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Marcus “The Real” Oliveira Wants IBF Champ Tavoris Cloud & Brazil’s Oliveira

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Myth or urban legend says that everyone has a doppelganger in the world. Marcus Oliveira wants to rub out his identical, man to man like a prizefighter.

“I’m tired of everybody confusing me and him,” says Native American prizefighter Oliveira. “Someone’s O has got to go.”

Welcome to light heavyweight contender Oliveira’s world, where he has a number of targets on his hit list. Doppelgangers beware, especially the other Marcus Oliveira who happens to be a Brazilian prizefighter with an almost identical record of 23 wins, with one loss and one draw.

That’s truly bizarre.

A few weeks ago Oliveira (24-0-1, 19 KOs) made a foray into Venezuela on a Don King Production fight card and promptly and emphatically knocked out Ricky Torrez in 2:41 of the first round. Torrez fights out of Bolivia and discovered the South American home continent advantage was no advantage at all.

Oliveira, 33, doesn’t have all the time in the world and targets the current IBF light heavyweight champ Tavoris Cloud. It’s a good target. Cloud also is promoted by Don King Productions.

“Everybody is scared of Tavoris Cloud, but I’m not,” says Oliveira, who fights out of Potawatomi Reservation in Mayetta, Kansas and formerly lived in Menominee Reservation in Wisconsin.

As a youth he watched his uncles lace up the boxing gloves and quickly gained interest in the sport. At just seven years old Oliveira was hooked on amateur boxing and enjoyed traveling to the different tournaments. But, like most boxers, he hit a rut and stopped boxing for a while.

“There was short period when as an amateur, I did quit for a few years, but when I found a trainer I started back up,” said Oliveira, who had more than 200 amateur fights. “As a professional, there has not been a time when I wanted to quit.”

Underground Boxing Company

Erik Riley trains Oliveira and Doug Ward assists in propelling the light heavyweight slugger into the proper firing lanes. So far, after six years, Team Oliveira has run a successful undefeated string that has the Midwest prizefighter among the top 10 light heavyweights in the country.

Ward, who also helped launch female star Melinda Cooper into the upper stratosphere of women’s prizefighting, was introduced to Oliveira by Riley. The common thread was Las Vegas boxer Cooper.

“Erik Riley had followed female boxing, liked Melinda and was impressed with her progression in the sport,” recounts Ward, whose Underground Boxing Company works with Oliveira and Cooper. “So he approached me about managing Marcus, asked if I’d take a look at him to see if I was interested. That was the start.”

Despite fighting out of the Midwest the light heavyweight has blazed through a number of names, like Antwun Echols, Otis Griffin and Rayco Saunders. If you have a soft spot, those guys will find it in a hurry. But his toughest fight was none of the above, but a guy named Mike Word.

“There was a point in my career where I was hurting for money so I donated plasma and I had a fight the next day against Mike Word,” said Oliveira. “I was extremely tired and exhausted from donating the plasma and had no energy to fight.”

The Kansas-based fighter has managed to keep optimum energy for his ultimate goal of winning a world title. Of course, there are a few drawbacks in fighting out of Kansas instead of boxing flooded areas such as the West Coast and East Coast.

“Having no wide variety of quality sparring is a definite disadvantage and there’s no real upside to that, but you learn to make-do with what you have, be resourceful, push yourself extra hard in training and learn to rise to the occasion,” says Ward, whose son also boxes. “It’s something we will have to address when we get “the call” for that fight.”

Close

The closest Oliveira has come to tasting defeat came in 2008 against Nick Cook. It ended in a draw after 10 rounds.

“My first close fight was with Nick Cook and the only reason it was close and declared a draw was because in round 5 I broke my hand, so I had to fight the rest of my 10 round fight just jabbing and hooking,” said Oliveira, who admires boxer Juan Manuel Marquez. “I knew that I still won the fight but was a little disappointed in the decision of a draw.”

Still, the Kansas fighter likes to bring the heat whenever he fights.

“I am a huge fan of boxing, and I hate watching boring fights, so when I get into the ring I try to make the fight exciting for the fans,” he says.

Venezuelan fight fans saw exactly how exciting Oliveira can be when he dropped Torrez three times in winning by decisive knockout. That win earned him the WBA Fedebol belt and yanks the spotlight into his direction.

“My ultimate goal is to be able to showcase my talent to my fans, boxing community and basically the general public,” said Oliveira. “I want Tavoris Cloud and Marcus Oliveira from Brazil.”

Of all the boxing rings and boxers in the world, why did a guy with the same name have to fight in the same weight division?

It truly is bizarre.

“Get me a fight with Tavoris Cloud or Marcus Oliveira from Brazil,” says “The Real” Oliveira emphatically.

Truth can sometimes be strange, isn’t that so Don King?

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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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