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EPIX To Show Wlad, Povetkin and Haye Fights

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epix-hd-logo1LIVE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING MAKES AN EPIX RETURN IN JULY!

WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO vs. TONY THOMPSON II SATURDAY, JULY 7

ALEXANDER POVETKIN vs. HASIM RAHMAN, DEREK CHISORA vs. DAVID HAYE SATURDAY, JULY 14

EPIX SNAGS EXCLUSIVE U.S. RIGHTS FOR LIVE TELECASTS ON TV AND ONLINE AT EPIXHD.COM

NEW YORK (June 20, 2012) — Heavyweight championship boxing makes an EPIX return next month with America’s latest line of offense! World champions WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO and ALEXANDER POVETKIN will defend their titles on Saturday, July 7 and Saturday, July 14, respectively, and both fights will be televised live in the U.S. exclusively on EPIX, the multiplatform premium entertainment service.EpixHD.com will stream the fights live as part of a special free trial offer for boxing fans.

Klitschko, the World Boxing Association (WBA) Super heavyweight / International Boxing Federation (IBF) / World Boxing Organization (WBO) heavyweight champion, will battle top-rated contender TONY THOMPSON at Stade de Suisse, in Berne, Switzerland, in a rematch of their 2008 fight.

Povetkin will risk his undefeated record and WBA heavyweight crown against former two-time heavyweight champion and current No. 1 contender and mandatory challenger HASIM RAHMAN. The July 14 telecast will also feature an all-British heavyweight war between former two-division world champion DAVID HAYE and one-time heavyweight title challenger DEREK CHISORA for the vacant WBA Intercontinental heavyweight title. Both fights will take place in the West Ham Football Club's Boleyn Ground at Upton Park in London.

You don’t have to look any further than this press conference encounter to see where the bad blood began which led to the making of Haye vs. Chisora – check out the video on the EPIX YouTube page.

These six gladiators boast a combined record of 207-17-2 (163 KOs) – a 92% winning percentage and a 79% victory by knockout ratio.

As has become the custom, EPIX will once again present the closed-captioned simulcast of this world championship rumble on its jumbotron in Times Square in New York City (Broadway between 44th and 45th Sts.)

“Tony Thompson gave me one of my toughest fights when we fought the first time, back in 2008,” said Klitschko. “In this rematch, I will show the world that I have only gotten better and plan to successfully keep all of my titles. The soccer stadium in Berne is beautiful and this will be a great event with over 30,000 people in attendance. I always get so much energy when so many fans are in the large stadiums to watch me fight.This will be the sixth fight in a row that I have fought in a soccer stadium and I am happy that EPIX is broadcasting this event live in the US.”

“I'm delighted that my fight against David Haye will be live on EPIX so that my fans in the US will get to see me knock him out,” added Chisora.“This is a huge fight in Europe and has taken over all the media coverage and will get bigger and bigger as we get closer to the night.”

“EPIX is very pleased to continue its exclusive live U.S. telecasts of championship boxing. The fireworks displayed by the recent Froch vs. Bute super middleweight championship has continued to produce excitement for U.S.-based fight fans and audience growth for the EPIX Sports boxing series.It was the perfect follow-up to our unprecedented heavyweight championship trilogy, which featured Wladimir Klitschko, Vitali Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin successfully defending their world titles over three consecutive weeks earlier this year. And here we are again with Wladimir Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin once again defending their titles in consecutive weeks on EPIX,” said Travis Pomposello, EPIX CCO and executive producer of EPIX Sports.

Klitschko (57-3, 50 KOs), of Kiev, Ukraine, is a two-time world heavyweight champion. Wladimir began his first title reign in 2000 when he captured the WBO heavyweight title via a unanimous decision over defending champion Chris Byrd. Byrd suffered two knockdowns in that battle.Klitschko’s two-year title reign included five successful defenses – all by knockout – before losing the belt to Corrie Sanders in 2003. Klitschko returned to the world championship throne in 2006, this time as IBF champion, when he dethroned Chris Byrd in a title rematch. This victory was even more emphatic than the first one with Klitschko stopping Byrd in the seventh round. Since that fight, Klitschko has taken on and defeated all comers while unifying the title with victories over WBO champion Sultan Ibragimov, and WBA champion David Haye. He enters this fight riding an eight-year, 15-bout winning streak. His most recent victory was a fourth-round knockout of former two-time world champion Jean Marc Mormeck, on March 3, which was televised live to the U.S. by EPIX.

Thompson (36-2, 24 KOs), from Washington, D.C., is a power-punching southpaw who is ready to give Klitschko his Berne notice when they meet again for the title. Thompson earned his first world title shot with Klitschko by stringing together an eight-year, 27-bout winning streak, which featured victories over top-rated contenders Luan Krasniqi, Timur Ibragimov, Dominick Guinn, and Vaughn Bean. Though unsuccessful in his challenge of Klitschko, Thompson gained valuable experience and a hunger for another world title fight. Since losing to Klitschko in 2008, Thompson has returned to the top of the IBF ratings by winning his five subsequent fights – all by knockout – including stoppages of Chazz Witherspoon and Owen Beck.

Povetkin (24-0, 16 KOs), of Russia, captured the vacant WBA heavyweight title last August, winning a gutsy unanimous decision over former WBA heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev, who entered the fight as the No. 1-rated contender. Povetkin, the 2004 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist, has an impressive resume which includes a knockout victory over former two-time heavyweight champion Chris Byrd, and unanimous decision victories over one-time heavyweight title challenger Eddie Chambers and former U.S. Olympians Jason Estrada and Larry Donald. Povetkin enters this fight having won four of his last seven bouts by knockout, including his December 3 title defense, an eighth-round stoppage of Cedric Boswell. Povetkin, who has had all of his heavyweight title fights televised live in the U.S. on EPIX, returns to the ring fresh from successfully defending his championship belt, via majority decision on February 25, against WBO cruiserweight Marco Huck, ending Huck’s four-year, 15-bout winning streak.

Rahman (50-7-2, 41 KOs), of Baltimore, MD, has fought nearly every notable heavyweight and is certainly no stranger to fighting for the world heavyweight championship. In fact, he is the last American to hold a heavyweight title belt. The highlight of his career came in 2001 when he knocked out defending champion Lennox Lewis in the fifth round to capture the heavyweight title. After losing the title in the immediate rematch later that year, Rahman was able to fight his way back into contention where he regained the WBC heavyweight title in 2005 via a unanimous decision over Monte Barrett. After losing the title to Oleg Maskaev in 2006 – the last time an American has ever worn a heavyweight champion belt – Rahman has won nine of his last 11 bouts, eight by knockout, with the lone blemishes being a TKO loss to heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2008 and a No Contest to three-division world champion James Toney.

Chisora (15-3, 9 KOs), of London, returns to the ring on the heels of his two most notable fights. Last December, in a fight that was televised live in the U.S. on EPIX, Chisora, an underdog fighting outside his native United Kingdom for the first time, out-boxed undefeated No. 1 heavyweight contender Robert Helenius over 12-rounds in his native Finland only to have the judges return a narrow split decision victory to Helenius to the outrage of fans and media alike. Based on that performance, Chisora, the former BBBoC British heavyweight champion and Commonwealth (British Empire) heavyweight champion earned a title shot with WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko on February 18, also televised live to the U.S. on EPIX. Though he lost a unanimous decision, it was the first time in nearly two years that Klitschko had been forced to go the distance. Chisora’s professional resume boasts consecutive knockout victories of Danny Williams and Sam Sexton, who had a combined record of 54-9 when he defeated them in 2010.

Haye (25-2, 23 KOs), of London, captured his first world title in 2007, knocking out defending WBC/WBA cruiserweight champion Jean Marc Mormeck in the seventh round. He added the WBO crown to his war chest in his first defense, a second-round pasting of Enzo Maccarinelli the following year. He vacated the titles to move up to the heavyweight division and in only second fight as a heavyweight dethroned WBA heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev, via majority decision. He successfully defended the title twice, knocking out former two-time heavyweight champion John Ruiz and 2000 Olympic gold medalist and fellow countryman Audley Harrison in the ninth and third rounds, respectively, both in 2010. Haye lost the crown last July, losing a unanimous decision to Wladimir Klitschko in a title unification fight.Haye’s fight against Chisora will be his first since that loss.

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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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