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Can We Pretend Adamek Is Ours? FOLSTAD

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Can We Pretend Adamek Is Ours?America should find a way to adopt this guy, maybe forge some legal papers, pay a large administrative fee, doctor-up some certificates and call him one of our own.

Americanize him. Teach him about Paul Revere and Custer’s Last Stand. Tell him about Opie Taylor and Roy Rogers. Explain the crack in the Liberty Bell.

We could pretend he’s from Philly or Brooklyn, a local kid born and raised. Grew up on the city streets. Tell everyone his birthday is July 4th and his favorite holiday is Flag Day.

Polite, smart and one of the best fighters in the world, Tomasz Adamek is just about everything you’d want in an American heavyweight champion right  now. He just doesn’t have the right birth certificate.

It would be fun to pretend he’s as American as Mount Rushmore, as much a Yankee as Ethan Allen. We could really use a heavyweight champ we can be proud of, someone who kisses babies, goes to hospitals to visit the sick and injured, and draws huge crowds just by walking down the street.

Too bad we can‘t lie. He‘s not from here, he just lives here. He chose to move to New Jersey from his native Poland a few years ago. He actually picked Jersey City, which makes him about as American as the Cubs, Nebraska and apple pie.

The former cruiserweight and light-heavyweight champion of the world is now quickly closing in on a heavyweight title, or at least a chance to win one. And we haven’t had a legitimate, dominating, look-out-world-here-I-come, bona fide heavyweight champion in this country since the Mike Tyson years.

Even if Adamek does become a heavyweight champ, he still won’t be one of ours. Not completely. Not in the bragging rights sense.

Adamek (43-1, 28 KOs) is scheduled to fight Kevin McBride (35-8-1, 29 KOs) on April 9 at the Prudential Center in Newark (HBO ppv). The fight is so close to his home, Adamek could almost walk to the Prudential Center. It’s a definite home-field advantage.

There’s no title riding on this fight, but it’s a chance for Adamek to learn what it’s like to throw punches at an oak tree. At a broad 6-foot-6, McBride resides in that rare Klitschko land, up there where the air is thin.

McBride is from Clones, Ireland, which explains the nickname of “Clones Colossus.” He’s a good guy for Adamek to fight considering what Adamek’s future plans are. He’s suppose to fight one of the Klitschko brothers in September for whatever title the brother he fights is holding at the time. Could be anything.

Right now, Adamek is ranked No. 1 in the WBO behind champ Wladimir Klitschko, and he’s No. 3 in the IBF standings behind Wladimir and two unknowns, who are identified as “not rated” and “not rated.”

Not rated makes it sound like a movie premier. Apparently, the IBF is waiting before it makes any commitment. So the IBF is left with two vacancies: No. 1 and No. 2. Adamek is No. 3.

I’ve never paid too much attention to the different systems used for ranking fighters. My idea has always been to put the division’s best fighter (champion) at the top and then work your way down, starting with the second best fighter in the division followed by the third best fighter followed by the….Well, you get the idea.

As for booking a tough fight ahead of an already scheduled world title fight, it’s usually a bad thing to do. It’s like getting married before you hold your stag party. Nothing good can come out of it.

But this is a little different. Adamek can get some valuable experience fighting a Klitschko-sized guy who doesn’t own a Klitschko-sized punch.

Adamek is risking his shot at the heavyweight title if he loses to McBride, but it’s also going to keep him out of the house and out of his wife‘s hair.

“This is my next step before Klitschko,” Adamek said at a press conference to promote the McBride fight. “My wife says I have ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder). I  can’t sit at home with nothing doing. This is my life.

“Somebody asked me why I am fighting before I have a guaranteed title fight, and I said, ‘I want to be active, this is my job. I can’t stay home eight or nine months.’ So we made the fight. Thank you, Kevin, for taking this fight.”

What’s left is a Polish heavyweight fighting an Irish heavyweight in Newark, N.J.

“I‘m from Ireland, I‘m Irish and I‘m proud to be a fighter,” said McBride, who beat Mike Tyson in 2005 when a tired, aging Tyson refused to come out for the start of the seventh round. “This is a big fight for me. An Irish painter, Sean Scully, said to me a couple years ago, ‘follow your dream,’ and that’s what I‘m going to do, follow my dream.”

McBride said if he gets Adamek into the later rounds, he's going to hit him so hard on the chin, Adamek will think “the whole of Poland hit him.”

Adamek said McBride was a “big man,” and they “respect him.” but he plans on being a heavyweight champion of the world.

“This is my life, this is my way, this is my destiny,” Adamek said.

And right now, this is his country.

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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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