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UPDATED MONDAY: Blue Collar Brawler Monaghan Gets UD10 Over Muriqi

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UPDATE MONDAY MORNING: TSS checked in with Monaghan, and he told us good news…the docs say he’s good to go for sparring in just six weeks.

 

Sean Monaghan, your quintessential lunchpail sort, a blue-collar brawler from nearby Long Island, took on Elvir Muriqi in a light heavy tussle at Barclays on Saturday night.

He had lots of luck early, using his work rate and compact firing to take rounds and get Muriqi into a danger zone. Cuts formed on both of his eyes late, but Seanie stayed composed and made it to the cards, where the judges gave him the good news: 99-90, 98-91, 99-90.

Muriqi earned bonus points and all of his check for hanging in and not folding, while Monaghan tucks a respectable win into his pocket, and earned himself some time off to let the skin heal on his eye. Stitches are in his near future…

Hours after the fight, I checked in with Seanie, via DM. Fun night on the island, I guessed, with wins from Monaghan and Algieri, right?

“It was fun till the ninth round,  I got crushed with a nasty headbutt when I had him on the ropes,  and I got a broken orbital bone and I need a ton of stitches,” the boxer reported.

The 24-0 Seanie started jabbing in the first against the 40-7 vet from Kosovo. He went low and high, and Muriqi, who had to drop 1.8 pounds after failing on the scale Friday, didn’t look pleased. Muriqi collected himself, and Seanie didn’t care, going back to throwing one-twos.

In the second, Muriqi didn’t look drained, as he had a sweat going, and waved Seanie forward when the LI guy landed some power. Sean did nice compact work; he has tightened up a lot in the last couple years.

In the third, SM had nothing but good luck. With his guard high and tight he launched crisp and compact blows. His body work was impressive and at one point Muriqi ate on the ropes and the ref stepped to look closer. SM’s uppercuts were nasty, as well.

In the fourth, SM edged forward, playing the grinder, but Muriqi was here to earn it. He pumped jabs and lopper rights, and even snuck in his own left hook to the body. A counter right dropped Muriqi at the bell, though. After Elvir missed a right, Seanie dipped and dropped his own to score the extra point.

In the fifth, Muriqi ate a lot. Monaghan piled up combos, backed him up, used both hands and did damage. The docs looked hard at him after the round. In the sixth, Seanie kept up the work rate and damned if Elvir didn’t fold. Kosovo tough, that kid.

In the seventh, Muriqi hung tough and was advancing late in the round. Seanie took a bit of a breather then came on hard to end it to take the round.

In the eighth, Seanie’s left eye was swollen but he kept banging. Tight shots, down the middle, and a right hand caught Muriqi flush late. The Kosovarian stuck out his tongue, bless his spirit. In the ninth, Seanie was cut on his right eye and his left, but those appeared after he’d been strafing Elvir.

In the tenth, both cuts sprung a leak right away. He jabbed to keep Muriqi at bay, but Muriqi was emboldened. He saw and smelled blood. Muriqi won the round but we’d go to the cards…

Top Rank matchmaker Brad Goodman told me he liked the win and was impressed by Monaghans’ skills and toughness. His cuts could earn him about five months on the shelf, and a shot at Juergen Braehmer could be in the cards then.

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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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