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ShoBox To Feature Back to Back Three-Fight Telecasts

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Two Nights, Six Fights, Twelve Fighters…There is Only One ShoBox: The New Generation

Lateef Kayode, Chris Avalos & Archie Ray Marquez Return
Friday, June 10, Chumash Casino Resort, Santa Ynez, California
Live at 11 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME®

Puerto Rican Prospects Headline on Eve of Puerto Rican Day Parade
Saturday, June 11, Roseland Ballroom, New York City
Live at 10:35 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME

NEW YORK (May 31, 2011) – Back-to-back three-fight telecasts. On opposite coasts. Twelve top-flight boxers with a combined record of 181-11-2 and 111 KOs in six exciting fights. All on the one and only ShoBox: The New Generation on SHOWTIME®.

Weeks before it celebrates its 10th anniversary, there will be an unprecedented double airing of ShoBox — with three-fight telecasts on SHOWTIME on consecutive evenings — Friday, June 10 (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) in Central California and a special Saturday edition on June 11 (10:35 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) in New York City.

It is the first time the popular, critically acclaimed boxing series which has spawned 42 world champions will go two nights in a row – much less with fistic tripleheaders on each and 3,000 miles apart.

In the June 10 main event, hard-hitting Lateef Kayode (16-0, 14 KOs) will risk his unblemished record against the more experienced Matt “Too Smooth” Godfrey (20-2, 14 KOs) of Providence, R.I., in a 10-round cruiserweight bout at Chumash Resort Casino in Santa Ynez, Calif. Other bouts on a Gary Shaw Productions-promoted event: Chris Avalos (18-1, 15 KOs) of San Diego, Calif.,  faces undefeated Khabir “Crazy Russian” Suleymanov (11-0, 5 KOs) of Los Angeles by way of Chelybinsk, Russia in a 10-round super bantamweight match and Archie Ray Marquez (12-0, 8 KOs), of Albuquerque, N.M., and Armenian-born Art “Lionheart” Hovanessian (13-0, 7 KOs), of Glendale, Calif., clash in an eight-round battle of unbeaten lightweights.

The June 11 show features four Puerto Rican fighters on the eve of the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City. In the featured attraction, Hector “El Flaco” Sanchez (19-1, 9 KOs), of Santuce, P.R., will be opposed by Vincent Arroyo (11-1, 7 KOs), of Rio Piedras, P.R. in a 10-round junior welterweight scrap at Roseland Ballroom in New York City. The card co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Gary Shaw Productions will include a 10-round featherweight affair between promising Luis Orlando “Orlandito” Del Valle (12-0,10 KOs), of Bayamon, P.R., and his toughest foe to date, Dat “Be Dat’’ Nguyen (17-1, 6 KOs) of Vietnam, and an eight-rounder pitting 2008 Puerto Rican Olympian, power-punching Jonathan Gonzalez (13-0, 13 KOs), of Rio Piedras, against Colombian Richard  Gutierrez (26-6-1, 16 KOs), of Miami ,in a middleweight match.

Says Farhood, who has called every ShoBox telecast, “I’m really looking forward to going back-to-back nights. Anything different is fun, and this is certainly different since it has never been done. Doing a show again in New York is great. We haven’t done one there in a few years.”

Regarding the fights, Farhood says “Kayode needed the scare he got last time on Shobox. Now he knows for sure he can’t overpower everybody. I’m anxious to see if he’s learned from the experience. But with Godfrey, he’ll be in with the toughest he’s ever been in. Underneath, there are two exciting, young fighters who’ve produced explosive victories on Shobox so that makes me anxious to see them again.

“On Saturday, Arroyo is a live underdog, if an underdog at all, and he’s coming off an impressive win over Willie Nelson on ShoBox in April. Gonzalez is a very young fighter with a perfect KO record so as he moves up we’ll see how legit his KO record is.’’

Kayode will be appearing on ShoBox for a fourth time and at Chumash for a fifth. The highly regarded Freddie Roach-trained puncher-boxer of Hollywood, Calif., by way of Lagos, Nigeria, had a 14-fight knockout streak end in his most recent fight when he had to settle for a unanimous 10-round decision over the awkward but elusive Nicholas Iannuzzi last Feb. 4 on ShoBox at Chumash. It was the only time since his pro debut on Aug. 15, 2008, that Kayode, 28, had not been victorious inside the distance.

“The decision is fine,” said Kayode after winning by the scores of 98-91, 97-92 and 95-94. “It was a good fight. I learned more from going the distance.’’

Godfrey, 30, has a distinct class advantage and has won a few minor titles. He has been knocked down twice in his career only to get up and win. His only losses were against hometown favorites in fights in Germany — to WBO cruiserweight champion Marco Huck on a fifth-round TKO in his last start on Aug. 21, 2010, in Erfurt, and on a 12-round decision to Rudolf Kraj in a WBC eliminator in March 2008 in Krefeld.  Godfrey, a six-time New England Golden Gloves champion, had more than 200 amateur bouts.

Avalos will be making his sixth start at Chumash and fifth on ShoBox. A pro since February 2008, the 21-year-old has won two consecutive fights since suffering his lone defeat on a 10-round split decision to fellow unbeaten Christopher Martin on Aug. 6, 2010, on ShoBox in Hinckley, Minn. Avalos won a third-round technical decision over Cecilio Santos in his last outing on Dec. 11, 2010 on the non-televised undercard of the SHOWTIME Bantamweight Tournament.

Suleymanov, 30, will be making his ShoBox debut. He captured the vacant North American Boxing Organization (NABO) crown in his last start with a thrilling ninth-round knockout over Francisco Gallo on Oct. 22, 2010, in Glendale, Calif. Suleymanov floored Gallo with a right hand late in the round. Gallo made it to his feet but could not continue and the referee stopped the bout at 2:59. A former top kickboxer, Suleymanov turned pro in September 2006. He and his twin brother, Sabir, made it to the bantamweight finals of the 2005 New York Golden Gloves. Rather than fight each other, both were awarded gold medals.

Marquez, one of the most talented boxers to come out of Albuquerque in years, went 2-0 in 2010 and will be making his third appearance on ShoBox. In his last effort on April 2, the highly regarded 22-year-old registered a unanimous eight-round decision over Johnny Frazier in Bernalillo, N.M. Marquez went 115-15 in the amateurs. His pro debut came in March 2005.

The Armenian-born Hovhanessian will be making his ShoBox debut. An aggressive-minded, 29-year-old former sparring partner of Manny Pacquiao has won 11 consecutive fights and five of his last six inside the distance, including a fifth-round knockout over Luis Lugo last April 23 in Los Angeles. Hovhanessian turned pro in April 2006 and fought his initial three fights in France. The draw came in his third fight.

The comebacking Sanchez, of Rio Piedras, will be making just his third start since December 2008 and first since a shocking fifth-round TKO loss to Cleotis Pendarvis on April 2, 2010, in Las Vegas. A two-time Puerto Rican national champion and the 2000 Junior Olympic Bronze medalist, Sanchez compiled an amateur record of 72-10 before going pro in March 2005. Sanchez’ most notable victory came on an eight-round decision over former world champion DeMarcus “Chop Chop’’ Corley on April 10, 2009.

Arroyo, 23, has won two straight, including an eight-round majority decision over the previously undefeated Nelson last April 8 on Shobox, since suffering his only setback on a six-round nod to Mike Dallas Jr. on Sept. 12, 2009. “I know Sanchez is a great fighter and that we will give a great fight for the viewers,’’ Arroyo said. “This is a great opportunity for both of us, and I will profit the most.’’

The 24-year-old Del Valle has won five in a row by knockout, including a sixth-round TKO over Irving Hernandez in his last outing Feb. 18 in Puerto Rico. “I’m grateful for this opportunity to fight as a star on SHOWTIME. I am preparing to make the best fight of my life,’’ said Del Valle, who knocked out Pasqual Rouse in the fourth round to capture the New York State featherweight title on July 10, 2010, in Poughkeepsie. Del Valle was an outstanding amateur for the U.S. before turning pro in April 2008.

Nguyen – not to be confused with the former NFL player with the same name — has competed exclusively in the United States since turning pro in May 2004. As an amateur in 2003, he became the first Vietnamese-American to earn a spot in the U.S. Championships, where he lost to eventual Olympic gold medalist Mickey Bey. The 28-year-old Nguyen, a resident of Vero Beach, Fla., has won his last six starts, all by decision, including an eight-round decision over Andres Ledesma in his last fight on Oct. 10, 2009. Nguyen suffered his lone loss on a six-round split decision to Gregorio Torres in August 2007.

Gonzalez, 21, possesses good movement and boxing ability – he’s not merely a brawler – yet has fought into the seventh round only once, and that came in his last outing against Rudy Cisneros at Chumash this past May 13. Eleven of his KO wins have come within three rounds. “I’m in the prime of my career but I’m training like never before to show my quality to the world,’’ said Gonzalez, the No. 11 contender in the World Boxing Association (WBA) who’s fought 10 of his 13 fights in the U.S. “This is a quick turnaround for me, but I’ll be ready for it.’’

Gutierrez, 32, is a physically strong, well-conditioned veteran who is experienced against capable competition. “I’m a complete boxer,’’ said Gutierrez, who is moving up in weight for this. “I’ll adjust, depending on how the fight is going. I’ll work the body, the corners, the ropes, or the middle.’’ A winner of 21 in a row after turning pro in January 2001, Gutierrez dropped a decision to then-undefeated Carlos Abregu on Feb. 6, 2006, on SHOWTIME.

Blow-by-blow announcer Curt Menefee and ringside analyst Steve Farhood, along with executive producer Gordon Hall, producer Richard Gaughan and director Rick Phillips will work the Friday night show from Santa Ynez. Expert analyst Antonio Tarver will join the announce team for Saturday’s telecast.

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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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