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LEWKOWICZ: Sergio Is The Best Fighter In The World

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L TO R: ANDY LEE, SERGIO MARTINEZ, DARREN BARKER, BRYAN VERA

CHECK OUT DIBELLA ON VIDEO TALKING MARTINEZ-PACQUAO http://es.pn/pCvxJN

New York, NY – (9/28/2011) – Earlier this afternoon, Lou DiBella, of DiBella Entertainment, hosted the final press conference for “Noche De ‘Maravilla'” featuring WBC Diamond belt Middleweight Champion, and top three pound-for-pound fighter, Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez (47-2-2, 26KO’s), who will be taking on undefeated European Champion “Dazzling” Darren Barker (23-0, 14 KOs), this Saturday, October 1st, at Boardwalk Hall, in Atlantic City, NJ.  The show will air live on HBO’s World Championship Boxing at 10:00 P.M. ET/7:00 P.M. PT, opening with the much anticipated rematch between “Irish” Andy Lee (26-1, 19KO’s) and Bryan Vera (19-5, 12KO’s).

All four of the televised fighters were in attendance and took turns speaking to the large number of media who turned out to attend the presser which was held at The Palm Restaurant, on West 50th Street, in New York City.

DiBella kicked things off, thanking everyone for coming and talking about the exciting card in store for Saturday night.

Below are quotes from DiBella, Sergio Martinez, Darren Barker, Eddie Hearn, of Matchroom Sport, Andy Lee and Bryan Vera.

LOU DIBELLA – “This is going to be a great card on Saturday night,” said DiBella.  “Not only are the televised fights going to be great but the off-TV undercard is going to be terrific as well.  In boxing we have to offer entertainment from the second people get in their seats until they leave, and that’s what we have Saturday night.

“In the main event, we have, who I believe to be the number one fighter in the world, Sergio ‘Maravilla’ Martinez being challenged by a young man, who has been grossly underestimated by the press and frankly disrespected, in Darren Barker.  Darren is a very good fighter.  He is undefeated as a pro, he was a terrific amateur, he is the European and Commonwealth champion, and I think his credentials speak for themselves.  I think Sergio realizes that he is in there with a real fighter and that this is a real challenge.  Darren Barker has nothing to lose and Sergio has everything to lose and that makes for a very dangerous fight.

“In the opening fight, we have a tremendous match-up with Andy Lee, who has established himself as one of the best middleweights in the world, taking on the tough-as-nails Bryan Vera.  Andy is on the verge of challenging for a championship, but he has that one notch on his record that he wants to get rid of, and that’s his loss to Bryan Vera.  This is an interesting fight because both Andy and Bryan are much better fighters than they were a few years ago when they first met, and both have a lot to prove in this fight.  This fight was made because Andy Lee wanted this fight, not because he needed it, and I think that says a lot about Andy and his team.”

ANDY LEE –  “This fight has been three-and-a-half years in the making.  I have wanted it since the day after the first fight.  I have been longing for this fight, and finally it’s here.  I want to thank Lou and HBO for making this fight happen and giving me this opportunity.  I have had a great training camp, and I am ready for this, and ready to prove myself on Saturday night.  I’m not looking past Bryan Vera or anything, but after I beat him, I’m going to take my ringside seat and, with all due respect to Sergio and Darren, I am ready and want to fight the winner.”

BRYAN VERA –  “I am grateful for this opportunity to fight Lee again Saturday night.  I have paid my dues, and worked very hard to get to this point.  I have become a much better fighter since our first fight and everyone will see that come fight night.  I have tremendous respect for Andy for taking this fight, because I recognize that he didn’t have to take this fight.  I expect to put on an exciting performance Saturday night, and take my career to the next level.”

EDDIE HEARN – “All I can tell you about Darren Barker is he is 23-0, the undefeated British Commonwealth and European Champion, top 10 in every organization and number three in the WBC, so I don’t know what more you have got to do to deserve a shot in boxing.  But we are fine that we are being underestimated, we are fine that we are the underdog, because I can tell you that no one in our camp, especially Darren Barker, feels like an underdog.  We feel that we are the toughest test that Sergio will have faced in his past few fights.  You look at his opponents, Darren is in a different league than Dzinziruk, Williams is a blown up welterweight who beat Sergio once, and Kelly Pavlik was a washed-up fighter at the time struggling to make weight, so we feel this is the biggest test Sergio has had.  We are looking forward to a good fight, we believe we have a real, real good chance here.  We have massive support at home, and anyone who underestimates Darren, they are going to be in for a very big shock come Saturday night.”

The statements by Hearn about Sergio’s past few opponents were not taken lightly by any means by Sergio’s longtime advisor Sampson Lewkowicz.

SAMPSON LEWKOWICZ –  “I am very disappointed in those statements.  You don’t give the champion credit.  The first time he fought Williams, no one wanted to fight him, and we fought him and everyone knows we won that fight; then in the second, we left no questions by knocking him out.  With Pavlik, he was the champion at middleweight and, to be the champion, we fought and beat the champion, so who the hell are you to sit there and make those statements?  I respect your fighter, but statements like that are disrespectful to the champion.  Sergio Martinez is the best fighter in the world, and on Saturday nigh,t everyone will have the opportunity to see him put on another great performance.”

DARREN BARKER –  “I’m in the best shape of my life and I know I have to be because I am facing a great champion on Saturday night.  Everyone I have talked to says to me that I look relaxed, not nervous, and I think the reason for that is that there aren’t many things in life that I am good at, but boxing is one of them.  This is what I have dedicated my life to since I was 12 years old.  When I am inside those ropes, that’s when I am comfortable, that is when I am in my environment, and that is one of the reasons I am so confident in this fight.  This is what I do.  I am extremely confident, and I say that loudly and boldly, as much as I respect Sergio, but from the first time I have seen him, I know I have what it takes to pull off the upset.  I am going to turn that question mark in back of me into an exclamation point.  I am here to prove to the world that I do belong here, and do belong on this stage.  Tune in, it’s going to be a great night.”

When it was Martinez’ turn to speak he started off speaking in English, thanking  everyone in attendance, as well as HBO, promoter Lou DiBella, and Darren Barker for accepting the challenge.

Martinez continued in Spanish, “Like always my preparation has been excellent and on Saturday night you will see a very good fight.  I want to thank everyone, and look forward to seeing everyone come out on Saturday night.”

“Noche de ‘Maravilla’: Martinez vs. Barker” is being presented by DiBella Entertainment in association with Matchroom Sport, and Caesars Atlantic City, and is sponsored by Corona.  Doors open at 6PM ET, with the first bout scheduled for 6:30PM ET.  HBO will begin live coverage at 10:00PM ET.

Tickets for “Noche de ‘Maravilla'” 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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