October 12, 2007 -- We didn't know it at the time, but this was the night when Baby Joe Mesi won his last professional fight.
The Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, Rhode Island, was not the place where many expected Mesi to end his career. His first fight came in the Apollo Theater in New York in 1997, a one-round knockout of Dwane Cason Allen. He slowly worked his way up the ladder from there, winning every step of the way.
The Tonwanda fighter came home in April 1998 for the first time for a fight when he got a TKO over Mike McGrady at Erie CC. By 2004 the undefeated Mesi looked ready for a title shot in the near future.
But fate, in the form of a brain injury, got in the way. He suffered that injury against Vassiliy Jirov, and didn't fight for more than two years.
By the time Mesi came back, promoters weren't anxious to sign him to bouts. He kept winning atches against no names, which brings us to this day's fight … a one-round technical knockout of Shannon Miller,
That raised his record to 36-0, and that's where it stands today. He was inducted into the Buffalo Boxing Ring 44 Hall of Fame in 2011.
--- Budd Bailey