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FLOYD IS FREE

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Floyd-Mayweather-Jr5Floyd Mayweather, Jr. walked out of the Clark County Detention Center early Friday morning wrapped in silence. If there is one thing that is sure about his future that silence won’t last long.

Boxing’s biggest name and its highest grossing fighter served 60 days of an 90-day sentence for misdemeanor domestic battery in a 98 square foot cell that is smaller than the maid’s bathroom in his sprawling Las Vegas mansion. He was released nearly a month early for good behavior but before you make too much of that just how much trouble can a guy get into when he’s in solitary confinement?

That solitude ended the moment Mayweather walked out the door into a wall of television lights before he slipped silently behind the wheel of his blue Bentley, 20 of his nearest and dearest at his side. Sporting a Fu manchu and wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt, Mayweather looked considerably fitter than his doctor, Robert Voy, testified under oath was possible during a court hearing asking Mayweather be released immediately because he didn’t like the detention center’s water or cuisine.

Voy testified Mayweather’s career was threatened by being in jail. Las Vegas justice of the peace Melissa Saragosa said “That’s the idea’’ and let the sentence stand. Judging from a photograph Mayweather sent out via Twitter not long after he was released, Voy may have had a point. The way Mayweather looked he may turn his back on boxing to take up bodybuilding. I have no idea what was in the water at the Clark County Detention Center but where can I get some? Much has changed since Mayweather disappeared behind bars. His nemesis, Manny Pacquiao, had his welterweight title stolen from him by three blind ringside judges only miles from Mayweather’s jail cell. A young upstart hoping to challenge him, Amir Khan, was knocked cold by little known Danny Garcia, taking away from Mayweather one of his fistic options for his return to boxing.

And his dear friend 50 Cent started a promotional company called TMT (The Money Team) during his absence, a company in which Mayweather figures to play a prominent role. Although Golden Boy Promotions has represented Mayweather’s interests in his last six fights it has never had a promotional contract with him and so it seems obvious he will try to do with 50 what Evander Holyfield failed miserably at with another rapper back in the day, M.C. Hammer.

Hammer had Holyfield and still went broke in boxing. 50 has Mayweather and reportedly Mayweather has a stable of young fighters ready to be promoted by TMT that includes Yuriorkis Gamboa, Andre Dirrell, Zab Judah, Andre Berto and, most importantly, Money Mayweather himself. If Mayweather thought two months in jail was tough let him try a few months really running a promotional company. Yet his decision to go it alone is similar to what Golden Boy’s founder, Oscar De La Hoya, did when he broke away from the clutches of his long-time promoter, Bob Arum.

Arum was furious at De La Hoya and it has colored his thinking about doing business with him ever since, although it hasn’t seemed to affect De La Hoya’s business as one of boxing’s biggest promoters. Yet despite Golden Boy’s success many in boxing believe it is the reason Mayweather and Pacquiao have failed to agree to what would be the largest grossing boxing match in the sport’s history.

Whatever the truth of that, the fact Mayweather seems ready to go out on his own with a company that at the moment holds a promoter’s license only in New York (although one is pending in Las Vegas) won’t help any negotiations for a Pacquiao fight because Arum dislikes Mayweather only slightly less than he detests De La Hoya. The fact Pacquiao is now damaged goods after losing to Tim Bradley seems likely to further weaken the case for making that fight any time soon. Mayweather has yet to make known his boxing intentions. After winning a far more difficult struggle with Miguel Cotto than he anticipated, Mayweather hinted that he would fight again before the year is out but after two months behind bars he might well opt to wait until next year before resuming training.

If he does not fight again until next May, which has become a popular date for him, it would be the third time he’d taken a year off between fights. The wisdom of that remains in doubt because at 35 long layoffs can be counterproductive, especially for a counter puncher who relies on timing, speed and defense to win. Suggest that to Mayweather and he scoffs but then suggest a lot of things to Mayweather and he scoffs. It’s part of his charm.

For all the uncertainty swirling around him as he stepped into freedom for the first time in 60 days, some things remained familiar. Mayweather was still undefeated anywhere but in a court room and he was already more than $30,000 short, the price he allegedly paid to purchase an alligator handbag for his finance, Shantel Jackson. Who knew you could spend $30,000 on a handbag? And who would want to? That was only one of a number of items Mayweather bought from jail for his future bride’s birthday. Apparently the detention center’s water may have stunk but the internet service worked well.

So Money Mayweather is back on the streets. How soon before he’s back in boxing is anyone’s guess but if he keeps buying $30,000 handbags it won’t be that long.

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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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