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De La Rosa Steps Up and Beats Vet Angulo on PPV Opener

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James De La Rosa is a 154 pounder but he stepped up for a helluva opportunity, a clash with fading vet Alfredo Angulo in the TV opener, which unfolded at the MGM Grand on Saturday night. DLR made the right call, as he was the more active and accurate boxer, as he snagged a UD10, by scores of 98-90, 96, 99-89, shaking off some solid body shots, and a couple low blows, in a career best victory, in the middleweight division.

Might this be a career capper for Gulo? I doubt it; he’s a warrior at heart and came sort of close to stopping DLR in round ten.

Angulo went 174-686 to 248-816 for the winner.

De La Rosa (22-2; from Texas; age 26; 161.5 and 169 tonight) fought and won just six weeks ago, while Angulo (22-4; age 32; from Mexico, living in LA; 162 to 180 tonight) lost in his last fight, to Canelo, for which he came to camp 35 pounds overweight.

In the first, DLR moved, switched stances, popped a good jab, and Gulo was not warmed up. Gulo looked slow as molasses, but perked up some by the end of the round.

In the second, DLR started lefty. Righty, he cracked left hooks. Gulo was warmed up, and the distance closed, to his liking. DLR scored a knockdown, as he smacked Gulo, who fell back into the ropes. The telling blow was a left hook, followed by another.

In the third, DLR cracked one-twos. Gulo looked slow of foot and hand, but still landed some clean blows in close. Body work from Gulo looked to be ramping up. But DLR started to get sloppier. In the fourth, both landed clean. Gulo wasn’t slipping well, but his hooks to the body still clanged. They worked in tight, less movement now from DLR. He was huffing more, but his right hands scored obviously.

In the fifth, DLR used his movement, his range, to better effect. Arm punches landed for DLR, clean, but Gulo kept on plugging. It was a busy and entertaining round. In the sixth, DLR landed five clean power shots early. At a distance to his liking, he cracked Gulo, whose right eye started to bleed. He threw uppercuts, and likely lost another round. “Knock him out,” trainer Virgil Hunter told the Mexican.

In the seventh, the lefty DLR started once again moving, keeping at a distance. Ref Russell Mora took a point from Angulo, for going low, after several warnings. In the eighth, DLR still had a storage of energy. He was backing up Gulo more now.

“You let him stop this fight, your career is over. You don’t knock him out, your career is over,” said Hunter. In the ninth, DLR was showboating some. Left hooks landed on DLR, who held. In the tenth, Gulo scored with overhand rights, while DLR moved a bunch, and answered with a short right. Gulo came close to finishing him, just maybe…but we went to the cards.

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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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