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Stiverne and King Hold Explanatory Presser

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FORMER WBC HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION BERMANE STIVERNE, HALL OF FAME PROMOTER DON KING, TRAINER DON HOUSE MEET THE MEDIA TO DISCUSS BOXER’S CONDITION, FUTURE FOLLOWING HIS LOSS TO DONTAY WILDER ON SATURDAY NIGHT

Press Conference Quotes; Monday, Jan. 19, at MGM Grand

LAS VEGAS (Jan. 19, 2015) –Two nights after being hospitalized following his loss to unbeaten challenger Deontay Wilder on SHOWTIME® from the MGM Grand Garden Arena, former WBC Heavyweight Champion Bermane Stiverne, his Hall of Fame promoter, Don King, and his trainer, Don House, hosted a press conference late today at the MGM Grand.

Here’s what they had to say:

PROMOTER DON KING

“We called this press conference because the Bermane we saw on Saturday night was not the Bermane we all know. Deontay Wilder did a very good job; this is not a press conference for excuses, it is for fact. The doctors at the hospital of the UMC said that he had a severe case of dehydration. His muscles were not working and they thought he had blood in his urine, so they took some tests and held him in the hospital until this morning.

“We want to applaud Deontay Wilder for doing his job, but the man before him was handicapped and unable to do his job, but that should not take anything away from his victory. Deontay performed and did a great job. It is unfortunate, but Bermane will have to do it another day. Knowing the champion we have in Deontay has so eloquently stated that he will take on anybody, I am certain without any equivocation he would grant a rematch with the real Bermane than the man who was handicapped in the ring, not taking away the victory he had and the way he shined.

“We praise Deontay and hope he can be champion long enough to where we can have a rematch of the ‘Return to Glory.’

“Just like our great military, when they get knocked down, they get back up again. Even with his severe dehydration Bermane still stood there for 12 rounds.

“We want to thank Richard Sturm, President of MGM Grand entertainment and Stephen Espinoza with SHOWTIME Boxing for playing a major part in getting this program together. We applaud both our staff and the MGM staff for doing a commendable job for making this happen. The spirit for ‘Return to Glory’ was high. We had a great card with Amir Imam in the fight of the night, getting knocked down and getting back up. All of the fights were exceptional. It was a good night of boxing for the fans and that is what we are really about.

“Don House so eloquently stated the health of Bermane is so important so when I found out he was in the hospital, I went to stay the day there with him because usually we just send them to the hospital to get checked out, but they decided to hold him. When they decided to hold him, I had to get over there and see my fighter. The staff was terrific and very gracious to me and very definitive about what could be wrong and investigating all aspects. They said he is healthy and should take off a month or so to get some rest and then get to work to prepare for his return to glory and recapture the heavyweight crown that is currently held by a great champion named Deontay Wilder.”

BERMANE STIVERNE

“I want to apologize for not making the post-fight press conference. Unfortunately I was not able to perform in the fight like I wanted to due to severe dehydration and muscle damage. I did not know it was that serious until they told me. I could have died from it. I am happy to just be myself, walk and talk again. Thank God for this, that’s really what matters to me to be healthy right now.

“I did not know the severity of it Saturday night. I was able to give the people a good show, 12 rounds of boxing. If I had to do it again I would do it again. This is not the end for me. I will give it a couple weeks and then get back to work. I have a vision for this, but right now it’s just on pause. It’s just a matter of time before I will get back on my feet and walk again. When it comes to my health, I have been released from the hospital. They would not let me leave until I was sufficiently hydrated. I am grateful. Thank you to my promoter and trainer, everyone who has welcomed me.

“To my fans, I apologize for not being able to perform like Bermane usually does. I know that people who really know me, know how I fight. My last fight with Chris Arreola, I gave you a good show. It is unfortunate that I couldn’t do what I wanted to do with my fight with Deontay Wilder. I want to congratulate him, he fought a good fight. Hopefully somewhere in the future we will meet again.

“Thanks everyone for coming out to the press conference, I am back on my feet 100 percent right now. I just need a couple of weeks or a month of rest to be back where I left off.”

DON HOUSE, Stiverne’s Trainer

“Thank you guys for coming out. The most important thing is that Bermane is OK. That is my main concern. I noticed somewhere in the fight, probably around the third or fourth round, something wasn’t right. Even though he told me he was OK, we all know Bermane. I don’t mind losing a fight, but I knew something wasn’t right, so I was very concerned. Around the ninth or 10th round I was thinking to stop the fight because you don’t have to continue, but he wanted to keep fighting.

“You didn’t see Bermane, you saw maybe 10-15 percent of Bermane. I really believe and really felt this should have been a decent fight for Bermane, but would last four rounds or less because his power and speed. We never underestimated him. We trained as if he was fighting King Kong. I train every fighter like that, underestimate no one. But Saturday night, we had about 15 percent of Bermane.

“We are going to look back, see what we did wrong, how we can do things better, what we should have done. We will take a look at how the dehydration may have happened. We will take a look at the fight and some of the things we did in training and find out what we did wrong.”

# # #

“RETURN TO GLORY”: STIVERNE VS. WILDER, a 12-round fight for Stiverne’s WBC Heavyweight Championship took place Saturday, Jan. 17 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and was co-promoted by Don King Productions and Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona and Mexico – Live It To Believe It!. In the 12-round co-feature, unbeaten WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion Leo Santa Cruz defended against Jesus Ruiz and undefeated Amir Imam faced Fidel Maldonado Jr. in a 10-round super lightweight bout for the WBC Continental Americas Super Lightweight Title. The event took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., and will aired live on SHOWTIME (10:00 p.m. ET/ 7:00 p.m. PT). The telecast was also available in Spanish via secondary audio programming (SAP). Preliminary bouts were televised live on SHOWTIME EXTREME® (8:00 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).

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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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