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Shields: Mayweather Should Fight Lara or Relinquish WBA Belt



LaraTrout Hogan50 0c000“Give it up, or you’ve got to get in the ring with Erislandy Lara.”

That’s Ronnie Shields’ message to Floyd Mayweather. Shields’ fighter, Lara, is the interim WBA junior middleweight titleholder to Mayweather’s super champion, something sanctioning organizations such as the WBA do in order to ensure they have a steady amount of cash flow coming into their coffers.

But Shields told TSS he thinks it’s time for Mayweather to make a decision regarding his version of the WBA strap.

“I think Mayweather has to make up his mind. Am I going to defend this title or am I going to give it up?”

Shields doesn’t believe Mayweather wants any part of Lara.

“I really don’t think Mayweather wants to go that route. Because he realizes Lara is the real deal and that Lara’s a lot better than everyone he’s been fighting. He’s a lot bigger. Lara is a true 154-pounder.”

Shields does not consider Mayweather a true junior middleweight, and said the undefeated superstar’s future is likely at welterweight.

“Look, he has a whole lot of fights at welterweight. There are a lot of fights out there for him. Besides Tim Bradley and Manny Pacquiao, there are so many other fights. He could fight Keith Thurman, Marcos Maidana or Adrien Broner. You have so many guys that Mayweather can turn to [in order to] get to 50-0. He only has three fights left and he says he’s going to quit.”

But what would Shields prefer?

“I prefer Lara get the fight with Mayweather. I do.”

And does he believe Lara would be the first man to defeat Mayweather?

“Without a doubt. I think he has the style, and of course he’s going to be a lot stronger, and Lara’s used to fighting at 154. Mayweather’s not. And Mayweather is used to fighting slower guys. Lara is not a slow guy. He’s a boxer who can punch, and he has speed. So why would Mayweather want to fight someone like that?”

Sources indicated last week that Lara would likely meet former IBF titlist Ishe Smith this spring in a 154-pound bout. But a television industry expert said the bout would have to be part of a Mayweather undercard, as Showtime would not likely be interested in purchasing the fight on its own.

However, Smith is only one of the names being mentioned as a possible opponent for Lara, and no deal has been reached as of Saturday.

“We don’t have a definite date on Lara right now, but a lot of names are being thrown around. I know everybody has been saying Ishe Smith – he’s one of the names being thrown around – but there are a lot of other names out there also…we don’t have anything concrete yet,” said Shields.

No matter who it is, Shields believes Lara will fight on the undercard of Mayweather’s bout this spring, but that it could also be the weekend before or after. Mayweather is expected to fight May 3 in Las Vegas against either Marcos Maidana or Amir Khan.

Lara, age 30, lives and trains in Houston, Texas. The Cuban transplant enjoyed his finest year as a professional in 2013. Lara faced Alfredo Angulo last summer in Carson, California where he stopped “El Perro” in Round 10 of a rugged and fan-friendly fight, landing a vicious left that smashed Angulo's eye into an enormous hematoma to capture the WBA interim title. Then in December, Lara fought fellow southpaw slickster Austin Trout in Brooklyn, New York. The two junior middleweights were by-and-large considered the two most avoided boxers in the 154-pound division, but Lara dominated every minute of every round. He knocked Trout down to his knees with a lead left hand in Round 11 to help him earn a 12-round unanimous decision win.

Smith, age 35, has also been avoided by many in the division. The former star of NBC’s reality series The Contender made a name for himself in the junior middleweight division despite having trouble landing fights against the division’s most popular fighters.

But Smith defeated Cornelius Bundrage by majority decision in February 2013 at the Masonic Theatre in Detroit, Michigan to take Bundrage’s IBF title belt. He outworked and outboxed the rough-styling Bundrage to take a clear win. He lost the belt seven months later by split decision at the MGM in his hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada against fellow oft-avoided fighter Carlos Molina.

Lara is ranked the No. 1 contender to Floyd Mayweather’s lineal 154-pound championship by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board. While Shields conceded a Mayweather bout was only a very slim possibility, he said Lara is ready for any and every opponent at 154.

“It really doesn’t matter who Lara fights right now. The kid is hungry. He wants people to know who he is. He wants to prove he’s one of the best 154-pounders out there. He just wants to fight.”


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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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