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Pernell Whitaker Joins Team Judah

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Judah was life and death with Lucas Matthysse. Can he give a better showing against Mbuza? (photo by Hogan Photos)Zab Judah Conference Call Quotes

Kathy Duva, Main Events CEO: “We have a new chapter opening for us and also a new one for Zab Judah as well. On March 5th we are going to be back in Newark and Zab is going to become a world champion again. Main Events along with Zab is going to be opening a new venue at Prudential Center, it's called the Amerihealth Pavilion. We are very excited about that.”

“Many years ago Main Events made a name for itself by putting a fight in an ice rink in Totowa, NJ. Well this building also doubles as an ice rink. It's going to be a space for athletic events, concerts, comedy and all kinds of shows. Underneath the floor will be an ice rink for this first show, because it's still hockey season, so it's going to be familiar to some of us. It's going to be a great night kicking off this tremendous venue. I think it's going to become the new millennium's version of what Ice World used to be years ago: an incubator for new talent coming up. And I can't think of a better way to open than with a world title fight featuring Zab Judah vs. Kaiser Mabuza, who's coming all the way from South Africa to fight him (Zab).”

Zab Judah: “It means a lot to me to be put in this position (to become world champion). Kaiser Mabuza is a very tough fighter. He brings a great style to the ring of boxing, and he brings exciting fights. He's known as a home wrecker and he's coming across the world, so I know he's coming in 100% prepared for us. I know he's gonna try to come in there and win his first world title, but Zab Judah is in there and I'm looking to become the 5 time champion of the world. I'm not gonna stop.”

“You know I'm not joking, there's nothing amusing here. Kaiser Mabuza is a fighter who made his way to the number one spot in boxing. There's nothing I can take away from that, there's nothing you can take away from that. The man has made his way up there to become the number one fighter in the world. I'm number 2. He's higher than me already and I'm going to surpass him come March 5th, but right now the man is number one in the world. So you have to give him his respect, because he made his way there.”

“My last fight was Lucas Matthysse, another fighter people didn't know anything about, but now you guys know about him. With Matthysse everybody was saying to me, 'he's nobody, nobody knows him'. But now people see he's a very rugged, tough, strong puncher, and like I said the guy has exceptional punching power. I know he's got another fight coming up. Watch, you'll get another look at him with another opponent with a different style and then you guys will say 'well damn, the only person who could beat him was Zab'. Then you guys will give me props. Same thing with Kaiser Mabuza, he's an action- packed fighter, he's coming in here, this is a major opportunity for him. He sat around and waited for the opportunity for a long time and I know come March 5th, Kaiser Mabuza is not coming all the way from South Africa to lose.”

“These guys Matthysse and Mabuza, people side stepped them because they're not familiar with them, because they're from different countries and they were doing things over there. People say, 'I'm not fighting them, they're nobody', but evidently they are somebody, because they made their way up to the position they are at right now.”

“Training camp is going well. We picked up a helping hand, Pernell “Sweetpea” Whitaker. He will be a new member of Team Judah. At this point I'm just taking experiences and sapping knowledge everywhere we go, sucking it all up. I need it. I'm going to get the best, to be the best.”

Kathy Duva: “Pernell was thrilled when he found out that Zab was interested in bringing him in. There's probably nobody in the world that can build a game plan better than Pernell Whitaker. He can see everything. I think in Zab he has found a student who can actually execute everything he wants him to do, which hard for someone like Pete (Pernell) to find. There aren't very many fighters that could actually do the things that Pete could teach him. I think of Pete as sort of a great concert pianist, he isn't going to be satisfied teaching students to play Chopsticks, but if he can find a student who can play that concerto the way he did, then he can really teach him something. That's what this pairing is. I think it's absolutely inspired and a wonderful idea. I know Pete is as thrilled about it as we are.”

Zab Judah: “This man (Mabuza) is coming in here to fight, this gonna be a good fight. But just know that I'm ready, I'm working hard. I'm back doing my running; I'm back in the mountains training. We're in the gym now everyday. My life has changed.”

“I know it's his (Mabuza) first opportunity to become a world champion. We are expecting a tough, 12 round, action-packed, non-stop-punches fight. This is what makes great fights.”

Zab Judah12 Rounds – IBF Jr. Welterweight Championship

Amerihealth Pavilion at Prudential Center, Newark, NJ

March 5th, 2011

Zab Judah           vs.       Kaizer Mabuza

Brooklyn, NY                  Johannesburg, South Africa

40-6, 27 KO's                  23-6-3, 14 KO's

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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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