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The Sound and the Fury, Signifying Nothing

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Much was made about the recent incident this past weekend in Puerto Rico between Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones. Jones, was in town to support his little buddy, Derrik Gainer, who was defending his WBA featherweight title against local favorite Daniel Seda. Hopkins, was in town to coax the recently retired Felix Trinidad out of retirement and hound Jones.

It was reported that Bernard Hopkins barged into Gainers lockeroom and shoved Jones and that both men were then quickly separated. If you think nobodies that crazy, well, consider that Hopkins last year caused quite a stir by throwing down a Puerto Rican flag in front of about 10,000 enraged countrymen of Felix Trinidad during a promotional stop in his country. The fact that Hopkins still has the guts to go back there( in fact, this is his second trip) should tell you if this actually happened or not.

Then after the premature ending of Gainer-Seda, both Hopkins and Jones faced off for photographers and did some jawing. Reports started surfacing that this would be the prelude to a rematch in December, gullible web-sites excitedly wrote about how a second Jones-Hopkins bout was being made.

I say it ain't happening. What you saw this past weekend is as close as you'll see to those to ever getting in on again. I had predicted in the past that those two would never step in the same ring with each other- I'm wrong on that one, but I'll stand by this: I don't think they'll ever have a rematch.

Now, I could be wrong( and hopefully for boxing's sake I am) and I've been incorrect many times, but I just can't see it happening. Because at the end of the day, this little incident didn't suddenly inject a whole new revenue stream into this promotion and both men will still be stubborn to a fault in their demands. Hopkins, will continue to seek a $10 million payday  while Roy will keep singing his familiar tune of ,'60-40' It was a great publicity stunt, but too bad it's for a fight that most likely not going to happen.

Hopkins, will continue to believe in what he thinks is just- even if that means cutting off his own nose to spite his face. And Jones, will continue to take HBO to the cleaners by facing the Glen Kelly's and Clinton Woods of the world. By the way, what was Jones doing in Puerto Rico just two weeks before his own bout? Oh yeah, it's not like he has to actually train for this Woods character, what was I thinking? What's ironic is that this squabble with Hopkins was probably the most serious event that's happened to him inside a boxing ring in over three years.

And to be fair, it's the first time Hopkins has been in the ring since his February stoppage of Carl Daniels in February. A lot of time has passed since then but it just seems like eons ago that Hopkins was capturing the imagination of the boxing world by de-throning Felix Trinidad off his pound-for-pound perch. He was the peoples champion and the feel-good story of the year. That, like the momentum of his career has come to a screeching halt and as of right now, he has no fights on his horizon and no network to call his home.

What both Hopkins and Jones seem to be like is the two baddest bullies on the schoolyard who find ways to dominate their turf, while making sure they themselves never have to cross paths. Both are gifted fighters, headed for the Hall-of-Fame, with ego's and pride the size of Butterbean and maybe, just maybe they don't feel the risk of fighting each other outweighs the reward.

Maybe both of them are content to rule their respective turf( Hopkins at middleweight, Jones at light heavyweight ) and looking like they didn't back down.

NOT OUT OF THE WOODS
While Jones' mandatory challenger Clinton Woods has a sparking record ( 32-1) it must be noted that out of those 32 wins, 17 have come against fighter with records of .500 or below. In fact, his last fight was against a Clint Johnson that sported a record of 9-11-1. Hey, I understand that you don't want to jeopardize your number one ranking but that's ridiculous. In fact, just two fights ago, he took on a Paul Bonson who's ledger was 11-38-6. Which would have
been his 31st professional bout.

His two most recognizable wins are an ancient Yawe Davis and Ole Klemetsen and his lone loss was to the pedestrian David Starie- best known in our country for stinking out the joint against Joe Calzaghe on a Mike Tyson undercard.

Jose Sulaiman and the WBC have a lot of explaining to do. Not that they will, because they never do, but Woods is another highly questionable, highly dubious mis-mandatory that Jones has been shoving down our throats for awhile.

I'll give Jones this, he isn't much for drama, but he's a helluva manager. Anyone that can get themselves paid $4-5 million for fighting these types of guys, time and time again, has to be applauded.

This mis-mandatory will be taking place at the Rose Garden( the home of the Portland Trailblazers) and was made possible by Nike. I guess with the Blazer season still a few months away that the natives are starving for some entertainment, but since when are massacres entertaining ? I thought televised executions were illegal?

HBO and Nike, should both said, ” Just Don't Do It.”

CREDIT DUE
But I will give Jones this, even when he wasn't fighting, he still overshadowed Gainer.

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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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