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Undercard Info on Jan. 9 RNS/FS1 Show

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ROC NATION SPORTS ANNOUNCES UNDERCARD FOR

JANUARY 9 throne boxing FROM THE THEATER AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN

EVENT TO BE TELEVISED LIVE ON FOX SPORTS 1 AND TO FEATURE SPECIAL PERFORMANCES BY FABOLOUS AND DJ MUSTARD WITH ANGIE MARTINEZ AS HOST

New York, NY (December 18, 2014) – Already a marquee event featuring Dusty “The Beltway Boricua” Hernandez-Harrison (24-0, 13 KO’s) vs. Tommy “The Razor” Rainone (22-5-1, 4 KO’s) in a 10-round main event for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Welterweight Championship along with an all-star lineup of musical talent performing, the January 9 edition of throne boxing just got event bigger with the announcement of an exciting undercard that will have fans in The Theater at Madison Square Garden on their feet and those watching at home cheering as they watch the action live on FOX Sports 1.

In an intriguing televised co-featured bout, 2008 Bahamian Olympian Tureano Johnson (16-1, 11 KO’s) and Alex “El Principe” Theran (17-1, 10 KO’s) of Barranquilla, Colombia will battle it out over 10 rounds for Johnson’s WBC Continental Americas Middleweight Championship and the vacant WBA International Middleweight Championship. Johnson is a dynamic puncher who has achieved a top ten rating and has his sights set on the division’s elite. In his last fight on December 5, he scored a sixth round knockout win over veteran Humberto Toledo. Theran comes into the fight fresh off of a sixth round stoppage of Jhonatan Ricar on October 11 and will be looking to make a statement of his own that he has arrived as a threat at 160 lbs.

In another title tilt, Cecil McCalla (20-1, 7 KO’s) of Randallstown, Maryland takes onGauteng, South Africa’s Chris “The Heat”Van Heerden (21-1-1, 11 KO’s) in a 10-round bout for the vacant IBF International Welterweight Championship. McCalla’s most recent victory, a first round knockout of Mexico’s Francisco Javier Reza on November 21, was his fourth win of 2014. Prior to the Reza fight, McCalla turned in his career-best performance, upsetting up and coming prospect Oscar Godoy in a seemingly effortless unanimous decision victory. Van Heerden claimed the South African Welterweight title and African Boxing Union Welterweight title before relocating to the United States in winter 2013 to train with Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach. Van Heerden’s resume contains victories over Kaiser Mabuza, Sebastian Lujan, Matthew Hatton, the always-difficult Cosme Rivera and most recently, over the big punching Ray Narh on April 16.

In other undercard action, one of boxing’s hottest young prospects, Bowie, Maryland’s Jerry “The King’s Son” Odom (12-0, 11 KO’s) will face fellow undefeated prospect Andrew “Hurricane” Hernandez (7-0-1, 1 KO) of Phoenix, Arizona in a six-round super middleweight bout. Odom was a decorated amateur who won a National Golden Gloves Championship in 2012 and was named the 2012 Amateur Boxer of the Year. One of the most fearsome punchers in boxing today, Odom is coming off of a seventh round knockout victory over then fellow undefeated prospect Vilier Quinonez in July. Hernandez will also look to hang on to his “0” under the bright Madison Square Garden lights in his first action since September 26 when he scored a unanimous decision victory over Rollin Williams.

With a spectacular amateur career spanning over 200 fights which saw him achieve a number one national ranking at 132 lbs., Chicago’s Kenneth “Boss Man” Sims Jr. (4-0, 2 KO’s) turned professional in March of this year and has impressed thus far. He has been tabbed as a future star in the ring, but before he can reach that level he must get past Justin Johnson (6-7-4) of Braddock, Pennsylvania in their six-round junior welterweight fight.

Eduardo Martinez (4-0, 1 KO)of Chicago is another highly touted amateur forwhom boxing insiders have high expectations. After compiling an amateur record of 85-10, winning the 2013 U.S.A. Boxing National Championship and achieving a number one national ranking at 123 lbs., Martinez turned professional on March 7 of this year. On January 9, he faces Rigoberto Miranda (0-2-2) of Troy, New York in a four-round featherweight bout.

Wellington “W.A.R.” Romero (4-0-1, 2 KO’s) represented his native Dominican Republic at the 2012 Olympics in London. Now fighting out of Newburgh, New York, the undefeated junior welterweight will look to continue his professional rise when he takes on Cleveland’s Leo Kreischer (3-6-1, 2 KO’s) in a four-round junior welterweight bout on January 9.

A Silver Medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Zhang “Big Bang” Zhilei (1-0, 1 KO) of Zhoukou, China is an imposing figure at 6’6” and 250 lbs. who will look to infuse excitement into the heavyweight division. On January 9, he faces Kaleb Slaughter (Pro Debut) of Cincinnati, Ohio in a four-round bout.

Dustin “The White Tiger” Fleischer (Pro Debut)of Monmouth Beach, New Jersey is on a quest to become the first grandson of a Holocaust survivor to be crowned a world champion. A Two-Time New Jersey Golden Gloves Champion and the youngest graduate of the U.S. Olympic Education Center, Fleischer compiled an amateur record of 112-18. He turns professional at The Garden on the 9th against Frank Jordan (0-2) from Elizabeth, New Jersey in a four-round junior welterweight bout.

Roc Nations Sports’ foray into the world of boxing will officially begin with the debut of throne boxing on Friday, January 9, 2015 from The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. In addition to the great action inside the ring, the January 9 edition of throne boxing will feature several notable Roc Nation touches that will further serve spectators with an enhanced fan experience, including hit master DJ Mustard who will serve alongside notable event emcee and “Voice of New York” Angie Martinez throughout the night with Brooklyn’s own two-time platinum recording artist Fabolous taking the stage between fights for a special performance. On fight night, doors open at 6:30 PM, with the first bout to take place at 6:35 PM and the FOX Sports 1 telecast beginning at 10:00 PM ET/7:00 PM PT.

Tickets priced at $205, $105, $55 and $30 plus any Ticketmaster charges are available for purchase at the Madison Square Garden box office, online at www.thegarden.com and at all Ticketmaster outlets. One dollar from each ticket sold will be donated to the Muhammad Ali Center.

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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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