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Triple G is THE BEST REP for Boxing; Gennady in NYC Report

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The smiling assassin, Gennady Golovkin, greeted media as they walked into a banquet room at Uncle Jack’s in NYC, near Madison Square Garden.

It was a small shock, and my tongue was tied as I said hello.

“Thanks for coming, thanks for having me,” I said.

The pride of Kazahk, who is incidentally the most famous person in that whole region, which includes the ‘Stans, Korea, Mongolia, sat down and answered queries from the press.

His promoter, Tom Loeffler, started off the proceedings, meant to hype Triple G’s May 16 clash against Willie Monroe Jr, in LA at the Forum.

G comes off a win over Martin Murray, in Monaco, and the next clash will be screened on HBO.

He said he respects Monroe and said that while he lacks KOs, he has pop, everyone at this level has some pop.

Loeffler said the plan was to introduce GGG in NYC, the media capital of the planet, and it’s worked; he fought in the MSG Theater and has built up his renown from the ground up. His power, which is indisputable, entrances, especially when paired with a humble persona which has to be seen to be believed. It’s impossible, frankly, to picture him frazzled or irked or impatient. He seems on such a perpetually even keel, and I do wonder if he’s ever so much as dropped an eff bomb.

Word is the Garden would like to have GGG fight in the big room, and Loeffler said if Miguel Cotto steps to the line, he’d adore that proposition.

His trainer, Abel Sanchez, said that he is happy to be back in NYC. They’ve been training for 4 1/2 weeks and said May 16 will be a “another great night.”

Loeffler said Monroe was chosen because Cotto didn’t want the gig. Loeffler said Monroe “made the most sense,” having been on ESPN four times int he last 12 months.

GGG said Monroe is a good fighter, will be difficult because he’s a southpaw. Canelo had a problem with Erislandy Lara, he noted.

Does he ever get frustrated that the big guns, the Cottos, etc, haven’t stepped to the line against him? No, he said, “I have a great life, I know I have time.” Could he ever see himself snapping and calling someone out? “This is my life,  I like my life,” he said, not a hint of edge in his voice.

Those catch-phrases, Mexican style, good boy, good drama show, those are unplanned, said Loeffler. “It’s off the top of his head,” the promoter stated.

Loeffler said demand for merchandise is taking off, and the plan is to make him an international star.

He’s a good dude, all in all, but a killer in the ring, in the ring he’s Triple G, which means, no, he’s not a killer, but, he said, “a sportsman.”

The boxer was asked if he would maybe fight the Mayweather-Pacquiao winner. Yes, but he knows he’s 160 and they are 147s, so, basically, he’s not banking on it.

Loeffler mentioned Andy Lee, or maybe Carl Froch, overseas, down the line. What about fighting in Germany? He’s open to anyone, but it would be better for, say, Felix Sturm, to come to the US, because US is THE PLACE for boxing. Loeffler said that GGG’s star is brighter than Sturms, Robert Stieglitz and Arthur Abraham, so that must be noted and factored in. “I think he’s above where those fighters are,” Loeffler said.

Cotto, or the winner of the NDam-Lemieux is interesting…and Cotto is the topmost target. What about Julio Cesar Chavez Jr…he is coming off a crossroads loss, so he’s not high on the list.

Sanchez said that Mayweather, at 154, is GGG’s dream fight. Froch in England would be most compelling, the trainer said. He was asked about the Andy Lee-Peter Quillin fight, and basically, GGG said it was boring. Too much waiting…Sanchez said the same, that it was not a thriller, and neither man was busy enough. He said a fight in Ireland vs. Lee could be fun, but again, those guys didn’t prime the pump with a flat outing.

Canelo would be on the to do list, too, Loeffler said.

GGG was asked for the Klitschko-Jennings fight. Wlad is great and Jennings has a “chance,” he said.

The ex German resident was asked about moving to the US, to CA. He doesn’t have any ideas as to what he misses from Kazahkstan, and said he is relaxed and happy here. He said the school is good for his son, and the family is happy. The son likes to watch dad train, but doesn’t love watching the fighting.

The dean of fightwriters Tom Hauser asked about a possible Cotto-Canelo bout, and wondered if GGG would still target Cotto, if Cotto’s title were not up for grabs. It’s complicated and still needs to be worked out, Loeffler said.

Team Golovkin has been approached by Roc Nation to do Cotto-Golovkin, and that is on the table, said Loeffler. The promoter said that they have always tried to get the A grade guys to fight GGG but they take what they can get. Team Ward has approached GGG, said Loeffler, but Ward wants warmup fights first, he said. GGG said to this point Ward hasn’t brought enough money to the table but he’s hopeful that Ward and Roc will build to that. Loeffler said they are cordial with Roc, and he’s known Dave Itskowitch for many moons.

Joel Fisher of MSG “joked” that he wanted a guarantee that GGG-Cotto would be at MSG.

Now, Loeffler said, GGG draws a great gate, so the pot to pay people is getting bigger. Soon PPV will be on the radar.

Loeffler drew laughs when Sanchez was asked what G needs to improve on. “His English,” Loeffler cracked.

My take: Nobody doesn’t love Triple G. He is the best rep for boxing int he game today, in my book. The best. genial person, no history of criminal missteps, no ego run amuk. I admit, I’m a fan. Sue me…

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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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