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Countdown To Montiel-Donaire–Who Do Ya Like On Feb. 19?

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FERNANDO MONTIEL and NONITO DONAIRE
COLLIDE FOR THE
WORLD BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
AND
MIKE JONES – JESUS SOTO-KARASS
ENCORE RUMBLE
IN WELTERWEIGHT TITLE REMATCH

FEBRUARY 19 at MANDALAY BAY in LAS VEGAS
LIVE on HBO BOXING AFTER DARK

LAS VEGAS, NEV (January 10, 2011) – The fuse has been lit for “Dynamite” – pitting two Top-10 pound for pound fighters in an explosive showdown!  Las Vegas’ first world title fight of 2011 will feature World Bantamweight Champion FERNANDO “Cochulito” MONTIEL defending his title against two-division world champion NONITO “The Filipino Flash” DONAIRE in the latest chapter of the storied México-Philippines rivalry, Saturday, February 19, at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.  Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Zanfer Promotions, the Montiel-Donaire world title tilt will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark, beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast.)  The broadcast will open with undefeated NABO/NABA/WBC Continental Americas welterweight champion MIKE JONES defending his titles against Top-10 contender JESUS SOTO-KARASS in a rematch of their exciting battle which took place on November 13 under the Manny Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito pay-per-view extravaganza.

The MGM Resorts Sports Books opening line has Donaire the betting favorite.  Donaire is – 220 over Montiel who is +180.

Remaining tickets to Montiel vs. Donaire, priced at $250, $125, $50 and $25, not including applicable service charges, can be purchased at all Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino).  Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person.  To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Mandalay Bay at (877) 632-7400 or Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.  Tickets also will be available for purchase at www.mandalaybay.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

“Eighteen years ago I promoted a fight with two 108-pound world champions which was one of the greatest events I ever promoted — Michael Carbajal vs. Humberto Gonzalez at the Las Vegas Hilton.  It proved to everyone that dynamite can come in all size of packages,” said Hall of Fame promoter and CEO of Top Rank, Bob Arum.  “Montiel vs. Donaire at Mandalay Bay on February 19 will feature a matchup between two hard-punching bantamweights that is every bit as explosive as Carbajal-Gonzalez.  It’s a can’t- miss fight and the fans will be assured of seeing a dynamite event”

“It is a very important fight for me and a great opportunity to prove that I am one of the best fighters in the world,” said Montiel. “I expect a tough fight, but I also expect to win”

“Fernando Montiel is the best fighter I have ever faced and certainly the toughest challenge of my professional career,” said Donaire.  “It’s going to be a battle of strength and will.  I’m leaving nothing to chance in training and when the final bell rings on February 19, the Philippines will have another mark in the victory column against México.”   

“Montiel vs. Donaire is a terrific way to kickoff the season premiere of Boxing After Dark between the two biggest little guys in the sport,” said Kery Davis, senior vice president of programming for HBO Sports. “Fans fights are in for a big night, particularly with the Mike Jones and Jesus Soto-Karass rematch leading off our telecast.”

Richard Sturm, president of Sports and Entertainment for MGM Resorts International, said, “What an exciting way for Mandalay Bay to kick off the 2011 boxing schedule.  This sensational match-up between two fabulous champions, Donaire and Montiel, will certainly bring an electric atmosphere to the Mandalay Bay Events Center and to the fans from around the world.”

Montiel (43-2-2, 33 KOs), of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, México, is only the fourth Méxican fighter to win world titles in three different weight divisions, joining Hall of Famer-elect Julio César Chávez and future Hall of Fame inductees Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera. Undefeated since 2006, eight of Montiel’s last ten victories (eight were world title fights) have been by stoppage.

Donaire (25-1, 17 KOs), a native of General Santos City, Philippines, now living in the Bay Area of San Leandro, Calif., is a consensus top-10 pound for pound fighter.  He enters this fight riding a nine-year, 24-bout winning streak, which includes an IBF/IBO flyweight title knockout victory of defending champion Vic Darchinyan, and a fourth-round blasting of former WBA bantamweight champion Wladimir Sidorenko in his last fight on December 4.Nine of Donaire’s last 10 victories have come by way of knockout.

Co-promoted by Peltz Boxing, Jones and Soto-Karass return for an immediate rematch of their November 13 brawl.  After Jones decked Soto-Karass in the second round, Soto-Karass came back to almost pull out the victory in a fight most ringside fans and media thought could have gone either way.  In fact, Jones’ second-round knockdown of Soto-Karass provided Jones the one-point margin for a razor-thin majority decision victory instead of a Draw.  The judges’ scores were 95-94, 97-93 and 94-94.  

Jones (23-0, 18 KOs), of Philadelphia, PA., has been attracting rabid fans to his fights in the friendly confines of Atlantic City and Philadelphia. He took on his biggest challenge on the biggest stage he has ever fought on when he tangled with Soto-Karass, successfully defending his titles and adding the vacant WBC Continental Americas welterweight title. Considered one of the hottest prospects in boxing, six of his last nine victories have come by knockout.  Victories over Brazilian strongman Juliano Ramos, Henry Bruseles, ending his five-year winning streak, Hector Muñoz and Irving Garcia, have catapulted Jones to the top of the ratings, where he is ranked No. 2 by the WBO, No. 3 by the WBA and IBF, and No. 4 by the WBC.

Soto-Karass (24-5-3, 16 KOs), of Los Mochis, México, boasts an impressive 13-2-2 (one No Contest) record, over his past 18 fights, dating back to 2005.  The only other blemish was a sixth-round technical loss to Alfonso Gomez last year.  Highlights of that period include knockout victories of former world champion Vince Phillips and undefeated contender Michael Rosales in WBC Continental Americas welterweight title fights in 2006 and contender David Estrada for the vacant NABF welterweight championship in 2008.  He is currently world-rated No. 8 by the WBC.

Doors will open at 4:00 p.m. PT with the first bell at 4:30 p.m. PT.  The HBO-televised fights will begin at 6:45 p.m. PT.

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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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