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Goossen Beats Ward in Court, Team Ward Counters

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Promoter Dan Goossen spoke today about the California State Athletic Commission ruling, and their declaration his contract with Andre Ward is valid, and extends to November 2016.

“It’s now time to sit down with Andre and his advisors to put these legal disputes behind us and concentrate on getting Andre back to fighting consistently, inside the ring,” said Goossen. “Andre and I have had success together; and there’s no reason not to get back on track as a team to secure his status as the top fighter in the world behind Floyd Mayweather.”

Team Ward, led by attorney Josh Dubin and advisor James Prince, put out this release after:

Dan Goossen likes to put out press releases that confuse the issue – so on behalf of Andre Ward, we want to be crystal clear: the ‘legal issues’ that he referred to are only just getting underway. It is only after a California judge or jury speaks that the legal issues will be resolved.

Today’s decision from the California State Athletic Commission was not unexpected. From the very start, we do not feel that the commission has been looking out for the best interests of Andre Ward, the very boxer they are supposed to protect.

To the contrary, for some inexplicable reason, the CSAC has continually bent over backwards to try to accommodate a promoter who we feel is taking horrible advantage of Andre and his career. It is difficult to understand why the CSAC has refused to enforce its own rules – first, by upholding Goossen Tutor’s Promotional Agreement with Andre when we feel that Dan Goossen clearly violated the commission rules by failing to disclose his co-promotional agreement with Antonio Leonard, and now by continuing to recognize and in fact extend the agreement when it is in clear violation of a California labor law that prohibits promotional contracts that last more than seven years. Why the CSAC is favoring a promoter, even when it means turning a blind eye to its own rules and the law, is a bit of mystery at this point – but we can assure you that we will get to the bottom of why that is happening and bring it to full light. This is an important matter not just for Andre, but for any fighter that risks his or her life in the state of California.

This is not the end of Andre’s fight to stand up for what he knows is right, but rather the beginning. The CSAC decision has only strengthened his resolve. Andre’s lawsuit against Dan Goossen and his promotional company in California Superior Court is continuing to move forward. It has always been Andre’s steadfast belief, as well as ours, that the state court system, not the CSAC, is the proper venue for his dispute with Dan Goossen. It is Team Ward’s belief that the arbitration before the CSAC should not have proceeded while Andre’s lawsuit is pending, so we do not feel that the decision is ultimately going to be binding.

We also want to be very clear about something else – when Andre filed his lawsuit against Dan Goossen late last year, he offered to continue to work with Dan while the case played out. Dan said that he would continue to pursue fights for Andre but since the Rodriguez bout, he has been unable to deliver. Andre is still waiting for an offer to fight, and the reality is that he is sitting on the shelf because Dan Goossen simply cannot make it happen. This is one of the precise reasons Andre is trying to free himself from this situation – he is stuck with a promoter who we do not feel can advance his career in the appropriate manner.

To all the fans, Andre appreciates your support and words of encouragement during this difficult time. We will keep you updated on the status of his lawsuit, and Andre will remain in shape and ready to fight should an offer come in the interim. Andre is looking forward to continuing the journey with all of his fans as soon as possible, and as always, is ready to face the best in the boxing world has to offer.

On Behalf of Andre Ward:

Josh Dubin & James Prince

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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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