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Quotes From James Kirkland San Antonio Media Workout

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QUOTES FROM JAMES “MANDINGO WARRIOR” KIRKLAND’S SAN ANTONIO MEDIA WORKOUT

KIRKLAND WILL FACE OFF AGAINST CANELO ALVAREZ ON MAY 9 LIVE ON HBO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING ®

Photo Credit: HoganPhotos/Golden Boy Promotions

SAN ANTONIO (April 8) Texas knockout artist James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland (32-1, 28 KOs) today hosted a media workout in San Antonio in advance of his face-off against Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez (44-1-1, 31 KOs) on May 9 at Minute Maid Park in Houston live on HBO World Championship Boxing ®. In attendance were James Kirkland’s trainers, Bay Bay McClinton and Rick Morones and Leija*Battah Promotions’Mike Battah in addition to Texas boxing legendJesse James Leija.

Texas fighters featured in the non-televised undercard for May 9 were also at today’s media workout including James Leija Jr., the son of Texas Boxing Legend Jesse James Leija; Austin’s Curtis Meeks (9-1-2, 3 KOs), San Antonio’s Cresencio Ramos (2-0, 1 KO), Cut and Shoot, Texas’s light heavyweight Alfonso “El Tigre” Lopez (23-3, 18 KOs), Houston lightweight Antonio Capulin (14-0, 6 KOs), and San Antonio’s Joseph Rodriguez (8-0, 2 KOs), all participated in the media workout.

Below are what the fighters had to say about their upcoming bouts on May 9 at Minute Maid Park:

JAMES KIRKLAND, Super Welterweight Contender:

“Gerald Tucker, Bay Bay McClinton, Rick Morones are all on my camp. They are working me hard, doing what it takes to win. Right now I am very happy that they are keeping me busy, motivated and are providing a tough camp for me to be ready on May 9.

“This is the opportunity I have been waiting for and overall I am happy. I feel blessed, and I am going to go out there and make history happen.

“I want to fight Canelo because I know his style. You see something, you analyze it, and I feel like I can beat him.

“I know Canelo is going to put in the work on fight night. I want to be a step ahead of him, so if he comes to box or comes for a slug fest, I will be ready.”

RICK MORONES, Head Trainer to James Kirkland:

“We all know he can fight; he is not a boring fighter. We have been improving his defense, his jabs to make him a more complete fighter.

“This fight will take him to the next level and he is very motivated. I see him in the gym everyday. He has a desire and passion for the sport.

“I am going to promise a great fight on May 9, with fireworks in the ring, and history will be made at Minute Maid Park”

BAY BAY McCLINTON, Strength and Conditioning Trainer to James Kirkland:

“We are ready to rock and roll. This fight will bring fireworks and will be more exciting than the fight the week before [May 2].

“I have been training him since he was 15-years-old, and he is very comfortable with his new training team.

“This fight will not go the distance, it’s not. I expect James to win via knockout. Be ready for a good fight James will not let his fans down.”

JESSE JAMES LEIJA, Founder of Leija*Battah Promotions and Texas Boxing Legend:

“May 9 is big for Texas and for boxing. The fight can go either way and with Kirkland’s power and Canelo’s stamina, it will be a great fight for the boxing fans.

“We have so many great fighters on the card. We are trying to build world champions in Texas and a fight like this can definitely get them there.

“I see the fight ending early, the way these guys fight. I don’t see a decision happening. It will definitely be an exciting night.”

MIKE BATTAH, President of Leija*Battah:

“We have a great venue with Minute Maid Park, the roof can open and close in 45 seconds! Rain or shine, we will be there on May 9

JAMES LEIJA JR., Featherweight Prospect:

“I am looking forward to seeing the crowd on fight night. I have always dreamed of being in the ring in front of a large crowd and May 9will be my chance to show everyone what I can do in the ring.

“I know my opponent, Eric Butler, has more experience than I do. But, I have seen him fight and I feel like I can out-box him. I feel like I am a better boxer overall.

“I have been training for about for two months, and I always train as a professional even when I was an amateur. We have picked it up and made it more challenging, having me spar with undefeated fighters in San Antonio. I want to make my sparring sessions harder than what the fight will be.”

CURTIS MEEKS, Super Lightweight Prospect:

“I’m looking to dominate the fight on May 9. That’s what I’ve come to do. I’m in shape, I’m ready and I’m coming in to give the fans what they want to see.

“My opponent is a young fighter who will be prepared to fight. Kirkland and I grew up together. We’ve just got to give the fans what they asked for, which is an a**-whooping.

“I have been in camp with James Kirkland. So I’ve been focused on training every day. Making sure that I am tested every day. That’s what I do. I’m ready to work.”

CRESENCIO RAMOS, Featherweight Prospect:

“I am looking to impress fans on May 9and get the win.

“I know my opponent has more experience, and I am going to try to wear him down.

“We started training two weeks ago and adding more power to my punches and using my quickness to me ready for an exciting night at Minute Maid Park.”

ALFONSO LOPEZ, Welterweight Prospect:

“I’m looking forward to the excitement of the crowd on May 9. The whole atmosphere, the build-up and knowing that the level of fighters that are going to be there, it’s going to be amazing.

“We’re working hard. We know my opponent is a southpaw from Cuba. He’s very slick. So, we’re getting ready the best that we can.

“This year we’ve been steady at it [training camp] for 10 weeks. The focus has been more punches, more hand speed. I’m trying to sit down on my power a bit more.”

ANTONIO CAPULIN, Super Featherweight Prospect:

“I’m looking forward to a big, hard fight. I want to perform; I want to be real good in front of all the fans at Minute Maid Park.

“They have a couple of names in mind for my opponent. Angel Hernandez was one of them.

“I’ve been training for about a month and a half now, and my focus is to do as many rounds as possible and to be in top shape. I want to give fans a lot of action in the ring.”

JOSEPH RODRIGUEZ, Featherweight Prospect:

“I’m very honored and humbled to be part of the fight. I can’t wait to show my speed. I’m very elusive so I can’t wait to show my talent over all. To be part of this fight is very exciting and I can’t wait to show what I have.

“For training camp, we stepped it up for this fight. I feel very confident and prepared for this fight.

“My opponent is from Houston, so I have that against me. He is 3-0, with one draw. He’s a lot taller than me. Everybody should be expecting a good fight.”

# # #

Tickets priced at $350, $150, $100, $50, $25 and $10, plus applicable fees and service charges, are available for purchase at Astros.com/boxing, the Minute Maid Park Box Office (Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) all Ticketmaster outlets, by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000, online at www.ticketmaster.com. There is a 19-ticket limit per household.

Canelo Alvarez vs. James Kirkland is a 12-round super welterweight bout presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Canelo Promotions, SMS Promotions and Leija*Battah Promotions. The fight will take place Saturday, May 9 at Minute Maid Park in Houston Texas and is sponsored by Corona Extra, Mexico – Live it to Believe it!, Fred Loya Insurance and O’Reilly Auto Parts. Doors open at 11:00 a.m. CT and first bout starts at 11:10 a.m. CT, the HBO World Championship Boxing telecast begins at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.

An all-new edition of 24/7 Alvarez/Kirkland debuts Tuesday, May 5 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.

All opponents will be announced shortly. For more information, visitwww.goldenboypromotions.com, www.canelopromotions.com.mx,www.smsboxing.com, www.hbo.com/boxing and www.astros.com/boxing, follow on Twitter at @GoldenBoyBoxing, @SMS_Boxing, @HBOBoxing, @Canelo, @KOKirkland, @Astros @LeijaBattahPR become a fan on Facebook at Golden Boy Facebook Page, https://www.facebook.com/SMSBoxing,www.facebook.com/HBOBoxing or www.facebook.com/astros and visit us on Instagram @GoldenBoyBoxing, @smsboxing and @HBOboxing, @Canelopower, @Kirklandsworld. Follow the conversation using #CaneloKirkland.

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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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