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Articles of 2004

Scoring A Fight: 10-Point Must vs. 3-Point Max

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Somebody please save the scoring system in boxing. I've never been a big fan of the 10-point must system, and the Paquiao-Marquez fight just further strengthens my belief. The 10-point must certainly has it's drawbacks. It's too many points to allow for a round. In the Paquiao-Marquez fight, Paquiao scored three knockdowns in the first round. Two judges scored the round 10-6 and one scored it 10-7. The judge who scored it 10-7 says he made a mistake, but I think he really meant to score it 10-7, and is only admitting a mistake because he was overruled by the other two judges. I actually have no problem with a 10-7 score for round one. Even though I thought it was 10-6, the fact is the first knock down was a flash and Marquez wasn't hurt at all from the straight left that dropped him. The second two knockdowns were from much harder shots that clearly had Marquez hurt.

Exactly were does it say in the scoring manual that each knock down is counted as a point? And how about what transpired up to that point. Again, I thought 10-6, but don't think it being scored 10-7 is a crime. I have more of a problem with the judge who scored only two rounds for Paquiao. That's another story for another time, but that judge shouldn't be allowed to score dog or cock fights.

In boxing there are really only three scenarios that can play out in a round where a fighter isn't knocked out or stopped. Fighter-a can eke out a very close round, Fighter-b can win and control the round from start to finish without scoring a knockdown, or Fighter-a can score multiple knockdowns and dominate the round. The odd scenarios that can occur are all the obvious, both fighters being down, one fighter winning the round and getting dropped at the end of it just to name a few. In those cases just apply the same basics that are used under the current system.

The system I'd like to see is a 3-point max system. I'd also like to see the fighters have to earn points instead of starting with the maximum amount, (10), and working back. I say award Fighter-a the round 1-0 if he ekes it out and doesn't totally control or dominate it. Fighter-b should win the round 2-0 if he controls it from start to finish, but doesn't put the other fighter down. In the last scenario Fighter-a would win the round 3-0 if he scores multiple knockdowns like in the first round of the Paquiao-Marquez.

The 10-point must is too flimsy because it's not used in the way it was originally set out to be used. It was supposed to give the judges levity in scoring rounds. The 10 point variance was meant to be used as a tool to aid the judges. It was thought to be a liberal system in which to judge fights. The problem turned out to be that the judges score every round 10-9 regardless of what happens in it. In 99% of the rounds that are scored in a fight, it's 10-9 if neither fighter puts the other one down. It doesn't matter how much a fighter dictates and controls the action and fighting. If nobody goes down it's 10-9.

That's absurd in my opinion. Fighters should be rewarded for fighting and taking charge. Doesn't it make more sense for a fighter be awarded a round more heavily if he totally controls it, even if he hasn't scored a knockdown? I think so. As it stands under the 10-point must, Fighter-a can dominate the entire three minutes of the round, but still only get it 10-9 if he does not put his opponent down. Yet in the next round, Fighter-b can even it up by landing some light jabs at the end of it and winning it by the same score, 10-9. I ask, is that an accurate portrayal of who was getting the better of it? I say it is not.

Changing the system to fit the most realistic scenarios that usually unfold during the course of a fight may not be a bad thing. Don't force the judges to have to think too much. Give them the tools to render a verdict that closer portrays what took place in the ring. They just don't use the 10-point must the way it was intended to be used. In actuality, the 10-point must is just too liberal. Ten points is too much of a variance in which to apply to a boxing match. What's the difference between a 10-4 round and a 10-6? The scenarios are only a few. A fighter can only win by a razor thin margin, he can control and dictate, or he can totally dominate. Let the system apply to those scenarios.

Instead of scoring round one for Paquiao 10-6, score it 3-0. Having such a wide swing in the points allows one fighter to almost seal the decision based off of one round. One round, regardless of how dominant and one sided it is, shouldn't force the other fighter to just about have to sweep the remaining rounds just to have a shot at the decision. One round should not carry so much weight unless a stoppage occurs in it. I'm not calling for a revamping of the current system. I believe that competent judges can navigate the current system, but it just seems as of late competency among judges is a thing of the past. I think the 3-point max is a viable option if need be.

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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