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Kovalev To Hopkins: “Any Time, Any Place!”

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Good stuff coming from Main Events, from promoter Kathy Duva and her guy Sergey Kovalev, who is not going to quit signaling his desire to fight the top dogs in and around his weight class.

Bernard Hopkins recently made noise about his willingness to fight Sergey Kovalev, and so Duva and Kovalev are taking the ball Hopkins tossed, and running with it.

I find it interesting to hear from Hopkins something you just about never do…him considering the possibility that he could lose, and even that he could be knocked out.

Check out the release which Main Events sent out today, Tuesday, and note that it appears Duva went into “out up or shut up mode” after Hopkins said he’d be willing to fight Krusher, and reached out to B-Hop’s people, only to be told that the state of transition at Golden Boy is keeping Hopkins from negotiating his next step.

It is clear that Duva isn’t backing down from her recent flurrying of speaking truth to power, and agitating, in contentious fashion if neccessary, to get top-notch fights for her 175 pound banger. Makes sense, as Kovalev wants the stiffest tests, and is risking a momentum stall with back to back fights against sub-marquee names, in Cedric Agnew, and now Blake Caparello.

Readers, check out this release, and then weigh in with your analysis of the situation.

Ft. Lauderdale, FL: As Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (24-0-1, 22 KOs) prepares to defend his WBO Light Heavyweight World Title against Blake “Il Capo” Caparello on August 2nd on HBO Boxing After Dark from Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ, the media is buzzing about the possibility of a unification fight between Krusher and IBF/WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KOs).

“Krusher”

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

In a recent interview with BoxingScene.com, Hopkins called out Kovalev saying, “I got two titles and a legacy. What’s Kovalev got? A punch and a WBO title – let’s do it.” He added, “The perception is, is that Kovalev is a killer and [Adonis] Stevenson doesn’t want to fight him, he wants to fight an old man. If that’s the case, I’ll knock off Kovalev first, because I believe that I can beat him. I believe that he’s a tough fight, but I believe that I can beat him. It’s a fight where if I make a mistake I can get knocked out. And yeah Bernard Hopkins can get knocked out too, and so can Kovalev and so can Stevenson, who’s been knocked out once in his career.”

Hopkins, of course, is referring to the planned title unification fight on HBO between WBO Champion Kovalev and WBC Champion Adonis Stevenson, which was scuttled when Stevenson and his Promoter chose to take a path avoiding Kovalev. That decision is now the subject of ongoing litigation.

Kovalev

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

Kovalev was predictably peeved when Stevenson called off their planned fight. He would especially relish the opportunity to face the legendary Hopkins before Stevenson gets the chance, though he remains circumspect. Kovalev said, “All I want to do is fight the best. I wanted to fight Stevenson but he ran away. I would get in the ring with Bernard Hopkins right now! Any time, any place! But who knows? Maybe he’s just trying to get more money from Showtime? So, I am focused on preparing for my fight on HBO on August 2nd and after we’ll see if Hopkins will really get in the ring with me.”

Kovalev vs. Agnew

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

Main Events CEO Kathy Duva added, “After reading Bernard’s comments to BoxingScene.com, I immediately reached out to all of the parties potentially involved on the Hopkins side to try to make the fight happen. But what I heard from all of them is ‘I don’t know,’ including when I asked who would represent Bernard in negotiations. If Bernard Hopkins truly wants to fight Sergey Kovalev, I know we can make a deal. Like Sergey, we will focus on our preparations for his title fight against Blake Caparello on August 2nd, while Hopkins sorts out his promotional situation.”

About Kovalev vs. Caparello:The WBO Light Heavyweight World Championship between Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, (24-0-1, 22 KOs) and Blake “Il Capo” Caparello (19-0-1, 6 KOs) is onSaturday, August 2nd at Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic, City, NJ. The fight will be telecast as part of a split-site triple-header on HBO Boxing After Darkbeginning at 9:45 PM ET/PT. The event is presented by Main Events in association with DiBella Entertainment. Tickets prices are $55, $80, $160 and $250. They are available at ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000. Doors open at6:30 PM and the HBO Boxing After Dark special triple header split site telecast begins at 9:45 PM.

About Revel

Revel Casino Hotel is Atlantic City’s newest and most spacious casino resort and convention destination. Located on Atlantic City’s world-famous boardwalk, the ocean front hotel is designed to offer endless views of the Atlantic at every turn. The casino resort offers 130,000 square feet of world class gaming, with 2,400 slots, 130 table games, electronic tables and players’ lounges, along with the high-limit table game Ultra Lounge. A member of the American Express Gold Hotel Collection, Revel features 1,399 ocean view rooms. Guests can enjoy indoor and outdoor pools, cabanas, gardens, lounges, a 32,000-square-foot spa, 13 restaurants that offer a range of fine dining to deliciously affordable menu options, a collection of boutiques, nightclubs, a dayclub, and live entertainment at The Social and showroom headliners at Ovation Hall. While taking in all the casino has to offer, guests can earn points as they play, dine, shop and relax with the Revel Card loyalty program. For additional information and updates, and for complete details and rules of all promotions, customers can visit the Revel Card desk or visit www.revelcasino.com and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/revel and follow @revelresorts on Twitter and @revelcasino on Instagram.

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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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