Luan Krasniqi

Red n'black I dress eagle on my chest. It's good to be ALBANIAN.
Keep my head up high for that flag I die. I'm proud to be ALBANIAN.
The Boxing Legend from the Land of the Eagles
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NEXT FIGHT: Krasniqi vs Dimitrenko, 15th November 2008, Burg-Waechter Castello, Düsseldorf, Germany ON!

LAST FIGHT: Krasniqi vs Thompson, 14 July 2007, Hamburg, Germany!

televised live by ZDF German Channel. Luan lost by TKO round (5)!
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Top Ten Heavyweights ...
Thursday, December 22, 2005
By Steve Kim:
This past weekend, I was a part of a group of diehards / degenerates that surrounded a computer screen watching a download of the WBA heavyweight tilt between John Ruiz and Nicolay Valuev, which was won in controversial fashion by the hulking 'Beast from the East'. Later on I would watch a tape of the 'Global Warfare' pay-per-view that took place a few days earlier in Florida that featured Sultan Ibragimov's pasting of Lance Whitaker and Samuel Peter's workmanlike ten round decision over Robert Hawkins.

Yeah, I know, it's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it. And besides, that's why we make the big bucks here at Maxboxing. But now, I embark on an even tougher task- to come up with a top ten in the heavyweight division.
With recent events that include the retirement of Vitali Klitschko and the recent losses by perennial contenders like Jameel McCline and Monte Barrett, it's about as tough as coming up with the ten best episodes of 'Joey' or 'Hot Properties' or a listing of the five best Korean basketball players. Yeah, it's that tough. And not helping matters is the general inactivity of the division as a whole. With Klitschko's constant postponements in 2005, a division that was seeking clarity is murkier than ever. My list is anything but scientific; it's just my personal opinion of how I'd rank today's heavyweights. Their accomplishments are factored in, but they don't weigh as heavily as their skill sets and where they are in their respective careers.
10 - John Ruiz (41-6-1): OK, I know some of you are already howling, but hey, to paraphrase Rick Pitino's meltdown during his last days in Boston as the Celtics head coach - I don't see Jerry Quarry walking through that door. I don't see Earnie Shavers walking through that door. I don't see Ron Lyle walking through that door. In today's game, 'The Quiet Man' can still hang around and make a decent living. And no, I don't think he got jobbed in Germany against Valuev, but it was an awfully close fight and his resume far exceeds that of Valuev's, with bouts against Evander Holyfield, Hasim Rahman and Andrew Golota on his resume. He's not aesthetically pleasing (to say the least), but for the most part, he's been a difficult out for anyone in this division. Besides, I don't want to piss off Norman Stone.
9 - Luan Krasniqi (28-2-1): Yeah, I know it doesn't say much about my list (or the division as a whole) when two guys who lost their last bouts are still hanging around, but with Krasniqi I wanted to shuffle the deck a little bit and not list the same tired names. Recycling should be for aluminum cans, not heavyweights. But I was actually impressed with this guy's performance against WBO heavyweight titlist Lamon Brewster a few months back. Before he was stopped in nine, he was ahead on all three scorecards, displaying an ability to box and string together quick combinations. I think he's come a long way from getting KO'd against Przemyslaw Saleta.
8 - Sultan Ibragimov (19-0): This ranking could be premature, but I liked what I saw against Whitaker, as he dropped him three times on his way to a 7th round TKO. Ibragimov is not the biggest heavyweight by today's standards at 6'2, 225 pounds. But I actually don't think that's a disadvantage. The game is boxing, not basketball, and it's more important to have the ability and willingness to fight than it is to look like a power forward. One drawback he has is that he does not possess the heaviest of hands, but he does have handspeed and he puts his punches together well. His quickness may actually work very well when he faces the bigger heavyweights of today. I've seen just a little bit, now I want to see more.
7- Sam Peter (25-1): Let's just be honest, Peter is as raw as sushi and as green as cannabis, but with his strength and power, he's a threat to anyone in the division. But until he gets sounder fundamentally, he'll always be more of a threat, than an actual force.But he's still young, and at age 25, he's the youngest big man on my list, so time is on his side. You'd think that a guy with 26 bouts under his belt, heading into his sixth year as pro, should start to accelerate his progress, but I disagree. His loss to Wladimir Klitschko back in September showed that while he is promising, he's a lot like John Belushi, Chevy Chase and Bill Murray in 1976 on Saturday Night Live - a not ready for prime time player. 2006 is a pivotal year for Peter and his braintrust. Do they think long-term and use it as a time of development or do they jump back into the deeper waters with a guy who may not be ready to swim?
6 - Wladimir Klitschko (45-3): Klitschko showed in his bout with Peter that there is still some fight in him. Some didn't like his 'jab-and-grab' technique, but at this stage it's all about survival.It's not clear why Klitschko doesn't take a good punch and many theories have been thrown around, but in any event, he's no George Chuvalo. The shame is that the younger Klitschko has perhaps the best set of tools in the division. He has the size and technique to make him an offensive force. But unfortunately, his one deficiency - which failed him against Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster - willalways be his Achilles heel.
5 - Calvin Brock (27-0): 'The Boxing Banker' has slowly but surely made his way up the heavyweight ladder. From being less-than-an-afterthought coming out of the 2000 Olympics, he is now a bona-fide heavyweight contender. Brock doesn't do anything great - except perhaps tap dance - but he's a solid all-around fighter with pretty good pop in his right hand. He also showed plenty of fortitude in coming off the floor to beat perennial gate-keeper Jameel McCline in April. That victory was his first step into the consciousness of the boxing public. Now, he needs another victory, perhaps against a name brand foe like David Tua, to cement his status as a player in the division.
4- Hasim Rahman (41-5-1): With his right cross, Rahman is always dangerous, but if you take away his one magical night in South Africa against Lennox Lewis in 2001, he's really been perhaps the most enigmatic boxer in this class.The same guy that can starch Lewis (and then have the favor returned to him later that year) is also the same guy that has been knocked out of the ring by Oleg Maskaev, who outboxed David Tua and then was riddled by Ruiz.If you look at his recent ascent up the WBC ratings, it's more a testament to the influence of Don King than the actual strength of his wins.So which 'Rock' will show up against James Toney in March?I don't think Rahman himself even knows.
3- Chris Byrd (39-2-1): When it comes to consistency and longevity in the division, this is the guy. I mean, think about it, he's faced Ike Ibeabuchi (remember him?), both Klitschkos, Evander Holyfield and David Tua. This guy, who won a silver medal at the 1992 Olympics as a super middleweight, has never been fully appreciated by the followers of the sport. In almost every paid prizefight he's been in, he's been at a physical disadvantage, and for the most part has thrived. But this Byrd hasn't been as tough to cage in recent years, and you could make an argument that he was lucky to escape with his IBF crown against the likes of Fres Oquendo, Andrew Golota and McCline. Is it slippage or perhaps the burden of his constant struggles with Don King?
2 - Lamon Brewster (33-2): I admit, I'm a bit hesitant in ranking Brewster this high right now, because there's an old saying: if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Which is precisely what Brewster did in breaking off his union with manager Sam Simon (for Al Haymon), but even more importantly, leaving his trainer Jesse Reid for Buddy McGirt. Reid seemed to be the perfect guy for Brewster, a fighter more in need of a psychologist than ring technician. It says here that without Reid, Brewster doesn't blitz Golota the way he did and he loses to Krasniqi. His toughness and punching power make him dangerous against any heavyweight in the world. But I wonder if we'll see a 'new and improved' Brewster with his new team.
1 - James Toney (69-4-2): Yeah, I know, I know, he's just a fat, blown-up super middleweight, who's never really beaten anyone in the division. I'm not necessarily disagreeing with any of that, but in the end, this comes down the ability to fight. Right now, nobody can do it like 'Lights Out'. As he so succinctly put it, "Others were taught to fight. I was born to do this. "Yes, he is getting older, and his body might be breaking down, but while everyone else in this class is doing algebra, Toney is doing trigonometry in the ring. Again, size is overrated (when it comes to heavyweights, that is), and in this day and age, a guy who has the feel and instincts of Toney will find a way. And one of these days he might actually get in shape for a fight... [ read full article here ]

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posted by Eagle @ Thursday, December 22, 2005  
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Andrew Golota, Audley Harrison, Brian Minto, Calvin Brock, Chris Byrd, Danny Williams, David Tua, DaWarryl Williamson, Dominick Guinn, Evander Holyfield, Fres Oquendo, Hasim Rahman, Henry Akinwande, Jameel McCline, James Toney, Joe Mesi, John Ruiz, Juan Carlos Gomez, Kevin McBride, Kirk Johnson, Lamon Brewster, Lance Whitaker, Larry Donald, Lawrence Clay Bey, Leo Nolan, Luan Krasniqi, Malik Scott, Matt Skelton, Michael Grant, Mike Tyson, Monte Barrett, Nicolay Valuev, Oleg Maskaev, Oliver McCall, Owen Beck, Paolo Vidoz, Ray Austin, Riddick Bowe, Ruslan Chagaev, Samuel Peter, Sergei Liakhovich, Shannon Briggs, Sinan Samil Sam, Sultan Ibragimov, Tony Thompson, Tye Fields, Vassiliy Jirov, Vitali Klitschko, Vladimir Virchis, Wladimir Klitschko...

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