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Mayorga Says Cotto, Steward Are Clowns

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Fighting Ricardo Mayorga is like fighting an octopus. His punches are wide and undisciplined and they seem to come from out of nowhere and land just about everywhere. He doesn’t come at you with slick combinations and quick jabs. He comes at you with reckless abandon, a drunk in a bar throwing haymakers and hoping one will somehow land where it’s supposed to. He always expects to make a long night a little shorter.

That‘s what Don King says Mayorga is going to do, make it an early night. He says Mayorga is going to knock out Miguel Cotto (35-2, 28 KOs) on March 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas (SHOWTIME pay-per-view). Then Mayorga (29-7-1, 25 KOs) is going to go for the grand prize: Manny Pacquiao.

Manny is still out there standing on the pedestal and Mayorga has drawn a bead on him, though he might want to wait until he sees if the first part of his future plans come true.

He has to beat Cotto first, and Cotto could be a big spoiler. But Mayorga takes it a step further and says he has to stop Cotto, not just beat him. And Cotto isn‘t some second-class tune-up for bigger and better things. He doesn’t go down easy. He’s the WBA super-welterweight champion and he says he’s had one of the best training camps of his career, though that’s an old line they all use. But somehow, you believe it from Cotto.

Asked how he thought his fighter would do against Cotto, King sounded like he’d said it before. Said it several times before.

“I think Ricardo is going to knock Cotto out, case closed,” King said on a split conference call that starred Cotto and his trainer, Manny Steward, in the first half and Mayorga and King in the second half. “This is more than just a fight, this is a grudge fight and Ricardo will go out and do what he has to do because Ricardo wants Pacquiao.”

Wants him bad. But so do a handful of other fighters looking for the payday of a lifetime.

Mayorga says his fight with Cotto is the first of two steps that will probably take him into retirement. Cotto first. Pacquiao second. And that’s what’s driving him against Cotto.

“I know I’m going to have to chase him all around the ring,“ he said. “He’s going to have skates on with some turbos. I’m going to have to chase him down.“

Bold words for a fighter who hasn’t exactly been ripping up the divisions as he climbs toward Mount Pacquiao. He’s 3-3 in his last six fights and he’s been averaging a fight a year for the last six years, which aren’t exactly Willie Pep numbers. Along with all that dire news, he’s been stopped in all three of his most recent losses.

Cotto is probably licking his lips.

Still, there is the trademark Mayorga bravado.

“If I don’t beat Miguel Cotto by knockout and I happen to beat him by decision, I don’t feel I’d be deserving of a fight with Pacquiao,” he said. “That‘s how strongly I feel I‘m going to win this fight. When I knock out Manny Pacquiao, I will become the most famous fighter of all time.”

Wow.

Cotto and Steward are not taking Mayorga lightly. But they have a plan or two of their own to help things along.

“No one has had an easy time against Mayorga until the end of the fight when he was exhausted,” Steward said. “But I don’t think the fight will go over four rounds. He won’t be able to handle the accurate power punching of Miguel.”

This is Steward’s second fight working with Cotto and he says the thing he’s noticed most about his fighter is how much faster Cotto has become over the past few months.

Against Mayorga, he says they will have two or three plans to fight him, depending on what he brings into the ring.

“A Kamikaze fighter like him is always dangerous,“ Steward said.

If there is a friendly rivalry here, it’s well hidden. Mayorga took more shots at Steward than he did at Cotto. He called both of them “clowns,“ and “failures,“ but that was just Mayorga being Mayorga. Still, he saved his best for Steward.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Emanuel Steward is a failure in the boxing business. He’s had some fame and been very lucky in his career because he helped a very famous name back in the day. That’s how he’s grabbed some attention and fame.“

He ended his slam of Steward by saying it was a shame to see Cotto change his style so late in the game, so late in his career.

“It‘s only going to mess (Cotto) up and play into my favor,” Mayorga said.

“And (Cotto) has not been hit harder than I will hit him.”

Case closed? Maybe not.

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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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