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Ex Mosley Foe Mora Says Shane Will Hurt Pacquiao

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Shane Will Hurt PacquiaoSergio Mora had the pleasure of tangling with Manny Pacquiao’s next victim, Shane Mosley, back in September. That waltz didn’t make anyone’s fight of the year list, but Mora’s last outing, against Brian Vera on the February 4th Friday Night Fights, was quite the fan friendly rumble.

I called Mora to congratulate him on the effort, which goes down in the record books as a split decision loss, and to get his thoughts on Mosley’s chances against Pacquiao on May 5 in Las Vegas. I wanted to get his take on how much Mosley has left, as I’ve been nagged by my certainty that Mosley simply doesn’t have the needed skills remaining to make many problems for Pacman. That nagging is acute, since as I wrote Monday, I have a hard time coming down on the other side of a Freddie Roach assessment. He thinks Mosley will be formidable. I do not. Mr. Mora, please weigh in…

“I think Mosley is going to be able to do well,” said Mora, the 30-year-old Californian with a 22-2 mark. “I think Mosley hurts Pacquiao in the third or fourth round.”

Mora made some stellar points in building something of a case for Mosley. One, that he was off for almost a year and a half before he fought Floyd Mayweather, on May 1, 2010. So if there were times when he looked something close to shot there, we should factor in the rust, and of course, that Mayweather is a defensive Picasso. Also, Mora said, yes indeed Mosley didn’t look great against him. But Mora’s defense was on high alert that night, as he respected Mosley’s power. And Mosley traditionally looks less than wondrous against defensive masters: against Winky Wright, against an on-his-game-De La Hoya, against Luis Collazzo, he wasn’t on his ‘A’ game. “We made him look bad,” Mora said. But, Mora stated, against an aggressor like Pacman, the warrior in Mosley will come to the fore.

“Now, I didn’t say Mosley would win,” he said, chuckling. “I don’t think it will go the distance. And I’ll bet the house.”

Mora acknowledges that Mosley has lost a foot off his fastball. The fighter and I agreed that a better, more respectful term than “shot,” or “nearly shot,” would be “diminished.” Yes, Mora said, Mosley is diminished. “But he is a born fighter, a smart fighter, who gave me trouble with his angles and strength. If you want to call him “shot” because he gets hit more, that happens to every guy as they get older. But he still has speed, power and intelligence.”

To reiterate, Mora still likes Manny in this scrap, bigtime. He become a full on believer when he saw what Manny did to Margarito. Mora has sparred with Margarito going back more than ten years, and had seen Margarito take punishment from light heavies: “What Pacquiao did was unbelievable.  I sparred Margarito for so long. The man has cement in his head. And he works really, really hard. Manny dismantled him, and Cotto, and Clottey. It made me consider him among the greatest of all time! Finally, I admit it!”

Mora told me he’s looking to get a rematch with Vera, on neutral turf. He didn’t like the setup in Texas, Vera’s home base, at all. The 16 foot ring did him no favors, he said, and neither did having to fight in soggy gloves, which had already been used and were sweat-logged. He will sit down with his promoter, Richard Schaefer, on Friday, and lobby for a chance to show Vera that away from his territory, he won’t have the same luck.

I asked him if he’d sent a “Did you see that?” text to Jim Lampley, the HBO  man who gave Mora a thumbs down for his showing against Mosley. Mora laughed and said he hadn’t. But he admitted that while it isn’t the best idea for career longevity or longterm health, fan friendly brawls are good to engage in now and again. “In a weird way I wanted to put myself in that situation after the fight I had with Mosley,” he said.

“And I didn’t quit though I was cut, like Devon Alexnader! Do I say I was robbed, no. But I absolutely feel I deserved the decision. That it was a split decision in his hometown says I deserved the decision. I want a rematch, and this time I’ll embarrass him. We’ll give fans something great, but it’ll be easier for me, and it’ll be just as physical.”

 

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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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