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De La Hoya, Ortiz Appear On “Piers Morgan,” Who Steers Clear of TMZ Territory…WOODS

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OrtizMediaWorkout4Mayweather_Blevins32Some of those photo still look Photoshopped to EM! (Who is by the way Facebook friends with Milana Dravnel…) (Hogan)

Oscar De La Hoya, still one of the biggest names in boxing, two and half years since his last, and presumably final fight, appeared with young gun Victor Ortiz on Piers Morgan's talk show on CNN Wednesday night.

Oscar has been laying some of his dirty laundry specifics out to the public, two months after a rehab stint for substance abuse at the famed Betty Ford Center in California ended. But the interview passed without Morgan delving into the seamier sides of Oscar's life, surprisingly.

On Tuesday, Oscar had told a Univision interviewer that his chemical dependency had left him in the gutter mentally.  “Rock bottom was recently,” said De La Hoya, who stated he'd been sober for three months, with the help of AA. “Within couple of years, just thinking if my life was even worth it. I don't have the strength, I don't have the courage to take my own life but I was thinking about it.” He admitted he'd been unfaithful to wife Millie, and that they'd been separated, but are now together. “We're taking it one day at a time,” he said. No, he said he wasn't a sex addict, along the lines of Tiger Woods. He also came clean about those infamous photos, in which he posed in a fishnet body suit and boxing gloves, and in the bodysuit and a long-haired wig, and said that they weren't photoshopped, as he'd protested during the height of that 2007 scandal.

This battle with substance abuse, he said, “It's the biggest fight of my life.”

“There were drugs, my drug of choice was cocaine and alcohol, hmm. Cocaine was recent. The last two years, last two and a half years and I depended more in the alcohol than the cocaine,” De La Hoya said to Univision. “It took me to a place where I felt safe, it took me to a place where I felt as if nobody can say anything to me, it took me to a place where I just can reach out and grab my mom.”
Morgan, steering away from the TMZ territory, referred to Oscar as Ortiz' mentor, and started out his gentle interrogation by referring to the two men as two of the nicest, smiliest persons on the planet.
Morgan asked the two if they get tested at taverns. Ortiz said he steered clear of such encounters, and takes pains to simply walk away when challenged. Oscar said he was tested by a behemoth who swung at him, missed, fell on his face, kayoed.

Ortiz then laid out his difficult upbringing, and talked about the day his mom left. He was seven, his brother was five, and Victor was all ready to go to the boxing gym. Mom no showed, and finally years later, Victor accepted his mom left. His dad left four years after, and wasn't a great provider before that. Bills went unpaid, and his older sister had a baby as a teen, so she wasn't able to always take Victor under her wing.

He said he found his dad a year and half ago, in Kansas, where he grew up. His dad told him he was in prison for a spell. The fighter said he told his pop, “I did your job.”

Morgan then returned to the big bout. Ortiz said he wants the best Mayweather on hand on Sept. 17.  He told Morgan that he has no fear, not after what he went through growing up. Oscar then said that he sees the torch being passed to Ortiz. Oscar said he sparred Victor, and the punches hurt. Prime versus prime, Oscar said they maybe would fight to a draw. Ortiz drew laughs when he said he thought he'd get the nod in that fantasy matchup.

Morgan touched on Oscar's upbringing. ODLH said he didn't have much guidance from his parents on how to live. “Fame can be a trap, it can ruin your life, it almost ruined mine,” he said. “I can be an example for Victor…He can think on his own, he's a smart guy..I got his back 100 percent.”

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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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