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Khan Wins Technical Decision Over McCloskey, After Doc Says Irishman's Cut Is Too Severe To Continue…WOODS

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Khan Wins Technical Decision Over McCloskey, After Doc Says Irishman's Cut Is Too Severe To Continue...WOODSHogan Photos

I suppose it wasn't a waste of time for the 17,125 folks who came to watch Amir Khan do his thing against Irish underdog Paul McCloskey at the MEN arena in Manchester, England on Saturday night. Most were there to see Khan, with a good number there to see if McCloskey could flip the script, and send a message to wiseguys like me who didn't see the upside in having rising star Khan fight a relative no-name, with no power, in something of a gimme bout. But let's say that this one won't be played up on Khan's resume when all is said and done. The Pakistani Brit won just about every second of every round, and was getting into a decent rhythm when he and the Irishman clashed heads, with 1:05 to go, in round six. A cut on McCloskey's left eye had the ref ask the doctor to look at the slice over the eye, which didn't look too severe. But the doc called for a stoppage, and it didn't appear McCloskey argued too heartily, and thus we went to the cards. All three judges had it 60-54, for Khan, in a technical decision win.

The WBA 140 pound champion Khan (25-1; will fight Tim Bradley on July 23rd) said the night was easy for him, and he was surprised that Mac (22-1) took a lot of shots. He said he though the Irishman refused to continue.

In the first, McCloskey stood with his hands down. Khan was aggressive, and connected with a nice left hook at the 1:30 mark. Mac, a lefty,  slipped well, and made Khan miss more than he's accustomed to early on.

McCloskey said after, “I don't know what the referee or the doctor was thinking there. This is pay per view TV and people are paying 15 pound of their hard earned money to watch that and the referee and the doctor stopped the fight. I thought it was bad, he was looking at me head or looking at my head I thought it was bad but I come back and (my corner) said they could've stopped it, no problem.” He said he wanted to continue, and that Khan had trouble making weight and that Khan was getting tired.

In the second, Khan circled to the right, and rushed in with flurries. He frankly looked amateurish at times. Mac looked for some O late in the round, but lost the frame.

In the third, Khan landed a lead right, which he began looking for in round two. Neither man got in a comfortable rhythm. The ref chided both men for being chippy late in the round. I would've liked to hear what trainer Freddie Roach told Khan after the round, but he wasn't miked.

In the fourth, Khan knocked Mac to the mat, but it was not called a knockdown. It looked like a body shot maybe caused it. Seriously, it looked mile maybe Naseem Hamed influenced a young McCloskey, what with his hands low, his exaggerated torso movement. Khan landed uppercuts toward the end of the round. Khan was getting into a groove by now.

In the fifth and sixth, Khan kept up his advantage. Khan had the crowd roaring when he landed a solid flurry at the 1:30 mark. A head butt opened a clash over Mac's left eye and the ref and doc looked at it, and the fight was halted. Khan came in head first, looking to land a right lead as Mac dipped his head, and a cut formed. Was it a bad gash? Well, it was bad enough for the doc to advise the ref to stop it.

SPEEDBAG Jim Lampley, Manny Steward and the poet laureate Larry Merchant called the bout for HBO.

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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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