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Articles of 2004

Sugar Shane Mosley Sweet, but Wright Call in End

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“Sugar” Shane Mosley made all of the necessary adjustments from the first fight, but still managed to come up short as consensus junior middleweight champion Ronald “Winky” Wright earned a closer-than-expected majority decision tonight at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Wright started out the fight – in fact the first four rounds – controlling Shane with his jab and walking Mosley down, much like he had done eight months prior in the same arena. Mosley was far more active this time around, but was unable to stop Wright from coming inside as the defending champion had an answer for everything Shane had to offer early on.

Seemingly on the verge of another dominant win, Wright came out extremely overconfident in the fifth round, and nearly paid the price. Mosley was able to land early, but Wright was insistent on convincing all that Shane couldn’t hurt him. At first, he was simply shaking his head as Shane would land, but then uncharacteristically dropped his hands and stood center ring, daring the former triple-division champ to hit him.

“I just wanted to let him know that he couldn’t hurt me,” was Wright’s explanation after the fact.

Shane clearly proved him wrong, first going downstairs, then coming back up top with a clean overhand right at a wide open target. Winky smiled, but the punch clearly did far more damage than he had anticipated, as he pitched forward and was forced to clinch Shane.  Wright fought on even terms the rest of the round, but with his antics in the first half having all but give away the round to Shane, and in essence, allowed him back into the fight.

After receiving a brutal tongue lashing from lifelong trainer Dan Birmingham in between rounds, Wright was able to regain control of the fight and take the sixth. However, Mosley was able to momentarily make good on new trainer Joe Goossen’s prediction of turning the tide in the second half of the fight. Mosley fought well enough to take the seventh and eighth.

Wright went back to controlling the tempo with his jab, and was able to repeatedly land jab-straight left combinations throughout the ninth and tenth round. His efforts appeared to be enough to put the fight away, but Mosley fought back well enough in the championship rounds to make the fight a lot closer than the HBO broadcast team had claimed throughout the evening.

While Shane showed major improvement from the first fight, the best he could muster up was a 114-114 draw on the scorecard of Hubert Earle. That score was overruled by Tom Kaczmarek and Duane Ford, both of whom scored it 115-113 for Wright.

The win was the ninth straight for Wright since losing to Fernando Vargas five years ago. He runs his record to 48-3 (25 KO) in making his sixth straight title defense, and first defense of his unified title. If he has his way, a defense at junior middleweight will not be in his immediate future.

“I want Tito Trinidad. He looked the best out of everyone to me… after Tito, then Bernard or de la Hoya. I just want to give the fans what they want to see.”

What they wanted to see was a rematch that was more entertaining than the original. Both fighters delivered.

“It was a very good fight,” said Wright, giving credit to his familiar foe. “ Shane came to fight, he did a lot. He had better defense this time… He’s got all the heart in the world. I take my hat off to him. He’s a great fighter.”

Mosley returned the compliment, even if he disagreed with the decision.

“At the end of the fight, I was stronger, but hey… the judges gave it to the champ. But what can I say,” said a dejected Shane, who has now lost four of his last six fights in dropping to 39-4, 1 NC (35KO). “But he’s tough… he has that great right jab and that southpaw stance. It makes it a little tough to get inside and pick up with the different shots.  He’s a hell of a fighter, and gave it his all. I thought I won, but… we just move on.”

Where Shane moves onto is unclear. What he did rule is abandoning the division.

“I don’t think so,” said Shane in response to a suggestion that he drop back down to welterweight. “I think that my right weight is 154. I have to get back in the gym and work at some things, but I think that 154 is my weight, though.”

It may be Shane’s weight, but two fights in 2004 have made it clear that the division belongs to Wright.

The rematch was promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, and was televised live by HBO’s World Championship Boxing.

UNDERCARD ACTION
On the undercard, Ian Gardner defeated Tokunbo Olajide by majority decion.

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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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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