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Vincent Arroyo Meets Hector Sanchez On Sept. 9 ShoBox

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Seeking a World Title Shot, Unbeaten Cruiserweight Lateef Kayode

Faces Felix Cora, Jr., in Co-Feature at Grand Casino Hinckley, Hinckley, Minn.;

First Of Five ShoBox Events in Eight Weeks Begins at 11 p.m. ET/PT

NEW YORK (Aug. 31, 2011) – When last seen on ShoBox: The New Generation, Vincent “Vinsanity” Arroyo scored an exciting upset majority decision over then-unbeaten welterweight prospect Willie Nelson.

On Friday, Sept. 9 at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) live on SHOWTIME®, Arroyo (11-1, 7 KOs), of South Bronx, N.Y., returns as the headliner in a high stakes, crossroads match against Puerto Rican amateur standout Hector “El Flaco” Sanchez (19-1, 9 KOs), of Rio Piedras, P.R. The 143-pound max, 10-round clash will move one fighter a step closer to contender status while the other will take an equally impactful step back.

In the telecast’s co-feature, popular ShoBox alumnus and hard-hitting Nigerian cruiserweight Lateef Kayode (17-0, 14 KOs), of Hollywood, Calif., will risk his unblemished record and trajectory toward a world title shot against southpaw Felix “Bad News” Cora, Jr. (22-5-2, 12 KOs), of Galveston, Tex., in a 10-rounder from Grand Casino Hinckley in Hinckley, Minn.

The Gary Shaw Productions-promoted event is the first of five ShoBox telecasts in eight weeks. The other telecasts – all Friday nights – are Sept. 30, Oct. 7, Oct. 21 and Oct. 28.

The aggressive-minded Arroyo, 24, is in peak form coming off two consecutive wins over previously undefeated boxers. Before dropping the 6-foot-3 Nelson three times en route to winning by the scores of 75-73 twice and 74-74 on April 8, the 5-foot-8 boxer-brawler rallied from the brink of defeat to register a dramatic eighth-round knockout over Jeremy Bryan (then 13-0) on April 17, 2010.

 

Entering the final round against Bryan, Arroyo clearly needed a knockout to win. Through seven sessions, he’d won a total of one round on one of the three judges’ scorecards. But he came out charging and firing punches in the eighth and staggered Bryan with a left hook. With the former two-time National Golden Gloves champion slumped against the ropes, Arroyo scored a knockdown with a left hook and right-uppercut combination. Bryan, out cold, was counted out at 1:43.

 

“I learned to dig down in that fight,’’ said Arroyo, whose father was a Golden Gloves champion. “It was just a matter of me doing what I’m supposed to do. I know I’m never going to stop pushing.”

As for facing much taller opponents, Arroyo says, “Height doesn’t do anything. I’m a warrior. If I come to get you, height won’t save you. I always want to test my will. They call me ‘Vinsanity’ for a reason.”

Arroyo’s lone loss came on a six-round decision to Goossen Tutor prospect Mike Dallas, Jr. on Sept. 12, 2009. Though behind on points, Arroyo nearly had Dallas out in the final round.

After fighting in the amateurs and competing in the Golden Gloves — Arroyo owns an amateurs win over Danny Jacobs — he turned pro at the age of 18 on Aug. 17, 2005, in Rochester, N.Y., and won his initial nine starts. The Sanchez fight was originally scheduled for last June 11 on ShoBox, but Arroyo pulled out of the fight after injuring an ankle a week before the bout.

Sanchez, 25, a vaunted member of Team Puerto Rico, needs a victory to move forward and jump-start his career. This will be just his fourth start since December 2008 and first since winning by 2:09, first-round TKO over Nelson Sanchez on Aug. 21, 2010, in the Dominican Republic.

A four-time Puerto Rican national champ and 2000 Junior Olympic Bronze medalist, Sanchez compiled an amateur record of 97-10. He planned to try out for the 2004 Olympics, but opted to turn pro instead.

After going 18-0 at the outset of a career that began March 4, 2005, Sanchez suffered his only defeat on a startling fifth-round TKO to Cleotis Pendarvis two fights ago on April 2, 2010, in Las Vegas.

Sanchez scored two knockdowns in the first and dominated the initial three rounds, but veteran southpaw Pendarvis rallied in the fourth and scored a knockdown in the fifth. An unsteady Sanchez got up but the referee, Russell Mora, halted matters at 2:29 as Sanchez protested.

At 6-foot-1, Sanchez is two inches shorter than Nelson but still tall for a welterweight. A solid puncher, his most noteworthy triumph came on an eight-round decision over former world champion DeMarcus “Chop Chop’’ Corley on April 10, 2009. It was the sole ring appearance of the year for Sanchez, who also had a noteworthy KO2 win over Mexican standout Albert Rodriguez (8-0-1) on Oct. 8, 2008.

 

Sanchez, who began to box at the age of 13 and went pro at 18, is at his best when he can utilize his long arms and box from the outside. Like many young Puerto Ricans, his idol is Felix “Tito’’ Trinidad.

Kayode is the only cruiserweight contender in the world ranked in the top five by all four major boxing organizations. He is No. 1 in the World Boxing Association (WBA), No. 3 in the World Boxing Organization (WBO), No. 4 in the World Boxing Council (WBC) and No. 5 in the IBF. If triumphant against Cora, Kayode could be next up to challenge WBA champion Guillermo Jones.

“I already believe I’m the best cruiserweight in the world. I’m just waiting for my chance to prove it,’’ said Kayode, who has developed and honed his skills on Shobox. This will be his fifth appearance.

The Freddie Roach-trained Kayode, 28, will try to resume his knockout-winning ways after going the 10-round distance in his last two starts, both on ShoBox in Santa Ynez, Calif., first by Nicholas Iannuzzi on Feb. 4, 2011, and in his last start by Matt Godfrey on June 10. Before Iannuzzi, the 6-foot-2 Kayode’s previous 13 fights, all won by knockout, lasted a total of 43 rounds.

“Going the distance is fine as long as I win,’’ said Kayode, who won a four-round decision in his pro debut on Aug. 15, 2008. “The experience I get going 10 rounds and knowing I can go 10 is invaluable. I learn from them so when my time comes, I’ll be ready. I never go in looking for a knockout anyway.’’

While the 6-foot-2 Kayode will be favored and would prefer to win explosively, Cora is anything but a gimme. The record of the five fighters who defeated him was 98-3-1 entering their respective fights.

The 6-foot-tall Cora, 31, is a durable boxer with decent skills. A former contestant on The Contender television series, he’s hung tough with much tougher than Kayode. He’s gone 12 rounds in his last two outings, losing to unbeaten local favorite Pawel Kolodziej in a bout in Poland for the WBA International title last March 5 and to German Enad Licina in an IBF elimination bout on Nov. 13, 2010, in England.

Cora has won a couple minor titles at cruiserweight. He outpointed Michael Simms to capture the United States Boxing Association (USBA) crown in June 2004 and registered a ninth-round TKO over Arthur Williams to garner the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) belt in October 2005.

Bernardo Osuna will call the ShoBox action from ringside with Steve Farhood and Antonio Tarver serving as expert analysts. Gordon Hall is the executive producer of ShoBox with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.

Future Book: A glimpse at the upcoming four ShoBox fight cards after Sept.9:

A WBC welterweight elimination fight between undefeated, No. 1-ranked Ajose Olusegun (29-0, 14 KOs) of Nigeria and No. 6 Ali Chebah (35-1, 28 KOs) of France will highlight a Sept. 30 card at Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez. The 12th-ranked lightweight in the WBO, Colombia’s exciting, hard-hitting Darley Perez (22-0, 17 KOs) will make his ShoBox debut against southpaw Marvin Quintero (22-3, 18 KOs) of Mexico in the co-feature co-promoted by Shaw and DiBella Entertainment.

In a quintessential ShoBox main event on Oct. 7, Ugandan Sharif Bogere (20-0, 12 KOs) of Las Vegas takes on Dominican Francisco Contreras (16-0, 13 KOs) of Irvington, N.J., in a clash of unbeaten lightweights presented by Golden Boy Promotions.

 

Arguably the No. 1 super middle prospect in the world, Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (19-0, 14 KOs) of Worcester, Mass., will face an opponent to be announced in the DiBella-promoted Oct. 21 main event.

 

On Oct. 28, Goossen Tutor Promotions will promote a ShoBox card on the eve of the Super Six World Boxing Classic culminating bout: The Final between WBA Super Middleweight titlist Andre Ward and his WBC counterpart Carl Froch.

All matchups and venues for the aforementioned fight cards will be formally announced soon.

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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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