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Hank Lundy Wants Antonio Demarco

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ceslogo1PROVIDENCE, R.I. (April 4, 2012) – There’s a time and a place for everything in a boxer’s life, including the time to sit back and reflect on recent accomplishments.

“Hammerin’” Hank Lundy, who vaulted to No. 2 among lightweights in this month’s World Boxing Council (WBC) rankings after dominating Dannie Williams this past Friday, will let the world know when he feels he’s done something significant.

Until then, it’s back in the gym mastering the craft that’s brought him to the brink of stardom.

“I appreciate being No. 2, but I’m not satisfied,” said Lundy, who defended his North American Boxing Federation (NABF) title with Friday’s win and improved to 22-1-1. “I’ll be satisfied when I win that world title. Then we can talk.

“Right now, I ain’t done nothing yet.”

Lundy would rather let his peers do the talking, and, after Friday’s scintillating victory on ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights” – arguably his most complete performance to date – there’s plenty to discuss regarding Lundy’s chances of winning a world title in the competitive lightweight division.

At No. 2 in the world, he’s on the brink of a major title shot, just one spot ahead of Mexico’s Sergio Thompson (22-2, 20 KOs), who upset Jorge Linares – the former No. 2 lightweight in the world – via second-round knockout Saturday night in a WBC world title eliminator. Linares, who lost to current WBC lightweight champion Antonio DeMarco in October for the then-vacant title, dropped to fifth in the rankings while Thompson, a former super featherweight, jumped to No. 1, though it’s still uncertain whether or not Thompson will get a mandatory shot at DeMarco’s title, so Lundy is still holding out hope that he’ll get the call if and when DeMarco is ready to fight.

“He’s tailor-made for me,” Lundy said of DeMarco, who is scheduled to defend his belt against an opponent to be determined on July 7 in California.

“I need that fight. I want that fight. He stands right in front of you and makes a lot of mistakes. I’m not going to run my mouth, but that’s the fight I want.”

On paper, it appeared Linares would take care of business against Thompson and face DeMarco in a highly-anticipated rematch for the world title in July, but Thompson’s upset victory Saturday in Mexico added an unexpected wrinkle to the championship picture. Though Thompson is the official No. 1 contender in the WBC, Lundy has faced tougher competition in recent years; the record of Lundy’s last seven opponents is a remarkable 140-10-3, which includes wins over former WBC world champion David Diaz and current World Boxing Association (WBA) lightweight champion Richard Abril.

Thompson, who entered April ranked No. 16 in the world among super featherweights, hadn’t fought above 130 pounds since June, and among those three bouts, only one came against an opponent with a winning record.

The years of hard work appear to have finally paid off for Lundy, who is now arguably the most logical, legitimate challenger for DeMarco’s world title.

“Everybody’s talking about all these other guys fighting for the title, but I should be fighting for it. I’m next in line. I’ve put in more work than anybody.

“Right now, I’m No. 2 in the world. They should make these champions start fighting the top contenders, or else strip them of their titles. I’ve never run from any fighter. I think the champs should do the same. Fight me!

“At the end of the day, it’s going to be an ass-whooping.”

Given DeMarco’s record (27-2-1, 20 KOs) and recent success in the lightweight division, Lundy would probably be the underdog if the two were to face one another for the title. No problem, says Lundy – he’s used to it by now.

“I was supposed to lose and get knocked out by Williams, too,” Lundy said. “Like I keep telling people, my will and determination to win always shows through. Even after getting knocked down [in the first round] I bounced right back up.

“The world should know by now not to go against me. Every time you put me in there against these guys I’m supposed to lose to, I end up winning the fight.”

Lundy suffered a flash knockdown against Williams in the opening round when his opponent hit him on the side of the temple with a hard right hand – Williams’ signature blow. Lundy’s glove touched the ground momentarily; he bounced right back up and went on to dominate the final nine rounds in a decisive, 97-92, 97-92, 98-91 win. The key was Lundy’s ability to soften the body and keep Williams at bay with his jab, which Williams couldn’t defend.

“At the end of the day, I’m a fighter,” Lundy said. “My corner tells me what to do, but sometimes you have to adjust. My main thing was to go to the body, which I did, but once he got in front of me, I noticed he couldn’t handle the jab.

“That’s what great fighters do. When you’re a great fighter, you learn to do certain things. I broke him down. The knockdown? He hit me on the temple. If anyone gets hit on the temple, they’ll get knocked down, but my knee never touched the ground. It was a flash knockdown – that’s it. I did what I had to do.”

Whether or not the current champions hold up their end of the bargain remains to be seen. For now, Lundy is back in the gym in his hometown of Philadelphia improving each day while waiting for the opportunity of a lifetime.

“This is my career,” he said. “Most fighters take six or seven months off after a fight. I stay in the gym 24/7 working on my craft. Most of these guys want to step up to the plate and face me. Go ahead. I’m always in the gym working.”

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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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