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Mauricio Herrera Beats Miguel Angel Huerta in Ontario, CA

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ONTARIO, CALIF-Junior welterweight contender Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera defused the always dangerous Miguel Angel Huerta, who was returning to the ring after a nearly five-year absence on Friday.

Herrera used his skill to keep on top.

A crowd of 1,000 at the Doubletree Hotel saw Riverside’s Herrera (20-3, 7 Kos) deftly avoid the punishing left hand of Huerta (27-11-1, 18 Kos), who was last seen fighting Mike Alvarado in 2008. Time eroded some of Huerta’s speed but his chin stood up to Herrera’s attack.

Herrera had the speed advantage from the opening bell but entered the fight on the safe side. He wasn’t sure if Huerta would fight southpaw or if he would come at him more quickly than the last time he was in a boxing ring.

The Riverside boxer didn’t run around the ring, nor did he wait too long for Huerta to attack. Herrera calmly poured his precise and short combinations to the head and body. And when there was a lull, that stiff jab to the body and head kept the points coming. Huerta was always moving in, but couldn’t match Herrera’s speed.

Though Huerta couldn’t find Herrera’s head he slipped some body shots in, but nothing was heavy enough to cause damage. In the third round a crisp one-two counter by Herrera snapped Huerta’s head back and seemed to stall his forward motion. Herrera poured on combinations but the veteran Huerta was able to survive any damage.

It was carbon copy Friday as Herrera kept the combos coming and expertly controlled Huerta’s movements while hitting and moving out of harm’s way. After eight rounds all three judges scored it for Herrera 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74.

Other bouts

Southpaw Giovanni Santillan (10-0, 6 Kos) looked solid in beating Mexico’s Angel Martinez (13-5, 9 Kos) by knockout in a their junior welterweight encounter. Santillan wasted no time in knocking down Martinez with a right hook in the first round. Martinez tried to find answers but Santillan was too strong, too quick and too smart for any tricks. Two knockdowns in round four began the end for Martinez. Referee David Denkin stopped the one-sided round at 1:16 of round four to give Santillan another knockout win.

Joaquin Chavez (6-9-2, 2 Kos) continues to improve and out-fought Chula Vista’s Anthjony Arellano (6-2-1, 2 Kos) after six rounds in a lightweight contest. Chavez, who fights out of the famous Commerce Boxing club, showed again that he has the tools to make people forget his record with a solid victory over a good fighter. Chavez’s punches were crisper and harder in convincing the judges he was the winner by majority decision.

Smiling Neeco Macias (1-0) won his pro debut by unanimous decision over Riverside’s Francisco Ramirez (0-1) after four rounds of a welterweight bout. Tehachipi’s Macias was non-stop in his attack and Ramirez tried to match him, but couldn’t. It was pure guts that kept Ramirez on his feet. His legs were gone midway through the first round. Macias never stopped smiling from the climb into the ring until he departed.

Colombia’s Cesar Villarraga (1-0) won his pro debut by knockout against fellow rookie Sopaun Rin (0-1) of Chino at nine seconds of round four in a junior lightweight match. Villarraga is a Colombian Olympian recently signed by Thompson Promotions. The lanky fighter was sent to the canvas in the opening round but rallied to dominate the fight before the knockout.

Watsonville’s Jonathan Garcia (12-0, 10 Kos) blasted Puerto Rico’s Chris Rivera (5-14-1, 4 Kos) with a counter right in 37 seconds of round two. From the opening bell it was evident that the taller Garcia could also hammer with that right.

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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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