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Tavoris Cloud Fights Artur Beterbiev on Saturday

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'RED DAWN' Saturday night in Montreal
Artur Beterbiev vs. Tavoris Cloud
NABA Light Heavyweight Championship

Also the return of charismatic Stephane Ouellet

MONTREAL (September 24, 2014) – Two-time Russian Olympian Artur Beterbiev (5-0-0, 5 KOs) steps up in class this Saturday night (Sept. 27) as he headlines “Red Dawn” against former International Boxing Federation (IBF) light heavyweight champion Tavoris “Thunder” Cloud (24-2-0, 19 KOs) in the 12-round main event for the vacant North American Boxing Association (NABA) 175-pound title at famed Bell Centre in Montreal.

“Red Dawn” is co-promoted by Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) and InterBox, in association with Eye of the Tiger Management (EOTTM) and the participation of Don King Productions (DKP), and co-presented by Mise-O-Jeu and Videotron.

The 29-year-old Beterbiev, who moved to Montreal last year, is on the fast track to stardom. Beterbiev has a rich amateur pedigree having captured gold medals in the 2006 World Cup in Baku and 2008 World Cup in Moscow, as well as at the 2009 World Championships in Milan. During his incredible amateur career, Beterbiev was crowned Russian and European champion, and his amateur victims include present WBO Sergey Kovalev twice, WBO world title challenger Ismayl Sillah, U.S. Olympian Michael Hunter Jr., and 2007 World Championships gold medalist Abbos Atoev. Beterbiev turned pro in 2013 and he is undefeated with all five victories coming by knockout, fighting a total of only 11 rounds, compared to Cloud's 130.

The 32-year-old Cloud, fighting out of Tallahassee, Florida, currently world rated by The Ring Magazine (#7), as well as WBC #9 and WBA #14, is attempting to reposition himself for another world title shot.

Cloud won the IBF light heavyweight title in 2009 with a 12-round decision over Clinton Woods (42-4-1, 25 KOs). He successfully defended his IBF title four times against former world champions Glen Johnson (50-13-2, 34 KOs) and Gabriel Campillo (21-3-1, 8 KOs), as well as challengers Fulgencio Zuniga (24-4-1, 21 KOs) and Yusaf Mack (29-3-2, 17 KOs).

Cloud's undefeated win streak was halted in 2013 at 24, when he lost his IBF title by 12-round decision to living legend Bernard Hopkins (52-6-2, 32 KOs). Cloud was stopped later that year in seven rounds by WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (24-1-0, 20 KOs) at Bell Centre.

In the co-feature, former world title challenger Dierry “Dougy Style” Jean (26-1-0, 18 KOs), fighting out of Montreal by way of Haiti, will defend his North Amrican Boxing Federation (NABF) lightweight title against Mexican invader Daniel “Cañerito” Ruiz (32-7- 2, 22 KOs) in a 12-round bout. Jean, who is ranked No. 10 by the WBC, is battling his way back to another world title shot.

Former No. 1 contender Stephane Ouellet (29-5, 18 KOs), of Jonquiere, Quebec, returns to action in a four-round middleweight fight against Belgium import Cedric Spera (10-2, 2 KOs). His return is creating a lot of interest in Quebec. He is one of the most beloved and charismatic fighter of the history of Canadian boxing. At 43 he is not dreaming of world championship fights but to redeem himself after been knockout twice in his last two fights, in the second round against Omar Sheika in 2001 in Las Vegas and against Joachim Alcine in the first round, at the Montreal Bell Center, in an ill-advised return in 2004.

A pair of popular Quebec-based, world-rated welterweights, former world title challenger Antonin Decarie (30-2, 9 KOs) and Kevin Bizier (21-1, 14 KOs), will be in separate fights. WBC #6, WBO #10 and IBF #11 faces Ivan Pereyra (19-3, 13 KOs), of Belgium, in a 10-round fight, while IBF #6 Bizier meets Laszlo “Bulldog” Fazekas (25-15-1, 17 KOs), of Hungry, in an eight-round match.

Three undefeated Canadian prospects round-out a solid top-to-bottom card. Montreal super lightweight Junior Ulysse (3-0, 3 KOs) hopes to keep his KO streak alive against unbeaten Polish opponent Krystian Huczko (2-0), and Laval super middleweight Eric Bazinian (5-0-0, 3 KOs) puts his unblemished record on the line versus Baptise Castegnaro (5-2, 2 KOs), of France, in a pair of six-round matches. Montreal super welterweight Steven Butler (4-0, 3 KOs) meets his toughest opponent to date, Frenchman Bernard Follea (5-2-1, 1 KO), in a four-round bout.

Tickets are on sale and available to purchase at Bell Centre, online at www.evenko.ca, or by calling GYM (514 383-0666) and the club Boxing Champion (514 376-0980). Ticket prices range from $50 in the red to $250 on the floor.

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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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