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Andy Lee Didn't Need To Rematch Brian Vera

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New York, NY – (9/15/2011) –  2004 Irish Olympian, and now the WBC #2, WBO #2, and WBC #6 rated middleweight in the world, Andy Lee (26-1, 19KO's) usually uses Wednesday's as a rest day from his intense training camp with head trainer Emmanuel Steward in preparation for his upcoming rematch against Brian Vera (19-5, 12KO's), on Saturday, October 1st, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.  This Wednesday though was a bit different for the Limerick native, who now calls Detroit, MI, his home.  Lee spent the day in New York City, meeting with the press and talking about his much anticipated rematch against Vera, the only man to defeat Lee as a professional.  Lee-Vera II is scheduled for 10 rounds in the middleweight division, and will open up HBO's World Championship Boxing telecast, headlined by Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez (47-2-2, 26KO's) defending his WBC Middleweight Diamond belt, and Ring Championship against undefeated European Champion, Darren Barker (23-0, 14KO's).

Tickets for the show are priced at $300, $200, $100, and $50, and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, at any Ticketmaster retail outlet, or in person at the Boardwalk Hall box office.

Lee's visit to the city, started at the popular Irish Pub, The Red Lion, where a number of New York and Irish media turned out to meet with Lee and promoter Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment (DBE), promoter of Lee and the show on October 1st.  Also in attendance, fighting on the undercard, were Irish-American prospects, Seanie Monaghan (8-0, 5KO's) and Kevin Rooney Jr. (2-0, 1KO), as well as Jay Tunney, the son of one of boxing's all-time greats, former light heavyweight and heavyweight world champion, Hall-of-Famer Gene Tunney.

DiBella kicked things off by thanking everyone for coming, before talking about Lee, his upcoming fight against DBE stable-mate Vera, and what the future holds for the very talented 27-year-old contender.

“I truly believe that Andy, behind Sergio Martinez, and maybe Mathew Macklin, is the best middleweight in the world.  He is on the verge of becoming a star, but he has a very tough test in front of him on October 1st, in Brian Vera.  This is not going to be an easy fight by any means, but it is going to be an exciting one, that I can guarantee.  Andy wants to prove that the first fight was a mistake, and Brian wants to prove that it wasn't.  These guys are both going to leave it all out on the line, and as a true fight fan, what more could you ask for?”

DiBella continued, “I don't like to talk about the future, especially with such a dangerous fight, but if Andy wins, there is a lot we can do with him.  We could match him against Sergio in New York City, which would be a humongous event with the Irish community here coming out to support their countryman.  There is also the possibility of an all Irish showdown between him and Macklin, who showed in his performance against Felix Sturm that he is one of the best middleweights in the world.   First things first though, Andy must take care of business against Vera.  I'm looking forward to having all of the Irish community come out and show their support for what is going to be a great night of entertainment, including Seanie Monaghan, who is like the mayor in Long Beach, and also my new assistant Kevin Rooney Jr., who, as you know, is the son of famed trainer Kevin Rooney Sr., making his DBE debut.”

“You can imagine how big this fight is to me and what it means to me,” said Lee.  “I didn't need the rematch to further my career, but it's something I've wanted.  From the moment I lost to Vera, I've wanted to avenge it.  It has taken three and a half years to get to this point, but now we are finally almost here.  The fight makes sense, he is on a winning streak coming off his best win against Sergio Mora, and I'm on a streak now as well, so it makes sense not only as a personal matter but as a boxing matter also.  The winner of this fight is a legitimate contender for the middleweight title so this is a very big and important fight for us, and for boxing.  Vera's a tough man, he comes to the ring to fight, and he's heavy handed.  But I'm ready, I feel great.  I know it's an old cliché that everyone says they have had the best training camp, but I really have.  I'm in good form, and my work in the gym during this camp has exceeded all of my previous training camps.  Everything is all set for me to have a good performance.”

I'm not going to jinx myself by making any predictions.  I'm going to go in there and box and if there is a chance for a knockout then I'm going to take it, but if I win a 10-round decision that will be just as sweet.  There is a good buzz going around New York and throughout the different Irish communities here about the fight and I expect a good crowd, and it will give me an extra incentive to put on a good performance.”

Lee also took time to comment on his trip to New York.  “I love New York.  I have always wanted to be a New York fighter, and the best promoter here in New York is Lou DiBella, so I am very happy to be signed with him, and very grateful for him gto be iving me this shot at redemption.  I came to New York in 2004 straight out of the Olympics and one of the first things I did here was go see Trinidad vs. Mayorga at the Garden.  I remember sitting there with my friends and telling them that one day I was going to headline here.  So far I have been working hard to put myself in a position to make good on that promise, and a win on October 1st will be a big step toward fulfilling it.”

After things wrapped up at The Red Lion, Lee dropped by a few other popular pubs throughout the city, taking pictures with fans, and dropping off a pair of signed boxing gloves at each establishment.

Lee-Vera II is being presented by DiBella Entertainment in association with Caesars Atlantic City, and is sponsored by Corona. The fight will be aired live on HBO's World Championship Boxing®, beginning at 10:00 PM ET/7:00 PM PT.

Tickets are priced at $300, $200, $100, and $50, and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, at any Ticketmaster retail outlet, or in person at the Boardwalk Hall box office.

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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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