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Viloria, R. Martinez, Shiming on HBO2 April 6

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The Professional Debut of Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist

ZOU SHIMING

and

WBO Jr. Lightweight Championship

ROCKY MARTINEZ vs. DIEGO MAGDALENO

and

WBO/WBA Flyweight Championship

BRIAN VILORIA vs. JUAN ESTRADA

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Tim Ryan, Larry Merchant and Big George Foreman

To Call The Action To U.S. From Ringside at

The CotaiArena at The Venetian Macao

Saturday, April 6, at 2 P.M. ET/PT on HBO2®

toprankLAS VEGAS, NEV. (February 28, 2013) — U.S. boxing fans will be able to witness the premiere of world championship boxing in Macau with ZOU SHIMING: Fists of Gold, featuring two world title fights and the professional debut of the Peoples Republic of China’s two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and three-time World Amateur Champion Zou Shiming. This brilliant event will be televised to the U.S. on Saturday, April 6, beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO2. Calling the action from ringside from the CotaiArena™, The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel will be broadcasting icons Tim Ryan and Larry Merchant and two-time heavyweight champion Big George Foreman.

The telecast will also feature two-time World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior lightweight champion ROMAN “Rocky” MARTINEZ defending his title against undefeated No. 1 contender DIEGO MAGDALENO and World Boxing Association (WBA)/WBO flyweight champion BRIAN “Hawaiian Punch” VILORIA defending his unified titles against Top-10- contender JUAN FRANCISCO ESTRADA.

“We are delighted that HBO recognizes as we do the historic nature of the Macau event and is making it available on a same-day basis to its subscribers on HBO 2,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum.

Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank, added: “When introducing a new product to the biggest market in the world, we are thrilled that the biggest brands associated with boxing joins us. HBO is the gold standard for the sport and we are honored to have their support and commitment to expanding the boxing brand.”

“This is an exciting boxing initiative and we’re delighted to be the U.S. television home for this international event,” said Kery Davis, senior vice president, programming, HBO Sports.

Shiming, who is currently training with Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif., will make his pro debut against Eleazar Valenzuela (2-1-2, 1 KO), of Gusave, Sinaloa, México, in a four-round flyweight bout . One of the most popular Olympic athletes in the People’s Republic of China, Shiming is the world’s greatest amateur light flyweight, capturing gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympic Games. In the 2005, 2007, and 2011 World Amateur Championships, Shiming also brought home gold medals, making him his nation’s first boxing gold medalist in the World Amateur Championships and the Olympics. He became his nation’s first Olympic medalist in boxing when he earned bronze in 2004. Known for his extraordinary speed and superb footwork, thanks to years of martial-arts training, many of Shiming’s opponents complain that they cannot keep up with him, much less see his punches coming. He has stated that his heroes are Muhammad Ali and Jackie Chan.

Martinez (26-1-2, 16 KOs), from Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, captured his first world title in 2009, knockiing out defending champion Nicky Cook out in the fourth round in front of Cook’s countrymen in Manchester, England. Martinez successfully defended the title twice — both by knockout — during his one-year reign before losing it via a 12-round decision to Ricky Burns. He regained the title last September, winning a gritty split decision over top-rated contender Miguel Beltran, Jr. Martinez retained his title on January 19, surviving a challenge from Juan Burgos which was judged Draw.

Magdaleno (23-0, 9 KOs), of Las Vegas, Nev., enters this fight having won six of his last eight fights by way of knockout. He captured the vacant NABF super featherweight title in 2011 by knocking out Marcos Leonardo in the fifth round and successfully defended that title five times during his title reign, which lasted through 2012, against top contenders who had a combined record of 137-31-5 when he fought them, en route to his No. 1 contender position.

Viloria (32-3, 19 KOs), a native Filipino who hails from of Waipahu, HI, is a two-division, three time world champion. The former U.S. Olympian captured his first world title, the World Boxing Council (WBC) light flyweight crown, in 2005, knocking out defending champion Eric Ortiz in the first round. He held the title for nearly one year before losing it Omar Nino. He earned his second world title in 2009, knocking out International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior flyweight champion Ulises Solis in the 11th round. After losing that title to Carlos Tamara the following year Viloria moved up to the flyweight division. He captured the WBO world title in 2011, upending defending champion Julio Miranda via a unanimous decision. After two successful defenses of his crown — both by knockout — Viloria unified the flyweight titles last November 17, knocking out WBA champion Hernan Marquez in the 10th round. Viloria enters this fight riding a three-year winning streak.

Estrada (22-2, 17 KOs), of Hermosillo, México, returns to the ring for his second straight world title shot. A natural flyweight, Estrada dropped down to challenge undefeated WBA light flyweight champion Roman Gonzalez last November 17, losing a unanimous decision. Now back at his natural fighting shape, Estrada will be looking to bring the flyweight world championship belts back to México.

LOCAL MACAU INFORMATION

Presented by Top Rank® and Sands China Ltd., tickets to ZOU SHIMING “Fists of Gold” are on sale now at all Sands China box offices*.

ZOU SHIMING “Fists of Gold” kicks off at 7 pm on April 6 at the CotaiArena. Tickets are on sale now at all Sands China box offices and can be booked online at www.CotaiTicketing.com, or by phone at +853 2882 8818 (Macao) / +852 6333 6660 (HK) / +86 4001 206 618 (mainland China). Tickets are also available at Tom Lee Outlets and through Hong Kong Ticketing (customer service fee applies) at www.HKTicketing.com, or by phone at +852 3128 8288. Tickets are available in six categories: HKD/MOP 2,680 (Silver), 1,080 (A Reserve), 780 (B Reserve), 480 (C Reserve), 280 (D Reserve) and 80 (E Reserve). Packages with round trip Cotai Water Jet ferry tickets between Hong Kong and Macao are also available for HKD/MOP 2,768 (Silver), 1,168 (A Reserve), 868 (B Reserve), 568 (C Reserve) and 368 (D Reserve). For more information about the event, visit www.CotaiTicketing.com.

 

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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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