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Texas Bantam Celina Salazar Challenges Mexico’s Yazmin Rivas for WBC Title



World championship titles mean you are the very best in the world.

Few female fighters travel to other countries to pursue a world title quest. Most are resigned to stay in the comforts of home, let alone fight in another state or city.

Not San Antonio’s Celina “The Sweetheart” Salazar.

The Texas bantamweight has traveled to Costa Rica, Mexico and the boxing Mecca of Las Vegas. Now she crosses the border once again but this time there’s a huge golden carrot in front of her.

Salazar (6-1-2), the number one ranked American bantamweight, meets WBC bantamweight world titlist Yazmin “La Rusita” Rivas (31-8, 9 Kos) this Saturday, March 14, at Auditorio Municipal in Tijuana, Mexico. The world championship is at stake and will be televised on Azteca TV.

“It means I finally have the opportunity I have waited for all of my boxing life. I’ve been training for this for my entire boxing career. I’m at a point I was determined to get to and now that this opportunity is here I won’t let it go to waste,” said Salazar, 26, who last fought and won in Costa Rica against Mexico’s Maria Elena Villalobos last summer.

In spite of having only 9 pro fights, four were against former world champions, including a dominant win over Philippine’s Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton in August 2013. The fight took place in front of the late WBC president Jose Sulaiman, who passed away last year. Salazar (pictured above left, against Julaton, right) has proven to be quite capable of fighting young or experienced veterans in the boxing ring.

“It doesn’t mean much. I don’t have many fights cause I’ve always had a hard time finding women to step in the ring with me,” Salazar said of her lack of fights under her belt. “Anyone who has seen me fight knows exactly what I bring to the table. I come to fight.”

Rivas, 27, defeated Germany’s Alesia Graf for the WBC title in June 2014, and defended it successfully against Australia’s Susie Ramadan this last October. She also formerly held the IBF version of the title that she grabbed by defeating Ramadan in 2011. The native of Torreon, Mexico has proven to be the cream of Mexico’s bantamweight crop.

“Styles make fights. My job as a professional is to fight who they put in front of me. That’s all I worry about. I let my team take care of everything else,” said Salazar, who expects another rugged encounter. “My trainer and I know who I am as a boxer. I let my opponents adjust to my style. The only difference for this fight is that I’ll be doing what I’ve always done, better.”

Salazar has only one loss on her resume and that was against Melinda “La Maravilla” Cooper a veteran and feared fighter from Las Vegas. Of all the bantamweights or super bantamweights in the world, the girl from San Antonio was the only one willing to face the speedy bantamweight.

Both are now signed with Arqangel Promotions, a management group based in Southern California. The reason the group signed Salazar was the incredible performance she gave against Cooper in Las Vegas back in September 2012. After six furious back and forth rounds Cooper won by majority decision but Salazar made a strong impression on everyone at the Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel Casino.

Katherine Rodriguez, an Arqangel spokesperson, said they immediately noticed her fighting spirit.

“What impresses me about Celina is her power and she is not afraid to fight a tough fight against whoever,” said Rodriguez, a former amateur standout boxer. “When she accepted the fight against Melinda Cooper, I knew right away she has a heart of a true fighter because Melinda Cooper is great fighter and very experienced.”

Her trainer knows all about Salazar’s arsenal.

“Beside her work ethic, the willpower to keep at it despite obstacles in and out of the sport. There’s no stopping her when she makes up her mind,” says boxing trainer Arturo Ramos, who’s worked her entire pro career. “One of the best I’ve ever worked with.”

Salazar, called “the Sweetheart” because of her kindness outside of the boxing ring, will be gunning for the very capable Riva’s world title.

“She has something that I’ve been after my entire career. I’m excited and can’t wait to hear the sound of the bell,” Salazar said.

The Zanfer Promotions fight card begins at 5 p.m.

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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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