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Maduma Fights May 31 in IBF Lightweight Eliminator

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Ghislain Maduma prepared to make

Major statement May 31 against Kevin Mitchell in

IBF lightweight title eliminator

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MONTREAL (May 6, 2013) – Nothing has ever been handed to undefeated world lightweight contender Ghislain “Mani” Maduma (16-0, 10 KOs). Unable to get a world title shot, the Congo-born, Montreal fighter is forcing the issue, fighting “Mighty”Kevin Mitchell (37-2, 27 KOs) in his backyard on May 31 in an International Boxing Federation (IBF) title eliminator, on the Matchroom Boxing-promoted Carl FrochGeorge Groves card at famed Wembley Stadium in London.

The 29-year-old Maduma is world rated by the World Boxing Council (WBC) at No. 3 and No. 4 by the IBF. Only IBF No. 5-ranked Mitchell, who has failed in two previous world title fights, stands between Maduma and his ultimate goal of a showdown with IBF 135-pound champion Miguel Vazquez.

“This is a very, very big fight for me,” Maduma said. “I want to be known in boxing circles and this fight in front of 80,000 fans in the stadium and so many others watching around the world will be a good publicity shot for me. I had a plan for this year. The first step is winning this fight, the second is to be world champion. That’s why I’ve trained so hard to give an exciting performance.

“I have to thank my promoter, CamiileEstephan, and coach, Mike Moffa, for what they do for me on a daily basis. In only 3 ½ years, they have me in this position and not many boxers can say the same. I also want to thank everybody on my team, Eye of the Tiger Management, my teammates and sparring partners, and the people of Quebec for their support.”

The largest crowd Maduma has fought in front of has been 8,000 at Bell Centre (Montreal) earlier in his professional career. He realizes that, as a hometown favorite, Mitchell figures to greatly benefit from fans there for Froch and Groves alike.

“I know 80,000 people will be screaming for him and booing me,” Maduma remarked. “It will be just me and him in the ring, my skills against his, but I think my skills are better. We’ll find out in the ring. He is a very good fighter with good skills and experience. I appreciate the opportunity to fight him. He’s a proven, world-class fighter and I need to beat him to show that I’m ready for a world title shot.”

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“Ghislain is an amazing athlete,” Maduma’s promoter/manager, EOTTM president Estephan noted. “His level of fitness is unparalleled in comparison to any other Canadian fighter. Of all the big names who’ve come out of Montreal lately, Ghislain is definitely, pound-for-pound, the fastest and best conditioned. He is totally committed and his fitness level rivals any elite athlete in the world, no matter the sport, and in addition to his incredible physical shape, Ghislain is also a tremendously gifted boxer with an extremely high boxing IQ. We believe he is ready to take on the best lightweights in the world, causing a lot of damage on his way to the top. Ghislain Maduma is a major star in the making. He finally has an opportunity to prove he’s the best lightweight in the world by winning the May 31st title eliminator and then defeating Vazquez for the IBF world title.”

Maduma is the reigning WBC Continental Americas champion and he recently relinquished his North American Boxing Federation (NABF) crown.

Mitchell has lost world title bids to Ricky Burns (TKO4) and Michael Katsidis (TKO3) but he has defeated, among the more notables, world title challengers John Murray and Walter Estrada, as well as Amir Khan and Richard Abril-conqueror Breidis Prescott.

“Mitchell is a complete fighter,” Maduma’s trainer Mike Moffa commented. “He has speed, a good chin and can hit. This may not be the fight we wanted. It’s a big risk fighting him in England in front of 60,000 to 80,000 fans, which will be a challenge for me and Ghislain, but it’s the fight we needed to get on top. Mitchell is a very smart fighter; he waits and counters with an amazing jab.

“Ghislain’s speed has gotten him here. He puts his power behind his speed and jab as he throws combinations. We’ve been working with him to try and take away Mitchell’s jab to back him up. Ghislain is very serious, dedicated to the sport. When controlling a fight he can make it easy with his speed but, he’s also in top condition and he’ll need to be to take the fight to Mitchell.”

For further information about Maduma visit www.eottm.com, follow him on Twitter @GhislainMaduma.

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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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