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Arthur Curry Remembered

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artie_curryFriday, February 18th, would have been Artie Curry’s fifty-first birthday.  In honor of the occasion, Artie’s mother and some of his friends got together at Portobello’s pizzeria in Manhattan to share memories.

Artie’s family and friends have established the Arthur Curry Scholarship Fund at St. Francis College in Brooklyn. In the words of the charter, scholarships will be awarded to “students of high academic achievement and outstanding character who are entering their senior year of college and, by word and deed, have shown the ability to bring people together.”

HBO (where Artie worked throughout his adult life) was particularly generous in funding the scholarship program.

The scholarship program was formally announced on February 18, 2010 (on what would have been Artie’s fiftieth birthday).  That morning, Jim Lampley served as master of ceremonies for a celebration of Artie’s life at St. Francis College. Over the course of an hour, friends and-co-workers shared memories of Artie with the St. Francis student body. Among the thoughts offered were:

Jon Crystal: “There are very few one-of-a-kind people who you meet in your life. Professionally, they say that everyone is replaceable.  But not Artie. He had a gift for making people feel good.  He loved them and they loved him back.”

Seth Abraham: “No matter what was going on in his life, Artie took great joy in helping others.”

Curt Viebranz: “The sorrow I feel is joined with the joy I feel at having known Artie.”

Roy Jones Jr was among the speakers who sought to infuse Artie’s spirit within the St. Francis College community.  His remarks were particularly moving.

“I thank God for giving me the opportunity to know Artie Curry,” Roy said. “He came through a lot of things that most people wouldn’t be able to make it through; times when he wasn’t sure he’d see tomorrow.  And he came through it with that beautiful smile of his that would melt your heart. There were a lot of years of suffering behind that smile; it didn’t come about easy.  But the smile was so big because he overcame all those years of suffering.  He was a beautiful person. And he became somebody much bigger than he knew he was.”

“There will never be another person who touches my life like Artie did,” Jones continued. “In our hearts, we were like twins. Nothing he ever did bothered me.  The only that bothered me was, I couldn’t be standing there right next to him when he left us. Having a friend is one thing. Having a true friend who’s always there for you, and therefore you must be there for him; those are hard to find. When you find them, hang onto them and don’t be afraid to tell them how you feel about them, because you never know what tomorrow holds. If you talk to your loved ones, let them know that you love them and how you feel about them.  If you love somebody and you talk to them, make sure that conversation is always the note you want to end on, because you never know when that song might end.”

The entire sixty-minute program honoring Arthur Curry can be seen on YouTube at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuYzfCvUE6I

Readers are urged to visit the site to learn more about this remarkable man.

Lise Curry (Artie’s mother) says, “The scholarship program puts something positive on the loss of Artie.” His friends feel that it’s a wonderful way to honor someone who was all about giving back.

Now is the time for the boxing community and boxing fans to do their part.  It’s not enough to simply say that Artie was a great guy.  It’s important to stand behind that sentiment.  EVERYONE is urged to contribute to the Arthur Curry Scholarship Fund.

PLEASE send a check payable to “St. Francis College – Arthur Curry Scholarship Fund” to:

Jaclyn Weber

Development & Alumni Affairs

St. Francis College

180 Remsen Street

Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201

THE CHECK MUST HAVE “ST. FRANCIS COLLEGE” WRITTEN ON IT.

The Arthur Curry Scholarship Fund will preserve Artie’s legacy and enhance the lives of students for generations to come. Donations are tax deductible.

Thomas Hauser can be reached by e-mail at thauser@rcn.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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