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Cuba’s Mike Perez Dedicating Fight to Magomed



Mike Perez - 28de1

Cuba’s Mike Perez burst into American consciousness with a televised war against heavyweight Magomed Abdusalamov. For 10 rabid rounds last November 2, they pounded each other with equal zeal and aspirations.

But Russia’s talented Abdusalamov was taken to the hospital with serious head injuries after the brutal affair.

“When I got told what happened that was sad,” said Perez, 28. “I want to dedicate this fight to Magomed.”

The former Cuban heavyweight amateur star Perez (20-0, 12 Kos) knows he can’t afford to waste time and agreed to a match against Carlos Takam (29-1, 23 Kos). The heavyweights clash on Saturday, Jan. 18 in Montreal, Canada.

HBO will televise.

Perez has persevered through years of work and grind under the Cuban sports program that discovered him as a youngster. All of those days training under the amateur system polished him into a fighting machine, but not their kind of fighting machine.

“I like to throw punches,” said Perez, adding that knockouts are his preferred method of winning. “When I was in Cuba they would try to make me box more.”

During one of the amateur world championship tournaments Perez was left off of the team because the coaches did not like his willingness to stand and trade. They wanted him to move around the ring.

“That made me mad,” said Perez, who decided to bolt the team and the country in pursuit of his dreams of being a world champion. “I tried three times to leave.”

Twice Perez was jailed for attempting to defect from Cuba. In his last failure he spent more than 30 days behind bars. It didn’t dissuade the heavyweight. Finally, he boarded a boat with fellow Cubans and landed in Cancun, Mexico.

The next stop for Perez would be Ireland where he spent nearly six years fighting professionally. It was an eye-opening change for the Cuban who had to adapt to the cold, the food and quickly learn to speak English.

“Nobody speaks Spanish over there,” Perez said of Ireland.

Perez now has a family of three in the Emerald isle and doesn’t plan to leave. But when it comes to fighting, his management team decided to sign a promotion contract with K2 Promotions. That has led to moving training camp to Big Bear Lake, Calif. So far it’s been a pleasant change for the Cuban heavyweight.

“I love it here,” said Perez, who now can converse in his native Spanish in the mountain resort. “It’s very peaceful.”

Things were going smoothly. Even his fight with Abdusalamov was proving to be the kind of fight Perez prefers. They exchanged bombs and both proved tenacious and willing. But one hit too many ended in the Russian fighter enduring serious injury. Now Abdusalamov is in a New York rehab facility and under strict supervision. Perez and the boxing world are praying for his full recovery.

Perez is giving a portion of his purse to help his former foe’s hospital costs. K2 Promotions is also contributing.

Title hopes

The heavyweight from Ciego de Avila, Cuba, wants more than ever to become a world champion.

“I want to be the best and to fight the best,” said Perez.

Abel Sanchez, who trains Perez and also middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, said the transition from amateur star to pro heavyweight has been easy because of the Cuban heavyweights already aggressive style.

“He takes to advice and instructions like a sponge,” said Sanchez. “He has a crowd pleasing style.”

Tom Loeffler, the K2 promoter, said that their hard-charging heavyweight has no hesitation in fighting anyone put in front of him.

“What you see with Mike is his career had stalled a little bit when he was in Ireland. He’s anxious just like Gennady when we signed him to a promotions contract,” Loeffler said. “These guys are eager to fight.”

Perez has no preference about who he fights or what style is presented in front of him.

“I do what I do best, that’s fight,” said Perez. “They have to worry about me.”

Helping Abdusalamov

K2 Promotions said a web site is available where fans can help Abdusalamov’s family with hospital costs and other concerns.  For more information on how to help Magomed Abdusalamov go to: .



2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura



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



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



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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