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Orozco's Family Makes Him Relentless in Ring

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OrozcoFrederick Hoganphotos

re-lent-less: 1. steady and persistent 2. unyieldingly severe

For some, the way they work and live boils down to a simple philosophy. “I work hard for my family. Everything I do, all the time, is for their benefit,” 25 year old Antonio Orozco said. “My number one priority is to make sure they're always well taken care of and safe.”

Orozco, a junior welterweight (140 pounds) from San Diego with a perfect record of 17 wins, 0 losses and 13 knockouts, is set to fight Ivan Alvarez (29-3, 23 KO's) as part of the boxing card headlined by Abner Mares Vs. Jhonny Gonzalez on Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Orozco's fight will be broadcast on Showtime Extreme.

He started his professional career in 2008 with a third round knockout of Ricardo Martinez at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario. Since then, Orozco's performances have caused a buzz among media and fans who've watched him fight live and on the Showtime Extreme network. His style is composed of heavy handed punching, a willingness to engage and unrelenting pressure. Hence the nickname “Relentless”.

“It fits me well,” Orozco said. “It's a nickname I want to live up to every time I step into the ring.”

Respected manager Frank Espinoza, who knows a thing or two about evaluating talent, agrees the moniker suits him perfectly. “When he fights, he's coming to inflict damage and there's no stopping him,” Espinoza said. “He's definitely relentless.”

Espinoza also manages the careers of Abner Mares, Daniel Ponce De Leon and Oscar Valdez just to name a few. With more than twenty years experience and eight world champions to his credit, he's seen just about everything in the industry. Espinoza believes Orozco's work ethic, skill level and intensity is indicative of a fighter with a bright future. “He's going places. He's got a killer instinct and a style that fans love,” Espinoza said. “He's a great kid too. Once people get to know him, they root for him.”

Orozco fought over a hundred times as an amateur. He had 5 professional fights when Espinoza signed him. “Frank has a lot of influence in the business and when he approached me to sign with him, I saw it as an opportunity of a lifetime,” said Orozco, who is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions. “He manages a lot of top fighters and thanks to him we're in a better position than before he signed us. I'm very grateful.”

Boxing fans around the world will soon get a chance to learn more about him. He just started filming a behind the scenes reality show which will broadcast on MundoFox.

His trainer, Carlos Barragan, thinks viewers will become fans of Orozco the fighter and the man. “He's a great father and husband. He's married to his high school sweetheart Claudia and he's a very deep and smart person,” said Barragan who owns the House of Boxing gym where Orozco trains. “He's a quality individual and I'm happy viewers will get to see that side of him.”

The TV show is intriguing but Orozco's priorities are clear. “All of this is new to me and it's very interesting but my focus is on winning Saturday night,” he said. “I always plan to be spectacular but getting my hand raised at the end of the night is what's important.”

This will be Orozco's first time fighting a the StubHub Center. The place was formerly known as the Home Depot Center. It's without a doubt the best outdoor venue for boxing in southern California. The setting has been host to some unforgettable fights. “It's an honor to fight in the same place where Israel Vazquez defeated Rafael Marquez. That was an incredible fight,” remembers Orozco of the 2007 fight of the year candidate. “It's a venue where very demanding boxing fans show up. I plan to put on a show for them.”

Barragan is confident Orozco will shine. “I think we're going to see an Antonio Orozco who's decisive and level headed. Someone who is relentless but in control,” he said. “He's matured quite a bit in the last few years and he's only getting better. He's mentally tough, he won't fold under pressure and has a very high work rate.”

“I believe in hard work. I did some vicious sparring with Carlos Molina and David Estrada for this camp,” Orozco said. “If you put the work in, you get results.”

Hard work was an example his parents provided for him and now he's passing the same lessons down to his two sons. “Because of them I learned the importance of work ethic, dedication and family,” he said. “I owe them a lot. I know I'm the one in the ring fighting, but this career isn't just for me, it's just as much for them too.”

Mares vs. Gonzalez

Three division world champion and current WBC featherweight king, Abner Mares (26-0-1, 14 KO's), takes on Jhonny Gonzalez as the main event in what should be an exciting night of boxing at the StubHub Center. Mares has faced and defeated six former world champions in a row. Gonzalez (54-8, 46 KO's), also a former world champion, is a heavy hitter and always dangerous.

Also on the card, WBC super bantamweight champion Victor Terrazas (37-2-1, 21 KO's) defends his title against Leo Santa Cruz (24-0-1, 14 KO's). If you can make it to the StubHub, it's highly recommended you do so. The crowds are very vocal and the atmosphere can reach electric levels.

The main event and the co-main event will be aired on Showtime. The night of boxing is being promoted by Golden Boy Promotions.

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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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