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Ringside Report From Adamek-Walker in New Jersey

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Main-EventsWith loud chants of “A-D-A-M-E-K, A-D-A-M-E-K,” still reverberating through the Prudential Center and into the Jersey night air, the members of “Polska Nation” who didn’t make it to the arena Saturday afternoon, received the signal that their “Mountain Boy” was back.

Tomasz Adamek (47-2, 29 KO) won a thrilling heavyweight bout against Travis Walker (39-8-1, 31 KO) that featured a wild second round and finished with a rousing fifth round TKO in Newark.
That second round may be viewed as a round of the year candidate, and it gave Adamek a much needed wakeup call from his post Klitschko slumber.

The contest began with the fighters feeling each other out. The taller, heavier Walker looked to establish a presence with his height and reach advantage. Adamek used movement and his jab to test and probe.

The wild second round got into gear when Walker dropped Adamek with a well timed one two combination. Adamek rose quickly but looked like he could be in serious trouble when another Walker combination buckled him along the ropes. Adamek continued to move in an effort to gather himself, but it appeared as if there was enough time left in the round for Walker to finish.
Near the end of the round Adamek stormed back and dropped Walker with a right hand. Walker beat the count and Adamek jumped on him and drove the action into the corner. The crowd was cheering so loudly that referee Eddie Cotton didn’t hear the bell sound and the fighters continued for another ten to fifteen seconds.

In the third a focused Adamek used his speed and movement to continue his offensive push. Walker looked as if he had lost some physical and emotional steam, perhaps sensing he had let his best opportunity slip away. He was still active though and answered Adamek with some punches of his own.

The fourth continued in the same fashion with Adamek seeming to know his speed, strength, and heart would bring him a victory.

In the fifth round Adamek hurt Walker early with an overhand right. Walker was backed into the ropes and had no answer for Adamek’s barrage of punches. Referee Eddie Cotton called a halt to the action at 1:08 of the fifth round.

This is the type of performance Adamek’s fans have to come expect from their hero, and one he needed to deliver after looking out of sync in his previous bouts.

In the co-feature, Philadelphia’s Steve “USS” Cunningham (25-4, 12 KO) made his heavyweight debut by earning a unanimous decision over gatekeeper Jason Gavern (21-11-4, 10 KO).
The former two time cruiserweight champion entered the ring at 207 lbs. While there is no doubt about Cunningham’s superior boxing skills and heart, the question lingered as to how he might fare against a heavier opponent. Gavern tipped the scales at 239 lbs.

Working behind a beautiful jab that he often doubled and tripled, and once quadrupled, Cunningham answered that question as he boxed to a clear unanimous decision.

The durable and sturdy Gavern connected with some punches, but never hurt Cunningham or had him in any kind of trouble.

Fighting back on his home turf after a series of cruiserweight bouts in Germany, Cunningham utilized his supreme conditioning and boxing skills to remain fresh while throwing combinations.
With this win in the books and the goal of adding an additional five to eight pounds to his fighting frame, Cunningham has a host of opportunities before him in the heavyweight division. One of them is certainly an anticipated rematch with Adamek.

Heavyweight sensation Bryant Jennings continued his sensational rise through the ranks, saying “Bye Bye” to Chris Koval in just thirty five seconds of the first round.

The Philadelphia native put Ohio’s Koval down twice in the thirty five second time span to remain undefeated while earning his 15th victory.

In an eight round junior lightweight attraction, Jerry Belmontes of Corpus Christi, Texas, improved to 17-0, with 5 KO’s by earning a unanimous decision over Queens, NY’s Joselito Collado (13-2, 3KO).

Preferring to take the role of boxing stylist during the bout, Belmontes experienced some tough moments when the gritty Collado was able to get inside and press the action.
With Main Events matchmaker Jolene Mizzone urging him “not to wait,” and “to fight your fight, not the other guy’s,” Belmontes used all eight rounds to win the fight with scores of 78-74 (twice), and 77-75.

Local favorite Jose Peralta of Jersey City, NJ, pleased his followers with a third round TKO of Philadelphia’s Christian Steele.

The energetic junior welterweight controlled the first and second rounds of the bout with his focused combination punching.

Steele started the third round with purpose, but “Mangu” responded with a punch to the head that put Steele down. Steele survived the count, but the referee waved off the bout.
The afternoon’s opener provided an interesting story line by featuring lightweight prospects trained by legends of the fight game.

Philadelphia’s Karl Dargan (11-0, 6 KO) had the celebrated Naazim Richardson in his corner. Cincinnati’s Jesse Caradine (8-2-1, 4 KO) entered the squared circle with the venerable Don Turner.

Brother Naaz won the battle of the legends as Dargan won by fourth round TKO after knocking Caradine down for the second time in the bout.

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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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