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Attorney Keith Sullivan Battles For Boxers

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NEW YORK (March 8, 2011) – Professional boxers need a real fighter in their corner such as attorneys Keith Sullivan and James Galleshaw, whose passions for the sweet science finds them leading a  crusade to aid active and past participants, as well as organizations and groups associated with the sport.

The New York based attorneys and childhood friends five years ago formed their practice – Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP – concentrating on personal injury, criminal defense and commercial litigation with locations in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. They have 24 years of legal experience between them.

Sullivan & Galleshaw LLP also seriously takes its commitment to pro bono and civic work, taking on less fortunate individuals and causes who otherwise would be left without legal representation and likely taken advantage of.

For Attorney Sullivan, 38, boxers and boxing have been special clients for him dating back to his work on a landmark victory representing two-time world champion Joey Gamache against the New York State Athletic Commission. A case that took many twists and turns, as well as 10 years to reach a verdict. Attorney Sullivan charged the NYSAC with negligence for failing to properly carry-out its duties and responsibilities, by conducting an improper weigh-in of Arturo Gatti that allowed him to exceed the 141-pound weight limit for his February 26, 2000 fight against Sullivan’s client, Gamache.

The judge admitted in rulings before the trial that this was a very difficult case for the plaintiff and that Gamache’s legal team would have an up-hill battle proving the NYAC’s negligent. Attorneys Sullivan and Galleshaw were not intimidated or scared off; it strengthened their resolve to fight to expose the pure incompetence of the Commission.

During the trial, the NYSAC Executive Director who conducted the weigh-ins was exposed in that when Gatti was weighing-in the Commission member touched the scale, pushing the counter-weight to a heavier position past the pre-set weight of 141 pounds. Gatti was then told to raise his arms but when the needle failed to balance, his weight was quickly and erroneously called by the same NYSAC Executive Director as 141 pounds. Gatti got off of the scale and immediately guzzled liquid to hydrate as Team Gamache immediately protested, albeit, in vain.

The following evening, only a few hours before the fight, an unofficial weigh-in was conducted and Gatti tipped the scales at 160 pounds. Now effectively a middleweight, fighting an opponent three weight divisions below him, Gatti floored the lighter welterweight Gamache twice in the opening round, and brutally knocked him out in the second. It took several minutes for Gamache to regain consciousness and he was hospitalized for two days. Gamache, who suffered migraine headaches and neurological damage, never fought again.

Nearly 10 years after the fight, Judge Melvin Schweitzer ruled in Gamache’s favor, finding that Gatti had been given an unfair advantage due to the negligent NYSAC. “We were extremely pleased that by making that decision,” Attorney Sullivan commented, “the court said that the commission can and will be held accountable when they conduct themselves in a negligent manner that results in injuries to the fighters. They had a duty that day that, when Joey weighed in at 141 pounds, that his opponent also weigh in at the same weight. It was disgraceful. The decision sent a very strong message to all commissions everywhere in the United States that fighters are more than pawns for profit and cannot be used and abused.”

Today, Attorney Sullivan is still deeply involved in boxing as legal counsel for former Irish Olympian and world middleweight contender, Andy Lee (24-1, 18 KOs), who fights Craig McEwen this Saturday night (March 12) live on HBO Championship Boxing at MGM Grand Arena at Foxwoods; the North American Boxing Federation (NABF), a not-for-profit regional sanctioning body within the World Boxing Council; and the Boxing Writers Association of America.

“I’ve always loved boxing since I first watched Mike Tyson fight on HBO,” native-New Yorker Sullivan explained. “I was in grammar school and was fascinated by boxers. My grandfather was a big fan of boxing. Boxing was a sport I gravitated towards because of its one-on-one pure human challenge.

“I first got involved representing boxers after meeting legendary trainer Bob Jackson, who was also a state corrections official, when I was working out at the famed Gleason’s Gym. We hit it off right away and he’s been like an uncle figure to me ever since. Boxing is a great outlet for troubled youths – a safe haven – and it’s very rewarding helping some of them become successful young men. A lot of boxers get taken advantage of and I couldn’t stand it. They need people on their side, so I got involved, and it’s been a labor of love for me. More often than not, I end up agreeing to take on cases or causes for boxers on a pro-bono basis. Together with my partner, James Galleshaw, and our good friend and fellow lawyer, David Berlin, we make a great team representing many fighters, organizations and people in the sport.”

Sullivan and Gallleshaw LLP also are strong supporters of The Dr Theodore A. Atlas Foundation, named in memory of ESPN boxing analyst and world-renown trainer Teddy Atlas’ father. Attorney Sullivan is a Board of Director with the foundation. Additionally, he is a board member with RING-8, a 57-year-old organization that is Veteran Boxers Association for New York State.

The Dr. Atlas Foundation provides financial, medial, and emotional support to individuals and organizations in need, particularly for the needs of children. Two non-profit youth boxing gyms were recently opened-up, one in Sullivan’s childhood neighborhood – Flatbush, Brooklyn – by the Dr. Atlas Foundation. “It is amazing for me to be able to give back to the youth in this much need community,” Attorney Sullivan noted, “where I was born and raised, and where my family’s story really began.”

RING 8 is dedicated to its motto of Boxers Helping Boxers: lending a helping hand to those in the boxing community who are less fortunate and may require assistance in terms of paying their rent, medical expenses, or whatever justifiable need may arise.

Outside of the boxing world, Sullivan and Galleshaw LLP has raised $30,000 for U.S. War Veterans through the Wounded Warrior Project, founded a promotional and event company – Cocktails 4 Charities – that donates 100-percent of its proceeds to charity, and currently the firm represents Merit Matters, an FDNY (Fire Department of New York) civic organization, on a purely pro bono basis. Merit Matters is comprised of current and retired members of the FDNY and concerned citizens of New York City. The firm is working with Merit Matters to raise awareness and will file an appeal of a recent Federal Court ruling, which has abolished merit-based hiring and uses race as the basis for hiring and to promote within the FDNY.

Attorney Sullivan is an adjunct law professor, lecturer for the National portion of the Bar Exam, and a legal commentator for Fox News, CNN and MSNBC.

For more information about Sullivan & Galleshaw LLP go on line at www.sullivangalleshaw.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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