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Undercard Deets For Cotto-Geale

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ROC NATION SPORTS & MIGUEL COTTO PROMOTIONS ANNOUNCE

SPECIAL PERFORMANCES AND UNDERCARD FIGHTERS FOR

WBC MIDDLEWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPION MIGUEL COTTO VS. DANIEL GEALE EVENT

ON JUNE 6, 2015 AT BARCLAYS CENTER IN BROOKLYN

Big Sean, Angie Martinez, and DJ Lobo Comprise Entertainment Line Up

Roc Nation Sports’ Dustin Flesicher, Junior Younan, Zhang Zhilei. Along With Miguel Cotto Promotions’

Jose Lopez, Alberto Machado and Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. To Be Featured On Undercard

NEW YORK (May 6, 2015) – Already a marquee event featuring Miguel Cotto (39-4, 32 KO’s) defending his WBC Middleweight and Ring Magazine World Champion titles against former Two-Time World Champion Daniel Geale (31-3, 16 KO’s) in a 12-round main event, the June 6 showdown will now include a live musical performance by Roc Nation and Grammy-nominated artist Big Sean before the main event.

Roc Nation will bring other major names to the boxing experience at Barclays Center including notable event emcee and “The Voice of New York” Angie Martinez, who will serve as the event’s host, alongside hit master DJ Lobo from WSKQ La Mega 97.9 FM New York City, the #1 Spanish radio station in the United States. Martinez and Lobo will entertain together throughout the night to keep the energy up between bouts.

Cotto vs. Geale, a 12-round fight for Cotto’s WBC and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Championships, is presented by Roc Nation Sports and Miguel Cotto Promotions in association with Gary Shaw Productions and is sponsored by Cerveza Tecate. The championship bout takes place Saturday, June 6 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and will be televised live on HBO beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT.

Last year marked Big Sean’s first Grammy nomination and the release of his critically acclaimed sophomore effort, “Hall of Fame” which once again held an impressive number three Soundscan debut in the U.S. With over 10 million records sold to date, Sean became the first rapper to ever perform at The White House earlier this year and has released three successful shoe designs in partnership with Adidas Originals. While his professional work as an artist keep him extremely busy, Sean makes the time to use his resources to give back through his Detroit based non-profit, the Sean Anderson Foundation. He is currently on a national tour promoting his third major label album, Dark Sky Paradise (G.O.O.D. Music / Def Jam Recordings) which debuted at number one.

“I’m so excited to be coming together again with Roc Nation Sports to host its next boxing event at Barclays Center on June 6 featuring Miguel Cotto’s return to New York City,” said Angie Martinez. “The event format, including a live musical performance by Big Sean, will ensure the night is one to remember.”

“As an active member of the Latino community in New York City, I’m proud to be kicking off the week of the Puerto Rican Day Parade festivities with Miguel Cotto’s long-awaited return to the ring and debut at Barclays Center,” said DJ Lobo. “I’ll be sure to keep the atmosphere rocking between bouts and hope I can count on the Latino community to show their support on June 6.”

In addition to an exciting June 6 performance lineup, some of boxing’s hottest rising stars will be featured on the non-televised undercard. Roc Nation Sports standouts Dustin Fleischer, Junior Younan Zhang Zhilei, and Miguel Cotto Promotions’ Jose Lopez, Alberto Machado and Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. will look to keep fans on their feet from the opening bell through the main event.

 

New Jersey native and Two-Time State Golden Gloves Champion Dustin “The White Tiger” Fleischer (1-0, 1 KO), age 25, is on a quest to become the first grandson of a Holocaust survivor to be crowned world champion. Fleischer, with an amateur record of 112-18, is a protégé of 1996 Olympic Head Coach Al Mitchell and the youngest graduate of the U.S. Olympic Education Center for boxing at the age of 16. Mitchell’s guidance helped to propel Fleischer to U.S.A. Boxing’s #5 open-fighter ranking at 132 lbs in 2007, with only standout professionals Sadam Ali, Terence Crawford, Danny Garcia, and Luis Ramos ranked ahead of him. Fleischer made his professional debut on January 9, 2015 during Roc Nation Sports’ inaugural throne boxing event, scoring a second round technical knockout victory over Frank Jordan in a fight that was televised live on FOX Sports 1. Fleischer faces an opponent to be determined in a four round welterweight bout on June 6.

Brooklyn’s 19-year-old, undefeated Junior “The Young God” Younan (6-0, 5 KO’s) is considered one of New York City’s best boxing prospects. Younan, trained by his father Sherif, a former professional boxer himself, began fighting competitively at age eight and only two years later was called a “boxing prodigy” by the New York Times. He compiled an amateur record of 90-5, racking up an impressive series of titles along the way including nine Junior Olympic championships, nine Junior Metro championships, eight New York State Silver Gloves championships and five Regional Silver Gloves championships. In 2011, he was crowned National Junior Golden Gloves champion and was U.S.A. Boxing’s number one rated junior boxer in his weight class. Less than a month after his 18th birthday, Younan made his professional debut on November 9, 2013, at the Aviator Sports and Events Center in Brooklyn, New York, stopping Kenneth Schmitz in the first round. On June 6, he will see action in a six round light heavyweight bout.

Zhang “Big Bang” Zhilei (3-0, 2 KO’s) is a 6-foot-6, 260-pound southpaw who is poised to make a major splash in the heavyweight division. Born in Henan, China, home to the world famous Shaolin Temple and Shaolin Warriors, Zhilei began his amateur career in 2003, participating in the World Championships. He went on to compete in the World University Boxing Championship the following year where he made it to the finals. A breakthrough came in 2007 at the World Championships when Zhilei captured a bronze medal and, by finishing the competition in third place, qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing where he reached the super heavyweight finals, proudly adding to the host country’s medal total with a Silver Medal. Zhilei returned to the Olympics in 2012 in London, where he looked to better his 2008 performance. After a solid start, Zhang faced a stern test in the hard-hitting, eventual Gold Medal winning Brit Anthony Joshua and suffered a heart-breaking loss. In 2009 and 2013, Zhilei captured gold medals at the China National Games, an event of equal prestige to the Olympics in China. On August 8, 2014, Zhang made his professional debut by scoring a first-round knockout win over Curtis Lee Tate in Fallon, Nevada. On January 17, 2015, Zhang overpowered Perry Filkins with another first round knockout at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. In his last bout on March 14, he scored a four round unanimous decision victory over Eric George in Jersey City, New Jersey. The 32-year-old Zhilei will face an opponent to be determined in a four round bout at Barclays Center.

Hailing from Carolina, Puerto Rico, Jose “Wonder Boy” Lopez (15-0-1, 11 KO’s) is a bit modest when it comes to discussing his punching power, but that power was evidenced during the 21-year-old’s appearance on October 26, 2013 at the Ray G. Amalbert in Juncos, Puerto Rico when he faced veteran Nicaraguan Sergio Gomez and knocked him out in the eighth and final round. On March 29, 2014, the undefeated powerhouse scored a first round technical knockout win over Leivi Brea of The Dominican Republic to capture the vacant WBC FECARBOX super bantamweight title at the Cosme Beitia Salamo Coliseum in Cataño, Puerto Rico. Lopez successfully defend the title on June 7, 2014 against Raul Hidalgo via a near shutout eight round unanimous decision victory. Another defense came on August 16, 2014 when he faced Roberto Casteñeda in what became an instant classic with Lopez hitting the canvas four times in the first round and Castañeda getting floored once each in rounds one, two and three before Lopez emerged the victor via an eight round majority decision. In his last bout on February 7, Lopez fought to a draw with Josean Figuroa at the Coliseo Guillermo Angulo in Carolina. On June 6, Lopez will look to add another win to his record in a six round featherweight bout.

Alberto “El Explosivo” Machado (10-0, 8 KO’s) started boxing at the age of ten in the Monte Hatillo Gymnasium located in San Juan. The 24-year-old Rio Piedras native compiled an amateur record of 145-21 and secured national championships in the junior, junior Olympics, cadet and adult categories. On November 11, 2012, Machado made is professional debut against Alex Nazario at the Coliseo Roger L. Mendoza in Caguas, Puerto Rico scoring a third round technical knockout win. Seven consecutive wins would follow, and on November 1, 2014, Machado fought for his first professional title at the Coliseo Hector Sola Bezares in Caguas where he defeated Alvin Torres via a second round technical knockout to capture the vacant WBC United States super featherweight title. In his most recent bout, Machado successfully defended his title on March 14 against Jean Javier Sotelo at the Coliseo Roger L. Mendoza in Caguas with a first round knockout. Machado faces an opponent to be determined in a six round junior lightweight bout on June 6.

Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. (24-4-1, 19 KO’s) has emerged from the large shadow of his father, Puerto Rican legend Wilfredo Vazquez, to make a name for himself inside the squared circle. The 30-year-old former World Champion from Bayamon is on a quest to recapture a world title belt now campaigning in the featherweight division. After storming out of the gates with an 18 fight unbeaten streak, Vazquez captured the WBO junior featherweight world championship by defeating then fellow unbeaten Marvin Sonsona via a fourth round knockout on February 27, 2010. Two successful title defenses followed before Vazquez lost his title to Three-Time World Champion Jorge Arce in an all-out war that the judges had a draw at the time of the twelfth round stoppage. Another world title challenge came against Six-Time World Champion Nonito Donaire on February 2, 2012, but Vazquez came up short, dropping a split decision to the champion. In his last bout on November 1, 2014, Vazquez scored a majority decision win over Jonathan Arrellano in Caguas, Puerto Rico. On June 6, he’ll look to keep his winning ways going in an eight round featherweight bout against an opponent to be named.

Cotto vs. Geale, a 12-round fight for Cotto’s WBC and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Championships, takes place Saturday, June 6 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and will be televised live on HBO. The fight is presented by Roc Nation Sports and Miguel Cotto Promotions in association with Gary Shaw Productions and is sponsored by Cerveza Tecate. In addition to the great action inside the ring, the event will feature several notable Roc Nation touches that will further serve spectators with an enhanced fan experience, including Roc Nation and Grammy nominated artist Big Sean taking to the ring for a special performance prior to the main event. The event will be hosted by notable emcee “The Voice of New York” Angie Martinez and will also feature hit master DJ Lobo who will serve alongside Martinez throughout the night. Tickets priced at $500, $350, $250, $200, $150, $100, $50 and $25, not including applicable service charges and taxes, are on sale now and available for purchase at www.barclayscenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com and at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. To charge by phone, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Doors open at 6:00 PM, the first fight begins at 6:15 PM and the HBO telecast begins at 10:30 PM ET/PT.

For more information please visit www.rocnation.com. Follow Roc Nation on Twitter and Instagram @rocnation and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RocNation.

For more information, visit www.hbo.com/boxing, follow on Twitter and Instagram at @HBOBoxing and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HBOBoxing

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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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