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Women’s Boxing Given Boost By Golden Boy Support

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Knight (r) takes it to Salas.Golden Boy’s CEO Richard Schaefer and president Oscar De La Hoya announced back in September that they were going to include women’s professional boxing on future cards.

People scoffed.

A few days after that Riverside’s Kaliesha West captured the WBO bantamweight world title with a scintillating knockout.

People shrugged despite the emphatic knockout and said that would be the last time women’s boxing would be on a Golden Boy Card.

The word around the women’s boxing world was that it was mere lip service.

Last Friday, flyweight stars Ava Knight and Gloria Salas fought on another Golden Boy card. This time at Fantasy Springs Casino.

People aren’t scoffing any more.

Golden Boy kept its word and female prizefighting was showcased on another fight card. Working with Claudia Ollis, a new powerbroker in women’s boxing, the Los Angeles-based boxing giant Golden Boy has made waves in the boxing world. Now other boxing promotions are jumping on the bandwagon with female fighters included on their respective cards.

“Not many promoters will do it,” said Schaefer by telephone. “They don’t give female boxing a chance.”

TV

One other major change is needed for women boxing to gain recognition, added Schaefer.

“I think unless networks change their approach they (women boxers) are going no where,” said Schaefer, adding that without television exposure female boxers will not profit. “I feel bad because the women work just as hard in the gym as the men.”

Golden Boy Promotions has been working with Ollis who hit back-to-back homeruns with first West, then last week with Knight. She plans to bring several other elite female prizefighters to the forefront.

The union has made a sudden impact on the female boxing world that was convinced Golden Boy Promotions would never back the sport. Not true.

“Richard Schaefer and GBP have been instrumental in my movement! They literally have paved the way for other promoters to follow suit, “the leaders of the pack” so to speak in a new era of women’s boxing,” stated Ollis who has a number of elite female fighters under her wings. “By allowing one of my fighters to fight on a major card for a world title this past year was huge and now it’s slowly starting to break the gender barrier and hopefully the television barrier.”

It’s going to take a lot of muscle to push women’s boxing to the forefront. Golden Boy’s support is a big boost for the sport.

Schaefer knows what it takes.

“The networks have to get on board,” he said.

That day when both Schaefer and De La Hoya vowed support for women’s boxing, non-believers chuckled. They’re not chuckling any more.

Other news

Will Oscar De La Hoya be returning to the ring soon? And will it be against Ricky Hatton?

“That’s absolutely not true,” said Schaefer on Thursday morning. “Those are just rumors. I don’t know where they started.”

The Golden Boy chief said that De La Hoya and Hatton are retired.

Bernard

Though the WBC has ruled that the light heavyweight titleholder Jean Pascal must fight Bernard Hopkins in a rematch after both fought to a 12-round draw, there are still problems.

“They say there is a rematch clause between Chad Dawson and Pascal,” said Schaefer, adding that it is a stumbling block at the moment that could be remedied.

JMM vs. El Terrible

A match between universally recognized lightweight world champion Juan Manuel Marquez and former featherweight kingpin Erik “El Terrible” Morales is under construction and near completion.

Fight Night Club returns

Golden Boy Promotions stated that Las Vegas prizefighter Jessie Vargas headlines the return of the popular Fight Night Club on Thursday Feb. 24. Vargas faces Lanard Lane in a junior welterweight bout.

Prices have been reduced to a minimum $15 for admission.

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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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