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FIGHTING WORDS

Heavyweight boxer Baby Joe Mesi, left, strikes a challenging pose Tuesday with Tom Jost, a social studies teacher at Buffalo's Pfc. William J. Grabiarz School of Excellence, during a school assembly that kicked off a contest to combat illiteracy. Students who finish reading 25 books will get a ticket to watch Jost spar a few rounds with Mesi in the school gym in May. They also will receive a certificate autographed by Mesi.

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