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Orozco Keeps 'Em Buzzing, Dedicates Win to “Chicanito”

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orozcopicScouts have been sniffing around Orozco, right, recently. Looks like he will soon snag a promotional deal.

“It’s time to take care of business,” undefeated prospect Antonio Orozco said before he stepped into the ring as the main event on Thursday night’s “Fight Club O.C.” series at the O.C. Hangar in Costa Mesa.

And took care of business he did.

Orozco (10-0, 7 KO’s), a buzz-worthy junior lightweight out of San Diego, employed a vicious body attack to knockout former Olympian Henslay Strachan (5-9-1 1 KO) of the Bahamas in the first round.

It was Orozco’s first fight back since having to cancel out on his last date due to a food related illness. He showed near perfect form in dismantling and finishing off his opponent who couldn’t handle the relentless pressure of the well regarded prospect trained by Carlos Barragan.

The buzz on Orozco, 23, has been growing increasingly louder and reported interest from both Golden Boy Promotions and Bob Arum’s Top Rank seems to be more fact than fiction.

It’s interesting to note that Top Rank matchmaker Bruce Trampler was part of the sold out 1,400 plus audience that saw Orozco crumple Strachan with a wicked left hook to the body.

Manager Frank Espinoza wouldn’t confirm or deny that talks have occurred with several major promotional companies. “We plan to do what’s best for Antonio’s career so we have to look at all options available,” stated Espinoza who has managed the careers of five world champions. “I think he’s got a great future. He’s well spoken, smart and he can fight. He has all the makings of a star and the industry is taking notice.”

Orozco chooses to remain humble despite all the accolades he’s been receiving from the boxing media. “I still have a lot to learn. There are a few things I could’ve done different in there,” he stated. “Carlos and I are going to look at the tapes and fix whatever has to be fixed.”

Golden Boy or Top Rank?

Where will Orozco land? He’s been fighting on Golden Boy Promotions’ cards but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll end up there. Not long ago, it seemed that G.B.P. had the upper hand in signing hot Filipino prospect Mercito Gesta due to their close relationship with Gesta’s promoter Don Chargin. Surprisingly, Top Rank eventually signed Gesta. Will Golden Boy also let Orozco slip away?

“That’s not something I’m going to worry about. I’ll let Frank deal with that,” Orozco stated when asked about the situation. “My job is to train like a champion and win.”

Orozco dedicated the fight and the eventual victory to Genaro “Chicanito” Hernandez. “We’re all keeping him and his family in our prayers,” Orozco stated.  

Hernandez, a classy and kind former world champion, is reportedly in the last stage of his battle with cancer.

On the web:

Antonio Orozco vs. Manuel Aguilar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bho-KeopROI


Fight Club O.C.

Roy Englebrecht Promotions does a great job of turning a hangar into a first rate boxing and mixed martial arts venue.

All the elements and details that a great promotion must have are there. They’ve got more than just the music, the ring card girls and all the other basics. There are things you won’t see at any other venue. How about a giant projection video screen (50 ft?) in the background along with a countdown clock in the corner?  Some nice video compilations between fights keep the audience entertained while the fighters get ready to enter the ring. Great showmanship and great promoting by Englebrecht and his crew which includes former fight writer Whitfield Haydon.

The Cigar Club

So you want to light up a stogie at the fights but you can’t do it due to the restrictive California smoking laws? Fight Club OC figured it out. By opening up one of the hangar’s walls, fight attendees can sit outside and watch the action as they light some fine tobacco available for purchase or better yet, bring your own.

The hybrid boxing-MMA concept actually works well as far as I’m concerned. You’d have to be a fan of both sports to truly appreciate the concept. The MMA bouts break up the evening pretty nicely.

If you’re solely a boxing or MMA fan it may be a more exasperating experience. On the other hand, it may be the perfect opportunity to explore both sports.  

The next show is slated for August 18th.

On the web:
www.fightcluboc.com

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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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