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Amir Khan To Fight Julio Diaz April 27 in England

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SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND, February 28 – After nearly two years fighting away from England, the “King” is back. On Saturday, April 27 at Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, British superstar Amir “King” Khan returns to England to face former World Champion Julio “The Kidd” Diaz.

Plus, 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist Anthony Ogogo makes his long-awaited professional debut in a four round middleweight bout against an opponent to be determined.

“April 27th is going to be a special night,” said Khan. “It’s been two years since I last fought in the United Kingdom and I can’t wait to get in the ring in front of my fans. Julio Diaz is a former World Champion and a very dangerous opponent who is coming off of an impressive performance in his last fight. I know he will be coming with guns blazing and I’m ready for whatever he has to throw at me. With my speed and boxing skills, and his power and experience, it makes for a really exciting matchup. He may have other ideas but I’m adamant that my return to the British shores is going to be a very successful one.”

“I’m not going to England for the fight to go to the scorecards. I’m fighting for the knockout,” said Diaz. “I know the knockout is the only thing that will get me the win, so I’m training extra hard already in order to get a victory on Khan’s home turf. I’m a heavy hitter and he can’t take a punch, so to me, that is the perfect combination.”

“I’m proud to be British and so the opportunity to turn pro on such a big fight card in England is a dream come true,” said Ogogo. “I want to become a world champion and this is the first very important step. I know what I have to do and that is to win and I want to win in style. I can’t wait to show the British public what I can do and will be training as hard as I possibly can between now and April 27th to get myself in the best shape I’ve ever been in”.

“Return of the King”: Khan vs. Diaz is a 12 round 143 pound catch-weight bout presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Khan Promotions and sponsored by JD Sport and Maxi Muscle.

Tickets, priced at £300, £200, £125, £75 and £50 plus applicable taxes and service charges are on sale now and may be purchased at the Motorpoint Arena box office, by calling (+44) 0114 256 5656, online at www.motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk or through Sports Corporation by calling 0845 163 0845 or at www.sportscorporation.com.

“We’re excited to return to England and bring the loyal British fans the return of Amir Khan on April 27,” said Oscar De La Hoya, president of Golden Boy Promotions. “Amir is closing in on a shot at regaining his world champion status and I know he’s going to use the energy from the crowd in Sheffield to motivate him. Standing in his way will be a dangerous opponent in Julio Diaz who is on a hot streak of his own that he expects to keep intact in England.”

“April 27 is going to be a great night for boxing in the U.K. and a great night for Golden Boy Promotions,” said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Between Amir Khan returning home where he is immensely popular and the pro debut of our newest prospect Anthony Ogogo, this is a great way to jump start an amazing run of fights that Golden Boy Promotions will be a part of in England for many years to come.”

“It was well known that Amir wanted to have his next fight back home in Britain for his loyal fan base,” said Asif Vali of Khan Promotions. “It has taken a bit of time to get to this point, but we’re delighted to announce Julio Diaz as his next opponent. He upset the odds to score a draw in his last fight against a highly touted prospect in Shawn Porter and we know he will be looking to upset the odds and score a win come April 27. Both fighters have been world champions and Amir is determined to reach that summit once again. It will be a night not to miss in Sheffield as we witness ‘the return of the King’.”

“Motorpoint Arena Sheffield is delighted to be playing host to Amir Khan’s return to Britain,” said Joe Waldron, Deputy General Manager of the Motorpoint Arena Sheffield. “We host some of the biggest stars in the world in this region and it’s a privilege to have secured another in Amir with his first fight back on British soil in two years. This event will be a special occasion for all boxing fans and the Sheffield public with yet another unforgettable night expected at the Motorpoint Arena.”

A true international superstar that captured the world’s imagination when he won a Silver medal for Great Britain in the 2004 Olympics at age 17, Amir “King” Khan (27-3, 19 KO’s) is one of boxing’s best, a dynamic boxer-puncher with fight ending power and lightning quick speed. Just 26 years old, Bolton’s Khan is a former Unified Super Lightweight World Champion with five successful title defenses to his name. Among the foes he has dispatched are Marco Antonio “The Baby Face Assassin” Barrera, Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi, Marcos “El Chino” Maidana and Zab “Super” Judah. In his most recent fight on December 15, 2012, he stopped previously unbeaten Carlos Molina in the 10th round. Now he looks forward to returning home and entertaining his fans in person.

A respected veteran and former World Champion Julio “The Kidd” Diaz (40-7-1, 29 KO’s) is a member of a fighting family and he has been boxing for much of his life. Diaz is still in his physical prime at 33 and he has shown that he has plenty left in the tank as he looks to win a second divisional title. A native of Jiquilpan, Michoacan Mexico who now fights out of Coachella, California, Diaz has impressed fans in his return from a year-long layoff, knocking out Henry Aurad and Hector Sanchez and battling unbeaten, highly touted prospect Shawn Porter to a draw in a fight many believe Diaz won in his last fight in December. On April 27, Diaz is hoping to take matters out of the judges’ hands.

A talented soccer player who played for Norwich City FC when he was younger, Lowestoft, England’s Anthony Ogogo found his true love in the ring where he has been competing since the age of 12. After winning a Junior Olympic Gold medal and Silver medals at the Commonwealth Games and European Championships, Ogogo earned a place on Great Britain’s 2012 Olympic team. In London this past summer, Ogogo beat representatives from the Dominican Republic, Ukraine and Germany to win a Bronze Medal, thrilling his fans from throughout the United Kingdom. Outside the ring, the 24-year-old Ogogo is a former model and was also a cast member of the 2008 hit reality show, “Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack.” On April 27, the charismatic middleweight will begin his journey as a professional.

 

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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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