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Vargas Wins SD From Lopez in PPV Opener…WOODS



In the pay per view TV opener, Josesito Lopez took on Jessie Vargas, in a junior welterweight/welterweight bout, in front of a couple hundred people at the MGM Grand. Lopez was the aggressor, but that aggression wasn’t of the effective variety for the most part. He came forward, and Vargas often backed up, but Vargas piled up points along the way. As we awaited the judges scores, one wondered if the chosen arbiters would be clever enough to reward the man who didn’t press forward the whole fight. Oftentimes, they aren’t.

Happily, Duane Ford, Dick Houck, Patricia Jarman did; Ford, Houck and Jarman, in order, called it 95-94, 95-94 (Lopez), 96-93, for Vargas. Houck might want to watch this one again, and score it again, see if he gets the same score.

Many in the petite crowd booed., for the record, but that could be because Lopez bused in a few loads of fans.

Vargas had the edge, stat-wise, went 167-851 to 122-509 for Lopez.

Sorry to digress right off the bat, but why is the boxing culture such that fans oftentimes just show up for the big headline bout? I’ve sensed a livelier vibe at my daughter’s pre-K class, when they kids knew it was cupcake day, because one of them had a birthday. This quite often happens at casino shows, which are meant to draw the high roller, who will drop dough at the tables, not the hardcore fight fan, who actually has something invested in the bouts i.e. he has a rooting interest in one or more fighter.

The 22-year-old Vargas (16-0 with 9 KOs; from Las vegas; 142 pounds) is with Floyd Mayweather, while the 27 year old Lopez (29-3 with 17 KOs; from CA; 140 1/2) is with Golden Boy.

Larry Merchant called the action along with Jim Lampley and Manny Steward.

In the first, I found it hard to tell each man from the other. Vargas’ blows looked a bit crisper early on. His left hook looked like it would cause some hell once he got really warmed up. He used his feet smartly, sliding side to side to keep Lopez off balance.

Steward during the third round talked about Cris Arreola as a potential foe for Wladimir Klitschko, his fighter. Cris already fought Vitali and it didn’t go well. Manny said he wanted to have Wlad fight in the US, and that he talked to Arreola’s people. They said they’d like Arreola to fight a few more times, and then sometime next year, he’d likely glove up against Wlad.

Lopez had more luck in the third, as he closed the distance. Inside, he scored points. When Vargas used his legs, got off and got on the bus, he did well. But by the fifth, his power seemed to lessen. We wondered what the judges were thinking. Did they like the man coming forward, Lopez, whose aggression wasn’t as effective as it could’ve been, because Vargas’ movement blunted the offense.

A slice on Lopez’ right eye became apparent in the sixth. It didn’t look like that would put him off..

In the seventh, Vargas ate a sharp left hook. When Vargas eats one, it’s flush. His head movement could stand some work, if I may say.

During the seventh, Merchant commented on how smart Floyd is for showing how much he loves his children, publicly, as he smooched them on camera. He hinted that it is done for show. See, even at 80, Merchant is a smart politician.

Harold Lederman has Vargas ahead 67-66 after seven. Vargas had a point taken for a low blow early in the eighth by ref Tony Weeks, who hadn’t to my recollection put out a prior warning. If he won the round, which he did, the judges would score it 9-9.

Vargas had to get credit for his discipline. He kept popping and moving, and when Lopez got close, Vargas would jet. He did so through the tenth, apart from a couple hellacious left hooks with 35 seconds to go which buzzed him a bit, and we’d go to the cards. Lederman had it 96-93, Vargas.

SPEEDBAG Pacquiao-Marquez 24/7 debuts Oct. 22.


2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura



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



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



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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