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Night Of The Young Heavyweight's: Guinn's Night Mesi's Show

BY Frank Lotierzo ON September 27, 2003
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Now that "Night of The Young Heavyweights" is history, what did we learn? Going into this three fight card, many were hoping to see a possible torch bearer emerge in the heavyweight division. After watching six young heavyweights face each other, did any one of them distinguish themselves? Before weighing in on what we saw, I must say that it was a welcome change seeing up and coming fighters facing each other early in their careers.

Here's what we saw. Juan Carlos Gomez boxed rings around some tough plodder name Samil Sam winning a lopsided decision. Gomez a southpaw, used his jab beautiful. He mixed his attack perfectly going up to the head and down to the body. Gomez also demonstrated a very solid chin. He throws a lot of punches but he's not a particularly big puncher. If he would commit to his punches more, he would hit with more power. However he seems intent to do his flurrying and then move away to get set to unload his next flurry of punches. The one negative I saw in Gomez is that he got hit a little too much! Maybe he was careless because he didn't have much respect for Sam, who really didn't impress. Although Gomez fought a smart fight, I don't think anyone will be chomping at the bit to see him again.

The fighter I was most impressed with was Dominick Guinn. Guinn, a very good boxer showed outstanding boxing basics in winning a hard fought 10 round decision over Duncan Dokiwari. The 6'3" 236 pound Dokiwari was the best of the fighters who lost. Dokiwari caught Guinn with some solid right hands and he never appeared hurt or shook. The thing that stands out about Guinn is that he has a devastating sneaky left hook to compliment his well rounded boxing skills. Guinn had Dokiwari hurt on three or four occasions in which it appeared that he might be stopped.

Guinn, who weighs about 220 pounds, showed that he is plenty big enough to be a solid force in the heavyweight division. I really like his boxing ability and dynamite left hook. He also showed the coolness of a seasoned pro who doesn't get rattled. I like Guinn and was impressed with his overall game and style.

The main event saw the newest of the so-called white hopes emerge. Undefeated Joe Mesi stopped DaVarryl Williamson in the first round. There is absolutely no question that Williamson was the softest opponent of the three fighters who won. Without a doubt, Williamson would've been an underdog to every fighter on the card!

Mesi came out flying in front of his home town crowd in Buffalo New York. Mesi showed good speed and movement for the slightly under two minutes that the fight lasted. The thing that most will remember about Mesi, is the punching power he exhibited. However, I can't say that I'm totally convinced that it's all that devastating. Yes, he can hit with either hand, but he outweighed Williamson by almost 25 pounds. And Williamson is not close to being a top 10 heavyweight fighter!

One thing I believe is HBO will get on board the Mesi bandwagon. I just hope because of Mesi being a white hope that he doesn't get offered a bigger HBO deal than Guinn. Although I suspect he will. HBO will jump all over the fact that Mesi can be sold as a knockout puncher who has a huge hometown following. Jim Lampley couldn't gush enough about going back to Buffalo for another Mesi fight!

Of the six heavyweights who fought on "Night of The Young Heavyweights", I think Sam and Williamson are career opponents. Sam is tough but he's very slow and doesn't have the punch to be a factor. He is a face first fighter who takes three or four punches to land one. The problem is that his one is not all that huge.

Williamson got into boxing late, and at age 35 I doubt we'll ever see him on HBO again. He doesn't have the size, and although he supposed to have a big right had, we never saw it. I don't see Williamson as anything more than an opponent for up and coming heavyweights!

Duncan Dokiwari showed that he could be a fighter to take notice of. He's big and strong and showed a lot of heart in his fight with Guinn. He was cut due to an accidental head butt that I'm sure effected his performance. He just wasn't capable of handling the slick boxing Guinn and worrying about his eye cut at the same time. However, I think we will see more of him down the road.

Juan Carlos Gomez also has the potential to make some noise in the heavyweight division. The former cruiserweight champ's southpaw style will trouble a lot of opponents. Couple that with his high punch out put and sturdy chin, and I think he can be a real threat to any heavyweight he fights! Although I'm sure he will not make anyone forget Evander Holyfield.

No doubt that Mesi will be the most talked about of the three winners. However, I must concur that I can't say I'm totally sold on him. I'm not selling Mesi short. I believe he can fight, but I'm just not sure it's as good as his hype and promotion will try and have the boxing public believe. He will most likely be compared to past white power punching heavyweight contenders Gerry Cooney, and Tommy Morrison. I'm just not at the point to say he's as good as either one of them were.

The fighter who I believe stole the night was Dominick Guinn. He showed toughness and heart, along with very good boxing fundamentals and basics. He also showed he's in tremendous shape. Guinn didn't tire at all during a very briskly contested fight with a big strong opponent pressuring him.

Guinn is the fighter who I think showed the most. Yes, Mesi had the quick impressive knockout, but his opposition was at least a level or two below Guinn's! I just need to see more of Mesi. Until I see him tested like Guinn, I must say I'm still somewhat of a skeptic. Maybe not as big as I was a few months ago, but I still need to see more.

Obviously, with the career of heavyweight champ Lennox Lewis drawing to a close. And old war-horses Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson well beyond their best days, the heavyweight division is in need of an infusion. Regarding the fighter who's going to provide that spark, from what I saw, I'd say Dominick Guinn came the closest to possibly being that fighter! Is Guinn or Mesi the heavyweight to have the baton passed on to. I don't know, but I do know I look forward to seeing them both fight again!

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