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Pacquiao, Not In Vintage Form, Gets UD Over Defensive Mosley…WOODS

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Chris Farina

This one won't get inserted in the “classic” section of the Manny Pacquiao scrapbook. Pacman was not in vintage form against Shane Mosley Saturday night, though credit has to go to Mosley, the cagy vet who defended masterfully in the main event at the MGM in Las Vegas. The fans booed in rounds six-nine, and again after the final bell, showing their dislike of slow sections of the bout. Mosley came to stay alive, not thrive, and provide thrills as he promised. The judges saw this mediocre scrap, 119-108, 120-108, 120-107, for Pacquiao.

After, Manny said leg cramps hindered him, while Mosley said he thought he did a pretty good job, and wouldn't blame age for the loss in front of 16, 412 fans.

Pacquiao (age 32; from General Santos City, Philippines; 52-3-2 with 38 KOs entering; titlist in eight different divisions) weighed 145 pounds, while Mosley (age 39; from Pomona, CA; 46-6-1 with 39  KOs) was 147 pounds. Pacquiao's WBO welterweight (full 147 pound limit) belt was up for grabs. Duane Ford, Dave Moretti and Glenn Trowbridge were the judges, and Kenny Bayless was the ref.

In the first, both men were a bit cautious. Manny's straight left to the body worked early. Mosley assessed Manny's speed, and looked a half step behind. Neither man had a commanding jab.

In the second, Manny got a sweat going. He looked to put more punches together. Mosley felt the power and speed more than in the first.

In the third, Manny scored a knockdown  with 1:15 left. A one two did severe damage.

In the fourth, Shane landed a right upper. But he ate, as Manny's hands were to speedy for him. He defended fairly well, giving enough head movement to minimize Manny's impact.

In the fifth, the two clashed heads for the fourth time, no cuts occurred. Manny gave Shane a little time to shine. It was a bit of a breather round for Manny, though he still won it. Shutout Pacman, to this point.

In the sixth, the crowd booed lackluster action. A straight right from Shane and a snappy jab touched Manny. This wasn't vintage Pacman to this point.

In the seventh, more boos. Mosley's head movement, and nimble feet, made it hard for Manny to land as clean as he's used to. The crowd booed after the round.

In the eighth, Manny missed with his right hook. More boos from the crowd. Shane landed a counter right. It must be said, his reflexes were much, much better than I expected. A left hook tagged Manny behind his ear. Not a bad round for the elder at all.

In the ninth, the crowd booed, not liking the lack of trading. A clean one two from Manny made them happier at 45 seconds to go. A left hand snapped Mosley's head back and Manny fans cheered.

In the tenth, the crowd got tired of seeing the men tap gloves after inadvertant butts. Shane scored a knockdown, which wasn't,  with 1:10 to go. He was off balance and no blow caused it.  A Manny combo hurt Mosley right after, after Manny woke up.

In the 11th, Shane moved more, as Manny was intent on hurt.  In the 12th, the fans booed again. Then Manny put combos together, though Mosley stayed defensive. The fans booed hard after the closing bell.

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SPEEDBAG Did Manny miss some animosity? Did he like Mosley too much?

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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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