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Articles of 2004

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Much was made about the recent incident this past weekend in Puerto Rico between Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones. Jones, was in town to support his little buddy,
Derrik Gainer, who was defending his WBA featherweight title against local favorite Daniel Seda. Hopkins, was in town to coax the recently retired Felix Trinidad out of retirement and hound Jones.

It was reported that Bernard Hopkins barged into Gainers lockeroom and shoved Jones and that both men were then quickly separated. If you think nobodies that crazy, well, consider that Hopkins last year caused quite a stir by throwing down a Puerto Rican flag in front of about 10,000 enraged countrymen of Felix Trinidad during a promotional stop in his country. The fact that Hopkins still has the guts to go back there( in fact, this is his second trip) should tell you if this actually happened or not.

Then after the premature ending of Gainer-Seda, both Hopkins and Jones faced off for photographers and did some jawing. Reports started surfacing that this would be the prelude to a rematch in December, gullible web-sites excitedly wrote about how a second Jones-Hopkins bout was being made.

I say it ain't happening. What you saw this past weekend is as close as you'll see to those to ever getting in on again. I had predicted in the past that those two would never step in the same ring with each other- I'm wrong on that one, but I'll stand by this: I don't think they'll ever have a rematch.

Now, I could be wrong( and hopefully for boxing's sake I am) and I've been incorrect many times, but I just can't see it happening. Because at the end of the day, this little incident didn't suddenly inject a whole new revenue stream into this promotion and both men will still be stubborn to a fault in their demands.
Hopkins, will continue to seek a $10 million payday  while Roy will keep singing his familiar tune of ,'60-40' It was a great publicity stunt, but too bad it's for a fight that most likely not going to happen.

Hopkins, will continue to believe in what he thinks is just- even if that means cutting off his own nose to spite his face. And Jones, will continue to take HBO to the cleaners by facing the Glen Kelly's and Clinton Woods of the world. By the way, what was Jones doing in Puerto Rico just two weeks before his own bout? Oh yeah, it's not like he has to actually train for this Woods character, what was I thinking? What's ironic is that this squabble with Hopkins was probably the most serious event that's happened to him inside a boxing ring in over three years.

And to be fair, it's the first time Hopkins has been in the ring since his February stoppage of Carl Daniels in February. A lot of time has passed since then but it just seems like eons ago that Hopkins was
capturing the imagination of the boxing world by de-throning Felix Trinidad off his pound-for-pound perch. He was the peoples champion and the feel-good story of the year. That, like the momentum of his career has come to a screeching halt and as of right now, he has no fights on his horizon and no network to call his home.

What both Hopkins and Jones seem to be like is the two baddest bullies on the schoolyard who find ways to dominate their turf, while making sure they themselves never have to cross paths. Both are gifted fighters, headed for the Hall-of-Fame, with ego's and pride the size of Butterbean and maybe, just maybe they don't feel the risk of fighting each other outweighs the reward.

Maybe both of them are content to rule their respective turf( Hopkins at middleweight, Jones at light heavyweight ) and looking like they didn't back down.

NOT OUT OF THE WOODS
While Jones' mandatory challenger Clinton Woods has a sparking record ( 32-1) it must be noted that out of
those 32 wins, 17 have come against fighter with records of .500 or below. In fact, his last fight was against a Clint Johnson that sported a record of 9-11-1. Hey, I understand that you don't want to jeopardize your number one ranking but that's ridiculous. In fact, just two fights ago, he took on a Paul Bonson who's ledger was 11-38-6. Which would have
been his 31st professional bout.

His two most recognizable wins are an ancient Yawe Davis and Ole Klemetsen and his lone loss was to the pedestrian David Starie- best known in our country for stinking out the joint against Joe Calzaghe on a Mike Tyson undercard.

Jose Sulaiman and the WBC have a lot of explaining to do. Not that they will, because they never do, but Woods is another highly questionable, highly dubious mis-mandatory that Jones has been shoving down our throats for awhile.

I'll give Jones this, he isn't much for drama, but he's a helluva manager. Anyone that can get themselves paid $4-5 million for fighting these types of guys, time and time again, has to be applauded.

This mis-mandatory will be taking place at the Rose Garden( the home of the Portland Trailblazers) and was made possible by Nike. I guess with the Blazer season still a few months away that the natives are starving for some entertainment, but since when are massacres entertaining ? I thought televised executions were illegal?

HBO and Nike, should both said, ” Just Don't Do It.”

CREDIT DUE
But I will give Jones this, even when he wasn't fighting, he still overshadowed Gainer.

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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