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Klitschko To Fight Jennings at MSG April 25, and on HBO



LATE AFTERNOON UPDATE: It looks like we are a go. Here is a release sent out by Roc Nation, which says that April 25 is full steam ahead.







New York, NY (January 20, 2014) – Roc Nation Sports has reached an agreement for newly signed boxer Bryant Jennings (19-0, 10 KO’s) to face Heavyweight World Champion Wladimir Klitschko (63-3, 53 KO’s) on April 25 at the legendary Madison Square Garden in New York City in a fight that will air live on HBO’s World Championship Boxing. Jennings will challenge Klitschko for his International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Association, World Boxing Organization and International Boxing Organization titles.

“Roc Nation Sports is proud to present Jennings with the opportunity to win the Heavyweight Unified Title of the World,” said Gary Shaw, Roc Nation Sports Boxing executive.

The undefeated Jennings most recently faced then fellow unbeaten heavyweight contender Mike Perez (20-0-1, 12 KO’s) in New York on July 26, 2014 at Madison Square Garden, scoring a 12-round split decision victory. The Philadelphia native is a dynamic puncher who has achieved top ratings across all major sanctioning organizations and has his sights set on bringing the unified heavyweight world titles back to the United States.

”This is the moment I have been waiting for,” said Jennings. “Now it’s time to bring the belts home.”

Klitschko’s battle with Jennings will be his 27th heavyweight championship fight. In addition, this will be Klitschko’s first U.S. appearance in seven years since his first unification fight on February 23, 2008 against Sultan Ibragimov. Klitschko has held the title since April 22, 2006 and has defended it 17 times, making him second to legendary Joe Louis as the longest reigning world champion in heavyweight history.


Team Klitschko sent out a release on Tuesday morning announcing that Wladimir Klitschko, the little bro with the big stash of belts, would put ’em on line against Philly’s Bryant Jennings. April 25 at MSG, the release said. Not long after came a response from Roc Nation’s boxing department, saying, in essence, ‘Not so fast.’

Gary Shaw, heading up the day to day boxing matters, along with David Itskowitch, told TSS that the Roc contingent hadn’t signed papers to make the bout official. If and until then, a release going out would be premature. Until then, that fight is not official.

A story on had and has the fight a done deal, and the story hasn’t been pulled, so I’m guessing the John Hancocks get scribbled and we’re a go. I’m also guessing that the following line uttered by Klitschko advisor/negotiator Bernd Boente might not be winning him friends in Roc offices. “The negotiations with Roc Nation were exhausting and unnecessary but now all is set,” Boente said in the ESPN piece. He could have added, I guess, “continuing,” right?

So stay tuned, friends…

Here is the release sent out by the Klitschko crew:

Wladimir Klitschko defends his titles against Bryant Jennings in New York City

New York City–January 20: IBF/WBA/WBO/IBO and “The Ring Magazine” World Heavyweight Champion, Wladimir Klitschko will defend his titles on April 25th against US fighter Bryant Jennings. The fight will take place at the legendary Madison Square Garden in New York City. Seven years after his first unification fight Wladimir Klitschko finally fights in the US again.

The 30 year old Bryant “By-By” Jennings from Philadelphia is 6ft 3in, and has an almost 3 inch longer reach than Wladimir Klitschko. Jennings has an outstanding record: 19 wins, 10 by KO and no defeats. In his last two fights he won against the undefeated Mike Perez and Artur Szpilka. Jennings is a former US heavyweight champion and ranked very high in all world boxing organizations.

For years Wladimir Klitschko has been the undisputed No 1 in the heavyweight division. He has won the gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. In his last fight Klitschko knocked out the undefeated mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev. The clash with Jennings will be Klitschko’s 27th Heavyweight World Championship fight. His professional record is currently 63 wins, with 54 KOs and only three defeats. Wladimir Klitschko has been world champion for the second time since 2006 and is now second to the legendary Joe Louis, the longest reigning world champion in heavyweight history.

Wladimir Klitschko: “I do have great respect for Bryant Jennings and his achievements. He has good movement in the ring and good technique. I know this will be a tough challenge. I am extremely happy to fight in New York again. I had my first unification fight here and a lot of great heavyweight matches have taken place at Madison Square Garden. It will definitely be a great fight night and I will do everything for it from my side.”

Bernd Bönte, CEO of the Klitschko Management Group (KMG): “For the fourth time Wladimir will be boxing in the world’s most famous arena. It’s always something special to promote at Madison Square Garden, where legends such as Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield stood inside the ring. We are looking forward to another exciting fight and a great event.”

Tom Loeffler, Managing Director of K2 Promotions: “Wladimir has proven to be the most dominant heavyweight champion in recent history and we are looking forward to another great performance on April 25.”

Peter Nelson, vice president programming of HBO Sports: “Heavyweight is boxing’s supreme glamour division, and its champion could not be a better ambassador to the sport in a career heading toward historic landmark achievements. Bryant Jennings has an opportunity to halt those ambitions and become America’s first unified heavyweight champion in more than 13 years, challenging for the crown in the media capital of the world. HBO is thrilled to present the event live on our flagship World Championship Boxing series.”

In the US, Klitschko vs. Jennings will be broadcast live und exclusively on HBO and in Germany on RTL.



2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura



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



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



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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