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FORUM FLURRIES Superior Posts From the Forum All-Stars

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One and all seemed to dig the Showtime card which unfolded Saturday night, from the Stub Hub Center in Carson, a joint which seems to encourage above-average prizefighting.

I’ve collected some of the most salient, insightful and amusing comments from our Forum crew, something I haven’t done in awhile, and I think is ripe for a return, being that our Forum contest has been a marked success, and has bred a consistent delivery of superior analysis from the superlative group of regulars.

To kick things off, Dave B wasn’t sold on the Ukrainian who won a world title in his THIRD PRO FIGHT! Tough sell, that Dave B! “I’m still not impressed with Lomachenko,” he wrote. “I don’t see anything really special about this kid. Yes, he is technically sound and I like the way he goes to the body but I place him among what I call the mediocre elite as I do Alexander, Lamont Peterson, Robert Guerrero. He will have a good pro career but I don’t seem him doing more than mediocre against top notch competition.” I like that, “the mediocre elite.” Anyone else got anyone to add to fit that bill?

It’s fun, and often illuminating, to check back on pre-fight threads, and see who nailed it, who made the right call before the first bell rang. In this case, our man OuBobcat was spot on with his take on the Lomachenko-Russell Jr bout. “The sport is littered with examples though of boxers who have much better hand speed than their opponents getting beaten by opponents who are technically better in some other areas (remember Mosley-Forrest and Mosley-Wright),” OuBobcat wrote. “I think despite the blinding speed Russell gets handled by Lomachenko.” He thought right, didn’t he?

As did Brown Sugar, who saw something early in Russell’s career, and didn’t let it go, smartly. “Russell was about 3 or 4 fights into his pro career when he was nearly obliterated in a showcase bout designed to display his vast skills,” he wrote. “Russell opened up early and nearly paid the ultimate price for letting his hands with utter abandon. Since that fight his braintrust placed him on a secure(safe) path… One less risksy to help him to improve his defense. It has been proven by W. Klitscho that while a chin can’t necessarily be inhanced. It can be educated. Klitschko learned how to relax and recover when he gets hit now as well as how to minimize the chance of getting solidly at all. Russell’s dad discussed the gradual progression of Russell Jr’s defense at several points over the years.. But its my opinion as well as 99% of the boxing community that protecting Russell hasn’t been that great of a benefit.” Amen, sir. And as I Tweeted out on Sunday, the Most Thanked Man in the Business, one Al Haymon, deserves, I dare say, some flak for not matching Russell Jr. smarter before throwing him in that proverbial deep water with the lead swimmies….

Fight game lifer The Commish aka Randy Gordon, who was kind enough to have me in studio last Friday for his Sirius show with Gentleman Gerry Cooney, offered his take on Nadjib Mohammedis’ takedown of Anatoliy Dudchenko, who messed the bed in a big way on Saturday, on that NBC cable show put together by Main Events. “I can’t figure what happened to Anatoliy Dudchenko,” The Commish wrote. “His veteran traiiner, Jesse Reid, had told me on Friday that, “Dudchenko is ready to win this fight and then make a move towards some bigger names” in the light heavyweight division. From the opening bell, Dudchenko seemed to have nothing. He looked tired, listless and had little snap. I thought maybe he was just off to a slow start, but, by the third round, you could see this was not going to be his night. He made Najdib Mohammedi look like the next superstar in the LH division.”

Note: I dare say me and most of you missed the sharp coverage that we usually get from ace vet David A. Avila, who is resting at home and regaining strength after a medical issue arose. He certainly would have been able to convey the meaning of the Robert Guerrero and Devon Alexander wins, along with Loma’s triumph. Looking forward to his comeback fight, hopefully coming soon!

If you haven’t been to our Forum yet, please do check in. I can pretty much guarantee you will get hooked.

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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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