Joe Mesi is supposedly going to fight again on October 12 in Rhode Island. To be quite blunt, who gives a shit?
Mesi has signed with CES, after cancelling his last bout, which was to be a co-feature with David Tua's easy victory on that absurd pay-per-view event a few weeks back. Mesi (35-0, 28 KO) is scheduled this time to face Shannon Miller (15-3, 9 KO) in what should be another easy walkover for him.
"Baby Joe" is now 33 years old, and hasn't done anything of note in three years. The injuries were very real and derailed what very well might have been a championship career -- I can't say if Mesi would have been a legit world champion or not, but the pieces were there. He had knocked out DaVarryl Williamson and beaten Monte Barrett and Vassily Jirov. It's not like that's a who's who of heavies, but it's not at all a three-fight streak you can ignore.
Since his 2006 comeback, he's 6-0 without a single credible win. And when he beats Miller -- if he fights -- on the 12th, it still won't add up.
I always found Mesi's nickname to be humorous simply because it's exactly how I see him. He's been babied. Given the benefit of the doubt because of a pretty record and one stretch of nice wins, Mesi hasn't re-earned his stripes. Yet to hear he and his team talk, you'd think the guy should be standing across the ring from Wladimir Klitschko tomorrow.
The Buffalo native (and local legend) just comes off, to me, as one of boxing's most pampered fighters. Maybe he knows that's how people see him, I don't know. But Joe just doesn't carry any weight with me, and were he to receive a title shot, I'd treat it much like I did Shannon Briggs' shot against Liakhovich -- an American heavyweight getting something he doesn't really deserve because he's an American heavyweight. There are still sections of the boxing audience and the boxing hierarchy that are obsessed with the idea that the sport needs heavyweights. The truth is, it doesn't. The sport just needs great fights promoted well. I think 2007 has proven that.
But, Briggs won. Then he Shannon Briggs'd his title "reign" and got smoked by Sultan Ibragimov. Matched up against any of the current champs (Klitschko, Maskaev, Chagaev and Ibragimov), I don't think Mesi has a hope in hell. But I do expect to see one of those fights next year -- that, or Mesi-Peter.
I don't root against Joe Mesi so much as I absolutely do not root for him. He keeps his name out there, without doing anything, and it just sort of bothers me. From where I sit, boxing is a sport where accolades should be earned. Too often still, we see fighters that haven't earned their reputations. Mesi is one of the chiefs of that tribe.
Prove it, Joe. That's all I'm asking.