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The Comeback Went Off the Rails; Now, For Mike Jones, “We’ll See What Happens”



So far, so good.

Off 26 months, but it looked like Mike Jones wasn’t working to shake off a thick layer of rust as he dominated Jaime Herrera in the first and second rounds at Ballys in Atlantic City on Saturday night.

The aisled were jammed up, the fans in attendance were on their feet prior to this main event, pitting Jones against Herrera, an 11-2 guy invited to the dance to test Jones, to give a good account of himself, but not, at the end of the night, have his hand raised.

Jones, the 31-year-old from Philly, had the footwork edge on the less experienced boxer. He stung the underdog from Illinois, shook him with crisp connections. With seconds left in the second, Jones scored a knockdown, which had the Ballys brigade amped. It seemed like Herrera might not recover. But he was working off a different script…

You wouldn’t know it by watching the third round, though. Herrera took yet another trip to the canvas. Jones backers were jazzed, as it looked to even an untrained eye that the end was near for Herrera. He got out his red pen, scratched out what had been written by the Jones gang, the best case scenario for the comebacker, and he started to re-make the tale.

Well-timed combinations consistently connected, and most meaningfully at the right eye of Jones, which had begun to swell after a clash of heads in the second round. Minute by minute, Herrera gained momentum and gained control of the fight, as Jones seemed to fade with each passing round.

Controlling the action well through the sixth round, Herrera was pulling ahead in the fight, as Jones was bloodied and struggling with an eye that was now part of some bad math. Eye in rough shape, put together with waning stamina…

A visibly deflated Jones barely remained on his feet at the end of the seventh round. The lungs, the legs, the eye, all were betraying him. He went back to his corner, and his condition, and probable prospects to be able to escape from Herrera’s blows, were noted by the ringside doctor. Referee Earl Jones waved off the fight.

You’ll maybe recall that Jones’ promoter, Russell Peltz, told me that a KO by Jones was needed to give the comeback a proper shine. I had to check in with Peltz, get his response to the shocker loss.

What are your feelings on the outcome of Saturday’s match up?

“As a promoter, I could not ask for a more terrific fight,” Peltz said. “You can’t do any better than that. It was a great fight with two talented fighters who were well-matched.”

Did the stoppage surprise you?

“No, I thought it would end in a knockout, and that’s what happened,” he said. “Had the referee stopped the fight after the big knockdown in the second round, and I think 99% of referees would have, we would be talking about the exciting comeback of Mike Jones, but that’s not how it went. I can’t take anything away from Herrera. He picked himself back up after two knockdowns and got right back in the fight. When you see a fighter wobbling and taking a beating early, then rise to the occasion and come out victorious, that’s impressive. The fans couldn’t have asked for a better fight and I’m happy about that.”

How did you feel about Mike’s conditioning? He looked out of shape from where I was sitting, I told Peltz. It looked like he ran out of gas.

“I think he was conditioned well, but he told me he ran out of gas,” Peltz said. “Between the hard hits he was throwing early in the first few rounds, the ring rust, and his nerves, he got beat. He had two problematic cuts, one over the right eye earlier, which was from a clash of heads, and one over the left eye. The thing about cuts from head butts are that you don’t see them immediately. The swelling catches up with the fighter in the next rounds. It’s hard to say if both of the cuts were from head butts. I will have to take a look at the tape to see when both cuts occurred, but it wasn’t called a head butt.”

How is Mike feeling now, I wondered.

“I talked to him at the airport before he was ready to return to Vegas,” Peltz said. “He didn’t remember scoring the second knockdown, which is odd. It is strange that a fighter wouldn’t remember that. He went for his catscan after the fight and everything was alright. He said he’s alright. We’ve got to wait our sixty days, and see what happens.”

What’s next for Jones?

“We’ll see what happens,” he said. “He’s interested in getting back in the ring and I hope to see him there shortly. Now that he’s made it back to the ring, he’ll fight again. We will see what happens.”

Though the fight had a dramatic beginning, Jones, now 26-2, was still a far cry away from the fighter he used to be, to my eyes. He was visibly exhausted and stopped pressing the action after the fourth round. He was unable to capitalize on the two big knockdowns earlier in the fight, and his defense was not good enough to hold off a determined fighter like Herrera. To my surprise, Herrera was able to turn on a speedy offense and land numerous combinations that Jones had no energy left to answer.

Jamie Herrera advances to 12-2 in a loaded welter weight division and I am excited to see what he will be able to do in the future, and will monitor his matches moving forward. Depending on how he looks in the near future, it could tell us that he was underrated going in, or, maybe, be used as evidence that Jones’ best days are too far gone for him to be able to clamber back to the big stages.



2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura



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



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



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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