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Hopkins and Pascal Both Quiet At Final Press Conference Ahead of Saturday Scrap

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“DYNASTY II: PASCAL-HOPKINS” FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES

Montreal, Canada (May 18)…Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins and Jean Pascal made it clear at today's final press conference in Montreal, Canada that they both want to let their fists do the talking when they meet this Saturday, May 21 at the Bell Center in Montreal in a bout that will be televised live on HBO's World Championship Boxing® in the United States and on pay-per-view in Canada.  Hopkins spoke first, repeating the statement he made at the final press conference in December prior to his first fight against Pascal.  Pascal then approached the podium and made the same statement.  Both fighters immediately exited the press conference venue, showing they are 100 percent focused on Saturday night's WBC, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight World Championship fight.

Jean Pascal, WBC, WBC Diamond & Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight World Champion

“Enjoy the fight.”

Bernard Hopkins, Former Two-Division World Champion

 “Enjoy the fight.”

Yvon Michel, President of Groupe Yvon Michel

“We have almost arrived at our destination.  With Dawson vs. Diaconu combined with Pascal vs. Hopkins, this weekend's event is going to be a huge.

“[The staff at] Golden Boy Promotions are people of their word, people of vision and people of action.  We are very proud to be associated with them.

 “We are also happy to be associated with HBO.  The fact that HBO decided to buy this fight shows the high regard they hold for Jean Pascal and Bernard Hopkins.

 “This is the fifth time that HBO has done an event from Canada and the third time on their World Championship boxing series.

 “The table is set.  Seven months ago when Bernard Hopkins and Jean Pascal met, they were like old pals and now it seems like they are mortal enemies.  They can't wait to bring their differences into the ring and give it all they have.  It is no longer just about the championship; it is about which fighter is the best and which fighter is going to make history.

“I am kind of sad because I am a big Bernard Hopkins fan.  I am sad because he made a bad decision to take on Jean Pascal again.  It was a genius decision when he answered Jean's call last year.  It was the right decision, but now he has made the wrong decision.”

Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions

“It is a pleasure to be here in Montreal and return to Canada.  The people in Canada are amazing.  The fans are amazing.

 “I did want to do the fight in Los Angeles, where our offices are and where Bernard has a lot of fans, but I was vetoed by Bernard.  He said, 'I want to beat Pascal in his hometown.'

“This is a historic week.  This is not just history-making for boxing.  It is history-making for sports…period.  Bernard will make history as the oldest athlete in any sport to win a world championship again.

“This is an opportunity we don't want to miss because we can't turn back the clock.  You want to be able to say 'I was there.  I witnessed it.'

 “It is a very important moment for all of us.  This victory is not going to just be for Bernard.  It will be for all of us as he shows that we can do whatever we want to do if we live life the way it should be lived.”

# # #

“Dynasty II: Pascal vs. Hopkins” is presented by Groupe Yvon Michel and Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Casino de Montreal, Videotron and Coors Light.  The 12-round WBC, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight World Championship fight will take place Saturday, May 21 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada and will be televised live on HBO's World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT in the United States and distributed live on pay-per-view in Canada on Canal Indigo, Bell TV, Shaw TV, Viewer's Choice and Sasktel in French and English beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET. A 12-round light heavyweight bout between former World Champions Chad Dawson and Adrian Diaconu will also be featured on the telecast.  Dawson vs. Diaconu is presented in association with Gary Shaw Productions and InterBox.

Tickets, priced at C$500, C$350, C$250, C$175, C$110, C$75, C$50 and C$35, are on sale now and may be purchased at the Bell Centre box office or by calling (514) 790-2525 or (877) 668-8269.  Tickets are also available online at www.evenko.ca.

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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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