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Articles of 2004

Pound-for-Pound – There is no Debate

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The beauty of writing a pound-for-pound article is that, unlike arguing with my lady, I can't be wrong. But with her I just can't be right.

If we are discussing the fastest route home, her new hairstyle, or whether a dress “makes her look fat” or not, I simply can't win when it comes to the lady. When it comes to a boxing pound-for-pound list she can argue, but I can't be wrong. Am I? 1. Floyd Mayweather – An undefeated fighter is a nice place to start with a pound-for-pound list, right honey? Okay, so we already agree on something. Mayweather has fought, and beat, the best fighters that were available to be put in front of him. This is a minimum requirement for a P4P champion. There isn't a fighter who you could say Floyd has ducked, and defeating the likes of Diego Corrales, Jesus Chavez, and many others in the way has dominated them is testament to how skilled he is. With age, power and speed on his side it seems that only troublesome hands can keep Mayweather from being a mainstay at the top of our list. Bernard Hopkins – Hopkins seems to be like fine wine, very unlike my lady-friend, in that he keeps getting better with age. Physically he is an incredible specimen and is nothing but business inside the ring, and nothing if not outspoken outside of it. Some people let their bodies deteriorate as the calendar changes – no honey, this is not about you – while others find ways to eat themselves into the next division – yes James Toney, that is about you. 'The Executioner' delivered a pure beating on Felix Trinidad, and the way he dominated Antwun Echols with just his jab for nearly an entire round (after hurting his right) in their rematch was the sweet science at its sweetest. Erik Morales – 'El Terrible' is another fighter who has really delivered a whoopin' on some fighters much like my Momma did to me. You know . . . the kind you remember for a long, long time. I still wince sometimes when I sit down and while my lady thinks the mark on my butt is a cute birth mark, well, all I can say is that I must've been born with a wooden spoon on my fanny. As far as Morales is concerned, you could argue that his decision loss to Marco Antonio Barrera could have, or even should have, been a decision win. Other than that blemish Morales is an undefeated boxer with a 75% KO percentage, and he hasn't slowed down as he has stepped up his opposition. Roy Jones Jr. – Jones is deservedly on everybody's pound-for-pound chart, but not many have him this low. Moving up in weight to beat heavyweight John Ruiz was not as impressive as one might think and coming back to squeeze out a decision over Antonio Tarver leaves some ammo for his detractors. Jones has suffered from a lack of top-notch opposition which isn't his fault, but the way he sometimes carried opponents leaves a sour taste for some people. If he hadn't recorded a rap CD we may have Jones rated a bit higher, but he did . . . and he's not. Kostya Tszyu – “The Thunder from Down Under” makes this list because of a moniker like that, and the kid has some skills too. Coming up Tszyu was thought of as a big banger and not much else but his stellar amateur background and recent display of boxing ability show the Russian-born Aussie is definitely one of the pound-for-pound best. While his 'Russtralian' accent is often near impossible to understand he leaves little doubt when he gets in the ring and let's his fists do the talking. Now if we could only get someone to cut off his Samsonesque ponytail we may have reason to move him up the list. Note: Knish has now used ballet and bible references in boxing articles, a literary first! (The Samson reference being from the 'Samson and Delilah' stories in the bible, of course, but you knew that). Manny Pacquiao – The PacMan simply walked through Marco Antonio Barrera, and it says here would do so again should the two meet again. Pacquiao carries sleep drops in both hands and that, couple with his shaky chin, means he will never be in a bad fight. Unlike Ricardo Mayorga who landed on the boxing scene with a bad attitude, poor habits, good punch and not much else – Manny has devastating power, a good trainer, and can box. Mounting problems with local tax authorities suggests we will get to see more and more of the Philippine slugger. Oscar De La Hoya – Based on market power and his overall attraction to even the slightest boxing fan Oscar has to be on the list. The three losses that stain his resume were all of the “controversial” type. Every fight he is in is a 'mega fight' and the level of opposition has been very, very good. Not much more needs to be said, he's Oscar De La Hoya damn it! Juan Manuel Marquez – Another fighter who you could say has never lost a fight. My wallet and his record each took a hit when Marquez was jobbed of a decision versus Freddy Norwood and the previous loss was a DQ in his first professional appearance. The only knock you might make against him is that he doesn't have star-studded list of opponents. Problem is that with 33 whacks in 42 wins not many bigger names wanna tangle with him and those that do run like Gainer did. Shane Mosley – Okay, so to be the man you have to beat the man and using that analogy Mosley should be ahead of Oscar. Well, he isn't. Shane has incredible speed and strength but he struggled mightily with Vernon Forrest twice and Forrest lost to Mayorga, also twice. If we played 'Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon' we would therefore have to make a case for Forrest being on the list and he lost to Mayorga. That means putting Mayorga up here too and a fighter who lost to the waiter at my favorite pizza joint (Humberto Aranda) just isn't going to happen. Wayne Braithwaite – We may have saved the best for last. Wayne Braithwaite is a monster, period. The “Big Truck” has rolled over all 20 opponents he has faced and 17 of them were sent to Queer Street, most of them all the way to the last house on the block. While most opponents have bowed out early, Vincenzo Cantatore lasted until the 10th round when he made the mistake of turning to the ref, seemingly to complain about how hard and often Braithwaite was hitting him. Braithwaite showed what he was made of and clocked the defenseless Italian until the ref stepped in and did what Cantatore wanted, stop the fight. It says here that Braithwaite would beat Toney at 190.

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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