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Mayweather-Ortiz Features FIVE Fighting Families

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LOS ANGELES (August 11)…The sport of boxing has a rich history of families achieving pugilistic success as a group, be it fathers and sons, brothers (and occasionally sisters), uncles and nephews, or all of the above.  Bloodlines run deep and this theme plays out in “STAR POWER: Mayweather vs. Ortiz”, the September 17 mega-event which will be presented live by HBO Pay-Per-View®.  The boxing extravaganza is loaded with these “fighting families,” as five of the eight headlining boxers have made fighting a family affair in one way or another.

 

The most prominent among them is the Mayweather ménage, with Floyd “Money” Mayweather front and center.  Floyd's uncle, Roger, is his trainer, but Roger was also an excellent boxer in his day, winning titles at 130 and 140 pounds in the '80s, facing the legendary likes of Julio Cesar Chavez, Pernell Whitaker and Kostya Tszyu.  Floyd's father, Floyd Sr., was also in “Little Floyd's” corner for several years and was a solid welterweight contender in the '70s and '80s, notably facing Sugar Ray Leonard in 1978.  Then there's Floyd's uncle Jeff, who was less accomplished than his two brothers but did face an up-and-coming Oscar de la Hoya in 1993 and has gone on to become a respected trainer himself.

 

The co-feature brings Erik Morales into focus.  Like Floyd Mayweather Jr., Morales is a sure-shot for the Hall of Fame when he retires. Also like Mayweather, he comes from a family that has produced four professional fighters.  “El Terrible's” father, Jose, had a brief career as a flyweight in the '70s and Erik has two brothers who entered the squared circle as professionals: Diego, who briefly held a super flyweight belt, and little brother Ivan, a currently undefeated bantamweight prospect.

 

Morales' opponent, Lucas Matthysse, also comes from a fighting family.  The Argentine knockout artist's older brother, Walter, was a feared welterweight contender who was only taken the distance by one opponent in his 32 pro fights and fought twice on HBO, against Paul Williams in 2006 and Kermit Cintron in 2007.

 

The featured fight on the STAPLES Center segment of the event also involves two men with familial pride at stake, in Canelo Alvarez and Alfonso Gomez.  Canelo has six brothers, but only three currently are competing as professionals, though none are threatening Canelo's alpha-dog status in the family as Rigoberto, Ricardo and Ramon Alvarez are all older than Canelo and, unlike their younger brother, have tasted defeat.  On June 28, 2008, when Canelo defeated Miguel Vazquez, all seven Alvarez brothers fought on the same fight card, calling the historic night “The Alvarez Seven.”   If that wasn't enough to convince you Canelo stands apart from his brothers, then the fact that the other Alvarezes all have dark hair should tell you there's something special indeed about the carrot-topped, freckled face junior middleweight world champion who will get tested on the upcoming show by the veteran Gomez.  Gomez, meanwhile, has no boxing brothers, but when he returns to the corner between rounds, the voice he hears is that of his father, Alfonso Gomez Sr.

 

Of course, it's the Mayweathers who take center stage anytime boxing families are discussed, both because they've accomplished so much as a group and because their personalities are impossible to ignore.  Family legend has it that Floyd Jr. learned to box at the same age he learned to walk.  The gym was his second home as far back as he can remember and even in his first home, he was notorious for punching any inanimate object in sight, whether it was meant to be treated like a speedbag or not.

 

Floyd's professional success has thrust the Mayweathers into the forefront of any discussion about the greatest families in boxing history.  With all due respect to the Hiltons, the Chavezes, the Peñalosas, the Byrds, and any others among the 27 families that have produced multiple world titleholders, the top of the list has to boil down to the Mayweather clan and the Spinks family.  Brothers Michael and Leon Spinks were both heavyweight champion of the world and Leon's son Cory was world welterweight champ.  Plus Cory's brother, Darrell, was a decent club-fighter in St. Louis in the '90s.

 

So which is the greatest multi-generational fighting family of all-time?  The Mayweather crew or the Spinks clan?  It's hard to say until both legacies are complete, and the Mayweathers certainly have a chance to add to theirs when Floyd takes on Victor Ortiz on September 17.

 

In fact, five fighting families have a chance to add to their reputations on that night and it's no accident that the combatants on this card each stand out as the finest fighters their respective families have produced.

 

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The “STAR POWER” pay-per-view telecast, which begins at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT, will be produced and distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View and will be available to more than 92 million pay-per-view homes.  The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD.  HBO Pay-Per-View®, a division of Home Box Office, Inc., is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry.  For Mayweather vs. Ortiz fight week updates, log on to www.hbo.com.

HBO®'s Emmy® Award-winning all-access series “24/7” premieres an all-new edition when “24/7 Mayweather/Ortiz” debuts Saturday, Aug. 27 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.  The four-part series will air for three consecutive Saturday nights before the finale airs the night before the welterweight championship showdown in Las Vegas.

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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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