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BOXING'S BACK! On Network TV

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Showtime and CBS Join Top Rank, Inc. To Promote, Produce And Distribute Marquee Boxing Event:

MANNY PACQUIAO vs. SHANE MOSLEY

Saturday, May 7, 2011

From MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas

Live on SHOWTIME PPV®

NEW YORK (Jan. 26, 2011)—Showtime Networks Inc. and CBS have joined forces with Top Rank, Inc. to promote, produce and distribute the biggest boxing event of the year—the May 7th showdown between global superstar and Philippine Congressman Manny Pacquiao and three-division world champion “Sugar” Shane Mosley, it was jointly announced by Ken Hershman, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports®, and Bob Arum, Top Rank CEO.

The agreement brings together Pacquiao, the top athlete and personality in the sport, with SHOWTIME, the fastest growing premium television network in the U.S., and its parent company CBS Corporation whose programming and media assets span network and local television, pay and basic cable, radio, outdoor and online.

The campaign will include the SHOWTIME Sports documentary series FIGHT CAMP 360° in preview of Pacquiao vs. Mosley. The top rated CBS Television Network will participate by broadcasting a primetime special of the show in April.

“The arrangement with CBS and Showtime regarding the promotion and distribution of the Pacquiao vs. Mosley championship event represents a new opportunity for the sport of boxing. It enables boxing to reach millions more people in the United States given the reach of CBS, the most watched television network in the country. This development will not only benefit Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley but all of the young men participating in the sport of boxing,” said Arum.

Hershman said, “We look forward to combining Showtime Sports’ production and distribution expertise with Top Rank's promotional power and the amazing programming and marketing resources available to us across CBS to present the biggest boxing event of 2011.”

On May 7, Pacquiao will fight under the SHOWTIME PPV banner for the first time, bringing it the highest profile and biggest revenue generating athlete in boxing whose fights over the past two years have garnered nearly 4 million pay per view buys and unrivaled box office receipts. The event marks the first SHOWTIME PPV event since 2005’s Diego Corrales vs. Jose Luis Castillo II.

“Pay per view has been an opportunistic play for SHOWTIME Sports in recent years,” Hershman continued. “In Pacquiao, we have a global celebrity and unquestionably the most popular boxer of this era attempting to continue his dominance in the ring against Shane Mosley, one of the most talented and recognizable fighters of today not named Manny Pacquiao.  With this marquee match up, Pacquiao’s proven track record in pay per view and CBS’s participation, this is the perfect opportunity for Showtime to be back in the pay per view business and in a big way.”

Showtime has a long history of success in pay per view dating back to the 1990s. In 1997, the SHOWTIME PPV presentation of Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield II garnered the most pay per view buys for any sport or entertainment event in history. The 1.99 million buys stood as the industry benchmark for nearly 10 years, until being surpassed in May 2007.

Additional details about the May 7th event, including ticket information and undercard fights are to be announced.

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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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