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Joe Mesi licensed to fight in Arkansas on 8/12

Courtesy: Tonawanda News

By John D'Onofrio
Greater Niagara Newspapers

About the only things Baby Joe Mesi has in common with his next opponent is the powerful blows of Vassiliy Jirov.

Mesi, 31-0 with 25 knockouts, will take on Dennis “Mad Dog” Matthews of Houston, 9-27 with six KOs, Saturday night at the Pope County Fairgrounds in Little Rock, Ark.

It’s Mesi’s third fight this year as part of his comeback bid after more than a year away from the sport.

Once ranked as the No. 1 contender in the world by the World Boxing Council (WBC), Mesi has fought twice this year. Those fights have featured a decision win over Stephane Tessier on June 23 in Montreal and Ron Bellamy (TKO) on April 1 in Puerto Rico.

Matthews, who is unranked by the WBC, and Mesi, now ranked 24th in the world by the same boxing council, have both faced Jirov (now ranked 48th by the WBC) in their heavyweight careers.

Mesi’s narrow win over Jirov in late 2004 was tempered by a post-fight diagnosis of bleeding of the brain and a suspension by the Nevada Athletic Commission precluding Mesi from fighting anywhere in the United States.

Matthews fought Jirov nine years ago in Lake Charles, La., getting knocked out in the fourth round.

“Matthews is the right guy for a tune-up,” said Baby Joe’s father and manager Jack Mesi on Wednesday.

“We’ll go four, possibly six rounds and then we’ll see after the fight where to go and who to fight from there.”

The Mesi-Matthews fight is being promoted by Stacey Goodson.

Last week, the Mesi camp canceled a scheduled Aug. 5 fight in South Africa against Adenilson Rodrigues of Brazil.

The Mesi-Matthews fight also dispels rumors and national broadcast reports that have said Mesi could not garner a license to fight in the United States, according to Team Mesi.

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by vB Martin on 08-11-2006

[QUOTE=1bad65]He looked BAD in his last fight. How him and Holyfield get licsensed is beyond me. I lost alot of respect for Texas' commision when they licsensed Holyfield. And I live there![/QUOTE] I'm on the fence as to whether Mesi…

Comment by Derranged_ on 08-11-2006

If Mesi can't look good against a 9-27 fighter then he should consider hanging up the gloves. He looked awful in his last fight against 3-7 fighter Tessier. Anyone know if this fight is being televised?

Comment by TheEvilSaint on 08-11-2006

if mesi doesnt knock this guy out, he should hang em up. his power and handspeed got him to the top of the rankings. since both of them have been missing in his "comeback" fights, he should disappear and train…

Comment by Mr. Ryan on 08-11-2006

The man had this diagnosed and I'm not sure if you can recover from the damage that fast. They need to really tighten up the regulations down in Arkansas and the rest of the boxing commisions before somebody gets hurt.

Comment by Derranged_ on 08-11-2006

I think that everyone on nsb forum has written off Joe Mesi. For me, I'm cautiously optimistic but think that Joe can make another run for a title if he gets back into the condition and mental state where he…

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