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Quillin Makes Easy Work of Konecny, Keeps WBO 160 Crown

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WBO middleweight champ Peter Quillin led off the Showtime show on Saturday night, in DC, against Lukas Konecny, a Czech who had never fought in the US before, and never been stopped in his four losses.

Konecny kept that distinction alive, lasting the distance against the champ, but that's looking on the bright side for Konecny. Quillin did what he wanted, when he wanted, though he wasn't able to hurt Konecny that much, let along drop him. The judges had the final say, and there was no doubt that even a CJ Ross would muck this one up: the scores were 120-108, 119-109, 119-109 for Quillin.

Q went 403-880 to 197-456 for the loser.

Quillin spoke to Jim Gray after the win was announced. He said K was a tough fighter, but he noted he could always improve. He will watch tape and dissect he said. He said he's at the level of a Golovkin, and would like to fight him or Sergio Martinez. Is Danny Jacobs next? Sure, he's up for that, he stated. Quillin gave a shoutout to the missus, due in July. He has always wanted to be a dad, he said.

The New Yorker Quillin had a height and reach advantage on the check, but K landed the left hook a few times through two rounds. Q was sharp with the jab, and worked downstairs as well. Quiilin fought a lot off the back foot, and K, who promised to retire if he didn't win, had some luck backing Q to the ropes. K didn't look out of his league, which many folks thought he would, through three. But he lacked pop, and Q knew from early on that he could withstand K's best shot, in all probability, and stay standing.

The 35-year-old Czech came in with a 50-4 mark, but he's fought B grade and lesser foes. The 30-0 Quillin threw a hellacious left hand to the side that had K wincing in the fourth. Q's combos impressed the judges and you had to think the longer this went, the more steam K would lose after every session.

In the fifth, Quillin snaked a right behind the ear, something he'd had luck with before. K's high guard, with gloves in front of his face left that ear open. A right to the body by Quillin had Konecny shaking his head no, you didn't hurt me…but you know it did.

Quillin piled up the combos to start the sixth. They both got a break when K's shoelace came untied. He fixed that, and then kept coming forward, but wasn't throwing enough. He did show a solid chin, you have to give him that, and he ate a ton of lefts to the body, so that held up well to this point, too. A right hand, though, did buzz the Czech, and made him do a two-step. Konecny clipped Quillin with a right hand, which connected solidly, but he simply doesn't possess the pop to do much damage on a an A grade fighter. Future foe Danny Jacobs, working color, said during the sixth that Quillin needed to do damage on K, needed to impress if he wants to elevate his stature in the game. Trainer Eric Brown asked Quillin to throw uppercuts, but be ready to see a hook coming after that.

In round eight, we saw K's face bear some scratches. Quillin was deliberate, doign what he wanted, when he wanted it. A right and then left uppercut landed clean. “He's ready to break down now,” Eric Brown told Q after the eighth.

In round nine, Quillin kept on having his way. K landed a left while Quillin backed straight up, but with his junior middleweight power didn't bother the New York resident. In the 10th, the two exchanged fire on the ropes, as some fans started booing. K kept on coming forward and landed some clean shots but they weren't zippy enough to bother Q, or take rounds. K's right eye sported a slice, on his lid, but the doc let it go. In the 11th, both men threw uppercuts, but K didn't step it up, get crazed, though he had to know he was losing in a big way. He did land a few left hooks, and stepped up the pressure late in the 11th, to his credit. In the 12th, Q stayed smart, moving laterally, popping the jab, while K pressed forward, cut off the ring, but did nothing with it. Blood poured from K's nose, as his chance to win circled the drain. He ate a low blow, which was really on the belt, not groin, to add to the insult, with a minute left.

We went to the cards.

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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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