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Abner Mares Wants Nonito Donaire After Agbeko

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Mares Faces IBF Bantamweight World Champion
Joseph “King Kong” Agbeko on Saturday, April 23
In The Bantamweight Tournament Final: Winner Takes All,
LIVE on SHOWTIME® From Nokia Theatre L.A. Live

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LOS ANGELES (March 31, 2011) – World Boxing Council (WBC) Silver Bantamweight Champion Abner Mares participated in a media workout today at Maywood Gym in Maywood, Calif. as he gets ready to face International Boxing Federation (IBF) Bantamweight World Champion Joseph “King Kong” Agbeko in the eagerly awaited Bantamweight Tournament Final: Winner Takes All on Saturday, April 23 LIVE on SHOWTIME® (10:30 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles.

Mares (21-0-1, 13 KO’s), of Hawaiian Gardens, Calif. by way of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, will defend his WBC Silver bantamweight championship in the tournament final against Agbeko (28-2, 22 KO’s), of Accra, Ghana.

In what will be a hotly contested co-feature, former Two-Division World Champion Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan (35-3-1, 27 KO’s), of Sydney, Australia, by way of Vanadzok, Armenia, and former IBF Bantamweight World Champion Yonnhy “El Colombiano” Perez (20-1-1, 14 KO’s), of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., by way of Cartagena, Colombia, will clash in the tournament consolation bout.

Tickets, priced at $200, $100, $75, $50 and $25, are available online at Ticketmaster.com, and via Ticketmaster charge-by-phone at (800) 745-3000.  Tickets are also available at STAPLES Center Box Office.

Mares earned a berth in the final with a bloody, come-from-behind 12-round split decision win over Darchinyan in the tournament semifinals last Dec. 11 in Tacoma, Wash.  Later in the evening, Agbeko earned his spot in the final by handed Perez his first career loss via a unanimous 12-round decision.

The Bantamweight Tournament Final: Winner Takes All is promoted by Don King Productions, Gary Shaw Productions, Golden Boy Promotions and Thompson Boxing Promotions and sponsored by Corona.  An exciting undercard will be announced shortly.

Here’s what Mares and Oscar de la Hoya had to say on Thursday:

ABNER MARES:

“The fight (against Darchinyan) gave me a lot of confidence and motivation.  I’m fighting legitimate fighters in this tournament and I know I belong.

“It’s a great fight.  Agbeko is an amazing fighter.  Not many fighters lose a title and come back stronger to win it.  He’s hungry and I know he doesn’t want to lose that title again, but I’m here to prove myself, to prove that I’m the best 118 pounder and win this tournament.

“I want to go out and give the fans a good fight.  With Agbeko’s style and my style, the fight has to be interesting.  We can’t put on a bad fight.

“I’m here to fight the best – that’s why I’m facing Agbeko and that’s why I want to fight (Nonito) Donaire after I win this thing.

“I thank Oscar for everything.  He’s the one who’s been with me from the beginning.”

OSCAR DE LA HOYA:

“The Bantamweight Tournament was the best thing that could have happened to this division.  SHOWTIME stepped up to the plate and did a great job putting it together.  We will see very soon who is one of the best of this division.  The champion of this tournament will be in line to face pound-for-pound great Nonito Donaire.

“The great thing about this fight is anyone can win it.  It’s a coin toss.

“Abner is a fighter I believe in – he always give his all.  He wants to be the best in his division.

“Eventually, after this tournament, we want him to keep on facing the best fighters out there.  I believe he’ll go up one or two divisions, but he still has some work to do here at 118 pounds.  He has the talent and speed and power to move up in weight.

“I’m really excited that Abner is the first fighter who turned professional with us and now he’s fighting for a world title.  That’s exciting for us.

“We’re a young company and we have many world champions, but Abner is our first that we had from the start.

“Abner is a very dedicated and loyal fighter and we are thrilled to have him.

“With the Super Middleweight tournament SHOWTIME has created noise and attention for that division.  What SHOWTIME has done is outstanding.  The fans love and support these types of tournaments.  They really stepped up to the plate and gave fans what they wanted.”

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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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