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Winky, Quillin, Tarver and Kayode Talk Ahead of June 2 Bouts

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showtime-boxingNEW YORK (May 21, 2012) – Training camp continues in full steam for the talented and confident boxers who’ll be fighting on “Four Warned” – the highly anticipated quadrupleheader featuring a pair of boxing legends in dangerous assignments and two world championship fights on Saturday, June 2, live on SHOWTIME® from The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

Check out this video from Showtime, to whet your appetite.

In the main event, former light heavyweight champion and current SHOWTIME boxing analyst Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver (29-6, 20 KO’s), of Tampa, Fla., will face unbeaten, hard-hitting Lateef “Power” Kayode (18-0, 14 KO’s), of Hollywood, Calif., by way of Lagos, Nigeria, in a 12-round cruiserweight bout.

Former world champion Ronald “Winky” Wright (51-5-1, 25 KO’s), of St. Petersburg, Fla., returns to the ring to face undefeated Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (26-0, 20 KO’s), of Brooklyn, N.Y., in a 10-round junior middleweight co-feature.

In the featured world title fights, WBA super welterweight titlist Austin “No Doubt” Trout (24-0, 14 KO’s), of Las Cruces, N.M., will defend against third-ranked WBA contender Delvin Rodriguez (26-5-3, 14 KO’s), of Danbury, Conn., by way of Santiago, D.R., and IBF No. 1-rated bantamweight contender Vusi “Marvelous” Malinga (20-3, 12 KO’s), of Johannesburg, South Africa, and unbeaten IBF No. 5-rated bantamweight contender Leo “Terremoto” Santa Cruz (19-0-1,11 KO’s), of Lincoln Heights, Calif., will clash for the vacant IBF bantamweight crown.

Other than Malinga, who’s still in South Africa, all the fighters on “Four Warned” train in the United States. Here’s what the seven fighters said from their training camps:

Antonio Tarver

“I changed things up starting with my last fight against Danny Green. I ran when I needed to run and I got into condition. I didn’t overdo it and over-train like I normally had to do in order to make weight. I had to kill myself to get down in the past and we’re not doing that now.We’re taking our time, working in the gym and working on strength and conditioning and we’re being consistent.

“If we miss a day to get some rest, that’s OK and it’s not the end of the world. As long as I’m eating good, living right and getting my rest, that’s the main thing. We’re not going to beat ourselves up in sparring. If I get fatigued to the point where I’m not as sharp anymore, they’ll pull me out. I’m doing things like the veteran that I am and we’re doing it real smart.

“We’re keeping things in perspective. It’s about having my body catch up with my mind, because my mind is there. I’m sharp. The reflexes are still there as well, but the body has to catch up because when I put my mind on it, the mind is already there and I’m dialed in, but the body needs to get the endurance built up. Don’t worry, things are coming along great and we’ll peak on fight night.

“I’m working in Tampa with my longtime trainer Jimmy Williams and Buddy McGirt comes down three or four days a week. He’ll also be down the week before we leave for the fight and he knows what we’ve got to work on.Jimmy and Buddy work together great and I think I’ve got the best of both worlds with these guys. Jimmy is a great guy in preparation and I think Buddy is the best trainer in the game between rounds as far as giving the proper instructions and making sure he has his fighter’s attention and focus.”

Lateef Kayode

“I've had a great camp at The Wild Card. I have a great team. We started early, so I’ve been working for a long time. It will be three months by fight time. I’m in the best condition ever. My body can take anything he throws at me. If he wants to trade, I will trade and if he wants to box, I will box. I can go 12 rounds without a problem, but there is no way he will be able to withstand the kind of punishment I will give him unless he plans on running away all night. Either way I am knocking this man out.

“If it goes the distance, they might try to rob me, so I am going to put Tarver to sleep before the 12th round.That way I am the judge and the jury.”

Winky Wright

“Camp is great. We’re ready to fight. I’m ready to kick some butt.

“It’s been great training in Tampa, while being home to see my kids. It motivates me even more to have my family around, but I’m glad I went away to Phoenix for a month to get my body used to the intense training again.

“Now I’m just fine-tuning and getting ready for June 2. There are a lot of different things I’m doing in camp with my trainer Dan Birmingham, but you have to wait to see it on fight night.”

Peter Quillin

“The day of the fight will mark the 32-year anniversary of my father leaving Cuba and coming to the United States. He arrived in the United States on June 2, 1980, so I have a stronger reason why this fight means so much to me. I’m living the true American Dream.

“Winky keeps saying he is coming to knock Kid Chocolate’s head off. I really want to know who put a battery in this man’s back. Now the fans will expect Winky Wright to keep his word, but I will continue to be the powerhouse that I am. No ifs, ands or buts about it.

“This camp has taught me that if I want to perform at the top level, then I have to prepare at the top level. You can expect nothing less from me – only hard work. I’m a fulltime fighter that believes the job can never be done. When it comes to boxing, there’s always room for improvement and ways to get better.

“The atmosphere at Wild Card is really supportive. You feel like you are going into the ring with a posse of other professionals right there with you. I’m fortunate to have Freddie Roach and Eric Brown working (with me) six days a week and I’m also blessed to work with Brad Bose who does my condition training three days a week. My brother Chedrick and my father Pedro have been the key to me in this camp with their support and love for me. That’s why I know I'm going to take Winky Wright to Pluto.

“Thanks to all my sparring partners for prepping and pushing me. I’m the sharpest I ever been.

“I can’t relate to Winky's saying he’s excited to be fighting on the same card as Tarver and that ‘it feels good, it makes it easy to have your homeboy on the same card.’ Winky makes it sounds like Tarver is going to help him fight me, but on June 2nd, it’s just me and him. He’ll wish he had Tarver’s help.’’

Austin Trout

“I’m training at Las Cruces PAL Boxing Gym, the same gym I’ve trained at since I was 10-years-old.

“Camp has been great. I’m focused. I’m in terrific shape. I’m right on schedule. My weight is good. All I need is for time to go by so I can get in there on June 2nd.

“I’ve been running six or seven miles a day and sprinting three or four of those miles. I’ve been sparring 12 rounds with 30 seconds rest with three different guys – Shiju Shabazz, Aie Han and J.C. Candelo.

“I want to dedicate this camp to my good friend Lavar Washington, a childhood friend who passed a few days ago.’’

Delvin Rodriguez

“I’ve been training in the Adirondacks for the last four weeks and will stay here until I leave for the fight. This is my first time at this location, up in the mountains, and it’s perfect, with no distractions and great running.

“This is my third camp with my trainer (former heavyweight contender) Fernily Feliz and we’ve had an excellent camp. Sparring has been terrific with Sechew Powell and Denis “Mama’s Boy” Douglin.

“This is my third fight at 154 and I feel much stronger since moving up from 147. I don’t have to worry about making weight.”

Leo Santa Cruz

“This is a great opportunity to become a world champion. It will be the toughest fight of my career because I know Malinga will come very well prepared, but am very optimistic that I will win.’’

“It’s been a great camp. I’ve been training for almost two months and have had something like 95 rounds of sparring (with Julian Ramirez, Raymond Chacon and Joseph Diaz). I’m in great shape thanks to Jose Santa Cruz (trainer) and Daniel Garcia (conditioning trainer).

“This is a dream come true fore me. I am really looking forward to June 2nd.’’

Tickets are on sale for as low as $25, with VIP floor seats priced at $200. Other tickets in the 8,000-seat outdoor stadium are priced at $50 and $100. Fans can purchase tickets at AXS.com or by phone at 888-9-AXS-TIX (888-929-7849), as well as The Home Depot Center Box Office (open Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. PT). VIP Suites are available for purchase by calling 1-877-604-8777. For more information on group discounts or VIP packages, please call 1-877-234-8425.

“Four Warned” features former Light Heavyweight World Champion Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver (29-6, 20 KO’s) facing unbeaten Lateef Kayode (18-0, 14 KO’s) in a 12-round cruiserweight fight, former undisputed junior middleweight kingpin Winky Wright (51-5-1, 25 KO’s) returning to the ring to meet undefeated Peter Quillin (26-0, 20 KO’s) in a middleweight bout, Austin Trout (24-0, 14 KO’s) risking his perfect record and WBA Super Welterweight belt against Delvin Rodriguez (26-5-3, 14 KO’s) and IBF number one rated bantamweight contender Vusi Malinga (20-3, 12 KO's) facing IBF number five rated contender Leo Santa Cruz (19-0-1, 11 KO’s) for the vacant IBF bantamweight title. All four bouts will be telecast on Saturday, June 2, live on SHOWTIME® (9:00 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. “Four Warned” is presented by A.T. Entertainment, Golden Boy Promotions and Gary Shaw Productions with Trout vs. Rodriguez being presented in association with Greg Cohen Promotions and Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing and Malinga vs. Santa Cruz being presented in association with Branco Sports Productions. The event is sponsored by Corona and AT&T.

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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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