William Joppy, Derek Chisora and the Worst Title Challengers Of '11 (With Video)
Today in Kazakhstan, William Joppy was knocked out in the sixth round by reigning light heavyweight champion Beibut Shumenov.
It got me thinking who are the worst title challengers of the year 2011. These are the fights that are made and surely there will be challengers who are worse, but for now this is what we have.
To clarify I am not calling the men on this list bums or fighters that have no skill. Some of these men have skills and may turn out to be fine fighters someday.
Although some of them have skills, it may just be a little to early for them to be getting a title shot or they may have taken the easy way there.
Then there are the guys on this list who have little skill and quite frankly it makes you scratch your head and ask what is going on here?
Some of these fights are the champions fault while some are the promoters' fault. At any rate, let's look at the 10 fights you shouldn't be worried about.
(The challenger is the fighter in the video winning unless otherwise noted.)
#10: Brian Magee (34-1-1 24 KO)
Best win(s): Mads Larsen (TKO 7)
Title(s) fighting for: IBF super middleweight title (Lucian Bute)
Who to blame: The Super Six has all of the better super middleweights busy.
When Mads Larsen is your best win, you shouldn't be fighting for a title anytime soon. The only reason Magee isn't higher is because he has held some titles.
Magee was the IBO, BBBofC, and EBU (European) super middleweight champion. His three losses are to good fighters in Robin Reid, Vitaliy Tsypko, and Carl Froch.
Froch is the only man to knock him out.
#9: Takalani Ndlovu (31-6 18 KO)
Best win(s): Giovanni Andrade (KO 2), Ricardo Castillo (SD 12), Kiko Martinez (UD 12),
Title(s) fighting for: IBF super bantamweight title (Steve Molitor)
Who to blame: This is actually a rematch from last year that the IBF ordered. So do the normal thing and blame the sanctioning organizations.
Ndlovu also held the IBO title and has good wins over B-level fighters but never beat a really good fighter. He also held the South African featherweight title, which means he was the best in South Africa.
His losses are to Joshua Khoase, Vuyani Bungu (2x), Molitor (2x), and Fernando Beltran Jr. The Khoase loss was very early in his career.
He isn't the worst title challenger ever, but he certainly shouldn't be getting a second title shot in as many years. Molitor isn't a very strong title holder, as it is so no surprise he is taking easy fights.
#8: Dereck Chisora (14-0 9 KO)
Best Win(s): Sam Sexton (TKO 6, TKO 9), Danny Williams (TKO 2)
Title(s) fighting for: IBO, IBF, WBO heavyweight title (Wladimir Klitschko)
Who to blame: David Haye won't take this fight and Klitschko has beaten everyone else, so this is what he has to take.
Chisora was originally a lot higher on this list but he is the BBBofC and Commonwealth (British Empire) heavyweight champion.
You couple that with the fact that some of these guys are really bad, and Chisora doesn't seem like such a bad challenger.
He at the very least should provide a decent test and come to fight. Will he win? Probably not, but he at least realizes that this is a huge chance.
#7: Akifumi Shimoda (22-1-1 10 KO)
Best win(s): Daisuke Yamanaka (UD 10 2x)
Title fighting for: WBA super bantamweight title (Ryol Li Lee)
Who to blame: Ryol Li Lee. He is a Japanese fighter and once they get their titles, they hold them hostage in Asia and defend against other Asians.
Shimoda would be higher on the list, but he did hold the Japanese super bantamweight title, which means he was the best super bantamweight in Japan at some point.
He also held the OPBF title and has beaten six fighters with undefeated records.
#6: Francisco Palacios (20-0 13 KO)
Best win(s): Zack Page (UD 8), Donnell Wiggins (KO 2)
Title(s) fighting for: WBC cruiserweight title (Krzystof Wlodarczyk)
Who to blame: I love Wlodarczyk, but this is his second easy fight in a row, so I am going to blame him.
This is a truly awful challenger. Palacios is 33 and has never beaten a fighter that is even near the top of the heap.
His best wins are over a fighter who was four fights under .500 at the time and a fighter who was 24-12-4 coming in.
The glossy record will fool some, but if you dig a little deeper he doesn't deserve this shot one bit.
#5: Mehdi Bouadla (21-3 10 KO)
Best win(s): Morrade Hakkar (RTD 6)
Title(s) fighting for: IBF middleweight title (Sebastian Sylvester)
Who to blame: Sylvester and his promoter. Sauerland gets their fighters a title and then lets them fight nobodies till they lose to one.
Bouadla was the France super middleweight champion and has beaten a former European champion in Hakkar.
He isn't very good but this is normal for Sylvester who unfortunately is a decent fighter and fun to watch. This is normal for German fighters so no surprise here.
(Bouadla is the man losing in the video above.)
#4: Victor Zaleta (17-1 9 KO)
Best win(s): Gilberto Keb Baas (UD 10)
Title(s) fighting for: WBO super flyweight title (Omar Andres Narvaez)
Who to blame: Narvaez. He has held some sort of title since 2005 and has beaten two good fighters.
If journeyman Baas didn't win a title in a huge upset last year, the best win for Zaleta would be over a fighter who was 28-19-3 coming in.
He can now say he has beaten a current titlist. He fought for the NABF title but lost, and other than that he really hasn't done anything.
Another crap defense from Narvaez. I will be rooting for Zaleta come Feb. 12.
#3: Kazuto Ioka (6-0 4 KO)
Best win(s): Masayoshi Segawa (TKO 10)
Title(s) fighting for: WBC minimumweight title (Oleydong Sithsamerchai)
Who to blame: This is how the little weights work.
Most will ask how Ioka isn't higher and the answer is plain and simple. This is how the lowest weight class works. There aren't a lot of fighters, so you fight whoever you can get.
Ioka has won the Japanese light flyweight title in his short career and has an unblemished record. He hasn't fought the best fighters, but he has moved rapidly compared to most young fighters.
#2: Ronald Hearns (26-1 20 KO)
Best Win(s): Delray Raines (KO 1)
Title(s) fighting for: WBA middleweight title (Felix Strum)
Who to blame: Strum. He left his promoter to take better fights and it looked like he was going to keep his word, then he made this fight.
Talk about getting a title shot due to your last name. The only reason Hearns has ever been on television is because his dad is the legendary Thomas Hearns.
Ronald got knocked out by Harry Joe Yorgey for crying out loud. This is a farce of a fight and there is no way anyone should let Strum get away with this.
He is a veteran fighter who wasted his prime years fighting guys like this. It is a shame because he could of been a really good middleweight fighter.
#1: William Joppy (39-6-2, 30 KO)
Best win(s): Roberto Duran (TKO 3), Fernando Zuniga (UD 10), Howard Eastman (MD 12)
Title fought for: WBA, IBA light heavyweight title (Beibut Shumenov)
Who to blame: No one. This was a quick replacement fight.
This fight already happened and Joppy is a former three-time world champion, which is better than most men on this list.
The problem was he hasn't won a fight since 2007, going 0-3-1 in that time span losing to good fighters. This is a case of a fight coming together overnight.
The real shame here is the fact the WBA gave him quick status as a mandatory instead of letting the fight happen without the title on the line.
Joppy was knocked out in the sixth round.