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BERTO vs. SOTO KARASS: Who Do Ya Like?

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Andre-Berto-logo24-7-2013

ANDRE BERTO ARRIVES IN SAN ANTONIO FOR SHOWDOWN WITH JESUS SOTO KARASS

(SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS) – Welterweight Andre Berto (Winter Haven, Fla.) arrived in San Antonio this afternoon for his July 27th match-up with Jesus Soto Karass at the AT&T Center. Berto and his team broke training camp on Monday following seven weeks of preparation in the Bay Area. The former two-time World Champion is stepping into the ring for the first time with a new coach in his corner, 2011 Trainer of the Year Virgil Hunter, and he’s looking forward to his first fight of 2013. Andre Berto arrives at the host hotel in San Antonio

“We had a tremendous training camp for this fight, and I am ready to put on a great show for all the fans on July 27. My new team took me out of comfort zone, which is something that I needed. It was a very technical training camp and helped remind me who I am as a fighter and everyone will see those skills when I step into the ring on Saturday night,” Berto said. “Make sure to come out to the AT&T Center or tune in on SHOWTIME because it’s going to be a hell of a card.”

Berto is returning to the ring for the first time since November when he faced off with Robert Guerrero in a fight of the year candidate. The 29-year-old Haitian Olympian relocated to the Los Angeles area in January and completed his full preparation for the upcoming fight in northern California with Hunter and his team. Hunter and Berto, who have known each other since Berto’s early amateur days, began working together in late spring.

Saturday’s fight will be Berto’s second in the Lone Star State and his first since a fifth round knockout win over James Crayton in El Paso in 2006. The 29-year-old Berto is looking forward to competing in front of the great fight fans in San Antonio, which has become one of the great hotbeds for the sport. He got a taste of the fantastic boxing atmosphere after traveling to San Antonio at the end of May for the press conference and enjoyed all the fans that he got the opportunity to meet at the event.

The first Haitian Olympian in the sport of boxing, Berto has built an extensive professional resume, winning both the WBC and IBF welterweight belts in his eight years in the paid ranks. Known for his combination of lightning-quick hand speed and thunderous power, Berto’s fights have become must watch TV. With the new skills he has added to his arsenal of the last seven weeks, Berto plans to start a new winning streak on Saturday night.

“Knockout Kings II,” featuring former Two-Time Welterweight World Champion Andre Berto facing tough Mexican veteran contender Jesus Soto Karass in a 12-round main event for the vacant NABF Welterweight Championship, 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 undefeated power-puncher Diego Chaves faces fellow unbeaten knockout artist Keith Thurman 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 9:00 p.m. ET/PT and will be available in Spanish via second audio programming (SAP).

Tickets priced at $200, $100, $50, $25 and $10, plus applicable taxes, fees and services charges, are on sale now and are available for purchase at the AT&T Center box office, online at www.ticketmaster.com at www.ticketmaster.com and ATTCenter.com all Ticketmaster locations, by calling (800) 745-3000 or through Leija & Battah Promotions by calling (210) 979-3302 or emailing m@leijabattahpromo.com.

Click here to see photos from Berto’s training camp in the Oakland area.

A 2004 Haitian Olympian and two-time former welterweight world champion, Berto boasts a 28-2 record (22 KOs). The 29-year-old welterweight comes from a true fighting family, led by his father, Dieuseul Berto, who competed in mixed martial arts and shared the love of combat sports with his children. Berto’s brother, Edson and sister, Revelina, currently compete in MMA and older brother, Cleveland is a former state wrestling champion. Outside the ring, Berto focuses his philanthropic efforts on work in Haiti and founded the Berto Dynasty Foundation in 2010 to assist in earthquake relief. BDF is currently in the process of creating a boxing gym and youth center for youth in the island nation.

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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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