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Haye Dodges Klitschkos, Adamek Weaves Into Picture

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Arreola AdamekNo reason for this man not to smile. He'll make multi millions to fight a Klitschko TBD in his homeland in September. (Hogan Photos)The best laid plans of mice, and men, and most all associated with this red light district of sports oft go awry. So it was with a bit of surprise, and we must admit, some satisfaction when we received word from Main Events head Kathy Duva that her guy,  Tomasz Adamek, the Pole now making his home in New Jersey, will get a crack at a Klitschko. Which one hasn't been determined, but terms are in place for the ex light heavy and cruiserweight champion, who has been patiently and skillfully guided to a multimillion dollar opportunity at taking down one of the Brothers K, to get a shot.

Kathy Duva, who is the odds-on favorite to win BWAA nonexistent promanager of the year award in 2011 if this gets to the goal line, told TSS, “The fight is done.  Everyone has signed.  The fight will take place in Poland in September.  K2 will release more information tomorrow.  We are delighted.  Our plan with Adamek was to prepare him to fight for and win the heavyweight title and also to make sure that when he did so he would be well compensated.  We are extremely happy with the deal and look forward to working with the Klitschko team to make this event as big, exciting and successful as it can possibly be.”

Adamek does have one more hurdle to climb before the crack at a Klitschko: he will take a stay-sharp fight sometime in April, we presume against someone who is quite unlikely to screw up the plan.

This mega-opportunity came about because David Haye is continuing his campaign to convince everyone but his fanclub that he is only capable of talking the talk, but when it comes time to walking tall, and actually signing a deal, and sticking to it, and fighting a Klitschko, he comes up short. The WBA champion called Wladimir a “coward” for choosing to fight an interim bout, against Dereck Chisora  on April 30. He and his manager Adam Booth have been scouring homeless shelters and I hear have a date to visit a busy morgue in London to find a suitable foe for Haye. Ruslan Chagaev is supposed to get a chance as the No. 1 contender, but he has in the past tested positive for hepatitis, and it is unclear whether that permits him to fight Haye. Jean Marc Mormeck, who clashed with Haye in 2007, when he was only 34, is in the mix to fight Haye next. He is to be fair a more challenging foe than Audley Harrison, who fought Haye in December  like he would have money deducted from his purse if he threw a punch. And now Haye is “threatening” to retire when he turns 31 in October because….good God, who cares, this man's posturing is more effective than benadryl at making me groggy. Honestly, I hesitate to even relay this synopsis on Haye, because the guy just yanks so many chains, and wastes peoples' time to such a maddening degree, but since it does pertain to the likable Adamek….

Now, if all goes to plan, and Adamek does fight a Klitschko–and we're hearing Wladimir would be the likelier of the brothers to get the gig—we have to ask: could he win?

And we have to answer: not likely. But we admit we'd not be at all crushed to see him do the job. He and Duva embarked on this quest way back in 2008, when Adamek met Steve Cunningham in a barnburner in New Jersey. He beat USS, and then Johnathon Banks, and Bobby Gunn in Jersey, Andrew Golota in Poland, Jason Estrada in Jersey and then stepped up a notch in beating Cris Arreola in Cali last April. The 34-year-old with 43-1 (28 KOs) record got Ws over Michael Grant and Vinny Maddalone in his last two matches.

Sum all that up, and you have to say Duva has been a wiz in taking the slow lane to this point. Arreola, not to be confused with anything resembling a Hall of Fame talent, no matter what some folks overly hopeful that an American could make some noise in the division wished for, represents the best of the lot among recent Adamek foes. And maybe you remember the “success” he had when he fought Vitali, getting stopped out in the tenth in September 2009. So the climb will be a tough one for Adamek. But then again, merely to reach this point is something of a miracle, so who's to say the run of luck doesn't continue for Adamek and Duva?

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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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