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Contender Yusaf Mack Struggling to find a fight 

Author: John Tandy


image Yusaf Mack (28-2-2) currently ranked in all the sanctioning bodies WBC #3, WBA #3, IBF #4 and WBO #13 currently can't seem to find a fight and with 5 straight wins picking up both the NABA and NABF titlesis he becoming the man that nobody wants to face in the division. Lets have a look at his options -

IBF Potential Fights with fighters that are not already lined up to face someone else

1. Tavoris Cloud

Cloud recently picked up the IBF title against Clinton Woods last time out but now is in a similar position to Mack and wondering who he will fight next. Because of the way the IBF is governed the number 1 and number 2 spots are places you have to pay sanctioning fees in order to be considered for, in the Light Heavyweight division both of these slots are currently vacant. So what happens next does Cloud have to wait until a promoter is willing to pay sanctioning fees in order to have two guys face off for the number one spot? Mack has already been in negotiations with fighters to fight for this spot but for the following reasons these have fallen through.

Fight Possibility - Good

2. Antonio Tarver

If Tarver wants to continue with his career you would think he needs to win a decent fight to get back up there, unfortunatly he seems to be waiting for someone to offer him a mega money fight, I would be very surprised if this happens as he is not one of the most exciting fighters to watch and he has lost 3 out of his last 6 fights. He seems content commentating on Showtime and I think we might have seen the last of the Magic Man, if this is the case why is he still in the rankings?

Fight Possiblity - Unlikely

3. Karo Murat

Both promotional teams are playing games offering joke like purse offers for these two guys to get it on, Murat will not be a big draw in the States as he is pretty much unknown and probably Mack will not be a huge draw over in Germany. So there seems little interest in actually getting this fight on, Murat is also rated highly in the WBO and with his team seemingly pulling the strings in the WBO he is likely to fight Juergen Braehmer for the title after Braehmer wins his joke title shot against the inexperienced and limited Dmitry Sukhotsky who career best win is over Juan Nelongo (21-8) who had lost 2 of his last 3 fights one to a fighter 5-0. I doubt these two will ever meet in the ring, Murat is limited and will lose before being given the chance to fight on the world scene.

Fight Possibility - Unlikely

4. Jeff Lacy

Number one there is no way Jeff lacy should be in the light heavyweight rankings and number two he is not a light heavyweight. Lacy has lost 2 of his last 3 fights, the heaviest he has ever fought is 174lbs and if it wasn't for very leanient judges he could quite easily have lost his last 7 fights, a further 3 were majority decision wins and the other was closer than the judges had it against Peter Manfredo Jr. But he is in the ranking so should be available to fight right?, well despite being ranking in the top 10, the IBF have ruled him out of fighting for the number 1 spot as he was stopped last time out, am sure they have let this go in the past, another thing is there is only a very slim chance Lacy would ever fight a real light heavyweight. If given the opportunity Mack would jump at this fight. Fight Possibility - Unlikely

IBF Champion Tavoris Cloud

1. Vacant
2. Vacant
3. Roy Jones Jr - Recently stopped in 1 round by Danny Green at Cruiserweight
4. Yusaf Mack
5. Nathan Cleverly - Is fighting for European Title and has not competed on a world level yet
6. Antonio Tarver - Is too busy with his commentating, looking for a money fight
7. Karo Murat - They offered 30k to fight Yusaf in Germany, Offered 35k to fight in the US instead and refused
8. Jeff Lacy - Just been stopped by Roy Jones IBF will not sanction him to fight for Number 1 spot for that reason
9 Aleksy Kuziemsky - Recently stopped by Juergen Braehmer
10 Beibut Shumenov - Has paid for a rematch with Campillo for WBA title

WBA Potential Fights with fighters that are not already lined up to face someone else

1. Vyacheslav Uzelkov

Uzelkov was robbed out of his opportunity to fight champion Campillo when some careful business work and well placed accusations confirmed Bebuit Shumenov of a rematch. Being placed in the number one position would make any fight with Mack or any fight with any potential risk unlikely. He is likely to keep himself busy with limited opponents until he is given his opportunity for the title it should be against the winner of Shumenov and Campillo.

Fight Posibility - Unlikely

2. Hugo Garay

There are a number of financial reasons why this fight will not happen, Garay only won the WBA title as Danny Green vacated, he is not a big drawn and lost in his defence against a super middleweight drafted in as an easy defence, who had lost 2 out of his last 3 fights (Campillo) Nobody in the states would be interested in seeing this fight as a main event and Garay's protonial team are not wealthy. I am surprised Garay is still ranked so highly but he is need of a big fight so if some arrangement can be made finacially maybe this fight will happen but I doubt it, Garay is likely to get another title shot or will be used as an opponent in Germany.

Fight Possibility - Unlikely

3. Tim Bell

Bell has faced limited opposition in his carrer and has already lost 5 from 23 fights and has a draw, he has won his last 6 fights and picked up minor titles which has boosted him into the rankings. Mack would jump at the chance to take on Bell, but I think he would have to go to Australia to do so, Bell has never fought out of his native country and probably will not have been heard of by many outside there, so there would be little interest in TV purchasing that fight over here. Maybe there would be a chance of him fighting Mack on a co-main with a big fight over there, but unlikely as they are probably looking to continue building Bell at a lower level.

Fight Possiblity - Unlikely

4. Chris Henry

A rematch between these two is likely to happen at some point, Mack won the first fight clearly despite the judges decision calling it as a split decision. Henry has called out Mack a couple of times, but when actually offered the fight, his team turned it down. Henry bounced back from the defeat with a solid stoppage of Shaun George and is back up in the rankings. I doubt Henry's people will risk a fight with Mack unless there is a decent amount of money on the table or a title, and at the moment that will not happen.

Fight Possibility - Good

5. Dawid Kostecki

There has been mentioned of this fight taking place but again Kostecki is just not known in the states and there will not be the money here to make it, also Kostecki is from Poland and again there is not the money to take Mack over there to fight. Kostecki will need to take a risk and fight outside his home town in order to make himself a bigger name and a good opponent for a top level fighter, at the moment it doesn't look like happening.

Fight Possibility - Unlikely

6. Aleksy Kuziemsky

Kuziemsky lost in his first real step up in class against Juergen Braehmer last time out when being stopped in the 11th round, I would imagine that his people will be looking to rebuild him back up with a couple of wins before stepping him up in class again. Throwing him in with Mack would not be the smartest management move. Also he would be of interest to the US public so TV would be out, uless he was prepared to come over to the States for a limited amount of money this fight is not likely to happen in the near future.

Fight Possibility - Unlikely

WBA Champion - Gabriel Campillo

1. Vyacheslav Uzelkov
2. Hugo Garay
3. Yusaf Mack
4. Karo Murat
5. Tim Bell
6. Chris Henry
7. Aleksy Kuziemsky
8. Dawid Kostecki
9. Adrian Diaconu
10. Bebuit Shumenov

WBC Potential Fights with fighters that are not already lined up to face someone else

1. Chad Dawson

Dawson has established himself as the best in the division, unfortunatly he now feels above the titles, he rubbished the WBC when throwing the belt away to avoid fighting mandatory challenger Adrian Diaconu, he then rubbished the IBF rather than fight the mandatory challenger Tavoris Cloud, now for some reason the WBC offered him the opportunity to fight for their interim belt despite him probably having little interest in fighting the winner of Pascal v Diaconu, he is looking for the money fights, he wants Bernard Hopkins or one of the real big names of the sport, maybe we will see him fighting Lucian Bute at a catch weight, if the WBC champion is not big enough for Dawson then Mack certainly will not be.

Fight Possibility - Unlikely

2. Bernard Hopkins

There was an opportunity of this fight taking place recently when Hopkins took the easier option fighting Enrique Ornelas, Mack v Hopkins in Phillidelpia would have been a great draw, however Hopkins was planning on a huge money fight with Roy Jones Jr. Jones Jr lost to Danny Green and now Hopkins plans have to change, he has talked about moving to heavyweight to fight David Haye, or maybe a bout with Chad Dawson, or a cruiserweight champion. Hopkins has only a couple of fights left in the tank so he now needs to select them to earn as much money as possible. Mack will not feature in these plans.

Fight Possibility - Unlikely

3. Glen Johnson

Both of these guys are with the same promoter, Johnson needs a way back to the top and Mack wants to get there, Dibella have a huge show in January with Shane Mosley and Andre Berto so Mack v Johnson would make an ideal co main event. The styles make a very exciting bout with Johnson a come forward ruggered fighter and Mack is a counter puncher who is not afraid to stand and trade. To me this fight makes a lot of sence and the winner should be in line for a title shot or a big money fight, the pair met when Glen Johnson was ringside for Macks win over DeAndrey Abron, Johnson then stated that him and Mack would meet soon, so lets get it on. The boxing world will want to see this fight so there should be any problem getting it funded and with Dibella promoting both these guys then he will also win.

Fight Possibility - Very Good

4. Silvio Branco

43 year old Branco pulled off a decent performance against Pascal in his world title shot but was stopped in the 10th round, prior to that he was gifted with a number of easy wins to get him in position to fight for the title. Where does he go from here, at his age and the fact that he is not a big draw anywhere apart from his native Italy. I think he will be lucky to get another chance on the world scene, maybe a European title fight might be his last fight if he has not already had it. The likelyhood of fighting Yusaf Mack in the US or Yusaf Mack fighting Branco in Italy is very very unlikely.

Fight Possibility - Unlikely

WBC Champion Jean Pascal
Interim Champion - Chad Dawson
Emeritus Champion - Bernard Hopkins

1. Roy Jones
2. Adrian Diaconu
3. Yusaf Mack
4. Chris Henry
5. Karo Murat
6. Dawid Kostecki
7. Nathan Cleverly
8. Glen Johnson
9. Silvio Branco
10. Vyacheslav Uzelkov

WBO Potential Fights with fighters that are not already lined up to face someone else

1. Isaac Chilembe

African champion Chilembe just picked up the WBC International title in his best win last time out, he is only 14-1 but is being moved along quickly having already complete the full 12 round distance 3 times. The problem here is not only Chilembe relitively unknown, it also is very expensive to bring African fighters to the USA, there is a small possiblility that Mack would go over to South Africa to fight as occassionally they do bring fighters over from the US, but it is unlikely.

Fight Possibility - Unlikely

2. Dean Francis

Francis is reaching the end of his career, he would probably jump at the chance to fight Mack for not a huge amount of money, the problem again comes is that Francis was knockout out by a journeyman recently and it is very doubtful that anyone would buy this fight. Mack would jump at this fight is anyone would be willing to put it on.

Fight Possibility - Unlikely

WBO Champion Juergen Braehmer

1. Roy Jones
2. Karo Murat
3. Vyacheslav Uzelkov
4. Nathan Cleverly
5. Isaac Chilembe
6. Dean Francis
7. Glen Johnson
8. Hugo Garay
9. Dmitry Sukhotsky
10 Aleksy Kuziemski