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Froch Says Mack is in “Real Trouble” Nov. 17

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IngeratedHOBOKEN, N.J. (November 8, 2012) — International Boxing Federation (IBF) super middleweight champion Carl “The Cobra” Froch (29-2, 21 KOs) defends his title Saturday, November 17 against American challenger Yusaf Mack (31-4, 17 KOs),headlining the”True Brit” event, which will air in the United States live from Capital FM Arena in Nottingham, United Kingdom.

“True Brit,” presented by Matchroom Boxing, will be distributed in the United States by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing at 3:00 PM/ET – 12:00 PM/PT on both cable and satellite pay-per-view via iN Demand, DIRECTV, DISH Network and Avail-TVN for a suggested retail price of only $29.95.

“True Brit” will also be available to view via Fight Now TV, America's only 24-hour combat sports and entertainment channel, on Cablevision channel 464 as part of the iO Gold package.

Froch graciously answered a series of questions about Saturday's fight against Mack:

Q. You've made many fans in the states over the past few years. How does it feel to have this fight airing live in the states?

Froch: “It's always fantastic to be boxing on US TV. I've boxed in the States four times and I've always enjoyed myself there. My training camp was in Manhattan (New York City) before the Andre Ward fight. It was tough there because it was getting close to Christmas and it was insanely busy, but my morning run was always great, taking in the New York skyline as I was pounding the streets – incredible.

“I've always been well received by American boxing fans. They really know their stuff. I think that they appreciate that I am a good, honest fighter who never backs away from a challenge and always wants to fight the best. Too many fighters try to coast through their careers and don't test themselves, so I'm glad I've had those fights in the States and they were great experiences. And there's a good chance that there's still a big fight for me over in America before I hang up the gloves.”

Q. You've had an unprecedented run against many of the world's top fighters, starting with Pascal through your last against Bute. Can you remain as “up” fighting Mack who doesn't have the same credentials as your last 8 opponents, particularly with a Bute rematch already slated?

Froch: “Absolutely. At this level, and as a World champion, there's no second in a fight that you can let your guard down and you have to be at 100 percent. I have prepared as hard for this fight as I did for the previous eight world title fights, for my British title fights, for my Commonwealth title fights and for my debut back in 2002.

“If I come unstuck in this fight then everything I have achieved over the last few years will go to waste. People ask me about Lucian Bute, Andre Ward and Mikkel Kessler fights, so I answer their questions. It's only natural for them to ask; they are fights people want to see, but believe me, I only have Yusaf Mack on my mind.”

Q. Does Mack remind you of any fighter you've already fought? What are his strengths?

Froch: “The best thing about this fight is that Yusaf is like nothing I've ever fought before and that's what sport should be – a fresh challenge every time. He's a natural light heavyweight who is dropping down, so he's a puncher but also a nice boxer and a mover, too. You don't get World title shots for no reason. He can more than handle himself in the ring and I know that I have to be completely focused on the fight as this guy is dangerous and he wants to shock the world of boxing by taking my belt, in my hometown.

“So, I've got to give this guy respect and take him very seriously because this is his world title fight, and his big opportunity to come over here and cause an upset. I know that he's going to be training and running harder than ever for this. Whatever you've seen of him before, add 20 percent for this fight. I've got to be ready, and I will be.”

Q. He has been fighting as a light heavyweight. Is there any concern on your part about Mack possibly being the stronger man?

Froch: “I am stronger than him, no question. I don't think there's a super middleweight out there in better shape than me, and there are some super-fit guys in this division. But I can honestly say I feel in incredible shape, fit as I've ever been, and I am convinced that he won't be able to match me for heart, punch power, desire and skill.

“He'll be bringing that light heavyweight power down to super middle though, I know that. I have to be watchful of him every second that he's in there. I have been sparring with Tony Bellew for this fight. He is a great sparring partner and a World champion in the making at light heavyweight. He has a tremendous dig on him and we have some great battles in sparring, so I don't have any issues with whatever Yusaf Mack is going to bring to the table.”

Q. What type of fight do you expect this to be: war, chess match, etc.?

“I expect him to come at me with everything he's got as he has nothing to lose and everything to gain. He will have seen what I did to Lucian Bute. He knows that if I get into a rhythm, and get my shots off, it's goodnight. So, he'll be at me from the start, wanting to make an impression to get me on the back foot, and I'll be doing the same. It's going to be a ferocious pace and great to watch.”

Q. Any prediction?

“I'm not one for picking a round, but I think that it's going to be a knockout night for me again in front of my home fans. Yusaf Mack has never been in an atmosphere like a sold-out Carl Froch show in Nottingham. The viewers are in for a real treat. When my fans get behind me, my punches are that much harder, and he'll be in real trouble on the night.”

Bellew (18-1, 12 KOs) faces South American champion Roberto Bolonti (30-1, 19 KOs) in the 12-round co-feature for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) Silver light heavyweight championship and an official WBC eliminator.

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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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