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Golovkin To Defend Crown Against Proksa on Sept. 1

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HBOmage001(July 26, 2012)—After the recent back injury suffered to former WBO Middleweight champion Dmitry Pirog (20-0, 15 KOs), WBA Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (23-0, 20 KOs) will now defend his title against highly regarded Grzegorz Proksa (28-1, 21 KOs) on Saturday night September 1, 2012 as the main event headlining HBO Boxing After Dark.

The 12-round co-feature will showcase former WBO Jr. Middleweight champion, Sergiy “Razor” Dzinziruk (37-1, 23 KOs) of Kiev, Ukraine versus, undefeated heavy handed Puerto Rican contender, Jonathan Gonzalez (15-0, 13 KOs), the current NABO and WBA FEDELATIN Jr. Middleweight champion. The combined record of all four fighters is an astonishing (103-2, 77 KOs).

The doubleheader promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, Arthur Pelullo/Banner Promotions, K2 Promotions, Greg Cohen Promotions, Matchroom Sport, Warrior’s Boxing and Universal Promotions, will take place at Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York and will be televised live on HBO BOXING AFTER DARK® beginning at 10:15 p.m. ET/PT.

Golovkin of Kazakhstan and now residing in Stuttgart, Germany, won the silver medal in the 2004 Olympics and had amateur wins over Lucian Bute, Andre Dirrell, Matt Korobov, and Andy Lee. He’s perfect as a professional compiling an astonishing record of 23-0 with twenty coming by way of knockout. He won the WBA Interim Middleweight title with a first round destruction over Milton Nunez (24-4-1, 22 KOs) and captured the full WBA title in this following bout with a third round stoppage over Nilson Tapia (15-3-1, 11 KOs). Golovkin has made three defenses which include wins over former world champion Kassim Ouma (27-8-1, 17 KOs), highly regarded contender LaJuan Simon (23-4-2, 12 KOs), and in his last defense on May 12, 2012, he pounded Makoto Fuchigami (19-7, 10 KOs), stopping him in the third round.  Golovkin will be making his highly anticipated debut in the United States.

Said Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions, “Gennady trains in America and is committed to fighting here where there have been so many middleweight legends; we’re grateful to HBO for this opportunity to showcase his skills. We strongly feel that he is the BEST middleweight in the world right now and we’re anxious for the world to see that.”

“I’m very excited to face Grzegorz Proksa on September 1st,” said Golovkin. Proksa has never been in the ring with a puncher like me and I’m here to show the world what I’m made of. I’ve wanted to fight in the United States for a long time and look forward to fighting the best middleweights in the world in the near future.”

Proksa of Poland and now residing in Redhill, United Kingdom, has an impressive record of 28-1 with twenty-one knockouts. Proksa exploded onto the world scene when he stopped former IBF Middleweight boss Sebastian Sylvester (34-5-1, 16 KOs) in three rounds. Unfortunately in his next bout, Proksa lost a controversial majority decision to Kerry Hope (17-4, 1 KO). Like a true warrior, Proksa emphatically avenged that defeat to Hope in his last bout, stopping him in round eight of their July 7th bout.

Said Matchroom Sport’s Barry Hearn, “Proksa has waited all his professional life for this opportunity and respects Golovkin for his achievements in the ring. He knows this will be a tough fight for both fighters and is convinced he can emerge victorious in an entertaining contest. Proksa has one loss on his record when he lost his European title in a controversial points decision in a fight where he suffered a terrible cut via an accidental clash of heads. That loss has been avenged via a knockout victory to regain his European crown and he does not intend to suffer a loss in this fight. The fight features the two biggest punchers in the middleweight division and I am convinced that fight will not go the distance. It’s an honor for Proksa to be part of an HBO show and he is excited about winning in the USA on the biggest network for boxing in the world.”

“I have no doubt in my mind that I have the ability to knockout Golovkin,” said Proksa. “My opportunity to showcase my talents to the world has arrived and I’m not going to let it slip away. This will be a difficult fight but I believe in myself to come out victorious and I’m going to bring an aggressive game plan for the fans. I’m coming to the US to impress and take home the title.”

“This is a terrific bout and I believe a new star of the Middleweight division will be born on September 1st”, said Banner Promotions CEO Artie Pelullo. “There are three big Middleweight bouts in a span of a couple of weeks and this fight involves two of the best Middleweights in the world so the stakes could be very big for the winner”

“Pirog will be anxiously awaiting the results of this fight, as he wants his opportunity to fight the winner on HBO. There are many worthy opponents at 160, including Daniel Geale, Sergio Martinez, and Chavez Jr, and he is willing to fight anyone of them, as we believe that he might be the best, and is the biggest puncher at 160.”

Sergiy Dzinziruk has never lost a bout at 154 pounds. At Jr. Middleweight, Dzinziruk defended his WBO world title seven times. Sergiy, a boxer-puncher, will look to end the hype on Gonzalez, and regain his claim as one of the best 154 pound fighters in boxing.

“It’s a fact, that I am unbeatable at Jr. Middleweight, Dzinziruk said. “Gonzalez is a big puncher, but he’s never been in the ring with a superior boxer like me. I will end his unbeaten record and move toward another world title. I will be champion once again real soon.”

Art Pellulo, Dzinziruk’s co-promoter stated, “This will be a classic boxer versus puncher matchup and as we all know, a boxer always beats a puncher. Dzinziruk will be too slick for Gonzalez. Once he wins this fight, we will work to get him another world title shot.” Dziniruk is also co-promoted by Gary Shaw Productions.

Hard-punching knockout artist, Puerto Rican sensation, Jonathan Gonzalez, brings a crowd-pleasing style into the ring. He was a Puerto Rican Olympian, amassing 147 wins as an amateur with only 18 defeats.

Gonzalez is jointly promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, Warriors Boxing and Universal Promotions. He is undefeated as a professional, knocking out his first 13 opponents, and had amassed and amazing amateur record of (132W-18L). Highly ranked Gonzalez will attempt to do what no other fighter has done, beat Sergiy Dzinziruk at Jr. Middleweight.

“Fighting on HBO is a big opportunity for me and my team,” stated Gonzalez. “Gary Shaw has come through on his promise to get me on a worldwide stage to showcase my talent. I always bring excitement to the ring and it won’t be any different when I face Dzinziruk. My goal is to become champion.”

Said Gary Shaw, “Jonathan is highly ranked in all sanctioning organizations, and I’m sure after this fight, he will be considered by all, for a shot at a world title.”

“Gonzalez is another great talent from Puerto Rico that we can all be excited about,” mentioned Warriors Boxing Promotion’s Leon Margules. “Dzinziruk better be ready for a war.”

“Jonathan Gonzalez has something to prove in this fight,” said Javier Bustillo of Universal Promotions. “This is his big opportunity to show the world what he is all about. I expect him to leave everything in the ring on fight night.”

“I want to give a very special thank you to HBO and Ken Hershman for giving us the opportunity to present this great night of boxing in two very important weight divisions,” continued promoter Gary Shaw. “ I believe the real winner of this show will be the fans in attendance and the millions watching on HBO.”

“GCP is thrilled to be a part of this world class event. Bringing a World Championship Boxing event televised by HBO to a World Class venue like Turning Stone is going to be a terrific experience for everyone involved.”

Ticket information to be announced shortly.

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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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