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WHO DO YA LIKE? Marquez or Bradley?

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LAS VEGAS, NEV. (June 20, 2013) — Undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO) Welterweight Champion and the pride of Palm Springs TIMOTHY “Desert Storm” BRADLEY, JR. will make the biggest defense of his world title when he faces Méxican icon and four-division world champion JUAN MANUEL “Dinamita” MARQUÉZ. The only two fighters to defeat Fighter of the Decade Manny Pacquiao in the last seven years, Bradley will be looking to further state his case as one of boxing’s elite pound for pound fighters while Márquez attempts to add yet another highlight to his storied career — becoming the first Méxican fighter to win world titles in five different weight divisions. Both enter this rumble fresh from Fight of the Year caliber performances.

Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with Zanfer Promotions, Wynn Las Vegas, Márquez Boxing, and Tecate, Bradley vs. Márquez will take place Saturday, October 12, at the Thomas & Mack Center, on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. It will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View, beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.

Tickets to the Bradley vs. Márquez welterweight championship event, priced at $800, $600, $400, $300, $200, $100 and $50, will go on sale Tomorrow! Friday, June 21, at 3:00 p.m. ET / Noon PT. They can be purchased at the Thomas & Mack Center Box Office, online at UNLVtickets.com, at UNLVtickets Outlet Town Square Las Vegas Concierge, or by calling 702-739-FANS (3267).

“It will be an honor to step in the ring with Márquez, I am looking forward to displaying my skills and giving the fans a competitive fight,” said Bradley. “I know that the one thing he and I will have in common, stepping into that ring, is that we’re both warriors. Neither one of us will take defeat as an option and with that being said we can say the countdown has officially begun. October 12 will not just be another fight but a memorable fight for not only him and me but for the world of boxing.”

“This is a very tough fight. I am facing an undefeated fighter who has something that I want very much, said Márquez. “It is a complicated fight but not impossible to win. I want that fifth world title. Bradley is one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world. I think we have the styles to make a great fight.”

“This fight will be a very exciting confrontation between the two best fighters in the world today,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. “Timothy Bradley, the undefeated, reigning world welterweight champion, has always distinguished himself in the ring. Juan Manuel Márquez is the most popular fighter in México and is coming off a sensational win over Manny Pacquiao. Márquez will try with all of his might to win his historic fifth world championship.”

“The phenomenal victories registered by both Tim Bradley and Juan Manuel Márquez in their last ring performances makes the October 12 showdown in Las Vegas a fight fan’s dream,” said Mark Taffet, senior vice president, HBO Sports. “Bradley-Márquez is one of the sport’s elite and most highly anticipated matchups of 2013.”

“We are thrilled to work with Top Rank in presenting this highly-anticipated match-up,” said Maurice Wooden, president of Wynn Las Vegas. “This will undoubtedly be an exciting event for both our guests and boxing fans as Juan Manuel Márquez attempts to become the only fighter in México’s boxing history to win world titles in five weight classes by defeating current champion, Timothy Bradley Jr.”

Bradley (30-0, 12 KOs), from Palm Springs, Calif., a two-division world champion trained by Joel Diaz, returns to the ring off two career-best victories. On June 9, 2012 Bradley moved up in weight and won a split decision victory over Pacquiao, ending the defending WBO welterweight champion’s title reign and his seven-year winning streak. It was only the fourth professional loss Pacquiao had suffered in a 60-bout career that included world titles in eight different weight divisions. Bradley, 29, won his first world title in 2008, travelling across the pond to dethrone the defending WBC super lightweight champion Junior Witter in the Englishman’s backyard of Nottingham, England. Bradley’s sixth-round knockdown of Witter shocked the hometown crowd as Bradley won a hard-fought split decision. One year later, in his second championship defense, Bradley unified the title by dominating then-WBO champion Kendall Holt. In a career-defining fight, Bradley weathered a first-round knockdown, and showed his trademark heart and determination during the remainder of the match, to win a unanimous decision. Bradley opted to keep the WBO junior welterweight title. Bradley successfully defended that title twice. In August 2009 he dominated former world champion Nate Campbell before an accidental clash of heads near the end of round three led to the fight later being ruled no contest when Campbell could not continue due to a nasty gash over his left eye. Bradley followed that up with a December 2009 schooling of undefeated interim WBO champion Lamont Peterson, which included a third-round knockdown, the first time Peterson had ever hit the canvas in his 27-bout professional career. With no worthy contenders available to defend his title against, Bradley moved up to 147 pounds and won a 12-round unanimous decision over undefeated Top-10 welterweight contender Carlos Abregu on July 17, 2010. Bradley kicked off 2011 by reunifying the welterweight titles with a 10-round shellacking of undefeated WBC super light champion Devon Alexander in January, followed by an eighth-round knockout victory of former world champion Joel Casamayor in November, setting up his date with destiny — Pacquiao. In his last fight, on March 13, Bradley survived a brutal battle, going toe-to-toe for 12 Hellish rounds, against No. 3-rated contender Ruslan Provodnikov to retain his WBO welterweight title in what many consider Bradley’s finest — and bravest — fight of his career. With 2013 half over, it is still considered the fight of the year.

Márquez (55-6-1, 40 KOs), of México City, trained by Hall of Famer Ignacio “Nacho” Beristáin, is one of only a rare few fighters from México to have won world titles in four different weight divisions. He captured his first world title — the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) featherweight championship — with a seventh-round stoppage of three-time featherweight champion Manuel Medina in 2003. He unified that title that same year with a decisive victory over World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight titlist Derrick Gainer. Márquez successfully defended the titles three times during his three-year reign, which included unanimous decision victories over Victor Polo and Orlando Salido and a Draw with Pacquiao. After losing the crown to Chris John, and winning the interim featherweight crown, both in 2006, Márquez moved up in weight to dethrone the legendary Marco Antonio Barrera and claim his World Boxing Council (WBC) super featherweight championship belt in 2007. After successfully defending the title, by a unanimous decision over Ricky Juarez, he lost the title in his 2008 rematch with Pacquiao by the slimmest of margins — a one point split decision. Since that fight, Márquez has won seven of his last nine fights, including knockout victories of Joel Casamayor, Juan Diaz, and Michael Katsidis — the latter two in WBA/WBO lightweight championship fights. Last year he won his fourth world title in as many divisions, capturing the WBO interim junior welterweight title with a dominant 12-round unanimous decision over Sergey Fedchenko. He ended the year with his most satisfying victory, a sixth-round knockout of professional nemesis Pacquiao, which was voted the 2012 Fight of the Year and the 2012 Knockout of the Year.

For fight updates go to www.toprank.com or www.hbo.com/boxing, on Facebook at facebook.com/trboxing, facebook.com/trboxeo or facebook.com/hboboxing and on Twitter at twitter.com/trboxing, twitter.com/trboxeo or twitter.com/hboboxing.

 

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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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