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Cotto Gets Stoppage Over Mayorga In Round 12….WOODS

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Cotto Gets Stoppage Over MayorgaThe ten to one underdog Mayorga gave a fine account of himself against Miguel Cotto, but came up short in the skill department. (Chris Farina)Ricardo Mayorga didn't look out of place, like he deserved the severe underdog status as he made Miguel Cotto work his tail off in the main event at the MGM Grand on Saturday night. But Cotto delivered a vicious left hook to the chin in the twelfth, dropping the Nicaraguan, who showed ample stamina and skill before succumbing 53 seconds remaining in the last round, via TKO after Mayorga indicated he couldn't continue. Mayorga after the knockdown shook his left hand, and it looked like the ref would have to pull the plug. He continued, but Cotto jumped on him, and then the pain washed over Mayorga. His demeanor told the ref that he couldn't defend himself.

After, Mayorga told Jim Gray that it was his left thumb which rendered him unable to continue. “He hits really hard,” the loser said of Cotto. “I got to look for a job,” he said, stating that he would hang up the gloves. Cotto said he'd be open to a rematch with Antonio Margarito, but would let promoter Bob Arum hash it out.

All three judges had it 107-102 across the board, but seen in context, those scores were lopsided. Mayorga made Cotto work, and work hard, and if we scored rounds the way I'd like to see them scored, Mayorga would've earned some 9.5 rounds. I doubt that we've seen the last of a very useful, marketable boxer who has more boxing skills than he's given credit for.

The WBA 154 pound champion Cotto (age 30; from Puerto Rico; 35-2 entering ), a 10 to 1 favorite, weighed 154 pounds, while Mayorga (age 38; 29-7-1 1 NC entering; from Nicaragua) was also 154 pounds on Friday.

In the first, Cotto came out with a stiff jab. Mayorga swung wide and hard, as usual. He landed a right which had those that laid a bet down on him salivating. Ricardo went low, got warned, and tried to touch gloves with Cotto, who refused the gesture.

In the second, Mayorga whaled away. Cotto had been lured into an early rumble. But he settled down, jabbed, made the tone more to his liking. The underdog also settled down. He loved it when he made Cotto miss widely with a minute left.

In the third, Cotto seemed to have his joints lubed. Mayorga waved him over to a corner, and asked him to trade. Cotto didn't bite full on. He stayed outside, bounced, moved some, popped the jab. Combos were working now for the Puerto Rican. Mayorga didn't sit in between rounds.

In the fourth, Mayorga wasn't nearly as busy as before. But he stung Cotto with a flurry in the waning seconds.

In the fifth, Mayorga got hurt by some left uppercuts. Cotto was still a bit wild, wound up, overswinging at times. His left hook was connecting more but the Nicaraguan wasn't even wobbled.

In the sixth, Mayorga started the round looking as energized as he did when he began round one. Tongue in cheek, of course, but did anyone check his water bottle for a Panama Lewis special delivery? Mayorga by no means looked out of his class through six. Crude at times, yes, out his league, no way.

In the seventh, Mayorga scored with body work, right after Mike Tyson said he thought both men were sort of mailing it in, looking for a payday, without risking all. He buzzed Miguel, with a right to the ear, in the last 30 seconds.

In the eighth, ref Robert Byrd warned Mayorga for rabbit punches. A left hook hit Mayorga as he took a step back early. His right eye was puffy by now. Counter hooks landed on that eye, but didn't make Mayorga's legs buckle, not yet anyway.

In round nine, Mayorga was chopping with the right, throwing somewhat awkward combos, making Cotto earn his purse. Mayorga worked harder, and landed more in this frame. Tony Margarito, aming to rematch with Cotto,  drew boos when his face appeared on the JumboTron after this round. He grinned and ate it up.

In round ten, Mayorga mocked Cotto, barked at him, as he pressed forward, and slipped effectively, and generally looked to be a peer in the skill arena. Cotto's jab was his best weapon here, as it smacked Mayorga's head back. The mega underdog had Cotto backing up to end the round. The round was close.

In the 11th, Mayorga threw bombs, and Cotto slipped them, and danced away.

In the 12th, Mayorga went down off a left hook, and got up. He was shaking his hand, his left hand. He got up, and Cotto went to work. Mayorga retreated to a corner and shook his head, to indicate that he wasn't up for continuing.

Check back for David Avila's ringside report. Follow Woods on Twitter @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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