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Quotes Galore From Return To Primetime, on PBC on NBC

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NOTES & QUOTES FROM DEBUT OF “PREMIER BOXING CHAMPIONS” ON NBC

“Keith Thurman won the fight, Robert Guerrero won the fans.” – Marv Albert

“This is what makes stars, this is what makes champs, coming back.” – “Sugar” Ray Leonard on Robert Guerrero

“His speed, his reflexes, his athleticism. Adrien Broner is a problem.” – B.J. Flores on Adrien Broner

PBC on NBC Returns Saturday, April 11, Live at 8:30 PM ET on NBC

LAS VEGAS – Mar. 7, 2015 – Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on NBC made its primetime debut tonight from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Blow-by-blow announcer Marv Albert and analyst “Sugar” Ray Leonard called the action, with Al Michaels as host, corner analysts Laila Ali andB.J. Flores, and reporter Kenny Rice.

The debut of PBC on NBC featured a pair of 12-round bouts — Keith Thurman’s unanimous decision over Robert Guerrero, and Adrien Broner’s unanimous decision over John Molina Jr.

Following are notes and quotes from tonight’s debut telecast:

PBC ON NBC DEBUT

Al Michaels: “Tonight, boxing returns to primetime…in the debut of Premier Boxing Champions on NBC. This is a brand new boxing series that will showcase many of the top fighters in the sport on network television, making boxing far more accessible to fans, with less of an emphasis on jockeying for belts and more of a focus on competitive fights.”

“Sugar” Ray Leonard: “It doesn’t get any better than this – boxing is back on primetime TV. My career, amateur and professional, began on network television. These boxers know the power of the networks. Yesterday, they said they want to be champions and also famous. It all begins right here, right now.”

Michaels introducing blow-by-blow announcer Marv Albert: “And yes Marv is here, and it counts.”

Marv Albert on calling NBC’s last major primetime bout (Larry Holmes vs. Carl “The Truth” Williams, May 20, 1985): “Yes, I do recall very well that night in Reno, Nevada some 30 years ago….30 years ago, I was 12 at the time.”

Albert: “Hall of Fame referee Steve Smoger is with us [at ringside], should there be some issues, controversies, or bizarre occurrences… But that never happens in boxing.”

ON THURMAN-GUERRERO

Leonard on Thurman (pre-fight): “Thurman, he’s so analytical, he breaks down his opponents, he has knockout power in both hands, he puts his punches together well, and if he gets you in trouble, he’s coming after you.”

Leonard on Guerrero (pre-fight): “Guerrero, he went the distance with Floyd Mayweather, his defense is his offense. He’s aggressive, relentless, durable, and has never been knocked out.”

Leonard on Thurman in Round 1: “Most fighters have a problem with southpaws…but Thurman looks pretty good here.”

Leonard on Guerrero in Round 1: “Guerrero needs to use his jab to work his way inside.”

Albert on Thurman in Round 2: “It has been all Keith Thurman on the attack… he’s a power puncher, looks for the early knockout…he’s off to a terrific start.”

Steve Smoger on Thurman’s injury after an unintentional head-butt in Round 3: “If Thurman cannot continue after the 4th Round, they’ll go to the cards. That’s the situation and that’s pursuant to Nevada rule.”

Leonard on Thurman’s Round 4 right hand to Guerrero’s head: “Most guys would have gone down from that shot.”

Leonard on Thurman in Round 7: “He’s in such control.”

Leonard on Round 7: “Thurman can’t fall asleep on Guerrero, who still has power in both hands.”

Leonard on Guerrero in Round 8: “Guerrero needs to be more aggressive and cut the ring off.”

Leonard on Thurman in Round 8: “Thurman has taken full control of this fight.”

Leonard on Guerrero in Round 8: “When Guerrero lands a punch he should stay there and throw more punches, more combinations.”

Albert on Guerrero at the end of Round 9: “Saved by the bell.”

Albert on Round 10: “How about Guerrero coming back!”

Leonard on Guerrero in Round 10: “This is what makes stars, this is what makes champs, coming back.”

Leonard on Guerrero in Round 11: “The heart of Guerrero is just impressive.”

Albert on Round 12: “12th and final round and they continue to go at it.”

Albert: “Keith Thurman won the fight, Robert Guerrero won the fans.”

ON ADRIEN BRONER- JOHN MOLINA JR.

Leonard on Adrien Broner: “I had a little showmanship in me in my years, but Broner definitely is a showman. I knew when not to cross the line…Broner is a gifted fighter, but sometimes gets a little vulgar in his antics. I just don’t want that to overshadow his talent.”

Albert on Broner: “At times he has been off-the-wall outrageous.”

B.J. Flores on Broner (pre-fight): “His speed, his reflexes, his athleticism. Adrien Broner is a problem, and a mismatch for anybody he faces because of those natural gifts. Now, whenever he gets in the ring, he likes to stand and use those reflexes and that speed for offense, combination punching and defense.”

Leonard on Molina Jr. in Round 1: “He needs to make this an ugly fight.”

Leonard in Round 1: “Broner has the best eyes…he sees and anticipates everything coming and is able to counter those punches.”

Laila Ali on Round 1: “Molina’s corner is not happy with his inactivity.”

Ali on Molina Jr.’s inactivity after Round 6: “So far Molina has not been listening to his corner.”

Leonard in Round 8: “Molina waited too long to become an aggressor.”

Albert on Broner talking as fighters clinch in Round 8: “There are sweet nothings being whispered into the ear of John Molina.”

Albert on the fighters’ continual chatter in Round 10: “I get the idea that there is a talk show going on up there and the guests are Adrien Broner and John Molina.”

Smoger on the officiating in Broner-Molina Jr. in Round 10: “I just think we’ve had a bit of over-officiating. Once the referee goes in and starts to lecture, it breaks the flow of the fight and it takes the fighters out of their game plan. He’s trying to control the fight, but I think he’s over-officiating.”

Albert on exchange by fighters at end of the Round 10: “What a finish!”

Ali on Molina in the Round 11: “Joe Goossen has been pleading with John Molina to listen to him.”

Leonard on Molina in the Round 12: “When Molina watches the tape of this fight he’s going to be very disappointed in himself, because he has more. He’s a warrior.”

Albert on Broner: “It will be a convincing victory for ‘The Problem,’ who was a problem for John Molina.”

PBC on NBC returns on Saturday, April 11 at 8:30 p.m. ET from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, as undefeated superstar Danny “Swift” Garcia (29-0, 17 KOs) faces Lamont Peterson (33-2-1, 17 KOs), and middleweight world champion “Irish” Andy Lee (34-2, 24 KOs) takes on the undefeated Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (31-0, 22 KOs).

NBC and NBCSN will present 20 live PBC on NBC boxing events in 2015. Within the 20 live shows, NBC Sports Group will present more than 50 hours of PBC coverage, including NBCSN pre- and post-fight programming for NBC telecasts. The Premier Boxing Champions series is created for television by Haymon Boxing. The PBC on NBC will feature many of today’s brightest stars, in their most compelling matches.

All PBC on NBC shows will be streamed live on NBC Sports Live Extra via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value for their subscription service, and making high quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms. NBC Sports Live Extra is available for desktops at NBCSports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app is available at the App Store for iPad and iPod touch, on select devices within Google Play, and on windows phones and tablets.

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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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