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Josesito Lopez Gets W in Indio

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INDIO, CALIF.-Nothing comes easy for Josesito “Riverside Rocky” Lopez who got off the deck to win by technical decision against “Mighty” Mike Arnaoutis after eight rounds on Friday.

Lopez (31-6, 18 Kos) needed someone to prepare for a rematch with Victor Ortiz, but no one told Arnaoutis (24-10-1), who floored the Riverside welterweight with a short perfectly timed left cross before a stunned audience at Fantasy Springs Casino. But the flash knockdown only seemed to inject renewed vigor into Lopez.

“Tonight wasn’t my A-game but I worked through it and I got a tough win,” said Lopez, who had lost two consecutive fights. “It was hard to develop a rhythm against a southpaw but I found a way to win.”

Lopez was caught in between steps with a crisp left and was dropped in round three. It didn’t look good as Arnaoutis seemed to be a step ahead of the Riverside fighter for the first four rounds of the welterweight bout set for 10 rounds.

Slowly Lopez began to get into a rhythm, especially with the short right leads that penetrated Arnaoutis’ guard repeatedly. Then Lopez drilled some rights to the body and left hooks back to the head and the momentum began to shift to the California boxer.

Lopez had his best round in the seventh as he was able to defend against Arnaoutis’ power shots and return with well-placed combinations. During two exchanges the two boxers clashed heads and Arnaoutis emerged with a gash along his left eye. Blood streamed down his cheek as Lopez attacked with more combos.

After the eighth round, Lopez was able to land more combos as blood continued to flow from Arnaoutis. The ringside physician advised that the fight be stopped and because of the accidental clash of heads the fight ended in a technical decision. Lopez was declared the winner 77-74 on two cards and 76-75 on a third.

Mexico City’s Francisco “El Bandido” Vargas (18-0-1, 14 Kos) did his job in defeating Jerry “Shark Boy” Belmontes (18-3) by unanimous decision after 10 rounds of a junior lightweight showdown. There were no knockdowns as Belmontes showed decent defense but no offense. All three scores were 100-89 for Vargas, who picks up at the NABF and WBO Intercontinental title.

Jermall Charlo (17-0, 13 Kos) cracked the right hand often to stop Joseph De Los Santos (16-13-3) in the fifth round of their middleweight contest. Charlo floored De Los Santos in round three and four and was in control all four rounds.

South El Monte’s Jojo Diaz (9-1, 5 Kos), a former US Olympian, gave Mexico’s Carlos Rodriguez a pounding for seven straight rounds until referee Raul Caiz Jr. ended the one-sided fight at 1:13 of round seven. Diaz was deadly accurate and though he never dropped Rodriguez, he was basically picking the sturdy fighter apart.

Former U.S. Olympian Errol Spence Jr. (10-0, 8 Kos) ripped a left to the body of Mexico’s Gerardo Cuevas (16-11, 14 Kos) and that was that. Though he made it until the end of round one the son of the great Pipino Cuevas surrendered in his corner.

Diego De La Hoya (2-0, 2 Kos) scorched Abraham “The Sushi Killer” Rubio (3-3-1) with lightning blows that seemed indefensible and pretty damaging. The first cousin of Oscar De La Hoya was rather patient in firing combinations while tucking in his chin. In and out he fired and occasionally pumped a jab that snapped Rubio’s head back a couple of times. Once De La Hoya got into a rhythm it was pretty much over as six blows all seemed to connect. The helpless Rubio never was dropped but referee Pat Russell was smart in stopping the overwhelming attack. De La Hoya was even too quick for the ref as he busted Rubio with one more before action ended at 2:33 of the first round for a knockout.

After a horrible first round and a mix of mostly bad eight more rounds Oxnard’s Hugo Centeno (20-0, 11 Kos) knocked Coachella’s Angel Osuna (11-4-1, 7 Kos) out of the ring to win by knockout in the 10th and final round of their middleweight clash. Centeno was knocked down in round seven in was probably behind on the score cards when he fired a four-punch combination that sent Osuna through the ropes and on the press table. He got back into the ring and beat the count but was still on wobbly legs. Referee Raul Caiz Jr. stopped the fight at 52 seconds of the final round. Osuna was taken out of the ring in a stretcher still groggy.

Kevin Watts (3-0) took a little over one round to zero into Alexander Arteaga (3-8) and stop him at 1:26 of round two in a welterweight contest. Watts fights out of Los Angeles.

Stephan “St. Louis” Shaw (1-0) needed only 47 seconds to knock down Jose Hermosillo (0-2) twice and win by knockout in the first round of a heavyweight fight. It was Shaw’s pro debut.

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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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