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Brandon Rios: “I’m Half Redneck and Half Californian”

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Brandon_Rios_1SIX QUESTIONS WITH

BRANDON RIOS:

“I’m Half Redneck and Half Californian”

Rios to Face WBA Lightweight Champion Miguel Acosta;

Antonio DeMarco Tangles With Reyes Sanchez

Saturday, Feb. 26, Live on SHOWTIME® at 10 p.m. ET/PT

NEW YORK (Feb. 25, 2011) — Born in Texas, reared in Kansas and now “living the life” in Southern California, World Boxing Association (WBA) No. 1 contender Brandon Rios will fight for his first world title belt on the year’s first SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast Feb. 26 LIVE on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).

Rios (26-0-1, 18 KOs) faces current WBA lightweight champion Miguel Acosta (28-3-2, 22 KOs) in the 12-round main event while talented Mexican fighters Antonio DeMarco (24-2-1, 18 KOs) and Reyes Sanchez (20-3-1, 11 KOs) battle in the co-feature. The Rios-Acosta fight will take place at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas and the DeMarco-Sanchez affair will originate from the Heartland Events Center in Grand Island, Neb.

The 24-year-old Rios, who has won eight fights in a row including seven by knockout, is currently living in Oxnard, Calif., and being trained by Robert Garcia.

Question: You really opened a lot of eyes back in September with your win over previously undefeated and favored Anthony Peterson. Was that your coming-out party?

Rios: “Yeah, that Peterson win brought me out into the world and showed people what I could do.

I think the way I showed no mercy in coming forward and just duking it out with the guy; people liked that. And I think people follow me now more because of that.”

Question: What do you think about Miguel Acosta? Was he the opponent you wanted next?

Rios: “He’s a very physical fighter and moves around very well. To tell you the truth, I really wanted to fight (current World Boxing Council lightweight champion) Humberto Soto next for the WBC world title. After he fought on Sept. 4 and won he was supposed to fight me but then he decided he didn’t want to and I don’t know why. Instead they gave me another world title shot with the WBA champion so I’m OK with that.”

Question: Are you pumped to be fighting for the first time on SHOWTIME?

Rios: “I’ve never fought on SHOWTIME or ShoBox. I’ve fought a couple of times on the Spanish channels so I feel good coming back to an American channel so that everyone in the U.S. can see me. A lot of champions have fought on SHOWTIME and I want to be the next one. On Feb. 26 you’re going to see some of the world’s best lightweights. This is like our little SHOWTIME Tournament. Maybe the winners might meet up next time. You never know.”

Question: How did you meet your trainer Robert Garcia?

Rios: “I met Robert at the 2004 Olympic Trials in Mississippi. He brought me to California and said let’s do this. I met the Top Rank guys and went out to Vegas and met with Cameron (Dunkin, his manager).”

Question: If you could fight anywhere in the world where would it be?

Rios: “This is my third time fighting in Vegas and so I’d say Vegas. Everyone loves going to Vegas and everyone gets excited when you tell them you’re fighting in Vegas. I’ll fight anywhere. Just name the place; huge stadium, a little building. Just name it and I’ll be there. But Vegas is cool and it’s more like a party town and where I’d prefer to fight.”

Question: You grew up in Kansas but have lived in Oxnard the past six years. Do you consider yourself more a Kansan or Californian?

Rios: “I’m more a Californian now. Don’t get me wrong, my roots are in Kansas and my family is still there. That’s my hometown and where I lived all my life. I still represent and go back there and go to the gym and talk to the kids. I never forget my roots and where I came from but I consider myself a Californian now because I met my wife and got married here and her family is from here. I live here and my camp is here so I’m both. I’m half redneck and half Californian.”

Steve Albert will call the action with Al Bernstein serving as color commentator and Jim Gray reporting from ringside in Las Vegas. Curt Menefee will handle the lead role from Nebraska and will be assisted by expert analyst Steve Farhood.

The fights are being promoted by Top Rank Inc. and Gary Shaw Productions.

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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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