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Deets On Dec. 13 Khan-Alexander Card

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BIGGER IS BETTER; DEC. 13 “ROYAL BATTLE: KHAN VS. ALEXANDER” ELEVATED TO FOUR-FIGHT SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® TELECAST WITH ADDITION OF TWO STELLAR MATCHUPS FROM MGM GRAND IN LAS VEGAS:

ABNER MARES VS. JOSE RAMIREZ

JERMALL CHARLO VS. LENNY BOTTAI

PLUS, SHOWTIME EXTREME® AND NON-TELEVISED BOUTS ANNOUNCED

LAS VEGAS (Nov. 25, 2014) – With the holiday season fast approaching, boxing fans will have plenty to celebrate at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, Dec. 13, as the star-studded “ROYAL BATTLE: Khan vs. Alexander” has grown to a quadrupleheader. Added to the previously announced SHOWTIME telecast will be a 10-round featherweight bout featuring former three-division world champion Abner Mares (27-1-1, 14 KOs) against Mexico’s Jose Ramirez (24-3-2, 15 KOs), and opening the live SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING portion of the event at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT will be a 12-round IBF Title Elimination bout between unbeaten Jermall Charlo (19-0, 15 KOs) and Italy’s Lenny Bottai (22-2, 9 KOs).

Headlined by the high-stakes 12-round welterweight matchups between British superstar and former unified super lightweight world champion Amir “King” Khan and former two-division world champion Devon Alexander “The Great,” and featuring the interim WBA Welterweight World Championship 12-round title fight between Keith “One Time” Thurman against Leonard “The Lion” Bundu, the live SHOWTIME event will offer a full night of boxing action.

SHOWTIME EXTREME viewers will also be treated to outstanding live action beginning at 7 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast), with top 154-pound contender Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo (24-0, 11 KOs) putting his unbeaten record on the line in a 10-round bout against Mario Alberto Lozano (28-5, 20 KOs) and undefeated 2012 United States Olympian Errol Spence Jr. (14-0, 11 KOs) taking on longtime contender “Mighty” Mike Arnaoutis (24-10-1, 11 KOs) of Greece in an eight-round junior middleweight contest. Plus, the return of former welterweight world champion “Vicious” Victor Ortiz (29-5-2, 22 KOs) against Denver’s Manuel Perez (21-10-1, 4 KOs) will be aired during the SHOWTIME EXTREME telecast.

Rounding out the non-televised card, in an eight-round cruiserweight bout featuring Beibut Shumenov (14-2, 9 KOs) versus Robert Thomas Jr. (14-2-1, 9 KOs) and Tokyo’s Yoshihiro Kamegai (24-2-1, 21 KOs) will face off against San Jose’s Oscar Godoy (13-3, 6 KOs) in an eight-round junior middleweight showdown.

Tickets for the live event are on sale now and are priced at $300, $200, $100, and $50, not including applicable service charges and taxes. Tickets are limited to eight (8) per person with a limit of four (4) at the $50 price range. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

Facing off against former world champion AbnerMares will beMazatlan, Mexico native Jose Ramirez, (24-3-2, 15 KOs), who can put himself in the running for a world title shot at 126 pounds with a win on Dec. 13. A professional since 2006, the 27-year-old former WBO International Featherweight World Champion is 3-2 in his last five bouts, a stretch that includes a victory over veteran contender Rey Bautista. Ramirez now makes his home in Oxnard, Calif., where he’s put in an intense training camp for the biggest fight of his career.

Former amateur sensation Jermall Charlo (19-0, 15 KOs) of Houston, Texas has made his presence known in the professional game with all but four of his wins coming by way of knockout. The 24-year-old Charlo is ready to continue to make a statement that he is one of the best junior middleweights in the world when he opens the Dec. 13 telecast against Lenny Bottai. His most recent win, a seventh round technical knockout over Norberto Gonzalez in September has given Charlo the drive to close out the year with a victory and head into 2015 with a world championship in his sights.

On a quest to bring a world championship home to Italy, Livorno’s Lenny “Mangusta” Bottai (22-2, 9 KOs) is a seasoned veteran of European rings, where he has won the Italian, IBO International, IBF International, IBF Intercontinental and WBC Mediterranean Junior Middleweight titles. The only thing missing for the 37-year-old warrior is a world title belt and following seven consecutive victories, four by knockout, he can move one step closer to glory should he upend Charlo.

Winner of nine of his last 11 fights, 27-year-old Mario Alberto “Aguila” Lozano (28-5, 22 KOs) will be a stern test for unbeaten Jermell Charlo on Dec. 13 in Las Vegas. A stellar welterweight contender for several years, the Chihuahua, Mexico native is now putting his skills on display at 154 pounds, where he has recently battled respected contenders Vanes Martirosyan and Charles Hatley. But to set the stage for a title run, Lozano must dispatch Charlo from the ranks of the unbeaten and end 2014 with a bang.

2012 U.S. Olympian Errol Spence Jr. (14-0, 11 KOs) has been making a steady climb up the divisional ranks since turning professional. After a shutout win over rugged veteran Ronald Cruz in June and a dominating technical knockout victory over the experienced Noe Bolanos in September, the 24-year-old from Desoto, Texas is primed to take his next big step.

Fresh from his first fight as a professional in his native Greece, a second round knockout of Andrei Staliarchuk in May, Athens’ “Mighty” Mike Arnaoutis (25-10-2, 12 KOs) will see if 2012 U.S. Olympian Errol Spence Jr. has what it takes to move to the next level when they collide. A veteran of nearly 14 years in the pro game, the 35-year-old Arnaoutis has battled the likes of Josesito Lopez, Chris Algieri, Danny Garcia and Victor Ortiz in his career, and he still feels he gas plenty left his as he tackles one of boxing’s brightest prospects.

“ROYAL BATTLE: Khan vs. Alexander,” a 12-round welterweight bout for the WBC Silver Welterweight Title, is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Khan Promotions and The Great Promotions and is sponsored by Corona Extra, AT&T and Mexico – Live It To Believe It! The event will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. and will air on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). In the co-main event, Keith Thurman defends his interim WBA Welterweight World Title against Leonard Bundu. Additionally, Abner Mares will face Jose Ramirez in a 10-round featherweight bout and opening the telecast, Jermall Charlo will meet Lenny Bottai in a 12-round IBF Junior Middleweight Title eliminator. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will also be available in Spanish via secondary audio programming (SAP). Preliminary bouts will be televised on SHOWTIME EXTREME (7 p.m. ET/PT).

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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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