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Articles of 2004

Heavyweight History's Longest Reigning King

Frank Lotierzo

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He had a Championship tenure longer than the combined title reign's of Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes, and Mike Tyson. On top of that he's never been stopped and he is a definite Heavyweight. Oh, he's been down a few times, but never out. He is the true King of all the Heavyweight's, he is Don King.

It will be 30 years ago this coming October since King convinced an African dictator to put up 10 million dollars of his country's money for a Heavyweight Championship fight between Champion George Foreman and Challenger Muhammad Ali. More commonly known as the “Rumble In The Jungle”

That is how long Don King has been the main man in Boxing's glamor division. Think about that, a 30 year reign as the man. Not even the New York Yankees have had a 30 year run that has been virtually uninterrupted like King has. He promoted a few of Ali's title bouts, just about all of Holmes' bouts and title defenses, a majority of Tyson's title defenses, and even some of Holyfield's. In fact King currently has Holyfield under contract and there seems to be some rumbling that he's working on signing Tyson again? Despite being sued by him for 100 million dollars. The only Champion King never had a piece of was Lennox Lewis. It was only during the Lewis title reign that King was somewhat frozen out of control of the Heavyweight division, again somewhat but not totally. Now with Lewis retired, there can be no doubt that Don King is going to dictate what fights the fans will see and who fights who in the near future.

The man is cunning and shrewd. He's a tireless worker and doesn't take no for an answer. Along with having the tenacity of a Pit bull, King sometimes seems to have a Guardian Angel looking over his shoulder. Things sometimes just fall in place for him. Just in the last three weeks we've had three Heavyweight title fights and the signs pointing to how things go his way are quite evident.

This past April 10th his fighter Lamon Brewster, a significant underdog upset the fighter many thought to be on his way back to becoming one of the main forces in the division, Wladimir Klitschko. Brewster took a one sided shellacking from Klitschko for the better part of four rounds before Klitschko came undone in the fifth round and was stopped. Thus giving Brewster the lightly regarded WBO title. Although a fringe title, King now controls it and nobody else can get it without dealing with him. Only King could be fortunate enough to be in the right corner when one of the fighters who he is trying to stonewall in the division is upset, one of the Klitschko's. And if you doubt that King is not trying to make the Klitschko's a non entity in the Heavyweight division, you must be a new observer of the Sweet Science. WBC Champ Vitali Klitschko will certainly have a hard time cashing in on his new title. Especially in the World of Don King promoted and controlled Heavyweight's.

One week after Brewster's upset, King matches IBF Champ Chris Byrd against Andrew Golota. Three months ago Golota was nothing more than another pug coming back for some money hoping for a shot at a big name. Prior to fighting Byrd, Golota had only fought twice in three years, and now based off of his fight with Byrd he may be the hottest fighter in the division, other than newly crowned WBC Champ Vitali Klitschko. Only King could have the good fortune to be there when Golota shows up in the best shape of his life and fights Byrd to a standstill as a 3-1 underdog. Not only did Golota keep his composure throughout the fight, but he fought well and made King look like a Genius for putting him in that spot.

The Byrd-Golota fight was declared a draw. Which was a fair call on behalf of both fighters. I had it 6-6 or 7-5 Byrd. However, it could have gone either way within a point favoring either fighter. No, the fight is scored a draw and King is the biggest winner. Golota comes out as the perceived winner since he fought well and didn't implode. And Byrd fought like a Champion and shouldn't have lost his title. Golota has always been a draw and doesn't need a title to fill the arena, opposed to Byrd who despite an outstanding performance where he fought and made the fight exciting, needs a title to make the public watch him. Once again Don King was the biggest winner.

Don King presided over the end of the Ali era, the entire Holmes, Tyson, and Holyfield era's. He was in the background somewhat during the Lewis era. Remember, King survived with John Ruiz and a shot Evander Holyfield as being his main Heavyweight fighters during the height of the Lewis reign. King called the recent Heavyweight title fights in New York “The Next Era Begins.” Can there even be a morsel of a doubt that with Don King owning three of the four major Heavyweight title belts that he is the major force in the Heavyweight division, despite not having a piece of it's signature fighter. Of course not, that's because he is it's signature figure. He has three titles, Klitschko only has one. Ali, Holmes, Tyson, Holyfield, Lewis, and maybe Klitschko, what do they have in common? Fighting Don King for the title.

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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