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Robert Guerrero Tops Showtime Trio of Fights June 21

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ROBERT “THE GHOST” GUERRERO RETURNS TO THE RING TO FACE YOSHIHIRO KAMEGAI IN A 12-ROUND MATCH UP ON SATURDAY, JUNE 21 LIVE ON SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®
FROM STUBHUB CENTER IN CARSON, CALIF.

Also, Gary Russell Jr. to face Vasyl Lomachenko for the WBO World Featherweight Title
and Devon Alexander faces off against Jesus Soto Karass

Tickets Go On Sale Tomorrow At 10 a.m. PT!

LOS ANGELES (May 14, 2014) – Former four-division World Champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero will make his anticipated return to the ring to face Japan’s Yoshihiro Kamegai in a 12-round welterweight bout on Saturday, June 21 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).

In a co-feature of the three-fight SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast, unbeaten Gary Russell Jr. faces Ukrainian star Vasyl Lomachenko for the vacant WBO World Featherweight Title in a 12-round showdown and in the opener, former world champion Devon Alexander “The Great” returns to meet Jesus Soto Karass in a 10-round super welterweight match up.

“I’m excited to be making my ring return on June 21, especially for my fans in California,” said Guerrero, who last fought against Floyd Mayweather on May 4, 2013. “Although I’ve been out for a while, make no mistake about it, I’m in great shape. I’m hungry and I’m looking forward to the challenge Kamegai presents. I am just happy to be fighting again while bringing excitement to the hottest division in boxing, the welterweight division. I have no doubt that I will be victorious in my return.”

“It’s good to fight in the United States again at StubHub Center, especially after I was treated so well by the fans there the first time,” said Kamegai. “This time though, I’m going to get the win. While Robert Guerrero is a great fighter, I will be better than him on June 21.”

“This is the moment I’ve been waiting for, and now it is time to show the world my boxing skills and talent,” said Russell. “Lomachenko’s reputation speaks for itself. I respect him as a fighter but he doesn’t know what he is about to face fighting me. He’s going to find out that I’m on a whole different level and come June 21, that belt is going to be mine to take home.”

“I know how good Gary Russell is, and it’s going to be a good fight for the fans on June 21,” said Lomachenko. “I learned a lot from my fight with Orlando Salido, and I will be the best I can against Russell. I want that world title and I plan on taking it.”

“I had a nice break after my last fight and it allowed me to regroup, recharge my batteries, and get ready for another run at the title,” said Alexander. “Soto Karass is a tough guy, there’s no denying that, but tough won’t be enough when we fight. I’m a man on a mission now, and he’s in the way.”

“Devon Alexander is fast and slick, and you have to respect his skills, but if he doesn’t respect mine, he’s going to get knocked out,” said Soto Karass. “And even if he does respect me, I’m going to beat him on June 21 and get back in line for a title fight.”

“The fans in Carson always demand the best fights possible, and we’ve got two more for them on June 21,” said Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. “It’s great to have Robert Guerrero back in the ring where he belongs, and his fight with Kamegai is going to be action-packed from start to finish. Also, Russell vs. Lomachenko is a fight fans have been asking for and looking forward to seeing for quite some time. Given what these two young men can do in the ring, it may not be the last time we see them fighting each other. Add in Alexander vs. Soto Karass, and this is another great card that I can’t wait to see.”

Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (31-2-1, 18 KOs), of Gilroy, Calif., has been among the elite fighters in boxing for years. A southpaw boxer-puncher, Guerrero has won world titles in four weight classes from 130 to 147 pounds, beating the likes of Andre Berto, Joel Casamayor, Michael Katsidis and Selcuk Aydin. Now stepping back into the ring for the first time since his fight against Mayweather, Guerrero looks to re-establish himself among the elite fighters in the deepest division in boxing. At just 31-years-old, Guerrero potentially has a lengthy career ahead of him. This bout against Kamegai could be the start of another big run for “The Ghost.”

Back in Carson, Calif., for the second time following his hard-fought battle loss to Johan Perez in June 2013, Tokyo’s Yoshihiro Kamegai (24-1-1, 21 KOs) has since won two bouts, winning and defending the OPBF welterweight title with knockouts of Tim Hunt and Jung-Hoon Yang. These victories add to Kamegai’s reputation as a respected contender and big puncher at 147 pounds. With a victory over Guerrero, the 31-year-old will be knocking on the door for a world title shot.

One of the most talented boxers to hit the sport in years, Capitol Heights, Maryland’s Gary Russell Jr. (24-0, 14 KOs) has barely been touched in his time as a professional. The 2008 United States Olympian has no intention of letting Lomachenko be the first to hand him a defeat. Owner of 2013 wins over Vyachelav Gusev and Juan Ruiz, the 25-year-old already has a fourth-round knockout win over Miguel Tamayo in 2014, Russell is in for his toughest professional challenge on June 21, and his highly anticipated first world title fight.

With a professional record of just 1-1 (1 KO), you may wonder how Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine’s Vasyl Lomachenko is in a world title fight. But this southpaw is no ordinary fighter. He entered the professional game in 2013 with two Olympic Gold medals, the Val Barker Trophy for Outstanding Boxer at the 2008 Games, and a remarkable 396-1 amateur record. After debuting with a fourth-round knockout of Jose Ramirez, his second fight was against Orlando Salido for the vacant WBO featherweight title. And while he lost that fight via split decision on March 1, 2014, his performance in the bout earned him a second shot at a world title on June 21 against Russell.

A gifted southpaw with some of the best technical skills in the sport today, St. Louis’ Devon Alexander “The Great” (25-2, 14 KOs) has won world titles at 140 and 147 pounds, and he is on a quest to regain his welterweight belt after a hard-fought loss against Shawn Porter last December. More focused than ever, the 27-year-old will get a stiff challenge in Mexico’s Soto Karass, but he’s ready to put on a show and pick up the victory.

One of the toughest warriors in boxing today, Jesus “Renuente” Soto Karass (28-9-3, 18 KOs) has won four of his last six bouts, defeating the likes of Andre Berto and Selcuk Aydin. A 13-year veteran of the sport, the 31-year-old Soto Karass has fought the best of the best throughout his career, and with a win over Alexander, he will be on his way to another shot at a world welterweight championship.

Guerrero vs. Kamegai is a 12-round fight promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona and AT&T. In the co-main event Gary Russell Jr. faces Ukrainian star Vasyl Lomachenko in a 12-round showdown for the vacant WBO World Featherweight Title and in the opener Devon Alexander will face off against Jesus Soto Karass in a 10-round super welterweight match up. It will take place at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., and will air as the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® main event live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) and will be available in Spanish via secondary audio programming (SAP).

Tickets priced at $150, $75, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes, fees and services charges, will be on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. PT and are available online at AXS.com, by phone at 888-9-AXS-TIX (888-929-7849) and at StubHub Center Box Office (Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. PT to 6 p.m. PT). VIP Suites are available by calling 877-604-8777. For more information on group discounts or VIP packages, please call 877-234-8425.

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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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