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Articles of 2004

More Than Title At Stake For Shane Mosley

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Tonight at the Mandaly Bay Casino in Las Vegas Nevada, former three-division champ Shane Mosley 39-3 (35) will fight WBA and WBC Junior Middleweight champ Winky Wright 47-3 (25). This is the first fight for both men since their meeting last March. In their last fight, Wright won a 12 round unanimous decision over the 3-1 favored Mosley, becoming the first undisputed Junior Middleweight champion in 29 years.

This is a career defining fight and a must win for both fighters. For Wright, a loss to Mosley in the rematch will no doubt cause some to believe his win in their first fight was a fluke. Not to mention knock him out of the running for some potential huge pay days against either undisputed middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins or top contender Felix Trinidad.

For Mosley the stakes are much higher. A second consecutive defeat by Wright would just about end Mosley's days as a title contender, and he would have some difficult decisions in front of him. But more importantly, it could effect how Mosley's career is viewed through the eyes of history. It wasn't all that long ago that Mosley was on top of the boxing world and considered one of its best fighters.

Shane Mosley turned pro as a lightweight in 1993. While moving up the lightweight ranks Mosley demonstrated versatility and power. He could fight effectively moving forward, pressuring his opponent, or moving away and drawing them to him. Physically he was a beast and was too much for any other lightweight. In August of 1997, Mosley won a lopsided decision over undefeated IBF Lightweight champ Philp Holiday. Mosley made eight successful defenses of his Lightweight title, and not one challenger went the distance with him.

In June of 2000, Mosley won the WBC Welterweight title from Oscar De La Hoya in only his third fight as a welterweight. After out-boxing and out-fighting De La Hoya, Mosley was thought by some to be on his away to greatness. However, in his fourth title defense Mosley was upset by former amateur foe Vernon Forrest. Forrest put Mosley down twice in the second round and completely dominated him over twelve rounds, winning a unanimous decision to take his WBC Welterweight title.

Against Forrest, Mosley showed a championship caliber heart, but had no answers for his long jabs and straight right hands and uppercuts. Six months later Mosley failed to regain the title from Forrest in their rematch, losing another, although closer this time, unanimous decision. Seven months later he moved up to junior middleweight and fought Raul Marquez. The fight was stopped in the third round and declared No-contest due to a cut suffered by Marquez as a result of an accidental headbutt from Mosley.

In his next bout he won a unanimous decision over WBA and WBC Junior Middleweight champ Oscar De La Hoya. Although the decision over De La Hoya was seen as controversial, Mosley was once again considered one of boxing's elite fighters. The two defeats of De La Hoya offset the two loses to Forrest, leading most to rationalize that Forrest—due to his height and long reach—just matched up with Mosley, but Mosley was the better overall fighter.

Once again as Mosley was being showered with high praise, he ran into another tall and long armed challenger. Only this one was a southpaw and longed to finally be in a big spot against a marquee opponent. Winky Wright beat Mosley and took his title in much the same manner as Vernon Forrest took his welterweight title. Wright totally befuddled Mosley and did whatever he wanted in the bout, winning a one-sided decision to become the undisputed Junior Middleweight champ.

Just as in his two fights with Forrest, Mosley wasn't able to come up with a Plan-B against Wright, and it cost him the Junior Middleweight championship. In his last four fights he's 1-3. And despite having good boxing skills and outstanding hand speed, Mosley hasn't been able to find a way to beat a fighter that he is unable to overwhelm physically.

Against taller fighters who use their long jabs, Mosley has never shown the ability to slip and get underneath while working his way in. Instead he panics, and starts rushing his punches looking to set up a big right hand shot to either end the fight or turn it around. That might not be a bad strategy if his right hand had the range and power of former six-division champ, Thomas Hearns—but it doesn't.

Since losing to Wright eight months ago, Mosley's stock as a great fighter have taken a big hit. Now he is viewed by some as a good fighter who if forced back by a taller fighter is rendered helpless. One undeniable trait shared by mostly all great fighters is that they were able to change and adjust when ultimately confronted by an opponent who fights a style that, for whatever reason, causes them difficulty. This is something that Mosley has failed to do in three fights with two different opponents who match up favorably with him due to their height and reach.

Tonight against Winky Wright, Mosley will get another chance to see if he can adapt and adjust to a bigger fighter. In all honesty, this fight is a must win for Mosley. If he were to lose in the same fashion he did last time versus Wright, his career would be most remembered for not being able to overcome and adjust to fighters who matched up with him.

Shane has often said that he wants to be remembered as an all-time great fighter. He's won world titles at 135, 147, and 154. And he really should have four since he skipped 140 and went straight to 147 from 135. Those are great credentials. However, if he loses the rematch to Winky Wright tonight, there is a very good chance that he'll be remembered more for that than his three world titles. For Shane Mosley, there is more than just the junior middleweight title at stake tonight.

» Read Wright – Mosley II Fight Predictions from TheSweetScience.com staff

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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