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Jonathan Arrellano-Rico Ramos Runs on ESPN2

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RIVERSIDE, CALIF.—Jonathan Arrellano rebounded from back-to-back losses and now looks dead ahead with the intensity and focus of a laser-guided crossbow.

What’s the difference?

“My mentality has completely changed,” said Arrellano. “I know boxing is a sport, but now my mentality is to destroy.”

Arrellano (14-2-2, 3 Kos) has another tough challenge when he faces former WBA junior featherweight titlist Rico Ramos (22-3, 12 Kos) on Friday, Jan. 24, at Little Creek Casino Resort, in Shelton, Wash. ESPN2 will televise the featherweight clash.

It’s not the first time the two Southern Californians have met in the boxing ring. Years ago, they met as amateurs.

“We fought as amateurs. I was 15 or 16 years old,” said Arrellano, after training in the hillside gym in Riverside. “I beat him. Rico is quick but I think we’ve already seen the best of Rico.”

Ramos showed in his last fight that even while falling far behind on the score cards he’s capable of winning a fight by knockout. When he fought Carlos Velasquez and Akifumi Shimoda he was able to crack that wicked left hook to end the fight suddenly.

It doesn’t worry Arrellano.

“I’ve never honestly been astounded with his power,” said Arrellano, who has fought other power-wielding junior featherweights and featherweights. “When I go up against a great fighter I step up my game to that same caliber.”

For all intents and purposes it’s the most important prizefight of Arrellano’s career.

“I see Rico as the world champion and nothing else,” said Arrellano, whose trainer is Henry Ramirez, who also trains Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola among others. “Rico has a style that turns me into a dangerous fighter.”

Josesito Lopez, the welterweight contender and stable mate of Arrellano, says that it’s a winnable fight for his comrade.

“Jonathan has to beat him to the punch,” said Lopez, who has several high profile fights in his resume. “He needs to be throw more punches than Rico.”

In Arrellano’s last bout he defeated another Southern Californian in Charles Huerta. It was a crossroads fight that would have spelled the end of the Ontario-based boxer had he lost. Instead, he’s fighting Ramos on television in yet another crossroads battle.

“I’ve got to put smart pressure on him,” Arrellano says.

Other fight chatter

Undefeated junior welterweight contender Antonio Orozco (18-0, 14 Kos) meets former world title challenger Miguel Angel Huerta (27-11-1, 18 Kos) of Mexico on Friday, Jan. 24, at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio. “What we know about Miguel Angel Huerta is he’s going to come to fight. We know he’s an experienced fighter and he’s been in the ring against the best and knows how to fight,” said San Diego’s Orozco. Also on the fight card will be East L.A.’s Julian Ramirez, Cornelius Bundrage and former Olympic heavyweight medalist Dominic Breazeale. For more information call (800) 827-2946.

IBF junior welterweight world titlist Lamont Peterson (31-2-1, 16 Kos) defends against Canada’s undefeated Dierry Jean (25-0, 17 Kos) on Saturday, Jan. 25, in Washington D.C. Also, undefeated Jermell Charlo (22-0, 11 Kos) gets a stiff junior middleweight test against Gabriel Rosado (21-7, 13 Kos). Showtime will televise both bouts.

Former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson (19-3) fights Josh “The Punk” Thomson (20-5) in a mixed martial arts battle on Sat., Jan. 25, in Chicago, Illinois. Also on the MMA card heavyweights Stipe Miocic (10-1) meets Gabriel Gonzaga (16-7) and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (21-6) battles Adriano Martins (25-6) in a lightweight clash.

Ukraine’s Ivan Redkach (16-0, 13 Kos) defeated Canada’s Tony Luis (17-2, 7 Kos) by unanimous decision in a lightweight clash held in Memphis, Tenn. on Friday. Luis was knocked down in the first round by the left-handed Redkach, who trains in Los Angeles.

WBO cruiserweight titlist Marco Huck (36-2-1, 25 Kos) defends against Firat Arslan (33-6-2, 21 Kos) on Saturday Jan. 25, in Stuttgart, Germany. This is a rematch between the two German cruiserweights. Huck defeated Arslan by unanimous decision in a close fight in November 2012.

Keisher McLeod-Wells (7-2) captured the WIBA flyweight world title by unanimous decision over Monica Flores (3-2) on Saturday in Long Island, New York. The much taller McLeod, who fights out of New York, was able to use her long reach to out-point Flores of Texas.

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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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