Archive for Zsolt Erdei

Light Heavyweight: 2014, Mar 10-16

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on July 28, 2014 by danboxing
Saturday in Kecskemet, Hungary, Hungarian former Champion Zsolt Erdei won a dominant unanimous decision over low-level journeyman Shalva Jomardashvili of Georgia, won a completely manufactured alphabet Euro title in the process, and then promptly retired.  I wish I could say he was a real credit to the sport.  The truth is that he beat a Champion in the late Julio Cesar Gonzalez to become light heavyweight champion of the world in 2004, and then went on a run of defenses so pathetic in their overall quality that most boxing fans sort of forgot that he was champion and started recognizing the far superior Roy Jones, whom Erdei wouldn’t have fought in a million years.  It might be an exaggeration to say that he hurt the status of boxing championships as much as an alphabet organization, but he sure did his best to try.  He protected his “0” more carefully than Floyd Mayweather ever dreamed, and finally lost that mark in just his penultimate fight- ironically in very controversial fashion- to Denis Grachev.  He goes out winning a so-called title against a total non-entity, but the sad truth is that that non-entity who had no right challenging for a vacant European belt was not all that much worse than some of the guys that Erdei actually defended his lineal belt against, when you consider such luminaries as Paul Murdoch, Danny Santiago, George Blades, Tito Mendoza, DeAndrey Abron, Yuriy Barashian and, arguably, Samson Onyango (who in particular is probably worse than Jomardashvili).

 

No changes, since Erdei already ceased to afflict the rankings a while ago.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (79-79-79)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says his manager is working on his next fight despite his lawsuit against promoter Dan Goossen.  He had indicated interest in Golovkin, but the Kazakh’s own trainer recently said his fighter is not ready for that fight.
1) Adonis Stevenson (40-40-40)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO6 #6 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #6 Andrzej Fonfara
According to Ringtv.com, Stevenson-Fonfara will most likely land on May 24.  After that, it looks like the Kovalev fight will happen in late 2014.
2) Bernard Hopkins (79-405-405)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Karo Murat (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Hopkins will fight Shumenov in mid-April at the D.C. Armory in Washington.
3) Jean Pascal (8-8-8)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD12 #16 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Pascal appears to be fully back from his 2 years in the desert, figuratively speaking, having dominated an apparently shopworn Bute.
4) Sergey Kovalev (8-60-60)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO2 Ismayl Sillakh (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. #15 Cedric Agnew
Kovalev is likely to fight Stevenson in late 2014, and has a March 29 fight coming up in Atlantic City with Cedric Agnew.
5) Chad Dawson (8-406-406)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L(TKO1) vs. SMW #6 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Dawson has signed a deal with manager Al Haymon, which certainly brightens his career prospects.  He says he is interested in a Stevenson rematch.  Prospects for another occasionally-discussed rematch- with Jean Pascal- increased recently with word that Pascal’s trainer offered Dawson a contract.
6) Andrzej Fonfara (8-30-87)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- KO2 Samuel Miller (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
May 24 looks likely for Fonfara-Stevenson.
7) Tony Bellew (8-126-126)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- L (TKO6) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
Bellew plans a move to cruiserweight, and his first fight there is scheduled for March 15 in Liverpool, against Valery Brudov.
8) Gabriel Campillo (8-194-194)
Last Fight: 8/16/2013- L (KO9) vs. #14 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: 5/9/2014- vs. Ibrahim Lopez (UNR)
Campillo will reportedly fight unproven one-loss Spanish prospect Ibrahim Lopez on May 9 in Madrid.
9) Tavoris Cloud (8-237-237)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Cloud should probably get himself back in the win column at some point.
10) Nathan Cleverly (8-214-214)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (TKO4) vs. #3 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
Cleverly’s cruiserweight debut is once again delayed by what’s being called a minor injury.  His promoter says he intends to schedule him another fight very soon.
11) Isaac Chilemba (8-110)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD8 Michael Gbenga (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Denis Grachev (UNR)
Chilemba is in the US, training for a March 15 bout with fringe contender Grachev.
12) Jürgen Brähmer (8-99)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD12 Marcus Oliveira (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Enzo Maccarinelli (UNR)
Braehmer returns April 5 in Rostock, Germany against moderately resurgent Welshman Enzo Maccarinelli.
13) Karo Murat (7-20)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat is a free agent after his contract with Sauerland recently expired.
14) Thomas Williams, Jr. (7-7)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- TKO1 #13 Cornelius White
Next Fight: Unknown
Williams has been well-matched against vulnerable guys with good resumes.
15) Cedric Agnew (8-48)
Last Fight: 4/12/2013- UD12 #14 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. #4 Sergey Kovalev
Agnew was ordered to defend his regional title against fringe contender Anatoliy Dudchenko, and also appeared to have the option of fighting Sukhotsky for a position as IBF mandatory.  Instead, he’ll now roll the dice big against Kovalev.
16) Edwin Rodriguez (8-35)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez’s trainer Ronnie Shields opines that a fight against a top-15 level light heavyweight would be a good jumping-off point for his anticipated permanent move up.  Before that happens, he’ll need to recover from minor elbow surgery he had in December.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (20-37)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (7-117)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- L (TKO1) vs. Thomas Williams, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Never blessed with big-time promotional or managerial ties, White has risked becoming a permanent opponent with his last two losses.
19) Eleider Alvarez (7-59)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD10 Andy Gardiner (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alvarez may have been suffering from a letdown after Oosthuizen withdrew from what could have been the Colombian’s biggest fight ever, and almost let it effect him to the point of losing to an unheralded undefeated prospect in Gardiner.
20) Lucian Bute (7-71)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- L (UD12) vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute might be back on the May 24 undercard of Stevenson-Fonfara.

 

The Week Ahead:
Friday
Rowland Bryant vs. William Santiago; Hamilton Township, New Jersey; Off TV
Bryant, despite losing to solid prospects like Thomas Oosthuizen and Yunieski Gonzalez, is still a top 50 fighter in my eyes due to his destruction of then-ranked contender Librado Andrade in 2012.  It’s a bit disappointing, then, to find him fighting a sub-.500 fighter like Santiago.  Easy work.

 

Saturday
Bob Ajisafe vs. Dean Francis; Reading, England; Channel 5 (UK)
Both Francis and Ajisafe are English gatekeeper-types, and this fight has the potential to propel the winner to a really prominent position in the division.  This is actually the first quarterfinal of the UK’s MaxiNutrition Knockout Tournament.  The winner of this fight ought to be at least the co-favorite with the winner of next week’s meeting between Danny McIntosh and Travis Dickinson.

 

#11 Isaac Chilemba vs. Denis Grachev; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; NBC Sports (US)
Chilemba is looking for another breakthrough after losing a rematch to Bellew.  Grachev is even more in need of good news.  He was once at around the same level as Chilemba now finds himself, but he has been struggling of late.  He acquitted himself very well against Bute, but lost.  He beat Erdei, but perhaps it was undeserved.  And he was totally blown out of the water against Edwin Rodriguez.  Still, I think this fight could go either way.  Chilemba is long and tall, and if Grachev steps lively enough, he’s got a good chance to get inside and land some bombs on the Malawian contender, especially if Chilemba is not on top of his game.  Chilemba likes to mix it up more than a trainer might advise for someone of his physique.

 

Speaking of Tony Bellew: he’s got a fight too, but it’s unambiguously a cruiserweight fight, so I’ll only discuss it there.
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Light Heavyweight: 2014, Mar 3-9

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on July 24, 2014 by danboxing
Both of the significant fights in the division last week were on a single card at the Emperor’s Palace in Kempton Park, South Africa.

 

Namibian gatekeeper Wilbeforce Shihepo dominated mid-level journeyman Johnny Muller in Muller’s backyard, but the backyard judges couldn’t be bothered to notice.  I had it 117-110 for Shihepo, and I don’t see how on Earth anyone could have it more than one round closer.  That being said, I’ll give Daniel Van de Wiele’s pretty incredible 114-113 card a bit of a pass because he at least got the right winner.  South Africa’s Joseph Chaane and Ghana’s Eddie Pappoe are a different story.  I don’t know if they were paid off or if they just wanted Muller to win so badly that they couldn’t help but make it happen, but I can’t see how it wasn’t one of the two.  Both agreed on an egregious 116-113 Muller.  That score is remarkable not only for the fact that it reflects at least 5 botched rounds, but also for that both judges agreed that there were exactly two even rounds in the fight- theoretically both dominant Shihepo rounds- to arrive at that score.  At 116-113, these guys are almost giving Muller a round for every clean punch he landed.  I might be exaggerating slightly, since Muller did come on a little bit in the last 3 rounds, but the guy really could barely land anything for the majority of the fight.  He was as technically sound as a drunk Sakio Bika, and almost always overshot the target and ended up wrapping his arm behind Shihepo’s head after missing long.  

 

In a much less controversial result, undefeated South African Ryno Liebenberg came out on top in an entertaining one-round slugfest with Ugandan gatekeeper Joey Vegas.  Vegas hurt Liebenberg early in the round before getting tagged and dropped himself.  He then rose and suffered a barrage in the corner, though he took a lot of the shots off his shoulder.  Still, a relentless Liebenberg was able to catch him once again, and though Vegas appeared reasonably steady at the count of eight, he had stumbled enough in standing that referee Daniel Van de Wiele felt he was unable to continue.  I think that was debatable based on what I could see on TV, but I’m not going to complain too much.

 

If Muller had legitimately won, his victory would have been a significant event in the division.  As it is, it’s just a gatekeeper beating a journeyman and getting robbed.  No effect on the rankings whatsoever.  Liebenberg’s nice win gets him in the conversation.  He’s not a top 20 contender yet, but he is probably top 30, and on the rise.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (78-78-78)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez (as SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Ward says his manager is working on his next fight despite his lawsuit against promoter Dan Goossen.  He had indicated interest in Golovkin, but the Kazakh’s own trainer recently said his fighter is not ready for that fight.
1) Adonis Stevenson (39-39-39)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO6 #6 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #6 Andrzej Fonfara
According to Ringtv.com, Stevenson-Fonfara will most likely land on May 24.  After that, it looks like the Kovalev fight will happen in late 2014.
2) Bernard Hopkins (78-404-404)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- UD12 Karo Murat (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/19/2014- vs. Beibut Shumenov (UNR)
Hopkins will fight Shumenov in mid-April at the D.C. Armory in Washington.
3) Jean Pascal (7-7-7)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD12 #16 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: Unknown
Pascal appears to be fully back from his 2 years in the desert, figuratively speaking, having dominated an apparently shopworn Bute.
4) Sergey Kovalev (7-59-59)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO2 Ismayl Sillakh (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. #15 Cedric Agnew
Kovalev is likely to fight Stevenson in late 2014, and has a March 29 fight coming up in Atlantic City with Cedric Agnew.
5) Chad Dawson (7-405-405)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L(TKO1) vs. SMW #6 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Dawson is now a promotional free agent, and is looking to sign with a top promoter to start rebuilding after a rough year.  He says he is interested in a Stevenson rematch.  Prospects for another occasionally-discussed rematch- with Jean Pascal- increased recently with word that Pascal’s trainer offered Dawson a contract.
6) Andrzej Fonfara (7-29-86)
Last Fight: 12/6/2013- KO2 Samuel Miller (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/24/2014- vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
May 24 looks likely for Fonfara-Stevenson.
7) Tony Bellew (7-125-125)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- L (TKO6) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Valery Brudov (UNR) (at CW)
Bellew plans a move to cruiserweight, and his first fight there is scheduled for March 15 in Liverpool, against Valery Brudov.
8) Gabriel Campillo (7-193-193)
Last Fight: 8/16/2013- L (KO9) vs. #14 Andrzej Fonfara
Next Fight: 5/9/2014- vs. Ibrahim Lopez (UNR)
Campillo will reportedly fight unproven one-loss Spanish prospect Ibrahim Lopez on May 9 in Madrid.
9) Tavoris Cloud (7-236-236)
Last Fight: 9/28/2013- L (TKO7) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson
Next Fight: Unknown
Cloud should probably get himself back in the win column at some point.
10) Nathan Cleverly (7-213-213)
Last Fight: 8/17/2013- L (TKO4) vs. #3 Sergey Kovalev
Next Fight: Unknown
Cleverly’s cruiserweight debut is once again delayed by what’s being called a minor injury.  His promoter says he intends to schedule him another fight very soon.
11) Isaac Chilemba (7-109)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- UD8 Michael Gbenga (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/15/2014- vs. Denis Grachev (UNR)
Chilemba is in the US, training for a March 15 bout with fringe contender Grachev.
12) Jürgen Brähmer (7-98)
Last Fight: 12/14/2013- UD12 Marcus Oliveira (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/5/2014- vs. Enzo Maccarinelli (UNR)
Braehmer returns April 5 in Rostock, Germany against moderately resurgent Welshman Enzo Maccarinelli.
13) Karo Murat (6-19)
Last Fight: 10/26/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat is a free agent after his contract with Sauerland recently expired.
14) Thomas Williams, Jr. (6-6)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- TKO1 #13 Cornelius White
Next Fight: Unknown
Williams has been well-matched against vulnerable guys with good resumes.
15) Cedric Agnew (7-47)
Last Fight: 4/12/2013- UD12 #14 Yusaf Mack
Next Fight: 3/29/2014- vs. #4 Sergey Kovalev
Agnew was ordered to defend his regional title against fringe contender Anatoliy Dudchenko, and also appeared to have the option of fighting Sukhotsky for a position as IBF mandatory.  Instead, he’ll now roll the dice big against Kovalev.
16) Edwin Rodriguez (7-34)
Last Fight: 11/16/2013- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward
Next Fight: Unknown
Rodriguez’s trainer Ronnie Shields opines that a fight against a top-15 level light heavyweight would be a good jumping-off point for his anticipated permanent move up.  Before that happens, he’ll need to recover from minor elbow surgery he had in December.
17) Hadillah Mohoumadi (19-36)
Last Fight: 11/30/2013- TKO5 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
18) Cornelius White (6-116)
Last Fight: 1/24/2014- L (TKO1) vs. Thomas Williams, Jr. (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Never blessed with big-time promotional or managerial ties, White has risked becoming a permanent opponent with his last two losses.
19) Eleider Alvarez (6-58)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- UD10 Andy Gardiner (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alvarez may have been suffering from a letdown after Oosthuizen withdrew from what could have been the Colombian’s biggest fight ever, and almost let it effect him to the point of losing to an unheralded undefeated prospect in Gardiner.
20) Lucian Bute (6-70)
Last Fight: 1/18/2014- L (UD12) vs. Jean Pascal (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bute looks rather shopworn after the brutal beating at the hands of Froch, the close pitched battle with Grachev, and the humiliation at the hands of Pascal.

 

The Week Ahead:
Saturday
Zsolt Erdei vs. Shalva Jomardashvili; Kecskemet, Hungary; Sport 1 (Hungary)
Erdei is simply getting some work in (his first work in nearly a year) against a low-level Georgian journeyman.

Light Heavyweight: 2013, Apr 1-7

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on April 4, 2013 by danboxing
Friday in Verona, New York, undefeated Brazilian prospect Jackson Junior battled one-loss Cuban Umberto Savigne on the Friday Night Fights undercard.  After a close first round, Savigne began to take over.  Junior’s tendency was to stand in front and pose without jabbing, a strategy (or lack thereof) that gave him no chance to win, and that allowed Savigne to increasingly pick him apart as the fight progressed.   Savigne fought like a good, hard-hitting counter puncher, capable of attacking when appropriate.  Savigne dropped Junior in round 2, and then 3 times in round 4.  Referee Mark Nelson stopped it immediately upon the 3rd knockdown, despite the fact that it wasn’t a particularly bad one.  I guess there might be a tendency to assume the fight should be stopped when a guy fails to keep his feet 3 times in a single round, but I’m personally not a fan of forgoing a count unless the guy appears to be in some sort of peril, which Junior hardly was.

 

The following night in Monte Carlo, Zsolt Erdei returned to action for the first time since June 2011.  If you’re willing to forgive 2 instances in which he was inactive within the division for nearly two years (including one in which he moved up to cruiser) and the fact that his defenses of the title in general were embarrassingly weak, Erdei might still have had a claim to the lineal title, though most observers got so tired of his sitting on the title that they withdrew his recognition in favor of a subsequent lineage beginning with Roy Jones.  I am among those observers.  Anyway, his return came against #17 Denis Grachev, who made his bones with an upset knockout against Ismayl Sillakh, who had been soundly outboxing him to that point.  He then earned a new level of respect by giving Lucian Bute all he could handle in a loss that could conceivably have gone the other way.  Erdei made a fool of those that expected ring rust from him, working brilliantly behind the jab, keeping Grachev off balance and inactive, and winning 4 of the first 5 rounds on my card, and giving himself an argument in the other.  It was his conditioning rather than his rust that seemed to bedevil him, as he stopped the jab to a great extent in the 6th.  I gave Grachev 4 of the last 5, yielding a draw on my card.  I felt that I gave 3 arguable rounds to Grachev and only 1 to Erdei, and so I guess if I had to pick a winner that the fight leaned towards, it would be Erdei.  The judges went the other way, via split decision.  All of them had a one-round margin.  I can’t argue with any of them really. 

 

Now to Bellew-Chilemba.  If you saw the fight with the British commentary, as I expect most English-speakers did, then you were sorely deceived.  Their color man, Jim Watt, gave Bellew literally every round in which he didn’t get clowned.  He gave him at least a round or two in which he didn’t land a punch.  Bellew did enough to edge the first 3 rounds I thought, but I only gave him one other round the rest of the fight.  Bellew only clearly won one round.  I had it 116-112 for Chilemba, and in my opinion the range of reasonable scores was between 114-114 and 119-109 Chilemba.  The interesting thing about Chilemba to me was that his shots were so quick that they could be called sneaky fast or lightning fast.  So much so that I think Jim Watt missed half of them.  That’s not how I remember Chilemba looking a couple years ago.  When he beat Maxim Vlasov, I noted that he did so with slickness, but that his punches were sloppy, wide, and slapping.  In this fight they were fast, concise, and surgical.  But he was every bit as slick.  Bellew could scarcely find him at all, let alone cleanly. 

 

Savigne falls just a little short of earning a top-20 spot.  Erdei, despite getting credit for something close to a draw from me, has lost credit for most of his good wins due to their being over 5 years old, and thus he too falls short of reclaiming a ranking.  Grachev’s narrow win- both due to its questionable nature and the inactivity-diminished status of his opponent- is insufficient to propel him forward, particularly since #16 Lucian Bute recently beat him.  And so ultimately only Bellew-Chilemba will impact the rankings.  In keeping with precedent, I give Chilemba credit for a win, since I had it for him and since an actual win for Bellew would have been unreasonable.  He surges to #7 as a result.  This precedent also demands that I give Bellew credit for the draw he actually received, since that draw itself is reasonable.  He stays exactly where he is, since a draw to a #13 contender still leaves him in better condition than Juergen Braehmer, whose best wins are mostly too old to help as much as they otherwise would, and since he’s never actually beaten an opponent quite as good as Chilemba- at least not since 2006.  Chilemba’s promotion forces the demotion of everyone ranked #7-12 last week, including Juergen Braehmer, who falls from the top 10 after 8 weeks in.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (30-30-30)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 Champ Chad Dawson (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
After taking some seemingly unsolicited smack talk from Mayweather, Ward said he’d drain down to 160 to fight him.  Probably just talk, since neither man has ever fought that high/low.
1) Chad Dawson (30-357-357)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- L(TKO10) vs. SMW Champ Andre Ward (at SMW)
Next Fight: 6/8/2013- vs. SMW #7 Adonis Stevenson
Dawson will fight Adonis Stevenson (who moves up from 168) on June 8 in Montreal.
2) Bernard Hopkins (30-356-356)
Last Fight: 3/9/2012- UD12 #6 Tavoris Cloud
Next Fight: Unknown
It sounds like Hopkins-Cleverly is likely in the cards for later this year.
3) Jean Pascal (30-198-198)
Last Fight: 12/14/2012- UD10 Alexei Kuziemski (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #16 Lucian Bute
Pascal bailed on Dawson for a less internationally compelling fight with Lucian Bute on the same date.
4) Sergey Kovalev (11-11-11)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- TKO3 #4 Gabriel Campillo
Next Fight: Unknown
Kovalev is hoping to return in Moscow in April.
5) Gabriel Campillo (11-145-145)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- L(TKO3) vs. Sergey Kovalev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It remains to be seen whether we’ve seen Campillo rapidly decline, have a bad night, or just run into a world-beater.  But he’s still going to be highly ranked because he recently beat the guy ranked right below him.
6) Tavoris Cloud (11-188-188)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
Cloud’s manager expects him back in action by the end of the year.  Normally that wouldn’t be saying much, but that would be against type for Cloud.
7) Isaac Chilemba (1-1-61)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- Draw* (SD12) vs. #9 Tony Bellew (should be win)
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba put on a master-class defensive and boxing performance against the typically hard-hitting but totally befuddled Tony Bellew, and was only minimally rewarded for it, getting a split draw from the judges in his opponent’s hometown.
8) Cornelius White (1-38-68)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Otis Griffin (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
White snuck in an under-the-radar 8-rounder against Otis Griffin.  It was a pound over the limit, but will buy him some more time to stay active at 175, at least.
9) Nathan Cleverly (1-165-165)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO8 Shawn Hawk (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. Robin Krasniqi (UNR)
Cleverly’s long-lingering and mostly pointless fight against gatekeeper Robin Krasniqi has been moved to April 20.
10) Tony Bellew (1-77-77)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013- Draw* (SD12) vs. #13 Isaac Chilemba (should be loss)
Next Fight: Unknown
Bellew failed to get a mandatory shot at the Dawson-Stevenson winner with his stymied performance against Chilemba, but at last check was still the mandatory for Braehmer’s European belt.  But he seems focused on a Chilemba rematch.
11) Jürgen Brähmer (1-50)
Last Fight: 2/2/2013- UD12 Eduard Gutknecht (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. Tony Averlant (UNR)
Braehmer defends his European title in Hamburg on April 27 against journeyman Tony Averlant.  Averlant so far only steps up when he fights for the European belt, having previously been robbed against then-beltholder Eddy Gutknecht, only to get beat by a journeyman himself.
12) Karo Murat (1-100)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO7 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat last made 175 on October 1, 2011, and despite the fact that Tavoris Cloud and Don King are largely to blame for his recent inactivity, Murat will be removed in next week’s update if he fails to schedule a fight by then, since he  has had 18 months to get in the ring at 175.
13) Beibut Shumenov (1-145)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- UD12 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
14) Andrzej Fonfara (3-38)
Last Fight: 11/16/2012- TKO7 Tommy Karpency (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fonfara aggravated a previous injury to his right hand and had to withdraw from his ESPN2 fight with Nicholson Poulard.  He will hope that it heals on its own in a month, but if not he will need surgery that would keep him out for an additional 3-6 months.
15) Yusaf Mack (3-145)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- L(KO3) vs. #1 SMW Carl Froch (at SMW)
Next Fight: 4/12/2013- vs. Cedric Agnew (UNR)
After I rather thought he should retire after his showing against Carl Froch, Mack is instead back in the ring on April 12 against undefeated prospect Cedric Agnew.
16) Lucian Bute (3-22)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 #16 Denis Grachev
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #3 Jean Pascal
Bute will look to prove what I have long believed- that the 168 pound division is much better man-for-man than 175, by fighting his larger peer in Montreal on May 25.
17) Denis Grachev (3-49)
Last Fight: 3/30/2013– W* (SD10) vs. Zsolt Erdei (UNR) (should be draw)
Next Fight: 7/13/2013- vs. SMW #? Edwin Rodriguez
Grachev will be fighting Edwin Rodriguez at a catchweight of 171.5 in Monte Carlo for a million dollar prize.
18) Dmitri Sukhotski (3-127)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO1 Vladimir Borovsky (UNR)
Next Fight: 6/4/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Sukhotski will fight in Barnaul, Russia on June 4, but no opponent yet.
19) Eleider Alvarez (3-10)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- TKO3 Nicholson Poulard (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Alvarez continues to stay busy, as he already has another fight scheduled for the Bute-Pascal undercard on May 25.  No opponent yet, though.
20) Yunieski Gonzalez (3-3)
Last Fight: 3/15/2013- KO8 Rowland Bryant (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzalez took a huge step up in competition and made good, knocking out strong fringe contender Bryant. 

 

The Week Ahead: No action to report for this week.

Light Heavyweight: 2013, Mar 25-31

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2013 by danboxing
#19 Eleider Alvarez stopped journeyman Nicholson Poulard in 3 round in Montreal on Friday in the week’s only significant action.  No changes this week.

 

Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: Andre Ward (29-29-29)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- TKO10 Champ Chad Dawson (at SMW)
Next Fight: Unknown
After taking some seemingly unsolicited smack talk from Mayweather, Ward said he’d drain down to 160 to fight him.  Probably just talk, since neither man has ever fought that high/low.
1) Chad Dawson (29-356-356)
Last Fight: 9/8/2012- L(TKO10) vs. SMW Champ Andre Ward (at SMW)
Next Fight: 6/8/2013- vs. SMW #7 Adonis Stevenson
Dawson will fight Adonis Stevenson (who moves up from 168) on June 8 in Montreal.
2) Bernard Hopkins (29-355-355)
Last Fight: 3/9/2012- UD12 #6 Tavoris Cloud
Next Fight: Unknown
It sounds like Hopkins-Cleverly is likely in the cards for later this year.
3) Jean Pascal (29-197-197)
Last Fight: 12/14/2012- UD10 Alexei Kuziemski (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #16 Lucian Bute
Pascal bailed on Dawson for a less internationally compelling fight with Lucian Bute on the same date.
4) Sergey Kovalev (10-10-10)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- TKO3 #4 Gabriel Campillo
Next Fight: Unknown
Kovalev is hoping to return in Moscow in April.
5) Gabriel Campillo (10-144-144)
Last Fight: 1/19/2013- L(TKO3) vs. Sergey Kovalev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
It remains to be seen whether we’ve seen Campillo rapidly decline, have a bad night, or just run into a world-beater.  But he’s still going to be highly ranked because he recently beat the guy ranked right below him.
6) Tavoris Cloud (10-187-187)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- L (UD12) vs. #2 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: Unknown
The division is as weak in terms of talent as it’s ever been, and Cloud can’t beat a 48 year old contender in it.  I don’t think he’s ever going to be a champion.
7) Cornelius White (10-37-67)
Last Fight: 3/9/2013- UD8 Otis Griffin (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
White snuck in an under-the-radar 8-rounder against Otis Griffin.  It was a pound over the limit, but will buy him some more time to stay active at 175, at least.
8) Nathan Cleverly (10-164-164)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO8 Shawn Hawk (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/20/2013- vs. Robin Krasniqi (UNR)
Cleverly’s long-lingering and mostly pointless fight against gatekeeper Robin Krasniqi has been moved to April 20.
9) Tony Bellew (10-76-76)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- UD12 Roberto Feliciano Bolonti (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #13 Isaac Chilemba
Bellew has a mandatory shot at the European title against Braehmer waiting for him if he gets by Chilemba, but that may never happen since Bellew would also become the challenger-in-waiting for Chad Dawson, and might even get that opportunity on May 25 if Pascal does pull out.
10) Jürgen Brähmer (8-8-49)
Last Fight: 2/2/2013- UD12 Eduard Gutknecht (UNR)
Next Fight: 4/27/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Braehmer defends his European title in Hamburg on April 27.  No opponent yet.
11) Karo Murat (8-99)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO7 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Murat last made 175 on October 1, 2011.  He’s fought once slightly over the limit since then, giving him until April 1 to schedule a fight here.  This is partly Cloud’s fault for essentially standing him up, but that’s way too little activity to draw sympathy from me.  Murat remains the mandatory challenger for Hopkins, but the old man may have a more lucrative fight to consider with Cleverly.
12) Beibut Shumenov (8-144)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- UD12 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
13) Isaac Chilemba (8-60)
Last Fight: 9/29/2012- UD8 Rayco Saunders (UNR)
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. #9 Tony Bellew
Up-and-coming African star Chilemba takes a high-risk, high-reward fight on March 30 in Tony Bellew’s hometown of Liverpool.
14) Andrzej Fonfara (2-37)
Last Fight: 11/16/2012- TKO7 Tommy Karpency (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Fonfara aggravated a previous injury to his right hand and had to withdraw from his ESPN2 fight with Nicholson Poulard.  He will hope that it heals on its own in a month, but if not he will need surgery that would keep him out for an additional 3-6 months.
15) Yusaf Mack (2-144)
Last Fight: 11/17/2012- L(KO3) vs. #1 SMW Carl Froch (at SMW)
Next Fight: 4/12/2013- vs. Cedric Agnew (UNR)
After I rather thought he should retire after his showing against Carl Froch, Mack is instead back in the ring on April 12 against undefeated prospect Cedric Agnew.
16) Lucian Bute (2-21)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- UD12 #16 Denis Grachev
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. #3 Jean Pascal
Bute will look to prove what I have long believed- that the 168 pound division is much better man-for-man than 175, by fighting his larger peer in Montreal on May 25.
17) Denis Grachev (2-48)
Last Fight: 11/3/2012- L(UD12) vs. SMW #4 Lucian Bute
Next Fight: 3/30/2013- vs. Zsolt Erdei (UNR)
Grachev will fight inactive former champ Zsolt Erdei in Monaco on March 30, with the winner to fight there against the winner of Edwin Rodriguez vs. Ezequiel Maderna in July.
18) Dmitri Sukhotski (2-126)
Last Fight: 12/8/2012- TKO1 Vladimir Borovsky (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Sukhotski was originally rumored for the Monaco tourney, but he is not one of the 4 scheduled.
19) Eleider Alvarez (2-9)
Last Fight: 3/22/2013- TKO3 Nicholson Poulard (UNR)
Next Fight: 5/25/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Alvarez continues to stay busy, as he already has another fight scheduled for the Bute-Pascal undercard on May 25.  No opponent yet, though.
20) Yunieski Gonzalez (2-2)
Last Fight: 3/15/2013- KO8 Rowland Bryant (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Gonzalez took a huge step up in competition and made good, knocking out strong fringe contender Bryant. 

 

The Week Ahead: In a mostly slow week, the light heavyweights are the exception.  The Friday Night Fights undercard in Verona, New York features a much better fight than the Vera showcase, as two prospects clash in undefeated Jackson Junior of Brazil and one-loss Umberto Savigne of Miami by way of Cuba.

 

The following night in Monte Carlo, #17 Denis Grachev takes on inactive former Champion (who still has a claim to the lineal title) Zsolt Erdei in the first leg of a 4-man tournament.  In the other leg, Super Middleweight prospects Edwin Rodriguez and Ezequiel Maderna do battle.  Rodriguez-Maderna and possibly also Erdei-Grachev will be held at a 171-pound contract weight.

 

Last but not least, #9 Tony Bellew battles #13 Isaac Chilemba in Liverpool, for the right to be considered a clear top 10 contender.

Light Heavyweight: 2012, Jun 11-17

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Rankings with tags , , , , , , , on June 15, 2012 by danboxing
8-0 Colombian (I mistakenly called him a Cuban last week) Eleider Alvarez defeated 23-1 South Dakota prospect Shawn Hawk in Montreal on Friday via what appears to have been a solid 12-round decision.  Alvarez is now in the top 25, but falls short of a ranking here. 

 

#17 Zsolt Erdei- who still kinda has a claim to a lineal title- is removed for over a year of inactivity.  This allows Danny McIntosh to re-enter at #20 after 6 weeks out.

 

Dan’s Top 20
Champ: Chad Dawson (7-315-315)
Last Fight: 4/28/2012- W (MD12) Champ Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: 9/8/2012- vs. SMW Champ Andre Ward (at SMW)
Wow- it really is happening!  Dawson will reportedly drop down to 168 to challenge Andre Ward for the World Championship at Super Middle.  For my money, it will also be an opportunity for Ward to capture Dawson’s light heavyweight title.  He’s fighting the 175 champion under the 175 limit.  I’m not sure this scenario has ever played out in the history of boxing…and it’s pretty exciting- even if the fight itself may not  be.
1) Bernard Hopkins (7-314-314)
Last Fight: 4/28/2012- L(MD12) vs. #2 Chad Dawson
Next Fight: Unknown
I’m not sure what he thinks he can or still wants to prove, but 47-year-old Hopkins has shrugged off retirement talk and there is talk of a potential fight with Nathan Cleverly.
2) Jean Pascal (7-156-156)
Last Fight: 5/21/2011- L(UD12) vs. #1 Bernard Hopkins
Next Fight: 8/11/2012- vs. #4 Tavoris Cloud
Showtime has kindly provided the date of August 11 for the Pascal-Cloud tilt.  That’s more than 14-months since Pascal’s last fight…just sayin’.
3) Gabriel Campillo (17-103-103)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #3 Tavoris Cloud (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
With Cloud apparently sidestepping not only Campillo, but also a mandatory with Karo Murat in favor of an even better match with Pascal, I wonder if Campillo might get the rematch with Murat, instead.
4) Tavoris Cloud (17-146-146)
Last Fight: 2/18/2012- UD12* vs. #4 Gabriel Campillo (Robbery)
Next Fight: 8/11/2012- vs. #2 Jean Pascal
It appeared certain that Cloud would fight Murat next, but now he’s fighting Pascal instead.
5) Nathan Cleverly (35-123-123)
Last Fight: 2/25/2012- UD12 Tommy Karpency (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Originally scheduled to fight the underwhelming Robin Krasniqi, a virus scuttled that fight for him.  Not that anyone’s complaining.  Barring a rescheduling, which would be problematic from the WBO’s perspective, Cleverly may be looking toward his mandatory with Sukhotski next, though there’s some talk of a Hopkins fight, as well.
6) Karo Murat (37-37-58)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- TKO7 Sandro Siproshvili (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
7) Tony Bellew (35-35-35)
Last Fight: 4/27/2012- TKO5 #20 Danny McIntosh
Next Fight: Unknown
Bellew has at least rhetorically severed ties with promoter Frank Warren and is reportedly in the running for a July 7 fight on Sky Sports.  Warren is threatening legal action over the split and the potential fight, however.
8) Beibut Shumenov (19-99-103)
Last Fight: 6/2/2012- UD12 Enrique Ornelas (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
After embarrassing both Enrique Ornelas and himself (merely for taking the fight), Shumenov has already been approached for fights with Hopkins, Cleverly, and Kessler.  That being the case, he won’t have much of an excuse left if he ends up fighting his 4th consecutive journeyman.
9) Yusaf Mack (19-67-103)
Last Fight: 4/27/2012- UD12 Omar Sheika (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Mack called out Cloud and Dawson after beating Sheika.  Sure, he’s a top 10 fighter, but that still feels like a stretch for him.
10) Dmitri Sukhotski (19-19-85)
Last Fight: 10/8/2011- TKO2 Nadjib Mohammedi (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
The WBO originally demanded that Cleverly fight Sukhotski rather than the mediocre Krasniqi, but then backed down and gave Cleverly an extra 4 months to take the fight.  Now that Cleverly got sick and cancelled on Krasniqi, surely this fight will have to happen now…
11) Isaac Chilemba (19-19)
Last Fight: 2/3/2012- UD10 #16 Edison Miranda
Next Fight: Unknown
Chilemba, a former super middleweight, now has the highest ranking of his career at either weight after beating fringe contender Miranda.
12) Vyacheslav Uzelkov (11-19)
Last Fight: 5/12/2012- UD8 Ravshanbek Jabbarov (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/21/2012- vs. Unknown Opponent
Uzelkov is now scheduled for a fight in mid-July in Odessa, Ukraine.
13) Jürgen Brähmer (8-8)
Last Fight: 4/21/2012- UD10 Vikapita Meroro (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Braehmer has showed up for his last two fights, which at least feels like a record for him. 
14) Denis Grachev (7-7)
Last Fight: 4/27/2012- TKO8 #15 Ismayl Sillakh
Next Fight: Unknown
Yes, it was a flukey win, and it’s clear from his performance on its face that, at least at this point, he’s not this good.  But honestly the result in black and white could have supported a rating as high as around #10.  Common sense can only demote a guy so far (in conjunction with relative inexperience) when his actual resume calls out for a decent ranking.
15) Mikkel Kessler (3-4)
Last Fight: 5/19/2012- TKO4 Allan Green (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
A Froch fight in the fall now looks extremely likely, at 168.
16) Cornelius White (3-26)
Last Fight: 5/12/2012- KO2 Anthony Bowman (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
White, who was blown out in one round by prospect Don George at super middleweight early in 2011, may be a fluke.  But at least for one night, he looked a lot better against former top amateur Yordanis Despaigne than did established fringe contender Edison Miranda.
17) Tony Averlant (1-11)
Last Fight: 3/31/2012- L*(SD12) vs. #12 Eduard Gutknecht (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
Averlant is probably closer to the journeyman he was on 3/30 than the solid fringe contender he became on 3/31, but a win is a win…even when it’s a loss (in Germany).
18) Ismayl Sillakh (1-74)
Last Fight: 4/27/2012- L(TKO8) vs. Denis Grachev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
I didn’t see that coming at all.  I trust Sillakh will bounce back from the upset loss to Grachev.  But wow.
19) Eduard Gutknecht (1-3)
Last Fight: 3/31/2012- W*(SD12) vs. Tony Averlant (UNR) (Robbery)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Danny McIntosh (1-1)
Last Fight: 4/27/2012- L(TKO5) vs. #7 Tony Bellew
Next Fight: Unknown

 

The Week Ahead: Friday in France, French fringe contender Nadjib Mohammedi fights Congolese gatekeeper Doudou Ngumbu in a 12-rounder.