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Articles of 2004

Jimmy Young vs. Today's Top Heavyweight's

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He stood just over 6'1″, and weighed in between 209 and 213 pounds in is prime. His fights were hard to score and none of the world's top heavyweight's wanted to face him unless it meant a title shot. Sometimes he would make weird and goofy faces at his opponents during the fight. Defense was his forte, and he couldn't punch. He was pretty quick, but he was more sneaky than fast. He fought very loose and relaxed, and was more cunning than fundamentally sound. His name isn't Chris Byrd and he wasn't a southpaw. His name was Jimmy Young and his best years were 1974-77. Of all the top heavyweights currently ranked in Ring Magazine's top ten, Young is often compared to IBF champ Chris Byrd. Like Byrd, Young wasn't a big or powerful heavyweight. Unlike Byrd, Young didn't fight in the so-called era of the Super-Heavyweight, too bad for Young.

The point is Byrd, despite being a relatively small heavyweight has only been taken apart and stopped once. Young, like Byrd fought some monster heavyweights as well. Young shared the ring with big men who could really punch like Shavers twice, (don't give me Shavers only weighed 210-213, the fact is he could punch as good or better than any of today's big heavies) Lyle twice, Foreman, and Norton. Shavers was the only one of those fighters to drop Young, and was also the only one to stop him. But in all fairness to Young, when he fought Shavers he was a veteran of only 11 fights compared to Shavers who had 44 fights and was 42-2. A year and a half after being stopped by Shavers in the first round, Young fought him to a 10 round draw in a fight many thought Young deserved the nod.

Over the last few years, it has been a hotly contested debate about the bigger heavyweights fighting today and if they would have a significant advantage over those of past era's? In my opinion there is no absolute answer, there are pro's an con's on both sides. Just to set the record straight on my behalf, I think the size factor of today's heavyweights is way overblown. I think the top heavyweight's from the 60's, 70's, and 80's could have held more than their own versus the heavyweight's of the 90's & 2000's. Remember, I said the top heavyweights, not the journeymen. Today's heavyweights have a supposed advantage in weight and presumably strength. The heavyweights of the past 40 or so years were a little quicker, and in my opinion were better fighters. I also think that they were in better condition, despite the so-called advances in training and nutrition.

In the mid 1970's Jimmy Young was ranked as high as number three in the world. He was a legitimate top ten heavy from 1975-77. I think Young, like Chris Byrd could've held his own with a majority of today's top ten contenders. Below I've matched Young with some of today's top ranked heavyweights. Outside of a few of today's best heavyweight fighters, I don't think Young would've been beaten decisively. Remember, Young was the victim of some bad management decisions early in his career. Most of his defeats came early in his career and after 1978. Even in those defeats he took many top young prospects the distance. Only Gerry Cooney in 1980, when Young was 32 did he get beat up. And that was mainly due to a terrible cut over his eye that hindered his vision while Cooney teed off on him. Cooney's left-hook was every bit as devastating as any punch in the arsenal of anyone of today's top heavyweights, and Young didn't go down nor was he staggered or shook.

Young vs Byrd

What an eye sore this would have been to watch. The fighter who assumes the role of the aggressor would've been the one who was at the style disadvantage. We saw when Byrd fought Oquendo, he wasn't at his best when he attacked and pushed the fight. And Young was also a fish out of water when he had to be the aggressor. No doubt that Young-Byrd would've gone the distance. In this fight I could see either fighter winning. I would make the best Young a slight favorite over the best Byrd. I think Young would've drawn Byrd to him and been able to counter him. I also think Young beat better fighters. Basically, he beat Ali and was screwed out of the decision, though it was an eroded and terribly out of shape Ali. Young holds two solid wins over Lyle, beat the once beaten Foreman. And in my opinion was shafted in a title elimination bout versus Norton losing a split decision. Byrd's best wins are over Vitali Klitschko by stoppage, though he was losing when the fight was halted. He beat Tua, and a shot Holyfield. However, Byrd does have great credentials.

Young vs Sanders

I'm sure many think this would be automatic for Sanders. The main reason for that is Sanders upset stoppage win over Wladimir Klitschko. The fact is Sanders was being called a bum, and Klitschko was being ridiculed for fighting him before their fight. Many were highlighting that Sanders ran out of gas and was stopped by Rahman, and was beaten by Nate Tubbs. Young could've definitely survived with Sanders. At 224 Sanders isn't a giant and isn't that great of a puncher that Young would've been blown out. Sanders also isn't a fighter who fights bell to bell and throws non stop punches. Young fought bigger punchers than Corrie, and better boxers than him. This won't be popular, but I could definitely see Young at his best frustrating Sanders and winning a stinker.

Young vs Vitali Klitschko

This is a very tough fight to imagine Young winning. Vitali is too tall and has too much reach for Jimmy. Klitschko wouldn't have to fall prey to Young's tricks and traps in order to hit him. He could outscore him with his jab from outside. Young doesn't have the strength or punch to keep Vitali off. Klitschko is just too much for Young. Although Young is skilled, he just isn't good enough to overcome his physical deficiencies to beat Vitali. I see Vitali stopping Young in the mid rounds, but not putting him down. Young stayed up versus too many good punchers to go down. Even a faded Young remained up right versus a close to prime Cooney, whose hook was harder than any punch in Vitali's arsenal.

Young vs Tua

I think this fight would've resembled Tua's fight against Byrd. Tua is so one dimensional, I can't see Young getting cornered and banged out by him. Rahman, Lewis, and Byrd proved beyond all doubt that if you move and jab, Tua has no clue how to get close enough to do damage. On top of that, Tua constantly looks to get his opponent out with one punch. Young would've had no shot versus Tyson because Tyson threw more punches and was better than Tua at cutting the distance and getting inside. But Tua's is a different story. I can easily see Young tying up Tua and frustrating him. Again, Young had an outstanding chin, and stood up to Lyle, Foreman, Norton and Cooney when he was at or close to his peak. I don't think Tua throws enough punches to get Young out. Young decisions Tua.

Young vs Rahman

In this hypothetical match up, I see Young winning by a comfortable margin. Rahman is not an outstanding boxer or puncher. He is not a busy fighter who overwhelms his opponents with non-stop punching. Rahman is a basic one-two fighter. He looks to get his opponents out with one big right. Rahman also goes through patches during his fights where he stops fighting and does nothing. Hasim is just not busy enough to out work or hustle Young. After seeing Ruiz out-box Rahman, I see Young easily outscoring him and frustrating him. The only shot Rahman has is to catch lighting in a bottle like he did in the first Lewis fight. I don't see that happening. Young takes Rahman to boxing school and wins a one sided decision.

Young vs Wladimir Klitschko

Like with Vitali, I see Wladimir a tough match up for Young. Wladimir is a faster and better boxer than Vitali. Wlad's reach and jab would cause Young fits. Wladimir could out-box him from ring center without worrying about being countered. Even if Wladimir's chin is his biggest liability as a fighter, it wouldn't be a problem versus Young. Jimmy just doesn't have the strength to out box or punch Wladimir. Klitschko would dictate the pace of this fight and would also outwork Young. I see Jimmy having his hands full in this potential match up. Wlad beats Young convincingly like he beat Byrd.

Young vs Oquendo

This is another match up that I think favors Young. Fres is not real fast, and can be out boxed. Young would lure Fres to sleep and then open up with three or four punch combinations beating him to the punch. Fres would no doubt try and press Young and impose his will on him. Those are the type fighters that Young usually had his way with. One way Fres could've made it interesting would be to try and draw Young to him like he did Byrd. This is a strategy that Young would've been vulnerable too. However, I think Fres would most likely try and out muscle Jimmy and bang him around. Jimmy's too quick and cute for Oquendo. I don't see Fres stopping Young or wearing him down. Young wins a clear cut decision over Oquendo.

Lennox Lewis is not included among the top fighters I matched Young against because of his recent retirement. Obviously, Lewis is a bad match up and would've been a significant favorite over Young. I also didn't include James Toney or Roy Jones because they are smaller heavyweights who moved up from middleweight. Both Toney and Jones are smaller and quicker fighters, the type that would give Young trouble. I used Byrd only because his style is sometimes compared to Young's. The point is not that Jimmy Young was a great fighter, because he wasn't. He was a good boxer who fought out of a defensive posture. He wasn't big and he couldn't punch. However, he was skilled and when he was in shape he was a very hard guy to fight. If Young was around today, he wouldn't be champ, but he easily could've been a top ranked contender despite his lack of power and size.

In my opinion, Jimmy Young could've easily held his own in today's heavyweight division. Although Young retired with a lot of loses on his record, an overwhelming majority of those came at a point in his career where he was out of shape and well past his peak. Some of those loses were to highly touted prospects 14-0 Michael Dokes, 18-0 Greg Page, 15-0 Tony Tubbs, and 25-0 Tony Tucker. All four of those fights were decision losses for Young, and all four of those fighters went on to win a piece of the heavyweight title. In those fights against Dokes, Page, Tubbs, and Tucker, Young was out-hustled and worked and not beaten up or punched around.

Articles of 2004

2004 Boxing Pound for Pound List

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The final boxing pound-for-pound list of the year for 2004.

1. Bernard Hopkins: The top guy from beginning to end, Hopkins took care of Oscar De La Hoya with a body shot in the biggest fight of 2004. Now, he'll wait for Jermain Taylor to progress a little further, or he'll go the rematch route with Felix Trinidad. Either way, Hopkins stands to earn a lot of money in 2005 and extend that all-time middleweight reign.

2. Floyd Mayweather: How long has it been since we've seen Mayweather in a meaningful fight? Certainly not in 2004, when he outpointed the difficult DeMarcus Corley. He's slated for a January outing against a no-name. Enough stalling, already, “Pretty Boy”. Fight someone we care about (preferably Kostya Tszyu), or you'll lose your #2 position sometime in 2005.

3. Felix Trinidad: “Tito” stormed back with a magnificent knockout of Ricardo Mayorga in 2004, and now hopes to capitalize on it with big money fights. He'd like nothing more than a rematch with his only conqueror, Hopkins, but he may also opt for old nemesis Oscar De La Hoya. Either way, Trinidad is sure to fight a big fight sometime in the coming year.

4. Kostya Tszyu: What a difference one fight makes. As recently as late October, the boxing world was wondering whether Tszyu was even serious about the sport anymore. We found out with a second round demolition of Sharmba Mitchell. And that made the junior welterweight division very attractive. Tszyu has several options now, including Arturo Gatti and Mayweather or even a hop up to welterweight to challenge Cory Spinks. Let's hope one of them happens in 2005.

5. Manny Pacquiao: Pacquiao fought twice in 2004, and what a fight the first one was. His thrilling war with Juan Manuel Marquez was the best brawl of the year, and there is a chance that the two rivals will go at it again in 2005. If not, Pacquiao has a list full of options: Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, etc. Pacquiao will fight one of them in the next year.

6. Marco Antonio Barrera: Another guy thought to be washed up when the year started, Barrera resurrected his career for the second time with a masterful victory over Paulie Ayala and a close decision over rival Erik Morales in another great fight. Barrera is obviously shooting for a return with Pacquiao, who decimated him in November 2003. Barrera says it was an off-night. Hopefully, we'll find out if that was the case.

7. Winky Wright: Winky entered the “superstar” realm in 2004 with a pair of decision victories over Shane Mosley. The first was very impressive, as Wright practically shut Mosley out. The second was closer, but proved once again that Winky was the superior fighter. He'd like a shot at Trinidad or Oscar De La Hoya, but neither will happen. He'd probably be best off shooting for a name like Fernando Vargas or Ricardo Mayorga.

8. Juan Manuel Marquez: After several years on the outside looking in, Marquez is finally in a position to make some money after his courageous performance against Pacquiao. He rose from three first-round knockdowns to wage the fight of his life in a fight that was ruled a draw. It would also be interesting to see Marquez against countrymen Barrera and Erik Morales.

9. Erik Morales: “El Terrible” fought another great fight against Barrera, but, again, it was in a losing cause. He has now lost two of three to his fierce rival, and probably wants nothing to do with him anymore. But, eventually, talk of Barrera-Morales 4 will come up again. In the meantime, Morales could shoot for Pacquiao or Marquez.

10. Glencoffe Johnson: The newest entry, Johnson pumped some life into boxing in 2004 with a pair of upsets of Roy Jones Jr. and Antonio Tarver. Now, he's set to make some really big money in rematches with either, or a shot at old conqueror Hopkins. Either way, Johnson is better than anyone imagined.

11. Jose Luis Castillo: Castillo made some comeback noise of his own in 2004, beating Juan Lazcano for his old vacant title and decisioning Joel Casamayor for another big win. He says he wants Kostya Tszyu next, and if that materializes, boxing fans will be in for a treat. If not, Castillo vs. Diego Corrales is a great fight.

12. Oscar De La Hoya: Hard to erase that picture of De La Hoya grimacing in agony courtesy of a Hopkins shot to the ribs, but the “Golden Boy” had no business fighting at 160 pounds. He should drop down to junior middle or even welterweight again if he has any hope of regaining his past form. But 2005 could be the final year for one of boxing's all-time great attractions.

On the brink: Antonio Tarver, Diego Corrales, James Toney

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Articles of 2004

Heavyweight Joe Mesi Bringing Lawsuit

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As reported by the Buffalo News, Joe Mesi is suing the New York State Athletic Commission and the MRI center that conducted tests on the heavyweight boxer after his bout with Vassiliy Jirov. Mesi reportedly suffered brain injuries in the Jirov bout, which has left his boxing status uncertain.

The lawsuit alleges Mesi's medical records were improperly released to the NYSAC. The records, the lawsuit goes on to allege, were then released to the media, prejudicing Mesi's right to have his status reviewed by the appropriate boxing authorities.

The lawsuit does not seek specific monetary damages, as the extent of damages will be affected by whether Mesi is able to resume his career as a leading heavyweight contender.

Mesi hopes to have his status reviewed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission within the coming month. The ruling of the NSAC promises to be key in whether Mesi will be able to resume his boxing career.

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Articles of 2004

The Best in Chicago Boxing Returns

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Dominic Pesoli's 8 Count Productions and Bob Arum's Top Rank Incorporated along with Miller Lite presents SOLO BOXEO DE MILLER, THE ARAGON RUMBLE, another installment of The Best in Chicago Boxing on Friday, January 14th, broadcast live internationally as part of Telefutura's Friday night professional boxing series.

The newly remodeled Aragon Ballroom is located at 1106 W. Lawrence Ave. near the corner of Lawrence and Broadway in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood and is easily accessible, just 4 blocks west of Lake Shore Drive and just 4 miles east of the Kennedy expressway. There are three large parking lots located within a 1/2 block of the Aragon Ballroom. Additionally, the Howard Street Blue Line stops just across the street. Doors will open at 6pm with the first bell at 7pm.

Headlining the action packed card is the American debut of super-bantamweight Ricardo “PIOLO” Castillo, 12-2 (6KO's) of Mexicali, Mexico as he squares off in a scheduled ten rounder against WBO Latino Champion, Edel Ruiz, 24-12-3 (13KO's) of Los Mochis, SI, Mexico. Castillo will be accompanied to the ring by his brother, World Lightweight Champion Jose Luis Castillo.

In the co-main event of the evening, one of Chicago's most popular fighters, middleweight “MACHO” Miguel Hernandez, 14-1 (9KO's), battles hard swinging local veteran “MARVELOUS” Shay Mobley, 7-4-1 (2KO's), of One In a Million Inc.in a scheduled eight rounder.

The huge undercard bouts include;

Carlos Molina vs TBA, six rounds, junior middleweights
Frankie Tafoya vs TBA, four rounds, featherweights
Ottu Holified vs. Allen Medina, four rounds, middleweights
Francisco Rodriguez vs. LaShaun Blair, four rounds, bantamweights
Rita Figueroa vs. Sarina Hayden, four rounds, junior welterweights

Said Dominic Pesoli, President of 8 Count Productions, “it was a terrific evening last month and our fans were thrilled to be at the Aragon to watch David, Speedy and Luciano. David Diaz's fight against Jaime Rangel was a fight people will talk about for a long time. Our commitment to our fans is to make every event of ours better than the last one. This main event is terrific, both guys are very tough Mexicans who won't take a step back.

The fans love Miguel and Mobley figures to be a very tough opponent. Him and David Estrada had a six round war last June at our show. And the undercard showcases a lot of new, younger talent that is coming out of Chicago right now. Tafoya and Holifield have both had very successful beginnings to their careers and Francisco Rodriguez comes with fantastic amateur credentials and David Diaz says he has all the talent to be a great pro.”

“We've got big plans for 2005 and this show should take up right where last months show left off. The huge crowd loved the action last time and I'm sure they'll say the same thing this time.”

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