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Gato Roman & Luis Solis in Fight of the Year Candidate; Sindy Amador Retains World Title

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ONTARIO, CALIF.—Gato Roman survived three first-round knockdowns and staged a tremendous rally to win a unanimous decision over Mexico’s Luis Solis in a brutal fight on Friday and Sindy Amador retained the IFBA junior flyweight female world title by split decision against Maria Suarez (8-1-1).

Roman (17-1-1, 12 Kos) was caught three times with right uppercuts and sent to the floor each time by Solis (12-3-4, 10 Kos), who had a knack for delivering that punch every time Roman knelt low. But Roman beat the count each time and by the end of the second round showed determination and perseverance in Thompson Boxing Promotions’ 14th anniversary show.

By the third round Garden Grove’s Roman was red from the blows and it looked like he suffered a broken nose. Blood was everywhere and Roman’s face was as red as the blood. Solis took some shots but never seemed actually hurt.

Roman began using a stiff jab and wide leaping left hooks to score midway through the fight. But Solis weathered through every Roman rally and powered through to land his own blows. After eight rounds Solis’s face barely showed signs of damage and his chin was outstanding. The body shots by Roman seemed to affect the Mexican fighter but not too seriously.

The crowd was going crazy from the back and forth action. Most were amazed that Roman was still in the fight after the disastrous first round. But he seemed to will himself forward and his trainer Joel Diaz kept screaming at him to push his way forward.

Toward the end of the fight Roman’s blows began to take effect on Solis. who held some and moved away.

After the first round there were no more knockdowns but the blows landed were tremendous.

Two judges scored it 94-93 twice and 95-92 all for Roman, who wins the WBC Cabofe lightweight title.

Female World Title fight.

Amador (12-1), who’s the first boxer from Riverside to win a world title, was able to apply pressure for 10 rounds and convince two of three judges at the Doubletree Hotel that she was the winner. It was a very close fight with no knockdowns but plenty of action.

“I don’t know what it is but I just go a little crazy when I fight at this place,” said Amador, who was making her first world title defense after winning the title last October. “I was a little wild.”

The smaller Amador attacked like a pit bull against the much taller Suarez, who hails from Santa Maria, Calif. After a few rounds Suarez began to use her longer reach to her advantage by shooting out long jabs and uppercuts from a distance against the always attacking Riverside prizefighter.

“I knew coming into the fight she would come straight forward at me,” said Suarez. “I use whatever works and I use it again if it keeps working.”

For much of the fight both fought extremely closely and there was a lot of holding and hitting. When they would separate Amador seemed to be able to connect at the closer range. But when they fought at a distance it appeared to favor Suarez with her longer reach.

One judge scored it 96-94 for Suarez and another had it 96-94 for Amador. A third judge saw it 97-93 for Amador.

“I’m just so grateful to be the champion,” said Amador. “I want to fight better and better for the fans.”

Suarez suffered her first defeat as a pro but was very calm about the loss.

“I’m defeated but not beaten,” Suarez said.

Other bouts

San Pedro’s Isaac Zarate (7-1-1) counter-punched his way against the very aggressive Juan Reyes (10-1-3) of Riverside to fight to a majority draw for the WBC Cabofe junior featherweight title after eight rounds. Reyes was cut badly in the seventh round but surged forward despite not being able to see through the blood covering his eye. The crowd went wild at his gutsy performance.

Colombian transplant Cesar Villaraga (3-0, 2 Kos) scored a technical knockout at 2:20 of round four of a lightweight match against Wilbert Lopez (3-3) of Arizona. Villaraga, who trains in Santa Fe Springs, was too strong and accurate against the southpaw.

San Francisco’s LaRon Mitchell (4-0, 4 Kos) needed only two counter lefts to end the night for Derrick Williams (0-3) in a heavyweight clash. Mitchell, a southpaw, used a counter left on the charging Williams to floor Mitchell. He beat the count and resumed charging and ran into another counter left and was decked hard. Referee Raul Caiz Jr. ended the fight at 55 seconds of round one.

Arizona’s Cesar Valenzuela (6-3) scored a weird knockdown in the second round against Mario Amador (5-1), who looked like he was tripped. Later Valenzuela was hit behind the head, and that resulted in a point being taken away from the Texas boxer. Two judges scored it 78-74 for Valenzuela and a third saw it 76-76 for a win by majority decision for Valenzuela.

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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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