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Cunningham, Stevens Win on Main Events/NBC Show

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Steve “USS” Cunningham

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

Philadelphia, PA: Steve “USS” Cunningham (27-6, 12 KOs)* took down the undefeated powerhouse Amir “Hardcore” Mansour (20-1, 15 KOs) via unanimous decision at the Liacouras Center. In the all-Philly main event, Philadelphia-raised Cunningham and Philadelphia-trained Mansour brawled for ten rounds of heart-stopping action that had the entire crowd at the Liacouras Center on their feet and screaming for more. These two warriors just kept coming at each other for ten straight rounds. By the end they were both bleeding and and battle-worn.

Mansour was relentless from the first bell. He kept coming at Steve with huge looping hooks. Cunningham began bleeding in the second round. Then Cunningham cut Mansour over the same eye in the third.

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Cunningham & Mansour

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

Mansour knocked Cunningham down twice in the fifth but Steve managed to get back up just before the bell. Cunningham came back with a vengeance in the sixth and the crowd at the Liacouras Center was on their feet. The fans were split equally as half chanted “Hardcore” and half chanted “USS.” By the ninth the chants of “Steve” drowned out everything else.

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Cunningham & Mansour

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

 

Cunningham knocked Mansour down in the tenth and went on to win via unanimous decision. One judge scored the fight 97-90 and the other two scored the fight 95-92.

Kathy Duva said, “Jolene Mizzone and J Russell Peltz are the best matchmakers in the business, hands down. That was the bull and the matador. Steve, you get knocked down but you get back up baby!”

CunninghamWins aa782“USS” Cunningham
Photo Credits:
Larry Levanti/Main Events

Steve said, “With my God I can do anything! Faith is all I have. I was alright. I have been down before and got up and won. He wasn’t built for the ‘USS’ Cunningham. I want to be heavyweight world champion. ‘USS’ Cunningham always finds a way.”

Mansour said, “I can’t complain. He was the better man; the tougher man. I got tired but he got tired too. I just kept stepping on the gas pedal because that is just the fighter in me. You got to be smart in the ring if you want to be successful and tonight he was smarter than me.”

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Stevens & Johnson

Photo Credits:

Larry Levanti/Main Events

In arguably the best of 2014 so far, Brooklyn’s own Curtis “Showtime” Stevens (27-4, 20 KOs) came from behind to knockout Nassau, Bahamas native Tureano Johnson (14-1, 10 KOs) in the tenth round. The crowd was into every punch from the first bell until the referee called the fight with slightly more than two minutes to go in the fight.

Both fighters came swinging in the first. In the first two minutes of the first round, Johnson fought southpaw to confuse Stevens then he switched back to orthodox. He continued to switch back and forth throughout the fight. It seemed to work for the first few rounds as Stevens appeared to take a beating. Then in the fourth round Stevens turned the tables on Johnson and unleashed a holy war on him.

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Johnson & Stevens

Photo Credits:

Larry Levanti/Main Events

Johnson was relentless; he never slowed down the entire fight. He controlled the pace and made Stevens fight his fight. He kept coming forward. Johnson connected for 38% of his punches (235 of 624) and Stevens connected for 40% (223 of 557). However Curtis landed 45% of his power punches (210 of 470) and Johnson landed 39% (231 of 598. Both men landed 15% of their jabs but Curtis landed 13 of 87 and Johnson only landed 4 of 26.

This back-and-forth battle continued and neither fighter seemed to have control of the any one round. Johnson had Curtis against the ropes for the majority of the fight. Stevens reached another level in the tenth and unloaded on Johnson. The referee stopped the fight at 2:09 in the tenth. Johnson was not happy with the decision and continued to contend that he was not going down.

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Johnson & Stevens

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

Johnson was actually leading on the scorecards convincingly and Curtis needed the knockout in order to win. Through nine rounds the judges had Johnson up 87-84, 89-82 and 89-82.

Stevens said, “I didn’t set it up the way I was supposed to set it up. He was smothering me. He did what he was supposed to do. He came in here and smothered me.”

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Tureano Johnson

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

An upset Johnson said, “It is a privilege to be here. It was unfortunate that I didn’t get the win. Curtis Stevens is a great fighter. The stoppage was an unfair one but I accept it. I worked hard and I won every round. I worked hard for this. I want a rematch immediately.”

Kathy Duva said, “Johnson, your stock just went way up. I would love to schedule a rematch for both these fights on HBO because these fights were unbelievable.”

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Dixon Knocks Down Torres

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

Junior welterweights Evincii Dixon (4-4-1, 2 KOs) of Lancaster, PA and Edgardo Torres (2-3, 2 KOs) of Vineland, NJ squared off in the last undercard fight of the evening. Dixon came out of the gate guns blazing and knocked down Torres in the first. Torres lasted 2:45 into the second round before the referee called him out and declared Dixon the winner by TKO. Dixon said, “This is boxing. I see you hurt and I am going to attack.”

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Lee Knocks Down Lewison

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

In a match-up of undefeated light heavyweights, Notre Dame alum Mike Lee (12-0, 7 KOs) knocked out Peter Lewison (6-1, 5 KOs) in the sixth round. Lewison was bleeding near his upper lip in the fifth and Lee knocked him down in the sixth before shutting him down at 1:39. Lee showed his Notre Dame pride by sporting blue and gold trunks/gloves and definitely had the crowd on his side.

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Acevedo & Campbell

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

In an eight round light heavyweight war Roberto Acevedo of Puerto Rico (8-2, 5 KOs) and Lee Campbell of Laurenburg, NC (7-0, 3 KOs) put on a show for the crowd at the Liacouras Center. Acevedo fell to Campbell via majority decision with one judge scoring the bout 76-76, and the other two judges scoring the bout 77-75 and 78-74 in favor of Campbell. Roberto Acevedo suffered a cut under his left eye but was able to finish the fight.

Roberto said, “I know we had a good fight but could not come away with the victory. Campbell is a very strong guy and the fighting was intense. Now back to the drawing board, concentrate and train for the next step coming back stronger. I hope to be back soon with the help of God.”

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Pryor & Barrera

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

In a six round light heavyweight match-up Cuban-born Sullivan Barrera (11-0, 6 KOs) remained undefeated as he overcame Washington, DC native Larry Pryor (7-8, 4 KOs) via unanimous decision with all three judges scoring the fight 60-53. Barrera dominated the entire exchange and knocked down Pryor in the fifth round. Barrera said, “I feel good. I am very happy. 11 wins is good. It’s perfect. I am so happy.”

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Cherry & Osiobe

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

Edner Cherry (32-6-2, 17 KOs) did not disappoint in his much-anticipated return to the ring after a year-long layoff. The 32 year old Cherry defeated his opponent by UD in the first fight of the evening, an eight round super featherweight match-up with Robert Osiobe (14-9-4, 6 KOs) of Ughelli, Nigeria. The officials scored the fight 77-75, 79-73 and 78-74 all in favor of the veteran Cherry.

*Note: All records have been updated to include tonight’s results.

NBC Sports Live Extra:

NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – will live stream Fight Night at 10 pm ET/7 pm PT on April 4th.

Coverage will be streamed via “TV Everywhere,” the media industry’s effort to make quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.

For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at NBCSports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app for mobile devices and tablets is available at the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and on select Android handset and tablet devices within Google Play.

All NBC Sports Network live events live stream to PCs, mobile devices and tablets through NBC Sports Live Extra, and to the digital platforms of participating cable, satellite, and telco services, via “TV Everywhere,” which is available on an authenticated basis to subscribers of participating MVPDs.

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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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