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Golovkin, Geale Take Media Queries Ahead of July 26 NYC Scrap

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Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Geale took part in trash-talk free Thursday conference call to hype their July 26 clash, which will unfold at Madison Square Garden, and be shown on HBO.

Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler, Geale’s promoter Gary Shaw, and Golovkin’s trainer AbelSanchez also too part in the call, as did Geale trainer Graham Shaw.

Loeffler took the reins from PR man Bernie Bahrmasel, and said he is psyched for the card, which also features a Mike Perez-Bryant Jennings undercard topper. He then tossed it to Shaw, who said that Shaw is an “underrated” trainer, and that Sanchez does a “great job.” Shaw said Golovkin (29-0 with 26 KOs) is a “great champion” and that they respect his power. Geale (30-2 with 16 KOs), he said, has always wanted to fight Golovkin, and it was put off because they couldn’t in the past lock down PPV in Australia.

Geale spoke up after Shaw, and said he is excited to fight on such a big show, in MSG. Sanchez offered introductory remarks, and said that Golovkin won’t be rusty, even though he’s been off since February, a long layoff for him. Then, Golovkin spoke. GGG spoke up, thanked the usual suspects–no, not Al Haymon, lol–and said that he respects Geale, and thinks it won’t be an easy fight for him.

I lauded Geale for wanting this fight, and asked what he saw in GGG that made him want to fight him. He said he wants the titles, and that the only one way to do that is to fight the best and brightest. Geale, by the way, won the IBF middle title from Sebastien Sylvester in 2009, and dropped it to Darren Barker (SD12) in 2013.

Golovkin was asked what it is about Geale that impresses him. He said that Geale is a great fighter, and that he watched his last fight, against Garth Wood (in February, RTD6 win), and he came away impressed. And is Geale his toughest test, from a style standpoint? Yes, he said, without much amplification.

And does he think big foes have avoided him? “I don’t think much about this,” he said, but yes, he hears that it can be tough to snag dates with top fighters.

Geale was asked about a 2001 face-off, in the amateurs, between him and Golovkin. No, he didn’t hit the deck in that one, but doesn’t recall much about the scrap, and said both are better now. He said he’s been in big fights, on big stages, before, and been the underdog, and that will help him on July 26. Geale was asked about decision losses to Barker, and Anthony Mundine. The decisions were debatable, and he said they pushed him to train harder and achieve more. “It motivated me to train harder….There’s always going to be bad decisions in boxing” but you can’t let that get you down, he said. Geale said his defense is usually good and that he aims to not give GGG a good target on July 26.

Asked about the Barker loss, he said it was annoying, being that he put Barker down, but he shrugged it off, and got back to the gym.

He was asked how he’s prepared mentally. He said he’s preparing for the toughest fight of his life. He had a fight set with Matthew Macklin, which was scrapped because Mike Perez hurt his shoulder, which forced the card it was to appear on to be cancelled. This is a nice replacement, he said.

Sanchez was asked about ranking Golovkin behind Sugar Ray Robinson and Bernard Hopkins at 160, and said to keep that ranking down the line, the boxer needs to secure the marquee fights. Sanchez said he wants GGG to dominate a guy like Geale, who has won titles, and been 12. The trainer said Gennady stayed composed, like a Marvin Hagler, after Curtis Stevens annoyed him on social media.

Sanchez was asked about Golovkin’s training over the years, and his level of desire. The trainer said it’s good that the boxer goes home and forgets about boxing, and that keeps him hungry. “As long as he separates the two I think he’s going to be hard to deal with,” he said.

Sanchez said he knows Geale is a volume puncher, who is in great shape.

Loeffler said he isn’t looking past Geale, but that Miguel Cotto would be at the top of the list next for Gennady if he wins. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr is also in the mix, and unifying at 160 is also a desire. Cotto (WBC), Sam Soliman (IBF) and Peter Quillin (WBO) are other belt-holders.

Also, Loeffler said GGG would move up, or down, for a compelling PPV fight.

Loeffler said that ticket sales are tracking well, and capacity will be about 11,000, with seats open in the lower bowl, and suites.

There ya go, fight fans. Respect all around in this promotion. Hey, could Geale pull off a stunner? Talk to me, in our Forum…

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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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