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Zab Judah Gets TKO Win Over Kaizer Mabuza

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Judah-MabuzaPPVLooks like the addition of Whitaker paid heavy dividends for Judah, who has put his personal and professional life on track, and is to be commended.Zab Judah was looking to win rounds with superior defense at the AmeriHealth Pavilion at Prudential center in Newark, New Jersey on Saturday night.  It looked like he might've been trying to channel new trainer Pernell Whitaker a bit much, and forgetting to work combinations. But no, Judah, now a wily vet, knows what he's doing. He didn't neglect the offense; a counter left, short, sweet, and vicious,  in round seven over a lazy right hurt Kaizer Mabuza badly, and Judah made sure to finish off the South African, who was beyond buzzed after a mandatory eight count.

The time of the finish was 59 seconds into the seventh. Judah gushed profusely about God after the win, promising to celebrate at Mass on Sunday.

The vacant IBF 140 pound title was up for grabs.

Judah (age 33; from Brooklyn; 40-6 with 27 KOs entering; three time champion; IBF No. 2) was 138 pounds, Mabuza (age 31; from South Africa; 23-6-3 with 14 KOs  entering; coming off a win over Kendall Holt; IBF No. 1) weighed 139 pounds on Friday.

In the first, Judah came out looking like he absorbed a few Pernell Whitaker tricks. Sweetpea, now aboard after Eddie Mustafa Muhammad was let go, told Judah he liked his work in the first. dad Yoel Judah stood on the apron, letting Whitaker be the main voice in the corner.

In the second, Mabuza came forward, looking to be the aggressor, but he was a step or two behind the jabbing Judah.

In the third, Judah kept on making sure he didn't get hit, first and foremost but later in the round let the gap close and set down harder on some shots. Mabuza had some luck going to the body.

In the fourth, Judah moved more than in the third. Mabuza looked a little flummoxed at times trying to find him, but did land a sharp right two minutes in, and then scored a knockdown when Zab's glove touched the mat. A right hand behind the head did the damage. Judah protested heatedly.

In the fifth, Zab kept on moving, mostly to his right, making Mabuza really reach with his power right. His hook was a wild one, too telegraphed to touch Judah. Judah was dipping lower, a la Whitaker, to make the South African miss, every now and again.

In the sixth, Zab was trying to win almost purely with D. A right buckled Zab with 50 seconds to go. His offense was way too MIA, and he lost the round.

In the seventh, a left counter hurt Mabuza badly. He had a mandatory eight but was woozy. Judah hopped on him, and finished him off.

Tarvis Simms went a step further on the comeback trail, taking a UD8 from most useful vet John Mackey, whop dropped to 13-6. Simms is the “bigger” of the Simms twins; bro Travis held a 154 pound crown briefly. Tarvis had been at 168, stunk out the joint against Allan Green in Oct. 2009, took more than a year off, and has wisely dropped to a class which fits his 5-9 frame. Simms is world class, and should have no trouble getting a title crack soon.

He didn't look 39. His stamina was above average, he kept his hands moving the whole time, and he may get that title shot that his twin bro enjoyed, late in the game. The scores were, 78-74, 79-73, 80-72, for Simms, now 27-1.

Mike Tyson chatted with Tony Paige and Jameel McCline right before the Judah bout. “I can't believe I did this for a living,” he said, chuckling,  when Paige asked him about his friend Zab Judah's chances against Mabuza. Tyson said he learns serenity from his pigeons, which will be featured on his new reality show, which runs tonight on Animal Planet. He also said that Tomasz Adamek needs to move his head more if he's to have a chance against a Klitschko. He said he doesn't see anyone in the US on the horizon ready to usurp the Klitschkos. He sounded grounded, saying he simply lives in the present, realizing he can't do anything to change his past. He'll enter the Hall of Fame in June, for the record.

Follow Michael Woods on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/Woodsy1069

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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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