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Brandon Rios Fighting Diego Chaves Aug. 2

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BRANDON RIOS vs. DIEGO CHAVES

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JESSIE VARGAS vs. ANTON NOVIKOV

HEADLINE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING EVENT

Saturday, August 2, Live on HBO®

The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Tickets on Sale

This Friday! June 20, at 10 a.m. PDT

LAS VEGAS, NV (June 18, 2014) – Former world lightweight champion and pound-for-pound all-action fighter BRANDON “Bam Bam” RIOS of Oxnard, Calif. makes his eagerly-anticipated 2014 debut when he takes on one-time interim world champion DIEGO “La Joya” CHAVES of Buenos Aires, in a 10-round welterweight battle, Saturday, August 2, in The Chelsea atThe Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas (3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89109). The fight will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark®. The telecast will also include the first title defense of World Boxing Association (WBA) super lightweight champion “The Pride of Las Vegas” JESSIE VARGAS against undefeated contender ANTON “The Pick Hammer” NOVIKOV , of Kopeysk, Russia. Doors will open at 3:30 p.m. PT with the first bout beginning at 4:00 p.m. PT. The HBO telecast, a split-site tripleheader, will begin at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT.

These four warriors boast a combined record of 107-3-1 (60 KOs) — a winning ratio of 96 percent with over half of those victories coming by way of knockout.

Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with Tecate, tickets to the Rios vs. Chaves / Vargas vs. Novikov world championship event go on sale This Friday!June 20 at 10:00 a.m. PDT and will be available for purchase at www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com or through Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 andwww.ticketmaster.com. Tickets are priced at $50, $75, $100, $150 and $200. Room / ticket packages will also be available.

“This is a do or die fight for me. I know this fight is very important for my career. I am training extremely hard,” said Rios from his Oxnard-based training camp where he has been ensconced for the past six weeks.

“I cannot wait to be in the ring and perform in front of my hometown crowd,” said Vargas. “I am very happy that my first world title defense will be in my hometown and that my friends, family and fans will all be part of it.”

“The entire boxing world always eagerly anticipates Brandon Rios’ return to the ring. His in-your-face style of fighting keeps fans glued to the action,” said Top Rank president, Todd duBoef. “The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas will be hosting boxing at the highest level on August 2 as HBO will open the telecast with local hero Jessie Vargas in his first world title defense.”

Rios (31-2-1 (22 KOs), the former WBA lightweight champion, from Oxnard, Calif., is on the hunt for his second world title in as many weight divisions. Thirteen of his last 16 victories have come by way of knockout. One of boxing’s most exciting fighters, Rios is known for his all-action fan-friendly fighting style. His trainer, former International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior lightweight champion and 2012 Trainer of the Year Robert Garcia, calls it a “throwback” style with a warrior’s mentality that screams excitement. Highlight knockout victories on Rios’ resume include Miguel Acosta, Anthony Peterson, Urbano Antillon, John Murray and Mike Alvarado. Alvarado, the natural 140-pounder, entered that fight as the undefeated WBO No. 1 junior welterweight contender. Many consider it 2012’s Fight of the Year. In their exciting rematch, which took place on March 30, 2013, Rios lost a close decision for the vacant WBO interim junior welterweight title. It was considered a finalist for the 2013 Fight of the Year award. In his last fight, on November 24, 2013, he lost a unanimous decision to Fighter of the Decade Manny Pacquiao, headlining a pay-per-view event that emanated from Macau, China.

Chaves (23-1, 19 KOs), of Buenos Aires, is a power puncher who stalks his opponent with only one goal — THE KNOCKOUT! His victory by knockout ratio of 83% proves it is usually “mission accomplished” for him. Chaves will be making his Las Vegas debut on this card in only his second fight outside his native Argentina. He captured the WBA interim welterweight title in 2012, knocking out defending champion Ismael El Massoudi in the second round. Chaves’ one-year title reign included a successful title defense against José Miranda, where he scored another second-round stoppage. He lost the title to Keith Thurman last July. Chaves’ last fight was a third-round TKO of Juan Godoy on February 15. He is currently world-rated No. 7 by the WBA and No. 10 by the International Boxing Federation (IBF).

Vargas (24-0, Nine KOs), of Las Vegas, Nevada, will be making his world champion debut a homecoming. He captured the WBA super lightweight title on April 19 in Las Vegas, winning a unanimous decision over undefeated defending champion Khabib Allakhverdiev. It was a close and competitive fight that proved Vardas’ grit as he bit down hard during the championship rounds to pull away with the victory and the world championship belt. Vargas has proved himself a very popular ring performer in his hometown with nearly half of his fights taking place in Las Vegas. His impressive resume includes victories over former world champions Stevie Forbes and Vivian Harris and top contenders Josesito Lopez, Lucky Boy Omotoso, Ray Narh and Lanardo Tyner.

Novikov (29-0, 10 KOs), of Kopeysk, Russia, is a southpaw with good skills and movement. After a strong amateur career he seamlessly made the transition into the professional ranks in 2006. He captured the World Boxing Council Silver welterweight title in 2012, winning a unanimous decision over Karlo Tabaghua. He returns to the ring fresh from a 10-round unanimous decision victory over Javier Castro onMay 17 in Fresno, California, where he blitzed him winning every round on the three judges’ scorecards.

For fight updates go to www.toprank.com or www.hbo.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/trboxingand on Twitter at twitter.com/trboxing and twitter.com/trboxeo.

For more information on The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, visit www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cosmopolitan_lv or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thecosmopolitan.

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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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