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Articles of 2004

How Danny Williams Should Try to Fight Mike Tyson



With his upcoming bout with former Champ Mike Tyson, British Heavyweight Danny Williams has been under the microscope. He is getting more attention than he ever has in his life. No doubt he is being pulled in more directions than he ever has before by people he doesn't even know, who he'll most likely never see again. That is unless somehow he pulls off the unimaginable, and actually beats Tyson on July 30th. It has crossed my mind lately as to if he has any type of fight plan that is being implemented into his training?

This is a must when heading into a fight with Tyson. No way can a fighter who is not a great talent like Williams just show up with gloves on and throw punches and hope to win. There is a way to fight Tyson, and there are things that a fighter shouldn't do against him, especially early in the fight!

Williams must keep it in the forefront of his mind that Tyson harbors fear and has self-doubt before all of his fights, just like any other fighter does. The difference is, Tyson starts off extremely fast, but is vulnerable to having his confidence shaken more so than other past greats. Tyson feeds off his opponents fear, and second guesses himself when the opponent meets him with stern resistance. Mike Tyson is the ultimate front runner. The key is to try and not let him gain confidence as the bout progresses.

When fighting Tyson the mental aspect plays a huge part. Williams has two choices. He can show Tyson respect and try not to make him mad, which will kill any chance he has at possibly scoring the upset. Or, he can fight fire with fire, in the hopes that he'll plant a seed of doubt in Mike's mind, thus increasing his chance of winning. I say, stare Tyson down at center ring. Glare back in the nastiest face possible showing him that if nothing else, he has to fight in order to get the win this time. In others words — Mike, you don't win tonight by just showing up wearing gloves and a Sonny Liston-George Foreman type scowl.

No doubt at the first bell Tyson will storm out of his corner throwing bombs looking to win the fight in the first round, either mentally or physically. Williams should also come out fast, but looking to tie Tyson up and push him back. Williams must impose his physical size and strength on Tyson. Although he is a tremendous puncher, I don't believe Tyson has freakish physical strength. Remember, Buster Mathis Jr. backed him up in the first couple of rounds in their fight, and Buster doesn't punch as hard as Lalia Ali, and I doubt that he's much stronger. The fact is Tyson can't fight a lick when forced or pushed back. The problem is not many have tried this, nor do they know how to do it. If Williams keeps his hands up and his chin over Tyson's shoulder, he can't get hit with anything meaningful while walking him back.

Williams also must try and extend the fight, make it to the third round. The longer the fight goes, the less effective Tyson becomes. Granted, for the first couple rounds Tyson is as dangerous as any Heavyweight ever. However, he does wind down. Swarmers like Rocky Marciano and Joe Frazier were slow starters and a little bit vulnerable early. The difference with them, as opposed to Tyson, was the longer the fight went the more dangerous they became and the more they worked their opponents over. Rocky and Joe got stronger as the fight progressed. On the other hand, Tyson doesn't have nearly the stamina that Rocky and Joe had. The longer opponents were in against Marciano and Frazier, the more of a beating they took, compared with Tyson whose opponents chances of being successful increase the deeper the fight goes.

When fighting Tyson, his opponent must try to land something solid, at least get the crowd standing. Tyson senses this and sometimes he'll panic thinking his opponent is winning the crowd over. The trick is, Williams must do so throwing straight, conventional punches. Williams must throw nothing but jabs and straight right hands against Tyson, especially early. He shouldn't even think about throwing hooks until later in the fight. This will do two things: it will keep Tyson from walking him down with impunity and will knock him off balance keeping him out of range where he is most effective. Tyson has to be inside to make his short reach work for him, as is the case with all swarmers. The other thing this does is it makes Williams less vulnerable to Tyson's looping punches. The fact is, straight punches get there first, and you don't have to be in Tyson's power range to land them. This will also enable Williams to bring his hands back high while keeping his chin tucked. This will give Williams the best chance at scoring without putting himself in position of being caught with one of Tyson's looping hooks.

A little lateral movement to the left will suit Williams also. This will force Tyson to use some energy in trying to corner Williams, and it may force him to take some chances, leaving himself open and in position to be countered or to walk into something big. Remember, Williams doesn't have to get it all in one shot, he just has to be consistent in chipping away and landing something telling during the course of the round as the fight progresses.

This is the biggest spot of Danny Williams’ career. As Cus D'Amato used to pound into Tyson's head, make the fear your friend. You have nothing to lose, just don't be foolish. Don't show Tyson any respect in the week leading up to the fight. Be ready for his early attack at the bell, and meet it smartly. Use your size and strength and let him feel that not only can you manhandle him, but you're going to do so throughout the fight. Keep your chin down and your hands up. Throw nothing but straight jabs and right hands for the first third of the fight. If the opportunity presents itself, hit Tyson on the break or at the bell like Evander Holyfield did. Send a message early that you're not like some of the others who folded under the pressure. Williams shouldn't worry about losing points, this fight most likely isn't going to a decision.

Try and extend the fight, Tyson has been out of the ring and is rusty. No doubt he questions his stamina. Fight smart and be patient in the early going, don't panic because he'll slow down and start looking for one punch. Try to make him think during the fight, and don't let him fight on instinct. When you sense him thinking, that's when you have to let your hands go. Straight punches in the beginning followed by hooks and uppercuts when he is following and becomes desperate.

If Danny Williams is in peak shape, which I'm assuming he will be, than he can make it very difficult for Tyson. It's paramount that he establishes his physical and mental strength early. If Williams can make it to the sixth round he has a shot as long as he hasn't taken a beating up to that point. If Williams is around after the sixth round, Tyson will be starting to wind down while looking for one punch. This is when Williams must pick up the pace and try to pull the fight out.

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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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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