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Here's Hoping July 16 Cotto-Margarito Rematch Lands In NY Area….WOODS

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Here's Hoping July 16 Cotto-Margarito Rematch Lands In NY AreaMight as well get a jump on it, TSS Universe. It's going to be water cooler talk in a couple months anyway…Who thinks Margarito was cheating on this night, the night he beat Cotto to a pulp? (Hogan)Let me be clear and up front about this, so I don't act in any way, shape or form like those cads in Washington, whose existence relies on obfuscation…I am now putting on my lobbyist hat.

OK, ready to spout.

Miguel Cotto will meet Antonio Margarito, probably on July 16th, which is the working date for the much anticpated rematch between the Puerto Rican superstar and the Mexican baddie who was busted for trying to use loaded gloves against Shane Mosley when they fought in January 24, 2009.

You'll recall that when Cotto met Margarito, on July 26, 2008 at the MGM Grand, he absorbed his first loss. More than that, he absorbed a terrible helping of punishment. Cotto had good luck early in the fight, popping, moving, using superior skills to get the better of Margarito. But as the rounds passed, Margarito, in the fashion of the Terminator, refused to be dissuaded. He advanced on Cotto, and his launches began to tag the then-WBA welterweight champion by round six. He was relentless, and in round eleven, he finished his prey. He dropped him to a knee with 1:20 remaining, and then followed him into a corner, forcing the Cotto team to stop the fight with 55 seconds remaining. They saw their guy bleeding from the mouth, eye, nose, and wanted to save him from further damage. 

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Half a year later, when the California commission found hardened hand wraps and plaster of paris components in Margarito's mitts as then trainer Javier Capetillo got his hands ready, that Margarito win over Cotto was cast into doubt. If Margarito was going to cheat against Mosley, what are the chances that he did cheat against Cotto? Real, real good, most fight pundits and fans admitted to themselves. Cotto after all looked like he'd been punished with a razor-tipped mallet on July 26, 2008. The beaten boxer has always been classy since then, refusing to outright accuse Margarito of being a serial cheater, and using foreign objects to aid him when the two scrapped. But many if not most in the fight game suspect that there is a real good likelihood that the gloves were loaded when Margarito pummeled Cotto.

We can presume that everyone will be fighting fair when the two fight a rematch this July, in a bout that will have the juiciest backstoryline attached to it of any this year, or maybe next. Wherever the fight takes place, we can be sure Cotto fans will be jammed into the joint, to the rafters, leaning in to the ring, aching for their guy to extract his deserved pound or two of flesh.

But this bout belongs in New York. (Here is where my lobbying kicks in, where I become Michael “The K Street Kid” Woods). Bob Arum can make that happen. Of course, the logical home for the event is Madison Square Garden in NYC. Lord, the vibe in there would be electric. Sad to say, because the building will undergo substantial renovation after the Knicks finish up another disappointing campaign, MSG will not able to host Cotto-Margarito II. Plan B would be to have the rematch in New Meadowlands Stadium, the East Rutherford, New Jersey stadium which houses the New York Jets and Giants.

“Definitely that fight belongs in New York,” Cotto's trainer Emanuel Steward told me. “It's the biggest drawing base for Miguel. He's an East Coast fighter. He set a record at the Garden. Another fight against Margarito at the Garden would break the record.”

But we'd all settle for the Meadowlands. What about it, Top Rank? Can you hook us New York-area folks up with this tussle?

“The stadium is possible,” said Carl Moretti of Top Rank. “It's between that and Las Vegas. It'd be better knowing we'd get thirty thousand people there for the fight. We'd like to think we would.”

Almost 21,000 people paid to enter Yankee Stadium to see Cotto fight Yuri Foreman last June; I'd bet the most majestic sum in my checking account now that an extra 9,000 would go to the stadium to see Cotto exact revenge on Margacheato. If I were Rudy Guiliani, I'd be so crass as to play the 9-11 card, but I like to think I'm better than that. No, there will be no outright begging. But what say, Mr Arum, you defer to the wisdom of Steward here. He's right. I'm right. Let's do Cotto-Margarito II at the  Meadowlands, please.

Gosh, I'm glad this article is over. That hat was giving me hives…

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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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