By Ken Hissner: In a recent article I did called, “Not only Marciano & Mayweather Left Boxing Unbeaten!” two names came up having retired unbeaten. Heavyweight Joe “Baby Joe” Mesi of Buffalo, New York, and WBO Middleweight champion Dimitry “The Grandmaster” Pirog of Gelendzhik, Russia.
Mesi had his career cut short after his close win over former IBF World Cruiserweight champion Vassiliy “Tiger” Jirov, 33-1, in March 2004 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
It was a war, and though he won, Mesi suffered a knockdown in the ninth round, getting hit behind the head. In the tenth round, Mesi was knocked down twice. All scores were 94-94 for Mesi.
It would be over two years in April of 2004 before Mesi returned to the ring in Puerto Rico in an eight-rounder defeating Ronald “Prophet” Bellamy,14-4-4, winning all eight rounds. He would never again come close to being world rated let alone get a world title fight. In June in Montreal, he took a six-rounder defeating Stephane Tessier, 3-7, winning all six rounds on two cards.
In August, Mesi would take a four-rounder stopping Dennis Matthews, 9-27, in two rounds at the Pope County Fairgrounds in Russellville, Arkansas. In September, in another four-rounder, he defeated Jason Weiss, 3-1, winning all four rounds at the Little River Casino, Manistee, Michigan.
In February of 2007, Messi returned to the 10 round bouts scoring a first round stoppage of George Linberger, 29-8-1, at the Mountaineer Casino & Racetrack Resort, Chester, West Virginia. In April, he knocked out Ron Johnson, 21-20, in the first round at the Hughes Center, Russellville, Arkansas.
In October, he would have his final career bout stopping Shannon Miller, 15-3, in the first round at the Twin River Event Center, Lincoln, Rhode Island, for the vacant WBC USA heavyweight title.
When Mesi was at his best in April of 2001, he stopped Jorge Luis Gonzalez, 31-6, in 4 rounds at the Civic Center, Niagara Falls, New York. In October 2002, he returned to his home city of Buffalo, New York, David Izon, 27-4, at the HSBC Arena in 9 rounds.
In September of 2003, he knocked out DaVarryl Williamson, 18-1, in the first round. In December, he won a majority decision over Monte Barrett, 29-2, at Madison Square Garden in New York. This was prior to the Jirov fight.
After the Miller fight in October of 2007, Messi would no longer continue his boxing career. He was 34 years old, with a 36-0 record with 29 stoppages.
Taking a look at former WBO Middleweight champion Dimitry “Grandmaster” Pirog, who turned professional in July of 2005 and, in his fourth fight, won the Russian Middle title. In October 2007, he stopped Alexey Chirkov, 18-2, for the WBC Asian title.
In June of 2009, Pirog fought outside of Russia for the first time in Germany, stopping Ghana’s Kofi Jantuah, 32-3-1, for the vacant WBC International title. In July of 2010, he made his USA debut, stopping Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs, 20-0, for the vacant WBO Middleweight title at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In January, he returned to Russia for his last three fights. In March 2011, he defeated Argentina’s Javier “La Bestia” Francisco Maciel, 18-1, at the Ekaterinburg. Next, he stopped Gennady Martirosyan 22-2 in 10 rounds. In his final career bout, he defeated Nobuhiro Ishida, 24-7-2, of Japan, in Moscow. He retired after this fight. In 2017 he was elected to the Russian Parliament.
These were the two unbeaten boxers who suddenly retired from boxing like those posted in my recent article. Give me your thoughts.
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