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Jean Pascal, Tavoris Cloud Talk in Montreal

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TAVORIS CLOUD VS. JEAN PASCAL IBF LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

SATURDAY, AUG. 11, LIVE ON SHOWTIME®

KICKOFF PRESS CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS

Cloud: “Pascal’s style and my style are perfect for each other;

It will be a hell of a fight”

Pascal: “This fight will not go the distance”

MONTREAL (June 13, 2012) – In front of a packed room of television cameras, radio microphones and sports writers at Restaurant 9-4-10 within Montreal’s Bell Centre, undefeated International Boxing Federation (IBF) light heavyweight championTavoris Cloud (24-0, 19 KOs), of Tallahassee, Fla., and popular hometown favorite and former World Boxing Council (WBC)light heavyweight titleholderJean Pascal (26-2-1, 16 KOs) held a press conference Wednesday to formally announce their upcoming world title showdown on Saturday, Aug. 11, SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING live on SHOWTIME® from Bell Centre.

There was a respectful but intense atmosphere to announce what could potentially be the division's best matchup in years between two young fighters in their prime. Hall of Fame promoter Don King, who promotes Cloud, waved Canadian flags while sporting his signature U.S. jean jacket throughout the press conference.

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

At the press conference, SHOWTIME Sports® announced that future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins would be joining the Aug. 11 telecast as a special guest analyst. With his success in the light heavyweight division coupled with his firsthand experience traveling to Canada to take on Pascal and his legions of fans, Hopkins will offer a unique perspective and commentary to the viewers at home.

Here’s what the participants had to say Wednesday:

Tavoris Cloud:

“When I think about this fight, wow. Pascal’s style and my style are perfect for each other. It will be a hell of a fight. Nevertheless, I’m coming away with my title still intact

“I’m just glad to be here. Montreal is a beautiful place. I’m putting in a lot of hard work for this fight and on Aug. 11, I look forward to putting on a great show for you guys.

“Pascal could think he is the gatekeeper to bigger and better things for me, but I just come in and fight my fight.”

Jean Pascal:

“I have two words to say finally: I’m back. It’s been a long, long time but this show is going to be a great night for Quebec. I’d like to thank Yvon Michel, Greg Leon, Don King and Team Cloud for giving me a shot because I know I am a good boxer. He’s the champion and I really respect Cloud because he’s like me. He’s a good guy, a family man and he wants to fight the best.

“The reason why I took this fight is simple. It’s because of you guys, the fans. You want to see the best versus the best. I am the former world champion. He is the current world champion but unfortunately for him on Aug. 11, he is going to leave as the former world champion and I am going to be a two-time world champion.

“This man right here (Cloud) is dangerous. He is hungry but, with all due respect, I don’t think you are going to make your name on me. I know this is a big opportunity for you because I ‘m the door to success and big money.

“You’re a warrior like me and this fight will not go to the distance. I’m not saying that I’m going to knock him out. That’s not what I’m saying right now. I’m just saying it won’t go the distance which is why you have to tune in Aug. 11. I love challenges. I told Yvon, no tune up fights. Let’s face the guy at the top. That’s how I’ll get back on top. I hope Cloud comes in the best shape because I don’t want any excuses. And I won’t have any excuses either.”

Adonis Stevenson:

“I would like to thank SHOWTIME and Group Yvon Michel. I don’t have my opponent yet but he’s coming soon hopefully. Now the IBF champion is Carl Froch. It isn’t Lucian Bute anymore but I will be focused. Obviously, Aug. 11 is very important to me. I’d like to be the No. 1 (mandatory challenger for the IBF title) but no one wants to fight me. It’s always some reason. No money, no this, no that. I know that’s [untrue] but now I’ll just stay focused on the fight ahead of me.

Emmanuel Steward is my trainer now. He is training Wladmir Klitschko and next week I will go to Klitschko’s camp and start my training there.”

Don King, Cloud’s Promoter:

“Bonjour to all the beautiful people of Montreal because this is like home to me. We had Sugar Ray Leonard here who changed the globe and took on Roberto Duran right here in Montreal. How did we get to Montreal? Because it’s one of the fairest cities in the world. We were looking for a neutral site and we picked Montreal. Sugar Ray Leonard came in and Roberto Duran beat him – because we got our fair shake in Montreal.

“Pascal has an opportunity now to take over for Bute (as Canada’s most popular fighter). Can he do it? He seems to think so but thunder is in the air. There will be lightning bolts striking so I don’t know. I think it’s going to be a devastating storm that night on Aug. 11.

“The Bell Centre is going to be the hour, the hour of the talk around the world. Not only is it going to be seen on SHOWTIME, it’s going to be seen around the world. It’s going to be a super extravaganza. It’s going to be a provocateur to titillate your taste buds. I know Pascal. I know how he has tried so desperately to be approved and respected by his fellow countrymen. So he is going to be giving everything he can and then some. And I know “Thunder” Cloud, he didn’t come up here to leave that (IBF Light Heavyweight) belt. Pascal is going to have to take it. And to take it, that means he is going to have to go up against the thunder the lighting and the rain.”

Yvon Michel:

“This fight is going to be not only the most important boxing event this year but I also believe that Aug. 11 will be the biggest sporting event of the year in Quebec.

“Each time we have a big event in Montreal, each time Jean Pascal is fighting, we have celebrities come out. For this fight will have the celebrity of celebrities, Don King, to co-promote the event. He is the only boxing promoter to be named one of the 40 most influential people in sports over the last 50 years by Sports Illustrated. And he is our prestigious guest here today.

“Tavoris Cloud and Jean Pascal have amazing power. Adonis Stevenson is the purest puncher I’ve ever seen. To have three guys with steel hands competing on Aug. 11, I think we’ll see two fantastic fights.”

Al Bonanni, Cloud’s Trainer:

“These are the two best light heavyweights in the world. SHOWTIME took the fight, not because they love us, but because these are the two best light heavyweights in the world. Unfortunately for Pascal, I have the best light heavyweight in the world.

“We’re training very, very hard. We started in Miami, Fla., five weeks ago and now we’re at Don King’s Gym in Ohio, across the river from here. So we can see Canada from where we’re training. Cloud could fight tomorrow. He’s 12 pounds off weight and ready to go. I thank you for the hospitality. I thank you for the money we’re going to make. And it’s going to be a great feeling to go back home with the belt again.”

Marc Ramsay, Pascal’s Trainer:

“I just really want to thank SHOWTIME, Don King and Group Yvon Michel for making this fight happen, to give us the opportunity to go straight back to the top. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do. We’re going straight to the top.”

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