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Dawson-Diaconu Co-Feature On Hopkins-Pascal II

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WBC AND RING MAGAZINE LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPION

JEAN PASCAL AND FORMER TWO-DIVISION WORLD CHAMPION

BERNARD HOPKINS TO SETTLE THE SCORE ON MAY 21

AT THE BELL CENTRE IN MONTREAL, CANADA

CHAD DAWSON VS. ADRIAN DIACONU SET FOR CO-FEATURED BOUT

ON HBO'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® DOUBLEHEADER

NEW YORK, March 29 – The first fight between WBC and Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight World Champion Jean Pascal and former Two-Division World Champion and Future Hall of Famer Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins last December was one of the most talked-about fights of that year, with fans across the continent hotly debating the outcome to this day.  Whatever side was taken, everyone agreed on one thing…they wanted to see it again.  On Saturday May 21, Pascal and Hopkins will give everyone what they want when they meet in “Dynasty II: Pascal vs. Hopkins” at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.  The world championship bout will be televised live on HBO's World Championship Boxing in the United States and televised live on pay-per-view in Canada.  A 12-round light heavyweight bout between former World Champions Chad Dawson and Adrian Diaconu will also be featured on the telecast.

“I won the first fight and I will win the rematch,” said Pascal.  “But this time, when I knock Hopkins down, I will keep him there.  Hopkins is an old man; he doesn't have it in him to face me again.  I am ready to end this once and for all in front of all of the fans in Quebec.”

“I am a threat no matter how old I am, and Pascal knows it,” said Hopkins.  “He got two knockdowns [on the judges' scorecards], is almost 20 years younger than me and still couldn't win the fight.  At the end of the day, the fans know who won.  I showed Pascal an old fashion boxing beat-down that night and I am going to do it again, this time in his own backyard.  Believe me, Pascal knows what's going down on May 21…it's Execution time again.”

“Dynasty II: Pascal vs. Hopkins” is promoted by Groupe Yvon Michel Inc. and Golden Boy Promotions and presented by Casino de Montreal, Videotron and Coors Light.  The 12-round WBC, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight World Championship rematch will take place Saturday, May 21 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada and will be televised live on HBO's World Championship Boxing in the United States beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT and distributed live on pay-per-view in Canada on Canal Indigo, Bell TV, Shaw TV, Viewer's Choiceand Sasktel in French and English beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET.  Dawson vs. Diaconu is presented in association with Gary Shaw Productions and InterBox.

“The first encounter between these two warriors was by all means superior and much more spectacular than anticipated by the majority of the world's boxing experts,” said Yvon Michel, President of Groupe Yvon Michel.  “It produced one of the highest television ratings for a boxing event in 2010.  There is no doubt that both these fighters have the strength and the ability to produce a fierce battle and that their styles will make for a stunning clash.  In this rematch, there is only one question from most experts…who will be the winner?  We are pleased that our distinguish partner Golden Boy and Bernard Hopkins are coming to Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where this historic fight will take place in front of some of the most passionate and supportive boxing fans in the world.”

“Hopkins vs. Pascal was one of the most talked about fights of 2010 and rightfully so,” said Oscar de la Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions.  “Regardless of whether you thought the decision was correct or not, both fighters gave us compelling action for 12 rounds, and this was a natural for a rematch.  I'm expecting another war in May.”

“The Jean Pascal and Bernard Hopkins rematch sets up for a great night for the sport as Pascal tries to keep his title with the eyes of Canada along with his hometown fans of Montreal upon him, while Hopkins looks to become the oldest reigning champion in the history of boxing,” said Kery Davis senior vice president HBO Sports.  “You have two great champions bringing their formidable skills and knowledge into the ring, striving for supremacy.”

Tickets, priced at C$500, C$350, C$250, C$175, C$110, C$75, C$50 and C$35, go on sale on Friday, April 1, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. ET and may be purchased at the Bell Centre box office or by calling (514) 790-2525 or (877) 668-8269.  Tickets will also be available online at www.evenko.ca.  A limited number of VIP tables priced at C$4,000, C$3,000 and C$2,500 will also be available for purchase by calling the Bell Centre box office or GYM at (514) 383-0666.

In their first bout on December 18, 2010, Pascal and Hopkins engaged in a fierce back and forth battle over 12 rounds before a highly disputed draw verdict was rendered.  Following the outcry over the debated draw in which the majority of ringside observers, viewers and media members felt the older Hopkins  was victorious, the WBC Board of Governors voted in favor of ordering an immediate rematch between the two for the WBC and WBC Diamond Light Heavyweight World Championships.

Fighting out of Montreal, Canada, 2004 Canadian Olympian Jean Pascal (26-1-1, 16 KO's) has been thrilling fight fans north of the border for years with his unique style and knockout power.  In 2008, Pascal lost his only professional bout in an exciting championship clash at super middleweight with former World Champion Carl Froch.  Since then, he moved up to the light heavyweight division and the 28-year-old has been unbeatable, going 5-0-1.  Included in this streak were two epic battles with Adrian Diaconu, the first of which earned him the WBC Light Heavyweight World Title in 2009 as well as a big win over Chad Dawson that saw him hand the American his first professional defeat.  On May 21, he will look to erase the memory of his draw with Bernard Hopkins by scoring a resounding win.

Boxing's ageless wonder, 46-year-old Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins (51-5-2, 32 KO's) continues to amaze with his performances in the ring.  The longest reigning middleweight champion in history with over 10 years and 20 successful defenses during his reign, Hopkins is a lock for the Boxing Hall of Fame, but he isn't done yet.  The Philadelphia native has defeated Howard Eastman, Antonio Tarver, Winky Wright, Kelly Pavlik, Enrique Ornelas and Roy Jones since turning 40 in 2005.  However, the one win he wants more than any is against the man with who he fought to a controversial draw last December, Jean Pascal.  In that bout, Hopkins had hoped to break George Foreman's record and become the oldest fighter in history to win a significant world title.  On May 21, he will get another chance.  “The Executioner” has promised to let this opportunity slip away.

Also featured on May 21 will be a 12-round light heavyweight bout between former World Champions Chad Dawson and Adrian Diaconu.  It's a pivotal bout in the 175-pound weight class as Dawson would like to regain the WBC title which he lost to Pascal or take on Hopkins, a fight he has been trying to get for years.  Diaconu has unfinished business of his own with Pascal after two memorable meetings, but first the two must settle their own score in the ring and with the stakes so high, expect these two top contenders to leave it all in the ring on fight night.

A longtime light heavyweight champion on a mission to regain his belt, 28-year-old “Bad” Chad Dawson (29-1, 17 KO's) is well aware that his road back to the top passes through Pascal or Hopkins.  A gifted southpaw who reigned over the division from 2007, when he defeated Tomasz Adamek for the WBC Light Heavyweight World Crown, until a 2010 decision loss to Jean Pascal, Connecticut's Dawson (who also holds wins over Antonio Tarver and Glen Johnson) is hungrier than ever.

“This is an important fight for me,” said Dawson.  “I need to make a statement against Diaconu and I will.  Then when I'm done, it's on to the winner of Pascal-Hopkins II.”

2000 Romanian Olympian Adrian “The Shark” Diaconu (27-2, 15 KO's) has captured the hearts of fans in his adopted home city of Montreal and he has made the Bell Centre his own personal backyard, going 11-2 in the venue.  The former WBC Interim Light Heavyweight World Champion, Diaconu's only two professional losses have come via decision to Jean Pascal and he knows that with a win over Dawson, he may get his shot at redemption.

“With my fans in Montreal supporting me, I'm prepared to deliver the fight of my life against Chad,” said Diaconu.  “He's a great fighter and I respect him, but I won't stop until I get my world title back, and I need to defeat Dawson to get there.”

A stacked slate of undercard bouts will be announced at a later date.  For more information, visit www.groupeyvonmichel.ca, www.goldenboypromotions.comand www.jeanpascalboxing.com; follow the event on Twitter at @yvonmichelgym, @GoldenBoyBoxing, @jeanpascalchamp and @THEREALBHOP; or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GYM and www.facebook.com/GoldenBoyBoxing.  Follow HBO Boxing newsat www.hbo.com/boxing, on Twitter at @hboboxing or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hboboxing.

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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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