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Sadam Ali-Francisco Santana On For April 25, on HBO

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SADAM ALI FACES FRANCISCO SANTANA AS THE CO-MAIN EVENT ON THE WLADMIR KLITSCHKO VS. BRYANT JENNINGS CARD ON APRIL 25

FROM MADISON SQUARE GARDEN IN NEW YORK

TELEVISED LIVE ON HBO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®

NEW YORK CITY (March 25) – The undefeated Sadam “World Kid” Ali and fast -punching Francisco “Chia” Santana will face off at “The World’s Most Famous Arena”, Madison Square Garden on Sat. April 25 as the co-feature to “The Champion Returns”, the World Heavyweight Championship between undisputed heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko and top-rated challenger Bryant Jennings. The doubleheader will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Gary Shaw Productions, the 10-round welterweight showdown between two of the sport’s rising stars will give fans an exciting night of boxing as they open up the telecast before the highly anticipated heavyweight main event.

Advance tickets to “The Champion Returns” may be purchased through the Madison Square Garden Box Office at www.TheGarden.com and through Ticketmaster, (www.Ticketmaster.com, phone 1-800-435-5000.)

“I’m excited to fight in my home state of New York and at Madison Square Garden,” said Brooklyn, New York’s Sadam Ali. “Some of the greatest fighters in the sport have made their mark at this venue; Muhummad Ali, Joe Lewis, Oscar De La Hoya, Bernard Hopkins and I’m ready to be part of that history. Francisco is a tough fighter and I’m ready to take him on and with the help of my promoter Golden Boy Promotions move forward to becoming a world champion.”

“I’ve earned my way to the position I’m in because I’ve fought and beat fighters who were undefeated,” said Francisco Santana of Santa Barbara, California. “Nothing has come easy to me on the way up. Fighting stiff opposition is what prepares a fighter for the next level and I’ll be ready for anything Sadam Ali brings. My promoter Gary Shaw told me if I kept winning he would get me a big fight, and here we are getting ready to fight one of the best young contenders in the world. A win against Ali will sky rocket my career and that’s exactly what I plan to do.”

“Coming off of an exciting match that saw him knockout a previously undefeated fighter, Sadam is now looking to take a next, crucial step up the welterweight ladder,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Founder and President of Golden Boy Promotions. “With lightning-quick hands, true knockout power and a hunger to be the best in the division, the ‘World Kid’ is a must-see for all fans.”

“Francisco Santana is a warrior who grinded his way up the rankings and earned this fight against Ali on HBO,” stated Gary Shaw. “This is a feel good story about a kid who fought his way to the big stage and bright lights of Broadway. Those bright lights are now shining on his career. I’ve always said, a fighter who is hungry is very dangerous, and Santana is famished. He wants to win this fight and show the world he’s worthy of a world title shot. I believe Santana is the underdog in the public’s eye, but he will once again fool the public with a great win on April 25.”

“We’re happy to add this exciting co-feature to this extraordinary event headlined by the World Heavyweight Championship between Wladimir Klitschko and Bryant Jennings,” said Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions. “The matchup of these two rising stars should provide for a very strong opening fight to the HBO telecast.”

Former 2008 U.S. Olympian, Sadam “World Kid” Ali (21-0, 13 KOs) has been on the fast track to success in boxing since his professional debut in 2009. The undefeated fighter impressed critics and fans early on, dominating all his opponents, including Michael Clark whom he beat via knockout in the first round on April 2014 to gain the WBO NABO Welterweight Title. In August of the same year, Ali defeated Jeremy Bryan via split decision to gain the WBO Inter-Continental Welterweight Title. In his most recent bout and the most notable to date of Ali’s career, he faced Juan Carlos Abregu knocking him down in the sixth and ninth round winning by technical knockout in the ninth round to give Abregu his second career loss.

Undefeated since 2012, Francisco “Chia” Santana (22-3-1, 1 KO) has solidified himself as one of the brightest and most dangerous stars in the welterweight division. His victories against former undefeated prospect Eddie Gomez and veteran Joachim Alcine, have propelled him to the top of the weight class. Santana’s most recent wins came by way of knockout. In August of 2014, Francisco stopped Luis Alfredo Lugo in the fifth round, followed by a spectacular first round knockout of another undefeated prospect in Kendal Mena, a bout that took place in January of 2015. Santana is ready to add another win to his record when he faces Sadam Ali on April 25.

Sadam Ali vs. Francisco Santana is a 10-round welterweight bout presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Gary Shaw. The HBO World Championship Boxing telecast begins at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Wladimir Klitschko vs. Bryant Jennings is presented by K2 Promotions and Gary Shaw Promotions in association with Madison Square Garden.

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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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