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Josesito “Riverside Rocky” Lopez Stops Aron Martinez In Rancho Mirage

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RANCHO MIRAGE, CA.—-Josesito “Riverside Rocky” Lopez stepped in the ring against Aron Martinez, a fighter ready to climb into the contender level with a win, but stopped the gritty fighter from East L.A. when he turned his back following an exchange to win by technical knockout on Thursday.

Lopez (32-6, 19 Kos) showed the crowd at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa he remains a cut above with the win over Martinez (19-3-1, 4 Kos) in the welterweight fight. It was a win he needed to remain a factor in the very crowded welterweight division.

Lopez used his lengthy jab and long punches to keep Martinez at bay for the first two rounds. Martinez seemed looking for a way to take the fight inside, but Lopez kept the long jabs and longer right hands piercing the gloves.

“I wanted to show I could fight on the outside or inside,” said Lopez. “I wanted to show my intelligence.”

In the third round both dispensed with the testing blows and began to unleash the heavy stuff. Lopez worked the body and head and a left hook opened a cut above Martinez’s eye as the round ended. The referee motioned that the cut was caused by a punch.

Martinez stepped up the action in round four and began firing combinations. Both fighters exchanged inside with combinations to the body and head. The boxer from East L.A. urged Lopez to attack but the lanky fighter waited on the outside instead. Martinez finished the round with a one-two combination.

“I’m a slow starter,” said Martinez, who said he used the first several rounds to measure Lopez’s distance. “Everybody said he was going to attack me. I was ready for it.”

With Martinez ready to exchange, Lopez attacked the body with a vengeance. Several right hand-left hook combinations to Martinez’s body echoed in the arena. On a third exchange a right hand to the body with a left hook to the head snapped Martinez’s head back and sent Vaseline flying from his face. The blow forced Martinez to turn his back and the referee stopped the fight at 1:19 of round five. Lopez jumped for joy on the ring ropes.

“He made a mistake,” said Lopez. “You never turn away like that.”

Martinez was disappointed that the fight was stopped but aware that it was a correct ruling by referee Jack Reiss. Still, he wished it would have been different.

“I was never hurt one single time,” said Martinez. “Not taking anything away from Josesito. I wasn’t doing my game plan. It happened so fast.”

Other bouts

San Bernardino’s Joshua Conley (8-0-1, 6 Kos) needed a little time to figure out the style of L.A.’s Jamal Harris (5-8-4) in a four round middleweight fight. After four rounds all three judges scored it 39-37 for Conley. But most of the rounds were close as Harris forced the slow-starting Conley to do the attacking. It was a mode the San Bernardino boxer was not comfortable with. The best round for Conley was the fourth when he landed a quick right-left combination in close during a clinch.

Immanuel Aleem (8-0, 4 Kos) walked in the ring looking the much bigger fighter at super middleweight and to no surprise he stopped Michael Noriega (4-3, 4 Kos) in a one-sided fight that surprisingly lasted more than one round. A counter left hook by Aleem floored Noriega at 2:04 of the second round. Referee Raul Caiz stopped the fight when the Mexican fighter staggered to get up.

Thomas Williams (17-0, 12 Kos) needed a little time to figure out Enrique Ornelas (34-9, 22 Kos), whose experience as a middleweight contender proved a little confusing at first. But after some solid body shots Williams was able to take Ornelas out of his offensive rhythm and drop that hammer of a left cross. Ornelas was floored twice including at 2:48 of the third round for the knockout win at light heavyweight by Williams. It was a good win for the D.C. fighter.

Moshea Aleem (4-0, 2 Kos) started fast against Utah’s Edward Cordova (4-7-1) and won a four round unanimous decision in a super middleweight contest. Cordova was able to survive all four rounds through pure grit and determination.

Juan Funez (5-0, 3 Kos) looked impressive against the concrete chin of Mexico’s Sergio Najera (6-14-2) who withstood some bunker buster bombs. The southpaw Funez had a very stiff jab going and was able to connect to the body with force. Later in the fight Funez plowed through Najera with some right hooks and left lasers. Najera took them all with a slight stagger and kept firing. A number of big left hand bombs connected solidly and after the fourth the referee stopped the fight at 2:28.

Philadelphia’s Dennis Hasson (16-0, 6 Kos) floored Mexico’s Roberto Ventura (14-9, 13 Kos) three times in the second round to win by knockout. But he came very close to the fight being stopped by an illegal blow when he fired a left hook after Ventura was already down. Referee Jack Reiss deducted a point from Hasson, who could have suffered a technical draw if Ventura opted to not continue the light heavyweight bout.

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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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