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Quotes From Final Judah-Mabuza Press Conference

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Judah-Mabuza Press ConferenceQuotes from Zab Judah & Kaizer Mabuza Final Press Conference

From Brick City Bar and Grill, Newark, NJ – March 2, 2011

Kathy Duva: “Since Zab came back to Main Events in July, he has done everything we have asked, gone above and beyond. He is taking all the steps he needs to take to regain that Jr welterweight title that he first won so many years ago, coincidentally against a South African. Before he can succeed he has to deal with this gentleman, Kaizer Mabuza, who has the same idea. Kaizer Mabuza has come here all the way from South Africa. I am sure he has worked his entire life to get to the same place. They both have the same goal.

“Some of you may have seen Kaizer Mabuza when he first came to NJ and scored an upset against Kendall Holt. We know what he can do; we know what Zab can do.  There are so many fights that people talk about lately and the results are a foregone conclusion. This is not the case here. We have a very explosive combination of styles that is going to make for an amazing event. We are not just going through the motions here, this is about do or die for both of them.”

Kaizer Mabuza: “I'm glad to be back in America. It's an honor to me to fight a person like Zab Judah. I think he had his time; he's a former world champion. I think this is my time, because I'm still hungry for success. And I promise him, when I take the ring I change, I become a new man. I'm hungry for success so you have to expect that it will be like fireworks!”

Kathy Duva, speaking of Pernell Whitaker training Zab Judah: “I was privileged to start my career with Pernell Whitaker. I got to sit ringside for almost every fight he had with my heart in my throat the whole time, begging him to stop doing that!  Zab is very privileged to now have Pernell working with him. As he says, reminding him of the things he has to do. Teaching him how to deal with whatever is going to be thrown at him on Saturday night and in the future.”

Pernell Whitaker: “First of all I'm not here to talk about strategy. I think I've given Zab enough, that he has enough in his toolkit for this particular fight. He's done everything I've asked him to do; he's done a little more. Whatever Zab used to do in the past, is in the past, and now he has a new direction, a great direction. He's one of boxing's best. So I expect to see that.”

“The name of the sport is called boxing. You don't call it knockout. You can go get that on video. He's got all the finesse, and finesse and speed brings power. All the old habits Zab once had are no longer there. He's listening. You guys are gonna see, defense makes offense.”

Zab Judah, Zab Jr, Pernell Whitaker - Photo Credit - Millennium PhotoZab Judah, Zab Jr, Pernell Whitaker – Photo Credit – Millennium PhotoZab Judah: “Pernell has been a great influence. I think we are going to Def Comedy Jam after this! Not only has Pernell Whitaker brought great skills to me, but he tweaked my whole world. He also brought humor, entertainment and kept the camp happy. He brought a lot of excitement, joy and fun. We had a great training camp in Las Vegas. We trained very, very hard for this fight. He came in for a six weeks of training camp, but I'd been training myself long before that. I kind of skipped Christmas and New Years and focused on Kaizer Mabuza. I kept my mind focused on the plan. I mean, I'm ready.”

“In the past I have predicted rounds, knockouts, etc, etc. This fight I prepared myself for twelve rounds. I've prepared myself for 100%. You know there's a myth about Zab's gonna fade and all that. For this fight, I went to the master right here (Pernell Whitaker). He's known for going 12 rounds; he's known for being the best fighter out there. His defensive skills are phenomenal, his offensive skills are phenomenal. I took what he's got and put it with what I've got and ya'll know what that's gonna bring. It's gonna be magic.”

“As a young kid I mimicked and idolized Pernell Whitaker coming up, and watched him and Mike Tyson. Those two styles are different. You got one deep to the body, you got one aggressive fighter, so I mixed the both of them in and I got Zab Judah.”

“I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for bringing me here. I respect Kaizer Mabuza for what he's done and his climb to the top. Me and my trainers, we've prepared ourselves well for this opportunity. He's a young man here (Mabuza), he has a lot of time to come back and try to do this again, but this Saturday night is not his time. I respect him for coming over and taking this opportunity, but Saturday night you will see a five time champion of the world!”

“Americans are missing one thing – they're missing an American hero, and I'm here to take over that spot.”

Kathy Duva, speaking about the undercard: “We are moving into a new room at Prudential Center, a fabulous space that is going to be an intimate boxing club that we intend to continue using as time goes on. Starting out, we have not only a card that includes a big world title fight, but also a lot of young fighters that you're going to see again and again.  What we're going to see on Saturday night are some people who are going to be the future world champions, people that you're going to look back one day and say, 'Yeah, I saw his pro debut, I saw him in his fifth or tenth fight.' That's the type of fights we are bringing here.”

“On the undercard we have Jose Peralta of Jersey City, who upset Steven Martinez in his last fight. Making a fight for this fighter (Peralta) has been particularly trying for Jolene (Mizzone) and Russell Peltz, our matchmakers, because 5 opponents have backed out on this fellow and that is a testament to how good he must be.”

“We have a gentleman who's kind of in the same position Zab was in, “Marvelous” Tarvis Simms. He wants to get back on top, wants to fight his way back into the rankings and is hopefully gonna follow the same pattern and get there. He is 26-1-1, with 11KO's. This is his first fight at 160 pounds in over 2 years. He intends to challenge in the middleweight tournament hopefully by the end of this year, and no later than the beginning of next year.”

“Sadam Ali has fought at Prudential Center 7 times. He's a former 2008 Olympian. He will be fighting in his toughest fight to date against Juliano Ramos of Brazil, who has fought Mike Jones and Kermit Cintron, so this is definitely a step up in class.”

“On the card we also have Shemuel Pagan of Brooklyn, who made his pro debut with us and made quite an impression in a really exciting fight. He is a former NY Golden Gloves Champion.”

“Another Brooklynite on the card is Chris Crosby. He is Zab's brother, he is 5-1, and he will be fighting his second pro fight.”

“Making his pro debut will be Vinny O'Brien from East Hanover, NJ. He has been making quite a stir. He is managed by Lou Esa, a gentleman who fought in Ice World many years ago.”

FIGHT INFO: The fight promoted by Main Events and Super Judah Promotions will take place on March 5th at Prudential Center's AmeriHealth Pavilion, Newark, NJ. Doors open at 7:30pm, First fight 8:00pm. Tickets priced at $253 Ringside, $103 Reserved seating on floor, $88 General Admission in Bleachers and $53 GA Standing Room on floor. Tickets available at Prudential Center Box Office, by calling TicketMaster at 800-745-3000 or www.Prucenter.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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