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Mayorga Is The Mikey Of Professional Boxing…LOTIERZO

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CottoMayorgaNYPC_Waters3“After I lose, I will smoke as many cigarettes and drink as much beer as I want!” (Hogan)Remember the cereal commercial where the brothers would push their new Life cereal bowl to their younger brother Mikey because they didn't like the looks of the new cereal?. And then after Mikey went for his second spoonful, his brothers would yell, “he likes it, he likes it.” So basically Mikey was the test dummy for anything his brothers didn't want to sample. Well, that's who former welterweight title holder Ricardo Mayorga has become. Mayorga is Mikey, and you only fight him when you need a win with a little window dressing. Because you know he'll go for it.

Nine years have passed since the “Managua Maniac” Ricardo Mayorga 29-7-1 (23) burst onto the scene stopping Andrew “Six Heads” Lewis to capture the WBA welterweight title. Shortly after that Mayorga entertained the press and fans by smoking cigarettes in the ring and at the press conference for his next bout against WBC welterweight title holder Vernon Forrest.

Mayorga went on to stop and decision Forest in two fights. And since his victory over Forrest in the rematch, Mayorga has been a terrific rodeo clown and a 4-4 fighter. And yet because he has the connection (Don King is his promoter) he's getting the opportunity to fight WBA junior middleweight title holder Miguel Cotto 35-2 (28) on March 12th. It should be a solid win for Cotto since Mayorga is perceived to be a threat and is well known to boxing fans.

Cotto and Mayorga couldn't be more different. Cotto is the complete pro and comports himself with class before and after his bouts, win or lose. No doubt Mayorga isn't the loose cannon he tries to portray himself as being, but there's no way he takes boxing that seriously. If Mayorga beats Cotto he'll earn another payday. And if he loses, he'll wait for the phone to ring hoping some promoter needs a name and a little free publicity for his fighter on the way up or a name fighter who needs a win coming off a recent defeat.

Mayorga has become the perfect opponent to use for any fighter who's trying to stabilize their career or needs a name fighter to come back against after a layoff. Cotto is the first fighter to use him as a stepping stone to keep his title while he waits for a potential mega fight down the road. Amazingly Mayorga is a live dog against Cotto because of the style clash between the two. What a shame it would be for Miguel Cotto if Mayorga landed one of the lottery punches he'll be launching and knocked him out.

At the press conference to announce the fight Mayorga didn't disappoint. “My pants are up higher than Cotto's. I'm going to be the man, and Cotto will be the woman,” said Mayorga, 37. “On March 12, Puerto Rico is going to be dressed in black for your funeral. I can see fear in your eyes.”

That was exactly what the promotion needed. Cotto has a large following and they'll be sure to buy the fight on Showtime PPV hoping to see Miguel administer Mayorga the beating they feel he has coming his way. And it wasn't lost on Cotto's behalf that Mayorga has lost and been knocked out by almost every upper-tier fighter he's faced since he beat Forrest in their rematch, and that was a very controversial decision victory for Mayorga. Actually, Mayorga's only notable win since he fought Forrest came against Fernando Vargas in what turned out to be Fernando's last fight. Prior to that, Mayorga was stopped by Felix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya and Shane Mosley, something Cotto reminded him of.

“When you spoke earlier, I kept my mouth shut, now you remain quiet. I am a professional and with these tiny pants and these tiny hands I beat Shane Mosley. Do you remember Shane Mosley? You are a joker and a clown. All your career you have run off at the mouth and in all the big fights you've failed. Just so you know who I am, I am a three-time world champion.”

It's hard to imagine anyone pulling for Mayorga to beat Cotto. Since he turned professional, Miguel has been the ultimate pro. As a fighter, he's a class above Mayorga every day of the week. However, Miguel is hittable and can be hurt by fighters who can punch. And Mayorga can punch and has nothing to lose and will be looking to win by knockout with every punch he throws. Most likely Cotto's trainer Emmanuel Steward will have Cotto boxing and picking his spots early in the fight while Mayorga's emptying his tank. Once and if Mayorga slows down, Miguel will start unloading the heavy artillery and look for the mid to late round stoppage.

That said, if you're a Cotto fan, you'll be watching the fight holding your breath because even though Mikey is 4-4 in his last eight fights, he has a legitimate puncher's chance to pull off the upset and beat Cotto. That or he'll take a one-sided shellacking before he lights up his next cigarette and waits for the phone to ring again.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.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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