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Articles of 2004

IPRO – Improving the Sport of Boxing

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In the mind of the average boxing fan many things plague the sweet science, not the least of which is the officiating which, in the opinion of many, appears either biased or incompetent or both. The mission of IPRO is to raise officiating to the level of other sports.

The International Professional Ring Officials (IPRO) is an organization of more than two hundred of the nation’s most respected Referees and Judges. It was created in 2001 by Barry Druxman, a referee/judge in Bellevue Washington, who recognized the need for greater training and dialogue among world rated officials The Executive Board consists of Druxman as President, Vice-President Joe Dwyer, (Judge, New York), Secretary/Treasurer, Glen Hamada (Judge, Washington), Dr Margaret Goodman, (Medical Director, Nevada) and Legal Advisor, Alan Krebs, (Attorney/Judge, Washington).

The organization provides boxing officials the opportunity to improve their officiating skills at the annual convention/training camp.

This year’s convention was held at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 14-15. The opening session for referees was hosted by Joe “I’m Fair but Firm” Cortez at his home in Las Vegas In a regulation sized ring within his fully equipped gymnasium built as an attachment to the house, Cortez went through the mechanics to be used in officiating a bout relating to hand and voice commands used in maintaining proper control of the action within the ring. Young boxers performing in the ring aided the instructor. In addition to Cortez, former world-class ref and current Director of the New Jersey Athletic Commission, Larry Hazzard, displayed his prowess in the squared circle. Robert Byrd and Vic Drakulich, two of Nevada’s premier referees also gave instructions on their style of officiating. It was an enlightening experience for the over eighty members who attended.

Dr. Margaret Goodman explained the telltale signs that boxers will exhibit resulting from head trauma which will be an indication that the bout must be stopped. Further explanation was given relative to the significance of the type of lacerations sustained by fighters, the location of the cut (possible damage to optic nerve, etc.), rather than amount of bleeding being the criteria for stoppage.

Day two was dedicated to the judging segment of the training session, with the panel consisting of Judges Chuck Giampa and Paul Smith of Nevada, and Joe Dwyer of New York, who hosted a lively rap session on the various means that they utilize in maintaining complete attention on the action within the ring, as well as the pitfalls to be avoided so as not to allow distractions to alter their concentration. (Such as obstructed view by photographers, noise, etc.) All in attendance were in agreement that ongoing training seminars are necessary to keep at the top of one’s game. Anything less deprives the boxers of their just due.

The current state of boxing mandates that officials be at their very best in providing fair, accurate, and honest decisions in boxing contests. More than ever before, the limited number of televised boxing shows places a greater demand on the modern day fighter. For a young upcoming fighter to suffer a loss on his/her record as a result of a poorly officiated match is devastating to that person’s career. In times past, many of the best boxers and champions had far from unblemished ring records and were able to spring back from a loss. That is not the case today.

Boxers seeking to make an appearance on the premier networks (HBO, Showtime) rarely get such an opportunity if they have less then an undefeated record. The proper training, confidence, and integrity of those of us privileged to officiate will be the answer to some young person attaining their dream. I’m sure that in doing our part they will do theirs.

In addition to IPRO many of the major Sanctioning Organizations (WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF) as well as select State Commissions conduct training seminars. The important thing is that ring officials attend one or more of these sessions to improve their skills. The IPRO Training Team is available to all organizations for the purpose of conducting seminars.

Membership in IPRO is open to all professional licensed referees, judges, inspectors and Commissioners. For further info go to IproOfficials.com or call (425) 867-5474.

We officials owe it to the game.

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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