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ShoBox Has New Main Event

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ShoBoxAngelo Santana vs. Johnny Garcia Moves to Main Event In ShoBox: The New Generation Doubleheader; Joey Hernandez vs. James Winchester Added to Telecast Friday at Gulfstream Park In Hallandale Beach, Fla.

Omar Henry Withdraws Due to Gallstones

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla.— The co-feature fight between undefeated lightweight contender Angelo “La Cobra” Santana (13-0, 10 KOs), from Miami, and fellow unbeaten Johnny Garcia (13-0, 8 KOs), from Holland, Mich., has been elevated to the main event of Friday’s SHOWTIME-televised doubleheader (ShoBox: The New Generation live at 11 p.m. ET/PT) from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla., after Omar Henry was forced to withdraw today from his scheduled match with Juan Ubaldo Cabrera.

The telecast will open with a new 10-round clash of super welterweights featuring world-ranked Miami favorite Joey “Twinkle Fingers” Hernandez (22-1-1, 13 KOs), an American-born Cuban, against James “Shotgun” Winchester (15-5, 5 KOs), from Greensboro, N.C.

Hernandez vs. Winchester, which had been slated for the non-televised undercard, replaces Omar Henry vs. Juan Ubaldo Cabrera, which was cancelled earlier today after Henry withdrew due to gallstones.

“I want to commend SHOWTIME executives Stephen Espinoza and Gordon Hall for being visionaries and stepping up and adding Joey Hernandez and James Winchester to their telecast,” event promoter Don King said. “ShoBox is designed for the new generation of boxers, and I feel better knowing fans are still going to see an exciting doubleheader on SHOWTIME.”

Hernandez, 28, has won seven consecutive fights and is currently ranked No. 12 by the World Boxing Council and the International Boxing Federation. He’s the No. 13 rated 154-pounder in the World Boxing Organization.

“I’m glad my fight will be seen on SHOWTIME,” the ever-confident Hernandez said. “Now people around the country will see why I have gained so many fans in South Florida. Winchester says he’s ready to fight but this is going to be over within three rounds.”

The 34-year-old Winchester is an upset-minded veteran who plans to make the most of this opportunity.

“I didn’t come to lose, I came to win,” the non-stop talking Winchester said. “I am fighting a guy called ‘Twinkle Fingers.’ I can’t believe that. When I get done with him, he’s going to be ‘Twinkle Toes.’ All he’s got is a mouth. I come from the street and I don’t play. You’ll see what I mean on Friday.”

Santana and Garcia will be risking their perfect records—both are 13-0. Santana was a two-time Cuban national champion before defecting to Miami to follow his girlfriend, Anay, and dreams of winning a world championship. Now married to her, Santana is closing in on his first world-title shot.

At 24, he has developed to the point where he has stopped his last six opponents in four rounds or less. In his last outing, Santana earned a career-best victory when he scored a third-round technical knockout over world-class contender Justin Savi on June 23.

“Garcia is a good fighter and I have respect for him,” Santana said. “We will put on a great show for all the fans at Gulfstream Park and watching on SHOWTIME.”

Garcia is seeking another upset win. No stranger to facing undefeated prospects, he outpointed William Jackson (10-0-1) on Nov. 26, 2011. This past March 23 on ShoBox, Garcia registered a shocking 10-round decision over highly touted Cuban Yordenis Ugas (11-0 going in).

“I am from Michigan, and when I left there this week there was snow on the ground,” Garcia said. “Now I’m in Florida where it’s warm and sunny.

“Santana and I are both 13-0, so it doesn’t get much better than that. The fights are being held outdoors at Gulfstream Park. I can’t wait to fight.”

Henry is currently under observation for gallstones at Broward Health Medical Center in Ft. Lauderdale.

“I arrived in South Florida from California on Tuesday,” Henry said. “I went for a run and began to experience strong pains. I went to the hospital. There is no way I can fight.”

Tickets priced at $25, $50, $100 and $200 are on sale and can be purchased online at www.gulfstreampark.com or by calling the Gulfstream Park box office at (954) 457-6201.

Sunshine State Showdown is promoted by Don King Productions. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. ET. Six bouts are planned, beginning at 8 p.m. Santana vs. Garcia and Hernandez vs. Winchester will be televised on ShoBox: The Next Generation live at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) on SHOWTIME.

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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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