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Articles of 2004

Antonio Tarver: Shut Up And Fight



In a recent boxing publication, top ranked Light Heavyweight Antonio Tarver was quoted as saying the following, “Roy bring your ass – and bring my belt.” Please Antonio, don't subject boxing fans to anymore of your hollow threats and insults. Maybe if you keep popping off at the mouth you just might convince one or two that you actually had claim to the majority decision you lost to Light Heavyweight Champ Roy Jones last November. Even though you didn't deserve it. Yes Antonio, Roy beat you last time out. No, he didn't dominate you or take you apart, but he definitely deserved the majority decision he was awarded.

First of all, Roy will definitely bring it this time, and the belts he's bringing are his not yours. Ya know why they're not yours? Because you weren't quite good enough last time to do anything about it. In case you forgot Antonio, you had Roy Jones on what very well may have been the worst night of his life in the ring. On the other hand, it was possibly the best you ever were on any night of your career, and you still couldn't finish it. Ya know why? Because you swallowed the apple in the big spot, that's why.

If you were a real champ, you would've found a way to win the last two rounds of the fight. Roy certainly sucked it up and did what he had to do in order to regain what was rightfully his, the undisputed Light Heavyweight Championship. Jones fought and willed himself like all the greats have had to do down the stretch of a big fight at sometime during their career. Jones wasn't happy being competitive on a night he had nothing. Opposed to you who was just happy to mouth off after the fight. See you were happy saying I fought Roy Jones and didn't get taken apart. That's exactly why you're the challenger in the rematch.

Antonio, the last time out Roy was an empty package. In his last fight he was a Heavyweight and had put on just about 25 pounds of muscle. In order to take your title he had to shed those 25 pounds of muscle. As everyone saw, he wasn't himself, which indirectly paved the way for you to run your big mouth again. After ten rounds the fight was dead even, 5 rounds a piece. The fight and title came down to the 11th and 12th rounds. Back in the day, rounds 11 thru 15 were known as Ali's alley. That's were the Champs sucked it up down the stretch in order to prove they were worthy of being thought of as great fighters and Champions. Today it's the 11th and 12th rounds that encompass Ali's alley. And like Ali, Jones went out there and sucked it up on a night that the only thing he had in the tank was his will to win. And like Ali he was awarded a close, but deserved decision.

You talked so tough and cocky before the fight, it was if you knew you weren't going to get all of Jones. And you didn't, and he still beat you. I have fought and been in the ring enough, never at your level, but enough to know when a fighter is going through the motions to try and jive the judges and fans into thinking he's really raising hell, when in fact he's not. You were just trying to con Jones and the rest of us. You didn't, maybe some, but a lot of us, no. If you were really the big time Champ that you say you are, you would've went after Roy in those last two rounds, because he was there to be had. Instead you fought in spurts when you knew it was safe after he did all the work. See, you were afraid to lay it all out because you just didn't want to get stopped or beaten soundly. It was also obvious that Jones' body attack did a number on you which is partly why you were winded down the stretch. So you fought just enough to make it look good and at the same time kept yourself from being exposed.

Sadly enough Antonio, you'll look back at those last two rounds and want to kick yourself because you didn't take a shot to be something special. Forget what the judges scored. You go out and fight those last two rounds as if your life depends on it, and the fight is yours and everybody knows it. Maybe if you did that, I could at least tolerate hearing your school yard bully talk. What was it Ali said, “it ain't bragging if you do it.”

However, I saw the fight and now know that what you say are just words. Guess what, you ain't beating Jones with just words. Couldn't do it last time and it will be even harder this time. I have no doubt that Jones knows what type of fighter you are on the inside as well. Only this time he'll be more prepared mentally and physically.

In the last fight he was dead at the weight. On top of that I believe he underestimated you and didn't fully realize that your size and style could present him a few problems. Now you don't have those factors in your favor. Now he knows that he'll be in real shape this time, instead of just making weight. He'll also be more ready and have a more solid attack plan that he can execute this time.

And lastly he knows you. He knows that when the pressure is turned up in the big spot, you'll back down and just try to live through it. In others words he knows you don't have the “kill or be killed” mind set. In the last fight he gave you just enough that even though you thought, hey, he's not all that tonight. He still put just enough seed of doubt in your mind that he had you thinking, I don't think he is all there tonight, but what if he is? And that's exactly what Jones wanted Tarver to think. Jones wanted Tarver to fight not to lose instead of fighting to win, and he did. Jones knew if Tarver fought not to look bad, then he didn't have to be perfect offensively to get him to back off, which he did when he made Tarver think he was raising the rent.

Now we are getting close to the rematch that Tarver has been clamoring for. Again his big mouth is writing checks that his heart and fist probably can't cash. I hate ripping a World Class fighter like Antonio Tarver. However, his bravado is almost beyond belief. It's all most hard to believe that someone who fought like he did would talk so tough. To me he shows his cards every time he says how people come up to him at the airport and grocery store and say “There's the guy that kicked Roy Jones Ass.” Hey Antonio, anybody who says you kicked Roy Jones Ass, either is your relative, or is blind and has no boxing acumen at all. What you did was give him a good run, but coughed it up in the end. Yet you walk around and act as if you're the champ. Who are you fooling. I've seen a few fights in the last year where the loser had a much better claim to having deserved the decision more so than you. In fact Fres Oquendo has a better case versus Chris Byrd than you do versus Jones. At least Fres was in with a fighter who wasn't dead at the weight like Jones was against you.

In this upcoming rematch with Jones, Mr. Tarver better bring a lot more than he did last time out. I've never been impressed with Tarver as a physical talent, he's a good fighter but that's about it. And his gaff in the Olympics shows that in the big spot he's not all that. He's just lucky that Jones is the only fighter at 175 today that is anything special/great.

The light Heavyweight division has never been so bad in it's 101 year history. The way Tarver talks you'd think he was Bob Foster or Michael Spinks. In my opinion I'd make the best Foster and Spinks a slight favorite over the best Roy Jones. If forced to pick, I'd pick both Foster and Spinks to defeat Jones, most likely by decision. That being said, even they are not at a level where they could disrespect Jones like Tarver continues to do?

Count your blessings Antonio, you have two things in your favor. Your style will give Jones a little trouble, and Roy is starting to show signs of Father Time catching up with him, but that won't be enough for you to get by him on May 15th. If Antonio Tarver fights against Roy Jones as good as he's talked over the last six months, Jones will be in for the fight of his life. And if Tarver gives Jones the fight of his life, then he's earned the right to chirp and you won't hear a peep out of me. Until then, his redderick is nothing more than hot air. Win the fight in the ring this time Antonio. If you do that, we'll all sing your praise and pay you homage.

Overall I do like Antonio Tarver the person and the fighter. However, I find his ranting tiresome and tedious. I don't think his showing in the last fight versus Jones affords him the blanket pass that he does regarding his popping off. Maybe he's trying to get into Jones' head, maybe, but does anyone believe he can beat Jones mentally? I don't. I think he has to do it in the ring. That's why I wish he'd “Shut Up And Fight.”

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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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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