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Is WBA Lightweight Champ Brandon Rios Truly Stronger Than Urbano Antillon?



Rios_Antillon_PC_110606_001aBrandon “Bam Bam” Rios is the cock of the walk in the lightweight division that’s filled with bad boys waiting anxiously to knock him off his perch.

One of them happens to be Maywood’s Urbano Antillon.

Rios (27-0-1, 20 KOs) defends the WBA lightweight world title against would-be usurper Antillon (28-2, 20 KOs) on Saturday, July 9 at the Home Depot Center. The Top Rank promotion has other great fights but this one has “grudge match” written all over it.

Three years ago Antillon was deemed unbeatable but was held back by his promoter while others got their opportunity. The Maywood pressure fighter waited his turn patiently as several Mexican fighters tied to Fernando Beltran got their shots first.

In that period of time it seemed that Antillon was the strongest. But all athletes have a peak period and it doesn’t last forever. When he finally did get his chance he was beaten by Miguel Acosta of Venezuela.

Rios hit a similar period a little more than a year ago. The pressure fighter entered a reign of terror that saw him bust through opponents with a do or die attitude that did not fail against opponents like Jorge Teron, Anthony Peterson and Omri Lowther. Finally he got a shot at Acosta and though dropped early in the fight, he battled back and ran over the Venezuelan with his steamroller style of fighting.

But every fighter hits that period when they slow down because of the beatings taken during fights and more so during the sparring. Reflexes are a little less responsive and the mind starts registering at a dull pace. Even pain is felt more.

Rios and Antillon both have engaged in brutal battles that would make an executioner wince. But which fighter has more fight left in him?

“I think I showed the world that I have a lot of heart and that I love boxing a lot and that I love the business,” Rios says of his title win that happened this past February.

Antillon says that despite his loss to Acosta, who in turn lost to Rios, you can’t use that fighter as a barometer.

“Our styles are completely different,” Antillon said. “Just because he beat Acosta doesn’t mean he’s going to beat me. It doesn’t work that way.”

Rios makes Oxnard his training base and Antillon works at Big Bear. Both have excellent boxing trainers with former champion Robert Garcia helping the champion and Abel Sanchez working with the challenger. Either fighter can win.

“I’m very excited to be fighting against someone who’s going to give me a war,” Rios said. “That’s that stuff that drives me. That’s the stuff I live for. That’s why I love boxing. It’s something I can’t wait for.”

Antillon can’t wait to get his third shot at a world title and invites Rios to battle to find out the stronger man.

“If he (Rios) wants to stand there in front of me he’s going to get hit,” promises Antillon.
It’s pressure fighter versus pressure fighter and it’s a pressure cooker ready to explode.

A Top Rank press conference last month saw both toss acidic words at each other and soon their supporters joined in the verbal attacks. The time for words is over now.

“There’s just going to be me and him,” said Antillon toward Rios supporters that day on June 7 in downtown L.A. “You’re not going to be in there.”

Rios gleefully rubs his hands in anticipation.

“This is what I love to do,” Rios said.

Tickets prices begin at $25.

Fights on television

Fri. ESPN2, 6 p.m., Jesus Gonzalez (26-1) vs. Henry Buchanan (20-2).

Fri. Telefutura, 11:30 p.m. Jessie Vargas (15-0) vs. Walter Estrada (39-14-1).

Sat. Showtime, 10 p.m. Brandon Rios (27-0-1) vs. Urbano Antillon (28-2).

Sat. HBO, 10:15 p.m. Paul Williams (39-2) vs. Erislandy Lara (15-0-1).

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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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