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RINGSIDE REPORT: Collazo Scores Stunner in BK

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luis-collazo-1120 829d5Ortiz vs. Collazo 1/30/14–With God in his corner, all things were possible for Luis Collazo on Thursday night at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

There the Brooklyn born welterweight surprised even his most loyal fans with a second round KO destruction of Victor Ortiz.The two Golden Boy fighters were the main event in a night of boxing televised by Fox Sports Network. The winner of the 12 round bout for Collazo’s WBA International title would certainly has a big fight in his future. For the loser it might be the end of the road.

Ortiz, (29-5-2, 22 KO) of Ventura, Ca, was returning to the ring after a 19 month layoff brought about by the broken jaw he suffered in his last fight against Josesito Lopez. During his break from boxing Ortiz filmed a role in The Expendables 3 action movie and dabbled in other business pursuits. Questions about his desire to be a fighter followed him throughout the fight’s buildup.

Collazo (35-5, 18 KO) came into the ring riding a three fight win streak and with aspirations for another world title shot. He credited his dedication to living a spiritual life for giving him the strength and focus needed to continue his boxing career.

The crowd cheered wildly for Collazo as the bell sounded for round one. The cheers quickly turned to boos as Ortiz used his head the first time the fighters got close to one another. Ortiz’ aggressiveness was clear from the beginning as if he was feeling the pressure to silence his doubters with a statement performance. Always the crafty boxer, Collazo stayed calm, parried Ortiz’s punches, and countered when the opportunities presented themselves.Round two started with Ortiz applying the pressure and looking to land the big shot. Collazo answered with punches of his own that were quicker and sharper. Ortiz may still have had a coat of ring rust to shed.

Near the end of the round the action intensified with both fighters trading combinations. A short right hook by Colazzo sent Ortiz stumbling and then down. He looked dazed as referee Benjy Esteves picked up the count and remained down as Esteves counted ten. The end came at 2:59 of the second round.

With the win Collazo jumps right back into the mix for a world title shot. After the fight he extended an invitation to Floyd Mayweather to come meet him in Brooklyn.

In the co-feature Eddie Gomez (16-0, 10 KO) of the Bronx, faced Daquan Arnett (11-1, 7 KO) from Orlando, FL in a ten round battle between undefeated junior middleweight prospects.

The fighters had previously faced each other as twelve year old amateurs with Arnett knocking Gomez down three times in capturing the win. Both fighters quickly realized they were in Brooklyn when the crowd began to boo heartily due to the lack of action in round one. A boxing class was not going to be appreciated by the Barclays audience.

Gomez responded to the vibrations by opening up his attack at the beginning of round two. However the rest of the round turned into a feinting spell as each fighter tried to force the other into a mistake. The chess board was open. The chess match continued through the middle rounds with periodic bursts of action from the fighters. Gomez began to have some success in landing his right hand.

In the seventh round Gomez dropped Arnett with a straight right and left hook to the body. Arnett beat the count and Gomez continued his assault by firing right hands, some of which landed. Gomez landed a flush right hand to start the eighth with blood spraying from Arnett’s nose. Arnett stood his ground and came back with combinations of his own.The final two rounds played out with back and forth action and when the scores were totaled, Gomez emerged with the unanimous decision victory.

In the evening’s first televised bout, Gary Russell Jr. (24-0, 14 KO) squared off against Miguel Tamayo (14-8-2, 12 KO) in an eight round super featherweight bout.

The talented Russell Jr., from Capitol Heights, MD, was facing another opponent suspected of being nowhere near his skill level. Tamayo, of Obregon, Mexico, fit the bill.

In the first three rounds Russell’s hand speed and footwork were on display. His punches moved Tamayo around the ring. When Tamayo tried to answer back with punches of his own, he missed with room to spare.In the fourth round a four punch combination punctuated with a big right hand sent Tamayo down. The referee waved the fight off at 1:04 of the round.

20012 Olympian Marcus Browne (9-0, 7 KO) failed to impress in a six round cruiserweight tilt against Kentrell Claiborne (4-9, 3 KO). Browne, of Saten Island, NY, should have dispatched Claiborne, from Shreveport, LA, within the distance. Besides a significant height advantage, Browne’s boxing pedigree should not allow a limited opponent to hang around.

Claiborne was tough and durable, but Browne should have added to his KO tally instead of notching the unanimous decision victory.

Emanuel Gonzalez (14-0, 7 KO) of the Bronx, earned a unanimous decision against tough Victor Sanchez (5-8-2, 2 KO) from Houston, TX in an eight round super featherweight contest. Brooklyn homeboy Zachary Ochoa (6-0, 3 KO) had his hands full in taking a unanimous decision from Jose Valderrama (3-7, 3 KO), of Manati, PR, in a four round super lightweight battle.

The first fight of the evening produced fireworks when Rafael Vazquez (10-1, 8 KO), of Brooklyn, sent Bradley Patraw (10-7, 5 KO), from St. Paul, MN, to the mat twice with vicious left hooks in the first round. After dropping Patraw for the second time, the referee had seen enough and Vazquez had a short night’s work.          
   
 

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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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