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Articles of 2004

William Joppy’s Losses Look Good to Jermain Taylor

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Up-and-coming middleweight Jermain Taylor (21-0-0, 16 KO) continues to tread water rather than take steps up in competition. His recent opponents have been carefully selected merely to put another win on his resume, and the December 4th bout against William Joppy is no different.

Taylor has risen to the top of the middleweight crop while looking nearly unbeatable in doing so, and as such is unbeaten. How good Taylor really is will ultimately be decided when he finally takes a step up and meets a top 160-pound fighter. As has been the theme with Taylor’s recent opponents who were in over their weight, Joppy is in over his head.

Victim number twenty-one was Raul Marquez, a veteran fighter with a good record against decent competition. Marquez had pretty much been a career junior middleweight and was physically overmatched and dominated until his corner stopped the bout against Taylor in the 9th round.

Previous to that Taylor took on another mid-level fighter who was in over weight. This time it was junior middleweight Alex Bunema who qualified to meet Taylor. Bunema is a natural 154-pound fighter and had lost each time he stepped up his level of opposition. Against Taylor Bunema looked to be the much smaller man, which he was, and was subsequently out-boxed for twelve uneventful rounds.

Moving right along the story is much the same. Rogelino Martinez, a junior middleweight who moved up for the one fight against Taylor in 2003 and was disposed of inside of seven rounds. Alfred Cuevas, a former junior middle fringe belt holder with seven career losses, lasted twelve rounds with Taylor that same year. Nicolas Cervera, a former Colombian Light Welterweight champion who later campaigned at 154 and then was dropped four times in the fourth round by Taylor hasn’t fought since. Marcos Primera . . . well, you get the point. And the point seems to be that to fight Jermain Taylor, something has to be wrong.

Along comes Joppy.

The last time we saw William Joppy in a boxing ring, well, we weren’t even sure it was him. Joppy survived twelve brutal rounds in December of last year with Middleweight King Bernard Hopkins and the fact that he lasted that long was to his own detriment. After 36-minutes of taking every punch in the book thrown by “The Executioner” to his head and body, William Joppy was a mess. His face was a lump of a swollen jaw and puffy cheekbones, leaving a face that only a mother could love, if only she were capable of recognizing him enough to the point where she could pick her son out of a police line-up. Joppy took the type of sustained beating that sends fighters into retirement, and that is exactly what Joppy did.

After the one-sided fight Hopkins said, “Joppy is done. He probably won’t fight again.”

At the age of thirty-four retirement sounded like a good idea for Joppy. After his drubbing at the hands of Hopkins and being dropped three times previously in a TKO 5 loss to Felix Trinidad, Joppy had a few circuits shorted and could hang them up knowing he had a solid professional career as evidenced by his 34-3-1 record. Now he will find out under the bright lights of Taylor’s hometown in Little Rock, Arkansas if he made the right decision to come back.

In taking on William Joppy, Jermain Taylor will be following a tested and true blueprint for success. He will be fighting in his own backyard, taking on an opponent eight years his senior who has been out of the sport and retired for a year and whose last ring memory was looking up at the stadium lights as Hopkins pummeled him with head-snapping shots in Atlantic City.

Hopkins was right on one count and wrong on the other with his post-fight comments regarding Joppy. Yes, he is done. But no, he will fight again.

On December 4th, Taylor will dominate Joppy with textbook jabs, slick combinations and speed, sending his opponent back into retirement. As we have seen in previous Jermain Taylor bouts, nothing will have been ventured and gained.

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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