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Showtime Announces First Four Cards Of 2011

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NEW YORK (Jan. 10, 2011) – Undefeated and heralded prospects Luis Franco, Lateef Kayode, Archie Ray Marquez, Rico Ramos and Cornelius White highlight an action-packed February of ShoBox: The New Generation fights while two SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING events will follow, including a March 19 battle for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) Super Middleweight World Championship between champion Lucian Bute and Brian Magee.

“In our 25th year of boxing on SHOWTIME, we're pleased to formally announce our first four dates of 2011,” said Ken Hershman, Executive Vice President and General Manager of SHOWTIME Sports®. “ShoBox continues to feature boxing's hottest up-and-coming stars like Lateef Kayode and Rico Ramos. And with great lightweight action, Lucian Bute's SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING debut and the dramatic conclusions to the Super Six and bantamweight tournaments already planned for 2011, this is a strong start for what promises to be a landmark year on the network.”

Here’s a quick capsule look at each of the four cards coming up on SHOWTIME:

Feb. 4, on ShoBox: The New Generation:
•    Who’s Fighting:
10-Round Featherweight Main Event
Luis Franco               vs.                   Leonilo Miranda
Miami, Fla.                                           Huatabampo, Mexico
(8-0, 5 KOs)                                        (26-2, 25 KOs)

10-Round Cruiserweight Co-Feature
Lateef Kayode                                   Nicholas Iannuzzi
Hollywood, Calif.                                 Tampa, Fla.
(15-0, 14 KOs)                                    (16-1, 9 KOs)

8-Round Lightweight Co-Feature
Archie Ray Marquez                         Marvin Quintero
Albuquerque, N.M.                               Tijuana, Mexico
(10-0, 7 KOs)                                      (20-3, 16 KOs).

•    TV Time: Live at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast)
•    Venue: Chumash Resort and Casino in Santa Ynez, Calif.
•    Promoter: Gary Shaw Productions.
•    What’s at Stake: The former Cuban Olympian Franco, fighting for the third time on ShoBox, is out to prove he’s a legitimate contender and worthy of a world championship fight in 2011 when he takes on the 27-year-old Miranda of Sonora, Mexico. The crowd-pleasing and Freddie Roach-trained Kayode will be looking for his 15th consecutive knockout as he squares off against Iannuzzi. Marquez appeared on ShoBox on Oct. 1, 2010, and tallied a third-round knockout of Juan Santiago. ShoBox fans saw both Franco and Kayode register convincing victories on Dec. 3, 2010, from the same venue.

Feb. 11, on ShoBox: The New Generation:
•    Who’s Fighting:
10-Round Super Bantamweight Main Event
Rico Ramos               vs.                   Alejandro Valdez
Pico Rivera, Calif.                               Ciudad Obregon, Mexico
(18-0, 10 KOs)                                    (23-4-2, 17 KOs)

10-Round Super Middleweight Co-Feature
Cornelius White                                Don George
Houston, Texas                                  Chicago, Ill.
(16-0, 15 KOs)                                    (20-1-1, 17 KOs).

•    TV Time: Live at 11 p.m. ET/PT.
•    Venue: Bally’s Grand Ballroom, Atlantic City, N.J.
•    Promoter: Goossen Tutor Promotions.
•    What’s at Stake: Ramos, 23, of Los Angeles is the No. 1-rated WBA contender and is looking to show ShoBox fans his flashy style and raw power. In his last fight he recorded a knockout worthy of a “Best of 2010” clip with a second-round one-punch annihilation of Heriberto Ruiz. The 27-year-old southpaw Valdez has world championship experience and a pair of stoppages in his last two fights. White, 29, is a native of Houston, Texas, and has knocked out all but one opponent. Newly signed by Goossen Tutor and TNT Productions, White goes by the moniker “Da Beast” and will be fighting against “Da Bomb” George, who was upset in his last fight by technical decision to Francisco Sierra. Prior to that, ShoBox fans remember George winning a unanimous decision over Osumanu Adama.

Feb. 26, 2011, on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING:
•    Who’s Fighting:
12-Round WBA Lightweight World Championship Main Event
Miguel Acosta                                         Brandon Rios
Caracas, Venezuela                                 Oxnard, Calif.
(28-8-2, 22 KOs)                                       (26-0-1, 18 KOs)

12-round Lightweight Co-Feature           
Antonio DeMarco                                    Reyes Sanchez
Tijuana, Mexico                                         Mexico City, Mexico
(24-2-1, 18 KOs)                                       (20-3-1, 11 KOs)

•    TV Time: Live at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
•    Split-Site Venue: Acosta-Rios will fight at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.; DeMarco-Sanchez will fight at the Heartland Events Center in Grand Islands, Neb.
•    Promoter: Top Rank Boxing for Acosta-Rios; Gary Shaw Productions for DeMarco-Sanchez.
•    What’s at Stake: Acosta is riding a 19-fight winning streak and won his world championship belt with a 12-round split decision over Paulus Moses in May. In his last fight he knocked out Armando Cordoba in the first round in a non-title bout. The DeMarco-Sanchez fight pits two brawlers from Mexico taking their acts to central Nebraska.

March 19, 2011, on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING:

•    Who’s Fighting:
12-round IBF Super Middleweight World Championship Main Event
Lucian Bute                                             Brian Magee
Montreal, Canada                                      Belfast, Northern Ireland
(27-0, 22 KOs)                                          (34-3-1, 24 KOs)

•    TV Time: Live at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
•    Venue: Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada
•    Promoter: InterBox.
•    What’s at Stake: The 30-year-old Montreal fan-favorite Bute will be making his seventh title defense against Irish opponent Magee, ranked No. 8 by the IBF. Magee, 35, hasn’t lost in four years since being stopped by Carl Froch in 2006 and will provide a stiff challenge to Bute, who is in line for a shot at the Super Six World Boxing Classic victor.

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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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