Connect with us


Melinda Cooper’s Back In Mexico



Cooper_croppedMelinda “La Maravilla” Cooper just might be one of a handful of female boxers that could be called the best in the world today. But few have seen her in action.

The petite sized Las Vegas-based prizefighter has gobbled up opposition with her superior speed, power and calmness inside the boxing ring.

Very few fans have seen her blistering attack style.

Cooper (21-0, 11 KOs) travels to Mexico City to face Fredee Gonzalez (5-6-1) on Saturday, Jan. 22 for a bantamweight showdown. It’s her third straight trip to the boxing crazy country. Though she would rather be fighting in front of local fans she’s thankful to be fighting at all.

For five years she’s averaged only one fight per year.

“I was off a long time. When I came back I had to really look into myself,” said Cooper, 25, who is trained by James Pena. “It was really hard to get a fight.”

It still is.

In person Cooper’s personality is quite the opposite of her intimidating boxing persona. Words are well chosen, trust is not easily given, and smiles are few until a bond of recognition is established. Otherwise, it’s adios buddy.

Those who know the pretty brunette say she has a great sense of humor and is extremely bright and articulate.

“She can be really funny,” says Pena, who has trained her since age 11.

That all changes once she laces up the boxing gloves and steps inside the ropes.

“I don’t like sparring with girls,” says Cooper, who travels from gym to gym to perfect her craft. “Boys are better because they’re quicker and hit harder.”

It’s only when she spars with much heavier girls that she loosens up the arsenal of laser sharp counters and thudding left hooks. Her footwork is precise and effortless as she moves in and out of position for attacks.

Cooper, a former flyweight world champion, has blazed a trail of fear as she racks up victory after victory. She has been practicing the art of boxing for nearly 15 years and remains undefeated after a total of 74 rounds and 21 pro bouts. All of those fights resulting in wins, 11 came via knockout.

Mexican fight fans are beginning to realize that Cooper is not a mere opponent, but a force who could knock off several of that country’s stars if given the opportunity. Once again she’ll be exhibiting her fighting style against a Mexican female prizefighter.

“They’re tough girls,” says Cooper, whose style is more boxer-puncher than pure boxer.

Last year Cooper signed to fight under Sampson Lewkowicz, whose company frequently runs international fight cards, including in Mexico. Thus, three consecutive bouts were arranged for the Las Vegas prizefighter.

Ironically, it’s not lost on Cooper that though she fights in the universally recognized boxing capital of the world, the Las Vegas native has not been able to secure a bout in her own hometown.

“I’m not going to fight for $400 dollars,” said Cooper, who added she makes that much in one night of bartending at a local casino. “I could break my face and it would cost more than that to fix.”

Instead, Cooper will travel to other countries where she can at least fight for a reasonable purse while sharpening her skills for another world title bout in the near future.

California business woman Claudia Ollis, who arranged a title bout for current WBO bantamweight champion Kaliesha West, wants to assist in Cooper’s pursuit of another world title. Recently another little-known talent, Ava Knight, was brought to Las Vegas by Ollis to help prepare each other for their pending bouts. Knight won her fight by knockout. Now it’s Cooper’s turn.

“She will win another world title,” says Pena, who studies each opponent and relays his findings to Cooper. “When Melinda fights she has no fear.”

Outside of boxing Cooper works day to day with an easy-going attitude and Mona Lisa like smile.

“I’m anxious to get in the ring and make big things happen this year,” Cooper says.

Will this be the year of La Maravilla?

Comment on this article


2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura



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.



Continue Reading


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



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.


Continue Reading


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



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


Continue Reading