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Undercard Info For Hopkins-Kovalev

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TOP CONTENDERS NADJIB MOHAMMEDI AND VYACHESLAV GLAZKOV HEAD UP STACKED NON-TELEVISED UNDERCARD FOR “HOPKINS VS. KOVALEV” ON SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 8

ATLANTIC CITY (October 24) – History will be made once again on Saturday, November 8 when the ageless wonder Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins attempts to unify the light heavyweight world title against Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. But before the HBO World Championship Boxing telecast, an array of top contenders and prospects from around the globe enter the ring to showcase their skills on the world stage. Pugilists from the Ukraine, Puerto Rico, France, Nicaragua, Cuba, Russia and the United States will be featured, making November 8 a testament to the worldwide appeal of the sweet science.

Fighting out of Gardanne, Bouches-du-Rhone, France, 29-year-old Nadjib Mohammedi (35-3, 21 KOs) turned professional in 2005 and is eager to step through the ropes for his second consecutive fight on U.S. shores. The WBA Continental and French champion at 175 pounds, Mohammedi is ranked number one in the world by the IBF, fourth by the WBA and eighth by the WBO, giving him every reason to watch the November 8 main event intently should he get by Kansas City southpaw Demetrius Walker (7-7-1, 4 KOs) in their 10-round matchup.

Another top contender attempting to make his case for a world title shot, Ukrainian heavyweight Vyacheslav “Czar” Glazkov (18-0-1, 11 KOs) is a 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist in search of world championship gold in the coming year. Currently ranked number two in the world by the IBF and number eight by the WBC, the 30-year-old owns wins over Tomasz Adamek, Derric Rossy and Tor Hamer, and on November 8, he will face off with Miami’s Darnell “Ding-A-Ling-Man” Wilson (25-17-3, 21 KOs). A former world title challenger at cruiserweight, Wilson brought his power with him to the heavyweight division, where he most recently ended the 36-0 run of David Rodriguez last December with a sixth-round knockout win.

A native of Zhytomyr, Ukraine who now makes his home in Los Angeles, unbeaten light heavyweight Vyacheslav “Lion Heart” Shabranskyy (10-0, 8 KOs) is a former world champion in kickboxing who is now climbing up the 175-pound division in boxing after a lengthy amateur career. The 27-year-old power puncher will be tested in his first 10-round bout by San Juan, Puerto Rico’s Emil Gonzalez (11-8-1, 8 KOs), an equally heavy-handed foe who has ended his last five wins in two rounds or less.

Southpaw slugger William “Chirizo” Gonzalez (27-5, 23 KOs) returns to the ring next month to take on Philadelphia’s Eric “The Outlaw” Hunter (18-3, 9 KOs) in a 10-round featherweight bout. Managua, Nicaragua’s Gonzalez has won six of his last eight bouts, most recently knocking out Cornelius Lock in seven rounds for the vacant NABA title. The 28-year-old Hunter, who spoiled the perfect record of Jerry Belmontes in their 2012 bout, is coming off a 10-round decision win over Yenifel Vicente in March that earned him the vacant USBA title at 126 pounds.

Owner of amateur wins over the likes of former world champions Chad Dawson and Beibut Shumenov, 32-year-old Cuba native Sullivan Barrera (13-0, 8 KOs) is looking to make up for lost time after a late start in pro boxing, and he will look to move a step closer to title contention in his eight-round light heavyweight bout against Altamonte Springs, Florida’s Rowland Bryant (18-3, 12 KOs). Already ranked in the top 15 by the WBA, Barrera has won three times so far in 2014, including knockouts of Lee Campbell and Eric Watkins. The 35-year-old Bryant has picked up two victories in 2014 thus far, stopping William Santiago and decisioning Rayco Saunders.

Also in action in a six-round super middleweight bout will be unbeaten Zubovo, Russia native Andrey Sirotkin (4-0, 1 KO) and Paterson, New Jersey’s Michael Mitchell (3-4-2, 1 KO). The opening bout of the evening will feature Chattanooga, Tennessee’s Ryan Martin (8-0, 4 KOs) taking on Tucson, Arizona’s Isaac Gonzalez (17-3,12 KOs) in a lightweight bout scheduled for four rounds.

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“Hopkins vs. Kovalev” is a 12-round unification bout for the IBF, WBA and WBO Light Heavyweight World titles, presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Main Events in association with Caesars Atlantic City, Corona Extra, AT&T, Hortitsia Vodka and Mexico, Live it To Believe It!. In the 10-round welterweight co-main event, Sadam Ali faces Luis Carlos Abregu for the WBO Intercontinental Welterweight title in a bout promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank.

The HBO World Championship Boxing telecast begins at 10:45 p.m. ET/PT.

Tickets priced at $300, $200, $150, $100 and $50, plus applicable fees and service charges, are on sale now and available for purchase at the Boardwalk Hall box

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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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