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Williams’ Aggression The Difference In Win Over Ishida

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“Paul Williams Impresses In Shutout Victory Over Ishida.”

That was a headline of one of the leading papers in the U.S. the morning after Paul Williams’ 41-2 (27) 12-round unanimous decision victory over Nobuhiro Ishiba 24-7-2 (9) this past Saturday night. However, Williams didn’t dominate the way the scoring would lead one to believe if they hadn’t seen the fight.

Williams won at least 11 of the 12 rounds, on that there can be no doubt. But Ishida was not only in every round, he scored plenty himself and Williams didn’t leave the ring unmarked. The scores of 120-108 on all three judges cards clearly indicate points domination, but Ishida wasn’t outclassed or outworked. It was more a question of Williams being more aggressive, initiating the exchanges, and landing the harder punches. So he’d win every round, but never dominate.

What I saw this past weekend in Paul Williams is a fighter who’s slowly but surely throwing his career away. And if he continues to do so it’ll be one of the rare instances where a world class championship fighter the likes of Williams  didn’t reach his potential that wasn’t due to an overindulgence in  drugs, booze or women. That’s a rarity in boxing, regardless of the era or generation in question.

Williams was the same fighter against Ishida that he’s been for the past two and a half years. He’s fortunate that Ishida is predictable, slow and unimaginative offensively. And even at that, Paul took more punches than he should’ve. Actually, Williams gets hit with virtually everything and isn’t that big of a puncher to make every fight a war. Other than him initiating the exchanges, he didn’t really separate himself all that much from the fringe contender Ishida.

Paul continues to fight small and often leans in and pulls out unprotected. As it was stated here prior to the fight, these are correctable flaws and basics. Then again, only if the fighter cares to do so. Which based on Williams’ post fight comments, that doesn’t seem to be the case. And that’s unfortunate because he’s capable of beating every fighter in boxing weighing between 147-160, including those with the last names Martinez, Mayweather and Pacquiao.

As everyone can see Paul Williams is a gifted and talented fighter. He has a great work ethic, loves to fight and isn’t afraid to work. His conditioning is spectacular and he’s fearless. This is a guy who suffered what could’ve been a career ending knockout at the hands of Sergio Martinez in their rematch, yet hasn’t fought glove shy since. Paul shook the KO loss to Martinez off as if it never happened and fights without the least bit of trepidation. That says a lot about his constitution, but maybe in his case that’s a detriment because he hasn’t learned from getting caught so cleanly and stopped.

It’s hard to envision Williams being around that much longer if he doesn’t abandon his stubbornness and inability to learn some of boxing’s simpler principles that can make all the difference in the world. His size, conditioning and toughness will take him far, just not as far as he should eventually end up going.

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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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