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Danny Garcia Will Fight Amir Khan

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GoldenboyFORMER UNIFIED SUPER LIGHTWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPION AMIR “KING” KHAN TO FACE CURRENT WBC SUPER LIGHTWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPION DANNY “SWIFT” GARCIA ON JULY 14 AT THE MANDALAY BAY EVENTS CENTER IN LAS VEGAS

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CO-FEATURED FIGHT WILL SEE A HEAVYWEIGHT SHOWDOWN BETWEEN SETH “MAYHEM” MITCHELL & JOHNATHON BANKS

LOS ANGELES, May 30 – Former Unified Super Lightweight World Champion Amir “King” Khan makes his 2012 ring debut when he returns to the venue of perhaps his most accomplished professional triumphwhen he meets undefeated phenom and current WBC Super Lightweight World Champion Danny “Swift” Garcia Saturday, July 14 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in a fight televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing.

In the co-main event, two of the United States' top hopes for heavyweight world championship glory will face one another when undefeated Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell and once-beaten Johnathon Banks fight in a 12-round contest.

“Khan vs. Garcia,” a 12-round super lightweight bout, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Khan Promotions with Mitchell vs. Banks presented in association with K2 Promotions. The event is sponsored by Corona and AT&T. The doubleheader will be telecast live on HBO World Championship Boxing at 11:00 p.m. ET/ PT in the United States and live on Sky Sports 1HD in the United Kingdom at 1:00 a.m. GMT on July 15.

Tickets priced at $250, $200, $150, $100 and $50, not including applicable service charges, go on sale Friday, June 1 at 10:00 a.m. PT and will be available for purchase at the Mandalay Bay box office and all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith's Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase atwww.mandaylaybay.com or www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets for fans traveling from the United Kingdom are available for purchase online at www.sportscorporation.com or by calling +44 (0)845 163 0845.

Amir “King” Khan (26-2, 18 KOs), who at only 25 years old is already a star in the United Kingdom, selling out huge arenas and racking up impressive pay-per-view numbers. Considered one of the sport's future stars, Khan has sailed to the heights of the worlds of amateur and professional boxing, however, he is far from finished on his quest to becoming the best of his era. An accomplished amateur who earned a silver medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens at only 17 years old, the Bolton, England native took the professional game by storm in 2005 and, with the exception of a brief bump in the road in 2008 when he was upset by Breidis Prescott, Khan has since been nearly unstoppable. Khan first became a world champion in July 2009 when he defeated WBA Super Lightweight World Champion Andreas Kotelnik. Khan defended the crown five times, first knocking out previously undefeated Dmitriy Salita in less than one round. Next, in his United States debut at Madison Square Garden in May 2010, he dominated the always tough and current WBA Welterweight World Champion Paul Malignaggi en route to an 11th round technical knockout win. On December 11, 2010 at Mandalay Bay, Khan battled Marcos Maidana in what was eventually named the Boxing Writers Association of America 2010 Fight of the Year. The fight saw Khan dominate the early rounds, scoring a first round knockdown, but Maidana closed the gap in the later rounds. Khan displayed some extremely impressive fortitude in surviving a vicious 10th round onslaught by Maidana in which the British star looked to be on the brink of being knocked out. Khan made it out of the round on his feet and came out swinging in the 11th and 12th rounds, sealing the unanimous decision victory in an instant classic.

On April 16, 2011, Khan retained his title by defeating European Champion Paul McCloskey via technical decision in front of a sold-out crowd of more than 17,000 at the MEN Arena in Manchester, England. Next came a July 23, 2011 win over then IBF Junior Welterweight Champion Zab Judah, making Khan the unified 140-pound world champion. Next up was an IBF mandatory bout against Lamont Peterson, and in another Fight of the Year candidate on December 10 of last year, Khan lost a controversial split decision and his titles. A rematch was the first order of business, but after Peterson failed a pre-fight drug test and their scheduled May 19 bout was canceled, Khan was forced to look for another big fight. Luckily, he found it in the form of a bout against WBC Super Lightweight World Champion Danny Garcia on July 14.

The latest world champion to emerge from the fighting city of Philadelphia, WBC Super Lightweight World Champion Danny “Swift” Garcia (23-0, 14 KOs) is unbeaten and untouched as a pro, a testament to his world-class talent, style and determination. A United States Olympic alternate who compiled a 107-13 record as an amateur and won the 2005 Under-19 National Championship, the 2005 International Championship in Finland and the 2006 United States National Championship before deciding to turn pro in November 2007, Garcia's road to the top has been a smooth one for him, but not for his opponents. After winning seven of his first eight professional fights by knockout, Garcia began showing aspects of his game other than his power as his level of competition increased. By mid-2009, he started to make his move with knockouts of well-regarded Pavel Miranda, Oscar Leon and Enrique Colin, the latter fight earning him the WBC Youth Intercontinental title. 2010 was even more impressive for Garcia as he defeated top prospect Ashley Theophane and stopped contenders Jorge Romero and Mike Aranoutis, before announcing his arrival to the world in 2011. Last year, “Swift” defeated former World Champions Nate Campbell and Kendall Holt in successive bouts, earning himself a shot at a world title against legendary future Hall of Famer Erik Morales. In that fight on March 24 earlier this year, Garcia was in top form, knocking the Mexican icon down in the 11th round en route to a unanimous decision and the world championship. As the old adage goes, winning the title is the easy part, defending it is the tough part. After a celebratory few months that included being honored by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, the tough part now begins for Garcia, and the 24-year-old is ready to defend his belt against all comers, starting with an extremely stiff test in former Two-Time World Champion Amir Khan this summer in Las Vegas.

A former standout linebacker at Michigan State University, Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell (25-0-1, 19 KOs) found his true calling in the prize ring after a series of knee injuries dashed his hopes of an NFL career. A soft spoken family man outside the ring, but a ferocious competitor between the ropes, the 29-year-old Maryland resident, who is trained by Andre Hunter, has quickly built a reputation as the kind of fighter that can reinvigorate the heavyweight division, recently being named a 2011 ESPN.com Prospect to Watch and being anointed as the next great American heavyweight. Mitchell most recently blasted through contenders Timur Ibragimov and Chazz Witherspoon in a combined five rounds, with the latter bout proving that Mitchell not only has the power to succeed, but also the heart to persevere. In that fight, he survived a first round in which he was badly dazed by Witherspoon, only to recover, rally and score a third-round knockout, capturing the vacant NABO Heavyweight Championship. He'll look to build on those recent successes and live up to the lofty expectations with a win against Banks this summer at Mandalay Bay.

Three-Time National Amateur Champion Johnathon Banks (28-1-1, 18 KOs) has earned a “Ph.D” in the ring thanks to his years of training with the legendary Emanuel Steward and countless rounds of sparring with Unified Heavyweight World Champion Wladimir Klitschko, and now he's ready to make his own run at the heavyweight title. A professional since 2004, Banks' only loss came in a cruiserweight title fight against Tomasz Adamek in 2009, but since that bout, the 29-year-old from Detroit has put together an 8-0-1 record, the perfect way to lead into the biggest fight of his eight-year career on July 14.

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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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