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Desert Storm & The Ghost Interested in Khan-Judah Winner

David A. Avila

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Ghost_poseA couple of pound for pound list champions named Tim “Desert Storm” Bradley and Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero have more than a passing interest on this week’s coming junior welterweight showdown.

Both Bradley and Guerrero were options for WBA junior welterweight titleholder Amir “King” Khan (25-1, 17 KOs), who is now fighting IBF titleholder Zab Judah (41-6, 28 KOs) on Saturday, July 23. The junior welterweight unification bout takes place at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. It will be televised on HBO.

It was Bradley who was set to meet Khan but contractual matters that cannot be discussed scuttled that fight. Then Guerrero’s name was offered to the British speedster but Team Khan passed on the Ghost.

It will be Judah.

Bradley expects to go to court to fight for other matters with co-promoters Thompson Boxing Promotions and Gary Shaw Productions. He still wants to fight Khan but business must take precedence.

The Palm Springs prizefighter holds both the WBC and WBO junior welterweight titles and gave us his perspective on the Judah-Khan clash.

“It won’t be easy. Zab (Judah) is a really good southpaw,” says Bradley. “But he has to hunt and set Khan up for a punch.”

The speedy desert fighter says that Khan has the advantages of youth, speed and one of the world’s best boxing trainers guiding him. And Judah has a wealth of experience that includes world titles as a junior welterweight and welterweight. Plus, he has one of the all time great former boxers in Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker guiding him.

Still, Bradley believes that Khan has the right antidote with his trainer Roach.

“If he listens to Freddie (Roach), and does not get ahead of himself, Khan should win,” said Bradley. “But he has to be careful because Judah is still dangerous and has a punch.”

From Guerrero’s training quarters in Big Bear, in preparation for his move up to the junior welterweight division to tangle with Argentina’s Marcos Maidana on August 27 in San Jose, he pondered the outcome of Khan-Judah.

After much thinking and rehashing the former featherweight, junior lightweight world champion Guerrero couldn’t pick a winner between Khan and Judah but adds that “you can never count a guy out like Judah.”

The lanky speed bomber was one of the first alternatives offered by Golden Boy Promotions to Team Khan.

“They (Team Khan) didn’t want to fight Robert (Guerrero),” said Bob Santos who manages Guerrero. “They never said why.”

Still, the winner of Judah and Khan will have two junior welterweight titles and that’s a pretty enticing pair of carrots.

“Hopefully I can fight the winner,” says Bradley. “It will be for the undisputed junior welterweight championship.”

Guerrero, who is ranked number seven in several pound for pound lists including this one, knows he has a big obstacle in Argentina’s big punching Maidana. But after that, he’d like the winner too.

“I can eat whatever I want at this weight,” says Guerrero, who looks like a welterweight.
It looks like Saturday’s winner between Judah and Khan already has a dance card filled.

More on Bradley

The congenial Palm Spring’s prizefighter has a dispute with his co-promoters and feels the answer will need to be decided in court. He cannot discuss the exact nature of the problem but admits there is a dispute.

“Got nothing but love for them, it’s just business,” said Bradley about promoters Thompson Boxing Promotions and Gary Shaw Productions.

Bradley is currently ranked by this publication as number six in the top prizefighters pound for pound in the world. The undefeated fighter’s last victory came last January when he overwhelmed Devon Alexander to win by technical decision after 10 rounds. He regained the WBC title that he was forced to relinquish in 2009 and kept the WBO title he already had earned that same year.

“I’m always in shape,” said Bradley who hopes to be back in the ring fighting. “I never stop training.”

Fights on television

Fri. ESPN2, 6 p.m., Joseph Elegele (12-0) vs. Lanard Lane (12-1).

Fri. Showtime, 8 p.m., Roger Bowling (9-1) vs. Bobby Voelker (23-8).

Fri. Telefutura, 11:30 p.m., Chris Martin (22-0-2) vs. Jose Silveira (12-3)

Sat. Directv, 2 p.m., Dereck Chisora (14-0) vs. Tyson Fury (14-0).

Sat. HBO, 7 p.m., Amir Khan (25-1) vs. Zab Judah (41-6).

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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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