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CANELO: “Obviously A Knockout Would Be Beautiful”

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“TOE TO TOE: CANELO VS. ANGULO” FIGHTER WORKOUTS AT THE MGM GRAND GARDEN ARENA LOBBY

SHOWTIME PPV® Fighters Work Out For Media And Fans Just Three Days Before The First Blockbuster Boxing Event Of 2014

THIS SATURDAY, MARCH 8, AT 9 P.M. ET/6 P.M. PT IN LAS VEGAS

LAS VEGAS (March 5, 2014) – Mexican boxing superstar and former world champion Canelo Alvarez, hard-hitting countryman Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo and “TOE TO TOE: Canelo vs. Angulo” pay-per-view undercard fighters worked out in front of a throng of media and adoring fans on Wednesday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena lobby.

Canelo (42-1-1, 30 KOs) and the dangerous Angulo (22-3, 18 KOs) will square off in what is expected to be a slugfest in the 12-round super welterweight main event this Saturday, March 8, LIVE on SHOWTIME PPV® (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) at the MGMGrand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Undefeated two-division world champion and current WBC Super Bantamweight titleholder Leo “Terremoto” Santa Cruz (26-0-1, 15 KOs) will defend his title against former three-time world champion Cristian “El Diamante” Mijares (48-7-2, 22 KOs) in Saturday’s co-feature. In the second world title fight of the evening, IBF Junior Middleweight World Champion “King” Carlos Molina (22-5-2, 6 KOs) will defend his title against undefeated Jermall Charlo (17-0, 13 KOs).

A 10-round lightweight fight between former two-time world champion Jorge “Niño de Oro” Linares (35-3, 23 KOs) and exciting Japanese contender Nihito Arakawa (24-3-1, 16 KOs) will open the pay-per-view telecast. Lightweight contender Ricardo Alvarez (23-2-3, 13 KOs), brother of Canelo, will face late-replacement Sergio “Yeyo” Thompson (28-3, 26 KOs) on the non-televised undercard after WBC Lightweight Champion Omar Figueroa Jr. pulled out due to injury.

Tickets for the event promoted by Golden Boy Promotions are on sale and priced at $600, $400, $200 and $100, not including applicable service charges and taxes, with a total ticket limit of 10 per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com. Movie theater tickets are available at participating theater box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com.

Below is what the fighters said at Wednesday’s workouts:

CANELO ALVAREZ:

“My main concern when we are this close to a fight, is always my weight and making the weight. Although I’m on weight and it will not be a problem, that is always my concern this close to a fight. All of the hard work in the gym is done.

“Between the fans, my family and myself, I’m always motivated for my fights. The support I get has always motivated me. I fight for them, on behalf of them. Everything I have is because of the fans. I know I’m young and they have so much faith in me. I can just be who I am and continue to work as hard as I can.

“Angulo presents a difficult challenge because he’s a fighter who can punch and take a great punch. I know I have to prepare and establish my game plan early. But you know how it can be with game plans. Sometimes, once a fight starts, you have to do what you have to do win and that’s what I am going to do on Saturday.

“Obviously a knockout would be beautiful; that’s what the fans like, an impressive knockout. But I never go into a fight looking for knockout. If it comes, it comes.

“Everyone says Angulo is the stronger guy, but I think I’m the strongest.”

ALREDO ANGULO:

“Style-wise, this is a great matchup for the fans and both of us. Fans are going to get a great fight.

“I’m ready to chase him or fight him like a true Mexican warrior.

“I plan to test him like he’s never been tested before. I don’t think anyone has ever hit Canelo as hard as I’m going to hit him.

“I’m totally relaxed and confident. Camp was amazing and I am in unbelievably great shape.

“There were a couple times when I was in the immigration detention center (January-August 2012) that I wanted to quit. But my team of lawyers always motivated me, wouldn’t let me stay down for too long and kept telling me that justice would prevail and that I shouldn’t give up.

“I always dreamed of being a headliner on a major card, and here it is. I am so ready for Saturday.’’

LEO SANTA CRUZ:

“This is going to be a great fight, a war. I have a lot of respect for Mijares, who was a great champion and is still very fast. His style can be complicated which is why I’ve been working in the gym with southpaws who are like him.

“I feel [Cesar] Seda was stronger, younger and faster than Mijares.

“I never enter the ring thinking I’m going to lose, so if he says he can see something in me that indicates that, well, he is very wrong. I am going to stop him.’’

CRISTIAN MIJARES:

“This is such a great opportunity for me. I totally feel like I’m catching Leo at the right time. He’s a great, young champion and I know this is going to be a difficult fight. But I have too much experience for him, too much overall speed.

“I think Leo found out in his last fight that he is vulnerable. I can see in his face, the look in his eyes, that he’s going to lose on Saturday. I am very confident.’’

JERMALL CHARLO:

“This fight is a stepping-stone in my career. In order to be the champion that I want to be, I have to get past this obstacle. He has the title, he has what I want.

“It’s going to take hard work, guts and determination. It’s going to take everything I’ve prepared for to stay in there and battle with him. I need to stay focused and be able to deal with everything that he brings into the ring – the shots behind the head, low blows, I’ll be ready for everything. We’ve all seen Molina fight and I’ve prepared in a way that he can’t surprise me with anything.

“I’m not fazed by the spotlight or the world championship. This is where I belong. I trained hard and will leave it all in the ring.

“I already feel like a world champion and I’m here to prove that I’m ready for this level. I’m going to show everyone that I’m here and that I’m going to be here for a long time.”

JORGE LINARES:

“The battle has already started; we just haven’t shot the first bullet yet. But we are both ready for war. We need to be.

“It’s difficult to knock him down but it’s not impossible. He certainly won’t fall with one punch, and that’s why I’ve prepared for 10 rounds of action..

“You can’t compare my style with Figueroa Jr. We are completely different fighters. I have to break him [Arakawa] down with my speed and intelligence. I can’t fall into his territory and fight his fight.

“I think there is a better chance that the ref stops this fight than it ending in one punch. I’m going to break him down little by little.

“This is the biggest opportunity for me at this point in my career. My mind is just set on winning. It’s been a long time coming so I know I need to be ready for this opportunity. Whoever they put in front of me I can beat.

“Fighting here at MGM pumps me up even more. It gives me a little something extra every time I fight in Las Vegas. I won my first title here in Vegas [at Mandalay Bay], but the difference is now people know who I am and they give me respect.”

NIHITO ARAKAWA:

“I’m not looking at this as a personal challenge but as a challenge as a Japanese boxer and for all Japanese boxers. I’m representing my country, I’m representing Japan.

“[In my last fight] I just did what was natural, which is to fight until the bell rings. I didn’t win but I fought my fight. I’m going to fight with the same style and aggressiveness, but this time I will get the win.

“I’m very happy to get the nickname ‘The Japanese Rocky.’ It’s an honor to earn a reputation like that after just my first fight in the United State. It’s an honor to represent my country with this nickname.

“Spirit-wise, I won’t change. I will fight until I win. I’ll fix my defense and the issues I had against Omar [Figueroa Jr.] to ensure that I get a win. I have a huge opportunity and I’m going to take advantage of it.”

RICARDO ALVAREZ:

“[On the injury to Figueroa Jr.]: That’s the way boxing is. These types of things happen. But I’ll be fine. I’m just happy to be able to fight on this card.

“I always work hard. Whenever the world title opportunity comes up I will be ready. I’ll just keep working hard and the world title shot will come.

“In my last fight, I had a fighter that was moving a lot. It probably wasn’t’ the best for my style, but you learn each time you step in the ring. This time, I’m going to move forward and be aggressive. I’ll keep my style that I’ve always had to satisfy the fans.

“Omar and Sergio [Thompson] have similar styles so the late change doesn’t bother me that much. I’ve prepared for a world title fight so I’m ready for everything.

“There is some sense of pride [fighting on the card with my brother]. I’m so happy for him and all of his success. But it’s important for me to break away from that and fight my own fight. At the end of the day, Canelo will not get in the ring with me.”

# # #

“TOE TO TOE: Canelo vs. Angulo,” a 12-round super welterweight fight taking place Saturday, March 8 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Canelo Promotions and sponsored by Corona, AT&T and Casamigos Tequila. In world title fights on the undercard, two-division World Champion Leo Santa Cruz will defend his WBC Super Bantamweight World title against former three-time World Champion Cristian Mijares and Carlos Molina will defend his IBF Junior Middleweight Championship against undefeated Jermall Charlo. Carlos Molina vs. Jermall Charlo is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Warriors Boxing. The four-fight telecast, which opens with a 10-round lightweight bout between Jorge Linares and Nihito Arakawa, will be produced and distributed live by SHOWTIME PPV beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. The event can be heard in Spanish using secondary audio programming (SAP). “TOE TO TOE: Canelo vs. Angulo” will be broadcast in over 400 select movie theaters across the country.

Tickets are on sale now and are priced at $600, $400, $200 and $100, not including applicable service charges and taxes, with a total ticket limit of 10 per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com. Movie theater tickets are available at participating theater box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com.

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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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