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Showtime Will Air Kessler-Stieglitz on Nov. 5

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NEW YORK (Sept. 14, 2011) – SHOWTIME® will televise yet another important super middleweight world championship bout when former world titlist Mikkel Kessler of Denmark returns to the ring to challenge World Boxing Organization (WBO) kingpin Robert Stieglitz of Germany on Saturday, Nov. 5, from renowned PARKEN Stadium in Copenhagen, Denmark. The WBO championship fight will be shown on same-day delay and precede the International Boxing Federation (IBF) super middleweight title fight between unbeaten defending champion Lucian Bute and Glen Johnson live on SHOWTIME from Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City, Canada (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).

 

The Nov. 5 doubleheader will take place just seven days after world champions Andre Ward (World Boxing Association) and Carl Froch (World Boxing Council) collide in The Final of the Super Six World Boxing Classic on Saturday, Oct. 29 live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast), from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.

 

The addition of Stieglitz vs. Kessler to the Nov. 5 telecast completes a lineup that puts all four super middleweight world titles up for grabs, along with The RING magazine belt and the inaugural Super Six World Boxing Classic Cup, in back-to-back Saturdays on SHOWTIME.

 

Stieglitz (40-2, 23 KOs) is at the peak of his game. The 5-foot-11, Russian-born boxer-puncher has won nine consecutive fights and 11 of his last 12. He’ll be making the fifth defense of the WBO belt he won in Hungary on an upset, come-from-behind 11th-round TKO over Karoly Balzsay in August 2009.

 

“I have a lot of respect for Kessler but he will not take my crown away from me,” said Stieglitz. “It may be that he is a national hero in Denmark, such as Karoly Balzsay was in Hungary, but I travelled there, defeated him and became world champion. The home advantage did not help Balzsay at all and it will not help Mikkel Kessler either. I will defend my title.”

In his most recent outing and lone start this year on April 9, the 30-year-old Stieglitz retained his crown when challenger Khoren Gevor was disqualified at 2:45 of the 10th-round for an intentional headbutt in Germany. In April of 2010, Stieglitz’ unanimous decision over Eduard Gutknecht was dubbed Fight of the Year in Germany.

A true sportsman in and out of the ring who idolizes the Klitschko brothers, Stieglitz is a confident and technically sound boxer with good conditioning and strength. He’s improved most areas of his game in recent years and competes with the poise of a world champion.

 

As Stieglitz hasn’t fought the caliber of opponents as his challenger, he views the fight against Kessler as a chance to boost his profile in the talent-laden 168-pound division.

 

Kessler (44-2, 33 KOs) is a former WBA titleholder and WBC titleholder. The 32-year-old is coming off a thoroughly dominant sixth-round TKO over outclassed Mehdi Bouadla last June 4 for the vacant WBO European crown on SHOWTIME.  Making his first start in 14 months, Kessler scored four knockdowns – one in the third and fourth and two in the sixth – before the one-sided proceedings were halted at 2:25.

 

The victory was especially satisfying to the popular, 6-foot-1 Kessler because he escaped virtually unmarked in his first bout since a potentially career-ending eye injury had forced him to withdraw from the Super Six and vacate his WBC title. Prior to leaving the tournament, Kessler was riding high after capturing the WBC crown with an exciting 12-round, unanimous decision slugfest over the then-undefeated Froch on April 24, 2010.

 

“I look forward to be fighting on SHOWTIME again,” said Kessler. “I want to show the fans in the U.S. that I am the world´s best super-middleweight. After my successful comeback in June, the next step is to become world champion for a fourth time. The fight against Robert Stieglitz will be exciting. He is technically very strong and he deserves to be holding that belt, but I think that I am better and that I will take the title away from him. It will be a great night of boxing with my passionate Danish fans raising the roof at world-famous PARKEN Stadium.”

 

Kessler, who’s ranked No. 1 in the WBO, attained the WBA belt in June 2008 and made two successful defenses before losing to Ward on an 11th-round technical decision in Group Stage 1 of the Super Six on Nov. 21, 2009, on SHOWTIME. The Dane’s only other defeat came on a 12-round decision to future Hall-of-Famer Joe Calzaghe on Nov. 3, 2007.

The world title fight in Denmark is promoted by Sauerland Event and SES Boxing; the world title fight in Canada by Interbox, DiBella Entertainment and Warriors Boxing.

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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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