BUFFALO, New York (AP) - Nevada boxing officials believe Joe Mesi sustained a potentially career-threatening head injury, and are accusing the
suspended heavyweight of making false statements about his medical records.
Keith Kizer, Nevada's chief deputy attorney general, also said in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday that he fears Mesi is putting his
health and career in jeopardy.
Kizer also called it unacceptable for the boxer to refuse sending the requested medical results to the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Even without submitting the medical records, Mesi could have his license to fight in Nevada revoked after the boxer's attorney, Stuart Campbell,
informed the commission that Mesi only had one MRI brain scan since his last fight.
Mesi and his father/manager Jack Mesi didn't return messages left with them by The AP.
Mesi spokesman James Cassidy said the boxer is eager to have his suspension lifted, adding, "I'm sure that anything that is being done, Joe is doing
through the advice of his attorney."
But Kizer, who also serves as the commission's legal adviser, said the commission is aware Mesi has had five MRI scans. Kizer added he believes some
of those tests show the boxer had a subdural hematoma, or bleeding on the brain.
Such a revelation would discount Mesi's assertion that he had only a concussion after he was knocked down three times in a unanimous decision over
Vassiliy Jirov in Las Vegas in March. Any sign of bleeding also would be cause for the commission to bar Mesi from fighting in Nevada - a ban that
under U.S. law would be enforced throughout the country.
"This is some pretty serious stuff and it just makes no sense that Mr. Mesi is not willing to give (the tests results) to us," Kizer said. "As of
right now, the ball's in Mr. Mesi's court."
Mesi (29-0) was ranked the top contender by the WBC before it began bankruptcy liquidation proceedings this week. He is ranked ninth by the IBF.
Kizer's comments come in response to Mesi's decision to reverse his plans after initially telling the commission the medical tests were forthcoming.
Mesi is now only offering to be examined by a doctor appointed by the commission.
That's not good enough, Kizer said, noting the commission already has the authority to submit a boxer to any examination.
"To say to the commission that, 'I got hurt in your state in a fight but I'm not going to show you what happened' ... is unacceptable. And more than
that, it's sad," Kizer said. "If it takes them five years to send them to us, then perhaps Mr. Mesi will be under suspension for five years. What can
[Edited on 22-6-2004 by Ocelot]