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UPDATE: King Paid In Full For Tua Fight

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NEW YORK (April 2, 2011) – Heavyweight Demetrice King has been paid in full, by Gotham Boxing president Cedric Kushner, for his March 19th fight in New Zealand against David Tua. This was confirmed over the phone by King from his home in Jackson, Michigan.

“I had no reason to believe there would be any problems with the promotion given Mr. Kushner’s reputation,” King said. “However, it did cross my mind when a promoter who had scheduled the fight four months prior didn’t purchase our airline tickets until the day before our departure and take advantage of a lesser price booked in advance. When Mr. Kushner returned to the U.S., I told him that I hadn’t been paid by the local promoter, Mr. Tuigamala. Mr. Kushner told me not to worry because he’d sort things out, and guaranteed me I would get every dollar I was entitled to. That was good enough for me, even though the delay caused me and my family an inconvenience, but I knew Mr. Kushner would be true to his word and he was. I hope he can get me more fights in the future.”

King lost a 10-round decision to Tua but left New Zealand without receiving his $10,000 purse due to the insistence by the show’s promoter, Inga Tuigamala, that Kushner was responsible for paying King.

“I was just helping Mr. Tuigamala’s promotional company, Plantation Boxing Gym, in the interest of David Tua and I was not obligated in any way to pay Demetrice,” Kushner explained. “My company, Gotham Boxing, had no financial interest in the event. This unfortunate situation, for me as well as Demetrice and his family, was read by many people worldwide, unfairly projecting my company and I in a poor light. I’ve been in the entertainment business for 35 years between boxing and the rock business and a situation like this is something you would expect to see in the movies or in some other fictional form.”

Late last year, Kushner flew to New Zealand to speak with Tua about plans for his next fight. When Cedric asked David what he had in mind for the holidays, David said he wanted to stay in New Zealand to be with his family and that his friend, former New Zealand rugby player Inga Tuigamala, was promoting a small show on March 19th and he had discussed with Inga for a position for himself on the card. Subsequently, at a meeting – attended by Cedric, David and his wife, Robina, and Inga – it was agreed that David would not return to the United States to train but he would stay in New Zealand to prepare for the March 19th fight. Everyone was in complete agreement. Kushner shook hands with the principals and offered to assist them in whatever manner they required.

Inga soon asked Cedric to assist in securing Tua’s opponent at a reasonable price. Kushner made arrangements through a boxing agent for King to be Tua’s opponent and all parties signed off. Inga approved King’s requested purse, amount of rooms, airfares and other related expenses. Inga then requested that Kushner secure a signed contract as soon as possible.

Robina asked Cedric to assist in securing Tua’s opponent at a reasonable price. Then Kushner contacted one of his agents who obtained Demetrice King and the deal was struck, subject to Tua agreeing to fight King.

Robina then asked Cedric to forward a Demetrius King-signed contract for David to sign and she could forward a fully executed copy to Maori Television, which had required a signed contract to confirm that the fight was taking place on March 19.  

“I was not responsible in any way for paying Demetrice’s purse,” Kushner continued. “I’m David Tua’s promoter and whatever is in his best interest is also in my best interest. Therefore, when Robina asked me for the paperwork, I used a Gotham Boxing contract only as a template, assuming Inga would be fully responsible for all payments as the show’s promoter. I didn’t suspect anything was wrong until Inga told me hours before Demetrice was flying home that Gotham Boxing, not his company, was responsible for paying King. I was blown away. Why would I seek confirmation of his approval for all aspects of the deal – purse, airline tickets, hotel rooms, etc. – if I were paying for the fight? Why did he buy the airline tickets? I still thought he was joking. I wasn’t overly concerned until I returned to New York City and received phone calls of concern and then read numerous stories tarnishing my reputation. I paid Demetrice because I didn’t want him to get ‘stiffed,’ however; all I did was help to secure an opponent for David Tua. It’s a pity that this type of thing has to take place and the poor fighter is made to suffer, but I’m lucky we got to this dealt with.”

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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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