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Cotto Dropped A Bomb On This Call

Rick Folstad

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Cotto Orlando media 111121 001aIt was short and sweet, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum slamming the hammer down on a conference call he wanted no part of.
 
“I don’t know why we’re on this conference call when we haven’t heard from the New York Athletic Commission,” Arum said early Tuesday afternoon. “These issues will be discussed if and when New York doesn‘t allow the fight to be held. I don‘t want to start on contractual issues or anything like that. This conference call is really not appropriate at this time.”
  
Arum never treads lightly.
   
But he had a point. Press conferences and conference calls are designed to promote upcoming events, and the WBA super-welterweight title fight between champion Miguel Cotto (36-2, 29 KOs) and Antonio Margarito (38-7, 27 KOs) scheduled for Dec. 3 at Madison Square Garden (HBO pay-per-view) has run into a snag. And as of the early afternoon conference call (ET), it still hadn’t been taken care of.
   
That’s because Margarito, who stopped Cotto in their first fight back in July 2008, had cataract surgery on his right eye this past spring. And the New York State Athletic Commission had yet to issue Margarito a license to fight in their state because of the eye surgery.
 
There was some rumblings of  relocating the fight outside of New York, but according to Cotto, who has been training in Orlando, FL, the fight will be New York State or there won’t be a fight.
    
“I’m not going to present myself in any other state,” Cotto said on the call. “If  the (NYSAC) says (Margarito) isn’t able to fight because of his eye, any commission anywhere has to respect that. I’m not going to fight anywhere else.
 
“When I signed for this fight with Margarito, it was scheduled to be held in New York City and that’s where it should be.”
     
While Arum insists that the eye with the cataract surgery (where an artificial lens is inserted in the eye) is probably even stronger since the surgery than Margarito’s other eye, the NYSAC isn’t buying it. And that’s the stickler.
 
Margarito injured the eye during a lop-sided loss to Manny Pacquiao in November of last year. He had the cataract surgery this past spring.
   
Asked if he would target the right eye if and when they fight, Cotto said he was going to use any kind of advantage he could get.
  
“I’m going to do my things in the ring,” he said. “I’m going to fight like I always fight, with my heart and my soul and everything I have. I’m going to do my work.“
   
Not that this fight needed any more controversy.
   
Margarito was the guy who had to re-wrap his hands in his locker room before his fight with Sugar Shane Mosley in January 2009 after it was discovered that his original hand wraps were “loaded.“
 
Mosley stopped Margarito, who was later suspended from fighting for more than a year because he had tried to enter the ring with the altered hand wraps.
    
That raised the question of whether or not Margarito wore those same loaded hand wraps when he stopped Cotto in the 11th round of their first fight in 2008.
     
Cotto claims there are photos which show similar red ink marks on the hand wraps used by Margarito in his fights with Mosley and Cotto.
   
“He used plaster on his wraps and that’s a weapon and you have to be treated like a criminal because you used a weapon in a sport,” Cotto said. “You can only use your skills and your conditioning. If we have another name for that, please tell me what it is.”
 
Tired and probably more than a little upset about the uncertainty of his championship fight in the Garden, Arum put the conference call to bed early.
 
“Would you wrap up this call, please,” he finally said.
 

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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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