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IBF Champ Geale Beats WBA Champ Sturm, Via SD

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gealeimageDaniel Geale has stopped Felix Sturm's five year run as WBA middleweight champion, scoring a split decision victory in Sturm's homeland of Germany on Saturday.

Geale, an Aussie, got the nod on the scorecards of Stanley Christodoulou and Dave Parris, by scores of 116-112, while Eugene Grant saw it for Sturm, 116-112. Geale entered the ring with the IBF middleweight belt, which he grabbed last May in Germany–does this guy adore that place, or what?–from Sebastian Sylvester.

There were no knockdowns in the scrap, and it looks like perhaps Geale will get the winner of the Gennady Golovkin-Greg Proksa fight, which unfolds tonight in upstate New York.

Geale goes to 28-1, while Sturm drops to 37-3-2.

Here is the release that was sent out:

September 1, 2012 – Today Australia's WBA Super Middleweight titlist, Daniel “Real Deal” Geale (28-1, 15 KOs), became the first Australian born prize fighter to win a unification world championship when he defeated former IBF champ, Felix Sturm (37-3-2, 16 KOs) by split decision on his home turf at the Koenig Pilsener Arena in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Judges Stanley Christodoulou and Dave Parris scored the bout 116-112 for Geale, while Judge Eugene Grant scored it 112-116 for Sturm.

“When my hand was raised in victory, there were a few emotions going through my mind at that stage; elation and relief,” said Geale. “We put in a lot of hard work for this fight and we were very confident traveling over to Germany. We knew we had to put in a massive fight. We are extremely excited how it turned out.”

This marks the second time that Daniel Geale has traveled to Germany to win a world title. The first came in May of 2011, when he defeated Sebastian Sylvester (34-5-1, 16 KOs) to win his first world championship, a title he's now defended for the third time.

“I don't think that anyone believed I could do it the first time when I challenged Sylvester, and when I came back after beating him people started to take notice,” stated Australia's hero Daniel Geale. “When we said we were going back to Germany again, people started to write us off a little bit. They said we were crazy, that I was going to lose my title. From day one we were confident though. It didn't matter who it was against, whether we had to travel or stay in Australia, we were confident in fighting anybody. It makes it a little tougher when you do have to travel overseas and win big fights but that's what makes a good fighters step up.”

With the win, Geale's options are vast with big fights looming in the future. The winners of either Gennady Golovkin (23-0, 20 KOs) vs. Grzegorz Proksa (28-1, 20 KOs) or Sergio Martinez (49-2-2, 29 KOs) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. are both unifications bouts for Geale that would be appealing to any television network.

Geal weighs in on his options saying, “At the moment I just want to take a little break for a few days. I have an awesome team with my promoter Gary Shaw and the guys at Grange Old School Boxing as well. Those guys do such a great job all the time. I put my faith in them and they put their faith in me as well. Together we'll sit down and have a bit of a chat in the next couple of days and we'll work out what's best after that.”

“Daniel Geale is a great human being, a tremendous world champion, and I'm honored to represent him,” said promoter Gary Shaw. “When you're willing to travel overseas, as Daniel did for the second time, and put everything on the line, it shows he's a true throwback fighter and great ambassador for the sport of boxing. We will talk as a team about what's next for him. Sky is the limit.”

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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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