Joe Mesi speaks on Feb. 22, fighting Rahman and more!

By G. Leon


Joe Mesi speaks on Feb. 22, fighting Rahman and more!

GL: What's the latest and greatest Joe? "The Holiday season has been good and the best news I've gotten over the Holiday is that we've secured our next bout, it's going to happen in Chester, West Virginia on February 22. I will be the co-feature to Hasim Rahman. None of us have opponents yet, Top Rank will promote the fight and it will be nationally televised on the versus network. The tune-up stage is over, I've improved during each of my comeback fights, I've been training hard and now it's time for me to step it back up to the ten round level of opposition and then back into the top ten."

GL: Other than returning to the top ten, what are your goals for 2007 and is a fight with Hasim Rahman on your agenda?

Joe Mesi: "It is. It's a fight that we've been trying to get together for quite some time. With our amatuer history and our marketing up here, it's a fight that we'd love to happen in New York State and I still have some problems with New York, but we're going to be looking to get those resolved within the next couple of months. That's a fight that belongs in Western New York, either Buffalo or Rochester. If it's something that can't happen as soon as we'd like, I'm going to continue to step up the level of opposition and continue to move up the rankings, and I'm hoping to get a Rahman fight and a world title fight in during 2007."

GL: When do you expect to have an opponent?

JM: "We're still about eight weeks out and I'm looking to have one as soon as possible, so I'm sure we'll know something in the next week or so."

GL: If everything goes well on February 22, would Rahman be next?

JM: "I hope so. We're hoping by then New York State will cooperate with us and let me fight here. If not I'm going to stay busy with a late March or early April fight, possibly at the Seneca nation casino in my backyard here in New York. Whether or not if Rahman would be next, I hope so but I don't know. I do know that I have to keep my focus on February 22."

GL: How does it feel to be on the cusp of your first ten rounder and once again facing top ten cotenders?

JM: "This is like my breakout fight, my party. These other four fights I had, eight, six, four rounds, they were to prepare me for this fight. I am back now, I've improved each and every time out and in February you are going to see the old Joe Mesi at his best."

GL: You're going to be fighting on Arum's network and you're talking about fighting Arum's best heavyweight, does that mean Top Rank will promote you beyond February 22?

JM: "There have been some talks, but we're just talking. I'm still self promoted and I really don't need a promoter, but our phones have been ringing. The fight with Rahman is a good fight for both of us, we'd both make a lot of money, we have a lot of history together and we'd be trying to reclaim our spots going through each other, so it's a win-win for both of us."

GL: Is there anything you'd like to say in closing?

JM: "I want to thank everyone for being patient with me, it's been a long time coming but 2007 is going to be a breakout for me and all Joe Mesi fans. Look forward to a big 2007."


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