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Articles of 2004

Mosley vs. Wright: A Style Thing

Frank Lotierzo

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This weekend boxing fans should see a very intriguing Jr. Middleweight title fight between Shane Mosley and Winky Wright. The compelling thing about this fight is the style match up and contrast of the two fighters. It always comes down to styles doesn't it. That is one cliche that is not over used in boxing, ever. The style of two fighter's usually always plays a major role in how a fight will turn out and how exciting or dull it will be. Assuming both are in top condition and refuse to accept defeat.

Here's my advice to Mosley, “bring your A-game and put the pressure on Winky and try to make it a fight.” If Mosley is lazy and allows Wright to make it a boxing match from the outside, we'll either have a disputed decision in a very close fight, or Wright will score an upset? There is little doubt that Wright is definitely capable of making Mosley look bad and beating him.

I happen to be someone who enjoys watching Mosley fight, but I must admit that its been frustrating sometimes lately. Shane has all the ability in the world. He has extremely fast hands and used to throw three and four punch combinations. On top of that, he can punch a little bit.

The problem with Mosley is that sometimes he does not use all of his physical skills to their optimum? Lately it seems that he's looking to land the one big shot, instead of going out and setting it up. It's imperative against Wright that Mosley cuts off the ring and gets inside and lets his hands go. Something he was not consistent in doing in his rematch with Oscar De La Hoya.

I don't want to get into the Mosley-De La Hoya scoring debate. But I believe that De La Hoya won the fight 7-5 in rounds. However, I believe that it was more of a case of what Mosley didn't do, than it was due to what De La Hoya did do. In other words, Mosley let it slip away more than De La Hoya took it from him. Other than the ninth round and some of the later rounds, Mosley let De La Hoya keep the fight at ring center and let him get off first. Something he shouldn't do versus Winky Wright.

What bodes well for Mosley in this upcoming fight with Wright is, Winky is not a big puncher. On top of that Mosley has a very good chin. So Shane should not have any reservation about applying the pressure and letting his hands go. If you have no fear that your opponent can really hurt you, then there is no excuse for Mosley not to push the fight. Especially if that type of aggressive attack will virtually guarantee him the win. Which would seem to be the case for Mosley.

I think this fight, like most will come down to who can impose their will on the other. Wright has to keep it a boxing contest and not let Mosley lure him into heated exchanges. Wright does have a good chin so if he chooses to go at Mosley in spots to confuse him, he should be OK. However, he can't get happy with himself and stay in front of him if he wins a few of those exchanges. Since Mosley recently has been looking to load up, and throw one punch at a time, Wright should keep his feet moving and his jab working in order to keep Shane one step behind him. This is the best strategy for Winky, boxing not running, but holding his ground in certain spots on his terms.

For Mosley, he should fight every round versus Wright like he did the ninth round versus De La Hoya. If he can sustain that pace and work the body and take Wright's legs, he should be in good shape down the stretch. It's key for Shane to set the pace and cut off the ring. He must force Winky into a fight where he's more trying to make it through and survive, than he is winning. And by keeping the fight inside, he'll nullify Wright's southpaw stance.

With a possible huge showdown with Felix Trinidad on the horizon, this is a very tough fight for Mosley at this time. Winky is no pushover and knows what he's doing in the ring. He also has longed for the type big name opponent that Mosley represents to him. I'm sure Wright will bring his A-game to this one.

In the end, I think Mosley's strength and hand speed will be the difference. I don't think Mosley will stop Wright, but there is too much on the line for me to pick against him. Mosley wins, but he'll need his best stuff and can't go looking for one shot. He's got to pressure Wright and keep his hands moving in order to insure the victory, most likely by decision.

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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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