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Articles of 2004

Darwish Brothers Boxing Returns to New Jersey

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Big Time boxing returns to New Jersey on Dec 9 from the beautiful Robert Treat Hotel in Downtown Newark.  This event is the second installment of “The North Jersey Boxing Series” presented by The Darwish Brothers Knockout Promotions.  The Double main event headlining this action-filled card will feature two of today’s most exciting young prospects.  The vacant WBC Continental Americas light heavyweight title will be on the line in the 12-round main event when “Prince” Badi Ajamu (21-2-1 12 KOs) of Camden, NJ faces battle-tested Greg Wright (21-11-2 8 KOs) of Detroit, MI.  In the co-main event top prospect Kendall Holt (16-1, 11 KOs) of Patterson, NJ will battle with former world title challenger and former NABF champion Golden Johnson (22-7 16 KOs) from Houston, TX.

Prince Badi Ajamu has made some noise in the light heavyweight division.  Starting his professional career in 1997, Ajamu stringed together 14 straight victories before suffering the first blemish of his career when he drew with Anthony Bonsante.  The Prince got nationwide exposure when he faced Detroit’s Rico Hoye on Shobox, June 5, 2003.  Early in the second round, Ajamu silenced the home crowd when he floored Hoye.  After the knockdown, however, Ajamu fought a little too defensively and although Roye never landed anything significant, he was able to bank rounds to eventually capture a decision.  The only other blemish on the Prince’s record was a razor-thin majority decision loss that came at the hands of former WBO middleweight champion Otis “Magic” Grant on April 24, 2004.  In that bout Ajamu had Grant hurt and in serious trouble in round 7, but the referee stopped the contest temporarily because of an inadvertent “thumb” to Grant’s eye.  The reprieve caused Grant to escape the fight with a thin 2-point victory on two of the judges’ cards (96-94), while the other had it even (95-95).

Since the Grant fight Ajamu is coming off a two-fight winning streak including an impressive 10th round TKO victory over hard-hitting Fred Moore of Rochester, MN in his last fight, this past July 27.  Prince Ajamu is now ready and determined to place himself among the top light heavyweight contenders in the world.  A victory over Wright will place him a step closer to his goal.

Greg Wright, a former NABF light heavyweight titlist, has never been stopped in 34 fights. He is a tough durable veteran who has been in the ring with the likes of Rico Hoye, Derrick Harmon, and Charles Brewer.  Wright’s durability and toughness will surely challenge the younger Ajamu. This is an intriguing fight as it pits a young contender on the rise against an experienced veteran.

Kendall Holt is about as an exciting fighter as you would find today.  Last March, all Holt needed was 20 seconds to gain national exposure as his devastating first round knockout of Gilberto Reyes was seen live on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights, and later that night it headed Sportcenter’s Top 10 Plays list.  The knockout was so explosive that the footage reached local news channels as well as national outlets like CNN’s Headline News.

Holt’s introduction to the sweet science was based on many sad and tragic circumstances.  His mother, Debra Holt, has been in prison since he was six and his father Barry Porter, was never around during Holts’ youth.  After bouncing around in different foster homes Kendall moved in with his father at the age of seven where Barry Porter used boxing as an outlet to protect his son from the hard realities of the inner city streets.  By the time he was 16, Holt was a two-time Golden gloves champion and gaining valuable experience in several national tournaments.

Since turning pro in March of 2001, Holt started his career stopping 11 of his first 15 opponents.  But on June 18 of this year, Holt faced 32-year-old Tommy Davis in a fight that was televised live on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights.  From the start of the opening bell Holt was on the attack, rocking the 6’2 Davis with explosive right hand shots.  The assault continued for the majority of the round, but with seconds left, Davis, who appeared to be on his way out, surprised Holt with a perfect counter right that dropped Holt to the canvas.  Kendall beat the count, but the bout was stopped soon after as Davis connected with another big right hand blow.

In his last outing Holt successfully came back with a win over Robert Ortega.  The fight was held at the Robert Treat Hotel as part of the Darwish Brothers’ “The North Jersey Boxing Series” on Oct 14 of this year.  Holt is now looking to continue his winning ways when he faces the tough and experienced Golden Johnson.

Johnson will prove to be a tough test for the fast rising Holt. Johnson has held the NABF championship title at lightweight, and at welterweight.  Not only is he an experienced veteran, but he also has been in tough fights with world-class opponents such as Shane Mosely, Ben Tackie, and Vivan Harris.  Johnson also holds victories over top contenders Juan Lazcano and Teddy Reid.  His fight against Holt promises to be a hotly contested affair.

Others scheduled to participate in this top-notch event are local New Jersey fighters Eric Graham, George Perez, Devon Holder, Alex Perez and Mike Torres.

Tickets are on sale now so don’t hesitate, they are going fast.  Tickets priced at $100 VIP ringside, $50 reserved, and $35 general admission are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.Ticketmaster.com, or by calling Ticketmaster at (201) 507-8900.  Ticketmaster can also be accessed through the Darwish Brothers’ Knockout Promotions website at www.knockout1.com or you may call Knockout Promotions at (973) 237-9898 for more information.  For directions to the Robert Treat Hotel, please call (973)-622-1000.

A pre-fight press conference will be held at the hotel on Monday November the 29 at 12:00pm.

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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