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Articles of 2004

Beware Of The Guinn Overreaction

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Get ready for the “he's a bum” onslaught sure to come the way of Heavyweight Dominick Guinn. Boxing is a sport that although it may not be run and judged like any of the other major sports, it does share the same knee jerk week to week, game to game, and fight to fight over reaction from those who follow it and cover it. I guess there is a tendency on the part of some fans and media to constantly look for new heroes and legends. It makes them jump off and on the bandwagon prematurely.

This past weekend Heavyweight prospect Dominick Guinn suffered the worse thing that can happen to an undefeated fighter on the way up, especially a Heavyweight, he lost. Now that he is no longer undefeated, he is not worthy of some who judge him. After all, he no longer has that glowing perfect unbeaten record behind his name. So how good can he really be? Too bad the networks have conditioned some fans and media members that only the undefeated fighters are worth caring about and watching. What will get lost in all this hysteria is that his opponent Monte Barrett, who is also a professional, fought the best fight of his life and boxed beautiful. It's without a doubt the most complete fight he's ever fought. Another thing that will also kill Guinn is the fact that Joe Mesi, who he is often compared to, beat Barrett and he didn't.

Now we'll hear that Guinn was never that good. He's too small and can't hit. His desire and toughness are not what some thought. On top of that he can't get away from a jab, and he tucks his head too much. Of course none of those things were a thought before the first round against Barrett. That's why they fight. Guinn will most likely become the victim of the same overreaction that applauded him after he beat Michael Grant and Duncan Dokiwari. After those two victories he was built up to be one of the main men in the division. Now he's just as big a question mark as Joe Mesi is thought to be in some factions. I guess the lesson is two fold. Fighters should never believe their press-clippings and look past a perceived opponent who they Should beat, and fans and media should judge a fighter from fight to fight instead of declaring him great and unbeatable solely off his last good fight.

That same knee jerk reaction that applies to most other major sports often applies to Boxing, and maybe even more so. I even got caught up a little bit in the Guinn is the future bandwagon hype. And I'm someone who refuses to rank fighters in the overall picture until their best days are behind them like Evander Holyfield, or are retired like Lennox Lewis. For some reason Heavyweight's get tarnished more by a defeat on the way up than the lighter weight fighters do.

Middleweight greats Carlos Monzon and Marvin Hagler suffered decision loses on the way up before they fought for the title. Bernard Hopkins lost his pro debut and Alexis Arguello and Henry Armstrong were KO'd in their's, yet all three went on to become all-time greats. There are plenty of fighters who lost to a good opponent on the way up, but still went on to become all-time greats. Boxing is replete with them.

On the way up Larry Holmes looked like nothing close to a future great on his way to decisioning Tom Prater in the U.S. Championships. Rocky Marciano looked average at best in winning two decisions over Ted Lowry in 1949 and 1950 after turning pro in 1947. Lennox Lewis certainly didn't look like anything special in winning a decision over Levi Billups eight months before knocking out Razor Ruddock, in what may have been his most impressive knockout. Cassius Clay was dropped by Sonny Banks and Henry Cooper on the way up, yet many consider him to have one of the greatest chins ever. Joe Frazier was dropped by Oscar Bonavena in their first fight and looked average in beating trial horse George “Scrap Iron” Johnson. Yet Frazier was the first fighter to defeat Ali. I'm not saying Guinn's name will ever be mentioned in the same vein as those greats. Actually I doubt that it will be, but you never know. Maybe Guinn will fall apart after this defeat to Barrett, or maybe it will spur him onto a Hall Of Fame worthy career?

Against Grant and Dokiwari, Guinn looked terrific. In his fight this past weekend versus Barrett, he looked so so. Maybe Grant and Dokiwari matched up better for him than Barrett? He did say he prefers fighting the bigger Heavyweights. Remember how some were all over Mesi after he stopped DaVarryl Williamson in one round. I refused to get caught up in that hype, I knew Mesi wasn't as good as he looked in that fight. Here we are two fights later, and Mesi has been dropped four times by Barrett and Jirov. So I ask, who is the real Mesi? The conquer of Williamson or the one who just escaped defeat versus Barrett and Jirov. No doubt that Barrett and Jirov are better than Williamson, but no other fighter has destroyed Williamson before or since like Mesi.

It's fun to try and predict which fighters will go onto achieve greatness and who is more style and promotion than substance. However, I've found that until a fighter is deep into his career and has either challenged for a title or won one, it's pretty much fight to fight in his evaluation and progress. Mesi was thought to be the real deal by some after Williamson, and now there is a perception that he's all hype and promotion after Barrett and Jirov.

Now we have Guinn who was riding high going into the Monte Barrett fight. No doubt that his stock is still dropping at this moment since his defeat. Obviously the book on Guinn is no where close to being complete. I'm going to wait until I see him a few more times before declaring him a stiff with no future, or the best American Heavyweight since Riddick Bowe as Larry Merchant once thought. I believe now that Guinn has been defeated, we'll really find out how good he is or isn't. I'm not saying Guinn is the barometer for someone who can recover and make a significant impact on the sport. I just need to see him in a few more times with some quality opponents before I judge him as being the next ??

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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