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Andy Lee To Be Present For Golovkin-Murray, Wants Unity at 160

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WBO champion Andy Lee will be in Monte Carlo to cast eye over Golovkin-Murray on Feb 21

Irish world champion looks to unify the middleweight division in the next twelve months Gennady Golovkin vs. Martin Murray, February 21

LONDON (16 FEB) Newly-crowned WBO world middleweight champion Andy Lee will be in Monte Carlo on February 21 to oversee the WBA Super world middleweight title fight between Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin and Martin Murray and is keen to face the winner at some point in the next twelve months.

Ireland’s Lee picked up his world championship with a stunning sixth-round knockout of Matt Korobov in December, but knows a future title unification fight could finally crown a true number one at 160lbs.

“Golovkin and Murray are nice guys and good fighters, and I hope to fight both of them some day,” he said. “I’ll be ringside in Monte Carlo watching as both a fan and a fighter. It’s a genuinely interesting fight – one I’d be interested in even if I wasn’t at their weight – and it also carries relevance to me and my career.

“I’ll be looking to see certain things in both fighters. I’ve seen Golovkin fight at least once before in the flesh, but I’ve never seen Murray fight in the flesh. It will be nice to see them up close and get a sense of what they’re like around a big fight.

“I think about a unification fight all the time. And, even though I’m now a world champion, Golovkin is still The Man in the division. He is rightly considered the number one middleweight in the world.

“Maybe this time next year we’ll be fighting for all the marbles. Though I’m sure Martin Murray will have something to say about that.”

A fan of both, Lee expects Golovkin to retain his title but is quick to shoot down any idea that Murray might be out of his depth on February 21.

“I think Murray is the best opponent Golovkin has faced,” said the southpaw. “I’d probably say Daniel Geale was the best up to this point, but Murray is a bit better than him. He’s more solid, stronger and he’s a big middleweight.

“Saying that, though, I don’t know if Martin will be able to do as much with Golovkin as even guys like (Gabriel) Rosado and (Curtis) Stevens did. From what we’ve seen of his past fights, Martin tends to be in front of you, he stands square and you don’t have to go looking for him. That might suit Golovkin.

“Stevens nullified him a bit because he took a negative approach and moved around the ring with a high guard for a few rounds. He didn’t really try to engage. He just picked his spots when he could.

“I could see Murray doing that for the first half of the fight and then hoping to come on strong at the end. Then he can use his bigger size and his strength. I think that would be Martin’s best approach; don’t try to win the first few rounds, just get through them without taking much punishment and land when you can. He just has to hope to find cracks in the second half of the fight.

“Remember, Murray has experience at this level. He’s gone twelve rounds with both (Sergio) Martinez and (Felix) Sturm. He’s definitely world-class. He also has belief. I don’t think he will be in awe of Golovkin. He won’t think he’s going to lose. Most people who face Golovkin are beaten before they’ve even stepped in the ring with him.”

Before turning pro in 2006, Lee boxed Golovkin as an amateur at the 2003 World Championships. He lost a decision and Golovkin went on to win the entire tournament. Suffice to say, Lee knew the steely-eyed Kazakh was special even back then.

“His footwork, feints and ability to cut off the ring are second to none,” he said. “He always has his opponent on edge. You’re in a constant state of panic, thinking he’s going to attack you at any moment, but he’s totally relaxed. It’s no big deal to him. He puts pressure on you with his feet all the time. And it’s mental pressure. Then, when you step to him, he’ll take a quick step away. He’s always on his toes, ready to fire.

“Murray will find he has to pick his spots wisely. You don’t get many of them and you have to be absolutely certain when they arrive. If you get it wrong, you could leave yourself exposed and end up in trouble.

“Martin knows this, though. He’s a clever, seasoned fighter. In some ways, he’s more experienced than me. He’s as ready as he’ll ever be.”

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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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