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Sergio Mora To Fight Brian Vera On Feb. 4

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FORT WORTH, TEXAS (January 4, 2011) — It was announced today that ESPN Friday Night Fights will be presented at and broadcast live from the Fort Worth Convention Center Arena on Friday, February 4, 2011.  Billed as SUPER BRAWL 2011, the event is scheduled just two days prior to the 2011 Super Bowl at Cowboys Stadium, in Arlington, Texas.

The main event on the six-bout professional fight card will feature former world champion and current #8 world ranked Junior Middleweight, Sergio Mora (22-1-2, Los Angeles, CA), taking on Fort Worth’s highly regarded Brian Vera (17-5). Mora is fresh off a draw with future boxing Hall of Famer, Sugar Shane Mosley this past September 18th.

Also slated for action will be top Dallas-Fort Worth prospects Charles Hatley (17-0, Dallas…2008 Olympic Trials finalist), Luis Yanez (4-0, Dallas…2008 U.S. Olympian) and Chap Huggins (6-0-1, Fort Worth).  Their opponents as well as the remainder of the card — is to be announced.  The event is being presented by Marines Promotions, in association with SPOT, Inc, of Fort Worth.

Tickets for the event are to be priced at $25, $35, $50 and $125 (VIP) and will be available at all Ticketmaster locations and online at www.ticketmaster.com, beginning on Saturday, January 8th.

VIP tickets include seating in the first five rows of ringside and admission to a VIP Pre-Fight Reception (6:00 – 7:15 pm) honoring several NFL stars (to be announced).

Fort Worth has long been recognized as a major hub for boxing.  As host of the Texas Golden Gloves and home of world champions Donald Curry, Gene Hatcher, Steve Cruz and Troy Dorsey, Fort Worth has earned its reputation as a Fight Town.  Now comes ESPN Friday Night Fights on the biggest sports weekend in North Texas history.

“All of Fort Worth is excited that our Fort Worth Convention Center Arena has been chosen to host ESPN Friday Night Fights on Super Bowl weekend,” said Fort Worth Mayor, Mike Moncrief.  “This live, prime-time broadcast will be an outstanding addition to all the exciting events coming to our city and the North Texas region as part of the Super Bowl festivities. No doubt, it will be a great compliment to the extensive coverage and exposure Fort Worth will receive from ESPN's many hours of broadcasting from Sundance Square throughout Super Bowl week.”

For Mora and Vera, fighting on a big stage is nothing new. Both starred in the television reality series “The Contender”, with Mora winning the 2004 season and Vera finishing runner-up in 2007 season.  Nicknamed “The Latin Snake,” Mora captured his “Contender” title with a thunderous win over Peter Manfredo, Jr. in the shows finale on NBC.

Mora would go on to eventually capture his only world title on June 7, 2008 when he defeated champion, Vernon Forest for the coveted WBC World Junior Middleweight Championship.  In a rematch three months later, Forest would regain his title. But Mora faced the biggest challenge in his career on September 18, 2010, when he battled future Hall of Famer Sugar Shane Mosley at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.  They battled back and forth for 12 rounds in front of hometown fans with the fight ending in a draw.

Mosley moves on to fight mega star, Manny Pacquiao in May 2011, with Mora continuing his assault on the middleweight title, but having to go through a tough Vera to get there.

“I’m anticipating a very tough fight from Brian Vera,” said Mora from his Los Angeles training headquarters.  “He (Vera) has beaten some very good fighters, including knocking out Andy Lee and handing him his only loss in 25 fights.  Lee is #6 in the world now, so that tells you how dangerous Vera is.  No question I have my work cut out for me.  Vera is a tough fight for anyone and the fact that the fight is in his hometown only makes it tougher.”

Vera is excited about getting a shot at the top-ten rated Mora . “This is the road to the Super Bowl for me,” stated Vera.  “My goal has always been to fight for the world middleweight championship and a win over a former world champion and top-ten contender like Mora is what has to happen for me to get that opportunity. “

For both Mora and Vera, fighting on Super Bowl weekend will be special for them.

“That was part of the intrigue for me and one of the reasons I took this fight,” said Mora.  “Being part of the action around the Super Bowl will make it even more exciting.  Also, I’m sure the ratings will be big on ESPN with all the Super Bowl hype on the network.

“I’m pumped up about the fight, especially coming back to Fort Worth and fighting on Super Bowl weekend,” Vera agreed.  “There’s going to be a lot of action in town and to be part of this card will be special.”

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

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The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.

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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score

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This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.

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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland

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On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda

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