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Articles of 2004

Boxing: Let’s Use the (10-Point Must) System Correctly

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On a spring evening in 1995 while assigned as Chief Inspector for the New York State Boxing Commission, fate intervened. There were the customary three judges assigned to work the show, and after observing that the office staff had failed to fill out the captions (boxers’ name, weight, trunk colors, etc.) on the scorecards, one official felt that it was beneath him to perform such a menial task. The judge walked out of the arena in a huff after stating his refusal to work the show.

“What now?” thought Commissioner Rose Trentman. “The show can’t proceed with only two judges.” In desperation the Commissioner came to me and asked if I felt capable of assuming the role. Having had an extensive amateur career (59 fights, 56 wins, with 2 losses and 1 NC) and over ten years experience as Chief Inspector for the NYSAC, I confidently stated “Why not!”

Together with Judges Steve Weisfeld and Bob Gilson, we proceeded to work the show without incident. Shortly after that fight card I applied and received my license as a New York State Boxing Judge. I continued in that capacity until June of 2000, when IBF President Hiawatha Knight appointed me to the position of Championship Chairman.

That appointment followed the indictment of former IBF founder Robert Lee Sr. and other Executive Officers of the International Boxing Federation for engaging in corrupt practices. In March of 2003 I was replaced – due to our opposing views on how the organization should function – by the newly elected IBF President.

Offers followed to join other sanctioning bodies. I declined their invitations and chose to return to being a judge.

Since my return I have had the opportunity to attend seminars conducted by the New York State Athletic Commission, International Professional Ring Officials (IPRO), which I now serve as its vice president, as well as The Mohegan Tribal Commission. These seminars are without a doubt the answer to achieving better decisions in boxing contests.

In addition to those organizations already mentioned, the major sanctioning bodies (WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO) each conduct training seminars at their annual conventions. These seminars help their officials by employing uniform criteria in determining the scoring of a bout. Ongoing training must be encouraged by the regulators of the sport to minimize the number of controversial decisions that have occurred in the past.

If one were to review the scorecards of most major fights, it would appear that most were close decisions.  In many instances that would be a fallacy. The scoring of a 10-9 round should be used to indicate a competitive three minutes with one boxer slightly superior in that round. While 10-9 scoring is the norm, the above comparison is more of a rarity. More likely than not a boxer clearly winning a round is awarded the 10-9 score when it should be scored 10-8

Many Officials are reluctant to edge away from the 10-9 for fear of being criticized. Some feel the losing boxer then must overcome the obstacle in the upcoming round(s). So be it! If a boxer scores a knockdown in addition to controlling the action throughout the round the proper score would be 10-7. Many Officials would go with the safety of 10-8 to avoid any criticism.

With the use of the Unified Rules, in championship bouts the 3-knockdown rule is waved. Should a fighter be down four times a correct score would be 10-5. How many would stand up and be counted by scoring it that way? Interesting question!

I have always believed that in scoring a bout you give both fighters what they have earned. Anything less is wrong. The idea of “what is the press going to think?” be damned. Very few of those individuals have ever spent time in the ring to begin with.  Some of these self-anointed experts are the first to cast aspersions when a decision differs from their own. Who cares? I have always found it odd that many of the people who make their living reporting on boxing rarely have a good word to say about the sport.

Another point receiving media attention of late has been the “Even Round.” While I feel for the most part that scoring a round 10-10 should be the exception, I have at times employed the even round. More often than not, when we hear the hue and cry about a bad decision, one would be safe in assuming that the critics of the decision were, for the majority of the bout, talking to the guy/gal in the next seat, out for a smoke, or getting another beer. The person they are complaining about spent the entire three minutes of each round in total concentration on what was taking place within feet of their elevated seat on the ring apron.

To the critics I say: “Walk a mile in my moccasins before you try to judge me.”

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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