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Jo Jo Diaz: “I Really Want a Title Shot This Year”

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PHOTOS AND QUOTES FROM LOS ANGELES MEDIA WORKOUT HOSTED BY FRANKIE GOMEZ, JOSEPH DIAZ JR. AND TAISHAN AHEAD OF THEIR RESPECTIVE MAY 9 BOUTS ON CANELO VS. KIRKLAND UNDERCARD

LA FIGHT CLUB undercard fighters Nick Arce, Oscar Negrete and Jesus Delgado also participated in today’s media workout ahead of their bouts on may 7

LOS ANGELES (May 4) – Super lightweight top contender Frankie “Pitbull” Gomez (18-0, 13 KOs), 2012 Olympian Joseph “Jojo” Diaz Jr. (15-0, 10 KOs) and Chinese heavyweight sensation, Taishan (3-0, 2 KOs) today hosted a media workout at Teamsters Gym in South El Monte, Calif. in advance of their match ups on Saturday, May 9 at Minute Maid Park in Houston on the undercard for Canelo vs. Kirkland. Gomez is scheduled for a 10-round super lightweight bout against former three-division world champion Humberto “La Zorrita” Soto (65-8-2, 35 KOs)in the co-main event for Canelo vs. Kirkland which will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing®. Diaz Jr. will face Giovani Delgado (15-2, 9 KOs) in a 10-round featherweight bout and Taishan will fight Karrin Davis (2-4, 2 KOs) in a four-round heavyweight bout, both fights will be featured in the non-televised undercard.

Also in attendance at the workout was a group of undefeated Los Angeles based fighters, Oscar “El Jagura” Negrete (8-0, 3 KOs), Jesus Delgado (4-0-1, 1 KO) and Nick Arce (2-0, 1 KO), who are featured on the upcoming May 7 edition of LA Fight Club at The Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles. The May 7event will be the third installment of the monthly fight series on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes.

Below is what the fighters had to say about their upcoming bouts at today’s media workout:

FRANKIE “PITBULL” GOMEZ, Super Lightweight Top Contender:

“I’ve been training two to three times a day. I go to Wild Card Gym in the morning, strength train in the afternoon and sometimes do another workout in the nighttime. I’m ready.

“It’s going to be a good fight against Soto. He has a lot of experience, but I think I have the youth and I’m stronger. Soto also has good combinations and is a veteran with more than 60 fights, so he’ll be ready too.

“In training camp, I’ve been working hard on my stamina. I want to be able to last all 10 rounds. I’m not just about going for the knock-down.”

“I’ve had a lot of good sparring at training camp. I sparred against fighters like Ruslan Provodnikov and Jose Ramirez.

“Fans can expect to see an explosive, very exciting fight on May 9. Don’t miss it!”

JOSEPH “JOJO” DIAZ JR., 2012 U.S. Olympian and Featherweight Prospect:

“I’m so grateful to Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions for giving me this opportunity. I’m very well prepared and very motivated.

“This is going to be the biggest stage that I’ve ever fought in. I’m very excited to be a part of this event.

“I know Giovani Delgado will be a tough warrior, but I’m going to be ready for whatever he brings. I’m going to try and make Giovani’s size an advantage but I’m going to feel him out first and see if he has decent power.

“I was always taught to go for the body first by my father. Once you go to the body and break down your opponent then they drop their hands and then you can take them down up top. Timing is everything. My father and I always work on timing. I’m a great counter-puncher and I don’t like to waste my shots. I try to land effective shots consistently.

“I really want a title shot this year. I feel like I’m well prepared and ready for it, but patience is the key.”

TAISHAN, Heavyweight Prospect:

“I’ve been longing and preparing for this fight and it’s finally becoming a reality. I’m ready and am going to have a good fight.

“I believe that the strongest move for me is to KO the opponent as soon as possible in order to give the fans something exciting to see, so I plan to try my best to deliver that.

“From a very young age, I felt that boxing was fascinating but didn’t have the opportunity to get any training where I lived. But now, I’m excited to have full exposure to the sport and to have the chance to train and do my best in the ring.”

OSCAR “EL JAGURA” NEGRETE, Super Bantamweight Prospect:

“We are just finishing up our preparations, but are ready to give the fans a good fight.

“I have trained really hard and have sparred with people like current World Champion Leo Santa Cruz. Training with a champion helps me get better as a fighter that is something I will take with me into the ring.

“It was always my dream to sign with Golden Boy Promotions; it’s the best promoters in the world.

“Being here has been a dream of mine, a dream of my fathers and a dream of my first trainer back in Columbia.”

JESUS DELGADO, Lightweight Prospect:

“I fought at the opening of LA Fight Club on March 6 and a lot of my fans weren’t able to get tickets because it sold out so quickly, but I’m really excited for this one because my fans were ready and will be there to cheer me on.

“I don’t know much about my opponent, but I’ve been working hard and I’ll be ready for whatever style comes my way.

“In training camp, I’ve been more focused on my conditioning and being consistent with my punches and not going for that knockout right away. If the knockout comes, then I’ll go get it!

“The first LA Fight Club was a great experience because it was my hometown. I grew up five minutes away from The Belasco Theater. Having the LA crowd and fans supporting me was a big thing for me.

“Fans can expect the best from me on May 7. I’m going in well prepared for this fight. I’m just ready to put on a good show!”

NICK ARCE, Featherweight Prospect:

“I don’t worry too much about my opponents. I let my team do that and prepare me for whatever style our opponent brings to the table.

“I’m not sure why LA fans have embraced me so much, but I’m really thankful to have a lot people behind me and supporting me, because that’s what I need to become a great fighter. We’re going to have quite a few fans there on May 7, and I’m excited to put on a good show for the crowd.

“I’m moving up slowly but surely. Trying to concentrate on my career and make smart moves on the right path.

“As soon as I hear the sound of that bell go off, its time to go to work, and I have a job to do. I just go in there and do what I do best.

“Come May 7I hope a lot of people come out to support us young fighters.”

# # #

Tickets for May 9 Canelo vs. Kirkland are priced at $350, $150, $100, $50 and $25, 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.

For more information, visit www.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.

LA FIGHT CLUB: Manuel Avila vs. Erik Ruiz is a 10-round super bantamweight bout presented by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona Extra and Mexico – Live It To Believe It!. Doors open at 5:00 p.m., and the first bout begins at 5:30 p.m. The FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes broadcast airs live at 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT.

Tickets for the May 7 LA FIGHT CLUB are on sale now and start at $20. Tickets can be purchased online by going to www.goldenboypromotions.com or by visiting the Golden Boy Promotions Facebook page. For ticket information, email us at LAFightClub@goldenboypromotions.com

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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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