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Macklin Will Meet Alcine on Sept. 15

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DiBellaLogo-no-websiteMiddleweight contender Matthew “Mack the Knife” Macklin is gearing up for his Las Vegas debut on September 15th where he will take on former World Champ, Joachim Alcine on a card headlined by the eagerly awaited World Middleweight title clash between Sergio Martinez and Julio Cesar Chavez. Macklin pushed Martinez close in a brave effort to dethrone the middleweight kingpin at Madison Square Garden on St. Patrick's Day and has been rewarded for his efforts with another opportunity to showcase his talents in front of a US television audience with the fight live on HBO Pay-Per-View.

Macklin revealed that he can't wait to step between the ropes at the Thomas & Mack Center and will be keen to impress on his Vegas debut. “I've been going to Las Vegas for a long time both as a fight fan and when I was in the Ricky Hatton camp for his big fights over there,” said Macklin. “I was due to fight Winky Wright there last year but he pulled out and the fight fell through so I'm looking forward to finally fighting there on such a big night for the middleweight division.”

Macklin faces a stiff test in the shape of former WBA Light Middleweight Champ Joachim Alcine with the Canadian based Haitian coming of an excellent win over the hard hitting David Lemieux and the former Irish, British and European Champion admits it will be a hard nights work. “Alcine is a proven fighter, he's a former World Champion who has campaigned at the highest level and it's a massive opportunity for both of us to feature on a live HBO pay-per-view event. He's coming off a great win over Lemieux so I'm sure he will be coming into this with a lot of confidence so it's up to me to burst his bubble.”

Macklin is hoping that he can take care of business inside the ring and then take his seat for the main event, a fight that he definitely has a vested interest in. “It's probably the most important middleweight fight since Bernard Hopkins fought Felix Trinidad back in 2001 so it's a fight I would definitely have been ringside for even if I wasn't fighting on the card. It's an intriguing fight, I'm leaning towards Sergio because he's an exceptional athlete but Chavez was very impressive last time out against Andy Lee. He's a huge middleweight, he's very strong, closes the distance well and varies his punches. However Sergio has quicker feet, he's very hard to pin down and his reflexes are excellent so I'd sightly favour him but it wouldn't be a huge surprise if Chavez pulled it out.

“Regardless of how the fight goes I'd love a shot at the winner but obviously I'm going to have to take care of business against Alcine first and that's my only priority right now. I think my last two fights have proven that I'm right up there at the top of one of the most exciting weight divisions in boxing right now. I have the utmost respect for Sergio, he won fair and square but there was nothing between us going into the eleventh round. I was ahead on one of the cards by three rounds and only a point down on the other two cards so it was very much all to play for. I still feel like I can improve an awful lot on that performance, I'd been out of the ring for 9 months beforehand and had just started working with Buddy McGirt again as my trainer so I think with another camp with Buddy under my belt I will be able to show that I'm still an improving fighter.”

Macklin has been in training camp in Spain for the fight where he has opened up his own gym. “I've just opened up my own gym in Spain called Macklin's Gym Marbella”, explained Macklin. “I've been a bit of a nomad when preparing for fights so it's good to have a base to literally call my own for training camps. I'm really enjoying working with Buddy again because he is such a knowledgeable trainer and I'm just enjoying my training in general so I can't wait now for September 15th.”

Macklin's promoter Lou DiBella believes it's an opportunity for the 30-year-old to put himself back in the mix for another World title fight. “Macklin put his name into the world boxing scene with great back-to-back performances against Felix Sturm and Sergio Martinez,” said 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.”

Macklin's manager Brian Peters echoed DiBella's thoughts. “It's a big opportunity for Matthew to shine and put himself right back in contention for another World title fight” said Peters. “In back to back fights he has proved he is right up there with the Worlds best and last time out he pushed a man recognised as the best fighter in the sport outside of Mayweather or Pacquio very close. Matthew's hunger to become World Champion is stronger than ever and I'm expecting another big performance from him next month.”

Macklin admits that one downside of his Las Vegas debut is that he has had to sacrifice his normal summer routine of regular trips back to Ireland to watch his beloved Tipperary hurling team.

“Tipperary are playing Kilkenny in the All-Ireland semi final at the weekend and it's a massive, massive game but I'm going to have to watch it from Spain. I'd love to be heading back for it but I can't really break training camp so close to my fight. I'm confident that the Tipp lads can pull it off as I think they have an extra few gears from what they have had to show so far in the Championship this year. Obviously Kilkenny look to be back with a vengeance after that defeat to Galway earlier but I'm quietly confident Tipp can progress to the final. The only problem with that is I'll have to miss the final as well as it will be the week before the Las Vegas fight! I'd be gutted to miss the final as well but I'm expecting a few of the lads to celebrate winning another All-Ireland by coming out to my fight in Vegas the following weekend so hopefully we can have a double celebration!”

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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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