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Pacquiao: “I Enter This Fight Stronger Than Ever”

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IT’S FIGHT WEEK BABY!

Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios Return to The Venetian Macao; Grand Arrivals for the Rivals Tuesday Night!

MACAU, CHINA (November 19, 2013) – Fighter of the Decade MANNY “Pacman” PACQUAO and former world champion BRANDON “Bam Bam” RIOS are back together – almost – at least in the same hotel, ensconced inside luxury suites at The Venetian Macao. Boxing’s top-two pound-for pound all-action superstars will make their Grand Arrivals – full of pomp and circumstance — Tuesday night – in Prime Time – at the Main Porte Cochere of the host resort. Rios will make his entrance, greeting his fans and meeting with dignitaries, at 9:00 p.m. local time, followed by Congressman Pacquiao at 9:30 p.m.

Upon their arrival at Macau International Airport on Monday evening, Pacquiao and Hall of Fame trainer World-Famous Freddie Roach had this to say:

MANNY PACQUIAO

“Am I confident for my fight with Rios? I am more than confident. Rios is bigger than me. Remember Goliath was bigger than David and yet David needed just one stone to fell the giant. I enter this fight stronger than ever. I have the strength of my country and my people coursing through my body. I fight for them, not for me. I fight for their glory, not mine.”

FREDDIE ROACH

“Manny’s last training session was nothing short of amazing. We were supposed to do six rounds on the mitts and I cut it off after four rounds. They were the best four rounds of mitts I have ever done with Manny. He was blazing. He was throwing the heat. This was the happiest and most productive camp I have had with Manny in years. I know I predicted that Manny would knock Rios out inside six rounds but based on our last workout, I don’t see how Rios makes it past the fourth round.”

Rios and Garcia hosted a roundtable in their suite with the first wave of international media who arrived earlier in the day.

BRANDON RIOS

“I want to feel Manny’s power. I want to feel all of it. This is the first training camp I have kept to the game plan and done everything I was told to do. Manny Pacquiao is a big step. I am going to shut everyone up and prove I am the best. The second Alvarado fight was my bad. I was focused on knocking him out and that’s how I trained and fought, throwing one shot at a time trying to land that knockout punch. It was also the first time I ever lifted weights and by the third round I was slowing down. This time I am focusing on winning — not on the knockout — and Robert and his dad have designed a lot of ways for me to do that. My body clock has finally adjusted to Macau. I slept until 7 a.m. and was in the gym before 9 a.m. I know we are in Manny’s backyard and I want to win every round. I have trained not to give up a minute to Manny Pacquiao.”

ROBERT GARCIA

“Twice during the two episodes of “24/7” I’ve heard Freddie Roach say he will ask Manny Pacquiao to retire if he loses to Brandon Rios. Well, Freddie had better buy that gold watch for Manny, because the retirement party begins on Saturday night. I guarantee you this will be the last time you ever see Manny Pacquiao on an HBO Pay-Per-View.”

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Promoted by Top Rank® and Sands China Ltd., in association with MP Promotions, Tecate, Warner Bros. Pictures “Grudge Match,” and Eva Airlines, Pacquiao vs. Rios will take place Saturday, November 23, at The Venetian® Macao’s CotaiArena™. It willbe produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®, beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.

For Pacquiao, this marks the pound-for-pound box office monarch’s first fight outside the U.S. since his 12-round super featherweight unanimous decision victory over former world champion Oscar Larios in 2006, which took place in the Philippines. Rios, one of boxing’s most exciting fighters, has only fought outside the U.S. twice, in México, winning a 10-round split decision over Ricardo Dominguez and knocking out Daniel Valenzuela in the second round in 2008 and 2009, respectively. .

HBO Sports’ groundbreaking “24/7” reality franchise, which has captured 17 Sports Emmy® Awards, is providing an all-access pass to Pacquiao vs. Rios. The final episode of “24/7: Pacquiao/Rios” debuts Thursday, Nov. 21 (10:00 p.m.), just two days before the welterweight showdown.

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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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