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Argenis Mendez Headlines First Tyson Card, Aug. 23

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TYSON IS BACK! Aug. 23, 2013 – Turning Stone Resort Casino, Verona, NY World Champion Argenis Mendez Training in England for 1st title defense on Iron Mike Productions debut event ESPN Friday Night Fights, Aug. 23 at Turning Stone Casino

DEERFIELD, Fla. (August 7, 2013) – International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior lightweight champion Argenis “La Tormenta” Mendez (21-2, 11 KOs) has been training in England for his first world title defense on August 23, airing live on ESPN Friday Night Fights, against challenger Arash Usmanee (20-1, 10 KOs), from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York. Mendez vs. Usmanee represents the main event on the intitial event promoted by Iron Mike Productions, “Tyson Is Back!”, a scheduled 12-round war between the 2004 Dominican Republic Olympian (Mendez) and Afghanistan-native (Usmanee) who lives in Montreal.

Acquinity Sports, under CEO Garry Jonas, partnered with Hall of Famer Mike Tyson to form Iron Mike Productions, which is presenting “Tyson Is Back!” in association with Greg Cohen Promotions. Mendez, rated No. 2 in the world by The Ring Magazine, fights for the first time since he captured his IBF belt this past March, dismantling defending champion Juan Carlos Salgado (26-1-1) in a rematch that ended with a sensational knockout in the fourth round. IBF No. 13-rated Usmanee is a five-time Canadian National amateur champion who is a former North American Boxing Association (NABA) super featherweight and World Boxing Council (WBC) Continental Americas lightweight champion. Mendez lives in Miami but trains in England with his head trainer, Lee Beard. Mendez checked in last week from training camp, to report, “We're in the final stage of training camp. I had a strenuous workout last Saturday in the mountains. Working out there is so tough. I need to go past my regular training limits to defend my title. Only weeks remain for me to get ready to fight for my country, Dominican Republic.”

“We are almost ready for August 23rd. My speed will be a big problem for Usmanee. I'm the best Dominican fighter and as world champion I must be 100-percent ready for this and all my fights. I'm the best super featherweight on this planet.”

“I know how to get the best out of people and Mendez came out like a caged beast in his last fight to win the world title,” Iron Mike Productions CEO Garry Jonas said. “Argenis is the best fighter in the world at 130 pounds, hands down. He leads an incredible team we have here for years to come.”

“We have no doubt in our company that Argenis Mendez is the best super featherweight out there at this time,” Iron Mike Productions COO Henry Rivalta added. “We are witnessing an athlete who has all the elements to become an elite boxer and future pound-for- pound fighter. Fans at Turning Stone, or those watching on ESPN, will see an exceptional fighter in Argenis Mendez.”

The 12-round co-feature on “Tyson Is Back” matches undefeated Claudio “The Matrix” Marrero (14-0, 11 KOs), rated No. 2 by the WBA, against WBA No. 4 Jesus Cueller (22-1, 18 KOs) in the 12-round co-feature for the Interim World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight championship. Providing chief support are a pair of 10-round fights featuring Cuban knockout artist Alexei “The Hurricane” Collado (16-0, 15 KOs) and welterweight Ed “The Lion” Paredes (33-3-1, 22 KOs). Collado, now fighting out of Miami, takes on Mexican featherweight Hugo “Guerrero” Partida (19-4-2, 15 KOs), while Paredes faces another tough Mexican, Noe “Platanito” Bolanos (24-8-1, 16 KOs). Collado is rated No. 14 by the WBA and No. 15 by the IBF. Paredes is one of only two welterweights in the world who is currently ranked among the top 15 in all four major sanctioning bodies: World Boxing Council (WBC) & WBA #3, World Boxing Organization (WBO) No. 11, and IBF No. 13. Also fighting on the undercard in six-round bouts are undefeated Bahamian light heavyweight Ryan “Big Youth” McKenzie (13-0, 11 KOs), now residing in Canastota, New York against an opponent to be determined, and unbeaten Virginian middleweight Antoine Douglas (8-0, 6 KOs) squares-off against Russell “Spiderman” Jordan (15-10, 10 KOs), of Rochester (NY). Former Toledo-Ohio-based amateur star, Albert “Prince” Bell (1-0, 1 KO), is back in action against New York City super featherweight Angel Siguenza (0-1) in a four-round match. The 20-year-old Bell captured gold medals as an amateur at the 2011 National PAL Championships and 2012 National Golden Gloves Tournament. All fights and fighters are subject to change. Mendez, Marrero, Collado, Paredes and Bell were promoted by Acquinity Sports and are now fighting under the Iron Mike Productions banner. Tickets priced at $150, $95, $55 and $45 are on and available to purchase at the Turning Stone box office, by calling (315) 361-7469, or visit www.Ticketmaster.com.

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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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