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Articles of 2004

Mike Tyson And Father Time

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I just caught an interview with former Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson on Cable TV. I can't believe how old and tired he looked. For the first time since following his career, I can say he really got to me inside. He looked old, fat, wrinkled and weak. Man, it really hit me hard. I have followed and watched Tyson fight since his amateur days back in 1980-81, and never viewed him like I did this time. Tyson even came right out and said that he's not fighting anybody, and that he couldn't get in shape.

I couldn't believe how tranquil and pensive he was. For the first time, I saw a beaten man when I looked into his eyes. Not beaten as a fighter, but as a man who has really been through it. A man who has seen the best and worst that life has to offer. No doubt that Mike Tyson is well versed on being at the highest high and the lowest low. In one of the clips, Tyson was at Gleason's gym doing his 100 hours of community service teaching kids to box. He actually looked at peace and the young kids looked ecstatic! What a thrill that must have been for them, having Mike Tyson hold the pads and encouraging them.

Although I have been a staunch critic of Tyson the fighter, and never believed for a single second that he was close to being the greatest heavyweight champ ever. I've always had a soft spot for him in my heart. I'm willing to look at maybe I underrate him, just as many overrate him? I've always known that there is a really good guy inside of him, one who he doesn't let many of us ever see. Tyson is a fighter who I've been lucky enough to spend some time around, mainly due to the brief acquaintance I had with Jim Jacobs. Let me tell you, when Tyson is in the mood, he is one of the best to discuss boxing with. Especially breaking down fighters style's and hypothetical match ups. I guess after being used and abused so much throughout his life, he has to keep his guard up. I guess this is why he is the ultimate contradiction. Being charming and warm one moment and then reverting to being mean and nasty the next.

I have often thought about how cool it must have been to be one of the people he really liked and trusted back in the day. Can you imagine a night on the town in New York with Mike Tyson. First of all, you wouldn't need any money. Women would be all over the place. And how many of your buddies could go up to New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor in a club, and tell him that if he doesn't leave, he's going to get his ass kicked. And then he actually leaves. That scenario really did play out one night in the late 80's when Tyson was on top of the world.

Can't believe that Tyson will be 38 this June 30th. Wow, 38 years old. That's how old Larry Holmes was when he fought Tyson in January of 1988. And ya know what, Holmes looked better then, then Tyson does now. Who would've believed that back then?

Mike Tyson turned pro in 1985 and won the Heavyweight title in November of 1986 to become the youngest Heavyweight champ in boxing history. It's now 2004, 19 years later and I really believe that Mike Tyson may never be a major factor again in the Heavyweight division as a fighter. Oh, his name still has some mileage and will always create some excitement, but I can't see him being the champ again. Something as recently as a year ago, I thought was at least a remote possibility.

What's really a crazy thought is that even in this transitional time in the heavyweight division, Tyson probably can't compete at the top. He's very heavy and it would take him forever and a day to get in great shape again and then stay active enough to be ready for one of the world's premier heavyweights. And lets be honest, there isn't one heavyweight out there right now who can even spell the word great.

Yes, I think Tyson was overrated as a fighter and champion by a lot of the media and fans. However, I will not deny that he was one of the most talented Heavyweight Champs of all time. And if fights were fought on paper instead of in the ring, he'd be among the true greats nipping at the heels of Louis and Ali. That being said, I can't imagine what Tyson of 1986-88 would do to today's top heavies.

I hope Tyson straightens himself out and lives a long happy life in peace. Maybe instead of the press shoving a microphone in front of George Foreman and Mike Tyson every time they are in public, and asking them if they are going to fight each other. Maybe they could ask Foreman if he has any interest in managing Tyson and helping him out. Foreman is now 55 and Tyson will be 38 in three months. The boxing world can live if it doesn't see them fight. If Foreman won, what would it really do for him other than making him even richer. If Tyson won, it would prove nothing, and if he lost he'd be humiliated. No thanks! How about somebody getting Foreman and Tyson together so Foreman can assist him and guide him if he wants to fight again or whatever else he may choose to do. I have no doubt that the cunning Foreman could help straighten Tyson out mentally and financially. And us, we can argue for the next 100 years over who would've won, Foreman of 1973-74, or Tyson of 1987-88?

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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