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Roy Jones To Work Kendall Holt Corner

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FNFFormer Junior Welterweight Titlist on ESPN's Friday Night Fights

Boxing Legend Roy Jones Jr. to Work Kendall Holt's Corner

Studio Host Bernardo Osuna Makes Ringside Debut on ESPN2

 

ESPN's Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra will feature two top contenders – former Junior Welterweight titlist Kendall “Rated R” Holt (27-5, 15 KOs) and Junior Welterweight Tim “The Pitbull” Coleman (19-2-1, 5 KOs) in the 10-round main event on March 16. Friday's show will air at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2 HD, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN3 from Cabazon, Calif. The card is presented by Gary Shaw Productions.

ESPN2 studio host Bernardo Osuna,filling in for Joe Tessitore,will make his ringside debut on ESPN2 HD and ESPN3, with Teddy Atlasat the Morongo Resort Casino.

“I'm very excited to sit alongside Teddy Atlas and call the Friday Night Fights action near my home in California.” Osuna said. “Calling fights is what I love to do the most, so filling in for Joe Tessitore is a great opportunity to get ringside. Once again, I've got big shoes to fill, so I can only be myself, share my passion, and hope that our viewers enjoy what promises to be a solid card.  Former titlist Kendall Holt can't afford another defeat and Tim Coleman needs to rebound from his KO loss against Vernon Paris on Friday Night Fights, to show that he's a worthy contender.  I guess that we've all got a lot to prove on Friday Night Fights.”

Todd Grisham, currently an anchor for ESPNEWS' Highlight Express, MMA Live and SportsCenter, will fill in as Friday Night Fight's studio host. Prior to joining ESPN, Grisham served as WWE backstage interviewer, play-by-play commentator and occasional ring announcer. Grisham will discuss this Saturday's St. Patrick's Day fight between Ring Magazine's Middleweight champion Sergio Martinez and Matthew Macklin. Atlas will also discuss last week's Featherweight title rematch between Juan Manuel Lopez and Orlando Salido.

On ESPN Deportes' Viernes de Combates (Friday Night Fights), Robert Sierra and Delvin Rodriguez will call the fights with Leopoldo Gonzalez and Lindsay Casinelli in the studio.

 

Main Event:

New Jersey's Holt who defeated former lightweight titlist Julio Diaz on ESPN's Friday Night Fights last May, will have boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. in his corner this Friday. “It should make for interesting TV,” Holt, said. “With Roy being in my corner, I know there will be a lot of eyes on the fight. Besides that, I think people are interested to see how I come back against Tim Coleman.”

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Holt, who's managed by NFL running back Brandon Jacobs enters Friday's fight with experience having fought current and former titlists Julio Diaz, Timothy Bradley Jr., Ricardo Torres, Isaac Hlatshwayo, and David Diaz. Holt said of Friday's fight “I'm going to take advantage of this opportunity that's been given to me, fighting on ESPN's Friday Night Fights. I know Coleman is coming with his A-game, so this will be an entertaining fight for everyone watching. I feel like my back is against the wall and I need to leave everything in the ring. Come fight night I'm going for broke”

Las Vegas' Coleman will look to rebound after a seventh-round knockout loss to Vernon Paris.

“I've seen Kendall fight a couple times in New Jersey,” Coleman said. “Kendall's a good fighter. I think Kendall is dangerous with a left hook, but he's lacking in heart. I'm just going to go in there and outbox him. I feel like I'm a better all-around fighter than Kendall is.”

Co-Feature: 

Friday's co-feature will pit Featherweights Abraham “Chamaco” Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) against Gabriel “The Ghost” Tolmajyan (11-1-1, 3 KOs).  California's Lopez is coming off a fourth-round knockout win over Gerardo Espinoza, while Tolmajyan of California is coming off an eight-round split decision against previously undefeated Daulis Prescott.

Follow ESPN's Friday Night Fights on Twitter @ESPNFNF or like on Facebook.

This event is promoted by Gary Shaw Productions in conjunction with Thompson Boxing and the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa.  Tickets priced $35 & $55 are on sale now and can be purchased at the Morongo Casino Box office or by calling the Box office hotline at (951) 755-5391.  Tickets are also available by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745- 3000 or online at ticketmaster.com.

The Morongo Casino Resort and Spa is located at 49500 Seminole Dr, Cabazon, CA, 92230.  Doors open at 5:00 p.m , first fight starts at 5:30 p.m.  ESPN “Friday Night Fights” telecast begins at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

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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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