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DiBella Promoting Last Ever Boxing Show At Roseland

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New York, NY (1/10/14) – After the most successful and entertaining year in the series' 11+ year existence, DiBella Entertainment will kick of the 2014 season of Broadway Boxing with the final boxing card ever to take place at NYC's famed Roseland Ballroom, with an event titled “The Last Dance”. Having promoted a number of cards at the venue over the years, the historic ballroom will be closing its doors in April after more than 50 years of operation at its current location.

Featured bouts on the Feb. 12 card will see New York fan-favorites Heather “The Heat” Hardy, an undefeated super bantamweight (7-0, 2KO's), and West Point graduate junior middleweight Boyd “The Rainmaker” Melson (13-1-1, 4KO's) in separate eight-round bouts. An opponent for Hardy will be announced shortly while Melson is set to go toe-to-toe against Mike Ruiz (17-8, 9KO's) in what promises to be an all-action affair.

“I am sad that Roseland is closing and that this is the last boxing card we will ever promote there. 'The Last Dance' will not only be a celebration of New York boxing, but a celebration of a legendary hall. This boxing card will help say goodbye to Roseland in style,” stated promoter Lou DiBella.

The popular Melson has gained national exposure and was featured on HBO's Real Sports last year for his involvement with Team Fight to Walkand the Just a Dollar Please organization. Melson has helped to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Spinal Cord research through his effort, which includes donating his entire purse from each fight. With an exciting come-forward style, Melson's efforts in and out of the ring have seen him continuously pack venues every time he climbs through the ropes. Melson is hoping to move into more significant fights in 2014, but he must first get past the battle-tested Ruiz on February 12.

Like Melson, Ruiz has fought primarily in New York. Ruiz, a Puerto Rican-native now living and training in Queens, has seen his career take a number of ups and downs, which included starting off 0-2 before putting together a string of eight straight victories. Ruiz is 9-4 in his last 13 and was coming off back-to-back stoppage victories prior to dropping a razor-thin eight-round majority decision in an absolute war last time out to world-rated contender Charlie Ohta (24-1-1, 16KO's, WBO #4, WBC #9 & IBF #11). A win over the once-beaten Melson will put Ruiz' career back on track and set him up for much bigger opportunities in the talented junior middleweight division.

Ever since she turned pro in August 2012, Hardy's stardom has continued to rise. Hardy, a NY Golden Gloves champion, signed an exclusive long-term promotional contract with DBE last year and has quickly become one of the main boxing attractions in all of New York. Each time she has stepped into the ring, she has thrilled her adoring and growing fan-base with her exciting and relentless come-forward style. Hardy is coming off back-to-back stoppage victories, with the latter earning her the vacant Universal Boxing Federation International female super bantamweight title. Hardy is looking to continue moving up the world rankings in 2014 and hopes to challenge for her first world championship sometime before the end of the year.

Additional bouts featuring many of the most talented and promising young prospects on the DBE roster will be announced soon.

The card is promoted by DiBella Entertainment and is sponsored by Manfredi Auto Group and Everlast. SNY will broadcast the event tape-delayed. Tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased by calling (212) 947-2577. Tickets are priced at $125, $85, $65 and $45. VIP tables, holding eight seats, are also available for $150 per seat. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. ET with the first bout scheduled for 6:45 p.m. ET. Bouts are subject to change.

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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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