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Molinas Star in Boxing Doc “Born and Bred”

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New York, N.Y. – August 8, 2011 – The Downtown Independent and QUAD Cinema is pleased to present the Los Angeles and New York premiere of the powerful new documentary BORN AND BRED (94 minutes), directed by Justin Frimmer.

 

Set in the east side of Los Angeles, America's new amateur boxing capital, BORN AND BRED tracks three teenage fighters as they train for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team and for careers in the professional ring.

 

For ten years, 15 year-old twin brothers Oscar and Javier Molina have followed in the footsteps of their father, a boxer from the gang-war torn district of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Their older brother boxed. Their cousins boxed. It's a family tradition.

 

Their trainer, Robert Luna, a former Army Ranger who failed in his own boxing career is intensely ambitious for his young prospects. Not only does he believe that the twin brothers have immense natural talent, he believes his years in the sport were a prelude to his own career as one of the great trainers in boxing. Luna knew the Molina brothers were a unique pair the moment they walked into his Commerce Boxing Gym a decade ago. “They were tough, humble, nice kids. But when I started working with them, you could tell right away they had something special.”

 

Down the street, at the Eddie Heredia Boxing Gym, head trainer Rodrigo Mosquera, after failing to raise his own sons to be world class boxers, works with his own young prospect. Mosquera is convinced that twelve year-old Victor Pasillas, undefeated in 70 consecutive bouts, is a future world champion. Victor has a relentless drive and a precocious understanding of the sport defeating opponents with a vicious force no one expects from such a small kid.

 

While the twins are soft spoken and do what they're told, Victor is pure machismo and does what he wants. “When I get in that ring, I look across it to see if my opponent has any heart,” he tells the camera. “If he doesn't, I take him out right away. If he does….I take it away from him. I make sure he has no heart.”

 

Apart from the kids' battles in the ring, BORN AND BREDtells back stories of their parents harrowing journeys across the U.S. border, their hopes for their children, and reveals the boys' deep belief in who they have been taught to become-inside and outside the ring.

“The very first time I went to a local boxing event,” relates director Justin Frimmer who shot the film in a fast-paced, cinema verité style, “I knew in my gut that there was something very powerful happening that hadn't really ever been documented on film. There was just an intense vitality in the mixture of the violence in the ring and the innocence of the children. It was raw human drama. Once I started shooting, the stories took over.”

 

Shot over four years, BORN AND BRED includes material of the immigration protests that erupted in 2006 and sets boxing against the backdrop of the immigrant experience.

 

Boxing has always been an ethnic-centric sport. Over the decades boxers have represented each of the waves of American immigration and a way out of poverty and into power. According to the 2008 census, nearly 40% of residents in Los Angeles County are now foreign born, the highest since the Ellis Island generation of the early 20th century. Like generations of immigrants before them (Germans, Italians, Jews) and other ethnicities entrenched in poverty (African Americans) many of these Latino kids, their parents, and those who stand to benefit from their success, grab at the illusive magic of the boxing ring.

 

BORN AND BREDhas a special force for two audiences: For those who love boxing it's a celebration of the demands and discipline of the most individual and demanding sport. And those who know nothing about boxing will never again watch an A-List bout on HBO, without knowing the heavy traffic and the high tolls paid on the long road to get there.

 

BORN AND BRED(94 min.) Not rated. Opens August 19 at LA's Downtown Independent, 251 S. Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 and NY's QUAD Cinema, 34 West 13th Street, New York, New York 10011 p: 212-255-2243 f: 212-255-2247

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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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