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Gradovich Beats IBF Champ Dib on ESPN

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MASHANTUCKET, Conn. (March 1, 2013) — In a early “Fight of the Year” candidate, Evgeny “The Mexican-Russian” Gradovich (16-0, 8 KOs) upset defending champion Billy “The Kid” Dib (36-2, 21 KOs) by 12-round split decision for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) featherweight title, in tonight’s main event in MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut. fee

The event was promoted by 50 Cent’s SMS Promotions and DiBella Entertainment and sponsored by SMS Audio.

In a grueling battle of attrition, Gradovich took the fight to Dib, who won the first four rounds. Gradovich, however, won the last two rounds on all three judges’ scorecards.

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“I feel good,” Gradovich commented. “I expected a very tough fight. Billy wasn’t going to give up his championship easily. My game plan was to use my aggression – pressure, pressure, pressure! For right now, I just want to rest and then I’ll be able to face the champions, contenders or top fighters in my division.”

“First and foremost,” Dib offered, “I want to congratulate Gradovich. He’s tough and fought a good fight. I’d love a rematch; I gave him his shot, hopefully, he’ll give me mine. I fought the wrong fight. I brawled too much. Again, he was the better fighter tonight.”

NELSON DEMOLISHES MEDINA

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A star was born in the co-feature as North American Boxing Federation (NABF) super welterweight champion Willie “The Great” Nelson (20-1-1, 12 KOs) exploded on the 154lb.-division with an electrifying first-round knockout of Michael “El Magnifico” Medina (26-4-2, 19 KOs). Nelson, rated No. 5 by the World Boxing Council (WBC), first dropped Medina with a vicious right hand. Medina beat the count but was floored by another lethal right and referee Arthur Mercante Jr. waived off the fight without counting. Medina was taken out of the ring on a stretcher due to an ankle injury. The co-feature was promoted in association with Rumble Time Promotions.

“This is the performance that we were looking for,” Nelson said after the fight. “Since joining with Jack (Loew) and moving to 154-pounds, I feel like a completely different beast. This performance was a testament to all the hard work we’ve put in. I’m ecstatic. I feel like I’m ready for any of the top fighters in the 154-pound division.”

“Willie Nelson is one of the most dangerous fighters in the world,” noted DiBella, who co-promotes Nelson with Steve Smith (Rumble Time). “He is beast. Keith Thurman would go out on his ass. Compare who Willie and Thurman have fought. They passed on a fight with Willie. Willie’s ready for any of the top 154-pounders in the world, including Canelo Alvarez.”

UNDERCARD RESULTS

Flashy junior lightweight Ryan “Polish Prince” Kielczweski (16-0, 3 KOs), fighting out of Quincy (Mass.), kept his perfect record intact, winning a unanimous eight-round decision over Gil Garcia (5-4-1, 1 KOs), of Houston. Kielczweski’s impressive performance positioned him for a major step-up, a potential showdown against blue-chip prospect and 2008 Puerto Rico Olympian, Jose “Sniper” Pedraza.

New Haven (CT) featherweight Luis “KO King” Rosa Jr. (13-0, 6 KOs) remained unbeaten, taking an eight-round decision from New York City’s Jhovany “The Underground King” Collado (4-7-2, 1 KO). The bell at the end of round one saved Collado, who was dropped by Rosa’s crisp combinations, ending with a solid left hook that he used effectively throughout the bout. Rosa won every round in a dominant fashion.

Arizona junior welterweight Luis Olivares, promoted by 50 Cent, made an explosive professional debut, decking Rafael Munoz (1-2) twice in the opening round before referee Johnny Callas halted the action at 1:30. Olivares jumped all over Munoz after the first knockdown, unloading a battery of devastating punches.

Popular junior featherweight Shelly “Shelito’s Way” Vincent improved her record to 8-0 with a four-round decision over Mikayla Nebel (0-4). New Haven welterweight Jimmy Williams (2-0, 1 KO) won a four-round decision versus Raynard Younger (0-2).

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PROMOTER LOU DIBELLA W/RYAN KIELCZWESKI

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LUIS ROSA (L) VS. JHOVANY COLLADO

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LUIS OLIVERAS (PROMOTED BY 50 CENT’S SMS PROMOTIONS)

COMPLETE RESULTS

(winners listed first)

NABF Super Welterweight Championship

Willie Nelson (19-1-1, 11 KOs), Cleveland, OH

WTKO1 (2:00)

Michael Medina (26-3-2, 19 KOs), Los Angeles, CA

(Nelson retained the NABF Super Welterweight Title)

Welterweights

Jimmy Williams (2-0, 1 KO), New Haven, CT

WDEC4 (40-36, 40-36, 40-36)

Raynard Younger (0-2), Alpharetta, GA

Junior Welterweights

Luis Olivares (1-0, 1 KO), Glendale, AZ

WTKO1 (1:30)

Rafael Munoz (1-2), Houston, TX

Junior Lightweights

Ryan Kielczweski (16-0, 3 KOs), Quincy, MA

WDEC8 (80-72, 80-72, 79-73)

Gil Garcia (5-4-1, 1 KO), Houston, TX

Featherweights

Evgeny Gradovich (16-0, 8 KOs), Igrim, Russia

WDEC12 (114-112, 114-112, 112-114)

Billy Dib (35-2-0-1NC, 21 KOs), Sydney, Australia

(Gradovich won the IBF Featherweight Title)

Luis Rosa Jr. (13-0, 6 KOs), New Haven, CT.

WDEC8 (80-71, 80-71, 80-71)

Jhovany Collado (4-7-2, 1 KO), Jamaica, NY

Female Junior Featherweights

Shelly Vincent (8-0), Providence, RI

WDEC4 (40-36, 40-36, 40-36)

Mikayla Nevel (0-4), Columbus, OH

PHOTO CREDIT: DIBELLA ENTERTAINMENT/ED DILLER

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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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