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Spence Wins on “ShoBox,” Redkach Gets W on ESPN

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ERROL SPENCE, JR. IMPRESSES WITH RESOUNDING

UNANIMOUS DECISION VICTORY OVER RONALD CRUZ;

Dominic Wade Remains Unbeaten With Unanimous Decision Victory Over Nick Brinson

On ShoBox: The New Generation

Catch Replay Tuesday, July 1, at 9 p.m. ET/PT On SHOWTIME EXTREME

Click HERE For Photos

Credit: Esther Lin / SHOWTIME

Tom Hogan / Golden Boy Promotions

LAS VEGAS (June 27, 2014) – Undefeated Errol Spence, Jr. didn’t lose a round and may have made the transition from prospect to contender in a dominating unanimous decision victory (100-90 three times) over the durable Ronald Cruz in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation on SHOWTIME® from The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Spence (13-0, 10 KOs) was remarkably efficient with his power punches, landing 282 shots compared to Cruz’s 65 at a rate of 58 percent. Looking like a potential future world champion, the 2012 U.S. Olympian was technically sound and sharp with his punches, picking apart the courageous Cruz (20-4, 15 KOs) as he went past the eighth round for the first time in his career. Conditioning certainly wasn’t an issue for the 24-year-old, who threw more punches in the 10th and final round (114) than he did in any other round in the fight.

“After this fight, I learned that I can go the full 10 rounds and sustain my energy for all the rounds,” Spence said. “I blocked, banged, threw the punches, stayed composed, and stuck to the game plan. I came into this fight in great condition and I can attribute that to a great training camp.

“I honestly thought I was going to knock him out in the sixth or seventh, but he’s tough and he came to fight. I’ve seen his fights before and he always comes in with a lot of pride.”

Fighting a southpaw for the first time, it was impressive the outmatched Cruz made it to the final bell with the amount of punishment he was taking. He suffered a cut over his left eye due to accidental headbutt in the second round and another cut over the right eye from a punch in the seventh.

“I don’t know what went wrong in there. It was hard to see out of that eye from the cut and he kept landing that straight left. I didn’t want them to stop the fight because I still thought I had a chance.”

ShoBox color commentator Steve Farhood couldn’t think of anything bad to say about Spence following the impressive performance.

“For the entire fight, we had nothing but glowing praise for Spence to the point where I felt compelled to think of a negative and I was stumped,” Farhood said. “He’s good technically, he’s mature, and when you throw 114 punches the first time you’ve ever seen the 10thround nobody can question his condition either. Spence will be a contender soon and he’s a star in the making.”

In the opening bout of the telecast, undefeated middleweight prospect Dominic Wade kept his perfect record intact with a unanimous decision victory over previously once-beatenNick Brinson, scored 96-94, 97-93 twice.

Wade (16-0,11 KOs), who went past six rounds for the first time in his career, was relaxed and controlled the pace from the opening bell. His speed and efficiency was the difference, as he kept Brinson (16-2-2, 6 KOs) at a distance and consistently landed power shots and combos with ease. Wade slowed a bit in the later round as he entered previously uncharted waters, but he fought carefully, kept his distance and didn’t allow Brinson to disrupt his game plan.

“I am happy with the way that I fought tonight,” said Wade, who looked tired but unscathed. “I felt good and strong in the ring. I have been training to go the distance and I wasn’t looking for a knockout.

“Brinson has an awkward style but I executed my routine and plan and it worked out in my favor. I kept my left hand low because I was worried about him coming up on top of me. Overall, I am proud of my performance.”

After losing his first 10-round fight and coming back from the second-longest layoff of his career (8 months), Brinson was disappointed by the result.

“I started a little slow tonight,” Brinson said. “He clearly won the first three rounds, but I felt like I came on strong in the middle rounds, especially with the body shots.

“I was the aggressor towards the end of the fight. I felt like maybe it was a draw, but the judges’ didn’t see it that way. I gave it my all and sometimes it just doesn’t fall in your favor.”

While not overly impressed with his performance, Farhood thought it was a valuable learning experience for Wade.

“It was a big step up for Wade and I thought that he responded reasonably well,” Farhood said. “He shined in the first half of the fight, decelerated a bit in the second half, but going the 10-round distance for the first time is a huge step for someone who had fought as few rounds as he had.”

In a non-televised bout, undefeated light heavyweight and 2012 U.S. Olympian Marcus Browne (11-0, 8 KOs) scored a first-round TKO against Donta Woods (8-3, 7 KOs) in a fight that lasted just 91 seconds. Browne was originally scheduled to oppose Yusaf Mack(31-7, 17 KOs) on the ShoBox telecast but the fight had to be canceled after Mack failed a pre-fight blood test.

Highlights of Browne’s fight against Woods were shown between rounds of the co-feature fight as Browne was interviewed by Farhood.

“We worked hard in this camp and it paid dividends,” Browne said. “I’m starting to get comfortable and starting to get in groove. I’m young in the sport of boxing and I’m here to stay for a long time.”

Erislandy Lara, who faces Canelo Alvarez on SHOWTIME PPV® on Saturday, July 12, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, was interviewed before the main event to talk about the biggest fight of his career and the influence that social media had on making the showdown a reality.

“I’ve never been in a big fight like this, but thank God I’m able to control myself and deal with the cameras and the press and everything that comes with it,” Lara said. “I used social media to challenge him. I knew the fans and the press would respond to that and that’s how I got the fight.

“Supposedly they say he’s the best at 154 pounds, but I think I’m the best. I think it’s a good thing that the best are fighting the best.”

As ShoBox approaches its landmark 200th telecast next month, former IBF light middleweight champion, Ishe Smith, who appeared on the series five times, was interviewed by Farhood and asked about the impact ShoBox has had on his career.

“This series means everything to my career,” Smith said. “I started in 2002 and it’s just been a blessing to main event ShoBox four times. I went 4-1 on the series and watching Errol Spence take on a tough fighter this early in his career reminds me of when I foughtDavid Estrada when I only had 11 or 12 fights.”

Friday’s fights will replay on Tuesday, July 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME and will be available on SHOWTIME ANYTIME and On Demand through July 25.

Barry Tompkins called the ShoBox action from ringside withFarhood and former World Champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer wasGordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.

REDKACH GRINDS OUT UGLY WIN

OVER GULYAKEVICH

KIELCZWESKI IMPROVES TO 20-0

WITH GRUELING UNANIMOUS DECISION VICTORY

OVER LUNA

St. Charles, MO (6/28/14) – Earlier tonight at the beautiful Ameristar Casino Resort and Spa in St. Charles, MO, world-rated lightweight contender (IBF #8/WBC #9) Ivan Redkach improved his record to a perfect 17-0, 13KO’s, with an ugly 10-round unanimous decision over former title challenger Sergey Gulyakevich (41-3, 17KO’s).

Redkach, who is widely considered to be one of the most promising young fighters in all of boxing, was forced to go the distance for the second consecutive bout as Gulyakevich seemed to be more content on holding and tying Redkach up rather than looking to engage.

The southpaw Redkach pressed the action throughout and scored with hard body shots in the early going, which visibly bothered Gulyakevich. Redkach suffered a right elbow contusion in the third frame, which limited him being able to throw his right hand, and later in the fight, he hurt his left hand.

Redkach fought through both injuries and the excessive holding by Gulyakevich to ultimately win the 10-round unanimous decision with scores of 100-90, 99-91, and 98-92.

In the co-feature bout of the evening, WBA #11-rated super featherweight Ryan Kielczweski moved to 20-0 with an exciting and grueling eight-round unanimous decision over previously once-beaten Ramsey Luna.

The opening stanza was a bit of a feeling-out round, but things started to really heat up in the second. Kielczweski began digging in some vicious body punches with both hands. The hard-charging Luna looked to push Kielczweski to the ropes and score with flurries.

There was great two-way action from both in the middle rounds with Kielczweski getting the better of the exchanges and landing the more telling blows.

The sixth, seventh and eighth rounds were absolute wars, with both guys going toe-to-toe for nearly every second of each round, sending the packed house into a frenzy.

In the end, Kielczweski was awarded the well-deserved unanimous decision, winning by scores of 79-73, 78-74, and 78-74.

In the opening bout of the night, hometown favorite Stephon Young won an exciting six-round unanimous decision over tough-as-nails Vincente Alfaro, winning by scores of 60-54, 60-56, 59-55. With the win Young improved to 10-0, 4KO’s while Alfaro dropped to 6-4, 1KO.

In off-tv bouts, DiBella Entertainment’s three middleweights Ivan Golub, Eduardo Alicea and Paul Littleton all notched victories in separate bouts. Alicea, who is co-promoted by Rumble Time Promotions, improved to 7-0, 3KO’s with a dominate six-round decision over Demetrius Walker. The highly touted Ukrainian Golub won a four-round unanimous decision over JaVon Wright in what was advertised as Golub’s pro-debut. Golub competed in the World Series of Boxing, winning five consecutive bouts, so officially his record now stands at 6-0. In the opening bout of the night, Littleton stopped Jeff Combs in the fourth round of their scheduled six-rounder to improve to 9-0-1, 5KO’s.

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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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