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Quotes From Andre Ward, Abraham And Arreola Ahead Of May 14 Card

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454SUPER SIX WORLD BOXING CLASSIC SEMIFINALISTS
ANDRE WARD & ARTHUR ABRAHAM,
HEAVYWEIGHT CONTENDER CRISTOBAL ARREOLA
PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES & PHOTOS

Tues., Mar. 29 at Sisley Italian Kitchen in Sherman Oak, Calif.
LOS ANGELES (March 29, 2011) – Super Six World Boxing Classic Semifinalists Andre Ward and Arthur Abraham participated in a press conference on Tuesday at Sisley Italian Kitchen in Sherman Oaks, Calif., to formally announce their May 14 showdown at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., live on SHOWTIME®.

Ward will defend his WBA Super Middleweight title against the European superstar and former world champion to kick off the Semifinals of the groundbreaking tournament.  Abraham, who is in the middle of training for the fight, was not able to attend the press conference from his home base in Berlin, Germany and joined via video conference.

The Ward-Abraham winner advances to the tournament Finals against the winner of the Carl Froch-Glen Johnson Semifinals showdown.  The winner earns instant bragging rights as the world's No. 1 168-pound fighter.

The talented Ward (23-0, 13 KOs), of Oakland, Calif., has emerged as the tournament favorite after impressive triumphs in Group Stage bouts over Mikkel Kessler and Allan Green, as well as Sakio Bika.

Abraham (32-2, 26 KOs) entered the Super Six as a favorite alongside Kessler. But after emerging from Group Stage 1 as the points leader with a knockout over Jermain Taylor, he is now trying to bounce back from consecutive losses to Andre Dirrell and Froch in Group Stages 2 and 3, respectively. 

Also participating in the press conference was a noticeably slimmed-down Chris Arreola.  The heavyweight world contender and popular Southern California slugger will try to stay on track for another opportunity of a world championship when he takes on Nagy Aguilera in a non-televised undercard bout.

The event is co-promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions, Antonio Leonard Productions and Sauerland Event and sponsored by Corona.

Tickets 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.

What the fighters, promoters and trainers had to say on Tuesday:

DAN GOOSSEN:
“The Home Depot Center is a great, great venue for boxing.  When that place is packed it's rocking.  Tickets go on sale tomorrow and it's going to be a great event.

“To me, no matter how the Super Six has progressed I think it's a tremendous concept for boxing.  I think everyone learned how tough it is to make great fights amongst the world's best fighters.

“It sometimes takes years and years to put together a fight that people want to see.  It has taken some time but it has been worth it.  No fighter has escaped without a tough fight.  We have the Semifinals kicking off on May 14 and the Finals later this year.

“No matter the time period we still have the Finals right around the corner.  The winner will be a star.

“Last time I saw Chris like this was five years ago.  When everything is said and done, I don't think there is a better heavyweight out there when he's doing the things he needs to do.

“I always thought the fight with Chris was more outside the ring than inside the ring.  You have to be dedicated and willing to push yourself. I wanted everyone to see Chris with their own eyes, not to tell you in a press release. This is the new Chris Arreola.”

ANDRE WARD:
“I'm fired up as always.  I'm not buying into people saying that Abraham is not the same. I know Arthur and his team are preparing for a storybook ending but it won't be at my expense.  I'm ready to defend my title.

“It's the same story every time – people doubting me and asking if I'm ready. I think people forget that I have a family to feed.  I need to win just as badly as anyone else.  I have two more fights before I'm the best super middleweight in the world and I plan on winning both of them. It's as simple as that.

“In my preparation I'm probably giving him more respect than he deserves. My job is to put him away from the opening bell.  My job is to make him feel the same way he felt right after the Carl Froch fight as soon as possible.

“On May 14 we have 12 rounds to get to know each other.  That's what I'm looking forward to.

“I want to be the last man standing. I always knew it was in me to succeed.  I didn't come this far for no reason.

“I had to grow up real fast in this tournament or I was going to go home early.  And I didn't want to go home early.

“It's great to be on the same card as Chris.  He has the heart of a champion.”

ARTHUR ABRAHAM:
“I'm looking forward to May 14 and having a great fight. I am feeling OK. I was a little sick but I just started training again and I should be fine.

“We are getting ready for a good fight.  The tune up fight didn't give me as much as I wanted but it was OK. It was good to get back in the ring and get that feeling.

“You'll be surprised on May 14. It's not my style to make big predictions.  I want to show you inside the ring.

“I know he is the favorite but that motivates me even more. Over history many favorites have crashed down.

“I don't want to speak about what went wrong in the past. I want to focus on Andre.  I will use my heart, my fists, my body and my hands to defeat Andre.

“I feel confident in my trainer – I'm happy with him. If I wasn't I wouldn't still be training with him.

“I look forward to coming over to the U.S.  I will give 120 percent.  Together, with the Armenian fans, I will win the title and reach the finals.

“The Armenian fans will motivate me. That makes this fight more special for me. I will not disappoint them.

“We will win on May 14 and then we'll win the final.

“I'm looking forward to coming back to America.  But I'm mostly looking forward to returning to Germany with a victory and putting on a great fight.”

VIRGIL HUNTER (Ward's trainer):
“We're in full-tilt now in camp.  We have a great game plan.  More than anything, we want to make sure we make a statement and give you something to write about.

“I'd like to say that Arthur is scared to come here and face Andre face-to-face, but it's a long trip over here.  I understand.”

CHRIS ARREOLA:
“I do look a little bit better.  The main thing with being 30 years old is you only have a little window of opportunity and it's time for me to do it. I let everyone down when I showed a lack of dedication to the sport and I look forward to showing myself again.

“The main thing is after my last fight I didn't go back to living like I used to. I'm a family man now. I'm good and just living the life.

“I can train at home without all the distractions. I'm more focused and dedicated.

“The turning point was around December. I realize that 2010 and 2009 were terrible. It was my fault.  Now it's about what I want and what I'm supposed to do to win.  No more games.

“I'm 20 or 30 pounds ahead of the game, so I'm not worried about weight anymore.”

HENRY RAMIREZ (Arreola's trainer):
“Obviously, you can see that Chris is at a lower weight.  The biggest fight with Chris has been outside of the ring.  The maturity is finally catching up with the physical ability.  The sky is the limit for Chris and the best is yet to come.”

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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