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Anthony Dirrell, Renan St-Juste Make Weight

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01 Direll vs St-JusteIMG 0039NOTE: WEIGHTS (Dec. 1, 2011) – Unbeaten, top-ranked super middleweight Anthony Dirrell tipped the scales at 167 pounds and fellow world-ranked southpaw Renan St-Juste weighed in at 166 ½ pounds during Thursday’s weigh in at Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif. 

Dirrell (23-0, 20 KOs), of Flint, Mich., and St-Juste (23-2-1, 15 KOs), of Canada, will square off in the 12-round main event on ShoBox: The New Generation on Friday, Dec. 2, live on SHOWTIME® (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).

The telecast will originate from Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif., just one night before the highly anticipated rematch between International Boxing Federation (IBF) bantamweight titleholder Abner Mares and Joseph King Kong Agbeko on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING

Hard-hitting ShoBox alum Chris Avalos measured 121 ¾ ounds and Jhonatan Romero weighed in at 121 pounds.  Avalos (19-1, 15 KOs), of Lancaster, Calif., will make a ShoBox-record sixth appearance against Colombia’s Romero (19-0, 12 KOs) in a 10-round co-feature battle of up-and-coming super bantamweights.

Prior to Thursday’s weigh in, the world-ranked super middleweights gave their picks for the upcoming Super Six World Boxing Classic Final, a World Championship Unification, on Saturday, Dec. 17 on SHOWTIME®, while Romero gave his predictions for Saturday’s Mares-Agbeko bantamweight world championship showdown and the bantamweight world championship co-feature between Anselmo Moreno and Vic Darchinyan. (Picks are below).   

Dirrell is ranked No. 1 in the World Boxing Council (WBC) and No. 3 in the World Boxing Association (WBA). St-Juste, the WBC’s No. 3-rated contender, represents the first top-10 fighter Dirrell has faced. The bout will serve as a title eliminator for the WBC super middleweight title currently held by Super Six World Boxing Classic finalist Carl Froch

Friday’s event is promoted by Gary Shaw Productions.

What the fighters had to say on Thursday:

ANTHONY DIRRELL

“It's going to be a big fight. I'm ready mentally and physically. I've been training hard, working with my brother (Andre) and the team, Team Dirrell. I'm ready.”

“I'm definitely ready to go 12 rounds if I have to. The commentators always say, 'Are they ready to go 12?' If you can do it in the gym, if you are physically and mentally ready, you can do it. If you're in shape, you can do it.”

“If I can get my opponent out of there, I'm going to get them out of there. I'm not going to hang in there more rounds than I have to and give this guy a chance.”

Super Six pick: “Andre Ward on a points decision.”

RENAN ST-JUSTE

“I know Dirrell is an undefeated fighter. He says he's hungry but I know I'm prepared. I'm treating this like a world championship.

“Being at 168 is better for me. It was difficult for me to make 160. I walk around in the 180s. At 168, I can keep my muscle and not worry about the weigh-in.

“The winner tomorrow will be No. 1 in the WBC but I'm not looking past Friday night.”

Super Six pick: “Ward, by a very little bit in a tight fight.”

CHRIS AVALOS

“I didn't know until today that I'm the only fighter with six ShoBox appearances. I love the series but I think it's time to move on to the Championship level.

“I'll give fans a little of both tomorrow. I'll box and I'll brawl. We'll see what happens.

“I've been taking shots for my hand. They helped it a lot. It's fine. I could knock a guy out just as easily as I could before the injury.

“If I win tomorrow, I'd like to see Abner Mares or Vic Darchinyan in the ring. I don't have any picks for Saturday night. I just hope the winners want to give me a shot at their belts.”

JHONATAN ROMERO

“I think it's better to come in here as the opponent. I'm relaxed. I'm confident. What could be better than beating a guy everyone knows?

“Only God, the promoter and my managers can tell what the future holds for me. I know that all I can do is win and better things will come for me after.”

Mares-Agbeko prediction: Mares

Moreno-Darchinyan prediction: Darchinyan

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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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