Connect with us

Articles of 2004

I Like Mosley- Again



This Saturday night in Las Vegas Oscar De La Hoya gets his shot at redemption against Shane Mosley, who defeated 'the Golden Boy' in June of 2000. In that time Oscar, who took a bit of a hiatus from boxing after suffering two losses in three fights in that period, has rehabilitated his status as one of the games best fighters. Mosley, after failing to capitalize on his victory is currently on a three fight non-winning streak.

Mosley is thought to be 'gun shy' and unsure of himself after his successive losses to Vernon Forrest. De La Hoya, armed with a new trainer in Floyd Mayweather Sr. has adjusted to a 'new' style of boxing and last year vanquished his arch nemesis Fernando Vargas in dramatic style.

De La Hoya is thought to be ascending, Mosley, on a steep decline. And you know what? I'm still picking Mosley to win in another closely contested fight.

Why, you ask? Well, just like Ken Norton always gave Muhammad Ali fits, Iran Barkley had Thomas Hearns number, Ricardo Mayorga haunts Vernon Forrest, Bill Russell always seemed to find a way against Wilt Chamberlain, how the Minnesota Vikings would always ruin the post-season of the Los Angeles Rams and how Bob Stoops regularly out-coaches Mack Brown, 'Sugar' Shane is simply too sweet for Oscar.

The bottom line is very simple, Mosley's hand-speed, quickness and athletic ability will always trouble De La Hoya, who's not exactly a turtle himself in the speed department. And yes, I realize that Mosley is considered the smaller fighter once again in the rematch- just like he was in the first encounter when he was moving up from lightweight to take on De La Hoya at welterweight. This time De La Hoya comes in as the unified jr. middleweight titlist( with both the WBC and WBA titles) but lets be real, he could probably make 147 if he really wanted to. Hey, let's face it, Mosley will always be shorter than Oscar and will always be at some kind of size advantage. This is nothing new.

No Mosley did not look spectacular in any of his two losses to Forrest or particularly impressive in his last bout against Raul Marquez in February- but who's idea was it to take on a southpaw in what was supposed to be a showcase fight, anyway?- but has De La Hoya really done THAT much since his loss three years ago.

Think about it, he beat a blown-up Arturo Gatti, an ordinary Javier Castillejo and then a Fernando Vargas last September that many considered to be damaged goods, thanks to the powerful hands of Felix Trinidad. And in his last bout he engaged in a highly lucrative sparring session against the faded Yory Boy Campas.

Now, do any of these plodders have the speed and explosion of Mosley? Fugheddaboutit. That's like comparing a cable modem or DSL to a dial-up connection. And let's not forget that Vargas was virtually even up with De La Hoya before he landed that big left hook at the end of the 10th round that basically ended things. I don't care what mental state Mosley is in, Mosley- even at 154 pounds- is a much better athlete than Vargas and doesn't come in with an anger that is detrimental to himself against Oscar.

And what about the teachings of Mayweather and how they might effect this fight? I don't think there's any doubt that Mayweather has made a positive difference for De La Hoya in the corner but the bottom line is that in the heat of battle, boxers, like anybody else will revert to what they do best. But if Oscar is insistent on sticking with what has been taught to him the last few years, it could be even more detrimental. The bottom line is this, this style still isn't natural to him and if he has to think about doing certain things, against a fighter with the quickness of Mosley, he'll lose every exchange with him.

It says here that if Mosley reverts back to his form- which is being a busy fighter, who works the body and tries to throw sharp combinations- he wins this fight. Somewhere along the way, when he was blowing out over-matched foes like Antonio Diaz, Shannon Taylor and Adrian Stone, he began to rely more and more on his right hand. The truth of the matter is that he got away from what he was best at, he was more Meldrick Taylor than Thomas Hearns. Against De La Hoya he is at a strength deficit, but he has the advantage in speed. Just rewatch the 12th and final round of their first fight, Mosley would hit De La Hoya with a tidal wave of punches from all angles that had Oscar looking like a man drowning in the torrent.

Those who point to a De La Hoya victory believe that he is in the better state of mind while Mosley comes in with doubt. But just remember this, it was Mosley who basically swept the last six rounds of their fight and when it comes to their individual match-up, it's Oscar who comes in with doubt.

It was just a few years ago that Mosley was being mentioned in the same breath as other past 'Sugar's' like Robinson and Leonard. Now, after his recent slump, it seems like he's being lumped in with the likes of Ray Seales. Obviously, both were an over-reaction and exaggeration in both cases. As usual, the truth is probably somewhere in between but I think it's closer to the latter than the former. Mosley is the real thing, always has been, always will be.

I think he proves it again on Saturday night.

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

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.”

Continue Reading