Vitali Klitschko and Joe Mesi; Must Win Weekend!

04.12.o3 - By Keith Terceira: Ironfist Vitali Klitschko watched his dreams get snatched away due to a cut against Lennox Lewis at the Staple Center last June. Lewis is doing the duck and leave regarding a rematch with the Doctor. Frankly, the only thing that may draw Lewis into the ring again is a Vitali surgical strike on Kirk Johnson. Seems bad luck follows both these fighters though. Johnson has a tendency to come in heavier than is prudent, and that extra weight may be responsible for his inability to get his body shots above the belt line. The good Doctors body seems to self implode at the most inopportune times. Here is the way I see it.

Klitschko: Experience, Vitali has the edge in the caliber of fighters he has faced. Not since 98 when he faced Ribalta and Kennedy has he faced guys with average records. Well he did face Ross Puritty but Ross was a different fighter at 28-14-2 than he was when he faced Johnson at 8-7. Byrd and Lewis both dodged a loss to Vitali because of injury. Byrd was way behind on the score card , 88-83, 88-83, and 89-82. Lewis who many regard the best ever in the heavyweight rank was down 58-56 on all cards and he was not getting any stronger.

Klitschko: Power edge goes to Vitali especially if Johnson comes in weighing more than 233-235. The additional weight seems to slow the velocity of Bubbas punches thus as we all know the explosive power. 31 ko’s in 32 wins for Doc compared to 25 out of 34 for Kirk and Johnson has had trouble stopping guys like Billups, Puritty, and Donald whereas Klitschko figured out their styles and overpowered them.

Klitschko; Skill and Styles, again we have to go with the Doctor based on his performance with two of the better fighters this generation. As far as boxing presence , skill and style, Lewis and Byrd are the crème de la crème of the division, though Byrd is becoming suspect. Bubba was behind to the Quietman when he was DQ’d and it was an older Savarese he faced . Give him his props for stopping Oleg though.

Johnson; Hunger goes to Kirk he needs this bout to showcase to the world that he wants to be a force in the division for the next few years. Vitali, I got to question his hunger after the Byrd fight. He would not have been the first guy who had to tough out a bout one armed. Hell Bergeron did it this year for seven rounds against Wilson and got the UD. With the lead Vitali had on Byrd, he could have done a de la hoya for the last two rounds and walked away the Champion.

Johnson; Wild Card in this bout is Curtis Cokes, if anyone can find the edge to win Cokes can.

Anything can happen in this sport but on paper you got get your prescription filled by the good Doctor. Johnson coming in heavy combined with the height difference may make for an ugly fight when they are in close. Hopefully Kirk can keep his punches up and take advantage of a small reach advantage to make this interesting.



Monte Barrett hopes extinguish the explosive Baby Joe Mesi, and on paper is the toughest opponent to face the Buffalo Blizzard. Mesi hopes to use Barrett as a catapult to a title shot.

Pressure is on Mesi to shine in this fight, with the world rankings out and Mesi is getting placed unusually high for a fighter not having faced even a top twenty fighter. A lot of questions get answered for both fighters Saturday night.

Experience; Barrett, Monte is not a household name but he has pulled out some squeakers against tougher fighters than Mesi. Showed some good skills in a loss to Wlad in London though he was stopped in the seventh. Robbed in his bout with Lance Whitaker in 99, he has earned hard won wins against Witherspoon, Banks, Page, and decent Robert Davis. Two Gunz win over Wiggins was not even close though it was called a split.

Power; Mesi, against the same opponents Joe has shown the ability to stop fighters that Monte couldn’t. Robert Davis lost a majority decision to Monte but Mesi stopped him in the first. Same results with Banks, Barrett got the 10 round nod on points, Banks lights out in the first against Joe. Though Barrett has shown power in the past more recently he has not. The lighter Barrett may not withstand the stronger Mesi. Mesi may not be tested until he faces a big top ten heavy. That may never happen before he gets a title. We have learned from Guinn that any fighter can give you a challenge if he comes prepared.

Style and Skill; Even, this is really a question mark because no one has withstood the Mesi onslaught long enough to give his chin and stamina a real test. Mesi in the Cooper and Izon fights took some heavy shots and displayed enough of a chin and ring generalship to withstand what Barrett brings to the table. Barrett is more polished than Mesi but somehow I feel that there is more to Joe than we have seen. Monte may bring it out Saturday.

Mesi; Wildcards, big bucks on the line for Baby Joe and HBO, look for Mesi to be ready, willing, and able to squash any critics. The Mesi family has got things covered for Joe out of the ring and the DeLeons have the brains and experience in the ring. That dangerous duo allows no distractions to creep into the boxers focus . Mesi and Barrett, great guys out of the ring, these two are very active in their respective communities. I hope that it can turn out that both win in some degree. Barrett is tough, smart and unfortunately, while a test for Joe, Monte is the next paving stone in the road to the top for Mesi.


Note; On Roy Jones Jr, James Toney, and Rocky Marciano.

Hysterically humorous are the guys who out of one side of their mouth praise the chances of a RJ at 193 lbs. fighting the “Giants “ of today in the heavyweight division, or a blown up 217 Toney taking it to the behemoths. Out of the other side of their faces they scream that Rocky Marciano at 190lbs of steel cable strength wouldn’t stand a chance against today’s crew. History repeats itself boyz, you can’t credit Jones and Toney without admitting you may have been wrong about Walcott and Moore. Same goes for the Brockton Blockbuster.

Maybe there is a little ANTIPASTI or GENERACISM going on.

Better hold on to your hats, fight fans, because lean & mean is back, big & bulky is latter day.

Article posted on 04.12.2003

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