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Rubio gets TKO Win Over Young Gun David Lemieux On ESPN…WOODS

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The vet hung tough, blocking, slipping and waiting. Marco Antonio Rubio was patient in the main event of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights from the Bell Center in Montreal, as he hoped that young gun David Lemieux would tire himself out after a few rounds of winging power shots against a guy who wouldn’t succumb early as so many other Lemieux foes had. The fight changed in the fourth, when Lemieux realized that his stiffest blows weren’t landing, or if they were, weren’t bothering the Mexican hitter. Rubio got his jab cooking, and in the seventh round, showed the youth that while power is a fine attribute to have, experience can come in real handy as well. Rubio dropped Lemieux, and then was working over the on-shaky-legs hometowner when Lemieux’ corner halted the scrap. The TKO upset win for Rubio came at 2:36 of the seventh.

Lemieux (25-0 with 24 KOs entering; age 22; from Quebec) was 159, as was Rubio (49-5-1 with 43 KOs entering; age 30; from Mexico). With the win, Rubio gets the winner of the Sebastian Zbik-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr bout.

In the first, Lemieux got cooking midway through the frame. He bore in, looking to drill Rubio high and low. There were some connects, and Rubio also blocked shots pretty well. In the second, Rubio was best in the defensive frame. He looked to be trying to just get into the later rounds, where his experience could stand out against a–he hoped, anyway–fatigued kid. In the third, Rubio did some advancing himself, as Lemieux went lateral more often. Would he start to unravel somewhat if Rubio didn’t crumble?

Four was all Lemieux, but the vet Rubio wasn’t just eating leather and looking shaky. He blocked a lot and slipped occasionally. In the fifth, Rubio kept on eating, and more shots got to him clean. In round six, Rubio landed a counter right midway through. He was working his jab better than he had previously, and was making Lemieux flee. Another right hand with 30 seconds left also told Lemieux that the vet wouldn’t fade.

In the seventh, Rubio scored a knockdown off a right with 50 seconds to go. He was taking clean blows and about to go down when his corner stepped onto the apron, and stopped the bout.

Rubio said he started slow deliberately, and really stepped it up in the sixth. This win goes a ways in helping people forget Rubio’s sad outing against Kelly Pavlik in February 2009, in which he folded in nine after eating copious leather.

In the TV opener, Derek Edwards met Adonis Stevenson, in a clash of super middleweights. Stevenson had two knockdowns in the second and a hard, straight left ended the fight in his favor in round three via KO.

Atlas was asked by Kenny if Erik Morales stood a chance against Marcos Maidana. “He’s taken a lot of punches and I think in this point of his career it’s not going to get better,” Atlas said. “I don’t think after the great career he’s had he should be fighting anymore.” Atlas said Maidana can be found, and sometimes starts slow, so just maybe Morales’ experience and long arms could find traction.

The analyst weighed in on the Tomasz Adamek-Kevin McBride tussle. Atlas said that Cus D’Amato brought fighters to hypnotist John Halperin back in the day, when Kenny asked him if McBride’s time with a hypnotist would help him. The hypnosis is fine, but Atlas didn’t like McBride’s weight gain–he’s now in the 280s–and he picked Adamek to get it done in Jersey.

Dan Rafael also chatted with Kenny about the Golden Boy “Action Heroes” card. He said more and more people have come around to Morales as a semi live dog.

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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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