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Articles of 2004

Castillo vs. Casamayor Fight Predictions

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Jose Luis Castillo vs. Joel Casamayor is a potential fight of the year candidate. TheSweetScience.com writers make their predictions.

Mexico's Jose Luis Castillo takes on Joel Casamayor in one of the most interesting match-ups of the year, but it's very hard to pick a winner. Casamayor defected to the States in 1996, after a long apprenticeship as a top Cuban amateur, and all his fights could  be catching up to him.

He lost to Diego Corrales last time out, after giving him a frightful beating previously. Casamayor looked comfortable at lightweight when he tamed Nate Campbell, but Castillo gave Floyd Mayweather two hard battles, one of which he might've won. Castillo is two inches taller at 5-8 than Casamayor, and the naturally bigger man, but the transplanted Cuban is a fast southpaw and that works to his advantage. Yet, Casamayor is obviously slowing down. Castillo proved he could fight leftys when he won and drew with Stevie Johnston, for the WBC lightweight title, but that was 4 1/2 years ago. In truth, both Castillo and Casamayor seem over the hill, but if Castillo isn't too weight-drained, he should win. He proved against Mayweather that he keeps fighting, while Casamayor grows very defensive when you hit back. I pick Castillo because of his aggression, but I wouldn't bet the rent money on it.
Jim Brady


The Cuban will be too slick for Castillo. Casamayor W12 Castillo.
Robert Cassidy


Major props to both, for being willing to fight the best. That being said, I think that Joel is biting off a bit more than he can chew in this one. Many believe that he's crafty (dirty?) enough to frustrate JLC and perhaps pull off an upset. I don't believe such to be the case, though. In fact, while I can see this one developing into a foulfest rather quickly, I believe it will come from both sides, as JLC seems able to dish out as well as he can take, legal or otherwise. Once order is restored, I believe that Castillo is too big for Casa, too good of a fighter, and considerably closer to his prime. Castillo by unanimous decision.
Jake Donovan


This looks like a great fight on paper. The difference in size, weight and experience should be the deciding factor. Castillo by a close decision.
Robert Ecksel


Castillo by close decision. Casamayor moving up in weight will have little to do with it. The taller man with the bigger punch wins.
Rick Folstad


Hats off to Joel Casamayor for taking another tough fight—he deserves more credit than he gets for taking on all comers. However, Castillo will prove too strong for him in the end. Shades of the first Casamayor-Corrales bout as Casamayor boxes well early perhaps, but Castillo will wear him down. Castillo by Decision
Chris Gielty


Jose Luis Castillo vs. Joel Casamayor should be an all out war.  I think Casamayor will pull it out down the stretch and take a unanimous decision.
Randy Gordon


Both fighters could hit the canvas in this bout, and while Casamayor is tremendously resilient, Castillo has shown he knows how to finish. Castillo KO-10.
Tim Graham


In the Castillo Casamayor fight I'll go with the odds and take the more experienced Jose Luis Castillo. He fought long and hard to get that title and I don't see him giving it up anytime soon.
Sam Gregory


In a very tough, hard fought battle I see Jose Castillo getting the split decision nod over Casamayor. This should be a war   and the best fight of all the big December bouts!
Mike Indri


Casamayor might chronologically be the older fighter, but he may have more left in the tank than Castillo. Casamayor by decision.
George Kimball


Lot's of credit to Casamayor for taking on yet another tough fight, perhaps too tough. Castillo is the bigger stronger fighter and can crack with both hands. Look for Casamayor to box well early before Castillo's power shots slow him down as the fight wears on. Whether it is a late stoppage or the judges awarding more points for Castillo's “effective aggression” it will be Castillo over the game Casamayor.
Joey Knish


Castillo is a swarmer who usually forces the fight. Casamayor is a somewhat slick boxing southpaw, but lacks the power to deter Castillo. Swarmers are the least bothered by southpaws, especially one that doesn't have a big finishing punch in his arsenal. The fact that Casamayor's punches will be coming at him from a different angle won't bother Castillo. Since Castillo will be pressing the fight to get inside, Casamayor's infighting will be a bigger factor. Mayweather couldn't get rid of Castillo in two fights, so Casamayor can forget about it. Castillo wins by decision.
Frank Lotierzo


The only lightweight in recent years that has been better than Castillo is Mayweather. Barely. Casamayor will see pressure similar to what Corrales put on him late in their fight. The difference is that Castillo's pressure will be more furious, and start earlier. Castillo KO 10.
David Mayo


The name of Jose Luis Castillo does not roll easily from the tongue. He commands the WBC lightweights, others command the attention of the boxing writers. His role is that of a sun outshone by surrounding moons. Some think he may be as good as any in his sport. He will get a chance to capture the attention he thinks he deserves against the always tough Joel Casamayor, the Cuban reincarnation of Fritzie  Zivic. Castillo by decision.
Pat Putnam


Jose Luis Castillo vs. Joel Casamayor: In a bout that features two of the best action fighters in the lighter weight divisions, look for a mild upset as Castillo uses his prodigious output of aggressiveness and will to outlast Casamayor. In what should turn out to be a serious candidate for Fight of the Year honors, I expect Castillo – who has lost only twice in the last six years, and both times to the same man (Mayweather, Jr.) – to solve the southpaw style of Casamayor by left hooking his way to a close twelve round nod.
Scott Yaniga

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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