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ABRIL: “I'm Going To Break Rios' Mouth”

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toprankLAS VEGAS, NEV (April 10, 2012) – Undefeated former World Lightweight Champion BRANDON “Bam Bam” RIOS (29-0-1, 22 KOs), of Oxnard, Calif., and his opponent, World Boxing Association (WBA) interim lightweight champion and Cuban expatriate RICHARD ABRIL (17-2-1, 8 KOs), of Miami, Fla., hosted a Las Vegas media workout at the Top Rank Gym today. These two warriors face off for the vacant WBA lightweight title on Saturday night at Mandalay Bay. Here’s what they had to say:

BRANDON RIOS

“I’m not letting this unknown coming in and ruining eight years of hard work I put into building my professional boxing career. I beat Miguel Acosta when he was in his prime unlike Abril who beat him on his way down on short notice.

“I was disappointed when I lost the title because I lost the title to myself, on the scale and not to an opponent. It was my fault 100%. The minute I returned home after that fight (A TKO 11 victory of John Murray on Dec. 3) I went straight to the gym to resume training and hired a nutritionist.It was the best decision I ever made. I’m a beast. I feel so much more energetic and powerful and I’m not missing meals. I’m never hungry.

“I’m just a guy who loves to fight. I love my job.

“I originally came back to 135 pounds to fight Gamboa and to win back my world lightweight title. I wanted my title back. I’m not the same without a world championship belt around my waist. I also think a world title makes me worth more. It makes me more valuable.

“Juan Manuel Márquez and I have a lot of options in 2012 and a lot of opportunities. I think this could be a career year for either of us.One of us could end up as th Fighter of the Year.”

RICHARD ABRIL

“This is a great opportunity for me to win a world title. It’s also a great opportunity for Rios to lose to a great champion. He’ll become more famous because he lost to me.

“When I beat Acosta to win the interim world title, I knocked him down three times during the fight. I had a more dominant performance against Acosta than Rios.

“I’m going to break Rios’ mouth when we fight. He’s said a lot of shit. I want Rios to make weight. I want him at his best when I beat him. No excuses.

“I was surprised when Gamboa withdrew from his fight against Rios. I thought Gamboa had a good chance to beat Rios. For a $1 million purse I would fight King Kong.

“I don’t like Rios. He’s got a big mouth. Rios is a good fighter.He has a Mexican fighting style. But Saturday is going to be the end for him. My best weapon is my precision. That is my advantage over Rios.”

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JUAN MANUEL MÁRQUEZ headlines the event as he goes for an historic fourth world title in as many different weight divisions when he rumbles with World Boxing Organization (WBO) European junior welterweight champion SERGEY FEDCHENKO for the vacant WBO interim 140-pound world title. Márquez-Fedchenko will take place in México City’s brand new Arena México. Rios, who will be in the other main event, will attempt to reclaim his old title when he tangles with Cuban gladiator and WBA interim lightweight champion Abril in a battle for the vacant WBA lightweight title, Saturday, April 14, at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.Rounding out the card will be a battle of Top 10 contenders when “Mile High” MIKE ALVARADO takes on MAURICIO HERRERA in a 10-round junior welterweight bout and undefeated Top 10 contender MERCITO “No Mercy” GESTA risks record and rating when he fights OSCAR CUERO in a 10-round lightweight bout. The Márquez/Rios world championship event will be produced by Top Rank and distributed Live by HBO Pay-Per-View®, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.

Boxing fans at Mandalay Bay will also see the Márquez-Fedchenko world title fight live, via closed-circuit, on a jumbo screen.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Zanfer Promotions, Tecate and AT&T, remaining tickets priced at $250, $150, $100, $50 and $25, not including applicable service charges, are available at all Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Mandalay Bay at (877) 632-7400 or Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also will be available for purchase at www.mandalaybay.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

Rios, the former WBA lightweight champion, enters this fight having won 10 of his previous 11 fights by knockout. Highlight victories on his resume include Miguel Acosta, Anthony Peterson, Urbano Antillon and John Murray, none of whom went the distance. Abril returns to the ring having won seven of his previous eight fights. He captured the WBA interim lightweight title last October, knocking down former WBA lightweight champion Acosta three times en route to a unanimous decision victory.

Márquez (53-6-1, 39 KOs), of México City, is one of only a rare few from México to have won world titles in three different weight divisions.The only man to go the distance with pound for pound superstar Manny Pacquiao three times, Márquez boasts a Hall of Fame resume highlighted by victories over Marco Antonio Barrera, Manuel Medina, Joel Casamayor, Juan Diaz and Michael Katsidis. Fedchenko (30-1, 13 KOs), from Kharkov, Ukraine, enters this fight riding a 28-month winning streak, which has includes WBO European title victories over Willy Blain and Demarcus Corley. He is world-rated No. 4 by the WBO.

Alvarado (32-0, 23 KOs), of Denver, has won 10 of his last 12 bouts by stoppage en route to a career-high No. 3 world rating, in the World Boxing Organization (WBO). Notable knockout victims include Breidis Prescott, Ray Narh, Emmanuel Clottey and Cesar Bazan. Herrera (18-1, 7 KOs), of Riverside, Calif., enters this fight riding a two-year, five-bout winning streak, highlighted by victories over Ruslan Provodnikov (17-0) and Mike Dallas, Jr. (17-1-1). Herrera is currently world-rated No. 7 by the International Boxing Federation (IBF).

Gesta (24-0-1, 12 KOs), of Cebu, Philippines, returns to the ring with seven of his last 10 victories coming inside the distance, earning career-high world ratings of No. 7 in the WBA and No. 8 in the WBO. He takes on Cuero (15-7, 12 KOs), of Cartagena, Colombia, whose last 10 victories have come by way of knockout.

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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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