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Ward vs. Abraham On May 14…Johnson vs. Froch On May 21st

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THE SEMIFINALS BEGIN! ?SUPER SIX WORLD BOXING CLASSIC No. 1 SEED ANDRE WARD
DEFENDS WBA TITLE AGAINST ARTHUR ABRAHAM
SATURDAY, MAY 14

LIVE on SHOWTIME® at 10 p.m. ET
From The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

NEW YORK (March 22, 2011) – The Super Six World Boxing Classic Semifinals are set to begin. Andre Ward, Arthur Abraham, Carl Froch and Glen Johnson are all one victory from the tournament final en route to 168-pound supremacy. On Saturday, May 14, Ward will defend his World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Middleweight world title against European superstar Abraham to kick off the Semifinals of the groundbreaking tournament LIVE on SHOWTIME® at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) from The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

The event is co-promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions, Antonio Leonard Productions and Sauerland Event and sponsored by Corona. In the co-featured non-televised portion of the card at The Home Depot Center heavyweight world contender and popular Southern California slugger Cristobal Arreola will try to stay on track for another opportunity of a world championship when he takes on Nagy Aguilera of the Dominican Republic.

“The stage is set for the dramatic conclusion of the Super Six World Boxing Classic,” said Ken Hershman, Executive Vice President and General Manager of SHOWTIME Sports®.  “We have seen some tremendous fights, scintillating action and surprising twists and turns.  These four semifinalists have all survived the tournament’s rigorous road to this point but they are not done yet.  They need two more outstanding performances if they want to truly be considered No. 1. I can’t wait for May 14.”

For Ward (23-0, 13 KOs), with his November victory over Sakio Bika and convincing wins over Mikkel Kessler and Allan Green in the Group Stage portion of the tournament, he enters the single elimination bout against Abraham as the tournament favorite.  Ward, of Oakland, Calif., can advance to the tournament Final to face the winner of the upcoming Froch vs. Johnson Semifinal bout with a win over the former middleweight champ.

“I’m ready to get back in the ring and kick off the Semifinals against Arthur Abraham on May 14,” Ward said.  “I’m just one win away from reaching the Finals and achieving what I set out to achieve when I entered this tournament: Super Six champion and the world’s best 168-pound boxer.”

Ward continued: “I’m also happy to return to The Home Depot Center.  I fought there once before and I think it’s a great outdoor venue.  Arthur should have a lot of fans there with the large Armenian contingency in Los Angeles, and I will have a lot of fans as well.”

”California fans are going to be treated with what I believe will not only be a very exciting night of fights at the championship level, but witnessing the next superstar in Andre Ward.  He reminds me of Sugar Ray Leonard, tough as nails, classy, charismatic with matinee idol looks,” stated Dan Goossen of Goossen Tutor Promotions.

Abraham (32-2, 26 KOs), of Berlin, Germany by way of Armenia, entered the tournament as a heavy favorite alongside Kessler.  But after emerging from Group Stage 1 as the points leader with a knockout win over Jermain Taylor, Abraham is now trying to bounce back from consecutive tournament losses to Andre Dirrell and Froch in Group Stages 2 and 3, respectively. 

With a win over Ward on May 14, Abraham, who entered the tournament with an unblemished record, can once again become a world champion and the tournament favorite heading into the Finals.

“I have a lot of respect for Andre Ward,” Abraham said.  “He has proven his class and he has defeated a lot of strong opponents. But once we meet in the ring, the past does not matter anymore. I had a very bad day against Carl Froch but I have put that behind me and learned from my mistakes. I am ready to bounce back. That is what being a true champion is all about – to come back from a loss and win the title again. I am looking forward to May 14. I will prove myself in the ring.”

Abraham, who has only fought in the U.S. twice in his career, isn’t concerned with fighting in California, Ward’s home state.

“There is a huge Armenian community in Los Angeles, and I will put on a spectacular fight for them,” said the Armenian-born Abraham.  “I am very grateful to have their fantastic support and I can already promise them a very special evening. It will be good to have their backing.  It will give me a huge boost.”

Added promoter Kalle Sauerland of Sauerland Event: “This is going to be a fantastic fight. We have a lot of respect for Andre Ward. He is a deserving champion but he will be dethroned by the comeback King! Arthur has learned from his mistakes in the Froch fight. At Team Sauerland, we certainly know one or two things about comebacks, especially when it comes down to making the necessary adjustments. Mikkel Kessler, the Viking Warrior, lost to Ward but in his next fight he defeated Carl Froch on points. May 14 will be the comeback of King Arthur! He will surprise a lot of people – and he will stun Andre Ward!”

Tickets for the May 14 Semifinals at The Home Depot Center will be go on sale on Wednesday, March 30, and will be available for as low as $25, with VIP floor seats priced at $200. Other tickets in the 8,000-seat outdoor stadium at The Home Depot Center are available at $50 and $100. Fans can purchase tickets, starting on March 30, at all Ticketmaster outlets and online at www.Ticketmaster.com as well as The Home Depot Center Box Office (open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.).  Groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets by calling 1-877-234-8425.

The Semifinals of the Super Six World Boxing Classic will continue just one week later on Saturday, May 21, when Froch (27-1, 20 KOs) defends his World Boxing Council (WBC) Super Middleweight title against Johnson (51-14-2, 35 KOs) at a venue to be named in the near future.

For more information on the Super Six World Boxing Classic including exclusive photos, fight highlights and interviews, plus to view all episodes of the acclaimed documentary series FIGHT CAMP 360°: Inside The Super Six World Boxing Classic, please visit the website at www.WorldBoxingClassic.com

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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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