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Artemio Reyes Jr. Wins By KO; Chris Martin Edges Beranza at Doubletree in Ontario, CA

David A. Avila

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Prospect Theran (right) went to 11-0 with the W on the Thompson card.

Nearly three months into 2013, the normally busy Inland Empire saw their first fight card when Thompson Boxing Promotions opened up their year with several of their prospects and contenders.

San Bernardino’s Artemio Reyes Jr. knocked out Arizona’s Rodolfo Armenta (12-10-1) early in a welterweight fight on Friday at the Doubletree Hotel in front of nearly 2,000 fans. Many of those were Reyes fans who drove 15 miles to the Ontario hotel where the fight was held.

Reyes (19-2, 15 Kos) was in command from the beginning using his longer reach and precise punching to shoot a counter right to send Armenta (12-10-1) flying against the ropes. The referee could have ruled it a knockdown but when Armenta straightened himself up, he didn’t show signs of being hurt by the punch. That would come later.

A very short left hook by Reyes on the chin ended the fight at 1:47 in round two. Armenta had been looking to land the overhand right for most of the two rounds and just didn’t see the Reyes left hook that traveled less than 16 inches squarely on the chin. Armenta tried to get up but collapsed again and referee Wayne Hedgepeth stopped the fight.

San Diego’s Chris Martin (26-2-3, 8 Kos) avenged a loss to Mexico’s Jose Beranza (35-26-2, 27 Kos) to win by unanimous decision after eight rounds in a junior featherweight contest. If not for a knockdown Martin would have been dealt a draw.

Martin scored a knockdown of Beranza in round five and that proved the difference in the fight. During the last three rounds Martin was out-hustled by Beranza who also won over the crowd with his busier work. The judges scored it 78-73 and 76-75 twice for Martin.

Riverside’s Juan Reyes (9-1-1) barreled through Palm Spring’s Hugo Ramos (3-12-2) to win by unanimous decision after six rounds of a competitive junior featherweight contest. Reyes averaged near 150 punches a round but was met with stiff punching by Ramos who seemed to be going for the knockout. It never came as both continued to trade punches till the very last second. Two judges scored it 59-55 and one judge 60-53 all for Reyes.

Colombian import

In the last several years Thompson Boxing has found success with several Colombian imports. Last weekend “Momo” Romero defeated Mexico’s Alejandro Lopez to capture the IBF world title in Tijuana, Mexico. Previously another of their Colombian fighters Yonnhy Perez was the IBF bantamweight champion. Now another from the South American country has been brought north.

Colombian middleweight import Alex “Principe” Theran (11-0, 7 Kos) used all of his physical advantages to defeat Hawaii’s Michael Balasi (10-2, 7 Kos) by knockout in the fourth round at the Doubletree Hotel on Friday. Both fighters were southpaws.

From the first round the size difference proved a problem for the Hawaiian boxer. Balasi showed good skills but the busier Colombian fighter simply wore down the shorter opponent with rapid combinations including right hooks. Balasi tried to counter with right hooks to the body but found it difficult to get close enough.

After three solid rounds Theran opened up with a burst of punches that sent Balasi backward. The tall Colombian moved in behind another barrage of eight punches and down went the Hawaiian. He beat the count but was met with another flurry of punches that connected and forced referee Wayne Hedgepeth to stop the fight at 2:22 of round four.

Other bouts

San Bernardino’s Joshua Conley (5-0, 4 Kos) waited a little too long to get started against Mexico’s Juan Carlos Rojas (4-5, 4 Kos) but managed to pull out a split decision win. Both middleweights had won all of their previous fights by knockout, but not this time. Rojas was the busier fighter throughout but Conley landed the bigger shots especially with the right hand. One judge scored it 39-37 for Rojas, but the other two favored Conley 39-37. It was the first win by decision for Conley who is trained by Henry Ramirez in Riverside.

Las Vegas featherweight Pedro Toledo (2-0-1) edged past East L.A.’s Xavier Montelongo (2-1-1) to hand him his first loss as a pro after four rounds. Toledo was accurate with the right hand but hung on during the last round to win by unanimous decision 39-37 on all three judge’s cards. Toledo lost steam in the last round but Montelongo was unable to take advantage in a competitive 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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