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PREDICTION PAGE..Plus, Final 24/7…WOODS

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MayweatherOrtizWeighIn_Hoganphotos1(Tom Hogan photo)


It would be the most monumental upset since Douglas toppled Tyson. Can Victor Ortiz shock the world in similar fashion, and take down a fighter seen as being pretty close to unbeatable, Floyd Mayweather? Could he take fate by the throat, and take history into his hands? It's not easy to find people who think so.

Maybe you do, reader. Drop your prediction in our Forum.

Who will win? How? In what round? Will the fight be a thriller or a semi snoozer? Let us know and then come back to crow…

24/7 Finale

In the fourth and final installment of Mayweather-Ortiz 24/7 on HBO, we heard evidence that the two fighters in fact have more in common than one might think. Both came from quite difficult homes, where disruptions and disappearances were the norm.

They have chosen different personas as they go about their daily life, but down deeper, Mayweather and Ortiz are more similar than they are different.

Starting off, we see Mayweather in the home stretch of training. He then gets some downtime, when he rents out an indoor theme park on the Strip for him and his crew. Floyd goes on rides, hits the bumper cars and then shoots hoops.

In Ventura, we see Ortiz at an open workout. He says he enjoys having a fan following. He calls it a “cushion.”

He says that this week, fight week, is “downtime” to him. Mayweather, meanwhile, spars til a couple days before the bout.

At the last presser, Mayweather takes the mike, and busts on Oscar De La Hoya. “He's no longer relevant,” he says, but doesn't choose to bust on Oscar for wearing fishnets, and for substance abuse,  as he had when not in front of ODLH.

Viewers then see Floyd doing the Conan O'Brien show.  Conan wonders why he's doing this media appearance, strangely. Floyd points out that he's in LA, can quickly fly on a private jet to Vegas, and be up in the AM for training. Conan, not that funny, and not that perceptive about prizefighting, eh?

On the Mayweather jet, Floyd chomps licorice, then heads to the gym, for a late workout. He's a night owl, and if you want to be part of his team, you best be OK with the same. We then see Miss Jackson watching Floyd work out. This will be the sixth bout she's watched Floyd take part in. “Even though Floyd's the best at what he does, anything can happen,” she says, concerned.

Ortiz flies to Vegas. He says that this is the first time he's been on jets and limos, and he can appreciate it, coming from his humble beginnings.

Trainer Danny Garcia tells him not to get caught up in the hype. He says Victor has trained very hard and is ready. “Jab him anywhere, hit him in the shoulder,” Garcia says at a workout.

Ortiz jumps rope, and finishes training at 10 PM, and then heads right to bed.

Floyd is then seen at the gym. He says that he has had a good camp, has worked hard and has liked having celebs drop by. The blowup with his dad hasn't detracted from the camp, Floyd says. “If me and my dad never speak again, I'm OK,” he says, once again. It is impossible to determine if he is hiding true feelings or does indeed have the armor up, and would be OK with a permanent estrangement. I'm guessing no…

We see Victor and his brother Temo hanging. “This fight means everything to my career. Maybe not everything but in my eyes it is. Only because I've always been the underdog. Always. No matter what, I'm always the underdog. I don't mind it at all. I don't mind it one bit,” Ortiz says.

On Wednesday afternoon,  we see a final presser. Ortiz says he will teach Floyd what it feels like to have that first loss. Floyd then says he's not nervous, after Victor looked at the Mayweather side, and said they look nervous. They face off, and jaw.

Liev Schrieber offers a conclusion. He talks about the fact we can't choose our beginnings, who brings us into the world. The upbringing of these two funneled them into a vicious sport, told them that  “violence was the most promising route of escape.” Both are seeking tight bonds outside the family circle.

They share characteristics…if not the same level of skills.

They didn't have a choice where they came from, but both choose to battle hard to not stay in the quagmire.

I expect Floyd to have his way with Victor, who will be aggressive, but will find that aggression used against him by the skilled pugilist Mayweather. The fight could be a bit of a dud, with Floyd neutralizing the bullrush of Ortiz, potshotting him, but making quite sure he doesn't get caught with something he doesn't see. Both men say it won't go the distance. I've felt that Floyd might open up on Ortiz, take him out late, in round 11. I've felt that Floyd might win 10-2, in rounds. I'm on the fence. What about you, faithful readers? Weigh in!

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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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