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John Scully Training Chad Dawson, With Assist From Winky Wright

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Beloved former world champion and one-time Bernard Hopkins opponent, Ronald “Winky” Wright is in camp in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, serving as a training advisor to former light heavyweight champion “Bad” Chad Dawson, as Dawson prepares to face the current WBC and Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight World Champion Hopkins on Saturday, October 15, at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California.

 

Dawson vs. Hopkins, an evening of elite professional boxing entitled “Believe it or Not”, will be presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Gary Shaw Productions and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate, AT&T and Ripley's Believe It or Not. It will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/ 6:00 p.m. PT.

 

Dawson had been training with the legendary Emanuel Steward for his last fight, a victory over Adrian Diaconu, but geography forced an ending to their partnership and a reunion with former trainer John Scully.

 

“It wasn't an ugly separation by any means,” explains Dawson's promoter, Gary Shaw. “I have a world of respect for Emanuel and I know he's top-notch, but we couldn't get them to travel to one another, so there was no other choice but to move on. Chad's training camp is in Pennsylvania. He didn't want to train in Detroit again for this fight. But with all of his commitments and responsibilities, it wasn't feasible for Emanuel to stay in the Poconos that long. So they've parted ways amicably and John Scully is back in, with Winky Wright providing his expert eye.”

 

So is Wright planning on retiring and becoming boxing's newest high-profile trainer?

 

“No way,” he laughs. “I'm still a fighter. I don't feel like being a trainer. I don't know how to tell somebody to train. I can tell you what you're doing wrong and stuff like that, but as far as telling them when to get up and run; I'm not really into that. I'm here to just fine-tune little things that John and I feel he needs to work on. John is the coach and we are working together very well.”

 

Wright, who will not be in Dawson's corner on fight night, says he likes his friend's chances in this fight. “Bernard is sneaky and crafty, but I think that Chad has a style that can beat him. He's tall and quick, with a good defense and hand speed. He can move, but he's not scared to get in there and fight.  Bernard wants to try and take you out of your fight. Chad doesn't need to do that. He needs to do what we're showing him and make Hopkins fight our fight. We can win this.”

 

Dawson says the one/two training punch of Scully as head coach and Wright as an advisor is exactly what he needs at this time. “Everything is going great. I couldn't ask for anything better. I'm in a great position right now. Not only to fight with Bernard, but to work with John Scully who is very underrated as a trainer and Winky who I think beat Hopkins when they fought and is still a great fighter to this day. I'm very excited. I have great sparring partners and it's going great.”

 

According to Dawson, the reunion with Scully will bring about a renaissance in his career. “Scully knows how to go to get me in shape.  With him in my corner, you will see a return of the Chad Dawson from 2007/2008 in this fight. I am the best light heavyweight in the world and I'm going to prove it.”

 

Scully says even though it came as a surprise, he's overjoyed to be back to guiding Dawson.

 

“I was very happy, of course, to be asked to come back to training Chad. I've always said that training him was one of the most positive experiences of my career and I always felt we had a very good working relationship.”

 

He adds that Wright's presence in camp is very welcome and the two are working together in harmony.

 

“Winky is here to lend support to a friend in the boxing game in Chad. As a former champion and a great southpaw, Winky's knowledge obviously speaks for itself, plus he's been in the ring with Bernard and knows all the little tricks Bernard will try. He has a special insight into the boxing game, and into this fight in particular, that can't be overlooked. He's a very good guy, very respectful, doesn't step on anyone's toes. He speaks up if he sees something that needs to be spoken about. Everyone here in camp with us plays a vital role. It's a team effort and everyone here is working towards that one common goal.”

According to Scully, Dawson is showing his hunger to get his title back. “He's looking perfect in camp so far. He's a champion at heart and knows what needs to be done to get ready for a fight like this and he's doing it.

 

In addition to this championship main event showdown, the televised pay-per-view undercard will also feature Antonio DeMarco vs. Jorge Linares in a 12-round fight for the vacant WBC Lightweight World Title and Kendall Holt vs. Danny Garcia in 12-round bout for the vacant NABO Junior Welterweight Title which will also be an eliminator for the number one rating by the WBC and the number two rating by the IBF.

Tickets for Hopkins vs. Dawson, priced at $300, $150, $75 and $25, are on sale now and are available for purchase online at www.staplescenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com or via Ticketmaster charge-by-phone lines at (800)745-3000.

The Hopkins vs. Dawson 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 Hopkins vs. Dawson fight week updates, log on to www.hbo.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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