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Gonzalez: “My Fight With Mares Is Going To Be A War”

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ABNER-MARES--JHONNY-GONZALEZ8-21-0213

ABNER MARES & JHONNY GONZALEZ, VICTOR TERRAZAS & LEO SANTA CRUZ,DOMINIC BREAZEALE & JOSEPH DIAZ JR. TUESDAY'S MEDIA WORKOUT QUOTES & PHOTOS

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® Doubleheader Is This Saturday, Aug. 24, Live on SHOWTIME® From StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.

Preliminary Fights On SHOWTIME EXTREME Tickets Still On Sale

CARSON, CALIF. (Aug. 20, 2013) – Six of the fighters who'll compete this Saturday, Aug. 24, on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING live on SHOWTIME® (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, Immediately following the series premiere of ALL ACCESS: Mayweather vs. Canelo) and SHOWTIME EXTREME (8 p.m. ET/PT) worked out for the media Tuesday at a jam-packed Fabela Chavez Boxing Center in Carson, Calif.

In Saturday's mainevent on SHOWTIME, undefeated three-time and three-division World Champion Abner Mares (26-0-1, 14 KO's), of Downey, Calif., by way of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, will defend his WBC Featherweight World Championship against former Two-Division World Champion Jhonny Gonzalez (54-8, 46 KO's), of Mexico City.

Unbeaten former IBF Bantamweight World Champion Leo “Terremoto” Santa Cruz (24-0-1, 14 KO's), of Los Angeles, by way of Huetamo, Michoacan, Mexico, will challenge WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion Victor “Vikingo” Terrazas (37-2-1, 21 KO's), of Guadalajara, in the opener of a world championship doubleheader.

Scheduled for SHOWTIME EXTREME: Antonio Orozco (17-0, 13 KO's), San Diego, Calif., vs. Ivan Hernandez (23-9, 22 KO's), Miami, Fla., 10 rounds, junior welterweights; Joseph “Jo Jo'' Diaz Jr. (6-0, 4 KO's), South El Monte, Calif., vs. Noel Mendoza (6-2-1, 1 KO), Phoenix, Ariz., 6 rounds, featherweights; and Dominic Breazeale (5-0, 5 KO's), Los Angeles, vs. Lenroy Thomas (16-2, 8 KO's), St. Catherine, Jamaica, 8 rounds, heavyweights.

Two of boxing's most exciting and popular practitioners, Mares and Santa Cruz have become SHOWTIME mainstays in recent years. This will be the eighth consecutive appearance on SHOWTIME for Mares (including last May 4 when he dethroned Daniel Ponce De Leon via a ninth-round technical knockout to capture the WBC 126-pound crown on SHOWTIME PPV) dating back to his SHOWTIME debut on May 22, 2010.  Five of Santa Cruz's six fights since June 2, 2012, have been on SHOWTIME.  The other came on The CBS Television Network. 

Tickets for an event with a distinct Southern California flavor are priced at $150, $75, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes, fees and services charges, and are available now at AXS.com, by phone at 888-9-AXS-TIX (888-929-7849) and at StubHub Center Box Office (Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. PT to 6 p.m. PT). VIP Suites are available by calling 877-604-8777. For more information on group discounts or VIP packages, please call 877-234-8425. Doors open at 2 p.m. PT and the first live fight is at 2:20 p.m.

What the boxers said Tuesday:

ABNER MARES, WBC Featherweight World Champion

“My preparation is done and I'm ready to perform and put on a great show. I've got a hard fight ahead of me. Jhonny Gonzalez is a tremendous fighter, tough, and very skilled. But I'm here to fight.

“Jhonny may well be thinking that this is his last shot in a big fight, so I know he'll be bringing his 'A' game, which is why I know I need to bring my 'A-plus' game on Saturday. I always train like a contender anyway. When I'm getting ready for a fight, I don't think of myself as a champion. I don't want to lose my edge, my hunger. There's no way I will ever become complacent.

“You can't really compare Jhonny to my last opponent (Daniel 'Ponce' de Leon). Jhonny is more of a thinker than Ponce, who just came to brawl. I know I have to fight him in a very smart way.

“I'm very happy and proud to be fighting the main event. This card features a bunch of us Los Angeles guys, and is really an old-school card, like ones they used to put on at the Forum. The undercard is filled with a lot of up-and-comers. Any of those fights could serve as the televised co-main event.

“I know they're talking about me fighting Santa Cruz. It would be a spectacular fight between two Southern California fighters. If you know me you know I'll fight anybody. But I have a tough fight in front of me.

“I'm feeling really strong at this weight class, but who knows? Maybe someday I'll make a decision to move up a weight class to 130 pounds and win a fourth world title in my fourth weight class. But that's down the road. For now, all my focus is on Jhonny Gonzalez and putting on a great fight for the fans.

“Saturday is going to be a very exciting night of fights. You won't want to miss it.''

JHONNY GONZALEZ, Former Two-Division World Champion

“I have fought at StubHub before so I am very comfortable being at that venue. A lot of fight fans will recognize me from the past fights that I have fought there.

“On Saturday night my fight with Mares is going to be a war. Mares built his career with hard-earned fights and he wants to defend his title. I am motivated to claim the title. At this point in my career I feel that this could be one of my last opportunities to take that title.

“I invite all fight fans to witness what will be a battle for the ages. Abner Mares is youthful and strong but I have experience and will come well prepared with my own arsenal of weapons.''

LEO SANTA CRUZ, Former IBF Bantamweight World Champion

“'I'm very excited and happy for the opportunity to be fighting for a world title for a second time, and now I have to take advantage of it. I've been training 100 percent in the gym and I'm really motivated. This card has so many great fighters on it, and they are all going to do their best to put on a great show. I just want to do my part.

“I feel great. I think when I took that break it did my body a lot of good. I know I felt more rested. But working as hard as I do doesn't give you much time to rest. A week after my last fight I was right back in the gym. My Dad told me I had to be ready for whenever they called again. 

“I think Terrazas is going to be toughest fighter I've fought in my career. He's a great champion. He likes to come forward and throw a lot of punches. He's a true Mexican warrior, very brave, but those are the kinds of fighters I like to fight.

“Some guys are like wildfires, they get crazy and throw a lot of wild punches. He's not like that. Terrazas also has great technique. But he doesn't run, and those types of guys are easier for me. I know he's going to give it his best and leave it all in the ring. I expect a very hard fight. Both of us have trained really hard to give a great fight, and the better fighter is going to win.

“It's an honor for me to be fighting on SHOWTIME as often as I have. It's been a great experience for me. I still can't believe I've accomplished this much in so short of time, and it's still like a dream for me.

“But thanks to my Dad, who's always pushing me in the gym, Al Haymon, Golden Boy Promotions and SHOWTIME, I'm where I'm at right now.''

VICTOR TERRAZAS, WBC Super Bantamweight Champion

“This is going to be a very active (busy) fight. Going in we know that Leo Santa Cruz is the favorite in his hometown, but I'm champion of the world and I'm here to show you why I'm the champion. I'm really excited about fighting in his backyard, and I'm confident I'll be successful. I am ready.

“I do believe I'm getting overlooked in this fight, but that doesn't take away my desire or my will to win. Being overlooked also doesn't give me any more motivation, but that's only because I'm already motivated. There's a reason why I'm champion.

“Fighting in Los Angeles and SHOWTIME is a great opportunity for me to get more exposure and for more fans to know who I am. I absolutely know the importance of getting great exposure and know what a victory on Saturday will mean for me.

“More than anything the added exposure gives you more notoriety and opens more doors for you, not only in boxing but everything else. I am looking forward to this fight very much.''

DOMINIC BREAZEALE, Unbeaten Heavyweight

“I think this is probably the biggest step-up in my career and the toughest opponent so far in my career. Lenroy Thomas has a ton of experience and ring generalship compared to me. He's a 6-foot-1 southpaw, and I haven't fought a lefty since the amateurs.

“But I am definitely prepared and way anxious to get in there. I can't wait to fight. The only way to build character as a boxer is to take it a step at a time and fight the best fighters you can. This is what I've been doing and on Saturday I'm taking the next step.''

JOSEPH “JO JO'' DIAZ JR., Undefeated Featherweight

“This is my seventh fight this year and I'm well-prepared and definitely ready to go. I had a really great training camp. I know my opponent is a pretty sound guy with good ability, but I'm ready to give everybody a great show.

“I'm very excited to be fighting on this undercard because it's all local fighters. It's really going to be a great night of boxing.

“I think this is a step-up fight for me, which is what I want. I always want to be stepping up and fighting good fighters just to prove to everybody that I'm improving. This will be a great fight. .If all goes well on Saturday – there's no injuries or cuts or anything — I'm looking to maybe fight again next month.''

ABOUT “MARES VS. GONZALEZ”:

Mares vs. Gonzalez, a 12-round fight for Mares' WBC Featherweight World Championship, will take place on Saturday, August 24 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. The event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, sponsored by Corona and AT&T and will be televised live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® immediately following the series premiere of ALL ACCESS: Mayweather vs. Canelo at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Also featured will be a 12-round world championship showdown between WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion Victor Terrazas and former IBF Bantamweight World Champion Leo Santa Cruz. SHOWTIMECHAMPIONSHIP BOXING is available in Spanish using secondary audio programming (SAP). Mares vs. Gonzalez is presented in association with Promociones Del Pueblo. Preliminary fights will air on SHOWTIME EXTREME® (8 p.m. ET/PT).

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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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