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Deets on ESPN Coverage of Saturday Card

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Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN Debuts Saturday

Telecast Features Thurman vs. Collazo, Harrison vs. Nelson

Cherry vs. Cruz Undercard Matchup on ESPN3

Live Coverage of Press Conference on ESPN3

Live Coverage of Weigh-in on ESPN3 and SportsCenter

The new Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN (PBC on ESPN) presented by Corona Extra series debuts with a star-studded 12-round welterweight matchup – undefeated Keith “One Time” Thurman (25-0, 21 KOs) vs. Luis Collazo (36-6, 19 KOs) – live on ESPN on Saturday, July 11, at 9 p.m. ET from the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla. The opening fight will showcase a 10-round junior middleweight matchup between undefeated Tony Harrison (21-0, 18 KOs) and Willie Nelson (23-2-1, 13 KOs). ESPN Deportes will also televise the fight live as part of its Noche de Combates series and ESPN International will present live coverage across its networks in Latin America, Brazil, the Caribbean and Pacific Rim. Live coverage will also be available through WatchESPN.

Commentators:

Host Marysol Castro, blow-by-blow commentator Joe Tessitore, analyst Teddy Atlas and reporters Todd Grisham and Bernardo Osuna comprise ESPN’s commentary team. In addition, Hall of Fame boxing writer and ESPN boxing contributor Nigel Collins will provide social media content, insight and analysis.Pablo Viruega and Delvin Rodríguez will call the fights on ESPN Deportes, while Leopoldo González and Claudia Trejos will co-host the show.

Production Highlights:

ESPN will utilize 11 cameras to shoot fight action — nearly double the number used on Friday Night Fights — and a 360-degree “Round-A-Bout” camera system above the ring comprised of 32 cameras, which will allow viewers to see every punch and hit from all angles.

Special Features:

Saturday’s ESPN telecast will include a special Thurman video feature. Atlas recently sat with Thurman to discuss his career and more. Saturday’s show will also include a first-person feature on Harrison. Atlas’ Fight Plan:

Atlas will demonstrate what each fighter needs to do to win in his “Fight Plan.”

Fighter backgrounds:

Thurman, who hails from nearby Clearwater, Fla., is widely regarded as the heir apparent in the division to Floyd Mayweather. He is coming off a unanimous decision win against welterweight contender Robert Guerrero, while former welterweight titlist Collazo, the southpaw from Brooklyn, N.Y., is looking to score another victory following a second-round TKO win over Christopher Degollado. Harrison, fighting out of Detroit, scored a third-round TKO win over Pablo Munguia in his last fight, while Cleveland’s Nelson is looking to rebound from a unanimous decision loss to Vanes Martirosyan.

Additional Highlights:

ESPN3:

  • Live coverage of Thursday’s press conference (1 p.m.) and Friday’s weigh-in (approx. 5:15 p.m.), with Tessitore and Atlas providing commentary during the weigh-in;
  • The 10-round lightweight undercard matchup between Edner Cherry (33-6-2, 18 KOs) and Luis Cruz (21-3, 16 KOs) will be carried live on Saturday at approx. 7:10 p.m.

SportsCenter:

  • Extensive pre- and post-fight coverage of the fights including coverage of the press conference, live coverage of the weigh-in (5:15 p.m.), and multiple pieces featuring all four main event fighters.

ESPN.com:

  • Comprehensive coverage, including pre- and post-fight features, videos and blogs from ESPN’s Dan Rafael, Brian Campbell, and Nigel Collins;
  • Live ESPN3 coverage of Thursday’s press conference and Friday’s weigh-in and Saturday’s Cherry vs. Cruz undercard bout.

Upcoming

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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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