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A Look Back At Floyd's Other Mexican Foes

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WILL CANELO ALVAREZ BE “THE ONE” TO FINALLY DEFEAT FLOYD MAYWEATHER?

A Look Back at Mayweather's Mexican Opponents and Canelo's Chances of Making Boxing History

LAS VEGAS (September 3, 2013) – If Canelo Alvarez is awestruck by the prospect of trying to do something that no one else has done – defeat pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather – he doesn't show it.

Canelo maintained the same cool, calm expression throughout a nine-city press tour to promote “THE ONE: Mayweather vs. Canelo” – the highly anticipated, super welterweight world championship pay-per-view showdown at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, Sept. 14. It was the look of a man who is never hurried and never worried. All business.

Is Canelo “THE ONE?''

Can he succeed where so many other superb boxers have failed? Can he not only be the first fighter to defeat Mayweather, but also the first of Mexican descent? Mayweather's Mexican foes include such notables as Jose Luis Castillo, Juan Manuel Marquez, Jesus Chavez, Genaro Hernandez and Oscar De La Hoya.

De La Hoya thinks so. De La Hoya lost a split 12-round decision to Mayweather in a record-setting pay-per-view event in 2007. One judge scored it as a victory for De La Hoya. That is as close as anyone has come to dethroning Mayweather in the last decade.

“For one thing, youth is on his side,” De La Hoya said of the 23-year-old Canelo, who hails from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. “But the real advantage will be the intelligence. People will also be surprised with his speed.”

Canelo, a redhead with matinee idol looks, is the No. 1 boxing attraction in Mexico. He is on the cusp of joining the same club as Mexican boxing legends like Carlos Zarate, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales. A victory over Mayweather would cement his legacy as one of the all-time greats in Mexican boxing history.

Canelo said he started watching Mayweather in his fights with Jose Luis Castillo and Diego Corrales in 2001 and 2002. He really took notice when Mayweather fought De La Hoya in 2007.

Who was he rooting for in that match?

“Oscar, of course,'' he said with a laugh.

Canelo now has De La Hoya as his mentor. He said he will lean on De La Hoya to get information on what makes Mayweather uncomfortable in the ring. De La Hoya, who had a good strategy against Mayweather, said he will keep repeating three letters to Canelo – J-A-B. It was something De La Hoya couldn't do consistently because he had a torn left rotator cuff in their fight in 2007.

Canelo won't be coming in with any such aliments, and if he follows De La Hoya's advice, he could turn the tables on Mayweather. Plus, Canelo doesn't believe that he's too inexperienced for Mayweather at this time.

“I'm very young, but I'm experienced as well,” said Canelo, who has fought in 43 fights (42-0-1 with 30 KO's). “I've been learning the last couple of years. The position that I'm in right now, Mayweather was once in [when Mayweather was learning and growing as a fighter].”

Mayweather has conquered every boxer of Mexican heritage that has been put in front of him. Jesus Chavez, who was 29 at the time that Mayweather upended him for the WBC junior lightweight title, and Castillo, who was 28 when Mayweather twice defeated him for the WBC lightweight title.

Mayweather also defeated Genaro Hernandez for the WBC junior lightweight title; Hernandez retired from boxing after the loss. Mayweather fought Juan Manuel Marquez and dominated him en route to a 12-round decision. He also edged De La Hoya for the WBC 154-pound title, while breaking the pay-per-view record in the history of the sport.

But none of Mayweather's earlier opponents had the youth, punching power and granite chin that Canelo possesses. Plus, Canelo is naturally bigger than Mayweather and could enter the ring with a 20-pound weight advantage.

Mayweather, who typically campaigns at 147 pounds, chose the bigger Canelo and will fight him at a catch weight of 152 pounds for the second fight in his new contract with SHOWTIME Networks, Inc., and its parent company, CBS Corporation. It certainly makes for an intriguing match, and anything but a gimme for “Money.”

Canelo said he has visualized how he will fight Mayweather, but he knows that whatever his plan is, it must have flexibility.

“Floyd is a different kind of fighter and this is a different kind of fight,” Canelo said. “For every fight there's a game plan. But that game plan can go out the window in the first round. So you have to have a Plan B and a Plan C. And that is what we'll work on.”

The conventional wisdom is that Canelo is too inexperienced to defeat the ring-savvy Mayweather, but Canelo points out that he has been fighting professionally since he was 15 years old and most of those 43 fights on his resume (42-0-1, 30 KO's) were not against low caliber fighters. He has triumphed impressively against former undisputed welterweight champion Carlos Baldomir, future Hall of Famer Shane Mosley, Matthew Hatton, Kermit Cintron and former WBA junior middleweight champion Austin Trout.

Canelo put on a dazzling boxing display against Trout, who was coming off a shocking upset over Miguel Cotto. It was the type of victory that made Mayweather take notice. It also stamped Canelo as more than ready to seriously challenge Mayweather.

“I'm fighting the best. This is my chance to beat the best,'' Canelo said. “It's a chance to go down in history as the first guy to beat Floyd Mayweather.”

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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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