt Masternak is going to need a dynamic defense and a lot of will.  As Teddy Atlas would say, you have to go through a bad neighborhood to get to him.

 

In the also ran category, Finnish gatekeeper Juho Haapoja slammed the gate shut, as expected, on middling Italian fringe prospect Francesco Versaci in Finland, as the Italian failed to answer the bell for the 4th round.

 

Hernandez’ performance against a mere #20 contender obviously hurts his standing.  Ross has proven credible in the past, as it’s at least arguably the case that he should have won against then-#1 Steve Cunningham, as well.  It’s legitimately a reasonable conclusion that he might be the best cruiserweight in the world.  However, he hasn’t conclusively beaten anyone near that level.  Nevertheless, he gets credit for beating Hernandez on my scorecard, at least.  Hernandez has fairly conclusively beaten Cunningham, but a struggle like that he had against Ross shows that his status as the best cruiserweight in the world is at least arguable.  Enter last week’s #2 Denis Lebedev.  Lebedev conclusively beat then-#2 Marco Huck (without getting credit for it), and has torn through a series of fringe contenders (including a #19-ranked Alexander Alekseev) without coming close to losing against anyone but Huck.  His resume is of similar quality to Hernandez’, but without any setbacks of any significance such as you’d find on the Cuban’s ledger.  As a result, Lebedev succeeds him at #1. 

 

With Steve Cunningham still deserving the spot right behind Lebedev’s former position (arguments for his removal due to moving up in weight aside), it would be impossible for Hernandez to fall too far- particularly since Ross has given a near-prime Cunningham as significant a problem in abbreviated action as he did Hernandez, who therefore settles in at #2.  Ross, having done everything but clearly beat Hernandez, jumps all the way up to claim the #3 spot, forcing Cunningham and everyone else rated #3-19 last week down one place apeice.  Even Masternak is not immune from this with his win, since he still has not fought anyone on the level that Fragomeni and Branco have wins and/or draws against.  Included in the wave of demotion is Danny Green, who exits the top 10 after 3 consecutive months within its confines.  You know it was a significant week of action when not one fighter on the list has the same rank at which he found himself the week before.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Denis Lebedev (1-137-137)
Last Fight: 4/4/2012- KO2 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/20/2012- vs. #9 Guillermo Jones
Lebedev will fight very inactive alphabet titleholder and former welterweight Guillermo Jones in Moscow this October.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (1-117-117)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez officially got the win over Ross, and I’m not quite willing to call it a robbery, but it’s pretty close to one.  I think you’d be pushing the limits of reason to give the fight to Hernandez, and I think that even if you managed to do so in terms of rounds won, you’d have to admit that Ross got the better of the fight overall.  Even Hernandez promoter Sauerland admits that Hernandez didn’t deserve a win, and believes a rematch is warranted.
3) Troy Ross (1-1-33)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Ross deserved to beat Hernandez.  That’s all I’ve got to say (except the more detailed statement I made above).
4) Steve Cunningham (1-431-431)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- UD10 Jason Gavern (UNR) (at HW)
Next Fight: Unknown
So far so good for Cunningham at Heavyweight.  He’ll retain his ranking here until the anniversary of his February 4 cruiserweight fight, or until he schedules a heavyweight fight for a date after that.
5) Marco Huck (1-302-302)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 11/3/2012- vs. #10 Firat Arslan
Huck will fight Arslan next in early November.
6) Ola Afolabi (1-184-184)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
7) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (1-378-378)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- TKO11 #9 Danny Green
Next Fight: 9/22/2012- vs. #13 Francisco Palacios
It appears- according to Boxrec- that Wlodarczyk has finally consented to an alphabet-mandated rematch with Palacios. The first fight was close (I thought Palacios won), but unfortunately almost unwatchable, as well.
8) Lateef Kayode (1-16-96)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. ‘Roided up #3 Antonio Tarver
Next Fight: Unknown
Kayode originally was angling for a fight with Roy Jones, but now appears to be in discussions to fight Grigory Drozd in Siberia.
9) Guillermo Jones (1-103-103)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/20/2012- vs. #1 Denis Lebedev
Jones will travel to Moscow to put his alphabet title on the line against the much younger Lebedev.
10) Firat Arslan (1-19-62)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #12 Alexander Alekseev (Robbery)
Next Fight: 11/3/2012- vs. #5 Marco Huck
Long-since slated for a November rematch with Alekseev, Arslan was the subject of a surprise announcement that he would instead fight Marco Huck.
11) Danny Green (1-146)
Last Fight: 7/25/2012- TKO5 Danny Santiago (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
12) B.J. Flores (1-117)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO6 Hugo Pineda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores suffered a hand injury in training for his September 14 date, and is now on the shelf for the moment.
13) Francisco Palacios (1-77)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- UD8 Joell Godfrey (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/22/2012- vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
14) Giacobbe Fragomeni (1-201)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fragomeni appears to be showing his age after nearly losing to an even older man in Branco.
15) Silvio Branco (1-27)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
45 year old veteran Silvio Branco got what may have been his final hurrah with a close-fought draw with top 10-ranked Giacobbe Fragomeni.
16) Mateusz Masternak (1-25)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- TKO8 David Quinonero (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Masternak put on a Masterful performance against a game but apparently limited Quinonero, but that was only the 2nd-best event of his week, as his son was born that same Wednesday.
17) Alexander Alekseev (1-88)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw*(MD12) vs. #19 Firat Arslan (robbery- should have been L)
Next Fight: 9/28/2012-  vs. Agron Dzila (UNR)
We know that Alekseev will fight journeyman Agron Dzila in September.  We also know he won’t be rematching Arslan in November as previously-expected.  It remains to be seen if that fight will eventually happen after Arslan fights Huck or not.
18) Enad Licina (1-117)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #17 Alexander Alexeev
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Dmitro Kucher (1-12)
Last Fight: 8/19/2012- TKO5 Geoffrey Battelo (UNR) (at HW)
Next Fight: 10/27/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Kucher will be fighting in Kiev on October 27 for some alphabet regional color-coded belt, but no announced opponent yet.
20) Pawel Glazewski (1-12)
Last Fight: 6/30/2012- L(Robbery) vs. Roy Jones, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: 10/13/2012- vs. Sofiane Sebihi (UNR) (at LHW)
Glazewski’s opponent for October is decent Swiss journeyman Sofiane Sebihi, and the fight will be contested at the 175 pound limit.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: Three notable fights can be found on two cards on Saturday.  In Wroclaw, Poland, #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk takes on #13 Francisco Palacios in a rematch of their close and controversial (and deathly boring) spring 2011 fight.  I scored that fight for Palacios 115-113, while two of the three judges disagreed.  Neither judge had a credible scorecard, incidentally.  Adrio Zannoni in particular scored a fight that was certainly between 115-113 Wlodarczyk and 117-111 Palacios as a 118-112 win for Wlodarczyk.  Regardless of the winner, I hope it’s a fair result this time around.

 

Meanwhile, in Kempton Park, South Africa, the semifinals of the “Super 8” Cruiserweight tournament plays out, with gatekeepers Zack Mwekassa  and Danie Venter doing battle.  The other fight originally figured to be a battle between the winners of first-round matchups between Israeli prospect/fringe contender Ran Nakash fighting seemingly overmatched fringe prospect Johnny Muller and Congolese gatekeeper Flo Simba fighting South African prospect Thabiso Mchunu.  When Nakash initially came in heavy and then bailed on the tournament entirely, it appeared Muller would fight the Simba-Mchunu winner after passing to the semis with a bye.   But after the Mchunu-Simba fight ended with an unnessesary and premature stoppage win for Mchunu, it appears that the promoter was able to prevail upon Muller to step aside in favor of a shot at an African Light Heavyweight title, allowing Simba and Mchunu to rematch on Saturday for a shot at the finals.

Cruiserweight: 2012, Jul 2-8

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on July 21, 2012 by danboxing
There were three fights worth mentioning this week, each of them of real significance.  The highest profile was clearly faded legend Roy Jones, Jr.’s fight with undefeated Pole Pawel Glazewski on Saturday in Poland.  Reasonable scores for the fight could range between 96-93 Glazewski and 99-90 Glazewski.  But as is so often the case these days, we saw a sick sick robbery.  In fact, not one of the clowns/judges assigned to ruin the fight managed to get the score in a non-ridiculous range.  Hungarian judge Bela Florian at least had the winner right, with a 95-94 score in favor of Glazewski.  Germany’s Juergen Langos- who achieved infamy recently by blatantly robbing Firat Arslan of a win over Alexander Alekseev, all while counting Alekseev among his facebook friends- shamelessly scored it 96-94 Jones.  That means he completely and inexcusably botched no fewer than 3 rounds in a 10 round fight.  Montenegro’s Predrag Aleksic completed the atrocity by scoring it 96-93- essentially the same score as Langos, except that he apparently gave Jones a round that Langos scored even.

 

Obviously Aleksic needs to have a sit-down with the commission, at the very least.  How Langos could still be working fights after the awful job he did coupled with his totally unhidden bias in the Arslan fight is beyond me, and at this point he needs to be given a lengthy suspension or be outright banned, as he is a total and persistent disgrace to the sport.  Perhaps Florian missed a round due to a bad angle or something, so I’ll give him a pass since this is the first scoring problem I’m aware of for him.  This was a win for Glazewski, and that’s how I’m treating it here.

 

Earlier in the week, William Fernando Souza Bezerra of Brazil improved to 31-0 with a 6th round TKO of domestic gatekeeper Manoel Rodrigues de Souza on Thursday.  This was the  best opponent of the knockout artist’s career, and it extends a remarkable string of 31 consecutive opponents that failed to go the distance with the talented South American prospect to begin his career.  Rodrigues de Souza was down twice prior to the stoppage.

 

One day earlier still, Ukranian undefeated prospect Dmitro Kucher knocked out Argentine gatekeeper Cesar Crenz in just 3 rounds in Kiev, also dropping his man twice in the process. 

 

With these three fights, the fringe contender level of the division was injected with a refreshing amount of new blood, vampirically speaking.  Souza Bezerra’s win was nice, and would have earned him a ranking had it come a weak earlier.  His colleagues have foiled him with their own strong performances, however.  Kucher’s win, I think, is marginally the strongest of the three.  Crenz obviously doesn’t have the name or probably the ability- even at this point- of Roy Jones.  But the two aren’t too far apart in terms of their recent results.  What sets the Crenz win apart just a bit is the fact that Crenz is a full-sized cruiserweight more or less, while both Jones and Glazewski are probably in optimal fighting condition somewhere between 175 and 180 at this point.  The fight was contested in the low-180s, too.  Glazewski probably doesn’t intend to contend seriously at cruiserweight for years yet, if at all.

 

The result: Kucher checks in at #18.  #17 Enad Licina has lost 3 straight signficant fights, but he’s still beaten better fighters than Crenz, and has never lost to anyone at Crenz’ level, either.  Glazewski ends up just behind Kucher.  Troy Ross is displaced to #20 by the two young guns since, although he has three decent wins on his resume, hasn’t done any significant winning in a few years.  Last week’s #19 Grigory Drozd exits the rankings after 20 weeks, as does Zack Mwekassa after just 1.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (22-106-106)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Apparently Hernandez broke his hand against Cunningham.  That would explain the lack of news about his next fight. 
2) Denis Lebedev (22-126-126)
Last Fight: 4/4/2012- KO2 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lebedev-Mormeck appears to be off.  Reporting on the subject has been virtually non-existent, so I can’t readily say why exactly.  But it appears that Lebedev may be fighting Guillermo Jones, instead.  WBA purse bid scheduled for July 19.
3) Steve Cunningham (5-420-420)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham said recently that although he would consider fighting Kayode in the event he beat Tarver (the fight ultimately ended in a draw), he doesn’t believe there are any other big fights available for him at Cruiser.  He is therefore likely to move up to heavyweight.
4) Marco Huck (5-291-291)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
A summary of where Huck is at: Afolabi understandably wants a third fight with him- this time in the UK.  Huck wants a rematch with Povetkin.  Meanwhile, Huck is laying the groundwork for hyping a potential fight with Alekseev following the Russian’s poor performance against Arslan, and also for a shot at Vitali.
5) Ola Afolabi (5-173-173)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi is now discussing a September fight with Mormeck.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (5-367-367)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- TKO11 #9 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
It was reported that Wlodarczyk would re-match Francisco Palacios on September 22, but evidently Wlodarczyk hasn’t signed the contract, despite Palacios being his mandatory.  Wlodarczyk has been remarkably quiet when the subject turns to Palacios, who appeared to have narrowly beat him in an awful fight in 2011.
7) Lateef Kayode (2-5-85)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. ‘Roided up #3 Antonio Tarver
Next Fight: Unknown
Steroids or no steroids, Tarver didn’t look like a world-beater against Kayode, and Kayode’s performance down the stretch is still a cause for concern to his fans.
8) Guillermo Jones (2-92-92)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Reading news and googling Jones’ name, it appears that the Joell Godfrey fight is off, but nobody ever seems to have actually reported that fact.  The fight simply disappeared.  Jones has been ordered to make a mandatory defense against Denis Lebedev, with purse bids scheduled for July 19.
9) Firat Arslan (2-8-51)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #12 Alexander Alekseev (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #16 Alexander Alekseev
Arslan-Alekseev II is reportedly on for November.
10) Danny Green (2-2-135)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- L(TKO11) vs. #8 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: 7/25/2012- vs. Danny Santiago (UNR) (at LHW)
Green is dropping down in weight in hopes of luring the much-smaller Anthony Mundine into a rematch.
11) B.J. Flores (2-106)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO6 Hugo Pineda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores is chasing a fight with Kayode that failed to materialize last year.
12) Francisco Palacios (2-66)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- UD8 Joell Godfrey (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/22/2012- vs. #6 Krzyzstof Wlodarczyk
See Wlodarczyk’s notes, above.
13) Giacobbe Fragomeni (2-190)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fragomeni appears to be showing his age after nearly losing to an even older man in Branco.
14) Silvio Branco (2-16)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
45 year old veteran Silvio Branco got what may have been his final hurrah with a close-fought draw with top 10-ranked Giacobbe Fragomeni.
15) Mateusz Masternak (2-14)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD10 Hari Miles (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
16) Alexander Alekseev (2-77)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw*(MD12) vs. #19 Firat Arslan (robbery- should have been L)
Next Fight: Unknown Date- vs. #9 Firat Arslan
See Arslan’s notes, above.
17) Enad Licina (2-106)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #17 Alexander Alexeev
Next Fight: Unknown
May be getting a little shopworn.  He’s not a pushover by any means, but you’d have to be crazy to imagine him as a top-10-type guy.
18) Dmitro Kucher (1-1)
Last Fight: 6/27/2012- KO3 Cesar Crenz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
19) Pawel Glazewski (1-1)
Last Fight: 6/30/2012- L(Robbery) vs. Roy Jones, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Easily beat Roy Jones, Jr., but was robbed in his own country.
20) Troy Ross (1-22)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD8 Lukasz Rusiewicz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Inactivity combined with poor competition are killing the career of top-level talent Ross, but at least he’s technically an active cruiserweight again, and thus eligible to remain in the rankings.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:  No fights to report this week.

Cruiserweight: 2012, Jun 18-24

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on July 20, 2012 by danboxing
Australian Anthony McCracken- who deserved to be considered a top-50 cruiserweight despite his robbery loss to David Aloua in the spring- dropped a unanimous decision to solid journeyman Daniel Ammann on Friday.  While news reports speak of a competitive bout in which the scores didn’t reflect the action, there is no video available that I can find, and so I must give Ammann credit and let McCracken take a hit.

 

In Friday’s second upset, gatekeeper Faisal Arrami dropped a decision to low-to-mid-level journeyman Jeremy Ouanna in both men’s native France. 

 

But the real good stuff was brewing on Saturday in South Africa’s 8-man cruiserweight tournament, the Super 8.  Unfortunately, it was not without a pair of SNAFUs.  The tournament favorite (and only non-African participant), Ran Nakash of Israel, failed to make weight initially by more than 2 pounds.  He trimmed one of these pounds in a 2 hour grace period, but then refused to try any further.  Faced with forfeiting his purse if the fight continued, Nakash essentially bolted.  This gives Johnny Muller- the weakest entrant to the tournament- and effective bye into the second round. 

 

Now to the fights that actually happened:
Congolese prospect Zack Mwekassa wasted no time in dispatching South African journeyman Tshepang Mohale, winning by 1st-round TKO.

 

Previously unproven South African prospect Thabiso Mchunu impressed during the first round, getting favorite Flo Simba in some trouble.  This was the second SNAFU of the tournament, however, as referee Tony Nyangiwe, by all accounts, prematurely stopped the contest with a matter of seconds to go in the opening round.

 

And finally, heavyweight journeyman and former South African Olympian Danie Venter- who probably translates to roughly gatekeeper-level as a cruiserweight given the comparative thinness of the division- won a solid 8-round decision over journeyman and countryman Daniel Bruwer. 

 

Even without Nakash’s credentials feeding the system, and even with the Mchunu-Simba controversy, the eventual winner of this tournament figures to earn a top 20 ranking.  No changes to the rankings yet, though.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (20-104-104)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Since there’s been no news on Hernandez’ next opponent for months, I might as well start speculating.  For what it’s worth, the IBF has Polish prospect Pawel Kolodziej ranked as their top contender for his belt.  That’s a crazy ranking, but it could put Kolodziej in line for a shot soon.
2) Denis Lebedev (20-124-124)
Last Fight: 4/4/2012- KO2 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lebedev-Mormeck appears to be off.  Reporting on the subject has been virtually non-existent, so I can’t readily say why exactly.  But it appears that Lebedev may be fighting Guillermo Jones, instead.  WBA purse bid scheduled for June 29.
3) Steve Cunningham (3-418-418)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham said recently that although he would consider fighting Kayode in the event he beat Tarver (the fight ultimately ended in a draw), he doesn’t believe there are any other big fights available for him at Cruiser.  He is therefore likely to move up to heavyweight.
4) Marco Huck (3-289-289)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
A summary of where Huck is at: Afolabi understandably wants a third fight with him- this time in the UK.  Huck wants a rematch with Povetkin.  Meanwhile, Huck is laying the groundwork for hyping a potential fight with Alekseev following the Russian’s poor performance against Arslan, and also for a shot at Vitali.
5) Ola Afolabi (3-171-171)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi would like a third fight with Huck, this time in the UK, or a fight with Tarver or Kayode in the US.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (3-365-365)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- TKO11 #9 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
Originally rumored and long-since forgotten, the rematch with Palacios is now back on the table, and reportedly being negotiated for a September date.
7) Antonio Tarver (3-48-48)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. #13 Lateef Kayode
Next Fight: Unknown
Tarver retained his IBO belt with the Kayode draw, but it’s up in the air where he goes from here.  He often says he wants to be heavyweight champion, but he’s clearly not even a full-sized cruiser at this point considering how soft he looked in comparison to Kayode.
8) Lateef Kayode (3-3-83)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. #3 Antonio Tarver
Next Fight: Unknown
The first major fighter to agitate for a fight with Kayode after his draw with Tarver is B.J. Flores.
9) Guillermo Jones (3-90-90)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Reading news and googling Jones’ name, it appears that the Joell Godfrey fight is off, but nobody ever seems to have actually reported that fact.  The fight simply disappeared.  Jones has been ordered to make a mandatory defense against Denis Lebedev, with purse bids scheduled for June 29.
10) Firat Arslan (3-6-49)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #12 Alexander Alekseev (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
The EBU has ordered a rematch between Arslan-who was robbed- and Alekseev, who escaped with a gift draw.
11) Danny Green (3-133)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- L(TKO11) vs. #8 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: 7/25/2012- vs. Danny Santiago (UNR) (at LHW)
Green is dropping down in weight in hopes of luring the much-smaller Anthony Mundine into a rematch.
12) B.J. Flores (3-104)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO6 Hugo Pineda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores is chasing a fight with Kayode that failed to materialize last year.
13) Francisco Palacios (3-64)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- UD8 Joell Godfrey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The almost forgotten rumor of a rematch with Wlodarczyk is now back on the front-burner, with a deal being worked on for a September fight between the two.
14) Giacobbe Fragomeni (14-188)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fragomeni appears to be showing his age after nearly losing to an even older man in Branco.
15) Silvio Branco (14-14)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
45 year old veteran Silvio Branco got what may have been his final hurrah with a close-fought draw with top 10-ranked Giacobbe Fragomeni.
16) Mateusz Masternak (12-12)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD10 Hari Miles (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Alexander Alekseev (6-75)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw*(MD12) vs. #19 Firat Arslan (robbery- should have been L)
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck has randomly been talking smack, which seems like a contrived attempt at hyping a pretty pointless fight between the two of them.  A rematch with Arslan would seem like a pretty natural move- and the EBU has ordered just that.
18) Enad Licina (6-104)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #17 Alexander Alexeev
Next Fight: Unknown
May be getting a little shopworn.  He’s not a pushover by any means, but you’d have to be crazy to imagine him as a top-10-type guy.
19) Troy Ross (6-20)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD8 Lukasz Rusiewicz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Inactivity combined with poor competition are killing the career of top-level talent Ross, but at least he’s technically an active cruiserweight again, and thus eligible to remain in the rankings.
20) Grigory Drozd (12-19)
Last Fight: 2/8/2012- RTD9 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/20/2012- vs. Fabio Garrido (UNR)
After expected fights with William Joppy and Cesar Crenz both fell through with little explanation, Drozd will fight mediocre Brazilian journeyman Fabio Garrido on relatively short notice, in Moscow.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:  #20 Grigory Drozd takes on Brazilian journeyman Fabio Garrido Wednesday in Moscow.

Cruiserweight: 2012, Jun 11-17

Posted in Cruiserweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on June 15, 2012 by danboxing
No action in the division this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: None
1) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (19-103-103)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD12 #4 Steve Cunningham
Next Fight: Unknown
Since there’s been no news on Hernandez’ next opponent for months, I might as well start speculating.  For what it’s worth, the IBF has Polish prospect Pawel Kolodziej ranked as their top contender for his belt.  That’s a crazy ranking, but it could put Kolodziej in line for a shot soon.
2) Denis Lebedev (19-123-123)
Last Fight: 4/4/2012- KO2 Shawn Cox (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lebedev-Mormeck appears to be off.  Reporting on the subject has been virtually non-existent, so I can’t readily say why exactly.  But it appears that Lebedev may be fighting Guillermo Jones, instead.  WBA purse bid scheduled for June 29.
3) Steve Cunningham (2-417-417)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #3 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Cunningham said recently that although he would consider fighting Kayode in the event he beat Tarver (the fight ultimately ended in a draw), he doesn’t believe there are any other big fights available for him at Cruiser.  He is therefore likely to move up to heavyweight.
4) Marco Huck (2-288-288)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: Unknown
A summary of where Huck is at: Afolabi understandably wants a third fight with him- this time in the UK.  Huck wants a rematch with Povetkin.  Meanwhile, Huck is laying the groundwork for hyping a potential fight with Alekseev following the Russian’s poor performance against Arslan, and also for a shot at Vitali.
5) Ola Afolabi (2-170-170)
Last Fight: 5/5/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #4 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
Afolabi would like a third fight with Huck, this time in the UK, or a fight with Tarver or Kayode in the US.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (2-364-364)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- TKO11 #9 Danny Green
Next Fight: Unknown
Originally rumored and long-since forgotten, the rematch with Palacios is now back on the table, and reportedly being negotiated for a September date.
7) Antonio Tarver (2-47-47)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. #13 Lateef Kayode
Next Fight: Unknown
Tarver retained his IBO belt with the Kayode draw, but it’s up in the air where he goes from here.  He often says he wants to be heavyweight champion, but he’s clearly not even a full-sized cruiser at this point considering how soft he looked in comparison to Kayode.
8) Lateef Kayode (2-2-82)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- Draw (SD12) vs. #3 Antonio Tarver
Next Fight: Unknown
The first major fighter to agitate for a fight with Kayode after his draw with Tarver is B.J. Flores.
9) Guillermo Jones (2-89-89)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- TKO6 Michael Marrone (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Reading news and googling Jones’ name, it appears that the Joell Godfrey fight is off, but nobody ever seems to have actually reported that fact.  The fight simply disappeared.  Jones has been ordered to make a mandatory defense against Denis Lebedev, with purse bids scheduled for June 29.
10) Firat Arslan (2-5-48)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw* (MD12) vs. #12 Alexander Alekseev (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
The EBU has ordered a rematch between Arslan-who was robbed- and Alekseev, who escaped with a gift draw.
11) Danny Green (2-132)
Last Fight: 11/30/2011- L(TKO11) vs. #8 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: 7/25/2012- vs. Danny Santiago (UNR) (at LHW)
Green is dropping down in weight in hopes of luring the much-smaller Anthony Mundine into a rematch.
12) B.J. Flores (2-103)
Last Fight: 1/28/2012- TKO6 Hugo Pineda (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores is chasing a fight with Kayode that failed to materialize last year.
13) Francisco Palacios (2-63)
Last Fight: 11/5/2011- UD8 Joell Godfrey (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The almost forgotten rumor of a rematch with Wlodarczyk is now back on the front-burner, with a deal being worked on for a September fight between the two.
14) Giacobbe Fragomeni (13-187)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. Silvio Branco (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fragomeni appears to be showing his age after nearly losing to an even older man in Branco.
15) Silvio Branco (13-13)
Last Fight: 3/17/2012- Draw (MD12) vs. #10 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: Unknown
45 year old veteran Silvio Branco got what may have been his final hurrah with a close-fought draw with top 10-ranked Giacobbe Fragomeni.
16) Mateusz Masternak (11-11)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- UD10 Hari Miles (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
17) Alexander Alekseev (5-74)
Last Fight: 5/11/2012- Draw*(MD12) vs. #19 Firat Arslan (robbery- should have been L)
Next Fight: Unknown
Huck has randomly been talking smack, which seems like a contrived attempt at hyping a pretty pointless fight between the two of them.  A rematch with Arslan would seem like a pretty natural move- and the EBU has ordered just that.
18) Enad Licina (5-103)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- L(UD12) vs. #17 Alexander Alexeev
Next Fight: Unknown
May be getting a little shopworn.  He’s not a pushover by any means, but you’d have to be crazy to imagine him as a top-10-type guy.
19) Troy Ross (5-19)
Last Fight: 2/4/2012- UD8 Lukasz Rusiewicz (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Inactivity combined with poor competition are killing the career of top-level talent Ross, but at least he’s technically an active cruiserweight again, and thus eligible to remain in the rankings.
20) Grigory Drozd (11-18)
Last Fight: 2/8/2012- RTD9 Richard Hall (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/20/2012- vs. Fabio Garrido (UNR)
After expected fights with William Joppy and Cesar Crenz both fell through with little explanation, Drozd will fight mediocre Brazilian journeyman Fabio Garrido on relatively short notice, in Moscow.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD:  We’ve got two fights to mention on Friday and the start of a significant tournament on Saturday.  See below for details.

 

Friday: Australian gatekeeper Anthony McCracken- who we last saw getting all-out robbed against Kiwi prospect David Aloua- appears to have recovered better than I thought possible from a bad cut in that fight, as he is scheduled to face solid journeyman Daniel Ammann in Newcastle, Australia.  Then, in Toulouse, France, local gatekeeper Faisal Arrami fights countryman and mid-level journeyman Jeremy Ouanna.

 

Saturday: All the cruiserweight action is located in South Africa, where local promoters have put together a single elimination tournament for mostly South African-based cruisers.  This tournament features 8 fighters.  Three of these begin the tournament in the world top 50.  The winners of the first round will fight again in September, with the final to be settled in November.  The first round draw:
1) Congolese gatekeeper/prospect Zack Mwekassa vs. South African journeyman Tshepang Mohale
2) Israeli prospect/fringe contender Ran Nakash vs. South African journeyman Johnny Muller
3) Power punching Congolese gatekeeper Flo Simba vs. South African prospect Thabiso Mchunu
4) South African Olympian and current journeyman Danie Venter vs. countryman and fellow journeyman Daniel Bruwer.

 

All but #4 feature at least one credible fighter, and the winner of this tournament figures to be close to a top 10 fighter when the dust settles.