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Respect In the Air At Kovalev-Pascal Presser

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Respect all around at Kovalev-Pascal press conference

Unified title fight officially set for March 14, 2015 in Montreal

BOUCHERVILLE, Quebec, Canada, Dec. 22, 2014 – In the first face-off between the triple light heavyweight champion and the former holder of several belts in the same weight division, there was nothing but respect all around at a press conference that was held Monday to officially kick off the unified Light Heavyweight World Championship fight that will take place between Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (26-0-1, 23 KO) and Jean Pascal (29-2-1, 17 KO). The bout is to be televised on HBO on March 14, 2015 at the Bell Center.

Even though he holds the unified WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion title belts, Kovalev praised Pascal highly at Monday’s press conference. “He’s the best possible opponent I could face in the weight division,” said Kovalev, who was named Sports Illustrated’s 2014 Fighter of the Year Monday.

“I respect Sergey Kovalev because he is the king of the light heavyweight division,” said Pascal, the former WBC, IBO and The Ring Light Heavyweight champion. “This will be the greatest challenge ever faced by a Quebec-based boxer, but with discipline and hard work, as well as the support of local boxing fans, nothing is impossible.”

The champ vs the local favourite

Kovalev said he won’t be bothered by the fact that the fight will take place in Montreal, where Pascal is one of the most popular boxers on the local scene.

“The ring is the same everywhere”, he said. “I plan to show who I am to Canadian boxing fans, and I aim to do the things they like to see in a ring.” Pascal also promised this will be a fight not to be missed. “If you’re a boxing fan, this is the perfect Christmas gift to give to someone you love, because it will be one of the greatest fights ever – and the greatest ever held in Canada.”

“This is not my first time in Canada, but each time I come here I’m greatly impressed to see to what extent boxing is a major sport in the Quebec province,” said Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events, Kovalev’s promoter. “This will be a high-quality event, and I’m delighted to be working with a first-rate promoter in InterBox and a great network in HBO for this fight that will bring together two great boxers.”

“What a great way to end 2014 with this announcement of a such a great fight for the New Year,” said InterBox President Jean Bédard. “Sergey Kovalev is the holder of three world titles, but he is first and foremost the boxer that no one wants to face. But it is with great enthusiasm that Jean Pascal has accepted this challenge.”

“Sergey Kovalev and Jean Pascal are first-rate competitors who always look to fight against the best and, on March 14, that’s exactly what they will do against one another in a World Championship bout,” said Peter Nelson, Vice President of Programming at HBO Sports. “Following a key win for his career against Bernard Hopkins, Kovalev will put his three unified titles on the line, which Jean Pascal will try to take away. And let’s not forget that the winner will be able to proclaim himself king of the light heavyweight division. This event is absolutely not to be missed!”

Kovalev back in North America

The unified WBO/IBF/WBA Light Heavyweight champion is back from a small vacation in Russia and spending quality time with his wife and infant son, who was born right in the middle of his last training camp. After a short rest, Sergey is now ready to start training for his fight against Jean Pascal. Kovalev is anxious to defend his WBO title for the fifth time, as well as the IBF and WBA titles he wrestled from Bernard Hopkins (55-7-2, 32 KOs) in a wide unanimous decision win on November 8th.

Pascal’s sole objective: To become World Champ again

Following the unfortunate turn of events during his December 6th fight, Jean Pascal is hungrier than ever to attain his ultimate objective of becoming world champion again. Marc Ramsey, who accompanied David Lemieux to Brooklyn last December 6th for his bout against Gabriel Rosado will be back in Pascal’s corner for the March 14th bout. Roy Jones Jr. and Russ Anber will be assisting Pascal during camp and during the bout.

Tickets on sale

Tickets for the unified Light Heavyweight World Championship fight between Kovalev and Pascal are on sale at the Bell Centre ticket office, at www.evenko.ca, by telephone at 1-855-310-2525 or through Club de Boxe Champion (514-376-0980).

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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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