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Predictions From Team TSS

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Pacquiao Bradley weighin 120608 001aRON BORGES Pacman by TKO 7. Bradley does well until he gets too bold and runs into the kind of combination Juan Manuel Marquez knew to avoid.

BERNARD FERNANDEZ Trainer Freddie Roach says any distractions from recent fights have been resolved, and Manny Pacquiao is ready to again fight, like, the Manny Pacquiao we remember. Yeah, but what about Pac Man's stirring the pot with his gay-marriage comments? I'm taking Roach at his word. Call it Pacquiao by 10th-round stoppage, but look for Timothy Bradley to have some good moments of his own along the way.

FRANK LOTIERZO What keeps coming into my head is — “a guy who likes to let it rip that has no kind of fight altering power confronting Pacquiao.” I really like Bradley as a guy who I can root for. Pacquiao will do everything in his power to draw Timothy into fighting him, and I doubt Bradley is of the mindset or measured enough to shy away from doing so. And for that reason I gotta go with Manny. Also, we know that Bradley will catch hell getting a legitimate decision, so he has to stop Manny. I can't go against Pacquiao, but he's definitely on the decline and if he lost, I can't say I'd be that surprised. The super-nova known as Manny Pacquiao is behind us regardless of whether or not he wins or loses tonight.

RAYMOND MARKARIAN The last time I saw an underdog with Bradley’s confidence Antonio Tarver knocked out Roy Jones. It was belief that led Tarver to the spotlight. He didn’t just win that fight in 2004, he told the world it will happen. Bradley doesn’t have the one punch pop of Tarver but he does carry similar swag. History tells us Pacquiao is the logical choice. He should win. Just like Jones should have won against Tarver. For the sake of the potential Mayweather/Pacquiao fight in the near future, let’s hope that Manny does. Pacquiao will be tested but he’ll win a decision. If Kendall Holt caught Bradley on the button so can Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao by decision.

KELSEY McCARSON To me, it's as simple as this: short, fast and straight beat wide and looping every time. Pacquiao has all the advantages that matter. He's faster and stronger than Bradley, and no amount of mental gymnastics can change that. I like Pacquiao big, either by wide UD or KO.
 

SPRINGS TOLEDO Bradley understands how to fight southpaws. He will move to his left to get Pacquiao into the range of his right hand. If he is smart, he will not telegraph his jab and instead use it to at once stabilize and destabilize the target. He has certainly made a study of Pacquiao’s patterns but whether his strategy will go beyond moving left and throwing right hands is the first question. The second question will be whether he can stay disciplined after he gets hit.

Pacquiao’s strategy has to take Bradley’s head-butting into account. I expect that Roach will have Pacquiao fighting a step or two outside the perimeter for two reasons —first, to avoid head clashes and second, to counter Bradley’s aggression. Bradley isn’t only a head-butter, he’s a teeth-gritter. He isn’t thinking so much about strategy as he is about imposing his will. He’s prone to lose his balance and flail with wide and winging shots. I suspect that Roach is counting on this. Pacquiao will invite his aggression and then zero in with shorter blasts that are better aimed and better timed. Additionally, Bradley doesn’t seem to realize that while Pacquiao usually moves to his left, it’s when he moves to his right that’s the real problem. That’s when his intentions turn dark.

If Bradley's posturing is a bluff and he actually plans to counter off the back foot, it will be a different fight. If Pacquiao shows him too much respect and lays off, it will be a boring fight. I’m inclined to take Bradley at his word and he has been consistently saying that he intends to hurt and “smash” Pacquiao. He has also said that he is looking forward to tasting Pacquiao’s power and thinks he can take it. He can’t. We already know that. Teeth-gritting and technical deficiencies don’t mix when you're in the punching range of an all-time great.Barring a debilitating Bradley head-butt or the chance that one of his winging overhands nails Pacquiao, Bradley will end up horizontal and out cold. Look for Pacquiao’s right hooks to do at least the initial damage; and tell Aunt Madge to cover her eyes when he moves to his right.

MICHAEL WOODS Bradley wasn't a world beat against Luis Carlos Abregu in his previous try at 147. Abre-who? Abregu. Not in Pacquiao's class. Oh, you tend to think Pacquiao has slipped, do you? Down to Abregu class? I don't. Bradley tends to be a loopy punching flailer, and no, he's not the masterful timing expert that Marquez is. Now, should I read anything in to the fact that Pacquaio's body tells us he didn't train and/or eat or what have you than he did for Marquez. He's simply nowhere near as ripped. But even that might not be bad…he's 33. Maybe that extra weight and body fight will help his durability, and keep him from getting cut and keep him better hydrated, so he doesn't cramp. Bradley has sold the hell out of this fight. I don't recall an underdog moving the pundit needle more, getting so many folks on his bandwagon, as Bradley has. Still, he's a high B fighter, and even if Pacquiao has slipped to A-, or B+, that beats a B. Pacman by legit, not Vegas-gift-wrapped, decision.

PHIL WOOLEVER Odds favoring Pacquiao should only be around 2 – 1 based on recent showings, and the result could be even closer. Everyone knows Bradley was probably chosen for this shot due to a lack of power (don't be surprised if he shows more than usual) and questionable chin, but while that will likely prove to be very good management for Pacman, Bradley's decision to skip the Khan fight shows even better guidance. Pacquiao wins ugly, something along the lines of De la Hoya against Forbes. In a result with similar coverage and deeper potential repercussions, Pacquiao-Bradley will not sell as well as Mayweather-Cotto but will come close.

LEE WYLIE Bradley by decision, he knows how to fight southpaws -positioning himself where they are least effective. Manny could be in for a very frustrating night.

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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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