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Peter Manfredo MIGHT Fight Sergio Martinez

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Modern-Day Rocky Peter Manfredo, Jr.
Dreamin’ about Martinez title shot at home

PROVIDENCE (March 17, 2011) – Middleweight contender Peter “The Pride of Providence” Manfredo, Jr. had a ringside seat in MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods last Saturday night to witness the superlative performance turned in by WBC Emeritus and The Ring 160-pound champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez, who dropped previously unbeaten WBO junior welterweight titlist Sergiy “Razor” Dzinziruk five times en route to a major statement-victory by eighth-round knockout.

Manfredo (37-6, 20 KOs), arguably the leading American middleweight challenger, is riding a six-fight win streak since losing to super middleweight Saki Bika in 2008. The  star of The Contender, Season One is currently rated No. 7 by the IBF and No. 9 by the WBC.

Now working fulltime as a laborer at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, ironically, where he headlined four major shows, Manfredo dreams of fighting Martinez there this summer. The popular Italian-American boxer is like a modern-day Rocky with a twist: Peter’s not breaking legs but he is sweeping floors to provide for his family.

“Martinez is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, right up there with Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather,” Manfredo said. “Imagine me fighting him at The Dunk where I headlined shows and now work? That would be straight out of Hollywood! I know fight fans in Providence would give him a royal welcome. He would definitely be a tough fight for me and I’d be an underdog, but I’ve put myself in a challenger’s position the past two years, and I want a shot at the best. Getting a fight against Martinez is what fighters dream about, especially at home, and I’ve worked hard the past two years to get to this point. Hey, this is boxing and nothing’s written in stone; it only takes one shot to change the world. That’s boxing, and maybe I land an old Micky Ward shot to the body, and my life would be changed.

“Opportunities to fight somebody like Martinez don’t come around every day. Now is the right time for me. I’d be honored to get in the ring to fight him. I know I can compete with him. Like (Vinny) Paz says, ‘Fight or die.’ Styles make fights and this would be a very entertaining match-up. I’m a classic boxer-puncher and he’s a very fast, awkward fighter who seems to have found his power in the last few fights. Sergio keeps his hands down and bobs his head. Boxers aren’t taught to do that but he can because he’s so good. Martinez reminds me of Roy Jones. I’ve proven myself and want to get it on with Martinez.”

Manfredo has the proper pedigree, as an amateur and pro, in addition to possibly having a strength advantage versus Martinez, who has moved-up from junior middleweight, while Manfredo dropped down from 168. Three of Manfredo’s six career losses have been against much larger super middleweights – Joe Calzaghe in their WBO title fight, former world champ Jeff Lacy, and Bika.

During his 10 ½ year career, Manfredo has defeated world champion Frankie Randall, The Contender 2 winner Grady Brewer, previously unbeaten prospect Sherwin Davis, world title challengers Scott Pemberton and Alfonso Gomez, and present WBA No. 6 rated light heavyweight Joey Spina.

“I have valuable experience against great champions like Martinez,” Manfredo added. “I went through the whole thing with Calzaghe and learned a valuable lesson. I won’t make those mistakes again. I’m experienced fighting super middleweights, who were too big for me, but I’m a real middleweight. I’ll go for broke against Martinez, if given the opportunity, because I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

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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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