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MANNY: “Mosley's A Different Man Than Margarito, A Good Man”

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LAS VEGAS(Feb. 12, 2011)—All the questions posed by the members of the Las Vegas media had been answered by global superstar and Philippine Congressman Manny Pacquiao and three-division world champion “Sugar” Shane Mosley.

Now it was time for fans to have their say.

One by one they came to the microphone, poised and confident in front of two of the world’s greatest fighters on Saturday as the Pacquiao-Mosley bi-coastal press tour made a stop-over in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, the same site where Pacquiao and Mosley will battle for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) Welterweight world title as Showtime Networks Inc. and CBS have joined forces with Top Rank, Inc. to promote, produce and distribute the biggest boxing event of the year on May 7 on SHOWTIME PPV®.

Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter and Top Rank CEO, hosted the raucous affair attended by more than a thousand enthusiastic fans with a select few standing to ask questions. Like this one posed to Pacquiao from a boy who looked to be around 12 or 13 years old: “Are you ready for Mosley’s body punishment?” he asked shyly. “Nice, kid. Thanks for that,” responded Pacquiao. “I have two months to prepare for this so I know I will get stronger. I’ll be ready on May 7.”

A question was asked by another fan who wondered what the difference will be fighting now on SHOWTIME as opposed to a competing network where their careers were made. “It’s an honor to fight on SHOWTIME and be covered by CBS,” answered Pacquiao. “A lot of people can watch the fight on TV. It’s just a big privilege.”

Said Mosley: “I’ve never fought on SHOWTIME. There have been a lot of big fights in the past on SHOWTIME like with Mike Tyson and Julio Cesar Chavez. A lot of guys have fought on that channel and I’m excited to make an impact on SHOWTIME. The Fight Camp 360 series is going to be great.”

And then the inevitable question came about Pacquiao’s new hairstyle, which he referred earlier in the day to looking somewhat like a Beatle. “Do you like Justin Bieber because of your new hairstyle?” a young female fan asked to a roar of laughter from the audience. “I like him, but Bruce Lee is my idol,” was Pacquiao’s response.

SHOWTIME expert analyst and commentator Al Bernstein took his turn at the microphone and praised both fighters. “This event is so extraordinary,” he said. “Any event that has an international icon who transcends the sport of boxing like Manny Pacquiao clearly has the chance and probably will be the event of the year in this sport. And then you toss into the mix a man I’ve known for so many years and a future Hall of Famer and,  equally as important, one of the best known names in all of boxing like Shane Mosley. When you put that together clearly it makes for a great event and SHOWTIME is gratified to be a part of it.”

He continued. “SHOWTIME has a track record in the pay-per-view arena that is well documented. The 1990s brought a lot of great pay-per-views. In fact, the second Tyson-Holyfield fight was for 10 years the most viewed with the most buys of any pay-per-view. We take pride at SHOWTIME with providing a nuanced, informational approach that’s fan-friendly and follows the evolving story-line wherever it leads us. SHOWTIME always makes the fighters the stars and we will certainly take that approach once again on May 7.”

It was a day full of goodwill and complimentary talk, even between the fighters. Mosley told the Las Vegas press corps that, “Manny and are I are a lot alike. We don’t like to trash talk.”

And this: “Manny’s a warrior but he wants to take your heart out.”

And then this: “I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to land some shots on Manny. I think size will be the big difference in the fight. I’m too fast and too big and I have the height and reach advantage and I’m going to use it.”

Added Pacquiao: “That’s what I love about this fight because we don’t talk trash. I think Mosley is a different man (than Margarito) and a good man.”

The Pacquiao-Mosley U.S. media tour will continue on to New York at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers – Pier 61 with another open to the public news conference on Monday, Feb. 14.

The fight is being promoted by Top Rank, in association with MP Promotions, Sugar Shane Mosley Promotions, Tecate and MGM Grand, Pacquiao vs. Mosley will be produced and distributed live by SHOWTIME PPV®.

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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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