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BERTO: “I’m Going To Fight Smarter”

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“KNOCKOUT KINGS II” San Antonio Press Conference Quotes

ANDRE BERTO, Former Two-Time Welterweight World Champion

“I’m looking forward to this challenge on July 27. As you can see, it’s an exciting undercard with my man Keith Thurman and my man Omar Figueroa.

“I’ve been through some ups and downs. I feel that I have made some of the right changes that I needed to get focused.

“I have a new team and I’m dedicated to win another world title.

“I let the big show get away from me twice, once against Victor Ortiz and once against Robert Guerrero. I’m coming to San Antonio focused.

“It’s going to be a hell of a show. Make sure you buy your tickets or tune in on SHOWTIME because there’s nothing stopping me. I’m ready.

“You can have all the power in the world, but if you don’t know technique or don’t have a strategy, then you’ve got nothing. I’ve made changes in my game plan and I’m going to fight smarter.

“Soto Karass is a good fighter. I’ve seen his fights. There’s nothing too spectacular about him, but he does have that tough Mexican fighting style.”

JESUS SOTO KARASS, Veteran Welterweight Contender

“I have a great test ahead of me. I have followed Andre Berto’s career very closely. When he was a world champion, I was hoping I was going to get to fight him someday.

“I wasn’t ready for him then, but now that I got offered the fight, I know I’m ready.

“This is a very important fight for me and I know I’m ready. I’m going to give it everything I’ve got to prove all of the doubters wrong.

“I decided that this year is the year I’m going to become a world champion.

“San Antonio is one of the best places for boxing. With these ticket prices, I’m hoping the arena is going to be full of Mexicans and Mexican Americans.

“The name of this fight is ‘Knockout Kings II’ for a reason and I’m going to try to make sure it lives up to its name.”

OMAR FIGUEROA JR., Undefeated Texas Rising Star

“This fight is called ‘Knockout Kings II’ for a reason. I always go out there looking for the knockout. This is a great fight card for the fans. This is what boxing needs.

“It especially means a lot for my home state of Texas. This is perfect for me. All of my friends, family and fans can come up and see me fight.

“I’m at a loss for words when I think about fighting for my first world title here in Texas. I pictured myself being in this position because as a fighter, you have to see it in order to achieve it. This is what we’ve wanted and what we’ve been working so hard for.

“July 27, you’ll see fireworks in the ring.

“San Antonio is the perfect place for a card like this. I can’t describe what it was like being at the Canelo vs. Trout fight. Hearing 40,000 people cheer was incredible. I’m so grateful for this opportunity and proud to be a part of this fight card.”

KEITH THURMAN, Undefeated Top Rated Welterweight Contender

“The last time I was in Texas was when I was competing as an amateur in the 2008 Olympic Trials.

“I don’t know if there is another fighter out there that’s hungrier than me. They’ve been feeding me, but I’m still starving I have a long time left in this game and I don’t know when I’m going to get enough of it.

“I’m looking forward to this fight. My opponent is a young hungry fighter with a record of 22 and 0 with 18 knockouts and I am 20 and 0 with 18 knockouts. You know this is going to be a fight.

“If you’re a boxing fan and you’re from around here, then you have to be here unless you’ve got a family emergency.

“Come support the undercard that has a lot of local fighters and local talent.

“I don’t expect this fight to go more than two rounds. If the fight goes more than two rounds, find me and I will give you a refund.”

ERIC GOMEZ, Vice President and Matchmaker of Golden Boy Promotions

“We’ve been around for a little over a decade and we’ve done great events and I don’t think we’ve had a partner like Leija and Battah Promotions. They’re committed to boxing and committed to Texas and they’re doing an amazing job.

“Don’t blink when Keith Thurman fights, because you might miss something big.

“Everyone has been looking for the next great fighter in Texas, the next great champion from the state and I think we’ve found him in Omar Figueroa.

“In boxing, there are great events and then there are great fights. Last month at the Alamodome, there was a great event. This main event is a great fight. Styles make fights and both of these guys really come to fight. They’re going to come to fight hard because that’s what they know how to do.

“This is little bit of a crossroads fight for both Berto and Soto Karass. The winner is going to go on to bigger and better things and whoever loses is going to have to take a hard look at their career.”

JESSE JAMES LEIJA, Former Two-Time World Champion & Texas Boxing Legend

“We have a strong undercard with great local talent from San Antonio. We see great things happening for these guys in the future.

“We’re excited to have Omar Figueroa back again, but maybe he will give us two rounds this time.

“I’m a huge fan of Andre Berto and of Jesus Soto Karass. I’m also a huge fan of the sport of boxing and Mike [Battah] and I have worked really hard with Golden Boy Promotions to bring the best events to San Antonio.

“We want to fill the AT&T Center with 18,000 people and I think that’s doable.

“We’re bringing great fights, big names and we hope everyone comes out and supports boxing in San Antonio.”

MIKE BATTAH, President of Leija and Battah Promotions

“We are growing this fight business and it’s growing in a fast way. San Antonio is going to be the hub of boxing and we’re really excited about that.”

# # #

“KNOCKOUT KINGS II,” featuring Two-Time Welterweight World Champion Andre Berto facing tough Mexican veteran contender Jesus Soto Karass in a 12-round welterweight main event, takes place Saturday, July 27 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Leija & Battah Promotions and sponsored by Corona and AT&T. In the 12-round co-featured attractions, Weslaco, Texas’ undefeated rising star Omar Figueroa Jr. squares off against Tokyo’s Nihito Arakawa for the vacant WBC Interim Lightweight World Championship in a fight promoted in association with Teiken Promotions and unbeaten knockout artist Keith Thurman and fellow power-puncher Diego Gabriel Chaves battle for Chaves’ WBA Interim Welterweight World Championship in a fight promoted in association with KO International. The tripleheader will be broadcast live on SHOWTIME at 9 p.m. ET/PT and will be available in Spanish via second audio programming (SAP).

 

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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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