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“Canelo” Alvarez Stops Ryan Rhodes In 12th After One-Sided Scrap….WOODS



There is a tendency for keyboard tappers to go overboard in looking for deficencies in those next big things, the perhaps overhyped phenoms who are presented to us as saviors in shorts. I'm not going to go that route with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. The kid who some are saying is the future of the game is a darned solid fighter. He showed a lot to like against Ryan Rhodes in  the main event of HBO's Boxing After Dark show which unfolded at Arena VFG in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico on Saturday night, and didn't lose a round on my card. Alvarez stayed calm, cool and on message as he whacked Rhodes with combos for 11 plus rounds, and closed the show in the 12th round of a most one sided affair.

Canelo landed six shots, a couple of them sledgehammers to the body, knocked Rhodes back and then kept on firing as Rhodes' corner hurled in the towel as the ref stepped in. The time of the TKO ending was 48 seconds elapsed.

That said, I won't place myself in the “Canelo is God” camp, because Canelo isn't. He has heavy hands, but maybe not as heavy as advertised. He doesn't get angles as maybe you'd like, tends to stand in front of his foe, and though his defense looks to be improving, it looks like a slick boxer adept at using his feet to gain advantageous position could do quite well against the kid. But again, he is a darned good fighter and there is much to like. I guess I'd caution all to be patient, not to fall for the hype, but not to go overboard in poking holes, either.

Rhodes did his legacy no favors. He really never fought with the urgency of a man who showed up with a fire in his belly, though we must give Alvarez due credit. Alvarez went 218-590 while Rhodes was 90-343 on the night, stats wise. Canelo, thru a translator, said after that he sensed his body shots were working. He was asked about Miguel Cotto, Alfredo Angulo and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, and said, “I'm ready to really fight anybody. If I have to fight the devil, I will.” In English, he said,  “I'm ready for everything.”

Alvarez (age 20, a month shy of turning 21; 36-0-1 with 26 K0s; from Guadalajara) was 153 1/4 pounds, while Rhodes (age 34; 45-4 with 31 KOs entering; from England) weighed 152 1/2 in this fight for Canelo's WBC junior middleweight crown.

Rhodes said after he underestimated Canelo's power, and that the body attack got to him. “I been beaten by a superstar in world boxing tonight,” he said, stating that he would not hang up the gloves.

Bob Papa called the action, along with Roy Jones, for HBO.

In the first, Canelo unloaded with 35 seconds to go after a lengthy feeling out session. Rhodes switched to lefty at the end of the first, trying to be tricky. Trainer Eddie Reynoso told Canelo to “relax” after the frame.

In the second, Jones made a smart point, lauding Canelo for not being overeager in his hometown. Rhodes again went righty, then lefty. But he needed to look to land something meaningful, one would think, instead of potshotting every now and again, as he was. Canelo looked relaxed and on message.

In the third, Rhodes looked to be busier with the jab. Canelo has a knack for catching guys at the end of his shot, landing from a distance, and not falling in, and getting vulnerable. He did overthrow a couple times in the third, but he took the third straight round.

In the fourth, we saw Rhodes hit the deck, with 50 seconds to go. He stood up, on sturdy legs, and reached round five. He had a nick under his left eye. The damage came from a right hand that landed behind the head. Rhodes' trainer told him after not to worry about the knockdown, because they weren't banking on winning on points anyway.

In the fifth, we saw Alvarez hurl more of those three punch combos. Any fight watcher has to like his propensity for the combos, no? If you want to quibble, he tends to stay pretty stationary, instead of firing a few, getting a different angle and taking advantage. To this point, Rhodes was a disappointment, seemingly present to be competitive, but not sending a message that he came to Mexico to land a stunner upset.

In the sixth, it was more of the same and we wondered if Rhodes would ever switch to a Plan B. In the seventh, the left hook worked, the jab worked, the right cross, the same: Canelo was the king of combos and Rhodes' face looked a bit more worn. A slice showed under his right eye. In the eighth, Rhodes slowed more. Canelo's body work hurt me, in Brooklyn.

In round nine, Rhodes hung tough, we will say that for him. Canelo had his way again in the tenth, same as in every round before. The eleventh went the same way. Rhodes' trainer told him, “You might as well get knocked out in the last round, you've lost every round.” Canelo came out hammering in the 12th, and the ref saw enough, ending the one sided tussle.

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Follow Woods on Twitter here!/Woodsy1069

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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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