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Manny Hits Macau; Pacquiao Touches Down; Plus, Tidbits

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Manny Pacquiao Macau arrival 130726 001a

July 26, 2013, Macau, China — “MANNY HITS MACAU” — Superstar Manny Pacquiao (ctr) and wife Jinkee (L) are greeted by Edward Tracy (R), President and CEO of Sands China Ltd. as they arrive Friday at The Venetian Macao Resort in Macau,China. Pacquiao is in town to announce his mega fight in November against former world champion Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios. A Saturday press conference kicks off their world-wide media tour which will include stops in Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, New York and finally ends up in Los Angeles. — Photo Credit : Chris Farina – Top Rank

Here is a notebook of tidbits on the card, courtesy of Top Rank:

MACAU, CHINA (July 26, 2013) – Good Morning Mr. and Mrs. Boxing Fan and all the ships at sea, let’s go to press…

ZOUMANITY. World championship boxing returns to The Venetian Macao’s® CotaiArena™ This Saturday! July 27. HBO 2 will be televising the return of flyweight Zou Shiming (1-0), China’s two-time Olympic gold medalist, making his six-round debut, to the U.S., beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET/PT. Calling the action from ringside will be broadcasting icons Tim Ryan and Larry Merchant and two-time heavyweight champion George Foreman. Trained by Hall of Famer World-Famous Freddie Roach, Shiming will be facing Jesus Ortega (3-1, 2 KOs), of México. The HBO 2-televised card will also feature two world championship fights – WBO/WBA flyweight champion JUAN ESTRADA 22-2, 17 KOs), makes his first defense of the title he won by dethroning Brian Viloria, against undefeated No. 1 contender MILAN MELINDO (28-0, 11 KOs), of the Philippines, and undefeated IBF featherweight champion EVEGNY GRADOVICH (16-0, 8 KOs), of Russia, defends his title against No. 1 contender MAURCIO MUÑOZ (26-3, 12 KOs), of Argentina…

HEAVY DUTY. Undefeated heavyweight contenders ANDY RUIZ of México and JOE HANKS of Los Angeles, who boast a combined record of 40-0 (27 KOs), go mano a mano for 10 rounds for the WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight crown. Mexican heavyweight Andy Ruiz worked for weeks in Las Vegas, mostly at the Bones Adams Gym. Ruiz is 19-0, Hanks 21-0. Ruiz plans to go onto an immediate attack, says chief trainer Big Jeff Gramoja. “Hanks’ record of 21-0 is a concern for sure,” Gramoja said. “But I’ve seen Hanks before. We plan to go right in and attack
the boxer. That is how Andy trained for this fight – to land our jabs, attack the body, use hand speed and break him down.

“We’ve worked a long time for this. We are expecting Andy to have a great performance and victory,” Gramoja said.

Ruiz vs Hanks will be broadcast exclusively on UniMas Solo Boxeo Tecate Saturday at midnight eastern, 11 pm pacific.

Their fight will be televised Saturday evening at Midnight ET / 11 p.m. PT as the main event of Solo Boxeo Tecate on UniMás…

RUSSIAN DRESSING. Known as the “Mexican Russian,” Evgeny Gradovich, a native of Russia who trains in Oxnard, Calif. with Trainer of the Year Robert Garcia, is known for wearing a ring uniform that combines the colors of mother Russia and México, complete with a sombrero.

“I have adopted a Méxican style of fighting – aggressive. I know what the fans want to see and I want the fans to like my fights. My favorite fighters are Méxican…Chávez, Márquez, Morales and Barrera. I’ve been taking Spanish lessons so I can speak to my fans. Winning my title has been a blessing. It allowed me to get Green Card and soon I will be able to bring my wife and daughter to the U.S. to live with me. After all, no money, no honey. Muñoz has good experience and is a legitimate No. 1 contender. He can fight. I think he’s a dirty fighter. He throws low blows and punches behind the head. I’ll slip those punches and move around to counter his tactics.”

JUAN FOR THE MONEY. Unified flyweight champion Juan Estrada returns to the the CotaiArena where he defeated Brian Viloria to capture the WBO/WBA titles in April in his first title defense.

“I’ve been sacrificing for my career since I was 15. I come from a small town near Hermosillo, México called Puerto Peñasco and I was the first one from there to win a world title. When I returned after winning the title a lot of my townspeople met me at the airport and gave me a parade in town. I rode around in a fire truck. When I landed, one of the first calls of congratulations came from Juan Manuel Márquez. He told me that his palms were sweating while watching the fight and he was rooting hard for me.

”I was not surprised I beat Viloria. I trained really hard for that fight. I think I beat him because I had better technique and talent, not because of my youth. I’m a proud Méxican fighter. My favorite fighters are Julio César Chávez and Márquez. They inspire me.”

IT’S “CHILD’S PLAY” FOR MUÑOZ. No. 1 IBF flyweight contender Mauricio Muñoz earned his nickname “Chuckie” from his neighborhood pals as a kid. They all thought he had the tenacious style of the demonic doll “Chuckie” from the cult movie classic “Child’s Play.”

“This is a huge opportunity for me. I come from a mining town in Argentina. I used to work in the gold mines to supplement my boxing income. When I fight on Saturday night my town will show it on a big screen in the central community center.

“I don’t know what Gradovich is talking about. I am not a dirty fighter and the referee never admonished me for dirty tactics. I have a lot of respect for Gradovich. He is a good champion. But I am confident in my abilities in this fight. I will be mining for gold when the bell rings to start the fight.”

ORTEGA IS WELL-SEASONED. Jesus Ortega, a stablemate of Estrada’s, is ready for his big test.

“I was selected as Zou’s opponent because everyone thinks I’m going to lose. I’m going to win this fight and don’t be surprised if it’s by knockout. I took this fight because it is on international TV….HBO. I will be very aggressive against Zou and throw a lot of punches. I’m going to win. I’m going to exploit my size advantage. I’m so glad to be here.”

RIVALS. Undefeated No. 1 contender Milan Melindo is glad to be facing Estrada instead of Viloria.

“México and the Philippines have a terrific rivalry in boxing. I’d rather be fighting a Méxican rather than a countryman [Viloria] in my first world title shot. I’m very excited to be fighting in front of Manny Pacquiao. I’m not worried about what Estrada has planned, I’m only concerned about executing my game plan.”

ZOU II. Zou Shiming’s second pro fight is expected to bring a big improvement over his pro debut.

“In my first fight I was very excited. I wanted to please the fans. This time I want to please my trainer Freddie Roach. I had reverted to some bad habits in my April debut but that won’t happen this time. We worked on sitting down more on my punches. I’m going to be more aggressive and not revert back to my amateur habits. I’m enjoying fighting in a pro style. Freddie has me working on the left hook to the body This time I will try to keep my emotions in check I want to live up to everyone’s expectations. Freddie has me believing in myself.”

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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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