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Stevenson Destroyed Karpency In Third Round

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The first of the weekend’s marquee mismatch showdowns featured Adonis Stevenson against Tommy Karpency in PBC’s first show in Canada’s largest city.

And a mismatch it was: Stevenson destroyed Karpency in the opening seconds of the third round with a thundering straight left.

Billed deliberately as the “KO in TO,” boxing’s return to Toronto was never expected to be a real challenge to Stevenson’s ensconced position as the world’s number two light heavyweight and WBC champ, but a showcase of the Montreal hitter’s feared power.

And the man known as Superman did not let his fellow Canadians down, making a short night for the man from Udah, Pennsylvania.

Tommy “Kryptonite” Karpency—the psychiatric nurse who was ushered into the ring by seconds wearing jeans, boots, and T-shirts as if they came to the fight in the middle of interrupted farm work— tried to fight his fight but had obviously never felt the power of a puncher of Stevenson’s ilk.

Karpency acquitted himself well the few times he fought ranked opponents (loss to Andrzej Fonfara 2012, win over Chad Dawson, 2014) but the 37-year-old Hatian-born Superman was too much for him to handle.

In the 1st, Karpency showed the champ little respect, coming in with two separate combination attacks and eating some of Stevenson’s counters in what was largely a feeling out round.

Karpency controlled the fight into the 2nd, landing the best punch of the fight up to that point: a looping right hook that landed flush on Stevenson’s cheek. But Adonis changed the fight with ten seconds to go in the round with counter left to the chin that sent Karpency stuttering backwards into the ropes.

The Udah man recovered in time to bear the bell. But when the 3rd round started, Superman flew to Karpency’s corner and launched a combination that ended again, with a straight left to Tommy’s chin that he had no hope of sustaining.

Stevenson improved to 27-1-0 with 22 KOs.

In the co-main event between was showdown of southpaw welterweight prospects between clear A-side Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. and B-side Chris Van Heerden.

Spence took another step towards an eventual title shot by defeating Van Heerden in an 8-round TKO. The 25-year-old IBF 8thranked welterweight extended his KO streak to five with a rather beautiful exhibition of defense, footwork, and body power.

PBC and Al Haymon, forecasting the loss of Floyd Mayweather’s starpower, are clearing the decks for a guy like Spence to take the reins, and USA Boxing’s best-in-show from the 2012 Olympics showed he may be just the guy. The Dallas fighter improved to 18-0-0, with 15 KOs.

Van Heerden, a former Miguel Cotto sparring partner originally from South Africa, entered the fight on a nine bout winning streak but saw it come to an end at the hands of The Truth, falling to 23-2-1.

In the 1st round, the taller Van Heerden tried his range with the jab as Spence tried to time counter left hands over them. Not many decisive punches landed, but Spence was cleaner.

The 2nd saw Van Heerden score early to the head and body of Spence, before Spence took over the round with powerful lefts that Van Heerden attempted to shrug off, shaking his head harder “no” with each heavy punch from Spence he swallowed.

Spence took control in the 3rd, managing the pace of the fight and backing the South African into the ropes, landing to the head and body almost at will. The cool-as-a-cucumber Texan even managed a slight nod to Antonio Tarver, serving ringside with the Spike TV crew. Van Heerden stopped trying to discourage Spence from shaking his head.

In the 4th, referee Allan Huggins took a point from Van Heerden for spitting his mouthpiece for a second time, perhaps out of frustration as the smaller boxer Spence continued to control the fight’s range. Spence kept his workman’s pace into the fourth, out-throwing and out-landing his opponent.

Well if the range isn’t working, flip the script. Van Heerden spent the 5th luring Spence into an inside game to see if he could get off on shorter punches. If you had to give a round to the challenger, this might have been it, as Van Heerden did some nice work and defended better in close range.

The 6th saw Spence getting back to his game, controlling the space with his feet and staying away from the ropes. Van Heerden went back to his game, of shaking his head and squirming his hips defiantly after getting punched.

Spence scored some beautiful body shots to start the 7th, that seemed to slow Van Heerden down. VH also began to deal with a swelling left eye. Spence built on the body work and sent VH to the canvas twice, the first one a body-head right-left combo and the second on a left uppercut to the South African’s gut. Van Heerden wanted to get out of the round so bad, he mistook the 10-second warning for the bell and turned his head.

One minute rest was not enough. Van Heerden couldn’t recover from the body work, allowing Spence to swarm him and forcing Allan Huggins to call the fight in the 8th round, giving Spence his fifth straight KO.

In the postfight interview, Spence said he’s ready to fight anyone in the top 10 of the division.

Even with the humble Pennsylvanian serving as opponent fodder, Friday night’s fight in Ricoh Coliseum was arguably the biggest boxing event in thirty years when Toronto-native Nicky Furlano dropped a decision to Aaron Pryor at Varsity Stadium.

In other news from Friday night at Ricoh Coliseum:

The long and lean super welter blue chipper Prichard Colon made quick work of journeyman Vivian Harris in four rounds. Sporting the logo of the hometown first-place Blue Jays on his trunks Colon wore Harris down with a sharp jab, and Harris kept him off him with sharp left hooks as Colon tried to come in, but in the fourth Colon finally broke through and floored Harris, who stayed down for the count.

Toronto’s Sandy Tsagouris (12-2, 6 KOs) warmed up the home crowd with a rousing preliminary against Australia’s Shannon O’Connell 11-3-0 (6 KOs). Tsagouris stung O’Connell in first with a big right hand, dropping her to the canvas on her way to owning the action in the following rounds. In the fourth, O’Connell returned the favor with a right on chin from which Tsagouris only barely recovered, still wobbling at the 9-count. The Toronto fighter was allowed to the continue, finished the round and got back to bullying the Australian around to win a wide decision.

And 51-year-old Razor Ruddock exhibited a rather embarassing 3rd round KO loss to Dillon Carman for the so-called Canada Heavyweight title.

There’s only one Bernard Hopkins.

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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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