Heavyweight World Rankings 201 lbs. & up

Wladimir Klitschko, the Ukrainian three-belt world champion, poses for photos at an official weigh-in in Moscow, Russia. Photo: Epsilon/Getty Images

Wladimir Klitschko, the Ukrainian three-belt world champion, poses for photos at an official weigh-in in Moscow, Russia. Photo: Epsilon/Getty Images

The Champ: Wladimir Klitschko (55-3-0, 49 KOs)

In his last five title defenses, his opponents failed to go the distance. Four days before he was scheduled to make his last defense (his 10th) against England’s Dereck Chisora (14-0) on December 11, Klitschko tore an abdominal muscle during a workout forcing him to cancel the match. Now, rather than reschedule that fight, Klitschko might finally set a date to fight


David Haye in the spring. The protracted negotiations to make this match happen benefited big time after both brothers issued a joint statement stating they’re both ready and willing to fight Mr. Haye.

Klitschko’s size, 6’6½ inches tall, 247 pounds and 81” reach, plus his boxing savvy should find him at the top until he decides to retire.

Vitali Klitschko (left) stands beside Chris Arreola at their pre-fight press conference in Los Angeles, CA. back in September of 2009.

#1 contender: Vitali Klitschko     (41-2-0, 38 KOs)

Younger brother, Vitali Klitschko, dished out a savage beating to Shannon Briggs in an one-sided title defense on October 16, 2010. He’s due back in the ring in March to faceOdlanier Solis (17-0), who became his mandatory challenger by defeating Ray Austin on December 17. Solis does has quick hands, but standing up to Klitschko’s size and power might be too much to ask.

2. David Haye (25-1-0, 23 KOs)

As expected, Haye got past Audley Harrison in three pathetic rounds on November 13 in a poor excuse for a heavyweight title fight. Soon after the bout came the farcical talk from Haye stating that he wanted to face Wladimir Klitschko. As they say, “We’ll believe it, when we see it.” Until then, Haye is holding on to his title with both hands. His latest offer to the Klitschko consortium is for an even 50 – 50 split on all moneys derived from their early spring showdown.

Alexander Povetkin and his promotional people have their master plan.

3. Alexander Povetkin (21-0-0, 15 KOs)

With the proper planning Povetkin won everything there was to win as an amateur, going 125-7, winning two European titles, one world title and the Olympic gold medal (Athens 2004). He’s now raised his sights on the top prize, that being the world heavyweight title now held by the Klitschko brothers. The very successful Team Sauerland is responsible for directing his steady progress towards this goal.

Instead of challenging Wladimir Klitschko on September 11, as had been planned, Povetkin bailed out of that fight at trainer Teddy Atlas’ request and instead knocked out unheralded Teke Oruh (14-3-1, 6 KOs) in the fifth round on October 16 in Povetkin’s native Russia. On December 18, he fought again, this time in Germany, and cruised to an unimpressive decision win over another journey man fighter by the name of Nicolai Firtha (19-8-1, 8 KOs). Of the name fighters, Povetkin has beaten Chris Byrd, Jason Estrada and Eddie Chambers.

After beating up all the cruiser-weights in sight, Tomasz Adamek moved up in weight to take on the big boys.

4. Tomasz Adamek (43-1-0, 28 KOs)

Adamek, 6’1½ inches didn’t have much in front of him when he faced limited brawler Vinny Maddalone ()on December 9, but he did what he was supposed to do, dominating and knocking out Maddalone in the fifth round. Adamek went 4-0 this year, staying busy while awaiting a possible title shot.

5. Eddie Chambers (35-2-0, 18 KOs)

In March, Wladimir Klitschko laid waste to Chambers, who normally weighs around 210 pounds and stands 6’1” tall, in a one-sided beating and a brutal 12th-round knockout. Chambers, now (35-2-0, 18 KOs) claims to be making another run at the title, beginning with an eliminator against Derric Rossy (25-2-0, 14 KOs), who Chambers stopped in the seventh round when they met in 2007. Rossy, who tends to be on the chubby side also lost to Alexander Dimitrenko.

How Ruslan Chagaev (right) managed to defeat the much taller Nikolai Valuev (left) is still a mystery.

6. Ruslan Chagaev (27-1-1, 17 KOs)

Chagaev, who stands 6’1” tall and weighs in the vicinity of 233 pounds, is the mandatory challenger for Haye, but that fight won’t happen for a while, so he stayed busy on November 19, outpointing American Travis Walker (34-6-1) in a tougher-than-expected eight-rounder. The 6’4½”, 245 pound Walker usually gets knocked out when he steps up, but he forced Chagaev to go the distance in a lackluster performance. Against Wladimir Klitschko, Chagaev was unable to get inside to mount any offense. Their fight was stopped after the ninth round. It was clear to see the fading Chagaev was becoming increasingly unable to defend himself. He has wins over Nikolay Valuev, Carl Davis Drumond, Kali Meehan and Volodymyr Vyrchys.

7. Nikolai Valuev (50-2-0, 34 KOs)

The former titleholder who stands 7 foot tall and weighs 320 pounds couldn’t come to terms for a fight with Vitali Klitschko, so he took time off to have surgery on his left shoulder and right wrist. He should be out of action for at least three months. He has wins over John Ruiz (twice), Evander Holyfield, Siarhei Liakhovich, Jean Francois Bergeron and Larry Donald.

The whole of Southern California and the top half of Mexico is still pulling for Chris Arreola to reach his goal.

8. Chris Arreola (29-2-0, 25 KOs)

Arreola, who is 6’3½” tall and usually weighs close to 260 pounds around fight time, has beaten some name fighters; Chazz Witherspoon, Damian Wills, Thomas Hayes, Israel Carlos Garcia, Travis Walker, Jameel McCline, Brian Minto and Manuel Quezada. His two disappointing losses came at the hands of Tomasz Adamek and Vitali Klitschko. His next opponent is Joey Abell (27-4-0, 26 KOs), an ex-linebacker, scheduled for January 28, 2011. Abell, who stands 6’4” tall, usually weighs around 245 pounds come fight time and does he ever pack a wallop. When you have 26 KOs on your resume, you demand a lot of respect.

Heavyweight contender Denis Boytsov remains a big hit with the ladies.

9. Denis Boytsov (28-0-0, 23 KOs)

The 6’1 inch, 24 year-old German-based Russian contender hadn’t fought since January because of a serious right hand injury, which required summer surgery. He returned to action on November 19 and showed no ill effects when he dropped Mike Sheppard (15-12-1) four times en route to a second-round knockout. Boytsov has wins over Taras Bydenko (27-4) and Ondrej Pala (28-2).

10. Tony “the Tiger” Thompson (35-2-0, 23 KOs)

Tony “the Tiger” Thompson is the oldest of the top ten contenders. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Thompson is 6’5” tall, 250 pounds, a 39 year-old southpaw from the Washington, D.C. area. Thompson hasn’t looked that great in his last few outings. That being said, he easily won his fourth fight in a row since being stopped by Wladimir Klitschko in the 11th round in 2008 by punishing Paul Marinaccio for four rounds on the Sergio Martinez-Paul Williams II undercard on November 20, 2010. He has wins over Chazz Witherspoon, Owen Beck, Timur Ibragimov, Chester Hughes, and Vaughn Bean.

Waiting in the wings to break into the top ten: Samuel Peter (34-4-0), Alexander Dimitrenko (30-1-0), Odlanier Solis (17-0), Robert Helenius (14-0) and Juan Carlos Gomez (49-2-0).

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