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Mares: “I'll Give You Guys The Fight of the Year”

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002 AbnerMaresLOS ANGELES (Nov. 7, 2012) – All six fighters squaring off in Saturday’s tripleheader at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles participated in a final press conference on Wednesday to discuss the highly anticipated SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast, live at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).

In a battle of world champions, Abner Mares (24-0-1, 13 KO’s), of Hawaiian Gardens, Calif., will risk his WBC Super Bantamweight World Title against WBA Bantamweight Super World Champion Anselmo Moreno (33-1-1, 12 KO’s), of Panama City, Panama, in the main event. Unbeaten IBF Bantamweight World Champion Leo Santa Cruz (21-0-1, 12 KO’s), of Los Angeles, will defend against Victor Zaleta (20-2-1, 10 KO’s), of El Paso, Texas, in the co-feature, while hard-hitting junior middleweight contender Alfred Angulo (20-1, 17 KOs), of Los Angeles by way of Mexicali, Mexico, and the upset-minded junior middleweight contender Raul Casarez (19-2, 9 KO’s), of Edinburg, Texas, will clash in the telecast’s opening match.

Also featured as part of the SHOWTIME Extreme broadcast, live at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast), will be WBO Light Heavyweight World Champion Nathan Cleverly (24-0, 11 KO’s), of Cfen Fforest, Wales, defending his title against light heavyweight contender Shawn Hawk (22-2-1, 16 KO’s), of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Tickets priced at $200, $100, $50 and $25, not including applicable service charges and taxes, are on sale at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com, by phone at (800) 745-3000 and at the STAPLES Center Box Office.

The event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona and AT&T. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. PT and the first fight begins at 2:35 p.m.

OSCAR DE LA HOYA:

“We don’t just want to put on a main event; we want to stack our cards from top to bottom. That’s what boxing should be and that’s what boxing is all about. We have great prospects and world champions fighting together on one night.

“Moreno is stepping up to fight the best to be the best in the 122 pound division. That just shows you what type of fighter Moreno is.

“One thing we’re most proud of at Golden Boy is that Abner is the first world champion that we’ve brought up from the beginning. Fans have the opportunity to see him fight here in his home. Fans love him for his fan-friendly style. People keep saying, it’s tough fight – well, it’s a fight. The best fighting the best. That’s what you’ll see Saturday night.”

ABNER MARES:

“I’m ready for Saturday. I’m ready to give you guys another great fight. My team has done a tremendous job with me.

“SHOWTIME has really gotten my name out there. Now fans know I come to fight. I leave everything in the ring and they now know I don’t leave the ring without giving them everything they paid for.

“I came to this country when I was seven years old and to see me fighting at STAPLES throws me off a bit. I will not disappoint on November 10th. I’ll give you guys the fight of the year.”

ANSELMO MORENO:

“I’m in perfect condition for Saturday. I’m very happy that they gave me this great opportunity to fight Mares. The only thing we’re waiting for is the weigh-in and then its fight night. He’s tough and I need to stay smart and stick to my game plan.”

LEO STANTA CRUZ:

“I trained really hard. I dedicate this fight to my fans and the people of Mexico. Victor is strong, he comes forward like me, so it will be a great fight. The better man will win on Saturday night. I’m excited to fight here in Los Angeles in front of my hometown fans. I can’t wait to get in there on Saturday night.”

VICTOR ZALETA:

“This is my first fight here and I’m excited about the opportunity. Hopefully, it will not be my last time here. I’m ready to face Leo Santa Cruz on Saturday. He’s a really good fighter and I know I need to bring my best to beat him.”

ALFREDO ANGULO:

“I’m back in my town and it feels great. I’ve worked hard for this and I’m ready to get back in the ring. This is going to be a really good fight for the fans. I’m just grateful to get this opportunity after everything I’ve been through.”

RAUL CASAREZ:

“I’m excited, I’m grateful for the opportunity. I trained really hard with my team to make the most of this night. Angulo is a great fighter and I know he’ll be ready after his long layoff. But I’m focused and need to do my job in the ring.”

NATHAN CLEVERLY:

“This is a great opportunity to come to the United States and showcase my talent. I’m looking to make a statement and take my career to the next level. I trained at Wild Card Gym and it’s been a great experience. I’m looking forward to showing my exciting style and making the most of this.”

STEPHEN ESPINOZA:

“If you’ve been watching SHOWTIME recently, you’ve seen an incredible run of dramatic, exciting fights. In just the last couple of months we’ve had some huge events. On September 15th, SHOWTIME brought you “Knockout Kings” – four fights on SHOWTIME, that delivered four incredible stoppages. On October 20th, SHOWTIME delivered fight fans the first fights from the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. with four world title fights on one telecast.

“This Saturday, I have no doubt we keep our streak of action-packed fights alive. We have another stacked card. We have the return of “El Perro” – Alfredo Angulo – one of the most feared fighters in the junior middleweight division. We have rising star and world champ Leo Santa Cruz – one of the most exciting young fighters in boxing.

“As for the main event, if you’re a boxing fan – a real boxing fan – it doesn’t get any better than this. Abner Mares, who grew up on SHOWTIME, is a world champion with a rare combination of toughness and skill. Anselmo Moreno, a world champ as well, is one of the most skilled fighters in any division.”

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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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