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Pacquiao-Mosley Announcement Reminds Fans Of The Fight They're Not Getting

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This past Thursday afternoon the press tour for the upcoming Pacquiao-Mosley fight kicked off at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Both Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley rank among the top five active fighters in boxing when it comes to the respect they garner from a majority of today's boxing writers and fans. Throughout their careers Manny and Shane have met the best boxing had to offer in their respectful divisions, and even fought rematches against the fighters who defeated them or gave them their toughest and most difficult fights.

Matching Pacquiao 52-3-2 (38) and Mosley 46-6-1 (39) is a dream fight on paper. At one time had they fought as lightweights or welterweights it would've been a tossup or perhaps Mosley would've gone off as the betting favorite. And there's a strong case that can be made that justifies Mosley as being the best and most dangerous fighter Pacquiao will have ever shared a ring with. However, it's 2011 and Mosley is 39 crowding 40 years old, and Pacquiao is at or near his prime at 32. Oh, Pacquiao is a substantial favorite three months out from the fight, and for good reason. That being today Pacquiao can do everything better in the ring that a fighter can do over another, with the exception being Shane might hold the advantage in single shot power, again, that too may be a reach at this time.

Instead of the Pacquiao-Mosley announcement getting you pumped up for the fight, and it will be an exciting fight as long as it lasts, what it really does is serve as a reminder that this should've been the press tour kickoff for Pacquiao-Mayweather. That's the fight that all boxing fans are waiting to become a reality. Everyone who follows boxing knows that Mosley no longer posses the tools needed to beat Pacquiao. Shane is getting the fight because Mayweather doesn't want it. Mosley said as much at the press conference when he said, “if (Mayweather) wanted to fight him, he'd be fighting him.” For Mayweather, hiding behind the smoke screen that he's thrown up suggesting that Pacquiao is using steroids or some form of HGH, is viewed by most clear thinking fans as an excuse. In sports, especially combat sports, perception is reality. And it's looking more and more like Floyd believes that the risk/reward factor in regards to him fighting Pacquiao isn't worth it.

If $30 million dollars isn't sufficient reward for risking a loss (and since Floyd's near his prime and has never taken a beating, it's unlikely that, win or lose, he'd be facing serious physical damage), what would be? It's got to be one of the greatest risk/reward fights in history. Can he really be so vain that a decision loss means that much to him? Until he agrees to fight Pacquiao, one must conclude that he fears his legacy won't hold up historically when compared to boxing's greatest of the greats if he suffers a defeat in the signature fight of his career. And if that's the case, Floyd's the one who chose the money and low risk fights during the peak years of his career.

The only thing that could legitimately become a stumbling block and prevent the biggest fight of the last decade from being made are Mayweather's pending legal issues, felony coercion and misdemeanor battery pertaining to his ex-girlfriend. Assuming that Mayweather won't have to serve any jail time, and it's highly unlikely that he will, he must step up and fight Pacquiao next, provided Manny gets by Shane in May. The sand in the hourglass is almost through. Floyd has to cast aside his worry that if he loses to Pacquiao, he'll be more remembered for his single defeat than his 41 career victories. That would be better than being more remembered for his appearances on Wrestlemania and Dancing With the Stars as Mark Kriegel of Foxsports.com wrote last week.

Just a couple years ago it seemed as if there was plenty of time to make Pacquiao-Mayweather, or if you will, Mayweather-Pacquiao. Then again, if fans were willing to pay to see Hopkins-Jones II 17 years after their first fight, then I guess there's still plenty of time left to work through the obstacles preventing Mayweather from signing the contract to face Pacquiao. The only problem is, Pacquiao is 32 and Mayweather will be 34 at the end of this month. Based on their age, they're both near the end of their prime. It's a rarity that boxing lucks out and gets to see two greats face each other at or near their prime. That's why when it does happen those fights are never forgotten. How many fights are held in the same historical reverence as Frazier-Ali I and Leonard-Hearns I?

In order for Pacquiao-Mayweather to be held in that regard years after they fight, it has to happen soon. If Mayweather can survive his upcoming court date and Pacquiao manages to get by Mosley this coming May, they must face each other in their next bout. If they wait beyond 2011, it'll be more remembered like Leonard-Hearns II then Duran-Leonard I.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

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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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