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Night For Out-of-Towners in Ontario: Claggett and Nichol Win

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Thompson Boxing Promotions LONTARIO, CALIF.-It was a bad night for the hometown guy fighters with Canada's Steve Claggett and Denver's Shawn Nichol upsetting the Californians. Only female local fighter Lissette Medel was able to finish with a victory on Friday.

Claggett (15-0-1, 10 KOs) used a right hand to rally to victory in a junior welterweight main event at the Doubletree Hotel on the Thompson Boxing Promotions card. The more than 1,200 in the audience cheered the action packed fight card, regardless of the winners.

Both Ricky Duenas (12-2, 6 KOs) of El Monte and Claggett of Calgary came in with reputations as junior welterweights who could punch. It didn't take long to see why.

Duenas floored Claggett with a straight left through the gloves followed by a four-punch combination in round one. The Canadian got up slightly woozy but was not hurt enough for Duenas to jump on.

“I wasn't hurt bad. It took me a moment to get my thoughts,” said Claggett.

In the very next round Claggett turned on the engines and toward the end of the round caught Duenas clean with a sidewinder right hand. Duenas hit the canvas hard but got up and the bell rang ending the stanza.

Claggett seemed to hit Duenas with the same right hand in round three. Duenas absorbed a lot of blows but rallied with shorter combinations. Still, those rights were connecting.

After Duenas made some adjustments it looked like he might make a fight out of it but once again Claggett connected with that sidewinder right and down went Duenas for the second time. He beat the count and tried to hold on but was still getting hit. He made the end of the round but Duena's corner ended the fight wisely.

“My goal was not to come and lay down. Not to lose,” said Claggett. “I knew he was going to be tough.”

Other bouts

Colorado's Shawn Nichol (7-12, 5 KOs) started quickly to beat Riverside's Richard Contreras (9-1-1, 8 KOs) by majority decision after six rounds of an action-packed junior featherweight clash. The left-handed Nichol landed a lot of combinations early in the fight but Contreras came roaring back with some big body shots. Round five was pivotal for Nichol used a blistering attack to pin Contreras on the ropes. One judge Eddie Hernandez scored it 57-57 and judges Marty Denkin and Fernando Villareal scored it 58-56 for Nichol.

Whittier's hard-hitting Alejandro Luna (11-0, 8 KOs) won by unanimous decision against Mexican veteran Adolfo Landeros (21-29-2, 10 KOs) after six rounds of a junior lightweight bout. Luna landed some big blows but Landeros used his experience to keep the killing blows from getting through. All three judges scored it 60-54 for Luna.

In a female junior lightweight match Maywood's Lissette Medel (8-1-1) beat Mexico's Cynthia Munoz (7-2, 4 KOs) with a good body attack coupled with good defense. The taller Munoz scored well in round four with overhand rights but found it difficult to score with anything else. Medel was quicker and used counters to catch Munoz in the beginning. Then she attacked the body with some solid shots from both hands. All three judges scored it 60-54 for Medel.

Riverside's Juan “El Pochito” Reyes scored a shutout after six rounds of a junior featherweight clash against Mexico's Jose Angel Cota (15-9-1, 11 KOs). Reyes used his hurricane storm output of blows to win every round, but Cota showed his skills in staying in the fight until the end. All three judges scored it 60-54 for Reyes.

Long Beach heavyweight Javier Torres (4-0, 2 KOs) needed about five seconds to land a counter left hook to floor Utah's Gary Cobia (0-3) in round one. About a minute later, after some patient body shots, the end comes for Cobia with a pair of blows to the body at 2:05 of round one.

After four rounds filled with clinching the judges ruled it correctly a majority draw between Avery Gibson (0-1-2) and Canada's Matt Kadian (6-1-1) after four rounds of a heavyweight contest. Both boxers suffocated themselves throughout the fight.

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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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