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Fonfara Talks Ahead of Clash on Showtime

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“If I want to think about a rematch with Adonis [Stevenson],

I must beat guys like Ngumbu.”– Andrzej Fonfara

TUESDAY’S MEDIA DAY WORKOUT QUOTES

FROM PONCE DE LEON BOXING GYM

IN MONTEBELLO, CALIF.

Popular ‘Polish Prince’ Will Face Doudou Ngumbu

In Main Event of a SHOWTIME BOXING: Special Edition

Saturday, Nov. 1, at UIC Pavilion in Chicago

Photo Credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME®

MONTEBELLO, Calif. (Oct. 22, 2014) – Crowd-pleasing Windy City fan favoriteAndrzej “Chicago’s Polish Prince” Fonfara (25-3, 1 NC, 15 KOs), who’s been training in Big Bear, Calif., participated in an open media workout Tuesday in preparation for his “Homecoming” fight against Congo’s Doudou Ngumbu (33-5, 12 KOs) in the main event of a SHOWTIMEBOXING: Special Edition on Saturday, Nov. 1, at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).

In the co-feature of a tripleheader, WBO World Bantamweight Champion Tomoki “El Mexicanito” Kameda (30-0, 19 KOs) will make his third title defense when he meets interim WBO Bantamweight Champion Alejandro “Payasito” Hernandez (28-10-2, 15 KOs). Opening the telecast, former interim WBA World Featherweight Champion Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna (25-0-1, 18 KOs) will face Abner “Pin” Cotto (18-2, 8 KOs) in a super featherweight 10-round bout.

Fonfara, who turns 27 on Nov. 4, worked out for 90 minutes Tuesday without an extended break. Fonfara will be returning to the ring after a valiant effort in a 12-round decision defeat to WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Adonis Stevenson on May 24 on SHOWTIME. After winning the final five rounds against Stevenson, Fonfara proved his worth against the world champion and did more to enhance his reputation than all 13 of his previous wins combined.

Here’s what the world-ranked Fonfara, and his trainer, Sam Colonna, said during Tuesday’s workout:

ANDRZEJ FONFARA, Light Heavyweight

Question: This is your third time holding training camp in Big Bear, what made you go to Big Bear the first time?

Answer: “Every good boxer prepares there. If I want to be the best I must train where the best fighters in the world train. Big Bear has great altitude, good weather for runs and a very good gym. It’s a great base for camp.

Do you feel the difference in the altitude when you’re up there?

“Yes, absolutely. I felt much different training for this camp than I did the first time I went up there. It was much harder running for the first camp. I would run two, three miles and I couldn’t breathe. But when I would come back to Chicago, I would feel much better and stronger.”

What’s it like for you to fight in Chicago?

“Chicago is a very special city for me because I moved there eight years ago. I started my professional career there. I had just one professional fight before I moved to Chicago. Sam [Colonna, Fonfara’s trainer] and I have been together since I came to Chicago.

“When I first started to fight in Chicago I had 30, 50 people at my fights. Now when I fight there I have a few thousand people. It’s not only Polish people who come to watch me fight, but all fight fans.

“Fans like to see me fight because I am entertaining and put my heart into the ring.”

Your opponent on Nov. 1 [Doudou Ngumbu] goes the distance in most of his fights, how are you preparing for him?

“He’s not a bad fighter. He’s very tough and wants to win each time he steps into the ring. He doesn’t come just to collect a check, he wants to beat me and get a chance on SHOWTIME to show what he is made of.

“It’s good for me, it’s more pressure. It makes me work harder, but I know that I’m ready for this fight.

“I’m not the underdog in this fight like I have been in the past. But this is boxing and you must go in the ring and think and box, you never know what is going to happen.

“If I want to think about a rematch with Adonis [Stevenson], I must beat guys like Ngumbu. There’s much at stake on Nov. 1”

Do you need to beat Ngumbu impressively?

“It doesn’t matter if I knock him out or win the fight on a decision. The important thing is that I get the victory. We have a plan and I must execute. If I follow my plan, I will knock him out in the second round.”

You had a big opportunity in your last fight against Adonis [Stevenson], when you look back at that fight what comes to your mind?

“I showed good heart, strength and my condition in that fight. Even when I was knocked down I wanted to stand back up and fight.

“I know that now I must punch more and keep better defense. Adonis is a different kind of fighter, he’s sneaky and a hard puncher.

“I know that if he doesn’t knock me down in the first round then maybe the fight goes a different way.

“That loss made me want to train longer and harder so that I can get a rematch with him.”

So you would like a rematch with Adonis [Stevenson]?

“Yes, that’s the plan. I need to win like two, three fights and then get the rematch. I know that I can beat him.

“I gave him the best fight of his professional career in our first fight.”

SAM COLONNA, Fonfara’s Trainer and former trainer of Andrew Golota, Tomasz Adamek, David Diaz and others

“I’ve been with Andrzej since after he had his first professional fight, when he came to Chicago from Poland. We’ve been together for eight, nine years. What I really like about him is his work ethic, he’s wonderful to work with and easy to train.

“When he first came, there were maybe eight Polish fighters that came over together, and I liked Andrzej the most. He was the least experienced of all the fighters; I called him the runt of the group. He was the smallest, youngest and only weighed 139 pounds when he first came over. What stood out to me was his work ethic and the fact that he constantly wanted to learn. The other guys thought they knew it all and now all those guys are out of the picture and he’s still going.

“The way he’s learning and progressing, you’re looking at the next future champion of the world.

“We’re fighting a very difficult guy [Ngumbu]. He’s not really crafty, he’s very awkward and the way he moves is very different. He’s a runner and won’t let you stand in front of him and let you hit him. We’re going to have to work really hard to get to him. It’s a fight that Andrzej can’t really look good unless he knocks him out early.

“We want to win of course, but it’s hard to be impressive with this guy. He has gone the distance with a lot of good fighters. I looked at his record and I can see that this guy comes to fight till the end. He’s gone 12 rounds a lot of times so I know it’s going to be a fight that we’re really going to work hard for.

“If we win this fight there will be a lot of opportunities for us. There are many good up-and-coming fighters at 175 pounds; it’s a very hot division.

“He had his chance [against Adonis Stevenson] and he let it slide by him. The experience he got in that fight, you can’t buy. He knows he had the guy hurt and he should’ve jumped on him and taken care of business; he let him off the ropes.”

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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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