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Ajose-Chebah Winner Gets Morales

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OLUSEGUN AJOSE & ALI CHEBAH
DARLEY PEREZ & OSCAR MEZA
FINAL WEIGHTS AND QUOTES
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TOMORROW, Live on SHOWTIME, 11 p.m. ET/PT

NOTE: WEIGHTS (Sept. 29, 2011) – World Boxing Council (WBC) No. 1-ranked super lightweight contender Olusegun Ajose weighed in at 139 pounds and No. 6-ranked Ali Chebah tipped the scales at 140 pounds during Thursday’s weigh in at Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif.

Ajose (29-0, 14 KOs), of Nigeria, and Chebah (33-1, 26 KOs), of France, will square off in the most important fight of their career, a WBC super lightweight eliminator on Friday, Sept. 30, in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation LIVE on SHOWTIME® at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) from Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif.

The 12-round bout, which will be the United States debut for each fighter, will determine the No. 1 mandatory contender for the WBC 140-pound title currently held by Erik Morales.

The No. 5-ranked World Boxing Association (WBA) and 12th-ranked World Boxing Organization (WBO) lightweight, Darley Perez weighed in at 133 ½ pounds and hard-hitting Oscar Meza measured 136 pounds.

Perez (22-0, 17 KOs), of Colombia, who has never been knocked down as a professional or amateur, will make his ShoBox debut against the battle-tested Oscar Meza (22-4, 18 KOs), of Mexico, in a 10-round lightweight co-feature.

The event, the second of five ShoBox telecasts in eight weeks and first of two within a one-week span, is promoted by Gary Shaw Productions in association with DiBella Entertainment.

What the fighters had to say on Thursday:

OLUSEGUN AJOSE
“I don’t watch too much tape.  When I get in the ring, I improvise.  I don’t have different plans like Plan A and Plan B.

“My style is a little different.  I don’t like to blend in, I like to stand out.

“I can’t wait to fight in America.  That’s where the big fights are.  There are big fights in the U.K., but I couldn’t get the fights that I wanted.  People are more competitive over here.  I want to fight the best.

“I want to be a champion.  I’d love to fight Morales, but if he doesn’t want to fight me after this fight I’ll fight anyone else.  I just want the belt.

“Waiting for this fight has been a nightmare.  We’ve tried to put together this fight for a long time and now we’re finally going to get in there tomorrow night.”

ALI CHEBAH
“I know Ajose is a quick, mobile fighter.  I will destroy him.

“We’ve been waiting for this fight for a while.  We’re ready for our chance.

“We’re ready to fight for a title after Friday night.  We’re not sure if Morales will face us, but we’re ready to fight for a title.

“This is the best country in boxing.  We’re happy to make our debut here and make a name for ourselves.”

DARLEY PEREZ
“The level of fighting in the U.S. is completely different so we’re ready to come here and make a statement.

“I know I’m the hardest working guy in the gym.  I always prepare myself.  My dream is to become a world champion.  I had a great amateur and pro career in Colombia and now I’m ready to prove myself in the U.S.

“I’ve been in the U.S. sparring with some good fighters.  The sparring here is much better than Colombia.

“We’ve had 22 fights as a professional now so we’d like to fight for something meaningful within the next year.”

OSCAR MEZA
“I’ve had great preparation for this fight.  All I’ve done is train since I’ve been here in the U.S.

“I’ve seen a couple of clips of Perez on YouTube but I’ve never seen him fight.  That’s not a problem for me – I’ll be ready for him.

“We’ve been working on our game plan and trying to improve on consistency and rhythm.  We’ve been working on a lot of different things and I hope it comes out in the ring tomorrow.

“In my losses against (Brandon) Rios and (Mercito) Gesta I took those fights on short notice.  We had been in the gym for a while getting ready for another fight so we feel ready for this one.”

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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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