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Articles of 2004

Joel Casamayor and Jose Luis Castillo discuss title fight

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In the main event on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Saturday, Dec. 4, former World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Featherweight Champion Joel Casamayor (31-2, 19 KOs) will attempt to win his second world title when he steps up in weight to challenge two-time World Boxing Council (WBC) Lightweight Champion Jose Luis Castillo (50-6-1, 45 KO).

In the evening’s second televised bout, International Boxing Federation (IBF) Super Middleweight Champion Jeff Lacy (17-0, 14 KOs) will make his initial title defense against IBF No. 14 contender Omar Sheika (26-6, 17 KOs). Opening the SHOWTIME tripleheader will be undefeated heavyweight contender Samuel Peter (20-0, 17 KOs) taking on heavyweight contender Jeremy Williams (41-4-1, 36 KOs) for the vacant North American Boxing Federation (NABF) heavyweight title.

Opening Comments

Castillo: I trained very hard for this fight, as I always do. It is an important fight and I trained in the mountains of Mexico. I come ready to win and I think it will be a great fight.

Casamayor: I am in tremendous shape and feel real strong at this weight. I have trained very hard for this fight and I will win. I have never been in better shape in any other fight in my career.

Begin Press Questions

Question: Jose, what is the key for you in this fight?

Castillo: I think the great thing will be pressure and throwing a lot of punches. I know what I need to do and plan on going in there and getting it done.

Question: Joel, what is the key for you in this fight and how do you feel about moving up a notch in weight?

Casamayor: Boxing is about the smartest guy in there, about the guy that thinks and the guy that knows what he has to do. I feel very strong and in terrific shape. I am a counter puncher and I love to see a guy come to me.

Question: Jose, how do you think the style of Casamayor is going to hurt you?

Castillo: I have never had problems with left-handers in any of my fights. Joel is a very able fighter that can move around and he might be a problem for a few rounds, but once I get into it, I will be OK.

Question: Jose, do tough fights bring out the best of your abilities?

Castillo: Without a doubt, fighters always have to be thinking 100 percent. You know you can take one shot at them, but you might not get the second right away. They keep you on your toes and you have to keep going after them.

Question: Joel, is the reason you moved to 135 pounds because you were having a problem making 130?

Casamayor: No, at 130 nobody wanted to fight me. I came to this country to fight the best guys. I am a tough fighter and a warrior. I will not turn down anybody and that is the reason we are here.

Question: Joel, do you think that one knockdown in your last fight might have changed the minds of a lot of people about you?

Casamayor: I am a fighter with no excuses, but in the last fight, I had a real short camp and root canal work 10 days before. Even when I got knocked down, I was just not standing right and I got caught off balance. However, from that point on, I won every round. This is a different ball game here. Great fighters rise to great occasions.

Question: Jose, would you rather fight Corrales or Casamayor style-wise?

Castillo: I feel that I am going to have to fight both of them anyway. I do not care in what order I fight them. I might as well get them both now and then look forward to the big fight, the one that I really want, which is Kostya Tszyu. I am really looking forward to that fight when it comes and I hope I do get it.

Question: Joel, do you feel with your weight increase from 130 to 135 that you will lose any of your speed?

Casamayor: Definitely not. I feel I am stronger and faster now. I will do everything I have to do to win cleanly and decisively.

Question: Jose, do you have any predictions for the fight?

Castillo: I do not have any predictions for this fight. If the knockout comes, it will come. If I am able to land some solid shots, I am going to go for it.

Question: Jose, Eric Morales is going up to 135 after the fight Saturday. Would you be interested in fighting him?

Castillo: No, I do not think I will ever fight Eric. Most of all, we are friends and we would not want to fight each other. Whenever I can move up to 140, he can fight for my title at 135.

Question: Jose, what are your impressions of Joel’s career?

Castillo: I think he is a beautiful boxer and just magnificent. He does a lot of things very intelligently in the ring. We will have to be very careful with him.

Question: Jose, have you accomplished everything you want and what are you looking forward to in the future?

Castillo: I came late into the championship. Now that the big fights are here, I definitely want to take advantage of it by going up in weight and looking for big fights such as Tszyu or Corrales.

Question: Joel, who would your big dream fight be if you could pick your next opponent?

Casamayor: I do not have any special opponent. I just want to fight the best and I will fight anyone who is thought to be the best no matter who it is.

Question: Jose, Acelino Freitas has made allegations that Casamayor is a dirty fighter. Is that just Freitas whining or is there some truth to those comments?

Castillo: From what I have seen, I have not really seen anything of him being a dirty fighter. He had a head butt with Corrales in one fight, but that is normal when you have a left-hander and a right-hander. After the fight, I will answer that question.

Question: Joel, do you think that writers and “experts” sometimes make too big of a deal about going up in weight when it is only about five pounds?

Casamayor: I know my body better than anybody and going up only five pounds will not make a difference.

Question: Jose, how do you think the weight issue will affect this fight?

Castillo: I do not think it will be a factor. I fought other fights heavier because I was not really training. I was just fighting to do something. This is a good weight for me.

Question: Do you have a prediction on how the fight will end up?

Castillo: I know this will be a tough fight. I would not be surprised if it goes 12 rounds. (But) It would not surprise me if I am able to catch him real solid, be able to hurt him and then probably knock him out.

Casamayor: It will end with a Casamayor victory whether I have to go 12 rounds to win or through a knockout punch. Whatever happens, I will be the victor.

Question: Can anyone deal with Kostya Tszyu’s punching power and can he be beaten?

Castillo: We will find out. If I ever face him, I know it will be a power fight and will probably not last very long, probably a few rounds. I am looking forward to matching power with power.

Casamayor: He definitely is a very good fighter. To beat a guy like Tszyu, you have to be smart and out-think him. He is not an easy fight for anyone. He is a great fighter.

Question: Joel, do you plan on weighing in right at 135?

Casamayor: I will come in right around 135 and I plan to stay at that weight.

Question: Joel, have you changed any training at all for the bigger fighters?

Casamayor: I have worked hard for this fight. I am in tremendous shape and you all must remember that speed kills.

Question: Joel, did you watch the Cuban Olympic team this summer in Athens and what did you think of their performance?

Casamayor: I did watch the Olympics and there were a lot of great fighters there.

Question: Joel, a couple of the Cuban Olympic team members had your same style. Do they teach that style down there?

Casamayor: A couple of those guys trained with the same trainer I had in Guantanamo, so they have the same style as me.

Question: Jose, are you worried about this fight or do you feel pretty comfortable?

Castillo: I am not worried about it. I am going to do my best to make it clear who the winner is.

Closing Comments

Castillo: I just hope everyone watches and comes to the fight next Saturday. I think you will enjoy it and see a great fight.

Casamayor: I am ready for this fight and God bless everyone.

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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