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Articles of 2004

Winky Wright Beats Mosley Again Proving Old Adage

Frank Lotierzo



It's the oldest and most accurate and true saying in boxing, need I dare even say it again?  Yes, it must be repeated again on this occasion, “Styles Make Fights,” and some fighters just match up with other fighters, regardless of who or how great they are.

Although it was much closer and more fiercely contested this time, Winky Wright 48-3 (25) retained his WBA and WBC Junior Middleweight titles by winning a 12-round majority decision over Shane Mosley 39-4 (35) in their rematch. The fight was pretty much what most observers expected. Wright was his typical consistent self, and Mosley was busier and more purposeful then he was in their first meeting. However, in the end it was the strength and southpaw style of Winky Wright that was the difference in what was a very close fight.

In the rematch it was evident that Mosley just has to fight so much harder to be effective against Wright, than Wright does against him. Wright basically keeps his chin down and holds his hands up with his elbows tucked in tightly and steps to Mosley behind his jab, scoring and pushing him back and out of punching range. Mosley has to move and try to set Wright up with head feints, while keeping his hands in Wright's face in an attempt to nullify his offense.

The record says Wright is 2-0 against Mosley in two title fights. Usually when fighter-A is 2-0 versus fighter-B, most would routinely assume that fighter-A is the better fighter. Personally, I don't think that's the case regarding Wright and Mosley. If it was just the record that you saw and not the two bouts between these two, I can certainly see why that assumption (Wright being the better fighter) would be made. However, after watching Wright and Mosley in the ring for two fights and 24 rounds, that's not what I see.

After watching both fights, I don't come away thinking Winky Wright is definitely a better fighter than Shane Mosley. What I see is Wright's build and body structure, along with him fighting out of a southpaw stance, are what give Mosley fits. Wright simply throws long and straight conventional right jabs and straight lefts. Mosley throws more of a pawing jab to set up his pot-shot right hand and left hooks. Anyone who knows boxing is aware that straight punches get to their intended destination first. And when they land they nullify shorter compact hooks, the type that Mosley often throws.

Since Mosley is most effective when either going to Wright's body, or throwing multiple short choppy left leads to get his right hand in, he is at a disadvantage. Remember, body punching leaves a fighter more exposed and vulnerable to getting hit in return. This is because in order to punch to the body, a fighter has to be close to his opponent. The other obstacle Mosley faces is that because his jab is short and compact, along with his right hand being more arching and choppy, he has to move in towards Wright.

When the fighter with the shorter arms has to try to beat the fighter with the longer arms to the punch, he's in trouble. By Mosley having to go to Wright and try and beat him on the outside, he makes it easier for Wright to hit him flush and hard. That takes a toll on any fighter, which is most likely why Mosley, despite being in great condition, lost the ninth and tenth rounds on my card.

In most scenarios, it's the fighter with the longer reach that wants the fight to be on the outside. When the fighter who is presumed to be the better inside fighter has to actually win outside before he can even get inside, he has more than his work cut out. In most match ups, the fighter who is the swarmer and needs to be inside to be effective doesn't have to do it by winning outside, like Mosley has to against Wright. Usually the swarmer gets inside by pressuring his opponent, cutting off the ring and attacking him low. That's not Mosley's style or who he is as a fighter.

Fighter's like Frazier, Duran, and Chavez had to be inside to set up shop and do their business. They didn't have to win outside first in order to do so, like Mosley needs to against Wright. Basically, Mosley has to be Thomas Hearns outside so he can work his way inside, and then transform into Duran or Chavez inside. Think that doesn't take a lot out of a fighter mentally and physically?

In a rematch between the world's premier junior middleweights, Winky Wright defeated Shane Mosley for the second time retaining his WBA and WBC titles. Did he really prove that he was the better and more skilled fighter? Not in my mind. What he proved is that he has the body type and style to be effective fighting against Shane Mosley. There are probably more than a few outstanding junior middleweight's in the world that Mosley would handle easier than Wright would. However, as long as Wright holds the title, Mosley can't get it.

Mosley fought like a real champion against Wright and once again showed heart. There is nothing else he could've done to change the outcome. This fight was much closer than the first on. That was because Mosley fought for it so hard and wanted it so badly, but there's nothing he can do against Wright that will change it enough for him to come out on top.

The fight itself was action packed, and it was evident that both fighters respected each other. And the scorecards reading 114-114 and 115-113 twice was not only correct, but a true reflection of what took place in the ring. The only one who was off was HBO's Harold Lederman who had it 117-111 and 9-3 in rounds. It's an outrage that he scored the 12th round for Wright, a round that was beyond a doubt Mosley's.

I had the bout even after 10 rounds. I split the 11th and 12th rounds, giving Wright the 11th and Mosley the 12th for a total of 114-114.  The best scenario for Wright was either a narrow win or a draw. The best scenario I saw for Mosley was a draw.

Articles of 2004

Heavyweight Joe Mesi Bringing Lawsuit




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




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 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



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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