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Darchinyan-Perez Will Help Us Get Over Disappointment At Losing Main Event…RALPH G

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Lupe Pintor, Albert Davila, Carlos Zarate and Alfonso Zamora. These bantamweights were the fighters that shaped my image of the sport of boxing. Their courageous and outstanding performances made for entertaining evenings while I sat next to my father and an occasional uncle or friend who would stop on by.

Every Saturday night, boxing from “La Arena Coliseo” in Mexico City would be transmitted to channel 12 out of Tijuana. We could usually pick up a grainy signal in northern San Diego if the wind was blowing properly and the antenna on the roof was pointed just right.

That was then. This is 2011. No need to fuss with aluminum hardware sitting on your roof-top anymore. The Showtime cable television network sends the signal crystal clear and in Hi-Definition in some cases. The names have changed too. Abner Mares, Joseph Agbeko, Yonnhy Perez and Vic Darchinyan are arguably the four best bantamweights in boxing at the moment. If it wasn’t for one Nonito Donaire, there would be no argument.

On Saturday night at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, the highly skilled and motivated four-some were set to continue the bantamweight tournament that first started in December of 2010. Mares took a decision from Darchinyan and Agbeko defeated Perez. Both fights were thrilling, high level, boxing affairs that kept the fans wanting more.

Unfortunately, Agbeko, of Ghana, Africa sustained a back injury just as he arrived in L.A. and his headlining fight against Mares has been postponed. Twenty five year old Mares, from the L.A. suburb of Hawaiian Gardens, will now face Agbeko to declare the final winner of the tournament at a later date while Perez and Darchinyan are moved into the top spot as headliners.

The new main event which was supposed be the co-main, should be a good one too. Perez and Darchinyan are proven warriors who always bring their “A” game and more importantly always leave everything in the ring. They will not disappoint. They’re almost incapable of it.

Yonnhy Perez (20-1-1, 14 KOs), a proud Colombian whose many sacrifices and hardships have been chronicled several times will face the rugged Armenian and former two division world champion Vic Darchinyan (35-3-1, 27 KOs). “Whoever can make the most adjustments will win the fight,” Perez said. “I would tell my fans that everyone should show up on that night. Our styles will make for a great fight.”

He believes he had a much superior training camp for this fight than for his losing effort against Agbeko. “I’m not making excuses but before my last fight, I did my entire training camp in the U.S. and I felt so unmotivated because my mind was with my family and there was nothing I could do about it,” he remembers. “I was mentally drained and the proof was in my flat performance against Agbeko. He fought the perfect fight that night but I wasn’t there mentally. I wish I could erase the past and continue to the future on a positive note, but I lost. Now, my confidence is back and I am ready to win again.”

Darchinyan, a brash talking, brutal puncher, was essentially outworked by Mares during the final three “championship” rounds of their encounter. He says this time he plans to end things as soon as possible. “I’m going to show that once I knock a fighter down I’m coming to finish him. In my last fight I had (Mares) knocked down in the second round but I didn’t finish him,” he said. “The same thing will not happen again. He threw some low blows and won the fight. So there’s no more playing around. This time it’s just go for the knockout.”

Perez isn’t letting Darchinyan’s words get to him. “He can make any comment he would like to make. It’s a free country and he has the right,” he said. “Darchinyan is a great fighter but he has faded in his last couple of losses. Abner Mares put him at the door and I am going to put him out.”

These are intense fighters with backgrounds and tales of hardship that would make anyone with even an ounce of humanity shed a tear. It’s those tough times that have shaped their personalities. It’s what drives them on their quest to be the best.

Between them they’ve experienced all of life’s metaphorical punches. They could’ve lashed out and went down the wrong path like some of their childhood acquaintances who ended up in jail or dead.

Instead they chose to become world class athletes. They worked tenaciously and with incredible dedication to get to this point and now they’re being rewarded with well paid fights and the national spotlight cast brightly on them by Showtime sports.

They’re a true example of hard work paying off.

Ultimately, it’s the fans that will get the biggest reward.

Don’t miss Yonnhy Perez vs. Vic Darchinyan airing on Sat Apr 23, 10:30 P.M. E.T./P.T. on Showtime.

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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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