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“ROYAL BATTLE: AMIR KHAN VS. DEVON ALEXANDER” FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES

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“ROYAL BATTLE: AMIR KHAN VS. DEVON ALEXANDER”

FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES & PHOTOS

AS VEGAS (Dec. 11, 2014) – The Media Center at MGM Grand in Las Vegas was buzzing today as some of boxing’s brightest stars took to the stage and addressed the media ahead of their respective bouts on the “Royal Battle: Amir Khan vs. Devon Alexander” fight card taking place this Saturday, Dec. 13 live on SHOWTIME from the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Here is what the fighters had to say at today’s press conference.

AMIR KHAN, Former Unified Super Lightweight World Champion

“This is a great fight and a great fight card overall from top to bottom. It’s almost like pay-per-view. But it’s a great opportunity for my fans to see me fight.

“From me, you can expect to see a lot of explosiveness and movement. I don’t understand why Devon is saying he’s fought better than me when we’ve fought most of the same guys.

“I’ve fought a lot of top guys, too. It sounds to me like Alexander is trying to give himself confidence; saying things to pick himself up.

“I feel like a different fighter at 147 pounds. I feel stronger. I’m happier making weight.

“I am not taking this fight lightly. I am not looking past it one bit. Devon Alexander is tough and I am going to stay focused.”

DEVON ALEXANDER, Former Two-Division World Champion

“I am ready to go 15 rounds if we had to. This is a tough test and I’m ready.

“I’ve dreamt of this my whole life. Headlining in Las Vegas is a dream come true and I plan on taking full advantage of this.

“I’m as prepared mentally and physically as I’ve ever been for a fight. If you look at my resume, I’ve fought top guys throughout my career. Khan is a good fighter and this is going to be a great fight.

“I’m going to stand and fight. This isn’t going to be a track meet. At least not for me.

“I know I’ve got a lot of fans back home pulling for me and I’ve got some fans in the UK too that will be rooting for me on Saturday night too.”

KEITH THURMAN, WBA Interim Welterweight World Champion

“I know a little about my opponent; he just beat an unbeaten 28-year-old and he was a 2000 Olympian. Bundu is active in the ring and likes to get into a rhythm. He’s not a huge puncher but he places them right where they can do damage. He’s making his U.S. debut.

“I plan to provide him with a traditional ‘One-Time’ welcome to America. I plan to come out and box smart and take it from there. My shoulder is fine and I’m excited about getting back in the ring.

“I’m not looking past Bundu, but I’m looking through him to 2015 when I expect to start fighting Top-5 fighters on a consistent basis.’’

LEONARD BUNDU, Undefeated Welterweight Contender

“I’m excited to be here. I am here to gain some respect. I am 40-years-old, but I feel much younger. I know it is a hard test for me on Saturday, but I am going to give it my all.

“I am Italian and like fine wine, I get better with age.”

ABNER MARES, Former Three-Time, Three-Division World Champion

“I’m willing to fight anybody. There are some great possibilities for me: Leo Santa Cruz, Jhonny Gonzalez, Lomachenko. If these fights can be made, I want them.

“Expect the old Abner Mares on Saturday. The hunger is back, the passion has returned. I’m back with my original team.

“I’ve won three world titles in three divisions but I don’t call myself a former three-division champion. I think of myself now as a future four-division world champion.”

JOSE RAMIREZ, Top Featherweight Contender

“This Saturday, I will be facing a tough fighter in Abner Mares. This Saturday is going to be a war between two Mexicans and I am here to be victorious.”

JERMALL CHARLO, Undefeated Junior Middleweight

“I am happy to be on this show. Lenny says he is seasoned and I am ready to serve you all some Italian sausage.

“Me and my twin brother have been through a lot of adversity. Getting world title shots and not being able to compete in them, but we overcome it and we are ready to put on good shows on Saturday night.

LENNY BOTTAI, Junior Middleweight Contender

“What do I expect from the fight? I expect a great battle. I expect it to be a stepping stone to make my name in the U.S.

“I hear that I keep getting called a seasoned fighter. I come from Italy where the cheese is the best seasoned cheese in the world, so I am going to show what seasoned fighters can do.”

JERMELL CHARLO,Top Junior Middleweight Prospect

“Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to fight for the world title. I moved past that. I am staying focused and in control of what’s going to take place on Saturday.

“I am going to continue to grow, continue to stay smart and stay focused.”

ERROL SPENCE JR., Top Junior Middleweight Prospect

“It is going to be another great performance. Hopefully by next year I will be fighting one of these guys in front of me and fighting for a world title.”

VICTOR ORTIZ, Former Welterweight World Champion

“Once again we are starting over. This was a very tough camp, but we are here. I am sharing this podium with some great fighters. I am at the back [of the dais] today, but you better believe I will be in the front with the fans someday soon.”

OSCAR DE LA HOYA, Founder and President of Golden Boy Promotions

“Saturday night is going to be one of those nights where every fight is action-packed and entertaining.

“This card is stacked. It is going to be a special treat for all of the fans that watch it live at MGM Grand or live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.

“It is a token of appreciation to all of the fans and saying thank you. Thank you for supporting this wonderful sport of boxing.

“Both of the main event fighters understand that they are facing greatness in each other and it is going to be a tough fight. A tough fight for both guys, but that is what they love.”

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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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