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Brandon Rios Jaws With Urbano Antillon In L.A….AVILA



Rios_standing_Antillon_PC_001LOS ANGELES-Drove over to downtown L.A. yesterday to cover the Top Rank press conference for the upcoming Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios and Urbano Antillon lightweight world title fight on July 9. Showtime will televise.

“I will knock (Antillon) out and show the world why I am the best 135-pound fighter in the world. That’s why I became the champion. That’s why I beat (Miguel) Acosta and you didn’t. I knocked him out and he knocked you out,” Rios told Antillon.

“We were sitting down and he started talking. It is what it is. I don’t care if it’s heated up there,” said Antillon.

Rios (27-0, 19 KOs) and Antillon (28-2, 20 KOs) jawed at each other nose to nose and looked pretty pissed at each other after many taunts and jibes at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in the heart of downtown. They’ll be fighting at the Home Depot Center and you can bet both fighters will be well represented by their constituents.


As I was driving home I received a phone call from one of my friends who told me that Genaro “Chicanito” Lopez had passed away today. A flood of memories hit me like a wild river.

It was not long ago I remember watching Chicanito fight at the Inglewood Forum and even more so I remember those brutal sparring matches at the old now defunct Brooklyn Gym in Boyle Heights.

Chicanito was a regular at the makeshift gym that was actually an old gas station garage where a boxing ring was placed. The large garage door was often open as boxers pummeled each other while residents walked by on the sidewalk like looky-loos during a freeway accident.

In those days Sugar Shane Mosley, Zack Padilla and Chicanito could often be seen tearing each other apart at full speed. Others like Oscar De La Hoya, Julio Cesar Chavez and Hector Lopez would occasionally drop by for sparring.

His older brother Rudy Hernandez was his trainer and other brother Victor could often be seen in his corner.

Perhaps my biggest memory of Chicanito was when he was preparing to fight De La Hoya. I remember writing it down as a Roosevelt High vs. Garfield High kind of story. In East L.A. when those two schools meet it’s civil war. Often crowds of 30,000 would arrive to see the two schools battle it out in football.

Chicanito attended Roosevelt and De La Hoya went to Garfield. And when the fight finally happened after several years of taunts and speculations, it resulted in one of Chicanitos few losses. But it was great while it lasted.

One thing is that Chicanito was always the gentleman. If ever a fighter deserved the nickname “Gentleman” it was Genaro Hernandez.

Ironically, Hernandez fought under Top Rank and it was Bob Arum who helped with Chicanito’s hospital costs. The lanky Hernandez battled cancer for several years.

Back to Rios and Antillon. This fight was going to occur earlier but and injury forced the fight to be postponed. Words were tossed and meanings were distorted; now both fighters are looking to destroy the other.

One bystander was Mercito Gesta, the quicksilver Filipino lightweight who was recently signed by Top Rank. When his name was mentioned to Rios he claimed he could knock Antillon and Gesta out on the same day.

Gesta liked the invite.

“I can’t wait to work my way up and fight these guys,” said Gesta, who is going to begin sparring at the Wild Card gym with Amir Khan.

Bob Arum

Arum said though the Staples Center crowd of about 8,000 for Julio Cesar Chavez and Sebastian Zbik last Saturday night was a lot smaller than expected, the television ratings were very good.

“The HBO Boxing After Dark show had its best ratings in four years,” Arum said while at the Rios-Antillon press conference.

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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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