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Articles of 2004

Courtney Burton returns on Showtime Boxing



Multi-talented boxer and musician, Ebo Elder, will put down his drum sticks and pick up the gloves when he defends his North American Boxing Organization (NABO) lightweight crown against former NABO champion Courtney Burton, Friday, Dec. 17, on the SHOWTIME boxing series, “ShoBox: The New Generation.”  In the 10-round co-feature, unbeaten World Boxing Organization (WBO) No. 15 junior welterweight contender “Mighty” Mike Arnaoutis will make his third SHOWTIME and “ShoBox” appearances as he takes on Juaquin “Killer” Gallardo.

SHOWTIME will televise the Gary Shaw Productions doubleheader from the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif., at 11 p.m. ET/PT (tape delayed on west coast). The telecast represents the 54th in the popular “ShoBox” series, which debuted on SHOWTIME in July 2001.  This marks the fifth time this year “ShoBox” has been to Chumash.

Elder (21-1, 13 KOs), of Newnan, Ga., captured the vacant NABO lightweight title on Oct. 9, 2004, by scoring a sixth-round technical knockout over Ricardo Fuentes in Gainesville, Ga.  The referee halted the contest following the fifth round due to facial injuries.  In addition to suffering several cuts on both eyelids, Fuentes’ right eye turned purple and was nearly swollen shut at the time of the stoppage.

After opening his career with 16 consecutive victories, 10 knockouts and two pro titles, Elder traded in his pugilistic skills to become the drummer of a rock band and construction worker.  The career change was spurred on by a devastating opening-round TKO loss to Ubaldo Hernandez in a bout for the North American Boxing Association (NABA) 140-pound belt on Nov. 10, 2001.

Due to burnout caused by fighting 17 times in 17 months, and having undergone intense internal conflict with his father/manager/trainer, Greg, Elder would not enter the ring for more than two years.

Following a 26-month layoff, Elder returned with a renewed commitment to boxing and an improved relationship with his father.

“Everything is completely different and I have the confidence to know that it is going to stay that way,” Elder told in July 2004.  “This is how things should have been all of those other years before.  The only thing that can stop us now is if God says, ‘that’s enough.’”

Since his return in January 2004, Elder has gone 5-0 with three knockouts and appeared twice before a national television audience on ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights.”  The Georgia native currently is the World Boxing Council (WBC) No. 6/WBO No. 13/International Boxing Federation (IBF) and World Boxing Association (WBA) No. 14 lightweight contender.

Prior to the layoff, Elder captured the vacant International Boxing Association (IBA) Continental 140-pound crown by registering a 12-round unanimous decision over Jaime Morales on July 28, 2001, in Savannah, Ga.  Two months later on “ShoBox,” Elder added the vacant WBO Intercontinental super lightweight title to his resume with a sixth-round technical win over Dagoberto Najera on Sept. 29, 2001.

Burton (21-2, 11 KOs), of Benton Harbor, Mich., secured the NABO lightweight championship with a 12-round split decision over Francisco Lorenzo on Dec. 5, 2003, from St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.  Two judges had Burton winning 115-114 and 116-113, while the third judge gave the nod to Lorenzo, 115-113.

After turning pro at age 18 in July 1996, the three-time Silver Gloves United States champion and a two-time Junior Olympic U.S. National champion defeated his initial 16 opponents.  In his 17th outing and pro title debut, Burton lost for the first time when Eleazar Contreras scored a fifth-round knockout and won the WBC Continental Americas lightweight title on Nov. 7, 2002, in New Orleans.

An unfazed Burton rebounded in 2003 to defeat former world champions Gabriel Ruelas and Angel Manfredy, as well as Lorenzo en route to compiling a 4-0 record with three KOs.  Following a hard-fought 11th-round TKO loss to Julio Diaz in an IBF 135-pound elimination bout on March 19, 2004, Burton tallied a 10-round split decision over Emanuel Augustus on July 6, 2004.  The Michigan native currently is the World Boxing Association (WBA) No. 5 and IBF No. 6 lightweight contender.

Arnaoutis (11-0-1, 5 KOs), of Athens, Greece, floored Jesse Feliciano three times in the initial three minutes to nab the vacant NABO junior welterweight title with an opening-round knockout Oct. 22, 2004, on “ShoBox” from Chumash Casino Resort.

The unbeaten champion sent Feliciano to the canvas for the first time midway through the first round by landing a punishing uppercut to the chin.  Less than one minute later, Feliciano hit the turf once again after absorbing brutal body shots to the midsection.  After Feliciano stumbled while regaining his feet, Arnaoutis ended matters when a crushing left to the head sent the beaten fighter down for a third time.  Referee Dr. James Jen Kin stopped the carnage at 2:49 of the opening stanza.

In his “ShoBox” and SHOWTIME debuts, Arnaoutis fought to an electrifying 12-round majority draw against Juan Urango for the vacant NABO junior welterweight crown on Aug. 5, 2004, from Hollywood, Fla.   Arnaoutis, 25, went 103-7 with 68 knockouts in the amateurs and won numerous Greek titles. He turned pro at age 21 on April 30, 2001, with a four-round decision over Sergiy Dolmatov.

Gallardo (16-2-1, 5 KOs), of San Diego, Calif., native compiled a 173-11 amateur record and captured numerous titles, including the National Silver Gloves title from 1989-93.  A National P.A.L. champion, Gallardo also won the National Junior Olympic silver medal in ’92, the National Junior Olympic gold in ’93 and the U.S. Olympic Festival gold in ‘94.  Gallardo began his professional boxing career at age 20 on Sept. 19, 1997, with a four-round victory over Alphonso Meza in Tacoma, Wash.

“Killer” has won his last two bouts entering his “ShoBox” debut: a brilliant eighth-round knockout over Sergio de la Torre in San Francisco Dec. 13, 2003 and a 10-round decision over Arturo Morua in Temecula, Calif. April 17, 2004.

Nick Charles will call the action from ringside, with Steve Farhood serving as expert analyst.  The executive producer of the telecast is Gordon Hall, with Richard Gaughan producing.

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

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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.

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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.”

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