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Articles of 2004

Hernandez returns on Klitschko – Williams Undercard

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NEW YORK – In his first bout since his memorable battle with World Boxing Council/International Boxing Federation (WBC/IBF) Champion Erik Morales, former IBF junior lightweight champion Carlos “Famoso’’ Hernandez will return to the ring to face former North American Boxing Federation (NABF) champion Juan Carlos “Ranchero’’ Ramirez on the Vitali Klitschko-Danny Williams undercard Saturday, Dec. 11, from The Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, live on HBO Pay-Per-View.

The Hernandez-Ramirez 10-round bout joins the previously announced World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior welterweight title fight between popular, undefeated champion Miguel Cotto and former World Boxing Association/World Boxing Organization (WBA/WBO) 140-pound kingpin Randall Bailey in an outstanding televised undercard.

In addition, current FECARBOX champion and former World Boxing Union (WBU) and International Boxing Association (IBA) titleholder Carlos Navarro will face former North American Boxing Association (NABA) champion Frankie Archuleta in a 12-rounder for the vacant WBC Intercontinental junior lightweight title. Roberto Duran Jr., the namesake of legendary Roberto Duran, will be featured in a six-round bout in the top non-televised undercard match.

In the pay-per-view main event, WBC Heavyweight Champion Klitschko (34-2, 33 KOs) will make the first defense of his heavyweight title against Williams (32-3, 27 KOs), who is coming off an impressive fourth-round knockout over former undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson.

Hernandez (40-4-1, 24 KOs), of West Covina, Calif., became the first boxer of El Salvadorian descent to win a world title when he recorded an eighth-round technical decision over David Santos in a bout for the IBF junior lightweight title on Feb. 1, 2003. A national hero in El Salvador, where both his parents were born, the well-conditioned Hernandez made one successful defense – a 10th-round technical decision over Steve Forbes on Oct. 4, 2003 – before losing a 12-round decision to Morales in a heated 130-pound world title unification bout on July 31, 2004. Hernandez gave an all-out performance and fought courageously, but fell by the scores 115-113 and 119-110 twice.

Ramirez (34-6, 14 KOs), of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, has gone 5-1 since losing a crowd-pleasing slugfest to then-undefeated, then-WBA/WBO 130-pound champion Acelino Freitas on March 15, 2003. In a gallant effort, the exciting Ramirez got credit for a knockdown in the second, but went down twice in the third and the bout was stopped 19 seconds into the fourth. Ramirez has defeated former world champions Jesus Salud, Hector Acero-Sanchez and Cesar Soto. In his previous world title challenges, he lost to WBC titleholders Erik Morales and Luisito Espinoza. Ramirez is coming off a sixth-round TKO over Jose Sarabia in his last outing on Oct. 22, 2004.

Ramirez (34-6, 14 KOs), of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, has gone 5-1 since losing a crowd-pleasing slugfest to then-undefeated, then-WBA/WBO 130-pound champion Acelino Freitas on March 15, 2003. In a gallant effort, Ramirez got credit for a knockdown in the second, but went down twice in the third and the bout was stopped 19 seconds into the fourth. Ramirez has defeated former world champions Jesus Salud, Hector Acero-Sanchez and Cesar Soto. In his previous world title challenges, Ramirez lost to WBC titleholders Erik Morales and Luisito Espinoza. The former NABF champion is coming off of a sixth-round TKO over Jose Sarabia in his last outing on Oct. 22, 2004.

Navarro (23-3-1, 20 KOs), of Los Angeles, was considered the best amateur pound-for-pound fighter heading into the 1996 Olympic Trials. The two-time U.S. National champion and 1994 Goodwill Games gold medallist lost to Floyd Mayweather and failed to make the U.S. team. After turning pro on July 25, 1996, the older brother of top-ranked flyweight and 2000 U.S. Olympian, Jose Navarro, won his initial 19 starts. Along the way, he captured both the California state and WBU titles. In his last start, the talented Navarro scored a seventh-round TKO over Luisito Espinoza on July 9, 2004.

Archuleta (23-4-1, 13 KOs), of Las Vegas, New Mexico, won a 10-round split decision over five-time world champion Johnny Tapia in his last start on March 5, 2004, in Las Vegas, New Mexico. A tough competitor who makes for scintillating scraps, Archuleta captured the NABA 122-pound crown with a third-round TKO over Osvaldo Guerrero on June 21, 2002. Archuleta has battled such impressive fighters as former WBC featherweight champion Kevin Kelley and unbeaten Rocky Juarez.

Cotto (21-0, 17 KOs) will make his first title defense when he takes on Bailey (28-4, 27 KOs), an offensive-minded slugger with explosive punching power.

Tickets are priced at $650, $400, $200, $100 and $50 and are on sale now at the Mandalay Bay Box Office and all TicketMaster outlets.  To order tickets by phone, call (702) 632-7580. Tickets also are available through K2 Promotions at 323-954-8055.

The Klitschko vs. Williams pay-per-view telecast, which begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and has a suggested retail price of $49.95, will be distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View and made available to more than 50 million pay-per-view homes. HBO Pay-Per-View is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. For more event information log onto www.HBOPPV.com

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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