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Bute Says He's Not Taking Johnson Lightly




image005QUEBEC CITY, CANADA (Nov. 2, 2011) – A sea of media turned out at the popular Quebec sports bar La Cage Aux Sports for a chance to hear from undefeated superstar Lucian Bute and former world champ Glen “The Road Warrior” Johnson on Wednesday, just three days before Bute makes the ninth defense of his International Boxing Federation (IBF) Super Middleweight title on Saturday, Nov. 5, live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).


The SHOWTIME Championship Boxing event, which will originate from Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City, also features a 12-round junior welterweight bout between rising Canadian 140-pound star Pier-Olivier Côté (17-0, 11 KOs), of Quebec City and Jorge Luis Teron (25-2-1, 17 KOs), of the Bronx, New York.


One of the largest box office draws in boxing, the undefeated, Romanian-born Bute will enter the ring with an unblemished record of 29-0 with 24 KOs.  Bute has registered knockouts in seven of his eight title defenses and has only gone the distance five times in his professional career.


Johnson (51-15-2, 35 KOs), a legend for his bouts against Roy Jones Jr., Bernard Hopkins and Antonio Tarver, will make his 10th appearance in a world title fight. The 42-year-old Jamaican-born Johnson has fought out of Miami for almost two decades.  The former world champ, who earned the nickname “The Road Warrior” for never shying away from challenging an opponent on his home turf, will once again travel to enemy territory for a shot at a championship.


The winner of Bute-Johnson could likely meet the winner of the Super Six World Boxing Classic, which concludes on Saturday, Dec. 17, on SHOWTIME. World champions Andre Ward (World Boxing Association) and Carl Froch (World Boxing Council) will clash in the The Final of the Super Six in a showdown that will determine the world’s best 168-pound fighter.


What the participants had to say on Wednesday:



“I’m very happy to be here in Quebec. Like everyone knows, I have great memories here. In 2009, I experienced the best moment of my career which was my big victory in the second (Librado) Andrade fight in front of a sold out crowd at the Pepsi Coliseum. I’m certain that Saturday will yield the same result. The Coliseum will be rocking again and excitement will be in the air.


“I was in training camp for three months. I know Glen Johnson is prepared. He is a very good boxer with lots and lots of experience. I did not take him lightly because I know that a victory over Glen will catapult me to the next level.


“Thank you very much to the city and to all InterBox sponsors for making me feel at home and opening the door again to box at the Pepsi Coliseum. Thank you to the media for being present. Thank you for the City of Quebec for all the support. I would like to thank SHOWTIME for showing my fight. Thanks to Glen Johnson and his team.”



“It’s going to be a good fight Saturday night. It’s going to be a war, an exciting war. And SHOWTIME and the people will have a great show.


“Thanks to SHOWTIME for continuing to show my fights and move my career in the right direction and for giving me the opportunity to achieve my goals.


“Lucian Bute, thanks to him and his team for the opportunity.


“Thanks to my team, trainer, promoters and manager for being with me during the ups and downs in my career. I know I can be difficult sometimes and I appreciate it.”


CHRIS DeBLASIO: Senior Director of Sports Communications, Showtime Networks Inc.:

“This is the type of fight that has defined SHOWTIME boxing over the years – a tough, competitive and meaningful matchup in a talented and deep division.


“Glen Johnson is the consummate professional. Through nearly 70 professional fights, Glen has shown the willingness to go anywhere and fight anyone. And he doesn't just show up in any arena, any country, Glen brings everything he's got into the ring every time.


“As for Lucian Bute, he has proven to be one of the most talented and exciting fighters in boxing. He's expressed a willingness to fight the very best in the division. And now he has that opportunity in front of him.


“Together Glen Johnson and Lucian Bute embody everything that is right about boxing. They embody the true essence of sport and competition. On behalf of everyone at SHOWTIME Sports, we are proud to be part of this terrific event and proud that we can continue to deliver the best boxing on television to our loyal subscribers.”


JEAN BEDARD, President of InterBox:

“InterBox is extremely thrilled to return to Quebec City to present the ninth title defense for Lucian Bute against Glen Johnson. I've been associated with boxing for seven years and, looking back, one of my fondest memories was being in the car coming back from Quebec City with Lucian and (trainer) Stephan (Larouche), with the Black Eyed Peas' song ‘I've got a Feeling’ blasting on the radio after an incredible victory over Librado Andrade.  I have a feeling that I'm going to relive the same memory on Saturday night.


“Everybody is telling me that Glen Johnson represents the biggest challenge in Lucian's career. We'll see if that's true the night of the fight. “Lucian gets better with every fight and this fight will be no different.


“One of the advantages to being a promoter is that I can focus on promoting. I have a great team behind me who work out all the necessary details and I put all of my faith in Stephan Larouche to take care of Lucian and his preparations – which is a given because with Lucian, the last thing you need to worry about is his preparation.


“A tremendous amount of work goes into preparing a quality event like this. I'd like to thank SHOWTIME personally for coming to Quebec and to the media who always come out in droves, and to all of our partners including Coors Light and La Cage Aux Sports who have all found a way to make this event the biggest it can be.”


LEON MARGULES, Warriors Boxing:

“I'd like to thank SHOWTIME once again for putting on a really spectacular boxing event. What SHOWTIME has done with the Super Six tournament and other fights in the super middleweight division has been outstanding. It's the best division in boxing.


“Quebec has some of the best boxing fans in North America, maybe the world. I was excited to come up here. I know this is work for me but the atmosphere will be electric.”



“When Glen and Lucian would spar, everyone in the gym would stop training to watch them fight. As a trainer, I thought, ‘If this is a sparring session, what would a fight be like?’ Saturday, we all get to find out.”


ORLANDO CUELLAR, Johnson’s Trainer:

“It's going to be a good fight. Lucian is a good fighter but no good fighter stays undefeated for a long time. Fighters have to take chances, like Lucian is with Glen. We respect them but we came here to take care of business. On Saturday, we will.”


Steve Albert will call the action with Al Bernstein and Antonio Tarver providing color commentary and Jim Gray serving as ringside reporter. David Dinkins Jr. is the executive producer of SHOWTIME Sports with Ray Smaltz producing and Bob Dunphy directing.


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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura




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




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




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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