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More on Nevada’s Advance PED Tests for Bradley-Marquez

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Executive Director Keith Kizer of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) says the state’s first run at employing an advanced anti-doping testing program for a professional boxing event was a success.

“Much praise to SMRTL and its representatives,” Kizer said.

SMRTL, or the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory, is one of only two labs in the United States accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to conduct human doping control sample analyses. There are currently 32 WADA accredited labs around the world. As first reported by TSS, the NSAC contracted SMRTL to conduct the advanced testing program for the October 12th Timothy Bradley vs. Juan Manuel Marquez bout at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Bradley defeated Marquez by split decision in the fight, 113-115, 115-113 and 115-112. The fight was aired on HBO PPV.

Kizer said each fighter was randomly tested four times (both blood and urine) during the NSAC program, and that Carbon Isotope Radiation (CIR) screening to detect the use of synthetic testosterone was done on half of the urine samples collected. No synthetic testosterone was discovered in either fighter.

In addition, Kizer said both urine and blood passports were assembled, giving the lab full-scale biological passports for each fighter.

“I’m not sure this has ever been done before,” he said.

Urine and blood passports detect variances in an athlete’s established biological markers rather than testing for specific illegal substances. The tests are designed to catch users of so-called undetectable PEDs by measuring changes in the physiology of athlete.

Kizer said all tests performed during the program were the latest and greatest recommendations of WADA “and then some” and included the CIR tests and biological passports as well as more common screens for things such as anabolic agents, peptide hormones, metabolic modulators, diuretics, etc.

The tests performed included screens for Human Growth Hormone (HGH).

Moreover, Kizer said actual measurements of testosterone to epitestosterone (T/E) ratios were captured for each sample, and that neither fighter’s T/E ratio was over 1.1:1 at any time. For reference, 4:1 is the acceptable T/E ratio according to WADA.

The PED testing issue between the Bradley and Marquez camps was a hot topic right from the start. The bout was previously considered in jeopardy due to preferences in both camps for different anti-doping programs.

Marquez reportedly preferred using the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) program, which also administers tests for U.S. Olympic athletes, while Bradley preferred using the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) program, a group founded by ringside expert Dr. Margaret Goodman and considered in some fight circles to be the most advanced of its kind.

As a compromise, advanced PED testing for the bout was paid for by Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions and handled by the NSAC.

Previously, Kizer would not relate any more specifics about the advanced testing program being administered through the NSAC and conducted by SMRTL other than to say “any and all tests” were possible.

“Obviously, I’m not going to give any details while the testing is on-going,” said Kizer back in August after the tests began. “I’ll be happy to discuss in detail after October 12.”

Kizer said he did not believe PED testing programs should be discussed in detail until after the program has ended.

“It is not uncommon to not talk too specifically about on-going testing,” Kizer answered. “It could affect the efficiency of the testing, and it is not fair to the athletes being tested.”

In addition to being tested by the NSAC, Bradley also re-enrolled in a VADA program through October 12.

Information provided by the Marquez camp as well as USADA confirmed their fighter could not enroll in a similar standalone testing program with their preferred provider because USADA would not conduct a testing program while another organization (other than the boxing commission) was testing one or both fighters.

In total, each fighter submitted four urine tests and four blood samples under the NSAC program, and no abnormalities were found. When asked how the program compares to those administered by USADA and VADA, Kizer declined to comment.

“I will leave that to you,” he said.

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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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