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Amir Is Fighting Saturday…KHAN You Feel The Buzz? Me Neither…WOODS



TSS Universe, what say you? Is Khan on a path to the P4P pinnacle? Or do you see fatal flaws in his arsenal? Tell us in the Forum. (Hogan)

Prior to Amir Khan's Dec. 11 faceoff with Marcos Maidana, I decided that in that fight, Khan would make a statement in that bout, and cement himself into the top ten of the pound for pound list.

The fight was a fan-friendly thriller, with Khan escaping, essentially, with a UD12, after he needing to summon every ounce of his will survive a brutal round ten.

But no, Khan didn't leap up the ranks with the win, emerge as a certain next generation superstar in a sport which is in need of replacement heroes for their aging all-stars.

Khan (24-1 with 17 KOs) might have, arguably, slipped another notch last weekend, when Maidana had a difficult time with 34-year-old, thought to be far past his prime, Erik Morales. You could make a case for downgrading Maidana as a talent based on that showing, and thus, ask yourself what it means that Khan, who is by all accounts supposed to be on the short list of boxing's megastars by 2012, had so many iffy moments against him?

The WBA junior welter champ Khan, you probably know, is set to glove up at M.E.N. in Manchester, England, on Saturday, and it must be said, there is a distinct lack of buzz surrounding his fight. Seriously, can you name his opponent?

Time's up.

It's one Paul McCloskey, a 22-0 Irishman with mediocre pop, just 12 KOs since turning pro in 2005. Cesar Bazan is the best known scalp on the resume of the 31-year-old from Derry.

I say a distinct lack of buzz, and I mean here in the States. The buzz over there isn't appreciable, either. The bout was set for PPV, but late last week disappointing pre-sales forced the organizers to dump the bout onto free TV, to the Sky network, albeit the lowest tier Sky 3. Team Khan nixed that, and instead placed Khan-McCloskey on a lesser grade PPV channel, Primetime, which isn't offered as widely. It's possible no more than 10,000 homes will screen the fight, and if that occurs, that's a straight on fiasco.

Golden Boy, Khan's promoter, cannot be happy that the boxer's momentum has ground to a virtual halt. They've taken a hit from McCloskey's promoter, Eddie Hearn, who says that Khan will lose out on around 1.5 million pounds because his bout will be shown on the minor-league PPV channel. Oscar De la Hoya countered, saying HBO is cutting Khan a nice check, thank you very much, so it's not like the kid is fighting for free on Saturday.

That's true. But this reads to me like a wasted date for the 24-year-old Khan. Sure, he'll bank some cash. But a win over a no-name won't build his rep. And one has to wonder if his team believes in him like we thought they did, or they have tabbed the southpaw McCloskey because they think Amir needed some more time to develop after holes were spotted against Maidana. I, in my inexpert opinion, grimace a bit when I see Khan get on his bike, and work so hard to get out of range when he gets into trouble. You'd like to see him, if he is to be the pound for pounder we expect, simply weather the storm with rolls, slips, feints…instead of using so much energy moving laterally out of harm's way.

That said, Khan is just 24. We keyboard tappers do tend to rush things, get ahead of ourselves, lack the patience to let situations play out and fighters get the seasoning they need. Maybe this outing is just a mini speedbump, and Khan will proceed smoothly in the second half of the year, with a fight against WBC/WBO titlist Tim Bradley, to where I thought he'd be–in the pound for pound top ten.


I am less certain that will happen now than I was last winter. What about you, TSS Universe?

Weigh in, in our Forum!


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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura



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



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



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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