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Lanell Bellows Not A Champ Yet, But Says “I’m Already Winning”



UPDATE: Lanell Bellows got ‘er done on Saturday, as he promised. He beat Codale Ford by UD, and rose to 9-1-1.  “I rate my performance a 6,” Bellows said. “It was a solid performance, but there were many tools I possess that I didn’t implement. I controlled the fight, but should have done more. I’ll definitely go back to the drawing board and make the adjustments that need to be made so I come back stronger and better for my next fight.”


Sorry, but I’m not really sorry, because I think it is important to iterate, and re-iterate, and hammer home the point that the sport of boxing doesn’t exist merely as a sport to entertain blood-lusty cretins, but in fact, in so, so many cases, it exists as a lifeline for the participants.

I can’t say for certain where Lanell Bellows, who fights on Saturday night against Codale Ford at the Palms in Las Vegas, would be if not for boxing giving him a reason to be, and a structure around which to stabilize his life….but chances are decent that he’d be in the weeds. Or worse…

The Las Vegas resident, who sports an 8-1-1 record, and fights under the MayweatherPromotions banner as a super middleweight, was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He was moved at age 16 months to California, and had his worldview fashioned in a couple regions, including Compton, and Palmdale, both in Los Angeles County.

“I learned life lessons, good and bad,” he told me in a phoner, which he completed after a workout at the Mayweather Boxing Club. His mom showed him love and attention, and his step-dad, and his dad, and siblings had their share of serene and joyful times. But that street, those highs you get from testing the line, stepping over it, also affected him.

“I took up boxing late,” he said. “22. In Southern California, you have gangs and stuff, and I was part of that scene. I was always fighting. (Aside from step-siblings), I was an only child, so that fed the urge to fight.”

He and buddies used to slide on gloves, spar in the street, to keep sharp. Keep sharp for what? For when beefs would pop up. For when words were exchanged, or a slight was noted, and the next step was taken. And the next step often meant fist-fighting. And yes, the step after the fist-fight, no shocking epiphany here, could indeed be an escalation, to firearms. You get the previous point about where Bellows could be if not for the ring a bit better now, I hope.

Let’s not dance around the issue. He could be dead.

But he’s not; he’s striving, and is regarded as the hardest-working prospect in the Mayweather crew. “I can’t make up the experience of someone who has been fighting since age seven, or whatever,” he said. “But I am the first one to the gym and usually the last one to leave, so whenever the time does come (to step up big), I will be ready.”

“As far as being the hardest working (in the Mayweather Promotions gang), I definitely hear it all the time, the work ethic, I take pride in.” Trainers Rafael Ramos and Mike Leonardi, and strength and conditioning coach Bob Weir can point to him as being a role model, for sure.

Some of the attitude, the cold stare, the intensity which promises a violent ending for a foe which people saw in Compton from Bellows is something he hasn’t ditched.

“It was, if you’re willing to go with me, you have to think I’m willing to GO THERE. It’s survival. Am I cold now? Boxing is about feeding my family. I take a similar attitude. I refuse to lose. It’s survival on a daily basis. But minus the petty street stuff.”

You’ll note that in fact he does have a loss and a draw on his ledger, so, like all of us, occasionally despite exemplary prep and intentions, he has lost. The draw came against 5-6-1 Roberto Yong in February 2013; Bellows says he learned from that scrap, which was a swing bout, and had him losing focus and energy when he warmed up and then cooled down about four times when he finally fought after ten PM, after coming to the building at 4-ish.

The loss, to 8-9-2 Eddie Hunter last in December 2013, taught him to be that much more conclusive when fighting at the other guys’ home turf, finish the job, via KO, and by incontrovertible decision.

He has also picked up some wisdom from Floyd, who he says is hands on, is open and accessible and generous to the pack of strivers looking to get to the echelon of sport the boss has enjoyed for almost 20 years. “If you want to talk to Floyd, it’s not like you have to go through three, four people. You just talk to him. He treats us good.”

As for the 4-3 Ford, Bellows says he’s nothing he hasn’t seen. “It’s nothing I haven’t trained for. If I properly make the adjustments I need to then…let’s put it this way, he has been stopped once? I plan on making it twice.”

Cliche alert: even if this guy doesn’t go on to do what he plans, fight maybe for some kind of title by the end of next year, I dare say he’s succeeded. His two boys, Lannell (9) and Lavelle (5) can look at him and be proud that he is striving so hard. They don’t have to know that it is maybe a minor miracle that he’s not a casualty of the gang life…

“I’m happy because nobody thought I’d get this far,” Bellows said, in closing. “I’m already winning. My message is, to fans and everyone, there’s a long ride ahead of us. I’m a great driver, so don’t worry, we’ll get to our destination.”



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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