Adrian Diaconu has announced his retirement from boxing, creating a hole in the 175-pound rankings. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
This week's rankings don't have much movement at all coming off of a pretty quiet weekend, but we should see some real movement coming in the next few months.
Alexander Alekseev doesn't fall all the way out of the top ten following Saturday's uneven performance and draw against old Firat Arslan, but he does drop from No. 7 down to No. 10. Alekseev (23-2-1, 20 KO) is a good fighter, but has his nights where he doesn't look like much of a legitimate contender. Of course, this is a division fairly weak in the back-end. After Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (who has himself been inconsistent, though winning, in recent outings), you're getting into 43-year-old Antonio Tarver, whose claim to fame in the division is beating Danny Green, who also wasn't/isn't a true cruiserweight; Guillermo Jones, who is pretty good still but rarely fights; and Lateef Kayode, who has a chance to prove something against Tarver on June 2.
Alekseev could beat any of those guys on the right night -- I'd favor Tarver because Tarver is a smart fight, but Jones has been so inactive for years that you never really know what to expect, and Kayode is just Kayode. Still, they're winning fights -- Alekseev took a draw that I thought Arslan might have deserved to win.
Adrian Diaconu was ranked No. 9 last week, but has announced his retirement from boxing, so he's out. He would have been out next week, anyway, as he hasn't fought since May 21, 2011. Though Diaconu lost three of his last four to finish 27-3 (15 KO), I'd say it was a good career. The losses came to Jean Pascal (twice) and Chad Dawson. Diaconu wasn't an elite fighter by any means, but was a legitimate contender for a few years. That's nothing to scoff at. Happy trails, Adrian.
In at No. 10 to replace him is Isaac Chilemba (19-1-1, 9 KO), a solid young fighter who could emerge as a real threat in the division. The 24-year-old from Malawi, now living in South Africa, defeated Edison Miranda in his last bout, and has a draw with Thomas Oosthuizen on his sheet.
I've put him in at No. 10, but the division will get a fresh face next week as the winner of the Mikkel Kessler vs Allan Green fight will be entering the fold at 175. I don't know if I'll knock Chilemba out next week or just jump the gun and take Zsolt Erdei out. Erdei is due to go officially "inactive" on June 4, and has nothing lined up. I'll probably just knock Erdei out -- honestly, it's not like anything he's done in the last two years means much anyway, as he's fought just twice, beating Byron Mitchell and Samson Onyango. BFD, you know?
Julio Cesar Miranda is out following his loss to Rodel Mayol, and Mayol takes the spot at No. 10. This was kind of a tricky situation -- Mayol vs Miranda was technically a super flyweight fight, and Mayol's recent fights have seen him weigh in at 114, over the 112 limit here. But he was going to face Tyson Marquez recently, before some funky weigh-in issues sank that one. Chances are his next big fight comes at 112. If it doesn't, I'll move him out. It's not that wild.
This Week's Ranked Fighters in Action
Light Heavyweight: No. 3 super middleweight Mikkel Kessler (44-2, 33 KO) vs Allan Green (31-3, 21 KO)
Super Flyweight: No. 8 Juan Alberto Rosas (36-6, 27 KO) vs Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr (13-1-1, 7 KO)
Strawweight: No. 5 Denver Cuello (30-4-6, 18 KO) vs Ganigan Lopez (20-4, 14 KO)
Other Notable Fighters in Action This Weekend:
This section is something I've decided to add regularly starting this week. It will highlight guys in action who aren't far outside of the top tens in their divisions, even if their fights are crap; e.g. Masternak's fight in Denmark this weekend. This won't be a round-up of every single decent fighter fighting on the weekend, but guys who might soon be in the top ten of a division. You could probably round it to the top 15-20 or so, or in the case of Odlanier Solis, guys who are inactive but could be in their division's top 15-20 (depending on division, 15 or 20 means a lot of different things).
Heavyweight: Odlanier Solis (17-1, 12 KO) vs Konstantin Airich (23-5-2, 17 KO)
Heavyweight: David Price (12-0, 10 KO) vs Sam Sexton (15-2, 6 KO)
Heavyweight: Franklin Lawrence (17-2-2, 12 KO) vs Mike Mollo (20-3-1, 12 KO)
Cruiserweight: Mateusz Masternak (26-0, 20 KO) vs Hari Miles (7-4, 2 KO)
Junior Welterweight: Ashley Theophane (31-4-1, 9 KO) vs Darren Hamilton (11-2, 3 KO)