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Edwin Rodriguz Wants Title Fight in 2012

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WORCESTER, Mass. (August 30, 2011) – Unbeaten sensation Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez, eyeing a world title fight in 2012, has successfully advanced from prospect to legitimate contender in the super middleweight division.

Granted, the 26-year-old Dominican Republic native (19-0, 14 KOs) may not be ready right now for the likes of Lucian Bute, Andre Ward and Carl Froch, but in another year Rodriguez figures he’ll be ready to challenge the top 168-pound guns and, by then, the overall landscape in that weight class could be completely altered. Rumors have some of the super middleweight elite preparing moves up to the light heavyweight division in the not too distant future.

“I need two good fights against top 10 opponents and then I’ll be ready for a world title fight,” Rodriguez said. “I fought on August 20th at 174, but only because my opponent couldn’t make a lower weight. I have no issues making 168. I was able to stay focused the entire fight against Traietti. I wish the fight had lasted longer so I could have thrown more combinations. I’m extremely happy with my performance and have more confidence in my jab. Our game plan was to establish my jab in the first two rounds and then drop my right on him. But I caught him with a good body punch and the fight ended. I need to continue working on putting combinations together and being aware of fighting more defensively. I was disciplined in the gym and listened to Ronnie (Shields). The first time he (Traietti) rushed me, the old me would have tried to take him out right away, but I kept to the game plan.”

Rodriguez’promoter, Lou DiBella, feels he has something special in Edwin.

“Edwin Rodriguez is the best 168 lbs. prospect in the United States. His backstory is incredible and soon to be a major documentary. On October 21, Team Rodriguez is proud to be headlining another ShoBox, our home away from home. More details will follow.”

Rodriguez is coming off of a devastating second-round victory by technical knockout on August 20th at home, when he broke two of opponent Chris Traietti’s (10-3, 6 KOs) ribs, drilling a vicious right that caused breathing problems that prevented the Iraq War veteran from continuing to fight.

Larry Army, Edwin’s trusted manager, believes his ace owns the best body shot to come out of New England since “Irish” Micky Ward, as well as being, arguably, the top contemporary body puncher in the world. “Four of his last five fights ending in knockout were stopped after a single punch to the body against Traietti, (Ibraheim) King, (Kevin) Engle and (George) Armenta. Who else can make that claim? The other knockout was from an accumulation of punches, many to the body, against (James) McGirt. The only fight in Edwin’s last five that went the distance was when he dislocated his shoulder in the second round against Aaron Pryor Jr., who at No. 9 in the WBC ratings is somehow rated three spots ahead of Edwin. Most people in boxing think Bute is the best body puncher in the world and I honestly believe Edwin is his equal in that regard. He throws with such velocity.”

The reigning WBC USNBC super middleweight champion, Rodriguez is knocking on the door for a major fight, currently rated # 8 by the International Boxing Federation and the World Boxing Association, as well as #12 by the World Boxing Council and #13 by the World Boxing Organization.

Renowned trainer Ronnie Shields has worked with Edwin a little more than two months and only one fight, but the former two-time world title challenger senses greatness in his new protégé. “Boxing is always looking for its next star and I think it is Edwin Rodriguez,” Shields commented. “He has that style fans really love – he throws a lot of punches and is a real fighter. I was very happy with the way he fought against Traietti, even though it lasted only two rounds. Edwin fought on the outside, went to the body, and his jab was consistent. I never wanted to deviate from what he does best – throw a lot of punches. I want him to box more and he did. It’s boxing and he’s going to get hit, but I don’t want him to get hit as much as he had in the past.

“I’d say he’s improved 20-25 percent, but give us a few more months working together for his next fight and he’ll be improved 60-70 percent. When he has to go 12 rounds, he has to understand that it doesn’t mean going toe-to-toe for 12. He has to adjust depending on the style of his opponent. We’re going to work on him catching punches and falling back after he punches, but not taking away from his strong, forceful punching. Next, we want to test him against a top-10 fighter, to better judge when he’ll be ready for a world title fight.”

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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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