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Mesi Vs Jirov: Expect Anything

Feb 3, 2004  By Vito Trabucco
HBO is set for it’s March 13th card between WBC and WBA Junior Middleweight Champion  “Sugar” Shane Mosley, 39-2, 35 KO’s and IBF Champion Ronald “Winky” Wright, 46-3, 25 KO’s in what should be a terrific bout.  But I have to admit, there is another fight on that card that has grabbed my attention even more.  It’s “Baby” Joe Mesi Vs Vassiliy Jirov.  This is undoubtedly one of the most interesting match ups I’ve heard of in a while.  Expect anything to happen in this fight.

In case you don’t know who Vassiliy Jirov is, he’s a former IBF Cruiserweight Champion in his second heavyweight prizefight.  He’s won 33 out of his 34 bouts, knocking out 29 of his opponents.  His only loss came last year to James “Lights Out” Toney in a very tough 12 round fight.  Since his loss to Toney, Jirov has won 2 straight in a row by knockout.  So why the jump to the heavyweight division?  Maybe because “Baby” Joe is no James Toney.

“Baby” Joe Mesi, 28-0, 25 KO’s is one of the heavyweight’s top contenders, and pulls in a decent draw when he fights (well at least when he fights in Buffalo).  But even though Jirov is moving up in weight, and isn’t as well known to the public as Mesi, he is still the toughest opponent that “Baby” Joe has faced to date.

Rumors are also now flying that Mesi wants a shot at Mike Tyson.  This is coming from the guy who said he wants to be the one to dethrone Lennox Lewis.  A tip for “Baby” Joe; worry about the guy you’re facing on the 13th, you’re going to have your hands full for this one

Jirov is a ferocious animal who will relentlessly attack the body and slug for all 12 rounds if he needs to. Mesi had to change his style in the middle of the Barrett fight just to avoid an all out war.  That was Monte Barrett.  This is Vassiliy Jirov.

Even though Jirov isn’t the size of your standard heavyweight, I think this might finally show us what “Baby” Joe Mesi is truly made of.  What’s Mesi going to do when he realizes that he is in the fight of his life, and this little warrior won’t stop coming at him?  Barrett wasn’t a brawler.  Jirov is.

I guess it’s safe to say that we can expect anything come March 13th.  We could see a new Undisputed Junior Middleweight Champion in Winky Wright.  Or we might see “Baby” Joe Mesi finally get exposed as a “babied” fighter. 

I take a quote from HBO Boxing Analyst Larry Merchant who calls boxing “The theatre of the Unexpected.”  We may just see his saying come true on March 13th.

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