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Malignaggi-Broner Sparring Gets Dirtier

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With any luck, the fight between Paul Malignaggi, the WBA welterweight champion, and challenger Adrien Broner at Barclays Center on June 22 will feature the fire and fury that we’ve seen recently in the interactions between the two fighters.

They had words on April 26 at Barclays, at the weigh-in for the card topped by Danny Garcia-Zab Judah. And they got into it even more on Saturday morning in Las Vegas at the official news conference to announce the clash between Malignaggi, a Brooklyn native whose way with words might even surpass his ring generalship, and Broner, the man who calls himself “Mr. HBO” and makes no secret of his belief that he thinks he’s the heir to Floyd Mayweather.

The presser probably deserved an X-rating, as the boxers traded insults mostly having to do with a woman that Broner said Malignaggi dated. They used words that would have had your mom washing your mouth out with soap.

“I take him serious, but he’s a clown,” said Broner to start. “He got a helluva jab, I call him the ‘One Hand Bandit.'”

He then switched gears and said his current flame used to be with Malignaggi. Broner said his gal-pal told him that Malignaggi mistreated her –though Broner admitted he didn’t know if that was the truth. Broner said the woman told him that awhile back, back when she was seeing Paulie, she queried Paulie why he didn’t have more knockouts, and suggested to get more power, he do more pushups. Broner said that the lady, whose name I won’t use because she wasn’t there to defend herself or interject, told him Paulie didn’t care for the suggestion, and reacted physically. (To be honest, I wasn’t comfortable that Broner went there, as none of us know the veracity of the recollection. It struck me that this could be a full-on put-on, though Malignaggi admitted publicly that he did spend time with this “Miss X.” Anyway, this incident is a matter of public record, and is, I suppose, news, and could have a bearing on how the fight unfolds, so I am choosing to share it with you.)

Broner actually called the woman he was referring to, and put her—I am assuming for the moment it was her and this whole exercise wasn’t a stunt– on speakerphone. He said he was at a presser with her ex and he promised her he’d take care of it, on June 22. Paulie and a few of his crew made some cracks about the lady.

“He couldn’t knock a guy out, so he tried to knock a girl out, so I’m gonna knock him out,” said Broner, in closing.

Malignaggi then had the floor. He had his buddy comb his hair, a play on Broner’s in-the-ring-hairbrushing gimmick. Malignaggi explained, using a term I won’t repeat here, it’s too raw for some, that the ex wasn’t a woman he was close with, but more of a casual fling partner. He said the woman enjoyed raucous carousing, shall we say, and chuckled as he stated that Broner likely knows her preferences.

Paulie then cracked that Broner has to pay for companionship, and said if not for boxing, Broner wouldn’t enjoy female companionship. He mocked Broner for being a Mayweather clone and told him to get his own persona. He said that Broner got to this place because Al Haymon got him there, and predicted that he’d quit on his corner come June 22. The Brooklyner said he didn’t care for Broner trying to talk to him when he was working for Showtime at the Garcia-Judah weigh-in, and he looks forward to beating some personality into him.

Malignaggi kept on insulting Broner after his time at the mic. To Boxing Scene’s Ryan Burton, he said that he didn’t expect to be in the ring with Broner. “I’m not sure about his substance, but we’ll find out June 22,” he said. He said that he thinks Broner has been “spoiled” a la Andre Berto, another Haymon fighter, who he admitted did show his mettle against Victor Ortiz. Malignaggi again brought up the weigh-in incident, and said that irked him, while the presser antics don’t, because he knows that is schtick. He called Broner’s talk “corny” and rehearsed. He said he didn’t really care about the video which showed Broner cavorting in a gentleman’s club, saying that is his personal business.

Broner got in some more licks as well, to Boxing Scene’s Luis Sandoval. He said “he’s like a female, he wears his feelings on his sleeve.” The Cinci boxer, who wore a “Hi Paulette” t-shirt, said Paulie wasn’t getting on his nerves, that this is “a real war,” and stuff happens in war. He said shoulder to shoulder, Paulie was “little.”

In all my years, I’ve never heard a back and forth quite like this, that stuff about the ex. It was a bit raw for me, I will be honest. Joking about striking a female isn’t fair game, I don’t think. Anyway, theater of the unexpected, isn’t it? And sometimes, the theater is adult fare.

 

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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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