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Darren Barker Landed Sergio Martinez Fight On Twitter: Notes, Quotes from NYC Presser

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Presser9
photo by John James/Dibella Entertainment

NEW YORK, NY (July 20, 2011) – Today at the 230 Fifth Rooftop Lounge, under the sweltering Manhattan sun, middleweight champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez and “Dazzling” Darren Barker, along with members of their respective camps and other boxing luminaries, gathered to announce “Noche de ‘Maravilla’” – or “Marvelous Night” –  their October 1 clash emanating from historic Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

As the press conference got going at noon in New York City, simultaneously tickets were going on sale. Tickets for “Noche de ‘Maravilla’” are priced at $300, $200, $150, and $50 and 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.

Michael Woods covered the presser for ESPN new York. Here is his report: http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/news/story?id=6788372

Below are comments from participants in today’s kick-off press conference:


Sergio Martinez
, Middleweight World Champion:

“I want to thank HBO and DiBella Entertainment and Sampson Lewkowicz, my adviser. I also want to thank Darren and all of his team.”

“I hope to see everyone on October 1.”

Darren Barker, Challenger:

“It’s nice to see this New York sun keeping my belt warm.”

“I am from London, my father was a boxer; I grew up around boxing. I’ve dedicated my life to this sport. I had over 100 amateur fights, fighting in hostile environments in other countries and coming away with medals. I live for that moment.”

“There is a great series of movies, Rocky. They captured the mentality of the underdog. If the favorite always won in sport, it wouldn’t be any fun. I’m here to prove that the underdog can cause a massive upset. So, you may not know who I am now, but come October 1, you will know exactly who ‘Dazzling’ Darren Barker is.”

Lou DiBella, Promoter of “Noche de ‘Maravilla’”:

“We believe this will be Maravilla’s night, but there is a man, ‘Dazzling’ Darren Barker, who wanted this fight. He called for this fight. And you should reward those who want the big fights.”

“There are plenty of $50 tickets, so this is an affordable night of great boxing.”

“HBO has made a commitment to Sergio Martinez since he came to America. HBO has made a commitment to showcasing the best of boxing.”

“Sergio Martinez respects Darren Barker and that’s why this fight is happening. Darren took to Twitter and, bizarrely, that is how this fight happened. Eddie Hearn and I basically did the negotiations over twitter. This might be the first major fight ever made over twitter.”

“Sergio Martinez is a great champion. Not only one of the best fighters I’ve ever promoted, but one of the best guys I’ve ever promoted. He’s an extremely bright guy with a wonderful social consensus. He is, in fact, maravilla.”

Eddie Hearn, Barker’s Promoter:

“This fight was made in about 20 minutes on twitter, but that’s the relationship we have with Lou.”

“It’s been interesting talking to the press today, and they’re asking me who Darren Barker is. In England, he’s well renowned, but we quite like not being known. Darren has never even been in a fight where he has remotely been in trouble, so it’s hard to say how good Darren Barker is.”

“When we signed Darren Barker, we sat down and looked at the future, and he said to us ‘you might think I’m crazy, but if you ever get the chance to make a fight with Sergio Martinez, make it happen.’ And that’s why we take our hat off to Darren. He wants to fight the best middleweight in the world, because if you beat the best middleweight in the world, you are the best middleweight in the world. On October 1, Darren has the chance to become the best middleweight in the world.”

“Darren is a determined young man who has been through a lot of trials and tribulations, but he has remained committed to his dream. And [the press conference] is part of the dream, but it’s only half of the dream. We believe we can shock the world, and we wouldn’t be here otherwise.”

Kery Davis, Senior VP Programming for HBO Sports:

“What can you say about Sergio Martinez? 2010 FOY of the year, 2010 KOY, a great start to 2011 with a knockout of Sergiy Dziniziruk. This is Sergio’s sixth appearance on the network and he always puts on a great performance. He is quick, powerful, charismatic, and I swear Lou and Sampson are going to announce soon that they have signed him with Dos Equis to play “The Most Interesting Man in the World.”

“In looking at tapes of Darren Barker, he has a tremendous background. And he impressed us quite a bit with something he said leading up to this. He said he has been fighting for 16 years and its all leading up to this. That is the kind of fighting spirit we are looking for.”

Ken Condon, Representative of Caesars Atlantic City:

“Tickets are very reasonable for this level of fight, starting at $50 going up to $300 for ringside. This will be Sergio’s fourth fight in Atlantic City and he has developed a following here. It has become his home away from home.”

“From what I’ve heard, not too many people want to fight Sergio Martinez, but Darren Barker stepped up to the plate. I urge people to come down, enjoy the fall in Atlantic City, and enjoy your weekend on the shore.”


Jim Mercante
, Representative of the World Boxing Council:

“We are here on a hot, hot day for New York to kick off what is going to be a hot, hot fight. This is the type of fight that my father, Arthur Mercante, would have wanted to referee.”

“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.

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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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