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Robert Guerrero-Andre Berto: WHO DO YA LIKE?

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bert-guerreroLOS ANGELES (October 23) – One of the biggest fights of 2012 is coming to Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif., on Saturday, November 24 when former Two-Time Welterweight World Champion Andre Berto faces Four-Division and Six-Time World Champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero.

This 12-round matchup, a surefire “Fight of the Year” candidate, will air live on HBO World Championship Boxing. The event will also feature two compelling co-featured bouts with unbeaten rising star Keith “One Time” Thurman facing his toughest test to date when he takes on former World Champion Carlos Quintana in a junior middleweight showdown and WBA Interim Lightweight World Champion Richar Abril taking unbeaten WBA #3 rated lightweight contender Sharif “The Lion” Bogere for the vacant WBA Lightweight World Championship.

“I'm happy to be back and to be fighting someone as talented as Robert Guerrero,” said Berto. “It's a great challenge for me to face one of the best coming off of my layoff. I know I have the ability to be the best in my division and in the sport, and proving that to everyone starts with this fight.”

“I am looking forward to this opportunity and it will be a nice way to spend the holiday weekend doing what I love to do which is to fight,” said Guerrero. “Berto has proven himself over the years as one of the best, but I am confident that I will come out on top and close out 2012 with a big win. I have a lot to be thankful for in my life and a win over Berto over Thanksgiving weekend will be one more thing to add to that list.”

“There are a lot of fighters saying they are the best, but not everyone is willing to prove it in the ring,” said Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. “Andre Berto and Robert Guerrero put on a show every time they step through the ropes and I'm excited that they'll be putting on a show against each other on November 24. On Thanksgiving weekend, I'll be giving thanks that we have a great fight between two of the best young fighters in the world and I know they'll be giving everything they have to walk out of that ring victorious.”

“Fight fans can add to the enjoyment of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend with this action-packed World Championship Boxing tripleheader,” said Kery Davis, Senior Vice President of Programming, HBO Sports. “Andre Berto and Robert Guerrero will be primed for the main event showdown and we think boxing fans are in for a real treat.”

“Citizens Business Bank Arena, managed by AEG Facilities and the City of Ontario, is extremely pleased to have been selected by Golden Boy Promotions to be the host venue for this exciting boxing event,” said Steve Eckerson, General Manager of Citizens Business Bank Arena. “The Inland Empire is a great market and will certainly support this great night of boxing.”

Berto vs.Guerrero, a 12-round welterweight bout, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona and AT&T. Also featured will be a junior middleweight bout between rising star Keith Thurman and former World Champion Carlos Quintana and a 12-round battle between WBA Interim Lightweight World Champion Richar Abril and number 3 rated WBA lightweight contender Sharif Bogere for the vacant WBA Lightweight World Championship. The event will take place at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif. and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Tickets priced at $200, $100, $75, $50 and $25, not including applicable service charges and taxes, are on sale and available for purchase by calling (888) 9AXS TIX (888-929-7849), at Citizens Business Bank Arena box office or online at www.cbbankarena.com or www.axs.com.

A 2004 Olympian for Haiti, Winter Haven, Florida's Andre Berto (28-1, 22 KO's) has been among the top welterweights in the world for years, starting in 2008, when he won the WBC 147-pound title with a seventh round technical knockout win over Miguel Angel Rodriguez. After five successful defenses, Berto lost the title in his 2011 “Fight of the Year” battle against Victor Ortiz, but the 29-year-old bounced back with a fifth round stoppage over Jan Zaveck in his next bout to capture the IBF Welterweight World Championship, proving that he was still amongst the elite at 147 lbs. On November 24, he'll look to continue to make that fact evident against a Four Division and Six-Time World Champion in Guerrero.

The pride of Gilroy, California, Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (30-1-1, 18 KO's) is a Four-Division World Champion who may prove to be more dangerous than ever now that he can concentrate one hundred percent on his boxing career. With his wife Casey healthy after a battle with leukemia and Guerrero's shoulder surgery a thing of the past, the 29-year-old southpaw got back to work in July with a hard-fought 12 round win over previously unbeaten Selcuk Aydin that earned him the WBC Interim Welterweight World Championship. Now he's looking forward to closing out the year with another big win over former World Champion Berto.

A one-punch knockout artist who has ended 12 fights in two rounds or less, Clearwater, Florida's Keith “One Time” Thurman (18-0, 17 KO's) brings excitement every time he steps through the ropes. Fully healed from injuries that kept him sidelined in 2011, the 23-year-old returned with a fury in 2012, stopping Christopher Fernandez, Brandon Hoskins and Orlando Lora in succession to extend his knockout streak to seven. On November 24, he faces his toughest opponent yet in former World Champion Carlos Quintana.

Still dangerous at age 35, Moca, Puerto Rico's Carlos “El Indio” Quintana (29-3, 23 KO's) has found new life in the junior middleweight division, where he has scored technical knockout victories over Yoryi Estrella and Deandre Latimore in his last two fights. The owner of wins over Paul Williams and Joel Julio and having faced Miguel Cotto and Andre Berto, former WBO Welterweight World Champion Quintana has the skills and experience to find out whether Thurman is the real deal on November 24.

Thirty-year-old Richar Abril (17-3-1, 8 KO's) was fairly unknown outside of diehard fight circles heading into 2012, but when the Cuban-born resident of Miami, Florida took on highly-touted Brandon Rios for the WBA Lightweight Title in April of this year, he quickly became better known. Although Abril lost a split decision to Rios that night, the boxing media and fans around the world voiced their displeasure, calling it one of the worst decisions ever. On November 24, Abril rightfully gets another shot at the title, this time against Sharif Bogere.

Uganda native Sharif “The Lion” Bogere (23-0, 15 KO's) was a five-time African champion in his amateur days, and he's eager to add some professional gold to his trophy case on November 24. An aggressive contender with impressive power, the 24-year-old who now makes his home in Las Vegas has impressed fight fans with wins over Ray Beltran, Francisco Contreras, Sergio Rivera and Manuel Leyva, putting him in prime position for a shot at the world title.

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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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