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HOPKINS at Final Presser: “My Goal Is To Be Fighter of the Year”

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HopkinsDawsonFinalPC_Blevins31“BELIEVE IT OR NOT: HOPKINS VS. DAWSON”
FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES

BERNARD HOPKINS, WBC & Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight World Champion

“I would like to say it is good to be back in Los Angeles.  I made history here years back with Howard Eastman in the middleweight division with my 20th title defense.  I am excited to be back making history.

“I didn't know Dewey Bozella from a can of paint, but I heard his story and then I did my own research.  I saw this wasn't a charity case. 

  
“Dewey and I understand what that dark place means.  Whether you committed the crime or you have been accused of something you didn't do.  The place is still going to be the same when you get there.

“That is where I go when I get ready for war.  You try to figure out what my secret is.  I systematically calculate and go back to a place that is very dark.  I go back to that place without putting myself in a position where I won't lose my freedom.

“If Chad Dawson brings everything that Gary Shaw said he would bring to the table, and I bring everything that I have been known to bring to the table, everyone that buys pay-per-view will get their money's worth.

“My goal is to be fighter of the year.  My goal is to make history again.  There aren't athletes in any sport four years from 50 that can do this.

“[To Dawson] You have Winky.  Fine.  But I don't understand why you hire a guy to help you take you driver's test when he failed his.

“I want you [to Dawson] to bring the best out of me.

“I am challenging Chad Dawson to try to knock me out.  I want to see the best Chad Dawson.

“I just need Chad Dawson to bring his half.  I am going to bring my half.  Then you have a party.  You have a fight.”

“Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, but at the end you all win, the customers win.

“Right now I am begging this guy to do everything he said he was going to do because guess who wins?  Boxing.

“My birth certificate is what it is.  Stop putting me in a category with the average 40 and up person.  Gary Shaw is only a few years older than me.  Look at him and look at me!

“You all have seen me.  You know what I can do…push ups and all.” [In reference to the puch-ups he did between rounds in his last fight against Jean Pascal.]

“Saturday, October 15, you are going to have to rewrite history.  This is going to be a show that you are going to have to say to yourself, 'We thought we had seen it all.'

CHAD DAWSON, Former Light Heavyweight World Champion

“I am excited to be here.  This is what I have been waiting for my whole career.  I am ready to fight against a great champion.

“Hopkins has done a lot for the sport of boxing.  I truly believe that.

“I am looking forward to coming out and showing everyone that I am the best light heavyweight in the world.  It was Bernard Hopkins, but now it is going to be me.

“It has been a great camp. I have been here for almost two weeks.  I'm comfortable.  This has been the best camp I have had in the last two or three years.

“On Saturday night I am going to be the new champion of the world…believe it!”

ANTONIO DEMARCO, WBC #1 Rated Lightweight Contender

“I am excited to be here.  I have chills.  I am very excited.  I feel like crying.  I'm ready.

“I just want to say, I am a dreamer.  Everything that you have in mind you can achieve.  It has not been easy to get a second shot [at a world title] and I won't miss out on this opportunity.

“I want to thank the people in Tijuana for giving me a plate of food when I didn't have any and now I am here.

“I ultimately want to be like Bernard Hopkins.”

JORGE LINARES, Former Two-Division World Champion

“I want to thank everyone for being here.  I want to thank my two new trainers Alex Ariza and Freddie Roach.

“There are only a couple of days to go.   It has been a great camp.  I sparred a total of 30 rounds against Manny Pacqiuao.  We helped each other.  I want to thank him as well.  It is going to be a great fight.”

KENDALL HOLT, Former World Champion

“His [Danny Garcia's] father has all of this energy, but talk is cheap.  He is saying that he is going to prove this and that.  He is not the one that is going to be hit by this right hand and by my left hook.

“Who has he [Danny Garcia] knocked out?  You cover the fights and you read the articles.  Name one person that we are going to talk about one day that he has knocked out.

“It doesn't matter how many knockouts you have, it is who you have knocked out.

“After this fight, he is going to have to beg for another chance.

“I am going to do my thing.  [I will show my] blazing speed and hard power.

“Garcia has never been hit by someone like me.  He has never been in there with someone as experienced as me.”

DANNY GARCIA, Top Undefeated Junior Welterweight Contender 

“We had a tremendous camp.  We worked hard.  We took it to the next level.

“I am ready to fight the best.  Kendall Holt is one of the best.  That is why I am in this business; to compete against the best.

“I am ready and I will be a winner on Saturday night.”

PAULIE MALIGNAGGI, Former World Champion

“For my fight, the points are going to the Golden Boy side.  This is one for our side.

“When Oscar [de la Hoya] was reading all of my opponents, I was starting to feel old.  I have been in there with a lot of great fighters.

“Come Saturday, night I am going to put on a show.  I am going to put on a great performance with the backing of the strong team.

“This has been a great year and next year will be even bigger.”

ORLANDO LORA, Welterweight Contender

“I want to invite the fans to come and see a great fight.

“I have been through some adversity.  Right now, I am here to show that I belong on this level and you will see what I have on Saturday night.”

DEWEY BOZELLA, 2011 ESPN Arthur Ashe Courage Award Recipient Making Pro Debut

“I want everyone to know that this wasn't handed to me.  I am here to win.  I have been through ups and downs.

“I know what it is like to be locked up, and I like freedom better.

“People think this is an easy sport.  For Bernard Hopkins to be at the level he is at today is amazing.  When I got to camp, I was so far off.  I only had about 20 percent of what I have now.

“To everyone on this dais, you're a champion no matter what happens because you have dedicated your life to this sport.  I am proud of ever single one of you.

“I am not a charity case.  I am here because I had to earn it.  Boxing is about responsibility and discipline and that is what kept me going.

“Now I have the opportunity to fight on the Bernard Hopkins vs. Chad Dawson undercard and I am going to give one zillion percent of what I have.  I want to show everyone that I am not busted (takes shirt off).”

NAAZIM RICHARDSON, Hopkins' trainer

“What do you say about Bernard Hopkins that you haven't already heard?  He is not only one of the greatest athletes of this era; he is one of the greatest personalities.

“He always has a sound bite for you that are going to carry the promotion.  This is important for boxing because we need that spark.

“Everyone needs to recognize what you are watching and what you are witnessing.

“Chad has been an outstanding champion.

“When you look across the ring and you don't see a step up fight and you see an absolute legend, your corner can't tell you how you are going to respond until that day comes.  Come Saturday, Dawson, who I have a great deal of respect for, is going to look across the ring in the eyes of one of the greatest of all time.”

JOHN SCULLY, Dawson's Head Trainer

“I just want to give a shout out to the rest of the training team

“I actually go way back with Naazim.  I have a lot of respect for him.

“I haven't trained Chad since he was a kid, but I have seen him since the very beginning.  We go way back.  I have seen him grow from a little kid to the man he is now.

“Everyone has that time to come out.  I believe Chad Dawson is more than ready and he realizes this is his time to come out.

“I am looking forward to a great event and great fight.”

WINKY WRIGHT, Dawson's Assistant Trainer

“I want to thank Gary Shaw and the Dawson camp for accepting me.  I came in to lighten the mood and have fun with him [Dawson].

“Bernard is a great champion.  He wouldn't be where he is without fighting great fighters.  He doesn't duck anyone and there aren't a lot of champions who do that.”

FREDDIE ROACH, Linares' Trainer

“We have had a great training camp.  We dragged Jorge around the world.  He has been helping Manny Pacquiao get ready for his fight with Marquez.

“We know we have a great opponent in front of us.  Don't miss this one.  It is going to be a great fight.”

OSCAR DE LA HOYA, President of Golden Boy Promotions

“I have been in there with some good fighters: Chavez, Whitaker, Mayweather and Pacquiao, but I do have to admit that Hopkins is the best fighter out of all of them that I ever faced.

“People throw around the word great.  In the history of the game there have only been a handful of great fighters.  It is my honor, as it should be to everyone here, to be in his [Hopkins'] presence.

“We are not going to see another fighter like Bernard Hopkins.

“Bernard Hopkins keeps turning back father time but that statue [Ripley's Wax Figure] actually looks older than the real Hopkins.

“Jorge Linares vs. Antonio DeMarco is going to be a matchup of styles and it is going to be an exciting one for the fans.

“Danny Garcia turned professional in 2007 and we are thrilled to have him as part of the Golden Boy Promotions stable of fighters.

“Paulie Malignaggi is known for his flashy style in and out of the ring.

“Dewey Bozella will be making his professional debut and his pay-per-view debut.  He can only give hope to people.  He sends a message to never give up no matter what.”

GARY SHAW, President and CEO of Gary Shaw Productions

“I really believe, not because I am the co-promoter of this card, that this card from top to bottom is as good of a card I have ever seen whether on pay-per-view or on commercial television.

“We have great fights that are evenly matched.

“[Points to trophy] It is called the promoters cup.  The promotional company that wins the most fights Saturday night will leave with it.

“John Scully is not a new trainer.  He is actually an old trainer.  He was probably Chad's original trainer.

“I've never seen Chad Dawson as happy, as in good of shape, as he is now.

“[Looks at Hopkins] I believe this fight is going to be your retirement party.  I am glad I am going to be there for it.

“[To Hopkins] Chad Dawson is a different Chad Dawson than you have seen, than any one else has seen.  You can say whatever you want; you will not get into his head.  I guarantee you that.

“[To Hopkins] You can take home the wax sculpture, we'll take home the Tecate girls.

“DeMarco happens to be one of my favorite fighters.  He is one of the most humble people I have met in all of boxing.  He is always happy.  He is always smiling.  He is a pleasure to be around and a great fighter.

“Kendall [Holt] has the biggest punch of any 140 pounder.  Danny Garcia is a nice young kid.  I have a lot of respect for him, but when Kendall hits him with the right or the left, its going to be lights out.  I guarantee that.”

Jim Pattison Jr., President of Ripley's Believe It Or Not!

“We are lucky to be here for this special fight;
History will be made Saturday night;
A freak of nature call it what you will;
Bernard Hopkins will give you a thrill;
This man is special and knows how to win;
There is nowhere in boxing that he hasn't been;
A legend to all, he knows all the tricks;
He's still schooling the youngsters at age 46;
Follow his career and learn all the facts;
Now he is immortal… forever in wax.”

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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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