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Bujaj and Wright In Fight of the Year-Type Battle

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Bujaj and Wright battle to a draw in Classic Fight of the Year Candidate

BROOKLYN (MAY 20, 2014)– On Thursday night in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, cruiserweights Steve Bujaj and Junior Wright engaged in a ten-round battle on a Star of David Promotions card which many in attendance regard as a legitimate Fight of the Year candidate.

Promoter Dmitriy Salita and the fans and media at the Millennium Theatre waited with anticipation as the scorecards were tabulated after the back and forth rumble between the New Yorker Bujaj and the Chicago-based Wright, with the WBC International Cruiserweight title up for grabs.

Wright and Bujaj

The judges called it a split draw, but more importantly for the fight fans who were there live, and the ones which will see highlights on a television presentation–details to come!– of the eight-bout card, it was a classic scrap.

Check out a package of highlights from the stellar scrap here.

Neither man deserved to be tagged with their first loss, promoter Salita said afterwards. “Both Junior Wright and Steve Bujaj are champions,” Salita stated. “The fight lived up to expectations and more. Both guys showed world class skill and world class heart. They fought their heart out for the fans and for an opportunity to be recognized as among the best in the world… and now they are. These two cruiserweights are for sure the best in their weight in the US and in the mix with best cruisers in the world.”

One man who saw the battle up close at the venue was manager Ivan Edwards, who made the 2011 Fight of the Year, a draw between his boxer, Pawel Wolak, and Delvin Rodriguez. “I was ringside for both fights,” Edwards said. “Bujaj versus Wright was much better. They went to war, both hurt each other. Two true warriors. Neither cared if they lived or died. This sort of fight is what fans want to see.”

Michael Woods, the editor of TheSweetScience.com, who called the feature, along with analyst Nirmal Lorick, took to Twitter post-fight, and opined that a rematch should land on ESPN, or perhaps “ShoBox.”

“The volume was incredible, the swings in momentum between Bujaj and Wright were intense, and each man had their fair share of moments,” Woods said. “Absolutely, a rematch makes infinite sense, and I can state with certainty that these two boxers deserve an even larger audience next time.

“Bujaj (12-0-1), who shrugged off a fractured jaw in round four, said he’d welcome another crack at Wright (10-0-1). He had surgery to repair the jaw days after the bout, but is keen to meet Wright again, for revenge. “I would love a rematch if TV buys it,” he said. “I’d do better next time, because I’d have a real mouthpiece made for me, and I won’t have to fight with a broken jaw.”

Salita and Miller

Several other fighters also stood out on the superb card. Heavyweight Jarrell Miller was mobbed after his TKO2 win over Joshua Harris, and many in the crowd were buzzing about the 9-0 hitter, wondering if he can bring some heavyweight buzz back to NYC, in the manner of Riddick Bowe, a fellow Brooklyner.

Steven Martinez lands on Fernandez

Steve Martinez (15-1), a junior middleweight slugger, scored a TKO5 win over Antonio Chaves Fernandez, turning in another one of his fan-friendly performances. Martinez is a power puncher who looks to hurt his foe with every shot, and Salita is looking to insert him in a title fight in the not too distant future.

Dimash Niyazov

Classy prospect Dimash Niyazov, from Kazakhstan, and living in Staten Island, NY, rose to 6-0, with a UD4 over Jose Del Valle. Salita is high on Niyazov’s longterm prospects. Salita is already planning his next action-filled card. Log on to dsalita.com regularly for updates on the next Brooklyn Brawl!

And check out clips from all the action right here.

Photo Credit: Segundo Rivera

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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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