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Eddie Chambers Welcomes NBC Sports To Philly

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FightNightEddie Chambers and Philly Fighters

Welcome NBC Sports Network

Robinson, Chambers and Rosado
Robinson, Chambers and Rosado –
Credits: Philly Boxing History

During a recent media event at Joe Hand Gym Boxing Gym in Philadelphia, fighters, promoters and network officials agreed that getting back to boxing basics in the City of Brotherly Love was just what the doctor ordered.

Gary Quinn, Senior Director, Program Planning and Aquisitions, NBC Sports Group, explained how Philadelphia ties in to the NBC Sports Network Fight Night game plan, “What we think puts us in a unique position to make this series succeed is now that we have the NBC Sports Group formulated, we've got 4 media platforms: we've got the NBC broadcast network; we've got the 24/7 NBC Sports Network; we have the 12 regional sports networks; and our digital platforms. It's no coincidence that we are here in Philadelphia where we have one of the strongest RSN's (Regional Sports Network) with CSN (Comcast SportsNet) Philly.”

Quinn added, “So you can say, 'okay you've got the promotional platform, but you've got to have the product to make it work.' We think we do. We've come up with a model that resembled what we did back in the day when The Fight Doctor (Ferdie Pacheco) said, 'The key is putting crossroads fights on. You don't have to worry about titles; you don't have to worry about records. You want to match styles that will put on a good show.' We feel Kathy (Duva) and Russell (Peltz) have done a great job on this card from top to bottom. That's going to be the theme, to put on wars that have our viewers wanting more and more.”

Kathy Duva, CEO Main Events, explained the location for the debut show, “Philadelphia has a powerful boxing history and many avid boxing fans, we want to use that to make our show successful. Five of the eight bouts on this amazing card feature fighters that are from Philly. We want people in the audience that are from Philadelphia, so that everyone in the arena has a rooting interest, so we know they are going to make a lot of noise. This is why we chose Philly fighters like Gabriel Rosado and Ray Robinson to be on the undercard, they make terrific fights and have a big following. This will make for a great night in the arena and on TV.”

Ray Robinson, 12-2, 5 KO's, will be in an 8 round welterweight fight against Doel Carasquillo, of Frederica, DE, 16-18-1, 14 KO's. He assured the crowd that he was ready to put on a great show, “This is going to be an action-packed fight. Anybody that knows me knows I bring the fight. I'm a great boxer. I've trained hard enough for anything. I'll make sure that it's going to be a great fight on January 21st because it is on my birthday!”

Ray Robinson
Ray Robinson –
Credits: Philly Boxing History

Fellow Philadelphian, Gabriel Rosado, 18-5, 10 KO's, faces Jesus Soto Karass of Los Mochis, 24-6-3, 16 KO's, in what promises to be a 10 round junior welterweight war. Rosado ensured his fans that he was ready to give them a rousing show, “I am excited about this card. Soto Karass is a tough guy and I am excited to make a statement. I am going to show that I am a heavy hitter at 154. It's going to be one helluva fight. Soto Karass is gonna bring it. I'm ready for everything. I have a big following and they're all gonna come. I can't wait.”

Gabriel Rosado
Gabriel Rosado –
Credits: Philly Boxing History

Kathy Duva spoke of choosing the main event for the NBCSN Fight Night debut show, “When the time comes to try to actually make the fights that everybody wants to see, you find out it's a lot harder than you thought it might be. As we went through the list, we found consistently that in the heavyweight division there were a lot more people willing to fight each other than anywhere else. And I think that that's a good thing.” She went on to say, “There's a lot of talk about how the heavyweight division isn't what it used to be. Well I'll tell you, in recent years the only opportunity for heavyweights was to wait their turn to go to Germany and get beat up by one of the Klitschko's. That does not make for becoming a better fighter, that does not cause anyone to learn or get better. What makes a great fighter is that they have to be in competitive fights, they have to learn as they go along.”

“We were delighted when we were able to make arrangements with Eddie Chamber's promoter, Dan Goossen of Goossen Tutor to bring him to this show. He hasn't fought in Philadelphia in a very long time, so this is a bit of a homecoming for him. He is one of the top heavyweights in the world and he has agreed to fight another one of the top heavyweights in the world, Sergei Liakhovich. This is exactly the kind of match we were looking for. They both have a lot at stake, they are both going to come in and do their best, and they're both going to try to win,” Duva concluded.

Philadelphia resident, Eddie Chambers, 36-2, 18 KO's, was in very good spirits as he discussed his upcoming battle with Sergei Liakhovich, Scottsdale, AZ, 25-4, 16 KO's, on NBC Sports Network, “I'd really like to thank NBC for stepping up to the plate and trying to bring boxing back to what it used to be. I hate to disappoint NBC because they want competitive fights and all, but in my opinion this is not going to be a competitive fight.” He confidently boasted, “I got a lot of respect for Sergei; he's been a world champion; a really good fighter; but I think I'm a little more advanced than he is! I think I pose a lot of threats to him. I've watched some his tapes, and some of the things he's done. It doesn't hurt that I am probably in the best shape that I've ever been in. I think it's not going to be easy, but I think what I bring to the table is going to be too much for him to handle.”

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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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