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IBF Title Goes To Argenis Mendez & Molina Brothers Win in OC

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COSTA MESA-Dominican Republic’s Argenis Mendez ripped the IBF junior lightweight world title away from Mexico’s Juan Carlos Salgado on Saturday. Also, the Molina brothers won too.

Mendez (21-2, 10 Kos) was looking to avenge an earlier defeat to Salgado (26-2-1, 16 Kos) and used a left hook to accomplish the mission in front of more than 1,100 at the OC Hangar. It didn’t take much time to see the Dominican was on top of things.

Early in the first round Mendez let loose with a hesitation right hand the caught Salgado flat-footed and dropped him near a neutral corner. Surprisingly, the Mexico City fighter beat the count and was able to resume the fight. He survived the first round on grit alone, but Mendez had tasted blood.

“I came for the knockout,” said Mendez, 26, who lives in Brooklyn. “I knew if I hit him with a clean shot he would go down.”

In the next round Salgado came out a little more aggressive trying to turn things around, but during an aggressive exchange, Mendez used a perfect left hook to the chin to emphatically floor Salgado for the second and final time. Referee Wayne Hedgepeth stopped the fight 45 seconds of round two.

“This is a special moment,” said Mendez.

Mexico’s Salgado looked surprised by the sudden ending of the rematch. “He hit me with a good shot,” he said.

Olympian brothers

In his first fight of 2013, Javier Molina (13-1, 5 Kos) sought to prove he’s one of the best welterweights in the world by accepting a fight with Joseph Elegele (13-2, 10 Kos). From the opening bell it was all out war.

Elegele, a tall southpaw, started the fight eagerly looking to discover if Molina’s chin could withstand an aggressive assault. He opened up both barrels on the 2008 Olympian and was able to tag Molina with body shots and head blows. The Norwalk boxer withstood the Elegele barrage.

In round two Molina made adjustments and changed tactics from an outside assault to a chin to chin trench warfare battle that was unexpected. Hard-to-see Molina left hooks landed flush and snapped back Elegele’s head repeatedly. Throughout the fight Molina seldom missed with the left hook. It was effective throughout the fight.

All three judges scored it for Molina 77-75 twice and 78-72.

“I knew he was a good fighter. I knew he was tough,” said Molina, 23. “I could have used my range but it was do or die.”

Oscar Molina, the twin brother of Javier Molina, scored a quick knockout win against Willie Walton (4-7, 3 Kos) at 35 seconds into the second round. Sharp punching by Molina kept Walton from initiating a solid attack. At the end of the first round, a short left hook stunned the Utah fighter and Molina pinned him against the ropes until the first round ended.

Molina didn’t waste time in the second round. As his corner men yelled at him to attack he fired an overhand right that dropped Walton for the count. The Utah boxer got up but was met by a barrage of blows that forced referee Tom Taylor to stop the match 35 seconds into the round.

“I wanted to come out strong,” said Molina, who recently fought in London representing the Mexican Olympic boxing team. “My corner kept telling me to let my hands go.”

Prelims

Cornelius White (21-1) beat Otis Griffin (24-12-2) by decision.

Mickey Roman (40-11) beat Miguel Mungia (29-25-1) by judge’s decision 79-73 twice and 78-74.

Cincinnati’s Brandon Bennett (15-0, 7 Kos) beat Mexico’s Mario Hermosillo (11-8-3, 2 Kos) by decision. All three judges scored it for Bennett 60-54 twice and 59-55.

Juan Funez won his pro debut by majority decision against Jose Garcia.

Brandon Bennett beat Mario Hermosillo by decision.

Immanuwel Aleem beat Leshon Sims by decision.

Moshea Aleem beat Dante Spinks by decision.

Justin Deloach knocked out Sail Fernandez at 2:53 of round three.

 

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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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