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Real-Time Reaction To Khan-Garcia Shocker

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KhanGarcia Hogan9Moment-by-moment thoughts on Khan-Garcia in real-time:

Pre-Fight Prediction: Khan TKO 5. Here’s what I saw/though when watching:

• Round 1 Bell rings and Khan is firing big shots. He lands a few hard right hands in the early moments and already has Jim Lampley gushing. Khan has lots of fans that gush about his natural boxing skills. Count me in after round 1. He threw BIG punches, was exciting, and he’s got the kind of mouth-watering offensive skills that remind me of a young Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Really. Too far? Probably.

• Not many guys out there are both top-tier fighters and always fun to watch. Perhaps Miguel Cotto rising through the ranks from 2005-2009 is the most recent fighter like that? Maybe it was Cotto’s similar blend of offensive firepower and vulnerability to that of Khan. Victor Ortiz could have been that guy (is it too early to speak in past tense about his career as a top fighter?).

• Round 2: Khan winning the round just like he won round 1 by landing 2 shots to every 1 of Garcia’s, but Khan is taking some very clean shots. Garcia just barely misses a few more big punches, and Khan’s certainly leaving some openings.

• Garcia being very patient, but perhaps to a fault. He’s comfortable in these exchanges even he’s losing them.

• Khan just doesn’t have the defense to match his elite offensive skills. He can take a shot, but takes too many.

• Khan has been firing inconsistent left hooks. Some are short and very effective. Others are looping, missing, and leaving him vulnerable to right hands. It’s not been and issue yet as these different types/angles have kept Garcia from timing his own right hands as of yet.

• Round 3: Khan back to work to start the round as he now leads two rounds to none on my scorecard. Despite continuing to set the pace and determine when the exchanges occur, Khan is still taking big punches from Garcia. To this point, his chin holds up.

• Max Kellerman just casually dropped the word capitulation, in regard to Garcia, in round 3. He is also correct in saying that Amir Khan, the longer fighter in this matchup, is being very aggressive and encouraging exchanges (not necessary, really, but goes back to him being a consistently exciting fighter).

• Danny Garcia has a really solid chin. He definitely felt several Khan power punches and was never badly hurt. We’ll see if he can hold up, but he seems to be expending less energy than Khan, so the later this goes could be beneficial for Garcia.

• Khan, a good body puncher, hasn’t thrown many to this point, and Garcia has landed a few nice hooks to the ribcage.

• Thinking about the fact that Khan has not really flinched at some of Garcia’s cleanly-landed power punches… only Maidana and Prescott have badly hurt him, and they’re both serious power punchers (albeit limited ones). Maybe Khan’s chin isn’t all that suspect…and then BOOM. Khan is badly hurt by a Garcia left hook, and he’s stumbling and looking lost once returning to his feet. Saved by the bell has just been epitomized.

• I absolutely cannot believe that the referee let him keep fighting.

• Amir Khan immediately got right back into an exchange. The guy simply can’t tie up when he’s hurt, and he’s a fighter, alright.

• It was unfortunate that it looked like Freddie Roach didn’t help him in between rounds. Wouldn’t say it’s shocking at this point, but Khan needed some help to regroup and re-strategize. I am all for his safety, and Roach was probably just assessing his guy’s ability to continue, but he needs to help this kid stay away/hold for 1 round.

• Watched the replay of the knockdown… was that a kneck KO? Khan got hit right in the side of the neck, so I guess it’s not his chin in question.

• Round 4: Khan has so much heart to be on his feet right now! Garcia just landed the first 5 punches he threw, and they were all straight, clean power shots. Khan’s glove touches the canvas, knockdown #2. This one could be over as Khan’s on some rubber legs. Khan gets up and pushes on.

• Garcia is landing EVERYTHING in Round 4! He is still rationing his shots, kind of sniping/picking his spots rather than punching himself out. Could pay off, and he’s definitely close to finishing.

• And out of nowhere, Khan is throwing haymakers in return! Two huge hooks by Garcia and a massive uppercut by Khan.

• Khan looks to be out on his feet even though he’s punching back with some authority. He hasn’t blocked anything and he’s absorbing punishing right hands. There’s STILL A MINUTE LEFT in a round that feels like it’s already been the longest one I’ve ever seen.

• Down goes Khan again, and this one looks like the end. Oddly enough, Khan withstood several big bunches, and what seemed like a glancing blow was the final knockdown. Ref Bayless waives it off signaling a TKO for Danny Garcia.

• My initial reaction was that Bayless should have given Khan the chance to make it through the round just because he continued to fight back while upright, but you can’t really have a problem with the stoppage. Khan could’ve been badly hurt, and I’m all for fighter safety.

• Post-Fight thoughts:

• Garcia’s dad is the worst.

• I still think Amir Khan-Floyd Mayweather would be (or would have been) competitive and an awesome fight to watch. Conversely, I think Garcia likely gets shutout by Floyd in a fight that’s probably not that exciting to watch.

• Max Kellerman is not only phenomenal at his job (I’ve already written about how amazing Jim Lampley is with such astute observations in real-time), but he’s still such a fan! Kellerman’s genuine enthusiasm consistently stands out and he’s really been a great asset (see: replacement for Larry Merchant) for HBO.

• During the post-fight interview with Max, Oscar De La Hoya literally showed up seconds after Danny Garcia says, “Maybe I’m a pretty boy”. Kinda funny.

• What’s the deal with Al Haymon? What are his interests? Personal wealth? There’s nothing wrong with that, but does he just want his guys to make the most possible? Is he functioning as an agent? I do not like the guy, but maybe he can help bridge the gap between Golden Boy and Top Rank fighters if he can get enough fighters under his advising umbrella… maybe I’m dreaming.

• Boxing has a chance to get a real boost from Twitter. If you’re interested in the sport, it’s an awesome way to talk boxing with large groups of people you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. My timeline is very active, entertaining, and diverse on fight nights. Celebs, professional writers, fans, and fighters all can connect in the same place to talk boxing. If HBO or Showtime can leverage/harness twitter’s effectiveness, it could make for some very cool, interactive fight night experiences. Simple #KhanGarcia hashtags ain’t it.

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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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