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Articles of 2004

Roy Jones Jr. Wants To Fight Tyson or Klitschko After That?

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How does he follow up that showing with a fight versus one of the World's top Heavyweights? I'm talking about Roy Jones Jr. I can't believe that he really thinks he can fool the Boxing public by attempting to fight either Vitali Klitschko or Mike Tyson, in order to erase the left over stench from his last fight. If I didn't hear him say it, I would think that you can't even make it up. After the way Jones was devastated by Antonio Tarver, can he even remotely believe there is public interest in him fighting anyone other than Tarver again? Hey Roy, there's only one fighter that fans want to see you face, and he's not a Heavyweight. He's the only fighter that you have yet proven you're better than in two title fights and 14 rounds.

I cannot believe that Jones Jr. is not obsessed with getting Tarver back in the ring. This type of mindset is exactly what his critics have feasted on throughout his career. They've accused him of not taking tough fights and avoiding serious challengers. The fact that Jones Jr. has shown a trepidation to fight Tarver again indicates to me that he has some doubt as to whether or not he can defeat him. And believe me, fighting a Heavyweight will do nothing to subside those thoughts. Roy Jones Jr. should literally be consumed with getting his hands on Antonio Tarver again. Of course that's taking him at his word that he really just got caught and Tarver was lucky. Wonder if he really believes that deep down within?

Can anyone imagine Ali, Holyfield, Hagler, or Robinson being 1-1 in two fights with a rival, a cross state rival at that, and not wanting a piece of them again? I certainly can't. This is even more poignant concerning Jones Jr. for two reasons. First of all, in the first fight with Tarver, Jones Jr. won a very controversial decision. Although I think Jones Jr. pulled out the first fight, there are plenty who think he didn't. Secondly, Jones Jr. was knocked out in the rematch with one punch, I'd say advantage Tarver. I still find it hard to accept that Jones Jr. can walk away without going back at Tarver. If he can, this says a lot about him and his makeup.

Many past legendary Champs were consumed with and had to have at a former Nemesis who proved to be a stumbling block for them at some point during their career. The bottom line is if Jones Jr. never fights Tarver again, he will always have to answer questions about him and why he never proved that he could get a clean win over him. When you think about other past greats, how many of them were starched by one punch and didn't fight their conqueror again? Not too many. The burden of proof is strictly on Jones Jr. to prove he and Tarver are in the same league.

Another problem for Roy is that his career resume is somewhat sketchy regarding the caliber of opposition he has faced from top to bottom. Tarver represents his biggest challenge at Light Heavyweight. Remember, he fought Hopkins at 160 and Toney at 168. Other than Tarver, Jones Jr. hasn't really fought another Light Heavyweight who was anything special. Even though I don't think Tarver is a great Light Heavy, and feel recent past greats like Foster, Spinks, Saad, and Qawi would've defeated him, Jones Jr. doesn't own a legitimate win over him in the eyes of the Boxing public. As it stands now, a critic of Jones Jr. could say he is 0-2 versus the best Light Heavyweight he ever faced. Even if you think Jones Jr. edged Tarver out in the first fight, he didn't prove he was the better fighter.

The way it stands right now, Jones Jr. has faced adversity once in his career and he came up lame. Part of what makes a fighter an all time great and a legendary champion is how he handles adversity. Boxing history is replete with greats who came back and overcame a monumental setback and defeat. Roy Jones Jr. can't say that. And make no mistake, Jones Jr.'s legacy will take a severe hit if he doesn't at least fight Tarver again. Just by fighting him again will answer the question that some believe Tarver has his heart and that Jones Jr. wants no part of him. Just by fighting Tarver again will spare Jones Jr. from being labeled a coward by some. He doesn't even have to beat him, he just has to show that he is willing to go back in the ring with him.

Prior to fighting the rematch with Tarver, Jones Jr. was mentioned in the same vein as Robinson, Hagler, Ali, Louis, Duran, and Leonard. The difference is those greats were never KO'd by one punch. Even Duran ate several rights from Hearns before going out. And that was Hearns who did it at 154. On top of that, Hearns is one of the greatest punchers in Boxing history from 147-160, and Duran is best remembered for his seven year reign at 135. Jones Jr. was KO'd by Antonio Tarver who is not a legendary puncher at Light Heavyweight in anybody’s opinion.

Sugar Ray Robinson was never KO'd in 202 fights, and he came back and beat fighters like Turpin, Basilio, Fullmer, and LaMotta convincingly after being defeated by them. Hagler was never stopped in almost 70 fights, and came back and proved he was the better fighter versus the fighters who either beat him or drew with him in their first fight. Fighters like Watts, Monroe, Seals, and Antuofermo. Muhammad Ali gave everybody a rematch whether they deserved it or not. Even Ken Norton, who he never really beat convincingly. The difference is that Ali was never stopped by Norton, and even the biggest Ali critic must admit, although Norton had Ali's number from a style standpoint, he certainly didn't have his heart. Jones at this time can't even whisper such a sentiment about Tarver.

Sugar Ray Leonard was never counted out and after he was mauled by Roberto Duran in their first fight, he was obsessed with fighting Duran again to even the score. Joe Louis was taken apart by Max Schmeling the first time they fought when he was stopped in the 12th round. In the interim after fighting Schmeling, Louis won the Heavyweight title and yet he didn't feel like he was the champ until he fought and defeated Schmeling. It is the way that these greats came back from adversity that cemented their legacy and greatness. As of this writing, Roy Jones Jr. is not part of that pristine club.

The way I see it, Jones Jr. has only one fight to take or he should retire. That is a third and deciding fight with Antonio Tarver. Forget Jones Jr. fighting Mike Tyson or Vitali Klitschko. He can't beat either of them, and I thought that way before he was stopped by Tarver. No, Jones Jr. has to prove that at the least he is on equal footing with Antonio Tarver. If he never fights him again, it will leave a big void in his legacy as far as I'm concerned.

To me, Jones Jr. has to prove that Tarver doesn't have his heart. Even if Jones Jr. fought Tarver again and lost a competitive fight, I would look at him in a more positive light. I would just figure that Tarver was to Jones Jr. what Norton was to Ali, or what Ted Lowry was to Marciano. That shouldn't tarnish all that he's accomplished throughout his career. However, if it's perceived that Tarver took his heart and Jones Jr. avoided him, well that's a totally different thing.

Roy Jones Jr. must fight Antonio Tarver again. It's the only fight out there for Jones Jr. that the public truly cares about.

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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