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Holyfield-Williams A No Contest; “Real Deal” Didn't Protest Stoppage Real Hard

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Holyfield-WilliamsPPVThe cut on his left eye certainly didn't look like the sort of wound that would force a man with the confirmed mettle of Evander Holyfield to stop fighting. But there he was on his stool after the third round at the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia on Saturday night.

His trainer Tommy Brooks asked him if he wanted to continue, just a few seconds after opponent Sherman Williams blasted Holyfield with an overhand right, which almost sent him to the mat.  Holyfield, a man who in 1997 fought on after Mike Tyson BIT OFF A CHUNK OF HIS EAR, didn't lobby to continue, apparently, because the fight was halted after the third, and declared a no contest.

Without being in the corner, and seeing if he was appraised by a physician, and administered a test to gauge his vision, it's impossible to state with certainty what went on after the round, but at the least, we didn't see the warrior Holyfield on display after he got whacked around by Williams in the third, and a convenient exit route was given to him.

A doctor looking at Holyfield after the fight was stopped talked about an artery being hit, which didn't jibe with the fact that the cut wasn't streaming blood at all after the ref, Dave Johnson, had decided to call the night.

Holyfield mumbled postbout about being headbutted, and his vision being impaired, and basically said he was fine with the no contest because he felt that Williams would continue to head butt him.

Williams (age 40; from the Bahamas; 34-11-2 entering) weighed 258 pounds, while Holyfield (age 48; living in Georgia; 43-10-2 entering) was 224 pounds on Friday. Holyfield's WBF title was on the line in the feature bout on the pay per view event, tagged “Redemption in America.”

In the first, Holyfield showed good bounce in his legs. His body still puts any age man to shame. His volume was weak but Williams wasn't busy either. His mouth, though, worked hard, complaining about Holyfield's head butts.

In the second, Williams looked to land left hooks every so often. Holyfield was the busier of the two, but he knows how to conserve energy, for sure. He did toss a couple combos, however, it must be said. A butt caused a cut on Holyfield's left eye towards the end of the round.

In the third, Williams scored points with an overhand right.  Holyfield worked behind a tepid jab, which did nothing to keep Williams from winging the right. One of those rights almost sent Holyfield to the mat with five seconds to go in the round. Trainer Tommy Brooks then asked him if he wanted to quit, because of the cut.

Somewhat bizarrely, before the main event, a man in a tux whose name wasn't stated sang “Born to Run” while Clarence Clemons, of the E Street Band, sat next to him and blared on the sax. Does Springsteen know about this?

Kevin Johnson (23-1-1 entering), who stepped in three days ago for an ill Travis Kauffman, met 7-1 Julius Long (15-14 entering; weighing 300 pounds) in a heavyweight tangle, set for eight or fewer. Long isn't the most coordinated guy in the game. Johnson slipped smartly most of what the giant threw. Lennox Lewis chatted with announcers Al Bernstein and Benny Ricardo during the second round. As Lennox blathered on, in the manner which forced HBO to let him go last year, Johnson lit into Long.

KJ used a stiff jab to good effect, but neglected the very obvious terrain to mine, the body. Long had a bloody nose, and was losing his battle to scarf enough oxygen to sustain himself by the end of the fifth. But he stayed in the game, mostly because Johnson's power is less than devastating. But it was enough, via a weak right hand, to send a lagging Long to the mat with 1:10 left in the eighth. He did it again, with a left-push, with 40 seconds on the clock. The judges saw it 79-71, across the board for Johnson.

Five months ago, Monte Barrett swore up and down that his next fight, against David Tua, would be his last. But his plans changed. A business deal fell through, and thus, his retirement plan went out the window. Barrett, age 39, coming off a draw with Tua, gloved up against Charles Davis in a fight scheduled for eight. David had his moments;  the lefty shot straight lefts which caught Barrett. Monte perked up in the fourth, after his corner gave him the what for. Davis hurt Monte with a body blow in round five. Monte tried to give a possum look, playing up his what “pain” he was in, but he didn't fool anyone.

Davis was huffing and puffing more in the sixth. Monte's hooks, absent early, were landing and having impact. The seventh was tight and it looked to be up for grabs in the eighth. The judges did indeed have the final say after a round in which Barrett showed fire, and a desire to land a power right. The tallies were 77-75 (Davis), 76-76, 76-76, resulting in a majority draw. You can consider that a loss for the 34-9-2 Barrett. Davis, a loser of four straight entering,  is now 19-21-3.

In the PPV opening bout, unbeaten Detroit middleweight Willie Fortune (10-0, 5 KOs) won an 8-round split decision against Lithuania-native Donatas Bondoravas (10-2-1, 3 KOs) in a spirited bout.

In one of three off-PPV fights, Detroit middleweight Domonique Dolton (10-0, 6 KOs) kept his undefeated record intact, pitching a complete shutout (80-72 three times) versus veteran Marcos “The Terminator” Primera for an 8-round unanimous decision.

 NABA Heavyweight Champion Cedric “The Bos” Boswell (33-1, 26 KOs) successfully defended his title, knocking out Dominique “Diamond” Alexander (19-10, 9 KOs) in the second round via the three-knockdown rule.

Cleveland junior welterweight Miguel “Silky Smooth” Gonzalez (13-2, 12 KOs), 2008 U.S. National AAU champion, dropped Ramon Che” Guevara three times in the sixth round for an automatic knockout victory.

HERE ARE POSTFIGHT QUOTES FROM THE FIGHTERS

Evander Holyfield: “I’m very disappointed. He fought the way he should have. He understood he would have his head low when he threw the overhand right. If I didn’t move back, we’d clash heads. It was to his advantage to get lower because he’s short. Being that short he had to fight that fight. He didn’t have to, he chose to.”

Stuff like this happens and I’ll shake it off. Hopefully, I’ll get this stitched up and it won’t be a problem. Life goes on, it’s part of boxing.”

Sherman Williams: “I’ve had my own personal setbacks. To get over what I did was a miracle. I trained hard for this fight. I was fighting a legend and I can’t take anything away from him. I feel like I should have won by TKO. I cut him with an overhand right, but I respect him.”

“I root for him. He’s almost 50 and still training and performing. I admire what he’s done but it’s time to let younger guys fight and older guys do television commentary.  He’s not as good looking as I am. You’ve made sacrifices, won 4 world championships and fought in the Olympics. But this is a new time, a new era. Mr. Holyfield shouldn’t be taking punches from younger guys. That’s how I feel. It’s time for him to move on but, if he wants, we can do it again.”

“After the first round he was falling into my trap. When he felt I was in retreat…bang with the overhand right, and that’s when I saw blood.”

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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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