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Sergio Martinez-Darren Barker Is Oct. 1st, in Atlantic City

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image002World middleweight champion Sergio Martinez returns to the ring October 1 versus undefeated European champion Darren Barker from historic Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, airing live on HBO’s World Championship Boxing

Tickets, priced at $300, $200, $100, $50, on sale July 20 at noon


NEW YORK, NY (July 19, 2011) –
The reigning WBC Diamond middleweight champion, reigning 2010 Fighter of the Year, and top three pound-for-pound elite fighter, Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez will return to the ring October 1 from historic Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Martinez (47-2-2, 26 KOs) will collide with the unbeaten “Dazzling” Darren Barker (23-0, 14 KOs), the über popular product of London, England, and current European middleweight champion.

The co-feature will be a rematch of one of the most exciting fights of 2008, as NABF and NABA middleweight champion Andy Lee (26-1, 19 KOs) attempts to avenge his only loss against the newest member of the DiBella Entertainment stable, Brian Vera (19-5, 12 KOs).

The show will be titled “Noche de ‘Maravilla’”, which translates to “Marvelous Night” in English, a tribute to Martinez’s nickname and the exciting style of fighting all four featured fighters employ in the ring.

“Noche de ‘Maravilla’: Martinez vs. Barker” is being presented by DiBella Entertainment in association with Matchroom Sport, and Caesars Atlantic City, and is sponsored by Corona. The show will be aired live on HBO’s World Championship Boxing®, beginning at 10:00 PM ET/7:00 PM PT.

Tickets for “Noche de ‘Maravilla’” are priced at $300, $200, $150, and $50, and will go on sale Wednesday, July 20 at noon. Tickets can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, at any Ticketmaster retail outlet, or in person at the Boardwalk Hall box office.

“Sergio Martinez has never backed down from a challenge, challenges only back down from him,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “This show is about fighters proving themselves when it matters the most. Sergio Martinez is a superstar with more momentum than anyone in boxing, but he must knock off the European champion, Barker, to keep it going. Barker isn’t scared of a challenge; in fact, he begged for one. So, now he gets to prove himself against the best of the best in his division. Andy Lee and Brian Vera are both on the cusp of a fight against the winner of the main event, so Lee must prove that his first fight with Vera was a fluke and Vera must prove that he can do it again. All these storylines will lead to high drama and excitement on October 1.”

“Atlantic City and boxing are synonymous; this city has been built around names like Tyson, Gatti, and Mayweather,” said Don Marrandino, Eastern Division President for Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City.  “The October 1 bout between Sergio Martinez and Darren Barker will surely add to Atlantic City’s rich and proud boxing heritage.”

“Sergio Martinez is one of boxing’s brightest stars and it is great to have him back live on the network,” said Kery Davis, senior vice president of programming for HBO Sports.  “Darren Barker is another UK fighter looking to make an imprint on the American boxing landscape and he will have his chance in the spotlight on October 1.”

Martinez, 36, a native of Quilmes, Argentina, and now living in Oxnard, California, is coming off a 2010 that can rival any year any fighter has had in a long time, with both of his spectacular wins taking place at Boardwalk Hall. In April, Martinez dominated the heavily favored Kelly Pavlik over 12 rounds to win the unified middleweight championship. He followed up that performance in November by putting a exclamation point on his rivalry with Paul Williams by knocking Williams out cold in the second round of their rematch of the 2009 Fight of the Year. Despite being lauded by publications far and wide as the 2010 Fighter of the Year, Martinez didn’t rest on his laurels, beginning 2011 with a bang when he took on the universally recognized 154 lb. champion, and then undefeated, Sergiy Dzinziruk. Martinez dropped Dzinziruk, who had never before tasted the canvas as a professional, five times en route to an eighth round stoppage win.

“It is an honor to be returning to HBO for the second time this year,” said Martinez. “Just like my nickname and the title of the show say, I will put on a marvelous performance for fight fans worldwide. I know Darren Barker is a tough challenger and will bring a loud contingent of fans, but so did Kelly Pavlik when I fought at Boardwalk Hall last April. Being universally recognized as the pound-for-pound king is my ultimate goal and I won’t stop until I’ve achieved that.”

Barker, 29, a native of London, England, recently completed the trifecta that all fighters from the UK strive for. In 2007, Barker won the Commonwealth title at middleweight by scoring a unanimous decision over then undefeated Ben Crampton at the world renowned York Hall in London, where Barker has fought more than anywhere else. In 2009, he added the British middleweight title to his collection with a seventh round stoppage of Danny Butler. Finally, on April 30 of this year, in his most recent outing, Barker dominated Italian contender and former world title challenger Domenico Spada over 12 rounds to capture the European championship. Now, Barker has his sights set on the ultimate prize, the world middleweight championship.

“I’ve heard all the hype about Sergio Martinez, but I am not going to let that get in the way of my dream of becoming middleweight champion,” said Barker. “I respect Sergio Martinez as a fighter, but he has what I’ve always wanted and on October 1 I’m coming to take it.”

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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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