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Brandon Rios, Richard Abril Don't Fight Before Their Fight

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RIos Abril 120409 001aTodd DuBoeuf's nerves were a wee bit jangly at the Monday Los Angeles press conference to hype the April 14 Brandon Rios-Richard Abril fight. The two men got into a physical skirmish on March 5, at a Miami presser, when the WBA interim lightweight champ Abril showed up to heckle Rios, who was in need of a replacement foe for Yuriorkis Gamboa, who no-showed the presser and flaked on a fight with Rios.

So DuBoef mustered all the patience and good humor he could, after good naturedly warning that he was in no mood for foolishness, when asking Rios and Abril to pose for a promotional photo at the end of the LA presser. Rios at first barked out hell no, but was convinced by DuBoef, who reminded him that a photo helps promote the tussle.

It went well, to a point, as they started at each other for a spell…but then Rios shoved off Abril, and cooler heads hopped in between the boxers, to prevent them from giving the milk away for free.

Rios during his time at the mike, before the shove climax,admitted he was happy with how his life has been going, and said he was proud of the three guys he took off the streets, who he called drug addicts, and he pointed to the unnamed men in the front row.

Rios (29-0-1 with 22 KOs; age 25; lives in CA), who won the WBA lightweight belt in Feb. 2011 from Miguel Acosta, defended it against Urbano Antillon that July, before dropping it because he didn't make weight for the Dec. 3, 2011 John Murray fight, said he wants that crown back. No one thought he'd be at 135 when he looked cadaverous for the Murray fight in NY, but he is still at 135, and maintains he is on track to make weight for April 14.

“I am going to gain my title back,” he said. “Abril, nobody is still going to know who he is,” after he loses to Rios, the Texas-born hitter said. He called Abril an “unknown guy,” and said he is “going to let this fool know who Bam Bam is…I'm going to knock his ass out, and will show the world why he's a shadow, I'm a star.”

Trainer Robert Garcia said Rios is in great shape and promised a great fight against Abril.

Abril during his time at the mike said in Spanish that he was grateful for the opportunity to fight Rios. The 17-2 Cuban, a free swinging sort,said that the beef he and Rios had in Miami a few weeks ago came about because he heard Rios using the eff word on him. He said he doesn't really have anything against Rios, per se, and promised a “great fight” on April 14. The 29 year-old picked up the interim WBA belt when he downed Miguel Acosta in October, via UD12.

Tix, DuBoef said, are still available for the Mandalay Bay card, scaled from $250 down to $25. The card, paired with Juan Manuel Marquez' scrap versus Sergey Fedchenko for a 140 pound belt, will air on PPV, as well, for $44.

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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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