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Marcus Johnson To Fight Dyah Davis April 8, On ShoBox








Plus Danny O’Connor Takes On Gabriel Bracero and Willie Nelson Battles Vincent Arroyo On Friday, April 8, LIVE on SHOWTIME® at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast)

From Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, Texas

NEW YORK (March 31, 2011) – After three straight victorious appearances on ShoBox: The New Generation, Marcus Johnson hopes to make his fourth an eye-catching performance on the path from prospect to contender.

Touted as a top American prospect on many boxing lists, Houston’s unbeaten and hard-hitting Johnson (20-0, 15 KOs) will make his fourth consecutive appearance on the popular series featuring boxing’s youngest and brightest stars as he goes up against another ShoBox alumnus in Boca Raton’s Dyah Davis (18-2-1, 9 KOs) on Friday, April 8, in a 10-round super middleweight main event as part of a spectacular tripleheader LIVE on SHOWTIME (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West coast).

The night of boxing begins with two exceptionally matched co-features. Two unbeaten, 14-0 fighters will square off in an eight-round junior welterweight affair as 25-year-old and brand new father Danny O’Connor (14-0, 3 KOs) takes on 30-year-old Gabriel Bracero (14-0, 1 KO) of Brooklyn, N.Y., by way of Puerto Rico.

In the evening’s first televised fight, a pair of 23-year-olds tangle as former amateur standout Willie Nelson (16-0-1, 10 KOs) of Cleveland, meets Vincent Arroyo (10-1, 7 KOs) from Amherst, N.Y., in an eight-round welterweight bout.

Promoted by DiBella Entertainment, the “Rumble on the Rio” will originate from the Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, Texas.  

“Yeah, four straight on ShoBox, that’s pretty exciting,” said Johnson. “I’ve fought on SHOWTIME in Oklahoma, Chicago and North Dakota and now I’m in Texas. I wish it could be in Houston but Laredo is fine. It’s about a five-hour drive from Houston.”

When we last saw the 25-year-old Johnson, he was polishing off Kevin Engel back in November, 2010, in Fargo, N.D., recording a third-round TKO. Johnson won the WBO NABO championship last April by scoring a 10-round decision over then-unbeaten Derek Edwards in Chicago and in October, 2009, he decisioned Victor Villereal in Newkirk, Okla.

Johnson hopes the April 8 fight will advance his status as a fighter and some boxing experts agree. “A convincing win over Dyah Davis would suggest that Marcus Johnson is ready to make a move in the 168-pound division,” said SHOWTIME boxing analyst Steve Farhood.

The 29-year-old Davis — son of 1976 Olympic gold medalist Howard Davis Jr. — fought as recently as February, battling to a controversial 10-round majority draw with formidable Mexican Francisco Sierra on Feb. 5 in Maywood, Calif., although most observers, and one judge, felt Davis had done enough to win.

“I definitely thought I won the fight,” Davis said. “I thought I did enough to win but in boxing it’s politics. It was his promoter’s show. But for me I think it was a learning experience: I have to be able to put guys away when I have the chance. This fight is going 10 rounds and if I have the opportunity to put him away, I will this time. I have to let my hands be the judges.”

Fighting on the same card as Johnson-Engel in Fargo, N.D., Davis lost an eight-round decision to Aaron Pryor Jr., on ShoBox last Nov. 5 in an all-action and entertaining fight.

“I didn’t see [Johnson’s] fight there but I know he’s fundamentally sound but nothing that special,” Davis said. “My style will give him problems, for sure. This is the toughest test for both of us. He hasn’t fought anyone as strong as I am. I see myself victorious.”

He added: “I don’t care that the fight is in his home state. I’ve fought in England and Mexico. Fighting in someone else’s territory never really bothered me.”

Johnson recently watched the Davis-Sierra fight and concluded, “He’s a good boxer and we both have that classic boxer-puncher style. He probably thinks I’m going to come out and brawl and I don’t think he’s aware of my speed as well as my power.”

The southpaw O’Connor from Framingham, Mass., is described as an all-action fighter who trains at Peter Manfredo’s gym in Rhode Island. He is managed by Leon Margules. “It really should be an exciting fight,” Margules said. “I like Danny because of his amateur pedigree but here you have two fighters at basically the same stage of their careers. That’s what makes boxing great when you have two unbeatens going at it. It’s a real coming-out and a chance for fight fans to see two very skilled boxers.”

O’Connor was the 2008 National Golden Gloves Champion, an alternate on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team and a 2007 U.S. Olympic Trials bronze medalist.

On March 10, O’Connor and his wife welcomed home new son Liam. It’s given O’Connor a new outlook and fresh perspective on life. “It really hasn’t been a distraction in my training,” he said. “It’s actually been more motivating than I can put into words.”

O’Connor knows he’ll be facing an unbeaten fighter on April 8. “We both have zeros. I have to do everything in my power to take his away,” he said.

This will be Bracero’s first fight outside of New York, who has turned heads since returning to boxing in 2009 after an eight-year absence. He has been a mainstay of DiBella Entertainment’s “Broadway Boxing” series, headlining fight cards at B.B. King Blues Club in seven of his last nine fights, creating a very vocal and enthusiastic hometown fan base.

Bracero’s lone knockout came against Raymond Betancourt, on July 28, 2010, in Bracero’s 11th pro contest, but the majority of his victories by decision have been virtual shutouts.

The tall and lanky 6-foot-3 Nelson comes from a long line of outstanding Cleveland-area boxers and is quickly being looked at as a rising prospect in the talent-thick welterweight division. After more than 200 amateur fights, Nelson made his pro debut in 2006 with the only negative mark on his record so far a controversial draw in then-unbeaten Antonio Johnson’s home state of California.

Nelson’s biggest career win was against former “Contender: Season One” contestant Jesse Feliciano, whom he knocked out inside one round last June. Last time out, Nelson stopped Quinton Whitaker in similar fashion with another one-round knockout in Atlantic City, on the undercard of the Sergio Martinez-Paul Williams rematch, on Nov. 20, 2010.

The heavy-handed Nelson has a “boxer-puncher” style and has been described as a fighter who will try to keep his opponent on the outside. Nelson trains with ShoBox standout Shawn Porter.

The tough and aggressive two-time national junior champion Arroyo, facing his third straight undefeated opponent, can bring the power too as he was last seen scoring an upset knockout over formerly undefeated Jeremy Bryan. His only loss came at the hands of ShoBox alum Mike Dallas Jr., in September, 2009.

Curt Menefee will call the ShoBox action from ringside with Farhood and Antonio Tarver serving as expert analysts. Gordon Hall is the executive producer of ShoBox with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura



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



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



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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