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Eric Molina (17-1) Meets Warren Browning (14-1-1) on Mares-Agbeko Undercard

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LAS VEGAS (Aug. 4, 2011) – Boxing promoters Don King Productions and Golden Boy Promotions will include a World Boxing Council United States heavyweight national championship, a World Boxing Association FEDECARIBE regional junior lightweight championship and a handful of boxing’s top undefeated rising stars on the non-televised undercard of the SHOWTIME® Bantamweight Tournament Final: Winner Takes All that pits International Boxing Federation bantamweight champion Joseph King Kong Agbeko against undefeated WBC silver bantamweight champion Abner Mares on Saturday, Aug. 13 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

In a 12-round round bout, WBC No. 12-ranked heavyweight contender Eric “Drummer Boy” Molina (17-1, 13 KO’s), from Lyford, Texas, will take on Warren “The Hit Man” Browning (14-1-1, 9 KO’s), from London, Ky., for the WBC U.S. heavyweight national championship.  The WBA FEDECARIBE super lightweight title will be on the line when undefeated Cuban-born Angelo “La Cobra” Santana (10-0, 7 KO’s), from Miami, Fl. squares off against Jesse Carradine (7-1-1, 3 KO’s), from Cincinnati, Ohio in a nine round fight.

Former interim World Boxing Organization Bantamweight Champion and former World Boxing Association Flyweight Champion Eric Morel (44-2, 22 KO’s), born in Puerto Rico but now fighting out of Madison, Wis., will be featured in a bantamweight attraction scheduled for 10 rounds against Daniel Quevedo (13-11-2, 8 KO’s) from Los Angeles, Calif.

Undefeated lightweight rising star Luis Ramos Jr. (19-0, 8 KO’s), from Santa Ana, Calif., will risk his perfect record against “Dangerous” David Rodela (15-4-4, 6 KO’s), from the boxing hotbed of Oxnard, Calif., in an battle slated for 10 rounds.

Also in action will be rising star Carlos Molina (14-0, 7 KO’s) of Norwalk, Calif., who will put his unbeaten record on the line in an eight round junior welterweight bout against an opponent to be named.

Eric Molina is an intriguing heavyweight prospect.  His dream is to become the first Mexican American heavyweight world champion, and he’s off to a good start.  He’s a hard worker inside the gym and in life as evidenced by the fact he earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from University of Texas at Brownsville and has volunteered to work with special needs children in his native Texas.

He’s a tall, rangy boxer at 6 foot 6 inches, but his Mexican toughness comes out in the ring as he is a busy heavyweight.  Possessing an 84-inch full reach, he can cause problems for any opponent.

Molina will be tested by Warren Browning, a former Toughman champion, who fought undefeated cruiserweight Ryan Coyne last summer and was within striking distance of pulling an upset going into the ninth round before being caught with a punch on the ear that ended the fight.

Eric Morel is on a nine-fight winning streak that dates back to 2005.  The 35-year-old, who turned professional in 1996, won the WBA flyweight world title in 2002 and made five successful defenses.  He is coming off of a fourth-round technical knockout over former world title challenger Luis Maldonado on April 1.  Morel will face the younger Quevedo, a 27-year-old on a three-fight win streak that includes two early knockouts in 2011.

Undefeated lightweight Angelo Santana has one of the most interesting back stories in boxing.  Like so many Cubans before him, Santana jumped onto a makeshift raft with 27 others in the summer of 2007 and washed up in Miami three days later.  Just 10 days later, a boxing manager brought him to the attention of Don King, who signed him immediately.  Four months later, Santana’s first appearance as a professional came when he appeared at Madison Square Garden on the undercard of Felix Trinidad vs. Roy Jones Jr. He won that night and has won every night since.

Santana looks to maintain his perfect record against Jesse Carradine (7-1-1, 3 KOs) of Cincinnati.  Carradine had a successful amateur career and is tall for his weight at 5 feet 10 inches.  A skilled boxer, he excels when he can keep shorter opponents at a distance where he can ply his craft.  Carradine also benefits from the wisdom and sage advice of trainer Donald Turner, who guided Evander Holyfield and other greats of the sport.

Rising lightweight star Luis Ramos Jr., is coming off the biggest win of his career against former world title challenger Francisco Lorenzo on June 3.  The 23-year-old undefeated southpaw, a former amateur star who has also defeated respected veteran Walter Estrada, will face another tough test against David Rodela in the first 10-round fight of his career.  The 29-year old Rodela has paid his dues with wins over Kevin Kelley, Julio Gamboa and Gamalier Rodriguez on his way to this all-Southern California showdown.

Also hailing from Southern California is Norwalk junior welterweight prospect Carlos Molina.  A professional since 2007, the 25-year-old Molina has made steady progress through the competitive local circuit, drawing rave reviews along the way.  In his most recent bout, Molina scored a near shutout win over John Figueroa last November and after a minor injury that sidelined for the first half of 2011, he is eager to get back in the ring and continue on his road to the top.

The Bantamweight Tournament Final: Winner Takes All is promoted by Don King Productions and Golden Boy Promotions and is sponsored by Corona.

Tickets, priced at $200, $100, $75, $50 and $25, along with a limited number of VIP suite seats priced at $150, are on sale now and may be purchased at the Hard Rock Hotel Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.Ticketmaster.com or by phone at (800) 745-3000.

The highly anticipated 12-round world title match and Bantamweight Tournament Final between Joseph Agbeko (28-2, 22 KOs), from Accra, Ghana, and Abner Mares (21-0-1, 13 KOs) of Hawaiian Gardens, Calif., by way of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, was originally scheduled for April 23, but was postponed when Agbeko was injured moments after arrival at Los Angeles International Airport during fight week.  Doctors at a nearby hospital diagnosed the champion with sudden onset sciatica, a back injury.

Agbeko, who had never previously missed a fight, was told by a Los Angeles physician to receive treatment and wait six weeks before resuming training after the April 23 postponement.  He has resumed training and will be fully fit to face Mares on Aug. 13.

Agbeko will be making his first start since recapturing the IBF crown with an impressive 12-round unanimous decision win over then-unbeaten Yonnhy Perez in the bantamweight tournament semifinal on Dec. 11, 2010, in Tacoma, Wash.  Agbeko convincingly won a thrilling give-and-take battle by the scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113.  Their exciting fight came in a rematch of a 2009 Halloween night slugfest that Perez won on points.

It will also be the first fight back for Mares since the semifinals in Tacoma, where he rallied dramatically to earn the most significant victory of his career, a 12-round split decision win over former two-division world champion Vic Darchinyan in a bloody, knockdown-laden affair.  Mares recovered from a deep cut along his hairline in the opening round, the first knockdown of his career in the second round and a point-deduction in the fourth round to floor Darchinyan in the seventh round en route to a victory by scores of 115-111, 113-112 and 111-115.

For more information, visit www.donking.com or www.goldenboypromotions.com, become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GoldenBoyBoxing or follow the event on twitter at www.twitter.com/GoldenBoyBoxing or www.twitter.com/abnermares00.

For information on SHOWTIME Sports Programming, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries, complete telecast information and more, please go the new SHOWTIME Sports website at http://sports.sho.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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