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NBC Extends Fight Night Contract With Main Events

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FightNightNEW YORK – July 2, 2012 –NBC Sports Group will partner with Main Events to produce a second season of the network's successful primetime boxing series Fight Night. The Saturday night boxing series will expand from six telecasts to-up-to 16 and will showcase compelling match-ups between some of the world's best fighters.

NBC Sports Group will continue to work with Main Events and Hall-of-Fame matchmaker J Russell Peltz, to once again feature a multi-promoter strategy for the series. Designed to produce the best quality fights, the collaboration allows any promoter the opportunity to get their boxers involved in these programs and allows viewers the ability to see world class match-ups that would not otherwise take place.

“We are once again reaching out to all promoters to get involved in the series.” said Kathy Duva, president, Main Events. “The multiple promoter format worked incredibly well during season one and we are hoping to continue to build on the momentum. All fighters who are willing to further their careers by engaging in compelling, interesting, meaningful matches are welcome.”

“This series is the best thing that has happened to boxing in years,” said Hall-of-Fame promoter/matchmaker J Russell Peltz. “In just four shows, we have seen the emergence of US heavyweight prospect Bryant Jennings and junior middleweight contender Gabriel Rosado. We have shown matches between world-rated fighters and that's something you rarely see these days on television. On top of that, the fights have been promoted the old-fashioned way, in sold-out noisy venues in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Bethlehem and Newark. This is the way boxing was meant to be.”

Fight Night has been a tremendous success. The unique approach to have multiple promoters competing to put fights on the NBC Sports Network has allowed us to produce compelling match-ups and incredibly exciting shows” said Jon Miller, President, programming, NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network. “NBC's is committed to the property and we are looking forward to expanding the series from six telecasts to-up-to 16.”

Two dates have already been scheduled for the 2013 calendar, and additional dates will be announced as they are confirmed. A minimum of six telecasts will take place each year on the NBC Sports Network, and up to two broadcasts will air each year on NBC.

As part of the agreement, an additional Fight Night telecast has also been added to the 2012 calendar. The show will air on Saturday, December 22 on NBC, from 4-6 p.m. ET. The fight card will be announced at a later date.

2012-2013 NBC SPORTS NETWORK FIGHT NIGHT SCHEDULE

(All Times ET and subject to change)

Saturday, December 22                   4-6 p.m.                      NBC

Saturday, January 19,                     9-11 p.m.                    NBC Sports Network

Saturday, March 9, 2013                  9-11 p.m.                    NBC Sports Network

Kenny Rice will continue to serve as the play-by-play commentator for all telecasts, and will be

joined by Hall-of-Fame boxing trainer Freddie Roach and cruiserweight contender B.J. Flores. Chris

Mannix will continue to serve as the ringside reporter for each telecast.

FIGHT NIGHT 36: The NBC Sports Network will continue to use its all-access 36 series to compliment the Fight Night telecasts. In 2012, individual Fight Night 36 episodes featured fighters Zab Judah and Eddie Chambers. The collaboration between Fight Night 36 and Fight Night allowed fans a unique opportunity to go behind-the-scenes prior to each fight and see how the boxers train, spend time with their family and interact with fans.

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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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