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PBC Is Back on Spike April 24; Plus, March 7 Ratings Info

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Such a bounty of material for boxing fans. Friday saw boxing on Spike for the first time on a net known for their MMA offerings.

The ratings came out, and the net seems to be happy with them. See the release below…

They will televise another card, on April 24, topped by a Anthony Dirrell-Badou Jack scrap, and a Danny Jacobs vs. Caleb Truax clash.

Dirrell and Jacobs are the favorites, so let us see if we get an upset special. The favorites won last week, with Shawn Porter and Andre Berto fighting to form and expectation.

On NBC, the favorites Keith Thurman and Adrien Broner also scored Ws. For this PBC push to gain the most traction possible, as Thomas Hauser pointed out, we need to have coin flip fights, with unexpected results popping up. Here is the release which went out touting the April 24 program:

PREMIER BOXING CHAMPIONS RETURNS TO SPIKE TV ON

FRIDAY, APRIL 24 AT UIC PAVILION IN CHICAGO

SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION ANTHONY DIRRELL BATTLES HARD-HITTING BADOU JACK

MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION DANIEL JACOBS TAKES ON EXCITING VETERAN CALEB TRUAX

TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW!

CHICAGO (March 16, 2015) – Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Spike TV returns with an action-packed doubleheader on Friday, April 24 at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago as the hard hitting Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell (27-0-1, 22 KOs)faces off against challenger Badou Jack “The Ripper” (18-1, 12 KOs) in super middleweight action.

The first main event of the evening will see Daniel “The Miracle Man” Jacobs (28-1, 25 KOs) battling it out with exciting veteran Caleb “Golden” Truax (25-1-2, 15 KOs) in a middleweight bout.

Tickets for the live event, which is co-promoted by Warriors Boxing and Mayweather Promotions, are priced at $151, $101, $51, and $31, not including applicable service charges, and are on sale now. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or UIC Pavilion Box Office at (312) 413-5740. Tickets are also available at www.ticketmaster.com or by visiting the UIC Pavilion Box Office (Thursday or Friday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.).

The televised action on Spike TV begins at 9 p.m. ET and 8 p.m. PT (delayed on the west coast).

“I’m extremely excited to be fighting on Spike TV and I plan on being the guy everyone is talking about when the night is over,” said Dirrell. “This is a great platform for me and I’m more motivated than ever to put on a show for the fans. Badou Jack is a tough opponent but I’m going to make it a very bad night for him.”

“This is a great opportunity for me and I am not going to let it slip through my fingers,” said Jack. “I know Anthony Dirrell is a very skilled fighter but he’s about to feel a different kind of power when I hit him. I’m looking forward to becoming the super middleweight champion on April 24th.””

“‘The Miracle Man’ is back! I’m excited about this fight and I know it’s going to be a great night for the fans and I expect to put on a show,” said Jacobs. “Everyone in Chicago and everyone watching on Spike TV is going to be in for a treat.”

“I’m so thrilled to be able to compete in such a big fight on such a tremendous stage,” said Truax. “Jacobs is a good fighter and I respect him, but he’s never been in the ring with someone like me. I will make him pay if he underestimates me.”

“We’re excited to be bringing Premier Boxing Champions back to Spike TV and to the UIC Pavilion in Chicago for the first time,” said Leon Margules, President of Warriors Boxing, co-promoter of the event with Mayweather Promotions. “Chicago has a great fight history and with two championship fights, April 24 will be another great chapter in that history.”

“We’re excited to be co-promoting this great night of boxing,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “”Badou Jack is a hard-working and motivated fighter who has been putting in the work to earn this world title shot. I expect a night of fireworks and on April 24th. Mayweather Promotions will have another champion.”

“We are thrilled to deliver to our viewers a compelling, action-packed event showcasing fighters who have beaten world class opponents in the ring and overwhelming obstacles outside of it to get to boxing’s big stage,” said Jon Slusser, Senior Vice President, Sports, Spike TV.  

Dirrell has seen more adversity than most throughout his career as his time in boxing has been seriously jeopardized twice. First in December 2006 when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and was sidelined for 20 months and again in May 2012 when he broke his lower left leg and left wrist in a motorcycle accident. The Flint, Michigan-native never let that keep him down however as he kept winning fights and working his way up the professional ranks. In 2014 he won his first championship, when he defeated Sakio Bika in a rematch of their 2013 draw. Now the 30-year-old looks to put on another show on April 24 in Chicago.

The 31-year-old Jack has been on course for a world title shot since signing with Mayweather Promotions in 2013. The hard-hitting fighter out of Las Vegas by way of Stockholm, Sweden, lost for the first time in 2014 but rebounded in his next bout with a 10-round unanimous decision victory over Jason Escalera in August and continued to impress in December when he stopped Francisco Sierra in the sixth-round. Now, the 2008 Gambian Olympian will get a shot on the big stage when he takes on Dirrell on April 24.

Another inspirational figure that will be entering the ring, Brooklyn’s Jacobs completed his road from cancer survivor to champion last August when he defeated Jarrod Fletcher for his middleweight title. In 2011, he was in pursuit of a championship when cancer threatened his life and kept him out of the ring for 19 months. But when he returned, he picked up where he left off, having not lost since. Now, he looks to build on his momentum against a tough opponent on April 24.

Born in Osseo, Minnesota, Truax is an experienced veteran who has fought professionally since 2007. Fighting mostly in his home state, the 31-year-old won his first 14 fights before his first blemish on his record, a draw with Phil Williams in 2010. Truax would win four more fights, including a victory over Williams that earned him a 2012 fight with Jermain Taylor. Truax dropped a tough decision to Taylor but has gone undefeated in eight fights since. Now, he enters the biggest fight of his career on April 24 in Chicago.

For more information visit www.premierboxingchampions.com, www.spike.com/shows/premier-boxing-champions, follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing, @AnthonyDirrell, @BadouJack, @DanielJacobsTKO, @GoldenCalebT and @SpikeTV and become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PremierBoxing, www.Facebook.com/MayweatherPromotions and www.Facebook.com/Spike.

Here is the ratings release:

ONE MILLION VIEWERS TUNE IN FOR

ANDRE BERTO-JOSESITO LOPEZ FIGHT ON SPIKE

The Andre Berto-Josesito Lopez fight on Spike’s debut broadcast of “Premier Boxing Champions” delivered 1 million viewers (10:45pm-11:15pm et).

The Spike telecast of the entire card averaged 869,000 viewers, making it the most watched boxing event on Friday nights in eight years (ESPN2, Bundrage/Smith, 1/12/07).

Spike’s PBC telecast more than doubled ESPN2’s average for boxing on Fridays in 2014 (403,000 viewers).

Highlights of the three televised fights have been viewed over 1.5 million times between PBC Facebook and Twitter

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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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