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Articles of 2004

Joe Mesi Looks For Boxing Return

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In April of this year reports surfaced that undefeated heavyweight Joe Mesi suffered a subdural hematoma (bleeding on the surface of the brain) following his 10 round decision over Vassiliy Jirov on March 13, 2004. Soon after the fight with Jirov, Mesi complained of a headache. Later that month Mesi sought advice from neurosurgeon Robert C. Cantu, who ordered several tests, including an MRI.

On March 19th, Mesi was sent a letter from John Bailey, chairman of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, informing him he was suspended by the commission because of the three knockdowns. The letter also stated the suspension would not be lifted until he was reevaluated, including another MRI, with all the results to be forwarded to the commission.

On Friday June 18th, it was reported by Buffalo Sports News that, “Joe Mesi’s attorney informed Nevada on Thursday he had no intention of submitting the suspended heavyweights medical reports as requested.” The Buffalo News also reported that Mesi suffered not one, but at least three distinct brain injuries in his fight with Jirov.

It’s been forwarded to this scribe that, “Prominent boxing authorities have confirmed seeing medical reports that indicate Mesi underwent repeat MRI’s at Physicians Imaging Center of Western New York that displayed bleeding on the surface of his brain in as many as four places after his March 13 fight with Vassiliy Jirov in Las Vegas.”

Recent reports indicate that Mesi had his first normal MRI result May 27. Joe Mesi, along with his father and co-manager Jack Mesi, has strongly denied the presence of any subdural hematoma. They say they are in the process of having his suspension overturned and are making all attempts to ensure that Mesi returns to boxing soon.

It’s been said among boxing regulators, “Joe Mesi’s decision to withhold his medical records from Nevada could effectively end his carrier, subdural hematoma or not.”
Mesi’s attorney Stuart D. Campbell of Tulsa, Oklahoma, spoke with chief deputy attorney general Keith Kizer last Thursday, offering a deal that would avoid Bailey’s order.

“Stuart Campbell called and instructed me, Mr. Mesi will not present the commission with his medical evaluations as was requested,” Buffalo News reported Kizer as saying. “He has stated Mr. Mesi would be happy to be examined by a physician of our choosing, but he was not interested in submitting his medical evaluations.” At this point neither Joe Mesi, his father Jack, or Campbell could be reached for any further comment on the matter, according to Buffalo Sports News.

According to Nevada law, “A boxer is prohibited from being licensed to fight if there is any history of a brain bleed. The regulation was instituted on the belief a fighter who has experienced brain bleeding in the past is predisposed to a recurrence.” Under federal law, all states must honor the suspension of another. Many nations, including Canada, also honor state suspensions.

According to the Associated Press and Buffalo Sports News, Mesi hoped neurologist Robert C. Cantu, along with his attorney Stuart D. Campbell, would ensure his return to the ring. In fact, it is more than likely the suspended heavyweight could be facing severe disciplinary action in Nevada for lying to the state’s athletic commission. Nevada Chief Deputy Attorney General, Keith Kizer, said, “Mesi could be fined and have his boxing license revoked for providing false information regarding brain bleeds sustained in his March 13th fight with Jirov.

Kizer raised those concerns while being interviewed by the Associated Press last week.
Kizer said he fears Mesi is putting his health and carrier in jeopardy. Keith Kizer, who also serves as the commission’s legal adviser, told The Associated Press that the commission is aware Mesi has had five MRI scans. Kizer added he believes some of those tests show the boxer sustained a subdural hematoma.

Kizer called it unacceptable that the boxer has changed his mind and is now refusing to forward the requested medical results to the Nevada State Athletic Commission. “This is some pretty serious stuff and it just makes no sense that Mr. Mesi is not willing to give the tests results to us,” adding he is disturbed by the discussions he’s had Mesi’s camp. “As of right now the ball is in Mr. Mesi’s court.”

Mesi spokesman James Cassidy said the boxer is eager to have his suspension lifted, saying, “I’m sure that anything that is being done, Joe is doing through the advice of his attorney.”

Kizer’s comments come after Mesi changed his plans this week, originally telling the commission, “The tests were forthcoming.” Mesi is now offering to instead be examined by a doctor appointed by the commission. “That’s not good enough,” Kizer said, noting “The commission already has the authority to submit a boxer to any examination.” “To say to the commission that ‘I got hurt in your state in a fight but I’m not going to show you what happened’…is unacceptable.”

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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