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Golovkin: “I'm Ready To Go”

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ggg-ishMonte Carlo (3/28/13) – Gennady Golovkin is in peak physical condition ahead of the seventh defense of his WBA and IBO middleweight titles in Monte Carlo on Saturday. The unbeaten Kazakhstani yesterday went through his paces during a public 45-minute workout at the suitably grand Monte Carlo Casino.

With his shirt off, he looked lean and ripped as he worked the pads with top trainer Abel Sanchez.

“I'm ready to go,” said Golovkin. “I had an eight-week camp and all has gone according to plan.”

He defends against Nobuhiro Ishida, a fighter he isn't underestimating.

“We're expecting a hard fight,” said manager Tom Loeffler. “Ishida is tall and has some power, but Gennady is in tremendous shape.”

Earlier, Ishida worked out and looked sharp and relaxed ahead of the biggest fight of his career.

All the fighters, bar Jean Marc Monrose, who arrives today, put on public workouts against the dramatic backdrop of the famous casino. Unbeaten Edwin Rodriguez got a first hand look at Ezequiel Maderna, who he fights in the first round of the Million Dollar Super Four event. Big around the shoulders, the Argentine is a largely unknown quantity, but Rodriguez isn't taking him lightly given his impressive amateur career.

“We've come off probably the best fight camp ever,” said trainer Ronnie Shields. “I couldn't have asked for more and we're planning to put on a show come Saturday night.”

There is a buzz around Zsolt Erdei's participation, not least because he hasn't fought in two years and no-one has a real idea of how he'll shape against determined Russian Denis Grachev.

“He has a lot riding on this,” said Golden Gloves promoter Rodney Berman. “He's a massive hero in his native Hungary, with many of his fans expected ringside. He'll be fighting for them as much as himself.”

Sergey Rabchenko also looks in tip-top condition ahead of his European junior-middleweight title fight against Adriano Nicchi of Italy. Training camps in France and the UK have prepared him well and he says he is looking to make a statement against Nicchi.

“I'm number two in the WBC. A title fight could be around the corner, so no slip-ups from me,” he said confidently.

Meanwhile, cruiserweight Junior Makabu charmed the crowd as he addressed them in his native French. Little-known beyond Africa, he intends making a few waves against local hero Monrose.

The weigh-in takes place 6 pm local time on Friday.

The event in Monaco is headlined by red-hot WBA middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (25-0, 22KO's) defending his title against former world champion Nobuhiro Ishida (24-8-2, 9KO's). The opening round of the Super 4 tournament matches Edwin Rodriguez (22-0, 15KO's) against Argentinean Olympian Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna (19-0, 13KO's) and former two-division world champion Zsolt Erdei (33-0, 18KO's) squaring off against Denis Grachev (12-1-1, 8KO's). The card will be distributed in the United States and Canada on PPV by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT on both cable and satellite Pay-Per-View.

The “Monte-Carlo Million Dollar Super 4” and Golovkin's middleweight title defense will be distributed in the United States and Canada by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT on both cable and satellite Pay-Per-View via iN Demand, DIRECTV, DISH and Avail-TVN in the United States and in Canada via Bell TV, for a suggested retail price of only $24.95. In addition, the event will be available via online Pay-Per-View at:

http://www.gfl.tv/Events/Fight/Boxing/Gennady_Golovkin_vs_Nobuhiro_Ishida/1896

The event is promoted by Rodney Berman's Golden Gloves. The Golovkin-Ishida bout is promoted in association with K2 Promotions, while the Rodriguez-Maderna and Erdei-Grachev bouts are promoted in association with DiBella Entertainment.

Tickets can be purchased by contacting the SBM Reservations Department by phone at: +377 98 06 36 36 (10 am to 7 pm) or email: ticketoffice@sbm.mc.

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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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