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Ivan Redkach Fights on “ShoBox” Jan. 17

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NEW YORK (Dec. 19. 2013)- On January 17, DiBellaEntertainment will present the premiere show of the 2014 ShoBox: The New Generation season with an exciting quadrupleheader live on SHOWTIME® (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).

Headlining the card will be devastating Ukrainian lightweight Ivan “The Terrible”Redkach (15-0, 13 KO’s), who takes on once-beaten Tony Luis (17-1, 7 KO’s) in the 10-round main event. In the co-features, unbeaten junior middleweights John Thompson (14-0, 5 KO’s) and Frank Galarza (11-0-2, 7 KO’s) collide in an eight-round matchup and fast-rising and highly regarded up-and-coming prospect Antoine Douglas (11-0, 7 KO’s) squares off against Marquis Davis (8-0-2, 5 KO’s) in an eight-round middleweight showdown. Opening the telecast will be hard-hitting Maurice Hooker (12-0-1, 9 KO’s) against an opponent to be announced in an eight-round junior welterweight matchup.

The card is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, in association with GH3 Promotions, Greg Cohen Promotions and Prize Fight Boxing, and will take place at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, TN. The SHOWTIME telecast will air live at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).

“This is a tremendous way to kick off the 2014 ShoBox season. People are going to get the opportunity to see Ivan Redkach, a potential star, along with a number of other undefeated, young fighters, all competing to make a name for themselves. This is what ShoBox is all about,” said promoter Lou DiBella.

“We are excited to start the year with a four-fight card full of talented prospects,” said Gordon Hall, the executive producer of ShoBox. “This card represents the epitome of ShoBox with each fighter bringing solid amateur pedigree and high hopes of turning from prospects to contenders. Redkach, in particular, holds a lot of promise and he is in for his toughest test to date. He has a fan-friendly style and knockout power. But he can’t underestimate Luis who had over 100 amateur bouts and is a skilled boxer who throws a lot of punches. This should be an all-action affair.”

Redkach amassed an impressive 260-40 record as an amateur, which culminated in him being a 2008 Olympic Team alternate for his native Ukraine. Redkach turned pro in November 2009 and has been impressive ever since with his relentless seek-and-destroy style and devastating power. Twelve of Redkach’s 13 knockouts have come in three rounds or less, with six coming in the first round.

After witnessing one of his bouts in 2012, a first-round stoppage, esteemed reporter Doug Fischer, of Ringtv.com, stated, “Ivan Redkach is a stud; best lightweight prospect with less than 20 bouts. I think he can beat most prospects with 20-plus bouts.”

After his one-round destruction of Tebor Brosch at Roseland Ballroom on Oct. 24, the highly regarded Michael Woods, who writes for TheSweetScience.com and ESPN.com, proclaimed, “This kid scared me. He put bad thoughts into my head.”

The WBC No. 13-rated Redkach, who was included on ESPN’s Dan Rafael‘s 2012 “Prospects to Watch” list, is expected to make the transition from top prospect to legitimate world contender in 2014, but he must first get by his toughest opponent to date in fellow prospect Luis, in what will be Redkach’s first scheduled 10-rounder of his career.

Luis was a seven-time provincial champion in his native Canada as an amateur and was also a three-time National Silver medalist before turning pro in 2008. Luis has put together two consecutive victories since suffering the lone blemish on his record, an eight-round upset stoppage loss to Jose Hernandez. Luis knows that a win over the world-rated Redkach on national TV will not only erase the loss to Hernandez but also throw his name directly into the mix of the 135-pound division.

Each time that Thompson has stepped up as a pro, he has looked better and better. In 2012, he scored a second-round TKO in his toughest fight to date against the then-4-1 Jamond Bourgeois. In his first fight of 2013, he stopped the 5-1 Grayson Blake in the fifth round of their scheduled six-rounder. Thompson followed up that performance with a dominant eight-round unanimous decision over previously undefeated GiovanyRodriguez (8-0), which aired on ShoBox. In September, he won a shutout eight-round unanimous decision over the 10-1-1 Brandon Quarels and in his fourth fight of 2013, he scored a third-round TKO over Johnathan Batista. The bout against the undefeated Galarza will be another chance for Thompson to showcase his talents on SHOWTIME and begin moving into even more lucrative fights in the junior middleweight division.

The tall, hard-hitting Puerto Rican Galarza is a boxer-puncher who has power in both hands. The former New York Golden Gloves champion turned pro in 2010 and has gradually progressed along the way. Galarza is coming off his most impressive victory, a sensational fourth-round TKO over previously undefeated Rich Neves (6-0-1) to win the New York State junior middleweight title. A win over Thompson would propel Galarza right into the spotlight as one of the true up-and-coming prospects in the 154-pound division.

A stellar amateur with over 120 bouts, including an appearance at the 2011 World Cup in Russia, the 21-year-old undefeated prospect Douglas is on the fast track to superstardom. Having already gained national exposure appearing on ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights”, the bout on Jan. 17 will be Douglas’ twelfth in 15 months since turning pro in October 2012. Douglas has looked more and more impressive with each outing, and appears to be one of the hottest prospects at his age in boxing. In Douglas’ last bout, he absolutely dominated previously undefeated ColbyCourter (4-0, 4 KO’s) scoring a devastating third-round TKO.

In Davis, Douglas will be facing his toughest opponent to date and it will be a true litmus test to see just how good at this stage of his career Douglas is. A first cousin of former New York Mets legend, Doc Gooden, Davis is the bigger and likely the stronger of the two. The bout on Jan. 17 will be the first scheduled eight-rounder for both middleweights.

A Dallas Regional Golden Gloves champion with an 85-7 record as an amateur, Hooker went a perfect 5-0 in 2013 and is looking to carry that momentum into a breakout year in 2014. Hooker is serving as one of the lead sparring partners for current IBF super featherweight champion Argenis Mendez for his upcoming title defense. An opponent for Hooker in his eight-round light welterweight bout will be announced shortly.

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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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