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PREDICTION PAGE: Who Do Ya Like, Canelo or Alfonso Gomez?

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LOS ANGELES, July 26 – “STAR POWER: Mayweather vs. Ortiz” just got propelled into another galaxy, as it was announced today that rising Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez will defend his WBC super welterweight championship against Alfonso Gomez on the televised undercard of the September 17 pay-per-view extravaganza featuring the WBC welterweight world championship mega-fight between Floyd Mayweather and Victor Ortiz.

Making this announcement more significant and unique is the fact that Alvarez and Gomez will face each other at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, while Mayweather and Ortiz will battle at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, creating a mega-event from two world-class cities.

Fans in attendance at each arena will be able to see the fight live from the other arena, making this a first-time split-site boxing experience taking place on Mexican Independence Day boxing weekend.

Both bouts will be will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

Following the showing of Mayweather vs. Ortiz at STAPLES Center, fans in attendance will see two special post-fight concerts performed by Los Tucanes de Tijuana and El Gran Silencio.

“'STAR POWER' is living up to its name as a mega-event with the addition of Canelo Alvarez vs. Alfonso Gomez,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO Mayweather Promotions. “To have this event emanate from two separate locations like STAPLES Center and MGM Grand Garden Arena is a testament to the size and magnitude of the event and what it will deliver to the fans in the arenas and those watching at home on pay-per-view. Floyd is absolutely thrilled that Alvarez vs. Gomez will be a part of this show from Los Angeles.”

“This is a historic and unprecedented night for boxing and Golden Boy Promotions as we showcase the extraordinary talents of Mayweather, Ortiz, Alvarez and Gomez from two iconic and world-renowned venues in STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, the capitol of sports and entertainment and MGM Grand in Las Vegas, truly the boxing mega-center of the world,” said Richard Schaefer, CEO Golden Boy Promotions. “This show is now even more loaded with stars, and to have Alvarez vs. Gomez join the magnificent boxing match-up of the year between Floyd Mayweather and Victor Ortiz is exactly why we named the fight 'STAR POWER,' which is expected to set attendance and viewership records in one night.”

“September 17 at STAPLES Center will be a night to remember for boxing fans in Los Angeles as it will mark the first time the arena will host a boxing match, a pay-per-view viewing and a post-fight concert all on the same day,” Lee Zeidman, STAPLES Center General Manager. “We are looking forward to what will no doubt be an incredible action-packed night of boxing and live entertainment.”

“The MGM Resorts family is very excited to welcome the return of Floyd Mayweather to the MGM Grand on September 17,” said Richard Sturm, president of Sports & Entertainment for MGM Resorts International. “This championship event marks Mayweather's first fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in more than 15 months and continues our tradition as the leader in the sports and entertainment industry.”

“With the anticipation and star power of Mayweather-Ortiz from MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the addition of Alvarez vs. Gomez live from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and the celebration of Mexican Independence Day, viewers are in for a fantastic night of boxing on September 17,” said Mark Taffet of HBO Pay-Per-View.

Tickets for Alvarez vs. Gomez are priced at $300, $150, $75 and $50, are on sale now and available for purchase online at ticketmaster.com, via Ticketmaster charge-by-phone lines at (800)745-3000. Tickets are also available at STAPLES Center box office.

Tickets for Mayweather vs. Ortiz are priced at $1,250, $1,000, $600, $300 and $150, not including applicable service charges, with a total ticket limit of twelve (12) per person. Ticket sales are limited to ten (10) per person at the $1,250, $1,000, $600 and $300 price levels with a ticket limit of two (2) per person at the $150 price level.To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

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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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