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Ajose Wins on ShoBox

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005_Ollusegun_vs_Chebah_IMG_8705SANTA YNEZ, CALIF. (Sept. 30, 2011) – Olusegun Ajose earned a shot at World Boxing Council (WBC) super lightweight champion and Mexican legend Erik Morales with a unanimous decision victory over Ali Chebah in Friday’s main event of ShoBox: The New Generation on SHOWTIME® from Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif.

In the ShoBox co-feature, No. 5-ranked World Boxing Association (WBA) and 12th-ranked World Boxing Organization (WBO) lightweight Darley Perez scored a sixth round knockout over Oscar Meza when Meza’s corner stopped the bout following the sixth round.  The win advanced the unbeaten prospect to 23-0 with 18 KOs.

In the main event, Ajose, the No. 1-ranked super lightweight contender, came out with an unorthodox yet aggressive style, landing sweeping right hooks on Chebah, the No. 6-ranked contender.  Ajose opened up the third round with fireworks, landing a huge right hand to the top of Chebah’s head that send him stumbling to the canvas.  Chebah beat the count but was immediately met with another onslaught from Ajose, who knocked down his opponent in 10 seconds with a brutal right hook.  Miraculously, Chebah survived the round, although he lost it 10-7 on the judges’ scorecards.

Ajose (30-0, 15 KOs), of Nigeria, continued his showmanship yet he slowed his pace and failed to inflict much damage as the 12 round contest wore on.  Chebah never relented in coming forward but an injured right hand prevented him from landing any damaging punches while the majority of Ajose’s power shots were high and wide.

Chebah (33-2, 26 KOs), of France, came on strong in the championship rounds, winning the crowd over in the 12th as they chanted his name.  In the end, Chebah didn’t do enough to win over the judges, who scored the bout 120-106 and 119-107, twice.

“I have to give respect to him – he was a good opponent,” said Ajose.  “I wanted to stop him in the third but he’s strong and he kept going.  I had to be careful.  I think I hit him well but he trained hard.  I hurt my hand in the middle rounds and wasn’t able to finish him.”

Ajose, who was making his U.S. debut, now has his sights on Morales and the WBC title.

“I am the mandatory challenger so there isn’t any reason I shouldn’t fight him,” Ajose said.  “He’s the champion so let’s get it on.  They need to keep their promise and let us fight.  I’m ready as soon as possible.  I’d fight him tomorrow if they let me.”

While Chebah didn’t protest the decision loss he did think the scores should have been a little closer.

“I think I lost but not by as much as the judges had it,” Chebah said.  “I wasn’t able to compete at the level I wanted.  The gamep lan was to get him tired as the rounds went on, but in the third my hand swelled and I didn’t get any body shots.  I just didn’t have any power in my right hand and that was the difference.”

Boxing legend and ShoBox commentator Antonio Tarver was impressed with Ajose’s performance.

“Ajose seemed like the real deal tonight and I don’t blame Morales if he doesn’t want to fight him,” Tarver said.

In the co-feature, Perez breezed through what was supposed to be the toughest test of his young career.
The Colombian prospect dominated the fight and dictated the pace, opening a cut over Meza’s right eye in the third and then another, deeper gash under Meza’s left eye with a hard right hook in the fifth.  Meza (22-4, 18 KOs) came out for the sixth but Perez’s speed and power were too much for the out-matched Mexican and referee Tony Crebs stopped the bout following the sixth round at the instruction of Meza’s corner.

“I was just getting into rhythm when they stopped it but I’m really happy with my performance,” Perez said.  “I usually get warmed up after the sixth round so I think I would have knocked him out.”

“I thought they would have stopped the fight in the fifth.  I could see it in his eyes – he was hurt.  It was a good stoppage.”

While disappointed with his performance, Meza disagreed with his corner.

“I thought I would do more damage in the fight,” Meza said.  “After I got hit in the left eye I couldn’t see the punches coming.  I was hurt but I think I could have rallied.  I’m not happy with the stoppage but I’ll live to fight another day.”   

Perez, a Colombian Olympian who was making his ShoBox debut, did enough against the experienced and battle-tested Meza to impress Tarver.

“Perez looked sharp,” Tarver said.  “His balance was good and he had the perfect angles.  He did everything he should and I think he’s going to be a heck of a contender in this division.”

Friday’s fights will be available On Demand beginning Monday, Oct. 3 and ending Sunday, Oct. 16.

Curt Menefee called the ShoBox action from ringside with Steve Farhood and Tarver serving as expert analysts. Gordon Hall was the executive producer of ShoBox with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.

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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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