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Bradley Beats Provodnikov In A THRILLER

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You didn’t hear anyone, anywhere, predicting that the main event fight between Tim Bradley and Ruslan Provodnikov at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA on Saturday night could be a fight of the year candidate.

It was, bigtime.

Bradley got hurt in the first, second sixth and 12th, badly, but only went down, officially, in the final round. To Bradley’s immense credit, he somehow shook off the hard clean blows, and somehow, we went to the cards: Denkin and Cantu had it 114-113, Caiz had it 115-112, for Bradley.

I was too excited to score round by round, but a case could be made that the “loser” deserved to win three rounds 10-8, so the mathmeticians need to be called in. I say we let it get sorted out in a rematch. Would Bradley, the “name” guy, agree to that? Probably not, he has easier fights for better money to do…But the man is a warrior, so maybe we could be pleasantly suprised.

Bradley went 347-1000, to 218-676 for the “loser.” Bradley told Max Kellerman after that he was concussed in some round, not sure when. He said he was dizzy right then. Ruslan told Max that he thought he won. “Everybody saw what I did in the ring,” he said. Ruslan said he didn’t feel Ruslan’s punches.

Bradley (29-0 entering; age 29; 146 1/2) went to 159 and Ruslan (22-1 with 15 KOs entering; age 29; 146 1/2) went to 150 pounds on the night of the fight.

The Siberian-born Ruslan said in pre-fights interviews that as a kid, he loved to fight. He said everyone in his town watches when he fights. Growing up, his family ate off the fat of the land and he didn’t see packaged food for awhile. Bradley still seems emotional at the disrespect he got after “beating” Manny Pacquiao. He also gained about forty pounds after the “win.”

In the first, Bradley got knocked down but the ref ruled it a slip. He was hurt by an overhand right and he went to his knee. Trainer Joel Diaz told him after to be smart. Ruslan, grinning, threw bombs, and came forward. Bradley was out on his feet for the last part of the round in a crazy round two. Left hooks hurt Bradley badly.

In the third, Ruslan rested some. Tim got busier, and Ruslan kept smiling and sticking his tongue out. In the fourth, a right hand landed after Bradley threw four jabs. Tim scored with a nasty uppercut with a minute left. Freddie Roach called for a left feint-right over the top after the round.

In round five, Bradley boxed smarter, and the Siberian had slowed down. In the sixth, Bradley’s left hooks to the body were nasty, as they were in the fifth. A left hook hurt Tim but he stayed on his feet, barely.

In the seventh, Tim moved a lot. His trainer had barked at him to be smarter, and not trade.

In the eighth, Tim again moved more. He popped a jab, moved left and right and Ruslan wasn’t able to adapt. Roach told Ruslan to get busy, and said he ate too much in that round.

In round nine, we saw blood on Ruslan, from his left eye. It had opened up in the first half and was staunched. He was hurt but kept throwing bombs himself, with both hands.

In the tenth, Roach said he was close to stopping the fight, talking to Max Kellerman. Bradley moved and kept the distance to his liking mostly. Roach told Ruslan to try for the KO or he’d end the fight. In the 11th, Bradley forgot to move, to fans’ delight. Ruslan heard Freddie and was quite busy.

In the 12th, Bradley moved, then stood his ground and traded. A left hook hurt Tim with 55 seconds left, and then a right damaged him more. He took a knee as the clock ticked down. The bell sounded before Ruslan could get on him.

Check back for David Avila’s ringside report.

 

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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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