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Island Assault 3: Brian Viloria TKOs Giovani Segura

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WBO flyweight titleholder Brian “Hawaiian Punch” Viloria retained his title with a technical knockout win over former junior flyweight titleholder Giovani “Aztec Warrior” Segura on Saturday on the fight card called Island Assault 3.

Viloria (30-3, 17 KOs) proved the stronger fighter but was never tested in the later rounds when the referee stepped in to stop the fight in Manila. A one-eyed Segura (28-2-1, 24 KOs) just couldn’t see out of his right eye and the referee made a quick decision to stop the title fight. Segura never hit the canvas.

Segura came out bombing lefts and rights to the body and head. Viloria landed a few lefts but took more than he gave in the first round. The ref warned Segura about low blows and it was clear that was the plan for the Mexican fighter to attack Viloria’s body.

Viloria connected with some right hands that forced Segura to slow down in round two. Both traded bombs but it was Viloria who ended up better as Segura returned bloodied  and swollen in the second round. It was unclear if it was caused by a clash of heads or a punch.

A huge welt over Segura’s right eye developed and Viloria’s right hands didn’t help any. The Mexican fighter’s attacks were defused by Viloria’s counter right hands that were landing flush in round three.

Viloria’s left eye was bloodied as both exchanged liberally in round four. Segura landed some good uppercuts but Viloria continued to land the counter right hands. Matching power for power, Viloria seemed to be the stronger and quicker boxer.

The fifth round saw Viloria slow down and allow the Mexican fighter to work his body and head. A right slammed into Segura’s side but he was the busier fighter overall in the round and seemed to win the round despite the crowds favoring Viloria’s every punch.

Both fighters worked the body in round six with Viloria’s seemingly having more impact. A one-two by the former Olympian connected well. Round seven saw Viloria use his boxing skills even more to keep Segura off balance while landing shots as the Mexican fighter tried to get inside.

A check left hook by Viloria connected and the referee Samuel Viruet instantly stopped the fight at 29 seconds of round eight. It did seem kind of quick but the referee was inside the ring and Segura did stagger from the punch he could not see because of the overly swollen right eye. It was closed shut.

“I was patient and I had to pick my shots. I tried to use my speed a little bit. I wasn’t in the ropes at all,” said Viloria who added that he dedicated the win to his former boxing coach as an amateur. “Every punch that he landed hurt, he has heavy punches. I had to just go in there.”

The two-time former junior flyweight champion said the win vindicated him.

“It just motivates you. It’s like good old times,” he said. “I’ve had ups and downs. I want to stay world champion for as long as I can…If you never give up you can still be world champion.”

Post fight note: both Viloria and Segura train in gyms a mere three miles from each other in Southern California. Viloria trains at Maywood Boxing Club and Segura at Aztec Boxing Club in Bell.

Other bouts

Mexico’s Martin Honorio (32-6-1, 16 KOs) captured a split decision over Thailand’s Fahsai Sakkreerin (36-3, 20 KOs) after 12 rounds of a IBF junior lightweight elimination bout. Honorio attacked the body and used combination punches and Sakkreerin’s own aggression to score points especially in the latter half of the fight. Though the Thai boxer was never hurt, he was unable to muster a consistent attack especially when Honorio began tying him up after landing blows. One judge scored it 115-113 for Sakkrerrin, the other two 116-112 for Honorio.

IBF Pan Pacific titleholder Al Sahaupan (18-0-1, 13 KOs) stopped Jonal Gadapan (7-2, 5 KOs) at the end of round four. Several body shots seemed to take the life out of Gadapan in round four including some follow up lefts to the head. Gadapan’s corner waved the fight off.

Philippine flyweight champion Arden Diale (17-6-3) handed Lolito Sonsona (17-1-2, 12 KOs) his first loss while adding the IBF Asia Pan Pacific title. Behind some early work to the body, Diale was able to use overhand rights to keep Sonsona out of rhythm and unable to catch up. Sonsona could not land the left hook and suffered for it by allowing Diale to take the rounds with quick combinations over 10 rounds. All three judges scored it 98-92 for Diale.

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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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