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Julian J-Rock Williams Gets W on SHO

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Big time junior middleweight prospect Julian Williams took out last minute replacement, Jamar Freeman with a 9th round TKO. Williams (17-0-1, 10 KOs) was to face Edgar Ortega (15-2, 10 KOs) tonight, but Ortega dropped out and Jamar Freeman (13-3-2, 6 KOs) stepped in. The lightly regarded Freeman was taking a huge step up in class, but had won four of his last five.

Williams looked every bit the part of the prospect moving up to contender status. Despite Freeman giving Williams almost nothing and taking hardly any chances, Williams showed his patience skill and power in a dominant performance.

On to the rounds:

Round One: The fight starts slow. Williams seems to be figuring out how he wants to approach the last minute replacement. He’s controlling the round, but not much is happening early on. Williams is coming forward with patience, content to work his jab. The only punch Freeman appeared to land was a jab in the last ten seconds of the round. Slow round to say the least.

Round Two: Freeman seems more willing to interact, but that’s not saying much. Williams is almost professorial in his approach. A lot of faints and jabs. Williams opens up with three body shots. Freeman lands a right hand counter in the exchange. With 30 seconds to go in round two, Freeman has landed all of 5 punches. Williams controls a slightly less sleepy round.

Round Three: Freeman is tightly coiled. Can’t let his hands go. Williams is starting to press his will. Freeman lets his hands go for a moment, but nothing significant lands. Williams lands a clean left-right combo. Freeman sticks out his tongue, which at this point is more imposing than his fists. Williams is showing excellent movement. Freeman is longer and taller, but is making no use of those physical advantages. A hard left by Williams gets Freeman’s attention. Williams is starting to put together combinations.

Round Four: Williams opens with a 4 punch combination. You get the feeling that whenever he steps on the gas, this could end fairly quickly. Freeman is clearly outclassed. Even when Freeman lets his hands go, Williams’ superior movement leaves him wanting. Williams is a seriously focused guy. Freeman is even losing the staring contest even though that’s about all he’s doing. Williams ends the round backing Freeman against the ropes with a series of short fast punches.

Round Five: Williams lands a hard right early. He’s starting to pick up the pace. Through four rounds, Freeman has yet to land more than 4 blows in any round. Freeman is just not trying to make this fight. Williams pushes Freeman against the ropes and digs to the body. Freeman circles out without throwing a punch. Hard left breaks through Freeman’s constant guard with authority. The round ends with Freeman getting worked over in the neutral corner.

Round Six: Williams is starting to do whatever he wants. Williams is starting to break Freeman’s guard with regularity. Freeman throws a three punch combination and even though it does no damage, it still nearly makes my jaw drop. This feels more like a sparring session than a prize fight. And not a very good one. Williams lands a hard left to Freeman’s jaw against the ropes.

Round Seven: Williams opens up with a combination that goes up and down Freeman’s body. Freeman flurries for a moment. More of a shoeshine than anything else. Williams continues to press forward looking for openings that Freeman is doing his best not to provide. Williams lands a monster overhand right and Freeman willingly takes a knee. He beats the count at eight. Freeman shows a little spunk and lets his hands go, but Williams responds with more of the same and drops Freeman in the corner with three vicious blows. Freeman beats the count and survives the round…barely.

Round Eight: Freeman did not look like a guy who wanted to come out of the corner. Williams bullies Freeman into the corner, landing blows with nothing coming back. Freeman drops down in the corner again and referee, Robert Byrd, quite correctly stops the fight at the 2:31 mark.

Freeman was nowhere near the class of Williams, but you can still see all the reasons why those around boxing are high on Williams and 2015 could be a big year for him. I would not be surprised to see him in a title bout as early as next year.

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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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