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ShoBox Report: Willie Nelson Tunes Up Yudel Jhonson

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005 Nelson vs Jhonson IMG 6777OHIO’S WILLIE NELSON CHANGES TUNE WITH UPSET WIN OVER CUBAN PROSPECT YUDEL JHONSON; Badou Jack Survives via Split Decision Against Formerly Unbeaten Alexander Brand; Catch the Replay on Tuesday, May 15 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME®

LAS VEGAS (May 11, 2012) – After losing his perfect record in his ShoBox: The New Generation debut, Willie Nelson survived a highlight reel knockdown to upset Yudel Jhonson by unanimous decision. The 10-round junior middleweight SHOWTIME® main event was scored 97-92 twice and 95-94. In the evening’s co-feature from Texas Station Gambling Hall & Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev., Badou Jack defeated Alexander Brand via split decision by the scores of 77-75 two times for Jack and 77-75 for Brand in the eight-round super middleweight bout.

When ShoBox fans last saw Nelson, he entered his bout against Vincent Arroyo as the favorite with a sparkly undefeated record. The gritty Arroyo turned in a career-best performance and knocked down Nelson three times en route to a majority decision victory.

Tonight’s scenario was much different for Nelson (18-1-1, 11 KOs), of Youngstown, Ohio, as he entered the ring as an underdog against the unbeaten Cuban amateur standout Jhonson (12-1, 8 KOs), of Miami, Florida. Nelson started strong with one-two combination punching and standing tall to take full advantage of his six-foot-four frame. In the second, the southpaw Jhonson rocked Nelson with a big left hand but Nelson retaliated later in the round with a perfectly placed right that sent Jhonson to the canvas for the first time in his career. Jhonson quickly returned to his feet and continued to stalk Nelson with his powerful left hand.

In round four, Jhonson’s left hand landed in spectacular fashion. Jhonson threw a counter overhand left that sent a stiffened Nelson directly onto the canvas. Nelson bounced right back up to survive the round.

Working under the direction of new trainer Jack Loew, Nelson regained his composure and momentum by avoiding Jhonson’s left and staying more active than his opponent. Jhonson landed 77 of his 377 punches, while Nelson connected on 136 of 534.

“It was my fighter’s instinct that got me back to my feet after that knockdown,” said Nelson. “But once I got up, I was only hurt for a couple more seconds.”

Jhonson felt differently about the knockdown. “The referee did a poor job. He gave [Nelson] a lot of time to recover from that knockdown,” said Jhonson. “I thought I did enough to win.”

Nelson added, “I will definitely be staying at 154 pounds. I felt great in there. I can’t be beat at this weight.”

The first fight of the night featured a pair of unbeatens when Jack (11-0, 8 KOs), of Las Vegas, Nev., was pressed to his limits by Brand. Jack began the bout by controlling the pace with his jab before Brand disrupted his rhythm with an unusual fight style. Brand (17-1, 15 KOs) of Bogota, Colombia, loaded up on wide, lunging punches and moved throughout the ring with bursts of aggression in such an unorthodox manner that it caught Jack off guard at times throughout the bout.

Although Jack abandoned his signature body punching for most of the eight-round affair, both men landed their share of punches.

By the middle rounds, SHOWTIME boxing analyst Steve Farhood pointed out of Brand, “This guy’s technique is terrible and he’s still landing shots.”

In the eighth, the action was temporarily stopped when Brand’s protective cup fell down through his shorts. After his corner helped return the cup to its proper position, the two fighters began throwing bombs as they both completed eight rounds for the first time in their professional careers.

“[Brand] was awkward and he didn’t want to fight. I had to press him to get to him,” said Jack after the fight. “I will do better next time.”

The telecast will replay on Tuesday, May 15 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME®. The event was promoted by Warriors Boxing.


Mike Crispino
called the blow-by-blow action on ShoBox with Farhood serving as expert analyst. Gordon Hall is the executive producer of ShoBox with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.

For information on SHOWTIME Sports, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries, complete telecast information and more, visit the website at http://sports.SHO.com.

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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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