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Wach-McBride Will Be For WBC Int'l Title

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (July 5, 2011) – Two former Olympians are prepared to stand toe-to-toe Friday, July 29th, 2011 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in a heavyweight title bout that could move the winner one step closer to boxing’s ultimate prize.

Undefeated Mariusz Wach (24-0, 12 KOs), who competed for his native Poland in the 2004 Olympics, will face former world-rated contender Kevin McBride (35-9-1, 29 KOs), a participant for Ireland in the 2002 Summer Games, in the 12-round main event of Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports’ “Heat Wave” show at Uncasville, Conn., with the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) International heavyweight championship on the line.

This heavyweight showdown is the first of two title fights July 29th; Elvin Ayala (23-5-1, 11 KOs) of New Haven, Conn., will battle former two-time world champion Israel “Pito” Cardona (36-10, 28 KOs) of Hartford in the 10-round co-feature for the vacant WBC U.S. National Boxing Council (USNBC) middleweight title, a belt once held by former world champions Paul Williams and Lamont Peterson. Tickets for “Heat Wave,” which are priced at $40, $65 and $105, are on sale starting today and can be purchased by calling CES at 401.724.2253/2254 or Ticketmaster at 1.800.745.3000.

The WBC International title is equally prestigious; among the former champions in the heavyweight division are: current World Boxing Association (WBA), World Boxing Organization (WBO), International Boxing Organization (IBO), International Boxing Federation (IBF) and The Ring Magazine champion Wladimir Klitschko, a two-time WBC International title-holder who beat David Haye this past Saturday in a heavyweight unification bout; Oliver McCall, who upset Lennox Lewis in 1994 to win the WBC world title; and former WBC world champion John Ruiz, who is famous for his trilogy against Evander Holyfield that included one win, one loss and a draw. David Tua, who beat Tony Tucker in 1997 for the WBO title, also held the WBC International belt early in his career, along with former WBC world champion Oleg Maskaev.

Since the inception of the WBC International title in 1987, nine of its 16 champions have gone on two win a major world title, a success rate of 56 percent.

“This is as good as it gets in heavyweight boxing,” said Burchfield, who recently signed Wach to a multi-year promotional agreement in conjunction with Global Boxing Promotions. “Unlike some of the recent world-title bouts in this division that failed to live up to the hype and ultimately disappointed the sport and its loyal fans, this will be a true heavyweight war.

“Some of the best heavyweights in boxing history have held this prestigious title, and that tradition will continue July 29th at the beautiful Mohegan Sun Arena. Mariusz is looking to carve his niche as the future of the heavyweight division, but Kevin is a cagey veteran with a ton of experience and will not back down without a challenge. This is what boxing needs – two hard-hitting heavyweights willing to take risks and leave it all in the ring. We’re proud to bring this fight to the fans who’ve been craving a real heavyweight showdown, and we’ve got an unbelievable undercard with tremendous national and local talent as well.”

Aside from becoming the youngest super heavyweight to compete in the Olympics, McBride is more famously known for ending Hall of Famer “Iron” Mike Tyson’s career in 2005. The two fought at the MCI Center in Washington, D.C., with McBride scoring a sixth-round knockout over the former undisputed heavyweight champion. McBride, who was born in Clones, Ireland, but now lives in Dorchester, Mass., retired after losing to Andrew Golota in 2007 before returning to the ring three years later. He recorded his 35th win by beating Franklin Egobi in 2010 and recently lost a unanimous decision to former cruiserweight world champion Tomasz Adamek, who will face Vitali Klitschko for the WBC heavyweight title in September.

This will be McBride’s third attempt at beating a Polish fighter – Golota and Adamek were born in Warsaw and Zywiec, respectively – though Wach represents a unique challenge. At 6-foot-7 ½ and 250 pounds, Wach is much bigger than Golota and arguably stronger than Adamek, who only has two knockouts in six fights since making the jump from cruiserweight to heavyweight. For both fighters, this title bout represents a preview of what the winner could see if he eventually steps into the ring with one of the Klitschko brothers; both Vitali and Wladimir are taller than 6-6 and routinely fight between 240 and 250 pounds.

Wach, 31, hasn’t fought since Feb. 19 in Newark, N.J., when he knocked out Jonathan Haggler in the third round to capture the WBC Baltic heavyweight title. Among Wach’s other notable wins are a fourth-round knockout win over Galen Brown on Nov. 12, 2010 in Lincoln, R.I., and a seventh-round TKO win over Eric Boose in July of 2008 on ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights” at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago.

With knockout victories in each of his last four fights, Wach represents a serious threat in the heavyweight division. He is currently training in North Bergen, N.J., and working with the well-known duo of Juan and Carlos De Leon. Juan De Leon formerly trained undefeated heavyweight “Baby” Joe Mesi while Carlos De Leon is a former four-time cruiserweight world champion.

The undercard of “Heat Wave” features Pawtucket, R.I., middleweight Thomas Falowo (3-0, 3 KOs) facing Russ Niggemyer (2-2, 2 KOs) of Hilliard, Ohio; New Haven welterweight Edwin Soto (6-0-1, 2 KOs) battling Jose Duran (6-5-2, 3 KOs) of Sarasota, Fla.; undefeated heavyweight Artur Spzilka of Poland (5-0, 3 KOs) facing Georgia native Tobias Rice (3-3, 2 KOs), and New Bedford, Mass., welterweight Johnathan Vazquez (4-0, 3 KOs) taking on Augustine Maurus of Lawrence, Mass., in Maurus’ debut. Cruiserweight Jose Torres of Springfield, Mass., will also make his debut, and super middleweight Keith Kozlin (6-2, 4 KOs) of Warwick, R.I., will face Woonsocket’s Reynaldo Rodriguez (5-2, 2 KOs) in a six-round intrastate showdown. All fights and fighters are subject to change.

Fans can also purchase tickets online at www.cesboxing.com, www.ticketmaster.com, or at the Mohegan Sun Box Office. For more information on “Heat Wave,” visit www.cesboxing.com or www.mohegansun.com. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with the first bout scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

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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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