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Glen Johson Meets Carl Froch June 4th in Atlantic City

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005_IMG_8172_Johnson_vs_Green_Many if not most thought Glen Johnson would have trouble dropping from light heavy to super middle at his advanced age. Allan Green, on the canvas above,  was the one in trouble come fight night. Could the Road Warrior pull off another mini-shocker against Froch?

THE SEMIFINALS CONTINUE! ?WBC CHAMPION CARL FROCH DEFENDS
AGAINST FORMER WORLD TITLIST GLEN JOHNSON

LIVE on SHOWTIME® Saturday, June 4, at 9 p.m. ET/PT
From Adrian Philipps Ballroom of Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall

NEW YORK (April 8, 2011) – An opportunity to compete for the inaugural Super Six World Boxing Classic Cup will be on the line when Carl “The Cobra” Froch (27-1, 20 KOs) defends his World Boxing Council (WBC) super middleweight title against former world champion Glen “The Road Warrior” Johnson (51-14-2, 35 KOs) of Miami, Fla., in the last Semifinal of the Super Six World Boxing Classic on Saturday, June 4, live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Adrian Philipps Ballroom of Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.

The Froch-Johnson winner will advance to the Final against the victor of the May 14 Semifinal between World Boxing Association (WBA) champion Andre Ward (23-0, 13 KOs) of Oakland, Calif., and former world champion Arthur Abraham (32-2, 26 KOs), of Berlin, Germany, by way of Armenia. Ward-Abraham will be shown live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

Froch and Johnson are seeded Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, entering the Super Six Semifinals. Ward is seeded No. 1, Abraham No. 4.

In his last start on Nov. 27, 2010, the 33-year-old Froch, of Nottingham, England, manufactured perhaps a career-best performance, recapturing the then-vacant WBC 168-pound crown with a one-sided 12-round decision over Abraham in the final Group Stage 3 bout from Helsinki, Finland. There were no knockdowns but Froch dominated en route to tallying up the lopsided scores of 120-108 twice and 119-109.

Froch is 2-1 in the Super Six. In addition to dismantling Abraham, he won a split decision over Andre Dirrell in Group Stage 1 and lost a tight decision – along with the WBC title – to Mikkel  Kessler in back-and-forth Fight of the Year candidate in Group Stage 2.

The Jamaican-born Johnson, a tournament replacement for the injured Mikkel Kessler, advanced with an eighth-round knockout over Allan Green in a Group Stage 3 fight on Nov. 6, 2010, in Las Vegas.

Johnson, 42, a former world light heavyweight champion who was making his first start at 168 pounds in 10 years, was ahead by three points on one of the scorecards and behind by one on the others when a left hook to the body followed by an overhand right to the side of head finished Green at 0:36 in the eighth.

Following Group Stage 3, Froch called Johnson an “old wise fox” and said he expected nothing less than a strong performance from a “great” fighter like Johnson.

“Glen Johnson is a blue-collar fighter who always gives his best and is a gentleman outside of the ring,” said Froch. “He commands respect and I give him respect.”

And the respect is mutual. Johnson offered, “The guy is a two-time champion. You do it once then you can say maybe it’s a little luck but to do it twice you know he deserved it. I have tremendous respect for Carl Froch.”

But the kind words will cease when the bell rings for what should be a fiercely contested 12-round affair. Johnson said of Froch, “I know he has a few weaknesses and I have every intention of exploiting those. I really feel like I’m the favorite right now. I just have to take it one fight at a time.”

Froch added, “I don’t just plan on beating him, but I plan on halting him in style. Our styles gel very well for a competitive battle for as long as it lasts and I’m looking forward to it. I have a date in the final of the Super Six and I won’t be overlooking Johnson in any shape or form – which will spell bad news for Glen. ??”It will be another win for the Cobra, maybe by stoppage as I plan on making another big statement for the SHOWTIME fans.”

Both fighters hold the tournament in high regard and covet the value of emerging victorious. Froch opined, “I could win this tournament and retire – that’s what it means. I can win this and say, ‘You know what? I’ve done it. I don’t need to fight anymore.’ I wouldn’t do that – I’ve got a couple of years left in me and there’s some big fights out there for me – but that’s how big this tournament is.”

Johnson recalled, “I know when this [tournament] was first put together I remember thinking to myself, ‘Man, I wish I was a super middleweight.’ But I’m in right now and I’m here to win the entire tournament. I believe I’m in it for a reason and that’s to win it.”

“Glen Johnson and Carl Froch are two of the most fan friendly fighters in boxing, said promoter Lou DiBella. “Both are proven winners who have earned fans the ole fashioned way, by entertaining fans fight after fight. Glen is known as ‘The Road Warrior’ because he isn’t afraid to go to someone else’s turf for a big fight, and Carl’s biggest wins have come outside the UK. Everyone knows that both men will leave it all in the ring in Atlantic City for the right to advance to the Super Six final.”

The event is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, Warriors Boxing and Carl Froch.

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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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