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Articles of 2004

Antonio Tarver and Glen Johnson Discuss Fight

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Antonio Tarver will face Glen Johnson in a 12 round championship bout that will determine, once and for all, who is the best 175-pound fighter in the world, Saturday, December 18, live from STAPLES Center.

Antonio Tarver

“I feel real good about December 18 for more than one reason.  Yes, I did give up my WBC championship and, yes, Glen Johnson gave up his IBF title.  But what I still have is The Ring Magazine championship so that makes me the official Light Heavyweight Champion of the world.  I am also the People’s Champ.”

I have a lot of respect for Glen Johnson.  When you look at his career, the guy has had a lot of bad decisions against him after he obviously won the fight.  The political game of boxing has not been good for him, but you have to respect a guy who, no matter how rough it gets, he always seems to land on his feet.

I know what he is thinking.  I see it in him.  He is thinking that this is an opportunity of a lifetime.  I just need to get past Antonio Tarver.  My name will go down in the history of the sport.  This is the opportunity that only comes once in a lifetime for some fighters.  But in my mind I am taking this fight because I have always, always welcomed risk when it comes to boxing – risk in order to prove that I stand alone at the top.  Very few fighters today take the risk that I take.  Just look back on my career.  After my first eight, nine or 10 fights, I would beg anybody in the top-10 to just face me.  When I was the No. 1 contender across the board, the champion refused to fight me.  I had to go into his backyard after he captured the world by winning the Heavyweight Championship.  I told the world then as I said, ‘Roy, you might be standing tall today but we all know that you did not take a step in competition.  Rather, you took a step down.  You are avoiding your biggest challenge.’  I prophesized that when I asked him, ‘When am I going to get my chance at history?’  He said, ‘What history?’  I said, ‘The history I will earn after I knock you out.’  I told him that he was not even the best fighter in Florida.  That came true.

Now I am telling the world that I am on a mission.  My dream does not begin and end with Roy Jones.  I see way past that.  You are looking at history in the making.  When it is all said and done, I want the world to recognize Antonio Tarver as one of the best – one of the greatest that ever lived.  It starts December 18 at STAPLES Center.  You know why?  Cause I am fighting the second best light heavyweight in the world and we are going to get it on to see who is the ultimate champion.  When you get two people who, in their hearts, feel that they are the best, that is trouble.  I know it is going to be tough – he is not going to quit and I am not going to quit because I can see the end result.  When my hand is raised, then they can bring on the next guy because I will continue to accept the challenges – the big challenges – and when it is all said and done, you will have to respect me as one of the best who ever did it.  I am excited about December 18.  I know that there are a lot of stars in Los Angeles, but on December 18, I will be the biggest star shining.”

Glen Johnson

“I will be ready for December 18.  I have a lot of respect for Antonio Tarver.  He is basically doing the same thing that I am doing in terms of giving up our titles to face each other.  I have always said that I was willing to fight the best.  Antonio Tarver says that he is the best.  I guess we will go out and see who is the best on December 18 at STAPLES Center on HBO.”

“Antonio Tarver and I have no friendship.  I have met him three times.  We do not have a friendly relationship.  As far as him being angry at me for beating Roy Jones and him possibly losing some money, that is his problem.  He has to deal with that.  If he thinks that he can deal with it through me, then bring it on because I am here to defend myself.”

“The big boxing public recognizes Antonio Tarver for his win over Roy Jones.  They definitely recognize me too for my win over Roy Jones.  People have an opinion as to who is the best fighter between us two so that is why he and I wanted to get it settled.  It is going to happen on December 18 on HBO in California.”

Tarver-Johnson, which is presented by Star Boxing, in association with Goossen Tutor Promotions, will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 6pm ET / 9pm PT.

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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