? ???? Tuesday night in Buffalo, 'Baby' Joe Mesi did just what he was supposed to do. Unfortunately, for those of us just settling in with a wobbly pop, so did Robert Davis.
Davis (now 28-6, 16 KO) was being brought in for Mesi (26-0, 24 KO) as the next step in his progression towards an eventual (?) heavyweight title shot. After Mesi had previously disposed of David Izon, Davis was being pitched as a perceived step up in class. The win by Mesi over Izon merely proved something we already knew – Izon is old and slow but can take a punch.
Tuesday we were supposed to find out a bit more about this Joe Mesi fella, but you'd be hard pressed to convince me that we did. We knew that Mesi could pop – and he did. We knew Davis was prone to being knocked down and/or out – and he was. There is no doubt that Davis is a guy who will trade punches, take punches and then go down, played heavily in the matchmaking process. What we saw Tuesday was more of a baseball game with Mesi the pitcher and Davis playing the role of catcher. It was fun while it lasted.
So where does Mesi go from here? There had been talk of a match with Holyfield, but it looks like Evander is going ahead with an easier bout against cruiser champ, James Toney. Holyfield was in attendance Tuesday night to watch Mesi, as was Hasim Rahman. With Holyfield seemingly occupied, it looks like Rahman might get the next crack at the Mesi situation. If nothing else, a Mesi-Rahman bout may give us a chance to see if the kid from Buffalo can take a punch or not. Then again, maybe not.
Rahman arguably won his last bout by boxing behind his hard jab versus a limited David Tua in their rematch. Somehow the judges saw that fight a Draw, but most felt Rahman won. Still, Rahman had previously been viciously KO'd by Lennox Lewis, dropped several times by Corrie Sanders in a bout Rahman eventually won, was knocked out by the B-class Oleg Maskaev, and was stopped the first time he faced Tua. So Rahman appears to be a bit “chinny” and that suits Mesi and his 24 KO's in 26 wins just fine.
What we did see from Mesi this week against Robert Davis, was a big white heavyweight who throws nice combinations and has some awkward movement that could cause a few guys some trouble. Mesi ducked and bobbed for a few ticks of the 80 seconds that the fight went. He then ended things for good with a nice straight right-left hook finishing combination. His punches are well put together, albeit a little slow in coming. When they do land however, they do some good work.
In the heavyweight division that has an aging Lennox Lewis seemingly set to walk off into the sunset with all his marbles still intact, Mesi appears to fit right in with the rest. The only thing clear in the division right now is that there is no definite successor to the Jamaican-Canadian-Brit's throne, should he choose to leave the ring for good within the next year.
Lewis struggled a week ago in a fight he was not well prepared for. The heavyweight champion of the world had trouble with what Vitali Klitschko brought to their fight; and the closer Lewis gets to 40 years old, the more he looks like he could spoil overnight. Vitali was supposed to be the lesser of the two fighting Klitschko brothers. That was of course until the better boxing brother, Wladimir, was sent to Queer Street by the aforementioned – and previously retired – Corrie Sanders.
So really, why not throw Joe Mesi into the mix? It is a Mesi heavyweight situation for sure.