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FIGHTERS ON DEC. 6 BARCLAYS SHOW TALK THANKSGIVING

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FIGHTERS ON DEC. 6 BARCLAYS CENTER CARD SHARE TRAINING CAMP UPDATES AND TELL WHAT THEY ARE THANKSFUL FOR THIS THANKSGIVING

BROOKLYN (Nov. 25, 2014) – With just over a week until fight night and a couple of days before the Thanksgiving holiday, fighters on the Saturday, Dec. 6 card at Barclays Center shared updates from their camp and talked about their favorite parts of the holidays.

Below are answers from fighters featured on the special HBO Boxing After Dark® tripleheader headlined by David Lemieux taking on “King” Gabriel Rosado in a 12-round bout for the NABF middleweight title, plus Hugo “The Boss” Centeno Jr. facing James “The King” De La Rosa in a 10-round middleweight bout and the televised opener of Thomas “El Frances” Dulorme mixing it up with “Hammerin” Hank Lundy in a 10-round bout for the vacant NABF and NABO junior welterweight titles. In addition are answers from non-televised undercard participants and New York City rising stars Eddie “E-Boy” Gomez who takes on James Winchester in a 10-round super welterweight bout and Zachary “Zungry” Ochoa who will fight an opponent to be named in a 6-round super lightweight fight.

Q: Fight night is coming up quickly, how is training camp going so far?

David Lemieux: “It’s been the hardest camp of my career. We’ve had lots of great sparring partners and put in a lot of hard work for this one. We know we’ve got a tough opponent and preparing for the worst.”

Gabriel Rosado: “Training camp has been great, just finished up a sparring session. I have a great team. I have Daniel Davis, who has also worked with BHOP for many years, as my strength coach. Jesse Reid is his my head trainer and we’ve been working together since my last fight – 2nd fight with him. Gregory Hackett is my co-trainer.”

Hugo Centeno Jr: “Training is going great, I got the chance to have momentum by sparring for three weeks with Gennady Golovkin for his previous fight with Rubio. Then we began my training camp. I’m feeling in great shape!”

James De La Rosa: : “It’s coming along very well. Great sparring from current and future world champions. I feel strong and very confident going into this fight.”

Thomas Dulorme: “I’m out here in Oxnard training with Robert Garcia. Everything is going great and we are having a fantastic camp. I’m getting a lot of good sparring and my weight is fine. I’m very happy with this training camp.”

Henry Lundy: “Training camp has been real good. A lot of hard work. I’m sparring with Lamont Peterson, Austin Trout, Mike Reed, two who we’ve already seen in big TV fights. These guys can really go. They’re bigger guys – powerhouse guys. I’ve been going at with these guys. I’m much more prepared for this fight.”

Eddie Gomez: “Very well, lots of strength and conditioning. All the gym work has been on point and I’m ready for Dec. 6.”

Zachary Ochoa: “Everything’s been great. Putting in lots of work sparring with Sadam Ali. Staying sharp and ready, learning how to fight my fight and not worry about anything else. Working on perfecting my style. Jab and body shots a lot.”

Q: How do you feel about fighting on the big stage at Barclays Center in Brooklyn?

DL: “It’s a great opportunity and an honor for me to be able to fight there and be exposed on the main event of an HBO card. And in Brooklyn where so many great fighters have come from, it will be a great feeling. I know my fans will be there supporting me to.”

GR: “I can’t wait. I got the chance to fight at in NYC already and I’m looking forward to being back in front of the NYC crowd. Now that I have that opportunity I’m very excited.”

HC: “I’m very excited to be able to fight on such a huge stage, these are the types of moments I would dream of as a kid! Where Jim Lampley would announce me and I’d be fighting on HBO! Now that time has come, it still feels surreal!”

JDLR: “I feel if I could conquer the big stage of Mayweather weekend and win big; then this stage in Brooklyn is a walk in the park.”

TD: “This is a wonderful opportunity for my team and me. I want to thank my promoter Gary Shaw for everything he’s done. I’m looking forward to putting on a great show for all the fans. I want bring home a nice victory for the people of Puerto Rico. The Barclays Center is becoming the new hot spot for boxing and I want to shine there. I can’t wait.”

HL: “This is my just due. I really felt I should have been here. I’ll put it like this – everything happens at the right time. I feel good. There’s no pressure on my shoulders. I’m going to show the world what they’ve been missing.”

EG: “That’s my home away from home. Not too far from the Bronx. Lots of friends and family from close by that are going to be able to come out again to support me.”

ZO: “This fourth fight there is going to be an amazing feeling. This is my home. I want to establish it as my arena. Just like Floyd has MGM, I want to have Barclays.”

Q: What activities do you enjoy when you’re not in the gym?

DL: “I enjoy spending time with my kids. I also enjoytraveling a lot. I always spend a lot of time at the gym though, but my primary is my kids.”

GR: “We head out to the track at 5 am for some running. Then sprints. I like spin class too, and that helps me with speed and stamina. Also helps me make weight. To unwind, I stretch a lot. I try to nap and get as much proper rest as I can. But I wasn’t built for ice baths.”

HC: “I enjoy going to the movies, I’m a movie buff! Also, taking spontaneous adventures with my girlfriend Ezra. But I’m always in the gym. I’m a gym rat!”

JDLR: “I enjoy cutting hair, that’s what I do on my off time. I also like playing disc golf.”

TD: “I enjoy being with my family, playing with my daughter, going for long walks, and watching movies. I enjoy being relaxed.”

HL: “I’m like the laidback guy. I like spending time with my daughters and my fiancée. I’m too old [laughs]. I don’t really do too much. I’m an old man [laughs].”

EG: “Sleep a lot. Watch movies. Regular stuff. Spend time with my family, especially my newborn daughter.”

ZO: “I’m typically at home. If I have a fight coming up and I’m not at the gym I’ll be at my place watching movies, cooking, taking it easy. Spending time with my family. I’m not a party guy, I just like to be with my family. I enjoy the simple things.”

Q: Your fight is taking place right after Thanksgiving, how are you going to celebrate this year? Are you saving the turkey until after the fight?

DL: “I’m not too big on holidays. Nope, just preparing for the fight. My celebration is going to be after the fight.”

GR: “We’ll have a Thanksgiving at my place out here in LA. My sister is going to cook.”

HC: “I will celebrate thanksgiving in the gym! No days off for ‘The Boss’! I will save my turkey for after the fight and enjoy the holiday with friends and family.”

JDLR: “Not really worried about the turkey or food. I’ll enjoy the holidays with my family but my focus is December 6th.”

TD: “I’m saving the turkey for after the fight. I’ll be training hard during that time and staying very focused.”

HL: “I’m just trying to get home and have all of my daughters – my four girls and two stepdaughters – and my fiancée. My holiday will be spent with my family. No turkey!”

EG: “I’ll sneak in a plate or two this week and have a great time with the family. Not worry too much about the fight and then focus the next week.”

ZO: “I’ll be going to my grandfather’s place in Brooklyn on Thursday. He’s 97 years old, so I’m always happy to spend as much time with him as I can. I won’t be enjoying everything, but I’ll have some turkey and salad though.”

Q: What are your favorite holiday traditions?

GR: “Christmas is one of my absolute favorite holidays, and New Years is a close second.”

HC: “I love celebrating Christmas, enjoying those home made tamales that grandma makes. Having family near and everyone enjoying some quality times together.”

JDLR: “I just love being with my family, wife and kids. Doesn’t get any better than that.”

TD: “The holidays in Puerto Rico are the best. Lots of authentic side dishes are made and I enjoy eating all of them. I also love to run in the holiday cold weather, which is amazing. Christmas Eve is my favorite time of the year where all my family gets together.”

HL: “It would have to be Christmas. Growing up, Christmas was good, but we got the things we needed. The one thing I’ve learned, since my dad was never around, I try to be there as much as I can for my kids and put a smile on their face. I want to make sure they don’t have to go through what I went through. At the end of the day, to put a smile on their face would be the best tradition.”

EG: “Getting everyone in the family together and reminiscing about old times. Spending the time together that we normally don’t get.”

ZO: “There’s nothing particular. It’s really the routine of seeing my grandfather. And my grandfather always gets the biggest one, and I get the little one. Every year that’s the tradition. I like to help my family cook too. I know how to cook Puerto Rican food so I’m helping out with that too.”

Q: What is your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?

GR: “I’ve definitely got to have rice and beans being Puerto Rican. There’s also a drink called coquito that’s Puerto Rican rum with coconut, cinnamon and carnation milk, but none of that before the fight.”

HC: “My favorite food for thanksgiving is the honey ham! Can’t get enough of it!”

JDLR: “That’s a tough one… ‘All of them’ is not a straight answer so I’ll say stuffing.”

TD: “That’s a tough question because the principal plate served during a traditional Puerto Rican dinner is served with everything. I mean a plate with pigeon peas & rice, potato salad, pickled green bananas, pork or turkey, Yucca, fried honey bananas, macaroni salad, candied yams, and many more.”

HL: “I won’t lie, I really don’t have one, but one of my favorite foods is lasagna! [laughs]”

EG: “I’m going to cheat here. I like yams, collard greens, macaroni, rice and beans. But with the fight around the corner I’ll take it a little easy.”

ZO: “Rice, beans and pork with some potato salad.”

Q: What are you thankful for in 2014?

DL: “I’m thankful I’m healthy and my kids are healthy. To be able to fight on December 6. I like simple things, and I put in the hard work to get here and I’m thankful for where I’m at.”

GR: “I’m thankful for the opportunity that I have right now. Headlining on HBO. Thankful for my health too. There’s lots of people aren’t fortunate enough to have that, so I’m blessed.”

HC: “I’m thankful for my loved ones, they’re always there for me in everyday. My girlfriend, who I recently purchased a house with. My brother and father who are always there for me, in and out of the ring! All my family, all of my fans, and last but not least this great opportunity that Golden Boy has given me to fulfill my childhood dreams!”

JDLR: “My family and to finally be back active in boxing. I’ve gotten, now 2 great opportunities. I’m very thankful for that.”

TD: “I’m always thankful for the blessings God has given me and the wonderful family and friends that I have.”

HL: “I’m thankful for my family – my kids, my fiancée. Just having them around. I’m comfortable. I feel secure. At the end of the day, people don’t really know how much family means to me. Family is big to me. With all I went through in life and in the past year, to have my family with my fiancée and my kids, that’s a big thing for me. This is a chapter in my life I’m looking forward to, especially this [upcoming] year, because I’m getting married.”

EG: “The most important thing is my daughter, I’m most thankful for her. And also getting the opportunity to go back into the ring and reconstruct my whole career. I’m ready to end 2014 in the right way.”

ZO: “God and my family are most important. But honestly I’m very thankful for being part of a great promotional company like Golden Boy Promotions. People who work hard for my career and to make sure I’m as successful as possible.”

                                                                   # # #

Lemieux vs. Rosado is a 12 round NABF middleweight bout which is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Eye Of The Tiger Management and sponsored by Corona Extra, AT&T and Mexico – Live It To Believe It!. Dulorme vs. Lundy is a 10-round junior welterweight bout promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, Gary Shaw Productions and CES Boxing. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. ET with the first bout at 6 p.m. ET. The HBO Boxing After Dark telecast begins at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Tickets priced at $150, $80, $50, $25 and $15, plus applicable taxes and service charges are on sale and are available for purchase at www.barclayscenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations, by calling 800-745-3000 and at the American Express Box Office. For group tickets, please call 800-GROUP-BK.

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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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