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Sergio Says Fighting at MSG Is Dream of his Life

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Final Press Conference

Martinez vs. Macklin, Rodriguez vs. George

NEW YORK (March 15, 2012) – The final press conference was held today at the famed Madison Square Garden for Saturday night's “THE REAL Middleweight Championship – Get Your Irish Up” card, presented by DiBella Entertainment.

The 12-round main event features World Middleweight Champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez (48-2-2, 27 KOs), Ring Magazine's No. 3 pound-for-pound fighter, defending against former European champion Matthew “Mack the Knife” Macklin (28-3, 19 KOs). Undefeated super middleweight contender Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (20-0, 14 KOs) takes on Don “Da Bomb” George (22-1-1, 19 KOs) in the 10-round “Bombs Away” co-feature that has possible future world title shot implications. Martinez-Macklin and Rodriguez-George will both air live on HBO's “World Championship Boxing,” starting at 10PM ET/7PM PT.

Tickets, priced at $505, $355, $205, $125 and $65, are available to purchase through the Madison Square Garden Box Office, through Ticketmaster at Ticketmaster.com or by calling (866) 858-0008. Call DiBella Entertainment at (212) 947-2577, visit www.dbe1.com and @loudibella on Twitter for more information.

Press Conference Quotes

Sergio Martinez, World Middleweight Champion: “It's a great, great honor fighting at Madison Square Garden, the dream of my life.”

Matthew Macklin, Challenger: “The only Irishmen I'll need Saturday night are Seamus (left fist) and Paddy (right first). It's been a long road to get here. I won everything on the way – Irish Championship, British Championship and European Championship twice. I should have won the WBA Championship but was stiffed by a horrible decision. Everything happens for a reason and I'm here now.”

“Sergio Martinez is the real middleweight champion and one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. I'll be really proud when I win the world championship at Madison Square Garden.”

“I trained 10 weeks in Manhattan and had world-class sparring. This is it for No. 1. I'll step in the ring 18 years to the day I started boxing. I have nothing bad to say about Sergio Martinez but every dog has his day. I'm going to be the new world middleweight champion.”

Edwin Rodriguez: “Donovan George is a very good fighter. I like watching him fight…he's entertaining. He comes to fight and so do I. It's going to be a war. I'm ready to send a message to all of the top super middleweights in the world that I've arrived. I'm ready to go to war.”

Donovan George: “I can't tell you how excited I am to be fighting on HBO and in Madison Square Garden. I have a lot of respect for Edwin; he's a great man and great fighter. I've prepared well and made a lot of sacrifices. I know I'm going to put on a great show and win.”

Lou DiBella (promoter of the show and of Martinez, Macklin and Rodriguez, co-promoter of George):

“Saturday's going to be a terrific night of boxing. There will be a lot of rockin' and rollin' with all the Irish there for Macklin. I want to thank HBO and Madison Square Garden.”

“Sergio Martinez has been the centerpiece of my company for the last four years. There's no man in the entire world of boxing that I have more respect for than Sergio. His work against domestic violence and bullying is a lot different than a fighter giving out turkeys for Thanksgiving. And he does it without cameras around.”

“There's no 'stinkability' factor. They're going to come into the ring and fight. They will entertain.”

“Matthew Macklin is as good a guy as you'll find in the sport. He fights three minutes every round. He went to Germany and beat the hell out of Felix Sturm. He's getting this opportunity because he did win that fight to earn this fight against the best middleweight in the world. There's going to be an explosion. It's going to be a tremendous fight.”

“The two best fighters in the world – anyway you want to list them – are Sergio Martinez and Floyd Mayweather.”

“Somebody's going to get knocked out in both HBO fights. Fight fans will win Saturday night like they're supposed to.”

“The first HBO fight is 'Bombs Away' – Edwin Rodriguez and Donovan George. They're both knockout-punchers and that makes for excitement. I'd be very, very surprised if it goes the distance.”

“Donovan George is a Greek/Cypriot fighter with some Irish blood. He's an exciting fighter.”

“I consider Edwin Rodriguez to be one of the top prospects in boxing and he also has one of the best stories. Edwin's wife got pregnant and their two babies (twins) were born under a pound. They survived and walked them down the aisle at their wedding the summer before last. They're special needs kids who need a lot of care. Edwin has overcome the odds and I'm proud to promote him.”

Kerry Davis (HBO): “It's always great television at Madison Square Garden, the Mecca of Boxing. There's talk about others coming to New York but there's no place like The Garden. And throw in St. Patrick's Day.”

“Sergio is must-see TV for us. He's certainly one of the best fighters in the world. He is a champion in and out of the ring. He takes on bigger challengers and always puts on exciting fights. Macklin is a willing opponent. There will be a few Irish lads there.

“The co-feature on HBO – the nicknames are 'La Bomba' and 'Da Bomb' – you can't get any better than that. I'm looking forward to a great night of television.”

Brian Peters (Macklin's co-promoter): “I've worked with Mathew since 2006. He's an old-fashioned type of guy – virtues and values. And he's an old-school fighter. Fighting in The Garden and walking in the footsteps of so many greats is where he will prove himself. Fighting on St. Patrick's Day tops it off. Sergio is a great fighter. Out of 5,000 people, only 20 or 30 will be for him and the rest will be shouting for Mathew.”

James “Buddy” McGirt (Macklin's trainer): “I'm excited about Saturday and pleased to be working with Matthew who is fighting a great fighter in Sergio. I'd like to be in the audience watching them. I'm glad to be here. I fought close to 25 fights in this building. It's going to be a great fight. Matthew Macklin will leave the building as world champion.”

Pablo Sarmiento (Martinez' trainer): “I've worked very hard with Sergio for this fight. Every fight he improves. No doubt Sergio Martinez will finish the fight before the distance. I want everybody to see the real No. 1 middleweight champion.”

Sampson Lewkowicz (Martinez' manager): “I went to promoters – Golden Boy and Top Rank – and nobody wanted Sergio Martinez, the second coming of Manny Pacquiao. The only one smart enough to sign him was Lou DiBella. This one (Sergio) is better than Manny Pacquiao because he has no problems outside the ring.

“I always say the Irish and English are the Mexicans of Europe – they always come to fight. All of the Irish cannot help him (Macklin). He will be lonely in the ring. It'll be a great fight.”

Larry Army (Rodriguez' manager): “It's been a long journey for us, the last 4½-5 years. We've made a lot of changes and I believe we've assembled one of the best teams, if not the best. I'm very confident about this fight, not over-confident. At the end of the day, I believe we'll walk away 21-0.”

Ronnie Shields (Rodriguez' trainer): “I'm looking forward to this fight. Edwin's a great guy and one of the top guys in the super middleweight division. He trained very hard. There's going to be fireworks. I expect to come out on top.”

Pete George (George's father/trainer): “We've brought 'Da Bomb' to explode at The Garden. We're going to reap what we have sown, hopefully, with a win.”

Mike Michaels (George's manager): “It's great for us fighting at Madison Square Garden. We immediately accepted when Lou and Leon offered the fight. Donovan has the ability to win and go onto bigger and better things.   It's going to end-up like World War III. I expect him to pull out a victory. I expect a great, great victory from Donovan George.”

DIBELLA ENTERTAINMENT

DiBella Entertainment builds upon the unique insights Lou DiBella developed as a television executive and matchmaker to combat the contractual exploitation of professional boxers. DiBella Entertainment creates a business model that shifts the balance of power from promoters to boxers; and establishes a legacy of matchmaking excellence, both in an effort to improve the health of the boxing industry. DiBella Entertainment represents its athletes with honesty and integrity all while making the best and fairest financial deals for its clients.

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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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