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Miguel Cotto Hypes Dec. 1 NYC Card, in NYC on Monday

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003 IMG 0055Readers, could Trout upset Cotto in Cotto's adopted home base of NYC? (Tom Casino)

NEW YORK (Sept. 24, 2012) – Four-Time and Three-Division World Champion Miguel Cotto and WBA Super Welterweight World Champion Austin Trout held a kickoff press conference on Monday in front of hundreds of boxing fans at El Museo Del Barrio in New York to announce their Dec. 1 world championship showdown at Madison Square Garden, which will be televised live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.

One of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world, Cotto (37-3, 30 KO’s), of Caguas, Puerto Rico, has held a world title every year since 2004 while winning 16 of the 19 world championship bouts in which he has fought. Puerto Rico’s most exciting fighter and one of its greatest of all time, Cotto has fought some of the most talented fighters in boxing, including Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Shane Mosley and Antonio Margarito.

The undefeated “No Doubt” Trout (25-0, 14 KO’s), of Las Cruces, N.M., has made three successful defenses of his WBA title. The 2004 U.S. amateur champion is a former alternate for the U.S. Olympic team and is considered one of the most avoided young champions in the sport.

Also in attendance on Monday were Miguel Cotto Promotions Vice President Hector Soto, Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya, MSG Sports Executive Vice President Joel Fisher, SHOWTIME Sports Executive Vice President and General Manager Stephen Espinzoa, Cotto’s trainer Pedro Diaz, Vito Mielnicki of Trout’s promoter Greg Cohen Promotions and Trout’s manager Bob Spagnola.

Here’s what the participants had to say on Monday:

MIGUEL COTTO:

“The fans here make me proud of the Puerto Rican heritage in New York.

“Austin Trout is a world champion. I always go for the best fights possible and Austin was the best option for us. I’ve learned a lot in camp from Pedro (Diaz) and I know he’s going to get me ready to win another world title.

“People here [in New York] make me feel at home; people here make me feel comfortable. They root for me and they give me the support I need to beat anyone.

“He’s a world champion, he’s undefeated. He’s a dangerous fighter and he was the right opponent for me, but I’ll still walk out of the ring with another belt on December 1st.”

“My mom has always been such a big support. My dad isn’t here anymore so it’s always good to have family with me when I train and fight.

“The crowd here in New York is electrifying. I get a different feeling when I fight here.

“Camp just began two weeks ago. I’m going to train hard to beat my opponent and be champion of the world.”

AUSTIN TROUT:

“I know the Puerto Rican fans are going to be out in full-force, but on December 1st, there is going to be a new star in boxing. They’re going to see why I’m here, why I’m the champion. I have two things in this sport right now – my belt and my undefeated record and I plan to keep both of them.

“I’m going to take this opportunity with both hands and I’m run with it. It’s very honorable to be on that list of people Cotto has fought because he’s fought the best, but it’s going to be even better to be on that list of the people that have beaten Cotto.

“He can have whoever he wants in the crowd because it’s only me and him in the ring. I’m not worried about the crowd and fighting in New York. I’ll do my job no matter where I fight.

“I’ve been in hostile waters before down in Mexico and it gave me experience for this fight. There’s only one man who’s going to be in the ring with me.

“We’ve wanted this fight for years. We knew we had to knock off some people first to get it, but I’m very grateful to say the least.

“I’m one of the most avoided fighters in boxing, so I thank him for the opportunity to fight him on this stage. This weight class is stacked and I’m going to clean it up.”

“It’s a dream come true to fight at Madison Square Garden. I’m a Knicks fan and I’ve been there for a Knicks game and it was electric.”

HECTOR SOTO:

“Miguel has fought here seven times; he defended his title six times. On December 1st, he’s going to win another world title.”

OSCAR DE LA HOYA:

“Miguel Cotto is one of the most legendary and exciting fighters in Puerto Rican history. Every fight he has at Madison Square Garden is electric, and his return on December 1st won’t be any different.

“This fight solidifies SHOWTIME as THE place to watch fights on TV.

“Puerto Rico has produced some of the best boxers in the world. The people of Puerto Rico respect Miguel because of the passion he has for fighting. When he fights, you know he’s going to give it his all.

“He’s held a world title every year since 2004. He now looks to solidify his Hall of Fame career on December 1st against World Champion Austin Trout.”

STEPHEN ESPINOZA:

“Miguel Cotto fighting in NYC is a celebration. We are proud to be in business with Miguel Cotto Promotions – this fighter is a true icon in the sport of boxing. He is a warrior who has fought the biggest names in the sport and will fight anyone, anytime.

“A few months ago, Miguel fought Floyd Mayweather and turned in a performance that many people thought Cotto won. Coming off that fight, Miguel could have taken a soft opponent, but he agreed to take on one of the toughest world titlists in this division. Austin Trout is young, strong and athletic. He defended his title on June 2nd on SHOWTIME and we’re thrilled to have him back defending against a legend like Miguel Cotto.

“I’m also excited to announce that a new edition of our sports documentary series ALL ACCESS will be dedicated to this marquee matchup. ALL ACCESS: Cotto vs. Trout will take viewers behind the scenes as the fighters prepare for this event. It will reveal aspects of Miguel Cotto’s unique training camp for this fight and introduce sports fans at-large to the American champion, Austin Trout.”

JOEL FISHER:

“The boxing media and the fans will have an opportunity to see Phase 2 of the Transformation [of Madison Square Garden] on December 1st as it will be our first big night of boxing in the arena.

“Madison Square Garden, as you know, has a rich boxing tradition and has hosted hundreds of champions throughout the years and we are excited to welcome Miguel back to his home away from home for this match against Austin Trout on December 1st.

“Miguel, as you are aware, has a great fan base in New York and has had great success at the Garden.

“We have been lucky enough to build a great relationship with Miguel and his team over the years and we’re looking forward to seeing him step into our ring for what will be another exciting night of championship boxing at MSG.

“We have met hundreds of fighters throughout the years who have said that it has been their dream to fight at Madison Square Garden where all the legends of the sport have fought. This will be Austin’s debut at The Garden and would like to welcome him to the Garden’s boxing tradition.”

VITO MIELNICKI:

“Our fighter is young and hungry. On December 1st, Austin will become the next American superstar – a star will be born.”

BOB SPAGNOLA:

“I hear it from everybody, ‘Who is Austin Trout?’ We had a journey to get here. We didn’t have a lot of opportunities to fight in chosen fights. When we got a chance to fight for a world title we had to go to Mexico to get it.

“Coming to Madison Square Garden is a dream come true for every fighter and by the end of the evening you won’t have to ask, ‘Who is Austin Trout?’”

“Showdown: Cotto vs. Trout” is a 12 round battle between Four-Time and Three-Division World Champion Miguel Cotto and WBA Super Welterweight World Champion Austin Trout taking place on December 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The event is promoted by Miguel Cotto Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions in association with Greg Cohen Promotions, sponsored by Corona and will be telecast live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.

Tickets priced at $500, $300, $200, $100 and $50, not including applicable service charges and taxes, go on sale on Tuesday, September 25 at 1:00 p.m. ET. They can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.thegarden.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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