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Micky Ward Invited To Be Special Guest At Martinez-Dzinzi

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NEW YORK, NY (Feb. 24, 2011) – “Irish” Micky Ward, more popular now than ever after the success of the Oscar-nominated movie about his life, The Fighter, has been invited by promoter Lou DiBella to be a special guest March 12 for the “Diamond Elite” event at the MGM Grand Arena at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Connecticut.

World Boxing Council (“WBC”) Emeritus and The Ring Magazine middleweight champion, 2010 Fighter of the Year Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez (46-2-2, 25 KOs), takes on World Boxing Organization (“WBO”) junior middleweight champion, Sergiy “Razor” Dzinziruk (37-0, 23 KOs), in the 12-round main event for the vacant World Boxing Council Diamond middleweight title.

The chief supporting fight is “Celtic War,” pitting exciting middleweights Andy Lee (24-1, 18 KOs) of Ireland and Scotland’s Craig McEwan (19-0, 10 KOs), in a 10-round bout of ethnic rivalry with potential world title shot implications for the winner.

The Martinez vs. Dzinziruk and Lee vs. McEwan fights will be broadcast on HBO’s World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:30 pm ET / 7:30 pm PT.

Ward has many direct ties to the March 12 event. Here are the seven degrees of Micky Ward, in association with the “Diamond Elite” event, with quotes from the consensus 3-time Fight of the Year participant:

Lou DiBella: The last four fights of Ward’s career (2002-2003), including the famed Gatti-Ward trilogy, were by far his most lucrative with approximately $3-million in purse earnings. By no coincidence, Micky was promoted by DiBella Entertainment for the final four fights of his 18-year pro career. “Lou is a good guy and a man of his word. He promised to make me a lot of money and he did. And all we needed was a handshake deal.”

Sergio Martinez: The Boxing Writers Association of America (“BWAA”) will hold its annual awards dinner May 6 in Las Vegas. Martinez will receive its 2010 Fighter of the Year, named in honor of the great Sugar Ray Robinson, while Ward receives the 2011 James A. Farley Award for Honesty and Integrity in Boxing. “Sergio is a great fighter, one of the best in the world today. He’s also a good person.”

James “Buddy” McGirt: Ward got to know the former two-time world champion and 2002 Trainer of the Year, Buddy McGirt, up close and personal in 2002-2003 when McGirt trained Gatti for all three fights of their epic trilogy. “Buddy was a great trainer and great fighter himself. I’m still good friends with him today.” McGirt is Dzinziruk’s co-trainer.

Andy Lee: Besides the obvious “green” connection linking their Irish heritage, Ward was the color commentator for the PPV airing of Lee’s most dramatic knock-out on March 16, 2007, against former world champion Carl Daniels in The Theater at Madison Square Garden. “Andy is a good, stand-up boxer who has a lot of talent.”

Freddie Roach: Another BWAA recipient in May – third year in a row and fifth time overall as the Eddie Futch Trainer of the Year – Freddie Roach, like Ward, is a Massachusetts native. Ward’s first amateur match at the age of seven was against Freddie’s younger brother, Joey. “I’ve known Freddie my whole life. I never fought Freddie because he’s older than me. I never really thought back then that Freddie would become the trainer he is today.”

Foxwoods: Although Ward never boxed in MGM Grand Arena at Foxwoods, he did fight four times in different venues at Foxwoods, winning three times against Steve Quinonez, Louis Veader and Mark Fernandez. Micky lost in the Bingo Hall to Antonio Diaz by 10-round decision on HBO. “I have great memories of fighting at Foxwoods. It’s still one of my favorite places for boxing.”

HBO: Micky fought six times on HBO (three times vs. Gatti, Jesse James Leija, Diaz and Shea Neary). “My experiences on HBO were excellent. HBO was really good for me. Everything was great, from Larry Merchant to Jim Lampley, who were MC’s at my retirement party, to everybody else at HBO.”

“Diamond Elite: Martinez vs. Dzinziruk” will be presented by DiBella Entertainment in association with Gary Shaw Productions and Banner Promotions. Lee vs. McEwan will be presented by DiBella Entertainment in association with Golden Boy Promotions. Both bouts will be broadcast live on HBO’s World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:30 pm ET / 7:30 pm PT.

Tickets for “Diamond Elite: Martinez vs. Dzinziruk,” are priced at $450, $250, $125, $75, and $50 and on sale through the MGM Grand at Foxwoods box office. Tickets can be purchased online at www.mgmatfoxwoods.com, by calling the MGM Grand at Foxwoods at 1-866-646-0609, or in person at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods box office.

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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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