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Team Fight To Walk Hosting Second Annual Gala

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Team Fight to Walk to host Second Annual Gala!

Tickets and sponsorship packages available at teamfighttowalk.com

New York, NY (September 30, 2014) – Junior Middleweight boxer Boyd Melson and Christan Zaccagnino, founders of Team Fight to Walk, are proud to announce their organization will host the second annual “Fighting for the Cure” benefit gala Thursday, October 16 at 6:15 pm in the Beckwith Pointe in New Rochelle, NY.

Tickets and sponsorship packages to “Fighting for the Cure” are available by going to teamfighttowalk.com or calling 914-497-5727. All donations are deductable per IRS regulations.

In May 2013, Team Fight to Walk held their inaugural fundraiser at BB King Blues Club in Time Square that featured a special act by world renowned comedian Artie Lange along with heartfelt speeches from Boyd Melson, Dr. Wise Young, former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand, Christan Zaccagnino and boxer/cancer survivor Danny Jacobs. Last year’s event raised $100,000 towards a clinical trial and research of Chronic Spinal Cord Injuries.

Since meeting at a social event in 2002 while he was at West Point, Melson’s dedicated much of his life to helping Zaccagnino. At ten years old, Zaccagnino became paralyzed from the neck down following a diving accident. Since turning pro in 2010, Melson’s donated 100% of his purses from 15 of his 16 matches towards Spinal Cord Injury Research through Justadollarplease.org and Team Fight to Walk, 501c3 charities. Melson and Zaccagnino’s story has received a significant amount of national attention, as the two have been featured on HBO Real Sports, ESPN.com, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo, NY1 and various newspapers.

They also recruited a team of boxers to support the cause either by donating or promoting. The fighters include world champion Demetrius Andrade, former titlists Steve Cunningham and Austin Trout, 2008 Olympian Shawn Estrada and contender Will Rosinsky amongst many others. Even with all of the hard work and tireless efforts, Team Fight to Walk must still raise a significant amount of money before they can move forward with the trial that could changes the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

On the 16th, guests will get to see performances by comedians Gilbert Gottfried, Jayson Cross and Damon Rozier. Former New York Knicks star Anthony Mason, world champion boxers Danny Jacobs and Demetrius Andrade, former champion Junior Jones and unbeaten contender Frank Galarza will all be on hand throughout the evening to support the cause and spend time with ticketholders. This special event also has a blackjack table, silent auction, DJ, live music, open bar and guest speakers throughout the evening. Dave Diamante, voice of the Brooklyn Nets, will emcee the “Fighting for the Cure” gala.

“I’ve seen the way the world positively reacts to certain causes through social media and there are a lot of people out there that need help with different issues,” said Melson. “I’m calling not only on the boxing world but the general public to help in whatever way they can with Team Fight to Walk and our “Fighting for the Cure” gala. Our 2013 gala was a great success and we need to top donations in 2014 in order to potentially change the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans suffering from Chronic Spinal Cord Injuries. Christan, myself, the rest of Team Fight to Walk and our loyal supporters have put in a tremendous amount of time to assist with efforts but there’s still a lot of work left to be done. If you aren’t able to make it on the 16th, please consider making a donation of any amount or purchasing a sponsorship page if you run a business. This will go a long way and your assistance can have a major impact on the lives of others.”

In association with the 501 (C) 3 nonprofit Justadollarplease.org, Melson and his best friend Christan Zaccagnino created Team Fight to Walk, whose mission is to raise awareness within the boxing community as well as the entire nation about the importance of bringing Clinical Trials to the United States to help cure Spinal Cord Injuries. Team Fight to Walk is comprised of Melson, Zaccagnino, former Rutgers football player/ESPY honoree Eric LeGrand, two-time cruiserweight champion Steve “USS” Cunningham, Austin “No Doubt” Trout, title contender DeAndre “The Bull” Latimore, Edgar “El Chamaco” Santana, Sonya Lamonakis, Hector “Machito” Camacho Jr., WBO Junior Middleweight titlist/2008 US Olympian Demetrius “Boo” Andrade and fellow 08’ Olympian Shawn Estrada along with prospects Sid “The Messenger” El Harrak, Jeff “TNT” Spencer, Denis “Da Momma’s Boy” Douglin, Will “Power” Rosinsky, Floriano “Italiano” Pagliara, Danny “Little Mac” McDermott, Vinny “The Lion” O’Brien, Ahmed “Prince of Egypt” Samir and Delen “Sniper” Parsley.

For more information or to make a donation, go to teamfighttowalk.com or Justadollarplease.org. All specific questions about the nature of the Clinical Trial to cure Spinal Cord Injury can be sent to boydmelson@yahoo.com.

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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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