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EPIX To Show Burns-Vazquez, Cleverly-Krasniqi March 16

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NEW YORK (February 22, 2013) — World championship boxing makes its 2013 debut on EPIX next month with an exciting quadruple-header! World Boxing Organization (WBO) lightweight champion RICKY “Rickster” BURNS and International Boxing Federation (IBF) titlist MIGUEL “Titere” VAZQUEZ will collide in a world title unification to determine the division’s top dog in the main event of a blockbuster four-bout card. “Best of Britain” will be televised live ringside from Wembley Arena in London, Saturday, March 16, beginning at 4:30 p.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. PT, exclusively on EPIX, the premium entertainment service. EPIX will stream the fights live on EpixHD.com and on the EPIX app on Xbox consoles and Roku players as part of a special free trial offer for boxing fans.

In addition to the Burns- Vazquez match, the EPIX “Best of Britain” live telecast will feature undefeated WBO light heavyweight champion NATHAN CLEVERLY defending his title against No. 1 contender ROBIN KRASNIQI; and undefeated No. 2-rated contender GEORGE GROVES will risk his record and rating against fellow Top-10 contender MOUHAMED NDIAYE in a rumble for the vacant European super middleweight title. The televised card will be rounded out with one-time world heavyweight title challenger DERECK “Del Boy” CHISORA making his 2013 debut.

These seven gladiators boast a combined record of 185-12 (84 KOs) — a winning percentage of 94%.

Last year, Burns (35-2, 10 KOs), of Coatbridge, Scotland, became his country’s first two-division world champion in 20 years. He captured the WBO junior lightweight title in 2010, winning a thrilling 12-round decision over defending champion Roman “Rocky” Martinez despite suffering a first-round knockdown. It remains the only loss on the two-time world champion’s resume. After three successful title defenses, Burns moved up to the lightweight division, winning the WBO interim title in 2011 over former champion Michael Katsidis. He is in his second year of his WBO lightweight title reign having successfully defended his world championship belt twice, against top-rated contenders Paulos Moses and Kevin Mitchell, who had a combined record of 61-2 when he fought them.

Vazquez (33-3, 13 KOs), of Guadalajara, México, enters this fight riding a five-year, 12-bout winning streak. He captured the vacant IBF lightweight title in 2010, via a dominant unanimous decision over Ji-Hoon Kim. He has successfully defended his title five times during his two-year reign. His last fight was a masterpiece, blitzing heralded undefeated contender Mercito Gesta via unanimous decision on the December 8 Manny Pacquiao – Juan Manuel Márquez 4 pay-per-view undercard.

Cleverly (25-0, 12 KOs), of Caerphilly, Wales, was British Commonwealth and European light heavyweight champion before he ascended the throne as world champion. After winning the WBO interim light heavyweight title in 2010, winning a close but unanimous decision over Nadjib Mohammedi, he was elevated to world champion a few months later where he has since successfully defended the WBO title four times since 2011 against opponents who had a combined record of 81-6-2 when he battled them. In Cleverly’s last fight, which took place at Staples Center in Los Angeles on November 11, he blasted out Shawn Hawk in the eighth round.

Krasniqi (39-2, 15 KOs), a native of Serbia who fights out of Munich, Germany, is riding a seven-year, 38-bout winning streak. Only once has Krasniqi ever fought outside Germany — in Prague, Czech Republic in 2010. He enters this fight having won his last four fights by knockout. Those victories also earned him the WBO European and WBO International light heavyweight crowns as well and his WBO mandatory challenger position.

Groves (16-0, 12 KOs), of Hammersmith, England, has a trophy case that already displays the British and Commonwealth super middleweight belts. He will be looking to add the vacant European title to his resume. He ended 2012 with a masterclass performance — a unanimous decision victory over former world champion and Fighter of the Year Glenn Johnson, last December 15. Groves is currently world-rated No. 2 by the WBO and the World Boxing Association (WBA), No. 6 by the World Boxing Council (WBC) and No. 7 by the IBF.

Ndiaye (22-1, 13 KOs), enters this fight enjoying a five-year, nine-bout winning streak. A native of Senegal, Ndiaye trains and lives in Pontedera, Toscana, Italy. He has held the Italian and the European super middleweight titles. World-rated No. 8 by the WBC, Ndiaye has won his last three bouts by stoppage.

Chisora (15-4, 9 KOs), from London, went the 12-round limit in a valiant challenge of WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko on February 18, 2012 before losing the decision. The former British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion will be looking to return to world title contention this year.

About EPIX

EPIX® is the newest premium entertainment network delivering the latest movie releases, classic library titles, plus original films, comedy, music and sports events on TV, on demand, online and on devices. Launched October 2009 as the first multiplatform premium network with online accessibility for subscribers through EpixHD.com, EPIX pioneered the development and proliferation of TV Everywhere for American consumers. EPIX was the first premium network to launch on Xbox 360®consoles, first on Android™ tablets and phones, first on Roku® players and soon to be the first to launch on PlayStation®3 (PS3™) system. EPIX is available to authenticated subscribers on hundreds of devices including Apple® iPads®, iPhones®, Kindle Fire tablets, Samsung® Smart TVs and Blu-ray™ players and more. Today EPIX remains the only premium service providing its entire monthly line-up from new Hollywood hits to original programs on all platforms and provides more movies than any other premium network.

EPIX is a joint venture between Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA and VIA.B), its Paramount Pictures unit, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) and Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), available to over 30 million homes nationwide through distribution partners including Charter Communications, Cox Communications, DISH Network, Mediacom Communications, NCTC, Suddenlink Communications and Verizon FiOS.

For more information about EPIX, go to www.EpixHD.com. Follow EPIX Sports on Twitter @EPIXsports and on Facebook www.facebook.com/EPIXsports.

 

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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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