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PREDICTION PAGE: Who Do Ya Like, Darchinyan or Perez?

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PREDICTION PAGE: Who Do Ya Like, Darchinyan or Perez?FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES:
VIC DARCHINYAN AND YONNHY PEREZ,
JOSEPH AGBEKO & ABNER MARES
Thursday, April 21,
ESPNZone L.A. LIVE, Los Angeles

Telecast This Saturday, April 23,  
Live on SHOWTIME® at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT
From Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, Los Angeles;
Live Card Begins At 5 p.m. PT

LOS ANGELES (April 21, 2011) – Two-division world champion Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan and former International Boxing Federation (IBF) bantamweight champion Yonnhy “El Colombiano” Perez will clash in the new main event on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING this Saturday, April 23, live on SHOWTIME® (10:30 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE.

The 12-rounder for the vacant International Boxing Organization (IBO) 118-pound title between Darchinyan (35-3-1, 27 KOs), of Sydney, Australia, by way of Armenia, and Colombia’s Perez (20-1-1, 14 KOs), of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., was elevated to main event status after a fight between IBF champion Joseph Agbeko and undefeated WBC Silver Belt champion Abner Mares was postponed after Agbeko suffered what doctors diagnosed as likely the sudden onset of sciatica earlier in the week.

A formal announcement was made today prior to a final press conference at ESPNZone. All four boxers were in attendance.

This marks the third time that a Darchinyan fight has been moved into the telecast’s top spot after a main event fell out. The other times came on March 6, 2010 (against Rodrigo Guerrero) and June 3, 2006 (against Luis Maldonado). It will mark the 13th time Darchinyan has fought on SHOWTIME. He is No. 3 on the all-time list for network appearances behind Julio Cesar Chavez (17) and Evander Holyfield.

Tickets are on sale at Ticketmaster.com, via Ticketmaster charge-by-phone lines (800) 745-
3000 and at STAPLES Center Box Office.

Doors at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE open at 4 p.m. PT. The first non-televised undercard fight
starts at 5 p.m.

The event is promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, Don King Productions, Thompson Boxing and Golden Boy Promotions, and is sponsored by Corona and DeWalt Tools.

What the fighters and their promoters/representatives said Thursday:

VIC DARCHINYAN

“I feel bad for Joseph Agbeko and wish him the best. It’s unfortunate but sometimes things just happen. What everyone should know is that they are going to get is a great fight. We will put on a great show.

“This is the third time I’ve been moved up to the main event. I won both and I’m very confident I’ll win again.

“Yonnhy is a gentleman. He’s a clean fighter who loves to come and fight and show who is better in the ring.

“But he will be standing right in front of me and will feel my power like never before. Yonnhy is a bigger guy than me, but everyone will see how powerful I really am.

“I am still upset with the way my last fight went. But I’m really looking forward to this fight and moving forward. I want a rematch with Mares or Agbeko very badly.

“I am sure everyone will enjoy this fight and everyone will see how focused I am.’’

YONNHY PEREZ

“Last night before I went to bed I said a prayer for Agbeko because he’s a champion like I was and I know he does this for his family. I know how difficult it must be to not be able to perform Saturday night.

“I can’t wait for Saturday. I know Vic has said a few things about me and how the fight will go and I really hope he can back those words up. It will be difficult to achieve the things he’s said.

“Whether I was fighting for or second, I was still fighting Vic. I am strong and ready for anything he has to offer. I expect him to come out aggressively, but if he decides to change and box, I am prepared.

“In the end, I will be the winner.’’

ALAN HOPPER (Don King Promotions)

“I want to apologize to all the fighters on the card.  Obviously, Joseph wants to fight.  Abner, we are so sorry for you.  We’re very serious about getting all the treatment we can so we can fight as soon as possible.

“The first words out of Joseph’s mouth were, ‘this can’t happen, this can’t be happening, I need to
fight on Saturday.’ ’’

JOSEPH AGBEKO

“Saturday was a night I really dreamed for.  I was set to make my country proud.  It was a very big blow to all of us.  I want to thank the doctors who took care of me.

“Obviously, Abner is a very good fighter that I have to beat to prove that I’m the best bantamweight in the world.  I can’t wait to get well so I can fight him.”

ABNER MARES

“I wish Joseph the best of health. I put myself in his position and it’s hard.  It’s not his fault – he’s a great champ. He’s a warrior.

“Everyone knows it would have been a great fight, but it’s only fair to give him his time to heal.
“He earned his spot in the finals, just as I did, so he deserves his time to get well to make this fight happen.

“I know that some of you are sad or mad that we’re not fighting, but you have to understand that health comes first.

“I trained hard and I’m disappointed. I know there were some names mentioned for possible replacements but we believe it’s only fair to give Joseph a chance to heal so we can fight in the finals of the tournament.”

CHRIS DEBLASIO (Director, Sports Communications SHOWTIME)

“On behalf of Ken Hershman and everyone at SHOWTIME Sports we are of course disappointed by the news that Joseph Agbeko will be unable to fight against Abner Mares on Saturday night. But the new main event between Perez and Darchinyan promises to deliver fireworks. They both always make for exciting fights.

“Vic Darchinyan is one of the most prolific fighters that have appeared during the 25 years of fights on our network. He’s fought a dozen times on SHOWTIME and always to the delight of the fans. He’s a huge draw and has an exciting style. Yonnhy Perez matches up very well against Darchinyan and both of these guys are former world champions and deserve their shot in the spotlight. For these guys to meet in a single-fight telecast is certainly the right thing to do.

“The bantamweight division is one that this network has been heavily invested in for years. Beyond Saturday night there are still a number of intriguing fights within this division that the fans want to see and which makes sense for us to explore the possibilities of making happen.”

RICHARD SCHAEFER (Golden Boy Promotions CEO)

“Obviously it was a huge blow for Abner. He trained very hard.

“I don’t know why the mood is so somber, guys. This is not a funeral. We have as our main event a barnburner between Yonnhy Perez and Vic Darchinyan. This is good news. This is great news for fight fans.

“When we had the press conference for the first round of this tournament, Gary Shaw said the main event tonight would be Vic Darchinyan vs. Yonnhy Perez and he was right.’’

GARY SHAW (Darchinyan’s Promoter)

“Joseph has nothing to be ashamed of. Injuries happen.

“Richard (Schaefer) and I spent all day yesterday going back and forth with Ken Hershman of SHOWTIME, trying to find Abner a fight because when you train that hard you want to fight.

“Can Vic fight Abner? Can Yonnhy fight Abner? In the end, we felt we should stick with the original plan and go with the showdown between Vic Darchinyan and Yonnhy Perez.

“I’m speaking as a promoter here: If Agbeko cannot fight in a timely fashion and defend his title, I will personally petition the IBF to let the winner of this fight for the title against Mares. Abner should have the right to get that title and nobody should have to wait an inordinate amount of time.

“These are two fighters I represent fighting each other. I’m not even sure I will stay in arena to watch. I have special feelings about Vic and Yonnhy and it’ll be tough.

“Vic gets great ratings on SHOWTIME. He is in for a helluva fight. Yonnhy is a great fighter. This isn’t the way I pictured the two of them fighting, but this is for the IBO belt, so one of them will walk away with a belt and a chance at becoming the No. 1 mandatory contender.’’

KEN THOMPSON (Perez’ Promoter)

“You have the best most dangerous bantamweight in the world fighting a living legend. But Yonnhy Perez has no fear. He left his fears in the jungles of Colombia fighting for his country.

“Yonnhy wants his world title back very badly. He’s on a quest. Saturday, he takes the first step.’’

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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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