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Cintron Wins UD10 on FNF, But One Wonders..Are His Best Days In The Past?…WOODS

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FNFIf Kermit Cintron is the ‘A’ grade fighter he presumably thinks he is, one would think he’d have his way with Antwone Smith, a solid ‘B’ fighter who has never stepped up into the ‘A’ arena. But each round of their ten round scrap in the main event of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights, which unfolded at the Ameristar Casino in Saint Charles, Missouri, was tight. Cintron and Smith looked to be of the same caliber, with neither man able to step on the gas, and pull away from his opponent. It was left to the judges to determine the winner after a busy but not particularly dramatic scrap.

They scored it 98-92, 97-93, 96-94, for Cintron.

It will be left to Cintron, and his team, to determine how much he has left, if he truly is an ‘A’ guy, or something has been lost, perhaps not to return.

I don’t want to appear to come down too hard on Cintron, as Smith is by no means a pushover. But Kermit has been in with some of the best and brightest, and we have to go back to 2009 to find a time when he was clearly in that class, for a whole fight.

Cintron went 275-1143, so it can’t be said he didn’t work hard, while Smith went 270-711.

Bernard Hopkins scored it 96-94, for Cintron. I like the 98-92 card myself.

The 31-year-old Cintron, the Puerto Rican-Pennsylvanian,  entered at 32-4-1and weighed 149 pounds,  while the 24-year-old Smith entered at 20-2-1 and was 148 1/2 at the weigh-in. Cintron fought just last month, dropping a decision to Carlos Molina. He said that on the plane ride home, he determined he wanted to get back on the horse.

In the first round, Kerm dictated distance with his jab. He was busy, busy, busy, not like his showing against Molina. Smith barks when he throws, and analyst Bernard Hopkins noted that it would be smart to time the bark.

In the second, Smith had better luck closer in. Kerm dropped in a couple left hooks to the body, and used the right to the body as well.

In the third, the ex welter champ Cintron didn’t look put off at all by the Floridian Smith’s power. He worked mostly on the outside, and some inside, never looking worried that Smith could buzz him.

In the fourth, Kerm early on did well maintaining distance. He has a long jab, which he’d throw two, three times. Then he’d allow Smith to get inside, where the underdog scored well with a left to the body. One didn’t get the sense, through five, that either man who be able to hurt the other.

In the sixth, Cintron, who has a 5-11 to 5-7 edge in height, again was OK with working inside. Smith’s power, or lack thereof, didn’t force him to employ what maybe was his most effective strategy, which was staying outside, working behind the jab. Punches from both men were landing a bit cleaner, so it felt like it would come down in a large part to stamina.

In the seventh, we saw another close round. Neither man took over for anything longer than a two second stretch.

In the eighth, Kerm got himself some space, and did some of his very best work. He smothered his leverage in close, but yet didn’t pick up on that, and change his ways. In round nine, both men stayed active, neither lagged in energy. Trainer Ronnie Shields told Cintron he wanted a busy round. In the tenth, the same pace was set. Smith, actually, added a couple extra combos. Cintron was cut over his right eye late in the round, which Smith probably took. We’d go to the cards.

SPEEDBAG St. Louis native Devon Alexander watched from ringside. He’s free from Don King, entertaining offers from promoters and pondering a move to 147.

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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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