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Maliggnaggi and Garcia Take Queries on Media Call

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Paul Malignaggi said he was surprised to be offered a fight against Danny Garcia, but isn't looking too deep into the mouth of the gift horse, and that he likes his chances Aug. 1 against the Philly fighter moving to 147.

The Brooklyn-born Malignaggi, age 34, was set to fight in May but was cut a week before his fight versus Danny O'Coonor. Shortly after that, it was determined he'd be a good test for Garcia in his first fight at 147, and he eagerly accepted the tangle.

On a Tuesday conference call to hype the event at the Barclays Center, a Premier Boxing Champions (Al Haymon) attraction promoted by Lou DiBella, portions of which will run on ESPN, Garcia said he maybe should have gone to 147 a year and a half ago.

He's now feeling strong in the gym, is able to concentrate on technique, rather than losing weight, during camp. “I feel like at 147 you will see a more athletic Danny Garcia,” he said. The 27-year-old hitter said his vision will be clearer, that he will be able to move his feet, and he knows he will gain a title at 147.

The call was sedate, two pros on message, and dad Angel Garcia was nowhere to be found as promoter DiBella presided. I joked that some prime sparring opportunity was lost.

Malignaggi, respectful and measured, told me no, he isn't SURE what he has left in the tank, but has been in the gym training more this past year than in any year in the last decade. He knows in the back of his mind he got the gig because people think he's faded, but he doesn't think so, and relishes another time on this mega-stage.

No, he doesn't think about the head trauma absorbed in his last outing, in April 2014, against Shawn Porter. Fighters have to have short memories, after both losses and wins, he noted. His experience will be helpful, as he's been written off, embraced, and written off time and again. Being loved or hated doesn't affect him him, but yes, this is basically a must win for him, not so much for Danny.

The main support bout, a 160 title defense pitting champ Danny Jacobs versus Sergio Mora, got love as well. Mora said he knows Jacobs, a more athletic boxer, has some edges, but his seasoning will be most helpful. He has won five straight but DJ has won nine. Also, Brooklyn is Jacobs' home turf and the Cali-boxer knows he has to win emphatically.

Jacobs said he respects the Mora seasoning and on paper, thinks this could be his stiffest test. He does want the mega bouts, like a Golovkin fight, but says he's still learning on the job. To be the first to stop Mora would feather his cap, he said.

As for the mainer, Paulie said he was surprised to get the call, and most grateful. I see a lot of Twitter talk that Danny rubs him out…but then again, less of that as Garcia has looked ho-hum his last couple outings. Again, he hammered the point that he will feel and look better at 147, so I do wonder, readers, what you think of that storyline element? Garcia said he hasn't in a spell felt the power moving from his glove up his arm after connecting and is again feeling that at this weight.

I admitted that I missed Angel on the call, for the uncertainty factor, and expressed interest in his being his wild self at a pre-fight presser.That ended the call…

Readers, how do you see Jacobs-Mora and then Garcia-Malignaggi playing out…Talk to me.

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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