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Lara Calls For Investigation of Judge Levi Martinez

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It’s Monday, two days have passed, and the ire hasn’t dimmed. Erislandy Lara is still quit angry that two of three judges saw Canelo Alvarez as the better man in their twelve round clash Saturday night in Vegas.

The judge who scored widest for Canelo, one Levi Martinez, drew special scorn from the Cuban, who went from insinuation to straight up allegation as he drew a bulls-eye on Martinez, who declared with his card that the Mexican beat Lara, 9 rounds to 3.

Lara, in many circles, isn’t getting much support, as many folks think he spent far too much time “running” from Canelo, the guy who they say was the only guy trying to make the fight a fight. The Cuban talked a great and ferocious game pre-fight, and at the weigh-in, when he said he wanted to break Canelo’s face, then and there…but during the fight, spent the majority of rounds in “don’t let me get hit” mode, rather than fighting with an intention to inflict harm on his opponent.

Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal said he spoke to the two top men at the Nevada Commission, Francisco Aguiler and Bob Bennett, and both men said the Martinez card “concerned them” and would be studied.

Here is the release sent out by Team Lara today (Monday):

LAS VEGAS (July 14, 2014) – After landing more punches and connecting with a higher percentage, Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara (19-2-2, 12 KOs) feels he was robbed in his fight with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (44-1-1, 31 KOs) that took place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas this past weekend.

Fact, Lara landed 107 total punches to Alvarez’s 97 and had a higher connect percentage (28% Lara – 23% Alvarez). The body shots that Alvarez landed were grazing shots that Lara blocked with his elbows, and most of them came in the round he got cut.

Erislandy sounds off on why he feels he won the fight and deserves an immediate rematch.

“Before the decision was announced, I felt 100% confident I won the fight,” said Lara. “The facts don’t lie, I landed more total punches. Looking at it from the punch stats, you’re supposed score based on clean and effective blows landed. Most of the shots that Canelo landed were body blows that didn’t even land cleanly, and most of them came in the round where I got cut. All my punches were clean shots. I out jabbed him and boxed his ears off. The punch stats don’t lie…there is no way I lost to Canelo.”

“I’m very disappointed in Judge Levi Martinez for his horrendous score. How in the world did he score it 117-111? Before the decision was announced, I stood across the ring and saw Team Canelo and their body language said it all. You could see the depression in their eyes. Everyone on their whole team had a look of despair because they were defeated. When the final score was read, their look went from despair to relief. They knew they lost the fight, period.”

“Levi definitely needs to be investigated and he should never be appointed to judge a big fight again. I’m not sure if he’s dishonest or inept to be judging at this level, either way he needs to be reprimanded for this horrible decision. This is the second time this has happened to me and I wouldn’t want to see this happen to someone else. Like what happen to the judges in New York in the Williams fight, Levi should be suspended. I left communist Cuba to escape corruption and now I see it happening here in the boxing world.”

“Oscar De La Hoya said that I have to wait in line to fight Alvarez again because there are 10 others ahead of me. That speaks volumes because he knows Canelo got a gift.” Lara concluded. “Who are these 10 guys he’s talking about…I want to know. I won this fight and a rematch needs to happen right away.”

Strong words from Lara, using the “c” word, corruption, apparently while having no proof, beyond his heated opinion. I’m not prepared to go there, and would say, with all due respect, that Lara maight have swayed Dave Moretti, who had it 115-113 Alvarez, if he’d attacked Canelo with a similar level of fire he shared in this release, than he showed at the MGM.

As for the rematch talk, I’d be less surprised if Kate Upton reached out to me on Facebook, and expressed her desire to snuggle with me in a cocoon of enchantment than if Lara were able to secure a rematch. Canelo’s next foe will be a straight ahead banger, in the Alfredo Angulo mode, the sort which plays into his strengths and away from his obvious weaknesses.

Boxing is a sport, but more importantly to the ones who promote it, a business, a business in which “entertainment” is supposed to be at the forefront. Lara’s style, when he uses the one he used vs. Canelo, is not one that appeals to the masses..and therefore, he shouldn’t be surprised if his opportunities shrink as a result. It will be interesting to see if Lara “gets it,” or he clings to his POV on this subject…

Let me finish by making clear I respect Lara’s boxing talent, and the need for scorers to reward the ring generals, and not simply be power worshippers. But I do think Mr. Lara and a couple other guys out there who get accused of being too cute would only be serving themselves, in the popularity and revenue generating department, if they concentrated on the offense a tad bit more than their instincts direct them to do during fights.

Your thoughts, readers?

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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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