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Dan Goossen Q ‘n’ A–Promoter Talks Ward-Froch, Arreola-Wladimir

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The battle lines for the long awaited final fight in the Super Six Tournament are set. October 29th is the date, Andre Ward vs. Carl Froch, at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Ward’s promoter Dan Goossen spoke with TSS about choosing the venue and why he thinks a victory will catapult Andre Ward into superstardom. The leader of GoossenTutor Promotions also broke down the hype surrounding the possible heavyweight clash between Wladimir Klitschko and Chris Arreola

Ray Markarian: Why Atlantic City for Ward vs. Froch?

D. Goossen: Las Vegas was not available that particular weekend. We looked at Los Angeles, New York, and Las Vegas. We wanted to get the fight in before the end of the year. Atlantic City has always been a major fight town. A few years after Tyson and Gatti it slowed down. But many of our current great champions have fought there, Floyd Mayweather and Bernard Hopkins included. Atlantic City has always been host to many major, major events. It is a great market, great fans, and it allows Andre to introduce himself to the East Coast fans. And as you know, once you sit up close and personal with Andre, you just want to follow his career. He likes to fight. He likes to entertain. And he is quite charismatic outside of the ring.

RM: What can you tell me about the importance of this fight?

DG: Well, you have a great event. This fight has all the ingredients of what you want. It is England against America; this is a fight between a talker and a man that likes to do his talking in the ring. It has all the elements of what the sport epitomizes, two real fighters getting ready for battle.

RM: Did Carl Froch really not want to fight in California?

DG: California was at the bottom of the sites we were looking at. We wanted it to be in a big venue.

RM: Now that the Super Six Tournament is finally coming to an end, what are your thoughts about tournament?  Do you feel like it has been successful?

DG: It has been a long hard road. But overall the Super Six Tournament has shown value, one big fight after another for all the participants. And that is what our sport needs. And that is what our fans want. I love the tournament concept. To finally be here at the Super Six Final is an exclamation point of what was good about the original concept about the Super Six. We have two of the best 168 pounders in the world fighting each other with both of them coming off four incredibly tough fights to get there.

RM: So, you guys are not looking further ahead? There has been no talk about Andre fighting Lucian Bute or moving up in weight in the near future?

DG: The talk the last two years has been purely about the Super Six final.

RM: What do you think a victory against Carl Froch will do for Andre Ward’s career?

DG: We have been on a path of demonstrating his greatness and I think this is just another step towards that. He has a formidable challenge in the WBC champion in Froch. But I believe in what Andre has done throughout his amateur and professional career. He will be the last man standing and that will catapult him to the next level.

RM: Now, changing gears just a little… In recent weeks, Wladimir Klitschko has called out your fighter Chris Arreola. How do you feel about that?

DG: Obviously Wladimir knows that Chris has positioned himself to be one of the top heavyweight contenders today. It really is not something that I find surprising because it is a big fight out here in the United States. And as we know, Wladimir does not have too many of those on his menu. So as I said before Ray, it is a fight that we are very interested in but you know, it has got to make sense. We are looking at Chris Arreola’s career, not Wladimir Klitschko’s.  And we believe that Chris is going to be heavyweight champion with or without Wladimir Klitschko or Vitali Klitschko for that matter. We are certainly open for any challenge with any heavyweight including the Klitschkos. Chris will fight them all. We are concentrating on Chris Arreola. He is doing what he is supposed to be doing, and because of that attention to himself, and preparation, we are doing the same thing in his promotional endeavors.

RM: So it is all about Chris right now. It is about making him the best fighter that he could be. It is not about just throwing him in there with someone just because that particular person wants to fight him.

DG: Correct. We have no problem fighting any of the heavyweights. But we are not going to do it without having some sensibility to it. We are not going to put Chris in a situation where it is not in his best interest.

RM: So what would be sensible for Chris to fight a Klitschko?

DG: Well we are going to keep him busy. And what would be sensible is anything that makes business sense.

You can follow Ray on Twitter @RayMarkarian

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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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