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Fighter: The Unauthorized Biography of Georges St-Pierre, UFC Champion

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Georges St-Pierre is defending his UFC welterweight crown on April 30th against American Jake Shields. He’s become the subject of a great deal of media attention due to his status as a dominant champion in Mixed Martial Arts. So much so, that a publisher elected to capitalize on his popularity with an unauthorized biography written by veteran author and seasoned journalist Jerry Langton.

The book is entitled ‘Fighter: The Unauthorized Biography of Georges St-Pierre’ (Wiley, May 24, 2011), with the French-Canadian star making it clear he played no part in the development or creation of this book.

“What [Langton] says—it’s not official about me, because people try to make money all the time on me, on my back,” St-Pierre told me in a February interview.

A flip through the book’s slender 236 pages reveals a hastily-produced product that is padded with superfluous details, such as the origins of the music artists Dan Hardy chose as his entrance music in his fight against GSP. The majority of the body of the work is an elaborate play-by-play of Georges’ fight library, with almost no new material.

Industry insiders have been critical of the book, with many complaining that Langton got several key facts wrong. A lack of time or effort on the part of the author and publisher are blamed for inconsistencies.

An example of such glaring (and easily verified) errors includes stating that BJ Penn was “the UFC lightweight and welterweight champion” at the time of his 2004 win over Matt Hughes. In fact, Penn had failed to capture the UFC lightweight title in two previous attempts, losing to Jens Pulver and drawing with Caol Uno. The lack of proper research continues in the same paragraph, with Langton stating that Penn then left the UFC for rival organization K-1 due to “immaturity and a lack of proper perspective.” In fact, the much more favorable pay offered in Japan ($187,500) over the UFC’s typical miserly wages (after the 2004 win against Hughes, Penn was offered $30,000 per fight by the UFC; he was willing to settle for just $40,000 and was rebuffed) was a strong factor in Penn’s decision.

Did Langton interview a single close confident, friend, or trainer who knew intimate details of Georges’ personal or professional life? When pressed for an answer, the author was purposely vague to mask his lack of access:

“It was intentional not to mention too many names. Most of the people I spoke with asked for at least some level of anonymity, so I kind of have to respect that. Believe me, I’d love to name names, but I gotta keep my word,” said Langton.

Even the original cover for ‘The Fighter’ had to be scrapped due to some sort of dispute, most likely with Zuffa (which also owned the rights to the cover photo licensed through Getty Images).

“There was a disagreement on the rights to the image and we opted to change the cover despite having licensed the image from a reputable photo agency,” explained Wiley publicist Erin Kelly.

The decision to bar Wiley from using the original cover follows Zuffa’s precedent. Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz was issued a ‘cease and desist’ order by Zuffa in 2008 when his autobiography, entitled This is Going to Hurt’ had a cover featuring Ortiz wearing the UFC light-heavyweight title.  Zuffa explained the belt was intellectual property of the UFC; its use in promotional materials requires the company’s approval per the terms of its standard contract.

Georges St-Pierre was never a controversial sports figure; perhaps Langton couldn’t find any interesting details about GSP’s life because the aforementioned details just didn’t exist to be found.

The end result of ‘The Fighter’ is a book that can be judged by its new cover, consisting of a black silhouette set against a grey chain link fence: bland, generic, and representative of just how little planning or thought went into this book.



Georges St-Pierre Striking Truth Toronto Premiere Interview – Watch more Funny Videos

Brian J. D’Souza is a Canadian writer who has covered Mixed Martial Arts for ESPN.com, FoxSports.com and FIGHT! magazine.

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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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