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Malignaggi/O’Connor Fight Is OFF; Paulie Cut; Vasquez-Fortuna Subs In

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TSS told you first that the best laid plans of men went awry, with word that the May 29 clash between Paul Malignaggi and Danny O’Connor was off the rails.

The Brooklyner laid low, and didn’t immediately get back to us when we asked for a comment,  but a release was sent to media few hours after we Tweeted the more-than-a-rumor: indeed, Malignaggi was cut, and had to pull out of his fight with the Bostonian.

Some beef went along with the developement, as some members of Team Pacquiao reacted with something less than sympathy at the news of the scuttled scrap; the Showtime analyst hasn’t been shy on Twitter in casting scorn at Manny’s referencing his torn rotator cuff to help explain his lack of success on May 2.

Check out the release which confirms our story, and fills in the blanks on the replacement tussle which will run on Spike. That substitute fight is a Bryan Vasquez-Javier Fortuna title clash. We reached out to get a comment from Team Vasquez:

“The change took me by surprise, I’ve been ready for this fight for awhile now, but I take things as they come and believe that things happen for a reason,” Vasquez told TSS. “I’m excited, being the co-main event for a show is great, fighting at the Barclays Center is going to be amazing. I’ve been saying since the beginning that fans should expect a war, and I truly believe my fight will steal the show on May 29th, so I really hope all the Costa Ricans that live close by come and support me, they won’t be disappointed.”

Said Rigoberto Garibaldi, Bryan’s trainer:

“We will fight wherever and whenever we have to fight, we are ready. God guides our path and we’ve been working hard throughout our training camp, so this change I believe is for good, it will be a great fight that needs to be seen by many eyes.”

And the release:

 

BROOKLYN (May 15, 2015) – An exciting junior lightweight battle between Javier Fortuna and Bryan Vasquez will now open the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Spike telecast on Friday, May 29 live from Barclays Center in Brooklyn beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

Fortuna vs. Vasquez, which was originally scheduled to take place May 23, replaces the bout between Paulie Malignaggi and Danny O’Connor as Malignaggi suffered a severe cut above his eye in training camp. The 12-round brawl will lead into the highly anticipated contest between former world champions Amir Khan and Chris Algieri.

An amateur standout who participated in the first Pan American Junior Championships in 2003, the 25-year-old Fortuna (27-0-1, 20 KOs) owns victories over Abner Cotto, Miguel Zamudio and Patrick Hyland. The undefeated rising star out of La Romana, Dominican Republic holds four knockouts over his last six fights as he looks to put on another great show on May 29.

The 27-year-old Vasquez (35-1, 18 KOs) is quickly becoming known as the preeminent pugilist from Costa Rica. He is the winner of his last five fights, including a stoppage of Sergio Thompson in Dec. 2014. Vasquez does not shy from any competition and will not back down when he faces his toughest test to date in Javier Fortuna on Spike TV.

O’Connor will now fight in his hometown of Boston on Saturday, May 23 on the undercard of the PBC on NBC event from Boston University’s Agganis Arena.

Word on the street, unconfirmed at this time, is that the May 29 clash between comebacking Brooklyner Paul Malignaggi and Mass. hitter Danny O’Connor is in flux. It looks like the welterweight tangle, a non-title faceoff, might be scrapped, a source told TSS.

I reached out to some folks who would know more, including Paulie, and haven’t heard back as yet. A Massachusetts mole told me that Danny O is not injured, so that wouldn’t be a reason for a cancellation, or a shift, or what have you.

I hear there is some scrambling going on to fill the supposed hole on the May 29 Barclays show; with so many PBC dates out there, plugging in a fight on short notice likely wouldn’t prove too hard.

There is a May 23 PBC show, and I could see a fight being taken from there and placed on to the higher-profile Brooklyn show, if the powers that be wanted it done…

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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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