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Top Takeaways From April 23 Mayweather Call

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Here are my top takeaways from Floyd Mayweathers’ conference call on April 23, friends. “Money” provided some solid entertainment as he lobbed shots, some hard, some softer, at various targets.

AMATEUR HOUR Floyd said he did watch Manny’s win over Tim Bradley, and his review was pretty scathing. “Yes, actually I did watch the fight. You know, I haven’t seen Pacquiao fight in years. I’ve seen highlights. I haven’t seen Pacquiao since before Miguel Cotto. I thought that he deserved congratulations. He’s the better man, but as far as Bradley, whoever he’s working out with, they have to make a lot of changes because he’s lifting too many weights. I think he’s more worried about how he looks when he get on the scale instead of how he performs inside that ring. I thought that Bradley went out there and fought his heart out, but I think he was pulling a lot of shots like an amateur. I think he was making a lot of mistakes and he was very fatigued early on…I think both fighters fought like amateurs. I thought Pacquiao fought like an amateur also, and I wasn’t pleased with his performance, but he got the victory the best way he knows how, but I wasn’t pleased with his performance and I’m seeing something totally different in Pacquiao.”

WHO GOT LEFT OUT? “First, I want to thank Stephen Espinoza, I want to thank SHOWTIME, I want to thankHere are my top takeaways from Floyd Mayweathers’ conference call on Tuesday, friends. “Money” provided some solid entertainment as he lobbed shots, some hard, some softer, at various targets.

AMATEUR HOUR Floyd said he did watch Manny’s win over Tim Bradley, and his review was pretty scathing. “Yes, actually I did watch the fight. You know, I haven’t seen Pacquiao fight in years. I’ve seen highlights. I haven’t seen Pacquiao since before Miguel Cotto. I thought that he deserved congratulations. He’s the better man, but as far as Bradley, whoever he’s working out with, they have to make a lot of changes because he’s lifting too many weights. I think he’s more worried about how he looks when he get on the scale instead of how he performs inside that ring. I thought that Bradley went out there and fought his heart out, but I think he was pulling a lot of shots like an amateur. I think he was making a lot of mistakes and he was very fatigued early on…I think both fighters fought like amateurs. I thought Pacquiao fought like an amateur also, and I wasn’t pleased with his performance, but he got the victory the best way he knows how, but I wasn’t pleased with his performance and I’m seeing something totally different in Pacquiao.”

WHO GOT LEFT OUT? “First, I want to thank Stephen Espinoza, I want to thank SHOWTIME, I want to thank CBS, I want to thank Leonard Ellerbe, I want to thank Al Haymon, I want to thank Richard Schaefer, I want to thank Kelly Swanson, I want to thank everybody, all the networks and all the people that are covering this fight and all the people that have covered my fights throughout the years,” Floyd said. Who was missing? Well, Golden Boy President Oscar de La Hoya, for one…Hmmmm.

ELLERBE WAS A BUSY BEE Floyd shed light on how Leonard Ellerbe started out on his way to becoming an integral part of Team Mayweather. “Leonard used to go on trips, used to pay his own way to go on trips with us and just help out, and he used to leave his job. He’d leave his job and fly on his own money because he had, I think, it was a six-figure paying job. He also was a fitness trainer. He had another job, so he was making very good money. He left all that, paid his own way to come support me, and one particular time he was doing some charity work for me. He was doing everything to make sure I got up to do my runs, he was doing security work for me and everything, and all he was making, it wasn’t big money because I was making good money but I wasn’t paying him what I feel like I should have been paying him. But you know, times have changed. He stuck with me through thick and thin. We’ve been through a lot together. He stuck with me through everything. I’m happy to say he’s a multimillionaire now….” That anecdote might be instructive to folks who are taking less now, at whatever they are doing, with hopes for a larger payoff down the line.

ARIZA A CHEAT-A? Floyd implied quite heavily that fitness coach Alex Ariza doesn’t play fair with his clients, when he said, “I don’t have anything against anyone, but I noticed that when the guy, Alex Ariza, was in Amir Khan’s corner and when he faced Maidana, Amir Khan looked super strong in that fight…I go look at Maidana’s fights against certain guys, like when he fought (Devon) Alexander, he was strong, he was still coming ahead because he’s the kind of guy that comes straight ahead, and liked the looped shots. He wasn’t as strong as he was in the Adrien Broner fight. In the Adrien Broner fight he was a lot stronger than he was in a lot of his past fights…. I don’t know if Alex Ariza plays a major role into that, but when I sit back and I look, I’m looking at Pacquiao versus Bradley and I notice ever since Ariza has not been with Pacquiao anymore there’s been a total change in his power. So I look at things like that and I question things like that to myself, but I don’t worry about anything and I’m not going to say nothing about Ariza because I think he’s a pretty cool guy. I don’t really know him, but we got USADA, which is the best in the world, and we’re going to continue to go out there and do what we supposed to do.” Pretty slick, huh? He implies something, while throwing in a disclaimer, and then finishes up with a mention of the PED testing for the fight. Pret-ty slick, Money. He went back to the well a bit later in the call, when he said, after being asked if he watch Pacman’s latest win, “So FightHype had a story out that I was looking at that was very interesting. You go read the story when Freddie Roach was saying that he didn’t know what Alex Ariza was giving his fighters. He didn’t know what he was giving his fighters…It was kind of crazy when I heard that, but like I said before, I don’t see the same pop in Pacquiao’s shots. Once again, I’m not saying this guy is doing anything, but I don’t see the same snap in his shots. He’s getting tired when he wasn’t getting tired before. I’m seeing something totally different whereas me, I’m still sharp, I’m still smart, I’m not getting fatigued. I wasn’t getting fatigued from the beginning, and those are the things that I see. I don’t know if you guys see it, but that’s what I see.” LOL, no, you’re not saying “this guy is doing anything” sir…but you are implying it heavily. Slick.

PUSHING BACK ON PUSHOVER TAG Many folks see no path to victory for Marcos Maidana. Floyd pushed back on that notion, when he said, “Adrien Broner’s a good boxer and he roughed Adrien Broner up and he got to victory, so we can’t say what this guy, what he can or he can’t do. We cannot overlook (Maidana). I can’t just say he’s going to be an easy fight because he’s not going to be an easy fight for me, I don’t think so….Everybody thinks he’s just going to be a pushover, but I don’t think so.”

FLOYD VS. BHOP Floyd touched on a theoretical scrap between him and Bernard Hopkins, which is something Hopkins has mentioned several times, and Richard Schaefer has entertained, when he said, “I mean, I think everybody’s trying to hit the jackpot and fight Floyd Mayweather, from heavyweight all the way down to flyweight. I think Bernard Hopkins, I didn’t get to see the fight…But I watched the first couple rounds and I thought that Bernard Hopkins was losing the fight, I guess. Then I went for a six-mile run, so I guess when I was out doing my six-mile run I guess he picked the pace up and I guess he was victorious. But I can’t take that away from Bernard Hopkins. He’s a legend. He’s a legend like myself and of course, you get your biggest payday when you’re facing Floyd Mayweather.”

MERCHANT WAS A MENACE Floyd and Larry Merchant have sparred over the years, and made up…but it seems like Floyd holds a lingering resentment for the former HBO analyst. “So as far as what guy (gave me the hardest fight), a lot of times people say the (Jose Luis) Castillo first fight. In the Castillo first fight I wasn’t just fighting Castillo; I was fighting Larry Merchant, so he’s commentating, persuading everybody to look at the fight a certain way whereas I was hurt in the fight, my arm was hurt in the fight, but there’s no excuses. I know I won, and I’m not just saying it just to say it. I know deep in my heart I won.” Punchstat numbers may actually be more damning than Merchant’s words, but anyway…

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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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