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Murat Gassiev Wins In Front of Celebrity Boxing Crowd



MONTEBELLO, CA.—Celebrities roamed around the makeshift ball-room and inside the boxing ring, young kids and prospects belted each other with extra vigor. It was another All Star Boxing fight card at the Quiet Cannon.

James Toney walked around giving autographs and posing for photos. He also had interest in a couple of young fighters on the card. Toney, who vehemently stated he’s not retired, will be promoting his own shows. He’s looking to begin in April.

Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera walked into the Quiet Cannon and immediately spotted Toney. He approached Toney for a photo. Not known to many, Toney is an idol to Herrera, who looks at his old fights to get pumped up. Herrera said he doesn’t normally attend fight cards outside of his own. But he decided to visit Montebello, which is about 40 miles from where he lives in Riverside.

Midway through the fight card, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin arrived. He descended from the Big Bear Mountains 100 miles away to see his stablemate perform. The middleweight champion was mobbed by the crowd. Golovkin spotted Toney and asked for a photo with the former middleweight champion, now participating as a heavyweight. Golovkin knows all about middleweight history. He’s mentioned Toney before and here was the great fighter right in front of him. They took a few photos together.

Leo Santa Cruz was supposed to attend but no one I knew saw him.

The main event was Russian Murat Gassiev, a cruiserweight bruiser who has been ruining sparring partners in four Southern California counties. He works in Big Bear with Golovkin and is trained by Abel Sanchez. He was making his U.S. debut.

Gassiev (20-0, 14 Kos) or “Murat” as everyone calls him, fought Terrence Smith (8-18-3) in a bout set for six rounds or less. Smith was brought in from Oklahoma and when introduced during the touch-gloves ceremony, the muscular cruiserweight menacingly stared at the Russian. Someone from the audience murmured “uh oh, that means Smith is going down. Guys that mad dog usually go down hard.” Boy, was that person correct.

When the real fight started Smith circled quickly around Gassiev, who stayed right in punching distance. Gassiev has fast hands and good balance. And when he connects that power in his punches seems like he has a hammer inside his gloves.

For a couple of months Abel Sanchez and Ben Lira have lauded his talent. They say he’s the second coming of GGG, which is a very tall task. Gassiev had plenty of support from a large Russian crowd.

Smith, who realized early that running wasn’t working, tried to punch his way to some respect. That didn’t work either. Gassiev kept coming and began connecting to the body and head with wicked-fast combinations. Smith’s face began to swell and soon his nose bloodied. The knockout was coming and Smith began to hold in the fourth round. When the referee told him to release Gassiev, the Oklahoman refused, which seemed comical to the crowd but not to Smith. He was deducted a point but that did not matter. Smith held again when the fight resumed and would not let go. The referee stopped the fight and disqualified Smith at 2:29 of round four.

Gassiev, 21, won his American debut.

Other bouts

England’s Samuel Antwi battered Palmdale’s Daniel Fabela in a battle of debuting boxers. Antwi, who now trains in Southern California, was much too accurate and once he connected he kept on firing precise punches. Fabela was just about to go down when referee Ray Corona stopped the welterweight fight at 2:48 of the first round.

Jose Hernandez (7-2-1) defeated Anthony Juarez (0-5-1) by unanimous decision after four rounds of a super middleweight match.

Eddie De La Huerta won his pro debut with a second round stoppage of Percy Peterson (1-6-1) in a lightweight match. Peterson was doing well until he was connected with right hands from De La Huerta. The end came at 2:34 of round two.

London, England’s Isaac Dogboe (5-0) was a unanimous decision winner over Alejandro Ochoa (5-10-2). Dogboe and Ochoa fought on even terms but the English fighter was more accurate.

Edgar Nava (1-0) and Ngoc Truong rocked the house in their pro debuts. Both exchanged freely and Truong was dropped badly. He beat the count and was able to continue. Truong must have been in great shape because he was able to resume battling but was caught again 58 seconds into the fourth round of their junior welterweight bout.

Panama’s Israel Duffus (7-2, 6 KOs) knocked out Jamel Reynolds (0-5) with a counter left hook in the first round of their cruiserweight battle. It was a comeback fight after Duffus was stopped in his previous fight. He trains at the Wild Card Boxing gym.

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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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