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Rigo-Marroquin Tops Martinez-Chavez Jr. Undercard

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toprank LAS VEGAS, NEV. (August 10, 2012) — The Méxican Independence Day Weekend boxing extravaganza headlined by the Julio César Chávez Jr. vs. Sergio Martinez World Middleweight Championship will feature four exciting bouts on the live pay-per-view undercard, including two world championship showdowns. Undefeated World Boxing Association (WBA) super featherweight champion and Cuban expatriate GUILLERMO “El Chacal” RIGONDEAUX will defend his world title against knockout artist ROBERTO MARROQUIN of Dallas. Former world champion ROMAN “Rocky” MARTINEZ, of Puerto Rico and MIGUEL “Barreterito” BELTRAN, JR., of México, will battle for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior lightweight title. One-time world title challenger MATTHEW “Mack The Knife” MACKLIN, of England, will rumble with former world super welterweight champion JOACHIM ALCINE, of Montréal, Québec, Canada, in a 10-round middleweight bout. The pay-per-view undercard telecast will open with undefeated University of Notre Dame champion MIKE LEE in a six-round light heavyweight bout against an opponent to be named soon.

These seven gladiators boast a combined record of 155-9-2 (100 KOs) – a winning percentage of 93%, with nearly 2/3 of those victories coming by way of knockout.

Promoted by Top Rank®, Zanfer Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, in association with Wynn Las Vegas, AT&T and Tecate, the Chávez Jr. vs. Martinez Middleweight Championship Event will take place Saturday, September 15, at the Thomas & Mack Center, on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. It will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®, beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.

Remaining tickets, priced at $600, $400, $200, $100, $75, $50 and $25, can be purchased at the Thomas & Mack Center box office and Town Square Las Vegas Concierge. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.unlvtickets.com. To charge by telephone call (702) 739-FANS.

“The pay-per-view undercard will set the stage for the most anticipated fight of the year in Chavez Jr. vs. Martinez. September 15 is going to be a great night of action and a very entertaining event worthy of its date,” said Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank.

“Macklin put his name into the world boxing scene with great back-to-back performances against Felix Sturm and Sergio Martinez,” said Lou DiBella. “While he came up a little short in those world title opportunities, he is hungrier than ever and looking to move himself back into the title picture. In his way stands Joachim Alcine, who is a former world champion and coming off the huge upset victory over David Lemieux. This is a do-or-die fight for both of these guys and they are going to leave it all on the line come fight night.”

Rigondeaux (10-0, 8 KOs), of Miami, Fla., had a stellar amateur career, winning Olympic gold medals in 2004,and 2000, World Amateur Championship titles in 2005 and 2001, and Pan American Games gold medals in 2005 and 2003, all at 119 pounds, before defecting from Cuba and embarking on a professional career which began in Miami in 2009. In only his seventh professional fight where both fighters scored knockdowns, Rigondeaux captured the WBA interim super bantamweight title, winning a tough split decision over the vastly more experienced former world champion Ricardo Cordoba in 2010.  After successfully defending the interim title last year with a first-round knockout of previously undefeated former European super bantamweight champion Willie Casey, Rigondeaux won the WBA world super bantamweight championship with a sixth-round knockout of previously undefeated defending champion Rico Ramos on January 20. Rigondeaux returns to ring after successfully defending that title on June 9, blasting once-beaten Teon Kennedy out in the fifth round, which included Kennedy suffering five knockdowns en route to the loss.

Marroquin (22-1, 15 KOs), from Dallas, TX, is known for bring the “total package” – a fan-favorite combination of style, technique, power and personality. A former amateur standout with victories over Gary Russell Jr. and Adrien Broner, Marroquin enters his first world championship challenge with a professional resume highlighted by several impressive performances, including knockout victories of Edward Arcos, Gilberto Sanchez-Leon and Arturo Camargo, who had a combined record of 68-23-5 when Marroquin fought them, all before Marroquin had fought his 19th professional fight. Riding a three-bout winning streak since losing a hotly-contested split decision to Francisco Leal, Marroquin is world-rated No. 15 by the WBA.

Martinez (25-1-1, 16 KOs), of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, captured the WBO junior lightweight title in 2009, scoring two knockdowns en route to knocking out defending champion Nicky Cook in the fourth round. Martinez successfully defended his title twice – both by knockout – against world-rated contenders Feider Viloria and Gonzalo Munguia, before losing the title in 2010 via the slimmest of margins in a spirited battle against Ricky Burns – a consensus Fight of the Year candidate. Currently world-rated No. 9 by the WBO, Martinez returns to the ring after stopping former world title challenger Daniel Attah in the sixth round last October.

Beltran Jr. (27-1, 17 KOs), of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, México, making his U.S. debut, will be challenging for a world title for the second time.His first attempt, against IBF junior lightweight champion Juan Carlos Salgado last December, was ruled a No Contest due to a cut over the left eye of Salgado from an accidental clash of heads in the second round. Known for his aggressive style and solid punching power, Beltran boasts impressive victories, including winning the Campeon Azteca featherweight tournament by beating Miguel “Mickey” Roman, and sticking previously undefeated Eduardo Lazcano with his first loss. World-rated No. 8 by the WBO, Beltran enters this fight riding a two-year, six-bout unbeaten streak.

Macklin (28-4, 19 KOs), hails from Birmingham, England, though the proud Irishman travels on an Irish passport. Macklin returns to the ring after two high profile competitive world championship battles. After fashioning a four-year, 11-bout winning streak between 2007 and 2011, which included knockout victories of Wayne Elcock for the British middleweight title and Amin Asikainen and Shalva Jomardashvili for the European middleweight championship, Macklin rose to career-high world rankings — No. 2 in the WBA and No. 4 in the WBO – and his first world title shot, against “Super” WBA middleweight champion Felix Sturm. The two clashed June 25, 2011 in Sturm’s native Germany, where Macklin outworked and seemingly outscored the defending champion in every round only to be handed a very controversial split decision loss. Macklin’s heroic effort and favorable world opinion led to his getting another title shot, this time against Sergio Martinez on March 17 in front of a raucous and partisan St. Patrick’s Day crowd at Madison Square Garden. Macklin took an early lead and even dropped Martinez in the seventh round, but Martinez returned the favor in the 11th round dropping Macklin twice leading Macklin’s corner to end the contest during the break between the 11th and 12th rounds.Macklin enters this fight world-rated No. 7 by the WBC.

Alcine (33-2-1, 19 KOs), a native of Haiti, now living in Montréal, Québec, Canada, won the WBA super welterweight title in 2007, dethroning Travis Simms via a dominant unanimous decision. He held the title for one year before losing it to Daniel Santos. Alcine has gone 3-1-1 since losing the title, but it was his most recent fight, a 12-round majority decision upset victory over the highly touted David Lemieux for the WBC International middleweight crown, on December 10, which put the boxing world on notice that Alcine was back. Currently world-rated No. 9 by the WBC and the WBO, Alcine knows what’s at stake when he faces Macklin.

Lee (10-0, 6 KOs), a native of Chicago who now fights out of Houston, is a 2009 graduate of Notre Dame where he earned a Finance degree from the Mendoza School of Business with a 3.8 GPA while winning the school’s legendary Bengal Bouts boxing tournament three years in a row as well as the 2009 Golden Gloves Championship. Trained by Ronnie Shields, Lee has shown great potential as a fighter while attracting Madison Avenue to the sport as a national spokesman for Subway Restaurants where he has been featured in the company’s nationally-televised advertising campaigns. Lee has also proved to be a powerful box office attraction, packing houses with rabid and loyal University of Notre Dame fans, students and alumni. Lee returns to the ring fresh a career-best victory, a second-round knockout of Tyler Seever on August 4. Seever’s victory by knockout ratio was a powerful 85%, where 11 of his 13 wins had come inside the distance.

The Chávez Jr. vs. Martinez world championship telecast, which begins at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT, will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View and will be available to more than 92 million pay-per-view homes. HBO Pay-Per-View, a division of Home Box Office, Inc., is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. Follow HBO Boxing news at www.hbo.com and at www.facebook.com/hboboxing. Use the hashtag #ChavezMartinez to join the conversation on Twitter. For Chávez Jr. vs. Martinez updates log on to www.toprank.com, www.dbe1.com or www.hbo.com.

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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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