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Articles of 2004

I Could've Lasted More Than A Round



Here comes another Reality television show, like we really need it. Just recently I saw where Sugar Ray Leonard and Sylvester Stallone have decided to produce a new Reality show called “The Contender.” I have no idea what the show is going to consist of or what type of gimmick it will be? I just hope they don't sell out and do something that results in Boxing being subjected to more negative press. It's not like either one of them needs the money.

However, it made me think back to a time in the mid to late 80's when Mike Tyson was scoring many first and second round knockout's. I specifically remember watching Tyson fight Trevor Berbick, Michael Spinks, and Carl “The Truth” Williams on HBO with about 6 or 7 friends. In those fights Tyson stopped Berbick in two rounds and Spinks and Williams in the first.

A group of my friends who I usually watched the fights with at that time had varying backgrounds in Sports and Athletics. A couple played College Football, another was an accomplished body builder, and one was a High School state champ and Division Two National champ Wrestler. The one who was the Wrestler has just started competing in MMA Tournaments and is 2-0. Four of those six guys were tough and could all handle themselves, whether it be in the Sporting sense or on the street. As soon as those fights were over, they started with the typical crap I've heard too often. Crap like, “give me two months to train, and I'll go more than one or two rounds.”

I usually answered, “you couldn't go one round with me if you had two years to train everyday, let alone lasting that long with Tyson or Holyfield without dying in the Ring.” Being that I fought for eight years as an amateur and pro middleweight, I've experienced this mind set only too often. The point is that it never amazes me how guys from all other Sports think they can be fighters and are good enough to take one on. They only say those things because they just don't know. No doubt the comments aren't made to be disrespectful, at least I hope not. It's just like most all things that are commented on from the easy chair or the bar stool, they are stated without any real thought or true understanding. Over the years I taught some of my friends just how delusional they were. Never the less, those idiotic comments still come up sometimes when they see a fight end in a round or two.

Why is it so that Boxers get picked on as being an easy target? I never hear anyone say they can stand behind center on an NFL team and complete passes like Dan Marino or John Elway. Or that they can stand in the batter's box and make contact against Pedro Martinez. Never hear anyone say they can bring the ball up court and play point guard in the NBA, or handle the puck from end to end like Bobby Orr did in the NHL. No, it's always I could go more than a round with Tyson, or Holyfield couldn't knock me out. The only reason I can come up with as to why some make these stupid remarks is that all guys have had fights somewhere in their life, and have thrown a couple good punches, or have taken somebody down. I guess fighting is the ultimate macho Sporting confrontation between two men?

Not only do Boxers get exploited and ripped off, they get Joe average who took a couple Karate lessons or pumped some iron thinking that he could beat them up. Again, they just don't know. In case anyone doesn't realize this, an experienced pro fighter could really hurt a guy who has never fought and has no experience or training in his background. Imagine a 25 year old man punching a 10 year old kid in the face as hard as he could, think of the damage he would do. Well that's like Evander Holyfield hitting a regular guy in the face as hard as he could, and that may even be an understatement. Another thing the Beer-Muscle guy in the bar doesn't realize is that he can't hit. He has absolutely no punch at all unless he's been taught how to and trained for YEARS.

Those who have never been in the ring just don't have any concept of how hard a fighter can hit despite his record. They also can't possibly know how tough fighters are and how good they take a punch. Recently Joe Mesi fought and was hurt and dropped three times during the fight, and it's now becoming apparent that his chin may be a problem. Count me among them. And yes, Mesi's chin will probably be his Achilles and keep him from ever winning the title. However, there ain't no regular guy walking the street who can hurt Mesi with a punch. I don't care if he's an NFL Linebacker, an NBA power forward, a Wrestler, or a Mixed Martial Artist, he ain't hurting Mesi with a punch. Mesi's chin may be a liability at the world class level as a professional Heavyweight fighter, but not on the street or in the Ring versus a guy who has no Boxing or Striking training.

Fighters are a rare breed of men. I hear a lot of guys say that Boxing isn't street fighting, and to a large extent they're right. But what most fail to mention is that most fighters were good street fighters before they Boxed? A lot of them got into Boxing to channel their aggression and get paid for it at the same time.

Quick Story. One day when I was an amateur I was getting ready to spar a heavyweight who was in the Gym at that time. I was a Middleweight. He was a seasoned pro who had a winning record and a few years later fought for the title. He was not a big puncher and didn't boast a big knockout record. At that time I was close to getting ready to turn pro. I had recently gone to camp with Michael Spinks to help him get ready for his title unification fight with Dwight Muhammad Qawi. Before that I went away with Qawi to help him get ready for his fight versus James Scott at Rahway Prison. Both Qawi and Spinks could really punch, and Qawi sparred like he fought, all out. I figured this heavyweight who I was about to spar couldn't really hurt me. After all, he wasn't known as a puncher. Any how when we sparred we were both wearing 16 ounce training gloves, and he caught me with one straight right hand that knocked me across the ring. The punch was like getting hit by a bunch of falling cinder-blocks, and it wasn't all that he had. I thought to myself, this guy is not supposed to be able to hit.

No, he couldn't punch when measured against other seasoned World Class Heavyweights. However, he can really crack when paired with an experienced middleweight who had a rep for having a good chin. And he would be considered Earnie Shavers if he fought some big weight lifter or football player, whose only training was curling and tackling.

When Tyson blew Michael Spinks out in the first round, many arm chair fighters were yapping how they could've done better and lasted longer than Spinks did. Unfortunately some of them have no clue that they wouldn't have done squat but soil themselves just getting in the ring, and not just with Tyson. They have no concept or understanding how many bad dudes Spinks had to go through just to be qualified to fight Tyson. The next time you see a contending fighter get taken apart in a big fight in a round or two, remember 99% of those watching would've been half killed by the guys he beat to get there. And just imagine how good the fighter who just won must be.

Even guys who are World Class athlete's but never fought have no shot at doing anything with a World Class fighter. Remember when Too Tall Jones wanted to challenge Larry Holmes? There's a reason why that didn't happen. The reason is Too Tall went to a Gym and got his clock cleaned by an amateur heavyweight who hadn't even had his first amateur fight. Too Tall was an all-pro Lineman in the NFL, however he knew fighting Holmes would've been certain suicide, as he later find out! After six fights in which he made Butterbean look like a World beater, Too Tall when back to the NFL. Incidentally, Too Tall played his best ball after his brief boxing excursion. Would anyone ever, even on a goof suggest that Larry Holmes could play on the offensive line and block Too Tall or Reggie White successfully? No, but everybody thinks they can fight.

If you never fought, don't get in the Ring with a Boxer for real because you'll get more than your feelings hurt. You'll get your brain shook. Every time he touches you, you'll feel concussed. If you never Grappled, don't get caught in the guards position with a good ground fighter, because you'll get a limb broke or your air cut off. And if you are a Boxer or a Grappler, don't be delusional and think you can block a big time Lineman, because you'll get run over. Assuming you are as inexperienced at blocking as they are fighting.

Articles of 2004

2004 Boxing Pound for Pound List



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




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




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 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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