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Watch Yuri Foreman Train in NYC TODAY! Plus, Ayala, Miller News

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Yuri Foreman

Yuri Foreman – Next Wednesday, January 23 former WBA junior middleweight champion, Yuri Foreman (28-2, 8KO’s) will be making his much anticipated return to the ring after a nearly two-year hiatus when he takes on Brandon Baue at BB King Blues Club in NYC. Before he officially steps back into the ring, Foreman will participate in an open media workout TODAY, across the street from BB King Blues Club at the Modell’s Sporting Goods store at their Times Square location.

“We are excited to have a guy like Yuri Foreman, who lives and trains here in New York, display some of his skills for his fans and our Modell’s customers at our Flagship location in Times Square,” said Jason Karlowski, Manager of Sports Marketing and Public Relations.

Promoter Lou DiBella added, “I was Yuri’s promoter for years. I have tremendous affection for him and his family. In the 154-pound division, which is aging and is not, in my mind, outstanding, we have the ability to do some things. I’m looking forward to working together, starting with our event on January 23rd.”

WHERE:

Modell’s Sporting Goods Times Square

234 West 42nd St. Between 7th and 8th Ave.

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (Jan. 17, 2013)Elvin Ayalahad no idea he’d be fighting for a title this weekend until he stepped foot inside Mohegan Sun Casino for Thursday’s pre-fight press conference. The sudden news has done little to change his approach.

“I’ve been training hard regardless,” said Ayala (26-5-1, 12 KOs), the New Haven, Conn., native who will face New York’s Curtis Stevens(22-3, 16 KOs) for the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) middleweight title Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 in the nationally-televised co-feature of NBC Sports’Fight Nightseries.

“For years, I’ve been talking about trying to get the beast out. Well, today it’s out. You’re going to see a different me on Saturday night.”

Saturday’s show, which is co-promoted by Main Events and Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports, also features the 10-round main event between No. 3-ranked light heavyweight Sergey Kovalev(19-0-1, 17 KOs) of Russia and former world champion Gabriel Campillo(21-4-1, 8 KOs) of Spain. The live telecast will begin 9 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network.

Stevens, a former title contender from Brownsville, represents Ayala’s toughest test since facing David Lemieuxin 2010. Since then, Ayala has won six consecutive bouts to rise to No. 9 in the World Boxing Council (WBC) middleweight rankings, so fighting for a title Saturday night is “just a bonus.”

“Right now, I’m bubbling. I’ve got a lot going through my mind,” Ayala said. “I know my opponent is trying to stop me from eating and stop my children from eating. He’s a strong opponent, but I’ve been in there with the best.

“There was no Christmas, no New Year’s and no birthday for me,” added Ayala, who turned 32 on Tuesday. “It’s just been training, so I know when I go in there Saturday night I’ll be 100 percent.”

Stevens, initially irked when Ayala said he was “no Arthur Abraham” – a reference to Ayala’s world-title bout against Abraham in 2008 – will face an additional challenge Saturday night in front of the Mohegan Sun crowd, which figures to be pro-Ayala.

“The fight may be in his backyard, but on Saturday night he’ll be in my house,” Stevens said.

“I feel great. I had two years off [after losing to Jesse Brinkley in 2010], which gave me a lot of time to think. Before I was partying a lot, and not really focusing on boxing. The loss to Brinkley might’ve been the best thing that happened to me. I’ve been through a lot, but come Saturday night I’ll be ready to climb to the top. The crowd won’t bother me; in the ring it’s my house. There won’t be much he can do with a wild beast on him.

“And whether I’m fighting for a title or not, I’ve got to win. I’ve got no choice.”

Added Ayala: “Unless [the crowd] can come in there with me and hold him down while I punch him, it won’t help me win the fight. If I’m not moving, slipping and using combinations, all the screaming in the world won’t help me. I appreciate the support – I always do – but I need to focus on what I need to do to win. He’s a strong opponent, and whether he’s happy, mad or neutral, I know he’s coming to beat me.”

The main event promises major fireworks as the Russian Kovalev looks to move one step closer toward challenging for a world title in the light heavyweight division.

“Right after we signed him, the first thing he asked me was how soon he could fight for a world title, not how many tune-up fights he could have,” said Main Events president Kathy Duva. “He’s really, really ready. This is a make-or-break fight for both of them. With a win, Sergey would be making a statement that he is, in fact, one of the best light heavyweights in the division.”

Since fighting to a draw against Grover Young in 2011, Kovalev has won each of his last three fights by knockout, including a third-round knockout win over Lionell Thompsonin September.

“I’ll do my best to put on a great show,” Kovalev said. “You won’t regret spending your money.”

“He only has one thing on his mind,” added Kovalev’s trainer, Egis Klimas, “and that’s to become a world champion. He’s here to prove it on Saturday night.”

Campillo is looking to make one more run at championship glory. From 2009 to 2010, he held the World Boxing Association (WBA) light heavyweight title, defending the belt once against Beibut Shumenov before losing the rematch – and the title – by split decision in January of 2010. Campillo also challenged for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) light heavyweight title in February, but lost a narrow split-decision to Tavoris Cloud.

“This is an important fight for me,” Campillo said. “I’ve been training really hard for this. When you come to see me, you’re coming to see a great fight.”

The undercard includes an eight-round super middleweight showdown between Vladine Biosse(14-1-1, 7 KOs) of Providence, R.I., and Marcus Upshaw(14-8-2, 6 KOs) of Jacksonville, Fla., and a six-round female bantamweight bout between undefeated Shelito Vincent(6-0) of Providence (New London, Conn.) and Bronx native Nydia Feliciano(5-3-3).

Hartford, Conn., super featherweight Joseph “Chip” Perez(10-3, 1 KO) will face Jason Sosa(7-1-3, 3 KOs) of Camden, N.J., in a six-round bout; Brooklyn’s Ian James(2-4-1, 1 KO) will battle newcomer Edwin Cottoof Willimantic, Conn., in a four-round lightweight bout; and unbeaten heavyweight Jarrell Miller(4-0, 4 KOs) of New York will face Philadelphia’s Joey Dawejko(7-1-1, 3 KOs) in a four-round bout. New Haven newcomer Jimmy Williamswill make his professional debut in a four-round welterweight bout against Springfield, Mass., veteran Noel Garcia(2-15-2, 1 KO). Tickets are priced at $40 and $125 and can be purchased by calling TicketMaster at 1-800-745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.

January 17, 2013 – On Saturday January 19th, live from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, undefeated heavyweight Jarrell Miller (4-0 4 KOs) will face off against Joey Dawejko (7-1-1 3 KOs) of Philadelphia in a scheduled 4 rounder. The fight will be part of the NBC Sports Networks televised lineup, which includes the main event between Gabriel Campillo and Sergey Kovalev.

Miller is a flamboyant fighter with a big personality to go along with his big right hand. Miller has accumulated 4 KO/TKO victories in his 4 professional fights as a boxer, although he also maintains an undefeated record as a kick boxer, competing in some past K-1 events. Miller stands 6’4″ and he will enjoy a 6 inch height advantage in this matchup.

Dawejko will be a step up in competition for Miller and with the fight being televised on NBC Sports Network the scene is set perfectly for Miller to showcase his brand of fighting.

“I’m going to take full advantage of this opportunity to be on TV and I plan on making a lot of new fans,” Miller said. “I’m going to put a new spin on the heavyweight division and I think people will appreciate my outlook, so plan on getting familiar with me. I know what I’m capable of doing, it’s everyone else that is unfamiliar with my talents and I plan on taking everyone to school on January 19th.”

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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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