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Ortiz on Berto Rematch: “I Expect Another Slugfest”

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berto-ortizVICTOR ORTIZ vs. ANDRE BERTO II

PRESS CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS

Monday, April 16 from STAPLES Center City View Terrance

in Los Angeles, Calif.

LOS ANGELES (April 16, 2012) Former World Champions Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto held a press conference on Monday in Los Angeles to formally announce their upcoming rematch of the 2011 “Fight of the Year” on Saturday, June 23, live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast), from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Calif.

Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KO’s), of Ventura, Calif., and Berto (28-1, 22 KO’s), of Winter Haven, Fla., will square off more than one year after their classic slugfest was named 2011 “Fight of the Year” (USA Today, Ring Magazine) for the vacant WBC Silver Welterweight Championship. The eagerly awaited 12-round fight, which was originally scheduled for February but was postponed when Berto suffered an arm injury in late January, is a rematch of a fiercely contested, multiple-knockdown affair on April 16, 2011 that Ortiz won by a unanimous decision while capturing Berto’s WBC 147-pound title.

Ortiz went on to lose the WBC title in his next fight to pound-for-pound champ Floyd Mayweather via a controversial knockout while Berto won the IBF Welterweight title in his next fight, but then relinquished it with hopes of avenging the only loss of his career against Ortiz.

In the June 23 co-feature, Mexican legend and former Three Division World Champion Humberto Soto (54-7-1, 24 KOs), of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, will face Argentinean knockout artist Lucas Matthysse (30-2, 28 KOs) in a 12-round super lightweight bout.

Tickets, priced at $250, $150, $100 and $50, are available for purchase online at www.staplescenter.com and www.ticketmaster.com or via Ticketmaster charge-by-phone lines at (800) 745-3000. Tickets will also be available at STAPLES Center box office beginning Tuesday, April 17.

“Ortiz vs. Berto II: The Rematch,” is the highly anticipated 12-round welterweight rematch of USA Today and Ring Magazine's 2011 Fight of the Year between former World Champions “Vicious” Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto for the vacant WBC Silver Welterweight Championship which will take place Saturday, June 23 at at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and DiBella Entertainment and sponsored by Corona, DeWalt Tools and AT T. The co-feature will see former Three-Division World Champion Humberto “Zorrita” Sotobattle Argentinean knockout artist Lucas Matthysse in a 12-round super lightweight fight presented in association with Baja Boxing Promotions and Arano Box Promotions. The double-header will be telecast live on SHOWTIME Championship Boxing at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).

Here’s what the participants had to say on Monday.

VICTOR ORTIZ

“I’m counted out 100 percent of the time, but that’s my comfort zone.

“He’s a great fighter, but I’m here to win. It doesn’t matter that this is in my backyard. As long as there is a ring and gloves, I’m comfortable.

“I always fight with my back against the wall. I like being counted out. It makes me hungry.

“I told him I’m going to beat you again and he told me I got lucky. He tried to bring Floyd in, but I told him to keep this between me and him. Floyd doesn’t have anything to do with us. I beat him (Berto) last time and I’ll beat him again.

“The slugfests keep boxing alive. It keeps fans coming back and I expect another one in June.

“I didn’t want to wait, but the postponement gave me time to prepare a little bit more.”

ANDRE BERTO

“I didn’t have to take this fight. I vacated the title to make this happen again.

“This fight is for the fans. The last one was tremendous and this one is going to be even better.

“We’re doing it in Kobe’s (Bryant) house, so come out for a great fight. I know all the stars will come out for it

“I was disappointed with the injury. It was unfortunate, but I’m glad we made the fight happen.Now I’m back to avenge that loss.

“I just need to be smarter and there are a few things I’ll do differently this time.

“I came back from the Ortiz fight hungry, got a world title and gave it up to beat Ortiz. This is the most important fight of my career.

“I feel a lot better. We’re healed and ready to roll.”

HUMBERTO SOTO

“I’m happy to be fighting in Los Angeles. It feels like I’m fighting at home. I expect a very difficult fight. I want to fight like a true Mexican warrior.

“I’m hoping it can be for a world title. I’m going to be in top shape and ready for a war.”

OSCAR DE LA HOYA, President of Golden Boy Promotions:

“We expect a sellout on June 23. The first fight was a tremendous success and we expect the same for the rematch. The last one was the “Fight of the Year” and I don’t think this one will be any different. It will be an explosive fight once again. Will it be repeat or revenge?

“The co-main event will also be great. It has all the ingredients to be a classic. The co-main event could be a main event anywhere.

“We’re also excited that SHOWTIME will also showcase the fighters in FIGHT CAMP 360 with three episodes leading up to the fight.”

RON RIZZO, VP of Operations of DiBella Entertainment

“These guys belong in a venue like this and it’s going to be an amazing event. 

“Andre is one of the most dedicated guys I’ve seen in any sport.  He’s looking to correct a wrong from last April and I believe he’s going to do it.”

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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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