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HOPKINS: “Murat Hoping I Got Old in the Gym”

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BERNARD HOPKINS VS. KARO MURAT FIGHTER MEDIA ROUNDTABLE QUOTES AND PHOTOS

Atlantic City, NJ (Oct. 24, 2013) – The six fighters that will be featured on the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast this Saturday night gathered with media members at Caesars Atlantic City to discuss their respective matchups. Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins, Karo Murat, Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin, “King”Gabriel Rosado, Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder and Nicolai Firtha answered questions candidly about the in-ring challenges taking place at Boardwalk Hall on Saturday night.

Below please find quick-hitting quotes from each fighter.

Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins, IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion

“Coming to Atlantic City brings out a lot of emotions in me. To be back here, healthy with a legacy and doing historic things is a blessing.

“I am motivated by being in a place where it all began. There is extra energy for me to give serious beat downs here.

“Karo Murat is hoping, like others before him, that he is lucky enough that I got old in the gym.

“There’s no magic spell that hits you over the head that says, ‘You’re old.’

“As far as I’m concerned, old to me is not old to the average person. What is old?

“I’m getting the interest on the investment I have made in my personal life.

“I’m not just fighting Karo Murat. I’m fighting politics. I made a 360-degree turn. I’m back in Atlantic City. I’ve been here a few times. You hear Hopkins and Mayweather. You hear Hopkins fighting other light heavyweights. People want to put a time frame on what you’re supposed to be doing.

“I remember everything about the Clinton Mitchell fight [Hopkins’ professional debut]…I remember I lost.

“How many urban stories have ended up like mine? How I have been disciplined in the gym and in business.

“Some people might get tired of hearing me talk, but not the young ones, the young boxers. I can tell they don’t get tired of hearing me talk to them.

“My fight [Saturday night] is another page of my legacy. We want people to think this is a tough fight, but it’s a fight that is going to lead to bigger things.”

Karo Murat, Top Light Heavyweight Contender

“I had a lot of practice in Germany and in many of my other fights. This is a fight against a legend, but I can handle it.

“I think it is a sign from God that I am here to end Bernard’s career. He is an old man and needs to stop now.

“I know that I don’t have to knock Bernard out in order to get a fair decision in America.

“I don’t have a strategy. I will see during the fight what I can do to beat Hopkins.

“The biggest crowd I have fought in front of was 6,000 people.”

Peter Quillin, WBO Middleweight World Champion

“Sometimes you work so hard you surprise yourself, but it’s not for you to be over confident. You have to continue to work hard.

“It’s important not to look ahead and to stay present and focus on the now.

“I look at myself like a more polished champion because I wouldn’t be here if God didn’t want me to be.

“I learned early in my career that every fighter has small window to make money and you need to make sure to save your money, pay your taxes and set yourself up for the future.

“Rosado is still trying to find himself out. He lost already; he took some bumps in roads with losses.

“Nothing that Rosado does in the ring is going to be good enough.

“When I get in the ring my trunks are my office suit. Outside of the ring I have the business suit on.

“I want to challenge myself to go to every level I possibly can and challenge my own records.”

“I don’t know how to speak about any other story besides establishing myself and explain myself through these [holding fists up].

“Before I fight I say to myself I’m already ready. Let me get more ready.”

Gabriel Rosado, Top Middleweight Contender

“I will fight in my back yard or in anyone’s back yard. I am comfortable fighting anywhere.

“I have a lot of people that have shown me love faithfully since the beginning, so what I do is buy 50 tickets and give them to those who have been there supporting me along the way.”

“I know I will have a lot of opportunities to take advantage of Quillin in the ring because not only did I study him in his past fight but I also studied my past fight and looked for ways to improve my fight.

“Without a doubt I have fought the bigger names like Soto-Karass and Kassim Ouma.

I have the better names on my record.

“It’s going to be a great fight …Its about who is the smarter guy.”

“I feel really great about this camp and sparred with three guys that weighed 190 lbs. My strength and conditioning coach [Jason Sargus] are working together again and I feel really strong and prepared.

“I think if I would have had everything along the way handed to me on a silver platter, I wouldn’t be here. The route that I took makes me what I am today. I am a lot more mature now. I am turning 28 years old and I feel that mentally I am at a stage that I have never been at in my career. I want to be a world champion

[On his personal life and his career] “The adversity I went through would break most men but it made me better.”

“Kid Chocolate has been on my mind for a while. I have never called him out because I wanted it to play out naturally and get the fight.

“I am fighting Kid Chocolate because I want this fight. I expect him to bring his A-game. I am ready for his fight.”

Deontay Wilder, WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Champion

“I know that Firtha doesn’t move his head and that’s a dangerous thing to do, especially in the heavyweight division and with a puncher like me. To his credit, when he comes he comes to fight.

“I can take this opportunity as a blessing or be scared and be a participant like my opponents have done. But I fear no man. I only fear God.

“If he goes hard, I will go harder.

“If I am fighting for another person than that makes me fight harder. I don’t want to let that person down. I don’t like that feeling of letting anybody down.”

Nicolai Firtha, Heavyweight Contender

“Before you compete against the best, you don’t know if you can beat them. You don’t know until you actually fight them.

“I want my abilities, tools and skills to speak for me. Not only can I fight the best, but I can beat the best.

“I don’t take his [Wilder’s] record lightly at all. He has done what he has to do in serious fashion.

“I will have a very serious problem dealing with Deontay’s power if I stand there in his way to be hit.

“My trainer tells me to use my good jab and my movement to my advantage.”

# # #

Hopkins vs. Murat is a 12-round bout for Hopkins’ IBF Light Heavyweight World Championship, presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Caesars Atlantic City and sponsored by Corona and AT&T. In the co-main event WBO Middleweight Champion Peter Quillin puts his title on the line against Gabriel Rosado in a 12-round bout. Plus, opening the tripleheader, WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder will face Nicolai Firtha in a 10-round showdown. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins live at 9 p.m. ET/PT and is available in Spanish on secondary audio programming (SAP). Preliminary bouts will air live on SHOWTIME EXTREME® beginning at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

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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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