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Humbert Soto Guns for 60th Win

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GoldenboyHUMBERTO SOTO LOOKS TO BECOME 60-FIGHT WINNER IN DANGEROUS FIGHT
AGAINST LUCAS MATTHYSSE
AS CO-FEATURE TO VICTOR ORTIZ VS. JOSESITO LOPEZ

ON SATURDAY, JUNE 23 AT STAPLES CENTER IN LOS ANGELES

Live on Saturday, June 23 at 9 p.m. ET/PT (Delayed on the West Coast)
On SHOWTIME®

LOS ANGELES (June 19, 2012) – Former Three-Time World Champion Humberto “Zorrita” Soto will seek to join rare company among active fighters with 60 wins as he pursues his 60th professional victory when he faces the always-dangerous and hard-hitting Lucas Matthysse in a battle of world-ranked super lightweights in the co-featured fight on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING on Saturday, June 23 live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Calif.

Soto (59-7-2, 34 KO’s), of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, will battle Matthysse for the vacant WBC Continental Americas super lightweight title and look to extend his current 15-fight winning streak. He’ll also look to push himself higher in the world ratings where he is already rated number two by the World Boxing Council (WBC), number three by the World Boxing Association (WBA) and number seven by the World Boxing Organization (WBO).

Matthysse (30-2, 28 KO’s), whose concussive power led him to scored nine knockdowns in a fight against former World Champion DeMarcus Corley, has won his last two fights and will be making his fifth start in the United States on Saturday night. Matthysse’s only losses came via controversial split decisions to former World Champions Devon Alexander and Zab Judah in a pair of fights that many ringside observers felt Matthysse won. A native of Trelew, Argentina, Matthysse is rated number four in the world by the WBC, number six by the WBA and number eleven by the WBO.

Soto and Matthysse’s 12-round fight will immediately precede what should be an exciting 12-round main event between former World Champion, Kansas native Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KO's) who now resides in Ventura, Calif., and contender Josesito Lopez (29-4, 17 KO's) of Riverside, Calif.

Tickets priced at $250, $150, $100 and $50 are available online at www.staplescenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com, via Ticketmaster charge-by-phone lines at (800)745-3000 or at STAPLES Center box office.

If triumphant, Soto at 32 years old, will join a handful of active fighters with 60 or more wins, including James Toney, Jorge Arce, Jose Luis Castillo, Luis RamonYori Boy” Campos and Pongsaklek Wonjongkam.

“Winning 60 fights would be great, but winning another world title is what I really want,’’ said Soto who turned professional at 17 years old in September of 1997. “I’ve always worked very hard in training trying to learn different things. I’ve always been very dedicated in the gym.Matthysse is a great fighter with a very respectful power punch.I'm going to fight a very intelligent fight. I'm going to follow my corner's directions and go in there and outbox him and be the smarter fighter.”

A terrific counter-puncher with good overall skills and movement, the crowd-pleasing 5-foot-7 ½-inch Soto has fought excellent opposition throughout his career, including former World Champions David Diaz, Jesus Chavez, Joan Guzman, Jorge Solis and Kevin Kelley.

Soto captured the WBC super featherweight title in December 2008 and the WBC Lightweight World crown in March 2010. He made three successful defenses of the 130-pound belt and successfully retained the 135-pound crown on four occasions.

One of his most memorable title defenses came in a close, unanimous 12-round decision win over the brave and determined Urbano Antillon in a spectacular, fast-paced, give-and-take slugfest on Dec. 4, 2010 in Anaheim, Calif.

“I thought I won more clearly than the judges had it (115-112, 114-113 twice), but without a doubt it was the toughest fight of my career,’’ Soto said. “There were a lot of rough tactics from him (Antillon threw Soto to the canvas three times), but I expected that which is why I never became frustrated by it.”

Four of Soto’s defeats and both of his draws came during his first three years as a professional. Soto’s last loss came via a controversial fourth-round disqualification in June 2008. He is coming off of a unanimous 10-round decision over Claudinei Lacerda last April 7 in Cancun, Mexico.

Matthysse, a solid amateur before turning professional in June 2004, will look to turn what Soto hopes will be a boxing match into a brawl. The Argentine, who is well known for his thudding power, would be undefeated if only he’d received the benefit of the doubt in two very controversial and questionable points losses to Judah and Alexander (in which he knocked both of them down) in what amounted to home games for them.

The younger brother of retired former welterweight world title challenger Walter Matthysse, Lucas is coming off of two knockout wins in his native Argentina. In his lone outing this year, he scored a dominant sixth-round technical knockout win over Angel Martinez on Feb. 10. Prior to that, on Dec. 9 the 5-foot-9, 29-year-old knocked out Sergio Priotti in the fourth round.

Before that, Matthysse fought three left-handed former world champions in a row – Judah on Nov. 6, 2010, Corley on Jan. 21, 2011 and Alexander on June 25, 2011.

A two-fisted slugger who tends to start slowly, Matthysse spotted Alexander an early lead but rallied to drop him with a right hand in the fourth. He rocked Alexander in the seventh, eighth and tenth rounds, but it wasn’t enough as he lost by one point on one of the scorecards (95-94), by three on another (96-93) while winning by three (96-93) on the third card.

“I was robbed,’’ Matthysse said. “I gave it my all and it was a tough fight, but I thought I won. He’s lucky he won the fight.”

The aggressive-minded Matthysse obliterated Corley in a fight in Argentina, flooring him twice in the fifth round, once in the sixth, three times in the seventh and three times in the eighth. The referee finally halted the slaughter at 2:00 of the eighth.

Against Judah, Matthysse also overcame an early deficit before coming on strong in the late rounds, registering a knockdown in the tenth round and dominating the 11th and 12th stanzas.However, he came up on the wrong end of a split decision by the scores of 114-113 twice and 113-114.

“In Argentina, I win this fight,” Matthysse said. “Around the world, I win this fight, but he got the home decision. Zab never hurt me.I fought my fight and pressured him the whole time and I closed the championship rounds. I clearly won.”

Regarding his upcoming assignment against Soto, Matthysse, a tattoo artist in his spare time outside the ring, said, “It’s very simple, I need to go to war. I need to put a lot of pressure on him and I need to work hard and win every round. That’s the gameplan – go to war. I’m going to leave it all in the ring.”

“Ortiz vs. Lopez,” a 12-round fight for the vacant WBC Silver Welterweight Championship taking place Saturday, June 23, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Calif., is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Goossen Tutor Promotions and Thompson Boxing Promotions and sponsored by Corona, DeWalt Tools and AT&T. The co-feature will see former Three-Division World Champion Humberto “Zorrita” Soto battle Argentinean knockout artist Lucas Matthysse in a 12-round fight for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Super Lightweight title which is presented in association with Baja Boxing Promotions and Arano Box Promotions. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING doubleheader begins live at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) with preliminary fights airing on SHOWTIME EXTREME at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).

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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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