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Articles of 2004

Pacquiao-Marquez and Other Random Thoughts



Every once in awhile a few things come to my noggin that I just have to get off my chest. Not anything earth shattering or too revealing, but just a few things that have me thinking aloud to myself.

Like for instance….

Isn't this upcoming bout between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez one of the best match-ups on paper in recent memory?…. But isn't it a shame that it'll get one-tenth( if that) from the general media because it's not a heavyweight fight?…. I also think that Miguel Cotto is facing his toughest test when he takes on Lovemore Ndou, who's a late replacement for Juan Valenzuela…. He wins this one decisively, I think he's ready for the likes of WBA jr. welterweight titlist, Vivian Harris…..

One thing you gotta love about Pacquiao, he and Freddie Roach actually let fans and the media in on their workouts. Now, I'm not saying every fighter has to let the floodgates open every single day, but geez, fighters are so paranoid today, it's sickening…. Also, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy, on one hand fighters will lament the fact that they don't get the attention from the media that they deserve, but on the other hand, they close off virtually all access to them. It can't work both ways…. Oh, by the way, if Muhammad Ali could open up his training camps for his biggest fights, you're telling me some lightweight who's starved for attention can't do the same? There was a reason why Ali became perhaps the most famous human being that ever graced this planet…..

Seriously, isn't time that Wladimir Klitschko and his people just drop this whole Oliver Stone routine and move on?…. Perhaps Lamon Brewster got lucky, maybe he had a bad night, maybe April 10th was just one of those anomalies that can occur, but the steady stream of excuses has long gotten tiresome…. Also, it's an insult to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Brewster and his camp and the hotel, Mandalay Bay, where the fight took place, to even cast doubt on the outcome the way they did…. And this is just my opinion, but don't you think that much of this propaganda has been allowed to spread is because Don King was on the other side of the equation….. King, has always made an easy target( whether he deserves it or not is another question)….

I'll say it right now, yes, there's a big pay-per-view show on June 5th featuring Oscar De La Hoya and Bernard Hopkins in a prelude to a September match-up, but the best fight that night will be on Showtime when Kassim Ouma and Verno Phillips rematch for the vacant IBF jr. middleweight title…. There first fight in 2001 was a barn burner, in which the younger Ouma just simply outworked the veteran Phillips….. One thing I'm interested in seeing is just what boxing fans will do that night? Will they cough up their hard earned bucks for essentially two tune-up fights or do they just watch Showtime that night?……

Ok, anyone else sick of hearing Jermain Taylor's representatives talking of facing Hopkins in 2005, when they will be facing Raul Marquez next?…. It looks to me that they are biding their time hoping Hopkins rides into the sunset before they make their move…..Marquez is a a bleeder, who's basically semi-retired in all reality and don't forget, he's really a natural jr. middleweight….. This coming off the heels of facing Alex Bunema, another blown-up '54-pounder, who was chosen only because of the uproar caused by the choice of faded welterweight Derrell Coley….. There's no doubt, Taylor is a legitimate prospect but are they really doing this kid any favors with the way they're moving him?….

Speaking of guys being protected and moved slower than a DMV worker, how 'bout Ricky Hatton? At what point do they actually face a real, world-class 140-pounder?…. His last fight was supposed to be a prelude to a showdown with the highly respected Sharmba Mitchell. Well, surprise, surprise, after all was said and done, he'll be taking on another pedestrian foe….. This is classic Frank Warren, milking one of his fighters for all it's worth…. You just hope that Showtime doesn't televise anymore of his fights from Europe until he starts putting his guy in with live opposition….. The subscribers of Showtime deserve that much…..

I'll say this again: Vitaly Klitschko may be the best heavyweight in the world, currently, but until he cleans out the division he is NOT the undisputed champion….. The fact that so many people are in a rush to crown him as such makes me appreciate Lennox Lewis that much more…. Say what you will about Lewis, but look at the guys he beat: Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson, David Tua, Michael Grant, Tommy Morrison, Razor Ruddock, and Ray Mercer…. No, not all these names were great or near their prime, but coming into those fights every name I mentioned was given a serious chance to unseat him….. And oh, yeah, he beat Klitschko last year, too….. I don't want to hear that Klitschko was winning, he was on the scorecards halfway through the fight, but the fight was stopped due to a horrific cut that was caused by a punch…. That's a TKO, anyway you look at it…..

Has there been a better little technician the past 20 years than Mark 'Too Sharp' Johnson?…. Maybe Ricardo Lopez, but that's a helluva debate, isn't it?…. Mark it down, the next pound-for-pound king will be Floyd Mayweather….. Just look at the names he's beaten the last three years, not a stiff among them…… The only thing that can stop Floyd is Floyd himself….. I may be the only one who thinks this, but I think Antonio Tarver gives Roy Jones all he can handle when they fight once again on May 15th…. Yeah, Roy will be in better shape, but y'know what? Tarver is still tall, rangy, southpaw and full of confidence( which may be the most important thing)…. This will not be Montell Griffin all over again…..

Well, that's about it, my mind is now clear and uncluttered, I've said everything I need to say. But I'm glad I got that off my chest.

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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