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Fighting Magdaleno Brothers Headline Top Rank Show in SoCal

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Indio Boxing Gym Magdalenos and more Feb. 2014 5d573Whether it’s cabin fever or gym fever, staying in the same cramped and overly familiar setting can seem stifling.

Diego Magdaleno and his brother Jessie Magdaleno had trained in the same Las Vegas gym for many years and decided one day to try a new setting. They moved all the way to Indio, Calif. to find a new boxing home. So far it’s been like a shot of adrenaline.

“It’s a big change overall,” said Diego, a top contender in the junior lightweight division. “We’ve adapted to fighting and training outside of Las Vegas.”

The brothers Magdaleno both perform on Saturday Feb. 15, at the Robert Lee Activity Center in Hawaiian Gardens. Diego (24-1, 9 Kos) meets Jorge Pazos (14-6-1, 8 Kos) in the main event. Jessie (17-0, 13 Kos) faces Roberto Castaneda (20-5-1, 15 Kos) in a junior featherweight fight. UniMas will televise the Top Rank card.

Back in April 2013, Diego challenged Puerto Rico’s Roman “Rocky” Martinez for the WBO junior lightweight title in Macao. It didn’t go as planned and Magdaleno thinks he knows the reason.

“It was the experience factor,” he said. “You need that experience and that’s what I was lacking.

Now teamed with trainer Joel Diaz, the southpaw brothers both notice a significant difference.

“I’ve put in lots of rounds sparring against guys like Omar Figueroa, Fernando Carcamo, Jamie Kavanagh and Gato Roman,” said Magdaleno about the strength of his sparring. “All of the guys are getting ready for their own fights too.”

Diego feels it gives the Indio gym fighters a razor sharp edge.

“They come well prepared. We’re ready to go to war. Whether it’s the distance or whatever,” Diego Magdaleno said. “We all work together and learn from each other.”

Figueroa has a world title challenge coming up against Ricardo Alvarez and the others are prepping for their scheduled encounters. It’s a hornet’s nest of prizefighters inside the Indio Boxing Club that’s located about 140 miles from Los Angeles.

Jessie Magdaleno likes the new digs too.

“It’s not much different,” said Jessie about the gym setting. However, in his opinion the difference in personnel putting on gloves is staggering.

“Not only is there Tim Bradley, but you have a lot of great younger guys coming too like Gato Roman, Jamie (Kavanagh) and Omar Figueroa. They’re just so talented.”

Power-punching Jessie Magdaleno meets Mexican power-hitter Castaneda in a junior featherweight bout scheduled for eight rounds. But training with such a talented team has boosted his own expectations.

“It’s really motivating,” said Jessie Magdaleno. “They all have the same mentality…to make history.”

Winning a world title is on both brother’s minds. Now that they’ve settled into Southern California, they have a lot to prove.

“It’s a great team that we have,” said Jessie.

For Diego, the new brain trust will definitely lead to a world title.

“If I had this experience and a guy like Joel Diaz in my corner for my first title fight I know I would have won,” said Diego. “They (Diaz brothers) have so much experience.”

Other fight chatter

WCK Muay Thai Kickboxing championships take place at Pechanga Resort and Casino on Saturday Feb. 15. The doors open at 6 p.m. and the first bout begins at 7 p.m. For more information call (877) 711-2946.

Undefeated Patrick Nielsen (21-0, 10 Kos) faces Tony Jeter (16-3-1, 11 Kos) in a middleweight fight for the number one ranking in the WBC. The match takes place on Saturday Feb. 15, at Albertslund, Denmark.

Female WBC junior bantamweight Zulina Munoz (40-1-2, 26 Kos) defends the title against Alesia Graf (26-3) of Germany on Saturday Feb. 15. The title match takes place in Merida, Mexico.

In London, Dereck Chisora (19-4, 13 Kos) of United Kingdom meets Kevin Johnson (29-4-1, 14 Kos) of the U.S. in a heavyweight collision set for 12 rounds. Also, Tyson Fury (21-0, 15 Kos) faces Joey Abell (29-7, 28 Kos) in a 10 round heavyweight bout.

Roberto Garcia (34-3, 22 Kos) out-slugged Norberto Gonzalez (20-3, 13 Kos) to bang out a split decision victory on Friday in Chicago. The 10 round middleweight bout was over-officiated by the referee but Garcia maintained focus and kept the pressure on Gonzalez in an action-filled fight.

Junior middleweight phenomenon Tony Harrison (17-0, 14 Kos) needed less than two rounds to knock out veteran Grady Brewer (30-18, 16 Kos) on Friday in Detroit. Harrison is a former Emanuel Steward protégé and a native of Detroit. Brewer is a former winner of the Contender reality TV series.

Big Charles Martin (14-0-1, 12 Kos) stopped Maurenzo Smith (12-8-3) at the end of round three in a heavyweight clash in Hollywood, Ca. Other winners were United Kingdom’s John Quigley, South Africa’s Chris Van Heerden, Ukraine’s Vyacheslav Shabransky, Kyrgyzstan’s Urmat Ryskeldiev and Southern California’s Louis Rose in an international fight card held last Thursday.

Fights on television

Fri. ESPN2, 6 p.m., Chris Algieri (18-0) vs. Emmanuel Taylor (17-1).

Sat. Fox Deportes, 10 p.m., Robinson Castellanos (19-9) vs. Rene Alvarado (19-2).

Mon. Fox Sports 1, 6 p.m., Manuel Avila (13-0) vs. Enrique Quevedo (15-6-1).

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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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