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Articles of 2004

Despite Everyone In His Pocket, Magee Comes Up Empty



Irishman Brian Magee had all the chips stacked in his favor this past Saturday as he wagered his International Boxing Organization Super Middleweight title. Magee was the defending champion, fighting a foreigner in his own backyard, younger than his opponent, and facing a guy who ‘earned’ his shot by losing last time out. When the judges decision was ultimately read there was shock as to the result. Not that Robin Reid had just out pointed local hero Magee, but that the scoring was so close. The judges had done their part, but Magee failed to do his.

The finally tally had England’s Reid taking a slim 113-112, 114-111 and 115-111 decision over Magee. How the scores were so close is testament to the type of home-cooking fighters sometimes receive. Fighting in his native Northern Ireland, Magee was dropped to the canvas not once, twice nor thrice. Four knockdowns over three rounds suggest that Reid was the stronger, better fighter, landing the more effective punches. Aside from Magee landing one punch at a time and then clinching, there wasn’t much boxing to be found from the Belfast boy. Reid was the only one registering any effective blows, yet nothing seemed to be registering on the judges’ scorecards.

It was clear that there were mathematical problems for some of the men scoring at ringside when in the eighth round Reid clearly won the round on the strength of two knockdowns. Assuming that it is rather difficult to knock your opponent down twice and somehow lose the round, that round would be scored as follows:

Reid 10-9 for winning the round, then 10-8 for winning and scoring a knockdown, and a further point for registering the second knockdown. All that results in a 10-7 round for Reid. Well, maybe not in Belfast it doesn’t. At least not when the local product is the one taking the tumble to mat . . . four times. One judge scored that eighth round 10-8 instead of 10-7. In the fifth when Reid knocked Magee down for the second time in the bout, it was carded 10-9, which suggests he lost the round aside from the KO. That simply wasn’t the case in the eyes of many at ringside.

For Brian Magee, the road ahead is hazy. Previous victories over suspect opponents such as Andre Thysse and aged Hassine Cherifi are now distant memories. The glaring fact that he has now been knocked down five times in his past two bouts is front and center. In the bout prior to taking on Reid, none other than Jerry Elliot dropped Magee. Elliot is a man who had been fighting exclusively at 160 and stepped up to 168 just for the right to fight Magee. He too seemed to ‘earn’ the shot at Magee and his IBO trinket by losing his bout prior to tackling Magee in Belfast.

On the other hand, Robin Reid is now a born-again quantity in a Super Middleweight division that is completely dominated by fighters outside of North America. Current title-holders include Cristian Sanavia, Joe Calzaghe, Manny Siaca and now Reid. Most observers felt Reid was deserving of Sven Ottke’s title when the two fought last December in front of Ottke’s German judges. The fight was not close on the cards, but very close in the ring. So close that Ottke decided his luck might finally be running out and retired a perfect 34-0-0.

The options are abundant for Reid, but I don’t see another trip to balmy Belfast in his near future. Besides a modeling career on the side and some appearances in movies for ‘adults-only,’ Reid can now rightly claim to be a stud in the ring.

Magee had a rematch clause in the contract, but you have to wonder whether that is Magee’s best option. When motivated Reid can crack with the best of them, and Magee has been found out to be rather chinny. So, a trip to jolly ole England to visit Robin Reid in a hostile environment does not bode well for the Irishman.

Seeing as though Magee couldn’t turn the trick with all the chips stacked in his favor this past weekend, a chance to roll the dice on enemy soil seems like a bad bet.

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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