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UFC: Dos Santos KOs Velasquez on Fox…AVILA

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UFC-on-Fox-Logo crop 340x234 display imageANAHEIM-It was one and done for UFC heavyweight champion as Brazil’s Junior Dos Santos violently wrested the UFC heavyweight championship from Cain Velasquez to become the new  UFC titleholder on Saturday.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship changed hands abruptly before a nationally televised audience with challenger Dos Santos (14-1) disappointing the mostly pro-Velasquez crowd at the sold out Honda Center with the knockout win. Fox televised the event.

Velasquez (9-1) was making his first heavyweight title defense since beating former champion Brock Lesnar in the same arena a year ago. Injuries forced the Mexican-American mixed martial arts fighter to keep from defending the title.

Dos Santos had knocked out most of his opponents but was unable to stop former challenger Shane Carwin in his last bout. For this fight he expected a knockout.

Velasquez met Dos Santos in the middle of the Octagon and both exchanged punches and kicks with neither causing damage. Then a right hand by Dos Santos seemed to clip Velasquez who retaliated and missed. They circled a bit and both exchanged again with the Brazilian landing an overhand right behind Velasquez’s ear. Down he went. Dos Santos delivered six more blows to the fallen champion forcing referee John McCarthy to stop the fight at 1:04 of round one.

“I have no words to say of what I’m feeling,” said Dos Santos in tears. “Cain Velasquez was my toughest opponent for sure.”

Velasquez said that the punch disable his senses.

“He messed up my equilibrium. He’s got power,” Velasquez said.

Dos Santos admitted being tentative but ready despite injuries.

“I was not 100 percent for this fight so I was scared,” he said.

Henderson wins

Lightweight contenders Benson Henderson (15-2) and manic paced Clay Guida (29-9) electrified the crowd with slugging, brutal knees to the head and attempted submissions in a frenetic three round lightweight matchup.

Henderson took charge early with his knees to the head followed by withering punches that stunned Guida but never slowed his attack. Though both tried for submission holds throughout the bout neither could gain the upper hand very long.

After three high fueled rounds Henderson was judged the winner 30-27 twice and 29-28.

“He’s super hard to deal with,” said Henderson. “He has a high energetic pace.”

Guida didn’t contest the scoring.

Henderson will now meet UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar for the title.

“Frankie Edgar, we got a date,” Henderson said.

Other bouts

Louisiana’s Dustin Poirer (11-1) out-smarted North Dakota’s Pablo Garza (12-2) to force a submission at 1:32 of round two with a D’Arce choke in the lightweight bout. “I took my time because he’s a very dangerous and unpredictable fighter,” Poirer said.

Chicago’s Ricardo “The Bully” Lamas (11-2) survived a guillotine choke by Palm Spring’s Cub Swanson (15-5) to win by arm triangle at 2:16 of round two in a featherweight clash. “It was very tight,” said Lamas of the choke by Swanson. “I couldn’t breathe.” Lamas managed to turn things around and forced Swanson to tap out.

Utah’s Damarques Johnson (18-9) left hooked Atlanta’s Clay Harvison (9-5) out of there in 1:34 of round one for a technical knockout win in a welterweight fight. A left hook floored Harvison who paused to raise his hands but the fight wasn’t stopped until Johnson fired another right. “I thought it was over,” Johnson said.

San Francisco’s Darren Uyenoyama (7-3) upset Japan’s legendary Kid Yamamoto (18-5) and probably beat him twice to do it. In the first round it looked like the Japanese fighter tapped out but it was overlooked by the referee. Uyenoyama proceeded to dominate on the ground each and every round despite running into a big left hand in the second round. Two judges scored it 30-27 and one 30-26 for Uyenoyama making his UFC debut. “I never would have imagined myself here 10 years ago,” he said.

Escondido’s Robert Peralta (16-3) won by technical knockout over Virginia’s Mackens Semerzier (8-3) at 1:54 of round three. An accidental collision of heads floored Semerzier and Peralta kept pummeling the fallen fighter until the fight was stopped by referee McCarthy.

Miami’s Alex Caceres (6-4) began with a bang, landing every punch and kick in the MMA fight books against Fresno’s Cole Escobedo(17-9) in a bantamweight fight. Reverse punches, flying kicks and overall quickness proved a big factor in Escobedo’s win by unanimous decision 30-27 on all three cards.

Oregon’s Mike Pierce (13-4) used a stiff jab and overhand rights to control the action against Minnesota’s Paul Bradley (18-4) in a welterweight match to win by split decision after three rounds. One judge scored it 29-28 for Bradley and the other two 30-27, 29-28 for Pierce.

San Antonio’s Aaron Rosa (17-4) used his height and reach to beat Arizona’s Matt Lucas (14-3) by unanimous decision in a light heavyweight bout. After three rounds of punches and plus a point deduction for Lucas for losing his mouth piece twice, all three judges scored it for Sosa 30-28, 30-26 twice.

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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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