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Devon Alexander-Kell Brook Set For Feb. 23 on Sho

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DEVON ALEXANDER VS. KELL BROOK WORLD TITLE FIGHT SET FOR FEBRUARY 23 AT THE MASONIC TEMPLE THEATRE IN DETROIT, MICHIGAN & LIVE ON SHOWTIME®

CO-MAIN EVENT TO FEATURE IBF JUNIOR MIDDLEWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FIGHT BETWEEN DETROIT’S CORNELIUS “K9” BUNDRAGE & TOP CONTENDER ISHE SMITH

PLUS HOT DETROIT PROSPECT J’LEON LOVE TAKES ON FORMER WORLD CHAMPION BRONCO MCKART

Tickets On Sale Now!

DETROIT, MI, January 30 – On Saturday, February 23, world championship boxing returns to the Motor City when Golden Boy Promotions and Mayweather Promotions present an evening of world championship action at The Masonic Temple Theatre which will feature Three-Time and Two-Division World Champion Devon Alexander “The Great” defending his IBF Welterweight World Championship against British star and number one rated IBF welterweight contender Kell Brook in a fight that will be televised live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).

The co-main event of the February 23 SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® doubleheader will see Detroit’s own Cornelius “K9” Bundrage defending his IBF Junior Middleweight World Championship against Las Vegas’ Ishe “Sugar Shay” Smith.

Also featured will be an all-Michigan battle as unbeaten Detroit prospect J’Leon Love takes on former World Champion Bronco McKart of Monroe in a 10-round middleweight bout which will be televised live on SHOWTIME EXTREME® (7 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).

“2013 is going to be a big year for my career and I’m going to get it started right in an exciting fashion against Kell Brook,” said Alexander. “I worked extremely hard to win my title and I’m not giving it away to anyone. This will be a statement-making fight for me.”

“This is the biggest night of my life,” said Brook. “When I turned up at the Wincobank Gym in Sheffield as a nine year old, this was what I dreamed about – boxing for a world title and on February 23, I’ll turn that dream into a reality. I’m in the best physical shape of my life and the best ever Kell Brook will be in the ring in Detroit and there’s no way that I am coming home without that world title. This is my destiny, it’s just meant to be and there’s nothing Devon Alexander can do to stop me.”

“I thank my Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ for blessing me to be able to defend my title right here in Detroit, in front of all of my family and friends,” said Bundrage. “It’s an honor to be able to bring world championship boxing back to the city of Detroit. I always train hard and am prepared for what my opponent might show me in the ring. No man can close doors that GOD has opened. Nothing will be different this time and it will be a special night of boxing for everyone. I will be victorious February 23 in Jesus’ name.”

“I want to thank Floyd Mayweather and Mayweather Promotions for believing in me and my boxing talents and helping make this dream to fight K9 [Bundrage] for his title a reality,” said Smith. “I know he’ll have the hometown advantage, but I’m not worried about that. I’m preparing for the fight of my life and I feel confident that I’ll beat him and become the new champion.”

“It feels great to be able to fight in Detroit, my hometown and the place where I learned how to fight,” said Love. “I’m excited to show everyone that I’m on the road to a championship and nothing will stop me from achieving my lifelong dream. Training and working with Floyd Mayweather and Mayweather Promotions in Las Vegas has given me another level of appreciation for hard work and determination.”

“I am grateful for the opportunity to fight in Detroit one more time,” said McKart. “I’ve had a long and great career and still feel comfortable fighting for pride and glory. J’Leon Love is a young and exciting fighter from this area too, but I feel that my experience will be too much for him to handle and that I’ll be victorious on February 23. I hope everyone in and around Detroit will come out and support this great night of boxing.”

“Devon Alexander and Kell Brook have been waiting to take care of business in the ring and we’re going to the fighting city of Detroit for them to settle the score in one of the biggest fights of early 2013,” said President of Golden Boy Promotions Oscar De La Hoya. “Plus, Detroit’s own ‘K9’ Bundrage is back in his hometown to take on longtime contender Ishe Smith in an important showdown for both men. We also have ‘The Battle for Michigan’ when J’Leon Love takes on his toughest test to date in Bronco McKart. It’s a can’t miss night for Detroit sports fans”

“This is an exciting opportunity for Mayweather Promotions and everyone knows Floyd Mayweather is from the great state of Michigan too,” said CEO of Mayweather Promotions, Leonard Ellerbe. “Detroit is tremendously important to boxing and we are excited to add to its history on February 23. In addition we feel extremely confident that our fighters, Ishe Smith and J’Leon Love, another Michigan man, will come away with victories, setting them both up for much bigger things in the near future.”

“Boxing fans are in for a real treat when Devon and Kell meet as they are two of the best 147 pounders in the business,” said Eddie Hearn Managing Director of Matchroom Boxing. “Kell Brook is a special talent and has dreamt about this moment since he first laced up those gloves. He has trained like a man possessed and he is coming to America to make a huge statement and bring that title back to Britain.”

“We are looking forward to another great night of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING featuring two world title fights in the boxing-rich city of Detroit,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. “The event will showcase one of the most talented 147-pound fighters in the world, Devon Alexander, and the U.S. television debut of U.K. star Kell Brook as well as exciting undercard action.”

This exciting evening of world championship boxing is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Mayweather Promotions in association with Matchroom Boxing and is sponsored by Corona, AT&T and MGM Grand Detroit. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) with preliminary fights to air live on SHOWTIME Extreme at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).

Tickets priced at $200, $125, $100, $75, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes, fees and services charges are on sale now and are available for purchase at the Masonic Temple box office, online at www.ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations or by calling 800-745-3000.

Devon Alexander-Kell Brook

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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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