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Mauricio Herrera Beat Mike Dallas, Molina Stops Frankel At Pechanga

David A. Avila

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mauricio_herrera_2011Herrera won a controversial decision over Dallas in a fight which ran on “Friday Night Fights.”

TEMECULA-Riverside’s Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera won a majority decision against Mike Dallas Jr. and Covina’s John Molina started slowly before turning on the lawnmower against Colorado’s game Robert Frankel to win by technical knockout due to cuts on Friday.

Herrera (18-1, 7 KOs) kept his IBF North America junior welterweight title and Molina kept the WBC and WBO regional junior lightweight titles though they weren’t up for grabs at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in front of a late arriving sold out crowd.

First was the co-main between Herrera and Dallas that saw both speedy fighters battle for a higher contention spot.

The long quick punches of Dallas were finding the range especially on counters against Herrera. Though the Riverside fighter found success going to the body, early, it was Dallas who seemed to score big at the end of rounds with right hand counters. Except in round two when Dallas grabbed one of Herrera’s arms for most of the three minutes and allowed the Riverside boxer to pummel him with punches.

“I won the first five rounds,” said Dallas (17-2-1, 7 KOs). “He was throwing four and I was throwing six punches.”

Round five saw Herrera attack more aggressively instead of boxing from a distance. Using more muscle Herrera fired more punches that did not allow Dallas to set up counters.

“I know he wanted to fight on the outside and I wasn’t going to let him,” said Herrera.

Repeated low blows by Dallas finally forced referee Jack Reiss to warn the long armed fighter to keep his punches up in round six. Herrera went back on the attack and was the busier fighter in back-to-back rounds.

Herrera’s strength was giving him more opportunities to land blows inside and out. The busier work rate by Herrera forced Dallas to rely on more defense than offense.

The action slowed a bit on Herrera’s part allowing Dallas to resume his hit and move tactics. Some good three combos by the Bakersfield junior welter scored well in round eight.

“I slowed a bit in the middle rounds,” said Herrera. “He pulled out a couple of flurries.”

Herrera had a big ninth round landing some good left hooks to the head and some nifty combinations. Dallas couldn’t seem to find Herrera though he fired away. Both expended a lot of punches.

“I know he was tired,” said Herrera.

Dallas came out on all cylinders in the 10th and final round. Though he was firing more than usual he couldn’t crack Herrera’s defense much. He landed some blows but more of the slapping style of punches that are good in the amateurs but not in the pro level. Then, he mixed in some heavy blows that didn’t land flush but landed. Herrera seemed tired from the previous round and was unable to land many clean blows. But he kept firing with Dallas until the final bell.

One judge Zack Young scored it 95-95, while judges Alejandro Rochin 96-94 and Fritz Werner scored it 98-92 for Herrera by majority decision.

“I don’t know how he won, maybe because he’s from the area,” said Dallas about the scoring. “I just got to keep trying.”

It was a close fight that saw two judges not caring for Dallas’s holding tactics.

“I knew it was going to be an ugly fight with head butts, holding and low blows,” said Herrera accurately summarizing the fight. “I felt I kept busy all the time that he kept holding me.”

Molina wins by TKO The slender bomber Molina (23-1, 19 KOs) started very slowly in the first round as he gauged Frankel’s boxing style and distance. But from round two on he turned on the lawnmower and began firing big blows that quickly opened up a cut over Frankel’s left eye in round two. That was just the beginning.

Frankel (28-11-1, 5 KOs) had good boxing skills and tagged Molina solidly in the third round. But the Covina puncher opened up with the bombs and seemed to blast the Colorado fighter with each blow.

“When he hit me with that shot it was to my teeth more than anything,” said Molina about receiving the blow from Frankel.

From that point on Molina began punishing and punishing Frankel with almost every punch that landed. Frankel never wavered but his face let him down as cuts opened up all over. He was a bloody mess.

Finally, at the end of round five the fight was stopped by referee Raul Caiz Jr.

“He was very durable. He never stopped but the damage I gave him was the worst that was ever done to him,” said Molina about his opponent. “This is not Dancing with the Stars, it’s a fight.”

Olympians win Former U.S. 2008 Olympian Javier Molina (23-1, 18 KOs) spent six rounds with the ring educated skills of Hector Alatorre (16-16, 5 KOs) in a six round welterweight contest. Molina had the reach, the pop and the speed advantage over Alatorre who used his smarts to stay out of trouble. All three judges scored it for Molina by scores of 59-55, 60-54 twice.

Former 2000 U.S. Olympian Ricardo Williams (19-2, 10 KOs) scored a split decision win over Armenia’s talented Arman Ovsepyan (11-2, 9 KOs) after eight rounds of a welterweight bout. In a beautiful match Williams used pinpoint three-punch combos to keep the aggressive Ovsepyan from walking in. Little by little the Armenian boxer closed the distance by attacking the body. Soon he was able to open up firing lanes and close the distance in the fight. Williams saved the fight in the crucial eighth and final round with a sizzling left uppercut and straight left cross that nailed the fight for him. One judge Zack Young scored it 77-75 for Ovsepyan, while Fritz Werner’s 79-73 and Alejandro Rochin’s 77-75 for Williams turned the fight to his favor.

Technical decision Van Nuys bantamweight Matt Villanueva (6-0-1, 6 KOs) was powering his way through Colorado’s Ernie Marquez (9-8-2) through the first two rounds, then ran into a wicked overhand right that wobbled him in round three. An elbow nudge from Marquez put Villanueva on the floor but it was correctly ruled a push. The round continued with Marquez on attack when suddenly Villanueva fired a blow to the groin. Marquez could not continue after five minutes and the fight was ruled a technical draw.

Other bouts Vahe Saruhan (2-0) of Los Angeles won a unanimous decision over Pomona’s Oscar Santana (1-1) in a four round lightweight bout. Saruhan moved and countered to win easy over Santana who never could catch the twinkle toed Saruhan.

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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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