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Cloud vs Pascal Is On: WHO DO YA LIKE?

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297NEW YORK (May 29, 2012) – A light heavyweight world championship showdown-potentially the division's best matchup in years between two young fighters in their prime-has been confirmed for Saturday, Aug. 11, at Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada,when undefeated International Boxing Federation (IBF) light heavyweight champion Tavoris Cloud (24-0, 19 KOs), of Tallahassee, Fla., defends his title against popular hometown favorite and former World Boxing Council (WBC)light heavyweight titleholder Jean Pascal (26-2-1, 16 KOs) on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING live on SHOWTIME®.

The co-feature will match budding Canadian knockout artist Adonis “Superman” Stevenson, (18-1, 15 KOs) of Montreal (Canada), againstan opponent to be announced in a super middleweight bout.

Cloud is known as a no-nonsense power puncher, who comes right at his opponents with few frills. Pascal may not equal Cloud in work rate, but his footwork and explosive combinations make for a compelling matchup between ferocious punchers. Both men will be coming in to not only win, but to make a statement as the best puncher in one of boxing's glamor divisions.

The 5-foot-10, 30-year-old Cloud will be making the fifth defense of the then-vacant 175-pound title he won via 12-round unanimous decision over Clinton Woods on Aug. 28, 2009. The hard-hitting, 29-year-old successfully defended against Glen Johnson (unanimous decision, June 7, 2010), Fulgencio Zuniga (unanimous decision, Dec. 17, 2010) and Yusaf Mack (TKO 8, June 28, 2011) before winning a controversial split decision over Gabriel Campillo in February.

“This fight with Jean Pascal is a bout I'm looking forward to,” said Cloud.”It's going to be what I call a 'Release the Kraken' match.Everybody knows I come to fight. What I like about Pascal is that he doesn't fool around either. When I look for him, he will be there, and the same goes for me.

“Fans like to see leather thrown with bad intentions, and that's what they are going to get in Montreal on August 11.”

The 5-foot-10 ½-inch, 29-year-old Pascal is currently ranked No. 2 by” The Ring” and in the top 10 in three of the four major organizations. Since his first world title fight in 2009, Pascal has defeated Chad Dawson (via 11th-round technical decision in 2010), Adrian Diaconu twice and fought the legendary Bernard Hopkins to a thrilling draw in December 2010. In the second of back-to-back meetings with Hopkins last May, Pascal lost his title by a very close decision.

“First, I want to thank Tavoris Cloud for giving me the opportunity to fight for his IBF light heavyweight belt and to prove who I really am in the ring,” said Pascal. “He has shown true class seeking out the best challenger in the division and for this he has my full respect. Our styles make for the best,most explosive and spectacular fight possible in boxing. Having been away from the ring for more than a year, I am hungrier and more determined than ever to get back on top. Don't miss it August 11 in Montreal. I am going to get back on the throne for good.”

Throughout a career that began in August 2004, Cloud has been a road warrior. He's fought only three times in his native Florida. Pascal, conversely, has had all but two of his fights in Canada.

Stevenson has notched 15 knockouts in 19 professional fights in his climb up the rankings. The Canadian southpaw super middleweight is currently No. 2 in IBF, No. 3 in WBC and No. 7 in the World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Organization (WBO).

“I am so proud to be making my SHOWTIME debut fighting in this major event in Montreal,” said Stevenson. “I am on a mission to destroy anybody that has the courage to get in the ring with me. I am not looking for any favors or compassion. My goal is to show the world that I truly deserve to be on a major network fighting Carl Froch for his IBF belt. Watch me make a major statement August 11 on SHOWTIME.”

Trained by the renowned Emmanuel Steward, Stevenson got a late start in the professional ranks with a 2006 debut at the age of 29.Now a six year pro, Stevenson has maintained his penchant for knockouts as he's stepped up the class of competition. In his last five starts, against opponents with a combined record of 107-8, he has overwhelmed them all, winning four of five inside three rounds. The lone exception is a ninth-round KO of Aaron Pryor Jr.

In all, 12 of his 15 knockouts have come inside three rounds.

The 5-foot-11, 34-year-old Stevenson won a WBC Silver belt with a second-round TKO over Noe Gonzalez (27-1 going in) in his most recent outing last April 20 at Bell Centre.

For information on SHOWTIME Sports, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries, complete telecast information and more, visit the website athttp://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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