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Andre Ward Surgery Goes Well

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Andre Ward Surgery

Andre Ward Surgery – Sherman Oaks, CA (Jan. 7) – Deferring to the recommendation of a noted Bay Area orthopedic specialist after receiving a second opinion on his injured right shoulder, reigning WBA, WBC and Ring Super Middleweight World Champion Andre “S.O.G.” Ward underwent successful surgery, which will keep him out of action for an indefinite period and has forced the postponement of his highly-anticipated title bout against Kelly Pavlik for a second time.

Originally scheduled as an HBO “World Championship Boxing” main event from the Galen Center on the campus of USC on January 26, the bout was rescheduled to March 2nd after the 2004 U.S. Olympic gold medalist, “Super Six” World Boxing Classic tournament winner and 2011 “Fighter of the Year” felt pain in his right shoulder after throwing a punch at sparring partner Tony Hirsch during training in Andre’s hometown of Oakland. The original MRI revealed a significant amount of swelling and inflammation, but no injury to the rotator cuff.

However, after a period of rest and rehab resulted in little improvement, Andre sought a second opinion from Dr. Michael Dillingham, for 25 years the team orthopedic surgeon for the San Francisco 49ers and currently for the San Francisco Giants. A subsequent MRI revealed a small tear in Andre’s right shoulder capsule and, this past Friday, surgery was performed by Dr. Dillingham at the SOAR Surgicenter in nearby Burlingame. Assisting the doctor on the surgical team were his partners Ken Akizuki (team orthopedist for the Giants) and Joe Donahue (former 49ers assistant team orthopedist and current team physician for Santa Clara University).

“Technically, things went very well and all involved are very hopeful about the eventual outcome,” stated Dr. Dillingham. “Within a week, Andre will begin his rehab.”

Lisa Giannone, of Activecare Physical Therapy in San Francisco, will head up Andre’s rehabilitation team.

“The doctor said Andre will initially have his arm in a sling where he will be better prepared to give a timeline for Andre’s recovery process once the sling is removed,” said promoter Dan Goossen.

“Andre has always surpassed everyone’s expectations and I told Dr. Dillingham he can expect the same fire from Andre with his rehabilitation as the fans see when he’s in the ring.

The timing is unfortunate for Andre (26-0, 14 KOs), whose fast-track rise to elite status since winning his first world title in 2009 against reigning WBA super middleweight champ Mikkel Kessler — then capturing the WBC version in late 2011 against brash Briton Carl Froch and, in his most recent domination of current WBC light heavyweight king Chad Dawson — has vaulted him near the top of the “Pound for Pound” ratings and cemented him as a recognized superstar worldwide.

“My surgery went very well and I am definitely pleased with the outcome. I had a fantastic team of surgeons overseeing everything on Friday morning and they did a great job of repairing the injury. I am confident that I will return to the ring even better than I was prior to the injury,” stated Ward.

“I really want to thank everyone for all of the prayers and support that my family and I have received. We truly appreciate it and it has helped throughout this process. I can’t wait to get back out there and perform for all my fans and plan to keep everyone updated on my progress. The best is yet to come so stay tuned.”

Andre Ward Surgery

 

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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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