An interview with Father/Trainer Jack Mesi
Two weeks ago we got a good idea about the standing of the Heavyweight division during Don King’s night of Heavyweights. The top heavyweights in the division, like Hasim Rahman, Evander Holyfield, John Ruiz, Chris Byrd and Jameel Mcline all trying to stake their claims in the Heavyweight division. (Just a note and my personal opinion, something I’ve said before and which, unfortunately, needs to be said again….. Evander needs to retire. Before he gets hurt and before he ruins his legacy by taking beatings from much lesser fighters, he really needs to retire.) One heavyweight prospect which was absent from this night of Heavyweights was “Baby” Joe Mesi. We last saw Baby Joe fight on March 13th 2004 against former Cruiserweight king Vassiliy Jirov in a fight where Joe hit the canvas on 3 occasions and barely won by one point on all scorecards.
After that last fight Joe was taken to the hospital for a concussion. Teddy Atlas broke news on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights that Baby Joe was suffering from Subdural Heamatoma and should not be allowed to fight again. The Las Vegas Athletic Commision suspended Joe’s boxing license until test’s and MRI’s proving otherwise could be produced.
I had talked with Jack Mesi, Joe’s father and trainer, months ago and he assured me that everything was fine and that the results of the MRI’s would be in the hands of Marc Ratner of the Nevada State Athletic commission within days. This had not happened then and it still has not happened.
I was able to get a few minutes of time with Jack Mesi today to ask him about this and for an update on “Baby” Joe’s condition.S.S.: First off, Jack, how is Joe doing? How is he feeling?
J.M.: Well, you may have read on various other websites that we went to Miami over last weekend to the Ringside Physicians convention. We showed the ringside physicians when we had as far is injuries are concerned and, boy, I tell you, once they saw what we are talking about, they were really amazed at how everything really got blown out of proportion. So, I thing that in the very near future we will be in Nevada meeting with the Nevada Commission and we’ll have a sit-down and discuss this, that’s our plan.S.S.: Have you sent anyone at the Nevada State Athletic Commision, Marc Ratner, in particular, copies of the original test or MRI results?
J.M.: No, but I’m sure they will have them within a very short while.S.S.: Jack, is there a reason why this hasn’t been done yet, why the results haven’t been sent over to the Commision yet? I spoke with you about 3 months ago and at that time you said that the commission would have the results within a week. Now, 3 months later, you tell me that the commission will have the results shortly. If Joe is in good shape and everything is fine, like you say, they why hasn’t this been done yet, why is it taking so long?
J.M.: Yes, there is a reason. It’s because we have had to go get all of our medical stuff together, get a full package for the Nevada Commission to see, from beginning to end. Look, we don’t feel that this is a medical problem, we feel that this is more of a language problem. Medically, we have always felt that Joe was sound and healthy athough he did sustain a minor injury. A minor injury that Football players and Hockey players get all the time. So, we were trying during all this time to clear up the language and trying to level the playing field so we could go to the Commission and get a clear understanding of what we want to do. It took all this time for the lawyers to get this all clear. It’s a language problem and a legal problem and, in addition to that, it’s politics, a political thing with the local media.S.S.: So, you are confident that we will be seeing Joe in the ring again sometime in the coming months?
J.M.: Absolutely, I have always felt that way. I have always felt that there was no reason to stop him from fighting, but we have to give the commission their due, their respect and we want to make sure that everything is done in it’s entirety. I feel like we are there now and we’ll be getting with the Commission and we’ll have the whole story heard. I mean, we’ll even have Joe go thru a physical with them.S.S.: I’d imagine that Joe must be pretty anxious, ready to get back in there and fight.
J.M.: Look, we saw the Heavyweight’s fighting the other night at Madison Square Garden and we are more anxious then ever after seeing what’s out there. Everyone knows that the division is weak and we feel that it is our time.I’d like to that Jack Mesi for taking a few moments of his time to talk with me and I wish both him and Joe good luck in getting everything cleared up and Joe back into the ring.