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Erislandy Lara Defeats Ishe Smith, Retains Title

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ERISLANDY LARA DEFEATS ISHE SMITH, RETAINS TITLE;

FLOYD MAYWEATHER CALLS OUT MANNY PACQUIAO ON SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION® TELECAST

BADOU JACK STOPS FRANCISCO SIERRA IN THE SIXTH; CHRIS PEARSON SCORES UNANIMOUS DECISION OVER STEVE MARTINEZ

Erislandy Lara vs. Ishe Smith Will Replay on SHOWTIM EXTREME®

Tuesday, Dec. 16 at 10 p.m. ET/PT

Click HERE To Download Photos

Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp / SHOWTIME®

Idris Erba/Mayweather Promotions

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Dec. 13, 2014) –Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara (20-2-2, 12 KOs) retained his WBA Super Welterweight World Championship with a convincing 12-round unanimous decision victory over Ishe “Sugar Shay” Smith (26-7, 12 KOs) in theSHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION main event Friday night from The Illusions Theater at The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

After a strong first round for Smith, Lara dominated the remainder of the fight using a combination of movement, speed and accuracy to secure the decision 117-111, 119-109 twice.

Lara, of Houston by way of Cuba, showed his skills and experience outpunching his opponent, landing 40 percent of his power punches and 22 percent of his total punches. Smith, of Las Vegas Nev., landed only four percent of his jabs.

“I’m an experienced fighter and I know how to read my opponent. I read Ishe in the first round and I set up my game plan,” said Lara. “His body work didn’t affect me. I trained hard with Jack [Edward Jackson] and Ronnie [Shields]. He tried to break my concentration with his cheap tactics and dances, but I know how to control myself. I can control my impulses and I don’t let anything get in the way.”

“I want Floyd for my next fight. He’s the best pound-for-pound, and I want to find the best. I already beat Canelo and everybody else in the division,” added Lara.

SHOWTIME Analyst and Boxing Historian Steve Farhood on the fight, “The main event was about what was expected. Ishe tried, but wasn’t capable because he’s not as quick or as sharp with his punches. When he had the opportunity to bang the body he did but it wasn’t enough because Lara was in such control in the center. He landed so many straight left hands that landed flush. Lara fought the fight he wanted to fight and in that kind of fight, he’s very difficult to beat. He frustrated Smith throughout the fight.”

“I did what I had to do, we had a great camp and I went out there and let it hang,” said Smith after the fight. “You win some you lose some. That’s life. Floyd [Mayweather] told me to keep my head up and that he’s proud of me.”

Unbeaten boxing superstar and perennial pound-for-pound kingpin, Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs) broke his silence and called out Manny Pacquiao in an interview during Friday’s SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION telecast from San Antonio.

“I would love to fight Manny Pacquiao, we’re trying to make the fight happen. Years ago we had problems with random blood and urine testing. I just want to have an even playing field,” said Mayweather. “It’s a little bit of everything that makes me want this fight because he’s not on my level. The fans would love to see the fight and of course I want to go out with a bang. So let’s make this fight happen.”

“Let’s make this fight for the people, for the fans. Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao May 2, Cinco de Mayweather.”

In the co-feature, Badou Jack “The Ripper” (18-1-1, 12 KOs) made quick work of his opponent with a dominating sixth-round technical knockout victory over Francisco “Panchito” Sierra (26-8-1, 23 KOs).

Jack, of Las Vegas, Nev., by way of Sweden, controlled the fight from the outset, lighting up Sierra, the Tepic, Mexican native, with aggressive right hands and upper cuts to the body. Sierra struggled throughout the fight with a cut alongside his right eye suffered in the first round from an accidental head butt.

Jack was highly accurate, landing 59 percent of his power punches, 41 percent of his jabs and 52 percent of his total punches. With 1:02 remaining in the sixth, referee Rafael Ramos stopped the fight and awarded Jack the technical knockout.

“He was what I thought he’d be,” said the 31-year-old Jack. “It wasn’t a perfect fight for me. It’s good to be back but I was looking a bit too much for the knockout, I should have relaxed a bit and used my jab. I felt good, I felt strong out there.”

Sierra was frustrated after the stoppage, “I’m angry with the referee for stopping the fight. I wanted to continue but the referee stopped it.”

In theSHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITIONopening bout, Chris “YK” Pearson (12-0, 9 KOs) remained undefeated in an all-out brawl earning a unanimous decision over Steven “Hitman” Martinez (15-2, 12 KOs).

Martinez, of Bronx, N.Y., by way of Puerto Rico, came out at the bell aggressively, winning three of the first four rounds on two of the three judges’ scorecards. Pearson, of Dayton, Ohio, was able to stay disciplined, controlling the finals six rounds of the fight. The 10-rounder, a first for both fighters, was scored 98-92, 97-93 twice.

Pearson, who hadn’t fought since February, was enthused with his effort in the biggest fight of his professional career.

“I knew he was coming forward, but I had to be smart because I know he’s a good fighter. I wanted to be patient and be smart and use my skills,” said Pearson. “It’s not always going to be a knockout or exciting but it can be dominant and I thought I was dominant.”

In a battle of rising prospects, both were able to impress at different times. “Martinez started very strong, but I think the fact that Pearson had many more difficult fights going into this one enabled him to tough out the rocky moments and come on later. Once he started backing Martinez up the fight was over,” said Farhood.

After the fight, the 24-year-old Martinez was disappointed with his performance, stating “I needed to pressure more. It was a much closer fight than the judges had it. It was a good fight, but I could have done better.”

# # #

“Lonestar Battle: Lara vs. Smith” was a 12-round WBA Super Welterweight World Championship fight promoted by Mayweather Promotions and sponsored by Corona Extra. The night of fights was a SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION (10:15 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) taking place at the Illusions Theater at The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

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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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