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Hopkins Assuming He Beats Shumenov, Aiming At Adonis Next

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49.

Forty freakin’ nine years old.

Are you there yet? How’s it treatin’ ya?

Had a hernia or two in the last coupla years?

Visited the doc for a proctological sesh?

How’s that hairline and gutline lookin? Depressed yet?

If you checked out Bernard Hopkins (54-6) during his Wednesday presser in NYC to hype an April 19 clash in DC against fellow light heavyweight titlist Beibut Shumenov, and Father Time hasn’t treated you all that well, well, you might have dipped down a bit on the depression meter when the Philly boxer strode from the mic, walked three steps to his left at BB King’s, and lifted up his shirt, showing majestic abs fit for a twentysomething.

“Don’t be envious,” the fighter, who also serves as an exec at Golden Boy, said, “be motivated, be energized.”

Energized, that he was in his last bout, an IBF title defense against against Karo Murat, in Atlantic City. Now, he took a few more hits than I’ve seen him in the past, so maybe in fact I won’t be referring to him as an “ageless wonder” for all that much longer. Maybe the 14-1 Kazakh hitter will be the one to shove B-Hop to the executive suite 24-7. But it sure doesn’t sound like Hopkins is thinking he’s lost more than a half step, if that, judging by his talk at the presser.

He said he’s looking ahead, at adding to his legacy, at another young gun he thinks he can get the drop on, lure in with a promise of fighting an old dude and defeat with the best arsenal of ring generalship this and maybe any era has seen. Hopkins made it clear that he is setting up a longer play with this Shumenov tussle, being that he thinks he’s setting up a two-fer, really. Shumi is advised by Al Haymon, and so is, coincidentally, Adonis Stevenson. If and when the political barbed war gets taken down, Hopkins said, he’d love to do at 175 what he did at 160 pounds, which is to collect all the belts. “Let’s talk about Father Time,” he said. “Oh, he’s a sonuvabitch. Father Time is undefeated, because time is undefeated. That’s a fight that I can’t in. Nobody on this earth can.” But, he said, “there’s no war going on.”

He’s made peace with Father Time, he said, and says he accepts that a decline will come. Got to say, don’t know that I believe him. I’ve never met anyone, after all, who has battled FT harder, and more successfully. Hopkins hasn’t capitulated to accepted norms, to an extra pound or so of weight gain every year. He respects FT, yes, and throws him a bone now and again. He doesn’t drink, comprehending that FT more easily insinuated himself into your vessel when you’re inhibitions are loosened, and your guard is down.

That guard…It’s always up on Hopkins. His pride is as immense, maybe more so, than his skills. “I never ducked no one,” he said, tossing a dose of acid in he face of any writer or Twitterer who has accused him of steering clear of the Adonis’ and Kovalevs. That acid splashed on keyboard tappers when he talked about people who think they “know boxing, but are talking boxing…I live boxing.” You should appreciate me now, because you will do so when I’m not, and you might as well get a head start, Hopkins insinuated. He said that his run will not likely be replicated and it will be like “waiting for another black President.” I can’t take issue with that. And it’s sort of like his trainer Naazim Richardson pointed out–there are people who pick against Hopkins before every fight, but they don’t advertise it, being that they’ve been proved wrong so many times before, and are gun shy. Even if I thought that someone else could marshal the skills and will and stubbornness Hopkins has in the next decade or two, I don’t think I’d be keen to admit it…Because this guy deserves the fullest measure of respect for doing what he’s doing, at this level, at this age. He’s freakish, and I think that he’s still looking to defy doubters, and pick off one or two more studs before he exits the stage.

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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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