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Kenia Enriquez Controls Mayela Perez to Remain Undefeated

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SAN DIEGO-Mexico’s Kenia Enriquez used her jab like a magic wand to bedazzle the fast rushes of fellow Mexican Mayela Perez before an adoring crowd on Thursday.

Enriquez (12-0, 6 Kos) returned to her new adopted home across the border and was greeted much like her previous travel with loud cheering fans numbering close to 1,000 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The end result was a unanimous decision victory over Perez (11-16-4, 7 Kos) after eight rounds in a junior flyweight contest.

Five months had passed since her last fight, but if there was rust it was not obvious. She has the ability to strike quick, defend or ambush at her disposal. Her biggest weapons are the agility in her legs and that stabbing and punishing jab. Yes, that jab could be the best in the business of female boxing.

“My strategy was to use my jab and speed and keep my distance,” said Enriquez.

Behind a probing jab that connected with varying impact, Enriquez kept Perez’s bull rushes under control in the first round. And when that was not enough, she cracked that left hook that seemed to physically change the look in Perez’s eyes.

Second round action saw Enriquez slightly more aggressive. Though the slender caramel skinned boxer from Tijuana seldom attacked outright, whenever the shorter and seemingly heavier Perez charged, Enriquez would use that educated jab to maneuver her opponent one way or another like a matador against a bull. On several occasions, Enriquez opened up with the big guns and fired some pretty lethal combinations. After several connected, she opened up the distance to gauge what kind of damaged had been inflicted. Seeing none, she went back to business with the use of that persistent jab.

Perez was no snow flake which would melt away after a few heated exchanges. She bobbed and weaved and attacked with hooking punches from both sides. The fighter from Saltillo, Mexico had fought several of her country’s best female fighters and was the proud possessor of the WBC mini flyweight silver belt. She was out for her pound of flesh and determined to show how that belt was captured. There was no meekness in her heart. In the fourth round a solid left hook crashed Enriquez’s jaw for Perez’s best round. But trying to cross that neutral zone that Enriquez established was pretty difficult.

Enriquez realized that the previous round could be a turning point and emerged from her corner with intentions to end the fight. No jabs came from the Tijuana prizefighter, instead a deadly volley of pinpoint blows caught a surprised Perez, who seemingly expected more jabs. Enriquez unloaded several combos that connected solidly. The Saltillo fighter returned fire and when one of her counters connected, the attack ended and returned back to the previous mode of jab, jab, jab for Enriquez.

After one round of jab and counter, the eighth and final round saw Enriquez and Perez engage in a firefight. Once again Enriquez’s accuracy played out but Perez again exhibited the ability to absorb the big blows and landed a few of her own. For the entire two-minute round both female fighters took their chances and expended their ammunition with crushing combinations. Perez landed more blows than she had the entire fight but took a lot more big blows too.

All three judges scored the fight 80-72 in favor of Enriquez.

“She turned out to be a very experienced opponent,” said Enriquez, “and a little complicated too.”

Other bouts.

Jolene Blackshear (9-5, 4 Kos) may have surprised Susan Reno (1-3-1) with her power but did not surprise anyone who had seen her earlier fights when she cracked that deadly right cross to end the fight within a minute of the first round.

Haley Pasion won her pro debut against debuting Jillian Lybarger (0-1), who just by her stance and constant elbowing let the crowd know she is an MMA fighter. Pasion boxed and Lybarger elbowed and clinched for most of the fight. Hawaii’s Pasion won by mixed scores of 38-38, 39-37 and 40-36 to win a majority decision. One of Pasion’s trainers is former champion Jesus Salud.

Miguel Sanchez (9-0, 7 Kos) remained undefeated after a brawling three rounds against Ivan Zavala (6-7-2). Zavala could not continue due to a hand injury after the third round.

Mulapi Enjani won his pro debut by unanimous decision over Juan Urbina (0-3-1).

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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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