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“Being MIke Tyson” Not Just About Boxing

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Being Mike Tyson

Isn't Just About Boxing

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (September 18, 2013) — Since the much-anticipated launching of Iron Mike Productions last month, Hall of Famer and living legend “Iron” Mike Tyson has had a string of major media appearances, granting interviews to Fox Sports Live, Extra, the Today Show, and Conan O'Brien, where he spoke about his upcoming show, “Being Mike Tyson,” as well as the current state of boxing. His recent return to the ring as a boxing promoter with Iron Mike Productions has also given him a lot to talk about, like the National Football League and which teams he believes are heading to the Super Bowl.

Most boxing fans also enjoy watching football because of the inherent action and physicality of the two sports. They may remember the stencil art done by artist Joe Lurato a few years back of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady for a segment titled, “Quarterbacks of the Decade.” Lurato's artwork has been featured on NFL broadcasts and Tyson has kept his eyes out for it because, in addition to being passionate about sports, Mike and his Iron Mike Productions business partner, Garry Jonas, are also passionate about art.

“Not only is this unique artwork beautiful,” Tyson said, “it is also inspirational for our fighters as they train in the Iron Mike gym. Our goal is to give all our fighters everything they need to be their very best, physically and mentally, and this serves as another example of Iron Mike Productions' commitment to excellence on their behalf.”

Tyson and Jonas, CEO of Iron Mike Productions, immediately thought of Lurato when they were building their state-of-the-art training facility in Deerfield Beach, Florida. They commissioned both Lurato and fellow New York stencil artist, Logan Hicks, to create amazing, larger-than life wall murals to inspire and provoke their fighters, capturing the range of emotions that happen inside the ring.

“The photo-realistic images have depth and move with the eye,” Jonas explained. “They follow the fighters throughout the space, inspiring them and reminding them of why they are here and what they are training for.”

Using layers of hand-cut paper, spray paint and stencils, both artists worked round-the-clock over one weekend to create an energized series of mixed-medium murals that echo the raw dynamism of the Iron Mike gym and capture the hope, struggle and desire that are at the heart of every fighter here.

The artists deliberately incorporated elements of urban street art to make the murals both visceral and refined to directly reflect the raw, gritty talent each of the fighters started with as they work to refine their skills and transform themselves into champions.

Lurato's work has also been featured on ESPN as part of the “Art of Basketball” project, created by Billi Kid and Public Works Department, an organization that promotes street and graffiti artists and their work. Licensed by the NBA, the organization features a growing collection of NBA-themed original street artwork that tours the country. Lurato's contribution focused on the 2012 championship-winning Miami Heat.

To learn more about Joe Lurato and Logan Hicks, check out their work at joeiurato.com and loganhicks.com.

Iron Mike Productions, previously Acquinity Sports, is a boxing promotion company co-founded and led by CEO Garry Jonas. It is a partnership with Hall of Famer Mike Tyson committed to changing traditional boxing promotion by advocating for its fighters' successes inside the ring and out, throughout their professional careers and into retirement.

For additional information go online at www.IronMikeProductions.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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