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Chavez Jr A Chip Off The Old Block, But Different…FOLSTAD



History could be made if the son follows the same path his dad traveled 27 years ago. That’s when the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. won his first world title.

It was September 1984 at the old Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, just a few blocks and a couple decades south of the newer, brighter, richer Staples Center, home of the Lakers when no big fights are scheduled.

The Staples Center is where Julio Jr. (42-0-1, 30 KOs) will fight Saturday night for what he hopes will be his first world title. He faces undefeated WBC middleweight champion Sebastian Zbik (30-0, 10 KOs) of Germany on HBO.

It’s a big night for Junior, a chance to create a little history of his own, sneak outside the huge shadow cast by his dad, if only for a night.

“Hopefully,” Junior says. “It will be the start of my own legacy.“

A chip off the old block.

But different.

Being a middleweight, Junior’s fighting weight is a little heavier than his dad‘s. Back in ‘84, the older Chavez won the vacant WBC super-featherweight title with an eighth-round TKO of Mario Martinez. It gave us a quick peek of what was to come, what the new super-featherweight champion could do.

But like his son said on a conference call Tuesday promoting Saturday‘s fight with Zbik, “it was a different place and a different time.“

And they are two different fighters from two different generations. It’s just their names that are alike.

Zbik is a good test for Chavez. He’s a world champion and that means everything. He’s also undefeated. That gives him at least two advantages. Fighters hate to give up that zero.

Chavez – coming off big wins over John Duddy last June and Billy Lyell in January – says he’s watched Zbik on tape and he‘s a very good boxer. But any world champion is going to be a test.

“I know he’s a tough guy,” Chavez said. “But you can never tell if a guy is a big puncher by watching him on tape. You have to go into the ring to find out.”

Trainer Freddie Roach tells us Zbik fights in straight lines, moves in standing up like a guy trying to flag down a taxi.

“Julio’s boxing ability will give Zbik a lot of trouble,” Roach said. “We’ll use angles on him. He pretty much follows you wherever you go.”

But Roach doesn’t sound worried. He never does.

“This is the  big one and we‘re ready,” he said. “We‘ll bring it home on Saturday.”

As for Chavez, Roach said early in the call that his fighter’s weight wasn’t a problem, which means at some point it probably was. He also said they were just finishing one of the best training camps yet for Chavez. But again, that’s the usual mantra coming out of most training camps. But it’s easy to believe this time. The longer they work together, the easier and smoother things should go. And that’s what both men are telling us.

“Without a doubt this has been the toughest training camp I have ever been through,” Chavez said. “But I’m looking forward to Saturday night. I spend so much time with Freddie now that we know each other better, so my performance should be better.”

Chavez knows what he’s up against. He knows Zbik is dangerous because he’s a world champion.

“This is the most important fight of my career and I think it’s the most important fight of his career,“ Chavez said. “He wants to be well-known and this will give him the opportunity. I know he‘s coming to fight.”

Chavez Sr., who will be inducted into the International boxing Hall of Fame next weekend, offered Junior a little advice early in his career.

“He told me to just work hard,“ Junior said. “Go to the gym and give it 100 percent every day you train. As long as you train and work as hard as you can, the fight will be the easiest thing in the world. The gym is the key to the whole thing.”

Worked pretty well for Dad.

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura



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



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



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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