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Articles of 2004

Castillo Finishes Strong Against Casamayor

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Exciting SHOWTIME Boxing Title Bouts Will Be Replayed On SHO2 On Tuesday, Dec. 7, At 11 PM ET/PT

Jose Luis Castillo took the last three rounds from Joel Casamayor on all three judges’ scorecards to eke out a split decision Saturday on SHOWTIME.  The defending World Boxing Council (WBC) Lightweight Champion won the disputed nod by the scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 113-115.  In the second world title fight on the telecast, undefeated International Boxing Federation (IBF) Super Middleweight Champion Jeff Lacy retained his belt with a hard-fought 12-round decision over the resilient Omar Sheika.  In the opening fight on SHOWTIME, unbeaten heavyweight contender Samuel Peter registered the biggest victory of his career with an impressive second-round knockout over Jeremy Williams.

Saturday’s SHOWTIME telecast, which aired at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on West Coast) from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nev., was promoted by Top Rank, Inc. in association with Gary Shaw Productions, LLC and Cedric Kushner Promotions, LTD with Team Freedom and Duva Boxing.

Castillo (51-6-1, 45 KOs), of Sonora, Mexico, spotted the challenger the first two rounds before picking up the pace in the third.  Still, Castillo needed the last three rounds to successfully defend his crown for the first time in his second stint as WBC 130-pound champion.  There were no knockdowns in a hotly-contested bout that had the fans on their feet during the final nine minutes.  Castillo captured the WBC lightweight crown for the second time with a 12-round unanimous decision over Juan Lazcano on June 5, 2004, in Las Vegas.  Castillo initially won the WBC 135-pound world championship with a 12-round majority decision over Steve Johnston on June 17, 2000.  Following three successful defenses, Castillo lost the title and a subsequent rematch to Floyd Mayweather in April and December of 2002.

Casamayor (31-3, 19 KOs), of Guantanamo, Cuba, had success boxing from the outside until faltering in the final nine minutes.  Stepping up a notch in weight, the southpaw was quicker for the most part and landed his fair share of combinations. Casamayor won the WBA interim 130-pound crown with an easy decision over Antonio Hernandez on June 19, 1999.  In his 21st start, he became the first U.S.-based Cuban defector to capture a world title when he won the WBA belt with a devastating fifth-round TKO over Jongkwon Baek on May 21, 2000. He made four successful defenses before suffering his first defeat on a controversial 12-round decision to Acelino Freitas Jan. 12, 2002, on SHOWTIME.

Lacy (18-0, 14 KOs), of Tampa, Fla. triumphed by the scores of 117-111 and 115-113 twice, but there was never a moment when he could relax. Lacy shook and staggered the game Sheika on a few occasions, but could not put him down. The unbeaten youngster became the first 2000 Olympian to win a world title when he captured the vacant IBF crown with an eighth-round TKO over No. 1 contender Syd Vanderpool on Oct. 2, 2004, on SHOWTIME.

Sheika (26-7, 17 KOs), of Patterson, N.J. gave his best but it was not quite enough to prevent him from falling to 0-3 in world title bouts. Sheika continually fought back in the slugfest and split Lacy’s lower lip in the middle rounds.

Peter (21-0, 18 KOs), of Akwaibom, Nigeria, showed why many consider him to be the heavyweight division’s hottest prospect by turning what most figured to be his toughest test into one of his easiest. The hard-hitting Peter missed with a right hand, but connected with a stunning left hook to Williams’ chin to end matters 27 seconds into the second round.  Peter made his SHOWTIME debut as the main event on “ShoBox: The New Generation,” Aug. 5, 2004, from Hollywood, Fla., putting on a boxing clinic and bloodied Jovo Pudar’s nose en route to registering a 10-round unanimous decision.

Williams (41-5-1, 36 KOs), of Long Beach, Calif. traded shots in the first before getting knocked cold. The veteran scored an impressive eighth-round TKO over Attila “The Hun’’ Levin on SHOWTIME April 15, 2004.

SHOWTIME will close out an excellent year of boxing when multi-talented boxer and musician, Ebo Elder (21-1, 13 KOs), defends his North American Boxing Organization (NABO) lightweight crown against former NABO champion Courtney Burton (21-2, 11 KOs), Friday, Dec. 17, on “ShoBox: The New Generation” (11 p.m. ET/PT), In the 10-round co-feature, unbeaten World Boxing Organization (WBO) No. 15 junior welterweight contender “Mighty” Mike Arnaoutis (11-0-1, 5 KOs) will make his third SHOWTIME appearance against an opponent to be announced.

For information on upcoming SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, go to http://www.sho.com/boxing.

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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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