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RINGSIDE Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto Wins By TKO ….AVILA

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Miguel Cotto Wins By TKO (Chris Farina)
LAS VEGAS-WBA junior middleweight titleholder Miguel Cotto stopped Nicaragua’s Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga in the 12th round in a fight that was full of bravado, big punches and lots of action on Saturday.

Las Vegas got its money’s worth.

Puerto Rico’s Cotto successfully defended the title at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino by using his superior technique and a stifling jab against the brawling and go for broke style of Mayorga. It was never over until it was over before 7,247 fans.

“I had to keep myself calm,” Cotto said after.

There was not much feeling out in the first round. Both swung for the fences several times in first. Left hooks for Cotto and rights for Mayorga were unleashed as each tried to grab momentum early.

Mayorga landed some nasty right hands in the second but Cotto withstood the blows and came back with the body shots.  Right uppercut landed for the Nicaraguan and Cotto countered. Mayorga shook his head again to show they’re weren’t hurting.

Big rights came from Mayorga but Cotto didn’t blink. Mayorga angrily exhorted for Cotto to come into his wheelhouse but the Puerto Rican didn’t oblige. A four punch combo landed for Cotto. Mayorga shook his head again in disdain.

Cotto out boxed Mayorga in the fourth round but not before Mayorga unleashed a dozen blows from all angles. Cotto smiled at the effort which prompted Mayorga to try and converse to no avail.

A couple of three-punch combos to the body and head by Cotto opened up the fifth round. Mayorga then landed a big right hand bomb that the Puerto Rican walked right through. Cotto continued to win the rounds but Mayorga was still dangerous.

Mayorga had his best round in the seventh as he took the fight inside and fired combo after combo. Cotto slipped and moved and countered but the Nica showed he still had some fire in his legs and punches after a lethargic sixth round. Uppercuts and right hands had Mayorga scoring as he clubbed Cotto.

Just when it looked like Mayorga was spent he fired a six-punch Nicaraguan combo that landed some nice right pummels. Still, Cotto controlled the round with his precise punches in the ninth.

Mayorga shrugged when Cotto hit and moved. He motioned Cotto to stand and fight in the 11th but Cotto wasn’t having it.

The final round saw Cotto finally catch Mayorga flush with a left hook to the chin during an exchange. Down he went. He beat the count but when Cotto hit him again with another left hook zinger Mayorga looked to referee Robert Byrd to end the fight and he did at 53 seconds of the 12th round. Cotto scored the technical knockout.

“Cotto hits very hard,” said Mayorga, who suffered a dislocated left thumb in the final stanza. “I wasn’t happy with myself. Now I have to go find a job. I will retire.”

Cotto was happy with the outcome.

“It was an amazing fight,” said Cotto. “Mayorga is very strong. All of his punches hurt.”

The WBA titleholder could next be fighting Antonio Margarito, who was in the audience.

Other bouts

Poland’s Pawel “Raging Bull” Wolak (29-1, 19 KOs) brutalized New York City’s Yuri Foreman (28-2-1, 8 KOs) to hand him a defeat via technical knockout at the end of the sixth round of a junior middleweight fight. Using short, compact punches to the head and body Wolak never allowed Foreman to box and move. He smothered everything Foreman tried to do. The sixth round saw Wolak batter the former champion. The corner wisely advised the ref to stop the fight.  

“There were no surprises in the ring tonight, I just didn’t have it,” said Foreman, adding that maybe the long layoff hurt his activity.

Wolak

It might as well have been Gentleman Jim Corbett versus John L. Sullivan because Mexico’s Miguel Vazquez (28-3, 12 KOs) showed Australia’s Lenny Zappavigna (25-1, 17 KOs) the art of boxing to keep the IBF lightweight title. Vazquez jabbed, moved and fired rights through the Aussie’s guard as he charged hard but kept running into punches. The judges scored it for Vazquez 118-110 twice and 117-111. Zappavigna’s wide flurries couldn’t do the job.

Korobov

Matt Korobov (14-0, 9 KOs) fired a couple of left handed bombs to take out Chicago’s Mike Walker (19-7-2, 12 KOs) at 1:31 of the first round in a middleweight fight. Walker got up but stumbled into the turn buckle and referee Russell Mora waved the fight over.

Rojas

Junior featherweight prospect Jesus Rojas (17-1, 12 KOs) slugged it out with Tucson’s Isaac Hidalgo (8-7-2) in a six round junior featherweight clash. Rojas was the bigger puncher and nearly floored Hidalgo in the fourth round but Hidalgo’s chin held up. Both hit each other equally but Rojas had more firepower. All three judges scored it for Rojas 59-55 twice and 58-56.

Notre Dame’s Tommy Zbikowski (2-0) knocked out Kentucky’s Richard Bryant (1-3) with a left to the liver at 1:45 of the first round in a heavyweight bout. The punch had a delayed effect. Ref Russell Mora stopped it.

Heavyweight prospect Eric Molina (17-1, 13 KOs) tore through South Carolina’s Joe Rabotte (9-16-1, 3 KOs) for most of six rounds including two knockdowns. Referee Kenny Bayless finally saw enough and stopped the fight at 1:38 of the sixth round for a technical knockout.

Juan Gonzalez (11-0, 10 KOs) of Puerto Rico knocked out Jeremy McLaurin (8-2, 5 KOs) of Minnesota at 1:56 of the first round of a lightweight clash.

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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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