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Antonio Orozco Overcomes Bad Juju At Fantasy Springs

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Antonio Orozco delivers the blow ffc09INDIO, CA.—Maybe there’s bad juju for Antonio Orozco at Fantasy Springs.

Orozco entered the ring against Mexico City’s Miguel Angel Huerta in a junior welterweight showdown and barely survived the first round at the Indian casino…again. But he emerged with a knockout win.

San Diego’s Orozco (19-0, 15 Kos; seen smashing Huerta in Ray Flores photo) faced a former world title challenger with power in Huerta (27-12-1, 18 Kos) and was nearly capsized by the veteran in the first three minutes of the televised Golden Boy Promotions fight card. Two and a half years ago he was floored in the same venue but rallied with a knockout win.

Huerta was all business when he entered the ring. For the first two minutes of the fight you could easily see he was studying the movements and timing of the younger fighter. Finally, when Orozco let go with a right hand, Huerta used that opening to launch a wicked left hook that staggered the undefeated boxer from San Diego. But the younger boxer managed to make it to the second round after some shaky moments.

Many in the crowd were buzzing during the intermission. Orozco was building up steam.

“What can I say? He caught me good and he hits hard,” said Orozco, 26. “The opportunity to think goes out the window. But I decided to come out hard and I managed to finish him.”

Orozco bolted from his stool like a charging rhino and engaged Huerta with a two fisted attack. A sharp left hook caught Huerta flush and down he went in a heap. As he got to his knees he looked pretty beaten. But he surprisingly beat the count. Orozco did not want to let him regain his senses so he pummeled the Mexico City fighter with more than three dozen blows. Referee Pat Russell saw enough and stopped the fight with Huerta on his feet at 1:19 of round two.

“He’s a very strong fighter,” said Orozco, who now has a stronger footing in the talented junior welterweight division.

Other bouts

East L.A. boxer Julian Ramirez (10-0, 6 Kos) knocked down the dangerous Derrick Wilson (10-6-2, 3 Kos) twice to win by a comfortable margin after eight rounds in a junior featherweight contest. Straight lefts did the job for Ramirez who floored Wilson in the first round with lefts to the body and head. In round seven a one-two sent Wilson down again but the fighter survived for all eight rounds. The scores were 79-71 and 78-72 twice for Ramirez, who is managed by Joel De La Hoya. “I gave myself a C because I didn’t finish him off when I knocked him down,” said Ramirez, 20. “But he told me he trained the hardest for this fight so that proved to me I beat him at his best.”

Former U.S. heavyweight Olympian Dominic Breazeale (9-0, 7 Kos) withstood a head on attack by the barrel-chested Homer Fonseca (10-7-3, 6 Kos) in the first round and eventually won by technical knockout. The smaller 300-pound Fonseca used those shorter arms to wing some big blows against the much taller Breazeale. But after the fast start Fonseca wore down and Breazeale was able to blast away. Both heavyweights absorbed big blows but neither was knocked down. Finally, after visibly tiring, Fonseca could not continue after the third round to give Breazeale the win by technical knockout. Fonseca fights out of Texas and Breazeale lives in Rancho Cucamonga.

Former world champion Cornelius Bundrage (33-5, 19 Kos) was accidentally butted several times against southpaw Joey Hernandez (23-2-1, 13 Kos) of Miami, but still managed to win by unanimous decision after 12 rounds in the junior middleweight fight. Detroit’s Bundrage won the right to fight for the IBF title with the victory. He will now face the winner between current IBF champion Carlos Molina and Jermell Charlo who fight on March 8, in Las Vegas.

Santiago Guevara (6-0, 3 Kos) of L.A. attacked hard early against Rocco Espinoza (4-8) of Las Vegas to win by split decision in a junior lightweight rumble. Guevara scored early but after the first round, things changed. Espinoza seemed to be the busier more effective boxer. Only one judge ruled in Espinoza’s favor.

Kevin Watts (4-0, 2 Kos) of Lancaster used sharp punching and a knockdown to defeat Julian Cruz (1-4) by unanimous decision after four rounds. Watts used a right hand to send Cruz to the canvas but could not finish off the boxer from Acapulco.

Tevin Watts (1-0-1) of Lancaster and Gus Lopez (0-1-1) of King City, Calif. fought to a majority draw after a four-round junior middleweight clash. It was an even scrap with both landing good blows but unable to hurt the other. One judge scored it 39-37 for Watts but the other two saw it 38-38.

Santa Ana’s Jesus Delgado won his pro debut by unanimous decision against Kirk Bills (0-1) of Las Vegas after four rounds in a welterweight match. Delgado was able to land the heavier and more effective blows against Bills, who walked in the ring with former champion Zab Judah.

L.A.’s Manny Robles Jr. (5-0, 2 Kos) won a tense and close six round featherweight contest against Oxnard’s Ricky Lopez (10-3, 4 Kos). Robles is managed by Al Haymon.

Former football star Gerald “Gallo Negro” Washington (11-0, 8 Kos) was engaged in a slow methodical heavyweight bout with Arron Lyons (12-15-1) through four mostly uneventful rounds. But in the fifth stanza, the Mexican-born linebacker from USC blitzed Lyons with about 12 consecutive right hand blockbusters. Referee Pat Russell decided he had seen enough and stopped the bludgeoning at 50 seconds of the round.

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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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