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Articles of 2004

Holyfield, Golota, Ruiz and other Heavyweight Boxing Quotes

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After a night of heavyweight boxing at Madison Square Garden, the fighters reflect on their bouts.

WBA HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
JOHN RUIZ VS. ANDREW GOLOTA

JOHN RUIZ

“After that first round, he was getting away with a lot of stuff.  He could do whatever he wanted to and I had to be on my best behavior.  After they threw out Stoney, that motivated me.  Every fight is tough.  Golota came to fight.  I was focused and that is what I did to win the fight.”

“I felt like I was fighting two fighters in the ring.  He hit me too many times behind the head and I felt that they wanted to take my belt away.  I was very disappointed with the referee and I was very discouraged.  I had to motivate myself and in the back of my mind, I knew I was behind.  I knew I had to fight hard to get this win.

“I want to fight to unify all the belts and I have no preference.”

ANDREW GOLOTA

“I thought I won the fight.  He went down twice.  I controlled the fight.  I am confused here.  I am upside down.  I have no idea.  I am going to watch the tape and see what is going on.  This is very confusing to me.  Maybe the judges were watching the fight outside the ring and not inside the ring.”

NABC HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
EVANDER HOLYFIELD VS. LARRY DONALD

EVANDER HOLYFIELD

“It was a tough fight.  I did my best.  I thought I improved.  I might have bit off more than I can chew.  Larry’s style is difficult.  I might have had the wrong fight at the wrong time.  In life you have setbacks. 

“I have never given up on anything.  If I have a change in the heart, I could change my mind.  But I will have to pray on it.  I still believe that I can still rise to the occasion.  Why not continue to pursue my dream.  I did and felt a lot better than last time.  I thought I hurt him a few times.  I just did not get off enough.  I feel good.  He was a quick guy with good movement.  I saw all the shots coming”

LARRY DONALD

“I want to thank God, Don King and HBO Pay Per View for the opportunity to fight for this title.  I have a new trainer, Colin Morgan, and he changed me around.  I am getting my right hand off more. 

“Evander is still a great champion.  I did what I had to do to win.  I didn’t look at him as being too old.

“Don King has put me in position to get a chance at these champions.
Ain’t no doubt I won the fight.  I won every round.  He is a seasoned veteran and he can hurt you if you go to sleep.  He is very sneaky with his punches.  This is the first step for me to become world heavyweight champion, which is my goal. 
(on people who have doubted him in the past)  People will always doubt you.  People always doubted Muhammad Ali and other fighters.  I never doubted myself.  I want to challenge all the other belt holders because I earned a shot tonight.

WBC/IBF HEAVYWEIGHT ELIMINATION
HASIM RAHMAN VS. KALI MEEHAN

HASIM RAHMAN

“Thanks to all my fans.  I was going to be aggressive tonight.  I was ready to go 12 rounds.  I stepped it up.  I watched one tape of this guy and I knew I had to go get him.  I love to be here.  We stepped it up against him and it doesn’t matter who we fight.

“I went back to the gym and I was focused.  I am ready to fight one of these champions tonight.  I will stay right here and when they are done, we can get it on.

“I’ll fight Klitschko or either one of these champions.  Whoever brings the most money to the table will make the most sense.  We fight  from round one to round 12.  I am in the best position in heavyweight boxing now.  WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF…I’ll take my pick.  We are ready to fight for the title.  I am only going to be better my next fight.”

KALI MEEHAN

“He had a good defense and he’s a strong puncher.  I was unable to get the shots off I wanted.  I’ll be back to fight another day.”

IBF HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
CHRIS BYRD VS. JAMEEL MCCLINE

CHRIS BYRD

(The knockdown?)  “I can’t believe it happened.  He hit me right behind the ear.  It was a perfect shot.  He came at me really hard.  (The weight advantage) “It is not too much.  He pushed me and I pushed him back. 

(How did you feel in 3rd round after taking knockdown?)  “I got my eyes back in the third.  The way I fought back showed I am a true champion.  I had to dig down deep.  He weighed 270 pounds, that’s Jesus Christ.

“I definitely did enough to the win the fight.  I am the champion.”

JAMEEL MCCLINE

“This was just about business.  It was not like I imagined it would be because I expected to walk out with the title.  I trained really hard.  I thought I hit him perfect.  I was surprised when he got up.  It looked like I fell apart a little at the end and it cost me.  He has fast hands and took me out of my game plan.  That was the difference.”

OLIVER MCCALL VS. DAVARRYL WILLIAMSON

OLIVER MCCALL

“I felt a little rusty tonight.  I was aggressive and that was part of my game plan.  I didn’t get to spar like I wanted to.  I just didn’t execute, but I am not making any excuses.

“It was a tough loss for me.  I will go back to the drawing board.”

DAVARRYL WILLIAMSON

“I absolutely did enough to win.  McCall was tough as nails.  He kept beating my jab, left hook and body shots.  I thought I hurt him in the sixth or seventh round and again the 10th.  His strategy seemed to be to walk me down and I was sticking and moving all the way.  In the end, I think I scored the most telling blows.”

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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