Boxing State of the Union 2010 (Cruiserweights)

By: Karim ĎKatoí Godfrey - The Cruiserweight division has been lacking high quality talent for years now. This division reminds me of the Jr. Flyweight or Strawweight division; enough decent boxers but no one you would be able to name off the top of your head. I think of myself as more than a casual fan of boxing and canít come up with many positives for this division. They need to make more high quality matchups but, how can you if there arenít that many to begin with..

Cruiserweight Division:

With Tomasz Adamek, having fought twice now at heavyweight itís hard to continue to rank him as a Cruiserweight even though The Ring Magazine still has him as the cruiserweight champion. They have their reasons for it, and itís beyond me. Adamek took on a decent heavyweight this past weekend when he took on Jason Estrada. Adamek was awarded a gift decision in the fight but, I think he looked decent in the ring. Is he the next big thing in the heavyweight division? I donít think so. But I wish him luck in his heavyweight venture.

Next in line is Steve ďUSSĒ Cunningham. The last fight I saw Steve in was his loss to Tomasz Adamek. I didnít think Cunningham did enough to win that fight even though it was a close fight. His number one issue is that he lacks on-screen personality. Heís dry, lacks excitement or lacks personal appeal. I know these intangibles shouldnít have any bearing on a boxersí performance in the ring but, a boxersí appeal to fans must encompass everything not just the way he is in the ring.
Steveís upcoming bout with fellow Godfrey (no relation, I donít think), should still be an interesting fight. Will it bring the masses to the cruiserweight division, highly unlikely? But, these are the types of fights that need to happen. Anyone ranked in the top ten, should be taking on top ten challengers.

Krzysztof Wlodarczyk has a decent record but, with 80% of all his fights happening in his home country of Poland, itís not hard to be 41-2-1. Having taken on top contender Steve Cunningham twice, winning by split decision in 2006 and losing a decisive majority decision in 2007 is somewhat impressive. The other name fighter on his resume is Giacobbe Fragomeni who is currently ranked #5 on ring Magazine Top Ten. Fragomeni was rocked in the 9th round twice but the referee didnít call the second knock down because he deemed Krzysztof hit Fragomeni while he was down. I have no idea what fight this ref was watching but, that was a legitimate knock down.

Fragomeni has taken some risks by taking on Wlodarczyk, Zsolt Erdei in 2009 and David Haye in 2006, but have come up short every time. His head to head style, lack of defense and inability to take out better caliber of competition shows why he has fought all but 2 of his fights in his native Italy. Zsolt Erdei currently ranked #3 is another fighter who has mainly fought in his native country. He has have taken on enough homegrown competition that itís not hard to rack up 31 wins 0 losses with 17 KOís.

With winning Season 4 of the Contender, Troy Ross has made a niche for himself in the top ten being ranked at #6 behind Fragomeni. His hard nose style, raw punching power might be too much for most of the top ten to handle but in my opinion Troy would do very well against Fragomeni, Danny Green, Marco Huck or anyone else in the top 10. But will they give him a chance? Thatís the better question. Rossís style reminds me of Saiko Bika, who is as tough as nails, donít back down and if you donít bring your ĎAí game heís going to punish the crap out of you. Ross also makes quite a few amateur mistakes in the ring but with only 1 loss on his record no one has made him pay for it yet.

I am in no way down playing the hard work of the cruiserweights but, if Zsolt Erdei being ranked at #3, Krzysztof Wlodarczyk #2 and Steve Cunningham #1 is the best this division has right now then there wonít be much excitement there for years to come. The only exciting thing that can come about is have all the top 10 guys fight each other and weed out some of the waste of space and hopefully make room for a new crop of cruiserweights. Can the cruiserweight division ever become popular? Only time will tell.

Article posted on 09.02.2010

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