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Quotes From Today’s Crawford-Beltran Presser in Nebraska

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— Photo Credit : Chris Farina – Top Rank

UNDEFEATED WORLD LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPION

TERENCE “BUD” CRAWFORD

RETURNS TO OMAHA FOR ENCORE

HOMETOWN TITLE DEFENSE,

AGAINST NO. 1 CONTENDER RAY BELTRAN

Saturday, Nov. 29, at CenturyLink Center Omaha

Live on HBO Boxing After Dark®

Tickets Go On Sale

This Friday!Oct. 3 at 10 A.M. CT

OMAHA, NEB (September 30, 2014) — Undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO) lightweight champion TERENCE “Bud” CRAWFORD, Omaha’s favorite son, will make an encore hometown title defense on the heels of his wildly successful victory over previously undefeated world champion and Cuban sensation Yuriorkis Gamboa. Crawford will defend his title against No. 1 contender and mandatory challenger RAY BELTRAN on Thanksgiving weekend, Saturday, November 29, at the CenturyLink Center . The fight will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark , beginning at

10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with Tecate, tickets to the Crawford vs. Beltran World Lightweight Championship event will go on sale This Friday!October 3, at 10:00 a.m. CT. Reserved seat tickets start at just $27, with remaining tiers priced at $52, $77 and $127. They will be available for purchase at the CenturyLink Center Omaha box office and all Ticketmaster outlets. To charge-by-phone call 800-745-3000. To order online, visit Ticketmaster.com.

Crawford successfully defended his title on June 28, at the CenturyLink Center, knocking out previously undefeated world champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in front of an energized crowd. The fight, a candidate for Fight of the Year honors, was televised live on HBO®, and according to Nielsen Media Research, garnered an average audience of 1.208 million viewers to the live, first-time airing, making it the second most-watched fight of the year so far. Crawford vs. Gamboa was the first world championship fight the city of Omaha had hosted in 42 years when Joe Frazierdefended his World Heavyweight Championship crown against Ron Standerin 1972.

“It’s an honor to fight in my hometown during the holiday season in front of my fans and family who will be traveling to Omaha,” said Crawford. “It’s great that Top Rank and HBO are coming back into town to promote another show on one of the biggest weekends of the year. Beltran feels I have something – a world title belt – which belongs to him. He thought he beat Ricky Burns and I thought Beltran won too. But he didn’t and I did. Beltran can fight. We know that. I am going to fight him like a bad dog, fight fire with fire. Let’s see if he really has a will to win in Omaha. My will to win is off the charts. He won’t be coming straight at me the way he did against Ricky Burns. My team and I are training hard to put on a good show for everyone. No one will be disappointed.”

“Crawford has shown to be a talented fighter, someone I respect,” said Beltran. “But I see this fight as an opportunity for me to achieve the recognition in the boxing world and the public’s eye. This fight is Champion vs. Champion. It’s not about the belts. It’s about us. Crawford is talented, has skill, but I have the ability to adapt and will be ready for what he brings. The situation against Burns made me stronger, I felt the love of the crowd and all of their respect that night. I feel blessed with my family and friends. All of that will be with me when I fight Crawford in Omaha. I am the No. 2 fighter in the world. Crawford is No. 1. That is what this is all about. I believe in me. This is my moment.”

“This fight between Crawford and Beltran could very well be the fight of the year. The styles and skills of both fighters guarantee as much,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum.

“When Terence Crawford fought in front of his Omaha hometown crowd last June, the atmosphere produced one of the most spectacular fights of 2014 on HBO,” said Peter Nelson, vice president, programming, HBO Sports. “The spotlight returns to the American heartland November 29, as the undefeated champ faces Ray Beltran, a challenger who has earned more opportunities than he’s been given and always gives the fans his all.”

“CenturyLink Center Omaha is honored to have the opportunity once again to host this world championship boxing event,” said Roger Dixon, President and CEO of the Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority. “The atmosphere was electric in June and we expect even more excitement this time around”

Crawford (24-0, 17 KOs), of Omaha, returns to the ring fresh from his dramatic and critically-acclaimed knockout victory of Gamboa. Not only did Crawford retain his title, he also made himself a contender for Fighter of the Year. He is only the second Nebraska native to be recognized as a boxing world champion. Perry “Kid” Graves, from Rock Bluff, captured the welterweight crown, knocking out Johnny Alberts in Brooklyn, in 1914, according to the Omaha World-Herald. After a short but impressive amateur career, which included victories over future world champions Danny Garcia, Mikey Garcia and one-time world title challenger Diego Magdaleno, Crawford made his professional debut on March 14, 2008 – a first-round knockout victory of Brian Cummings. On March 1, 2014 – just 13 days short of the sixth anniversary of his pro debut, Crawford captured the WBO lightweight title, dethroning defending champion Ricky Burns on Burns’ home turf of Glasgow, Scotland. Scoring a powerful and unanimous decision, Burns put the boxing world on notice that with his virtuoso performance. Crawford pulled out all stops in dismantling Burns as he rocked the defending champion throughout the fight, while switching back and forth between orthodox and southpaw stances.

Beltran (29-6-1, 17 KOs), a native of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, who now lives in North Hollywood, Calif., is one of the lightweight division’s toughest and most experienced fighters. A former NABF and USBA lightweight champion, Beltran enters this fight riding a two-year five-bout winning streak, which includes a disputed draw against defending WBO lightweight champion hometown favorite Ricky Burns in Glasgow, Scotland last year. In that fight, Beltran fractured Burns’ jaw in the first two rounds and dominated the fight, consistently landing the harder punches. Beltran scored a knockdown in the eighth round and finished the fight strongly. Ringside observers and television viewers alike screamed “home cooking!” when the fight was declared a draw. Beyond his professional fight, Beltran has had the benefit of being a main sparring partner for Fighter of the Decade Manny Pacquiao for several years before becoming a top-rated contender in his own right. In his last fight, on April 12, he claimed the NABO lightweight title, winning a 12-round unanimous decision against once-beaten Arash Usmanee on the undercard of the Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley Jr world welterweight championship rematch.

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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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