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Antonio Tarver Turns Promoter, First Show in Houston on June 15



Antonio Tarver was in Houston over the weekend to announce his first boxing promotional venture. Tarver the promoter will host a boxing event at the Ayva Center in Houston on Sunday, June 15, 2014.

“It will happen on Father’s Day. We don’t have a title for it yet. But it’s going to be on Father’s Day, right here in Houston,” Tarver (seen in Rachel McCarson photo) told TSS. “We have a beautiful venue. We’re here to just bring the people together.”

Tarver said he wants to focus on smaller, regional shows in the south for two reasons. First, he said he wants to provide high value entertainment. He said he considers the shows an extension of himself, and he wants to put everything he’s learned from his own career as a fighter into promoting others.

Second, Tarver said he’s from the south, and he’s felt more support from there than any of the other places he traveled during his fighting career, particularly where he plans to do quarterly boxing shows: Houston, Tampa, Orlando, Atlanta and Memphis.

Tarver said he feels a special connection to those cities.

“Those cities, because those have been the cities that have really embraced me over the years…I feel like these are my homes away from home, and I want to bring something and give something back…”

Tarver is partnering with ThinkZilla, a public relations firm in Houston. Moreover, he’s looking to bring into the fold local Houston celebrities and business leaders as well as top-notch entertainers.

“I talked to my good friend Tracy McGrady this morning. He’s excited about lending his efforts and helping me, and we have a lot of connections.”

McGrady is a former NBA basketball player for the Houston Rockets who still lives in the area.
Tarver said he’s looking for insight from Houston’s biggest boxing icon, too.

“But there’s one guy I really, truly want to reach out to, and that’s Big George Foreman, man. He’s Mr. Texas, you know? That would be a really big opportunity for me to just get all the experience and knowledge that Big George has here in Texas.”

Tarver said he would not be fighting on the card, but that his career as a fighter would continue just as soon as he can get the fight he wants. He said he plans to start training camp this week and hopes to announce a bout against a top five heavyweight soon.

Tarver said his goal as a promoter will be the same as it is for him as a fighter: entertainment.

“I’m going to be promoting the fights. I’m going to be hosting the fights. It’s going to be Team Tarver, ThinkZilla and everybody else that’s affiliated with us, giving the people a nice night of entertainment with your host of stars, and just a great night out.”

Tarver said he was inspired from a similar-style event he attended recently in Atlanta.

“It was just the best time that I’ve had in a long time.”

There, Tarver was impressed with how the fans got behind two local fighters who were out there giving it their all. He said sometimes, boxing is just guys with lots of heart that won’t quit.

“It was good boxing. That’s what we want to bring to the people.”

He talked at length about the importance of boxing in local communities, its unique history of keeping kids off the streets and out of trouble, as well as the sport’s high entertainment value.

“Boxing is, I’ve found to be, one of the best and most entertaining sports.”

Tarver seemed genuinely excited about his new plans. Moreover, he said he hopes to debut his son, Antonio Tarver, Jr., as a professional fighter for the first time on one of the cards.

Tarver said Junior has an impressive physical physique and a deep love for the sport. He said he did not do a good enough job as a father supporting his son’s wish to become a fighter back when the kid was growing up.

But Tarver Jr., age 26, is now focused fully on following his father’s footsteps, and this time, he has his father’s full support.

And don’t worry. Tarver promised he wasn’t going to be one of those boxing dads who tries to overload their sons with how they would have done things. He isn’t training his son, and he said he only tries to offer advice when warranted and appropriate.

Tarver has always been great at promoting himself. He has the gift of gab and seems to be an ideal fit for the promotional side of boxing so long as he has the right people behind him.

For more on Tarver’s new role as a boxing promoter, click through to the Boxing Channel.



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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