Connect with us

Articles of 2004

Charles-Walcott and a Heavyweight Transition



Many boxing historians consider Joe Louis, aka The Brown Bomber, to be the greatest heavyweight of all time. Louis’ record was 69-3 with 55 of the wins coming by way of knockout. Joe Louis held the heavyweight title for eleven straight years. He defended the title a record twenty-five times until announcing his retirement on March 1, 1949.

When Louis announced his retirement he requested that Ezzard Charles and Jersey Joe Walcott fight for the right to succeed him. Louis considered them two of the most outstanding heavyweight fighters of the era.

In Chicago on June 22, 1949 the first of four title fights took place between the two contenders. Ezzard Charles won the vacated NBA Heavyweight Title in a unanimous decision over Jersey Joe Walcott in fifteen rounds.

The first of the fights was only recognized by the NBA (National Boxing Association). The other governing bodies, the New York State Athletic Commission and the European Federation didn’t consider the fight a sanctioned title bout.

In order to show his right to the title, Charles fought and stopped former light heavyweight Gus Lesnevich in seven rounds and Pat Valentino in eight rounds. Both fights were in defense of the NBA heavyweight title. Ezzard Charles also defended the title against Freddie Beshore in Buffalo, NY by stopping him in fourteen rounds.

Because the fight was in New York State, Charles became recognized by the NYSAC as the titleholder.

That was in August of 1950. One month later, on September 27, 1950, Joe Louis came out of retirement to fight Ezzard Charles for the heavyweight title. The fight was fought at Yankee Stadium in New York City and was sanctioned by both the NBA and NYSAC. Ezzard Charles won a 15 round unanimous decision leaving no doubt that he was the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.

Following that fight, Ezzard Charles won an eleventh round knockout over Nick Barrone on December 5, 1950.  A month later, in early January of 1951, Charles beat Lee Oma with a TKO in ten rounds.

Those two fights led to the second title defense between Ezzard Charles and Jersey Joe Walcott. The fight was held March 7, 1951 in Detroit. Walcott fought six fights before the rematch with Ezzard Charles for the heavyweight title. One of the fights Walcott fought was a third round knockout against light heavyweight Hall of Fame great Harold Johnson. In the title fight Ezzard Charles again outpointed Jersey Joe in a fifteen round decision to defend the heavyweight championship.

On July 8, 1951 the city of Pittsburgh played host to the first heavyweight title fight ever fought in the Steel City. It was four months after the second title fight. Held in Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, boxing fans saw a complete turnaround of events. Jersey Joe Walcott kayoed Ezzard Charles with a left hook in the seventh round to become the new Heavyweight Champion of the World. Joe Walcott was 37 years old when he won the title.

The following summer Philadelphia was the scene for the fourth and final title fight between Ezzard Charles and Jersey Joe Walcott. It was June 5, 1952. At the age of 38 Walcott once again out-pointed Ezzard Charles over 15 rounds to retain the heavyweight championship.

Having turned pro in 1930 and fighting a pro career that spanned over two decades, it was well noted that “Walcott literally outlived the color bar that keep many black boxers of the 1930s and ‘40s from meeting their full potential.”

Walcott’s title defense against Ezzard Charles in Philadelphia would be his last fight as a heavyweight champion. Three months later on September 23 in Philadelphia, Jersey Joe would be stopped in thirteen rounds by the next great Heavyweight Champion of the World, Rocky Marciano.

On May 15, 1953 in a fifteen round rematch for the Heavyweight Championship of the World, Rocky Marciano kayoed Jersey Joe Walcott in the first round.

This was the start of a new heavyweight era with a new style of heavyweight fighter. Rocky Marciano fought both Jersey Joe Walcott and Ezzard Charles twice each. Marciano won all four fights; three of the fights were by way of knockout.

Articles of 2004

2004 Boxing Pound for Pound List



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

Continue Reading

Articles of 2004

Heavyweight Joe Mesi Bringing Lawsuit




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.

Continue Reading

Articles of 2004

The Best in Chicago Boxing Returns




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 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.”

Continue Reading