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James Kirkland and Luis Ramos Both Win In OC

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COSTA MESA-One co-main event was a brutalization and the other was simply brutal as middleweight James Kirkland stopped his opponent quickly and junior welterweight Luis Ramos struggled to win by majority decision on Friday.

Kirkland (27-0, 24 KOs) quickly returned to the ring after beating Ahsandi Gibbs (KO1) on the Cotto-Mayorga card and out-slugged Colombia’s Jhon Berrio (15-9, 11 KOs) in two rounds at the Orange County Fairgrounds in a middleweight fight staged by Golden Boy Promotions and Roy Englebrecht Productions. Fans numbering 1,574 were not disappointed.

Sweat was flying as Kirkland, who was off from March 2009 until the Gibbs bout, traded bombs with Berrio  freely in the first round. An overhand right from the Colombian landed flush and a straight left cross from Kirkland punctuated the first round.

In the second it was all Kirkland who fired up the punching machine again and connected with a left to the temple that didn’t seem to bother Berrio. A few seconds later after a short right hook seemed to miss, Berrio slumped to the floor. He did not get up and was counted out at 2:05 of the second round.

The Commission held Berrio’s purse until a further investigation.

Kirkland simply wants more training and more fights.

“I want to get back to training the way I was before,” said Kirkland, who is now training in Las Vegas, Nevada. “I feel stronger now.

Kirkland spent two years in jail for parole violations but now is anxious to return to the top.

“I’m training hard man,” he said.

In the co-main event Ramos (18-0 , 8 KOs) and Texan Jose Hernandez (10-5-1) scrapped for eight solid rounds with each fighter unable to dominate. The taller Hernandez used his arm length to score repeatedly with left hooks and snapping uppercuts that Ramos took surprisingly well. In return Ramos worked the body and shortened his punches after round one to begin taking slight control.

Hernandez would have none of that. The lanky Texan shrugged off the body shots and returned fire with straight rights and left hooks. Jabs also seemed to score well but neither fighter would surrender.

After eight rounds the fight was scored a majority decision 76-76, 79-73 and 77-75 for Ramos.

The San Diego prizefighter Antonio Orozco (9-0, 6 KOs) showed no effects from a recent layoff as he blitzed Mexico’s Manuel Aguilar (5-2, 4 KOs) with three solid body shots and a right cross that took away any desire to fight. At 1:42 of the first round the first was over.

Dominican Francisco Contreras (16-0, 13 KOs) decisively defeated Mexico’s Adolfo Landeros (19-18-1) after six rounds of a lightweight bout. Contreras, who fights out of Oxnard, was too quick, too tall and able to fire at will against the smaller Landeros. All three judges scored it 60-54 for Contreras.

Whittier’s Humberto Zatarain (1-0) survived a first down knockdown from southpaw Jose Sanchez (3-2) and rallied to win a unanimous decision 38-37 on all three cards. Zatarain, a junior lightweight, was making his pro debut.

Costa Mesa’s Stephan Lugo won his pro debut with sharper punches that resulted in a knockout against Lakewood’s J.J. Ambrose who was also making his pro debut in a super middleweight contest. The knockout came at 1:49 of the third round.

Santa Ana’s Bobby Chavez (1-2) picked up his first victory with a third round technical knockout at 1:14. A left to the body dropped Steven Rubalcava (0-3) and after beating the count his corner requested the junior middleweight fight be stopped.

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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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