BY PHILIP H. ANSELMO
To paraphrase my first article on these ratings, “My ratings do not follow the average fair, and alphabet titles are irrelevant to a certain degree. I base these ratings on talent, accomplishments, and/or setbacks and losses. Dormancy is also relevant, because, if a fighter does not fight, his relevance becomes diminished and he will fall in the rankings. Potential goes a long way with me, but does not always ensure an accurate spot.”
CHANGES: #4 rated (last list) Robert Helenius (17-0, 16 KO’s) has been dropped from the ratings due to injury. Lets hope he can get healthy, and quickly. If/when he fights again, the result will obviously rank him somewhere. A loss would be devastating. However, a spectacular return could propel him right back into the top-10. Helenius is a top-5 talent on his best day, and hypothetical fights in the future with Tyson Fury, David Price, Mariusz Wach or even one of The Klitschko Brothers is just too tantalizing to ignore. Speedy recovery Robert.
Meanwhile, Marco Huck enters at a respectful #17 after his brawling effort vs. WBA “regular” champ, Alexander Povetkin. Although Huck lost a debatable decision, he proved he could hang with the semi-elite. Lets hope he continues on as a heavy.
David Price enters at #41 after absolutely walking through the supposed “toughest opposition” he’d faced in John McDermott. Price’s in-and-out Wlad Klitscho-like footwork was pretty damn good and he showed lights-out type power. He could quickly move up the ratings in the coming months, and I expect he will, barring the unseen.
Sam Peter was dropped due to inactivity. His return to the ring is questionable after losing his last two fights by KO.
David Tua has also been dropped from the ratings, as he is now “retired”. In all honesty, “The Tuaman’s” only re-chance at glory would’ve been to land a dream fight with one of the Klitschko brothers. But that was NEVER gonna happen. Barely making it out alive vs. an old version of Monte Barrett eliminated all such dreams quick-like.
Also, former Cruiserweight Champ, Juan Carlos Gomez has been dropped due to inactivity.
And finally, there’s no way in heck I can slide Jean Marc Mormeck into these ratings. He is an old cruiserweight that got crushed by the Heavyweight Champ, and was not competitive in any way, shape or form. Unless he bounces back (which I’d find highly unlikely), he’d have to defeat a quality cat to crack the top fifty.
1. Vitali Klitschko 44-2, 40 KO’s
(WBC x 2)
40-year old Vitali Klitschko just defeated tough-and-nuts Dereck Chisora via 12-round decision. By now we all know of Chisora’s antics before and after the fight, so I’ll skip all that. Despite tearing ligaments in his left shoulder somewhere around the 3rd-round, Klitschko dominated, and easily kicked ass in my opinion. Had his shoulder not been injured, the WBC Champ very-well could’ve stopped his British opponent. To his credit, Chisora came to fight, but Vitali couldn’t miss with the straight right. When Chisora went through his aggressive spurts, there were uncomfortable moments for the champ, but Klitschko dominated most part(s) of every round. What does Vitali wanna do now? A rematch with Chisora? David Haye anyone? Or will Vitali pursue a fight with Alexander Povetkin in attempt to snatch-up all the belts both K-Brothers so adore? Retirement seems out of the question if you’re asking Vitali, but… We’ll see…
2. Wladimir Klitschko 57-3, 50 KO’s
(WBO x 2/IBF/IBO/WBA SUPER CHAMPION/WORLD)
World Heavyweight Champ Wladimir Klitschko easily and skillfully demolished former Cruiserweight Champ Jean Marc Mormeck over the weekend and finally, for the first time in a long while, the champ was all business. If Wlad were to fight that aggressively more often, the number of his critics could possibly be cut in half. He did exactly what he had to do to get the smaller, 39-year old challenger out of there. At one point, the champ unleashed a blinding scythe-like, 4-punch salvo of vicious left hooks, harkening the Ray Austin KO. But it was a beautiful jab-straight-right-left-hook combo that ended matters conclusively in round 4. The Frenchman had no chance. Once again, if Wlad were to fight this skillfully aggressive, he could reclaim the #1 spot, but I still can’t put him over Big Brother given the opponent on this occasion. Question is, how much longer does Wlad want to fight? Or WHOM does he want to fight? The next wave of 6-8”-plus youngsters are coming… Will he stick around long enough to test their mettle? Once again, we shall see…
3. Alexander Povetkin 24-0, 16 KO’s
(WBA “Regular Champ”)
Man, this is a very, very shaky rating here, but whom else do you put? Dereck Chisora would most probably be the popular choice, but no way I can rate a guy coming off 3-straight losses at #3 in the world. An upside with Povetkin is in his last defense of his WBA girdle, he proved he could box very neatly at times and has pretty damn quick mitts. He threw fast combinations and landed some solid shots. However, I remember scoring the fight 116-112 in favor of challenger Marco Huck, but that’s debatable. Povetkin was gassed several times during the fight, and he looked chubby. His defensive posture also put him into trouble several times, turning his head and ducking low. It looked bad. Huck threw his telegraphed right hand repeatedly and when it actually connected, often to the side of Povetkin’s turned noggin, Alexander didn’t react well. Don’t get me wrong, Povetkin fought back valiantly at times and won his fair share of rounds, but his moments of dominance were too few and far between due to the quick pace. Add in Huck’s awkward style and it was a tough fight for the “champ.” Povetkin’s ranking is here for the taking. And if he fights someone next who weights as much or more than himself, and can throw a straight right hand, we could see him fall dramatically.
4. Tomasz Adamek 44-2, 28 KO’s (vs. Nagy Aguilera 3/24/12)
Adamek gets a chance to redeem himself against a fading Nagy Aguilera here in a few weeks, and he needs to look impressive after his one-sided loss to Vitali Klitschko. Tomasz holds this spot because he’s defeated Chris Arreola, and he has the grit and skills to defeat any heavyweight this side of the Klitschko brothers. Or does he? The question is: How much does Adamek have left? He took a prolonged beating in his last fight vs. V. Klitschko, and one has to wonder how much did that take out of him? His future ranking depends on how he looks vs. Aguilera, bigtime. I don’t expect an early KO a la Arreola (Cristobal KO’d Aguilera in 2-rounds), but it’s Adamek’s freshness and pace I’ll be looking at. He hasn’t been a KO puncher during his stint at heavyweight, but this could be a chance to remedy the drought.
5. Chris Arreola 35-2, 30 KO’s
Arreola moves up from #9 after his pretty impressive 1st-round KO over (now 18-2, 14 KO’s) Eric Molina. Arreloa looked in shape (for Arreola) and withstood a stunning shot early that woke him into destroyer mode. Chris isn’t an elite fighter, but in my eyes he’s one hell of an American gatekeeper. Any potential heavyweights from overseas who want to make a name for themselves on US soil ought to be made to fight this in-shape version of Arreola as a mandatory deal. One can only hope Arreola takes his career and health seriously. The guy can fight, and he boxes with his heart on his sleeve. I’d love to see him test any and all of the young guns.
6. Derek Chisora 14-3, 9 KO’s
For a guy who has lost 3-in-a-row, there is no denying Chisora is very dangerous fighter, just not at an elite level. But Zeus knows there’s no shame in losing to Vitali Klitschko, even as one-sided as it was. And there are many folks who believe he beat one-time #3 heavy in the world Robert Helenius. Forget the WBC’s punishment(s), Chisora can fight under any other auspices out there, and I hope he does. He hasn’t shied away from dangerous fights, so there’s no reason to think he’d start lining up soft-touches just to pad his record now. Chisora is an iron-chinned gatekeeper, and his rating here will be tough to dispute. I’m hoping this maniacal “Tyson-Mercer-Rahman” hybrid takes on all comers. Is this rating too high? Maybe. But if Dereck stays in shape and continues to fight, he will be a super-dangerous cat for anyone rated below the Klitschko brothers (See Alex Povetkin and his WBA belt) and below himself (See Eddie Chambers or Tony Thompson).
7. Eddie Chambers 36-2, 18 KO’s
Inactivity has Chambers rating skating on thin ice here. Without any fight slated in the future, I’d say it’s very thin ice. Why is he rated? He’s without a doubt one of the finest, experienced boxers out there at a 2nd-tier level, having failed at the elite level (vs. Wladimir Klitschko). His stock was soaring on his way towards his doomed title shot, but since the loss, Chambers’ activity has been nil. Up-and-coming younger heavies should be avoiding him like the plague, and maybe that’s exactly what’s happening. Do not expect to see his name here after these ratings if he doesn’t get busy, and quick, because he ain’t getting any younger.
8. Tony Thompson 36-2, 24 KO’s
Thompson is another cat that is guilty of inactivity, and although he’s won all of his fights by KO since being KO’d himself by Wlad Klitschko, he needs a fight soon, and he might get one. Thompson is the #1 contender for Wlad Klitschko all over again according to the IBF. Rematch anyone? Eh… The scary thing here is, we know the Klitschko brothers truly enjoy the belt-collecting thing… Will Wlad actually fight Tony a second time if he’s threatened to be stripped of his IBF laurels? Word has it that he will honor the fight. I know what I’d tell the IBF, but I ain’t Wlad. The name Cristobal Arreola has been tossed around as a potential opponent for Wlad as well, but don’t think the Thompson camp is about to step aside without some extremely mutual legalities attached, or flat out compensation. And perhaps this is why Tony has been so quiet. He needs all the time at his disposal if he is truly going to face Wladimir again in the near future. And he’ll also need all the luck in the world if he intends on actually winning the rematch. Tony lost by a one-sided 11th-round KO the last time he fought the champ.
9. Alexander Dimitrenko 31-1, 21 KO’s (vs. Kubrat Pulev 3/31/12)
Things have been pretty quiet out of the 6-7” Dimitrenko since he won a 12-round decision over Michael Sprott last year, but that is about to change. Awaiting him is undefeated Kubrat Pulev. And this is the type fight that can be a watershed moment for a guy like Dimitrenko. Should he defeat Pulev, Alexander will still be very much alive and worthy of this ranking, at least on paper. Dimitrenko is still somewhat of a mystery after 32-pro fights, and it’s time he either shits or gets off the can. If Alexander wins, will he finally be in line for a world title shot? Will he take a shot at one of the belt holders at the world level if offered? Like Dimitrenko, Pulev is a good fighter, but not elite, yet. Pulev has less experience in the pros, but that has little bearing here. For fight fans, this contest could be projected to be either one way or another– a boresnore or a heck of a scrap. I can envision it both ways, but I’m hoping to see an extremely hungry Dimitrenko want to keep his place in the top-10, and an extremely hungry Pulev want to take the spot. A loss for Dimitrenko here could spell the end of a somewhat disappointing run all-in-all, and banish him from the 2nd-tier. Having never fought at an elite level, I expect Alexander to give it all he’s got, no matter what that may be.
10. Tyson Fury 17-0, 11 KO’s (vs. Martin Rogan 4/14/12)
Fury holds the #10 spot this edition too, so far. He dropped his BBBofC and Commonwealth belts, and boxing folk are saying the big gypsy is avoiding dangerous domestic rival David Price. But I think there’s nothing wrong with letting the fight build. Let Fury clean out the domestic level division (along with Price), and then hopefully, Tyson will make his way to the US and start cleaning house here. With his bravado and willingness to scrap, he could put some asses in seats and perhaps sway the HBOs or SHOWTIMEs of the world to allow us to actually see him fight on the tube here in the States. A hypothetical fight with Chris Arreola sounds like a brawl on paper, and I’d be willing to bet true heavyweight mayhem would transpire in the ring if such a fight could possibly be made. The David Price fight will be there. All both of these two behemoths have to do is keep winning. Fury has the attitude it takes to make a huge dent if he so chooses. But first things first, he must defeat Martin Rogan, and he must defeat him in style. If Fury struggles with Rogan, which he might, the big fella may want to consider taking big fights now, as opposed to later.
11. Ruslan Chagaev 28-2, 17 KO’s (vs. TBA March 4th)
12. Alexander Ustinov 26-0, 20 KO’s
13. Kubrat Pulev 15-0, 7 KO’s (vs. Alexander Dimitrenko 3/31/12)
14. Kevin Johnson 25-1-1, 11 KO’s (vs. Alex Leapai 3/18/12)
15. Mariusz Wach 26-0, 14 KO’s (vs. Tye Fields 3/24/12)
16. Dennis Boystov 30-0, 25 KO’s
17. Marco Huck 34-1, 25 KO’s
18. Taras Bidenko 28-4, 12 KO’s
19. Odlanier Fonte Solis 17-1, 13 KO’s
20. Albert Sosnowski 46-4-1, 28 KO’s
21. Monte Barrett 35-9-2, 20 KO’s (vs. Shane Cameron?)
22. Kali Meehan 38-4, 31 KO’s (vs. Travis Walker 3/7/12)
23. Bermane Stiverne 21-1-1, 20 KO’s
24. Seth Mitchell 24-0-1, 18 KO’s (vs. Chazz Witherspoon 4/28/12)
25. David Rodriguez 36-0, 34 KO’s
26. Maurice Harris 25-15-2, 11 KO’s
27. Oleg Platov 29-1, 23 KO’s
28. Shane Cameron 25-2-1, 21 KO’s (vs. Monte Barrett?)
29. Jonathan Banks 28-1-1, 18 KO’s
30. Edmund Gerber 19-0, 13 KO’s
31. Michael Grant 48-4, 36 KO’s
32. Chazz Witherspoon 28-2, 20 KO’s (vs. Seth Mitchell 4/28/12)
33. Vyacheslav Glazkov 10-0, 7 KO’s
34. Francesco Pianetta 25-0-1, 14 KO’s
35. Onddrej Pala 30-2, 21 KO’s
36. Sergei Lyakhovich 25-4, 16 KO’s (vs. Bryant Jennings 3/24/12)
37. Alex Leapai 25-3-3, 20 KO’s (vs. Kevin Johnson 3/18/12)
38. Carlos Takam 24-1, 19 KO’s
39. Manuel Charr 20-0, 11 KO’s
40. Jarno Rosberg 12-0, 4 KO’s
41. David Price 12-0, 10 KO’s (vs. Sam Sexton 5/19/12)
42. Neven Pajkic 16-1, 5 KO’s
43. Mike Perez 18-0, 12 KO’s
44. Andrzej Wawrzyk 24-0, 12 KO’s
45. Cedric Boswell 35-2, 26 KO’s
46. Franklin Lawrence 17-2-2, 12 KO’s
47. Timor Ibragimov 30-4-1, 16 KO’s
48. Travis Walker 38-7-1, 30 KO’s
49. Facundo Nahuel Simal 11-0, 3 KO’s
50. Bowie Tupou 22-1, 16 KO’s
OTHER NOTABLE NAMES THAT COULD CRACK THE TOP 50 IN TIME:
Michael Wallisch 8-0, 5 KO’s
Artur Szpilka 9-0, 7 KO’s
Luis Ortiz 13-0, 11 KO’s
Oscar Rivas 8-0, 5 KO’s
Deontay Wilder 20-0, 20 KO’s
Sergey Rozhnov 1-0, o KO’s
Joe Hanks 19-0, 13 KO’s
Magomed Abdusalamov 13-0, 13 KO’s
Erkan Teper 6-0, 4 KO’s
Alexey Soloviev 18-0, 12 KO’s
Andrey Rudenko 20-0, 12 KO’s
Kelvin Price 12-0, 6 KO’s
Volodia Lazebnik 13-0, 8 KO’s
Ran Nakash 21-0, 15 KO’s
Chris Burton 11-0, 6 KO’s
Fabio Maldonado 21-0, 20 KO’s
See everyone next time!
Philip H. Anselmo is a musician, vocalist, songwriter for such groups as Pantera, Down, Super Joint Ritual and Arson Anthem. You can keep up with Phil’s latest music production and going-ons at www.thehousecorerecords.com