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Mayweather and Ortiz Talk Up Sept. 17 Fight in NYC

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BOXING'S BIGGEST STAR FLOYD “MONEY” MAYWEATHER AND BOXING'S NEWEST STAR “VICIOUS” VICTOR ORTIZ TO MEET IN “STAR POWER: MAYWEATHER VS. ORTIZ”

FOR THE WELTERWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 AT MGM GRAND IN LAS VEGAS

PRESENTED LIVE BY HBO PAY-PER-VIEW®

New York, NY (June 28)…It's the biggest against the best and it doesn't get much better or brighter.  Boxing's biggest star, undefeated Floyd “Money” Mayweather, and its newest star, WBC Welterweight World Champion “Vicious” Victor Ortiz, will align their super powers when they meet in “STAR POWER: Mayweather vs. Ortiz.” The mega-fight, which will be contested for Ortiz's WBC Welterweight World Championship, will take place Saturday, Sept. 17 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev. and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

Star Power, promoted by Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions, and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate, DeWALT and AT&T, falls on Mexican Independence Day weekend and is already being touted as boxing's biggest and best match-up of 2011.  It's a contest of galactic proportions that will have fans worldwide waiting in a Milky Way of anticipation for one of the most intriguing and exciting fights in recent years.

One of the most recognized athletes in the world today, the highly decorated Mayweather, who is undefeated as well as a six-Time and five-division world champion, announced his return via Twitter (@floydmayweather) earlier this month and is being commended for pursuing a fight against the young, hard-hitting southpaw Ortiz, 10 years his junior and undoubtedly one of his most challenging contests to date.

“I am excited to get back in the ring because Victor Ortiz is a great challenge for me,” said Mayweather, who will be returning to the ring after a 16-month layoff.  “Ortiz is a young, fast, and very strong champion so this is not going to be easy, but I will prepare myself with the same dedication I have always had for my fights and show fans around the world that I am the best boxer in the world today.  I am also looking forward to fighting on Mexican Independence Day weekend.  I love all my fans and know I have a lot of Mexican fans cheering for me too.”

Ortiz, who captured his current WBC Welterweight title with a dazzling performance in a victory over Andre Berto April 16, said, “I have always said that I would be the first fighter to beat Floyd Mayweather and now that I have my chance, and to do it on a weekend that celebrates the independence of the Mexican people, is an amazing blessing for me.  I have worked so hard to become a champion and to show the world that I am the best.  I am not going to let anyone take that away from me.  I'm confident that I will walk away from this fight with my belt and a new title…the first to defeat Floyd Mayweather.”

 “The excitement surrounding Floyd's return has been amazing and is always an indication of his popularity and drawing power among fans worldwide,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions.  “I wasn't surprised when Floyd said he wanted to fight Ortiz because he likes to be challenged when he fights and Victor, with the skills and heart of a young lion, is exactly that type of challenge he relishes.  I have no doubt that the stars will sparkle, shine and collide in that ring on September 17 and that the sports world is going to be in for a great fight.  We welcome Floyd's return as his fights are always sensational.”

 Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, said, “The stars aligned for this true mega-fight and there is no doubt that September 17 will be the biggest boxing event of 2011 anywhere in the world.  When Floyd Mayweather fights, everyone watches as he continues to set the bar for most pay-per-view buys and this fight will be no different.  He is also going to be challenged by a very special talent in the young, strong and highly motivated World Champion Victor Ortiz, who knows that a win over the pound-for-pound champion will catapult him into superstardom.  It's a showdown of two great champions colliding and one that I can't wait to see.”

 “The MGM Resorts family is very excited to welcome the return of Floyd Mayweather to the MGM Grand on September 17,” said Richard Sturm, president of Sports & Entertainment for MGM Resorts International.  “This championship event marks Mayweather's first fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in more than 15 months and continues our tradition as the leader in the sports and entertainment industry.”

Mark Taffet, Senior Vice President, HBO Pay-Per-View, agreed and said, “The return of Floyd Mayweather is big news for the sport of boxing.  He is a major attraction and must-see TV.  Fight fans will be excited to see him put his experience, style and undefeated record on the line against the youth and punching power of the fast-rising Victor Ortiz.”

The undefeated, six-time world champion in five weight divisions, Floyd Mayweather (41-0, 25 KOs) remains boxing's biggest attraction, wowing crowds and generating tremendous box office and pay-per-view numbers each time he steps into the ring.  Three of his last four fights generated more than one million pay-per-view buys, including his record-shattering bout against Oscar de la Hoya in 2007, which generated 2.44 million buys, the highest performing pay-per-view event in history.  In his last ring appearance on May 1, 2010, Mayweather dismantled Sugar Shane Mosley in a lopsided unanimous decision victory.  Mayweather is no stranger to fighting on the traditionally boxing rich Mexican Independence Day weekend, as prior to his sensational win over Mosley, he took on Mexican boxing star Juan Manuel Marquez on September 19, 2009, and beat his opponent in spectacular fashion.  During his extraordinary career, he has amassed wins over world champions including Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo, Arturo Gatti, Zab Judah, De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton.

In addition to his boxing accomplishments, Mayweather has become a crossover star, appearing in HBO®'s Emmy® Award-winning reality series “24/7” four separate times, providing cameras with an all access look at his training and personal life.  His name never leaves the conscience of boxing or sports fans as news of his career continues to trend worldwide, a testament to his nearly 1.3 million Twitter followers, the latest indication of a famed person's popularity.

Twenty-four-year-old “Vicious” Victor Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KOs) is the definition of a new and shining star.  From a tumultuous childhood that left him in foster care at the age of 13 to a meteoric rise above obstacles to become a world champion, Ortiz's story both in and out of the ring is one to be admired.  Introduced to boxing by his father at the age of seven, Ortiz and his siblings soon had to deal with life on their own after both parents abandoned them when Ortiz was 12 years old.  Resilient and determined to make something of his life, Ortiz found salvation in the ring and saw boxing as a way towards future success.

Ortiz's grit and determination has shown up throughout his boxing career.  A highly touted amateur, he turned pro in 2004 and has persevered through its highs and lows to become the champion he is today.  He is currently riding a six-fight undefeated streak including his previously mentioned sensational win over Berto.  The hard-punching southpaw came of age during their 12-round battle when he sent Berto to the canvas in round one, got off the canvas himself in the second round and survived a knockdown in the sixth round only to come back to drop Berto at the end of that round in a definite Fight of the Year candidate.  Ortiz, a Ventura, Calif. resident who hails from Garden City, Kansas, also holds victories over former World Champions Carlos Maussa, Nate Campbell, Vivian Harris as well as high profile opponents Antonio Diaz, Mike Arnaoutis and Jeffrey Resto.

Both fighters have also agreed to drug testing under the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency protocol, which includes random blood and urine testing.

 The MGM Grand Garden Arena is home to concerts, championship boxing and premier sporting and special events. The Arena offers comfortable seating for as many as 16,800 with excellent sightlines and state-of-the-art acoustics, lighting and sound.  Prominent events to date have included world championship fights between Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson, Oscar de la Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather and George Foreman vs. Michael Moorer, as well as concerts by The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Bette Midler, George Strait, Janet Jackson, Phil Collins, Billy Joel, U2, 'N Sync, Sting, Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Jimmy Buffett and the Barbra Streisand Millennium Concert.  The MGM Grand Garden Arena also is home to the annual Academy of Country Music Awards and the Frozen Fury NHL pre-season game which features the Los Angeles Kings vs. Colorado Avalanche.

 The Mayweather vs. Ortiz pay-per-view telecast, which begins at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT, will be produced and distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View® and will be available to more than 92 million pay-per-view homes.  The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD.  HBO Pay-Per-View®, a division of Home Box Office, Inc., is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. 

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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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