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Looking At Pascal Vs. Gonzalez, On Kovalev Undercard

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Pascal vs. Gonzalez Scouting Report Former Champion vs. Undefeated Prospect

Las Vegas, NV: On July 25, 2015 former light heavyweight world champion, Jean Pascal (29-3-1, 17 KOs) will take on undefeated prospect Yuniesky Gonzalez (16-0, 12 KOs) as the co-feature to the HBO World Championship Boxing telecast of the Sergey Kovalev vs. Nadjib Mohammedi fight live from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pascal is fresh off his first loss in almost four years and is looking to take on the undefeated Cuban prospect. Below is the scouting report for this exciting match-up:

 

Jean Pascal

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Age : 32

Record : 29-3-1 (17 KOs)

Strength : Pascal possesses good speed and power in both hands; he also has a solid chin and a ton of experience. He has been competing against the division’s top fighters since 2008, which is a list that includes Bernard Hopkins twice and the division’s top light heavyweight, Sergey Kovalev.

Weakness : Pascal has a tendency to tire out late in fights if he does not conserve his energy properly in the earlier rounds. He also tends to get sloppy, which could cause his defense to open up a bit.

Experience : Jean will have the advantage here. He has been a part of eight major title fights and holds victories over both Chad Dawson and Lucian Bute. He also currently has more than two-times as many professional bouts (32) as Gonzalez (16).

Power : Pascal has good power in both hands, especially when he puts his punches together. He has a right hand that can be a game-changer in any fight if he lands it flush.

Speed : Pascal is quick, which becomes more evident in his flurries of punches, which are usually put together when he has his opponent against the ropes and he goes for the finish.

Endurance : Pascal will have an advantage here as he has gone 12 rounds on eight separate occasions.

Accuracy : Pascal may be at a slight disadvantage in terms of accuracy, he tends to get sloppy at times when unloading flurries of punches.

Defense : Pascal likes to dictate the pace of the fight, which can mean standing in the center and trading blows. This is a tactic that allows him to take shots and leave openings in his defense that he should avoid.

Chin : Pascal has a solid chin and has been in wars with some heavy-handed punchers. However, he was stopped for the first time in his career in his most recent outing against the division’s heaviest hitter, Sergey Kovalev.

Style : Jean is an aggressive fighter who will not hesitate to stand and trade with anyone if given the opportunity.

Crowd Support : Pascal is a popular name in the sport of boxing, so he will probably have most of the support from the fans in attendance.

Intangibles : After coming off a tough and hard-fought defeat against the division’s best fighter, Sergey Kovalev, Pascal opted to make a quick turnaround and get right back in the ring. Instead of a tune-up bout, he will test his skills against a young, undefeated power puncher in Yunieski Gonzalez.

Yuniesky Gonzalez

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Age : 30

Record : 16-0-0 (12 KOs)

Strength : Gonzalez has good power and has the ability to distribute punishment throughout his fights. He overwhelms his opponents before finishing them off. He is a very good inside fighter and fights with great confidence too.

Weakness :Gonzalez lacks adequate experience and has not fought top-level opposition yet. This fight against Pascal will be a major step up in competition and could be a game-changer in his young career.

Experience : Gonzalez will be at a disadvantage. He has yet to face any top level opposition, nor has he had even half the amount of professional bouts as Pascal.

Power : Yuniesky possesses good power in both hands; he has a left hook that can change the direction of any fight if landed clean.

Speed : Yuniesky has good hand speed that is put on full display when he finds a weakness in his opponent. He fights very well on the inside, where his punches are fast, short, and crisp.

Endurance : Gonzalez’s endurance is still in question, he has yet to go a full 12 rounds and has only gone ten rounds once in his career (in 2012).

Accuracy : Gonzalez may have a slight advantage as his accuracy becomes more evident when fighting on the inside. Then he uses his accurate body work in hopes of setting up his left hook upstairs.

Defense : Yuniesky’s offense might be his best defense. He likes to come forward and walk his opponents down, looking to break them down and finish the fight.

Chin : Gonzalez’s chin is still yet to be seen; he has finished nine of his 16 fights by the third round. If this fight gets into the later rounds, then his chin may become an issue.

Style : Yuniesky is an offensive fighter who likes to move forward at all times; he tries to finish all of his opponents – and finish them early.

Crowd Support : Although Yuniesky is an undefeated power puncher, he is still a bit unknown to the boxing world. However, his in-your-face style could win over some of the crowd as he fights Pascal with a very similar and exciting style.

Intangibles : Gonzalez has taken a very quiet road to becoming the IBF’s #15 light heavyweight contender. Rather than test his skills against someone deeper in the ranks, he will face a former light heavyweight titleholder, and current top ten ranked light heavyweight, Jean Pascal.

The Match-Up

1. Is this too big of a stage for Gonzalez to handle in his toughest test to date?

2. Will Pascal be able to take Gonzalez’s power and speed?

3. This is the fight where Gonzalez can make a big statement in the light heavyweight division, will he?

4. Will Pascal be scared to get hit after his last fight with Kovalev?

According to Main Events’ matchmaker Jolene Mizzone who was recently named the NABF Matchmaker of the Year, “If Gonzalez pulls the upset with Pascal he would enter one of the top divisions in boxing as new blood, which would make it very interesting for the entire division. I think any light heavyweight fight that is made is very important in boxing right now because it is a hot division that needs some hungry up-and-coming guys.”

 

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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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