Boxing


ESB Exclusive Interview With Joe Mesi - Mesi Survived the Courts and Lived To Talk About It

21.12.05 - By Troy Ondrizek: Joe Mesi was an up and coming contender. Mesi was undefeated with victories over other contenders Monte Barrett and Davarryl Williamson. Barrett had given him some trouble be he overcame it and won. Joe was now in the ring with former Cruiserweight king Vassiliy Jirov. Jirov caught Joe with an accidental punch to the back of Joeís head. Joe went on the win the fight, but he seemingly lost the war to become champion. Afterwards Joe had an abnormal CT scan of the brain.

Mesi was subsequently suspended from fighting. After twenty-two months of fight fans speculating what-if and itís sad what happened to Joe, Joe as always won this battle too. Two days ago a judge rules that you canít suspend a fighter who no longer has a license. So Joe is able to fight again. I caught up with Joe to talk about the turn of events, and how he will progress in his boxing career.

Troy: First off, Joe, I would like to congratulate you on being reinstated as a fighter

Joe Mesi: ďThank you. Itís been a war the last twenty-two months. Itís a tug of war. I tell you what. The hearing was very much that way. It was back and forth, I was optimistic, but at times I didnít think it would go our way. I felt that way for the last twenty-two months. Ultimately you canít suspend a fighter who isnít even licensed here. Constitutionally thatís not the way to go.Ē

Troy: Did you expect your fans to be ecstatic about your return to the ring?

Joe Mesi: ďI am excited. I want to become the fighter I was. I feel with at least twelve weeks or so I can get back into shape. I need to put the gloves on, and step into the ring. I need to lift more weights and do my running again. I am a very exciting fighter to watch. I bring excitement to the heavyweight division. I bring knockouts, I bring in fans, I fill arenas, I bring in money. People want to see me fight, because I am an exciting fighter to watch. The division needs someone like me, as exciting as me. I donít feel there is anyone out there today in this boring division that is like me.Ē

Troy: With Davarryl Williamson and Monte Barrett getting title shots recently, do you think that once back in shape you should have a shot soon?

Joe Mesi: ďI think so. I proved myself in the past as one of the best fighters. I have not lost any fights. I have not lost my skills either. I want to take three or four fights in 2006 to get me ready to be a champion, but I definitely can become champion. Itís something I am willing to work for and accomplish.Ē

Troy: Out of the four champions, who do you think is the best match-up for you to become champion?

Joe Mesi: I am always willing to fight the best, and I think Rahman right now is the best. I fought him in the amateurs. It would be a good fight. I donít know anything about the new WBA champion, except that heís tall. Iíll fight Ruiz, Chris Byrd is a smart fighter, but is getting old. Like I said, Iíll fight anybody. My quest is to become heavyweight champion.

Troy: Is there any contender or fighter you want to call out right now?

Joe Mesi: ďRight Now?Ē

Troy: Yes.

Joe Mesi: ďNo, I mean Iíll fight anybody. I am a good fighter. There is no one that stands out. I mean, Iím afraid of nobody. Iíve been fighting for years. When I was growing up I was never afraid to fight anybody. I never have avoided a fight or fighter. Iíve fought the best, and I want to continue to fight the best.Ē

Troy: With the division in Don Kingís control, do you see him as a roadblock to you being champion?

Joe Mesi: ďGosh, itís possible. Iíve spoken to Don in the past. We were at the house and talked. Right now Iím an independent, but if I need to work with him I will. I will always consider my options when he offers a contract. Right now itís not a problem.Ē

Troy: Now that youíve had time to reflect since the Jirov fight. Do you feel youíve grown as a man and a fighter?

Joe Mesi: ďI do. You know itís after the most difficult fights you learn the most about yourself. It was a tough fight. I had an excellent ninth round. It was tough afterwards. Being held out was tough. I knew I was healthy and thatís why I fought it. Iíve matured indeed. I feel like I grew up a lot. I am still young though. I havenít fought in twenty-two months. I feel like Iím thirty-two going on twenty-six. Iím a better fighter because of it too.Ē

Troy: In closing, is there anything you want to say to your fans?

Joe Mesi: ďItís been a long road. I know I fight with just as a much determination in the ring as out of it. I feel I had the right to fight. We as boxers have rights, and we donít deserve to have our rights violated. I felt I was healthy enough to fight. Otherwise I wouldnít have made this argument. My determination in and out of the ring has helped me. I just want to thank my fans for the support, and ask them to continue supporting me in my life and in boxing. Thank you.Ē

Troy: Once again, I thank you for your time and wish you well in your career and continued health.

Joe Mesi: ďThank you Troy, you have a good one.Ē

Now that Joe has been reinstated, he has some catching up to do. A twenty-two month lay off is difficult to overcome, but Joe kept himself in shape and seems more focused than ever in his career. He will become a force again in the division. He stills holds an undefeated record that includes some quality opponents. Give Joe a year or so and he will prove to us his worthiness of being a champion. If David Tua and Shannon Briggs can grab headlines and receive notoriety for their comebacks. Imagine what a young determined fighter like Mesi can accomplish. Once again I would like to thank Joe for taking time out to talk to me. I personally expect big things from him.

Article posted on 21.12.2005



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