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Adamek Easily Wins Tuneup Over McBride, Vitali Is Next…KIMBALL

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Tomasz Adamek tuned up for his September 10 date with WBC champ Vitaly Klitschko by going twelve hard rounds with a heavy bag at the Prudential Center in Newark Saturday night.

The bag, in this case was a lumbering giant named Kevin McBride.

Although Adamek dominated the bout from start to finish, he was unable to make so much as a dent in the plodding McBride, but he never for a moment let the big man get close enough to test his chin.

McBride’s strategy, if he had one, was more or less the same one that he had used in his historic upset of Mike Tyson half a dozen years earlier. Fully aware that he couldn’t hope to match Adamek’s superior speed, he tried to use his 66-pound weight advantage by leaning on his smaller foe and pounding away whenever Adamek got close enough to succumb to a clinch, but he was frustrated in his attempt to wear Adamek down by referee Randy Neumann, who discouraged such grappling by quickly interceding to break clinches, sometimes even before they had actually happened.

Neumann, after warning McBride several times, deducted a point from the Irishman in the seventh round for holding and hitting. From that point on, McBride’s battered face bore a look of quiet resignation. He continued to plod after Adamek in the vain hope that the Polish contender might get careless the way he had against Michael Grant last August and stand in one spot long enough for him to land one of his ponderous bombs, but Adamek proved far too elusive for that. (In McBride’s corner, Goody Petronelli urged his fighter to “rough him up.” McBride responded with a withering look of frustration that seemed to say “and just how am I supposed to do that?)

McBride, after all, comes from a country where his rebellious ancestors were known to go into battle against British riflemen with pikes and pitchforks, with predictable results. Similarly outgunned, he stayed the course to the end. Although the pesky Adamek must have landed eight punches for every glancing blow McBride so much as threw, it often seemed to have all the effect of a BB gun against Godzilla. Though he was caught flush enough to stop him in his tracks a few times and his face was a mass of lumps by the end, McBride never appeared to be in any danger of going down, and it is doubtful that viewing tapes of the Newark fight will cause the elder Dr. Klitschko to have any second thoughts about the September meeting.

Fighting in the home of the New Jersey Devils for the seventh time in his last nine fights, Adamek made the most of his home-ice advantage, drawing on the support of an overwhelmingly Polish crowd of over 7,500 paid. The vociferous red-clad Adamek rooters drowned out the smattering of McBride fans. (McBride made his own defiant statement before the fight when, after making his entrance, he seized the Irish tricolor from flag-bearer Martin Ward and, clutching it in his gloves, personally paraded it around the ring.)

Judges Lynnne Carter and Larry Hazzard, Jr. both scored the bout 119-108, while Robert Grasso scored it a 120-107 shutout for Adamek, as did the Sweet Science.  (The bout was scheduled for 12 rounds because a couple of meaningless extraterrestrial titles were at stake.)

Adamek raised his professional record to 44-1 with his fifth win in as many fights as a heavyweight. His only loss remains the 2007 decision he dropped to Chad Dawson in their WBC light-heavyweight title fight in Florida.

McBride, whose claim to fame remains his 2005 stoppage of onetime heavyweight champion Tyson, fell to 35-9-1 with his fifth loss in six fights over the past five years. (His only intervening win was a three-round split decision over Franklin Egobi in London last year on one of SKY’s trashsport “Prizefighter” shows.)

Like the 6’7” Grant, who Adamek decisioned at The Rock last year, the hulking Clones Colossus had been hand-picked as an opponent primarily because his physical dimensions (6’6”; 285) approximated those of the Brothers Klitschko. (When the Main Events-K2 contract was signed, Adamek didn’t know which Klitschko he would be fighting, but the Ukrainian brothers appear to have settled that issue among themselves. With Wladimir pointing toward a summertime unification fight against David Haye, Adamek would get Vitaly in the fall, but, the Klitschkos’ manager Berndt Bohne made it clear a few days ago, that was all contingent on Adamek beating McBride. If he lost, all bets were off. By taking care of business, Adamek made sure that didn’t happen.)  

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In the evening’s co-feature, Brooklyn welterweight (and 2008 U.S. Olympian) Sadam Ali impressively knocked out his Puerto Rican opponent Javier Perez in three to run his perfect pro record to 12-0. Ali might have finished the job even earlier but for his impatience; a solid left hook in the first round put Perez down.  He struggled to his feet at the count of eight, but nearly a minute remained in the round. Determined to take him out, Ali swarmed him to throw at least two dozen rapid-fire punches, only a few of which even landed.

A left hook at, or perhaps just after, the bell ending the first actually put Perez down again, but referee Earl Morton somewhat bewilderingly administered no count, but ignored it altogether. Either it was a legal blow (ergo, a knockdown) or not, in which case it would seem that Ali should have been penalized; instead it was a no-call.

Ali collected himself thereafter, and after dominating the second, in the third he exploded with a hook off the jab that put Perez down for good. Morton abandoned his count without completing it to retrieve the mouthpiece from the fallen opponent at 2:40 of the third. Perez is now 8-5.

Adamek’s light-heavyweight countryman Andrej Fonfara (17-2) overpowered Ray Smith, knocking out the Arkansas journeyman at 1:04 of the fourth. Smith (9-6), who in his last trip East acquitted himself well in losing to unbeaten Mark Tucker on a Lou DiBella card in New York in February, was never in this one.

Fonfara won his pro debut in Poland in June of 2006, fought in Chicago three weeks later, and had performed exclusively in Illinois since. His career includes a six-month hiatus occasioned when he tested positive for steroids after a 2009 win over Skyler Thompson on the Fres Oquendo-Mark Brown undercard at the UC Pavilion.

Well in control for the first three rounds, Fonfara landed a double-jab followed by a crushing right hand in the fourth, and while Smith remained erect, it wasn’t for long. Fonfara jumped on him with a barrage of punches, and a left to the body followed by a hard right knocked his opponent into the ropes, which kept him momentarily erect, but a perfunctory left hook completed the task. Referee Allan Huggins abandoned his count with a dazed Smith crawling about on all fours.

By the skin of his teeth and the kindness of two judges, Queens’ Joselito Collado remained unbeaten at 12-0 after eking out a split decision over Irvington (N.J.)’s Rafael Lora (11-4) in a scrap between Dominican-born junior lightweights. A second-round collision of heads brought blood streaming from Collado’s left eye, and while referee Earl Morton ruled the head-butt accidental, it did seem to discombobulate Collado. In the fourth, Collado blatantly delivered a three-punch combination to Lora’s scrotum, resulting in a one-point deduction from Morton (who would have been justified in taking three). Perhaps sensing that he might be in trouble, Collado fought with a fury in the last round to gain the edge. Luis Rivera (57-56) and Hilton Whitaker (a bizarre 59-54) scored it for Collado, while Waleska Roldan favored Lora 57-56. The hard-luck loss was the fourth on the trot for Lora, who began his career 11-0.

In earlier, off-TV bouts, 20 year-old Dominican-born Jersey City junior welter Jose Peralta Alejo (6-1) TKO’d his 37 year-old Columbian foe Ever Luis Perez (12-20) at 2:49 of the third, East Hanover’s Vinny O’Brien (2-0) stopped Shakur Aquel Dunn (0-1) at 2:51 of the fourth in a matchup of fledgling New Jersey welterweights.  

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Prudential Center
Newark, N.J.
April 9,  2011

HEAVYWEGHTS: Tomasz Adamek, 215, Gilowice, Poland dec. Kevin McBride, 285, Clones, Ireland (12)

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS: Andrej Fonfara, 175, Warsaw, Poland KO’d Ray Smith, 179, Little Rock, Ark. (4)

WELTERWEIGHTS: Sadam Ali, 149 ½, Brooklyn, NY KO’d Javier Perez, 146 ½, Ponce, Puerto Rico (3)

Vinny O’Brien, 146, East Hanover, NJ TKO’d Shakir Aquel Dunn, 145, Newark, NJ (4)

JUNIOR WELTERS: Jose Peralta Alejo, 142, Jersey City, NJ TKO’d Eber Luis Perez, 136, Bolivar, Colombia (3)

JUNIOR LIGHTWEIGHTS: Joselito Collado, 128, Queens, NY dec. Rafael Lora, 128, Santiago, D.R. (6)

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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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