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Amir Imam Drops KO Bomb On Angulo; King Calls For Fight With Floyd

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In the TV opener on Showtime, Amir Imam, one of Don King’s sole remaining boxers,  took on Fernando Angulo, who hunted panthers as a teen in Ecuador, in a super lightweight tangle from Texas. A one-two, a jab and then a right behind the ear, sent Angulo pitching face first in round four. The ref knew what he saw and halted it right away. The time came 56 seconds elapsed for the winner, whose rep has blossomed in the last year, bigtime.

He’s got the basics down and a craving for stoppages, good combo.

To Jim Gray after, Imam gave the loser props, said yes, he’s the next big thing at that weight, and dedicated the win to Jake LaMotta. His promoter King called for him to meet Floyd Mayweather next and Imam said why not, anything is possible. Imam called Danny Garcia a cherry picker, which provided some buzz during the next bout, as Garcia responded on Twitter, and thanks to Anderson Duren for cluing me in to that…

He could get the winner of the Viktor Postol-Lucas Matthysse fight, which goes to purse bid Monday.

Imam (17-0 entering)  lives in Florida, while FA (28-9 entering) lives in Venezuela; the WBC 140 pound minor crown was up for grabs.

In the first, the 24-year-old Imam jabbed low and high. They traded a good deal in a decent round. In the second, the 34-year-old Angulo looked to land heavy with lead lefts and lunging rights. Imam showed an A grade jab. It thudded and pierced..

In the third, Angulo stood in the pocket, and looked to push Imam to the ropes. Then they stood in center ring and Imam had to work inside and then with his back to the ropes. In the fourth, Imam shot a one two and it looked like Angulo was tased. He pitched forward face first and the ref waved it off.

McJoe Arroyo (16-0 entering; from Puerto Rico), the younger of a twins batch, took on Filipino Arthur Villanueva (27-0, US debut) in the second Showtime TV fight, with a junior bantam crown up for grabs.

The fight underperformed, as Arroyo was not inclined to throw and Villa wasn’t a demon of activity either. This was mostly a “lemme check my Twitter timeline” sort of bout. The judges woke themselves long enough to submit cards, after nine complete, because of a cut over the right eye of Villanueva; the scores read: 97-92, 98-91, 98-91, for Arroyo.

Arroyo went 77-278, sad output for a lighter weight boxer, to 95-494 for the guy who deserved the victory.

He didn’t win on my card, because he was not working that hard in that ring, it looked like.

People clapped, because the fight ended.

We saw Villa be a bit busier against the lefty early. Arroyo looked like he wanted to be a sneaky counterpuncher, as he waited…but he kept waiting. It was a strangely paced, slow paced bout through four.

Villa looked to be there with his lead right on the left-hander. Villa looked to edge back his foe, did some decent work with combos, in the sixth. The ref took a point from Villa for butting, though Arroyo was launching himself forward. A solid cut formed over the right eye of Villa, and the doc looked at it mid-round in the seventh. It was a gash but he didn’t see bone. The doc looked hard again after the round.

On to round eight of a middlin fight. SSDD. Round nine, more of the same. Sub middlin, actually…

The blood from the eye started again to start the tenth. The doc looked at the gash and pulled the plug, God bless him.

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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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