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Klitschko Wins UD Over Ultra-Cautious Haye; Haye Talked Big, But Barely Threw…WOODS

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Wladimir-Klitschko-David-Haye2David Haye talked a stellar game to get to the main event at Imtech Arena in Hamburg on Saturday night. He lured Wladimir Klitschko into a bout that will be his IRA, with a three year masterful campaign of trash talking. But when it came to time to walk the walk, he came up empty. Haye boxed smartly from a defensive standpoint, but didn't throw enough punches to get a decision, or much respect from most anyone who watched this lackluster exercise. Wlad too deserves if not scorn, then meager appreciation. He fought in a robotic fashion, had a hard time finding the mobile Haye, but probably deserved the decision because he threw more. After twelve rounds of “action” the judges saw it 117-109, 118-108, 116-110, for Wlad.

Haye went 72-290, a pathetic volume, while Wlad went 134-509.

HBO showed the bout, which was nearly cancelled because it was raining in Hamburg all day long, and the arena does not have a retractable roof. Some might joke that they would've preferred a rainout. Haye tried to follow the same blueprint he used to win the title against Nicolay Valuev to beat Wlad; he raised his hands after, and seemed to think he won. I gave him credit during the first half of the event, as his mobility and head movement gave Wlad trouble, but didn't frustrate the big man, who has an amazing reserve of discipline. Wlad said to Larry Merchant  after Haye was hard to hit, and was excessively cautious. He wanted a KO, he said, and realized the fight wasn't that exciting. The winner didn't back off on his disdain of Haye for being classless in his trash talking. “I wished that I could knock him out impressively,” he said. “He was scared to fight me. I was expecting more challenge in the ring. He was super defensive.”  And how much longer will he fight? He said he was psyched to collect all the belts, and wasn't jazzed by his performance, so he will continue. Merchant then talked to Haye. Haye said he was “subpar, nowhere near as good as he would've liked.” He said he broke a toe in his right foot three weeks ago, was receiving local anaesthetics, and had to cut sparring early. “I was unable to push off my right foot and land my Hayemaker,” he said, and took off his show and sock as proof. More sound than fury, then? “I gave it the best I could. I wasn't one hundred percent healthy, but that happens in boxing, I don't know what he might had for injuries in that fight for all I know.”

The IBF-WBO champion Klitschko (6-6; age 35; born in Ukraine, resides in Germany and USA; 55-3 entering) weighed 242.6 pounds on Friday, while the WBA champion Haye (6-0; age 33; from England; 25-1 entering) was 212.8 pounds.

Jim Lampley called the action, along with Larry Merchant, and Roy Jones, subbing for Manny Steward, who was cornering Wladimir.  Haye took his time making his way to the ring, and word filtered that he wasn’t ready to leave the dressing room, for no specified reason. His guys put booties on him before he walked to the ring, when he finally did exit his dressing room, after a delay of fifteen or so minutes. He had to make his way through a scrum of punters as his team of security shoved people out of the way. Wlad then made his way to the ring, after we saw a little theatre. Wlad talked smack on a video screen as “theatregoers” watched on a set. We saw a ring, then a street scene, where brother Vitali sat on a park bench, next to George Foreman. Let the record show it was inventive, and damned entertaining. Fireworks shot, and then Foreman collected Wlad, who walked to the ring. After the the anthems, and the stats, and Buwe got down to business. Ade Byrd, Stan Christadoulu and Mike Pernick were the judges.

In the first, Haye moved laterally and threw few left hooks. Wlad threw him down and the crowd roared. The little brother was cautious early. He warmed up with a minute left, but it was a Haye round.

In the second, Haye’s movement was working. The Wlad jab was mostly errant. He used his right earlier than he typically does, and he won the second half of the round, and probably the round itself.

In the third, Haye was staying closer to Wlad. He landed a sharp right at 2:10, and his fans roared. Haye was getting more confident, and moving less. He ate a couple on the ropes, but took the frame. You got to step to him a little bit more, the fight could be going either way, I don’t know,” Steward  said after.

In the fourth, Haye’s head movement was sharp. Both men posed and feinted a lot. Merchant complained about the lack of action. A Haye right sent Wlad back late, and may have given Haye the round in a weak frame. Haye grinned in his corner as he received instructions from trainer Adam Booth

In the fifth, Wlad was busier early, with the jab. A meaningful right told Haye Wlad could crack. He then threw Haye down to the mat for the third time, after absorbing a right hand. Haye was in soccer flop mode. Wlad got the session. Haye had landed just 36 shots through 5, to Wlad’s 51. Manny told his guy to get busier after the round.

In the sixth, Haye went to the mat as Wlad leaned on him. A mouse appeared under Wlad’s left eye, for the record. Haye boxed smartly and dictated the tone.Where were the combos from Wlad? He was far too cautious.

In the seventh, the ref took a point from Wlad for throwing Haye down. Bad call, in my opinion. Haye again boxed smartly, moving, every now and again sticking. Wlad didn’t press Haye enough, and Haye’s mobility got him out of trouble when Wlad did.

In the eighth, the action was weak. Neither man deserved the frame.Steward told Wlad to fire the left hook, and that Haye was tired.he didn’t look tired.

In the ninth, a right hand lead scored for Haye. Wlad missed with most everything. He did land a right, but it was another weak round.

In the tenth, Haye threw even less than usual. A right by cautious Wlad landed. Merchant termed Haye a disgrace by this point.

In the 11th, Wlad scored a knockdown, when he threw down Haye, who helped the cause by flopping.

In the 12th, Haye landed a sharp right, and Wlad held. Finally, Wlad woke up, and got fiery. Then he went back to his regular measured, bloodless style. We'd go to the cards.I gave Haye a lot of the early rounds, for smart boxing, but can see if folks didn't, because he didn't act in an even semi aggressive fashion.

SPEEDBAG

Steward talked with Merchant before the bout, and said he hoped the fight would take place. He said he wanted Wlad to start quick, and get ahead, in case the action was stopped because of the weather. Manny said the wet canvas would hurt Wlad more than Haye, because Wlad moves his feet more than the Brit does.  Jones disagreed with Manny, saying Haye would be hurt by the wet canvas, because Haye has to plant to reach the taller man. Then, Roy reversed course, saying the wetness would give Haye a better chance to land a Hayemaker.

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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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