Plea to ĎBabyí Joe Mesi: Itís Not Worth It

10.31.04 Ė By Tim Foley: Please Joe, donít risk your lifeÖitís not worth it. Nobody wants to see you get hurt or possibly killed. A subdural hematoma is not something to mess with considering youíre a young man with a beautiful life ahead of you.

Regardless if youíre a fan of Joe Mesi or not, itís important to realize that he has something very few of us have; the will to risk everything, every time he walks into a ring. This isnít true with only him, but with every fighter who has the guts to step into the ring. They risk their lives for the glory and for the love of the sport. June 15, 1991 is a day that most fight fans wonít remember. Robert ĎPikiní Quiroga and ĎKidí Akeem Anifowoshe battled for 12 brutal rounds for the IBF Super Flyweight Title. This back and forth war was iconically dubbed the ďRing MagazineĒ Fight of the Year for 1991.

Unfortunately, the glory of a classic like this has its price. Kid Akeem collapsed in the ring shortly after the end of the fight with a severe blood clot that developed in his brain during the fight. Unfortunately, this ended Kid Akeemís title dreams, as well as his career in boxing. Rumors had surfaced before his death ten years ago that he had actually fought unlicensed boxing matches in his home country of Nigeria shortly before his death, but this could never be proven.

Kid Akeem was still reaching the height of his potential before this tragic injury cut his career and, ultimately, his life short. Itís just not worth it.

A fight more fans are familiar with is the clash between Nigel Benn and Gerald McClellan in 1995. Most people in the boxing world know of the trials and tribulations that Gerald McClellan is going to have to endure for the rest of his life. Heís fortunate though because he lived. Iím sure that everyday of his life is a rough road, but Iím sure that he is blessed to breathe the air and walk on the ground we take for granted.

If you want a current example to hang it up, please take a look at Riddick Bowe. His head and body have taken such a beating over the duration of his career that he is unable to speak very easily without slurred speech and slow deliberate sentences. Itís just not worth living like this Joe.

As a fight fan that truly loves the purity of the sport, but accepts the dangers, please just listen to what your fans have to say. You were on the cusp of greatness in this sport, but whatís more important, the Heavyweight Championship of the World, or your life?

Please try to listen to your fans, Joe. Itís not worth it.

Article posted on 31.10.2004

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