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Melson Wins At Last DiBella Roseland Show

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DIBELLA ENTERTAINMENT CLOSES ROSELAND BALLROOM WITH A BANG

“THE LAST DANCE” DELIVERS AN ACTION-PACKED NIGHT OF FIGHTS

New York, NY(2/12/14) – On Wednesday night, DiBella Entertainment hosted the last ever boxing event to take place at the historic Roseland Ballroom in mid-town Manhattan. The nine-bout card was the epitome of old-school New York boxing, and was as good of a sendoff as the ballroom could have asked for.

In the main event of the final boxing event ever at the famed Roseland Ballroom, Boyd Melson, 160, White Plains, NY, of “Team Fight to Walk”, outboxed Donald Ward, 155, Memphis, TN, to earn a majority decision victory on scores of 78-74, 79-73, and 76-76.

Melson hurt Ward on occasion with his straight right and right hook upstairs. Ward threw some nice flurries to the body, but was not active enough. Melson improved to 14-1-1 (4 KOs), while Ward fell to 6-4 (3 KOs).

In what will go down as one of the best fights in “Broadway Boxing” history, Brooklyn’s fierce and popular Heather “The Heat” Hardy, 121¾, and Cristina Fuentes, 121¾, Laredo, TX, blasted away at each other from the outset, never letting up for their entire eight-round scrap. With the crowd on their feet, Hardy pounded away to the head and body of Fuentes, who happily ate those punches to land her own. Hardy seemed determine to prove her toughness rather than boxing finesse, with bobbing and weaving not part of this night’s game plan. Already one of New York City’s hottest tickets in female boxing, this performance will surely elevate her popularity by leaps and bounds. After eight explosive rounds, Hardy, now 8-0 (2 KOs), would win a well-deserved split decision (all cards 57-55). Fuentes’ record dropped to 2-5-3.

The always-exciting Joe Smith, 175½, Long Island, NY, outboxed the experienced Otis Griffin, 177, Sacramento, CA, over six frames. Smith’s aggressiveness and pressure style kept Griffin tentative. The judges tallied 60-54 twice, and 59-55, all for Smith, who improved to 14-1 (11 KOs). Griffin, who has battled many elite fighters, dropped to 24-15-2 (10 KOs).

The popular junior lightweight prospect Bryant “PeeWee” Cruz, 130½, 9-0 (5 KOs), New Rochelle, NY, came out blasting, quickly dropping Joshua Reyes, 129½, 5-2 (2 KOs), with a series of shots in round one. However, Reyes proved his heart, coming back to trade heavy shots with Cruz over the remainder of the fight, with the crowd cheering wildly. Cruz dealt with the pressure of Reyes with precise counter shots and combinations to win a unanimous decision on scores of 58-55 twice, and 59-54.

Brooklyn light heavyweight prospect Travis Peterkin, 177, 11-0 (5 KOs), outfought the game Michael Gbenga, 174½, 13-11 (13 KOs), Washington, DC, to earn a six-round unanimous decision with a score of 60-53 three times. Gbenga tried to make it an ugly fight early and crowd Peterkin, but the Brooklynite did his best when he created distance to land his jab and snapping straight right hand. Gbenga lost a point in round four for excessive head butting.

SMS-promoted lightweight Donte Strayhorn, 136, Cincinnati, OH, battled Jose Gomez, 133½, Kent, WA, over four intense rounds. Strayhorn fought well on the outside establishing his jab, but the stocky Gomez fought his way in close to make it a trench war. However, Strayhorn’s strategy proved to dominate the majority of the rounds, to earn him a majority decision with scores of 39-37 twice, and one vote of 38-38. Strayhorn improved to 5-1 (1 KO), while Gomez went home with a 3-6 record.

Chris Galeano, 155, the former #1-rated U.S. amateur from the Bronx, improved to 2-0 with a dominant four-round shutout decision over Travis McClaren. Galeano controlled the action and boxed nicely, scoring with hard combinations to both the body and head of McClaren. McClaren, 154½, hung tough and tried to walk the taller Galeano down, landing a few shots of his own, but in the end, Galeano, now 2-0, was just too slick for his opponent, who fell to 1-4.

Danny Gonzalez, 141, Queens, NY, and Ray Velez, 140½, Troy, NY, waged war for four blazing frames. Both fighters dispensed with their jabs and fought toe-to-toe from the outset. Gonzalez appeared to have the upper hand at times when he trapped Velez against the ropes and unloaded a fury of leather. In the end, scorecards read 40-36 Gonzalez, and two tallies of 38-38, resulting in a draw verdict. Gonzalez is now 5-0-1 (3 KOs), while Velez is 3-4-1 (1 KO).

Lightweight prospect Ryan Martin, 136, of Chattanooga, TN, and promoted by 50 Cent’s SMS Promotions, dominated the tough Jose Del Valle, 133½, over four rounds to earn a clear unanimous decision with a score of 40-36 across the board. Extended the distance for the first time as a pro, Martin, now 3-0 (2 KOs), would often counter Del Valle’s lazy jab with lead rights, in addition to banging away at the body.

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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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