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Brandon Rios Beats Down Urbano Antillon…AVILA

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Rios_Antillon_110709_002a“He's the one guy to match Manny for speed and ferocity,” Arum said of Rios.

CARSON-A Southern California turf war between WBA lightweight world titleholder Brandon Rios and challenger Urbano Antillon ended violently with the champion retaining his belt by knockout on Saturday.

Oxnard’s Rios (28-0, 20 KOs) promised a bludgeoning and delivered against heated rival Antillon (28-3, 20 KOs) of Maywood before a crowd of more than 5,500 fans at the Home Depot Center. The Top Rank-promoted title fight was short but not shy on excitement.

Both Rios and Antillon exchanged savage blows in round one with each giving and taking their share. Antillon landed big body shots and Rios a blistering uppercut and left hook.

Antillon slowed up a bit in the second round and saved his best punches for the last 40 seconds. A three-punch combination found its way through Rios' guard to score big for the Maywood boxer.

The champion came out strong in round three and blasted some hooks, then caught Antillon in mid-punch with a straight right cross that sent the challenger to the ropes and down for the count. He got up but was met with some more heavy blows including another right cross that dropped the challenger again. Antillon tried to hold on but was shoved aside and then stumbled along the ropes forcing referee David Mendoza to stop the firefight at 2:49 of the third.

“He’s very strong. He caught me good,” said Antillon. “The first knockdown took a lot out of me.”

Rios ran around the ring raising his hands in triumph after the referee called the fight.

“I said before the fight it would come down to the guy who could take the punch best. I was that guy. I’m tougher and I’m younger. I got power in both hands,” said Rios, who was making his first world title defense. “In training we watched tape and we saw his mistakes in the last few fights.”

Rios said their prior altercations proved a motivating force for this fight.

“Yes, I took my anger toward him to the ring. I thought he would take it to the last rounds but he didn’t,” Rios said. “I’ll take them all, Marco Antonio Barrera or anybody. I’ll take them all.”

Bob Arum said he could envision Rios fighting Manny Pacquiao in a year or two.

Other bouts

In the semi-main event Carlos Molina (19-4-2, 7 KOs) showed up but former world champion Kermit Cintron (32-4-1, 28 KOs) forgot his mojo in losing a one-sided decision after 10 rounds of a junior middleweight fight.

Molina had his way for most of the rounds as he roughed up and mugged the taller Cintron almost at will. Everything the former champion tried was countered or blocked by the Chicago area fighter.

“I wasn’t hurt at any time,” said Molina, who drove himself by car from Chicago to Los Angeles. “I’ll take anybody next.”

Cintron had no snap to his punches and seemed lethargic for most of the 10 rounds. His usual sharp jab and uppercuts were nowhere to be found.

“There was no excuses in what happened out here. I just couldn’t get off,” Cintron said.

All three judges scored it 98-92 for Molina.

Fresh from signing a promotion contract with Top Rank, San Diego’s Mercito Gesta (22-0-1, 11 KOs) knocked down Mexico’s Jorge Pimentel (22-12, 17 KOs) once in each of the three rounds the fight lasted in their lightweight bout. A short left cross to the head dropped Pimentel in round one, a pretty left uppercut floored Pimentel in round two, and then an explosive burst of three punches finished the job at 2:23 of round three. The Filipino southpaw Gesta was relaxed and calm as he stalked Pimentel.

Russia’s Matt Korobov (16-0, 9 KOs) outboxed Cuban boxer Lester Gonzalez (12-4-2) over eight rounds of a middleweight match. Gonzalez had his moments and landed some good shots but Korobov was busier and convinced all three judges 78-74.

Indio’s Gabino Saenz (4-0, 4 KOs) started slowly against Dallas boxer Quinice Wesby (1-2) but perked up in round two with some heavy left hooks that floored the Texan a total of three times. A blistering hook to the body ended the fight at 1:41 of round three. Saenz remains undefeated and looking for tougher company.

Santa Ana lightweight Jose Roman (11-0, 9 KOs) didn’t waste time in dispatching New Mexico’s Randy Arrelin (8-6, 4 KOs). A perfect left hook floored Arrelin who beat the count, and then a right hand put him on the mat a second time. Arrelin got up but was met with some brutal blows that convinced the referee to stop the fight at 2:07 of round one.

Notre Dame football star Mike Lee (6-0, 4 KOs) knocked down Montana’s Michael Birthmark (2-6) with a long right cross in round one, but then found a more stubborn partner until round three. Lee opened up with some body shots that proved too much for Birthmark who went down twice from the blows. The end came at 2:43 of round three as referee Jerry Cantu decided the Montana boxer had taken enough punishment.

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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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