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Ward Looks To Extend 16 Year Winning Streak

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Andre Ward Fight Week Quotes

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – November 14, 2013 – WBA and Ring Magazine Super Middleweight World Champion Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (Oakland, Calif.) is just 48 hours away from his return to the ring, and he's locked and loaded for his first fight of 2013. Ward will face off with undefeated contender Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez in a super middleweight title bout on Saturday night at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif., and live on HBO World Championship Boxing.

The 29-year-old is excited to finally return to the ring after a 14-month layoff and he shared his thoughts on a variety of subjects over the past couple of days as he finalizes preparation for Saturday's showdown.

On his 16-year winning streak:

“I love to compete. I love to win and it's just as simple as that. There are no simple formulas. God blessed me with the talent. I take my job very seriously and I think that's a major thing that's benefitted me in the ring. When I get in there, I just love to compete.”

On his training camp for Edwin Rodriguez:

“You know you had a good training camp when you're happy it's over. That's when you know you had a thorough training camp, when you've made every single day count and that's what we did. I'm happy training camp is over. I'm excited to showcase that and remind people who the super middleweight champ is.”

On the layoff:

“It's very difficult. You never want to be off. You never want to be on the sidelines, especially against your will. The silver lining is that I've been in this sport 20 years. I'm a max effort type person when I train and prepare so I think my body thanked me for it. My body got a chance to relax from the combat, even though I was still working. That was the silver lining. It's very difficult, but it's my story.”

“I'm not worried about the 14-month layoff. I'm excited to get back. I'm sharp. I'm ready. I'm going to be better than ever. Like Floyd Mayweather said, 'We've been here before. This is not my first rodeo.'”

On Edwin Rodriguez:

“His greatest strength is his eagerness and his willingness to fight, but that's also going to be his downfall. He doesn't always mind his defense and I think he's falling in to the same trap that a lot of guys fall in to with me. The perception from a distance is, 'Oh, we're gonna walk through this guy.' His mindset is going to be, 'I'm going to blow this guy out.' He's going to find out that it's a little bit different then what it looks like on the outside.”

On his pre-existing shoulder injury:

“I injured it in amateur fight when I was 12 or 13-years-old and we just built up the muscles around it. Now that it's fixed, I have a lot more pop in this arm and I'm excited about it. I'm excited to showcase it on Saturday. Even though it was a rough road back. I look it like it was a positive to get that fixed finally.”

On the fight: 

“I let these guys do all the talking for this fight. This is his first time at this level when he has cameras in his face, doing more interviews than he's ever done before. I let him and his coach do all the talking. They've been doing a lot of talking and I've been working. I've been grinding so come Saturday night, we're gonna talk. I'm going to be locked in.”

“Once again, they misread the scouting report. They think they're going to bully me, push me back and, 'we're going to make him fight.' I've been through my ups and downs in the ring. I've been dropped and have been able to get up and battle back. I've been buzzed in a fight. I've been cut in a fight. The question is – has he?”

“For some reason when you're dominant for a certain period of time, people think you haven't been tested. People think you haven't gone through anything. I'm locked in, I take this sport real seriously and he's going to find that out come Saturday night.”

About: “Ward vs. Rodriguez – The Return''

2004 U.S. Olympic gold medalist and WBA and Ring Magazine Super Middleweight World Champion Andre “S.O.G.” Ward makes his highly anticipated return to the ring defending his WBA and Ring Magazine Super Middleweight title against Edwin Rodriguez on Saturday, November 16 at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif. Following slightly more than a year absence from the ring due to injury, Ward (26-0, 13 KOs) will put his world titles on the line against the undefeated Rodriguez (24-0, 16 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round World Championship main event, which will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 10:00 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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