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Newz Forum: BOXING: Mesi's promoter resigns

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posted on Aug, 7 2004 @ 12:29 PM
(AP) -Tony Holden resigned as Joe Mesi's promoter Friday, further clouding the suspended heavyweight boxer's future.

Holden didn't provide a reason for his resignation, but Holden Productions issued a statement calling it a heart-wrenching decision that Holden believes is best for all concerned.

"I'm not going to answer any questions," Holden told The Associated Press Friday night. "At this point I'm just sticking to the statement. I haven't really sat down to think about it much."

Mesi, a Buffalo native, and his father and manager Jack Mesi did not immediately return phone calls Friday night.

Mesi (29-0) was ranked the top contender by the WBC before it began bankruptcy liquidation proceedings in June.

Holden has promoted Mesi for two years and helped the boxer sign a three-fight contract with HBO last year. Mesi has one fight left under the deal, but his future is in limbo after being suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

Mesi won a unanimous decision victory over Vassiliy Jirov in his last fight in Las Vegas in March, but was knocked down three times. The commission demanded to see Mesi's post-fight medical tests to ensure he is healthy enough to continue boxing.

The commission says Mesi has refused to submit five MRI scans, four of which are believed to show that the boxer sustained a subdural hematoma, or bleeding on the brain. Any sign of bleeding could lead the Nevada commission to issue a permanent fighting ban, which would be enforced throughout the country.

The Mesi camp has maintained that the boxer only sustained a concussion and that he is healthy enough to box again.

Keith Kizer, Nevada's chief deputy attorney general, said the commission recently reiterated its stand that Mesi must submit his medical tests before the commission can hold a hearing on his future.

Kizer expressed surprise over Holden's resignation.

"We're just sitting and waiting for them and I'm not sure Holden's resignation will have an impact on that," Kizer said. "Our primary concern is the health and safety of Joe Mesi."

Holden has been a promoter since 1988 when he began representing former WBO heavyweight champion Tommy Morrison. Morrison was forced to retire after testing positive for HIV in 1996. Holden currently represents Zahir Raheem, the IBF's fifth-ranked featherweight contender.

In his statement, Holden called it "a tremendous honor and privilege to work with Team Mesi," adding that he hoped to maintain a lasting friendship with Mesi and his camp.


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