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Cleotis “Mookie” Pendarvis Wins Regional Titles in L.A.

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052512bWOODLAND HILLS, CALIF-Cleotis “Mookie” Pendarvis scrapped his way to winning the USBA and USNBC junior welterweight regional titles against Denver’s Rob “Red Hot” Frankel in a competitive match on Friday.

Pendarvis used his eye-popping speed to counter and attack in front of a mostly hometown crowd at the Warner Center Marriott. The Bash Boxing and Art of Boxing Promotion card proved to be unpredictable and that’s a good thing.

Denver’s Frankel was not there to be a punching dummy. If you’ve ever had a chance to see the lanky junior welterweight in action, he’s a true professional. When I say that I mean he comes to win every single time.

After Pendarvis jumped to a lead with his speed southpaw style, Frankel was able to pin him against the ropes and turn the fight into an inside rumble. That’s when it got interesting. The Denver boxer has fought numerous world champions and contenders in his career and showed that experience against Pendarvis.

Aside from the speed advantage, Pendarvis has always been a little known secret outside of the Los Angeles area except to the fighters themselves. He’s sparred with many of the elite fighters in the world and it shows when he’s in the ring. It showed Friday night or else Frankel would have hung a defeat on him.

“I had to take the fight inside,” said Pendarvis. “He came to fight hard and I expected that.”

For most of the latter half of the 12-round fight, both boxers took turns firing combinations toe-to-toe with rapid fluidity. In the end, it was Pendarvis whose blows packed more power and thus the judges scored it in his favor 119-109, 118-110 and 117-111. It seemed to be much closer than those scores but the end result was justified.

Other bouts

Light heavyweight Tyrell Hendrix (9-1, 3 KOs) out-punched Fresno’s Loren Myers (8-16-1) after a rugged six round tussle. The taller Hendrix never slowed down in any of the rounds but Myers withstood barrage after barrage to end standing despite two knockdowns in the fight. All three judges scored it 60-51 for Hendrix.

Russia’s undefeated southpaw Anton Novikov (25-0, 10 KOs) was simply too strong for Oregon’s Paul Mpendo (7-10-4) who was knocked down with a counter left hand in round five. Novikov won by unanimous decision.

Denver’s Shawn Nichol (6-11, 5 KOs) upset Carson’s Raymond Chacon (4-2) after four rounds of a junior featherweight contest. It was obvious that Chacon had the speed advantage as he fired off four and five-round combinations with blinding speed. Nichol simply waited for his moments and floored the Californian in the first round with a left hook. In the third round Nichol caught Chacon with a right on the chin for another knockdown and followed that with a second knockdown in the same round with the left hook doing the job. Nichol won by unanimous decision 38-35 on all three cards. It was his first win by decision. All had come via the knockout.

Russia’s Aslanbek Kozaev (21-0, 7 KOs) steamrolled James Ventry (7-15, 4 KOs) from the sound of the opening bell. A counter left hook floored Ventry who beat the count but was in serious trouble soon after. Referee Pat Russell stopped the fight wisely at 2:18 of round one.

Carlos Rodriguez (3-0) of Oxnard overwhelmed Ricardo Malfavon (2-9-1) in a junior middleweight match. The fight was stopped at 2:33 of round one by referee David Mendoza.

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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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