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Santa Cruz Vs. Mares In ON!

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BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES’ FINEST TAKES CENTER STAGE

AS UNDEFEATED WORLD CHAMPION LEO SANTA CRUZ TAKES ON

FORMER THREE-DIVISION WORLD CHAMPION ABNER MARES ON

PREMIER BOXING CHAMPIONS ON ESPN

10 P.M. ET/7 P.M. PT

SATURDAY, AUGUST 29 AT STAPLES CENTER

Tickets On Sale Tomorrow!

Press Conference To Formally Announce Fight Takes Place NextTuesday, July 14 At Plaza Mexico in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (July 9, 2015) – The highly anticipated showdown between undefeated star Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz (30-0-1, 17 KOs) and former three-division world champion Abner Mares (29-1-1, 15 KOs) is official as the two beloved stars that call Southern California home will fight in their own backyard at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles onSaturday, August 29 live in primetime on ESPN. Televised coverage for this long awaited event begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

To kick things off, an open-to-the-public fan rally and press conference will be held next Tuesday, July 14 at 4:30 p.m. PT at Plaza Mexico in Los Angeles. Both Santa Cruz and Mares will be in attendance. Fans are encouraged to arrive early.

Tickets for the August 29th event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are priced at $25, $50, $75, $150 and $200, not including applicable fees and service charges, go on sale tomorrow Friday, July 10 at 10:00 a.m. (PST) at AXS.com or by phone at 888-929-7849 or at the STAPLES Center startingSaturday, July 11 at 10:00 am (PST).

“I’m really excited for this fight, it’s a fight the fans have been asking for and I’m ready to give them what they want – a great show and a great victory,” said Mares. “L.A. is my home, I train here, grew up here and I’m ready to show this city and the world that I am the champ. I’m proud to be part of this great event on ESPN at Staples Centers. Boxing is bigger than ever. Whatever you do, don’t miss this fight.

Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and fighting out of Downey, Calif., Mares first tasted world championship gold in 2011 when he beat Joseph Agbeko to win the bantamweight world title. He continued his rise up the pound-for-pound list with wins over Anselmo Moreno and Daniel Ponce De Leon to win world titles at super bantamweight and featherweight respectively. The 29-year-old has won three straight fights including his first PBC appearance in a victory over Arturo Reyes in March. He will look to add another career milestone and take hometown bragging rights by defeating the unbeaten Santa Cruz.

“This fight means so much to me because I know it is what the fans have been waiting for,” said Santa Cruz. “The opportunity to fight at STAPLES Center against a Mexican warrior and great fighter in Abner Mares is one that I plan on taking very seriously. We have been preparing for this moment for a very long time and I’m so glad it’s finally here. A win is going to take one of us to the next level.”

A two-division world champion with a fan-friendly style, the 26-year-old Santa Cruz won his first world title in 2012 before adding another belt in 2013, which he defended four times. Unbeaten as a pro, Santa Cruz moved up in weight in his last fight and handedly defeated Jose Cayetano on the pay-per-view undercard of the record-breaking Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao fight. Born and raised in Los Angeles to Mexican parents, Santa Cruz faces the toughest challenge of his career when he squares off against the Mexican warrior Mares.

This explosive fight comes to primetime on ESPN in one of the most revered venues in Los Angeles in the STAPLES Center. Santa Cruz vs. Mares continues a longstanding history of top local fighters competing in front of rabid Los Angeles boxing fans and marks the first fight at STAPLES Center in nearly three years. The last fight at the famed arena took place on November 10, 2012 and featured both Santa Cruz and Mares in the main and co-main events.

“All of us here at STAPLES Center could not be more excited to host this incredible fight in downtown Los Angeles,” Lee Zeidman, President, STAPLES Center. “It is an honor to have these two talented fighters in Mares and Santa Cruz bring this bout to their hometown and to all their fans here in Southern California, it will undoubtedly be a historic night for boxing.”

“We’re honored to bring this highly anticipated showdown between Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares to the great Southern California boxing fans,” said Tom Brown of TGB Promotions. “Leo and Abner have risen to the top of the sport and this much talked about battle at the STAPLES Center is a fight not to be missed.”

In addition to the evening’s main event and co-main event, which will be announced shortly, select undercard bouts will be carried live on ESPN3. 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 the Pacific Rim. Live coverage will also be available through WatchESPN on computers, smartphones, tablets, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One via an affiliated video provider.

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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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