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Bryan Vasquez Resolves To Beat Takashi Uchiyama



Bryan Vasquez

Bryan Vasquez exulting after his July win. (photo by Doroteo Arango)

Boxing fans perhaps felt a bit unloved Saturday night, as UFC 155 unfolded, and there was no boxing action to take in. No HBO, Showtime, no EPIX, no Wealth, no choppy stream from Thailand. We want to help with your little addiction problem, because cold turkey is no fun.

The Boxing Channel will run a stream of a darned compelling bout, pitting interim WBA super featherweight champion Bryan Vasquez against WBA super featherweight champion Takashi Uchiyama on the morning of Dec. 31 at 6:30 AM ET.

Yes, this is a test, a separation of the mere diehards from the maniacal. Stay up past your bedtime, or set your alarm clock and have a Red Bull ready to pop in the fridge, or be forever dismissed as a mere diehard.

The 18-0-1 Uchiyama will defend his title at home, in Japan, which is 14 hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone. Uchiyama, the Transnational Boxing Rankings’ No. 1 130 pounder,  drew in is last outing, against Michael Farenas, after he was cut badly by a had clash and the bout was stopped in the third. This will be the 33-year-old Tokyo resident’s sixth title defense. Vasquez is a 25 year-old from Costa Rica with a 29-0 (15 KOs) record. He won the interim title, which was vacant, against Santos Benavides in Nov. 2011 (UD12) and defended against Jorge Lacierva (TKO9) in Mexico on July 21. Working in the other guys’ comfort zone could again come in handy in Japan.

I reached out to Vasquez in Japan, thru his wife, fellow boxer Hanna Gabriel, to get a sense of how he sees this matchup, and the stakes. “I am not nervous, I am excited,” he said, via email. “It’s a great opportunity, it’s a fight that will take me to the next level.”

I like to ask about a fighter’s level of certainty about winning; I find it interesting that people will sometimes betray their lack of conviction in themself. Is Vasquez certain he will beat Uchiyama or is he merely hoping to win?

“Hoping… no, I wouldn’t say hoping, I have prepared myself to give everything I have in the ring, and I expect to win,” Vasquez said.

And what strengths, and what holes does he see in Uchiyama’s game?

“They say he is a hard puncher, I guess I will find out, and his weaknesses, well, he bases his game on being a hard puncher, not on fighting smart,” the Costa Rican said.

Off the top of my head, the Vasquez-Gabriel husband-wife duo is the tip-top in the fight game. When will the boxing world figure out this fact?

“I think the fact that we are from Costa Rica, which is a country that has no real boxing culture, affects us, and that’s why we are not all that known/popular in the world of boxing,” he said.

Anyone going into the favorite’s realm has to consider that the judges might not smile brightly upon them; does Vasquez think he needs a KO to beat Uchiyama?

“I am ready to work the 12 rounds, and if I can drop him before, great, but I am ready for 12 rounds. Some people have told me I need a KO to win, but I will throw enough punches to not leave any doubt,” he said.

Friends, remember to hit The Boxing Channel to see if Vasquez can ruin Uchiyama’s New Year’s Eve.


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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