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Articles of 2004

Wladimir Klitschko vs.DaVarryl Williamson Plus More

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Showtime’s tripleheader on Saturday, October 2, will be the first boxing event to take place in the new outdoor Amphitheatre at Caesars Palace. The telecast will begin at 9 p.m. ET/PT. In the main event, former World Boxing Organization (WBO) heavyweight champion and current WBO No. 6 contender, Klitschko (42-3, 39 KOs), will make his SHOWTIME debut and first start since losing to Lamon Brewster, when he takes on North American Boxing Federation (NABF) Heavyweight Champion DaVarryl Williamson (20-2, 17 KOs) in a 10-round heavyweight battle.

Prior to Klitschko-Williamson, Showtime will feature a pair of world championship battles. In the evening’s second televised bout, International Boxing Federation (IBF) Junior Middleweight Champion Verno Phillips (38-9-1, 20 KOs) will make his initial title defense in a rematch against IBF No. 1 contender Kassim Ouma (19-1-1, 13 KOs). Opening the SHOWTIME tripleheader will be IBF No. 1 contender Syd Vanderpool (35-2, 23 KOs) taking on IBF No. 4 contender Jeff Lacy (16-0, 13 KOs) for the vacant IBF super middleweight belt. Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, in association with Caesars Palace will present the event.

Klitschko, of Kiev, Ukraine, avenged his older brother, Vitali’s, loss to Chris Byrd to capture the WBO heavyweight crown on Oct. 14, 2000. The 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist held the title for more than 28 months and made five successful defenses before being dethroned by Corrie Sanders on March 8, 2003. The six-foot-six-inch Klitschko has knocked out two out of his past three opponents. On Aug. 30, 2003, Klitschko scored an opening-round KO over Fabio Moli. Less than four months later on Dec. 20, 2003, the former world champion stopped Danell Nicholson in the fourth round. In his last outing, Klitschko lost the vacant WBO crown to Brewster via fifth-round TKO despite dominating for much of the April 10, 2004, contest.

Williamson, of Washington, D.C., rallied from an eighth-round knockdown to win the NABF and WBO Latino heavyweight titles with a 12-round majority decision over Eliecer Castillo on April 17, 2004, in Tampa, Fla. The well-educated father of two, who has a master’s degree in administrative services, has knocked out more than 77 percent of his opponents, including six in the opening round.

Prior to turning pro at age 31 in 2000, Williamson was a three-time United States national champion and compiled a 120-17-11 amateur record with 103 knockouts. Nicknamed “Touch of Sleep,” the hard-hitting heavyweight will make his seventh Las Vegas appearance.

Phillips, of Troy, N.Y., registered a sixth-round TKO over late substitute and IBF No. 15 contender, Carlos Bojorquez, to capture the vacant IBF junior middleweight title June 5, 2004, on SHOWTIME. Since falling short to Ouma on Sept. 7, 2001, Phillips has won seven consecutive bouts. Game throughout, Phillips landed the more explosive punches, including many hard left hooks and clubbing right hands that kept Ouma honest. However, a 14-month layoff took its toll, and Phillips tired late.

The hard-working Phillips captured the WBO 154-pound title by scoring a seventh-round TKO over Lupe Aquino on Oct. 30, 1993, and made three successful defenses. A seasoned boxer-puncher, who has been victorious in 12 out of his past 13 starts, Phillips owns victories over former world champions Julian Jackson, Gianfranco Rosi, Aquino and Julio Cesar Vasquez.

Ouma, of Palm Beach, Fla., is coming off of a scintillating 10th-round TKO over Juan Carlos Candelo in an IBF elimination bout Jan. 3, 2004, on SHOWTIME. A promising young star, Ouma is on an 11-bout unbeaten streak (10-0-1) since suffering his lone defeat on Nov. 20, 1999. Ouma recorded a 10-round unanimous decision over Phillips in a memorable slugfest in which neither fighter conceded an inch from start to finish. Possessing the faster hands, Ouma rattled his opponent on several occasions, got credit for a knockdown in the ninth and won the hard-fought slugfest by the scores 95-94, 96-93 and 97-93.

The pride of Palm Beach won the vacant USBA junior middleweight crown and became the IBF’s top 154-pound contender by winning a 12-round split decision over Angel Hernandez on May 30, 2003. Ouma previously won the vacant USBA junior middleweight crown on May 10, 2002, by scoring an eighth-round TKO over Jason Papillion. Ouma successfully defended the USBA title with an 11th-round TKO over Darrell Woods on Oct. 4, 2002. However, the outcome was changed to a no decision and Ouma was stripped of the title when he failed a post-fight test. After reclaiming the USBA crown with the victory over Hernandez, Ouma stopped Bojorquez in the eighth round on Aug. 22, 2003.

Lacy, of St. Petersburg, Fla., will attempt to become the first 2000 United States Olympian to capture a world championship when he makes his 10th SHOWTIME appearance. In his most recent outing on June 5, 2004, Lacy retained his World Boxing Council (WBC) Continental Americas/North American Boxing Association (NABA) and United States Boxing Association (USBA) super middleweight crowns when his IBF elimination bout on SHOWTIME against fellow unbeaten IBF/World Boxing Association (WBA) International titleholder Vitali Tsypko ended in a no-decision after the second round.

On Dec. 13, 2003, Lacy retained his WBC/CA/USBA/NABA belts with an eighth-round TKO over NABF light heavyweight champion Donnell Wiggins Dec. 13, 2003, on SHOWTIME. The flourishing Floridian retained his WBC/CA and USBA titles, and added the vacant NABA super middleweight crown with a 12-round decision over Richard Grant on July 15, 2003. Prior to turning pro, Lacy went 209-12 in the amateurs, won numerous competitions and made it to the second round of the 2000 Olympics.

Vanderpool, of Kitchener, Canada, captured the North American Boxing Organization (NABO) middleweight crown on Sept. 12, 1997, in his 23rd bout and made one successful defense. Currently riding a seven-bout winning streak, the well-traveled boxer has fought in 14 different states and four Canadian cities since entering the pro ranks as a 20-year-old middleweight in March 1993.

In his lone world title appearance, Vanderpool went the distance and held his own against longtime IBF Middleweight Champion Bernard Hopkins before dropping a 12-round unanimous decision on May 13, 2000, from Indianapolis, Ind. After defeating his next six opponents, Vanderpool registered a 12-round unanimous decision over Tito Mendoza in an IBF super middleweight elimination bout on April 17, 2004, from Tampa, Fla.

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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