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Vasquez Aims For 10th Straight KO on “ShoBox”

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PITTSBURGH, PA. (Feb. 18, 2015) – Hometown favorite and unbeaten welterweight Sammy Vasquez held a media workout on Wednesday at South Park Boxing Club as he prepares to face fellow southpaw Emmanuel Lartey in the 10-round main event ofShoBox: The New Generation, this Friday,Feb. 20, live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) fromCONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Vasquez (17-0, 13 KOs) is aiming for his 10th consecutive knockout. Lartey (17-2, 8 KOs, 1 NC), of Brooklyn, N.Y. by way of Ghana, has never been knocked down.

In the co-feature of the Goossen Promotions tripleheader, former longtime Cuban amateur star and current third-ranked WBC light heavyweight Humberto Savigne (12-1, 9 KOs, 1 NC), of Miami via Guantanamo, Cuba, will take on undefeated Craig Baker(15-0, 11 KOs), of Baytown, Texas, in a 10-round bout.

In the opening bout of the telecast, talented southpaw and WBA No. 7 ranked featherweight Claudio Marrero (17-1, 13 KOs), of Miami by way of the Dominican Republic, will face southpaw Orlando Rizo (18-5, 11 KOs) of Managua, Nicaragua, in an eight-round match.

Advance tickets priced at $238, $100, $60, $40 and $25 for students and military with valid ID (Box Office Only), plus applicable fees, for “The Pride of Pittsburgh III” are on sale through the Dick’s Sporting Goods Box Office at CONSOL Energy Center,Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets or charge by phone at 800-745-3000. Prices increase $5 on the day of the event. Doors will open on the night of the event at 6 p.m. with the first bell at 6:30 p.m.

Here’s what Vasquez had to say during Wednesday’s media workout:

SAMMY VASQUEZ

“Lartey has never been knocked out, but I definitely think I have the power to take him out. It’s more of the plan of setting it up — I’m going to set it up and put him in positions that he hasn’t been in before to make him uncomfortable.

“I want to make him throw punches that he normally doesn’t throw so I can open him up and capitalize on his mistakes.

“Fighting in my hometown gives me extra motivation. That’s one of the main reasons why I always come back here to Pittsburgh, why I always bring boxing back here. I just love the atmosphere that my fans give me when I fight. I’m just honored to put on a show and give them a great fight. Boxing has always been my dream and fighting in front of my fans in Pittsburgh makes it even better.

“I don’t feel like I’m in a position to be calling people out yet. I still have a lot of things to prove and that’s what I’m looking to do on Friday. I’m looking to prove myself and make a statement.

“I’m ranked pretty high, but there are plenty of names in front of me that I need to beat. I want to start fighting the top guys — that’s my plan for 2015.

“Once I get that name and recognition where I can call people out, then that’s when I will do it. When I feel I am ready and worthy. I need to get a win on Friday first.”

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CONSOL Energy Center is located at 1001 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15219. Further information can be located at their website, www.consolenergycenter.com

Social Media: Follow Goossen Promotions on Twitter @GoossenBoxing, Sammy Vasquez on Twitter @TeamSVasquez, Showtime Sports @SHOsports and CONSOL Energy Center @CONSOLEnergyCtr. Use hashtag #VasquezLartey to follow the discussion.

For more information on Goossen Promotions view their website at www.GoossenPromotions.com. For additional information on Showtime Sports visit www.Sho.com/sports.

About ShoBox: The New Generation

Since its inception in July 2001, the critically acclaimed SHOWTIME boxing series, ShoBox: The New Generation has featured young talent matched tough. The ShoBox philosophy is to televise exciting, crowd-pleasing and competitive matches while providing a proving ground for willing prospects determined to fight for a world title. Some of the growing list of the 58 fighters who have appeared on ShoBox and advanced to garner world titles includes: Andre Ward, Deontay Wilder, Erislandy Lara, Shawn Porter, Lamont Peterson, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Omar Figueroa, Nonito Donaire, Devon Alexander, Carl Froch, Robert Guerrero, Timothy Bradley, Jessie Vargas, Juan Manuel Lopez, Chad Dawson, Paulie Malignaggi, Ricky Hatton, Kelly Pavlik, Paul Williams and more.

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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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