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Nobody Is Talking About What A Step Up In Class Klitschko Is For Haye..LOTIERZO

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klitschko_haye_poster As the countdown to Klitschko-Haye winds down, it's pretty much agreed upon in the boxing community that Wladimir Klitschko is at worst the second, and perhaps due to his youth compared to his older brother Vitali, the most formidable heavyweight boxer in the world. Former cruiserweight title holder David Haye 25-1 (23) is Wladimir's next opponent. Haye is 4-0 (3) since moving up to fight as a heavyweight.

And yet everyone, including myself, has been duped into talking about how Haye is such a monumental challenge and threat to Klitschko. Granted, Haye is a very skilled heavyweight, but to say he's the best fighter Wladimir Klitschko has ever been confronted by is a huge reach. ??The real question and debate should be: who has Haye fought that is anywhere close to the same stratosphere as  Klitschko as a fighter and boxer?

Wlad has already beaten bigger fighters than Haye, fighters that are faster, more experienced, better boxers and bigger punchers than the cocky Brit as well. On that there can be no speculating whatsoever, none. Again – Wladimir Klitschko is clearly the most complete and dangerous heavyweight David Haye will have ever confronted during his career as a professional fighter.

Take a look: ??In his second bout fighting as a heavyweight, Haye won a decision over seven-foot Nikolay Valuev, 38, to capture the WBA title. However, what's gone virtually unmentioned since then is that in his previous fight before Haye, Valuev was more soundly out-boxed by the then 46 year old former champ, Evander Holyfield. Haye ran from Valuev the entire fight, but luckily for him Valuev is slow and can't punch a lick, because Haye would've never gone near him if he could.

Even the one time Haye shook Valuev, he didn't go after him. In his next fight Haye fought 38 year old former WBA title holder John Ruiz. Ruiz was shopworn and on a steep decline by the time Haye got him, and David still had to drop Ruiz five times before the fight was stopped. Shortly after the fight Ruiz retired from boxing. In his last bout, Haye stopped Audley Harrison, 38, in three rounds. Harrison, for the record, has not defeated one noteworthy fighter since turning pro in 2001.

In reality, Haye has only one win as a heavyweight that can be considered even remotely meaningful, and that was over Ruiz, who was not nearly the same fighter he was when he fought Evander Holyfield three times circa 2000-2001.

The truth of the matter is, Wladimir Klitschko is bigger, stronger, a better boxer and puncher than any fighter David Haye has ever fought or even sparred with. On top of that Klitschko is much more experienced and Haye's words and antics seem to have really gotten under Wladimir's skin. It's quite possible that Wladimir really despises Haye and it's not hard to envision how that will have a bearing on the fight, especially if Haye shows any hesitancy.

Wladimir has been most troubled by fighters who have gone at him. But it's doubtful that Haye will go right at Klitschko, even though he should because Klitschko isn't fast and it's worth the risk for him to try and impose his speed. Haye can't out-box Klitschko, he doesn't hit as hard and his chin is lousy.

Klitschko has two basic flaws, he doesn't have a sturdy chin and he's not the bravest fighter in the division. The chin will remain an issue, but I sense that Wladimir will be braver than a wounded grizzly bear when he faces Haye this weekend. Whereas some observers have mentioned that they sense Haye is nervous about fighting either brother, with good cause. And it's noticeable that since the fight has been signed, Haye has been very respectful of Klitschko compared to how he was before it was signed.

The burden of proof rests squarely on the shoulders of David Haye on July 2nd, 2011. There's nothing he can show Wladimir Klitschko that he hasn't already seen or hasn't already been tried against him before. Haye has to overcome size, experience, and power. Haye has one advantage, hand speed. But for that to be a factor in the fight, he has to be willing to go after Klitschko and let his hands go, something that will open him up and leave him more susceptible to Klitschko's big right hand. ??Sure, David Haye is capable of upsetting Wladimir Klitschko and ending the fight in a dramatic fashion. But until he does, Klitschko gets the benefit of every doubt. The next time David Haye steps into the ring, he'll be facing the biggest and best fighter he's ever confronted since he took up the sport of boxing. And for Klitschko, he'll be facing another fighter who he holds practically every advantage over, but who has a plan and strategy to defeat him.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.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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