Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Top 25 Heavyweights (As of September, 2006)

By JE Grant

Perhaps the month of August will go down in boxing history as one of most pivotal in heavyweight history. With Oleg Maskaev’s demolition of Hasim Rahman no American is on the precipice of dominating the division. Of course some have already forgotten the Lennox Lewis – decidedly non-American – did dominate the division. He was likely the actual precursor to today’s situation.

But, is this new eastern European takeover for real? Will it last? Undefeated Calvin Brock will get a crack at the man most consider the best of the lot, Wladimir Klitschko. Shannon Briggs will likely meet Serguei Liakhovich. Oleg himself, apparently having passed on a lucrative November match with Klitschko, will now probably have to face the winner of the Samuel Peter – James Toney showdown. Finally Nicolay Valuev will take on Monte Barrett, a fighter who based on his record does not rate a shot but who nevertheless has a chance at victory.

In each case, potential American victories are real possibilities.

Of course in September is the much-awaited Samuel Peter – James Toney showdown. The Nigerian Peter has a chance to break away from the pack of contenders while James Toney gets a chance to score his first victory over a legitimately ranked top 10 heavyweight. Almost certainly the winner will get some kind of title shot.

Naturally the monthly compilation had important insights provided by my heavyweight wunderkinds Brian Bizzack and Troy Ondrizek. Both heavyweight watchers continue to get the inside track on heavyweights across the globe.

* * *

1. Wladimir Klitschko, Ukraine – IBF Champion (Last month #1) A real life showdown with undefeated Calvin Brock will replace the previously scheduled November date with Shannon Briggs. Brock is perhaps the top active American fighter (with Brewster sidelined with an eye injury). It is apparent that Klitschko is not taking the easy road --- and congratulations to him for it.

2. Serguei Liakhovich, Belarus – WBO Champion (Last month #3) Okay his planned date with Kevin McBride didn’t happen. We should all breathe a sigh of relief. It looks like he will pick up the tossed out Shannon Briggs in a November defense. This is no cake-walk. It’s good to see that the “White Wolf” is not going to be sucked into the journeyman circuit that is ruining Nicolay Valuev’s claim to the belt.

3. Lamon Brewster, USA (Last month #4) There is a possibility that with his eye injury he will be left behind by a fast-moving heavyweight train. He would prove stiff competition to any of the belt-wearers and has to be considered America’s best heavyweight. Everything hinges on his ability to recover from the injury.

4. Calvin Brock, USA (Last month #5) A title bout with Klitschko in November will prove to be a giant leap for Brock and a chance for as much glory as one man can handle. With a win in this fight Brock would become a household name.

5. Samuel Peter, Nigeria (Last month #7) All indications are that his training is going well as he prepares for James Toney. The winner of that fight has tremendous possibilities. The loser goes to the back of a long line. Look for Peter to make the most of this opportunity.

6. Oleg Maskaev, Uzbekistan / USA – WBC Champion (Last month #13) The “Big O’s” knockout victory over Hasim Rahman has to put him in a class with James Braddock. Many of us figured years – yes years – ago that he was finished. In recent years we’ve noted how much slower and easier to hit he has become. And, just when you think you know something as a hard fact, the beauty of boxing shines through and we’re met with a big surprise. Not only did he capture the brass ring he did it in stunning fashion in the last round of a close fight. A 37 year-old man who could put together a 12th round like that after a tough struggle against a strong and able foe must be admired. Oh, and by the way, the “Big O” is indeed an American citizen and as such it is he who becomes the sole USA title-holder.

7. Hasim Rahman, USA – (Last Month #2) We’ve likely seen the last of Rahman at the pinnacle of the sport. Yes, last month and for many months before that we touted the “Rock” as one of the top two heavyweights in the world. Clearly his rematch loss to Oleg Maskaev puts him behind the “Big O” for good. We certainly can’t imagine that he would fare any better against Klitschko or Liakhovich. He can still pick up some paychecks but he won’t wear a belt again. At least that is the conventional wisdom.

8. James Toney, USA (Last month #8) He was very fortunate to get a gift draw against Rahman and now that he’s seen the “Rock” blown out by the crudely skilled Maskaev perhaps even he is wondering about the illusion of heavyweight greatness he has fostered. Look for big Sam Peter to take care of business.

9. Nicolay Valuev, Russia – WBA Champion (Last month #9) Now that the entire division title-holding contingent originates from the former Soviet Union you would think big Nick would want to clean house and win over the home crowd. Instead he’s defending in the U.S. against Monte Barrett who simply does not rate a title shot now. Chalk this up to a lost opportunity.

10. Sultan Ibragimov, Russia (Last month #10) Perhaps his narrow escape against the clever Ray Austin will open his eyes. Maybe he’ll realize that he has to be at his best every night to be the best. He must shoot for some redemption – a rematch with Austin would do it – before challenging for a belt.

11. Ray Austin, USA (Last month #11) The “Rainman” needs to sign for a fight soon. Action should become his middle name. Considering his age and relative ability, he simply can’t wait around and live off the good performance against Ibragimov.

12. John Ruiz, USA (Last month #12) According to the August 17th WBA ratings he remains the organization’s number 1 contender. As mentioned last month, Ruiz has not won a fight since November 2004. The WBA’s sanctioning of Nicolay Valuev’s defense against Owen Beck and presumably against Monte Barrett, coupled with its continued number 1 ranking of Ruiz, may lead the organization to surpass the IBF as the biggest joke in boxing. A giant feat. Ruiz may face Ruslan Chagaev in a title eliminator.

13. Shannon Briggs, USA (Last month #14) Out with one title shot in with another. At least “The Cannon” can say that he is one person who has benefitted from the gaggle of alphabet soup organizations. He won’t have an easy time with Liakhovich. The titlist is not one of the many club-circuit guys that Briggs has been chasing down of late. Briggs better not arrive at 273 pounds. If he does, he will not see the last round.

14. Ruslan Chagaev, Uzbekistan (Last month #15) Rumors are swirling that Chagaev may face John Ruiz. Should he win, the undefeated 27 year-old would supposedly move to the head of the line for a shot at Valuev. Believe it when you see. Nonetheless, the fight will provide a solid opportunity for Chagaev to prove he belongs near the top 10.

15. DaVarryl Williamson, USA (Last month #16) Not a whisper from “Touch of Sleep” since solid win in May over Mike Mollo. What are you waiting for “D?”

16. Fres Oquendo, USA (Last month #18) Look, we thought when Lou DiBella took over his promotional reins that Oquendo would flourish but so far we’ve not seen much. He has a couple of unimpressive wins in his latest comeback but hasn’t shown much else of late.

17. Matt Skelton, England (Last month #18) A win over Danny Williams has not produced a top 10 rating in any of the alphabets. At age 39 it is important for Matt to engage only in meaningful contests. He likely does not have the talent to excel at the top of the division but he rates a chance.

18. Jameel McCline, USA (Last month #19) A possible date with emerging Argentina’s Gonzalo Omar Basile may be in the works. “Big Time” is the epitome of an athlete that won’t give up and will sacrifice to live up to his potential. It remains to be seen how much he has left in the tank, but we can all agree that the big guy is giving it his all.

19. Danny Williams, England (Last month #20) Danny was given a chance at the British title against champion Scott Gammer but turned it down. He is in a holding pattern that will erode quickly if he is not able to do something big very soon.

20. Luan Krasniqi, Germany (Last month #21) Krasniqi apparently pulled out of negotiations for a September match with surging Tony Thompson. The “Lion” has only a win over journeyman David Bostice since being blasted out by Lamon Brewster. For reasons we can only guess about, Krasniqi is still ranked number 1 by the WBO. So, instead of proving his ability against Thompson, it looks as though he can sit back, relax and wait for a title match to be handed to him on a silver platter. If you wonder how the so-called sanctioning bodies adversely impact on the sport, here is a perfect example.

21. Tony Thompson, USA (Last month #22) Krasniqi avoided him but we have high hopes the “Tiger” will be back in action soon.

22. David Tua, New Zealand (Last month #23) – Nothing scheduled since the tough guy returned with a win in July. He can still be a force if he remains active.

23. Vladimir Virchis, Ukraine (Last month #24) The “Hunter” is gaining a reputation as a tough guy. Recently crowned the European champ (not always a very meaningful accolade), he will get his chance soon enough at some well-placed opponents.

24. Monte Barrett, USA (Last month #25) He can upset the all-eastern European cartel if he can get past the long arms of Nicolay Valuev. It’s a tall order for the relatively inactive campaigner.

25. Eddie Chambers, USA (Last month unranked) “Fast” Eddie, moved to 27-0, with a fifth-round stoppage of Domonic Jenkins in August. This guy needs to be on TV. American talent is out there.

Prospects, fringe contenders, and others who need mentioning listed in no particular order. Don’t read the fact that they are listed here as an indication a ranking is imminent. Regular readers should also note that I’ve taken off some names that were here in months past who still rate attention. We're highlighting activity and when potentially top fighters have bouts scheduled you’ll likely see them reappear.

Chris Byrd, USA (Last month #6) Clearly Chris could remain somewhere in the top 25, but he is (wisely) going to campaign in the cruiserweight division. Fight fans will likely gain a newfound respect for the long-time belt holder as he competes against men his size.

Joe Mesi, USA – Another embarrassing venture in August resulted in a victory over an opponent who now sports a record of 9-28. Mesi is now 32-0 and it is high time that he started fighting opponents who can punch back. The one bright spot in the effort was that he dropped seven pounds since his last outing.

Chazz Witherspoon, USA – The undefeated, but puzzling, Chazz will be in action in Philly in October. We’ll all see what he learned from his television debut. Taking the mantle of top American heavyweight is up for grabs.

Alexander Povetkin, Russia – No opponent has been named but he has a bout scheduled for September. This man deserves your close attention.

Gonzalo Omar Basile, Argentina – He won his 11th bout of the year to carry his record to 25-1. This man is very busy. Rumors are buzzing of a bout with Jameel McCline. If this pans out, we’ll know very soon if he can really mix it up.

J.D. Chapman, USA – The 24-0 (21 KOs) youngster is scheduled for a September date making him one of the most active heavyweights on the scene. He still has a lot to learn and it appears he’s willing to do it the old-fashioned way – by fighting.

Denis Boytsov, Russia – The 16-0 (15 KOs) star in the making will campaign in September against Ondrej Pala in Germany. At 20, he’s still maturing.

Roman Greenberg, England (via Israel) – The tough youngster reportedly signed with Warriors Boxing in Florida. Hopefully the 22-0 phenom begins to face some competition tougher than the European chopped liver he’s met to date. He shows some promise.

Damian Wills, USA – This young Californian decisioned Cisse Salif in August to move to 21-0-1. The only blemish on his record is a draw with the oft-beaten Sedreck Fields, though he avenged the loss earlier this year. We’ll need to see more to evaluate him. Now is certainly the time to be an American who can actually fight.

Scott Gammer, England – The undefeated Welshman came very close to a British title defense against Danny Williams. Of course that bout has fallen through but he’s still set to defend his belt against once-beaten Michael Steeds. Steeds’ lone loss in his 8-1 career is to none other than Gammer.

Travis Walker, USA – The Floridian, now 20-0-1 (16 KOs), Tallahassee, Fla., decisioned Andrew Greeley in August. He next faces former Olympian Jason Estrada later this fall.

Jason Estrada, USA – He faces fellow unbeaten Travis Walker in an unusual circumstance – two top prospects facing off early in their respective careers. Wish we saw more of this.

Malachy Farrell, USA – Now 15-0 (12 KOs), the Chicago native , knocked out Shannon Miller, 14-2 (8 KOs) in the fifth round of a scheduled eight in August. To date, Farrell’s record is filled with wins against opponents with losing records. This bout obviously represented a step up for the 26 year-old.


Blogger JE Boxing said...

T.O. / B.B. --- Look these over before I go final tomorrow.

3:52 PM  
Blogger orltroy said...

Not bad there brother, but Povetkin and McClione are in the running for Basille, but I think Povetkin might be out. Rumors are his fight will be moved to the undercard of Barrett/Valuev due to no one willing to fight Povetkin. The kid has 8 fights and is already being avoided. Walker's draw was with respectable journeyman to be Jason Gavern. Oh and I have big news about a big fight coming up, it will shock you, but I can't say. You will find out Sept. 18th, but I will probably spill the beans a couple days earleir to you. Otherwise this is great. Oh yeah Holyfield suppsoedly signed to fight Ray Mercer not Sinan Samil Sam. This is a battle of two ancient men. It's interesting though.

8:52 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

I hope the fight is made with either Povetkin or McCline. We'll at least get a chance to see if Basille is the real thing.

6:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could put down a top 25 and probably go back to it next week and wonder why I put this fighter here and that fighter there. It's a guessing game. Brewster at #3 is a surprise. Still on the shelve and without Jesse Reid I do not see him regaining his form again. #4 Brock and #5 Peter still have to prove they can beat a top guy. Maskaev has proven this and deserves better than #6. Holyfield and Mercer proves nothing. Been there done that for Holyfield. He should take on WBC #6 Oliver McCall who holds a win over WBC champ Maskaev. I have a list of 24 prospects with zero or one loss that are not in the IBO's top 100. Marrone and Wills are going nowhere let alone Farrell. Adam Richards and Thomas Hayes from the US and Sebastian Kober of Germany would take Basile, I am sure. Shane Cameron of NZ may also be a long shot. I like the fact you put Lyakovich #2. He could only get better. This time next year there may be no Eastern European champs unless they decide to fight each other. Lyakovich would be my choice if they do. Kenny Weldon will be bringing out the best in him. I still can' forget the beating Corrie Sanders gave Klitchko. If Peter does not beat Toney then he can pack his bag's and head back to Nigeria. Sultan Ibragimov and Brock will soon get their opportunities at the big time.

7:57 AM  
Anonymous Mr. Toney said...

Lights Out will make you eat your words.

7:59 AM  
Anonymous Big John said...

Oleg should be ranked higher. He beat your number two man didn't he?

2:00 PM  
Blogger orltroy said...

McCall is set to fight Darroll Wilson. Kober is solid but not overly impressive plus he is 27. farrell isn't great but has stepped up. Mills reminds me of Dominic Guinn. Povetkin is the next big thing. Shane Cameron is a nice power-puncher and his win over Roger Isonriti or whatever the spelling is. Cameron is crude but he has pop. Other young prospects include the likes of Oleg Platov and watch out for Roberto Cammarelle when he finally turns pro. He is a super stud amateur that sucked in Worlds this year but oftern came second to Povetkin and is trained by Damiani (Brian should like that) and another Italian stallion who I would pick over Marrone right now in Francesco Pianeta. I also really like the young Cuban Yoan Pablo Hernandez. I talked to Brian Minto earlier today and he is promoted alongside Marrone and he says West has a solid chance of putting Marrone down. We'll see. Brian is pretty knowledgeable about sparring partners.

9:39 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...


I haven't read it completely yet, but I took a quick glance at the top-10. Unlike last month (where the pieces just seemed to almost fall perfectly and effortlessly in place) this month is a tad bit more difficult, and 'quirky'. My first inkling was to put Rahman a titch lower, and Brewster as well, but then I thought more, and...I uppose it's reasonable, and perhaps even appropriate.

* Peter - As of RIGHT NOW JE, (as in Aug.31st) I feel as if you have him a BIT too high. NO doubt there, I.M.O. I would have to put Oleg at #5 J.E. Yes, he has a few losses, but he just recently beat a guy who you had in your top-3. I wouldn't put him quite that high, but no worse than #5. Now, as of Peter...His ranking of #5 may be justifiable after Sept.2nd! (If he beats Toney) But right now - no.

P.S- Something looked slightly 'out of order' in the top-10, and I couldn't quite put my finger on it...Until now. Chris Byrd, JE. Is he OFFICIALLY a cruiser or retired? Because if not, you would absolutely HAVE to put him SOMEWHERE in that top-10.

9:53 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

BTW- Oh...YES! Damiani Troy! Perhaps the greatest Italian born and raised hvy in HISTORY! (Alright people...Hold back the snickers. It's a close call between he and Carnera.) Yes Troy, I have my eyes and ears on these young Italian hvy's and cruisers!!!

P.S- Holyfield-Mercer? Ugh...The good news is that they are both over-40. The bad news is...They are both over-40. And Mercer...Has to damn near be pushing 50 now! (Well, he has to be at LEAST 45 or 46...)

9:56 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

BTW- Ithink your top-2 are absolutely perfect. No doubt in my mind that as of this moment, those two are the to best and most formidable hvy's on the planet, with the potential 'dark horse/sleeper' possibly being Brock.

Alright, on to the rest of the list...


10:00 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Okay, haven't read the comments yet, but took a quick scan down the list, and everything looks okay. Ah, one minor thing that kind of jumped out at me though? Davvaryl Williamson at #15. May be a tad bit too high. I would almost be tempted to put Krasniqi there, as he IS a good boxer, and lost a good tough close fight to a top-5 guy in Brewster.

*It's kind of funny...The "Luan lovers" don't like me, and neither do the "Luan detractors" really either! LOL...Seriously! Same applies/applied to the K brothers as well. Oh well, I guess this is what happens when you "tell it like it is". But like I tell them, I'm wrong or "off target" on occasion, emm...It just doesn't honestly doesn't happen very often though! This infuriates them even further - because they know it's unfortunately true - and I had one refer to me as -- "Bizzack= Arrogant American elitist asshole". (LOL! I loved that one, and actually saved it. I wish I could put that on my business card. As for the Luan, I have actually gotten a few pieces of "hate mail" from the Albanians. I find this a bit ironic, as I always point out that he is a good boxer, and one of the better hvy's around. But I also point out that he isn't THAT good, lacks heart, and is CLEARLY not deserving of a TOP ranking.) Anyways, I would maybe swap Luan and Davarryl, or perhaps Skelton and Davarryl.

P.S- Kind of good to see Chambers make his debut at 25, and I do think he is deserving.

10:40 PM  
Blogger orltroy said...

It's not a bad list, I always feel that Peter is rated too high, but I do have him beating Toney, but I don't give great credence to that victory. Or vice-versa. I LOVE following these young Euro fighters, they fight so damn often and you see more film on them than you do of their American counterparts.

10:44 PM  
Blogger orltroy said...

DaVaryyl has a better win on his resume than Luan does since they both lost their title fight last year. DaVaryyl looked better in it as well. I will give you that Luan is a good fighter, but lacks heart and elite skills to deserve where he is at. Basically I echoed Brian's sentiments, but I don't get hate mail on it for some reason I don't know. Maybe it's becaus people haven't figured out I'm AMerican yet. I saw people arguing over a piece of mine quoting American biased shit, and another poster can in saying that I'm not an American just look at my last name and that I don't even write for an American site (ESB). I found it humorous. ANyways, Skelton needs one more victory over a credible opponent to go 15. Maybe a fight with Gammer would do well for him, because Skelton isn't fighting anyone right now.

10:50 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Well...IF he beats Toney, Iwould definetly put him close to top-5. No doubt. (No biggie, but I told JE if possibly he should put this out a few days later this month. Perhaps he couldn't, or just said to hell with it.)

Anyways, if and when the time comes, I would feature only Ring magazine's rankings and world champions, as well as their hvy top-10. I support their cause, and find their rankings and procedures to be reasonable. However, for those wanting something a bit more extensive for the hvy's, I would feature J.E's top-25 hvy's list in a heartbeat, and as my sole other ranking/list. Like Ring, there may be a minor disagreement here and there, but this list is about the most accurate, in-detail, and 'user-friendly' list you will find on the planet. In my opinion, even though I love making Boxing lists myself, there is no sense in trying to do a top-20/top 30 list now. Why? Simply put - it can't be done much better (if at all) than this.

10:55 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

That's funny Orltroy! (LOL) And you know, alot of truth to that as well! It's funny, don't ask me why, but I thought you were a Czech at first as well! Perhaps it was the last name, and your avid knowledge and interest in the Euro scene. But like you say...Hell, I'm Irish-Italian and with a Slovakian last name. That's kinda America!

P.S- Haven't checked my email in a few days, in case you sent something. (I'll check it tonight) Been a bit busy, and also came down a bad cold.

10:59 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Oh, no biggie, but I would take a couple of guys out of the "fringes" section, and sneak in Taras Bidenko and Kevin Johnson.

* At this rate...We'll have over 300 posts! (lol)

11:33 PM  
Blogger orltroy said...

Apparently Golota has pulled out of his October fight with McBride. And I heard a rumor, and haven't read it anywhere, but that Axel Schulz will be returning to the ring early next year.

1:36 AM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

Many continue to question my high ranking of Peter -- Saturday will tell the tale.

7:31 AM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

Cruiser -- I committed to sending this out no later than the 1st of each month -- come what may. I'm not afraid of being wrong and having the world see it just a day or two later...........If I got it all exactly right each month there really would be no point in watching the fights. :) I like it when they surprise us ala Maskaev-Rahman.

7:33 AM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

I like to rotate the list below the top 25 to give some exposure to the also-rans -- some of whom will emerge as legit contenders.

7:44 AM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Yeah, that's understandable (Sept.1st) J.E. And yes, IF porky Peter beats Toney, I will not really have a problem with him at #5. I do however still feel as though you have Oleg a BIT too low, J.E. Do I think he is the 3rd, 4th, or 5th best hvy on the planet right now? Emm...No. But he did beat a TOP contender, and I think he should be absolutely no lower than #5, personally.

Anyways...Perhaps after the 2nd, these ratings will be "almost perfect", by "Bizzy" standards. (LOL)

*Sidenote- Unless it's a draw or very close fight J.E, the LOSER in this fight...Would drop down into the lower part of the top-10, or perhaps even slightly OUT.

10:57 AM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

P.S- Haven't forgotten about the Boytsov clips J.E...

10:57 AM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

You're right, the loser drops out of the top 10.

11:26 AM  
Blogger orltroy said...

I don't see the winner moving up much either. I just don't give either that much credit. But I guess I can concede some credit for they did defeat a top 10 ranked heavy.

4:11 PM  
Blogger orltroy said...

Okay it is rumored that Sinan Samil Sam will be fighting Vladimir Virchis at the end of October for the EBU belt. I like this fight. I think Sam will take the early lead and continue with his glorified club-fighting tactics, which aren't bad, but Virchis who arguably is the hardest puncher in the division (yes I said it) will catch Sam late.

4:44 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

SSS may be among the wealthiest club fighters in the game today. He fights all comers. Too bad he doesn't have the punch to go along with his willingness.

4:57 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

I'm not yet sold on Kevin Johnson. His jab is well above average but it almost never is used to set up the next punch. Without adding to his arsenal (ala Larry Holmes - the best jabber ever), a multi-dimensional fighter will find a way around that jab.

5:02 PM  
Blogger orltroy said...

He has decent skills and a HUGE fanbase and some deep pocketed backers. I lost hope in him when he was out-boxed my Maskaev, and it's completely evaporated when he barely beat Montana. I had seen sveral of his fights and his amateur fights as well, and I didn't think he was the future champion, but I put stock into him being a contender. Brian had the right call on Sam, but Sam is resilient to say the least. But I think Virchis is coming on strong and a quality stoppage victory over Paolo Vidoz is more impressive then barely getting past Saul Montana

5:04 PM  
Blogger orltroy said...

Johnson has some other punches, I have seen them, but I didn't catch them on tape so it's like saying the Lochness Montser is real. You will just have to take my word on it. Johnson has the build which is rare these days, and decent handspeed and body movement, but you can't knock someone out with a jab and you won't keep a solid fighter off you with just a jab. All Johnson needs to do is ask Hasim Rahman if that last statement is true.

5:06 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

I sure didn't see anything else when I saw him fight. It was as if the right hand was taped against his body.

5:09 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

Virchis needs to also take the show on the road. No need for him to get lost in the shuffle.

5:24 PM  
Blogger orltroy said...

Virchis is becoming a big draw in Germany. We'll see if he travels, it all depends on the success of Valuev in October.

5:51 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

I would like to see those boys flood the zone on US TV. Too bad a couple of top German promoters couldn't strike a deal with a US cable outlet.

8:16 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Sam has decent skills, decent power, and a good chin...But is a bit slow and lumbering. Juan Carlos Gomez, a talented and speedy former cruiser, made him look like a journeymen in their fight. And alas...That's about what he is. (Virchis is a bit slow Troy, but he can indeed punch!)

As for Johnson, I'm not 'sold' at all. But I am kind of sold on his possible POTENTIAL. I think he has the most potential 'upside' of all the young American hvy's, but we'll see how he develops. He obviously has a ways to go.

9:53 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

I likely wouldn't have been "sold" on Larry Holmes very early in his career because of his over-dependence on his jab. He was able to craft out a dynamite right hand thrown as part of combinations. He also had movement and solid defense. If Johnson can keep developing, he has a shot.

10:02 PM  
Blogger orltroy said...

Johnson definitely has a shot, but so did Dominic Guinn and Michael Grant. But to be seriouos Johnson does have a better upside than say Wills and Scott and in fact every other. I really like Johnson in all honesty, but that is contingent on him throwing more punches and adding some small things to his arsenal.

10:09 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

I sure thought Guinn had the goods but I was always thought Grant was suspect. Guinn's left hook was a thing of beauty. I'm not sure why he fell apart. He certainly had an extraordinary number of amateur fights which isn't always a good thing for a heavyweight.

10:14 PM  
Blogger orltroy said...

It hasn't seemed to hamper the Euro guys (the amateur fights) and Guinn had to be mentally, because he did have the goods. maybe Guinn has the self-esteem of Tyson or McCall.

10:35 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Agreed on Grant & Guinn. I NEVER thought much of Grant, but Guinn did disappoint me. I thought he was a good all-around fighter, that would be a legit top-contender. Well, he kinda of WAS, but then...(???)

BTW- I do see a little bit of a young Larry Holmes in Johnson, guys. Larry got his ass handed to him by Bobick in the amatuers, and didn't really look like all that much as a pro early on. But he had that promising and unique jab. Now, Holmes had Ali to work and spar with constantly, had quality training, and an open and very cerberal mind to improve, develop, and work on his craft. I'm not sure if Johnson posesses those intangibles or not. But as far as the 'raw tools' go, I like what I see. I think much of it may come down to quality of training, his receptiveness and ability to learn, and his dedication and diligence in working.

10:45 PM  
Blogger orltroy said...

So did you talk to him Brian?

11:16 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Heavy weights these days are not at all what they once were are they. What ever happened to the like of Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Sonny Liston, Joe Louis, Jack Johnson and so on?!

12:30 AM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Heavy weights these days are not at all what they once were are they. What ever happened to the like of Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Sonny Liston, Joe Louis, Jack Johnson and so on?!

12:30 AM  
Blogger orltroy said...

Dave seriously, why ask that question?

12:46 AM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Good comments on the rankings (as always) JE. Especially Maskaev. However, one minor correction? (Possibly?)

I believe Sergei is also a legal American citizen. (I'll verify that though) He's definetly American-trained, and resides much of the time in Arizona. This I do know for a 100% fact!

* BTW- Troy, his email was bad...(???) Perhaps I will double-check it...

12:48 AM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

As for Dave's question, it's an easy one to ask...An a long and difficult one to answer. Many factors, and perhaps one major one. But I don't have the energy to go into that one at the moment...

12:51 AM  
Blogger orltroy said...

Brian what e-mail?

1:26 AM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Johnson's. (I'll double-check.)

2:04 AM  
Blogger orltroy said...

okay was the substance bad, or the address?

2:09 AM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

(LOL) Sorry Troy, nah...It was the email addy itself.

Nah, I asked him if he was aiming to be the "Venus De Milo" or Rick Allen (One-armed Def Leppard drummer) of Boxing, and things kind of turned sour from that point on. (Just kidding LOL)

3:30 AM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

I'm not sure if Liakhovich is a citizen or merely a permanent resident. You are correct. He is decidedly not a Euro-fighter. He learned to fight as a pro in the American system and style.

11:23 AM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

Who trains Johnson?

1:03 PM  
Blogger orltroy said...

Platov/Akinwande is off, don't know why but it is. That wouldn't have been a bad fight.

10:28 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Charlie Young is his trainer, J.E. (Too be honest, don't know a whole lot about him.)

10:32 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

BTW- That is one of the biggest misconceptions about Sergei (his style) No matter how much Emmanuel tinkers with Klitschko, he will always have that kind of 'stilted' stand-up European style. And there's nothing wrong with that. Steward would have been a fool to try any drastic 'overhauls' with Vlad's style, as it earned him a Gold Medal and nearly 50 pro victories. But Sergei has developed much more of a true 'American style' in his pro years. It's definetly not a true 'Euro-style'. It's at best a hybrid of the two.

11:33 PM  
Blogger orltroy said...

A hybrid is badass. The countering skills and technical jab, body work, and combinations of the European style is nice. but the vaunted hooks, power shots and aggression of the American style is nice. The power shot of the Europeans is either the straight right or the uppercut. For Americans its the straight right or the left hook. With the combination of these with tucking the chin and and using his legs coupled with combinations and occasional power shots Liakhovich is very very dangerous. Problem for Sergei is the lead straight right he throws. It has worked wonders for him, especially against Guinn and Brewster. Thing is and I don't want to tell Brian, but Mayweather has seen this a lot and is training Briggs for that lovely counter left hook that I thought Brewster would use because well, he's known for it. This should be a great fight with two spectacular corners and great strategys and two guys who like to punch. HBO fucked this up and let Showtime air another superior fight.

1:44 AM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

I think several of the heavyweights from the former eastern bloc are becoming professionalized in the the US and Germany and finally the adjustments are becoming cemented in the culture.

4:58 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Well...All of the current top ones are J.E. (Vlad, Oleg, Sergei) However, I don't know of any young ones that are currently...

BTW- Speaking of "young ones", you were probably just "rotating" the list but I noticed Dimentrinko wasn't on the fringe list. (He's actually pretty close to top-25 material I.M.O, but his last fight was a farce.)

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think they are all there....but when can we see them fight. Only hard ball fight fans can get the real stuff on these fighters.....and the rest of the fans can only judge by the fights they get to see on pay TV.

I am not surprised to see the abundance of Eastern Europeans in the top of the list. Better coaching and training......hungry, and will fight for less than fifty million per match....'nuff said.


12:26 AM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

Don't know if I agree about the better coaching and training part of your equation. In most instances, such as Liakhovich, Klitschko, and Maskaev, it was when they combined their extensive amateur backgrounds with American training and matchmaking that they really excelled.

10:31 PM  
Blogger orltroy said...

Denis Boytsov got a TKO victory over Ondrej Pala. Boytsov was behind on the cards and the fans booed at the time of the stoppage because the cut wasn't significant. A Russian friend of mine was there and told me that Pala was beating Boytsov and that Boytsov wasn't agressive and was taking some big shots from Pala and was looking bad. Of course I was going for Pala, but my boy who fought Boytsov in the amateurs was going for Denis and was surprised by the Czech's effectiveness.

6:34 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

Thanks for the update. I noticed the result earlier but it certainly didn't go as planned did it? It may prove a good thing for the youngster -- he probably has some things to work on.

7:36 PM  
Blogger orltroy said...

I pissed because Pala got ripped again. he should be a good young prospect but Dettweiler was given a gift and Boytsov was bailed out. The Euro guys on eastside are bashing Boytsov and giving props to Pala for being underrated, but that still doesn't give him the victories.

8:14 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Hmm...(I wish they would have a rematch, but they probably won't.)

More to come...


3:53 AM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...


I haven't been able to find/read jackspit on this fight. Any links or suggestions?

P.S- Good to see "BikerMike".

6:44 PM  
Blogger orltroy said...

Go to ESB forum hit the European section and check out the Boytsov threads. Also I got a picture of Gonzalo Omar Basille, he is the Argentean version of Valuev

7:30 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

10-4 "Kemo-Sabe"...

8:25 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

I couldn't get the picture. Do you have another link?

9:10 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Yeah...They didn't work for me either. Just between you and I J.E, I have sensed that Ondrizek seems to struggle a bit when posting links...(I don't know if I've ever gotten one that worked! LOL!)

9:36 PM  
Blogger orltroy said...

That's probably true, I will never claim to be a computer wiz nor even computer competent. Hell I was so damn proud when I learned to upload fights, and that's simple stuff. I'll try another link.

12:26 AM  
Blogger orltroy said...

Okay I tried it and it worked for me, so here is Gonzalo Omar Basille (The Aregtean Valuev)

12:28 AM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

Thanks, it worked this time.

3:41 AM  
Blogger orltroy said...

No Prob, I just read that Damien "Bolo" WIlls will be fighting Chris Arreola on the undercard of Baldomir/Mayweather. Holy hell two prospects fighting each other. I didn't think it would ever happen. I like this fight.

10:08 AM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

I guess that means it may be on the PPV telecast.

8:11 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

I see that Povetkin is now scheduled to fight Ed Mahone later this month. Hey, can't really complain much there, actually. A.P is 8-0, and Mahone is a decent journeymen that can punch a little.

* My top-5 young hvy prospects are (in no particular order) Boytsov, Greenberg, Povetkin, Dimentrinko, and Johnson.

(Hey, I had to add at least one American, folks. It was a tossup between him and Chambers, but I've only seen a brief vid-clip of Chambers, and his lack of size is a bit of a concern. Anyways, it's no secret I am slightly 'intrigued' by Johnson, but then again I am about British hotshot cruiser (and soon to be hvy) David Haye a bit as well. But I would like to see what he can accomplish at 200.lbs in the coming months first.

P.S- I ain't ever seen Pala Troy, but from what I heard - that fight was close after four rounds. Hopefully I'll get footage soon. * BTW- Many of my clips are on my San Francisco computer, and a few even on my dad's part-time place in Phoenix, J.E. I live the majority of the time in Seattle, but will hopefully 'consolidate' them soon.

12:22 AM  
Blogger orltroy said...

Pala isn't a world beater but a Euro contender he could be. I want to talk to Suliaman so bad and just get into his head and ask him what the fuck was he thinking sanctioing Ohkello for a title fight. Ohkello was being considered and almost signed to fight Povetkin. Then all of a sudden he is in a title fight. As for Mahone/Povetkin, if it goes off, I believe it will be in December. That's just what I have heard. Haye unlike Johnson knows how to throw his right hand, and if hr stays off the weed then his stamina will stay good and he will give fits to anybody near his size, and a bit bigger.

12:27 AM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

There is no 'reasoning' with Jose 'Sillyman' or any of his compadres, the must simply go the way of the 8-track casette. (In other words: History.)

As for Haye, agreed. Not sure the 'wacky tobaccy' has as much to do with his stamina issues as does too much partying and too little training, but the only two fighters I would have strongly suggested smoke weed would have been Mike Tyson and Ike Ibeabuchi.

(Hey, like my Uncle who is a retired Seattle cop has always said: "Never once in my 30+ years on the beat did I ever encounter a 'subject' who presented a strong level of resistance or difficulty while under the sole influence of Marijuana". LOL)

1:06 AM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

I wonder about Dimitrenko. It seems he is being brought along very slowly.

5:29 AM  
Blogger orltroy said...

Dimitrenko was being brought along great until he faced Fernely Felix, I mean what the hell is that? I want Dimitrenko/Povetkin as a eliminator in Sauerland's camp. Won't happen but that's what I want. I also want Scarlett Johanson and enough money to just travel and go to fights and what else, anyways just like everything else I desire, they won't happen either.

11:41 AM  
Blogger orltroy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:41 AM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight (Bizzy) said...


Hey, I just read that Dimentrinko will be fighting our good 'buddy' Gonzalo Basille on Oct.28th!


12:10 PM  
Blogger orltroy said...

I was going to say the same thing Bizzy. Basille turned down a short notice fight with Povetkin to take on in my mind a much easier shot at a victory against Dimitrenko. I still give the nod to Dimitrenko, especially in Germany, but I give Basille a better chance against Alexander than I do Povetkin. The kid I just signed on to manage sparred Povetkin right before the 04' Olympics at the age of 16 and said it was the ultimate moment in his amateur career.

4:50 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight (bizzy) said...

To be honest, I've only seen one brief vid-clip of Dimentrinko, and have never seen Gonzalo. So...(???) Sounds like a good matchup, though. BTW-Is this boxer you refer to the young, tall lanky lt.hvy, or someone else?

5:04 PM  
Blogger orltroy said...

Nope the light heavy kid. I was talking to him yesterday and we got into his amateur days in Russia and he told me how he was in the Olympic training gym as a sparring partner for some middleweight and Povetkin was done for the day when he walked in but Povetkin still had his gear on. Povetkin said hey you know who Camarelle is, and my boy was like yeah I've heard of Roberto Camarelle why? Povetkin said you want to spar, and the kid agreed not knowing who it was. As soon as Povetking walked away a couple guys walked up to him and said are you retared you are going to spar Sasha Povetkin, and then it hit him he was in trouble. Povetkin went easy on him and he said when Sasha threw a light right hand it still was fast, accurate, and it buzzed Kolya. He asid Povetkin was trying to get used to the heighth and when Povetkin backed him into the corner he still was just trying to work the body a little and duck in under the jab, well Kolya rabitt punched him to get him off. They went three rounds and Povetkin had some nice things to say to him. He asid he paid special attention to Povetkin in the training facilities afterwards and that he tore up the SUper Heavies he was sparring with.

6:09 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

Too bad the German promoters can't strike a deal with a US TV outlet.

6:40 PM  
Blogger orltroy said...

That's where Bizzy and his internet streaming needs to come in. Revenue baby, people are calling for it Brian, do it.

6:52 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight (Bizzy) said...

Somewhat along those lines, I just read that HBO has purchased Kessler-Beyer. Quite honestly, this shocks the hell out of me, but is a pleasant surprise. And yes, "lower-level" fights would definetly be better suited for webcast perhaps...*Wink*

P.S- I think Kessler wins fairly easily. Kessler is very good, and may just be the world's best 168/175 pounder. He's certainly one of them.

3:28 PM  
Blogger orltroy said...

Kessler is s very tough opponent for anybody and if he and Calzaghe finally met then it would do quite a bit in thrusting the winner of their affair into pound for pound supremecy.

4:39 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Amen to that. However, don't be surprised if BOTH those guys are at 175 in 2007.

7:24 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Mesi reportedly had kind of a tough time with this tomato-can he fought. He won 3-1 (I believe) but all of the rounds were supposedly fairly close, and he emerged with a swollen eye. He will reportedly be fighting a 10-rounder next, thank goodness...

* Sidenote- He weighed 231.lbs for this bout. Still about 10 pounds too heavy in my opinion, but not bad.

8:56 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight (Bizzy) said...

You ever seen this Joey Abell, Troy? He's 25, and 8-0 from NY. He's a big boy (well over 6-feet and about 250) and looks like he can punch a little, but has beaten nothing but tomato-cans and other assorted canned fruits. Let me know...

7:49 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

BTW, Mesi won 40-36 on all cards. It is just incredible that he is fighting 4-rounders. Maybe this is the way to get back into top shape but it looks mighty ugly to me.

10:46 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Correct, he did in fact win 40-36, but I heard all 4 rounds were competitive and fairly close. He will reportedly fight one or two 10-rounders before the end of the year. Let's hope so.

11:14 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight (Bizzy) said...

Also, Chagaev-Ruiz will indeed be sometime in Nov or Dec. Universum won the purse bid. Also, how about we match Ray Ausin with fellow 35 yr.old 'tough luck' story Tony Thompson? Winner is a legit top-contender, loser goes home. ESPN or OLN main event material. Maybe even Boxing After Dark or Shobox. And how about we put this "fearless French-Canadian hvy" Bergeron against the squat coconut-cracker Tua in a crossroads battle of over-30 hvy's?

These are crazy ideas, I know...


11:11 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight (bizzy) said...


Actually, Chagaev-Ruiz will be Oct.28th in Germany. Will it be televised in the States and Canada? Good question. My hunch is probably not.

1:49 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

Can't wait :)

4:51 PM  
Blogger orltroy said...

I like Bergeron/Tua and maybe Bergeon could pull something out there. Austin and Thompson need to fight period. Neither are getting younger and neither have a fight on the horizon. I like Thompson in that one and Bergeron in an upset over Tua. A BIG upset that would be.

7:58 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight (bizzy) said...

My guess is Thompson-Austin would be close to even-money, and Tua would be a minimum 3-1 favorite over Bergeron.

I don't typically bet on French-Canbadian hvy's (LOL) but I might toss a BIT on ol Bergy there as well...;-)

P.S- What's this "Beta-Blogger" stuff? Hmm...I better check it out. I need to get my name in blue anyways.

8:25 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

I don't think I've ever known another French-Canadian heavy. I don't think George Chuvalo was just plain Canadian :)

5:11 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight (bizzy) said...

Hehehe...(Made you think though, eh?)

Chuvalo's parents were actually both Italian I believe, and moved to Canada. He's just plain old 'canuck', if I'm not mistaken. (Looks great for his age, and is sharp as a tack though...Go figure...???)

6:04 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight (bizzy) said...


Chuvalo is half-Italian, and half-Croatian.


6:07 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

I get the feeling that Bergeron won't make it past the first top fighter he meets.

5:35 AM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight (bizzy) said...

Probably not, J.E. But hopefully he'll at least make a 6-figure payday in the process!

(Actually, the guy is kind of a mystery to me. But I did see him once a few years back. Decent and "kinda lanky" were all my notes read! LOL)

12:53 PM  
Blogger orltroy said...

I've been talking to some Canadian fight fans and they have nothing but poor things to say about Bergeron and how he avoids Cadiex and L'Heruex. They say David Cadiuex is the best current Canadian heavyweight that actually fights. They still feel that Kirk Johnson is the best and I agree, but he is so sporadic that they don't know if he is done fighting or when he will come back from the knee injury.

8:04 PM  
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