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Articles of 2004

Taylor vs. Joppy Fight Predictions

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Jermain Taylor finally takes a step up against William Joppy. TheSweetScience.com writers weigh in with their predictions.

Olympian Jermain Taylor, heir apparent to Bernard Hopkins, faces a severe test in former titleholder William Joppy. Outside of Hopkins and Trinidad, a good argument came be made on Joppy's behalf, that he has been the third best middleweight in the world over the last five or six years. A few years back Trinidad exposed Joppy's chin as Tito won in five rounds. Recently Joppy was outclassed and out-brawled by Hopkins. Nevertheless Joppy remains a formidable contender and a true test for the unbeaten Taylor at this stage of his budding career. Give Taylor and his management credit for being willing to let their prospect take on a live body. Granted Joppy is getting a little long in the tooth, but he keeps himself in pretty good shape and he has a wealth of boxing knowledge behind him. How will it go? Well, with everything lining up toward a Hopkins Trinidad rematch, Taylor can put together a couple of solid wins and make himself the guy to fight for the Bernard Felix winner. A win over Joppy and another top flight middleweight could give Taylor some valuable experience while he waits for the smoke from Tito's second try to clear. Although I respect Joppy, I have to go with Taylor. I just hope Jermain and his camp did not underestimate Joppy. That could be a very costly mistake!
Jim Amato


Unbeaten Jermaine Taylor should whip, and possibly stop William Joppy around the eighth round. Joppy is a pretty good boxer/puncher, but despite holding the WBA middleweight title he was never the best 160-pounder in the world. Joppy defended his belt against a slew of lesser lights, but when he stepped into the ring against Felix Trinidad he got absolutely destroyed. The same thing could happen against Taylor — though Taylor is much more crude that the gifted Puerto Rican. Joppy might outbox Jermain for awhile, and could get lucky and find his high chin, but Joppy is three inches shorter and eight years older than the 26-yearold favorite. Taylor has won all twenty-one of his fights, but he's finally stepping up after halting Raul Marquez and Alex Bunema in his last two contests.
Jim Brady


Hopkins couldn't stop Joppy, so this corner says Taylor won't either. But he won't have any trouble and will win a unanimous decision. Taylor W 12 Joppy.
Robert Cassidy


Despite all of the talk about Taylor finally fighting a true middleweight, I think that this will be his most impressive fight to date. Joppy insists that for the first time in a long time, his mind is free and clear and he's been able to conduct a smooth training camp as a result. I'm sure there's some truth to that, but not so sure it makes a difference. I'm a big sucker for underdogs and upsets, but don't see one here. Nor will I necessarily be rooting for one. Taylor KO7.
Jake Donovan


We know Joppy is tough. The fight with Hopkins proved that. Joppy will challenge Taylor and help him raise his game to another level. Taylor over Joppy by a late stoppage.
Robert Ecksel


At 34, Joppy has lost two of his last four (granted, the losses were to Hopkins and Trinidad) and was lucky to get the win over Howard Eastman. Taylor, at 26, just stopped Raul Marquez. One fighter is on the rise, the other is on his way out. Taylor by knockout in the later rounds.
Rick Folstad


There is nothing in Taylor’s performances thus far to suggest that he cannot be considered a possible heir to the middleweight throne nor anything in the merciless beating Bernard Hopkins dished out to Joppy to suggest anything other than a Taylor victory here. Taylor by Decision.
Chris Gielty


William Joppy will have his early moments against Jermain Taylor, but the Olympian will prove to fast, too strong, too young and too much of a complete fighter for Joppy to handle.  It'll be target practice for Taylor as he moves his record to 22 0 with a late round TKO's of Joppy.
Randy Gordon


Joppy is 34 and hasn't fought since Bernard Hopkins obliterated him a year ago. Fighters just don't come back from a beating like that and defeat a talented rising star such as Taylor. Youth will be served.  Taylor TKO-10
Tim Graham


Jermain Taylor is on his way to the top of the middleweight division and as I pointed out in my article William Joppy is just a stepping stone along the way. I think Taylor will stop Joppy somewhere in the middle rounds of the fight.
Sam Gregory


I don't see Jermain Taylor having too much of a problem with William Joppy
and figure that the up and coming Taylor will pound out a unanimous decision
victory   if it lasts till the end.
Mike Indri


If Taylor doesn't beat Joppy by knockout, then he and his team will have some serious PR spinning to quell the fires of doubt. All that should matter now is Taylor's final preparations before challenging Hopkins. This corner says Taylor in a route! Taylor KO6 Joppy.
Patrick Kehoe


It looks like a big step up for Taylor, but it's unclear what Joppy will have left after what Hopkins did to him. Taylor by decision.
George Kimball


Belief here is that Joppy is partially damaged goods from the beatings Hopkins and Trinidad put on his, although he may test Taylor early with his respectable power and true middleweight size   something Taylor hasn't faced yet. In the end, Taylor is simply the better boxer here and can crack alright on his own. If he boxes throughout the fight he will pick Joppy apart until it is stopped. If he goes to war it could be over early.
Joey Knish


This fight is one of boxing's most familiar scripts, an older retired former champ coming out of retirement to fight a former Olympian who is being groomed by the establishment to be the heir apparent to the current champion. And Taylor does have some ability, and knows the importance of using the jab. Joppy will not lay down for Taylor and is definitely hoping to rain on Taylor's impending parade, but I just don't think he has enough left at this stage of his career. This is perfect for Taylor, because he can't lose. If he stops Joppy, his management will scream “Hopkins Couldn't,” and if he is taken the distance we'll hear “Hopkins couldn't stop him either.” I can't believe the decision makers for Taylor make this fight without being almost certain that he can beat the eroded Joppy. I'm betting that Taylor's team is right.
Frank Lotierzo


Taylor, by extremely easy decision. More important, here we are, more than four years later, and the 2000 Olympic class is barely a rumor at the top of the professional ranks. I think Taylor whips Bernard Hopkins right now. So somebody wake me up when that fight finally gets made, because Taylor's leisurely pace toward a championship fight has grown tedious.
David Mayo


The rap against Jermaine Taylor is that he has dined on blown up opponents, light middleweights brought up from their natural habitat. Actually, three of the men that the undefeated Taylor has  fought in his last five fights have been a natural middleweight or a super middleweight. That would be meaningful if they had been more skilled, as is William Joppy, the former WBA middleweight champion who may be the true heir to Bernard Hopkins at 160 pounds. Joppy by decision.
Pat Putnam


Jermain Taylor vs. William Joppy:   In a prime example of two fighters on differing trajectories the upwards bound Taylor's youth, energy and rapid hand speed will overpower a sliding Joppy over the distance.  Even though he showed a yard of guts and staying power against Hopkins recently, Joppy will need more than just the ability to absorb punches to beat a Taylor who is entering his fistic prime.
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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