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Avila’s Pound for Pound List 2011

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Pacquiao vs MosleyTwo pound for pound candidates breezed through recent tests to maintain their spot on the list and the guy on the top still remains.

Manny Pacquiao heads the list of pound for pound champions for 2011, with a couple of newcomers, United Kingdom’s Amir Khan and Mexico’s Giovanni Segura, replacing Fernando Montiel and Ivan Calderon.

Khan’s victory over Argentina’s hard punching Marcos Maidana in the talented junior welterweight division places him on the list. Hopefully, Khan will be fighting fellow pound for pounder Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley later this year.

The other newcomer is Segura, a junior flyweight from Acapulco, Mexico who powered his way to this list with impressive results. Forgive the comparison but he’s a 21st century version of Puerto Rico’s Wilfredo “Bazooka” Gomez.

Just a few days ago middleweight world champion Sergio Martinez showed why he deserves to be on this list and a few months ago bantamweight Nonito Donaire blew out fellow pound for pound fighter Fernando Montiel.

On May 7, Big Bear, California’s Sugar Shane Mosley has a date with Pacquiao.

1.    Manny Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs) – Pacquiao has been on a roll for quite a while. It’s akin to Roy Jones Jr. who dominated for several years in the early 2000s. Next up is Sugar Shane Mosley. Pacman has slight advantages in speed and stamina but Mosley still has the power. Despite what many think Mosley matches up very well with Pacman. Can Pacman retire without another loss? He’s on an incredible streak that may never be rivaled. And he still seems to be getting better even at 32. One of the reasons he’s on top is that he never cheats himself while training. When Pacquiao enters the ring he’s 100 percent ready to roll. Of all the fighters I’ve seen train there are only a handful that work at his rate of speed. One of them was the late Edwin Valero. Too bad we’ll never see that fight happen.

2.    Floyd Mayweather (41-0, 25 KOs) – It’s been almost a year since “Money” Mayweather last entered the prize ring. With all of his problems in court it would be a major surprise if Mayweather jumps in the ring any sooner than August. If it were any other fighter there would be questions whether the layoff would erode his reflexes or skills. Mayweather, 34, never blows up in weight and still visits the gym regularly. When the judicial system is finally finished with “Money,” expect to see his return.  

3.    Bernard Hopkins (51-5-1, 32 KOs) – Before Hopkins journeyed to Canada to fight Jean Pascal there were fans, fighters and promoters complaining about how the old guys keep clogging up the airwaves. More than a few said Hopkins was over-rated. Then he schooled Pascal on the art of boxing and here we go again. Hopkins will be fighting Pascal once more. Golden Boy Promotions won the purse bid and the fight will take place May 21st in Montreal. He truly is a master boxer even at age 46. He’s wickedly wise in the ring.

4.    Juan Manuel Marquez (51-5-1, 37 KOs) – The Mexico City warrior was supposed to fight Erik Morales in Las Vegas but that is now on hold. Because of boxing politics Marquez may leave Golden Boy Promotions (like Mosley) in order to fight Pacquiao later this year. Marquez, 37, may want to stay busy but he’s in limbo at the moment. It’s not a good place to be at his age. He was seen this past weekend at the Miguel Cotto vs. Ricardo Mayorga fight as a television analyst. He’s trying to be careful not to destroy any chances of a rematch with Pacman.

5.    Sergio Martinez (46-2-2, 25 KOs) – If there were any questions about Martinez’s abilities he just crushed them like he crushed Ukraine’s Sergiy Dzinziruk last weekend. More than a few expected Martinez to experience a difficult time with the undefeated southpaw Dzinziruk but that was clearly not the case. Martinez, 36, has developed a style all his own and actually seems to be getting better each fight. Can anybody in the 154 to 168 pound divisions beat the Argentine? The Oxnard-based boxer is becoming a phenomenon. He’s also one of the nicest guys in the sport.

6.    Timothy Bradley (26-0, 11 KOs) – Fans forget that Bradley has never been beaten as a professional. The Palm Springs Desert fighter continues to surprise critics and opponents with his ability to beat the odds. His convincing win over a solid champion in Devon Alexander adds another notch to his growing list of conquests. Next up for Bradley will be Amir Khan should he defeat Paul McCloskey in April. If that Khan fight happens, the world will see two of the quickest prizefighters on the planet. Slow-motion replays will be necessary for accurate judgment.

7.    Robert Guerrero (28-1-1, 18 KOs) – The Ghost was last seen dominating Cuba’s Joel Casamayor and beating a talented Vicente Escobedo. Very few can claim to have beaten the Cuban master so convincingly like Guerrero. Now the Gilroy prizefighter is moving up to the lightweight division to face Michael Katsidis. Guerrero continues to improve with every fight. His win over Jason Litzau was seen as ho hum. But Litzau toppled Celestino Caballero from the pound for pound list and also beat Rocky Juarez. Both Juan Manuel Marquez and Jorge Linares wanted no part of the Ghost. Who can blame them?

8.    Nonito Donaire (25-1, 17 KOs) – When Donaire was penciled in to fight fellow pound for pound fighter Fernando Montiel of Mexico, it was expected to be a fearsome battle. Instead, it was another highlight clip for the ever dangerous Filipino Flash. It seems whenever Donaire faces a dangerous opponent, he slips into overdrive and annihilates them. Can anybody in the bantamweight division contend with Donaire? At the moment he’s deciding whether to fight the winner of the bantamweight tournament or move up to fight one of the junior featherweight world champions.

9.    Andre Ward (23-0, 13 KOs) – The Oakland-based prizefighter is beginning to make each fight look easy though it obviously is not. The list of quality wins is growing for the former Olympic gold medal winner. Ward’s decisive wins over Edison Miranda, Mikkel Kessler, Sakio Bika and Allan Green prove that he may just be unbeatable as a super middleweight. He still has fights remaining in the tournament but right now it looks like he’s the cream of the crop. No longer is he a runner, he’s actually a well-rounded prizefighter now.

10.    Amir Khan (18-0, 15 KOs) – Should Khan beat Paul McCloskey in April, it looks like the British speedster could meet Timothy Bradley in a mega junior welterweight battle in the summer. Can you imagine these two speedsters trading punches? Bradley and Khan are so fast it may be difficult for the fans to see the blows. The lanky Brit improves with every fight. Since joining forces with trainer Freddie Roach his defense has improved. He’s well spoken and has slowly become a fan favorite in the U.S.

11.    Giovanni Segura (26-1-1, 22 KOs) – Mexico’s mini-bomber Segura showed how to beat former pound for pound fighter Ivan Calderon last summer and handed the Puerto Rican his first professional loss. Next month Segura meets Puerto Rico’s Calderon once again but this time in Mexicali, Mexico. Segura has the footwork, hand speed and firepower to slow down Calderon’s track shoes. He plans to move up in weight and show the flyweights what he can do. Expect more destruction.

12. Paul Williams (39-2, 27 KOs) – The one-punch knockout loss to Sergio Martinez may have been a good thing. Sometimes it’s worse to take a beating round after round like Dzinziruk last weekend. Williams is only 29 and may have a lot left. Nobody knows until he steps back in the ring. Don’t forget that he beat Winky Wright and that’s not easy to do.

Honorable mention:

Abner Mares, Rafael Marquez, Wladimir Klitschko, Miguel Cotto, Lucian Bute, and Yuri Gamboa, Chad Dawson, Yuri Gamboa, Kelly Pavlik and Felix Sturm.


Fights on television

Fri. ESPN2. 6 p.m., Chris Avalos (18-1) vs. Yan Barthelemy (11-2).
Fri. Telemundo, 11:30 p.m., Dante Jardon (15-1) vs. Humberto Martinez (20-5-1).
Fri. Telefutura, 11:30 p.m., Luis Ramos (17-0) vs. Jose Hernandez (10-4-1).
Sat. Showtime, 10 p.m., Lucian Bute (27-0) vs. Brian Magee (34-3-1)

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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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