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Mora, Trout, Tarver, Ramos, Browne Win On Marathon Goossen/ESPN Card



TEMECULA, CALIF.—-Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora ventured into the land where upsets can take place and the unorthodox can pay dividends. But not on Thursday.

Before a crowd of well-wishers, Mora (27-3-2, 9 Kos) used his speed, defense and world class skills to out-point the always game Dashon Johnson (15-18-3) of Riverside, who brought a few of his own fans to the Pechanga Resort and Casino. The fight was not televised but was easily the most action packed on the 13-bout Goossen card.

“He was tough like I expected,” said Mora, 34. “It was an ugly fight, but you need ugly fights.”

The East L.A. raised former junior middleweight world champion was fighting an opponent who knows what works against world class fighters and prospects. It was the same kind of arsenal that was exhibited in the same arena by Ricardo Mayorga in his massive upset of Vernon Forrest, the same fighter that Mora ironically defeated to win the WBC junior middleweight title a few years back. The Pechanga ballroom has some crazy juju.

“He threw punches from here and from there,” said Mora, who demonstrated the awkward and windmill like blows. “You can’t defend well against those. I’m used to straight punches but you still have to deal with them.”

Mora’s speed and reflexes kept him from getting tagged. Johnson, who has speed of his own, was at times frustrated from the lack of success. But he’s a professional and never quit trying to land the big blow. Well, he did trade knockdowns with Mora in the second round. A Mora left hook temporarily dropped Johnson who was off balance against the ropes. Then Johnson pushed Mora off balance and hit him with a right that sent him down. More often than not Mora out-landed Johnson for the next six rounds.

Johnson never quit.

“Any guy like him that can take a punch is always going to give guys problems,” said Mora. “He can take a punch and he can give a punch. Honestly, if my glove wasn’t covering me it probably would have hurt…a lot.”

Mora’s goal for 2015 is to win another world title. Now that he’s with Al Haymon there are plenty of middleweights. He especially wants current IBF middleweight champion Jermain Taylor who years ago was set to fight Mora.

“We have some unfinished business,” said Mora. “I want Jermain Taylor.”

Other bouts

Dominic Breazeale (13-0, 12 Kos) knocked out Epifanio Mendoza (40-20-1) at 2:37 of the first round of their heavyweight clash. Yes, Mendoza now fights at heavyweight. Breazeale dropped a right hand on Mendoza’s noggin and he went spiraling down. He beat the count and Breazeale delivered a right and left that sent Mendoza tumbling along the ropes like dry tumble weed.

Edwin Rodriguez (26-1, 17 Kos) stopped Derrick Findley (21-14-1, 13 Kos) in the first round to break a sweat in their light heavyweight mismatch. Findley must have hurt his neck looking up at Rodriguez who pile drove the much shorter fighter into submission.

Few punches were thrown in the heavyweight showdown between Antonio Tarver (31-6, 22 Kos) and Johnathon Banks (29-3-1, 19 Kos) but those that were unleashed were powerful. At 2:25 of round seven Tarver stopped Banks with a four-punch combination along the ropes. Banks had been floored earlier with the same four-punch combination earlier in the round. Tarver’s win was followed by several bellows from the former light heavyweight champion who seemingly belongs in the heavyweight division.

Former junior middleweight champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout (28-2, 15 Kos) out-classed Luis Grajeda (18-4-2, 14 Kos) for seven rounds before the fight was stopped by the Mexican’s corner at the end of the round.

Trout, normally a counter-puncher, realized around the fourth round that Grajeda was fearful of any semblance of an attack. From that point on Trout became the aggressor and really changed things around with a body shot that took all of the life from Grajeda in the sixth round.

Grajeda may have feigned a punch but never delivered anything in the seventh round as Trout looked to end the fight with an aggressive but focused attack. More body punches landed and at the end of the seventh, the fight was called off.

Colombia’s Oscar Escandon (24-1, 15 Kos) managed to squeak out a split decision win over the kangaroo antics of Canada’s Tyson Cave (24-3, 8 Kos) after 12 back and forth rounds in super bantamweight action. Or should it be called non-action. Two judges scored it 115-113 for Escandon and one 117-111 for Cave.

Cleveland middleweight Terrell Gausha(18-2, 8 Kos) stopped Brooklyn’s Cesar Vila (7-2) in the eighth round with a four-punch combination. For most of the fight the two traded punches with Gausha having a slight advantage each round. But the end came at 2:30 of the final round when Vila stuck his chin out and Gausha took advantage.

Former junior featherweight world titlist Rico Ramos (24-4, 12 Kos) won by decision over Juan Ruiz (24-16) after eight rounds of a featherweight contest.

Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington (15-0, 11 Kos) knocked down Mike Sheppard (22-18-1) of West Virginia twice in winning by technical knockout at 1:26 of the first round in a heavyweight fight. Washington is an ex-USC Trojan football player.

Long Beach super middleweight Malcolm McCallister (1-0) won his pro debut against Tijuana, Mexico’s Fernando Najera (1-6) by knockout. The end came at 1:42 of round two when Najera’s corner threw in a white towel signaling to end the fight.

New Jersey light heavyweight Marcus Browne (13-0, 10 Kos) floored over the scales opponent George Blades (23-7) twice in the first round. The end came at 1:25 of round one. Blades weighed nearly 20 pounds over the agreed limit.

Vatch Martirosyan (4-0), the younger brother of Vanes, nearly shut out Eddie Diaz (0-3) for four rounds in a welterweight contest. There were no knockdowns in the fight. The scores were 40-36 twice and 39-37 for Martirosyan who fights out of Glendale.

Ahmed Elbiali (8-0) floored Lawrence Blakey (2-3) twice in the first round and twice in the third round to win by technical knockout at 1:44 of round three.



2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura



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



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



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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