Ranking Today’s Top-Ten Heavyweights - For Period Ended November 13, 2006

13.11.06 - By James Slater: The current heavyweight scene may be relatively thin, at least when comparing it to eras gone by. Still, there are some good fighters amongst today’s big men. Not least “Dr. Steel Hammer” himself, Wladimir Klitshcko, who dispatched previously unbeaten contender Calvin Brock in impressive fashion Saturday night at The Garden. And while he may never deserve to be rated anywhere near as highly as the great man who watched him crush Brock in seven rounds, in Muhammad Ali, Wladimir is certainly the best heavyweight in the world today. Here, in this article, I give my choice for the best ten heavies fighting at present..

1. Wladimir Kitschko - 47-3 (41 KO)

Has put together a good three fight run just recently, seeing off the big punching Samuel Peter, the cagey Chris Byrd and the unbeaten Calvin Brock. While he may still have some inner demons to exorcise, “Dr. Steel Hammer” is clearly the very best heavyweight boxing today.

2. James Toney - 69-5-3 (43 KO)

“Lights Out” was the victim of a quite disgraceful decision “loss” last time out, to the big punching Sam Peter. The verdict was deemed so bad an immediate rematch was ordered for some time next year. With his incredible savvy, craftiness and sheer overall skill, James is my choice for the second best fighter boxing at heavyweight today.

3. Samuel Peter - 27-1 (22)

Peter may have been given a gift against Toney, but the raw power he possesses dropped current number one Wladimr Klitschko three times. It also wobbled the defensively blessed Toney on occasion. And while some may argue Samuel has yet to post a truly impressive victory, in today’s shallow pool of talent his power and aggression make him my pick for the third best big
man on today’s scene.

4. Nicolay Valuev - 45-0 (32)

While seen as nothing more than a freak show by some, Valuev has yet to be beaten. He has posted some decent wins, too. Both Ruiz and Barrett are capable (if not great) fighters and until someone manages to reach the giant’s chin regularly enough to seriously hurt him Nicolay’s reign as WBA champ has to at least be respected somewhat.

5. Oleg Maskaev - 33-5 (26KO)

Oleg sprang a big upset in his last fight, as he repeated his KO Hasim Rahman, this time in a bout that contested a world title. His reign may well be a short one, but the thirty-seven year old’s grit and determination make him a dangerous fighter for most of his fellow contenders.

6. Shannon Briggs - 48-4-1 (42KO)

Like Maskaev, also upset the odds last time out. By beating Sergei Liakhovich, Briggs both resurrected his career at top level and won the WBO title. Shannon may well knock off a couple more big names yet, before his fighting days are finally over.

7. John Ruiz - 41-6-1 (28KO)

The guy who won’t go away. While John has not endeared himself to many fight fans, due to his usually boring style of fighting, Ruiz is a durable and capable fighter. He lost to the giant Valuev by a close decision and is desperate for another crack at him. Likely to hang around the top ten for some time yet.

8. Hasim Rahman - 41-6-2 (33KO)

Though he was embarrassed by Maskaev for the a second time, Hasim will always have a puncher’s chance with anyone. Should have been given the win in his fight with the crafty Toney, yet had to settle for a draw. On the form he showed against “Lights Out”, Rahman is a decent heavyweight. Look for him to feature in one or two more biggish fights before he’s through.

9. Lamon Brewster - 33-3 (29KO)

The last man to beat Wladimir Klitschko, Lamon is one tough guy. Able to soak up more than his fair share of punishment, he was looked upon by some as the heavyweight most likely to restore some order to his division after the stoppage of Klitschko. And despite the points loss he suffered to Liakhovich, Brewster remains a dangerous contender.

10. Calvin Brock - 29-1 (22KO)

Though he failed against IBF king Klitschko, Calvin did impress some in the middle rounds before the stoppage came. Has a good jab and may well beat one of the other alphabet champions in the near future.

Article posted on 13.11.2006

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