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AVILA RINGSIDE: Alvarez Plows Through Hatton




AVILA RINGSIDE: Alvarez Plows Through Hattonphoto courtesy Paul Gallegos

ANAHEIM-Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez plowed through England’s Matthew Hatton to win the vacant WBC junior middleweight world title by unanimous decision by pounding the body on Saturday.

Hatton (41-5-2, 16 KOs) showed he could take a punch but he couldn’t hurt Alvarez who simply walked right through the British boxer’s arsenal before 11,674 fans of mostly Mexican fans at the Honda Center.

“I knew he would give me trouble,” said Alvarez (36-0-1, 26 KOs). “He’s an experienced fighter.”

Hatton may have lost but what a chin.

From the start Alvarez proved the naturally stronger fighter. The Mexican’s first punch sent Hatton across the ring from the mere force.

Alvarez was always moving forward against the gliding style of Hatton who never stayed in front of the heavy-hitting Mexican if he could help it. An exchange of punches resulted in a bloody nose for the British fighter in the second round.

In the fourth round a body attack via left hooks to the liver forced Hatton to retreat and seek a moment. Alvarez jumped across the ring sending more blows to the body that nearly buckled the younger brother of Ricky Hatton. Hatton returned to the corner with a cut over his left eye.

Hatton stepped on the gas in the fifth round with some good combinations right after another. But Alvarez walked through them and delivered his usual amount of left hooks in a close round.

After not much luck fighting outside Hatton moved into clinches. On one occasion he hit during a clinch and when the referee stepped in to break it up Alvarez fired a right. He was deducted a point. When the fight resumed an angry Alvarez went for a knockout. Hatton’s chin withstood the test.

The 10th round saw Hatton hit Alvarez with a severely low blow. Alvarez returned the favor by hitting on the break again but was not penalized.

Alvarez continued the bludgeoning but never could drop the sturdy British boxer despite a rifling right hand that stunned him near the end of the fight. Hatton survived. All three judges scored it for Alvarez 119-108.

“I want to fight the biggest and the best,” said Alvarez. “I want the biggest names.”

Hatton said he’s returning to welterweight and gave credit to Alvarez.

“He’s an intelligent fighter,” said Hatton.

Other bouts

Undefeated prospect Adrien Broner (19-1, 16 KOs) beat former junior featherweight titleholder Daniel Ponce De Leon (41-3, 34 KOs) of Mexico by unanimous decision after 10 rounds of a junior lightweight match.  The crowd was vocal in its disappointment after the decision was rendered. One judge scored it 99-91 for Broner.

“He was a great fighter so I had to respect him. I stayed true to my plan and listened to my coach,” said Broner. “He had power but everyone can punch with 8 oz gloves on. I’ll fight anyone next.”

The fight was actually a very tight struggle with Ponce De Leon doing most of the early scoring to the body. Apparently the body shots didn’t score according to the judges. There were no knockdowns.

“There was a big difference in weight I could feel it but I didn’t feel his power,” said Ponce De Leon. “I’m going back down to featherweight.”

Rising American heavyweight Seth Mitchell (21-0-1, 15 KOs) dropped Charles Davis (19-22-3) four times in two rounds before the fight was ended by referee Wayne Hedgepeth at 1:02 of the second round. Mitchell fired a right-left hook combination for the first knockdown in the opening round. A right to the body scored the second drop, a looping right to the stooping Davis floored him a third time. Finally, a left uppercut ended the fight in Mitchell’s favor.

Brooklyn’s Danny Jacobs (22-1, 19 KOs) dropped Minnesota’s Robert “Sweet Dreams” Kliewes (11-13-2) twice with counter right hands in the first round. Referee Ray Corona stopped the fight at 1:44  as Kliewes was nearly comatose. It was Jacob’s first fight under new trainer Freddie Roach.

James Kirkland (26-0, 23 KOs) looked as if he was looking to make up for lost time and destroyed Ashandi Gibbs (10-3, 4 KOs) in 34 seconds in a fight held at middleweight. Kirkland jumped on Gibbs with vicious combinations including a left uppercut that started the end for Gibbs. Soon a left hand ended the night for the New York City boxer. It was Kirkland’s first pro fight in two years since serving a two-year prison sentence in Texas.

Super middleweight prospects Cleven Ishe (2-0, 2 KOs) and Northern California’s Jason Montgomery (2-1-1) entered undefeated, but it was Long Beach, California’s Ishe who left with zeros on his record. A counter right hand scored a knockdown for Ishe who went on to win a unanimous decision after four rounds 39-36.

In a middleweight bout Venezuela’s Alfonso Blanco (3-0, 2 KOs) floored Puerto Rico’s Pablo Ruiz (0-3) three times in the first round for the win. A right to the body and left hook to the head dropped Ruiz for the first knockdown. A right hand to the body sent Ruiz down a second and third time. Referee Pat Russell stopped the fight at 2:55 of the first round.

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura



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



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



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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