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There Will Be A Time For Cake, Later, For “Prince” Charles Martin

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He will have cake, because today, Friday, is his birthday.

But even though he is a heavyweight, and can be whatever he wants on the scale, “Prince” Charles Martin won’t indulge, he told me, till after he fights at Madison Square Garden on Saturday evening.

Martin, a St. Louis native who now lives in LA, and is promoted by King Sports Worldwide, will get a sweet treat after taking on Tom Dallas, a 6-6 Brit, underneath the Wladimir Klitschko-Bryant Jennings main event at MSG.

The WBO No. 2 ranked heavyweight will fight off TV, and is figuring bigger things will soon come if he keeps on keeping on.

I chatted with him via phone Friday, and made a crack about how he likely had a gameface on, and how thrilled he must be with having to yap with an interrogator the day before the opportunity of his life.

“Nah, I ain’t like that,” the 29-year-old said to me. “Day like today, I’m cracking jokes, I don’t have that game face going.”

That isn’t to say he doesn’t realize the stakes. “I’m fighting at the mecca of boxing,” the 20-0-1 lefty (18 KOs) said. “I’m very excited. Klitschko hasn’t been here in like ten years, this is his return, it’s a special moment.”

Foe Dallas is 17-4, with 12 Kos, and has been stopped four times, so the table is set for Martin to win. “I got to keep the guard up, anything can happen, I’m not taking him lightly. But I want to look sensational. I want everybody to love me for the hard work I put in. You mix hard work with talent, it’s a beautiful thing.”

After a win, he’d like to fight again quickly, stay active. He has Tyson Fury in front of him in the WBO and Fury could get a crack at Wlad, or Jennings, next. He’s No. 5 in the IBF, so if Wlad wants to drop that belt, Martin would happily fight Czar Glazkov in an eliminator, he told me.

“Hopefully either way I will get a title shot by the end of the year,” he said.

The boxer seems so grounded and has a fabulous introspective streak. He told me boxing can be like a marriage; you have to sometimes work to keep it fresh, not let it get stale. The fighter is one of those sorts who is happy to have found this platform; he left St. Louis when his mom saw him drifting toward street activity, at around age 12. At 15, they moved to Colorado, and then him and his older sis moved to Arizona. The heat appealed to him, he said. “Mom took me off the streets, spared me, I love her for that,” he said. “St. Louis was a violent place.”

He doesn’t pretend he is a finished product, though I detected a great reservoir of wisdom in him. “I’m always searching, been searching since I was young. Boxing is a platform to me, I want to make investments, head a non profit, speak to at risk youth. The physical I got, it’s a mental thing, it’s like with females, some days I do love boxing, but it’s like with anything with repetition…You got to renew it! I’m chill, but I do have a mean streak, not like a boxing mean streak, and it works good for boxing!”

Basically, he means he’s not in the Duran mode of destroyer, but he knows what he is there to do.

Martin enjoys getting time with his four kids, aged 12, 1, four months old, and five months old, he told me. “Time is better than money with kids,” he said, and I agreed, noting my kids don’t check my wallet when they hug me, they just want to hang with me, rich or poor. “Yeah,” he said, chuckling, “I know about money stuff, I live in LA, it’s pretty expensive. It’s sink or swim! And Saturday, I’m definitely gonna swim..and surf..and do the paddle board! It’s about having fun!”

And that cake…there will be cake after swimming…but he wants to not bloat up, knows it’s important to look and feel strong, so the cake will wait. And, I’m guessing it will taste that much better after a win…

Follow Woods on Twitter. https://twitter.com/Woodsy1069

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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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