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Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Beats Germany’s Sebastian Zbik For World Title…AVILA RINGSIDE

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Chavez_Zbik_110604_005aChris Farina photo

LOS ANGELES-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. got it going late, couldn’t be stopped by Germany’s Sebastian Zbik and took the WBC middleweight title by majority decision on Saturday.

Chavez part two begins.

A raucous crowd at Staples Center saw Chavez (43-0-1, 30 KOs) follow his father’s footsteps and beat Germany’s Zbik (30-1, 10 KOs) who held the title. It began as a slow trot but ended in an all out gallop as Chavez used a body attack to come from behind after a bad beginning.

The father, Julio Cesar Chavez, smiled broadly after the title belt was given to his son. But those first four rounds had the former Mexican looking like anything but happy.

Zbik launched out of his corner in the first round snapping jabs in Chavez’s head and rights to the head. It didn’t take him long to get confidence, though Chavez landed some body shots.

Rounds two and three showed that Chavez was going to continue his attack to the body. A left hook to the head snapped Zbik’s head, but the German landed more effective punches again and again.

Chavez poured on the punches in round five to win his first round of the fight. Zbik seemed to be slightly dazed by a right hand near the end of the frame.

After a blatant left elbow by the German boxer, Chavez retaliated with some heavy handed blows including a right behind the ear that slightly stunned Zbik. Chavez finished the round with a combination to perhaps win another round in the sixth.

Things definitely looked good for Chavez in round seven as he blistered the slowing German fighter with some combinations from long range including another right cross that had Zbik shaking his head at the end of the round.

“The title is won on the inside below. I knew he wouldn’t be able to continue in the later rounds,” said Chavez after about his plan to attack the body continuously.

Chavez and Zbik were no longer fighting toe to toe and it slipped into another type of fight. Chavez  had better luck from the outside with his long arms and new head movement.

Germany’s Zbik began to tire noticeably from round seven on as Chavez pummeled him to the body, with some going below the belt. Zbik complained but was met with more body shots while he complained.

Going into the final two rounds both dug deep for extra juice and it appeared all of the hard work by Chavez at trainer Freddie Roach’s gym paid off.

“I knew it was crucial to win the (12th) round,” Chavez said, adding that Roach told him to increase his attack.

One judge Steve Morrow scored it 114-114, John Keane 116-112 and Raul Caiz Jr. 115-113 both for Chavez.

“He was a good fighter but I fought with everything to win it for Mexico,” said Chavez, the former Ramona High school student in Riverside.

Zbik was gracious in defeat.

“What can I say. I knew the rounds were close and the judges gave them to Chavez,” Zbik said. “He’s a strong fighter.”

Other bouts

Moreno Valley’s Mikey Garcia (26-0, 22 KOs) was another who began slowly but turned on the steam to knock out Mexico’s Rafael Guzman (28-3, 20 KOs) in round four.

The usual careful first round for Garcia ended with a crackling left hook that shook Guzman at the bell. In round two another left hook busted Guzman’s guard and sent him across the ring.

Garcia’s sharp-shooting made things progressively worse for the Mexican featherweight. A right hand through the gloves snapped Guzman’s head violently but he remained on his feet until the bell in round three. It would get worse.

After 1:55 in round four, an overhand right by Garcia dropped Guzman like a bag of rocks for a clean knockdown of the much taller Mexican fighter. He tried to get up but fell down again and it was over. Moreno Valley’s Garcia had struck again.

“He came to fight and that was better for me,” said Garcia about Guzman who was a late substitute for Miguel Beltran, who canceled due to an injury. “I’m not flashy or spectacular but I’m ready for any featherweight.”

Vanes Martirosyan (30-0, 19 KOs) kept his place in line for a title shot. Junior middleweight gatekeeper Saul Roman (34-9, 29 KOs) was prepared to shut the gate on contender Martirosyan but the Glendale boxer busted through with a gutsy performance. After a left hook knocked down Martirosyan in the first round, the former US Olympian rallied back with a more aggressive approach to keep his place in line for a world title bid. A six punch barrage in round seven sent Roman to the mat and then another pummeling at 2:58 of the same round force the referee to halt the fight.

“I threw a real straight right hand and that was what finished him,” said Martirosyan. “He hits real hard.”

Dakota Stone (10-8-4) beat Christy Martin (49-6-3, 32 KOs) by technical knockout when that fighter suffered a fractured right hand and could not continue in the sixth and final round. Martin was winning according to the judges’ cards.

Martin floored Stone with a perfect overhand right but also hurt her hand in the process. She continued to belt Stone around the ring but it became obvious that she had injured herself. By round six, both the ringside doctor and referee David Mendoza stopped the fight though Martin protested vehemently.

Garden Grove’s Jessie Roman (6-0, 4 KOs)  floored James Grant (2-3-1) twice, the last one forcing referee Raul Caiz to end the fight following a vicious left hook that crumpled Grant in a heap at 1:00 of round two of a lightweight bout.

East L.A.’s left-hand crazy Oscar Andrade (6-0, 3 KOs) floored Japan’s Kai Zama (5-4, 3 KOs) three times in winning by knockout in the first round. Four successive uppercuts dropped Zama for the first knockdown. A straight left floored him again. After beating the count slowly, Zama was knocked out for good with a single left cross that seemed to stretch across the ring at 2:15 of the first round.

Bellflower’s Alex Luna (6-0, 5 KOs) battered Mexicali’s Cesar Garcia (3-7-1) four rounds but couldn’t continue the knockout winning streak. Garcia was too tough for Luna to dispose of without a decision. All three judges scored it 40-36 for Luna.

Riverside’s Saul Rodriguez did not fight. Top Rank could not find an opponent in time for his first pro bout to occur.

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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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