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Demetrius Andrade Now With Virgil Hunter, Fights Friday

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Demetrius Andrade

Demetrius Andrade – NEW YORK (Jan. 22, 2013) –One of the top prospects in boxing, the talented but untested Demetrius Andrade (18-0, 13 KOs), of Providence, R.I., makes his first start for respected trainer Virgil Hunter when he faces aggressive-minded former world title challenger Freddy Hernandez (30-3, 20 KOs), of Lynwood, Calif., in the 10-round junior middleweight main event on ShoBox: The New Generation doubleheader this Friday, Jan. 25, live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).

In a matchup of once-beaten junior welterweights in the 10-round co-feature at Paramount Theater in Huntington, N.Y., Raymond “Tito” Serrano (18-1, 8 KOs), of Philadelphia, meets Emmanuel “Tranzforma” Taylor (15-1, 10 KOs), of Edgewood, Md. The event is promoted by Star Boxing and Banner Promotions.

Hunter, the Boxing Writers Association of America 2011 Trainer of the Year, and Andrade, a world-ranked, 6-foot-1, 24-year-old southpaw, have been together for only a couple of months.

“All coaches get their fair share of calls, and I get some, too,’’ Hunter said. “Demetrius called me and we started talking. I’d been aware of him because he was an Olympian and knew he was a good kid, but once we met I was most definitely very pleased to make his acquaintance. I enjoy working with him.

“Demetrius’ dad did a terrific job with him. He’s a great kid with a great personality and he wants to succeed. I think he has unlimited potential and everything it takes to not only be a future champion but an ambassador for the sport. There’s really a lot of upside to Demetrius. It’s just a matter of time.’’

A former international amateur standout – Andrade (pronounced “Ann-Drade”) was the 2007 World Championships gold medalist at 152 pounds and represented the United States in the 2008 Olympic Games – continues to acclimate himself to the new surroundings in northern California.

“I’ve been training at Virgil’s private gym in Hayward, Calif.,’’ said Andrade, who owns amateur victories over the likes of current world champion Austin Trout and prospects such as Keith Thurmond, Danny Jacobs, Fernando Guerrero, Jack Culcay and Charles Hatley. “I knew Virgil from him being in the amateur program and I just reached out to him. He’s a stand-up guy and everything’s going smoothly. We’re just taking it one step at a time, just getting in shape for this fight.’’

Andrade has steadily ascended in the rankings since turning pro in October 2008. He’s currently rated No. 3 in the IBF and WBO and No. 8 in the WBC. He’s been carefully matched throughout his four-year career but owns a couple of noteworthy victories. He won his three fights in 2012 by knockout inside two rounds, including a second-round TKO over Alexis Hlores in his last start on Sept. 12.

But Hunter and ShoBox expert analyst and boxing historian Steve Farhood agree that Hernandez will be the toughest foe to date for Andrade, who’ll be making his ShoBox debut. “On paper this should be his toughest challenge, when you consider the competition the other guy has fought,’’ Hunter said.

Said Farhood, “Demetrius Andrade, along with Gary Russell Jr., was chosen as Most Likely To Succeed from the 2008 U.S. Olympic team. On ShoBox, he’s finally making that next step that will vaunt him from prospect to contender.

“Hernandez is a legit tough guy who’s fought the very best. This is a real test for Andrade, a major step up. Andrade’s been criticized for the level of his opposition, but part of that criticism stems from how easily he’s beaten the fighters put in front of him.

“Hernandez will bring it, so if Andrade’s as good as we think he is, he’ll not only win, but shine.”

Offered Andrade, an athletic, versatile boxer with good skills and movement: “Freddy Hernandez is a great fighter, and we’re going to put on a great show.”

Hernandez fought four former world champions in a row – DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley, Mike Anchondo, Andre Berto and Luis Collazo — between February 2010 and October 2011. “El Riel” went 3-1, winning the final fight of the four-bagger with an exciting 10-round unanimous decision over southpaw Luis Collazo on Oct. 15, 2011.

The brother-in-law of current WBC featherweight kingpin Daniel “Ponce” De Leon, Hernandez, 33, lost his most recent outing to WBC No. 1 contender Erislandy Lara on a 10-round decision on June 20, 2012. The scores in a rough fight were 95-94, 98-91 and 99-90.

“I’m not much of a talker outside of the ring, I’d rather just let my fight inside do the talking for me,’’ said Hernandez, a boxer-puncher who may come out ultra-aggressive against the less-experienced Andrade.

Serrano, a 5-foot-8, 25-year-old, will be fighting for the first time since hooking up with trainer Barry Hunter, who also handles Lamont and Anthony Peterson. It is his first start since a devastating fifth-round knockout loss to Karim Mayfield in a pick ‘em bout on May 18, 2012, that ended with chaos in Serrano’s corner. World-ranked going in, he’d won all 18 of his fights since going pro in October 2007.

“I’ve been with Barry since about July,’’ said Serrano, an accomplished amateur and ambidextrous boxer-puncher who likes to work the body. “After I fought Mayfield, I took some time off and then I got with Barry. I train at his gym and spar with the Petersons. It’s definitely stepped up my level of training. I’ve worked hard and feel it’s made me a stronger fighter.

“I haven’t seen any of Taylor’s fights, but I remember him from the amateur days. The guys in the gym know him from the amateurs and they’re helping me prepare. I’m looking forward to starting the year off right. I learned from my mistakes. I want to accomplish my goal, and become champion of the world.”

Looking back at the Mayfield defeat, Serrano said, “I was surprised how easy it was for me to hit him. He’s strong. He fought a good fight. He caught me with a good shot. I’ll be back.”

Taylor hails from a family of fighters. He was a top amateur before turning pro in March 2009. After opening with 14 consecutive victories, the 5-foot-7½-inch, 22-year-old boxer-puncher came up on the wrong end of a split eight-round decision to Prenice Brewer on Nov. 10, 2011. He regained his winning ways 11 months later when, in his lone bout since losing, won a six-round majority decision over George Dosa on Oct. 12, 2012. Taylor triumphed by the scores of 60-54, 58-56 and 57-57.

“I’ve been getting ready for this fight in Baltimore since Dec. 1,’’ he said. “I’ve worked hard in the gym and I’m ready to show what I’ve got. I’ve got a lot of styles. I can box or bang, but basically I usually box. It depends on the other fighter.

“I’m familiar with Serrano. I know him from the amateurs. He was in my region, so we fought in the same tournaments but he was a little older than me. He’s a good fighter, a good boxer. I give him credit. But absolutely, I’m going to win the fight. I’m just going to use my jab and pressure, and that’s what is going to win me the fight.”

Tickets, priced at $50, $100 and $150, are available through Ticketmaster online www.Ticketmaster.com or phone (800) 745-3000, through The Paramount Box Office (631) 673-7300, the Star Boxing Office (718) 823-2000 or on their website, www.StarBoxing.com. Doors on fight night will open at 7 p.m. ET with the first bell at 8 p.m.

 

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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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