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Randy Caballero, Frankie Gomez, & Seniesa Estrada, Possible Future Stars, On Golden Boy Card

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Randy_Caballero_hand_raised_2010Caballero just might be the next great pugilist we've been waiting for. Time will tell.

One gripe commonly sputtered in the boxing world is,  where is the next great fighter coming from?

Who will be the next Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather?

Believe me people have been saying this since professional boxing began.

From John L. Sullivan to Sugar Ray Leonard fans and boxing media have claimed that there is no new star on the horizon. They’re all wrong. They’ve always been wrong.

Boxing’s next mega star may be right in front of us but is not getting the coverage at the moment. And the future stars are all prospects who we may not realize are going to fill the void.

Randy Caballero is one of these prospects and he’ll headline a fight card filled with great prospects on Friday,  July 1, at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio. Golden Boy Promotions is sponsoring the talent-filled boxing show.

Coachella’s Caballero (11-0, 7 KOs) vies for the WBC Youth title against Arizona’s Alexis Santiago (8-0-1, 2 KOs) in a battle of undefeated super bantamweight prospects. It’s a crucial fight for both prospects early in their careers.

On most occasions the milieu of titles is superfluous. But the WBC Youth title brings more status than usual.

Timothy Bradley captured the WBC Youth title in 2007 and then 15 months later fought for the WBC world title and won. There are other examples.

Ironically both Bradley and Caballero fight out of the Palm Springs desert.

Caballero has won numerous boxing titles as an amateur but this will be his first as a professional. His speed and overall boxing skill has impressed those that have seen him perform in the ring.

One expert that was captivated by his talent was the great former champion Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor. When Pryor’s assistants wanted to leave the arena he convinced them to stay and watch Caballero in action. That night the Coachella speedster knocked out his opponent in four rounds.  On Friday, Caballero will have a true test against another undefeated fighter. It should be a good one.

Frankie Gomez

Lightweight prospect Frankie Gomez of East L.A. is another who experts predict will become a world champion some day. As an amateur he surprised many by plowing through many international amateur stars with his blistering offensive attack.

Gomez (9-0, 7 KOs) has adapted new weapons and a more strategic method of attack as a professional.

Facing Gomez will be Khadaphi Proctor (7-5-1),  a strong rugged boxer from Hesperia whose last bout was a victory over undefeated Stan Martyniouk in Oakland.

It won’t be easy for Gomez who has been training in Big Bear with Abel Sanchez.

Seniesa Estrada

Also from East L.A. is Seniesa Estrada, a female flyweight who just recently departed from the amateur ranks and won her pro debut in May. She faces San Bernardino’s Blanca Raymundo (0-3), a talented flyweight who just hasn’t been able to get over the hump.

Estrada was considered to be one of the favorites to make the U.S. Olympic boxing team but opted to fight as a professional. After traveling to Argentina to partake in the International championships, she quickly saw that it was a losing cause.

“My style of fighting is not made for amateurs,” said Estrada, who tallied more than 95 amateur fights. “Every time I ducked under a punch the referee would warn me not to do that.”

Estrada said that in Argentina, with European and South American judges tallying the points electronically, she would blister her opponent with punishing combinations and not see a point on the electronic board.

“I would look up and she would be given a point when I was the one hitting her,” said Estrada, 19.

“My style is not made for amateurs,” said the petite girl fighter from the East L.A. area. “They want you to stand up straight in amateurs.”

The speedy flyweight has Willie Pep moves and that same “will o the wisp” set of reflexes that dazzle friends and foes alike. Estrada could very quickly emerge as a new female boxing star.

Another prospect comes from San Diego. Antonio Orozco has quickly garnered fan support with his aggressive but technical prowess that blends power with defense. The undefeated junior welter reminds some of former world champion Israel Vazquez.

Amateur star from San Bernardino

This weekend Edgar Alvarado made a splash at the U.S. Nationals in Colorado and now qualifies for the Olympic trials to be held later this summer.

Alvarado made it to the finals of the U.S. Championships and lost by one point to Chris Pearson of Ohio. Some people may be familiar with Pearson who fought for the L.A. Matadors this past year.

Though Alvarado did not win the U.S. championship as a middleweight, he will be included in the trials. Congratulations.

Fights on television

Fri. ESPN2, 6 p.m., Mark Melligen (21-2, 14 KOs) vs. Sebastian Lujan (37-5-2).

Fri. Telefutura, 11:30 p.m., Frankie Gomez (9-0) vs. Khadaphi Proctor (7-5-1).

Sat. Fox, 8 p.m., Hernan Marquez (30-2) vs. Edrin Dapudong (22-3).

Sat. HBO, 10:15 p.m., Wladimir Klitschko (55-3) vs. David Haye (25-1).

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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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