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Dibella Signs Macklin, After “Loss” To Sturm

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DiBella Entertainment inks top middleweight contender Matthew Macklin to a multi-year promotional deal

 

NEW YORK, NY (August 3, 2011) – DiBella Entertainment has added Irish middleweight contender Matthew “Mack the Knife” Macklin to its ever-growing stable of fighters. Macklin, 29, is an intelligent boxer-puncher, who has shown that he is not afraid to engage or press the action when necessary. He is currently ranked #4 by the WBA, #7 by the WBO, and #12 by the IBO, and has nothing but big fights on his mind as he joins the same promotional roster as middleweight champion Sergio Martinez and middleweight contenders Andy Lee, Brian Vera, Ronald Hearns, Peter Manfredo, Jr., and Ishe Smith.

There are times when a loss brings more positive attention to a fighter’s career than any of his previous victories. Coming off his most recent fight, a controversial loss to “Super” WBA middleweight titlist Felix Sturm, that statement could not be truer of Macklin, 28-3 (19 KOs). But now, Macklin is looking for redemption under a new promotional banner, a deal to bring him to the United States that was facilitated by Brian Peters, his manager since 2005.

“I am really happy to be signing with DiBella Entertainment,” said Macklin. “I’ve known Lou DiBella for many years. I met him in Manchester when Paulie Malignaggi fought Lovemore Ndou in 2008. We spoke about doing something together last year, but the timing wasn’t right. I feel that we’re now on the same wavelength. I’m excited about the future and I feel that I am in very good hands with Lou.”

 Born in Birmingham, England, to Irish parents, Macklin was studying law at Coventry University while simultaneously competing as an amateur boxer. After winning the national senior Amateur Boxing Association of England welterweight title in 2001, Macklin made the decision to put his studies on hold, to the ire of his parents, in order to pursue a professional boxing career.

In Glasgow, Scotland, on the undercard of future featherweight champion Scott Harrison, Macklin stopped Ram Singh in just 112 second, on November 17, 2001. Going on to win his first nine bouts, six by knockout, Macklin built up enough of a reputation to challenge for the British junior middleweight title. Fighting Andrew Facey on November 6, 2003, Macklin lost a razor-thin 10-round decision by one point, with a score of 96-95.

Macklin bounced back from that defeat winning three straight before fighting professionally in Ireland for the first time against Michael Monaghan for the Irish middleweight title, on May 14, 2005, his 23rd birthday, at National Stadium in Dublin. Macklin won the belt with a fifth-round knockout, at 1:28 of the frame.

Three months after winning the Irish middleweight title, Macklin traveled across the pond to get his first taste of fighting in the United States, winning two bouts by knockout, stopping Leo Laudat in three in Atlantic City, and Anthony Little in two in Philadelphia.

Three fights later, Macklin would engage Jamie Moore in one of the best fights of 2006, in his second attempt to win the British junior middleweight crown. Fighting Moore at George Carnall Leisure Centre in Manchester on September 26, Macklin was quickly drawn into a brawl and the two continued to fight in the trenches for over nine brutal rounds, before the Irishman would succumb to a knockout halfway through the 10th frame.

“I fought Jamie Moore at the wrong weight,” said Macklin. “Although I shouldn’t have fought Moore’s fight, making weight was the problem in that bout. I felt weak, I had no stamina and no reflexes. I stayed at welterweight and junior middleweight for far too long. I am a middleweight.”

Maintaining a busy schedule over the next two years, Macklin would win his next six fights, three by knockout, including a 10-round decision over veteran Yori Boy Campas. Macklin then returned to his hometown of Birmingham to challenge Wayne Elcock for the British middleweight title on March 14, 2009, winning by TKO in the third. Macklin followed that up with a fight against Finnish Amin Asikainen six months later and destroyed him inside one round to add the European title to his collection.

After defending the European title in two of his next three victories, Macklin was poised to make a big slash on the world-boxing scene with a bout against former junior middleweight champion Winky Wright set for Las Vegas. However, that bout did not come to fruition when Wright pulled out after suffering an injury in training. A WBA eliminator against Khoren Gevor next presented itself with the winner to face Felix Sturm. Contractual issues led to Macklin pulling out of that contest, but he was rewarded with a direct shot at Sturm and, despite losing a highly controversial split decision on the champion’s home turf, made a statement with his dynamic performance.

“I went over to Germany and I proved myself. I felt that I won,” said Macklin, who lost the split decision by two votes of 116-112 for Sturm and a 115-113 tally in his favor. “I feel that if we fought 100 times, I would beat him every time. If it were up to me, I’d fight him next, although I don’t think he has any intention of pursuing a rematch with me. If he wants to fight me again, it’s an easy fight to make, as he is his own promoter. I think he knows that he cannot beat me. He’s not going to come to Ireland or England. Fighting Sturm in New York would be great, but I would go back to Germany if I had to. I’d expect a fairer crack at the fight. I think the German officials would be under a lot more pressure to make sure things were on the level, given the controversy of our first fight.

“I think the Sturm fight was an eye-opener for the boxing public at large. Sturm is a leading man in the middleweight division and I think I proved that I am among the top three middleweights of the world.”

DiBella Entertainment President Lou DiBella is excited about his new recruit.

“I viewed signing Macklin as a no-brainer,” said DiBella. “I have Sergio Martinez, the real middleweight champ, the best in the world. But clearly Matthew handled Sturm with ease and he has a claim at being the second-best middleweight in the world. He’s going to want a shot at Sergio and eventually that will make sense.

“I’m very, very happy with the deal,” he continued. “I happen to like the kid very much and that is part of it. There are certain guys who have very pleasing styles for TV. This guy rumbles but he also has skills. He’s fun to watch and made a case that he stands near the top of the middleweight division with the way he fought Sturm.”

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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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